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
        http://curryja.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/rutt_bridges_article.pdf

        I have done a quick cost/benefit analysis for these proposals.
        http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6112/6208819043_0931707315_b.jpg

        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.
        http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6112/6208819043_0931707315_b.jpg

        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.

  13. AGW advocates’ trend is skeptics’ cycle =>
    http://www.springerlink.com/content/akh241460p342708/fulltext.html

    • 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

      • Salty language.

      • 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

  16. 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”).

    • +1

    • 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.”

  17. Steve Borodin

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

  18. 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

  19. 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.’

  20. 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

  21. 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”).

  22. 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’.

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

  25. 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

      • Kent Draper | May 21, 2012 at 5:39 pm |

        http://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/tu-quoque

      • 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.

  26. 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

  27. “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.
        http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/heat_content2000m.png

        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?

      • http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o252/captdallas2/rssfrom19945.png

        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.

  28. 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.

  29. 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

  30. 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.

  31. 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?…………

  32. 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.

  33. 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

  34. 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?

  35. 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.

  36. 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.)

  37. 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.

  38. 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.

  39. 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.

  40. John from CA

    Looks like Scope Creep to me. Aren’t a majority of these issues the concern of the WHO (World Health Organization)?

  41. 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

  42. 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.

  43. I do hope that many of you are watching the Climate Conference that is going on in Chicago right now.

    http://climateconference.heartland.org/

  44. If you missed part of it, the videos are available

  45. 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:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GOLld5PR4ts

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

    .

  46. 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.

  47. I think the debate will move forward when Warmers come to grips with the meaning of this:

    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/pretense

    Andrew

  48. 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.

  49. 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? ;)

  50. 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?