Reactions to President Obama’s Climate Change Policy

by Judith Curry

President Obama has released his new climate change policy:  Plan to Cut Carbon Pollution – Taking Action for Our Kids.

The full text can be found at this link.  President’s Climate Action Plan (PDF).  The fact sheet can be found at Fact Sheet(PDF); full text appended below.

President Obama’s Plan to Cut Carbon Pollution

Taking Action for Our Kids

We have a moral obligation to leave our children a planet that’s not polluted or damaged, and by taking an all-of-the-above approach to develop homegrown energy and steady, responsible steps to cut carbon pollution, we can protect our kids’ health and begin to slow the effects of climate change so we leave a cleaner, more stable environment for future generations. Building on efforts underway in states and communities across the country, the President’s plan cuts carbon pollution that causes climate change and threatens public health. Today, we have limits in place for arsenic, mercury and lead, but we let power plants release as much carbon pollution as they want – pollution that is contributing to higher rates of asthma attacks and more frequent and severe floods and heat waves.

Cutting carbon pollution will help keep our air and water clean and protect our kids. The President’s plan will also spark innovation across a wide variety of energy technologies, resulting in cleaner forms of American-made energy and cutting our dependence on foreign oil. Combined with the President’s other actions to increase the efficiency of our cars and household appliances, the President’s plan will help American families cut energy waste, lowering their gas and utility bills. In addition, the plan steps up our global efforts to lead on climate change and invests to strengthen our roads, bridges, and shorelines so we can better protect people’s homes, businesses, and way of life from severe weather.

While no single step can reverse the effects of climate change, we have a moral obligation to act on behalf of future generations. Climate change represents one of the major challenges of the 21st century, but as a nation of innovators, we can and will meet this challenge in a way that advances our economy, our environment, and public health all at the same time. That is why the President’s comprehensive plan takes action to:

Cuts Carbon Pollution in America. In 2012, U.S. carbon pollution from the energy sector fell to the lowest level in two decades even as the economy continued to grow. To build on this progress, the Obama Administration is putting in place tough new rules to cut carbon pollution—just like we have for other toxins like mercury and arsenic —so we protect the health of our children and move our economy toward American-made clean energy sources that will create good jobs and lower home energy bills. For example, the plan:

• Directs EPA to work closely with states, industry and other stakeholder to establish carbon pollution standards for both new and existing power plants;

• Makes up to $8 billion in loan guarantee authority available for a wide array of advanced fossil energy and efficiency projects to support investments in innovative technologies;

• Directs DOI to permit enough renewables project—like wind and solar – on public lands by 2020 to power more than 6 million homes; designates the first-ever hydropower project for priority permitting; and sets a new goal to install 100 megawatts of renewables on federally assisted housing by 2020; while maintaining the commitment to deploy renewables on military installations;

• Expands the President’s Better Building Challenge, focusing on helping commercial, industrial, and multi-family buildings cut waste and become at least 20 percent more energy efficient by 2020;

• Sets a goal to reduce carbon pollution by at least 3 billion metric tons cumulatively by 2030 – more than half of the annual carbon pollution from the U.S. energy sector – through efficiency standards set over the course of the Administration for appliances and federal buildings;

• Commits to partnering with industry and stakeholders to develop fuel economy standards for heavy-duty vehicles to save families money at the pump and further reduce reliance on foreign oil and fuel consumption post-2018; and

• Leverages new opportunities to reduce pollution of highly-potent greenhouse gases known as hydrofluorocarbons; directs agencies to develop a comprehensive methane strategy; and commits to protect our forests and critical landscapes.

Prepares the United States for the Impacts of Climate Change. Even as we take new steps to cut carbon pollution, we must also prepare for the impacts of a changing climate that are already being felt across the country. Building on progress over the last four years, the plan:

• Directs agencies to support local climate-resilient investment by removing barriers or counterproductive policies and modernizing programs; and establishes a short-term task force of state, local, and tribal officials to advise on key actions the Federal government can take to help strengthen communities on the ground;

• Pilots innovative strategies in the Hurricane Sandy-affected region to strengthen communities against future extreme weather and other climate impacts; and building on a new, consistent flood risk reduction standard established for the Sandy-affected region, agencies will update flood-risk reduction standards for all federally funded projects;

• Launches an effort to create sustainable and resilient hospitals in the face of climate change through a public-private partnership with the healthcare industry;

• Maintains agricultural productivity by delivering tailored, science-based knowledge to farmers, ranchers, and landowners; and helps communities prepare for drought and wildfire by launching a National Drought Resilience Partnership and by expanding and prioritizing forest- and rangeland-restoration efforts to make areas less vulnerable to catastrophic fire; and

• Provides climate preparedness tools and information needed by state, local, and private-sector leaders through a centralized “toolkit” and a new Climate Data Initiative.

Lead International Efforts to Address Global Climate Change. Just as no country is immune from the impacts of climate change, no country can meet this challenge alone. That is why it is imperative for the United States to couple action at home with leadership internationally. America must help forge a truly global solution to this global challenge by galvanizing international action to significantly reduce emissions, prepare for climate impacts, and drive progress through the international negotiations. For example, the plan:

• Commits to expand major new and existing international initiatives, including bilateral initiatives with China, India, and other major emitting countries;

• Leads global sector public financing towards cleaner energy by calling for the end of U.S. government support for public financing of new coal-fired powers plants overseas, except for the most efficient coal technology available in the world’s poorest countries, or facilities deploying carbon capture and sequestration technologies; and

• Strengthens global resilience to climate change by expanding government and local community planning and response capacities.

Perspectives from the blogosphere

I haven’t seen very much analysis on this yet; presumably some are waiting until after Obama’s speech this afternoon.  Here I highlight a few analyses that I’ve spotted:

Andy Revkin has a post Obama’s Ambitious Climate Action Plan.  Excerpts:

Of course this climate plan is just rhetoric until it is translated into on-the-ground actions. And the most significant steps, such as the rule-making that would cut carbon dioxide pollution from existing power plants, will take a decade or more to come to fruition.

But if you doubt the reality of this shift, just look at the news coverage from Monday of the drop in the price of shares in coal companies ahead of the speech. This headline in Street Insider says it all: “Coal Stocks Routed as Pres. Obama Preps to Tackle Carbon Emissions.”

Obama’s plan for boosting the country’s capacity to withstand climate-related hazards has some great sections, including this line:

The President will direct federal agencies to identify and remove barriers to making climate-resilient investments; identify and remove counterproductive policies that increase vulnerabilities; and encourage and support smarter, more resilient investments, including through agency grants, technical assistance, and other programs, in sectors from transportation and water management to conservation and disaster relief.

David Roberts at Grist has a post No Drama Obama unveils series of modest, sensible steps on climate change. Excerpts:

One of the great illusions of the climate movement has always been that the problem would or could be solved with a grand, sweeping gesture like a climate tax or a binding international agreement. That has been a recipe for disappointment. In fact, making the changes necessary to deal with climate is going to mean a lot of “strong and slow boring of hard boards,” integrating climate into the ordinary business of government, assembling and disseminating information, drawing in new partners, and building up constituencies. This is the unsexy, difficult work of turning the ship of state.

I think new mileage standards for heavy vehicles will be a big deal. A Federal Quadrennial Energy Review will be a big deal. The federal government getting 20 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020 will be a big deal (the federal government is the world’s biggest energy consumer). Pulling together a network of cities to work on climate adaptation will be a big deal, as will work on HFCs, as will technology sharing with developing countries. All these will take place largely outside of public view, but cumulatively they are like acid eating away at resistance, making climate an ordinary, going concern for a new generations of businesspeople, political leaders, innovators, and federal employees.

This is vintage Obama. He refuses to wage lofty ideological battles, which frustrates the hell out of people who view those battles as necessary and inevitable. He doesn’t direct a lot of energy at bashing his head into walls. He just puts the available resources to work doing what can be done. It’s not enough — it’s not even as much as he could do — but it would be a big mistake to think it doesn’t matter.

Anthony Watts has an extensive post entitled The President’s Climate Action Plan – The Good, Bad, and the Ugly.  His summary statement:

I’m not impressed at all with the Obama plan. It lacks real vision, and seems written mainly to appease activist groups. While there are some glimmers of positive things in it, the lack of a real way forward (solar, biofuels, and wind aren’t it) combined with new restrictions can only mean higher energy prices in our future, most of it due to government meddling in the free market.

Like most everything from this president, it is likely to be mostly lip service and tied up in legal battles for years. By that time Obama will no longer be President, and we’ll be left to wrestle with the consequences.

Walter Mead makes this statement in a post at The American Interest:

But while we’re far from being able to predict the future, we should pick the so-called “low-hanging fruit” of green policy—options that decrease emissions while improving quality of life, like improving energy efficiency, or promoting more widespread adoption of telework. Until we have a better grasp on our climate, the fruit hanging higher up on the tree should go unpicked.

JC comments:  I’m sure we’ll see additional analyses over the next few days.  What do you make of the plan?

315 responses to “Reactions to President Obama’s Climate Change Policy

  1. CO2……¿Carbon pollution? :-(

    • The only “carbon pollution” I can think of is black soot. How will cutting CO2 emissions help that? That’s like throwing the baby out with the bath water.

      Black carbon scubbers is much more effective.

    • +1

    • Guillermo Gefaell

      ” Today, we have limits in place for arsenic, mercury and lead, but we let power plants release as much carbon pollution as they want – pollution that is contributing to higher rates of asthma attacks and more frequent and severe floods and heat waves.”

      This sentence is a bit of sloppy thinking, blending the carbon from carbon dioxide with the particulates that accompany fossil fuel effluents.

      Particulates are pollutants because of the chemicals attached to the carbon particle. So carbon by itself is NOT a toxin, only the attached compounds. The carbon particle is the carrier.

      Depending upon the size of the aggregated particle, the degree of human impact as it relates to asthma and other respirable disease, is the location where the particle gets deposited in the respiratory system. Large particles, usually > 10 microns are filtered by the nasal or upper airway system. Particles <2.5 microns fall into the "respirable particle" category usually traveling into the lower or small airways and are usually thought of as the location of initiating lower airway diseases like asthma. Particulates < 1 micron usually are inhaled and exhaled without striking any airway bifurcation or surface.

      Carbon dioxide in and of itself, is not usually thought of as a human pollutant as our body's metabolism of sugars produce @ 40,000 PPM CO2 which gets transported from the energy factory, mitochondria, through the blood to the lungs and get exhaled to an atmosphere of 400 PPMv.

      So some sloppy thinking and word smithing making a political statement that is just not technically correct.

      But, what do you get out of a politician.

    • David Springer

      You ought to fact checkt yourself a little or never ever talk about atoms or molecules of anything again. Pure carbon in the atmosphere is a pollutant as well as certain molecules containing carbon. CO2 fits neither category. Black carbon is pure carbon. You should have checked wikipedia to see what it is before talking about it. Carbon forms rings and crystals of all kinds which when tiny enough to remain aloft cause lung problems when inhaled.

    • David Springer,

      I am not sure what you are talking about.

      As you suggested, I did a quick Wikipedia search on “carbon” and found no such statements as yours.

      Are you talking about “black carbon” referring to “soot”, a mixture?

      I did see that “carbon” has taken on the jargon of “carbon dioxide”, mixing soot with CO2 which seems to be equally as confusing to yourself as to the POTUS.

      There are textbooks of respiratory medicine for your perusal if interested.

    • David Springer

      Yer schittin me right?

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

      It consists of pure carbon in several linked forms

      Second fuggin sentence in the article.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      “Black carbon” or “soot carbon”, the light-absorbing component of aerosols, has been identified as an impure form of near-elemental carbon with a graphite-like structure, which is formed in flaming combustion and in internal combustion engines (White and 20 Germer, 1941; Grisdale, 1953; Medalia and Rivin, 1982; Bockhorn, 1994). In fact, soot particles are the only physically existing and observable particle types that can be readily recognized by their special morphology under the scanning or transmission electron microscope (Oberlin, 1989). Primary soot particles, 10–50nm spherules, do not exist by themselves – instead they cluster together to form aggregates, which are their most stable form (Wentzel et al., 2003). In fresh smoke, these clusters tend to form open structures, which are then transformed by aging processes, including the uptake of water, into more closely packed particle types (Colbeck et al., 1990; Weingartner et al., 1997; Ruellan et al., 1999; Abel et al., 2003; Onischuk et al., 2003). However, soot associated with the smoldering stage of biomass combustion usually forms much larger spherical and compacted particles that seem to be more resistant to atmospheric
      aging processes (Martins et al., 1998b).

      The initial chemical composition of soot depends strongly on its sources: some sources can produce almost pure elemental carbon, while others produce soot of which 50% by mass is organic matter (Medalia and Rivin, 1982). Graphite, the ultimate form of pure elemental carbon in the atmosphere, is an absolutely inert material under atmospheric conditions. It can be oxidized in air only at temperatures exceeding 600_C. In graphitic structures each carbon-carbon bond achieves only one third of a double bond character, unlike a strictly aromatic or olefinic linkage. The resonance of the electrons among various configurations accounts for its electrical conductivity and broad-band light absorption. This latter property is of utmost importance in the light absorption by soot particles, it thus serves as a basis for the optical methods of their determination.

      http://www.atmos-chem-phys-discuss.net/6/3419/2006/acpd-6-3419-2006-print.pdf

      Polyaromatic hydrocarbons – a carcinogen – is present in petroleum derived soot along with dioxins and other toxic compounds more generally present in soot. The lung issues derive from the size of the particles.

      There is no doubt that black carbon is a pollutant having serious health effects. It is also an effective absorber of sunlight.

      Pollutants are commonly defined as substances introduced into the environment that have adverse effects. There seems little doubt that increased CO2 in the atmosphere in some senses has adverse consequences. Direct reduction in hydrological cycling over land due to stomata changes and increases in rainfall acidity and reductions in carbonate saturation in oceans are just the most obvious.

    • David Springer,

      You want to talk about black carbon and its respiratory effects? Black carbon and soot. Soot and black carbon. CO2 is not black carbon. Black carbon is not CO2

      “In climatology black carbon or BC is a climate forcing agent formed through the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels, biofuel, and biomass, and is emitted in both anthropogenic and naturally occurring soot.”

      Black carbon, soot, carbonaceous products, etc. health effects in humans depends where it lands: skin, eyes, upper or lower respiratory system.

      The POTUS spoke of sparing children’s health and mentioned asthma For any carbon based product to influence asthma, it has to get to the airways, most importantly the lower airways, small airways, terminal bronchioles. To get there, carbonaceous products have to be < 2.5 microns and larger than 1.0 microns. They kinda have to drift to their impact site as the transition is from turbulent flow in the conducting airways to laminar flow in the small airways.

      Now carbon in this size range has lots of surface which is ideal to attach all sorts of chemicals. During the combustion of fossil and biofuel products, carbon particles accumulate chemicals which may or may not be harmful to humans.

      So, to spare children of the burden of asthma attacks precipitated by carbonaceous products, control "respirable particles" from emission sources: diesel powered trucks, trains, buses, cars, construction and mining equipment, electric generators, etc etc etc. Put a scrubber on coal fired power plants and: voila….no more children's asthma attacks precipitated by PM 2.5. Ahhhh, how many children's asthma attacks will all this prevent? Choose a number between: 0.01% and 1.0% the science on this is a bit sticky since the literature is filled with may, possibly, it might be…. its better to be safe than sorry. We got the lead out of gasoline by publicizing children's lead levels who lived east of a Boston elevated freeway and comparing those children living in neighborhoods west of the Boston elevated freeway. We can't find more children's asthma living down wind of coal fired power plants so epidemiologists had to go find children's asthma hot spots. And……? Well, maybe, might, could, its better to be safe than sorry.

      To get the health impact on children's asthma, our government relied upon the American lung Association (Easter Seals folks) to declare 300,000 asthma attacks per year due to PM 2.5, obtaining that data from, you guessed it, thin air.

      Now if you really want an etherial story, try finding data, any data on ambient CO2 impacting human health. I understand that our British cousins wanted to use that newly CO2 measurement capability at the start of the Industrial Revolution @ 1820s and Government passed laws as to the CO2 levels permissible in factories, but that all seems to have passed by the wayside since CO2 levels measured by the available techniques varied by hour, day, location to location within confined spaces, and so on and so forth.

      The President and the agencies within the executive branch, Congress and Courts of Law can do whatever they wish, it just ain't science.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Conflating the health and environmental effects of mining and burning of fossil fuels seems problematic for some.

    • “we let power plants release as much carbon pollution as they want”
      ——————————–
      I am not American, but am pretty sure that this is simply a lie. I thought there were strict particulate emission controls on power plants in the US?

      Of course, if he means CO2 rather than carbon, and regards it as a pollutant, he should say so.

      This is just a version of all those photos which purport to show black smoke (which is actually steam) coming out of power plants. Guilt by dishonest association, IMO. And no accident,either.

    • +1

    • David Springer

      Look, dopey. I took issue with something stupidly wrong with what you wrote.

      RiHo08 | June 25, 2013 at 1:59 pm | Reply
      Particulates are pollutants because of the chemicals attached to the carbon particle. So carbon by itself is NOT a toxin, only the attached compounds. The carbon particle is the carrier.

      Particulate carbon is a pollutant in the classic sense. PM 2.5 (2.5 micrometer particulate matter, which includes unadulterated black carbon produced by hydrocarbon combustion) is a known health hazard. Carbon dioxide in any conceivable or practically acheivable concentration in the earth’s well mixed atmosphere is not a health hazard.

      From wickedpedia:

      A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association indicates that PM2.5 leads to high plaque deposits in arteries, causing vascular inflammation and atherosclerosis — a hardening of the arteries that reduces elasticity, which can lead to heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems.[40] The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that “… fine particulate air pollution (PM(2.5)), causes about 3% of mortality from cardiopulmonary disease, about 5% of mortality from cancer of the trachea, bronchus, and lung, and about 1% of mortality from acute respiratory infections in children under 5 yr, worldwide.” doi:10.1080/15287390590936166 PMID 16024504. Researchers suggest that even short-term exposure at elevated concentrations could significantly contribute to heart disease. A study in The Lancet concluded that traffic exhaust is the single most serious preventable cause of heart attack in the general public, the cause of 7.4% of all attacks.[41]

      The smallest particles, less than 100 nanometers (nanoparticles), may be even more damaging to the cardiovascular system.[42]

      There is evidence that particles smaller than 100 nanometers can pass through cell membranes and migrate into other organs, including the brain. It has been suggested that particulate matter can cause similar brain damage as that found in Alzheimer patients. Particles emitted from modern diesel engines (commonly referred to as Diesel Particulate Matter, or DPM) are typically in the size range of 100 nanometers (0.1 micrometer). In addition, these soot particles also carry carcinogenic components like benzopyrenes adsorbed on their surface. It is becoming increasingly clear that the legislative limits for engines, which are in terms of emitted mass, are not a proper measure of the health hazard. One particle of 10 µm diameter has approximately the same mass as 1 million particles of 100 nm diameter, but it is clearly much less hazardous, as it probably never enters the human body — and if it does, it is quickly removed. Proposals for new regulations exist in some countries, with suggestions to limit the particle surface area or the particle count (numerical quantity).

      A further complexity that is not entirely documented is how the shape of PM can affect health. Of course the dangerous needle-like shape of asbestos is widely recognised to lodge itself in the lungs with often dire consequences. Geometrically angular shapes have more surface area than rounder shapes, which in turn affects the binding capacity of the particle to other, possibly more dangerous substances.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      ‘Particulates are pollutants because of the chemicals attached to the carbon particle. So carbon by itself is NOT a toxin, only the attached compounds. The carbon particle is the carrier.’

      Pure black carbon is not a toxin – although it is a pollutant with adverse health effects. Black carbon in the atmosphere is infrequently pure and is associated with compound that are toxic.

      If there are adverse effects of anthropogenic CO2 – then it is a pollutant.

      Springer typically leaps to an error – about both the substance of the comment and the nature of black and is incapable of self correcting. It’s a personal failing.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      …black carbon…

  2. Obama Carbon Pollution Plan = wealth assassination for us, more grants for CAGW’s. Skeptics and real scientists need not apply.

    • Actually, Obama’s speech seems very much in line with what he campaigned (and won) on in the last two elections. No surprises, no drama. I like almost all of what he proposes, although I wish he hand’t used the term carbon pollution.

      I don’t see signs of a ‘heavy hand’ that will strangle business with too much in the way of fees and regulations–more or less it strengthens initiatives from prior years.

      I voted for Obama and I don’t see anything here that really ticks me off. I’m a lukewarmer on climate change and I don’t see anything here that offends my sensibilities.

      Hooray.

    • Tom Fuller, the use of ‘carbon pollution’ is deliberate obfuscation.

      The alleged body count from fossil fuel emissions is all due to carbon particulate emissions. The alleged body count from CO2 emissions does not exist. Carbon particulates and carbon dioxide must be conflated to claim any benefit in a cost/benefit analysis of policies that reduce fossil fuel use.

      I think reducing carbon particle pollution is an excellent idea. It should start with providing low cost energy in developing countries to replace the billions of indoor cooking/heating fires, the particulate emissions from which are currently killing hundreds of thousands every year. That low cost energy can be provided by fossil fuels.

      The fact the epidemiological studies are needed to claim tiny, mostly spurious correlations between particulate emissions and health issues in the U.S. in today’s regulatory landscape indicates that the carbon particulate pollution problem in the U.S. has largely been addressed.

    • Tom,

      The speech is very much in line with President Obama’s SOP. Talk about the problem. Use vague terms, make sure to mention the children, list objectives that are not clearly defined or are to be achieved sometime in the future (or both).

      The man can talk up a storm. The question is whether he can lead. So far I’d say his record says he can’t. If one truely believes it to be urgent and critical that we reduce CO2 emissions, then the action which will go the furthest to doing that, new EPA regulations, are the least likely to happen, and certainly not anytime soon. It is also kinda slick how he has pushed off any potential economic impacts to the end of his term. Whomever follows him into office will be stuck with that problem, should the government succeed in tight CO2 emissions standards.

      There are parts of his plan that make sense, though I get the general impression that his plan is to simply throw money at stuff. I am not even sure he’s all that committed to the subject. He just has to look like he is.

    • Until you read the specifics of what the EPA wishes to enact it is all just talk.

    • In some ways pretty much a description of Obama’s Presidency.

    • DayHay | June 25, 2013 at 1:27 pm said: ”Obama Carbon Pollution Plan = wealth assassination for us”

      Walking down the Spanish road to oblivion…

  3. When a progressive tells you what he is doing is “for the children,” hide your wallets.

  4. Paul Milligan

    I think this move will only embolden activist; some of whom have already started to come unglued. Will we see activist violence in the name of ending ‘Carbon Pollution’ that is a toxin ‘like mercury and arsenic’? If so, this should be remembered as a day the fires of alarmism were refueled.

  5. I really dont care what the USA does with it’s own emissions of CO2. But what I do care about is the impact of this statement on Canada. If President Obama succeeds in getting all or part of his plan actually implemented, there will be pressure on our Federal Government to do the same.

    • Jim Cripwell,

      there will be pressure on our Federal Government to do the same.

      I agree. Excellent point. It will also put pressure on Australia’s Federal Government and will embolden our current ‘Progressive’ government.

      I wonder if the timing of this announcement and what it says is in part intended to help Australia’s Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, save her job. She and Obama seem to see eye to eye on many policy issues and ideology. Each time they meet climate change, carbon pricing and how to save the planet is at or near the top of their agenda. Julia Gillard is hanging onto her job by the skin of her teeth. She could be dumped from leading her party today or very soon. The pools are down to 29% support for Labor and she trails the Leader of the Opposition by 12% as Preferred prime Minister with just 83 days to go until the federal election. This speech by Obama will help her.

    • Australia’s new prime minister … of 2 days … has signaled that he is going to axe the Carbon Tax.

    • Streetcred,

      That’sd a biot misleading. What he is being roumoured is he will move straight to an ETS which is partially (i.e. about 50%) linked to the EU ETS. But the two schemes are different in that they include and exclude different emissions sources. Australia’s ETS includes about 60% of emissions and the EU about 45% of emissions. Both systems are price production of emissions rather than consumptions of embodied emissions. So they are a no go in the long run. EU is cheating because it is exporting manufacturing than buying imported embodied emissions without paying. It stinks.

      Any carbon pricing system will be gamed and played by politcians forever, just as has been happening in EU and Australia. No global carbon pricing system can ever succeed, IMO. I’v e explained why on previous threads.

  6. David Springer

    Obama …”develop homegrown”…

    ‘Nuff said!

  7. Leviathan yawns.

    Nothing really new in this “new program.” Though there are some veiled threats to keep the greens happy. (Keep in mind that Obama is the Rorschach president. All of his supporters see what they want to see, and hears what they want to hear, by design.)

    “To accomplish these goals, President Obama is issuing a Presidential Memorandum directing the Environmental Protection Agency to work expeditiously to complete carbon pollution standards for both new and existing power plants.”

    Notice there is no limitation here to coal fired plants. This creates the impression for the more antsy green progressives that The One will do more to make energy prices sky rocket, like he promised.

    Another $8 billion for crony capitalist Democrat Party donors…I mean loan guarantees for worthwhile alternative energy investments like Solyndra II. No surprise there.

    Another $2.7 billion for the administrations PR operation, I mean grants for essential climate research by independent academics. Ditto, no surprise.

    Here is one that will warm the hearts of economically illiterate progressives everywhere.

    “President Obama is calling for the elimination of U.S. fossil fuel tax subsidies in his Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 budget, and we will continue to collaborate with partners around the world toward this goal.”

    If he means what most progressives mean when he talks about “fossil fuel tax subsidies, he means the same tax deductions that are available to every other business. But don’t hold your breath for any Democrat who actually has to stand for election voting for such nonsense.

    And one from the “I’ll believe it when I see it” category:

    “To advance these important goals, President Obama signed a Presidential Memorandum this month that directs federal agencies to streamline the siting, permitting and review process for [power] transmission projects across federal, state, and tribal governments.”

    About half of the program is trumpeting the awesome things the administration claims to have already done, about a quarter is about vague proposals of what may be to come, and a quarter passing waves to adaptation and its kissing cousin resilience.

    Yawn.

  8. All the skeptics are so vain. They think the policy speech is about cutting back on GHGs.

    It is actually the same speech given ever since USA crude oil production peaked in 1970 with the theme of reducing our dependence on foreign oil.

    We are now in a transtion where the price of oil is high enough that we can start scraping the bottom of the barrel and draining the cracks with expensive technologies and significant investment overhead.

    Obama cleverly uses GHG risk mitigation as cover to help sell the message. It is a no-regrets strategy deployed with the theme
    of killing two birds with one stone. If we only kill one bird, at least we made some progress.

    The context is earth and its natural resources.

    • David Springer

      What progress? For every dime we make energy more expensive in the US it’s a dime’s worth of profit incentive to move the industry using the energy elsewhere. China seems popular and has a lot of dirty coal they’re willing to burn.

      Every scheme that makes energy more expensive in the US is a step backward in polluting the atmosphere because there’s always some country with less strict rules. Surely you know that.

  9. Something for historians to look back on with a giggle.

  10. …but we let power plants release as much carbon pollution as they want – pollution that is contributing to higher rates of asthma attacks…cutting carbon pollution will help keep our air and water clean…

    Clueless, absolutely clueless!

  11. Rogelio Escobar

    Australia will soon be dumping Gillard, Labor and AGW forever. The US will be the only country left, apart from a broke Europe to have such a a tax.

    • Yea +++

      81 days to go!

    • Possibly less, if Gillard gets rolled tomorrow and Rudd can’t convince the Governor-General that he has the support of the house (which rises on Friday).

      My letter sent to the Oz today: “Maggie Morrison asks “What are Julia Gillard’s deeply held beliefs?” (Letters, 26/6). They are the same as Kevin Rudd’s – I’ve listed them here: ” ;-)

    • Faustino,

      Excellent. I’ll watch for it in tomorrow’s Australian.

    • Breaking News (Australia): The two independents that decided to support the Labor-Green minority government in 2010 have just announced they are resigning and will not contest the Australian Federal election, which is to be held on 14 September. They were both strong supporters of the carbon tax and a mass of other economically irrational, highly damaging policies and legislation.

      Their resignation is great news for Australia – and for the world! Every bad government that is dumped is for the better. Everyone can learn from this. Obama should too!. A clear message is don’t try to implement bad policies, like carbon pricing, that will damage the economy for no benefit.

    • Peter Lang,

      Are there any Australian equivalents of Fox News, National Review, Rush Limbaugh, CATO, the Heritage Foundation, Reason Magazine. Sources of Australian conservative or libertarian coverage of political news? We don’t get much reportage up here of political events down under. Which is unfortunate, given that we are all in this together.

    • Yes. We have our versions. ‘The Australian’ is the best news paper in Australia and the only national paper. We have Sky News. And a number of conservative think tanks.

      Here is a good presentation by Rupert Murdock to The Institute of Public Affairs. I think you’d agree with much of what he says and also get a better understanding of the situation down here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZbqLO1TBnGo

    • GaryM

      ‘The Australian’: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/

      The Australian’s cvoverage of Murdoch’s speech:
      http://www.theaustralian.com.au/media/push-to-regulate-press-ill-conceived-murdoch/story-e6frg996-1226613315639

      ‘Quadrant’: http://www.quadrant.org.au/magazine/current

      Many others but that’s a start

  12. The asthma bit is nonsense, as is the claim about floods. The Ipcc says even the sign is uncertain.

    • David Springer

      Hardly.

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061017084420.htm

      Asthma Linked To Soot From Diesel Trucks In Bronx

    • David Springer

      Soot is bad stuff. You don’t want to be breathing it.

      Write that down.

    • David Springer

      Exhaust gas carbon particulate filters can take care of that problem (as they do in many European countries).

      No big deal.

      But it sure as hell isn’t the CO2 that causes respiratory problems as Obama suggests. It’s the real pollutants.

      Write that down.

      Max

    • I see you are being mulish today.

      We all know that the use of the term carbon pollution is not specifically meant to refer to soot. If that’s what people think of when the President uses it, so much the better.

      Shirley, you know better.

    • Obama’s beloved EPA had no problem making human guinea pigs inhale diesel fumes containing PM2.5 which is describes as being lethal at any dose.

  13. R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist, etc.

    I think Revkin does a good job of analysis of Obama’s new climate plan:

    http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/06/25/obamas-global-warming-action-plan/?_r=0

    Personally, I think the notion of hardening system and preparing infrastructure for climate change has very strong merits.

    • David Wojick

      The question is how much you want to pay on speculation? Hardening for change that does not happen is waste. Cost without benefit.

    • Let NY city and state pay for its own hardening. The rest of us will do likewise.

  14. My thought are here:

    Obama Dresses CO2 in a Big Bad Wolf Costume

    George Orwell, who wrote about misusing language for political purposes, would weep at that Fact Sheet

    • Right, another re-branding. So far, Global Warming, Climate Change, Climate Disruption, now I guess Climate Obstructive Pulmonary Disruption?

    • Donna Laframboise

      Good essay.

      Attempting to wear the cloak of “savior of our kids” by outright lying about an imagined hobgoblin (with the ultimate hidden agenda of taxing energy) is a pretty sorry thing for the “most powerful man in the world” to do.

      But, what the hell, it’s “Chicago-style politics” at its best.

      Max

  15. (This is OT, but I feel it is my duty to sometimes make things accessible to those limited information voters here who are limited to the filtered news they receive from the usual suspects. And it does reflect somewhat on just how much you can believe what progressives say, about anything.)

    More proof that the party of institutional racism is still filled with racists:

    White, progressive, Democrat Representative Ryan Winkler, called Clarence Thomas an “Uncle Thomas” for joining a 5-4 majority overturning an obsolete section of the Voting Rights Act.

    Winkler, with an undergraduate history degree from Harvard, claimed not to know that “Uncle Tom” was a racist term. “I did not understand ‘Uncle Tom’ as a racist term, and there seems to be some debate about it.”

    Paula Deen was fired by a television network because she was honest enough to admit she used a racist word some undefined number of years ago. Anyone want to take bets on Congressman Winkler’s future with the Dems?

    • Perhaps the cultural-history deprived Winkler thinks that “Dem bones, dem bones, dem dry bones” is a comment on old skeletons in his party’s closet.

    • Well, if he’s a progressive and a Democrat he does have available the excuse he’s a dumb ass.

      Also off topic but I recall a story from DC where the Superintendent of Schools made a comment regarding the niggerdly funding (or something to that effect) the schools were getting. The woman he was speaking to went straight to the press and demanded he resign for using such racist language.

      I almost felt sorry for her. Advertizing to the world her ignorance.

  16. Obama said he was ordering the Environmental Protection Agency to create the first-ever carbon emissions limits for existing power plants.

    It will be very interesting to read the EPA’s basis for the establishment of the specific guidelines. Congress gave the EPA the authority to regulate CO2 but the Supreme Court ruled that the EPA needs to be able to justify the reasonableness of any regulations it establishes. It may be very difficult for the EPA to defend in court why it picked the specific targets it eventually arrives at for existing power plants.

    I’d guess this going to court after the new regulations are established and it would seem easier to defeat the new regulations that it will be to defend them.

    • David Springer

      Tie up the EPA in court until Obama is gone. Almost guaranteed to happen. Next administration will then have the opportunity to redirect EPA operations and install their own toady at the top of it.

  17. Alan Michaels

    This may seem a tangential post initially, but I think it is germane. While there are, and will be, a lot of discussions (and, unfortunately, ad hominem attacks galore) about the reality of AGW as well as support and attacks on Obama’s speech based upon political persuasions, it seems to me that there are actions that could be taken which could be supported by almost everyone and at the same time help the US on a number of fronts (CO2 emissions, energy use,jobs, etc.). And example of what I mean is from the industry I am in (I own a small window manufacturing company in Houston).

    In the 2009 ‘stimulus’ bill there was a tax credit of up to $1,500 for consumers if they replaced inefficient single pane windows with modern, energy efficient dual pane windows that met tough specifications. The effect spurred a good year in the remodeling portion of the industry even while the economy and new construction was in shambles. Why this type of program seems a logical and easy ‘win’ for most everyone include the following:

    > Simple calculations show that replacing older windows with high efficiency ones save consumers about 50% off their heating and cooling energy use. So the consumer wins through meaningful savings that go well beyond the tax credit.
    > Windows (and other products in similar areas) are produced almost exclusively within the country, including some of the major parts like the float glass, and the installation is certainly very local, so any increase in business helps support US manufacturing and local jobs. And increasing jobs increases tax revenue to help offset the initial credit.
    > As a local example, Houston has roughly 800,000 single family homes, 98% of which were built before 2003 when dual pane windows were required by law. I have never seen a full analysis of this, but if all of the existing single pane windows were to be replaced tomorrow with efficient windows, and using the 50% savings in heating and cooling requirements that comes with this:
    > What would be the effect on the total load for utility plants? Currently we face brown-outs during summer months. Would this alleviate this? And Houston is growing rapidly, so would this eliminate or slow the need for new utility plants?
    > What would be the total reduction in coal, nat gas, oil, etc. being used in general? These raw materials could either be diverted to other places or, if not necessary now, last longer into the future than expected.
    > And since consumers would be saving this money, what would be the impact on the local economy over the longer term? If the average home saved $500 in utility costs per year, what portion of this would be spent within the local area and promote local jobs?

    And it the answers to this are strongly positive, which I believe they are, then extrapolate this nationally.

    Note – I am not promoting that every window be changed in some government sponsored effort! What I am simply pointing out is that, in the case of the 2009 program, a simple tax credit stimulated positive results for almost everyone, whether an extreme ‘green’ or a ‘denier’. Shouldn’t this serve as a good model for other programs that avoid the ranker of normal political debate yet promote positive results for both the country and its citizens?

    It seems that there should be other ways to create non-politicized programs which can reduce energy dependence/use, promote efficiency, save consumers money, support/create US jobs, and pay for itself in the long run.

    But maybe I am dreaming and should just let the name-calling dominate the discussion thread.

    • David Wojick

      Tax credits cost money so other people are paying for these people’s windows. How is that fair?

    • THe cheapest power plant to build and operate if the one that doesn’t need to be built at all.

      There is some financial case to be made that well designed energy saving measures lower costs for everyone by negating the need for new peak capacity.

      Of course..utility rebates are a much better method of delivering the ‘incentives’ as they can be targetted at specific markets where ‘peaking costs’ are highest.

    • Alan Michaels

      The tax credit is a relatively minor portion – to get the maximum $1500 in 2009 a consumer needed to spend $15,000, so it is not ‘free’ to them per se. And as I pointed out in some detail, the program created jobs when the unemployment was otherwise skyrocketing. Far as I can tell, people who earn income, pay taxes, therefore helping offset the initial credit. And, as I also pointed out, the average homeowner taking advantage of this would see a material savings in their energy bill (50% of their heating and cooling in most areas of the country), so if they spend $200/month today, they might have $100 more in their pocket each month to spend on other things, which again, stimulates the economy.

      The question of fairness is very odd, to me. In your definition, is the only thing ‘fair’ is what each individual can pay for? Seems to me that there is at some point a ‘greater good’ that using less energy as a country while supporting jobs (and yes, benefiting those people who want to take advantage of it) is actually logical and ‘fair’ to all of us in the country.

    • Taxes cost me money that pays to educate other people’s children. So how’s that fair?

      Taxes cost me money that pay for the roads that other people drive on. So how’s that fair?

      Taxes cost me money that pay for military expenditures to protect other people’s financial interests. So how’s that fair?

      Taxes cost me money that pay for police to protect other people’s property. So how’s that fair?

      It’s all fair because we elect the officials that determine what to tax for and how much to tax. Would it be any more fair if you had the power to dictate to our legislators precisely what they should or should not do?

      It is rather striking to see how people who have a standard of living higher than the majority of their countrymates, the vast majority of people on the planet, and the vast, vast, vast majority of the people who have ever lived seem to feel that they are being treated unfairly.

    • David Springer

      Joshua | June 25, 2013 at 6:20 pm |

      “Taxes cost me money that pays to educate other people’s children. So how’s that fair?”

      It’s not fair. People with children should pay for public school and people without should not.

      “Taxes cost me money that pay for the roads that other people drive on. So how’s that fair?”

      It’s not fair. Public roads should be supported by use taxes and no more.

      “Taxes cost me money that pay for military expenditures to protect other people’s financial interests. So how’s that fair?”

      It protects your financial interests too unless you think your local PD can defend against a foreign country deciding to take over your town or state. One of the few reasons for founding the US republic was commone defense. Write down: common defense, common currency, regulation of interstate commerce. There’s going to be a test.

      “axes cost me money that pay for police to protect other people’s property. So how’s that fair?”

      Presumably with progressive tax structure each person pays according to how much property they have to protect. Seems fair.

      “t’s all fair because we elect the officials that determine what to tax for and how much to tax.”

      No it’s certainly not all fair.

      “Would it be any more fair if you had the power to dictate to our legislators precisely what they should or should not do?”

      Likely not but your assertion is a logical fallacy usually called “two wrongs don’t make a right”.

      “It is rather striking to see how people who have a standard of living higher than the majority of their countrymates, the vast majority of people on the planet, and the vast, vast, vast majority of the people who have ever lived seem to feel that they are being treated unfairly.”

      Life isn’t fair. Have you not realized that yet?

    • Alan Michaels

      And, as I also pointed out, the average homeowner taking advantage of this would see a material savings in their energy bill (50% of their heating and cooling in most areas of the country)

      That statement is complete twaddle.

    • Alan Michaels – I want some of what you’re on.

    • Friedrich Hayek on private property

      “What our generation has forgotten is that the system of private property is the most important guarantee of freedom, not only for those who own property, but scarcely less for those who do not. It is only because the control of the means of production is divided among many people acting independently that nobody has complete power over us, that we as individuals can decide what to do with ourselves.”

      http://www.wisdom-of-the-wise.com/Friedrich-August-Hayek-on-private-property.htm

    • k -

      The cause and effect in producing good educational outcomes is very complicated. Simplistic analysis or confusing correlation with causation don’t provide much insight. For example, the educational system in Finland and quite a number of other countries with good educational outcomes are heavily unionized. IMO, there are pluses and minuses to our teachers’ unions and a number of other variables that are more more significant. For example, you might look at the relationship between poverty and educational outcomes. We have many school systems with very strong unions that produce excellent results. Charter schools w/o unions do no better, on average, than out traditional schools that have unions.

      please explain to me where the incentives lie in a public schools system that will ensure a quality product for the cost.

      Incentive for whom? For teachers? Administrators? Students? Parents?

      Because what I see, and my wife works in a public school system, is there are no incentives that drive a quality product.

      I have taught in unionized schools and non-unionized schools. In my experience, the presence of unions or the lack thereof had no influence, whatsoever, on the teachers’ incentive. Anecdotal, of course, but I think you would be hard pressed to find any evidence that correlates unionization and lower incentive. Of course, there are the famous stories such as the “rubber room” in the NY school system… but you need to place those examples in the full context. As much as I have observed teachers who were merely going through the motions (and I did see quite a few) and who had job security nonetheless largely by virtue of union representation, I also saw administrators’ capricious treatment of teacher effectively curtailed by union protections.

      At any rate, I’m not sure how that relates to the question I asked jim2. Again, even if you concluded that our public schools are currently failures and that the reason is because of unionization, it still doesn’t answer the question of whether we would have been better off without our public school system. Do you think we would have reached out position of global economic preeminence if we had not implemented a comprehensive program of public schooling?

    • k scott denison

      Nice soliloquy, but doesn’t answer the question. Let me help by rephrasing: where are the simple financial incentives for a teacher to provide a quality education in a public school system? Where is the pay for performance? Where is the financial incentive for the school to provide a quality education? Does that school and its employees run the risk of going out of business if their product is no good? Why not?

      Have you read about what happened in Atlanta re: standardized test scores? Those of us who are skeptics are often accused of being conspiracy nut jobs. Inside the Atlanta school system there was a conspiracy of more than 100 teachers and administrators to fix test scores. How did that happen? Doesn’t it sound like what happened inside the IRS in targeting some groups for extra scrutiny?

      The point is this: government entities, because they are not subject to the risks inherent in an open market, are breeding grounds for all sorts of inefficient and criminal behavior. It is the nature of man. That is why taking less tax dollars to fund government makes sense to so many.

    • David Springer

      David Wojick | June 25, 2013 at 3:34 pm | Reply

      “Tax credits cost money so other people are paying for these people’s windows. How is that fair?”

      It’s fair if you have the opportunity to take advantage of the same tax credit isn’t it? It’s not fair for people who live in cardboard boxes I suppose.

    • k scott denison

      Springer says: It’s fair if you have the opportunity to take advantage of the same tax credit isn’t it? It’s not fair for people who live in cardboard boxes I suppose.
      __

      Well, only those who own homes have that opportunity. Is this funded by a tax that applies to homeowners only?

      The point is that the government is very bad, historically, at picking win ers and losers. The market is much better. So how about we stop taking money from Peter to pay Paul? This is very similar to the cash for clunkers program that had zero effect on our economy or our energy use. It simply sunsidized those who had old, gas guzzling cars from taxes from everyone.

    • k –

      The point is this: government entities, because they are not subject to the risks inherent in an open market, are breeding grounds for all sorts of inefficient and criminal behavior.

      My bad. I forgot that the “free market” eliminates inefficient and criminal behavior.

      Oh, wait. You were serious.

    • k scott denison

      Please, Joshua, provide me reference to the instances in the open market where individuals were forced to give their money to an enterprise that in turn gave them poor quality service. The key is “forced”. Then showmusmhowmlongmthose private entities lasted.

    • k -

      In a non-ideologically world that limits people to binary perspectives, we can see that life is full of trade-offs. Shangri-La is an illusion in that world.

      In that world, society benefits from having educated youth. It reduces poverty. It reduces crime. And when there isn’t a “free market’ that creates educational services that are equally available to all, you make some trade-offs.

      I am actually not particularly in favor of mandatory education, but I can see that it is part of series of trade-offs. It is nested in a series of concentric pluses and minuses.

      What have a hard time with, however, is when people who enjoy a higher standard of living than the majority of people in this country, than the vast majority of people on the planet, of the vast, vast, vast majority of people who have ever been born, hand-wring because of all that they are “forced” to do as they enjoy more freedom, more civil liberties, more political empowerment than all but a handful of people (relatively speaking) who have ever lived.

      And btw – what does “forced” mean in this context? That children are forced to attend public schools if their parents don’t enroll them in private education?

    • k scott denison

      Joshua says: “What have a hard time with, however, is when people who enjoy a higher standard of living than the majority of people in this country, than the vast majority of people on the planet, of the vast, vast, vast majority of people who have ever been born, hand-wring because of all that they are “forced” to do as they enjoy more freedom, more civil liberties, more political empowerment than all but a handful of people (relatively speaking) who have ever lived.”
      _______

      Ah, I see. So you don’t believe those who are enjoying a higher standard have earned it. That, to me, says it all.

      There is a reason that America, where people are able to take risk and be rewarded has, unquestionably, produced more innovations that benefit all of mankind than any other country, ever, on the planet.

      Hint: it’s not because we heavily taxed those who took risks.

      As an example, My company recently bought a small company in France. I led the acquisition. I got to know the owner/innovator as a personal friend. After the acquisition, after on the same day that it closed he had to send 50% of the purchase price to the French government, he told me: “I will never start another company in France. The reward is not worth the hard work and risk.”

      So if you want a world where EVERYONE lives like it is 1850, by all means, punish the risk takers. Or In your case, you’d rather see us subsidize those who develop something “right” so they don’t have to take any risk (Solyendra comes to mind).

      By the way, you do realize that the average person living in poverty in the US today enjoys air conditioning, a cell phone, etc. which is somewhat better than say 40 years ago.

    • Josh,

      I’d agree that focusing on unions as a way to influence quality of education is non-starter. I would also argue that throwing money at education has often been an exercise in tossing it down a rat hole. I’ve found that the number one factor in how well a student performs in school are the parents. If the parents are not committed to seeing their children put forth the effort, the best teachers, the most modern facilities and tools, all the money in the world, will not make much of a difference.

    • tim -

      . I would also argue that throwing money at education has often been an exercise in tossing it down a rat hole.

      I mostly agree. Reforms are needed and smarter spending is needed. Just spending more money in the ways we’ve spent it in the past will not be sufficient. And I am not absolving unions from any level of responsibility for the problems. There is a mix.

      In general, money spent on early education, and I mean really, really early, tends to bring a much better return for the dollar (which, btw, is a strong net positive return – in some cases up to 20 to 1 when you consider less criminality, more productive citizens, etc.). Some of those programs include extensive work with the parents to help them to create a better home environment, that is more conducive to educational attainment for the kids.

      But two things – the first is that sitting around and blaming parents with taking action to improve that situation is counterproductive. I’m not saying that figuring out what to do is easy, but money, spent smart, brings a better return than doing nothing. The other thing is that educational reform is needed. Schools need to get out of the traditional paradigms in seeing students as empty vessels. There are countries where those types of reforms are being implemented. It doesn’t include more standardized testing with the mistaken notion – based in blaming teachers for a very complex matrix of problems – that holding teachers more “accountable” will fix the problems. Sure, more professionalism among teachers is important, but the whole freakin’ society needs to be held more accountable – not just teachers, and one way to start is to stop scapegoating teachers.

    • er…just blaming parents without taking action….

    • Josh,

      Nice to find something we agree on.

      I would note that I am not blaming parents. Just stating a basic truth. If one wants to improve educational attainment, starting with the parents may be a good focus.

      On early education – as I understand it the reason Republicans want to defund Head Start is that the numbers show it does not lead to any measurable increase in how a child performs later in school. Even if true, I think it is an idiotic position. I spent a year as a Head Start volunteer at the local community center. Even if the program does not achieve all of the objectives laid out for it, it provides a worthwhile service for lower income families who often depend on two incomes.

    • It’s all about human capital, baby. mosher does get that right (in relation to other issues).

      From what I’ve seen, the data on Head Start have been somewhat inconclusive, but that is just one program. More comprehensive analysis shows that it would be a mistake to generalize from that one program either way:

      http://www.ncsl.org/issues-research/human-services/new-research-early-education-as-economic-investme.aspx

      http://www.minneapolisfed.org/publications_papers/pub_display.cfm?id=3832

      http://jenni.uchicago.edu/human-inequality/papers/Heckman_final_all_wp_2007-03-22c_jsb.pdf

      http://www.ced.org/projects/single/early-learning-project/all

      http://jenni.uchicago.edu/papers/Cunha_Heckman_etal_2006_HEE_v1_ch12.df

      These folks are not exactly lightweights: for example, Heckmen, Grunewald, Rolnick

    • good example, thx

    • Judith,

      Why are you supporting this sort of economically irrational nonsense?

      Governments have been starting these sorts of economically irrational, interventionist, tax-payer funded. winner-picking schemes for decades. Most end in disaster. The recent Australian ‘Pink Bats’ home insulation fiasco is one recent example. Others are: ‘Green Loans’, ‘Green cars’, wind and solar energy subsidies, feed in tariffs and mandating renewable energy, and many government interventions to subsidise energy efficiency at up to thousands of times more than their economic benefit to the country. I know first hand about many of these schemes the Australian government funded in the 1990′s (Leading up to and following the 1992 Rio Earth Summit).

      Our thinking on government interventions to pick winners is just going around and around. We are repeating the same old mistakes of the past. We seem incapable of learning from the failed policies of the past.

    • Just imagine how much better off we’d be if the government hadn’t launched those massive winner-picking initiatives like public education, interstate highway system, etc.

    • Peter, I don’t comment on the detailed scientific arguments re AGW because my expertise is primarily in economic policy. Similarly, I have suggested once before that the latter is outside of Judith’s expertise, leading her at times to make comments which I find insupportable. It’s called “sticking to one’s knitting.”

    • Josh – highways make sense, public school … not so much.

    • jim2 -

      Josh – highways make sense, public school … not so much.

      An honest question – do you think that this country would be nearly as well off as it is if we hadn’t developed our public education system? I imagine if you do it would be pointless for us to discuss the matter – but I just wanted to check that you actually feel that way. And if you do think that we would have been better off, I was wondering if you might be able to provide an example of a country that you think has fared well by virtue of not creating a system of public schools.

      Keep in mind, that the existence of problems with our public education system does not necessarily imply (unless you’;re stuck in a binary mindset) that we would be (or would have been) better off without one. Consider also that countries like Finland lead the world in educational outcomes with hardly any private schools.

    • k scott denison

      Joshua, please explain to me where the incentives lie in a public schools system that will ensure a quality product for the cost. Because what I see, and my wife works in a public school system, is there are no incentives that drive a quality product. In fact, the unionization of teachers has deliberately removed any incentives.

      The same argument can be made for most, if not all, government programs.

    • David Springer

      http://mises.org/daily/2937/

      What If Public Schools Were Abolished?

      Mises Daily: Tuesday, July 24, 2012 by Llewellyn H. Rockwell Jr.

    • David Springer

      Joshua

      Finland is a tiny ethnically homogenous country. Compare with maybe a private school in an Amish community in the US. Or with a private Catholic school. This is why people want vouchers. Compulsory education, still state funded, but delivered by competing private enterprises. Better education at half the price. I would also advocate for the ability for any student to challenge a class by simply taking a test to demonstrate sufficient knowledge of the subject without ever entering a classroom except to take the exam. I’ve done all the above and the least successful, which I abandoned earlier with each of my children, was public school. I paid for private without voucher or without relief from public school taxes simply because public schools suck.

    • David -

      Compare with maybe a private school in an Amish community in the US.

      Interesting parallel, as there are certainly interesting things we can learn about the particulars of the Amish community that have lead to its notable economic success.

      Or with a private Catholic school.

      Again, non-traditional and non-unionized charter schools do no better than average on traditional, unionized public schools. Likewise, at least from the research I’ve seen (and I’ve looked at a fair amount), when you control for SES, prevalence of special needs students, and other important variables, private schools do no better a job w/r/t educational outcomes that public schools.

      This is why people want vouchers. Compulsory education, still state funded, but delivered by competing private enterprises.

      Public funded schools run by competing private enterprises have been tried fairly extensively, and many of them have delivered worse results or results that were not better – again, when you control for SES, special needs, etc.

      The reason for that is because people are focusing on variables that have a superficial influence on the problems. Public schools in this country, where the student population has a poverty rate of 20% or lower do fairly well by international standards. There are public school systems in wealthy communities (such as one near me in Lower Merion – where parents pony up to spend twice as much per student as is spent just across the city line) that have excellent educational results. I worked in one such public school system that had a pocket of poor kids from one section of the community who, on average, did much more poorly than the students from the surrounding neighborhoods. The same would be true if that school had been a private school.

      Better education at half the price.

      Really? Do you have any evidence for that statement, or is that simply a projection of your political ideology – you know, that whole skepticism vs. “skepticism” thing.

      I would also advocate for the ability for any student to challenge a class by simply taking a test to demonstrate sufficient knowledge of the subject without ever entering a classroom except to take the exam.

      I am not defending the predominant educational paradigm that is present in public schools. I have many, many criticisms of that paradigm. For example, the whole notion of norm-referenced standardized testing. Read up on Finland’s approach (which I support) if you’re interested. But that paradigm also predominates in most private schools. That paradigm is not a function of whether or not we have a public school system.

      …because public schools suck.

      Public schools have a very difficult task. One of the main comparison points between our public schools and that of Finland is the status given public school teachers by the society more generally, the level of professionalism that is supported and expected (such as seen in the level of training required and the type of selection criteria), etc. It is not productive, IMO, to take a myriad set of problems and create such a simplistic conclusion of “public schools suck.” There are many problems with their performance, but unless you are limited to a binary mindset, you should be asking a few questions: (1) does the fact that our public school system has problems mean that it “sucks?” (2) If you think public schools “suck,” then do you also conclude that we would have maintained our preeminent economic status without the establishment of our public school system? (3) Although certainly progress on many social problems have been limited, would we have made the progress we have made without a public schools system? (4) if public schools “suck,” then why do you see that there is a correlation between standards of living and % of GDP spending on a per capita basis and spending on public education?

    • Steven Mosher

      Joshua

      ‘Just imagine how much better off we’d be if the government hadn’t launched those massive winner-picking initiatives like public education, interstate highway system, etc.”

      The evidence is pretty clear when it comes to the governments ability or any single institutions ability to pick winners in a competitive market.

      With regard to public schools. It’s not like there was an established market serving the needs of its customers. Its not like the government choose the public schools as a winner. The government established them and they didnt create a winner. They basically do the same job as private schools. So granting you your claim that private are no better than public, it merely establishes that in this case the government didnt pick a winner.
      They delivered a tie to folks who were being under served.

      With the interstate highway system again it wasnt like the government was picking a winner from companies competing.

      The point is that the government is bad at picking winners. So are a lot of investors. But those investors are betting their money. and they have a chance to learn from mistakes. or if they really screw up then their STUPID MONEY wont chase losers in the future.

      But the government has no feedback loop to suffer pain from its mistakes.

      lets put this another way. There is nothing special about people who pick winners. whether they work for goldamn sachs, or a company or a government. the difference is the feedback loop. When I lost my company 20Million dollars, there was a personal price to pay. My decision power was taken away. I had to earn it back by racking up a bunch of good decisions. If you bet on Apple and lose money there is a chance you will learn and improve or at worst in the future your stupid money wont drive others to follow. But when the government helped solyndra, there was no feedback. You think the guy who made that decision understands what he did wrong. hell in the valley we knew it was a mistake when they first started. lets generalize: where decision makers are insulated from the pains of making poor decisions, whether those decisions makers are spoiled children, government employees, or the idle rich, the ability to pick winners is lower than in those situations were decision makers are held accountable. The incentive in government is to spend your budget, not to make the most of it, but merely to spend it. there are also businesses who practice the same insanity in small ways here, so its not purely a government thing. Its feedback/incentive thing

    • Steven -

      The problem is that people create arbitrary distinctions, largely based on their ideological predispositions.

      Just now, I conducted business with the DMV in the state of NJ. They had a pretty crappy website with some glitches that caused me problems, but I was still able to transact the business I needed to transact. It is interesting that in contrast to PA, their one-line services are pretty bad. There is variance in their levels of efficiency.

      Over the past couple of weeks I conducted business with an electronics retailer and a computer manufacturer. I was sold two computers that lacked basic functionality. The company that sold me the computers was willing to try to help me out, but they displayed incompetence in doing so (I had numerous discussions with their techies and they couldn’t figure our the problem, I left it with their techies and they couldn’t solve the problem. So, basically, they told me that I could return the computers but that the would not assume further responsibility for working with the manufacturer to resolve the problem. Only when I was returning the computers to get a refund did one of the techies actually know what the problem was – turned out to be a problem with Windows 8 running on my machine – the freakin’ factory installed operating system). I worked with on-line tech support with the computer manufacturer. The had me reset the bios, re-download drivers, and resinstall the operating system – all multiple times. After I had dealt with them for a couple of days, it became apparent that they knew this compatibility problem existed with the wireless driver they sold me and Windows 8. After I spent many hours trying to rectify a problem of them manufacturing inoperable computers, they offered to let me mail the computers to them to get them fixed – meaning I would then have to go two weeks w/o any computers, they would do no better than offer to expedite the shipping for me. They were unwilling to send a technician out to my house to solve the problem even though they sell such a service along with their computers. They were willing to allow a customer to be very much inconvenienced because they sold him a computer that lacked basic functionality. And BTW, because I had to buy an online copy of Word (doesn’t come installed anymore), I had to consult with Microsoft technicians each of three times I had to reinstall it after I had to consult with Microsoft technicians to help me reinstall Windows.

      Would all retailers be as unwilling to stand behind the machines they sold? Probably not. Would all computer manufacturers be so unwilling to provide a reasonable level of customer support? Probably not. Would all software companies be as willing as Microsoft to endorse the use of their software on computers with which it was incompatible? Probably not. Would all software companies sell online version of their software that required consultation with technicians to reinstall? Probably not (the problem is that many files hidden deep in the operating system had to be removed manually, and they were not removed with the “uninstall” application).

      We have (tens? hundreds? of ) billions of dollars in corruption, fraud, waste, and incompetence in the private sector yearly. What is the full cost to the taxpayer? What is the cost in terms of loss of efficiency and productivity? Where is the efficiency of the market to stamp out the waste, fraud, corruption and incompetence? Do you really think that there is regularly a price to pay for incompetence, fraud, waste, and corruption in the private sector? Really? It doesn’t even happen with all the people who get caught, or who are clearly accountable, let alone for those who don’t get caught or who can hide their accountability or who have the leverage to avoid paying a price.

      The world is not black an white.

      And along those lines, you make good points. Although many conservatives assume, because they are wishful thinkers and ideologically fixed, that the “private sector” would do a better job of educating our youth. In addition to blind (and unskeptical, I might add) faith in the private sector (fetishism is probably a more accurate term) – for which there is not supporting evidence (why do they believe that the private sector would provide better education even though they lack evidence?) – what they fail to do is make accurate definitions. Where are the clean lines between private and public sector? They exist in the minds of partisans. What kind of market is education? Is it a private market? And what was the reason why our government stepped in to build the interstate highway system, the railroad system? Because the private sector was not providing those services. So where do we draw those clean lines about exactly where the government should “pick winners?” Is that what they were doing when they financed the railroads? Is that what they are doing when they subsidize renewable energy sources? Is that what they are doing when they support job creation programs that save energy and reduce ACO2 emissions?

      None of these lines are clean except to ideologues (on both sides). The visions of clean and obvious cause-and-effect between incompetence and “price to pay,” and the clean lines people see that distinguishes the private sector and the public sector with respect to the immediacy and efficiency of that cause-and-effect exists in the minds of people stuck in a binary mindset. “Skeptics” see with such clarity, not skeptics.

      The problem is, IMO, that ideologues on both sides, those who demonize the private sector and those who demonize the public sector, build road blocks that prevent a synergistic approach that is reality based and that is build on open and nuanced and realistic definitions.

    • jim2,

      I’ll bite. Exactly why do you think public education does not make sense?

    • k scott denison

      Steven Mosher says: “The point is that the government is bad at picking winners. So are a lot of investors. But those investors are betting their money. and they have a chance to learn from mistakes. or if they really screw up then their STUPID MONEY wont chase losers in the future.”
      ______

      Said better than I could, thank you. What I object to is using my hard earned property to place bets that I wouldn’t make.

    • Mosher gives a pretty good explanation on why government should not be counted on for picking winners, in the process of deconstructing Josh’s point and Josh’s response – using three times the number of words – is to give a monologue of his past week, going to the DMV, buying a computer, etc. Should have titled it My Tuesday, by Josh.

    • Alan Michaels,

      Every industry can make arguments why subsidizing its products would be good “for everybody.” Oh wait, most already do.

      No offense, if your product is such a great deal for the consumer, do a better job of selling it. Once you get government in the business of picking your particular business, or industry, for favorable treatment, they aren’t going to stop there.

      If your product is worth what you charge for it, it will sell. If it isn’t, it won’t. The healthcare industry is full of insurance companies whose eyes glazed over at the prospect of government subsidies, and mandatory insurance. But now that the reality is starting to hit, they are not so fond of the monster they helped create.

      Stick to making windows. Don’t let the siren of “free” government money rob you of your entrepreneurial instincts.

    • Alan Michaels

      Gary, either I didn’t make myself clear or you are intentionally misreading / misrepresenting my post. I don’t want any government subsidies and my business is quite fine as it is, thank you.

      I don’t want the government picking winners either. If fact, I was rabidly against the 2009 stimulus bill, but I didn’t put that in because I was trying to make a non-political point.

      Obama’s speech today was about ‘global warming’ (of which I am quite skeptical), energy (coal, XL pipeline, etc.) and efficiency. My post was simply to try and point out that there actually may be lower hanging fruit, even satisfying the most rabid ‘greens’, but which can benefit people and the economy. I used my industry because i know it. But my post was trying to direct attention away from the expected ‘anti-Obama / government’ vs. ‘pro-Obama / government’ comments and towards a thought that there might be opportunities which satisfy each but sidestep the rhetoric.

      Apparently not.

    • Alan Michaels,

      The central point of your comment was in this paragraph:

      “In the 2009 ‘stimulus’ bill there was a tax credit of up to $1,500 for consumers if they replaced inefficient single pane windows with modern, energy efficient dual pane windows that met tough specifications. The effect spurred a good year in the remodeling portion of the industry even while the economy and new construction was in shambles. Why this type of program seems a logical and easy ‘win’ for most everyone include the following:”
      \
      That makes clear that all “the following” bullet points were a result of the $1,500.00 tax credit in the “stimulus package.”

      Then you argued that this type of policy should be applied nationally.

      “And it the answers to this are strongly positive, which I believe they are, then extrapolate this nationally.”

      And if you did not “want the government picking winners,” and were “rabidly against the 2009 stimulus bill,” then this was a strange comment for you to make:

      “What I am simply pointing out is that, in the case of the 2009 program, a simple tax credit stimulated positive results for almost everyone….”

      Because that was exactly what the stimulus bill, including the tax credit you lauded, did. You may well not have thought it through. You may not have realized you were advocating government picking winners and losers, but that was exactly, explicitly, what you wrote.

    • Springer, “A little Chlorox bleach in the water will nip the “science project” in the bud. Actually before the bud…”

      Exactly. A good design allows for bleaching of the evaporator coil and blower with a large enough drain pan to contain the moisture. The molded Styrofoam is about the best way to prevent air leakage which can cause moisture outside the system while having a high R-value that is not subject to moisture saturation.

      Like they said in enjuneering school, “If you can’t maintain it, don’t build it.” which was replaced with, “Use it then throw it away.”

    • Gary M and Alan Michaels

      Speaking of “low hanging fruit”, black carbon pollution from Diesel engines can be eliminated easily with exhaust gas filters.

      These are now mandated in many European countries.

      They are inexpensive and easy to retrofit or install directly on new machines.

      These eliminate real air pollution, which can cause or aggravate respiratory ailments, etc.

      Going after CO2 is stupid for many reasons: it is not a pollutant, it causes absolutely no health problem to humans or other animals, it is essential plant food for all plants, and is very expensive (i.e. practically impossible) to eliminate.

      Now to climate.

      Does black carbon pollution result in global warming by decreasing Earth’s albedo and the reflection of incoming solar radiation?

      Probably (although this has not been measured as far as I know).

      Does increased CO2 cause global warming due to the greenhouse effect?

      Probably (although the amount of warming is highly uncertain, hotly disputed and not backed by any empirical evidence).

      So let’s go after the “low hanging fruit” and forget about the rest until we have cleared up all the uncertainty.

      Makes sense to me.

      Max

      PS Reducing waste, improving energy efficiency, etc. also make sense (windows are a good example of another “low hanging fruit”)

    • Alan & Gary,

      This might be germaine to your discussion. I work for an electric & gas utility. This afternoon I went home for a couple of hours to meet a guy who was going to survey my refridgerator to see if it was eligible for a replacement. Turns out it is. So now my utility company will be giving me a new one – for free. Except I have to wonder exactly how free it is. Someone has to pay for it.

      I’ve been told that the energy savings from newer models are pretty significant. So it could be that they’ve run the numbers and the payback makes sense. Except they are in the business of selling energy. They also came in and replaced most of the light bulbs – again, for free. As a company we have given away a couple of million free light bulbs.

      As I understand it, utility companies and utility commissions in most states operate under least cost planning rules. First the companies forecast expected growth in demand, and then determine what portfolio of new generation and conservation measures is the best, least cost option. While there are limits as to how much conservation one can achieve, it generally ranks high as a low cost option. But it isn’t free. We get to recover the cost of those light bulbs and fridges in our rates. So everyone who gets an electric bill is paying. The plan is that they will be paying less than if a new generation facility was built instead.

      I won’t mention the point about the old unit, built in 1988, has run for 25 years and likely would for another 10 or so, while the expected life of the replacement is 5 – 7 years. My wife is happy she getting a new one, so I’m happy.

    • Manacker,

      PS Reducing waste, improving energy efficiency, etc. also make sense (windows are a good example of another “low hanging fruit”)

      No!. They are a very high hanging fruit to replace windows in existing buildings. Very expensive for small improvement (in Australia).

      If it was economically viable to do it, people would do it without subsidies or government intervention.

    • Alan,
      We nearly never have brownouts in Houston, summer or winter due to demand.
      However if Obama wants to fill the tax credit trough in favor of the window companies, I am not going to be so proud as to reject his squandering of naitonal resources on a trivial problem.

    • Alan Michaels,

      there are actions that could be taken which could be supported by almost everyone and at the same time help the US on a number of fronts (CO2 emissions, energy use,jobs, etc.).

      That’s a good start. Nearly everyone would agree with the goals.

      But then you jump; right off the rails advocating government intervention, picking winners for photo opportunities and press releases. Government interventions like this do not create jobs, do not improve productivity, do not provide net economic benefits to the country. In fact the normally kill around two real jobs for every tax payer subsidised ‘new’ job created.

    • I’m going to wax a bit technical here, please bear with me.

      One of the major “peak time” energy users is air conditioning. In most buildings, this consists of equipment to cool air that is blown around the whole building. Cooling is performed in a central location by the evaporator, the cool air is carried to where it’s used by ducts, powered by fan(s). The evaporator, condenser, and compressor are generally separated, with the refrigerant being carried around in soldered metal tubing. Even in small room air conditioners, where all the parts are within one box, they are connected by tubes carrying refrigerant.

      I would propose seven changes, to summarize:

      1. Put the compressor, condenser, and evaporator in a single, hermetically sealed container.

      2. Instead of piping refrigerant around to carry the latent heat, use water (with antifreeze in) carrying sensible heat, with a delta of a few degrees centigrade. By carrying both cold-side and hot-side heat with water, both heat exchangers can be small and contained within the sealed container.

      3. Rather than fluorinated carbon compounds for refrigerant, use ammonia. Because all the parts are contained in the sealed container, the actual amount of ammonia involved can be tiny, and leaks can be almost eliminated.

      4. Use a “smart” variable-ratio compressor capable of working at different pressures (i.e. temps) on both hot-side and cold-side.

      5. Use separate cooling units in each room, called ductless minisplit systems. Such systems would be much cheaper to install when the heat is carried by regular water than refrigerant.

      6. In place of thermostats, use “smart” thermo-hydrostats, that can measure both humidity and temperature, and keep the room(s) dry even when they’re warm. Combine this with variable low-side temps, depending on the relative cooling/dehydration needs. Higher cold-side temps, when allowable, can substantially reduce energy costs.

      7. Use an evaporative cooling tower for the hot side, rather than dry air. This will allow the hot-side temperature to be much lower (usually), with substantial energy reductions. These are already used, along with cold water for cold-side heat shipment, in some large buildings. (See the first page of that link for a non-technical description of A/C technology.)

      Using all of these changes together, considerable energy savings can be accomplished, and once economies of scale kick in the manufacture, installation, and especially maintenance of residential and other small-building A/C would probably (certainly IMO) be considerably cheaper.

      The fact is that warmer dryer air usually tends to be more comfortable than cool damp air, especially with some local circulation. (Certainly for me.) As long as a room is kept reasonably dry, it doesn’t have to be that cool, and in many buildings the inwards flow of water vapor is lower than heat.

      When retrofitting existing systems, the water tubing can be run through the existing ducts, while circulation can vary between forced and local depending on circumstances. For new A/C in existing buildings, stringing water tubes would be much cheaper and require much less specialized training than soldered metal tubing for refrigerant.

    • AK Water source HVAC has been around a while and is very efficient if you have the water and a place to get rid of the water. If you have to install a cooling tower that adds to expense and headaches. Stringing water tubes in a building sounds fun, but it is still called “plumbing” from the Greek, “aw chit!” Interior water leaks and the mold, fungus etc. they cause to flourish, is probably the number one indoor air quality problem in the world. Responsible for a very large percentage of childhood asthma btw. There is one of those neat correlations between home air conditioning and drywall sales that many “professionals” tend to miss. Dry wall – dirt and cellulose plus water equals science project.

      Ammonia Absorption refrigeration is less efficient than heat pump technology. It does have some great applications for the tech junkie since you can produce “free” air conditioning using just solar, but it is pretty much a novelty.

      If you have the bucks though, the Mitsubishi and other split system through wall units with shared condensing units are the cat’s ass. If you don’t, 20 bucks per 1000 btu will buy relatively quiet and efficient window shakers that last about two seasons so they don’t get a chance to get too much mold growth on the evaporator coils. Wet evaporator coil plus dirt equals science project.

    • @captdallas 0.8 or less…

      Do you give the documents you quote the same lack of attention?

      Water source HVAC has been around a while and is very efficient if you have the water and a place to get rid of the water. If you have to install a cooling tower that adds to expense and headaches.

      I’m not talking about using flowing water to cool the condenser, I’m talking about using evaporative cooling.The techniques are all mature technology, it just has to be applied to the consumer market.

      Stringing water tubes in a building sounds fun, but it is still called “plumbing” from the Greek, “aw chit!”

      It actually comes from the Latin word for the metal lead. And there’s a difference between the high-pressure water needed for taps, and water cooliing technology, which is also mature.

      Ammonia Absorption refrigeration is less efficient than heat pump technology. It does have some great applications for the tech junkie since you can produce “free” air conditioning using just solar, but it is pretty much a novelty.

      I’m not talking about that, I’m talking about using ammonia in place of CFC’s in a standard style heat pump. For that matter, using water to carry the heat you could switch back and forth from heating to cooling just by re-routing the water flow.

      If you don’t, 20 bucks per 1000 btu will buy relatively quiet and efficient window shakers that last about two seasons so they don’t get a chance to get too much mold growth on the evaporator coils.

      What I’m talking about would be much more energy efficient, not use CFC’s, and the actual cooling unit would be a lot easier and cheaper to clean and/or replace.

    • AK, “I’m not talking about using flowing water to cool the condenser, I’m talking about using evaporative cooling.The techniques are all mature technology, it just has to be applied to the consumer market.”

      Those cheap window shakers I mention use something called slingers. Condenser fans that actually sling condensate on the condenser coils. That is a proven evaporative cooling technology that comes at a small corrosion cost. Water is more difficult to deal with than most imagine. To pipe water to any type of condenser for evaporative cooling on small scales is a PITA, hence the “Plumbing” joke. The water source heat pumps I mentioned can be used for a variety of system temperatures and keep the water contained. If you have some links to some new evaporative cooling method for home A/C, I would like to see it, but most that I have seen are little more than sales pitches.

      “I’m not talking about that, I’m talking about using ammonia in place of CFC’s in a standard style heat pump.”

      There are some oil return issues on small scales that will be difficult. With the variety of new “green” refrigerants and the efficiency of scroll compressors, that would be a hard sell. Using waste heat or solar with an ammonia system makes more sense.

      “What I’m talking about would be much more energy efficient, not use CFC’s, and the actual cooling unit would be a lot easier and cheaper to clean and/or replace.”

      Unless you have a plan to use the waste heat, the EER of the cheap window shakers is pretty impressive, 10 to 12. That is mainly because of scroll compressor designs and Styrofoam molding (pretty amazing actually). The mini-split ductless systems do have a slightly higher EER at about ten times the initial cost. If you need reverse cycle, the mini-splits have a better advantage. None of the current window shakers or mini-splits use CFC’s. Since Montreal, the HVAC industry has dramatically improved efficiency of the equipment. Even with all the EER improvements, insulation upgrades, programmable thermostats and compact fluorescence light bulbs, the energy use of single family homes in the US has increased by 10% since 1980. Why? Because the average square footage of the average American home has doubled since 1970.

    • I was several blocks away once from a small time slaughterhouse using ammonia as a refrigerant, over the weekend after a replacement natural gas line had been placed from the alley. It was a Sunday and the meathouse and the street in front of it were deserted, because otherwise it would have been a mass casualty event, very loud four blocks away. As it was, the only casualty was the slaughterhouse, and I suppose an insurance company or another.
      ==============

    • David Springer

      A little Chlorox bleach in the water will nip the “science project” in the bud. Actually before the bud…

  18. We are cooling, folks; for how long even kim doesn’t know.
    ================

    • Yes, I have heard this before somewhere….

    • Yep.

      I’ve heard it, too.

      And all those thermometers out there (even the ones next to heated buildings in winter or AC exhausts in summer) are telling us the same.

      It’s not warming – it’s cooling instead.

      Max

  19. How can the global food supply be a toxin? This is just nuts.

  20. Apparently, a buy signal.
    ========

  21. Obama would have been better off if he’d been mindful of his moral obligation to be truthful.

  22. Stephen Singer

    Really bad policies for an non-existent climate crisis. Will have serious consequences for families fiscal health over the next 10 years or more.

    He and his administration are clearly not paying any attention to want is happening in Europe at the moment with their ridiculous climate change policies. So, they intend to balance things out by shafting us in the same way.

    Perhaps we’ll get lucky and voters will wake up and vote for a President and Congressmen with a more sane policies sooner than later.

    • S Singer,
      They are watching closely: The Administration knows the window on AGW bs is closing fast. They want to impose their policies while they still can.
      Notice Obama has admitted he is not enough of a real leader to sell these ideas. he can only impose them by Executive fiat.

    • Hunter,

      I think this is more a case of his being seen as doing something, when it really is all talk. All of the measures requiring money will still have to go through Congress. Sure, he can order government agencies to act in certain ways, but they are all actions of limited duration – until the next administration comes into office. The biggest gun he has is the EPA and I think we all know that is not going anywhere any time soon.

  23. Matthew R Marler

    The President will direct federal agencies to identify and remove barriers to making climate-resilient investments; identify and remove counterproductive policies that increase vulnerabilities; and encourage and support smarter, more resilient investments, including through agency grants, technical assistance, and other programs, in sectors from transportation and water management to conservation and disaster relief.

    Previously President Obama directed the federal agencies to study the budget line-by-line and remove wasteful spending. I think that this presidential directive will have the same effect. Basically, the people in the administration will continue doing for the next 2 years what they have done for the last 2 years, except that they will be seeking other employment at a higher rate than before. Incumbent Senators from states that produce a lot of electricity and merchandise from coal will continue to lobby the EPA not to enact new regulations on coal. The administration will continue to postpone deciding the Keystone XL pipeline, and will continue to postpone significant new nuclear power development.

    This Quixotic speech will produce no effect on climate.

    Possibly I exaggerate — it’s hard to tell from a distance — but Obama seems to me to be the lamest lame duck ever.

  24. It is like two sides pulling tug of war rope over precipice, one side is bound to plunge to its ignominious and humiliating downfall. Nature will decide.

  25. “To advance these important goals, President Obama signed a Presidential Memorandum this month that directs federal agencies to streamline the siting, permitting and review process for [power] transmission projects across federal, state, and tribal governments.”

    What does this mean for the Indian lands? Don’t they make their own decisions on power?

  26. Today, we have limits in place for arsenic, mercury and lead, but we let power plants release as much carbon pollution as they want – pollution that is contributing to higher rates of asthma attacks and more frequent and severe floods and heat waves.

    If this was a private person trying to push a personal agenda by making the association of “carbon” with toxins, wouldn’t that constitute fraud?

    http://theroadtoemmaus.org/RdLb/11Phl/Sci/CO2&Health.html

    “ı Furthermore it’s administered in the form of medical gas (1% to 10%) for many medical conditions to stimulate respiration. For example, people with asthma require from 3% to 5% for therapeutic effect.

    “Studies suggest that a lower level than this but somewhat higher than present atmospheric levels would prevent the attacks in the first place and prevent subclinical symptoms associated with asthma such as anxiety, insomnia, immune dysfunction and excessive sensitivity to pain. CO2 levels higher than 5 per cent are used for extreme cases such as for treating victims of asphyxiation and to stimulate breathing of newborn infants as well as speeding recovery of patients who have been anesthetized.

    “ı The majority of us have some degree of lung impairment, which affects the more critical function of the lungs in regulating the proper level of CO2 in the alveoli (tiny air sacs). Metabolic syndrome alone includes approximately 20 – 30 % of adults in the U.S. and Europe. Then there are smokers, asthmatics, and people with miner’s lung, emphysema and scarred lungs due to previous bouts of pneumonia, old people, and many more conditions. Furthermore, a wide range of medical conditions and infectious diseases manifest in pulmonary symptoms. All these conditions can require medical gas because the present atmospheric level is not optimum and appears to lack a safety margin for people with lung impairment. Breathing is a tricky business. We have to breathe fast and deep enough to get the O2 we need but not so fast as to hyperventilate and lose control of our blood’s CO2 balance (pH). Over the last 50 million years the O2 level and CO2 level have both dropped as well as atmospheric density, which puts us into the same predicament as the mountain climber who must acclimatize to a higher altitude. Even healthy mountain climbers reach a level at which they cannot further adapt. People with lung impairment are like the climber who has reached that level. Either an increase in the O2 level or an increase in the CO2 level would be a benefit. It is for good reason that people hospitalized are fitted with air tubes to their nostrils providing them very high levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide. (Typically, 4.5 times the oxygen but, more importantly, 130 times the carbon dioxide that is in the atmosphere) ”

    High levels of Carbon Dioxide is used to treat patients who are asthmatic or have other breathing problems.

    We cannot get the carbon dioxide we require for oxygen transportation through the blood and for maintaining our body’s pH balance. We require around 6.5% of every lungful of air to be carbon dioxide, we exhale 4%. This 4% in every lungful exhales is reserve, it is not a waste product, because the amounts we need to stay alive are critical.

    If for some reason we hyperventilate and “can’t get enough air”, it is not oxygen we’re struggling for.. It is our body’s response to the levels of carbon dioxide in lungs dropping to a critical level, 4.5%, so our body tries to stop us exhaling while it produces more for us.

    WE PRODUCE OUR OWN CARBON DIOXIDE to stay alive.

    Breathing into a paper bag/cupped hands to breathe back in the carbon dioxide we exhaling is the quickest way to restore normal breathing.

    This is targetting of carbon dioxide which they erroneously call “carbon”, by calling is a toxin and all the other ways this is demonised by governments is an affront to our dignity as Carbon Life Forms.

    They should be drummed out of office.

    • Sorry, missed out the atmosphere…

      “We cannot get the carbon dioxide we require for oxygen transportation through the blood and for maintaining our body’s pH balance from the atmosphere. We require around 6.5% of every lungful of air to be carbon dioxide, we exhale 4%. This 4% in every lungful exhales is reserve, it is not a waste product, because the amounts we need to stay alive are critical.”

    • Myrrh

      Interesting comment.

      I was unaware that higher CO2 levels are actually beneficial for some patients suffering from respiratory ailments.

      Somehow the doomsayers that are giving “scientific advice” to President Obama should be made aware of the fact that CO2 is not only not harmful to “our kids” – it could actually be beneficial for them.

      [I am assuming here that the POTUS is truly interested in doing something good for "our kids", and not just playing "Chicago style politics" with his war on "carbon pollution" in order to justify a new tax on energy, but maybe I'm being naïve.]

      Max

    • Chief Hydrologist

      ‘A primary danger of short-term inhalation of carbogen is accidental over-exposure, like the tragic but recurring unsupervised nitrous oxide suffocations caused by masks, garbage bags, or stuck tank valves. People with weakened respiratory systems, such as those with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or cystic fibrosis, are at much higher risk of life-threatening complications from inhaling carbogen. Further, many heavy smokers have undiagnosed lung dysfunction that would severely weaken their ability to recover from acidosis caused by carbogen, putting them at much higher risk of respiratory failure than healthy individuals.31 Because carbogen inhalation causes a spike in cerebral blood flow, those with weak cardiovascular systems or health issues related to cranial blood pressure may be at higher risk of problems. Other populations may also be at higher risk, including schizophrenics or those suffering from anemia.’ http://www.erowid.org/chemicals/carbogen/carbogen_article1.shtml

      This is from a site on psychoactive drugs and even they wouldn’t use carbogen for asthma. Seems we can leave that to skeptics.

  27. A corallary to Godwin’s law is that “Inevitably, those lacking in facts hide behind the good of unspecified children to justify their policies.”

  28. Revkin …
    But if you doubt the reality of this shift, just look at the news coverage from Monday of the drop in the price of shares in coal companies ahead of the speech.

    USA Today …
    Coal stocks rose Tuesday even after President Obama’s speech on climate change, in which he laid out a sweeping initiative to limit carbon emissions from all power plants in the U.S.
    http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/markets/2013/06/25/obama-emissions-energy-stocks/2455167/

    • Peabody Energy May 21-$21.17 today $15.04 off 29%
      Arch Coal May 21 – $5.55 today $3.80 off $31.5%
      Alpha Natural Resources May 21 – $7.21 today $5.18 off 28%
      I am sure if we could get to the data, Obama staffers and Congress have been shorting these guys for a couple years now. Even without regulations, no one is going to build new coal here, new regs will kill it all outright. Then watch natural gas take off.

  29. good, about time the US deal with its carbon pollution

    • When and how will we know if these policies work? Global temp? Global CO2 level? The USA could die tomorrow and you would not see a blip on the global anything regarding global warming.

    • DH,

      lolwot’s real name is Chick N. Little.

  30. My take-homes:

    Lots of lofty verbiage.

    Not enough specific actions with teeth for some green lobby groups.

    Nothing of substance that could actually be implemented in the 41 months that Pres. Obama will still be in office.

    And it looks like he has other priorities right now, anyway.

    But, hey, it momentarily took the mind of the US media off of the current scandals surrounding the Obama administration, so in that sense it was “good politics”.

    Max

    • Sorry messed up the tags (and made some typos) … So let me try that again:

      Max, the rhetoric may be “lofty” but much of it is far from original! In fact it strikes me as being a pastiche of warmed-over word salads lifted from the pages of many a UNEP (and/or other UN or NGO) churned out document.

      Some of the phrasing sounds innocuous, but (apart from causing one’s eyes to glaze over, if not close, which may well be the intent!) it masks a not so hidden agenda of its authors. For example:

      Directs agencies to support local climate-resilient investment by removing barriers or counterproductive policies and modernizing programs; and establishes a short-term task force of state, local, and tribal officials to advise on key actions the Federal government can take to help strengthen communities on the ground [emphasis added -hro]

      It was the “removal of barriers” which facilitated the rape of the U.K. countryside by so-called “wind farm” developers. And, closer to my home, It was also the “removal of barriers” which has resulted in the unsightly (and useless) proliferation wind turbines in rural Ontario.

      Both jurisdictions – after many years of protest – are finally showing signs of doing a U-turn, and beginning to indicate that a restoration of such “barriers” is called for.

      As for the “short-term task force”, I would be very surprised if whatever “advice” it might provide on “key actions” differs significantly from the content of British Columbia’s so-called “Climate Action Charter” (the origins of which I had discussed last month on my blog.)

      There are some interesting word-counts in this (unoriginal and mundanely named) “Climate Action Plan”:

      emission* – 58
      carbon (including 4 “carbon dioxide”) – 43
      resilien* and greenhouse – get 29 each, while pollut* follows closely at 28
      coal – 14
      trade – 9
      wind and solar get 6 each, while green (as a standalone) gets a mere 3 mentions!

      But that aside, I’m absolutely appalled at the ignorance (or intellectual dishonesty, and/or insult to the intelligence of anyone who has given the matter more than a passing thought) inherent in the deliberate conflation of carbon and carbon dioxide. And bundling them together as “pollutants – and “toxic” at that!

      I wonder whatever happened to the climateers’ holy of holies: the need for “evidence-based policy”. I also wonder what might have happened to whoever might have put the following words into Obama’s teleprompter when he was the Great Green Presidential Ascendant, causing him to loftily declare his:

      respect for the integrity of the scientific process … [and his committment to] protecting free and open enquiry, [ensuring] facts are never overturned by politics and ideology, and listening to what our scientists have to say especially when it’s inconvenient. [emphasis added -hro]

      In short, in answer to Dr. Curry’s question, “What do you make of the plan?” Colour me very unimpressed, if not highly skeptical ;-)

  31. When Obama says ‘carbon pollution’ he means carbon dioxide, right?

    • same thing

    • Actually not.

      He’s implying they are the same thing…but black carbon/particulates is a different issue then CO2. Of course…some blame some of ‘global warming’ on black carbon/particulates.

      The fact that he is blathering about asthma tells me he is either
      a) really stupid
      b) is going to address black carbon/particulates but wants to ‘imply’ he is doing something about CO2.

    • Joe Smith,

      Do you thing carbon and carbon dioxide are the same thing? Do you think hydrogen and water are the same thing? If so would you advocate hydrogen restrictions instead of water restrictions, and being billed for your hydrogen use instead of your water use?

      carbon is like a chunk of coal or diamond or graphite. carbon dioxide is the gas that comes out of a can of cola cola when you open it. get the difference.

    • harrywr2,

      Good to see you back. Where have you been?

    • I advocate tackling carbon pollution as a moral course of action to address climate change

    • Joe Smith,

      I advocate tackling carbon pollution as a moral course of action to address climate change

      I think that is a really dumb mantra.

    • You are a brave individual Joe. Not everyone has the courage to show their ignorance the way you’ve just done.

  32. …but we let power plants release as much carbon pollution [i.e., CO2 and water] as they want – pollution that is contributing to higher rates of asthma attacks and more frequent and severe floods and heat waves.

    …and, killing polar bears.

    I don’t blame Obama. Global warming is not a problem. It’s a symptom of a problem. A culture that fears global warming and elects leaders like Obama is the problem.

  33. We don’t know how Obama stopped the seas from rising but it is really amazing when you consider Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal called Obama “the most liberal, most incompetent president in the White House since Jimmy Carter.”

  34. So far it appears every number cited in the premise in http://www.whitehouse.gov/share/climate-action-plan and http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/image/president27sclimateactionplan.pdf is backed up a minimum of five ways and from at least three distinct sources.

    It is very difficult to dispute on fact.

    Policy? Be nice to hear opinions about policy from any US citizen equally well-founded on fact.

    Which.. not a lot of denizens qualify.

  35. If anyone in the government cares… just, “3.4% of CO2 is caused by human activity.” ~Burt Rutan

    • Lets see if we are up to the challenge of getting that pollution down to 0%

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist, etc.

      But around 100% of the annual increase is anthropogenic…and that’s what matters. Burt Rutan’s comment is irrelevant.

    • You do realize that ppm means parts per million, right?

    • R. Gates

      You got it wrong.

      200% of the annual increase (as averaged out over a decade or so) is from humans.

      Half of the human emissions is disappearing into the biosphere, oceans, etc. (and we don’t know where).

      And that percentage is increasing by around 1% per decade since Mauna Loa measurements started in 1959.

      So the “relevant” comment would address this trend and what it might mean for future atmospheric CO2 levels as human emissions continue (which they will, no matter how loftily our politicians orate).

      Max

    • He means 30%, right? 120/400 ppm?

    • Only one thing is uncertain: If you learned you were wrong would it change your mind?

    • If someone can explain his 3.4%, I am more likely to laugh. Any offers? I think he just got a decimal in the wrong place.

    • Funny math there. Thanks. I still think 120/400 is 30%.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      The human contribution to the total flux to the atmosphere is a couple of percent. If most of the temperature increase last century was quite natural – and it was – then it is natural to ask how much of the increase in CO2 in the atmosphere was quite natural. Nonetheless – should emissions continue to increase exponentially with economic growth there is an obvious potential to change the atmospheric CO2 content with unknowable consequences.

    • The total human emission is over 200 ppm, half of which stayed in the atmosphere, and half went to the ocean/biosphere and the net flux was 120 ppm from 280 to 400 ppm. Unless you are doing something funny, like not considering the NET natural+human flux, it is 30%, and a case can be made for more in terms of anthropogenic emissions over total CO2 in the atmosphere.

    • “The human contribution to the total flux to the atmosphere is a couple of percent. “

      This is very misleading. Because of how efficient the carbon cycle operates over ages of fine tuning, we can detect very slight perturbations caused by manmade CO2 emissions.

      This chart shows the residual CO2 after the seasonal component is removed. This matches the estimated CO2 output from fossil fuels:
      http://img69.imageshack.us/img69/7626/hyc.gif

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Nonetheless it is true. It suggests that natural changes in fluxes that are poorly constrained (greater than 20% errors) contribute to changes in the atmosphere. A simple idea that is fundamentally well supported in both theory and data.

    • Equally true is that the latent heat flux is a gazillion W/m2 if you consider all the water molecules leaving the surface and not those entering it as part of the thermodynamic equilibrium. The size of the flux in these cases just assures the tightness of the chemical equilibrium (Henry’s Law for CO2). The net latent heat flux is what matters for the water budget.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      So you move onto feedbacks Jim? Actually evaporation is driven by insolation.

      http://m.iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/5/2/025203/pdf/1748-9326_5_2_025203.pdf

      And Clausius–Clapeyron is more important for water holding capacity in air. Henry’s Law in relation to water vapor?

      But I am sure that you have exaggerated latent heat by about a gazillion – it is more like 78/W/m2.

      Other than that I am not sure what point you think you are making.

    • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

      Okay, sans humans, the CO2 concentration right now in Earth’s atmosphere would be somewhere around 270-280 ppm. We can make this estimate by looking at the concentration during past interglacials. So, currently let’s just say we’re around 395 ppm or so. 100% of the excess over the 270 ppm is therefore from human activity including land use changes, fossil fuel use, etc. Humans have their fingerprints all over this interglacial, giving great credence to the concept of the Anthropocene.

    • So, you think 270 ppm is normal and therefore desired, right? And, what is the normal and therefore desired average temperature of the Earth?

    • Chief Hydrologist

      The ice cores provide a low frequency moving average – with open questions about diffusion – while plant stomata yield high frequency data. The plant stomata estimates peak at about 350ppm in the Quaternary and much higher earlier.

      As I say – there is every reason to suspect that natural warming in the last century increased natural flux of CO2 to the atmosphere. I discussed this recently with soils – but we as well have biological activity on land, in fresh water and in oceans as well as solubility sources in both fresh and marine water. If most of the warming was natural – and it was – then the natural question to ask how is much of the added CO2 was natural – and likely to reverse – and how much was anthropogenic.

      As I keep saying – there seems little doubt that we are changing the atmosphere but simple space cadet memes are not enough to understand the processes occurring, the nature of the changes or the potential impacts.

    • Chief, The joke is getting real old and tiresome.

      You decry 97% of climate research and then quote cherry-picked journal articles at length.

      You both deny and admit in the same comment.

      ” If most of the warming was natural – and it was”

      ” there seems little doubt that we are changing the atmosphere”

      That is the sign of a feeble mind, and one that has trouble reasoning from one logical thought to the next.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Let’s cherry pick the IPCC.

      ‘In summary, although there is independent evidence for decadal changes in TOA radiative fluxes over the last two decades, the evidence is equivocal. Changes in the planetary and tropical TOA radiative fluxes are consistent with independent global ocean heat-storage data, and are expected to be dominated by changes in cloud radiative forcing. To the extent that they are real, they may simply reflect natural low-frequency variability of the climate system. ‘ IPCC s3.4.4.1

      Here’s a graph from a new study from Edward Palle and Ben Laken.

      It compares both the older records and CERES and both with SST.

      http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/cloud_palleandlaken2013_zps3c92a9fc.png.html?sort=3&o=6

      The story is emerging in stark clarity. As with Norman Loeb’s use of CERES and MODIS.

      http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/CERES_MODIS-1.gif.html?sort=3&o=77

      Here’s one from Ole Humlum.

      http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/cloud_palleandlaken2013_zps3c92a9fc.png.html?sort=3&o=6

      Frankly you seem bizarrely unable to mount a rational argument referencing any science. You rely on simplistic and quite fantastical ideas, fantasy physics pulled out of your arse and repeated and tedious ad hom. You have about the credibility of a gerbil.

    • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

      Chief Hydro,

      Unfortunately for your 350 ppm hypotheses, the ice core data is strongly confirmed by other proxy data as well. During the last several million years (until the recent Anthropocene) CO2 ranged between a low of about 180 ppm during glacials to around 280 to 300 during interglacials. You can spin it any which way you want, but a hallmark of the current Anthropocene is GH gases at their highest levels in millions of years, and human activity, including the burning of fossil fuels, is the cause.

    • It’s been under 300 PPM.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Not according to science – it was more than 400ppm in the Holocene. Just saying it isn’t so doesn’t mean anything at all. Less than nothing coming from you.

  36. “Now, if Earth was suffering under an accelerated greenhouse effect caused by human produced addition of CO2, the troposphere should heat up faster than the surface of the planet, but data collected from satellites and weather balloons do not support this fundamental presumption even though we are seeing higher CO2. We ought to see near lockstep temperature increments along with higher CO2 concentration over time, especially over the last several years. But we’re not.” ~Mike McConnell

    • CO2 pollution takes time to cause the most serious harm. I don’t think anyone suggests smoking a cigarette will immediately cause cancer.

    • Joe Smith,

      I don’t think

      I accept your admission that you don’t think. You just bleat what you’ve been told.

    • By all means have your say but lets have an adult conversation without the insults please.

    • You can’t have an adult conversation with some one who makes statements lie,you have made; i.e. like you’d expect from a child.

  37. President Obama has released his new climate change policy: Plan to Cut Carbon Pollution – Taking Action for Our Kids.

    This is really dumb. Does the US President really have to dumb the message down to such a point? Or is it just what his Democrat minders are advising him to do. We know that John Holdren has been an enthusiastic advocate of all the the energy policies the loonies like Lovins have been advocating for over 30 years. He passionately hates nuclear and passionately loves uneconomic renewable energy and government mandated energy efficiency schemes whether they make economic sense of not.

  38. “Energy demand will grow, as it should, to allow these people to experience the advances in health and quality of life that we enjoy. They are far more vulnerable to the impacts of poverty, water pollution, and political strife than whatever the climate does. I simply close with a plea, please remember the needs and aspirations of the poorest among us when energy policy is made. Thank you very much.” ~ Dr. John R. Christy

  39. COME ON PEOPLE!!! IT’S FOR THE CHILDREN!!!!!!!!

    Samuel Johnson once said :”Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel”. Along those lines ‘For The Children” is the last refuge of a politician.

    • Among the poor beggars in India in the 1970s, I would find the occasional middle-class-looking woman pushing a collecting can in Westerners’ faces saying “For the children!” It still works, apparently, or at least Obama thinks it does.

      Now as then, I couldn’t find out which children would benefit.

  40. It will never make sense to Leftists that being independent of foreign energy is better than being dependent on politicians.

  41. JC asks:

    What do you male of the plan

    Answer: Its not a plan. It’s a pile of motherhood. It could have been lifted from many similar speeches made in the early 1990′s.

    I can see John Holdren’s influence throughout. He hasn’t changed what he advocates in 30 years.

    To me, the speech indicates more government intervention, more government constraints on productivity, a heavy burden that will slow US economic growth and damage US competitiveness in international markets over the long term – with consequences for US akin to what EU has done to itself by imposing masses of regulatory constraints and higher costs for business and by so doing seriously damaging its economy for the very long term.

    In short, I expect what the the President is saying he will do would damage the US economy. It will be net loss to the US and the world.

    IMO Anthony Watts’ statement says best what I think about the Obama’ statement:

    I’m not impressed at all with the Obama plan. It lacks real vision, and seems written mainly to appease activist groups. While there are some glimmers of positive things in it, the lack of a real way forward (solar, biofuels, and wind aren’t it) combined with new restrictions can only mean higher energy prices in our future, most of it due to government meddling in the free market.

    Like most everything from this president, it is likely to be mostly lip service and tied up in legal battles for years. By that time Obama will no longer be President, and we’ll be left to wrestle with the consequences.

  42. The Democrats are simply playing with words: it’s their only product. The words they want to run from are “cap and trade.” So, the new word “pollution” is the same as the old word — before “cap and trade” — i.e., back to the playing the environmentalism theme.

    In the end the result is a nihilism that can only be filled by the embrace of socialism and communism and a moral righteousness born of its collective fascist put down of non-believers. And, who better than Al Gore—a seminary school dropout and lifetime Leftist politician from a background of entitlement and privilege who was beaten by Bush—to deliver the sermon that the empowering of the radical environmentalism and Leftist agenda of Climatists is the only thing we can do to save the planet? Just like the Politburo of Russia, Western schoolteachers now believe it is their duty to save the world by eliminating Amerianism (i.e., it’s the socialists’ collectivism versus the Founders’ individualism; government programs versus free enterprise; Utopianism and hypocrisy versus self-actualization and existentialism, helplessness versus rational self-interest).

    “If you understand the dominant philosophy of a society, you can predict its course.” ~Ayn Rand

  43. The President’s speech was written by the Greens. No President in his right mind would allow his lack of knowledge of basic chemistry to be so displayed. He appears not to know the difference between soot – a pollutant, and carbon dioxide, a non-toxic, colorless, odorless gas. Carbon dioxide is an essential product of life and there would be no life on earth without it. The President must be ill-advised indeed to make such a mistake.

    Certainly in Australia and probably in USA most power stations have soot precipitators. The smoking chimneys shown on TV are a myth. They may be waste disposal, but they are not power stations..

    The President should know that carbon dioxide has raised global temperature in 1910 to 1940 and may have part caused the 1970 to 1998 rise, bur not since.. In fact it is likely that the carbon dioxide molecule has used up alll its powers to absorb heat at tropospheric temperatures. If so, the president would be making a huge mistake by proceeding with his proposals.

    • I agree with this. The ignorance and misinformation are staggering. This is all good news if you’re a skeptic. I can’t believe I voted for the guy.

    • pokerguy,

      I have started a reeducation camp for detoxing former default progressives – Camp Hayek. There are still rooms available in the Friedman Lager. Our motto – Freiheit Macht Frei.

      We start each day with readings from The Wealth of Nations or The Road to Serfdom. Then we watch Youtube videos of Margaret thatcher humiliating Laborites during Prime Minister’s Questions time. For laughs at lunch we play Obama speeches he made without a teleprompter. In the evening sessions we form study groups to discuss William F. Buckley’s God and Man at Yale or David Horowitz’s Radical Son.

      We end the day around a campfire singing those great conservative anthems – The Who’s Won’t Get Fooled Again and the Beatle’s Taxman.

      I’ll save you a bunk.

    • PG:

      First we had this:

      In fact it is likely that the carbon dioxide molecule has used up alll its powers to absorb heat at tropospheric temperatures.

      And then we had this:

      I agree with this.

      Did your agreement extend to the statement I excerpted , If so, perhaps you could link to the evidence that describes the mechanism by which “the carbon dioxide molecule [uses] up all its powers to absorb heat at tropospheric temperatures?” Cause, you know, we wouldn’t want any selectivity in our concerns about “ignorance and misinformation,” now would we?

  44. “You only have to look at the temperature record for the last seven years, the CO2 rising at half the rate they predicted it to rise. That alone requires all their temperature forecasts to 2100 to be halved.

    “If you do this, I think you will be doing it alone. America will be damaging her own economy uniquely, and she will be transferring her jobs and her industries to countries such as China, Russia, Indonesia, India, and Brazil, where they do not control emissions and pollution in the way that you do, where their emissions per unit of production are considerably higher than yours, and the net effect of this scheme will be directly counter to its intention, because you will actually increase worldwide carbon emissions by shipping your economic carbon emissions in your manufacturers overseas, with the consequence that the emissions will actually increase worldwide.

    “That is not what you intend. I hope therefore it is not what you will do.”

    ~Lord MONCKTON.

  45. A claim for equality of material position can be met only by a government with totalitarian powers – Today there are folks from the radical left who desperately want the claim for equality of material wealth to be met by a powerful, centralized government.
    ‘Emergencies’ have always been the pretext on which the safeguards of individual liberty have been eroded – Climate change crisis, housing crisis, poverty crisis, education crisis, you name it, Rahm Emanuel will exploit it.
    Even the striving for equality by means of a directed economy can result only in an officially enforced inequality – an authoritarian determination of the status of each individual in the new hierarchical order – And who will be the arbiters of such enforced equality? You got it, the intellectual elite. After all, they know what’s best for you even if you don’t.
    Freedom granted only when it is known beforehand that its effects will be beneficial is not freedom – Free marketarians take into account the possibility that in a truly free society some bad things will occur. Freedom doesn’t always result in beneficial outcomes, but that in no way diminishes its conceptual value.
    If most people are not willing to see the difficulty, this is mainly because, consciously or unconsciously, they assume that it will be they who will settle these questions for the others, and because they are convinced of their own capacity to do this – This is elitism straight up. It’s precisely what Thomas Sowell talks about in his classics Conflict of Visions and the The Vision of the Anointed. The anointed ones (the intellectual elite) have no faith whatsoever in truths that have emerged from the cumulative interactions of millions of ordinary citizens over thousands of years even those interactions were freely entered into by those citizens. Instead, they wish to replace the systemic processes of free markets with their own, intellectually reasoned, solutions du jour.
    If we wish to preserve a free society, it is essential that we recognize that the desirability of a particular object is not sufficient justification for the use of coercion – Equality is desirable therefore we should force people not to discriminate against the obese, the ugly, the stupid, the short, etc., etc., etc. Justice is desirable therefore we should allow unelected judges to fashion their own laws to ensure that “justice” is done in specific cases.
    [The world is full of] intellects whose desires have outstripped their understanding – As smart as the intellectual elite believe themselves to be, they are not smart enough to recognize their own limits. In short, intellectual elites believe that there are few if any limits on the capabilities of the intellect, especially the capabilities of the intellects of those humans who share their belief in the limitlessness of the human intellect.
    Our moral traditions developed concurrently with our reason, not as its product – Intellectual elites assume that our current moral traditions are the mere by-products of the cumalitive interactions of self-interested Neanderthals. The utter disdain for the masses is a hallmark of left wing intellectuals and it manifests itself most clearly in the assumption that the mores, traditions and values that have arisen over time through the cumulative societal intereactions of ordinary people, rather than by fiat of intellectual elites, are irredeemably vulgar.
    The progress of the natural sciences in modern times has of course so much exceeded all expectations that any suggestion that there may be some limits to it is bound to arouse suspicion – Intellectual elites generally believe that human beings are capable of understanding anything and, consequently, of solving everything. Those on the right do not hold similar illusions about the abilities of man and, therefore, have little hope for the perfectibility of the world.
    This means that to entrust to science – or to deliberate control according to scientific principles – more than scientific method can achieve may have deplorable effects – When you are naive enough to think that man is capable of anything you are likely to believe that science can solve everything. This degree of certainty is bound to make one blind to the risks involved in placing too much faith in man.

    - See more at: http://www.pappastax.com/index.php/2010/07/13-timely-friederich-hayek-quotes/#sthash.Us7XQne7.dpuf

    • OK, I can see I should have formatted that better. Hayek quotes are followed by commentary from Peter Pappas.

      http://www.pappastax.com/index.php/2010/07/13-timely-friederich-hayek-quotes/

    • The President’s Plan, ah … the
      plan of the great leader, one of many
      since history began, from the platonic
      golden age, arresting change, ter
      the fervour of religious seer or
      political, who sees the operation
      of natural laws in history or
      the dominance of a master
      race, it’s time come and fit ter
      rule.. A long line of leaders
      whose desires out-strip their
      understanding, leaders not
      smart enough ter recognise
      their own limitations.

      Serfs have had it up ter here with master plans.

    • jim2, excellent. The reasoning part of the mind is a small part of the whole, and is ignorant of the processes underlying its deliberations.

    • jim2,

      “If most people are not willing to see the difficulty, this is mainly because, consciously or unconsciously, they assume that it will be they who will settle these questions for the others, and because they are convinced of their own capacity to do this – This is elitism straight up.”

      This is true for politicians, bureaucrats, news media talking heads and other wannabe policy makers. But it is not true for the vast majority of people who vote progressive. Most people don’t see the difficulty because they have never had the opportunity to. It was never taught to them as an alternative. They were never taught critical thinking skills. They have virtually no exposure to it in the mass news media, nor from the culture (which is where they actually get most of their information).

      I call them default progressives. And they do not vote for progressive politicians because of some deep seated desire for power. They vote Democrat in the U.S. and Labor in Britain, and for progressive politicians elsewhere because they believe all the propaganda about “fairness,” “for the children,” and “social justice.” They really believe that the government can run the economy better than the people themselves, because that is all they have ever been taught.

      Frankly, conservatives have sucked at arguing otherwise, and surrendered the education establishment to progressives without even realizing it. So we are in part to blame ourselves.

    • Now this is amusing:

      jim2 says this:

      This is elitism straight up.”

      to which Gary responds with this:

      Most people don’t see the difficulty because they have never had the opportunity to. It was never taught to them as an alternative. They were never taught critical thinking skills. They have virtually no exposure to it in the mass news media, nor from the culture (which is where they actually get most of their information).

      I love you guys.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Pissant progressives think they should run things by virtue of intellect and superior morality – dupes vote for opportunist politicians because they believe them. This wears thin after economies start collapsing from incompetence. Joshua persists with tendentious twaddle – surprise…surprise.

    • Joshua – I realize you have it out for Gary, but I didn’t utter or write any of those words. Those words were from Hayek and Peter Pappas.

      What did Gary do to you that you are so vicious towards him? He must have struck a nerve at some point.

    • jim2 -

      What did Gary do to you that you are so vicious towards him? He must have struck a nerve at some point.

      Just trying to get him to confront the reasons for why his analysis of the election modeling was so completely wrong.

    • Josh,

      Still harping on that?

      I can understand waving it his face – for maybe the first month after the election. He definately blew that projection and had it been me, I’d admit to as much and even share a laugh at myself. But continuing on with this ranges anywhere from childish to vindictiveness.

    • When schadenfreunde turns to saddened fraud.
      ===================

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Hayek seems to provoke both extreme antipathy and enthusiasm. I’m in the enthusiast category.

  46. Mr President

    Here is what the data shows.

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1871/mean:144/detrend:0.76

    From the HadCRUT4 data above, most of the warming since 1970 is due to the warming phase of the multidecadal oscillation.

    Mr President , we are not flat earth believers.

    Girma

  47. I tried to post a reply to Matthew R Marler June 25 3:57 without success. Perhaps I fell foul of the silly-comment filter. Or fowl, given my comment:

    ” Obama seems to me to be the lamest lame duck ever.” Perhaps that is why there is so much quackery in his policy prescriptions.

  48. Congress needs to abolish the EPA and establish it later after people get their heads on straight.

  49. Chief Hydrologist

    Of course CO2 is a pollutant – hard to disguise the fact that we are changing the composition of the atmosphere with some quite obvious adverse effects and an unknown potential for future impacts.

    Obama hits a few hot button topics and conservatives respond in entirely predictable, irrational and unfortunate ways. You ever get tired of being manipulated?

    • David Springer

      Your breath is a pollutant that’s for sure.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Been moderated for responding to this? You’ve got to be freaking kidding.

      The guy is a dumbarse redneck with no redeeming qualities. Get rid of the freaking comment above this or lose yet more credibility.

    • the first was to Springer.

      Chief, this one’s for you. Chill.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Ad hoc and haphazard moderation is more annoying than none at all.

    • What I find really annoying are comments that merely insult another commenter here without any intellectual substance. I delete them when I catch them, admittedly i don’t catch them all.

    • i use my invisibility cloak like a toreador his cape.
      ==============

    • Chief Hydrologist

      ‘Your breath is a pollutant that’s for sure.’ But then you seem to miss most of them. This one was in the comment immediately above

      …merely insult without intellectual content?

      That seems to describe springer to a T.

    • Sweet nourishing fragrance for a plant. Foul, toxic, acidifying waste fumes for an animal.
      ============

    • Chief,

      I recommend keeping in mind the fact Springer is a jarhead. Means he is bound to say stupid and annoying things.

      Kinda like having a retarded little brother.

    • k scott denison

      Priceless. Oh, and exactly how will man manage sea level? What knobs do we turn?

      Total crap.

    • California requires one for the San Onofre nuclear plant so they’re putting the first knobs in there.
      ===============

  50. k scott denison

    When the great hero of the Democratic Party, John F Kennedy, proposed the moon mission he stated clearly what the country would get for its money: to send a man to the moon and return him safely by the end of the decade.

    So how will Obama measure success of this plan?

  51. Good speech. A little upset that he didn’t mention the carbon tax and world government aspects, but instead focused on the US selfishly leading with a competitive market-based approach. /sarc
    Seriously, what’s not to like? Unless you are in one of the other countries competing for the green market.

    • k scott denison

      What green market is there JimD? The only one I see relies almost exclusively on governments buying, subsidizing purchases, etc. once the governments stop, the market will disappear.

      Or haven’t you been keeping track of all the bankruptcies?

    • Like any industries there are winners and losers, but not taking part in the market you’re sure to lose to those who compete to sell things to you. You find you can’t compete with countries whose governments do support their industries. It is just the brutal reality of the global trade market. Not as free as the idealists would like, for sure.

  52. “There is no dispute at all about the fact that even if punctiliously observed, (the Kyoto Protocol) would have an imperceptible effect on future temperatures — one-twentieth of a degree by 2050. ”

    ~Dr. S. Fred Singer

  53. Rob

    I have read the following link that you posted.

    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=8703

    My explanation for the above result is the GMT pattern below:

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1871/mean:60/detrend:0.73

    • Chief Hydrologist

      I have posted it dozens of times. It is a press release – the beginning of understanding and not by any means the whole story. It is like saying it is warming therefore it is CO2. Not meaningful unless you understand how and why energy flows are changing.

  54. Oh look. Australians, a Canadian or two, a few Texans, a bit of citing of aristocrats, Austrians or Germans, and only a few actual Americans discussing reactions to a policy statement of the President of the United States. The domestic policy of the United States of America.

    And no one gets that this might be unwelcome interference in the internal decision-making and discussion of a democratic people?

    • Something there is in ideas, dear Bart, as in nay-chur, that does
      not like a wall … Globalization spills across borders like the teachings
      of the holy Catholic Church, the Protestant Reformation, revolutions
      in science, the enlightenment, French and Scottish,Marxist ideology,
      … and discuusion of United States policy.
      Bts

    • Bart, we are generous-spirited, we are happy to share our wisdom for the benefit of US citizens. I’m sure that all people of goodwill in the US will appreciate our concerned input.

      (Or not, as the case may be.)

    • Bart, we are generous-spirited, we are happy to share our wisdom for the benefit of US citizens.

      I’m sure that as soon as you start, you will find some Americans who will be receptive. Have you set a date?

    • I find it humorous to see these Aussies acting out hysterically as if they are “helping”.

      Over at http://RealClimate.org they are having a laugh over the “hard-hitting Aussie-argument style.” The RC folks are suggesting these guys should stick to the Brave New Climate message board.

      Sometimes I think Climate Etc is really a sideshow run for the benefit of a few Australians. Fitting since the main commenter describes himself with references to the Simpson’s cartoon character Sideshow Bob.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Here I was ignoring the ‘policy’ entirely. A lamearse President going a trillion dollars more in debt every year, keeping the economy afloat only by printing gazillions of dollars and whose only intent is to wedge dumbarse Republicans.

      Why would any Australian give a rat’s arse?

      And it is Cecil – not Bob – can’t you get anything right Webster?

    • To be fair, what the US does on this issue does make a difference to the rest of the world.

    • andrew adams | June 26, 2013 at 8:21 am |

      Well, yes. They can talk about it. I’m sure no Americans object to foreigners talking. It’s the bald attempt to influence it that’s objectionable.

      They can get used to the fact that the first duty of the President is to the best interest of the USA, regardless of Foreignland.

    • Bart R appears to have this silly notion that only US citizens, living in the USA, can comment on this thread.

      Duh!

      It’s true that any proposed future reductions of the CO2 emissions of the USA will make no perceptible change in our planet’s global climate.

      However, it is also true that a USA, which is directly engaged in the “war on global warming”, will have an impact on other nations.

      Obviously much more so than an Australia, a UK, a Canada (or a Switzerland).

      So everyone from everywhere has a voice here.

      But will the POTUS be able to implement his lofty agenda to “save our kids” from “carbon pollution” (and implement a federal tax on energy in the process to increase government revenues)?

      Not very likely IMO.

      It’s probably just a bit of “Chicago style politics” and lofty oratory, to keep his supporter base happy.

      Max

    • michael hart

      lol So CO2 is is not an internationally well-mixed-gas then?

      If The President wishes to control the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide, then I think that necessarily involves other nations. He might start wanting to control atmospheric water vapor too.

    • John Carpenter

      Oh look, the Iranian/North Korean argument. You’re such a provocateur.

    • I’m American Bart.

      Registered voter (who votes).

      Taxpayer.

      Juror

      Veteran.

      Former participant in Boys State (District of Columbia).

      The President is good at making speeches. Though I think this one was below his usual standards. Well below, in fact. The use of carbon pollution shows either a very poor understanding or the intent to mislead or confuse. Same with the comparison to real toxins. And he stooped rather low with the think of the children act.

      As to the policies themselves – some sound good, others not so much. But I doubt it will matter, as most are unlikely to happen.

  55. Obama displays all the independent thinking of a brainwashed puppet of the co2 Green Party and their cohorts.

    How much of Obama’s plan comes to fruition will really depend on the rate of two things; (1) the rate at which expected cooling arrives and (2) the rate at which he can close (ie. replace) coal fuelled power stations.

    Whether Obama’s measures impact US output of co2 is much like the UKs output of co2, essentially irrelevant to global output.

    The only measurable impact to the US will be to further weaken it’s global economic competitiveness and hence worsen it’s already poor balance of payments. Add in all the inflation causing quantitative easing yet to fully hit the market place and an economic crash, or indeed collapse, seems ever more likely. Given that many of the USAs wealthiest investors seem to be unloading US stocks it would appear that others share similar concerns.

    The impact will be global. The US has the capability to recover more quickly than many other countries, and widespread fracking in the US should help soften the blow to an unknown degree.

    None of this may come to pass if cooling arrives at a sufficient pace and the media, followed by the Dimocrats consequently come to their senses.

    • What the heck? The GREEN party? The GREEN party in the USA? And their ‘cohorts’?

      Get a freaking grip. The influence of the Green party and their cohorts in the USA is punier even than the impact of Ralph Nader.

      But since Foreignland has invaded the topic of sovereign US policy on domestic US issues, might as well give in and look at reaction abroad.

      Not that anyone in the USA actually cares what the rest of the world thinks. Which is part of why the Green party has next to no cohorts in the US.

      http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/analysts-play-down-obamas-tar-sands-terminology/article12816022/?cmpid=rss1&google_editors_picks=true

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Here I was ignoring the ‘policy’ entirely. A lamearse President going a trillion dollars more in debt every year, keeping the economy afloat only by printing gazillions of dollars and whose only intent is to wedge dumbarse Republicans.

      Why would anyone give a rat’s arse?

    • I forgot to translate ‘The Green Party’ into USA English. I believe they are called ‘The Democrats’ in the USA.

    • Bart,

      Yes the Green Party does not have much traction here. But the Democratic Party does. American voters do not seem all that interested in 3rd parties, probably because they believe the existing system is too entrenched. So people, who if in Europe would gravitate to the Greens, here vote Democrat. Hence the President’s speech. He doesn’t want to take a beating in the mid terms and therefore is trying to motivate one portion of the party to make it to the polls. The environmentalists do not dominate the party. Fact is they are small almost to (but not quite) the point of having little significance. But every vote counts.

    • And, for the convenience of Foreignland visitors to the issue of what the USA does, a link to some other Foreignland reaction. It’s about something Australian, so I didn’t actually listen to it, and don’t care, but I’m sure it fascinates some of you.

      http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-06-26/federal-government-seizes-on-obamas-climate-speech/4782418

    • Bart, the government is no longer, the PM, her deputy and other senior ministers have resigned. Their reaction to Obama is irrelevant, and does not represent the views of the electorate. Polling 29 per cent weeks out from an election in which they will get hammered, they were already irrelevant.

    • Faustino | June 26, 2013 at 6:03 am |

      To put into perspective what all the Australian yodelling is about, I did some research.

      It’s 80 days to the Australian federal election day. One single poll by Newsource, a traditional supporter of the opposition, placed the opposition ahead of the incumbent, claiming odds better than 3 in 4 the government would change to its favorite. And the governing party has just changed leaders by a narrow margin, since the survey. (It’s some parliamentary thing, sorta kinda like Primaries.)

      Anyone remember 80 days before election day in the last US election?

      Anyone remember the day after the Primaries?

      I take no particular interest one way or another in the election politics of Foreignland. More than not caring, I believe it the duty of everyone who supports democracy to keep their nose the frig out of other nations’ democratic processes while they’re ongoing.

      Particularly the dull ones.

      Here. Here’s how interesting ones look:

    • Chief Hydrologist

      This shows the quality of Bart’s research skills. Newsource? Perhaps he means Newspoll. It is in fact just one poll of many from diverse organisations over a couple of years showing the Labor Party not just losing but catastrophically losing as in more recent State elections. It is a reaction to lies, corruption and incompetence. No one expected them to win. The real odds form betting agencies was about even money for the opposition and 8 to 1 against for the Government.

      Will that change with the new/old Prime Minister? At least they are showing their commitment to recycling. It is a farce of Gargantuan dimensions – much like Bart.

    • Chief Hydrologist | June 26, 2013 at 4:33 pm |

      Australia is half a planet away from anything that matters. Poll. Source. It’s not like what brand names Australia uses makes a difference in civilization.

      I’m glad you’re involved in the practice of democracy to the level of your local customs. I have nothing to say about its details.

      Other than why are you inflicting this topic on us?

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Just being wrong and weird not good enough for you? You want to convince someone that this is more significant than Bo peeing on the carpet in the oval office? Whatever delusion floats your boat.

    • ..and a British reaction:

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/earth-insight/2013/jun/25/obama-speech-climate-action-plan-disaster1

      I admit, since it’s British, I tried to read it. Seemed to be what any voter might say about US domestic policy.

      If, y’know, they were a voter, and thus had any say in the matter.

    • The Guardian is about as irrelevant as the Gillard ex-government.

    • michael hart

      You might recall that in 2004 The Guardian DID try to influence a US election by getting its readers to contact voters in Clarke County, OHIO in support of Kerry.

      The Guardian got what it deserved, but failed to learn the lesson.

      They are going to get what they deserve again. The level of their environment page has sunk so low it is below that of newspapers that they love to hate (and possibly lower than all of them). They are too smug and conceited to even realize it.

  56. Hmm I’m wonderin’ if I’ve been moderated.
    All innocent -) Testing …

  57. What about that creepy bureaucratese? A centralized “toolkit”. Leverages new opportunities. Pilots innovative strategies. Delivering tailored, science-based knowledge. Gag.

    This sort of verbiage is always a sign of the absence of thought. That’s how you get Solyndras and acres of pitiful whirlygigs. There is a certain low cunning displayed at times: useless tech is associated with useful hydro on the grounds that they are all “renewable”; so put up the panels and whirlygigs because Norway and BC have great hydro. Cunning…but a sign of real intelligence? Nah.

    No, by and large there is no thought at all. Nary a thought in their desolate noodles.

  58. Meanwhile down-under, Gillard has lost an ALP ballot and is no longer Prime Minister. She will not contest the election. Former PM Kevin Rudd is party leader, and will seek appointment as PM from the Governor-General. Rumour that the election will be on 24/8 rather than 18/9.

    So we can’t give Gillard a good kicking at the election.

  59. …in a secular society, a prophet has no function other than indignation. So it happens that he becomes intoxicated with his own words and claims a legitimacy with no basis, calling down the destruction that he pretends to warn against. You’ll get what you’ve got coming!—that is the death wish that our misanthropes address to us. These are not great souls who alert us to troubles but tiny minds who wish us suffering if we have the presumption to refuse to listen to them. Catastrophe is not their fear but their joy.
    http://www.city-journal.org/2012/22_2_apocalyptic-daze.html

    Example:
    Keep up the good work! [...] Even though it’s been a mild winter in the UK, much of the rest of the world seems coolish – expected though given the La Niña. Roll on the next El Niño!
    http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/climategate-erupts-again-ahead-of-key-summit-6266361.html

    Catastrophe is not their fear but their joy.

    • k scott denison

      I liked this quote from your first link Girma:

      “Environmental worry is universal; the sickness of the end of the world is purely Western. To counter this pessimism, we might list the good news of the last 20 years: democracy is making slow progress; more than a billion people have escaped absolute poverty; life expectancy has increased in most countries; war is becoming rarer; many serious illnesses have been eradicated. But it would do little good. Our perception is inversely proportional to reality.”

  60. “climate movement” (Grist)
    I like that…

  61. Political theater at best.

    Dictatorial fiat, at worst.

    • Sic semper tyrannis. Fill the colosseum with coal companies and paupers with utility bills. Set off skyrockets. Who needs bread, or cake?
      =============

  62. Jim D | June 26, 2013 at 12:15 am |

    If someone can explain his 3.4%, I am more likely to laugh. Any offers? I think he just got a decimal in the wrong place.
    ____________________

    Including water vapor of course shows humanity’s contribution is obviously de minimis but ignoring water vapor — as Burt Rutan does — humanity’s additional CO2 of all greenhouse gas concentrations could be a few tenths more or less –e.g., (11,880 / 370,484) = 3.207%.

    .

  63. David L. Hagen

    Freedom and prosperity or Nature worship & bribery?
    Keys to understanding the policy and political drivers of environmentalism are exposed in Vaclav Klaus‘s, Blue Planet in Green Shackles. What Is Endangered: Climate or Freedom?
    From his life long confronting communism, Klaus explains:

    The largest threat to freedom, democracy, the market economy, and prosperity at the end of the 20th and at the beginning of the 21st century is no longer socialism or communism. It is, instead, the ambitious, arrogant, unscrupulous ideology of environmentalism. This ideological stream has recently become a dominant alternative to those ideologies that are consistently and primarily oriented toward freedom. It is a movement that intends to change the world radically regardless of the consequences (at the cost of human lives and severe restrictions on individual freedom). It intends to change humankind, human behavior, the structure of society, the system of values – simply everything. . . .

    These are further amplified in articles by The Cornwall Alliance.

    Obama starves the poor and fattens the rich
    #Obama #climate #policy starves poor fattens rich burns >40% corn via ethanol NO #carbon gain http://v.gd/REE0sF http://v.gd/VvLyda

    Obama leads flat earth climate policy
    Obama snookered Epic fail ALL 73 #climate models too hot, can’t track #natural #CO2 #change http://v.gd/BvC30L http://v.gd/y6OR8Y

    Compare The Right Climate Stuff by seasoned NASA scientists and engineers.

    1. The science that predicts the extent of Anthropogenic Global Warming is not settled science.

    2. There is no convincing physical evidence of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming. Most of the alarm regarding AGW results from output of unvalidated computer models. We understand scientific arguments regarding how doubling CO2 in the atmosphere over a hundred years or more (if possible) can have a small direct warming effect, but we question the accuracy of feedback simulations in current models computing climate system responses that amplify CO2 effects. Efforts to estimate climate sensitivity to CO2 based solely on physical data have large uncertainties because many factors affect global temperatures, and CO2 levels rise in the atmosphere after the earth warms due to other factors. While paleoclimate data clearly show CO2 levels rise and fall in the atmosphere hundreds of years after temperature rises and falls due to other causes, the evidence is very weak to support claims of a catastrophic rise in global temperatures caused by CO2 emissions related to human activity.

    3. Computer models need to be validated before being used in critical decision-making. Our manned aerospace backgrounds in dealing with models of complex phenomena have convinced us that this rule must be followed to avoid decisions with serious unintended consequences.

    4. Because there is no immediate threat of global warming requiring swift corrective action, we have time to study global climate changes and improve our prediction accuracy. While there are many benefits due to some global warming, the major threats appear to be associated with a net loss of Greenland and Antarctica ice sheet mass that would contribute to a gradual sea-level rise. The history, current trends, and specific causes of ice sheet melting and ice accumulation by precipitation must be better understood before determining how best to respond to threats of accelerated sea-level rise.

    5. Our US government is over-reacting to concerns about Anthropogenic Global Warming. More CO2 in the atmosphere would be beneficial for forest and crop growth to support the earth’s growing population, so control of CO2 emissions is not an obvious best solution to hyped-up concerns regarding AGW. Eventually the earth will run out of fossil fuels and alternative energy sources will be required. Market forces will (and should) play a big role in this transition to alternative energy sources. Government funding of promising research and development objectives for alternative fuels appears to be a better option at this time than expenditures of enormous resources to limit CO2 emissions.

    6. A wider range of solution options should be studied for global warming or cooling threats from any credible cause. CO2 effectiveness in controlling global average temperatures or sea levels has not been established. More reliable and greater control authority may be available from engineering solutions that would accommodate the beneficial aspects of more CO2 in the atmosphere.

  64. This very sick CO2 Policy must be stopped. This is the beginning of us following Germany to Disaster.

  65. Some things the speech makes official:

    1. It is socially acceptable to use the term “Flat Earther” when referring to people who haven’t caught up yet.

    1. a. Remember Flat Earther Pat Michaels? Well, it’s now official. Professor Michaels’ opinion of “no affect on America” has been shown to be wrong to the tune of $100 Billion in 2012 by the official count of the US Federal Government, and the President has responded. Michaels’ Cato Institute has, predictably, Snowdened by disrespecting the office of POTUS and calling into doubt the authority of the President to protect the USA from its enemies internal and abroad. Except Snowden was defending a principle.

    1. b. Remember Flat Clouder Lindzen? Well, now it’s official. Professor Lindzen’s cloud iris fingoism has been found lacking by the highest office in the USA. That is, lacking with regard to “the courage to act before its too late.” So it’s official, if you have courage, you’re not a Flat Earther.

    4. When the Senate lacks the courage to act before its too late, when the Congress lacks the courage to act before its too late, the President is called upon by the Supreme Court to act through the EPA in any way the Executive deems necessary to combat carbon pollution.

    5. Yes, it’s now “carbon pollution”. That’s official.

    You may get that I’m torn by the speech. On the one hand, I love direct clear language and action over dithering. On the other, as a minarchist, I hate when it has to be done by making government bigger instead of smaller, and as a capitalist I hate when it’s done by command and control regulation in place of the genius of the Market.

    As nothing in this so far as I can tell approaches correcting the current unfairness in the Market, I predict it’s doomed to be inefficient and often less effective.

    Still, I now get to use the terms Carbon Pollution and Flat Earther. That’s some small source of comfort to me.

    • “4. When the Senate lacks the courage to act before its too late, when the Congress lacks the courage to act before its too late, the President is called upon by the Supreme Court to act through the EPA in any way the Executive deems necessary to combat carbon pollution.”

      Are you surprised/bothered that after decades of discussing this and declaring that this would be the speech where he lays it all out, the president just couldn’t bring himself to say what those actions would be? Why didn’t he, presuming he’s concerned about CO2? Has nobody studied the question, no ideas are on the table?
      By-the-by, interesting that the focus seems to be on power plants rather than coal production given that Europe is increasingly importing American coal. When “climate action!” to “reduce emissions” is defined as burning West Virginia coal in Germany and China instead of Indiana, you have a zombie climate movement.
      In the meantime, the climate concerned can rally ’round the rousing message of “what do we want? Something vague! When do we want it? Sometime other than now!”
      Anyhow, this opens the door to approving Keystone, which because it’s “bad” news will be announced on a Friday, preferably a holiday weekend, to limit the exposure in the news cycle. What’s that? There’s a holiday Friday coming up next week in the U.S.? You don’t say! And another in August if they don’t have their ducks in a row by next week? Amazing.

    • Sure Bart. Go ahead and believe all that. Personally I found the President’s comment to be rather insulting, and another indication he doesn’t have a clue about what he’s talking about, or does and wants to mislead.

      But you can call me a flat earther.

      And then I’ll know you’re a dumbass.

    • timg56 | June 26, 2013 at 8:54 pm |

      I have no basis to determine your flatness.

      However, Presidents get to insult, belittle and demean those who act against the interest of the nation. It’s in their job description. They get a free pass for it. And once they do, they license the country to follow their lead.

      See, if he’d said it off the record, that’d be different.

      As to his clue level.. Go ahead, refute his numbers.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Far be it for me to suggest that an American President is a liar, a fool and a fraud… Oh – wait – that is the tradition.

    • Bart,

      The job of the President is to lead. Insulting, belittling and demeaning the people you have to work with or disagree with is not an advisible leadership trait.

      What numbers is it important to refute? That the speech conflated carbon soot with CO2, then went on to call carbon a toxin can have only two interpretations. Either the intent was to mislead or the speaker doesn’t know what he is talking about.

    • Bart,

      I missed the Snowden reference.

      If all the guy did was release information to the press about the two programs, then I can’t get too worked up about it. However if he’s providing information to the Chinese and other foreign governments, then he is a traitor. At that point the bastard should hang.

    • timg56 | June 26, 2013 at 8:58 pm |

      Are we talking about Michaels, or the whole Cato Institute?

      That seems a bit.. exuberant, absent a trial.

    • Bart,

      You don’t do “cute” all that well.

      You mentioned Snowden. As far as I know he has never been associated with the Cato Institute.

      I did not say “without or absent a trial”. As an American citizen he has the right to trial. You talk above about the President acting to protect the interests of the nation. What principle is Snowden defending when he provides sensitive information to the Chinese and Russians and how should the President act?

    • I haven’t seen the evidence, but I’ve read claims that he is a hardcore libertarian/Paulian.

      If so, pretty strange that he took a job with the NSA, eh? Wonder why he did that?

  66. The current warming since the little ice age was caused by the same forces that caused all the other warmings of the past ten thousand years and it was not some part of a trace gas. That is really silly.

  67. So called “Consensus Climate Science” is the most serious problem facing mankind at this point. The sky is not falling. The data is well inside the same bounds it has been in for ten thousand years and since the peak in 1998, it has not looked outward. This CO2 policy is really stupid.

  68. There is some good that will come out of this. When this is all over, none of us may ever see another democrat elected for president.

    • Controlled opposition, America wasn’t set up to be a democracy, which is just another word for tyranny by the majority, or as history teaches us, those despots getting control of the votes.

      It was far better than that, but they’ve lost it.

  69. Trees for Free

    President DUFUS has spoken about carbon pollution and flat earthers.

    He previously said he would close Gitmo and cut the deficit in half.

    He likes to talk, or to be more precise, to read his teleprompter.

    We now return you to regular programming.

  70. Doctors for Disaster Preparedness Conference
    Note that Alarmism Vs. Common Sense is in the charter for this conference.
    This is very much what we need to address

    DDP 31st Annual Meeting
    Check this website for the latest and best information.
    http://www.ddponline.org/
    Science and Common Sense v. Alarmism and Disaster
    July 12-15, 2013
    Houston Marriott South at Hobby Airport 9100 Gulf Pkwy · Houston, Texas
    The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) will supply a certificate of participation for up to 5 hours of CME credit for Friday’s course and 15 hours for the meeting. This is not accredited as AMA/ACCME “Category 1,” but is accepted in some states for at least part of the CME requirement for license renewal.

  71. Obama throwing bone to climate alarmists supporters. The document basically says that Obama is going to do nothing before he leaves office, but here are some plans that might be implemented some time in the future should Congress pony up the actual funds/taxes to do so. I have been deeply amused by both sides of the debate crowing/lamenting how Obama is moving forward on cutting carbon emissions. Whoever wrote this document is probably laughing their ass off at both sides.

  72. Concerned Citizen

    In this media-driven world there truly are both issues and non-issues too important to leave to the academics and politicians. Many more people will be hurt by these measures than helped.

  73. Gaia put us here to reverse the death-spiral of geological sequestration of CO2. We should get on with it.

    • It’s not nice to piss off Mama Gaia, and her Plant Kingdom begs for more nourishing carbon dioxide. Together they are amused at the spectacle of the Animal Kingdom throwing off carbon dioxide as a waste product, even as ‘pollution’. More of it, howl the plants and Mama Gaia, in unison and in hilarity.
      ====================

  74. As the mitigation of CFC’s has a significant effect on the climate potential,what are the expectations of the limiting of HFC’s?The literature has been sparse on its effects in so far as radiative forcing so a timely paper is welcome ( Velders and Ramanathan are co authors)

    http://www.atmos-chem-phys.net/13/6083/2013/acp-13-6083-2013.pdf

  75. John B. Lomax

    Don’t any of these people have jobs and/or families? How can they spend so much time corresponding with a BLOG. Lastly, isn’t there a moderator who can filter out some of the obvious crap?

  76. Pingback: Forthcoming Senate EPW Hearing on President’s Climate Action Plan | Climate Etc.

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