the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

Solving a Solution

Posted by Jeff Id on August 25, 2010

A common theme from climate scientists is how do we get people to act now.  They want us to act to stop global warming immediately.  They search their brains and write papers and blog posts on how to ‘convince’ the public to take action.

Here is  laundry list of the Copenhagen ‘solution to global warming’.

Form a global organization for detemining the right course of actoin

Set targets by country for co2 emission on a per capita basis

Place tax on carbon use.

Use money for research into global warming.

Send money and technology from wealthy countries to poor countries to help them adapt and pay for damages.

Place incentives on preferred adaptation.

Now I’ve said it before but what does any of this have to do with preventing global warming as it has been posed?  We currently don’t have the technology outside of nuclear to do anything substantial about emissions.   Imagine New York powered by a wind farm! Taxes limit today’s output but don’t accelerate technology.  Implementation of costly non-working solutions is just throwing money down the toilet.

It leaves me with a whole lot of questions but the one which really bothers me has to do with ‘developing nations’.

First, there hasn’t been any damage at all to third world countries by our fossil fuel usage.  Not one thing has been damaged so why are we paying reparations for adaptation?  Why is that suggested at all?

and

Why do third world countries need MY money for emission reduction when they are not creating any real emissions?

The problem boils down to one of the politics of climate but without boiling it down, these guys actually proposed that the best way for us to change to a better technology and get rid of fossil fuels was to promise to meet goals — very expensive goals — and then give huge sums of money to defective governments which don’t emit much.

It’s not even slightly sane, but it goes right along with the ideal that all governments are equal and it’s just luck that countries like the US and  Japan happen to have better industry.

I can’t even find one redeeming quality of that proposal.  If we had extra money (which we don’t)  why wouldn’t we spend it on new technology or reduced emissions?

A quote from Bart Verheggans blog my View linked on the right provides more clues as to why this was proposed.

The 20-80 story puts population in perspective: 20% of the world population uses approximately 80% of the worlds’ resources (dependent on the resource of course). That alone means that focusing on population isn’t where the shoe pinches in many cases: It’s the (over-)consumption in the rich areas that causes the most strain on the world’s resources.

Over consumption by rich areas causes the strain.  Not a reasonable consumption by a healthy people but over-consumption.  I’ve got to tell you, I can’t eat more food than anyone else.  I’ve been to China and watched them out eat me, drive on roadways so congested and with so much stop and go that gas consumption dwarfs anything my mini-van uses.  I’ve also seen them swelter in hot air and cold with a perfectly working air conditioner in the corner.  At dark all lights are off in massive apartment complexes in modern cities.  Yet the fact that I have light and comfortable temperatures, means over-consumption.

There is so much wrong with Bart’s statement, but in a room of climate scientists, I bet none of them would see it.  This blame America for the worlds problems concept has gone way too far but that’s exactly what he does.

He expresses consumption and CO2 production on a per capita basis and considers it excess.  Even though China has more production of CO2, it’s ok because they have more people.  The not-too-subtle implication is that we MUST even out the playing field.  In Copenhagen, the best method for ‘evening out’ happens by direct payment.

Bart’s and climate science’s goal is apparently to stop over-consumption by America, Japan or Europe, which is entirely different from solving the emission problem of CO2.  They don’t  want us to maintain our lifestyle,  greenpeace CEO has directly made that statement himself.  We’ve covered it several times here.  But more insidious than that, Bart wants to prop up ‘developing nations’.

I’ve said many times that developing nations is a lie by itself.  Cuba is not a ‘developing nation’  it’s a non-functional communist system of government.  Venezuela is not a developing nation.  Zimbabwe and Saudi Arabia are not developing nations.  These countries have broken government systems which don’t deserve equality because they don’t create it.

But for some reason climate science thinks we should prop them up with money — to create equality.

From nothing.

This is NOT science.  So looking back at Copenhagen, the points raised seem to have more to do with equity of wealth than solving global warming.  Perhaps the problem with communicating global warming,  is the solution.

Picking on Bart a little more, he highlighted a post called lemmings or leaders indicating that we should jump to the solution now if we’re leaders.  My questions revolve around solutions to what and of course, if everyone jumps off a cliff,  doesn’t that make the one smart enough to not jump the leader?   I’m not sure but if you propose jumping off a cliff, I’ll recommend a different course.  If you insist that we do it now, I’ll just stand back and watch.


78 Responses to “Solving a Solution”

  1. Gary said

    Jeff, have you noticed that it’s people who agree with the democratic ideal of “everybody gets a vote” who think that things have to be evened out and made “fair?” What is it about this ideal that enables it to turn suicidal? People will blithely vote against reason AND self-interest in order to appease some nagging feeling about not being fair.

    Until it’s too late of course; then they turn into crazies, but that’s another topic…

  2. RickA said

    Jeff:

    Part of the idea is to pay poor countries to stop cutting down the rain forest.

    Part of the idea is to use the money to guide development into channels that we rich countries want (i.e. less coal use).

  3. Jeff Id said

    “Part of the idea is to use the money to guide development into channels that we rich countries want (i.e. less coal use).”

    That’s the point Rick, they don’t make many coal plants and we don’t have working solutions other than nuclear anyway.

  4. Garry said

    To understand the “reparations” and “multilateral assistance” components of AGW you have to get your head around the actual workings of the U.N., the World Bank, and most NGOs.

    All those billions will be administered by the U.N. (or World Bank, etc.), and disbursed in the form of local country grants and programs. The program bidders will be those same kinds of companies that participated in Oil For Food, which was notoriously but not at all uniquely corrupt. In every bid there is always a generous (but hidden and unstated) allocation for skim. There is a whole business culture that has been perfecting the skim and these techniques for decades. They are expert at it.

    But to call it “corruption” is a misnomer, because it’s simply SOP and the way the game is played. Everyone involved knows this.

    If you can get your mitts on a copy of the DVD “The Burning Season” you’ll get a sense of how this parasitic world operates. That’s probably why “The Burning Season” is oddly hard to obtain despite multiple awards and many accolades. To see it is to understand the monumental greed and institutional corruption behind the global AGW scam.

  5. Garry said

    RickA said August 25, 2010 at 12:09 pm: “Part of the idea is to pay poor countries to stop cutting down the rain forest.”

    The rain forest?

    Noble ideal, but it has nothing to do with CAGW.

    Yes, I have seen “The Burning Season.”

  6. Andrew said

    “We currently don’t have the technology outside of nuclear to do anything substantial about emissions. Imagine New York powered by a wind farm!”

    Not only would it have to be an impossibly enormous such wind farm, but it also would not really do much about emissions, since they would probably be “replacing” gas fired plants with farms backed up by GAS FIRED PLANTS-which, to make matters worse, would have to start up and shut down repeatedly, which is bit like having your car in stop and go traffic (bad for the fuel economy). Sometimes the precise OPPOSITE of decreases in emissions can occur-an INCREASE!

    2-“Part of the idea is to pay poor countries to stop cutting down the rain forest.”

    That’s a nice way of saying, pay them to starve-or have to buy their food from us with the money we gave them (hey, international food stamps!). They cut down the rain-forest to grow crops. Oh, and Ethanol. Thanks a lot Brazilian GOVERNMENT. If you want to protect the rain-forest, the best things to do are: introduce agricultural methods which are less land intensive, end ethanol subsidies in Brazil (and in general), and sell the land to people who want to preserve it and will expend their personal resources to do so.

  7. stan said

    As if the kleptocrats running these corrupt dictatorships would “spread the money around”. This is part of a much broader theme, but why is empowering thugs so attractive to lefties? If an NGO charity goes into a village and distributes food during the day, the villagers only get to keep what they can eat immediately. The rest gets taken by armed thugs at night. The thugs then use the proceeds to obtain more weapons and build a stronger power base. I know it makes everyone feel better to “feed the hungry”, but if we won’t protect the hungry from thuggish predators, we only make their lives worse. [too bad the real world is messy that way]

    The law of unintended consequences is a mother ____. Inevitably, it kicks your butt. Good intentions (and I’m being generous to a lot of folks by so assuming) aren’t enough. Has to be follow through and responsibility. You know, all that hard stuff.

    I really believe that part of this mentality is a driver of so much AGW BS. It feels SOOOOOO good to save the planet. Serious examination of the issues will only disturb the lovely warm feeling. Can’t have that. So let’s just focus on how good it feels. Driving a Prius and recycling are acts of salvation. What could feel better than that?! Slap another bumper sticker for peace, love and understanding on that Prius and the warm fuzzies will feel good through the weekend!

  8. Andrew said

    7-“This is part of a much broader theme, but why is empowering thugs so attractive to lefties?”

    Well the Dems are the party of Chicago (Mayor Daley and all his identically named predecessors/successors anyone?) and Chicago is a mob town…I think in general the left likes ruckus causing troublemakers with an antipathy for all things America. Which is why the only thing that students at Columbia didn’t like from the President of Iran is that he said there were no gays in his country. And then after he says something they like again and forget about it, clapping all the way.

  9. Bart said

    Perhaps if people read the latest post at my blog they get a better idea of where I stand than Jeff’s slanted interpretation.
    ( http://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/2010/08/23/what-does-population-have-to-do-with-climate-change/ )

    I have never said or implied that all governments are equal.

    Stopping overconsumption is not my goal.

    My goal is to limit dangerous disruption of the climate, and in a world where the use of resources (and emission of CO2) is distributed very unequally, it is not a workable strategy to tell the have-nots that they can’t have any more. China and India are not going to accept limiting their growth to accommodate the future climate if the West doesn’t take the lead. They first want to catch up to our level of prosperity, and who are we to tell them “no, you can’t”? Besides the fact that it’s politically not feasible to tell them that, I also think it’s morally wrong to not allow others what we allow ourselves.

  10. Brian H said

    Points 1 & 4 are nominally neutral — determine the best course of action, do more research. But the dice are not only loaded when the UN etc. sets out to do those things, they’re glued to the table!

    5 yrs of wide-open uncensored evenhandedly funded research would put “paid” to the whole AGW/CO2 speculation. Which totally collapses all the rest of the UN’s power-grabbing nonsense.

    Bart: you want us to buy into your “question-begging” asumptions. Fuggedaboudit.

  11. Brian H said

    typo: assumptions.

  12. Kon Dealer said

    Bart says “My goal is to limit dangerous disruption of the climate”

    Very noble, so tell me what “dangerous disruption of the climate” has occurred to date and why you think/believe CO2 could have anything to do with this “disruption”?

  13. MikeN said

    Bart is using talking points that have gone past their expiration date. The top 20% are not responsible for 80% of emissions. US+Canada+EU+Japan+South Korea+Russia+Australia is less than half of emissions.

    I called RealClimate on this when they did a fishing analogy, and Gavin obfuscated, saying that China and India were split up between the different fishermen. Of course this eviscerates his analogy.

  14. MikeN said

    From the tragedy of Climate Commons at RC

    >It doesn’t help that the post starts with a bad analogy, easily avoidable. The top 5 don’t catch 50% of the fish, they have more than 60%, and China is the leading emitter, with more than 20%.

    [Response: Do pay attention. The number of fisherfolk is analogous to population - do the math again. - gavin]

    >The number of fisherfolk is analogous to population – do the math again. – gavin]

    I haven’t done all the math, but it still isn’t quite right, as China can’t be in any of those groups.
    top 5%=US with 20% emissions
    top 20%=75% emissions
    21-50=15%emissions
    bottom 50% = 10% emissions
    Where do China and India go?

    [Response: Umm... let's see. China is 20% of the people, and roughly 20% of emissions. Which splits them between the lower half of the top 20% and the top of the next 30%. - gavin]

  15. MikeN said

    According to CDIAC, the percentage of emissions for US+Canada+Europe+Australia+Japan+South Korea from 2006 to 2008 is

    49.4 % in 2006 48.2% in 2007 46.7% in 2008

  16. Jeff Id said

    “They first want to catch up to our level of prosperity, and who are we to tell them “no, you can’t”?”

    I’m not going to tell them no, I’m going to tell them go ahead and try. In the meantime, my co-citizens have put a government in control which can’t seem to find enough cliffs to jump off.

    “China and India are not going to accept limiting their growth to accommodate the future climate if the West doesn’t take the lead.”

    China’s not going to accept anything which doesn’t promote their own expansion to the number one power. They are culturally very nationalistic, which comes from years of actual, honest to god, brainwashing. Not just a term of art for blogland.

    “My goal is to limit dangerous disruption of the climate, and in a world where the use of resources (and emission of CO2) is distributed very unequally, it is not a workable strategy to tell the have-nots that they can’t have any more.”

    My goal is to avoid economic suicide which is far more dangerous than climate. We don’t have to tell the ‘have nots’ anything because they have not so they produce not. Certainly you have realized we cannot provide power to them without nuclear or coal??? Certainly you also realize they cannot have nuclear with their evil governments. – no I’m not talking about china or india.

  17. Steve Fitzpatrick said

    Eventually, humanity must (and so will) move away from fossil fuels. It is perfectly reasonable to add some additional urgency to planing for this transition due to the uncertain potential negative effects of warming from CO2 added to the atmosphere. The only real difference between those who call for draconian changes and those who want normal economics to control the transition is about 40-50 years of relatively high fossil fuel use. Scarcity of easily recovered fossil fuels will gradually drive prices to the point that alternatives are more attractive. It is in humanity’s interest to plan for the inevitable transition, and avoid serious economic disruptions from lack of reasonably priced energy. Whether the planning process starts now, in 5 years, or in 20 years, it does need to happen. There are good reasons to invest in advanced nuclear (breeder, thorium), as well as improved technology for solar power.

    But perspective is called for. Due to the current lack of viable alternative energy technology, no nation can (and so no nation will) move to mainly wind/solar/biofuels any time in the near future. As Jeff suggests, a huge fraction base-load generation capacity from nuclear plants, where the technology exists today at reasonably competitive costs, would go a long way to easing the transition from fossil fuels. But the same people who call for drastic reductions in fossil fuel use vigorously oppose the installation of lots of nuclear plants. (We simple engineering types find this so bizarrely irrational as to be unbelievable, yet this is in fact the consensus ‘green’ position on nuclear power.)

    What most certainly are not needed are shrill voices demanding immediate action which is simultaneously disruptive, expensive, wasteful, and which accomplishes little or nothing… like cap’n trade and its many idiotic variants. A careful and measured response is what is needed.

  18. stan said

    17,

    Yeah, we need to plan. Just like that govt planning back in the 1800s saved us from the major disruptions that would have taken place when we hit that peak whale oil crisis. Or the govt planning that helped ease the transition from candles to lanterns. Thankful for that planning.

    We could use all the smart planners at the US Energy Dept. They have spent over 30 years and vast sums of money planning how we can avoid reliance on foreign oil. They’re still planning.

  19. Steve Fitzpatrick said

    #18,

    Do you not think spending money on energy research is a better use of tax dollars than climate models? Some very useful things (not a lot, but some) do come out of government funded research (like the Internet, GPS, and others). Evaluating/developing thorium based nuclear power would seem to be a smart thing to do considering the relative availability of the raw materials, but without government approval (and perhaps financial help) that sort of development is not likely in the private sector. Are you opposed to all government funded research, or only energy related research? How about medical research and military research, which together represent the vast majority of Federal R&D?

  20. Kan said

    #19,

    Big, big difference between Stan’s “planning” and your “research”.

    Also note, war tends to concentrate the mind(s) – per your examples.

  21. Tom Fuller said

    I think Steve Fitzpatrick pretty much says it all at #17. I would really like to see feasibility estimates for cranking out nuclear at a rate adequate enough to speed this transition. The 436 plants we have in this world today put out about 27 quads. The world used 500 from all sources.

    The DOE thinks we’ll need 685 in 2035. The UN estimates 703. I personally think it will be about 2,000.

    We’re going to need a bigger boat.

  22. Frank K. said

    “Use money for research into global warming.”

    Can’t forget the Climate Ca$h for the career government climate “scientists” to waste…

  23. KuhnKat said

    Let’s split the difference. They cut their population down to our levels and we will cut our CO2 use down to their levels. When they can prove population reduction we start reducing whatever we are doing to cause Gorebal Warming!! ;>)

  24. PaulM said

    Roger Pielke jr has a related post up, ‘The Attribution Trap’, where he comments on the absurdity of giving billions of dollars to developing countries on the basis of how much they have been directly affected by climate change.

  25. kdk33 said

    We still have, for the time being, a market. It works well often. Central planning not so much.

    As oil prices rise, the incentive to deliver cost competitive energy techologies will be enourmous. Energy companies will try to reposition and entrepreneurs will test new-starts; the market will choose winners. The transition will be gradual.

    I’m led to believe that current governement nuclear “safety” regulations are a backdoor way of shutting down nuclear for reasons other than safety. If that’s true (I don’t know that it is) then that should be fixed to level the playing field.

    It seems reasonable for government to fund, at a fairly low level, basic R&D (big R, little d). It is not reasonable for government to subsidise commercialization of otherwise non-competitive technologies.

    Government ought not be planning our economy.

  26. stan said

    Huge difference between govt planning and scientific research. Govt planning gives us the Trabant. The Trabant was a piece of junk, even if it was far more successful than the NOAA, GISS or CRU. Most East Germans would have preferred at least a Yugo.

    Trabant joke — driver pulls into service station and says “can I get a windshield wiper for my Trabant?” Mechanic thinks it over and finally says, “OK, it’s a trade.”

    I would gladly trade NOAA and GISS for a windshield wiper.

  27. Bart said

    So we look at this really from totally different perspectvies.

    I see the likely future trajectory of business as usual emissions as likely very disruptive to the climate (note that I didn’t claim that it’s already very disruptive now, at least not on a global scale).

    Jeff (and probably most here) see the proposed future trajectory of strongly reduced emissions as very disruptive to the global economy.

    He thinks I am (and most of climate science is) way off the mark with projections of climate change.

    I think he is way off the mark with projections of economic doom from eg shifting our taxes (note: not necessarily increasing total taxes; just a shift in what is being taxed).

    A constructive dialogue would be how could the climate changes that science thinks are in store under BAU be prevented with the least disruption to the economy possible. Jeff gave this a go in a constructive comment at my site.

    Or we can both keep on saying “alarmist” (either climate alarmist or economic alarmist) to the other site and ignore their concerns.

  28. Andrew said

    Except that the idea that control emissions will have very deleterious impacts on the economy is not something speculative, it’s practically self evident. It can even be derived from pure reason. The notion that “climate change” will be anywhere near as serious a problem is not merely speculative, it’s dependent on piling extreme speculation upon extreme speculation. Just look at the costs of the policies that have been proposed, the “damages” they would avoid, supposedly, and even all the “damages” which are predicted, and the costs of policies are far and away greater than the damage they prevent, and sometimes even the total damage, unless one oddly couples the most pessimistic damage projections with the most optimistic policy cost projections, which is ridiculous and is really just a ploy to make a point. And they STILL would tend to fail cost/benefit calculations.

  29. Jeff Id said

    #27, I agree with all of what you wrote except the part on nuances of the tax and the fact that I’ve written many times that I cannot disagree with you or the IPCC on your projections of climate change. I’m just unconvinced.

    I’ve seen no proof other than the fact that models are 2-4X observations which means that there is disagreement but does not prove models wrong. It does prove, however, that there is a serious discrepancy to be resolved. Before Santer’s paper and the work by Chad Herman and Steve McIntyre in blogland followed by MMH’s recent paper, I didn’t even write that. Certainly the difference weighs in favor of observation but it’s not ‘quite’ proven.

    For background, most of what I’ve written here started with Mann08, then shifted to the Steig Antarctic temperatures, I’ve confirmed math from global temps, corrected a step in the sat data between UAH and RSS, then back on a demonstration that Mann07 is incorrect. All of that with regular forays into the political insanity of the solutions and the silliest disaster papers. i.e. Shrinking fish 40% by overfishing and 3% by global warming. haha.

  30. TimG said

    #27 – Bart

    Actually changing behavoir with carbon taxes requires that they be set at a very high level – high enough to cause considerable economic harm.

    One could bring in a low carbon tax that does not cause much economic harm but it would do nothing about emissions either.

    My position is it is better to do nothing than to do something which will do nothing about the stated problem and could cause economic harm.

  31. DeWitt Payne said

    If you stop concentrating on CO2 as the only significant contributor to AGW, then you have to consider things like the Asian Brown Cloud. One of the causes listed is biomass burning. What they actually mean by that is the use of animal dung for heating and cooking. Rural electrification in Asia would go a long way to reducing those emissions. Even in the US, that required government backed programs like the Rural Electrification Administration. How you go about doing that in Asia without most of the money ending up in someone’s pocket, though, is a real problem.

  32. Bart said

    DeWitt Payne,

    Good point, and indeed other climate forcings are being considered. E.g. http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/docs/2000/2000_Hansen_etal_2.pdf
    (before the name ABC got dubbed)

    Jeff,

    I’m aware of some of your analysis work on your blog, eg on temp reconstructions. Looks solid. How you go from your analyses to your opinions on the overall picture of climate change (eg as aired on ‘reader background’ and elsewhere) is however not clear to me, and neither is the reasoning behind it.

    Tom G, Good point, and that one is a real challenge indeed. But if aa carbon taxt is accompanied by a full rebate, the height of the tax wouldn’t matter to the average income (and as a first approximation, to the economy): Those who emit less than average win financially and those who emit more than average lose financially. There’ll be winners and loosers, but everyone can pick in which group they belong. (This indeed would have most to do with effort and not with luck or cultural disposition)

  33. kdk33 said

    Shifting taxes won’t do anything about CO2! Taxes aren’t the point. The taxes are intended to eliminate less expensive carbon fuels in favor of more expensive alternative energy. Revenue from CO2 taxes and a reduction in CO2 are mutually exclusive.

    There is an energy component in the cost of everything. The price of everything will increase. Once the transition is complete, there will be no CO2 tax revenue.

  34. ML said

    #27 – Bart

    Are you familiar with this observation?
    —————-
    Why does a slight tax increase cost you $200 and
    a substantial tax cut saves you 30 cents?

  35. Jeff Id said

    I’m aware of some of your analysis work on your blog, eg on temp reconstructions. Looks solid. How you go from your analyses to your opinions on the overall picture of climate change (eg as aired on ‘reader background’ and elsewhere) is however not clear to me, and neither is the reasoning behind it.

    I haven’t actually seen any bad effects from AGW but I have seen a lot of bad papers predicting bad effects that somehow went through peer review. I also see a lot of quiet from climate scientists who know darned well you can’t statistically separate a 40% shrinkage caused by overfishing and a 3 percent shrinkage by global warming. It’s so stupid you don’t even need to read the paper, but the claims keep coming unopposed.

    So objective readers know to a high degree of certainty that the negative effects of AGW are regularly exaggerated, but the benefits are almost undiscussed. What climate science hasn’t learned is that people see through the stupid and it’s not just a benign effect. It affects the credibility of all of climate science when the field doesn’t reject Mann, Santer and exaggerated damage papers. I’ve seen so many exaggerations on sea ice – from the experts – I no longer can listen to them except for a few cool tidbits about nature. I don’t know if you read the Arctic ‘record sea ice loss’ on the NSIDC July report, completely missing the ‘record high ice’ in the Antarctic.

    If more scientists spoke out against the bad work going on (there is a TON of exaggeration), it would do a lot to help those who do good work. How about the antarctic melting and gravity shifting to flood NewYork and London – in PUBLICATION!! First, those are convenient targets, but by the time we melt the antarctic cap, everyone in NewYork will all be little brown crisps on the desert sand.

    So with all the unchallenged exaggeration, including model trends, I’m not worried and even if I were worried, I don’t think we technologically can stop CO2 production. And even if we could stop CO2 production, we couldn’t implement it fast enough to meet the requirements of climate science.

    So we will see in the future who is right on this subject. Or in my opinion, exactly how much warming a doubling and even tripling of CO2 creates. We will also move away from fossil fuels, whether we tax them or not. So IMO, there isn’t anything to worry about in climate, the path is set and we are going exactly where you guys said we can’t. If the disasters happen, we will cope but we will not be able to prevent them. In two hundred years, if the disasters were severe or not, we will be using primarily different energy sources. Problem solved.

    Demanding biofuel, wind farms and solar power now, is just another stupid distraction from the magnitude of the problem.

  36. Jeff Id said

    “But if aa carbon taxt is accompanied by a full rebate”

    You have forgotten that the politicians have different goals than you.

  37. Sam said

    “But if aa carbon taxt is accompanied by a full rebate”

    Yeah, and the income tax as introduced was a top tax bracket of 7%. That went to 92% post-WWII.

    Ever wonder why the ATF is grouped as such? Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms? Because the Feds have no Constitutional right to regulate them, so they originally were placed in the Department of the Treasury and they taxed them instead. Taxation eventually led to regulation, and now the Feds openly regulate Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (in clear violation of the Constitution).

    In other words, do you really trust that this tax will always have a full rebate? That everyone will qualify for a rebate? That the tax rate won’t change? Whatever measures you support government taking now will be distorted in the future to accomplish whatever goals the politicians have at the time. American history is packed so completely full of these examples that anyone who trusts the government with a new tax is a fool, a politician, or doesn’t pay taxes.

  38. Jeff Id said

    It’s a good point to make that even were the taxes 100% rebated,the consumer is still out the profit taken on those taxes. But if the taxes are rebated, I don’t see many politicians in support.

  39. Andrew said

    31-“Even in the US, that required government backed programs like the Rural Electrification Administration. How you go about doing that in Asia without most of the money ending up in someone’s pocket, though, is a real problem.”

    Required is such a strong and inapplicable word. Sure, this was done with a government program, but that does not mean that there HAD to be one to make it happen. It’s just a matter of how quickly you want it done and at what (and whose) expense. The idea that without government intervention it would take too long reminds me of Magneto’s line in X-men 1: “Let’s just say God works too slow.”

    And now, of course, we hear complaints that the resulting electric grid is out of date. No kidding.

  40. Andrew said

    Regarding rebates, another thing to consider is the fact that taking away the pain, takes away the incentive to do what the government wants, or at least diminishes it. What do you think people will spend their rebates on? The energy that the tax raised the price of in all likely-hood. Sure, they might eventually start buying other sources of energy, but people generally just buy what their utility provides. And if what their utility provides is oil, gas, coal, etc, their prices have just went up, what are they going to do, switch to a different utility? Perhaps, or perhaps they may reduce their use, in which case the utility needs to find a way to bring it’s prices down. The “renewables” they might switch to would only help if the tax on the other sources was exorbitant enough to entirely make up the difference in price, and then some. So mostly people will just be paying more for the same sources of energy, while you may have a bit more pressure to find something new. The problem is that research into new energy sources will take…energy. So the cost of research has also risen, which partially if not entirely negates any boost that the incentive gave to the pace of development. Also, the utilities will not have more capital, as their additional money is being redistributed to their consumers who cycle it back to be redistributed again. So their is no extra money for research. The government might try to subsidize “cleaner” energy, but that would involve picking winners and losers, perhaps quite wrongly, and the reduced prices are illusory, people just pay the cost on April 15th instead of when they get their power bill. All this attempt to manipulate the market in one place has knock-on effects on the operation of the invisible hand in other areas, where it will be forced from the most efficient path, it’s natural choice, to the choice dictated directly or indirectly by the environment created by government policy. This means that the economy will operate inefficiently, less growth, less innovation, less possibility of new technology needed to escape this nasty vicious cycle…Basically, as with all government intervention, the result is an economy FUBAR.

  41. My country,’ tis of thee,
    sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing;
    land where my fathers died,
    land of the pilgrims’ pride,
    from every mountainside let freedom ring!

  42. Steve Fitzpatrick said

    #35
    “So we will see in the future who is right on this subject. Or in my opinion, exactly how much warming a doubling and even tripling of CO2 creates.”

    But it will not take 200 years to see who is right.

    The combination of increased CO2 and other man made GHG’s already represents the radiative effect of nearly a doubling of CO2 (about 2.9 watts/M^2, and rising, versus ~3.7 watts/M^2 for a doubling of CO2). Which corresponds to an equilibrium warming, according to the IPCC “best estimate” climate sensitivity, of 2.23C. The measured warming of the last century, abut 0.8C, even if 100% is assigned to GHG warming, is woefully short of the expected rise, and it is a little nuts to suggest that 100% of the measured warming is due to GHG’s, since at least 25% of the warming took place before there was much GHG forcing. This glaring discrepancy is currently hand-waved away by claiming vast (but not confirmed by measurement) heat accumulation in the ocean and vast (but not confirmed by measurement) aerosol effects.

    As radiative forcing continues to increase and the data for ocean heat accumulation and aerosol effects becomes better over the next 10-15 years, it will at some point become impossible to maintain the current scientific fantasy of high climate sensitivity. Reality will eventually win out, as it must, and climate science will gradually “discover” improvements in ocean models and tropospheric heat transport models, and find (surprise!) that the correct climate sensitivity is below the low end of the current IPCC range of ~2C to ~4C. The process has already started; James Hansen’s ~4C sensitivity of 20 years ago is now ~2.8C per doubling, and you can be sure that the “best estimate” value will keep falling as data that conflicts with model projections slowly (very slowly!) focuses the minds of climate scientists.

    The key is the next 10-15 years. Humanity just needs to avoid horribly costly “alternative energy” errors for about 15 years. Once the probability for ‘catastrophe’ has been discounted, rational political choices become much more likely.

  43. bob said

    Great posts and comments.

    Why should a tax be imposed on an activity to change a situation where there is no harm being done, and those who claim otherwise do so without appropriate evidence?

    With such a tax we will still have nations in Africa in perpetual poverty and famine because of corrupt governments, not available resources.

    We will still have little to no global warming caused by excess CO2 emissions.

    We will still have fools crying that somehow confiscatory taxes, government planning, and elitist international economic equalization schemes have not changed the 80/20 consumption to population ratio.

    We will have reduced standards of living in the free world without any improvement in living conditions in the third world. The non-free communist countries will be given an economic advantage because they are too smart to jump off the carbon cliff with the rest of the socialist world.

    It gets real simple, real quick. A carbon tax only benefits politicians. Everyone else gets the shaft.

  44. stan said

    Jeff,

    Did you know that temperatures since Hansen’s predictions in 1988 have closely followed his predictions? And this demonstrates how good climate models are? A Vandy professor wrote that. http://www.nashvillescene.com/nashville/what-climate-models-can-tell-us-about-the-future-and-what-they-cant/Content?oid=1739556

    Also — did you know sea levels are rising faster than the IPCC’s worst scenario? Lots of information in this article that sure came as a surprise to me.

  45. bob said

    I would like to comment on one of Bart’s statements in #9.

    “They first want to catch up to our level of prosperity, and who are we to tell them “no, you can’t”? Besides the fact that it’s politically not feasible to tell them that, I also think it’s morally wrong to not allow others what we allow ourselves.

    First of all, China, India, and other countries consciously chose communism and socialism in the 20th century instead of the different mixes of capitalism chosen by Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea.

    The resulting differences in economic welfare and individual freedom are glaring, and should be obvious to everyone.

    China and India chose their own economic poison, and we cannot be held to account for the lack of wisdom or the built-in inefficiencies of socialist and communist economic models.

    The United States and other Western nations have poured Billions of Dollars into the economies of the third world countries, but corruption in the third world governments impedes any progress.

    We are not at moral risk for not allowing the have-not nations their due. We have always tried to help them. The problems are their own doing.

  46. MikeN said

    A tax rebate, only is a rebate from the current situation. It still means that if there is a future deficit, the budget could be balanced with a tax hike, but hey, your carbon tax is still being rebated!

  47. Steve Fitzpatrick said

    #21 Tom,

    Build 200 new plants per year (worldwide) starting 5 years from now. Assuming 0.062 quad per plant (current average), and assuming 200 of the existing plants have to be replaced by 2035, the net increase in power is (20*200 – 200)* 0.062 ~235 quads, which is equal to about 230% of today’s worldwide electrical production. Continue that pace of construction for another 20 years (to 2055), and nuclear would dominate most transportation (electric freight trains, bullet trains and electric cars). Ocean going nuclear freighters are also a possibility. There is not nearly enough uranium for all this without breeder technology; thorium may be the better way to go. The problems are primarily political, not technical.

  48. Brian H said

    #47;

    My hope and expectation is that by about 6 mo. to a year from now it will be fairly clear that the way is open to meet all the power needs you extrapolate with small fusion reactors/generators at about 1/20 the cost of fission, or less.

    LPPX.com

  49. DeWitt Payne said

    Re: Steve Fitzpatrick (Aug 26 13:12),

    …electric freight trains…

    As near as I can tell, about the only thing shipped by rail in the US any more is coal. International bulk shipment is by container and truck, not rail. The rail container yard near the fairly large company where I used to work has been shut down for lack of business. Passenger rail has to be subsidized almost everywhere. The capital investment for rail dwarfs the fuel costs.

  50. Eric Anderson said

    Stan @ #44. You’re kidding, right? My sarc detector is on heightened alert, but I can’t tell for sure . . . :)

  51. Brian H said

    #49;
    Fuel costs make a big difference to the choices.

    Also, grain moves mostly by rail.

  52. Brian H said

    #50;
    Don’t think so. The linked article is a full-bore chapter-and-verse justification of climate models.

  53. stan said

    50,

    Yes, I was being sarcastic. I was shocked to see a prof trying to say that Hansen’s predictions closely followed the temps. Or that this would prove the climate models are solid. Or that Antarctica was melting. Or that sea levels were rising faster than the IPCC worst case scenario.

    Maybe not ‘shocked’, but pretty disappointed. This article is really bad. The prof in question is someone that Pielke jr linked to earlier this year.

    If I had to guess, I would speculate that he simply accepts whatever spin he gets from Gore, Hansen, Romm et al. You have to wonder how he would react to proof that the models have failed to be verified/validated. As Will Rogers once said, “it ain’t what we don’t know what gets us in trouble. It’s what we know that ain’t so.”

  54. Bart said

    Hansen et al. 1981 did pretty good too: http://www.skepticalscience.com/Hansen-hit-a-home-run.html

  55. AMac said

    Re: stan (Aug 26 15:39),

    Jonathan Gilligan (quoted in #44) has had guest posts at Collide-a-scape. Like Bart, he is on the reasonable side of the AGW Consensus (IMO, of course).

    The linked text of his newspaper article showing that climate modeling is robust and provides accurate and useful predictions doesn’t strike me as very persuasive. It would take a fair bit more to make a good case.

  56. stan said

    54 Bart,

    Based on her prior posts, I think Lucia would be shocked that someone thinks Hansen’s 1988 predictions are anywhere close to the real temps. Of course, she’s just a stats whiz and not a climate scientist. But I left a note on her blog asking her, just to be sure. We’ll see.

  57. Steve Fitzpatrick said

    #49,

    Well, coal is an important cargo, of course, but it is by no means the only freight carried by rail. See http://www.nationalatlas.gov/articles/transportation/IMAGES/pie2.gif

    The advantages of rail in a transition to non-fossil fuel transport are 1) there are existing right of ways and rails (low marginal cost), and 2) energy expenditure per ton-mile is relatively low. Both of these play into a future in which electricity replaces diesel for most transport of cargo.

    I noted in a recent trip to Japan that bullet trains are comparable to airlines in cost and net time for travel within most of Japan; this can’t be exactly duplicated in a larger country like the USA, but is a reasonable model in higher density regions like the East Coast corridor, California, and parts of the South.

  58. galileonardo said

    Jeff, I was leaving for vacation when you ran your “Id’s Crazy” post but unfortunately did not have the time to respond (though I desperately wanted to). I am thus glad to see you are on the subject again and I now welcome the opportunity to chime in and hopefully dispel the false Bartish feel-good notions about helping the poor nations (Bart, if you care to see how the proposed CO2 mitigation will be “very disruptive to the global economy” just keep reading – I even use the UN’s own projections).

    I can’t claim to be the friendliest of debaters when going up against what I have at various times called AGW cultists, zealots, control freaks, Luddites, sheep, totalitarians, fraud deniers, etc., but I am a father as well (of a 4-year-old boy) and I’ll be damned if I don’t fight their vision of my son’s future.

    Bottom line Jeff: Global wealth will essentially be cut in half under the Copenhagen plan.

    If we go the CO2-mitigation UNFCCC/IPCC B1 Sustainable Development (SD) path, your great-grandson will retire in the year 2100 with just a $60k per capita income (and have a lot less personal freedom). Contrast that with the A1 Golden Economic Age (GEA) path, the path we coincidentally are already naturally taking, where he would retire with a $100k per capita income in a world of unprecedented prosperity. Under B1 SD he’ll be rewarded with a shorter life expectancy too. Splendid.

    And I can back that up using their data. I have been commenting about this in other venues for some time now, and I apologize for the length of this post (especially since a lot of it is rehash), but my hope is that the message spreads. I am also new to the hand-coding scene so hopefully I didn’t hack it up here – sorry if I did. In your “crazy” post, some commenters touched upon a lot of what I have said (and a few posters are clearly in denial of the “conspiracy” that is “hidden in plain sight”), but I think I can add a few numbers and sources to the mix, and hopefully some perspective.

    Regarding your previous post, there is nothing crazy about exposing the global governance angle and in that post you made some key points that, rather than crazy, are absolutely validated by open evidence. IMO you have done a fine job of helping to expose the Neo-Inquisitors and their political science, but I think it would be excellent for you to comment more frequently about the larger picture UN agenda and their puppet masters. This malicious and inhumane movement absolutely needs to be stopped and they have had quite the head start. You are one of the few that isn’t afraid to speak to the politics of all this, but ironically that is the 10,000-pound elephant in the room, so before going forward I wanted to say that I for one welcome further discussion of this topic by you in future posts.

    There are many documents spanning over four decades that transparently promote global governance. I’d say the 1995 report by the UN-sponsored Commission on Global Governance (that might be a tipoff) titled Our Global Neighborhood is pretty transparent. But the best examples for me at least are the negotiating text for Copenhagen, the not-mentioned-enough UEA email that presented the draft document of the IPCC special report Emissions Scenarios, and the final report itself. Here’s a gem for starters from that final report describing the B1 Sustainable Development scenario:

    Massive income redistribution and presumably high taxation levels may adversely affect the economic efficiency and functioning of world markets.

    Read that again Bart (and since you comment on population trends, please note that in both the A1 GEA and B1 SD scenarios population is expected to peak at 9 billion by 2050 and drop to 7 billion by 2100). There is no arguing that Sustainable Development is the UN’s Golden Child. It appears in the IPCC’s AR4 297 times (no mention BTW of the Golden Economic Age – the term was predictably purged from the draft). When combining the figures used in that draft email and the final report, the economic damage wrought by SD is devastating. Here is how it breaks down for the world:

    A1 Golden Economic Age (GEA) global GDP by 2100 = $550 trillion
    B1 Sustainable Development (SD) global GDP by 2100 = $350 trillion

    Conclusion: using the UN’s numbers, by 2100 the global economy will be less wealthy to the tune of $200 trillion per year going the SD route. Does that qualify as “very disruptive to the global economy” Bart?

    Here’s how the numbers break down for individuals in both Annex 1 countries (the 20% of the world with relative wealth) and Annex 2 countries (the 80% of the world that are relatively poor):

    2100 A1 Golden Economic Age (GEA)
    Annex 1 per capita income = $100,000
    Annex 2 per capita income = $70,000
    Average global per capita income = $76,000

    2100 B1 Sustainable Development (SD)
    Annex 1 per capita income = $60,000
    Annex 2 per capita income = $35,000
    Average global per capita income = $40,000

    So for all the Barts out there thinking they are trying to help the world’s poor and saying things like “it is not a workable strategy to tell the have-nots that they can’t have any more” and that it’s “morally wrong to not allow others what we allow ourselves,” you do just that with your supposedly good intentions by getting on board the economy-punishing, poverty-prolonging, global-taxation CO2 mitigation bandwagon. You would think with all of that redistribution planned the poor would fare better but they do not. Look at those figures again. The world’s poor will have a 2100 PCI of $35,000 under B1 vs. $70,000 under A1. So I ask you again Bart, does that qualify as “very disruptive to the global economy?”

    I wonder if halving wealth will have any negative effects on poverty. Duh! Let’s get real. Prolonged poverty is an absolute death sentence for millions. Poverty currently kills about 18 million people per year in mostly the poor nations, and a majority of them are children. So for every year that economic growth is slowed you can be ensured that the poverty rate will be unforgivably elevated.

    Put it in perspective. About one-quarter of the world’s population still has no electricity at all; 1 billion people still have inadequate access to water; 2.6 billion still lack basic sanitation; and 2.5 billion still use biomass to cook. And about nine million children under the age of five die each year from largely preventable causes, and the overarching cause of most of those deaths is poverty. Six million children die annually of hunger alone. That sounds compassionate. Let’s build some wind farms and call it a job well done.

    The fastest way to true environmental stewardship is wealth and that makes this “save the world” notion all the more abominable. I consider myself a long-time environmentalist and these folks have hijacked movements that are important to me all in the name of AGW and false prophets. The resources diverted to their wholly political cause is the true “travesty” here. Meanwhile, combatting true environmental degradation has become all the more difficult since funding has been shifted to fighting the phantom menace of climate change. It truly angers me.

    For those of you who might claim that that IPCC report was just a brainstorming session or no longer relevant, bring the conversation up to last December in Copenhagen. If you didn’t read the negotiating text for Copenhagen, have at it. There are over 60 references to the AGW dream scenario Sustainable Development, and you do not have to look far to find it. It rears its ugly head twice in the preambular paragraphs on page 6, and not just in passing. Here’s the first:

    PP.8 [Recognizing that] sustainable development is the first priority for developing countries. Therefore, [that] our commitment to a low carbon society would have to be linked to our development priorities, in accordance with the provisions of the Convention.

    It just can’t be argued. B1 SD is the path they are trying to shepherd us toward. It leads to the slaughterhouse. It is their first priority. There is nothing conspiratorial in nature about their plans because they put them right out there for all to read. Here are some of my favorite terms/phrases from the negotiating draft you should familiarize yourself with: historical climate debt; transparent system of governance; compensate for lost opportunities, resources, lives, land and dignity; environmental justice; green fund; levies on CO2 emissions; taxes on carbon-intensive products and services; levies on international and maritime transport; levies on international transactions; penalties or fines for non-compliance; ODA additional to ODA targets; adaptation debt; 2 per cent of gross national product; and uniform global levy.

    What a wonderful world the AGW control freaks have in store for us. This movement in its current form is less concerned with environmental issues than it is with power and control. Not me. Not my son. Free will is a damned thing, isn’t it? Why is it so difficult for these folks to admit that this is far less a scientific endeavor than a political one? Why do they find it so hard to admit that this is more about control of humanity than it is about saving the world? It’s a simple equation: AGW = political movement. AGW fraud deniers can lobby for superficial groupthink and cry heretic and big oil and conspiracy all they want, but the evidence speaks for itself.

    I guess that’s why they screech so loudly against the prominent skeptics and even the ordinary skeptics like me. CO2 mitigation was their pot of gold, their path to Utopia, and the rainbow is disappearing. Scientist vs. activist can be a tough proposition, but it is awesome to see that the worm has turned. The agenda is so apparent to anyone not tainted by the AGW scripture so I for one will keep at it. Simply put, global wealth is expedited with A1. The only things sustained under B1 are misery and poverty. We need to continue to go A1 and allow the world to get wealthy at the faster rate. The rest will naturally follow. We have been going that direction for a century so to all of the ideologically-driven AGW zealots, get out of our way, or be prepared to be bowled over. Your approach is economic suicide. No thanks. I have lifted this often, but I have not yet begun to fight.

    I’ll part with some more relevant quotes from the IPCC Emissions Scenarios report. Jeff, keep up the great work. Bart, dig a little deeper into what is driving you.

    Discussing correlation of wealth to environmental stewardship:

    Pollution abatement efforts appear to increase with income, growing willingness to pay for a clean environment, and progress in the development of clean technology. Thus, as incomes rise, pollution should increase initially and later decline, a relationship often referred to as the “environmental Kuznets curve.”

    Discussing A1 Golden Economic Age:

    The global economy expands at an average annual rate of about 3% to 2100, reaching around US$550 trillion (all dollar amounts herein are expressed in 1990 dollars, unless stated otherwise). This is approximately the same as average global growth since 1850, although the conditions that lead to this global growth in productivity and per capita incomes in the scenario are unparalleled in history.

    Discussing B1 Sustainable Development:

    A higher proportion of this income is spent on services rather than on material goods, and on quality rather than quantity, because the emphasis on material goods is less and also resource prices are increased by environmental taxation.

    Cities are compact and designed for public and non-motorized transport, with suburban developments tightly controlled. Strong incentives for low-input, low-impact agriculture, along with maintenance of large areas of wilderness, contribute to high food prices with much lower levels of meat consumption than those in A1.

    Discussing impact of wealth on fertility rates, life expectancy and infant and child (and mother) mortality:

    [There is a] long-established negative correlation between fertility rates and per capita income. Clearly, richer countries uniformly have a relatively low fertility rate. Poorer countries, on average, have a higher fertility rate.

    Barro (1997) reports a statistically significant correlation between per capita GDP growth and the variables life expectancy and fertility in his analysis of post-1960 growth performance of 100 countries. Other things being equal, growth rates correlate positively (higher) with increasing life expectancy and negatively (lower) with high fertility, which confirms the view that the affluent live longer and have fewer children.

    From a demographic point of view, the primary effect seen in [the figure showing the 'negative correlation'] is interpreted as infant and child mortality decline with increasing affluence.

    And a few from the Copenhagen negotiating text.

    Page 43: 41. [Providing financial support shall be additional to developed countries' ODA targets.] [Mandatory contributions from developed country Parties and other developed Parties included in Annex II should form the core revenue stream for meeting the cost of adaptation in conjunction with additional sources including share of proceeds from flexible mechanisms.] [This finance should come from the payment of the adaptation debt by developed country Parties and be based principally on public-sector funding, while other alternative sources could be considered.] [[Sources of new and additional financial support for adaptation] [Financial resources of the "Convention Adaptation Fund"] [may] [shall] include:
    (a) [Assessed contributions [of at least 0.7% of the annual GDP of developed country Parties] [from developed country Parties and other developed Parties included in Annex II to the Convention] [taking into account historical contribution to concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere];]
    (b) [Auctioning of assigned amounts and/or emission allowances [from developed country Parties];]
    (c) [Levies on CO2 emissions [from Annex-I Parties [in a position to do so]];]
    (d) [Taxes on carbon-intensive products and services from Annex I Parties;]
    (e) [[Levies on] [Shares of proceeds from measures to limit or reduce emissions from] international [aviation] and maritime transport;]
    (f) Shares of proceeds on the clean development mechanism (CDM), [extension of shares of proceeds to] joint implementation and emissions trading;
    (g) [Levies on international transactions [among Annex I Parties];]
    (h) [Fines for non-compliance [of Annex I Parties and] with commitments of Annex I Parties and Parties with commitments inscribed in Annex B to the Kyoto Protocol (Annex B Parties);]
    (i) [[Additional ODA] [ODA additional to ODA targets] provided through bilateral, regional and other multilateral channels (in accordance with Article 11.5 of the Convention).]]

    Pages 18-19: 38. The scheme for the new institutional arrangement under the Convention will be based on three basic pillars: government; facilitative mechanism; and financial mechanism, and the basic organization of which will include the following:
    (a) The government will be ruled by the COP with the support of a new subsidiary body on adaptation, and of an Executive Board responsible for the management of the new funds and the related facilitative processes and bodies. The current Convention secretariat will operate as such, as appropriate.
    (b) The Convention’s financial mechanism will include a multilateral climate change fund including five windows: (a) an Adaptation window, (b) a Compensation window, to address loss and damage from climate change impacts, including insurance, rehabilitation and compensatory components, (c) a Technology window; (d) a Mitigation window; and (e) a REDD window, to support a multi-phases process for positive forest incentives relating to REDD actions.
    (c) The Convention’s facilitative mechanism will include: (a) work programmes for adaptation and mitigation; (b) a long-term REDD process; (c) a short-term technology action plan; (d) an expert group on adaptation established by the subsidiary body on adaptation, and expert groups on mitigation, technologies and on monitoring, reporting and verification; and (e) an international registry for the monitoring, reporting and verification of compliance of emission reduction commitments, and the transfer of technical and financial resources from developed countries to developing countries. The secretariat will provide technical and administrative support, including a new centre for information exchange.

    Page 122: 17. [[Developed [and developing] countries] [Developed and developing country Parties] [All Parties] [shall] [should]:] (a) Compensate for damage to the LDCs economy and also compensate for lost opportunities, resources, lives, land and dignity, as many will become environmental refugees; (b) Africa, in the context of environmental justice, should be equitably compensated for environmental, social and economic losses arising from the implementation of response measures.

  59. Steve Fitzpatrick said

    #58

    Wow, you’re kind of pissed I think… but with cause.

    “climate science’ = 0.50 * (science) + 0.35 * (leftist politics) + 0.15 *(Gaia delusions)

    You will note that uneducated, hungry children, many dying from tropical diseases, are not included in the equation. Polar bears, however, are included in ‘Gaia delusions’. Kind of makes a thinking person want to vomit.

  60. bob said

    #58

    Thanks for the post. However, most of your links don’t work for me. Can you re-post the links to the relevant documents?

    Thanks.

  61. Andrew said

    Quick comment regarding Hansen’s predictions: There are several difficulties in assessing how good/bad they really did, not least of which is that, while the emissions projections were, IIRC, conservative, the concentrations were overestimated, again, IIRC. It don’t think that accounts for everything, but then we really ought to be asking why the concentration projections aren’t equally important if not more so, to have correct, than the climate projections derived from them. At any rate, comparisons are done all the time and nobody can seem to figure out exactly how good/bad the projections would have been if all the input figures had been accurate. At any rate, here is figure which is just a little old, so people may judge for themselves if they are impressed by the accuracy or lack thereof:

    http://rankexploits.com/musings/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/hansencomparedrecent.jpg

  62. M. Simon said

    My goal is to limit dangerous disruption of the climate

    Have you considered preventing the next ice age?

  63. harrywr2 said

    RickA said
    August 25, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    “Part of the idea is to use the money to guide development into channels that we rich countries want (i.e. less coal use).”

    In Gillette, Wyoming steam coal costs $12/ton and a Westinghouse AP1000 Nuclear reactor costs $7 billion to build.
    In China, steam coal costs $116/ton and a Westinghouse AP1000 Nuclear reactor costs $2 billion to build.

    It seems to me that building a nuclear power plant in Wyoming and shipping the coal to the ‘developing world’ is pretty stupid, as it’s a heck of a lot cheaper to build a nuclear power plant in the developing world then in the ‘developed’ world.

  64. galileonardo said

    #59 Steve, yes, I am a bit pissed, but first, Bob pointed out that most of my links were screwed up and he is right. I am posting the addresses from my original post in my reply to him below. I will do the same with my new links below in this response to you in case I repeat my errors. Sorry about that.

    Back to the subject. I’m not a big fan of propaganda. I was born in a country ruled by a dictator and although my family fled before I was old enough to be affected by it, I was raised with stories about what life was like such as my grandfather having to listen to certain radio stations in secret. And despite all of its warts, I was raised to believe in the greatness of America and the relative freedom it affords its citizens. Certainly not a perfect system, but no perfect system exists and no other system in human history has produced the wealth, inspiration and innovation sprung from our shores. [Cue fireworks]

    So the authoritarian route many global leaders want to foist upon us clashes with my core. Thus my hackles are raised when even what might be deemed by many as a relatively inconsequential measure is forced upon us under the guise of saving the planet, such as being forced to use mercury-laden compact fluorescent light bulbs.

    I think what makes me angriest is the dishonesty of the debate and the false notion perpetuated by the political AGW faithful that “the science is settled.” That and their failure to own up to the political science inherent in their arguments. An honest dissection of the current science does not come close to bearing out settled science. If anything, the evidence outside of the modeler’s realm points very strongly, or dare I say is “robust,” in the other direction: CO2 simply is not the climate driver they claim it to be. No volume of upside-down Tiljanders or Oreskes studies or Schneider hit lists or invented positive feedbacks changes that.

    Another major bone I have is that AGW proponents by and large think they own the moral high ground and that heretics like me are just plain evil, yet enactment of their ideology would be devastating for humanity and for the environment. The numbers I provided bear that out. Those who promote the AGW agenda unfortunately have sided with the “bad guys” so I welcome the opportunity Jeff has provided to point out the hypocrisy of their stance publicly. Good intentions or not, whether inadvertent or intentional, the results of their promotion of Sustainable Development are the same.

    That brings me to another primary issue that pisses me off. Let’s set aside their feelings about humans for a moment, since many in the AGW camp consider humanity a parasitic scourge (as you noted, we are not part of the equation, intentionally segregated from the balanced Gaia – ironically there will likely be a day, hopefully, that humanity saves many of Gaia’s souls from some cosmic interloper, even perhaps the polar bear). Let’s turn our attention instead to the environment.

    I have for over two decades done my best to minimize my impact on the Earth. I love nature and have for as long as I can remember. I have donated much time and money in support, mostly on the local level, of causes that saved habitat, influenced environmental legislation, and raised awareness of environmental degradation. The same organizations I have supported have shifted much of their focus to climate change and that is infuriating.

    Instead of focusing in full on the immediate environmental issues where impact is readily and almost immediately seen, precious resources are being squandered toward the propagandist AGW movement and for little to no gain. Our eyes are so far off the environmental ball because they have attempted to blind the world with the false political AGW ideology, and their indoctrination was nearly complete with their persistent squashing of dissent and a compliant media.

    That is what makes the current situation so remarkable to me. I have long ranted (I’m sure that surprises you) on the subject to little avail within my own circle, so to see the blinders have been pulled off and the public continues to trend away from the falsehoods of settled science is truly awesome. I really believe that sanity might prevail here against what I believe were tremendous odds. There really is only one course and that is A1 GEA. It is the natural course and it is ironically the course that creates enough wealth to become good environmental stewards. I guess we’ll have to drag the watermelons across the finish line kicking and screaming, just minus the whole global governance control freak part of it.

    I have lost more than one “progressive” friend aware of my environmentalist background due to my skeptical stance on AGW. I consider myself to be a good steward of the environment (nowhere close to Begley territory, but toward that end of the spectrum), but I also consider myself a scientist. When I see supposed friends who consider themselves free thinkers driven simply by emotion and unable to impartially assess the evidence, it frustrates me to no end. But then I am the flat-Earther in their eyes. I am the Inquisitor. My hope is that common sense and a return to reality win the debate.

    I will finally try to wrap this up with another related bone to pick. Many of the feel-good CO2-mitigation measures being imposed upon us follow the law of unintended consequences. CFL’s are a good example of this “road to hell” idea. Check out the clean-up procedure if you break one of those things in your house. I live in the city and I can’t tell you how many times my wife or I have removed fluorescent light bulbs from neighbors’ trash.

    Improperly disposed of fluorescent bulbs already contribute 15 tons of mercury to our nation’s landfills annually, enough to contaminate every last drop of freshwater we have. Imagine how much more mercury will taint our environment when these mandates are enacted. Add to that lead powder, fluorine, and neon and we get a nice poisonous mix that is sure to warm the heart of every green seeking to reduce their carbon footprint. Currently only 2% of bulbs/tubes containing mercury are properly recycled, so future prospects are looking pretty grim.

    There are plenty of other “road to hell” examples I can cite, including Brazilian biofuels or habitat destruction from huge water-intensive solar arrays. I liken what is happening with some forms of alternative energy to a premature ejaculation. So eager are they to “save the world” and latch onto the green-energy teat that they care not about the seed spilled along the way. They just want to be able to say “We did it! Let’s do it again!” leaving desert moonscapes in their wake.

    And so I can go on about this for hours but will bore you no more. The Pepto is wearing off anyway. We have real-world problems and CO2 mitigation is not counted among them, at least not on my list. The energy technology is in the works and it will likely come from multiple fronts. Investment in the field is at an all-time high and the trajectory trends up with no end in sight.

    So with all that is promising on the horizon, why on Earth would we want to put the economic brakes on now? Speaking of upward trajectories, the rise of civilization is shooting to the stars, a true hockey stick and affluence bomb for the Ehrlich fans. What possesses them to restrict us now at this point in history? Do they need a permanent underclass? Do they want there to be a whole lot less of us? I really don’t care. Whatever power they possess they are still cockroaches who will be trampled underfoot if they don’t get out of our way. Just scurry aside now. We adults have a lot of work to do.

    I almost forgot your revised equation. I prefer my ratio but enjoy your version as well. My main critique would be that you are giving science far too large a percentage. If we are talking about the science being used to generate the IPCC consensus, I believe you are being way too generous.

    Sources (in case I screwed up my links again)

    Clean-up procedure for CFL’s
    http://www.maine.gov/dep/rwm/homeowner/cflreport/appendixe.pdf

    Brazilian biofuels and the Amazon
    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1725975,00.html

    Solar power habitat destruction and resource use
    http://solar.calfinder.com/blog/solar-politics/endangered-desert-tortoise-must-flee-the-advance-of-solar/
    http://www.basinandrangewatch.org/IvanpahValley.html
    http://www.ag.arizona.edu/azwater/awr/septoct08/d3aa3f8e-7f00-0101-0097-9f6724822dfe.html

  65. galileonardo said

    #60 Bob, all, sorry. I had a feeling that might happen since I can’t claim hand-coding as a specialty. I think I figured out what I did wrong but here are the link addresses in order without getting fancy.

    Our Global Neighborhood:
    http://www.sovereignty.net/p/gov/gganalysis.htm

    UEA email of IPCC draft report:
    http://www.eastangliaemails.com/emails.php?eid=54&filename=889554019.txt

    Final IPCC report description of A1 Golden Economic Age:
    http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/sres/emission/index.php?idp=93#1

    Final IPCC report description of B1 Sustainable Development:
    http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/sres/emission/index.php?idp=94#1

    UNFCCC negotiating text for COP15:
    http://unfccc.int/resource/docs/2009/awglca7/eng/inf02.pdf

  66. galileonardo said

    Hmm. My last comment never made it through. I’ll try that again and hopefully will not be double-posting (I’m also going to remove a few terms that may have triggered a filter). #59 Steve, yes, I am a bit ticked off, but first, Bob pointed out that most of my links weren’t working and he is right. I am posting the addresses from my original post in my reply to him below (above now). I will do the same with my new links below in this response to you in case I repeat my errors. Sorry about that.

    Back to the subject. I’m not a big fan of propaganda. I was born in a country ruled by a dictator and although my family fled before I was old enough to be affected by it, I was raised with stories about what life was like such as my grandfather having to listen to certain radio stations in secret. And despite all of its warts, I was raised to believe in the greatness of America and the relative freedom it affords its citizens. Certainly not a perfect system, but no perfect system exists and no other system in human history has produced the wealth, inspiration and innovation sprung from our shores. [Cue fireworks]

    So the authoritarian route many global leaders want to foist upon us clashes with my core. Thus my hackles are raised when even what might be deemed by many as a relatively inconsequential measure is forced upon us under the guise of saving the planet, such as being forced to use mercury-laden compact fluorescent light bulbs.

    I think what makes me angriest is the dishonesty of the debate and the false notion perpetuated by the political AGW faithful that “the science is settled.” That and their failure to own up to the political science inherent in their arguments. An honest dissection of the current science does not come close to bearing out settled science. If anything, the evidence outside of the modeler’s realm points very strongly, or dare I say is “robust,” in the other direction: CO2 simply is not the climate driver they claim it to be. No volume of upside-down Tiljanders or Oreskes studies or Schneider hit lists or invented positive feedbacks changes that.

    Another major bone I have is that AGW proponents by and large think they own the moral high ground and that heretics like me are just plain evil, yet enactment of their ideology would be devastating for humanity and for the environment. The numbers I provided bear that out. Those who promote the AGW agenda unfortunately have sided with the “bad guys” so I welcome the opportunity Jeff has provided to point out the hypocrisy of their stance publicly. Good intentions or not, whether inadvertent or intentional, the results of their promotion of Sustainable Development are the same.

    That brings me to another primary issue that angers me. Let’s set aside their feelings about humans for a moment, since many in the AGW camp consider humanity a parasitic scourge (as you noted, we are not part of the equation, intentionally segregated from the balanced Gaia – ironically there will likely be a day, hopefully, that humanity saves many of Gaia’s souls from some cosmic interloper, even perhaps the polar bear). Let’s turn our attention instead to the environment.

    I have for over two decades done my best to minimize my impact on the Earth. I love nature and have for as long as I can remember. I have donated much time and money in support, mostly on the local level, of causes that saved habitat, influenced environmental legislation, and raised awareness of environmental degradation. The same organizations I have supported have shifted much of their focus to climate change and that is infuriating.

    Instead of focusing in full on the immediate environmental issues where impact is readily and almost immediately seen, precious resources are being squandered toward the propagandist AGW movement and for little to no gain. Our eyes are so far off the environmental ball because they have attempted to blind the world with the false political AGW ideology, and their indoctrination was nearly complete with their persistent squashing of dissent and a compliant media.

    That is what makes the current situation so remarkable to me. I have long ranted (I’m sure that surprises you) on the subject to little avail within my own circle, so to see the blinders have been pulled off and the public continues to trend away from the falsehoods of settled science is truly awesome. I really believe that sanity might prevail here against what I believe were tremendous odds. There really is only one course and that is A1 GEA. It is the natural course and it is ironically the course that creates enough wealth to become good environmental stewards. I guess we’ll have to drag the watermelons across the finish line kicking and screaming, just minus the whole global governance control freak part of it.

    I have lost more than one “progressive” friend aware of my environmentalist background due to my skeptical stance on AGW. I consider myself to be a good steward of the environment (nowhere close to Begley territory, but toward that end of the spectrum), but I also consider myself a scientist. When I see supposed friends who consider themselves free thinkers driven simply by emotion and unable to impartially assess the evidence, it frustrates me to no end. But then I am the flat-Earther in their eyes. I am the Inquisitor. My hope is that common sense and a return to reality win the debate.

    I will finally try to wrap this up with another related bone to pick. Many of the feel-good CO2-mitigation measures being imposed upon us follow the law of unintended consequences. CFL’s are a good example of this “road to hell” idea. Check out the clean-up procedure if you break one of those things in your house. I live in the city and I can’t tell you how many times my wife or I have removed fluorescent light bulbs from neighbors’ trash.

    Improperly disposed of fluorescent bulbs already contribute 15 tons of mercury to our nation’s landfills annually, enough to contaminate every last drop of freshwater we have. Imagine how much more mercury will taint our environment when these mandates are enacted. Add to that lead powder, fluorine, and neon and we get a nice poisonous mix that is sure to warm the heart of every green seeking to reduce their carbon footprint. Currently only 2% of bulbs/tubes containing mercury are properly recycled, so future prospects are looking pretty grim.

    There are plenty of other “road to hell” examples I can cite, including Brazilian biofuels or habitat destruction from huge water-intensive solar arrays. So eager are these folks to “save the world” and latch onto the green-energy fundwagon that they care not about the consequences of their actions. They just want to be able to say “We did it! Let’s do it again!” leaving desert moonscapes in their wake.

    And so I can go on about this for hours but will bore you no more. The Pepto is wearing off anyway. We have real-world problems and CO2 mitigation is not counted among them, at least not on my list. The energy technology is in the works and it will likely come from multiple fronts. Investment in the field is at an all-time high and the trajectory trends up with no end in sight. So with all that is promising on the horizon, why on Earth would we want to put the economic brakes on now?

    Speaking of upward trajectories, the rise of civilization is shooting to the stars, a true hockey stick and affluence bomb for the Ehrlich fans. What possesses them to restrict us now at this point in history? Do they need a permanent underclass? Do they want there to be a whole lot less of us? I really don’t care. Whatever power they possess they are still cockroaches who will be trampled underfoot if they don’t get out of our way. Just scurry aside now. We adults have a lot of work to do.

    I almost forgot your revised equation. I prefer my ratio but enjoy your version. My main critique would be that you are giving science far too large a percentage. If we are talking about the science being used to generate the IPCC consensus, I believe you are being far too generous.

    Sources (in case I messed up my links again)

    Clean-up procedure for CFL’s
    http://www.maine.gov/dep/rwm/homeowner/cflreport/appendixe.pdf

    Brazilian biofuels and the Amazon
    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1725975,00.html

    Solar power habitat destruction and resource use
    http://solar.calfinder.com/blog/solar-politics/endangered-desert-tortoise-must-flee-the-advance-of-solar/
    http://www.basinandrangewatch.org/IvanpahValley.html
    http://www.ag.arizona.edu/azwater/awr/septoct08/d3aa3f8e-7f00-0101-0097-9f6724822dfe.html

  67. Bart said

    M. Simon asks if I’m interested in preventing the next ice age, which won’t happen until 20,000 years or so. No, I’ve got more immediate concerns than that.

  68. galileonardo said

    #67 Bart. So, since you are offering answers, perhaps you can answer the question I asked you several times. Does the restraint of the global GDP to the tune of $200 trillion annually by 2100 pursuing B1 Sustainable Development qualify as very disruptive to the global economy?

  69. Brian H said

    #67;
    No, Bart, more of your confuzzion. We are IN an Ice age, during a ~12,000yr interglacial warming, which began about 12,000 years ago.

  70. timetochooseagain said

    67-“the next ice age, which won’t happen until 20,000 years or so.”

    Bart, as you are someone who seems to pride yourself as being on the right “side” of the science, I find it interesting that you also seem equally sure of areas of climate science which are not considered nearly so well understood. The figure of some 20k years of interglacial persistence is hardly something which anyone would make such a “matter of fact” statement about if they knew anything about the issue. Wiki summarizes a few of the predictions, and they vary quite widely:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milankovitch_cycles#Present_and_future_conditions

  71. DeWitt Payne said

    Re: timetochooseagain (Aug 29 12:02),

    Most of those estimates are also based on what I consider the highly questionable assumption that the interglacial climate is stable and needs a trigger to slip back into a glacial period. The rapid increase and slow decay of temperature in the Vostok core for interglacial periods looks very much like an impulse response of a damped system. In that case, glacial conditions would be the norm and would require a trigger to switch to interglacial conditions. Interglacial conditions aren’t stable and decay slowly back to glacial. Milankovitch cycles do a good job of matching the rate of change of ice volume during the glacial periods, but don’t do as well for the brief interglacial periods. The change in ice volume from glacial to interglacial and back is much larger than expected from Milankovitch cycles alone.

  72. Steve Fitzpatrick said

    As DeWitt points out, the pattern does suggest a pulse/decay response, with the colder glacial periods dominating, and so representing the “normal” state of the system. The CO2 lag behind the temperature rise into an interglacial is in the range of 500-800 years, but this is much shorter than the corresponding lag of CO2 levels behind falling temperatures at the end of an interglacial, which looks (from the ice core data) more like 5-6 K-years. So when the last interglacial was ending, the CO2 level was still ~270 PPM, even while temperatures in Antarctica had already dropped 3-4C. Whatever makes the system “decay” back into the cold state (where lots of CO2 is ultimately removed from the atmosphere), it sure doesn’t look like falling CO2 itself is much involved, at least not in the first several thousand years of the transition…. the CO2 level hardly changed at all over several thousand years!

    It seems like the feed-backs which lock the system in the cold state most of the time have to be dominated by something other than CO2. The most obvious candidate is snow/ice albedo. If the system has two meta-stable states, corresponding to lots of snow-ice albedo and to much lower snow-ice albedo (especially at high elevations and high northern latitudes) then a very modest external forcing (like Milankovich forcing) could be the enough to initiate a switch of states.

    An additional positive feed-back, which I have not heard discussed, is the isostatic rebound effect of glaciation. The growth of a glacial ice sheet depends on having a surface temperature that averages well below freezing; since ice sheets can be kilometers thick, the average surface temperature at the top of the ice sheet is substantially reduced by the elevation of the ice sheet itself, at the atmospheric lapse rate of ~9C per Km. So the growth in altitude of the ice sheet is a powerful positive feed-back to promote accumulation of ice. But as the ice sheet grows, it’s weight depresses the underlying mantle via slow plastic flow, and as the ice sheet grows higher and heavier, its base very slowly (over many thousands of years) becomes lower in elevation, with the ultimate depression of the crustal surface under the ice sheet equal to about 20% of the thickness of the sheet. Any warming that causes an ice sheet to start melting ought to automatically accelerate, first at the ice sheet boundaries, where the local elevation has been depressed by the weight of the adjacent ice sheet enough to cause significant local lapse rate warming, and later, all over the ice sheet as it’s thickness (and surface altitude) declines. The isostatic rebound rate is slow enough (~10,000 years) that the ice sheet itself can be long disintegrated before very much isostatic rebound has taken place. The region where the ice sheet had been would then be expected to have an “abnormally warm” climate, (like the peak in temperature seen at the start of inter-glacial periods?), since that region of the former ice sheet would be initially up to several hundred meters lower in elevation than its equilibrium altitude, and so up to 3-4C warmer. As isostatic rebound progresses, the same region would gradually cool due to increasing elevation.. and perhaps cool enough to help initiate glaciation, restarting the cycle. The region around Hudson Bay (near the center of the last N American ice sheet) still has about 100 meters of rebound remaining… corresponding to ~0.9C cooling. The average depth of Hudson Bay itself is just about 100 meters, so much of Hudson bay will some day be dry land, and will no longer carry accumulated summer heat into the winter months in northern north America.

    Glacial cycles of the last 3 million years, starting with Greenland, but later extending to much of the norther hemisphere, only began when the isthmus of Panama closed and at about the same time that atmospheric CO2 fell to ~350 PPM. Which initiated the cyclical glaciation? Who knows. But if a very small change in radiative forcing (like Milankovich forcing), combined with positive ice sheet feed-backs, is enough to cause a switch in state, then high CO2 from fossil fuels would seem to be a plausible inhibitor to the start of a new ice age.

  73. Jeff Id said

    If the apparent bi-stable climate effect is albedo, that could be the best news humanity has received about climate in a very long time. We could just add black to the ice surface to mitigate the coming ice age. The ice age is to global warming as a 50 cal machine gun is to a nerf dart shooter.

  74. Andrew said

    71-A fair point, IMAO, but I just wanted to make the point that the “mainstream” has something like 100%+ uncertainty on the subject. When “mainstream” estimates differ by an order of magnitude, it’s probably safe to say “none of them have any clue”. There’s nothing wrong with that, it just means that science has not yet worked it’s way to any meaningful answers on that particular question.

    Bart might call it “anti-science” but I’m not dumb enough to be unable to see when the answer is that nobody knows.

  75. Brian H said

    When someone repeats an accusation over and over without apparent backup, or circular reasoning, it is likely that they are “pushing off” their own failings on others (“you’re worse than I am!”). The “anti-science” meme fits this pattern. If anything in this whole debate is anti-science, it’s the refusal to vigorously pursue falsification efforts — the only way to strengthen a hypothesis into a viable theory is to challenge it as vigorously as possible and have it survive the challenges. Yet “climate science” avoids offering falsification tests, or even permitting them, like the plague.

    Now, THAT’S “anti-science”!

  76. Brian H said

    corr: “or with circular reasoning”

  77. If the apparent bi-stable climate effect is albedo, that could be the best news humanity has received about climate in a very long time. We could just add black to the ice surface to mitigate the coming ice age. The ice age is to global warming as a 50 cal machine gun is to a nerf dart shooter.

  78. [...] Solving a Solution « the Air Vent [...]

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