Warming Up for a Climate Change Fight

Obama's getting ready for the U.N. global warming conference. So is Bjorn Lomborg.

(Page 2 of 2)

Why won't "brute force" mitigation work? Galiana and Green point out that current emission reductions targets imply vastly faster rates of emission reduction than have been the case in past decades. Consider a global emission reduction target of 80 percent by 2100. That would require carbon emissions to fall by 1.8 percent per year. But say economic growth averages 2.2 percent between now and 2100: That implies a 4 percent average annual decline in the amount of carbon-based fuels used to produce goods and services.

To date, Galiana and Green note, the global average rate of decarbonization, the amount of carbon that is emitted per unit of goods and services produced, has been 1.3 percent. To illustrate the economic consequences of trying to boost the rate of decarbonization through brute force mitigation, they generously assume that the decarbonization rate could rise to 3.6 percent annually. But this would still entail a cut in global economic growth from 2.2 percent annually to 1.8 percent. Such a reduction in economic growth would cost an undiscounted $86 trillion in 2100 alone and add up to an undiscounted $2,280 trillion over the next 90 years. And without new low-carbon energy technologies, the authors argue that the assumption of 3.6 percent rate of annual decarbonization is just a fantasy. So likely economic damages will be even larger. "Climate change is a technology problem," Galiana and Green conclude, "and the size of the problem is huge."

Their solution is spending $100 billion per year on energy research and development financed through a $5 per ton tax on carbon dioxide emissions that would be funneled into Clean Energy Trust Funds. The tax would be scheduled to double every ten years as a way to give a forward price signal to encourage the deployment of the new low-carbon energy technologies that they hope will emerge from the labs. They calculate that every dollar spent on new low carbon energy R&D would avoid $11 in climate damages.

"It is much easier to spend on R&D than assure the monies are well spent," Galiana and Green acknowledge. Much current government R&D funding is politically directed and largely wasted. To overcome this problem, they somewhat lamely suggest creating a system of research competition overseen by a panel of independent experts. Oddly, they do not consider deregulating energy markets so as to provide greater incentives for private R&D and investment in new energy production and improvements in efficiency. In any case, Galiana and Green make a very strong case that current energy technologies cannot meet the ambitious emissions reductions goals being advocated by Congress and the United Nations without clobbering the economy.

The CCC expert panel is meeting this week to consider the various proposals for mitigation, adaptation, technology breakthroughs, and geo-engineering. At the end of the week, the panel will rank them by cost-effectiveness. I will report the results of their deliberations once they become available.

Ronald Bailey is Reason magazine's science correspondent. His book Liberation Biology: The Scientific and Moral Case for the Biotech Revolution is now available from Prometheus Books.

Disclosure: Danish taxpayers paid my travel expenses to cover the Copenhagen Consensus Center's second conference last year. There were no conditions placed on my reporting.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • tarran||

    Over at the Master Resource Blog, they're arguing that the hast to get the bill signed before the meeting is a sign that the Obama administration expects that round of talks to collapse.

    They're arguing that if the administration were expecting them to succeed, the administration would be slowing down the process in order to wring concessions from other countries.

  • Joe M||

    You misspelled his name. It's Bjørn.

  • ||

    This bill is dead. The next round of talks is dead. China and India have stated in no uncertain terms that they will not accept or impose CO2 limits.

    Game. Over.

  • ||

    What are the assumptions regarding future climate change that were used by the Copenhagen Consensus Center in reviewing these options?

  • hmm||

    New At Reason: Ron Bailey on How the World Can Best Reduce Suffering from Global Warming



    Cold

    Beer


    Problem solved, lets head out and get a beer to celebrate.

  • hmm||

    Global warming caused Gmail to crash.

  • EJM||

    Disclosure: Danish taxpayers paid my travel expenses to cover the Copenhagen Consensus Center's second conference last year. There were no conditions placed on my reporting.

    Was any of the compensation in the form of blue cheese?

  • ||

    hmmm beat me to it.

    Beer!

  • ||

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/6118113/Britain-facing-blackouts-for-first-time-since-1970s.html

    Britian will soon face nationwide blackouts due to the climate religion. Lets hope the Obamasiah fails in causing the same here.

  • ||

    R C Dean | September 1, 2009, 4:45pm | #


    i wish i had your faith man.

  • ||

    I, too, invoke special letters.

  • Tony||

    I don't know why you guys want me to STFU all the time. Without liberals provoking discussion on this board none of these posts would reach a respectable number of comments (about 1/5th of the average Huffpost entry on Jon&Kate+8).

  • Warty||

    Shut the fuck up, Tony.

  • ||

    This bill is dead. The next round of talks is dead. China and India have stated in no uncertain terms that they will not accept or impose CO2 limits.

    But we can still cripple our economy with CO2 limits, right? It's not too late for that?

  • ||

    w/out liberals the need for this blog would be greatly diminished...

  • ||

    It's never too late to try to cripple the economy. Not these days. Applying the brakes to the economy is très chic.

  • ||

    Whew, thank goodness. I was afraid that this recession would fade and we'd be into a recovery.

    As long as we still have time to screw things up even more, it'll be OK.

  • MNG||

    "due to the climate religion"

    I always love this.

    All those thousands of scientists from different nations, organizations, etc.,=under sway of a religion of climate change.

    Opponents with a strong financial or ideological reason for opposing=disinterested lovers of truth

    I'll make my regular challenge: all of you braniacs that have somehow analyzed all the relevant data with the relevant expertise and saw the truths that thousands of scientists worldwide have somehow missed, please let us know what other scientific consensus of the day is also false.

    Certainly you disinterested lovers of truth don't only find fault with a scientific consensus that your opposed to for ideological reasons (because it may warrant government action)?

  • MNG||

    "It's never too late to try to cripple the economy."

    I stopped buying into this kind of thought back when everyone was yelling that "teh Greatest Tax Increase in History" under B. Clinton was going to destroy all productivity in the nation and reduce us to living in hovels until some brave sould rediscovered the word "ego."

    And that didn't happen.

  • MNG||

    Of course you can't blame Austrian economists for predicting that one badly, they are not into making verifiable predictions. They specialize until waiting until after things happen and then explaining why they happened that way.

    And it's the climate change people who are a religion.

    OHHHHHKKKAAAAYYYY!

  • ||

    Consensus about what? I don't think that word means what you think it means.

    This "debate" is such a farce. Some sort of warming trend, may or may not be long term. May be caused in some part by anthropogenic sources. Okay, fine. Whether we can or should do anything about it--particularly whether there's any science backing such responses--not only lacks consensus, it lacks anything close to science.

    About the economy, it's been a lot tougher than our government for quite a while. Although I think there is a point where the government could add enough friction to slow the wheels to a long-term crawl, I don't see that happening just yet. Most of the scary bills are looking like they'll fail or be at least partially undone in the next couple of years, anyway. The fact that we can gum up our insanely massive economic power with lots of government nonsense attests to the power of that economic engine, not the wisdom of government action.

  • Chad||

    "It is much easier to spend on R&D than assure the monies are well spent," Galiana and Green acknowledge. Much current government R&D funding is politically directed and largely wasted. To overcome this problem, they somewhat lamely suggest creating a system of research competition overseen by a panel of independent experts.

    I read this and laughed. Most government R&D money is passed through agencies such as NIH, NSF, DOE, etc and awarded based on competitive grants. Your right, it IS a lame suggestion...because we are already doing this and have been doing it for decades. Very little money is ear-marked by politicians for pet projects.

  • ||

    all of you braniacs that have somehow analyzed all the relevant data with the relevant expertise and saw the truths that thousands of scientists worldwide have somehow missed, please let us know what other scientific consensus of the day is also false.

    In case you weren't paying attention, the problem is that the climate change advocates are developing policy in direct opposition to the economic consensus of the day.

    Given that they, like you, deny the veracity of any and all reasonable economic disagreement while holding aloft the standard of "scientific consensus" as though that were a justification for any policy they can conceive of, it is not unfair to call their zeal "religious".

  • Chad||

    Ron, any explanation of why Tol's report is in direct conflict with the last Copenhagen Consensus, which found that combating AWG passed cost-benefit under almost every scenario they tested.

    The answer, of course, is SWAG (scientific wild-ass guess). No one has half a freakin' clue what effect combating AGW today will have on the GDP of 2100. Honestly, I would argue that it would be HIGHER, because of the following:

    1: Little of what we build today will still be around then. Only knowledge, natural resources, and major infrastructure survives that long.
    2: Combating AGW means providing the people of 2100 with the knowledge they will need to live without fossil fuels, leaving some resources untouched further into the future, and building infrastructure (such as train lines) that they might actually want to use.

    Tol et al assume just the opposite - that GDP will be worse in the distant future if we combat AGW now. But their argument, couched in a zillion miles of math, is nothing but hand-waving.

    Cost-benefit analysis simply does not work over such long time scales and with such high levels of uncertainty.

  • MNG||

    Pro
    I think there's a growing consensus that there is global warming, that human made emissions contribute, and that bad consequences could result long term. I agree from what I know there is much debate as to how bad they may be. There does seem to be some consensus that this could be addressed by lowering said emissions. I agree that there should be debate on how to do that, and what effect measures may have, it's a very complex issue there.

    I'm not talking about that debate. I'm talking people who are still denying the first two propositions. It's silly.

  • ||

    I think there's a growing consensus that there is global warming,

    Oh, sure, that's trivial. The climate is constantly in some warming or cooling trend, and I think everyone agrees we're in a warming trend, and would be if our monkey ancestors had never left the trees.

    that human made emissions contribute,

    Again, fairly trivial. CO2 is widely regarded as warming agent, although its warming effect in isolation caps at around 1 degree C (going from recollection here). That degree of warming is short of catastrophic.

    and that bad consequences could result long term.

    Finally, trivial again. It could have bad consequences, or (implied whenever you say "could"), could not.

    The relevant questions, about which there is no consensus, are:

    (1) What, if any, are the feedbacks created in a warming climate? Will they moderate or destabilize the climate?

    (2) What, really, are the consequences for humanity likely to be?

  • Tman||

    One thing that Lomborg has been arguing that seems pretty reasonable to me is that all this money and time we are spending coming up with a "global consensus" on "mitigating the effects of Global Warming" could be much more efficiently spent coming up with a "global consensus" on things like "getting everyone on the earth clean drinking water" or "eradicating malaria".

    The idea that the unproven effects of global warming take precedence over the already proven effects of things like not having clean drinking water is a sad commentary on the state of humanity.

    The earth will be fine whether or not we can survive on it.

  • Tman||

    Here is one of Lomborgs articles adressing the above mentioned point.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121720170185288445.html

  • Space Fiend||

    Tman: You forget that for all their talk liberals are really just looking out for #1 in some way. Living in the Western world, liberals aren't going to get malaria, or lose clean drinking water. Global warming, however, requires all our efforts, as man is to blame [unlike the natural state of the other problems] and it would be a real inconvenience if my vacation home in Barbados was under water.

  • ||

    Tman:

    excellent point, but it doesn't do much for the watermellon agenda.

  • ||


    (2) What, really, are the consequences for humanity likely to be?



    you know damn good and well the global warming church does not give a rats ass about that.

  • Chad||

    Tman | September 1, 2009, 6:27pm | #
    One thing that Lomborg has been arguing that seems pretty reasonable to me is that all this money and time we are spending coming up with a "global consensus" on "mitigating the effects of Global Warming" could be much more efficiently spent coming up with a "global consensus" on things like "getting everyone on the earth clean drinking water" or "eradicating malaria".


    Therein lies another flaw in Lomborg's logic: he confuses a responsibility with a charity. You and I and anyone who would be paying for a carbon tax or cap-and-trade is responsible for AWG. Therefore, we are responsible for compensating those affected or cleaning up our mess, under just about any ethical system ever devised.

    However, we are not responsible for malaria, malnutrition, AIDS, etc. While some might argue that we have a responsibility to help fight these as well, even they would likely agree that it is a lower level of responsibility than the responsibility we have for things we have caused ourselves.

    Imagine your young son hits a baseball through your neighbor's window. Do you say to him "Well, son, it looks like you are going to have to give Mr. Wilson all your lawn-mowing money this summer until the new window is paid off" or "Well, son, paying Mr. Wilson for a new window provides less economic utility than donating the money to combating AIDS, so we will just do that instead"?

  • Chad||

    R C Dean | September 1, 2009, 6:21pm | #

    (1) What, if any, are the feedbacks created in a warming climate? Will they moderate or destabilize the climate?


    The water vapor feedback is the primary one, and is based on centuries-old physics and chemistry. If it is hotter, water (or anything else) moves from liquid to vapor. Really basic stuff. Indeed, the best models of today are not terribly different than the first models that included water vapor feedback...more than a hundred years ago.

    The ice-albedo effect is large and positive.

    The methane effect is positive, and could be anywhere from modest to catastrophic.

    The cloud-albedo effect is the hardest to understand. The latest study found it to be positive. Few denalists have grasped how hard this study smacked their desperate claims in the face, as this feedback was the only major negative feedback that they had in their arsenal. Note this study is actually MEASURING clouds over a large area, not a model.

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/325/5939/460

    If something natural is going to "mitigate" climate change, we don't really know what it is. It would be an enormous leap of faith to just sit back and pray that something comes up.

    (2) What, really, are the consequences for humanity likely to be?

    This has too many unknowns to be anything other than science fiction. Hence the worthlessness of long-term CBA.

  • ||


    Therein lies another flaw in Lomborg's logic: he confuses a responsibility with a charity. You and I and anyone who would be paying for a carbon tax or cap-and-trade is responsible for AWG. Therefore, we are responsible for compensating those affected or cleaning up our mess, under just about any ethical system ever devised.



    therein lies the flaw in your logic. you assume global warming and cooling are directly tied to human activity and are trends that humans are capable of mitigating.

    OTOH, tman identifies problems that we know we can fix, and we know really exist. we don't need a damned consensus to see that those problems are real and in need of attention.


    consensus btw is stupid. even if some real consensus exists, it does not mean jack spit.

    i can't wait til the statists let their pet democracy overtake even the sciences...

    evil.

  • ||

    I agree that there is still uncertainity regarding climate change, but there is enough data out there to suggest that we at least take reasonable (and cost effective) precautions. We don't want to short circuit the economy, but we don't want to short circuit the environement either. So unless you are 10000000% sure that there is no chance of any bad effects from climate change, then maybe it can't hurt to look at reducing those risks.

    On the flip side, our economy isn't sustainable in it's present state anyway. Diminishing supplies of cheap oil etc, combined with increasing appitite from China etc is going to cause real big problems as soon as the economy starts to pick up.

    If you still live in the fantasy land where you think 50-70 oil is going to last long you haven't been paying attention.

    It's not going to be a pretty adjustment. But I think the countries that are preparing for it now will come out ahead.

  • Tman||

    Chad,

    I think you're missing Lomborgs point. We are already spending a ridiculous amount of money trying to "address" global warming. Add up just the costs of the Climate Conferences and Summits ALONE and you have a pretty hefty sum to begin with. Nothing that comes out of any of these conferences has resulted in anything but people patting each other on the back about how they should be congratulated for caring about the environment, when in reality they know that the rise of India and China in terms of fossil fuel consumption will render any of their efforts meaningless.

    Lomborg (and others) are saying that we should address global issues that we actually have a chance of fixing first, instead of rhapsodizing eloquently about the coming storm.

    The windows of the people without clean water and dying of malaria are already broken. And it shouldn't matter who broke it to begin with.

    My emissions alone aren't causing global warming, any more than my watering my lawn is taking water away from someone else. But that doesn't mean we can't be smart about fixing both issues.

  • Chad||

    ransom147 | September 1, 2009, 7:21pm | #

    therein lies the flaw in your logic. you assume global warming and cooling are directly tied to human activity and are trends that humans are capable of mitigating.


    Wrong. I am simply using the best available science, which indicates that we are very likely to be responsible for much of the observed and predicted warming, and the standard legal criteria for tort claims (the preponderance of evidence).

    Sorry. Try again.

  • Chad||

    Tman | September 1, 2009, 7:32pm | #
    Chad,

    I think you're missing Lomborgs point. We are already spending a ridiculous amount of money trying to "address" global warming. Add up just the costs of the Climate Conferences and Summits ALONE and you have a pretty hefty sum to begin with.


    Now THAT is entirely laughable. That amount of money isn't even a nanoliter in a bucket, let alone a drop. We need something like a shot glass.

  • Chad||


    Kroneborge | September 1, 2009, 7:27pm | #

    On the flip side, our economy isn't sustainable in it's present state anyway. Diminishing supplies of cheap oil etc, combined with increasing appitite from China etc is going to cause real big problems as soon as the economy starts to pick up.


    Exactly. Unfortunately, the CBA analysis can do nothing other than assume that our economy will continue to just be the way it is, only bigger. This is obviously false, but who knows what the reality is? Their SWAG is no better than yours or mine.

    At some point, some renewables will be cheaper than some fossil fuels. Later, more renewables will be cheaper than even more fossil fuels. It is nothing but SWAG when trying to estimate when and how this will happen. Yet you can't even take a remote stab at a CBA without knowing when these things will happen, and how much the time scales vary depending on how much R&D and subsidy you put behind them.

  • Tman||

    Oh really?

    "A finalised budget for government expenditure related to COP 15 has not yet been produced, due to a number of uncertainties regarding the total number of delegates, the level of security measures needed etc. At present, the Danish government has allocated approx. US$ 62 million on the government budget to COP activities, but it is possible that the final amount will exceed this figure."


    unfccc.int/files/press/.../fact_sheet_copenhagen_cop_15_cmp_5.pdf

    And this is just one conference. That's one impressive nanoliter.

  • ||


    I am simply using the best available science



    according to whom? and try again what? the point still stands.

  • ||

    I don't think we are anywhere near spending a ridiculous amount of money.

    Will the worst case scenarious of the Stern report (20% of GDP) come about, probably not. Then again, I don't mind spending a small portion of GDP making sure they don't. I consider it to be like insurance. Will my house burn down, probably not. Still on the off chance that it will, I'll get insurance anyway.

    Will these worst case scenarious come true, probably not, but on the off chance that they would, it makes sense to reduce the risk.

  • ||


    Exactly. Unfortunately, the CBA analysis can do nothing other than assume that our economy will continue to just be the way it is, only bigger.


    ahh, i get it. we need to plan the economy for the future. that way our superior intellects can improvise for the future transition which we have no idea what will look like.

    typical statist clap trap.

    i'm curious as to where all the energy is going to suddenly disappear to?

  • JB||

    I say let's reduce our carbon footprint by getting rid of more Democrat fetuses.

  • MNG||

    "Oh, sure, that's trivial. The climate is constantly in some warming or cooling trend"

    I don't think that is trivial at all for the reasons you give. First, millions of people did not live in areas that would be devastated by this in past events, we are no longer a nomadic people, and there are lots more people. But you misunderstand the science here, it is that we are in an unnatural warming trend.

    "What, really, are the consequences for humanity likely to be?"

    There's a pretty strong consensus that it will be bad, debate over the degree of "bad." You think all of these scientists have advocated taking steps to lower it for shits and giggles?

    "you know damn good and well the global warming church does not give a rats ass about that."

    Oh, my goodness, so you (or some deniers) DO think that. My goodness...

  • ||

    The energy is disapearing every time you drive down the block, or turn on your lights.

    Cheap oil is disapearing fast, coal is a bit behind, but supplies are much lower than is commonly believed.

    I spend a considerable amount of time researching this stuff from an investment perspective. Is there still a lot of oil in hard to reach/expensive places, sure. Do you think our economy functions when oil is in the $150-200 a barrel range?

    These are problems that are really going to develop within the 5-10 year time frame. Last year was just a taste of things to come.

    For a longer term look I suggest this book.

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0807047090/reasonmagazineA/

    Some of the chapters go kind of deep into economic theory for those without an economic degree to get, still there is plenty of info in there for the layman as well.

    Some of his insights into things like Ricardo's work on trading and competive advantage are really thought provoking.

    IMO, a must read for anyone that really wants to understand how our economy is and enviroment interact.

    Maybe since Reason readers are open to different view points a couple people will even give it a read, who knows, lol

  • MNG||

    "you assume global warming and cooling are directly tied to human activity and are trends that humans are capable of mitigating."

    ransom, you're being crazy. We "assume" that global warming is tied directly to human activity and are trends that humans are capable of mitigating because most scientists who work in these areas tell us that. Do you dispute that every major professional scientific organization that has passed on the question has come to that conclusion? Because I can give you "the list" if you like.

    Point blank neither you, I, Chad or most likely anyone on this thread can evaluate the scientific claims. We are not PhD experts with years of experience and access to the equipment and data that would be needed to adequately evaluate these claims. So we have to ask ourselves, what is rational, to believe the growing consensus or the every dwindling dissidents on this?

  • MNG||

    JB
    Your fetus line may have seemed cute the first time you tried it out in 7th grade, but it seems mildly retarded by now...

  • ||

    MNG:


    once you've taken steps to kill all the babies in your immediate and extended families, please get back to me.


    i can't wait for "cash for crumb crunchers".

    i wonder what baby offsets will look like? maybe paying to have a little brown baby in a third world country put down. of course just one 3rd world baby wont do! it may take up to 50 brown babies in africa to offset the carbon footprint of one american baby.

    not that this is a long term problem, once we get on back to a fuedal society or whatever your holy leaders intend, the difference in Q of L will be much much smaller!

  • ||

    Chad,
    Feedback loops.

    What about the CO2 increases biomass feedback loop?....most of the increase in biomass is vegetation which increases CO2 sequestration and oxygen release.

    the idea that some powerful NEGATIVE feedback loop exists comes from the fact that CO2 levels in the atmosphere used to be much HIGHER...yet it didn't keep on getting hotter and hotter and add even more CO2...so you tell us what happened...why was the "positive feedback loop" non-existant 2 billion years ago?

  • MNG||

    "The finding that the climate has warmed in recent decades and that this warming is likely attributable to human influence has been endorsed by every national science academy that has issued a statement on climate change, including the science academies of all of the major industrialized countries. At present, no scientific body of national or international standing has issued a dissenting statement. A small minority of professional associations have issued noncommittal statements."

    Here's the list:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_warming_controversy#Scientific

    What would any rational person think is rational:: that all those members of all those professional scientific organizations don't know as much as you amateur scientists do or they are part of a mass socialist-gaia worshipping cult, or that you guys, who have ideological reasons to not like the conclusions, are wrong?

  • MNG||

    "once you've taken steps to kill all the babies in your immediate and extended families, please get back to me."

    What the fuck are you talking about?

  • ||


    The energy is disapearing every time you drive down the block, or turn on your lights.


    oh? do tell! and where is it going? is it riding off to betelgeuse on a unicorn?

    you have a conundrum here, first you think we're running out of energy.

    and second you think that we have a surplus of energy warming the planet.

    which is it?

  • ||

    Don't forget that 19,000 American scientist have signed this statement:

    "There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gasses is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth's atmosphere and disruption of the Earth's climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth."

    so your consensus is crap...there is a wide wide range of ideas about what should be done...and idiots are on all sides. The majority of scientist in this country also voted for Obama...big fucking deal.

  • Chad||

    Tman | September 1, 2009, 7:47pm | #

    And this is just one conference. That's one impressive nanoliter.


    The world's 50 trillion dollar economy is one impressive bucket. $62 million is probably one part in 25000 of what we need.

  • ||

    any time somone brings up the idea that there might be some limit to resource use (or waste absorbtion) on a finite planet, people immediatly say, "oh you want us to go back to the stone age etc".

    No, that's not the case.

    Instead we reconginze that on a finite planent, there are limits to the amount of resource use, and waste absorbition that the planet can sustainable due.

    Therefore, if we want society to be a success long term, we should think about how to live within those means (think of it like a budget).

    The key here is that society can infitely develop. We can learn new things, create new technologies, appreciate new art etc, however, we can not infitely grow on a finite planet (defined as continued increase in resource use, or waste that we don't recycle).

    Therefore, we should consider how we can have a society based on development not growth. Because the growth will stop whether we will or no.

  • MNG||

    Hey Gabe, pathetic. Just pathetic.

    Look at that list again of scientific organizations. They are the creme de la creme.

    Now, provide the link to your list. I've seen it here before. But let's take a gander Gabster.

  • ||

    MNG:


    surely you are aware that having a baby will be the worst thing you can do for the environment!

    further, the studies have shown that they will be a greater detriment to the environment than anything you can do to mitigate their effects.

    i believe the consensus may be in!

  • Chad||

    MNG | September 1, 2009, 8:08pm | #

    Point blank neither you, I, Chad or most likely anyone on this thread can evaluate the scientific claims.


    Actually, I am a PhD chemist and am qualified and capable of evaluating scientific claims in several aspects of my discipline. My research is not related to climate change, but being able to evaluate ANY scientific research (and having had my own evaluated) implies that I know how the system works and how rigorous the standards are for peer-reviewed research.

    If just about every major scientific organization on earth is saying something, only a moron or a liar would assume otherwise. It really is that simple.

  • ||

    Oh, sorry Ransom, perhaps I should have been more precise. I thought when I mentiond oil and coal I was being clear that we were talking about disapearing fossil fuels.

    Perhaps I should have stated that the energy would no longer be in a form that was useful to human society. Precise enough for you?

    Or do you prefer to try and split hairs instead of addressing the actual arguments.

  • MNG||

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_opinion_on_climate_change

    "With the release of the revised statement by the American Association of Petroleum Geologists in 2007, no remaining scientific body of national or international standing is known to reject the basic findings of human influence on recent climate change.[72]"

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Cheap oil is disapearing fast, coal is a bit behind, but supplies are much lower than is commonly believed.



    How many times have I heard *this* song and dance before?

    Bottom line: China and India are not coming along, so unilateral action on the part of the US, or hell, the entire West, is going to nothing but put us at a competitive disadvantage with them, with the added bonus of more lost jobs overseas.

    Oh boy.

  • MNG||

    ransom

    I have no idea what you are talking about. No one is proposing we should do anything one can think of to improve the environment. All humans killing themselves would do the trick, but noone is advocating that. So I'm not sure what cute trick you think you have on the table.

  • Chad||

    Gabe | September 1, 2009, 8:18pm | #
    Don't forget that 19,000 American scientist have signed this statement


    Out of how many? Who vetted them as real scientists?

  • MNG||

    TAO
    China and India are'nt going to become global pariahs for too long. They can't afford it.

  • ||

    CO2 levels over 3X higher only 80 million years ago.

    http://ff.org/centers/csspp/library/co2weekly/2005-08-18/dioxide.htm

    so where was the positive feeddback loop back then? Earth should be a big ball of liquid hot plasma according to the "OMG 350ppm CO2!!!" religion.

  • MNG||

    "How many times have I heard *this* song and dance before?"

    I wonder what you are getting at with this. Do you think there is not a limit to the amount of oil and coal in the earth? So it's only going to get more scarce, right? And you do know about what economics says about price as scarcity increases, right?

  • MNG||

    C'mon Gabe, provide the link.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Pariahs? You have an odd definition if you think 40% of the world's population can be ostracized by the a select 11% of it.

  • ||


    Therefore, we should consider how we can have a society based on development not growth. Because the growth will stop whether we will or no.



    thanks for not answering the question. good job.


    please elaborate on what you call "development not growth".

    i have a plan, why don't we outlaw population growth? as you suggest, the resources are limited! (although the planet is a carbon sink) but never mind that! too many people can not be allowed to live here until we figure out a better method for sustaining long term growth.

    really, it's probably a good thing we are letting people live and die in squalor around the world! can you imagine the disaster if they all had our quality of life!?! hideous i know! it's a good thing we're smart enough and powerful enough to plan their future!

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Peak Oil has been coming for 60 years, MNG. Forgive me if I am cynical about it at this point. Peak Oil is almost always invoked for whatever lefty-greenie cause of the decade is. First it was the population, then it was "too much garbage", now its global warming. Yawn.

    Of course I know what happens as thing becomes scarcer: something else takes its place as the price point on the old technology moves and up new technology becomes more cost-efficient.

  • Chad||

    Gabe | September 1, 2009, 8:26pm | #
    CO2 levels over 3X higher only 80 million years ago.


    Irrelevant. Atmospheric composition, the biosphere, continents, oceans, etc were all vastly different than today.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Since Chad is such a fan of the "justice" argument - why the hell should the West, which got to its standard of living through the methods of manufacturing you decry, be allowed to impose its vision on developing countries without letting them have their turn at raising their standard of living?

  • MNG||

    Look TAO, they are not going to engage in a direction that the West is that opposed to. They have too much to gain being in good with us, and you know that.

    Maybe people have made over the top predictions about peak oil in the past, but again, if you want to deny any of the simple propositions I put forward about that be my guest.

  • ||

    TAO,

    I agree that China and India aren't going to deliberately impoverish themselves because of climate change. And we shouldn't either. That doesn't mean we shouldn't do anything either. If we want a strong economy for a long time to come, we need to make sure it's in a good position to stay that way.

    Look at it this way, for the last 30 years or so, the US has pretty much ignored the foundations that a strong economy is built on, and instead focused on consumption. Now everything is crashing down around us. Well, our coming problems with resources will dwarf this. For an economy to remain strong over a long time it needs a solid foundation. That will require investment in technology, infrastructure, education, and learning how to live within our means, both financially, and ecologically.

  • MNG||

    "why the hell should the West, which got to its standard of living through the methods of manufacturing you decry, be allowed to impose its vision on developing countries without letting them have their turn at raising their standard of living?"

    Because we don't our and their coastal cities to be underwater?

    Now let me ask you this TAO, since you are such a big fan of property "rights" why the hell don't you care that other people's actions will result in millions of people seeing their property be submerged underwater?

  • ||


    Of course I know what happens as thing becomes scarcer: something else takes its place as the price point on the old technology moves and up new technology becomes more cost-efficient.


    ding ding ding!


    further gotta agree on peak oil. besides the fact we're still developing other carbon resources.

    if you wanna save the carbon, why don't you get off of it yourself. see what other energy sources you like. maybe solar?


    MNG:

    i was referring to research coming out of AU and the US that indicates babies are bad and we need to curtail their births...

  • The Angry Optimist||

    saying that "resources are limited" isn't exactly knocking me over as a new and unique insight, MNG. The question is what technological advances will spawn that will

    A) increase oil-use efficiency. As far as I understand it, typical oil use in the 20s and 30s was something on the order of 30% efficient. IIRC, we're at something like 70%+ now...and;

    B) which technologies are going to step in and render a large sector of oil-based manufacturing and/or transport obsolete?

  • Chad||

    The Angry Optimist | September 1, 2009, 8:31pm | #
    Peak Oil has been coming for 60 years, MNG. Forgive me if I am cynical about it at this point. Peak Oil is almost always invoked for whatever lefty-greenie cause of the decade is. First it was the population, then it was "too much garbage", now its global warming. Yawn.


    Angry, if you were smart, you would ignore past predictions and only make predictions based on TODAY'S data. Someone claiming that oil was about to run out 60 years ago was an idiot too lazy to stick a straw in the ground in Texas. When the world's richest companies are spending tens of billion to move tons of dirt, boil it in even more water, consume a fourth of the Canadian natural gas supply and defoul miles of pristine boreal forest and waterways in order to produce very low-grade tar, claims of peak oil may be a little closer to the truth.

  • MNG||

    This "China and India won't play along stuff" is just not selling to me; you could say that about our copyright laws (we might as well not have them if they ain't going to play); but they ended up going a ways to play nice there when we got serious with them. They want good terms with us, it's really not a choice at this point for them.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Now let me ask you this TAO, since you are such a big fan of property "rights" why the hell don't you care that other people's actions will result in millions of people seeing their property be submerged underwater?



    You don't believe in rights. Why on earth would I argue this with you?

    Nice hyperbole, by the way. Remind me again how much the sea level is expected to change...something on the order of like, 2 feet in 100 years, right? *eye roll* - mein gott! we have to do something NOW NOW NOW!

  • MNG||

    " which technologies are going to step in and render a large sector of oil-based manufacturing and/or transport obsolete?"

    Well, you're smart enough to know that that's a whole 'nother ball of wax. If we reach a point where oil becomes so scarce that its prices incentivize innovation to some replacement from oil then that doesn't prove what was said upthread wrong, it proves it right. We won't have cheap oil forever.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    as you have been told before, MNG, copyright is relatively low-stakes. Global cap-and-trade is many orders of magnitude higher than copyright.

  • ||



    If we want a strong economy for a long time to come, we need to make sure it's in a good position to stay that way.... Look at it this way, for the last 30 years or so, the US has pretty much ignored the foundations that a strong economy is built on



    agreed! we've been running on debt! time to end that if we expect a viable economy in the future. not corporate welfare and barriers to the market in the guise of "carbon credits".

    what a fucking scam!

  • The Angry Optimist||

    We won't have cheap oil forever.



    Again, what is the point of this superficially-true but irrelevant fact of life?

    Oh yes, to scare people. That's Peak Oil Theory's primary use.

  • Chad||

    The Angry Optimist | September 1, 2009, 8:38pm | #

    A) increase oil-use efficiency. As far as I understand it, typical oil use in the 20s and 30s was something on the order of 30% efficient. IIRC, we're at something like 70%+ now...and;


    That's pretty amazing, considering a typical internal combustion engine is limited by thermodynamics to the mid thirties. Our engines and turbines have been running reasonably close to the limit for decades. Any further improvements will be incredibly marginal.

  • MNG||

    Long term projections are for major cities to be underwater. And it's the kind of thing we can either start reversing now or get those results later.

  • ||

    Trying to deny resource constraints is like a guy playing playing russian roulett, and figuring that since he pulled. the trigger the first time or two and didn't die that he can keep pulling.

    Oh, and technology, and the markets can't magically fix everything. I'll give you an exmaple from the above mentioned book.

    Power saws are great things, they allow you to build a home more efficently, and for less cost. But no matter how many power saws you have (how much capital you accumulate) you will still need raw materials (lumber, metal etc) to build the house.

  • ||

    Has nothing to do with scaring people.

    It has to do with planning for it, and taking steps to mitiage the damage.

  • MNG||

    "Again, what is the point of this superficially-true but irrelevant fact of life?"

    The point is it is true, and you thought you'd be cute upthread by saying "oh we've all heard this before." Well, yes we have. And just because some people got the date and degree wrong doesn't make the statement any less true.

    It means that any long term plan to use oil and coal at current levels is nutso-crazy. Considering we keep using more and more of it that warrants some introspection.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Considering we keep using more and more of it that warrants some introspection.



    OK.

    *briefly ponders*

    Says: "As the price point for the old technology moves up, new technologies become more economically efficient and replace the old technology".

    There. Introspection over.

  • MNG||

    What's funny is that libertarians fling at global warming realists lines like "you want us to make policy on what COULD happen with the climate" but turn around and in oil debates and say we needn't worry because we MIGHT discover some new tech which will make it all better.

    hoo-boy!

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Power saws are great things, they allow you to build a home more efficently, and for less cost. But no matter how many power saws you have (how much capital you accumulate) you will still need raw materials (lumber, metal etc) to build the house.



    Uhh...

    How did that demonstrate that markets and technology don't solve problems again?

  • MNG||

    haha, Got to love it when my smackdown of your yet to be made comment passes it mid-post!

  • The Angry Optimist||

    What's funny is that libertarians fling at global warming realists lines like "you want us to make policy on what COULD happen with the climate" but turn around and in oil debates and say we needn't worry because we MIGHT discover some new tech which will make it all better.



    What's funny about it, is that you are willing to consistently scaremonger to get increased government control in our lives.

    Because we "might" discover some new tech? Do you have any historical indication that we would just magically fall back into the Stone Age?

    This screaming ignorance is getting a little deep.

  • MNG||

    So let's get it now, TAO says we should ignore the actual reality of us basing our policy on using ever increasing amounts of an evermore depleted finite resource because we MIGHT develop a yet to be developed saving technology.

    Lovely.

    And it's environmentalists who are religious.

    OK!

  • ||

    "
    Power saws are great things, they allow you to build a home more efficently, and for less cost. But no matter how many power saws you have (how much capital you accumulate) you will still need raw materials (lumber, metal etc) to build the house."

    once again i ask, where are the resources going?

  • MNG||

    TAO
    It is certainly not a given that because incentives will increase to develop new technology that does what we need that it will happen.

    I mean, WTF? Are you being serious?

  • ||

    once you guys start talking solutions, e.g., breeder nuke, then you're just a bunch of scare monger statists...

  • MNG||

    "What's funny about it, is that you are willing to consistently scaremonger to get increased government control in our lives."

    This kills me. TAO, do you honestly think environmentalism is just a ruse to advance increased government control for shits and giggles sake? I don't like paying taxes or having my choices restricted any more than you do, wtf? Maybe we are motivated by a concern for human welfare, and since we have all these scientists telling us to take steps to address this problem or human welfare is going to take a hit, we say OK.

  • Tman||

    Chad,

    If you read the Lomborg article I linked to above, he made an impressive argument for the best way to spend $10 billion to improve the lives of humans on this planet.

    A few more of these ridiculous "global warming hysteria" back patting sessions and we could hit $10 billion easy.

    I agree with Lomborg that there are better ways to spend our hysteria dollars, that would result in less suffering in the world RIGHT NOW as opposed to what might/may/possibly/perhaps/if the models are sort of accurate happen in the next 100 years AND if India and China decide to completely reverse course.

  • MNG||

    ransom
    What are you talking about?

    The solutions I've been hearing about are reductions in carbon emissions.

  • ||


    This kills me. TAO, do you honestly think environmentalism is just a ruse to advance increased government control for shits and giggles sake?


    no not for shits and giggles. something much more insidious.

  • ||

    MNG | September 1, 2009, 8:53pm | #

    ransom
    What are you talking about?

    The solutions I've been hearing about are reductions in carbon emissions.



    by what means?

  • shorter TAO||

    The Power of the Market is Going to Swoop Down and Save us, you just got to believe! Any steps to plan otherwise demonstrate a lack of faith in the Magical Mystical Market and it's amazing Power! It wouldn't let us be harmed, It will Incentivize a Miracle, you just Got to Believe! It's around the Corner!

  • ||

    the power of the mystical magical government will finally defy all historical examples and somehow be greater than the sum of its parts as it moves forward with a force that man does not possess absent its blessed and holy presence.

    in the name of the earth and the air and the sea,


    we beseech the holy trinity of TERRA!

  • ||

    funny thing,


    the feds wanna pay money to incentivize development in "green" technology. only government can stimulate the market, because demand is a faulty incentive of course!

  • ||

    you see that's the problem w/ your position.

    you want to force the incentive along, ignoring the fact it already exists! you think if you plan the economy, you can rush the development. other than that your only option is to start taxing humans...

  • ||

    oops, handle change error.

  • Chad||

    Tman | September 1, 2009, 8:53pm | #
    Chad,

    If you read the Lomborg article I linked to above, he made an impressive argument for the best way to spend $10 billion to improve the lives of humans on this planet.


    Actually, I have noted that it is a pure garbag argument for two reasons: he is conflating responsibility for one's actions with charitable donations, and that he is using a methodology (cost-benefit analysis) which simply cannot handle the level of uncertainty that this issue presents. It's as if he is comparing apples and oranges, and worse, has no idea how many apples there are or what quality they are.

    A few more of these ridiculous "global warming hysteria" back patting sessions and we could hit $10 billion easy.

    A "few" typically means something like 5, not 161.

  • ||

    chad:


    you have two choices at this point. reduce human activity and by default humans, or you can develop new technologies as they are needed.

    which people in which countries do you propose starve?

  • ||

    i guess he's checking the map...

  • Tman||

    Chad,

    Are you seriously arguing that the level of uncertainty is higher in Lomborgs argument than in the one that says we need to cripple the western economy to stop global warming?

    Really?

    Until you admit that without China and India playing along the level of uncertainty in your argument is hitting near stratospheric levels. And even then, it is still a very much uncertain argument to begin with.

    But I guess anything to save the planet! Right? I mean screw people, save the planet! AMIRITE PEOPLE???

  • ||

    screw the people!!!!!

  • ||

    we need to STOP producing wealth and raising the living standards of the poor!!!!!

  • ||

    screw the darkies in foreign lands! my beachfront condo might be two inches closer to the sea in 158921653 years!

  • ||

    @ Ransom, I already address your concerns earlier, about resource use. When resources are "used up" they are converted from something that is useful to us with our current technology, to something that is not useful (or at least not useful in a cost effective manner) thus they become waste, and we depend on nature to turn them into something useful again.

    Also, the incentive for building a sustainable society are really not that in the short run (although the market is sending signals like higher prices for resources). But right now the rules of the game are setup to encourage max resource use for short term profit, not long term sustainability, for example fishing, or oil use.

    Oil use is one of the worst because it's a VERY useful substance, we need it for much more than powering our cars. It makes all types of thing like plastic, or fertilizer that we need as well.

    Our incentives are all skewed, like corporations that focus on quarterly profits instead of the long term for the company.

  • Chad||

    Tman | September 1, 2009, 9:23pm | #
    Chad,

    Are you seriously arguing that the level of uncertainty is higher in Lomborgs argument


    Yes. In fact, even within Tol's analysis, you see orders-of-magnitude variation in his SWAG. Include other peoples' analyses, and you get even wider variation.

    than in the one that says we need to cripple the western economy to stop global warming?

    Childish hyperbole. It will cost something similar to the Iraq war (on a nationalized basis)..."cripple" my ass.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    "China and India have stated in no uncertain terms that they will not accept or impose CO2 limits."

    Exactly. This is just another Fuck America effort.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    "Now let me ask you this TAO, since you are such a big fan of property "rights" why the hell don't you care that other people's actions will result in millions of people seeing their property be submerged underwater?"

    Bullshit.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    "do you honestly think environmentalism is just a ruse to advance increased government control for shits and giggles sake?"

    EXACTLY.

  • Tman||

    "Childish hyperbole. It will cost something similar to the Iraq war (on a nationalized basis)..."cripple" my ass."

    Hilarious. You come to argue on a libertarian blog that the US and other National Governments will figure out a way how to stop Global Warming on the cheap?

    That's pretty ballsy, I'll admit. Stupid, but ballsy.

    On the cheap huh? One (nationalized) Iraq War, that's it?

    Yep, sure Chad. That'll work. I mean SSecurity and Medicare/aid will assume 80% of our budget in 30 years, and I'm sure we'll have figured it all out by then.

    Since currently the third highest item in our US budget IS PAYING THE INTEREST on the debt we already have, we can afford to gamble.

    Good thing we aren't in a recession! That would really make this boondoggle uncertain!

  • The Angry Optimist||

    It is certainly not a given that because incentives will increase to develop new technology that does what we need that it will happen.



    Why? Are you saying people don't respond to incentives now?

  • Michael Ejercito||

    2: Combating AGW means providing the people of 2100 with the knowledge they will need to live without fossil fuels, leaving some resources untouched further into the future, and building infrastructure (such as train lines) that they might actually want to use.

    Tol et al assume just the opposite - that GDP will be worse in the distant future if we combat AGW now. But their argument, couched in a zillion miles of math, is nothing but hand-waving.

    Cost-benefit analysis simply does not work over such long time scales and with such high levels of uncertainty.


    So why bother doing anything about it now? People living in 2100 will have super-high-advanced technology that will create a quick fix of whatever we do now.

    This kills me. TAO, do you honestly think environmentalism is just a ruse to advance increased government control for shits and giggles sake?


    It absolutely is.

    What's funny is that libertarians fling at global warming realists lines like "you want us to make policy on what COULD happen with the climate" but turn around and in oil debates and say we needn't worry because we MIGHT discover some new tech which will make it all better.



    We will discover new tech. In ninety-one years we will have interplanetary spacecraft, cybernetics, and all the cool stuff that moviemakers and comic book authors can only dream of.

    So let's get it now, TAO says we should ignore the actual reality of us basing our policy on using ever increasing amounts of an evermore depleted finite resource because we MIGHT develop a yet to be developed saving technology.


    As a matter of fact, people are using old french fry grease to run internal combustion engines.

    When the operational cost of using french fry grease is lower than the operational cost of using gasoline, people will switch to french fry grease.

    Study economics.

  • Ratdog||

    Sure lucky we aren't carbon based life forms or the high priests of the Climate Change church would have a tighter grip on people's life/reproductive cycle than the Christian church had when it claimed authority over sexual activity.

    At least the Gandhi's of the Climate Change church are authentic, they'd never expect any thing from we the congregation by any non-voluntary means, and they live their lives as examples to us, they ride bicycles, cast from recycled metal, with seats made from soy beans, and tires molded from worn out condoms, or walk, where ever they go, and won't even have electricity in their very modest homes, big sin, massive carbon foot print.

    Sigh ..I love a green world, that's why we must ban CO2, it's an evil pollutant that will leave the children in a brown dead world. Correlation means causation, duh. Those morons that want to debate facts don't understand how science works, fascists. The Earth goddess will destroy all of us if we continue to ignore her!

    Hey, any one know where my friend can get some compressed carbon dioxide? He likes to boost levels up around 1500ppm, rapid vegetative growth, massive flowering, man. Can't let concentrations fall below 200-300ppm or growth ceases, man.

    The unholy trinity: faith, ignorance, hypocrisy.

    And where are the separation of church and state people when some one finally tries to install a state religion. All tied up installing the state religion. Go figure.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    I have to backtrack:

    This isn't about "shits'n'giggles" - this is about using "Oh, My Gore... the planet's gonna die and it's all because Fat Cat Capitalists drive SUVs when they damn well feel like it" tactics to advance a nebulous "we MIGHT be destroying the planet" scare-tactic agenda.

    The shits'n'giggles comes in when politicians continue to have the privilege of riding in gas-guzzling planes and armored limos, while We Wee Peasants have to scrimp enough together for some Smart Car shitbox or a Prius that will cost thousands come battery-replacement time. All while the economy is still having the broom handle applied to its anal cavity by those who just HAVE to have a tax increase for this, another for that, a reduction in spending increase from 3.5% to 3% is considered a "heartless draconian budget-slashing", and God knows what other shit gets spewed by the side of the aisle that openly despises free markets and free minds.

    Fuck 'um.

  • Chad||

    Tman | September 1, 2009, 9:55pm | #

    Hilarious. You come to argue on a libertarian blog that the US and other National Governments will figure out a way how to stop Global Warming on the cheap?



    The serious estimates of the cost of combating AGW are typically 1-2% of GDP worldwide, which is about what we have been spending on Iraq at the national level. Iraq didn't destroy our economy, or even make a noticable blip in fact.
    Yes, to solve the climate conundrum, we will have to give up a whole TEN MONTHS of economic growth! Clearly, the people of 2100 cannot possibly be expected to wait until October for the iPod Mark 204 that they could have had in January. That would be like an economic apocalypse.






    That's pretty ballsy, I'll admit. Stupid, but ballsy.

    On the cheap huh? One (nationalized) Iraq War, that's it?

    Yep, sure Chad. That'll work. I mean SSecurity and Medicare/aid will assume 80% of our budget in 30 years, and I'm sure we'll have figured it all out by then.

    Since currently the third highest item in our US budget IS PAYING THE INTEREST on the debt we already have, we can afford to gamble.

    Good thing we aren't in a recession! That would really make this boondoggle uncertain!

  • ||


    The shits'n'giggles comes in when politicians continue to have the privilege of riding in gas-guzzling planes and armored limos, while We Wee Peasants have to scrimp enough together for some Smart Car shitbox or a Prius that will cost thousands come battery-replacement time.



    that's why i say it's not just for shits & giggles. it's just another tool to install the oligarchy in their desired place, while all the religious fanatics fill the role of useful idiots.

  • Ratdog||

    ""do you honestly think environmentalism is just a ruse to advance increased government control for shits and giggles sake?""

    John Bingell of numberwatch.co.uk made the following observation:

    [QUOTE]It is notable that support for the global warming theory comes almost exclusively from the New Left, a form of authoritarian socialism that grants itself the ironic title of "Liberal". Classical liberals, who believe above all in human freedom, are left without a home or a title. They are lumped together with conservative politicians and described as "Right Wing". The success of the New Left (also known as The Greens) is one of the most remarkable phenomena in history. They have taken over most of the western world; the political parties (such as the UK Conservative Party), the media, the scientific institutions and many other components of society.

    Claims by the opposition that the global warming is a political manoeuvre by the New Left are, naturally, met by the accusation that they are all of the Old Right.

    James Hansen, notorious among global warming critics as a ruthless fudger of data, blew the gaff in the euphoria of the Green takeover in the USA , by admitting that the main issue was the redistribution of wealth.[/QUOTE]

    Difficult to disagree with that, giving Hansen the benefit of the doubt of course. By "redistribution of wealth" what he means is bringing the developed world, primarily the USA, down to third world status, the "redistribution" portion refers to the Green Priest's cut, the reasonable and humble portion needed for these elite master racers to cover the cost of private jet liners, palatial homes in various locations, fleets of powerful cars and SUVs, and the other basics required to administer the religion amongst we the unwashed and unclean masses.

    (apologies ahead of time if my tagging experiment causes unexpected results)

  • Chad||

    Michael Ejercito | September 1, 2009, 10:11pm | #

    We will discover new tech. In ninety-one years we will have interplanetary spacecraft, cybernetics, and all the cool stuff that moviemakers and comic book authors can only dream of.


    Mike, by your logic, we should all play Russian Roulette because, you know, we might invent bullet-proof skulls or bullet-reversing magnets before our brains explode.

    Isn't it just as plausible (indeed, far MORE plausible) that combating climate change will actually cost very little because of new tech? This has been the history of environmental regulation.

  • Chad||

    Ratdog | September 1, 2009, 10:48pm | #

    John Bingell of numberwatch.co.uk made the following observation


    ie, some random blogger...

    [QUOTE]It is notable that support for the global warming theory comes almost exclusively from the New Left

    The "new left" being "every significant scientific organization on earth". Wow. Who writes this crap?

  • ||

    Chad | September 1, 2009, 10:46pm | #



    pls tell me how the govt. is going to make a better use of available resources than the private sector. pls indicate a program, where planned command and control economies produce positive results. even if i bought your argument, which i don't - you still fall flat on expecting the most corrupt entity ever devised to remedy your problem...

  • ||

    "The "new left" being "every significant scientific organization on earth". Wow. Who writes this crap?"



    that's why even greenpeace says the current plan is bs....

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Actually, ransom, it's both... shits'n'giggles for the pathetic fools who think we can destroy the climate short of global-scale thermonuke unleashment... and serious goddamned repercussions for those of us who can't afford double-higher utility bills and new-car payments for "green" horseshit automobiles, et cetera.

    This isn't about saving the planet... it's about destroying mobility, self-determination, and putting untold multitudes in the poor house because we won't be able to sustain trillion+ dollar budgets AND unGodly, unwieldy, bloated "entitlement" spending.

    We'll never be able to climb out of the economic shithouse if we go with the "we can tax our way to prosperity" mentality of the political left - which despises capitalism, by the way, fuck 'em very much.

    It's a no-win situation.

  • ||

    TLG:


    sounds like we're on pretty much the same page.

  • ||

    "Could a nation fanatically addicted to deficit spending pursue such a policy for the rest of our lives and beyond? … the barrier to this would not be financial. The barrier would be political.

    paul samuelson - keynesian dipshit


    these are the fuckers running us down the drain...

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    That we are, ransom. And yet, according to the elitist chickenshits, we're causing the deaths of X number of people every day because we're not in favor of government-run healthcare, and we'll have the blood of millions on our hands because we defy the Church of Global Warming, Amen, LLC.

    Another round of horse piss, on the house, paid for by that evil 2% of wage-earners.

  • ||


    Church of Global Warming, Amen, LLC.


    lulz

  • ||

    # MNG | September 1, 2009, 8:46pm | #

    # What's funny is that libertarians fling at
    # global warming realists lines like "you want
    # us to make policy on what COULD happen with
    # the climate" but turn around and in oil
    # debates and say we needn't worry because we
    # MIGHT discover some new tech which will make
    # it all better.

    Some comments:

    1) The key problems are that AGW proponents can not say convincingly what the consequences of AGW will be, but more importantly, what we can actually do that will be of effect. Their exhortations boil down to "give us the power and we will TRY something!" As the old rocker said, "you say you want a revolution, but if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao, you ain't gonna make it with anyone, anyhow." Nobody wants an eco-dictatorship, except the would-be eco-dictators.

    2) Although I realize that past performance is no guarantee of future results, the very fact that we all are here now is proof that humans have managed to think of or discover something -- very often, a technological solution -- when faced with crisis for the past several thousand years. Our numbers, our knowledge, and technology now increase at dizzying rates, so our odds of solving our problems through better ideas improve continually. By contrast, the batting average of global catastrophe hasn't been all that good. Floods, drought, disease, extreme cold -- not to mention our own mental illnesses of war and various ideologies -- all these things have punched us hard from time to time, but never knocked us down or out. So I think there is a great case to be made, not only for optimism about the future, but also about the need for caution in the current rush to adopt binding policies for addressing any so-called "global crisis," including AGW.

    I chuckle at the "russian roulette" analogy that was made in a couple of other spots along this thread. If ONLY the odds and the deadly mechanisms were as well understood as a set of five bullets and a six-shooter! Rather than continuing to play a game of Russian Roulette, I think our folly is more like getting out of bed and going out into the world every day. We have some vague idea of what to expect each day, but we are often sidetracked (or sideswiped!) by various unanticipated (or anticipated, but low-probability) developments. As that same old rocker said, "life is what happens, when you are making other plans." But does the ultimate unpredictability of life -- and the fact that fatal danger faces us virtually EVERY DAY -- keep us from getting out of bed and jumping back into life?

    Bring on the cautionary warnings! Proliferate and discuss ideas for alternative technologies or economic lifestyles! Let each person make his or her own decisions about how much credence to grant various ideas, and whether or how to respond to them. It is more likely that the great mass of people, working through such institutions as markets, will do the right thing in the aggregate, than that some elite cadre of the "best and the brightest" will ever have a clue about what that "right thing" is, much less coordinate us all to implement it successfully.

  • ||


    Bring on the cautionary warnings! Proliferate and discuss ideas for alternative technologies or economic lifestyles! Let each person make his or her own decisions about how much credence to grant various ideas, and whether or how to respond to them. It is more likely that the great mass of people, working through such institutions as markets, will do the right thing in the aggregate, than that some elite cadre of the "best and the brightest" will ever have a clue about what that "right thing" is, much less coordinate us all to implement it successfully.



    i REALLY could not have said it better myself.

  • Neu Mejican||

    It is heartening to see that there are few actual arguments being made on these threads against the general idea that we have an important effect on your environment including the climate. It is pretty much down to the "it's the commies" without any attempts to address the actual science.

    What I don't get from smart folks like J.A.M and MikeP is why they consider the idea of investing money now to reduce a predictable problem in the future an unwise economic choice. Sure, sure, there's the "government will muck it all up" arguments, but the "let my grand kids figure it out" attitude seems counter productive. Problems get solved when people actively work to solve them. Governments are a mechanism that large groups of people use to address problems that effect them. This is exactly the kind of problem government should be addressing. A much better use of their time and effort than trying to keep you from smoking pot, or seeing boobies, or playing on-line poker...let alone invading other countries.

    Bring on the cautionary warnings! Proliferate and discuss ideas for alternative technologies or economic lifestyles! Let each person make his or her own decisions about how much credence to grant various ideas, and whether or how to respond to them. It is more likely that the great mass of people, working through such institutions as markets, will do the right thing in the aggregate, than that some elite cadre of the "best and the brightest" will ever have a clue about what that "right thing" is, much less coordinate us all to implement it successfully.

    Agreed. This is why I would favor a revenue neutral carbon tax over the cap-n-trade type schemes. Stop taxing labor, start taxing carbon-based energy. See how people solve that equation. But until you find a way to price the co2 output, the incentive to innovate will run up against a basic fact...carbon based fuels are cheap in the near term (and probably the mid term as well). Waiting until scarcity brings their costs up seems short sighted.

  • Chad||

    ransom147 | September 1, 2009, 10:52pm | #
    Chad | September 1, 2009, 10:46pm | #

    pls tell me how the govt. is going to make a better use of available resources than the private sector.


    Because the private sector is often faced with externalities, market failures, and prisoners' dilemmas (and out-right stupidity and fraud) which cause it to dramatically mis-allocate resources. If you think that borrowing trillions from China and the Saudis in order to buy SUVs and McMansions, which is exactly what our "free market" has done in the last twenty years, is a GOOD allocation of resources, you are beyond hopeless.

    pls indicate a program, where planned command and control economies produce positive results.

    "planned and controlled" at the level I am calling for? Most of western Europe.

    that's why even greenpeace says the current plan is bs....

    Because it is not enough and too laden with gifts to the right in order to bribe a few along. They are right about that.

  • Chad||

    Neu Mejican | September 2, 2009, 2:34am | #

    What I don't get from smart folks like J.A.M and MikeP is why they consider the idea of investing money now to reduce a predictable problem in the future an unwise economic choice. Sure, sure, there's the "government will muck it all up" arguments, but the "let my grand kids figure it out" attitude seems counter productive.


    These people remind me of my grandma, who basically believes we should ignore long-term environmental issues because Jesus will have come to save us all long before then. Well, except the libertarian argument is even worse, because it is mad in bad faith rather than blind faith.

    Don't worry about it! The market will solve every problem we create, so let's party!

  • Chad||

    Neu Mejican | September 2, 2009, 2:34am | #

    Agreed. This is why I would favor a revenue neutral carbon tax over the cap-n-trade type schemes. Stop taxing labor, start taxing carbon-based energy. See how people solve that equation. But until you find a way to price the co2 output, the incentive to innovate will run up against a basic fact...carbon based fuels are cheap in the near term (and probably the mid term as well). Waiting until scarcity brings their costs up seems short sighted.


    The whole "revenue neutrality" idea would be right IF we had a balanced budget. We don't, and there is no way in cold hell we are going to get there by cutting programs. We need significant tax increases, and the carbon tax should be one of them. (A VAT should be the other major new tax).

  • MNG||

    "Why? Are you saying people don't respond to incentives now?"

    I think I brought up incentives, so yes people will respond. But look at your mistake here TAO: saying people will be incentivized to seek solutions to problems does not mean they will necessarily succeed. Problems may be intractable. Yes people will respond to the incentives and try like hell to innovate a solution, but who can say they will hit upon that solution?

    Your faith in the magic power of the market to not only incentivize, but to solve every problem we may face, is charming, but don't blame the rest of us if we prefer to stay in the realm of planning for what might happen based on historical and current trends and behavior. We dont want to do nothing and be sol because we just assumed that someone would invent something to get us out of the mess. Maybe that will happen, maybe it won't. If it does it would be great. But counting on it is crazy risky and irresponsible for anyone that cares about future human welfare.

  • MNG||

    "TAO, do you honestly think environmentalism is just a ruse to advance increased government control for shits and giggles sake?
    It absolutely is."

    This is a monumentally stupid and paranoid mindset. You have to believe that millions of people, including thousands of scientists from across the globe and in many fields, are suggesting we regulate emissions from some bizarre desire to see government control expand for the sake of it. That is really nuts.

    You have a much more sane explanation for the push to curb carbon emissions: people are concerned they will harm humanity and the environment.

    "It is notable that support for the global warming theory comes almost exclusively from the New Left, a form of authoritarian socialism that grants itself the ironic title of "Liberal"."

    This again is so fucking nuts. Support for global warming came initially from scientists and scientific organizations, literally thousands of experts from hundreds of nations and various fields of study. Yes, people who are on the "left" have more readily embraced their findings, but there is an easy explanation for that: if these findings are correct then corrective action may call for government spending and regulation of business; the left is more amenable to that than the right in nearly every Western nation. This says why the left may be more easily on board, but nothing as to the correctness of the proposed corrective actions, and even less about the scientific findings themselves.

    Libertarians denying the science of climate change because they think it will warrant government action which they generally oppose are like leftists who deny the science of hereditable intelligence because they think it will undermine support for government programs to equalize opportunity.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Where to begin...

    "Because the private sector is often faced with externalities, market failures, and prisoners' dilemmas (and out-right stupidity and fraud) which cause it to dramatically mis-allocate resources."

    And government doesn't do this?

    "
    Your faith in the magic power of the market to not only incentivize, but to solve every problem we may face"

    And government isn't?

    "The whole 'revenue neutrality' idea would be right IF we had a balanced budget. We don't, and there is no way in cold hell we are going to get there by cutting programs."

    There's no way to get there by INCREASING programs, either.

    "We need significant tax increases, and the carbon tax should be one of them."

    Not just no, but hell no. You can't tax your way to prosperity.

    (A VAT should be the other major new tax).

    Double-hell no.

    "Don't worry about it! The {government} will solve every problem we create, so let's party!"

    There, I fixed that one for you.

    "But counting on {manmade-only global warming} is crazy risky and irresponsible for anyone that cares about future human welfare."

    Fixed that one, too.

  • ||

    ""planned and controlled" at the level I am calling for? Most of western Europe."


    excellent choice, your plane leaven in an hour! btw, please expect a lower standard of living, unemployment rates that make ours look fantastic, higher taxes, and muslims burning your neighborhoods as your society goes down the drain! ps, once the us finally pulls back out of europe and you guys have to actually foot the bill for your own defense; expect things to get even worse! bon voyage!


    "Because the private sector is often faced with externalities, market failures, and prisoners' dilemmas (and out-right stupidity and fraud) which cause it to dramatically mis-allocate resources. If you think that borrowing trillions from China and the Saudis in order to buy SUVs and McMansions, which is exactly what our "free market" has done in the last twenty years, is a GOOD allocation of resources, you are beyond hopeless."


    hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! seriously? fail!

  • Michael Ejercito||


    This is a monumentally stupid and paranoid mindset. You have to believe that millions of people, including thousands of scientists from across the globe and in many fields, are suggesting we regulate emissions from some bizarre desire to see government control expand for the sake of it. That is really nuts.


    Why do we need to regulate emissions?

    Blanketing the upper atmosphere with a layer of dust will be much more effective; see the TTAPS study for details.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    Don't tell the "peak oil" folks but BP just made a major find in the Gulf of Mexico.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    "You have to believe that millions of people, including thousands of scientists from across the globe and in many fields, are suggesting we regulate emissions from some bizarre desire to see government control expand for the sake of it."

    It doesn't TAKE millions. The power of the Gang of 535 is sufficient.

  • ||

    Sorry GM, but the peak oil arguments allow for finding of new fields. It just says that we aren't going to find enough to replace what's getting burned.

    Also, I notice that many of the posters here use a lot of ad hominem attacks instead of really debating the issue.

    Lefties are bad, most lefties support efforts to reduce climate change, errgo efforts to reduce climate change are bad.


    As mentioned earlier, I think a net zero carbon tax is a really good idea. And no I'm not in favor of taxes going up (although I'm afraid they probably will anyway, but that's due to SS, and Medicare, not carbon).

    A carbon tax would incentive conservation of scare resources and technolgical innovation, whilte at the same time reducing the taxes on labor thus increasing production.

    IE, a properly done carbon tax could grow the economy AND help the environment. wow what a concept.

  • ||

    lefties our bad! and evil two!

  • mark||

    Because the private sector is often faced with externalities, market failures, and prisoners' dilemmas (and out-right stupidity and fraud) which cause it to dramatically mis-allocate resources. If you think that borrowing trillions from China and the Saudis in order to buy SUVs and McMansions, which is exactly what our "free market" has done in the last twenty years, is a GOOD allocation of resources, you are beyond hopeless.

    Chad fail. This has got to be a spoof.

  • ||

    Of course it's not like the market has really been free. It was manipulated on our side by to low of interest rates, and manipulated on China's side by to low of an exchange rate.

    Because of course if consumption is 70% of the economy then more consumption is good right? We can just consume our way to weatlh and happiness. No need to that silly saving and investing.

  • ||

    "Because of course if consumption is 70% of the economy then more consumption is good right? We can just consume our way to weatlh and happiness. No need to that silly saving and investing."


    of course, but where's the incentive? the govt has bought of the voters with easy credit and lots of cash. debt in the private sector mirrors the govt...

    kill the fed. stop "deficit spending to end deficit spending". christ how dumb is that?

  • ||

    See I think we are on the same page when it comes to the financial side. Now if we can just agree that the same problems can also apply to ecological as well as financial systems.

    Instead of straining the banking system we are straing the natural systems that take care of our waste, and provide us natural resources.

    I think just as we need to live without our means financially, we need to live within the earth's means ecologically.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "Sorry GM, but the peak oil arguments allow for finding of new fields. It just says that we aren't going to find enough to replace what's getting burned."

    Since there is no way they can know the size of new fields being found, there is no way they can know that it won't be enough.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    Furthermore, we can make synthetic gasoline out of coal - and we have plenty of coal.

    And we would have even more coal available for synthetic gas by replacing coal fired power plants with new nuclear plants.

  • ||

    ackk! nuclear! hide your children!


    http://earth2tech.com/2008/08/01/hyperions-nuclear-in-a-box-ready-by-2013/


    bringing energy to the impoverished outlying areas w/ no current infrastructure for delivery. those bastards!

  • ||

    KB:


    so the same people who are overseeing the economy need to be put in charge of the environment? good plan! btw, they're the same scumsuckers who make the corporations unaccountable...

  • ||

    Actually, the coal reserves have been vastly over estimated (although they are still larger than the oil ones).

    Also, yes we can no it won't be enough, because we know that we won't forever find more oil. Aside from that fact, we can make pretty reasonable estimates.

    Will more oil be found sure, but it won't be easy to get at, and it won't be cheap. And it won't change the long term equation of a diminishing resource, and increasing supply.

  • ||

    Also, yes we can k

    no

    w it won't be enough.


    sorry sir this room is abuse.

  • ||

    and the room for tag fail....

  • ||

    If you think that borrowing trillions from China and the Saudis in order to buy SUVs and McMansions, which is exactly what our "free market" has done in the last twenty years, is a GOOD allocation of resources, you are beyond hopeless.



    It has been the Federal Government that has been borrowing trillions from China and the Saudis the last twenty years, not the "free market". And it was done to fund an increasingly bloated welfare/warfare state that provides subsidies to an astounding number of interests some of whom are workoing at exact cross purposes with one another.

    But never mind once we get the right people in charge...

    As usual, I know I can count on Chad to provide absolutely fact free comments. Mind you I haven't found any use for fact free comments.

    And the definition of "externalities, market failures, [or] prisoners' dilemmas" is not "anything that Chad doesn't like."

  • ||

    No it wasn't just the government.

    It was the majority of Americans maxing our their credit cards, and taking phantom equity out of their homes. They confused home apprecation with wealth (instead of inflation which is what it really is).

    It's not just the government that has a spending problem, it's private citizens as well.

    Of course the good news is due to the recent crises consumers have started saving again, although it will probably take another one before the government gets the same hint.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    Actually, the coal reserves have been vastly over estimated (although they are still larger than the oil ones).

    Says you.


    "Also, yes we can no it won't be enough, because we know that we won't forever find more oil."

    LOL

    The issue is the validitiy of the peak oil theory - not whether oil will last "forever".

    And no you cannot know in advance the size of any oil field discoveries nor can you know in advance any techological advances that make it easier to get at oil whereever it exists.

    Three quarters of the earth is covered by water. Most of the oil exploration that has occurred so far is either on or near land masses. There's no telling what may be out there under the vast ocean floor.

    Also synthetic fuel can be made from natural gas as well as coal. And there are significant new sources of that being discovered as well.

    Also Exxon is investing in a new process that creates oil from algae - and by oil real oil - a product that is virtually identical to the product that comes out of the ground. And that means it can be refined and transported with the existing infrastructure - unlinke ethanol.

  • ||

    hey! ethanol is awesome! trust us!

  • ||

    Kroneborge | September 2, 2009, 2:41pm

    To the extrent that private actors overborrowed it was largely due to perverse incentives created by the government and the Fedral Reserve Bank.

    Secondly, when private actors do overborrow only they will suffer the consequences of their profligacy. Oh, wait, no they won't because the government will hear the plaintive cries of debtors and bail them out with a subsidy (financed with debt owed to China and the Saudis, naturally).

  • Tony||

    Of course you can still believe that the magical market can work correctly and be for a carbon penalty. You just have to admit that prior to such a penalty carbon emitters were getting a de facto subsidy by being able to pollute our common environment for free (not to mention the actual subsidies).

  • ExxonMobil||

    Hey hydrogen and algae are the way to go! Trust us!

  • ||

    crap

    /clown


    i've been outdone!


    off to look for a job....

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "You just have to admit that prior to such a penalty carbon emitters were getting a de facto subsidy by being able to pollute our common environment for free"

    And along comes Tony with another claim he isn't the least bit capable of proving.

    Just like every other statement he has ever made in these threads.

  • ||

    Of course it's not like the market has really been free. It was manipulated on our side by to low of interest rates, and manipulated on China's side by to low of an exchange rate.



    This is true and should have been referenced in my 2:52 comment.

  • Tony||

    Gilbert,

    What's to prove? If you're polluting a shared natural resource (that you have no claim to) and you're allowed to do it for free, how does that not amount to a subsidy? Why should anyone be allowed to damage other people's property without a penalty (even if that property is commonly shared)?

  • ||

    Ok, so you are saying that peak oil is invalid because

    We will be able to forever find new sources of oil large enough to accomadate increasing demand?

    That's your argument, really???

    I wish you guys would stop reading right wing blogs and do a bit of research into what's actually going on. The IEA reports are a good place to start, although they are still a bit to rosy IMO.

    If you actually pay attention to the smart money, they are all betting on reduced supply, and increased demand.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "We will be able to forever find new sources of oil large enough to accomadate increasing demand?"

    The peak oil theory is that we have already passed or soon will pass the point of maxium production capability.

    That is what has not been proven and they cannot prove it.

    No one is claiming that oil will last "forever" to begin with.

    The planet itself is not going to last "forever" - and neither is the human race.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "What's to prove? If you're polluting a shared natural resource..."

    You cannot prove that carbon dioxide emissions are a "pollutant" to begin with.

  • Tony||

    You cannot prove that carbon dioxide emissions are a "pollutant" to begin with.



    I'm just gonna have to do a headsmack on that one. Can someone explain to me why being a libertarian and being scientifically illiterate have fuck all to do with each other?

  • ||

    Ok, so taking into account that it won't last forever, I contend that we should think about how long it will last at a reasonable price. IE, how long before demand outstrips cheap oil (hopefully we can both agree that oil that costs $200 a barrel to produce isn't much good).

    For example, here they estimate maybe 40 years at current rates (yes it's a bit dated, but I'm not going to spend that much time looking for this stuff. I've seen more recent data that looks worse)

    http://www.economist.com/markets/indicators/displaystory.cfm?story_id=9366173


    Let's be pretend that their estimates are to low, and say it was 80 years. That's still not much time to transform society.

    I think if you are looking at a 40-80 year time frame, then we better be thinking long and hard about what's going to replace it.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "I'm just gonna have to do a headsmack on that one. Can someone explain to me why being a libertarian and being scientifically illiterate have fuck all to do with each other?"

    Smack your head all you want, Tony.

    You are a liberal - an inherently inferior race of beings that is genetically incapable of possesing enough brain cells to even remotely resemble any sort of legitiamte authority on any subject.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    "the magical market'

    Seriously, Tony, why do you hate the market THAT much? What's your alternative?

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "Let's be pretend that their estimates are to low, and say it was 80 years. That's still not much time to transform society."

    I'm not going to give any credence to their estimates at all.

    As I said before, they can't know in advance the magnitude of any future oil discoveries or any advances in techology that enables us to get at it. They can't prove 40 or 80 years is any better guess than 1,000 years.

    I don't want government to be mandating substitutons of any fuel sources. There will be many substitions of alternative sources that occur gradually over time driven by the market itself as it become economically feasable to do so. The government boondoggle in corn based ethanol is a prime example of the mess you get when you have the government trying to pick the winners.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    "Transforming society" = Newspeak for "the poor get to ride cheap Chinese prison-labor made bicycles while the Gang of 535 get their limos and jet planes and air conditioning and more than three squares of toilet paper a day".

  • Tony||

    Seriously, Tony, why do you hate the market THAT much? What's your alternative?



    I'm not advocating anything other than what every industrialized country on earth already has: a mixed economy. Just depends on the mix. I don't know how many times it has to be proved that markets on their own are not the magical prosperity producing engines you guys all think they are. They are what they are, innovation can and does happen, wealth can be and is created, but they can generate a lot of inequity and misery too and it's the job of government to mitigate the excesses of nature that make people miserable, including, I believe, the market.

  • ||

    hmm, I don't remember advocating for governments mandates in any of my posts.

    Although, it's true I don't mind government funds for research and development.

    As mentioned earlier, I think the best way to do it is replace taxes on labor with taxes on carbon. Thus you get more labor, less carbon, and then let the market work to create the new solutions.

  • Chad||

    Gilbert Martin | September 2, 2009, 1:05pm | #
    Furthermore, we can make synthetic gasoline out of coal - and we have plenty of coal.


    As Kroneborge noted, the coal reserves have been repeatedly down-graded. The quality is also dropping quickly.

    Coal-to-liquid schemes, as well as tar sand and shale projects, are expensive and vastly increase carbon emissions.

    If scientists tell you to stop, and you keep going, you are an idiot. If scientists tell you to stop, and you slam on the gas pedal, you are suicidal. Please let the rest of us out of the car before you whack yourself.

  • Chad||

    Isaac Bartram | September 2, 2009, 2:34pm | #
    If you think that borrowing trillions from China and the Saudis in order to buy SUVs and McMansions, which is exactly what our "free market" has done in the last twenty years, is a GOOD allocation of resources, you are beyond hopeless.
    It has been the Federal Government that has been borrowing trillions from China and the Saudis the last twenty years, not the "free market". And it was done to fund an increasingly bloated welfare/warfare state that provides subsidies to an astounding number of interests some of whom are workoing at exact cross purposes with one another.


    Double wrong. The American consumer has dug themselves deeply into debt by indirectly borrowing from China et al, and largely spent the money on SUVs and McMansions. Likewise, the government has also borrowed like mad...but has not increased spending as a fraction of GDP. Where did the money go then? Tax cuts...which were spent on said SUVs and McMansions.

    We borrowed trillions to buy crap. Now we are BLEEPED. Thanks, morons.

  • Chad||

    Btw, here are some nice FACTS about debt in the US.

    http://mwhodges.home.att.net/nat-debt/debt-nat-a.htm

    Private debt is skyrocketing even worse than public debt.

    I bet our grandchildren are going to be SO thrilled we left them with multi-trillion dollar holes...and rusting SUVs.

  • ||

    Chad, where would anybody even begin?

    You really act like deficit spending only began twenty years ago. The number of budget surpluses or budgets near balance in the last sixty years is so small that it's not worth counting.

    The country passed the point of no return on deficits over thirty years ago.

    You're entitled to your own opinion, old boy, but you really need to stop thinking you're entitled to your own facts.

  • ||

    And for what it's worth, Chad, libertarian's have been advising against both public and private spending beyond means for-well-ever.

    I wonder who you have us confused with.

    Nobody is defending the Bush record here. Many criticize the Reagan record.

    But to the likes of you, who maintains a simplistic (even childish) either/or view, every criticism of your Messiah must be Republican partisan ship.

  • ||

    Well, I don't know if I would agree that the country passed the point of no return 30 years ago, although that's really when we started down it in earnest.

    IMO, no return was probably when Bush took the Clinton/Gingrich surpluses and turned them into record deficiets (not even counting the prescrition drug benefit).

    Anyway, if anyone really is interested, I highly suggest checking out that book I mentioned earlier. It's very information.

    That's it for me

    Thanks,

  • Chad||

    Isaac Bartram | September 2, 2009, 6:48pm | #
    Chad, where would anybody even begin?

    You really act like deficit spending only began twenty years ago. The number of budget surpluses or budgets near balance in the last sixty years is so small that it's not worth counting.


    Deficits were small until when? The early 80s. What happened then? Big tax cuts and big spending, mostly on the military. Since then, "mandatory" FICA spending has also ballooned, and idiot Republicans keep cutting taxes without even suggesting spending cuts that could offset them. This is, in fact, because there are no even remotely plausible cuts that COULD balance the budget. We are simply going to have to raise federal taxes from ~19% of GDP to something more like 25%.

  • Chad||

    Isaac Bartram | September 2, 2009, 6:53pm | #
    And for what it's worth, Chad, libertarian's have been advising against both public and private spending beyond means for-well-ever.


    The problem with libertarians is that they suggest no even remotely politically viable strategy to do such. We aren't going to eliminate the entire military, all of Social Security, or all government health spending. That is about what it would take to balance the budget going forward.

    If you talk about any other programs in this context, you simply don't know what you are talking about. Everything else combined isn'
    t enough.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "As Kroneborge noted, the coal reserves have been repeatedly down-graded. The quality is also dropping quickly."

    You are no more authority on the matter than he is.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "If scientists tell you to stop, and you keep going, you are an idiot."

    There isn't any scientist alive on the planet capable of proving he or she is an expert on the matter.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "As mentioned earlier, I think the best way to do it is replace taxes on labor with taxes on carbon. Thus you get more labor, less carbon, and then let the market work to create the new solutions"

    The best thing for the government to do is to have no tax on labor (or any other form of income)or consumption or carbon (since there is no ACTUAL proof that we have any need to reduce carbon in the first place). What the government should do is charge out it's services on a user fee basis and eliminate every activity that is merely a transfer payment and not an actual service - like welfare, food stamps, SCHIP prgram, Medicare, etc.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    Sorry GM, but the peak oil arguments allow for finding of new fields. It just says that we aren't going to find enough to replace what's getting burned.


    Then we will burn less oil eventually as the price rises.

    People are already experimenting with waste grease to power engines.


    I think if you are looking at a 40-80 year time frame, then we better be thinking long and hard about what's going to replace it.


    So what ideas do you have?

    Also, the incentive for building a sustainable society are really not that in the short run (although the market is sending signals like higher prices for resources). But right now the rules of the game are setup to encourage max resource use for short term profit, not long term sustainability, for example fishing, or oil use.


    So how is it that we never run out of cows or chickens? Why has it not occurred to anyone to kill every cow on Earth to maximize beef production?

    Nobody owns the ocean, that might provide a clue.



    I think just as we need to live without our means financially, we need to live within the earth's means ecologically.


    In some sectors we are.

    We do not seem to be running out of cattle.

  • ||

    Chad, just so you know, in 1980 the Libertarian Party proposed phasing out our participation in NATO (a huge subsidy to Western Europe and Canada that almost everyone recognizes has enabled the Europeans and Canadians to concentrate money on social spending) and the defense of Japan and South Korea. These cuts would have cut the defense budget by 70% and yet still have provided a credible defense of the US against any Soviet block threat. All of these countries were quite rich enough then to shoulder the burden of their own defense.

    Instead our government continued to shower subsidies not only on these "welfare queens" but on our own home-grown ones both corporate and personal. Including the Military-Industrial Complex. All with the full bipartisan cooperation of the two wings of the single Party of the one-party American Nation (ie the Democratic and Republican wings).

    On top of that the another faction in the LP drove the 1980 presidential clique out of the party because the incremental policy of phasing in reforms was not satisfactory. They wanted their change now.

    Is it too late now? Probably. It will take a huge adjustment, with huge liquidations of bad investment positions and numerous massive bankruptcies.

    I'm old so I probably won't have to go through them. But a lot of people are going to pay, even though most won't deserve to.

    My only regret is that I won't get to see all the Global Warming assholes running around denying that they ever made all the doomsday predictions they made, even though everyone will be able to see them doing it on YouTube.

    Yes, Chad, most things that libertarians propose aren't politically palatable. But then most things that are politically palatable aren't realistic (or sustainable, as the kewl kids say). Since most things that are politically palatable involve a whole lot of people getting a whole lot of things for nothing.

    So, yes, Chad, as long as everyone is as childish and ignorant as you, we're fucked.

  • Chad||

    Isaac Bartram | September 3, 2009, 12:50am | #
    Chad, just so you know, in 1980 the Libertarian Party proposed phasing out our participation in NATO ....(These cuts would have cut the defense budget by 70%...


    I asked for politically viable strategies, of which the Libertarian party has none. Try again. Please note that we tried cutting the military in order to help balance the budget in the nineties. It worked...until 2001, where we got attacked and probably ended up spending three times what we saved as a result.

  • Chad||

    Michael Ejercito | September 2, 2009, 10:38pm | #

    People are already experimenting with waste grease to power engines.

    And how much "waste grease" is there? Enough to power Los Angeles for a day, perhaps?

    So how is it that we never run out of cows or chickens? Why has it not occurred to anyone to kill every cow on Earth to maximize beef production?

    But we are mining topsoil and groundwater to feed them....as fast as we can.

    We do not seem to be running out of cattle.

    We ARE running out of what we feed them with: topsoil, groundwater, natural gas, and oil. In the meantime, the system for raising them is un-sustainably polluting both the oceans and the atmosphere.

    If this is your idea of something the market is getting right, you have only proven how god-awful the free-market is.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Well, Chad, not to fret... Obama's working overtime to shove the broom handle in your hated enemy free-market as we speak. Won't be long now.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    "I'm not advocating anything other than what every industrialized country on earth already has: a mixed economy. Just depends on the mix."

    It's too "mixed" now, weighed down too heavily on the socialist side. Adding more to that will leave us truly reamed, but keep advocating it by all means. Soon, we can all be equally forlorn... except for the ruling class. Don't think for a minute that the Obamas will have to go on food stamps or pay eight bucks for limo fuel.

  • ||

    The environmental movement was started by eugenicists.

    Prince Philip (President Emeritus of the World Wildlife Fund):

    "In the event that I am reincarnated, I would like to return as a deadly virus, in order to contribute something to solve overpopulation."

    Julian Huxley (founder of UNESCO and co-founder of World Wildlife Fund):

    "Thus, even though it is quite true that any radical eugenics policy of controlled human breeding will be for many years politically and psychologically impossible, it will be important for UNESCO to see that the eugenic problem is examined with the greatest care..."

    -- Julian Huxley, "UNESCO: Its Purpose and Its Philosophy", 1947

    Their concern is not saving coastal indigenous people or any other people. Their concern is population reduction, specifically, population reduction in developing countries.

    If the scientific evidence for global warming was so compelling, why would conferences featuring primarily non-climatological scientists be necessary:

    http://www.greattransformation.eu/index.php/component/content/article/31

    Description of one the sessions:

    "Technological innovation and political regulation can only be effective if "the people" participate in their various roles as polluters, producers, citizens and voters. Democratic regimes are not well prepared for the level of participation that is required: Can free democratic societies cope with the effects of grave changes in the global climate, or might authoritarian regimes possibly be better placed to enforce the necessary measures?"

    If that doesn't scare you, then you've probably got a Chairman Mao poster on your wall.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    We ARE running out of what we feed them with: topsoil, groundwater, natural gas, and oil. In the meantime, the system for raising them is un-sustainably polluting both the oceans and the atmosphere.


    Cows eat crude oil?

    By the way, who owns the topsoil which is used to grow the grass that cows feed on?

    And how much "waste grease" is there? Enough to power Los Angeles for a day, perhaps?


    I do not know.

    It does not matter anyway. People will use as much energy as they can afford. If energy becomes scarce, prices will go up and people will use less energy so that demand matches supply.

  • Chad||

    Michael Ejercito | September 3, 2009, 12:13pm | #

    By the way, who owns the topsoil which is used to grow the grass that cows feed on?


    Learn about feedlots, and get back to me. Clearly you do not understand the cattle industry one whit. You have probably never tasted real grass-fed beef in your life.


    It does not matter anyway. People will use as much energy as they can afford. If energy becomes scarce, prices will go up and people will use less energy so that demand matches supply.

    Yes, it will. And that will suck. A lot. We should be preparing for it now.

  • abercrombie milano||

    My only point is that if you take the Bible straight, as I'm sure many of Reasons readers do, you will see a lot of the Old Testament stuff as absolutely insane

  • nike shox||

    is good

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