Congressional Democrats Unveil Energy Rationing, Uh, I Mean, Climate Change Bill

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According to the Associated Press:

Democratic lawmakers on Tuesday unveiled a plan to tackle climate change by cutting greenhouse gases by one-fifth over the next decade, a faster clip than urged by President Barack Obama.

The proposal, seen as the first step toward Congress enacting climate legislation this year, was crafted to attract broader support among centrist Democrats. The plan includes measures to spur energy efficiency and to support technology to capture carbon dioxide, the leading greenhouse gas, from coal burning power plants.

The 600-page "discussion draft" will be the basis for climate debates in the coming weeks as the House Energy and Commerce Committee works to craft a bill by mid-May.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., called the draft "a strong starting point" and has told colleagues that she would like to get a climate bill passed before Congress departs for its summer recess in August.

The bill ducks one of the central questions–just how will the emissions permits get divvied up? Creating a cap-and-trade carbon rationing scheme will necessarily become a carnival of rent-seeking. Industry wants the permits given away for free as they were in the European Trading Scheme. Why? As a 2007 Congressional Budget Office report noted

A common misconception is that freely distributing emission allowances to producers would prevent consumer prices from rising as a result of the cap. Although producers would not bear out-of-pocket costs for allowances they were given, using those allowances would create an "opportunity cost" for them because it would mean forgoing the income that they could earn by selling the allowances. Producers would pass that opportunity cost on to their customers in the same way that they would pass along actual expenses. That result was borne out in the cap-and-trade programs for sulfur dioxide in the United States and for CO2 in Europe, where consumer prices rose even though producers were given allowances for free.

Thus, giving away allowances could yield windfall profits for the producers that received them by effectively transferring income from consumers to firms' owners and shareholders. The study of the hypothetical 23 percent cut in CO2 emissions concluded, for example, that if all of the allowances were distributed for free to producers in the oil, natural gas, and coal sectors, stock values would double for oil and gas producers and increase more than sevenfold for coal producers, compared with projected values in the absence of a cap.

Doubling and septupling stock values is of interest to industry. And so in fact, the rent-seeking is already well begun. The Center for Public Integrity released a report last month that found:

A Center for Public Integrity analysis of Senate lobbying disclosure forms shows that more than 770 companies and interest groups hired an estimated 2,340 lobbyists to influence federal policy on climate change in the past year, as the issue gathered momentum and came to a vote on Capitol Hill. That's an increase of more than 300 percent in the number of lobbyists on climate change in just five years, and means that Washington can now boast more than four climate lobbyists for every member of Congress.

Carbon rationing may be necessary to reduce the effects of man-made global warming, but it will definitely result in higher energy prices to consumers. Oddly, the AP reports:

The Democrats also sought to blunt some of the costs of the program to consumers by requiring tougher energy efficiency standards from appliances, buildings and cars and by requiring utilities to make at least 25 percent of their electricity from solar, wind and other renewable energy sources.

Blunt some of the costs? By making appliances, buildings and cars more expensive? By requiring utilities to supply electricity from higher cost renewable energy sources? Go figure.

Whole AP report here

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  1. Any lingering notion that Congress has gone collectively insane should be quickly dispelled by the above article.

    The Revolution won’t come soon enough, will it?

  2. “Carbon rationing may be necessary to reduce the effects of man-made global warming”

    Unilateral cap-n-trade subsidizes the growing economies of China and India at the expense of the US.

    Redistributing the wealth, alright. Overseas.

  3. Blunt some of the costs?

    Perhaps they left out the part where the Congressional Democrats also invented the technology to allow things to be more efficient for no extra cost.

    Yes, the “blunt some of the costs” shows a standard ignorance of economics and why hiding costs is so popular in government. Even if you think efficiency is a good idea, it’s silly to say that mandating it blunts costs. To be fair, it may in some cases blunt costs for the virtuous who were going to buy the more energy efficient devices anyway, by getting everyone else to help subsidize their distribution, R&D, etc. and making them more widely available.

  4. As if we don’t have enough problems caused by the government fixing problems, they have to create imaginary problems to fix also.

  5. Creating a cap-and-trade carbon rationing scheme will necessarily become a carnival of rent-seeking.

  6. No more of this Global Warming crap. The costs of proposed legislation are simply too high economically and socially. And for what? Science based on computer models?

    Global Warming Hoax Refuted
    http://www.notoriouslyconservative.com/2009/03/global-warming-hoax-refuted.html

  7. Thus, giving away allowances could yield windfall profits for the producers that received them by effectively transferring income from consumers to firms’ owners and shareholders. The study of the hypothetical 23 percent cut in CO2 emissions concluded, for example, that if all of the allowances were distributed for free to producers in the oil, natural gas, and coal sectors, stock values would double for oil and gas producers and increase more than sevenfold for coal producers, compared with projected values in the absence of a cap.

    1) Invest the social security surplus in stocks of the oil, nat gas and coal sectors
    2) Give away the allowances.
    3) Profit!

    (i’m only kinda kidding)

  8. I’ll try again.

    Creating a cap-and-trade carbon rationing scheme will necessarily become a carnival of rent-seeking.

    I used to think cap-and-trade was the better system; I still do, in a strictly perfect-world scenario.

    However, in the real world, I have come to prefer a carbon tax, because the cost is obvious.

    ps- Don’t these yammering cretins spend even one second thinking about the consequences of their actions?

  9. Blunt some of the costs? By making appliances, buildings and cars more expensive? By requiring utilities to supply electricity from higher cost renewable energy sources?

    Solar and wind power are free! Haven’t you heard?

  10. Unilateral cap-n-trade subsidizes the growing economies of China and India at the expense of the US..

    Dem response – We’ll fix that with “fair trade” legislation.

    You think I’m joking? This recession could last decades. Politicians are the most hubris filled and gullible people around. Damn this crap pisses me off.

  11. I used to think cap-and-trade was the better system; I still do, in a strictly perfect-world scenario.

    In a strictly perfect-world scenario, the only difference between the two is whether you think you can better estimate:

    1) The optimal overall level of pollution to emit (favors cap-and-trade), or
    2) The optimal marginal cost of the externalities of the pollution (favors a tax).

    If set identically, both worth identically. Cap-and-trade works to decrease pollution down to a set amount, no matter what the marginal cost of that last reduction is. (Ideally; in reality the limits are loosened as soon as they’d have an effect.) If the cap is set too high, then it does absolutely nothing to reduce even cheap pollution, though.

    A tax works to prevent all pollution that has a low marginal cost to prevent; this means that it won’t prevent any pollution that would be expensive to prevent, but will prevent all the cheap pollution.

    Cap-and-trade is, to my mind, only preferable even in an ideal world if you believe that we really can identify the exact “tipping point” of too much pollution.

  12. There are two fantasies in the legislation.

    1. That “carbon can be captured” from coal plants. This is science fiction, but could be done, and would double the cost of coal derived power. Add on top of that the cap and trade fees and costs.

    2. That “renewables” will creep from 1% to 25%. 25% is overly optimistic even with an entirely new grid. But there won’t be a new grid in ten years.

    Summary: This bill won’t reduce carbon, but will increase income to various thugs pushing the schemes, at great cost to end users. And it will hand the Far East another segment of our industrial base, by pricing it out of the competitive sphere here.

    Approach your Democratic congressman, and tell him if he’s for it, he’s out.

  13. Cap and trade made sense to me when I first heard about it (was that grade school or grad school?) but it is some of the biggest nonsense around (to me) now.

    On an issue like this, if you cannot control the whole world then you should not pick on your own citizens as a proxy to controlling the whole world.

  14. Solar and wind power are free! Haven’t you heard?

    And have absolutely no negative environmental effects.

  15. 1. That “carbon can be captured” from coal plants. This is science fiction, but could be done, and would double the cost of coal derived power. Add on top of that the cap and trade fees and costs.

    Is that how solar becomes economical? Nuclear too, when you get down to all costs.

    What is wrong with all of that natural gas we burn off every day?

  16. The seas haven’t risen and temperatures have been going down. We are all blinded by our short lifespans to the larger fluctuations of climate.

    Cap and trade could seriously undermine our economy at a moment where it just doesn’t need to take any more hits. Of course, the government has already taken the revenue into account during this insane and irresponsible spending spree, so good luck to anyone trying to talk them out of it.

  17. If only we could make politicians more efficient. Perhaps if we put a Cap-n-Trade on bullshit.

  18. Cap-and-trade is, to my mind, only preferable even in an ideal world if you believe that we really can identify the exact “tipping point” of too much pollution.

    My theoretical preference for cap-and-trade is based on the ability to balance (via the “trade”) differing marginal gains in efficiency from investment.

    If that makes sense.

    And, yes, there is a huge leap of faith represented by assuming the caps are set at anywhere near a “correct” level.

  19. Guess what- it’s snowing outside!

  20. Guess what- it’s snowing outside!

    Not here, unless the police made a coke bust.

  21. The seas haven’t risen and temperatures have been going down. We are all blinded by our short lifespans to the larger fluctuations of climate.

    Not all of us. Just an influential group of mountebanks and pseudo-scientists.

    Imagine a complex equation, for which we have only a few questionable variables identified. Now imagine that its conjectured solution drives policy and First World mores.

    One shining, rational day, “green” and “druid” will mean the same benighted thing.

  22. Why would they give the permits away for free?? How’s Barry gonna pay for Universal Health Care?? I thought that was the idea.

  23. Help me out, how does this make sense…
    Although producers would not bear out-of-pocket costs for allowances they were given, using those allowances would create an “opportunity cost” for them because it would mean forgoing the income that they could earn by selling the allowances. Producers would pass that opportunity cost on to their customers in the same way that they would pass along actual expenses. That result was borne out in the cap-and-trade programs for sulfur dioxide in the United States and for CO2 in Europe, where consumer prices rose even though producers were given allowances for free.

    How does rising opportunity cost increase consumer prices? Why would consumers pay more for energy after the producer has sold their permits? I’m very confused.

  24. more than 770 companies and interest groups hired an estimated 2,340 lobbyists to influence federal policy on climate change in the past year

    See! See! Obama’s already starting to create jarbs! Hope! Change!

  25. This country is going to launch a massive tax assessment on the citizenry and crippling limitations on the economy based on a #$#%%##$@#$ hoax!

    Oh, wait we already did that in November.

    There is no hope for this country, 230 years of democracy and progress down the toilet.

  26. kwo,

    An accounting friend told me about something similar way back in the day. Except it was for corporate tax credits, so it involved real money. Still not sure how this translates, but find a tax accountant over 50 and they might know how to explain it right.

  27. Cap and trade is a very aggressive abatement method that works well when dealing with actual pollutants. Due to cap, emissions are absolutely limited, thus expensive, but arguably the most desirable approach to mitigate the most toxic pollutants, but non-toxic CO2? The fourth most common gas in our atmosphere behind nitrogen, oxygen and water vapor?

    Where the global warmeningists blundered is not doing the math ahead of time. Even when granting every claim about the greenhouse effect of anthropogenic CO2, none of the schemes thus far concocted by those who would grab the reins of global industry reduce global CO2 levels enough to make a significant difference, even assuming the programs worked *flawlessly.* It would be like spending trillions of dollars to put all of the nuclear waste now being store onsite at our various nuclear facilities under a blue tarp. It’s absolutely senseless, by any measure.

  28. The proposal, seen as the first step toward Congress enacting climate legislation this year, was crafted to attract broader support among centrist Democrats. [sic]

    WHAT centrist Democrats?

  29. How can a price be set to remediate damages when no one has been damaged?

    In th words of the late Senator Dirkson, I would describe the alleged facts of global cooling as Diaphanous & Gosamer.

  30. I worked at PGE 7 years ago. One day some EPA jerk came around to give us a talk. He was the agencies greenhouse gas expert. He put up charts showing that 300 people had died in chicago during a heat wave that year versus only 150 the year before….OMG by 2050 there will be millions of americans dying in heatwaves. After arguing with him about the ridiculousness of ignoring the deaths avoided during flu season(I know ther are plenty of better angles of attack)…he went on to his big had sell….”how many of you have beach houses? do you realize that they could all be destroyed as the oceans rise over the next 20 years?”….what a asshole

  31. They can’t round-up 3-million illegal aliens or secure a real, live, actual-physical border – but they CAN tax unicorn farts and change the color of rainbows – and send us the bill for that effort. When does the revolution start?

  32. When does the revolution start?

    As noted in another thread, my cafe loitering friends lied to me. It is being televised now.

    Just not the one you or I want.

  33. And have absolutely no negative environmental effects.

    If that’s the case, why is Feinstein opposing solar energy facilities in the CA desert?

  34. What man-made climate change? The case is far from proven, and when the advocates are acting like James frickin’ Hansen, to hell with ’em.

  35. …but it will definitely result in higher energy prices to consumers.

    Why do they hate us?

  36. The global warming theory is a hoax designed to enact a world wide increase in taxes for free spending governments…Any argument as to how to mitigate the costs of this hoax is a waste of time…

  37. Ok nutty McNuts.

    Does anyone deny this pretty conservative statement: that a lot of scientists from a lot of different nations and organizations think that
    1. the climate is changing
    2. mankind has influenced this
    3. our production of carbon is a likely culprit
    4. and negative effects from this could occur

    Again, I’m not asking you whether these people are right, I’m asking do you deny that there are these people making these claims?

    OK, now imagine you 1. a policymaker and 2. are not someone with a strong attachment to a libertarian or conservative ideology. Now you see these people saying this. And you see some people denying it, but a lot of them have this attachment mentioned in #2. Who the f*ck would you believe?

  38. I wish the entire government would just go to hell. God, please…just let them go to the lowest level of hell, the one reserved for rapists, child abusers, animal abusers, and stupid politicians that are so ignorant it’s evil.

    Fuck, I need a drink and a big pill, and it’s only Tuesday.

  39. Another question.

    Assume for a minute that man made climate change is a fact and that it will have some of the dire consequences those who warn about it say it will have. Take a breath, hit your inhaler or whatever, and for the thought experiment, just assume it for a second.

    Wouldn’t some kind of regulation be morally warranted?

    Now, as to the assumption I asked you to make, read my previous post and you can see how policymakers are hardly treacherous or stupid to do that.

  40. I used to be opposed to cap and trade, but if it will give me investment opportunities for 7-baggers, I’m all for it.

  41. I don’t see much value in debating which is the better method to reduce CO2. Global Warming has nothing to do with reducing carbon or cooling the planet. It’s about Command and Control.

    The only power involved is the power they seek to run everyone’s lives according to their vision and superior wisdom. And they can only get that power if we give it to them.

    Personally, I’d rather not.

  42. “…a lot of scientists from a lot of different nations and organizations think that
    1. the climate is changing
    2. mankind has influenced this
    3. our production of carbon is a likely culprit
    4. and negative effects from this could occur”
    I’ll grant you that all these are true. I’ll even assume that cap and trade will work flawless to achieve the intended goal of reducing carbon out by 20%. I’ll even assume that we convince the Chinese and Indians to get on board and theire programs are similarly successful.

    All the computer models show that doing this won’t make any kind of signficant difference to the continued warming. Even with a 20% cut, the world will still be emitting a ton of carbon, and the carbon that’s already up there will stay there. So this will cost us a ton, with no benefit.

  43. Jeebbus folks. Turn off the paranoia amplifier. The anthropogenic climate change theory is not a hoax designed to increase state power.

    Statists are using it, like they use every other fucking issue, to increase governmental control of peoples lives. Can you imagine any of these supporters of cap and trade, carbon taxes, whatever, proposing a non-governmental solution to any-godddam-thing?

    People eat like pigs – impose a tax.
    People are rude – pass a law.
    The climate is changing – do both on an international scale.

    It won’t work. We know it won’t work. Hell, half of the bootlicking statists exploiting the issue know it won’t work. Remember, we’re talking about people with combined hubris and gullibility who honestly believe that all progress in the human condition come from the state. The ends justify the means, whether it’s sterilizing the mentally infirm, letting syphilis patients go untreated, exploiting bigotry to prohibit people from smoking a benign drug like reefer, or exagerrating the effects of climate change and ignoring that the solutions proposed won’t do shit except increase the size and scope of government.

    Nixon declared war on drugs 6 years after Johnson declared war on poverty. We have lost every fucking battle in both of these “wars” and reducing government power and involvement in response to those realities is un-fucking-thinkable.

    Do you think the war on climate change will be abandoned if the temperature starts falling?

    To sum up – The science is not part of a conspiracy. State lovers use any goddam issue to increase their sway over freedom lovers. It really is that simple.

    Sorry ’bout the lengthy post.

  44. Why do you people hate “science” and “progress”?

  45. At least they aren’t creationists!

  46. Imagine a complex equation, for which we have only a few questionable variables identified.

    The economy?

  47. Well, as long as no one gets a bonus, I’m in favor of the whole thing.

  48. Can you imagine any of these supporters of cap and trade, carbon taxes, whatever, proposing a non-governmental solution to any-godddam-thing?

    Such as what? Prayer?

    It won’t work.

    And it won’t work even more with massive lobbying efforts working against changing the status quo, and their ideological enablers.

    we’re talking about people with combined hubris and gullibility who honestly believe that all progress in the human condition come from the state.

    Insulting straw man.

    The ends justify the means, whether it’s sterilizing the mentally infirm, letting syphilis patients go untreated, exploiting bigotry to prohibit people from smoking a benign drug like reefer, or exagerrating the effects of climate change and ignoring that the solutions proposed won’t do shit except increase the size and scope of government.

    Because the collective consensus of science (the same one that brought you your computer, robots on Mars, and unimaginably sophisticated explanations for just shy of everything in the universe) affecting policy for a radical problem is the same thing as right-wing moralism that more often than not flies in the face of science.

    Do you think the war on climate change will be abandoned if the temperature starts falling?

    I really don’t think dealing with a natural disaster is analogous to the various societal “wars” you list. Even if it were, who is keeping those wars going? Government–in collusion with commercial interests and political concerns distorted by propaganda rather than science.

    You accept the science. That means you acknowledge the seriousness of the problem and the necessity of drastic measures to counter it. Yet you can’t let go of the paranoia that it’s just a conspiracy to feed the government gnomes who feed on government.

    I think such creatures exist, but not quite so often scientists and environmentalists as interested industries.

  49. The good part of this is that any effort to force conversion to 25% “renewables” is going to be such a fucking disaster that it may well discredit the entire “green” political quadrant. That will solve that problem.

    Then we can get on with doing the blatantly obvious thing, which is building more nuclear plants.

  50. Tony,
    I recognize self serving motives.
    I recognize futile gestures.
    I recognize cynical attempts to grab power.
    If you don’t see all of these in the climate change policy proposals coming from “the end is nigh” crowd, you’re both gullible and a fool.

  51. OK, now imagine you 1. a policymaker and 2. are not someone with a strong attachment to a libertarian or conservative ideology. Now you see these people saying this. And you see some people denying it, but a lot of them have this attachment mentioned in #2. Who the f*ck would you believe?

    I would believe the scientists, and I would propose detonation of hydrogen bombs at nuclear testing sites to deal with the problem.

    After all, other scientists predicted the solution (TTAPS) before the problem was even identified.

  52. “All the computer models show that doing this won’t make any kind of signficant difference to the continued warming.”

    The same computer models that AGW deniers are constantly saying are bullshit? Hmmm.

    J sub D
    Don’t apologize about the lengthy post. It’s a damn good one. I disagree with it a bit here and there, but it strikes me as fairly correct that yes, many people will use any calamity to get something they want they can tie to it. And that’s what libertarians should be doing: looking to stop that. Stomping your feet about some global cabal of scientists trying to take over the world for shits and giggles just seems nutty and stupid…

  53. Read “Green Hell” new book by Steven Milloy.
    A few people and megacorporations are going to get very wealthy while the rest of us will be miserable.

  54. MNG, you hysterical Communist, er something . . .

    Does anyone deny this pretty conservative statement: that a lot of scientists from a lot of different nations and organizations think that

    No, I do not deny that loaded pile of crap. I reject it as the dung it presents itself on its face.

    1. the climate is changing

    No shit Buckwheat! That same ever changing climate that was changing before anything called a “human” was around? That one? THANKS FOR THE HOT FUCKING TIP!
    2. mankind has influenced this
    Try PROVING that one, not the stupid assertions of the grant seekers you generically mention in your communal preamble.
    3. our production of carbon is a likely culprit
    See rebuttal to #2
    4. and negative effects from this could occur

    Oh, thanks for #4. Let us burn a field of straw to get to the “negative effects could occur”?

    My GOD, what whine has Gia wroght?

  55. AGW a scientific farce that will damage civilization for a long time to come. What a crime against humanity this eco-religion is turning out to be. I love CO2; it warms the planet slightly and feeds the vegetation. The crazies have taken over the asylum. Groupthink, fed by government monies and media madness, is now out of control.

  56. OK, now imagine you 1. a policymaker and 2. are not someone with a strong attachment to a libertarian or conservative ideology. Now you see these people saying this. And you see some people denying it, but a lot of them have this attachment mentioned in #2. Who the f*ck would you believe?

    Is this all it takes to get a politician to believe that he or she has the power to control the weather? What did it take to convince you that government can control the weather?

  57. Hazel, if only the failure of a left-wing enthusiasm served to discredit it. Unfortunately, leftists are usually like mediaeval doctors with a favorite cure: Is the patient weak? “Bring the leeches!” Does the patient weaken further? “Quick, more leeches!”

  58. Hazel, if only the failure of a left-wing enthusiasm served to discredit it. Unfortunately, leftists are usually like mediaeval doctors with a favorite cure: I???? ?????? ?????? ?????? ??????

  59. PapayaSF,

    How does that work with green energy? When the lights go out, people won’t be screaming for more windmills and solar panels.
    The greens will either have to accept nuclear power, or more coal plants.

    Too bad the Democrats’ alliance with organized labor means coal is the preferred choice there.

    Seriously, not just from an ecological standpoint, but for the sake of sheer political necessity, the greens ought to be fighting for nuclear.

    The trouble with winning elections is actually having to implement your policies. When those policies are untenable, such as the notion of converting entirely to wind and solar is, you damn well better compromise.

    In other words, they ought to be pushing for at least *some* nuclear, just to make sure that the lights stay on. Cause if they actually end up with an energy shortage on their watch, their political chances will be screwed for a generation.

  60. The first one that has to go is Barbara Boxer.
    Babs is not going to survive the carbon tax, I guarantee.
    Grandma Nan might survive 2010, because she is in the gerrymandered SF district, but she will lose her job as speaker.
    Challenge any and all politicians, from muni judge to dog catcher, on their position regarding Al Gore’s AGW. Don’t let reporters get away with a mere “raise your hand if you are a believer” ala NPR debate monderators.
    Make them state their position out loud on the record. Confront them at building dedications.
    Confront them at townhalls.
    Agitate Agitate Agitate. Make it plain that no pol who pushes this horse manure will survive the next election.

  61. MarkJ | March 31, 2009, 5:54pm | #

    Any lingering notion that Congress has gone collectively insane should be quickly dispelled by the above article.

    The Revolution won’t come soon enough, will it?

    To call congress insane for passing a bill like this is to greatly underestimate the rationality of psych ward residents.

  62. Wow Suki, you really are stupid. I explicitly asked you not whether you agreed with what many experts are saying, but do you deny that they ARE saying these things. And then you go and argue against what they are saying.

    So you’ve got these experts, with PhD’s and all saying these things, and you’ve got you, a guy who can’t even understand the directions on a political mag post. And you are mad that polickmakers are basing their actions on the former and not the latter? Hilarious.

  63. Arrgh, science, BAD! Liberty, urrr, GOOD! Global Fire, BAD! Me CRUSH!

  64. “Creating a cap-and-trade carbon rationing scheme will necessarily become a carnival of rent-seeking.”

    That is the whole point, isn’t it?

  65. The anthropogenic climate change theory is not a hoax designed to increase state power.

    Statists are using it, like they use every other fucking issue, to increase governmental control of peoples lives.

    From a practical perspective, there is no difference. I’m perfectly willing to concede that most of the AGW believers are sincere.

    So what? Useful idiots are still useful to my enemies.

    As Tom points out, I suspect that the carnival of rent-seeking/opportunities for social engineering are the horse pulling the cart of carbon rationing. The fact that useful idiots are pushing the cart along as well just makes the problem worse, not better.

  66. Another problem with the legislation relates to trade — the bill would “level the playing field” (always watch that protectionist term) by making countries that fail to have a viable emissions-reduction regime buy “reserve allowances” on energy-intensive products exported to the US, which would act as carbon tariffs.

    Think of the havoc that would create for the international trading system.

  67. You’re damn straight I don’t believe the PhDs and “experts” in re. AGW. After the last six years, I’ve had my facking fill of “expert” advice on a whole host of topics.

    The “experts” once thought that a ton of feathers would fall more slowly than a ton of bricks, and later, kept trying to convince everyone that Einstein was full of shit. But… our “experts” nowadays are soooo much smarter than the “experts” were back then… right?

    Pull the other one.

  68. 2. mankind has influenced this

    The big question is how much? 1%, 10%, 30%, 90%?

    That question isn’t close to being settled.

    If the issue is that the climate warming up is a problem, then we need to know if 80% of that is nature. If so, then doing all these massive things to address 20% of the cause is rather stupid and a bad use of resources.

  69. JB, you’re wrong. It is not 80% natural. It is more like 96% natural. You’ve heard it right, 96+% of all the carbon dioxide emissions come from the natural sources.

    Sapienti sat.

  70. For all the talk of a Road to Damascus moment for Bailey, he’s gone from “Forget what those scientists tell you, it’s not happening” to “It’s happening, but act like it’s not.” I can’t decide which is worse.

  71. Maybe he can’t either and that’s why he doesn’t want to tell us. Or maybe he just doesn’t want to sound too much like Cathy Young.

  72. Hazel, you’re young, aren’t you? I can tell.

    When the lights go out….The greens will either have to accept nuclear power, or more coal plants.

    Nope, ain’t gonna work that way. The greens won’t have to accept anything. Because by the time the lights go out, our economy will have been long since dead and buried.

    Poor people don’t scream, they wimper quietly in the dark. And maybe they’re pissed off while they’re doing it, but there’s nothing they can do. Go visit any third world country and you can see it first hand.

    the greens ought to be fighting for nuclear

    You have massively misunderstood their motives.

    The trouble with winning elections is actually having to implement your policies. When those policies are untenable

    …you run for re-election. Maybe you’ll get lucky and your opponent’s name will be John McCain, so you’ll keep your job.

    Odds of this happening today are at least 50-50.

    you damn well better compromise.

    Oh no, not how. They just won, did you forget?

    In other words, they ought to be pushing for at least *some* nuclear, just to make sure that the lights stay on.

    What is it that makes you think they want the lights to stay on?????

    btw, if you removed all the government subsidies and forced private industry to take on all the risk and liability, it’s not so clear that nukes would make economic sense after all.

    Though I for one would live next door to a nuke plant in a minute, given the choice between that or a coal plant. I’ve worked in both types of power plants, and oil, and natural gas, and we also had gas turbine farms for peak day time load.

    But the technology debate is irrelevant. Nukes make some people feel really really bad just thinking about them.

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