Carbon Offsets Are for Amateurs

Carbon offsets are becoming an increasingly popular way for famous people to avoid having "Environmentalist is Really Private Plane Flying Hypocrite" stories written about them. Average Joes who love their SUVs but fret about global warming buy credits with companies that do things to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions, like plant trees.

At Wired, Lore Sjöberg proposes other applications for the offset concept. My favorite:

Jerk Offsets: You know what's stressful? Being nice. Studies show that every time you choose not to yell at a waitress for bringing you water with ice when you asked for water without ice, it takes six months off your lifespan. If only there was some way to berate and abuse everyone around you and still be considered a nice guy ... well, you see where we're going with this.

Fork over the bills and we'll go out and perform random acts of market-driven kindness. Then the next time a pedestrian tries to cross the street right in front of your Beemer, you can yell at them, make up new sex acts for them to try out on pets and family members, throw your half-empty Starbucks cup right at their head, and then explain that you've fully offset your antisocial acts and, in the big picture, you've basically just bought them an ice cream cone and knitted them a hat.

They'll thank you, unless they've bought jerk offsets as well, in which case they don't need to thank you.

Read more about markets in carbon and other offsets here.

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  • ||

    What about this idea: Product Offsets.

    Here's how it works - I go to a store and take something, but offset this by paying the store money equal to the value of the product.

    An amazing idea!

  • ||

    How about Cold-Hearted Bastard offsets? When you don't think the government should provide welfare services, you can just give the money you'd otherwise pay in higher taxes to a private entity which will then provide those services!

    Once you do that, no one can accuse you of hating the children/elderly/poor/sick/dark-skinned just because you're a libertarian!

    Oh, wait, you already do that? And they still call you a -- what, now?

    I guess that offset thing doesn't always work as touted.

  • Passim||

    Shelby

    Point?

  • ||

    It is true that Libertarians who use public schools, roads, parks, libraries, etc. should consider paying the full price of their use in the form of offsets.

    Otherwise you might have "Libertarian is Really Public Facility Using Hypocrite" stories written about you.

  • ||

    Well, depending on how much income you make, you are paying the full price for your usage. I think the average middle class family pays like a $1.50 for every buck they get from the government, at least according to a recent study I saw somewhere. The poor get like $8.50, and the top 10-20% get about $.41 on average.

  • ||

    If only there was a system set up to offset human guilt. Any system designed to mitigate guilt for a modest monthly fee would take the world by storm for thousands of years.

    Never gonna happen though.

    Gotta go, I'm off to church.

  • ||

    Original article: F-in hilarious. I love it.

    Shelby: ?

    Hooked: Nah, we'll just settle for vouchers.

  • Russell||

    The runner up in the Jerk Offset sweepstakes appears to be National Reviews inimitable Planet Gore blog--
    http://adamant.typepad.com/seitz/2007/04/raving_greens.html

  • ||

    I read the other day about animal cruelty offsets, where the consumer of animals raised in horrible conditions pays somebody to rub puppies' tummies or something, to counterbalance the fact that Wilbur the pig and Woodstock the chicken are subjected to endless torment before making it to the carnivore's dinner table.

  • ||

    It is true that Libertarians who use public schools, roads, parks, libraries, etc. should consider paying the full price of their use in the form of offsets.

    Nah, you can just pay us back for what we don't use. That's a nice offset.

  • highnumber||

    I read the other day about animal cruelty offsets...

    Single Issue Voter,
    You hear about that?

  • ||

    So if I buy carbon indulgences from Al Gore's company, does that mean that Al Gore is the Pope of the Church of Global Warming? Who will be Martin Luther and nail 99 theses to the UN door?

  • ||

    Point?
    Eh, I'm just feeling pissy. I support markets in things like carbon credits; I just don't think anyone will care if an individual's bought "offsets", which are worthless.

  • ||

    Wait a minute....Camille flew a fucking pair of shoes 2,000 miles? And then didn't wear them?

    What the hell? They don't sell shoes outside of merry ol'?

  • ||

    Since weirdo Hollywood-types have embraced carbon offsets, there must be something inherently terrible about them. No logical flaws there.

  • ||

    It is true that Libertarians who use public schools, roads, parks, libraries, etc. should consider paying the full price of their use in the form of offsets.

    What makes you think we haven't, in the form of taxes?

  • ||

    What makes you think we haven't, in the form of taxes?

    Because the tax you pay only covers a fraction of the benefits you recieve.

  • highnumber||

    Because the tax you pay only covers a fraction of the benefits you recieve.

    Joke?

  • ||

    Joke?

    OK.

    Q: How many trolls does it take to offset your carbon footprint?

    A: One, but you have to cook him on a solar stove.

  • ||

    How about offsets to articles about offsets? I want to see more articles about scantily clad Indonesian Playmates and softcore jeremiads about D.C. subway riderettes.

  • VM||

    you know who you are.

    do you see what happens???

  • Seitz||

    Lore Sjoberg was one of the funniest Motherfuckers on the planet when he was writing the Brunching Shuttlecocks. What a tremendous way to waste a work day.

  • VM||

    "Because the tax you pay only covers a fraction of the benefits you recieve"

    two things.

    1) I before E except after mutherfucking C, asshole.

    2) you're #1 on the list (the one where Norbert chomps on your taint)

    that is all.

  • Paul||

    I would like to point out that often times what the Al Gores of the world are buying are potential carbon offsets. This is not to suggest that they're invalidate altogether, but often times they are investments in companies which plan to build or are building some so-called alternative energy facility.

  • Paul||

    Ahem *invalid* altogether.

  • ||

    Hooked on Innuendo,

    You mean the benefits we "recieve" (sic) from the wars in Iraq, on Drugs, and against Fat?

    The Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid that I will not use? The subsidies to the corn farmers for food that I do not prefer? The public schools that I did not, and will not use? The publicly funded art show that I did not attend? The taxpayer supported stadiums that I do not go to?

    I know you're answer. "If. Only. My. Guy. Was. Elected, we wouldn't be in Iraq, Afghan, blah blah blah - We would only spend money on what you really need. Honest."

    Hate to break it to you, slim. No one around here wants to pay for anything we don't use, no matter who's in charge.

  • ||

    I propose that we stop the trolling and turn this into a thread about how awesome Lore Sjoberg is and how much we all miss the Brunching Shuttlecocks.

    Well, I do, at least. It was awesome.

  • ||

    Paul,

    Wouldn't those be the most valid kind?

    That money is actually going to subsidize clean energy, thereby replacing or pre-empting power plants that would otherwise put more CO2 into the air. It's actually changing the market for energy as a way of addressing the problem.

  • Mike Laursen||

    Hate to break it to you, slim. No one around here wants to pay for anything we don't use, no matter who's in charge.

    Please speak for yourself. This libertarian would be happy if he could just beat back his taxes to, oh say, 20% of his income. I don't care if some of it goes to stuff I don't personally use; in fact, I like public libraries, even if I don't go to them that often.

  • Mike Laursen||

    Because the tax you pay only covers a fraction of the benefits you recieve.

    As for you, Mr. Innuendo, I'm not sure what you're talking about. Are you referring to the government services that aren't paid for by taxes being paid for by inflation and debt?

  • ||

    Because the tax you pay only covers a fraction of the benefits you recieve.

    You're make some rather large assumptions about (a) how much I pay in taxes and (b) what I receive in benefits.

    That money is actually going to subsidize clean energy, thereby replacing or pre-empting power plants that would otherwise put more CO2 into the air.

    As long as we are counting second and third order speculative benefits as carbon offsets, wouldn't the way to really run up your tab be to lobby for removal of restrictions on nuclear power?

  • ||

    I *love* the idea of offsets. A nice market solution for the guilty. Really, what's not to like? The problem, if there has got to be one, is the "let them eat cake" mentality of the limousine liberal douchebags sating their own guilt with their throw away money. If they really gave a damn they would be changing their footprint and buying offsets for the less fortunate. But honestly, I'm fine with enterprising folks selling stuff other folks want; carbon offsets, pixy dust, whatever.

    Innuendo-

    What makes you think anyone here uses more in public resources than they fund in taxes? Someone has to pay more than they use if others use more than they pay. That someone is me. So, while your broke ass is driving, or sending some post, or downing that malt liquor you traded this months stamps for, think of me. It's that 40% of my taxes I don't get back in public resources that is supporting your lazy trolling ass. Dick.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "It is true that Libertarians who use public schools, roads, parks, libraries, etc. should consider paying the full price of their use in the form of offsets."

    I expect a great many of them already pay far more than that. The top 50% of income earners pay 96% of federal income taxes. They sure aren't getting 96% of federal government services. Furthermore, a lot of what they are financing are not actual services at all but merely transfer payments of one sort or another to subsidize the existence of somebody else - quite of few of whom are in that bottom 50% who only contribute 4% of income taxes to the federal pot.

  • ||

    joe -- If I'm buying carbon offsets right now to assuage the guilt of participating in a 21st century economy, and the offsets company gets around to using my offsets money to build a green power plant, and then I purchase power from this plant, aren't I double-counting some of my guilt relief?

    I really want my guilt ledger to be in balance, and this is getting complicated. I'm going now to make a carbon deposit with the local wastewater treatment facility.

  • ||

    Are carbon offset valid if ExxonMobile plows some of their record profits into them and continues with business as usual? I'd think that would make everyone happy.

  • Paul||

    Wouldn't those be the most valid kind?

    That money is actually going to subsidize clean energy,

    Frankly, I'm not sure. It's a complex issue, I merely wanted to point out the reality of what specifically are usually being purchased. It has been my impression-- especially with the short shrift given to 'carbon offset discosures'-- that "I paid x dollars, therefore there was x less carbon dioxide emitted into the world".

    Investments are bets. Therefore, the carbon offset is a bet as well.

    I'm well aware that say, a $5,000 investment into an alternative energy company could offset far more CO2 into the atmosphere than was paid for. Ie, if the plant gets built, your $5000 investment paid for some portion of carbon offsets for 20 years into the future. A real bargain. Or, in investment language, a huge rate of return. On the other hand, your $5000 investment may contribute to more carbon into the atmosphere if say, the new technology doesn't pan out or worse, the project never gets off the ground.

  • ||

    B.P. Offsets cannot be sold twice like that. Any organization specializing in the sale of carbon offsets validates such things very carefully. A windfarm or solar farm cannot both sell offsets AND then sell the electricity as green energy.

    Btw, I buy both offsets (www.terrapass.com) and 100% renewable electricity from my local provideer. It costs me less than $100/year to more than offset or negate all the carbon emissions from my driving, personal flying, and household electricity.

    What is everyone whining about? That's a very small price to pay in order to do my part to mitigate the like harm of global warming, as well as reduce the chances that it could run away in an out of control manner. It's darn cheap insurance if you ask me. It is actually unfathomable to me that so many of you are literally willing to risk an environmental apocalypse for a couple hundred bucks a year. The odds of such an event are small, but I would estimate them at a similar chance as your house burning down next year. How much do you spend insuring that?

  • ||

    B.P.,

    "joe -- If I'm buying carbon offsets right now to assuage the guilt of participating in a 21st century economy, and the offsets company gets around to using my offsets money to build a green power plant, and then I purchase power from this plant, aren't I double-counting some of my guilt relief?"

    No, your future energy purchases are just an ordinary cost, that you'd be paying anyway, regardless of where the power came from.

    R C,

    "As long as we are counting second and third order speculative benefits as carbon offsets..." Subsidizing businesses that operate at a competitive disadvantage is "second or third order?" "Speculative?" Good to see how seriously the "if you think it's a good idea to do X, convince your friends and change the market" argument is actually taken by the people who make it.

  • jkii||

    Btw, I buy both offsets (www.terrapass.com) and 100% renewable electricity from my local provideer. It costs me less than $100/year to more than offset or negate all the carbon emissions from my driving, personal flying, and household electricity.

    Using solar or wind for your electrical power does not reduce or remove the amount CO2 released by your automobile by a single molecule. But if you feel good about this anyway, that's all that matters.

  • jkii||

    "100% renewable electricity"

    BTW, chad, this would violate the 2nd law of thermodynamics. If you disagree, take this matter up with God.

  • ||

    tw, I buy both offsets (www.terrapass.com) and 100% renewable electricity from my local provideer. It costs me less than $100/year to more than offset or negate all the carbon emissions from my driving, personal flying, and household electricity.

    Good heavens, you can do what I did then.

    You can buy a go-cart that is powered by your own sense of self-satisfaction.

  • ||

    "It is true that Libertarians who use public schools, roads, parks, libraries, etc. should consider paying the full price of their use in the form of offsets."


    You mean they aren't? Care to place here the economic analysis?

    Start here:

  • ||

    I want to know how these "carbon credits" companies manage to meet Sarbanes-Oxley accounting requirements.

  • ||

    "That money is actually going to subsidize clean energy, thereby replacing or pre-empting power plants that would otherwise put more CO2 into the air."

    You mean the money will subsidize nuclear energy?

    BTW, the subsidies will not pre-empt anything. Reason is, if a subsidy was really successful in its intended goal, the government would later cease to give it. Since the incentive exists to keep receiving the subsidy, it follows the recipients of such subsidy will do everything possible to keep receiving it, which would translate into not implementing an efficient (profitable) system: "W're tellin' ya, w're almost there! We just need mo' money to finish! Honest!!"

  • ||

    "What is everyone whining about? That's a very small price to pay in order to do my part to mitigate the like harm of global warming, as well as reduce the chances that it could run away in an out of control manner. It's darn cheap insurance if you ask me."

    Actually, if warming is actually a naturally occuring phenomenon (which most likely is), then it becomes expensive insurance, or the kind the terminally naive would buy.

  • ||

    "Reason is, if a subsidy was really successful in its intended goal, the government would later cease to give it."

    These 'subsidies' aren't necessarily handled through the government. Carbon Offsets in the U.S. are handled by the Chicago Climate Exchange.
    http://www.chicagoclimatex.com/

    If one is using only non-fossil energy, then buying Carbon Offsets is superfluous.

  • ||

    p.s.

    The problem you describe is a valid one when applied to a 'carbon tax'. If a 'Carbon Tax' brought in lots of money, politicians would ultimately seek to to keep CO2 burning so they could continue to have revenue

    If it were up to me, I would not use a 'carbon tax', but an 'Inverse Efficiency tax'. That is tax inneficient goods and services for being so, and use the money to subsidise efficient goods and services (ala EnergyStar). There will always be something less efficient than something else; and this also addresses part of the problem (energy intensity of wealth) of CO2 related climate change (carbon intensity of energy)

  • ||

    Hmmm. How do we know that the upper income earners of society don't get back their payments in taxes in the form of sufficient public services? How about all that nice military hardware protecting them (and if they've invested in Raytheon, providing good dividends back)? After all, they have More Stuff, so the Defense of the U.S. is in fact protecting them more than it does for poorer people.

    The more you have, the more you have to depend on the public infrastructure to protect you. Law courts, patent rights, SEC.....

    Damn. Obviously we're not taxing them enough for all the wonderful services we provide!

  • ||

    Francisco:

    "Actually, if warming is actually a naturally occuring phenomenon (which most likely is)"

    Citation please. Virtually all scientists say you are wrong.


    www.nature.org
    www.science.org
    www.ipcc.ch
    www.realclimate.org

    Yeah. I am sure it is all just a conspiracy among the world's leading scientific publications. Yeah. Uh huh.

  • ||

    Those who demand that libertarians pay the full freight for government "benefits" that we consume are assuming a conclusion. Let's take publik skools, for instance. State and local govts. set tax rates so high that the average family can't afford private school tuition, or parents taking time away from earning money in order to teach their kids at home. Meanwhile, they passed mandatory attendance laws that not too long ago practically forbade home teaching. So the local state edumacashun stalag is Hobson's Choice for most families. Forgive me if I don't consider that particular gubmint product a "benefit." I haven't even touched on the unintended consequences. Private school tuition isn't tax deductible, but local property tax is, so families who want a better school often get it by moving house to a "better school district." Prices on prime suburban real estate are bid up, while family homes in the cities lose value.

    If you happen to be a childless graduate of private schools, this project isn't doing much for you. They tell me that I should be grateful for the skilled workforce turned out by American state education, a thought that never goes through my head when the subliterate working the cash register at Krusty Burger gets confused making my change. I'm also supposed to be glad that they've had mandatory D.A.R.E. classes, been enviro-brainwashed or subjected to other forms of political manipulation. All in all, I'd have to consider government spending on schooling to be an active harm to me.

    As for anthroprogenic global warming, just once I'd like to get a straight answer to the question: How much of the observed or predicted increase in global temperatures is due to man-made effects? 75%? Half? A quarter? trace amounts? Whenever I bring that up it's either crickets or Look! It's Halley's Comet!

    Kevin

    If someone asked me about "jerkoff sets" I'd think they were talking about a home theatre maximized for watching teh pr0n. Reminds me of that old joke that ends.... but I don't even own a pornograph!

  • ||

    "As for anthroprogenic global warming, just once I'd like to get a straight answer to the question: How much of the observed or predicted increase in global temperatures is due to man-made effects? 75%? Half? A quarter? trace amounts? Whenever I bring that up it's either crickets or Look! It's Halley's Comet!

    Kevin,
    how about:
    LOOK! It's Page Four of the 2007 FAR SPM!
    http://www.ipcc.ch/SPM2feb07.pdf

    Or approximately/ballparkly, the increasing change in Anthropogenic Forcing is ten times the increasing changes in Natural Forcing.

  • ||

    Jesus, I know, don't feed the trolls....

    How do we know that the upper income earners of society don't get back their payments in taxes in the form of sufficient public services?

    You can start here.

    Not that you really give a shit, but (in 2004) the bottom quint received $4.03 and $14.76 in government spending for every $1 paid in State/Local and Federal taxes respectively. The top quint; ¢61 and ¢32, same.

  • Mike Laursen||

    Sam-hec, I agree about a carbon tax. Within ten years, you'd see politicians on TV arguing that we have to live with some global warming because we can't afford cuts to vital government programs.

    How would "inverse efficiency" be calculated?

  • ||

    Sam-hec: I was looking for a summary that a layperson could negotiate. I've got no expertise that would allow me to critique the forcing of watts per square meter. Do you mean to say that for every additional degree of warming, 10/11ths are due to human action? If so, say so.

    The way the footnote blew off such natural effects as volcanic eruptions, and no mention was made of solar variability, makes me suspicious of that work product. I'm sorry, but anthropogenic climate change has just seemed like the explanation that those in search of a justification for their preferred solution for evrything - greater government control - latched onto after the fall of the Soviet Empire debunked centrally planned economies. That that gaggle of kakistocrats we call the UN is so enthusiastic for it is another strike against it. I'm not a scientist. I have to trust scientists to get the science right. But so much of Big Resesearch is a tool of governments that I'm left with almost nobody to trust. It doesn't help things that radical advocates are suggesting that those who hold to the minority view should be treated like Holocaust deniers.

    Kevin

  • ||

    "I was looking for a summary that a layperson could negotiate. I've got no expertise that would allow me to critique the forcing of watts per square meter. Do you mean to say that for every additional degree of warming, 10/11ths are due to human action? If so, say so."

    The SPM is about as 'lay person' as one can get right now and still be current.

    And yes, 10/11ths of every Watt/M^2 of Forcing has been due to human activities.

    Degrees of warming are murkier as there are delays in the climate which hide forcing.

    It is more important to discuss W/M^2 of forcing than 'degrees of temperature' because it is through the forcings we commit to some global aveage temperature.

    The report can blow off solar variability and volcanoes because of the time frame it ecnompases. These would be forcings smooth out from their ups and downs, only their trends are relevant. Volcanoes are not on a rising trend, and the Suns activity, as an increasing trend ceased to rise mid century.

    Notions of natural variability are tossed up by contrarians to confuse the unwary.

  • ||

    Natural variability ain't no freaking NOTION, it is the history of earth. Its funny to hear the scientists grasping for explanations on why mars' temperature went up 1 degree, without being allowed to mention the possibility of a warmer sun.

  • ||

    "Its funny to hear the scientists grasping for explanations on why mars' temperature went up 1 degree, without being allowed to mention the possibility of a warmer sun."

    Scientists are allowed to ask such a question; but is's not worth pursueing, because (based on observations of the sun itself) there is no evidence that it is happening. Enegy from the Sun has be static at around 1366 W/M^2 for the past 40ish years.
    http://www.mps.mpg.de/images/projekte/sun-climate/climate.gif

    What's really happening on mars?
    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v446/n7136/abs/nature05718.html
    (for the lazy: Albedo changes due to dust storms)

  • ||

    I thought weather was the result of global warming not the cause. Extra windy days on Mars and the temp rises? Wasn't the horrible hurrican season presented as proof of global warming? Now its the hurricanes causing the warming on earth, I guess. Many a Pentacostal would envy the devotion and the lighting rebound argument skills of a global-warming disciple.

  • ||

    I live in Alaska. I'm ready for some "global warming". I'm sure my brothers and sisters who live east of the Continental Divide feel the same way right now.
    Maybe if THE Goracle were to spend some time in, say, Argentina.....

  • fnlckt||

    Just read the www.junkscience.com for global warming critiques.....

  • ||

    RTFA Vince.

  • ||

    critiques? critiques? there are none that are valid. nature.com said so, nature.friggin com, it's got nature in the name, whereas your site has junk in the name, so I'm going with nature. critiques hah, all scientists at scientists.com say no scientists disagree. any critiques are just a conspiracy.

  • spacemonkey||

    Apparently the debate on GW hypocrisy is not over.

  • ||

    "Average Joes who love their SUVs but fret about global warming buy credits with companies that do things to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions, like plant trees."

    I have read in news articles and editorials where some claim that global warming is bringing life as we know to "a point of no return" and "10-15 years from a tipping point."

    If we are that close to "the end" following 150+ years of industrialization, then we need more than carbon offsets/carbon neutral conditions today. It would seem we need radical changes in behavior now.

    Or perhaps all of this tipping point/the sky is falling hype is just plain and simple media hype.

  • kcom||

    "Virtually all scientists say you are wrong."

    Perhaps a better way to phrase that is to say "virtually all scientists who I am willing to listen to say you are wrong." because that's a greater reflection of the truth. There are hundreds of scientists who disagree in whole or in part with the whole AGW hypothesis. You conveniently ignore them because, well, it's convenient to your cause to do so. Or you try to pretend that their PhDs, years of experience, and long record of professional accomplishments are meaningless. (Yet, you cite the same factors as meaning everything for the scientists who you agree with.) Or worse yet, when all else fails, you try to smear their reputations with talk of oil companies, etc. If you'd actually look around you'd see anybody who uses the words "virtually all" in the context you have used it is being highly irresponsible and disingenuous.

    And, of course, the above doesn't even begin to address the fact that a group of people believing in something serves as no sort of proof that it's actually true. It might be true or it might not, but a consensus (if it exists) in and of itself is meaningless. The whole history of scientific advancement is the history of consensuses being shattered by better evidence or better theories. Do we really need to list all the consensuses, even from the last hundred years, that have proven not quite as inviolable as large numbers of even highly trained people once thought they were?

    Those of us who are skeptics of AGW theories refuse to check our intellects at the door and just go with the flow, even if that might seem the easier course. We've seen the history of scientific development and its pitfalls, some of us have backgrounds in science and can follow the technical arguments to one degree or another, we've seen political fads of all stripes come and go and lead to all kinds of hysteria at different points in history and the fact of the matter is we are not yet convinced, on many levels, that there is any "there" there. In my opinion, it's an interesting theory with a grain of truth at the center but so far from being proven incontrovertibly true as to be laughable. Anyone who claims that they can predict the climate 100 years from now as surely as they can predict the effects of gravity based on our current understanding of climate variables and the complex systems involved is not to be taken seriously, in my book. It amazes me that some people (hopefully not you) would put AGW on par with gravity (or the second law of thermodynamics) in confidence level, as I have seen mentioned. That's the sort of thing that sends the BS detectors of us AGW skeptics soaring through the roof and makes us question all the rest of it.

  • kcom||

    "What is everyone whining about?"

    We're not whining, we're laughing. If you want to throw away your money, more power to you. But don't expect me to go along for the ride.

    "It's darn cheap insurance if you ask me. It is actually unfathomable to me that so many of you are literally willing to risk an environmental apocalypse for a couple hundred bucks a year."

    Which makes me wonder at the obvious disconnect inherent in your statement. Somehow global warming is a terrible problem that is going to destroy the world but all it will take to fix it is a couple hundred bucks a year. It sounds like naivete at best. Either it's not that big a problem or your couple hundred bucks a year is just a feel good solution that someone is happy to offer you to relieve you of your money.

    "The odds of such an event are small, but I would estimate them at a similar chance as your house burning down next year. How much do you spend insuring that?"

    Where did you pull that estimate from? I would estimate it has a similar chance as a new ice age descending on us and sending glaciers to re-cover Chicago.

  • ||

    There is more to the Sun than just the watts from solar irradiance. There is a coronal magnetic field, which affects cosmic ray impacts on the Earth. And that *has* been changing.

    Speaking of Nature, see http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v399/n6735/abs/399437a0.html

    The strength of the Sun's coronal magnetic field have gone up by a factor of 1.4 from 1964 to 1999. It went up by a factor of 2.3 from 1901 to 1999. That's more than double in strength. That sounds a lot larger than "constant", wouldn't you say? This large increase corresponds with the infamous "hockey stick" that has the enviro's twitching and thrashing.

    I recall hearing elsewhere (don't have a cite handy) that this level of magnetic activity is the highest it's been in 800-1000 years.

    There is intriguing peer-reviewed research published now that details mechanisms for explaining how changes in galactic cosmic rays can lead to modulations in Earth's climate.

    See http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1468-4004.2007.48118.x

    So please put the tired "the Sun has been constant for ~40 years" argument to bed, okay? It doesn't hold water.

  • JaimeRoberto||

    Every time I eat chili or a burrito I feel like I should purchase some methane offsets.

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