Is Germany the Harbinger of America's Energy Future Under Cap-and-Trade?

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energy subsidies

German industries are reeling from the high cost of energy reports the Financial Times. Energy costs more, in part, because of the post-Kyoto Protocol's European Trading scheme that aims to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide that are thought to contribute to man-made global warming. So what to do? Subsidize the energy costs that public policy has made more expensive, of course! As the FT reports

Berlin is preparing to help domestic industries overcome the economic crisis by cutting the electricity bills of the country's largest energy users….

The bulk of any relief is likely to be found by reimbursing companies for the cost of carbon dioxide emissions trading certificates that utilities currently price into their electricity bills.

Germany successfully argued at an EU summit in December that energy-intensive industries should be not be forced to buy emission permits between 2013 and 2020 because companies would otherwise shift production overseas.

Berlin now wants to go further by compensating energy-intensive companies in the intervening years.

Officials are also considering whether to reward big power consumers for their role in balancing the electricity network during peak-load periods.

But Claudia Kemfert, head of energy policy at the German Institute of Economic Research (DIW Berlin), said it was "not the government's job to subsidise the profits of energy companies".

Soon Americans may find out whether or not it's their government's job to subsidize those profits.

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  1. Just don’t mention the war, Bailey.

  2. “not the government’s job to subsidise the profits of energy companies”.

    But is it the government’s job to compel companies to continue an unprofitable business?

  3. This is exactly why we need a large-scale international agreement that includes China and India. It is a classic prisoner’s dilemma.

  4. Wow! Jacking up the price of energy has negative economic consequences? Who could possibly have forseen that?

  5. The surprise is not that they are adding another level of complication to the market. The surprise will come when they stop complicating the market.

  6. “Wow! Jacking up the price of energy has negative economic consequences? Who could possibly have forseen that?”

    Shocking isn’t it. But they don’t worry because as we see here the politically powerful full never pay those rates. Only dumb asses like you and me will.

  7. Chad – a large scale agreement enforced by what? Trade wars? Real wars? Fines, taxes and tariffs on those nation’s products who were made with “too much” carbon?

    This is the naked face of the War on Productivity.

  8. Threadjack: I nominate the following as most infuriating statement of the day.

    “Some conservative groups are wary of the livable communities program, saying it’s an example of government intrusion into people’s lives,” said the moderator. “How do you respond?”

    “About everything we do around here is government intrusion in people’s lives,” said LaHood. “So have at it.”

    The paternalism, the arrogance, the sureness that he knows best…it’s got everything.

  9. Warty –

    In the future, linky link or you get a beatdown. You have been warned.

  10. “This is exactly why we need a large-scale international agreement that includes China and India. It is a classic prisoner’s dilemma.”

    Fuck it. This CO2 fear is total bullshit. Absolute crockery. The second biggest scam evah!

  11. BTW, the drawing is too darned appropriate for words. Well done.

  12. Ahem. Take anything from CNS News with the requisite grain of salt.

  13. AO, arguing with Chad is the naked face of the War on A Particularly Well-Done Spoof. You got played, Holmes.

  14. The Angry Optimist | May 27, 2009, 10:29am

    Chad – a large scale agreement enforced by what? Trade wars? Real wars? Fines, taxes and tariffs on those nation’s products who were made with “too much” carbon?

    Ultimately, any nation who does not enter the global system for carbon regulation will have tariffs slapped on its products.

  15. Ultimately, any nation who does not enter the global system for carbon regulation will have tariffs slapped on its products.

    By the Global Anti-Prosperity League.

  16. Chad, ever hear the truism “if goods can’t cross borders, armies will?”

  17. J sub D | May 27, 2009, 10:17am | #

    Wow! Jacking up the price of energy has negative economic consequences? Who could possibly have forseen that?

    The economic consequences are small when everyone does it, and the benefits vastly outweigh the costs. However, there is a serious problem when you do it and your competitors don’t, as they capture the market. As I said earlier, this is a classic prisoners’ dilemma, and binding treaties are the way that nations work through these types of problem.

  18. Chad, ever hear the truism “if goods can’t cross borders, armies will?”

    It is obviously not a very true truism, given all the subsidies and tariffs out there right now that AREN’T causing wars.


  19. By the Global Anti-Prosperity League

    Yes, because clearly the path to prosperity is to pillage all the world’s resources as fast as we can so that we can construct McMansions, SUVs, and cheap Chinese crap.

    Errr….yeah…

  20. “The economic consequences are small when everyone does it, and the benefits vastly outweigh the costs.”

    So if we all went back to horse and buggy, the economic consequences would be small since everyone is equally penalized? Are you fucking kidding me.

  21. “Yes, because clearly the path to prosperity is to pillage all the world’s resources as fast as we can so that we can construct McMansions, SUVs, and cheap Chinese crap.”

    First, it is none of your business what people chose to do with their money. Second, cheap energy is the only way to prosperity. Get rid of cheap energy and everyone gets very poor very quickly.

  22. Ooh, McMansions!

    Cheap Chinese crap!

    QED

  23. Chad is almost as good as Neil.

  24. I’m not convinced that John is not Neil, Warty.

  25. Neil was a better speller than John.

  26. Chad, cocksucker!

  27. BTW, the drawing is too darned appropriate for words. Well done.

    Noticed that too. Why can’t the Friday Funnies be that good?

  28. If I ever wanted to troll on here (I mean really troll as opposed to just being a smartass), I would do a better job than Neil or Chad. It is not like it is hard to get people going on here.

  29. The bulk of any relief is likely to be found by reimbursing companies for the cost of carbon dioxide emissions trading certificates that utilities currently price into their electricity bills.

    Doesn’t that completely defeat the purpose of cap-and-trade? Isn’t cap-and-trade supposed to make carbon-base energy more expensive all down the line to incentivize reductions in its use? If so, why are the Germans now subsidizing its use to cancel those incentives?

  30. If I ever wanted to troll on here (I mean really troll as opposed to just being a smartass), I would do a better job than Neil or Chad. It is not like it is hard to get people going on here.

    I know I’ve said it before, but Neil’s contributions to the beer thread approached genius.

  31. Doesn’t that completely defeat the purpose of cap-and-trade?

    Yes

    Next Question

  32. “Doesn’t that completely defeat the purpose of cap-and-trade? Isn’t cap-and-trade supposed to make carbon-base energy more expensive all down the line to incentivize reductions in its use? If so, why are the Germans now subsidizing its use to cancel those incentives?”

    But everyone else will still be paying the higher rates and using less energy. This just lets the poltically connected out of having to make a sacrifice.

  33. “If so, why are the Germans now subsidizing its use to cancel those incentives?”

    They are simply facing reality.

  34. Energy is the cheapest thing known to man. Imagine if I charged you for gravity!

    Think that’s ridiculous? Wait until the government starts to figure out we’ve been getting our gravity on the cheap and they figure we’ll pay more for it.

    They’ll find a way to line their pockets and increase their power. That’s what they do.

    Energy is nothing but a transfer of potentials. It is free. We need to wake up.

  35. AO, arguing with Chad is the naked face of the War on A Particularly Well-Done Spoof.

    It took Libya a decade to realize it was pointless. Maybe AO will get the hint sooner, with no french involvement necessary.

  36. God, i miss Neil. Was it Jesse who outed him as Cesar? That was a sad day, for on that day he left us forever.

  37. I propose we begin to charge people for the amount of gravity they use. Obviously the more gravity used is contributing to a crisis of biblical proportions in which the earth is collapsing in upon itself. So the more you weigh, they more you will pay. This will encourage people to weigh less. We will also charge you by the weight of your home and business. The smaller the home, the smaller the business, the smaller your bill.

    Of course you could always trade your bill to another company whose business is lighter than yours. Or if your business is deemed politically favorable, then you can weigh as much as you like and offset your weight in payments directly to political coffers.

    Does anyone else see how moronic this is?

  38. I must be overly drama sensitive today or I just did not pay attention to my past visits here. Possibly bad memory too.

  39. Whatever happened to this idea to tax carbon emissions and accompany that with corresponding payroll tax cuts?

  40. “Does anyone else see how moronic this is?”

    It’s not hard to see how moronic you are.

    Look, maybe you think it is a case of collective madness or a cabal of demon possessed scientific madmen bent on secret world ruin, but here are some facts:

    1. A lot of experts think global warming is occuring
    2. A lot of experts think this global warming will have negative effects on mankind
    3. A lot of experts think our carbon emissions contribute to all of this

    So it’s not exactly the height of stupidity for a policymaker to connect these dots and suggest something to curb our carbon emissions.

  41. “It took Libya a decade to realize it was pointless.”

    Heh, that was great.

  42. 1. A lot of experts think global warming is NOT occuring

    2. A lot of experts think this global warming will NOT have negative effects on mankind

    3. A lot of experts think our carbon emissions DO NOT contribute to all of this

    Fixed that for ya.

  43. MNG – I’m willing to stipulate that AGW is real.

    So what? What now? The main contributors are developing countries, and it would be a real “fuck you” to the abjectly impoverished in those countries to say “fuck you Jack, we got ours using pollution. YOU NEED TO USE WINDMILLS!”

    Also, any global-scale strategy (which, bless his heart, Chad is right about) is destined to fail. Nations have an incentive to cheat. Do you really want to see something like a worldwide OPEC?

    Whatever happened to this idea to tax carbon emissions and accompany that with corresponding payroll tax cuts?

    OK, I appreciate your thought processes on this one, but you’re insufficiently cynical if you don’t think that the following will happen:

    1. Carbon tax
    2. Payroll tax cuts
    3. Increase in prices chews up savings from the payroll tax
    4. Government gradually increases the payroll tax again
    C: We’re all much, much poorer

  44. “2. A lot of experts think this global warming will have negative effects on mankind”

    As Enough About Palin said, “A lot of experts think this global warming will NOT have negative effects on mankind”. We should be damned sure that the effects on mankind will be devastating and that there is really something we can significantly do about it before we destroy our standard of living by significantly reducing our carbon emissions.

  45. Enough About Palin

    Look, a lot of them do think that though, and it’s simply not madness for a policymaker to go with that set of them.

    And do you think there are more that say it will have a negative effect, or more that say it will not? And do you have like, any fucking proof about that? Because pretty much every professional scientific agency I’ve seen has issued statements consistent with the side you are not on.

  46. TAO
    You don’t dispute my 3 points right? I mean, OK, you don’t agree with some of the experts saying those things, (but with all due respect, what the fuck would you know about the science involved in “agreeing” or not on any of this [hey, wft would I know either]), but you at least agree there are experts saying these things.

    Now as to your question about developing nations, of course it would be OK to say to a developing, or any other nation, “hey you need to stop doing x” if you think x will lead to harm to your and their citizens.

  47. Chad is almost as good as Neil.

    Chad is almost as good as Dan T. Neil was in a class all by himself. I miss Cesar.

  48. “And do you think there are more that say it will have a negative effect, or more that say it will not? And do you have like, any fucking proof about that? Because pretty much every professional scientific agency I’ve seen has issued statements consistent with the side you are not on.”

    There is pretty much a scientific consensus that global warming is occuring and that there is a human footprint, but I there is no scientific consensus that the resulting climate change will be all that serious.

  49. My position on the carbon tax/payroll tax is this:

    Let’s say, just for nutso sakes, that the experts that say that carbon emissions must be limited or negative effects will occur are right, then we really have a simple moral question: will the negative effects of not addressing this create a higher decrease in welfare than the restrictions on carbon emissions would? If yes then it would be immoral NOT to do it, regardless of any other policy.

    Now, I realize that carbon taxes will make prices of things go up. People will have less money, so I would like to see that offset by a payroll tax reduction. If we have to take the sting, might as well take some of the sting away.

  50. I don’t care about your three points, MNG. I really don’t.

    Now as to your question about developing nations, of course it would be OK to say to a developing, or any other nation, “hey you need to stop doing x” if you think x will lead to harm to your and their citizens.

    It’s just not that simple. When I say “saying”, I mean that there are a whole host of very expensive policy prescriptions and enforcement vehicles that I don’t think anyone advocating for carbon controls has thought about.

    As Chad stated, you’re in a dilemma. Unless every major industrial nation, primarily the developing ones, gets on board and is able to have the agreements enforced against it, developed nations, who won’t cheat for various reasons, are basically crippling themselves for the benefit of “cheater” nations.

    Slapping a tariff on cheater nations would be disastrous as well. How much of our stuff comes from China, India, Taiwan? All you’re going to do with a high tariff (and it has to be high, to incentivize the other nations to actually cut carbon emissions) is create a black market is just. about. everything.

  51. I’ll make this simple for you:

    Everything you use in your life requires energy to acquire the raw materials that go into the things you use, produce the things you use, distribute the things you use to you, and finally dispose of whatever is left after you use the things that you use.

    We’re gonna make everything you use in your life, and I mean everything, more expensive by artificially increasint the cost of energy.

    The end result is that people you will never meet, now and in the future, will live marginally better lives, while you see your standard of living plummet due to the increase in cost of everything you use in your life.

    And I know you will all be so much happier when we do this.

  52. To continue:

    Let’s say that for the sake of the hypothetical you get all of the world’s major developing nations to go along with your plan. *Now* not only have you cut off a cheap and easy vehicle for them to raise their own standard of living, but they are going to be completely in the right to demand that developed Western nations make up the difference. This is going to require staggering amounts of foreign aid, because you’ve shut off the coal plants of the world, you have to put something in their place.

    And why should we do this? Well, it’s either help those nations develop with our tax dollars or bomb a coal plant when it inevitably opens up again. So, yay…massive foreign aid or war. All for the sake of lowering emissions to prevent AGW, which may be harmful to humans in the distant future.

  53. “I don’t care about your three points, MNG. I really don’t.”

    That’s madness TAO. What to you mean, that even if you thought these experts were right you would be like “oh fuck it let the negative effects come!” Or do you mean “I don’t think the experts are right?” If the former, that’s morally inexcusable and borderline crazy. If the latter then you are of course in the realm of not knowing what the fuck you are talking about…

    “Slapping a tariff on cheater nations would be disastrous as well.”

    Only if the negative effects from a tariff outweigh the negative effects from not addressing this problem…This isn’t that complex (well, this part isn’t).

  54. I am stating that the so-called “negative effects” are debatable and any kind of enforcement mechanism is going to be a disaster in implementation.

    So, yes, let the negative effects come. It is so astonishingly naive to think that you can get the entire industrial world to go along with any kind of carbon reduction plan.

  55. “Let’s say, just for nutso sakes, that the experts that say that carbon emissions must be limited or negative effects will occur are right, then we really have a simple moral question: will the negative effects of not addressing this create a higher decrease in welfare than the restrictions on carbon emissions would? If yes then it would be immoral NOT to do it, regardless of any other policy.”

    Those who claim there will be serious negative effects need to prove their case before we destroy our standard of living by significantly reducing our carbon footprint.

  56. TAO
    By that logic groups that currently possess wealth from activities that we used to think were allowable but now think are immoral could not tell groups using those acitivities now to build their wealth couldn’t move to end the latter’s use of such activity. And I know for a fact you don’t think that!

  57. “I am stating that the so-called “negative effects” are debatable’

    Yes, but you don’t know what the fuck you are talking about here. What, you covered this in Environmental Law class?

    I’m not trying to be offensive, I don’t have the expertise in the requisite areas to judge whether and what negative effects to expect. But certainly neither do you. You’re just hoping, for the sake of your values and ideology, that x is the case.

  58. “And do you think there are more that say it will have a negative effect, or more that say it will not? And do you have like, any fucking proof about that? Because pretty much every professional scientific agency I’ve seen has issued statements consistent with the side you are not on.” [citation needed]

    The science of every age is not based on data, but rather, it’s absence.

    To run around blindly is a fool’s solution.

  59. “And why should we do this? Well, it’s either help those nations develop with our tax dollars or bomb a coal plant when it inevitably opens up again. So, yay…massive foreign aid or war. All for the sake of lowering emissions to prevent AGW, which may be harmful to humans in the distant future.”

    Or may not.

  60. Uh, no, I don’t think that anymore than I think it’s permissible for developing nations to say, have slaves because we had them.

    But are you really going to make the entire Western World police that? Really?

  61. We can impose whatever cabon-limiting strategy we want on the whole world after we’re done conquering the whole world.

  62. They’re debatable. Not a controversial statement.

    Now, if you would just move past the fact that you think you have a hammer on the AGW-deniers and tell me what, practically, can be done about it, I’m all ears.

    From where I am sitting, any attempt at enforcement is going to have to be worldwide, with war or trade wars as the weapon of enforcement, and its not worth it.

  63. “Those who claim there will be serious negative effects need to prove their case before we destroy our standard of living by significantly reducing our carbon footprint.”

    Well, duh!

  64. any kind of enforcement mechanism is going to be a disaster in implementation.

    Let’s try “functionally impossible” in implementation. What kind of bizarre avoidance behavior are we going to see with respect to energy usage? People will game the system in ways unthought of at the moment, and it’s all gonna go to crap.

  65. “There is pretty much a scientific consensus that global warming is occuring”

    The earth is in it’s tenth year of cooling.

  66. “I’m not trying to be offensive, I don’t have the expertise in the requisite areas to judge whether and what negative effects to expect. But certainly neither do you. You’re just hoping, for the sake of your values and ideology, that x is the case.”

    The burden of proof is on those who claim there WILL be serious effects. Until they’ve proven their case, why should we destroy our standard of living to treat something that might not even be that serious of a problem?

  67. “But are you really going to make the entire Western World police that? Really?”

    If someone in your neighborhood started a pig farm which from which things originated that made you and your neighbors sick, the value of your homes decline, etc., then damn skippy you’d be in your rights to “police” that.

    People who see global warming as a threat see it as analogous to that.

    Now maybe you think that the science is wrong on that. Of course, like me, you don’t know enough to know whether it is or not. And there are experts on both sides. But it’s not madness for policymakers to go with one of those sides (especially if it were more numerous!).

  68. “Let’s say, just for nutso sakes, that the experts that say that carbon emissions must be limited or negative effects will occur are right, then we really have a simple moral question: will the negative effects of not addressing this create a higher decrease in welfare than the restrictions on carbon emissions would? If yes then it would be immoral NOT to do it, regardless of any other policy”

    Wow! I think I’ve seen that argument before:

    Do you believe in God, MNG?

    Let’s say, just for nutso sakes, that the experts that say that God exists are right, then we really have a simple moral question: will the negative effects of not addressing this create a higher decrease in our welfare than acceting Him would? If yes then it would be immoral NOT to believe in God, regardless of any other policy”

  69. If someone in your neighborhood started a pig farm which from which things originated that made you and your neighbors sick, the value of your homes decline, etc., then damn skippy you’d be in your rights to “police” that.

    The world is not a neighborhood, for Christ’s sake. I feel like I’m taking crazy pills.

    MNG, you have absolutely lost your mind. you want the United States, on a practical level, to fly all around Western China and the remote provinces of India looking for factories. You want every nation, every year, to come before the UN and “prove” that they are not polluting above a certain level.

    I cannot even believe I am talking about this…this is pure madness.

  70. “any attempt at enforcement is going to have to be worldwide, with war or trade wars as the weapon of enforcement, and its not worth it.”

    But again, you’re not knowledgable in the subject matter, so you can’t ascertain the extent and likelihood of the negative effects on one side of the equation, so for you to say “its not worth it” is a conclusion full of more hope than Obama and more bias than Hannity…

  71. “I feel like I’m taking crazy pills.”

    Well, that would explain a lot of your positions over the years 😉

    But you’ve got a couple arguments going on, in one you talk about how wrong it would be to police developing nations on this, and that was what I was addressing: it would be no more wrong than policing that neighbor.

    Now you’ve got a different argument, that no method for addressing the problem can be devised or implemented. We can talk about that if it’s the tack you’re taking today…

  72. you talk alot about how you want to see Americans succeed over other nations, and here you are, willing to absolutely put the entire nation at a categorical competitive disadvantage.

    Meanwhile, back at the ranch, you want the United States to commit to a global military force to make sure that cheating and recalcitrant nations aren’t producing “too much” energy.

  73. But again, you’re not knowledgable in the subject matter, so you can’t ascertain the extent and likelihood of the negative effects on one side of the equation, so for you to say “its not worth it”

    Okay, simple scenario and not entirely unlikely. China says fuck you, and doesn’t play, or even more likely, signs the treaty and ignores it. What are you going to do? Destroy the US (and by extension, the world) economy with sanctions against them? Bomb them into submission? What, exactly is your recourse?

  74. It would be wrong to police developing nations on this because they are sovereign nations, MNG. For God’s sake, I thought I was kidding when I said you’re advocate for global government, but you’re serious.

    Unbelievable. I’m sorry, but I’ve tried to show you how, practically, this pie-in-the-sky New Global Order you have in mind is not going to work. I cannot help you anymore.

  75. Al Gore

    You should consider consider changing your name to Al “Hal Lindsey” Gore and retitle your book “The Late Great Planet Earth in the Balance”.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Late,_Great_Planet_Earth

    (Lindsey predicted that “the decade of the 1980s could very well be the last decade of history as we know it.”)

  76. Enough About Palin

    You’ve got a stupid little inapt analogy there for several reasons, but interestingly if you take away the difference between thinking something true and governmental policy determinations and such, you might have a version of Pascals wager (you can google it).

    And you’re hung up on whether the experts are correct or not, which is funny because I’m asking you to assume they are: then what?

  77. MNG – you really should answer T’s hypothetical.

  78. “it would be no more wrong than policing that neighbor.”

    I don’t want to police my neighbors. That’s what creepy losers do.

  79. “It would be wrong to police developing nations on this because they are sovereign nations, MNG.”

    You’re kidding, right? Because we’ve already dealt with this above. It would be wrong to police developing nations to make them stop a genocide? Mass slavery? Creating pollution which harms their neighbors? You really think that? And what would make action to stop them (“police them”) is that they are SOVERIEGN nations?

    C’mon, you really are kidding!

    “Destroy the US (and by extension, the world) economy with sanctions against them?”

    Holy shit is that full of hyperbole!

  80. And you’re hung up on whether the experts are correct or not, which is funny because I’m asking you to assume they are: then what?

    What if the “experts” (most of whom don’t work in fields remotely related to climate science, by the way) are wrong, MNG? Then what?

  81. It’s easy to answer T’s question. Whichever action creates the most net utility. So we weight the negative effects of various counters against the negative effects of allowing China to continue to harm us and others through their actions and pick the one that maximizes our and the world’s welfare. While determining the policy is not easy, the principle used to measure it is.

  82. Look, MNG, you either accept the harsh reality that the United States is incapable and has no business wielding a sword in one hand and a checkbook in the other, fighting all around the globe for our version of what right looks like, or you don’t. I don’t care. Right now, you just implicitly endorsed the Iraq War to win this argument, so I’m not sure what to say.

  83. “And you’re hung up on whether the experts are correct or not, which is funny because I’m asking you to assume they are: then what?”

    I work for one of the largest utilities on earth. I’m not hung up on whether the experts are correct or not. I have studied this issue for 7 years. Our portfolio, which has won countless awards and honors is as balanced as any utility in America (wind, coal, natual gas, refuse derived fuel, nuclear, solar, hydro).

    Why, because the government forces us to be that way. So we do it. But we shure as hell don’t believe in AGW, because the proof is that the earth is getting COOLER.

  84. What kind of bizarre avoidance behavior are we going to see with respect to energy usage? People will game the system in ways unthought of at the moment, and it’s all gonna go to crap.

    This is the heart of the issue. The discussion need not go past this: human nature.

    Failing to take human nature into account is the ultimate FAIL, and anyone who proposes a “solution” without doing so isn’t even worthy of being listened to.

  85. And is there any practical amount of harm from AGW, forecast from the experts, that would outweigh war with China?

  86. “I don’t want to police my neighbors.”

    If your neighbor was dumping trash on your lawn, or shitting in your bushes, or throwing rocks at you every time you came out your door, I bet you’d want to police him.

  87. shure = sure

  88. “If your neighbor was dumping trash on your lawn, or shitting in your bushes, or throwing rocks at you every time you came out your door, I bet you’d want to police him.”

    Rocs you say? I’d shoot him, which isn’t policing.

  89. Rocs = Rocks

  90. So, now we’re at war with China. So guess what India does? Cranks up production (and pollution) to fill the massive void in manufacturing because two other economic heavyweights are draining themselves of blood and treasure to duke it out.

    So, if and when the United States wins the war against China, now we have to direct our mighty military force against India.

    And while we’re fighting India, Mexico says “hmmm…”

  91. Enough About Palin
    You’re an expert, huh? PhD in some hard science eh? Published a lot of journal articles, eh? Got access to relevant raw data and extensive knowledge and experience in the techniques and equipment necessary to analyze it?

    I’m betting, no.

  92. Do I really need to go on?

  93. It’s easy to answer T’s question. Whichever action creates the most net utility. So we weight the negative effects of various counters against the negative effects of allowing China to continue to harm us and others through their actions and pick the one that maximizes our and the world’s welfare. While determining the policy is not easy, the principle used to measure it is.

    In other words, you don’t want to honestly answer this question. Nice dodge, it’s not transparent at all.

  94. “And is there any practical amount of harm from AGW, forecast from the experts, that would outweigh war with China?”

    Well of course there are actions which would be counterproductive in trying to enforce this. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to enforce it.

    Do you think we should take measures to get China to respect our copyright laws TAO? I mean, surely you don’t want to go war with China if they don’t!

  95. I don’t expect anyone to do more or less than I do. If Joe the Plumber can’t afford to put up $20K worth of solar panels to heat his pool, then the federal government should help pay for them. It’s the least we all can do.

  96. tekende
    I answered the question. Do you want me to explain it in smaller words? Which word or part are you struggling with?

  97. “Enough About Palin
    You’re an expert, huh? PhD in some hard science eh? Published a lot of journal articles, eh? Got access to relevant raw data and extensive knowledge and experience in the techniques and equipment necessary to analyze it?

    I’m betting, no.”

    I don’t recall using the word “expert”. But experts do work for me and I appreciate them greatly.

    So what’s your PhD in? I’m guessing the same as Al “Hal Lindsey” Gore’s. Am I right?

  98. “Destroy the US (and by extension, the world) economy with sanctions against them?”

    Holy shit is that full of hyperbole!

    Sigh. Look up the numbers about trade and get back to me on how much hyperbole this is.

    I seriously hope you’re arguing just to argue today. Otherwise, you’re insane to think this has any possibility of working on a global level. Hell, I can cobble together a generator out of crap I have laying around the garage, not even counting the actual generator. Once energy taxes raise the cost of buying to where self-generation is practical, how do you stop me from doing that? If you can’t stop me, how can you stop the other 6 billion people on earth?

  99. “Right now, you just implicitly endorsed the Iraq War to win this argument, so I’m not sure what to say.”

    Wow, you weren’t joking about those crazy pills…

  100. “Do I really need to go on?”

    No, I think we’re done here. See ya in the funny papers!

  101. I’ll do it; but I’ll hate myself in the morning.

    What if your neighbor tries to force you to attend a church you don’t believe in? Are you within your rights to refuse?

  102. “So what’s your PhD in?”

    Ahh, but I’m not claiming expertise, in fact my argument is to defer to those who are.

    Gotcha.

    “Look up the numbers about trade and get back to me on how much hyperbole this is.”

    Uhh, we currently have economic tariffs on China in some areas and we aren’t exactly wandering an apocalyptic landscape like in A Boy and His Dog.

    Like I said upthread, we ask developing nations to obey our copyright laws and numerous others, and of course there are some measures we are willing to use to police them in that area and some that we would be fools to use, but that doesn’t mean that tying to police them in some way is a fools errand…

  103. Whichever action creates the most net utility. So we weight the negative effects of various counters against the negative effects of allowing China to continue to harm us and others through their actions and pick the one that maximizes our and the world’s welfare.

    Of course, what we really need to weight here are the actual harm of China, etc. continuing to emit carbon. That actual harm is highly speculative.

    And it needs to weighed against the benefits of the actual reductions in carbon emission of forcing them to adopt cap-and-trade (or whatever). Those actual reductions are going to be smaller than you think (see, e.g., the European experience with this). And, of course, the benefit is a reduction in a speculative harm.

    So we are weighing smaller than expected speculative benefits against speculative harms. What could possibly go wrong?

  104. How much money do you make, E A P? That’s what MaunderingNannyGoat really wants to know. Because he makes a lot. Shitloads. NannyGoat is fucking stupendously rich. And he reads Marx, you peasant.

  105. The higher the tax rate, the more people that have to work to afford the things they want or need. The more people that have to work means more office buildings which use more energy, more cars on the road, more roads, more pollution.

    Wouldn’t it just be simpler to reduce (or eliminate) most taxes? Lower taxes mean less people that have to work which means less pollution from commuters and office buildings.

    I know this is a little off topic, but wouldn’t it also be easier to eliminate government programs which give taxpayer money to those who can’t afford to have children, but have them anyway? This would lead to a slow-down in population growth which would in turn lead to reductions in our carbon footprint.

    It seems to me that anyone who really cared about reducing negative effects on the environment by mankind would favor small government and low taxes.

  106. P Brooks
    Before we play, let me ask you this:

    IF your neighbor is doing something that physically harms you, are you within your rights to act to make him stop doing that thing?

    OK.

    Now IF a neighboring nation is doing something that physically harms another nation’s citizens, is it within the latter’s rights to act to make it stop.

    OK.

    Many experts think carbon emissions will harm people.

    How hard has this been?

  107. All greens are nothing but communists in drag.

  108. Its pretty obvious – if the overriding goal is to reduce carbon emission because otherwise The World Will End, you need to tackle that goal as far upstream as possible – by controlling carbon fuels at their source – Saudi Arabia, Canada, etc.

    If we are heading off a global catastrophe, and are willing to disregard national sovereignty to do so, why aren’t we talking about seizing the Arabian oil fields, etc.?

  109. “Ahh, but I’m not claiming expertise”

    Horsehockey.

    I like the church analogy, P Brooks. Most appropriate.

  110. MNG is nothing but a warmonger.

  111. why aren’t we talking about seizing the Arabian oil fields, etc.?

    What do you mean “we” white man?

  112. IF your neighbor is doing something that physically harms you, are you within your rights to act to make him stop doing that thing?

    Depends on the nature of the harm and the steps necessary to make him stop. My neighbors dog barks all the time. It interferes with my enjoyment of my property. That’s not exactly a license to gun him down, or his dog, is it?

    In fact, the rational thing to do is . . . nothing.

    Now IF a neighboring nation is doing something that physically harms another nation’s citizens, is it within the latter’s rights to act to make it stop.

    Depends on the nature of the harm, etc.

  113. “How much money do you make, E A P?”

    The Shirpa say, a man is wealthy when he understands he has enough.

  114. “IF your neighbor is doing something that physically harms you, are you within your rights to act to make him stop doing that thing?”

    You have yet to prove that anyone is or will be harming us.

  115. “It interferes with my enjoyment of my property. That’s not exactly a license to gun him down, or his dog, is it?”

    Just call the cops and tell them you’ve been in the house and it’s full of pot plants.

    Dog problem solved.

  116. Uhh, we currently have economic tariffs on China in some areas and we aren’t exactly wandering an apocalyptic landscape like in A Boy and His Dog.

    What, you think the level of punitive tariffs required to ensure compliance isn’t going to be economically disastrous? The two largest economies in the world getting into a pissing match over energy usage is going to be a good thing? Especially since, under your scenario, everybody else who signed the treaty should be imposing the same level of tariffs on China? Yessir, that’s some good news for already troubled economies.

    Like I said upthread, we ask developing nations to obey our copyright laws and numerous others, and of course there are some measures we are willing to use to police them in that area and some that we would be fools to use, but that doesn’t mean that tying to police them in some way is a fools errand…

    Umm, yeah. You do realize those “measures” to ensure copyright enforcement don’t work, right? We’re not talking about something at the margins, either. A country can function pretty well without infringing copyright. No modern industrialized nation can function without energy. The incentive to cheat becomes a wee tad bit higher, doesn’t it? But I’m sure there’s some enforcement mechanism that can make sure 1.3 billion people aren’t gaming the system and emitting too much CO2. I’m not sure what it is, but since I’m not arguing for it, I don’t have to guess. Why don’t you take a swing at that one?

  117. “The bulk of any relief is likely to be found by reimbursing companies for the cost of carbon dioxide emissions trading certificates that utilities currently price into their electricity bills.”

    And since those payments have to come from general tax revenue, the German utility customers will simply be paying that extra cost through direct government tax increases instead of paying in in their electric bills.

    But they will be paying for it either way.

  118. Enough About Palin | May 27, 2009, 12:35pm | #

    Why, because the government forces us to be that way. So we do it. But we shure as hell don’t believe in AGW, because the proof is that the earth is getting COOLER.

    You should submit such revolutionary evidence to Science or Nature and get your cushy academic job for life!

    I suspect you just don’t know what you are talking about.

  119. Just call the cops and tell them you’ve been in the house and it’s full of pot plants.

    Dog problem solved.

    Oh shit, Banjo Bob, you just Balkoed a Bailey thread.

  120. “I suspect you just don’t know what you are talking about.”

    Perhaps EAP doesn’t. But these folks do:

    http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/images/stories/papers/scarewatch/really_cooling.pdf

  121. Just call the cops and tell them you’ve been in the house and it’s full of pot plants.

    Dog problem solved.

    Classic.

  122. http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/images/stories/papers/scarewatch/really_cooling.pdf

    Apparently you don’t know the difference between science and politics. You just cited “data” from a conservative policitian that apparently doesn’t even know the difference between weather and climate, or ice volume vs ice coverage. Everything he says has been refuted repeatedly by scientists at http://www.realclimate.org.

    Do you really believe what you are saying? I am trying to sort you into the “dishonest”, “willfully ignorant”, or “downright stupid” bins.

  123. TAO,

    Uh, no, I don’t think that anymore than I think it’s permissible for developing nations to say, have slaves because we had them.

    They still have them, but I am not sure your permission was a factor.

  124. “www.realclimate.org”

    I weep for your genetically substandard children.

    But it always turns into laughter. Funny that.

  125. “I am trying to sort you into the “dishonest”, “willfully ignorant”, or “downright stupid” bins.”

    My, my, my. How anal.

  126. “Many experts think carbon emissions will harm people.”

    The key word above is “think”. The extent of the harm has not been established. There is no consensus on that. Many experts don’t believe the harm isn’t anything society can’t adjust to. There are some who even believe that increased CO2 will benefit us by creating more vegetation. As I’ve said before, the burden of proof is on those who claim there will be serious harm from global warming and that man is responsible for that added serious harm and that there is something significant that we can do about it. Until that proof is forthcoming, why should we sacrifice our standard of living for a degree of harm that hasn’t been proven?

  127. “Apparently you don’t know the difference between science and politics. You just cited “data” from a conservative policitian that apparently doesn’t even know the difference between weather and climate, or ice volume vs ice coverage.”

    Doesn’t that also apply to liberal politicians like Gore?

  128. You can’t possibly question my credentials; I have a Nobel!

  129. The plan from Germany is rather predictable, and understandable. It’s a point similar to tax incidence.

    Industries can move to China if electricity rates rise. That’s much less true for, say, taxing ordinary motor fuel. Motorists are much less likely to go somewhere else to drive more; they’ll cut back on demand first. Sure, it happens eventually, but it takes longer.

    So Germany is realizing that it only wants to tax captive industries that can’t move, rather than the ones that can just exit to China.

    A similar argument applies for why capital gains and corporate taxes tend to be inefficient. Capital can move to other locations, so the incidence of those taxes often falls on labor. (“We’ll either pay you less or move to China.”)

    The corporate tax reduces the income of the little guy much more than the income tax does.

  130. Now hold on, let’s not question folks with Nobels. We’re just plain better than you. And we can afford a heavily taxed carbon footprint, which is why it’s such a good idea.

  131. bookworm | May 27, 2009, 2:17pm | #

    Doesn’t that also apply to liberal politicians like Gore?

    I don’t get my data from Al Gore. I get it from the same scientists he does. And anyway, Al Gore actually listens to what the scientists say, rather than just robotically repeating lies no matter how many times the scientists refute them.

  132. Al Gore actually listens to what the scientists say, rather than just robotically repeating lies no matter how many times the scientists refute them.

    Apparently you didn’t read Earth In The Balance.

    1. Gore does? Yet Inconvenient Truth swops the red and blue colors of the scale allowing him to mislead on a massive scale…

      No, I didn’t read it, I’d rather look at the actual evidence. Try looking at the opposing scientists who resigned from the IPCC in frustration at their enormous bias.

  133. So it’s not exactly the height of stupidity for a policymaker to connect these dots and suggest something to curb our carbon emissions.

    Why cut carbon emissions.

    Just do a TTAPS. You do know what TTAPS is, right ?

  134. Yet the German energy policies are a disaster, they report significant increases in prices for everybody. And Germany are now using even more coal (instead of zero CO2 nuclear) as they seem to have persuaded themselves coal is neutral in terms of global warming…

    You couldn’t make this up! talk about ignoring the evidence!

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