A Few Things Ill Considered

Action on Global Warming is Suicide

This is just one of dozens of responses to common climate change denial arguments, which can all be found at How to Talk to a Climate Sceptic.


Objection:

The kind of drastic actions required to mitigate Global Warming will risk the destruction of the global economy and the deaths of potentially billions of people.

Answer:

Is this supposed to mean that the theory of anthropogenic global warming must be wrong?  You can not come to a rational decision about the reality of a danger by only considering how hard it might be to avoid. First things first, understand that the problem is real and present. Once you acknowledge the necessity of addressing the problem, taking action suddenly become less daunting. There is no point in discussing the best solutions or the cost of those solutions with someone who does not yet acknowledge the problem.

But even if mitigating Global Warming would be harmful, given that famine, droughts, disease, loss of major coastal cities and a tremendous mass extinction event are on the table as possible consequences of doing nothing, it may well be we are faced with a choice between the lesser of two evils. I challenge anyone to conclusively demonstrate that such catastrophes as listed above may await us if we try to reduce fossil fuel usage.

Now, in terms of conservation and a global switch over to alternative fuels, the people who oppose doing this for climate change mitigation are forgetting something rather important. Fossil fuels are a non-renewable resource, and as such we have to make this global economic transformation regardless, be it now or a bit later. Many bright minds inside the industry think we are already at Peak Oil. So even if it turned out that climate mitigation actions were unnecessary, we would nevertheless be in a better place as a global society by making the coming switch sooner rather than later.

Seems like a win-win situation to me.


This is just one of dozens of responses to common climate change denial arguments, which can all be found at How to Talk to a Climate Sceptic.


“Action on Global Warming is Suicide” was first published here, where you can still find the original comment thread. This updated version is also posted on the Grist website, where additional comments can be found, though the author, Coby Beck, does not monitor or respond there.

Comments

  1. #1 Ivan
    December 10, 2008

    Equally important as the future depletion of fossil fuels is the fact that working on reducing global CO2 emissions would not necessarily bring hardships to the world.

    The history of economic development teaches us that new technologies open new markets, create new jobs and opportunities etc. It is true that they may destroy some old industries, but with proper public policies, this does not need to be a big problem.

    Imagine, for example, the US government giving a loan to the Big Three but requiring them to retool their factories to build electrical cars (which is hopefully happening now), but also requiring them to make the new electrical motors in such a way that they can be retrofitted in older cars. Now, raise the taxes on cars with internal combustion engines, but also offer a subsidy to the Big Three, directed solely to making new electrical cars and motors cheaper. Now think how many people would buy new cars or retrofit their older cars. That also means more money for the Big Three (which should be reinvested, not given as bonuses for managers), more jobs, more taxes etc.

    Big infrastructure projects to change the living patterns in the US, provide more means for public transportation, shorter distances which can be walked etc. Again, a mass of jobs, spending, taxes, profits…

    Offering various support schemes, and also directly financing research on clean technologies would again provide jobs, and also the technologies developed for ecological purposes would certainly have unexpected uses elsewhere in the economy. That’s simply how technology is, or, rather, how people are. Inventiveness is a fantastic trait.

    You get the idea. New technologies mean new investments, which can soak up the losses from older industries, and even expand the economy further. This is not just some odd theory, it’s how economic development works. Read Werner Sombart, Friedrich List, John Kenneth Galbraith, Joseph Scumpeter, , Ha-Joon Chang even Friedrich von Hayek etc, all leading names in development theory.

  2. #2 David
    January 15, 2009

    What do you answer when someone says that global warming is just a way for the government to control us with an excuse to take out environment taxes on fossil fuel energy in an internet forum? I tried argumenting that if we did some real work with alternative energy the government would have less control, it would be less centralised and we wouldn’t be as dependent on the energy of the big scary corporations. Another thing they said is that the “global warming scam” could lead to disaster for third world countries that need a working infra structure. I tried to argue that if you invested in energy alternatives from the start they would live cheaper and more independently, and be in a much better economical position than if they made themselves depend on fossil fuels. Both these points were ignored. So, what do you do? Every time I spoke these points in the debate in the forum the two propagators of the bluff idea drowned them in personal conversation between each other reiterating their own arguments over and over…

  3. #3 coby
    January 18, 2009

    Hi David,

    Sounds like you had good answers for both points. But as the saying goes, you can lead them to water, but you can’t make them drink!

  4. #4 David
    January 28, 2009

    I think you should add the “third world countries will suffer” argument to the list. That argument has found itself in pretty much every time I have heard or seen discussion about global warming. Off the net as well as on.

  5. #5 Gigs
    February 16, 2009

    No one is forgetting that fossil is non-renewable. When a resource runs low, it becomes scarce, and the price goes up. When the price goes up, alternatives become economically viable. It’s economics 101.

    Any time you force people to adopt a less suitable product, when a more suitable one is available, you create economic inefficiency that makes everyone worse off. If I am forced to pay $100 for an energy source when a $50 energy source was available, I am poorer for it. It is the same as if I were robbed of $50.

    You might say that the alternative energy dealer got my money, so value was still created. But that’s just a version of the Parable of the Broken Window.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parable_of_the_broken_window

    So no, we will not be “in a better place”… we will be poorer as a society on the whole. Global wealth will be destroyed. Even worse, it will be regressive. Poorer people spend more of their money on energy than wealthy people, percentage wise.

  6. #6 coby
    February 16, 2009

    “Poorer people spend more of their money on energy than wealthy people, percentage wise.”

    Maybe as a group because there are more of them, but otherwise, no.

  7. #7 mikatollah
    February 17, 2009

    Alternative energy seems expensive because AGW deniers never factor in the total cost of burning fossil fuels. If you consider the cost of environmental clean up, then alternative fuels become much more economically feasible.

    In the 1970s we were able to force businesses to clean up their effluent by making it a cost of doing business. We can and should do the same thing for greenhouse gas pollution.

  8. #8 nub
    February 18, 2009

    What about the other countries?

    (we kinda need them to do this too)

  9. #9 mikatollah
    February 18, 2009

    What about other countries… We are not going to wait for Pakistan or Indochina or Beijing to move before we take action on climate change. That idea died in the last election. The adults are back in charge in Washington now and it is only a matter of time before we are once again leading the world.

    Once the goals are established and a plan it in place we can begin to put pressure on developing nations by offering economic and diplomatic incentives and by exporting the technology they will need to comply.

  10. #10 Trevor
    February 18, 2009

    Coby:

    “But even if mitigating Global Warming would be harmful, given that famine, droughts, disease, loss of major coastal cities and a tremendous mass extinction event are on the table as possible consequences of doing nothing, it may well be we are faced with a choice between the lesser of two evils. I challenge anyone to conclusively demonstrate that such catastrophes as listed above may await us if we try to reduce fossil fuel usage.”

    Challenge accepted.

    First of all, I note that “on the table” doesn’t mean that any of these things WILL happen. In fact, the first three are easily refuted, the fourth is avoidable (at a much lower cost than stopping global warming), and the fifth is probably also false (and of no concern to me in any event, as long as humans aren’t on the list).

    But, all that aside, let me tell you what’s going to happen if we attempt to STOP global warming. I say “stop” because, if it’s a bad thing, and if we are causing it, then the only viable alternative is to STOP it, better yet REVERSE it, but forget about “mitigation”. If we “reduce” or “slow” global warming, then all those bad things that supposedly come from global warming will still occur, just a couple of years later. No sense in that. We must STOP it.

    And, if burning fossil fuels is truly the cause of global warming, then the ONLY way to stop global warming is STOP burning fossil fuels. Not reduce. STOP! Anything less than a complete ban on the burning of fossil fuels will not SOLVE the problem.

    Now, what happens if we STOP burning fossil fuels? No transportation, except on foot, or perhaps bicycles. Electric cars? Where are you going to get the electricity for them? You can’t burn coal – that’s a fossil fuel. Nuclear? I’m down with that. But the same alarmists that are screaming about global warming refuse to even consider nuclear energy. Talk about the lesser of two evils! Geez! But, even if we could get all the environmental whackos on board, nuclear is expensive compared to fossil fuels. And wind, solar, hydro are a joke.

    But it comes down to this. Electricity isn’t going to power a tractor or a combine. Modern agriculture depends on such machinery to grow enough food to feed the world. Without it, farmers will be reduced to horse-drawn plows and manual harvesting. I know there’s a lot of back-to-nature environmentalists who would love that, but it won’t feed the 6 billion people on Earth, or even 10% of them. And that’s assuming ever acre of land on the planet was cleared for cultivation, which the greenies wouldn’t like one little bit. And even what little food is grown won’t make it to the urban centers, where most of the people live, because the trucks required for that burn fossil fuels too. We’re talking massive starvation here, Coby. A whole lot worse than your localized “famine” (which won’t happen anyway, because global food production will likely DOUBLE under global warming, if we’re fortunate enough to see it continue, but that’s for another post).

    Then there’s the war. We know that China and India are never going to cut their carbon emissions. But, if the rest of the world gets serious about it, what are we going to do about China and India? I mean, we’re trying to “save the planet”, right? Would we not, in the name of saving the planet, go to war with China and India to FORCE them to stop burning fossil fuels? Of course, we’d have to “temporarily” allow the use of fossil fuels for our tanks and jets and humvees and ships, so I don’t know if the net result would be good or bad in terms of total carbon emissions. The oil-producing Middle East would side with China and India, because they are the only buyers left for their oil, and because the Muslims hate the US and Europe. The two sides would be fairly evenly matched. The war would be long and very bloody. But then, the environmental whackos don’t really care because they think humans are a DISEASE, and the less of us the better.

    But wait. Maybe the war won’t last so long after all. I mean, both sides will have nuclear weapons. If backed into a corner, China will use them, count on it. And we will retaliate, count on it. And then we won’t have to worry about global warming anymore. Because the few humans that survive the initial blasts will face a hundred-year nuclear winter, as clouds of radioactive dust block 90% of sunlight from reaching the surface.

    But, for me, just as disconcerting as the starvation, the war, and nuclear armageddon is the loss of personal freedoms that will occur if we make a serious attempt to stop global warming. First will be freedom of speech. The alarmists are already trying to take this away from skeptics, but, until now, they were not in power. I look for the First Amendment to the US Constitution to be suspended in the name of “saving the planet”. Even under the untenable “mitigation” scenario, we will loose the freedom to set our thermostats where we want them. California has ALREADY proposed a plan to link all home thermostats to a central computer that monitors their settings, and shuts off electricity to any home in which the thermostat is set too high or too low. Big Brother, indeed. Freedom of enterprise and property rights will also go by the wayside, as some government bureacracy sets itself up as arbiter of whether MY plans to invest MY money and use MY land are consistent with the planetary goal of stopping global warming. Might as well forget freedom of religion too, because the worldwide totalitarian government cannot allow any higher purpose than saving the planet.

    I know most greenies don’t value their freedom as highly as I value mine (or, more accurately, they don’t value MY freedom as highly as I value THEIRS – they don’t want to give up their freedom at all, just take mine away). But as far as I’m concerned, once the freedoms are gone and the government is all-powerful, I don’t even care what happens next, because the world won’t be WORTH saving.

    Regards,
    Trevor

  11. #11 mikatollah
    February 18, 2009

    So what have we learned from Trevor today?

    Environmentalists hate freedom… and humans.
    AGW is a government conspiracy to keep Trevor out of church.
    Global warming must be stopped tomorrow… or it doesn’t count.
    Electricity won’t turn large wheels.
    Alternative energy is a joke..except nuclear is too much $$$
    We’re all going to have to walk… or ride our bikes.
    Environmentalists love manual labor best.
    Mass government policy driven starvation is inevitable.
    We know for sure that China hates the environment.
    Don’t forget about the nuclear war we will be fighting with India and China (presumably while we starve).
    AGW will double food production, but we have to wait for another post to learn how. (My guess: AGW is good for us!)
    The middle east hates westerners… loves Chinamen.
    Loss of SUV worse than nuclear war and starvation.
    Nuclear war best cure for AGW.
    AGW mitigation efforts sure to keep Trevor from blogging.

    Did I miss anything?

  12. #12 Trevor
    February 19, 2009

    Mikatollah:

    “Did I miss anything?”
    Apparently so.

    “Environmentalists hate freedom… and humans.”
    No. Environmentalists hate OTHER PEOPLE’S FREEDOM. They probably like their own. As for hating humans, many environmentalists are ON RECORD in that regard. But again, presumably, they don’t hate themselves. If they did hate themselves, they would do the rest of us a huge favor and commit suicide.

    “AGW is a government conspiracy to keep Trevor out of church.”
    I didn’t bring up conspiracy, at least not in the post in question. I was simply listing the inevitable results of any serious attempt to stop global warming.

    “Global warming must be stopped tomorrow… or it doesn’t count.”
    I didn’t say anything about “tomorrow”. But if it’s truly a bad thing, and if we are truly causing it, then it makes no sense to merely SLOW IT DOWN. Why save our grandchildren from the horrible effects of global warming, only to have our GREAT grandchildren suffer them?

    “Electricity won’t turn large wheels.”
    Not when those large wheels are attached to heavy vehicles and farm equipment. At least not for very long.

    “Alternative energy is a joke..except nuclear is too much $$$”
    OK. You got that one right.

    “We’re all going to have to walk… or ride our bikes.”
    Without fossil fuels, yes.

    “Environmentalists love manual labor best.”
    Only when someone ELSE is doing the manual labor.

    “Mass government policy driven starvation is inevitable.”
    If the government policy’s goal is to stop global warming, and if the policy is serious, then yes, the inevitable result is mass starvation.

    “We know for sure that China hates the environment.”
    I didn’t say that. I don’t know and don’t care about the Chinese government’s feelings toward the environment. But the point is, China cares about its own prosperity, and the prospects of its future prosperity, MORE than it cares about the environment. I never thought I’d see the day when a COMMUNIST country started caring more about its own prosperity than the US does.

    “Don’t forget about the nuclear war we will be fighting with India and China (presumably while we starve).”
    Don’t think it will happen? Wait and see. Too bad neither of us will be around so I can say I told you so.

    “AGW will double food production, but we have to wait for another post to learn how. (My guess: AGW is good for us!)”
    In terms of global food production, at least, GW is, in fact, a good thing. As for your snide remark about having to wait for another post, it’s quite a lengthy explanation, and deserves its own post. I’ll get around to it shortly.

    “The middle east hates westerners… loves Chinamen.”
    The former is obvious. As for the latter, I never said the Middle East loves China. But I think it’s obvious that they don’t hate China nearly as much as they hate us. But we’re not talking about just the current situation. We’re talking about what’s going to happen IN THE FUTURE, when the West stops buying oil from the Middle East, because we’re trying to stop global warming.

    “Loss of SUV worse than nuclear war and starvation.”
    You’re mischaracterizing my statements. I never said anything about an SUV. I was talking about the loss of PERSONAL FREEDOMS. And I never said that was “worse” than nuclear war and mass starvation – I said it was “as bad as”. And for me, that is absolutely true. You may have a different set of priorities. That’s your business. I’m not trying to force my priorities on you. If you want to give up your freedoms to avoid global warming, nuclear war, starvation, or whatever, it is not my place to forbid your making that exchange. But neither is it your place to FORCE ME to make that exchange. See, that’s the beauty of freedom. Noone has the power to force their beliefs, ideals, or priorities on anyone else. That’s all I’m asking for. You can “mitigate” all you want to, and I will not complain, because it is your right to do so. Meanwhile, I’m going to follow my own priorities, and I expect you, and the US government, to respect my freedom to do so.

    “Nuclear war best cure for AGW.”
    You’re being facetious here, implying that I RECOMMENDED nuclear war as the solution for global warming. I think I made it clear that nuclear war was something that I did not want to see EVER happen on this planet. But, as a matter of fact, nuclear war WOULD put an end to global warming. Of course, in this case, the solution is worse than the problem. But then, that’s also the case with banning fossil fuels, isn’t it?

    “AGW mitigation efforts sure to keep Trevor from blogging.”
    Not directly. Try reading that part again.

    Regards,
    Trevor

  13. #13 mikatollah
    February 19, 2009

    Sooo… what did we learn from Trevor today?

    Mischaracterization of statements sadden Trevor.
    Environmentalist don’t hate themselves, but should still commit suicide.
    Trevor loves freedom, hates nuclear war and blames liberals.
    Only fossil fuels make cars go.
    When Chinese nukes kill mikatollah and Trevor, who will be left to gloat?
    “As bad as” is much better than “worse”.
    Communists love freedom more than Americans.
    Still waiting for food-doubling post.
    Snide remarks sadden Trevor.
    Middle East loves future Chinamen more than current Chinamen.
    Freedom is a beautiful thing (even if you’re not a Commie).
    If you need Trevor, he will be following his priorities.

    Ok, I’ll stop…

  14. #14 Trevor
    February 20, 2009

    Mikatollah:

    Aren’t you the same guy who was admonishing me, on another thread, about being rude, sarcastic, and arrogant? Do you have multiple personalities or something? Because I find it hard to reconcile your current behavior with your previous lectures on the subject.

    Regards,
    Trevor

  15. #15 Trevor
    February 20, 2009

    And now, finally, the long-awaited and much-anticipated explanation of how global warming will increase food supplies.

    (Note: I will probably re-post this explanation under “What’s Wrong With Warm Weather”, since that topic seems slightly more appropriate for this discussion.)

    (Disclaimer: though I have had some education in agronomy, animal science, and other agriculture-related topics, I am not an “agronomist”. My degrees (BS and MS) are in Agricultural Economics. My brother, however, is an agronomist, and he endorses this explanation 100%, and in fact helped me to compose it. I suspect that at least 90% of agronomists would also agree with most of what I am about to say.)

    There are three things that all plants need more than anything else – heat, water, and carbon dioxide. These three elements are absolutely critical to the germination, growth, development, and reproduction of crops, and (within certain limits) the more of these things the crops have, the higher their yields will be. I intend to explain how each of these necessary elements will INCREASE under any realistic global warming scenario. However, I realize that, in many cases, “too much of a good thing” can be bad, and therefore I also intend to explain why that is not a concern in the case of these three elements with respect to crop production. I will look at each element in turn.

    CARBON DIOXIDE
    The theory of anthropogenic global warming blames the increasing global average temperatures on man-made emissions of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels. So therefore, if AGW continues, it will be due to further increases in CO2. The fact that I don’t buy AGW theory does not change the fact that CO2 is, undeniably, increasing, and will continue to increase as long as mankind continues burning fossil fuels at the current rate. So, the fact is, whether global warming continues or not, CO2 levels in the atmosphere WILL continue to increase, at least until our fossil fuel reserves run out.

    Agronomists have repeatedly identified carbon dioxide as the single most limiting factor in crop growth and development. Basically, no matter what the levels of other factors, it is a scientific fact that you can ALWAYS get better yields by adding more carbon dioxide. Of course, carbon dioxide doesn’t come in powder or pellets that you can spread on the ground, and it wouldn’t do any good there anyway, because it has to be absorbed from the air. So increasing carbon dioxide for crops is (usually) not an economically viable option. Which is why the level of carbon dioxide is such a constraint on crop yield.

    Nevertheless, under greenhouse conditions (I’m talking about REAL greenhouses – fully enclosed environments where the internal atmosphere can be controlled and manipulated – which has nothing to do with the so-called “greenhouse effect” of Earth’s atmosphere), growers have increased CO2 levels up to many times higher than atmospheric levels, with UNIFORMLY POSITIVE RESULTS. Even at these absurdly high levels of CO2, there are ZERO harmful effects on plant germination, growth, development, or reproduction. Now, I suppose, at some ridiculously high concentration of CO2, one that has not yet been tested in greenhouse conditions, the effects of additional CO2 will turn to a net negative. But such a concentration is note something that we are ever going to see on this planet, even if we had UNLIMITED fossil fuel reserves.

    WATER
    No one can claim that water isn’t good for crops. If water was bad for crops, farmers wouldn’t pray for rain, Native Americans would not have developed “rain dances”, and growers in dry areas wouldn’t spend billions of dollars on water and irrigation equipment. Too much water? At the wrong time, yes, that’s bad for crops. (Though it’s worth noting that rice, the number one food crop in the world, is routinely flooded through most of the growing season. In fact, the “wrong time” for too much water in a rice field is limited to a day or two after planting and a couple of days prior to harvest. Any other time of the year, there’s no such thing as “too much water” in a rice field.)

    But the question is, what will global warming do to water supplies in crop fields? Well, warmer weather means more evaporation of ocean water. More evaporation means more water vapor in the atmosphere. More water vapor in the atmosphere means more water vapor condensing to form clouds. More clouds mean more rainfall. Now, of course, the total volume of water on the planet doesn’t change. But at any given time, more of it is being deposited as precipitation on land, where the crops are planted. And that’s what’s really important for crops, not the total volume of water on the planet.

    Now, the global warming alarmists warn us of “shifting precipitation patterns”. They never really explain how such a shift will be initiated (except one really ridiculous theory about major ocean currents shifting, which NO ONE seriously believes), but they reason that changing the temperature simply MUST have SOME kind of effect on precipitation patterns. My answer to that is, okay, so what? So all of a sudden, areas that historically received a lot of rainfall will receive a lot less, and areas that were historically dry will receive a lot more rainfall. Where’s the problem in that? Okay, at the level of the individual farmer, whose family has been farming the same land in Pennsylvania for 200 years, that guy, or his grandson, might not be able to raise a crop of corn anymore. But in terms of total global food production, that loss will be offset by some new farmer in, say, Nigeria, whose land all of a sudden gets plenty of rainfall to plant corn. And get this. The new Nigerian farmer won’t have to contend with the insects specifically evolved to be corn pests, and he won’t have to spray as much insecticide. If you want to, you can feel bad for the farmer in Pennsylvania that went out of business (and sold the land to a real estate developer for $20,000/acre, took a job in construction, or driving an 18-wheeler, and is now making twice as much as he would have made farming, even if he DID have the rain). But we’re talking about GLOBAL food production, and that’s going to increase.

    Other alarmists warn us of “drought” and “floods”. I’ve never actually seen a convincing scientific argument that such extreme weather events are going to be any more prevalent than they have ever been (except that some coastal areas may be flooded due to rising sea levels). However, if the worldwide precipitation patterns change to the extent supposed in the previous paragraph, I guess I could see someone calling it a “drought” when a historically-high-precipitation area suddenly started getting less rainfall; or calling it a “flood” when a “historically-low-precipitation area suddenly started getting more rainfall. But when measured by absolute amounts of rainfall, rather than compared to historic levels, I don’t see any reason to believe drought or flooding will be any more common due to global warming than they ever have been.

    That said, let’s suppose the alarmists are correct about this, and there are real, absolute droughts and floods, in greater number and of greater severity than in pre-global-warming times. Again, the question is, so what? The entire western half of the United States is basically a dessert. Yet it contains some of the highest-yielding corn and wheat acreage in the world. Why? Irrigation. You see, it turns out that, even in these dry areas, there’s an abundance of water either in rivers and reservoirs, or in underground aquifers. Getting the water to the fields where the crops are planted is but a minor problem, easily overcome. If the eastern half of the United States dries up, then growers there can simply adopt the same irrigation practices that western US growers use now (and many already have, just so they don’t have to DEPEND on rainfall). Or, as alluded to earlier, the areas suffering from drought can simply stop growing crops, and their slack will be easily taken up by new crop-growing areas.

    What about flooding? What if there really is a statistically-significant increase in flooding due to excessive rainfall (and not just a shift of flooding from one area to another)? As I mentioned earlier, “flooding” is not a major problem for agriculture UNLESS it happens at the “wrong time”. What is the “wrong time”? Well, planting time is a bad time for flooding, because tractors can’t get into the fields to plant the crops. Likewise, harvest time is a bad time because the combines can’t get into the fields to harvest them. But, as far as field operation are concerned, this is no big deal at all because, as I’ll show when I get to the section about Heat, the growing seasons for all crops will be lenghtened considerably, giving growers a lot more flexibility in the timing of their planting and harvesting.

    But still, there are times, BETWEEN harvesting and planting, when excessive rainfall, and standing water in fields, can obstruct the uptake of certain nutrients from the air and the soil. And if flooding is more common in the future due to global warming, then one could reasonably expect more yield loss due to such flooding. However, ON AVERAGE, the beneficial effects of increased rainfall, on a worldwide scale, will easily overshadow the small yield losses due to increased flooding.

    Excessive rainfall, at the wrong time, can also hamper certian physiological processes in a plant, including reproduction. And as any agronomist knows, reproduction is the process that actually creates the edible part of the crop (the grain or “fruit”), so interference with reproduction is something we would very much not like to see. But again, an extended growing season is going to enable growers more flexibility in the timing of planting. And therefore, planting will be more staggered, temporally, than it is now. This means that a smaller percentage of a given crop will be entering the critical stages of production at any given time. While this may result in a higher probability that some percentage of the acreage will suffer from “wrong time” flooding, it also means there is a smaller probability that the ENTIRE crop will suffer that fate. And again, even if there is net yield loss due to this effect, it will be more than offset by the many, many beneficial effects of increased rainfall.

    There is one other bad effect of flooding on crops. It is called “soil heaving”. When certain types of soil are fully saturated with water, freezing temperatures can cause cause the water in the soils to freeze, and therefore expand, causing significant movement of the soil. This process can easily damage the roots of certain crops (like winter wheat) that are planted in the fall and harvested in the spring. But if you look back carefully, you will see that this process only occurs when temperatures fall below freezing. And we are, after all, talking about global WARMING. So, while one of the conditions (flooding) necessary for heaving might be more likely under global warming, the other condition (freezing) is most definitely LESS likely. So, all in all, heaving will be a lot less common under global warming than before global warming. And it really only affects over-wintered crops anyway.

    Sorry, folks, but I’m going to have to put off the final section of this essay, Heat, until next week. But please stay tuned, because I suspect it will be very enlightening to those of you who don’t have a clue about agronomy.

    Regards, Trevor

  16. #16 Adam
    February 20, 2009

    I suspect that at least 90% of agronomists would also agree with most of what I am about to say.

    Perhaps you should base your judgment on, you know, FACTS instead of gut feelings. The credibility of your entire post is severely compromised given that you seem to just make up numbers on a whim to suit whatever purpose you are pursuing.

  17. #17 mikatollah
    February 20, 2009

    Awww shucks Trev, I was just tweakin’ you a bit. But I honestly don’t know how else to respond to arguments like environmentalist should commit suicide and Communist Chinese care more for their freedom than Americans.

    Where does this stuff come from?

  18. #18 mikatollah
    February 20, 2009

    Trevor,

    Your best work yet! And I mean that. I especially liked the part about water being good for crops… insightful and well articulated. Why else would farmers pray and Indians dance? I think that on this point we can all agree.

  19. #19 Trevor
    February 23, 2009

    Adam:

    The statement you quoted was a disclaimer, not an admission of possible error. You see, unlike global warming alarmists, I don’t make false claims of “concensus”, which is why I used a number less than 100%, yet still included the word “suspect”. In reality, the statements I have made are well-established in the agronomic community, though there may be a few dissenters out there (note I did not call them “deniers”, because, again unlike global warming alarmists, I respect healthy skepticism of scientific dogma). For example, I have read one journal article that, while it does not directly contradict anything I have said, does point out, based on greenhouse experimentation, that excessive carbon dioxide can cause harvested rice to contain slightly less protein than rice grown under “normal” CO2 levels. Of course, as explained in the original post, it’s not possible to regulate CO2 in field experiments, so we don’t know that the same thing would happen in the field. But even if protein was slightly less, people don’t consume rice for protein – they consume it for carbohydrates, which are not decreased by excessive CO2. Moreover, even if protein was a consideration for people eating rice, the increase in yield means that people could easily increase their consumption of rice to get the total protein consumed back up to pre-global warming levels.

    In reality, Adam, the statements I made in the previous post are not only supported by 200+ years of agronomic theory, but have been proven, time and time again, EMPIRICALLY. That is far more than we can say for the “science” of anthropogenic global warming.

    If you want to criticize me for making up a CONSERVATIVE number to represent the proportion of agronomists who agree with me, rather than making a bold but unfounded statement that ALL agronomists agree with me, go right ahead. It just illustrates not only the dishonesty of the global warming alarmists, but their complete disdain of honesty when others exhibit it.

    As for making up numbers, other than the 90% figure, which I have already explained, the only numbers that are even IN the previous post are 2, 18, 100, and 20,000:

    2 was the coefficient I placed on Oxygen (O) in the chemical notation for Carbon Dioxide (“CO2″). It is well established that a molecule of carbon dioxide contains one atom of carbon and two atoms of oxygen. If you look closely, it’s right there in the name (“carbon DIoxide” – “DI” meaning “two”). I did not make this number up. If you are challenging this number, I would love to hear your reasoning. (However, I must confess that in TRUE chemical notation, the 2 should appear as a SUBSCRIPT after the O. I regret that I do not know how to initiate such a font effect in this forum. But I think most people know what I’m talking about when I say “CO2″, even though the 2 is too large and too high.)

    18 was used in a parenthetical and hypothetical statement about what a corn farmer in Pennsylvania might do if forced to retire from farming because of changing weather patterns, and referred to the total number of wheels on the tractor-trailer rig he might drive for a living. “18-wheeler” is a common name for such a vehicle. Again, I did not make that number up. However, I confess that this hypothetical future retired farmer might end up driving a truck with something fewer than 18 wheels. For that matter, he might not drive a truck at all, or work construction, which I gave as another possibility. He might go to college and become a accountant. Or a professional global warming alarmist. It doesn’t matter, though, for the purpose my example. The point is, he would probably make a lot more money doing something other than farming.

    100 was used as a percent that I assigned to the level with which my brother, the agronomist and certified crop consultant, agrees with my analysis of the effect of carbon dioxide, water, and heat on crop production. I did not make this number up. My brother stated to me in a telephone conversation that he agreed “completely” with my analysis.

    20,000 was a number I used, in the same parenthetical, hypothetical statement as the 18, to represent the number of dollars per acre the hypothetical retired farmer might sell his farmland for. I admit to making this number up. I also admit to ASSUMING that the land would be rezoned residential or commercial. But again, the whole thing was a hypothetical statement, and it was not at all crucial to the point of the post. In fact, the only reason I brought it up was to point out, for the relief of those more concerned about an individual farmer’s well-being than global food production, that the farmer would probably make out alright. Nevertheless, my estimate of the value of residential/commercial-zoned but undeveloped land 50 years in the future is just as good as any other estimate out there. But if you don’t like it, feel free to substitute your own estimate. It has zero bearing on the main point of the post.

    Regards,
    Trevor

  20. #20 Trevor
    February 23, 2009

    Mikatollah:

    “I honestly don’t know how else to respond to arguments like environmentalist should commit suicide and Communist Chinese care more for their freedom than Americans.”

    First of all, let me make it clear that NO ONE cares more for his/her freedom than I do (though I’m sure there are quite a few that care EQUALLY with me). That said, you are putting words in my mouth. I did not say that the Communist Chinese PEOPLE care more for their FREEDOM than Americans. I said that the Chinese GOVERNMENT cares more for it’s nation’s PROSPERITY than the US government cares for its own prosperity. Prosperity and freedom are not the same thing, though they often go hand in hand. In general, freedom provides the conditions under which prosperity is maximized. But the Chinese government, specifically, is not at all concerned with the freedom of its people. They are merely trying to increase their prosperity, partly to prove that Communism is not as anti-prosperity as Capitalists know it to be. But the main purpose of their attempt at prosperity is to maintain power. Any despotic regime can remain in power indefinitely if it can provide prosperity to its people, despite the lack of freedom. However, if China goes along with cutting CO2 emissions, it will NOT be able to provide that prosperity. And over 1 billion people will revolt and throw off the shackles of Communism. The Communist Chinese government fears this far more than global warming.

    That said, I am alarmed by the fact that a majority of Americans seem ready to accept the loss of freedoms (AND prosperity) that we will suffer under the Obama administration, with the help of a Liberal-controlled House, Senate, and Supreme Court.

    As for environmenalists committing suicide, I want to make clear that I was not SUGGESTING that they do so. I was merely pointing out that 1) IF they truly believed that humans are the planet’s #1 enemy; and 2) IF they truly believed that “saving the planet” is a worthwhile goal; and 3) IF they did not arrogantly excuse themselves for damaging the planet; then the only rational thing for them to do is to kill themselves. Of course, it WOULD be a favor to the rest of us (because we could go on doing what we like and not have the hear their complaints) AND to the planet (because it’s that much fewer evil humans killing the planet). But I’m still not SUGGESTING that they kill themselves. Actually, I rather enjoy the fact that they’re still around, because it proves what hypocrits they are.

    Regards,
    Trevor

  21. #21 mikatollah
    February 23, 2009

    Trevor,
    There was an old commercial that claimed more doctors who smoked, smoked Camels:

    http://blogs.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/02/26/More-Doctors-Smoke-Camels-Than-Any-Other-Cigarette.aspx

    The clear inference here is that smoking Camels was good for you, or at least it was not harmful as many smokers who woke up coughing each morning suspected.

    Your suspicion that 90 percent of agronomists support your belief is disturbing in much the same way. Even if we take your word for it and grant you this scientific consensus, it doesn’t necessarily follow that these agronomists agree that AGW is a good thing.

    I’m no “agricultural economist”, so my first thought was, giving the regional nature of crop production and the global nature of climate change, the imbalances created by AGW would more than offset any plant benefit from increased CO2 and actually inhibit crop production.

    But I’m still with you on the water thing… water good.

  22. #22 Trevor
    February 24, 2009

    Mikatollah:

    “Even if we take your word for it and grant you this scientific consensus, it doesn’t necessarily follow that these agronomists agree that AGW is a good thing.”

    I’m sorry, mikatollah, I thought I made it clear that the purpose of this exercise was limited to proving that global warming would increase potential food production. Let me be very, very specific with you. In this series of posts in which I will be explaining the positive effects of global warming on food production, I do NOT claim that global warming, OVERALL, is a good thing (again, not in THIS series of posts, though I personally feel that it IS, overall, a good thing, and I MAY, at some future time, expound on other positive effects of global warming). My only goal is to establish that, in terms of global potential food production, global warming is a net positive forcing. Any claim of support, by professional agronomists, of my theories, facts, or conclusions, is strictly limited to the arguments about global warming’s net effect on global food production, NOT the TOTAL net effects of global warming, on all issues of concern.

    Global potential food production is just one of many public concerns that will be affected by global warming (if it continues). Some of these effects will be positive and some will be negative. Whether global warming is, OVERALL, a good thing depends on the relative importance, to the individual, of the many impacted global concerns. One who puts more importance on, for instance, polar bear populations, than on global food production, might read my explanation of how global warming will affect global food production, and be completely unmoved, because he or she is convinced that polar bears will become extinct if global warming continues. If I wish to change that person’s mind about the OVERALL NET impact of global warming, I will have to show that polar bears are not endangered by global warming (and I don’t believe they are, but that’s not within the scope of this series of posts, and frankly, if someone cares more about polar bears than human hunger, I don’t want them on my side of the debate anyway).

    My only goal here, in this series of posts, is to counter the misinformation that global warming alarmists are spreading regarding the effect of global warming on food supplies. If I have contrary information (and I do) about the negative effects of global warming on OTHER issues of concern, I will bring that up at another time. For now, I’m focussing only on food production.

    As for your “first thought” about imbalances, that fits perfectly with my impression of global warming alarmists. You all seem to have this mindset, or worldview, that insists that ANYTHING that is not natural MUST be bad. If anything “disturbs” this “delicate balance” that Mother Nature, or Gaia, has carefully maintained for billions of years on this planet, it cannot possibly have any positive results, let alone a total net positive result. Food production is a perfect example. You don’t know anything about agriculture, I presume; yet you are willing to assume, without any evidence, that global warming alarmists are correct when they say global food supplies will be endangered if global warming continues. And you readily accept that as one more reason why we should stop, or mitigate, global warming, whatever the costs. Why are you so willing to go along with that? Because it fits with your worldview that Mother Nature Knows Best.

    Regards,
    Trevor

  23. #23 John
    February 24, 2009

    Great posts Trevor.

  24. #24 Adam
    February 24, 2009

    Trevor –

    You’re generalizing too much. While the increased temperatures and CO2 might have some beneficial effect in parts of the world, the overall effect is negative. Even then, the beneficial effects only last up until a certain point (varying depending on the crop), after which the increased levels start to hurt yield.

    The IPCC 4th assessment has a large chapter on this, it’s very interesting.
    http://www.gtp89.dial.pipex.com/05.pdf

    Here’s a statement from the President of the American Society of Agronomy (jointly with the Presidents of 2 other societies).

    “The Climate Change report released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change underscores the need to drastically improve the way we manage our agricultural resources. While the impacts of climate change will be positive in some areas of the world, such as those gaining longer growing seasons and those with sufficient water resources, other areas will be adversely impacted, and it is these areas that will need improved soil and water management practices. Society member scientists are poised to conduct further research into how we can effectively manage plant, soil, and water resources and how we can adapt our current knowledge and research to reduce these negative impacts.”

    This coming from a press release that applauds the IPCC shortly after the 4th Assessment report was released.
    http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2007-04/asoa-tss041007.php

    ..I will have to show that polar bears are not endangered by global warming (and I don’t believe they are, but that’s not within the scope of this series of posts…
    Is that a serious statement? Whether you care or not about polar bears is one thing, but it’s pretty clear that melting sea ice reduces the bears’ habitat and hunting range.

  25. #25 T Lu
    February 24, 2009

    During the Mid-Cretaceous period ca. 120 to 90 Million Years Ago, the earth was a distinctly warmer place. That warming period clearly happened, and it was clearly not caused by human beings, but that’s another story for another day.

    What is true, is that life flourished during this time. Fossil evidence indicates that breadfruit trees grew as far north as Greenland and the warm water corals grew far further north than they do today. During that period of time the earth was much warmer than it is today and CO2 levels were much higher than they are today. What happened… not the death and destruction which you predict, but an earth which was literally bursting with life.

    d;?D

  26. #26 mikatollah
    February 24, 2009

    T Lu

    How is it that you know what global temps were 100 million years ago? You obviously believe the current science that tells us volcanic activity produced greenhouse gases that warmed up the planet to temps rarely seen since. So why is it you believe this science, but can’t believe them when they tell you AGW is happening right now?

    I wouldn’t take a lot of comfort in the fact that all life wasn’t snuffed out during the mid-cretaceous warming. The earth was a very different place then… no polar ice, few mammals and certainly no humans. Remember that the first humans didn’t show up for another hundred million years, and human civilization has developed along a very narrow temperature range over the past 10,000 years.

    Another reason your example has no relevance is because of the rate of temperature change. It took hundreds of thousands of years to raise the prehistoric CO2 levels, and 150,000 years for them to recede to more historically normal levels. So the life that survived had lots of time to adapt.

    Compare that to the time frames we are looking at today. We have crammed thousands of years worth of atmospheric CO2 accumulation in to 150 years. We could see it double in less than 100 years. What we need to be concerned about is not how AGW will affect the Breadfruit trees, but how it will impact human life and human civilization.

  27. #27 T. Lu
    February 24, 2009

    Coby posted…..

    >>>Is this supposed to mean that the theory of anthropogenic global warming must be wrong? First things first, understand that the problem is real and present. ****There is no point in discussing the best solutions or the cost of those solutions with someone who does not yet acknowledge the problem***.<<<

    Are you honestly arguing that those of us who have serious doubts about the credibility of the scientific arguments that are being used to create this anthropogenic global warming case must first agree with this position before we are even allowed to debate it? It sure sounds to me that this is what you are saying! If so, I guess you will not even bother to read my post. However, I’ll give it a whirl anyway.

    Let me try a different type of an argument in an attempt to demonstrate why some thinking-people – some of who are actually scientists and engineers (I am an engineer) – might doubt that burning fossil fuels could have much of an impact on global warming.

    Consider a purely mathematical argument. Currently the level of CO2 in our atmosphere is defined in Al Gores film as being about 385 PPM. I’ll take his word for that. Other Gorephiles also claim that the total CO2 in the atmosphere by weight is 750GTs. I’ll take their word for that also. So, assuming both numbers are reasonably correct, 385PPM = 750GT of CO2.

    The Gore team also argues that burning of fossil fuels is releasing between 5.5 and 7.0 GTs of anthropogenic CO2 annually. Of that, they claim, about 3 GT remains in the atmosphere, while the rest becomes absorbed by the ocean, plants, and land mass. I’ll also accept that argument. Thus far, I have no disagreement with this part of Al Gore’s argument.

    So, lets assume that mankind will in fact increment the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere by as much as 300 GT in the next 100 years. At this rate CO2 will increase from 750GT to an alarming 1050 GTs by the year 2100. Whooooo, that’s very alarming! So, if 750 GTs = 385PPM, than 1050 GTs would equal 539PPM. Houston… we have a problem!!!! NOT!!!!

    Lets think about those weird scientific “PPM” numbers in a way which is more visual. Imagine the entire atmosphere as a tube containing 10,000 four inch balls. At 4 inches in diameter, stacked three high, about 35 of those balls would occupy every cubic foot of space. So a tube with a 1 square foot base which was 285 ft tall (approximately the height of 28 story building) would be perfectly sized to contain all 10,000 of those balls.

    With this as a visual model of our atmosphere, the 10,000 balls represent all the various gases in our atmosphere. Most of those balls, over 99% in fact, would represent Nitrogen, Oxygen, Water Vapor and Argon. The remaining few hundredths of a percent collectively would be balls which represented the other trace gases such as He,H,N,K,So2,Methane,CO2 and more.. In our model of the atmosphere in this 285 ft high tube the in which 10,000 balls represent the entire atmosphere, at 385PPM, less than 4 of those balls would be CO2. That’s 4 out of 10,000. Now, if we increment CO2 in the atmosphere at the alarming rate of 3 GT per year or 300 GT in 100 years (300 giga tons.. wow, sounds like a lot), in 100 years instead of CO2 be represented as 4 out of 10,000 balls, CO2 would be represented as 5.5 out of 10,000 balls.

    So, even using the numbers which Al Gore suggests as being real, my question is how can any thinking person really believe that such a minor change in the overall makeup of the earth’s atmosphere would have a “dramatic” impact on the temperature of the earth? I believe it is absolutely silly to believe that the minor “substitution” of 1.5 CO2 balls for 1.5 other balls in our model would have even the slightest impact on the temp. of the earth. Compared to N2 and O2, the dominant gases in the atmosphere, there is nothing particularly unique about the specific heat capacity of C02. In fact, the specific heat capacity of CO2 is actually slightly less than that of N2 or O2. So, CO2 does not possess some super ability (compared to the other atmospheric gases) to absorb or emit heat. Those of you who feel a compelling need to control the temperature of the atmosphere should be going after water vapor since the heat heat of H2O vapor is more than twice that of Nitrogen, Oxygen, and Caron Dioxide.

    For even those who believe that a slight warming of the planet is a bad thing, the argument against the use of fossil fuels, makes no sense from beginning to end because it simply does not add up to a hill of beans when you do the math!!

  28. #28 mikatollah
    February 24, 2009

    T Lu

    Even if we assume your math is correct, it takes into account only CO2 directly released by burning fossil fuels. You failed to consider deforestation and the release of greenhouse gases trapped in the sea and ice that will amplify the greenhouse effect… just to name two.

    Your water vapor argument is an old one and has been dealt with on this list and others.

  29. #29 Adam
    February 24, 2009

    Aren’t denialists the ones that continually argue that climate modeling is invalid as evidence? Then, you presume to toss out this incredibly simplified mathematical analysis as proof that anthropogenic global warming doesn’t exist, complete with the Aww-shucks conclusion from personal incredulity so favored by denialists of all stripes.

    In addition to what mikatollah mentioned, you failed to incorporate methane into your “analysis”, which, though it is a much smaller percentage than CO2, has a much higher influence on warming per molecule. Atmospheric methane levels have more than doubled since the Industrial Revolution and can contribute up to 20% of heating.
    http://eesc.columbia.edu/courses/ees/slides/climate/gh_gases.gif
    http://www.grida.no/publications/other/ipcc_tar/?src=/climate/ipcc_tar/wg1/017.htm

    And that’s just one of the other greenhouse gases that are released from industrial processes.

  30. #30 coby
    February 24, 2009

    The fallacy T Lu is offering is that a very small factor can not have a significant effect simply because it is so small. If he really is an engineer he must know this is not a sound argument. Many large structures become unstable because of a mistake of a few millimeters. Chemical engineering frequently relies on parts per billion, not even per million.

    Maybe the cop pulling him over for a blood alcohol level of .08% would go for his 285ft tube analogy? Especially when you consider that blood is not even the largest substance by weight or volume in your body!

  31. #31 Steve
    February 24, 2009

    I wonder if T Lu bothers to wash his hands. You can’t even see those pesky little germs; how could they possibly make him sick?

  32. #32 Trevor
    February 25, 2009

    Adam:

    Dude. I’m talking about GLOBAL conditions. Of COURSE I’m generalizing. GENERALLY, rainfall will increase. GENERALLY, CO2 will increase. GENERALLY, temperatures will increase. And GENERALLY, all these things are good for crop production. And the OVERALL effect is POSITIVE. Yes, there will be places where global warming reduces food production. But that will be more than compensated for by places where food production increases.

    As for your “certain point” argument, I can only assume you are talking about temperatures, because I have already explained why “too much of a good thing” is not a concern for either CO2 or water. As for heat, I’m still working, intermittently, on that section of the essay. But when I post it, you will see that your “certain point” where increasing temperatures will decrease food production is well above any temperatures that we will EVER see due to global warming.

    I’m not interested in what the IPCC has to say about food production. If there were any agronomists at all in the section that wrote that chapter, they were hand-picked to be the ones that could be counted on to deliver a negative finding. Moreover, it is well documented that the POLITICIANS who write the reports for IPCC pretty much ignore the caution and uncertainty with which the SCIENTISTS speak of their findings. Several scientists have QUIT the IPCC because of this very fact, and have publicly excoriated the IPCC for it.

    Did you actually READ the statement by the President of the ASA before you posted it? Obviously not. This is a classic example of political double-speak. NOWHERE in this quote is a definitive statement that a) climate change will continue in the future, b) climate change is caused by mankind’s burning of fossil fuels, c) climate change will cause an OVERALL reduction in food production, or d) that the president of the ASA even BELIEVES any of these things. He’s just hedging his bets with this statement, so that whoever turns out to be right, no one can say HE was wrong. Add to that the fact that the statement was issued JOINTLY with the presidents of two other societies (you didn’t mention whether the other two had anything to do with food production), and you have absolutely nothing of any substance (nor even anything of NO substance) that can be directly attributed to ANY agronomist.

    As for polar bears, yes, I am absolutely serious. I’m not concerned with what’s “pretty clear” to you. I’m only concerned with FACTS. Perhaps polar bears don’t LIVE on sea ice, like you seem to think they do. And how is hunting range relevant when their primary prey, seals, are eqally limited in escaping range? I’m not a polar bear biologist. All I know is that the EMPIRICAL evidence is that polar bear populations are INCREASING. If I were you, I’d be more worried about the SEAL populations.

    Regards,
    Trevor

  33. #33 Matt Bennett
    February 25, 2009

    T Lu,

    For an engineer, you’re sure not that smart. Why don’t you try reading in detail about a topic before you feel fit to criticize work that’s way out of your field. Your mistakes are elementary and demonstrate clearly that you are coming from a pre-determined position. As others so ably point out, part of what you said in your appeal to incredulity was akin to saying “look how tiny that bacterial organism is, it can’t possibly harm me, I’m huge”. Do you see how ridiculous that is?

    The large majority of molecules that make up the atmosphere are totally transparent to the wavelengths of infrared we are talking about. It’s those pesky, vanishingly rare few that do all the dirty work – this is 19th century physics mate, you should try reading about it. The roughly six degree Celsius difference in global averge surface temps between the depths of an ice age and the periods of interglacial warmth (the latest of which has seen civilisation arise and flourish) requires a differnce in atmospheric CO2 concentration of only about 100-120PPM, from lows of around 170-180 up to natural highs around 280-295. So coming off a peak of around 285 to the current levels approaching 390, when we should, in fact, be dropping is bound to have major consequences, no?

    The rampant use of fossil fuels that has rapidly released major amounts of natural carbon that have been sequestered for millions of years IS a very dangerous thing. Climate models (though wonderful tools that are getting more useful with every leg-up from Moore’s Law) are NOT required to work any of this out, it was predicted late last century and is being confirmed physically around the world every day.

    As for Trevor, anyone for whom “a tremendous mass extinction event” caused by humans, is “of no concern to me in any event, as long as humans aren’t on the list” is beneath contempt. You have zero insight into the evolution of life on earth, the interdependence of its products and the sensitivity of ecological relationships. You display a ‘speciesist’ scorn for fellow life typical of pathetic religious zealots and are perfectly representitive of all that is so, so wrong with a ‘dominion’ view of man’s place.

  34. #34 Trevor
    February 25, 2009

    Matt:

    “Beneath contempt”? That’s the usual response by people who can’t argue with your logic. They just declare you “beneath contempt”, or “racist”, or “speciesist”, or “homophobic”, or some other such insult, so they don’t have to deal with what you actually say.

    For the record, Matt, I do understand that there are certain species that are beneficial to human existence and comfort. Obviously, I would not want to see those species become extinct. But then, there’s no real danger of cattle, pigs, corn, and wheat becoming extinct, is there? Not when humans are actively cultivating and raising such species. (And yes, I know there are other species which our dependence upon is not nearly as obvious, and I don’t wish any of them to become extinct either. Nevertheless, I do maintain that I have no concern for any other species of life on this planet, beyond that species’ direct or indirect influence, positive or negative, on human survival and comfort.) I do, however, reject your “sensitivity of ecological relationships”, because, if these ecological relationships were half as sensitive as you seem to think they are, there would be no life left on Earth, considering the billions of species that have already become extinct, most of them long before humans evolved.

    Am I a “speciesist”? Assuming that’s actually a word, and assuming its meaning is similar to that of other “_ist” words, like “racist”, in that it describes either a) a belief that one species is “superior” to another, or b) a preference for the company of one species over that of another; then yes, I am absolutely a speciesist. If you believe that the human species is not superior to other species, then I challenge you to provide a single example of a single species that is in any way equal to humans (not superior to humans, because that too would be speciesist, just for a different species; but exactly equal to humans). Or, if you’re thinking about the other definition; if you enjoy the company of chimpanzees, dogs, cats, rats, kangaroos, catfish, lions, tigers, bears (oh my), cockroaches, pine trees, oaks, mushrooms, dandelions, amoebas, influenza viruses, and all other species of life, equally with that of humans, then that is your choice, and far be it from me to criticize someone else’s lifetsyle choices. But I hope you are aware that the vast majority of humans prefer the company of OTHER humans over that of any other species. So I don’t think you’re going to get a lot of support for your point of view by calling me a “speciesist”.

    In the meantime, your calling me “beneath contempt” is, quite obviously, an “_ist” opinion of some kind. You are clearly prejudiced against me because you perceive that I have a different opinion than you on the issue of the value of non-human species of life. What kind of “_ist” are you, Matt? Are you a speciesist-ist? Are you a global warming skeptic-ist?

    How about this one, Matt? You are, obviously, concerned about the effects of global warming. But why? Can’t we just move to another planet if it gets too hot here? Or do you believe, like me, that there is no other planet capable of supporting human life? Do you believe that this planet, Earth, is therefore “SUPERIOR” to all other planets in terms of its ability to support human life? Do you PREFER to live on this planet, and therefore DISCRIMINATE AGAINST all other planets? Does that not make you a “planetist”?

    For that matter, why do you care what the climate on Earth, or any other planet, is like? Is it because you believe that the pre-industrial climate on Earth was in some way SUPERIOR to the current climate, and even more superior to the climate that might exist in the future if mankind continues to pump carbon dioxide into the atmosphere? Do you PREFER to live in a pre-industrial climate over the current or the even-warmer future climate? Does that not make you a “climate-ist”?

    Does that sound ridiculous? Then you know how I feel when someone calls me a “speciesist”. It is wrong, even evil, to believe that our fellow human beings are somehow inferior to us, or to discriminate against them in some way, based on the color of their skin, their nation of origin, or their reproductive organs. But when you start applying that same standard to how we perceive ENTIRELY DIFFERENT SPECIES, from primates all the way down to viruses, you might as well extend it to all things, even non-living things like planets, even mere concepts, like climates. If you don’t apply this whole prejudice thing equally, than you’re a life-ist, or a concept-ist.

    Yes, I believe humans are superior to all other species. If you don’t believe that, then I invite you to shut up about global warming and let the polar bears take care of it, since they are equally capable, and (according to global warming alarmists at least) have more to lose. I proudly proclaim that I have never conversed with a rat, discussed politics with a magnolia, drank a beer with a lichen, been a roommate with a zebra, joined a country club that allowed artichokes as members, bathed with a chimpanzee, dated a watermelon, kissed a pig, married a dolphin, or had sex with a sheep. If you’re more “open-minded” and “progressive” about that sort of thing than us “pathetic religious zealots”, more power to ya, buddy. But I’ll stick to being a speciesist, thank you very much.

    Regards,
    Trevor

  35. #35 Trevor
    February 25, 2009

    Matt:

    “As for Trevor, anyone for whom ‘a tremendous mass extinction event’ caused by humans, is ‘of no concern to me in any event, as long as humans aren’t on the list’ is beneath contempt. You have zero insight into the evolution of life on earth, the interdependence of its products and the sensitivity of ecological relationships. You display a ‘speciesist’ scorn for fellow life typical of pathetic religious zealots and are perfectly representitive of all that is so, so wrong with a ‘dominion’ view of man’s place.”

    You insult my lack of concern for other species. That makes you a “concern-ist”.

    You also claim that I have “zero insight”. Clearly you think those with insight (like, presumably, yourself) are “superior” to those with no insight. That makes you an “insight-ist”

    You display a scorn for “pathetic religious zealots”, proving that you are a pathetic-ist, a relgion-ist, and zealotry-ist.

    And finally, you consider yourself superior to those of us who believe in a ‘dominion’ view of man’s place. So you’re also a dominion-ist.

    Hey, if you can make up words to insult me, I can do the same. At least my “speciesism” is not discriminatory against other HUMANS. You rant against me discriminating against other species, but you can’t even treat all HUMANS with equal respect. In one paragraph, you have discriminated against me, a fellow human, on no fewer than six personal characteristics.

    Regards,
    Trevor

  36. #36 mikatollah
    February 25, 2009

    Matt, sounds like you scrapped off a nasty scab.

    Trevor, better save up some of your literary vitriol for President Obama and those liberals in the congress. He threw down last night in front of a joint session and demanded climate legislation by this summer.

    We had better hope that climate action is not suicide because it’s coming… just as sure as the ducks and robins are back in town two weeks early.

  37. #37 Matt Bennett
    February 25, 2009

    Yes Trevor, beneath contempt – look it up. That’s why I wouldn’t waste another minute of my day trying to patiently reveal the many and varied inconsistencies in your thinking and the totally out-of-date and innately destructive nature of your world veiw. I wouldn’t stand a chance of changing your mind because you’re not amenable to logic. That’s part of why you aren’t able to accurately assess scientific information with regards to AGW. Anyone on here who knows what they’re talking about sees that immediately and are probably wiser than me in resisting the temptation to devote you any keystrokes.

    And no, I don’t believe we are superior or special or divine – we are simply one more species that has had EXACTLY the same amount of time to evolve as every other line that has made it to today. Our large brains are another’s long wings but that probably doesn’t make much sense to you. It’s those exact brains that have both put us in trouble and given us a source of hope for escape. So forgive me if I don’t take up the offer to argue ad nauseum with someone who doesn’t even understand their place in the scheme of things – it’s doomed to failure from the start. I certainly don’t wish you or any other person the slightest bit of physical harm, your right to exist alongside me on our little spaceship is absolute and I’d defend it to my death – but I’m sure as hell glad the days of people like you holding the reins of power are dying. Perhaps there’s a chance…

  38. #38 Adam
    February 25, 2009

    … increasing temperatures will decrease food production is well above any temperatures that we will EVER see due to global warming.
    Wrong again: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article5371682.ece

    The only other point I wish to make about crop production is that, in the shorter term at least, the bigger threat to production is damaging events, such as fires and drought which happen with increased severity/frequency due to global warming.

    Also, I’m glad you share a telepathic link with the President of the ASA and are able to read his mind to get his true intention. Unfortunately for me, I am a mere human and can only take what people say and do as an indication of their thoughts and beliefs. And neither did I concern myself with the specifics of his statement, only that that statement indicates general agreement with the report; I have no idea if he has any particular concerns about it or not. Also, a quick survey (far from scientific, I admit) of publications featured on their website indicate, at least, that they are working under the assumption of global warming and how to deal with it. Of course, now you’ll just declare (because you’ve got the telepathic link and can read minds) that this is just another instance of the global conspiracy working with the IPCC, NASA, NOAA, NAS, etc. to suppress real true climate science and REAL agronomists.

    The other two societies are the Soil Science Society of America and the Crop Science Society of America. Unless I’m mistaken, both of those deal with food production in varying ways.

    I can’t believe that this has devolved into a debate on polar bear habits, but the fact that Polar Bears spend large portions of their time on sea ice hunting means that it is part of their habitat. They might not be born on the ice, that is true, but habitat just doesn’t cover that.

    The IUCN Polar Bear Specialist Group reclassified the polar bear as a vulnerable species on the IUCN’s Red List of Endangered Species at their most recent meeting (Seattle, 2005). They reported that of the 19 subpopulations of polar bears, five are declining, five are stable, two are increasing, and seven have insufficient data on which to base a decision.
    In my maths, 5 > 2; but then again, I don’t just make shit up as I go along.
    http://www.polarbearsinternational.org/bear-facts/polar-bears-and-conservation/page1/

  39. #39 Adam
    February 25, 2009

    Matt –

    Unfortunately, I’m proving you wrong in this case, because I put way too much effort looking up information to respond to Trevor’s posts and then replying to them.

    I’m well aware that he has no intention of changing his mind, and that it’s likely impossible to do so unless Rush Limbaugh tells him otherwise, but I’m hoping that future visitors to this page will gain something from the various responses.

  40. #40 Matt Bennett
    February 25, 2009

    Adam,

    An admirable outlook indeed, your efforts are much appreciated and no doubt time will bear out their utility. I just shake my head and know not where to begin with someone who thinks there is some sort of division of biology into those members that are useful to one particular species and those that are not. I mean, how utterly and spectacularly uninsightful in its immaturity is that? As if there’s a deliniation somewhere and the chain of interdependent causality doesn’t continue across the life’s web.

  41. #41 Matt Bennett
    February 25, 2009

    I wonder if we went back 12000 years, whether Trev would consider Homo floresiensis and its attendent ecosystem worthy of protection under H. sapiens umbrella? Or were there just enough great ape grandmas lying temporally between to render them expendable. Don’t ask me to guess how it works….

  42. #42 Trevor
    February 26, 2009

    Matt:

    Just more obvious attempts to avoid discussing the FACTS. You’re still a planetist, a climate-ist, a concern-ist, an insight-ist, a pathetic-ist, a religion-ist, a zealotry-ist, and a domion-ist. To that list, I can now add consistency-ist, temporalist (you don’t like “out of date” people, innateness-ist, and logic-ist.

    One more thing, if our “large brains” are equivalent to some other species’s “long wings”, then I invite you to make that exchange. No, it doesn’t make much sense to me, which is why I wouldn’t make that trade. But you’re not a speciesist, so I assume you would gladly make that exchange. So come on, Matt, put your money where your mouth is.

    (Any further postings from Matt on this board will indicate that he still has a human-sized brain, and therefore refused to make the offered exchange. This will prove that he is no less of a “speciesist” than I am.)

    Oh, and Matt, I note that you “certainly don’t wish [me] or any other person the slightest bit of physical harm”, and I truly appreciate your concern for my well-being (it is precisely because I am equally concerned with your well-being, and that of all other HUMANS, that I am opposed to global warming alarmism, by the way). But I wonder, Matt, are you a vegetarian? I ask because, if you’re not a speciesist, then you also do not wish the slightest bit of physical harm on any other species. Yet eating the flesh of animals will certainly cause those animals to suffer physical harm. But you know what, Matt? Even if you are a vegetarian, then you still eat plant matter, which means you are harming plant species. Surely your anti-speciesism is not limited to the animal kingdom. Have you ever had a disease, Matt? I’m not talking about something exotic; a mere cold or flu will fit the bill? If so, did you not go to the doctor and take drugs for the specific purpose of KILLING the bacteria or virus that caused you to be ill? Considering the huge number of individual organisms involved in such an infection, that’s not just killing – it’s downright GENOCIDE, of a far higher degree than anything that ever happened in Darfur, Somalia, Yugoslavia, or even Nazi Germany. Of course, that’s only if you consider all species of life equal. Thankfully, I don’t have that opinion, and I can treat a cold as my doctor sees fit, with zero guilt.

    Regards,
    Trevor

  43. #43 humorix
    February 26, 2009

    Very good comments Trévor ! Thank you

    It is not some degrees furthermore that are going to starve the planet. The global warming is visible on all the planets of our solar system. This reheating is one benefaction for us all. Expansion of the agricultural zones on the cold regions where the culture is impossible in winter. Fires, drought ? The man manages very well today.
    Polar bears? We don’t care! They speak about a catasprophe ? It is to sell ! Sell taxes ! Of the wind !

  44. #44 Trevor
    February 26, 2009

    Adam:

    Thanks for the link. Please note, however, that it does not say a single word about food production.

    It DOES say that the world COULD warm by as much as 5 degrees C by the end of this century. Frankly, I don’t see how that’s possible, since the Late Cretaceous was only 4 degrees C above current temperatures, and CO2 levels then were 1700 PPM, far higher than we could possibly cause. But let’s go with that 5 degrees C, and I’ll give you a little preview of the HEAT section of my essay.

    AGW theory clearly states that the increase in “average global temperature” will NOT be uniformly distributed across the entire surface of the planet, nor across the entire length of the year or even the day. In fact, the coldest parts of the world, months of the year, and hours of the day will warm far more than the warmest parts of the world, months of the year, and hours of the day. Therefore, your 5 degrees C average global warming, when distributed around the world and throughout the year and the day, might mean that temperatures at midnight, in the middle of winter, on Alaska’s North shore will go up 10 degrees C or even more, but the temperatures at noon, during summertime, in southern Texas, will only go up by 1 or 2 degrees C. This is not enough to cause any crop damage in Texas, and what little agriculture occurs in Alaska will be very much helped by the additional 10 degrees.

    But, even if daytime summer temperatures in the major crop growing areas of the world went up by 10 degrees C, TWICE as much as the WORST predictions of the GLOBAL average temperature increase, it not only will not decrease food production, but will in fact cause a substantial increase. You see, however much summertime temperatures increase, winter and spring temperatures will increase even more. This means that farmers will be able to plant earlier, and that crops will emerge, grow, develop, and mature more rapidly. Even if 10 more degrees C in summer is FATAL to crops, it won’t matter, because the crops will be MATURE before temperatures ever get that high. Once the crops are mature, farmers actually WANT them to die. You see, mechanical harvesting requires a very low moisture content in the grain, far lower than the moisture content at maturity. So crops have to sit in the field for weeks after maturity allowing the grain to “dry down”. If it rains during that time, and the plant is still alive, it will soak up moisture from the soil, further delaying this “dry down”. On the other hand, killing the plant will prevent uptake of moisture, no matter how much it rains, and “dry down” will continue unabated. And the higher temperatures will even SPEED dry-down of the grain, due to evaporation. So farmers will be able to harvest mere DAYS after maturity, rather than weeks.

    It is even conceivable that, under global warming, farmers will be able to plant and harvest TWO crops in one calendar year. I won’t go into detail on that here, but check back for the more thorough explanation in the HEAT section of my essay.

    Meanwhile, there are hundred of millions of acres worldwide that are currently too cold to grow crops, but otherwise well suited for agricultural purposes (it’s flat and treeless, and has lots of well-decomposed organic matter in it). Global warming will MAKE them warm enough to grow crops. True, they won’t enjoy the extremely long growing season that more southerly latitudes will. But the fact that they will have a growing season AT ALL will result in a huge increase in potential crop acreage.

    Regards,
    Trevor

  45. #45 Matt Bennett
    February 26, 2009

    ….and the childish rant continues. If you can’t tell the difference between sustainable populations of organisms living within an ecosystem, with all its abundant predator/prey relationships, versus wishing them EXTINCT (or at least not caring whether they are or not – there’s little difference) then its even more futile arguing with you than I’d thought. Your understanding of the world around you and the inherent value in biodiversity is close to zero. Thank goodness you have at least elected a president over there who puts a high value on scientific literacy – with any luck, within a generation there won’t be so many people who believe it is their god-given right, as upright apes, to rape and pillage the Earth as they see fit. That’s if we even get that chance, with AGW looming large, it’s not a guarantee.

    I’m outta here, I gotta flex these new found wings…

  46. #46 Trevor
    February 26, 2009

    Mikatollah:

    I’m sorry, I wasn’t aware that I was showing any “literary vitriol”. If so, please pull quotes from my posts to show me what you’re talking about. Quotes like:

    “denialists”

    “beneath contempt”

    “zero insight”

    speciesist”

    “pathetic religious zealots”

    “totally out-of-date and innately destructive nature of your world veiw”

    “you’re not amenable to logic”

    “I’m sure as hell glad the days of people like you holding the reins of power are dying”

    Rest assured, Mikatollah, I have plenty of vitriol saved up for B. Hussein Obama. In fact, you could say I have an unlimited supply.

    Regards,
    Trevor

  47. #47 mikatollah
    February 26, 2009

    A bit late. The time to rally the forces of hate against President Obama was before the election. Maybe Bobby Jindal, Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh can stop him.

    Better keep JtheP on call…

  48. #48 Trevor
    February 26, 2009

    Matt:

    “sustainable populations of organisms living within an ecosystem, with all its abundant predator/prey relationships”

    Perhaps you’d better find that merchant and see if you can get your brain back. There’s no such thing as “sustainable populations of organisms living within an ecosystem”, and NEVER HAS BEEN. If there was, we would have the same mix of species, in the same proportions, on the planet today as we have always had. The world (including its climate) is in a state of constant change. Some species adapt, some don’t. Those that don’t, become extinct. It has happened billions of times before mankind ever showed its face on the planet, let alone started “changing the climate”. There’s no “sustainability” inherent on this planet, and any attempt to CREATE it is not only doomed to failure, but a stupid idea even if it were possible.

    What happened when the dinosaurs were killed by the meteor? Without those large predators around, to keep the prey numbers down, sustainability goes right out the window. But the ecosystem ADAPTED to that loss. New species emerged to fill the predator gap. Then those species died off, only to be replaced by other predators. Meanwhile, the prey species were constantly changing as well. Millions of species became extinct, and millions more evolved into being. And NEVER was the ecosystem in perfect balance. The history of this planet is not one of “sustainability” and “balance”. It’s one of constant change and adaptation. And it has worked out pretty well so far.

    Even if “sustainability” were possible, I seriously doubt that it would be DESIRABLE. If “sustainability” had been reached, and SUSTAINED, a billion years ago, not even the dinosaurs would have ever evolved, let alone we humans. Despite what you might think about my religion, I do believe in evolution, and I know that it would never have happened without constant pressure, by your supposedly “sustainable” ecosystem, to CHANGE.

    You speak of “biodiversity” as if that is some great and wonderful thing. Yet there would be no biodiversity at all if the so-called “primordial soup” that existed on this planet at the time life first emerged was “sustainable”. There would be no life on this planet other than the naked amino acids that first randomly sprang into existence. Because there would have been no PRESSURE for them to grow MEMBRANES to surround and protect those naked amino acids. There would have been no pressure for them to become more organized into cells, with clearly defined nuclei. No pressure for them to combine those amino acids into RNA and DNA. No pressure for them to grow into multi-cellular organisms. No pressure to emerge from the oceans, or to even move to a different part of the ocean. No pressure to increase their populations. No pressure to develop senses to know the nature of their immediate environment. No pressure to develop appendages to manipulate their immediate environment and move through it. No pressure to develop sexual reproduction (and that, really, was the key to the biodiversity that we have now). No pressure to develop lungs for breathing, a circulatory system, stronger muscles, larger mouths, longer teeth, better eyesight, articulated limbs, sensitive hearing and smelling, feet suitable for running, arms suitable for climbing, camouflage for hiding, longer necks, faster feet, huge bodies, small bodies, larger brains, opposable thumbs, or the ability to create tools. The only “life” on this planet would be those first naked amino acids, only multiplied many trillions of times, until every cubic millimeter of the oceans was packed full of them. No biodiversity there, Matt.

    Look, even if you could make the case that mankind is somehow fundamentally changing the ecosystem of this planet, it doesn’t change the fact that this is just one of thousands of fundamental ecosystem changes that have occurred on this planet, including ever major meteor impact, the beginning and end of every ice age, etc. Yet you are singling out this ONE ecosystem change as somehow worse than all the others that occurred naturally. Based solely on the fact that mankind is responsible for it. Clearly, among major ecosystem changes, you have a distinct PREJUDICE against those caused by the deterministic actions of mankind, and a distinct PREFERRENCE for those caused by random chance and nature. That makes you, Matt, a “natural-ist” (not the traditional definition of “naturalist”, but one that describes a belief that natural events are superior to those caused by mankind). It also makes you a probability-ist, meaning that you have a preference for those things that occur by random chance, over those things that happen due to deterministic action. And yet, you’re not even consistent in that, because, presumably, you didn’t create your last post by just randomly banging on your keyboard. It’s probably because, deep down, you realize that there’s nothing inherently “good” about randomness and nature, and that there’s nothing inherently “bad” about the deterministic actions of mankind.

    One more thing. You speak of “sustainable populations of organisms” to get around the fact that you wantonly destroyed huge populations of the cold virus inside your body. And I do understand the distinction between that and a complete lack of concern for entire species. But your logic is quite faulty. You claim that you do not wish physical harm to befall me (or any other person). Me, specifically (and all other people, individually and specifically), not the human race in general. So your concern for humanity clearly extends beyond a general concern for the species, to a specific concern for each individual member of the species. Yet your concern for other species clearly DOES NOT extend to each individual member of those species, because you have no concern at all about the billions of individual viruses that you killed inside your own body. So you’re still viewing the human species differently from others. You’re a speciesist.

    In fact, if you do NOT wish me, specfically, physical harm, knowing how I feel about all those other species, then you don’t even REALLY care about those other species AT ALL, even in general. You know that, if I had my way, every species whose existence was harmful to humans would be wiped out, while any species whose existence was neither harmful nor beneficial to humans would, if not wiped out, at least not be protected. If you really care about those other species, the ones that I judge as either harmful or not beneficial to mankind, and if you believe that I am incapable of changing my mind (as you have already stated)then, logically, you would wish me dead. But instead, you have chosen to cherish my specific human life over millions of entire species of life. Your concern for me, Matt, is very heart-warming, but I’m afraid it’s quite inconsistent with your supposed “anti-speciesist” beliefs.

    Regards,
    Trevor

  49. #49 mikatollah
    February 26, 2009

    Trevor, you have the gift of crap… there aren’t many of us who can bounce around from the obvious to the ridiculous in one insulting post, and lose the point along the way. But you nailed it. BTW, is your point still that AGW is a good thing?

    The highlight for me was when you criticize Matt’s hypocrisy for blowing his nose. Up until then I could almost see the point you were trying to make. But that statement just gives “agricultural economists” everywhere a bad name.

  50. #50 Adam
    February 26, 2009

    Additionally, I believe you are using an interpretation of “sustainable ecosystem” that is unique to yourself, and certainly not what Matt was saying. In most circles, I believe that’s called a Strawman argument.

  51. #51 Trevor
    February 26, 2009

    Mikatollah et al:

    If what I’m saying sounds ridiculous, it is only because that is the natural extension of the kinds of things that Matt is talking about. Oh sure, what he says SOUNDS good, if you don’t think about what it REALLY MEANS. But a “speciesest”, if it’s definition is anything like the other “ists”, is someone who either has a higher regard or concern for one species than for another, who prefers one species to another, or believes that one species is superior to another. Clearly, Matt claims to not believe that his own species is superior to any other. It is his choice to believe so, and I will no longer try to disillusion him in that regard. Nor do I believe his claim to be false, as he has, clearly, put his money where his mouth is and responded to my challenge to exchange his brain for a pair of wings.

    However, on the basis of his regard and concern for his own and other species, his own words reveal him to be a speciesist. He has professed a concern for my specfic well being. Me. Another Human. Yet he has no concern for individual members of other species. As far as he is concerned, “all ya’ll look alike” when it comes to other species. If he held that attitude toward humans of another race, he would be a racist.

    And, BTW, my point was NEVER that AGW was, IN GENERAL, a good thing. Though I happen to believe that the benefits of global warming (whether it’s natural or anthropogenic) outweigh the damage, that determination is based on my own personal evaluation of the importance of the various issues that are affected by global warming. I do not presume to credit you, or anyone else, with the same notions of importance of issues. Therefore, I cannot decide, FOR YOU, whether global warming is good or bad. Speaking for myself, I happen to place a high importance on things like the alleviation of human hunger, economic prosperity, freedom, transportation, and property rights, all of which will either increase under global warming, or decrease if the world makes a serious attempt to stop global warming. I do recognize the potential harmful effects of global warming on such issues as rising sea levels, localized drought, localized flooding, and possibly even the extinction of a few species. I just don’t place as much importance on those issues.

    My POINT, at least in this series of posts, is that, in terms of global food production, and global food production alone, global warming, if it continues, will have a net positive effect. I also happen to believe that there are other benefits to global warming, like fewer human deaths due to cold weather (which will far outnumber any additional deaths due to hot weather). And furthermore, I think that, among the negative effects of global warming, most of them are not nearly as certain, nor as grave, as the alarmists claim. But it was never my intent to get into a discussion of anything outside of food production. I (perhaps foolishly) made a couple of purely parenthetical comments about polar bears and other species, and, because you guys don’t have the knowledge to argue with me about agriculture, you’ve chosen to focus on those paranthetical comments and steer the discussion away from food production. And (again, perhaps foolishly), I have played into your hands.

    To avoid this in the future, I will make every attempt to refrain from such parenthetical comments about aspects of global warming not directly related to food production. I will also try my best to ignore any further comments from the peanut gallery about such non-related items. For the sake of getting the discussion back on topic, I hereby concede, for now, that:

    a) polar bears are endangered by global warming;

    b) biodiversity is a good thing;

    c) sustainability is a good thing;

    d) every species of life is equivalent to every other species of life, and just as deserving of survival, as well as our respect and concern;

    e) humans who accept d) as an axiom are superior to humans who do not accept d) as an axiom;

    f) humans who accept d) as an axiom are NOT superior to other species (none of whom accept d) as an axiom);

    g) other species are not superior to humans who do not accept d) as an axiom;

    h) there is no contradiction, inconsistency, or paradox in the simultaneous truth of d), e), f), and g);

    i) it is unacceptable to discriminate against other species in any way (unless it’s a species that Matt doesn’t like, or that he finds tasty, or that causes him to be ill);

    j) it is acceptable to discriminate against other planets, other climates, other religions, other beliefs, and anything else that Matt doesn’t like;

    k) there is no contradiction, inconsistency, or paradox in the simultaneous truth of i) and j);

    l) people who are not formally trained in climate science are incapable of expressing legitimate comments on whether those who ARE trained in climate science are right or wrong;

    m) people who are not formally trained in agricultural science are perfectly capable of expressing legitimate comments on whether those trained in agricultural science are right or wrong;

    n) bloggers who are formally trained in neither climate science nor agricultural science are perfectly capable of expressing legitimate comments on both subjects, unless those comments contradict the “concensus on global warming”;

    o) there is no contradiction, inconsistency, or paradox in the simultaneous truth of l), m) and n);

    p) climate change, if it’s natural and random, is a good thing, or at least not a bad thing; it does not result in a decrease in biodiversity or sustainability;

    q) climate change, if caused by mankind, is a bad thing; it inevitably results in a decrease in biodiversity and sustainability;

    r) the degree to which climate changes is not a factor in either p) or q);

    s) humans are evil and all other species are good;

    t) other species are not superior to humans;

    u) there is no contradiction, inconsistency, or paradox in the simultaneous truth of s) and t);

    That said, I will not be posting on this board again until I have completed the remainder of my essay on the effect of global warming on food production. I hope to have the section on HEAT ready to post early next week. Have a good weekend, all of you.

    Regards,
    Trevor

  52. #52 Richard
    March 9, 2009

    How much does my carbon footprint need to be decreased if I am to make a difference in reversing AGW? This is more important for me to know than the general statement that mitigating AGW will wreck the economy. When I read about the actions citizens in the US can take to mitigate AGW, it’s so general (for example, “reduce, reuse, recycle. Use CFL, buy fuel efficient cars, turn down the heat and A/C.”). I take all those actions. But I don’t think that’s enough to make a real change. So by how much do I need to decrease my carbon footprint? 20%, 30%, more? I found this on CNN website “Scientists say up to an 85 percent cut in carbon dioxide emissions..” (http://tinyurl.com/3c8z3p) Is that true? It will require a drastic change for me to achieve that amount of CO2 reduction. Is that what each of us needs to do?

  53. #53 mikatollah
    March 9, 2009

    Richard the tone of your post betrays your agenda. You have no intention of changing your lifestyle and resent those who are willing to do it. So what motivates you? Frustration from losses in two election cycles? Feeling marginalized by the overwhelming weight of the evidence of AGW?

    Those aren’t real questions because I don’t really care why any of you get trapped in this denial loop. You’re part of the problem, and until you can see what is happening all around you, the heavy lifting will be done for you by others.

  54. #54 john
    March 9, 2009

    mikatollah, out of curiousity, how much are you prepared to reduce your carbon footprint and how much do you think the world needs to reduce it to prevent GW?

  55. #55 coby
    March 9, 2009

    The kind of reductions that are needed mean this problem can not be solved without systemic changes. For example, even if everyone runs out and buys a 100% electric car, if the electricity you use to charge it comes from a coal-fired plant them we have achieved nothing. It is a simple fact of life that some problems can not be solved by individual actions.

    And please don’t equate reducing carbon footprints with a decline in standard of living. Humans are ingenious, we simply need to find another way. Actually, I am sure that we could get 50% there with no new inventions, no technological breakthroughs, just via smarter use of resources and conservation.

  56. #56 Adam
    March 9, 2009

    I watched “A Crude Awakening” about a year ago, and they made the point that if we suddenly were to replace every single car on the road with a hybrid, and produce only hybrids from now on, in 5 years we’d be in exactly the same place we are now in terms of fuel consumption (and this doesn’t even take into account growth from China and India).

    Small and marginal individual choices are all well and good, and people should take whatever steps they can do reduce their energy usage. There’s some really low-hanging fruit out there, and individuals can make big savings by addressing them.
    http://www.energy.gov/energysavingtips.htm
    That’s as good a starting place as any.

    But, as Coby mentions and the film points out, all this does is really buy us some time. Especially since the industrial sector is still the biggest energy user in the US, though its share has been decreasing recently.
    http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/aer/pdf/pages/sec2_2.pdf
    That’s a very general breakdown, and I don’t know where things like shipping goods falls in (whether its transportation or industrial). The main point is, systematic changes are vital; while we can help mitigate the problem (and our own personal costs, which shouldn’t be discounted) with individual efforts, it’s going to take a far more cohesive effort.

  57. #57 mikatollah
    March 9, 2009

    John,

    I do what I can. I carry my canvas grocery bags to the store, and I’ve replaced all of my non-reading bulbs with fluorescent bulbs. As I upgrade my appliances I buy the energy saver models. I’ll buy an electric plug-in for my next car. I have two 85 watt solar panels that can run virtually everything in my motor home (can’t run my wife’s hair dryer). We make a game out of seeing how far we can go without plugging in… baby steps. I would like to one day start producing my own solar power for my home.

    More importantly, I support legislation that moves us away from the use of fossil fuels and towards clean energy. In the meantime, I will support efforts to motivate power plants to meet clean air standards. I support increasing CAFE standards for our passenger cars. I think the future of our country and the world is wind, solar, hydro and other renewable sources of energy. Hydrogen is an exciting possibility for the future. Natural gas is a good stop-gap fuel for trucks and other heave equipment until the technology catches up.

    I think the world needs to totally ween itself off of fossil fuels. It’s going to take awhile, but we can’t afford to wait until the last drop of oil has been burned before we make the switch.

    Serious change doesn’t occur in this country until people are motivated to change. The government can speed up the process with good policies that move us in a positive direction. Corporate America would never have taken lead out of gasoline on its own. Our cities would still look like Beijing if we hadn’t taken firm regulatory action. The time to act on AGW is now…

  58. #58 Crakar14
    March 9, 2009

    Been away for a couple of weeks, a lot of comments to read most from very passionate contributors.

    Here in Australia the government (labour party) are about to introduce their Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) or TAX for short. I wonder if we will simply use this money as general revenue to pay off debt like Barack O’bush is doing in the USA?

    I thought all this extra tax was going to be used for R&D into green alternatives but as always in the end the pollies show thier hands and will spend the money elsewhere.

    Any thoughts?

    Cheers

    Crakar

  59. #59 Peter Doidge
    March 10, 2009

    Crakar,
    like you, I’ve been away from these pages for a couple of weeks. Just to dwell for a moment on a triviality, shouldn’t that say “Labor Party”? It appears the Brits can spell “Labour”, but the Aussies, for some curious reason I’ve never understood, prefer “Labor”.
    Cheers
    P.

  60. #60 Crakar14
    March 10, 2009

    Another word i get mixed up with is color or is that colour? I can never remember.

    Cheers

  61. #61 richard
    March 11, 2009

    mikatollah, Why can’t you answer my question without questioning my motives? What you have done to reduce your carbon footprint is less than what I have done. So what? Passing laws to make me do more, still begs the question. How much do I – or you – have to reduce our carbon footprints to impact AGW? If you don’t know, it behooves you to find out. If I don’t know, how can I know what you will require of me?

  62. #62 mikatollah
    March 11, 2009

    Richard,

    We are going to eliminate fossil fuels as an energy source. If you don’t like that, vote Republican.

  63. #63 Adam
    March 11, 2009

    Crakar

    I tend to think that Emissions trading (Cap and trade) is an overly complicated system, and hasn’t really been all that successful in Europe. A simple carbon tax would be far more simple, useful and efficient. Less possibility of cronyism and/or speculation. Use the tax revenue to fund R&D (though using it to provide tax breaks for lower income earners isn’t a bad idea, I just don’t prefer it).

    Barack O’Bush
    C’mon, man, Obama may not be the perfect President, but he’s not even anywhere near approaching the awfulness of Dubbya.

  64. #64 Crakar14
    March 11, 2009

    To Mikatollah and all those keeping him company in the peanut gallery,

    I assume your frenzied need to take action on AGW is based on the figures from the IPCC? If so then i feel it is prudent that we examine these figures for there accuracy before we go and waste everyones time and money.

    Firstly, the IPCC’s prediction of C02 increase is greatly exaggerated, mainly because it cannot count. According to the IPCC C02 levels will increase by 4.1 ppmv per year so by 2100 C02 levels will be between 700 and 993 ppmv with a central estimate of 836ppmv giving us a temp rise of 3.9C by 2100.

    However back in the real world C02 levels are rising at a linear rate of 2ppmv per year, this equates to a level of 575ppmv and a temp rise of 1.9C by 2100 so as i said the IPCC cannot count. Never the less, the IPCC still tries implausibly to claim 90% certainty that more than half of the warming is due to man. I should note that it was the political representatives, not the scientists who reached this conclusion by a “SHOW OF HANDS” (so much for the consensus).

    Now the figure of 1.9C quoted above is based on the IPCC’s very own, unproven climate sensitivty figure. Here are the many stabs in the dark over the years at this figure:

    Arrhenius (1896) 5C @ C02 doubling
    Hansen (1988) 4.2C
    IPCC (1995) 3.8C
    IPCC (2001) 3.5C
    IPCC (2007) 3.26 +/- 0.69C

    At its very simplest, climate sensitivity to atmospheric enrichment with C02 is a logarithmic function of the proportionate increase in C02 concentration. The IPCC’s current evaluation of this crucial climatic parameter is childishly simple.

    Direct radiative forcings (deltaF)
    The zero feed back climate sensitivity parameter (K)
    Temp feed backs (multiplier f)

    The above are the three key parameters used to establish climate sensitivity, all 3 have been overstated by the IPCC and the proof is in the hot spot. All the models on which the IPCC relies on predict the hot spot and yet none can be found.

    There are two obvious fatal omissions in the IPCC’s analysiswithout which its climate sensitivity cannot be taken seriously. First in 1600 pages the IPCC neglects to mention any of the lab experiments proving the climate sensitivty figure or how these experiments can be reliably ransfered from lab to the atmospheric column.

    Secondly the IPCC does not mention whether outgoing longwave radiation from the Earths surface, as measured by satellites has declined as fast as its models predicted. Of course it has not proving once again the IPCC has over exaggerated C02 effects.

    In summary, 500,000 years ago the C02 levels were 25 times higher than they are now and the Earth did not fry. Less than 250 ppmv plant growth stops, less than 150 ppmv plant life dies. We are currently at 385ppmv (or 0.0385% of the atmosphere) and you expect me to believe we are on the verge of climaggedon?

    Forgive me if i do not share your point of view.

  65. #65 Matt Bennett
    March 11, 2009

    P. Doidge

    I hate to spoil your trivial reflections but us Aussies have been using ‘labour’ and ‘colour’ as our spellings ever since first landing here. It’s the Yankees that give you the contractions you find so offensive.

  66. #66 Adam
    March 12, 2009

    In summary, 500,000 years ago the C02 levels were 25 times higher than they are now and the Earth did not fry.

    http://www.climatechange.gov.au/science/faq/images/question3.jpg
    500,000 years ago, CO2 levels were about 120 ppm lower than today. However, I’m going to give you the benefit of the = doubt, assume its a typo, and presume you’re talking about the Ordovician Period (450-500 mya, not 500,000 years ago) here. But once again, this is a bit of misinformation that gets routinely abused by denialists.
    http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/earlyice.htm
    “The answer: This particular ice age didn’t begin when CO2 was at its peak — it began 10 million years earlier, when CO2 levels were at a low.”
    Whoops.

    Even with that, there’s still a lot of uncertainty about the actual concentrations. The record of the past 500,000 is pretty reliable from ice core measurements.
    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/corporate/pressoffice/myths/3.html

    .. snip …. However back in the real world C02 levels are rising at a linear rate of 2ppmv per year, this equates to a level of 575ppmv and a temp rise of 1.9C by 2100 so as i said the IPCC cannot count. … snip …

    Decade_____average______% increase
    1960s_______0.849________ –
    1970s_______1.265________49.00%
    1980s_______1.592________25.85%
    1990s_______1.501________-5.72%
    2000s_______1.978________31.78%
    source: http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/
    (The average column is the average increase in ppm per year for that decade).

    Spending 10 minutes with the numbers shows that the rate of addition per year is increasing. It is unreasonable to claim that business as usual leads to a linear increase of 2ppm per year. And that is from 10 minutes with one set of data points, I’m sure there has been a more thorough analysis done elsewhere….
    oh wait -> http://www.ipcc.ch/

  67. #67 Crakar14
    March 12, 2009

    Hi Adam,

    Firstly i must agree with P. Doidge it is in fact the “Labor” party, even the political party spell it without the “U”. Should it have a “U” or not i do not know but they spell it without one.

    Secondly, yes it was a typo i should have said 500 million (not enough zeros thanks for the correction). Still the question remains why did the planet not fry. Do not get side tracked with sarcasm just respond to the question i asked , why did the planet not fry? In regards to accuracy of the data from way back then, yes i agree it is open to conjecture but the C02 levels 500 million years ago would have been higher regardless. So once again why did the planet not fry?

    Thirdly, thanks for the detailed account decade by decade, as you say spending 10 minutes with the data does show a lot. The data i am looking at (your link)tells me that in 2004 the levels were 376ppm and in 2008 they are 385ppm that makes it 9ppm increase in 4 years, and if my math is correct thats about 2ppm per year. In fact open further reading i discovered that in 1959 the levels were 315.98 and in 2008 the levels were 385.57. The increase as i said previously was at an almost linear trend. So once again i ask the question were did the IPCC get its figure of 4.1ppm per year. It sure as hell was not based on any scientific grounds (refer show of hands in previous post).

    Lastly, i noticed you ignored all the relavent points to my post, you know the ones that point out the lack of disclosure on how the IPCC reached its conclusions about C02, experiments etc Something which i have become accustomed to when talking with believers. I am not surprised as AGW is like any other religion it is primarily faith based.

    Just to prove a point i have a question that i would like answered:

    A few months ago we were bombarded with a scary story saying because of GW the oceans are warming and releasing C02 which caused more warming, which caused more C02 release from the oceans which caused more warming etc, then a scientist came up with the idea that we could lace the oceans with some concoction to make them absorb C02 instead.

    No sooner had that story dropped off the front page we are now being flooded with scary stories about the oceans becoming acidic due to all the extra man made C02 they are absorbing and in a few years the coral will dissolve and all fish will die.

    Now we both know the only way an ocean can absorb C02 is if it cools so my question is does GW cause the oceans to warm and release C02 as per story #1 or does GW cause the oceans to cool and absorb C02 as per story #2?

    Or a third option does GW cause both to happen at the same time?

    I challenge anyone reading this to answer the question, bonus points to those that do it without mentioning the phrase “the latest computer models predict”.

    Cheers

    Crakar

  68. #68 Matt Bennett
    March 13, 2009

    Crackar14,

    I’ll leave Adam to answer the details of your problem with the IPCC (though, I’d recommend you read the actual document and its references in detail – surprise surprise it will actually answer you queries – remember, if your lust for knowledge in this area is genuine, you should not be above some ‘heavy lifting’ of your own. You can’t expect to have simple sound bite answers to every one of your little quibbles delivered on a plate, fully interpreted every time for you – people have more important things to do with their time than repeat information that is readily available in the public domain to those who would misuse or wilfully ignore it)

    That said, the reason the planet did not ‘fry’ (whatever you think that means) is that the changes that led to these elevated CO2 levels took about 10 million years to unfold (as opposed to 50-100 years this time round) and organisms had every opportunity to adapt, change, migrate or die out as the case may be. Indeed, that’s what happened and the planet had sea levels tens of metres higher than now and there were reptiles roaming the polar regions with not an ice sheet to be found. The planet WAS far hotter than now, probably by at least 10 degrees C, averaged globally. If you’re wanting a Venus-style, irreversible phase-shift type scenario though (if that’s what you mean by ‘fry’), best estimates are that that requires tens of percent of CO2 (or equiv. gases) in the atmosphere, not just big changes on the level of PPMs. So, you see, the threat this time round is the ABNORMAL SPEED with which this is happening, due to our digging up and quickly releasing billions of tons of long ago sequestered carbon. No time for biological adaptation, which is why global warming will prove to be the biggest disaster mankind has ever faced and then some. It appears that about 50 000 years ago, as humans moved onto other continents where animals knew no fear of them, the sixth great extinction begun – mainly of large mammals. Global warming, however, will do a much more effective job, unfortunately, of accelerating this phenomenom and bringing it to its ultimate climax.

    From your style of questions, it is just evident that you need to do more reading around the topic. As I said, if your thirst is genuine, that won’t be a problem for you. The answers to some parts of climatology are quite complex and not easily outlined in a quick blog. Try: ‘Hot Topic’ (King and Walker); ‘Global Warming: Understanding the Forecast’ (Archer) – this gets down to the nitty gritty and starts from first principles if you’re up for it, still highly readable; ‘Dire Predictions’ (Mann, Kump) – good as a flick through reference; or ‘Quarternary Dating Methods’ (Walker) if you have a keen interest on where we get our historical data and how we work within each method’s limitations.

    Good luck. But please be aware, that while you think you’re posting tough questions that unravel the science, you are in fact just repeating half-truths, misleading or out-of-context information and wilfully ignorant denialist propoganda which is easily resolved by some genuine enquiry. Global warming IS FACT, the science IS IN and we had better start acting like we care.

  69. #69 Adam
    March 13, 2009

    Thirdly, thanks for the detailed account decade by decade, as you say spending 10 minutes with the data does show a lot. The data i am looking at (your link)tells me that in 2004 the levels were 376ppm and in 2008 they are 385ppm that makes it 9ppm increase in 4 years, and if my math is correct thats about 2ppm per year. In fact open further reading i discovered that in 1959 the levels were 315.98 and in 2008 the levels were 385.57. The increase as i said previously was at an almost linear trend.

    If you look at the numbers I showed there, it was a rough attempt to show that the rate of increasing carbon dioxide concentrations is increasing (positive second derivative). If you think about it, this makes perfect sense.
    http://www.earth-policy.org/Indicators/CO2/2006_CO2small.GIF
    If we’re already already seeing a CO2 concentration increase of approximately 2ppm/year, why would you expect this to stay the same under the business-as-usual assumption (which results in increasing carbon emissions)? We see a rising rate of concentration increase as emissions increase, why would this relationship suddenly stop?
    Further more, you site the increase from 1959 to 2008 as evidence of linearity. This is an increase of 70ppm in 50 years, or about 1.4ppm/year. This is NOT approximately linear to 2ppm. This is a result we would expect if we’re seeing approximately 2ppm/year currently, and less earlier (more like ~1ppm/year). I’m really not sure why this is a difficult concept.

  70. #70 Crakar14
    March 15, 2009

    Thanks for the rant Matt, i dont recall posing tough questions just ones based on common sense which routinely go unanswered here by the peanut gallery.

    So i will ask the question again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Are the oceans cooling absorbing more C02 causing acidification? or are the oceans warming causing more C02 to be released? In other words which scary story is correct?

    In regards to my refrence to the word “FRY”, it is quite simple really the climageddon preachers tell us we will experience more and more hot days (droughts etc) and the planet will be 6C (next month it will be 8C) hotter in 100 years, yet way back when it was 7000ppm the earth was lush green and teemed with life. So i ask the obvious (not tough although they appear to be too tough for you to answer)question.

    To Adam,

    1959 to 2008 are supposed to be the years were man really started to pump out the “massive” amounts of C02 and yet C02 increased by 70 PPM which is as you state 1.4ppm/year. The last 5 or so years it has been about 2.2 ppm/year. So i will ask the question AGAIN and bear in mind this is not a tough one although Matt seems to think so. Where did the IPCC get thier figure of 4.1ppm/year from.

    What scientific basis did they use? as always the IPCC use a lot of smoke and a couple of mirrors to hide how they arrive at their conclusions. So far the IPCC’s guess at the C02 levels over this century are WRONG and guess what so is thier guess at temperatures as well.

    So my point still stands as in my original post and i quote

    “I assume your frenzied need to take action on AGW is based on the figures from the IPCC? If so then i feel it is prudent that we examine these figures for there accuracy before we go and waste everyones time and money.”

    Not one person here has addressed the relavent questions i have raised(obviously too tough for some)as always all i get is a regurgitated rant.

  71. #71 Adam
    March 15, 2009

    You’re qualm seems to be that you think we are seeing linearly increasing CO2 concentrations (zero second derivative). I demonstrated that we aren’t, and that increasing CO2 emissions leads to an increasing rate of CO2 concentrations. Based purely on this, the increase of 4.1pppm/year average by 2100 seems reasonable. Additionally, this is ignoring other effects, such as deforestation, release from permafrost, etc.

    If you really want to know where the IPCC got their numbers from, you’ll actually read the report. If you don’t find their reasoning adequate, you should bring up what specifically about their conclusions and assumptions do you find disagreeable? Then we can talk about that. Until then, you’re making an intellectually dishonest argument.

  72. #72 Matt Bennett
    March 15, 2009

    Crakar,

    What I wrote above was hardly a rant – I’ve kindly given you several good leads to answer the questions you’ve asked, but in true denier style, you’re not even interested in finding out about the way it all works. You’re more interested in creating the appearance of impropriety on the part of the scientific community than you are in being educated. Are you telling me you’ve read both the imposingly detailed IPCC report (2007) along with all of the excellent literature I mentioned above, and still, the oceans have you stuck? Be that the case, you’re beyond help.

    As for the big ‘fry’, did you completely and utterly MISS everything I wrote about that? The earth WAS 10-12 dgrees warmer at that time, there WAS no ice, CO2 WAS through the roof and exotic large animals roamed mild polar climes. What did you not get about what I wrote and the way that it’s the abnormal speed with which the current event is unfolding that distinguishes it?

    For your information, in a nutshell: the oceans are NOT cooling (except for a few isolated spots – check a data map), they are slowly warming like the rest of the planet only they are far and away slower to warm/cool than land (it’s called thermal inertia), moreso at deeper levels. So that answers your first part – they’re warming. Incidently, probably at least half the sea level rise is attributable to the expansion of the water as it warms, rather than just melting ice. Secondly, we would be in a whole lot more trouble if the oceans had NOT been acting largely as a carbon sink up until this time, absorbing somehwere in the order of 40% of the excess CO2 output from industry. This is what acidifies the oceans. However, this is potentially another of those pesky non-linear relationships and it is expected that oceans will reach a point where they can not continue in this buffering capacity and will become net releases of CO2, just as happened in each of the previous ice ages. (cold water holds more dissolved CO2 than warm water – I think this is where you get your mistaken idea that somebody’s said the oceans are cooling). So first, Earth’s tilt and position in space lead to more sunlight falling on the land-heavy northern hemisphere (remember land heats/cools quicker). The warming begins (helped along by loss of land/ocean ice cover and its cooling effect through albedo) and at a certain point, generally nearly 800-1000 years later, the oceans (or at first, parts of it) reach a temperature where they cannot hold onto dissolved CO2 at that concentration any longer and begin to release it into the atmosphere. This causes more warming and, presto, we’re into our dreaded feedback loop and we ain’t stopping till we’ve reached the next interglacial maximum equilibrium. See, simple really when you take the time to try to understand something.

    Honestly, try doing some more reading and you won’t always look like such a dipshit.

  73. #73 Crakar14
    March 15, 2009

    Hello again Adam,

    Yes i agree an increase in C02 emissions leads to an increase in concentration (ignoring all other factors) and just for you i did a bit of math on the figures from Mauna Loa and here they are;

    From 1959 to 69 C02 was up by 8.1ppm
    69 to 78 12.31ppm or 1.231ppm per year
    79 to 88 16.33ppm or 1.633ppm per year
    89 to 98 15.33ppm or 1.533ppm per year
    99 to 08 18.74ppm or 1.874ppm peryear

    Now the IPCC guessed/exaggerated C02 levels would rise on average by 4.1ppm per year from 2000 to 2100 and yet never in recorded history has a level this high ever been recorded, in fact the highest ever recorded increase in one year is 2.93ppm which happened in 1998 (thats interesting isnt it).

    So now for the IPCC to get it right we need an average of 4.34ppm from now on until 2100 and every year we fail to meet this figure the average blows out even further.

    I put it to you that there was not one shred of scientific input into establishing the IPCC Co2 levels. In fact i fail to see how it could unless science is now into playing guessing games 100 years out. And if the Co2 levels are over estimated by what could be a very large amount then the IPCC temp guess by 2100 is also very much over estimated agreed?

  74. #74 Matt Bennett
    March 15, 2009

    And Crackhead,

    Why have you got it into your head that the IPCC is some nefarious organisation out of a Dan Brown novel, hell bent on deceptive manipulation using fraudulent data when in fact it is just an organisation that summerises the scientific state of play and by nature is generally highly conservative?

  75. #75 Crakar14
    March 15, 2009

    Dipshit hey, good one. i can call people names aswell. Would you like me to stoop to your level?

    I will have you know i have done a lot of reading which is why i think this whole AGW thing is a load of bull.

    Here is something i have read

    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/OceanCooling/page1.php

    It falls into the category of what did you call it? Ah yes here it is

    “You’re more interested in creating the appearance of impropriety on the part of the scientific community than you are in being educated”

    This is a good story i wont spoil it for you but what i do find interesting is that the data prior to 2003 does not match the models so they change the data to now match it. But then a rather fun thing happens as the data from 2003 to now does not match the models either. So what are they to do? change the data again?

    In regards to warming oceans you know i could have sworn they were cooling got something to do with -PDO and AMO and probably La Nina conditions as well. But hey you cant question the data can you.

    Every piece of research that you hold dear to your heart is questionable at the very least. Now before you go off calling me names again think about it for a moment. If the AGW theory was well founded and there was evidence that supported the theory would Coby have a website to manage?

    Every piece of so called evidence is disputed, from ignoring thermometer readings to models that dont work either looking backwards or forwards. And now as we speak C02 levels are rising and the global temps are dropping why is that.

  76. #76 Matt Bennett
    March 15, 2009

    Whatever you say Crackar. I apologize for the name-calling. But truly, you have a very skewed view of the world if you think that major governments, corporations and activist groups (including the petroleum industry) would take action on something about which “every piece of research… is questionable”. That’s fantasy stuff mate, but good luck to you. I still maintain that you need to do a hell of a lot more reading.

  77. #77 Crakar14
    March 15, 2009

    I think we both read a lot but have a different view based on preconceptions.

    I heard a saying the other day, “you cannot reason someone out of a position if reason was not how they got there in the first place”

    Not suggesting this applies to you well maybe both of us.

    Until tomorrow then?

    Cheers

  78. #78 Matt Bennett
    March 16, 2009

    Wise words them. Best, Matt

  79. #79 Adam
    March 16, 2009

    Crakar –

    Using your numbers:
    Decade ppm/year Increase
    1970____0.81_____52%
    1980____1.23_____33%
    1990____1.63_____-6%
    2000____1.53_____22%
    2010____1.87_____25%
    2020____2.34_____25%
    2030____2.93_____25%
    2040____3.66_____25%
    2050____4.58_____25%
    2060____5.72_____25%
    2070____7.15_____25%
    2080____8.94_____25%
    2090____11.17____25%
    2100____13.96____25%

    Average 4.82ppm/year

    The average of the percent increase of CO2 concentrations per year per decade of the numbers you suggested is ~25% (a bit more actually, but what’s .1% amongst friends?) So, just for convenience, I used that for future projections. Low and behold, if you average it out, you get 4.82ppm/year (higher if you discount the earlier decades).

    Now, I would not present this in a scientific paper, nor would I be even willing to bet YOUR money on it. It makes several assumptions that can reasonably be criticized. The intention, however, is not to make projections for the future, but to demonstrate that non-linear relationships have the potential to explode very rapidly. Now, if I was doing this seriously, rather than just to demonstrate a point, it’d make a lot more sense to project emissions, feedback, etc. and make concentration predictions from that. Fortunately, I don’t need to do that because it’s already been done.

    Now, I’ve said as much about this as I intend to. If you have a specific qualm with the IPCC projections, we can discuss specifics. Raging “ZOMG, WAR DID DEY GIT DEZ NUMBAHS” is pointless, because you can read the report.

  80. #80 dev
    August 9, 2009

    I came to this section to see your response to Mr Lomborg’s takedown of the agw solutions. You have not one word.
    The cost of your solutions is far in excess to the return on invested captial, even with all the doomesday predictions made by hansen et al. Even if you science turns out to be right your solutions make no sense. Serious economists can find nothing on this site to justify the literally trillions that would be required to implement a serious solution. And no, Kyoto is not serious, it just make you feel good.

  81. #81 coby
    August 9, 2009

    Sorry, which of “my solutions” are you refering to??

    You can not come to a rational decision about the reality of a danger by only considering how hard it might be to avoid. First things first, understand that the problem is real and present. Once you acknowledge the necessity of addressing the problem, taking action suddenly becomes less daunting. There is no point in discussing the best solutions or the cost of those solutions with someone who does not yet acknowledge the problem.

  82. #82 BTrog
    August 16, 2009

    One of the greatest difficulties is – Given AGW, how much limitation on CO2 emission would be necessary to have an effect on the situation?

    Clearly – an ineffective diminution of CO2 emissions would be a worse plan than EITHER no change OR sufficient change. The hard part is conceiving – HOW MUCH?

  83. #83 crakar14
    August 16, 2009

    You raise a very good point Trog, how much is exactly. The Australian senate has just rejected the ETS for differing reasons.

    The Labor party wanted to reduce emissions by 5% of 2000 levels with room in the legislation to increase that amount (depending on Copenhagen results)in order for the bill to pass they needed the support of either the Greens or the opposition.

    The Greens rejected the bill because the reduction in levels was too low in their opinion, they wanted about 40% of 2000 levels.

    The opposition rejected the bill because 5% would do nothing to reduce GW but would cost the economy millions of dollars etc. However i suspect the opposition are the more sceptical of all parties and some have spoken out against AGW. I also suspect there are quite a few sceptics in the labor party but are too afraid to speak out as they must vote along party lines.

    So how much is enough? Well if you believe what gets written here you would have to say that we should reduce levels back to the preindustrial times of 275ppm (1750) as we are told ALL CO2 produced since then was caused by man.

    What do you think?

  84. #84 Michael
    August 16, 2009

    Well said Craker14.
    To use a good Aussie term; it really amounts to “5 eighths of F.A.!
    Did you see my link to the radio station blog? Here it is again for all to see too.
    http://www.4bc.com.au/blogs/michael-smith-blog/tax-and-pollution/20090813-eitz.html

  85. #85 crakar14
    August 16, 2009

    Yes i saw the link you provided, Smith’s analogy of the amount of CO2 is very good as when you try and explain CO2 levels expressed in ppms the average punter’s eyes just sort of glaze over as it is way above them. This way they can put it into a more relavent perspective.

    Its a bit like trying to tell someone there is global warming when it is cold outside like the 10 US states that has recorded the coldest (6) and second coldest (4) July’s on record (1890’s). Then you have the alarmists saying “AGW made it less cool” the point is completely lost on some people.

  86. #86 skip
    January 5, 2010

    Potentially interesting link about strategies for weening the US off oil.

    http://www.cnn.com/2010/OPINION/01/04/lovins.weaning.us.off.oil/index.html

  87. #87 skip
    January 22, 2010

    Standing on the shoulders of giants.

    Update on this thread:

    I spent the early part of my morning reading this whole thread. Among the more interesting exchanges was from one “Trevor”, who tapped into his agronomic knowledge to argue, in essence, that projections of temperature and CO2 increases would actually bode well for humanity–on average–by promoting food production,
    Trevor’s overall point . . .

    . . . at least in this series of posts, is that, in terms of global food production, and global food production alone, global warming, if it continues, will have a net positive effect. I also happen to believe that there are other benefits to global warming, like fewer human deaths due to cold weather (which will far outnumber any additional deaths due to hot weather). And furthermore, I think that, among the negative effects of global warming, most of them are not nearly as certain, nor as grave, as the alarmists claim.

    my point was NEVER that AGW was, IN GENERAL, a good thing . . . I do recognize the potential harmful effects of global warming on such issues as rising sea levels, localized drought, localized flooding, and possibly even the extinction of a few species. I just don’t place as much importance on those issues [relative to more pressing concerns such as hunger, etc.]

    Although implicit in his argument was that this was a relatively short term projection. He seemed largely indifferent to or ignorant of the potential *long* term impacts of AGW.

    Matt Bennett astutely pointed out a key issue Trevor was not grasping:

    So, you see, the threat this time round [relative to other historic changes in climate] is the ABNORMAL SPEED with which this is happening, due to our digging up and quickly releasing billions of tons of long ago sequestered carbon. No time for biological adaptation, which is why global warming will prove to be the biggest disaster mankind has ever faced and then some.–Matt Bennet

    Matt Bennett at one point suggested Trevor was “beneath contempt”, leading to a number of colorful exchanges, such as Trevor’s insistence that Matt was being inconsistent in his valuations of different life forms. Trevor’s logic at times became pedantic and bizarrre:

    You [Matt, are] still a planetist, a climate-ist, a concern-ist, an insight-ist, a pathetic-ist, a religion-ist, a zealotry-ist, and a domion-ist. To that list, I can now add consistency-ist, temporalist (you don’t like “out of date” people, innateness-ist, and logic-ist.–Trevor

    How about this one, Matt? You are, obviously, concerned about the effects of global warming. But why? Can’t we just move to another planet if it gets too hot here? Or do you believe, like me, that there is no other planet capable of supporting human life? Do you believe that this planet, Earth, is therefore “SUPERIOR” to all other planets in terms of its ability to support human life? Do you PREFER to live on this planet, and therefore DISCRIMINATE AGAINST all other planets? Does that not make you a “planetist”? — Trevor

    If you don’t apply this whole prejudice thing equally, than you’re a life-ist, or a concept-ist. — Trevor

    Yet your concern for other species clearly DOES NOT extend to each individual member of those species, because you have no concern at all about the billions of individual viruses that you killed inside your own body.

    Even if you are a vegetarian, then you still eat plant matter, which means you are harming plant species.–Trevor

    This was all extremely enteraining to read, if not necessarily convincing. Other times Trevor echoed distinctly Crakerian conspiracy theories:

    If there were any agronomists at all in the section [of the IPCC] that wrote that chapter, they were hand-picked to be the ones that could be counted on to deliver a negative finding.–Trevor

    At one point Trevor became defensive in his promotion of the superiority of the human species:

    I proudly proclaim that I have never conversed with a rat . . .

    (This guy doesn’t drink *nearly* enough gin.)

    . . . discussed politics with a magnolia, drank a beer with a lichen, been a roommate with a zebra, joined a country club that allowed artichokes as members, bathed with a chimpanzee, dated a watermelon, kissed a pig, married a dolphin, or had sex with a sheep.

    (When I read the last part I couldn’t help but wonder if Crakar could give me the same assurance in earnest. Sorry, mate; couldn’t restist.)

    Trevor made the occasional, superficially shrewd piont:

    Clearly, among major ecosystem changes, you have a distinct PREJUDICE against those caused by the deterministic actions of mankind, and a distinct PREFERRENCE for those caused by random chance and nature.

    But this is of course a straw man, because any reasonable person would hedge against preventable risks even as they lament the unavoidable ones: Just because driving off a cliff will you kill you anyway doesn’t mean you have no reason to wear your seatbelt.

    At one point “mikatolla” suggested:

    Trevor, you have the gift of crap… there aren’t many of us who can bounce around from the obvious to the ridiculous in one insulting post,

    There was the occasional nitwit post such as this from one “T Lu”, who claimed to be “an engineer”.

    So, even using the numbers which Al Gore suggests as being real, my question is how can any thinking person really believe that such a minor change in the overall makeup of the earth’s atmosphere [from a few parts per million to a few more parts per million Co2] would have a “dramatic” impact on the temperature of the earth?–T Lu

    I am assuming this argument from incredulity needs no comment, right? Right up there with, “The Earth doesn’t *look* round, so . . . ”

    And at one point our dear Crakar chimed in, diverting off the main thread topic by questioning how the IPCC produced its figure of 4.1 ppm average increase in cO2 concentration until Adam set him straight using Crakar’s own numbers.

    Matt Bennett suggested that Crakar

    try doing some more reading and you won’t always look like such a dipshit.

    He later apologized for this, although I have to admit some of my exchanges with Crakar have stirred similar sentiments.

    (Crakar left the subject, and shortly thereafter, the thread.)

    Curiously, Crakar brough up his “hotspot” point here:

    The above are the three key parameters used to establish climate sensitivity, all 3 have been overstated by the IPCC and the proof is in the hot spot. All the models on which the IPCC relies on predict the hot spot and yet none can be found.

    This was reminiscent of the first blowout Crakar and I had on *Hockey Stick Open*:

    . I [am] not constrained by preconceived beliefs have[sic] the ability to change my point of view. The best example that immediately springs to mind is the missing hot spot, the mere fact that the hot spot does not exist clearly falsifies the theory of AGW, if the hot spot suddenly appeared for all to see then I would seriously consider the theory of AGW to be very robust and highly plausible.

    By the way, Crakar made his first You-can-take-this-blog-and-shove-it farewell speech before this hotspot thing was ever debated.

    One contributor, “dev”, tried to stay on topic:

    Even if you[sic] science turns out to be right your solutions make no sense. Serious economists can find nothing on this site to justify the literally trillions that would be required to implement a serious solution.

    And the last post–a link to a CNN article about green alternatives, was by me. No one responded. Sigh.

    So that, in a nutshell, is where this this thread stands at the moment.

    Does anyone–Crakar, SKepticalByNature, MB, Michael?–wish to discuss these issues of the relative costs of action versus inaction on AGW? Its actually the one place where “deniers” actually have plausible sounding points, although in the end the fail badly, as I will argue with anyone so inclined.

  88. #88 SkepticalbyNature
    January 22, 2010

    Skip, good job on surmising the thread. For me personally, I am not knowledgeable enough to argue the issue convincingly one way or the other. Now, please don’t confuse or conflate the words ‘skepticism’ and ‘denialism’. My skepticism is of the reputable kind, I hope. Until I believe I have sufficient credible information at hand, I will remain undecided on either side of the argument. This position holds even if my skepticism is based on lack of knowledge of a topic, as in this case. I don’t think it is unreasonable to posit a position, even if it is philosophically based, as a point for debate, then listen to the arguments made and reposition your philosophy thereafter? This is progressive skepticism; a dialectical process. It is not denialism. But I think you will always find me willing to do that repositioning if the facts support it (to my understanding).
    At the moment, I have nothing more to hang my hat on than the general insights that:
    1) The evidence clearly points to AGW
    2) The amount the Earth will warm by from a doubling of CO2 (to 450 ppm) is open to debate
    3) Any warming will have some negative consequences in some parts of the world. There will be other negative consequences that will affect the whole world (rising sea levels). The severity of the negative outcomes is unknown (to me). Some parts of the world may benefit in some way.
    4) If the Earth ‘only’ warms by 1 or 1.5 Deg C, my ‘gut-feeling’ is that adaptation + progressive emissions reduction may be sufficient.
    5) The precautionary principle may lead one to conclude that, since the amount of warming that will occur could be >3 Deg C (and thus negative consequences are likely to multiply), severe emissions reductions should be made in the short term ‘just in case’. This sounds to me (again at a gut-instinct level) like a way of introducing a shock to the global economy that could potentially be very harmful and could have very far-reaching and long-term, unpredicted effects. Indeed, it could be as damaging in the economic sense as rapid warming could be in the climate/biological sense, which then would of itself introduce a phenomenal shock to the economy (but delayed until we reached that climatic ‘tipping point’).

    Skip, you’ve given a good link in your post #86. I will read that and try to find some info of my own. The problem with discussing topics on web sites is that personal prejudices preclude some or all contributors from giving their opposition’s sources a fair crack of the whip. For example, I like the way Lomborg presents some of his arguments, but he seems to be loathed by a majority of ‘alarmists’ (sorry, I don’t know a less confrontational word for a non-contrarian). I have been steered previously towards the Stern Report, but I don’t hold sway by anything that is tainted by the former Blair administration, the same way I wouldn’t hold much weight in anything produced by the former Bush administration. Perhaps, as always, sticking to the fairly recent peer-reviewed published articles is the way to go (and let’s not get side-tracked by the robustness or otherwise of the peer-review process!)

    Regards,

  89. #89 dhogaza
    January 22, 2010

    ) The amount the Earth will warm by from a doubling of CO2 (to 450 ppm) is open to debate

    4) If the Earth ‘only’ warms by 1 or 1.5 Deg C, my ‘gut-feeling’ is that adaptation + progressive emissions reduction may be sufficient.

    My first gut feeling is why should I give *your* gut feeling that 1C to 1.5C that adaption plus progressive emissions reductions may be sufficient?

    Who are you, and why is your gut important? Is it extra-large, hanging-over-the-belt-to-your-knees important, somehow?

    My rational, intellectual, response is that 1C to 1.5C isn’t on the table in the world of science, so your point #4 isn’t worth thinking about.

    2C minimum. Grok it, digest it, deal with it.

  90. #90 skip
    January 23, 2010

    SNB:

    A couple of specifics–apart from any queries as to you relative importance or the legitimacy of gut feelings.

    First, even if “progressive” reductions (whatever we decide that means) are “sufficient” (and there’s no way any of us can know for sure), right now we can’t even get a meaningful agreement on *any* reductions. If that’s what you’re for, then its a great start and I’m with you.

    Second, when weighing the relative costs of action versus inaction, we have to consider the *collateral* costs and benefits of each option. If you want me to elaborate I can, but in general the changes we would make in emissions are also consistent with other goals–long term energy sustainability (we’re going to run out of fossils eventually so the sooner we prepare the better), strategic security (at least for us Yanks the oil part of our energy economy is maintained by a tenuous and volatile military occupation of the Middle East), and, in the long term *prosperity*, because if we endure the “costs” of evolving to renewable alternatives our energy will be cheaper–maybe not for you and me, granted, but for generations after us.

    Third, and related, the “costs” now of emission reductions are not starving children and all of us living in mud huts. The current economic “advantages” of our fossil fuel economy are largely expressed as *luxuries*–big cars, big homes, cheap air travel. Its subjective, to be sure, but I think these are tolerable sacrifices. (On a side note, I bitterly resent the argument that emissions reductions will “hurt the poor”, because this is just disengenuous bunk. The poor cannot afford fuel now because we, the rich, price them out.) This leads to

    Fourth, “adaptation” is a double-edged sword. At some level, you’re right: humans, at least in the relative short run–say a hundred years out, can “adapt” to climate change on average. But if that’s true then we can *also* adapt to a different energy economy. I have adapted just fine to not having all-wheel drive and a two-ton SUV. I put on chains when it snows; it doesn’t kill me. It doesn’t cause anyone to starve.

    In sum, since we’re going to have to make these adjustments at some point anyway–depending on how close we are to peak oil, etc, have good reason to as well (get our asses out of the Persian Gulf), then the case for emission reductions becomes compelling even if AGW remains, as it always must, to some extent an “uncertainty” regarding the timing and intensity of its actual impacts.

  91. #91 SkepticalbyNature
    January 24, 2010

    Skip,
    I’ll have to go slow on this topic, what with my fat gut and all, which naturally causes most of the blood in my brain to rush to my stomach . . .
    Since I’m going to be in learning mode, I’m not worried if your comments with others on this thread supersede any I subsequently make. I’ll be learning all the while anyway.
    Now, to return your politeness in providing an interesting link for me to read (the content of which I am still digesting; hope there’s room left in there by the time I complete my standard 11-course dinner; gotta keep that gut growing), I read the following interesting article based on comments and a paper by Stephen E. Schwartz. I have done a basic background check and he seems credible, don’t you think? I know most of the content in the links is only tangential to the discussion of economic impacts, but it is important that I not wait time researching economic pros and cons of any particular temperature rise, if not all temperature rises are credible.
    I’ll use Crakar’s trick (oops—dirty word) of putting periods between the www so the post is not modded.
    See: http://w.w.w.bnl.gov/bnlweb/pubaf/pr/PR_display.asp?prID=1067
    The link to the paper abstract is within the above webpage.

    A key piece I took out from the linked site states:
    “A key question facing policymakers is how much additional CO2 and other heat-trapping gases can be introduced into the atmosphere, beyond what is already present, without committing the planet to a dangerous level of human interference with the climate system. Many scientists and policymakers consider the threshold for such dangerous interference to be an increase in global temperature of 3.6°F above the preindustrial level, although no single threshold would encompass all effects.
    The paper describes three scenarios: If Earth’s climate sensitivity is at the low end of current estimates as given by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, then the total maximum future emissions of heat-trapping gases so as not to exceed the 3.6° threshold would correspond to about 35 years of present annual emissions of CO2 from fossil-fuel combustion. A climate sensitivity at the present best estimate would mean that no more heat-trapping gases can be added to the atmosphere without committing the planet to exceeding the threshold. And if the sensitivity is at the high end of current estimates, present atmospheric concentrations of heat-trapping gases are such that the planet is already committed to warming that substantially exceeds the 3.6° threshold.”

    To which my immediate thought to myself was: Yikes!

    Regards,

  92. #92 skip
    January 25, 2010

    SBN:

    I think Schwartz’s key statement, from my perspective was:

    “We know we have to change the course of this ship, and *we know the direction of the change*[my emphasis], but we don’t know how much we need to change the course or how soon we have to do it.”

    A “soft skeptic” (as I call the Lomborgs of the world), finds a way to reason from this uncertainty that we should do little or nothing about climate change: “We don’t know how bad it is; therefore we can assume its not that bad.”

    But your “Yikes!” scenario is the one we should hedge against, given our uncertainties.

    It will not happen in the short run, I fear. So we have to hope we can get lucky and that we *can* mitigate our impact on climate–I say “we” metaphorically because you and I will be gone. By the time there is no more summer Arctic ice extant and the Monckton’s of the world have either died off or converted, maybe the political will to act will finally emerge.

  93. #93 SkepticalbyNature
    January 25, 2010

    Skip,
    Here’s a related article and another interesting quote from Schwartz:
    w.w.w.ecd.bnl.gov/news/NationalPost.html
    “Recall World War II, where everyone was making a sacrifice: gas rationing, tire rationing, no new car production, food rationing,” he explains. “I don’t think the people of the world are ready or prepared to make such a level of personal sacrifice. Perhaps when the consequences of climate change become more apparent that will change. But by that time, there will be irreversible changes in climate.”

    I think the above provides useful perspective for the layman (i.e. someone like me who requires some analogy rather than hardcore scientific or economic theory). So, do you think, if mankind was really serious about addressing the potential negative effects of AGW, we would buy into this kind of sacrifice? How many people would be willing to take their standard of living back 50 years? Or indeed, are we talking about anything as draconian as that?

    I understand some first-world governments have/had talked about cutting CO2 emissions by 50% by 2020 and 80% by 2050 (Britain is amongst that group, I believe). If the energy-use inherent in that level of cuts is not replaced by available green technologies, then it implies a certain drop in the standard of living compared to today, e.g. carless days, or power outages, etc. Will any government be able to sufficiently convince their people that making a sacrifice to their standard of living is the right thing to do?
    Personally, I think democracy will work against the principle of acting prudently against risks posed by AGW. If the Chinese (to take an example) ever got serious about counteracting AGW, one could imagine that regime imposing directives even if their people did not like them or want them. However, would you really like to live under a China-style administration, today, or ever?

    I know this thread is supposed to be a discussion on the economics of addressing AGW, but what do you think of the notion (almost implicit in some of Schwartz’s comments) that we could buy ourselves time by using the cooling effects of aerosols to counteract some warming, so we could let the development of green technology catch-up with our energy use needs, and hence we would have some time up our sleeves? How we would geo-engineer the climate is beyond me, not to mention the potentially catastrophic effects if we got such intervention wrong. Also, assuming we allowed CO2 levels to gradually increase along the present trend, if we were to subsequently remove the aerosol effect, wouldn’t we just be delaying harmful warming until a few centuries away?

    Irrespective of what I may be reading myself, if you happen upon any good links to discussions of the economic issues relating to adaptation/change, I’ll be happy to follow them up.

    Regards,

  94. #94 mandas
    January 25, 2010

    SBN
    I read that article by Schwartz, and what he says has a degree of superficial appeal, until you analyse it in a bit more depth.

    Firstly, I don’t think that the basic assumption – that action on climate change would involve huge sacrifices and take our standard of loving back 50 years – is correct. There are many things that can reduce CO2 levels which actually take our standard of living forward not backward (increased use of solar energy in homes, improved petrol mileage on cars, rebates for home insulation, better building standards, as well as technology transfers to developing nations).

    Secondly and more importantly, the use of aerosols to buy time leaves a lot of questions unanswered, and I for one would want to know more before I would support such a proposal. What would be the effects on the ecosystem of releasing huge quantities of chemicals into the atmosphere? Would the increase in dimming affect photosynthesis? We thought CFCs were safe – how wrong we were. Would there be unknown and potentially disastrous effects?

    I tend to think that solving one problem by creating an unknown and potentially just as serious problem is not the way to go. Particularly when the original problem could be solved if we just applied ourselves in a timely manner. Of course, this would require that people accept there is a problem in the first place, which is proving more challenging than it should.

    I did a quick search of Google Scholar for any papers on the costs etc associated with the various CO2 reduction strategies, and there are lots available on a variety of subjects. Rather than post them here, it would be easier to do a search yourself, so you can see the span of coverage.
    However, a word of caution. You cannot simply read an article on the costs of CO2 mitigation and understand the topic. You would also need to read widely to understand the all the implications. For example, a reduction in overall pollution is liable to lead to huge savings in the health budget, due to improved respiratory health from better air quality. All these things need to be factored in to gain an appreciation of the subject beyond the superficial level that is often discussed.

  95. #95 GFW
    January 25, 2010

    Make sure you find the report by McKinsey referenced here http://climateprogress.org/2008/12/29/mckinsey-2008-research-in-review-stabilizing-at-450-ppm-has-a-net-cost-near-zero/
    Joe’s summary there is pretty good.

  96. #96 crakar24
    January 26, 2010

    Skip,

    I can honestly say that i have never had sex with a sheep, although there was that dry spell in the 90’s were i admit it did cross my mind.

    Also the only time you blokes will get out of the gulf is when you finally realise that paying for oil is cheaper than stealing it.

    Now on to action against AGW, firstly let me say that all i say here is based on the IPCC being correct and that their worst case scenarios will come true.

    In my line of work before we begin a task we do a “judgment of significance” or JOS. This is completed before hand so we can assess the risks involved and of course if the risks are too high then we will not begin at all. So this is how it works.

    We have two catagories one titled “Hazard Severity Categories” and the other “Probability Categories” each catagory has 4 possibilities. For hazards they are:

    Catastrophic: Death, permanent total disability, aircraft loss, or severe environmental damage.

    Critical: Severe injuries, major occupational illness, major aircraft or systems damage, or major environmental damage.

    Marginal: Etc, etc

    Negligible: Etc, etc

    For probability we have:

    Frequent: Likely to occur frequently

    Probable: Will occur several times in the life of an item.

    Occasional: Etc, etc

    Remote: Etc, etc

    Improbable: Etc, etc

    Once again if we accept the IPCC and associated scientific and non scientific opinions on AGW then i think we can safely say that the hazard severity would be “catastrophic” agreed? Also the probability would be frequent based on the (90% likely) claim by the IPCC.

    So once we have assessed the severity and probability of the risk we then plug it into our matrix and come up with a result.

    The matrix will produce the following:

    A score of 11-20 would be non significant

    A score of 7-10 would be significant

    A score of 1-6 would be unacceptable, in other words we would not proceed.

    A combination of frequent and catastrophic would score a 1.

    More to come…………..

  97. #97 crakar24
    January 26, 2010

    Following on from my last post, if we are to assume a JOS of 1 then no mitigation or adaptation can save us from AGW. Lets ask a few questions, what is causing AGW? Increases in CO2 levels, so how do we stop this from happening? Reduce emissions of CO2. How do we do that?

    Well we wont do it by lacing the atmosphere with sulphur or any other hare brained idea (reminds me of a joke i’ll send it to you Skip).

    We could do a keanu Reeves and stop the world (The day the Earth stood still Reg TM) but that may cause more problems as has been stated so what are the alternatives, here is a list of failures and partial successes.

    1, Hot rocks: the idea is to drill two holes through the crust about 2 K’s deep sleeve the holes, pump water down one hole and collect the steam in another to drive turbines. The last time i checked the sleeves ruptured in the holes and the project has been all but abandoned.

    2, Wind: Another flight of fancy from the green tinged sector, wind is unreliable in fact during the last cold spell in the UK (you know when coal and gas was running low) wind farms produced almost zero power because they suddenly discovered there is not much wind when it snows.

    3, Nuclear, (fission) or as presdint Booosch liked to say nookular (thats for our Amercan cousins) is not the answer for three reasons, the first is that it will take many years to get a plant up and running and as UK PM Gordon Brown has already told us “we only have 50 days to save the planet”….hang on 46, 47, 48, 49…hey he bullshitted us again Skip.

    Reason two: A nookular plant may not produce CO2 but it does produce a tremendous amount of water vapour and we all know what that does to the greenhouse effect.

    And three: The amount of radioactive waste produced during the mining stage of uranium is staggering coupled with the problem of waste disposal in addition to the threat of a “china syndrome” makes nookular worse than coal.

    4, Political policies: Hmmm need i say more?

    5, Nuclear, (fusion)A technology in its infancy but research is gaining momentum around the world, fusion is a clean energy (very slight radioactive) who’s only by product is helium. The advantage in this technology is that it cannot run away (china syndrome)like its cousin and if the research ever bares fruit the wet dreams of every greenie will come true. Of all the technologies discussed this is the only real option from coal and gas. Alas if only the 50 billion and counting was not given to the IPCC inquisition of CO2 and instead funnelled in this direction we may not even be here chatting.

    6, Solar: Solar has its place, solar can off set the amount of energy we use. For example if every house had a couple of panels and every supermarket/factory had some panels then our reliance on coal and gas would be reduced, thus reducing CO2 from spiralling out of control at a staggering 2ppm per year.

    The problem with solar like wind like all the rest they cannot replace the base load of a coal or gas fired power station, and there ladies and gentlemen lies the problem.

    Anyone can feel free to comment on my comments or add to the list (maybe i missed some).

    Cheers

    Crakar24

  98. #98 skip
    January 27, 2010

    I can honestly say that i have never had sex with a sheep, although there was that dry spell in the 90’s were i admit it did cross my mind.

    So think about that next time you poo poo action on global warming: Australia dries . . . less grazing grass . . . more people competing for fewer sheep . . . Face it, mate: its an ugly picture.

    Also the only time you blokes will get out of the gulf is when you finally realise that paying for oil is cheaper than stealing it.

    Its worse than even that. We’re paying to protect our right to *buy* it. Oil is not just bad for the environment, its a strategic loser for the US and her allies. We need to find something else.

    In my line of work before we begin a task we do a “judgment of significance” or JOS.

    Telling us a little about your work and the methodologies used was interesting, but I think the problem with your analogy is that it is not really a cost benefit analysis, which is what is at stake here. The procedures you’re describing occur largely in a vacuum, where you’re not apparently considering the impact of a decision on other things of interest besides the decision itself.

    Following on from my last post, if we are to assume a JOS of 1 then no mitigation or adaptation can save us from AGW.

    This strikes me as an amazingly cynical argument. Dismiss any possibility of replacing much of fossil fuel energy with renewables and reducing overall energy needs through greater efficiency as pointless and the AGW debate is “won” for the denier side even if its *defeat* is conceded from the beginning!

    This is blatant heads-I-win-tails-you-lose: “Not that I’m conceding its really a problem, but even if AGW *is* a problem there’s nothing to do be done about it so back to our brandy.”

    Of *course* the world *might* be doomed anyway for God-knows-how-many reasons. I concede that. It might be that our in some ways advanced civilization might be a fleeting blip in cosmic history, and that saddens me. But that does not mean we can eat, drink, and be merry for godsakes. We have to at least *try* to improve our lot. What, Crakar, if your less apacolyptic JOS scenarios are the case? What if we are at a moment of historic reckoning where we actually have a shot to intervene and prevent the worst affects of warming–all the while benefiting ourselves in numerous significant other ways–and the only obstacle is the indifference suggested by your logic articulated above?

  99. #99 crakar24
    January 27, 2010

    Skip i think you misunderstood some of my post, maybe you should take off your “defender of the faith” hat for a while and just have a conversation.

    When i said “Following on from my last post, if we are to assume a JOS of 1 then no mitigation or adaptation can save us from AGW.”

    I meant that we cannot dither around with pipe dreams like hot rocks etc. We cannot simply build walls to stop the oceans, we cannot simply mix shit in with jet fuel in a vain attempt to block out the sun.

    What we do need to do is replace coal and gas fired power stations with an alternative BASE LOAD power.

    I then went through the current crop of possibles to do this and IMHO i beleive the only viable option was nuclear fusion, this came with the caveat that i may have missed an alternative.

    A JOS of 1 is perfectly reasonable when you consider that the effects of AGW can already be witnessed (arctic ice loss, glacial recession, amazonian flora and fauna dying, droughts, floods and cyclones/hurricanes, etc) and we are going to see a temp rise of another 3 to 6C if you accept the IPCC POV.

    And no my JOS was not done in a vaccuum as you suggest, you are talking about follow on consequences of what we do, i understand that but imagine a time when we develop fusion or some other replacement of base load power, both this and coal running in parallel we then turn off the coal. Simple really isnt it? Wind, solar, hot rocks, shit in jet fuel or any other flights of fancy you can think of WILL NOT be able to replace coal or gas as a BASE LOAD POWER SUPPLY.

    But lets talk some more about idiotic knee jerk decisions that have been done in a vaccuum.

    Currently KRudd and K.D Wong are planning to reintroduce the ETS & CPRS, yes thats right the very same ETS which was voted down right before COP15. The idea is to hit our biggest export which is coal with a TAX, who is our biggest trading partner of coal? Thats right China. China will not lift one finger to reduce CO2 and either will any other exporter of coal.

    So we now apply a TAX to coal will China buy our expensive coal or will it buy coal cheaper from somewhere else? Not to mention the fact that this TAX will raise prices on everything we see, touch, smell and hear and for what? Will Australia’s CO2 emissions fall….NO they will not and seeing how no other country in the world will conform to COP15’s non binding agreement then all KRudd will achieve is economic disaster. The vanity of the man holds no bounds.

    The bit about the sheep is somewhat troubling i never thought of that. On the other hand we do have plenty of camels here (more drought tolerant) of course you would have to domesticate it first other wise it may all end in tears.

  100. #100 skip
    January 27, 2010

    Wind, solar, hot rocks, shit in jet fuel or any other flights of fancy you can think of WILL NOT be able to replace coal or gas as a BASE LOAD POWER SUPPLY.

    In the short run that is undoubtedly true (our entire energy economy is currently geared toward fossils), but why would you believe that for the *long run*?

    This just burns me about you deniers. You fret that we can’t adapt to weaning ourselves off fossils but when it comes to global warming, oh hey, humans can adapt to climate change.

    But lets talk some more about idiotic knee jerk decisions that have been done in a vaccuum.

    Why?

    Why do the dumbest proposals associated with the AGW position get to be the benchmark by which to judge the best?

    This is just a rehash of the guilt-by-association argument: Some people who believe in global warming propose dumb things; therefore we should not act on global warming.

  101. #101 crakar24
    January 27, 2010

    Not sure i am following you in this chat Skip, you either do not understand what i am saying or are you just itching for a fight.

    Question:

    How would you propose we “wean” ourselves off fossils?

    I dont understand the next bit, i mentioned KRudds desire to TAX the coal industry and then stated that the scheme will have no effect on CO2 emissions thus why do it.

    No rehash, no guilt by association just a logic based question. I will rephrase it this way, if our aim is to reduce emissions then any plan/scheme that does not reduce emissions is useless….yes?

    No need to drag out the old death to all denier placards Skip, just relax and have a conversation, if you are simply in this for the fight then let me know.

  102. #102 crakar24
    February 11, 2010

    In Australia it appears it is “action on GW is industrial manslaughter”, part of KRUDD’s efforts to stave of the GFC and GW he came up with the idea of selling home insulation to house holds at a reduced price.

    On the surface the scheme had merit as it would stimulate the economy and save the planet in one fell swoop unfortunately due to incompetence the whole thing has tragically gone pear shaped.

    Firstly a lot of the insulation was purchased over seas so we stimulated some one else’s economy and the second caused death.

    Here is the Finance Minister making his excuse “I don’t think it’s right to say we should have sat back … dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s because we were in a crisis situation.”

    So in the end there were no guidelines put in place which meant any untrained idiot could install the insulation and the problem was the insulation was metal backed which inturn caused 4 installers to be electrocuted.

    It is now estimated that 1000’s of homes are now death traps and even more are potential fire hazards as reports are coming in of hundreds of roof fires have been caused by poorly laid insulation.

    The gov was warned last March of the potential hazards but these warnings were ignored and now 4 people are dead, several ministers should be sacked and charged by police. I cringe at the thought that this inept, incompetent gov somehow as if by magic is going to guide this country through its greatest tax plan ever concieved all in the name of GW.

    God have mercy on our souls.

  103. #103 SkepticalbyNature
    February 11, 2010

    Crakar:
    Wasn’t is your wonderful Peter Garrett who was in charge of this insulation scheme? That’s what happens when you try to get an arrogant, preachy ‘rock star’ to do something useful in the real world.
    What was the opinion in Australia of Resourcehouse’s US$60b coal export deal with China? Slighty hypocritical of the government to allow this to go ahead? But in reality of course one must accept that you guys create much of your wealth through your minimg resources. Still, it does appear to the outsider like an amazing double-standard.

    Finally, back on the topic of this thread, I read in a newspaper today that a pending article in Nature discusses at length various cost implications of climate change. Can anyone point me towards the article – I’m not having any luck trying to track it myself on the Net.

    Regards,

  104. #104 crakar24
    February 16, 2010

    Yes he is in charge and yes P Garrett was the lead singer of Midnight Oil, their songs were always partly anti gov and of the green tinge. Garrett then joined the Green party but for some reason sold his soul to the labor party where he is now just another politician. His standing as a environmentalist is now in tatters.

    He threatened to take the Japs to court over whaling but now stands by and watches.

    He preaches the dangers of AGW but allows old growth forests to be chopped down in Tasmania.

    The labor party has had a long standing 3 mines policy whereby we can only have 3 uranium mines. This policy was changed to 4 and Garrett toed the party line even though he knows uranium mining is very very bad for the environment.

    And the list goes on.

    Australia was largely untouched by the GFC mainly due to our coal export to China at the same time KRudd, Wong and Garrett lambast China for building coal mines obviously the whole GW mantra is simply a charade to these 3.

    Dont forget we are now exporting large amounts of gas another CO2 belching industry, this also seems to be OK given that KRudd claims AGW “is the greatest moral challenge of our life time”.

    Our hypocrisy does not end there, we lambast Iran because we suspect they are building a bomb even though they have signed a NNPT. On the other hand we gladly sell uranium to India who has nukes and also refuses to sign a NNPT.

  105. #105 SkepticalbyNature
    February 17, 2010

    Thanks for those insights and updates Crakar.
    It’s always interesting to me when those in privileged positions come into the real world and then just cop out and leave their principles behind. It makes one very cynical, but it’s interesting nonetheless.
    I don’t necessarily blame your Australian Government for taking the hypocritical road and making as much money as you can while you can from your minerals boom. God knows, in NZ we look at you in awe, and don’t be fooled that most here wouldn’t sell their souls and their environment if there was the flash of dollar signs before their eyes. Indeed the Gov here is already talking about mining the conservation estates to earn an easy billion or two in the short term.

    I see you are trying to take the good fight to the regulars on some of the other threads and things are getting a bit heated now and then! I think the jury will be out for some time on the MWP global event issue, but I’ll take a closer look at the historical CO2 trend now that you have raised it elsewhere.

    Good on you and the others for your prolific contributions and the information shared. I don’t know where you find the time. Try to keep the conversation reasonably civil if you can, for those of us not so fond of the swear words.

    Regards,

  106. #106 Dappledwater
    February 17, 2010

    “in NZ we look at you in awe” -SBN.

    Speak for yourself. That viewpoint is a truly sad. Never mind.

    ” Indeed the Gov here is already talking about mining the conservation estates to earn an easy billion or two in the short term.” – SBN.

    Well given public resistance to the idea, don’t bet on it happening.

  107. #107 crakar
    February 17, 2010

    No wucken forries SBN i will keep you posted as things progress, by the way i have already taken steps to atone for my sins with the promise i never do it again. Should not be too hard just takes a little bit of self control….wish me luck.

    Who would of thought DW is a Kiwi? I hope you realise the sheep jokes were all in jest, actually i read somewhere ther are more cows than kiwis now. I will try and dig up some cow jokes just for a change of pace.

  108. #108 SkepticalbyNature
    February 17, 2010

    Dappledwater,
    I wasn’t speaking for myself; I was speaking of a generalism in the powers-that-be. I think you would accept from the general tone of my posts 103 and 105 that I am against hypocrisy, as shown by the Aus government in relation to their coal exports (among other things), and the NZ government in relation to suggestions of mining the conservation estate, or expanding its exploration and exporting of oil (Our man Brownlee recently said, paraphrasing, “Whatever about climate change, no one is going to stop using fossil fuels anytime soon, so we should take advantage of what we’ve got while we can”). I am starting to disbelieve the ‘100% Pure’ image that NZ tries to promote for itself overseas.
    My ‘awe’ comment was more related to government people, who look across the ditch and see the wealth that the clearly inferior Australians (deliberate dig at you there, Crakar; I’ve not heard any cow jokes myself as yet, but do oblige us if you can) can create just because they can dig a hole in the ground anywhere and strike coal/copper/gold/uranium/add any valuable mineral to the list.
    But I do believe there is a growing number of the general public who would allow the conservation estate to be mined if it put more dollars in their pockets. The reason there has been no firm action on climate change is, in my own limited opinion, as much to do with individual self-interest and selfishness, as it is anything else.

    Regards,

  109. #109 skip
    February 17, 2010

    If the worst AGW scenarios turn out to be correct, the best hope is that we won’t be too late to act–even if it is not too late to act with the best efficiency. I hate to think we might be stiffing our descendants with a brutally difficult job because we were too lazy to do a relatively easy one, but for now the issue has been successfully obfuscated by the denial machine.

  110. #110 crakarpot
    February 17, 2010

    Denial machine? What machine, you lot have everything in your favour, you have the worlds leading authority on board, you have Gov. on board, you have a complacent media on board and you have…sorry had big oil on board as well (see link below)

    http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/big_oil_jumps_from_the_sinking_green_ship/

    And still with all this you have still failed and you claim it is due to the denial machine, you mean to say that i and others like me banging away on a keyboard have the power to grind the great green movement (ggm) to a halt?

    I am with SBN, the ggm was seen as a money making venture by some and now they are jumping off. Look at all the wind turbines in the US that are now but rusting hulks because Barry O ran out of hand out money.

    The insulation fiasco unfolding here in oz, the “lets turn corn into inefficient fuel and cause world food shortages” stupid idea.

    The list goes on.

    You know, the problem here is everyone has seen an oppurtunity to make cash out of this whole thing which is why i often call it a scam, maybe not a scientific scam but a financial scam.

    Skip i asked you a question before about what you would replace our base load power supply with, do you have an answer. I am not trying to bait you here, i am asking because Big Bad Bruising Barry Obama wants to build some nukes (i would be interested in hearing your thoughts on this) and also after speaking with a believer friend of mine who has a green tinge told me something which i found to be horrific, but more on that later.

  111. #111 PaulinMI
    February 17, 2010

    . . . replace our base load power supply . . .

    Indeed, the practical limitation of the AGW solution.

    And, without nuclear, then what?

  112. #112 PaulinMI
    February 17, 2010

    #74
    And Crackhead,

    Why have you got it into your head that the IPCC is some nefarious organisation out of a Dan Brown novel, hell bent on deceptive manipulation using fraudulent data when in fact it is just an organisation that summerises the scientific state of play and by nature is generally highly conservative?

    Posted by: Matt Bennett | March 15, 2009 11:04 PM
    _________________________________________________________

    Reading through the old posts –
    What a difference a year makes.

  113. #113 PaulinMI
    February 17, 2010

    #90 by Skip,
    . . . The poor cannot afford fuel now because we, the rich, price them out.

    Actually, “the rich” have nothing to do with it. High value return on use prices things in, by paying the cost of entry. And price, of course, makes sure the economy uses resources in the most efficient manner. So, in fuel, for example, it is used where it provides a higher return than its cost.

    Good info, btw, on the Lovins piece, #86.

  114. #114 Matt Bennett
    February 18, 2010
  115. #115 PaulinMI
    February 18, 2010
  116. #116 skip
    February 18, 2010

    First of all, what how much “base load” power do we need to replace?

    I tire of hearing about the “crushing costs” of reduced CO2 emissions, because these “costs” will be felt by those who disproportionately use fossil fuels–i.e. the US. If we could satisfy ourselves with smaller cars (and we apparently can’t) and smaller homes (its really not as hard as you think), right off the bat the demand for “base load” power is already diminished.

    Further, there is a blinding contradiction here from people who say, “alternatives like solar, wind, hyrdo, etc. are impractical. We have to use coal, oil, etc.”

    Ok then if they are so bloody impractical then why are we gobbling traditional fossil fuels up to pay for our indulgences (see car and home sizes again) and ignoring the energy future of those who come after it? Lets face it, if you really believe that solar etc is technically impractical as a wholesale replacement for “base load” power (and in the short run I will stipulate it is) we’re stiffing our descendants with an empty gas tank even if we aren’t wrecking their environment.

    Bottom line: If you think *they* can adapt to environmental change, then why can’t *we* adapt to a new energy economy? I have never seen any denier attempt to answer this question directly and it will be interesting to see what ensues at this point.

  117. #117 SkepticalbyNature
    February 18, 2010

    Skip, I think you have hit the nail firmly on the head here. It is reasonable to assume that fossil fuels must be the most economic *current* means of providing base load power because that’s what they are being used for. But eventually fossils will become less economic, either because supply starts to run out, or they become too expensive via carbon legislation. The day when fossils become very expensive relative to other types of energy sources can’t be that far away surely? Let’s say for arguments sake it is 100 years away – are we to believe that there is not now or never will be in the next 100 years a non-carbon cost-competitive energy technology that can provide base load power? Humanity is way too selfish to allow that to happen, isn’t it? It’s not like we’re all going to wait until the day arrives when the oil wells are dry or/and the oil price is $1000-per-barrel and then say, ‘Right, what’s next in line? Oh, nothing! Let chaos ensue!’ Like Skip says, adaptation in some form has to arrive at some time. It’s not going to be a quantum leap; it must be progressive. What is to stop *some* adaptation happening now? Is it so inconceivable that we might all learn to drive smaller, more energy-efficient cars as a starting point, for example? What’s the big deal with progressive implementation of sustainability and efficiency measures??? Are we simply claiming that it is our right to consume as much energy as we choose? Is it a failure of democratic capitalism to compromise for the sake of higher principles?

    Regards,

  118. #118 crakar24
    February 18, 2010

    I tire of hearing about all the doomsday predictions which ultimately end with “we must stop using coal and gas” with not one alternative.

    Of course we could slash our emissions by simply shutting everything down and grinding society to a halt but this may cause other problems so what are we to do?

    We need a viable alternative to avoid these other problems so far i have not seen one.

    For example:

    We have not built a major dam in Australia since 1983 and there is a lot of talk about water security. The answer is to build another dam but the greenies will not let us.

    We could build a hydro electric power station (the only true non CO2 viable option) but that would require us to build a dam!!!!

    Wind power is a flight of fancy, makes a politician look good but in reality they are expensive and hardly ever produce electrickery. The latest fiasco was in Port Lincoln were they built the things on a cliff and after 1 month all the bearings have been destroyed because the wind came from the wrong direction. In Britain during last months bitter freeze wind power supplied ZERO electricity just when it was needed most, in really hot weather the results are the same.

    Solar is a good option unfortunately solar has a couple of problems as well. Firstly they are terribly inefficient, they can only convert 12% of the suns energy which means you need losts of them to produce anything worth while and of course they dont work when the sun dont shine (night time) so we could store the energy in batteries. Of course battery technology has not kept up so you would also need many banks of batteries to store the electricity.

    So we get back to what i said originally what are the viable alternatives?

    Well here is Australia we do have a great big giant lake just sitting there doing almost nothing do you think we could send the water down south using pipes and natural normally dry river beds? Just think we could supply fresh water to the desert dwellers and we could stop roxby downs uranium mine from pumping the great artesian basin dry. we could even flood the salt lakes around Woomera and we might even be able to make a hydro dam out of them.

    Would this work? Could this have a great benefit to the Australian people? Could this extra non CO2 electricity reduce our emissions? I realise that this would be a grand project but thats what humans are good at so why not do it?

    Well the greenies of course wont let it happen.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Argyle

    This sums it up pretty much

    http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/column_greens_smash_your_food_bowl/

    Remember Hansen first began the scaremongering in 1989 thats 21 years ago and what has been done? The short answer is nothing. Oh except that we need to apply a TAX to fix this problem.

  119. #119 skip
    February 18, 2010

    Crakar,

    I’ll get back to you later, mate.

    But, to the forum:

    A little experience I had just this evening picking up a renal car for our imminent trip to San Fran to see some friends (global warming skeptics will appreciate this):

    Being a dutiful American environmentalist, I have only shit cars from 1904, so we have to rent a decent vehicle for our cross-Sierras trip that starts tomorrow. I had Pricelined a “full size” for $20 US per day (a score in itself, I thought), but when I got to Alamo they had run out of my model and had to upgrade me to . . . get this:

    *a brand new Chevrolet Silverada 4X4 extended cab*

    Look, I’ll be the first to say (see my posts above) that we need to be content with smaller cars, etc, but this vehicle is awesome. I won’t have to rent chains in case it snows in the mountains. It has tons of passenger space. Yeah it will have the carbon signature of a small nation, but the way I look at it, I did everything right and am just a victim of circumstance. Right?

    The moral: I understand the attraction of the luxuries of big cars, etc. I’m just saying that, as nice as they are, they are just that–luxuries. If I did *not* get this vehicle, my wife and I could have made it out to San Fran almost as well–not as conveniently, granted–but just as well.

    In the mean time I’ll enjoy driving my Silverada for the next 5 days.

  120. #120 crakar
    February 21, 2010

    What would $20 US be in oz dollars, 22, 23 maybe? Do you know what i could rent for that kind of money here Skip? A scooter and not one of those fancy mechanical ones, no way this would be a self propelled one. For an extra dollar it would come optioned with a bell.

    My advice to you would be stop feeling guily that you and your lovely wife are enjoying a bit of luxury (no doubt she deserves it) and just enjoy your trip.

    Regards

    Yours truly

  121. #121 SkepticalbyNature
    March 2, 2010

    Skip,
    I enjoyed SanFran when I was there some months back. Did you bike across the Golden Gate Bridge? That’s probably a cliched tourist thing to do, but nonetheless it’s smething that is going to stay in my memory bank for a very long time.

    Regards,

  122. #122 skip
    March 17, 2010

    http://money.cnn.com/2010/03/17/news/economy/cap_and_hybrid/index.htm?source=cnn_bin&hpt=Sbin

    The part about progressively *taxing* fossil fuels (however modest the starts now) is something I’ve been harping on for a while.

    Sorry I missed your earlier post SBN. And yes I did ride while I was out there.

  123. #123 PaulinMI
    March 17, 2010

    Skip,
    I agree the one way out is a progressive tax or CAP and Trade with the caveat that the proceeds go to the population.

    Then the solutions will be real and effective. Throwing the proceeds to the government guarantees boondoggle solutions and therefore reliance on fossil fuels until they’re exhausted.

  124. #124 skip
    March 17, 2010

    Yeah, except we’re broke, Paul.

    You and I could probably agree that there is a ton of shit that we can cut but some sort of increased revenue is necessary too. Its yet another non-environmental reason to make policies that address climate change, whether you think climate change is a problem or not.

  125. #125 PaulinMI
    March 17, 2010

    So you don’t want to solve the CO2 emissions problem?

  126. #126 michael
    March 18, 2010

    Hey Skip, Paul and SBN. (and everyone else)
    Do you know that I really appreciate that you all have good grammar, and writing?
    Well I do!
    In fact, pretty much everyone on this blog does.
    It makes for a lovely change from reading a lot of other stuff on the ol’ internet.
    I think it just makes the whole blog much more credible.
    I’ve been absent for a while, but I will keep checkin’ in from time to time.
    I love reading this blog. (thanks Coby)
    Cheers everyone.
    Michael

  127. #127 skip
    March 18, 2010

    What?

    No compliment for Crakar’s diction?

    Sorry Crakar . . . again sometimes its just too easy.

    But I be thankin ya fer them there kind wordses.

  128. #128 skip
    March 18, 2010

    So you don’t want to solve the CO2 emissions problem?

    Of course I do. I’m just saying that a progressive tax on fossils would kill multiple birds with one stone. Have to sell it to the American public, though.

  129. #129 PaulinMI
    March 18, 2010

    Skip,
    I know you do, that was a shot. Sorry.

    Point to be made on my end was to configure the upward cost pressure that leaves the most amount of money in the private sector, so individual choice molds the most useful solution by the minds and actions of millions, vs the central planning effort.

    Same problem solved, much better solution.
    Real value developed in the energy / mobility business.

  130. #130 crakar24
    March 18, 2010

    Are you saying i dont speak very good England Skip? I have to write all sorts of technical documents all the time so i dont bother here too much. Sorry if i have offended.

    It has been said that when K Rudds 5% CO2 reduction scheme (ETS) passes the senate and becomes law the Victorian coal fired power stations will shut down.

    So Skip do you know of an alternative (viable not fantasy) to coal and gas?

    I have asked this question before which of course i assumed you have ignored because there is no viable alternative. In light of recent statements it maybe possible you have not responded because you cannot follow my illiterate ramblings.

    So here it is in my best Queens english. I we are to introduce a TAX scheme to encourage the reduction of fossil fuel use that will cause power stations to be forcibly shutdown, what do you propose we replace the fossil fuel energy with?

  131. #131 crakar24
    March 18, 2010

    Sorry that should read “If”

    “I we are to introduce”

    Sorry Skip.

  132. #132 mandas
    March 18, 2010

    crakar

    Not sure where you get the information about the Victorian power stations being forced to close under the ETS. Sounds very much like a power company beat-up to me. Perhaps you could provide a link or some evidence?

  133. #133 PaulinMI
    March 18, 2010

    Crakar,
    Great point. TAX and the government is flush. Costs high to the public and not enough energy.

    When the TAX is returned to the people, they will be able to afford the hikes in price so energy will come on line as needed. BUT, as other sources which are now cheaper (clean and non-taxed) come on line, people will gravitate to the solutions providing the best value. Many solutions, many choices, the best will survive. And no real subsidy, just sort of a rigged market.

    So let’s say Joe sixpack is now paying 100 a month for home electric and due to the TAX it goes up to 1000, but now getting back 900 (paid to the people) due to the TAX on the local coal burner.

    All are even, utility and user.
    – Utility pays 900 TAX to supply Joe with what he needs and cost to produce is 100.
    – Joe is used to paying 100, but now pays 1000, but receives the 900 (his share as a citizen of national number), instead of his government.

    a) what will be Joe’s incentive to conserve? Higher or lower than before?

    b) what will be Joe’s incentive to hook up to the new wind farm down the street, whose real cost bill is 300/month? (Note: 3x real coal cost in this example)

    c) with a real market and willing customers, how many alt energy sources may pop up?

    As the technologies mature and coal becomes less used, Joe gets less than his original 900, but it goes down as real value from the new sectors goes up. And some years in the future, there sits Joe at 100 a month, just like the old days, but no CO2. And no endless subsidies to go on after nothing works right. The business man is on the hook to put in a profitable operation. And the guy getting hurt – of course the coal industry, but in a time horizon that is predictable.

  134. #134 coby
    March 18, 2010

    Hi Paul,

    In your scenario Joe will have no incentive to conserve or to switch. However, his neighbour, Joanne will talk to Joe and given the fact that her bill went up from 200/month to 2000$/month and the same 900$ rebate only brought her cost down to 1100/month, she will make an effort to lower her costs. One way might be to sign up for that wind power that only costs 600/month. Last year it was 800/month for her usage requirements and the company is predicting that with the influx of customer demand it will be able to further lower its prices next year, so Joanne is calculating that without any conservation efforts, she may one day get back close to the golden age of “who cares” cheap oil energy expenses.

    In the meantime, she might just put those double paned windows in like Joe did 5 years ago.

    As illustraion, I used your numbers, Paul, but I think 10x cost increase for wind is probably just a tad alarmist.

  135. #135 PaulinMI
    March 18, 2010

    Coby,
    Joe will lower his bill 700 by going to wind, but keep receiving his share of the TAX, so quite an incentive.

    [You see in my scheme each person gets to “use” or be paid for an equal share of CO2. High users will have higher incentive to lower use, but even a low user (below 100 traditional cost) will not want to pay 10x normal energy cost.]

    Yes, Joanne will have a bigger incentive. Good.

    Wind increase was 3x coal in my example, and I don’t know that is near the real number, just an example.

    While I appreciate your Stab at conservation for its own merits, it simply only works with profit incentive.
    I think the goal here is to get to “cheap energy”, but CO2 free. That drives standard of living.

  136. #136 crakar24
    March 18, 2010

    To Paul and Coby,

    This is how it will work (in Australia), the Gov. will require the coal power companies to pay a tax whenever they produce CO2. Therefore it will cost them more to produce the same product. As the cost of power soars people will use less power because as Skip said somewhere “we are broke”. The gov will be inundated with money based on this new tax, this money will be returned to some of the people.

    It is estimated that our electricity bills will go up by $600 (treasury modelling on this has not been produced, i wonder why) anyway the low income earners will recieve $900 in compensation this is nothing more than a vote grab and the middle and high income earners will get nothing.

    This link is more for Mandas

    http://www.theage.com.au/national/brumby-warned-of-power-shortage-20091015-gz5w.html

    But anyone can see the ETS will cause the shut down of power stations.

    So lets say Joe (a middle to high income earner)see his power bills soar under an ETS has no choice but to reduce his power consumption. He decides to “go green” even though it is a bit more expensive and will only get bigger as Gov. subsidies are removed. Coal fired energy shuts down as the costs are too high to run and maintain the plant. Joe now experiences energy blackouts daily as wind etc cannot produce the baseload power required. In the end his power costs him more and he gets less.

    Joanne, a single mother of seven from Elizabeth (Mandas will get it)on the other hand gets an extra $300 to go on a spending spree of booze and drugs, she is not even aware of the power blackouts as she drifts in and out of a drug induced stupor.

    The problem with some of you is that you are idealists and dream of a world something like the movie avatar. Now dont get me wrong there is no sin in being an idealist you just need some realists like me around to add balance.

    Take wind power for example, it is a pipe dream, a fantasy and nothing more. Sure it has its place in remote localities far away from the main grid but thats it, it will never be able to replace base load coal and gas.

    Solar is no different, except solar has one advantage. Solar photo voltaic cells currently convert only 12% of solar energy but with a bit of time and money i am sure this could change to almost 100%.

    Are we doing this? No of course not all we are doing is trying to tax the Joe six packs of the world to make cash under the guise of reducing our CO2 levels and when push comes to shove and the coal stations shut down they will simply be given another Gov. subsidy to keep going.

    Please tell me how ETS or CPRS in any form will reduce CO2 levels.

  137. #137 PaulinMI
    March 18, 2010

    Crakar,

    Beautiful, f$%^ing, beautiful.
    (to paraphrase little Johnny)

    And THAT is the reason NONE of the money can go to the government, but to the people, evenly distributed without political disturbance.

  138. #138 mandas
    March 18, 2010

    crakar (and PaulinMI)

    In post #130, you said this:
    “….It has been said that when K Rudds 5% CO2 reduction scheme (ETS) passes the senate and becomes law the Victorian coal fired power stations will shut down….”

    Of course, I challenged you to produce the evidence, and you gave a link to a newspaper article above. Of course, a newspaper article is hardly evidence, but let’s just leave that aside for the moment. Of course, I read the link, and discovered it actually said this:

    “….Victoria could face widespread power disruptions due to the closure of two of its four brown coal power stations in the next decade as Australia reduces its greenhouse gas emissions, according to high-level advice before the State Government…..The scenario, one of several possibilities outlined in confidential cabinet documents obtained by The Age, is consistent with a campaign by power generators to win more compensation under the Federal Government’s emissions trading scheme….”

    “….Several energy analysts challenged the second scenario and said gas-fired plants could be built to replace coal inside four years. They warned the Government’s advice was being influenced by electricity generators’ lobbying. ”They have got these guys bluffed,” one said….”

    “….Mr Mountain said Hazelwood, built in 1964, had been due to shut in 2000 before it was privatised by the Kennett government…”

    “….The documents estimate the winding down of old technology could cut in half the use of coal-fired power over the next decade. As revealed in The Age this week, this could coincide with development of a coal export industry….Coal would be replaced by gas-fired power – with about 25 per cent of the emissions of brown coal – and an increase in energy imported from other states. Wind power will increase, with about 1200 turbines spread across the state’s central and south-west regions….”

    So, it would appear there are a number of possibilities, of which this is just one; the industry is lobbying the Government for more money by threatening that 2 stations MIGHT close, and one of those was due to close in 2000 anyway and is considered the dirtiest in the country. Not only that, they could be easily replaced by cleaner, more efficient stations.

    Don’t you think you are exaggerating just a LITTLE there craker? Of course, you go on to state:

    “…It is estimated that our electricity bills will go up by $600 (treasury modelling on this has not been produced, I wonder why)…”

    And ‘it is estimated’….. by who? Evidence my dear crakar, evidence.

    Oh, by the way, under the ETS companies are NOT required to pay a tax whenever they produce CO2. They are required to have a permit to produce CO2, and they can buy those on the market from whoever is willing to sell to them. That’s why it is called ‘cap and trade’. The Government sets the limit of CO2 emissions (ie the cap) and companies trade for the right to emit (ie trade). I would have thought PaulinMI would be in favour of a market driven mechanism like that.

  139. #139 PaulinMI
    March 18, 2010

    “The Government sets the limit of CO2 emissions (ie the cap) and companies trade for the right to emit (ie trade). I would have thought PaulinMI would be in favour of a market driven mechanism like that.”

    Basically, I am, as long as the citizens are the original owners of the permits.
    But I like my set up better, because the pace of the reduction of CO2 will go as fast as technology can allow, yet the cash incentives still drive conservation efforts. Rather than a gov’t set cap.

  140. #140 skip
    March 19, 2010

    I would say that, since its impossible to determine what technology at its current level of progress would allow and at what rate, use incentives — in my view, graduated taxes on fossil fuels–to give the incentive for technological innovation a kick in the ass.

    This is one those areas where I find myself actually leaning toward a pro-capitalistic/free-enterprise interpretation of the problem–just not in the way most ideological conservatives would think. Given a set of constraints and incentives, I have full faith in American engineering talent to solve this problem given (1) some time (thus you use graduated taxes, not a sudden massive imposition) and (2) a reason (the realization that fossil fuels are a loser in the long run for reasons beyond the environment.)

    We can argue about distribution of the revenue later.

  141. #141 SkepticalbyNature
    March 19, 2010

    PaulinMI,
    Why would the tax going back to the citizens, or the citizens owning the CO2 permits, compel those same citizens to use less fossil fuel-based energy and/or swap to more green forms of production? I ask out of ignorance, not because I necessarily disbelieve your statements.

    Also, to the general forum, is there a useful link that anyone can point me to that shows what we all use our fossil fuels for, i.e. what proportion is for electricity generation, how much for cars, how much for air travel, how much for public transport, etc?

    I do tend to agree with Skip that we have to start somewhere and conservation might be as good a place as any. But I also agree with Crakar that transferring the electricity baseload away from fossils anytime soon is akin to a pipe dream. Now, replacing coal-fired stations with more efficient gas-fired ones, and consequently lowering the CO2 burden by a significant amount, is something I could support. If a government busied itself to this end, it might gain some credibility.

    Ultimately, my position is that anthropogenic fossil-fuel-caused climate change is undeniably real, but only free market democratic capitalism has any chance of solving the problem while maintaining the standard of living that not only we enjoy, but the standard we (hopefully) wish for those in less fortunate societies. Any government policies that do not enable the market to efficiently determine the solution could be very damaging to us economically and ecologically.

    Regards,

  142. #142 crakar24
    March 19, 2010

    Interesting observation on wind farms, over the past two weeks i have driven up and back from Woomera twice. This means i have passed some large wind farms 4 times.

    On two occaisions the wind mills were turning which i assume means they were generating electricity. However on the two other occaisions they were not because there was no wind.

    I will side with Paul on this on this.

    Any notion that by taxing CO2, this reminds me (post 138)Mandas yes it is a tax there are many forms of tax and these are, levies, stamp duties, registrations, Licences, excise, capital gains, GST and yes permits.

    So as i was saying any notion that if you simply tax something to force people to use less is a stupid notion and dont forget we are not just talking about electricity here.

    If you apply a tax or permit to the cost of producing electricity then this tax will be passed on in every product we buy. If it costs more to make a product due to this tax then that product will cost more to buy. So to simply state ” we will tax electricty to make people use less” is absurd.

    In fact there are manufacturers that will be hit with increasing electricity costs but dont have consumers to pass on the rise in costs so what happens to them? Do they simple go broke?

    There must be a better way.

  143. #143 PaulinMI
    March 20, 2010

    “Why would the tax going back to the citizens, or the citizens owning the CO2 permits, compel those same citizens to use less fossil fuel-based energy and/or swap to more green forms of production? I ask out of ignorance, not because I necessarily disbelieve your statements.”
    =================================================

    1] They have to pay the now outlandishly high cost of fossil fuel service because of the tax.

    2] Yes, they would be getting the $$ back from sales of their permits, but this is a separate transaction. They may keep it if they are able, therefore the incentive exists to switch to a lower cost (lower CO2) source.

    The whole point of this was to make real market efforts the solution and keep government boondoggles, central planning, endless subsidies, wealth confiscation and politics out of the equation.

    Note on day one, no one is really being taxed or less well off, but the huge incentive is there, unlike a true tax scheme where the g’ment takes and reduces wealth in the private sector.

    As it moves along the g’ment may up the $$ per CO2 to keep the incentive and the only ones hurt are the stragglers to conserve or change source or really high value use of CO2 emissions.

    This was sort of a quick thought experiment for me, so certainly some loopholes exist.

  144. #144 GFW
    March 20, 2010

    I previously gave you (Paul) some flack for what I perceived as an overly-libertarian stance, but I have no objection to what you’re saying here. Pricing in the true cost of carbon and rebating the proceeds evenly per capita would correct the current market failure, creating level-playing field incentives for alternatives. Of course it will be difficult and controversial even to calculate the true cost of carbon. Middle-of-the-road climate models, plus a realistic look at how much of our military expenditure is related to oil security would indicate a rather high price.

    I just want to go a *little* further because the fossil fuel companies have a built-up advantage in scale, and in all the profits they’ve raked in while carbon was benefiting from externalizing costs. I agree that it’s difficult to figure out ways to subsidize or promote alternatives without introducing distortions. So here’s a modest proposal. Google drove vans around the entire county to create StreetView. How about the government does the same thing, except at night, in cold weather, slower and more high-tech – creating a thermograph of every building in the country. And then they made those thermographs available online. Then everyone would know where best to spend on improvements – windows for some, attics for others, etc. A similar aerial survey on hot sunny days would reveal who would benefit from painting their roof white or installing solar heating or panels.

  145. #145 skip
    March 20, 2010

    The whole, point, Crakar, is that its not just making energy more expensive, its creating an alternative set of incentives that would move toward a reduced fossil fuel load on the total grid. In the *long run*, power is *less* expensive.

    And GFW nails it that the “cheapness” (of at least oil) is the result of the oil companies getting the security services of the US military for free. (I’m pulling numbers out of my ass at this point but I roughly recall that we would have to double existing gas taxes to cover the cost of our military presence in the middle east.)

    And SBN and Crakar, I’m not accusing you of being this disingenuous, but the “fuel taxes hurt the poor” argument just irks me. It is true that a fossil fuel tax in the West would be regressive in the sense that folks who spend a larger portion of their budget on energy (the lower and middle classes) would feel it the most, but the reason the truly poor of the world don’t have access to this energy now is that we, the rich, price them out.

    And for what? Get out of the sheep pens for a month and come to Reno–I’ll put you boys up. We’ll take a cruise down Interstate 80 and I’ll *show* you how “our current lifestyle” expresses itself in the US–and it ain’t to help the poor. Its RVs, two-ton muscle trucks, and hummers.

  146. #146 PaulinMI
    March 20, 2010

    “we, the rich, price them out”

    Isn’t that the way with everything?
    Except, maybe, bowling.

    And, of course, the prices can’t go to zero, because there is a point at which no transaction would occur.

  147. #147 skip
    March 21, 2010

    With any limited commodity on which there is a price tag, I suppose it is. My point is not that this is a revelation, but that is *obvious*, and that opponents of carbon fuel taxes should quit using the poor as human shields to protect what is a lifestyle preference for themselves.

  148. #148 crakar24
    March 21, 2010

    Skip you said

    “The whole, point, Crakar, is that its not just making energy more expensive, its creating an alternative set of incentives that would move toward a reduced fossil fuel load on the total grid. In the *long run*, power is *less* expensive.”

    Skip i understand what you are saying and in principle i agree with you, but this is where idealism and realism as mentioned earlier come into play.

    Take Australia as an example, we have one of the largest uranium reserves in the world, we mine and process the uranium and sell it to countries that have signed the nuclear non proliferation treaty (NNPT) well except of course to India who refuses to sign it and we dont sell it to Iran who have signed it. We do not have nookular bombs and we do not want nuclear power and we dont want a nuclear waste facility. Any gov that tries to build a nuclear power plant would be kicked out of office before their term ends.

    We have an abundance of coal and gas which we are quite happy to sell to the highest bidder in fact the only reason why Australia was 1 of 2 countries to survive the GFC was because of our minerals export to China etc.

    At present the mining industry is heavily subsidised by the gov because the gov understand that Australias properity is directly linked to it.

    So in the end the Rudd gov can increase the costs of the coal and gas industry through permits but they have no intentions of shutting the export industry down. In other words with no hope of building nuke power coal and gas will be around for many, many years to come.

    In other words there is no alternative set of incentives that would move toward a reduced fossil fuel load.

    We will end up with the gov creating permits which they will sell to the companies, this will force the price of everything up and the consumer will pay for it all.

    The permits will be traded by Al Gore and others in a stock exchange type environment, the price of the permits will go up as the amount of permits are decreased and also due to normal market pressures. In other words the most lucrative ponzi scheme ever invented.

    The people that make the money are the Al Gores, the coal and gas industry and the gov. The people that have to pay for all of this are the people of Australia as they patiently await an apparently cheaper green alternative.

    What is this greener, cheaper, alternative Skip?

    Wind?, Solar?, Geothermal? Nuclear?

    Before you can talk about an alternative you need to have.

  149. #149 SkepticalbyNature
    March 21, 2010

    Skip,
    I think you are maybe slightly misrepresenting what was said earlier. I have mentioned in previous comments that I have no issue with conservation as a useful first step, even if that leads to a lessening of our (i.e. rich 1st world) standard of living. I think that you would be with me when I say that a lessening of our living standard need not be the same as a lowering of that living standard. But there are two points that I think still need to be made as part of the debate:
    1) Conservation can only go so far in reducing the amount of baseload generation that is required, but will do little for actually transferring the need for that baseload away from coal- and gas-fired electricity generation. Currently, and for the most part, alternate energy production can only support the thermal baseload requirement, not replace it to any useful extent.
    2) There is at least an amount of discussion (is it nought but scaremongering?) that potential climate change policies to be implemented by world governments include those measures that could introduce a large negative shock to the global economy. Such a shock could not only significantly lower (not lessen) our standard of living, but even more seriously impact on developing nations. I won’t particularly be in favour of any measures that potentially add to the already miserable existence of the majority of the global population.
    For me, it’s a question of knowing what measures can be put in place to effectively reduce the demand for fossil-based electricity/consumption (i.e. mixture of conservation and ‘taxes’), while best promoting the development of greener forms of technology. However, I am currently unconvinced that there is anything on the horizon that is going to fully take the place of fossil-based electricity generation, while remaining both reliable and reasonably affordable (I think this is basically Crakar’s point).

    Regards,

  150. #150 PaulinMI
    March 22, 2010

    Skip,
    To your point, poor as shields, yes, agreed.

    To Crakar’s point,
    A tax with no alternate solution is a wealth grab by the government, with no appreciable change in CO2.
    ==================================================

    A rebate to the individuals as “owner’s of CO2 rights” protects the individuals earnings while providing high incentive for alternate, lower CO2 solutions.

  151. #151 skip
    March 22, 2010

    This is an amazing chain of reasoning: Australia subsidizes its mining industry. Even if you tax carbon in Oz it will still be sold overseas. Therefore:

    I . . . there is no alternative set of incentives that would move toward a reduced fossil fuel load.

    Unless you *taxed* the exports. If you’re saying its politically infeasible fine but thats a different argument. The whole reason I argue the point is that I *trying* to make it politically feasible. You can’t argue:

    “Taxes are a bad policy.”

    “Why?”

    “People won’t like it.”

    “Why?”

    “Because its bad policy.”

    To SBN:

    Currently, and for the most part, alternate energy production can only support the thermal baseload requirement, not replace it to any useful extent.

    This is why you tax carbon-based fuels *gradually.*

    This again, is on Skip’s Master List of Questions Deniers Never Answer Directly:

    If you believe we can adapt to climate change, why can’t we adapt to reduced fossil fuel use–through some combination of conservation and existing/future alternatives?

    In my experience no one ever answers this question. The reason is that it blindsides people think the “we can adapt to climate change” argument is a their silver bullet against action.

  152. #152 crakar24
    March 22, 2010

    Skip you still dont get it.

    Here is a scenario.

    Lets say we have a method of producing base load energy that is emission free and we decide to build this plant near the coal and gas plants we have now with a view to switch over when the new plant is built.

    Like all new plants it will cost a lot of money to build so who pays for it? In this case we are moving into a cleaner energy source so it is decided that the user/consumer will pay.

    They do this by applying a tax to CO2 emissions and pass this cost onto the consumer. The increased revenue is used to build the new green base load energy plant. Once the plant is built they shutdown the old one and begin producing clean green energy. As there are no CO2 emissions there is no need for a tax anymore and our CO2 emissions have been greatly reduced, everyone’s a winner.

    There is one problem with this scenario Skip, can you see it? Thats right there is no clean green alternative is there.

    What you seem to be subscribing to is that we all pay a tax on CO2 emission energy, this tax is supposed to create incentives, incentives for who, for us? To do what? Use less energy?

    It will not create incentives for companies as i said whilst there is coal and gas in the ground we will dig it up and sell/use it. The Oz gov has done nothing and will do nothing to discourage this practice.

    So whilst you and I pay an extra tax on energy Al Gore and his friends will be raking it in with there permit schemes. Governments will be raking in a tax to spend where they see fit. Do you honestly expect this course of action will reduce our dependency on fossil fuels?

    I propose we stop spending billions on the CO2 inquisition, after all the science is settled and we seriously look into a viable long term alternative.

    One alternative we have right now is hydro power, we can build dams and we can generate electricty via this method right now as we speak, of thats right our governments especially here in Oz have been taken over by the green environmental movement and we cant build anymore dams so there goes that idea.

    Why dont we invest money into R&D of nuclear fussion?

    We dont do this because we (government) dont want to, we make too much money they way things are and it is easy to just tax the consumer in the name of fighting global warming.

  153. #153 skip
    March 22, 2010

    Well, fair enough Crakar.

    I don’t know enough about alternative technologies to say, “This here is the shit thats going to solve it all.” Nor can I claim to understand what is going on in Oz that so animates your concern about fossil fuel taxes.

    But here is what I *do* know:

    Fossil fuels *will* begin to run dry *eventually*. *Someone*–whether us or a future generation–will have to learn to live without them. The best evidence suggests we are near, at, or even beyond peak oil. In the US, there is talk that we might have coals reserves for a century at current levels of use, but its a filthy fuel–big not just in carbon but a number of other pollutants of concern that emerge not just with burning but mining.

    You can ask the rhetorical question all you want: “How will we match current base load with alternatives?” but guess what: *Somebody* will one day have to. There is no way around that.

    Nuclear might be part of the answer, but it also is a long run loser because uranium/plutonium are also finite substances. (I read in the Wilson Quarterly a while ago that we might have a century’s worth of accessible ore left for practical extraction and use.)

    I think innovation in solar (and the admittedly troubling problem of storage) and moving toward electricity-based transportation is a key strategy. I’m open to new ideas but this is the key:

    However bad global warming is, these adjustments have to, at some point, be made *anyway*. There is no escaping it. Someday humanity will need something other than fossil fuels. Its a mathematical certainty. How does it makes sense to pass off *both* an environmental problem *and* an energy shortage problem on our descendants?

  154. #154 crakar24
    March 22, 2010

    I could not agree more Skip, someday in the future we will run out of coal etc.

    What myself and Paul are saying is that increasing the cost of energy so that Al Gore and friends can make large sums of money will do nothing to solve the problems of which you speak of.

    Maybe you can explain in detail how Al Gore getting rich will solve the worlds future energy problems?

  155. #155 skip
    March 22, 2010

    The Al Gore straw man.

    Crakar, this is the classic Denier Shuffle. Deniers, when in doubt, retreat to this, among a handful of other fall backs.

    “It will make AG rich, and we all know what an asshole he is, so acting on climate change is a bad idea.”

  156. #156 mandas
    March 22, 2010

    crakar

    Not sure where you get the idea that we can use hydro power here in Australia – especially in South Australia where we both live. Maybe you could explain what river you would dam and where you would build it.

    For those of you not in the know, the topography of South Australia resembles that of a pool table, and the one river of any significance that flows through the state is running out of water.

    Nuclear fusion? Are you serious?

    Maybe while you are up in Woomera you can go for a drive and check this out:

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/03/08/2839493.htm

  157. #157 crakar24
    March 23, 2010

    Skip you crap on about utopian pipe dreams but the facts still remain.

    The facts are we have no viable alternative to coal and gas at the moment.

    The facts are that Al Gore will get rich from any stupid carbon trading scheme, that is a fact. Now my question which you ONCE AGAIN have failed to answer was how is AG getting rich going to solve the worlds energy problems?

    As you only answer questions that suit you i will answer, AG will not solve the worlds problems just get rich and you can cry all you like and call me names and make things up but that is a fact Skippy my boy.

    Rather than bring in a scheme which makes the select few rich and allows us to continue to use coal for many years to come and not lower CO2 emissions one iota why dont we pour money not into junkets for the rich and famous but into R&D for newer technologies.

    Mandas,

    Thankyou for the link, this site is in the sth east so a long way from where i am, the one that is near here was an abject failure as the well casings cracked. The site for the link you supplied is still in its infancy so we will see if it suffers from the same problems. This type of energy does have possibilities.

    Well Mandas we could build dams in most states to produce electricity, mind you Lake Hart and Lake Gardiner could be filled with water from Lake Argyle maybe a Hydro generator could be set up there.

    And what is wrong with fusion?

    Here is one of many sites that discuss this very possibility.

    http://www.zdnet.com.au/nuclear-fusion-becomes-economic-reality-339285739.htm?omnRef=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com.au%2Fsearch%3Fhl%3Den%26q%3Dnuclear%2Bfusion%2Breactor%26meta%3Dcr%253DcountryAU%26aq%3D0%26aqi%3Dg10%26aql%3D%26oq%3Dnuclear%2Bfusion%26gs_rfai%3D

    Jeez thats a long link isnt it.

    The launch went OK

    http://www.news.com.au/breaking-news/woomera-hosts-hifire-hypersonic-test-flight/story-e6frfku0-1225714810041

  158. #158 mandas
    March 23, 2010

    crakar

    Two things. Firstly, sorry to butt into a potentially private argument between you and skip, but I just had to say something about this statement:

    “….The facts are that Al Gore will get rich from any stupid carbon trading scheme, that is a fact. Now my question which you ONCE AGAIN have failed to answer was how is AG getting rich going to solve the worlds energy problems?…”

    That is a shocking logical fallacy. Will Al Gore get rich from carbon trading? I don’t know and I don’t care. But it is the second part of your quote is just plain stupid and is logically ridiculous. Al Gore getting rich will not solve climate change, but then again no-one is suggesting that it will. Al Gore getting rich is NOT THE SOLUTION TO CLIMATE CHANGE, but it may well be a side effect of the solution. The fact that he (or anyone else for that matter) may profit from it does not make the solution any less valid. A lot of people undoubtably will get rich, just as people get rich from selling fossil fuels, and some people will get rich from solar or wind power, or….. anything really.

    This fascination with Al Gore has to stop. He is nothing more or less than a failed politician. He is not a climate scientist, and what he says or does is completely irrelevant to any discussion on the issue. If you want to debate the science, then let’s do that. If you want to debate the merits of cap-and-trade, vs direct action, vs carbon taxes, then let’s do that as well. But while the fact that some proponents of a particular scheme will profit from it might mean that their opinions should be taken with a huge grain of salt, it doesn’t change the efficacy or otherwise of the scheme itself. You are just attempting to divert the discussion from the real issue, because you don’t appear to have any rational arguments to put forward.

    And for my second point I apologise about the link on geothermal power in the south-east. I meant to provide a link to the scheme in the Cooper’s Basin (there are a lot of projects in this state, and the Government is investing a lot into developing the technology). So here is some information on several projects:

    http://www.pir.sa.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/81327/203787_geothermal_web.pdf

  159. #159 skip
    March 23, 2010

    Skip you crap on about utopian pipe dreams . . .

    When?

    The facts are we have no viable alternative to coal and gas at the moment.

    At current rates of consumption and technological factors, agreed. So change that. Conserve, adapt, and invent our way out of it. Nothing utopian.

    The facts are that Al Gore will get rich from any stupid carbon trading scheme, that is a fact.

    Even assuming this is true, so what?

    Now my question which you ONCE AGAIN have failed to answer was how is AG getting rich going to solve the worlds energy problems?

    Incoherent question, since I never suggested enriching him would do such a thing. Crakar, you just don’t understand how to argue a point. But again . . . narratives.

    you can cry all you like and call me names and make things up but that is a fact Skippy my boy.

    How many times have I called you a name on this forum? Document, please.

    How many times have you called me one?

    Crakar, are you having an “episode”?

  160. #160 mandas
    March 23, 2010

    And the reason for my comments regarding nuclear fusion was that there is no prospect for it to have any economically practical applications for the forseeable future. So you appear to be supporting something that doesn’t work, yet you are disparaging about things which DO have practical applications for reducing our relianc on fossil fuels.

    Solar and wind power may not be the sole solutions, but by including them in the energy mix they will reduce the power generation requirements from coal and gas plants. Add geothermal power , and you can almost eliminate fossil fuels all together. Why would you oppose that?

    Fusion may be the long term solution for our energy requirements, but it has an extremely long way to go before being practical. Even if these pilot plants were to produce energy (and at the moment the input energy is higher than the output energy), the costs are off the scale. And isn’t energy cost something that you have been going on about?

  161. #161 crakar24
    March 23, 2010

    I only read half your post Mandas, i strongly suggest you revisit previous posts to understand why i stopped. I could ask you the same question i asked Skip but of course you like him will fail to answer. So i will firstly pose the question and then answer the obvious for you.

    The scheme as it is now will see the following occur:

    The KRudd gov will increase the cost of energy via a permit system. This system will create a stock exchange environment where Al Gore and others will profit handsomely from trading in said permits. Essentially there will be a price put on the cost of producing CO2, this cost will be fixed at first for two years and then the cost will be set by the market ie Al Gore and his fellow investors.

    The profits made by Al Gore and others will be made via the extra costs imposed on the public by the energy generation companies.

    So in the end Al Gore and others make money, the energy generation companies profit essentially remians the same and we the people are taxed even more.

    For old times sake i will ask again, how is this system going to reduce our CO2 emissions?

    Unless i have missed something the obvious answer to this question is it will not. If you or Skip beleive it will then please explain how.

    THe next question to ask is if this system will not reduce our CO2 emissions then why is the gov so determined to legislate it? The answer to this is also obvious, the gov have no intentions of crippling our coal and gas industries because it is the back bone of our export economy.

    I could understand it if the gov was applying a tax to our energy producers thus a tax on us if ALL PROFITS stayed in the country and was used to research and developed alternative energies. At least then there would be a point to it all. In effect we pay for the R&D performed by the gov that way all developments made by the gov are owned by the people. If sufficient developments are made the gov could then sell the technology to other countries and we could get some of our money back.

    The current system does not fund this R&D word but simply lines the pockets of Al Gore and others.

  162. #162 mandas
    March 23, 2010

    crakar

    Well done – you read half my post before you decided to comment on it. That’s more than you normally read – you never read ANY science papers before you form an opinion on them. I guess that’s not a real problem, since the opinions you form are never really your own opinions anyway, just cut-and-pastes from someone else’s websites. Normally morons like Joanne Nova.

    But since you asked me a question, I will actually answer it for you. I won’t comment on your rant re Al Gore – I have already addressed that in the second part of the post that you only read half of. So I will just concern myself with your question, which appears to be:

    “….how is this system going to reduce our CO2 emissions?…”

    I assume you mean the cap and trade system. Before I answer though, I have to ask, do you REALLY want to know the answer to your question, or are you just trying to make an argumentative point. Because if you do want to know, I suggest you read the Garnaut Report; he answers your questions a hell of a lot better than we can. I will provide you a link below. And here is a quote from the report:

    ‘….The market would establish a forward price for permits, rising from the price at a rate of interest corresponding to alternative investments available to holders of permits. This is because investors will be choosing between alternative investments, with an emissions
    permit being one possible investment. Investors will assess whether the long term value of holding an emissions permit is higher or lower than the return from an alternative investment. This leads to selling or buying of emissions permits until a forward price curve emerges that causes the expected return from holding a permit to be equivalent to that on alternative investments. Thus the forward price tracks up at a rate determined by the opportunity cost of capital….”

    In other words, the idea behind it is that it places a price on carbon emissions. Anyone who wants to emmit CO2 – eg a coal fired power station company – must pay for the privilege by purchasing a permit. This raises the price of ‘dirty’ energy, and makes clean energy more cost comparable (since they don’t have to buy permits). Market forces then mean that companies will start producing clean energy rather than dirty energy, because there are greater profits to be had in that sector for investors and there is greater demand from the consumer who doesn’t want to pay the additional costs associated with dirty energy permits. Despite your obvious concerns with the profits made by speculators, this actually assists to drive companies towards cleaner energy technologies. Speculator profits will drive up the price of the permits, which makes them more expensive, and clean energy options will become even more cost competitive.

    See, simple really. What part of that don’t you understand?

    But please don’t take my word for it. I make no claims to being an economist, and I make no claims of support or rejection of the concepts behind an ETS. How about, instead of forming an opinion based on a complete ignorance of the subject, you do something that I have been urging you to do time after time after time after time. DO SOME RESEARCH!!!!!

    Here is the link to the Interim Garnaut Report. If you REALLY want to want to know, read it! Then come back and tell us all what you think – based on an informed opinion rather than just your own prejudices against the current government.

    http://www.garnautreview.org.au/CA25734E0016A131/WebObj/GarnautClimateChangeReviewInterimReport-Feb08/$File/Garnaut%20Climate%20Change%20Review%20Interim%20Report%20-%20Feb%2008.pdf

  163. #163 skip
    March 24, 2010

    Crakar:

    I was never defending the current Australian proposal. I was defending graduated carbon taxes. I was pointing out the fallacy of your reasoning.

    I have tried to defend your intellect on this forum and you repay me thus . . .

    Please assure me that you now understand that no one is saying enriching Al Gore is the solution to any problem–environmental or otherwise.

    No one is saying Al

  164. #164 skip
    March 24, 2010

    One collective problem we are all having here is that most of us, including me, are talking out our asses.

    I honestly don’t know the literature on the “costs” of shifting to renewables. I know it is hotly contested. Our leading coal exec here in the states–who is not an AGW denier–says there is no way without coal and that the solution is massive investment in sequestration. My gut reaction is (1) consider the source; (2) spend the same money on shifting to alternatives–for example, giving tax credits for converting cars to electrical and no-interest loans to home-owners who install solar panels in high-sun areas like . . . (ok its self serving but . . . ) Northern Nevada.

    I stand by my one bias for now: If you gradually tweak the incentives by a graduated tax on fossil fuels eventually consumers and industry will figure it out–and if Al Gore gets rich I don’t give a shit either way.

  165. #165 crakar24
    March 24, 2010

    You constantly call me a denier on every subject we touch and the strawman and narratives accusations follow. I am at a loss as to why you do this.

    This was the reference to calling me names.

    If you have taken offence to my recent post(s) then i humbly apologise it was not my intent to do so.

  166. #166 crakar24
    March 24, 2010

    Skip post 164,

    I think you should give yourself/us more credit, we all have a basic understanding of the situation but disagree on how to achieve the outcome and you should give a shit that Al Gore and others stands to make billions.

    I only use Al as an example as he is the only one who will make billions that i know by name, there are many more like him.

    Mandas throws himself to the mercy of the Garnaut report and does a pretty good job of summarising how the system will work. Where he falls down is in his accusations that i dont do my home work.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/03/24/2855176.htm

    http://www.australiancoal.com.au/resources.ashx/Publications/38/Publication/A3C9769373D6A8A7C7BF03F36284117C/BLACK_COAL_AUSTRALIA_160909.pdf

    These two links go some way to detail the amount of gas and coal Australia exports every year, a simple google search will show the massive scale of the export industry.

    Now Mandas beleives via Garnaut that alternative energy is very expensive so by simply increasing the costs of coal, gas and oil alternative energy will become cheaper and therefore no one will bother with coal and gas anymore. We will simply switch over to alternative clean, green and lean energy because it is now cheaper than coal and gas. In fact this clean energy is no cheaper than before but cheaper than a highly taxed fossil fuel source.

    This is where reality and fantasy collide, what Mandas beleives will not happen for two reasons.

    1, I get tired of asking this but what is this “cheaper” energy? Where is it and when will it arrive?

    Suppose there is no alternative and all we are left with is higher energy costs due to a tax.

    2, As you can see by the links above we have just signed a deal to export billions of dollars worth of LNG, this deal will last for decades to come. We are also one of the highest coal exporters in the world and have no plans to stop.

    Summary

    This new tax plan will simply make Al Gore and many others rich beyond their wildest dreams, it will do this because this gov has no intentions of giving up on coal and gas. We will continue to export it to the highest bidder.

    The fossil fuel industry will keep going they will simply buy more permits and raise the cost of supplied energy to cover it thus driving up the costs of everything we see, touch, smell, taste and feel. The oz gov stands to make billions upon billions on GST increases alone.

    All i am saying is if you want to increase the cost of energy in the name of fighting AGW then do it, use the extra revenue for R&D, research CO2 sequestration, research improving the efficiency of PV cells, reasearch battery storage and current supply capacities, research non petrol powered cars, research wave and tidal power, research hot rocks and even some left field stuff like nuclear fusion much to Manda’s disgust.

    But why in the name of God would you implement a system that simply hands over all this extra tax to bankers and snake oil salesmen like Al Gore.

  167. #167 mandas
    March 24, 2010

    crakar

    Not sure where you get this idea that I am opposed to nuclear fusion, or that I think the ETS etc is a good idea.

    You asked a question on how it was supposed to work, and just like I always do, I answered your question (despite your stated assertion that I wouldn’t – you may apologise now) and I referred you to an expert on the subject. My question to you remains, do you really want to know about how an ETS is supposed to reduce our CO2 emissions, or are you just making an argumentative point?

    Because if you GENUINELY want to know, go away and read the Garnaut Report – its all in there (and I once again make no claim of support or opposition for the concept). But it’s interesting how virtually EVERY western economy is pursuing something similar. Are they all wrong (and please, no global conspiracy theories, I would like to think you are not that deluded)?

    If you are just making an argumentative point, then I will butt out because I really have no firm opinion on the subject. I just want climate change fixed.

    As far as nuclear fusion goes, it would be great if it worked, and investment in research in that area should be encouraged. BUT – and here’s the big but – it will not be economically viable for a VERY long time, and there are technologies that can make a substantial contribution to reducing GHG emissions available RIGHT NOW. All of those things you suggested are good ideas, but it will take substantial private as well as Government investment for them to bear fruit. The ETS is supposed to provide the incentive for private investors (as per the quote I provided above), and before Governments can invest in anything, they need to have money. And we all know how Government’s raise money don’t we? I suppose that, rather than raising taxes, our Government could divert money from other areas – such as by cutting Defence Force salaries, reduce expenditure on weapons or terminating pie-in-the-sky projects such as scram-jets. What do you think crakar?

  168. #168 SkepticalbyNature
    March 24, 2010

    Thanks Mandas for posting the Garnaut report; I found it interesting reading. It is a little light on specifics but no doubt it is a useful template for an ETS.

    The analysis doesn’t discuss in any detail about what happens next if the market perceives a high price for a permit and no viable alternative energy comes on line – I guess the market price for a permit remains high and thus the consumer indirectly invests into a market with little return to them? It’ll be interesting to see how it pans out.

    While looking online about Garnaut-related information, I found the following interesting link. One reason I found it interesting is that I searched for the “deniosphere’s” riposte to this proposition (because I imagined the vitriol would be quite entertaining if nothing else) and very surprisingly couldn’t find any dissenting voices. I don’t have any idea if these chaps have any credibility or if the reason no one’s flipping shit over this is because it’s so way out there?

    “http://solveclimate.com/blog/20100222/australia-group-rolls-out-plan-100-renewable-energy-2020”

    I do think it would be somewhat ironic if Australia was to become 100% fossil-free at a cost of $40b per annum while then exporting all of your fossils for someone else to burn. Can’t see how this would ultimately make any difference to the fate of your Great Barrier Reef. But that is politics and has nothing to do with the science or the principle of climate-change-mitigation, both of which I am strongly in support of.

    Regards,

  169. #169 crakar24
    March 24, 2010

    I have read up to page 24 of the Garnaut report and so far it has been an IPCC propagander exercise.

    Section 3 (page 24) is where it starts getting interesting so more to come on that.

    I did miss your post 160 so i will retract the fusion statement.

    I am glad you said virtually every western country has an ETS, France no longer has one.

    http://thebreakthrough.org/blog/2010/03/france_drops_carbon_tax_plans.shtml

    I propose a slight change in the ETS/CPRS scheme which i have detailed before.

    The gov can issue permits (call them what you want) to CO2 emitters, this cost can be passed onto the consumer so the emitter can cover his costs. The increased revenue from sale of permits and increased take on GST can be used to fund/finance R&D of future greener technologies and also installation of current technologies. This of course can be done in partnership with private companies most likely the very same emitters who buy permits.

    Initially some of this money can be used to make transmission of power more efficient/upgrade and to install solar hot water and solar panel systems across the country to reduce reliance on base load power. This would have a significant initial benefit to emissions.

    Long term funding for R&D would see the replacement of coal. LNG is a go option for the short term as LNG produces about 25% of emissions as coal does so would it make sense to start replacing coal with gas?

    There are many options available to us but for some reason the gov is hell bent on entering into a global permit stock exchange arrangement all the while showing no signs that they are serious about CO2 emissions by not only continuing but increasing our coal and LNG exports, not to mentioned the continued subsidising of these industries. Dont you find this situation hypocritical?

    No i do not think there is a global conspiracy, i think most gov like to be re elected so they listen to the public they represent. For the past few years the general public (world wide) has listed AGW as the highest priority so gov all got together to “fix the climate” and came up with a plan to fix it the only way they know how.

    The problem with COP15 was that some got greedy and wanted too much so others said buggar off (i suspect some leaders secretly “deny” AGW based on COP15 and others used it as a means to get rich)

    The flop of cop15 coupled with other recent events has meant that AGW popularity is now on the decline, this can be seen with KRudd who now never mentions the thing even though he threatened a double disolution if his legislation was voted down twice. He knows the public are not in favour of his big tax that will make foreign investors rich and do absolutely nothing to reduce the temps.

    In regards to saving money i am not sure what it is like where you work but we could save a heap of money without cutting salaries, salaries (and super) are the only things keeping me here otherwise i would have gone long ago.

    Scramjets are in fact a good thing as you could fly from here to the US or UK in a couple of hours therefore emit less CO2 than conventional flight.

    Whilst writing this i gained the following info which explains why everything gov’s touch turns to shit.

    Just spoke to a friend who knows a guy from the river land and this is how stupid the gov is. He has a water licence to water his crops. He is allocated a maximum amount of water he can use per year.

    If he gets a lot of rain he will not use his entire allocation to water his crops, however he will still use every drop of his allocation because if he does not the gov will reduce his allocation next year.

    If next year he does not get much rain he will run out of water because of the reduction of his allocation. I wonder how many gigalitres of water are pumped out of the Murray based on this stupidity by the SA/Aust goverments.

  170. #170 mandas
    March 24, 2010

    crakar

    “….I am glad you said virtually every western country has an ETS, France no longer has one….”

    Well, no. You appear to be confused on two counts. Firstly, the link you provided was in regard to a carbon tax, not an ETS. The carbon tax was blocked by the country’s Cour de Cassation (High Court) because it ruled it was unconstitutional, as emissions were already subject to the EU Emissions Trading Scheme.

    So, France DOES have an ETS (it is part of the EU pilot ETS), and the carbon tax wasn’t dropped because of protests; it was dropped because it was a double tax and was ruled unconsitutional.

    If you want to do some reading (yeah, I know… not something you usually do), here is a link to a study of France and Germany’s participation in the EU ETS, and the effects on elecricity generation:

    http://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/docs/00/38/44/96/PDF/09025.pdf

  171. #171 mandas
    March 24, 2010

    “…..Just spoke to a friend who knows a guy from the river land …”

    Nothing like first hand knowledge huh?

  172. #172 skip
    March 25, 2010

    All i am saying is if you want to increase the cost of energy in the name of fighting AGW then do it, use the extra revenue for R&D, research CO2 sequestration, research improving the efficiency of PV cells, reasearch battery storage and current supply capacities, research non petrol powered cars, research wave and tidal power, research hot rocks and even some left field stuff like nuclear fusion much to Manda’s disgust.

    And when these measures are taken, it will answer your question as to what the alternatives are.

    I agree with your general philosphy, so then I think I am within bounds to ask that you quit flipping me shit about Al Gore’s riches and the hypocrisy of your coal-exporting government. If Al Gore gets rich on a viable green technology, good for Al. I think he’s a dick either way; it doesn’t matter to me (I would have pinched my nose and voted for him in 2000 but I was in Texas at the time–an obvious lock for GWB– so I voted for a protest candidate). If you want any emission or fuel taxes going back to alternative R&D then for chrissakes Crakar go make that fight. I’m behind you.

    I’ve been trying to say that fossil fuel taxes are a good idea to incentivize long term adaptation. You’re response up to this point has been, “But look how the Oz government dicks it up, Skip–and Al Gore is getting RICH!”

    Its the Kyoto-is-unenforceable-and-ineffectual straw man in a different costume for a smaller party. If you think a particular proposal is bad, then critique that proposal, don’t point to a bad one and claim this proves that we shouldn’t do *anything*.

    And for me, Crakar, “denier” is a designation, not an insult. If you prefer, I can employ a different expression such as “AGW skeptic” or what have you.

  173. #173 mandas
    March 25, 2010

    skip

    Please don’t use the term ‘AGW skeptic’ to refer to people like crakar. A ‘skeptic’ is someone who does not take something at face value, but requires evidence and rationality before forming an opinion. A ‘denier’ is someone who has formed a prejudged opinion based on an personal worldview, and who refused to accept anything evidence which is counter to that prejudged view.

    We all know which is the more accurate description here.

  174. #174 skip
    March 31, 2010

    Is Obama bailing on the environmental movement?

    http://www.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/03/31/obama.energy/index.html?hpt=T1

    Hard to read this politically. Part of me wonders if, after our big health care battle that the president technically “won”, Obama and his strategists think they need to let the Republicans win a little bit.

    I need to have more details of what lifting the drilling ban means and what the president hopes to get in exchange in terms of action on GHGs,etc, but it is an interesting move right after health care and the new arms treaty with the Bolsheviks. After a surprise jaunt to see the troops in Afghanistan and this its almost as if he does not want to come across as as twisting the leftist knife.

    And at some level I guess you just have to say it is what it is. Better to take what we can get from our “liberal” president and hope incremental change is enough to save the environment.

  175. #175 PaulinMI
    April 25, 2010

    The drilling ban is only lifted when drilling begins. Obama knows this. He is conning opponents into going along with “Cap and Trade” by appearing to be reasonable and practical in the energy arena.

  176. #176 crakar24
    June 23, 2010

    Looks like we are more than just the worlds soccer whipping boys.

    http://www.austrade.gov.au/invest/investor-updates/100622-australian-scientists-demonstrate-new-source-of-clean-energy/default.aspx

    I hope this means we can stop fiddling with those stupid electric cars.

  177. #177 skip
    June 24, 2010

    I saw that some folks at MIT were working on the same basic problem a couple of years back, and that maybe this was the next technical step.

    I thought the Aussies checked out like champs. The early beat-down against the Krauts was the killer on tie breaks.

    Oh right . . . I agreed not to talk about World Cup.

  178. #178 crakar24
    June 24, 2010

    No we cant talk about that, we should be able to talk about what the US and say……Ghana are doing about AGW. I suspect the US are better than Ghana on this issue and if it were a competition i would say the US would win easily.

    If so then we should probably compare the US to either Korea or Uruguay, in this instant i would have to say that the US would be evenly matched in their efforts to thwart catastrophic climate change. Although with Cap ‘n’ Trade legislation just around the corner i suspect the US could possibly beat either of these nations.

    The US could easily find themselves ranked in the top 4 nations when it comes to action on climate change and who knows what could happen after that.

  179. #179 skip
    August 24, 2010

    Can you be-f***g-leive this?

    So I have twins on the way and the wife and I start to think, Yeah ok maybe we can justify a new set of wheels; safety, convenience, all that. So our naive goal was “compact suv” or “compact with all wheel drive”. Snow does occasionally complicate driving in and around the Reno area. I mean, it would be a nice convenience.

    So we end up looking at a Honda CRV and similar models and nobody gets better than low 20s in the city. But not of the true compacts like Fit or Fiesta have all wheel. “NO market for that,” one of our sales reps told us.

    What bullshit. I read the Fiesta does come in all-wheel drive models in Europe, but the problem is nobody who wants all-wheel in the States wants anything as small as a compact. So for real mileage you have to go like my in-laws, who got the new Outback that averages 30+ per galllon but sets you back over 30K! I’m a skinflint so double blow me. No way I’m dropping 30 bigs on a goddamn car–not when my wife’s commute is 12 minutes and I ride my bike.

    So what am I going to do? Nothing. We’re going to rehabilitate our shitty old Ford Focus hatchback (good capacity for babies and luggage; good freeway mileage) and continue to use chains when necessary.

    It just frosts me that I, a consumer with money in hand, a patriot who would love to participate in the economy, cannot find a relatively eco-friendly ride without being Warren Buffet’s nephew. (Where’s Paul in MN when you need him? I’m sure he’d chime in that mileage requirements on new cars would kill someone, somewhere.)

  180. #180 mandas
    August 24, 2010

    Hey skip – what about a Saab 9-2X? I know its a Saab, but it meets your specs. Or a Subaru Forester? Or check this link:

    http://usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/cars-trucks/rankings/Affordable-Compact-SUVs/

    Just a thought

  181. #181 crakar24
    August 24, 2010

    Where’s Paul in MN when you need him? LOL

    I hear you Skip, we have a family sedan that just holds 2 kids and a baby seat in the back but there is no room for the mother in law (i suggested we put her on the roof just like Chevy Chase which did not go down well)so we have a choice between a 7 seat SUV and a people mover. My wife says she would not be caught dead in one of those so a 7 seat SUV it is.

    Our choices are a Ford Territory with a 4 litre (250CC) engine and at two tonnes sucks the juice better than any whore money can buy.

    Or a GM Captiva which are a little smaller in both engine (3.2 litre) and size, so small infact that when you use the rear seats you have no boot (trunk?) space for all the extra crap you want to cart around.

    At the prices they are asking for these you would expect them to come encrusted in diamonds and rare jewels. We/I decided that the mother in law can be left at home from now on.

    My advice (for what it is worth) if you are satisfied with the safety aspect of your car that is with two little kids in the back then spend a few grand on your car you have now as it will be a lot cheaper in the long run and drive it until the wheels fall off.

  182. #182 Cracker24
    August 24, 2010

    Whilst on the subject of action

    Is this the greatest green scam in history?

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100821/ap_on_bi_ge/un_un_carbon_cutting_scheme

  183. #184 skip
    October 18, 2010

    Did you read your own link, Crakar?

  184. #185 crakar24
    October 18, 2010

    Yes SKip would you like me to give you a summary?

    Basically what it said was that due to a cost blow out of 100% to another green fantasy it has been abandoned and instead the poms are planning on building up to 8 nuclear power stations instead. The main reason for this is that green fantasy power is a joke like the people that believe in it.

    I am sure you have your own slant on this.

  185. #186 skip
    October 18, 2010

    One project was found to be economically–and, let the record show, *environmentally*–infeasible so this proves that

    the Poms have given up on thier[sic] green fantasy.

    Its delusional, Crakar. You’re still fishing for anything that you think confirms your world view and this is just the latest. Yawn.

  186. #187 Chris S.
    October 19, 2010

    Crakar: As a pom, and erstwhile resident of Somerset I have seen the Severn Barrage issue through several iterations of proposal and failure over the last 10 – 20 years This is just one more turn of the cards. Nothing to do with the change in government at all I’m sure. And also nothing to do with the UK wetlands being extremely important on the global scale and thus having additional protection above and beyond other habitat types, which I’m sure you knew having read around & understood the issue before posting.

    Besides, you’re not resurrecting old threads in order to avoid this thread: http://scienceblogs.com/illconsidered/2006/06/sea-level-in-arctic-is-falling.php are you?

    Of course that is a subjective estimate on my part.

  187. #188 crakar
    October 19, 2010

    The point was the building of 8 nuke reactors rather than “green energy”. This seems to have gone unnoticed by you two.

  188. #190 adelady
    October 19, 2010

    Well, fancy that. Bad legislation leads to bad outcomes.

    All they needed to do was insert a technology escalator. Yes we’ll give you umpty cents for input this year. If you want the same amount next year your input has to be from newer, more efficient technology otherwise you’ll only get umpty-x cents. Two years from now, if you want to stay with that technology, you’ll only get umpty-xandabit cents.

    Better legislation, better outcomes.

  189. #191 PaulinMI
    October 19, 2010

    Crakar,
    They will never understand artificial demand.
    You’re wasting your effort.

    Best to sit back and enjoy the show.

  190. #192 crakar24
    December 9, 2010

    Mandas will enjoy this,

    A couple of stories from our most lovable skeptic.

    The first is about how stupid the Mexican president is and the second is about the global efforts to stop the rapid rise in temps, well it hasnt gone up for 15 years but you know what i mean.

    http://sppiblog.org/news/mercury-rising#more-3646

    http://sppiblog.org/news/the-abdication-of-the-west#more-3652

    Happy reading

  191. #193 mandas
    December 9, 2010

    crakar

    I do love this – but not for the reason you mentioned.

    As you probably remember, I will not subject my brain to read anything from that most ridiculously inappropriately named website. So thanks for posting those links, but no thanks.

    The reason I love your post is because I am so heartily sick of this whole website being taken up by the stupidity that is going on over at the other thread, and want a change of direction. I am a loss as to why supposedly intelligent people continue to feed the troll. You just have to count the number of posts – two threads with over 650 posts in one month!

    There are far more important things going on in the world of climate change – Cancun for example – than the delusional ponderings of someone who thinks that his Excel spreadsheet analysis of a couple of local met stations in Canada has destroyed the whole theory of AGW. I became bored with it some time ago, especially when the Dick exposed his total lack of credibility by failing to answer even the most basic questions, and kept moving the goalposts and lying when his foolishness was exposed. I would really, really love it if we moved on. Everyone knows nothing is going to be achieved and you would think people would come to realise that it feels good to stop beating your head against a brick wall of stupidity.

    But then, that’s just my opinion and its not my website.

  192. #194 crakar24
    December 9, 2010

    Yes i must admit there is only so much that can be said about temps and excell spreadsheets.

    Speaking of which, have you ever used MATLAB? I have been looking at some data lately that is just too big for excell (no not climate data) so have been using MATLAB this of course presents another challenge of writing the scripts for it i think i need to do a “MATLAB for dummies” course.

  193. #195 crakar24
    December 9, 2010

    Here is a Friday funny for you Mandas as it is POETS day.

    File this one under “Non Compos Mentis.” Several hundred National Guard troops were flying back home from Afghanistan when they ran into the TSA at Indianapolis. As one of the soldiers described it, “That’s where the stupid started.”

    The soldier said, “It’s probably important to mention that we were ALL carrying weapons. Everyone was carrying an M4 Carbine (rifle) and some, like me, were also carrying an M9 pistol. Oh, and our gunners had M-240B machine guns. Of course, the weapons weren’t loaded. And we had been cleared of all ammo well before we even got to customs at Baghram, then AGAIN at customs.”

    Any sane person would be reasonably sure this contingent didn’t include any would-be terrorists. Not the TSA.

    One soldier had a Gerber multi-tool confiscated, and a TSA agent insisted that another turn over his finger nail clippers. According to the soldier reporting the story, “The conversation went something like this:”

    TSA Guy: You can’t take those on the plane.

    Soldier: What? I’ve had them since we left country.

    TSA Guy: You’re not suppose to have them.

    Soldier: Why?

    TSA Guy: They can be used as a weapon.

    Soldier: [touches butt stock of the rifle] But this actually is a weapon. And I’m allowed to take it on.

    TSA Guy: Yeah but you can’t use it to take over the plane. You don’t have bullets.

    Soldier: And I can take over the plane with nail clippers?

    TSA Guy: [awkward silence]

    Me: Dude, just give him your damn nail clippers so we can get the f–k out of here. I’ll buy you a new set.

    Soldier: [hands nail clippers to TSA guy, makes it through security]

    This might be a good time to remind everyone that approximately 233 people re-boarded that plane with assault rifles, pistols, and machine guns — but nothing that could have been used as a weapon.

    There, don’t you feel safer

    http://patriotpost.us/perspective/2010/11/19/tsa-takes-nail-clippers-from-armed-soldier/

    So the next time you call Monkton an idiot just think of the TSA.

  194. #196 mandas
    December 9, 2010

    crakar

    Sorry – know nothing about MATLAB. I have my own issues with Excel, and have started to play around with Google Spreadsheets. They probably won’t meet your requirements though.

    As far as the TSA goes, just because they are stupid doesn’t mean Monckton isn’t. But I concur with what you are saying. Whilst I have slight doubts about the ‘truthiness’ of that story, it could well be right as I have had similar problems with customs when we returned home after some of our trips away back in my P-3 days. I even had a customs officer squeeze my toothpaste to make sure it wasn’t contraband, and don’t get me started about arguments about refusing to let them see classified material.

    It seems we have security, and the illusion of security. The TSA fits comfortably under option B.

  195. #197 skip
    December 9, 2010

    I am so heartily sick of this whole website being taken up by the stupidity that is going on over at the other thread

    You do this all the time. You mock me in front of company.

    Hey, Mandas, how’s the *dissembling* going?

    Sigh.

    Yap yap.

  196. #198 mandas
    December 9, 2010

    A man uses one word wrong!! Mind you, I could have lied and said that I had just spelt it wrong.

    But then, it would have been completely unethical to have been called for making an error and then changed my position to make it appear like I wasn’t really wrong. I can’t imagine how deluded someone would have to be to do something like that!

    But “ALL” the time? I’ve told you thousands of times – don’t exagerate!

  197. #199 skip
    June 7, 2011
  198. #200 mandas
    June 7, 2011

    skip

    Whenever anyone like this comes out with such a proposal I always ask – what’s in it for them?

    In this case I think it’s pretty obvious – GM has a small car they want to sell, they have the US market for US made small cars pretty well covered, and they want to increase their market share by effectively imposing a tax on their competitors. But maybe I’m just being cynical.

    Incidently, the ‘US’ made car that GM is pushing is actually an Australian car. But then, Holden (Australia) is just a subsidiary of GM, so its probably a moot point.

  199. #201 mandas
    February 28, 2012

    New paper out that everyone should read.

    http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/7/1/014019

  200. #202 skip
    February 28, 2012

    thanks.

    i’ll get to it when i can and let you know . . .

  201. #203 Chris S.
    March 6, 2012

    Whilst we’re pointing others to papers can I recommend this one?

    http://www.pnas.org/content/108/30/12337.short

    Recent ecological responses to climate change support predictions of high extinction risk
    Ilya M. D. Maclean and Robert J. Wilson

    PNAS July 26, 2011 vol. 108 no. 30 12337-12342

    …predictions suggested a mean extinction probability of 10% across taxa and regions, whereas empirical evidence gave a mean probability of 14%. As well as mean overall extinction probability, observations also supported predictions in terms of variability in extinction risk and the relative risk associated with broad taxonomic groups and geographic regions. These results suggest that predictions are robust to methodological assumptions and provide strong empirical support for the assertion that anthropogenic climate change is now a major threat to global biodiversity.

  202. #204 carl12
    March 26, 2012

    Coby,
    years ago on this thread, responding to the argument that some mitigation measures might be regressive (in the sense of hurting poorer people disproportionatley), you said poorer people did not spend a greater proportion of their income on energy.
    But of course they do. Ask any statistician. My rich friends may spend twice as much on energy than me (because they heat more space and have bigger cars and don’t save), but they earn five times as much as I do. So proportionately, I pay more. The well off don’t even feel the price hikes that hurt poor people. Have you never even heard of fuel poverty? Fuel poverty means you can’t afford to heat your home properly in winter. It’s widespread in Europe. I myself heat only one of my rooms in winter (ca 12 degrees everywhere else). I just can’t afford more heating. So yes, price hikes in energy and foodstuffs hurt me more, financially, and they affect the quality of my life and ultimately, my health.
    And it’s worse in Africa. Lots of the political uprisings there lately were due to higher fuel prices and higher prices for foodstuffs because the local givernments can’t afford to subsidise the prices any more and if people don’t have much anyway that really hurts them badly.

  203. #205 skip
    March 27, 2012

    If I understand you correctly, Carl, then the implication is that any carbon reduction strategy that would raise prices should not be done on this ground–that it would immorally/unjustly disproportionately hurt the poor?

    Do I have it right?

  204. #206 Wow
    March 30, 2012

    Of course, social welfare spending cuts disproportionately hurt the poor, so Carl is against that, right?

    And the patent profits for medicine disproportionately hurt the poor, so that should be fixed, right?

    Not to mention the fact that medical procedures done for profit disproportionately hurt the poor. Heck, ANY process done for profit (lending or borrowing at interest included) will disproportionately hurt the poor.

    Not to mention having to pay for stuff at different prices. If the poor can’t afford something, then someone richer will be able to afford it, disproportionately hurting the poor.

  205. #207 JamesMadison
    March 30, 2012

    Wow,
    something done for profit helps everyone.
    why don’t you tell us how?

  206. #208 skip
    March 31, 2012

    Not so sure . . .

    The prick that stole my bicycle did it for profit. I think the only beneficiaries were his fence and he.

  207. #209 mandas
    April 1, 2012

    Methinks James believes in trickle down economics.

  208. #210 JamesMadison
    April 2, 2012

    No such thing.
    but then, you knew that.

  209. #211 skip
    April 2, 2012

    Then I guess I’m not clear what you’re saying. It is, after all, odd to make an assertion and then ask another person to clarify it as per your post in #207.

  210. #212 Wow
    April 3, 2012

    “something done for profit helps everyone.”

    Nope, it helps only the rich.

    The poor have less invested (if anything) in a private company but spend more of their wealth as a percentage on such commodities.

    Therefore the shareholder return is sent mostly to the rich, whilst that profit is taken mostly from the poor.

  211. #213 JamesMadison
    April 3, 2012

    Perhaps you should fill us in on your proposed economic system that works without profit?

    I’d be real interested in how it works.

  212. #214 Wow
    April 3, 2012

    Perhaps you should work out why saying “profits punish the poor disproportionately” means I have to do that, Jimmy.

    At least it now seems that you’ve given up trying to pretend it’s false. Problem is, you still need to attack the messenger.

  213. #215 JamesMadison
    April 3, 2012

    you said that, not me

    where is an attack?

  214. #216 Wow
    April 3, 2012

    “215 you said that, not me”

    I said what?

    I said: profits punish the poor disproportionately.

    That’s all. Nothing there about anything else other than the profit motive hurting the poor. You now have agreed (by accepting the statement) that profits hurt the poor.

    I have already answered your question: why don’t you tell us how?

    It seems that the abortive attempt to howl down the facts has failed and you’re trying a new question.

    Just like a five-year-old annoying the hell out of daddy with “Why?” “Why?” and “Why?”.

  215. #217 JamesMadison
    April 3, 2012

    With all due respect, it sounds like you are debating yourself.

    so, ok, I’ll try again –
    how does profit motive hurt the poor?

  216. #218 Wow
    April 3, 2012

    “how does profit motive hurt the poor?”

    The poor have less invested (if anything) in a private company but spend more of their wealth as a percentage on such commodities.

    Therefore the shareholder return is sent mostly to the rich, whilst that profit is taken mostly from the poor.

  217. #219 JamesMadison
    April 3, 2012

    while those statements may be true (as a math equation, for example), they still do not explain how profit hurts the poor

  218. #220 Wow
    April 3, 2012

    “they still do not explain how profit hurts the poor”

    Yes they do.

    The money they made working for the company they work for is taken from them as profit to another company and given to the rich people.

    I’m sorry if you can’t understand this, but someone who genuinely doesn’t understand that needs to check in to a hospital and ask the doctor if they’re dead.

  219. #221 JamesMadison
    April 3, 2012

    now, that sounds like an attack.

    But, I guess I’m missing where the money is “taken” from the poor person.

  220. #222 skip
    April 3, 2012

    I see JM’s last point, anyway, wow: The idea is that the relatively poor freely trade in the free market. The poor guy only buys from the second company because he feels it would benefit him to do so. (There are all sorts of problems with this simplistic view–especially power/knowledge asymmetries–I’m just saying I get what *he’s* saying.)

    Where I’m lost is how this has anything to do with the idea that imposing costs on carbon fuel emissions disproportionately hurts the poor and that in turn means we should not do it.

  221. #223 Matt Bennett
    April 3, 2012

    JamesMadison,

    All this talk of profits and markets aside, you do understand the science behind AGW don’t you and acknowledge whole heartedly that we face dire circumstances if we don’t drop the carbon economy (or at least price in the real costs of fossil fuels to society) as soon as possible and as widely as possible? Don’t you…..?

  222. #224 Wow
    April 4, 2012

    “But, I guess I’m missing where the money is “taken” from the poor person.”

    It’s the profit.

    I.e. the bit more than the cost to make including all other costs (like taxes, salary and upkeep of buildings).

  223. #225 JamesMadison
    April 4, 2012

    without profit, why is the building there?

    (yes Matt, cost/benefit analysis is always a good idea)

  224. #226 Wow
    April 4, 2012

    “without profit, why is the building there?”

    Non-profit organisations. How do they work?

  225. #227 JamesMadison
    April 4, 2012

    Well, now we’re getting somewhere –
    yes, wow, how do they work?
    When you figure it out, report back.

    thanks and good luck.

  226. #228 Wow
    April 4, 2012

    “yes, wow, how do they work?”

    They work without profit. Yet the buildings are still there.

    Since you don’t seem to believe that the buildings will stand there unless there’s profit, how do YOU reconcile:

    “without profit, why is the building there?”

    with the fact that, for example, Greenpeace makes no profit but you can go to a building they use.

  227. #229 JamesMadison
    April 4, 2012

    those are facts, for sure.

    but not “how they work”

  228. #230 Wow
    April 4, 2012

    I don’t have any problem with “without profit, why is the building there?”.

    You, however, do.

    If you want me to explain your problem as well as the solution to it, then I refer you back to the “broken brain” post. Get medical attention. Supervision at least.

  229. #231 skip
    April 4, 2012

    And I still want to understand where JM stands on the question of whether we should act on climate change and the alleged disproportionate impact on the poor such action would impose.

  230. #232 JamesMadison
    April 4, 2012

    Wow,
    this is not a simple undertaking.
    Although I don’t have any idea of your situation and experiences in life, from your past comments it seems you will need to begin a journey of at least several months.

    If your curiosity is not piqued enough to see you through, you might as well give up now.

  231. #233 JamesMadison
    April 4, 2012

    skip,
    if action on climate change is beneficial, wouldn’t it benefit the poor, in fact, the most? (proportionately, of course)

  232. #234 skip
    April 4, 2012

    I do not claim to be able to quantify the *relative* benefit to the poor of action on climate change. It is a *qualitative* issue. *All* of our children and grandchildren, wealthy and poor, will benefit from living on a healthy planet.

    I still find a central theme from your posts illusive.

  233. #235 JamesMadison
    April 4, 2012

    not intending to be obtuse.
    responding to claim by wow that profit hurts the poor (206)

  234. #236 skip
    April 5, 2012

    Why?

  235. #237 JamesMadison
    April 6, 2012

    see 207

  236. #238 JamesMadison
    April 6, 2012

    copied and pasted directly –

    _________________________________________________
    207
    Wow,
    something done for profit helps everyone.
    why don’t you tell us how?

    Posted by: JamesMadison | March 30, 2012 5:14 PM
    _________________________________________________

  237. #239 skip
    April 6, 2012

    Two points:

    1. Comment 207 was, for whatever reason, missing when I looked this morning. My view skipped from 206 to 208 and I assumed it was Coby de-spamming.

    2. Can you not see, JM, that it is a bizarre post to (a) assert something, and then (b) request that the respondent justify *your* assertion?

    To wit:

    James: CO2 mitigation benefits everyone. Why don’t you tell me how?

  238. #240 JamesMadison
    April 6, 2012

    Why, yes, skip, it could be bizarre.
    Or, it might be I just don’t have the time or inclination to convert those with preconceived notions.

    However, if one is indeed curious and inclined to do a little homework, it is so much more effective than bantering back and forth with all the attendant insults.

  239. #241 skip
    April 8, 2012

    So you lack “the time or inclination to convert those with preconceived notions”, but believe that an exhortation to those those same people to do “homework” suffices as an argument: “It’s below me to argue the point, but trust me: If you did a little homework you would see the world the way I do.”

    I have the time and inclination to do my homework *and* banter with those who have not. While you have yet to offer a coherent position or answer direct questions, I suspect you are one of the latter.

    Or you could just take *my* word for it. I might just blithely decide that I don’t have the time or inclination to “banter” with you, but would still magnanimously offer this assurance: If you are “indeed curious and inclined to do a little homework” you would accept that human CO2 emissions are a demonstrably perilous pollutant and that the associated risks justify aggressive and immediate action.

    You see, James, it’s a pretty empty claim to say you have the facts and arguments lined up but lack the energy to explain what these are. Any fool can claim that, and in fact, on this blog, many fools have.

  240. #242 JamesMadison
    April 8, 2012

    . . . or it might be that WOW made his claim first (206 and again at 212), and he declined to elaborate. In which case your statements apply in that direction.

    And I, at least, have given him the opportunity to explore the subject a bit more.

    [If you are “indeed curious and inclined to do a little homework” you would accept that human CO2 emissions are a demonstrably perilous pollutant and that the associated risks justify aggressive and immediate action.]

    Well, skip, according to the Joe Romm site of late, we won’t need to worry about this anymore, as alternative (non-CO2) energy is at par with fossil fuel costs, so the investment $$ will be flooding in to convert the worlds energy aggressively and immediately as possible. Isn’t that great?

  241. #243 skip
    April 9, 2012

    Ok and I have a bazillion websites that prove Joe Romm is wrong. Can you tell me which ones they are? If not, then you obviously have not done your homework.

    You see, James? The problem with your mode of argumentation is that it’s as easy to do to *you* as it is for you to do to someone else.

  242. #244 JamesMadison
    April 9, 2012

    . . . and I have a bazillion websites that prove . . .

    And that is precisely why I am not arguing. There is no end to it. Take or leave the comment Wow made or I made as you wish. Make your opinion known or don’t.

  243. #245 skip
    April 9, 2012

    Then James, I am fully lost as to what your point even is and why you post at all.

    And yes, there is an end to it. It’s called honest evaluation of the facts.

    There is an objective reality about climate change, humanity’s role, and likely prospects for the environment. If evaluating the relative merits of the two competing positions on this strikes you as “endless”, then obviously you have never truly engaged the subject at all.

  244. #246 JamesMadison
    April 9, 2012

    You are one funny guy !
    You are either willfully steering this to somewhere else or completely missed the point.

    One might say either situation proves my case.

  245. #247 skip
    April 9, 2012

    You have made no clear “point” from which to steer.

    What is your motive for posting on this forum?

  246. #248 Matt Bennett
    April 10, 2012

    James,

    Do you realize, to an innocent lurker, you make absolutely no sense at all? Skip is right, I am none the wiser what you are trying to assert and that’s sure as shit not my fault…

    I asked you a detailed question above, to which you replied “yes” (which would suggest you agree with AGW consensus – thank goodness, otherwise the homework to be done would all lie in YOUR lap, not Skip’s) and then rambled on about cost/benefit analysis (which is completely incorrect as a tool for this investigation, by the way – the appropriate test to apply is ‘net benefits’)

    So, humor me, where explicitly do you stand on the subject and what is, to you, the killer point that makes your case? And what would change your mind? (if you can’t clearly formulate an answer to that, you have very little grasp on how science and, indeed, good argument works)

    Try me…..

  247. #249 JamesMadison
    April 10, 2012

    skip,
    simply responding to wow (206,207), but we’ve answered that already, haven’t we?

    btw, do you think Joe Romm is wrong? (Is that your opinion?)
    ————————————————————–
    matt,
    you are going to need to define what you mean by “net benefit” vs “cost/benefit”, as I understand they both mean the same thing. (So we may already agree)

  248. #250 Wow
    April 10, 2012

    RE: “Wow,
    something done for profit helps everyone.
    why don’t you tell us how?”

    Here’s how:

    The poor have less invested (if anything) in a private company but spend more of their wealth as a percentage on such commodities.

    Therefore the shareholder return is sent mostly to the rich, whilst that profit is taken mostly from the poor.

    Therefore it harms the poor (they are poorer from the profit taken) and benefits the rich (who have spare cash to invest in shares).

  249. #251 Wow
    April 10, 2012

    Or, to put it a different way, how does something done for profit help everyone?

  250. #252 JamesMadison
    April 10, 2012

    Wow,
    As I commented before,
    every one of your statements is true, in a mathematical sense, for a single given transaction. That is, if the seller would lower the price by the profit, the buyer would be better off.

    But, in order for there to be a product for someone who needs it (rich or poor), there has to be profit to fund the risk of the asset(s) required to produce. And to continue to improve (R&D?, growth,etc.) to stay in business against the competition (which ultimately lowers prices).

    Does this make sense?

  251. #253 JamesMadison
    April 10, 2012

    Wow,
    your friendly demeanor is appreciated

  252. #254 skip
    April 10, 2012

    James:

    Do you think Joe Romm is *right*?

    If you take a clear, testable position, I will address it. You’ve yet to do so.

    (I wonder if this is Paul in MI incognito . . . )

  253. #255 JamesMadison
    April 11, 2012

    note to self –
    skip requires a clear, testable position, in order to respond.

  254. #256 skip
    April 11, 2012

    So, I’ll ask again:

    Do you think Joe Romm is *right*?

    Additional note to self: JM does *not* require a clear, testable position as a prerequisite to post.

    James:

    I am quite certain if you did your “homework” you could find any number of blogs wherein the participants discuss any range of inanities unburdened by the rigors of intellectual discussion Coby hoped for when he created this blog.

    Why not spend your time on one of those?

  255. #257 JamesMadison
    April 11, 2012

    1] I wouldn’t know. The system is so full of overlapping subsidies and regulations favoring one side or the other I can’t sort it out. (didn’t mean to ignore first time, I read it the wrong way)

    2] Don’t you think this subject, CAGW, is too complicated and moving too fast to really prove out on a blog?

  256. #258 Matt Bennett
    April 11, 2012

    James,

    What does “prove out on a blog” even mean? Yes, AGW is extremely complicated and requires hundreds of dedicated scientists with many sub-specialties to give us an overall picture. All the details are not in yet, by any stretch, but that doesn’t mean we don’t know enough to act. It’s basic thermodynamics and unless deniers can point to where the guaranteed extra heat is being expelled from the system, I’m going with the precautionary principle. Oh, and I’m willing to bet scientists know far more things re climate, with far more confidence than you would realize….

    PS – cost/benefit analysis is a ratio (hence the “/” symbol), net benefits is a summation and is the more correct figure of interest in climate change. At any rate, when are you going to spell out exactly where you stand WRT this issue, or are you a firm fence sitter? It’s quite valid to say “I’m with the science”, but prepared to change my mind based on new evidence… One would expect nothing less of a true skeptic.

  257. #259 skip
    April 11, 2012

    Yawn.

    It’s Paul in MI under a new nom de guerre. He’ll waste our time with this evasive nonsense, and count himself a great wit for it.

    Divested of factual basis for their climate change denial, his ilk resorts to these games. Groan.

  258. #260 Chris S.
    April 12, 2012

    #207 Posted by: JamesMadison | March 30, 2012 5:14 PM

    … 14 posts later …

    #240 Posted by: JamesMadison | April 6, 2012 4:50 PM

    “…I just don’t have the time or inclination…”

    … another 8 posts after this statement …

    DNFTT folks, I’ve seen more fruitful conversation from Turing test subjects.

  259. #261 Wow
    April 12, 2012

    “He’ll waste our time with this evasive nonsense, and count himself a great wit for it.”

    Hey, this IS an improvement! At least he’s half right!

    Though he brings down the average quite a bit with this:

    “As I commented before,
    every one of your statements is true, in a mathematical sense, for a single given transaction”

    Therefore true.

    Unless profit isn’t made by a transaction in this bozo’s world.

    “But, in order for there to be a product for someone who needs it (rich or poor) there has to be profit to fund the risk”

    What risk? Greenpeace need a building, they’ll pony up for a building because they need it.

    You need a building to live in. You’ll pony up for one because you need it. You need to eat. Everyone needs to eat. There is no risk.

    Therefore your “for there to be a product”, there DOESN’T HAVE TO BE RISK in supplying it. For these staples, there is no risk.

    And if there was risk with some adventure, and the risk balanced out so that it wasn’t damaging to the poorest, then there wouldn’t be profit overall, since your expected earnings (cost*risk) is equal to the profit. Since this is most definitely NOT the case, the profit being demanded is damaging to the poor.

  260. #262 Wow
    April 12, 2012

    “Don’t you think this subject, CAGW”

    Ah, denier.

    They’re the ONLY ones “Chicken little”-ing about CATASTROPHIC AGW. Because, to them, ANYTHING done to mitigate or reverse the problem is a catastrophe.

  261. #263 JamesMadison
    April 14, 2012

    Wow,
    well, not a well thought out response, but true to your belief, I’m sure.

    Maybe you’ll consider an example?
    So let’s ask, what do you provide?

  262. #264 skip
    April 14, 2012

    . . . not a well thought out response . . .

    Do you think your posts merit one?

  263. #265 Wow
    April 16, 2012

    “Maybe you’ll consider an example?”

    I did.

    Try reading.

    You need a building to live in. You’ll pony up for one because you need it. You need to eat. Everyone needs to eat. There is no risk.

  264. #266 JamesMadison
    April 16, 2012

    If you don’t wish to discuss what you provide . . .

    Then answer, where do homes come from?
    Do they just appear? Or does someone build (provide)them?

  265. #267 Wow
    April 16, 2012

    OK, what do you mean by “provide examples”?

    Tell you what, you show me an example of “something done for profit helps everyone”.

    Or can you only come up with theoretical constructs that you won’t accept from others?

  266. #268 JamesMadison
    April 16, 2012

    “I’m with the science”, but prepared to change my mind based on new evidence.”

    Matt,
    this seems like quite a low hurdle, who could not make this claim?

  267. #269 Wow
    April 16, 2012

    Monckton. You. Heck, every denier will refuse to change their mind based on new evidence.

    OK, not ENTIRELY true.

    The denialosphere changed their mind about the BEST project being done well when it showed that the temperature reconstructions of HadCRU et al were robust and accurate. They changed their mind about that so they could continue to pretend they believed the temperature records showing AGW were false.

  268. #270 Wow
    April 16, 2012

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Housing_cooperative

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barn_raising

    No profit required. No risk in supplying.

    Indeed, the search for profit over society’s benefit is why we have “erectile disfunction” pills being sold by the bucket from pharma business and government R&D providing cures.

  269. #271 JamesMadison
    April 16, 2012

    thanks, both (of your links) require profit

  270. #272 Wow
    April 16, 2012

    Nope, neither require profit.

    They require either communal effort to enact (barn raising) with the quid-pro-quo being “we’ll build you one when you need it”, the other requires pooling of resources, but not profit.

    So, nope, they don’t require profit. They require money (nowadays, even for barn raising). But not profit.

  271. #273 skip
    April 16, 2012

    LOL.

    LOL.

    LOL.

    I *love it*!

    According to JM, being,

    prepared to change [one’s] mind based on new evidence . .. . seems like quite a low hurdle

    But being obstinate in the *face* of all evidence shows real balls-sack, right, James?

    LOL.

    We have another top 10 contender for All Time Idiotic Post.

  272. #274 JamesMadison
    April 16, 2012

    Wow,
    if there is no profit on their current enterprise, where did they get the money to buy the barn?

  273. #275 JamesMadison
    April 16, 2012

    skip,
    I think your comments should be addressed to Matt Bennett, that’s his line. Although, I agree.

    (Do you always have such trouble conversing in a polite manner with those whom you think you disagree with?)

  274. #276 skip
    April 16, 2012

    LOL.

    The amusement doesn’t end with you, does it, JM?

    You are so delirious you don’t even know what just happened, do you?

    I was quoting *your* witless statement about Matt’s “standard”. And now you respond by telling us that you agree with that very statement you had just made. (In your own mind does that count as two votes in your favor? LOL.)

    Are you ready to answer direct questions?

    Unless you are, then you are being rude, evasive, and dishonest. You deserve no “politeness”.

    I’ll ask again: Are you ready to answer direct questions?

    This, by the way, is another hackneyed strategy of climate change “stealth deniers”: Be an evasive pest and recoil in shocked indignation when treated as such.

  275. #277 JamesMadison
    April 16, 2012

    skip,
    you are surely a kook.

    If you can offer a direct question one can understand as such, I’ll answer to the best of my limited knowledge.

  276. #278 skip
    April 16, 2012

    LOL.

    Name calling already? That’s the best you can do when you’re incompetence is exposed?

    My goodness, James, I must ask, Do you always have such trouble conversing in a polite manner with those whom you think you disagree with?

    Go ahead and believe I’m a kook if you wish, James. It has nothing to do with the question of what you’re driving at and why you even bother posting here.

    And sure: I’ll repeat a question I already asked–twice before now:

    Do you think Joe Romm is *right*? (Asked twice before now.)

    Since you’d previously posted that,

    according to the Joe Romm site of late, we won’t need to worry about [action on climate change] anymore, as alternative (non-CO2) energy is at par with fossil fuel costs, so the investment $$ will be flooding in to convert the worlds energy aggressively and immediately as possible. Isn’t that great?

    Since it was your source, I’ll ask a *fourth* time:

    Do you think Joe Romm is *right*?

    A simple, direct, yes-or-no question–asked four times now.

    Will you answer?

  277. #279 JamesMadison
    April 16, 2012

    1] who began the disparaging comments?

    2] Asked and answered. I have answered that directly, and you have avoided the same. I answered it the second time you asked, which was the first time I realized you expected an answer.

  278. #280 skip
    April 16, 2012

    1] who began the disparaging comments?

    A truly subjective point.

    Who has consistently refused to answer direct questions?

    I have answered that directly, and you have avoided the same.

    Please identify the post number or repeat the answer.

    And it is revealing that you would spend 33 words *avoiding* a direct answer when a simple “yes” or “no” would have sufficed.

    Again, just answer with a simple “yes” or “no”. You have *not* done that yet, and it proves that your motives for posting on this forum are malignant.

  279. #281 JamesMadison
    April 16, 2012

    257 for my answer.
    249 for the question to you.

    Apology accepted.

    Have you quit beating your wife yet?
    a simple yes or no, please.

  280. #282 skip
    April 16, 2012

    Fair enough.

    I also misread your post on #257: “I wouldn’t know.” But it was your *own source*. Talk about a low hurdle:

    “Here’s a blog. It says something that is ‘good news,” but I don’t know if it’s right.”

    If you don’t know if Romm is right, then why, for the love of God, did you post a summary of his argument??

    Direct question, James: What is the point of citing a source if you are not even willing to take a position on that source’s credibility?

    The rhetorical wife-beater question is a joke and you don’t even know how to use it right. If I ask you an unanswerable/presumptive question, the wife-beater analogy applies. But all I asked you was if you agree with Romm or not, and you can’t even take a position on that.

    Which leads to the final question you still have not answered:

    Why are you posting on this blog at all? What are you hoping to achieve here?

  281. #283 Wow
    April 17, 2012

    “Direct question, James: What is the point of citing a source if you are not even willing to take a position on that source’s credibility?”

    Because he knows it’s bunkum therefore by saying “I don’t know” he

    a) can pretend he’s “merely skeptical” and “open to other ideas” when he’s only open to the RIGHT ideas

    b) can avoid any responsibility for bringing it up by saying “Well, it wasn’t ME that said it…”.

  282. #284 Wow
    April 17, 2012

    “if there is no profit on their current enterprise, where did they get the money to buy the barn?”

    People paid for it.

    You don’t seem to know what the equation is.

    value – expenses = profit

    You see expenses are people’s wages. If you’d ever seen a company financial report you would have seen “salary” as a line in the “expenses” section.

    So, people get paid, and it’s not part of the profit.

    This money they get paid is paid to their housing association where, rather than waiting until they can ALL afford to buy a house, the association buys a house for people as it becomes possible to buy one.

    Please find a clue about how businesses work, don’t just repeat what your libertarian fundamentalist pappy told you.

  283. #285 Wow
    April 17, 2012

    What’s going on, skip, is that James is a libertarian fundie. Therefore he turned up because someone dared say that the fundamentalist mantra of “profits go to those God wants to profit” was wrong.

    Of course, being a libertarian fundie, he knows this but doesn’t know why it’s “right”, just that it is, therefore he’s unable to actually say anything about how profit is always, always, good.

    Of course this fundamentalism is also unable to allow AGW to be real, since if it’s real, it requires that government intervene (ALWAYS wrong to a libertarian) AND shows that the free market has flaws (ALWAYS wrong to a libertarian).

    Hence he also stays around to try and derail things.

    With the same handicap of absolutely no real-life experience whatsoever to draw upon to justify his faith.

  284. #286 skip
    April 17, 2012

    Because he knows it’s bunkum . . .

    This, wow, gives our dear James way too much credit. The knowledge of its bunkumtude would require an actual examination of the source. It’s doubtful he did this, and this is why I’m convinced JM is Paul in MI in disguise.

  285. #287 Matt Bennett
    April 17, 2012

    James,

    “seems like a low hurdle…”

    Wow! Just wow. I mean, in a way, yes it seems (to me anyway) like a natural and easy thing to do – agree to concur with the preponderance of expert scientific opinion and change your mind as new evidence rolls in. But you have not demonstrated any such deference or aptitude to my observation so I’d probably hold out on offering snide assessments of the hurdle’s diminutive stature until I’d landed safely on the other side. But hey, that’s just me….

    Feel free to prove me wrong at any time but I haven’t even noticed you START to make sense yet.

  286. #288 nobelius_rainbow
    April 17, 2012

    Of course, it may all be a con motivated by self-interest – and note that I haven’t specified which ‘side’ this applies to. Fusion is often proposed as the saviour but since the fifties (energy too cheap to meter) we’ve been told that it’s just around the corner. Ever greater research budgets and so on. Will it ever work? Is it another con motivated by self-interest?

  287. #289 Wow
    April 17, 2012

    “and note that I haven’t specified which ‘side’ this applies to”

    Then you can note that I didn’t bother reading any further.

    Until you can make a claim of substance, why should I waste my time?

    Of course, I suspect you’re just a spambot.

  288. #290 JamesMadison
    April 17, 2012

    Honestly, would someone step up and explain why this “low hurdle issue” is humorous or an issue?

  289. #291 JamesMadison
    April 17, 2012

    to skip –

    1]
    I brought up the Joe Romm issue as an agreement (with some chiding perhaps) to your –

    [If you are “indeed curious and inclined to do a little homework” you would accept that human CO2 emissions are a demonstrably perilous pollutant and that the associated risks justify aggressive and immediate action.]

    . . . and that the aggressive and immediate action would happen due to market forces.

    (And YES, it’s good news, but I do not know if it’s right.)

    2]
    I brought up the wife beater issue merely to demonstrate that a yes/no demand may not allow a sufficient answer. Is that OK?

    3]
    Why am I posting?

    Again, asked and answered (235).
    (no apology required, this time)

  290. #292 JamesMadison
    April 17, 2012

    to WOW –


    if there is no profit on their current enterprise, where did they get the money to buy the barn?

    to which was replied –


    Nope, neither require profit.
    They require either communal effort to enact (barn raising) with the quid-pro-quo being “we’ll build you one when you need it”, the other requires pooling of resources, but not profit.


    So, nope, they don’t require profit. They require money (nowadays, even for barn raising). But not profit.

    . . . now I maintain that for ones assets to increase, one must be profiting. As the man has a barn (now) his assets have increased, and this, is a clearly visible sign of profit.

    AND – this will be true for one man, one family, one community, one business, one association or anywhere you wish to draw the boundary.

    AND – the tradesmen and the wood supplier also likely profited.

  291. #293 JamesMadison
    April 17, 2012

    to Matt Bennett,

    I really haven’t a clue why you are commenting and what you are trying to say or do.

  292. #294 skip
    April 17, 2012

    (And YES, it’s good news, but I do not know if it’s right.)

    And the Second Coming is “good news”–but I do not know if it’s right.

    What a wonderful world it is where we can believe in things we don’t even believe in.

    I envy you, James (Paul?)

  293. #295 Matt Bennett
    April 18, 2012

    James,

    As I said, wow! It’s almost beyond belief that you, while simultaneously blogging and pretending? to be a cognizant adult, can’t follow my simple question. Everybody else here can – I almost can’t be bothered typing up a response. Here is a VERY streamlined edit of our conversation so far:

    JM: blah, blah, blah – til post 221
    MB: James, despite your ‘profit’ wordplay, do you subscribe to the consensus AGW position?
    JM: yes Matt, c/b analysis is always worthwhile (huh? Did I ask that?)
    MB: again, what’s your position on AGW and if dissenting, why?
    JM: confuses c/b vs net ben. analyses (a side issue anyway at this stage, but noted) and asserts that AGW (what’s CAGW?, haven’t seen that in a journal…) is ‘too complicated’ to ‘prove out on a blog’ whatever TF that means.
    MB: James do you believe the science and agree with the consensus until new evidence?
    JM: suddenly, this is a low hurdle, despite every single denier and half the wavering population of the world being unable to claim to have cleared this miserly mount.
    MB: you’ve pointedly failed to clear the hurdle James…
    JM: why’s everyone obsessed with this hurdle?

    Have you finished your idiotic game or for the last time, do you fully accept the current science that says AGW is probably the most serious self-induced problem global civilization has ever seen?

  294. #296 Wow
    April 18, 2012

    He never will because he’s a libertarian fundie, Matt.

    And, like all fundamentalist libertarians, has no clue about how the world works, only how his theology insists it OUGHT to work (this is why, when their schemes fall down, it’s not the reduction of government interference that’s at fault, it’s the miniscule amount of government interference remaining that did it).

  295. #297 Wow
    April 18, 2012

    “Honestly, would someone step up and explain why this “low hurdle issue” is humorous or an issue?”

    Because, despite you calling it a very low hurdle, you are completely unable to manage to get over it.

    “now I maintain that for ones assets to increase, one must be profiting”

    Yes, you do maintain that, but you’re wrong. You only have to work. In a barn-raising, all you have to do is work to help build someone else’s house and someone will work to help build yours. All gaining assets, none making profit (indeed, none making any money).

    I get paid for my work. This isn’t profit. It’s an expense for my employer. Profit is what is left. But the only reason why I get paid is because this is the token of exchange of work.

    I do not get a share of the profit. Nor do any places that profit-share give out profits according to the individual’s effort to attain that profit. It’s given to the big shareholders preferentially, the rich people, who didn’t actually do any work to get the profit.

  296. #298 JamesMadison
    April 18, 2012

    [“All gaining assets, none making profit”]

    So, if one gains assets as a product, it’s not profit?
    But if one gains assets as cash, it is profit?

    And work for production of a tangible product can not be profit?
    But work to maintain an organization can be profit?

    [“big shareholders preferentially, the rich people, who didn’t actually do any work to get the profit.”]

    Perhaps you can tell us how they obtained “the worth” to purchase the shares?

  297. #299 JamesMadison
    April 18, 2012

    I suppose I am still not following why following the science is an issue?

    What would be the alternative?
    Believe in anecdotes?

  298. #300 JamesMadison
    April 18, 2012

    to MB,

    [Have you finished your idiotic game or for the last time, do you fully accept the current science that says AGW is probably the most serious self-induced problem global civilization has ever seen?]

    Of course, what else could it be?
    How can it be ignored? It won’t go away on its own, now will it?

    (And, what game? I wasn’t discussing the validity of the science. But, I do recall a flea trying to insert himself in the situation.)

  299. #301 Wow
    April 18, 2012

    “So, if one gains assets as a product, it’s not profit?”

    What on earth are you wibbling on about?

    A house isn’t a profit.

  300. #302 Wow
    April 18, 2012

    “I suppose I am still not following why following the science is an issue?”

    How isn’t it an issue?

  301. #303 JamesMadison
    April 18, 2012

    wow,
    1] if you had no house and now you do, that demonstrates your assets have increased, profit.

    2] I mean, isn’t following the science the default position?
    IS that stated better?

  302. #304 Matt Bennett
    April 18, 2012

    Great James, glad you agree.

    So I guess you would also agree that it is long past time that we attempted to rapidly and deliberately de-carbonize the economy, offering all the investment perks, subsidies, government resources, research dollars and artificial price stabilizations to only 100% renewable energy systems henceforth. In conjunction with this we should of course install a annually rising taxation at the source of all carbon emissions (something these polluters have had over thirty years to prepare for) and redistribute this equally to all eligible citizens of each country in question. Right? You can call this what you like but you and I at least agree we can ALL “profit” from such measures….

    As for fleas, Coby may have removed the offending post before I had a chance to see it, but did Crackar really drop by this week?

  303. #305 Wow
    April 18, 2012

    “1] if you had no house and now you do, that demonstrates your assets have increased, profit.”

    No, I have not had profit.

    I have had a wage with which I bought a house.

    Or I had effort, with which I built a house.

    I have a house.

    Not profit.

    Retard.

  304. #306 JamesMadison
    April 18, 2012

    Matt,

    ok, flea retracted.

    I’d rather see hard limits, rationing of carbon vs increasing taxes.
    Less wiggle room and possibly more “incentive” to develop.
    If it’s “destructive”, why would we want it at a higher price?

    Tragedy of the global commons represents a challenge.

  305. #307 JamesMadison
    April 18, 2012

    Wow,

    You seem to want to define profit by who is earning it.

    If you have a wage as an employee, there is no profit.
    But if you had a service business doing the same thing, it is profit.
    How does this make sense?

  306. #308 Wow
    April 18, 2012

    You don’t even know what profit means, kid, you’re that detached from reality.

    “If you have a wage as an employee, there is no profit.”

    If you want to put it that way.

    “But if you had a service business doing the same thing, it is profit.”

    Well, if they need an entry in the dictionary as an example of a non-sequitor, that would be a top contender.

    No, if you have a service business doing the same thing, you have a service business doing the same thing.

    It doesn’t need profit to do it. Profit is what you get over and above what you need to spend to do $WHATEVER.

  307. #309 JamesMadison
    April 18, 2012

    [Profit is what you get over and above what you need to spend to do $WHATEVER.]

    So, you are now claiming that there is no such thing as profit, because it’s possible to spend it all?

    Do I have this correct?

  308. #310 skip
    April 18, 2012

    LOL.

    I’ve made the suggestion about 3 times now, and he’s never denied it:

    It’s Paul. Case closed.

    He will avoid taking falsifiable positions (he doesn’t read) and throw meaningless curve balls that land in the fence, hoping we’ll swing. He doesn’t have a heater (that requires research). This is a junk ball pitcher.

    In a perverse way I admire James/Paul. The willingness to debate a point despite being divested of any factual backing must be the flip side of some virtue. (I just haven’t figured out what that virtue is yet.)

  309. #311 Wow
    April 18, 2012

    Heck, he’s not just devoid of any factual backing, he’s lacking any definition in any terms.

    To him, if you get paid, that’s “profit”. Funnily enough, investors don’t accept “we gave you a wage” as “profit”. They want a cut, not a wage.

    A proper humpty-dumpty.

  310. #312 Wow
    April 18, 2012

    “So, you are now claiming that there is no such thing as profit”

    Nope.

    Maybe you are. Who can tell.

    Profit is what you have left after expenses. Maybe your daddy works in Hollywood, though. YOU certainly don’t have a job.

  311. #313 JamesMadison
    April 18, 2012

    Wow,

    you are a Utopian.
    I hope it works out well for you.

    Skip,
    I don’t mind being proved wrong. Why are you always looking for a battle? Can we not agree?
    You can’t believe this wow profit issue, can you?

    (ok, who is paul? is that another “inside slam” for you folks?)

  312. #314 Wow
    April 18, 2012

    You don’t even know what that means either.

    revenue. Do you know what it is?
    expenses. Got a clue about it?
    profit. Know what that is?

    Answer to all three for you: No.

  313. #315 skip
    April 18, 2012

    I don’t mind being proved wrong.

    Wrong. You’re piss-soaked scared of it. This is why you’re trying to so ridiculously have it both ways. Throw a source out that *might* make a point, but refuse to actually take a stance on that source. It’s purely idiotic and yes if that strikes you as combative it’s a fight you will get. It’s jerk behavior and you’re getting what you deserve.

    Can we not agree?

    With what, James? With *what*? You’re entire motif is to try to (sort of) get your digs in but refuse to clearly articulate a position so as to maintain (what is in your mind) plausible deniability. You, and your dumb game, are exposed. You’ll eventually tire of it.

    As for you and wow, I cannot even understand what you say half the time and therefore have no opinion.

    You’re so terrified of it you refuse to take a position. You just laucncyh

  314. #316 skip
    April 18, 2012

    Last sentence was a failed edit.

    Sorry all.

  315. #317 JamesMadison
    April 18, 2012

    Sounds as if you have really built some readership and participation here.

    Congratulations.

  316. #318 skip
    April 18, 2012

    I cannot speak to how grateful Coby is for the compliment, although I can assure you yours was not the participation he envisioned. The discussion will be richer for your absence.

  317. #319 JamesMadison
    April 18, 2012

    Oh, I am not going anywhere. You guys are a hoot.

  318. #320 skip
    April 18, 2012

    Fair enough.

    But you know what awaits you: A reminder of every evasion and idiocy in which you’ve engaged.

  319. #321 Wow
    April 19, 2012

    “A reminder of every evasion and idiocy in which you’ve engaged.”

    Maybe he/she’s into humiliation.

  320. #322 JamesMadison
    April 19, 2012

    A reminder of every evasion and idiocy in which you’ve engaged.

    So let’s start with 1 for me. Joe Romm on parity for alternative energy. I admit (do you hear this skip?) I admit I don’t know if it’s true. And claimed that because of the prevailing subsidy issues on both fossil and non-fossil fuels.

    And 1 for wow on profit. Clearly he is confused. And skip says volumes by saying nothing.

  321. #323 skip
    April 19, 2012

    James:

    And claimed that because of the prevailing subsidy issues on both fossil and non-fossil fuels.

    Before we go any further I want to see if you can articulate yourself in a complete sentence. No hints!!

  322. #324 Wow
    April 20, 2012

    Hey, that’s not fair.

    Just see if he can complete a sentence first.

    After he/she’s learned how to do that, THEN we can ease them into “articulate”.

  323. #325 skip
    April 20, 2012

    No hints!!

    Of course, *that* was an incomplete sentence.

    Btw: There *might* be a website called “JamesMadisoniswrongabouteverything.com”. Isn’t that good news? Of course, I am not taking a position as to whether this website is correct–or even if it exists. But I still insist that James do his “homework” and determine that for himself.

  324. #326 JamesMadison
    April 21, 2012

    I can do that with a single letter.
    But, which letter and where?

  325. #327 skip
    April 21, 2012

    rojvjastqepjbqetkflza[qeotjaj.

    algjlajlgapeinvzow.fjvn?

    mb/askfh;nptiyib!

    (I decided to bring the discourse to your level, JM.)

  326. #328 JamesMadison
    April 21, 2012

    thanks, skip

    you’re a swell guy

  327. #329 skip
    April 21, 2012

    I appreciate it.

    PS

    a;einva[[epitnhfaeoecfkvndkeitrufjannvkaeiurgj.

  328. #330 Wow
    April 26, 2012

    “I can do that with a single letter.”

    You didn’t, though. Therefore, as a skeptic, I believe only evidence. and the evidence is that you can’t.

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