Week in review 3/16/12

by Judith Curry

Some things that caught my eye this past week:

Power Blog

Power has a good article entitled Conflating energy and climate policy: the road to nowhere.   Excerpts:

Conflating climate and energy policy in the U.S. over the past several decades has produced incoherent policy in both areas, along with considerable confusion and loss of focus, argues economist Denny Ellerman in the current issue of Economics of Energy & Environmental Policy, the journal of the International Association for Energy Economics. While sharing some attributes, the two areas of public policy have important differences, argues Ellerman, and the past 30 years of energy policy demonstrate that following that the path that intellectually combines them leads “to nowhere.”

Both energy and climate, says Ellerman, have risen to the policy agenda “because of mispricing.” In energy, that was the hangover from the days of formal government price controls. In the case of climate, “the problem is the absence of a price on the externality that attaches to the carbon content of fossil fuels….” The energy misallocation was largely cured by letting markets set prices. That was easy. “Energy security,” on the other hand, is neither attainable nor particularly desirable.

Not so for climate, says Ellerman, where, failing to put a price on carbon, the Obama administration has adopted its “skin the cat” regulatory agenda. That has meant that “the conflation of climate with energy policy is complete” and climate policy has become “indistinguishable not only in the measures proposed but in the rhetoric as well. If the evolution of energy policy over the past three decades is a guide, climate policy will have as little effect on greenhouse gas emissions as energy policy has had on oil imports.”

Rethinking climate security

The Energy Collective has an interesting article on Rethinking climate security.  Some excerpts:

Once upon a time, climate change was  strictly an environment and development issue. Today, it has become a matter of national and international security. Efforts to link climate change with violent conflict may not be based on solid evidence, but they have certainly captured the attention of governments. They have played a vital role in raising the much needed awareness of climate change as an issue that deserves global action, but at what cost?

Focusing on climate change as a security threat alone risks devolving humanitarian responsibilities to the military, ignoring key challenges, and losing sight of those climate vulnerable communities that stand most in need of protection.

Once upon a time, climate change was  strictly an environment and development issue. Today, it has become a matter of national and international security. Efforts to link climate change with violent conflict may not be based on solid evidence, but they have certainly captured the attention of governments. They have played a vital role in raising the much needed awareness of climate change as an issue that deserves global action, but at what cost?

Focusing on climate change as a security threat alone risks devolving humanitarian responsibilities to the military, ignoring key challenges, and losing sight of those climate vulnerable communities that stand most in need of protection.

There are other risks associated with turning climate change into a security issue, particularly when it comes to addressing the full spectrum of challenges posed by climate change. Deciding action based on the engagement of a limited pool of security institutions, risks sidelining or missing out completely issues such as adaptation, mitigation, development, economic growth, equity, justice and resilience, which do not figure as priorities on the security agenda but which are integral to addressing climate change.

Follow up on Demon Coal

I’ve received a few emails from people that didn’t like my interview.  The main issue seems to be what I said regarding sea level rise, which just can’t be true because of this recent article in the Vancouver Sun.  You have to read it to believe it.

Also Max Allen sent this link to an article about the Ontario power challenges.

What skeptics are skeptical of

Skeptics will like this article at MasterResource entitled What the skeptics are skeptical of, which is a response to Nordhaus’ recent article in the NYT Review of Books.  An excerpt that caught my eye:

The catastrophists need to demonstrate their methodology by applying it to smaller problems whose outcomes we don’t have to wait a century for. They need to derive unambiguous, detailed predictions for these outcomes and see them borne out. By “detailed” I mean predictions of not just a single number, like a cumulative warming trend, that could just be accidentally correct—and they’re not even getting predictions on these simpler metrics right. I mean predictions of a more intricate, unaccidental nature.

Climategate in the peer reviewed literature

Papers on Climategate are making it into the academic literature, see this post at BishopHill on a paper entitled Ad hominem arguments in the service of boundary work among scientists.

ABSTRACT: Most accounts of an ideal scientific discourse proscribe ad hominem appeals as one way to distinguish it from public discourse. Because of their frequent use of ad hominem attacks, the Climategate email messages provoked strong criticisms of climate scientists and climate science. This study asks whether the distinction between public and scientific discourse holds in this case and thus whether the exclusion of ad hominem arguments from scientific discourse is valid. The method of analysis comes from the field of informal logic in which argument fallacies like the ad hominem are classified and assessed. The approach in this study focuses on a functional analysis of ad hominem—their uses rather than their classification. The analysis suggests three distinct functional uses of ad hominem remarks among the Climategate emails: (1) indirect, (2) tactical, and (3) meta-. Consistent with previous research on ad hominem arguments in both public and scientific discourse, these results reinforce the common opinion of their fallacious character. Only the remarks of the last type, the meta- ad hominem, seemed to be non-fallacious in that they might help to preempt the very use of ad hominem attacks in scientific discourse.

I originally thought of doing an entire post on this, but the paper and its arguments seem a bit tortured to me.  Interesting topic for a paper, tho.

http://enthusiasmscepticismscience.wordpress.com/2012/03/15/the-corruption-of-the-royal-society-in-the-climate-emergency/

WSJ review of Mann’s book

Reviews in the MSM have been pretty favorable of Mike Mann’s new book “The Hockey Stick and Climate Wars.”   The WSJ review is not complimentary.  Excerpts:

“The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars” is the story of both Mr. Mann and his graph. But rather than a chronicle of research and discovery, it’s a score-settling with anyone who has ever doubted his integrity or work: free-market think tanks, industrialists, “scientists for hire,” “the corruptive influence of industry,” the “uninformed” media and public. So, a long list.

Yet for all his caviling about “smear campaigns,” “conspiracy theorists” and “character assassination,” Mr. Mann is happy to employ similar tactics against his opponents. 

Mr. Mann closes “The Hockey Stick” with a passionate call for more scientists to join him “on the front lines of the climate wars.” “Scientific truth alone,” Mr. Mann writes, “is not enough to carry the day in the court of public opinion.” It would be “irresponsible,” he says, “for us to silently stand by while industry-funded climate change deniers succeed in confusing and distracting the public and dissuading our policy makers from taking appropriate actions.” These are unfortunate conclusions for a scientist-turned-climate-warrior whose greatest weakness has always been a low estimation of the public intellect.

I imagine that Mann will respond with a letter to the WSJ.  Although I am having a hard time figuring out how he will counter this.

478 responses to “Week in review 3/16/12

  1. I love that Vancouver Sun article.
    We’d better change our ways – and quick – otherwise children in 50,000 years time will simply not know what icecaps look like.

  2. Throughout “The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars,” there is the continuous resorting to childish, unprofessional name-calling. Mr. Mann seems to relish the phrase “climate change denier.” On one page alone (Page 193), he uses the silly phrase or some variant of it seven times. The phrase is obviously absurd because no one denies that climate changes.
    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/mar/6/slap-shot-climate-science/

    • “The phrase is obviously absurd because no one denies that climate changes.”

      That’s a bit like saying no-one denies the holocaust happened they just deny how many jews were murdered

      • Very inappropriate remark, two are not comparable!

      • Ding-ding-ding-ding

        We have a Godwin’s Law winner!

        Although I do give you credit. Most of your ilk try to argue that “climate denier” is a perfectly good term and has nothing to do with Holocaust denial (wink, wink, nudge, nudge).

      • Isn’t Jews capitalized?

      • John Carpenter

        oops…. wright = write, now who’s writing the claptrap?

      • Godwin’s law and all that. And you extremists get so agitated if we point out that your entire intent in the choice of ‘denier; is to denigrate skeptics by connecting them to neo-nazi holocaust deniers. Get your lies straight, lolwot.

  3. Back under the Demon Coal thread, Girma gave the URL for his latest, wonderful, graph.

    http://bit.ly/AuF8hX

    I suggested that this graph could be used to forecast future temperature anomalies, and Bart R gave me some sound physics as to why this is not possible. I am sure Bart’s physics is correct, but the more I thought about it, the more I became convinced that it does not prevent us from using Girma’s graph to forecast future temperature anomalies. My reasoning is quite simplistic, and so it could easily be wrong. But if it is wrong, then why is it wrong?.

    When we get to Jan, 2013, we will have the average temperature anomaly for 2012. When Girma gets this number, he can calculate a new point on his graph, which he can then plot, and extend his graph. I assume that this is all he has missing before he makes the calculations, and that there are no other unknowns. (Note, if this assumption is incorrect, then my logic is wrong. But if it is, then what other information is required?).

    Assuming I am correct, the number in question will be of the form “sign X.XX C”. We can guess that this number will be somewhere between +0.10 C and +0.40 C; some 31 numbers. I assume Girma has a computer program that does all the calculations, so it would be trivial to calculate all 31 numbers. We can then eyeball the graph, and guess what the new number is likely to be, and see which of the new temperature anomalies gives the closest number to this value. This, then, becomes the forecast for 2012.

    We can now assume that this value for the anomaly for 2012 is correct, and repeat the process for 2013. At this point, I doubt that it makes sense to look any further into the future. But we now have two future predicitons, which can be tested in a comparatively short period of time. If the turned out to be correct, then they become a powerful reaason to not believe in CAGW. They have been derived by assuming that CO2 has no effect, and they are right.

    • Steven Mosher

      so I guess neither logic nor physics was in your coursework

      • Steven, Yes they were; bioth logic and physics. Why wont my idea work?

      • Steven Mosher

        the GHG warming effect is a net effect after you account for all other effects. And the effect is seriously lagged. You’re assumption that, Girma’s approaches precludes C02 as a cause is unfounded since his curve is built from data that has a C02 effects embedded in it.

        Its pretty simple. GHGs cause warming. We know that from physics.
        How much warming cannot be derived from the observation record without first removing the effects of other causes. Even then you will be hard pressed to diagnose sensitivity from the temperature record. you might be able to get TCR from the record but not ECS.
        Check out a bunch of posts at Lucia’s where we discuss this. Check out the literature that attempts to do this.

        The best way to estimate the ECS is from long term climate reconstructions, since all feedbacks, fast and slow, are accounted for there. Even there you get a big spread.

      • “the GHG warming effect is a net effect after you account for all other effects.”

        And here I thought the green house effect was a description of the radiative physics involving GHGs and incoming radiation, and that the supposed potentially catastrophic increase in temperature was the result of the GHG effect plus feedbacks. Now “the greenhouse effect” is a measurement of the net increase in warming caused by the gases? It is a measurement of temperature rather than the description of a process?

        “Its pretty simple. GHGs cause warming.”

        This one gets old after a while. You can redefine terms like global warming and climate change all you want, but simple English is off limits. “Warming” in an increase in temperature. Since GHGs are always in the atmosphere, and the Earth seems to cool all the same at times, it seems fairly clear that GHGs do not always “cause warming.” Adding “all other things being equal” may interfere with the message, but it would have the benefit of making the claim accurate.

      • Steven Mosher

        pardon. I’ve said “all other things being equal” more times than you can count. hmm, maybe that’s not saying much. more times than I can count.
        there.. much better

      • You’re just too much of a wit for me. Well, maybe a half one.

      • Steven, you say that “the GHG warming effect is a net effect after you account for all other effects.” In economic theory, there are diminishing returns: adding another unit of an input gets a lower return than the average. But in practice in modern economies, output tends to increase faster than inputs. This was put down to “productivity:” total factor productivity “is a net effect after you account for all other effects.” That is, it was unexplained. Though Schumpeter had some understanding of it 70 years ago, and Solow et al in the ‘50s, modern economics only really began to come to grips with it with Paul Romer’s seminal 1986 paper on increasing returns and long-term growth, aka endogenous growth theory. Since then the the importance of human capital intellectual property, innovation etc, and the reasons why economies grow faster than inputs of labour and capital in spite of diminishing returns, have been much better understood: we can’t just say “oh, the residual is ‘productivity,’ although we don’t actually know what it is.”

        So, while I’m sure you have a better understanding of the role of CO2 than economists had of productivity several decades ago, I don’t think that you can just holus bolus attribute everything not formally accounted for to GHGs. That assumes (a) that you have correctly assessed the magnitude of each and every other effect and (b) that you fully understand all mechanisms in play, have not ignored any contributing factor and are certain that there are no unidentified factors. My reading on global warming/climate change suggests that no one can make such a definitive statement.

      • Faustino,

        +1

      • And you obviously flunked out of salesman school, Steven Mosher.

        I mean the idea that Mankind is Warming The Earth via a Trace Gas practically sells itself. No need for multi-billion dollar propaganda campaigns, “Robert”, identity theft, alphabet soup, or evidence. It’s guaranteed to move some book inventory.

        Andrew

      • andrew

        Indeed, you misrepresent Steven Mosher. He is a professional marketer, and though I have not seen his work in that field directly, by every evidence I have seen online, his competence in marketing is very high.

      • I think it sucks. ;)

        Andrew

      • Steven Mosher

        someday I’ll explain how the GPU was named and the real story behind the ipod. war stories from old farts; I love em but don’t expect others to.

    • Jim Cripwell

      Sweet Fig Newtons!

      As you have invoked my name in this absurdity, I fear I must rush to correct the mistaken impressions left by associating Girma’s New Mistake with me.

      You did not receive from my sound, or any other sort, of physics to prove Girma’s graph useless for future forecasts, but only a remedial pointer on the mathematics of reading derivative curves. Indeed, the rule in logic and in mathematics is that a single disproof of a proposition suffices to know it is not true.

      Continuing to hammer away at the false worship of a disproven claim is not physics, but the bizarre phenomenon many refer to as religion.

      So I must become the heretic again, it seems.

      First, you must remember the label on the vertical axis of your Messiah’s graph is not labeled Temperature, but rather “Trend in deg C / decade”.

      You cannot derive temperature from the derivative plot directly, but must integrate to obtain the limit of the area between the curve and the horizontal axis at zero “trend in deg C / decade”, which will introduce an unknown constant term. As you cannot know that constant, you cannot know the temperature. Well, you sort of can, but it won’t have any mathematical rigor, merely the conviction of faith.

      Second, you _can_ use Girma’s graph to plot predictions. It’s a plot of trends 35 years long. You could drop a single year from each trend line for 33 years into the future and produce approximations of lower and lower fidelity to the original scheme out that far based on the data you do have available. It won’t tell you temperature (directly), but it will give you some information about the future of the graph of your god Girma.

      Third, the graph itself is bad. How bad? Extremely bad. It would be failed in any first year college or university course on multiple bases.

      a) It plots trends of aggregates by year, when less-aggregated month data is available. This introduces biases. The better approach is to plot trends based on individual daily records across whatever arbitrary length (in this case, the sacred number is 35; 35 is the number of Girma which shall not be questioned) to derive the curve, and if aggregation is needed (say for curve smoothing) then use aggregating techniques on the resultant graph of direct calculations from raw data.
      b) It does not explicitly state its method of aggregation (though we could find out if we went to the source and researched it sufficiently — which again, Girma shows no comprehension is necessary), an error that makes correct interpretation of the scripture of Girma impossible.
      c) It does not include a plot of the original temperatures the trends are taken from, which is useful in the case of derivatives to remind the reader that they aren’t looking at something concrete, but at a manipulation depending on the choices of the creator (holy be his name);
      d) It does not suggest a function, an algebraic formula that approximates the shape of the graph, which would allow us to establish the coefficient of correlation of the data to a predictive equation. The fidelity of such an equation as judged by this coefficient would help us understand if Girma has plotted something plausibly linear, or if he has plotted a mess.
      e) It suggests phases where there is simply too little data to establish a cyclic relationship. Traditional graphical methods approaches are not satisfied with less than three full periods of well-fitting data. Girma has slightly more than one. And already, even in that one period, the length of different phases is different. This suggests that as time goes on, the wavelength of Girma’s plot will change, perhaps to include every possible value of wavelength in the solution space. (See the recent topic on Ergodicity, as this is the definition of an ergodic wavelength, a phrase anyone seeking to analyze nonlinear graphical data must know.)
      F) the grade Girma would receive for his graph.

      There is far more wrong here than I have, or could, cover. The multiplying villainies of nature do swarm upon him.

      I hope seven disproofs of the proposition will suffice for you, where only one is usually needed. Thank you for your time.

    • ..all that said, the idea of plotting trends is not new.

      After all, it has a name and even a field of mathematics associated with it.

      It’s far from useless, when you know even a little.. which seems too high a mark for Girma.

      To illustrate: the zero line (the only plot indicating no change in trend) divides the rising temperature trends (above zero) from the falling (below zero).

      You can compare the area under the graph (that is, between the curve and zero) to get a ratio of warming compared to cooling.

      As we can see even from Girma’s abomination by computing these areas, the tendency to warming over cooling is dramatic, increasing with time, and reliable.

      • Bart

        I don’t deny the warming at all.

        What I say is it is cyclic.

      • Girma

        Whatever you say about the warming being cyclic, your graph tells an entirely different story.

        The portion of the graph below zero is clearly shrinking. The negative trend is shrinking with time. If you hold to analysis by eyeball — which I don’t, really — then your graph is arguing that negative trend either will disappear in approximately forty years, or that it already has.

        Also, you may find you get better results later in your analyses if you plot the trend at the midpoint, rather than the endpoint, of the trend period.

      • I agree with the above statement of yours.

  4. Vancouver Sun:
    “Previous research has suggested it would need warming of at least 3.1 C above pre-industrial levels to totally melt the ice sheet.

    But new estimates, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, put the threshold at 1.6 C, in a range of 0.8 to 3.2 C, although this lower rise would have to be sustained for tens of thousands of years.”

    I guess I am a CAGWer, I thought the present temperature is generally causing Greenland to lose ice mass. And would suspect that 10,000 year of continuing this interglacial period would result in significant ice lost from Greenland. But I don’t think the odds favors the interglacial lasting for another 10,000 years. Though that would good news.

    “Current carbon emissions, though, place warming estimate far beyond this objective. If they were unchecked, one-fifth of the ice sheet would melt within 500 years and all would be gone within 2,000 years, the study says.”

    I think myself fairly bullish on quantity of fossil fuel, but I don’t believe there 500 years of it. We could have 2000 or more years of nuclear energy.

    • “gbaikie
      But new estimates, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, put the threshold at 1.6 C, in a range of 0.8 to 3.2 C, although this lower rise would have to be sustained for tens of thousands of years”

      You know there is quite a big difference between temperature and heat.

      • “You know there is quite a big difference between temperature and heat.”

        No, I don’t know.
        In general terms, I would say temperature is the measurement of what has been heated. So they are related and not what say is a big difference.

        I assume you aware that most time since earth has developed animals and plants [as distinguished microbial life] earth has not had glaciers, and recently [last several million years] we had cycles of Ice Ages and warming periods called Interglacial periods. In these warming periods, glacial ice melts. And that the global build up and retreat of these glaciers is definitional in terms of describing whether [in centuries to thousand year period] of warming or cooling period [retreating of glaciers or advancement of glaciers.

        At the present time, we in a interglacial period, and have been for about 10,000 years. To be redundant, during this 10.000 year period glaciers have been retreating. And if this the interglacial period continues for thousands of years [do not enter into another Little Ice Age] then for thousands of year glaciers will continue to retreat.

        If our interglacial period last another 10,000 years it will be unusual, and during many of past interglacial period Greenland glaciers have retreated further as compared to the present Greenland.
        Or if want find the oldest ice, rather than Greenland, one should probably explore Antarctica.

  5. The article of Ellerman is published in the inaugural issue of a new journal Economics of Energy and Environmental Policy. All articles of the inaugural issue are available free of charge. Other articles of that issue discuss oil markets, shale gas and in two articles directly on economics of climate change and climate policies. Nicholas Stern and James Rydge write on The New Energy-industrial Revolution and International Agreement on Climate Change and Jean Tirole on Some Political Economy of Global Warming

    • Pekka thanks for these links

    • Pekka,

      Thanks for noting the Economics of Energy & Environmental Policy journal. Unfortunately the article I am interested in-
      Market and Policy Barriers to Deployment of Energy Storage
      Author(s): Ramteen Sioshansi, Paul Denholm, and Thomas Jenkin

      Economics of Energy & Environmental Policy
      Volume 1, Number 2

      is in Number 2 with a cost of $35.00….. Bummer

      Out here in most of the time sunny CA- not this week in N CA- our Public Utilities Commission is trying to decide if we should require energy storage. http://www.energy.ca.gov/2011_energypolicy/documents/2011-04-28_workshop/presentations/03_CPUC_Colvin_%20IEPR_Electric_Storage.pdf

      • I had a rapid look at the paper (I’m a member of IAEE). Based on that the following sentences from the conclusions tell about the emphasis of the paper:

        The current regulatory landscape in the United States is moving towards a dichotomous treatment of storage as either providing solely regulated services (in which case the cost can be rate based) or having to recover all of its costs through the market. This raises a question of whether a hybrid treatment of storage that can better capture market and non-market services, such as unbundling, can provide more efficient storage development. Government support, such as the use of investment tax credits, and streamlining of the permitting process can help mitigate the riskiness of storage technologies, improve project economics, and lower deployment barriers. While we raise possible policy approaches, we are not advocating any particular position and careful thought must be given to decide what policies would be optimal from a societal perspective.

      • Pekka

        Thanks for this.

      • Given that IAEE is located close to my birth place and their mission interests to me I think I’ll join the group. I ‘ve attended a few energy storage meetings here in the Sacramento area over the last few years. I posted a comment to the CEC on energy storage last year on my personal reliable energy needs and energy storage.
        http://www.energy.ca.gov/2011_energypolicy/documents/2011-04-28_workshop/comments/TN_60734_05-15-11_New_Technology_Lifescan_Inc_Comments_on_IEPR_April_28_2011_Workshop.pdf

  6. The ‘ad-hom’ paper is a scream.

    “The emails implied that the CRU scientists attacked the credibility of McIntyre because he was not published in peer reviewed journals after they had manipulated the peer reviewed system in their field to keep him out.”

    Ouch! No doubt Newton and Hooke threw barbs at each other, both directly and behind each others backs, not to mention Newton and Liebniz. This was probably funny, but didn’t advance science at all.

    My favourite review from an academic: “This book would dent the author’s reputation as a serious historian….if he had one.”

    • Serious historians agree with you, cui bono.

      Newton was considered especially vitriolic in his attacks on other thinkers of his day. He’s even known to have hired Alexander Pope, the epigrammist, to write attacks on his behalf when he was too busy to pen opinions of his own.

      Though I disagree about the advancement of science.

      Surely, the practice of sending challenges to other mathematicians and scientists to test their competency and prove oneself their superior to one’s patrons and employers led to some of the great advancements in astronomy, physics, mathematics and chemistry, the record of history shows.

      It had a pretty grotesque impact on fields of medicine and biology, admittedly.

    • Cui, you know the famous Newton is actually a dig at Hooke?

      “If I have seen farther it is by standing on the shoulders of giants”.

      Hooke had a life of ill health, he was not only short, but suffered from Pott’s disease (tuberculosis of bone) which gave him a crouch and hunchback.

      Newton was stating that he took nothing from Hooke, only ‘giants’.

    • Alex Heyworth

      My favourite review from a non-academic: “I laughed from the moment I picked your book up until the moment I put it down. Some day I’ll get round to reading it.” (Groucho Marx)

      • Mine is that of a French dramatist: ‘I am sitting in the smallest room of my house. Your review is before me. In a moment it will be behind me.’

      • And mine is from George Stigler, a discussant’s opening sentence: “There is much in this paper that is good; additionally, there is much that is new.”

      • Of which another version, from a thesis examination: ‘This dissertation has elements that are good and original. Unfortunately, the elements that are good are not original, while the elements that are original are not good.’

  7. The Power Blog is an interesting and puzzling:
    They make a great point that is often over looked:
    Energy policy and climate policy are not the same thing.
    Then he quotes Denny Ellerman, who claims to believe that they are very different, but then relies on the number one way to conflate energy and climate by supporting a carbon tax.
    This appears to be an excellent example of the dead end, circular thinking that AGW belief has led to: An inability to follow through on critical thought by the believers. If the two are not connected, why is Ellerman calling for essentially the same tools? “pricing externalities” is a euphemism for carbon tax. “Putting a price on carbon” is a synonym for “pricing externalities”. So we have Dr. Ellerman painted into a corner, unable to ask the deep questions about how significant the claims supporting the alleged needs are, if there is a real problem, if the alleged external costing ideas are based on realistic assessments, and what costs the cure he prescribes may have.

  8. I got yesterday a message telling that I must log in before my comment is accepted. That was the first time I had to log in to post here, but I had registered at WordPress.com earlier for some other reason.

  9. Rael Jean Isaac has a thought provoking article challenging us to understand the underlying assumptions and overarching methods and consequences of acting on apocalyptic visions:
    Global Warming and National Suicide March 16, 2012 at American Thinker.

    Beginning in 1856, the Xhosa tribe in today’s South Africa destroyed its own economy. . . . between thirty and fifty thousand Xhosa had starved to death . . .
    the lifeblood of our economy is energy. And we are strangling our own energy supply on the basis of an apocalyptic prophecy . . .
    The apocalyptic vision to which we subscribe has a superficial scientific gloss — “climate change” — but at bottom, both visions prescribe economic suicide, and both promise that self-sacrifice will bring about a golden age. . . . In our own, to quote famed environmentalist David Brower (director of the Sierra Club and then of Friends of the Earth), it’s “back there about a century when, at the start of the Industrial Revolution we began applying energy in vast amounts to tools with which we began tearing the environment apart.” . . .
    those who initiate and build support for these movements as roosters, for they crow an exciting new message, and their opponents as owls, those counseling caution and skepticism. To drown out the warning owls, roosters must rally elites to their cause. ,/b> That is how the global warming movement made its inroads: . . .
    Apocalyptic movements are urgent. It’s now or never. If action is not taken quickly, it will be too late. . . .United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon (the global warming apocalypse owes more to the U.N. than to any other single institution) told the Global Environmental Forum in 2009, “We have just four months. Four months to secure the future of our planet.” . . .
    China, which is heavily investing in the energy we spurn, is the most probable beneficiary of our folly.

    Will we heed the siren apocalyptic roosters or the wise owls cautioning prudence?

    • People who feel powerless to act when faced with a fear of the unknown often turn to self-destructive behaviour (self sacrifice) as a way of having some modicum of control over their powerlessness.

      Politicians and Priests have been trading of this for thousands of years. They induce both fear and take from people to ability to solve problems on their own (through regulation). Regulations (such as a carbon tax) are not meant to solve the problems, but rather to control the solutions — and, always keeping the solutions slightly out of reach.

      “Things will be better in the future, if only you (the people) will only sacrifice a little more….”

      • Jim S
        Re: “turn to self-destructive behaviour (self sacrifice)”
        It is prudent to look at Archibald’s evidence of the major trends and see where we need to act on those trends as responsible stewards.
        Regarding self sacrifice, the evidence and power of the known is far greater than fear. e.g. see Jesus summary (Luke 10:27):

        “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

        We then find Jesus’ example and command (John 13:34):

        “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.

        Jesus’ example of self sacrifice and resurrection undergrid and empower Christian service to others such as through hospitals and education.
        (John 20:21):

        “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”

        The greatest failings of alarmists’ climate policies is that they elevate global warming mitigation above all else – the least cost effective of all global humanitarian projects – at the detriment to the much more important yet unpublicized projects for the poor and needy. See the Copenhagen Consensus 2008.

      • get back to me when western governments don’t spend so much money on war

        until then I think we are obviously in a position where we do multiple things at once.

      • lolwot
        Re: “do multiple things at once”
        Non-sequitor -What justification do you give for committing economic suicide?
        Re: “don’t spend so much money on war”
        That will be when the Messiah comes. Isaiah 2:3-5

      • “economic suicide”

        alarmist

      • Economic suicide is much easier to forecast than the climate. Borrowing money to pay for expenses 40% greater than revenues is a sure long term path of economic suicide. You could completely eliminate defense spending and it would not balance the US budget. Realism in economics and in a sudy of the climate is what is needed. We need neither the religion of global warming or any other superstitious belief system to deal with issues.

  10. There are two duplicate paragraphs in the Rethinking Climate Security section. I’m had an “I saw the cat walk by twice’ Matrix moment, now I’m hiding in a wall.

  11. The idea that skeptics need more short-term predictions assumes that predicting the current temperature rise was luck. Back in 1981 Hansen predicted that today’s annual average temperatures would be at least five standard deviations above that in the late 70’s compared to a natural variability with a 0.1 C standard deviation. The odds of this are remote, so it wasn’t just luck, and the late 70’s had a notably flat trend, so it wasn’t just extrapolating either.

    • And imagine what he could have done if he hadn’t had the climate sensitivity wrong!

      • Back then it was a reasonable 2.8 C per doubling. It is only later in 1988 he went for higher values that were above most other climate scientists who stayed near 3 C.

      • So you’re saying his “correct” prediction requires a sensitivity of 2.8 per doubling?

        I guess that also means his “accurate” prediction became less accurate as he refined his theory.

      • 2.8 C per doubling works for the observed trend. Higher sensitivities would have required more aerosols or something to counter it to explain the observed trend. For sure, he became an outlier in the consensus by 1988, but I think he has returned to the consensus since. I can only speculate that he believed his first generation climate model too much, whereas in 1981 he was using a simpler forcing/feedback model.

      • OK, thanks.

        BTW, regarding your original comment:

        “The odds of this are remote, so it wasn’t just luck, and the late 70′s had a notably flat trend, so it wasn’t just extrapolating either.”—

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp-dts/from:1970/plot/gistemp-dts/from:1970/to:1980/trend

      • The series from 1950-1980 gives a better idea of what he was looking at.

      • Why would 1950-1980 be representative of “the late 70’s”?

      • His graph ended in the late 70’s, but went back to 1950. It was quite flat.

      • I guess the phrase “the late 70’s had a notably flat trend” requires some qualification.

  12. Risk of Volcanic eruption on top of centennial solar minimum
    For the real serious historical consequences of natural climatic variations, David Archibald presented four great global challenges March 12, 2012. See especially
    Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse Part 2 – Famine and Deathslides 68, 69

    “If a Mt Pinatubo-type eruption is overprinted on a de Vries cycle event:”
    “1816 Event – 50% Chance
    •Mt Tambora in Indonesia erupted on 10th April, 1815.
    •Average global temperatures decreased by 0.4 – 0.7° C. . . .
    •Oats rose from 12 cents a bushel to 92 cents a bushel.
    •For the last 500 years, major volcanic eruptions averaged 45 years apart.
    •One of these could easily reduce world grain production by 400 million tonnes.”
    Summary on Climate
    1.The World has entered a sharp cooling period due to lower solar activity.
    2.Mid-latitude grain production under threat with potential famines.
    3.Carbon dioxide’s heating effect is real but minuscule.
    4.Sea level now falling.”

    Note Slide 58: “the temperature spike down (cold) that killed a third of Finland. See the Great Famine of Finland (1695–1697)
    Neumann, J.; Lindgrén, S. (1979). “Great Historical Events That Were Significantly Affected by the Weather: 4, The Great Famines in Finland and Estonia”. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 60 (7): pp775–787. doi:10.1175/1520-0477(1979)0602.0.CO;2. ISSN 1520-0477.

    “In the years 1694 to early 1697, cold winters and cool and wet springs and autumns led to extreme famine in northern Europe, particularly in Finland, Estonia, and Livonia. It is estimated that in Finland about 25–33% of the population perished (Jutikkala, 1955; Muroma, 1972), and in Estonia-Livonia about 20% (Liiv, 1938).

    For fuel issues see Archibald’s first presentation

    • William F. McClenney posted The End Holocene, or How to Make Out Like a ‘Madoff’ Climate Change Insurer March 16, 2012
      He provides well documented thought provoking geological evidence on global cooling and ice ages.
      Take away: We need all the global warming we can get for our slide into the next glaciation.

    • so on slide 37 archibald shows cryosphere today global sea ice

      and claims “the world isn’t warming.”, “no change [in sea ice] in 33 years”

      On the next side he claims “The temperature of the planet is the same as it was 30 years ago”. Ie he’s comparing the minimum of a La Nina today with the height of an El Nino 30 years ago.

      Then on the next slide he dismisses ocean acidification based on…nothing.,

      On sea level rise he shows a short period to claim it’s not rising.

      He then on next slides pulls out the discredited claim that global warming is down to the temperature data being adjusted to produce warming, completely ignoring BEST, etc.

      In short: don’t trust this guy. He’s doing the science wrong.

      • lolwot
        If you wish to address science, then please provide evidence with references and links. Otherwise you are but appealing to your own authority and your rhetoric and images are not particularly persuasive.

        So how much change do you see in the global sea ice anomaly – and with what uncertainty? See current sea ice. It currently appears to be rising not falling.

        Re: “he’s comparing the minimum of a La Nina today with the height of an El Nino 30 years ago.”
        You appear to support significant impacts of natural cycles, when the IPCC models ignore them. Does that suggest that you find Nicola Scafetta’s natural cycle based models to be more accurate than IPCC’s global warming models?

        On temperature variations, what is the average of a sine wave?

        Re: “He’s doing the science wrong.”
        Is that to endear me to Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth?

        Re: “he dismisses ocean acidification based on…nothing.,”
        Perhaps you might read his annotation:
        “Coral reef and ,b>carbon dioxide bubbling, Dobu Island PNG”
        What does “carbon dioxide bubbling” tell you about the CO2 concentration and ocean “acidity” (sic. alkalinity) at that point?

        Perhaps you could elaborate on why the carboniferous period was so productive with ~ 1500 ppm CO2 concentrations?

        On sea level rise, perhaps you can expound on why the
        2011 Global Sea Level Dropped back to 2008 Levels
        In particular why has Jason leveled off and why has Envistat signal dropped?

        Comparing against IPCC projections, why:
        “For 2011 the actual sea level is already 72mm behind schedule to reach a 1m rise in sea level by 2100.”

        On temperature records, are you trying to justify the Darwin adjustments? They “only” “added 2.5° over 60 years.”

        Or perhaps you wish to explain the New Zealand temperature records that are currently under trial (literally.) They “only” trippled the warming rate from 0.3 deg C/century to 1 deg C / century.

        More importantly, look at Archibald’s major arguments:
        How do you evaluate his grain, fuel and population growth evidence?
        Or is the prospect of starvation for a few hundred million people negligible in the context of “saving the earth”?

        How about severe declines in available crude oil exports?
        What will that do the economy and the livelihoods of the poor?

        IF you appeal to “the market”, what evidence can you provide to counter the sobering evidence compiled by Robert Hirsch in “The Impending World Energy Mess” (see ASPO-USA.org Nov. 2011) and his previous 2005 Hirsch Report?

        These are the serious substantive issues to grapple with.

        Re: “don’t trust this guy”
        So why should we trust you when you appeal to authority and do not address the substantive issues?

      • David L. Hagen you say: “So how much change do you see in the global sea ice anomaly”

        There has been a *statistically significant* reduction in global sea ice over the last 33 years:
        http://tamino.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/iceline.jpg?w=500&h=325

        To claim that there has been no change in global sea ice in 33 years as Archibald claims is WRONG.

        To conclude as Archibald does from this that the world hasn’t warmed is WRONG.

        When you look at how he does it, it’s a JOKE. He notes the daily level in 2010 and 33 years ago happen to be the same but completely ignores the obvious longterm downward trend.

        I am not addressing any of your other BS. If you are defending the above obvious error Archibald has made what hope for you is there?

        Go educate yourself, you are woefully informed. I look over all your other “arguments” and find myself either shaking my head or laughing.

        It’s the same with Archibald. Mistake after mistake in his climate slides, such mistakes you have to wonder if it isn’t deliberate. And you ask me “How do you evaluate his grain, fuel and population growth evidence?” – Ha! Like I trust Archibald to get those graphs right.

      • lolwot
        Re: “*statistically significant* reduction in global sea ice.”
        So? There has also been a statistically significant reduction since the Little Ice Age.
        I said “It currently appears to be rising not falling.”
        See 2012 evidence.
        Every sine wave has “statistically significant” portions where it increases and decreases.

  13. Did USSR, after invasion of Czechoslovakia (1969), give misleading temperature numbers in the following two years; part of propaganda war?
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/GT-AMO.htm
    Graphs 2 & 4.

  14. Steven Mosher

    I love what eric Steig says over at RC.. nice ad homs and a lie about McIntryre

    [Response:Legal action against scientists in this sort of instance is wrong, no matter which ‘side’ it comes from. Nor is it likely to be successful, as Cuccinelli has been shown, again. Calls for ‘policing’ of science through the legal system is McCarthyism (McInytireism if you prefer), and we should not be condoning it. The scientific process may be too slow for the ideologues and the politicians, but it does work itself out eventually, as Carl Sagan so eloquently explained. Gavin has it right on here: this episode “has some lessons for how seriously one should take Lindzen’s comments”. That’s all.–eric]

    • Hi Steven
      ‘village vuk’ (I like that vuk = wolf) strikes again.
      How soviets fooled the NASA GISS
      See my post above:
      https://judithcurry.com/2012/03/17/week-in-review-31612/#comment-186230

      • Steven Mosher

        Haha. I love ya bro.
        you took my childish slam and turned it into a badge of honor.
        good sport. touche!

      • Steven
        Thanks. It would be nice if Chris Colose articulated a bit less arrogance.
        http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/CET1690-1960.htm
        equalling the above to ‘counting cows of Idaho’.

      • Ain’t that the truth? The thing that is a real turn off is the in line “responses.” I’m reminded of Kaufman’s characterization of St. Thomas Aquinas. “He knows it all and proves it all.” Every proposition is equally proven with equal certainty, from the most trivial statement to the most profound. RC is exactly like that. The team knows it all and proves it all and makes sure that they have the last word. It’s not science or even rhetoric, its theology.

    • do you ever post over there Mosh?

      • Steven Mosher

        on rare occasions. Long ago it was the only place I posted.
        but after reading about this evil guy named McIntyre I decided to check out the dark side. Funny, my experience of him did not match the rhetoric about him. So, I stayed at CA.

        A failure to understand the enemy was the first sign to me that something was amiss in the RC mentality. Seriously amiss.
        when I finally met steve in 2007 there was even more evidence that they lived in a bubble

  15. For those who dread the red CBC, even after ultralibertarian Max Allen’s two part Ideas defense of the coal industry.

    You fearful saints, fresh courage take. The progaganda arm of the Harper government is doing a full court press, embraced by its media allies on the far Canuckistan right:

    http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2012/03/17/rex-murphy-oil-sands-are-a-triumph-for-the-human-environment/

    • Political Junkie

      Au contraire. The Harper government continues to parrot the alarmist party line. Here in the House is “conservative” M.P. Mike Chong recently:

      “The manufactured controversy known as ‘Climategate’ has now been debunked by five reviews, including Britain’s Royal Society and the U.S. National Academy of Sciences,” Chong said on Dec. 3, 2011.

      “All concluded that scientists had not, as critics alleged, distorted scientific evidence about global warming.”

      “A major assessment earlier this year from the U.S. National Academy of Sciences confirmed the relationship between climate change and human activities. It also warned of growing risks from rising sea levels, drought and disease that can only be addressed by quick action to reduce emissions.”

      “That is why I encourage our government to accelerate its efforts through the clean energy dialogue with the United States and at the climate change talks in Cancun, Mexico.”

      “As with the acid rain treaty of the 1980s, Canada can lead the United States and negotiate a Canada-U.S. climate change treaty that would allow us, as North Americans, to combat climate change and increase the likelihood of an international deal before the Kyoto protocol expires in 2012.”

      “We need to act quickly and we need to act now.”

  16. “I imagine that Mann will respond with a letter to the WSJ. Although I am having a hard time figuring out how he will counter this.”

    Sort of like watching Oz busy pulling levers after the curtain has been drawn back? I think it’s ashes to ashes for these putative Kings of AGW who are all long past the time when a new wardrobe can hide the naked truth that it’s the sun, stupid and everything else is dogma.

  17. And while we’re on things in the Canuck media that make no sense taken together on first blush:

    http://www.canada.com/business/Environmental+crunch+worse+than+thought+OECD+2050+report/6313069/story.html

    And..

    http://www.edmontonjournal.com/Pollution+level+falling+agency+says/6318066/story.html

    How can both be true at the same time?

    Which do we trust, the NAFTA-spawned report that conclusive sees no pollution because it has reports from companies on how much they pollute, and those are lower than observations made when arms-length agencies audited pollution levels independently, or the fifty year tradition of reliability and trust of the OECD (www.oecd.org)?

    If only we had a black hat marketer around to interpret the techniques of persuasion and manipulation being employed.

  18. “That email address is associated with an existing WordPress.com account, please log in to use it.”

    No need to worry. No analysis needs to be done. No consensus needs to be arrived at whether this is a problem or not. Individual nation-states can determine for themselves how they want to interact with this blog’s commenting section. So we see no need for a consensus strategy on figuring out what will work best for everyone involved.

    The magic of the free market will sort things out.

    • Or we can just wait for the government to fix it for us.

    • WHT

      The magic of the free market will sort things out.

      Did we callously increase cost of cassette tapes to move to CDs?

      Did we callously increase cost of CDs to move to USB drives?

      Please don’t forget there are BILLIONS that live in the dark for lack of cheap energy NOW.

      Why callously increase cost of living for these billions?

      • Girma

        This urge to find new ways to be even more wrong than your last spectacular error, is it pathological, a physiological need like an addiction, or some religious desire for self-punishment?

        http://cowles.econ.yale.edu/P/cp/p09b/p0957.pdf

        And if you’re going to go looking for other things that use electricity you believe are getting more expensive when they’re dropping by orders of magnitude every generation, more than enough to offset slight energy price rises, please refer to Moore’s Law, the 25$ computer, the bamboo bicycle, and, well, to the ethics of exploiting the plight of the poor whom you know nothing whatever about to try to score a point in a debate.. you .. also .. know .. nothing .. about.

      • That’s an interesting paper. I didn’t realize that lighting technology followed Moore’s law so closely, in that the deflated price per lumen dropped essentially by half every 15 years consistently over the last 150 years.

      • NW

        Thanks for that. A real hoot.

        WHT

        So.. considering the paper was published in 1992 and the Great Collapse of 2008, what do you estimate the real cost per lumen today?

        We’re not very far from practical personal perpetual light, the Lumen Singularity.

      • “WHT

        So.. considering the paper was published in 1992 and the Great Collapse of 2008, what do you estimate the real cost per lumen today?”

        I did my thesis work on III-V light emitters, and certainly these along with CFL’s and PV cells have made leaps and bounds since 1992. The price certainly could have plunged much more than the 15 year historical halving time in the ensuing years.

      • Rosenfields law is reasonable metric

        From 1845 to the present, the amount of energy required to produce the same amount of gross national product has steadily decreased at the rate of about 1 percent per year. This is not quite as spectacular as Moore’s Law of integrated circuits, but it has been tested over a longer period of time. One percent per year yields a factor of 2.7 when compounded over 100 years. It took 56 BTUs (59,000 joules) of energy consumption to produce one (1992) dollar of GDP in 1845. By 1998, the same dollar required only 12.5 BTUs (13,200 joules).

        http://www.globalenergyprize.org/en/laureate/27/biography

      • maksimovich

        And here I was joking about the Lightbulb Singularity.

        I’ll have to explore a whole new branch of comedy about the Rosenfield Singularity, where it will take no energy at all to make a buck.

        Which I believe the Kardashians may have a head start on.

      • The inverse problem is the unit rosenfield.

        One “Rosenfeld” is equal to electricity savings of 3 billion kilowatt-hours per year, which corresponds to the amount needed to replace the annual output of one 500 megawatt coal-fired power plant.

      • maksimovich

        One Rosenfeld is the approximate value of the UK enforcing its building code since 1972.

        The non-mandatory regulations urging energy-efficiency measures in all new residential dwellings since that year would have reduced demand by one power plant.

        Forty years of stupid that the UK will never get back.

      • I agree.If following the oil price shocks of the 70’s efficiency was enhanced both in new build and renovation globally,there would have een an enhanced market.

        A number of large (alternative projects) were implemented in a number of countries that failed when the price reverted to lower levels.The banks got burnt and funding became untenable.

        The low tech low cost is a resonable option,for some countries.The fundamental problem is the shoemakers ie one size does not fit all.

        Better efficiency in developing countries,with deffered infrastructure expenditure.Wind power in localities with optimum wind flows etc.

        The lesson from the past is big projects are costly, and become less efficient over time.thinking small creates a larger market that is more dynamic and can respond quicker to market influences.

      • The natural conclusion is that as time passes, the Rosenfeld return of any measure to improve efficiency will increase exponentially at no economic cost.

        While the schemes often failed or were subverted, their actual impact on the economy was negligible or positive, except for the truly spectacular boondoggles.

        It would take only 20 years to save two Rosenfelds, say, starting in 2002.

        Right now, it would take only a decade to save 4 Rosenfelds.

        China is doing it with solar and other programs.

        Why isn’t America?

      • If China was made to have a floating currency,the competitve price margin would evaporate,and demand return to sustainable levels,At present the trade is askewed artificially.

        The opportunity then to reduce internal manufacturing costs would then entrain,more payroll,local and central taxes .balance of payments etc.

        The demand constraint on fossil fuel exploration would then become a positive feedback.

      • maksimovich | March 18, 2012 at 3:27 am |

        Given that there is no sign this will happen, do you have a practical solution that could?

      • Bart R March 19, 2012 at 11:58 pm,

        The problem as I see it.to mitigate emissions say at todays rate,the rest of the world is required to save 2 Rosenfields per week to nullify the Chinese growth alone in Coal generated electricity.

        Obviously this is an untenable situation as the lag in alernatives, is less then the growth.

        The obvious solution punitive tax hikes on FF is of course political extinction for whoever proposes,and is untenable if other countries gain a pricing advantage.The pricing decentitive during the oil crisis had a significant result,In the US oil consumption was around 19mb per day,dropping by around a quarter in 3 years.

        The options for enhanced efficiency,usually come with an economic cost,which maybe difficult in both ares with limited growth reducing local taxation due to industries relocating,and the ability of consumers to replace inefficent appliances or insulate etc.

        This leaves mostly only economic options that have positive feedbacks ie the environmental costs have an economical payback.Thus the macroeconomic solutions can resolve the environmental problem.

        The IMF on sunday identified the china currency problem as a constraint on global recovery,the reconstruction schemes of most governments have more spin then substance and will do little,as are a number of large scale projects,consumer driven solutions will be the better option.

      • maksimovich | March 20, 2012 at 1:46 am |

        Your solution is eerily similar to mine.

        I call what China does dumping. International trade agreements are already in place to deal with dumping.

        That it is dumping of CO2 is not exempt, where enough nations take some measure to fix a price — any price — on emission of CO2.

        The mere force of Durban, however else limited, sets the precedent that China has acknowledged by treaty an obligation; these two effects suffice to make a practical and moral suasion case — which has always had more impact on China than diplomacy or threat.

        Just get enough countries to put a price on CO2 emission, and then it will be a matter of defining how to measure dumping.

        If it is net, or partially net, or on increase or partially on increase, then China is dealt with.. if it is per capita, then one foresees America must make amends, too.

      • A massive portion of Chinese coal consumption is in moving hundreds of millions of people into high density urban housing. The long term effect will be a ‘dampening’ of emissions.
        Chinese cement production is around 2 Billion tonnes per year. Compared to US Cement production of 100 million tonnes per year or the EU 27’s production of about 250 million tonnes per year.

        China also produces 50% of the worlds steel.

        So the ‘problem’ with a CO2 fee is that it raises the price of ‘future’ CO2 reductions in that it would slow urbanization. High density urban housing is made out of concrete and steel.

      • Has anyone ever proposed a “consumer-only” CO2 tax or fee? Not that I am advocating it or can see all the ramifications it would have, but it might eliminate some problems with industrial relocations and development goals. You could have a “floor” for poor people and have it apply only to direct purchases of CO2 emitting processes and not those embedded in products.

      • billc | March 20, 2012 at 12:47 pm |

        You have my sympathies, sort of.

        You’re discussing a retail tax, it sounds like with a hefty amount of means-testing and command-and-control administrative overhead, a sort of collectivist version of a fuel tax, perhaps across many sectors instead?

        Simply put, this scheme would have the same problems as Cap & Trade, plus a few others, only with worse expected outcomes; in short, people would cheat and it wouldn’t work, or it wouldn’t work. It has too much room for leakage, too many administrative complexities, and too much vulnerability to gaming if it’s flexible enough to meet your stated goals, and just won’t work if it isn’t.

        Rent-seeking con-artists and bankers would descend on it gleefully, if it’s too complex; otherwise, it’s just a Ross McKitrick-style state revenue grab. It might be less distortionate than what’s currently done in much of the world, but it’s unlikely to do much to reduce emission, or do anything but encourage resentment.

      • harrywr2 | March 20, 2012 at 11:56 am |

        Much to consider.

        Of course, if I did, I’d be seeking to replace the wisdom of the democracy of the Market with my own judgement.. and we’ve all already seen how poor my judgement is.

        The problem of dictators, whether individual or politburo-style expert committees, is they believe they’re any different.

      • harrywr2 | March 20, 2012 at 11:56 am |
        A solution that provides as cheap or cheaper (when economies of scale are achieved) urbanization, and not just reduces CO2 emissions by 8% or more but also sequesters carbon:

        http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/breakingnews/bcs-planned-wood-building–could-be-worlds-tallest-143939526.html

        Engineered wood. Far more earthquake resistant than cement, as strong for its weight as steel (and then some), resistant to rot, mold, termites and fire to a level sufficient to meet even the toughest critics.

        Up to 12-stories high, and it even looks good.. which cement fails to do.

        By the logic of your own argument, a CO2 fee would lower the price of future CO2 reductions by speeding urbanization. High density urban housing made of engineered wood sequesters carbon.

      • It is fine to make dwellings and processes more efficient as long as it is cost effective. Personally, I don’t have any problem whatsoever building a new power plant as long as the energy it produces is cheapest possible.

      • Jim2

        We’re agreed on the words, but so many times people say “cheapest” when they mean “most subsidized” or “state controlled”, which experience and theory both teach does not work very well, and itself is not cheapest.

        I’m not only referring to process efficiency or generation efficiency or insulation efficiency when I use the word efficiency about Economics. The genius of the Market is to find the best distribution of scarce resources without price setting by any other hand than the Law of Supply and Demand. The problem is to establish so nearly ideal market conditions as possible.

        You can’t claim anything about fossil fuels approximates an ideal condition, or even is susceptible to doing so.

      • Hi Bart. Cheapest, to me, = lowest unsubsidized price without artificial taxes such as the carbon tax. Taxes distort the true free market and AFAIK a carbon tax is not the way of Adam Smith. I’m for taking away all government subsidies for all but nuclear. OK, I’m not pure, I can live with that.

        There is an interesting documentary call King Corn that tells the story of corn. The growing of corn was subsidized in the 70’s by the always well-meaning (or is it?) government as a way to ensure a bountiful, cheap food supply. The documentary claims that the pervasive use of corn syrup has caused the epidemic of diabetes – an unintended consequence. Unintended consequences are the bane of centralized control – i.e. socialism.

      • Jim2

        We’re in better agreement than you think. We agree about King Corn, though I’d go farther than you in that regard, knowing perhaps a little more from inside that industry. I’m all for taking away subsidies period. OK, I’m overzealous, but you can live with that.

        Let’s work from your definitions back to the way you use your words.

        “Taxes distort the true free market.”

        Do you define a true free market as one so deregulated as to be vulnerable to manipulation by special concerns, or one maintained as nearly possible to the ideal model of Capitalism? I’ll grant that you’re not an idiot, so must subscribe to the latter.

        Which one is the greater distortion on a fair market run closely to the ideal: ensuring that every scarce resource is well-priced, or ensuring that some scarce resources are mispriced with the intention of manipulating the Economy?

        We know from the very existence of the phrase “cheap energy” repeated in lobbying document after lobbying document, political speech after political speech, Economics lesson after Economics lesson, NGO briefing after NGO briefing, traceable back to those selfsame socialist philosophers as designed the politburo system of cheap energy for the Soviet Union, that this is a purposeful attempt to manipulate the Economy, a purposeful distortion of the Market, a tax and subsidy on fossil energy.

        Take a leaf from tonyb’s book. Look at the history of your information, before you make unsupportable claims about it.

      • Define “special concerns.”

      • Jim2 | March 18, 2012 at 2:33 pm |

        Define “special concerns.”

        In this case, if they’re concerns manipulating the Market for any other reason than to bring it closer to the ideal Fair Market, I’d call them pretty special.

        In case we’re unclear on what it takes to be the ideal a capitalist seeks, here’s one list of the ideals sought, stolen shamelessly from some random search on Google:

        (1) homogenous and unchanging products offered by all the sellers in the same industry;
        (2) numerous sellers who individually have insignificant impacts on prices;
        (3) the possession by all market participants of perfect knowledge with respect to all relevant information;
        (4) no barriers to entry or departure to and from the market (i.e., ease of investment and disinvestment through equal and costless entry and departure);
        (5) firms do not cooperate (i.e., collude);
        (6) no fear of retaliation by competitors in response to a firm’s actions;
        (7) no need for advertising; and
        (8) economic profits tend toward zero.

        Now, clearly, I’m not advocating the ideal as the world we want to live in. I’m advocating coming so close to the results such a model would yield, by the judgement of the participants in the Market under their own democratic decision process. If you will, the fairest playing field the buyers and sellers can agree to.

        Do you think that’s the way things are now? Or tending to become?

      • Bart R, would you consider ~80% tax on fuel to be a market distortion, and, if not, why not?
        Because that’s what we have in the UK.
        I spend ~£80 (~$130) every week on diesel just to commute to work. I can’t afford a new car and I can’t get a job closer to home, so I just have to grin and pay up.
        And I’m one of the better off – there’s loads of people who are worse off.

      • BTW when I talk about the tax being ~80%, I mean that tax comprises ~80% of the price, not that 80% is added on. The actual tax rate (added on) works out at around 400%.

      • Peter317

        I’m moved to pity.

        Socialism is a ferocious enemy, with many heads.

        I don’t pretend to be able to fix the problems of you Europeans. You’ll have to straighten out that mess among yourselves.

        But yes, 80% fuel tax distorts your Market; examining the elasticity of demand of diesel compared to beef, I believe the distortion works this way: you will happily absorb 80% price rise on diesel, but if beef rises by the same 80% you will abandon it for pork or poultry or potato, whether tax or producer price increase.

        Therefore, 80% fuel tax is too low, as it distorts the market for beef, if we limit ourselves only to elasticity arguments, notwithstanding externalities.

        Which is one reason why I do not advocate for taxes, regardless of the case for or against them — they require far greater understanding and discussion than prices. Prices are far more straightforward and simple.

        I can’t fix your socialist European tax system; good luck with that. I recommend start with Capitalism, and price your scarce goods properly, if you ever hope to fix that Economic snarl.

      • Therefore, 80% fuel tax is too low, as it distorts the market for beef

        You’ve lost me there

      • Peter317

        It’s a variant of the Meat and Potatoes Budget Paradox.

        If you buy only meat and potatoes, and your budget is curtailed (by loss of wages, loss of spending power of wages through some other effect, or rise of either the price of meat or potatoes), then you will tend if you are the standard ‘self-interested actor’ in the economic model to buy less meat and more potatoes. Potato would be an ‘inferior good’.

        The elasticity of demand of the two products differs in such a way that your decision process — the ratio of meat:potato preferred — is skewed or distorted by the curtailment.

        This is why tax distorts a Market, and why any economist would, if they could, see the advantage of zero tax. It comes closest to allowing the exercise of the free will of every purchaser, when there is no tax, or the tax is so low as to make no difference to the ratios of purchases.

        Another way to get the same effect is to lower the tax on meat when the tax on potatoes goes up, but that’s never done as it requires superhuman intelligence to outguess the Market.

        Replace potato with diesel, ‘meat’ with ‘beef’, and expand your budget to include everything you buy, and you see what happens when you have 400% tax on diesel. You keep buying diesel, on average. You instead curtail your purchases of the most susceptible goods in your Market, crashing demand and destroying production in that category. It’s a very bad thing.

        Solution? Raise the tax on diesel 500% and cut the tax on beef and other susceptible goods.. except beef is likely tax-free already. What are you going to do, pay people to eat beef? Run a deficit and constrain the value of money, causing hyperinflation or destroying the credit rating of the entire continent? As you see, a hoary and confusing mess.

        I’m not the guy to solve that.

        I’m the guy telling you the first step to solving it for yourselves — as no one ought stick his nose into a tax decision that he will not be sticking his neck into the yoke of — is to fix your price problems, which can only happen when you put a market-determined price on your carbon cycle service.

        After that, your tax problems will be your issue.

      • Bart R, so you’re not actually suggesting that 80% fuel tax is too low then?

      • Peter317 | March 20, 2012 at 8:38 am |

        Too low?

        I’m suggesting it’s too much of a mess for anyone to even know, as things stand now.

        It’d be technically not even wrong to say too high or too low. It just can’t be decided.

        So asking me to decide illustrates nothing, and sticks my nose into someone else’s business for no good reason.

      • What is meant by cheapest is the technology lowest marginal of production and is therefore most price competitive. It is a simple concept that you distort deliberately.

        You are not talking about supply and demand – you are ad nauseum advocating higher taxes without actually mentioning the T word. What – you expect to bamboozle with a hyper convoluted argument involving the langauge of markets that is inverted to mean exactly the opposite? Slavery is freedom – Bart.

        Best regards
        Captain Kangaroo

      • CK

        Indeed, you are speaking out of both sides of your mouth.

        You mean cheapest after subsidy and government interference. I mean cheapest as produced by maximum Economic efficiency.

        Until you can tell the difference between these two, you will never be able to rise above Doublespeak.

      • Barty old boy,

        I have got no idea about US subsidies and will leave that to internal politics. It is certainly not global. What I am talking about is letting the market determine which energy technologies are deployed in any particular case without any consideration of inposing taxes in respest of so caled externalities. I say so-called because any theoretical external cost is unknown and, at any rate, efficient pricing is not the objective in the sense of Pigou. Instead we have taxes aimed at technological substitution which is entirely a different concept.

        Again it seems an entirely Quixotic quest you are on – and which you support with Quixotic and romantic hand waving. Taxes are off the aganda for any but the most unworldly. The world cools – and we have prevailed on this. There is a broader cultural battle now to be won against neo-socialists.

        Best regards
        Captain Kangaroo

      • CK

        Right, right.

        Provided you are in a capitalist market.

        You’re only in a capitalist market if you price all your scarce resources.

        (Which, as tumbleweeds are not scarce, NW, doesn’t apply to your objection; if they were so plentiful as to be a real economic harm, they’d be Bads.)

        Hot or cold, warmer or cooler, whether someone tomorrow invents a magick wand of 280 ppmv CO2 or whether the CO2 goes up spontaneously to 5000 ppmv with no ill effect, scarce resources still ought be priced where administratively practical, simply because capitalism is that much better than, well, having you run the zoo.

      • Again – we have decided that life without carbon taxes is preferrable simply because we get more bang for the buck out of the so-called resource of the atmosphere. You really need to get this straight – we don’t care if the concentration is 280 or 1000 ppmv. This is a resource to be used wisely for the benefit of humanity – and we have used so little of it it is indistinguisable from natural variation.

        Obviously you disagree – but I don’t give a rat’s phallus (copyright Joshua) just how much you moan about your violated sky property rights – or flood the thread with longwinded comments all saying the same thing.

      • Captain Kangaroo | March 18, 2012 at 11:59 pm |

        We call the one who deems our property rights worthless and steals from us a thief, Chief.

        You may practice all the chievery you wish on goods I have no interest in, but where you steal from me, I have an interest; howsoever much you belittle the value of what is mine, no court would ever consider the price set by the one violating the property right, now would it?

        This is a resource to be used wisely as deemed by humanity, not by one single voice, yours.

        Nor by the voices of some comingled minority, who agree with you.

      • Markus Fitzhenry

        It is my world, it is my atmosphere. No group who think they have the right because of a fabricated consensus will administer a sharia law unto me.

        Thiefs are those who steel another mans energy. Are you a thief Barty. Who do you think you are that allows you think only you can administer the earths resources wisely, for the rest of us.

        Sounds like you are a communist totalitarian to me and need to be dispatched before you become a terrorist.

      • Markus Fitzhenry | March 19, 2012 at 2:02 am |

        I’m wounded by your name calling.

        Well, not really,it’s nothing compared to playground taunts. Though the urging others to dispatch me is grievous and, frankly, unbalanced. You should have that looked at before it becomes serious.

        You apparently don’t understand what communist, totalitarian, sharia, or wisely mean, though apparently you understand what “steel” [sic] means, I’ll grant.

        I do not advocate that anyone above you determine the price of your atmosphere or the services it provides others; indeed, your democratic voice, with all its wisdom and erudition (heavens help us) as part of the free Market would by the mechanism of Supply and Demand determine the price.

        Or are you anti-Capitalist? Anti-democracy? Think you’re better than anyone who disagrees with your opinion, and therefore have the right to have them dispatched?

        I never understood bullies like you, growing up, even while I was pinning them down and asking them what made them think that just because they had size and numbers on their side they could do whatever they wanted.

        Now, I just see it’s fear of being revealed for what they are. Go ‘way. Threaten someone else with dispatchin’.

      • Markus Fitzhenry

        Now that I have your attention I can educate you about mateship. You can call me names like bully but it doesn’t wash.

        You do not be disrespectful and try and bully an Australian. Simples.

        Now, as for holding me down you’ll be the first bloke who has ever done that. But alas, Chief was right, you are just full of smart*** shortwinded snarks.

      • Markus Fitzhenry | March 19, 2012 at 2:50 am |

        I have little patience for the threats and bravado of a bookkeeper’s assistant out of his depth while he tosses around Unabomberisms and self-congratulatory nonsense. I do not call you a name, but merely point out the category you belong to. I do not disrespect you, as I do not know you, nor do I care to.

        You lack my attention, as it is now on Beth Cooper, whose discourse promises at least to be a little interesting.

        But to correct your misapprehension, what I am full of is not snark. Ask anyone.

        Though I do take back one thing I said earlier. I recommend you do not threaten anyone else with dispatchin’. Just grow up.

      • Markus,

        When he is not full of long winded and quite incomprehensible rants about how he owns the sky and we should pay him for it. Very funny really – but I think I know who is the bully. He tries to run roughshod everyone and turns angry and contemptuous if any respond in kind. There are truly disturbing fantasies of syringes being held to his throat as a methaphor for sceptics – whom be bravely then kills wholesale. He has fantasies of being Clint Eastwood and cleaning up the streets of climate sceptics. He is one of many – clearly the struggle has entered a new and dangerous phase.

        Best regards
        Robert I Ellison

      • Upset that someone has read your compulsively obnoxious cr@p?

      • ps – I just know that Beth will be over the moon to having his full attention – lol

      • CK

        You can wait behind her, until she’s done. It’s not your turn yet. This is Beth’s time.

      • As I say – I am sure she will be pleased at having her time in the Sun. It does shine out of your arse doesn’t it?

      • Markus Fitzhenry

        You are doing well Barty. After Beth, and I don’t think you’ll get over the top of her, then Chief will get stuck into you.

        Then you’ll have to deal with me. I’ll sit back and watch the fun until it’s my turn.

      • moi steal? I am simply using the commons as I have every right to do – I have a right to the water i drink, the air I breath and the fish of the sea if I decide to have fish and not pizza for dinner. Pizza is easier to catch. If you wish to sell your share – I offer the going market rate. Not one brass razoo. You are rather an opinionated pious and pompous gasbag.

      • CK

        When it starts showing signs of scarcity, it stops being Commons and becomes Tragedy.

        This is not opinion, but reason. I know, it’s hard for you to tell the two apart, given your firm conviction that your own opinion ought be good enough reason for the rest of us.

      • Bart – I know you find it difficult to deal with but we just don’t believe you. There is no scarcity in the sky that can be mitigated by a magical incantation. But we are willing to leave it to the ballot box – true democrats that we are.

        Best regards
        Captain Kangaroo

        ps you left some cryptic message above about a conspiracy between you and me for some purpose or other. Have you totally lost the plot?

      • Doh. I posted something about our ongoing secret collusion here?

        Do you think we can get it moded before they figure us out?

        Maybe if you pull some strings with the CP9 bosses, we can cover it up like we did with Area 51.

      • Um, that’s a very slo-mo Moore’s Law. About 1/10 the speed of price change. Not relevant, of course.

      • Threading’s broken again. Reply to WebHubTelescope | March 18, 2012 at 1:33 am, above. (Price per lumen halves every 15 yrs.)

      • Bart R

        That is an excellent article Bart. Thank you.

        But I don’t like your name-calling.

      • Girma

        There’s a line in the movie Unforgiven, where Clint Eastwood straightfaces, “he should have armed himself if he’s going to decorate his saloon with my friend.”

        Don’t exploit the poor to try to score points in a debate. It’s uncalled for, and neither benefits them nor impresses me.

      • Here is the agenda – http://citizensclimatelobby.org/node/444 – It is a fundamental tax and compensate scheme. A big threat to economic growth – something which Barty old boy is not in favour of wanting instead an ‘exponential reduction in demand’. Win/win there Barty – except for the poor whom your not interested in anyway so where’s the downside.

        I note the desperation and hardening rhetoric. Barty Easwood cleaning up the streets and defending his ‘friends’.

        Best regards
        Captain Kangaroo

      • CK

        You keep using the word tax like you don’t really know what it means.

        Is this true?

        Can you really not tell the difference between pricing an apple, and taxing an apple?

        The apple grower will certainly become poorer, should you not allow him to price his goods, but only tax them.

      • ‘Rep. Pete Stark (D-­‐CA) has introduced the Save Our Climate Act (H.R. 3242), a bill that taxes carbon-­‐based fuels, returns most of the revenue to consumers, and uses a portion of the revenue for deficit reduction.’

        ‘Carbon Fee and Dividend legislation puts a fee on the amount of carbon dioxide in fossil fuels. This fee is assessed at the source of the fuel: at the mine, well, or port of entry. The fee starts out low and increases annually in a predictable manner until green energy is competitive with fossil fuel. The fee is collected and 100 percent reimbursed to all citizens, shielding them from the financial impact of the transition to a clean energy economy.’

        This is from the citizen climate lobby – your erstwhile buddies.

        You think I should call it a fee rather than a tax? You think that makes a difference? You reckon this has any chance? Do you think I have any regard for this nonsense at all?

      • CK

        Why do you pay for apples? Why do they have any price on them at all? They grow on trees, naturally, after all. What’s costly about that?

        The apples have a price on them in generally the same way and for pretty much the same reason as the carbon cycle’s service of removing CO2 from the air. It’s of value, and it has limitations.

        Only a pronoiac philosophy believes unlimited use of a scarce resource leads anywhere good.

        The two broad categories of solution are A) what the CCL, Hale, Adam Smith, the R20, and many others whom you disparage for holding to Capitalism recommend: transition to a market price on the service of the carbon cycle; or, B) what you, Cap & Tradeists, socialism and Karl Marx apparently believe in: a complex system of committees determining command and control measures.

        I think we likely must resort to some forms of (B) in some limited ways some of the time. There are fugitive emissions that cannot be practically captured by any administrative scheme for pricing the Carbon Cycle. The CCL plan has flaws, as does Australia’s (how did you let that happen, CK?) and British Columbia’s. However, the (B) bandaids ought not be the first resort, when there’s an (A) grade solution in carbon pricing.

        How do you like them (A)pples?

      • Red Bart, and you never worked in an orchard?

      • Tom

        I grew up in an orchard. Somehow, the price of apples never really seems to cover the cost of the work that goes into them.

        If you think you know something about how to make money on apples that doesn’t involve selling off land, I can think of more than one orchardist you should speak to.

        Will you be nicknaming me Red Delicious now?

      • Like water and taxes too.

      • Bart old chap – we both come full circle to the degree of so called resource use that you claim is unpriced and stay with the central value of maximised cononomic development. The former I would opine has a very low value if indeed it is not negative – an absolute benefit such that you should be the power companies for rather than getting a free ride. The latter I value as the primary objective by a long way of society in this century. It is entirely a value judgement I admit.

        The first depends on miniscule carbon fluxes in relation to natural sources. Most of the recent warming was a result of changes in the reflected short wave power flux at TOA . Some of it seems associated with cloud and sea surface temperature, some with storms spiralling off the polar vortices, and some with global hydrological change and reflectance changes over land. Regardless the changes in SW are relected in ocean temperature which in turn determines outgassing of carbon dioxide. Recent warming is dominated by natural variability – and natural variability looks likely to create cooling. But I have no special knowledge past the downturn in the solar cycle this decade – we are currently at the peak – or past the current cool decadal phase. Natural variability drives ocean temps. and ocean temp. drive atmospheric CO2.

        Here is figure 7 from Wong et al 2006 relating net ERBS and ocean heat content – natural changes in Earth’s energy flux dominated in short wave reflectance.

        Past the next decade or three – climate shifts abruptly and sometimes rapidly as a rfesult of multiple interacting feedbacks. Here is an 11,000 ENSO proxy year I put in my back pocket to show this extreme climatic variability – http://s1114.photobucket.com/albums/k538/Chief_Hydrologist/#!cpZZ2QQtppZZ24.

        The models are of absolutely no use in this regard at all. As I keep patiently explaining – the essential maths dictates the outcome and not some wish fulfilling fantasy about boundary problems. The models are chaotic in essence – and it is the plausible choices of boundary conditions that is the prime source of numerical instability. Cannot possibly be any other way.

        So we have a so-called resource usage of negligible value and ‘fee and dividend’ proposals indistinuishable from punitive taxes in the context of much of the world in desperate plight. Hence the value judgement to avoid punitive taxes and consequent impacts on global economic productivity.

        On the other hand you are offered pragmatic alternatives that promise progress not only on curtailing emissions and meeting humanitarian objectives – that ‘centers on efforts to accelerate energy innovation, build resilience to extreme weather, and pursue no regrets pollution reduction measures’.

        If you wish – we could get onto discussing practical issues but instead you insist that we are at an impasse dictated by deliberate misrepresentation of science. If only we would agree to tax and be damned – we would be on the side of the angels.

        Australia has so much uranium and so much thorium – that really I would throw billions at nuclear fuels cycles, materials technology and storage facilities. Let me know when you on from the chimera of tax and be damned.

        Best regards
        Captain Kangaroo

      • Captain Kangaroo | March 18, 2012 at 9:00 pm |

        Sorry, CK.

        You’ve left out a few too many verbs for me to fully scan your intent.

        Maybe if you get some rest, and come back another day?

      • Or indeed illfounded and shortwinded snarks without any substance at all.

        Here is the Wong et al 2006 figure – http://s1114.photobucket.com/albums/k538/Chief_Hydrologist/?action=view&current=Wong2006figure7.gif

      • Bart,

        It sounds like you are claiming that the post-tax equilibrium rise in the price of apples will exactly match the increase in marginal supply price at the original non-tax total quantity of apples: That is, that the tax will be fully borne by consumers of apples.

        Is this your claim or am I misunderstanding you? If so this is a very special case: Either (1) the demand for applies must be perfectly inelastic (wholly insensitive to the price of apples, or (2) the apple-growing industry must be a constant-cost industry (one in which the scale of the industry has no effect on long run minimum average cost). Only in case (1) would post-tax equilibrium total accounting profits of the apple industry be unaffected by the tax. In case (2) those profits must shrink because some apple growers must exit to restore the equilibrium. Case (1) is impossible for any product with close substitutes, and is impossible for the share-weighted sum of elasticities of all products in an economy.

        I think you are oversimplifying this.

      • NW

        Not so much.

        I’m saying neither I, nor any one voice however expert, is a fit substitute for the democracy of the Market.

        I may be making simplified cases to assist those without sufficient background in Economics to get a hold on the basic elements of the argument, but the argument itself is neither simplistic nor inelegant, nor did it originate with me.

        I’m actually quite startled at the spontaneous convergence of evolution of multiple independent lines of inquiry in Economics on this problem. It seems many have come toward similar conclusions for different reasons: administrative complexity, doctrines of fairness, libertarian ideals, classicism, refinement of alternative methods.. It’s quite the list of causes to the same effect.

        If you need to get into the details of the advanced rationales and reasoning, I’m likely not your guy.. There’s literature in the great beyond I have yet to dent, which covers it better than my little — pedestrian and overintellectualized” (thanks again for the review, CK — presentation (http://prezi.com/jpced0jg1chv/carbon-pricing/) and the links therein, but if you wish to narrow your question to a single point in the presentation and suggest an improvement, I’m all for taking advantage of your very clear and helpful insights.

      • NW | March 18, 2012 at 4:42 am |

        To answer you twice, since my first reply was so disagreeable:

        Few economists claim tax is borne only by consumers, except in special cases. The seller will bear some of the cost of a tax to maximize profit. Total sales will generally be constrained.

        I’m not sure how you came to the conclusion that I was claiming otherwise.

        Could you point out how what I said led you to this view?

        Now, the special case of a ‘revenue neutral tax’ (which I’m not exactly talking about), returns the revenues entirely to the consumer. This is something never considered in elementary economics courses; it’s hardly surprising so many who haven’t studied have problems with the concept.

        Suppose your case (1), which some claim is nearly true about fossil fuels. Then every consumer’s behavior will remain the same, and a revenue neutral tax is a wash. It would be pointless to employ, and the administrative overhead and churn would recommend against the practice, all other things remaining equal.

        As you note, case (1) is impossible for fossil fuels, and so a revenue neutral carbon tax ought significantly alter behaviors _without_ reducing the vigor of the economy.

        How can we be sure the economy will be unharmed? Because, if there is harm to the economy, then consumers will preferably return to former choices, and we have case (1).

      • I think that Bart was alluding to a certain lack of understanding on your part rather than calling you names.

      • Exploiting the poor is done even more cynically by warmers. How many times have you read that the poorest will bear the brunt of climate change?

        Yet Bangladesh gaining land, Sahara greening, Amazon growing, floods instead of droughts. Well it’s not in our models so it can’t be correct can it? Even those false results of (deviously pre-selected) model runs are translated by the press releases without the qualifiers “perhaps”, “in some places only”, and “eventually”.

        Girmas point though is that increasing the cost of fuel affects the poor adversely now*. Disturbingly I often wonder if Malthusians think that’s a welcome side effect. In any event proponents of both left and right dogmata; climate catastrophe and the invisible hand, care nothing for the poor but find them convenient tools to affirm their own self-righteousnessness.

        *though I submit that “free market” oil speculation hurts them more than climate policy.

      • JamesG | March 18, 2012 at 6:29 am |

        Would that on this alone people could figure out that I’m no warmer, or at least little interested in that perplexing and snarled piece of the larger and simpler puzzle.

        I have zero interest in exploitation of the poor without voice. The poor with voice, I have no need to exploit, as they speak for themselves. Which see http://prezi.com/es1vsjfeena3/the-durban-platform-on-climate-change/ – 194 signatories and the presentations within that conference of the (more or less) legitimate representatives of practically every nation on Earth, including the poorest of the poor. Guess what they say for themselves?

        It sure ain’t, in the main, what goes in in the Tea Party.

        You make claims about models I do not know, and trends that do no more benefit the poor than the status quo. Bangladesh gaining what sort of land, and at what cost? The Sahara greening.. has it resulted in one more date, or one more camel? This Amazon Idsos-defined ‘growth’ due the hormonal effect of CO2 to make limbs of trees longer, thinner and weaker? Have you spent even a fraction of a second in the Amazon? In the Sahal? Speaking to anyone from Bangladesh, ever?

        You dismiss out of hand the cost of adjusting an entire civilization due massive shifts in its environment as if only good came out of unsought, unpredictable, unstable and unreliable accelerated changes. Why? Because you have decided before you began that it must be good. This reasoning from the conclusion flies in the face of even the most elementary logic, and of the principle conclusions of Economics.

        Growth comes from predictability and stability. Recovery comes from catastrophic rates of change, even if no weather catastrophes were part of them.

        My point is that Girma, and yourself, do not account for the full economic cost of “cheap energy” schemes. These schemes collapsed the Soviet Union, at one time one of the mightiest economies on the planet. The same simplicity as Malthusians employ in their shallow and mistaken analyses, you too fall victim to.

        It is an Economic impossibility to improve the lot of the poorest by subsidizing and underpricing energy. The mathematics of it fails on externalities, churn, lost opportunities, distortions and dislocations.

        However well-meaning (which I am seriously cynical of; how many of the poor drive hummers and fly in jets, or benefit from cheap fuel for tanks and armoured personnel carriers?) the intention, it is simply wrong.

      • Bart, your thinking is so muddled and tangled it is hard to know where to start. It is like the contents of a 10 year old’s knitting basket. For example:

        “The poor with voice, I have no need to exploit, as they speak for themselves. Which see http://prezi.com/es1vsjfeena3/the-durban-platform-on-climate-change/ – 194 signatories and the presentations within that conference of the (more or less) legitimate representatives of practically every nation on Earth, including the poorest of the poor. Guess what they say for themselves?”

        If you really think that the junketeers and elites of Third World countries are the voice of the poorest of the poor, you are bordering on delusional. These people have their eye on the main chance – in this case, the prospect of a gravy train of free money and junkets and prestige for themselves and their cronies, courtesy of the West, with a few bucks here and there trickling down to the folks at home. The pitiable state of the countries they represent is in no small part due to their own corruption and incompetence.

        Then you say:

        “Growth comes from predictability and stability.”

        Err, no. Grinding poverty can come from utterly predictable and stable conditions. Very dynamic growth, such as we see in China, can come from unpredictability and change. Ever heard of Schumpeter?

        Finally, you have reiterated over and over in your posts, as if we are all deaf and blind or something and didn’t get it the first six or seven times, that underpricing energy does the poor no favours. No sensible economist disagrees, and as far as I can tell, no-one in this thread has disagreed with that proposition. Where the disagreement arises is on how energy should be priced. For reasons that are obscure, and anyway irrelevant, you have decided that the traditional cost plus profit margin approach which maximises economic efficiency underprices energy and is therefore an attack on the poor. Te way to help the poor is to make it more expensive.

        I’m afraid that this is the point where your grasp of economics morphs into some kind of weird ideological anabranch. Please provide examples of where and how making energy more expensive than it needs to be has helped the poor to improve their lives. Just one would be good, but a few would be much more convincing.

        I’m not holding my breath.

      • + 15 out of 10, 10 being the highest and best.

      • johanna | March 19, 2012 at 6:57 pm |

        Bart, your thinking is so muddled and tangled it is hard to know where to start. It is like the contents of a 10 year old’s knitting basket.

        Believe me, johanna, I understand and empathize with your bemuddlement.

        You come to this solution, as I did, with 10-year-old knitting of brow, burdened with preconceptions and mess, assuming what you think I’m saying is what I mean because you’re so entangled with old and unworkable ideas.

        With respect, just drop your old ideas. Come at this clean and fresh, and you’ll see more clearly.

        For example:

        “The poor with voice, I have no need to exploit, as they speak for themselves. Which see http://prezi.com/es1vsjfeena3/the-durban-platform-on-climate-change/ – 194 signatories and the presentations within that conference of the (more or less) legitimate representatives of practically every nation on Earth, including the poorest of the poor. Guess what they say for themselves?”

        If you really think that the junketeers and elites of Third World countries are the voice of the poorest of the poor, you are bordering on delusional.

        Did I say poorest of the poor? No. I said the poor with voice. I’m not a magician. I can’t wave a wand and bring democracy to the Sudan or Syria, Somalia or the shameful North American poverty zones either.

        Indeed, while the elites of poor nations are well known to tend to have little or no interest in the causes of the poor, if you claim that’s all that happened at Durban, then you didn’t pay attention.

        You meet a lot of the poorest of the poor in daily life, johanna? Are you elected to speak for them? Qualified? Delegated? Did this mission to talk about them and their interests come to you by divine right? With all due respect, who’s delusional?

        These people have their eye on the main chance – in this case, the prospect of a gravy train of free money and junkets and prestige for themselves and their cronies, courtesy of the West, with a few bucks here and there trickling down to the folks at home. The pitiable state of the countries they represent is in no small part due to their own corruption and incompetence.

        I don’t in any particular dispute that what you say may be possible, however I’ve learned through long and bitter direct in person experience in these issues to be skeptical of everyone who tosses around unspecified generalities.

        Where true, it does no good to be vague. Where false, it paints those free from fault with the same brush, a loathesome disenfranchisement.

        Proof? Evidence? Citation? Data? Names? Which of the voices are these fraudsters, and which the legitimate ones? How do you tell the Kony Youtube video from factual and relevant cases? You haven’t demonstrated especial familiarity with development issues, the terminology, the organizations, or the germaine concerns. Do you know them? If not, then why not? If so, then why are you here exploiting them, instead of doing something about it?

        Then you say:

        “Growth comes from predictability and stability.”

        Err, no. Grinding poverty can come from utterly predictable and stable conditions. Very dynamic growth, such as we see in China, can come from unpredictability and change. Ever heard of Schumpeter?

        Schumpeter.. Schumpeter.. Schumpeter? The name sounds vaguely familiar. Tell me all about the predictability and stability of Haiti, johanna. Talk to me about how prosperous Katrina (admittedly, a long-predicted phenomenon, but treated administratively as if the prediction did not exist) made its victims. Sure, grinding poverty can come from tyranny, a predictable and durable condition, but that’s hardly in the realm of climate, then, is it?
        Explain what you mean, please. However extraordinary claims require extraordinary proofs.. So be extraordinary.

        Finally, you have reiterated over and over in your posts, as if we are all deaf and blind or something and didn’t get it the first six or seven times, that underpricing energy does the poor no favours. No sensible economist disagrees, and as far as I can tell, no-one in this thread has disagreed with that proposition.

        No-one in this thread is a proponent of cheap energy through subsidy of fossil fuels, preferential policies that use taxes to build infrastructure that benefits only the fossil industry and its direct dependents, tax expenditures to fossil fuel companies and vehicles in the highest fuel consumption and CO2 emitting range?

        Not Jim2? Not what he said.

        Not Robert Ellison? Not what he said. Over and over and over again, as if we are all deaf and blind or something.

        As you don’t believe you need six or seven counter examples, I’ll gladly stop there.

        Where the disagreement arises is on how energy should be priced. For reasons that are obscure, and anyway irrelevant, you have decided that the traditional cost plus profit margin approach which maximises economic efficiency underprices energy and is therefore an attack on the poor. Te way to help the poor is to make it more expensive.

        Uh no.

        Clearly, I’m in no way talking about all energy. If you make a straw man by blurring the line between “carbon based energy” and “all energy”, then you will never understand the argument.

        Not all energy comes from burning carbon. Why do you pretend it is, or must be? Don’t you want to understand?

        Excluding all non-carbon energy, when we consider the special case of the segment of the market that emits CO2, we must recognize that emission as part of the production of the energy.
        We must recognize, further, not because the science legitimately proves the human hand in the rise of CO2, but because the correlation of the human activity and the CO2 rise compels us to accept the probability and Risk of this activity are real. This is the same as the rationale for insurance, safety measures, helmets for children on bicycles, seatbelts and airbags in cars, and drunk driving bans.
        Who absorbs the cost of the CO2 Risk?
        All of us, equally, per capita, as none of us is ever likely to agree that we have no dog in this fight.
        If you really feel no sense of Risk from this activity, that’s great. Foreswear your share of the revenues. Let it be split among your neighbors. Do you see me trying to dissuade you from abandoning your own wealth?
        I’m just arguing that the Risk ought be priced, the service that reduces the Risk is the Carbon Cycle, the natural biology that most permanently sequesters CO2 out of the air, and the compensation for that Risk be paid to its owners — everyone in the nation, per capita — by whatever means best suits each nation.
        It’s no different from apples or bandwidth. It’s a scarce resource. What does Capitalism do to ensure the most efficient distribution of a scarce resource? It puts it into the Market and the buyer pays the owner.

        I’m afraid that this is the point where your grasp of economics morphs into some kind of weird ideological anabranch. Please provide examples of where and how making energy more expensive than it needs to be has helped the poor to improve their lives. Just one would be good, but a few would be much more convincing.

        If you are persuaded to abandon the “all energy” straw man, and the unfounded assumption that energy will become more expensive in a market that more efficiently exerts the Law of Supply and Demand on energy pricing than the current subsidy and tax expenditure system, then we can proceed.

        I’ll start with some examples of the harms of the current system:
        1. Distortion. By interfering in the decisions of every individual buyer and seller in the Market through non-Market fiat and command and control measures preferential to fossil fuels (and the shameful biofuel scam), the whole Market loses value. That value just disappears. Money vanishes. I’m sure you know how this works, whatever anabranch of Economics you prescribe to.
        2. Churn. Subsidies to concerns, where they aren’t tax expenditures, take tax money out of the economy, hold it in limbo, then pay it directly to those distortionate concerns. That period in limbo makes the power of that money to drive the economy vanish for that time. No?
        3. Innovation. A Market grows as it leans. Why invest in innovation for a future you know your government is doing everything possible to avoid for the benefit of a few free riders?
        4. Free Riders. If you need an explanation, I refer you to Schumpeter On Democracy, An Economic Approach, Chpt 3.3: Political Failure?
        I’ll stop before I get to 5, as 6 might offend; and let’s not forget, Seven ate Nine.

        So, examples of ‘more expensive energy’ making the lives of the poor better, aside from the logical extension of the cure of avoiding 1-4?

        Price CO2 emission. Return the revenue to the entire populace per capita, defining the ‘entire populace’ as the CCL does, wage-earners through their paychecks, for our example. (It’s not the only possible definition, let each nation choose how it does it.)
        We know from the British Columbia example and close studies that about 70% of the general population earns significantly more dividend than it spends on fees for CO2. This ratio appears to hold true across populations and nations; perhaps there’s a law of human activity here. Perhaps it’s coincidence.
        The overlap of ‘the poor’ with the 70% is virtually complete, with a few notable exceptions. Let each nation deal with those exceptions as it will.

        Here, the poor have more money. Far more money in most cases. They have Risk, but the Risk is being curtailed if raising the price of their Risk works as Capitalism generally does under Supply and Demand, but they also have money to spend to protect themselves from that Risk.
        And if you’re in that 70% and _not_ poor, well you’re also ahead of the game.

        If you’re in the 10% who neither gain nor lose in net as CO2 pricing drives your CO2 energy cost up about as much as your income rises, then your ship rises on the rising tide of innovation and economic efficiency.

        If the 30% not advantaged begin to shift to reduce waste (with the 70% of CO2 saints), then suddenly we see everyone benefitting. As the revenues fall, so too do the cost of all those fossil-based non-emitting products: fertilizer, pharmaceuticals, industrial chemicals, plastics, raw inputs to a wide variety of synthetic goods, and the lost revenue from the Risk is more than made up for, again while Risk either reduces or revenues from the Risk allow each individual to find the best measure to adapt.

        Do you follow now?

        What questions do you have?

        Thanks for your attention.

      • Well, Bart, the best I can say is that you didn’t show up at this blog in boots and with a whip in hand for your big, “Speckled Hen” moment. I mean, Louise can get away with that sort of thing–but not you, Bart. So don’t get any ideas. O. K.?

      • Tomas Milanovic

        Chief I would have a question for you.

        I have, time and again, superficially read your arguments about carbon taxes with Bart.
        I freely admit that I haven’t understand more than 10 % of what Bart is writing.
        Part is certainly due to an insufficient attention I give to such texts but that is not enough to explain such a low level of understanding. Therefore there must be something intrinsically wrong with Bart’s arguments and as you seem to have dedicated much time to it, I thought that you might explain to me where is the problem.
        The reason why I decided to adress this question is that I saw on this thread several Bart’s statements about former URSS (like energy prices, growth, purchaising power and GDPs) which were trivially wrong and in these matters my understanding and experience is many orders of magnitude above Bart’s.
        So here are the problems I have:

        1)
        Bart seems to consider that CO2 emissions (Breathing of plants and animals included or excluded?) have a natural price which is not 0. I don’t understand where this natural market comes from because I can’t see who would want to spontaneously buy or sell CO2 emissions. Who would the market players be? You? Me? Judith? Bart?

        2)
        Admittedly even if some people for reasons I don’t understand, would want to buy or sell CO2 emissions (obviously not physically selling tons of a gaz but some paper equivalent), there would be some other persons who would not want to do so.
        Now comes the catch – we emit all directly and indirectly CO2. So what happens with those who are not interested by this market and don’t want to risk a single cent in it?

        3)
        Again for some reason I don’t understand, Bart postulates that the natural (??) price of CO2 emissions is not 0 but something very high. This leads me to the paradox that developping mankind has been living for several thousands years yet nobody has ever found that the air was full of gold (CO2) that could have been sold for a high price. This leads intuitively to the conclusion that this natural price is actually 0 because even if there might have been potential sellers in the past, there are no buyers.
        What did I miss here?

        4) From my 3 problems above, it appears clearly that there is a problem of buyers because nobody sane in his head would buy a ton of CO2 and especially then not if the seller says that it is expensive. Why would he do so? He can’t eat it, he can’t make holidays in it. He can’t speculate with it. This seems to kill instantly and utterly the idea of a “natural” spontaneous market.
        So what is left is a unnatural, artificial constrained market. E.g a government votes a law in which it decides that there MUST be buyers even if they don’t want to buy and that a buyer is forbidden to make an offer 0 because there is some lower price bound that the government decreted for no particular reason but that it can (yes, we can).
        How is this kind of arbitrary constraint, which, in this particular case must be extended on EVERY single person in a state and, presumably, on the whole planet, consistent with the idea of free choice and free market?
        And why would people actually vote for such a government?
        Or what did I miss here?

        Last but not least – why didn’t I ask Bart?
        Well after having read dozens of his posts on that issue I have still not understood what he is saying on such fundamental questions. So there is a 0 probability that he could have answered these questions in an understandable way while my past experience leads me rather to trust your opinion.

      • Tomas,

        I don’t think that anyone understands Bart or accepts that he is right.

        As long as he is as vague as he has been all the time, it’s difficult to point out precisely, where his ideas fail, but I have no doubt that they fail.

      • Tomas Milanovic

        You may be right Pekka.
        But what is irritating is that even after SO many posts with SO many words one has the unpleasant impression that one didn’t understand 10%.
        This is a quite rare occurrence.

      • What colour are elephants in your world gentlemen?

        Which of your sages can tell that by touch?

        The argument I make is insensible to your great mentation, and yet there are organizations espousing the same cases independently and convergently?

        The grassroots CCL is beyond your grasp? Really? I’m sure there are ESL programs within your reach. Or is it because, being Europeans, you lack an intuitive grasp of Capitalism, or of Democracy? I can’t help you with that.

        The Province of British Columbia doesn’t understand its own law? The people of British Columbia prefer to go back to 33% higher personal income taxes because they can’t understand the difference between becoming better off and becoming worse off? The world is doing so much better than the best performing economy on the planet since starting to even the limited and hobbled fee and dividend transition four years ago that criticisms from, frankly, proven failures, counts for anything?

        I understand it is hard to disentangle yourself from a snarled and unworkable paradigm, such as the one that has led you to the domino effect of Iceland, Greece, Portugal, Spain, Italy.. is there nothing you Europeans can do right economically?

        All I see from your blind-leading-the-blind frippery is that you lack the nose to avoid stepping in the inevitable outcome of feeding the elephant.

        If you have trouble understanding my ideas, I suggest read others’ fee and dividend plans than mine; if you still continue to fail, I suggest read harder.

      • Bart,

        I’m not joking when I claim that nobody understands what you mean. Most of us understand well all practical implementations which are even remotely related to what you are talking about, but you have not been able or willing to explain your thoughts in an understandable way – i.e. understandable to any one and I tend to believe that that includes you as well as me and others.

        We have good reason to believe that you make false claims and that it’s you who doesn’t understand economics. Your inability to explain better what you have in mind does certainly not reduce those suspicions.

      • I hesitate somewhat to go here, but I feel it needs to be considered. It is possible Bart is obscuring his real motives. Obviously, he wants a carbon tax. But he seems to be unwilling to put forth a clear case for it as that would show his actual position. He seems to be trying to cloak his carbon tax in free market-like principles. Perhaps he does not want to reveal his left-leaning tendencies. I feel I’m not being clear, but perhaps it conveys the idea.

      • I doubt Bart is obscuring his motives. I believe he is suffering from warm and fuzzy logic. He has a solution in need of a problem, which sometimes requires manufacturing a problem for a really great solution.

      • Like trying to make physics relevant to life in the outdoors?

        OH! #!

      • Threading problem – oh well

        https://judithcurry.com/2012/03/17/week-in-review-31612/#comment-186818

        How to win friends and influence people Bart.

      • British Columbia doesn’t even have the best economy in Canada.

        http://www.globaltvbc.com/canada/canadas+economy+poised+for+another+year+of+solid+growth+in+2012+rbc+economics/6442604032/story.html

        Such hyperpole – ‘best economy in the world’ – matched with zero facts.

        Australia has done better in recent years – indeed with 2 decades of steady growth. The reasons have nil to do with a carbon tax.

      • Chief Hydrologist | March 20, 2012 at 5:43 pm |

        There goes my resolve to not reply to brawlers, however as Beth Cooper’s fragile state appears to have resolved itself through no doubt the salutory effects of Cervantes, I doubt she’ll feel intimidated if I point out that there is much cause to celebrate.

        Robert Ellison, or his preferred sockpuppet, has discovered time-travel. No doubt he will share it’s secret with the world to all our benefits.

        After all, a local television report relays forecasts of future expectations, and by the power of hydrological temporal engineering, somehow the past performance of the economy is replaced with the future prediction.

        Congratulations, Robert Ellison. Well done. Considering just a year ago you didn’t know the difference between Hayek and Kayak, an amazing advancement in Economic theory. Clearly, a Nobel prize will be retroactively awarded.

      • You are just going to talk to people you can either bully or just ignore you? My life is so much poorer.

      • Threading. !!! – Bart was threatening to ignore me above.

        While I am here we have several propositions. All of them ill-defined but definitely capitalism and not taxes – except for British Columbia where it is a tax and everyone is richer. Except the data doesn’t do what is claimed – ignore it. Everywhere else has got it wrong – no argument from me – but it takes an economic tutor and 50 experts he personally knows to understand. It all has to ated in a bullying, denigrating, incoherent rant. Hand waving and everything. Clear as mud?

        Robert I Ellison
        Chief Hydrologist

      • capt. dallas 0.8 +/-0.2 | March 20, 2012 at 1:25 pm |

        Caught!

        Clearly, my intention is to display how clever I am by bringing coal to Newcastle.

        Surely, I’ve reasoned that this blog is the best place to announce radical, revolutionary, superfluous solutions to the eager and gullible ears of all my fans. What a genius of picking the audience to match them to the entertainment I have become.

        So twistedly obvious, it’s a miracle you penetrated my double secret ploy of patently doing exactly what you think.

        So, care to concentrate on the nonproblemness of the Tragedy of the Commons, and see if lightning might strike twice?

        What’s the obvious explanation for that?

      • Time. Sometimes you just have to be patient. There are lots of technological solutions just waiting for the political will. Like energy storage. What was the first natural compound ever synthesized?

      • capt. dallas 0.8 +/-0.2 | March 20, 2012 at 10:42 pm |

        Was it prostitu.. Oh. Sorry. I was thinking of a different punchline.

        I’m sure it was something that started with pee. Perhaps urea going to give a clue?

        Some of the solutions are going to leap ahead of policial will, and even despite the seeming intention of that will to thwart technical solutions.

        Shame that we tolerate foot-dragging of this sort.

      • If you would pause for a moment in your endless aggressive and incoherent ramblings you will find that the article in question both cites projections for 2012 and results for 2010 and 2011 for the Canadian economy as whole and as a projection for 2012 for the provinces. So here is an analysis for 1982 to 2010 – although the article seems perplexingly to be written in 2009. Perhaps there was a projection. Irrelevant. There is nothing remarkable about the BC economy and the much remarked carbon tax will be frozen in July at a level far below effectiveness.

        Clearly if you cannot do other than read the banner then you are hardly likely to correct any erroneous idea.

        My name you have known for since my first post here. I hardly keep it a secret. My sock puppet – as you call it – is a reference as you know to Springfield’s Chief Hydraulical and Hydrological Officer Cecil (he spent 4 years in clown school – I’ll thank you not to refer to Princeton like that) Terwilliger. It is of course a reminder to myself not to be a pompous arsehole. I would recommend a similarly motivated sock puppet as you have dire need of it – how about Moby Prick?

        The economic ideas of Hayek are of course familiar to any who have any background at all in the business cycle. Of course I am talking to an economic giant – and so will refrain from retailing my meagre knowledge. What I got from Hayek was an appreciation of the great value of the enlightenment heritage. Free markets, individual freedom, the rule of law and democracy. A social theory that resonates clear as a bell.

        Other than brawling (unintended irony?) – I am not sure what you’re proposing. A price on carbon in some imaginary market? Yes I gathered that. The citizens climate lobby is much clearer on a tax (or fee if you prefer) set by government and increasing until carbon intensive energy sources are uneconomic. It assumes externalities so dire that no amount of carbon intensive energy is warranted. A simple idea – but I have already said I consider the externalities to be minor over timescales likely to be relevant to technological innovation. I am happy enough to leave my opinion to the ballot box. The costs of a carbon tax moreover are likely to be great for something that would be effective in reducing carbon emissions – most especially for developing economies. This, in my opinion, is a grossly inefficient tax. If we can describe the likely distressing outcomes as merely inefficient. The word genocidal comes to my mind.

        Other than that I can only suggest that getting the basics – such as on the BC economy – wrong might detract from your stella reputation as an economic giant and you might want to be a little more careful in future.

      • Whoops – forgot the graph from 1982 to 2010 comparing BC to Canada as a whole. Oh well look it up yourself.

      • Robert

        Was it perhaps http://thetyee.ca/Views/2009/04/23/BCEcon/?

        Do you even know anything about the sources you cite?

        That was a political article in a political newspaper during the heat of an election.

        Here, by the way, is the RBC report the GlobalTV article you cite was based on, to save you from any further time-travel contortions:

        http://www.rbc.com/economics/market/pdf/provfcst.pdf

        Note it’s not exactly what Global says. Look at page 13, and compare BC to all other provinces by GDP change. It’s the clear winner from 2007 to present. The Revenue Neutral Carbon Tax did BC no harm, and the province continued to outperform its near neighbors.

        Further, compared to the basket-case BC was a up to 2005, this turnaround is far more positive than any of the much-vaunted BRICS performance.

        Never been to British Columbia. Never took a class in Economics. Never cracked an Economics book until a year ago. Suddenly you’re pretending to knowledge you just don’t have, and understandings it seems you will always lack.

        Sorry, no sale.

      • Urea fuel cells. Imagine that? Storing hydrogen has been problematic, now piss on problematic, urea is the new solar.

        Also, urea can basically recycle CO2. Urea can be made with natural gas, biomass or coal as a feed stock. A simple, elegant solution stimulated by incentive, the prize offered by that British billionaire.

        Also, http://www.nature.com/news/forecasters-look-back-in-time-1.10215, land use appears to be non trivial. Agricultural mitigation of regional warming is much more cost effective than taxing economies into oblivion.

        We the next report, AR5, we can move on to more pressing problems.

      • Jim2 | March 20, 2012 at 12:54 pm |

        Caught!

        Clearly, my secret intention is to display how clever I am by promoting taxes, the pinnacle of intellectualism.

        Surely, I’ve reasoned that this blog is the best place to announce radical, revolutionary, taxes to the eager and gullible ears of all my fans. What a genius of picking the audience to match them to the entertainment I have become.

        So twistedly inobvious, it’s a miracle you penetrated my double secret ploy of deceptively doing exactly what you think.

        So, care to concentrate on why I’m against subsidies, if I’m so left? Why I’m pointing to the most right-of-center government in Canada, and the very right-of-center Citizen’s Climate Lobby in the USA as good examples, and abandoning entirely the tax-friendly Europeans as a lost cause?

        What’s the obvious explanation for that?

        That I think the USA is the most left place on Earth?

      • Bart, the threading is messed up, so I will expand a little with this. The tragedy of the commons was solved for many by privatization. Taxes don’t solve problems, creative individuals solve problems. Taxes force the creative to find new locations to avoid taxes, tragedies of commons are created by commoners.

        One percent of the population controls most of the wealth because that one percent were not common. They were either uncommonly creative, uncommonly brutal or uncommonly lucky. I can tolerate the creative and the lucky, but brutal is not my cup of tea. Too much centralized power tend to morph into brutal.

        Incentives, that is a motivator. Taxes, over regulation, they tend to provide the wrong type of motivation.

      • capt. dallas 0.8 +/-0.2 | March 20, 2012 at 11:07 pm |

        *ding*ding*ding*ding*ding*

        We have a winner. Finally.

        Privatization, and correcting the inversion in incentives.

        You are quite sage.

      • Bart has a simple recipe. Google a couple economic terms, do some quick (albeit incomplete) reading on Wikipedia, add a dash of non-sequitur, sprinkle with vague references to free market principles he read somewhere, mix and spew forth.

        As Mary Poppins once sang “A spoonful of arrogance helps the ignorance go down…the ignorance go doooowwwnnn….the ignorance go down.”

        I gave up on Bart when he got price elasticity of demand exactly backwards, and refused to budge. Bart is the Emily Litella of economics.

        http://www.imdb.com/video/hulu/vi3337551897/

      • GaryM | March 20, 2012 at 1:23 pm |

        ..”when he got price elasticity of dem..?”

        Wasn’t that a year ago? You do hold onto a grudge, though, don’t you?

        It’s okay to let go. Unclench GaryM. Let the stick drop out.

        Give up the projection, and try to address issues instead of people, for a change, if you can.

        You do know how to handle an idea?

        It hasn’t been so long since the last time you separated issues from personalities you no longer remember how, has it?

      • Bart R.

        I have no problem separating personalities from issues. The problem is your posts are all personality, and only occasionally about issues. You telling me to address issues and not people is like, oh I don’t know, Captain Queeg telling his first officer to focus on piloting the ship, not the damn strawberries.

        “Ahhh…but the Pigouvian tax…that’s where I had them.” (click-click, click-click)

      • GaryM | March 21, 2012 at 2:00 am |

        Fair enough.

        By all means, steer me back to the issues. *click*click*click*

      • I stareted with the reported which you falsely claimed was a forecast entirely. You either did not read it at all or deliberately misdirected. I respond with not showing you a graph with some history. Show where the graph is misrepresenting the data – not simply wave your hands about wildly and insult people. Oh I forgot – that’s all you do.

        http://thetyee.ca/Views/2009/04/23/BCEcon/?

      • Chief Hydrologist | March 21, 2012 at 2:50 am |

        You want me to comment on the graph you did not then provide with a full explanation of the nature of he errors introduced by a polemecist and political hack in an election you know nothing about between candidates you do not know the name of and over issues you couldn’t list in a place you’ve never been to, using the language of a subject you’ve self-taught by reading one single book on in your life?

        You think highly of me indeed.

        Simply, you request impossible perfection, and ignore the sufficient and correct answer contained in my earlier reply. I’m thus under no obligation to consider your demands valid.

        If I need a plumber because my drain is circling wrong way around, you’re one of the first five or so Australian experts I’d call on. If I want to discuss British Columbia’s economy, I’ll call up any of the fifty or so British Columbia economic experts I know and talk to them.

      • Am I embarrassed – I realised you said 2007 and not 2008. It seems to have changed the ranking to the 5th decile and not 4th.

        % increase in real GDP 2007 to 2011
        100.56
        100.86
        103.77
        104.04
        104.05 British Columbia
        104.76
        105.86
        106.15
        108.77
        109.28

        I’ll let you and your mates figure out the rest of the rankings. It is simple – it is real GDP in 2002 dollars. So divide the 2011 dollars by the 2007 dollars and multiply by 100 to get the % increase. The figures aren’t very good in terms of economic growth – but there has been a major recession and growth is still pretty iffy. Certainly nowhere near Brazil, China and India – but why would anyone expect a developed economy to be growing at the same pace as a developing one other than a total w@nker?

        Robert I Ellison
        Chief Hydrologist

      • Robert I Ellison | March 21, 2012 at 5:52 am |

        Do not fret of being ignored, oh threadbare soul; I am willing to pay the semicolon tax, simply for the sake of helping you with that math thing you claim I cannot do.

        So let’s have a look at your math.

        1. Am I embarrassed – I realised you said 2007 and not 2008.
        If this is the only thing you’re embarrassed about.. Indeed I said compared to the basket case it had been up to 2005, so I used all the figures on the tables starting page 13, from 2006-2011, and worked out the figures for combinations of 4 or more years in the span including the somewhat reliable 2011, but not reliant entirely on it (due forecast data is not final data). Why wouldn’t you?
        2. It seems to have changed the ranking to the 5th decile and not 4th.
        Ah. To get the answer you want, by ignoring data. Typical.
        ‘deciles’ are so convenient, when seeking to hide the decline.
        Why don’t I fill in the names of a few deciles, and provide you with some facts about those interesting ones? See below.
        3. % increase in real GDP 2007 to 2011
        You use 2011F as your endpoint. How cunning, to pick the FORECAST figures that coincidentally work slightly in your favor. RBC has yet to obtain final 2011 figures. I doubt they’ll change much, but after upbraiding you for time-travel, I’m hardly going to dip my toe needlessly into the forecast stream as my only basis for comparison.
        100.56
        100.86
        103.77
        104.04
        104.05 British Columbia
        104.76 Prince Edward Island
        105.86 Nova Scotia
        106.15 Newfoundland & Labrador
        108.77 Manitoba
        109.28 Saskatchewan

        So we have five candidates in Canada for subnational economies we want to compare against British Columbia for the title of ‘best economy in vanillaland’.
        Why don’t we do what any competent analyst at this point would, and qualify them, based on real data?
        Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland have double-digit unemployment, half again to almost double BC’s jobless rate. They clearly can’t be considered.
        Nova Scotia is a shade under 20% worse employment than BC, but it also has other disqualifiers: its population is 1/5th BC’s, its discomfort index is 25% higher, its employment growth is not statistically different from zero, and it has low prospects of any of these changing, being both resource poor and poor in skilled labor. Even the citizens of Nova Scotia — charming folk all, and it a beautiful place — wouldn’t claim to be the best economy in Canada.
        Manitoba is Winnipeg, Potash mining, a hydroelectric project, a quarter million square kilometers of flood plain that becomes uninhabitable twice a decade, and 400,000 square kilometers of desolation. Fully half its ‘income’ is from selling off non-renewables, giving an artificial impression of productivity. You would not want it for your children, the ‘average’ prosperity or no. Its position in the rankings is nominal only.
        Saskatchewan is much better off than Manitoba. It still has under a quarter of BC’s population, only a quarter BC’s share of GDP within Canada, and is much more non-renewables based than BC; anyone can make a business seem profitable selling off its equipment and property.
        In short, all of the five ‘deciles’ you put ahead of BC are pretty much ‘developing economies’ compared to the developed economy stature of BC; what sort of person believes in comparing developing economies to developed economies, Robert?
        Now, ten years ago was a different story. The socialists had their hands on BC, and they left it at the bottom of the Canadian economy before they were turfed out of office. It would be reasonable to compare the ‘developing economies’ of Canada, or anywhere in the world, to BC back then, on most bases. Which is why I did compare its recovery to the ‘miracles’ of the BRICS, which do not stand up to the measure of the smaller, sub-national BC miracle.
        Sure, there are more details to consider: hidden economic factors, demographics, the political situation, but I stand by my claims about BC’s economy, and about your inability to perform even simple economic analyses.

      • Oh please – you suggested that BC had the fastest growing economy in the world. I suggested that it wasn’t the fastest growing province in Canada even let alone the world. I didn’t ask for and don’t want economic advice from a tutor with a tax axe to grind and who makes such mind boggingly absurd pronouncements. Just for the hell of it? Make it up as you go along? Anything at all – you will just invent post hoc justifications?

        Why don’t you compare it to a real economy and liberal (in the classic sense) democratic society with good weather to boot then? How aout Australia on any bloody metric you’d care to name.

      • Robert I Ellison | March 22, 2012 at 5:30 am |

        My thesis that you are pecking away at so ineptly, “The Revenue Neutral Carbon Tax did BC no harm, and the province continued to outperform its near neighbors,” remains untouched.

        BC did outperform its near neighbors, clearly. It outperformed other provinces in Canada, clearly. While a good many things BC has done since putting a price on CO2 emissions are flat out puzzling, such as letting its voters decide its tax policy directly, it’s still not in ruins, and it’s still raising its carbon dividend by raising its carbon fee.

        Which is the same thing I’ve said about BC here at Climate Etc. for months.. which unless you’re claiming _I’ve_ invented time travel kicks the legs out from your spurious post hoc accusation. Not that anyone’s ever witnessed logic or truth to stop you from making accusations.

        So when you ask me about Australia — not a near neighbor of BC geographically, I have to ask if you remember how we got here?

        You know, comparing those successful economies _with_ carbon pricing to those failures without.

        Which means, I could care less if Australia were #1, or #2 compared to BC among real economies and liberal democratic (even in the Australian sense) society, as in case you’ve forgotten, Australia too has a carbon pricing system.. and it’s not likely to be harmed by it either, judging by BC’s example, on any metric you’d care to name.

        I know, I use a lot of words, and by the time I finish a sentence you’re liable to have forgotten how it began.. But Robert, you forget that about your own posts, too.

        I think they have treatments for that. See a competent doctor about your memory. Not just some plumber who’s read a lot of books about the subject.

      • ‘The politically watered-down British Columbia example applies to an economy the size of South Carolina or the Czech Republic, with 4.4 million people and, perhaps more than coincidentally, one of the strongest economic performances in the world of any economy since the “Revenue Neutral Carbon Tax” was implemented…’

        You are a loquacious fool who makes wild claims and backs it up solely with bullying and long winded diversions from whatever point imagine you’re getting to. What is it all about? No one knows at all.

        I object to long lists of selective quotes from two of my favourite writers and I think you have the soul of a louse. I am thinking Dostoevsky but I probably malign lice.
        There is no way more calculated to traduce the charm of Twain or guaranteed to nauseatingly concentrate the anti-democratic and antipathetic bile of Conrad. Conrad is an intersting stylist but you should leave it alone if you have feel or knowledge of literature.

        Really – you should stop claiming much understanding of economics either. How did it start – I said how it started with the quote above. I provided a gaph and in some easily accessed news stories. I did the calcs because you insisted that dividing 10 numbers by 10 other numbers was an exercise in impossible perfection. I suggested that BC is about average in terms of economic growth of provinces in Canada. But really it is all nonsense because the carbon tax doesn’t start to bite and there is some actual substitution of energy sources. Until then it is just tax churn.

        Australia will have a carbon tax in July – although it will be the shortest lived carbon tax ever. The current prime minister promised no carbon tax in the days leading up to the last election. She would of lost that election otherwise – but then had to agree to a carbon tax as the price of minority government with the greens. She won’t be forgiven.

        Queensland goes to the polls tomorrow and Labor is set to be reduced to a 1/4 of their current seats. The message coming out of the bunker is to be wary of giving overwhelming advantage to the Liberal (in the classic sense) National Party.

        The tide of politics is moving – especially as the world contiinues not to warm. Do you treat everyone as fools? Well yes you do – and it seems of one with the quotes from Joseph Conrad. Or are you just an illiterate, foolish, unemployed economics tutor?

      • Robert I Ellison | March 23, 2012 at 3:18 am |

        You sure do love long words, man.

        Not so much that you use them right, but that’s hardly news.

        Bullying? Robert, can you explain how you feel bullied? Am I threatening? Intimidating (as if)? Using a bully pulpit? (How?!) Piling on with all my many intimidating friends who show up to stir things up?

        ‘Bullying’ in Australia means “standing one’s ground” now?

        Silly.

        As for your literary criticism, everyone’s entitled to longwinded diversionary interpretations of Art, one supposes. I have no comment on those of a man who thinks orchards are plowed, if he’s as great an authority on Conrad and Twain as he is on farming. (Ever been to the birthplace of either author, or to a farm, Robert?)

        You say, “the quote above”.. after whinging half the week about threading, surely you realize how pointlessly vague and troublesomely nonspecific your .. oh, right.. your memory problems again. You should get that looked into.

        You don’t have to trouble us by reiterating your method of ‘economic analysis’ — we can all see it for itself, such as it is. Why not let everyone judge for themself, instead of trying to bully people by repetit.. oh. That’s right, with your memory issues, every time is the first time for you. It’s like a goldfish. Oh look, I see a castle!. Oh look, a diver! Oh look, a pebble! Oh look, a treasure chest! Oh look, I see a castle! …

        Seek treatment for that.

        As for the lesson in the future history of Australia, my time-traveling absentminded plumber friend, while I appreciate you are blessed to live in the most fascinating nation on the face of the Earth, you’ve already forced me to drag myself through the economics of the dullest country on the planet, and my love of the dismal science is not up to a second round of reminding you what you’re talking about.

        Privatization of the carbon cycle is an economic inevitability. The squabbles and brawls of petty politicians and crackpot armchair economists might delay the onset regionally for a time, but how are you going to keep them down on the farm after they’ve seen the dividend their neighbors across the border get?

      • Do you really have no sense of how you address everyone in the same belligerent and hectoring manner? Or why you are regarded as an incoherent troll by all and sundry? I don’t give a rat’s phallus (copyright Joshua) but perpetually bringing the level of discourse down to that of weasily snarking – without any pretence of literary sophistication or of wit or charm – is the practice of a clod with of no sense or sensibility.

        I quote your words – I don’t think you have a memory loss – I think you deliberately mislead. I think you are a liar and a fool. So many words so little meaning – about 10% was Tomas’ estimate. I wouldn’t think more than 2% was anything of any substance.

        Taxing of carbon emissions is a lost cause – why can’t you face reality? It is not a mystery – you are the carbon tax equivalent of a spaceship cult.

      • Robert I Ellison | March 23, 2012 at 4:27 am |

        Skeptical is belligerent?

        Fact-checking is hectoring?

        I think enough Denizens (or as you would call us, “trolls”) here are familiar with that sort of accusation to know it for what it is.

        So if I bring the level of discourse down to actual facts and proven methods — that’s “weasily snarking” in Australian (just trying to keep up with the idiom) — and it offends you because it isn’t pretentious or sophistic enough, while you use all your wit to try to charm with false, wrong, vain straw men, I’m not going to apologize for it.

        If Tomas can only keep up with 10%, and you with 2%, of simple ideas that the likes of the average British Columbian and the average member of the US Citizen’s Climate Lobby grasp well.. how is that skin off my nose?

        Taxing is not my cause. Private property rights is. Face reality, you’re not going to be able to get free rider access to private property forever; you’ll have to start paying your fair share, regardless of what brand of socialism you worship.

      • We have already had that dance more than once too much. There are simple facts that are lost in rank verbiage. Is that not the complaint? That you lack any clear expression of your agenda – nothing is as it seems – it is all smoke and mirrors transform the unpalatable – to attempt to turn a pig’s ear into a silk purse? No one knows what you’re talking about I recall Pekka saying. Do you think to continue to fool everyone for what foolish purpose? Do you think that echoing my words back incessantly like a child is clever?

        Sorry you were the one making wild claims about the economic performance of British Columbia. I was doing the fact checking. I can’t do more. A minor tax on fuel does not an economic powerhouse make.

        As for trolling – your behaviour full of beligerance and insults to many people speaks for itself. I am far from the first to call you on it.

        It is a simple proposition that we seem to have at long last got to. We have from the Citizens Tax Lobby what is a carbon tax funding tax cuts elsewhere – a so called fee and dividend scheme. I’ll let the denizens decide themselves what they think about that – as well as whether or not you are a serial pest.

      • Tomas Milanovic

        Bart

        In ordinary usage, quotation marks around a word followed by ‘sic’ in brackets implies literal attribution to a source.
        I’ve looked so far as I’m able through everything I’ve written since hitting upon this interpretation.. and cannot find “naturallness” in any entry.

        In ordinary usage in the part of world I live in, (sic!) refers to the word immediately preceding it which was in this case “market”.
        As for “naturalness”, I precisely put “” around it because I wanted to suggest that the idea was definitely there (e.g a natural market) but I was not sure whether the word itself was used as such.

        However as I also said, I don’t understand most of what you are writing. Now this is a perturbing thing because I am generally able to understand and synthetise quite fast many of really complex texts (f.ex in the field theory or fluid mechanics).
        And I have a correct knowledge of economy too.
        As a plus to The Chief’s readings is that I did read Marx.
        But that was only because I was forced to – there were times and places where and when it was mandatory ;)

        So perhaps you don’t really mean that there is a “natural market” and you merely write in such a way that most people think that you do.

        Anyway.
        Beside the emission certificate system in Europe which is a failure, there was also another law proposal in France.
        Once the idea of a carbon tax was shot down because people didn’t want it, the environmentalists came in through the backdoor again and submitted a law called “climate contribution”.
        Of course nobody was fooled that replacing tax by contribution and carbon by climate would change the idea.

        In practice it should have worked like that:
        Any CO2 emision (hardest impact was expected for automobilists because France having 80% of its power generated by nukes, there are few CO2 power plants) would have a price fixed by the government. So this was basically just a tax that didn’t say its name.
        Then they added the idea that the money collected from those who emit much would be given to those who emit little.
        This added constraint yields an equation which gives as solution the emission level where a person pays nothing and gets nothing.
        So basically we had here a wealth redistribution program but one where instead of the standard key which is revenue, one would use tons of CO2 with an arbitrary price. And of course with such a key there is per definition nothing which prevents the poor giving money to the rich.

        People living on the campaign then said that they didn’t intend to give money to people living in towns with just the justification that the former needed to use their cars more than the latter.
        Followed the Parliament representatives of the rural district and belonging to the majority party who (obviously) said that they didn’t intend to vote such a law.
        And the President was reported to have said in private “We don’t need yet another gas plant.”
        To understand this quote, one must know that the expression “usine à gaz” designs in French a system which has a property to take something in some initial state and after a very complex and very expensive process leaves it in a final state which is almost equal to the initial state.
        And this definitively killed the “climate contribution” too.

        Is this kind of “usine à gaz” similar to the things you are trying to promote under the concept of “natural CO2 markets”?

      • Tomas Milanovic | March 21, 2012 at 6:47 am |

        I thank you for the kindness and courtesy of a direct reply. It relieves my mind of many unwanted questions needlessly spawned by the obstacles of indirectness.

        “Beside the emission certificate system in Europe which is a failure, there was also another law proposal in France.
        Once the idea of a carbon tax was shot down because people didn’t want it, the environmentalists came in through the backdoor again and submitted a law called “climate contribution”.
        Of course nobody was fooled that replacing tax by contribution and carbon by climate would change the idea.”

        To be a bit glib, it’s France; what can we expect?

        To be more direct, let us replace looking at a few symptoms to root causes, identified by Hale (2002): there is clear inequity in the current structure of the market [sic] (we use square brackets, and avoid ‘!’, here as neutrality in mark-up of citations is thought to better allow the reader to draw their own conclusions unprejudiced by the interlocutor; a mere stylistic issue).

        Until Hale’s inequity is addressed, while the playing field remains unlevel, any bandage slapped on problems will fail due to the cheating of free riders or the resentment-inspired lack of goodwill on the part of their victims.

        The French fuel tax without a name is clearly a scam produced by inept politicians seeking to treat a symptom, not its underlying cause. It would be administered by French bureaucrats, a nightmare any Frenchman would know to avoid, and its level determined by fiat of French committees of ‘experts’, which it doesn’t take being French to know is wrong on so many levels. (Though they didn’t do so terribly with the metric system, all in all.)

        So, no. The French example, good for a chuckle though it may be, is very much not the same as Market Capitalism conducted by privatization of the CO2E interest from the Commons to the individual, per capita. The French system adds the oppressive hand of command and control, which my proposal removes; it redistributes wealth unearned, which my proposal abhors; it does not give individual participants equal power to decide the allocation of scarcity, which ‘my’ proposition does.

        While France, or any nation, would be responsible for the details of its own implementation of private ownership and free market capitalism upon the Risk abatement available through the carbon cycle, once the French understand the basics of democracy and capitalism — which once upon a time they were famous for — I have hope they can get it right.

      • Tomas Milanovic

        So, no. The French example, good for a chuckle though it may be, is very much not the same as Market Capitalism conducted by privatization of the CO2E interest from the Commons to the individual, per capita. The French system adds the oppressive hand of command and control, which my proposal removes; it redistributes wealth unearned, which my proposal abhors; it does not give individual participants equal power to decide the allocation of scarcity, which ‘my’ proposition does.

        OK, I didn’t understand a word. Or rather I understood them individually but there were too many of them and put together they didn’t convey any useful explanation to me.
        I suspect but am not sure that the sentences in your post meant that you thought that the French (as opposed to?) can’t do anything correctly anyway but as my question had nothing to do with the ability of the French doing things, I stayed in the fog.

        So I believe that I’ll definitively give up, join Pekka and The Chief and conclude that even after trying, it is not possible to determine whether you actually have some well defined proposal and if yes whether it makes sense.

      • Tomas Milanovic | March 22, 2012 at 5:26 am |

        I wish to thank you for the opportunity to discuss this matter with you, however briefly.

        I’d like to make a few, I hope, positive comments you may find entertaining or gainful, as personal observations.

        I’ll be using the words of others (a pity they are not so well known to some as Marx), to avoid the problem of interpreting me that seems so widespread.

        Mark Twain (whose remarks about the French entirely explain my quips about France)
        We Americans… bear the ark of liberties of the world.
        We have the best government that money can buy.
        The rule is perfect: in all matters of opinion our adversaries are insane.
        It’s no wonder that truth is stranger than fiction. Fiction has to make sense.
        Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.
        Loyalty to petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul.
        A person who won’t read has no advantage over one who can’t read.
        The scientist. He will spend thirty years in building up a mountain range of facts with the intent to prove a certain theory; then he is so happy in his achievement that as a rule he overlooks the main chief fact of all–that his accumulation proves an entirely different thing.
        Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.
        The wit knows that his place is at the tail of a procession.
        Let us make a special effort to stop communicating with each other, so we can have some conversation.

        Joseph Conrad (a countryman)
        Truth of a modest sort I can promise you, and also sincerity. That complete, praiseworthy sincerity which, while it delivers one into the hands of one’s enemies, is as likely as not to embroil one with one’s friends.
        Few men realize that their life, the very essence of their character, their capabilities and their audacities, are only the expression of their belief in the safety of their surroundings.
        Some great men owe most of their greatness to the ability of detecting in those they destine for their tools the exact quality of strength that matters for their work.
        Don’t you forget what’s divine in the Russian soul and that’s resignation.
        A caricature is putting the face of a joke on the body of a truth.
        You know I hate, detest, and can’t bear a lie, not because I am straighter than the rest of us, but simply because it appals me. There is a taint of death, a flavour of mortality in lies – which is exactly what I hate and detest in the world.
        As in political so in literary action a man wins friends for himself mostly by the passion of his prejudices and the consistent narrowness of his outlook.
        It’s extraordinary how we go through life with eyes half shut, with dull ears, with dormant thoughts. Perhaps it’s just as well; and it may be that it is this very dullness that makes life to the incalculable majority so supportable and so welcome.
        I let him run on, this papier-maché Mephistopheles, and it seemed to me that if I tried I could poke my forefinger through him, and would find nothing inside but a little loose dirt, maybe.
        Had he been informed by an indisputable authority that the end of the world was to be finally accomplished by a catastrophic disturbance of the atmosphere, he would have assimilated the information under the simple idea of dirty weather, and no other, because he had no experience of cataclysms, and belief does not necessarily imply comprehension.

        N’est pas?

      • Pekka Pirilä | March 20, 2012 at 11:34 am |

        I recognize that you are being serious, and perhaps even sympathetic; it takes a lot of courage to engage with ideas when you cannot tell if they are crazy or radical, but especially when you’re quite sure they’re not radical.

        I note your skepticism, and your questions. It will, clearly, take me some time to achieve any satisfactory answer.

        Forget my ideas, in the meantime. (Not, I think, that this will take much urging from me.)

        Tell me instead what you think of British Columbia’s ‘Revenue Neutral Carbon Tax’ and the Citizen’s Climate Lobby’s “Fee and Dividend” proposal, if you are so inclined. I’m not an affiliate of either of those. They have their own communicators. Let them inform you of what may work in America.

        I see these taken to their logical conclusion employing Supply and Demand principles as more like Capitalism, less offensive than Cap & Trade or a carbon tax to general revenues or special projects, and simply better than what America has now because they are more democratic and nearer to fair market practices.

        What would work in Europe, you’d have to decide for yourself.

      • TM;
        I offer this small interjection in hopes it will help.

        The price being discussed is not on CO2 per se, but rather on the right to emit it thereby causing (assumed and presumed) harm to the common weal. The first step in creation of such an artificial market is the government appropriation by fiat of the ownership of the common weal. It then allocates, on some preferred basis, the right to do harm by emitting CO2 to various parties. Some have more rights than they need, some less. The ones who have more han they need sell to the ones who have less.
        These rights do not expand as fast as the needs of the emitters, hence more and more constraint on emission growth occurs, inspiring, it is hoped, innovation and invention and application of low CO2-emitting energy sources etc. However, humans being “least effort” optimizers, first all the possible cheats, scams, fake reductions, and so on will be exploited to the full.

        In practice, this is so large-scale and widespread that the market collapses for lack of credibility and legitimacy.

      • Tomas Milanovic

        Brian

        At the beginning I thought something like that.
        But Bart insisted so much on the “naturallness” of this market (sic!) that this rejects à priori an idea of a completely arbitrary approach like what you describe.
        What you described is almost exactly the emission certificate constraint in Europe that I know rather well.
        And here we don’t need to speculate, we already know that it is a failure.
        Would Bart proposal be just copying something we already know to be a failure?

      • Tomas Milanovic | March 20, 2012 at 9:34 am |

        Well, not so much a reply to Tomas, as he points out he can’t read much of what I write anyway, but to address his points.

        In ordinary usage, quotation marks around a word followed by ‘sic’ in brackets implies literal attribution to a source.

        I’ve looked so far as I’m able through everything I’ve written since hitting upon this interpretation.. and cannot find “naturallness” in any entry. It’s not there, so far as I can find.

        Did Tomas imagine this, have I been misrepresented, or have I forgotten and missed the passage?

        Can anyone help out?

        Though I do agree with Tomas at least a little. We know Cap & Trade has many failures in Europe. I have zero interest in copying Eurofails.

      • Brian H | March 20, 2012 at 9:07 am |

        As a point of personal privilege, I offer this small interjection in hopes it will help.

        Besides a patently absurd straw man of an interpretation, do you have any numbers to back up your claims? Evidence? Proof? An authority on Economics whose published works you could cite? An explanation of why British Columbia has had the opposite performance to your claims?

        Or just, y’know, more elephant-groping assertions?

      • Tomas,

        What Pekka said. It is fundamentally rhetorical – looking for a form of words that would convince more than another. I have been studying the enemy and I am convinced that the fundamenal goal is to tax the global economy back to the dark ages. Of course – there is a bit of a handicap in that one cannot baldly say that without everyone falling about laughing. But he has left a few hints – such as ‘exponetially decreasing demand’ for energy. Of course he has also been talking about syringes held to his neck and Rambo like killing sceptics who are doing the holding – and defending the local bars à la Clint Eastwood from sceptics. I am a little concerned about his mental well being – but frankly more concerned about those around him.

        The other hint is with the links to the citizens climate lobby. They are clearly in favour of a tax and say so – except they call it a fee.

        So we have two things that are clearly anathema to any right thinking person. Using taxes to club society back to feudalism. You can see the dilemma about clarity of expression?

        Robert I Ellison
        Chief Hydrologist

      • Bart, as someone who, for my sins, had to read thousands of letters to Ministers, Premiers and Prime Ministers (in Australia) – many hours that I will never get back, but at least I was being paid – yes, mate. Sure, pal. Whatever you say. If you were actually writing, rather than typing, it would be in multicolours with lots of caps and underlining.

        I am still waiting for your examples of when and how increasing the price of energy above what it needs to be has helped poor people to improve their lives. And I am still not holding my breath.

      • johanna | March 20, 2012 at 1:50 am |

        With respect, it’s a blog.

        I’m commenting on a blog, not even hosting.

        If you look at my prezi’s, the ones for children indeed are multicolour and include caps and underlining.

        Context matters.

        I’m not writing the Minister (which you have my deepest sympathies about, one doubts anyone has sinned enough in any number of lives to wade through the dreck of crackpottery and banal halfwittedness your salary subjected you to) and I’m sure the Minister’s staff is much relieved, if they think this is how I usually communicate.

        Were I to write so, I assure you it would be terse, tight, pointed, formal, supported by well-documented and annotated references, and in the practical language of Policy.

        There’d be a summary suited to the attention span of a Minister. It might even have a second paragraph, if the Minister is able.

        However, I would not expect to convince, or even much move, the intransigent and tired minds of most Policy staff, with a single missive, as a single private citizen, on so complex and contentious a topic.

        See, you ask a ‘have you stopped beating your X’ question, when you ask for an example of the straw man you just cannot absorb is not what I am saying.

        How am I going to unseat that preconception?

        I’m saying for the seventh time, the way things are now, right now, make the price of energy more expensive than it needs to be, by hiding the true price of one single category of energy.

        You think your status quo is the best possible world?

        I think the status quo you defend sucks, whether for the poor or for the middle class or for the somewhat well-to-do.

        Thus, I comment on a blog, and hope for the best.

      • This argument about the best way to control CO2 is, of course, bootless. First, CO2 increase is a good, not a harm. Second, the atmosphere’s level is ultimately controlled by ocean temperatures and biota.

        Don’t argue about the details of which government initiative or taxing power would or wouldn’t work to achieve the undesirable and impossible.

  19. I see also, when not restricting myself to the vanilla topic of Canada, that even the GWPF have picked up on (and typically, gotten backwards) the recent Bamber glacier analysis in Nature..

    I hear Nature is going to have more about glacier collapse soon.

  20. Edit note:
    The two para’s beginning with “Once upon a time,” are double-pasted.
    The argument they represent is arrant nonsense, in any case, begging the question of whether climate is either a problem or amenable to manipulation.

  21. What we sceptics are saying has been published!

    Interdecadal 20th century temperature deviations, such as the accelerated observed 1910–1940 warming that has been attributed to an unverifiable increase in solar irradiance (4, 7, 19, 20), appear to instead be due to natural variability. The same is true for the observed mid-40s to mid-70s cooling, previously attributed to enhanced sulfate aerosol activity (4, 6, 7, 12). Finally, a fraction of the post-1970s warming also appears to be attributable to natural variability.
    ,,,

    A vigorous spectrum of interdecadal internal variability presents numerous challenges to our current understanding of the climate. First, it suggests that climate models in general still have difficulty reproducing the magnitude and spatiotemporal patterns of internal variability necessary to capture the observed character of the 20th century climate trajectory.

    Finally, the presence of vigorous climate variability presents
    significant challenges to near-term climate prediction (25, 26),
    leaving open the possibility of steady or even declining global
    mean surface temperatures over the next several decades
    that
    could present a significant empirical obstacle to the implementation of policies directed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions

    http://tinyurl.com/6oj3nhm

    Swanson et al, 2009

  22. Yep, I got that too. Switched to my gmail account, no problem.

  23. and the past 30 years of energy policy demonstrate that following that the path that intellectually combines them leads “to nowhere.”

    And news just in this past week. Coal’s share of the US electricity market dropped to 39%. The last time coal’s share of the US electricity market dropped below 40% was 1978.
    http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=5331

    Yep…the US electricity markets are responding beyond the wildest dreams of ‘cap and trade’ supporters. Of course they had absolutely nothing to do with it. So I can understand the feeling that they may be on a ‘road to nowhere’.

  24. Four climate turning points with flat 30-years trends => http://tinyurl.com/6qb4fkw

  25. The appointment of a nuclear physicist to head the US Dept of Energy with his expertise to develop a resurgence in nuclear energy in the USA, has been co-opted by a Federal green agenda, to the detriment of a rational energy policy. The current status of energy policy has the US tilting at windmills, paralyzed by an Energy administration thrashed as so many raptors. We need a complete overhaul of Energy Department including removing current crop of top administrators.

    We already have NOAA to look at weather, climate and to develop a science basis for each.

    NASA should look towards the Stars as was their original mission.

    Back door funding loopholes for climate science need to be eliminated.

    I am concerned that the politicalization of the Department of Energy, NASA, and NOAA has made these organizations vulnerable to political whims and the associated infighting by mediocre and less capable regulators. The decline in organizations have happened before by becoming political and off course from their originating missions and visions.

    • Yesterday it was announced that people had managed to fill the holes in graphene sheets with CO, and thus get some very nice quantum electromagnetic effects. They should be able to make ‘wack-a-mole’- type molecules that can respond to an electrical potential, poking either above or below the sheet. What one can aim for, or so I am told, is a battery on the molecular level. The charge density would be more than two orders of magnitude greater than present day energy storage devices.
      Even one order of magnitude of power density in batters changes everything, liquid fuels for ground based transport, gone.
      Wind/wave/solar power, no problem.

    • RiHo08, your concern about politicalization of the US NAS (National Academy of Sciences), US DOE (Department of Energy), NASA and other government research agencies is well justified.

      There was no reply to a question I sent to Ralph Cicerone, Steven Chu and Charles Bolden (the President of NAS, the Secretary of DOE, and the Administrator of NASA) about a week ago asking them to answer, in public:,

      Is element #1 (hydrogen) the fuel or the waste product from the energy source that heats planet Earth and sustains life?

      Here is a copy of the message sent:

      http://dl.dropbox.com/u/10640850/Question_Bolden_Chu_Ciscerone.pdf

      The lack of a response confirms:

      a.) They know the answer;
      b.) The Sun generates and discards hydrogen in the solar wind;
      c.) They have instructions to find evidence that mankind causes global climate change for political purposes.

      Climategate emails and documents released in Nov 2009 revealed why so many disciplines of science – astronomy, astrophysics, climatology, nuclear, particle, solar and space physics – have been compromised since KIssinger’s secret visit to China 1971:

      To support the illusion, adopted at the Bilderberg hotel in 1967, that the Sun is a giant ball of hydrogen (H) steadily generating heat by H-fusion, “in equilibrium.”

      The history: http://omanuel.wordpress.com/about/
      Confirmation in 2004: See 2nd posting on this site

      With kind regards,
      Oliver K. Manuel
      Former NASA Principal
      Investigator for Apollo
      http://www.omatumr.com/

  26. Concerning Demon Coal and the article in the Vancouver Sun, I hope you have seen the two articles:
    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v482/n7386/full/nature10847.html
    “Recent contributions of glaciers and ice caps to sea level rise,” Published online 08 February 2012

    http://www.leif.org/EOS/2011GL049444.pdf
    “High variability of Greenland surface temperature over the past 4000 years estimated from trapped air in an ice core,” Published 10 November 2011

    The first uses GRACE satellite measurements to conclude the total contribution to sea level rise from all ice-covered regions is thus 1.48 ± 0.26 mm per year (includes ALL ice covered regions).

    Fig. 1 in the second article shows the present Greenland temperature has been exceeded many times in the last 4000 years and at least twice by 2 deg C.

    The first argues we have a slow stable (slower than 10,000 years ago) sea level rise from ice covered regions, the second indicates that this stability isn’t upset by a temperature rise of 2 degrees C at least for short periods.

    Also, for this Greenland site’s ice to melt, temperatures would have to rise by 20+ deg. C, but a question of stability of the ice mass would arise if at other locations the ice did melt. Both papers together also raise an issue not discussed of the net loss as a function of temperature. Ice falling into the sea or melting and running into the sea is one side of the balance, but what of increased evaporation with temperature and the resulting snowfall to make more ice?

  27. The first article is a scream.

    “Conflating climate and energy policy in the U.S. over the past several decades has produced incoherent policy in both areas….”

    Followed by:

    “…failing to put a price on carbon, the Obama administration has adopted its ‘skin the cat’ regulatory agenda. That has meant that “the conflation of climate with energy policy is complete” and climate policy has become ‘indistinguishable not only in the measures proposed but in the rhetoric as well.'”

    In other words, not enacting cap and trade is an improper conflating of energy and climate policy. But enacting cap and trade would not be. It is rare to see cognitive dissonance so proudly on display.

    The whole point of “putting a price on carbon” is to effect the energy economy. The “price” for this “externality” is supposed to be the cost resulting from “climate change” caused by the use of carbon based energy sources. It is simply incoherent to argue both for cap and trade as climate policy, and then claim it is wrong to conflate energy and climate policy.

    As a second point, Ellerman is flat out wrong that there is no energy policy, particularly in the Obama administration. Preventing exploration and extraction wherever possible, closing coal power plants with no replacements, restricting imports by preventing the building of a pipeline, the EPA attempting to do the very thing indirectly that Ellerman wants done indirectly, all while pouring billions of dollars in alternative energy boondoggles – the current energy policy of the United States is to make energy prices “necessarily sky rocket.”

    Obama’s policy is wrong, and destined to cause sever economic damage if allowed to continue, but it is hardly incoherent.

  28. There are whispers of sanity infecting Europe.

    “America isn’t the only place where anticarbon politics is taking a welcome beating. Last week Polish Environment Minister Marcin Korolec vetoed the next step in the EU’s plan to reduce its CO2 by 80% from 1990 levels by 2050.

    Poland, which generates more than 90% of its electricity from coal, would be hit especially hard. ‘We need to look for solutions we’ll actually be able to implement,’ Mr. Korolec noted dryly.”

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304692804577281113727665108.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

    (You can google “Bright Lights in Warsaw” to read it without a subscription.)

    • Which has been Poland’s position since it joined the EU, and why it has a veto.

      So, not really news. The news is that, after five attempts to convince Poland since Kyoto, the EU has decided to sidestep the veto.

    • Ironically, Poland is among the former eastern bloc countries that reduced CO2 by 30% from 1990 to 2003 due to their economic collapse, so in a sense they had a head start.

  29. How do we evaluate and decide on fuels, energy security, and environmental policies? See:
    Study finds that environmental impact of corn-ethanol E85 is 23% to 33% higher than that of gasoline; environmental problem-shifting, Green Car Congress 16 March 2012
    Yi Yang, Junghan Bae, Junbeum Kim, and Sangwon Suh (2012) Replacing Gasoline with Corn Ethanol Results in Significant Environmental Problem-Shifting. Environmental Science & Technology doi: 10.1021/es203641p

    E85 generates approximately 6% to 108% (23% on average) greater impact compared with gasoline, depending on where corn is produced, primarily because corn production induces significant eutrophication impacts and requires intensive irrigation. If GHG emissions from the indirect land use changes are considered, the differences increase to between 16% and 118% (33% on average). Our study indicates that replacing gasoline with corn ethanol may only result in shifting the net environmental impacts primarily toward increased eutrophication and greater water scarcity. These results suggest that the environmental criteria used in the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) be re-evaluated to include additional categories of environmental impact beyond GHG emissions.

    • I doubt that will happen anytime soon. It may seem amazing how fast a web of interconnected and concentrated interests have grown up around US ethanol policy, but it has happened. You may recall the creature in Alien: Once it got loose on the ship, it was very difficult to kill.

    • The corn subsidy needs to end now along with whatever is left of the ethanol subsidy and mandated use. Talk about not paying for externalities. The imposition of ethanol use is a cost to me that I would consider an externality since I could be paying less for gasoline if it weren’t for that regulation. I guess we could call that a negative external cost, since if it were taken away, my fuel would be cheaper? This term being analogous to negative reinforcement as used in psychology.

  30. “The catastrophists need to demonstrate their methodology by applying it to smaller problems whose outcomes we don’t have to wait a century for. They need to derive unambiguous, detailed predictions for these outcomes and see them borne out.”

    The ‘catastrophists’ must engage in behavior that will expose them as mere hucksters, flim-flammers and charlatans? That just ain’t ‘gonna happen.

    Everyone knows that. AGW fearmongers do exactly what they have to do to perpetrate a hoax for political power. It’s all a part of the sting.

    The fact that they get away with it says more about sick Western society has become. It is what Dostoevsky meant when he said, “The West has lost Christ and that is why it is dying; that is the only reason.”

    The Left thought they were killing God but that is not what really happened. Truth is what died.

  31. Almost entirely irrelevant study. We would welcome cheaper energy sources regardless of whether they emitted carbon dioxide or not. Cheaper energy sources are in fact critical for meeting essential global energy needs. It is simply impossible to supply the energy sufficiently quickly to meet the 16 to 30 TW’s of additional energy required by 2050 otherwise. Being a tecnological optimist – there are dozens of technologies potentially able to each meet a portion of the world’s energy needs. These range form thin solar, algal biofuels to 4th generation nuclear. The latter based on better fuels and materials tecnology and a much better idea than 1st, 2nd and 3rd generations.

    But what we are comparing is an untaxed cost with a taxed cost for a primary good – and not the current and future or past and current cost for a lightbulb. The idea involves increasing costs by fiat to encourage substitution of more expensive, less carbon intensive technologies. This is an intervention in the market leading inevitably to economic disruption – and not a market solution as claimed in the double speak we have endured from the green socialists. And if it quacks like a duck – bartomania.

    It is moreover totally unneccessary if we started instead with ideas that had some chance of succeeding – a ‘pragmatic strategy (that) centers on efforts to accelerate energy innovation, build resilience to extreme weather, and pursue no regrets pollution reduction measures — three efforts that each have their own diverse justifications independent of their benefits for climate mitigation and adaptation.’ – http://thebreakthrough.org/blog/2011/07/climate_pragmatism_innovation.shtml

    The tax and be damned approach is rightly resisted by most in the world. The science of climate catastrophe is destitute. Most of the recent warming was the result of clouds – http://s1114.photobucket.com/albums/k538/Chief_Hydrologist/?action=view&current=Wong2006figure7.gif. Most of the CO2 increase was the result of subsequent biological activity and ocean outgassing. The outgassing of course lags always. The world is not warming for a decade or three more at least – again and again in peer reviewed studies as a result of oceanic shifts.

    Models are inherently chaotic systems as a direct result of the underlying math and the range of plausible inputs and couplings. Solutions diverge to an unknown degree resulting in an unexplored amount of irreducible imprecision. A plausible solution 100 years is determined after the fact on the basis of the plausibility of the solution.

    So what is a poor cowboy to do – when all that is possible for the human race is put at risk by anti-enlightenment forces? What a cowboy’s gotta do.

    Best regards
    Captain Kangaroo

    • ‘Required’

      What is ‘required’?

      All that matters is what a man can do, and what he can’t.

      If the assumptions used to determine the 30 TW figure are any more meaningful than those that anticipated antigravity boots and airship cities in the clouds, they haven’t convinced me of it yet.

      I could see “30 TW Equivalent”, perhaps.

      I can definitely see _difficulty_ meeting Demand for energy, regardless of Supply.

      However, the result of Demand exceeding Supply isn’t classically cheaper product, once beyond peak Economy of Scale.

      Which we are definitely past in the fossil sector.

      The idea you want is not “cheap energy”, but “efficient energy”. Not exponentially increasing Supply, but exponentially reducing Demand.

      Which you cannot achieve by putting an artificial ceiling on the price. That socialist ploy never works.

      Price and pay the natural owners their due. Let the democracy of individual decisions in the Market sort it out.

      • Huh?

        Well admittedly the 30TW is at the low end and includes huge amounts of energy efficiency measures. The high end is 60TW.

        ‘“To give all 10 billion people on the planet the level of energy prosperity we in the developed world are used to, a couple of kilowatt-hours per person, we
        would need to generate 60 terawatts around the planet — the equivalent of 900 million barrels of oil per day.”

        So a simple enough calculaltion – multiply what we got by 7, 8 ,9, 10 billion. Food is the other problem commodity – although conservation farming shows exceptional promise.

        I’m not talking about a control on price but letting demand and supply determine price. You are advocating taxing carbon. – http://citizensclimatelobby.org/node/444. You – or this organisation you keep referring to – is talking about increasing prices such that carbon is uneconomic. The citzens are then faced with paying higher costs for everything – as energy is a primary good – or reducing consumption. That is your goal – exponentially reducing demand as you say above.

        Such proposals are anathema to any decent human being – anyone with any common sense at all. Anyone but a space cadet – barty old boy. It is why we are fighting the climate wars.

        Best regards
        Captain Kangaroo

      • CK

        Indeed, 16, 30, 60.. the wildly irrational guesswork appears to be made without reference to known trends in technology, known current but underemployed technologies, and the simple expedient of individuals deciding for themselves what “energy prosperity” means.

        I know people in the developed world who enjoy a standard of living that cannot be distinguished from that of the wealthiest of their fellow citizens, using less energy than the average person living in an LDC.

        There’s little correlation between energy use and standard of living, but that budgets determine greater utility in consuming artificially cheap energy where an upward shift in the price of fossil fuels will simply shift the preference to a different utility mix, and at the same time reduce the tax load of consumers and improve the rate of technology adoption.

        This simplistic model you use in your Economic thinking is the same sort of naive mistake as leads socialists to believe in giving away free housing to everyone to solve homelessness by a few. It never works, and causes greater suffering in short order.

        Energy may be a primary good. Overused energy rapidly becomes an economic bad, a thing that the more it is consumed, the worse off the consumer.

        Price the Carbon Cycle, as you would price radio bandwidth. You will not see all this imagined suffering you predict based on your simplistic and baseless opinion, but the same sort of creation of new value and innovation as brings us now to the new iPad, instewhere otherwise all we’d have would be the rotary dial phone.

        The reason you fight has nothing to do with reason, CK. You’re fighting out of misplaced zealotry, as all of the most zealous have always fought without understanding of the real issues at hand.

      • Economic growth is the primary goal for the world desperately in need of growth. Lower economic growth directly leads to fewer people emerging more slowly from economic want. The difference is in the production function – http://www.personal.kent.edu/~cupton/bbamacro/ma07.htm – If technologies were available at competitive prices as determined by the market there wouldn’t be a problem – and they would be implemented post haste. If energy prices are artificially increased through taxes (or so-called government collected ‘fees’ in your nonsensical double speak) then productivity declines across the economy and economic growth is artificially constrained.

        You ignore fundamental economics in favour and economically interventionist neo-socialist hand waving of the magical variety. Your true objective that you hardly dare admit to is for ‘exponentially negative’ growth -so it suits you to dissimulate, to lie, to denigrate. It is all par for the course for the warminista climate warrior.

        I am fighting for the enlightenment heritage of economic and scientific progress, democracy, the rule of law, free markets and individual freedom. You are fighting out of a frenzy of fear and loathing.

        It is why you can accept no compromise – no alternative and humanitarian strategies that are on the table. Just the cringing fear of the future – and a magical atonement.

        Best regards
        Captain Kangaroo

      • Captain Kangaroo | March 18, 2012 at 4:47 am |

        You sidestep the issue, and repeat the same fundamental Economic error.

        The ‘cheap prices by fiat economic growth’ cake is a lie.

        The Soviets failed ultimately because they believed they could manufacture economic growth by price controls through committees.

        It didn’t work, even with a nation’s will and the work of a nation’s most brilliant minds bailing with all their might against the tide of Economic Ineptitude.

        You have a scarce resource, you price it. You price it, the genius of the Market distributes it efficiently. Growth results.

        You don’t price your scarce resource by Supply and Demand, Free Riders descend and waste infiltrates; the incentives to innovate run toward greater and greater exploitation of the badly priced scarce resource until it is curtailed. The Market collapses under this triple threat.

        Which do you think has more room for Economic Growth? Innovation in recovery of carbon-based energy, or innovation in energy efficiency, non-carbon energy, and alternatives to energy-intensive processes?

        Why sacrifice all that promising Economic Growth out of some misguided love affair with one single atom?

      • No one other than you is imagining that prices are determined other than in the market by supply and demand. This odd idea you keep falsely ascribing to me seems par for the course for you in deliberate misdirection. It seems just astonishingly inept.

        It is a simple thing – taxes or no taxes on energy. Taxes on energy decrease productivity – all other things being equal – in a world desperately in need of productivity. But you continue to argue that things will not continue to be equal. That innovation arises from higher prices and less productivity. There is of course already increasing energy costs. But to increase costs beyond what the market dictates by taxing energy is to distort markets deliberately away from some choices in the market – as is the intent. The intent moreover is to create ‘exponentially reducing’ demand as you have said.

        You continue to tell lies and big lies. It is moreover prounfoundly impactical – not something the world is pursuing with any committment. It seems your objective is to continue to pursue chimera – while the practical options on the table are neglected for neo-socialist ideological reasons.

        Best regards
        Ca[tain Kangaroo

      • Captain Kangaroo | March 18, 2012 at 3:58 pm |

        “No one other than you is imagining that prices are determined other than in the market by supply and demand.”

        To which I reply, “You continue to tell lies and big lies. “

        You must be aware of the phenomenal level of subsidies on the fossil industry, the biofuel scam, the redirection of investments in research from alternatives to more fossil peddling by rent-seekers, the stooge environmental monitoring handed off from disinterested third parties to dependents of corporate polluters.. The tax expenditures, the infrastructure changes bent to industry, the expropriation.. all of which are manipulations to determine prices other than by seeking the most ideal fair market conditions, and to distort prices, and often under the guise of the same socialism-inspired “cheap energy” corporate charity.

        You’ve admitted to most of these in the past, commented on them, agreed on them, or seen them and remained silent while diverting the topic to other subjects, so it is illogical now to claim you take issue with any of this.

        “It is a simple thing – taxes or no taxes on energy. Taxes on energy decrease productivity – all other things being equal – in a world desperately in need of productivity.”

        To which I reply, “You continue to tell lies and big lies. “

        While you continue to confute pricing a market good like the service of the Carbon Cycle to reduce CO2 with a tax, you oversimplify, which is no simplicity — implying innocence, lack of deception, or absence of hidden agenda — at all.

        Making one single family of energy artificially cheap at the expense of all others is pure interference in the Market, no different than the mistakes of the Soviets that led to their collapse. The productivity of the world as you must be aware depends on definitions implicit in the structure of the Market, creating a circular argument for you that turns out to be built entirely on puff.

        “..to increase costs beyond what the market dictates by taxing energy is to distort markets deliberately away from some choices in the market – as is the intent. The intent moreover is to create ‘exponentially reducing’ demand as you have said. “

        To which I reply, “You continue to tell lies and big lies. “

        To increase or decrease prices by failure to seek to maintain as ideal Market conditions as possible replaces the democracy of individual choices in the Market with your own wisdom.. and you just are not that wise, regardless of your proven to be failed intent.

        The intent of allowing the Market to tap Moore’s Law and Rosenfield’s Law — unimpeded by the drag of your brand of government interference — to increase the efficiency of the Economy and allow greater satisfaction of utility with less misery.

        If you’re arguing against efficiency, CK, you’ve just lost your audience.

      • Where do you find time for this – I do it by neglecting work and friends. Such long winded posts with such Orwellian echoes.

        1. By all means dismantle market distorting subsidies in America in such be the case. I know that Australian farmers have long complained about market distorting agricultural subsides. That’s your problem.

        2. I definitely confute that a ‘fee and dividend’ scheme which is determined by the government, collected by the government and disbursed by the government is anything other than ‘tax and be damned’.

        3. I merely quote you from a recent post. The aim of the tax at the climate thingy blog is to move production away from carbon technologies. Your avowed objective was ‘exponentially decreasing demand’.

        3. Taxes are determined by the government- they are not determined by multiple players biding and selling into a free market. Carbon ‘fees’ have nothing to do with individual choices in the marketplace at all.

        4. The market is more ideal without taxes – as I have explained elsewhere the so-called resource is of negligible value and the great positive is minimising the production function.

        5. You contention that innovation and technological progress will be impeded by not taxing energy is simply laughable.

        There is no problem with cheaper energy supplies – even if they don’t emit carbon. Innovate away Bart.

        Best regards
        Captain Kangaroo

      • Captain Kangaroo | March 18, 2012 at 9:52 pm |

        “Where do you find time for this – I do it by neglecting work and friends. Such long winded posts with such Orwellian echoes.”

        Cut&paste are my friends, I type like a demon, I never proofread my own work, I can by now anticipate most of your next three or four responses and prepare, and I read 35000 wpm. What are friends?

        1. Agreed.
        2. That’s because you only look at the surface of things. Do you believe that atoms are solid, because you look solid? Theory is, you’re mainly made up of empty space. Government is an illusion. It’s government action that matters.
        3. Indeed. Exponentially decrease demand for raw resources while enjoying economic growth. ROI per unit=(Revenues/Investment) per unit. What grows faster ROI, increasing revenue or decreasing investment?
        4. You start so well, you end badly because you believe your own marketing.
        5. You keep saying ‘not taxing energy’, when you mean ‘not pricing scarce resources’. You have to learn the difference between apples and anarchy.

        “There is no problem with more efficient energy use – except inverted rewards under fossil subsidies and unpriced carbon cycle service.”

        Take a few days, think about it CK. After all, you were the one who put me onto this in the first place, and you’re not that much slower than I.

  32. Wiki:

    Climate (from Ancient Greek klima, meaning inclination) is commonly defined as the weather averaged over a long period.[3] The standard averaging period is 30 years,[4] but other periods may be used depending on the purpose.

    If that is the case, why do they show as this graph => http://bit.ly/b9eKXz

    instead of this one => http://bit.ly/FPJpqr

    when describing climate?

  33. Judith, my sympathies are with you, I have to say I’m gettin’ sick of posses of cowboys struttin’ their stuff usin’ this site as the shoot out at the OK Corral in the name of critical debateand enlightenment values.

    The sainted Hayek is about rule of law for all, and, OK, robust argument, but NOT about Bart, Tele and Chief, (is that ‘Kangaroo with two ‘o’s’ and one ‘r?’ bludgeoning each other into smithereens in the bull ring at the Rocky Pub.
    Get real guys. You all have reputations to uphold and reasoned contributions to make.This debate here should not be limiting and jest outright intimidating.

    Chief, sure your achievements are major, my own father was a force of
    nature, a self made man, world patents, integrity and humour. Only time he ‘gave himself the verdict,’ he said to me, “It’s good to be clever but it;s better to be smart- and I’m both.”
    ‘Get smart, guys or I’ll come after you with me lasso, even tho’ I’m only 5’2″ and not too heavy, but I’m not puttin’ up with this shoot out! Judith, jest holler if you need some back up.

    • Beth, I agree, I am going through and deleting comments that are insulting, without any content.

      • Judith

        Good idea. Can you fine the perpetrators as well? :)

        Altenatively, can polite commenters be enrolled in a Climate Etc rewards scheme with magnificent prizes awarded at the end of each month according to how nice theyve been and how many points they had earned? :)
        tonyb

      • tonyb

        A fee and dividend system on courtesy?

      • BartR

        We’ll need to have electronic ‘courtesy’ cards and a complex system to be able to log our points and take into account any deductions. Should be able to set up the whole scheme for less than $1 million
        :)
        tonyb

    • Beth and Judith

      The only definition of “to listen” that means anything is one that includes “willing to change”; so I endeavor to change when I hear reasonable argument that I have crossed — or in many cases, vaulted over — the line.

      While I have no interest whatsoever in reputation, and less than no interest in protecting my own, that raucous and energized debate including more than incidental insult may intimidate and put a chill on contribution of any voice deeply troubles me.

      I am mindful of those uncommented deletions, and attempt thoughtfully to consider the offending content and avoid repetition, whether I believe myself more sinned against than sinning on no.

      It takes courage to stand up to any bully, Beth, much moreso to stand up to an unruly mob with the same inconsiderate and thoughtless oppression of bullying while it runs riot.

      Even the mildest proponents might become reckless in the heat of undisciplined discourse; think of the fiasco of CA vs. CRU, a classic example of two hooligan crowds egging each other and themselves on to disreputable and disastrous utterances and actions. To this day, neither side acknowledges nor apparently recognizes what really happened, and cling to paranoid conspiracy theories on both sides rather than admit they were rude and narrowminded.. and see? I do it again. Incidental insult, even while attempting to tone down and apologize for any excess invective of yesterday.

      Enthusiasm for a topic can get the better of us all; I have to admit, though I am much more than 5’2″ and extremely heavy, I’ve found once or twice in late days Beth Cooper’s enthusiasm and initiative not a little intimidating, or at least daunting, though I hope rather than turn that energy of an opposing voice into a chill on my own, it helps me sharpen the focus of my thought, redirect my own energies into better exploring what I seek to say, and raising the level of the discourse overall.

      So. Beth. Back to the ideas, not the personalities.. And what are your thoughts on the Carbon Cycle pricing schemes out in the world? Is the Carbon Cycle an aggregate of limited scarce natural resources that ought be priced like arable land or fishing licenses or radio bandwidth, with the consequent economic repurcussions, or no?

      • Steven Mosher

        you use semi colons nicely. I like that.

      • Steven Mosher

        I hope you like it better when it works; perhaps if I stop responding to those cited most often as intimidating by riot, I’ll demonstrate positive progress.

        Call it semicolon pricing. I feel like everyone pays for it, when these emissions occur, and see it saving us from thread catastrophe if I move to a unilateral zero pollution policy.

        Wish me luck.

  34. Some scientists go into undignified rant when confronted with data which come into conflict with their beliefs. Here are some I encountered.

    Leif Svalgaard: ‘ you are danger to society’
    on http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/LFC2.htm

    Gavin Schmidt: ‘do you have some magical mechanism…. climate homeopathy perhaps’.
    on http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/NFC1.htm

    Grant Foster (so called Tamino): ‘ you are * # ’’…’
    on http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/CET-Jun.htm

    Chris Colose: ‘…….counting the cows of Idaho …”
    on http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/CET1690-1960.htm

    Subject suitable for a treatise in the psychology of science.

  35. “Once upon a time, climate change was strictly an environment and development issue. Today, it has become a matter of national and international security.”
    There is no international conflict caused by climate change no matter how one tries to spin that. To link human catastrophic climate change to security is absurd, no millions of climate refuges, the catastrophe generated is only in the computer models.
    It is really quite scarry to see the disconnect between what is here judged as urgent and needed to implement and the reality.
    The solutions proposed – wind energy and solar energy – are so variable that they are a disturbance in the electrical grid not a help in energy generation and need backup for 70-85% of the time reducing the output of conventional plants but not the CO2 output.
    The costs are staggering for no results – recently I remember having read about Germany having reached the 100 billion eur subsidies for solar. Solar in Germany! What can be done with 100 billion eur? It pains when one thinks at all the opportunities loss. What could be done with the trillions wasted?
    The 60-70s have brought us Concorde, TGV trains, nuclear plants, smallpox eradicated, now we install windmills and solar panels made in china on borrowed money, heavily polluting in the production of rare earth, in cases generating less electrical energy as it is used to build those solar panels.

    • +1
      Lars,
      What a fantastic summary of our present dysfunction. Your list of accomplishments from the 60’s and 70’s stands in even starker contrast if you add: manned space travel, voyages to the moon, the development of practical integrated circuits, It has struck me before that that the waste that is the AGW movement is symptom of a larger problem. Reflecting on what we did then makes that case more likely.

  36. Hmm. Didn’t indent reply in my last comment at 9:31 am.

    Was a reply to Pekka Pirilä | March 17, 2012 at 10:51 am
    and Bob Koss | March 18, 2012 at 9:23 am

  37. Switching to alternatives based on declining global crude oil supplies has the beneficial side-effect of reducing CO2 emissions.

    The conflation lies in the fact that no one wants to talk about the stark reality of ever more scarce and expensive crude oil supplies, yet are willing to discuss the often nebulous and abstract threats of climate change.

    The intent of that conflation is fairly obvious, as high gas prices are a political issue that will hit voters in their pocketbooks and no politician wants to face the voters on that issue. Much easier for them to hand-wave against the vague threat of global warming. It’s the old smokescreen tactic of substituting a palatable threat for a foreboding outcome.

    This tactic is rationalized by the knowledge that humans will prefer to procrastinate deferred results while maintaining their immediate gratification habit. In psychological terms, this is known as hyperbolically discounting and the behavior is studied in chronic junkies.

    Energy security and energy euphemisms are supporting euphemisms for the smokescreen.

    I have no problem with mixing fossil fuel depletion mitigation with AGW mitigation. That’s nothing but the old trick of killing two birds with one stone.

  38. More scientists calling for less democracy in the face of known dangers like global warming, and just in case dangers like nanotechnology.

    “To keep these institutions accountable to the public, the scientists called for stronger consultative rights for representatives of civil society, including representatives from developing countries, NGOs, consumers and indigenous peoples.
    “We should seek input from people closest to the ground, not just from the elites, not just at the 30,000-feet level,”

    What a relief, they are still open to taking advice from us little people. I guess that is almost as good as a vote. This next round of ‘science based policy experts’ may make the last round look like towers of ethics and wisdom.

  39. “It would be “irresponsible,” he says, “for us to silently stand by while industry-funded climate change deniers succeed in confusing and distracting the public and dissuading our policy makers from taking appropriate actions.”

    What just happened here? We see what Dr. Mann really believes–i.e., we do not have a schoolteacher-approved economy the climate will change and the public will be confused and destracted from leading an ‘appropriate’ life.

  40. Also last week:
    Michael Mann was on Thom Hartmann’s show, “Conversations with Great Minds” which airs on FSTV. I can’t find it in Hartmann’s archive yet but my impression was that he tap danced around a pretty direct question that Hartmann posed about the degree of warming we can expect from CO2.

  41. Adam Smith was fine with government dictates in cases where externalities are present. For instance, Smith was fine with the idea that the state should require the construction of fire walls between adjacent structures. Arthur Pigou’s notion of taxing externality-generating activities (at a rate equal to the pure social costs caused by the activity, the costs not included in prices generated by a market system) comes down the pike much later.

    Ironically, Smith’s example of fire walls is no longer considered a clear example where state intervention is necessary or necessarily desirable. Ronald Coase is responsible for developing the notion that groups can negotiate their way to efficient outcomes much of the time, especially when property rights and responsibilities are well-defined. Elinor Ostrom and her collaborators have shown that even in situations without clear property rights, state dictates are neither necessary nor sufficient for achieving efficient outcomes.

    All of the examples of people like Coase and Ostrom are, however, situations with small groups with good information about one another’s values, e.g. who benefits and how. In those situations, unfettered bargaining works well. But where benefits and costs are diffused across huge groups, and property rights are poorly defined, and transaction costs a very high, the Pigouvian tax idea, imposed in a revenue-neutral manner (the “dividend” idea is one way but there are others), has a lot of potential advantages.

    I say “potential” because the devil is in the negotiations between states, and how the political economy within each state creates demands for exceptions. Enough of that monkey business can easily undermine the intent of the Pigouvian tax and, at the same time, create a whole raft of new economic distortions that burn up more welfare than the tax saves.

    • NW

      Well said.

      Thanks for this supportive and informative essay.

      I don’t say it so well, and ought, in the preamble to my own argument.

    • nw – There is also the issue that the external costs of coal use are not well-defined in the sense that actual damages are not easy to measure, a opposed to model. In addition to that, for some reason, some people believe the benefits shouldn’t be taken into account. I can’t agree with that. Beyond the coal issue, I’m not arguing for zero regulations. I think the EPA regulations limiting heavy metals in the environment, non-natural of course, are a good thing. The leap to classifying CO2 as a dangerous gas, not so much.

      • Jim,

        The difficulty of determining the level of external costs is severe. In particular attempts to include damages related to climate change makes the spread of estimates so large that the basic idea of making the tax equal to external costs becomes impossible to apply. For a modern power plant whose sulfur and particulate emissions are small the ratio highest to lowest estimates of the external costs is certainly more than 5:1.

        As erring towards high tax is not any better than (and in some respect worse) some other basis must be taken for determining the level of tax, if carbon tax is introduced at all.

        I cannot imagine what would be the external benefit of using coal. The supply of energy is certainly a benefit, but not an externality as there’s no reason for not paying for energy as much as it’s value is.

      • Reading what NW writes below, I should add that atmospheric CO2 and global warming have certainly also positive effects and I agree that they should be included in the estimate. What I wrote was based on thinking that those effects were included in the climate related effects.

      • Jim, It’s certainly the case that properly pricing an externality by means of a Pigouvian tax presupposes LOTS of precise knowledge on the part of states. The idea that marginal social costs are obvious is, well, heroic. Hardly a day goes by here, that we don’t see someone arguing that a warmer, higher CO2 world will on balance be a better one. I don’t pretend that I know who is right about this.

      • NW

        Let those who advocate the benefits of this better, warmer, higher CO2 world pay for it.

        Who does not seek these benefits ought not be coerced into submitting without consultation or compensation.

        With a Pigouvian tax, indeed it is neither obligatory nor generally advantageous to include external benefits in the calculation of the level, though some have argued thus, for just such a reason.

        The Market is based on paying the same price, undifferentiated by different levels of satisfaction, as determined by Supply and Demand, not by replacing the judgement of individuals with the judgement of experts.

        That said, certainly it is possible that some Pigouvian, or other, tax on the fees in a fee and dividend system may be justified, as well as taxes on fuels themselves. It’s unlikely that any one solution will solve all problems. But that’s no reason not to apply the best of the solutions available first.

      • Bart, you’ve lost me. I was under the impression that the “fees” in the “fee and dividend system” are supposed to be Pigouvian taxes. If they are not, then what are they, and what are the criteria for choosing them? Additionally, a subsidy for a net beneficial externality is symmetric to a tax for a net harmful externality. (The subsidy is just a negative tax; the beneficial externality is just a marginal social benefit not reflected by competitive prices.) These are symmetric from the viewpoint of some utilitarian social maximum.

        Put another way, you might as well say “Let those who advocate the costs of this worse, warmer, higher CO2 world pay the rest of us to avoid it.” Moving from one regime to another will generate winners and losers even if the Kaldor criterion (the winners could compensate the losers) is justified.

      • Bart, I just had a thought… Are you thinking that an efficient resource allocation requires all things to have strictly positive prices? I’m just trying to make sense of what you are saying. Some things may be in excess supply at a zero price; and if there are no marginal social costs associated with such a think, its efficient price is also zero.

      • Ooops, such a thing not “such a think”

      • NW

        Indeed, the fees in a fee and dividend system are exactly not Pigouvian, despite having some of the same effects in theory.

        The fee of Carbon Cycle pricing is exactly that: price.

        Price for a scarce resource that in the past was unpriced because it was administratively impractical. Now, it is administratively practical to put a price on the Carbon Cycle. The revenues of the price? They go to each owner, per capita, as each nation determines best. British Columbia does it by tax relief and directly sending checks every few months to citizens; Australia’s scheme is better known, but not so pure, the CCL’s argument is tailored to the USA.

        Once priced, there must be a period of transition from the unpriced regime to the priced one. Inevitably, the price regime must be determined not by agency of government fiat, but by the Law of Supply and Demand.

        If, after that price is set, on top of the price of the Carbon Cycle, the government determines it will set a Pigouvian tax — which I neither advocate nor argue against as part of the case for Carbon Cycle pricing — then that is a tax on top of the price.

        And yes, I do say “Let those who advocate the costs of this worse, warmer, higher CO2 world pay the rest of us to avoid it.”

        That would be an argument against the Pigouvian tax; were I to be so misguided as to make more perplexing and complicated the contentious enough case for Carbon Cycle pricing absent tax issues.

      • How would the price of the Carbon Cycle be set? Would the criterion be the maximization of some utilitarian social welfare function?

      • NW

        “Are you thinking that an efficient resource allocation requires all things to have strictly positive prices? I’m just trying to make sense of what you are saying. Some things may be in excess supply at a zero price; and if there are no marginal social costs associated with such a think, its efficient price is also zero.”

        Ah. The Theory of Bads.

        I think the topic complicated enough without going there, just at this moment. Though CK and I brawled over this many months ago here.. which is one thing that informs me to not go there just now.

      • Bart, it isn’t the theory of bads, it is just that the formal definition of a competitive equilibrium allows some things to be in excess supply at equilibrium, and such things have a zero price at equilibrium. Tumbleweeds for on-the-spot consumption in West Texas for instance. And there is nothing socially inefficient about that–unless taking tumbleweeds in West Texas imposes social costs on the locals. This doesn’t make tumbleweeds a bad. Travelers could, you know, have enough tumbleweeds already.

      • NW | March 18, 2012 at 5:52 pm |

        “How would the price of the Carbon Cycle be set? Would the criterion be the maximization of some utilitarian social welfare function?”

        The price would be set as price is set in the Capitalist system, by the Law of Supply and Demand.

        Raise the price per unit until the total revenues of the Carbon Cycle service are maximized, that is until the next price rise would result in lower total revenues.

        This is more complicated than it sounds, as there is a small element of lag due churn in every administrative system so far that I have seen proposed, although British Columbia so far actually succeeds at reducing the overall churn of its tax system (an external benefit of carbon pricing) by paying the carbon benefit quarterly, and the CCL proposal would eliminate churn entirely by making it a per paycheck payment.

        And then, we see the entire economy absorbing all that revenue to owners of the carbon cycle, and altering their budget decisions to a less distorted pattern of purchases.. Which would lead to unforeseeable outcomes, though the general upshot is ‘better economy’.. whatever that means.

      • It’s too bad carbon isn’t a problem. Otherwise, you’d have a great scheme to make money for someone – who? Goldman Sachs?
        I know this has been done in the US before, but it just doesn’t sit right with me. It is just more government intervention, it will have unforeseen consequences, and just isn’t really necessary anyway. JMO. I’m outta’ here. All of you have a great week!

      • Bart, I am having trouble with your notion of supply here. I can see an aggregate social demand function for CO2 emission in my head, very easily. But what is the social supply function for CO2 emission? In normal neoclassical economics, the inverse supply (price) for CO2 emissions equal to q is the social marginal cost of disposing of q units of CO2 emissions.

        I went to your prezi discussion, and it seems to me that the supply function you want to use is some fixed q*: Perfectly inelastic supply at q=q*. I didn’t follow your method for choosing q*, but it seems clear to me that there is nothing in your discussion establishing why (exactly, or even roughly) q* is the socially correct quantity of CO2 emissions.

        Supply and demand is a regulatory mechanism, along with institutional rules designed to bring about a price that equates them. So far, all that guarantees is coordination of behavior. It only works efficiently when the inverse supply and demands exactly equal all private and social marginal costs of consumption and production at any potential Qs or Qd (quantities supplied or demanded).

        If instead you mean to choose q so as to maximize total revenue (spending, that is qp), that is what a monopolist with zero marginal production costs would do, and it is easy to show that (unless there is a negative externality associated with activity level q) this is always socially inefficient, and that is why economists are hostile to monopolies.

      • Jim2 | March 18, 2012 at 10:21 pm |

        “It’s too bad carbon isn’t a problem. Otherwise, you’d have a great scheme to make money for someone – who? Goldman Sachs?
        I know this has been done in the US before, but it just doesn’t sit right with me. It is just more government intervention, it will have unforeseen consequences, and just isn’t really necessary anyway. JMO. I’m outta’ here. All of you have a great week!”

        The wonderful things about Capitalism, A) even if you don’t need to solve a problem, it makes what is going on better in and of itself. Fairer. More efficient, clearer, cleaner, faster. You could be sitting in the muck of any old situation you’re satisfied with, bring in Capitalism, and suddenly that muck is worth something, your misery is abated, and you can begin trading some of that valuable muck for the straw hat and banjo you never knew you wanted. It’s better than Lord Monckton’s Universal Cure for What Ails You.” and B) someone with industriousness and cleverness who contributes to improving the economy and strengthening the nation will realize its rewards, and if you can keep the carpetbaggers and corrupt from sucking the marrow out of the bones of the market with their rent-seeking ways (as you see in the fossil and biomass industries), then it just keeps on getting better.

      • NW | March 18, 2012 at 10:47 pm |

        You are very clever. You are the first to ask, and this question perplexed me for the longest time before I came to the answer that satisfies me best.

        The answer is, “it depends”. Just as the appropriate mechanism for delivering the dividend will vary from nation to nation by cultural and poleconomic determination of each independent state, I cannot present a universal solution that applies equally to all; nor do I think it wise to seek one.

        Who am I to replace the judgement of any self-determining nation with my own? I know there are many broad classes of functions, but overall they are possible to dismiss with the question, “how do they do it for apples and broadband?”

        Does this address your concern?

      • Bart, I think that you fundamentally misunderstand what ‘economic scarcity’ is and is not.

        When a government auctions broadcast frequencies, they are not creating artificial scarcity where there was no true economic scarcity. The reason is that the use of a frequency imposes external costs on near-neighbor frequencies in the form of interference. Incidentally, I think technology is an important determinant of the scope and severity of that externality: The guys who know about these things get better over time at dealing with that interference. As that takes place, the ‘frequencies resource’ can be used more densely, and this allows more frequencies to be auctioned. But fundamentally two things are making frequencies scarce: Current technology, and the fact that each frequency has a socially valuable alternative use–if only to minimize interference at near-neighbor frequencies by laying it aside unused. At least this is my touchy-feely understanding of the issue. Surely some of our denizens with signal-processing expertise (they are legion) will chime in and say “NW you bonehead it is like this” but I doubt they will disagree that using frequencies too densely imposes external costs on all users of frequencies.

        Then there’s oxygen in the atmosphere at sea level on dry land. There are highly valued uses for this. But at the margin when I breathe in, subtracting some from the atmosphere, that imposes no private or social cost on anyone else. No labor or capital needs to be delivered to supply it; and it deprives no one of an alternative valued use of that breath of oxygen. If you tried to set up a business to provide this oxygen to normal healthy people, you could not command a positive price for it. There is no private or social cost associated with taking free oxygen. There MAY be a private or social cost associated with inserting other obnoxious crap into the atmosphere. But the oxygen itself is not a scarce good: So it is a free good with a zero price everywhere at sea level on dry land, and that is the right price for it, from the perspective of economic efficiency. If the government were to declare that we can use no more than q* units of oxygen, and charged the price p* to everyone for using it, the social damage at the margin would be the price p*, because this is a contrived kind of scarcity putting a wedge equal to p* between the benefit of the last unit consumed and the total social cost (zero) of consuming it.

        The oxygen case is, I think, wholly analogous to the good I would call “CO2 disposal services” from the viewpoint of private costs and benefits. We all gather on this blog because we all would like to straighten out whether the marginal ton of “privately free” disposal of CO2 is “socially free.” That depends on whether that marginal ton has a deleterious net impact on social welfare. A contrived scarcity of CO2 disposal services (by setting q* and auctioning off that quantity at the p* the private market bears) cannot answer the question of whether CO2 has a social cost or not. It simply ignores that question, totally, and creates a contrived (not an economic) scarcity, and thus has no basis whatsover in any utilitarian social welfare maximization.

      • Careful there NW … they will be thinking you want them to consider the benefits of CO2 as well as the cost. And in the warmista’s case, the cost involves how many unicorns can dance on a molecule of CO2.

      • NW | March 19, 2012 at 10:09 pm |
        Bart, I think that you fundamentally misunderstand what ‘economic scarcity’ is and is not.

        I live to be enlightened. Let’s see if I can keep up with your lessons.

        When a government auctions broadcast frequencies, they are not creating artificial scarcity where there was no true economic scarcity.
        Exactly.
        There is true economic scarcity in the Carbon Cycle.
        CO2 keeps going up, after millions of years so far as our best estimation can tell of the widest definition of the Carbon Cycle keeping it stable at 230 +/-50 ppmv.
        What’s changed? Most probably, us.
        Market decisions aren’t made on scientific evidence, or courtroom evidence, but on opinion and deliverables. Can you deliver a 280 ppmv atmosphere tomorrow?
        No? Then can you prove the level has no connection to human activity? No? Then the opinion of the Market ought be sought, through the democracy of individual players making individual purchase decisions.. unless you seek to substitute the wisdom of your own personal opinion for the judgement of the Market.
        The reason is that the use of a frequency imposes external costs on near-neighbor frequencies in the form of interference. Incidentally, I think technology is an important determinant of the scope and severity of that externality: The guys who know about these things get better over time at dealing with that interference. As that takes place, the ‘frequencies resource’ can be used more densely, and this allows more frequencies to be auctioned. But fundamentally two things are making frequencies scarce: Current technology, and the fact that each frequency has a socially valuable alternative use–if only to minimize interference at near-neighbor frequencies by laying it aside unused. At least this is my touchy-feely understanding of the issue. Surely some of our denizens with signal-processing expertise (they are legion) will chime in and say “NW you bonehead it is like this” but I doubt they will disagree that using frequencies too densely imposes external costs on all users of frequencies.

        NW, you’re close enough for horseshoes, based on my experience in the industry (why do you suppose I keep talking about it?) Certainly you’re not so far off as will alter the meaning of the metaphor.

        Then there’s oxygen in the atmosphere at sea level on dry land. There are highly valued uses for this. But at the margin when I breathe in, subtracting some from the atmosphere, that imposes no private or social cost on anyone else. No labor or capital needs to be delivered to supply it; and it deprives no one of an alternative valued use of that breath of oxygen. If you tried to set up a business to provide this oxygen to normal healthy people, you could not command a positive price for it. There is no private or social cost associated with taking free oxygen. There MAY be a private or social cost associated with inserting other obnoxious crap into the atmosphere. But the oxygen itself is not a scarce good: So it is a free good with a zero price everywhere at sea level on dry land, and that is the right price for it, from the perspective of economic efficiency. If the government were to declare that we can use no more than q* units of oxygen, and charged the price p* to everyone for using it, the social damage at the margin would be the price p*, because this is a contrived kind of scarcity putting a wedge equal to p* between the benefit of the last unit consumed and the total social cost (zero) of consuming it.

        That’s a long way around to get to a point, which is always suspicion-arousing, but I’m with you up to here, and hardly in a position to complain about longwindedness.

        The oxygen case is, I think, wholly analogous to the good I would call “CO2 disposal services” from the viewpoint of private costs and benefits. We all gather on this blog because we all would like to straighten out whether the marginal ton of “privately free” disposal of CO2 is “socially free.” That depends on whether that marginal ton has a deleterious net impact on social welfare. A contrived scarcity of CO2 disposal services (by setting q* and auctioning off that quantity at the p* the private market bears) cannot answer the question of whether CO2 has a social cost or not. It simply ignores that question, totally, and creates a contrived (not an economic) scarcity, and thus has no basis whatsover in any utilitarian social welfare maximization.

        Respectfully, no.

        Your analogy falls apart immediately.

        Firstly, net impact is a nubbin.

        If I don’t seek a benefit, then being handed it does not indenture me to debt of any sort.

        You walk up to me and hand me a $20 bill I did not seek, nor make any agreement upon for exchange, you cannot later say I owe you anything.

        This is one of the fundamentals of contract law, for example, and is a well-understood principle. Your argument does not wash in the particular, and it does not wash in the general.

        (Also, I’m the last to claim to understand why anyone else gathers on this blog.)

        The scarcity of CO2 disposal services arises naturally with the Risk of increased CO2. No other element is needed, nor impinges this social cost. It’s well recognized (see Hale 2002) and established.

        You’re makin’ stuff up. I’m not ignoring the question. I’m addressing the known inequity.

        Do you still disagree? Why?

      • Bart,

        I’ve just tried to get the economics straight in this discussion, without taking a position as to whether or not there are net positive or negative effects of CO2 disposal or what their size is, which I do not know. I’m no expert in contract law, but I would guess it isn’t perfectly aligned with utilitarian considerations. And you are right that I overstepped what I can strictly infer about why people come to this blog.

        As far as the economics of the situation go, I’ve tried to explain my professional opinion (some of it; the thing is more complex than a few blog posts can take care of). I respect you enough to leave it at that without recrimination.

      • NW | March 20, 2012 at 12:05 am |
        I want to start by thanking you.

        Your exchanges in this thread have been a challenge, a delight, and a clear indication to me that I have very far to go in my thinking. And, if I am to come close to your measure, in my courtesy.

        I’ve just tried to get the economics straight in this discussion, without taking a position as to whether or not there are net positive or negative effects of CO2 disposal or what their size is, which I do not know.

        It’s been a huge help. I’ll likely be months or years considering what you’ve said, and hope to do so to positive outcomes. Technical skill does not consider the conclusion first, but the method. Because of this, professionalism will out, as you clearly demonstrate.

        I’m no expert in contract law, but I would guess it isn’t perfectly aligned with utilitarian considerations.

        LOL!

        And you are right that I overstepped what I can strictly infer about why people come to this blog.

        I do that all the time myself. It’s easier for me to recognize it in others, by dint of experience. And in myself, too, sometimes only moments after pressing “Post Comment”.

        As far as the economics of the situation go, I’ve tried to explain my professional opinion (some of it; the thing is more complex than a few blog posts can take care of).

        Agreed! And appreciated.
        I’m finding WordPress exceptionally constraining that way; even prezi is limiting, if for no other reason that it imposes so little discipline on the mind. If you ever do create a prezi on anything remotely connected with your ideas in Economics.. or publish a book (or is it another book?), I’d be glad to be directed to it.

        I respect you enough to leave it at that without recrimination.

        Much as it may not always seem, I’m very glad to have had this exchange, which I fear was more profitable for me than for thee.

        What marginal utility is there to me from someone who agrees with me?

    • Ironic is where it all leads and that is the example of dead and dying Old Europe, which would not exist today if not for being propped up by the US. And, for those who cannot look very far into the future, there is no society on the face of the Earth who will care to prop up America… just the reverse when you see the extent to which the American governmental-education complex has stabbed the productive in the back. Global warming is not a problem it is the symptom of a problem: the Fall of Western civilization–it’s rotting from within.

  42. Can anyone confirm, the IPCC models that include the most and the longest negative phases are the ones that have the highest long-term rise?

  43. What they said four years ago:

    DR TED SCAMBOS, NATIONAL SNOW AND ICE DATA CENTER USA: What you have to remember is that even three or four years ago the scientific community was saying, this is an emergency, this is something serious. We could have an ice-free Arctic by the year 2070, by the year 2080. In the last few years those predictions have come way, way in towards the present and now we’re saying maybe 2030, maybe 2020. There’s a group that makes a very strong case that in 2012 or 13 we’ll have an ice-free Arctic, as soon as that.

    http://bit.ly/AxFIEd

  44. ‘Therefore, 80% fuel tax is too low, as it distorts the market for beef, if we limit ourselves only to elasticity arguments, notwithstanding externalities.

    Which is one reason why I do not advocate for taxes, regardless of the case for or against them — they require far greater understanding and discussion than prices. Prices are far more straightforward and simple.’

    This is not comprehensible at all in any reasonable simulcrum of English. Regardless – when Bart says he is not in favour of taxes the alternative is ‘fee and dividend’. The fee is determined by government and collected by government and then redistributed by government untill such time as it is cheaper to buy carbon credits in Chinese or Indian supercritical coal powered generators. At which stage energy prices are several times what they were. We would pray for technological innovation – if there were any chance of this eventuating.

    This is what is planned for Australia in July. Part of the deal with the greens to have a minority government. Fot this and many other reasons the government is doomed in 2013.

    Best regards
    Captain Kangaroo

    • Captain Kangaroo | March 18, 2012 at 5:57 pm |

      ‘Therefore, 80% fuel tax is too low, as it distorts the market for beef, if we limit ourselves only to elasticity arguments, notwithstanding externalities.

      Which is one reason why I do not advocate for taxes, regardless of the case for or against them — they require far greater understanding and discussion than prices. Prices are far more straightforward and simple.’

      This is not comprehensible at all in any reasonable simulcrum of English. Regardless – when Bart says he is not in favour of taxes the alternative is ‘fee and dividend’. The fee is determined by government and collected by government and then redistributed by government untill such time as it is cheaper to buy carbon credits in Chinese or Indian supercritical coal powered generators. At which stage energy prices are several times what they were. We would pray for technological innovation – if there were any chance of this eventuating.

      This is what is planned for Australia in July. Part of the deal with the greens to have a minority government. Fot this and many other reasons the government is doomed in 2013.

      CK indeed, I’m sorry your grasp of Economics has not grown through the valiant and diligent efforts I know you’ve put into trying to cultivate it through reading and discussion. Some of us just will never be Economists. I believe most of us agree that’s not a bad thing.

      The fee I propose is determined not by government fiat at all. In no way would the government decide the price of the carbon cycle service. This would be determined solely by the Law of Supply and Demand.

      While NW — who I note is an excellent Economist — discovered the most obvious problem with this part of the proposal, it is absolutely not the issue you identify. It is rather that the carbon cycle has one single undifferentiated owner — all of us — who as owner will be meanspirited and greedy.

      That’s a problem for another day.

      As for the lesser problem of the trade imbalances of China and India poaching the carbon cycle service and dumping goods through stealing this resource internationally, there are easy and obvious trade expedients for addressing dumping.

      Since China and India are both full signatories to all relevant trade treaties, it’s not such a problem.

  45. At the local Republican caucus here yesterday, I observed both
    a.) Remnants of representative government still working well, and
    b.) An all-pervasive concern that something is seriously wrong !
    http://www.semissourian.com/story/1827072.html

    Ordinary citizens know our “Bill of Rights” is vanishing.
    http://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/billofrights

    They know control of people and information is someone’s goal. Are political leaders at fault? Are they asleep? Who is to blame?
    c.) The British Royal Family again?
    d.) Another Sleeping Giant awoke?
    e.) Big Brother behind a UN mask?

    Some think c.) the correct answer.
    Some think e.) is obviously correct.
    I suspect the correct answer is d.)

    Henry Kissinger flew to China to end the Cold War in 1971: The basic physical sciences were compromised after 1971 – Astronomy, astrophysics, climatology, cosmology, nuclear, particle, planetary, space and solar physics: http://omanuel.wordpress.com/about/

    China was subjugated with opium. Drugs have subjugated the USA.
    http://instruct.uwo.ca/anthro/211/crack.htm

    With kind regards,
    Oliver K. Manuel
    Former NASA Principal
    Investigator for Apollo
    http://www.omatumr.com/

  46. Oh great, Bart R is back to his incomprehensible musings on how massive redistributive energy taxes are merely prices. Next will come his complaints that anyone who disagrees with him is a communist/socialist agitator.

    Almost makes me miss Joshua. He was just as annoying, but at least he was coherent.

    • GaryM

      Good to see you too!

      I’ve tried my best to learn from the admirable example set by the discourse between yourself and Joshua; should you have any more tips on how I may elevate the discussion, by all means let me know.

  47. Here’s one prediction about climate policy made in 1972 that seems almost prescient.

    “Up and Down with Ecology – the ‘Issue Attention Cycle'”

    The five stages of the cycle are:

    1. The pre-problem stage (this would be Hansen up to 1988)

    2. Alarmed discovery and euphoric enthusiasm (think formation of the IPCC)

    3. Realizing the cost of significant progress (Kyoto, ’nuff said)

    4. Gradual decline of intense public interest (climategate and Copenhagen seem to fit this bill)

    5. The post-problem stage (the 2012 US election will hopefully signal this phase)

    The author was writing about the environmental movement in general at the time, and Hansen and his Dem sponsors had not yet glommed onto the CAGW scare. So he can be forgiven for thinking in 1972 that the movement was “about midway through the issue attention cycle.” It is otherwise a fairly insightful article, as to the life cycle of public policy “issues.”

    His final prediction, that the demise of the environmentalist movement would be “at a much slower rate than other recent domestic issues” was right on the money. Including his description of the political and economic interests that would cause that slowing.

    (His discussion of tactics – at page 10 of the pdf – is positively Alinskyite, though I doubt he saw it that way.)

    http://www.unc.edu/~fbaum/teaching/POLI891_Sp10/articles/Downs_Public_Interest_1972.pdf

    It’s like the five stages of death for climate activists.

    (Steven Hayward described the article yesterday on the Poweline blog:)

    http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2012/03/environmentalism-the-autopsy.php

  48. Beth me darlin’,

    It is odd you know that both Martha and Michael Mann – amongst the clamouring hordes newly declaring themselves – can claim to be climate warriors and yet the war of cultural values can be denied when convenient. It is the old truth and honour ploy – but I truly don’t think they have either. The tribal condemnations fall from their lips when convenient. The dissimulation, Orwellian double speak and hypocrisy abound in the greater cause of everything that is opposed to global economic growth and to human progress in this century. Taxes are efficient, negative growth is progress, war is peace, slavery is freedom, ignorance is knowledge.

    An example or two will suffice. Vaughan leaped in with outrage akimbo when I described Webby as an obnoxious troll. Webby had not a post or 2 before described Girma as a clown. Webby is self lauded for – amongst other things – ‘competitive trash talking’. I was subjected to offensive accusations of racism from Bart and Webby because I used the terms duck and watermelon as ironic references to potential outcomes of stochastic systems – somehow I had offended delicate American sensibilities. Certainly there is a racial stereotype with watermelons that I was vaguely aware of – but the word itself can hardly be defined as politically incorrect. It is used of course in reference to green neo-socialists – although suggesting that the outcome of mooted stochasticity in climate is a green neo-socialist may be more a mess of mixed metaphors than anything else.

    There are of course large numbers of warminista climate warriors dropping into the threads with vacuous and insulting – smartarse we would call them – comment. They – collectively – are both aggressive and opportunistic as they sense an advantage in a debate stripped of anything but rhetorical expediancy. They are as slippery as all hell and an honest cowboy simply sorts through the multiple levels of dross and responds simply. Bart is one of the worst examples – and sometimes I respond in kind to the long winded and illogical rants interspersed with smarmy insults – simply because I like to play with words. I do try to be clever and amusing about it but what can I say – war is hell?

    So Beth – you should cut an old climate warrior some slack because neither side is actually listening anymore. It is rather like tribes of baboons across a clearing – until the shooting starts and I rather expect that it will in earnest. I am here to study the enemy and Barts recent metaphor of someone holding a syringe to his throat and his fighting back with deadly force or the reference to guns and Clint Eastwood – strikes me as an intensification of the rhetoric that bodes ill for the rule of law and civil discourse. As the fear and loathing intensifies and the world cools and they are further yet from magical solutions to an imaginary problem – all sorts of crazy space cadets will be coming out of the woodwork. This can’t end well.

    BTW – I feel quite trembly at the idea of being lassoed by you and look forward to our meeting – once the climate war is done with and a simple soldier can go home – at the Great Western Hotel, Rocky.

    Yours in breathless anticipation
    Captain Kangaroo

    • Calling someone a watermelon is not, and never has been, seen as racist in the US.

      Coconut on the other hand is a slur progressives like to make against conservative Asian Americans like Michelle Malkin – brown on the outside and white on the inside.

      Twinkie is apparently an American Indian euphemism, referring to Euro Caucasians – yellow on the outside, white on the inside.

      Oreo is used by progressives to describe conservative Afican Americans – black on the outside and white on the inside.

      There used to be racist jokes in the US about African Americans and watermelons, but that was not about calling anyone a watermelon. It was about using a perceived penchant for eating watermelon as “code” for racism. And this too, of course, came from progressives, primarily southern Democrats.

      Basically, progressives have cornered the market on food based racial slurs. But just to be safe, you may want to avoid calling anyone fried chicken either.

      Having thus far dipped my toe into the fevered swamps of culinarially racist terms, I googled the issue and have a new favorite food based racial epithet.

      Chex Mix – a person of Czech and Mexican mixed ancestry.

      I won’t tell you what a soggy cracker is, but if you want to know…

      http://www.rsdb.org/search?q=mexican

      Racism is ugly and hateful and no joke. But the interminable attempts of the party of institutionalized racism in the United States, the Democrat Party, to label anyone who disagrees with them as racist, deserves nothing but ridicule and contempt.

  49. Saint Bartholomew,

    ‘Bartholomew (Greek: Βαρθολομαίος, transliterated “Bartholomaios”) comes from the Aramaic bar-Tôlmay (תולמי‎‎‎‎‎-בר‎‎), meaning son of Tolmay (Ptolemy) or son of the furrows (perhaps a ploughman).’ Oddly appropriate for a son of the apples.

    1. We’re in better agreement than you think. We agree about King Corn, though I’d go farther than you in that regard, knowing perhaps a little more from inside that industry. I’m all for taking away subsidies period. OK, I’m overzealous, but you can live with that.’

    We seem in perfect agreement.

    ‘Do you define a true free market as one so deregulated as to be vulnerable to manipulation by special concerns, or one maintained as nearly possible to the ideal model of Capitalism? I’ll grant that you’re not an idiot, so must subscribe to the latter.’

    The rule of law applies in the market as much as elsewhere and the critical enlightenment principle is the protection of the weak against the strong.

    ‘Which one is the greater distortion on a fair market run closely to the ideal: ensuring that every scarce resource is well-priced, or ensuring that some scarce resources are mispriced with the intention of manipulating the Economy?’

    We have established what you are – a grafting freeloader – and now we are just haggling about the price of your bit of the sky. Sorry – I’m not in the market for some sky.

    ‘We know from the very existence of the phrase “cheap energy” repeated in lobbying document after lobbying document, political speech after political speech, Economics lesson after Economics lesson, NGO briefing after NGO briefing, traceable back to those selfsame socialist philosophers as designed the politburo system of cheap energy for the Soviet Union, that this is a purposeful attempt to manipulate the Economy, a purposeful distortion of the Market, a tax and subsidy on fossil energy.’

    Don’t know what this means – hand waving I expect. What I suggest you do – and it is only a suggestion – is you stake out your bit of sky and place an advertisement in the local trader under sky for sale.

    Best regards
    Captain Kangaroo

  50. Someone’s finally admitted it in print:

    http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/2012/03/17/effective-world-government-will-still-be-needed-to-stave-off-climate-catastrophe/

    Reminds me of some of the salon conversations in Thomas Mann’s “Dr. Faustus.” Shiver me timbers.

  51. Chief, as you well know, it’s about finding the facts and engaging in positive humourous debate, for which life affirming enlightenment warriers like us ;-) ( well, famous really,) are so well known. Have to go, I was about to send a sally to Bart.

  52. Bart@18/3 10.26.
    Oh Bart,
    Why, if they have no meat and potato, let them eat cake
    (One can learn so much from reading the myths of history.)

    Yes, and reading the sainted Hayek too, (henceforth to be referred to as Saint H.) I recommend Chapter 3 on price And, say, let us not forget modern examples of gatekeeping by shamen.

  53. Bart, just saw your posting to Judith and myself @12.20pm.

    Re carbon pricing, a subjective response. Like Primo Levi I love carbon, it’s even part of me.
    “Please don’t tax me!”

    ( Say, Bart,do you really find me daunting?)

    • You do indeed daunt, BC.

      Btw, please clarify. Hayek wrote more than one Chapter 3 on Pricing.

      Though I cannot resist his taste in citations, this taken from p489,
      _Prices and Production and Other Works: F.A. Hayek on Money, the Business Cycle, and the Gold Standard_

      The Mythology of Capital
      With every respect for the intellectual qualities of my opponent, I must
      oppose his doctrine with all possible emphasis, in order to defend a solid
      and natural theory of capital against a mythology of capital.
      E. v. Böhm-Bawerk
      Quarterly Journal of Economics 11, no. 2 (February 1907): 282

  54. /pm Robert I Ellison=Hey, Rob, next prank we play on mf, we should dress it up a bit more. I still think mf might figure out our game, and if mf gets onto us, may expose the others in our cell of group ClimatePlanNine. Are you sure mf doesn’t suspect? mf’s the most dangerous investigator yet, and seems to know things. It’s almost like mf’s overhearing our broadcasts.

    • Markus Fitzhenry

      Na, Barty, not a investigator, I’m clairvoyant and I know you are looking at big losses. Not to worry, life ain’t all that bad on the skids, I hear they often serve a good offal at the soup kitchens,

  55. Bart re 19/3 3.30 am.
    I knew if I replied you’d try to draw me out with yer seductive sophistry -(and me jest an escapee from the humanities.)
    My counter responses:
    (1) I’m lucky JC lets me post here! ( Tho’ I DO think Tony and I could win the new ‘Nice Poster’ Award.)
    (2)Yer goddam sophistry requires focus.
    (3)I’ve got something else I HAVE to do right now on Cervantes.

    (Hope I haven’t’ disappointed you, Bart.)

    • Beth

      We can ALL win if we are polite, although due to the magnificence of the prizes (so i understand) the bar would have to be continually raised or else Judith will be bankrupted through her largesse.

      Mind you Judith is invariably polite (under severe provocation sometimes), although I would tend to say that as the owner she should be automatically disqualified and just continue to set a good example (which would enable us to remove some worrying competition. :)
      tonyb

    • Beth Cooper | March 19, 2012 at 4:28 am |

      http://www.thefreedictionary.com/seductive
      se·duc·tive (s-dktv)
      adj.
      Tending to seduce; alluring: “his sad and fastidious but ever seductive Irish voice.”

      A bit late for St. Patrick’s Day, but I’ll own to that.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sage_(Sophos)
      In the Symposium, Plato draws a distinction between a philosopher and a sage (sophos). The difference is explained through the concept of love, which lacks the object it seeks. Therefore the philosopher (literally lover of wisdom in Greek) does not have the wisdom he or she seeks. The sage, on the other hand, does not love or seek wisdom, because he already has wisdom. According to Plato, there are two categories of beings who do not do philosophy:
      1.Gods and sages, because they are wise;
      2.senseless people, because they think they are wise.

      Oh, you make my sad and fastidious complexion blush.

      Or did you mean something else?

      I fear I did not completely escape the Humanities, and bear the brand yet upon sheepskin.

      (1) We’re all lucky there’s a JC. She tends to prefer in my experience relevance to the topic at hand, so perhaps scoring is a ratio of Useful:Polite.
      (2) I don’t care to say things that don’t engage reason, reflection and growth. Recti cultus pectora roborant.
      (3) Cervantes, the complex, quarrelsome, elegant Spaniard is well worth doing something about. You go solve that Cervantes issue. Let me know how it goes.

      Let me rephrase this to my point: do you expect to Humanities your way to Science by the Walden Inversion, as Primo Levi did, or will your children turn their faces from you?

  56. I had to google CP9 – but hell it isn’t paranoid if they are out to get you – http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/2012/03/17/effective-world-government-will-still-be-needed-to-stave-off-climate-catastrophe/

    http://cp9.deviantart.com/art/CP-ID-12944764 – deviant art is a site for those who have a life unlike Bart

  57. Well, whatever was being discussed in this thread is now truly derailed. The level of debate that has transpired would not be of interest to anyone with an interest in climate change or in politics of any persuasion.

    Judith would be wise to simply delete the whole thread and let everyone start afresh but with more mutual respect for the arguments being put forward and less attention to personalities.

  58. Bart,

    You have written so much about Carbon Cycle pricing without telling, what it really means in full enough detail of implementation. By this strangely named concept you seem to mean something related to adding and removing CO2 from the atmosphere. As far as I can judge it’s just another name for cap and trade and as such it has all the same problems as cap and trade as in general. (I called it strangely named, because Carbon Cycle is not something that could be measured in an unique way to form a market good.)

    Your claim that the price is fully determined by market balance is not true, because such market is not a market that arises naturally, but it’s a market created by government decree and the decree must also specify the target level. You may propose some very low level, and I think that you have, indeed, something like that in mind. That would, however, be seriously detrimental for the human well-being as that would lead to overemphasis of one issue relative to all others.

    Your claim that it’s not government regulation in some form appears to be false. At least I have never seen anything related to what I have understood your Carbon Cycle pricing to mean that would not be a form of government regulation.

    • Pekka Pirilä | March 19, 2012 at 5:36 am |

      I’m very grateful for your correspondence. You’ve discussed earlier versions of this idea with me before, and your questions and observations then helped me move it forward considerably.

      You have written so much about Carbon Cycle pricing without telling, what it really means in full enough detail of implementation.
      There are several reasons I take this approach:
      1. For each case, implementation will of necessity be different, and potentially very different.
      The politically watered-down British Columbia example applies to an economy the size of South Carolina or the Czech Republic, with 4.4 million people and, perhaps more than coincidentally, one of the strongest economic performances in the world of any economy since the “Revenue Neutral Carbon Tax” was implemented (who am I to second-guess either the democratic process or the judgement of economic performance?); the CCL Fee and Dividend is tailored to the world’s mightiest nation and not yet tested by the legislative process; Australia’s Carbon Tax is, well, it seems upside-down to me, but it’s what they chose to match their conditions. Who am I to substitute my general ideas for any national democracy’s decisions?
      2. At implementation details always require fine tuning, and expertise. I don’t pretend to that.
      3. There are so many possible implementations, it would be very confusing to list even a small portion.
      4. Others describe this implementation far better, and for skeptical balance, many often criticize it at length. You’re free to seek them out and judge for yourself.
      By this strangely named concept you seem to mean something related to adding and removing CO2 from the atmosphere.. (I called it strangely named, because Carbon Cycle is not something that could be measured in an unique way to form a market good.) [edit mine]
      The “Carbon Cycle” I describe is the Carbon Cycle, widened to include all processes adding and removing CO2 from air, yes. It performs a service, of maintaining a range of CO2 concentration, historically at 230+/-50 ppmv.

      The unique way I measure the Carbon Cycle is by CO2 concentration. I reduce it to this single dimension in the economic model for our purposes.. but more about that later.
      ..As far as I can judge it’s just another name for cap and trade and as such it has all the same problems as cap and trade as in general..
      No. Very much no. Perhaps a nuance not so important to a European as to an American audience, but cap&trade is a command and control system, which to an American audience is antithetical.
      By pricing the service of the Carbon Cycle to maintain the CO2 concentration in air within historical bounds, and thus reduce the Risk of rapid change (a Risk we need not specify precisely, as the Market addresses this for us), we escape the trap of command and control regulation, replacing it with administrative regulation, a lesser evil (though still evil to an American).

      The debate in America becomes not one of “Free Riding Opportunists” vs. “Command and Control Exploited and Manipulated by Free Riding Opportunists”, but of “Free Riding Opportunists” vs. “Red Tape”. That’s a world of difference in the American mind.

      I don’t pretend to grasp the European mentality.

      Your claim that the price is fully determined by market balance is not true, because such market is not a market that arises naturally, but it’s a market created by government decree and the decree must also specify the target level.
      I’m sorry, Pekka, you lose me here. I’ve demonstrated the Risk borne by all equally, which is relieved by the service of the Carbon Cycle, which is a scarce resource that may be allocated efficiently by the Market. You must see that the revenue of this system is unlike the revenue of Cap&Trade, in that it goes directly and unreduced to each citizen per capita from each _lucrative_ CO2 emission, and not to general revenues or special funds (at least, in its purest form as I envision it; for some nations, that may be what they democratically prefer).

      As the revenues go to each citizen, each citizen may spend the revenues to adapt to or insure against the Risk of galloping CO2 rise. This is true whether man-made or no, whether temperature rises much or no, regardless of the particulars of catastrophe, and at net economic gain and with improved economic efficiency.

      That said, it is not administratively feasible to capture all CO2 emissions by pricing alone. We see that in British Columbia, which has the most broadly-based of all carbon pricing schemes (lamentably, with some exceptions made only because of political pressure and the limits on a province lacking federal powers over trade), that only 70%-80% of lucrative emissions are captured. Cap&Trade would capture most of the remaining 20%-30%. Of what is left, direct charges for lucrative property use to property holders would be needed. If you’re serious about fairness and effectiveness, and plugging leaks.
      You may propose some very low level, and I think that you have, indeed, something like that in mind. That would, however, be seriously detrimental for the human well-being as that would lead to overemphasis of one issue relative to all others.
      I propose a transition from the current system (whatever it is) to a full-bodied system with price determined exactly as it is in the Market for any good with many near alternatives (for example, gasoline is less carbon-intensive than coal, natural gas less than gasoline or diesel, hydrogen or battery less carbon-intensive, and so on).

      At peak price, likely CO2E will be priced about $200-$350/tonne of carbon equivalent, and all of the revenue would go, for example, to wiping out payroll taxes and the like per capita to each citizen. More than enough to wipe out income taxes for many people, but as it’s their money paid in due for their Risk, it is not a hateful redistributive system of unearned handouts.

      Your claim that it’s not government regulation in some form appears to be false. At least I have never seen anything related to what I have understood your Carbon Cycle pricing to mean that would not be a form of government regulation.

      It’s less regulation than the alternatives proposed, and it’s net less regulation than exists now. In America, that’s deregulation. Further, as pointed out above, it’s not command and control like the EPA or Healthcare, but instead the same sort of administrative measure as is used to run the US Mint, or the Veteran’s Administration, or to guarantee the rights of states within the union, or to keep the Market a level playing field free from manipulation. To a European, I understand this means nothing. But in America, I assure you, it has value.

      While I’m sure a version of this will work well in Europe, far better than what you have now, I’m not the one to translate it into a European, or global, model.

      Does this address your concerns?

      • Bart,

        No you don’t answer my concerns. You are still trying to present a solution that’s impossible. You cannot create any form of carbon market without a government decree and the details of the decree determine fundamentally what the market will be like. There’s no natural carbon market.

        The concept of carbon cycle is really not clear in this connection. You must mean some net release or intake of carbon, but carbon cycle is not a clear expression for that.

        The only way of creating the market for net carbon release is to decree a cap, I.e. some target level. Without some target level you cannot measure the amounts that are sold or purchased. We breathe out CO2 and I don’t think that you propose measuring, how much each of us breathes. All agriculture affects CO2 and most of other things we do. There must be clear rules on what to include in the market and how much is acceptable without the need of joining the markets. IPCC has done a lot of work an what to include in considerations, but important issues remain open or questionable.

        My guess is that you consider some type of zero level as the natural target level, but there’s no real science based consensus on what the target level should be. Some CO2 concentration of the atmosphere may be defined as the limit of the resource, but determining that level is a political decision and introducing that requirement is a governmental decree. There is a political consensus of some breadth on the warming target of 2 degrees, but that’s really a political consensus supported with a rather weak scientific consensus. Very many people who are worried about climate change and who accept most of IPCC WG1 work as valid think that the particular value of 2C is almost totally a result of a political process rather than the scientific process. I agree with that view. Such views have been voiced recently also in editorials of some influential science journals.

        Moving to CO2 concentrations there’s even less agreement on the best target levels. It makes a big difference whether it is 350, 450 or 550 or some other value. But even the maximum concentration is only indirectly and in a complex way related to the net emissions of one year. Controlling the net annual emissions is the basic idea behind the present caps. The implementations may be partial, but that’s the idea. I cannot figure how you can get in practice any closer to the more fundamental goals in a market approach than in cap and trade. Cap and trade creates a market but that requires a government decree that determines the level of the cap and forces individual actors to participate in the market.

        Choosing cap and trade leaves two fundamental problems:

        1) What is the optimal cap. Erring severely in either direction may be very detrimental for future human well-being.

        2) Is the price formation process efficient, when the cap has been defined. Many studies have concluded that it’s not, and the European experience confirms that so far it has not been efficient. Some people want to believe that it will become more efficient through learning, but I doubt, because there’ll always be new major uncertainties that make the process rather instable and inefficient.

        My view is that the inverse problems related to the carbon tax are much smaller and that the carbon tax is therefore a highly preferred solution in comparison with cap and trade. My feeling is that cap and trade was accepted in Kyoto and by EU because tax is so dirty a word, i.e. people dislike new taxes so much and make internationally harmonized taxes therefore politically so unattainable that a much worse solution was adopted. That was possible, because so few understood how bad this alternative really is.

        Now the UNFCCC process is facing the unsolvable problems that Kyoto Protocol introduced, but the European politicians and some others are not ready to accept that they messed up the whole thing, and that they should give up sticking with a hopeless approach.

      • Pekka Pirilä | March 20, 2012 at 5:01 am |

        You come up with some excellent questions! (This is not surprise; I’ve noted before now you’re uncannily insightful.)

        You cannot create any form of carbon market without a government decree and the details of the decree determine fundamentally what the market will be like.

        Strike out the word ‘carbon’ above, and you are still correct, for all practical purposes due the working of fiat currency.

        The qualities of the ‘decree’, though they are undifferentiated to the untuned European ear, I assure you matter in America, as much as the difference between the sound of a head-on collision and the sweet sound of both kinds of music: Country, and Western.

        There’s no natural carbon market.

        We’re agreed. There is, however, a natural Risk market; this is patent in every product on the market that modifies Risk, and carbon emission is an inextricable proxy for Risk of a certain type.

        The concept of carbon cycle is really not clear in this connection. You must mean some net release or intake of carbon, but carbon cycle is not a clear expression for that.

        Does it matter? This overcomplicates, and is too nuanced either to alter the argument or to influence the outcome in general. Let any nation self-determine such quibbles.

        The only way of creating the market for net carbon release is to decree a cap, I.e. some target level.

        With all due respect, you assert pure collectivist crap; it does not sell in America, and it’s not a universal truth.

        The Law of Supply and Demand determines the level efficiently. Indeed, it determines the level with optimal efficiency by the democratic judgement of the individual choices of participants. That’s what Capitalism does.

        Without some target level you cannot measure the amounts that are sold or purchased.

        Which only matters if you have a committee or dictator replacing the judgement of the Market with their own; this is inevitably inefficient and hands over too much power to too few, for no good reason.

        We breathe out CO2 and I don’t think that you propose measuring, how much each of us breathes.

        That’s correct.

        I propose pricing only lucrative exchanges involving CO2E, based on the index of each good, where administratively feasible.

        This would cover about 70% of unnatural CO2E emission; for the rest, other schemes must apply, such as your beloved Cap & Trade, or direct levy of a Pigouvian or command and control type.

        How is this mix superior to pure Cap & Trade? Well, for one, the less Cap & Trade, the less opportunity for gaming and manipulation; indeed, wrapped entirely in a world of Carbon Price, incentives to cheat are hammered out at every level of the mix.

        All agriculture affects CO2 and most of other things we do. There must be clear rules on what to include in the market and how much is acceptable without the need of joining the markets. IPCC has done a lot of work an what to include in considerations, but important issues remain open or questionable.

        Agreed. Let each nation decide for itself internally, and every trading agreement or treaty or law hash it out internationally.

        My guess is that you consider some type of zero level as the natural target level, but there’s no real science based consensus on what the target level should be.

        Indeed, I do not, as explained above. More to the point, how soon do you think we’ll get, under any scheme, to the historical range of 230 ppmv +/- 50?

        I believe we’ll have opportunity to fine tune our approaches in that time.

        Some CO2 concentration of the atmosphere may be defined as the limit of the resource, but determining that level is a political decision and introducing that requirement is a governmental decree.

        Again, agreed. Again, so let governments do that.

        There is a political consensus of some breadth on the warming target of 2 degrees, but that’s really a political consensus supported with a rather weak scientific consensus. Very many people who are worried about climate change and who accept most of IPCC WG1 work as valid think that the particular value of 2C is almost totally a result of a political process rather than the scientific process. I agree with that view. Such views have been voiced recently also in editorials of some influential science journals.

        Immaterial, then. Hardly likely this temperature snarl will resolve itself.

        Moving to CO2 concentrations there’s even less agreement on the best target levels.

        Let the Law of Supply and Demand determine what is ‘best’.

        Who want to move the level further from the historical level of the limited natural resource pay for it.

        It makes a big difference whether it is 350, 450 or 550 or some other value. But even the maximum concentration is only indirectly and in a complex way related to the net emissions of one year. Controlling the net annual emissions is the basic idea behind the present caps.

        Professor, you miss the point.

        No justice, no peace.

        While the unfairness of free riding continues, every solution you seek to apply will be subverted, either by the practices of the free riders who know only the seeking of their own unearned gratification, or by the resentment of those cheated of their rightful due.

        The implementations may be partial, but that’s the idea. I cannot figure how you can get in practice any closer to the more fundamental goals in a market approach than in cap and trade. Cap and trade creates a market but that requires a government decree that determines the level of the cap and forces individual actors to participate in the market.

        And always fails, for the above reason, until free riding is addressed.

        Choosing cap and trade leaves two fundamental problems:
        1) What is the optimal cap. Erring severely in either direction may be very detrimental for future human well-being.

        Sure. Which is why the Law of Supply and Demand setting the optimal level is your rescue.

        2) Is the price formation process efficient, when the cap has been defined. Many studies have concluded that it’s not, and the European experience confirms that so far it has not been efficient. Some people want to believe that it will become more efficient through learning, but I doubt, because there’ll always be new major uncertainties that make the process rather instable and inefficient.

        Exactly right. Which is again why the Law of Supply and Demand finding the efficient price is your rescue.

        My view is that the inverse problems related to the carbon tax are much smaller and that the carbon tax is therefore a highly preferred solution in comparison with cap and trade.

        But it’s still a tax. If a nation, once it addresses the free riding by privatization of the Commons of the service provided by the carbon cycle to reduce Risk, deems it right to also on top of that price add a tax, that’s not for me to speak to. I don’t interfere in the business of strangers, much as I ask they stay out of mine.

        My feeling is that cap and trade was accepted in Kyoto and by EU because tax is so dirty a word, i.e. people dislike new taxes so much and make internationally harmonized taxes therefore politically so unattainable that a much worse solution was adopted. That was possible, because so few understood how bad this alternative really is.

        Ah. Folklore and opinion. I don’t think you’re wrong, though a bit unnuanced.

        I believe additionally the explanation is that the concept was current and well-understood by many participants due accidents of history; cap & trade systems in other applications had recently proven popular and effectual.

        If Kyoto had happened a bit earlier or a bit later, some other scheme may have arisen. But this is inconsequential trivia.

        Now the UNFCCC process is facing the unsolvable problems that Kyoto Protocol introduced, but the European politicians and some others are not ready to accept that they messed up the whole thing, and that they should give up sticking with a hopeless approach.

        I’m no expert on European politicians, so can’t really expect to add anything further of value to that observation.

      • Bart R.
        Re: “The unique way I measure the Carbon Cycle is by CO2 concentration. I reduce it to this single dimension in the economic model for our purposes.”
        That results in a very great danger since natural cycles can cause massive changes in CO2 entirely separate from any anthropogenic component. Consequently you would force the world to pour all its wealth into a black hole for no purpose. See Jesus’ denunciation of that Matthew 24:14-30.

        Contrast Ross McKitrick’s T3 Tax which is at least based off the tropospheric temperature which should be the most sensitive temperature response according to global climate models.

      • Thanks for the T3 “Call their tax” reference by Ross McKitrick it was worth a read. http://www.financialpost.com/story.html?id=d84e4100-44e4-4b96-940a-c7861a7e19ad&p=3

        Living in CA I concur with Ross’s comment on the messiness of policymaking-

        “Policymaking in the real world is messy, and ideas that sound good in theory can come out hopelessly gummed up with extraneous provisions that dilute or contradict the original purpose. But as a thought experiment, I find the T3 tax clarifies a lot of issues.”

      • kakatoa | March 20, 2012 at 10:15 am |

        McKitrick’s _still_ going on about his thermometer lottery scheme? Three years, everyone agrees, it too short a time to tell squat about climate. It’s pure scambling with your money.

        I understand _why_ Ross does it. He’s still hung up on the idea from his PhD thesis that any tax, even a tax on nothing — however he defines his nothing to be with flummery — is less distortionate than the current way the world is run.

        I don’t even entirely disagree with him.. Which I think ought be the surest sign he’s prescribing something completely bonker, if you believe the wisdom of the philosophy bleachers of Climate Etc.

        What I don’t understand is why anyone would yield control of their economy to his nanny-state command-and-control by random numbers contrivance.

      • Bart R
        Please review McKitrick’s discussion. He formally provides a method that formally includes the desires of both extremes – to show how to make a better tax policy – IF you politically “must” add a tax.

        Re: “by random numbers contrivance.”
        Please clarify – I don’t follow how that applies. McKitrick assumes using measured tropospheric temperatures.

      • David L. Hagen | March 20, 2012 at 2:20 pm |

        Please review McKitrick’s discussion.

        Dr. McKitrick is far too complex, subtle, and advanced to do justice in the narrow confines of a blog comment.

        I don’t entirely disagree with him on everything, but simply distrust him and the tactics he employs.

        In this case, it’s as simple as there’s a new tax proposed here that will go to the state. What American wants that?

        He formally provides a method that formally includes the desires of both extremes – to show how to make a better tax policy – IF you politically “must” add a tax.

        Not so much.

        On both sides, each side will be inevitably disappointed while their pockets are picked by the state, which neither side — despite the claims of the other side — desires, except McKitrickites.

        The numbers on the scale of a half-century or half-millennium might even out, may take on the meaning Dr. McKitrick ascribes as an average.

        At any span of time less than two full decades, however, the meaning will simply be dominated by clusters and natural variability, a truly random amount.

        Re: “by random numbers contrivance.”
        Please clarify – I don’t follow how that applies. McKitrick assumes using measured tropospheric temperatures.

        There is no solution in the mechanism, as any impact on behaviors will come twenty years after they have happened. Too late to stop mega-projects. Too late to tax the beneficiaries. Just wrong on every basis.

        It’s a tax grab. Because that’s what McKitrick’s after.

  59. Absolute green global government agenda
    Gary Stix clearly lays out the green agenda for dictatorial global government with powers to tax everyone. Effective World Government Will Be Needed to Stave Off Climate Catastrophe Scientific American March 17, 2012

    It’s the social engineering that’s the killer. Moon shots and Manhattan Projects are child’s play compared to needed changes in the way we behave. . . .
    To be effective, a new set of institutions would have to be imbued with heavy-handed, transnational enforcement powers. . . .
    Would any institution be capable of instilling a permanent crisis mentality lasting decades, if not centuries? How do we create new institutions with enforcement powers way beyond the current mandate of the U.N.? Could we ensure against a malevolent dictator who might abuse the power of such organizations? . . .
    But they have never taken on a challenge of this scale, recruiting all seven billion of us to act in unison. . . .
    If we are ever to cope with climate change in any fundamental way, radical solutions on the social side are where we must focus, though.

    He reviews: F. Biermann et al. Navigating the Anthropocene: Improving Earth System Governance Science 16 March 2012: Vol. 335 no. 6074 pp. 1306-1307 DOI: 10.1126/science.1217255

    Science assessments indicate that human activities are moving several of Earth’s sub-systems outside the range of natural variability typical for the previous 500,000 years (1, 2). Human societies must now change course and steer away from critical tipping points in the Earth system that might lead to rapid and irreversible change (3). This requires fundamental reorientation and restructuring of national and international institutions toward more effective Earth system governance and planetary stewardship.

    See discussion at:
    Finally somebody comes right out and says it: climate + world governance is a match made in green heaven
    Posted on March 18, 2012 by Anthony Watts at WUWT

    The is one of the greatest concern of skeptics. i.e., that the foundational issue is not catastrophic anthropogenic global warming (aka “climate change”) but the underlying paradigm of imposing global government with a radical environmental agenda to “save the world” that severely harms the poor. That intent biases the funding and the science to support that agenda. See the Cornwall Alliance Evangelical Declaration on Global Warming

    We call on political leaders to adopt policies that protect human liberty, make energy more affordable, and free the poor to rise out of poverty, while abandoning fruitless, indeed harmful policies to control global temperature.

    • David;
      I guess this elevates the Greenista Planetary Coup Hypothesis to the status of “Null”. It should have been evident anyway, but this is a flat-out declaration that it’s the only game in town, by a denizen of the inner circles of the Gatekeeper’s Union.

    • Putting our fate in the hands of bloody dictators and the poor nations who want nothing but the wealth we create is unthinkable and unacceptable.

    • In Gear change on road to Rio? Richard Black observes:

      Theirs is a seven-point plan:
      1 reform the UN’s environmental agencies and programmes
      2 morph the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) into something more representative and influential
      3 deploy innovative technologies such as synthetic biology and geo-engineering, with rules and safeguards
      4 reflect sustainability concerns in economic and trade institutions
      5 introduce qualified majority voting when making international decisions on environment and sustainability
      6 strengthen the voices of citizens as opposed to bureaucrats in global decision-making
      7 support developing countries more to ensure fairness.

      He links to the: Earth System Governance Project. http://www.earthsystemgovernance.org/
      That in turn is a “core project of the International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change (IHDP) of the United Nations University http://www.ihdp.unu.edu/
      i.e., the UN studies support expanding the UN to global government with universal energy taxation.
      These are the natural consequences of the presuppositions of alarmists warming of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming aka “climate change”.

    • Please bear with me if this comment seems a little round about, but there is a Rio+20 angle to it.

      About a week or so ago, Martin Lack posted some pictures of his vacation to Mr. Everest on his blog and I chose to poke a little fun at Martin’s vacation pictures with some insensitive comments on this blog that pretty much got deleted by the moderator at the cyclic rate and all.

      But I got thinking that Martin’s idea to share one’s vacation photos with others is not a bad idea after all and so I was going to post some of my own vacation photos here at Climate, etc. Except that I haven’t really taken any vacations in a long while–so no photos.

      And then I saw this article advertising some freebie trips to Rio, funded by the Rockefeller foundation or something like that, for the Rio+20 conference for 12 lucky ladies (Google: “WEDO UN Women Travel Funding for Rio+20). So I sent in my application.

      I mean, the last thing I want to do is get over-confident about my selection chances, and all, but, if I do say so myself, my application is a strong one:

      Under “Area of Expertise” I selected “water.” I told the selection committee that I’m very water-centric in my beverage choices citing “Speckled Hen”, which is more that 90% water (I hope that’s right!), as my favorite beverage. Actually, while “Speckled Hen” is my favorite beverage, I’ve never actually drunk any of the stuff or even know what it is exactly. But I know Louise likes “Speckled Hen” (sometimes maybe just a little too much) and so I gathered it’s some sort of trendy eco-drink and by selecting it as my favorite beverage, I hoped to leave the selection committee with the impression I’ll fit right in with the conference’s party-scene.

      Also, I told them my embrace of “water” is so complete that I shower daily and otherwise regularly use water for my personal hygiene needs–something rare even among the environmentally concious who specialize in the water deal. And I even told the committe members of the exciting discoveries I’d made about the potential use of water, used in conjunction with soap, as a low-carbon, enviro-friendly strategy for B. O.-reduction, which I would really enjoy sharing with my fellow attendees.

      And the “piece de resistance” of my application was my self-identification as a woman trapped in a man’s body who preferred men’s clothing, grooming styles, and manners (sometimes you just gotta tell them what they want to hear) and reminded them that my selection would send an important message to the world about the Rio+20 conference’s commitment to diversity, given the historic under-representation of “women” like me at such conferences.

      So I’ve got a good feeling about my chances for a nice little vacation in Rio and come late June, early July will be posting pictures of my little adventure if all goes to plan–look for ’em, guys! Wish me luck!

      And then, Martin, can come over from his blog and drop off some snippy, insensitive, pay-back comments about my trip and then when the moderator deletes his comments then it’ll be his turn, this time, to, for once, know how that feels!

    • David,

      I didn’t intend for my last goof-ball comment to de-rail this sub-thread, which I think is on to a very important issue that might even deserve a Climate etc. post of its own.

      The Drudge Report, yesterday, linked to an article at the Breitbart blog that discussed a video of now AG Eric Holder advising an audience that his anti-gun message needed to follow the model of the anti-smoking campaign. The key element of Mr. Holder’s anti-gun campaign took this form: “we need to…really brainwash people.” Of course, the target of Mr. Holder’s “brainwashing” was kids and the form of his planned propaganda assault was constant repetition of his anti-gun message with emphasis that guns “are not acceptable”, “not cool” and “it’s not hip.” In other words, the cultivation of peer pressure, to which kids are especially susceptible, to build up Mr. Holder’s anti-gun message as one that only a social outcast could question–a social outcast deserving out-of-hand dismissal, scorn, and ridicule for even raising a question about the “sacred cow”,

      Whatever one’s view of the propriety of Mr. Holder’s approach in the context of D. C.’s then gun violence and its then high homicide rate among D. C. teens, the propaganda campaign he advocates in the article is precisely the same as that used to promote the CAGW scam. Hence, the use of terms and themes such as “tobacco-scientist”, “denier”, “anti-science”, “tin-foil hat conspiracy theories”, “for the kids” and similar emotive appeals intended to block any inquiries into the unsavory world of CAGW hucksterism and personally stigmatize anyone foolhardy enough to question any “jot or tittle” of the CAGW orthodoxy.

      But the real puzzle is why the UN has taken the wraps off it’s brave-new-world, Big-Brother plans that have been “hidden” previously, though any thinking person, resolved enough to tough-out the “tin foil hat conspiracy theory!” cat-calls knew was always there. Maybe everything’s in place for the “big-push” and lock-in is so sure there’s no longer any need for deception. Or, maybe it’s that the CAGW-scam has so run out of steam that there’s nothing to loose in giving the UN’s eco-parasites a last hurrah, spoiled-brat, primal scream in Rio on behalf of their gulag-centric fantasies.

      In the meantime, my above, goofy comment, is an example, despite its undoubted imperfections, of what I recommend as an effective push-back of the greenshirts’ perpetual-motion scheming. I mean, make fun of these guys. And, in that regard, these greenshirt lefties present a target rich environment: flamboyant hypocrisy, arrogance, superior airs, double-standards, special deals, weirdo personalities, and bumbling incompetence when it comes to pitching their non-stop fibs and scare-stories. And remember, these greenshirt lefties trying to come off as the really hip ones–in high school they were the geek-ball nerds with a passionate devotion to zit-creams and with personal hygiene issues who couldn’t get a date to the senior prom. And that is still pretty much the profile of our “climate hawks” that deliciously clashes with their doofus attempts to come across as “Mr. Cool”.

      • Mike
        In summary, “your “goof-ball comment” could “de-rail” the thread.
        Then you recommend we “make fun of these guys.”

        Consider the consequence of allowing totalitarianism.
        The Black Book of Communism which details some 100 million killed by their own governments.

        Today’s totalitarianism is detailed by Vaclav Klaus in: Blue Planet in Green Shackles: What Is Endangered: Climate or Freedom? 2008 ISBN: 1889865095

        The death toll such centralized control could easily be far higher by misdirecting most of our resources to little impact when we have a critically important and rapidly increasing consequence of growing depletion of fossil fuel production and the critical need to develop other fuels.

      • David,

        Not sure where we disagree. I’m quite well-aware of the left’s monstrous crimes against humanity in the past, and unrepentant potential for more of the same in the future. Likewise, the Rio+20 agenda looks like a nasty bit of “thinking-big” by some bold, wannabe philosopher-kings who, very curiously, no longer have a felt need to deceptively package the deal.

        So what’s the next step, David? Get into a dither over the matter? Have a predictable, feel-good, little chit-chat session in which like-minded individuals vie with one another for ever more emphatic, “me-too” denunciations of the UN’s vaulting ambitions? Or take some action that will have some real-life push-back effect on the UN’s latest, Big-Brother bid?

        I vote for the latter course–not that there’s anything wrong with keeping tabs on the lefties’ every-morphing intrigues. But the response to the “intel” ploys needs to move quickly from outrage to purposeful action

        Accordingly, I offered up what I believe to be an effective line of attack on the UN’s agenda. In that regard, the Rio+20 agenda, has as a major prop, a “youth mobilization” sub-plan. And that sub-plan requires brainwashed kids (the lefties are always going after the kids), pumped to think their participation in the Rio conferences is the height of “coolness.” On the other hand, puncture that “hip” conceit with sarcasm and ridicule and one is likely to collapse the whole lefty effort to co-opt gullible youth for “the cause.”

        And, David, I recommend to you that in the left’s hoary bag-of-tricks, ridicule is one of its most potent tools of the revolutionary trade. It further seems to me, David, that the left has especially favored the employment of scorn, smears, and put-downs, often to devastating effect, lately, as they’ve gone about engineering their recovery from the drubbing their noxious, authoritarian and collectivist ideology took when the Berlin Wall fell.

        But one can fight fire with fire, David, and these modern-day lefties are big-time vulnerable to counter-battery salvos of ridicule. Hence the point and example of my prior comments.

        But, David, if you’ve got some other or, better yet, even more effective push-back responses to the UN’s eco-Godzilla plans for itself and the rest of the world, I’m all ears. In the meantime, I’ll work with what I’ve got and according to my own best lights–until shown better.

        Incidentally, I recommend johanna’s March 19, 6:57 p. m. comment as a good example of effective response to the “intellectual” offensive of the “green-economy” good-comrades obviously on a roll as we speak in preparation for the fun-in-the-sun, eco-hypocrite, carbon-glutton, trough-piggy, kleptocrat-hustle blow-out planned for Rio in June.

      • mike
        On humor see Minnesotan’s for Global Warming, especially their videos. and at U-Tube

        ClimateDepot.com also pokes alot of fun at global warming shennigans.

      • Having enjoyed the balmy shores among the 10,000 Lakes (and the joy of breaking out into shorts in spring when the temperature gets up to freezing) gives one a greater appreciation for Minnesotans for Global Warming (YouTube)!

      • David,

        Thanks for the links. I haven’t seen these M4GW videos before (still going through them)–some really good, funny stuff!

  60. I just came across this paper-
    “Renewable Minnesota:
    A technical and economic analysis of a
    100% renewable-energy based electricity system for Minnesota

    by Arjun Makhijani, Ph.D.
    Christina Mills, J.D.
    (Institute for Energy and Environmental Research) and
    M.V. Ramana, Ph.D.
    ( Princeton University)
    March 13, 2012”

    http://www.ieer.org/reports/renewableminnesota.pdf

    I hope this plan calls for a lot of energy storage as Minn can get a few snow days in the winter. If it was sunny my little PV system would be generating 32 kwh per day. Over the last week- lots of rain, snow, ice and clouds – I have generated 36 kwh’s. With 0 kwh generated one day and a high production of 15 kwh during the last week.

  61. Dr. Curry,

    Pielke Jr calls attention to:

    Joseph P. Simmons, Leif D. Nelson and Uri Simonsohn’s paper:

    ‘False-Positive Psychology : Undisclosed Flexibility in Data Collection and Analysis Allows Presenting Anything as Significant’

    http://pss.sagepub.com/content/22/11/1359
    or
    http://people.psych.cornell.edu/~jec7/pcd%20pubs/simmonsetal11.pdf

    Extremely interesting regards to declaring results significant even when the actual result is an artifact of researcher’s decisions. The paper is intended to address the same issue in all fields of science.

    (Less footnotes, only 7 pages in .pdf)

    Kip Hansen

  62. “I imagine that Mann will respond with a letter to the WSJ. Although I am having a hard time figuring out how he will counter this.”

    One can say this is flattery to the WSJ article, at another level it’s the swarmy disinformation I complain about all the time. Of course we know what Michael Mann will say before he says it. “We’re science and the WSJ is not qualified to judge” will be item one or two. Then everyone else is “political” but him, the team and related followers.

    Why should blank be left to fill in here? No nuance at all from a board of followers as well.

  63. Bart
    Ah yes the signatories said to a man “give us money”. If we had predicted global cooling would they have said any different? There’s the rub, In reality they suffer now from freak weather rather more than a projected sea level rise or land loss. With money they can adapt to this as the West has done already. Much money however is earmarked for fundamentally unsound projects instead of practical weather barriers or shelters.

    It is actually in the IPCC documents that slight warming, ie a degree would be net beneficial. This is actually what historians have long taken for granted. So neither the IPCC nor I just made it up. We can also see that already now should we look. Ok so you cannot be bothered to find out real facts about the Sahel, the Amazon or Bangladesh but prefer speculations. Yes I have visited 2 out of 3 but why that should matter is a mystery. The satellites tells us the reality of these changes and in general the picture is opposite to that predicted. So much for predictability! If I visited a deforested area I might tut tut but then I can go back in 2 months and if left alone it has greened over. Nature is like that..

    Did you know modern day Rome is 20 feet under modern Rome. Did you know New York and Boston have regained land from the sea despite rising sea levels. Do you indeed care to know any real facts about adaptation to nature? If given enough time and money people easily adapt to gradual change. Catastrophe comes from freak events and the poorest suffer most. So I am afraid it is your own logic that is faulty. As for economics, I admit not to care much about the various contradictory theories. I did however predict the current debt crisis while most academics had a consensus that there was no problem. So if you predicted the crisis you might be worth listening to. Alas most economists seem to have models that are even worse than climate models. Yes I dismiss an entire profession: Worse I blame them for this crisis; for their sheer hubris in pretending to know things they patently don’t. A lot like climate scintists in fact!

    Growth comes from what? Most folk, especially economics bods, have noticed that growth runs parallel with the availability of cheaper energy to an extent that is difficult to ignore. We had a foretaste of higher energy prices in 2007; widespread hunger and depression was the result. Quite the opposite of growth. As for the maths of economics; well I remember the quants with their Black-Schole pricing schemes and various very complex numerical models that failed to notice that a downturn in house prices was possible and would cause chaos. So spare us the superior tone. I use models all day long but I don’t trust any that have not been borne out by real world tests.

    It seems you think it is enough to make a pessimistic assumption about change and that is enough to deride those who are less pessimistic.

    Cheap energy did not collapse the Soviet Union, nor was it ever one of the mightiest economies on the planet. Good grief that is pure fiction; where did you read it? Did you make it up yourself? To use your own condescending tone, have you spoken to any ex-Soviets about your theory? And yes before you ask, indeed I have! Your theory would make them laugh.

    • JamesG | March 19, 2012 at 3:06 pm |

      This signatories said that? “Give us money.”

      Can you point to a source? Citation? Something signed by all 194 signatories with those words in it? Or are you making a joke? I can’t tell.

      “Most folk, especially economics bods, have noticed that growth runs parallel with the availability of cheaper energy to an extent that is difficult to ignore.”

      Yeah? I also observe that it’s generally morning when people feel most hung-over. Hangovers, caused by sunlight, obviously. You’re confusing ‘cheap fuel’ with ‘efficient economy’ based on an incomplete and slanted view of historical data.

      Speaking of..

      The Soviet Union was never one of the mightiest economies on the planet?

      Which planet do you mean?

      After the USA, it’s true there’s a huge gap, but it was an economy covering more land than any other single economic entity, and second in population, second in GDP, it made it into space and onto the moon, it fielded more nukes and more troops than anyone else. Name the five other candidates you suggest were mightier at the peak of the Soviet Union’s performance, and say why.

      It’s true it wasn’t the _best_ economy, the wisest, the most durable, but denying the soviets were mighty once belittles the success of the West immensely. It makes what we did smaller. It sounds Unamerican.

  64. Oops I meant to say “ancient Rome is 20 feet under modern Rome”. River silt of course, just like in Bangladesh but adaptation all the same.

  65. Why did my comments go halfway up the page instead of at the end?

  66. Is it by coincidence that the deceleration in sea level rise corresponds to the deceleration in the global warming rate in the following two graphs?

    Global warming rate => http://tinyurl.com/7p963ez

    Sea Level => http://bit.ly/FQMamQ

  67. Climate security?! How many sharks are we trying to jump here?

    We’ve had climate business for years. I can’t wait for climate fashion, climate art, climate sports, climate love and climate dating. Won’t be long.

  68. For those interested, Prof. Mathias Vuille of the University of Albany has a post on ‘Engaging in Climate discourse’ that is a good read
    http://blog.timesunion.com/weather/engaging-in-a-climate-change-discourse/2086/

    • Hi Chris

      Interesting that the author cites 19th century scientists that could conceive the theory of man made warming due to co2 but we have come to believe they were totally incapable of measuring it. Also that the author believes in natural thermometers such as tree rings. They are no more a thermometer than my left leg.
      Tonyb

    • Same stuff over and over, it’s just more of the “Consensus” fallacy.

      • “We have already committed to several tenths of a degree of future warming regardless of our future actions.”

        The article’s conclusion is meaningless alarmist warmed-over garbage. Maybe Doom Believers eat up the buzz words but a scientist shouldn’t.

        It the same “REPENT SINNERS” sign being carried back and forth.

    • Chris,
      If all you can post is repeats of the same failed discourse, do you really think it is going to make a difference?

    • A much better read this week is from Eric Dennis of the Center of Industrial Progress. He posts about what skeptics are actually skeptical of http://motls.blogspot.ca/2012/03/what-skeptics-of-climate-catastrophe.html

  69. The last two posts, week in review and hadCRU adjustments, have been neck and neck all day. Each is just under 300 comments. Go Team!

    • David Wojick | March 19, 2012 at 5:33 pm |

      Much longer if you include deletion! ;)

      That ratio would be well worth tracking.

    • While I am not into counting posts the numbers seem to be made up by only a handful of posters of whom Bart would go close to half.

      • Peter Davies | March 20, 2012 at 12:44 am |

        I seek to do correspondents the courtesy of recognizing the merit of their points, and often I just find this stuff too interesting to leave off..

        Also, not to worry. I’ll tire soon.

  70. Schumpeter’s another voice for the open society, like Saint H.

    (An impressionist’s take on Hayek’s R to S.)

    Hello, I’m from the Department of Inertia.
    Yes, we need you to fill in a few forms..
    How long will it take?
    Shouldn’t take more than a week or two.

    • Beth Cooper | March 19, 2012 at 7:13 pm |

      You’re reading Schumpeter now?

      What’s your take on the whole Austrian vs. Historical thing and their influence on heterodoxy and evolutionary theory?

      Also, I’ve always had an interest in separating the signals in the Kondratiev-Kitchin composite waveform. What’s your preferred approach for differentiating the four components? Do you use a Fourier Transform in your analyses?

  71. Have to say I’m with Joanna and Mike. Does that make me a groupie? Gotta direct ridicule at the indoctrination campaign aimed at our youth.

  72. Anthony Watts caught with his pants down yet again:
    http://nailsandcoffins.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/anthony-watts-misleading-his-readers.html

    I am interested to know if Dr Curry thinks Anthony Watts is a force for educating people about the science or a force for misleading them about it.

    • I hope that’s not the best you have.

      • I hope you are not merely a shill for anti-scientific attacks.

      • Yes, I’m a zombie working for Big Tobacco and the Koch brothers.

      • Here’s another case. A Willis Eschenbach strawman.
        http://nailsandcoffins.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/willis-eschenbachs-volcanic-strawman.html

        I wonder if Dr Curry trusts these people such as Eschenbach, Watts, Goddard, etc. Personally the overall contribution I see them making towards public education of science is a negative one.

      • Looks like N&C don’t allow comments. I can see why.

      • I called Willis out on his WUWT thread on this last week. I said something to the effect that everyone knows volcanoes increase the albedo, and I think he wanted to say something like only before they warm it again, but I am not sure what he was saying really.

      • Should be
        …only before they decrease it again…

      • lolwot
        Re: “overall contribution I see them making towards public education of science is a negative one.”
        Science seeks the truth, not political positions. That can only be obtained by rigorously testing or challenging hypotheses against all data and alterntives before they are judged to be theories or laws. Without rigorous skeptical opposition, you do not have science. “official” “climate science” is currently too wedded to extremist environmental policies and self reinforcing funding to seriously challenge and test the models. Consequently the IPCC global warming models are running systemically higher than global temperatures.

        Batter’s only average about 30%. If Willis is successful in poking holes in arguments in even 1% of his efforts, that would be well worth posting. I find his posts highly informative more than 80% of the time. I challenge yo to rise to that level of significance.

      • Whoa! Too high a hurdle, to start with. Let’s see if he can achieve that 1%, first!

    • lolwot,
      Reading a hack true believer trying to dismiss the problems of the AGW dogma is not really effective anymore.
      But your faith earns you a gold star- and a brown nose.

    • Eerily similar to Lindzen’s mistake in his Parliamentary speech, pointed out by Gavin at Real Climate. He used a GISTEMP Met station (land) index as current and the global GISTEMP LOTI index as past making it seem like warming had increased with what he thought was just a newer GISTEMP version. He blamed it on his source. Can’t any of these skeptics get their datasets straight? How can anyone trust what they say anymore?

  73. Reply to Bart @9.45pm ?9.47pm.

    Bart, I’ll discuss the Austrians at a later data,…much later.
    Re the immediate, Bart: Your You tube scenario from the Climate Reality Project is exactly what I mean. Visited their website. Luuv the prominent smiling image of Al Gore. Why is it that totalitarian movements always go for the big image of the leader?

    Liked their offer,’Invite an Al Gore trained presenter to your local community. ‘(Mutter… think I’ll jest go and practise some lassoin’, its gonna be on fer one n’ all.)

    • Beth Cooper | March 20, 2012 at 12:10 am |

      I can’t take credit for the youtube; it’s hardly ‘mine’. It belongs to the world, I’m quite sure. Or however lefts talk.

      And I can’t answer your question about bit image or totalitarians. The last big image I had anything to do with was a landscape painting.

      In general, broad sweeping statements are always wrong, if that helps you with your lassoin’. I hope you catch yourself a prime specimen; alas that you missed February 29 — you could’ve just proposed to your preferred one, no lasso needed.

      Good luck with that, in any event.

      So, back to 9:45. No Austrians at all? No Schumpeter? Not even a little Fourier Transform? Disappointing.

      At least ease my pain with some Cervantes. Don’t keep a spaniard bottled up inside you too long, or it will explode out of you at an inopportune moment.

  74. http://joannenova.com.au/2012/03/conspiracy-theorist-just-another-form-of-namecalling-from-the-class-who-want-to-be-global-rulers/

    EU greens pushing “World Parliament”. If you oppose you must be a “conspiracy theorist”. Some good examples of Owellian word destruction associated to climate “advocacy”.

  75. Australia has a carbon ‘fee and dividend’ system from July 2012. It is a fairly pure application – the tax is charged at $23/tonne. Most people are more than fully compensated – higher income earners miss out entirely. Some of the revenue is slated for industry restructuring and some for renewable energy. No economic modelling – including the Governments own – suggests that this is without cost. It is in the order of 2 to 3 percent of GDP in 2030. No great impost – although it is apparent that a tax of $23/tonne of carbon emitted is nowhere near sufficient to make any change at all in emissions.

    The one or two percent of GDP is felt both in domestic economic activity and also in imports. In an integrated global market – the two cannot be disentangled. Although this may be dismissed as a marginal impact on global markets – at the margins many people are dying and destitute. And although the poor may be with us always – there is no need to make more than necessary.

    The real impost on development would be proportionately greater in developing countries if they implemented a carbon tax given the higher growth potential we earnestly hope for. The economic costs of carbon taxes in developing nations would be more in the order of 7 or 8% in 2030. A substantial impost – with dire consequences for many people – and on which developing nations can and have made their own decision not to tax energy.

    Bart insists that this underprices energy. But the cost of the tax would far exceed any feasible external cost of carbon over the next 20 years. This is a tax that is so inefficient that millions of people would die. There is absolutely no rational economic argument possible and they can only think there is because they ignore the other side of the tax equation – the cost of implementing the tax. I can’t express what I feel about the callous, unthinking immorality – the genocide implicit in this idea.

    The choice between tax and no tax has been made and in most cases in favour of no tax. So this thankfully makes this a pointless dicourse. Even in the case of Australia – the Government chooses to tax energy in a Faustian bargain. Their souls for one more year in Government. So be it – we will leave it to the ballot box.

    Best regards
    Captain Kangaroo

  76. Captain Kangaroo @20/3 1.20 am.

    Australia’s new tax on carbon. Compensation? Hmm, I’d say, bleedin’ the economy of its lifeblood. A ‘Faustian bargain’ is jest what it is.

  77. Bart

    Asking for concrete evidence to support your novel and bizarre assertions is not a ‘straw man’. If anyone has created a straw man, it is you.

    But, you are correct in surmising that I sometimes have difficulty in absorbing what you are saying, e.g.:
    “I’m saying for the seventh time, the way things are now, right now, make the price of energy more expensive than it needs to be, by hiding the true price of one single category of energy.”

    ?Que?

    • johanna

      Fair enough. Let’s put the communication unit behind us, and work on communication.

      My case is a simple natural resources argument.

      The Carbon Cycle (CC) has many parts, but the upshot is that it has one single function that matters to us: by cleaning air, the CC slows changes in air’s composition.

      Whatever else we know, or don’t know, theorize or believe, it is reasonable at this time to conclude, with no more evidence than we already have, that more rapid changes to the composition of air are riskier, and slower changes are less risky. You can find reams of citations and support from the general scientific and actuarial and economic literature to confirm this, which I’m not going to bias you by suggesting my own favourite sources. Seek. You’ll find.

      Where there is benefit to changes at some future point, too sudden move to that new state in itself is costly up front, and a future harm.

      Where there is harm in the future — and we do not need to specify the exact harm, be it absolute or from too sudden a shift — there is Risk.

      That Risk is costly.

      Someone will pay for that Risk.

      The CC services that Risk, the cheapest and most efficient way to reduce its cost of any mechanism we know. That’s the commonest reason we like natural resources — they’re usually cheap.

      Thus the CC service is a natural resource.

      Because we know the level of CO2 emission is rising dramatically — so dramatically that as a geologist once told me, “That’ll leave a mark”, an indelible and unmistakeably sharp and clear layer of isotopes in rock formations which is missing in the last 20 million years of the geological record at least — we know the CC service is a limited natural resource.

      The CC service exhibits scarcity. It is not unlimited. It runs out, and gets more expensive the higher it goes.

      When the runs out, we are left with pure Risk, or we have passed the Risk ceiling and encountered the harm and only the most expensive of the adaptation strategies or loss-coping mechanisms are left.

      This is what Margaret Thatcher called living at the expense of future generations. Of course, she said it in a past generation. We’re there now.

      Now, there are countless other schemes and ploys, methods, technologies, solutions and so forth. Some of them even feasible and advantageous.

      However, these will not address the Tragedy of the Commons, so long as we treat the CC service as Commons.

      Once one accepts the CC service as a limited natural resource that it is adminitratively feasible to price and to deliver the dividend of to its natural owners — those subject to the Risk, the way becomes clear.

      Transition from the current system to avoid price shocks, gradually over a course of years, to the Market Price of the CC service, using the Law of Supply and Demand. And the money collected? It goes to you, per capita, however your nation deems culturally acceptable.

      What will that price be? What the dividend? I have guesses, but I don’t know. It’ll vary by nation. It’ll vary with conditions. It’s a thing the democracy of the Market determines. But whatever else, it’ll be as with any other democratically selected option, the price and the reward the people deserve.

    • It is a magical incantation Johanna. If a tax is put on carbon equal to an external cost determined by the fear of the future (perceived risk) then energy costs will fall and we will all be much better off.

      There are really three problems with this.

      1. The likelihood of additional innovation flooding the market with cheap energy – as a result of increases in costs on top of already sustained high prices for coal, gas and oil – seems more wishfull thinking than demonstrated fact.

      2. The externality over reasonably forseeable periods of a decade or 2 – as shown in all the peer reviewed decadal forecasts appears relatively minor if not positive.

      3. The costs of the tax in 2030 over the same period are 7 to 8% of GDP in developing nations. This is just carzy talk and will never be agreed to for good reason.

      Best regards
      Captain Kangaroo

  78. Bart R March 20, 2012 at 2:00 am |

    Yes we are in agreement the askewed currency is in effect subsidised exports.The only actors that can change behaviour quickly are consumers.

  79. Bart r @ 20/3 3.07 am.
    Have to say I find your recent comment particularly mean spirited. Fourier Analysis? Yes we all know that you get it, and much, much more, I’m sure you also have a PHD in esoteric knowledge, useful for point scoring.
    Something I try to do on Judith’s fine site, Bart, and which Kim does so very well, is take a serious look at life through the medium of humour.

    As for Cevantes, it is not an essay I will be posting here, and I daresay you wouldn’t like it anyway. Cool! And concerning the Spaniard within me, i’m writing about DQ, not expressing my inner duende. Writing and painting are objective activities Bart, do you not know that?. Now dance, that is often something else.
    (Bart, I won’t be reading anything else you write).

    • Beth, that’s the beauty of reading blog comments. The mouse wheel is a most useful device to screen what is to be read but there’s no need to announce anything. Just stop responding when you find somebody tiresome.

    • Beth Cooper | March 20, 2012 at 6:32 am |

      Alas, the loss is all mine, that I won’t be writing anything else you’ll misread.

      Meanspirited? As that term is relative, I find my last comment in reply to you quite mild; indeed innocuous, by comparison to the spirit that called it out. I have no score to settle on that account, except by gentle humour to hope the speck in mine eye help you see the beam in yours.

      What’s with this hatred of knowledge? Fear of Fourier? Phear of Phud.. which, by the by, I do not have one of. A PhD, that is. Wouldn’t that be scandalous, for someone with a PhD to so squander their gifts doing as I do?

      When did “books bad, burning good!” take such hold in Australia, and become acceptable?

      People will not always dance the way you want. That’s the challenge that separates a dancer from a footsoldier, don’t you think.

      Oh yes. You wouldn’t, as you aren’t reading th

  80. I can’t argue against the need for a carbon tax. That we need one is painfully obvious. I’m just not sure if we should tax those that release more carbon to save us from the end of the world prophecies of the future or if we should tax those that release less since they failed to help save us from the end of the world prophecies of the past. Perhaps we should tax both and that way make sure we are getting the right demons.

  81. The jackboot climate consensus on the move;

    http://nofrakkingconsensus.com/2012/03/13/the-authoritarian-impulse-and-climate-change/

    A worthy set of links.

  82. ceteris non paribus

    It’s amazing that people who self-identify as “free-marketers” or “economic libertarians” often cannot understand how constrained their economic choices are by forces that have exactly nothing to do with the free movement of capital.

    In Canada, for an example of what the near future holds, we have a federal government that is using its legal power and much taxpayer money to act as the marketing office for Suncor and Syncrude corporations. Elected reps travels to China with CEOs to find buyers-of-bitumen, while they simultaneously clear a regulatory pathway for the ‘soon-to-be-necessary’ pipelines and terminals.

    This huge infrastructure investment might make big money for some people for a while – while certainly ruining large swaths of the Athabasca watershed and BC coastal environments forever – But more to Bart’s point – – it’s a policy that de-facto locks most Canadians and a good number of Chinese into a fossil-fuel energy economy for the next several decades at minimum.

    A man much wiser than me once said:
    An environmentalist is simply a person who recognizes that every action is an investment in something.

  83. Here you go mate.

    Bart R | November 13, 2010 at 5:52 am | Reply My academic past in no way qualifies me to speak to Climatology as anything but a layman with a smattering of tangential courses or designations in Chemistry, Computer Science, Development Economics, Management Science, Mathematics, Physics, Predicate Calculus and Statistics.

    That is, as a layman. Period.

    I did longwindedly debate a bit in university, write for a school newspaper, participate in student government, tutor, and utterly fail to achieve any sort of athletic distinction. More recently I also spent several years volunteering with international development-oriented groups.

    My early career involved database development.

    Consulting work since took me as an IT analyst to HQs for companies from Delaware to Dearborn, Torrance to Piscataway, and government offices from Ottawa to Minneapolis-St. Paul. I have been a senior member of teams responsible for successfully increasing ROI and helping IT managers meet external mandates on very large n-tier systems outside of routine business practices.

    I have occasionally had the good fortune to work closely with scientists from various fields.

    I belong to no political party or philosophy, but do believe most politicians are well-meaning, sincere and hard-working people who sacrifice much for their best convictions.

    I believe in leaving the world better off for having been in it, better understood, and no worse off too. This gives me a neutralist bias with regard to atmospheric impacts.

    Certainly there must be a budget limit to how much the raw parts of the world can be altered by our use before we cannot claim to be leaving to our posterity what was left to us by our forebears, nor to have bettered it either. I am cynical that any argument can unseat that simple fact.

    Be nice to know where such limits rest; Climatology appears vested with the power to resolve somewhat that question, so it matters.

    If the measure of the time one has stayed is whether people are glad he’s been, or glad he’s gone, something in me seems to aspire to both.

    I think Policy ought precede Science, if Policy is more on the ball than Science. Call it a race.

    Some Climate discourse is at a level beyond my layman’s skills and simplistic philosophy, sometimes freeing me to be aligned with neither one side nor the other, sometimes to very much polarize my views restrained only by long habits of seeking to understand.

    Much of what is said about Climatology from outside and a little from inside, however, is understandable. Some of what comes from inside seems to want a skeptical eye. On the other hand, like what is said about anything by outsiders, most lay opinion is infuriating nonsense.

    I believe Dr. Curry has shown as a Climatologist that lay opinion is not all nonsense and science is the responsibility not just of scientists, which also agrees with my own conclusions.

  84. ceteris non paribus

    Amazing that people who self-identify as “free-marketers” or “economic libertarians” often cannot understand how constrained their economic choices are by forces that have exactly nothing to do with the free movement of capital.

    In Canada, for an example of what the near future holds, we have a federal government that is using its legal power and much taxpayer money to act as the marketing office for Suncor and Syncrude corporations. Elected reps travels to China with CEOs to find buyers-of-bitumen, while they simultaneously clear a regulatory pathway for the ‘soon-to-be-necessary’ pipelines and terminals.

    This huge infrastructure investment might make big money for some people for a while – while certainly ruining large swaths of the Athabasca watershed and BC coastal environments forever – But more to Bart’s point – – it’s a policy that de-facto locks most Canadians and a good number of Chinese into a fossil-fuel energy economy for the next several decades at minimum.

    A man much wiser than me once said:
    An environmentalist is simply a person who recognizes that every action is an investment in something.

    • cnp,
      The elected officials are doing those things because they promote “economic activity”.
      That someone’s ideology blinds them to see the advantages of living in a place where people have “jobs” that are part of an undeutry that actually contributes to society, as opposed to depeninding on tax payer operating subsidies is a sad state.

  85. As a resident of British Columbia I “benefit” from the carbon tax rebate. But I also pay the carbon tax — and it’s a whopper — for a wide range of goods, selected arbitrarily and capriciously for their CO2 “impact”. It’s actually just another income redistribution wheeze, of course.

    I’ll try to ‘KISS’ enough for you, Bart:
    –CO2’s harm is speculative, and probably actually negative (= a benefit).
    –The thrashing of money through the bureaucracy is inevitably high-friction, and wasteful. There is no such thing as a no-cost tax.
    –The tax is in early days, and its drag effect will exponentially increase.
    –Anything that discourages doing business here is a Bad Thing, Bart. BION.

    Green is stupid, all the way down.

    • Brian H | March 20, 2012 at 12:46 pm |

      And I’m sure you’re the typical Canadian, so that means your opinion is more likely to impress anyone, or less?

      This ‘whopper’ you pay, how much is it? This arbitrary selection, how do you define that? By ‘arbitrary’ do you mean you understand how CO2E works, where it comes from, how it is audited and accounted for, or just that you never bothered to find out?

      You have opinions about harm and benefit, and I’m sure if you believe in them, you’re glad to put your money where your mouth is and pay for the benefit you get.

      Why would you expect other people to support you..? Oh. Yeah. Because your Canadian, and that’s what Canadians do.

      You mean ‘churn’ when you say ‘thrashing’. Thrashing is a term from data processing.

      The tax is in its final stage, so far as the government has said. One last linear increase this coming July, and it will stop there so far as anyone’s said. It’s already 75% of the way to its peak, and you get all of that money back per capita.

      You want to know what discourages doing business in British Columbia, Brian H? Whiners with their hands out.

      • Try 10-50% on “selected goods”. That they are “selected” by gubmint ‘sperts is no recommendation. And since there is substantive experience and data showing agricultural benefit from CO2 increase, and zero data showing harm, I’ll take the “benefit” hypothesis as the H0. Notwithstanding the hand-tooled models you and your ilk are trying to pass off as “evidence”.

        As for “getting the money back”, it’s a) mostly different people spending and getting, and b) the “churn” (if you don’t like the more graphic and appropriate “thrashing”, whose origins I’m fully acquainted with, you snotty twit) is necessarily paid for by monies which are then taken from general revenue in one way or another. AKA the taxpayer. No free lunches, or taxes, or getting ‘serviced by’ the gubmint.

      • Brian H | March 22, 2012 at 10:07 pm |

        I’m going to have to call you on your numbers, and especially on your understanding.

        Government experts don’t select the CO2E rating of fuels; the government accepts the internationally-agreed on CO2E rating of fuels from an independent standards body.

        If you’re opposed to this process, you’d have to be opposed to weights and measures, as they’re determined in exactly the same way by very similar people. Of course, as you’re fully acquainted with thrashing, I have no doubt you’ll thrash about it some more.

        As for churn, you have to explain to me how you conclude churn increases when the Carbon Tax is tied to a 25% drop in personal income tax and a similar drop in corporate tax. Are you suggesting if everyone in BC suddenly started paying 33% more income tax, churn would go down? That seems lackwitted, for someone so well-versed in all the intricasies of computer hardware from the 1970’s. You and John Mashey must have lots in common to talk about.

        And then the numbers.

        http://www.canlii.org/en/bc/laws/stat/sbc-2008-c-40/latest/sbc-2008-c-40.html#history

        Coal is the highest-rated carbon emission per ton, with the lowest price of the fuel portion, so has the highest tax ratio. The rate of the BC carbon tax on high coal will become $62.31/tonne in July; the price of thermal coal JFYFOB US$/ton 129.80, or 48%. With rounding, that sounds kinda close to your 50% claim I guess.

        If you’re buying coal in bulk, with one heck of a price break below market, and paying tax on the _future_ price of it, you’re not quite reaching 50%. Are you expecting the price of coal to drop a whole lot?

        So you’re objecting to a future price, I take it, on principle, not an actual price that you’ve personally experienced the ‘hardship’ of in real life. Thanks for the heartwarming testimonial of the life you haven’t lived yet.

        You buy a lot of coal, Brian?

        And even if you do buy coal, by the balancing force of the dividend, you’re getting ALL of that back, if you use the same amount or less of carbon-emission than 70% of the people of British Columbia.

        You’d be ahead of the game, if you’re like the majority.

        And if you’re not like the majority, odds are you’re either an incompetent wastrel burning fuel like a fool because it’s so cheap, or that you’re a lucrative business profiting from the subsidy of unpriced CO2E up to now.

        Now that CO2E is being privatized in BC, and your lucrative business has to pay some of its fair share, passing its costs onto those BC consumers (70% of whom suddenly have more money and buying power), the only way I can see you whining is if you’re uncompetitive without government subsidy.

        You know what happens to uncompetitive businesses who’ve been free riding on government handouts in an ideal world, don’t you?

        That’s right, their owners sell out to people who can run the businesses efficiently, and they run for office.

        Whichever way you slice it, your corporate socialism doesn’t cut a lot of sympathy from me.

        You’re darn right about it being different people spending and getting, if by that you mean not all people spend the same, or that the ratio of spending to getting is different. As the point of the system in BC– which I’m the first to admit isn’t the way I’d do it — is to privatize the resource, the people spending only pay for what they benefit from. That’s kinda like capitalism. What have you got against capitalism, again?

        And if you are getting a benefit you formerly got more cheaply, and now must pay for it, how are we to have sympathy with someone whining that they don’t want to pay for the benefits they enjoy, because they want someone else to pay for it for them?

        That’s just communism, pure and simple, comrade Brian H.

        And you’re flat out lying about the zero evidence of harm, which any reader here has seen regardless of their conclusions about its quality or validity, which would make you a man so desperate to enjoy communism at the expense of others he’d lie to obtain it.

      • Riight. Someone I know was asked to pay ~50% for an article (I think shoes?) and she refused. But the point is wider, of course. The presumption that the science is settled and CO2 must be suppressed at all costs NOW is inane.
        Name the harm you claim it has done. Even granting a minor amount of warming to date, we’ve still got a ways to go to recover from the LIA. Bring it on!
        Future harm in kludgy computer simulations prepared by amateurs with an overpowering agenda doesn’t qualify.

        What’s the communism crap? I’d give up the rebates in a second to get rid of the carbon tax. The whole process is offensive and egregiously overbearing. The “benefit” you claim people are buying is non-existent. They’re paying for nothing. In fact, they (we) are paying for damage to the economy. That is ALL that a tax can achieve.

        Anyhow, back to my scroll-by bin with you. Feel free to reciprocate.

  86. Considerate Thinker

    BartR revert to the shell game, your smoke and mirror shape shifting has been well and truly exposed…..by greater minds, even if you believe otherwise!!

    • Considerate Thinker | March 20, 2012 at 12:48 pm |

      It is a mistake to gauge the beliefs of others by what they say, don’t you find?

      I love being exposed to greater minds.

      Let me share with you some quotes from three philosophers I greatly appreciate:

      “Science is the belief in the ignorance of the experts.”

      “The growth of knowledge depends entirely on disagreement.”

      “To my mind the great teaching experience is to give inquiring minds permission to think. To excite minds with the unknowns yet to be resolved raises a challenge, to think of solutions, new ideas and perhaps one day experience the excitement, and truth you found in the joy of pure scientific research and discovery.”

  87. I roughly understand what Bart has in mind. He and I discussed it patiently further upthread for awhile, but eventually reached a point where I felt it best to agree to disagree. If it helps anyone, the discussion begins about here:

    https://judithcurry.com/2012/03/17/week-in-review-31612/#comment-186482

  88. Ed, "Mr." Jones

    Jim D | March 17, 2012 at 11:54 am | Reply

    “Back then it was a reasonable 2.8 C per doubling. It is only later in 1988 he went for higher values that were above most other climate scientists who stayed near 3 C.”

    Not directed at you Jim. I vote for: Only a Rube, Sucker-Chump would fall for the Snake Oil of “I / We can Measure Global temperature to a tenth of a degree!, AND I / We have a Way Back Machine that is just as accurate!”.

  89. Threading seems broken… I meant that previous comment to post at the end of the thread. Oh well.

  90. Integrating imagination, deriving fears. Integrating authority, deriving power. Integrating responsibility, deriving guilt. Integrating success, deriving shame.
    =============

  91. Now the flames they followed Joan of Arc
    as she came riding through the dark;
    no moon to keep her armour bright,
    no man to get her through this very smoky night.
    She said, “I’m tired of the war,
    I want the kind of work I had before,
    a wedding dress or something white
    to wear upon my swollen appetite.”

    It seems my friends want the Chief Hydrologist back. A civil discourse – a Socratic dialogue in good faith and humility seeking the sacred hydrological truth. In truth I am wearied of the nastiness and mean-spirits – it is not way to live a spiritual life. But I am puzzled by it as well. What is driving these people – such as Bart – is evidently obsessive fear of the future. It is something that – in various forms – has been seen time and again in human history and it has usually ended very badly. We even have a name for it – millenarianism.

    1: belief in the millennium of Christian prophecy
    2: belief in a coming ideal society and especially one created by revolutionary action

    The second, secular definition describes the social movements that – as an unintended consequence – resulted in the deaths of hundreds of millions of millions of people last century – so there are risks. The CAGW millenarianists are fanatical, obsessive, indefatigable and utterly convinced of their intellectual and moral superiority. They have sought to create a cultural environment where dissent is morally and intellectually suspect. From outside, there seems a maelstrom of Malthusian, Club of Rome and socialist influences that drive the movement. The magical solution – that is in principle the same as a spaceship cult waiting for the spaceships to arrive – is the risky business of taxing the problem out of existence. But that, thanks for small mercies, is an answer that the world at large seems unlikely to endorse. Implementing the magical solution may require a world government with Draconian powers.

    There is a scientific basis of course in greenhouse theory – à la Fourier – but climate reality is many orders of magnitude more complex and uncertain and social organisation a different problem entirely. So I think I will take the lead from Beth – and simply not read the ratbag minority let alone respond.

    BTW – how is that lassoing going darling Beth? Don Quixote is an all time favourite. It is on one of my favourite recent sites I have found – http://www.booksshouldbefree.com/book/don-quixote-vol-1-by-miguel-de-cervantes-saavedra – I will download it as an audio book today.

    Here’s a quote Tomas will like – what a chaos of complexity I am in.

    Robert I Ellison
    Chief Hydrologist

  92. This has been a downhill topic and thread. People here are either bored with the topics listed or sick to death of each other or both. Perhaps a topic should be started were everyone get to complain about each other on it? It might clear the air and keep listed topics more on track.

    Just a suggestion.

  93. Thank you Chief Hydrologist.
    Cervantes is wonderful. Just reading his preface reveals how acutely he is aware of the shifting mix of imagination, fiction and fact with which we see the world and ourselves. Heck, it even happens in Science and on Judith’s blog.

  94. Bart,

    Creating an index of growth for the 10 provinces from 2008 to 2011 – puts British Columbia in the bottom fourth decile. Not top in Canada even by a long shot and this was obvious eyeballing the data.

    You’re comparing it to growth in India, Brazil and China? You pretend to know things that are just wildly, amazingly wrong. Although – it is better than Russia – I will admit. But you must be aware that economies have inertia and don’t change notably over over such a short period because of a small and ineffective tax.

    I have studied economics in school and at university. I have read all the major sources from Adam Smith to Milton Friedman – and many others besides. I even tried to read Karl Marx when I weas much younger – just really couldn’t get past the theory of surplus value. So for more than 30 years dabbling in economics as it falls within the eclectic interests of a man with an abiding curiousity in the world. So I have a knowledge of a great many things – and always considered that I had no depth in anything important. I am surprising myself a little lately – but that may just be a flash in the pan.

    You show again the appalling bad faith we have come to expect of you.

    Robert I Ellison
    Chief Hydrologist

    • Chief Hydrologist | March 21, 2012 at 2:37 am |

      All the major sources? Impressive indeed. Would stop boasting about that, though, judging by the net benefit you appear to have obtained from the effort does not distinguish you from someone who picked up a single tome within the past 12 months.

      I say your figures are wrong. Or would, if you provided any other than “eyeball”.

      • Not sure that dabbling in the famous names qualifies as boasting. Let me know what I am up against here. For instance – have a formal qualification in economics or are you just a gifted amatuer?

        I have provided you with graphs and numbers – you will need to do something other than handwave about BC outperforming Brazil, India and China in economic growth. You made the claims – show me the money.

      • or I might just categorise you as a worthless wastrel – how abou it Berty – made your first billion yet?

      • Markus Fitzhenry

        Chief, I don’t think trolling climate websites is a profession that Barty should remain in. Methinks the remuneration will soon not be worth the effort let alone becoming wealthy off it.

        Probably not the place to mention it, but what about Clive Palmer yesterday?

      • CIA backing green groups? I think their accounts should audited.

      • Robert Ellison | March 21, 2012 at 4:29 am |

        I’m not an instruction manual. You can’t scan me and put it all together without effort; you have to think for yourself.

        One can no more read oneself into an economist than read Newton’s tombstone and suddenly perform multivariate calculus by parts.

        Economics isn’t something known, it’s something done. And yours simply won’t do.

        You’re up against yourself here, Rob. You’re stumbling upon thinking a book — or worse, a blog comment — can imbue you with expertise in far of places you’ve never been.

        Start at page 13 of the RBC report — not of some television announcer’s interpretation of its forecasts — and look at the GDP difference lines, comparing region by region. Look for the 2002 equivalent of that report and see what an utter desolate wasteland BC was economically in the 1990’s compared to the vigorous engine it is today.

        China wasn’t so much worse in the 90’s than it is now; Brazil hasn’t improved by selling off vast percentages of its capital near so much as BC has by dropping its corporate and income taxes to some of the lowest in North America; India? India’s hardly better than China. South Africa? I think it’s safe to admit SA had some externalities in the 90’s.

        And yes, one of my degrees is in Economics; I’m not the guy I’d turn to for the running of an economy by any means; however, many of the students I tutored through undergraduate courses do it for a living now.

      • On the other hand – you are unable to do the math. Why is that ?

  95. Now this made me miss my college days….

    A student threatening to kill an associate professor for teaching evolution.
    (harsh language alert)

    And all you progressives out there, and you know who you are, shame on you for your stereotypical thinking.

    http://upressonline.com/2012/03/fau-student-threatens-to-kill-professor-and-classmates/

    In reality, this looks more like a breakdown than anything else. The saddest thing is how long it took for anyone to do anything about it, except record it for youtube.

  96. Bart R.

    Rather then political unteneable taxation,would it not be more optimal to pick a few of the low hanging fruit.

    The first and obvious is the removal of FF subsidies.The IEA/OECD/World bank report 2010 suggests the removal of subsidies would reduce energy consumption by 5% by 2020,and save 600 billion$ annually by 2015.Which seems a good option for cash strapped governments.

    http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/8/43/46575783.pdf

    • maksimovich | March 22, 2012 at 3:20 am |

      I’m all for removal of the subsidies.

      The order of precedence is immaterial to me.

      And again, I’m after privatization of a resource that ought be privatized.

      Not everyone forever is going to be confused as to the difference between fair payment to the owners, and tax to the government.

      Of course, those who figure it out first are going to benefit most.

  97. Ya wanna get political and financial, Judy, check out the latest Solyndra lies, and you wanna get legal, check out Tom Jackman on 3/21 in the WaPo, in that bayside backwater called some District or other.
    ======================

  98. Do you really have no sense of how you address everyone in the same belligerent and hectoring manner? Or why you are regarded as an incoherent troll by all and sundry?

    I quote your words – I don’t think you have a memory loss – I think you deliberately mislead. I think you are a liar and a fool. So many words so little meaning – about 10% was Tomas’ estimate. I wouldn’t think more than 2% was anything of any substance

    Taxing of carbon emissions is a lost cause – why can’t you face reality? It is not a mystery – you are the carbon tax equivalent of a spaceship cult.

    • Robert I Ellison | March 23, 2012 at 4:12 am |

      All you have now, all you come down to, is personalities.

      You’re left with nothing but ad hom.

      Defeated mostly by your own vanity on facts, reason, method and mathematics, you resort only to your preferred mode, grammar-school name-calling, taunts and jibes.

      How sad.

      You’ve left me not even with enough reference to the original issue to bring us back to ideas and understanding.

      I’m not seeing much reason to continue paying the semicolon tax.

      • Your bullying taunts are all ad hom – with no rhyme or reason. You have no rational content by any assessment.

        I have not responded in kind – I think it is evidently the case that you value rhetoric over reason. I am more than happy to call it a day.

      • Chief and Bart: its time gents lets move on! There is always another day.

      • Peter – I am tired of the boorish trolling of this person. He has an axe to grind. We get it. His language is uncivil and smarmy – he responds with tiresome and and repetitive jibes and then makes a pretence of injured innocence when someone responds in kind. He insults and denigrates incessantly – he uses it as a tactic to intimidate and to dominate the discourse. He is a serial pest with no worth, no good faith and no honesty.

        He posts long winded diatribes with nil coherent content but laced with insult. I can keep going as long as he does.

      • Peter Davies | March 23, 2012 at 6:45 am |

        What you say makes good sense, as even a fool could see.

        I’ll gladly be guided by your sage observation.

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