U.S. climate policy discussion thread

by Judith Curry

On Monday, Obama’s administration will announce major new policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

A summary from Newsweek:

On Monday, the administration will announce new carbon pollution standards for the nation’s more than 1,000 power plants which produce 40 percent of the country’s carbon pollution — making these plants the country’s number one producer of greenhouse gases causing climate change. A New York Times report Thursday said the new rules will call for a decrease of 20 percent of plants’ emissions by 2020, a significant amount.

But like everything in Washington these days, the new rules won’t become final without a major fight, and both sides are preparing for war — in Congress, in the courts, at the state-level, even at the ballot box.

“We see this as the pivotal battle on climate change,” David Goldston, Director of Government Affairs at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), an environmental group playing a leading role in the effort, told reporters at a briefing Wednesday. “For the first time, climate is going to be front and center as the national issue. And what that means, we think, is that when this battle is over and the power plant standards are in effect, climate will have turned into an ordinary environmental issue.”

Once the standards are announced, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will take comments on the proposal, make any revisions they see fit, and plan to announce a final rule in June 2015. The states will have a year after that to come up with their own plans to comply with the new standards. Throughout this process, Goldston hopes that the climate change issue will be “demystified”: politicians will learn not to fear it, Americans will come to expect action on it. The new standards, Goldston predicted, will “fundamentally change the political dynamic on climate change.”

RealClearEnergy has a round-up of articles from a range of perspectives, including Marlo Lewis and Pat Michaels.  An article describing the cons of the proposal by Mike Duncan,President and CEO of the American Coalition for Clean Coal Energy. Excerpts:

Despite concerns that they lack the proper authority, the Obama Administration is set to unveil new regulations for carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants next Monday. 

It’s clear that the EPA has coal in its crosshairs, and it’s likely the new rule will again target coal usage. But even if our nation’s entire coal fleet was shutdown, global emissions of greenhouse gases would be reduced by just 3 percent. Increases in average global temperature would be reduced by just .03 degrees Centigrade, while increases in sea levels would be reduced by less than the thickness of a penny by the year 2050.

Second, we know these new regulations are not establishing global leadership on climate change. The Administration claims that the United States is leading on this issue, but the fact is that no one is following.

The International Energy Agency predicts global coal consumption will increase an average of 2.3 percent per year over the next five years, with China accounting for nearly 60 percent of that growth. In the aftermath of the Fukushima disaster, Japan is shutting down nuclear power stations and is expected to become more dependent on coal.

In Europe, coal is more affordable than natural gas leading many countries to develop new coal-fueled power plants. Recent tension with Russia, a source of much of the continent’s natural gas supplies, will likely lead to even greater dependence on coal.

Previous EPA regulations have forced utilities to announce that 330 coal-based power plants will be shutting down or converting to natural gas. Last winter, as the polar vortex brought record cold temperatures, utilities struggled to keep up with the demand. To avoid catastrophe, they relied on coal plants that are scheduled for closure next year.

American Electric Power had to run 89 percent of its retiring plants to help keep the lights on , while Southern Company was utilizing 75 percent of its plants scheduled for shutdowns . Now, the EPA is poised to impose even greater restrictions that will lead to more coal plants being shutdown. During the next heat wave or cold spell, utilities will have nowhere to turn.

An article in the Guardian Conservative Groups Bid to Wreck Obama’s Proposals on Carbon Emissions. Subtitle: Lobby groups say guidelines set to be introduced Monday will hurt the economy and have minimal impact on climate change. 

The NYTimes has a very good article by Justin Gillis: A Price Tag on Carbon as a Climate Rescue Plan, that describes the turbulent history of cap and trade.

JC comments

I sure hope somebody has a plan for providing energy for unexpected cold winters or hot summers.

The adjectives we want for energy are: abundant, reliable, economical, and clean/green.  Provided that abundant, reliable, and economical can be maintained, the U.S. public will support clean/green.  However, the litmus test for the policies is not abundant/reliable/economical, but CO2 emissions reduction.  I don’t think anyone can credibly argue that the CO2 emissions reduced under Obama’s plan will change or improve the climate.

The politics on this one will be very interesting.  To date, climate change hasn’t been an issue that has influenced much at the U.S. ballot boxes.  Looks like this could change with the mid-term elections coming next November.

All this is bypassing Congress, and will take years to implement. Unless I am missing something, the next Republican President can reverse all this?

 

431 responses to “U.S. climate policy discussion thread

  1. Skyrocketing necessarily. Period.
    ==================

    • Mike Jonas

      “During the next heat wave or cold spell, utilities will have nowhere to turn.”.

      That’s a lot of deaths.

    • Doug Proctor

      The deaths of many when power failures happen during a winter storm seem obvious as we speak – as JC writes. The President and general Democratic Party sees differently …. I wonder why. What are we missing that they are seeing? Is there, for example, a timing thing happening whereby NO coal plant will be shut-down until there is an equal amount of natural gas-power to replace it?

      Something is (again) off: why are we, as skeptics, seeing so clearly that economic and energy stability if at risk, while the warmists do not?

    • I hope the coal plant operators immediately pass on any cost to the consumers. We need to raise hell before winter arrives!

    • Doug Proctor

      Your question is excellent and should be in a headline somewhere:
      “Is there, for example, a timing thing happening whereby NO coal plant will be shut-down until there is an equal amount of natural gas-power to replace it?”

      This makes total sense. It addresses people’s legitimate fears. I have not seen this suggestion anywhere. Can it be that no one wants practical solutions?

      Who or what is driving this frenzy? Every politician today has his or her words twisted and rephrased by extremists on both sides. I do not read what they say, I read what someone said they said. That “someone” inevitably has an issue they want to promote. I strongly feel that both sides of this issue are guilty.

    • Peter Lang

      Doug Proctor,

      The deaths of many when power failures happen during a winter storm seem obvious as we speak – as JC writes. The President and general Democratic Party sees differently …. I wonder why. What are we missing that they are seeing?

      ‘Progressives’ despise and don’t trust big business. So they don’t listen to, or don’t trust, or don’t accept what big business tells them. Furthermore, because most ‘Progressive’ politicians have little background in business and little understanding of it, they don’t understand what big business tells them.

      I suspect the energy companies have been trying to tell the EPA and John Holdren and the rest of the Obama Administration of the real risks their policies are creating, but the Administration is not listening or doesn’t understand.

      Europe’s experiment with socialism is left EU in even worse shape than the USA. Their flirting with carbon pricing and mandated renewable energy has left Europe with rapidly increasing energy costs, increasing energy security risks and increasing risk of system failure. Obama is sending USA in the same direction as EU.

      Australia has also been sent backwards by 6 years of Labor-Green-Left government and it will take at least a decade of excellent government backed by strong public support for reform to unwind the damage they have done. But, at the moment the public does not support unwinding the mess the Labor-Green-Left has created.

      Obama is getting poor advice. he has picked unsuitable people to advise him.

    • Mike Jonas said: “That’s a lot of deaths”

      To many enviro-wackos that is a feature and not a bug, Mike. They drank the Ehrlich Koolaid a long time ago and are impervious to facts and logic. Their long time goal has been to “humanely” reduce the world’s population. I’ve heard freezing to death is a peaceful way to go. Even better in their world if it is people in rich countries that freeze to death.

    • The ‘carrying capacity’ freaks primarily lack imagination. There is a lot of energy in the universe, and I expect that man will not ultimately use all of it.
      ===============

    • Peter Lang writes:
      >Europe’s experiment with socialism is left EU in even worse shape than the USA

      Do the words “2008” “sub-prime mortgage” “too big to fail”, “bail out” mean anything. The USA’s experiment with capitalism with Alan Greenspan’s, Thomas Friedamn.s Ayn Rand.s .., ideas was a disaster

    • “Do the words ‘2008’ ‘sub-prime mortgage’ ‘too big to fail’, ‘bail out’ mean anything. The USA’s experiment with capitalism with Alan Greenspan’s, Thomas Friedamn.s Ayn Rand.s .., ideas was a disaster”

      You guys are funny. No really.

      “Sub-prime” mortgages. Do you even know why banks were making “sub-prime” mortgages? Do you know why they were so eager for financial products that spread the risk? Any clue at all?

      And the US is still sound, as far as the private sector, after the 2008 melt down. It is the enormous government debt that is the real systemic risk.

      But the EU is still careening form one crisis to the next, as the profligate spending of the PIIGS is being subsidized in ever greater amounts by Germany, and to an extent England and France.

      Both systems are headed toward the abyss. But the EU is much further along in the disease. (Not that Obama isn’t doing everything ha can to catch up.)

    • David L. Hagen

      EPA has posted its Clean Power Plan Proposed Rule for a politically correct 30% reduction in coal fired CO2 by 2030.

    • David L. Hagen

      Full range of responses to EPA’s rule
      Here in Indiana:

      “We are a manufacturing state that is competitive in part based on our low cost of energy. Raising the cost of electricity through these proposed EPA regulations will slow manufacturing and hurt Hoosiers across our economy.” — Republican Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana.

      With coal fired electricity, residential rates in Indiana are about 9 c/kWh.
      Many consumers in California pay about double that.
      Why should we double our electricity costs for negligible gain?

  2. michael hart

    I sometimes wonder if there is some national-security calculation going on behind the façade: Set the price for coal right [or wrong] using the EPA, and thus encourage the development of the North-American shale/tar-sand petroleum products.

    This might lead to less dependence on supplies from the Middle East, which is certainly no bad thing in my opinion.

    • I think you give them far too much credit. This is pandering to his constituency, and payback to the Steyer’s and Green NGO’s. I don’t think unions will like this either; they are already pissed-off because Keystone is being delayed.

    • The world will someday run out of fossil fuel.
      We should burn theirs first.

    • “popesclimatetheory | May 31, 2014 at 11:22 am |
      The world will someday run out of fossil fuel.
      We should burn theirs first..”
      —-
      Nope, either humans will have gone extinct before the last fossil fuel is removed or better alternatives will be found.

    • R. Gates

      You are right we will not run out, but we will run out of the best, easy, fossil fuels.

    • ” national-security calculation ”

      Yes. Obama is a deep cover agent for China doing everything in his powers to boost the Chinese economy.

    • “R. Gates

      You are right we will not run out, but we will run out of the best, easy, fossil fuels.”
      —-
      That’s pretty much already happened. Each year it takes more effort for less net energy gain per unit of energy it takes to acquire.

    • That’s pretty much already happened. Each year it takes more effort for less net energy gain per unit of energy it takes to acquire.

      It is still good enough to keep our economy working well.

  3. Jim Cripwell

    Our hostess writes “I sure hope somebody has a plan for providing energy for unexpected cold winters or hot summers.”

    There is still coal in the ground, and we know how to extract it. There is gas and oil that can be fracked, and we know how to do this. We can make ethanol from waste products. Quite possibly, the technology exists to mine methyl cathrates. There is no shortage on fuel. What is missing is the political will to get and use the fuel.

    Here is a very recent article in The Times

    http://www.thegwpf.org/ease-fracking-law-or-well-pull-out-of-britain-warns-cuadrilla/

    So yes, there will be a plan, into the indefinite future, as to how to provide enough energy. The question is, will our politicians allow these plans to be implemented? I suggest that if the weather is cold, or hot, enough, politicians will not stand in the way.

    • Curious George

      The keyword is a “Plan”. I lived in a “planned” (communist) economy for many years. They failed to plan correctly a production of a bathroom tissue (no kidding; it is still happening in Caracas). The lack of the tissue was noted in May; by that time plans for the next year’s production were already finalized, so they planned for an increased production for the over-next year.

      Jim, to answer your question, the easiest plan is a simple one: Let enough people freeze to death, and the rest will have enough energy, also reducing the carbon footprint at the same time.

    • Mike Jonas

      Jim, you left out some very important fuels – uranium and thorium. We do need to look ahead to the time when there will be insufficient economic fossil fuel, and U and Th can fill the gap for a few hundred years (though transport may still be an issue).That’s surely easily long enough for economically beneficial solar+storage to be researched and developed, along with electric transport. And I should add that no-one has ever been able to look ahead one hundred years, let alone several, and I don’t see why I should be an exception, so the best course is to concentrate on the foreseeable future and let tomorrow’s technical advances look after the longer term.

  4. “Newsweek”

    The IQ of Climate Etc., just took a significant hit.

    Andrew

  5. The proposed regulations will take many years to implement; enough time to change the debate as the pause continues.

    • Robert G Shaw

      If the roll over mixing of the oceans is more than 120 sverdrups surely the pause will become permanent, effectively. We will exhaust the worlds fossil fuel reserves before there is significant warming of the deep ocean,surely?

  6. There is an Interesting and pertinent article in the Washington Examiner.

    http://washingtonexaminer.com/manhattan-moment-obama-should-not-impose-cap-and-trade-through-regulation/article/2549094#

    If implemented, these regulations will thwart the will of Congress which refused to pass Cap and Trade Legislation even when Democrats controlled both Houses and the Presidency. Despite protestations to the contrary from the Administration, there is no question that higher energy costs will increase drastically, will be a highly regressive tax on lower-income families, will reduce jobs and negatively affect GDP growth (which was -0.1% in the 1st quarter of 2014).

  7. Doubt there will be any plants shutting down–the litigation process will carry on past the next Presidential elections.

    • Not true. Many utilities are already closing plants, and scheduling the closure of others. They cannot take the risk of the bankrupting penalties that will be assessed, if they should lose.

      It’s the same reason so many employers are cancelling employee health insurance in response to Obamacare. (Which is one of the intended effects of the ACA.)

  8. “JC comments
    I sure hope somebody has a plan for providing energy for unexpected cold winters or hot summers.”

    Another cold and snowy winter will give people a “new perspective” on Obama energy policy and hopefully slow or prevent implementation of the rules. With a weak to moderate El Nino Modiki starting to look likely, another cold and snowy winter may be on tap.

    • Does anyone performed a rough calculation of much colder it will be now that Mount Sangeang Api in the Lesser Sunda Islands has erupted?

  9. Blackout in Scotland likely due to erratic windmill output. Great Britain is a lot closer to tipping points into brownouts and blackouts than the US is.
    =========================

    • David L. Hagen

      “Green” policy vs Reliable Energy
      Despite an emphasis on “green”, the UK gas supply six hours from running out in March.
      Shutting down US coal fired power plants will very strongly increase the likelihood of blackouts – right in the middle of the next “polar vortex” where supply is most needed.
      Gas is the most effective fuel for residential use. It is VERY difficult to burn coal cleanly in residences – but possible in utility power plants.
      Shifting from coal to gas will strongly increase US electricity rates for ALL voters – with negligible “climate” benefit.
      It is far more cost effective to “adapt” than “mitigate”.
      On the Road to Green Energy, Germany Detours on Dirty Coal

      While Germany continues to expand solar and wind power, the government’s decision to phase out nuclear energy means it must now rely heavily on the dirtiest form of coal, lignite, to generate electricity. The result is that after two decades of progress, the country’s CO2 emissions are rising.

      Obama’s policy is the most foolish restructuring of electricity the world has seen – next to Germany’s.

    • Rud Istvan

      Except in California, where rolling blackouts are predicted by the utilities themselves starting in 2015 if Moonbeam Jerry sticks to the present plan.

    • Maybe Moonbeam will find another Enron to blame it on.

  10. Remember to carbon price/tax the goods whose production was sent off shore. Silly to lose the business and still have the emissions. On second thoughts, forget about it: since woodchips-to-Drax our choicest minds have given up on such fluff as purpose and rationality.

    Of course, one could simply modernise everything, as happens with cars that don’t sputter like cars used to and alarm clocks which don’t go tick-tick while chewing up batteries. This is a boring, unsexy approach which will never be headlined in the Guardian or NYT as a “solution”. It is best described as lineal, non-lateral thinking where you just stop wasting stuff in the name of saving stuff.

  11. Australia has a carbon emissions scheme [tax] in play at the moment. greens still hold balance of power so incoming Government unable to change it. Caused the closure of all the car manufacturing plants in Australia, near shut down of Qantas our national carrier.
    Impost on everyone in way of extra tax and reduction in standards of living. Best of luck, America.

  12. [... E]ven if our nation’s entire coal fleet was shutdown, global emissions of greenhouse gases would be reduced by just 3 percent. Increases in average global temperature would be reduced by just .03 degrees Centigrade, while increases in sea levels would be reduced by less than the thickness of a penny by the year 2050.

    And
    “even if our nation’s entire coal fleet was shutdown,” What would it actually do to the price of energy if it were aggressively replaced by gas-fired power? An important consideration: gas-fired technology can be made small enough to get the full benefit from mass-production and economies of scale. Problems with the price of gas could be fixed by improving how the futures/commodities markets handle it. An aggressive policy of developing smaller, more agile gas-fired technology could well lead to lower overall prices, as well as much greater flexibility in terms of installing new capacity in response to changing needs.

    The ability to quickly locate gas-fired generating capacity in response to local needs would have several advantages: much lower lead times, costs better fitted to actual needs (rather than depending on projections with larger errors), and far reduced spending on wasteful, unsightly, and fragile long-distance electrical power transmission.

    Another potential advantage is that small, agile, gas-fired generating capacity could be removed from areas of dropping demand, and re-used where it comes to be needed later. This would, of course, require technology that had been designed to be relocatable. But that’s a simple problem in engineering defining engineering criteria/requirements. Note how much such agility would contribute to adaptation in response to unanticipated disasters.

    The technology for distributing natural gas is fully mature, and the infrastructure is already in place in much of the developed world. Adding it to development plans would be no harder than adding large-scale electric transmission, and in many cases both would probably have to be added. And gas distribution is much more robust in the face of damage: natural or anthropogenic. (Using vehicles transporting LNG or PNG)

    • Boiler tubes do not like to be moved, thus besides recertifying for safety, insulation does not like moving as well. Size restrictions are another problem.

      Not to mention that increased demand means increased cost. This is based on the estimate that wellhead needs to be $7 to $9 per decatherm versus coal about $5. Hard to see it will be anything but cost and boon to the electric companies.

    • Boiler tubes do not like to be moved

      Well, simple cycle gas turbines don’t have boiler tubes. And while combined cycle do, a boiler design that includes mobility (of some occasional fixed-fixed sort) as one of the criteria could easily deal with that problem. Same with insulation.

      The initial cost might be a bit higher, but the ability to relocate would probably allow the extra cost to be returned in expected lifetime. At least in some areas, where the risk of decreasing demand is high. And cheaper, non-relocatable installations could be used where there’s more certainty of continually increasing demand.

      Size restrictions are another problem.

      Not really. My suggestion was to focus on small agile generating capacity.

      Not to mention that increased demand means increased cost.

      Perhaps for a while. Or perhaps, with appropriate anticipation of increased demand, increased production capacity will be available in time so costs don’t increase substantially.

    • john Pittman I am as ignorant of economics as some here are about climate. So I will ask my stupid question. Can you explain why ” increased demand means increased cost”? I know that this is how capitalism works but there is a human behind this economic “theory”. It is not physics. Who decides to raise the cost? What are their reasons? Do the costs increase because the producer is trying to meet the needs of the consumers? Or are they taking advantage of the desparation of consumers who will pay anything?

    • rmdoobservations: Imagine all the potential producers of electric power arrayed from cheapest to most expensive. Now imagine all the customer uses of power arranged from most valuable (most willing to pay for) to least valuable. Usually these two arrays cross so that there is a “market price” where the least valuable use actually satisfied is equal to the most expensive source actually employed. If you increase demand by shifting the array of power willingnesses-to-pay upward, then the crossing point will also shift upward and occur at an even less-efficient last-producer-in, hence a higher cost.

      Basically, the cheap stuff gets used first, so if there is more demand then more-expensive options get pulled into the market.

    • stevepostrel Ok, that’s a reasonable explanation. But there has to be some measure of consequences. I am reading Yergin’s The Prize which is all about the development of oil. Apparantly Churchill is responsible for it’s use on ships and that started eveything (simplifying here). Stalin got his roots in workers unions during oil development in Batum. We all know where that got us.

      I am critical of the frenzy of competition between humans that disregards the consequences. For example, natural gas has helped the Netherlands (where I live) develop into a modern country. But the part of the country from which it is being extracted, is sinking and subject to small earthquakes. Only a few people live there but I feel the rest of the country should help pay for repairs. In much the same way as their taxes pay for the dikes that are protecting the cities on the coast. Fracking is also being discussed here (and fought). But there are limited resources that a small country can extract from below its surface area. It’s a sort of microcosm of the earth. There has to be some balance.

  13. Under Obama if any Americans want to help save the world from the forces of darkness — as was the case in WWII — “it will bankrupt them because they will be charged a huge sum for all the greenhouse gas that’s being emitted.”

    • The massive flow of wealth from the middle class to the upper 1% guarantees a 2nd world status for the U.S. In the not too distant future. The middle class is the lifeblood of any robust economy and it’s been squeezed.

    • Higher energy costs leads to higher food costs and higher commodity costs, and loss of jobs will hurt the lower and middle classes, squeezing them more.

    • The population should be sized to the local and renewable energy supply available. Makes wind, hydro, and solar very attractive if your goal is to maximize the human population size.

    • And you would ‘size’ how? There are traditional and historical methods.
      =====================

    • Economy croaks. GHG problem solved

    • “kim | May 31, 2014 at 2:09 pm |
      And you would ‘size’ how? There are traditional and historical methods.”
      —-
      Human population has always been self-restricting based on local and renewable energy. With the HCV we managed to use energy from the distant past (ancient sunlight) and very non-local.

    • **R. Gates | May 31, 2014 at 2:06 pm |

      The population should be sized to the local and renewable energy supply available.**

      Well, one will have to do better than have Kermit Gosnell, the monster,
      as your poster boy.

    • Do you have any idea how regressive you sound, R. Gates? The iron tongue behind the velvet lips.
      ===========

      • The CAGW movement also can trace its roots to as early as the 50’s when, “a longstanding inclination among some members of the upper class,” according to Dr. Donald Gibson, was broadcast nationally (with the help of a willing mainstream media). “This inclination was to redefine achievements in science and technology as either evil actions threatening to nature or as futile attempts to reduce human suffering that was said to be the result of overpopulation.”

        This tendency, partly articulated as a worldview in the writings of Thomas Malthus, takes what might be reasonable concerns over issues such as air and water quality and embeds them in an ideology deeply hostile to economic progress and the majority of human beings… The overall thrust was still clear: the U.S. and the world should move in the direction of ending population growth, and protection of the environment should be given an importance equal to or greater than that of improving the standard of living… Economic growth and technology were portrayed as problems. ~Dr. Donald Gibson

    • Gates, the expanding wealth of the rich did not come from the middle class, there was’t enough there. It happened by the banks using a huge leverage margin to sell put and call options in the dervatives market. That is the Chicago Board of Trade futures and options quadrillion dollar market, not the housing derivatives market. Two different things.

    • “Do you have any idea how regressive you sound, R. Gates? The iron tongue behind the velvet lips.
      ===========
      Truth is always simple but can sound harsh to children

    • Gates,
      If it is true that local and renewable energy restricts population how do you explain Mexico? Immigration?

    • k scott denison

      R. Gates | May 31, 2014 at 11:22 am |
      The massive flow of wealth from the middle class to the upper 1% guarantees a 2nd world status for the U.S. In the not too distant future. The middle class is the lifeblood of any robust economy and it’s been squeezed.
      _______
      You might want to do some research on this. I suspect the data you are using for this conclusion looks at pre-tax income inclusive of realized capital gains. When corrected to annualized capital gains there is not much difference in income growth across income brackets.

    • “ordvic | May 31, 2014 at 2:44 pm |
      Gates,
      If it is true that local and renewable energy restricts population how do you explain Mexico? Immigration?”
      ——–
      The natural state (without borrowing from the pool of ancient stored sunlight) is for human numbers to be restricted by local energy sources. The HCV has allowed the explosion of the human population beyond local carrying capacities.

    • Sounds like Gates advocates involuntary birth control because he has decided that we should not “feed our frenzied consumer addictions.” He also has proclaimed that “we behave like locusts, consuming beyond the carrying capacity of the planet.” How do you know the carrying capacity of the planet? Do you suppose that there will be no technological advances and that humans cannot adapt? Gates should send his resume’ to like-minded green fascists Holdren and Ehrlich and apply for a job.

    • Don Monfort

      Little gatesy doesn’t realize that if sustainable energy replaces fossil fuel energy, the consumption of other resources will continue.

    • “Sounds like Gates advocates involuntary birth control because he has decided that we should not “feed our frenzied consumer addictions.””

      Indeed – perhaps as well as advocating for a “real” market for CO2, he would also advocate for strict market pricing of everything. Food, transport, clothes, houses – everything. Of course, that would mean the virtual end of US & EU farming, together with the cheap food such subsidies created. On the plus side, this would certainly help address the obesity issues faced by western nations. The downside might be all those pesky third-world food riots, changes of govt etc – similar to the bio-fuels fiasco, only orders of magnitude worse.
      Still, after all that painful adjustment, it’ll all be for the best, right Gates? We’ll be much leaner and meaner, much more efficient, right?

      Where the plans of your ilk fail Gates, is that the majority don’t want free trade and free markets at all – they want fair ones! They don’t care that they have to pay tax, they care that they are not paying more than the guy next door doing the same job for the same pay – that it’s fair, see? Ditto goods and services. Ditto global trade. Where is the politician I can vote for that advocates this? (serious question, ’cause I haven’t found one yet)

    • “Don Monfort | May 31, 2014 at 5:16 pm |
      Little gatesy doesn’t realize that if sustainable energy replaces fossil fuel energy, the consumption of other resources will continue.”
      —–
      Again, if we expand beyond the carrying capacity, our numbers will naturally decline. No intervention required.

    • Don Monfort

      Gatesy finally sees the light! “No intervention required.”

      That’s the way it’s always been, gatesy.

    • k scott denison Could you cite a link to your assertion “there is not much difference in income growth across income brackets.”

      Everything I read says the opposite. I am trying to find an honest news source.

    • Just as with climate catastrophism there is a perceived need to bend the narrative to catastrophic wealth inequality. That’s why we get the Piketty’s of the world hammering statistics in the grand manner of climate catastrophists.
      ===============

    • They include medicare and medicaid payments as income.

      Say you get alzheimer disease and you require skilled nursing care (a nursing home). First, very few people have longterm care insurance.

      Say it’s going to last 6 years at $78000 per year ($468000). If you happen to have $468000, it gets spent on your nursing home bill. If you do not, then Uncle Sam (medicaid) pays the bill. (For the moment ignore the fact that certain things – a shrinking number of things – can be done to shield wealth from the nursing home).

      If you find these two equal, fine. I don’t

    • ‘Skilled nursing care’ has a technical meaning which does not mean ‘nursing home’. Couldn’t get past that mistake. Ask your son.
      =====================

    • k scott denison

      JCH, so you consider methods where employer provided insurance is added to one groups income and Medicare/Medicaid is not added to another’s as equivalent. Interesting. Your choice, but that’s not apples to apples.

      • All it takes is a single catastrophic-chaotic event — like the rising-up of a Nadolf Nitler in a province in China — to prove its all academic

    • Gates Claims:

      Human population has always been self-restricting based on local and renewable energy.

      I’m trying to understand what you mean, and frankly am having a hard time. Or, perhaps you mean that earth can have a very large population, with densities like those in China, India, and Africa.

    • He’s living in the past, or a future he hopes for, nasty, brutish, and short.
      =============

    • “Gates Claims:

      Human population has always been self-restricting based on local and renewable energy.

      I’m trying to understand what you mean, and frankly am having a hard time. Or, perhaps you mean that earth can have a very large population, with densities like those in China, India, and Africa.”
      _____

      Let me try to clarify. Prior to the eruption of the Human Carbon Volcano (the discovery and use of fossil fuels or ancient stored sunlight), humans had to rely on the energy available in their local environment for their survival. This energy was in the form of sunlight stored in the form of food and fuel (wood). Farming, (which was the first geoengineering) allowed the local carrying capacity to expand, but still, the local population could only grow to certain point (the local carrying capacity of the environment). There simply was not an option to grow beyond it– it was self-limiting or self-restricting.

      When fossil fuels were discovered, and then became more and more widely used, this ancient-stored sunlight could be used to increase the human population. Since not all areas had these fossil fuels, they could be exported to regions without them, and those populations could expand beyond the natural carrying capacity of that region, even using these fossil fuels as fertilizer base. Thus, the Human Carbon Volcano, or HCV, allowed the use ancient sunlight to explode the population (and of course carbon in the atmosphere) upwards quite rapidly, well beyond local carrying capacities.

    • This energy was in the form of sunlight stored in the form of food and fuel (wood). Farming, (which was the first geoengineering) allowed the local carrying capacity to expand, but still, the local population could only grow to certain point (the local carrying capacity of the environment). There simply was not an option to grow beyond it– it was self-limiting or self-restricting.

      OK, I’m understanding what you are getting at now. Your use of the term “always” threw me off. As did your use of the term “local.”

      I still don’t know why you are making the point. Do you think there is some Universal Moral Law that says “People shouldn’t consume more energy than that which can be converted to useable energy in that location they live near?” Very odd.

      Is Nuclear power evil? Would it be evil to take CA deserts, put solar cells there, and consume the electricity in Northern CA? What about in TX?

    • “Do you think there is some Universal Moral Law that says “People shouldn’t consume more energy than that which can be converted to useable energy in that location they live near?” Very odd.”
      ____
      I don’t care much for universal “moral” laws, but other universal laws interest me very much. You might actually be on to something, even if you don’t realize it. I’ve discussed it before here, it’s called the Great Filter:

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

      As an answer to the Fermi Paradox. It could well be that energy consumption beyond the local (in time and space) carrying capacity of the environment (in this case, the Earth) is a cause of the Great Filter and an answer to the Fermi Paradox. In essence, a build-up of local entropy so alters the environment that the civilizations collapses. This is going to require some reading, thinking, and research on your part if you are not familiar with these general terms.

      Unfortunately, the more habitable planets we discover, almost several a week now, the higher the probability goes that the Great Filter is both real, and very near in front of us. Not a pleasant thought.

    • “Is Nuclear power evil? Would it be evil to take CA deserts, put solar cells there, and consume the electricity in Northern CA? What about in TX?”
      ____
      Evil is quite an odd choice of words here. Nuclear power has its own environmental issues as does carpeting the desert with solar panels. Both are probably less desirable than locally produced energy sources such as community solar gardens, and very low energy consumptive planned communities that don’t require a massive power grid to support.

    • Don Monfort

      The Great Filter is a cousin of the Great Punkin. Solar gardens and low consumptive tie died hippie communes are breaking out all over. We may never have to move to another planet.

    • ” the pool of ancient stored sunlight”

      I don’t care who ya are, that’s funny right there.

    • “Let me try to clarify. Prior to the eruption of the Human Carbon Volcano (the discovery and use of fossil fuels or ancient stored sunlight), humans had to rely on the energy available in their local environment for their survival. This energy was in the form of sunlight stored in the form of food and fuel (wood).”

      Allow me to translate.

      Prior to the use of fossil fuels, far more people starved to death, and died from both heat and cold extremes. We need to go back to the good old days when life was nasty, brutal and short.

      Sing along with me…

      Those were the days my friend
      We thought they’d never end

      Who knew Mary Hopkins penned a love song to Pol Pot.

    • “Prior to the use of fossil fuels, far more people starved to death.”
      ____
      Quite untrue. The use of fossil fuels allowed the explosion of the human population, and in raw numbers, far more people starve to death than would have ever existed without the use of fossil fuels. More alive, but more to suffer. A bit of a conundrum, eh?

    • As an answer to the Fermi Paradox. It could well be that energy consumption beyond the local (in time and space) carrying capacity of the environment (in this case, the Earth) is a cause of the Great Filter and an answer to the Fermi Paradox.

      I discovered Fermi’s Paradox all by myself when I was arguing why Seti was a waste of time and money, but I do grant you that destruction of intelligent civilizations is one explanation to it. And, it has to be catastrophic, because if subsequent animals with intelligence popped up to say, Human level of intelligence, the previous animal and its mistakes would be discovered and avoided. I think it’s more likely that the CERN super-collider or its successor makes a small black hole, the theory behind Hawking’s radiation is wrong, and the small black hole hollows out the earth, leading to its demise.

      Another possibility, perhaps not so likely, is that humans create the next level of intelligence, and proves it’s pointless, and in a desperate act destroys life on the planet and itself. There are also solutions around the Star Trek idea of “Leave other life alone.”

      Given that CO2 levels have been much higher in Earth’s past, I think human consumption of fossil fuels is even less likely than either of the above. It wouldn’t even destroy the human race.

      We all have beliefs at the bottom of how we think and weight things. At its root, even Science is a religion, because it assumes we can take the experiences from our senses. Who knows, perhaps we are experiments in a very fast computer.

      Here is another solution to Fermi’s Paradox. Cultures tend towards anti-science, anti-progress states. These states are stable, like China was for thousands of years, Africa for thousands of years, etc., and no real progress is made.

      From my perspective, there is an element of your thinking that leads to the kind of anti-progress state in China.

      • The closer to the soil societies have been the more likely it is the men went to bed with their weapons. Growing up in a blue city and taking an elevator to work skews reality and loses the human perspective.

        The Left indulges itself in the best society has to offer while imagining peasant girls dancing on grapes with bare feet to make wine and conjuring up fanciful notions about idyllic rural happiness. All the while these pampered and hypocritical urban climate alarmists probably have never even grown a tomato plant. Does this energy-hating new climatocracy ever stop to consider the life of toil actually involved in the manual threshing of fields for those without energy? Will the climatocracy be ready to go to the farms when their liberal Utopia crashes down under the weight of collective ignorance?

    • Wagathon,

      The Left indulges itself in the best society has to offer while imagining peasant girls dancing on grapes with bare feet to make wine and conjuring up fanciful notions about idyllic rural happiness.

      Gates is very close to one of the left’s view, PRIMITIVISM, with Sol God beaming down on it, and every animal subjugated to the ecological rules constructed around the balance.

      Gates is not stupid, no doubt, but my view is his ideas are as likely as all the air molecules suddenly leaving a room.

      Not worth considering, because there are other risks far more likely. Nothing is “provable,” and Gates lives on that.

    • John DeFayette

      R Gates is not going far enough. Since “local” is the key to his argument I believe the real culprit, the evil technology that put us in our present, intolerable condition, was the invention of the wheel. We must find a way to ban that (along with barges) in order to get back to our natural, local limits. I’m sure some clever progressive politician can figure out a way to get us back to Eden.

    • John DeFayette

      R Gates is not going far enough. Since “local” is the key to his argument I believe the real culprit, the evil technology that put us in our present, intolerable condition, was the invention of the wheel. We must find a way to ban that (along with barges) in order to get back to our natural, local limits. I’m sure some clever progressive politician can figure out a way to get us back to the Garden.

      • But, what if you get kicked out of Eden. You need to plan ahead and have a piece of property to call you own–that’s is a good measure of freedom.

        The Left, however, fears a free man. And there is nothing the Left hates more than a free man with property. The Left is impelled by its ideology to centralize all credit and energy and by extension all means of production into the hands of the state.

        Of course, in the beginning, this cannot be effected except by means of despotic inroads on the rights of property, and on the conditions of bourgeois production; by means of measures, therefore,which appear economically insufficient and untenable, but which, in the course of the movement, outstrip themselves, necessitate further inroads upon the old social order, and are unavoidable as a means of entirely revolutionising the mode of production. (The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Frederick Engles)

    • all i know is i don’t want to live in rgate’s world

  14. Rational climate policy would balance the energy needs of the present with the long-term potential climate effects on future generations. It is without a doubt irresponsible to be burning coal in China to make plastic crap for sale at discount stores. It’s okay to use energy to supply for our basic needs but not to feed our frenzied consumer addictions.

    • If RGates ruled the world.
      ==============

    • “If”?

    • How will you get the kids to eat without McDonald’s Kid’s Meal toys?
      ==============

    • I just starve them between meals so they will eat almost anything.

    • This sort of opinion is exactly why so many rational people regard the whole “global warming” thing as a stalking horse for some socialist agenda. While I personally prefer not to buy “plastic crap for sale at discount stores”, that attitude that “I don’t like it so you shouldn’t be allowed to do it” is typical of a nascent Mussolini.

    • Just what gives you the right to decide what are the frenzied consumer addictions, what is plastic crap, or why discount stores aren’t the must preferred form of retail. Why should we base energy policy on your prejudices?

    • There is a very real possibility the our build up of entropy via our insatiable locust like consumerism and mantra of “growth at any cost” could be the cause of the Great Filter:

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

      And an answer to the Fermi Paradox.

      In essence, rather than live with a stewardship approach to our lives, we behave like locusts, consuming beyond the carrying capacity of the planet.

    • Oh, yes, R Gates knows the carrying capacity of the Earth. Did you know that if all the sun’s energy reaching earth were dedicated to sustaining human life @ 100 watts/person, a theoretical but practically impossible feat, then the human population would be in the low quadrillions, approximately a million times more human souls than are presently sustained? A tiny increase in our efficiency of the use of the sun’s energy, a la Norman Borlaug could sustain a much larger human population in a style to which we would all like to become accustomed.

      I’ve said that there’s a lot of energy in the universe. I predict that man will not eventually use all of it.
      ======================

    • Kim,

      You should ponder the Fermi paradox. Especially as we discover more and more likely habitable planets, it makes the odds of the Great Filter being very close by in front of us much greater.

    • “Just what gives you the right to decide what are the frenzied consumer addictions, what is plastic crap, or why discount stores aren’t the must preferred form of retail. Why should we base energy policy on your prejudices?”
      —–
      Locust-like behavior is quite clear. It has brought down many a civilization when local resources are exhausted— and in this case, local now means Earth.

    • “It’s okay to use energy to supply for our basic needs but not to feed our frenzied consumer addictions.”

      Amazingly (well, not really at all), a progressive like R.Gates will lecture us on “not feeding our frenzied consumer addictions,” without the slightest hint of irony. Just think of all the plastic in the keyboard and computer he typed that nonsense on. And the coal/oil/natural gas burned to power that computer, and the internet by which he posted it.

      But I guess for a progressive, telling other people how to live their lives is a basic need.

    • Gates,
      You should be a guest on coast-to-coast. Will we reach them before they reach us? Or is it already to late?

    • “But I guess for a progressive, telling other people how to live their lives is a basic need.”
      —–
      Nope. I vote with my wallet. I buy local and renewable. I avoid chain restaurants.

      Also, it is virtually impossible for any of us to live without plastic, so I am very selective about the products that I chose to buy. My ipad is one of those choices.

    • When we were obligate locavores, malnutrition was the norm by Spring. And Gaia forbid there be local or regional crop failures.

      There is something downright medieval about you, R. Gates.
      =========================

    • “There is something downright medieval about you, R. Gates.”

      I am actually quite the Renaissance Man– but thank you anyway.

    • There were plenty of Renaissance autocrats, and you are painting a portrait of someone very grey.
      ====================

    • I am far too laid back for autocracy. Give me a glass of locally produced wine and some love music and I’m good.

    • k scott denison

      Gates claims to be too laid back for autocracy yet is very pro limiting what others can do through whatever means needed. Clearly no irony gene.

    • ‘Teach your children well, their fathers hell did slowly go by’

    • I actually did mean “live” music, but my autocorrect chose differently. Oh well…still works.

    • You can buy whatever plastic crap you want from wherever you want. Eventually, the process will be self-restricting, much like being around lots of carcinogens.

    • Fermi paradox? Information can be destroyed. The paradox is an implosion/annihilation of ‘information’. Death by noise

    • “Fermi paradox? Information can be destroyed. The paradox is an implosion/annihilation of ‘information’. Death by noise.”
      ——
      So advanced civilizations become too noisy? If noise is akin to entropy you may be right.

    • Among locusts (grashoppers) swarming behaviour is partially a response to overcrowding. When large numbers of locusts are forced together in a small area, they being to form a swarm that can travel long distances consuming lots of vegetation. The critical tipping point is around 20 insects per square metre. Swarms of locusts can be a plague, because they consume vast amounts of crops.
      A swarm of locusts allows more effective migration and travel. Each member of the swarm expends less energy than a single locust would spend in normal individual flight. Contrary to individual locusts, locust swarms can travel up to 100km or more in a single day.

      The fascinating thing about swarm intelligence is that complex collective behavior emerges from individuals following simple rules. Swarm-intelligence and emergence are fascinating because this is not expected or usual behavior, and ‘the system is fault-tolerant and robust.’

      http://wiki.cas-group.net/index.php?title=Swarm_Intelligence

      It simply is.

    • “Rational climate policy would balance the energy needs of the present with the long-term potential climate effects on future generations.”

      I would change “effects” to “states.” If a possible climate state is snowball earth, then hey, better get that heater going. In fact, from your long term view of “destruction of humanity,” I would say getting the earth warmer is a very important goal. People cannot survive snowball earth. They can survive 10 degree C warmer planet.

    • John DeFayette

      D Johnson,

      Why do you argue with such an acute mind? He said it’s “without a doubt”. What are you, some sort of denier?

      I’ve really got to find the time for that Fermi Paradox. Sounds like fascinating reading. First, though, I’ve got to get out and sow some local crops in the yard, otherwise my family may abruptly meet its holding capacity this winter.

    • rgates you typing this nonsense on your bean and stick computer powered by a potato?

  15. “Throughout this process, Goldston hopes that the climate change issue will be “demystified”: politicians will learn not to fear it, Americans will come to expect action on it.”

    If the Kool-Aid is this yummy, why worry about compliance?

  16. Not only do I agree with Obama’s broad thrust, I’m surprised anyone is surprised. He campaigned on it, he told people he was going to do it before he was elected, now he’s doing it. He said if Congress didn’t act he would use executive powers to move on this. He won the election after saying it.

    Too many coal miners die. Too much mercury and other poisons are in fly ash mountains. It is past time to move past coal.

    As remarked above, we have substitutes. Natural gas, nuclear, renewables. We also have coal power plants that can operate efficiently with scrubbers. We’re already 14% through the 21st Century. Why not act like it?

    • I like the way he tells the truth about his destructiveness, and when he lies it’s to cover his destructiveness.
      ====================

    • Scrubbers have no effect on CO2. That’s why the EPA is going to irrational extreme’s not justified by science.

    • I agree. Obama won the election now it’s time to test his policies. Since the majority of Americans believe in climate change it’s time to test their resolve should energy costs and related economic costs rise. Republicans: you want your way on policy well then win an election.

    • Tom Fuller,

      Funny, he said the same thing about healthcare. and yet, once congress passed the monstrosity he demanded, he promptly shredded the Constitution and began re-writing it in whatever way he deemed necessary to improve the Democrat Party’s chances in the next elections.

      Don’t worry, when the disaster of this stupid policy starts to hit, if Obama or anyone else like him is still in power, they will use the imperial presidency to delay the effects of their idiotic central planning until the next election after that.

      You’re an intelligent, reasonable guy, but a default progressive. There is no man so blind as he who will not see.

      Oh, and by the way, Obama told the truth about his radical leftism, but not in any forum the vast majority of voters was ever likely to see. His pining for the dreams of his communist father being one heaping big clue. For the voters, it was:

      “If you like your insurance (doctor, health) you can keep it.”

      He could then count on the default conservatives throughout the media to cover his tracks, and call any conservative who tried to inform the voters of his intentions, racist.

      His lies would have ended his presidency by now, if any of the “mainstream” (aka progressive) media reported it objectively, let alone showed the slightest hint of curiosity about his serial lies and failures.

    • There are plenty of reasons not to like coal. Working to ameliorate these issues, rather than motivating an anti-coal policy based on AGW, would be a better way to address these issues.

      • David Springer

        curryja | May 31, 2014 at 12:35 pm |

        “There are plenty of reasons not to like coal.”

        I can’t think of any. Name some.

    • “There are plenty of reasons not to like coal. Working to ameliorate these issues, rather than motivating an anti-coal policy based on AGW, would be a better way to address these issues.”

      Yes, being pro other alternative forms of energy seems a better approach. Making coal a poor choice by providing reasonable alternatives.

    • Working to ameliorate these issues, rather than motivating an anti-coal policy based on AGW, would be a better way to address these issues.

      How about an anti-coal poliicy based on the natural superiority of natural gas (in the totality of markets) independent of its lower carbon footprint?

      But that brings us to everyday politics: if gas is better than coal, and you’re going to push it anyway, why not use the justification of AGW and throw a bone to the alarmists?

    • Kim: I like the way he tells the truth about his destructiveness…

      Yet another failed project. … ObamaCarbon

    • “we have substitutes. Natural gas, nuclear, renewables”

      Well the Democrats are fighting the development of natural gas reserves tooth and nail.

      The Democrats are fighting the use of nuclear power, even going so far as to make the safe disposal or recycling of spent fuel impossible in the USA. A cynic would speculate that the Democrats wish for there to be a large nuclear accident so they can destroy the entire nuclear power industry.

      Renewables are a joke and will be until we have a high energy density storage medium; of course when that happens, nuclear power becomes even more attractive.

    • Tom, you can be rational at times. But always, your progressiveness triumphs. Explains your affinity for San Fransisco.

    • I’m actually in Shanghai now–good morning everyone. Shanghai is being smothered by coal. It takes five years off the lifespan of those of us living here. I’m a San Francisco progressive informed by experience. I support Obama’s policy but not for the reasons he proposes.

      Coal kills. It’s that simple. It kills those who go under the ground to get it. It is burned to give us electricity or to make coke. Only 35% of the energy released is used productively. The rest is wasted. It pollutes the air, land and water surrounding it. It’s effluvient is toxic.

      Coal kills. Wood can be burnt as fuel–still is. But it’s not our workhorse for fuel. Hell, wooden ships still sail and wooden planes still fly. But they don’t comprise our commercial or military fleets.

      And yes, coal does emit a lot of CO2. And as a Lukewarmer that concerns me. I would still be 100% for the replacement of coal if global warming were not a concern. However, if warmist scientists are correct–and they may be, we just don’t know–it is an additional reason to continue to pioneer technology that replaces coal.

      • David Springer

        Pollution from inefficient, local, unfiltered combustion of coal takes 5 years off average lifespan but the things you can do with the electricity it provides adds 25 years to lifespans. Get a clue.

      • David Springer

        JC SNIP

        http://www.worldlifeexpectancy.com/china-health-miracle

        What if I told you that the world’s most polluted city also ranks near the top in world life expectancy rankings…would you believe me? What if other highly polluted cities in this country performed equally well, you’d call it a “miracle” would you not…well that’s exactly what’s taking place in China’s large cities and we believe it’s a miracle that has “Legs.” Life expectancy in Beijing and Shanghai has reached 80 years and it’s 82 in Hong Kong. All have massive pollution problems. Life expectancy in Berlin is 79.8, San Francisco and New York are barely 80 and the list goes on. With its population centers performing so well you might expect the entire country to have a high ranking, but that’s not the case.

    • “Coal kills. It’s that simple.”

      Water kills.
      Cars kill.
      Hammers kill.
      Stairs kill.
      Building buildings kills.

      It’s all that simple.

      Let’s outlaw them all.

      Or not.

    • Peter Lang

      JC said:

      There are plenty of reasons not to like coal. Working to ameliorate these issues, rather than motivating an anti-coal policy based on AGW, would be a better way to address these issues.

      I agree. But the world won’t replace coal until the alternative to coal is cheaper, especially in the developing countries. Therefore, if we, in the rich countries, want to reduce global pollution from coal (and CO2 emissions as well as genuine pollution), then we, in the rich countries, must use our brains, ingenuity and entrepreneurial capabilities to make the genuine alternatives to fossil fuels cheaper than fossil fuels.

      The problem is not mainly an engineering problem. The inhibitors to substantial progress are mostly ideological and political. They are largely the anti-nukes and those who push for economically irrational, government mandated solutions like carbon pricing and renewable energy. These will not succeed. These policies are the opposite of what is needed. What we need is to reduce the impediments that are preventing progress.

      Here is a good example: http://home.comcast.net/~robert.hargraves/public_html/RadiationSafety26SixPage.pdf . Such requirements are adding enormously to the impediments to cheap nuclear power. This could be changed by the stroke of a pen by the IAEA representitavies of its member states. If the USA led the way this change could be achieved. Major cost reductions would follow (over time).

      Obama is an impediment to genuine progress. His policies are poor. He is continuing to push the policies that have failed for the past 25 years.

      John Holdren is advising Obama. Holdren is a major thrombosis in the system. He has been anti-nuclear and pro renewables for 30+ years. His ‘Progressives’ ideological beliefs are embedded in his DNA

    • rogercaiazza

      As is the case with many environmental issues Tom Fuller and Obama characterize coal in black/evil or white/good terms. The lack of nuance that there might be middle ground is a problem. For the progressives coal is only black/evil.

      The black/evil position: ” It kills those who go under the ground to get it” and coal is strip mined by ripping off the tops of mountains in West Virginia. The nuanced position is that there are locations that can be mined much more safely than an underground mine and while I agree that I don’t think that you can ever mitigate the damage done to the strip mined mountain top, I do think that the land where coal is mined in the Powder River Basin where the natural vegetation is not particularly lush and the topography is different could be restored to an acceptable level.

      The black/evil position:: “It is burned to give us electricity or to make coke”. The nuanced position is that the concentrated energy provided by coal makes cheap steel possible and without that steel much of our society would be worse off.

      The black/evil description: “Only 35% of the energy released is used productively.” The nuanced position is that Obama is going to propose regulations that make the possibility of super-critical coal-fired power plants with efficiencies approaching 45% impossible to build.

      The black/evil description: “It pollutes the air, land and water surrounding it. It’s effluent is toxic.” The nuanced position is that a coal-fired power plant with all the pollution control equipment available today does have pollution but at a small fraction of earlier technology. In addition, coal ash can be placed in landfills that meet all the requirements for toxic wastes such as those generated when mining the rare earth minerals necessary for wind and solar power.

      The bottom line is that there is no benign way to provide the electricity that makes our life styles possible. All alternatives have negative impacts. Therefore, there should be a place for coal, gas, oil, nuclear and renewables in the electricity mix of the future. Progressives are using future electricity development without coal as a rationale to implement a host of special interest electricity generation plans at the expense of the diffuse and unrepresented interests of the consumers who will have to pay for any failures in these flights of fancy, both in terms of quality of service and its costs. Ultimately the rationale for these actions are driven by climate-change ideology.

    • Don Monfort

      roger,
      The squishy San Fran progressive types are against things that kill. Coal, guns, capital punishment, abortion. Oh no, wait, not that last one.

    • Umm, Mr. Springer, speaking of getting a clue, those 25 years of extra life would be available to me if my electricity came from other sources than coal.
      Is that your A game? Geez.

      GaryM, anything can kill if misused or if misfortune strikes. Coal kills as a direct consequence of its intended use. Is that your A game? Geez.

      There are many in this thread who disagree with me but who manage to make sense. You two don’t appear to be among them.

    • Life expectancy in Shanghai is indeed 82–for those born here. They are also the richest of Shanghainese and manage to live comfortable lives, traveling frequently to escape the pollution, having air purifiers in their homes, drinking bottled water, eating imported foods etc. But they are only 38% of the 27 million who live here. Internal migrants from rural provinces are far more exposed to the pollution.

      They don’t live to be 82. They live to be 69. Wealth can insulate you from the worst effects of pollution.

      And the rich Shanghainese all have bought second homes–out of downtown, or out of the province or out of the country.

    • David Springer

      Got any evidence to support that, Tom? Notice how I included a link to lifespans in Shanghai? There are a great many of them. Not a one includes any of the crap you appear to have invented out of whole cloth.

    • k scott denison

      Tom Fuller | May 31, 2014 at 10:38 pm |
      Umm, Mr. Springer, speaking of getting a clue, those 25 years of extra life would be available to me if my electricity came from other sources than coal.
      Is that your A game? Geez.
      ___________________________
      If that’s your A game, it’s not really on either.

      The key to lifespan in this context is access to cheap energy like that supplied by burning coal. If there were a viable alternative at the same cost it would be in use today.

      Life is about choices. This one is the best for China and its people.

    • An occupational hazard argument would be rather complicated. One would have to take into account all that goes into the source of power to make a fair determination. Logging, construction, transportation, and power line maintenance all rank above mining as hazardous occupations.

    • k scott denison

      steven, great points. Toms is falling for the fallacy of hazards that are well publicized (coal mining) versus those that aren’t (the examples you point out). That plus only looking at the negatives of coal fired power, not the positives.

      Really not on his game I guess.

    • Gee Mr. Springer, you’re right. I didn’t link to it. Go get a copy of Shanghai Business Review and you’ll find it, though. Full of statistics from China’s national bureau. Nice, piece, if I say so myself.

      What a maroon. Go talk to willard. You two are made for each other.

    • Tom, he’s a miracle worker. Everything he touches turns to asbestos.
      ===============

    • Tom Fuller,

      “GaryM, anything can kill if misused or if misfortune strikes. Coal kills as a direct consequence of its intended use. Is that your A game? Geez.”

      That wasn’t even my B game because your initial comment was about a D level argument.

      Please tell me this wasn’t your A game?

      “Coal kills. It’s that simple. It kills those who go under the ground to get it. It is burned to give us electricity or to make coke. Only 35% of the energy released is used productively. The rest is wasted. It pollutes the air, land and water surrounding it. It’s effluvient is toxic.”

      Everything I listed also kills as a result of its intended use.

      The only actual example you gave was that “it” kills miners. Which is great anthromophization, but terrible logic. Mining is hard, dirty, dangerous work. And that goes for mining gold, silver, uranium and any thing else we dig deep into the Earth to get. I suspect you would not enjoy living in a world in which mining, and every other dangerous occupation, was outlawed.

      Use of coal adds to pollution, and there was a time when it’s pall covered whole cities. But I assumed you were talking about the present, since that is the only thing that matters as to future policy. My bad,

  17. David L. Hagen

    Cold Kills
    With US electricity and gas grids functioning, the ‘Polar vortex’ blamed for at least 21 deaths

    The so-called “polar vortex” of dense, frigid air that spread across the country shattering temperature records is being blamed for at least 21 deaths.

    Should Obama shut down coal fired power plants, we are very likely guaranteed power grid failure – with consequent loss of gas heating that relies on electric controls. That could well lead to 100,000s of deaths!
    We must ensure we will always have adequate power grid margin for the coldest winters – including a return to the Little Ice Age.
    Obama’s ignoring and planning against natural climate variations is the height of foolishness that with deadly consequences of many deaths from cold on his hands.

  18. Judith, in all of these kinds of blog posts I never hear what the current state of cleanliness is for coal power generation. If I am not mistaken, we are not starting out at zero pollution standards but standards that are already quite high. I think folks would benefit from knowing that these proposed regulations are already on top of existing ones, if that is in fact the case. It is also worth mentioning that pollution control technology is not something that you simply turn the dial up on, it usually means a wholesale replacement throwing away millions of dollars in investment for improvements that provide a benefit that cannot justify the cost. I would appreciate any information you might have.

    • Clark, you need to look at the PM requirements and BACT rules for coal, biomass, NG, wood, fuel oil. Next SO2, CO, and NOx requirements. An example is wood that was made as clean as NG. The cost for about 65 mmBTU boiler is $15M payback 10+ years. NG 65 mmBTU about 1.5M. Also, no one knows how much it will cost to keep the wood in compliance, and the payback for wood exceeds 10 years.

    • Rud Istvan

      Clark, the issue is not SO2 or NOx or fly ash particulate or mercury or…
      Those have been tightly regulated for decades, and mostly done away with by switching coal source (Illinois coal is high sulfur, Wyomingnis low sulfur) or by flue gas scrubbing. It is about ‘carbon pollution’, CO2 emissions. And one of the key legal questions is whether the EPA even has the statutory authority to declare CO2 a pollutant within the meaning of the Clean Air Act. That is how over reaching this administration has become.

    • rogercaiazza

      The EPA New Source Performance Standards are described at http://www.epa.gov/compliance/monitoring/programs/caa/newsource.html

      Section 111 of the Clean Air Act authorized the EPA to develop technology based standards which apply to specific categories of stationary sources. These standards are referred to as New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) and are found in 40 CFR 60 (http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CFR-2011-title40-vol6/xml/CFR-2011-title40-vol6-part60.xml) The NSPS apply to new, modified and reconstructed affected facilities in specific source categories.

      However, lower rates are required in order to meet the Prevention of Significant Deterioration rules in areas where there are no ambient air quality standard problems or where there are ambient problems then the Lowest Achievable Emission Rate may be required.

      Bottom line is that coal fired power plants can be pretty well cleaned up.

  19. Eric Dollard’s observations provide amazing insight into the operation of Earth’s heat source, the Sun:

    http://theinternetpost.net/2014/05/31/the-sun-is-not-what-we-we-have-been-told-eric-dollard-reveals-3-secrets-about-the-sun/

  20. Antonio (AKA "Un físico")

    “I don’t think anyone can credibly argue that the CO2 emissions reduced under Obama’s plan will change or improve the climate.”
    Me too. The proposed reduction of 40% of CO2 emissions, by 2030 in the EU, will not improve the climate because IPCC’s scientific assessment is basicaly wrong (e.g. climate sensitivity lies in an invented value range). I could understand that politicians in the EU do not want to seek assessment about CO2 emissions (they could be corrupted or ignorant or ideologicaly driven), but: why US politicians, in exchange for non influencing climate, would be interested in damaging US companies and citizens?. I offer US politicians my assessment for free: in my pdf and by my email (inside the pdf) https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B4r_7eooq1u2TWRnRVhwSnNLc0k/

  21. It is energy alarmism. Is the US really shutting down coal plants basically now, or phasing them out over decades, and replacing them either with natural gas or cleaner coal plants? People need to see what the plan is before they are persuaded by articles like this that we will suddenly have less power than today, and that no one as thought to plan for power demands. Of course warming leads to higher power demands too, possibly more than the occasional cold winter. This would need to be accounted for. Some fall for this kind of energy alarmism because they don’t know what the plan is. Wait for the plan, and make an informed criticism of the details then. As we saw just last week, some coal plants have converted already, and energy alarmist predictions have failed because it has been basically unnoticed.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/27/america-coal-plant_n_5400396.html

    Others will naturally shut down because of the market force of cheaper natural gas. This net-win type of transition should not be resisted either.

    • The plan is don’t use coal and don’t use nuclear energy. Brilliant plan, that.

    • Don Monfort

      jimmy, jimmy

      Where have we heard before that we need to implement a plan, before we find out WTF it’s going to do to us? What we do know jimmy dee is that the administration foisting this crap on the country is inept and is driven by goofy ideology that is not shared by the majority of the people. This regulation without representation is bullcrap. Why don’t we have a vote on it, jimmy? Why do you expect us to give this undemocratic plan the benefit of the doubt? Oh, we should read the huffpo. What did they have to say about Obamacare? You are a lame little propagandist, jimmy. End of story.

    • Don Monfort

      If you like your cheap energy, you can keep it. As a matter of fact, you are going to save $2,500 a year on your electric bills. Trust us. It’s not going to be like that Obamacare fiasco. We learned our lesson. And that VA thing is Bushes fault, not ours. We are really starting to get the hang of this governing thing.

    • “jim2 | May 31, 2014 at 1:11 pm |
      The plan is don’t use coal and don’t use nuclear energy. Brilliant plan, that.”

      Yes, coal needs to go away, but we use nuclear every day– but the fusion plant is a safe distance from Earth and requires zero maintenance.

    • k scott denison

      Don Monfort | May 31, 2014 at 1:52 pm |
      If you like your cheap energy, you can keep it. As a matter of fact, you are going to save $2,500 a year on your electric bills. Trust us. It’s not going to be like that Obamacare fiasco. We learned our lesson. And that VA thing is Bushes fault, not ours. We are really starting to get the hang of this governing thing.
      ——-
      +1

    • On Oct 1st, 2015, the HIPAA demands that ICD-10 is implemented for healthcare billing. The US ICD-10 CM has some 68,000 codes, if a physician enters the wrong code they can be charged with fraud
      Expect the billing system will melt down for at least 6 weeks.

    • Stephen Segrest

      Obama doesn’t want nuclear? Huh???? The DOE Guaranteed Loan Program has (roughly) funded about 1/3 in nuclear projects; 1/3 in solar; and 1/3 in advanced vehicles: http://energy.gov/lpo/projects

      Georgia Power Vogtle nuclear units (3 and 4): http://www.southerncompany.com/news/dyn_pressroom.cshtml?s=43&item=3048

    • Stephen Segrest

      All of you Obama haters need to do a little research on natural gas prices, capital cost of N.G. generation (like combined cycle), the dramatic difference in efficiency between NG and coal (PC) electricity generation.

      • David Springer

        JC SNIP Natural gas isn’t available everywhere. You can’t just load up a line of boxcars with it and ship wherever needed like you can with coal.

    • Don Monfort

      Why do we need Obamma to kill off coal, if gas is so much better? We know the economics, you clown.

    • Energy alarmism, like economic alarmism, is put out there, and some skepticism is required given the usual sources of these articles. They are trying to scare people off the gradual and rational courses, and into irrational panic-stricken inaction and infighting, so you need to examine their claims more, and take a calm look at the actual plans.

    • “country is inept and is driven by goofy ideology that is not shared by the majority of the people.”

      It has absolutely nothing to do with ideology, but with reducing CO2 emissions.

  22. Judith

    You said;

    ‘The adjectives we want for energy are: abundant, reliable, economical, and clean/green. Provided that abundant, reliable, and economical can be maintained, the U.S. public will support clean/green.’

    I take ‘reliable’ to mean that we can calculate the amount of energy that will be generated and that it isn’t subject to the vagaries of the wind or the sun?

    If so, surely ‘secure’ ought to be added in there?

    Many of our suppliers of gas/oil etc do not like the West, whether that is the Russians or those from the Middle East.

    Not only do we make ourselves vulnerable buying from them, but we are actually financing their growing ability to cause us harm should we upset them for any reason. So I want all those things you want, but above all I want to ensure I am not subject to the whims of people who do not like us.

    tonyb

    • “So I want all those things you want, but above all I want to ensure I am not subject to the whims of people who do not like us.”
      —-
      I agree. Energy should be 100% local. If it can’t be, then think about moving.

    • Rgates

      Here is the House sub committee testimony from Botkin

      http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/05/31/in-house-testimony-botkin-dismantles-the-ipcc-2014-report/#comments

      I will assume you agree with every word if it if I do not see your comment over at WUWT refuting it. :)

      tonyb

    • Rgates

      What is your definition of ‘local?’ We do have transmission lines.

      If purely ‘local’ in the classic definition, people would have to group closely around the power station-unpopular in the case of nuclear- and a failure of the energy source would have serious repercussions.

      I assume by ‘local’ you must mean that power generation should be carried out by the country consuming it?

      tonyb

    • “I assume by ‘local’ you must mean that power generation should be carried out by the country consuming it?”

      At the minimum. Better still, power generation carried out by the community consuming it. Here in the US, community wind-farms and solar gardens are spring up, often times generating more than 100% of required power, the rest being sold back to the outside grid.

    • Don Monfort

      How much power is being sold back to the grid, gatesy (net of what they are using from the grid)? How many gigawatt hours? Let’s be realistic. Make it kilowatt hours.

    • Well-planned solar and wind gardens supporting a local community are net additions to the grid, providing energy for those outside the community who need outside energy. They are not large additions to the grid, but anything more than zero is sustainable.

    • Yeah, like 200,000 people were suddenly unsustained in Scotland and are probably now being lied to about it.
      ================

    • Don Monfort

      You are making crap up, gatesy. Can you point out the location of one of the little tie dyed hippie communes that contributes excess green power to the grid?

    • There are huge monopolies with self-interest to make you think that off-grid living is impossible. The fact is, it is quite possible and surely desirable for true independent living:

      http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/apr/11/power-energy-companies

    • Rgates

      I think off grid living depends on your location, size of house and grounds, salary and age and motivation.

      Tonyb

    • Don Monfort

      Who said that off-grid living is impossible, gatesy? Lot’s of people do it. That’s why there are no trees in large tracts of Africa. That off-grid house in the article from the laughable left-looney Guardian looks like it’s about a 12 square footer. I bet that guy is lonely on there. Do you live like that, gatesy. Off-grid and off the map.

    • “I think off grid living depends on your location, size of house and grounds, salary and age and motivation.”

      Certainly, but these factors are present in all the life choices we make. If you want a big McMansion that needs to suck a lot of power off the local grid, then you will have to make life choices to support your locust-like behavior.

    • “Do you live like that, gatesy. Off-grid and off the map.”

      No aim currently a very productive on-the-grid energy sucking locust.

    • Rgates

      I was more thinking that if you live in a small house with little garden and have a limited income and limited time or are in ill health or immobile then your ability to go off grid might be limited

      Tonyb

  23. “Unless I am missing something, the next Republican President can reverse all this?”

    A Republican president, with a Republican majority in both houses of congress CAN reverse all this. But there is no reason to believe they would do so any time in the foreseeable future.

    The issue is not Democrat – Republican, it is progressive – conservative.

    The “leadership” of the GOP in congress is made entirely of progressive Republicans. The most “conservative” of the bunch is Paul Ryan, whose proposed budgets do nothing to reduce government spending for at least three years, and consist of a mournful plea to reach a balanced budget in ten years. Not pay off any part of the deficit, just wait ten years before stopping its growth.

    These profiles in courage have passed dozens of bill in the house calling for the repeal of Obamacare, an unmitigated disaster by any measure (other than accumulation of power to the government). But they have never done anything to actually repeal it.

    They are unwilling to do anything that might endanger their personal power, position and prestige. And the country can be damned.

    They will only act to reverse the coming EPA regulations if there is no political risk in doing so. And that is highly unlikely in the near term.

    The economy is a disaster (except for the cronies of Wall Street and the insurance industry). Real unemployment has been at or over 12% for his entire presidency. His foreign policy disasters are…well..in every country where he has a foreign policy.

    But his voters have no clue, because they get their “news” from filtered sources in the progressive media.

    So yes, a Republican president can, with the right congress, reverse the additional damage about to be done. But only a conservative president can be counted on to actually do so.

    • Whose gonna beat Hillary? Ted Cruz?

    • David Springer

      Health issues. Late last year a brain tumor was discovered during a routine colonoscopy.

    • I thought they already removed the brain?

    • Maybe its polarize-depolarize .. A triumph of the mediocre idea, without controversy

    • David Springer

      ordvic | May 31, 2014 at 2:09 pm |

      “I thought they already removed the brain?”

      Only part of it. Still not enough left to continue the pretense of being able to serve as secretary of state.

    • What do you guys think about Elizabeth Warren? I do not want her to waste here time running to be president, but just curious what you think. I am a Hillary Clinton supporter but I question whether I would vote for her. She’s a bit too hawkish for me. Pres. Obama was too inexperienced to hold office, in my opinion.

      I agree that ObamaCare is too complicated (due to congress adding exceptions, by the way). However, the concept of everyone being insured is a sound one.

    • k scott denison

      rmd, name one thing Elizabeth Warren has run successfully. Or Clinton.

      You were right that Obama was too inexperienced to be president and look what we’ve got: Jimmy Carter part 2.

      Warren and Clinton would be part 3.

    • Hmmm, rmd calls for a politician with executive experience and success. What a brilliant thought; we should try that some time.
      ================

    • Speaking of Hillary. Watch as the Dims increasingly criticize Obama. Obama has alienated so many people, they will have to distance themselves from him. Of course, they will cheerfully lie to our faces once again, making all kinds of promises to fix the budget, social security, disability, and mine cheese from the Moon. If the voting public is fooled by this once again, which is probably 50-50 chance at this point, Hillary could be the next Czar.

    • Also, WRT the next election, the Dims are busily stacking the deck with illegals. They will leverage this either by legalizing them and creating a majority for the Dims, or using them as leverage against the Pubs, and probably also using then to vote illegally.

    • I think Elizabeth Warren would be more effective in the Senate. Romney may have gotten my vote if he stuck with some socially liberal ideas which I value (including health care). But I had the feeling that he would deal with the business of business and leave the social and foreign policy issues to the Republicans in Congress. I could not vote for that.

      I look forward to reading the hypocracy of the people will support Hillary Clinton now when they didn’t when she ran against Pres. Obama the first time.

      The US presidency is an awful job and I question the sanity of anyone who wants it.

    • k scott denison

      I too am socially liberal, but vote for the fiscally conservative and experienced candidate above all. Governors make much better presidents than senators. Prime example: Bill Clinton. He understood that things need to get done for the country and to do that one has to work with, not try to run around, congress.

  24. Where ever you live in the US, it’s time to vote out the dumbA$$es.

    • To overturn the alarmist agenda the politicians will need more support from the scientific community. I predict that many of the respected organizations will change their AGW positions, as did Botkin, when the pause continues to show unreliable models.

  25. Rud Istvan

    The authority of the EPA to do this is already (narrowly) in front of SCOTUS, with a ruling due in June. I think it possible that the diabolically clever Roberts ruling on Obamacare (a second Marbury v. Madison IMO) may bear precidential fruit here.
    And, this is definitely a ballot box issue in several states, as is the KXL punt. And, if the Republicans capture the senate, it is doubtful Congress will take well to a cap and trade end run when the legislation was roundly rebuffed. Interesting times, 2014.

    • I’m not sure what you mean. Obama will do an end-run around Congress. The Congress would have to make laws that negate the EPAs authority over CO2 or find some mechanism to reel them in.

    • Rud Istvan

      Jim2, if SCOTUS does not do it for them, then depending on the 2014 election Congress can get it done easily early in 2015. The EPA is only able to attempt this in the first place because of poor drafting in CAA concerning whatnis a pollutant and the nature of an endangerment finding. The latter is the motivationnfor the joke of a 2014NCA eviscerated by Prof. Botkin innthe Congressional hearing yesterday. Whichnis one reason I think Rep. Smithh held the hearing innthe first place.
      A bill to fix 100% of the issues enabling EPA regulatory over-reach would run at most 5 pages.

    • Do you know the name of the case or at least something I can google to find it?

    • Of course pure greed would motivate certain capitalists to remove all restrictions (the ultimate Libertarian Nirvana). Unfortunately, human nature being what it is, always goes to excess and some financial crisis is inevitable when greed is the foundation for the fantasy of eternal growth.

    • RGates – ours is a system of checks and balances of the various forces. At least that’s the theory. That’s why we have three branches of government. The government itself is a force. Business is a force. Unions are a force. The rich are a force. Groups of people are a force by way of various organizations. Our collective vote is a force, as manipulated as we and it are – but still a force.

    • “RGates – ours is a system of checks and balances of the various forces.”

      There really is no check or balance to plutocracy. The rich write the laws and make the regulations to keep themselves rich. Pretty simple.

    • Don Monfort

      The rich plutocrats voted for Obama. Check the voting by zip code. The poor and rich zipcodes vote Demo. Or just stick with your phony left loon narrative.

    • “…if SCOTUS does not do it for them, then depending on the 2014 election Congress can get it done easily early in 2015.”

      There would be nothing easy about it, if it can even be done..

      First, you have to have enough conservatives, not Republicans, who are willing to risk their seats to pass the legislation necessary.

      Second, you will the have to convince enough Democrats and progressive Republicans to vote against the president, and “climate change,” to over ride the inevitable veto.

      Don’t hold your breath waiting for the Supreme Court to undo what it did on regulating CO2. No matter the constitutional issue, either Roberts or Anthony Kennedy will save the legislation.

      Kennedy has no real principles, other than politics, that explains his take on politically important issues. And Roberts will do anything he has to to preserve his self perceived impression of himself as the protector of the Court. The role he used to defend his virtually incoherent finding of Obamacare as a tax.

  26. Dave Peters

    We are about to go over a waterfall, and there will be no way back.

    What bothers me most, as a “warmist” who drank the cool-aid in 1977, before we had a clue how the Pleistocene worked (and the last time we had CA near this level of drought & the next to last PDO flip), is that the political impetus tipping us to act is still stuck on stupid, regarding our best route forward. The massive intellectual effort, mounting now across 35 years, to countervail this impulse, has been to my mind, not only wholly unexpected, but a tactical tragedy. The real animus towards the political impulse to decarbonize is aroused by the impracticality of the proposed remedy, but opponents have erroneously concentrated upon the climatic uncertainty. Here they defend very weak ground.

    There is stationary combustion, and there is mobility. The latter is naturally self-limited, and requires no political investment. Deep and abundant evidence argues that the developed world is now constrained, for the first time in the post WWII era, to reduced growth because Chindia’s 24+ million annual new vehicles can only operate, zero-sum, by outbidding the EU and US for fuel.

    On the stationary side, the merits about the true choice are astronomically against those now moving the EPA. Take the argument about Yucca. When I first transferred out of policy and into research, in the nascent DOE in the early Carter years, I knew a lot about oil and gas but nothing about nuclear and renewables. My first work was on “closing the tail end of the fuel cycle,” meaning long term storage of wastes, and many of my new colleagues were x-bomb builders. They all said the same thing: the whole problem is political. Physically it does not even exist. For thirty years I have thought they were correct a million-fold. Imagine comparing the downsides of some feeble leakage from Yucca tens of thousands of years from now, vs. the inevitability of the looming climatic downsides. It really is more than a billion to one. Or the loss of coolant negatives, which were actualized worse at Fukushima than anyone had dreamed up, without loss of any human life. Climatically, Bota, Rajasthan’s million+ sweltered in never-before seen 116 F. heat, just yesterday, which will certainly kill. Again, the comparative risks approach the infinite.

    We lost the political battle in America, largely to ignorance. California foreclosed commercial nuclear until the mythic storage issue was solved, which as erroneously conceived by the greens, can never be solved. We tied up tens of multi-billion investments in litigation stalls, post Three Mile, while by an accident of unlucky timing, our economy did something analogous to first flying an aircraft at the speed of sound. Just months down moment of the accident, President Carter appointed Paul Volker to the Fed. The cost of borrowed money went from free or negative (inflation greater than embedded debt instrument rates), to nominal rates exceeding twenty percent. An infinite increase in real costs for the utilities rolling over notes for their delayed partially completed, and redesigned-in-real-time nukes. Dozens of plants were thrown away. Wall street suffered losses that no analyst who lived through it, will ever forget. And GE decided, especially after Carter killed breeder funding, to make its future in finance, instead of “things.” America utterly failed the potential of the commercial atom. Perhaps one day this will be seen as the greatest failure in all our history.

    France however, did not. They did not trump their engineers with hysteric artists. Or innumerate lawyers. They solved the stationary power source by going carbonless, without even the climatic intent. Today, residential electricity there costs 2/3rds that of the average of UK, Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Spain, and Italy. Solving climate is economically free and non-threatening to personal liberty. If undertaken wisely.

    Going down the path we are about, with politically (read: non-quant lawyers & pols) imposed “standards” is every thing that climate denialists/minimalists fear it to be. Negawatts are fine when freely chosen. When politically imposed for climate’s sake, they will require kwh purchasers to pay for watt-hours claimed to be “not bought.” Their will be the reverse Robyn Hood thing where the rich will exploit subsidies to flee grid charges that support continuity of service, piling the costs of sustaining distribution networks upon captive non-players. The financial viability of the utilities themselves will be undermined by diverted revenues, and physically enfeebled by the absurdity of massive shifts to unsteady sources of an unstorable energy form.

    The resistance ought re-orient its political effort to the higher ground. Climate will likely have unfathomable feedback uncertainty for another generation (or two?). An arresting intellectual challenge perhaps, but not a well chosen arena for deciding forward power engineering issues.

    • Yes it was a huge tactical mistake to go from the simple AGW message, that they clearly won, to CAGW/natural variability as noise complicated argument. In politics the simplist argument usually wins out.

    • “We are about to go over a waterfall, and there will be no way back.”

      Well that’s just not true. Europe came back from Hitler and Mussolini (bet this lands in moderation) Russia came back from 75+ years of Lenin, Stalin, et al. (until the Russian oligarchs decided to adopt the “third way” – economic fascism.

      Nothing is forever.

      Heck, the Swedes have already backed well off from their earlier embrace of socialized healthcare.

      As Adam Smith said, there is a lot of ruin in a nation.

      The question is how much more ruin will there be until progressives are thwarted in their drive for power. And on that issue, there could be a lot.

    • David Springer

      Average price of electricity in the US is $0.12/kWh.

      Average price of electricity in France is $0.19/kWh.

      I’d ask if you need help with the math but clearly you don’t since you pointedly left out comparing France with the United States.

      Nice try but no cigar.

    • rogercaiazza

      “the rich will exploit subsidies to flee grid charges that support continuity of service, piling the costs of sustaining distribution networks upon captive non-players.”
      —————
      +1

    • As you see, no intelligible answer from the gallery to the empirical detail you describe here

      In realpolitik terms, that is the par for the course here. Whenever actual base load requirements appear in the discussion, the place shuts right down

      Dilettantes, squabbling about angels dancing on a pinhead while innumerate lawyers with no engineering/geological expertise propose to risk base load for some indeterminate gain at some indeterminate time

      Homo sapiens as a species is actually insane. Amongst other aspects, this website has shown that quite clearly

  27. David Springer

    There’s a lump of coal in the white house I’d like to be rid of that’s for sure.

    • Opps very close to … you may need an old style hoodie.

    • It’s the content of his character that is the problem.
      ==========

    • Which one? Springer or Obama?
      (Just kidding of course)

    • Have no fear – Obama has “experts” advising him.

      Here is his healthcare expert Ezra Klein in 2009:

      “If you ordered America’s different health systems worst-functioning to best, it would look like this: individual insurance market, employer-based insurance market, Medicare, Veterans Health Administration.”

      Forget the coal, Dear Leader is a lump, period.

    • So will we have the Justice Department investgating Obamacare sometime in the future?

    • @ harkin | May 31, 2014 at 3:08 pm |
      Have no fear – Obama has “experts” advising him.
      *****
      Alinsky – one of his best commie buddies.

    • David Springer

      JC SNIP

      • David Springer

        Obama writes books about being black but if I mention he’s black I’m a racist? I don’t think so.

    • Is it racist to say ‘typical white person’?
      ==========

    • Maybe it’s the content of your character that is the problem.

      Apparently all the white boys have been very very very naughty, so Santa put an uppity African American in the White House for 8 straight Christmases.

      Actually sounds about right.

    • JCH dives through superficiality and into the content of his character.
      ==============

    • Santa voted; y’all lost.

    • Yep, we all lost. Back in the day, it was not coal in the stocking that bad kids feared, it was horse turds.
      ==================

    • Just to clarify, David, I wasn’t calling you a racist. It was a tongue in cheek remark channeling what is the normal knee jerk stuff to Obama criticism. I apologizes for the symantic blunderous attempt at humour.

    • Dave Peters

      David – You are right to correct the deficiency in my comparison. Europe has a tradition of far more heavily taxing energy in all forms, and of course has no analogue to our Powder River Basin, where coal is loaded to the hopper car @ three to four mills per pound. My point was that the inter-country carbon-free emission premium there was NEGATIVE.

      With our sorry history, the nuclear Hercules is a bound Gulliver. I ran regressions for the 31 states, comprising the bulk of our population, with nuclear generation (EIA 2010 percentage Mwh apportionment & 2012 residential price data). The correlation coefficient is a weak (my point) 0.53, but it is positive (yours). The intercept is 9.83 cents per Kwh, and rises by 8.7 mills for each added 10% of fossil power decarbonized via fission. So, even with our embedded high costs (as with the old saw, the French have a unified design and many cheeses, while we went with a multitude of designs, but are fond of one, “American,” cheese), we could have tripled fission for a third of the spread you point to, between our delivered residential price and that of France. And going forward, one would hope for and expect better.

      Nuclear generation now requires six mills/Kwh for maintenance, nine for operating the plants, and a penny for fuel. $0.026/Kwh. So, there is no prospect for any added seven-cent hike in going nuclear for a carbon-free future. The Vogtle and Summer plants now well underway in the South are booked to come in for about $3.55 per watt. We basically burn 4000 Terawatt hours per year, and buy it for a dime per Kwh, overall. An added penny per watt-hour would raise $40B per year, and could fund an added 225 giga-watts of new fleet in twenty years, eliminating coal. We endured a seven percent hike in the national electric bill from 2004 to 2005, and another hike of nine percent going to 2006. Neither killed us. On the other hand, take a look at Germany, the direction now underway in New York State. Thirty-six cents per Kwh, residential. Or Denmark, at forty. Suppose that $3.55 is 10% low, and a long term investment costs $3.90 per watt. At six percent, that still tallies less than five cents per watt hour, or about the going rate bulk power is sold to the grid.

      Instead of watching the action (wherein a noble tax credit created by a republican president twenty years ago is wreaking havoc with after-hours utility revenues, such that windmills are making it impossible to replace heat exchangers, or patch confinement building concrete–thus backing out nuclear investments long since amortized!), the right sulks over its impossibly weak concerns with the climatic unknowns. And the liberals make rational remedial prospective investments prohibitively risky. The liberals are so outfoxing the dullards on the right on climate and energy policy, it is an embarrassment to human reason. So just leave Rush Limbaugh in the driver’s seat, not even rising to the obvious argument, while riveting the focus upon insensitivity and pauses and hoaxes. This, on a planet where Clausius-Clapeyron yields a 28% hike in humidity for a one percent increase in temperature, and that glaciates upon a whisper of shifted sun. But it’s not sensitive to perturbation! This for a readily obvious lull, in the wake of 35 year’s worth of realized warming in a single year. Cry “hoax” to a compendium of scientific realizations that stretches back two centuries. Who would concoct a hoax with such huge and irreducible uncertainty? Planting its opposition to the Sierra Club/FOE agenda in minimization/denial will leave conservative fathers staring into their soup bowls when their sons come home for holidays their freshman year. For their core position is intellectually vacuous and utterly unsustainable

    • Dave Peters

      In the final paragraph of my 6/4, 8:15 pm reply to a prior comment of Mr. Springer, I incorrectly stated my figure for a 1% change in surface temp as yielding a “28%” increase in vapor pressure, at saturation. My current notion of the correct figure is 37.6%, but I am an economist and would greatly appreciate being pointed to better information. With my apology to the thread.

  28. –All this is bypassing Congress, and will take years to implement. Unless I am missing something, the next Republican President can reverse all this?–

    Yes, as can the next Democrat President. A Democrat President who is not a lame duck, may want to remove them.

  29. An old cynic like me suspects politicians of exploiting natural trends for their advantage. Is not the real story here the rise of shale gas, which has/will lead to reductions of CO2 (and other “pollutants”)? If so it is/will-be down to free enterprise rather than to Big Govt regulation and control.

    It can’t have escaped the notice of consensus HQ that if they can get CO2 emissions frozen then they can (with a bit of minor revision of history) claim credit for the pause. It just needs some minor temporal shifts on the data and alles will be in ordnung.

    • (With a bit of minor revision of history) Hansen, Mann et al: ‘The Hiatus was our foregone conclusion’

  30. Steve Fitzpatrick

    Judith,
    “All this is bypassing Congress, and will take years to implement. Unless I am missing something, the next Republican President can reverse all this?”
    .
    Sure. But more to the point, the next congress can block it. If the republicans take control of the Senate, blocking the Administration’s plans on CO2 is likely. If the Democrats hold the Senate (probably with Joe Biden casting the 51st vote for the Democrats) there may be enough support from Democrats in coal producing states to sink Obama’s plans anyway.

    The underlying issue is that the Clean Air Act was never intended by Congress to be used the way the Administration has to restrict CO2 emissions. What Congress gives, Congress can take away. Obama understands that there is weak political support for restricting CO2 if this will cost a fortune (and it obviously will). This is a classic (liberal) end run around Congress to institute new law via rule-making. In the end, a political consensus is needed, not political gamesmanship by Obama. He won’t even try for a consensus in Congress, because he understands that voters don’t want big energy cost increases…. but he does. No Keystone Pipeline and restricted coal use: so much for Obama’s talk of “all of the above” energy solutions.

    Reminds me of the old joke: ‘Question: How can you tell when a politician is lying? Answer: Whenever his lips are moving.’

    • Don Monfort

      Who is going to sign the bill to thwart Obama? I bet Obama won’t sign it. The Supreme Court has already ruled that the EPA can regulate CO2 if it finds it a danger to public health, or whatever. The coming ruling by the SC on stationary sources of CO2 won’t put the broader issue to rest, no matter how it goes. This is a fair analysis:

      http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2014/02/24/experts-supreme-court-epa-ruling-comes-down-to-justice-anthony-kennedy

      In order for the EPA to be stopped, it will take a Republican controlled House and Senate, the Senate with a leader who plays it loose like Dingy Harry, and a Republican President. I am not optimistic.

    • Don Monfort

      I will amend that. I am talking about the statutory route.

    • Steve Fitzpatrick

      Don,
      A Republican president can direct the EPA administrator to do pretty much anything he/she wants, in spite of what the law says. (Obama refusing to enforce immigration laws is a cute example of this sort of thing). Remember, Obama’s rule-by-fiat on CO2 cuts both ways. The EPA administrators have do what the administration says…. or be in the street. Yes, explicit changes in the CAA to exclude CO2 would be vetoed by Obama, but that doesn’t mean Congress can’t apply the thumb screws to some extent via funding and oversight. A future president might not veto a partial or total CO2 exclusion from the CAA..

    • Don Monfort

      That’s why I said statutory route. Once the regs are in place it’s problematic for a Republican President to eliminate them, unless he/she has statutory backing. A Demo can come along and do it again. How do power companies plan for that kind of foolishness? Of course, a Repub President with a modicum of public support behind him/her would likely do it. Who is going to be the Republican President? I am not optimistic.

    • “If the republicans take control of the Senate, blocking the Administration’s plans on CO2 is likely.”

      Absolutely not. For reasons I stated above, only a veto proof majority will allow the congress to undo Obama’s regulations.

      The only realistic way it could be done without a veto proof majority, would be if conservatives were willing to stand fast and refuse funding to implement the regulations.

      That will not happen under the current leadership. Boehner will cry again, his fellow progressive GOP leaders in both houses with shake with fear, and they will pass endless resolutions condemning the regulations. But they will never risk a faux government shut down, and the danger that would pose to their own personal power, just for the good of the country.

      The Republicans in congress are lead by political cowards.

  31. If voters required “credible” evidence for Obama’s policies, they wouldn’t have elected him to be president. He had an unaccomplished do-nothing track record in Illinois politics and was a joke among political pundits in Chicago who referred to him as the “non-reformer” which was a barb referring to Obama selling himself as a reform candidate in Illinois and turning out to be anything but a reformer.

    Obama has always been pretty packaging with no product or content. Apparently that is enough for the majority of voters who seem to prefer slick packaging and symbolism over substance in those they allow to rule them. I wish I had dual citizenship like Rahm Emanuel, because it would be a nice fall back position if this country continues to be run with less executive skill set than I see displayed by owners of hot dog stands in Chicago.

  32. The ramp up of public relation’s extravagant promotion of the new regulations of coal fired utilities began a few months ago with an article on global warming due to fossil fuel burning appearing in our local newspaper every day. Of course, the pedal-to-the-metal catastrophe media blitz came after the Polar Vortex’s (in Robert Ellison’s terms: Northern Annular Mode) prolonged cold winter had finally dissipated.

    To that end, in today’s USA News lead was a picture of a coal fired power plant in Maryland. Of course, stupidity is not self-correcting. The picture showed two smoke stacks with no, nada, zilch emissions from the top. What is shown, the plume shown, cutting across the lower portions of the smoke stacks was water vapor from the cooling towers. The picture postcard of what Obama’s EPA regulations are going to regulate….the water vapor from the cooling towers, at least by the looks of it.

    The main stream media and its captains, are clueless. As far as climate change is concerned, it doesn’t matter how stupid you appear, just as long as you follow the well-heeled Democratic billionaires into the abyss of ignorance. No way to get out of the abyss once you’ve lost any skills you might have had, at self-help.

    I commend to the deep…

    • AK I agree with you. CO2 is not a pollutant in the strict sense of the word and I find it more confusing for the public to be told this. This from the Union of Concerned Scientist (first DuckDuckGo hit):
      “Burning coal is also a leading cause of smog, acid rain, and toxic air pollution. Some emissions can be significantly reduced with readily available pollution controls, but most U.S. coal plants have not installed these technologies.” I feel that this is a legitimate concern and should be on the agenda, not global warming. But the defenders of old technology have been fighting this since the 1970’s. That’s the reason, in my opinion, that climate scientists have become so extreme. No one in politics will do anything unless it is avoiding a specific catastrophe. And if the worst case scenario actually does come true, it will be catastrophic. (For example, the Dutch were VERY interested in the failures in New Orleans. There is no way that Rotterdam can be evacuated.)

      And there is an “oh, by the way, CO2 is bad too because it has been linked to climate warming”. (It’s like the confusion between bad ozone in cities and good ozone in the stratosphere all over again.)

      Anyone who confuses these issues in these discussions immediately loses my respect and I weigh the information reliability of the news source accordingly.

  33. Dave Peters

    Mikky — Dr. M. Mann’s hockey blade looked awesome in 1999. It was, however 1/3 the ’97 El Nino, surely not a phenomenon reasonably indicative of the multi-century trends he and his colleagues were addressing. But, live by the blade and die also goes both ways. The Arctic float ice mass is now (monthly) tied with all time lows, and the temperatures measured at the surface are knocking at the same door. This may be our warmest May moment since civilization began.

    Since the world only gained 1 & 1/2 hundredths F. per year across the last century, one would not presume that carbon could reassert warming, after witnessing a one-year heat gain thirty-five times that, as occurred during the Super El Nino. If anything, the fact that that super-heat did not subsequently collapse via Plank bleed (@ delta T^4th), strongly implies that quite a lot of vapor jumped out of the Pacific as well, and lingered for the next “plateau” decade. No?

  34. Hm, sounds like a lack of confidence by the gentleman from the “clean coal” association.

  35. Question is, if they make all the old “dirty, inefficient SO2″ power plants unviable, will less SO2 cause more warming?

  36. David L. Hagen

    Brute Force Mitigation vs R&D to develop Energy Technology
    Obama is advocating emotively driven “brute force” mitigation. Analysis by the Copenhagen Consensus shows this economically is the worst most expensive policy. It will not work. The needed technology is not available.
    Galiana & Green recommend top priority be given to R&D to develop the needed technologies, NOT mitigation. See:
    Fix the Climate: Researching Green Energy
    See: Isabel Galiana & Christopher Green,
    An Analysis of a Technology-led Climate Policy as a Response to Climate Change

    • But I read in the news that no one in the US wants to fund this research. Many contributers to this blog think that we should stop research because of the “hiatus”. Or according to the Congressman Smith (tech committee), we should not fund the research because it won’t affect the global temperatures anyway. Where does that get us then?

    • David L. Hagen

      rmdobservations
      Clarify/distinguish R&D on cost effective solutions vs expensive forced “mitigation” and useless “climate models”.

    • Many contributers to this blog think that we should stop research because of the “hiatus”. Or according to the Congressman Smith (tech committee), we should not fund the research because it won’t affect the global temperatures anyway. Where does that get us then?

      There are many other risks associated with digging up huge amounts of fossil carbon and dumping them into the climate/ecosystem. Thus focus on “global warming” is counterproductive in terms of actually defining and solving the problem.

      The addition of large amounts of CO2 to the atmosphere, as well as a variety (many not yet identified) of sinks/sources carries a significant risk in terms of how this hyper-complex non-linear system evolves. While there may be no demonstration that it justifies shutting down the Industrial Revolution, it certainly justifies low-regrets approaches based on R&D.

      Personally, I’m skeptical of the ability of our current global political system to actually implement this carbon “tax” that “would slowly rise, doubling every decade, thereby sending a forward price signal to
      deploy and diffuse technologies as they “reach the shelf ”.”
      And, IMO, the actual creation of a world-wide system of governance capable of creating and enforcing such a thing would itself be an existential threat to humanity that would hugely dwarf any risk from CO2.

      But incentives for R&D, and infrastructure building, would certainly be within the abilities of the current (global political) system.

  37. Scott Basinger

    Watch your electricity costs double.

  38. David L. Hagen

    Economy grows/declines as abundant/expensive energy
    McKitrick & Aliakbari highlight the importance of abundant cheap energy for economic growth. Obama’s policies to making energy more expensive or reduce it will cause economic recession, increasing unemployment.
    McKitrick, Ross and Elmira Aliakbari (2014) Energy Abundance and Economic Growth: International and Canadian Evidence. Vancouver: Fraser Institute Research Paper Series.

    Our examination of Canadian data leads us to conclude that energy use in Canada is not a mere by-product of prosperity, but a limiting factor in growth: real per-capita income is constrained by policies that restrict energy availability and/or increase energy costs, and growth in energy abundance leads to growth in GDP per capita. Thus, policies favouring the abundant availability of energy are important for sustaining strong economic growth, and policies that deliberately limit energy availability will likely have negative macroeconomic consequences.

    Duke Economist James Hamilton shows increasing oil prices directly led to 10 of 11 recessions since WWII. See Historical Oil Shocks. Actuary Gail Tverberg clearly graphs How High Oil Prices Lead to Recession. She highlights inexpensive electricity led most economic growth.
    We need policies providing for abundant inexpensive energy, especially in developing countries, not Obama’s mitigation policies of making energy too expensive to afford, massively increasing unemployment.

  39. Robert I Ellison

    ‘As a result of chaos theory, weather and climate cannot be predicted, and how future climate will turn out will not be known until the future is upon us… This should be clear to anyone, simply by moving back in time and contemplating what has unfolded from that viewpoint.’
    Lennart Bengtsson

    This is a problem that is not going to be resolved any time soon – but it leaves Wally Broecker’s wild beast – or perhaps it is Didier Sornette’s dragon-king – snapping at our heels.
    Either way – it suggests that a pragmatic response is warranted.

    CO2 is the smaller part of the problem. A comprehensive social equation of climate impacts is as follows.

    Impact = population X affluence X (CO2 from fossil fuels + black carbon + tropospheric ozone + land clearing + loss of soil carbon + nitrous oxide + methane + sulphide)

    Reducing population pressures is the most pragmatic and humane response. In principle the 8 Millennium Development Goals – http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/ – are in combination the best approach to constraining population growth. Ignore for a moment that this is a UN program and so doomed to failure. All of our western governments have committed to raising aid to 0.7% of GDP and this is probably best not sent off to the World Bank but used to supplement existing bilateral aid programs.

    You may note that the eradication of extreme poverty is one of the laudable goals. This is in fact best achieved by free trade and the adoption of democracy and models of fair, transparent and effective market regulation. Perhaps it might be best not to use the US as a model. Affluence allows the moderation of most factors in the brackets of the equation – it is quite a good thing for people and the environment.

    This is as good a starting point for actual progress on development and multi-gas mitigation as any – http://thebreakthrough.org/blog/Climate_Pragmatism_web.pdf

    In the next few decades most new US power supply will come from gas powered plants – for the simple reason that it is by far the cheapest source of energy. Including nuclear by a considerable margin. Although new small modular design have considerable advantages that should eliminate the cost differential. Advantages include passive safety, a closed fuel cycle, factory sealed units, the ability to use existing waste as a fuel, high temperature operation to produce hydrogen for liquid fuels and gas cooled operation. Drop it into place in a concrete bunker and produce 20 years of energy from gas turbines, return the unit the factory for decommissioning and store waste that is dangerous for hundreds of years rather than hundreds of thousands.

    I have a vision of one of these on the roof.

    Combined with a 4th generation nuclear engine in the basement producing hydrogen. e.g. http://www.ga.com/energy-multiplier-module

    http://www.ga.com/energy-multiplier-module

    To produce liquid fuels from carbon and hydrogen for local consumption.

    Lots of technology is needed. Other than returning the human race to a hunter gatherer state – the only thing that is going to moderate the burning of fossil fuels is technological innovation. This is not a quandary but an opportunity. I am proposing a billion dollar global energy prize stumped up by the UN. That should get people’s attention. Maybe Obama could kick in $100M – cheap at twice the price. And no I don’t care that giving people cheap and abundant energy would be like giving a child a machine gun.

    The price is 0.7% of GDP and $100M. Both should generate returns in the short and long run.

    • Robert I Ellison

      One of these in the basement.

    • Robert I Ellison

      Check the video – changing the game.

      http://www.ga.com/energy-multiplier-module

      An operating prototype – and factories to produce the cladding and the fuel within 12 years.

      They have solved the cladding problem and designed a revolutionary fuel cycle than left sealed for up to 30 years constantly producing electricity at a price comparable to gas in the US.

      ‘The physics tell you what to do.’

      This is a far more exciting design than the Chinese 4th gen.

    • “Although new small modular design have considerable advantages that should eliminate the cost differential.”

      Small, modular nuclear power plants have very, very little chance, if not zero chance of ever being economic. From my article, “Supposedly, the benefits are shorter construction times, less inflation, less interest on loans, all of which lead to lower costs. But, loss of economy of scale overwhelms such benefits. Consider 1200 MWe vs 600, 400, 300, and note that Dept of Energy defines Small Modular Reactors as 300 MW or less. Each of the smaller size plants must be delivered much more quickly to achieve any savings in materials inflation and interest on construction loans. A shorter construction period very likely cannot be done due to fabrication and delivery of large items: the reactor, steam generators, turbines, and pumps.”

      see http://sowellslawblog.blogspot.com/2014/04/the-truth-about-nuclear-power-part-eight.html

    • Mike Flynn

      Robert I Ellison,

      As you say, lots of technology needed. Of course, General Atomics haven’t exactly got the energy multiplier module working just yet, but due to the miracle of capitalism, given a large enough grant of taxpayers’ money, they’ll definitely, probably, maybe, possibly, come up with a way to make a profit before the grant money runs out – Solyndra, anyone?

      If you feel I’m being a tad cynical, this cut and paste from the linked web site might help to explain –

      “A Nuclear Reactor Competitive with Natural Gas
      General Atomics has applied for DOE funds to commercialize a nuclear reactor that could lower electricity costs by 40 percent.” There’s one born every minute, and it’s usually a Government grant disburser.

      Next, please.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    • David Springer

      JC SNIP

    • Robert I Ellison

      So we get a couple of naysayers who leap on a hobby horse instead of looking at the big picture?

      Big picture? Guys? No wonder we are in such dire straits.

      My problem is that I don’t have to believe anyone. The project will work in the market or not. If they have got the numbers wrong after committing $1.2B of their own funds to the project – that’s their problem. That’s why we need lots of different technology routes – and such things as energy prizes.

      The 4th gen. technology is not the problem. The technology is 50 years old. The Chinese are building a prototype currently after running an experimental reactor for a number of years.

      The US small reactor program is not the problem.

      ‘San Diego’s General Atomics, it was announced yesterday, is one of four companies that will share in $3.5 million to be spent toward research on next-generation nuclear reactors that will boost both safety and efficiency. Prototypes of such reactors are drastically scaled down in size and might even be able to generate power using the nuclear waste from older power plants, potentially taking a step toward alleviating the problem of having no approved storage site (or concrete plan for the development of such a site) for spent reactor fuel in the United States.’ http://www.sandiegoreader.com/weblogs/news-ticker/2013/jun/28/general-atomics-scores-funds-for-next-generation-n/#

      The ‘share’ is some 20% of the development budgets. A bargain to solve the high level waste problem.

      Lot of applications – space power – cheap carbon free energy — helicarriers

    • Don Monfort

      Roger, Roger

      The economies of scale for small reactors come from building a lot of them. And they don’t necessarily have to be steam reactors. Did you actually read Ellison’s info? Here is an overview of the R&D and deployment of small reactors:

      http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/Nuclear-Fuel-Cycle/Power-Reactors/Small-Nuclear-Power-Reactors/

  40. This is madness. The world, including the US president, is being led by the little known head of an obscure laboratory in India, Pauchuri, to commit energy suicide.

    Sure China has a pollution problem and we should help them solve it. But the rest of the world can produce energy without a serious pollution problem, so China can do the same.

    Probably there will come a time when there will be more people on this earth than it can sustain. Some kind of international action will be necessary, involving birth control, but that is long into the future. Even now, a succession of poor seasons and wars can cause mass starvation. No one wants to live on a planet with standing room only.

  41. Speaking of intrusive Dimowits, get a gander at this.
    From the article:

    As many as 227 million Americans may be compelled to disclose intimate details of their families and financial lives — including their Social Security numbers — in a new national database being assembled by two federal agencies.

    The Federal Housing Finance Agency and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau posted an April 16 Federal Register notice of an expansion of their joint National Mortgage Database Program to include personally identifiable information that reveals actual users, a reversal of previously stated policy.

    http://washingtonexaminer.com/new-federal-database-will-track-americans-credit-ratings-other-financial-information/article/2549064

  42. Reducing CO2 emissions from a coal-fired power plant can be done, economically, and is being done at a similar plant in Texas. The Skyonic Corporation, founded by a chemical engineer, has patented a process and has a plant under construction with startup slated for 2014. The process removes CO2 and converts it to a solid such as sodium carbonate.

    This process will (or perhaps I should write could?) make it more economic to run the coal-fired plants with the Skyonic process, than to shut them down and build new gas-fired plants.

    see http://skyonic.com/ and the press releases at that site.

    Disclosure: I have zero economic interest in Skyonic. I have great interest in novel, profitable applications of chemical engineering to major problems such as the government has created.

    • Mike Flynn

      Roger Sowell,

      Warning. Attempt at humour follows.

      If I were you, I would sell my soul and invest the proceeds in Skyonic. They are about to fulfil Sir Issac Newton’s dream of transmutation of the elements! Free gold for all! An end to poverty!

      Initially, we have to start small. From their press release, we learn that CO2 emissions are converted into, amongst other things, hydrochloric acid. Of course, they are keeping the details of converting carbon and oxygen into hydrogen and chlorine secret for the moment. Valuable intellectual property, don’t you know. Invest! Invest!

      Already, the Government money is pouring in. From a press release –

      “The process converts the CO2 emissions into a wide variety of products, including hydrochloric acid and calcium carbonate, also known as limestone, which can be used to make glass, paper, cement, paint, PVC pipe and other products. This current funding joins the recently announced $500,000 CAD grant from the Climate Change and Emissions Management Corporation to bring the SkyCycleTM to pilot scale at the Capitol SkyMine San Antonio site by late 2015.”

      Don’t forget the $25,000,000 already received from the US taxpayers via the DOE. Or another $3,000,000 in stimulus funding from the Department of Energy and the National Energy Technology Laboratory (DOE/NETL).

      What could possibly go wrong?

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    • @ Mike Flynn,

      Skyonic has private investors that far exceed the paltry sum from DOE.

      “The new funding includes equity investments from new investors Cenovus Energy [TSX, NYSE:
      CVE], BlueCap Partners, Toyo-Thai Corporation Public Company Limited [TTCL:Bangkok], and
      Energy Technology Ventures. These companies join previously announced investors Berg &
      Berg Enterprises, Northwater Capital Management, ConocoPhillips [NYSE:COP], BP Ventures
      [NYSE:BP], PVS Chemicals, and Zachry Corporation. These investments bring the total C-round
      investments to $48 million, including the $9 million announced in July 2012. Skyonic also
      secured loan financing in the amount of $80 million from Apollo Investment Corporation and
      Maxus Capital Group.”

      If you don’t understand the technology, it is best to remain silent so you don’t prove that you are an ass. HCl is a byproduct, as all chemical engineers immediately recognize. HCl is a valuable product and will be sold into a robust market.

      Chemical engineering. It’s a wonderful thing.

  43. http://polarbearscience.com/2014/05/30/iucn-polar-bear-specialist-group-says-its-global-population-estimate-was-a-qualified-guess/

    Here is the statement that the PBSG proposes to insert as a footnote in their forthcoming Circumpolar Polar Bear Action Plan draft:

    “As part of past status reports, the PBSG has traditionally estimated a range for the total number of polar bears in the circumpolar Arctic. Since 2005, this range has been 20-25,000. It is important to realize that this range never has been an estimate of total abundance in a scientific sense, but simply a qualified guess given to satisfy public demand. It is also important to note that even though we have scientifically valid estimates for a majority of the subpopulations, some are dated. Furthermore, there are no abundance estimates for the Arctic Basin, East Greenland, and the Russian subpopulations. Consequently, there is either no, or only rudimentary, knowledge to support guesses about the possible abundance of polar bears in approximately half the areas they occupy. Thus, the range given for total global population should be viewed with great caution as it cannot be used to assess population trend over the long term.”

  44. Maybe this is mostly just gas/oil beating out coal/nukes, and using the intellectual fashions and panics of the day as a club. Wind and solar are the expensive but de rigeur decoration. Maybe some of the most earnest advocates for Big Green know it. And really, who argues successfully with the likes of Exxon, not to mention the late Enron?

    Life is short, but the art of promoting Big Oil is long.

  45. If the next R president is in 2 years, MAYBE he or she can reverse this. Reversal isn’t just political, it doesn’t just depend on who is President. Courts have to be convinced that a major change isn’t just political. They view EPA as the guardian of the science, and if they think that a reversal is anti-science, they might not allow the reversal. Right now, the courts think the science is on EPA’s side.

    If this view is correct, then even if the next president is R, AND wants to reverse these policies, there will have to be information widespread enough that the courts can see it, that the National Climate Assessment is mostly a house of cards. Just because many of us, after reading Botkin’s testimony and articles by so many other experts, may think this to be the case, isn’t enough. It has to be seen widely enough so that courts will not grant EPA the presumption of authority, which they do now.

    In other words, there has to be a new assessment, and it has to be credible. There will be a very major fight, but that is what will have to be done. If the outcome is a defensible conclusion that yes, CO2 warms the climate, but the amounts of warming for a doubling of CO2 has been overstated, the adverse ecological and climate effects have been considerably overstated, the ecological benefits ignored, and the adverse costs basically ignored, then perhaps the next President, if R, could do something. If the next R is in 6 years, nothing can be done.

  46. Monkton says
    In a post at WUWT

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/05/30/who-will-rid-us-of-this-totalitarian-prince/

    “The increasing brazenness and frequency of the lies being told about the climate, from Prince Charles’ more than usually ridiculous speech to the daftly hysterical climate assessments recently issued by Mr Obama and by Britain’s oldest taxpayer-funded pressure-group, the Royal Society, shows how desperate the totalitarians are to persuade the world to let them establish for the first time a global regime of absolute power wielded by supranational institutions entirely beyond the reach of any electorate.”
    This latter is really the goal of the Obama administration. Obama himself is really little more than a ventriloquist’s dummy for the policies of his science Czar John Holdren
    Here is a piece from the Examiner blog in 2009
    July 16, 2009
    “John P. Holdren has been named President Barack Obama’s ‘Science Czar.
    Holdren’s official titles are: Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy; Assistant to the President for Science and Technology; and Co-Chair of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.
    The longtime Teresa and John Heinz Professor of Environmental Policy at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, Holdren is no stranger to controversy.
    Holdren’s radicalism dates back to the late 1960s. In 1969 Holdren wrote that it was imperative “to convince society and its leaders that there is no alternative but the cessation of our irresponsible, all-demanding, and all-consuming population growth.”
    That same year, he and (the now largely discredited) professor of population studies Paul Ehrlich jointly predicted: “If … population control measures are not initiated immediately and effectively, all the technology man can bring to bear will not fend off the misery to come.” In 1971 Holdren and Ehrlich warned that “some form of ecocatastrophe, if not thermonuclear war, seems almost certain to overtake us before the end of the century.”
    Viewing capitalism as an economic system that is inherently harmful to the natural environment, Holdren and Ehrlich in 1973 called for “a massive campaign … to de-develop the United States” and other Western nations in order to conserve energy and facilitate growth in underdeveloped countries.
    “De-development,” they said, “means bringing our economic system into line with the realities of ecology and the world resource situation.” “By de-development,” they elaborated, “we mean lower per-capita energy consumption, fewer gadgets, and the abolition of planned obsolescence.” ”
    In the same year I posted the following on my site

    http://climatesense-norpag.blogspot.com

    “OBAMA’S ROADMAP TO THE CORPORATE SOCIALIST STATE
    The Boxer – Kerry and Waxman – Markey bills represent the greatest threat that America’s constitutional democracy has ever faced.
    The almost non -existent Anthropogenic (CO2 caused) Global Warming has been used as a pretext to try to grab control of all economic activity in the country because congress will decide the price of all energy via the distribution of carbon credits to whomever contributes most to their campaign funds. Energy production will be diverted to so called “green ” sources which are hopelessly uneconomic unless heavily subsidized.
    If these bills pass, all private real estate will essentially cease to exist because Obama’s climate police will decide the appraisal value of all real estate and thus control the sales price of everyone’s home. Any alterations or improvements will have to be approved by government inspectors.
    A vast bureaucracy will be created to run this virtual totalitarian police state run for the benefit of the congress and whichever corporations or special interests pay them the most.
    Since my first post in January 2009 , solar activity has continued to be virtually non-existent making it more and more likely that the earth is entering a 20 – 30 year cool spell during which crop production would be seriously reduced at a time of increasing population. Obama’s policies of CO2 reduction would exacerbate this problem and worsen the worldwide food shortages which might well occur if the cooling actually develops.
    The main stream media are aiding and abetting this coup-in some cases , e.g. NBC, because they are controlled by a company – General Electric which has spent millions on lobbying in order to benefit from the bill or because of the political (Socialist – world government ) agenda of its leaders e.g . BBC.
    It is essential that the grass roots of working middle America become informed about this looming threat and come together to speak out and stop this takeover by a kleptocratic and self appointed elite who plan to be the rulers of this Corporate Socialist state .”

    Fortunately because of the separation of powers in the US constitution these pernicious bills didn’t pass. However in an unconstitutional power grab the Holdren – Obama agenda is now being forced through by the executive branch via the EPA regulation of GHGs.
    Obama realizes that the government doesn’t need to own all the means of production to create a Stalinesque economy. If you can regulate the price and type of energy and control the “energy efficiency ” of all economic activity as envisaged in Waxman Markey you have established a Marxist – Socialist- or with the eager cooperation of the campaign contributing industries a Corporate – Socialist state.”

    I would add here that the root source of this attempted enormous transfer of power from the Congress to the executive branch was the abject failure of the US Supreme Court to consider the broader constitutional implications of their decision in 2007 to not only allow but to require the EPA to regulate GHGs under the clean air act – provided that the EPA produced an endangerment finding. The EPA then used the junk science of the IPCC to do just that and on Monday plan to set the USA on course for a post capitalist economy- in accord with Holdrens and presumably Obama’s predilections.
    Meanwhile 1st quarter GDP dropped sharply because of the cold winter brought on by weather patterns typical of Little Ice Age conditions which are predicted to occur with increasing frequency in a series of earlier posts on

    http://climatesense-norpag.blogspot.com

    • So if in 1980 the major telephone companies had invested in switching gear, wires, poles and phones, designed to last for 50 years, I take it we would all be better of, still using the same equipment to make calls without any need for an upgrade until 16 years time?

  47. David L. Hagen

    Temperature “Pause” is now 20 years or 26 years
    Obama/EPA’s models are now IN-validated with 20 years of no warming.
    ROBUST MEASUREMENT OF THE DURATION OF THE GLOBAL WARMING HIATUS Ross McKitrick 2014

    In the surface data we compute a hiatus length of 20 years, and in the lower tropospheric data we compute a hiatus length of 26 years. This confirms the point raised in the IPCC report (2013) regarding the existence of the hiatus and adds more precision to the understanding of its length.

    Recall Judith Curry stated:

    If the 20 year threshold is reached for the pause, this will lead inescapably to the conclusion that the climate model sensitivity to CO2 is too large. Further, 20 years is approaching the length of the warming period from 1976-2000 that is the main smoking gun for AGW.

    Emotive alarmism cannot substitute for sound science with objective evidence and validated models on which base policy.

    • It’s not only that they can’t calculate a accurate climate sensitivity – they (CAGWers) can’t supply data showing that total water vapor has increased with increasing CO2. They say they can and a few of them hand-wave some calculations our way, but not one has supplied credible data.

    • nottawa rafter

      jim2
      The water vapor issue should be a subject of a post by itself. I have seen very little discussion of the data, on both sides, and yet it appears to be critical to the whole forcing issue. Surprising it gets so little attention.

    • I think I’ve never heard so loud
      The quiet message in a cloud.
      ==============

  48. US policy-making seems beyond a joke. Perhaps you need a “Tee-Hee” Party.

  49. Robert I Ellison

    The need to address the big picture emerges from uncertainty. This is not changing any time soon. The real opportunity for conservatives is to control the narrative.

    ‘We must make the building of a free society once more an intellectual adventure, a deed of courage. What we lack is a liberal Utopia, a programme which seems neither a mere defence of things as they are nor a diluted kind of socialism, but a truly liberal radicalism…’ F. A. Hayek

    While a the same time managing costs and economies. The US has committed $116B in foreign aid in support of the Millennium Development Goals. The current total – including private philanthropy – is some $50B. See if you can’t get some big donors to kick in. Kick in $100M more for a global energy prize – and the total seems relatively modest and – importantly – not open ended.

    The big picture is about population and development and a multi-gas strategy.

    Impact = population X affluence X (CO2 from fossil fuels + black carbon + tropospheric ozone + land clearing + loss of soil carbon + nitrous oxide + methane + sulphide)

    Some of you must have a clue about what this means – but I can’t discern much evidence of a broader understanding. Take CO2 out – impossible without substantial technological progress – and there is still a substantial problem. Factor in poverty, preventable disease, environmental degradation, oppression and we have a global civilization to create this century.

  50. Steven Mosher

    ” The real opportunity for conservatives is to control the narrative.”

    Yes and conservative have lost that opportunity by dwelling on the denial of the science rather than embracing it and negotiating sensible policies.

    • Denial of which aspect of the ‘science’ Steven?
      The instrument record?
      The proxy based reconstructions?
      The positive feedbacks?
      The environmental collapse?
      The economic benefits of decarbonization?

      Have you looked at station warming following large earthquakes, known to causes changes in population, yet Steven?

    • Real But Exaggerated

      Embracing the science would lead one to no policy.

      Warming is less than expected ( 1.4 K per century versus 2 K per century )

      The rate of warming is decelerating.
      That should be – because the rate of forcing is decelerating ( Sato ).

      That should be – because population growth is decelerating.
      Population, governed by falling birth rates, is on pace to begin falling as soon
      as 15 years from now.

      http://www.businessinsider.com/analyst-world-population-will-peak-at-85-billion-in-2030-2012-11

      That would put population growth at LESS than the the B1 scenario:

      Looks to me the entire affair is many people wetting their underpants in a most irrationally indulgent manner.

    • Ah yes, the old weaken your negotiating position and your opponents will take it easy on you strategy – also known as the Obama foreign policy strategy.

    • Don Monfort

      Are you engaged in the negotiation of sensible policies with the alarmists, Mosher? Is Muller welcome at the table? What do we have to embrace to get in on the negotiations?

    • Robert I Ellison

      That’s if you believe ‘consensus’ science. It’s not merely unlikely – or subject to quibbling at the edges as Steven fondly imagines in a scientifically naïve way. It is theoretically an impossible delusion.

      The proof is in the pudding – no warming – perhaps even cooling – for decades. You get scientific bonus points for having predicted it a decade or more ago.

      This are still considerable incentives for moving in appropriate directions – in actual progress instead of progressive chimeras – and in making the right policy choices. Live up to your commitments. Raise aid to 0.7% of GDP and chuck in a few bucks for energy research and development – then dress it up with noble rhetoric instead of constant and grating reactionary whimpering

    • The science is not wrong. Consensus science is not science. Science is always skeptic. They are not skeptic and are not doing science. We deny the false science. We never deny real science. Real science will discuss and debate with people who disagree. They do not do that.

    • Yes and conservative have lost that opportunity by dwelling on the denial of the science rather than embracing it and negotiating sensible policies.

      Define sensible.

      Define a policy that achieves the sensible goals.

    • Naw, moshe, no denial of science, except as a false perception by the narrative. What is being denied is catastrophism and the policies which stem from that.

      Do you really care to discuss ‘sensible’?
      ============

    • And you, moshe, more than most, should know that the catastrophism is not science.
      ============

    • There is nothing sensible in ruining our Energy Production and Economy. CO2 makes green things grow. More CO2 makes green things grow better while using less water. Less CO2 would kill some green things and some of all the things that depend on green things. That does include people.
      CO2 is not pollution. There is NO actual data that supports the alarmism. There is NO actual data that supports the false idea that CO2 is pollution. The king has no clothes on.

      LOOK AT ACTUAL DATA. MODEL OUTPUT IS DIFFERENT THAN DATA. IT IS THE MODEL OUTPUT THAT IS WRONG, NOT THE ACTUAL DATA.

    • Matthew R Marler

      Steven Mosher: Yes and conservative have lost that opportunity by dwelling on the denial of the science rather than embracing it and negotiating sensible policies.

      Really? Most of “the science” does not support the idea that extra CO2 will cause extra warming or the idea that the proposed warming will be bad — much less that the proposed warming will be catastrophic.

      “The” science that supports a case for CO2 depends on the equilibrium simplifications, and ignores almost all of the evidence concerning natural variability. My Republican representative (like OK Sen Inhoff) receives fairly detailed briefs on the science that Hansen, Mann et al persistently “deny”. Those that come from me elaborate the almost complete lack of detailed knowledge of the effects of changing CO2 on the dynamic processes in the climate system. Most prominently are the cloud changes, in which you persistently claim to perceive only unicorns, despite plenty of peer-reviewed literature.

      It looks to me like more and more people are aware that “the science” is inconclusive on the merits of attempts at CO2 abatement. However, I live in California, and a majority here are more strongly committed to CO2 control than they are to flood control and more robust irrigation projects.

    • Yep, skeptics are affirming science. moshe just had a brain fart. He knows better.
      =========

    • Skippy said:
      “That’s if you believe ‘consensus’ science. It’s not merely unlikely – or subject to quibbling at the edges as Steven fondly imagines in a scientifically naïve way. It is theoretically an impossible delusion.

      The proof is in the pudding – no warming – perhaps even cooling – for decades. You get scientific bonus points for having predicted it a decade or more ago.”
      ——
      Still the gross misrepresentation continues. Skippy’s myopic focus (intentional or out of ignorance) on the low thermal inertia highly ocean dependent tropospheric sensible heat seems to intentionally ignore the clear and robust continual gains of energy in the full climate system, that have occurred for decades, without pause. Those who hold Skippy in high regard should at least be somewhat suspicious of this intentional of ignorant myopic focus.

    • “Yes and conservative have lost that opportunity by dwelling on the denial of the science rather than embracing it and negotiating sensible policies.”

      Absolute nonsense.

      First, conservatives never control the narrative. The “narrative” is the product of the progressive “journalists” who filter, ignore and otherwise twist reality to fit the progressive agenda.

      You object to senior cabinet officials lying about the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi?

      Racist!

      You object to an IRS specifically targeting political enemies of the president?

      Racist!

      You object to the US government supplying weapons to Mexican drug cartels, and not tracking them, until after they are used to kill an American law enforcement officer?

      Racist!

      You object to a VA allowing dozens of veterans to die so the VA apparatchiks can report false claims of prompt service so they can collect their bonuses?

      Racist!

      You object to the false representation of the political CAGW movement as “scientific”, and the hysterically bad climate models’ ever greater divergence from reality?

      You are “dwelling on the denial of the science.””

      But it’s nice to see Mosher firmly ensconced in the bosom of his tribe again. Had me worried last week.

  51. Peter Lang

    JC said:

    All this is bypassing Congress, and will take years to implement. Unless I am missing something, the next Republican President can reverse all this?

    Excellent!. When will the next President be elected? Oh, right just 2 .5 years away. So only 2.5 years of ‘Progressive’ Obama retarding progress.

  52. S.C. Schwarz

    There are no “politics” here.

    Once the Supreme Court agreed that CO2 was a regulated pollutant under the Clean Air Act (CAA) politics were all over. It’s just administrative law now.

    If the EPA were to decide tomorrow that private cars contribute to CO2 emissions, as they do, they could ban cars and make us all use mass transit. If the EPA were decide tomorrow that private houses contribute to CO2 emissions, as they do, they could ban private houses and make us all live in Soviet style apartment blocks.

    Of course they aren’t crazy enough to do those things, at least not yet. The only thing that can stop them is if they overreach so badly that we elect a Republican house, a filibuster-proof Republican Senate and a Republican president. Then, of course, the CAA could be changed. But as long as they move slowly, coal today, then oil, then natural gas. and as long as the media covers for them, the direction is clear and inexorable.

    Power shortages? Blackouts? Those are the fault of the greedy power companies! Nationalize them!

    • rogercaiazza

      I agree. The Court decisions to defer the “science” to EPA and the EPA rulemaking process where just about anything passes for “science” means that the Obama administration can implement what they want.

      My advice is to start asking the advocates for details. So you don’t want to use coal to produce electricity. Please show me what you propose to take its place to provide enough energy to manufacture steel, or just about anything else that needs reliable 24/7 power. Many advocates claim renewable energy is the answer. How much renewable energy capacity is required, what changes to the transmission and distribution system will be needed and what will you do to provide storage for the periods when intermittent renewables are not available? The follow up questions are what is the life expectancy of the equipment in your plan and what is the total cost over the next 50 years.

    • Exactly! While the overreach is evident to anyone paying attention, the overreach is done in sufficiently small increments to enable the MSM to provide cover so that the no/low information voters are fooled yet again, and the agenda driven ideologues are provided fodder. As Gary M correctly points out, the GOP leadership is a group of gutless wonders. Unless the GOP gains a fillubuster proof majority in the Senate with enough members with the courage to confront a hostile media and our supreme ruler, little will be done to change the current course, even if the GOP wins the majority in the senate.

  53. Anybody else notice the absence of a certain variety of troll on this thread?

    Some new ones, and, of course, ‘Carrying Capacity Gates’.
    ===============

    • I noticed it. When the card falls “OK we are going to do something,” it’s means you have to look at what you bought.

      I say let them own it. The D’s did a great job with the ACA: they own it, it’s hated. Let them now own this as well. If they keep doing this stuff, and it continues to screw up the economy for no value, people might realize the pot is warming up, and jump out. Otherwise, we will all be cooked anyway.

    • How about we trade the brain trust of the Haqqani Taliban for a deserter?
      =============

  54. Dangit, I thought the spreading meme that the US’s GDP drop in the first quarter was due to the cold weather was on this thread, but I can’t find it.

    Well, Canada’s GDP rose in the first quarter. No polar vortices up there, I guess.
    ================

    • Jim Cripwell

      kim, you write “Well, Canada’s GDP rose in the first quarter. No polar vortices up there, I guess.”

      Not quite. In the USA, the winter was far worse than what is normally expected. In Canada, the winter was only slightly worse than normal. In relative terms, here in Canada we were far better off than the USA.

    • Thanks, Jim C; I wondered at that. Nonetheless, I blame Bush.
      =============

    • The drop in GDP after spending trillions in stimulus should be a kick in the teeth of the Keynesians. But, I’m sure Krugman blames Bush also.

    • Obama has basically doubled the national debt. There is a catastrophic hockey stick, no fancy statistics needed.
      ================

  55. Jeffrey Eric Grant

    Wait, what is this thread about? Oh, yeah, coal. A bery big problem with coal is that it is cheap and the infrastructure needed for it is in place – took over 100 years, but it works. How do we get rid of it? There is no cheap alternative, so we can’t just substitute with something else….hummm.

    Only thing I can come up with is a falacious ‘harm’ caused by one of it’s effluents, CO2. Can’t just come out with that, though. We’ll have to spend a lot of time convincing unsuspecting citizens to approve the notion that CO2 is harmful, but how?….hummm

    First, we have to find out where it is. Then we have to asscribe to it all this harmful stuff; stuff that the unsuspecting citizen doesn’t know anything about. But we have to convince them; who do they trust?…..hummm

    And the AGW crowd has been at it for over 50 years, by my count. Oh, there is a nugget of truth in their arguement, but I think is has been hyped way too far. As far as coal is concerned, I think the stuff is harmful ( but in no way is it because of the CO2). Question is: can we live with it, or not?
    And, why do we have to hurt the economy so much to get rid of it? And, if you are successful in eliminating it from the USA, should it be eliminated from any other country, especially China, where they are burning it in excess? Total world use of coal is increasing (ask Germany why they are building new coal-fired electricity generation plants).

    If there are coal resources within the country, wouldn’t it better to burn that than import oil or gas from a foreign country with whom you disagree? Wouldn’t it be better for the country to burn their own fuel, than to burn someone else’s? You could avoid all that transportation cost.

    Just saying….

    • Picking up on Dr. Ellison’s observations of abrupt climate changes; have you ever noticed that abrupt changes often occur in the lives of individuals and societies?

      This has happened with myself. And we know that social revolutions occur. In my job, after working fruitlessly for years to change some thinking, I was suddenly successful due to a confluence of events. Also, observe how fast the Soviet Union fell.

      I bring this up because I see the beginning of it happening in the climate debate.

    • Yup, closing in on the attractor.
      =========

    • “Dr. Ellison’s…”?

      Wasn’t aware that Skippy had a PhD. Is that true Chief Hydro?

    • Heh, I’ll defend his thesis.
      ==========

  56. When life gives you coal, make energy, just like with gas, hydro potential etc.

    • Matthew R Marler

      climatereason: The problem is that because you did not sign up to Kyoto you are a decade behind what the rest of the signed up West has been doing.

      Are you serious?

    • Well, in context he meant ‘trying to do’.
      =============

    • When Obama announced(in 2008) that he would necessarily skyrocket electric rates because of his war on coal, I thought he’d given away the election, dependent as it was on wavering coal dependent states.

      Gad, was I naive.
      =========

    • Obviously Obama has a much bigger worldview than winning a senate race in Kentucky, no matter how hopeless McConnell is there. The author of this piece hopes that Obama is petty enough to change his whole climate policy to win one senate seat. Maybe that’s the way Republicans do things, but not Obama.

    • Heh, Kentucky is not the only coal dependent state.
      ==============

    • A related big test is whether he approves the Keystone pipeline just prior to the 2014 vote to gain regional support. I hope not, because that would be an equally small-minded move with a short-term gain and long-term loss. Anyway those states aren’t in the balance as far as I know, making it even more unlikely.

    • Jim D doesn’t seem to understand that that oil is going to China if it doesn’t come to the US. Yes, there would be long term loss.
      ==============

    • Sure, if China wants to ship that gunk over the Pacific for local refining, that is their business. Just get it away from here.

    • Don Monfort

      Good one, jimmy dee. Obama would not let petty political considerations influence his decisions. He could have done this before his own re-election campaign, jimmy. He could have done something his first years in office, when he controlled Congress. He did squat. He was too busy lying and scheming to ram alleged healthcare down our throats. And the implementation of that fiasco was put off, until after his re-election. Hey, I guess so that was so they had plenty of time to get ready for the roll out. Obama is a joke like you, jimmy dee.

      Obama protects his own interests. He will leave the Democratic party in a mess. The latter is the only positive thing I can say about the clown.

    • His re-election on Obamacare proves the point. He knew from 2010 that this would cost him votes, but that didn’t change how he supported this long-term goal. He is a big-picture, long-term thinker, not short-sighted whether it be climate or health care.

    • Jim D, your ‘big picture, long term’ thinker is turning US Healthcare into the VA.

      And trading a crazy deserter for the Haqqani Taliban brain trust.
      ==================

    • Oh, and destroying America’s competitiveness with his war on energy. Big picture snow, and long term loss.
      ===============

    • kim, up to date with the Republican knee-jerk talking points.

    • Sorry, Jim D, they are way behind me.
      =========

    • Yes, Canada will be laughing all the way to the bank when they export their polluting gunk for a high price. Why can’t they refine the stuff themselves if it’s so good, we might wonder? They say, let’s send it to the Gulf Coast. They don’t care about pollution there. It may not even count to their carbon budget that way, depending how that is done.

    • But I’m glad to see you and RGates here. Some of your sort won’t know which way to jump until Monday.
      ==============

    • Sure, if China wants to ship that gunk over the Pacific for local refining, that is their business. Just get it away from here.

      But, why?

      Do you want the $ and jobs to go to China? Or maybe you want the Chinese to use those $ to build even more coal plants, faster.

    • It’s going to the Gulf Coast because refining capacity, used to gunky Venezuelan oil, is in place. The Chinese want the energy badly enough to develop the capacity.
      =================

    • Ed, that’s just Jim D thinking ‘big picture, long term’.
      ==========

    • The stuff needs to go to someone with lax environmental standards. If China wants to be those people, it is up to them.

    • Jim D | June 1, 2014 at 10:42 am |
      Obviously Obama has a much bigger worldview than winning a senate race in Kentucky, no matter how hopeless McConnell is there.
      *****
      Jim D misses a critical element. Obama isn’t up for re-election – he doesn’t care. The Dims will cheat and steal to win the election. It’s what they do. Obama is just carrying out the “progressive” agenda. His extreme left supporters wouldn’t forgive him otherwise.

      That being said, I hope a lot of “progressive” Dims get dumped. That’s the best thing that can happen for the good of the country.

    • Don Monfort

      You are really a character, jimmy. Do you think Obama would have been re-elected on his Obamacare lies, if the mess had unfolded before the election? Now say yes, you disingenuous clown.

      Do you think the release of terrorists in exchange for the Army deserter, yes deserter, with Obama in the midst of the VA scandal was a coinkydink? His recent visit to the troops? Obama has gotten a lot of our people killed over there with his enemy friendly rules of engagement. Did you see the way the West Point cadets dissed that clown at the recent graduation? Obama is self-serving narcissist. We will be well rid of him.

    • Judith

      The problem is that because you did not sign up to Kyoto you are a decade behind what the rest of the signed up West has been doing.

      Our leaders have gradually realised that more expensive energy and an over reliance on renewables is a bad idea, but presumably it will take the US years before it realises it has backed into a cul de sac.

      tonyb

    • It is because he is not up for re-election that he can have this big picture view, and luckily can still get things done. It is a regular second-term evolution for Presidents to focus on their legacy. He really doesn’t care what Kentucky does with McConnell. They seem to have embraced the new heath care system in that state, at least, so maybe the Dems can win it that way, which would be a much better way than with succumbing to coal.

    • Don Monfort

      You just persist in making a fool of yourself, jimmy dee. You are a lame duck, like your hero.

    • Heh, ObamaCare. Even he doesn’t want it called that. Now there is a legacy of sickness in waiting lines, and death from the panels.
      ======================

    • Don Monfort

      That’s really interesting, jimmy dee. MSNBC says Obamacare is a big success. The people who are getting big subsidies like it. Wait till they have to pay the big deductible. Those people would vote for the Dims anyway, if they bother to vote at all. Obamacare is a big freaking loser for your crowd, jimmy. Wake up and smell the doo-doo.

    • Matthew R Marler

      Jim D: The author of this piece hopes that Obama is petty enough to change his whole climate policy to win one senate seat. Maybe that’s the way Republicans do things, but not Obama.

      His Administration has carried on a war against Obamacare in order to avoid losing the Senate. That he’d sacrifice his environmental concerns to win the presidency in 2012 is established, and his timing on his anti-coal crusade is to limit the damage to borderline Senate Dems in 2014. Mark Pryor, Mark Begich, Kay Hagen, Mary Landrieu et al might yet barely eak back into the Senate, but not if the proposed regulations, which have been publicized for well over a year, are adopted and enforced now. You know he would cancel the Keystone XL pipeline if he did not think it would hurt the re-election chances in the most affected states.

      The idea that Obama is looking beyond the 2014 election is contradicted by a lot of his Administration’s decisions and postponements.

    • Matthew R Marler

      it belongs here:

      climatereason: The problem is that because you did not sign up to Kyoto you are a decade behind what the rest of the signed up West has been doing.

      Are you serious?

    • It says McConnell is trying to support the state’s health exchange system, which is very popular, while still not supporting Obamacare that made it possible. People are seeing through this pretzelization, and you can forgive MSNBC for just pointing this out, while Republican news sites just duck this issue and want to talk about coal instead.

    • Matt, in context, Tonyb meant ‘trying and failing to do’. It’s a bit of an ironic construction. See Craig Loehle below.
      =============

    • Matthew Marler, while timing decisions may help him for 2014, and who wouldn’t be tempted to use that tool, he is not reversing his long-held positions with these delays. Same would go for coal. Speeding up coal legislation may not help in some places in 2014, in fact, but he still does it. Perhaps he has done the calculation that this is a net gain, and it is not just altruistic.

    • Don Monfort

      I don’t give a crap what msnbc says, jimmy. Almost nobody does. Check their ratings.

    • Kentucky Obamacare is considered “successful” because the web site works. What isn’t yet known is what effect a 50% increase in Medicaid will have on costs and taxes, as well as what impact the Obamacare costs will have. It’s a little early to rejoice, Jim D.

    • Heh, Jim D sees the tide go way, way out and runs onto the beach to play.
      =============

    • “kim | June 1, 2014 at 11:32 am |
      But I’m glad to see you and RGates here. Some of your sort won’t know which way to jump until Monday.
      ==============
      And what exactly are our sort? Unless you mean broad minded independent thinkers? Yes, I’m sure that’s what you meant.

      There is a real danger of CE turning into yet another echo-chamber that many other sites have become without a nicely well-rounded contingency of “our sort” contributing.

    • Matthew R Marler

      Jim D: he is not reversing his long-held positions with these delays.

      Agreed.

      He is not reversing his long-held “positions”. His Administration is enacting delays in order to save his party from disaster at the polls.

      It sets an interesting precedent for Obamacare, to indulge in a little aside here. It means that the next Republican President need not “repeal” Obamacare, but can follow Obama’s precedent of postponing it perpetually. Slightly more to the point, the next Republican President can postpone all of the new CO2 restrictions. These at least are not laws the way that Obamacare is law.

    • Yes, RG, I suspect you of independence, even broadmindedness. So, broadly, have we exceeded the carrying capacity of the Earth for humans?
      ==========

    • Too late for them to do anything about Obamacare, as only a small part is affected by the postponement for small businesses to provide health care (I think 95% of them do anyway). As for postponing clean-coal policies, they would only do that to the extent that it was popular in states they care about. Promising to do this might be an election loser on a national scale, so they would have to keep quiet about it until in power.

    • “So, broadly, have we exceeded the carrying capacity of the Earth for humans?
      ==========
      It is not a specific number of humans, but the resource use per human. In that calculation it is a net figure. Recycling, energy use, consumer choices, etc all go into the computation of carrying capacity. I suspect the world can carry far more humans than it is, but not with the current resource use per human, especially energy use sourced on fossil fuels.

    • Just a note about coal and Kentucky:

      I have fairly equal disdain for both parties, so this is not a political statement, but it is far better for Kentucky coal to stay in the ground then be sent to China to make consumer goods. Maybe time for Kentucky to find new sources of employment and industry if extracting this fossil fuel is so vital. As it is, Kentucky coal is proving very profitable, no matter what Obama does domestically:

      http://www.uscoalexports.org/2013/06/21/kentucky/

    • Don Monfort

      Are you really a non-partisan disdainer, gatesy? I have an idea for you. Get in your little electric clowncar with your Obama-Biden bumperstickers, go down to Harlan county and tell those gun toting, bible thumping destroyers of the environment to find other jobs and leave their nasty coal in the ground. They will have some fun with you.

    • It is because he is not up for re-election that he can have this big picture view

      It’s for a lot of reasons he can take action against not only the will of the people, but against the interests of the people. I hope he does it, and it hurts, hurts, hurts. Then Democrats will learn what Democracy means.

    • “Are you really a non-partisan disdainer, gatesy? I have an idea for you. Get in your little electric clowncar with your Obama-Biden bumperstickers, go down to Harlan county and tell those gun toting, bible thumping destroyers of the environment to find other jobs and leave their nasty coal in the ground. They will have some fun with you.”
      ____
      I agree, ignorance is everywhere.

    • Don Monfort

      I didn’t say that there is ignorance everywhere, gatsey. I was suggesting you carry your little smarmy butt down to Harlan county and show those people your disdain for the way they put food on their tables. I have some relatives down yonder. You can start with them.

    • kim,

      Did you ever see that statement by Obama discussed in the progressive press? Compare the reporting of his flat out statement of intent with the reporting of Romney’s “47 percent” off the cuff comment.

      Progressive journalists don’t report the news, they filter it. They are progressives. And a progressive is a progressive first, and everything else, including journalist, second.

      Even a decent, intelligent guy like Tom Fuller still thinks Obama is a good president. Why would he and other progressives like him tell his readers anything different?

      Why would they report that Obama really wants to force middle and low income voters to pay massively higher electricity rates? Why would they report that they, to a man, knew Obama was lying when he said “If you want your insurance, you can keep your insurance?”

      You can’t tell the stupid voters/readers/viewers the truth. They might reject the policies of their intellectual progressive betters.

    • Scott Basinger

      “The stuff needs to go to someone with lax environmental standards. If China wants to be those people, it is up to them.”

      First of all, heavier crude oils that you already upgrade and refine require similar energy use as upgrading bitumen. Secondly, if you actually thought globally, you would prefer that the bitumen go to a state with relatively high environmental standards such as Canada or the US to be upgraded and refined.

      For your other question as to why Canada doesn’t develop upgraders itself instead of using existing Gulf Coast upgrading capability. This would certainly be in Canada’s interests – keeping the jobs for itself and shipping a higher value-added synthetic crude oil product to the US; however, it comes down to how you cost justify building new capacity.

      It costs billions of dollars and takes several years to build an upgrader. There are localized skilled labour shortages in Alberta where the upgraders would likely reside which further add to the risk of the project.

      Canada’s environmental standards are extremely high, which adds significant operating cost to a project that will already be expensive to build (due to higher wages caused by skilled labour shortages), expensive to operate and maintain (due to the same issues) and pretty soon it’s difficult to cost-justify the project.

  57. The EPA should be defunded, immediately, until Natural Variability is understood better. Otherwise, Our Economy and Energy Production is going to be damaged and we will not be able to compete in the World Market. Even Germany has restarted building coal power plants because the Wind and Solar is not working for them.

  58. World wide growth of green plants has increased with the increase of CO2. Some of the Alarmists have been talking about world wide population control for a long time. Limits on the increase of CO2 is a form of population control. It is not green house gas they really want to control, that is just a means, they want to control world population. Read what they wrote, over the past fifty years.

  59. Craig Loehle

    If you gradually replace coal with cheaper natural gas, the price of gas will slowly go up because of increasing demand until it is no longer cheaper. This is especially true for a rapid phase out of many coal plants. There is also a huge cost of tearing down all those old coal plants and building new gas plants.
    The irony is that this will certainly promote fracking, which the greens hate.
    I do believe that many greens truly think if you “just say no” to all forms of energy, we can live on sunshine and moonbeams, but in Europe they are stampeding back to coal after trying that.

    • Thing is that coal can’t be used to economically for fueling transport, but is great for base load electricity, whereas methane can be used for road transport with minimal cost.
      Wait until someone does the CO2 cost of methane supplied energy being used to charge the batteries of a hybrid vs a methane burning car.

    • In Germany, stampeding to lignite. Eeeewww, gunky. Great Britain still importing wood chips from North America and Canada wood chips from Norway, as if wood chips were clean or economic.

      Madness. We’ll get over it, or someone will.
      ==========

    • michael hart

      Isn’t it good, Norwegian wood?

    • Speaking of Germany, the Green Country in the EU, they have among the highest of electricity prices.

    • “If you gradually replace coal with cheaper natural gas, the price of gas will slowly go up because of increasing demand until it is no longer cheaper.–

      Long term demand of natural gas is likely to lower natural gas prices.
      Assuming one has free markets. Or the more free the market the more this is the case.
      China pays a high price for coal because it a less free market. Germany pays more for electrical power because it’s a less free market.
      And we pay a lot to launch things into space because it’s not a very free market, and there is low demand for rocket launches.

      So a bigger natural gas market will lower prices of natural gases. But this not to say larger energy company [monopoly] will lower natural gas. But rather a larger market allows more larger and smaller companies to invest and specialize in aspects of the market and has high competitive forces driving down costs and prices.
      The **only** way to lower prices is with competition. And only way to have good science is with competition. Free markets are competitive market- not government controlled markets [monopoly]. Real science is also not government controlled.

    • gbaikie Competition might lower prices but I feel that quality suffers if one is only interested in lower prices. It’s the reason I spent a lot of money on Legos instead of the cheap copies (just a quick search,www.chinafreechristmas.info/2007/08/legos-are-not-made-in-china_27.html). But I was lucky I had a job to pay for the better quality. I can leave these toys to my grandchildren. Less trash in the landfill (an externality that is not included in the original prices). Cost is not the only metric.

      And also as a Linux OS user, I can tell you that it is not fun to be confronted with Microsoft-only software. But that is another discussion.

    • –rmdobservations | June 2, 2014 at 4:01 am |

      gbaikie Competition might lower prices but I feel that quality suffers if one is only interested in lower prices.–

      You very fortunate that you live in a world, which enough people disagree with you. And you are in fact a free rider to these more discerning people.
      These people can be very rich or very poor or anywhere between.. But if you were less narcissistic, you might realize that price of things, particularly electrical power is more important to some people trying to make a living within boundaries of the numerous rules governments have capriciously invented.

      –It’s the reason I spent a lot of money on Legos instead of the cheap copies (just a quick search,www.chinafreechristmas.info/2007/08/legos-are-not-made-in-china_27.html). But I was lucky I had a job to pay for the better quality. I can leave these toys to my grandchildren. Less trash in the landfill (an externality that is not included in the original prices). Cost is not the only metric.–

      Cost is the only metric when there are billions of people in this world who living on couple bucks a day.

      Price includes many factors. For instance, since we talking about electrical power, 5 cent a kw hour, may seem like low price, but if you only get it randomly 1/2 the time, it would have lower value to most people. Though if you are particular idiot that happen to enjoy being surprised and feeling especially grateful when the electrical power is available this might be something you greatly value.

    • gbaikie
      Here is a very stupid question: Why are people who run big companies so rich? Who chooses their salary? What do the cleaning people make per hour? The floor sweepers? Why is there a difference? Physical labor versus decision making prowess. Yes, yes, supply and demand. Just because there are a lot of people who can wash floors, they should be paid pennies. And these are the ones who cannot afford their electric bill. The ones you are defending. The ones Progressives are defending, not democrats or republicans.

    • –gbaikie
      Here is a very stupid question: Why are people who run big companies so rich? Who chooses their salary? —
      It depends. CEO either make the company. Like so Elon Musk with SpaceX, Bill Gate, or say Brandson with Virgin. Or Corporations head hunt for CEOs- and offer high salary because they need good CEO.
      And this also applies to lower executives. But it also it depends upon people knowing people or family connections. And or the rat race, where people get low end jobs and then get promoted- A IBM type model- and someone like Ross Perot, I believe started as IBM salesman. And Google was techies who got venture capital. Or John Kerry went political route and married widower of billionaire.

      “What do the cleaning people make per hour? The floor sweepers? Why is there a difference? ”
      There is a lot people who can clean and cleaning is not something as valued. But of course one has people who start clean and form company, such as MollyMaids and business is run in fashion that must be of higher value to customers for numerous reasons- and having name brand [just like Legos] also can add “value” in in terms of name recognition. People will buy it, because they have more confidence in the product they buying- plus other “features”. Mollymaids may [or may not- I don't know much about it]] advertise they treat their empoyees well, or flip side Mollymaid probably avoids bad PR that they don’t treat their employees well. Etc.

      ” The floor sweepers? Why is there a difference? Physical labor versus decision making prowess. Yes, yes, supply and demand. Just because there are a lot of people who can wash floors, they should be paid pennies. And these are the ones who cannot afford their electric bill. The ones you are defending. The ones Progressives are defending, not democrats or republicans.”
      Progressive are Occupy Wallstreet. That is good example of what Progressives. Or, criminals that ruin parks. And who most salient feature is cluelessness and ill eduacated- so clueless spoiled brats seeking political power- with Mommy and/or Daddy rich and also clueless and spoiled children [who have children]. The idea they represent working poor is merely a result of you being brainwash and sold obviously a blatant lie.

  60. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Steven Mosher notices  “The real opportunity for conservatives is to control the narrative … and conservative have lost that opportunity by dwelling on the denial of the science.”

    Yes, and blaming climate-change science on Barack Obama is totally stupid too!

    Steven Mosher notices  “The real opportunity for conservatives is to  control the narrative  control the budget … and conservatives have lost that opportunity by dwelling on the denial of the science.”

    It’s incredibly obvious: based strictly on the budget numbers, the sole realistic fact-grounded hope for a balanced US budget is “elect another Clinton to the White House!

    Jim D notices  “His [Obama's] re-election on Obamacare proves the point. He knew from 2010 that this would cost him votes, but that didn’t change how he supported this long-term goal. Obama is a big-picture, long-term [21st century Free Quaker] (Morgan 2012) thinker, not short-sighted whether it be climate or health care [or America's strategic/economic policy] (Obama 2014).

    Excellent points by JimD, historical extensions by FOMD!

    It’s obvious to anyone with a grounding in American religious and political history — and in particular, from a point-by-point deconstruction of Obama’s West Point Address of 2014 — that Obama’s governance is grounded not in 20th century liberalism, but rather in the Five Principles and Five Freedoms that have long grounded Free Quaker faith and practice.

    In evidence of which, we have President Obama’s celebrated “tweet” in regard to Maya Angelou’s passing:

    ‏@BarackObama testified on twitter

    “Nothing can dim the light which shines from within.”

       — Maya Angelou

    Question  How many Climate Etc knew enough history to recognize in Obama’s Maya Angelou tweet, and in Obama’s West Point Commencement Address, two ringing affirmations of the Quaker doctrine of “inner light”, whose centrality is the essence of Quakerism?

    The world wonders!

    Conclusion  Climate Etc’s “usual denialist suspects” imagine that they are battling 20th century liberalism, when in reality they are fighting against 21st century Quakerism.

    And in the long run, four hundred years of history show plainly that Quakerism wins.

    That’s obvious to *EVERYONE* — especially younger scientists and younger family-starting voters — eh Climate Etc readers?

    \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

  61. I think the chances of a republican president are slim to none. The candidate pool is ridiculous. I don’t know much about Jeb Bush, perhaps he is electable. But, I think the only way a republican could win is if they can convince Mitt Romney to run again.

    • His destructiveness hasn’t peaked yet. Do you think he can turn it around in two and a half years?
      ===============

    • According to an in depth analysis Republican voters can be divided into four groups, the largest being “Mostly Conservative”. Essentially, you need that group to win the primary, and there are four possible candidates that the group might be attracted to; Jeb Bush is one of those. The others are the governors of Wisconsin and New Jersey, and Paul Ryan.

  62. I like Ben Carson. MSM says he can’t win the AfAm vote. Having an abandoning father, a mother who turned off the TV, enabling Ben to go to Yale, then U Mich med school, and rise to chair neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins, that’s “too white” an ideal for black Americans. Is it?

    Let’s look at Bobby Jindal. Started his own companies in high school. Admitted to Brown at age 16, then Harvard and Yale Med AND Law at age 19, (before he graduated at age 20), also won a Rhodes-Oxford scholarship at same age.

    Republicans have lots of talent. I’d take a team of Ben Carson and Bobby Jindal, any day of the week, either for Prz, VP. They’re not white people? So what? We need to be choosing exemplars of genius, really hard struggle and beating the impediments that were designed to foil them.

    Can Ben Carson win the black American vote? With strong backing, perhaps, but I’m convinced he can win substantially more than African-American votes than John McCain and Mitt Romney. Can Bobby Jindal win the Asian-American campaign money prize and votes? I think there’s an excellent chance. These two guys both excelled in math and science. Did Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, John McCain, Mitt Romney, Ted Cruz or Marcio Rubio excel in math and science?

    • I think it is time for new parties. Poltics is a nasty game and your suggestions won’t get past the primaries unless they sell their souls. Both Dems and Reps are harming the US because they both can be bought by the highest bidder.

      On the other hand, Hillary Clinton is very intelligent and knowledgeable. One could see that during the primaries. She ran a bad campaign, just like Al Gore, and lost. A variety of skills is needed to win an election. Pres. Obama has shown that they are not the same as those skills needed to lead the country. I just wish that voters paid attention to their congessional representives as much as the president. One person in the White House does not run the country,even though he (or eventually she) gets blamed for everything.

  63. Incidentally, Megan Mcardle has a post about this. Her view is Obama is going to push regulations down into the states:

    http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2014-05-30/obama-is-blowing-smoke-on-new-emissions-rules

  64. Also, the policy seems to be “Make our energy more expensive, to shut down US manufacturing and ship it to China.”

    Unfortunately, Chinese factories are more CO2 intensive.

    I think Dr. Curry was on some congressional hearing in which one person pointed out that England’s CO2 production had grown despite all the abatement, when CO2 costs of imported goods were included on the CO2 ledger.

  65. re rls sense that a big change can come suddenly. I hope, I hope, but it won’t come from the stock ramblings and rants of right wingers who dominate this blog. The climate farce could be turned around quickly if main stream scientists get on board and speak loudly. The whole theory of CO2 has been effectively falsified. It is not a left-right issue as so many of you seem to think. It is a science versus phony pseudoscience. It is a scandal that has corrupted the scientific community, but it will not be turned around until more people than a right-wing senator from Oklahoma come on board. You all know that Fox News is the opposite of “fair and balanced.” As long as it is the only media stream that is ardently skeptical, there is no way to win this one.

  66. Obama and his army of government scientists are getting nervous as sixty-nine years of deception are exposed:

    http://theinternetpost.net/2014/05/31/the-sun-is-not-what-we-we-have-been-told-eric-dollard-reveals-3-secrets-about-the-sun/

  67. Arno Arrak

    Has it occurred to anyone that if science is invoked to support some administrative rule that we should actually care and understand what it has to say? So far science has been trampled under by scientifically illiterate jurists who supported the endangerment rule. And willfully complicit climate scientists have allowed this to happen. This is not just a bureaucratic move but has severe consequences for the entire country and how we live. Actions that the Obama group is planning to announce are not supported by science and are therefore irrational. But global warming advocates support this for ideological reasons and keep shouting that the science is settled.That is entirely false and I will make it clear where their arguments are entirely wrong. First, lets take carbon dioxide. The reason Obama wants to pass his new regulations is to prevent global warming which it allegedly causes. This is purely a theoretical argument because no one has actually observed the greenhouse effect directly. In 1988 Hansen was the first and last person to claim that greenhouse effect has been observed. He showed a rising temperature curve that started in 1880 and culminated in 1988. That high point, he said, was the warmest point in 100 years. There was only a one percent chance that it could happen by chance. Hence, it was clear to him that its only explanation was the greenhouse effect and this proved its existence. But when you look at that curve there are problems. First of all he used ground-stations-only temperature values which showed early warming from 1880 to 1910. The Land-Ocean version of GISTEMP shows cooling in that time slot. Secondly, his 100 years of greenhouse warming incorporates a non-greenhouse warming between 1910 and 1940. You can’t do that if you use that curve to prove the existence of the greenhouse warming. Hence, we must remove the lower part of his greenhouse century below the year 1940. What is left of his 100 years of warming now is 25 years of cooling, followed by 23 years of warming. No way can this remnant prove the existence of the greenhouse effect. But since nobody checked his work he has been getting away with his claim for the last 26 years. And IPCC has been assuming that he in fact observed the greenhouse effect and applying this in their work when actually he did not observe any such thing. One very obvious error from that mistake is the alleged existence of a hot spot at 10 to 12 kilometer height in the tropics. It exists only in calculations incorporating the greenhouse effect. Hundreds of radiosondes have looked for it and not found it. It is simply an imaginary artifact produced by using an imaginary greenhouse effect to calculate it. Further proof of the absence of the greenhouse effect comes from the current warming pause. there is no warming now and there has been none for the last 17 years. That is two-thirds of the time the IPCC has even existed. What did they think it was? The Arrhenius greenhouse theory used by the IPCC cannot explain it. If your theory predicts warming when carbon dioxide is constantly increasing and if after 17 years nothing happens you can rest assured that the theory is wrong and must be discarded. The only theory that correctly explains the warming pause is the Miskolczi greenhouse theory (MGT). MGT differs from Arrhenius in being able to handle several greenhouse gases that simultaneously absorb infrared radiation. The greenhouse gases that must be accounted for in earth atmosphere are carbon dioxide and water vapor. They have a common optimal absorption window that they jointly maintain. The optical thickness of this window in the IR is 1.87, calculated by Miskolczi from first principles. If you now add carbon dioxide to the atmosphere it will start to absorb, just like Arrhenius says. But as soon as this happens, water vapor starts to decline, rain out, and the original optical thickness is restored. This is the explanation of why constant addition of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere is not causing any warming today. The same thing happened in the eighties and nineties before the super El Nino of 1998 arrived. And an older example comes from the radiosonde database ofNOAA that goes back to 1948. Miskolczi was using it to study the absorption of IR by the atmosphere over time. And discovered that absorption had been constant for 61 years while carbon dioxide at the same time increased by 21.6 percent. This is an exact parallel to the warming pause today. What this means is that there is no enhanced greenhouse warming because the absorption required to create that warming is neutralized by the action of water vapor as demanded by MGT and described above. This has huge consequences on global warming in general because clearly the enhanced greenhouse warming that is held responsible for anthropogenic global warming simply does not exist. AGW is nothing more than a pseudo-scientific fantasy. And all of the alleged greenhouse warming claimed by the IPCC is nothing more than misunderstood natural warming. They have been operating under the illusion that the greenhouse effect is real when in fact Hansen did not observe it in 1988. A very large reassessment of climate data is necessary to straighten this out. In the meantime, all policies based on the alleged existence of the greenhouse effect have to be halted and probably completely cancelled. As to the emission control regulations, there is no emission that legitimately should be controlled for its CO2 content.

  68. ” I don’t think anyone can credibly argue that the CO2 emissions reduced under Obama’s plan will change or improve the climate.”

    Is this long-delayed embrace full-on climate denial, or merely the logical fallacy of “doing something that’s short of everything is nothing”?

    http://rabett.blogspot.com/2013/05/the-doing-something-thats-short-of.html

    • Return on investment (ROI) is the concept of an investment of some resource yielding a benefit to the investor. A high ROI means the investment gains compare favorably to investment cost.

      A tiny bit of improvement then. But the effort might have more value elsewhere. An ROI is a traditional method of allocating resources.

    • OK, but that is A) Not what she said, and B) Not supported by the science. The economic benefits of reducing emissions from coal plants are numerous (climate, lung cancers, asthma, water pollution) and of significant magnitude.

    • Robert, “The economic benefits of reducing emissions from coal plants are numerous (climate, lung cancers, asthma, water pollution) and of significant magnitude.”

      Right, and energy engineers and scientists have been working on much cleaner and more efficient energy supply with a great deal of progress. You though, meaning the haters of progress, don’t recognize that progress and potential discoveries are lost due to over regulation and regulatory threats. Policy should be setting reasonable, flexible goals then getting out of the way.

    • ==> “You though, meaning the haters of progress, …”

      Yeah. All those “haters of progress.”

    • Rob Starkey

      Robert–LOL–

      How does the link to Eli’s blog demonstrate that what the current administration is doing will provide net benefits?

      You claim “The economic benefits of reducing emissions from coal plants are numerous (climate, lung cancers, asthma, water pollution) and of significant magnitude.”

      Please link to the data that you BELIEVE shows that the reductions in emissions under these proposals will impact the climate and when.

      Look at the net impact including the economic loss.

    • Rob Starkey

      Joshua

      “haters of progress.” People that BELIEVE it is more important to reduce CO2 emissions today than to let more than 1 billion people worldwide get access to the lowest cost electricity.

    • Joshua, “Yeah. All those “haters of progress.””

      You have a better term? Just about every innovation that has the potential to improve global well being is targeted like some kind of spawn of Satan. Irradiation greatly improves shelf life and reduces global transport of less than desirable organism hitching rides. “Organic” is supposedly preferable because of what? Oh! Agricultural technology is bad. Nuclear technology in general is just to scary for most of the “haters of progress”. Fraking, GE crops, herbicides, pesticides all bad but germicides all good?

    • Rob –

      Here’s a few points for you to consider: (1) “people” don’t believe in the mutually exclusive paradigm that you describe, (2) “people” don’t believe that access to energy for billions is wholly dependent on (a) regulation of coal in the U.S. or (b) price regulatory schemes more generally and, (3) people believe that the definition of “progress” includes trade-offs among a variety of factors.

      I’m not prescribing a particular belief about policy here, but ridiculing the facile and vacuous thinking of “haters of progress.” It goes hand-in-hand with the “think of the starving children” hyperbole on both sides of the debate. I find it unfortunate that “people” so easily leap to exploiting starving children to score points in partisan, ideological battles.

    • Cap’t –

      The definition of “progress” is inherently subjective.

      For example, I think that you support policies that would likely lead to sub-optimal economic outcomes relative to other policies. I can’t conclude, therefore, that you “hate progress.”

      For example, just because someone is concerned about the unintended consequences of irradiation does not mean that they “hate progress.”

      For example, someone who believes that eating foods with less pesticide content does not therefore, “hate progress.”

      For example, someone who is concerned about a variety of issues related to nuclear energy does not therefore, “hate progress.”

      Someone can think that eating bacon is harmful to your health without therefore “hating progress.”

      It isn’t necessary to go from disagreement on those issues to a conclusion that those who disagree with you “hate progress.”

      So the question then becomes whether you enhance progress by doing so. If you actually do the opposite – if calling people “progress haters,” actually turns out to be counterproductive, does that mean that you “hate progress?”

    • Rob Starkey

      Joshua

      Isn’t it true that access to electricity will be delayed for those in undeveloped areas if the use of coal for generating electricity? It seems an undeniable consequence of the belief that ACO2 will lead to a significantly less favorable climate for humans.

      Can either you or Robert point out ANY area where you are confident that the “climate” will be better for humans as a result of the Obama policy suggestions being implemented? If something is going to cost 250000 jobs shouldn’t we be able to better define specific benefits we can measure????

    • Joshua, then define an appropriate term. Just for grins why don’t you set up a survey focused on cutting edge technologies. That is what I consider “progress” new technologies that have the potential to improve the human condition. Re-framing various political ideals isn’t progress, it is marketing.

    • ==> “Isn’t it true that access to electricity will be delayed for those in undeveloped areas if the use of coal for generating electricity?”

      Rob – I think it’s far easier to make facile generalizations about cause-and-effect w/r/t access to coal-generated electricity in poor countries than it is to really tease out how a mix of a wide variety of factors play out in the real world.

      And then, you need to balance the benefits from access go coal-generated electricity from the reality that often, access to coal-generated electricity means greater prevalence of coal-burning morbidities.

      http://chge.med.harvard.edu/resource/full-cost-accounting-life-cycle-coal

      I’m all for full cost accounting.

      I’m also all for a comprehensive approach to analyzing the correlates with “progress,” rather than focusing on isolated correlates in politically convenient (or exploitative) ways.

      ==> “Can either you or Robert point out ANY area where you are confident that the “climate” will be better for humans as a result of the Obama policy suggestions being implemented?”

      I can’t speak for Robert, but I can’t say that I am fully confident that new policies related to coal will necessarily have a direct benefit w/r/t climate change. I think that there is some potential that in conjunction with other policies, new policies related to coal might have some benefit w/r/t climate change.

      But I think that there are very real and clear benefits related to the health and environmental impact of coal-generated electricity, and

      ==> “If something is going to cost 250000 jobs shouldn’t we be able to better define specific benefits we can measure????”

      that your conclusions about the impact on jobs (and the follow-on full cost accounting of the impact on the economy) are overly-certain.

    • Rob Starkey

      Joshua

      “And then, you need to balance the benefits from access go coal-generated electricity from the reality that often, access to coal-generated electricity means greater prevalence of coal-burning morbidities.”

      Why is it that only coal gets your analysis of the “full cost” including the environmental impacts? That does not seem very reasonable does it?

    • Rob –

      ==> “Why is it that only coal gets your analysis of the “full cost” including the environmental impacts? That does not seem very reasonable does it?”

      I think that all energy sources should be examined from a perspective of full cost accounting, as a baseline. Your are mistaken in your assumption that my perspective is otherwise.

      Negative and positive externalities should be considered to the best of our abilities. AFAIC, there are far too many people (on both sides) who are willing to make confident pronouncements about the economics related to energy sources and climate change, without a careful grounding in a full cost accounting. IMO, when people leap to confident pronouncements w/o a comprehensive full cost accounting, it is a “tell” for motivated reasoning.

    • rogercaiazza

      Joshua “you need to balance the benefits from access go coal-generated electricity from the reality that often, access to coal-generated electricity means greater prevalence of coal-burning morbidities.”

      OK but please also consider the decrease in morbidities from using biomass fires for cooking and heating.

      The problem is that including all the externalities both positive and negative also becomes a motivated rationale game for both sides. For simplicity just show me how renewables will provide the power for a steel mill.

    • ==> “The problem is that including all the externalities both positive and negative also becomes a motivated rationale game for both sides. ”

      Yes, I agree. But in that, it is no different than not including exernalities. And please don’t forget that there is a basic assumption of positive externalities underpinning most “skeptic” arguments about the economics of restricting fossil fuel usage – with, from what I’ve seen, little effort to include any negative externalities outside of those associated with a change in climate.

      ==> “OK but please also consider the decrease in morbidities from using biomass fires for cooking and heating. ”

      There is no direct line between not implementing restrictions on coal in the US and reducing morbidities from biomass use for cooking and heating in developing countries. The latter is not a direct function of the former. There’s many factors that lie in between. Think of the post upstairs related to correlation and causation. As Sen argues – there are many important factors associated with development.

      ==> “For simplicity just show me how renewables will provide the power for a steel mill.”

      It doesn’t have to be all or nothing – at least until such time that new technologies are developed.

    • It doesn’t have to be all or nothing – at least until such time that new technologies are developed.

      Careful!

      You’re right up to that “thin green line” Mosher keeps talking about. Cross it and you, too, will be declared a “denier”.

  69. David L. Hagen

    EPA has posted its Clean Power Plan Proposed Rule

    On June 2, 2014, EPA proposed a commonsense plan to cut carbon pollution from power plants. States, cities and businesses across the country are already taking action to address the risks of climate change. EPA’s proposal builds on those actions and is flexible – reflecting that different states have a different mix of sources and opportunities, and reflecting the important role of states as full partners with the federal government in cutting pollution. This proposal will maintain an affordable, reliable energy system, while cutting pollution and protecting our health and environment now and for future generations.

    http://www2.epa.gov/carbon-pollution-standards/clean-power-plan-proposed-rule

    EPA has proposed a 30% reduction in coal power CO2 by 2030

    • Mary Brown

      “commonsense plan to cut carbon pollution from power plants. ”

      Commonsense tells you CO2 is not pollution and the proposed cuts will drop .01 deg C off the temperature over 80 years at enormous cost.

      Am I missing something? Where is the common sense?

  70. All this is bypassing Congress, and will take years to implement. Unless I am missing something, the next Republican President can reverse all this?

    One clear point you’re missing is that the bar of our democracy and Republic is lowered. We are one step closer to strong arm, one party rule and as with the filibuster what makes you think the precedent ever will be reversed? Societies and Republics that are sinking tend to maintain that trend-line until they are replaced. It’s pretty clear one side has a game-plan.

    Even if what you say on the political point is tactically accurate it’s simply no excuse among the academic community and yourself specifically not to issue a statements that co2 being labeled a “pollutant” on the basis of “climate change” is ludicrous and anti-science for a political agenda. Since the agenda matches the predisposition of so many in the climate science community we can just imagine the rationalizations for condoning or even facilitating such fraud. “We don’t like coal anyway……etc. etc.”

    It’s a disgrace and you should be saying so much more. Hopefully they’ll fail but I have even more contempt for the rational who did so little than the deluded minions or the criminally corrupt orchestrating the climate fraud policy itself.

    A witness, in the sense that I am using the word, is a man whose life and faith are so completely one that when the challenge comes to step out and testify for his faith, he does so, disregarding all risks, accepting all consequences. – Whittaker Chambers

    • Rob Starkey

      That really depends where a nation is in its educational and economic development.

  71. Dr. Curry,

    Re: “I sure hope somebody has a plan for providing energy for unexpected cold winters or hot summers.”

    There is a plan. First, coal-fired plants may not necessarily shut down. They can continue operating if they apply the carbon-dioxide capture and mineralization process from Skyonic, Inc. It would be necessary to reduce the CO2 production per MW from 2,750 pounds in a typical coal-fired plant to approximately 1,570 pounds per MW. This is a bit more than 40 percent recovery and removal of CO2. The technology is available; the question is whether coal-fired plant owners will make the investment. Skyonic’s website is http://skyonic.com The SkyMine (TM) process from Skyonic does not liquefy the CO2 for storage underground. Instead, it produces sodium bicarbonate for sale. It also produces hydrochloric acid (HCl) for sale. It uses quite a bit of electricity though, to electrolyze salt water to produce the sodium hydroxide, hydrogen, and chlorine. Skyonic has attracted private investment as well as a modest government grant, and has a commercial-scale plant under construction in San Antonio, Texas. Startup is slated for later this year.

    It may be more economically attractive to gasify the coal, capture the carbon dioxide, then run the Btu-rich gas through a combined cycle gas turbine plant. This is the IGCC approach, for Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle. One such IGCC plant is under construction in Mississippi, another has been designed (by Fluor) for construction near Bakersfield in California. The Bakersfield plant would send the captured and compressed CO2 into a nearby oilfield (of Teapot Dome scandal, or infamy) for enhanced oil recovery.

    Best regards.

  72. Smart move by Obama.

    We are told coal is irrelevant now that shale gas is being used. So what’s the problem in dropping coal altogether? I can’t see how anyone on either side can argue with that.

    • Clearly you’re clueless.

      Ask the poor in the U.S. or the unemployed over junk science relationships regarding co2 what they might say.

    • David Springer

      Natural gas needs pipelines to deliver it while coal can be shipped by rail.

      • Natural gas needs pipelines to deliver it while coal can be shipped by rail.

        LNG can be shipped by rail, truck, hovercraft, etc. Granted, a few years lead time may be needed for the infrastructure to be in place. But, AFAIK, once pipelines are in place, it’s cheaper than shipping coal by rail.

  73. Mary Brown

    My quick an dirty climate calculator estimates that if Obama is able to cut all fossil fuel energy consumption by 20% in the USA, starting today, then the earth’s surface temp will be reduced by 0.01 deg C by the year 2100.

    Of course, this is just an estimate. The true answer is probably between 0 and 0.03 deg C.

    Does anyone making policy know this ? Does anyone ever ask this at a press conference ? Perhaps I’m wrong. Does anybody else have an estimate?

    • Rob Starkey

      Mary

      While I agree with your assessment, the case of those who wish a rapid reduction in current US CO2 emissions is that if the USA does not lead, then no other nations will follow. Common sense seems inconsistent with their position