Copenhagen Consensus 2012

by David Hagen

The results of The Copenhagen Consensus 2012 have just been released. Bjørn Lomborg assembled a blue ribbon panel including Nobel Laureate economists. They ranked the top 30 most important humanitarian projects.

See the Press Release.

The goal of Copenhagen Consensus 2012 was to set priorities among a series of proposals for confronting ten of the world’s most important challenges. These challenges were examined:
Armed Conflict, Biodiversity, Chronic Disease, Climate Change, Education, Hunger and Malnutrition, Infectious Disease, Natural Disasters, Population Growth, Water and Sanitation

A panel of economic experts, comprising five of the world’s most distinguished economists (including four Nobel Laureates), was invited to consider these issues. . . .The panel was asked to address the ten challenge areas and to answer the question:

What are the best ways of advancing global welfare, and particularly the welfare of developing countries, illustrated by supposing that an additional $75 billion of resources were at their disposal over a 4?year initial period?

Copenhagen Consensus 2012 PRIORITIZED LIST
Challenge – Solution

  1. Hunger & Education – Bundled Interventions to Reduce Undernutrition in Pre-Schoolers
  2. Infectious Disease – Subsidy for Malaria Combination Treatment
  3. Infectious Disease – Expanded Childhood Immunization Coverage
  4. Infectious Disease – Deworming of Schoolchildren
  5. Infectious Disease – Expanding Tuberculosis Treatment
  6. Hunger & Biodiversity & Climate Change – R&D to Increase Yield Enhancements
  7. Natural Disasters – Investing in Effective Early Warning Systems
  8. Infectious Disease – Strengthening Surgical Capacity
  9. Chronic Disease – Hepatitis B Immunization
  10. Chronic Disease – Acute Heart Attack Low Cost Drugs
  11. Chronic Disease -Salt Reduction Campaign
  12. Climate Change – Geo Engineering R&D
  13. Education – Conditional Cash Transfers for School Attendance
  14. Infectious Disease – Accelerated HIV Vaccine R&D
  15. Education – Information Campaign on Benefits From Schooling
  16. Water and Sanitation – Borehole and Public Hand Pump Intervention
  17. Climate Change – Increased Funding for Green Energy R&D
  18. Population Growth – Increase Availability of Family Planning
  19. Chronic Disease – Heart Attack Risk Reduction Generic Pill
  20. Water and Sanitation – Community Led Total Sanitation
  21. Water and Sanitation – Sanitation as a Business
  22. Chronic Disease – Increasing Tobacco Taxation
  23. Natural Disasters – Community Walls Against Floods
  24. Water and Sanitation – The Reinvented Toilet
  25. Biodiversity – Protecting All Forests
  26. Natural Disasters – Retrofitting Schools to Withstand Earthquake Damage
  27. Hunger – Crop Advisory Text Messages
  28. Biodiversity – Extension of Protected Areas
  29. Natural Disasters – Strengthening Structures Against Hurricanes and Storms
  30. Natural Disasters – Elevating Residential Structures to Avoid Flooding”

Copenhagen Consensus Center Director Bjørn Lomborg explained how this applies to one specific priority, that of improving agricultural output:

“Spending two billion dollars annually to make more productive crops would generate global returns of much more than 1600 percent. Not only would it reduce hunger, but through better nutrition, make children smarter, better educated, higher paid and hence break the cycle of poverty. At the same time, higher agricultural productivity means humanity will cut down fewer forests, for the benefit of both biodiversity and earth’s climate.” . . .

The expert panel found that geo-engineering research and development, at low cost, was worthy of some funds, to explore the costs, benefits, and risks of this technology. . . .

Another sound investment is R&D into agricultural improvements. This would lower food prices and reduce hunger. It would also fight climate change by storing more carbon in forests instead of converting them to crops. And it would add to efforts to protect biodiversity.

Lomborg said: “The new volume of research produced for Copenhagen Consensus 2012 adds to our knowledge about the smartest ways of responding to humanity’s challenges. And the Nobel laureates’ list shows us there are many smart investments that could help so much of the planet, for very little cost. These are the places that policy-makers and philanthropists should direct their attention.”

Note that while R&D in geoengineering and energy are listed, global warming mitigation does not even make the list, dropping below the dead last in was not ranked. Richard Tol notes:

Greenhouse gas emission reduction was not ranked. That means that it is ranked neither very low nor very high. It is not ranked. The reason is that mitigation is not comparable to the other projects. The scale is different.

Comparethe Copenhagen Consensus 2008 ranking.

Doing vs Feeling Good

This follows the Copenhagen Consensus on Climate:

Global warming is real, it is caused by man-made CO2 emissions, and we need to do something about it. But we don’t need action that makes us feel good. We need action that actually does good.

Responses to climate change were addressed in: Fix the Climate

How can we best reduce suffering from global warming? Experts in climate economics examine the best ways to reduce suffering from global warming.

See the Expert Panel’s Findings and the Outcome Paper. They interviewed people in the developing world. See: Stories from Global Warming Hotspots

As part of the Copenhagen Consensus on Climate, the Copenhagen Consensus Center set out to ask people in global-warming hot spots about their fears and hopes. . . .

The most efficient, global carbon cuts – designed to keep temperature increases under two degrees Celsius – would cost $40 trillion a year by 2100, according to research by Richard Tol for the Copenhagen Consensus Center. In the best-case scenario, this expenditure would reduce the at-risk population by only 3%.
In comparison, spending $3 billion annually on mosquito nets, environmentally safe indoor DDT sprays, and subsidies for effective new combination therapies could halve the total number of those infected within one decade. For the money it takes to save one life with carbon cuts, smarter policies could save 78,000 lives.

Four Challenge Papers were written on Climate Change:

1.  Climate Adaptation

Adaptation will reduce the climate change-related losses from five percent of GDP to slightly less than 3 percent – but this is still a significant impact. The real challenge of global warming, therefore, lies in tackling its impact on developing nations.

2.  Climate Engineering 

“Isabel Galiana and Christopher Green propose a technology-led climate policy, centered on increased research and development, testing and demonstration (RDT&D) of scalable, reliable, and cost effective low carbon emitting energy technologies funded by a low but gradually rising carbon tax. They argue that the size of the energy technology challenge to “stabilizing climate” is huge, and there is a current lack of technological readiness and scalability in low-carbon energy sources. . . .
Galiana and Green conclude that increased funding for low-carbon research and development would have benefits ranging from 3 to 11 times higher than cost, depending on rate of success and time horizon.”

3.  Climate Emissions & Abatement

4.  Technology Led Mitigation

Tol finds that a low tax of about $1.80 on each tonne of carbon would generate benefits worth between $1.5 and $52. However, a much higher tax set at $250 would cost more than it would gain, with only benefits of 2-67 cents. . . .

Other resources:

  1. Watch Richard Tol’s phone presentation of his research at YouTube
  2. Perspective Paper CLIMATE CHANGE, Samuel Fankhauser
  3. Perspective Paper: Climate Change, Anil Markandya

Biosketch:  Dr. David L. Hagen is Chief Scientist of VAST Power Systems, Inc., working on clean “wet” combustion, efficient power systems and recovering hydrocarbons. A mechanical/research engineer, he has filed twenty US patents. He surveyed prospects for methanol as a synthetic fuel, and solar thermal systems to redress global warming.

JC comment:  I received this post via email from David Hagen, I would like to thank him for putting this together.  There is much to ponder in these reports, I found the two Perspective Papers to be particularly interesting.

727 responses to “Copenhagen Consensus 2012

  1. The “Population→Family Planning” meme shows up again, still, despite the (surprise) fact that the world’s birth and replacement rates are crashing ( http://www.fpri.org/ww/0505.200407.eberstadt.demography.html ) on their own. And the (always most accurate) Low Band of the UNPD shows peak pop. at <8bn by ~2040.

    Which actually plays Hob with a number of their other assumptions and priorities and "solutions".

    • Brian H
      Probably larger than population are the impacts of economic growth and fuel use, where the IPCC appears to have set a range of high growth, and then assumed economic growth to match, regardless of the availability of fuel. e.g., see Physical Limitations on Mining Natural Earth Systems, Tad Patzek, Petroleum & Geosystems Engineering, UT Austin, 22nd International Conference Oil-Gas AGH 2011, Cracow, June 10

      • Thanks, David, for posting this information.

        After all the dismay over data manipulation and half truths revealed in 2009 Climategate emails and documents, surely Bjørn Lomborg and his “blue ribbon panel including Nobel Laureate economists” do not expect the general public to accept and promote new geo- and socio- engineering recommendations from the 2012 version of the UN’s Copenhagen Consensus?

        I applaud Bjørn Lomborg’s personal efforts to return some credibility to the art of understanding Earth’s variable climate, but there will be no progress until decades of deceit about Earth’s heat source – the Sun – are addressed:

        http://redshift.vif.com/JournalFiles/V19NO2pdf/V19N2MAN.pdf

        Giving Nobel Prizes to Al Gore, the UN’s IPCC and the army of scientists that manipulated data simply destroyed public confidence in the Nobel Prize Committee, as well.

        Oliver K. Manuel
        http://omanuel.wordpress.com/about/#comment-70

      • We are all equally important inhabitants of this beautiful, benevolent planet Earth: http://tinyurl.com/c2jq6rq

        Most of us now realize that social and economic institutions are crumbling from past mistakes and mismanagement.

        Who can we trust to improve this planet with socio-, geo-engineering? http://tinyurl.com/76zdnf4

        http://www.geoengineeringwatch.org/

        Certainly NOT those leaders with a track record of deceit and manipulation of data and information on the origin of planet Earth and the source of energy that sustains life and controls Earth’s climate:

        That list is headed by The United Nations, the US National Academy of Sciences, the UK’s Royal Society, the Nobel Prize Committee, publishers of Nature, Science, PNAS, PRS and leaders of scientific organizations and mainstream news media.

        With kind regards,
        Oliver K. Manuel
        Former NASA Principal
        Investigator for Apollo
        http://omanuel.wordpress.com/about/

      • Bjørn Lomborg and his “blue ribbon panel including Nobel Laureate economists” have the cart (3) before the horse (1):

        1. How can we eliminate deceptive government science?
        2. How can we reduce suffering from deceptive science?
        3. How can we best reduce suffering from global warming?

        Examples of Scientific (mis-)Information:

        AstronomyStars are made of hydrogen (H)
        AstrophysicsH-fusion powers stars, makes elements
        BiologyThe origin and evolution of life are known
        ClimatologyCO2, not Sun, causes climate change
        CosmologyHydrogen initially filled the universe
        EconomicsThe world economy is in good hands
        EthicsScience and religion are incompatible
        GeologyMelting produced Earth’s metal core
        NuclearCoulomb repulsion is the only difference between N-N, N-P and P-P interactions in the nucleus; Pulsars (neutron stars) are dead (no energy) embers of live (H-filled) stars.
        ParticlesSolar neutrinos oscillate away
        PlanetaryMelting formed iron/silicate meteorites
        SolarThe Sun is a steady H-fusion reactor
        WarfareOur opponents have WMD’s

        Returning integrity to government science must be our #1 priority.

      • Oliver, the examples of “scientific(mis)information” aren’t all science. The bigger problem is in the ability of some to gain the confidence of the many by spouting dogma without serious challenge. They include:
        Capitalism is good – except that the rich get filthy rich and the poor, well well donate them a few crumbs to satiate our guilt.
        Globalization is good – well it’s good for politicians, managers and shareholders who have no interest those whose jobs become “uneconomical”.
        Unfettered markets are good – we let “teenagers” play games with the world’s financial resources, until everyone goes broke, then we throw them more money rather than making them pay for rather large mistakes
        Science is good – especially climate science, which when mixed with politics uses the best bits of capitalism and globalization and unfettered markets to feed egos and guilty consciences and nobody will care when it all turns out to be a big mistake.

      • Thanks, blouis79, for your comment (May 23, 2012 4:45 pm)

        I agree, the examples of “scientific mis-information” aren’t all science.

        In fact, they are all fable used to manipulate the public.

        This deception comes to us from the United Nations, the US National Academy of Sciences, the UK’s Royal Society, the Nobel Prize Committee, publishers of Nature, Science, PNAS, PRS and leaders of scientific organizations and mainstream news media.

        That is why returning integrity to government science must be our #1 priority.

        Again, thank you for the comment.

        With kind regards,
        Oliver K. Manuel
        Former NASA Principal
        Investigator for Apollo
        http://omanuel.wordpress.com/about/

      • Oliver
        I understand Bjørn Lomborg to be focusing on humanitarian projects, so does assumes the IPCC reports, rather than raising issues that would distract from the benefit/ cost priority of humanitarian issues.

      • Sorry, David, but I do not buy that. Nor do the American public.

        The humanitarian goals that Bjørn shares with Al Gore, the UN, world leaders, etc. do NOT justify ignoble means to achieve them!

        The sad state of the world’s social and economic structures today – teetering on the verge of collapse worldwide – are evidence of that.

        The noble goals of world leaders – who sought to save the world from nuclear war after witnessing the horrors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945

        1. Justified establishment of the United Nations in October 1945
        – – – – – – – – – – –
        2. Did NOT justify deceit about plans to:

        a.) Unite Nations together and eliminate national boundaries
        b.) Corrupt science in 1946 to obscure energy in the cores of
        _ b-1) Heavy atoms (like uranium and plutonium)
        _ b-2) Ordinary stars like the Sun, and
        _ b-3) Galaxies like the Milky Way

        In moving from Step 1 to Step 2, world leaders crossed the line that separates trusted leaders from tyrannical rulers !

        The rest of this sad tale of deceit is summarized on my web age and in comments from March 22 – May 15, 2012:

        http://omanuel.wordpress.com/about/

      • David L. Hagen

        The charitable-sounding goals: Thirty ways “of advancing global welfare, and particularly the welfare of developing countries” differs but little from the “packaging” used when the United Nations was established on 24 October 1945 to “save the world from the threat of nuclear war.”

        Both charitable-sounding goals sound attractive.

        The world’s social and economic systems are crumbling fast, and charity is certainly needed worldwide today.

        But the most cherished values of ordinary citizens – respect for the dignity of individuals and their right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness – were lessened, rather than enhanced, when these noble goals were implemented by deceit.

        Government deceit about:

        _ a.) Energy in the cores of heavy atoms, stars and galaxies,
        _ b.) Ending sovereign rights of nations, and
        _ c.) Ending constitutional rights of citizens.

        Surfaced and became public information by

        _ d.) Climategate emails and documents in November of 2009
        _ e.) Attempts by leaders of nations and scientific organizations to excuse, ignore, or “whitewash” the evidence of scientific deceit purchased with public funds after being exposed in November 2009.

        Deceptive government science must end before world leaders, Bjørn Lomborg, Richard Tol, or anyone else can advance new charitable-sounding projects.

        http://omanuel.wordpress.com/about/#comment-70

    • “The current world population of close to 7 billion is projected to reach 10.1 billion in the next ninety years, reaching 9.3 billion by the middle of this century, according to the medium variant of the 2010 Revision of World Population”

      “The high projection variant, whose fertility is just half a child above that in the medium variant, produces a world population of 10.6 billion in 2050 and 15.8 billion in 2100. The low variant, whose fertility remains half a child below that of the medium, produces a population that reaches 8.1 billion in 2050 and declines towards the second half of this century to reach 6.2 billion in 2100. For long-term trends the medium variant is taken as reference.”

      http://esa.un.org/wpp/Other-Information/Press_Release_WPP2010.pdf

      My money would be on the medium variant, which projects a population increase of about one-third over the 2012 – 2100 period.

      • The latest (2010) Revision of the UN Population projections, published in 2011, drastically changed the method and assumptions of such projections, without visibly improving it. In previous revisions since the mid 1990s, the projected population for 2050 had been steadily declining, as account was gradually taken of the declining trend in fertility, even if the projections themselves under-represented the fall in fertility rates. In the 2011 revision, due to the changed methodology and assumptions, the projected population for 2050 changed its own declining trend from previous versions, and is now higher than the previous Revisions.
        The main proximate cause for this is the projection of a slower descent (and even an increase) in fertility. Up to the 2004 projection fertility was assumed to converge in all countries to the replacement level (about 2.1 expected children per woman); in view of the fact that in all countries where fertility fell through 2.1 it continued falling, the 2006 and 2008 Revisions assumed that fertility would converge in all countries to 1.85 children per woman. This required that fertility in low-fertility countries actually increased in the near future, and keep decreasing in countries now above the target, at a uniform rate of 0.5 children per decade. The 2010 revision, without much explanation (in view of continued fall in fertility across the world) reverted to the previous assumption that fertility would tend to 2.1 in the long term. Another innovation was that instead of assuming a common convergence speed of 0.5 children per decade, the velocity in each country and period is now estimated by a bootstrap double-logistic equation, generating about 100,000 velocities per country per period, and choosing the median velocity among the 100,000.
        The net result is that the medium variant for 2050 is now higher, and the total population of the world fails to decline in 2050-2100, as previously implied by convergence to 1.85, a value below replacement.

        The deeper problem with the UN pop projections is that they are only based (very loosely) on past trends, not considering expected levels of economic and social development, nor even trends in these latter variables. This problem was transmitted to the IPCC scenarios, which separately assumed a population trajectory and an economic growth trajectory. In fact, the IPCC SRES scenarios are in this respect inconsistent. For instance, countries with the level of per capita income levels in 2100 envisaged in the scenarios, most notably in the A2 scenario , are extremely unlikely to be associated with the levels of fertility and demographic growth envisaged in the same scenarios. This problem also arises in other scenarios with more moderate demographic growth.

        The AR5 scenarios do not have that problem explicitly, since each consists of a mere GHG emission trajectory, not specifying the demographic or economic conditions leading to that level of emissions. But even so, several new scenarios are also unlikely, for similar reasons: the GDP growth required to produce the more alarming emissions would also produce a rapid fall in population, which would then be incredibly rich in per capita terms by the second half of the century, even in the poorer countries of today. Such strange combinations of economic and demographic growth are quite unlikely.

        An iterative model involving rates of investment and technical change determining income growth, effect of resulting per capita income on fertility which influences further population growth several years later, and so on, would be much better. It would jointly project population and income. But that kind of projection is produced by neither the UN Pop Div nor the IPCC.

      • That iterative model might or might not yield more accurate population projections. You can’t know in advance. But I wouldn’t dismiss it.

        You may have already seen the linked work. If not, you might find it interesting.

        http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=9828

      • Thanks, Max, for the link to the US National Academy of Sciences report on population projections: The real reason for

        a.) Directing research funds to institutions that would report evidence of global warming, whether or not it was there,

        b.) Exonerating (whitewashing) evidence of deceit in Climategate emails and deceit after November 2009, and

        c.) Comprising the integrity of government science by hiding information on the energy stored in the cores of galaxies, stars, and heavy atoms like uranium and plutonium after Hiroshima and Nagasaki were destroyed in August 1945.

        Public confidence in the US National Academy of Sciences, the UK’s Royal Society, the Nobel Prize Committee, the United Nations, publishers of Nature, Science, PNAS, PRS and leaders of scientific organizations and mainstream news media will not be restored unless they are willing to end and correct past practices of leadership by deception.

        http://redshift.vif.com/JournalFiles/V19NO2pdf/V19N2MAN.pdf

        http://omanuel.wordpress.com/about/#comment-70

      • That would be stupid money, then. The Low Variant has always been correct. This is because it offsets the bias of the UN et al just enough.

        I think it may be too high as well, this time. Fertility is crashing for reasons not understood by demographers yet, even more than the ‘wealth effect’ can account for. Cultural norm changes are likely involved.

      • The low Variant has “always” been correct? Nah !

        The low variant has sometimes been correct? Sure.

        If you believe the low variant has been correct more than the medium variant has been correct, demonstrate it by comparing absolute errors for these two variants in all UN world population projections starting with the first ever made.

        OK, I’ll bite. What does crashing fertility sound like?

      • Max_OK

        Other estimates also agree with the “medium variant”, i.e. around 10 billion by the end of the century.

        This is a dramatic slowdown of past population growth (compounded annual growth rate in %):
        1.8% from 1960 to 2000 (3.0 billion to 6.1 billion)
        1.2% from 2000 to 2011 (6.1 billion to 7.0 billion)
        0.4% from 2011 to 2100 (7.0 billion to 10 billion)

        Max

      • Yes, if those numbers are right, it is a dramatic slowing. Perhaps it’s nature’s way of putting the breaks on. While I think a gradual leveling-off or decline in world population would be a good thing, I very much doubt it will happen.

        It’s my bedtime. Good Night .

      • My money would be on the low variant (reaches 8.1 billion in 2050 and declines towards the second half of this century to reach 6.2 billion in 2100) since the UN etc. have so regularly OVERestimated population projections –
        “In the 1960s, some experts feared an exponentially accelerating population explosion, and in 1969, the State Department envisaged 7.5 billion people by the year 2000. In 1994, the United Nations’ medium estimate expected the seven-billion milestone to arrive around 2009. Compared with most population forecasts made in the past half century, the world keeps undershooting”
        http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204777904576651023080338648.html?mod=WSJ_article_comments#articleTabs%3Darticle

      • Another good Matt Ridley perspective:
        “Coping With Only Six Billion – … given that the forecasts have generally proved too high for the past few decades, let us imagine for a moment what might happen if that proves true again … the low UN estimate could prove more accurate with the world population peaking a little above eight billion and falling to a billion less than today by the end of the century …by the end of the century, a smaller population, with higher living standards and a better environment.”
        http://www.rationaloptimist.net/blog/coping-only-six-billion

  2. Most interesting is #6: R&D to Increase Yield Enhancements.

    If the research indicates that the best way to increase yields is by increasing carbon emissions, what then?

    • Then pursue that cost effective yield enhancement method.
      Lives are more valuable than beachfront property impacted by a few inches rise in sea level.

      • Cost effective yield enhancement methods aren’t always without risks. In the 1800’s Ireland pursued one that worked great for a while. But it eventually set the country up for a disaster.

      • BAU puts us at levels of CO2 that have not been seen since the planet was free of any ice sheets. That means significantly more than a few inches of sea level rise.

        What makes you think the planet will behave differently now than it has in the past?

      • Chris G
        Re: “BAU puts us at levels of CO2 . . . free of any ice sheets.”
        The Copenhagen Consensus 2012 shows the priorities for developing world issues lead climate issues on spending $75 billion. Developing countries all the increases in agricultural productivity to feed their populations. At 6,000 ppm CO2, the planet was very bio productive, as evidence by the enormous quantities of coal deposited. From ice cores, during that period, the temperature appears to have led CO2 changes. Besides people building too close to ocean shores to accommodate natural climate variations, what’s the problem?

    • @@ counterirritant | May 20, 2012 at 10:28 pm

      CO2 increases yield, but that is irrelevant. You should look for / invent what is negative about CO2. Stop playing smart ass!

      I know only about the ”Copenhagen Flop” but here it is, they talk about some ”Copenhagen Consensus”… They are back to front on everything – they were born on the wrong exit – reason everything the Warmist say / doo, is offensives to the nose.

    • Dr, Bob Carter reports: Policymaers have quietly given up trying to cut carbon dioxide emissions.

      Over the last 18 months, policymakers in Canada, the U.S. and Japan have quietly abandoned the illusory goal of preventing global warming by reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Instead, an alternative view has emerged regarding the most cost-effective way in which to deal with the undoubted hazards of climate change.
      This view points toward setting a policy of preparation for, and adaptation to, climatic events and change as they occur, which is distinctly different from the former emphasis given by most Western parliaments to the mitigation of global warming by curbing carbon dioxide emissions. . . .
      Dealing with climate reality as it unfolds clearly represents the most prudent, practical and cost-effective solution to the climate change issue. Importantly, a policy of adaptation is also strongly precautionary against any (possibly dangerous) human-caused climate trends that might emerge in the future.

      This pragmatic policy effectively affirms the Copenhagen Consensus 2012 and 2008 outcomes.

    • See: Obama steers clear on climate

      President Barack Obama’s first Earth Day proclamation in 2009 was an urgent call to address global warming. This year? The word “climate” didn’t even get a mention. . . .
      But the prospects for Obama accomplishing a climate change agenda in this Congress or the next are thin. Cap-and-trade is dead; its successor, the clean energy standard, isn’t going anywhere either; and the preferred route of some global warming activists — a new carbon tax to replace other taxes — doesn’t even appear on the radar screen. . . .

      That pragmatically supports the Copenhagen Consensus.
      However:

      The White House instead is pushing administrative measures to accomplish the same results via Environmental Protection Agency regulations on power plants and the like.

      That is tyrannical abuse of power directly opposing the People’s elected representatives.

  3. Politicians must limit population or find new sources of energy.

    Having failed miserably at the latter (remember the fusion reactors that supposedly operate like the Sun and will be in production soon) they are now looking for way to limit population.

    • We have not yet seriously pursued making solar thermal energy cheaper than fossil fuels.

      • Peter Lang

        David L. Hagen,

        Thank you for pointing to the links of your solar energy reports to the Australian government from way back in 1991. These remind me of just how little has changed in 22 years. Way back then, the same players (Stephen Kaneff, David Mills, Matk Diesendorf and others) were saying words to the effect of:

        “Solar power is viable now. It is baseload now. It is cheaper than nuclear – if only the fools in the government were bright enough to understand this and give us more money”.

        Nothing has changed. Now we still have David Mills, Mark Diesendorf and others repeating the same mantra. And we’ve added new players like Matthew Wright and many others repeating the same old message. Here are critiques of two recent reports showing the costs of their dream schemes:

        “Zero Carbon Australia by 2020 – Stationary Energy Plan” – Critique
        http://bravenewclimate.com/2010/08/12/zca2020-critique/

        “100% renewable electricity for Australia – the cost”
        http://bravenewclimate.com/2012/02/09/100-renewable-electricity-for-australia-the-cost/

      • David Springer

        David L. Hagen | May 20, 2012 at 10:36 pm | Reply

        “We have not yet seriously pursued making solar thermal energy cheaper than fossil fuels.

        Probably because electricity isn’t really comparable to fossil fuels. If you meant to say we haven’t seriously pursued making solar thermal electrical generation cheaper than coal or natural gas generation I would disagree. That’s like saying we haven’t seriously pursued making wind genertion cheaper than fossil fuel generation. The problem is that we know there are stumbling blocks and any serious effort would be doomed until those stumbling blocks are surmounted. Before any serious effort can begin we need much more cost effective ways to collect, store, and distribute solar thermal. The problem is the places where it’s easiest to collect are far removed from point of consumption necessitating expensive transmission lines and it also needs to have a storge buffer so that supply can meet demand. It’s not even close to competitive with coal because of those constraints and coal isn’t competitive with natural gas where natural gas pipelines run. And electricity in general isn’t close to competitive with liquid hydrocarbons for transportation fuel and transportation fuel is the critical issue not electricity.

        I swear David you’re a bright guy but you have had a huge blind spot in the area of electrical generation as long as I’ve known you. I suppose you’ll once more simply dodge the issues and pull the old literature bluff by giving me a list of links that supposedly refute what I’ve written above. Meanwhile, reality bites and there won’t be any serious effort to make solar thermal competitive until there’s a serious technological solution to the problems I’ve outlined.

        Synthetic biology will be the big winner. That won’t be just be competitive with fossil fuels it’ll be so much cheaper as to be almost free of cost in comparison and there won’t be any need to modifiy existing energy infrastructure as synthetic fuels are drop-in replacements for fossil fuels.

      • David Springer
        Note I said solar thermal ENERGY not electricity. Despite Hansen’s rhetoric, our impending problem is with transport fuels, not temperature or electricity (except for Japan shutting down nuclear.) See Robert Hirsch The Impending World Energy Mess
        Re: “we need much more cost effective ways to collect, store, and distribute solar thermal.”
        Though dumping frac gas dropped US natural gas from $12/GJ to $2/GJ, in Japan it is now upwards of $18/GJ, having closed all nuclear plants.
        The primary challenge is to the cost and secondarily to local storage of solar thermal energy. Converting solar thermal energy to fuel in the desert then enables transporting the fuel where needed.

        BrightSource Energy and Glasspoint are providing solar thermal heat for steam to enhance heavy oil, cheaper than natural gas in California.
        Re: “Synthetic biology will be the big winner.”
        Any projections on efficiency? Natural biology to biomass is about 2.5% efficient. It will take major breakthroughs to improve the efficiency of synthetic biology to be more efficient than solar thermal fuel. See Allan Weimer http://www.toyota.com/esq/articles/2011/Low_Carbon_Hydrogen.html?type=Events&title=2011%20Sustainable%20Mobility%20Seminar&url=/esq/events/2011/2011_Sustainable_Mobility_Seminar.htmlHigh temperature solar in low temperature carbon

        Re: “almost free of cost”
        How do you propose to contain/support it?
        You still have a foundational cost of $/m2 for all solar thermal.

      • David Springer

        Steam to lower fossil fuel refining cost isn’t exactly making solar thermal competitive with fossil fuel. This is a marginal application at best. Refineries run 24/7 and shale/tar reserves generally aren’t located in deserts where solar thermal is most cost efficient to collect. The U.S. makes billions of gallons of ethanol which also requires lots of heat in the distillation. If there was any great opportunity for getting that heat from solar energy it would be done already. God knows every redneck with a still has thought about a solar-powered boiler and the big boys who produce commerical quanties of fuel-ethanol are not smarter than your your average redneck.

        Do I have projections for bio-fuel? I don’t but the people in the business do. They’re talking about $30/bbl equivalent for small pilot plants that are very far from optimized and 20,000 gallons/acre per year. That’s for marginally tweaked algae that still require kid gloves to get it to grow because it can’t compete well against wild strain contaminants. What we need is a bit more finesse so we engineer a synthetic species that can thrive in the presence of a toxic agent that kills wild strains. Just equip the critter with an effluent pump on the cell membrane that is nearly impossible for evolution to create by natural selection in wild species and there you go. Then you can grow your algae in open ponds without hassle. Try $5/bbl equivalent (or less) at that point. Even at 20,000 gal/acre about 10% of the Texas panhandle (ideal location) can supply all the liquid fuel the U.S. consumes. Sure, biology isn’t super efficient at converting sunlight to chemical energy but it’s super cheap and there’s a dearth of otherwise useless land to use for it so the low efficiency is more than good enough. The really cool thing is that this fuel production uses non-potable water. Municipal waste water is ideal but any brackish or sea water will do if has nutrients adjusted. Municipal waste requires little adjustement. Since it doesn’t need soil just air (carbon source) and sunlight then places like Texas panhandle are ideal which right now isn’t used for anything except oil wells, wind mills, and a free range cattle grazing. Using 10% of it for fuel production wouldn’t even interfere with existing land use.

        And it’s all just around the corner. Exxon recently threw $600 million in venture funding to a spinoff of the J. Craig Venter Institute to do the development work. Exxon isn’t in the business of spending that kind of coin on things that don’t pay off in the near future. This is why no private ventures are going to spend hundreds of millions of dollars developing other alternative energy sources where they aren’t likely to profit inside of 20 years. For instance you couldn’t get a fourth generation thorium-fueled nuclear reactor designed, tested, and commissioned before much cheaper synthetic biology fuel production comes online. Same goes for just about anything you care to mention including solar thermal. Solar energy is definitely the future but it isn’t photovoltaic or thermal, call it solar chemical which is a technology that nature has been using for billions of years (or at least 6,000 years wink wink nudge nudge).

      • David Springer
        Re: “Steam to lower fossil fuel refining cost isn’t exactly making solar thermal competitive with fossil fuel.”
        Please reread – BrightSource Energy claims $3/GJ for solar steam to heat and extract heavy oil. (Not in refining it.)

      • David Springer

        I was using the term “refine” for every step in going from crap too thick to pump out of the ground to pure combustible goodness for your Fahrvergnügen. The point stands.

  4. The Copenhagen Consensus ranking has similarities with the World Economic Forum “Global Risks 2012”:
    http://www.weforum.org/reports/global-risks-2012-seventh-edition
    p25 says:

    Analysis of the 2012 Global Risks Map reveals four risks as playing significant roles in connecting the Centres of Gravity to each other. These four Critical Connectors, which link the main clusters of the system, are … :

    • Severe income disparity (economic)

    • Major systemic financial failure (economic)

    • Unforeseen negative consequences of regulation (economic)

    • Extreme volatility in energy and agriculture prices (economic)

    The four most important risks are economic, not environmental.

    • Tell that one to the Japanese.

      • If you’d bothered to read the reports you’d understand they are referring to global risks, not localised risks like tsunamis. Furthermore, anyone informed recognises that taxing CO2 emissions will not change the risk of tsunamis (not that it would change much other risk either).

      • Didn’t say it would. Didn’t say it wouldn’t. I don’t know, and neither do you.

        No, I did not carefully read the entire report. If you were quoting the report when you said “The four most important risks are economic, not environmental,” my response to the authors would be:

        Tell that to the Japanese.

      • Tell the Japanese indeed, no deaths and no sickness from badly placed and very old technology reactors with thousands of tons of spent fuel rods on location and every one panics. The entire industry shut down, even the germans shut theirs down. Not a lot of problems with tsunamis in germany. It is a stupid green economic disaster.

    • Peter Lang
      Re: “Extreme volatility in energy and agriculture prices (economic)”
      The underlying cost of crude oil quadrupled from $25/bbl to $100/bbl – not because of an abundance of crude oil! Cheap supply of crude oil is over. Now the challenge to meet 6%-7% depletion/year plus economic growth.

      • David let your fingers do the walking on the internet and you may find that America has proven reserves at present consumption for about 2 thousand years. It is a political thing that developement is not allowed.

        The frackers are becoming a bit of a problem as they are delivering energy cheaply and confounding the government. The gas prices are falling beyond the bounds of government control.

        I doubt that enough tribolites or dinosaurs ever lived to account for the amount of oil and gas buried deep in strata, with the fact that other planets and moons have hydrocarbons would suggest that the natural process of planets make hydrocarbons.

        That said, peak oil will only be reached when we discover all reserves in the world and empty them all faster than the world makes it.

      • wayne job
        Re “proven reserves … 2 thousand years”
        May I recommend studying the difference between total hydrocarbons and the SEC’s definitions of “proven reserves”.

        (d) Estimates of proved reserves do not include the following:

        oil that may become available from known reservoirs but is classified separately as “indicated additional reserves”;

        crude oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids, the recovery of which is subject to reasonable doubt because of uncertainty as to geology, reservoir characteristics, or economic factors;

        crude oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids, that may occur in undrilled prospects;

        crude oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids, that may be recovered from oil shales, coal, gilsonite and other sources.

        Caution: using your apparent interpretation in a prospectus might land one in jail.

        Please examine Energy Return on Energy Invested (EROEI).
        See also Charles Hall, Energy and the Wealth of Nations
        It is taking increasing energy to recover hydrocarbons, resulting in lower EROEI and higher costs. Hydrocarbon existence does not immediately translate into cost effective liquid fuel production at sufficient rates to meed desired consumption.

        Both the COST and the RATE of liquid fuel production are constraining, resulting in a 500% increase in crude oil prices over the last decade from $20/bbl to $100/bbl.

        The “peak oil” methodology applies to EACH type of hydrocarbon in EACH geological reservoir and EACH economic regime. You cannot conflate them. Doing so is just political equivocation.

        “Peak light oil” is very different from “peak hydrocarbons”.
        See the peaking of US light oil production in the 48 states. versus Alaska, Gulf of Mexico, and Natural Gas Liquids.

        Economics has some to say on the rate at which alternatives are brought on line. However, Physics, Geology and Energy still rule.

        Returning to the Copenhagen Consensus, and global priorities, how do you propose providing abundant cheap fuel for the 3 billion living on less than $2.50/day so they can grow 9%/year like the US did and China is now doing? That will enable major uplift out of poverty.

      • Correction: Frequently Requested Accounting and Financial Reporting Interpretations and Guidance, Division of Corporation Finance, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Washington, D.C. March 31, 2001
        F. Issues in the Extractive Industries
        3. Definition of Proved Reserves
        http://www.sec.gov/divisions/corpfin/guidance/cfactfaq.htm#P279_57537

    • Peter Lang
      On economic risk, Lloyds warns of fuel supply risks in 2012-2015 (more critical than mild warming by 2100). Note also: Former ambassadors cite foreign policy impacts from oil imports

      “Progressively higher oil prices have, in fact, increased the total cost of the net US oil import burden in recent years, even as import volumes have declined,” Bagley said. “As a result, the United States has run an aggregate deficit in petroleum of more than $1.5 trillion since 2007.” . . .
      C. Boyden Gray, 2005-06 ambassador to the European Union, . . .“Europe’s energy security problem is Russia,” he said. “Ours is [the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries].” . . .
      Gray said one major US energy policymaking problem is a failure to differentiate between electricity and transportation alternatives. “The wind turbines and solar collectors . . .have absolutely no impact on transportation, which is where the real problem with imported oil lies,” he observed.

      “America’s economic security is at stake,” maintained Christopher Burnham, 2005-06 United Nations under secretary general.

      • Peter Lang

        David L. Hagen,

        On economic risk, Lloyds warns of fuel supply risks in 2012-2015 (more critical than mild warming by 2100).

        I agree that economic risks, including the risk of oil price shocks, is a greater risk to human well being than global warming in the foreseeable future, then I agree, World Economic Forum agrees and so does Copenhagen Consensus.

        I am not clear what point you were making in your two comments. If it is that the world will eventually run out of fossil fuels, then few people would dispute that. What they dispute is how long it will take.

        I’d also make the point that nuclear fuel resources are effectively unlimited in the Earth’s crust.

        If we had not placed huge impediments on nuclear energy it would be progressively replacing fossil fuels without the need for any government intervention. So, if we want the economic theory to work, our efforts should be on unwinding the mass of impediments we’ve imposed on energy markets over the past 50 years or so. We need to remove the bad ‘direct action’s that governments in western democracies have imposed on energy. That is where government’s economic policies should be focused – on unwinding the mass of government imposed restrictions on a relatively free (light regulation) energy market. (In my non-expert opinion).

      • “I’d also make the point that nuclear fuel resources are effectively unlimited in the Earth’s crust. ”
        Minable nuclear fuel in earth crust is not unlimited, it’s vast, but not unlimited.
        “Current usage is about 68,000 tU/yr. Thus the world’s present measured resources of uranium (5.4 Mt) in the cost category slightly above present spot prices and used only in conventional reactors, are enough to last for about 80 years. This represents a higher level of assured resources than is normal for most minerals. Further exploration and higher prices will certainly, on the basis of present geological knowledge, yield further resources as present ones are used up.”
        ….
        It is clear from this Figure that known uranium resources have increased almost threefold since 1975, in line with expenditure on uranium exploration.
        ….
        Widespread use of the fast breeder reactor could increase the utilisation of uranium 50-fold or more.
        ….
        The thorium fuel cycle has some attractive features, though it is not yet in commercial use. Thorium is reported to be about three times as abundant in the earth’s crust as uranium. The 2009 IAEA-NEA “Red Book” lists 3.6 million tonnes of known and estimated resources as reported, but points out that this excludes data from much of the world, and estimates about 6 million tonnes overall. See also companion paper on Thorium. ”
        http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf75.html

        There lots uranium, economically minable uranium is a more finite supply,
        one could get more if the price paid was higher, and the fuel cost is minor cost of operation, so it’s quite possible for the fuel to increase significant and not have much effect on cost electricity made from nuclear energy.
        With increased use [double, triple, etc] one could have a relatively cheap supply of nuclear power for centuries to perhaps thousands of years.

        But if we down the road of getting *everything* we could in terms of nuclear fuel for thousands of years, and getting to point analogous to $200 per barrel crude oil, then globally background radiations levels could actually lower on earth- as strange as that may seem.
        Such as mining granite and sea water, and being very advanced in terms of reprocessing nuclear fuel, etc.
        Though if want to go the earth mantle, one has a lot more nuclear fuel one could mine- but it’s fairly wild in terms the technology you would need.

      • Gbaikie,

        Thank you for your comment. I agree with most of what you say, but want to clarify your opening comment

        Minable nuclear fuel in earth crust is not unlimited, it’s vast, but not unlimited.

        “Current usage is about 68,000 tU/yr. Thus the world’s present measured resources of uranium …

        I did not say “nuclear fuel in earth crust is not unlimited”. I said nuclear fuel is effectively unlimited.

        “Measured resources” is not a useful measure. As we need more, the price increases, we explore for more and find more. This has been going on for thousands of years and will continue (for mineral resources; i.e. excluding fossil fuels). The crust has sufficient nuclear fuel that will be recoverable with future technology to last effectively indefinitely. There is no limit to energy supply for the foreseeable future. What is preventing rational substitution is our irrational interference and impositions we have placed on energy markets.

        I can’t find the link now but I have see a chart which shows Australia’s uranium exploration expenditure and reasonable assured resources of uranium. As expenditure increased over the past decade or so (from memory), the reasonably assured resources increased by (I think, from memory) about a factor of five. The figure “Known uranium resources and exploration expenditure” for the world http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf75.html shows the trend but not as obvious as for Australia alone.

      • Peter Lang
        The world will never “run out of fossil fuels” as they will be come to expensive to extract and the more expensive residue will be left in place.

        The issue of concern is the maximum rate of extraction due to development being unable to keep up with depletion rates with the consequent decline of light crude oil in a given region – and consequently globally. Crude oil production about hit a plateau in 2005. The IEA does not forecast any increase in light crude oil. Consequently we are being forced into a transition to other fossil fuels, including natural gas liquids, heavy oil, bitumen (“oil sands”) and then liquids from natural gas and liquids from coal. That is the challenge of “peak oil”. It is far more pressing than the posited catastrophies from anthropogenic global warming.

      • Peter Lang

        David L. Hagen,

        Yes. I agree with all that.

        That is the challenge of “peak oil”. It is far more pressing than the posited catastrophies from anthropogenic global warming.

        The question is: what should we do about it? Some argue our governments, or perhaps a world government, should intervene and direct what to do. IMO that would be like putting the EU bureaucracy, regulation and taxation on steroids and applying it to the whole world. The World Economic Forum “Global Risks 2012” as highlighted the risks of that approach http://www.weforum.org/reports/global-risks-2012-seventh-edition .

        An alternative is that we focus on removing the impediments that prevent the energy market operating freely to meet our energy needs. I recognise and accept we do need some regulation; i.e. appropriate, light regulation. But, IMO, we should remove all the subsidies and favourable treatments for production of energy from renewable energy and remove all the impediments that are preventing nuclear from being able to provide low cost energy.

        I also recognise transport fuel is a major issue. I don’t know much about the proposals for synthetic methanol production or other energy carriers. I presume low cost electricity would assist in producing low cost transport fuels.

        It is clear to me that nuclear will be the source of energy for the future. It is virtually unlimited. Its energy density is 20,000 times greater than coal when used in the current generation of thermal reactors, and potentially nearly 2 million times greater than coal in fast reactors (Generation IV). It is clear that that is the direction we have to move. Renewables cannot make any significant contribution.

        What does energy density mean to the average punter?

        1. smaller, lower cost generating stations (once they become a mature technology)

        2. much less nuclear waste (although I do not accept nuclear waste is a technical issue; it is just a public perception and political issue)

        3. easy to store many years of fuel supply in very small space – hence energy security from supply disruptiosn

        4. shipping volumes 1/20,000 of the shipping volumes to move the same amount of energy in coal. For example, one ship of uranium leaving Darwin or Adelaide is equivalent to 20,000 ships moving through the Great Barrier Reef. The ratio moves towards 1 in 2 million as we implement Gen IV reactors.

      • Peter
        I agree on energy density. The challenges of nuclear are political, weapons, terrorists, and sequestration.

        Re: “focus on removing the impediments”
        Information is a major challenge. Existing oil majors have a severe reporting bias to please investors and nations they where they seek to drill. The “Climate change” mantra is also diverting attention from the much larger economic train wreck we are facing.

        See the Association for the Study of Peak Oil ASPO that is working to publicize the issue. ASPO at PeakOil.net, ASPO-USA.org etc.

  5. “For the money it takes to save one life with carbon cuts, smarter policies could save 78,000 lives.”

    Since when has cutting “carbon” saved one life?

    • Good point ! It got me to thinking.

      Since when have atomic bombs saved one life?

      Since when have nuke subs saved one life?

      Since when have F- 22’s saved one life?

      Since when has fire insurance save one life.

      Since when has car insurance saved one life.

      Since when has my shingles shot (ouch !) saved one life.

    • At any rate, it’s not a valid comparison.

      Spending $1 on mosquito nets is $1 on malaria prevention, $1 on carbon cuts is not even a fraction of 1 cent on malaria prevention.

      • There are some who claim that AGW will make diseases such as malaria worse and that this is yet another reason to kill coal and go green, so in that sense it is valid. The whole point is if you were going to spend money to save humanity, where to spend it?

      • Yet there is no comparison – no one is even hinting, let alone claiming, that malaria is the only reason to curb emissions, so the statement is ridiculous.

        It’s an outlandish statement made to catch attention (ie PR), rather than provide a reasoned or informative discussion of the issues.

      • See David’s comment below. You misunderstand the entire exercise. If the world can only spend X amount of money, where should it be spent for maximum benefit to humanity?

      • Michael
        I understand the Copenhagen Consensus to be trying to allocate scarce humanitarian resources on a benefit/cost basis. The R&D items examined on climate change appear to have far lower benefit/cost than most of the humanitarian issues – though see RIchard Toll’s comments that they need to be addressed on a different scale.

  6. “Spending two billion dollars annually to make more productive crops … ”

    Why not just make biofuels illegal and any subsidy for biofuels a crime against humanity?

    • sunshine, you write “Why not just make biofuels illegal and any subsidy for biofuels a crime against humanity?”

      Do this include celklulose ethanol?

      • Yes. Money squandered on hare-brained schemes like that must stop and the land should be reserved for food crops.

      • sunshinehours1 | May 21, 2012 at 10:23 am |

        Well, legitimate crops at any rate. There’s still clothing and animal fodder, plant-based pharmaceuticals and fallow. But close enough. Biofuel scams are just obscene.

      • sunshine you say yes. Would this include ethanol made from seaweed? That is cellulose that does not come from agriculture?

      • Perhaps we haven’t abused the oceans enough yet.

        Let’s invent new ways!

      • Don’t be messin’ wid my Sargasso weed. Biofuel crops should be land based to offset land use. You can’t produce enough biomass without adding nutrients, The oceans have more than enough unwanted nutrients already.

        The best biofuel schemes are those that enhance depleted agricultural land, used to filter storm and waste water runoff in artificial wet lands and timber waste products that can reduce underbrush fuel for wild fires since control burns are no longer practical.

      • If cellulosic ethanol is really that good, it will succeed without our tax money.

      • @@Jm Cripwell | May 21, 2012 at 6:32 am |

        Jim, bio-fuels are for distributing the tax $$. The distributors always have adhesive fingers…
        Jim, if you realty would like to contribute, here it is: fuel is created from sugar, starch and celluloid. ALL 3 of those is more already into every city sewage treatment plant than they can ever produce exclusively for biofuel… Imagine the amount of sugar and starch gets there every day.

        Unfortunately, it’s not an attractive job around the sewage treatment plants for the swindlers. Take my word, converting the sewage into fuel, fertilizer is not taking the food away from the table, as biofuel; it’s beneficial – reason Swindlers are not interested in it – less food = anarchy

  7. I suspect Tol’s position is a bit more nuanced than presented here.


    These are some of the considerations that lead Tol to reject the Copenhagen exercise as biased against possible investments in climate change mitigation: “Climate policy is a long program, not a short project… climate policy is a portfolio of adaptation, abatement of various gases, R&D, and perhaps geo-engineering. Ignoring the complementarity of these options is silly…The analysis reveals that the Copenhagen Consensus is indeed inadequate for a problem like climate change.”
    ….
    http://blogs.worldbank.org/impactevaluations/the-copenhagen-consensus-2012-reflections-on-impact-evaluation-s-role-in-the-tyranny-of-the-known

    So, if Tol thinks that the Copenhagen Consensus is an inappropriate venue for the problem of climate change, it may not be appropriate to use what he says in the context above, at least not as part of an argument that the costs of mitigation outweigh the benefits.

    • Chris
      Did you listen to Tol’s YouTube presentation?
      He contrasts providing advice to a non-profit for $75 million vs climate change global for $ trillions. So need different analysis for the global climate change issue.

      • No, I didn’t, but I did read his write-up I linked below, and you are agreeing that the Copenhagen Consensus is not an appropriate analysis for the cost-benefits of climate change mitigation. So, I’m not sure where you think we have differences.

    • Thanks Chris
      Apologies for mis-reading your earlier post.
      See Toll’s comments below that I found after responding to your comment.

  8. Chris G,

    I’d suggest the Copenhagen Forum provides an excellent contribution to policy decisions and to how we can get ‘the best bang for the buck’.

    I wonder if the IPCC forum is any more appropriate, given its clear role as an advocacy organisation. And given its widely recognised problems such as:
    – political interference
    – bias
    – conflict of interest
    – uncertainty
    – management issues
    as pointed out by the Inter Academy Council review into IPCC AR4 processes and summarised here:
    http://tome22.info/IAC-Report/IAC-Report-Overview-Short.html

    • The IPCC is not mentioned in the article; Richard Tol is.
      Why are you attempting to change the subject?

      All I’m saying is that Tol’s position has not been presented completely. If you are not addressing what I’m saying, why are you responding to me?

  9. “Properly accounting for uncertainty and equity, modest emission reduction appears to be a very lucrative proposition and more stringent emission reduction can readily be justified.”

    Richard S. Tol

    http://copenhagenconsensus.com/Admin/Public/DWSDownload.aspx?File=%2FFiles%2FFiler%2FCC12+papers%2FClimate+Emissions+Abatement.pdf

  10. Greenhouse gas emission reduction was not ranked. That means that it is ranked neither very low nor very high. It is not ranked.
    The reason is that mitigation is not comparable to the other projects. The scale is different. Besides, the best way to reduce emissions is by a carbon tax, that is, money should be raised not spend.
    I argued that greenhouse gas emission reduction should not be ranked, and I got the backing of Tom Schelling, and so it was not ranked. Not high, not low. Not ranked.

    • Peter Lang

      Richard Tol,

      Thank you for your excellent research and contributions over decades, especially to helping to understand the possible and probably damage costs of global warming.

      I am surprised that greenhouse gas emission reduction was not ranked by the Copenhagen Consensus. Why wasn’t it?

      The fact it was not ranked could lead people to believe it is being avoided and that the risks of GHG emissions have been exaggerated.

      • @Peter
        The Copenhagen Consensus is best thought of as a hypothetical charity, trying to spend a fixed sum of money for the good of all humankind. The panel then prioritizes spending.

        In the past, the Copenhagen Consensus has been presented as priorities in public investment.

        Greenhouse gas emission reduction should be on the list of public investments, but it should not be on the list of charitable spending.

      • Peter Lang

        Richard Tol,

        @Peter
        The Copenhagen Consensus is best thought of as a hypothetical charity, trying to spend a fixed sum of money for the good of all humankind. The panel then prioritizes spending.

        In the past, the Copenhagen Consensus has been presented as priorities in public investment.

        Greenhouse gas emission reduction should be on the list of public investments, but it should not be on the list of charitable spending.

        Thank you for your explanation. However, I am still not clear.

        As a tax payer I will be taxed to spend on government ‘investments’ and on governments’ ‘charitable spending’. So to me it doesn’t matter whether I am taxed by government to spend on what they think are ‘investments’ or what they think are ‘charitable spending’.

        So, as a taxpayer and consumer of energy, I do not see the difference between being taxed on carbon or taxed to pay for charitable spending.

        Likewise, if the government mandates renewable energy targets, thus forcing up the price of energy, I pay for the subsidies.

        Can you please explain what is wrong with my understanding? (I am not an economist, so please explain for a non-economist).

      • Sorry for further adding to the confusion.
        Targets and subsidies for renewables should be abolished, and replaced with a tax on greenhouse gas emissions.
        A carbon tax is an investment in the economic sense of the word (because you suffer a consumption loss now in return for a welfare gain later) but not in the colloquial sense of the word (because there is no project in which to invest money).
        A charity has money to invest. A government has money to invest and taxes to raise.

      • Richard Tol

        A carbon tax is an investment in the economic sense of the word (because you suffer a consumption loss now in return for a welfare gain later) but not in the colloquial sense of the word (because there is no project in which to invest money)

        “There is no project in which to invest money”.

        We have all heard a lot of political posturing and hollow promises to “reduce CO2 emissions to X% of what they were in year Y by year Z”, or ever sillier,“to hold global warming to no more that 2 degC by year 2100”.

        But, as you wrote, we have seen very few actionable proposals.

        I have seen four:

        – a proposal from James E. Hansen et al. to shut down all coal-fired power plants by 2030 and replace them with non-fossil fuel fired plants.
        http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/docs/2010/2010_Kharecha_etal.pdf

        – (a roll-out of the Hansen proposal to the entire world by 2050)

        – a proposal by the WWF to replace all fossil-fuel fired power plants with renewables by 2050
        http://wwf.panda.org/what_we_do/footprint/climate_carbon_energy/energy_solutions/renewable_energy/sustainable_energy_report/

        – a proposal cited by Rutt Bridges on this site to equip half of all new coal-fired power plants in the USA with carbon capture and storage facilities starting 2011
        https://curryja.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/rutt_bridges_article.pdf

        I have done a quick cost/benefit analysis for these proposals.

        They all produce essentially no “bang” for a very large amount of “bucks”, as the graph shows ($2 trillion invested today per tenth of a degree global warming theoretically averted by 2100).

        So the Copenhagen folks were right in not even considering “CO2 mitigation”.

        Max

      • Peter Lang

        Manacker,

        Thank you for your chart summarising the cost estimates of Hansen, WWF and Bridges http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6112/6208819043_0931707315_b.jpg . Very roughly, the estimates of Hansen and WWF work out at $20 trillion per degree avoided. Bridges’ estimate works out at $48 trillion per degree avoided.

        Of course, the ‘degree avoided’ is a projection. It may not happen – unless of course that is the natural course of events.

        However, what is really important is what would be the benefit? I understand Richard Tol’s research, based on the best information available, suggests warming is likely to be net beneficial up to about 2 C.

      • “Peter Lang | May 23, 2012 at 3:04 am |

        Manacker,

        Thank you for your chart summarising the cost estimates of Hansen, WWF and Bridges http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6112/6208819043_0931707315_b.jpg . Very roughly, the estimates of Hansen and WWF work out at $20 trillion per degree avoided. Bridges’ estimate works out at $48 trillion per degree avoided.

        Of course, the ‘degree avoided’ is a projection. It may not happen – unless of course that is the natural course of events.

        However, what is really important is what would be the benefit? I understand Richard Tol’s research, based on the best information available, suggests warming is likely to be net beneficial up to about 2 C.”

        It would beneficial up to 10 C.

        Someday human will terraform Venus, and it will not cost 100 trillion.

        It certainly won’t cost 100 trillion dollar investment dollars spent now, which would equal in 2 centuries time… what is next, quadrillion?.
        It not going cost quadrillions 2012 dollars whenever it’s actually done.
        It could cost, nothing.
        It could be a side affect of doing something else.
        But we won’t be transforming Venus within a century and probably not even likely in 2 centuries into the future.
        But someday, if someday is within the next 1000 years.

        But for fun, let us imagine Earth was for some reason was going to transform into something like Venus. Let’s imagine the last few million year hasn’t been one of coldest period in earth’s history.
        Instead let’s imagine that the last few million year was the warmest earth has ever gotten in it’s history.
        And we were in such situation that earth could become like Venus within 10,000 years.
        And in addition let’s imagine that such a world is very similar to earth- in that like ours it actually has fairly large ice caps at poles. And for some strange reason these ice caps are not billions of years old. Instead they like earth’s ice caps which are mostly less than 2 million year old.

        So to get to Venus temperature within 10,000 years, we would need large increases in temperature at the present time- say 20 C or 30 C per century. Which is 2-3 C per decade.
        At such rate of increase one could expect all glaciers in temperate and tropical regions to gone within a century, and most polar ice gone in couple centuries and we could expect an ocean temperature increasing as much as 1 C within the century. With ocean surface temperature lagging behind air temperature but maybe increase of 10 to 20 C within a century.

        And obviously it’s dangerous getting even 1/10th way to becoming like Venus and that would start occurring within a few centuries.

        So with such situation there is an actual real danger.
        And Amateur Hour would not in charge of climate issues.
        And doing something about climate would actually be important.
        I.e. Bill Clinton would not have ignored it, nor Bush, nor Obama

        And the solutions offered could many things, but wouldn’t be a carbon tax.
        First, a carbon tax wouldn’t have any measurable effect, and second, it’s too expensive.
        A solution could be to reduce CO2 in cost effective manner, such seeding oceans with nutrients- assuming anyone actually thought CO2 was a problem.

        But a solution rather something that perhaps could have a small effect, could be a solar shade.
        There numerous ways various kinds of sun shade could be made and have the cost less than 10 trillion dollars.
        Allowing a choice of blocking say 10%, 25%, 50%, or 75% of the energy from the Sun.
        Venus has 2700 watts per square meter of solar energy- so with 50% it would get same solar energy as Earth.
        So solar shade isn’t 10 trillion dollar cost per 1 C degree, it’s about 10 trillion if you want to lower temperature by 10 or 100 C or if you only wanted to lower it by 1 C.
        Some may argue it could be much less than 10 trillion dollars, but it should not cost more than 10 trillion.

        Wiki:
        “Roger Angel of the University of Arizona presented the idea for the Sunshade at the U.S. National Academy of Sciences in April, 2006 and won a NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts grant for further research in July, 2006.

        Creating this sunshade in space was estimated to cost in excess of US$5 trillion, thus leading Professor Angel to conclude that “[t]he sunshade is no substitute for developing renewable energy, the only permanent solution.

        In 2004, physicist and science fiction author Gregory Benford calculated that a concave rotating Fresnel lens 1000 kilometres across, yet only a few millimeters thick, floating in space at the L1 point, would reduce the solar energy reaching the Earth by approximately 0.5% to 1%. Side-effects include that, if this lens were built and global warming were avoided, there would be less incentive to reduce greenhouse gases.

        The cost of such a lens has been disputed. At a global warming summit in 2004, Benford estimated that it would cost around US$10 billion up front, and another $10 billion in supportive cost during its lifespan.”
        And this:
        “A similar approach involves placing a very large diffraction grating (thin wire mesh) in space, perhaps at the L1 point between the Earth and the Sun. Such a proposal was made in 1997 by Edward Teller, Lowell Wood, and Roderick Hyde, although in 2002 these same authors argued for blocking solar radiation in the stratosphere rather than in orbit”
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_sunshade

      • Peter Lang

        Richard Tol,

        Sorry for further adding to the confusion.
        Targets and subsidies for renewables should be abolished, and replaced with a tax on greenhouse gas emissions.
        A carbon tax is an investment in the economic sense of the word (because you suffer a consumption loss now in return for a welfare gain later) but not in the colloquial sense of the word (because there is no project in which to invest money).
        A charity has money to invest. A government has money to invest and taxes to raise.

        Thank you for the further explanation. The distinction you make is quite difficult to understand. I believe it runs the risk of being perceived as ‘too cleaver by half’ and, therefore, avoidance of admitting that CO2 pricing may be difficult to justify.

        I cannot argue with you about whether or not the point you make is technically correct. However, if it cannot be conveyed easily to the average taxpayer it can be perceived as ‘dodgy’.

        I think it is a strategic mistake to make this distinction. I suggest Copenhagen Consensus should find a way to consider the CO2 tax on an equal basis with the ‘charitable spending’.

      • @Peter
        Economics jargon is confusing. Economists and accountants disagree about the meaning of the word “profit”, and economists and lawyers disagree about “subsidy”. Economics works in English, often English of decades or centuries ago, and with rigorous definitions that do not match everyday use. This leads to confusion in fora like these, and is a major nightmare in exams. Physicists are more clever in this regard. They call stuff the “Zeeman effect”, and then everyone else immediately shuts up.

        Previous rounds of the Copenhagen Consensus had greenhouse gas emission reduction, and always gave it low priority partly because the tight budget constraint meant that it could not make a sufficient dent in the climate problem to sort much benefit.

        So, this time it was left out.

      • Peter Lang

        Richard Tol,

        Thank you again for taking the time to explain to me. I accept your first paragraph. So let me focus on your second paragraph:

        Previous rounds of the Copenhagen Consensus had greenhouse gas emission reduction, and always gave it low priority partly because the tight budget constraint meant that it could not make a sufficient dent in the climate problem to sort much benefit.

        So, this time it was left out.

        The message I take from this is that if greenhouse gas emission reduction was included in the 2012 round – as it had been in all previous rounds – it would again have been ranked as a low priority.

        “So, this time it was left out”

        This message seems inconsistent with arguing for CO2 pricing. It may be interpreted to mean GHG emissions reduction is low priority – presumable because it is hugely expensive with low probability of making any different to the climate or sea levels.

        This seems to be consistent with what this article argues:
        http://www.tnr.com/blog/critics/75757/why-the-decision-tackle-climate-change-isn%E2%80%99t-simple-al-gore-says?page=0,1 . (Below are three paragraphs from near the end of page 2):

        In the face of massive uncertainty, hedging your bets and keeping your options open is almost always the right strategy. Money and technology are our raw materials for options. A healthy society is constantly scanning the horizon for threats and developing contingency plans to meet them, but the loss of economic and technological development that would be required to eliminate all theorized climate change risk (or all risk from genetic technologies or, for that matter, all risk from killer asteroids) would cripple our ability to deal with virtually every other foreseeable and unforeseeable risk, not to mention our ability to lead productive and interesting lives in the meantime.

        So what should we do about the real danger of global warming? In my view, we should be funding investments in technology that would provide us with response options in the event that we are currently radically underestimating the impacts of global warming. In the event that we discover at some point decades in the future that warming is far worse than currently anticipated, which would you rather have at that point: the marginal reduction in emissions that would have resulted up to that point from any realistic global mitigation program, or having available the product of a decades-long technology project to develop tools to ameliorate the problem as we then understand it?

        The best course of action with regard to this specific problem is rationally debatable, but at the level of strategy, we can be confident that humanity will face many difficulties in the upcoming century, as it has in every century. We just don’t know which ones they will be. This implies that the correct grand strategy for meeting them is to maximize total technical capabilities in the context of a market-oriented economy that can integrate highly unstructured information, and, most important, to maintain a democratic political culture that can face facts and respond to threats as they develop.

      • @Peter
        There is a difference between low priority and no priority.

        CO2 should be priced. CO2 pricing is not withing the hypothetical powers of the Copenhagen Consensus. It can not hypothetically price CO2. It therefore reserved judgement on CO2 pricing.

      • Peter Lang

        Richard Tol,

        @Peter There is a difference between low priority and no priority. CO2 should be priced. CO2 pricing is not within the hypothetical powers of the Copenhagen Consensus. It can not hypothetically price CO2. It therefore reserved judgement on CO2 pricing.

        Thank you again. I recognise that is the position of economists. I am not yet persuaded pricing CO2 will be cost effective given the practical, real world issues (such as listed below). I suspect there may be a cheaper way – i.e. give the engineers a clearly defined objective such as:

        “give us low emissions energy cheaper than from fossil fuels”.

        Given a clear goal and genuine full support, the engineers will do it. A role for economists would be to remove the many impediments, to an efficient energy market, we’ve imposed over the past 50 years or so – for example, subsidies for renewable energy and massive impediments blocking low-cost nuclear power.

        It seems to me those arguing for CO2 pricing assume:

        1. an economically efficient, international scheme

        2. it is implemented uniformly and in unison throughout the world (William Nordhaus and others have estimated the cost penalty if this assumption is not achieved)

        3. Emissions measurement and monitoring is negligible cost (but it seems that may not be a fair assumption; e.g. http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=13578&page=0

        4. CO2 price should be on embodied emissions rather than on emissions at the production stage.

        I realise these issues are bread and butter for economists. However, these are the impressions I am left with which leave me not persuaded that it is not wise to begin pricing CO2, yet.

        This, just posted, letter to all Australian Members of Parliament and Senators, summarises my reservations about the Australian CO2 tax and ETS:
        http://jennifermarohasy.com/2012/05/why-the-carbon-tax-peter-lang/

      • @Peter
        The superiority of taxes follows immediately from Lagrange (1804) as shown in Baumol (1972).

      • Peter Lang

        Richard Tol,

        @Peter
        The superiority of taxes follows immediately from Lagrange (1804) as shown in Baumol (1972).

        Thank you. I’ll look at these. I have been following the debate since 1991 and Brian Fisher, et al., ABARE Research Report 93.5 “Tradable Emissions Permit Scheme”.

        I’ve just watched your phone video (link listed above). It helps explains and answer some of my questions. My apologies, I did not watch it before I took up your time with my questions and comments.

        Thank you again for taking the time to reply to my comments and questions.

      • @Richard Tol,

        As ‘carbon’ is required in the production of CO2 and global coal prices (the cheapest source of carbon) have at least tripled in the last 10 years I fail to see how ‘CO2’ hasn’t already been priced. (Australia and the US Midwest being exceptions comprising a trivial proportion of global population)

      • Peter Lang

        Harrywr2 @ May 21, 11:58 am

        As ‘carbon’ is required in the production of CO2 and global coal prices (the cheapest source of carbon) have at least tripled in the last 10 years I fail to see how ‘CO2′ hasn’t already been priced. (Australia and the US Midwest being exceptions comprising a trivial proportion of global population).

        Good point. However, Australia’s thermal coal prices have increased too – by a factor of five since 2003, and doubled since 2007.
        http://www.indexmundi.com/commodities/?commodity=coal-australian&months=360

      • Peter Lang

        Richard Tol,
        @ May 21, 2012 at 7:31 you said:

        CO2 should be priced.

        But, isn’t that just a theoretical position? Is it a correct policy when we consider the practicalities? For example:

        1. It is assumes the world will acts in unison to price CO2. That is not going to happen. According to Nordhaus (2008) “a Question on Balance”, p19, [1] there would be a 25% cost penalty if only half the emissions are included and a 70% cost impact if only 75% of the emissions are included. It is impractical to include even half initially. It is just not going to happen in practice or, at least, not for a long time.

        2. As the article I quoted @ May 21, 2012 at 7:20 am says:

        In the face of massive uncertainty, hedging your bets and keeping your options open is almost always the right strategy.

        [2]

        3. Let’s consider the situation of individual sovereign states deciding whether or not it is in the best interests of their citizens to implement a CO2 tax – especially given it is clear the world will not act in unison. It is clearly not in the interests of China, India or most of the poor and developing countries to implement a CO2 price. For them, their priority is to raise their people out of poverty first.

        4. Consider Australia for example. There is no point Australia implementing a CO2 price until:

        a. The world is committed to act in unison

        b. We have removed the impediments to an efficient energy market in Australia. Australia’s ban on nuclear power and its enormous subsidies for renewable energy preclude low-cost alternatives for fossil fuels. Therefore, there is no practical substitute to fossil fuels available. So, the CO2 price cannot work as theory would suggest.

        c. Even if Australia removed all the impediments to an efficient energy market, the developed world has imposed enormous impediments to low-cost nuclear. Regulatory ratcheting has increased the cost of electricity from nuclear by at least a factor of four (over a period of five decades). It would take decades to remove those impediments, even if the citizens of the developed world had a mind to do so (which they do not). Nuclear generated electricity in Australia would cost about four times as much as in South Korea, five times as much as existing coal generated electricity in Australia and twice as much as a new coal generation (and that is without Carbon Capture and Storage). These figures are rough, but illustrate that there is no way a CO2 price could act as the theory says it would.

        References:

        [1] “Why the decision to tackle climate change sin’t as simple as Al Gore says”
        http://www.tnr.com/blog/critics/75757/why-the-decision-tackle-climate-change-isn%E2%80%99t-simple-al-gore-says?page=0,1

        [2] William Nordhaus (2008) “A Question of Balance”, p19,
        http://nordhaus.econ.yale.edu/Balance_2nd_proofs.pdf

      • Peter Lang

        Error in my post @ May 21, 2012 at 7:39 pm: 25% should read 250% in this sentence:

        “there would be a 250% cost penalty if only half the emissions are included”

      • So the ranking from the last Copenhagen Concensus is our best estimate of where it belong–i.e., dead last.

        The point you make about responding to CO2 with a carbon tax as a mechanism to make money, rather than spend it, reveals a dangerous misunderstanding of economics. Apparently, in your word, money in private hands doesn’t exist. Only when the government squeezes it out of the citizens does it materialize in a form that might do some good. In your world, the distortion of markets caused by government intervention costs us nothing. This is a very telling glimpse into your view of the world–a view that I, for one, do not share.

    • I agree with Richard Tol that the best way to reduce emissions by a carbon tax. I believe a revenue-neutral carbon tax that could be used to reduce corporate and personal income taxes would encourage consumers to use carbon-based fuels more efficiently and make alternative energy more cost competitive. Since a carbon tax is regressive, people with lower income would need to receive a credit. Because carbon tax revenue would diminish over time as usage of fossil fuels declined, total tax revenues would decline. People who are for lower taxes should like this.

      • Peter Lang

        Have you considered what the compliance cost of measuring and monitoring CO2 emissions will be when the monitoring system is sufficently precise and accurate for taxation? Have you considered the litigation that will be involved if the measurements and monitoring are not as good as we demand for all commerce and taxation?
        http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=13578&page=0

      • That’s not the way it’s done. A carbon tax is a direct tax on the carbon content of fossil fuels (e.g., the carbon content of a gallon of gasoline).

      • Peter Lang

        Max_OK,

        Perhaps you should advise the EPA how you believe it should be done.
        http://www.epa.gov/airmarkets/business/ecmps/docs/ECMPSEMRI2009Q2.pdf
        http://www.epa.gov/airmarkt/emissions/docs/plain_english_guide_par75_final_rule.pdf

        Perhaps you should also read the link I gave (and the comments on that thread), because you clearly are ‘making stuff up’.

      • Peter Lang | May 21, 2012 at 3:18 am |

        A lot of opinion, that seems to disregard the fact that carbon pricing’s been done, and without issue, for years now elsewhere.

        Perhaps you’re imagining problems that simply don’t exist?

      • Peter Lang

        Bart R,

        Either you didn’t read the article “The ulimate compliance cost of the ETS” or you didn’t understand it. If you didn’t read it perhaps you should. Your question was further addressed in the comments on the thread. [it is just as applicable to CO2 tax as to ETS / Cap and Trade]

      • “…opinion, that seems to disregard the fact that carbon pricing’s been done, and without issue, for years now elsewhere.”

        Yes, but this can only have been in a completely arbitrary, bureaucratic and hence economically irrational way.

      • An example of the silly, arbitrary pricing of carbon being the post just below at
        Max_OK | May 21, 2012 at 4:44 am

      • Peter, I’m sorry you think I’m “making stuff up.” I’m not “making up” British Columbia having a carbon tax based on the carbon content of fossil fuels. I will quote from their government site to prove I’m not just making it up.

        ” Tax rates in July 1, 2011 are based on $25 per tonne of CO2 equivalent emissions, increasing by $5 per tonne to $30 per tonne in 2012.”

        “Since different fuels generate different amounts of GHG when burned, $25 per tonne of CO2 equivalent must be translated into tax rates for each specific type of fuel. The following table shows the per unit rates for selected fossil fuels at July 1, 2011. For example, effective July 1, 2011 the rate for gasoline will be 5.56 cents per litre. The tax rate for diesel used for road transportation will be slightly higher at 6.39 cents per litre due to the higher carbon content of the fuel, while the tax on propane will be lower on a per litre basis.”

        For more carbon tax rates by type of fuel, see:

        http://www.fin.gov.bc.ca/tbs/tp/climate/A4.htm

        It’s past my bed time. Good Night.

      • Peter Lang

        Max_OK,

        I recall we’ve been through these points you make on a previous thread. If it was not you, then someone else was making similar points.

        I dealt with them then and the links I’ve provided above explain in more detail, as do the comments on the thread I linked to. I’d refer you back to them. Your points are addressed there. It is clear from your comments that you do not understand the issue. It would take far too much space to go through the details here.

      • Max_OK
        Re: “carbon tax is regressive”
        More the challenge is that it is globally regressive, but only selectively redressed. The 3 billion people living below $2.5/day will be harmed by lower global economic growth in the near term but not compensated.

        The immediate prospects for economic growth in the developing world rely on cheap energy. Thus China is installing a 1,000 MW power plant EACH WEEK. Until cheaper sustainable electricity is developed, pragmatically coal fired power appears the best route for such rapid development where the economic gains and human uplift are far greater than modeled economic harm.

      • David L. Hagen | May 21, 2012 at 8:47 am |

        Is revenue neutral carbon tax regressive, or progressive?

        And lest one be accused of courting redistribution and socialism, who owns the common resource that carbon fees charge for the use of, if not every citizen per capita?

        Indeed, to fail to pay the owners — every citizen per capita — for lucrative rivalrous excludable use of the carbon cycle resource is a failure to uphold the central tenet of fair market capitalism.

        Why bring in a command economy — one going badly off the rails — as part of your argument, when the market economies of the world remain the far larger and more easily addressed source of the issue?

      • That’s like saying that when the U.S. was handing out land to settlers who agreed to move West and develop it those people should have compensated the rest of the world for using up their opportunity value in the land. I don’t know, perhaps it would make sense in a world with perfect information and zero transaction costs. In the real world those assumptions don’t hold, and we get a better result by treating those opportunity values as zero.

        And that makes sense that we don’t even know if global warming will be a net cost or net value. We don’t even know if we should be taxing or subsidizing CO2 production.

      • Bart R
        Re “Is revenue neutral carbon tax regressive, or progressive?”
        I see it as still regressive, since the “revenue neutral” only applies to the local jurisdiction, but the economic impacts are global. They economic impacts harm the global poor, especially due to the transient changes where the needed sustainable R&D has not been done. e.g. see Mexico imposing a 35% renewable mandate buy 2024.

        Re “command economy.”
        You misunderstand. I have never advocated a command economy.

      • qbeamus | May 21, 2012 at 2:04 pm |

        Handed out? Dude, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Land_Ordinance_of_1785

        ‘Those people’ did compensate the rest of the world by paying for townships at auction and land at a base price and fulfilling their contractual obligations incurred. You’re makin’ stuff up.

        As for should we be subsidizing CO2? We don’t know?! We don’t know by now that we shouldn’t be subsidizing things?

        Me, I’m all for letting the Market decide. However, for people like you who think someone’s smarter than the genius of the democracy of the Marketplace, consider this: at a non-rising CO2 level of 300 ppmv, the world can as easily sustain in the long term a population of 9 billion people as two and a half otherwise equivalent Earth’s can at 400 ppmv, due rate of nitrogen depletion of crops.

      • David L. Hagen | May 23, 2012 at 11:34 am |

        Re “Is revenue neutral carbon tax regressive, or progressive?”
        I see it as still regressive, since the “revenue neutral” only applies to the local jurisdiction, but the economic impacts are global. They economic impacts harm the global poor, especially due to the transient changes where the needed sustainable R&D has not been done. e.g. see Mexico imposing a 35% renewable mandate buy 2024.

        I generally flatter myself on being able to follow the twists and turns of almost any line of reasoning without difficulty.

        I’m familiar with scores of texts on Economics.

        And yet, I’m stymied.

        A local national revenue-neutral carbon tax or fee and dividend system will be locally progressive, but “internationally regressive”?!

        This is a twist on the whole white-man’s-burden line of reasoning that prompts a Dismissalist like Lomborg to hold a stooge conference on ‘issues’ that climate “takes away from”, then, in a new guise?

        How can a _better_, more efficient, national economy (that just happens to poach less of the carbon cycle due internal pricing practices) harm the international poor, other than by making the international poor look at their neighbors with fee & dividend systems, realizing they are missing out on thousands of dollars a year of income due them per capita because their country doesn’t yet have a fee & dividend system, and being discontented while their dictators and tyrants deny them their property rights?

        Seems the solution to that is for them to adopt a fee & dividend system locally too.

        Re “command economy.”
        You misunderstand. I have never advocated a command economy.

        If you’re promoting politburo-like committees of experts to tell people how best to decide things over the individual democratic choices of participants in the Market, then you surely are advocating a command economy.

      • Bart R

        This is a twist on the whole white-man’s-burden line of reasoning that prompts a Dismissalist like Lomborg to hold a stooge conference on ‘issues’ that climate “takes away from”, then, in a new guise?

        Let’s see is we can cut out the judgmental parts of that question:

        This is a twist on the whole white-man’s-burden line of reasoning that prompts a Dismissalist like Lomborg to hold a stooge conference on ‘issues’ that climate “takes away from”, then, in a new guise?

        There. Sounds like it was written by an adult now.

        Max

    • Richard Tol
      Thanks for clarifying that “Greenhouse gas remission reduction was not ranked”. My error/misreading in saying it “global warming mitigation does not even make the list, dropping below the dead last”.

      Carbon Tax is theoretically efficient, but presumes known risk. What if climate is dominated by natural not anthropogenic risk? I would welcome your evaluation of Ross McKritrick’s T3 Tax which is designed to accommodate that causation uncertainty with quantitative calibration to tropospheric temperatures.

      • @David
        McKitrick’s paper was published in Energy Economics, of which I am an editor. I have not myself researched the proporties of the T3 tax because we have been pursuing other lines of inquiry. It is a sound idea.

      • David L. Hagen | May 21, 2012 at 8:55 am |

        On Neutrality: British Columbia has kept its hands out of the cookie jar for four years. The incentives are threefold there:
        1. It’s written into the law and explicit that the Minister of Finance must — under penalty — report in each year how neutrality has been maintained;
        2. BC has an active and effective repeal mechanism by referendum that has been used in a more recent tax law to enforce the will of the people;
        3. The BC revenue neutral carbon tax is wildly popular with at least the seventy percent of people and corporations who are better off with it than without it. And that 70% grows as industry and citizens adapt to carbon prices by modifying their carbon use, over time extinguishing the flagrant free-riders who might oppose the carbon fee and dividend system.

        I don’t disagree entirely with you, if you restrict your cases to Pigouvian taxes only, and contrive to look at proportionality of fuel use as a portion of the budget of the less wealthy compared to the most wealthy, in the absence of a revenue neutral fee-and-dividend system. In those cases, your criticisms are quite valid in a limited sense where appropriate other measures are not taken, in the short term.

        However, in the long term, as the subsidized fossil industries themselves are a regressive taxation implicitly, the faster dependency on them is reduced, the less regressive the system becomes overall.

      • Market price signals are all that is required to regulate the use of fossil fuels. Anything else is unnecessary. Cut the tax and other subsidies to oil companies and other industries and businesses, and we’re done.

      • Jim2, which specific subsidy? If you can name the specific subsidy they get then I might go along with you.

      • Bart R
        Thanks for the reference to BC. That is highly unusual.
        California is debating the issue:
        Public Consultation on Investment of Cap-and-Trade Auction Proceeds May 24, 2012

        How are fossil fuel subsidies any different from solar subsidies?
        They appear to be of similar magnitude. See:
        US solar subsidies consistent with coal, oil: report

        The major case for moving to sustainable fuels is the inevitable depletion of cheap fossil fuels. That has a far clearer physical basis than concerns over anthropogenic global warming.

      • 1. So BC politicians have kept their hands of of the carbon tax cookie jar. What odds on another four?

        2. Fossil fuels are subsidized ? How?

      • David L. Hagen | May 21, 2012 at 2:24 pm |

        Unusual? Yes. Leadership generally is, on the cutting edge.

        How are fossil subsidies different from solar subsidies?

        An unintentional trick question.

        In theory, an economist might make a protectionist infant industry case for solar innovation, while no one can claim anything about the fossil industry is infantile except its continued pressure on governments to support it at every turn.

        Here’s one place the trick in the question arises: fossil industries have so invaded the very fabric of the subsidy structure of America that it is practically impossible to get an alternate energy subsidy that is not largely snapped up by old school fossil in one form or another. Looking at Lamar Alexander’s reports on subsidies taken down to the detail lines, one inevitably finds the fingers of fossil in everyone else’s pie. Biofuel? Yup. Biofuel is arguably a pure fossil subsidy channeled through a couple of large agronomy interests (or in some cases, timber). Efficiency and conservation? Almost all to fossil — hardly surprising, given how incredibly inefficient fossil is, even _increasing_ in inefficiency for a couple of decades lately. Hybrid vehicles? Well, what else are they hybrid of, but fossil and in the USA, generally electricity from fossil? Pipelines are practically pure subsidy to the fossil industry: if their builders were forced to pay fair market prices for land rights and fully insure against the risks they are let off by exceptionally lax attitudes toward common resources, they’d be howling in indignation for the nanny state to provide relief.

        Most major solar developments in the USA pride themselves on moving from very low subsidy levels to none at all, as an aggressive policy. This fiscal responsibility tells even the casual observer who is the upright corporate citizen, and points out in sharp contrast the corporate welfare bums of the fossil sectors, that we may know them better for the free riding rent seeking opportunists they have been for too long now.

        The tropospheric hotspot canard is nothing but lottery. I don’t waste my time with temperature for the most part not because temperature is or isn’t important, but because measures of it are unreliable enough to encourage seeking better methods.

        So I look to Risk, preceding the topic of outcomes of rising CO2 level and ignoring the red herrings involved. Rising CO2 level heralds all risks that flow from the GHE: either it is the principal cause, or it is a significant feedback. CO2 increase is a result of too many trespassing on a rivalrous resource – the carbon cycle – that is now due carbon inventories also administratively excludable. These two properties: rivalrous and excludable, of a shared resource are necessary and sufficient reason to mandate privatization, that each may benefit from their apportioned share to the extent they democratically choose, and none may ride free at the expense of another.

        The trespass itself is all the proof necessary. We may mock a man for peeing in his own drinking water, so long as it’s his own; we persecute the trespasser who pees in the common well, and we don’t wait to find proof that pee drinking is bad for us. The trespass suffices.

        What gives Lucia, or anyone, the right to tell me what Risk I must accept from their actions without compensation or consent? What American would accept such tyranical expropriation?

        So while many seek to obscure or minimize the issue, the problem of a forced march into uncertain levels of as major a part of all living and climate systems as CO2 that we have not seen in 20 million years remains one of failure to obtain consent or provide compensation, of pure free riding, first and foremost.

        The science, that’s still developing; however, it’s not looking on the weight of the evidence and analysis, much like what you argue will be what science concludes.

      • Bart R
        Re: “Biofuel is arguably a pure fossil subsidy”
        Could you evaluate if biofuel mandates are the most effective vote buying effort in Congress?

      • In CA a recent proposal to look at how we calculate RE for the 33% RES was shot down.
        http://www.sacbee.com/2012/05/21/4504286/dan-walters-shouldnt-hydro-count.html
        “Sen. Anthony Cannella, R-Ceres, proposed a step in that direction with legislation that would have subtracted hydropower before calculating the 33 percent mandate on the remaining power supply.

        However, the bill – supported by utilities but opposed by environmental groups and generators of approved sources of renewable power – was trashed in the Senate Natural Resources Committee.

        It’s another victory of ideology over rationality.”

      • MrE – Here is a link describing the subsidies.

        http://www.nationaljournal.com/energy/breaking-it-down-oil-industry-tax-breaks-20110512

        But before you go overboard on me, know that I’m for a zero or very minimal corporate tax. In exchange for that, companies can’t lobby. They speak to Congress in public hearings, but no lobbying or paid lobbyists. People who benefit from the jobs brought to the US by the 0 corporate tax can pay taxes.

      • Definitely Bart R is the most worthwhile read on the comment board.

      • Greybeard | May 21, 2012 at 4:08 pm |

        Historically, British Columbia was always so far to the Left it made the rest of Canada look like a Republican Convention.

        Then they went broke, in a pretty serious way.

        They were rescued by a tax-cutting, spending-cutting, government-shrinking decade that culminated in their revenue neutral carbon tax. Far from as you suggest making it administratively easier to go back to the left, the whole rigging is filled with protections and barriers to just going back. So, no. Despite your alarmism about lefties tampering with the neutrality of the carbon tax, it’s far easier for them, if they get in, to do what US politicians have been doing for years: tax the corporations, except the ones that funded their campaigns the most. Say, doesn’t that happen to be the fossil sector?

      • David L. Hagen | May 21, 2012 at 2:11 pm |

        There are high uncertainties in:

        (One so distrusts the vaguery of ‘high’ when uncertainties are spoken of.)

        1) the magnitude of anthropogenic contribution to global CO2,
        2) the magnitude of the climatic sensitivity or feedback to increased CO2, especially in both the sign and amplitude of cloud feedback.
        3) the uncertainty over the tropospheric temperature measurements.

        Here you go:

        1. CO2 level is rising. Human activity is contributing as an external forcing. The amount, proportion, even manner of contribution is unimportant. It’s like saying, “I only kicked the puppy a little, it was already on the ground.”

        2. Climate sensitivity is likewise unimportant. There’s an external forcing, and that’s what matters overall. Whether the forcing stretches some measures like a domino effect, or compresses them like wrinkling up wrapping paper or even causes them to become negative by some bizarrely convoluted mechanism (and especially if the mechanism is so bizarrely convoluted that it does so unexpectedly), then there’s a change in the system due external forcing, and the system moves to a new level of disorder. It’s the disorder in the system, whether represented by heat or extreme events, that matters. Mathematically, the forcing guarantees the disorder. You cannot avoid the one from the other. Sensitivity is just a measure of what you see when you look at that one particular part of the overall system at that one particular time.

        3. As we’ve been measuring the troposphere so badly, for so little time, and can so poorly map the troposphere in terms connected to surface or source effect, it’s ludicrous to consider it as anything but random noise at this time or for the foreseeable future.

        In his T3 tax McKitrick formulates an economic response in light of the dichotomy in belief by policy advocates as to the magnitude of the anthropogenic contribution to global warming. e.g., 90% vs 10%. See McKitrick: The T3 Tax as a Policy Strategy for Global Warming. He accommodates the high uncertainty over the evidence by taking the parameter most different between the two positions. i.e. the tropospheric temperature “hot spot” predicted by global warming models, but for which skeptics say there is no evidence for that hot spot.

        Amazingly, I’ve read it. I read it when it first came out. It’s a lottery. It advocates for setting taxes — which I oppose in the first place — and for doing it at effectively a random level. You might as well pay your taxes based on the roll of a pair of dice.

        Further, it imposes some unnamed expert panel to determine what that random number is. Since there’s so little confidence in such practices — if you recall, Dr. McKitrick wrote a scathing rebuke of the IPCC for instance in just such an area — it’s hypocritical to commend it as the basis for a tax system. If you follow McKitrick closely, you come to understand his statist, anti-enterprise, paternalism for what it is.

        Re: “based on 30 year trends of CO2 level, thereby overcoming unpredictability and signal:noise.”
        How does that help. It appears to be a circular argument presuming catastrophic anthropogenic global warming.

        Huh. Circular? No, no. You’re the one who even cares about CAGW in this. I’m not talking about CAGW. I’m talking about one single resource, and its pricing by the same principles as are used throughout Capitalism. The only need to prove CAGW would be if you were seeking compensation for harms done in a civil tort.

        That hypothesis has not been validated. There is growing evidence against the IPCC”s hypothesis. e.g. Lucia at The Blackboard shows that the IPCC’s 0.2C/decade model mean is now at or outside the 2 sigma uncertainty over the last 30 years.

        Which hypothesis are we discussing? There seem to be two. Lucia appears to insist the only hypothesis worth discussing is 0.2C/decade.

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/from:1992.33/trend/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1992/trend

        There you go. Two datasets confirming 0.2C/decade for the most current two decades, at above a 95% CI. Lucia is wrong. The IPCC hypothesis is validated twice over. Is the validation right? That remains a question of opinion. Whose opinion ought rule for the whole world? Well, I don’t recall Lucia getting elected to make that decision for me.

        In fact, I don’t recall empowering Lucia to decide what hypothesis to test at all.

        The hypothesis that the world is warming as a result of human activity? That one’s pretty cut and dried. Does it matter to my case? No.

        My case is about pricing scarce resources by privatization.

        McKitrick’s approach is based directly on measurable evidence. Periodic updating addresses signal/noise issues.

        Yeah. Obscure, indirect higher order effects can be directly measured. You could even call them evidence. However, in the upshot, the arbitrary and capricious outcomes of the McKitrick plan are to make any industry but the incumbent impossible to invest in. It discourages innovation and punishes efficiency.

        And it just imposes a tax. Why are we even talking about that? Which of us wants more tax?

      • I cannot see McKitrick’s T3 as anything but a lottery.

        We know signal:noise issues make the numbers Dr. McKitrick bases his tax rate on truly unconnected to the tax rate he would generate. Further, the very unpredictability of his rate would be a serious disincentive to participation.

        A more plausible version would be to use a T3 based on 30 year trends of CO2 level, thereby overcoming unpredictability and signal:noise.

        Otherwise, it’s just a gimmick, a refinement of the ideas of others that adds insurmountable difficulties of administration and only negative secondary impacts.

      • Does Bart R miss the point McK’s T3 or is there some other reason for his magic circle of CO2?
        =======

      • Bart R
        There are high uncertainties in:
        1) the magnitude of anthropogenic contribution to global CO2,
        2) the magnitude of the climatic sensitivity or feedback to increased CO2, especially in both the sign and amplitude of cloud feedback.
        3) the uncertainty over the tropospheric temperature measurements.

        In his T3 tax McKitrick formulates an economic response in light of the dichotomy in belief by policy advocates as to the magnitude of the anthropogenic contribution to global warming. e.g., 90% vs 10%. See McKitrick: The T3 Tax as a Policy Strategy for Global Warming. He accommodates the high uncertainty over the evidence by taking the parameter most different between the two positions. i.e. the tropospheric temperature “hot spot” predicted by global warming models, but for which skeptics say there is no evidence for that hot spot.

        Re: “based on 30 year trends of CO2 level, thereby overcoming unpredictability and signal:noise.”
        How does that help. It appears to be a circular argument presuming catastrophic anthropogenic global warming. That hypothesis has not been validated. There is growing evidence against the IPCC”s hypothesis. e.g. Lucia at The Blackboard shows that the IPCC’s 0.2C/decade model mean is now at or outside the 2 sigma uncertainty over the last 30 years.

        McKitrick’s approach is based directly on measurable evidence. Periodic updating addresses signal/noise issues.

      • All carbon tax schemes are completely arbitrary – not just McKitrick’s and British Columbia’s – since they rely on extra-market decision-making, including the decision on how much CO2 emission in total will be allowed. Similar to the situation with taxi licences.

      • But of course BC’s chance of sliding into more socialism is increased by the existence of the carbon tax, since now all that is needed is to de-neutral it – all the admin is already in place.

      • Greybeard | May 21, 2012 at 3:21 pm |

        I’m forced to agree that all carbon taxes (whether actual taxes or neutral fee and dividends) at this time are arbitrary.

        Only where the law of supply and demand is used to set the price — thereby the dividend to each citizen per capita — is the democracy of the Market put in its rightful supremacy over the price of carbon.

        I don’t advise such an approach on tax systems without full dividends; absent neutrality, tax is just tax. If a Pigouvian or dedicated tax is contemplated on carbon, let it be on top of whatever products the government is willing to apply it. Australia’s example, for instance.. while I disagree with it, I’m not Australian, so seek no say in that internal decision.

        Oh, and what are the odds BC’s politicians will keep their fingers off the money that isn’t theirs? I guess that depends on how long BC can go without sliding back into socialism.

    • @R.Tol
      I do not accept your “not ranked” explanation. Somehow
      17.Climate Change – Increased Funding for Green Energy R&D
      makes it deep in the list, but it is there because it is “humanitarian” and Carbon Taxation failed to be ranked at all.

      No the simplest solution is that the cause you hold so dear lost to other initiatives evaluated in a committee of economists who were recommend effective ways of advancing global welfare, and particularly the welfare of developing countries. In terms of improving the lives of people in developing countries, draconian limits on fossil fuels isn’t on the road to success.

      Climate Change was thrown a bone at #17. It was lucky to get that much. In Bang/Buck, Carbon Taxation is at the bottom of a very long list. It was on the list. It was evaluated. It didn’t make the cut. To make me think otherwise will take minutes of the meeting with a big, “Oh, by the way, all this work will be swamped by Carbon Taxation effects anyway.”

      • Stephen Rasey | May 21, 2012 at 4:05 pm |

        I have to agree, though I suspect for reasons you may disagree with.

        Carbon tax is among the weakest responses. Revenue neutral carbon tax, on the other hand, hasn’t really been mentioned so far as I’ve found. It’s a notable lapse, akin to leaving out ‘antibiotics’ from a list of responses to communicable bacteria.

        Why weren’t fee and dividend systems looked at? The absence rather gives this Copenhagen Consensus, with its appallingly high rating for unproven radical experimental geoengineering, the look of a stoogefest.

      • The Copenhagen Consensus is a list of problems ranked by urgency and clarity. It’s only a “stoogefest” in the eyes of CAGW stooges/truthers.

      • The Copenhagen Consensus is a list of problems (among thousands of problems) that all have to be addressed. Every single one of them. None is more ‘important’ or less in any real sense, merely clearer or more urgent, costlier or more time intensive or more intractible.

        Clarity is nice and good, and hard won for those who have been involved in clarifying what had been obscured and difficult to plainly see just a few years ago.

        Urgency is much less clear. Which is more urgent, to produce micronutrients or bicycles? A family with a bicycle that did not have one before can get to the micronutrients cheaply and easily, and even if on one is supplementing or promoting the production of micronutrients, a family with a bicycle is better able to furnish itself with such nutrients. Why then are bicycles not first on the Copenhagen list?

      • draconian limits on fossil fuels isn’t on the road to success.
        Come to think of it, it’s actually on the Road To Serfdom.

  11. Climate change blah blah. Carbon capture blah blah. Bio diversity blah blah. More funding blah blah. More research blah blah.
    Anyone who considers for one moment that any more money should be wasted on this nonsense is either on the green gravy train or intellectually challenged.
    The problem with the third world is corruption and dictatorship. End of the first lesson.

  12. The most efficient, global carbon cuts – designed to keep temperature increases under two degrees Celsius – would cost $40 trillion a year by 2100, according to research by Richard Tol for the Copenhagen Consensus Center.

    Confirming the sad fact that we cannot change our planet’s climate, no matter how much money we throw at it.

    Max

    • Be of good cheer! Keeping the advancing ice sheets powdered with soot should cost 1% of 1% of that (SWAG).

      ;)

    • Messages in bold type suggest a lack of conviction.

      • Max_OK

        Messages in bold type suggest a lack of conviction.

        Huh?

        Max

      • Max_OK

        There have been many “promises” by politicians to “reduce CO2 emissions from a specific country by X% of what they were in year Y by year Z”, or (even sillier) to “hold greenhouse warming by 2100 to no more than 2 deg C”, but this is all hollow rhetoric.

        There have been very few specific actionable proposals which would result in any appreciable reduction in greenhouse gases, and those that have been made would result in an imperceptible change in our planet’s climate.

        The cost/benefit analyses for three specific proposals that have been made are shown in the attachment.

        With or without bold face type these show that

        we cannot change our planet’s climate, no matter how much money we throw at it

        Sorry ‘bout that, Max.

        Max

        PS If you can cite any specific actionable proposals, which can be shown to have a perceptible impact on our climate by 2100, please do so.

      • There’s no point in showing you anything about 2100. I will be in heaven long before then, and you probably will be in that other place.

        I will just say something in a way you can understand.

        PEOPLE WHO DON”T THINK WE CAN CHANGE OUR PLANET’S CLIMATE ARE ……….. I won’t say it.

        I gotta be nicer to people.

        It’s way past my bedtime.

      • David Springer

        Max_OK | May 21, 2012 at 5:12 am | Reply

        “There’s no point in showing you anything about 2100. I will be in heaven long before then, and you probably will be in that other place.”

        “that other place” would be reincarnated which is by far the predominant belief in what happens after we die. Ironically, in that case, you’ll be back here to face the music in 2100 that you help compose now. Talk about poetic justice. :-)

        “I will just say something in a way you can understand.”

        “PEOPLE WHO DON”T THINK WE CAN CHANGE OUR PLANET’S CLIMATE ARE ……….. I won’t say it.”

        I’ll say it for you. They are realists. Was that really that hard to say?

        “I gotta be nicer to people.”

        Not if you believe that all your sins are forgiven. You can be a serial killer in that case.

        “It’s way past my bedtime.”

        Yes, it IS a school night. I think I hear your mommy calling.

      • Springer,
        How does imposing a carbon tax fit in the context of caring for the poor, the widow, orphan and alien?

        PS Before or after forgiveness? cf no murderers in heaven.

      • Max_OK

        Have a nice nappy-poo.

        Too bad you do not want to demonstrate any actionable proposals for changing our climate perceptibly. This tells me clearly that you CANNOT do so, in other words that

        we cannot change our planet’s climate, no matter how much money we throw it it

        Max

      • David Springer

        @ David L. Hagen | May 21, 2012 at 9:30 am |

        “PS Before or after forgiveness? cf no murderers*** in heaven.”

        *** Revelation 21:8
        Today’s New International Version (TNIV)
        8 But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars —they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”

        Oh good. Energy is so boring compared to discussions of what it takes to get your passport stamped by Saint Peter after you die. No carbon taxes behind the pearly gates, by the way. High octane gasoline is free and diesel exhaust has no odor. I’ll see your Revelations 21:8 and raise you with Romans 10:9-13

        10:9 That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
        10:10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.
        10:11 As the Scripture says, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.”
        10:12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile–the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him,
        10:13 for “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

        Everyone means everyone, David. Recall the thief on the cross who repented. Luke 23:43: “Today you will be with me in Paradise”.

        This has always been a problem I’ve had with certain Christian sects. I don’t think forgiveness should come quite that easily. One can live a life that’s pretty much the polar opposite of the example Christ set for us – a life centered around materiality and wealth and war and slaughter of living things and then expect to go to heaven while people who actually work all their lives to be the gentle compassionate people most like Christ are consigned to a lake of fire for failure to follow certain ritual confessions? Does that make sense to you? Seriously?

      • David Springer
        I see the Copenhagen Consensus as directly confronting abusive fear mongering by the primacy of humanitarian needs in developing countries combined with stewardship of how to most cost effectively provide for those needs. See the Cornwall Alliance for further discussion on faith, stewardship, and care for the poor. Carbon credits appear to be a modern day indulgence issued by the church of global warming. See: Carbon credits: indulgence or commutation fee

        Looking beyond repeating ritual rites, who would enjoy being near God in his holiness versus finding that abhorrent? Furthermore, if God wants heaven as a new/perfect Eden, on what basis would he want to allow or invite someone to live with him and those there? e.g., James encourages us to ask for wisdom and reminds us that “a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone. . . . faith without deeds is dead.”

      • David Springer

        @David L. Hagen

        “Furthermore, if God wants heaven as a new/perfect Eden, on what basis would he want to allow or invite someone to live with him and those there?”

        I figure the most important thing is not having a penchant for slaughtering and eating the other warm blooded residents who don’t happen to walk on four feet. But hey, that’s just me. And Jesus too near as I can tell who can’t be found eating anything except a broiled fish and even that wasn’t while he was alive but rather after the resurrection to prove to the disciples that he wasn’t an apparition. The permission to consume flesh and blood was a temporary dispensation granted to Noah and his kin after the flood receded because all the plants were dead. In your circumstance and mine there is no reason we cannot live as we were commanded and consume seed bearing herbs as our meat. If you expect to enter paradise it’s probably a good idea to demonstrate a willingness to follow the rules about not killing and eating the animals. Words are cheap. But you go on believing what you want. It’s your soul to lose after all.

    • manacker
      To evaluate whether how much we are changing our climate, we first have to be able to quantitatively measure the changes, and evaluate the relative magnitude of anthropogenic vs natural causes, especially cloud feedbacks. Until then we can’t really say. See Nigel Fox of NPL & the TRUTHS project.

      • David L. Hagen

        All you write makes sense.

        We have measured change in atmospheric CO2 since 1959.

        We have dicier info from ice core data for atmospheric CO2 prior to 1959.

        These data tell us that atmospheric CO2 has increased from around 290 ppmv in 1850 to 390 ppmv today

        We have a HadCRUT3 surface temperature record (warts and all) going back to 1850, which tells us that the linear warming over the entire record was around 7 deg C.

        We have an estimate from IPCC (based on a conceded “low level of scientific understanding” of natural, i.e. “solar”, forcing) that anthropogenic forcing was 93% of the past total.

        We have several other estimates by solar experts that 50% of the past warming (not 7%) can be attributed to the unusually high level of 20th century solar activity.

        We have IPCC estimates that all other anthropogenic forcings other than CO2 (aerosols, other GHGs, etc.) cancelled one another out.

        So we have the data points to give us a range of the observed anthropogenic warming since the modern temperature record started.

        Using the logarithmic relation, these observed data tell us that the temperature response for 2xCO2 should lie somewhere between 0.8 and 1.4 degC.

        Even the most extreme assumptions for CO2 increase by the end of this century do not go beyond a doubling from today’s value.

        Agree that, while there are hypotheses out there, we still do not know how clouds have affected this and exactly what makes clouds behave the way they do, whether or not they are tied to changes in ocean currents, how they are impacted by the sun, etc., etc.

        But it looks to me that the Copenhagen consensus makes sense that 2 degC anthropogenic global warming over the next century is extremely unlikely to occur, even if we do absolutely nothing to curtail CO2 emissions.

        And I believe that is the main point here.

        Max

      • TYPO

        linear warming over that past 150 years was 0.7 degC, not 7 degC.

    • Distinguishing between cycles and time varying ST of a time series has long been regarded as a daunting problem, as exemplified by the statement of Stock and Watson (1988): “one economist’s ‘trend’ can be another’s ‘cycle’”. The most widely used method of determining the trend in a data set is to draw the least squares best fit straight line within prescribed intervals, as was done in IPCC AR4. In reality, the rate of increase of GST in response to the cumulative buildup of long lived greenhouse gases and the changing rates of emission of aerosols is time dependent. Representing secular trends in GST in terms of linear trends is often not physically realistic. A more informative representation is an intrinsically-determined monotonic curve, having at most one extremum within a given time span (Huang et al. 1998; Wu et al. 2007).

    • Girma | May 21, 2012 at 3:10 am |

      Mr. Orssengo, perhaps it would help us understand what you are trying to say if you put your interpretation of this article into your own words?

      Saying someone’s trend is someone else’s cycle is ambiguous at best. One believes Stock and Watson were merely reporting on common issues in data interpretation from their field; to cite them without necessary context seems to court error.

      To say “advocates” vs. “skeptics” (a truly false dichotomy, as many advocates are quite skeptical, and many skeptical people advocate their views quite strongly) serves no purpose either. Why must you always name call?

      • Bart R

        All my effort now is for naught. Some one has already published what I have been trying to say. Look at Figure 1 & 3 of the following paper.

        http://www.springerlink.com/content/akh241460p342708/fulltext.html

        It shows truth is always ONE.

        What are you going to say now Bart R?

      • Girma, The authors of the paper you cite have made the cardinal error that I always refer to; they fail to use their model to make short term predititons. To me, this is the acid test of any model, or whatever, which claims to expalin what has happened oin the past. Can it predict the future on a short enough time scale that the results can be easily tested?

      • Web

        According to the following published paper

        http://www.springerlink.com/content/akh241460p342708/fulltext.html

        the current global warming rate is not about 0.2 deg C per decade as IPCC claims, but it is only 0.08 deg C per decade after removing a warming rate of 0.12 deg C per decade due to cyclic warming.

        This result is identical to my result =>http://bit.ly/HRvReF

        Web, what do you say to that?

      • Jim

        At least it has reduced IPCC’s projection of 0.2 deg C per decade in the next decade by a factor of 2.5 to the true value of 0.08 deg C per decade.

      • Jim Cripwell | May 21, 2012 at 8:52 am |

        If you use the method the authors describe, instead of the one they use, then http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/mean:89/mean:97/from:1958.75/plot/gistemp/from:1958.75/trend gives slope = 0.0129854 per year;

        If you apply their principle of maximum information with temporal locality, then they may be interpretted to predict a rise of 1.3C/century for the current time, if we have no local extremum more recent than 1959. Which is too early yet to say.

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/mean:89/mean:97/plot/gistemp/from:1958.75/trend

        You may wish to use your own judgement on the probability of local extrema; it appears there have been seven in GISS since 1880 (but none since 1959), but we may be close to a new one.

        One notes mischeivously the upturns have been 2:1 tending to much greater length than the downturns, and the last long uptrend has been approximately twice as rapid as the previous ones. If that’s a significant pattern (which is purely speculative), then after the next negative extreme point one might predict (on no more basis than Mr. Orssengo’s methodologies, so call it ‘fiction’) a trend of 2.6C/century (starting in 12 to 20 years).

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        Girma: According to the following published paper

        Thanks for the link.

      • Girma, thanks for this link. I will start a post on this paper.

      • Welcome JC.

        The above result using data analysis is similar to the result using climate models by Swanson. May be you could include Swanson’s paper to compare how the two different methods arrived at the same result.

        Swanson et al:
        http://deepeco.ucsd.edu/~george/publications/09_long-term_variability.pdf

      • Rob Starkey

        LOL– keep an eye out to see if Mosher dies of a heart attack

      • Steven Mosher

        sorry I’m heartless.

      • Girma | May 21, 2012 at 8:26 am |

        It isn’t the first, or even tenth, published idea of its sort. How can you not know this?

        Scafetta’s idea, you also call identical to your own.. So is it, or isn’t it?

        And if what you’ve been trying to say is exactly what Wu et al. have said, you’ve gone about it very awkwardly; or, you misunderstand them.

        “Representing secular trends in GST in terms of linear trends is often not physically realistic. A more informative representation is an intrinsically-determined monotonic curve, having at most one extremum within a given time span (Huang et al. 1998; Wu et al. 2007). “*

        The authors explicitly reject your fitted trigonometric function. And they use not an argument of ultimate logic, but one of maximum utility. This is commonplace in graphical analyses where insufficient data is available to come to a unique conclusion. So there is no ‘ONE’ truth in graphs of GMT yet, other than we can be confident that GMT is rising on the centenary scale and has had a significant multidecadal rate increase since the middle of the last century.

        It’s an interesting paper. It’s real progress that you’ve read it. Now try to appreciate what it actually says, instead of repeating what you’ve done before with Hansen and others, taking pieces of their work out of context to prop up your own incorrect ideas.

        “..temporal locality should be the first principle in guiding all the time series analysis..”

        *From what the authors say, no part of any past data can be used to determine a true trend or fit that is more valid than any other, so long as one restricts to this condition, in this particular sort of analysis. We could as easily use — and are closer to their own definition of one extremum — the period from 1950 or 1960 to present, to obtain equally valid results. All aspects of the previous period, including the “underlying ramp” you are so fond of, however, become suspect with such an approach. Given that much of the ramp arguably had a zero detectible rise until well into the 1900’s, we introduce far more uncertainty applying the unexplained and dubious ramp than we obtain treating it as zero for the purposes of interpretation.

      • Bart R

        How come you failed to see their main conclusion?

        we showed that the rapidity of the warming in the late twentieth century was a result of concurrence of a secular warming trend and the warming phase of a multidecadal (~65-year period) oscillatory variation and we estimated the contribution of the former [secular warming] to be about 0.08°C per decade since ~1980.

        IPCC said it is about 0.2 deg C per decade.

        I found 0.08 deg c per decade => http://bit.ly/HRvReF

        The main conclusion is the current global warming after removing the cyclic global warming rate is only 0.08 deg C per decade.

      • Here’s the sad thing, g; that ‘secular trend’ is most likely the rising part of another cycle whose three previous tops were the Medieval, the Roman, and the Minoan Optimae. Buckle up for the next phase of this rollercoaster.
        ==========

      • Of course, we can only be “sure” that this data shows us anything to the extent that we’re “sure” it’s good quality data, not poluted with systematic errors resulting from poor or changes to intrumentation, confirmation bias, and so forth. I, for one, am not confident that this is the case. I gather that you are. In all sincerity, I’d like to know why you are. Given that we’re trying to extract a signal that is a tiny fraction of the smallest increment recorded in the data, what makes you so confident that you’re (1) seeing signal, and not noise; and (2) the signal reflects something happening in the real world, rather than an artifact?

      • Both the ‘decadal variability’ and the ‘secular trend’ are shifting to cooling. The ‘anomalies’ will be at ~0.0 by 2020.

      • Girma | May 21, 2012 at 11:30 am |

        I’m going to say what any graphical analyst might: the authors have made an artful choice to maximize the presentation of their own interpretation.

        They set out their method of using a temporal locality containing at most one extremum, and then ignored it (their curve has three) in favor or what to them must have seemed a more interesting curve.

        They may be correct; there is no way given the information available to discern the one method from the other, except for purpose.

        Their actual work introduces far greater uncertainty, however, given that the values are subtracted, but their uncertainties are added. Using the approach they recommend in writing rather than what they actually ended up doing produces a much higher GMT trend. Each is a matter only of interpretation, and neither is especially ‘true’. Merely useful. With caution.

      • Bart R

        Gotta hand it to you – you are a master at double-talk. Your last post to Girma is a masterpiece.

        Keep up the good work.

        Max

      • manacker | May 21, 2012 at 3:31 pm |

        Here you go, on Mr. Orssengo’s favorite dataset, using the method of the article he cites, and for the word-impaired, free of narrative:

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/mean:89/mean:97/from:1962.4/plot/hadcrut3gl/from:1962.4/trend

        slope = 0.0141395 per year

      • Mr. Orssengo, if you wish to take your efforts to a whole new level, one commends the methods and precepts discussed in http://www.biomedcentral.com/content/pdf/cc2948.pdf

        While the application of the methods is biomedical, not climate, almost all of it is generally useful in analysis of climate data.

        You’ll certainly go much, much farther than the superficial analyses others have done yet, if you master these techniques.

    • Girma
      Thanks for dynamic global warming paper link. Separating out natural from anthropogenic trends is very important but difficult. They show a major thermal warming/cooling cycle. It would be interesting to compare this with Nicola Scafetta’s similar efforts and cyclic natural/anthropogenic models.

      David Stockwell shows a Pi/2 (90 degree) or 2.75 year lag between the 11 year solar cycle and global temperature. See Key evidence for the accumulative 1 model of high solar influence on 2 global temperature
      To the degree that the PDO is solar driven, then I would expect a similar Pi/2 lag between other solar cycles and natural global temperature variations. Such evidence of lags between natural solar cycles and global temperature should provide key evidence to differentiate natural from anthropogenic causes.

  13. Le Pétomane,

    The ongoing deliberate slight in referring to Girma as Mr rather than Dr reveals more of you than Girma. It is more than a little adolescent is it not?

    The peer reviewed science Girma links to speaks for itself – as does the Texan hydrology study linked to above – I have saved the latter in my e-library thank you. They are of course linked as cause and effect. Ocean variability linked to both hydrology and global temperature making a nonsense of anything you have ever said. This has of course been suspected all along – but it is nice to get yet more peer reviewed scientific proof.

    That’s why the terminology has evolved and we now refer to ourselves climate realists as opposed to AGW space cadets. Let me remind you of the definition of space cadet before you go off on another tangent.

    ‘A person who leads people to believe they are from a different planet or dreaming of ancestry in other areas of the universe. The person does not respond when directly spoken to, performs odd food rituals and displays complete disregard for commonsense. A space cadet is not necessarily refering to a person of low intelligence or a heavy drug user, but rather a person who typically focuses on all aspects of life except the one currently at hand.’

    ‘This is Major Bart to Ground Control
    I’m stepping through the door
    And I’m floating in a most peculiar way
    And the stars look very different today

    For here
    am I sitting in my tin can
    Far above the world
    Planet Earth is blue
    And there’s nothing I can do’

    Sung to the tune of some old David Bowie song.

    Well of course there is something you can do and that is to post endless irrelevant, repetitive, tedious, contrarian, smarmy, tendentious, pusillanimous, mean-spirited, poltroonish, biased, bigoted, bitter, distorted, envious, grudging, hostile, intolerant, jealous, one-sided and opprobrious comment. How’s that working out for you?

    Best regards
    Captain Kangaroo

    • Captain Kangaroo said:

      “That’s why the terminology has evolved and we now refer to ourselves climate realists as opposed to AGW space cadets.”

      I clearly remember that you would often refer to yourself as an “AGW space cadet”. It’s so ingrained in my mind that I would never imagine thinking of you as a “climate realist”.

      • WebHubTelescope

        According to the following published paper

        http://www.springerlink.com/content/akh241460p342708/fulltext.html

        the current global warming rate is not about 0.2 deg C per decade as IPCC claims, but it is only 0.08 deg C per decade after removing a warming rate of 0.12 deg C per decade due to cyclic warming.

        This result is identical to my result =>http://bit.ly/HRvReF

        Web, what do you say to that?

      • You clearly remember things that haven’t happened Webby – clearly the very definition of a modern AGW space cadet. But I have dealt with you. Until you reconsider your ludicrous one dimensional model for life, death the universe and everything there is nothing left to be said.

        I will give you a clue for free. The answer is 42. Is that simple enough for you?

        I will give you a clue

      • I don’t have to prove what you have said, since you admitted to it above:

        Kangaroo said:

        “That’s why the terminology has evolved and we now refer to ourselves climate realists as opposed to AGW space cadets.”

        This states that you referred to yourself as a space cadet before the terminology “evolved”, and now you believe that an “AGW space cadet” means a “climate realist”.

      • Is this an example of your comprehension skills?

      • Is that an example of your illiteracy? yes.

      • I suppose I could be as childish and indulge in this sort of one liner swapping of insults. I’m not a space cadet – you said you’re a space cadet? I have dealt with you before – the level of your comprehension of environmental detail is wanting in one with such an egocentric mode of expression. You seem to miss the main point of things. I don’t think you are playing a silly game – I just think you have issues.

    • Thank you.

    • Captain Kangaroo | May 21, 2012 at 5:13 am |

      *yawn*

      Ok. I’ll take the bait. What does your manner of addressing others reveal of you?

      Oh, wait. We get to decide that for ourselves. Until you’re moded off for flagrant repeated breach of house rules wrapped around points you’ve already made elsewhere and not advanced from in thinly disguised attempt to pretend at relevancy.

      What is it about me in particular and people who don’t avoid exchanges with you in general (I’ve been trying) that so provokes your abuse? Oh, wait. I just don’t care.

      • Oh, Waiting for Bart R.
        ========

      • Le Pétomane,

        *vomit*

        What do you expect with someone called Captain Kangaroo – the classics?

        What is it? Really that you dominate the threads and bully the denizens. Usually that is known as trolling. You are just a persistent pest. What do you hope to gain? What do you get from glib responses to just about about everything? Why do you repeat endlessly some rehearsed nonsense about this or that no oie believes? Why is it all just shallow rhetoric? Why do you hang around like some ghost at a wedding?

        It all seems to be imponderables with you. I just don’t like bullies and I wish Girma would grow a set and tell you where to go. But then you show you true colours and become really nasty if anyone stands up to you.

        I would like to ignore you but really it seems you are there with every second comment repeating things you have said a thousand times before.

      • Robert I Ellison| May 22, 2012 at 2:55 am |

        So to you, to paraphrase, the purpose of Climate Etc. is to stage your vendettas against any commenter who you feel takes a stand on any topic (or, as you call it ‘dominate and bully’ by invective, slander, name-calling, character assassination, ad homs, and every invention of malice you can bring to bear on the narrowest pretext?

        The Copenhagen Consensus, whatever else one thinks of the idea of dozens of people coming together to make good-faith efforts to contribute to solutions facing humanity, really, is the forum you want to pollute with petty and vindictive tirades?

        Your penchants, one notes, are scarcely limited to single targets, but as if by habit or design you defame anyone without regard to sensitivity of other readers or of topic, making occassional patent efforts to dodge moderation by tossing in some vestige of a topical reference, should the apparent mood move you to attack.

        Most denizens, it is my belief, are here from a sincere interest in knowing, learning, developing, gaining and sharing through a common forum something of real value here. I’m grateful to our host for providing so open and excellent a stage for exchanges of ideas.

        I don’t really mind you going after me; I’m a grown-up, and I’ve dealt with my share of unpleasantness in the past; this new attack by you on Mr. Orssengo, thinly veiled as support for him, however, is insufferable. I look at actions and claims: you savage people themselves whom you do not know and have no business commenting on.

        It isn’t really possible for me to believe any more that this abusive facade is in any way related to passion for climate topics, or influenced by skeptical philosophies. There really appears to be something fundamentally wrong at the root of these antisocial behaviors of yours.

        So I hope none of your invective, none of the vile things you say, are moderated off. I believe every reader here can judge for themselves the quality of malignancy you’ve come here to spread, and can respond according to their own judgement of it. For myself, that reaction so far as I can keep track of your sockpuppetry and spot your ruses, will be to ignore you.

      • Is Captain Kangaroo the puppet of Chief Hydrologist?

      • A sockpuppet indeed. This comment site has lots of sockpuppets, which gives the illusion of team consensus.

      • Coming from you Bart R – or indeed Webby – an accustation of invective is hollow. You both haunt the place with invective and insults – climate clowns being the least objectionable. I have complained about in recent times the descent by both of you into eggegious insult and calumny on the most juvenile level – and on which you have both been moderated . A resort to simply name calling at the most childish level. So forgive me if take your faux outrage with a grain of salt. You have no more discussed David’s post in any civilised discourse than you have grown wings and flown. It is all a return like a dog to vomit to moralising about feeloaders in your perennial and quite tiresome tirades about carbon taxes.

        Girma’s link which is quite clear and very much in the spirit of his analysis – you redefine to suit your opinion so frequently and insultingly presented. Nothing can be done with space cadets such as yourself.

        Everyone knows my name. No one knows yours or Webby’s. Captain Kangaroo is a masked cowboy on a horse – http://s1114.photobucket.com/albums/k538/Chief_Hydrologist/?action=view&current=blue_horse.jpg. He is a climate warrior – so you know what to expect. All I have to say on Captain Kangaroo is – who was that masked man?

        As for denizens judgement – I am sure that we have already decided that you are a serial pest. I have certainly seen that in response after response. You are not here for civilised discourse – you are here to berate and malign.

        One would like to have had a serious conversation on David’s post – but as stated below. ‘Besides, I was getting bored with the silly comments by a few; I was a bit disappointed that the excellent work by Copenhagen Consensus, World Economic Forum and others were not eliciting more serious discussion.’ It all get’s waylaid into everyone’s pet foible – peak oil, carbon taxes, serial Girma insults from you and that bloody Eisenhower video. How many times do these things need to get posted?

      • > Why do you hang around like some ghost at a wedding?

        My own hypothesis:

        We are playing a game.
        We are playing at not playing a game.
        If Bart R shows us he sees we are,
        he breaks the rules and
        the Denizens will punish him.
        So he must play the game,
        of not seeing he sees the game.

        http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/post/23481145016

        Go Team Denizens!

      • I wish to express my gratitude to Rob Starkey, who made me think about the same question a while ago.

      • 0, is a simple place holder & has no value over time. We will all see. willard too.

      • Bart R prefers learning games to brainwashing games, is all.

        Games are good, fun and welcome opportunities to explore a range of ideas. Pavlovian exercises meant to teach submission, not so much.

      • Bart, You need to understand that in our world today even dogs can learn to read. I read it in a book.

      • This means that anyone on the Internet can learn, Tom:

        http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/readme/2006/11/like_i_care.html

        This should encourage Bart R.

      • Steven Mosher

        willard.
        kinsley trying to hold court on the web and social media.
        putz.

      • A Najdorf player needs to be prepared to take some walks with his King.

  14. Reducing salt or education about it as a health measure seems to not belong on the list.

    As far as I know, there is no evidence that healthy people eating too much salt causes hypertension.

    • An observation;

      ‘AFAIK, there is no evidence’ is not the same as ‘there is no evidence’.

      I’ve noticed this a lot here amongst the ‘skeptics’.

      • Very good Michael, this is rapid progress for you.

        Michael | May 19, 2012 at 8:49 pm | Reply
        “ignorance is bliss.”

        Now you only need to think for yourself, like Edison used to do.

      • I’ll remember to put the ‘end sarcasm’ in for you nex time.

      • Now you are really moving along?:o)

      • I was hoping to start a discussion asswipe, so that someone with more knowledge of this topic could comment. Go f#$# yourself.

      • Michael

        “AFAIK” is the unwritten prefix of ANY opinion on this or any other blog site.

        Anyone who claims that his own position on a topic is absolute fact, is only fooling himself.

        Max

  15. You are all discussing a POPULARITY POLL, taken among a small group of the politically correct, as assembled by ONE MAN. This subjective consensus (a.k.a., post-normal science) has NOTHING TO DO with the objective truth. Remember, you heard it here, on this blog (run by a climate scientist, who finds it “interesting”).

    • I believe you’re missing the point. This report doesn’t pretend to be scientific. As you note, the subject matter isn’t really appropriate for the scientific method. Because it does not pretend to deserve the deference of a scientific determination, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.

      Having said all that, I don’t believe your assertion that it has “nothing to do with objective truth” is valid. You seem to be implying that the scientific method is the only valid epistemology. I certainly agree that the scientific method holds a special place in our civilization as the only one with the power to coerce agreement from those who would otherwise disagree. But I encourage you to think about it; I think you’ll agree that it is not the only method you trust to reach “justified belief.”

  16. Steve Borodin

    31. Chronic Disease – R&D into ways to eliminate socialism.

  17. Peter Lang: In a prior tmhread you said you did not see my climate debate issue tree “achieving the result” or answering the policy need. What result are you trying to achieve? 

    If it is different from mine, which is simply to display the debate, then it is no wonder we disagree. Your result may require a different issue tree, such as one proposing a specific policy, or one opposing a specific policy, such as a carbon tax.

    These three are all quite different issue trees.

    David

  18. Sort of a funny read in the first two pages of the book “Zero-G” about all of the hat-tipping and butt-sniffing going on between the representatives of state that attended the Corruptenhagen conference–one of the snippents being that by then it was Obama who had become ‘the great satan.’

  19. When will secular, socialists and apologists for Castro, Cuba and Cairo stop fearing capitalism? Doesn’t dead and dying Europe with Greece on the dole and California sliding toward bankruptcy and the misery, poverty and death experienced by millions under communism mean anything to the eco-whackpots?

    When Earth Cools Who is to Blame for Lack of Heat? http://wp.me/p27eOk-nw

  20. I have an *interesting* topic for discussion:

    Who here thinks “expert opinion” is equivalent to “evidence”?

    Andrew

    • Almost anyone who believes you’ll die from eating a bacon cheeseburger without admisistration of intravenous edamame hummus drip within 24 hours.

    • Well, to a sociologist or anthropologist, what’s considered “expert opinion” can be fascinating data.

      Expertise is hardly ever based on anything one would call an objective standard. It’s almost as if implicit in most systems are deliberate efforts to obscure whose expertise is and isn’t valid.

      In software system testing, while SME’s are valid and valued and sometimes stringent objective standards are imposed in the most successful organizations, “expert opinion” is never the only method used to verify any stage in development, unless you’re designing for failure.

      • “expert opinion” is never the only method used to verify any stage in development, unless you’re designing for failure.

        Yet IPCC used it as “the only method” to conjure up increased incidence and severity of extreme weather events attributable to AGW, in its AR4 report (SPM Table SPM.2).

        Ouch!

        Max

      • manacker | May 21, 2012 at 3:39 pm |

        Really? The only method?

        http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg2/en/figure-spm-2.html

        This SPM.2 from AR4? The one with the last column listing “All entries are from published studies recorded in the chapters of the Assessment. Sources are given in the right-hand column of the Table”?

        Good thing I kept up my maths and keep my reading broad, so I could check their conclusions independently of expertise by referring to theory, logic, mathematical proof, evidence of observation and judge for myself whether to accept or reject or not commit on the claims of increased incidence and severity attributable to AGW in AR4 SMP.2, if I didn’t have time or wit to check the reports listed for how they supported their assessments.

        Guess which one I did in 2007?

        Though given they’re talking about 5C above 1980-1999 levels in SPM.2, and many incidences and severities far outstrip predictions at a mere rise from a 20-year mean of 0.25C to 0.44C on GISS, or under one 25th of the scale of the table.. what is the issue here again? Something unprovable? Or are you suggesting the past half-decadal cluster of extreme weather means the expert opinion was too conservative?

      • Bart R

        You are changing the subject here.

        I referred to AR4 WG1 SPM Table SPM.2. where various “trends” and “projections” for “extreme weather events” are listed.

        One example: Heat wave frequency increases.
        Likely (66+%) that there was an increasing “trend” in late 20th century
        More likely than not (50+%) that there was a “human contribution to observed trend” (with “magnitude of trend not assessed” and “attribution based on expert judgment rather than formal attribution studies”

        OUCH!

        From this IPCC models conclude
        Very likely</em (90+%) that there will be a "future trend" of increase

        HUH?

        So here is a case where observations show a trend of undefined magnitude with unknown human contribution (based on expert judgment alone) and a likelihood of 50 to 66%, parlayed into a likelihood of 90% that the trend will occur in the future.

        No matter how you slice it, Bart, this is downright silly.

        Max

      • manacker | May 21, 2012 at 3:39 pm |

        I’m trying to say this with all due respect. I don’t mean to sound snide here, however it took me a half hour to unravel what you meant, and I’m sorely disappointed by a long and unproductive waste of time chasing down your red herring trail, Max.

        I websearched until I tracked down the actual document you’re referring to, now that you’ve given enough information to uniquely identify it:

        http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar4/wg1/ar4-wg1-spm.pdf

        And I checked out in passing the table you’re talking about, which takes up less than a full page (page 8) of the _summary_ document:

        Table SPM.2. Recent trends, assessment of human infl uence on the trend and projections for extreme weather events for which there
        is an observed late-20th century trend.

        Then I looked for the passage you refer to (footnotes 6 &7), which took some digging as it was not exactly what you implied:

        6 In this Summary for Policymakers, the following terms have been used to indicate the assessed likelihood, using expert judgement, of an outcome or a result: Virtually certain > 99% probability of occurrence, Extremely likely > 95%, Very likely > 90%, Likely > 66%, More likely than not > 50%, Unlikely < 33%, Very unlikely < 10%, Extremely unlikely < 5% (see Box TS.1 for more details).
        7 In this Summary for Policymakers the following levels of confi dence have been used to express expert judgements on the correctness of the underlying science: very high confidence represents at least a 9 out of 10 chance of being correct; high confidence represents about an 8 out of 10 chance of being correct (see Box TS.1)

        Far from fitting my parameter, “the only method used to verify any stage in development”, what you’re talking about is just some interpretive guidance to policymakers that has ZERO to do with verification and is not a step in any stage of a development process, but rather part of a summary (by the way, one laden with data and analyses and references that could hardly be called ‘opinion’).

        Did you intend to lie, or are you just that confused by reading?

    • David Wojick

      Andrew, it depends on what you mean by equivalent (also what the quote marks signify, a separate issue). Expert opinion is certainly a kind of evidence, one which is often taken as conclusive. People typically accept their doctor or plumber’s diagnosis. Scientists often accept what other’s report in journals. Of course there are also complex limits to the weight of evidence of expert opinion, but it is evidence.

      Our world is built on this sort of normal trust. But perhaps this not what you meant.

      • David,

        Opinion (expert or otherwise) requires judgement *about* the evidence. It’s never the evidence itself. This is pretty basic stuff. The evidence has to be identifiable before an opinion can be formed about it.

        Andrew

      • Opinions are subjective. Evidence just is what it is.

        Andrew

      • David

        “Expert opinion” of an unbiased and wholly neutral “expert” can be very useful as “evidence”, in particular when it is bolstered by a “second (or third) opinion”.

        “Expert opinion” of a snake oil salesman regarding the beneficial effects of his product or of IPCC when it comes to supporting its mantra of CAGW is not very useful – it’s simply a sales pitch.

        Max

    • The definition of “evidence” before the law is “anything that tends to make a relevant fact more or less likely to be true.” Under that definition, expert opinion is clearly some evidence. My sense is that you’re thinking of the term more narrowly. Perhaps something like “anything that advances the consideration of a proposition toward conclusive proof or disproof.” Under that definition, expert opinion would not be evidence, because no opinion, no matter how expert, can provide conclusive proof or disproof of a proposition.

      • qbeamus, I don’t argue legalisms, so your “Perhaps…” is much closer.

        Andrew

      • David Wojick

        But in science and inductive logic there is no conclusive proof, so there could be no evidence. Conclusive proof is only in math, where evidence does not apply.

      • David Wojick | May 21, 2012 at 4:54 pm |

        In math, the first error is sufficient evidence. That’s why math doesn’t do issue trees.

        Imagine the Peano Postulates:

        1. Zero is a number.

        2. If x is a number, the successor of x is a number.

        3. zero is not the successor of a number.

        4. Two numbers of which the successors are equal are themselves equal.

        5. (induction axiom.) If a set of numbers S contains zero and also the successor of every number in S, then every number is in S.

        – (from http://mathworld.wolfram.com/PeanosAxioms.html)

        .. as an issue tree:

        1. Zero is a number. Or it isn’t a number.

        2. If x is a number or isn’t, the successor of x is a number or isn’t. And what about it’s predecessor?

        3. Zero is not the successor of a number, or it is. Or no number might be a successor of any number.

        4. Two numbers of which the successors are equal are themselves equal, or they aren’t.

        5.. Induction is possible, or it isn’t. Everything means anything. Anything means nothing.

        You see the issue with issue trees?

      • There is no lumber in them.

    • Steven Mosher

      equivalent to evidence?
      Simple case.
      I see a korean sentence. I dont speak korean but I recognize the characters.

      1. You tell me it means “I ate my hat”
      2. Google talk ( a computer model) tells me it means “I ate a cat”
      3. My korean friend tells me it means “I ate a cat”

      You admit you are not an expert. My korean friend is a translator and expert in english and Korean. Google Translate is a model.

      I’d say that expert opinion and a computer model are both evidence and that you dont know what you are talking about. Even though I know less Korean than you do.

      So, when people who dont understand radiative physics tell me something that experts and computer models disagree with, I would say that self admitted amateurs are rightly ignored.

      Of course I dont know that my korean friend actually speaks correct Korean. But we never eat cat when she orders

      • Steven Mosher,

        Your example is bad because the model and the Korean could still both be wrong (they are still opinions). The meanings of words are not tangible. They are agreements between people. So they can’t be evidence, Evidence isn’t ‘right’ or ‘worng’. It’s just there.

        Andrew

      • Sorry for the typos.

        Andrew

      • A simple case, indeed–an oversimplified, cleverly designed false analogy. The problem, of course, is that, unlike in your example, there are not millions of people who everyone knows have a thorough mastery of how the climate responds to stimuli such as CO2, with the ability to pass operationalized, predictive tests. Likewise, Googel Translate, unlike the models in climate science, can also pass operationalized, predictive tests. For example, if I use it to translate “I want fried cat” from English to Korean, I may not end up eating cat, but it won’t be because the waitress didn’t know what I was saying (or at least what was on my slip of paper–the output of my model).

      • If you are in China, it will probably not be a real cat (feline), but a “civet cat” (in the Weasel family, and considered a delicacy).

      • You mean you never eat hat?

    • Nobody in his right mind (thinks “expert opinion” is equivalent to “evidence”).

  21. The most efficient, global carbon cuts – designed to keep temperature increases under two degrees Celsius

    As the current global warming rate is 0.08 deg C per decade, not 0.2 deg C per decade, the “two degrees Celsius” upper limit would be achieved without doing anything. The temperature last year was only 0.34 deg C.

    • Girma

      Your analysis makes perfect sense for anyone who is open-minded enough to look at the actual physical observations objectively.

      The long-term “secular trend” has been around 0.08 degC per decade and this is superimposed on a sine-curve like multi-decadal cycle of around +/- 0.2 degC amplitude and a 30-year half-cycle.

      Based on a continuation of this trend, we will not reach warming of 2 degC over the next century.

      As kim points out the “secular trend” itself may just be part of a longer-term cycle, which brought us earlier warmer periods, such as the MWP, Roman Optimum, etc.

      It is now up to the “believers” in CAGW to demonstrate why the trend of the past 150 years or so will not continue into the future. In doing so they must also explain the observed lack of waming (i.e. slight cooling) over the past 12+ years, despite CO2 levels reaching record heights.

      As none of them (including Bart R and WHT) have been able to do so, it is clear that the whole CAGW premise is on very shaky ground indeed.

      This appears to be the “Copenhagen consensus” reached this time around.

      Max

      • manacker | May 21, 2012 at 4:09 pm |

        The trend of the last 150 years? Which one?

        For the first half of that, the trend was indistinguishable from zero, and only retrospectively can be seen to have been above that rate, once uncertainties are removed.

        The trend with trigonometric fitted curve? Which one?

        While you seem to think there’s some agreement between an ~65 year oscillation and a 60 year fitted curve, that temporal dislocation of one twelfth the period is huge! In three cycles, you’re a full quarter out of phase. If someone told you a year was eleven months long, would you say they were about right? In a decade, you’d have celebrated New Year’s in almost every month. in A 22 hour day? By the end of a week, you’d be hopelessly jet-lagged.

        I’m not saying there’s nothing to the idea of natural variability, or even that the superposition of natural variability doesn’t appear wavy overall – especially on smoothed depictions. I’m saying Orssengo’s presentations to date have contained serious errors, do not despite cosmetic similarities match up well with other presentations no matter what he claims, and there remain serious questions of interpretation, not least of which because Wu, Huang et. al state and then ignore an explicit methodological constraint in their own work.

      • Bart R

        The trend of the last 150 years? Which one?

        HadCRUT3, the one preferred by IPCC (warts and all).

        Max

      • Bart R

        Check out the HadCRUT3 record more closely.

        You’ll see multi-decadal cycles of warming and cooling, all on a tilted axis of slight warming of around 0.7 degC.per century

        The multidecadal warming/cooling cycles each lasted around 30 years, with an amplitude of +/- 0.25 degC

        The warming cycles of the early and late 20th century are statistically indistinguishable (according to Phil Jones of UEA).

        The late 19th century warming cycle was a bit less pronounced.

        The turn of the century cooling cycle was a bit more pronounced than the mid-20th century cooling cycle.

        Since the end of the century it has cooled again – whether this is the start of another multi-decadal cooling cycle is unknown today (and hotly debated by the “pundits”).

        Girma has plotted this to show an approximate sine curve on a tilted axis.

        If you see a “hockey stick” there, it is your imagination at work.

        Max

      • manacker | May 23, 2012 at 2:10 am |

        I see all sorts of things on graphs. So do you. It’s human nature to project patterns and images on lines. I’ve been able to manipulate HadCRUT3 in the past to show people’s names spelled out in script on it. It’s the easiest thing in the world to make something that isn’t there appear on a graph.

        The value of graphs to reveal what is really there comes out of judgement and artful decisions.

        There are unquestionably rises and falls in GMT over time. Ocean circulations appear to be the principle source of multidecadal drops. Mr. Orssengo has put forward his proposed value. Mr. Scafetta. Mssrs Wu and Huang et al., and about a hundred others. Most of them seem to favor exactly 60 years, though that number is one of the poorer candidates arithmetically.

        Then we come to the little trick. Some say “~60”. “Approximately sixty” years. Which in trigonometric graphing is instant death to credibility. It’s like saying “divide by approximately zero” on a square graph. Phase in trigonometry is everything; failure to capture it is absolute proof you do not have the right curve fit.

        Mr. Orssengo, for example — not to pick on his example — produces a graph that he has to cut off at 1900, compress to annual values, and put on a fit with four terms (including an exponential term), to form his fit on an invalid trigonometric pattern. It’s useless for prediction. It’s useless for understanding mechanisms. It’s useless for determining amplitude of variability. It’s a pure waste of time, apart from the many errors made in its construction.

        Wu, Huang et al propose, and then abandon without explanation, the practice of plotting to a trend on a smoothed curve containing at most one extremum. The current trend that matches that description on GISS starts in 1958-1959. For HadCRUT, it’s 1960-61. Both of those are steeply rising curves. Past experience in graphical analysis has shown this method fairly robust for prediction. It’s right about two thirds of the time. Does that apply to this particular case? About two out of three times, maybe.

        Could there be a valid fit involving cycles? Absolutely. There’s a whole range of fractal formulae that can produce superior fits over the trigonometric ones, and they don’t have the problem of failure to match phase. Try one of those.

      • Here we go: fractal wave analysis, an example from the stock market.

        http://blog.afraidtotrade.com/quick-elliott-wave-update-on-the-sp-500/

        See how much more elegant an understanding can be developed?

        Not saying it’s any more valid than trying to clumsily fit trig curves to non-trig data. Just that it shows how futile trigonometric approaches are to trends like one sees in the stock market, or the climate.

      • Bart R

        The value of graphs to reveal what is really there comes out of judgement and artful decisions.

        Huh?

        What is “really there” to see, is “really there”. If you, personally, are unable (or unwilling) to see what is “really there”, that is your personal problem.

        It was the “judgement and artful decision” of Phil Jones, Director of the CRU at UEA to see the statistically indistinguishable multi-decadal warming cycles of the early and late 20th century, to which Girma alludes in his analysis.

        Jones also confirmed that there has been no statistical warming trend since around 1998, another point which Girma has made (in fact there has been a decided cooling trend since 2001).

        So it appears that Jones and Girma see the same things that are “really there”.

        Don’t you see them?

        Max.

      • m | May 23, 2012 at 3:33 pm |

        Wow. An argument based on the authority of Phil Jones and Girma Orssengo?

        I think I’ll give that one a pass, thanks.

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/from:1992.33/trend/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1992/trend

        See? Anyone can artfully point to the part of a graph that they judge demonstrates some point.

        Of course, that I’m using the most reliable methodology on the most reliable datasets doesn’t mean my judgement is necessarily better than anyone elses’.

  22. I wonder if the truly smart people have started to realise that climate change is having a King Canute moment. Panic as the tide comes in with all the followers hanging on the King’s every word and action. Then the realisation that the King, for all his apparent power could not control nature and then the added realisation that tide was receding all by itself. Trouble is, we seem to lacking a wise Canute this time around.

  23. Who prepared the indifference maps for the world’s people?

    Do we really need the smartest, most “expert” economists in the world to tell us what projects yield the greatest bang for the marginal buck? In terms of what?

    E.g. How did they value increases in education vs. increases in health care?

    • Indiference maps Good point, Stan.

      As to your second question, having SOMEONE look at Bang per Buck is a very good thing. Whether these particular economists are the best to evaluate the “Bang” is a the point of your first question.

  24. Chad Wozniak

    Carnon taxes are nothing but THEFT of money from the people who earned it, by people who didn’t earn it and who will use it for frivolous and destructive purposes . Carbon taxation is STEALING.

    • Chad Wozniak | May 21, 2012 at 4:44 pm |

      Carbon cycle use for money by people who didn’t get consent and didn’t compensate is also theft; with the slight difference that states empower their governments to tax, and no one’s given free riders to right to steal.

      Failure to price carbon is stealing. It’s simple hypocrisy to complain of state theft, and wink at fossil industry theft on a much larger scale.

      • Kent Draper

        So it’s ok to steal as long as it’s your guy doing it ? wow

      • ferd berple

        nonsense:
        1) Citizens give governments the right to tax. States have no such right, except where they have seized power from the citizens.

        2) Citizens and companies produce the CO2 when they use fossil fuel to earn a living and generate profits and are already taxed heavily both on the fuel used and the monies generated.

        3) Taxation cannot reduce carbon use, except through reducing economic activity, because there is no cost competitive alternative to fossil fuels. You might just as reasonably tax the air and require people to switch to greener supplies of air.

        4) Reduced economic activity leads to poverty, overpopulation, hunger, disease, famine and ultimately war.

      • ferd berple | May 21, 2012 at 5:44 pm |

        1.) Sophisticated quibble. Citizens are the state in a democracy.

        2.) Clearly not. We know the fossil industry is heavily subsidized. We know the failure to price the rivalrous, excludable resource of the carbon cycle is going on. We know a substantial fraction of Americans feel there is something unfair about this free riding by the fossil industry. And we’re not talking about tax to the government, but failure of the government to ensure the property rights of citizens in their carbon cycle are protected.

        3.) You’re simply wrong on facts. Only subsidies are keeping fossil price competitive with current solar technology. Other alternatives are also gaining fast on such white elephants as tarsand oil.

        4.) We’re agreed that reduced economic activity is a bad thing. The difference is, you appear to be supporting exactly the things that are reducing economic activity.

      • BS. Citizens are NOT the state in a democracy (which has never existed) or a representative republic (which sort of exist). The state is the state. The state is of the apparatchiks, by the apparatchiks, and for the apparatchiks.The fact that citizens sort-of ratify what the state does in ver broad strokes does not make the citizens the state.

        Talk about sophistry. That’s juvenile pap.

      • David Springer

        $4/gallon is the *subsidized* price?

        Wow. Just wow. How much would a gallon of gasoline be if there were no subsidies and no taxes on it, doofus?

      • blueice2hotsea

        According to the Congressional Budget Office, tax preferences for renewables (over the last three years) have been 3 to 4 times higher than for fossil fuels.

      • BaitedBreath

        * “Citizens are the state in a democracy.”
        They are not. The state is a very distinct, separate, unique and highly privileged institution within society – the monopoly of legal violence in a geographical area. This is true regardless of whether there is voting or not.

        * “We know the fossil industry is heavily subsidized”
        It is not – can anyone point to these subsidies?
        (And even if it was, why not just scrap the alleged fossil subsidies rather than set up a fossil tax so as to offset the alleged subsidies?)

        * ‘property rights in the carbon cycle’
        I assume this is spin for treating CO2 as a pollutant, and taxing it as such.

      • Spectacular drivel from Forbes …. They argue that since tax deductions available to ALL industries – including non-fossil energy companies – are used inter alia by fossil fuel companies, this amounts to fossil fuel being subsidized.
        Familiar, final score :
        – Political correctness : 1
        – Objective correctness : 0

      • “Citizens are the state in a democracy.”

        No. To confuse the state with the citizens is like confusing the conductor with the symphony. Political scientists say that the public is “the head of state” in a democracy, but not “the state.”

        Again, this mistatement gives us a key insight into your world view. The public is nothing but an unruly mob, incapable of anything constructive unless and until the government tells them what to do.

      • P.E. | May 21, 2012 at 6:12 pm |

        Yeah. Hence the expression, “In a democracy, you get the apparatchiks you deserve.”

        If you’ve let your democracy descend to such a sorry state, who’s to blame but you?

      • Bart R said, “If you’ve let your democracy descend to such a sorry state, who’s to blame but you?” Indeed, it appears past time to remove the ideologically motivated and return to realism.

      • David Springer

        +1

      • blueice2hotsea,

        Would that be about 300 to 400 higher than fossil fuels per unit of energy supplied?

      • blueice2hotsea

        Well, on cost per MW-hr, It’s about 310 times for 2010 electrical generation subsidies. (combined solar + wind = $195 per MW-hr; fossil = $0.63 per MW-hr.)

        Note: I didn’t include hydro because while it makes up over 60% of renewable power generation, it gets very little subsidies relative to solar + wind.

      • blueice2hotsea

        BTW, my home state, which gets a large portion of its energy from Canadian hydro, classifies big hydro as non-renewable. Only small-potatoes hydro qualifies for meeting renewable power targets.

      • Peter Lang

        blueice2hotsea

        It’s great to hear you are appreciating the nice clean reliable power from my power project – I built the 2600 MW Revelstoke Hydro project on the Columbia River …… well, at least I worked on it, 1976 to 1978 :)

      • blueice2hotsea

        Peter Lang –

        Thanks for the green power and increased energy security. Back in the ’70’s, that was a high priority.

        bi2hs

      • blueice2hotsea | May 22, 2012 at 12:49 am |

        According to the Congressional Budget Office, tax preferences for renewables (over the last three years) have been 3 to 4 times higher than for fossil fuels.

        That’s hilarious. 1. You cherry pick just the last 3 years. 2. They count biofuels and other carbon as renewables. 3. If you take the whole period of the report and count only solar, wind, geothermal and ocean energy, the ratio is below 1% for renewables.

        BaitedBreath | May 22, 2012 at 1:05 am |

        * “Citizens are the state in a democracy.”
        They are not. The state is a very distinct, separate, unique and highly privileged institution within society – the monopoly of legal violence in a geographical area. This is true regardless of whether there is voting or not.

        Yeah, I’ve read Paine too.

        Here, let me simplify it for you:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democracy : “Democracy is an egalitarian form of government in which all the citizens of a nation together determine public policy, the laws and the actions of their state”

        For all intents and purposes, if your states actions, laws and policy are not democratically determined, it isn’t a democracy; and in practical terms, what else is a state but its policy, laws and actions?

        * “We know the fossil industry is heavily subsidized”
        It is not – can anyone point to these subsidies?
        (And even if it was, why not just scrap the alleged fossil subsidies rather than set up a fossil tax so as to offset the alleged subsidies?)

        Yeah, the Congressional Budget Office can point to federal subsidies. In addition, there are tax expenditures enjoyed by the fossil industry out of all proportion to general business practices, and state and local lets, levies, exceptions, grants, infrastructure spending (at all levels), subscriptions, favors.. the list is enormous. One would have to be willfully blind to ignore the subsidies, which speaks poorly of unbiased judgement in such matters if one maintains the practice.

        So, yes, I’m saying scrap all the subsidies. Implicit among the subsidies is the practice of letting the fossil industry make free lucrative use of the carbon cycle without paying for it.

        The difference is, I’m not asking the government to get the money. I’m saying the money belongs to every citizen per capita, and it ought go to each equally. Because it’s theirs.

        * ‘property rights in the carbon cycle’
        I assume this is spin for treating CO2 as a pollutant, and taxing it as such.

        Not exactly. CO2 levels — pollutant or not — have been in a range of 180 ppmv to 280 ppmv for up to 20 million years, and at least for 800,000 years, until just 260 years ago. It appears the rise is due human activity. The bulk of the evidence points this way. Even if it didn’t, the mere fact of the rise out of the historic level is a proof there is a limit to the carbon cycle resource that is being exceeded. Not ‘pollution’ per se; excessive use of a resource, the definition of the Tragedy of the Commons.

        It’s anti-Capitalist to continue to let a limited resource be used up for free. Privatization is the Capitalist, Market solution the economy of America is built on. It’s un-American to give away this lucrative resource to some without payment.

        Greybeard | May 22, 2012 at 1:59 am |

        Spectacular drivel from Forbes

        Obviously, Forbes knows nothing about business or finance. They must be wrong, and you must be right. Is that it?

        qbeamus | May 22, 2012 at 10:49 am |

        Again, this mistatement gives us a key insight into your world view. The public is nothing but an unruly mob, incapable of anything constructive unless and until the government tells them what to do.

        And so it falls to experts like you to tell the public what to do?

        No thanks, I’ll stick with democracy.

      • “It’s anti-Capitalist to continue to let a limited resource be used up for free. Privatization is the Capitalist, Market solution the economy of America is built on. It’s un-American to give away this lucrative resource to some without payment.”

        This is the most ridiculous statement I’ve ever seen.

      • What makes you say I’m telling the public what to do? I’m a libertarian–a variety so radical that I question the need for government-run prisons and roads. (I conclude that some we could privatize some, but not all.) I oppose licensing doctors and lawyers, despite the fact that government licensing protects my monopoly and makes me a lot of cash each year. (Instead, I’d have the government offer “certification,” which people could chose to insist on, or not, as they chose.)

        I have no idea where this response comes from.

      • blueice2hotsea

        Bart: “We know the fossil industry is heavily subsidized.”
        Blue: “According to the Congressional Budget Office … [see the last three years]”
        Bart: “You cherry pick just the last 3 years.”

        Huh? To get current subsidies I look at current administration’s subsidies, not Eisenhower’s. Oh, now I get it: YOU’RE JOKING! Bart, that’s hilarious.

      • We already put a high price on Carbon. $9 – $60 per ton of coal depending upon distance to market. over $400/ton in the liquid form of carbon we call “oil”. It is the generation of carbon dioxide that is where the alleged social cost is missing.

        But some of us are skeptical about whether an additional ton of CO2 into the air is really a net bad thing, much less actually put a price on the social harm it causes.

        When I use the term Carbon Tax, I implicitly mean revenue neutral, to balance the social costs of increased CO2 (if any) and reward the generators of non-CO2 sources of energy and those that successfuly remove CO2 from the atmosphere. A taxation mechanism is the most efficient means to collect the money. Yes, there are problems getting paid for people using their back 40 for firewood…. Be that as it may, the taxation part is simple and easy.

        It’s the “revenue neutral” mechanism that moves the tax receipts from Extractors to Governments (and NGOs) to Sequestors that is a bunch of hooey! There will be nothing neutral about it. How do you reward a forest for sequestering carbon. How do you tax it if it catches fire? How do you reward a swamp? A coral reef? A tundra bog? Tell me another fable. By the time Government, NGO, lobbists and other leeches get done, the mony flow from this revenue neutral carbon tax will make Disaster Area’s Tax Accountant envious.

        So when do we get around to a revenue neutral Oxygen Tax?

      • Stephen Rasey | May 21, 2012 at 5:56 pm |

        If “some of” you think more CO2 is such a good thing, then pay for it. Pay a fair price to the rest of us you’ve been riding roughshod over for so long without consent or compensation. Pay the price determined by the law of supply and demand. Stop stealing what isn’t yours.

        And to address your questions about nonlucrative or national issues of imbalance outside of ordinary economic activities, those questions ought be addressed to the level of nations and their obligations, not to the level of individual economic actors. Certainly, a government responsible for poaching the carbon cycle internationally ought face repurcussions, just as one dumping illegitimately priced goods.

      • You didn’t comprehend a think I wrote. If an increase in CO2 is a net societal benefit, why should anyone have to pay anything to anybody for turning a ton of very expensive carbon into CO2? Unless you think we should tax farmers and forest owners for using up the CO2 in the air? (But I don’t think we ought to do that. Crops and trees are reasonable thing to trade for using up some CO2.)

        I’ll repeat it one more time. IF there is a net societal cost for increases in CO2 (which as a geophysicist with a degree in mineral economics, I have reason to doubt), then I’d pay a revenue neutral tax. It’s not the tax I worry about. It is the disbursement of the tax receipts to the politically connected and corrupt that I do not trust to a net societal good. “Revenue Neutral Carbon Tax” is hogwash. There is too much money at stake for governments to be honest with it. The tax and disbursment would create its own severe societal costs. Frankly, I don’t trust anyone who advocates for such taxing authority. I think we are done here.

      • David Springer

        A warmer climate with an atmosphere richer in CO2 is a boon to agriculture. I think it’s you that’s getting the free ride, Bart, every time your mommy goes to the grocery store to buy the food you eat.

      • you say Pay the price determined by the law of supply and demand.

        That is exactly what we do want to pay! Let all the alternate energy providers compete in this same way.

      • Bart R
        Re; “Pay the price determined by the law of supply and demand.”
        We are – the price of oil increased 500% from $20/bbl in 2002 to > $100/bbl in 2008 (and now in 2012). See the OilWatch Monthly 2010. That was not caused by an abundance of supply over consumption!

        Re: “Without consent or compensation. . . .Stop stealing what isn’t yours.”
        Why do we need consent to buy what is offered in the market place?
        What are we stealing? And what right have you to define property?

        Re: “dumping illegitimately priced goods.”
        Who is illegitimately pricing the goods – and dumping them?
        The current case appear to be the US adding 30% tax on Chinese solar collectors for dumping on the market.

        You appear to be inferring that the public commons is being stolen – presumably because of CO2 emissions. First under the scientific method, you have the burden of proof that CO2 is harmful, rather than the essential gas for life. (Try living without it in a planet with just O2, N2 and H2O).

        Cold periods from natural cycles have caused far more death and havoc than warmists alarms.

        Have you yet addressed the benefit / cost priorities laid out by Copenhagen Consensus 2012?
        How do you advocate addressing the humanitarian needs prioritized by Copenhagen Consensus 2012?

      • Stephen Rasey | May 21, 2012 at 6:29 pm |

        Your belief in a thing does not make it so, however expert in rocks in the ground you may be. How is your personal belief in the supremacy of your opinion conveyed into an absolute right to dictate to others who believe otherwise.

        I understand what you said. I’ve heard it before. Mad King George said something like it. Stalinists lapped it up. But I don’t buy into it, and nor ought any right-thinking American who bears the least vestige of vigilance for their own liberty.

        If what you say of the corruption of dishonest governments is true, then so much more reason to bring an end to the corrupt, dishonest practices of the fossil industry bagmen who give their clients a free ride on the backs of Americans. You don’t root out taint by lying down and taking it because it’s easy and you’re used to it.

      • We are at polar opposites here. I’m not going to lie down and not argue folks like you advocate pilforing my pocket because “it’s easy and you are used to it. ”

        I know petroleum economics. I know how off base you are about subsidizing petroleum production.

      • Kent Draper

        You sound silly Bart, you are afraid of something that has not happened and looks like the outcome will be just the opposite to your fears. Yet you want me to pay to not have it happen. How did you get to a point where you are willing to pay some one money even though it won’t fix a problem that isn’t there. Sounds a lot like Allce and Wonderland :)

      • Stephen Rasey | May 21, 2012 at 7:02 pm |

        You _know_ petroleum economics, and yet can with a straight face argue there is no subsidy in the fossil industry?

        When the federal government’s own auditors say there is? When people can find report after report confirming the many practices that either excuse industry from taxes or from paying due fair market price for land or simply funneling tax dollars directly into fossil industry coffers? Incredible.

        How gullible would anyone have to be to believe this claim of yours?

        Kent Draper | May 21, 2012 at 8:40 pm |

        Oh? So, do you own the carbon cycle in all the air in all the world?

        Is it yours to use lucratively as you please without the consent of anyone else? Without compensation to them?

        The simple fact is the majority of the world disagrees with your position about what outcomes are likely; and even if the vast majority unshakeably believed your proposed outcomes were the likeliest, you still have a steep hill to climb to rise above simple unconsented trespass upon private property rights.

        The carbon cycle is not keeping up with carbon levels, be it due human emissions or land use changes or natural cycles. It is a limited resource, whether by human action or natural action. The ceiling before each probable risk is encountered draws closer with every lucrative rivalrous, excludable use of that cycle by free riders.

        The Capitalist solution is tried and true, clear and incumbent on every Market: privatize. Charge a fee for use set by the law of supply and demand. Pay dividends to each rightful owner per capita. If some better Capitalist allocation is possible, then Market forces will bring interested players to the marketplace with goods and services that will reduce price levels overall and increase efficiency.

        Socialist paternalist arguments like “the nanny state knows best”, or “in my exalted expert opinion I’m right so I don’t have to pay for your stuff” just don’t fly.

      • The government, every government, is subsidized by the oil industry.

        Give me the name of the subsidy.

      • The notion that fossil fuels are subsidized is pure fantasy.

      • The carbon cycle is not keeping up with carbon levels

        But we have absolutely no idea how serious this is. All we have is an argument from vested interest – government activist-scientists telling us we need more government. And who see nothing wrong with hiding data etc etc to make their case. If and when the Climategate crooks are expelled from the field, I’ll start to take climate scientists seriously.

        subsidy in the fossil industry

        – The federal government’s own auditors say there is?
        Just handwaving, or did they say what these subsidies are exactly?

        – report after report confirming the many practices that either excuse industry from taxes or from paying due fair market price for land

        All industry, or fossil is particular?

        – simply funneling tax dollars directly into fossil industry coffers?

        Like when the government buys gas to put in its automobiles? Scandalous.

      • Bart R: When people can find report after report confirming the many practices that either excuse industry from taxes or from paying due fair market price for land…

        Can’t help but noticing that despite requests from several posters, you have not yet provided the name of one specific subsidy that you think the Government pays to the oil industry. As for your “report after report” about paying market prices for land, you haven’t supplied one of those reports yet either. More hand-waving.

        Let me provide you and other here with a report to the contrary:
        http://www.boem.gov/Oil-and-Gas-Energy-Program/Leasing/Regional-Leasing/Table_1.aspx
        BOEM All Lease Offerings Summary Statistics.
        $79.8 Billion, total high bid signature bonus,
        on 153 million acres,
        from 1954-2011, 1 to 4 sales per year.

        For those who are unaware of the OCS Sale process, these are Sealed Bid Signature Bonus Auctions. Each sealed bid is on nominally 3×3 mile (5780 ac) parcels with 5, 7, 8, or 10 year lease terms (depending upon Water Depth), statutory Rentals regardless of activity and Royalty rates in the event of discovery, development, and production. There are minimum signature bonuses and the BOEM also has a secret (perhaps post-bid) reserve price on each block. These sales are performed live attended by hundreds of bidding company representatives, and have been broadcast on the radio as the bids are opened and read. A Billion dollars in signature bonuses can and has transferred from the oil industry to the Federal government on each sale in the course of a few hours. If any of you think this is not an open and fair market transaction, show me one more open than this.

      • Missed the close of the Italic before “Can’t help…”

      • Clarification: That $79.8 Billion… that is only the federal Offshore Gulf of Mexico.

      • Correction. It is ALL Leases, including Alaska. The report was produced BY the Gulf of Mexico OCS Region. Sorry.

      • David Springer | May 22, 2012 at 5:59 am |

        I get that you believe everything the Idsos tell you. I understand your yearning for simplicity and comfort, happy stories about how everything always turns out for the best.

        What a spectacular coincidence it would be, otherwise, if it just happened that the byproduct of industrial processes by pure chance turned out to always be good in every way for everything. Why, who would take a bet on the odds of that?

        Sorry, you’re still ringing up no sale.

        CO2 is not a universal solvent of all agricultural issues everywhere, however much closing your eyes and wishing on stars you do. It produces real risks of negative impacts. And even if it were milk from the heavens, what right do some have to impose it on others unconsented and without compensation?

        That’s just dictatorship.

      • David Springer

        Bart R | May 22, 2012 at 10:29 pm | Reply

        “what right do some have to impose it on others unconsented and without compensation?”

        I figure it’s the same right that you have to flush the toilet after you take a dump. Just for the record, I’d rather you kept your crap to yourself.

      • Stephen Rasey | May 22, 2012 at 3:01 pm |

        Hilariously twisted though your claim is, you’ll never top Congress for inversion.

        http://www.eenews.net/public/Greenwire/2012/03/29/2?page_type=print

        See, I’m a simple guy. If someone wants something that isn’t theirs, they should pay a fair price for it, including leases when the trustee of the rights is the government on behalf of the people. If you want the government to flat out give away leases to corporations as some sort of corporate charity or corporate communism, we know what to think of your interest in protecting the property of Americans, and their way of life.

      • Twisted? Who’s views are twisted on this thread? If you want the government to flat out give away leases …..

        Who here, other than you, would construe that I wanted the government to give away the OCS leases wrote about above. I provided documentation that the government does NOT give away leases, to the contrary of your fantasies. The leasing of temporary drilling rights is as open and fair market transaction as can be found anywhere averaging $500 an acre and has resulted in bids as high as $50,000 / acre.

        I’m just talking about the $79.8 billion in total lease bonus. Royalties are many times higher. Of the $7.6 billion revenue in FY2006, $6.5 billion was from royalties Page CRS-6 of Jan 2008 “Debate over Oil and Gas Leasing…” Report to contress.

      • BaitedBreath

        “The CBO confirms there are many direct subsidies to the fossil industry ”

        Yes no-one has been able to actually identify them. If they could, we could call for their abolition on general economic grounds. Looks like this is just a fiction to try and minimize how comically uneconomic wind and solar are.

      • Stephen Rasey | May 22, 2012 at 11:57 pm |

        Again, your point is backwards.

        So lucrative enterprises bid on leases and pay auction prices and royalties to the government (in trust to the owners, the people of the country)?

        So what?

        It’s the price they agreed to pay.

        The money goes to general revenues of the government? http://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/genetic – not everything the government’s fingers are on automatically is evil, lamentable as it is when governments take money out of the Market. I’d prefer if there were a way to privatize the whole Market and get government out of it. If it were administratively feasible, that’d be great. But you’re mixing two different issues here that aren’t really related.

        Nothing that you’re saying excuses the subsidies coming back from government to the fossil industry. The CBO confirms there are many direct subsidies to the fossil industry (including in the guise of ‘renewable’ fossil energy).. and they’re increasing, but they’re increasingly disguised and hidden. Nothing that you’ve said excuses the indirect subsidies to the fossil industry. These things that you support distort the Market and drive efficiency and innovation out of the economy.

      • David L. Hagen | May 22, 2012 at 10:02 pm |

        We are – the price of oil increased 500% from $20/bbl in 2002 to > $100/bbl in 2008 (and now in 2012). See the OilWatch Monthly 2010. That was not caused by an abundance of supply over consumption!

        Re: “Without consent or compensation. . . .Stop stealing what isn’t yours.”
        Why do we need consent to buy what is offered in the market place?
        What are we stealing? And what right have you to define property?

        Re: “dumping illegitimately priced goods.”
        Who is illegitimately pricing the goods – and dumping them?

        You’re talking oil. I’m talking carbon cycle. Why treat the carbon cycle in any way different from oil? Privatize the carbon cycle. Price it. Collect fees for its use. Pay dividends to the private owners: every citizen per capita.

        We aren’t going to achieve consent for use of the carbon cycle from every person in the world. There’s no democratic way to settle the question of consent. Eminent domain — expropriation — has been the de facto approach so far. Which makes compensation all the more obligatory. The precedent of expropriation without compensation is too dangerous to trust governments with. So anyone who opposes tyranny must oppose unpriced CO2 emission.

        Dumping? Any two nations have different carbon cycle profiles. One will always have an advantage in how much CO2 their lands and waters sequester or buffer, convert to geological formation or biomass; and one will always have a deficit in how much CO2 they produce. Where one such nation abusively targets another’s economy, takes advantage of the borderless quality of the atmosphere, to exploit its power to poach more CO2 emission than its national carbon cycle resource absorbs, that is a trade infraction as surely as any other form of dumping.

        ..You appear to be inferring that the public commons is being stolen – presumably because of CO2 emissions.

        Inference? No, no. I’m saying it flat out. I’m implying that the case to treat the carbon cycle as public commons is failed on definition. To be a public common, a resource must be so large that the public cannot affect it, that there is no means to exclude lucrative public access, and that the resource is not rivalrous. On all three elements, the carbon cycle ought be privatized.

        First under the scientific method,

        I think you misunderstand the scientific method in this application. We can proceed under the more general precepts of pure reason.

        you have the burden of proof that CO2 is harmful, rather than the essential gas for life. (Try living without it in a planet with just O2, N2 and H2O).

        Indeed, rationally there is no such burden, as the principle I’m arguing is one of trespass of property rights, not of civil tort, which is the case that requires proof of harm.

        While I can, and have many times unanswered, presented proof of harm in terms of Risk, I see no need to mix the two different discussions until people start lawsuits to recover damages.

        Cold periods from natural cycles have caused far more death and havoc than warmists alarms.

        That doesn’t even scan as a sentence. If you’re asserting death from cold temperatures dominates over death from hot temperatures as a risk, then statistically you are wrong by an order of magnitude.

        Have you yet addressed the benefit / cost priorities laid out by Copenhagen Consensus 2012?
        How do you advocate addressing the humanitarian needs prioritized by Copenhagen Consensus 2012?

        Have I mentioned lately how unfond I am of people hiding behind humanitarian causes for arguments that the vast majority of the human beings they purportedly take up the cause of white-man’s-burdenishly disagree with them about?

        If clarity were a measure of how high to rank carbon cycle pricing, then it would be the top ranked item on the list. Simply in terms of wealth drained from the poorest of the poor to the richest of the rich by free-riding use of the carbon cycle, more immediate good would flow to the neediest and more immediate disequity would be resolved than for any other single item on the list.

        Urgency? Every year CO2 level rises, nitrogen depletion of soils accelerates and the planet becomes less able to efficiently support a growing population. How did the Copenhagen Consensus miss this, and miss the clarity of carbon cycle pricing, except by being stacked with confirmation bias?

      • Bart R.
        Re: “Privatize the carbon cycle. Price it.”
        You can’t privatize something that is not owned in the first place.
        Under the scientific method, you have the burden of proof that rising CO2 will harm the population more than the obvious benefit from higher agricultural productivity.
        All those from Minnesota to Siberia will love the greater warmth.
        See:
        RESOLVING THE TRAGEDY OF THE COMMONS BY CREATING PRIVATE PROPERTY RIGHTS IN WILDLIFE Robert J. Smith

        Re: “you’re asserting death from cold temperatures dominates over death from hot temperatures as a risk, then statistically you are wrong by an order of magnitude.”

        Try providing some evidence for your amazing authoritarian assertions. You apparently are unfamiliar with history. There is plenty of evidence for deaths from cold.

        E.g. see Finland where a third of the population died from cold in the Great Famine 1695-1697.
        For a review of quantitative medical evidence see the NIPCC collection and reviews:
        Hot vs Cold

        At the ICCC 7 conference in Chicago there was a presentation on the 1500 year cycle with 2-4 C variations causing most of the major die offs of civilizations:
        Dennis Avery, Ph.D. – 6,000 Years of Civilizations Collapsed by Abrupt Climate Change
        see also: Jerry Arnett, M.D. – Global Warming and Human Health Effects

        Sebastian Lüning, author, Die kalte Sonne (The Cold Sun) – The Medieval Warm Period within theContext of Millennial Scale Climate Cycle

        You can watch the videos. Presentations will be posted.

        What “should” the temperature be? Why? What evidence do you provide for selecting any given temperature? Earth has oscillated between ice ages and interglacials with nature showing itself very robust. Why fear monger over minor warmth when major cold of the coming glaciation is our greatest long term danger?

        Re: “Every year CO2 level rises, nitrogen depletion of soils accelerates and the planet becomes less able to efficiently support a growing population.”

        That is contradicted by the geological evidence of the carboniferous period with the abundant biomass laid down as coal.

      • BaitedBreath | May 23, 2012 at 12:55 pm |

        No-one who hasn’t read the detailed line items of the CBO reports can identify the subsidies, you mean?

        When has wilful ignorance been considered a virtue, or a valid argument?

        If you want to wink at theft from your own pocket, I guess that’s your business. Most Americans, I think, disagree with that attitude.

      • BaitedBreath

        No Bart, *nobody* here – you included – has yet advanced a single example of fossil energy being subsidized over other energy sources.
        Which strongly suggests it’s just another of the ‘facts’ you make up to advance some or other agenda.
        Given that government by-and-large has a vested interest in alarmism since it offers more taxing excuses, you’re going to need something lot more substantial than a mere government report to substantiate your claim. In any event you’ll need to provide hard facts, not merely tell us to go away and read some or other report (least of all a govenment one). The standards here are significantly higher than in climate ‘science’.

      • BaitedBreath

        Oh, and you continued reference to imaginary subsidies specifically to fossil fuels clouds your thinking even further. Especially given that you don’t seem to be able to name any yourself.

      • Bart R is waiting, Baited Breath.

      • BaitedBreath

        Thanks Willard. A lot of claims about “fossil fuel subsides” seem to be about general-purpose subsidies, that fossil fuel companies qualify for – ie they are not specific to fossil fuel companies. That link seems to make the same mistake (willfully, it being largely political hype).
        But certainly let us scrap subsidies across the board, including for wind power and other such idiocies.

      • > But certainly let us scrap subsidies across the board, including for wind power and other such idiocies.

        This slope is so slippery that we might slip all the way to Somalia.
        Perhaps we should only subsidize idiocies.

        Those who care debating about “direct subsidy”
        might borrow from the lines of arguments in the
        debate about “actual grace”:

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

        at the perils of reading something so magnificient
        that to return here would not be with BaitedBreath.

      • BaitedBreath | May 23, 2012 at 9:05 pm |

        You’ve been handed link after link horse-to-waterishly, and refuse to acknowledge subsidies.

        You keep saying these things that aren’t true. Is it a angling thing? The one that you almost caught was how big?

        willard’s link points to over $775 Billion in international subsidiesin 2012. Talented though willard is, it’s hard to imagine his online search skills exceed your own by almost $1 Trillion. So I have to imagine you’re playing coy, fishing around, trying to worm your way out of the net you’ve woven. I’m not going to coddle your floundering, if you sincerely can’t get your hooks into what subsidy means, I suggest you cast about for a lifeline, or go back to school. :D

      • With BaitedBraith, we must wait.

      • I don’t like people throwing links at me expecting me to do the hard work.
        If you want to state a case, state it and back it up by a link. But I’m not going do do the work for you.

        Come on. No arm waving. No links to someone else’s arm waving.
        State the subsidies cleanly and clearly so it can be debated here.

        … And to save time, if you have to use “Defense of the Persion Gulf and Sea Lanes.” as your subsidy, that is a benefit of Commerce in general and Petroleum consumers are a part of that. Might just as well say that the Highway Trust Fund is a oil company subsidy so their tanker trucks run on paved roads.

        If the Persion Gulf was shut down by war, would the Price of Oil be higher or lower than it is now? And which of these would oil companies perfer? So who really profits from the” subsidy”?

      • BaitedBreath

        In his uniquely mendacious way, Bart continues to try and brand general-purpose subsidies as “fossil fuel subsidies”.

      • BB, trouble is he isn’t the only one.
        It does explain his reluctance to get specific and preference for arm-waving. By their way of thinking WWII was fought for the mostly for the benefit of the oil companies.

      • “I don’t like people throwing links at me expecting me to do the hard work”

        Yes, it amounts to “go away and read this reference, and don’t come back until you agree with me”. It’s essentially the hallmark of a lazy and dishonest intellectual bankrupt. (Which is unfortunately how this fossil subsidy argument has been made).

        “Come on. No arm waving. No links to someone else’s arm waving.
        State the subsidies cleanly and clearly so it can be debated here.”

        Exactly so. Name the fossil-specific subsidies.

      • “Exactly so. Name the fossil-specific subsidies.”

        They can’t. They were “educated” by talking points.

      • Guys,

        I wish I had mike’s energy to answer you.

        But I don’t believe that Bart R has no commitment regarding “direct subsidies”. If I am right, then what you’re doing has already been done elsewhere:

        http://scientistscitizens.wordpress.com/2011/07/26/debate-in-the-blogosphere-a-small-case-study/

        And since “direct subsidy” has yet to be defined, we can anticipate the pea and thimble game that’s coming.

        Please scratch your own itch.

      • David L. Hagen | May 23, 2012 at 10:32 pm |

        You can’t privatize something that is not owned in the first place.

        http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/privatize

        “to transfer from public or government control or ownership to private enterprise..”

        Of course you can privatize something not owned in the first place. That’s practically a requirement of the definition. Perhaps you’re thinking of ‘nationalization’, privatization’s evil opposite?

        Under the scientific method, you have the burden of proof that rising CO2 will harm the population more than the obvious benefit from higher agricultural productivity.

        Again, you’re making up things about what the Scientific Method is and is not. The Scientific Method is about Science, not harm. If I’d proposed a hypothesis of harm, I could use the Scientific Method to test it, and the burden of proof would be on me to do so to support that hypothesis.

        BUT I DON’T.

        See, I assert a trespass, in the ordinary definition of trespass, and then I meet the burden of proof of establishing a trespass. No one has to prove harm to prove peeing in the village well is a trespass. The lout who claims harm must be proven after he’s caught in such an act is merely using http://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/strawman argument.

        All those from Minnesota to Siberia will love the greater warmth.

        Huh. I’ve lived in Minnesota, and I don’t recall them electing you to speak for them on the matter of their climate, in which they take great pride. It’s practically the state motto to say, “If you don’t like the weather, just wait five minutes.”

        As has been noted elsewhere, many times, regional climate change is not guaranteed to match GMT. Minnesota could stay cold, or even get colder. If anything, the quadrupling of the chance of extreme weather events seen in just one generation would rather be unloved by those visited by such incidents, and with no promise of actual local warmth, no compensation for their increased risk to make up for it. Your glibly pronoiac fantasy about how well everything will just happen to fall into place rings of snake oil.

        See:
        RESOLVING THE TRAGEDY OF THE COMMONS BY CREATING PRIVATE PROPERTY RIGHTS IN WILDLIFE Robert J. Smith

        Your link is misdirected, I believe you mean: http://www.cato.org/pubs/journal/cj1n2-1.html

        Which it happens I’m familiar with, btw.

        Specifically, “Experience and the logical implications of common property resource theory suggest that private property rights are far superior to state or public property rights partly because of the unambiguous exclusivity of private property rights and the difficult problem of preventing too many from using the public domain under a system of state ownership. Furthermore, private property owners have a direct and immediate incentive not to mismanage their own property, while government owners or managers do not have the same incentives, nor are there many incentives that prevent all of the public from overusing the resources held in the public domain. ”

        There is plenty of evidence for deaths from cold.

        E.g. see Finland where a third of the population died from cold in the Great Famine 1695-1697.

        Wow. Three hundred years ago is the best you can do? Perhaps something more recent?

        *I should note that my claim was based on hypothermia and hyperthermia where the main cause was the outside temperature, and not complicating factors like being so intoxicated one fell asleep in a snow bank, or so foolhardy one crashed a snowmobile through the ice of a lake. Heat and cold deaths in the USA are pretty closely on par annually (though heat mortality is rising 25% per decade, and cold falling by 5%/decade) until you take out the stupid factor; hypothermia deaths are so routinely the result of such issues as to be deemed ‘avoidable’ by default while heat death due weather is not.

        Cold 687 deaths/year USA average 1990-2002, Heat 688 deaths/year USA average 1999-2003: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5529a2.htm

        http://www.lomborg-errors.dk/coolitBchap2heat.htm

        Heat-related deaths per million have climbed by a quarter in the most recent decade from 0.47 in the period 1986-1996, to 0.61 for the period 1997-2006.

        For a review of quantitative medical evidence see .. uh, yeah. I’ll get right on reading more Idsos propaganda right away, you betcha. And of course I’ll treat HI presentations with all the proper regard. They’re on my viewing list. Right behind reruns of Gilligan’s Island.

        What “should” the temperature be? Why? What evidence do you provide for selecting any given temperature? Earth has oscillated between ice ages and interglacials with nature showing itself very robust. Why fear monger over minor warmth when major cold of the coming glaciation is our greatest long term danger? A bunch of red herrings. Trespass is the issue. Privatization is the solution. All the rest? Pure FUD.

        ..That is contradicted by the geological evidence of the carboniferous period with the abundant biomass laid down as coal.

        Uh huh. ‘Abundant’ over a course of billions of years? How abundant? Do you have figures? Abundant ocean, or abundant land, biomass?

        You’re hoping it’s so, to prop up a failed red-herring argument.

      • “Bart R | May 23, 2012 at 11:51 pm | Reply

        David L. Hagen | May 23, 2012 at 10:32 pm |

        You can’t privatize something that is not owned in the first place.

        http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/privatize

        “to transfer from public or government control or ownership to private enterprise..”

        Of course you can privatize something not owned in the first place. That’s practically a requirement of the definition. Perhaps you’re thinking of ‘nationalization’, privatization’s evil opposite?”

        The government owned the asset, in which they are privatizing.

        For example, a government can’t privatize the ocean, as the government doesn’t own the ocean. Nor could a government privatize the atmosphere, as they don’t own it. But government could privatize Amtrak, or the post office, as the government owns them.

      • “For example, a government can’t privatize the ocean, as the government doesn’t own the ocean.”

        Even If the ocean is unowned now, it needn’t be unowned in the future. A government could either seize control of it – nationalize it – or start to uphold private ownership of it.

        Similarly with carbon products. If they are unowned, governments could either nationalize them – by either outright control or by a carbon tax (neutral or otherwise) – or start to uphold private property rights in them.

      • Stephen Rasey | May 24, 2012 at 12:08 am |

        “Defense of the Persion Gulf and Sea Lanes.”
        “Highway Trust Fund.”

        For two additional named subsidies, thanks. But it seems you were familiar with these cases before now, that they come so quickly to mind.

        And as you’ve brought out that old clunker, “Commerce in general benefits from _my_ own industry’s subsidies,” it’s likely you know it to be faulty, and why. Surely, it is an argument that applies equally to all industries, and would excuse all subsidies if we allowed it. It’s an absurdity.

        However, as I agree with BaitedBreath’s “But certainly let us scrap subsidies across the board, including for wind power and other such idiocies,” then I think we can agree: let the fossil fuel companies pay for the defense of the Persian Gulf and Sea Lanes (and for the highways they and their consumers are the direct beneficiaries of) themselves, and pass that cost on to their consumers.

        After all, what percentage of highway traffic doesn’t use fossil fuel?

        Subsidy. It’s a really simple concept. Your corporation takes charity from the government on the principle extolled by corporate communism: “from those who have access to the public purse to those who can fund their runs for office.”

      • So government expenditure on roads is a fossil fuel subsidy? Not a subsidy for every other business (and household) that benefits from the the roads?
        Similarly the Persian sea lanes argument. Close to 100% of the population benefit, not just fossil companies.
        (Which is not to defend these subsidies, but rather to point out the hype in labelling them as fossil subsidies).

    • I get that y’all are having trouble with the simple concept that something in a fair Market Capitalist system ought be paid for if consuming it uses it up so no one else can and there’s a way to privatize it to prevent the Tragedy of the Commons.

      Some of you don’t understand or think much about the Capitalism your freedom and lives is based on. Some don’t get what the Market is, or how it provides daily democratic control to every individual in it.

      Some haven’t learned from what happened with cell phones, when airwaves went from being ‘free’ to ‘regulated’ to ‘privatized’ in bands, that there is such a thing as a way to privatize an invisible thing floating all around us invisible in the air. Even today, many people just can’t figure out their cell phone bill.

      So I’m not surprised by many otherwise bright people having trouble with the simple concept of paying for what doesn’t belong to them. After all, a lot of you have been exposed to politicians all your lives, so might not be as familiar with the idea as you ought.

      • Bart R

        So I’m not surprised by many otherwise bright people having trouble with the simple concept of paying for what doesn’t belong to them. After all, a lot of you have been exposed to politicians all your lives, so might not be as familiar with the idea as you ought.

        Hmm…

        How about “having trouble with the concept of being charged for something by someone (politicians) to whom it doesn’t belong”?

        That’s the REAL “Tragedy of the Commons” here, Bart.

        Max

      • manacker | May 21, 2012 at 8:32 pm |

        See, both of your ways, the proper owners — every citizen, per capita — is getting ripped off. On the one hand, by the free riders; on the other, by the politicians.

        The fee & dividend way, every citizen, per capita, gets their due — and if we’re smart, that due is determined by the Law of Supply and Demand — and the free riders have to pay their own way, with the politicians getting what they ought: their salary, and the gratitude of the people for serving their nation dutifully and honestly.

        Wouldn’t it be great if more of them valued those rewards as sufficient?

      • the proper owners — every citizen, per capita — is getting ripped off. On the one hand, by the free riders; on the other, by the politicians.

        Good description of a “carbon tax”, Bart.

        [“Free rider” corporations like GE, who pay no taxes on their profits, but cash in taxpayer-funded subsidies for “green” investments; “politicians” who dole these subsidies out to their supporters (like GE CEO) and levy carbon taxes on “every citizen” – who, in turn, is getting “ripped off” in the process.]

        Thanks.

        Max

      • manacker | May 22, 2012 at 3:36 pm |

        http://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/composition-division

        You appear to begin to appreciate that there is a cost to us all for the free-riding of those who benefit from lucrative use of the carbon cycle without paying for it themselves, and that there are knock-on effects transmitted throughout the economy as a result.

        However, this http://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/false-cause of yours is simple obfuscation of the very simple solution: privatize the carbon cycle, charge a fee for its use based on the Law of Supply and Demand, pay out dividends for this use to every citizen per capita, and do away with subsidies on all sides.

        The price signal for use of the carbon cycle will move through the economy, and individual buyers and sellers in the Market will find the efficient level of exchange by the democracy of their individual purchase decisions.

        Solves the beef you have with GE, and with politicians, and with greens, too.

        Glad I could be of service.

      • Bart, it is a good idea but I don’t think we should punish (tax) those people not producing their share of co2 until we have solid evidence it does more good than harm. When the evidence is there perhaps we can revisit the idea of forcing those not pulling their weight in carbon production to do more.

        Or perhaps we should make it a different argument. Who are you to determine there is any price that would convince me to allow people to put CO2 in my air? My air isn’t for sale so stop making it altogether or make sure it doesn’t mix in with MY air.

        Show CO2 is harmful before you start preaching carbon tax if you want to change any minds. If you can show it is harmful the next step is to show a carbon tax will make a difference.

      • How does one “use” the “carbon cycle” ? Is this some glib, spin-doctor way of talking about consuming carbon-based natural resources ?
        If so, how can this be done “without paying for it” ? If we’re talking about coal f.ex, the mine owns the coal, and sells it for a price. So the consumer of coal certainly pays for using it.

      • Sony, Bart thinks that we should pay the trees and algae to eat the CO2 we generate.

      • Bart R

        Your last ramble is confusing.

        You appear to begin to appreciate that there is a cost to us all for the free-riding of those who benefit from lucrative use of the carbon cycle without paying for it themselves, and that there are knock-on effects transmitted throughout the economy as a result.

        Let me see if I can make some sense of it.

        Animals (including humans) as well as plants all “use the carbon cycle” (it’s called “living”).

        Since the Industrial Revolution, humans in today’s industrially developed world have also “used the carbon cycle” through access to low cost fossil fuel based energy in order to lift themselves out of poverty, and to dramatically increase their quality of life and their life expectancy.

        Many humans living in the parts of the world that are not industrially developed today do not have access to reliable, low-cost energy and are still living in abject poverty, with high infant mortality and starvation rates and a very low quality of life and life expectancy; these humans do not benefit from “use of the carbon cycle”.

        As the folks at Copenhagen concluded, it is important geo-politically, economically, socially and morally, that these humans are helped to improve their lot by those that have been more fortunate.

        One way to ensure this is to provide these impoverished humans access to low-cost energy (i.e. the possibility to “use the carbon cycle”) in order to improve their lives.

        All makes good sense to me. (But it doesn’t require any carbon taxes.)

        Max

      • steven | May 22, 2012 at 7:00 pm |

        You make an important distinction, but I think you come down on the wrong side of it.

        Apples don’t do more harm than good. Orchards take up land that could be used for other things, sure; and there’s labor and spraying costs to raising them, however no one calls the price of apples a punishment. Rather, it’s the due and fair payment to the farmer, if arrived at by the law of Supply and Demand. Taking apples for free from the farmer is simple theft. We don’t tolerate it for apples. Why for the carbon cycle, especially when we all are in the position of the farmer, and each have an equal right to compensation for use of our shared, rivalrous, excludable resource by people putting it to lucrative use in excess of their personal needs?

        What evidence do we need that apples need be priced, other than that it is the Capitalist method to ensure equitable and efficient allocation of limited resources in the economy?

        Now, if _on top_ of the price of apples you determined that apples in hard apple cider caused some extraordinary harm, or that its sale weighed against the public interest, and a duly authorized government taxed that price over and above what goes to the farmer, that’s punitive. It may even be the case for CO2. We don’t know, because we don’t know what CO2 emission would be under a fair and balanced pricing system, because so far most governments have failed to privatize the carbon cycle in any measure, and none by the Market mechanism. It’s premature to even ask about a true carbon tax, while there is no revenue-neutral carbon tax or other effective fee & dividend privatization of the carbon cycle.

        And I’m not the one determining the price in this question. The Market is. Sure, you might have a conflict with the use of your CO2 at all, and you might have a persuasive argument that will affect the whole world. But until then, we’re faced with what amounts to eminent domain, and so by the principles guiding expropriation of resources are obliged to see to it a fair price is set and compensation given.

        Now, it happens I can demonstrate harm. Risk is harm, because it is insurable, and insurance comes at a price. The price of insuring against a more uncertain future is higher than the price of insuring against risks at the status quo. As you did not specify the amount of the harm or the relationship of price to harm, let me help you with that question: who trespasses does not set the price.

        The trespass, the imposed Risk, the sense of Risk or amount of harm, is not fixed by the trespasser in any case. The reasonable measure of Risk, the reasonable price to pay, is what the Law of Supply and Demand sets.

        How is that set? Simple. The price is the one that generates the highest total revenue to the seller, as the demand level contracts.

        See? Simple economics. And as a bonus, you get paid.

      • You are really over-
        thinking this, Bart.

      • Bart, the climate is never in status quo. There is just as much risk to not adding CO2 as there is to adding it until such time as you can show not adding it is not a risk. For instance adding a seatbelt to a car is changing the status quo and you aquire new risks by the addition of a strap with a metal buckle being placed in a moving object. So seatbelts should be taxed? No, because there is sufficient evidence the risk incurred is less than the risk prevented. You need to go back to my two points. Show it causes harm and show your solution would make a difference.

      • steven | May 22, 2012 at 9:44 pm |

        Bart, the climate is never in status quo. There is just as much risk to not adding CO2 as there is to adding it until such time as you can show not adding it is not a risk. For instance adding a seatbelt to a car is changing the status quo and you aquire new risks by the addition of a strap with a metal buckle being placed in a moving object. So seatbelts should be taxed? No, because there is sufficient evidence the risk incurred is less than the risk prevented. You need to go back to my two points. Show it causes harm and show your solution would make a difference.

        Specious. We’ve already had lower CO2 levels. We know CO2 levels have been, prior to the past quarter millennium, between 180 ppmv and 280 ppmv for between 800,000 and 20 million years. We’re pretty familiar with what conditions at 280 ppmv are like. We know nothing about levels at 390 ppmv and higher.

        You’re not adding a seatbelt to the car. You’re adding a blindfold to the driver. I’ve addressed your two points. You need to process that your points have been fully addressed.

        You’ve asked harm be shown? Shown. Done.

        You’ve asked a difference be made? The difference between stealing something and paying for the thing is pretty plain.

      • Perhaps you just don’t get it Bart. The market has determined the value of CO2 in the US. It is zero. Unless and until you and others like you that believe it does have value can convince the rest of us it does the value will remain at zero. Simple economics. People don’t pay for things they think have no value. Is that plain enough?

      • Evening Steven,

        Bart knows that Federally (US government) hasn’t put a formal value/price on a ton of CO2- vs the Australian government- but he is aware that certain states that have done so by their actions. For example my state, CA, has said it’s ok to spend on AVERAGE $200.00 a ton to move to RE. Some utility districts will be paying more then that and some less. As to who picks up the costs- that’s in discussion currently.

        K

      • kakatoa, I don’t have a problem with people that believe CO2 has value paying for it. That’s how the free market works. You pay for something what you think it is worth. For those in the states placing a price on carbon that don’t agree it has value, they can decide if paying a tax for living near people that do is worth the additional cost or they can move. As to who will pick up the costs, I’m afraid that will be easy to determine. The poor will get subsidies, the rich will get tax breaks, and the middle class will get the higher energy bills.

      • steven | May 22, 2012 at 10:05 pm |

        Perhaps you just don’t get it Bart. The market has determined the value of CO2 in the US. It is zero. Unless and until you and others like you that believe it does have value can convince the rest of us it does the value will remain at zero. Simple economics. People don’t pay for things they think have no value. Is that plain enough?

        This idea of paying for what isn’t yours when you get it from someone else who it belongs to, how can it be so alien to you?

        The Market doesn’t, (except as kakatoa | May 22, 2012 at 10:24 pm | suggests) price CO2 emission, as the government has not yet privatized the carbon cycle. This is no different from the situation a half century ago before bandwidth for mobile frequencies was privatized and auctioned off. Do you think mobile connectivity costs nothing, because no one paid for it before it was privatized? Do you think it’s worthless? Do you think we’re worse off now, with cell phones, than we were before the technology was developed because Market forces were harnessed?

        People don’t pay for things if they can smash and grab. That’s why there are courtrooms and jails, police and proof of payment. For people who believe what you say you do, when they get caught red-handed.

      • Bart, call 911.

      • Since it is still far from clear that we actually have a Tragedy of the Commons as far as co2 levels are concerned, putting in place a political (coercive) mechanism to deal with it is just a needless lurch into a more totalitarian world.
        Which is of course absolutely fine as far as the IPCC and the climate orthodoxy are concerned, since this is anyway their primary objective.

      • Greybeard | May 22, 2012 at 12:33 am |

        The carbon cycle is responsible for setting the CO2 level in the atmosphere. That level has been rising. Ergo, the carbon cycle is being imposed on past its capacity.

        The carbon cycle is, once past capacity, rivalrous: no one else can for the foreseeable future benefit from that same bit of capacity used once one person has taken it. The carbon cycle is, for lucrative purposes, excludable by pricing lucrative carbon fuels and like measures within nations, and by international trade measures between nations.

        What’s totalitarian is some parties deciding they just won’t pay for what they use. You want to oppose totalitarians, then pay your share.

        Capitalism. Look it up.

      • Bart R.
        The long term level of CO2 in the atmosphere is set by the buffer chemistry and temperature of the ocean. The Atmospheric variations are temporary transients with human and volcanic contributions on top of natural temperature cycle driven variations.
        Try reading some of Tom Segalstad‘s publications at http://folk.uio.no/tomvs/
        And also Fred Haynie’s data and models.

      • OK, Bart. Tell us all about what you believe carbon “capacity” is. That’s got to be good for (another) laugh.

      • jim2 | May 22, 2012 at 8:15 pm |

        I just did. Read harder. You do understand the difference between up and down, right?

      • David L. Hagen | May 22, 2012 at 10:10 pm |

        Sorry, but Segalstad’s so far off the conventional track for geophysics it’s difficult to take your claim seriously.

        Segalstad has exploited every possible loophole from ‘contaminated ice cores’ to ‘isotopes’ to ‘ocean chemistry’ to make plausible his transparently foregone conclusions. It’s sad when confirmation bias owns an otherwise respected academician’s career at the end, but it’s not uncommon.

        Try reading some WHT on the same topic.

      • Bart R
        Segalstad refreshingly addresses buffer chemistry which most “ocean is acidifying” comments never address.
        The controlling issues are rates of change. Ocean “acidification” (reducing alkalinity) could be added to the Copenhagen Consensus, but I expect it to be down in the noise.

      • David L. Hagen | May 23, 2012 at 11:41 am |

        Would that the case were so simple as the buffer chemistry of the ocean, and not the buffer chemistry of the biota of the ocean.

        My life, and yours, comprises more than thirty decisions every day that all must be made. I imagine if your life is like mine, there are hundreds of decisions every day, so habitual as to barely be noticed.

        So tossing out some list of 30 really clear and urgent decisions?

        Irrelevant to the hundreds of other decisions that require attention.

        And the choices of the expert panel? Well, they’re not an expert panel I elected, and I’m not really the kind to find appeal in politburo-style committees to make my decisions for me.

        What American is?

      • Bart R.
        Re: “So tossing out some list of 30 really clear and urgent decisions?
        Irrelevant . . .”
        May I recommend you study how the 30 projects were selected out of a larger list. Then they were evaluated in detail so that they could be ranked on benefit/cost basis.
        That is sound science, engineering and stewardship, not a “politburo-style” effort.
        I suggest you evaluate carefully review the evidence and background before making such accusations.

      • David L. Hagen | May 23, 2012 at 8:31 pm |

        The sad thing is how many people fall for this every time it happens.

        Governments, charities, humanitarian groups, the media, every time some charlatan or well-meaning organizer — and it’s often difficult to tell the one from the other — puts together a few names for an event to attach sainted causes with dubious motives, people just fall for it.

        May I ask what single effect of all of Bjorn Lomborg’s work has benefitted one single person who would not have had such a benefit without it?

        Is more money going to humanitarian causes now than when Lomborg started, or less?

        In absolute dollars?

        In relative dollars?

        Has anything Lomborg initiated that would not have been initiated without his conference achieved anything?

        Clarity and urgency sound really nice, but they’re not actually scientific terms, nor especially terms applicable to the field of development economics.

        I recommend Esther Duflo (http://economics.mit.edu/faculty/eduflo/short)’s recent book, Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty for a scientific approach to the topic.

        While Lomborg may be a policy talker, Duflo is a field worker who does the stuff and gets results Lomborg merely philosophizes about.

        There is a lot more happening in development than Lomborg’s stuck his fingers in, and ooohing and ahhhhing over a bunch of talking heads just shows how really little time and thought too many put into actions and outcomes.

      • So your complaints are
        – Lomborg is just a thinker
        – too many people don’t think enough about what to do

        That should pretty much cover all bases.

      • There’s no “parallelism” at all here, faulty or otherwise. Just you trying to have criticize both A and not-A.

      • Bart R
        Yes. Highlighting true policy priorities exposes the false wasteful CO2 policies. This gives citizens the basis to pressure politics to do what is right, not appease fear mongerers.
        See: Bob Carter’s essay in FP: Policymakers have quietly given up trying to cut ­carbon dioxide emissions

      • Eroica | May 25, 2012 at 2:10 am |

        Faulty parallelism. Time into action. Thought into outcomes.

        Lomborg puts thought into time and leaves action and outcomes off the table.

        Many fine people who do get involved in these things do much fine work. Many give considerable amounts and achieve great things, who are associated with these efforts.

        Their outcomes simply have no plausible connection to the Copenhagen Consensus, being merely an extraction from lists of already existing concerns that would pass before the eyes of the concerned without Lomborg’s limelight-grabbing stunts.

      • Saying something doesn’t make it so. When you can produce evidence that persuades a majority of people–whether true or not–that (1) CO2 dumping, rather than dynamic sinks, control atmosphereic CO2; (2) that atmospheric CO2 causes global warming; (3) global warming is a net bad thing; and (4) curbing the warming preemptively by reducing emissions is more efficient than just adapting to the changes later, then you will have made your case for a carbon tax. Until then you’re just raving.

      • qbeamus | May 22, 2012 at 10:58 am |

        I’m proposing not a carbon tax, but privatization of the carbon cycle. The two are very different ideas. Until you can wrap your head around the difference, you’re just not addressing the case.

        Your insistence on setting conditions about what merits and what does not merit paying for reminds me of the logic of teenagers excusing their shoplifting. “Uh, yeah. Until you can convince the majority of the people that the iPhone belongs to the store, and that the store needs my money more than I do, and that it’s a bad thing if I have an iPhone, and taking it away from me until I pay for it is more efficient than just letting me have it, then I’m just walking off with whatever I can carry.”

        I don’t get grown-ups who still think that flies.

      • Bart! The carbon cycle is fine the way it is. It’s part public, part private. We love it!

      • I appreciate your attempt to put the idea into terms that would appeal to libertarians, but you’ve got your terminology wrong. The carbon cycle can’t be “privatized.” The government does not own it. What you are proposing to do is to assign private property rights into something that is not currently owned.

        And, incidentally, I think a carbon tax would be a relatively efficient approach to internalizing the negative externalies of carbon polution, if there were any that needed internalizing. (They’d have to be substantial to justify the transaction costs, including corruption and favoritism.)

        Your analogy to shoplifting begs the question. If there are substantial negative externalities, then it’s fine, and I’d agree with you. Until you can establish that, then it’s wrong. A better anology would be imposing a tax on the oxygen we breath. “Free,” in the economic sense, means the supply exceeds the demand at zero nominal cost. That’s true of dumping CO2 in the atmosphere, unless and until you caqn establish otherwise.

      • jim2 | May 22, 2012 at 8:16 pm |

        Bart! The carbon cycle is fine the way it is. It’s part public, part private. We love it!

        Uh, yeah. That sounds kinda like what a free rider might say.

        “Free?! I love it!”

        Paying for what you get from someone is the American way.

        Getting what belongs to someone else free, that’s just unAmerican.

      • Sorry, Bart. I pay for my electricity. I don’t want people like you and you subtlety named perversions of the free market making it more expensive.

      • qbeamus – don’t try to make Bart focus on reality – that distracts him from his socialist dreams.

      • Come off it jim2. We all know it’s the socialists who want something from someone else for nothing.

        Which is your approach to the carbon cycle, then, isn’t it?

        You can’t hide your socialist tendencies for long, comrade jim2.

      • Bart R | May 22, 2012 at 8:09 pm | Reply
        I’m proposing not a carbon tax, but privatization of the carbon cycle.

        (1) Right, so no carbon tax, neutral or otherwise.

        (2) So how are citizens to be allocated these “carbon cycle” portions then ? (Actually, what exactly IS a carbon cycle portion? )

        And what problem do we imagine we’re solving here? We’re running out of carbon (“peak oil”) – it being an unowned natural resource, and there being a tragedy of the commons looming ? If so, why is this discussion happening on a site dedicated to CAGW? One can’t help wondering if there is more than a little deviousness afoot here.

  25. David Springer

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=can-algae-feed-the-world-and-fuel-the-planet

    Can Algae Feed the World and Fuel the Planet? A Q&A with Craig Venter

    The geneticist and entrepreneur hopes to use synthetic biology to transform microscopic algae into cells that eat up carbon dioxide, spit out oil and provide meals

    By David Biello | November 15, 2011 |

    must read

    • David Springer
      Thinks for the Algae link. That is an example of the alternative energy R&D the Copenhagen Consensus says should provide significant benefit/cost. Some things I found interesting:

      make liquid transportation fuels to replace all transportation fuels in the U.S. . . .from algae, it’s a facility roughly the size of the state of Maryland. . . .The thing that will make the difference is the engineered cell, cells that can produce 10 to 100 [times] as much. . . .Algae is a farming problem: growing, harvesting, extracting. . . .Nobody has the yields, that I’m aware of, to make it economical—and, if it’s not economical, it can’t compete. . . .Water is a problem, recycling it and capturing back all the nutrients. If you have to add tons of fertilizer per acre you’re not really solving anything. . . . Even those Mycoplasma cells with less than 500 genes, there are still 200 genes of unknown function in that cell. There is not a living system where we understand even most of the genes in the cell and what they all do. . . . If we’re successful . . . in producing alternative sources of hydrocarbons for fuels, eventually we could be shifting the supply and shifting the demand for oil. . . . If governments don’t constantly put a higher price on carbon as CO2-based fuels emerge, it’ll be like the Jimmy Carter era, where all kinds of things got started and the price of oil crashed again.. . .
      Q. . . . the government shut down that (NREL program pdf) in the 1990s, concluding algae would not be able to compete with oil, due to the expense of systems to grow it, nutrient needs and other hurdles. . . .Algae has had a lousy history.

      Algal fuels sound wonderful – like fusion power. i.e., efficiency needs to be strongly improved & costs brought down, how is still unknown, and it will require a CO2 tax to become competitive. I conclude that conventional solar thermal fuels will have a lower risk, will be more competitive and can be developed faster than algal fuels. I’ll look forward to revisiting this in 10 and 20 years to see whose prediction is more accurate.

      • David Springer

        Genetic engineering advances are proceeding at a pace similar to Moore’s Law. Advances in material engineering needed to make PV or Solar Thermal are glacially slow in comparison. Synthetic biology requires no fundamental discovery just dogged, persistent reverse engineering of what already exists in nature. Simply put there is no selection pressure in nature for liquid hydrocarbon fuel production. Where found it is an undesirable waste product of metabolism where natural selection works to minimize it not maximize it. The means of producing are thus extant and it is simply up to us to maximize it and provide artificial protection from competing organisms not hobbled by a metabolism devoted to production of something that decreases fitness. PV and Solar Thermal on the other hand are not things found in nature and there are no great breakthroughs on the horizon. It’s these technologies you should compare to fusion power rather than comparing synthetic biology to fusion power. There are no known materials that can hold up for long in the containment apparatus for fusion power and none are in the offing. The only real potential without breakthrough discovery for PV or Solar Thermal is to do the collection and generation in orbit (powersats) and deliver the power through microwave transmission to rectannas on the surface located near the point of consumption. This eliminates or drasticaly reduces the greatest economic challenges of ground based systems but introduces a new problem which is cost to lift mass to orbit. The Japanese are (or were) working on that problem by trying to produce nanotube cable with the required strength-to-weight ratio to make a space elevator possible. A space elevator would reduce lift cost enough to make construction of powersats economically feasible. Probably like you I have spent decades following developments in these areas. Unlike you I have no illusions about what’s feasible and what isn’t.

      • David Springer

        re; synthetic biology “the how is unknown”

        Incorrect. This is like saying we don’t know how to assemble a jigsaw puzzle. We know how. We search through pieces looking for those that fit together. Eventually we solve the puzzle. We don’t have to invent anything although we may gain skill and speed in the search/sort process. This is the difference between fundamental research and routine engineering. In fundamental research we don’t if a solution exists or what it looks like or when and if we’ll find it. In engineering we know the solution exists and we know the procedure that will work to put it together. Discovery is not part of engineering. Synthetic cyano-bacteria optimized for hydrocarbon production is an engineering problem. This is why I know it will be solved within a fixed period of time without any additional or herculean efforts devoted to it. I cannot say that for any other scheme to replace fossil fuels which either require unpredictable and possibly impossible fundamental discovery or they are simply too costly to be politically feasible.

      • David Springer

        Venter describes what’s essentially a bait&switch game that has played out more than once. The oil market is manipulated by a cartel which in any other situation would have been broken up by enforcement of international laws against price fixing. What happens is that price is ramped up to as much as the market will bear before economies start to implode. Right up to the breaking point. At that point serious efforts to conserve and replace oil with other energy sources happen at breakneck speed. Before there’s much progress in that direction the price of oil falls through the floor and means of conservation or alternative sources suddenly become loss leaders and are abandoned. If this hadn’t happened in the 1970’s and the oil price shock then never abated we wouldn’t be in the situation we’re in today. We’d have a million more nukes, we’d have coal/NG liquification, we’d have infrastructure to deliver and consume alternative forms of energy. But no, we’re essentially back to the 1970’s all over again being played like fiddles by the oil cartel. I hope the old adage once bitten, twice shy, applies here. Venter doesn’t sound optimistic that the finanical incentive to replace oil is going to last any longer this time than it did 35 years ago. At $100/bbl friggin’ whale oil starts to look competitive and alcohol from corn & sugar beets a real bargain and adding expensive insulation and hi-R windows and wood burning furnaces to your home and other things of that nature to your home and lifestyle far more attractive. I’m weary of that game. Personally I’d use our sole-superpower status not to beat down radical Islam but rather to beat down the oil cartel. Put ’em out of business for good with the leaders pushing up daisies.

      • My father once told me that once the Middle Eastern oilfields were exhausted the sheiks would own the London Stock Exchange. For as long ago as he knew that, he wasn’t far off.
        =================

      • David Springer

        All the oil producers are in on it as are all the companies in the supply chain for search, recovery, refining, and shipping. It behooves every last one of them for the finished product price to be as high as possible. They all rather you paid more at the pump and less at the restaurant across the street from it. The government doesn’t seem to care as they get their pound of flesh in taxes either way.

      • David Springer

        Craig Venter is getting old. He’s over 60. I suspect the doubts he expresses about synthetic biology’s potential to metaphorically turn fossil fuels back into dinosaurs is more related to his expected remaining lifespan and the expected time it will take to git ‘er done which look to me to be close enough to equal so that he might not live to see his life’s greatest work come to fruition. Too bad Obama doesn’t have the stones to get behind this. He ran it up the flagpole recently saying we’d invested a couple tens of millions of tax dollars into algae-to-fuel research and was ridiculed for it. That’s unfortunate. It’s not like we’re talking about enough money to bail out a bank or an auto company for Pete’s sake. Exxon coughed up $600M, about 20 times as much as the U.S. government. I’d be all for throwing about half a trillion at it to see that it gets done inside of ten years instead of dicking around waiting for an oil industry that is no great hurry to replace a perfectly profitable business long before they are forced to abandon it. It’s a bit telling that an oil company would be into it all at this point in time which may indicate they know something we don’t.

      • Instead of energy R&D, he ran up $5,000,000,000,000 additional gross debt!

        On oil producers, most seek to maximize profits by producing more. Since 2005, crude oil effectively hit a production ceiling. While some have increased, geology has forced others into decline.
        See Gail Tverberg What the EIA’s World Oil Production Data for 2011 Tells Us About 2012

  26. “All good Democrats believe in global warming, after all, it is the science of one of their key heroes, former Vice President and Senator Al Gore. And all good environmentalists are aboard the global warming band wagon. And, for all of them, the Agenda is what is important. Their Agenda is to eliminate fossil fuels and the internal combustion engine from our civilization. The carbon dioxide, CO2, thing is simply the means to the end. And if the means is not true; who cares. It is only the Agenda that is important. To all of these people, my effort to debunk the CO2 greenhouse gas science is irrelevant.” ~John Coleman, on, ‘why the global warming science has failed humanity,’ 26-Feb-2011

    • You take John Coleman seriously?

      Here he is in action:
      “Revelle tagged on to Suess’ studies and co-authored a paper with him in 1957. The paper raises the possibility that the carbon dioxide might be creating a greenhouse effect and causing atmospheric warming. It seems to be a plea for funding for more studies. Funding, frankly, is where Revelle’s mind was, most of the time.

      In 1960 Keeling published his first paper showing the increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and linking the increase to the burning of fossil fuels. These two research papers became the bedrock of the science of global warming, even though they offered no proof that carbon dioxide was in fact a greenhouse gas”
      http://ruralsoft.com.au/climatescientific/?p=177

      Seriously? Does Coleman really doubt whether CO2 is a greenhouse gas?

      Really?

      On the warmist side we have actual experts. If the skeptic argument wa so good why do your “experts” consist of people like Coleman and Bastardi (to name but two) who make such ridiculous claims?

      • “On the warmist side we have actual experts.”

        No, on the Warmer side you have people claiming to be experts.

        Andrew

      • You mean the Left has experts like MADMANN Al Gore?

      • Al Gore does not position himself as an expert.

        Almost exclusively (never say never) the self-proclaimed “experts” who make basic errors or question the strangest things are on the skeptic side of the fence.

      • lolwot

        Almost exclusively (never say never) the self-proclaimed “experts” who make basic errors or question the strangest things are on the skeptic side of the fence.

        Huh?

        How about the “2,500 scientists” that comprised the “consensus majority” that created the IPCC AR4 report?

        These guys wrote those “strangest things” that are being “questioned” by the skeptics.

        Max

      • I am really talking about people who write personal essays on the subject and proclaim themselves as experts, often claiming to have “studied the matter intensely” and suchlike and then churn out a total load of cobblers getting basic facts wrong.

        Here, someone has made a list of such people:
        http://heartland.org/experts

      • You hold UN-approved witchdoctors of global warming alarmism in high esteem even as the boffins of Japan liken their research to the study of ancient astrology.

      • The IPCC experts actually have a clue about the climate.

        The skeptics push experts like:
        -Ian Plimer who makes claims about volcanoes emitting more CO2 than man

        -Tim Ball who pushes “CO2 was higher in the 40s” and is a SkyDragon author.

        -John Coleman who as we’ve seen above berates two papers because they “offered no proof that carbon dioxide was in fact a greenhouse gas”

        The warmist side wouldn’t stand for poor arguments like any of that. We have higher standards of quality. I know you’ll be loathe to admit that, but it’s true. Basic misconceptions and errors in logic plague the skeptic side. Yet this is accepted, even promoted by skeptics. Anything that sounds edgy and anti-IPCC is given a pat on the back.

        I know you guys are desperate to make up numbers though.

      • @@ lolwot | May 22, 2012 at 5:46 pm says:The skeptics push experts like:
        -Ian Plimer who makes claims about volcanoes emitting more CO2 than man

        lolwot, Ian Plimer is a fake Skeptic – he ”believes” in more GLOBAL warmings than you + Gore combined. Skeptics don’t believe in the phony GLOBAL warmings / warmings are localized, not global. Real Skeptics don’t discus of more / less CO2; because CO2 has nothing to do with the average global temp. Anybody debating the amount of CO2 – is only dignifying the misleading propaganda. Plimer and his apostols (excrement) need a medal from you and Gore. The phony GLOBAL warmings have cooked their brains even more than yours. At least you know that you are LYING, many of the fake Skeptic D/H actually believe in the crap…

      • AGW has experts like Hansen and the CRU that can magically cool the past and warm the present with a few lines of badly commented FORTRAN code.

      • And your evidence for that is what?

        I think you’ll find in fact your claim is just another example of your side getting things horrifically wrong.

      • And your evidence for that is what?

        When was the warmest year in the US?

      • We know that all global warming alarmists are Western Leftists. We also know, for example, that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than to expect that the typical AGW True Believer will admit any fact that contradicts their ideologically motivated preconceptions. You may want to continue teaching climate porn to the children but facts are facts:

        Warming before 1940 accounts for 70% of the warming that took place after the Little Ice Age ended in 1850. However, only 15% greenhouse gases that global warming alarmists ascribe to human emissions came before 1940. Obviously, the cause of global warming both before and after 1940 is the same: solar activity during that period was inordinately high. It’s the sun, stupid. Now we are in a period where the sun is anomalously quiet; and, now we are in a period of global cooling and have been for almost a decade.

      • One of the tricks that climate skeptics use is to compare the wrong graphs to support the conspiracy they want to believe.

        In particular they love to compare a 1980 Land-Only GISTEMP graph to the latest Land+Ocean GISTEMP Graph and pretend the difference is because Hansen has adjusted the 1970s cooling out.

        (Of course they don’t mention one graphs is land-only, and they probably don’t even know it. But their incompetence does amuse me as I watch them trying to tell the rest of the world how to do science)

      • Wagathon here writes: “Warming before 1940 accounts for 70% of the warming that took place after the Little Ice Age ended in 1850.”

        Elsewhere though he wrote: “Maybe you should begin with the fact that there is no such thing as a global average temperature — it does not exist because temperature is an intensive variable.”

        See slippery slippery skeptics. Can’t debate them because they are playing sophist games. What they accept and what they don’t accept changes as they play the game. Their game is to try to be difficult while dodging getting called on it.

      • As for the content of Wagathon’s claim. The actual data according to his own “correlation” based argument supports CO2s role, not the Sun.

        Warming before 1940 tracks with an increase in solar activity. But in the last 50 years solar activity has fallen and so doesn’t track with the warming since 1970.
        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/sidc-ssn/from:1850/mean:132

        If we are to believe that tracking temperature is key then the Sun fails to explain the recent warming. You’d have a better point if you said It’s CO2. CO2 has risen since 1970.

        Solar activity is now unusually low. It’s been low for years. Yet ocean heat content continues to rise.

        Sea levels continue to rise.
        http://sealevel.colorado.edu/

        The evidence strongly suggest It Isn’t The Sun Stupid.

      • “One of the tricks that climate skeptics use is to compare the wrong graphs to support the conspiracy they want to believe.”

        Amusing you using the word, trick. Are you using “The Team’s” definition
        of trick?
        I think the climategates provide evidence of the lack of conspiracies, but rather confirmed what was obvious to anyone who had been looking at the matter.

      • gbaikie | May 22, 2012 at 5:12 pm said: When was the warmest year in the US?

        gbaikie, stop using that cheap trick!!! USA temp is NOT the GLOBAL temp. When was the warmest year or a warmest month in USA – simultaneously was COLDER than normal, some other place. Discussing the temp on individual places is a good trick for the ignorant Fakes… but that is as shifting money from one pocket to another = doesn’t make you richer or poorer; can you dig it? I will tell you; where to shove yourself up those cheap tricks – if you buy me a bottle of wine for the advice. On individual places always gets warmer / colder than normal – otherwise the winds would have stopped. Do you have in the shonky’s records that say: one year was without any wind? They falsify everything else – ask them to abolish the winds, legaly

      • Of course, the fact that the past 12 months (Apr 1, 2011 through April 30, 2012) were the warmest 12 month period of Global tropospheric and ocean temperatures (down to 2000m) on instrument record means very little to the skeptics who would rather focus on other things. And of course AGW skeptics have very little to explain this warmth, other than nonsensical or non-explanations such as natural variability, left over residual heat from the 1998 El Nino, Solar Cycle 24 (weak as it is), etc.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        R. Gates mocks skeptics for giving bad answers while saying:

        Of course, the fact that the past 12 months (Apr 1, 2011 through April 30, 2012) were the warmest 12 month period

        As a thought, if one is going to mock other people, learning to count might be a good idea.

      • Twas a baker’s dozen. :)
        But you’re right, it should have been that May 1, 2011 through April 30, 2012 were the warmest 12 month period for both the troposphere and oceans down to 2000 meters.

        Now what about this often repeated inaccuracy about warming having stopped?

      • RSS mid troposphere since 1994.5, the .5 grid lines show that April is included. I would use UAH since it is warmer than RSS recently, but there are some issues being discussed.

        http://discover.itsc.uah.edu/amsutemps/execute.csh?amsutemps

      • Curious George

        Do you believe that hydrocarbons on Titan are of fossil origin?

      • Methane is such a simple molecule CH4, that it can be found anywhere. Longer chain hydrocarbons like you will find in petroleum takes very special conditions to create however.

      • David Springer

        So is it then your position that longer hydrocarbon polymers cannot form abiogenically yet far more complex polymers like DNA and proteins can?

        I bet that doesn’t cause any cognitive dissonance for you. True believers don’t seem to have a problem with that. Same faith, different bible. Spare me.

    • All good Democrats believe in global warming

      Makes sense – it advances the fundamental leftist cause of replacing displacing freedom with government controls.

      On the warmist side we have actual experts.

      All carefully selected, bought and paid for by government controllers.

  27. The secular trend is part of a very long curve that passed through the Little Ice Age – Medieval Climatic Optimum – Holocene maximum.

    Also, the secular trend has an almost perfect correlation (R^2 of 0.988) with the sea level rise, giving an independent support for its validity.
    http://bit.ly/KEJ602

    • Girma | May 21, 2012 at 6:38 pm |

      Mr. Orssengo, how often need it be mentioned to you that extracting the work of others undocumented, uncredited and unreferenced is regarded in academia as plagiarism, and everywhere else as assertion without support?

      Reference your citations properly, please.

    • bob droege

      So, if we have enough ice in Greenland and Antarctica to raise sea levels 80 meters, then it will take a temperature rise of 320 C or so to melt all that ice.

      Right, not to worry, then.

      • bob droege | May 22, 2012 at 2:23 pm |

        Ice doesn’t rise above 0C or so, regardless of thickness.

        All it takes to melt ice is to be a little above 0C, for long enough.

        The Greenland ice sheet if melted would cause sea levels to rise by about 7m, rounding.

        GRACE estimates changes in the mass of Greenland’s ice sheet suggest melting at a rate of about 239k^3/year between 2002-2006

        2.85 million k^3 is its current volume, roughly.

        So, at the current rate on a linear trend, 12,000 years to raise sea levels 7m, if the melting were only in Greenland.

        However, if rate of melting increases only 3% a year for the next 125 years in line with a presumed increasing trend, then in 500 years the Greenland ice sheet will be gone.

        I don’t know what you’re planning on doing in 500 years, but about 80 years from now if this projection is a real concern, then things start getting extremely interesting for about 1% of the world’s population on this one issue.

    • Fortunately Girma, real climate science is not based on such loose thinking, but in looking at real forcings that cause real changes in Earth’s energy budget. Since the Holocene climate optimum, the general, long term trend in both temperature and CO2 was slowly downward. There were spikes up and down in this trend, but the general trend was down. That we are now reversing this trend, and will likely surpass temperatures of the Holocene Climate Optimum later this century, and then be moving still higher is the key issue in understanding the full ramifications of the current anthropogenic burp of CO2 being added to the atmosphere.

  28. He was against it until he was run over by it–e.g., trussed and basted and put on the heat by the climate-industrial complex comprised of Leftist Western governments, enviro-wackpots, special interest groups and lobbyists, all supported by public-funded academia and a willing liberal mainstream media, as follows:

    “… We are told that very expensive carbon regulations are the only way to respond to global warming, despite ample evidence that this approach does not pass a basic cost-benefit test …

    “The massive transfer of wealth that many businesses seek is not necessarily good for the rest of the economy. Spain has been proclaimed a global example in providing financial aid to renewable energy companies to create green jobs. But research shows that each new job cost Spain 571,138 euros, with subsidies of more than one million euros required to create each new job in the uncompetitive wind industry. Moreover, the programs resulted in the destruction of nearly 110,000 jobs elsewhere in the economy, or 2.2 jobs for every job created.

    “The cozy corporate-climate relationship was pioneered by Enron, which bought up renewable energy companies and credit-trading outfits while boasting of its relationship with green interest groups…

    “The partnership among self-interested businesses, grandstanding politicians and alarmist campaigners truly is an unholy alliance…”

    by Bjorn Lomborg: The climate-industrial complex (WSJ, May 22, 2009)

    • @@ Wagathon | May 21, 2012 at 8:12 pm

      Shalom Wagaton. Spanish prime-minister and Obama are creating jobs in the ”renewable energy” same as the Syrian president is creating plenty new jobs in the building industry

  29. Bob Ludwick

    “Global warming is real, it is caused by man-made CO2 emissions, and we need to do something about it.”
    “How can we best reduce suffering from global warming?”

    The two axioms of ‘Climate Science’ exemplified.

    A. Climate change is driven by anthropogenic CO2 produced as a byproduct of the energy production required to maintain our technological civilization.

    B. The effects of climate change are uniformly detrimental and will vary from unpleasant to catastrophic.

    Climate Science is the ONLY science based on unquestionable axioms.

    ALL data collection and analysis of climate data, all theories of climate, all climate models, all climate research, and all scientific papers produced by ‘legitimate’ climate scientists are in support of A.

    ALL ‘legitimate’ political responses to climate change accept B as axiomatic.

    ANY data which which casts doubt on A or B is dismissed. ANY scientist or politician who questions A or B is branded a skeptic, incompetent, or a shill of ‘big energy’.

    • Excellent summary, Bob.

    • You can’t simply ignore the fact that Bjorn Lomborg himself is saying in the preceding post that, “The partnership among self-interested businesses, grandstanding politicians and alarmist campaigners truly is an unholy alliance…” At least not without explaining why he was wrong then and now and taking into account we are into a decade of global cooling and the EU is finally crumbling and all the BRIC countries outside the insanity of Western liberal Utopianism are getting a good chuckle at the nihilism of global warming alarmists.

      • @@ Wagathon | May 21, 2012 at 9:57 pm

        Lomborg can only produce crap, for the ”believers” in GLOBAL warming. If it wasn’t the demand – wouldn’t be production and supply of bullishne.

        You, as a ”believer” in lots and lots of phony GLOBAL warmings – should remember my advice: ”people who like to run with one leg on each side of a barbwire fence – end up with hi-pitched voice and watery eyes, and is not Lomborg’s or Gore’s fault.

        It’s too complicated for you to understand that: for the last 150 years; not enough extra heat has accumulated, to boil one chicken egg. Extra heat in the atmosphere is not accumulative, because of the INSTANT expanding / shrinking of O+N in change of temperature. Because my formulas say so. Wagaton, you have to help them to abolish the laws of physics first, by legislation – to make the phony GLOBAL warmings crap palatable.

    • David Springer

      It’s not ‘global warming’ anymore. It was rebranded as ‘climate change’ but that wasn’t scaring little kids and dimwitted adults sufficiently so it was rebranded yet again into ‘global climate disruption’. I suspect another rebranding is in the offing because the latest name has too many syllables in it for little kids and dimwitted adults to remember. ROFLMAO – pass the popcorn. The only redeeming virture of global warming appears to be the entertainment value of watching a bunch of chuckleheads running about like the Keystone Cops trying to fix a problem that doesn’t exist.

      • Except these people are passing laws and regulations, which is not so entertaining. This is a deep struggle, not a show.

      • David Springer

        Were you born yesterday, Wojick? “These people” have been passing stupid laws since forever. The cause du jour changes, the stupid doesn’t. There’s always some ginned up catastrophe in the making that must be prevented. Stupidity is eventually marginalized and this too shall pass. Chill.

    • Peter Lang

      The Australian Bureau of Meteorology posted an article today “A land of (more extreme) droughts and flooding rains”. It argues that warming is bad for southern Australia https://theconversation.edu.au/a-land-of-more-extreme-droughts-and-flooding-rains-5184 .

      It strains credulity to believe Earth happens to be at the optimum temperature right now, just because we are here. This seems a bit like believing Earth is the centre of the universe because we live here.

      There is something I don’t get about the predictions of future climate, particularly the predictions of drying as the planet gets warmer.

      I understand that the geological record indicates:

      1. The planet is in a cold house phase [1], [2]

      2. The planet is well below its “normal operating temperature” [1], [2]. (For 75% of the time since animal life began to thrive, 550 million years ago, there has been no ice at the poles. So much warmer is normal operating temperature)

      3. Life thrives when the planet is warmer, but struggles when colder

      4. Life loves it when the planet warms, but struggles when the planet cools

      5. The area of deserts shrinks when the planet warms and expands as the planet cools (IPCC AR4 WG1, Chapter 6)

      6. There is more carbon tied up in the biosphere when warmer and less when cooler (IPCC AR4 WG1, Chapter 6)

      7. The climate is much more stable – less variable – when warmer [3]

      Therefore, I wonder what is the concern about warming since life prefers warmer and we are well below the planet’s normal operating temperature? I suspect the risks are being exaggerated.

      [1] Scotese, Paleomap, “Icehouse or Hothouse”
      http://www.scotese.com/climate.htm

      [2] IPCC, AR4, WG1, Chapter 6, Section 6.3.1, Figure 6.1
      http://accessipcc.com/AR4-WG1-6.html#6-3-1

      [3] James Hansen and Makiko Sato (2010) “Paleoclimate Implications for Human-Made Climate Change”, Figure 1
      http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2011/20110118_MilankovicPaper.pdf

      • Peter, I am a bit confused. In our issue tree correspondence you say
        “I want to be able to see how the issue I have repeatedly stated, can be progressed – and progressed in such a way that many people become interested in it.”

        You do not say what this issue is, so I looked at some of your comments. Yesterday it was carbon taxes but now it is the geological optimum. These are vastly different issues, except for each being part of the huge scope of the overall debate.

        As far as an issue tree project goes, we need a relatively specific issue to begin with. Do you have one? We will need a declarative sentence, or a question, or an objection to start with. Think of it as starting a conversation with the world. What would you say?

      • Peter Lang

        David Wojick,

        I suggest you look back at the comments on the thread where Issue Trees were discussed. I stated my suggestion for the top node repeatedly (perhaps five times). I also explained why. I also suggested, repeatedly, that you offer a web site and tool that is suitable for demonstrating the Issue Tree technique. I recognise you haven’t understood what I am saying or why, so there is little point in pursuing it any further.

      • Peter, that thread is almost 1000 comments long. Can you link to one of your statements, or simply repeat your top node suggestion? I do not remember seeing it. Did I reply? I only have time to read a few of the comments.

        But I am in no position to create a website and an online issue tree drawing tool, plus a demo tree, for nothing. We are a small business.

      • Peter Lang

        David Wojick,

        The top node I suggested, repeatedly, (in somewhat modified wording) was:

        Mitigate AGW or Adapt to climate change (whatever it may be)

        However, I do not suggest we carry the discussion over onto this thread. We did not make progress on the previous thread and I am not interested in rehashing it all over again on a new thread. If you can suggest a web site which is set up to handle Issue Trees then we could give it a try (as I suggested several times previously).

        I also urged you (repeatedly) to look at the MindMap tools which I believe would be a suitable tool to facilitate what you are suggesting. There is no point telling me they would not be suitable when apparently you have no knowledge or experience with using them.

        As I said on the other thread, I am not persuaded that the effort you say Issue Trees would require would be worth the effort. So I’ve lost interest, unless there is a suitable site as per my previous comment – but definitely not here (because there is not interest in pursuing it here and a dedicated site would be needed).

      • Peter Lang | May 22, 2012 at 9:21 am |

        Mr. Lang’s excellent and commonsensical approach suggests http://www.prezi.com as a free, easy-to-learn, shareable platform for creating images that could easily include issue trees and other sorts of mind maps.

        Or Google+ or any of a dozen other venues.

        Though perhaps once people have produced something off board they feel is of benefit, bringing it back to some future relevant topic could allow us all to see the outcome?

      • David Wojick

        Sorry Peter, but you are asking me repeatedly to do something I cannot afford to do financially. In fact the issue tree discussion started when I mentioned that I was unable to sell the idea because neither side wanted to pay to have the other side’s arguments clearly articulated. Issue analysis is my business.

        Just to complete the lesson, your top node is weak because the “or” creates a structural ambiguity. Are you saying do both (inclusive or) or do just one or the other (exclusive or)? That it is an imperative, rather than a declarative sentence is also a problem, as there is no subject. Other than that it works pretty well to introduce the full range of policy issues, mitigation and adaptation. The science can come in via the two immediate objections that AGW either (1) does not exist or (2) exists, but is not dangerous.

      • Peter Lang,

        Please have a look at Debate Graph:

        http://debategraph.org/

        Register and start mapping!

      • David Wojick

        If anyone finds an online platform and wants to try doing an issue tree, I will be happy to critique it, by way of teaching the method and testing the tool. I just do not have the time to do one myself.

        Once again, the issue tree textbook is here:
        http://www.stemed.info/reports/Wojick_Issue_Analysis_txt.pdf
        plus I have some additional materials here:
        http://www.craigellachie.us/powervision/Mathematics_Philosophy_Science/index.html
        Items 7 & 8 are sample issue trees, looking at NOx regulation, but they do not include any debate, just explanation.

      • Taking up Dr. Wojick’s kind offer, I’ve stubbed out a top level experiment at http://prezi.com/1qkiqxi1bqza/issue-tree-private-sourced-climate-change-curriculum-for-k-12-problems-outweigh-benefits/ to see how well the medium fits the method.

        Of course, I haven’t much recent experience with issue trees, and may be holding onto other concepts, so if anyone wishes to review, critique and advise, I’d appreciate it. The presentation is copyable, so anyone could register and make such improvements or carry out the experiment so far as they might choose.

        Thanks in advance.

      • Peter Lang

        Willard,

        Thank you for posting the link to the site “Debate Graph” http://debategraph.org/home#87038_5__1 . It is interesting and may work but has nowhere near the flexibility and power of the Mind Manager tools I’ve been suggesting. It may work, in a very simple sort of way, however. I notice there is a sample for ‘Climate Change’, but apparently just a picture and not available for use.

        Mind Manager tools http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MindManager allow you to build a branching structure for any purpose starting with the first node. They allow you to move branches by drag and drop, categorise branches (e.g, as statement, question, challenge, subject, object, verb, preposition, etc if that is what you want), colour the categories, insert links, dependencies, relationships, etc. You can integrate, import, export etc between Word, Excel, PowerPoint and MS Project.

        I have used them some time ago, at Defence Materiel Organisation, to build the first levels of project Work Breakdown Structures and the early stage of project scheduling in front of a group of stakeholders.

        For those who are not familiar with what I am talking about can I suggest you Google Mind Maps and try out the free software or download free trials. I think the product used in government is MindJet.

        I have not used the tools for some 10 years or so, so I don’t know if they can now be used on a web site or not. I’ll leave that to the X and Y generation to work out how to use it and let me know when they resolved it.

      • Peter,

        Just saw your link.

        I’ll take a look at your tool.

        My own is Freemind:

        http://freemind.sourceforge.net/wiki/index.php/Main_Page

        IMHO, the problem is not to find a tool, but the hands.

      • Peter Lang

        Willard, @ May 23, 2:33 pm

        IMHO, the problem is not to find a tool, but the hands

        I agree. However, we won’t get the hands interested and willing to work unless they can see they have a modern, easy to use environment to work in – and they can see this may be a useful methodology. There is no point in any more advocacy about how great the Issue Tree method is, if there is no practical way to demonstrate it. So we need a practical demonstration.

        Would you be able to start a mindmap in your toolwith one or both of my suggested starting node(s) and make it/them available to me and David Wojick (and anyone else who wants in at the beginning) so we can start working with it and David can advise us how we show proceed.

        I started two Debate Graphs yesterday but didn’t go very far. I agree we need debaters from both sides of the debate. But lets start with one or two from each side and see if we can make any progress. My suggested top node is:

        1 Mitigate AGW or Adapt to Climate Change (whatever it may be)

        Or

        2 Benefit/cost of GHG emissions mitigation
        2.1 What information is required?
        2.1.1 What is the net benefit/cost of man’s projected CO2 emissions [projections of benefit/cost versus time for various emissions projection scenarios and various assumptions about damage caused by man’s CO2 emissions and the cost of those damages]
        2.1.1.1 What information is required?
        2.1.1.1.1 Emissions projections
        2.1.1.1.2 Projected temperature increase
        2.1.1.1.3 Damage types and quantities per change in temperature
        2.1.1.1.4 Damage cost of per damage type

      • It might help you, though if anything David Wojick understates how time-intensive the exercise, to scan through blogs (on all sides and of all temperaments) for phrases and ideas matching roughly the domain of issues you want to put into an issue tree based on the node you have selected

        This would help you populate your tree.

        You’ll likely find many, many levels of refinement, reselection, and likely (given David’s observations) some fine-tuning of the top node statement.

        I’m not entirely clear that the exercise will produce what you’re after, but one notes you’re clearly sincere, dedicated and interested, and no doubt the best judge of what you’re seeking yourself.

        Best wishes.

      • Peter Lang

        Bart R,

        Pleaee redirect the condescending tone towards yourself. I suspect I’ve been invoved in this game a hell of a lot longer than you and have a far broader perspective and understanding than you. If you want to contribute constructively, open your mind, do the research (objectively) and then contribute. Otherwise, I’d urge you to stop filling the threads with your drivel.

      • Peter Lang | May 23, 2012 at 7:19 pm |

        Hey dude.

        Cool.

        Suit yourself.

      • Peter Lang

        David Wojick,

        A possible alternative top node question:

        What is the net cost benefit of man’s GHG emissions?

      • Peter Lang

        Willard and David Wojick

        I’ve been playing with Debate Graph. I’ve added two debates:

        1. Mitigate AGW or Adapt to climate change (whatever it may be)?

        2. Benefit Cost of man’s GHG emissions

        However, I am very slow at learning new software tools, so it’s going to be a slow and painful process if I am running this.

        I’d still recommend those interested look into the Mind Mapping tools because they seem much more powerful than this. For example, I have not been able to move branches so far.

      • Skeptic practices inflationary bullet point counting. Points 3 and 4 are the same.

      • Peter Lang

        Rubbish. 3 is about temperature; 4 is about rate of change of temperature. Pretty basic. I am surprised a self proclaimed expert in everything to do with CAGW doesn’t recognise the difference.

        Is that your best shot?

      • You could have added several more variations to the following, describing the planet as porridge.

        “3. Life thrives when the planet is warmer, but struggles when colder

        4. Life loves it when the planet warms, but struggles when the planet cools”

        The reality is that any local change of climate is only met by evolutionary changes, as all species are evolutionary adapted to take advantage of the climate conditions of their ecological niche. Certainly, species can migrate to where the climate matches their niche, but migration is a struggle for most species.

      • @WHT

        You seem to be unaware of the concept of migration. Some animals do it seasonally, some do it once in their lifetime. There is at least one that does a migration cycle that covers 4 generations.

        Really! All this evolutionary niche worry about 0.1 or 0.2 deg C per decade compared to 10-20 deg C per day and 15-40 deg C over the span of a year. Droughts are the bigger concern and both plant and animal have survived countless episodes of drought before man learned to bang the rocks together.

      • WHT, Ok, so you are aware of migration, my bad. But I think you over estimate the difficulties in dealing with AGW Climate Change (assuming there is such a thing) when the Climate has been changing for eons.

      • Peter Lang

        WHT,

        WHT,

        I notice you did not acknowledge your error or apologise for your rude previous comment.

        Without apologising you are now trying a different tack. However, I doubt evolution is your area of expertise, so I’ll treat your comments as the opinion of a layman (like mine).

        You said:

        The reality is that any local change of climate is only met by evolutionary changes, …

        However, Greenland warmed rapidly at times in the past (as your charts show) and life thrived whenever it did so. That is, life lives locally and loves warmer and warming, but struggles with colder and cooling. Even the humans died out when Greenland cooled.

        The rate of warming revealed in Greenland ice cores was, at times, much faster than anything we experienced last century and life flourished.

      • The Australians have such thin skin. They mock authority yet they can’t seem to take any kind of pushback.

        He called it rude that I noted that two of his bullet points were the same and he wanted me to apologize for calling it inflationary bullet point counting.

        Is that the famed larrikin tradition in action?

        The chief hydrologist, Girma, and StephTheDenier also get all whiny when challenged. I am detecting a pattern among the Aussies.

      • WebHubTelescope | May 22, 2012 at 11:35 am said:
        ”The Australians have such thin skin. They mock authority yet they can’t seem to take any kind of pushback. The chief hydrologist, Girma, and StephTheDenier also get all whiny when challenged. I am detecting a…”

        Webhub, you are still molesting the truth! Since you discovered that; your telescope is ”telescopic” you keep playing with it… stop puling it Webhub, it’ll wall off!!!

        Don’t compare me with the hydrologist and Girma!!!

        1] Girma is a collateral damage, from the misleading propaganda, you Warmist swindlers have put his brains into induced coma; for him reality stopped to exist. You see, when you are lying – you know that is a lie – for Girma that doesn’t exist anymore…

        2] because water controls the climate – Chief hydrologist should have taken the lead. In Australia people drown in floods – then in drought billion animals / birds die from dehydration every year – people, properties burn in big bushfires – because of lack of regular H2O inland. Instead, the Hydrologist is writing poems on the web. Another similar psycho; Nero was plying the fiddle, when Rome was burning… So, webhub, stop abusing yourself, you will get blind. I’m a genuine Skeptic, real Skeptic doesn’t believe 101% in the phony GLOBAL warmings, as those two, that you are comparing me with. I have never insulted you, unjustifiably.

  30. Retail Rate and Cost Issues with Renewable Development

    May 22, 2012– 10:00 a.m. At The CEC in Sacramento.

    Agenda-

    http://www.energy.ca.gov/2012_energypolicy/documents/2012-05-22_workshop/2012-05-22_agenda.pdf

    A couple of presentations SMUD and SDGE:

    http://www.energy.ca.gov/2012_energypolicy/documents/2012-05-22_workshop/presentations/06_Tracy_SMUD_Restructured_Rates_at_SMUD.pdf

    http://www.energy.ca.gov/2012_energypolicy/documents/2012-05-22_workshop/presentations/07_Brill_SDGE_Rate_Overview.pdf

    From Panel 3- Cost Consideration in Rate Design and Policies to Improve Rate Design-
    “Questions to consider
    12. What impact do you expect the costs of reaching renewables goals to have under current rate structures?

    13. What are the potential rate impacts from funding renewables programs?

    a. What is the expected timing of rate impacts?

    b. How do rate design elements, such as fixed rate components or tiered rates, impact how renewables program costs are recovered?

    c. Do renewables programs affect groups of customers differently than overall rate design?

    14. How have, and how can, cost containment mechanisms mitigate rate impacts?…………

  31. These questions are hopeless as a useful, objective preamble to a conference. How can you possibly make sense of different qualitative answers from each participant in the time allowed?

    If they required Quantitative answers, even with ranges, you’d have a hope of determining how important or urgent an issue is.

    As it is, the goal of the set of questions is obfuscation and ultimate dominance of the Hidden Agenda.

  32. Before my battery runs dry I must remind everyone that this country was founded by men of action not the clergy and it won’t be led by scientists whose patrimony has been sullied by the likes of an Al Gore into following the religion of liberal Utopianism that first and foremost is built on the idea that individual liberty must be destroyed.

    • @@ Wagathon | May 21, 2012 at 10:23 pm

      Wagathon, stop living in the past. CIA is getting involved into stopping the climate off changing – you don’t walk the line… Gulag!!! CIA, by using KGB’s doctrine of: power to the elite / individual liberty is evil. Interesting years are ahead… Yankees will learn the hard way about the value of individual liberty. The ”Prophet Marx” comes in many colours

      • We’ll see the secular, socialist, Bush-stabbing EU crawling on the edge of the cliff first… hang on. There could be a sequel.

      • @ Wagathon | May 21, 2012 at 11:38 pm

        Wagathon, you are spot-on regarding Europe. Because Al Qaeda upstaged the ”Red Brigade’ in the media for the last 15y – they were doing their job in the background. In Greece. the Reds in charge; Borrowed, knowingly that they cannot pay it off. After the anarchy started; on the last election in Greece, Red’s vote increased. Spending more than you can earn, is Obama’s motto also..

        Because Reds prosper in anarchy / disintegrate when common sense prevails. During the WW1, Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin established USSR – during the WW2, they doubled the territory under their control – Berlin Wall disintegrated, when common sense prevailed.

        I would like to give you a free advice: prepare lots of cement; to rebuild the Berlin Wall in USA… but how come you replayed on my comment as if you are on same longitude as Australia… are you nocturnal, or on this side of the planet? Admit the truth, or Gulag!

      • I guess I have long legs.

        “Whoever writes in blood and aphorisms does not want to be read but to be learned by heart. In the mountains the shortest way is from peak to peak: but for that one must have long legs. Aphorisms should be peaks—and those who are addressed, tall and lofty.”

        (Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra)

      • To go from peak to peak, wings would be better than long legs.

      • Not when you are wearing cement galoshes

  33. SIMPLE TEST, TO SEE; IF YOU ARE STILL IN CONTROL OF YOUR PWN BRAINS

    By answering if the following comment is correct, or wrong; will tell you: do you still own your own brains:

    On Antarctica are 3 thermometers, monitoring on 2 places ‘’for the highest temp in 24h. next place is monitored in Chile, Tasmania and Hawaii. About 30% of the planet’s surface area, 3 thermometers… Comparing with 4000 thermometers in USA Europe combined – on 1% of the planet’s surface area. Thermometer is perfect for monitoring the room temp; but in your backyard are 3-7 variations in the temp – compare your backyard with Antarctic to Tasmania.

    Temperature in the atmosphere is NOT same as in human body; when under the armpit is 1C warmer than normal = the WHOLE body is warmer by that much. In nature is completely the opposite.
    The hottest minute of the day has same value as any other minute in the 24h – therefore, the ‘’inaccuracy’’ by using one minute of 1440 minutes is by plus / minus 1439%. We are talking about the last year… 1] do you still believe that anybody knows the correct temp for the last year / to save his / her life? 2] Do you believe that: distribution of thermometers 1000y ago was more appropriate, than last year? 3] do you believe that: because Warmist & fake Skeptics had a wrong starting point that: overall GLOBAL temp goes up and down as a yo-yo; every time gets warmer / colder in Europe = the WHOLE planet’s temp reacts the same?! 4] or, do you believe that the whole conspiracy is a 24 carat crap?! If they can do so much ‘’brains degradation’’ to the grown ups… think the damages in progress to the kid’s brains in school and university The ”Copenhagen Flop” wasn’t enough for the fundamentalist Warmist & Fake Skeptics… Do they own your brains?

  34. Peter Lang

    Is a CO2 tax the best way to improve human well being on planet Earth?

    • Peter,
      A CO2 tax will certainly improve the well being of those who collect, direct and receive the proceeds of a CO2 tax. For the rest of us, not so much.

  35. Beth Cooper

    Peter, in a nutshell,”No!”
    ( As you are well aware.)

    Ist assumption that carbon is bad for the planet hasn’t been demonstrated.

    2nd assumption that carbon is significantly warming the planet, hasn’t been demonstrated.

    3rd assumption that taxes will significantly reduce carbon in the atmosphere hasn’t be………….

    4th assumption that taxing energy punitively will create human well-being and employment opportunities hasn’t……

    (I thought we’d been all over that.)

  36. Peter Lang

    Hi Beth,

    Yes, we have. But there are still some people who are not yet persuaded. So I thought I’d open up the debate.

    Besides, I was getting bored with the silly comments by a few; I was a bit disappointed that the excellent work by Copenhagen Consensus, World Economic Forum and others were not eliciting more serious discussion.

    [As an aside, I’ve just been reading the Denizens thread. There are some very wise (i.e. been around for a while) and well educated people contribute to Judith Curry’s web site. What a pity we can’t hear more from them and less from the few ‘empty vessels’. I greatly appreciated the Richard Tol was willing to answer my comments, questions and concerns. Likewise with many of the other wise, experienced heads who have replied to me on this and previous threads.]

    • Joe's World

      Peter,

      A great deal of science has fallen into fiction.
      Many areas were never in consideration due to the theories already implanted as laws.
      We currently measure atmospheric pressure by what it does to water and NOT by the weight of each layer of atmospheric gases.
      Velocity mapping clearly shows a direct link of pressure to velocity changes very easily recreated by water depth mapping. Yet, our scientists cannot see this due to protecting their careers and grants.

      • Joe's World

        It is NOT just coincidence that you pull the plug in your sink and the water has the same shape as the tornadoes and hurricanes/cyclones we see produced in our atmosphere.
        Water loss to space and the trillions of liters per day captured are also not considered. A drying planet would give the same effect of global warming!

      • I find Joe’s logic indistinguishable from the typical skeptic on this comment board. To me it all looks the same, you end up spending lots of time correcting basic misconceptions about physics.

      • Maybe you should begin with the fact that there is no such thing as a global average temperature — it does not exist because temperature is an intensive variable.

      • When Wagathon gets near science nonsense follows. Temperature is used to determine relative measures and along a continuum. The sun is hotter than the earth. We can use the average temperatures of the two to describe this difference.

        With Wagathon and his disciple Joe in charge, we could not use temperature for anything practical because it is an intensive variable. That’s like saying you could not approximate an average density of a pile of dirt.

      • Wagathon: “Maybe you should begin with the fact that there is no such thing as a global average temperature — it does not exist because temperature is an intensive variable.”

        Last week you claimed: “it is inescapable that changes in solar activity explain both global warming AND cooling”

        Yet now you claim there’s no such thing as global temperature…

      • I guess I will never know the blissful ignorance of the average global warming alarmists. Nor will I ever understand their the life of superstition and fear that they love to indulge in and share like pushers with children in schools.

        Abstract: Physical, mathematical, and observational grounds are employed to show that there is no physically meaningful global temperature for the Earth in the context of the issue of global warming. While it is always possible to construct statistics for any given set of local temperature data, an infinite range of such statistics is mathematically permissible if physical principles provide no explicit basis for choosing among them. Distinct and equally valid statistical rules can and do show opposite trends when applied to the results of computations from physical models and real data in the atmosphere. A given temperature field can be interpreted as both ‘‘warming’’ and ‘‘cooling’’ simultaneously, making the concept of warming in the context of the issue of global warming physically ill-posed.

        (Christopher Essex, Ross McKitrick, Bjarne Andresen, Does a Global Temperature Exist? , J. Non-Equilib. Thermodyn., 2007, Vol. 32:No. 1)

        “There is no global temperature…

        … Since temperature is an intensive variable, the total temperature is
        meaningless in terms of the system being measured, and hence any one
        simple average has no necessary meaning. Neither does temperature have
        a constant proportional relationship with energy or other extensive
        thermodynamic properties…

        … Statistics cannot stand in as a replacement for the missing physics because data alone are context-free. Assuming a context only leads to paradoxes such as simultaneous warming and cooling in the same system based on arbitrary choice in some free parameter. Considering even a restrictive class of admissible coordinate transformations yields families of averaging rules that likewise generate opposite trends in the same data, and by implication indicating contradictory rankings of years in terms of warmth…

        … The purpose of this paper was to explain the fundamental meaninglessness of so-called global temperature data. The problem can be (and has been) happily ignored in the name of the empirical study of climate. But nature is not obliged to respect our statistical conventions and conceptual shortcuts…” (Id.)

      • I figured you would link to mcKitrick and Essex. They started this whole meme of claiming that an average global temperature was meaningless. It was initially outlined in their book “Taken by Storm”, where they childishly referred to the temperature as T-Rex.

        That’s when I first realized that the front-line skeptics were off their rockers. That book was priceless as an unintended piece of satire.

      • Better they had asked whether a global temperature ANOMALY existed. Most of that paper is simply adolescent.

      • Exactly. There is nothing that can replace temperature as a relative measure of thermal excitation. And an estimate of a temperature anomaly is really a relative measurement.

        Of course, we need to be careful as different materials can absorb varying amounts of thermal energy, thus modulating the temperature rise. The oceans are absorbing lots of excess heat from the energy imbalance and that obviously masks some of the average global temperature rise.

        A sophisticated bookkeeping problem is not the same thing as saying that estimating a global average temperature is impossible.

      • lolwot | May 22, 2012 at 1:46 pm | @@Lolwot said: “Maybe you should Llolwot | May 22, 2012 at 1:46 pm said: ”begin with the fact that there is no such thing as a global average temperature — it does not exist because temperature is an intensive variable…’’

        Lolwot, WRONG again!!! Global average temp is CONSTANT; that is ‘’the overall warmth in the WHOLE troposphere cannot change for more than few minutes’’ Extra heat is not accumulative!!! Similar as; if you have a bucketful of water under the waterfall = cannot get less or more water into the bucket = cannot get overall colder or warmer. Because: when it gets colder for any reason -> troposphere shrinks INSTANTLY -> releases less heat for few minutes, until equalizes. B] cannot get ‘’warmer’’ overall; because expands instantly, and releases extra heat. Troposphere is like piano accordion – expands = releases extra heat / intercepts extra coldness, if you will, in few minutes – and shrinks to the previous volume, instantly; not to intercept too much and create too much cooling. But, if needed, can expand again; there is unlimited coldness up there. Stop believing in Plimer’s Pagan believes!!!

        2] Imagine if the radiator on your car is as a piano accordion – expands extra, when the engine gets warmer – shrink when colder. But only imagine, don’t make it for real – you will attract too much attention on the road.. people will think that you become a fake Skeptic (gone bananas) Plus, where the troposphere expands UP, when warmed, is much colder than on your street.

        3] Lolwot, ‘’you should begin with the fact that: the laws of physics are regulating the average temp, not the CO2 or the con-artist’’. The good Lord inserted a thermometer in every atom of oxygen + nitrogen – they shrink / expand with the change of temp, instantly (the most reliable thermometers) – where they expand is minus -90C. local temps always change – GLOBAL, never. Anybody suggesting otherwise, is insulting the creator of this planet. unless Obama abolishes the laws of physics and the winds, by legislation = Warmist & Fakes are barking up the same wrong tree. Same as: when you get warmer – instantly stick your arm into a bucketful of ice. Please xperiment, if you doubt my formulas and the laws of physics!

        4] (honesty / credibility test): Try to be honest to yourself. Q: do you know that oxygen + nitrogen, the 998999ppm in the troposphere; expand INSTANTLY when warmed – shrink when cooled? Q: do you know that: where the troposphere expands upwards into the stratosphere, is 105C colder than on the ground? Lolwot, you are fighting a losing battle. Start using your brains for good – otherwise Maxwell Smart will get you. I had to grow up in communism, I know how your brains works, better than you know yourself. (If you want medicine for your / Warmist sickness – it’s on my blog) Nothing personal.

  37. Waiting with great anticipation for the super La Nina similar but opposite to the super El Nino of 1997-1998.

    A further drop in global mean temperature of about 0.2 deg C would be very interesting.

    But they would still say it caused by global warming.

  38. Girma | May 22, 2012 at 10:11 am |

    Do you have some basis for predicting a super La Nina? Are there Antarctic or Pacific circulations we understand well enough to extrapolate into this particular outcome that you have seen reports about?

    Do you expect it to be a quarter phase off the super El Nino? Perhaps it was, and has already happened, and the most recent La Nina was the super La Nina you anticipate, but weakened due a ramp of background anthropogenic warming?

    Could it be a half phase off the super El Nino, expected by your plot in 2027?

    The question of causes is always going to be a sensitive one, given your approach. What else drives circulations in the air and seas than energy, and what other form of energy than, in some form, heat? Warming doesn’t wear a nametag or a label distinguishing its origin. It doesn’t tell us directly where its power comes from or by what path it arrived.

    So, yes. While the level of CO2 in the atmosphere is elevated, ‘they’ will have justification to say pretty much any effect of weather or climate was fueled or driven at least in part by the energy of global warming. Whether that’s ’cause’ would remain opinion, largely, of the audience of course, based on their worldview.

    Personally, it’s an egg I don’t try terribly hard to unscramble. Components are components. The only purpose served by divining causes of specific incidents is to apportion blame for lawsuits, so far as I can tell. Who do you mean to sue for La Nina?

    • Bart R

      You and I will hope fully be hear to see a further drop in GMT to a value of about 0.2 deg C in the next 5 to 10 years.

      I am prepared to bet on that. Will you take it?

      • Girma | May 22, 2012 at 11:02 am |

        Mr. Orssengo, your enthusiasm is noted; one commends a search of the internet for legitimate websites hosting opportunities to bet on weather and climate outcomes if you are so inclined. I believe there are many, and have cited a few in the past.

        For myself, I don’t have a prediction one way or the other on GMT.

        GMT is not my issue.

        CO2 level, and how we got to such a ludicrous height in so short a time, is.

        Though I acknowledge a certain interest in graphical analysis and logic.

        If asked do I believe your hopes likely to be fulfilled? I see no indication in the data or trends, analyses or theories to especially favor such a view. There is some indication of volcanism and industrial sources of aerosols that could lead that way, and a La Nina in the next decade isn’t out of the question. If you wanted me to handicap your bet: take no odds worse than 8:1, or you’re being cheated.

      • Kent Draper

        Bart, serious question. When talking about C02 and it’s potential for danger, do you believe as some others that there is a “tipping point” that once reached, there is no recovery from. In other words, once a certain amount of C02 has been reached, there will be a runaway amplification of heat?

      • Kent Draper | May 22, 2012 at 4:32 pm |

        I’m not entirely sure who these others are, so will isolate my answer from those that have come before, if I may, making no reference nor connection of my views to theirs.

        My first impression of the question is it just doesn’t matter to Risk level so far as we know.

        Risk can come from prolonged duration at a plateau far outside the normal range (and at 390+ ppmv we’re farther outside the nominal 180 ppmv-280 ppmv of the last 800,000-20 million years than the range itself extends, by 10%), sudden and frequent changes (rising or falling), or constant unidirectional external forcing.

        Certainly, as ‘climate sensitivity’ is projected in terms of doubling CO2 concentration in relation to linear rise in temperature (which I strongly suspect is a nonlinearity all things considered), and as there’s only so much carbon and oxygen to burn to produce CO2, there must be an eventual limit, so any ‘runaway’ effect would have an endpoint.

        Before that endpoint is reached, could there be a tipping point that drags fossil fuels out of the ground and immolates them? Not so much. On the other hand, a level of heat that drives CO2 and other GHGs out of solution and drives so much water vapor into the air that the atmosphere becomes a self-sustaining heat sponge? I’m afraid it’s been a long time since I could do the math on that particularly alarming problem in my head. Either way, these are far outside the realms of the Risk levels I speak of.

        See, I’m looking at practical ranges of costs, expenses and liabilities within scale and scope we can hope to address, not hopeless lost causes.

        So the Risk that food will cost more than otherwise due adverse conditions for growth from nitrogen depletion; the risk that plastics, pharmaceuticals, industrial chemicals and nitrogen fertilizer will be priced out of the market in the medium term by extravagant burning of them in the short term; the burden of subsidized and inefficient industrial interests on the backs of the citizenry and the risks that engenders; the loss of diversity in flora and fauna due habitat and climate shift; greater cost in dealing with extreme events; cost of constant adaptation to change at a more rapid pace than necessary.

        These are little things. A little one to ten percent margin here. A little three to fifteen percent inflation there. They’re not alarming. But they ought be addressed sensibly by sensible measures.

      • Kent Draper

        Considering the state of our economy now, wouldn’t a tax that you desire cause the the same things (food costs, inflation, ect.) that you worry AGW will cause? The increased costs of gasoline have already made our economy worse. Why would you want to exacerbate the problem?

      • Kent Draper | May 23, 2012 at 12:43 pm |

        Considering the state of our economy now, wouldn’t a tax that you desire cause the the same things (food costs, inflation, ect.) that you worry AGW will cause? The increased costs of gasoline have already made our economy worse. Why would you want to exacerbate the problem?

        See, this is where the confusion appears to be.

        While what I propose, in one version, contains the word ‘tax’ in its name, I’m opposed to higher taxes. I’m proposing lower taxes.

        A ‘revenue neutral carbon tax’ charges a fee for use of the carbon cycle by imposing a price proportionate to CO2E of fuels. That _would_ be a tax, except for the ‘revenue neutral’ part.

        The ‘revenue neutral’ part (as has been done in British Columbia for four years now) takes the fees collected and reduces taxes. I’m not sure of the details of how it happens in British Columbia — mostly as income tax reduction and some direct payments I think — but for a Fee & Dividend system, such as http://www.citizensclimatelobby.org/ advocates, the money apparently goes to reverse payroll deductions so every two weeks everyone with a job gets all the money.

        As a bonus, because of the way revenue neutral taxes work — see Dr. McKitrick’s survey paper on Double Dividend Revenue Neutral Carbon Taxes from 1998ish — switching to them is less distortionate on the economy as a whole, taking government interference in prices overall to a lower level and making the Market more efficient.

        But I go further. To fully privatize the carbon cycle, the price has to be determined by the Market. So I say float the price of the carbon cycle to the point of maximum revenue for the recipients of the dividends. That is the fair Market price, as determined by the democracy of individual decision-makers buying and selling without interference or subsidy.

        As this proposal grows the Market, it has a tertiary effect of reducing the level of tax in the system as a proportion. That, too, makes the economy more efficient.

      • GMT is not my issue.

        Was not the issue man made global warming?

      • Mr. Orssengo, AGW may be your issue.

        CO2 level due external forcing is my issue.

        Your issue is, to me, mere byproduct.

  39. John from CA

    Looks like Scope Creep to me. Aren’t a majority of these issues the concern of the WHO (World Health Organization)?

  40. In reality, there essentially has been no significant global warming in the US since the 1940s. The only warming that can be ferreted out of the temperature records is in the coldest and most inhospitable regions on Earth, such as in the dry air of the Arctic or Siberia where going from a -50 °C to a -40 °C at one small spot on the globe is extrapolated across tens of thousands of miles and then branded as global warming.

    Global Warming a Whopping No-Show Since 1940 http://wp.me/p27eOk-nD

  41. Affordable energy improves the health and wealth of most people in the world. Unaffordable energy does destroy the health and wealth of most people in the world.

  42. I do hope that many of you are watching the Climate Conference that is going on in Chicago right now.

    http://climateconference.heartland.org/

  43. If you missed part of it, the videos are available

  44. Thanks Alex for the link to the Climate Conference in Chicago:

    http://climateconference.heartland.org/

    The upcoming elections and the world’s unstable economy will expose reality, whether or not world leaders, leaders of the scientific community, and Bjørn Lomborg’s “blue ribbon panel” of “Nobel Laureate economists” do so.

    However, “The Copenhagen Consensus 2012″ report is an encouraging sign that:

    a.) GWA (global warming addicts) are losing the public debate
    b.) Willing to embrace even former AGW critics, like Bjørn
    c.) To form a consensus without exposing deceit
    d.) Before economic collapse exposes reality
    e.) And blue-ribbon economists are blamed

    Returning integrity to government science is the first step toward returning civilian control over politicians who misused research funds to deceive the public and take government control away from citizens.

    Eisenhower warned of this danger to our cherished form of government in January of 1961:

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

    .

  45. The global warming alarmists simply cannot fact the fact that the mathematical aggregation of intensive variables has no physical meaning in reality. And, we see this kind of simple-mindedness in the thread above (see the reference to Essex and McKitrick, a Global Temperature Exist?)

    The solubility relationship is verifiable in a controlled laboratory setting where the temperature of the thermometer in a bucket is actually equal to the temperature of what is being measured. The reading on a thermometer — which is a discrete reading of the area in which it is located — is not equal to the temperature of the atmosphere — which is continuous and not the sum of its components — and, an average global temperature is not equal to an average of a number of thermometers. Moreover, because it is an intensive variable, there is no average temperature. “[T]he average is not a temperature anywhere in the system, which contradicts the proposition that the average is a temperature. While it is thus simple, obvious, and unavoidable that there is no one physically defined temperature for the combined system, the example illustrates the contradiction that arises in requiring an average over a local equilibrium temperature field to be itself a temperature of anything.”

    • Like RT/p (V/n) = 1 where V/n is the molar volume? Just one example of a rather useful aggregation of intensive variables. As to Essex and McKitrick, they didn’t do a very good job of thinking about what a global temperature ANOMALY was.

      • Eli, how would the global temperature ANOMALY compare to the global energy ANOMALY?

        Orsi et al. have a new paper per realclimate indicating that the Antarctic has been warming at a nearly unbelievable rate since 1950. The warming is primarily Antarctic winter per the surface temperature record and the satellite records show neutral to cooling conditions, sea ice tends to lean towards the satellite records and ozone depletion has been mentioned as a cause of lack of projected warming. A temperature anomaly of 1 C where the average temperature is -35C has the same impact on the global temperature ANOMALY as a 1C anomaly at 15 C. Since we now have a wide range of estimates for the Antarctic, which would you find most believable and why?

      • As Eli has repeatedly replied (when he was listening) to Roger Pielke Sr., if we had sufficient data on the global energy ANOMALY going back 150 -200 years, no one is going to argue that the energy ANOMALY would not be better. WE DON’T, so we use what we have. Mostly the reply was to change the subject as fast as possible. You been taking lessons??

        The discussion was how Essex and McKitrick shifted shiftily their discussion from global temperature ANOMALY to global temperature.

      • There is only one Earth and it has no average anything in a statistical sense. It has one temperature and the estimate of that temperature by the means used at present is pure numerology and physically nonsensical.

    • Wag,
      Notice how the Rabett mistakes the anomaly for the reality. He seems to not be alone.

  46. I think the debate will move forward when Warmers come to grips with the meaning of this:

    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/pretense

    Andrew

  47. The notion of a global average temperature is a pretense. The global warming alarmists’ use of ‘average global temperature’ represents their attempt to boil down reality to a simplistic notion – like a greenhouse – which is easy for them to understand and just as misleading.

    The global warming alarmists who talk about the existence of a mythical ‘global average temperature’ are the same people that refused to acknowledge the existence of the LIA and the MWP. They are the same True Believers who pushed the notion that releases of CO2 into the air by the productive that drive cars to work in the morning were causing polar bears to fall from the sky and splat dead on the concrete and asphalt of corporate America.

    • Sometimes they want to talk about how CO2 is responsible for sea level rise, but they are tellingly silent on why the sea level displays an upwards inflection around 1850. I guess that was due to Unicorn farts that may have a high percentage of CO2.

      • Maybe has something… anything — to do with the exploits of Vasco de Gama and perhaps it was Spain in general that started the global warming, and there was this 200 year lag time and then around 1850… I think we’re onto something eh?

      • Wagathon, It just came to me that you solved the problem of the rising sea levels. The time you are speaking of Europe and England cut down all their forests to build ships, then they preceded to sink them. They plundered foreign lands for more timber and built ever more ships. Then sunk those. Many forests ended life at the bottom of the ocean. Thus began the rise of the oceans and from many reports the demise of many ocean front properties.

      • So, when the Brits sank the Spanish Armada, it was an early example of carbon sequestration?

        Kewl.

      • Johanna
        Timber floats if it has been separated from the structure through fighting or storms.

        Our previous house was supposedly built using timbers washed up on the beaches of Britain up to 5 years after the destruction of the armada.

        That shipbuilding-started to seriously deplete Britains forests even by the time of Henry viii is well known and many new forests were planted around that time. Whether that has anything to do with co2 spikes I will not comment
        tonybonyb

      • Indeed, when the Mary Rose went down, Henry XIII immediately remarked that his toecaps were wetted.

  48. Bart R

    There is some indication of volcanism and industrial sources of aerosols that could lead that way

    Volcanoes have no effect on the secular global mean temperature trend as described in the following paper:

    To infer quantitatively how much this episodic volcanic forcing affects the estimated MDV [multidecadal variability] and ST [secular trend] time series, we decompose the GST time series with the surface temperature response to the volcanic forcing removed. For this purpose we use the reconstruction of Thompson et al. (2009), in which the signatures of major low latitude volcanic eruptions of Santa Maria (1902), Agung (1963), El Chichon (1982), and Pinatubo (1991) are most clearly discernible, as indicated by the red line of the top panel of Fig. 7. The analysis is restricted for the period from 1900 onward, for which the volcanic forcing is best defined.

    From the results shown in Fig. 7, it is evident that the removal of the response to volcanic eruptions in the GST time series has very little effect on the estimated ST [secular trend].

    http://www.springerlink.com/content/akh241460p342708/fulltext.html

    • Girma | May 22, 2012 at 8:26 pm |

      Oh, I quite agree, the influence is low for the ambient level of volcanism. It would take something pretty spectacular to create cooling of the sort you’re predicting by volcanism alone. Anthropogenic effects are larger, but still unlikely on their own to produce the effect you want.

      What part of “no worse than 8:1” did you miss? ;)

  49. The Impossible Dream? Why Renewables Won’t Reduce CO2 Emissions by Much
    http://www.energypulse.net/centers/article/article_display.cfm?a_id=2535

    • He completely left out an entire section of his argument. For every Bart wanting to tax fossil fuels out of use, there is a Bart that doesn’t like the noise, obstruction of view, reflection of light, and power lines required by windmills that will want to tax those out of use also.

      • steven | May 23, 2012 at 7:24 am |

        I don’t know about every Bart, but this one’s extremely cool with part of what you say.

        Let those who want views they don’t own pay for them.

        After all, you’re requiring all the Barts who don’t want the problems with fossils suffer those and pay extra to avoid them. Seems only fair.

        However, you seem confused. It’s like ‘tax’ is a dirty word you throw at the price of anything you don’t want to pay. It’s only tax if the government takes it from you and the rightful owner doesn’t get it. It’s price if the government merely maintains an orderly marketplace that ensures the rightful seller gets paid for their goods.

        Only in socialist regimes are people likely to get that mixed up, because they’re so used to the nanny state deciding what they pay.

        You from a socialist state, comrade steven?

      • Bart, it is you that is confused. You have decided CO2 is valuable. The majority of people in the nation in which you live disagree. Instead of trying to convince them it actually has value you have decided to insist it does. I have pointed out that anyone with a similar mindset can declare it has infinite value and thus insist all production of co2 stop and that someone else may decide it has positive value and decide those not producing enough should have to pay a tax. It seems you believe you are the center of the universe and all should just bow to your will raher then inconvenience you by requiring you to convince them your point of view is the correct one. Understand now Great Leader?

      • steven | May 23, 2012 at 10:50 am |

        I’ve made no decision on the value of CO2. (Which you appear to have backwards, as if it’s valuable, you’d pay for its production not to stop.)

        I’ve applied the principles of Capitalism — which I assure you, the majority of people in the nation in which I live prize highly — to determine that the carbon cycle ought be privatized by the same precepts as apply to any other resource.

        I don’t need to insist on a value. If there’s none, then the Law of Supply and Demand would confirm that. However, I think it unlikely there is no value to the carbon cycle.

        See, I’m not the one who wants to determine the prices or values. I want the Market to do it. You do understand how the Market works, right?

      • Bart, your arguments are unconvincing to me. Try someone else. My tolerance for useless typing is not nearly as high as yours.

    • Inhaber’s point is interesting, valid, and hardly surprising.

      As a wrinkle in the transition from what we do now to what we’ll do then, the problem of old infrastructure not being particularly efficient during the transition itself will come up.

      Which is why people like Dan Nocera of MIT work on things like: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZAkM_dV6CFs

  50. In science, who is going to sensor those who mislead the world with the current global warming trend is the red line instead of the green one?
    http://bit.ly/HRvReF

  51. Sorry

    In science, who is going to censure those who mislead the world with the current global warming trend is the red line instead of the green one?
    http://bit.ly/HRvReF

    • Girma | May 22, 2012 at 10:52 pm |

      Mr. Orssengo:

      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/from:1992.33/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1995.25/trend

      Red line from the most current 20 years of actual GISS LOTI dataset: 0.2C/decade

      Green line from most current 17 years of HadCRUT3 dataset: 0.07C/decade

      Which one deserves censure? Which one is right? How close to the actual is the linear trend projection?

      How can you be certain?

      • Bart

        IPCC used your second data set.

      • Girma | May 22, 2012 at 11:51 pm |

        Possibly. Five years ago. It was a judgement call then. It was poor judgement.

        Or are you claiming the IPCC has always shown the best judgement?

        And HadCRUT4 is built from the same dataset, too. Which is the true representation of the dataset now? HadCRUT3, or HadCRUT4?

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/data/gistemp/from:1992.33/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1995.25/trend/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1992/trend

        Two of three datasets show multidecadal match for the (very silly) IPCC ‘prediction’ of 0.2C/decade. While science isn’t a democracy of numbers, it does oblige us to acknowledge the evidence for what it is.

        I don’t see any particular significance or meaning to the IPCC prediction being right on GISS LOTI and HadCRUT4; it doesn’t increase confidence in their 5-year-old methods or decrease it, or make the use they put it to better or worse. However, it does take from you the ability to make claims about their prediction failing, because in a very legitimate sense it has actually matched outcomes, even through a cluster of La Nina events and a mix of other cooling influences that ought have been much more apparent were the ‘ramp’ so low as you claim.

  52. “[T]here are a large number of punters [Australian for ‘customers’ or ‘gamblers’-in this case, skeptical customers who may or may not buy what the government’s selling] who object to being treated dismissively as stupid, who do not like being told what to think, who value independence, who resile from personal attacks and have life experiences very different from the urban environmental atheists attempting to impose a new fundamentalist religion. Green politics have taken the place of failed socialism and Western Christianity and impose fear, guilt, penance, and indulgences onto a society with little scientific literacy.” (Ian Plimer)

    • @@ Wagathon | May 22, 2012 at 11:02 pm

      Yes, there are many, many Australians; who don’t want carbon tax -but are fanatically supporting Ian Plimer’s crap. They are trying to be a ”virgin prostitutes” – it’s not on Wagaton. In Australia will be known as, the ”Plimer’s carbon tax’

      Ian deceived the people that supposed to stand up for the truth. b] Skeptics have ”different opinions” IT’S ONLY ”ONE TRUTH” AND 101 LIES ABOUT IT. Ian Plimer has more lies than Gore + Hansen + Mann combined, about phony G L O B A L warmings Do you believe in a ”virgin prostitutes” also, Wagaton?

  53. “stefanthedenier | May 22, 2012 at 9:01 pm |

    gbaikie | May 22, 2012 at 5:12 pm said: When was the warmest year in the US?

    gbaikie, stop using that cheap trick!!! USA temp is NOT the GLOBAL temp.”

    I didn’t suggest it was.
    But since you bring up the topic, US temperatures are big influence on how global temperature is measured and are a significant factor. In similar way that any long and accurate temperature record is:
    “The Central England Temperature (CET) record is notable because it is the single longest surface temperature record available, stretching from 1659 to present. ”
    http://rankexploits.com/musings/2011/central-england-temperature/

    “When was the warmest year or a warmest month in USA – simultaneously was COLDER than normal, some other place. ”

    Obviously, temperature vary wildly on daily and seasonal timescale.
    But US yearly temperature is a large area, and over duration of a year period.
    And for example globally 1998 was warmer year and this is indicated as warmer year in US temperatures.
    And clearly in satellite measurements:
    http://www.drroyspencer.com/latest-global-temperatures/

    • @@gbaikie | May 22, 2012 at 11:11 pm says: ” US temperatures are big influence on how global temperature is measured and are a significant factor”

      Unless the influence is by the number of cubic kilometers of air – instead by number of thermometers = = = ALL crap!

      98 was ”declared” as the warmest” that has nothing to do with the reality. It was ”declared”, because was the year after Kyoto conference = to scare the hell out of the Urban Sheep, BOO!!!. It turned out as ”gift / water pistols to the fake Skeptics – to fight the Warmist. The Fakes never ask themselves: how do they look in the Warmist eyes when using 98 as evidence… lie concocted by the Warmist. Same as Johnny telling how stupid his father is, for saying that: we don’t need to build chimney for Santa – he will get in trough the window

      3] “The Central England Temperature (CET) record is notable” for dishonest people as Vukcevic, Tony Brown and you. When the temp is monitored only on 0,0000000000000000000001% of the earth’s surface area / only for the hottest minute in 24h – using English data, only tells bout the users, not about the GLOBAL temp. gbaike, do you get a kick out of coning the people; or is it only for the money you are doing it? USA is 1% of the world’s surface area, 1%!!!

      • Stefan

        You are taking my name in vain and misrepresenting what I say. Do stop shouting all the time and attend to your own inconsistencies and nonsenses.

        In your blog you say;

        ‘People in 5BC, 1200AD were scared to sail more than 50km west of Portugal .’

        By 5 Bc people were sailing to Iceland-Pytheas sailed one day beyond it and saw the edge of the ice sheet. In 1200ad the vikings were not only sailing all round greenland but visiting newfoundland. Iceland had its own diocese and there was regular travel betwen europe and Greenland.During the Bronze age people were sailing from all over Europe and beyond in order to visit West Britain and trade in tin.

        All of these places are rather more than 50km west of Portugal.
        tonyb

      • @@ climatereason | May 23, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Reply
        Stefan You are taking my name in vain

        Tony, lets clear up the mess. You are complaining, for me pointing at you, to correct your ‘’misleadings’’. Any time I state anything – I can an do substantiate: my comment was on; gbaike using 1650 – 98 data, Girma using 1910 / 1944 data; to compare with today’s temp. They are using your / vuk’s ammunition, to con others and themselves. Children are learning in school that: ‘’researchers’’ know exact temp for last many centuries. Learning about ‘’your / vuk’s ‘’lies’’ as if they are facts. Politicians are squandering billions, based on ‘’knowledge in comparing the ‘’GLOBAL’’temp from 100 – 300 – 1000y, with today’s.

        Because, you have being given ‘’British data’’ to reconstruct the past temp. Same as giving you 3 pillow cases of feathers – for you to build a space shuttle and fly to the moon and Venus. Instead of using the chance, to point that: by those ‘records’’ is impossible to talk about the GLOBAL temp; you made it to Venus and back; because feathers are for flying…?! therefore, any person comparing GLOBAL temp data from last and many other centuries = is using your ammunition, and he / she is pointing finger at your lies. It makes it more difficult to prove that: ‘’nobody knows correct temp for last year, to save his life – when Tony / Vuk know the temp for 10-18-19 century. They are using your ‘’legitimate researcher’s’’ misleading, to con the ignorant and rob the pensioners. To damage the already damaged brains: look how many people in the Fake Skeptic’s camp believe in proxy data / you know the reliability

        2]You pointed to me long time ago that: the Greeks went to Iceland; but didn’t say what brand of thermometers they were using, to monitor from Island, the temp on Patagonia, Australia, Easter Island and ALL the surface in-between; or, isn’t those areas part of your planet?! (just for the record: Island is not one metre west of Portugal) B] you didn’t inform us: ‘’did the Vikings had evenly distribution of thermometers on Greenland?! I.e. look at the weather report on TV tonight; you will see 50 different temp for England – that is ONLY for city temp; outside those cities on 99% of the surface area is not reported, but is not same as in London temp. Tony, Greenland is 20 times larger than England; did the Vikings have 20 times more thermometers? Same as any other con artist – you are avoiding the reality. Therefore, your data is committing crimes every day. ‘’Your name is taken in vain’’?!?!?! Please, Tony / Vuk, correct your crimes. Clear your desk of crap

        The more you delay – the more you are part of the ‘’Biggest Organized Crime on the planet’’ School yard gang buying doesn’t change the truth, you should know that. Pretending that you don’t know what I’m talking about; magnifies your lies. ‘’Creating misinformations – then offering phony solutions is same as: somebody is squizzing your testicles with one hand – with the other hand is selling you painkillers’’. If you didn’t created all those lies – I wouldn’t had to point. Is it my fault Tony, or yours?! Think of the damages in progress, by people using your data. Yes, you are not the only one, but by safety in numbers, you are deceiving yourself. Honesty is the best policy. In near future, criminologist will have lots of data on the ‘’global warming’’ blogosphere. They will not buy your justification: the wax was of bad quality for stitching the feathers = that’s why you had a bad landing on Venus ( if the temp was taken from that water, before they put it in the bucket – would have being precise data for the 7 seas – for your GLOBAL temperature, for the 19 century –WOW!

        If a British officer did put in his diary: ‘’it was a very hot month December 1887 in Kenya’’ You have your proofs for that year was GLOBAL warming…? Was it really warmer than other year – or was he dressed in uniform for English climate on the Equator? Bottom line: Tony, proxy data from the British archives was used for the last 100y, by people involved in climate – to get funds WITHOUT SCRUTINY. That was the precursor of all evil for today’s phony GLOBAL warming rip-off. You had / have a chance, to correct and prevent lots of atrocity; instead, you are objecting for me pointing the finger. Can you see your sick arrogance? From now, every time somebody uses data from past centuries = is using your ammunition + pointing at your misleadings. Every time a child is told in school about correct temp for previous centuries / millennia = the child is harmed by your misleadings. The truth is sometime unpleasant; but is better than the best lie

      • Stefan

        You said

        Children are learning in school that: ‘’researchers’’ know exact temp for last many centuries.’

        If you actually bothered to read things properly insted of ranting, you would see that I say the exact OPPOSITE. Historical climatology can, as Hubert Lamb said ‘ let us know the tendancy but not the precision. ‘ We can not know the EXACT temperature and I do not believe there is such a thing as a worthwhile GLOBAL temperature.

        We know through a vast array of measures that sometimes its warmer than others, but we can’t know exactly as the thermometers and methodolgy are too imprecise, the more so the furher back in time you go. I spent two articles pointing out the imprecisions. You can access both through this one;

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/05/23/little-ice-age-thermometers-%E2%80%93-history-and-reliability-2/
        Does that sound as if I believe we know exact temperatures?

        And here are me and a colleague pointing out that warming is not global and I doubt it ever has been-and nor has cooling
        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/09/04/in-search-of-cooling-trends/

        And here I am just last year commenting on the state of the Sea surface record. Note the title ‘Unknown and Uncertain’. Does that sound as if I believe we know exact tempeatures?

        https://judithcurry.com/2011/06/27/unknown-and-uncertain-sea-surface-temperatures/

        We can know what the British climate was doing within certain bounds and we can know that it has some merit sometimes for telling us what was happening elsewhere. The words EXACTLY and PRECISE have never featured in my lexicon.

        I am firmly on the side of Donald Rumsfeld;

        “There are known knowns; there are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns; that is to say, there are things that we now know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns; there are things we do not know we don’t know.”

        For all its apparent precision there is nothing more imprecise and uncertain than the climate, and our current knowlege of it is very fragmentary. It gets warm in some places, it gets cold in others. It is the dance that has gone on all through history.

        Now, stop having a go at your allies such as me and Vuk and turn your attention to those that want to tax and restrict you because they think they know more than they currently do.
        tonyb

      • Wow Tony – you spent all that time and effort producing a post to try to convince Stephan the denier that you

        agree

        with him?

        Good grief

      • Louise

        No, I spent SOME time and effort to demonstrate that he should read things more closely. It might help him to stop ranting and help him to raise his level of discourse.
        tonyb

      • @@ climatereason | May 24, 2012 at 2:44 am |

        Tony, I did go to your post, you recommended… I have learned why you people call: rant, ranting, if one points on your mistakes; because you cannot substantiate for any fairy-tale. You refer ”modern data collection from 1880’s”…? Tony, put one thermometer in your kitchen, another in your bedroom – they will come up with different temperature; in place where winds don’t change direction every 1/2h. b] 2y ago, people were freezing to death in Europe – ”in SAME days” 170 people burned in Australia from RECORD hot days. c] I have never disputed about the temp, where is monitored; but calling it ”GLOBAL temperature”, is the mother of all misleadings! 2] talking about ”climate” then inserting ” GLOBAL temp” in it – is the mother of all dirty tricks. Climatic changes don’t need phony GLOBAL warmings! It’s same as saying: ”England is in the N/H and you own me a million dollars” see on the map that England is on the N/H, when are you going to pay the million? Same tricks the Warmist use; sorry, you are bigger Warmist than people in IPCC. You admit that they don’t recognize LIA as ”GLOBAL” temp. Warmist are just a bi-product of past literature like yours, but they aren’t as extreme as you.

        You should have put as title for your post: ”recommended for children under 7, as bedtime story and for completely brainwashed already adults”
        I would like to put you on a witness stand, under oath – for you to explain about your GLOBAL temp charts. I can see why you are stuck with same lies as the Warmist – because you have too many skeletons in your closed. That is not a ”rant” Tony; but some truth. Confusing ”sandpit job” with reality…. you know if 300y ago was little-bit warmer, or colder PLANET than today?…

        When people were freezing to death in Europe; was that month warmer or colder GLOBE? No self respecting person would say what you state on your post. Precursor of all Warmist evil today comes from people like you and Plimer. Now I’m more convinced than ever that; the Warmist are just a bi-product of Fairy-tales like the ones that you display as factual. I hope the justice catches up with you. Confusing regional warmings / coolings as GLOBAL… think of the damages in progress. Tony, you should apologies to people for your misleading; clear your closed of skeletons; than start doing the truth; or brown paper bag over your head. Donald Rumsfeld was referring about not knowing what is in terrorist’s heads – on the other hand, GLOBAL temperature regulation is controlled by the laws of physics / climate is controlled by H2O. Obviously, those laws are your nightmare; otherwise you would have read the lot what is on my blog..Nothing personal Tony, if you know what I know, you would have agreed with me that: your post is a shocker… P.s. your idol Hubert Lamb predicted ”Nuclear Winter for year 2000” because of CO2 dimming effect. Looks like you have spent your life with people like him / vuk. Tony, there are honest people in this world, believe me. Whatever I say; I can look anybody in the eyes and say: this is correct – might sound good or bad; but is the truth. Truth doesn’t harm anybody – fairy-tales like yours, flogged as factual is already harming millions of people. Your fairy-tales are bigger poison for school children than …. enough

      • @@ Louise | May 24, 2012 at 3:27 am

        Louise, instead of you criticizing Tony; you should have had some class and helped him; by pointing what was wrong in my comment. Instead, you avoid solid proofs, as if they are radioactive.

        I’m challenging you officially: find something wrong with my proven theories. facts and formulas, or apologize for you misleading the people. You stand for extreme ”opposite” than what I have – both of us cannot be correct. Please don’t chicken out, lets have your honesty test.

      • “gbaike, do you get a kick out of coning the people; or is it only for the money you are doing it? USA is 1% of the world’s surface area, 1%!!!”

        I think you missing a fundamental premise of the discussion. The change in global temperature is small and hard to measure, but over long periods of time there is gradual trends in global and regional temperatures. There are examples in geological history of large and rapid change in global and regional temperature- this scale of change we have not experienced in recent centuries. But without using careful measurement, even these large dramatic changes are not particularly noticeable- because they would be “lost in the noise” of daily and seasonal changes.
        As analogy, tides move in out twice a day, if instead tides moved in and out over a period of 1000 years it would difficult to notice. But measuring global temperature is more difficult then it would be measuring this 1000 year tide.
        Add in that seemly random sections of the beach had lowering and rising levels water at greater degree than 1000 year tide and this occurs in hours, days, and months, years, and you getting closer what it is like to measure global temperatures.

      • gbaikie
        nice analogy
        tonyb

      • @@ gbaikie | May 23, 2012 at 5:58 pm said: measuring global temperature is more difficult then it would be measuring this 1000 year tide.

        gbaikie, you are mixing together two COMPLETELY UNRELATED subjects. Climate, even the temperature on INDIVIDUAL places is constantly changing – no need to take 1000y example. It’s changing day and night / summer and winter – fake Skeptics that don’t realize that human can change the climate, are idiots (chop the trees and drain the lakes / swamps in Amazon – will turn into another Sahara). Put that on side – OVERALL ”GLOBAL temperature” never changes. That’s where the ‘smoking gun is” The leading Skeptic’s sins build the Warmist foundation on quick sand – by their original lies, lies that have being accepted in the education system for 100y as truthfully / factual . Presenting localized warmings and localized ice ages as GLOBAL,. Without abolishing the laws of physics first, is the genesis of the Warmist crimes!!!

        If you have 10 dollar coins, in 10 pockets – then put from few pockets few coins into other pockets, will not make you richer or poorer. The laws of physics don’t permit otherwise; regarding the OVERALL warmth units in the troposphere! The bigger the ripples in the pond = the bigger the groves in between get. Arguing against the laws of physics is self destructive. That’s what you and Tony are doing.

        My example (that end up in Plimer’s book) the children’s ”see-saw plank” : the higher one side gets – the lower the other side gets (only Plimer twisted my example by saying: ”sometime” NO! The THE LAWS OF PHYSICS DON’T WORK ”ONLY SOMETIME”!!!!!!!!

        LIA / the Big Ice Age were ONLY on the N/H, at that same time – the S/H had much hotter days than today. IPCC doesn’t believe that LIA was global = that makes them lesser liars than people like Tony. It was same with the big ice age, only was on much bigger scale. Reason I keep comparing it with the previous 3-4y cold winters in Europe and extreme HOT days simultaneously on parts of the.S/H.

        The original ”sinners” as Tony Brown, Vukcevic and Plimer’s lies are the precursor of all the IPCC’s misleadings that comes from your mob. I am exposing them, because: without the LIES they still promote – Warmist wouldn’t have had a case. Therefore, until they spit the dummy, 60% of all the crimes committed by the propaganda; is crimes done by them. They have deluded the people that are prepared to stand up for the truth; that the earth’s temp goes up and down as a yo-yo. The longer they seat on the truth, covering up skeletons in their closed = the percentage of their guilt increases.

        People in Britain will know that: the billions squandered for preventing the phony GLOBAL warming and degrading children’s brains in school and university; is not Hansen’s, but Tony Brown’s. Tony & Plimer and similar con artists have being concocting lies; localized warmings presenting as GLOBAL for 100 years!!! To make their crimes even bigger – they are sticking to their original lies; because their sick EGO is much more important, than the interest of the humanity. Their credibility is much, much lower than zero; because zero is only neutral.

      • “fake Skeptics that don’t realize that human can change the climate, are idiots (chop the trees and drain the lakes / swamps in Amazon – will turn into another Sahara). Put that on side – OVERALL ”GLOBAL temperature” never changes. That’s where the ‘smoking gun is” The leading Skeptic’s sins build the Warmist foundation on quick sand – by their original lies, lies that have being accepted in the education system for 100y as truthfully / factual . Presenting localized warmings and localized ice ages as GLOBAL,. Without abolishing the laws of physics first, is the genesis of the Warmist crimes!!! ”

        There isn’t a true or fake Skeptic- Skeptics isn’t a religion.
        Therefore it’s unclear what is a “fake Skeptics” but it seems most people are aware the humans have and can have an effect upon the environment.
        But I will put that aside.
        Your contention is that Global temperature never changes.
        It seems that tropics is more stable in terms of temperature.
        Tropics is a large area of the planet- being 40% of the surface area. In the study of climate, there is established a system of dividing the world into 3 broad regions: the tropic, temperate, and arctic zones. Both the southern and northern hemisphere, have temperate zone which starts at either the lines of Capricorn or Cancer and extending to the arctic circle- a region which unique in that half the year there no sunlight and the summer time half of year being in constant sunlight. In the temperate zone, sun the sun is never directly overhead, and at either polar pole the sun doesn’t rise above 23.5 degree above the horizon- so it’s like a constant morning during the summer and at the arctic circle the sun doesn’t ever get above 48 degrees above horizon and getting more towards the later part of morning- a bit after 9am.
        So starting from Arctic circle [66° 33 latitude] down to down to the tropic of Cancer [23° 26 latitude] is the northern temperate zone.
        Most of Western and large part of Eastern civilization is within the northern temperate zone. Before the discovery of the New Worlds, as far as these civilization were concerned you had the northern temperate region and the tropics [with large areas of it unknown]. And currently,
        a large portion of human population is in northern temperate zone, with notable exception being southeast Asia and southern India which is in the tropical part of northern hemisphere.

        So when one talking about the planet earth, the region where most people have been and are living one could call this a localized region- the northern temperate zone [and also excluding tundra and deserts which not arable land] it’s a region of about 5% of the surface of Earth.

        “LIA / the Big Ice Age were ONLY on the N/H, at that same time – the S/H had much hotter days than today.”

        First there isn’t much land in southern hemisphere- southern Africa, South America, and Australia. And in terms of southern temperate zone even smaller.
        And at 40 degrees or lower in South, where 40 degrees north on northern hemisphere is most of Europe, New York city and the capital of China, in southern hemisphere you excluding Africa and Australia and dealing tip of South America and some islands.
        New Zealand:
        “Ice core records show that warming of the southern hemisphere, starting 13,000 years ago, coincided with rising levels of the heat-trapping gas, carbon dioxide. The study in Nature is the first to link this spike in CO2 to the impressive shrinking of glaciers in New Zealand. The scientists estimate that glaciers lost more than half of their extent over a thousand years, and that their creep to higher elevations was a response to the local climate warming as much as 1 degree C.”
        http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100908132214.htm
        My point is there was larger glaciers during last ice age in southern hemisphere- Zealand roughly same latitude as New York . And that is one reference I quickly found.
        southern Argentina:
        “the Patagonian Ice Sheet covered about 480,000 km² of land with an estimated ice-volume of more than 500,000 km³, of which about 4 % remains glaciated today in two separated portions known as the Northern and Southern Patagonian Ice Fields. The ice-volume reduction contributed to a global sea-level rise of about 1.2 meters.

      • @@@ gbaikie | May 26, 2012 at 10:19 pm

        gbaikie, you are very dedicated, intelligent and articulate person, your ”dust clouds” work on the Skeptic zombies – because you are 10 steps ahead of them; but I’m 100 steps ahead of you. For your benefit and to help in your quest, try to learn few things: your dust-clouds (giving lecture in geography and then inserting your ”wooffy stuff” tactic; as the ice in New Zealand and sea rising, will work less and less – because slowly they are learning from me; how and why the things function on different places)

        1] the sea-level was higher because: a: before Gibraltar opened; Sahara’s heat made the Mediterranean system almost dry; same as Aral and Dead seas are now = ALL that water was in the oceans! + B] when water in the oceans is colder – expands / when warms up – shrinks. Because 80% of all the seawater combined is below 4C. For the shonky science that educated you, the laws of physics and common sense was dead / taboo.

        2] the only reason can happen ice age on some area is; if other area gets warmer than normal; ”laws of physics” A] if both hemispheres get colder than normal -> troposphere shrinks in volume, INSTANTLY, can shrink by half ->releases less heat for 10 minutes – if you know how much heat the sun produces in 10 minutes = ”half of that” heat can get read of any ice age in a day

        3] but, when Ice Age happened (will happen again) north of Lion -> there the troposphere shrinks – to avoid vacuum – lots of air from the S/H goes up there = on the S/H, with less O+N to discharge the heat -> gets much hotter days. Laws of physics say: ”that is NOT negotiable”. So, you can convince a zomby about the ice in New Zealand and that all those pregnant ladies are virgins; but has nothing to do with the truth. Think of this: if you convince them – after they will discover that the truth is completely the opposite = they will not believe you anything after = you wasted your time; to prove that you can lie. Is that smart for a person like you?

        You have being only lecturing; try to catch up with the truth for a change. If the ice in New Zealand disappears – look for the real reason. (in Siberian permafrost is much colder than in New Zealand, but is no ice) More water vapor = more ice; less = less. Reason the original Swindlers educated you that: water vapor is bad for the climate. They are back to front on everything. They didn’t only trick you – Reds have tricked even their midwife – by exiting on a wrong exit; instead where the midwife was expecting them. That’s why everything they / you say, is offensive to the nose.

        Go to my blog; it’s only 7-8 posts – see what is proven already. Gbaikie, for everything that happens, there are real reasons. What people like Plimer and Tony Brown have being misleading; localized extra warming / cooling, as if they were GLOBAL; for the last 100y – is same as leaving ammunition in the yard, for the opportunistic Warmist as you / children to use. End result is the circus that you are part off.

  54. Chad Wozniak

    Bart R:

    Any government is bigger than any fossil fuel company. So who’s the bigger thief? And how is it theft to receive a market price, set by supply and demand, for a product – including fossil fuels?

    There is a name for those of us who produce and have our earnings taken from us by the kleptocrats that rule our country and so many others. The name is SLAVES.

    • Chad Wozniak | May 23, 2012 at 12:46 am |

      You sound confused about this whole thing.

      Product A comes out of a hole in the ground. Owner A owns the hole, does the work, risks the investment and brings Product A to market where buyer A pays for it at a price set by the law of supply and demand. It seems you grasp that well enough.

      Product B comes out of another source. Owner B owns the other source, does the work, risks the investment. Why shouldn’t Owner B get payed just the same as Owner A?

      If you can’t use Product A without using Product B, then how else to fairly compensate Owner B for the use of Product B? Just because up to now the government has been letting Owner A benefit from lucrative use of Product B at the expense of Owner B is no reason to continue to enslave B for the benefit of A.

      Which makes Owner A SLAVERS, no?

      • Who is confused here?
        Bart: Product A comes out of a hole in the ground. Owner A owns the hole, does the work, risks the investment and brings Product A to market where buyer A pays for it

        You have Product A, Owner A (of the hole), Buyer A. You have confused the players and therefore confuse the issue.

        Product A is by implication of “hole” we’ll have to assume you mean a hydrocarbon or other earth resource. Product A has been in the ground for at least thousands, probably millions of years. Via application of hundreds of years of law, it is owed by someone B (including a collective B). But “A” has NO VALUE to B until someone C develops a technology D that allows a driller and producer E to offer B value (i.e. money) for the rights to extract A. B is under no compunction to sell to E and could choose to wait for a better offer at a later time and sell to E2. B also has the option to become an E3 instead and rent technology D from C as a do-it-your-self project (Saudi Arabia comes to mind). Finally every one of the Es are flat out broke unless they can take the various versions of A and bring them to Buyers H as refined and standardized products F in market G.

        You started out with the incorrect assumptions that (1) Product A wasn’t owned by anyone and that (2) A has intrinsic value in the ground when techology D does not exist. Neither is true. (1) and (2) will be subjects of follow comments.

      • Stephen Rasey | May 23, 2012 at 12:43 pm |

        Swapping the labels around doesn’t change the case, it just obscures the distribution channel.

        Pretending to assumptions not stated just creates a straw man for you to argue against. Owner A owns the hole; product A inherits the trait of being owned by Owner A. See? Simple.

        Complicating the case with details doesn’t negate the principles of ownership. Concentrating on the details of holes doesn’t negate that the same principles of ownership pertain to things that aren’t in holes.

        Your Product A has no value in your Market G without coproducts H and J. (Yes, H would be oxygen, which does retain the properties of a public commons, being neither so scarce as to be constrained by lucrative uses nor therefore rivalrous.) J is the carbon cycle. Without J, the level of CO2 in the biosphere rises, and with that rise, risk levels increase. We know the risk levels increase. That’s a no-brainer.

        J is not keeping up with CO2 emissions; the CO2 level is rising annually. J is therefore scarce, and it is rivalrous. As lucrative uses of carbon for burning are excludable, all three conditions obliging the privatization of J exist. Going forward, the price of using Product A should be payed for Product A and Product J; the dividends going to the owner of Product A at time of sale, as well as to the owner of Product J. As Product A is easily differentiated on the market (coal, oil, natural gas..), the proportion of the price of product A in the exchange is pretty easy to establish. Which just leaves raising the joint price of every Product A1, A2, A3.. & J based on carbon content until revenues to the owners of J peak.

        Simple.

      • the level of CO2 in the biosphere rises, and with that rise, risk levels increase. We know the risk levels increase. That’s a no-brainer.

        The science of Geology shows us we know no such thing.

        Low CO2 levels increase the risk of ice ages and that is a real risk. Even members of the IPCC would agree with that using their own assumptions of high Climate Sensitivy.

        Higher CO2 levels have existed many time in earth’s history and by all indication life has thrived. We are here, aren’t we?

      • J is the carbon cycle. …
        J is not keeping up with CO2 emissions;
        J is therefore scarce

        (Groan) Well, maybe if J is a carbon cycle capacity it can be scarce. But are you implying that it cannot grow?

        , and it is rivalrous Only if the capacity of the carbon cycle must be rationed and not grown.

        And that brings us back to square one where we must believe either
        (1) a bunch of big government kleptocrats armed with buggy computer models with insufficient data who tell us high CO2 will mean the end of life as we know it and that handing over our freedom and treasure will solve that sky-is-falling problem, or
        (2) the Rocks — Which tell us, “Been there before. What problem?”, or
        (3) the Plants — who collectively say, “Good! the CO2 drought is over!”

      • Stephen Rasey | May 23, 2012 at 2:51 pm |

        (Groan) Well, maybe if J is a carbon cycle capacity it can be scarce. But are you implying that it cannot grow?

        On the data? Even if it were growing, it’s not keeping up. It’s far more likely shrinking than growing, and really, all we need know for scarcity is that there is a limit, not its nature. The nature of the limits would be an issue of management and administration, which we’re just not there yet.

        , and it is rivalrous Only if the capacity of the carbon cycle must be rationed and not grown.

        If you’re proposing a geoengineering plan to grow the carbon cycle capacity, that’s also an interesting question. :)

        It’s entirely possible that simple botanical selection of deeper-rooting, or more root-mass concentrating plants and subsoil microbes _could_ expand the capacity of the carbon cycle up to sequestration limits.

        Of course, then eventually we get to the hard geological limits of how fast we can precipitate carbon out of the biosphere and turn it into rocks. It appears to me that rate is pretty much fixed, and no one’s proposing a scheme to increase the rate would be cost effective.

        And that brings us back to square one where we must believe either
        (1) a bunch of big government kleptocrats armed with buggy computer models with insufficient data who tell us high CO2 will mean the end of life as we know it and that handing over our freedom and treasure will solve that sky-is-falling problem, or

        Unless we let the Market decide by privatizing and pricing the carbon cycle, just like every other rivalrous excludable resource with capacity limits.

        (2) the Rocks — Which tell us, “Been there before. What problem?”, or

        When we were there before, the planet could sustain perhaps 40% as much biomass as it appears to at a stable peak of 280 ppmv CO2.

        (3) the Plants — who collectively say, “Good! the CO2 drought is over!”

        Except CO2 has been as low as 180 ppmv. The drought is in fixed nitrogen, which raising CO2 levels just makes worse.

      • Let me continue (Rasey 12:43 pm) with the (2) Intrinsic Value point first.

        Staying in the oil patch, let me put to you a hypothetical, but practical question. What would have been the per acre market price for drilling rights in sweet spot of the Barnett Shale in the years 1950, 1980, 2011? Well, today in 2011 the prices are $300 to $1000 / acre. But in 1950 or 1980 you couldn’t give it away.

        Partly, that is a result that refined product F, is at a higher price than it was. Therefore, other things being equal, raw Product A is at a higher price. But the chief reason is that from early 1990s thru today, a bunch of Cs figured out a technology D that would allow Es to make a profit extracting A such that E could make a mutually acceptable bargain with B for the rights to drill.

        Product A had no value, intrinsic or otherwise, to B until C and D allowed E to find a way to make a profit from A given market conditions G. Once the opportunity for profit by E existed, B could profit from the extraction of A by letting E extract it in exchange for lease bonus, rentals, and royalty.

      • I meant to attach this link http://www.nknt.org/Exhibits/Barnett%20Shale.pdf to the “1990s thru today” above. It’s a pretty general intro PPT on the Barnett.

        North Keller Neighbors Together (NKNT) is a large group of property and mineral rights owners in the North Keller, Southlake, and Westlake area that are working together, establishing common goals to insure the health, safety, and, fair and equitable compensation resulting from drilling for natural gas in the Newark, East (Barnett Shale) gas field. I am not affiliated with them.

      • Now, let’s discuss extraction and conversion of (1) resources that are not owned by anyone.

        How about the Atmosphere? It is composed of (amounts in ppmv)
        N2 – 780,840
        O2 – 209,460
        Ar – __9,340
        CO2 – __394
        Ne – ____18
        He – _____5
        CH4 – ____2
        Kr – ______1
        H2, N2O, CO, Xe, O3, NO2, I2, NH3 together are another 1 ppmv.

        With each breath we members of the Animal Kingdom take, we consume some O2 molecules and selflessly convert those O2 into CO2 and other biotic ash. We are consuming a precious resource. Shouldn’t we have to pay an Oxygen Tax?

        Pay to whom? Who indeed owns it if no one owns it?
        Who Pays? Not only does every living member of the Animal Kingdom use Oxygen, every dead member consumes it, too as it decays.
        At what price?

        Let’s shift our gaze to CO2. CO2 is a waste product to members of the Animal Kingdom. At very high concentrations (> 15%) it is deadly. But it is the life blood to members of the Plant Kingdom. Don’t trees and algae have a say in this? Don’t they own the atmosphere just as much as the animals?

        And now we come to those nasty corals! They don’t play nice. Plants and most animals have found a way to play nice and make a free exchange of CO2 and O2 in a process nothing short of miraculous. But corals and shellfish selfishly take the CO2 and convert it into STONE! Not fair! They are using a precious resource without paying for it.

        Should the Trees go to war against the Corals as a matter of their self-interest and survival? Who is in the right? Who should tax Who?

      • Stephen Rasey | May 23, 2012 at 1:56 pm |

        What you call resources not owned by anyone I regard as property never surrrendered by anyone.

        And while you’re enjoying the luxury of confusing nonlucrative biological processes with lucrative economic ones, this is no more valid than claiming I owe rent if my shadow falls on your front lawn while I walk along the public sidewalk outside your white picket fence.

        http://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/composition-division

      • property never surrrendered by anyone.
        I think this is a logical fallacy when the propery is not recognized to begin with. How can it be property own by anyone if they don’t know if it’s existence? At some point in man’s development we became aware of the air and only later became aware of its make up and later still, the model of the Carbon Cycle (actually not a tangible thing at all – just a concept).

        claiming I owe rent if my shadow falls
        But if you build a high-rise or billboard that deprives me of sunlight that I was using for my garden or solar collector, should that not be actionable?

    • BaitedBreath

      Re : “SLAVERS”

      Owner A seems to correspond to fossil fuel companies that own oil wells and suchlike. But there is no owner B in the real world, hence noone is getting shortchanged.

    • BaitedBreath

      Anyway so it’s Bart rather than Chad who is confused.
      I sense though that what Bart is stumbling around, is giving ownership of natural resources – eg oil – to the public, as per the thinking of Henry George. Oil companies would then need to buy it off them.
      (Then though there would be no A in the example above).

      • BaitedBreath | May 23, 2012 at 11:46 am |

        Hilariously socialistic though your projection is, no.

        My proposal that you seem to have so much trouble grasping is simple Capitalism. I’m not proposing — other than to remove subsidies — to touch the fossil industries at all. No change whatsoever to them.

        I’m proposing to treat the carbon cycle industry like an industry. To privatize the carbon cycle, charge a fee for its lucrative use to those who benefit from it in their consumption of its nonrenewable resource, and pay that fee to the owners, per capita.

        Heck, the owners could even if they chose auction off their share to someone else if they didn’t want the income stream.

        If it helps, think about how mobile phones work, and the auctions of bandwidth.

      • BaitedBreath

        Bart
        Your own proposal you seem to have so much trouble grasping, is to nationalize natural resources with carbon ins them, and for the state to rent them out, as per Henry George. Textbook socialism. Not exactly “not changing the energy industry much”.

        If it helps you to begin to address your own suggestion, try and think for a second who owns carbon resources now.

      • BaitedBreath | May 23, 2012 at 8:58 pm |

        Yes, I see the argument that you’re trying to make.

        If suddenly people have to pay for the air they make lucrative use of, to people who permit that lucrative use, then some other part of the economy is somehow by voodoo economics nationalized by this.

        That’s the same argument the land line phone companies used to argue against bandwidth auctions for mobile phone use when the cell phone industry was launched.

        It didn’t fly then for bandwidth. It doesn’t fly now for the carbon cycle.

      • BaitedBreath

        Bart R : Master Craftsman of the Still-with-us art of Strawmaking

        I note your idea to specifically nationalize carbon, and you morph this into some OTHER part of the economy is also nationalized.
        Truly impressive. To your above award we really must add an Honorable Mention for seeing what isn’t there better than anyone else can.

  55. It is really interesting to know about such problems. The result of the The Copenhagen Consensus 2012 is truly an eyeopener for many people.

  56. Beth Cooper

    Affordable energy, Herman Pope 22/12 1.18pm: This is a site that gives the global stats on improved health and wealth, with wit and animation )

    • Beth Cooper | May 23, 2012 at 10:10 am |

      Right, but if you notice, Rosling’s figures reveal absolutely zero correlation between the price of energy and health and wealth of the general population. Those come from education, communication, equality, freedom, and a sound economy unburdened by distortionate practices that favor one set of goods over another.

      This “burning good, books bad” approach to fossils belongs to opposites day.

  57. Bart: “This “burning good, books bad” approach to fossils belongs to opposites day.”

    Are you suggesting that Phil Jones, must have burned those weather log books?

  58. Beth Cooper

    Hi Bart,
    A sound economy is an economy not burdened by inefficient, intermittant, on again – off again, exponentially, expo nent -ially, expensive, renewable energy. Energy costs going through the ceiling, while productivity
    is going
    through
    the
    floor.

    • Beth Cooper | May 23, 2012 at 10:36 am |

      You appear to be confusing tarsands with renewable energy. The curve for fossil recovery vs. cost is on your exponential trend. Renewable is the dropping curve.. However, I’m not saying to let me, or thee, decide that for everyone.

      I’m saying let everyone decide it for themselves, on the fair market, free from subsidy and distortion, with all scarce rivalrous excludable resources privatized. Then the most efficient allocation of resources in the economy will result.

      How do you think fossil will do, when it has to pay its full shot instead of riding free on a government giveaway carbon cycle?

      • Bart, you write “How do you think fossil will do, when it has to pay its full shot instead of riding free on a government giveaway carbon cycle?”

        Still the same old tired mantra of the evil CO2. The observed data shows that adding CO2 to the atmosphere has no effect whatsoever on global temperatures, so fossil fuels are already paying their “full shot”.

      • Jim Cripwell | May 23, 2012 at 11:26 am |

        The observed data shows that adding CO2 to the atmosphere has no effect whatsoever on global temperatures..

        See, that’s an opinion you’re giving there, Jim.

        It’s an opinion that flies contrary to the reading of most audiences and commentators, scientists and laymen. It doesn’t work out when I do the math. It doesn’t work out when I look at the basic physics. It appears you differ in your opinion about a thing you and I and every other person on the planet has an equal share in.

        The traditional solution for this difference of opinion on the allocation of a resource is the Law of Supply and Demand in Capitalism on a fair Market.

        Which is all I’m proposing by privatizing the carbon cycle and paying the owners — every citizen per capita — for lucrative uses.

        Why do you so resist Capitalism? Do you hate America?

      • Bart, you write “See, that’s an opinion you’re giving there, Jim.”

        No, Bart, it is a little more than opinion. The problem is, I cannot prove a negative. I cannot prove that there is no CO2 signal in any modern temperature/time graph. However, I have examined all the modern temperature/time graphs that there are, and none of them show a CO2 signal that can be positively identified as a CO2 signal. I have asked anyone to provide a reference to a temperature/time graph that positively identifies a CO2 signal and no-one can do it. The question I ask myself is, how long do we wait before we conclude that there is NEVER going to be any CO2 signal at all?

      • ceteris non paribus

        Jim Cripwell wrote:

        I have examined all the modern temperature/time graphs that there are, and none of them show a CO2 signal that can be positively identified as a CO2 signal.

        That’s right – all there ever is to see are axes and data-points.

        A “CO2 signal” would require a graph with little labels on each datum that say “I was caused by humans” or “I am perfectly natural warming” or “This month’s positive anomaly brought to you by methane”…

        You never see that sort of thing.
        Shame, really – climate science would be SO much easier.


        The question I ask myself is, how long do we wait before we conclude that there is NEVER going to be any CO2 signal at all?

        You’re already there.
        The world will catch up with you when the laws of physics are voted off the island.

      • Jim Cripwell | May 23, 2012 at 2:30 pm |

        We’ve had this CO2 signal discussion before.

        Frankly, you’re misrepresenting the case.

        http://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/personal-incredulity

        You’ve goalpost-movingly, impossible-perfection-demandingly denied plausible answers to your challenge in such a way that makes it patent you never will accept any answer to it.

        So people just gave up.

      • Bart you write “Frankly, you’re misrepresenting the case.”

        How am I misrepresenting the case? In all the physics I was taught at Cavendish labs, the over-riding importance of observed data could not have been emphasised more. “To the solid ground of Nature; Trusts the mind that builds for Aye”. Wordsworth. I have searched the literature and I cannot find a single number perporting to be representative of climate sensitivity that has been observed; i.e measured. Zero, nada zilch. So somehow I am supposed to believe all the hypothetical outputs of computer programs, and highly dubious physics, and pretend not to notice that no-one has ever actaully MEASURED climate sensitivity.

        I may be a lot of things; but hopefully I am not gullible. I trust the science I was taught by people with names like Dirac. And until I see an actual measurement of climate sensitivity, I will continue to allege that the observed data supports the thesis that climate sentiivity of CO2 added to the atmosphere from current levels is indistinguishable from zero.

      • Jim Cripwell | May 23, 2012 at 4:45 pm |

        What a cunningly oblique use of language you have sophistically constructed.

        Because climate sensitivity involves irreducible elements of complexity, it cannot be constrained to a single vector digit.

        Ergo, it cannot be compared to zero.

        Hence, it is “indistinguishable from zero.”

        You deserve a prize, sir, for spinning your worthy education into such a rubber noodle of obfuscation and deception.

        Well done.

        For your next trick, do the one where 2+2=5. My first high school calculus teacher loved that one.

      • Bart, I notice you made no attempt whatsoever to explain how I have misrepresented the case. Probably because I haven’t.

      • Jim Cripwell | May 23, 2012 at 8:34 pm |

        Bart, I notice you made no attempt whatsoever to explain how I have misrepresented the case. Probably because I haven’t.

        Indeed sir, in a strictly literal use of words, you have not exactly misrepresented the case, except in a trap for the unwary reader.

        “I will continue to allege that the observed data supports the thesis that climate sentiivity of CO2 added to the atmosphere from current levels is indistinguishable from zero.”

        So carefully, and yet seemingly casually, constructed, you have built a wonder of misdirection.

        As climate sensitivity is a nonlinear function of several variables, let’s call it f(a,b,c..) and zero is a simple constant, it is possible to say there is no valid comparison at all of the function with the constant, to even make them incommensurable relative to one another by observing zero is not the same as (0,0,0..) except as one defines their reference and you do not define your zero reference.

        So you can get away with bafflegab and claptrap, and make unreasonable demands to waste people’s time with sophistry through cunning use of words.

        And you even sound proud of yourself for it.

    • Beth Cooper | Thanks for pointing to me about Tony. About the English win-yards and lots of other silly proofs, I have made comments on my blog; long before I knew that Tony exist. Those win-yards were the second most stupid proofs. I can smell a rat; people like Tony are responsible for all crimes in progress, regarding the phony GLOBAL warming. Not the Warmist; Warmist are just opportunist – Tony’s lying is a ”compulsive addiction”.

      If you have time, go to my blog – is only 7-8 posts of real solid proofs. First time today I was reading a Tony’s old post… Proving those fairy-tales completely WRONG about his theology has being on my blog for long time. If he had any shame, he wouldn’t go out of his house without brown paper bag over his head. I was blushing, because of his lies, when was reading it. Looks like he has being misleading for too long – it’s as his second nature – he doesn’t see anything wrong with telling harmful / destructive lies, as factual…

      Pity, he is very articulate, could have used his talent for good; instead of being big part of the biggest ever lies and destructions on the planet…

  59. Beth Cooper

    To meet their GHG emissions targets post Kyoto, western nations are implementing carrot and stick policies to shift economies from fossil fuels to Intermittant and costly renewable energy – hefty taxes, cap and trade schemes, subsidies for wind and solar energy, and tariffs to feed unused renewable energy into the grid, A CIVITAS UK study comparing fossil and renewable technologies finds that once all costs and the necessary back up techology are included, onshore wind is the 2nd most expensive option and off shore wind, by far the most expensive. Neither wind or solar can 100% meet the winter energy demands of cities. Take a look at Peter Lang’s review of Elliston et al. recently cited here at Climate Etc.
    That’s it, Bart, no more discussion, some of us have to go to bed! I do not intend to wake up with the ‘enter’ key imprinted on my forehead )

    • Beth Cooper | May 23, 2012 at 11:24 am |

      Yeah, I never was much of a fan of Kyoto, so don’t feel especially obliged to defend it.

      If you want an efficient economy, you want a Capitalist Market. If you want a Capitalist Market, you must privatize all your scarce rivalrous excludable resources where administratively feasible.

      The carbon cycle is no different from mobile phone bandwidth, in that sense.

      This isn’t a climate question per se. It’s a simple question of managing the economy.

      Until and unless we’re looking at level playing ground prices, how can any analysis deliver an objective basis for comparing costs of various proposals?

      As it happens, I don’t disagree a lot of wind energy projects are scams. Even moreso are biomass projects, however, and tarsands are even more extreme scams by that same premise. Which I imagine means little to you. What Australia’s circumstances are, I’m too unfamiliar with to comment, so I generally don’t. Other than to point out, I’ve heard Australians generally back the Capitalist approach to economics.

      • Bart R

        As it happens, I don’t disagree a lot of wind energy projects are scams. Even more so are biomass projects, however, and tarsands are even more extreme scams by that same premise.

        Wind energy a money-losing scam?</em. Yes, primarily because the on-line factor is only ~25% at best, and windmills require expensive gas-fired standby facilities to ensure reliable energy delivery (the other 75% of the time).

        Biomass projects a money-losing scam? Maybe. Brazil’s sugar cane to ethanol looks viable economically, but corn-to-ethanol certainly has not been – and, in addition, it has caused major inflation in food prices resulting in problems world-wide. Whether or not other biomass projects, such as algae to fuels will be profitable, is still uncertain.

        Tar sands a money-losing scam? No. Several major oil companies, as well as Wiki, don’t think so:

        As a result of the oil price increases since 2003, the economics of oil sands have improved dramatically. At a world price of US$50 per barrel, the NEB [National Energy Board of Canada] estimated an integrated mining operation would make a rate return of 16 to 23%, while a SAGD [steam-assisted gravity-drainage] operation would return 16 to 27%. Prices since 2006 have risen, exceeding US$145 in mid 2008. As a result, capital expenditures in the oil sands announced for the period 2006 to 2015 are expected to exceed C$100 billion, which is twice the amount projected as recently as 2004.

        Oh well, looks like you’re “two out of three”, Bart (an improvement on your past record here).

        Max

      • manacker | May 23, 2012 at 4:04 pm |

        If just the area of land used in pipelines proposed for tarsands oil were converted in America instead to concentrated multijunction photovoltaic electricity generation, three times the electricity would be generated per day.

        The cost of CPV vs. electricity from tarsands? About 35%

        Tarsands? Scam.

      • Rob Starkey

        yet another example of a “Bart” aka a (silly foolish comment)

  60. Rob Starkey

    Oh Bart- you frequently write long winded statements that are a mix of foolishness and frankly more foolishness.

    Bart wrote:
    “Human activity is contributing as an external forcing. The amount, proportion, even manner of contribution is unimportant”
    My response:
    That statement should rank in the top ten of silly comments on the topic of potential climate change. Think about it Bart and the reasons are obvious. If humans are (and I am not writing that this is the case) causing virtually none of the additional forcing then there would be no reason for humans to modify their behavior.

    Bart wrote:
    “Climate sensitivity is likewise unimportant.”
    My response:
    Again Bart writes a top 10 in the list of silliest comments possible on the topic of climate change. Climate sensitivity is extremely important. If the climate had zero sensitivity to increased CO2, then nobody would care how much it increased. If the temperature rose by 100 degrees with a doubling of CO2 we would all be much more worried. Duh

    You continually write about your proposal being something other than an inefficient tax, but in fact that is all it is. I tried to explain that to you on another thread, but you do not wish to understand the reality of economics and I get bored in exchanges with you since you refuse to accept reality.

    • Rob Starkey | May 23, 2012 at 2:07 pm |

      I’m not really expecting the Chaos Theory explanation to carry much weight with reductionists. Some things just don’t reduce well. It doesn’t mean I have to support simpleton arguments when faced with oversimplified arguments.

      Perhaps you’ll explain the tax ‘inefficiency’ in the context of the BC Revenue Neutral Carbon Tax?

      It may simplify things for you, if you stick to facts and actual cases.

      • Rob Starkey

        Bart
        An efficient tax is one with a very low cost to administer vs. the revenue collected. An example would be a fuel tax collected at the gas pump.

        An inefficient tax is one that has a high cost of government administration in proportion to the revenue collected. The tax concept that you advocate would seem to have a very high administrative cost. There would be a significant number of government officials involved in establishment of the precise amount of the tax to be levied on individual products as well as a high long term cost in government officials having to verify/validate the amount of CO2 emitted by different taxpayers. In addition, there is no data regarding the relative elasticity of the items that require the emissions of CO2 for their production so there is no guarantee that consumption would be reduced proportionally to revenues collected. As an example, would your tax which would raise the cost of cement reduce the demand?

        Your proposed tax approach only makes any sense if it reduced demand for the products that require CO2 emissions for their production.

      • Rob Starkey

        Good analysis of an “efficient” and an “inefficient” tax.

        You also describe an “effective” and an “ineffective” tax.

        Bart’s proposed carbon tax is both inefficient and ineffective.

        It is simply a big government money grab.

        Max

      • Rob Starkey

        Thanks- I started to write an explanation about effective vs. ineffective taxes, but thought the effort would be wasted under the circumstances.

      • Peter Lang

        Rob Starkey,

        You touched on some of the costs of administering a CO2 pricing scheme. There is much more than you mention. There is a lot more you didn’t mention (also see the comments): http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=13578&page=0

      • manacker | May 23, 2012 at 3:40 pm |

        ..which effectively results in more of the money in the hands of people, and less in the hands of government.

        I think you need to look up ‘grab’ in a dictionary.

      • Bart R

        I think you need to look up ‘grab’ in a dictionary

        grab
        transitive verb
        1: to take or seize by or as if by a sudden motion or grasp(grab up an ax) (grabbed the opportunity) (grab attention)
        2: to obtain unscrupulously (grab public lands)
        3: to take hastily (grab a bite to eat) (grab a cab)
        4
        a : to seize the attention of (the technique of grabbing an audience — Pauline Kael)
        b : to impress favorably and deeply
        noun
        1
        a : something grabbed
        b : a sudden snatch
        c : an unlawful or unscrupulous seizure

        Here I think we are talking about a big government initiative to seize by government mandate very large sums of money from its citizens. The outcome is an unscrupulous seizure.

        Hope this clears it up for you, Bart.

        Max

      • manacker | May 23, 2012 at 4:35 pm |

        You remain confused.

        Here I think we are talking about a big government initiative to seize by government mandate very large sums of money from its citizens.

        See, I’m saying to do exactly the opposite.

        The citizens get the very large sums of money currently denied them because the government gives a free pass to lucrative users of the scarce, rivalrous, excludable, administratively feasible carbon cycle.

        What part of that is so hard for you to grab?

      • Rob Starkey | May 23, 2012 at 4:24 pm |

        Aha! You’re making the Cap & Trade case! I hadn’t recognized it, hidden as it was among all the bafflegab about elasticity.

        You want a measure that guarantees an effect on carbon emission based on a level, which is what Cap & Traders pitch as the main selling point of their schemes.

        Which might be an issue, could we get to a level playing field on which to make such determinations.

        But we can’t get level, because currently all the carbon cycle in the world (except for a few limited examples) is being given away for free (or grossly underpriced, as in British Columbia).

        Only once the Market has established price can Cap & Trade, non-revenue-neutral Pigouvian carbon taxes, or like measures be meaningfully assessed. Until then, there’s no valid frame for comparison.

        And again, looking at the British Columbia case, we see your ‘lower income’ assertion is exactly backwards of cases. Both in absolute terms and as a fraction of income, the carbon cycle dividends favor those whose income is lower. While there is a so-called ‘public welfare’ argument that the carbon fees are regressive (unevenly impact the poorest), again on careful examination of cases we see this simply is not the general case. Where it is, the poorest have the greater ease in switching to lower cost alternatives to carbon-based energy. Why does this happen? Because the proportion of the poorest who own carbon-guzzling machinery is lower than the wealthiest, and the marginal cost of trading lower-cost machinery is again lower.

        Why not apply some skepticism to your assertions before you make them, research them a little, apply a few tests of truth value on them, and save me the time of researching your false claims for you?

      • Rob Starkey

        Yet another long and silly comment from Bart. Cap and trade is a highly inefficient approach due to the very high administrative costs.

        Bart- try to be realistic and think through what you write before hitting post comment.

        Regarding what I want– I would recommend an efficient and effective government. For the US the priority should be to balance our budget and become energy independent so that our currency does not collapse in value and we do not have to send funds to potentially unfriendly nations to purchase fuel.

      • Rob Starkey | May 23, 2012 at 3:34 pm |

        So, in the context of the British Columbia Revenue Neutral Carbon Tax, which costs no more to administer in relation to the revenue collected than the fuel tax.. indeed, as it rides the coat-tails of that fuel tax’s administration, actually produces a marginal increase in the efficiency of both the tax and the fee collection.. Carbon tax wins hands down?

        While you keep asserting things like “would seem to have a very high administrative cost,” when we look at hard cases, we find the opposite is true.

        Likewise, while elasticity of demand is traditionally as difficult to estimate as, for example, climate sensitivity, we don’t need to calculate or derive elasticity. We trust to the genius of the fair Market to find the right level by the Law of Supply and Demand.

        Let’s look at cement. British Columbia is a producer of the stuff. (I looked it up online.) It’s production of cement hasn’t been harmed over the past four years. I imagine what would instead happen in cement production rather than price rise and subsequent contraction of demand would be innovation and resultant greater efficiency: http://www.globalcement.com/magazine/articles/518-synthesis-of-cement-compounds-in-molten-salts-a-route-to-sustainable-cement-production

      • Rob Starkey

        Bart
        I went ahead and did a bit of reading on the BC carbon tax that you seem to advocate. Their tax is quite simple. They tax gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, natural gas, propane and coal. Their tax is nothing especially innovative.

        They appear to have done no analysis of the taxes effectiveness in lowering demand for the products in question. This is a fundamental flaw in the approach as has been previously discusses when Ireland implemented a tax on fuel that did not reduce demand measurably. The BC approach of also including rebates for some to keep it revenue neutral is basically inefficient. It would have been better to lower the tax rates and not have had the rebates as they are an added unnecessary administrative cost.

        In the real world, the US has a huge imbalance between spending and revenues so the rebate idea is not likely to be possible. Without the rebate idea the additional taxes disproportionally impact people in the lower economic brackets so it is unacceptable to both major political parties.

        Personally, I would not mind the tax as the US needs to collect more revenue since it is unlikely to be willing to cut services to the extent necessary to balance its budget.

      • Rob starkey

        I think you have inadvertently identified the problem with carbon taxes which is that some economies have far less fuel taxes than others.
        In the uk petrol is some ten us dollars per gallon with around two thirds of that being taxes of one sort or another. This sort of level is desperately hurting the economy. I understand that petrol in the us is around four dollars per gallon which is why consumers are so profligate.
        The last thing you want to do is screw your economy with excessive taxes, govts are wildly wasteful with our money and could make big savings. but the electorate would howl of course when their benefits are cut

        Tonyb

  61. I still find it irresponsible that people can talk about spending a billion dolars researching for a solution, when they can’t afford a million or less doing some proper laboratory based experiments to clarify the nature of the problem. Does an IR absorbing/emitting gas actually heat up in the presence of IR and by how much? Anyone who has seen the results of such experiment please tell.

    • Million, billion, what’s money to us?

      http://news.goldseek.com/GoldenJackass/1337803200.php

      It is nothing to them, you know.

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPRd5GT0v0I

      While not as classy at Tom’s link, more fun.

      Or, more directly:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ot5n9m4whaw&feature=related

      By conservation of energy, the CO2 in the experiment heats up.

      For the exact amounts, any decent first or second year textbook should cover that for you.

      • Saw that probably a year ago or more. Nothing new or different there and certainly not measurement of heating. Why is it so impossible for otherwise sensible people to understand absorption and emission of energy by atomic bonds and that failure to “transmit” does not equal “totally absorbed” and in no way infers any measure of heating.

        Anything that can radiate energy by emission can very quickly lose energy until it is the same temperature as surrounding. One could just as easily add warm CO2 to an IR-transparent chamber and see how long it takes to drop to ambient outside-the-chamber temperatures. Once again a simple physics experiment that would clarify some real science.

  62. Impending and out-of-control global warming is the Vaporware that the Left has been selling: the heat has been predicted using GCMs and the problems that the heat will cause has pretty much been described to be anything and everything bad that anyone in a Ph.D program is capable of imagining and Nobel prizes have been given for that.

    Moreover the plans to eliminate the problem have been announced and the consensus of opinion about these plans is that they are great. But, they’re all called vaporware because global warming has been exposed as a hoax — all of the fear about human activity causing the globe to overheat has been nothing but hot air – and yet the government’s plans and programs to deal with what we now see is a nonexistent problem are never officially cancelled.

  63. Whereas a staunch communist like Upton Sinclair used propaganda to hit the public in the stomach modern day seekers of liberal Utopianism use propaganda to hit you in the pocketbook.

  64. OK so we understand our Bart is a rabid alarmist grasping for any and every reason to extend state control over society, particularly as regards fossil fuel and regulating CO2 production. Not without cunning, he even mouths ideas that have the appearance of espousing the exact opposite, ie a free society. IOW his dishonesty is pretty much a given.

    But even on a tactical level I don’t see where he imagines he is scheming to get us. Even if carbon was nationalized via some revenue-neutral tax, I can’t see the carbon/CO2 situation changing much.

    • Are you trying to use reason and logic to try to understand the motives of people who believe the incandescent bulb is evil?

    • Greybeard | May 23, 2012 at 9:17 pm |

      I get it. Someone says something you disagree with because of whatever ulterior motive you hide behind, you slime them by accusing them of ulterior motives.

      They say privatize, you call it nationalize. They say reduce taxes, you call it tax increase. They put control in the hands of the people through the democracy of the Market, you call it state control over society. And then you call it dishonest, because you’ve lied about it. Your Mr. Opposites game, amusing though it is, has been done here before. It’s practically a dismissalist blogger calling card.

      Who cares what you see changing much in any situation? The situation of the trespass by free riders on the resources of us all is the one I’m addressing with this “scheming”.

      All of the other frameworks, schemes, solutions, plans, measures and alternatives that people propose fall apart because there is no foundation for comparing their costs. Peter Lang and Jo Nova and the Australian obsession with a cost accounting for carbon? It fails every time, producing wildly incredible numbers with no objective meaning. The same happens in every country that tries. Why? Because the playing field is not level. Because the price of using the carbon cycle — the actual thing being discussed — has not been established.

      How do we establish price? We privatize the thing, put it on the Market, and let the Law of Supply and Demand set the level.

      After that, and with no net expense (hence ‘NEUTRAL’, though due double dividend effects, actual savings do accrue inevitably), then you can all go ahead with your debate on a cost accounting basis.

      • Someone says something you disagree with because of whatever ulterior motive you hide behind, you slime them by accusing them of ulterior motives.

        No Bart, hidden motives here are yours alone. You use some capitalist language from time to time, but invariably end up promoting more government. And certainly you are the very last blogger here to feel aggrieved about about slime

        They say privatize, you call it nationalize.

        Nonsense. In fact it’s you calling nationalization (of carbon), privatisation.

        They say reduce taxes, you call it tax increase.

        Wild nonsense, just you up to your old trick of inventing factoids.
        .
        They put control in the hands of the people through the democracy of the Market, you call it state control over society.

        Ditto.

        And then you call it dishonest, because you’ve lied about it. Your Mr. Opposites game, amusing though it is, has been done here before. It’s practically a dismissalist blogger calling card.

        You appear to have misidentified your own systemic dishonesty as coming from me.

        And the rest of your gratuitous “lecture” doesn’t seem relate to anything I said.

  65. E.M. Smith has an excellent analysis of the reason world leaders are now:

    a.) Advised by “clueless academics”, with
    b.) Little chance of restoring integrity to science, to
    c.) Avoid total collapse of our social and economic structures.

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2012/05/23/practically-dis-educated/

    Seventy-seven years (67 yr = 2012-1945) after world leaders decided to:

    a.) Unite Nations, and
    b.) Hide information about energy stored as mass at the cores of heavy atoms, stars and galaxies,

    Society is now “Practically Dis-Educated” in very field of study.

    http://omanuel.wordpress.com/about/#comment-70

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

  66. Beth Cooper

    Peter Lang @ 9.36pm:
    …costs of administering a CO2 pricing scheme.
    Regulations proliferating exponentially, expo nent ially.
    Bureaucracy proliferating exponentially, expo nent ially :-(

  67. Beth Cooper

    stefan @23/05 1.12am:
    As part of a valuable historical record, regional studies offer valuable insights about past climate. Contextual data matters, Central England temperature records, medieval warming records, grape growing districts. Stefan, Tony b’s investigations are part of this valuable cross-referencing past record.

  68. Moving down here to denest a bit.

    http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/03-06-FuelsandEnergy_Brief.pdf recognizes the following Federal subsidies as:

    “Federal Financial Support for the Development and Production of Fuels and Energy Technologies”
    A) Tax Preferences
    B) Spending Programs
    C) Economic Stimulus Programs under ARRA

    A) & B) totalled $24 billion in fiscal 2011 alone.

    Three of the four major permanent tax preferences are dedicated to fossil fuels, as part of almost a century-long pattern of subsidy.

    I’ve separated out C) from B), as the Economic Stimulus Programs of 2009 have an extremely heavy component of subsidy either directly to fossil industries or to industries that are mainly coproducts or obligate clients of fossil, thereby making fossil the flow-through beneficiary of subsidies.

    Note the misleading line “More than half of that support in both 2011 and 2012 was directed toward energy efficiency and renewable energy,” thinly veils that most of the ‘energy efficiency’ is research for the fossil industry to help it become more efficient (which how is that not any industry’s own responsibility, rather than the nanny state’s?) and most of the ‘renewable energy’ is biomass or other coproduct of fossil. Much as I hate to throw up a link and expect someone to read the details for themself, it seems when dealing with sufficiently sophisticated correspondents who have demonstrated ample competency in the subject a bit weak to suddenly beg off for reasons of intellectual neediness.

    Another detail? 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 saw $4 billion in loan guarantees.. roughly $1 billion/year, split between ‘advanced vehicles’ and ‘solar’. How many of these advanced vehicles were carbon products? Why, when you investigate, oddly, all of them. How’s that? Not advanced electric vehicles? Not H2 vehicles? No? Subsidies to fossil.

    And let’s look at the ironic claim, “Without government intervention, households and businesses do not have a financial incentive to take into account the environmental damage or other costs to the nation associated with their choices about energy production and consumption.”

    How backwards is that?! $24 billion in 2011 alone, almost exclusively spent to subsidize the fossil industry in things it ought be taking care of for itself and its customers, and the CBO thinks it’s providing an environmental incentive? That level of doublespeak speaks for itself.

    Biodiesel and alcohol subsidies listed as ‘renewable’ for carbon fossil coproducts? About $7 billion. Total subsidies to solar, wind and geothermal out of $24 billion? About $1 billion. And that’s for the year with the highest ratio of geothermal, solar and wind subsidy out of the past quarter century.

    That’s just for the direct federal supports to the industry.

    Turn over a few rocks, look at state and local spending and tax preferences, and the billions really start piling up.

  69. The government can’t privatize the ocean?
    It can’t privatize the air?

    Well, then those ocean leases posted earlier must be worthless, and the cell phone industry is in for a surprise.

    • The government can’t privatize the ocean?
      The ocean covers 70% of the surface of earth.
      Sovereign nations have made claims upon coastal water.
      Or governments can and do own regions of ocean near a nation’s coast.

      “Soon after the founding of the United States, the newly formed federal government asserted sovereignty over a territorial sea extending three miles from the coast. Moreover, the coastal states asserted the ability to develop ocean resources out to three miles. Over the past 45 years, however, a number of events have occurred which drastically modified management of the offshore area. In 1947, the United States Supreme Court upset what had appeared to be settled law and determined that the United States, rather than coastal states, had paramount rights over the nation’s coastal waters and resources [United States v. California, 332 U.S. 19 (1947)]. This decision was surprising to coastal states, and set the stage for a debate resulting in the enactment of the Submerged Lands Act of 1953 (granting coastal states ownership of the lands and resources out to three nautical miles from shore). Also enacted was the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act of 1953, establishing federal jurisdiction over the resources beyond three nautical miles from shore and creating a legal process for developing those resources.”

      “But no nation has claimed they own the ocean.
      A Nation or private entities can own land which they can buy, lease, or sell real estate. Part of real estate are certain assets, such as mineral or timber rights. A government which as claimed coastal water right could lease or sell certain rights of these properties. The selling or buying of land or it’s rights, is not called privatization. Privatization has specific definition related to selling government enterpises. For example if a government engaged in a business, if that business/enterprise was sold, then that would be called privatization. It is possible that such government fish farming business has assets of real estate.

      “It can’t privatize the air?

      Well, then those ocean leases posted earlier must be worthless, and the cell phone industry is in for a surprise.”

      That not selling air, one could it air waves, but it’s actually to do with frequencies of electromagnetic radiation.

      • gbaikie | May 24, 2012 at 2:34 am |

        Fine quibbles sir, I applaud you.

        I applaud all the more as none of your quibbles in the least take anything from my points.

        Which given the great industry and vigor of your exercise, bodes well that you can’t.

      • Your latest point apparently was:

        The government can’t privatize the ocean?
        It can’t privatize the air?

        And the answer is no, or at least government hasn’t gone completely amuck, as of yet. Though there is the totalitarian will as demonstrated by ever increasing nanny state obsession.

        In order to privatize [You seem clueless of what this means]
        you need some government engaged in a form of socialism- governments running a business.
        For instance the US government used to
        run rocket business called the Space Shuttle.

        It was possible that US government, instead using billion of dollars
        of tax dollars to operate the Space Shuttle, could have sold this business- it originally was proposed to congress as that being plan or explanation for the program.
        And if they done this, one would call this the privatization of
        Space Shuttle Program.

        The problem with privatization of any such government enterprises as Space Shuttle or Amtrak is how the business is run.
        If government insist on having business run a certain way. Then they actually are not selling it- they are still managing the business.
        So essentially instead privatizing, they would actually be sub-contracting certain part of the government business. Or buying/leasing/partnering with a specialized labor team.
        This what NASA actually did with the Shuttle program, and they called it privatization of the space shuttle program:
        http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=2457&dat=19961001&id=86tJAAAAIBAJ&sjid=fg4NAAAAIBAJ&pg=4262,48769
        [Actually above article say they are in process of privatizing, but actually at a later date they said it was privatized and later still it was less fashionable to use the term]

        Oh, here, wiki explains it:
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Privatization

        Ocean or air isn’t a business. Neither Private or Government.
        And so it can not be privatized.

        Government could claim the ocean or parts of the ocean,
        and then government could then lease or sell this “real estate” to private or public entities.
        And would IMO be a good way to manage what is now regarded as
        as largest international commons.

        And it seems to me, that Russia is attempting to do something like this unilaterally in regards to the Arctic ocean. And as result is causing other nations such Canada, US, and others to somehow resolve this “problem”.

      • gbaikie | May 24, 2012 at 4:12 am |

        “Your latest point apparently was:”.. misunderstood by you?

        You began by confuting privatization of public industries or enterprises with privatization of resources, two slightly different things that are both real historical practices. Almost by definition an enterprise must exist as a going concern of a government to be privatized, of course. But what does that have to do with this?

        It remains in the power of any nation to name and define any resource within its geographic boundaries and declare that a subject of privatization. Most of the world has done this in most of our lifetimes with radio bandwidths for mobile communications. The parallel case for the carbon cycle is, in all ways that matter, exactly comparable. You eventually catch up with that. I’m good with where you end up.. about where anyone who ever paid a cell phone bill already was from the start.

  70. Sony | May 24, 2012 at 1:27 am |

    So government expenditure on roads is a fossil fuel subsidy? Not a subsidy for every other business (and household) that benefits from the the roads?
    Similarly the Persian sea lanes argument. Close to 100% of the population benefit, not just fossil companies.
    (Which is not to defend these subsidies, but rather to point out the hype in labelling them as fossil subsidies).

    In a strict Capitalist definition, they are of course subsidies. In the sense of following the money, the vector these subsidies most greatly favor in the Market is the fossil sector over all near alternatives. This is a double distortion: the subsidy benefits the sole industry and at the same time taxes the producers of alternatives.

    Do I really foresee a world free of all subsidy? Not so much.

    Do I think we’re far beyond the pale of acceptable subsidy? Absolutely.

    I don’t see this in such pure black and white terms as I present. However, it galls any Capitalist to see the level of corruption of the Market by such thinking as persuades corporate charity out of the public purse, especially at a time when taxes are high and spending is higher, when gridlock paralyses the legislature and lobbyists rule de facto.

    The best answer is to overcompensate toward pure Capitalism, discipline the Market away from any vestige of subsidy so far as we can practically, and then once we have our house in order begin again to probe what is possible to do without distortion.

    This obliges privatization of the carbon cycle, and substantial reduction of government spending on ‘general support for commerce’ of all sorts.

    • Putting aside for now whether anything at all should be subsidised the idea that building roads subsidises petrol companies in particular is at best weak, let’s face it, since virtually everyone uses petrol. And is anyway offset by tax on petrol.
      And if electric cars ever get off the ground :-) they too would use them.

      • http://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/begging-the-question

        Virtually everyone uses carbon-based vehicles (mostly).
        Why?
        Well, because it’s the most economical choice for them.
        Why?
        Because it would cost rather a lot more to use anything else.
        Why?
        Because there are roads for the (mainly so far) carbon-based vehicles all over.
        Why?
        Because it’s the most economical choice.
        Why?
        Because everyone uses carbon-based vehicles..

        If electric cars ever get off the ground, their makers or owners or electricity providers can pay for the roads too. See? Simple.

      • David Springer

        The electrical grid can barely handle the load it has now. How will the electricity needed to recharge more than a token number of electric vehicles be delivered? Transmission lines cannot be stacked higher vertically and must be widened instead. How much does it cost to acquire private property needed to widen transmission line footprints?

        Electric vehicle proponents live in la-la land.

      • David Springer | May 24, 2012 at 9:35 am |

        How odd. So many in the field say that rather than causing capacity issues, the storage capacity of electric vehicles tends to level demand by off-peak charging, thereby making gridded power more efficient overall.

        Nocera’s argument, while not diminishing this off-peak storage practice’s points about efficiency, is that personal power is the solution: short term home storage fuel cell appliances analogous to water heaters or refridgerators for electric potential. Combined with Nocera’s personal power generation appliances, his gridless plan very much appeals to those who look to individual responsibility to resolve cost issues through innovation and the democracy of the Market.

      • David Springer

        Bart R | May 24, 2012 at 9:55 am |

        “How odd. So many in the field say that rather than causing capacity issues, the storage capacity of electric vehicles tends to level demand by off-peak charging, thereby making gridded power more efficient overall.”

        Transportation is single largest energy use in the U.S. at about 30% of all energy. Residential energy consumption rises during non-working hours and falls off by more in industrial/commercial sector making for lower net generating requirments at night. Unfortunately all the big transformers and transmission lines go to commercial/industrial endpoints as they are the largest consumers not to residential addresses so all the residential transmission would require upgrading. Residential neighborhoods and cities can’t handle the load. If you could charge your car at night at your place of employment that would work. For security guards and night-time skeleton crews that would work out but for everyone else not so much.

        http://www.smartplanet.com/blog/science-scope/why-neighborhoods-cant-handle-electric-cars-8230yet/5181

        I suspect you’ve been paying too much attention to the propaganda put out by those with vested interests in electric vehicle sales. Honest brokers know better.

      • David Springer

        p.s. Just for reference one electric vehicle consumes as much electricity as two houses. Therefore if everyone went electric it would require trebling the transmission capacity to non-commercial/industrial endpoints. As I said, only a token number of electric vehicles can be supported by the transmission grid and where the grid needs to be built out is the most crowded expensive real estate and thus the most costly to upgrade. It would have to be underground since there’s no overhead space for expansion. That’s some high digit expan$ion.

      • Yes, a simple statement, but one that completely avoids the point at hand – that given the widespread use of petrol, everyone benefits from the lowered price, not just the petrol companies. (Which of course applies in reverse just as well to any tax on petrol).

      • Sony | May 24, 2012 at 3:56 am |

        Not everyone _does_ benefit from the lowered price. That’s the fly in the ointment of subsidy. Such benefits, if they ever are real, are transitory and suppress the natural evolution of the Market to efficiency at the same time as suppressing innovation. On top of which, the churn and waste endemic in such schemes administratively always make them more burdensome than non-subsidy alternatives.

        Indeed, it is _not_ even the lower price.

        Right now, today, the price of CSP electricity is lower than the price of electricity from tarsands by two thirds.

        At such an exchange, it’d be cheaper to build and give away electric cars to every US driver than to build the 10,000 km of pipelines planned for the tarsands in North America. And, it would be _less_ of a subsidy, by far. I’m not proposing giving away millions of electric cars. That would be silly. But it would still be less absurd than subsidy to fossil infrastructure that we know already is more expensive.

      • Bart, you have hijacked this thread for your own political purposes.
        Now you are attempting to hijack the word “subsidy” to mean only what you want it to mean.

        Now you have the temerity to use Subsidy to describe the private capital investment into a pipeline to carry crude for which they charge a tarriff to private business that which to use it to transport crude extracted by private businesses using equipment build by other private businesses.

        Your use of the word subsidy in connection with Keystone XL shows me and that you cannot be trusted to use words properly, much less be trusted to manage a trillion dollar Carbon Tax.

      • Threadjacking is not under the power of any commenter alone, not even Bart R.

  71. It’s late and I’m not staying up for this. But thanks finally for some detail.

    I’ll just hit one item: Biodiesel and alcohol subsidies About $7 billion Sorry, those are subsidies to Archer Danials Midland and politial requirements that ethanol be blended into gasoline, no matter how stupid the economics. It ain’t a fossil subsidy. It’s an Agriculture subsidy. That doesn’t make it any more palitable. Neither does it add credibility to your claims.

    G’night

    • Stephen Rasey | May 24, 2012 at 1:36 am |

      We’re agreed that the agriculture subsidy to ADM and the political requirements associated are unpalatable subsidies.

      They also distort the energy market, forcing on consumers the government’s will that they use products that would never see the light of day without government interference through this subsidy.

      And, by suppressing alternatives and expanding the baseline of the economies of scale for fossil, they act to promote a coproduct.

      While I’m very certain the fossil industry detests the subsidies as much as all right-thinking Americans, it is mathematically to the industry’s.. well, not ‘benefit’ per se.. but toward its uneconomic expansion in its net economic effect.

      You’ve been extremely patient, and very kind.

      Thank you.

  72. Peter Lang

    Willard, @ May 23, 2:33 pm

    IMHO, the problem is not to find a tool, but the hands

    I agree. However, we won’t get the hands interested and willing to work unless they can see they have a modern, easy to use environment to work in – and they can see this may be a useful methodology. There is no point in any more advocacy about how great the Issue Tree method is, if there is no practical way to demonstrate it. So we need a practical demonstration.

    Would you be able to start a mindmap in your toolwith one or both of my suggested starting node(s) and make it/them available to me and David Wojick (and anyone else who wants in at the beginning) so we can start working with it and David can advise us how we show proceed.

    I started two Debate Graphs yesterday but didn’t go very far. I agree we need debaters from both sides of the debate. But lets start with one or two from each side and see if we can make any progress. My suggested top node is:

    1 Mitigate AGW or Adapt to Climate Change (whatever it may be)

    Or

    2 Benefit/cost of GHG emissions mitigation
    2.1 What information is required?
    2.1.1 What is the net benefit/cost of man’s projected CO2 emissions [projections of benefit/cost versus time for various emissions projection scenarios and various assumptions about damage caused by man’s CO2 emissions and the cost of those damages]
    2.1.1.1 What information is required?
    2.1.1.1.1 Emissions projections
    2.1.1.1.2 Projected temperature increase
    2.1.1.1.3 Damage types and quantities per change in temperature
    2.1.1.1.4 Damage cost of per damage type

    • Peter Lang,

      I’m afraid that Bart R was right to point that it will be a time-consuming task, and I will soon have not much time to invest in the climate endeavour. But anyone can pick up FreeMind and toy with it. It’s free, it’s fast, it’s fun!

      I’m not sure why I can’t find his comment: do you know why?

      Thanks for the offer,

      w

    • Peter,

      Just found back your post from yesterday.

      I sincerely considered the offer.

      Thanks again.

    • Hello Peter,

      I advertized your offer over there:

      http://planet3.org/2012/05/24/on-not-having-joe-bast-to-kick-around-anymore/#comment-7189

      Hope you don’t mind,

      w

      • Peter Lang

        Willard,

        Thank you. I am not offering to run the Issue Tree, just contribute to it if I become convinced it will be of any value – which I am not at the moment.

        My suggestion was for someone else set one up, on a suitable forum, and David Wojick provide guidance on how to add nodes so we learn from his skills (if he wants to teach us), I also suggested it needs to be oriented to top down not bottom up. And the top node needs to define the outcome we want out of the whole exercise. I suggested two possible top nodes.

        However, I’ve been thinking some more and now think the Nordhaus Yale-RICE model defines the top output we want and the inputs that are needed. It defines where the most important uncertainties are. Those are what we need to focus our attention on to improve the output from the model (and to improve the model). It is the improved (greatly IMO) output from models like the Nordhaus Yale-RICE model that we need, IMO.

        I suspect the most important uncertainties we need to get a better handle on are:

        1. The realistic damages and damage costs of increased CO2 concentrations (including the other Kyoto gasses)
        2. How much warming is caused by increased CO2 concentrations (and other Kyoto gasses)
        3. How rapidly will/can we transition from fossil fuels to low emissions technologies (e.g. nuclear and transport fuel carriers)

  73. Stephen Rasey | May 24, 2012 at 1:57 am |

    Sony, Bart thinks that we should pay the trees and algae to eat the CO2 we generate.

    Extremely succinctly put, Stephen, and metaphorically close enough to the point.

    To extend the metaphor to a different case, we pay the trees for the apples we eat, after a fashion, in paying the grocers who pay the distributors who pay the farmers (or, if you’re me, in paying the farmer directly). Apples contain antioxidants. Antioxidants eat the oxidants we generate in our bodies. If we want this antioxidant effect, we pay for it.

    Why not then, as we use the carbon cycle to get rid of CO2, pay the trees and algae, and all parts of that complex machinery of carbon regeneration and buffering and sequestration and ultimate calcification, through the facility of paying the ‘metaphorical’ owners of this resource — all of us per capita?

    manacker | May 24, 2012 at 2:32 am |

    The word you are missing is ‘lucrative’.

    What’s part of the carbon cycle is part of the cycle for its own sake, but still contributes to the overall system as has evolved through millions of years and refined itself to current climate conditions through the past hundreds of thousands of years.

    When lucrative use of the carbon cycle is made, when it takes money to change hands to induce an exchange, then that is a tax on the carbon cycle imposed by the lucrative users. They get a benefit out of the resource that caps and limits the resource for its natural range of uses. This would be true in principle even if there were no rise in CO2 level; that there is rise in CO2 level year over year is sure proof that lucrative use of the carbon cycle is rivalrous. No one else can benefit from the part of the cycle that has been used up for lucrative exchange.

    Which is when Capitalism steps in and asks, is the resource excludable and is it administratively feasible to maintain a fair Market for it so we may privatize the resource to most efficiently allocate its scarcity?

    Well, the answers to those questions are yes. Hence, we’re obliged as Capitalists, and glad of it, to see the Market expand to include this new product, which will benefit all. Well, all except the free riders who currently make out like bandits.

    • Bart R

      You are a bit confused with your “free rider” hypothesis.

      No one gets a “free lunch” or a “free ride” in this world.

      The industrialized nations have benefited from available low-cost fossil fuel based energy to pull themselves up from the poverty and short life expectancy of the early 19th century to today’s much higher quality of life, longer life expectancy and better standard of living. They did this through ingenuity and hard work, aided by capitalism and the free enterprise system.

      I am optimistic in believing that those nations, which have not yet benefited from this development, will do so over the next decades. They will not do so as a result of a “free ride”, but as it makes sense for their economies to develop, using local sources of fuels, where possible, and following the free enterprise system. And, in so doing, they will dramatically reduce child mortality, starvation and famines, at the same time increasing quality of life and life expectancy for their citizens.

      All this does not require a “tax on the carbon cycle imposed by the lucrative users”, as it did not do so in the past.

      Max

      • manacker | May 26, 2012 at 7:53 pm |

        A few problems for your case: it asserts claims that are simply not true, nor even credible.

        Did “low cost” fuels really make industrialized nations what they were? Many of the most advanced industrialized nations got there not only in spite of high fuel costs, but likely because of. Fuel was tremendously expensive in Japan, when it became the world leader in microelectronics and compact cars. Where do you think fuel costs less: Germany, or Somalia? Historically? Today? Switzerland’s fuel prices are higher or lower than Iran’s?

        Your argument falls utterly apart as obvious confection made up to support a preconceived notion.

        And this preconceived notion is viciously predatory. Where believed, where held above good economic sense, where converted to fuel subsidy and infrastructure support and industrial favoritism by government, it is a drag on economic success in many ways large and small, reducing overall economic efficiency.

        No one would wish such a disease on their own economy.

  74. Subsidy roundup :
    There is NO significant specific subsidizing of fossil fuels. Only general subsidies that amongst other things benefit the fossil industry – and which, since everyone uses fossil fuel either directly or indirectly, benefits everyone.
    Claims to the contrary are willful political hype in the greenwash tradition.

    • Greybeard | May 24, 2012 at 3:56 pm |

      For values of ‘significant’ considerably above $20 billion/year in the USA at the federal level alone, per the Congressional Budget Office’s own willful political hype in the greenwash tradition?

      http://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/special-pleading

      A subsidy isn’t less a subsidy because it ‘benefits everyone’ in some direct or indirect way. A subsidy is a subsidy because it draws on the coercive power of the state to extract taxes and directs them against the free will of the people to distort the democratic decisions of the fair Market.

      You can’t whitewash that with all the speeches or all the excuses in the world. You can’t make that wrong go away by pointing to this or that fee or tax the subsidized claim to pay somewhere else some other way (but pass along entirely to those ‘everyone’ who benefits, plus a hefty cut for ‘business expenses’).

      This ‘general benefit of commerce’ canard is as old as the hills, and as reviled by all capitalists as other socialist lies like, “redistribution from the some is good for the welfare of those who can’t take care of themselves”.. and it amounts to the same thing.

      Why pay a subsidy? So a business that failed continues to operate at a loss.

      • $20 billion / year . . . . . For WHAT specifically?

      • roads and bridges I presume – it allows cars and trucks to move therefore requiring fuel.

        The ‘carbon cycle’ is touted as a scarce resource exactly equivalent to bandwidth. The difference is that carbon taxes are intended to force substitution for a less ‘risky’ product – although at higher prices. Any tax revenue then evaporates leaving a higher cost structure and no compensation.

        If he wants to buy the sky – he should make an offer instead of suggesting that governments legislate. A hundred trillion dollars might cover it.

      • your logical fallacy is … being a dickhead

      • You expect to imtimidate me by an out of context quote on a loser blog?

      • The strategic oil reserve, low income energy subsidy, not charging farm equipment fuel road use taxes, taxing net income instead of gross income (how dare they pay taxes the same way other companies do). There is a reason why people don’t like to talk about particular subsidies and prefer to just call them subsidies. It is all rather boring when you find out what the subsidies consist of and all rather self explanatory on why they are never eliminated.

      • Steven, thanks for volunteering some specifics that might or might not be part of Bart’s $20B/year. Only he knows what he means, and as was proven yesterday, his definition of Subsidy is “flexible” and quite different from mine.

        Let’s take your list of nominated specifics:
        Strategic Oil Reserve: This is a BANK. The government will BUY crude on the open market to fill and top off the reserve and SELL it when it is strategically needed to fill a supply disruption. The Buying and Selling ought not be considered subsidies. Indeed, properly done it ought to be a source of handsome PROFIT to the government.

        The costs to operate the reserve and the holding cost could be considered subsidies – but to whom? It is to cover a supply disruption, so what net costs the government do incur are to keep the transportation and military system functioning.

        Low Energy Income Subsidy: So this is money that goes to the oil companies because they cannot get enough for their product? I don’t think so. It is a form of welfare. Food Stamps aren’t an agricultural subsidy. Milk price supports are agri. subsidies, certainly, but Food Stamps are a public (consumer) assistance, not a producer subsidy. Low Income Energy subsidies are the same thing. Not a fossil subsidy.

        not charging farm equipment fuel road use taxes: Interesting; I didn’t see that one coming. Now it is true that tractors, combines and harvesters will on occasion tool down a two-lane road between fields. But can’t we agree that 99% of the fuel that farms use is in the fields and off-road? It seems fair that we not tax them for road use when they are not using the roads. Not a subsidy Note: trucks used to take produce and grain to market on roads do pay that tax.

        … However, that brings up the Highway Trust Fund. By Bart’s definition, that’s a subsidy that pays for roads that wouldn’t be built without the subsidy and the roads only exist because of fossil fuels, Ergo – it’s a fossil subsidy. Is any of this true?

        Are Social Security checks a subsidy? They are from the government. They are paid out of a Social Security Trust Fund; a fund paid by taxes on wages. The checks wouldn’t be written without the Fund. By Bart’s definition it must be a subsidy. I dare say, however, that most people that paid Social Security Taxes with the expectation and political promise that it would be returned in their old age would take great umbrage that it is a subsidy. I sure don’t think it is a subsidy. Whether it is a scam is another matter.

        By the Soc Sec standard, money to build roads from the Highway Trust Fund is not a subsidy. It is one of the few services for which we create government: … To Promote the General Welfare… Highways are things we pay taxes added to gasoline and diesel sales so that we can justly charge the most to the people who use the highways the most. That’s about as fair a deal as any from our government. Not a subsidy, fossil nor otherwise.

        Lately, public transportation system have made calls on the highway trust fund to cover operating costs larger than their revenues from passenger an advertising. That’s a real subsidy! It’s not a fossil subsidy. Maybe it is a transportation subsidy, but it certainly is a government to government subsidy.

        taxing net income instead of gross income steven, my guess is that’s a satirical answer to Bart. But if he refuses to be specific, I guess he had it coming. Anyway, that item is a lot bigger than $20B/year.

      • Steven, thanks for volunteering some specifics that might or might not be part of Bart’s $20B/year. Only he knows what he means, and as was proven yesterday, his definition of Subsidy is “flexible” and quite different from mine.

        Let’s take your list of nominated specifics: (posted in two parts)
        Strategic Oil Reserve: This is a BANK. The government will BUY crude on the open market to fill and top off the reserve and SELL it when it is strategically needed to fill a supply disruption. The Buying and Selling ought not be considered subsidies. Indeed, done properly it ought to be a source of handsome PROFIT to the government.

        The costs to operate the reserve and the holding cost could be considered subsidies –
        but to whom? It is to cover a supply disruption, so what net costs the government do incur are to keep the transportation and military system functioning. Maybe this is why it is called “Strategic”.

        Low Energy Income Subsidy: So this is money that goes to the oil companies because they cannot get enough for their product? I don’t think so. It is a form of welfare. Food Stamps aren’t an agricultural subsidy. Milk price supports are agri. subsidies, certainly, but Food Stamps are a public (consumer) assistance, not a producer subsidy. Low Income Energy subsidies are the same thing. Not a fossil subsidy.

        not charging farm equipment fuel road use taxes: Interesting; I didn’t see that one coming. Now it is true that tractors, combines and harvesters will on occasion tool down a two-lane road between fields. But can’t we agree that 99% of the fuel that farms use is in the fields and off-road? It seems fair that we not tax them for road use when they are not using the roads. Not a subsidy Note: trucks used to take produce and grain to market on roads do pay that tax.

      • (continuation of 3:32pm)
        … However, let’s revisit the Highway Trust Fund. By Bart’s definition, that’s a subsidy that pays for roads that wouldn’t be built without the subsidy and the roads only exist because of fossil fuels, Ergo – it’s a fossil subsidy. Is any of this true?

        Are Social Security checks a subsidy? They are from the government. They are paid out of a Social Security Trust Fund; a fund paid by taxes on wages. The checks wouldn’t be written without the Fund. By Bart’s definition it must be a subsidy. I dare say, however, that most people that paid Social Security Taxes with the expectation and political promise that it would be returned in their old age would take great umbrage that it is a subsidy. I sure don’t think it is a subsidy. Whether it is a scam is another matter.

        By the Soc Sec standard, money to build roads from the Highway Trust Fund is not a subsidy. It is one of the few services for which we create government: … To Promote the General Welfare… Highways are things we pay taxes added to gasoline and diesel sales so that we can justly charge the most to the people who use the highways the most. That’s about as fair a deal as any from our government. Not a subsidy, fossil nor otherwise.

        Lately, public transportation system have made calls on the highway trust fund to cover operating costs larger than their revenues from passenger an advertising. That’s a real subsidy! It’s not a fossil subsidy. Maybe it is a transportation subsidy, but it certainly is a government to government subsidy.

        taxing net income instead of gross income steven, my guess is that’s a satirical answer to Bart. But if he refuses to be specific, I guess he had it coming. Anyway, that item is a lot bigger than $20B/year.

      • (continued from my 3:32 pm)
        (correction: that should have been Low Income Energy Subsidy)

        Let’s revisit the Highway Trust Fund. By Bart’s definition, that’s a subsidy that pays for roads that wouldn’t be built without the subsidy and the roads only exist because of fossil fuels, Ergo – it’s a fossil subsidy. Is any of this true?

        Are Social Security checks a subsidy? They are from the government. They are paid out of a Social Security Trust Fund; a fund paid by taxes on wages. The checks wouldn’t be written without the Fund. By Bart’s definition it must be a subsidy. Most people that paid Social Security Taxes would take great umbrage that it is a subsidy. I sure don’t think it is a subsidy. Whether it is a scam is another matter.

        By the Soc Sec standard, money to build roads from the Highway Trust Fund is not a subsidy. It is one of the few services for which we create government. Highways are things we pay taxes added to gasoline and diesel sales so that we can justly charge the most to the people who use the highways the most. That’s about as fair a deal as any from our government. Not a subsidy, fossil nor otherwise.

        (having trouble posting. There may or may not be a third and last part).

      • (last of 3:32pm)
        Lately, public transportation system have made calls on the highway trust fund to cover operating costs larger than their revenues from passenger fares and advertising. That’s a subsidy! It’s not a fossil subsidy. Maybe it is a transportation subsidy, but it certainly is a government-to-government subsidy.

        taxing net income instead of gross income steven, my guess is that’s a satirical answer to Bart. Anyway, that item is a lot bigger than his $20B/yr. At the state level, there is a sales tax, plus a federal gasoline excise tax which funds the highways.

      • Stephen Rasey | May 25, 2012 at 12:12 am |

        For WHAT specifically? https://judithcurry.com/2012/05/20/copenhagen-consensus-2012/#comment-202547

        My what a short memory span.

        And really, _for_ isn’t the point, then, is it?

        “From” and “how” and “to” are the issue. From the taxpayer. By the coercive power of the state to private enterprise. That’s all we need know, because everything else is excuses and rationalizations of an insidious and indefensible practice.

        That isn’t even looking at the “green” definition of “environmental economic subsidy”, which let’s face it becomes more credible by comparison considering the massive bafflegab and double-dealing of rent-seekers when cornered on the issue of ordinary economic subsidies.

        I know, it’s lazy if I just point a reader to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_subsidies to consider the cases against energy subsidies there and in the sources cited. But it doesn’t make it less true that energy subsidies are an exceptionally flagrant abuse of taxpayer’s money with no net benefit to the public, and considerable detriment to the free function of the Market.

      • If it is fraud the appropriate thing to do is charge them with fraud. So show fraud otherwise it is exactly what I said, taxing gross rather than net.

      • What would you call taxing a company on money they paid to other nations in taxes. Taxing net or gross profit? No, I was perfectly serious.

      • steven | May 26, 2012 at 6:57 am |

        I’d call it what it is, instead of what it isn’t, if it were so.

        In the case of many oil operations, it’s a tax-avoiding scam meant to line the pockets of producers and foreign governments as a way of cheating Americans.

        How serious do you think I am about money in my pocket being extracted by the coercive might of the American government to pay bin Laden’s cousins, Libyans, Venezuelans, and the like through a special arrangement of oil companies?

      • Bart R > money in my pocket being extracted by the coercive might of the American government to pay bin Laden’s cousins, Libyans, Venezuelans, and the like through a special arrangement of oil companies? <

        You mean Jewish bankers missed out on this conspiracy? They must be getting old.

    • The point at hand* thus stands : there is no significant, specific subsidy for fossil fuel Claims to the contrary are greenwash.

      (The smokescreen of non-responsive comments on the effects and desireability of subsidies in general have no bearing here. The above fact stands whether one is pro- or anti- the practice of government subsidies).

      • Greybeard | May 25, 2012 at 1:46 am |

        Open a box of Krispy Kremes. Take one out. Consume the delicacy.

        There are eleven other donuts in the box. Each of them goes to your eleven friends.

        How many donuts did you just eat? Is it one?

        How many specific donuts did you just eat?

        How many significant donuts did you just eat?

        (That’s a trick question. We know you kept another whole box for yourself under the table.)

      • Bart, It sounds like you & your friends are fat too. Or is this just another tricky-tax-treat from the first laddy?

      • Tom | May 25, 2012 at 10:46 am |

        Matthew 5:6

      • All of which ignores and thus leaves untouched the central point :
        that whatever the merits or otherwise of subsidies in general, they are not giving fossil fuel any real advantage over other energy sources.

      • Greybeard | May 25, 2012 at 3:49 am |

        Now that is a central question!

        Allow me to reframe it just slightly:

        Whatever the merits or otherwise of subsidies in general, are subsidies giving fossil fuel any real advantage over other energy sources?

        This isn’t a question answered by comparing amounts of subsidies.

        If “both sides” or “all types” get the same amount, or the same amount per energy produced, or wildly different amounts, how do subsidies distort the Market?

        When we look at it closely like Economists, we find questions of amount of subsidy, or basis for comparison of amount, to not be very important. What are the Economic costs of subsidies to energy (remembering the world is full of other subsidies, but not perfectly and uniformly full), and specifically the costs of subsidies to carbon-based energy (remembering the world is full of other subsidies at perhaps an even greater rate, but not perfectly and uniformly full)?

        The choice of whether to spend or not on energy at all is removed from the individual consumer in some degree, in effect at gunpoint. The coercive power of the state to tax, the great influence of the size of the state to assure loans conveyed on private business, the regulatory and judicial power all add up to deny democracy. That’s not a ‘whatever’. That’s a real loss to individuals.

        How does this favor carbon-based fuel? By inducing a preference to use energy over a natural preference to conserve, by creating a taste for waste by cheapening the cost of inefficiency, by taking budget away from all decisions not covered by legislation (which would naturally include all innovations not yet considered by regulators), a drag on the freedom of the economy to respond to conditions develops. What will the rational buyer do in the Market under such a drag? They’ll hoard and overindulge, getting the biggest bang for their now more-limited buck they can.

        This favors goods with a certain profile to their “price elasticity of demand”, the ones that tend to either see little drop or actual rise in consumption as prices rise. That’s fossil fuels. People spend less on apples and more on gasoline as a proportion of their budgets. They also spend less on capital and more on consumption. That’s less on efficient homes and more on inefficient vehicles.

        The Market is too complex for any one expert to outguess. The well-intentioned reflex to subsidize inevitably produces, if you will, an “external forcing” that takes the Market to new levels of inefficiency and extreme events, heating up inflation and chilling innovation and jobs. By mere coincidence, it may favor the fossil industry. But we can’t really know for sure because of the FUD created by all the subsidy going on.

      • And yet again you ignore and thus leave standing the central point :
        that whatever the merits or otherwise of subsidies in general, they are not giving fossil fuel any real advantage over other energy sources.

        Your earlier claim to the contrary is pure greenwash. And your ongoing attempts to FUD the issue to avoid having to admit your error – by pointing to the folly of subsidies in general – are quite irrelevant here. And anyway uncontested.

      • Greybeard | May 26, 2012 at 12:50 am |

        Which is it you have trouble following:

        That fossil fuels gain real advantages over other energy sources due to:

        1. Suppression of innovation that is a known general property of subsidies?
        2. Shift of tastes toward “Giffen Goods”, and shift of goods with near-zero price elasticity of demand toward “Giffen Goods”, which is a known general property under regimes of high subsidies?
        3. Loss of incentive to avoid waste and inefficiency and conserve energy, which favors lower intensity sources, which is a known general property of subsidies?
        4. Loss of power to disentangle normal market responses from the fog created by subsidies and their market distortions?
        5. Overall increase of costs due the inherent inefficiency of government extracted and administered programs favoring lower spending on capital (such as energy efficient and low-intensity energy generating homes) and increased portion of personal budgets to inefficient consumption?

        You sound sophisticated enough to understand these, and many other, points spelling out why the high-subsidy road favors carbon-based fuels.

        Why do you not recognize the inevitable conclusion that, while subsidies in general are bad for the Economy, subsidies in particular favor the fossil fuel industries?

      • Bart
        And yet again, you trot out more greenwash drivel that general purpose subsidies favor fossil fuels over others.
        Look, we’re impressed that you’ve finally grasped that subsidies as a general idea are harmful, for numerous reasons, so it really buys you nothing to keep restating your agreement as a way to cover up your earlier blunder. Right now fossil very obviously produces the bangs for the buck. Deal with it. Now this may well change, and maybe CO2 turns out to be the danger what those on the left hope it is, but for now it’s economical and not a demonstrable problem.

      • Greybeard | May 26, 2012 at 4:10 am |

        I’m glad you’re impressed by my Economic acumen. Dozens of my former professors will no doubt be relieved that you have confirmed their opinion.

        However, this “greenwash” label you love so much to slander with, it reveals a disease of logic.

        You come at reasoning here with a bias about ideas based on where they lead you in logic. http://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/genetic – your ideas exhibit an extreme form of confirmation and disconfirmation bias.

        You reason to get to the point you have decided you want to arrive at.

        This will never do. If we know what we want to think, we have no use for truth or logic or reasoning but as stage-dressings or props, to be hidden behind the curtains when inconvenient to our play.

        I prefer to uphold logic and reason, and follow them where they lead, knowing that it must be true, however unpalatable. I do not uncritically hold to any idea regardless of its source or the irrational pressures to succumb to it unexamined. Once committed to the exercise of skeptical examination, I commit further to accept the findings of logic and reason, based on data and the best probabilities should they rise to sufficient confidence level, and admit where there is no sufficient confidence that I just do not know, and must act with the humility of one who just does not know.

        This is the difference between any skeptic and a mere dismissalist.

        Now, as I do not know what “earlier blunder” you think you saw, I will flat out demand sir you point exactly to my post and my words that you assert indicate favor for subsidy. I’ve posted here for long enough, and before here have held this view for enough decades, that I am skeptical of your claim, and I believe I’ve committed enough time to courteously addressing even the most unreasonable of your demands to require you explain yourself.

        As for your mere assertions about fossil’s merits, frankly the facts are not with you so far as tarsands vs. solar, by a ratio of 3:1. I can understand why you might have once believed otherwise, when the comparison was Saudi oil vs. the photocell on your pocket calculator, but times change, and you haven’t kept up.

      • “Right now fossil very obviously produces the bangs for the buck. Deal with it. “

        And that is why the oilers gets subsidized, and increasingly with time. There are more dry wells getting drilled proportionately now than ever before, so that if the subsidies didn’t exist, the oil prospectors would likely slow way down in their exploration activities.

        Or they can use their own profits (Exxon is the most profitable company in the history of the USA) to make the investments themselves and suck up the losses due to dry wells. A few of those and they would have to work smart or get out of the game.

        Maybe it is better to put them out of their misery.

      • On alleged subsidies for fossil fuel over other fuels, just more obfuscation and no-holds-barred self-praise from our Bart. No actual argument or relevant facts from either him or Webhub.
        The simple fact that flies in the face of their greenwash, is that fossil fuel manages on its own cost merits.
        There may one day yet prove to be an argument against it on CO2 grounds, but that is another matter entirely.

  75. ‘The IEA’s analysis of energy subsidies utilises the price-gap approach which compares the end-use prices paid by consumers, with reference prices (i.e. prices that would prevail in a competitive market). The difference between the consumer price and the reference price is the price gap, and subsidy removal amounts to its elimination.

    For countries that import a given product, subsidy estimates derived through the price-gap approach are explicit. That is, they represent net expenditures resulting from the domestic sale of imported energy (purchased at world prices in hard currency), at lower, regulated prices. In contrast, for countries that export a given product – and therefore do not pay world prices – subsidy estimates are implicit and have no direct budgetary impact. Rather, they represent the opportunity cost of pricing domestic energy below market levels, i.e. the rent that could be recovered if consumers paid world prices. For countries that produce a portion of their consumption themselves and import the remainder, the estimates represent a combination of opportunity costs and direct government expenditures.

    The OECD inventory addresses a broader range of measures used in OECD member countries, including many that do not reduce consumer prices below world levels. It uses a broad concept of support that encompasses direct budgetary transfers and tax expenditures that provide a benefit or preference for fossil-fuel production or consumption, either in absolute terms or relative to other activities or products. Such measures are classified as support without reference to the purpose for which they were first put in place or their economic or environmental effects. No judgment is therefore made as to whether or not such measures are inefficient or ought to be reformed.

    Caution is required in interpreting the support amounts and in aggregating them. This is particularly the case as the majority of support mechanisms identified in the inventory are tax expenditures. These tax expenditures are relative preferences within a country’s tax system that are measured with reference to a benchmark tax treatment set by that country. Since the benchmark tax treatment varies from country to country, the value of this type of support is not comparable across countries. With respect to aggregation, the estimates generally do not take into account interactions that may be involved where multiple measures are removed at the same time.’ http://www.oecd.org/site/0,3407,en_21571361_48776931_1_1_1_1_1,00.html
    http://www.iea.org/subsidy/index.html

  76. From that Leftist, Greenie rag, FP: (emphases mine)

    http://business.financialpost.com/2012/03/29/obama-says-tax-breaks-for-big-oil-need-to-end/?__lsa=7bbf88d5

    Big tax benefits enjoyed by oil companies

    With gasoline prices rising past $4 a gallon in some parts of the United States, energy and the companies that produce it are hot topics in the Republican race to take on Obama in November.

    Below are major provisions of the tax code used by oil and gas companies. Revenue estimates are over a decade.

    INTANGIBLE DRILLING COSTS

    When Exxon Mobil wants to drill a well to look for oil, it can under present law “expense,” or quickly deduct, the costs for labor, drilling and rig time. These are known in the tax code as “intangible drilling costs.”

    Oil companies say these costs are the equivalent of their research and development costs, like the effort and resources Apple Inc engineers expend to create their next big gadget.

    Critics say this tax break, dating to the beginning of the code, is unjustifiable. As a general rule, though there are other exceptions, expenses incurred by a business for the intent of producing future income must be written off over time, not right away.

    The code now allows independent oil companies — mid-sized competitors such as Marathon Petroleum Corp and Occidental Petroleum Corp — to recover 100 percent of intangible drilling costs in the first year.

    The largest oil companies — including the “Big Five” players Exxon, Chevron, BP Plc, ConocoPhillips and Royal Dutch Shell Plc — can recover 70 percent of these costs in the first year.

    DUAL CAPACITY RULES

    The United States taxes companies on profits earned both inside the United States and abroad in a system known as worldwide taxation. To prevent companies from being taxed twice on the same income, they can claim a tax credit for taxes paid to a foreign country. The credit reduces their U.S. taxes.

    Oil companies are known as “dual capacity” taxpayers because they pay taxes to foreign countries and they also get an economic benefit from those countries. Energy companies are often subject to higher corporate tax rates than other corporations doing business in a given country.

    Obama and other critics say this higher rate amounts to a royalty or economic benefit for access to the country, not an income tax to be credited against U.S. taxes.

    The industry says there is no evidence that companies are using royalties as foreign tax credits.

    PERCENTAGE DEPLETION

    The percentage depletion provision does not apply to the Big 5 oil producers, but independent firms can claim it.

    The provision lets companies take a tax deduction of 15 percent a year for the depletion of oil and gas resources in the ground, instead of deducting the decline in the value over time.

    The Obama administration wants to repeal this, citing its Pittsburgh G20 pledge to phase out subsidies for fossil fuels.

    The administration argues that the provision causes market distortion, skewing investments toward oil and gas that might go elsewhere under neutral tax rules.

    The industry says the deduction is a vital part of the economics of their cost recovery, and says the rules only allow the smallest producers to benefit because of quantity limits.

    DOMESTIC ACTIVITIES DEDUCTION

    Many big U.S. companies are entitled to a 9 percent tax deduction from their income from property manufactured, grown, extracted or produced in the United States.

    Oil companies can claim a 6 percent deduction for this.

    Critics say oil production is not manufacturing, and the oil industry does not need the deduction with oil prices so high.

    The oil industry counters that taking the benefit away from it alone puts the government in the business of picking winners and losers. — Kim Dixon

    It’s a balanced piece. Decide for yourself.

    Does the fossil fuel industry eat donuts or not?

    That’s not the real problem, at all, of course, but it kicks the legs out from under Stephen Rasey and Greybeard’s Lewinsky lies that there are “no subsidies” at all, like a blue dress. Oil and coal, you did so have subsidies with that taxpayer money.

    • This subsidy acts as risk mitigation against a dry well.
      And as discoveries become more and more rare, the subsidies turn into a zero-sum game. The prospectors keep getting the subsidies but when the outcomes continually turn up dry, then the money is basically used to keep the oil patch hands employed.

      Turn off the subsidies and nothing changes, i.e. very few new conventional crude oil reservoirs will be discovered, except for the skeleton crews getting permanently laid off. Maybe that is the way it should be, and we start giving more subsidies to alternative energy players.

      The sad truth is that these oil veterans such as Rasey and Norm Kalmanovitch that write as skeptics on this blog are essentially free-riders on the North American taxpayer base. Yet they complain about climate scientists. Go figure.

      • @@ WebHubTelescope | May 26, 2012 at 1:15 pm

        WebHub, before lunch you hate yourself, for not having shares in oil; after lunch, you hate the rest of the world.

        Without use of fossil, would have being enough food for 3 billion people on the planet. Tell us first: how to get read of the other 4 billion people; what’s your plan / model? A] only the working people / producers would have belong in those 3billion – in which billions do you belong?! B] Hitler got read off 50 million people, and many people think that he was a freak; what does that make you and your camarades; by wanting to starve to death the other 4 billion people?!?!?! Fossil fuel is the life support for the other 4 billion now, INCLUDING FOR YOU.

      • @@ WebHubTelescope | May 26, 2012 at 1:15 pm

        Webhub, i countries where oil is not used – there is no place for big parasites like you. If it wasn’t for oil – you would have being digging for potatoes or milking the cow – instead of now, you are ”milking the bull” and praying for the planet to boil and Second Flood.

        You didn’t succeed to reserve accommodation on Mt. Ararat, because off too many nutters like you, got in front off you; that’s why you are in the Swiss Alps. You are not fair Webhub, com-on down, you should drown with the rest of us

    • Bart R
      Most of these deductions are common deductions for ALL businesses, not “subsidies” to oil. About 25% of all gross oil recovered already goes to Federal and State governments as “royalties” or “taxes”.

      You have the burden of proof to show what are “subsidies” distinct and above average business taxes and depreciation.
      Furthermore company investors are pension funds etc. By reducing “subsidies” you increase “taxes”. The USA already has the highest corporate tax rate in the world. Consequently you reduce GDP and income by pensioners.

      • As he is Bart R, he only has the burden of poof.

      • Matthew 11:30

      • David L. Hagen | May 26, 2012 at 1:18 pm |

        The at-the-pumps money that goes to taxes today is 60% less as a proportion of the price of gasoline in America than it was 20 years ago.

        Tell me what other industry in America has enjoyed such favorable tax cuts over the same period?

        This “common deductions for ALL businesses” nonsense is just that. Nonsense. You’re confusing the case of accelerated depletion with the legitimate case of depreciation. Accelerated depletion allowance for extractive industries is a political favor brought in less than a hundred years ago by politicians for their backers in mining, after the US Supreme Court ruled that the mining interests were incorrect in asserting that depletion allowance amounted to expropriation. See, that’s the business case that allows depreciation to be a valid exemption: without depreciation allowance, the government is expropriating a business’s assets.

        Depletion allowance is a fast one. Wool over the eyes. Scam. Corruption of a sound legislative practice by subterfuge and political influence. You don’t believe me? I refer you to the Nixon and Reagan administrations, who said so while in office.

        While you assert that to cut subsidies raises taxes, the circularity of the confidence trickster shell game astounds me. Handcuffs and a suitable stint as a guest of the greybar motel, with hefty fines, are the expected response to such fraudulent representations when made in any other line of work than the fossil energy sector.

        And don’t get me started on this nanny state coddling of Baby Boomers nonsense of yours.

      • So gasoline is taxed less than it used to be. This is a tax over and above what the companies that produce it pay, same as all other companies.
        So, yet once more, zero evidence of fossil fuels being subsidized over others. Just more obfuscation to support a preconceived conclusion.

      • Greybeard | May 27, 2012 at 1:46 am |

        Sixty percent less tax on gasoline. How much have other taxes dropped in the past 20 years on any goods?

        Gasoline is aggressively favored and promoted by government, more and more, every year, with this spectacular tax relief for the most profitable product on the planet, with infrastructure spending, with intensification of government buying of oil company products at ludicrously high uncompetitive prices, with expropriation including the spectacle of Chinese-owned TransCanada Pipeline pushing American families off land they’ve lived on for generations under eminent domain, with tax expenditures and direct subsidies and direct agriculture subsidies to biofuel stretchers for gasoline and diesel.

        The connection between oil and government is so incestuous it’s hard to tell where the Bush family ends in oil and begins in politics, or where the bin Laden family ends in oil and begins in terror. And they picnic together.

    • I was waiting for those!

      Is Depreciation of Capital as a Tax deduction a subsidy?
      Is Cost of Goods sold a deduction against gross income a Tax Subsidy?
      Are Wages paid to employees deducted from gross income a Tax Subsidy?

      If you answer is yes to any of these, I will stop there and let your Yes hang in the air for all to see.

      If your answer in NO to all of these, then:
      Intangible Drilling costs are Wages and other intangibles in drilling wells. Let’s face it: what you are making is a hole! The difference in the oil patch is that we must capitalize them and deduct them through Depletion instead of expensing them immediately. We’d love to expense them, so Intangible Drilling is an added cost to oil companies, not a subsidy, in that it delays our recovery of expenses.

      Depletion Depletion is the same thing as of Depreciation, it is just done on a Units of Production basis. The costs to acquire land and acquire, process, and interpret seismic are all about finding the asset to be produced over time. These, too are not expensed, they are capitalized and depleted. But just like Depreciation, the cost to create an asset may be deducted over time from gross revenue before you get to taxable income.

      Depletion comes in two forms: Cost Depletion and Percentage Depletion.
      Cost Depletion is straight forward, sum up all the costs, capitalize them, get certified reserves estimates, deduct the costs based upon units of the reserves produced. Straight forward, tedious, and bureaucratic. Not to mention complicated as you do more work, add costs, add reserves, and readjust.

      Percentage Depletion was a way to greatly simplify the accounting. Instead of tracking each an every cost, take 15% of the revenue off the top as todays cost of acquiring the same equivalent asset tomorrow. It is very much like the Individual Income Tax Standard or Itemized Deduction. Itemized might get your more if you keep track of all the receipts.

      And you only get to choose one or the other. And frankly, by far most production is based upon Cost Depletion because back in 1976 Percentage Depletion was barred from use by major and mid-sized independents. It is limited to royalty owners and small fry and limited to 1000 bbls or 6 MMCF (million cubic feet) per day.

      One can argue that the difference between (Cumulative Percentage Depletion and cumulative Cost Depletion) could be a subsidy as it makes accounting easier for everyone. But only the difference could fairly be called a subsidy.

      Dual Capacity Rules Oh, you think not paying double taxation on income abroad is a subsidy? That’s easy to fix. Tax income earned abroad without allowing the tax paid abroad as a tax credit. International Oil companies will flee the US faster than you can say “kill the Golden Goose.”

      Domestic Activities Deduciton I’ll give you credit here. It looks and smells like a subsidy — to manufacturing. Most companies can claim 9%, but oil companies, fossil fuels, only get 6%, 2/3’s of others. Certainly it is not a fossil only subsidy. And allowing oil companies only 2/3’s of other manufacturing seems to me the compromise was already had.

      • Stephen Rasey | May 26, 2012 at 3:31 pm |

        Of course you were waiting for those. Yes, you’ve seen the FP article and you’ve seen countless industry excuses and stories, fibs and cover-ups circulated since to bolster the industry side of the argument. Well done you.

        You’ve been trying to manipulate us to come to the cases from your talking points book for the majority of the thread.

        Well-practiced pat arguments developed by industry specialists to meet these “named subsidies”? Of course you have them standing by and ready.

        Except, they’re tailored to a green socialist source with neither interest in nor understanding of the private property case.

        Depreciation is a valid allowance to prevent unlawful expropriation of the property of a business by the government without due process. In this it differs from Depletion, as ruled by the US Supreme Court a century ago. Your argument is false. You’re stealing from the taxpayer to gain what is after all just another Protectionist rent seeking tax grabbing unearned benefit. Which is why the Nixon administration slammed the door on the practice for the big players in 1976.

        Is there a way to distinguish drilling a hole to work from drilling a hole to test? Not really, no. If I go into business “to test”, set up a “test store” and hire employees to “test the market”, and deduct research costs on that basis, you better believe I am going to get a visit from IRS auditors in no time flat.. unless I’m in the oil business. It’s a scam argument to say you’re just “testing” and write off all your expenses immediately, when everyone else in every other line of work in a like circumstance must spread the cost out over the entire life of their enterprise.

        And let’s look at this blackmail by international oil companies with their hardball “cut our taxes or we set up shop in tax havens” threats with a steely eye. I say let them.

        I’m an enemy of coercive power of government. I think government ought be small, honest and clean.

        And I say let the USA respond in kind through the voice of its individual people in the Market and intangibly. We’ll see how fast oil executives come crawling back with their tails between their legs, once We the People roll up the paper and smack their companies down properly for biting the hand that feeds them.. the citizens of the USA.

      • Bart: Is there a way to distinguish drilling a hole to work from drilling a hole to test? No.

        Absolutely, yes!
        If the well is a dry hole, it get’s to be P&A’d and expensed
        If the well is a successful exploratory well, but cannot be completed for production, then it gets P&A and Capitalized into the lease and depleted with the lease bonus and seismic.
        If the well is a successful exploratory well that can be completed as a producer, then the well is completed and Capitalized and depreciated starting on the first day put into production, along with the platform, pipeline and facilities.
        Why would a successful exploratory well not be completed for production? It depends upon the geologic uncertainty. in a rank exploratory well, the pressures may be uncertain enough too warrant frequent strings of casing, such that hole diameter at the pay horizon may be big enough to evaluate the formation, but insufficient to case, perforate, and produce. Sometimes it is deemed better to make the discovery with a “throw-away well” to learn: (1) whether there is a field there, (2) whether it should be developed, and (3) how to design the casing program for the following production wells.

        Bart: Yes, you’ve seen the FP article
        Nope. If that was what you apparently cut and pasted whole swaths from — then I still haven’t read it. Didn’t bother. Saw the headers and I went from there.

        If you noticed carefully, I did not provide a link for the stuff I wrote at 3:31. That’s because there was no source. If you bother to google what I wrote, you won’t find anything I copied from. What I wrote was extemporaneous; an original essay based upon prior discussion in the thread.

        Errata: To be fair, I meant to cite the 1000 bbls / day Percentage depletion info to check the figures on how small a player you need to be to qualify: http://www.ipaa.org/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2012/01/2009-04-PercentageDepletion.pdf
        For a bonus, here is the US Code 613A: Limitations on percentage depletion in case of oil and gas wells http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/26/613A

        And finally, there is from the IRS, “Market Segment Specialization program: Oil & Gas” http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-mssp/oilgas.pdf (A guide for their auditors). Page 1-10 to 1-11 pretty well summarize how costs are to be capitalized and deducted. What you spend to find and produce hydrocarbons you get to deduct. That fair. Cost of Goods sold, Depreciation, etc. It’s only a question of how and how fast.
        .pdf

      • Stephen Rasey | May 26, 2012 at 10:04 pm |

        You know from your description of the process, and I know, that it’s not as simple as that with the drilling of holes. Business decisions in the industry are often decided because of tax advantage, not market or geological conditions. Holes get drilled and capped for later, or drilled for ‘test’ purposes that also have other long term business purposes, or drilled and could be tapped but it’s advantageous for tax purposes to cap it and treat it as a test well and tap it in a later business period. It’s all indistinguishable from tax avoidance, a form of subsidy. What do governments do in every other industry when they run across such practices? They treat them ‘conservatively’ in tax accounting terms, and treat the activity under the assumption that the enterprise was undertaken as a going concern. Oil drilling got a sweet deal due political pressure on tax regulators to favor the oil industry in ways other industries are not.

        http://web.mst.edu/~tien/270/270-depl.pdf

        Where did depletion allowance come from?

        http://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/231/399/case.html

        Stratton’s Independence, Ltd. v. Howbert – 231 U.S. 399 (1913)

        The court ruled extractive industries could not depreciate resources in the ground. This forced the industries to lobby for a political measure to give them the Protectionist measure they demanded.

        Depletion and depreciation are not the same. Calling them the same is a lie.

      • Business decisions in the industry are often decided because of tax advantage, not market or geological conditions.

        I’ve got news for you. Busines decisions in the industry are ALWAYS decided on geologic, market, AND tax conditions.

        Yes! Tax rates matter. Royalty rates matter. Depreciation Schedules matter, Carried interest matter. Anticipated oil prices matter. Well costs matter, Reservoir properties matter, Hydrocarbon type matters. Markets matter (there’s lots of Nat Gas in Prudhoe Bay and MaKenzie Delta, but it is >3000 miles from customers). It all matters.

        It is all about
        “What might be there?”
        “How likely might it be there?”
        “What will it cost to find out?”
        “What will it cost to develop if it is there?
        “How quickly to develop? How quickly to produce?”
        “Is technology changing to make it cheaper or faster?”
        “How much do we have to give up off the top to the royalty owners?”
        “What can we sell it for (over its lifetime of 8-50 years”
        “How quickly with the tax laws allow us to recover the investment?”
        “How much of the profit will the taxes let us keep”
        “What is the political risk: the risk the rules will change on us mid-project?
        and after all that is considerd for each and every opportunity…
        “Have we better places to put our money? ”
        “Better places to drill with the people and rigs available?”
        If it was easy, the price of oil would be a lot lower.

      • Depletion and depreciation are not the same. Calling them the same is a lie.

        No they are not the same thing. They are two (actualy three) different methods to serve the same purposes: To allow businesses to deduct the costs of running a business before the government takes a big share of the profits. the USC case you cite prevented the industry from using Deprecation to recover land and finding costs. So a depletion category was added to the tax code to justly allow for these costs.

        Cost depletion has the same justification as Depreciation. Recover costs of goods sold.

        Where you have a point is that Percentage Depletion may be too generous a deduction. it was simple. Reserve 1/7 th (15%) of the revenue to pay for the cost of finding the resource. When oil sold for 0.10/bbl (after East Texas Field) to 4.00/bbl, the simple approach.

        In 1976, a couple years after the Arab Oil Embargo when OPEC set prices at $12, $14, $16/bbl, and “Windfall Profits Tax” hit the books, Percentage depletion rules were changed and eliminated for anyone producing over 1000/bbls per day. So percentage depletion mostly disappears in 1976, thirty-six years ago. Get over it!

        Today, Percentage depletion can only be used be the royalty owners and small producers who would be unnecessarily burdened to have major accounting departments to keep track of Cost Depletion. So the tax laws allow them to “use the short form.” But even the small fry have a right to depletion deductions someway, somehow.

        I repeat 5/26 3:31 pm,One can argue that the difference between (Cumulative Percentage Depletion and cumulative Cost Depletion) could be a subsidy as it makes accounting easier for everyone. But only the difference could fairly be called a subsidy. And the big guys haven’t be able to use percentage depletion for almost two generations. That’s my point.

      • Bart as ruled by the US Supreme Court a century ago.

        Citation please. I can read and comment an opinion, but I have to know which one you mean and how you interpret it.

        Was it this one?
        Palmer v. Bender, 287 U.S. 551 (1933)
        or this one?
        Lynch v. Alworth-Stephens Co., 267 U.S. 364 (1925)

      • blackmail by international oil companies with their hardball “cut our taxes or we set up shop in tax havens”

        I’m an enemy of coercive power of government. I think government ought be small, honest and clean.

        These two comments are in stark contradiction, since one of the best mechanisms to to keep government small, honest and clean, is competition between them – including tax competition. (And the smaller the geographical area a government covers, and the lower the number of people in it, the better political competition works).

      • mungo | May 27, 2012 at 1:59 am |

        Right, because we see how small, honest and clean the government of Libya has been.

        To make this competition work, you actually have to get the governments to work. Which means the USA wouldn’t subsidy any Middle East oil interest, either business or government or private dictator, in the first place.

        You don’t get clean competition within boxers from the same promoter, or horses from the same stable.

    • “Bart R, Most of these deductions are common deductions for ALL businesses, not “subsidies” to oil.”

      Bart is by now well aware of this. He just chooses to ignore it.

      • Greybeard | May 27, 2012 at 1:33 am |

        Oddly, I’ve been aware of things about subsidy I have not yet said here for quite a while.

        I just choose to stick to what’s relevant.

        And yet I remain unsurprised five of the points I have made for your consideration (https://judithcurry.com/2012/05/20/copenhagen-consensus-2012/#comment-203268) remain glaringly unanswered by you .. because you clearly recognize them to be true, unalterable and unassailable. And the earlier characterizations you have made remain baselessly unreferenced. Because let’s face it, you type fast, hit Post Comment fast, and take time to actually read what you reacted to only later if at all. Nor research nor self-assessment enters into your process, does it?

      • The bottom line here remains that have been unable to provide any evidence whatsoever for your claim that fossil fuel is subsidized over other energy sources.

        And you have zero outstanding, unanswered relevant questions on the topic. Only smokescreening ones. You have picked a conclusion and are sticking to it no matter what.

      • (Your most popular smokescreen thus far being the evils of subsidy in general (which is anyway largely preaching to the converted here). Also the pretense that general-purpose subsidies that benefit fossil fuel companies along with all sorts of other companies (including alternative energy ones), are somehow subsides for fossil fuel in particular).

  77. Stephen Rasey

    Thanks for your succinct description of how depletion allowances, intangible drilling costs, etc. work for producing oil companies.

    Hopefully you have cleared up Bart R’s confusion that these are “fossl fuel subsidies”.

    Max

    • manacker | May 26, 2012 at 4:28 pm |

      Ever the true believer, you’ll back anything said by anyone, so long as you don’t have to check their definitions, facts, cases or arguments against actual data, observations, history or scholarship, it appears.

      A pair of pompoms and a short skirt, and you’re all set.

  78. Most countries don’t reduce the cost to consumers below the cost of supply. – http://www.iea.org/subsidy/index.html – Tax treatments are a matter of politics as Bart so ably demonstrates again and again.

  79. Let’s talk about asphalt a bit.

    Asphalt is a waste byproduct of the oil refining business. It’s worthless to them, it gums up their works, and it’s incredibly expensive to dispose of, being composed largely of volatile mutagenic, teratagenic and carcinogenic organic chemicals plus sand.

    However, due to the magic of vertical distribution chains, the oil industry also sells asphalt as a raw material for paving roads and highways. While you have to pay to have your trash hauled to the dump and disposed of, or must hold a flea market or garage sale at pennies on the pound, the oil industry has convinced every level of government to build its infrastructure for it.

    Does the government build telecommunications infrastructure for private phone companies? Regulate it, yes. Build it? No.

    Sweet deal.

    Have to wonder what else to call that, but subsidy.

    And here’s the thing. They don’t call them tarsands for nothing. America is about to enjoy a glut of asphalt the like of which it is impossible to calculate. What do you think the odds are that the building and maintenance of public roads and highways is going to get less costly as a result of this huge increase in supply?

    • Re: Asphalt:
      And I thought finding a productive, practical, cost effective use for what was consided a waste product was a highly prized activity in the environmental community. Most times it earns a medal for recycling.

    • So the use of asphalt for roads was a political decision. Because a better/cheaper material is … ?

      • Sony | May 27, 2012 at 12:56 am | Reply

        ..Because a better/cheaper material is … ? letting the oil industry pay to build the roads and highways themselves, like every other industry from telecommunications to insurance to container shipping does, instead of the taxpayers doing it for them?

        I don’t at all disagree that the technical solution is practical, cost effective and productive. It’s just not the government’s business to do.

      • Taxpayers build roads so that oil companies can make profits off of a waste product. That’s a subsidy?

        That’s just dumber than a box of rocks.

        Maybe Oscar Meyer should pay us for eating their hot dogs.

        Some things I read here just leave me shaking my head.

        Here’s hoping Bart just had a little too much chardonnay of a Saturday night.

      • GaryM | May 27, 2012 at 2:28 am |

        Oscar Meyer doesn’t lobby politicians to have the government bake and give away free hot dog buns to everyone, at the taxpayer’s expense.

        They don’t have federal interstate relish, socialized state mustard, or municipal ketchup crews.

        Why do the Chinese backers of Keystone XL?

      • See it is roads – because the only reason for building a road is to use fuel. Serendipously provides a market for a waste product as well. Suckers.

    • And even though the supply of asphalt is about to rocket, this will have no effect on the price? A bold prediction. I trust we will be kept informed.

    • Above you used asphalt as an example of a subsidy to the fossil industry, the implication being it is an unsuitable material, selected purely for political reasons.
      You then contradicted yourself by agreeing it is in fact a practical choice (one that private road companies would likely make too?). Such are the perils of over-hasty blogging.

      • Sony | May 27, 2012 at 2:34 am |

        Indeed, the material is sound. A bit vicious on the volatile mutagenicity, but structurally compatible with the purpose to which it is put.

        And get his, the reasons for its use by government are _not_ purely political in some sense. Well, not the politics that comes off at first blush.

        If you’re at all familiar with the asphalt of the internet, pop-up-ads, then you understand why politicians in the past may have opted for governments to own the roads rather than give over so much of the real estate of the nation to monopolistic private hands.

        Picture an America held hostage to unlimited pocket-picking every mile of paved road, in every form the industry could devise. Well, that’s what politicians feared. That private owners would use what they privately owned to make private profit trading on their property.

      • Yes I’m familar with the idea of private ownership of roads (as well as other currently nationalized property), and the the usual arguments for their nationalization. With roads it’s mostly the difficulty of accurate charging according to usage. Technology though could help – sensors on cars, cctv cameras, etc. Still doesn’t quite get away from the BigBrotherliness of it all though. Or the asphalt.

  80. Beth Cooper

    Carbon taxes are intended to force substitution to a less ‘risky’ product- although at higher prices. But is it less risky? Technologies that aren’t viable, 24/7, need back up technology more than half the time. The process of ramping conventional plants connected to intermittant renewable systems has been shown to increase fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. C le Pair (2009) ‘Electricity in the Netherlands: Wind turbines increase fossil fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.’ Elliston et al (2011) ‘ Simulations of Scenarios withwith 1005 Renewable Electricity ithe Australian National Electricity Market.’
    Hmm, freezing weather in Melbourne. Must light the fire and start reading the 2nd part of The Hunger Games trilogy. Got it yesterday and stayed up half the night. Its compelling reading!

  81. There is a very simple, impartial and above all cost-optimal method to resolve all these human ‘problems’ : let the market cleans the mess.

  82. http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2012/05/27/bjorn-lomborg-on-the-rio-green-summit-poverty-pollutes.html

    Lomborg back to his old tricks? I mean, the “poverty pollutes” message is credible and interesting.

    The $180 billion/year economic losses of CO2 abatement, hadn’t Lomborg repudiated that once before when he was called on for citations, proof, evidence, or, y’know, anything credible to back up the spurious claim?

  83. http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/may/29/gas-rebranded-green-energy-eu?newsfeed=true

    Yes, a carbon subsidy has finally been found. But far from it being “yet another” one, it is the one and only one we know of thus far (all the claims of others being patently obvious greenwash calculated to deceive).
    I wonder how it stacks up against the money being p****d down the drain on wind and solar?

  84. The ugly part of any revenue neutral carbon tax is
    For every dollar received by the tax,
    there will be a dollar of subsidy going somewhere to someone.

    It is the subsidy side that will become corrupt, dishonest, and political.
    Even a $10/ton tax, which roughly is $1/bbl or $0.10/MCF, that will be added the sale price at the well head. Tax paid. But who gets the money in a CO2 sequestration project?

    Suppose ExxonMobil develops a tertiary recovery, steam flood with CO2 injection? CoGen. Burn 1 bbl to generate electricity and inject steam and CO2 into a field to get another 4 bbls out. Some CO2 from the burning of the oil is sequesterd in the process. In a revenue neutral system, ExxonMobil will earn a subsidy for the injection-sequestration. Presto! Oil companies being subsidized for the production of oil. Can’t have that, can we?

    • Peter Lang

      Stephen Rasey,

      The ugly part of any revenue neutral carbon tax is For every dollar received by the tax, there will be a dollar of subsidy going somewhere to someone. It is the subsidy side that will become corrupt, dishonest, and political.

      Yes, and there is much more to it than that. It’s much worse than you say.

      1. There is the compliance cost of the system that would be required eventually ( see here

      2. I estimate the costs for the Australian scheme would be nine times the benefits, and that is if the assumptions of an optimal system are implemented by the world, in unison, now! Explanation below.

      Benefit to cost ratio of the Australian CO2 pricing scheme to 2050

      In an interesting exchange between Roger W. Cohen, William Happer and Richard Lindzen, and reply by William D. Nordhaus on “The New York Review of Books” here Professor William Nordhaus (hereafter WN) said:

      “The final part of the response of CHL comes back to the economics of climate change and public policy. They make two major points: that the difference between acting now and doing nothing for fifty years is “insignificant economically or climatologically,” and that the policy questions are dominated by major uncertainties.

      Is the difference between acting now and waiting fifty years indeed “insignificant economically”? Given the importance attached to this question, I recalculated this figure using the latest published model. When put in 2012 prices, the loss is calculated as $3.5 trillion, and the spreadsheet is available on the Web for those who would like to check the calculations themselves. If, indeed, the climate skeptics think this is an insignificant number, they should not object to spending much smaller sums for slowing climate change starting now.”

      Particularly note this bit:

      When put in 2012 prices, the loss is calculated as $3.5 trillion, …. If, indeed, the climate skeptics think this is an insignificant number, they should not object to spending much smaller sums for slowing climate change starting now.

      I am surprised that WN says the $3.5 trillion is a significant number, given that it is cumulative to 2050 and is for the whole world. I am also surprised that WN says skeptics “should not object to spending much smaller sums for slowing climate change starting now.” I consider the Australian situation and calculate the costs to achieve the Australian share of the $3.5 trillion reduction in climate damages would be around nine times greater than Australia’s share of the estimated $3.5 trillion saving. Here is how I did my calculations.

      I converted the estimated $3.5 trillion world damages avoided to the Australian proportion on the basis of Australia’s share of world GDP, i.e. 1.17%. So Australia’s share of damages avoided is 1.17% x $3.5 trillion = $41 billion. That is the cumulative damages avoided by Australia to 2050. It assumes an optimal CO2 price, the whole world implements the CO2 price in unison, and an economically efficient system is implemented across the whole world. It also assumes Australia’s share of world GDP remains constant.

      The Australian Treasury estimated the loss of GDP that our legislated CO2 tax and ETS will cause. [ However, it seems they may have underestimated because they, apparently, have not estimated the compliance cost]. The cumulative loss of GDP to 2050 is $1,345 billion (undiscounted) (Chart 5:13), or $390 billion discounted at 4.34%, which I believe is the discount rate that is the default in RICE (2012) and gives the value of $3.5 trillion quoted by WN.

      If my calculations are correct, the benefit, to Australia, of the optimum CO2 tax rate (if the world implements an economically efficient CO2 pricing scheme in unison) would be $41 billion and the cost (reduced GDP) would be $390 billion. Therefore, the benefit to cost ratio is 0.11. [benefit/cost should be greater than 1 for the policy to be justified] .

      Therefore, I do not understand WN’s statement that “[sceptics] should not object to spending much smaller sums for slowing climate change starting now.” My calculations suggest we would spend nine times greater sums, not smaller sums, to achieve the benefits estimated by WN.

  85. Beth Cooper

    Peter Lang @ 31/05 7.48pm
    To let you know, :I received a reply to my letter and your costing of renewable energy paper from MP Andrew Robb, thanking me for forwarding yr paper, which he described as ‘a powerful and timely analysis and set of recommendations.’

    • Peter Lang

      Thank you Beth,

      That’s very encouraging. It’s good to hear the politicians at the top level are taking notice. I recognise they do know a lot more about the realities than most people give them credit for, but as Andrew Robb said recently their main problem is “managing the expectations of the voters” or words top that effect.

      Thank you for forwarding it to him.

  86. What is the broad legitimacy rating of the IPCC reports ?

    Or to put it another way, what percentage of the papers and lesser material used by the IPCC to support its conclusions, provide open access to their data sets ?

    100%? 50%? 0%?