Carbon Emissionaries

In 2005, the European Union (EU) put into place a carbon trading scheme. Prices for carbon permits promptly plunged, and have remained depressed since then. The price for a permit to emit a tonne of CO2 went from 21.59 Euros in 2005, to 17.28 in 2006, to 0.68 in 2007, to 2.16 in 2008, to 13.03 in 2009. Today, however, you will be glad to know that some academics declared the scheme a resounding success …

Say what? Here’s what Reuters News Service had to say:

(Reuters) – The European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) is a success and its flaws have not harmed its basic aim of reducing carbon dioxide emissions, multi-national research showed on Friday.

Experts at French state bank Caisse des Depots, the Paris-Dauphine University, the Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research in the United States and University College Dublin collaborated to evaluate the scheme’s trial period, which has widely been viewed as a failure.

The EU’s flagship carbon trading scheme requires companies to buy permits for each tonne of carbon they emit. Carbon output is capped and the level is lowered year by year.

The scheme’s first trading phase ran from 2005 to 2007. Installations in the 27-nation bloc were over-allocated with carbon permits and the carbon price fell to zero.

The research concluded that although there were many problems in the first phase, they were overcome and did not hamper the scheme’s ultimate objective of reducing emissions. …   SOURCE

Now, as some of you might have noticed, I’m a suspicious fellow and I like to run the numbers myself. So, what numbers should we be looking at here?

After some thought, I decided that I would look at the change from the four years prior to the institution of the carbon trading scheme (2001 through 2004), to the first four years of the scheme (2005 through 2008). [Figures for 2009 are not yet available] That would let me see if things improved or got worse.

The most logical measures to look at, it seemed to me, were per capita fuel use and CO2 emissions . (Excel spreadsheet) Using per capita figures removes the effects of population changes .  If we just looked at fuel use, for example, a population increase would affect the fuel use. I didn’t want to be measuring the effect of population changes, so I used per capita figures.

Using those measures, I decided to compare the EU with the US. Their economies are of a comparable size and development. Since the US is the global CO2 pariah, and has no carbon trading scheme, that would give me a good baseline to compare with the EU performance.

Without further prologue, here are my results:

Figure 1. Percentage change from the period before the EU carbon trading scheme (average 2001-2004) to the period after the carbon trading scheme (average 2005-2008). All measurements are per capita.

By every single measure, the US has outperformed the EU. And the most telling point is that per capita, EU carbon dioxide emissions have increased since 2005 when the scheme started, while US carbon dioxide emissions have decreased. For a scheme designed to reduce emissions, that’s not good news.

The US did better by every measure than the EU, and did it without any restriction on carbon. Now perhaps some folks in a think-tank somewhere call that a whacking great success for the trading scheme … but not on my planet. Call me crazy, but my conclusion is that the EU carbon trading scheme was a failure.


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80 thoughts on “Carbon Emissionaries

  1. Up to now the only buyers of these shares have been the members of the Club of Rome and their servants (Al Baby-aka “El Gordo”-among them).
    They will keep on buying them, of course using bailout money (your money), just to leave the impression that this “market” is well and alive.

  2. But …

    for the governments that sold permits and made money off their sale, they surely consider the program a huge success. Facts and reality merely confuse the issue.

  3. Every week Max Keiser looks at all the scandal behind the financial news headlines.

    This week Max Keiser and co-host Stacy Herbert look at the scandals of Brown’s bottom, “the worst economic judgment of all time” and Bono’s private equity, “the worst investor in America.” Max chats to Brits in Trafalgar Square and also talks to Mark Schapiro, author of the Harper’s article, “Conning the Climate: Inside the Carbon Trading Shell Game”.

    Skip to 13 minutes 20 seconds.

    http://rt.com/About_Us/Programmes/Keiser_Report/2010-03-30/557608.html#

  4. Henry (08:36:24) :
    you are right. That is a good news that needs a mention.

    But, I am waiting to see what the conditions are, and whether the “opening” is actually “opening” or it is a way to sweten the electoral process for himself. If this is done slowly enough, he can change, come dec 2012, immediately after his re-election

  5. The EU gas usage increase might be caused by the inflated demand for spinning reserve for the wind turbines and PV. Gas powered plants are good for that.

  6. Henry (08:36:24) :

    Obama goes for drilling, that deseves a post a WUWT
    To drill what?. Drilling it is a word with many uses, as To train in the military art; to exercise diligently, as soldiers, in military evolutions and exercises; hence, to instruct thoroughly in the rudiments of any art or branch of knowledge; to discipline
    Perhaps he will drill you up to the point you disciplined enough being to belive in global warming, for example…no one knows in these intersting times.☺

  7. So a contract is 12.67 Euros
    A contract is 1,000 CER’s. Does that mean 1,000 tons CO2?

    Again the total trading mess is both vague and misleading for a reason.

  8. Like Michael Crichton pointed out, we’ve been decarbonising for ages without any of this green codswallop and hysteria.

  9. Carbon trading is a definite success in our country. Government sold our credits to recently established garage company for 5euro/t and the company sold it to Japan for 8 euro/t, making fortune. Links go back to our government..
    More, domestic companies were allocated credits by our ministry based on political affiliations. Some companies got twice as much credits as they really needed and the abundant credits they quickly sold abroad, making huge money from nothing.
    More, according to Europol, 90% of carbon trading in some European countries has been subject of tax fraud, costing us 5 bln euro in the last year only.
    THIS is the real reason for “science is settled” claim.

  10. The carbon indulgences have surely been a great success for those who bought them at EUR 0.10 and sold at EUR 13. A new kind of lottery.

    When you talk about the consumption of fossil fuels, it’s somewhat strange to say that the U.S. have “outperformed” Europe when its consumption went up more quickly, or down less quickly, than in Europe. The usual definition of “outperforming” used to be the opposite one.

    At any rate, good luck to everyone who tries to import this terrible idea from our Old Continent. Sarkozy and Obama have already displayed some tension because both of them wanted to be viewed as the kings/leaders of this particular hoax. All these people have been disappointed. There are way too many “leaders” in this particular scam – and the only extraordinary thing that many of them may share is the prison.

    Cheers
    LM

  11. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger creates emission regulations by decree, improperly bypassing the Legislature, according to the California Legislative Analyst: click

  12. If you measure success as “Helping AGW parasties get rich off of fear mongering”, then carbon trading has been wildly successful.

  13. This is much like the UK renewables obligation: a tax that doesn’t get recorded as a tax. The fact is that if governments invent these bogus schemes so they can pass them off as not being a tax but a market pricing mechanism. The result is that people like Brown can stand up and say: “we haven’t raised taxes” whilst getting an added £1billion a year revenue (which they then “invest” in photo opportunity windfarms who then invest it back in politics to ensure everyone except the ordinary citizen benefits).

    Now, whilst Renewable obligations are a cunning (con) way to raise money to pay for renewables, if I am correct this carbon trading scheme is an out and out pseudo tax, taking money from carbon emitters in a way that avoids it coming up on the accounts as a tax.

    And if past history is anything to go by, as soon as one party in the UK works out it can fleece the public without being caught, the scheme will be vastly extended by the next.

  14. Certainly on its face, the Obama proposal looks like a very good proposal to allow drilling in much of the coastal basin that has previously not been allowed for oil and natural gas drilling. These are the first new leases allowed in almost two decades. I guess we can all be paranoid and say he will take them back after re-election, but doing that will be legally difficult if the rights have been auctioned.

    USA Today described it as “Traditional energy sources such as oil and natural gas are needed for short-term economic needs, Obama said in announcing that the government will now allow drilling about 50 miles off the Virginia coast, the first new leases in two decades. The administration also said it will allow exploration of other potential drilling sites up and down the East Coast.”

    http://content.usatoday.com/communities/theoval/post/2010/03/obama-offshore-oil-drilling-needed-in-short-term/1

  15. Luboš Motl (09:02:26) :

    The carbon indulgences have surely been a great success for those who bought them at EUR 0.10 and sold at EUR 13
    Hope those guys were clever enough to sell ASAP their euros and bought any third world currency..Armageddon will devaluate the first world surrencies in the blink of an eye.

  16. A sane society would be producing as much cheap energy as possible. This would result much greater manufacturing and individual wealth at the expense of countries that constrain power production and thus force manufacturing,mining, smelting overseas.

  17. @ Henry (08:36:24) :

    Obama goes for drilling, that deseves a post a WUWT!

    ————————————–

    I wouldn’t get too excited about that announcement. I’d treat it as bait, and be very wary of the hook which is no doubt there. It sounds more like a political move to improve his ratings than anything substantial. And you can bet that there will be a lot of hand-waving and threats of lawsuits by the environmental lobby, etc.

  18. Obama is throwing a few crumbs to people regarding offshore drilling. Open it all to drilling, both on land and offshore, and the price of oil will fall, benefitting everyone:

    House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) today criticized the Obama Administration for refusing to listen to the American people and keeping the vast majority of America’s offshore energy resources off limits at a time when Americans want an “all of the above” strategy for promoting American energy production and creating American jobs:

    “The Obama Administration continues to defy the will of the American people who strongly supported the bipartisan decision of Congress in 2008 to lift the moratorium on offshore drilling not just off the East Coast and in the Gulf of Mexico, but off the Pacific Coast and Alaskan shores as well. Opening up areas off the Virginia coast to offshore production is a positive step, but keeping the Pacific Coast and Alaska, as well as the most promising resources off the Gulf of Mexico, under lock and key makes no sense at a time when gasoline prices are rising and Americans are asking ‘Where are the jobs?’

    “It’s long past time for this Administration to stop delaying American energy production off all our shores and start listening to the American people who want an “all of the above” strategy to produce more American energy and create more jobs. Republicans are listening to the American people and have proposed a better solution – the American Energy Act – which will lower gas prices, increase American energy production, promote new clean and renewable sources of energy, and encourage greater efficiency and conservation.

    “At the same time the White House makes today’s announcement, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is plotting a new massive job-killer that the American people can’t afford: a cascade of new EPA regulations that will punish every American who dares to flip on a light switch, drive a car, or buy an American product. Americans simply don’t want this backdoor national energy tax that will drive up energy and manufacturing costs and destroy jobs in our states and local communities.” [source]

  19. > Since the US is the global CO2 pariah, and has no carbon trading scheme,

    There may be nothing from the Feds, but the Chicago Exchange has something like a carbon credits (cheap!), and here in New England et al we have the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) – the first mandatory, market-based effort in the United States to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Ten Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states have capped and will reduce CO2 emissions from the power sector 10% by 2018.

    See http://rggi.org/home

    Half a billion dollars (okay, $582,379,052.94 to state coffers in just a year and a half.

  20. Does anyone else smell Bernie Madoff in all this? Well, actually, it’s a lot BIGGER than little Bernie’s get rich, stay rich, and juggle the books capper. Who are the idiots that are paying for these worthless “credits”?

    Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and a number of other states need to get in on this too. Imagine all the coal they could sell, not mine, not burn, and for what? How about they get together and pay off the National Debt for a start? Shouldn’t take more than a year. Understand Al Gore and George Soros and the Chinese would love to buy all our coal reserves.

    PS: Drilling Continental Shelf for Oil? I guess the Pres and the DNC have caved in. Isn’t there a lot of under the table “political donations” in something like this? Bet if the Goppers tried this they’d all be tarred and lynched.

  21. I wonder how many credits the ‘researchers’ involved with the AGW cover up at East Anglia purchased on the cheap — or got for free ?

  22. The EU comprises advanced Western economies plus the cast off, ex-Soviet satelite states (such as Poland and Romania) who are still in 1950s as far energy resources and transport are concerned.

    The EU Accession States (as these ex-Communist states) are now called, are heavily dependent on coal for electricity and use traditional coal fired steam locomotives on their railway systems.

  23. Carbon trading is a pure money system below even Multilevel Marketing or a good Ponzi scheme and was never meant to or designed to do anything to or for the environment. True, an important facet of its marketing shtick is to make the general, drive-by public believe that it will…. but let’s not go there. But first you have to create a need which in this case means you have to have “something” that is damaging the environment to instill fear in the heart of your worshipers. Ah ha! Runaway warming of the atmosphere! Cause? CO2! Therefore -
    Fear of AGW caused by CO2 from the conversion of Carbon to Energy relived by Carbon Trading Certificates bought by Idiots (or anybody we can coerce by law suit) with hard cold $. Buy two and call me in the morning. Here’s the formula-

    I-$=CTC
    ——– X GW = -F
    E-C+CO2

    and Soros makes billions….

  24. Definitely OT, but take a look at the latest Arctic sea-ice extent:

    Holy Cow! The Arctic ice mass keeps growing, and growing…

    I’m surprised somebody hasn’t figured out a way to make money from this! Sea Ice Credits, anyone?

  25. Oil is too precious to drill and consume one’s own resources. It is far better to buy oil from another country, and have them deplete their resources. Even better to deplete the oil from hostile nations.

    In time of war, the country or allied countries with sufficient oil have a good chance at winning. Without oil, they have zero chance. Does anyone think global wars are a thing of the past?

    The USA was the major oil provider to the Allies during WWII, a key contributing factor to the Allies’ victory.

    source: The Prize by Daniel Yergin.

    Therefore, Obama is an idiot to open up offshore drilling.

  26. And Obama, according to the EU criticism, cannot be relied upon to stand still in a position for 5 minutes. The promise he keeps is the last one he makes, so far as his 1.25 yr track record goes. Cap & Trade, if he gets it, will look like whatever the way the scrambled eggs come out of the frying pan. The eggs, in this case, would be the health of the US Economy that the winner of the Super-O Lotto will feast upon.

  27. Just a point of interest, ~70 million people joind the EU on the 1st of May, 2004. Another ~30 million joined in 2007. You should really compare the old 15 member EU to the USA, a much better fit in population, technology and income.

  28. CRS, Dr.P.H. (10:10:10) :

    That’s a perfectly good idea, the Arctic Sea-Ice Xchange. Bill Gates is good for a few billion to fund the IPO. Or, we could do something along the lines of the Breakup Contest for the Yukon. Only the winner would predict the Sea Ice Max or Min extent closer than anyone else.
    Put your money where your trend line is. 2 winners/year. Anybody can play.
    I like it.

  29. CRS Dr. Ph,
    You point out:
    “http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/N_stddev_timeseries.png

    Holy Cow! The Arctic ice mass keeps growing, and growing…”
    But of course you know that this is in line to climate change predictions.

  30. I dislike the EU scheme for the reasons cited in other comments but, in fairness re the US comparison, a lot of the Eastern new EU accession countries were and are years behind economically and re energy production. Growth from joinig the EU, eg by inward investment to take account of cheaper labour, not all from the “older” EU by any means, would likely have put up CO2 disproportionately.
    So, the simple comparison may be misleading. Maybe it could be divided betwenn the “old” and “new” EU countries?

    The fact remains tho’ that if any economy does cap and trade out of step with competitors like China, that economy is killing itself. And for no good reason since CO2 isn’t the huge danger we’ve been told it was. We do eventually have to get off oil, gas and coal tho’ but not for many years?

  31. Results are correct.

    If you look at emissions per dollar since 1990 (when climate change was recognised as a problem), you find that the USA has consistently outperformed the EU. You also find that there is no noticable difference between subsequent US governments. There is a difference in the UK: Thatcher/Mayor outperformed Blair/Brown.

  32. Sarcasm on: Anthony, you just don’t understand. The Europeans are ahead of the US in creating CO2 regulation. It’s the pureness of the thought that counts, not actual CO2 emissions.

    Heavier sarcasm: If the trading price of CO2 is too low, the UN governments can decree a floor price. There’s no problem so great that it can’t be solved by more regulation. That’s why we need world socialism. After all, we MUST avert the coming climate tragedy.

    Sarcasm off: What really scares me is Obama’s $360 billion in next year’s budget coming from carbon tax. That’s a tax on electricity. Your rates and mine are going to increase by $360 billion. The difference is that we’ll be paying it to the power company, not the IRS. See – that makes evil big business more evil. (OK, that last sentence had the sarcasm toggle on again)

  33. Roger Sowell (10:28:12) – Thank you . To the best of my knowledge , you’re the first to have stated this in a long time . I remember learning this in high school back in the early seventies , which was when world oil supplies were supposed to begin diminishing , according to the peak oil theory . US oil fields were considered a strategic resource . Most people who rail against our “dependence” on foriegn oil never really got this . However , if we don’t develop these resources soon , we may get caught with our pants down if some immediate exigency arises . Besides , peak oil hasn’t really played out yet has it ?

  34. keith in Hastings UK (10:39:26) : Or anyone – does anybody know when the pumps pump no more, or when some crazed oil trader on the floor shouts “peak oil”? Just wondering.

  35. Well it seems you can do anything with statistics, for 2008, the EU produced around 4,500 million tonnes of carbon dioxide with a population of around 500 million while the the US produced 6,371 million tonnes, with a population around 310 million. “By every single measure, the US has outperformed the EU.”, LOL, you sure you dont work for The WWF.

  36. tides (11:19:40):

    Total U.S. CO2 emissions have been flat for twenty years, even though we are one of the only countries with a rapidly rising population: click

    U.S. emissions vs global emissions: click

    Everyone talks about reducing emissions, but who walks the walk? click

  37. @ P Walker (11:08:53) :

    Roger Sowell (10:28:12) – Thank you . To the best of my knowledge , you’re the first to have stated this in a long time . I remember learning this in high school back in the early seventies , which was when world oil supplies were supposed to begin diminishing , according to the peak oil theory . US oil fields were considered a strategic resource . Most people who rail against our “dependence” on foriegn oil never really got this . However , if we don’t develop these resources soon , we may get caught with our pants down if some immediate exigency arises . Besides , peak oil hasn’t really played out yet has it ?

    That’s true, but another thing to remember is that oil, gas, coal, etc. are fungible currencies, not merely commodities.

  38. Roger Sowell (10:23:12)

    Oil is too precious to drill and consume one’s own resources. It is far better to buy oil from another country, and have them deplete their resources. Even better to deplete the oil from hostile nations.

    In time of war, the country or allied countries with sufficient oil have a good chance at winning. Without oil, they have zero chance. Does anyone think global wars are a thing of the past?

    The USA was the major oil provider to the Allies during WWII, a key contributing factor to the Allies’ victory.

    source: The Prize by Daniel Yergin.

    Therefore, Obama is an idiot to open up offshore drilling.

    I don’t know if you are serious, but the lag time between opening up a field for leases and actually getting some fuel out of it is on the order of a a decade. Unless you are expecting a really, really, really long war, oil in un-leased fields at the start of the war will be there at the end of the war.

    The only way that Yergin’s plan could work would be to lease the fields, drill the wells, and then just cap them until there is a war … like that’s gonna happen.

    Conclusion? If we want to have our own oil in case of a war, we should start leasing now.

  39. tides (11:19:40)

    Well it seems you can do anything with statistics, for 2008, the EU produced around 4,500 million tonnes of carbon dioxide with a population of around 500 million while the the US produced 6,371 million tonnes, with a population around 310 million. “By every single measure, the US has outperformed the EU.”, LOL, you sure you dont work for The WWF.

    I didn’t realize anyone would be so literal. When I said “by every single measure”, I didn’t think someone would actually take it as “by any measure of any imaginable thing that anyone can possibly dream up”.

    I meant, obviously, by any of the measures that I used – the changes in per capita oil, gas, coal, and CO2 from the first period to the second. By any of those measures, per capita the US did better than the EU.

    But you likely knew that …

  40. keith in Hastings UK (10:39:26)

    I dislike the EU scheme for the reasons cited in other comments but, in fairness re the US comparison, a lot of the Eastern new EU accession countries were and are years behind economically and re energy production. Growth from joinig the EU, eg by inward investment to take account of cheaper labour, not all from the “older” EU by any means, would likely have put up CO2 disproportionately.
    So, the simple comparison may be misleading. Maybe it could be divided betwenn the “old” and “new” EU countries?

    The fact remains tho’ that if any economy does cap and trade out of step with competitors like China, that economy is killing itself. And for no good reason since CO2 isn’t the huge danger we’ve been told it was. We do eventually have to get off oil, gas and coal tho’ but not for many years?

    Keith, each country is compared only with itself. That’s why I looked at the changes before and after the start of the carbon trading scheme. Because of that, it shouldn’t make a difference whether it was a more developed or a less developed country.

  41. @ Roger Sowell (10:23:12) :

    Oil is too precious to drill and consume one’s own resources. It is far better to buy oil from another country, and have them deplete their resources. Even better to deplete the oil from hostile nations.

    In time of war, the country or allied countries with sufficient oil have a good chance at winning. Without oil, they have zero chance. Does anyone think global wars are a thing of the past?

    The USA was the major oil provider to the Allies during WWII, a key contributing factor to the Allies’ victory.

    source: The Prize by Daniel Yergin.

    Therefore, Obama is an idiot to open up offshore drilling.

    While this has been true in the past, it will not necessarily be true in the future. It depends on the nature of the conflict. These small “conventional” wars/police actions currently in vogue, that require “boot’s on the ground” do indeed require massive expenditure’s of oil. However a true all out global war would not necessarily require that. Nuclear and related weaponry (including political, economic, and cyber attacks on the opponent’s infrastructure ) substantially reduce the need for oil, since there would be no extended land or sea battles, such as those of WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, etc. . There is an obvious downside of course, but if it’s an existential issue then there are no rules.

    These scenario’s are studied and played out in the war colleges of all major nations on a regular basis. The objective is always to convince the opponent that to continue the fight is not in their best interest. The methods for how that is accomplished are many and varied, and are not restricted to historical rules of engagement.

  42. From:

    http://www.fossil.energy.gov/programs/reserves/

    “The 727-million-barrel U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve is the largest stockpile of government-owned emergency crude oil in the world. Established in the aftermath of the 1973-74 oil embargo, the SPR provides the President with a powerful response option should a disruption in commercial oil supplies threaten the U.S. economy. It also allows the United States to meet part of its International Energy Agency obligation to maintain emergency oil stocks, and it provides a national defense fuel reserve. “

  43. tides (10:27:39) : edit

    Just a point of interest, ~70 million people joind the EU on the 1st of May, 2004. Another ~30 million joined in 2007. You should really compare the old 15 member EU to the USA, a much better fit in population, technology and income.

    I just went to look at the numbers. The old EU15 did about 1% better than the total EU across the board.

  44. Addressing the comments about the new country additions to the EU. I wouldn’t paint them with a broad brush as being ‘backwards’. I personally judge a country’s preparations for the future, by the number of nuclear power plants under construction. Running them is cheap and there’s 1000 years of fuel around depending on technology. The cost is mostly in construction of the plant. And the waste is a political, not economic or technical problem.

    Using that metric, I see the Ukraine generating 47% of its electricity with nukes, compared to 20% in the USA. While the Ukrainians aren’t currently building more, they have 2 on order and 20 more planned. Finland, currently generating 30% of tits electricity with nukes, has 1 under construction. Slovakia is building 2 to augment their current 56%. Poland, currently at zero, has 6 proposed. http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/reactors.html

    The USA has none, that’s zero, new starts in the past 30 years. Thank you, Jane Fonda.

  45. Holy cow. With arctic ice growing, the glaciers will be calving. Robust calving for many more decades.

    It seems the bull market for carbon poker chips was backed by B.S and not reality.

    I would steer away from this carbon trading baloney.

  46. That is a nice picture as background for your bar graphs. Is that South Sister Mountain in Central Oregon?

  47. Love the volcano you put in the background of your graph!

    Unfortunately, subtlety is wasted on the folks who are still worried about atmospheric C02.

  48. What appears to be ‘news’ today cannot be seen as such, ie the dramatically released idea that Obama will drill. He is not interested in drilling, his entire empire and deeply held philosophies about America will attest. He is happy for others to drill, such as Soros deal in Brazil. But not America. With this logic, if the media does not announce something, ie the complete fraud of the climate industry, it doe not exist. It is well documented Obama was in on the development of the Chicago Climate Exchange (in which Goldman Sachs, Al Gore and others are invested). In the past few days, HSBC bank has delisted the CCX from its Climate Index due to poor performance. This has received almost no coverage but it seems to me huge news. Trillions are at stake in carbon trading, the drilling story is smoke.

  49. Curiousgeorge (11:52:14) : — agreed, it could happen differently. But no prudent nation will take that chance. A nation that intends to win must have oil and lots of it.

    One can predict a scenario in which the US military gets spread out across the world, fighting dozens of small battles. Simply transporting needed supplies to the battleground requires great volumes of oil, as most ships are not nuclear-powered. The Gulf War was conducted in the midst of oil fields, but that will not necessarily be the case in future conflicts.

    A quick war is of course best, but an outnumbered or out-equipped enemy will attempt to prolong the war and extend our supply lines – this is classic war tactics.

  50. Cap and trade will always maximise emissions, as it creates a mechanism to fill out any under-utilised capacity, and a financial incentive to go with it. Any company that is not using its allocation has a fiduciary responsibility to its shareholders to flog the spare capacity on. It was predictable before it started, and you only have to look at the low-life involved in carbon trading, from Ken Lay onwards, to know that it was never intended to reduce emissions. It’s just as well that there is little or no threat of catastrophic CO2 related AGW.

  51. “I meant, obviously, by any of the measures that I used – the changes in per capita oil, gas, coal, and CO2 from the first period to the second. By any of those measures, per capita the US did better than the EU.

    But you likely knew that”

    The point is that, that’s BS. Since “the world will die because of AGW” is based on human CO2 output, how we get the output dosn’t matter, oil, coal, bad breath makes no difference. The amount does. You saying that the USA has reduced it’s C02 output from 23 tonnes to 22 tonnes per person while the EU has increased it’s CO2 output from 8.9 tonnes to 9 tonnes per person and becuase the USA is in decline while the EU isn’t indicates the US hass done better.

    It’s like saying “you have never killed anyone but you are thinking about it, I’v killed 100′s of people but in the last 2 years i stoped” QED, im better than you because i havent murdered anyone latley while you are thinking of it.

    I really didn’t wont to post here but, that is just crap and since no one else could be bothered to call you out, i must. You have decided to mislead people with your post, no way around that, you chose the only thing that could make the USA look good “killing 8 babies instead of 12, while th eu moves from 1 to 2″.

    /me smiles, yep i know this is probably not the proper way.

  52. Meanwhile, here in Australia, the Queensland state government just signed another multi-billion dollar natural gas deal. The EU gas usage increase just underlines how important natural gas is becoming, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it is because increasing numbers of windfarms needing gas generation backup.

    The meme that natural gas is somehow cleaner than coal just produces win-win in Australia – plenty of gas, plenty of coal. You’re free to import either.

  53. I equate per capita fuel use with quality of life hence it looks like we’re improving quality of life quicker in Europe than the States. Maybe it’s to do with the Eastern block countries coming into the European fold and doing fast catchup.

  54. Dan in California (12:08:30) :

    Natural gas was and is still cheep in eastern europe, Soviet nuclear tech was dangerouse. There is a great misunderstanding about economics of nuclear power as shown by your “1000 years of fuel around depending on technology” comment ehich could be said as “lets make shit up because we havn’t thought about what we have been told”.

    The earth has mass cheep fuel, look up the reason why the west and so every one else went for uranium.

  55. Willis Eschenbach (11:41:36) :

    “I don’t know if you are serious, but the lag time between opening up a field for leases and actually getting some fuel out of it is on the order of a a decade. Unless you are expecting a really, really, really long war, oil in un-leased fields at the start of the war will be there at the end of the war.

    The only way that Yergin’s plan could work would be to lease the fields, drill the wells, and then just cap them until there is a war … like that’s gonna happen.

    Conclusion? If we want to have our own oil in case of a war, we should start leasing now.”

    Willis, yes, I am serious. Not just I, but Mr. Yergin is, too, along with thousands of sober oil executives and previous Presidents. The USA did exactly that during WWII, using (of course) the technology of the day. We can and will do much better using today’s technology. It appears you have not read The Prize – something that I highly recommend.

    The decades-to-develop idea is true but only for a very few select oil fields. We have technology to bring on oil production in a matter of a few weeks to a few months.

    Oil is far too important, as I wrote above (and so did Yergin) to deplete our resources.

  56. @ Roger Sowell (14:00:26) : I’m not disputing that oil is a necessary logistical commodity to keep the economy as well as the military in business. But I think you are making a mistake in thinking of current or future conflicts in terms of a defined “battlefield” with conventional forces arrayed against each other with one side or the other constrained by lengthy supply lines. That isn’t even the case today. We (and our opponents – both declared and undeclared ) have very few actual combat forces in play, even in Afganistan, compared to past conflicts.

    Modern warfare is played out on a much larger stage than the minor firefights one sees or hears about on the nightly news. For example; the media played the recent fight in Marjeh as if it were the Normandy landing, when in fact it was a minor battalion level operation that would have gone unnoticed in “classic” warfare. It was, in effect, a mopping up operation.

    Lastly, a famous quote: “Only the dead have seen the end of war”. What isn’t so obvious, then as now, is how significantly the conduct of warfare has changed, largely due to technology. And I’m referring to far more than just pure military toys.

  57. Oh, here is something Watts did not consider, the report summary says: “Compliance was achieved by importing CER/ERUs issued for Kyoto projects and by borrowing allowances.”

  58. We need oil and coal for energy to develop technology.

    I think of it like the yolk of the earth, we need it for growth and once we have developed enough we will have the technology to be fully sustainable.

    Limiting the energy supply only serves to slow this initial development…

  59. Curiousgeorge: You are correct that modern wars have not had the huge logistics and fuel demands that were part of World War II. But that certainly does not rule out another world-wide conflict of long duration.

    Still, the Gulf War required immense amounts of petroleum fuel to transport the men, equipment, and supplies from the coalition countries to the battleground. And there was a defined battleground with two opposing sides. It simply did not last very long. Vietnam was many things, but one of those was a reminder that a conflict can last many years and be very far away, again requiring energy (oil) to prosecute the war.

    Again, you may be correct in your assessment. I would hate to bet the entire future of any nation on that assessment. As some military commander said, a nation without oil should not rattle any sabres.

  60. The point of carbon trading is to cap or reduce the living standards of those in Western Europe. Without researching it I would bet the Western European economy has taken a dive, or at least the living standards for the bottom 80%. A quick check shows rising unemployment, lower GDP per capita growth, more debt. The east is still in a development phase so there is a transfer of wealth from West to East, much like Americas transfer of wealth to Asia. Also, immigration in the US like EU’s immigration and growth in member countries inflates total GDP, masking the lowering of living standards and economic growth in the developed world. Thats globalization.

    Anyways, they sold their freedom by agreeing to the EU. They are toast. Just a matter of time before they lose their social benefits (Canada too).

    Cap and trade is the necessary element for the new global currency, the carbon dollar, which will replace the USD as the worlds reserve currency and be under the control of an international agency, controlled by the same folks who control the BIS and who gave us the Basel accords which trashed both the European and US economy.

  61. Henry (08:36:24) :

    Obama goes for drilling, that deseves a post a WUWT!

    Just to lighten the mood a bit …Jesse and Tiger have been doing some exploratory drilling too but I don’t think they deserve a post here.

  62. Don B (13:09:24)

    That is a nice picture as background for your bar graphs. Is that South Sister Mountain in Central Oregon?

    Dunno, I snagged it off a random site …

  63. Roger Sowell (15:39:40)

    The decades-to-develop idea is true but only for a very few select oil fields. We have technology to bring on oil production in a matter of a few weeks to a few months.

    Oil is far too important, as I wrote above (and so did Yergin) to deplete our resources.

    Roger, if you think you can go from a lease to a productive offshore well in “a few months”, I don’t know what to say to you. Here’s the US Energy Information Administration weighing in on the question, from Impacts of Increased Access to Oil and Natural Gas Resources in the Lower 48 Federal Outer Continental Shelf :

    Assumptions about exploration, development, and production of economical fields (drilling schedules, costs, platform selection, reserves-to-production ratios, etc.) in the OCS access case are based on data for fields in the western Gulf of Mexico that are of similar water depth and size. Exploration and development on the OCS in the Pacific, the Atlantic, and the eastern Gulf are assumed to proceed at rates similar to those seen in the early development of the Gulf region. In addition, it is assumed that local infrastructure issues and other potential non-Federal impediments will be resolved after Federal access restrictions have been lifted. With these assumptions, technically recoverable undiscovered resources in the lower 48 OCS increase to 59 billion barrels of oil and 288 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, as compared with the reference case levels of 41 billion barrels and 210 trillion cubic feet.

    The projections in the OCS access case indicate that access to the Pacific, Atlantic, and eastern Gulf regions would not have a significant impact on domestic crude oil and natural gas production or prices before 2030.

    2030 … that’s a frickin’ long war …

  64. tides:

    You are implying a fixed size industrial base per capita. You will note that cap and trade incentivised tata to destroy 1700 jobs in the uk to sell on the carbon credits. The UK will still consume the same amount of steel but the co2 emissions are in india. Cap and trade was sold as reducing carbon intensity (although it is hard not to come away with the conclusion it was designed to silence opposition, as everybody has to go begging to government for carbon credits). This is exactly the measure Willis is using so unless you are suggesting America has de-industrialised more than the eu, and that is why it has reduced its emissions then I don’t understand your claim. You are in effect suggesting that consumers are not responsible for the CO2 produced in their name, and the net effect of cap and trade should not be to reduce c02 intensity, but to force de-industrialiazation. If governments really believe that, they should sell it as such – but there are easier ways to de-industrialize. Ban factories.

  65. Willis, yes, those fields in deep water are among the “few select oil fields” I wrote about. However, the reference you gave does not assume a war basis for development. The time frames of decades will be shortened considerably if and when a war’s urgency is a reality.

    Meanwhile, there are huge oil reserves within directional drilling distance from shore in California, and even bigger on-shore oil reserves in the Dakotas (Bakken oil formation). If we needed oil for a war, we have plenty.

    It is also notable that offshore oil resources are extremely vulnerable to enemy attack during a war, so any reliance on such is misplaced (excepting those accessible by directional drilling from shore).

  66. BLUE CARBON? Have you all heard of this?

    Somewhat OT, but Anthony et al – just came across “blue carbon” in an article from the North Carolina Costal Federation’s spring issue of Coastal Review (“Rebuilding Marshes May Help Rebuild Our Climate”; page 12). Basically, marshes and marine organisms capture about 55% of all “biological carbon.”

    The article is based on a UN report accessible at: http://www.grida.no/publications/rr/blue-carbon/

    Thanks – y’all are great – have cited you many times!

    Bob W.

  67. Roger Sowell,

    Your point about oil seems to be that a nation should keep it in the ground in case there is a war, because to use it today risks depleting the reserves and being without oil should a war arrive.

    This is an interesting argument but has at least one flaw. It assumes that oil will remain the primary fuel of society in perpetuity. If society instead progresses to a post oil economy, all that oil becomes useless. What you then have is the opportunity lost of bringing that oil to market.

    That is a huge loss. You are effectively gambling that the oil will be more valuable in the case of a war than during peace.

  68. Roger Sowell (09:02:56)

    Willis, yes, those fields in deep water are among the “few select oil fields” I wrote about. However, the reference you gave does not assume a war basis for development. The time frames of decades will be shortened considerably if and when a war’s urgency is a reality.

    Meanwhile, there are huge oil reserves within directional drilling distance from shore in California, and even bigger on-shore oil reserves in the Dakotas (Bakken oil formation). If we needed oil for a war, we have plenty.

    It is also notable that offshore oil resources are extremely vulnerable to enemy attack during a war, so any reliance on such is misplaced (excepting those accessible by directional drilling from shore).

    You are changing the goalposts, Roger. Before, your claim was specifically about offshore oil, viz:

    Roger Sowell (10:23:12) : edit

    Oil is too precious to drill and consume one’s own resources. It is far better to buy oil from another country, and have them deplete their resources. Even better to deplete the oil from hostile nations.

    In time of war, the country or allied countries with sufficient oil have a good chance at winning. Without oil, they have zero chance. Does anyone think global wars are a thing of the past?

    The USA was the major oil provider to the Allies during WWII, a key contributing factor to the Allies’ victory.

    source: The Prize by Daniel Yergin.

    Therefore, Obama is an idiot to open up offshore drilling.

    Now you want to talk about on-shore and near-shore fields, but you can’t revise history like that. Your claim was about offshore drilling, you have to live with it.

    Next, even on a wartime footing, it will not be a fast process. There’s not a lot of deep-sea drilling rigs on the planet, and even fewer companies that build offshore oil platforms. These are huge, unwieldy, and very slow to construct even under pressure. They take months to tow into position and install. So let’s say that under a wartime footing, we could cut the time for the whole process by four. This might be achievable, although it would be difficult. That would still mean that it would take five years to get any production out of the fields.

    Next, as you point out, in wartime this infrastructure (drilling ships, offshore oil platforms) is very vulnerable.

    Me, I’d rather drill offshore now and get the wells on line. That way, if there is a war, we can open the taps and have oil the next day when we need it, rather than spending billions on a hurry-up program to get us oil in five years … if the Middle East decides to stop selling us oil, I want a supply ready to go.

    Finally, first you said that it’s better to leave the offshore oil in the ground in case we need it in a war … then you said ” If we needed oil for a war, we have plenty” on or near shore. Make up your mind. If we have plenty of oil for a war on or near shore, there is no reason to leave the offshore oil in the ground in case of war.

  69. tides (15:03:26) :

    Dan in California (12:08:30) :

    Natural gas was and is still cheap in eastern europe, Soviet nuclear tech was dangerouse. There is a great misunderstanding about economics of nuclear power as shown by your “1000 years of fuel around depending on technology” comment ehich could be said as “lets make shit up because we havn’t thought about what we have been told”. ”

    I am skeptical and critical of everything I see and hear. My statement of having 1000 years of fission fuel is well documented. Most current power production reactors use Low Enriched Uranium (LEU) fuel in an open cycle. There’s about 200 years of uranium currently discovered to run those without developing new technology. Official USA government estimated reserves of coal, gas, and uranium here: http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/state/SEP_MoreReserves.cfm The world has more. :)

    The waste can be reprocessed to both reduce the volume by a factor of 5 to 10, and recover about as much fuel as was burned the first time around. The USA doesn’t reprocess nuke waste, but the UK, France, Russia, and Japan are doing that. The Koreans are working on developing reactors that burn relatively unprocessed waste. Reference here: http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf81.html

    Russian and US nuclear weapons are being dismantled and the High Enriched Uranium (HEU) is being blended down with Depleted Uranium (DU), which will add about 50% to the world’s resources. Reference here: http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf13.html

    Then, there are fast neutron reactors that are designed to “breed” more fuel than they consume. They generally make Pu 239 by neutron capture by U 238, which can generate 60 times as much fuel as burned. Several have been built and operated, but they cost more than just digging uranium out of the ground and burning it in a once-through slow neutron light water reactor. Reference here: http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf09.html

    Then, there is the relatively easy change from uranium to thorium fission. Thorium is more common than uranium. A primer on that is here: http://energyfromthorium.com/essay3rs/

    But I am not just a fan of clean, safe, reliable utility-scale power that can be purchased by just writing a check. I have personally installed a few hundred watts of off-grid solar panels, and plan a few KW on the next house I build. But solar PV power is not for everyone because the cost is still 5 to 10 times higher than burning gas or coal. Lower cost, utility scale solar power is being developed by private industry. It’s only about 3 times the cost of burning fossils. Nice YouTube video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BDBFdbKcl84

    And I’m not even going to start a discussion on polywell fusion. Sorry about going this far off-topic.

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