the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

Lukelimiters

Posted by Jeff Id on May 15, 2010

I’m not sure people realize that blogging is more about reading than writing.   Sure, I do enjoy the privilege  of placing my thoughts on line for discussion with a lot of smart people, so there is a measure of talk, but from a functional perspective, blogging is mostly reading. By the time you get around to writing something, you’ve already spent hours looking at papers and data and are a little spent.    Like many of you, I’m a thoughtful person who spends much of his time staring blankly at a wall (or computer screen) having constant quiet consideration in my head.

Recently, my reading has led me to the opinion that many (if not most) people in the skeptic world seem to prefer we do something about CO2 emission.  My opinions haven’t changed one bit and probably won’t in the next 15 years but if we look at the fact that no damage has been shown from CO2, massive warming hasn’t occurred at the rates predicted in the models and none of the predicted disasters have come true, why would we still want to limit CO2 production?

In all honesty, I simply don’t understand what would lead anyone who is skeptical of the warmist predictions, to the decision that action must be taken.

However, there are many who consider themselves to be lukewarmers.  In my reading, lukewarmer doesn’t mean anything beyond a recognition of the radiative physics of CO2, it guarantees nothing in atmospheric response but there are many less experienced people who assume differently when they read “lukewarm”.   I can’t assume the title myself because it doesn’t seem that we know how climate responds to added heat capture of CO2.  Lukewarmers (and I) expect some warming from CO2, however many of them enjoy discussion of limitation policy.  I’m legitimately curious about this position and the rationalization of the position.  There isn’t anyone here who I would describe as thoughtless and maybe someone will change my mind on whether we should pursue limitation policy of some kind.

So if you are for a strategy of accelerated limitation of CO2 output through some form of government intervention, from the most severe to the most moderate version, I’m genuinely curious why you hold that position, and what your rationale for it is.

This thread is therefore,

- Why we should limit CO2

- What your preferred method for limitation is

and if you’re interested,

- Why it’s better than doing nothing.

——-

88 Responses to “Lukelimiters”

  1. allen mcmahon said

    We should limit C02 to show our support for bears, lizards, trees etc
    My preferred method is to trade in “hot air”. The REDD scheme is an admirable example of what can be achieved when the UN, the Woods Hole Research Center, the WWF and Goldman & Sachs (via a foundation supporting WHRC) put the interests of the world ahead of politicized agendas and profits.
    It is better than doing nothing because we should all aspire to see our children and grandchildren living in abject poverty as we enter a new ice age.

  2. pgosselin said

    I agree with the Air vent here. I haven’t seen one compelling reason to cut back on Co2 emissions, except for maybe our oil and reserves will run out some day. But that would happen gradually, and the market situation would clear the way for alternatives.

    Like Jeff Id (I think it’s not even your real name, but whatever) I’m also waiting for a logical and rational reason to SACRIFICE.

    REPLY: — Last name is Condon, I was outed by the press during climategate. I kinda like id though, it’s familiar.

  3. pgosselin said

    Darn it! How could I have missed it?
    The most compelling reason is so that you can feel superior, more intelligent and enlightend than those who just want go about their lives unhassled.

  4. Yes, Jeff I am a lukewarmer.

    My position is that, on scientific grounds, the increasing CO2 must contribute some global warming over various timescales.

    IMHO, technically the real arguments are how much and how quickly?

    However, my position is also that, given the uncertainty about how much (warming) can be ultimately expected, prudence dictates that mankind should also be actively researching and trialing mitigative measures.

    My preferred mitigative measure, on ease of technical verification grounds, is large scale stimulation of oceanic cyanobacterial primary productivity with iron and nitrogeneous nutrients.

    Obama has something like 700 – 800 B52s in mothballs left over from the Cold War. The Russians have similar numbers of their equivalents. Iron and urea are relatively cheap.

  5. Tim said

    Regardless of what we may believe about the quality of the cesspool called climate science we must accept that emitting CO2 does come with some risk since we cannot prove that the alarmists are wrong. This non-zero risk requires that we do a cost benefit analyses and if the cost of reducing CO2 emissions was near zero then it would make sense to reduce emissions.

  6. BillyBob said

    I believe there should be a checkbox on your yearly incoming tax. It would say:

    Do you believe in AGW? Yes __ No __.

    If you answer yes, for the next year you are not allowed to use any energy based on carbon. You cannot eat food that gives off CO2 during production etc etc. If you put gasoline in your car, it gets seized. If you use electricity to heat your home and it is produced by a coal or NG plant, your home is seized.

    If you talk the talk, you have to walk the walk. And your answer is public.

    If you answer No, you get to go on with your life.

    No more hypocrites allowed.

  7. Skip said

    My position is we shouldn’t particularly do anything to limit CO2. We should be working to limit pollution, and probably get reductions in CO2 as a byproduct.

    But the market will work here – as the cost of CO2 rises because the supply diminishes or the demand rises without a corresponding increase in supply then alternatives will be priced in, and developed. We certainly don’t need the economy-strangling taxation of hundreds of billions of dollars a year in the US alone going to a goverment bureacracy to be doled out to the politically well-connected that Pielke and company envisioned in the Hartwell paper.

  8. Tim said

    #6 BillyBob

    Wrong question. One can believe that AGW is real but still feel that the cost of doing anything about it is too high to bother.
    The right question is “do you believe the sacrifices are necessary to reduce CO2?” – if yes then step up to the plate…

  9. sleeper said

    IMO, the entire argument, at this point, should be about whether we can effectively do anything about it if it’s true. The cost/benefit ratios I’ve seen are extremely high, and would be analogous to putting someone on chemotherapy because they have a family history of cancer. Common sense suggests that you not waste huge sums of money trying to prevent AGW, but that you save the money to use later in dealing with the consequences that very slowly result. Unless, of course, you believe in a Venusian runaway greenhouse effect.

  10. greg2213 said

    An aside, for a moment: Are the people who consider CO2 to be a “pollutant” using that term only because CO2 is supposed to cause warming? Or because they believe it is a pollutant in the more traditional sense?

    My 2 cents worth on the questions:

    – Why we should limit CO2

    We should not. We certainly should limit the toxic stuff, but CO2 isn’t toxic. My believe is that warming from CO2 is trivial, at most, and that more CO2 in the system is a very good thing for people, plants, and critters. (BTW – that was a cool plant growth video from a few posts back.) Warmer temps (1-3C) would be good, too, but I don’t think we’ll be seeing much of that.

    – What your preferred method for limitation is

    To limit the politicians and green tyrants in such a way that they can’t foist any more of their schemes on us.

    – and if you’re interested, Why it’s better than doing nothing.

    Dump the climate change thing completely. There are far more important issues to deal with.

    How about we take all the CO2 limitation schemes and dump them. Then offer tax cuts/credits (no subsidies) to companies developing marketable alternative energy systems (including nuclear.) Use market forces to push adaption and ignore CO2 mitigation.

    That way when the inevitable drought, storm, hurricane, earthquake, etc. hits we’ll be in far better shape to deal with it.

    In addition, peoples that have greater access to power, tech, food, a higher standard of living., etc. have less pressure to make large families and so population pressures will be, eventually, lessened.

    There are plenty of things we can do without wasting time and effort trying to limit something as harmless as CO2.

  11. DeWitt Payne said

    I don’t think we should put much emphasis on mitigation over adaptation for a number of reasons. For starters:

    1. IMO, the IPCC SRES estimates of future carbon emissions are way too high.

    2. The cost of damage from increased temperature has been greatly exaggerated.

    3. The cost of mitigation has been greatly underestimated.

    4. Our descendants, provided we don’t shoot ourselves in the foot, will be much better off than us and will be able to afford to adapt.

    5. The unintended consequences of mitigation by geo-engineering solutions, including ocean fertilization, have not been carefully investigated.

  12. Tom Fuller said

    Something to read while you’re in Chicago, hobnobbing with the high and the mighty ;)

    As you write, CO2 will contribute to some warming, and we don’t really know how much. Because climate is a regional phenomenon, not a global one, this warming is likely to have a negative effect in some regions, especially poor ones that don’t have the resources to prepare for or cope with it.

    CO2 emissions are a byproduct of fuel use that has other negatives associated with it, such as pollution, oil spills, etc. We emit CO2 without internal combustion, through deforestation and changes in land use, etc. It is actually easier and probably cheaper to limit emissions from power generation and transportation than other mechanisms.

    Given that almost all of the actions proposed to combat climate change are things that we will have to do anyhow, such as transition away from fossil fuels and incorporate more efficient technology into our lives, and many of the actions would be beneficial to us with or without global warming, a gradual move, without panic, is in our national (and international) best interests.

  13. co2fan said

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/05/what-we-can-learn-from-studying-the-last-millennium-or-so/#comment-174725

    Are the Real Climate guys becoming Lukewarmers?

    They are even admitting to a Medieval Warming Period, oops, I mean “Medieval Climate Anomaly”.

    RC: “…people usually find that while it was relatively cool in global mean temperatures from the 1400s to the 1800s known as the “Little Ice Age” and relatively mild in the 900s to 1300s interval ( sometimes termed the “Medieval Warm Period”). But the spatial reconstructions reveal, however, why such global terms can be quite misleading, and why alternative phrases such as the “Medieval Climate Anomaly” are being increasingly favored by the community.”


    Their reconstructions are so accurate they can tell that the temps then were like

    “mid, but not late 20th century warmth”

    RC: “Though the medieval period is seen to be modestly warmer globally in comparison with the later centuries of the Little Ice Age (the peak global mean warmth is likely comparable to mid, but not late, 20th century warmth),..”

    Hal

  14. nc said

    Point is being missed.
    co2 has been higher, much higher in the past. The earth seemed to survive, even flouished. I just read that C02 may have been higher three times in the last 150 years, even higher than the so called tipping point.

    From my reading the earths C02 has been in decline. Plants start showing stress at 150 PPM and we were down to 250 PPM. Have we been lower? I don”t know because the only studies I have seen all show higher. Is the real danger low C02 not higher.

    What I am also concerned about is pollution, not so called C02 pollution, that is only applied to the mantra, its worse than we thought, send more money. Wasting money chasing Co2 and ignoring pollutants, that is the real crime against humanity and earth.

    Hanson, Jones, Gavin, Gore and their like are the real “evildoers”. I know these people know they are promoting BS. How do they sleep at night? How do they look their families in the eye.

    I do hope history will show what a sad bunch of individuals they are.

  15. co2fan said

    Just realized that the RC post was by Michael Mann.

    WOW

  16. Layman Lurker said

    Mitigation through cap and trade is not workable (or desireable) for the following reasons:

    1. There are too many unanswered questions about AGW to be able to establish the true value (if any) of abatement. If a carbon market worth trillions gets established on a false economy, then a bubble will burst that would make the sub-prime crisis look like a walk in the park.

    2. A level playing field globally is not possible. Rules, regulations, enforcement, etc cannot be administered consistently in independent, sovereign nations.

    3. The the moral hazard – incentive to cheat or game the system will be huge and the costs are impossible to estimate at this point.

    4. How does such a market function without becomming politicized? Will jusrisdictions play political games (which come with a cost) to draw investment? Can the optimal solutions be realized in such an environment?

  17. DeWitt Payne said

    Re: nc (May 15 12:57),

    Ice core data suggests that the CO2 concentration drops to about 180 ppmv at the depth of the glacial periods.

    (Tongue now firmly in cheek)
    If one were to believe in the strong Gaia hypothesis, one might conclude that humans had evolved specifically to return fossil carbon to the atmosphere. Gaia wouldn’t care what happened to us once we had completed our task.

  18. Nicolas Nierenberg said

    Since 1980 the scientific consensus has been that the most likely result of a doubling of CO2 is somewhere around 3C. What is controversial is the amount of uncertainty, and the true likely range expressed in 5/95 terms. In any event it is clear that doubling CO2 will make a substantial change is the radiative and chemical composition of the atmosphere and it would be smart to avoid it.

    Having said that I haven’t seen any viable political/economic proposal that would have a substantial impact on the time of doubling, and that has also been true since the early 1980’s.

    I believe even on a national level it would be smart for a variety of reasons to decarbonize our economy. Including reducing dependence on oil, reducing pollution, and getting ahead of the inevitable change from fossil fuels that will have to occur at some point in the future.

  19. Espen said

    I think CO2 contributes to some warming – I guess around 1 C/doubling is the best guess as long as the feedbacks are so hard to estimate. But I think it’s a open question whether even the IPCC worst case CO2 level of 1000ppm would be to the better or to the worse. The heating is supposed to happen predominately in the cold parts of the world, while the hotter parts may become first of all wetter. Combined with the benefits of higher CO2 levels to the world’s plants, I see a better world, with more food and more pleasant climate. So I think we face a win/win situation: Either it doesn’t get much warmer, or if it gets a couple of degrees warmer, it’s just for the better. The really scary future is a colder one, with drought and declining food production.

  20. Mesa said

    I think a lot of people who believe we should fins alternatives to oil consumption for national security/economic independence reasons. This may have the additional effect of reducing our CO2 output, but it’s not the real reason to do it. If that’s a side (potential) benefit so be it. I find it difficult to understand the argument that oil a good bet to base large parts of the economy on (whole transportation infrastructure). I too do a lot of reading and find most people who ignore this point to not make a lot of sense, or discount for example the economic costs of all of our Mideast interventions. If we end up with cleaner cheaper alternatives to coal and natural gas as well I assume no one would have a problem with that – correct? If we don’t we can continue to use them unit they run out. or become too ewxpnesive to extract and use.

  21. timetochooseagain said

    “We” shouldn’t do anything about CO2. Because it’s time to lose the “we”. If any individual wants to make the choice to try to “do something”, as long as they aren’t trying to make that choice for everyone, I don’t care.

  22. Dagfinn said

    My immediate answer is: I don’t know. What you’re opening is the debate we will probably have after climate policy collapses definitively, but it hasn’t happened on a larger scale yet, and I’m open to being persuaded when it finally happens.

    My gut feeling is: do nothing for now. An appropriate time to act might be if there is ever real, not imaginary, observational evidence of accelerating climate change.

  23. JAE said

    I’m with Jeff 100%. Let the free market take care of it. There will always be big money in a 200 mpg auto. ANY governmental intervention will only harm the poor and middle class some more and will accelerate the return to feudalism, where a few wealthy elitists are in complete control.

  24. Adam Gallon said

    No good reason has been demonstrated to reduce CO2 emmissions.
    Goof reasons to conserve fossil fuels, so burning oil & gas to produce electricity should be reduced as much as possible.
    Since the only current viable alternative is nuclear, then nuclear it is, even if it means a 10 mile air exclusion zone around each plant, with a battery of Patriot missiles to enforce it.

  25. Wainu said

    Q: Why should we limit CO2?
    A: We are running out of (cheap) fossil fuels. For the satisfaction of our energy needs, we need to transfer to alternative energy sources. During that process, CO2 emissions will be automatically gradually reduced.
    Q: What your preferred method for limitation is.
    A: See previous answer. What I think I’m saying here is we don’t really need to limit CO2 emissions, but we will eventually.

    The real challenge for the future is dealing with commodities that are getting scarce. Not CO2.

  26. Paul Kelly said

    Jeff Id wonders why so many skeptics want to get on the government’s CO2 train.

    Answering the questions in semi reverse order.

    The last question has to be rephrased to answer. “doing nothing” is are words without meaning. Somebody is always doing something and no matter what anyone does, the world will eventually start to run low on coal, oil and natural gas. At some point in the future, we will have carbon free energy or we will have no energy. My method is better than doing nothing because it does not require a lot of government to implement.

    Why we should limit CO2? Well, actually we shouldn’t. Even if all the climate concerns are true, CO2 limitation is a poor basis on which to base or measure the success of policy. The real question for skeptics and climateers alike is, if in the however unlikely event that all of current climate science is falsified, is it still in our best interests to proceed to the inevitable energy transition in the most propitious manner possible?

    My preferred method relies on free individuals acting alone and in association.

  27. Kenneth Fritsch said

    Jeff ID when you say:

    In all honesty, I simply don’t understand what would lead anyone who is skeptical of the warmist predictions, to the decision that action must be taken.

    I suspect that you are attempting to be diplomatic to those like, Pielke Jr., Tom Fuller, and even perhaps Steve M when you make this comment. Obviously those who do not fear big government and perhaps even would like to see more of it could very well be skeptical and yet for various reasons, such as those cited by Pielke Jr and those that Tom Fuller is prone to point out, see a reason for government to get involved. That is their political persuasion talking. I would give their scientific instincts a lot of credit in that they do not simply go along with the crowd as they probably see no harm no foul when it comes to government intervention in contrast by what I suspect a lot of the consensus climate scientists do.

    It is obvious to you and me that there are not sufficient hard facts to get excited about future AGW warming and I think, that being the case, is why you see consensus thinking based more on politics than hard science.

    On the other hand, you have libertarian oriented people, like myself, who even if we saw a net detrimental effect from warming would judge that government intervention would cause more (unintended) problems than it solved. I also think that many skeptics come by their (legitimate) skepticism because of their politics. I guess that would put me in anti-consensus camp for political reasons the same as those in the consensus camp are there because of their politics.

    I am not a denialist about AGW and try very hard to keep my political feelings out of the science issues. My focus has been, from the beginning, on the certainty/uncertainty of estimating the past and future climate and attempting to sort the advocacy from the science when analyzing climate related papers.

  28. [...] @ The Air Vent asks the question, “What to do About CO2,” since so many, otherwise rational, people seem to think we should do something. Since I [...]

  29. Retired Engineer said

    One issue I have not seen anyone discuss: The source of CO2 increase. “Everyone” assures me it is due to man’s use of fossil fuels. But, historical data says CO2 rises around 800 years after a warm period. We are about that far from the middle of the MWP. Perhaps some (much? all?) is just a natural cycle.

    We could be looking at causes and effects that operate on very long timebases, with many interlocking attributes.

    In short, we don’t really know.

    We do know that all the proposed mitigation policies will have serious (or even catastrophic) impact on the economy. Energy, from any source, will cost much more. “Skyrocket” as the Pres said. That’s bad.

    Is 1-3 degrees C (which I doubt, given the saturation level) worse?

  30. Steve Reynolds said

    - Why we should limit CO2
    Even if climate sensitivity is only 1 or 2C per CO2 doubling, eventually that will add up to more temperature increase than we want (especially for sea level increases).

    – What your preferred method for limitation is
    Economist Ross McKitrick’s suggestion of a carbon tax that adjusts to track global temperature increases (averaged over enough years to prevent much fluctuation). This provides incentives to reduce CO2 emissions and make accurate predictions of climate, both independent of politics. The tax must be revenue neutral (other taxes automatically reduced when it increases to keep revenue constant, the only way for it to be acceptable to this libertarian).

    – Why it’s better than doing nothing.
    Too much CO2 is very likely harmful at some level, so taxing it rather than something like labor (we want more employment!) should be a net benefit.

  31. BillyBob said

    25 of the US State temperature records are from the 1930’s. A few more are from the 1920’s.

    I don’t believe the 1990’s were warmer than the 1930’s let alone the MWP or Roman Optimum.

    Blaming CO2 is the biggest con in the history of science. Luke warmers are just in denial about being conned.

  32. Pat Frank said

    I agree with you Jeff. There’s no scientific evidence of any ill effects, past or in the offing, from increased atmospheric CO2. Tom Fuller notwithstanding, our knowledge of warmer worlds is that they were wetter and more prolific worlds. So, “poor ones that don’t have the resources to prepare for or cope with [a warmer world]” will probably be less poor as a consequence of the warmer world with its better crop yields.

    No one has mentioned this rationale yet, but my view on why we should reduce CO2 output is to severely reduce the petrobillions we send to Islamist states in the middle east. The buffoon currently running Venezuela deserves some economic grief as well. The best option for reducing oil use seems likely to be nuclear fission. The best way to make that economical is to remove the regulatory barriers, keeping only those necessary for safety and proper siting.

    Dropping the bottom out of the oil market would not only signal cheaper energy, it would bankrupt Saudi Arabia and crimp Iran, to which results no rational person can object. It would also would obviate the pollution and locale degradations from production of tar sands liquids. Nuclear power would also eventually reduce coal burning. True environmentalists should be all for a safe nuclear power market; presently achievable apparently.

  33. EJ said

    Jeff said, ‘In all honesty, I simply don’t understand what would lead anyone who is skeptical of the warmist predictions, to the decision that action must be taken.’

    I whole heartedly agree.

    I think I know why many cling to this position. It is the political correctness that the precautionary principle be applied to any perceived environmental threat.

    The thinking that why not, it couldn’t hurt pervades most of this.

    My $0.02 worth.

    EJ

  34. gallopingcamel said

    While none of the CAGW arguments make any sense I agree that CO2 emissions should be reduced because the fossil fuels we are burning have much better uses than to burn them for power generation and heating.

    By burning fossil fuels we can only sustain our civilisation for a few hundreds of years. We already know how to use the Thorium cycle to generate electricity with the potential to last tens of thousands of years. It is time to sweep away the obstacles to innovation in nuclear power generation.

  35. Ric Olson said

    IMHO. If warmers percieve CO2 emissions as harmful as stated why impose taxes or carbon trading schemes? Just make it illegal to emit more than they think you should. I think this gets to the crux of the whole debate. The demonization of a naturally occuring element and the answer to this monster is a tax or a fee seems insane. Is this the smoking debate all over again. We tax the living heck out of it…then realize all the money we make from the taxes so we never outlaw it……..but keep it out there as the boogie man so we never question motives?

  36. Sera said

    I care more about sustainable energy to meet/exceed our needs. LACK of CO2 would be more of a concern to me.

    1. Gen 4/5 nuclear power plants- start building now, with the reprocessing plants on site.

    2. Use extra power at night to send to gas stations that produce hydrogen for auto consumption.

    This way, we get to keep our fast cars- ’nuff said. Since hydrogen is THE most abundant element, sustainability is no longer the issue. Nuclear fuel is reprocessed, limiting waste. Hydrogen cars are not that different than ones produced today (different tank and injection system, otherwise everything’s the same), making it easy on the manufacturers. Sell the electricity at a discount to the ‘gas’ stations at night so they can make fuel during ‘off’ hours. No more gas tanker trucks on the road, slowing me down. It’s a win-win, win-win, win-win situation. Who cares about the ecoterrorists? I just want fast cars forever, for everyone.

  37. Sera said

    Oops- meant “Gen 3/4″- don’t know what a ‘5’ might be.

  38. Richard111 said

    As a layman I am still baffled by how any change of CO2 level in the atmosphere can cause a change of temperature in the atmosphere.

    Before we opt to limit CO2 production we need to understand the physics of how and why this will be effective.

    So far all I can find are predictions from models, no up front physics. In trying to apply what radiative physics I have read up on it appears that the warming of the atmosphere by CO2 reacting to specific bands of long wave radiation from the surface would be constant.

    All CO2 warming will occur within the first few hundred meters, the atmosphere above is shielded from those specific bands from the surface.

    The same argument must apply to downwelling langwave radiation from the sun, there will be some warming due to CO2 at altitude which will radiate to space anyway.

    The temperature lapse rate up the atmosphere is in no way effected by CO2 in the middle levels, note also that large changes of water vapour do now effect the lapse rate UNTIL dew point is reached.

  39. Richard111 said

    Blast! I meant to say:

    note also that large changes of water vapour do not effect the lapse rate UNTIL dew point is reached.

  40. Sera said

    Great. I just had a debate over electric cars with someone here at the office. Here’s why I am against this:

    1. Electric motors use rare earth elements for the magnets- not enough for everyone. In addition, winding the rotors with copper makes the cost of copper skyrocket even more- again, not enough for everyone.

    2. Batteries. They are caustic to the environment to mine, make and dispose of.

    The engine blocks we have now can be remanufactured/recycled, so let’s stick with the hydrogen solution. That being said, I prefer electric golf carts because they are not as noisey on the course (admitting personal bias here).

  41. michel said

    Yes, this is entirely rational, there is no reason why, if you are skeptical about the role of CO2 in increasing real temperatures, you should be in favor of CO2 emission reductions. The reply, that it is a way of reducing energy consumption also makes no sense. If that is what you want to do, go directly about doing it.

    I do think we should be reducing dependence on oil, and in addition that we should be reducing the role of the automobile. Millions of violent deaths annually are not a justifiable cost of a system of transportation. But as for CO2 reduction, its an expensive diversion from the real task of making our rural and urban environments pleasanter and safer and healthier to live in.

  42. michel said

    You ask about the preferred method. There is really only one effective method, and that is to reduce energy consumption enormously. To reach the required reductions, one would have to, among other things:

    — move to organic and compost based agriculture (get the oil out of it)
    — abolish the internal combustion engine for most transport
    in consequence, abolish malls, shopping, suburbs…
    — severely limit air freight and air travel
    — abolish Phoenix (you can’t afford the air con)

    You have to imagine the US circa 1900, but with computers, telecoms, and a higher level of scientific and technical knowhow. But the basic structure of transport and living would be about like that. Big cities, no suburbs, no malls, no cars. Not a bad place to be, but very very different.

    One of the most idiotic things about the AGW hysteria is the propensity of advocates to proclaim doom is on its way, then propose that we take measures which, if they are right, will be no more effective on their own account than standing on our heads every day. You really want to make reductions that are large enough, according to the IPCC, to avert disaster, you cannot do it without large scale lifestyle changes and movements of population.

  43. tonyb said

    We believe we know far more than we really do about climate science and that is driving us to adopt the ‘precautionary principle.’ The last time we did that was with Sadaam Hussein and the Iraq war ‘in case’ he had WMD.

    I think most of us in the Western World can agree that our future economic prosperity (and that of the developing world)is likely to rely on;

    Access to cheap energy
    Access to reliable sources of secure Energy.

    To me those are the two most important aspects, but there needs to be an overarching reality that at some point the means to provide it-through oil/gas/coal is going to run out.

    Here in Europe we are prone to the vagaries of Russia with regards Gas and are prey to numerous countries who don’t really like us who inhabit resource rich areas from the Middle East to Venezuela. In effect they could put their hands round our economic throats at any time.

    I think the need to look for alternative sources of secure, reliable and cheap energy is therefore compelling. That it will probably cut CO2 is a useful by product for some-but not one that concerns me. Why?

    Temperatures have been gently rising for at least 300 years according to our instrumental and observational records, and the radiative physics case needs to be made much better if anyone wants to illustrate we are materially affecting this long term trend -powered by natural climate variabilty- which we are barely beginning to understand.

    It is evident that we need a huge push if we are going to meet the goals stated-I do not believe that sufficient resources are being expended to do so- and consequently I fear the imminent arrival of two horsemen of the apocalypse -in the form of expensive and insecure energy-far more than I do the unlikely notion of CAGW.

    Tonyb

  44. Sera said

    RE:42

    Hi Michel,

    Why do some people suggest that we go back to circa 1900 and abolish our way of life through reduction? Why can’t we move forward with innovative ideas and solutions, rather than abolishing those great golf courses in Phoenix? Abolish cars? Are you going to get your buddies to ‘bicycle’ you to the hospital during your heart attack? I can’t tell if you are just being sarcastic…

  45. michel said

    No, not being sarcastic at all. I do not believe that CO2 increases make any proven contribution to global temperatures. I’m pointing out that if you do, and if you accept the IPCC account of climate sensitivity, to actually make the level of changes that are said to be required, you cannot get there without drastic lifestyle changes. You simply cannot reduce fossil fuel consumption by the amount required.

    Moving forwards with innovative ideas and solutions is just fine, if there are any that are implementable on the scale and in the timeframe said to be required. I do not believe that is what is required of course. But if you do, then be consistent, and advocate the taking of actions which will in fact deliver what is said to be needed.

    A few of us driving Prius cars and insulating our roofs, and continuing to consume goods bought from malls, living in the suburbs, eating food grown in energy intensive farms, that is not going to make any difference one way or the other to the alleged problem.

    You cannot get to 85% reductions in CO2 emissions without making very drastic changes to social life and where and how people live. No-one has outlined, even on a couple of pages, a realistically implementable program which will do it.

    What I am trying to say is, its a mystery why the environmental movement thinks that in some magical way something is going to happen which will leave the country looking pretty much the same, will leave transport, agriculture, consumer goods, housing, industry all working as they do now, but somehow magically reduce CO2. It is not going to happen, and a few people driving Prius cars will not do it.

    So what I’d like to see is either for them to give up advocating token gestures as if they made any difference. Stop telling us to put windmills in our back yards, they make no difference whatever. Or alternatively, advocate the sort of large scale social changes that would make an 85% reduction possible. Lets have an honest debate about it.

    But lets stop pretending that, assuming the CO2 theory is correct, that everyone just driving a different brand of car to the same mall makes any difference at all to the problem. It does not.

  46. Sera said

    RE:45

    Hi Michel, I misunderstood what you were saying in #42. I agree to everything you say in #45, except that CO2 does have a small effect on temps- which, of course, could be more beneficial than detrimental. You wrote (#45) “So what I’d like to see is either for them to give up advocating token gestures as if they made any difference. Stop telling us to put windmills in our back yards, they make no difference whatever. Or alternatively, advocate the sort of large scale social changes that would make an 85% reduction possible. Lets have an honest debate about it.” I emphatically agree with that. Again, sorry for the misconception on my part.

  47. Neven said

    I agree with Michels solutions. To accomplish this we would first of all have to abolish the dominant economic concept of infinite economic growth, as it is increasingly violating the laws of physical reality (AGW just being one of many crises).

    People will obviously not accept this, as they have been brainwashed for far too many generations that the tangible material and social status that comes with being a docile, unthinking and unscrupulous producer and consumer is the ultimate goal in life. Growth is progress, always. Like Michel notes, even the biggest alarmists would rather stick to combating symptoms, and not follow the logical conclusions that lead to the solution of the root problem. This is telling.

    So the other way is to follow the advice of the denialists in this thread: Keep consuming, keep polluting, keep growing, keep increasing that financial and ecological debt, and things will come crashing down so hard that the emission reductionist’s wet dream is fulfilled beyond expectation. I’m reasonably certain this is what will happen. It won’t be pretty, but it never is when nature, also known as reality, intervenes.

    In an ironic twist of epic proportions Global Warming Denialism will turn out to be the best mitigation strategy of all. So keep echoing Reverend Watts’ gospel: AGW is a scam! Al Gore is fat! CO2 is plant food! Global Cooling is nigh! The Arctic Sea Ice will see another recovery in 2010!
    :D

  48. Neven said

    Let me add to this – if I may – that I’ve recently uploaded a torrent of an excellent documentary called Blind Spot that explains why business-as-usual will inevitably lead to societal collapse. It features some excellent speakers such as Al Bartlett, Richard Heinberg, William Catton and the very popular James Hansen (just a short segment).

    You can download it HERE.

  49. stan said

    A warmer planet is a good thing. The notion that CO2 might have a warming influence on climate and therefore is a “risk” makes no sense, given our current dearth of knowledge. We can just as easily say that CO2 might have a warming influence and therefore is a “benefit”. Why would we want to forcibly restrict freedom, waste valuable economic resources and reduce the chance of the poor to improve their standards of living to stop a speculative possible BENEFIT?

    A lot of people desperately seek to be seen in the “reasonable middle”. They will do anything to avoid being placed near one extreme or the other, even abandon logic.

  50. timetochooseagain said

    Nice, we got our selves a neo-malthusian here in Neven! Ugh. Anyone who would seriously conflate physical laws with the idea that economies can’t grow indefinitely doesn’t know jack shit about economics. And anyone who dares to point this out is brainwashed? WTF?

  51. stan said

    TonyB,

    Why was removing Saddam a bad idea? As a result, the greatest sponsor of terrorism, Libya’s Qaddafi, gave up his nuclear weapons program. Saddam’s WMD development work was shut down. Pakistan’s wild scientist nuke spreader was stopped. We got massive quantities of intel on terrorist organizations plotting to strike the US. We killed a lot of terrorists. We freed a lot of people and inspired people in other countries to hope.

    You make it sound like you think all that was bad. Obviously, because Bush did it all the lefty wackos like the NY Times think those developments are horrible, but normal people think those developments are positive.

  52. Chuckles said

    Timetochoose,

    I think you will find that most are at least closet Malthusians, or so many such comments have indicated. To me it goes some way to explaining the usual demeanour, outlook and behaviour.

    Michel in #45 describes part of the animal quite well, as does Saul Griffith in Keith Kloors latest post

    http://www.collide-a-scape.com/2010/05/14/eco-inventor-angst/

  53. Neven said

    Doing a great job, guys. I knew you wouldn’t let me down. :D

    Fight for peace! Borrow to own! Do whatever you like! CO2 is a scam!

  54. tonyb said

    Stan

    I didn’t say it was a bad idea, just that it was done on the precautionary principle rather than with any proof whatsoever that he had WMD. The ‘dodgy dossier’ used as proof emanated from the same group who produced the dodgy climate science dossier.

    tonyb

  55. Ric Olson said

    In reading all these posts I am glad to be among so many intelligent people. I am coming to one conclusion though

    We are debating the merits of a theory and the effects of it on our livelyhood based on a natually occuring element. It’s downright crazy. Alarmists have absolutely no proof of their CO2 theory but have pushed the argument to make us disprove….A THEORY that has NOT been proven.

    The whole theory that has been pushed forward is based on CO2 because it can be easily thrust upon the indutrialization of the world. That is and always was the whole point. Guilt by association. It just seems so obvious. Every point counter-point someone concedes that ” well yeah we should do away with oil…blah blah blah…electric cars….yada yada yada..” so the alarmists have pushed the argument past if their theory is correct.

    Since the theory cannot be ABSOLUTELY proved…we must muddle in what if’s. So now skeptics have to concede certain perameters of the theory to disprove it’s merits. It’s a never ending intellectual battle.

    It’s like if I accused my son that it rained last night because he was breathing. He certainly could never dis-prove the mere fact that he breathes is what caused it to rain…. Well he certainly can’t stop breathing..but now he has the guilt of knowing that every once in a while it does rain…and…he does continue to breath….so…hmmmmm

    Nonsense!

  56. tonyb said

    Neven.

    Did you say once that you were from Belgium?

    When do you believe that temperatures started to climb in your neck of the woods?

    tonyb

  57. DeWitt Payne said

    Re: Richard111 (May 16 03:08),

    As a layman I am still baffled by how any change of CO2 level in the atmosphere can cause a change of temperature in the atmosphere.

    You could try reading the series CO2 – An Insignificant Trace Gas? at The Science of Doom site. Part 8 has just been published. Part one is here.

  58. BillyBob said

    #54 “I didn’t say it was a bad idea, just that it was done on the precautionary principle rather than with any proof whatsoever that he had WMD.”

    I kind of believe the opposite. Since Iraq had tried to build a nuclear reactor (bombed by Israel) and had made and used poison gas (war with Iran) and had made and used biological agents (used on Kurds) it was prudent to insure they couldn’t build and use them again.

    On the other hand, the 1930’s, the MWP and Roman Optimum had all occurred without a bug ramp up of CO2, so why think it was CO2?

  59. tonyb said

    BillyBob

    I am curently writing an article on the LIA and linking it in to the MWP, which I hope Jeff will run. As you say there have been numerous warm periopds without the help of CO2 so it appears to be a weak climate driver.

    I think the warmists need to concentrate on proving the radiative physics arguement because their attempts to try to down play past climatic episides isn’t going to work. Their case of CAGE is much weakened if similar warm periods have existed before this one, which I guess is why they spend so much time trying to push their version of temperatures.

    Tonyb

  60. michel said

    Neven, I think there are very real environmental problems, and also very real social issues which are related to environmental issues. Like that we are routinely killing a million and more people a year because of our devotion to the automobile, which strikes me as appalling and wicked and changeable. CO2 is the least of our problems. It is true that if we fix many of our real problems, that will lower CO2 emissions, at least somewhat. But nothing like as much as the AGW movement claims is necessary, and as a byproduct of doing something useful.

    The difference is, if it saves lives and makes life better, we should do it, even if it raises CO2 emissions. That is proper real environmentalism

  61. Frank K. said

    - Why we should limit CO2

    “Limiting” CO2 is impossible. Do we stop breathing? Limit it to what? How do you define the number? Do you base it on numerical “solutions” to AOGCMs? Are you kidding me?!?

    – What your preferred method for limitation is

    Let the free market take care of it. However, I agree with those who wish to change our energy infrastructure purely to make our society less dependent on a diminishing resource (i.e. middle east oil).

    The problem with the whole global warming movement is that it started out as a theory, became a mania (I use that word advisedly) with the help of environmentalist kooks and a gullible media, and now has become a full fledged industry, thanks to Al Gore, Jim Hansen, and others who are profiting monetarily by promoting the mania. As I’ve stated in previous threads, there’s too much climate ca$h for the proponents in academia, government, and industry to turn back now. Studies which support the notion that CO2 is a “pollutant” will continue to bombard us, and every doomsday scenario imaginable will be offered up so that we, the gullible public, will submit to “remedies” like carbon taxes and onerous restrictions to our freedoms.

    Next time you see another garbage “scientific” study/press release about AGW, ask yourself these questions:

    (1) How many people have died from global warming?
    (2) How many people have died from malaria?
    (3) How many people have died from AIDS?
    (4) How many people have died from hunger?
    (5) Why are we spending ANY>/b> money on “global warming”????

  62. Ric Olson said

    Frank K.

    My point exactly! It’s all a straw man. And yet we continue to take the premise as plausible and then argue merits…of a theory! We all get caught up in ” well yeah if we could limit the dangers of everyday life by controling CO2″…it’s a never ending battle that has no end.

    Saying things like ” let the free market take care of it.” means you agree with the premise. You have lost the argument because you have admitted there may be a problem. If there is no evidence and no problem why are we having this debate?

    Another analogy. What if I said salt water in the ocean was actually because of vegetarians. And I started putting out all these dooms day predictions because of vegetarians. Maybe add in a couple volcano eruptions that could be timed to harvesting of soy beans….and bammo! We need to tax vegetarians….and all their foods cause the salty ocean water makes volcano’s erupt and it’s because of an over production of soy beans…..

    Take it where you want and this is the arument.

  63. Mike J said

    This entire topic, while interesting for the sake of seeing different points of view, is of no consequence. The stage is set, the politicians and greenies have won. There will be cap and trade. It will have no effect on global climate, which is probably heading for a cooler 15 to 20 years.

    The question is not whether we should limit Co2 emissions. Rather, it is how we should adapt to the changes this will impose on our lives.

    Should we, for instance, install solar heating and/or solar lighting in order to wean ourselves off an increasingly expensive national grid? Or should we invest in carbon trading to make more money to pay for expensive energy? Or invest in companies with green technologies? Should we plant a pine forest? Should we invest in bio-fuels? Should we bike to work? How can we minimise our own taxes – reduce our own flatulence perhaps?

    Governments and vested interests are no longer listening to the science. They don’t give a damn. They simply need to cite the precautionary principle in the context of responsible governance. They decided a long time ago that decarbonisation was the road ahead, for a wide variety of politico-economic reasons.

    So, while we all have intellectual discourse about whether we would limit Co2 or not, sorry folks – it is already happening. Better get with the program, huh?

  64. RB said

    “As long as the music is playing, you have got to get up and dance.” – Citibank’s Chuck Prince. Given that corporate management facing short-term pressures and career risk would rather fail conventionally than succeed unconventionally, as exemplified by the financial crisis and as evidenced by the “greenwashing” tactics of companies like BP whose $300 million for alternative energy is almost entirely directed towards advertising; further given that global oil production has not increased despite the tremendous rise in oil prices over the last decade; given that the sulphur dioxide and ozone issues were not addressed until the government took action to protect the shared common goods of the environment; given that the Chinese are enduring enormous damage to the environment in the absence of governmental protection; the question of whether the free market can be entrusted with protecting the environment and whether government has a role to play in providing incentives and resources for alternative energy exploration is, in my opinion, a legitimate one. Whether we should be organizing our lifestyles around rail transport is also a legitimate question. For the CO2 issue, policy is of course made more complicated in practice because of the global nature. Nierenberg #18 says it right – there has been no meaningful change in sensitivity estimates for a few decades and negative feedback so far seems to be only wishful thinking, although given the complications of policy, I wish it was true too!

  65. Carrick said

    RB:

    as evidenced by the “greenwashing” tactics of companies like BP whose $300 million for alternative energy is almost entirely directed towards advertising

    Denialism runs on both sides of the street I see.

    BP is an energy company, if they are investing $300 million, it’s because they look to exploit the green technologies. They wouldn’t have spent a pittance of that just to “impress” warmingists, who are so willing to drape everything oil companies do in some weird conspiracy theory.

    there has been no meaningful change in sensitivity estimates for a few decades

    It’s dropped from 4 °C/doubling in 1987 to 3°C/doubling.

    What’s your definition of “meaningful”?

  66. #64

    “Nierenberg #18 says it right – there has been no meaningful change in sensitivity estimates for a few decades and negative feedback so far seems to be only wishful thinking,….”

    Now, there’s one to make you spill your morning cereal!

    There has been no meaningful change (in sensitivity estimates) according to ‘consensual’ IPCC/warmist theory of course (and why should they – does any club ever change its rules?).

    The Reality for the planet, post the 1998 El Nino has however been something altogether different…..

    Or did the CO2 somehow stop rising (exponentially) and we somehow didn’t notice?

    Will it still be the same when we hit 15 years or 20 years out from 1999?

    Or will the surface temperature data massaging and ‘misbehavin’ station-dropping have kept pace?

  67. timetochooseagain said

    65-

    It’s dropped from 4 °C/doubling in 1987 to 3°C/doubling. What’s your definition of “meaningful”?

    The Charney report (1979) gave a range of values for sensitivity of 1.5 to 4.5 C for CO2 doubling. The IPCC (2007) gave a range of 1.5 to 4.5 C for CO2 doubling.

    The fact that so little has changed is actually pretty outrageous. With all the money put into researching this, with all the time, we apparently are no closer to determining this number than we were thirty years ago. People seem to be asleep on the job. Perhaps because climate science is, as Lindzen would say, not designed to answer questions.

  68. RB said

    Carrick,
    The Charney report is what I was referring to. I am quite grateful to the oil companies for the money they have made me this decade, including TransOcean which I fortunately sold a few months ago, but the “greenwashing” of BP is not a conspiracy theory – it is fairly well-known – as seen in this post by a former natural gas exec.

  69. Carrick said

    Andrew, I was thinking of Hansen 1987, where he quoted 4°C/doubling, and James Annan’s assessment for the latter.

    I actually wasn’t aware of that report, thanks for pointing it out to me.

    Of course you can find numbers all over the book, I’ve seen numbers as high as 9°C/doubling. I’m pretty sure that is way outside of the range of allowed values based on surface temperature data since 1980.

    Even 3°C/doubling may be high, based on Lucia’s analysis.

  70. Carrick said

    RB, that is a claim this guy made, without any substantiation.

    I would say, don’t fall into the “just because somebody says something that resonates with you, that means it has to be true” trap.

    The truth seems to be a lot more nuanced than this.

    I know they had owned solar panel manufacturing plants , and were actively involved in alternative energy research. How turns into “entirely into advertising” I’m not exactly sure.

    Here’s a link to their alternative website in case anybody is interested. That looks like it has real meat in it to me.

  71. RB said

    Carrick,
    There are quite a few other places on the web like this one that seem to substantiate the claim that their alt energy foray seems mostly cosmetic.

  72. RB said

    Their website does look impressive!

  73. Carrick said

    RB, here’s what the wikipedia has to say:

    As of 11 February 2007 BP announced that they would spend $8 billion over ten years to research alternative methods of fuel, including natural gas, hydrogen, solar, and wind. A $500 million grant to the University of California, Berkeley, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, to create an Energy Biosciences Institute[70] has recently come under attack, over concerns about the global impacts of the research and privatisation of public universities.[71]

    Solar panel made by BP Solar
    BP’s investment in green technologies peaked at 4% of its exploratory budget, but they have since closed their alternative energy headquarters in London. As such they invest more than other oil companies, but it has been called greenwashing due to the small proportion of the overall budget.[72]

    In 2004, BP began marketing low-sulphur diesel fuel for industrial use.
    BP Solar is a leading producer of solar panels since its purchase of Lucas Energy Systems in 1980 and Solarex (as part of its acquisition of Amoco) in 2000. BP Solar had a 20% world market share in photovoltaic panels in 2004 when it had a capacity to produce 90 MW/year of panels. It has over 30 years experience operating in over 160 countries with manufacturing facilities in the U.S., Spain, India and Australia and has more than 2000 employees worldwide. Through a series of acquisitions in the solar power industry BP Solar became the third largest producer of solar panels in the world. It was recently announced that BP has obtained a contract for a pilot project to provide on-site solar power to Wal-mart stores. In the 2006 annual report Lord Browne noted that BP now has a total wind generation capacity of nearly 15,000 megawatts. 15,000 megawatts would be sufficient to provide power to approximately 15,000,000 typical American households simultaneously. This makes BP one of the largest generators of wind power in the world.[citation needed]

    I don’t have any love affair with large corporations, but I think we need to “keep this real”.

  74. Carrick said

    Their annual alternative energy budget is around $1 billion per year, btw (source their annual report.)

    I think about $150 million of that is advertising.

    These numbers pale compared to their annual sales of around $240 billion.

  75. RB said

    Carrick,
    Thanks .. I guess I should have gone to the source. I actually know someone in Rio working on the joint BP/Rio project described in the report that secured DOE funding and while I was not aware of the numbers involved, anecdotally, I did get the impression that the prospect of govt subsidization helped reduce the vulnerability of the project during the commodities downturn on what would be a lower return on investment compared to the core business for the two companies. I think the larger point still applies – that govt can help kickoff alternative energy initiatives earlier than otherwise.

  76. Carrick said

    RB:

    I think the larger point still applies – that govt can help kickoff alternative energy initiatives earlier than otherwise

    Yep. I agree completely.

  77. tonyb said

    Carrick #75

    I agree as well. It was once said we need an ‘Apollo’ type programme in order to really gain the momentum to develop alternative energy that matches the basic need of being ‘cheap’ and secure AND Reliable. This last aspect is of particuilar concern to me if it is going to genuinely make a significant contribution to energy needs.

    I don’t see an ‘Apollo’ programme being planned anywhere, just lots of ad hoc initiatives that in the case of even the most committed Government (such as in Britain) amounts to nothing more than a growing reliance on windmills. Such sources as wave/tidal lags twenty years behind and proven technologies such as nuclear (whatever you think of it) has been on the shelf for ideological reasons for a decade, and will take at least as long again before new stations make any sort of contribution.

    Personally, at present, I can’t see ‘carbon’ being usurped for at least twenty to thirty years bearing in mind the talk is louder than the physical action.

    Tonyb

  78. Murray duffin said

    Very late getting to this one. Sorree!
    the real problems we face are energy related, primarily dependence on imported energy, (not good), and the coming decline in world oil output. the only effective ways to limit CO2 are to reduce fossil energy use, through efficiency, conservation, and substitution of nuclear or renewable energy. All are necessary, and the sooner the better. If belief in CO2 driven AGW leads us to do the right things about energy, then I’m all for it. Coal is a very unpleasnt energy source due to its numerous undesirable side effects (sox, nox, mercury, mine deaths etc), so addressing CO2 will also address that problem. Let them believe!! Murray

  79. twawki said

    Just use all the money spent that was to be spent on green bureaucracy to be spent on planting trees instead. Reafforestation en masse. Easy – problem solved! – both the imaginary one (Co2) and the real one (land clearing).

  80. Scott B said

    @ 47. Neven

    Do you have any accurate, relatively unbiased information on the true scarcity of our various resources? All I’ve seen is wildly different estimates based on the financial biases of whatever group is doing the research. I’m not comfortable gutting our modern industrial society just because resources are limited when we don’t have anywhere close to an agreement on how scarce they are. Also, many of our methods of utilizing our renewable resources are also reliant on non-renewable resources. That has to be part of the cost/benefit analysis.

    Until someone can give me a true cost/benefit analysis of the various options we have with the uncertainties around each estimate clearly explained, my gut tells me that Jeff’s beliefs are correct. Let’s use our resources to modernize globally and develop alternative ways to generate energy. Then let the market decide what’s best.

  81. BillyBob said

    #79 Trees are not the answer!

    “A team led by Frank Keppler from the Max-Planck Institute in Germany has discovered that plants produce up to one-third of the second most important greenhouse gas – methane.”

    http://www.carbon-info.org/carbonnews_028.htm

  82. twawki said

    Yeah but they stabilise the soil, reduce erosion, create habitats,increase soil nutrition and can have advantageous effects on weather patterns

  83. M. Simon said

    I’m not sure people realize that blogging is more about reading than writing. Sure, I do enjoy the privilege of placing my thoughts on line for discussion with a lot of smart people, so there is a measure of talk, but from a functional perspective, blogging is mostly reading.

    Absolutely.

  84. M. Simon said

    BillyBob said
    May 17, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    Trees are not the answer!

    Well then clear cutting the forests is the answer. Or maybe the answer is: we are so screwed no matter what we do.

  85. gilbert said

    Ric Olson said #62

    I think we’re having this debate because too damn many people would like to tell everyone else how to live.

  86. BillyBob said

    #84 “Or maybe the answer is: we are so screwed no matter what we do.”

    I like trees. Its the search for (and squandering trillions on) a magic answer that makes me sick.

    Remember when biofuels were the magic answer – except for increasing the price of food and producing more greenhouse gasses (if you believe that they have an effect).

    The AGW crowd are rubes wandering into a carnival packed with conmen working overtime to steal our money and sqaunder it on stupid magic cures that will change nothing!

  87. M. Simon said

    I think the larger point still applies – that govt can help kickoff alternative energy initiatives earlier than otherwise

    Well yeah. Except what we are doing now (rolling out massive systems not ready for prime time) is a waste.

    What should be done: put the money into lowering the cost of AE generation and storage until it is below the cost of burning stuff. It would cost a lot less and actually provide a real return on investment (no subsidies) if it worked.

  88. - Why we should limit CO2? “reduce our cost” $$$$

    – What your preferred method for limitation is
    stop importing oil!!!! I don’t care if we make it synthetic ether

    – Why it’s better than doing nothing
    we all benefit from a new independent standing.
    just my 2 cents… btw i have been buying LED bulbs and am impressed.

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