Jim Hansen calls Cap and Trade the “Temple of Doom”

Hansens's 1988 testimony - the birth of the cap and trade temple

Law of unintended consequences? Hansens's 1988 congressional testimony - the moment of birth of the CO2 worry, which later morphed into the cap and trade Gorian temple (i.e. Jim, you started it)

Note: this letter from Dr. Jim Hansen of NASA GISS is reprinted below unedited, exactly in email as it was received by me, including the title below. You can reference a PDF version on his Columbia U page here I’ll have to agree with Dr. Hansen though, Cap and Trade is about the closest thing to the “Temple of Doom” our economy would face. No word yet from Harrison Ford if he’ll play Jim in the movie. What is most interesting is who he didn’t mention in the last paragraph.- Anthony


Worshipping the Temple of Doom

My response to the letter from Dr. Martin Parkinson, Secretary of the Australian Department of Climate Change, is available, along with this note, on my web site.

Thanks to the many people who provided comments on my draft response, including Steve Hatfield-Dodds, a senior official within the Australian Department of Climate Change.  I appreciate the willingness of the Australian government to engage in this discussion.  I believe that you will find the final letter to be significantly improved over the draft version.

Several people admonished me for informal language, which detracts from credibility, and attempts at humor with an insulting tone (e.g., alligator shoes).  They are right, of course – these should not be in the letter.  So I reserve opinions with an edge to my covering e-mail note.

My frustration arises from the huge gap between words of governments, worldwide, and their actions or planned actions.  It is easy to speak of a planet in peril.  It is quite another to level with the public about what is needed, even if the actions are in everybody’s long-term interest.

Instead governments are retreating to feckless “cap-and-trade”, a minor tweak to business-as-usual.  Oil companies are so relieved to realize that they do not need to learn to be energy companies that they are decreasing their already trivial investments in renewable energy.  They are using the money to buy greenwash advertisements.  Perhaps if politicians and businesses paint each other green, it will not seem so bad when our forests burn.

Cap-and-trade is the temple of doom.  It would lock in disasters for our children and grandchildren.  Why do people continue to worship a disastrous approach?  Its fecklessness was proven by the Kyoto Protocol.  It took a decade to implement the treaty, as countries extracted concessions that weakened even mild goals.  Most countries that claim to have met their obligations actually increased their emissions.  Others found that even modest reductions of emissions were inconvenient, and thus they simply ignored their goals.

Why is this cap-and-trade temple of doom worshipped?  The 648 page cap-and-trade monstrosity that is being foisted on the U.S. Congress provides the answer.  Not a single Congressperson has read it.  They don’t need to – they just need to add more paragraphs to support their own special interests.  By the way, the Congress people do not write most of those paragraphs – they are “suggested” by people in alligator shoes.

The only defense of this monstrous absurdity that I have heard is “well, you are right, it’s no good, but the train has left the station”.  If the train has left, it had better be derailed soon or the planet, and all of us, will be in deep do-do.  People with the gumption to parse the 648-pages come out with estimates of a price impact on petrol between 12 and 20 cents per gallon.  It has to be kept small and ineffectual, because they want to claim that it does not affect energy prices!

It seems they would not dream of being honest and admitting that an increased price for fossil fuels is essential to drive us to the world beyond fossil fuels.  Of course, there are a huge number of industries and people who do not want us to move to the world beyond fossil fuels – these are the biggest fans of cap-and-trade.  Next are those who want the process mystified, so they can make millions trading, speculating, and gaming the system at public expense.

The science has become clear: burning all fossil fuels would put Earth on a disastrous course, leaving our children and grandchildren with a deteriorating situation out of their control.  The geophysical implication is that most of the remaining coal and unconventional fossil fuels (tar shale, etc.) must be left in the ground or the emissions captured and put back in the ground.  A corollary is that it makes no sense to go after every last drop of oil in the most remote and pristine places – we would have to fight to get the CO2 back out of the air or somehow “geoengineer” our way out of its effects.

A more sensible approach is to begin a rapid transition to a clean energy future, beyond fossil fuels – for the sake of our children and grandchildren, already likely to be saddled with our economic debts, and to preserve the other species on the planet.  Such a path would also eliminate mercury emissions, most air pollution, acid rain and ozone alerts, likely reversing trends toward increasing asthma and birth defects.  Such an energy future would also halt the drain on our treasure and lives resulting from dependence on foreign energy sources.

What is it that does not compute here?  Why does the public choose to subsidize fossil fuels, rather than taxing fossil fuels to make them cover their costs to society?  I don’t think that the public actually voted on that one.  It probably has something to do with all the alligator shoes in Washington.  Those 2400 energy lobbyists in Washington are not well paid for nothing.  You have three guesses as to who eventually pays the salary of these lobbyists, and the first two guesses don’t count.

I get a lot of e-mails telling me to stick to climate, that I don’t know anything about economics.  I know this: the fundamental requirement for transition to the post fossil fuel era is a substantial and rising price on carbon emissions.  And businesses and consumers must understand that it will continue to rise in the future.

Of course, a rising carbon price alone is not sufficient for a successful rapid transition to the post fossil fuel era.  There also must be efficiency standards on buildings, vehicles, appliances, electronics and lighting.  Barriers to efficiency, such as utilities making more money when we use more energy, must be removed.

But the essential underlying requirement is a substantial rising carbon price.  Building standards, especially operations, for example, are practically unenforceable without a strong cost driver.  The carbon price must be sufficient to affect lifestyle choices.

648 pages are not needed to define a carbon fee.  It is a single number that would be ratcheted upward over time.  It would cover all three fossil fuels at their source: the mine or port of entry.  Consumers do not directly pay any tax, but the fee’s effect permeates everything from the price of fuel to the price of food (especially if it is imported from halfway around the world).

As a point of reference a fee equivalent to $1/gallon of gasoline ($115/ton CO2) would yield $670B in the United States (based on energy use data for 2007).  That would provide a dividend of $3000/year to legal adult residents in the United States ($9000/year to a family with two or more children).

A person reducing his carbon footprint more than average would gain economically, if the fee is returned 100 percent to the public on a per capita basis.  With the present distributions of income and energy use, it is estimated that about 60 percent of the people would get a dividend exceeding their tax.  So why would they not just spend their dividend on expensive fuel?  Nobody wants to pay more taxes.  They prefer to have the money for other things.  As the price of fossil fuels continues to increase, people would conserve energy, choose more energy efficient vehicles, and choose non-fossil (untaxed) energies and products.

Hey, does anybody know a great communicator, who might level with the public, explain what is needed to break our addiction to fossil fuels, to gain energy independence, to assure a future for young people?  Who would explain what is really needed, rather than hide behind future “goals” and a gimmick “cap”?  Naw.  Roosevelt and Churchill are dead.  So is Kennedy.

Jim

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253 thoughts on “Jim Hansen calls Cap and Trade the “Temple of Doom”

  1. I see severe instability in the man.

    Can anybody help me with what information he has to support his claims over and above what is on the table to all of us mere mortals.

  2. Quoting:
    “A person reducing his carbon footprint more than average would gain economically, if the fee is returned 100 percent to the public on a per capita basis.”
    Commenting:
    Who’s he trying to fool? All that money will disappear – paying interest on what we already owe and funding new expanded hand-outs. What’s left goes in the pork barrel.

  3. He certainly believes very strongly in what he is saying. But that should give us pause for two reasons.

    He has been working on this issue since the mid-1970s and, after reviewing 35 years of climate data and climate theory and climate models, if his belief is so strong after all this time, then perhaps he is right.

    On the other hand, a strong belief that cannot be proven is sometimes a dangerous thing. He likes to insert the words “dangerous climate change” into every paper he comes into contact with. It could easily turn out to be “dangerous climate change theory” instead.

    We need more evidence and less words.

  4. Why are people ignoring poor lil’ ol’ Hansen’s cry that the sky is falling? For the same reason we ignore the once repeated warts and frogs warning, breathing in cold air and the sniffles warning, don’t bath and expect to live much longer warning, take this snake oil and get better add, kill and cat and bury it to cure [fill in the blank], spit when you curse so your curse does not fall on you, if you froth at the mouth or have a tendency to say goddammit you must be possessed warning, etc.

    But that gives me an idea. If Hansen still believes in global warming here is some advice he should take seriously:

    Touch a frog (go on rub it all over you, go stand out in the cold, don’t bath, take snake oil, kill a cat, froth at the mouth and swear, then call me in the morning. I have just the hospital for you.

  5. “The science has become clear: burning all fossil fuels would put Earth on a disastrous course”

    Gee, over what time period? ALL fossil fuels – oil, coal, etc. That would be a very hard thing to accomplish I would think.

    He is stating the obvious, just as obvious as staitng — The science has become clear: drinking all the fresh water available would put Earth on a disastrous course —

    I’m really surprised he seems surprised that Congressmen/women vote for bills they haven’t read, its a pretty common practice as far as I can tell.

  6. Hansen is on the verge of a nervous breakdown. The rambling, strident tone of his semi-delusional mind set is beginning to break him. You reap what you sow.

  7. Wow! Hansen has forgotten the science if he ever knew any and is now a religious zealot. No engineering and free market, he just commands it to be so. I think our government is now dominated by people who have never produced anything in their whole life. No work, only telling others to do to do whatever has crossed their minds. A total fantasy world. Hansen, Obama, Jackson, just say it and it must be so.

  8. If we grant the assumption that it is necessary to impose some sort of carbon tax to protect the environment, stop climate change, and save the world, then Hansen is right that the cap-and-trade system is highly susceptible to corruption and influence peddling, and won’t have the needed impact. His scheme (a tax at the wellhead that is 100% returned as a per capita rebate) actually sounds reasonable and much less subject to corruption.

    We’ve already seen the Obama administration put the screws to the secured bondholders of Chrysler in order to put the UAW first in line for the lion’s share of the new company, violating everything American used to believe about contracts and private property rights. Why would cap and trade be any different?

    Of course, I wouldn’t be reading this blog if I thought we needed a draconian tax to save the world. But it is a proposal with some merit, I think, if you grant the underlying assumption.

  9. Well, if you can somehow get past all of the data and real evidence that says we should do nothing at all, Jim & I finally agree on something. His approach makes a lot more sense than cap & trade (and will therefore never be adopted).

    Any new proposal coming out of Washington must help destroy the economy, redistribute wealth, AND be counter-effective to its original intent to be considered. Cap & trade meets all three objectives just fine, thank you.

  10. Hansen says “Several people admonished me for informal language, which detracts from credibility,…… ”

    No…what detracts from credibility is his constant hysterics and his apparent belief that he is somehow in control of the world economy. This guy shows all the earmarks of being certifiably nuts.

  11. A person reducing his carbon footprint more than average would gain economically, if the fee is returned 100 percent to the public on a per capita basis. With the present distributions of income and energy use, it is estimated that about 60 percent of the people would get a dividend exceeding their tax.

    Anyway you look at it, this is wealth redistribution. To make it worse, the government plans to give the public it’s dividend through more social services. It used to be when you took money from somebody in order to give it to somebody else, it was called theft.

    We all know how efficiently government works, so figure most of this money will be lost in overhead. Some new or existing agency must enforce cap-and-trade, monitor emissions and compliance, etc. Do we really need another IRS-like bureaucracy?

    Government programs never die and they don’t fade away, either. If the cap-and-trade funds are used to fund new programs, then what is the incentive for the government to actually reduce emissions? With lower emissions there will be less income from cap-and-trade, meaning money to pay for those programs must come from somewhere else.

    And don’t forget the exceptions. Since an industry can be made exempt, how much money will be spent on lobbyists and by lobbyists trying to get exemptions for their clients? This will be a great windfall of reelection funds and PAC money for the politicians.

  12. It seems that not only has Hansen grossly overestimated the impact of so called AGW, he grossly underestimated the venality of politicians. How thick can the man be?

    Way to go, John.

  13. At least he’s got the part about the alligator shoes right !!!

    Lobbyists are helping to write the Trade and Cap bill !!!!
    How is THAT for hypocrisy !!

    EXCLUSIVE: Lobbyists help Dems draft climate change bill

    Democratic lawmakers who spent much of the Bush administration blasting officials for letting energy lobbyists write national policy have turned to a coalition of business and environmental groups to help draft their own sweeping climate bill.

    And one little-noticed provision of the draft bill would give one of the coalition’s co-founders a lucrative exemption on a coal-fired project it is building.

    http://washingtontimes.com/news/2009/may/04/green-lobby-guides-democrats-on-climate-bill/

  14. This is the same James Hansen that sais “the Democratic process isn’t working.” The same guy that was rebuked by his former boss who said that Hansen “embarrasses NASA” and that his “models are useless.” That being said, cap-and-trade has worsened the perceived problem in Europe. It will do the same here, and at a higher cost to boot.

  15. OT – sorry , but did anyone here catch the debate between Dr. Jason Box and Dr. Bob Wagner in Ohio last Saturday ? I’m not sure of the venue , but would like to get someone’s impressions . BTW , I visit this site daily and find it the best !

  16. This is an example of one of the pretend scientists who will pretend to control the weather.

    I agree with the seriously ‘unstable’ commenter.

  17. “…What is it that does not compute here? Why does the public choose to subsidize fossil fuels, rather than taxing fossil fuels to make them cover their costs to society?…”

    Maybe they value freedom, Jim, rather than having you and your ilk run their lives, which is the aim of all your ranting, isn’t it? While you’re out there trying to influence the world to your point of view, why don’t you give us a definitive tabulation of those “costs” you go on about.

  18. Hansen’s rant is so target rich, I don’t know where to begin. One juicy nugget is this:

    “648 pages are not needed to define a carbon fee. It is a single number that would be ratcheted upward over time. ”

    He then goes on to talk about several different “fee” (read tax) numbers! But, who holds the ratchet wrench here? Who gets to decide? If some unnamed politico comes along and “ratchets” up the gas “fee” to $5/gallon, do I get any say? Who is this going to hurt most? Do you think manufacturers are NOT going to pass this “fee” increase along to consumers?

    “I get a lot of e-mails telling me to stick to climate, that I don’t know anything about economics.”

    Perhaps, Mr. Hansen, you should take the hint…

  19. This is nothing more than the “good cop, bad cop routine” mixed with the “nothing up my sleeves” act.

    Hansen, of course has been delegated the role of “bad cop.”

    Now we are all supposed to be relieved when the “bad cop” Hansen does not get his tax and we are stuck with “cap & trade.”

    As each year goes by Americans find themselves with ever increasing inventories of untapped Natural Gas, Oil, & Coal. The last time I checked, building nuclear plants was a “shovel ready job.”

    The US economy is being strangled by American hating, anti capitalist, envirostatists.

    Neither the government nor its supporters have America’s continuing economic growth or well being in mind. They only want to control the economic engine of our society down to our last Supreme Court polluted breath.

    And this power grab based on a lie can be so easily defeated. All you have to do is tell people you know that the planet has cooled for nearly ten years.

  20. Why does the public choose to subsidize fossil fuels, rather than taxing fossil fuels to make them cover their costs to society?

    Possibly because “the public” wants to not be found dead, as though having been trapped within each’s own personal Concentraion Camp?

  21. Big surprise at the truck load of Hansen bashing that will occur here. Most of the posters here are so focused on particular trees that they fail to see the forest.

    He’s been studying climate for 30 years. He must have been deluded by all the science, err wait, let me put that in a way it will be understood here, ‘science.’

    Heck, we may need more CO2 to grow more food for more people with ever increasing fossil fuel based living standards.

    Those in alligator shoes are going to win because they are in control. In their self interest, they’ll doom all of us.

    The boy of John

  22. Hansen is right. Cap-and trade is bad policy.
    His carbon tax, returned as a rebate to people isn’t bad at all. We can live with it. Especially if it prevents the cap-and-trade debacle.
    It’s won’t help much in reducing emissions, the Europeans also have in place a gasoline tax of perhaps 2$ per gallon, their gas consumption is a little lower than in the US but not that much.
    I would propose a carbon tax to replace the income tax (or part of it).

  23. When I read the headline, I was thinking, “Oh, he gets it, he understands it will wreck economies worldwide.”

    After reading the article, I understand that is definately not the case.

    He would make an interesting villain in a James Bond movie.

  24. Politicians prefer cap-and-trade over a carbon tax because it is a hidden government levy. Could it be a good thing that a true believer like Hansen is against cap-and-trade? There is no proposition to to implement a carbon tax. The alternative to cap-and-trade is do-nothing.

    Hansen’s position is one more good reason for the politicians to delay cap-and-trade legislation while they contitue to study the urgent AGW problem.

    Meanwhile, world temperature are trending down and polar ice extent is trending up. A general wake-up call has to happen at some point.

  25. I wonder just where he thinks that money would go? Obviously he doesn’t mind spending more of his tax paid salary to get to work. He probably brings in 6 figures a year by now.

    But what about those who are barely surviving, the fast food workers and grocery store clerks who can barely afford to pay for food now. Not to mention all the laid off auto workers and off shored IT people. Just which choice will these people make, pay rent, or get to work?

    Just what does he propose to get things rolling again? Oh that’s right, he lives in a bubble where real people don’t need to eat food and you can just magically replace your means to get to work by some uninvented highly expensive eco-friendly fuel.

  26. Really, we should be comforted by Jim Hansen’s clodhopping bombast and naivete.

    He is shocked that the politicians are dodging and weaving over facing the costs of tackling “climate change” just like they do with every other issue?

    He is shocked that, when Congress starts swinging big money around, lobbyists crowd together in a feeding frenzy?

    And by the way, how does GISS manage to secure its funding every year? With or without the help of lobbyists?

  27. James Hansen is an educated idiot.

    Food requires tractors, diesel, to plant, columbines, diesel or gas, to harvest, trucks, diesel, to ship to your door. Just how does this guy expect all these freshly out of work people to pay for food, if he wants to jack up the price of oil?

    With his ideas, I bet food would experience at least a doubling of cost.

  28. “I get a lot of e-mails telling me to stick to climate, that I don’t know anything about economics.”

    I am left with the feeling that it would have been better for our children and grandchildren if Jim had stuck to astronomy and not drifted into climatology. In reality what he is saying is sensible, (except the bit about the extremely small contribution humans make to GHGs being the reason for the coming armageddon), we should be moving away from fossil fuels, and indeed we are, but it will take decades, or even centuries, to get to a position where they are available in industrial strength, and he’d persuaded himself we only have twenty minutes.

    I take no sides in this particular argument, but can see that as carbon is free, giving everyone on earth the same amount at birth will lead to a redistribution of wealth of a sort. The problem I see is that once the poorer people have received money for their carbon they will themselves start to use more carbon, or their enhanced wealth will be of no use to them. Positive feedback in action.

  29. Jim asks:

    “What is it that does not compute here?”

    Well his models don’t compute future climate with any certainty, and his grip on computing the speed at which current energy sources can be replaced with clean tech is tenuous to say the least.

    Now he’s telling Obama he’s not in the Kennedy, Roosevelt, Churchill league.

    The only thin ice around is that which Jim finds himself standing on.

  30. Only in academic environments can one have such an advanced case of cranial-rectal syndrome, and not have someone slap you back to reality. It is cooling. It has colled for long enough to statistically invalidate the models, as Lucia has shown, but does this give Hansen pause? Not for a moment.

    JH: Gavin! How’s the climate?
    GS: Just like we thought in 19 of 20 cases!
    JH: 19 of 20! I knew it! We’re doomed!
    GS: The ice has mostly all melted, the glaciers are gone, and the waves are lapping at my front door!
    JH: Whats this realisation with almost no warming, and lots of ice?
    GS: Oh, that’s just the observed reality.
    JH: Reality!? We don’t deal in reality, we’re in a university!

  31. People…. don’t worry, be happy, Obama will spend us out of trouble, after all he is deaf, blind and not dumb but a little bit ah, ignorant?

  32. Both approaches are an abomination, on an economy that is already in the ditch. There are energy costs is all products, and if the costs of those products go up, which they will, people will buy less of them. That will put people out of work, which will further depress the economy.

    Energy is the life-blood of our way of life, and Jim Hansen is a crack-pot doctor, who thinks a good bleeding, is the cure for what ails us.

  33. The letter is full of hyperbole such as:

    Such a path would also eliminate mercury emissions, most air pollution, acid rain and ozone alerts, likely reversing trends toward increasing asthma and birth defects.

    It would eliminate mercury emissions? It certainly would not eliminate them. At least he recognizes that mercury emissions are bad, I wonder how he feels about CFLs?

    It would reverse a trend toward birth defects? On what basis does he make this statement? What is causing the birth defects? Is it mercury or air pollution, or perhaps Jim believes acid rain, ozone, or CO2 causes birth defects?

  34. Heck, we may need more CO2 to grow more food for more people with ever increasing fossil fuel based living standards.

    Such as yourself, John Boy? Have you lowered your own fossil fuel CO2 imprint to pre-Industrial Revolution levels?

    Why not “Be the first on your block to create your very own personal Concentration Camp”, John Boy?

  35. This man is [snip] .”when our forests burn!” they do every summer.What you do about it is up to to the USFS/BLM/BIA…

  36. Hansen is exactly right here.

    We should applaud him.

    Cap and trade in any form (and especially the form being considered in Congress) will have an insignificant impact on CO2 emissions.

    Any policy that has a significant impact on emissions MUST have a significant impact on the economic situation of average Americans.

    What Hansen doesn’t understand, but folks on capital hill do, is that the American public is unwilling to make the significant sacrifices required to implement his vision of a low emission world.

  37. My dear friends, as as foreigner i can tell you: You are doomed indeedif somebody there takes this man seriously.
    This man is really sick.
    If that tale about the “alligator shoes” people would be true, why is it so that they are not after him?
    And “but the train has left the station”…once again those trains!!
    He is clearly projecting his internal problems.
    OK, It is funny, but at the same time very sad.

  38. Can someone help me here with regard to the carbon tax (if enacted in whichever form)? Not all fossil fuel (coal, oil, natural gas) is burned. The chemical industry uses benzene (from oil or coal), natural gas, and ethane derivatives to make rigid polyurethane foam used as insulation in buildings, appliances, etc. Primary driver for demand is higher energy efficiency. But why would a rigid polyurethane producer need to pay a carbon tax on raw materials (listed above) that aren’t converted to CO2? As far as I can tell, I’ve seen no answer to this. The same logic applies to polyethylene produced from ethane derivatives. This stuff eventually gets landfilled, not burned.

  39. I get a lot of e-mails telling me to stick to climate, that I don’t know anything about economics.

    And

    As a point of reference a fee equivalent to $1/gallon of gasoline ($115/ton CO2) would yield $670B in the United States (based on energy use data for 2007). That would provide a dividend of $3000/year to legal adult residents in the United States ($9000/year to a family with two or more children).

    Someone should tell him he knows nothing about the climate or economics. Small wonder NASA are too scared to sack him, he’s a freaking nut case.

  40. Remember the Revolution. There are a great many parallels here regarding cap and trade, and taxes related to resource use as a source of government income and the parliament acts that significantly figured into the American Revolution. The trouble is that currently, it isn’t some foreign entity that is pushing this into our homes. It is our own government and on both sides of the color divide. Read the following entries from Wiki but replace the name of the acts imposed by Britain with CO2 terminology compliments of Hansen and the like, and parliament with federal or state government. And me a lefty. Whoulda thought such comments could come from the mouth of a lefty. Kinda destroys the blanket statements from some that this is all the fault of lefty’s.

    The Stamp Act

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stamp_Act_1765

    The Townshend Act

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

  41. Regarding food, they would stay the same but farmers would go out of business. We can’t change the price of food that goes to the middle man just because our costs have gone up. And if prices do go up because someone down the chain raised theirs, the farmer sees none of that income.

  42. Much to my surprise, I have found two things on which I can agree with Dr. Hansen, namely that cap and trade is bad policy and – again to my surprise – his position on nuclear power; not because I believe in CO2 induced global warming, but because we must sooner or later find economically and technologically viable alternatives to fossil fuels for the simple reason they likely will be essentially exhausted within a century or so. I have often wondered at the irrationality of those who are so rabid about saving us from the “crisis” of AGW but remain antinuclear power. This prompted me today to google “Hansen nuclear”. Turns out that Hansen strongly favors 4th generation nuclear research and development which was terminated by the Clinton administration in repayment for support from the antinuclear environmental lobby. See here: http://bravenewclimate.com/2008/11/28/hansen-to-obama-pt-iii-fast-nuclear-reactors-are-integral/. Thorium molten salt reactors and other 4th generation technology promise all of the benefits of conventional nuclear while eliminating most if not all of its problems including the need for pressurized vessels and the waste issue. This appears very doable. See Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molten_salt_reactor.
    The President, DOE Secretary Steven Chu, and the Congress need to drop cap and trade and get onto something actually useful, development of advanced nuclear technology. Wind and solar are unlikely to ever be sufficient to meet energy demand, and the ultimate solution, fusion (hot or cold), may never be practically achievable – though fusion research obviously should continue as well.

  43. Not taking into consideration any global warming or whatsoever, a tax fuel, as many countries in the world have, helps when there is a cronic budget deficit and provided the money is well used it makes the economy to depend less on foreing loans; the logical alternative, as in any family home, (economy=oikos=home) is to spend much less. As simple as that.

  44. Hanson is right and wrong.

    He is right about cap & Trade which would cost the average US family $ 6.400 a year according to this report: http://www.climatedepot.com/a/625/Report-Carbon-trading-estimated-to-cost-each-US-Family-6400-per-year

    He is wrong because his alternative concept would turn the US into a Fascist State.

    He is double wrong because all his scaremongering serves a non existing hoax:

    http://heliogenic.blogspot.com/2009/05/ocean-heat-agw-climate-models-v-reality.html

    and we can pump as much Anthropogenic CO2 into the atmosphere without any warming penalty: http://heliogenic.blogspot.com/2009/05/miklos-zagoni-explains-miskolczis.html

    Plus all the other arguments presented at WUWT.

    AGW = DEAD

  45. “Others found that even modest reductions of emissions were inconvenient, and thus they simply ignored their goals.”

    I think he meant “simply Gored their goals.”

  46. As to Hansen and credibility. If James Hansen wore a clown suit, spoke througha kazoo, and danced on a table, he would have no less credibility. But he would be more entertaining.
    For Hansen to lose credibility, he would first have to have some.
    Hansen is a cynical liar, who seeks to deprive people of their civil liberties, who has abused his office, over stayed his time on the public stage, has manipulated his peers, misled the public, and is responsible for a multi-billion fraud called AGW.
    None of his arrogant, chatty, deceptive letters can change this.

  47. Poor guy, he still believes that big government can be trusted with our money. Any monies collected by any government passes an event horizon from which nothing escapes. In fact, once your money has crossed that horizon, it is doomed to move inexorably closer and closer to the ‘singularity’ at the center of the black hole where moneyspacetime is distorted so much that the coordinates describing your money, space and time becoming hopelessly intermingled and irretrievable.

  48. Here in the UK we have been living with high levels of fuel tax for decades; currently equivalent to about $5.30 of tax per gallon. Has this made any difference to the level of demand ? No, and this simply illustrates that fuel price is inelastic so that a dollar here or there will make no impact on demand. The energy density of oil is so far beyond that of any reasonable alternative that economic stimuli directed at pushing demand from one commodity to another would require truly dracononian levels of taxation. And what would happen to all this revenue? ; the UK has little to show for the huge sums raised other than record breaking budget deficits.

  49. Found a recent article on the subject matter (re: carbon taxes and the chemical industry):

    aqes.cee.uiuc.edu/cee546/CEE546/Handouts/article2.pdf

    The short answer is that there is no simple answer on the matter. At least I’m not the only one who has thought through the implications.

  50. Someday this man may find a biographer who can show the tragic arc of his life. Scary.

  51. It’s funny when the true greenies get the picture that politicians are just using them. What did Hansen expect? Is he that Naive?

  52. John Boy

    He’s been studying climate for 30 years. He must have been deluded by all the science, err wait, let me put that in a way it will be understood here, ’science.’

    Nah, he’s been playing with Models for at least 30 years, not doing or understanding Science, instead trying to achieve personal:

    money

    love

    and power

    – and probably some sense of personal significance for his otherwise self-viewed and “sickness unto death”-feared ultimate insignificance within the Universe.

    In other words, Hansen’s got a bad case of Possession Obsession, not just a “taste” of Possession Obsession. – Hall and Oates, Possession Obsession

    I don’t see why we should all have to sacrifice our fossil fuel based wellbeing, and, yes, even the wellbeing and lives of other people and those not yet born merely to subserve Hansen’s personal derangements, given that Hansen’s alleged cure to his alleged disease is worse than the disease and will most certainly produce effects rivalling those which Hansen disasterizes as a result of his neurotically derived “disease”.

    Imo, Hansen is a Deathworshipper. Others must suffer and die in order to validate Hansen’s “values” – the obsessive cleansing of the atmosphere of fossil fuel CO2.

    Sound familiar?

  53. Maurizio Morabito (07:52:41) :

    McKitrick’s idea is good on the surface but it would incent world governments seeking ever more power to distort temperature records.

  54. I found his letter a very interesting read.

    He comes across to me as a committed environmentalist who wants the US to stop using fossil fuels and…. that is it.

  55. Russ R. (07:45:14) :

    There are energy costs is all products, and if the costs of those products go up, which they will, people will buy less of them.

    None of the alarmists has the slightest clue about basic economics. The “income” every adult gets from this scheme is taken from the economy in the first place, so it is a zero sum trade at best. His idea is nothing more than income redistribution in disguise (and not a very good disguise at that).

    Mark

  56. Hansen is a crackpot who should not be allowed in a serious public forum. His diatribe reads more like a Daily Kos blog entry and less like a credible scientist. Can we just ignore this guy once and for all and get on with a rational energy policy of which the main component is nuclear? The solution is obvious for those with common sense.

  57. “It would lock in disasters for our children and grandchildren. Why do people continue to worship a disastrous approach?”

    He’s talking about AGW and the hysterical political response to the great political ponzi scheme, scientific fraud and sellout by scientists seeking fame and fortune.

    Right ?

    Have I not understood what Jimmy is saying here ?

    They other problem for Jimmy is that Obama doesn’t give a crap about him and hos Warmongering hysterics. All Obama sees is a crisis that someone else went to great effort to create and he plans to take advantage of by taxing carbon to pay for his social engineering schemes.

    No income tax reduction to balance the Carbon tax there Jimmy-boy . . . just an Obama bait & switch coming.

  58. “As a point of reference a fee equivalent to $1/gallon of gasoline ($115/ton CO2) would yield $670B in the United States (based on energy use data for 2007). That would provide a dividend of $3000/year to legal adult residents in the United States ($9000/year to a family with two or more children).”

    We finally see the real political aims of the man, he is a redistributionist, looking to set up a ‘social dividend’ system, handing out cash to people while being so ignorant of economics he doesnt realise that money is coming out of those same peoples pockets.

  59. Hansen is the #1 alarmist at NASA so I, as a loyal WUWT reader, hate to agree with him. BUT, he IS right about opposing the Cap & Trade scam. He is also right about the Carbon Tax with 100% dividend (also known as revenue-neutral Carbon Tax and supported by more of us on the right than those on the left.)

    Rising atmospheric CO2 levels may be responsible for, oh ten percent, of the warming we have seen over the past 100 years. That is insignificant compared to the efects of natural cycles of the sun. With the “Inconvenient” solar minimum, we are likely to see temperatures stabilize and perhaps decline a bit in the coming decades. Hansen has been wrong about any kind of “tipping point” anytime soon.

    So, why do I favor the revenue-neutral Carbon Tax? And why now? Well, a tax of about $1/gallon (and proportional tax for natural gas and coal) would raise the price to about $3/gallon, which is less than the $4/gallon we paid last year. The Carbon Tax would apply at the wellhead or mine, which would make it relatively easy to collect and hard to avoid. The 100% dividend, paid as an equal share to every legal US resident with a social security card, would offset the higher prices of fuel and petroleum products. It would stimulate the economy. Rather than have the government (i.e., lobbyists) set our energy agenda, the marketplace would automatically reward industries and consumers who used less fossil fuel.

    Would a Carbon Tax reduce atmospheric carbon-gas growth levels? Probably. Certainly more so than the politically loaded Cap & Trade or Kyoto Agreement.

    Should we be concerned about rising carbon-gas levels? Perhaps not. Higher atmospheric CO2, IMHO, is beneficial to most agriculture and it is responsible for only a fraction of global warming. On the other hand, as a conservative, I am wary of any major changes that may have unknown long-term effects. So, like chicken soup, the Carbon Tax may help reduce rising CO2 levels and it couldn’t hurt. Best of all, the revenue-neutral Carbon Tax is the least destructive way to head off the evil Cap & Trade scam.

  60. It would appear the condition of Dr. Hansen’s mental state trends inversely proportional to global temperature. Roy Spencer posted the April numbers last night; we are now sitting at 0.09 deg. C. above where we were in 1979 and trending downward. It probably hasn’t helped the good doctor’s outlook to realize just how much money and glory The Goracle has accumulated off Hansen’s ideas while Hansen was being instructed to “wait out in the truck”.

  61. Talking of a certain movie character, check out James Hansen’s familiar-looking hat in this photo from that Washington protest earlier. Looks like the guy is on a Last Crusade to save a planet in peril from evil coal-industry cap ‘n’ tRaiders. Will our lone hero be in time to stop the baddies (all of Western civilisation, plus the Indians, Chinese and much of the developing world)? Can he escape the Temple of Doom, evade the deadly alligator (shoes) and derail the death train single-handedly, armed with nothing but his bull(whip)? Tune in, folks, this December to find out.

  62. Barry–food will not double in cost, it will quadruple in cost or more because not only will the fuel to plant and harvest be more expensive, so will the fertilizers–because their manufacture emits !!!!!greenhouse gasses!!!
    Add to that the fact that much of the crops grown will be mandated for biofuel use. Food will become unavailable to a huge segment of the planet’s population.
    But that’s okay–we have to get rid of a billion or so carbon exhaling humans to reach the entirely arbitrary and ecologically meaningless “Goals” these fools say we must.
    My blog is not called Soylent Green for nothing.

  63. Chris (08:00:18) :
    “The chemical industry uses benzene ..,etc
    All they will have to do is just buying some “carbon credits”, that’s all, of course
    if you follow the logic you’ll find that you are about to know what a “tax in cascade” is, fossil fuel will be taxed, as benzene. Ok, now you get the benzene but you can’t use it if you don’t buy many “carbon shares”, so the price of your plastic , say, bottle will quadruple, that in turn…etc,etc.

    HURRAY, WELCOME TO A THIRD WORLD ECONOMY !!

  64. I agree with Hansen’s tax approach as stated above — if one assumes AGW is a problem to be solved today by proactive means (and I don’t assume that — I would “adapt” if AGW ever becomes a problem). To me, it shows that he is committed to the public good — a “patriot” in his own mind.

    His recommendations are certainly better than what is being proposed by our political “leaders”.

    Thing is, the politicians pushing cap & trade are not as patriotic as Hansen. So, I agree with Hansen, the result of the cap & trade bill we actually get will be a financial disaster — and it will have no impact on AGW (if AGW exists).

  65. fa⋅nat⋅ic
    –noun 1. a person with an extreme and uncritical enthusiasm or zeal, as in religion or politics.

    A person showing more than ordinary support for, adherence to, or interest in a cause.
    Excessive or overweening devotion to a cause or belief.
    Unbalanced or obsessive behavior.

    Synonyms:
    1. Hansen 

  66. “My frustration arises from the huge gap between words of governments, worldwide, and their actions or planned actions.”

    Let me translate what these Governmental Words mean.

    ” We don’t actually believe this stuff, but it’s a good way to get more money to spend on getting ourselves re-elected, thus keeping our incomes high, when we’re such a bunch of useless no-hopers, that we’d starve outside of politics”

  67. Hansen’s beginning to sound like the shepherd’s assistance who kept crying “Wolf!” No body’s listening. Soon Hansen’s going to fade into history as just another nut case.

  68. Mike Bryant: Just great! “once your money has crossed that horizon, it is doomed to move inexorably closer and closer to the ’singularity’ at the center of the black hole where moneyspacetime is distorted so much that the coordinates describing your money, space and time becoming hopelessly intermingled and irretrievable.

    So, there won’t be any “dividend” back whatsoever.

  69. Oh, BTW, just for once, I agree with Hansen…. jettison the Cap and Trade bill!

  70. Hansen better be careful. The Obama administration is counting on cap & trade to get all the money from those tax cuts back into the treasury where they belong. If people that work for the government start talking bad about cap & trade they could find themselves among the swelling ranks of the unemployed. If he can fire the head honcho of GM, he can certainly let Hansen go.

  71. Thanks for making my point about fanatics there Jimbo!

    I also disagree with his assertion of what he knows for sure, it is false because I have seen a Revenue Neutral Carbon Tax not Work as Intended here in BC. So his basic premise is false, just like his AGW premise is false as well. The reason is that these single issue proponents have no concept of the broader economic and demographic changes that affect their position. For someone who seems to think he can understand the entire climate system he has no grasp on the reality in which he actually lives economically and socially.

  72. Very inspirational that 1988 dire warning prediction session in Congress.

    So just 10years later; having failed to correctly predict the outcome of those ten years of dire predictions; we can state based on the observational evidence that not only does Dr Hansen not know anything about economics, but he also doesn’t know anything about climate either. Well to be pedantic, I should say he didn’t in 1988; for that was when he issued the failed predictions.

    Well Climate and economics are about on the same level as “scientific” diciplines, so not too surprising he could be wrong on both.

    We can now add to those ignorances that clearly Dr Hansen also knows nothing aboutbehavioral Psychology.

    In his letter he now proceeds to lecture us on what “the people” will do in response to his punitive carbon taxation.

    That is akin to an articulated hook and ladder fire truck with a driver at each end, and another four drivers each taking care of the driving of one wheel. Well given the articulation you probably need at least eight wheel drivers; and of course none of these drivers is in communication with any of the others.

    Give it up Dr Hansen; even you can’t predict what “the people” will do in response to whatever President Obama proclaimed in this morning’s major Press Conference. It is a new day, so I presume he has already had at least one news conference this morning. So how can you predict what they will do in response to legislation that absolutely nobody in the entire elected US Government has ever read.

    The “Law of UNintended Consequences” was proclaimed in response to the quaint behavior of “the people” reacting to government regulations and legislation.

  73. A person reducing his carbon footprint more than average would gain economically, if the fee is returned 100 percent to the public on a per capita basis.

    Key word there… IF. The problem is it can’t. In order to bring in the revenue and distribute it back, there will be costs, lots and lots of costs. The cost to collect, the cost to distribute, the cost to enforce, the cost to administer, etc., etc.

    The money is not collected and redistributed by the energy tax fairy.

  74. This guy is down-right vindictive! He’s the Joe McCarthy of climate change.

    Obviously he hates everyone on the planet who works for a living…And he has a special hatred for anyone who has been more financially successful than he has.

    He must take home a pretty good salary from NASA…And all of those Soros and Heinz Foundation grants…

    I used to think Hansen was just incompetent…Now I’m becoming convinced that he’s actually evil.

    I think his motives have strayed from mitigating climate change and morphed into a vendetta against private industry.

  75. Wow! – Is Secretary Clinton aware of Doctor Hansen’s foreign policy initiative/actions?

    “Human population growth is a root cause of the stress that humanity is placing upon the global environment and upon the other species sharing our planet’s resources. A deliberate policy of population growth is inconsistent with preservation of climate and nature.” Hansen, May 4, 2009, Letter.

    Doctor Hansen seems to be trying to “connect dots” for some very scary policy.

  76. Obama delivered on a campaign promise. He promised in last summers acceptance speech the this was the time that the ice would stop melting. He’s been President for only 4 months. Based on the Sea Ice Extent chart in the sidebar, the ice has stopped melting. What a guy!

  77. Bill Illis (06:50:33) :
    On the other hand, a strong belief that cannot be proven is sometimes a dangerous thing. …. We need more evidence and less words

    But where will this evidence come from.
    You do not believe models
    You do not believe temperature reconstructions
    You do not believe recorded temperature
    Proxies are poxy.
    Glaciers – unbelievable
    CO2 does no harm

    Can you suggest a way of conclusively proving AGW/GW or no problem. Waiting 25 years is not an option, is it?

  78. This is the end result of having to prove “malice” in order to sue a government employee. It does not matter how wrong, or incompetent they are, as long as they “meant well”. It does not matter who is injured or dies. Hansen does not have to verify anything, he does not have to show due diligence, and he can violate every scientific principle. He can hide government sponsored methods and data. He is immune from any resulting damages.

  79. “What is it that does not compute here? Why does the public choose to subsidize fossil fuels, rather than taxing fossil fuels to make them cover their costs to society?”

    My response: It is your models that do not compute, sir, The public increasingly recognizes this and rejects your schemes as those of a charlatan.

    By the way, I read the final paragraph, in which Hansen calls for a ‘great communicator,’ as more of a slap at Gore than at Obama. Gore is set to make hundreds of millions from cap and trade. (So is Pickens, of course.)

    Hyperbolic language aside, this letter reads like the writing of a man who sees the goal, once so close to victory, is now slipping away.

  80. Ira,

    How can something revenue neurtral (not to the govt but to people) stimulate the economy? $1 per gallon tax means we pay more for gasoline and everything else (electricity, food, etc.). The company pays the tax, yes, but are they going to eat the shortage? No – they’re going to passs the costs onto us. After we pay more for it, we get a ‘distribution’ after all of the government’s administrative costs are met. No thanks.

  81. Cap and trade is an absolute disaster of an idea that will be almost as tough to get rid of as our busted social insecurity system. He is right on that. Reading the rest it appears it may be the broken clock righ twice a day tyoe of thing for him.

    I don’t think I am going to be able to take any of the dire consequence ideas seriously until the anti climate change folks become rabidly pro nuclear power. Until then it is obvious they aren’t serious.

  82. Ira (08:52:47) :

    No need to quote what you’ve said, but your comment is incorrect in one subtle way. By your own admission, the tax is nothing more than a wealth redistribution. Since the dividend would be taken from one portion of the economy and given to another, it cannot benefit the aggregate economy in any meaningful way (as such, neither can any of these government bailouts we are currently witnessing).

    Mark

  83. Warmer Is Better.

    So is freedom from overweening government command and control. We should try slashing our current taxes-on-everything and force a much diminished government to live on a balanced budget.

    Let’s solve the problem we know exists — out-of-control government excess — and cease and desist trying to “solve” imaginary hoax problems.

    Warmer Is Better. And if Hansen’s models are right (ha ha), then Warmer Is Free!!!!!

    Now if we could only find a way to make government free, most of the world’s problems would disappear like sunspots in our New Millennium Minimum.

  84. For those enamored with taxation and revenues, the soundest basis, that should be agreeable to everyone, is Ross McKitrick’s Tropical Tropospheric Temperature Tax or “T3 Tax”

    Ross McKitrick March 2009 Presentation “Calling the Cap & Trade Bluff” Heartland Institute 2nd International Conference on Climate Change, New York City March 2009

    Tie reductions in the cap to changes in the mean temperature of the tropical troposphere

    IF: THEN THE CAP…

    IPCC mid-range (A1B) scenario true… should fall 35% by 2030

    Stern Review worst-case scenario true… should fall 95% by 2030.

    No trend in tropical troposphere … should grow by 1.3% per year.

    tropical troposphere starts cooling . . . could rise even faster

    No matter what your view of AGW, you expect to get your preferred outcome

    Skeptics expect the cap to be slack and the permits market to collapse

    Fence-sitters expect a low price on carbon dioxide emissions

    IPCC’ers expect a steady reduction in emissions

    Alarmists expect a deep emission reduction path

    On his web site McKitrick states:

    Overall I am very skeptical about the idea that global warming is a scientifically well-defined concept, that it is known to be driven by CO2emissions and will cause a dangerous crisis for the world. Consequently I think policies to reduce CO2emissions are likely to be a waste even if well-designed, and much more so when they are ill-conceived. But I know a lot of people are worried about it, and I can’t blame them since the media tsunami on this topic in recent years all but forbids dissent, unless you are equipped with a lot of detailed counter-information or you just have a very good BS detector.

    Recently I came up with a policy proposal that reconciles my skepticism with the policy activism of the alarmists: calibrate a carbon tax to the average temperature of the region of the atmosphere predicted by climatologists to be most sensitive to CO2. I call it the ‘T3’ tax, and I think the proposal should make everyone happy, except the most extreme alarmists and the Trojan horse-types who see the global warming issue as a vehicle for imposing a set of anti-growth policies that they would want even if global warming fizzles as a pretext. The Post op-ed explains the T3 concept briefly. It got a lot of attention on the internet (partly through a headline link on Arts and Letters Daily). The Vancouver Volumes chapter develops the idea in full technical detail. I also did a recent interview about the T3 Tax on the Australian radio show Counterpoint (ABC). The 4-page E&E edition is a forthcoming commentary in Environment and Energy. It provides a more detailed summary than the Post op-ed.

    * *McKitrick, Ross R. (2007) The T3 Tax as a Policy Strategy for Global Warming. In Nakamura, A. ed. The Vancouver Volumes Trafford Press, forthcoming.

    * McKitrick, Ross R. Call Their Tax Bluff (National Post June 12, 2007)
    * Counterpoint Interview (Sept 10 2007) Go to the 38 minute mark.
    * McKitrick, Ross R. (2007) Calling the Carbon Bluff Environment & Energy 19(5) 707-711.
    * McKitrick, Ross R. (2007) Let Policy Follow Science: Tie a Carbon Tax to Actual Warming. (Christian Science Monitor December 3, 2007)

    I have just released a formal version of my T3 Tax proposal as a working paper through SSRN. * McKitrick, Ross R. (2008) “A Simple State-Contingent Pricing Rule for Complex Intertemporal Externalities.” SSRN No. 1154157

    * McKitrick, Ross R. (2008) “A Simple State-Contingent Pricing Rule for Complex Intertemporal Externalities.” SSRN No. 1154157

    See Tropical Troposphere by Steve McIntyre on April 26th, 2008
    McKitrick at 118 notes

    Andrew, a 3-year moving average is not all that complicated. BTW, when I wrote that chapter last year the T3 tax rate was $4.67. It’s now $3.33 and falling. If this trend continues it could indeed become a subsidy, but to oppose it on the grounds that it might end up as a subsidy for CO2 emissions is to admit that one actually expects global cooling.

  85. Bill Illis @ 6:50:”…if his belief is so strong after all this time, then perhaps he is right.”

    No, Bill, that’s the worst sort of post-modernism claptrap. Belief is in no way indicative of being correct. Remember Mark Twain’s adage that the problem is not that people are ignorant;it’s that their heads are filled with stuff that just ain’t so.

  86. I calculate we are paying $1000/ton CO2 in the UK for our fuel. So how does cap and trade work here. The price of fuel is already very high.
    However our government of national incompetence led by the one eyed scottish idiot have already bankrupted our economy, so these points are largely acedemic.

  87. bill (10:00:19) :

    Can you suggest a way of conclusively proving AGW/GW or no problem. Waiting 25 years is not an option, is it?

    Dr. Hansen has repeated the mantra that we don’t have time to wait ever since 1981. But it’s been 27+ years and his predictions have failed with amazingly consistency. Rather than beggar the public, how about we wait for incontestable satellite proof? At least historical satellite data doesn’t keep changing.

  88. So instead of cap-and-trade, Hansen prefers a new $670Billion dollar tax!

    I do love his caveat though: “A person reducing his carbon footprint more than average would gain economically, if the fee is returned 100 percent to the public on a per capita basis.

    When does Washington EVER return 100 percent of a tax to the public???

    It’s truly ironic that he says we can’t afford to spend our money on foreign oil then he proposes such a massive tax.

  89. I read this with interest & not a little amusement. Being a bit if a history nut, much to my wife’s irritation, I imagined listening to this in an auditorium, decked top to toe with Greenpeasce flags & green uniformed supporters, with Mr H wearing a little black moustache & a swept down fringe, thumping the podium & ranting that he’ll give us the world, free of evil oil, coal, gas. I concur with others, this was a real rant by somebody on the edge of a breakdown. After all, if a bunch of half-baked half-wit eco-greenie-enviro-fruitloop psycologists can gather at a seminar in the south-west of England, to “discuss” denial of climate change as a “mental illness”, yes true my doubting colonial cousins, real 1984 stuff this, then it is good enough for JH to get the same treatment. (Give him back his toy somebody).

    One cannot sack him now, it will only be seen as picking on him. Better to wait until the strain becomes so apparent, that he should be offered early retirement on the grounds of ill health, & given a course of six months counselling!

    OT – Your UK correspondent regrets to inform the wider readership that a British (yes yet another one!) 3 man sailing expedition from Plymouth, Devon, to Greenland’s most northerly point was abandoned about 400 miles off the Irish coast. The expedition, which was going to communicate to local schools directly to keep them informed about all the ice melting & dead polar bears because of burning fossil fuels, was overpowered by violant Altlantic storms & high winds resulting in capsizing thrice, was rescued by a, err, err………………an oil tanker! All three are said to be well considering their experiences, & heaped paise on their resuers & the Irish coastguard et al. )It is unknown what they thought of the explorers)! The irony is resounding all over the place & at least the Catlin team got there initially – Catlin is next I feel sure! I am at times utterly embarrassed to be British, thankfully I have some Irish ancestry to turn to at these humiliating times.

  90. Hansen is not satisfied with the democratic approach.
    His letter clearly advocates an authoritarian approach.
    Beware!

  91. In fact there’s an upcoming conference in Essen, Germany, 8-10 June, dubbed: THE GREAT TRANSFORMATION – Climate Change as Cultural Change.

    This Congress poses the question (I kid you not!):

    “Democratic regimes are not well prepared for the level of participation that is required: Can free democratic societies cope with the effects of grave changes in the global climate, or might AUTHORITARIAN regimes possibly be better placed to enforce the necessary measures?”

  92. Any wealth redistribution plan is tyrannical. People like Hansen and the politicians that support such approaches cannot publicly admit that, however, as it is political suicide.

    Mark

  93. bill (10:00:19):

    “Can you suggest a way of conclusively proving AGW/GW [is not a] problem”? [I assume that is what you meant.]

    That is an argumentum ad ignorantiam: The fallacy of assuming that something is true, simply because it hasn’t been proven false.

    See, bill, you’ve turned the Scientific Method on its head again. It is not the duty of skeptics to prove anything.

    Rather, the burden is on those pushing the CO2 = AGW hypothesis to demonstrate that their hypothesis explains reality better than the long established theory of natural climate variability, in which the climate oscillates around a gradually rising trend line within historical parameters. That theory has not been falsified, and it makes verifiable predictions.

    But CO2 = AGW fails. How do we know? because the CO2 = AGW hypothesis can not make accurate climate predictions. The testable prediction is that anthropogenic CO2 is driving temperatures up. But despite the fact that both naturally occurring and human produced CO2 have been steadily rising, the planet is not warming. The CO2 = AGW hypothesis fails. QED.

    Bill Illis is right that we absolutely need more evidence, because the current flimsy evidence is certainly insufficient reason to divert hundreds of $billions to $trillions from other needs such as improved sanitation, vaccinating against contagious diseases, world hunger, malaria, AIDS research [not to mention fixing the pot holes and bridges], toward correcting something that is only rank speculation at this point; where is your real world evidence that rising levels of a very minor trace gas will cause climate catastrophe? If you can’t answer that question, then how do you support huge spending proposals?

    Only the most wild-eyed alarmists are claiming that the planet is going to hit some mythical “tipping point” and go into runaway global warming — something that didn’t happen when CO2 levels were more than ten times current levels. The planet itself is demonstrating that the fearmongers are wrong. It’s time to give up computer models, and accept reality.

    “The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.”

    — Marcus Aurelius

  94. Pierre Gosselin (11:01:34) : The quote you just cited above, if i am not wrong i read it here in WUWT, not so long time ago, as from the ineffable JH.

  95. “That would provide a dividend of $3000/year to legal adult residents in the United States ($9000/year to a family with two or more children).”

    If Hansen gave me $10,000 I’d gladly give him a $9000 dividend. We could make a business out of it…

  96. If you follow the trail of a gallon of oil or a cubic foot of gas from discovery to your gas tank or its equivalent to your electrical appliances it is the most taxed parcel of goods in the history of man. Taxes that pay for non-productives like Hansen to sit and pontificate in their ivory towers. His solution to a non-problem? Tax that little parcel of matter even more and use that tax to redistribute income from the productive members of society. This solution will destroy the Western economies at the extent of those who won’t apply these additional taxes.

  97. Smokey (11:05:39) :
    “Can you suggest a way of conclusively proving AGW/GW [is not a] problem”? [I assume that is what you meant.]
    That is an argumentum ad ignorantiam: The fallacy of assuming that something is true, simply because it hasn’t been proven false.

    The problem here is that there can be no proof EITHER way for the reasons in my earlier post.

    Proof would be great if it were possible. It is only possible waiting 20years (a random figure) and seeing what happens if:
    1 We do nothing. This, best case leads to fuel shortage (fossil fuel will run out some day) and worst case to a couple of deg C increase in temperature and fuel shortage.

    2 Assume AGW is a fact. Worst case it is wrong and £1Gs will have been spent needlessly and the future will still have portable power. Best case temperature stabilises and the future will still have portable power.

    To take option 1 you have to be VERY sure that AGW is wrong. This being the case you must have evidence the AGW is wrong (and usefully that fossil fuels are an infinte resource). It would be good if you could impart this evidence and gain a few converts, please.

  98. “…all of us will be in deep do-do.”

    Obviously, Jimbo doesn’t know “doo-doo.”

    There’s some interesting stuff there, once you get past the argumentem ad caligam. But Jimbo assumes that there are still people who care what he says, other than a few pimply PhD’s in Birkenstocks. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Demorats have a lock on Congress; they have what they want. Jimbo has served his purpose; now it’s time to move on with the leftist agenda, full speed ahead, “Science” be damned. “The Revolution has no need for savants.”

    Sorry Jim.

  99. As a lot of people reading this website know, Hansen got his CO2 ideas by studying Venus and assuming Venus was a “twin” of the Earth and it was CO2 that caused “runaway greenhouse warming” on Venus.

    These ideas of planetary origin and development have been almost entirely disproven (there will always be uncertainty). Yet, Hansen bores on.

    Hansen is right about Cap & Trade — it’s a lobbyists dream for guaranteed life-time employment and politician financing. None of that actually generates weath — it’s completely redistributive. Corruption and cynicism would permeate the whole body politic, everybody from the shoeshine boy up would know the fix is in.

    (The body politic could lose faith in the power of representative democracy in a republican form of government — the rise of the dictaor would be a real possibility, or a sham “democracy”, in name only, could develop, I don’t say this lightly.)

    But Hansen is wrong about the science, and as stated his ideas arose from out-of-this-world!

    No Cap & Trade, no carbon tax, the market and technological advance will solve a lot of the efficiency concerns.

    Someone already stated it: This is about a command economy that will benefit the few at the expense of the many. This is a threat to the middle-class, not just in America, but all over the world.

    Just say “NO” loud and clear and repeatedly, preferably right into the ear of your elected representative.

  100. Pierre Gosselin (11:01:34),

    The Germans are discussing authoritarian regimes again? How’d that work out last time?

  101. Apropos of the “need” for something to be done about carbon dioxide, with timely papers coming out to scare law makers and enflame the public, I have another suspicion. We’ve had questionable alterations of data, fraudulent science and any number of interferences in the real picture that seem to be picking up steam. In examining the NSIDC and Cryosphere today, and the delay in publishing the latest world glacier monitoring (only the 2005 report has been released), I get the feeling that two things are happening in the AGW camp. First, things are being delayed so that the US Gov can get its CO2 act passed without distractions of a colder planet, and second, in following the progress of freeze -up it seems that as the graphs tantalizingly approach the 1979 – 200 mean, they start to swing asymptotically. Can some one who follows the raw data for such developments comment on this question: How much leeway (error leeway) can a graphmaker use to minimize growth in ice extent, speed up melt rate, etc. I am sure that an AGWer would tend to curb any progress of a metric toward a cooler earth. More directly on topic, who would have guessed that Dr Hansen would be the champion to come in to dismantle cap and trade! I know he wants much more, but it would take a decade for an alternative like he suggests and a few more cool years should win the day

  102. bill,
    AGW is completely wrong. AGW is as wrong as the people who beleive Area 51 houses alien technology.

  103. Bill

    Absolutely incorrect. To introduce changes you have to show beyond all reasonable doubt (quantifiable proof) that the changes are necessary. There would appear to be far more doubt than certainty over AGW at the moment.

  104. “648 pages are not needed to define a carbon fee. It is a single number that would be ratcheted upward over time. It would cover all three fossil fuels at their source: the mine or port of entry. Consumers do not directly pay any tax, but the fee’s effect permeates everything from the price of fuel to the price of food (especially if it is imported from halfway around the world).”

    Ignoring that there are more than three fossil fuels (oil, coal, natural gas, tar sands, oil shales, methane clathrates) and assuming he’s just simplifying by combining some of them…

    He is correct when he says “the fee’s effect permeates everything”.

    Energy is a core input to prices. Energy, labor, capital, materials. That’s the core set of productivity inputs.

    But energy is an input to materials costs and energy can substitute for labor via machines so it diminishes labor costs… And there is a virtuous feedback of lower energy and capital costs decreasing energy costs leading to even lower costs… The drill rigs of today raise more oil at less cost per unit of depth than ever before. Ditto coal mines where picks and shovels have given way to monster efficient machines due in part to: lower coal costs.

    There is even a case that lower energy costs lowers the cost of capital since capital is the accumulated excess of productivity over costs (so lower costs for labor, materials, and energy manifest are more capital accumulation – both physical capital in buildings and machines and financial capital as gold, money, etc. and the increased supply of capital lowers it’s price / cost).

    So a very very key metric for economic advance is the lowering of the costs of energy supplies and their increasing use to advance the society at large. I can not emphasize this enough. Re-read it twice…

    That is why, after the Arab Oil Embargo of the 1970’s we sent a boat load of economists over to OPEC to ‘splain to them that they could not significantly raise the price of oil in real terms over any long period of time, all they could do was ignite an inflationary spiral that would erase the value of their accumulated dollars. Which is more or less what happened. (Oil was $5 / bbl and a car cost about $4,000. Now oil is $50 / bbl and a car is about $40,000. Minimum wage was about 80 cents to a buck and now it’s about $10 ( $8 something to start, $10/hr in California after some small time). Bread was 35 to 40 cents now it’s about $3.50 to $4 a loaf. etc.)

    So any increase in energy costs is doomed to fail for the same reason and in the same way. The laws of Economics are no more negotiable than the value of Pi or the laws of physics but politicians and physicists don’t think so. So they keep making silly laws to try to ‘control the economics’ and all they do is distort the impact on people (usually in a bad way) and break things. And they either never learn or they are cynically exploiting the side effects. (For a short period of time they can cream off some of the money that would have gone to the energy producer, via the tax, until a new equilibrium is reached).

    Despite all the raises in the minimum wage, it still buys about 4 to 5 gallons of gas for an hour of work. Raise gas to $10 / gallon and the minimum wage will need to rise to about $40 to $50 an hour or there will be an imbalance. You can have that imbalance for a little while ( 5 years to a decade maybe) but eventually it closes. That is why OPEC will spike the price up for a year or two, then back it off again. To get what “juice” they can while avoiding the inflation to the extent they can (and killing off the competition that puts a lid on the max they can charge in the long run).

    So if Carbon Cap & Tirade passes, you can count on the costs of everything to rise, for the wage rate to rise starting about 2 years later (so you get squashed for 2 years…) and for the unit of currency it’s priced in (dollars) to degrade in value shortly thereafter. There is a net loss to the economy during this transition time due to the dislocations and inefficiencies the broken price signals send, but eventually it works out.

    FWIW, the way to handle this for your personal economics is fairly simple:

    Invest in tangibles (homes, metals, land, antiques, etc.) especially if you can get a mortgage denominated in those shrinking dollars. Now would be a good time with interest rates spectacularly low… Refinance now.

    Invest in other countries with other currencies and no C&T: Brazil, China, India, the whole “emerging market” that gets a free ride.

    Do Not own Treasuries or Muni Bonds (or any other long term U.S. Dollar denominated debt). 1 to 3 year maximum maturity for any bonds. Also, since bond FUNDS never mature they can suffer a permanent loss of value. A 2 year bond can be held to maturity if the price drops and you get the principal back. A 2 year bond fund will be selling those bonds before maturity to meet redemptions and you will never recover that loss of principal value. So if you must hold bonds, do it as real discrete bonds, not as a bond fund (which is more nearly a raw bet on the direction of inflation and interest rates than a real bond…). Oh, and TIPS (Treasury Inflation Protected Securities) have a nice feature where they adjust for inflation (so to the extent you can trust the government rubber ruler measure of inflation, you get a bit more protection). If you must own U.S. debt (bonds) make it TIPS.

    Be skeptical of corporate stock priced in the inflating currency or domiciled in the inflating country. During times of inflation, companies have a hard time making money and stock markets often do poorly. You can find winners, but it’s harder. At inflation less than 4% it’s OK, over 8% it’s not going to happen. In between, it’s work…

    Mining companies often do well, especially precious metals miners. There can be an initial boom in things like REITS (Real Estate Investment Trusts) and house building stocks due to the inflating value of their assets, but eventually this stagnates in real terms, then the economic realities cause sales to fall off…

    Do not hold cash positions in the inflating currencies. Move it to a metals fund or a stable currency. (One mouse click away these days… FXF and FXY have traditionally been stable currencies – Swiss Franc and Japanese Yen and even FXS the Swedish Krona.)

    NOTICE: Right NOW we are having a bit of a deflationary push as everyone tries to cash out at the same time and the recession is putting downward pressure on land and wage prices. This will end, but it will take a while (1 to 2 years max, IMHO). I would not go running into the inflation trade right NOW, but I would ease out of any long term bonds and certainly dump any long term bond funds. Then refinance the house (since the Fed will eventually raise rates and this is about as sweet a deal as you can imagine or will ever see in the next few decades…) Then start ‘watchful waiting’ for the inflation trade to begin. Ease into some real estate positions, add 10% gold and gold miners to the portfolio, etc. And even if you can’t leave the U.S.A., your money can. Invest is countries with a more sane economic policy.

  105. In order to avoid this kind of excesses, a good idea would be outsourcing all research NASA needs to private enterprises and/or private universities.
    If possible to privatize NASA itself (remember the X prize winners, how they managed to build a many thousands times cheaper spaceship).

  106. bill (10:00:19) :

    “Bill Illis (06:50:33) :

    But where will this evidence come from.
    You do not believe models
    You do not believe temperature reconstructions
    You do not believe recorded temperature
    Proxies are poxy.
    Glaciers – unbelievable
    CO2 does no harm”

    Maybe you haven’t been around long bill, but that is my speciality – presenting the actual evidence on these things. I don’t care what it shows. I just want the facts instead of rhetoric and exageration.

    For example, in Hansen’s latest paper he just takes a paleo-CO2 estimate from 35 million years ago of 1,400 ppm and he just changes it to 450 ppm and then says disaster will happen at 450 ppm.

    In his climate models, he is using a huge negative Aerosols estimate (to balance off the unrealistic GHG impacts) which he recently said were more-or-less just pulled out of a hat – and he was NOT kidding.

  107. bill (11:25:29) :
    Proof would be great if it were possible. It is only possible waiting 20years (a random figure) and seeing what happens if:
    1 We do nothing. This, best case leads to fuel shortage (fossil fuel will run out some day) and worst case to a couple of deg C increase in temperature and fuel shortage.

    2 Assume AGW is a fact. Worst case it is wrong and £1Gs will have been spent needlessly and the future will still have portable power. Best case temperature stabilises and the future will still have portable power.

    27 years of failure is certainly long enough to wait.

    1. There is no fossil fuel shortage – with the Bakken Oil Shale the US has at least 41 years of oil even at the currently projected increases in consumption.
    2. Extorting money from people and then claiming you’ve done something big for them is fraud and robbery combined.
    3. When the models have a better granularity than 100 Km grids, and the effects of vulcanism, and other inconvenient parameters are accurately included, and with these conditions paleomodels can be run, and if they then show any sort of predictive capability, maybe then there will be a basis for discussion. As of right now, there isn’t.

  108. bill (11:25:29),

    Again, you want skeptics to prove a negative. Science doesn’t work that way. Politics maybe, but not science.

    It’s hard following your train of thought because you mix in different points. But I’ll try:

    1. The free market will take care of declining fossil fuel availability through the price mechanism. There is no problem. When the price is high enough, alternatives will become competitive. The Luddites didn’t understand this, either. To repeat: there is no problem. None.

    2. I don’t assume that AGW is a fact. The amount of CO2 emitted by the planet is many, many, many times greater than the relatively tiny amount produced by human activity. Arm-waving about “carbon” won’t change that fact.

    I understand that in theory increases in carbon dioxide may raise the planet’s temperature, and I accept that. The question is: how much?

    Real world, empirical evidence shows that CO2 forcing is wildly overestimated. Bill Illis is probably in the ball park [and note that much of the warming has already occurred]. Any putative forcing by CO2 is easily overcome by many other factors. That indicates that CO2 is a weak sister compared with other climate forcings. In other words, you’re worrying about something that is demonstrably insignificant.

    Your last paragraph is again contrary to the Scientific Method ["...you must have evidence the AGW is wrong"]. No, bill. You must provide real evidence that AGW will cause the runaway global warming that you allege. You could allege that at noon tomorrow monkeys will fly out your butt unless I give you a thousand dollars today. You can allege anything. But without solid evidence, it’s just baseless speculation.

    It is not the job of skeptics to prove anything that you feel like alleging is wrong. It is your job to provide falsifiable evidence that supports your AGW hypothesis. [That's why AGW proponents hide out from debate, BTW.]

    Since you lack empirical evidence to support CO2 = AGW, you always try to shift the burden onto skeptics, who are only saying: “Prove it. Or at least provide strong, empirical evidence that supports your hypothesis.”

    We’re still waiting.

  109. Here in British Columbia two long time environmentalists, David Suzuki and Tziporah Berman, are supporting the taxers (Liberals) as opposed to the cap and traders (NDP) in a provincial election coming up on May 12.

    I think they must get their orders from the same source as Hansen. It looks as though the game plan has switched. As Hansen points out, a tax is easy to ratchet up. Then there are those that call for both systems to be put in place.

    Whoever runs the world is out to get us coming and going.

  110. 2 Assume AGW is a fact. Worst case it is wrong and £1Gs will have been spent needlessly and the future will still have portable power. Best case temperature stabilises and the future will still have portable power.

    What you fail to include with your Precautionary Principle is the fact that millions will die due to funds diverted towards fighting a phantom menace, instead of providing modern amenities, affordable power, medicine, education, food, etc.

    The bottom line is, we’ve seen nothing, nor have evidence for, anything unprecedented happening with “global climate” on any reasonable time scale.

  111. @bill (11:25:29)

    We’ve already gone a number of years since Hansen’s 1988 testimony. We are nowhere near the warming best-case from Hansen’s scenario. Why do you think it will be any different in a few years?

  112. bill (10:00:19) :

    But where will this evidence come from.
    You do not believe models
    You do not believe temperature reconstructions
    You do not believe recorded temperature
    Proxies are poxy.
    Glaciers – unbelievable
    CO2 does no harm

    Computer models are not evidence. Computer models do not output facts.

    At least you got the last part right CO2 does no harm.

    No, it sure doesn’t, at least not at the concentrations we are talking about. Not at 2 or 3 times, either. It’s a very weak greenhouse gas and increasing it has had negligible effects. The feedbacks and tipping points for increasing CO2 Hansen posits do not exist.

  113. At least I agree with Hansen on something. Here is a post I wrote on Nov. 6, 2008, over at Climate Audit:

    While most of us have varying degrees of skepticism about the Hansen-IPCC-Gore AGW orthodoxy, we must face the fact that a majority of politicians, particularly the Democrats who now control both houses of Congress plus the White House, go along with it. We’re going to get some kind of major legislation in this direction, but perhaps we can still direct it in some way which will be least harmful and even have some beneficial effects.

    Most economists would agree that the most transparent and least distortionary way to restrict something that has important negative externalities is with a tax. I therefore would recommend a moderate tax on carbon emissions. Probably something in excess of $1 per gallon of fossil gasoline, plus equivalent taxes on coal, natural gas, etc, would be required to meet IPCC goals, but it would be more politic and less risky to start with something smaller, say $.50 per gallon plus equivalents, to see how it goes and to give the world time to audit the AGW case in the detail it deserves.

    Even if there is nothing to the AGW story, such a tax would have many benefits. It would:

    1. reduce fuel consumption and therefore conventional pollutants, which we all agree are nasty.

    2. reduce the supply price of crude and therefore the income of anti-American OPEC countries

    3. encourage people to drive fewer vehicles fewer miles, thus relieving traffic congestion.

    4. encourage people to seek out greater fuel efficiency, alternative energy sources, etc, in their own interest, thus eliminating the case for boondoggle subsidies to ethanol, wind power, carbon reburial, etc.

    5. reduce coal mining, which tends to be destructive to the landscape.

    6. raise a lot of money for the Treasury to spend on whatever Congress decides — but there is no reason to tie this to energy, since the tax itself already provides the necessary incentives in this direction. It could be used to reduce the national debt (my favorite), to build multiple bridges to Ketchikan, to occupy the entire Middle East for the next 100 years, to insure all mutual funds against negative returns, or whatever Congress fancies.

    7. And who knows, perhaps despite all the IPCC hype, time will tell that there really is something to the AGW story, and we can jack up the tax to a higher level. Or if not, we can just eliminate the tax.

    In theory, a market for quantitative controls as has been proposed could achieve the same effects as a tax, if the proceeds go to the Treasury. However, such quotas tend to end up being given to the incumbent producers, which is equivalent to giving them the tax proceeds! A tax is far more transparent and less cumbersome, plus it’s easy to see where the benefits are going.

    But enough politics …

    I might add that I’m an economist at Ohio State University. Newsweek columnists Robert Samuelson and George Will have very eloquently made similar points.

  114. Although I don’t agree with everything he says, at least he is trying to be honest about it

    @Steve Briggs (11:58:04) :
    “1. There is no fossil fuel shortage – with the Bakken Oil Shale the US has at least 41 years of oil even at the currently projected increases in consumption.”

    Clearly you have no geologic knowledge of this play. As a geologist who has extensive knowledge of this play, I will tell that this statement couldn’t be further from the truth – at any oil price

  115. Bill

    worst case to a couple of deg C increase in temperature and fuel shortage.

    The worst case is a couple of degrees decrease in temperature and a fuel shortage due to cap and trade driving miners and drillers out of business.

  116. We don’t have to prove or disprove anything. Meteorologists and climate scientists alike are taking a second look at oceanic affects on long term land temperatures. CO2 has as much to do with land temperature trends as the Sun does. The race is now being packaged in terms of who will be left behind hawking their version of temperature sources, AGW’s or Sun’ers.

  117. The US Congress did not outlaw or tax the horse when a new and better set of wheels became the standard. Let us learn from history, and not tax the CO2 as we get weened from hydrocarbons!

  118. Cap and trade is much to be preferred to carbon taxes. Carbon taxes never actually get spent on reducing carbon emissions. The EU countries have been collecting them for many years and spend less than 1% of the revenues on actual carbon sequestration/reduction. Carbon taxes are all about one thing and one thing only: Huge welfare state budgets.

    Cap and Trade is conversely a means by which companies can trade emission rights in a free market basis.

    The opposition to cap and trade is from the socialist forces whose real goal in AGW is to raise funds for a new Nanny State welfare system with central control over our economies for environmental reasons. It is eco-communism.

  119. Ira (08:52:47) :

    Hansen is the #1 alarmist at NASA so I, as a loyal WUWT reader, hate to agree with him. BUT, he IS right about opposing the Cap & Trade scam. He is also right about the Carbon Tax with 100% dividend (also known as revenue-neutral Carbon Tax and supported by more of us on the right than those on the left.)

    Rising atmospheric CO2 levels may be responsible for, oh ten percent, of the warming we have seen over the past 100 years. That is insignificant compared to the efects of natural cycles of the sun. With the “Inconvenient” solar minimum, we are likely to see temperatures stabilize and perhaps decline a bit in the coming decades. Hansen has been wrong about any kind of “tipping point” anytime soon.

    So, why do I favor the revenue-neutral Carbon Tax? And why now? Well, a tax of about $1/gallon (and proportional tax for natural gas and coal) would raise the price to about $3/gallon, which is less than the $4/gallon we paid last year. The Carbon Tax would apply at the wellhead or mine, which would make it relatively easy to collect and hard to avoid. The 100% dividend, paid as an equal share to every legal US resident with a social security card, would offset the higher prices of fuel and petroleum products. It would stimulate the economy. Rather than have the government (i.e., lobbyists) set our energy agenda, the marketplace would automatically reward industries and consumers who used less fossil fuel.

    Would a Carbon Tax reduce atmospheric carbon-gas growth levels? Probably. Certainly more so than the politically loaded Cap & Trade or Kyoto Agreement.

    Should we be concerned about rising carbon-gas levels? Perhaps not. Higher atmospheric CO2, IMHO, is beneficial to most agriculture and it is responsible for only a fraction of global warming. On the other hand, as a conservative, I am wary of any major changes that may have unknown long-term effects. So, like chicken soup, the Carbon Tax may help reduce rising CO2 levels and it couldn’t hurt. Best of all, the revenue-neutral Carbon Tax is the least destructive way to head off the evil Cap & Trade scam”.

    Ira,
    You are joking, right?

  120. Apparently James Hansen cares more about fighting the use of carbon based fuels than establishing the U.S. Climate Action (fascist) Partnership with Government. USCAP is a step toward a World Climate Action (fascist) Partnership. So far, Hansen has been a useful tool for USCAP.

    http://washingtontimes.com/news/2009/may/04/green-lobby-guides-democrats-on-climate-bill/

    “But the sweeping climate bill Mr. Waxman and Rep. Edward J. Markey, Massachusetts Democrat and chairman of the panel’s key environmental subcommittee, introduced at the end of March includes a provision that benefits Duke Energy Corp., a founding member of the U.S. Climate Action Partnership (USCAP), whose climate plan released in January the lawmakers have frequently called a ‘blueprint’ for their climate legislation.”

    USCAP’s Number One Big Green Transnational Corporation, General Electric, has a history of working with nations that want a socialist government “where a measure of private enterprise was still permitted”. GE’s verbiage copied below is a pledge to modern day Russia that GE will gladly partner with a socialist government.

    http://www.ge.com/ru/en/ourCompany/news/20061106.html

    An excerpt from General Electric’s website is as follows:

    GE in Russia

    GE has been actively working in Russia since early 20th century when the first supplies of equipment for developing the country’s energy infrastructure were made.

    In 1922, Charles Steinmetz, General Electric’s chief engineer, wrote a letter to Vladimir Lenin offering his help in restoring the country’s industry: “I will always be delighted to help Russia with advice and suggestions on equipment, especially power equipment.”

    End of excerpt.

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

    “…[I]n 1920, Lenin ordered increased emphasis on the food requisitioning from the peasantry, at the same time as the Cheka gave detailed reports about the large scale famine. The long war and a drought in 1921 also contributed to the famine. Estimates on the deaths from this famine are between 3 and 10 million.”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/lenin_vladimir.shtml

    “Although Lenin was ruthless he was also pragmatic. When his efforts to transform the Russian economy to a socialist model stalled, he introduced the New Economic Policy, where a measure of private enterprise was still permitted, a policy that continued for several years after his death. In 1918 Lenin survived an assassination attempt. His long term health was affected, and in 1922 he suffered a stroke from which he never really recovered.”

  121. Never thought I’d find myself of a similar opinion to “cap and trade” as James Hansen, but I do disagree with his stance on the extra “carbon taxes”. Life sure does present us with some strange twists.

    Although I’m tempted to further observe that CO2 is not the real villain of the piece climatewise, just the fall guy.

  122. Pamela Gray CO2 has as much to do with land temperature trends as the Sun does
    So you never sun tanned!! What a pity!, tell me who obliges you to work day and night under roof without seeing daylight. Who tortues you that way?

  123. Pierre Gosselin (11:01:34) :

    In fact there’s an upcoming conference in Essen, Germany, 8-10 June, dubbed: THE GREAT TRANSFORMATION – Climate Change as Cultural Change.

    This Congress poses the question (I kid you not!):

    “Democratic regimes are not well prepared for the level of participation that is required: Can free democratic societies cope with the effects of grave changes in the global climate, or might AUTHORITARIAN regimes possibly be better placed to enforce the necessary measures?”

    Pierre,
    Thanks for the info.
    This is a link where you can download a flyer. http://www.greattransformation.eu/

    The program provides a platform for all the “Global Governance”, Population Control Perverts” and “Climate Control Lunatics” that are running loose on our planet.

    I have checked some names and they directly link up to:
    The UN, The Club of Rome, the Gorbatchov Foundation and MoveOn which is linked to the Obama Administration and the Clintons.

    To organize such a meeting in Germany is hilarious.

    It looks like the people behind http://green-agenda.com are right.

    We are facing a Global Revolution and it’s showing it’s ugly face already.

    This is bad and we should organize a protest to make clear that our democracies are guarded by the people.

    Do you know that Obama will be in Germany around that period of time?

  124. As a retired US Government civil servant I continue to be astonished that NASA continues to allow Jim Hansen, their employee, to engage in this type of political activity. None of the organizations I worked for would have permitted me, as their employee, to participate in such activities, and even related activities short of urging political action would have been seriously constrained. Not to mention not being allowed to engage in such activities on US Government funded time. I would love to see his time and attendance record for how he is accounting for all of these hours he spends furthering his polemics.

    Just wondering.

    John

  125. Cap and Trade is conversely a means by which companies can trade emission rights in a free market basis.

    “Free market basis”? What’s free market about the government creating a new currency (carbon credits) and controlling who gets credits and who get exemptions?

    The opposition to cap and trade is from the socialist forces whose real goal in AGW is to raise funds for a new Nanny State welfare system with central control over our economies for environmental reasons. It is eco-communism.

    President Obama wants to use cap-and-trade to pay for increased social programs. Given how little effect cap-and-trade would have on the climate, I think the real goal of cap-and-trade is to empower government.

    BTW: Eco-communism is a great term. How is it that communist nations have such horrible environmental records? Anybody want to live in North Korea? Ever seen the clouds hanging over China?

  126. I really don’t want to pile on here. Great comments have been made already about this ludicrous man and the words (prophecies?) that come out of his mouth. Yes he is right about cap n trade, but any cretin with one partially functioning brain cell should be able to see that in glowing Neon.

    However, I have 1 point.

    Suppose AGW theory is true (I’m pretty convinced it hasn’t got a single leg to stand on, but bear with me). What is the best way to tackle the problem?

    1) Cap and Trade: Tax everyone to oblivion, introduce a plethora of ways for corporations to swindle countless billions from the general public – your electricity price would increase significantly because of the carbon the power company are claiming they are not producing (or because of the carbon certificates they are forced to purchase to offset their existing emissions). Lucrative entrepreneurs would be able to get free money from the government for not producing something…”I didn’t build a polluting coal plant on this piece of land, so give me my carbon credits”. Meanwhile, joe blogs in the street gets an increased electricity bill because of the power that wasn’t generated. Reduce our wealth, quality of life and energy security, and likely cause our jobs to move overseas to countries not bounded by these taxes (helping them accelerate way past us in economic terms) with not a single iota of impact on actual Climate. Lets not forget, Europe signed up to Kyoto and Cap and Trade and spent Billions (if not Trillions) on it. The result? – their emissions actually went UP, the Cap and Trade market bubble crashed and world Climate wasn’t impacted. What if that money had been spent on new technologies?

    2) Carbon Tax: Significantly increase the cost of everything produced, bought and sold around the world including a run on Global Food and Medicine prices (after all many pharmaceuticals use products derived from crude oil). The poor can’t afford basic medicines or food, the world’s level of health declines. Numerous new “trade wars” are introduced – other countries not bound by those taxes will not like the import carbon taxes you impose on their goods. Increased world tension. Reduce our wealth, quality of life and cause our jobs to move overseas. “Here China, we are heading back to the late 1930’s, why don’t you take up were we left up”.

    3) Adapt and allow the free market to solve the problem. After all, if things like wind and solar power were so good, wind power would be cheaper and everyone would buy it – right? If our insurance costs go up because we own property near the beach and sea levels are rising, less people would buy property on the beach and there would be a slow migration inland – no? If the price of crude oil (and therefore) gasoline remained high for a sustained period of time (due to dwindling supply), we would all change to lower mpg vehicles – right? In the meantime, with the saved pointless billions we avoided shackling ourselves with, and continued prosperity we might actually develop nuclear fusion (we will still likely lag France) or other technologies currently undreamed of which could solve the problem outright.

  127. Cap and trade IS bad policy, but methinks that Hansen is starting to crack up. Perhaps the Goracle will soon follow.

    The whole thing was always just a house of cards built up out of poor computer models. Too bad we had to waste so much of our time, money and national energy on AGW. In his effort to “restore science to it’s rightful place” Obama may prolong the charade through continued research funding, but it can’t last. People are starting to jump off of this train in growing numbers.

  128. Hu, McCulloch (12:53:25) :

    You started with the assumption we need to “resrict something that has important negative externalities”.

    Take the phoney CO2 emissions warming out of the mix and there’s no justification for any carbon tax or cap and trade.

    That would be inflationary for no reason. It would raise the cost of energy for everyone, increase the cost of most consumables and increase the negatives of government spending and mission creep.

    Yet all you see are benefits?
    I find it distrubing that some who advocate a gas tax increase fail to envision the impact or where and how that money would be spent.

    If there is nothing to the AGW story, such a tax would be punitive and counter productive.

    1. Any direct reduction in fuel consumption would be miniscule and offset by the painful economic impacts and not do anything to reduce conventional pollutants, which we all know are already very low.

    2. Assuming a tax increase caused decline in demand would be sufficient to reduce the supply price of crude and therefore the income of anti-American OPEC countries is the stuff of political fantasy.

    3. Imposing tax pain is not “encourage” people to drive fewer vehicles fewer miles”, and that approach never, NEVER, relieves traffic congestion.

    4. All the encouraging is already happening wthout the detriment of a tax increase. The boondoggles do and will get funded anyway. Again that is political fantasy to suggest otherwise.

    5. Reduction in coal mining means a reduction in the source of 50% of our nations electrical energy. The localized destructive to the landscape can and is being midigated after the mining.

    6. BINGO!!!!! ALERT!!! raise a lot of money for the Treasury to spend on whatever Congress decides WARNING!!!
    “It could be used to reduce the national debt” Now that is hillarious.
    It will be wasted.

    7. And who knows, perhaps despite all the IPCC hype, time will tell that there really is something to the AGW story?
    Gee I wonder if it wll take endless expansions of time to make that call?
    Of course it will and amazingly the tax will be have to be rasied to a higher level. “Or if not, we can just eliminate the tax.” Funnier yet.

    In theory, anything that is proposed will essentially be the same as a tax and the proceeds will go to the Treasury for congressional spending.

    Using AGW to adopt higher taxation and spending is foolish beyond the normal insanity in DC.

    Your justification is some pretty tired rhetoric.
    “A tax is far more transparent and less cumbersome, plus it’s easy to see where the benefits are going.”

    Oh brother is that stale.

    But enough politics …

    I might add that I’m a small business owner in Oregon where many politicians make the same justifications.

  129. Adolfo, I’m a redhead. I don’t tan but I do freckle quite a bit in-between burns. And it is the Earth that moderates whether I freckle/burn or not. For example, I have noticed that in Winter snow and Spring downpours, I can stay out under the clouds all day with no ill affects. The other suspicious thing I have noticed is that I don’t freckle or burn at night. Really. Not even if I’m ncked.

  130. Though he probably imagines himself one, Jimmy is no Indiana. He’s got the Jones part right though, being so fond of peddling his climate kool-aid.
    Yes, Cap n’ Trade is a huge scam, and will be “The Temple of Doom” – for our economy, though, not the climate.
    “Carbon” taxes would be more straightforward, with less chance of fraud and abuse, but equally as harmful to the economy.

  131. I’m sorry, but I just couldn’t let Hu’s comments about carbon taxation pass without some rebuttal:

    1. reduce fuel consumption and therefore conventional pollutants, which we all agree are nasty.

    There are lots of industrial processes which give off nasty emissions. Shouldn’t we include them too? Like the processes used to make plastics which the medical community uses to prevent diseases and save lives. How about the processes used to make the computer you’re using right now? We can go on…

    2. reduce the supply price of crude and therefore the income of anti-American OPEC countries

    How is a tax going to do this? My state road taxes were pretty high last year – they didn’t prevent the oil price bubble from inflating, however…

    3. encourage people to drive fewer vehicles fewer miles, thus relieving traffic congestion.

    Easy for you perhaps. How far away are you from your job? How much money do you make? Who do you think will be hurt hardest by this? The rich and well-to-do?

    How about all of those 18 wheelers bring food to your grocery store? Maybe we should tell them to take it on the chin – that’ll teach ‘em for bringing food to your town!

    4. encourage people to seek out greater fuel efficiency, alternative energy sources, etc, in their own interest, thus eliminating the case for boondoggle subsidies to ethanol, wind power, carbon reburial, etc.

    Eliminate the case for boondoggle subsidies?! Do you follow politics in Washington? Hello??? – see also number 6.

    5. reduce coal mining, which tends to be destructive to the landscape.

    But coal is the source of electric power for many. Again, it’s easy for those who can pay high electric rates to say we should make electricity more scarce and expensive. Maybe we should just learn to live with brownouts – especially at hospitals and nursing homes.

    6. raise a lot of money for the Treasury to spend on whatever Congress decides — but there is no reason to tie this to energy, since the tax itself already provides the necessary incentives in this direction. It could be used to reduce the national debt (my favorite), to build multiple bridges to Ketchikan, to occupy the entire Middle East for the next 100 years, to insure all mutual funds against negative returns, or whatever Congress fancies.

    This is the biggest laugher of them all. Reduce the national debt? Are your serious? Have you been paying ANY attention to the goings-on in Washington these days? No revenue from any source will remain unspent so long as our current Congress is in power. And I’m sure they would reserve a good chunk of the money for a variety of energy boondoggles, with no oversight and no return on investment.

    7. And who knows, perhaps despite all the IPCC hype, time will tell that there really is something to the AGW story, and we can jack up the tax to a higher level. Or if not, we can just eliminate the tax.

    If you think ANY tax will ever be eliminated, you are truly dreaming! And how long do we need to wait — 10, 20, 30 years? As we’ve seen, the AGW movement continually moves the goalposts as prediction after prediction fails to materialize. Once any “carbon” tax is enacted, it will never go away (see also – social security, medicaid, medicare, …).

    Finally, when”science” begins to dictate social and economic policy in this fundamental way, it will be quite easy to generate the next “crisis”. Too many people on the earth, according the International Population Control Council (IPCC)? No problem – we’ll enact a new law limiting everyone’s lifespan to 67.25 years. And no one can have more than two children. And if you’re disabled either mentally or physically, well…you need to do you part…

  132. I feel sorry for the guy. His sincerity is, I believe, genuine. He is fighting tooth and nail for a cause, that he believes in, and is prepared to fight dirty to spread his beliefs. He is as critical of the politicians who he sees as fiddling while Rome burns as he is of those who oppose his views.
    He is an advocate of Nuclear Power, an opponent of C&T! He is, also, first in line to be ‘Fall Guy- Sans Pareil”. If man-made global warming does turn into natural global cooling then he’ll be sacrificed to protect his political buddies. If he is correct, then his missionary zeal and venom will be more and more directed at his political masters whose actions will increasingly frustrate him!
    They will soon tire of him and put him out to pasture on sour grass.

    Mr Hansen -as much as I disagee with your beliefs, I admire your tenacity but don’t let that stubborness, that has underpinned you in the past, condemn you to an undeserved bitter future.

  133. Ron de Haan:
    Don’t worry…the last great minimum, the Maunder, when at its end, caused the French Revolution, this one (Landscheidt or Jose’s), on its beginning, back in 1989, the fall of the Berlin’s Wall, so what is next?. It seems that this issue of “barycentric irregular motions” affect some not so poised people, as this JH…so let’s wait and see :)LOL

  134. For all the American subscribers and contributors – could you tell me what the price is of a gallon of unleaded fuel in the UK (in US$) – given that we have a different tax regime here over the pond already?

  135. bill (11:25:29) : “The problem here is that there can be no proof EITHER way for the reasons in my earlier post.
    Proof would be great if it were possible.

    AGW has been disproved several times over by tropical troposphere temperatures, surface temperatures, ocean temperatures, water vapour and cloud behaviour, etc, etc.

    E.M.Smith (11:53:51)
    Great post.

    Jeff L (13:05:35) : “Clearly you have no geologic knowledge of this play [the Bakken Oil Shale]. As a geologist who has extensive knowledge of this play, I will tell that this statement (“with the Bakken Oil Shale the US has at least 41 years of oil”) couldn’t be further from the truth – at any oil price

    http://www.simmonsco-intl.com/files/SPE%20Gulf%20Coast.pdf

    - On April 8, 2008 USGS estimated that Bakken technically recoverable oil is 3.0 –4.0 billion barrels, with a mean of 3.65 billion.
    – The Bakken Shale is a thin bed of oil in extremely tight rocks quite deep in the earth.
    – Great Bakken wells produce between 300 –500 B/D.
    – 40 –50% of well’s oil is produced in first year.
    – To create one million barrels per day of Bakken oil would mean 2,900 wells would need to be drilled each year.

    1m bpd is I believe about 5% of current US oil consumption.

  136. Just as every phenomenon discussed in climate science seems to be a cyclical thing, human folly seems also to follow the gyres of planetary and solar behaviour. Forty years ago, environmental hysterics – some of whom now carry the AGW flag and some of whom are clones of the earlier cycles, battled to a successful conclusion the banning of nuclear energy. I lay at their feet the smog, acid rain, lead, mercury, etc. and AGW if it were to actually prove to have any validity, as their legacy. They were grossly wrong and many have sheepishly admitted they are now pro atom. 20 times more people die each year in a Chinese coal mine than ever did because of nuclear energy…etc. etc. I guess we will have to wait another 40 years to look back on the horrible unintended consequences of the AGW fallout. But then, there will be another hysterical crowd… and we seem to be getting weaker… Hansen is right that there are no Churchill’s Roosevelts or Kennedies running the show anywhere. They wouldn’t have put up with this craziness. At least we understand perfectly the 40 year cycle of human folly – that is the working life of those who can cause all this pain.

  137. I wasn’t sure by the way it was written, but now I see that Hansen wants to tax all CO2 emission at the rate of $115/ton CO2. He put it as the equivelent of $1/gal of gas but of course it doesn’t just include gasoline, otherwise it would only raise about $150B annually instead of $670B.

    Of course he also refers to it as a “fee” and not a “tax”. I wonder if he plans to charge a fee for breathing?

  138. Jeff L (13:05:35) :

    “Clearly you have no geologic knowledge of this play. As a geologist who has extensive knowledge of this play, I will tell that this statement couldn’t be further from the truth – at any oil price”

    Hopefully you’re working for XTO and helping them avoid a catastrophic business decision.

    By the way, I am in the patch, although not a geologist, just a physicist.

  139. Bill Illis (11:57:58) :
    … my speciality – presenting the actual evidence on these things. I don’t care what it shows. I just want the facts instead of rhetoric and exageration.

    Bill I did the same plots a few days ago (you may have seen them):

    This shows a CO2 doubling temp increas of about 2degC

    The same data plotted against time showing CO2 and T vs time

    Why do you put such faith in Geocarb 3 modelling – is this more reliable than climate modelling?

    I am reasonably convinced of AGW, but all I require is some well researched proof that it is not happening and I will be swayed. But all any anti AGWs say is for me to prove my point of view – not at all helpful.

  140. Ron de Haan (13:25:33) : Quotes my Ira (08:52:47) posting and asks: “Ira,
    You are joking, right?”

    What makes you think I am joking Ron? If you follow the links you will see I am totally serious. You, of course, are free to disagree with a fact-based argument. However, the esssence of courtesy is to assume others are sincere unless there is clear evidence otherwise. I assume you are sincere in thinking I am joking, which is why I ask, on what basis did you come to that conclusion?

    The Wall Street Journal and opinion leaders across the political spectrum are not joking when they support a Carbon Tax. We all may be wrong, but not because we are joking.

    Mark T (10:37:52) : Cites my Ira 08:52:47 and writes: “No need to quote what you’ve said, but your comment is incorrect in one subtle way. By your own admission, the tax is nothing more than a wealth redistribution. …”

    Yes, the Carbon Tax *is* a wealth redistribution, as are nearly all taxes. Most taxes are paid by those of us who produce more than we consume and the great majority of recipients receive more in government services than they produce. Is there something controversial about that?

    Regardless of what percentage of global warming is due to human activities (as I said I think it is perhaps 10% and could be swamped out by what we hope will be an “inconvenient” solar minimum) the “zeitgeist”, backed by the current majority party in the White House, Senate and Congress, are hell bent to pass carbon legislation. We can protest and watch that happen, or we can propose an alternative, the revenue-neutral Carbon Tax, applicable to all fossil fuels and charged at the mine, wellhead, or port of entry, making it hard to avoid. Rather than use those revenues for general government projects (i.e., further waste) we could distribute it equally to legal residents of the US with social security cards, which is easy to do. Or, we could set up a complex system of paying it back to those who are most affected by the rise in price of fossil fuels, which is politically loaded and will require an even more bloated government.

    The revenue-neutral Carbon Tax will reduce the use of fossil fuels (or at least slow the increase) which may do some good for the environment. Cap & Trade will bloat government and do no good at all for anyone but the bureaucrats and politically-connected fat cats.

  141. Adolfo Giurfa (14:47:15) :

    “Ron de Haan:
    Don’t worry…the last great minimum, the Maunder, when at its end, caused the French Revolution, this one (Landscheidt or Jose’s), on its beginning, back in 1989, the fall of the Berlin’s Wall, so what is next?. It seems that this issue of “barycentric irregular motions” affect some not so poised people, as this JH…so let’s wait and see :)LOL”

    Adolfo, seriously this is not funny any more.

    I was just watching how a pro NAZI demonstration was blocked by the authorities.
    So I don’t understand how they can allow a congress that questions the very basics of democracy.
    I say it’s not the “Skin Head” we have to fear but our deluded scientists and politicians.

    People never learn.

  142. PaulHClark (15:05:58) :
    For all the American subscribers and contributors – could you tell me what the price is of a gallon of unleaded fuel in the UK (in US$) – given that we have a different tax regime here over the pond already?

    1 litre = 0.219969157 Imperial gallons
    1 litre = 0.26 US gallons
    £1=$1.50344 USD
    Petrol is priced at 94p/litre == £3.62/usgallon
    £3.62 == $5.44 per US gallon

  143. Tax carbon—what a great way to make a lot of money!

    If they really want to roll in the cash they could tax electrons next.

    While they’re at it, why wait until there is better evidence that strings exist? If the theory is right there are more strings than both carbon and electrons put together—just start the tax now!

  144. “I get a lot of e-mails telling me to stick to climate, that I don’t know anything about economics. I know this: the fundamental requirement for transition to the post fossil fuel era is a substantial and rising price on carbon emissions. And businesses and consumers must understand that it will continue to rise in the future.”

    I know something too, Dr Hansen: There are no viable energy alternatives in place or even sufficiently developed to make the radical changes you desire. And you certainly don’t put the federal government in the drivers seat as to determine which system at current levels of techonolgical maturity is chosen. The consumer does.

    Solar and wind power can’t meet the expected rise in demand much less provide for the base loads. They are also hideously expensive minus their preferential tax credits.

    I do however agree, that cap and trade is “the temple of doom”.

  145. To me this letter indicates the level of confusion that Hansen has between the Scientific Theory of Global Warming and the social issue of Global Warming. He seems to be complaining that governments are treating it as a Social Issue rather than Scientific, while he’s probably the scientist most responsible for making it a Social Issue and not a Science Issue.

    I also think he’s astonishingly naive in thinking that any taxation or billing system can approach 100% efficiency.

  146. Gary Pearse (15:16:25) :

    Hansen is right that there are no Churchill’s Roosevelts or Kennedies running the show anywhere. They wouldn’t have put up with this craziness

    Nah, they’d have made their own craziness, like the Great Depression. Hansen’s heroes were no better than the ones we have today. Maybe if he had said Jefferson, Washington, Smith…

    Mark

  147. AndrewG (16:00:48) :

    I also think he’s astonishingly naive in thinking that any taxation or billing system can approach 100% efficiency.

    It’s also extremely naive to think that any taxation can create jobs.

    Mark

  148. Hansen’s email : my rating – somewhere between a tantrum and a screed.

    Right about cap ‘n’ trade though.

  149. At what point does Hyperbole become Ridicule?

    I think this mann has crossed the tipping point; jumped the shark, death trains ‘n all.

  150. “”” rickM (15:55:32) :

    “I get a lot of e-mails telling me to stick to climate, that I don’t know anything about economics. I know this: the fundamental requirement for transition to the post fossil fuel era is a substantial and rising price on carbon emissions. And businesses and consumers must understand that it will continue to rise in the future.”

    I know something too, Dr Hansen: There are no viable energy alternatives in place or even sufficiently developed to make the radical changes you desire. And you certainly don’t put the federal government in the drivers seat as to determine which system at current levels of techonolgical maturity is chosen. The consumer does. “””

    Too true rickM; as climate “expert” even Dr Hansen ought to know that “renewable green energy” arrives on earth at aboput 1000 Watts per square metre; well I suppose officially according to NOAA it is only 168 W/m^2; in fact according to NOAA you would be better off turning your renewable green energy collector upside down and collecting the earth’s infrared emission energy from which you can get a whole 350 W/m^2, and if you are really clever you can make a two sided renewable green energy collector and grab 350 W/m^2 from the earth surface, plus another 324 W/m^2 “back radiation” coming down from the atmosphere. Then if it also is sensitive to the solar spectrum you would have a grand total of 842 W/m^2 from solar plus long wave infrared.

    I’ll leave it as an exercise for energy guru Dr James Hansen to figure out how much of that free energy he can collect.

    The sun spent 4.5 billion years or so storing up fossil fuels for us on earth,a nd we have about used them all up; except for the dregs; but Dr Hansen believes we can get by with Gaia’s pitiful rate of supply of new free energy from the sun and the planet itself. And don’t forget, that Nuclear is a no-no; despite those silly Frenchmen and their reactors.

  151. “I get a lot of e-mails telling me to stick to climate, that I don’t know anything about economics.”

    Really? And what exactly makes you think you know anything about climate either?

  152. Dr. Stadler … I mean Hansen, is really deep in his fantasy.

    The cap-and-trade crowd at least attempt to maintain a veneer of a belief in property rights and freedom. He wants to dispense with the whole silly notion and dictate an immediate end to the use of fossil fuels by making them too expensive to use and a switch to clean, renewable, energy sources.

    Where will these clean energy sources come from? Somewhere.

    Who will develop these clean energy sources? Somebody.

    How will we make the change work? Somehow.

    Just make everything so expensive that somebody somewhere will figure out something that works to make this fantasy real. And if nobody does so willingly, then what? Put them into camps and order them to think? Come up with solutions to problems of his own making on command?

    At the rate this man is going, he’s going to turn Atlas Shrugged into a work of nonfiction.

  153. Bill
    “Petrol is priced at 94p/litre == £3.62/usgallon
    £3.62 == $5.44 per US gallon”

    Before the pound plummeted against the dollar the price was roughly
    $7.00 per US gallon.

  154. Thanx for that fascinating link, C.

    From the article:

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR
    Carolyn Kormann spent several months reporting in Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia as a 2008 Middlebury Fellow in Environmental Journalism. She… completed a master’s degree in journalism with a focus on… climate change.

    What a load of rubbish. I was going to quote a couple of passages, but the whole epistle is the same throughout: glaciers disappearing… global warming…
    EVERYBODY PANIC!!, etc., etc. At least a few of the comments following the article were rational.

    The planet has around 160,000 glaciers, mostly in polar regions. Some are advancing, some are receding. Glaciers recede due to changes in precipitation, not due to global warming as this crazy article implies. How can a 0.6° rise in global temperature over the past century melt glaciers, unless all the receding the glaciers are within 0.6° of zero degrees C.?

    Carolyn Kormann is beyond help, IMHO. Cognitive Dissonance claims another victim.

  155. Hansen is nearing his end. He could antagonise Bush all he wanted and get away with it. But now he is antagonising Obama, and I expect the response will be swift and merciless. Cross the political right and you have a debate on your hands. Cross the political left and its no-holds-barred all-out massive and overwhelming retaliation. I’m thinking Hansen will soon be finding out what political hardball really is, the hard way.

  156. Given the obvious excursions of Hansen’s rhetoric beyond the usual range, suggestive of mental collapse, I wonder if there is something about the “authoritarian” approach to tackling complex messy painful problems, rather than a more “empirical/humble/observational/flexible” approach, that correlates with mental health?

    In plain English, do crazy people always tend to want to run things?

  157. what I don’t understand is why it’s taking so long for Watermelons (Green on he outside Red on the inside) to complete their planned destruction of capitalism and triple the price of gas in the US. Come on Kommies, you know you want to!!!

  158. “to gain energy independence,”

    There’s plenty of oil in Alaska to do this now. So let’s do it, silly Jim.

  159. Leon Brozyna (16:53:16) : “He wants to [..] dictate an immediate end to the use of fossil fuels by making them too expensive to use and a switch to clean, renewable, energy sources.
    Where will these clean energy sources come from? Somewhere.
    Who will develop these clean energy sources? Somebody.
    How will we make the change work? Somehow.

    We really do have to move across at some time, and the natural decrease in fossil fuel supply (oil first, coal last?) will provide the incentive to create the technology for the “somewhere, somebody, somehow”.

    It will take time. We do have time if our politicians regain their sanity (there are signs of them positioning for it in Australia, though the AGW/cap-and-trade rhetoric hasn’t changed much). We can give ourselves more time by increasing nuclear power generation.

    If the west imposes unnecessary costs on fossil fuels, China and India will use the remaining cheap fossil fuels, and leave the west behind.

    Let the switch to renewable energy happen in its own time, and it will.

    Try to dictate the switch, and you fail.

  160. Hansen and his trains of death, run out of fossil oils etc.

    Throughout our history the adoption of new technology has always overcome an existing perceived crisis.

    The one I like is that around late 1800s London was suffering crisis mode because there was no sufficient system for removing the huge amount of horse manure being deposited each day on their streets by hansom cabs and such like. The solution was the introduction of the petrol fueled horseless carriage. Gotta love it.

  161. theduke (14:46:34) wrote:

    “Hansen writes like an adolescent.”

    That’s putting it in a nutshell. (Quote of the week?)

    Bill wrote:

    “I am reasonably convinced of AGW, but all I require is some well researched proof that it is not happening and I will be swayed. But all any anti AGWs say is for me to prove my point of view – not at all helpful.”

    This site developed like Topsy, starting as a chit-chat forum on topics of the day among skeptics. It isn’t organized to provide a quick summary of the case against AGW to newcomers. But it would be good if something were done to accommodate them. I therefore suggest that there should be a set of links (either in a sidebar or in a tabbed section) to a score of top papers for alarmists to consult that sum up the skeptics’ case. Here’s one I like, to Dr. Akasofu’s long PDF on the matter.

    http://people.iarc.uaf.edu/~sakasofu/little_ice_age.php

  162. O/T

    Smokey,

    Agree completely. It’s an unfortunate part of my day that has to be spent sorting through this flotsam as I am on the technology side of the biofuels industry. There is a certain disconnect as a taxpayer having to fund some of the more outlandish subsidies I see Congress supporting (and happen to be ok for business in one form or another thankfully!).

    After many years in this business, I am still somewhat amazed at the ever increasing number of charlatans, and the amount of smoke n mirrors on all fronts from developers to our clueless Congressional delegation to financiers.

    It does wear on one to listen to endless industry propaganda wih ever-present references to low carbon footprint this, or carbon economy that.

    Having a background in Chemistry, I certainly don’t recall so many people having such a passionate interest in Organic Chemistry, at least judging by anguished faces (mine included) around me in class!

    Rant finished,
    C

  163. By the way Anthony, fantastic site with very civil commentary from posters. One of my new favs in the etherworld.

  164. Dave Middlenton:I used to think Hansen was just incompetent…Now I’m becoming convinced that he’s actually evil.

    I respectfully disagree. He seems, instead, being really sick.

  165. I don’t understand why everybody gives China a free pass.If they were really worried about GW,then China would have to be their target.It’s hard to find the truth,but from what I’m reading most of the developed world has lower or stable emissions,whereas China just keeps adding and adding.I’m happy about that,because it means better living standards for their people(China has even stated they will have health care for all)but if I believed in GW,then China and India would be scaring me.When will the day come that they say
    ” ok we failed.Nothing we do will have an effect,because China and India are doing nothing”

  166. bill (15:34:03) :

    “I am reasonably convinced of AGW, but all I require is some well researched proof that it is not happening and I will be swayed. But all any anti AGWs say is for me to prove my point of view – not at all helpful.”

    The most telling factor for me is the lack of warming in the upper troposphere over the tropics. Greenhouse theory predicts that the upper troposphere should warm at 2 to 2.5 times the rate at the surface. Over fifty years of balloon data and 30+ years of satellite readings show no such warming. Thus, no warming due to the greenhouse effect or CO2.

    For me this is conclusive. Everything else is much ado about nothing.

  167. “It does wear on one to listen to endless industry propaganda wih ever-present references to low carbon footprint this, or carbon economy that.”

    Then here’s an idea. Ready? Don’t listen to it! But somehow I have a feeling you’re doing that already…
    ___________________
    “I therefore suggest that there should be a set of links (either in a sidebar or in a tabbed section) to a score of top papers for alarmists to consult that sum up the skeptics’ case.”

    No need. Here, I’ll do it for you, as a complete history of the ‘skeptics’ position (sometimes even within a single skeptic!):

    1. There is no evidence that the earth is warming.
    2. But if there is, then it’s local, not global, and not due to man
    3. But if it is global, then it’s still not due to man, but rather to natural variation.
    4. But if it’s not natural variation, then it’s the sun, or possibly cosmic rays or increased aerosols. Whatever it is, it’s not human caused.
    5. There might be a small CO2 effect but the CO2 is not from human actions.
    6. If the CO2 is from human actions, the effect is still small.
    7. If the effect is not so small, then there were still times in the past when there was more CO2, and also times when it was a lot hotter, so it’s not a big deal in the scope of earth history.
    8. Furthermore, the temperature record (all of it) is untrustworthy (many reasons there) and there is no such thing as a global mean temperature, therefore:
    9. See #1
    _______________________
    “Throughout our history the adoption of new technology has always overcome an existing perceived crisis.”

    You mean like genocide, war, racism, cancer, HIV, the black death, the global extinction spasm, nuclear waste storage, nuclear weapons proliferation, DDT poisoning, nutrient-induced anoxia, substance abuse, animal abuse, desertification, and tropical deforestation, for starters? Oh but wait, yeah, we solved the too much horse manure in London problem with the car, good point.

  168. What did he think would happen when all the AGW Apostles started yelling Fire on a crowded planet?
    “We must act quickly” with reckless abandon, stupid loophole legistlation to enable Tax & Spill and frightening atmospheric sprayings to counter the perceived threat. The pols are trigger-happy and quite nervous.
    You are telling them imminent disaster is about to strike when you don’t know how the climate even works.
    What man does not understand, he shoots at, and asks questions later.
    Sound collision warning.

  169. I wonder why the good dr.’s ire seems to be aimed exclusively at those governments who are retreating to feckless “cap-and-trade”. Does he view as morally superior those countries who are major “carbon polluters”, with no intentions of even pretending to do anything about the impending disaster? Or is it the senseless slaughter of alligators for all those Washington lobbyists’ shoes that has him selectively foaming at the mouth?

  170. I’ll make it easy for any AGW or anti-AGW fence sitter:
    Give me the photos of before & after ocean level rise.
    If we cannot discern anything happening, it’s because the changes predicted are not happening or not significant.
    If there is catastrophic melting, we’ll be able to see it.
    Everybody will see the oceans rising.
    If the oceans start dropping and we see it, we will know something else is happening, will we not?

  171. It wasn’t so much the manure that was the problem in early 20th century London but the fodder draught animals needed to produce it and so provide muscle power. Roughly a quarter of agricultural production went to providing fodder.

    Fodder is the original bio fuel and very expensive too.

    But the internal combustion engine fuelled by petroleum derivatives was indeed the answer: by 1905 the motor cab fares in London were only two thirds of those of the the horse cabs.

    There is no shortage of fossil fuel the only constraint is the cost of extracting and shipping it to where it is wanted: which determines its price. The scale of these reserves is so vast that even if annual global consumption were to increase by some ten times or so there are enough for a few thousand years more. At a price.

    Roughly coal is the most abundant and easy to extract and ship, natural gas is also abundant but more expensive to ship and oil is cheap to ship but is becoming ever more expensive to extract. New technologies may change the balance of the costs of extraction and shipping: for instance gas can be converted into liquid fuel and so on: as demand requires.

    And if these resources should run short there is enough uranium for many thousand years more.

    No shortage then. It is simply a matter of supply and demand.

    No wonder current attempts to stop industrial and technological progress centre on the hobgoblin of fossil fuel in the form of CO2 emissions. But if you imagine Western politicians driven by fashionable green concerns are going to stop this progress to ever wealthier industrial societies around the world chiefly fuelled by coal, gas and oil: forget it.

    To paraphrase the lady, you can turn yourselves back into a preindustrial society if you want to: but the rest of the world is not for turning. It has seen the rewards of changing from rural poverty to industrial urbanisation and the change is inexorable and inevitable however much these modern Luddites might lament it.

    Sorry I forgot the polar bears but did learn today that a cross between a male grizzly and a female polar is called a prizzly but I am not sure I spelled that right.

    Kindest Regards

  172. bill (15:34:03) :
    “I am reasonably convinced of AGW, but all I require is some well researched proof that it is not happening and I will be swayed. But all any anti AGWs say is for me to prove my point of view – not at all helpful.”

    You might try this online primer…

    http://www.greenworldtrust.org.uk/Science/Curious.htm

    It doesn’t take long to read and it will “catch you up”.

  173. Noelene (18:01:33) :

    China doesn’t care what other nations think about them.
    As for a free pass, it’s more like they paddle their own boat.
    “What you worried about?” is about all the rise anyone has gotten out of them lately. AGW included. You want them to curb thier emissions, they say get over here and put the hardware on yourself, at your expense.

  174. Jim Bouldin,
    Why are you so angry? Do you believe that your rage will convince people who have honest questions? Do you carry that rage with you wherever you go? Will you ever be able to carry on a calm discussion of the questions that many have? You must at some point gather yourself and find out why you act out against others. Thanks for commenting.
    Mike Bryant

  175. “Plot” and “lost” are parts of a phrase that comes to mind.

    Apart from absolutely no evidence of “tipping points” or positive feedbacks in the climate system outside of computer games what exactly does compute here?

    We are to artificially limit energy supplies to only those that can afford it and are, of course, worthy of the privilege. Killing millions of un-worthies
    in a typical NW Winter as a by-product. But hey, I suppose that in the well salaried and pensioned world of government backed employment who cares? More to go round for the rest of us right?

    Drive us to the world beyond fossil fuels? Drive us into anarchy more likely. I promise you that I will will throw Guardian readers on the fire before I am frozen out of existence.

    Of course you could be right and in our “rapid transit clean energy future” those pink Unicorns will gallop on the green fields once more. If millions of people haven’t torn the fields up and burned them to stay alive over the transition.

    Really, only an academic could look at the world in this way. Face it your problem is that having let ‘your’ Genie out of the bottle he has flown and found a new home granting wishes to his new masters who are now “making millions trading, speculating, and gaming the system at public expense”. How is big Al by the way?

    Well done.

  176. Jim Bouldin (19:42:03) :
    ME…“You might try this online primer…It doesn’t take long to read…”

    YOU…”Any idea why that might be Mike?”

    ME…”Uhhhh, because it’s a primer?”

  177. Say that again Mr Hansen!…I found it all rather hard to understand and follow…and the text seemed not to make much sense at times, by seemingly contradicting itself!

  178. Jim Bouldin,
    Why are you so angry? Do you believe that your rage will convince people who have honest questions? Do you carry that rage with you wherever you go? Will you ever be able to carry on a calm discussion of the questions that many have? You must at some point gather yourself and find out why you act out against others. Thanks for commenting.
    Mike Bryant

    You’re more than welcome Mike, my pleasure. Let me know when you find some honest questions on this site and I’ll see what I can do.

  179. Since you’re out on an anti-hate patrol Mike, I thought you ought to see this one. You must have just overlooked it.

    “As to Hansen and credibility. If James Hansen wore a clown suit, spoke througha kazoo, and danced on a table, he would have no less credibility. But he would be more entertaining. For Hansen to lose credibility, he would first have to have some. Hansen is a cynical liar, who seeks to deprive people of their civil liberties, who has abused his office, over stayed his time on the public stage, has manipulated his peers, misled the public, and is responsible for a multi-billion fraud called AGW. None of his arrogant, chatty, deceptive letters can change this”

  180. We don’t need ANY more taxes! Taxes are already killing our companies and destroying our future! Cap and Trade “would be the equivalent of an atomic bomb directed at the U.S. economy, all without any scientific justification,” says famed climatologist Dr. S. Fred Singer. It would significantly increase taxes and the cost of energy, forcing many companies to close, thus increasing unemployment, poverty and dependence.

    More and more scientists and thinking people all over the world are realizing that man-made global warming is a hoax that threatens our future and the future of our children. More than 700 international scientists dissent over man-made global warming claims. They are now more than 13 times the number of UN scientists (52) who authored the media-hyped IPCC 2007 Summary for Policymakers. http://www.climatechangefraud.com/content/view/3562/218/

    Additionally, more than 30,000 American scientists have signed onto a petition that states, “There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate.” http://www.petitionproject.org

    “Progressive” (communist) politicians like Obama seem determined to force us to swallow the man-made global warming scam. We need to defend ourselves from the United Nations and these politicians, who threaten our future and the future of our children. Based on a lie, they have already wasted billions and plan to increase taxes and increase the cost of energy, which will limit development, destroy our economy and enslave us.

    If not stopped, the global warming scam will enrich the scammers (Gore and Obama’s Wall Street friends), increase the power of the United Nations and communists like Obama, and multiply poverty and servitude for the rest of us.

  181. bill (15:34:03) :

    “I am reasonably convinced of AGW, but all I require is some well researched proof that it is not happening and I will be swayed. But all any anti AGWs say is for me to prove my point of view – not at all helpful.”

    Bill, the issue here is that there is no “proof” on either side, nor will there be in the near term. We have a brief snapshot of reliable data on a 4.5 billion year-old extremely complex continually evolving planet. You can chose to believe one side or the other, but this is simply a leap of faith.

    From a data evaluation point of view, in addition to the troposphere data that Gilbert (18:01:35) cites, I think that global sea ice extent is helpful to keep track of. Global sea ice extent offers a reasonable indicator/proxy of earth’s surface temperature trend. Currently Antarctic Sea Ice Extent is significantly above average and Arctic Sea Ice Extent is about average:

    So even though humans have rapidly increased their CO2 output over the last 30 years, global sea ice extent has increaced. It is impossible to draw conclusions from this, but it definitely provides reason to question whether human generated CO2 is really causing Earth’s temperature to rise alarmingly, or at all for that matter.

  182. Jim Boulden
    Your mind is made up,and there’s no changing it.Mine is too,and there’s no changing it.I had a boy of 12 say to me”we’re all gonna burn”.I explained to him that even the worst case scenario put forward by science does not say that,and I wondered at a world that fosters such fear in a 12 year old.When the media were touting that 150 people had died in Mexico,and then had to change it to less than 20,I pointed out to him that you could never believe what was written these days.I hope he learns to ask questions,it was the story on biofuels and food shortages that started me asking questions,and it led me to a different way of thinking, I saw hypocrisy everywhere I looked.

  183. Wasn’t Hansen the guy who last Feb or March called for the US to shut all it’s coal plants down?
    With scary scenarios like that, it’s no wonder the pols are eager to pass a Tax & Spill agenda. They got jittery lobbyists climbing all over them.

    1.) Stop yelling Fire on a crowded planet
    2.) Where’s the ocean level pics?

  184. “Jim Bouldin (20:16:50) :
    Since you’re out on an anti-hate patrol Mike, I thought you ought to see this one. You must have just overlooked it.”

    I’m not on an anti-hate patrol, Jim. I could make a long list of things that I really hate. But maybe I’ll just give you one in the PS. I really wonder why academics, phds and scientists seem to find it necessary to speak to me and others here as if we are your naughty children. We are grownups who deserve respect, even as you do. You are not my better because you went to college longer than I did. You are a man, a man who is fallible even as we all are. When you can come down from your heavenly perch and reason like men should reason, you will be more respected. Now, you seem more like a child, a screeching spoiled child, who believes he is better than others because he holds a phd. Maybe you should try to act like a real man, an adult, someone who cares to make himself believed, not despised.
    Thanks for listening,
    Mike Bryant

    PS I really don’t like people that talk down to me.

  185. Okay, let’s say we use, in the U.S., 80 TWhrs/day (total energy – transportation, electricity, etc.) 80 Billion Kwhrs/day. The U.S. (non-Alaska) is about 8 million sq. km. What’s that, 8 trillion sq meters?

    Can you get 4 kwhrs/day per sq meter of solar cells? Let’s say you can. Now, you need 20 billion sq m. 2.5% of land mass. Average county is about 1,000 sq mi. So, an area 5 mi X 5 mi per county would do it. There’s not many counties that couldn’t give up an are 5 mi squared to supply ALL of their energy needs.

    Need a lot of storage, of course. Are we going to do that. Of course not. Could we? I guess.

    Cost: First Solar says they have achieved $1.00 Watt. Add a buck for profit, shipping, installation, etc. About 3 years GDP.

    Seems entirely reasonable for “Peak” electricity in the southern states, though.

  186. Boy, this thread is amazing. Hu’s post is laughable, to put it kindly, but others have dealt with it in detail. Just a few questions for the group.

    1) A “revenue-neutral tax”? Are you out of your minds? Please show me an example of a previous revenue-neutral tax.

    2) If the government is going to collect the tax and then immediately return all of the money to the populace, what is the point of the tax? Whose behavior is it intended to affect? What is the intended effect of the tax- to make certain forms of energy more expensive, right? Please list all products and services that will not go up in price when energy prices go up.

    3) Who pays the cost of calculating, collecting, and redistributing the tax (including the cost of figuring out who gets what in the redistribution phase)? Doesn’t that cost alone prevent the whole scheme from being “revenue neutral”?

    4) Isn’t the fact that James Hansen is pushing a concept that wouldn’t last 30 minutes in a freshman economics seminar conclusive proof that he does not deserve to be taken seriously on any subject?

  187. Dr. Hansen discovers political reality in the United States (and elsewhere around the world).

  188. Hansen is like a person who is profoundly convinced that there is a guy in the sky who made everything, and who offers a salvation package deal. The person is terrified of giving up that belief because it would reveal that decades of his life had been dedicated to a delusion.

    So he tinkers with the fantasy, perhaps selecting physical resurrection to judgement and Kingdom, in preference to instant passing in spirit form to Heaven.

    Hansen needs to give up the entire sad athropogenic-climate-variation lie produced by prejudiced computer-modelling. Devoting sincere effort to fighting over details of doctrine inside the host of the deluded, is sadder than sad.

  189. Jim Bouldin (18:47:24) :

    ““Throughout our history the adoption of new technology has always overcome an existing perceived crisis.”

    You mean like genocide, war, racism, cancer, HIV, the black death, the global extinction spasm, nuclear waste storage, nuclear weapons proliferation, DDT poisoning, nutrient-induced anoxia, substance abuse, animal abuse, desertification, and tropical deforestation, for starters? Oh but wait, yeah, we solved the too much horse manure in London problem with the car, good point.”

    Interesting mix of perceived crises Jim – animal abuse? – anyway I got it wrong – feeding the horses was the issue. Have you ever been in a car Jim?

    Hey stick around this site for a while, there are alot of very open minded people contributing and at times WUWT can also make for highly entertaining reading.

    Thanks
    James

  190. Noelene (20:31:57) : “Jim Boulden – Your mind is made up,and there’s no changing it.Mine is too,and there’s no changing it.

    I believed in AGW at first, but changed my mind after reading the IPCC Report and starting to check the evidence. Although I consider it extremely unlikely, if new evidence showed AGW to be correct I would have to change again.

    bill (15:34:03) : “I am reasonably convinced of AGW, but all I require is some well researched proof that it is not happening and I will be swayed. But all any anti AGWs say is for me to prove my point of view – not at all helpful.

    Gilbert (18:01:35) gave you the proof you need : “The most telling factor for me is the lack of warming in the upper troposphere over the tropics. Greenhouse theory predicts that the upper troposphere should warm at 2 to 2.5 times the rate at the surface. Over fifty years of balloon data and 30+ years of satellite readings show no such warming. Thus, no warming due to the greenhouse effect or CO2.
    For me this is conclusive. Everything else is much ado about nothing.

    It really is the case that the tropical troposphere is absolutely central to the whole AGW case – the tropical troposphere IS the absolute central engine of global warming. The IPCC Report shows it very clearly in chapter 9, figure 9.1 which is reproduced here:
    file:///D:/Documents/Mike/Website/TheScientificCaseAgainstAGW9_files/image002.jpg

    The IPCC works through a whole raft of scientific papers and model calculations, applying a set of fundamental assumptions about the effect of atmospheric CO2 and the physical mechanisms involved. They show unequivocally that the AGW warming will occur primarily in the LT over the tropical region and will outweigh everything else. If that does not actually happen, then their fundamental assumptions and/or their calculations are incorrect. No ifs, no buts, their work simply cannot be correct. If their fundamental assumptions and/or their calculations are incorrect, then the entire hypothesis collapses, because every facet of the hypothesis, and every single prediction that flows from it, including the dangerous man-made global warming, is based on that very set of fundamental assumptions and calculations.

    Yet the temperature records for the surface and the troposphere show very clearly the exact opposite :
    file:///D:/Documents/Mike/Website/TheScientificCaseAgainstAGW9_files/image004.jpg

    This is as absolute a proof as anyone could require, that the IPCC’s fundamental assumptions and calculations are plain wrong, and that therefore their AGW hypothesis collapses.

    I spell out the whole argument here
    file:///D:/Documents/Mike/Website/TheScientificCaseAgainstAGW9.htm
    see “3. The Tropical Troposphere”.

    There are some other arguments in the same document should you need them.

  191. “………….the huge gap between words of governments, worldwide, and their actions or planned actions…”

    Most of them like to talk more and more.less action

  192. Jim Bouldin (16:40:46) :

    “I get a lot of e-mails telling me to stick to climate, that I don’t know anything about economics.”

    Really? And what exactly makes you think you know anything about climate either?

    No one here really knows enough about climate. No one else does either.

    It seems to me the best thing to do is to not get too wed to models, pet theories, etc, but focus on observation, look for things that don’t add up, check claims where possible. Basic scientific method.

    The vitriol expressed on all sides is no more conducive to good science than was the vitriol over other challenges to accepted science, e.g. things resolved (e.g. continental drift), and other things yet to be resolved, (e.g. the effect of cosmic rays on climate). I look at the current climate debate and see a Golden Age of research, knowledge, and understanding. This is a wonderfully dynamic period in a field that normally moves at a “glacial” pace.

    Fortunately, science does have a way of finding the truth and letting it out, I wish there were a more direct way to that goal, but perhaps there isn’t.

    I’m not a professional scientist, but my siblings are and I’m happy to talk to scientists anywhere. When I was writing my essay on Science, Method, Climatology, and Forgetting the Basics I contacted a few to review it and to verify my description of scientific method was on track. My description lacks a section on creating, maintaining, and managing vitriol and ill-will. Perhaps that’s a flaw – if larval scientists spent more time on tolerating different points of view or learning to argue against them without putting the proponents on the defensive, that might lead to an environment where people could focus on celebrating what will be a unique period in the history of climatology.

  193. Mr Bouldin

    I’m an ex-believer now sceptic. could you please demonstrate why the AGW theory is correct and the good data on here is incorrect in terms of past climate history, what is going on now and what seems like an embarrasingly comple debunking of the AGW concept. I don’t accept model prediction.

    Seriously, convince me with fact and I will openly accept the faith

  194. No one here really knows enough about climate. No one else does either.

    Well put. A friend of mine keeps the following on his wall, from a comment sheet handed in after a course he went on:
    “It taught me how little I know, but also that others do not necessarily know more.”

  195. “Plenty of climate science on here if you want to look for it sukiho.”

    “sukiho, here is your opportunity to enlighten us.”

    its a great site and I will keep coming back, the battle between the alarmists and denialists is almost as engrossing as the last american election, I will be watching it till the end, keep up the fight

  196. John Galt (13:59:06) :

    Mike Lorrey said: Cap and Trade is conversely a means by which companies can trade emission rights in a free market basis.

    “Free market basis”? What’s free market about the government creating a new currency (carbon credits) and controlling who gets credits and who get exemptions?

    Originally the idea was that every business got the credits automatically by investing in reducing their own emissions. The system Obama, congress, and the lobbyists are producing is NOT a free market model, it is a Strategic Resouce Rationing model like the limits imposed on metals, concrete, and plywood during WWII and the Korean War.

    So what Obama is proposing really isn’t cap-and-trade, it is bribe-ration-and-trade.

    “President Obama wants to use cap-and-trade to pay for increased social programs. Given how little effect cap-and-trade would have on the climate, I think the real goal of cap-and-trade is to empower government.”

    Obama’s idea of cap and trade is that each years pollution caps are sold to companies based on their past emissions and how they are able to reduce their current-year emissions. If you dont pay the government for the emissions permit, you cant trade them. This is thus not a tax on carbon emissions but a tax on the right to sell pollution permits to others.

    You are right to still call this a tax, though its more of a use fee tied to positive performance in reducing emissions. This was not, btw the original idea of cap and trade. Originally the idea was that you didn’t pay the government for the right to resell your reduced emissions, you just got them automatically as a result of investing in reducing emissions (like the EPA’s Greenlights Program), and the free market’s trading mechanisms enabled industry to allocate a 1990 level of emissions across the economy most efficiently by price signal mechanisms, as free markets are supposed to work.

    Obama tacking on this fee-to-trade is a bastardization of the concept and adds barriers to entry that will cause serious market inefficiencies and will likely cause more pollution due to the inefficiencies imposed by the government fees.

    “BTW: Eco-communism is a great term. How is it that communist nations have such horrible environmental records? Anybody want to live in North Korea? Ever seen the clouds hanging over China?”

    Quite. Marxism failed because its PR was based on a divide and conquer class warfare model of motivating the proles by wealth jealousy and resentment. Eco-communism wins because its PR is based on doing what is best for “all of us”, especially “the children” and “nature” and pretty furry creatures, which if you are against them you are simply much more evil than if you are just a money grubbing capitalist.

  197. What you fail to realize is that Hansen is now and has always been an anti coal activist. AGW seemed to him to be the ends to his means. However, as recent Cap and Trade programs in other countries have shown, Cap and trade does nothing… absolutely nothing to get rid of the evil coal plants. It does NOT reduce emissions one little bit. It does NOT get rid of coal powered plants or the strip mines in the US or the World. Hansen finds himself in a situation that is not working as planned. It must be very frustrating.

    I think quite a few enviornmental activists are finding that they backed the wrong pony in this fight. Their hot topics have been lost and minimized in the AGW platform and with horror they are starting to see what they had in mind is not what they are going to get. I suspect you will see more discention as these organizations realize that their big push only managed to put in place another level of gov taxes without doing a thing to improve the enviornment. Furthermore when all of this falls about their ears, any good issues will be scrapped and discredited along with the climate change/AGW platform.

  198. Jason (07:56:17) :
    What Hansen doesn’t understand, but folks on capital hill do, is that the American public is unwilling to make the significant sacrifices required to implement his vision of a low emission world.

    Significant sacrifices. Why? Perhaps instead of spending a zillion dollars flattening x acres of land and diverting farm water to cool vast solar farms or polluting our hillsides with ugly wind machines we should look to those new reactors that reuse their fuel effeciently. Land use would be about the same as the current power plants and the technology is sound, not unknown… If you look at the EIA Analysis of energy production you will see “other renewables” accounts for a very slight portion of our overall energy production.

    http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/electricity/epa/figes1.html

    Why should it take sacrifices to adopt an energy producer that could in fact not only reuse some of our current stored nuke waste but also release us from use of a majority of our fossil fuels right here and now.. not based on a hope that someone will come up with the solution sometime in the future. Please tell me how it is better to destroy whole ecosystems in favor of saving the planet? And most importantly please tell me when you have ever seen a tax used for the purpose it was intended. Anyone who wants to know how cap and trade will go, only needs to look at how the benifits from state lotterys worked out for everyone.

    Alan the Brit (10:53:07)
    The expedition, which was going to communicate to local schools directly to keep them informed about all the ice melting & dead polar bears because of burning fossil fuels, was overpowered by violant Altlantic storms & high winds resulting in capsizing thrice, was rescued by a, err, err………………an oil tanker!

    That is just tooooo tooo funny.

  199. great Post ..i find one such a one good blog on internet, keep it up.thank you so much for share a one good post with us …from Rajesh (india)

  200. Free advice to the Mafia:

    Join the U.S. Climate Action Partnership (USCAP). They have stolen your business plan. You deserve free membership in their gang. They owe you a little pizzo. Tell them Big Green GE sent you.

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/05/05/mafia_wind_biz/

    Mafia-busting Italian magistrates have launched a major investigation into crooked windfarm projects in Sicily, according to reports. It is suggested that large sums in government support have been collected for wind power stations which in many cases produce no electricity.

    Meanwhile, with large sums of money at stake, no need in some cases to build a genuinely functional plant to qualify for the cash – and every project heavily dependent on local-government permits and votes – wind power is seen as a perfect Mafia opportunity.

    http://www.ibdeditorials.com/IBDArticles.aspx?id=325899798635675&kw=al,gore

    “On Earth Day 2007, the various NBC networks gave 75 hours of free air time to Gore to hype climate change. NBC is owned by General Electric, perhaps the largest maker of wind turbines and other green technology in the world. It, too, stands to benefit financially from cap and trade, as Fox News commentator Bill O’Reilly has noted, connecting dots others won’t.”

    “Gore’s altruism is phony. According to a March 6 Bloomberg report, Gore invested $35 million of his own money not in green nonprofits, but with the very profitable Capricorn Investment Group LLC, a Palo Alto, Calif., firm that directs clients to green investments and invests in makers of environmentally friendly products.”

  201. It seems they would not dream of being honest and admitting that an increased price for fossil fuels is essential to drive us to the world beyond fossil fuels. Of course, there are a huge number of industries and people who do not want us to move to the world beyond fossil fuels these are the biggest fans of cap-and-trade. Next are those who want the process mystified, so they can make millions trading, speculating, and gaming the system at public expense.

    I wonder who he is referring to here ?

  202. The Implosion Begins

    Is it me or is JAMES HANSEN calling out (by purposely NOT calling out) BARACK OBAMA in the last paragraph!?!?!?

    Could it be that the two pillars of disinformation and misguided policy are at odds with each other? This could get very entertaining, as I’m sure that Obama the coward won’t respond to this calling out, and Hansen the koo-koo will up the ante with more rabid call-outs. Oh how I hope this escalates into the broader public . Wouldn’t it be great to see these guys on national TV shooting holes in each other’s doomsday scenarios about Global Warming and how to stop it. Never stopping until they have stripped every last shred of credibility out of the issue (like there ever was any). What an embarrassing and fitting end that would be to the Greatest Hoax Ever. We can only hope. Then we’d be left with…well…pretty much what we have right now: A nation full of people who DON’T believe in Global Warming and aren’t willing to pay for it.

  203. I find this second guessing of global warming policy amusing. My home town of Boulder, CO decided a couple years ago to implement the nation’s first carbon tax and use it for a Climate Action Plan (CAP) program to spread the word about energy efficiency, and help homeowners and businesses become more efficient. It’s redundant because our local energy company already does outreach on energy efficiency and encourages homeowners and businesses to sign on to wind power, but that didn’t stop the City of Boulder. Now some environmentalists are having misgivings about how the money is being spent for CAP. One said he was deeply disappointed that 1/3rd of the tax revenue is going to administrative expenses. He said, “This is not what I signed on for,” when he supported the carbon tax.

    Somehow I have the feeling that the politicians implementing these plans KNOW that GW caused by CO2 is BS, and are just using it to expand government, to create busy work to justify more tax revenues. In the case of cap and trade there are other interests involved, particularly those companies that would benefit from public subsidies of wind turbine construction, solar generation facilities, and carbon sequestration facilities. It’s the government saying “Let’s break some windows so we can repair them.”

  204. Regarding Hansen being right on cap and trade. Even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while.

  205. Smokey (11:58:40) : “No, bill…You could allege that at noon tomorrow monkeys will fly out your butt unless I give you a thousand dollars today. You can allege anything. But without solid evidence, it’s just baseless speculation…”

    Golly, I don’t know Smokey. I think you underestimate Bill. That wouldn’t surprise me at all.

  206. Hansen’s paper is eminently illogical. If you harvest $650B and give it to people, their first acts – and most subsequent ones – to spend the new money, would be to use more electricity and gas.

    Has anyone bothered to make a list showing how the USA can spend $650B without production of more GHG? Has anyone bothered to show if it is economic to even attempt? Has John Citizen even said he wants it?

    It is very hard to spend any money at all without producing GHG. The closest and least costly large way is nuclear. The cost to keep a ton of CO2 out of the air is about #20 for nuclear. For wind power the cost to keep a ton of CO2 out of the air is about $1000.

    This whole cap and trade business is a giant money churn that leaves us nothing except huge transaction costs, and a few people with greed, who will make a mint while contributing nothing of use.

  207. Interesting that such a large number o people has taken the time to read the very interesting and accurate Hansen’s letter.
    How can it be possible that more than 90% of the comments are on denial, generally based on sheer stupidity and ignorance. Is there a software generating these spams?
    Hansen is right and we have to spread the word, quickly and convincingly, to head our developped countries toward the huge CO2 cuts we have to perform to protect the climate

  208. JeandeBegles (11:01:58) :

    “…more than 90% of the comments are on denial, generally based on sheer stupidity and ignorance.”

    Let me get this straight: You are calling other people stupid and ignorant??

    I suggest you get up to speed on the subject by reading the WUWT archives. A search of “Hansen” should get you started on the path to enlightenment.

  209. JeandeBegles (11:01:58) :

    “…more than 90% of the comments are on denial, generally based on sheer stupidity and ignorance.”

    Are you suggesting that all the rallies and mobs protesting coal fired stations in UK and US and all the contributions to the pro AGW blogs are all climate scientists, physicists and chemists? Let us not forget, an earlier generation of the same crowd stopped nuclear energy development and can take credit, therefore for all the carbon dioxide, smoke and mercury that is being ballyhooed about now. If so many vocal, well-meaning citizens could be so wrong then, why are they likely to be correct now. Are you a scientist yourself M, JeandeBegles or one of the cheering section?

  210. Smokey,
    Of course people saying that Hansen is wrong about climate are stupid or ignorant.
    Your brand name Smokey is a helpfull reminder of the tobacco denialism of cancer caused by tobacco. They are the same guys denying that CO2 is a green house gas warming our atmosphere, for the dollars of the oil companies and the short term business.

  211. Mr. Bojangles,
    The people here are neither stupid nor ignorant.
    Thank you,
    Mike

  212. JeandeBegles,

    1. “Smokey” is either the name of a bear cub rescued from a forest fire, or the name of my wife’s big gray tomcat. Take your pick.

    2. If Hansen is right about the climate, why does he “adjust” the charts he shows the public, to *always* show more warming? click And of course CO2 isn’t causing any noticeable global warming: click See? You’re worried about something that isn’t a problem.

    3. You’re new here. Maybe you don’t know that this site values polite comments. That’s twice now that you’ve labeled anyone who disagrees with Hansen as stupid or ignorant, and as denialists. Stop it.

    Labeling people deniers is unacceptable here. If you have facts, provide them — rather than using your posting privilege to label others as ignorant or stupid. We’re not. Thanks.

  213. Smokey (14:12:47) :
    JeandeBegles,

    Very well said. As a general rule, in an argument, the first person who argues the arguer, instead of the argument, has lost the argument. When individuals can no longer rely upon their knowledge and intelligence to win an argument, in weakness, some resort to verbal, or written, attack.

  214. “”” JeandeBegles (11:01:58) :

    Interesting that such a large number o people has taken the time to read the very interesting and accurate Hansen’s letter.
    How can it be possible that more than 90% of the comments are on denial, generally based on sheer stupidity and ignorance. Is there a software generating these spams?
    Hansen is right and we have to spread the word, quickly and convincingly, to head our developped countries toward the huge CO2 cuts we have to perform to protect the climate “””

    You go first John ! and if we like what happens to you, maybe we’ll jump in too; and then; maybe not.

  215. “”” Kum Dollison (20:45:09) :

    Okay, let’s say we use, in the U.S., 80 TWhrs/day (total energy – transportation, electricity, etc.) 80 Billion Kwhrs/day. The U.S. (non-Alaska) is about 8 million sq. km. What’s that, 8 trillion sq meters?

    Can you get 4 kwhrs/day per sq meter of solar cells? Let’s say you can. Now, you need 20 billion sq m. 2.5% of land mass. Average county is about 1,000 sq mi. So, an area 5 mi X 5 mi per county would do it. There’s not many counties that couldn’t give up an are 5 mi squared to supply ALL of their energy needs.

    Need a lot of storage, of course. Are we going to do that. Of course not. Could we? I guess.

    Cost: First Solar says they have achieved $1.00 Watt. Add a buck for profit, shipping, installation, etc. About 3 years GDP.

    Seems entirely reasonable for “Peak” electricity in the southern states, though. “””

    Not even close Kum.

    NOAA says the total solar energy arriving at the earth’s surface is 168 W/m^2. Maybe you can average 15% efficiency to the power grid so tha’s a whole 25 W/m^2 times 24 hours per day is 600 Watt hours per day; so nowhere near your 4 KWh.

    Good luck on getting one square metre of 15% or better solar cells for $25 or even $50.

    But why not mortgage your house and invest the money in PEV solar energy; you’ll make a killing; most of the people who have it now aren’t nearly as effective at it as you are; so they need the taxpayers to pay for it for them. You’ll be ablke to retire rich; like AlGore.

  216. I vote for this wonderful summary of Hansen’s “plans” from Leon Brozyna (Leon Brozyna (16:53:16)) for Quote of the Week:

    “Where will these clean energy sources come from? Somewhere.

    Who will develop these clean energy sources? Somebody.

    How will we make the change work? Somehow.

    Just make everything so expensive that somebody somewhere will figure out something that works to make this fantasy real. And if nobody does so willingly, then what? Put them into camps and order them to think? Come up with solutions to problems of his own making on command?”

    -Jonathan

  217. Anthony, I notice that my previous comment no longer appears here. I was making a serious point about tax policy and inviting those who agreed with Hansen’s ideas to provide support for their arguments. Would you mind telling me why the comment was removed?

  218. Sorry, never mind. The search function on my browser let me down- previous comment was intact. Enily Litella lives on.

  219. JeandeBegles (11:01:58) :

    “…more than 90% of the comments are on denial, generally based on sheer stupidity and ignorance.”

    This is the same ‘ole, same ‘ole retort I see from people who believe that CO2 from industry is causing global warming. I’ve seen it a hundred times (“ignorant and stupid”). Sorry, it’s not convincing. You’re going to have to do better, like actually use a little valid evidence to make a counter-argument. Then we can have a rational discussion.

    If you don’t believe us, take a listen to Dr. Jack Schmitt (he’s a former Apollo astronaut, and geologist). He’s looked at the evidence and says that the global warming alarmists haven’t made a convincing case. If not him, why not listen to James Hansen’s former boss at GISS, Dr. John Theon. He also says that Hansen’s theory doesn’t hold water. In fact, Hansen was caught red handed falsifying temperature data for 2008 to make it look like his theory still worked. I believe Dr. Theon has said that Hansen’s been fudging the numbers for the past 9 years. Secondly, he’s said that Hansen has violated the Hatch Act multiple times.

    We need to face facts. Dr. James Hansen has degrees in physics, mathematics, and astronomy. He doesn’t have a degree in climatology or meteorology for that matter. He wrote his Ph.D. thesis on the greenhouse effect on the planet Venus, and apparently thinks that makes him an expert on Earth’s atmosphere. Venus’s atmosphere is 96.5% CO2. On Earth the CO2 concentration is 0.038%. The main greenhouse gas on Earth is H2O (water vapor) and has a concentration of about 5%. There is no comparison between Earth’s condition and Venus’s condition. They are opposites of each other. The vast majority of the CO2 in our atmosphere comes from the oceans, volcanos, and decaying plant matter. The industrial contribution is a mere blip in comparison (a blip of 0.038%).

    Global temperatures have fallen slightly for the past 10 years, yet CO2 concentration increased slightly over that period. In addition, CO2 concentration increased from 1945 into the 1970s, yet global temperatures fell over that time period as well, leading some to believe that an ice age was coming (they were wrong, too).

    If you like, you can look back into the geological record hundreds and thousands of years and see that CO2 is not a driver of climate change on Earth. There is a correlation, as Al Gore pointed out, but what he did not tell his audience is that CO2 *follows* temperature. It’s a lagging indicator of what temperature *used to be*. It does not lead it on Earth!

    The preponderance of the evidence shows that there is no “there” there.

    As to what actually influences climate on Earth, legitimate science is still exploring that question. There’s a promising theory that the Sun is the main driver of climate change. Legitimate research also seems to suggest that we are altering the climate a bit by our land use decisions (not because of CO2 emissions).

  220. RE John H, 14:09 on 5/6,
    I’ll concede that your points are well taken — there’s no point endorsing the lesser evil of a carbon tax, when one should be disputing the greater evil of cap-and-trade plus specific controls and subsidies.
    But still it doesn’t hurt to make the point that the greater evil is even worse than the lesser evil, in that the benefits of the carbon permits will go directly and invisibly to special interests, instead of being (relatively) above board in the federal budget.

  221. I’m posting this here because it seems the most relevant thread, ie celebrities (Hanson is a celebrity by most definitions) prattling on about how the rest of us need to return to the stone age.

    The readers at WUWT, many of whom are not English, may be interested in a story on the Guardian web site about Trudie Styler, who also happens to be Sting’s wife, and her attitude to climate change (What I Do Is More Important Than What You Do) :

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/lostinshowbiz/2009/may/15/lost-in-showbiz-trudie-styler

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