How Much Would You Buy?

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

In the US, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is imposing the first US rules on CO2. I thought I’d take a look at the EPA’s own estimates of cost and benefit of CO2 regulation, to see if the new rules make sense.

Figure 1. Danger, high costs ahead. Photo Source

There’s two numbers of interest – how much will it cost to reduce CO2 emissions, and how much will the decreased CO2 reduce the temperature?

First, the cost … truth is, no one knows. These things are hard to estimate. I took the EPA figures. They say that the new regulations will cost US$78 billion per year. Considering that’s only a tenth of the size of the recent “Stimulus”, that doesn’t seem like too much. Other analysts have put larger numbers on the cost, but I’ll take the EPA’s low estimate.

And how much will it reduce the temperature?

Again, no one knows … so I’ll take the EPA figures from the same source. They say

Based on the reanalysis the results for projected atmospheric CO2 concentrations are estimated to be reduced by an average of 2.9 ppm (previously 3.0 ppm), global mean temperature is estimated to be reduced by 0.006 to 0.0015 °C by 2100.

Whoa, be still my beating heart. I’ll take their average estimate, 0.00375°C (about four thousandths) of a degree cooling by 2100.

OK, now to run the numbers:

Total Cost = US$78 billion per year times 90 years = US$7 trillion dollars with a “t”, or about half a years GDP for the US.

Total Cooling = 0.00375° C in 90 years

That gets us to where we can make the final calculation …

US$7 trillion divided by 0.00375°C gives us … wait for it …

US$1,900 trillion dollars for each measly degree of cooling.

I’ve heard of air conditioners that were expensive to run, but that’s gotta take the cake, almost two quadrillion dollars running cost per degree of cooling …

The usual explanation is that this is because only the US is involved, and if the rest of the world got with the picture everything would be fine.

However, the cost per degree will not change based on the number of countries involved. It’s still almost two quadrillion ($1,900,000,000,000,000) bucks per degree. So that explanation won’t wash. And although the US economy might be able to take the hit, poorer countries like China and India won’t do well. Finally, those are EPA estimates, the cost may well be higher. Government estimates of the costs of their own programs are notoriously way below what they actually turn out costing.

In any case, my question is, given that the EPA says that cooling costs two quadrillion dollars per degree … how much cooling would you suggest we buy at that price?

Regards to all,

w.

PS – How big is a trillion? Almost unimaginably big. We think a million dollars is big money, and it is. Suppose my family had started a business in the year zero, a couple thousand years ago. Suppose we ran the business like a government, and we lost a million dollars.

To make it more like a government, let’s make my losses a million dollars a day.

Suppose I lost a million dollars a day, every day for the last 2,011 years. Generation after generation of the family, call it three generations per century, reaching down sixty generations. And every one of them, for their entire lives, losing a million dollars a day.

If we had done that, lost a million dollars a day, every single day since Biblical times, not taking a single day off, we still wouldn’t have lost a trillion dollars. We wouldn’t even have reached three-quarters of a trillion dollars.

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122 Responses to How Much Would You Buy?

  1. Mike McMillan says:

    That makes carbon credits look like a bargain.

  2. Mike McMillan says:

    On second thought, at a nickel a ton, we could buy 40 quadrillion tons of carbon credits and save the earth.

  3. Richard Sharpe says:

    Politicians with their snouts in the trough.

    That can buy a lot of votes.

  4. Gary Pearse says:

    Put me down for my 2 cents worth. What we need here are climate philanthropists – surely saving the planet should attract them. Oh right, they are already bankrolling the alarmists to get us to commit economic and the egular kind of suicide.

  5. Girma says:

    When is the “scientific community” going to start to heed what the data says?

    The data says human emission of carbon does not cause additional warming as shown in the following data:
    http://bit.ly/eUXTX2

    The above data shows no change in the global warming rate of about 0.15 deg C per decade with increase in human emission of carbon.

    Here is the data on the increase in human emission of carbon:
    http://1.usa.gov/gIkojx

    1) Total human carbon emission until 1910 was about 18 Gton
    2) Total human carbon emission until 1970 was about 112 Gton

    3) Total human carbon emission for the 30-years period from 1910 to 1940 was about 30 Gton
    4) Total human carbon emission for the 30-years period from 1970 to 2000 was about 172 Gton

    Note that in the warming period from 1970 to 2000 compared to the period from 1910 to 1940, the human carbon emission increased by 172/30=5.7 times.

    Note also that at the start of the second warming period in 1970 compared to the start of the first warming period in 1910, the human carbon emission increased by 112/18=6.2 times.

    CONCLUSION
    With increase in carbon emission by about 6-times during the most recent warming compared to the previous warming, and with increase in carbon emission by about 6-times at the start of the most recent warming compared to the previous warming, there was no change in the global warming rate. Which invalidates the claim that human carbon emission causes global warming.

  6. jasmr says:

    Can I buy carbon short on the Chicago oops… European carbon exchange :-)?

    /sarc

  7. John in NZ says:

    No thanks. I’ve already got some.

    Cooling that is.

  8. Stephen Rasey says:

    Short and to the point.

    One suggestion: change it to $1900 trillion per def C of cooling.

    Or approximately 1.3 times the U.S. GNP for each year forever. To combat “global warming” we must become slaves to the EPA. I’d much rather combat the EPA.

  9. Eric Anderson says:

    “Finally, those are EPA estimates, the cost may well be higher.”

    Lesseee, when was the last time the government overestimated the costs of a planned implementation and the completed project ended up being much cheaper than they initially thought?

    This idea of putting actual numbers on the cost is critical so people can get a sense for what we are talking about. Jo Nova has been making similar points in Australia lately — let’s talk real numbers. This is a key to keeping an eye on the thimble, so to speak.

    The kicker is that this is the cost *if* everything the warmists are saying is true. If they are underestimating the costs or the temperature isn’t going to go up as much as feared anyway (both very likely possibilities), then the whole expenditure becomes even more absurd.

    But I digress from your question . . . I wouldn’t pay a dime to keep the temperature from rising a degree. I haven’t seen any decent evidence whatsoever to think that an increase of a degree would be a net detriment.

  10. Baa Humbug says:

    I’ll have to pass this on to fellow Aussies.

    Just an observation Willis.
    The temperature is the temperature whether today or in the year 2100. But the $$$s is in TODAYS dollars isn’t it?
    What is todays dollar worth in relation to the year 1900? What will todays dollar be worth in the year 2100?

  11. Claude Harvey says:

    Now you see the kind of thinking I discovered during the environmental review process for my proposed power plants. The Endangered Species Act specifically prohibits “cost versus benefits” even being brought into the environmental review process as an argument. If it’s even marginally good for the critters, you gotta’ fork it over regardless of the cost and no matter how minute the benefit..

    The EPA received almost unlimited license to go wild when the Supreme Court ruled that CO2 was a harmful gas subject to regulation. Only the Supreme Court or Congress can stop the madness.

  12. Harry the Hacker says:

    I vote for spending $0.

  13. Doug in Seattle says:

    With that much money I would build domes over all major cities in the US and provide air conditioning for the folks in the domes. Might even be able to afford some big sea walls around coastal cities too.

    My only caveat would be that those who live in the domes cities would have to stay inside. That way I, and all the others outside of the cities, would finally have peace from their silly bleating.

  14. AusieDan says:

    I think that many of you people who are not true blue Ausies, do not realise how inportant our country is to your future.
    The goos Australian government intends to tax and tax and tax the wicked CO2 until the pips squeel and we all give up our evil emitting ways.

    Willis may well be right that your small US economy may not be able to do much to save the earth from its doom by your own.

    BUT with we mighty Ausies on your side (As our great PM Julia has recently told your Congress) we will,single handedly make all the difference.
    Yanks please stand aside.
    Australia can alone of all nations save the world from this most dreases pestilance called CO2.
    Our controbution will be at least 0.00000000000000000000000000000000000
    to the nearest whevers.
    And you can beleive me.
    IAM NOT A SCIENTIST.

  15. pat says:

    Obama’s golf budget should do it. The Alfred E. Newman Presidency can solve anything.

  16. AusieDan says:

    Edited version:

    Willis – if you think that the best efforts of the mighty USA will be quite insignificant, then please think how little difference we few Ausies can make.

    But that will not stop us trying.

    Putting all logic aside, we are prepared to harm our economy and our people’s wellbeing, in a futile attempt to look significant in our politicians eyes.

  17. J. Felton says:

    Thanks Willis

    A brilliant cost/benefit analysis. Send this one to the House, so the Republicans can deregulate these corrupt bankrupting jokers even further.
    You could also argue that this number would be even higher, once you link it to the millions in industry and the economy that will be lost once another useless tax is implemented and the US finds its jobs flying overseas.

  18. Malaga View says:

    projected atmospheric CO2 concentrations are estimated to be reduced by an average of 2.9 ppm

    Mmmm…
    Most CO2 emissions are from natural sources…
    Many countries are not reducing CO2 emissions…
    Sounds more like:
    US$ 1.9 quadrillion dollars for diddly-squat

  19. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Stephen Rasey says:
    March 13, 2011 at 9:36 pm

    Short and to the point.

    One suggestion: change it to $1900 trillion per def C of cooling.

    Done. Thanks for the suggestion. I also added a description of what a trillion dollars is at the end of the post.

    w.

  20. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Baa Humbug says:
    March 13, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    I’ll have to pass this on to fellow Aussies.

    Just an observation Willis.
    The temperature is the temperature whether today or in the year 2100. But the $$$s is in TODAYS dollars isn’t it?
    What is todays dollar worth in relation to the year 1900? What will todays dollar be worth in the year 2100?

    Baa, you’re right, but part of the art of writing is to know what to include and what to leave out. In this kind of “back of the envelope” calculation, I wanted to provide as little for people to dispute as possible. That’s why I used EPA figures, for example. Now, I can discourse all day on discount rates and the net present value of a future income stream and the concept of opportunity cost of money. My last job was Chief Financial Officer for a company with $40 million in sales per year. I’ve kept the books for a variety of different businesses and non-profits.

    However, I know that if I talk about that stuff, two things will happen.

    1. I’ll lose some readers entirely, and

    2. Other readers will dispute my specific choices of values for the opportunity cost and the future inflation and the like.

    So I left that question out, it’d just confuse things. All downside and no upside to including it.

    w.

  21. Willis,

    I am sure that the climatic dynamics which gives the average estimate of 0.00375°C reduction in 90 years is wrong. It is even worse than wrong. But let us keep this figure, as it is fun.

    However, the economic/monetary dynamics is wrong too. You cannot multiply the annual amount by number of years. This is not the way to find a cumulative amount in 90 years. You should consider an interest rate, a typical value of which used in assessment of engineering projects or measures is 6%.

    So assuming an annual amount A = 78 x 10^9 $ and an interest i = 0.06, the ratio of the final, cumulative amount, F, will be given by (e.g. http://www.ajdesigner.com/phpdiscountfactors/uniform_series_compound_amount_equation.php):

    F/A = [(1+i)^n - 1]/i = (1.06^90 – 1)/0.06 = 3141.

    So, we should multiply the annual amount by 3141, not by 90. This makes

    F = 78 x 10^9 x 3141 = 245 x 10^12 $

    And if you divide that with 0.00375°C you find 65.3 x 10^15 $/°C or 65,300 trillion dollars per degree of cooling. So, your 1,900 trillion dollars is a severe underestimate. :-)

  22. Ed Waage says:

    Let’s see, world GDP according to the CIA is about $66 trillion times 90 years is about $6,000 trillion. The $1,900 trillion cost of that degree cooling is about one third the world economy. What a bargain.

  23. old44 says:

    Anthony, I believe your mathematics are grossly inaccurate, starting in 2012 at $78 billion P.A. it will increase with an inflation rate of 4.5% to 3,752 trillion P.A. by 2100, this of course excludes any price in (Carbon), the wonders of compound interest.
    Total: $84.402 thousand trillion for the 88 years.
    I am open to correction on my arithmatic.

  24. jorgekafkazar says:

    “Suppose I lost a million dollars a day, every day for the last 2,011 years. Generation after generation of the family, call it three generations per century, reaching down six thousand generations. And every one of them, for their entire lives losing a million dollars a day.”

    Where do you get six thousand generations? I only get sixty. Three per century times 20 centuries = 60

  25. David44 says:

    What does one TRILLION dollars look like?

    http://www.pagetutor.com/trillion/index.html

  26. observa says:

    How many of these trillions!!!!
    http://www.pagetutor.com/trillion/index.html

  27. Richard B says:

    Just as an idea of scale, WORLD GDP in 2009 was just over $58 trillion – so we’re talking about 30 times world gdp per degree.

  28. Al Gored says:

    So clear and to the point. Right on Willis. This is a nice ‘headline’ number that will lauinch many conversations, and confuse many bureaucrats.

    But, but… [sarc] what would be the costs if we don’t do it! The heat may have impaired my memory but didn’t Lord Stern say they would be infinite or something like that. You really can’t measure them. Every polar bear is sacred. Only cold-hearted bean counters would be whining about the cost – I mean investment – if you care about the children. Didn’t you see the Copenhagen shock film?

    So, they don’t need no stinkin’ right wing facts like this. And money is no object. It comes from the Fed’s computer – which apparently also must be kept cool not matter how much it costs.

  29. Juergen says:

    It’s like the scam that the Catholic Church was running 500 years ago.
    Martin Luther strongly disputed the claim that freedom from God’s punishment of sin could be purchased with money.
    500 years ago it was about money and it’s the same this time.

  30. Sandy says:

    I describe a trillion (or a terabyte) as 1Km square divided into mm squares.
    How many sq. inches is Central Park Manhattan? :D:D

  31. The Hobbs End Martian says:

    That kind of money would allow us to totally eliminate hunger and all disease, create a world where every single person is valued and tutored, make the human race a space faring society and a welcome member of the Galactic Council.

    Now that’s a proper fantasy.

  32. Alexander Harvey says:

    Willis:

    There is some confusion in the reported figures:

    Your link:

    http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Files.View&FileStore_id=3ede3e93-813f-4449-97e6-0d6eb54fbc9e

    Gives us:

    “Based on the reanalysis the results for projected atmospheric CO2 concentrations are
    estimated to be reduced by an average of 2.9 ppm (previously 3.0 ppm), global mean
    temperature is estimated to be reduced by 0.006 to 0.0015 °C by 2100.” [65]

    The Reference [65] leads us to:

    http://www.epa.gov/oms/climate/regulations/420r10012a.pdf

    Based on these reductions, EPA modeled the anticipated potential effect on climate change and found that in year 2100, the rule would reduce temperature increases by 0.006-0.015 degrees Celsius, and the reduction in sea-level rise would be 0.06-0.14 centimeters. EPA has also projected a reduction in CO2 concentration of 2.9 parts per million in 2100, which corresponds to a projected ocean pH increase of 0.0014 units in 2100.

    So it looks like the Senate report has a typo.

    I checked as I doubted that the EPA would come up with such a low figure.

    Alex

  33. Gary Mount says:

    If you go back 6000 generations, thats 2 ^6000 ancestors (assuming perfect pairing, for genetic diversity ;-) )
    My calculator throws out this number, 1.5e+1806 as the number of ancestors,
    or, if you like, the percent of blood one has from one of the year zero ancestors is
    6.6e-1807.
    These are very large, and very small numbers, which obviously aren’t real world numbers.
    If you divide the accumulated debt, even if it reached 1 Quatloo Quadrilion, by the total number of descendants, well you get a small number.

    Oh look, Microsoft Internet Explorer 9 is out today.
    http://tvnz.co.nz/technology-news/browser-wars-heat-up-internet-explorer-9-launched-4060782

  34. 40 shades of green says:

    Willis

    Could I suggest that you calculate how long the catastrophe would be delayed rather than the reduction in temperature.

    The message

    “spending trillions of dollars will delay the global warming catastrophe by a week” is much more understandable for the lay person than conveying the information in hundredths of a degree.

    40 shades

  35. Willis Eschenbach says:

    jorgekafkazar says:
    March 13, 2011 at 11:10 pm

    Where do you get six thousand generations? I only get sixty. Three per century times 20 centuries = 60

    Thanks, Jorge, fixed.

  36. Alexander Harvey says:

    Willis,

    Re the costs:

    This looks like a mish-mash, the senate report gives a stream of short quotes that it references to here (the actual link is broken but this seems to be the document) :

    http://www.eenews.net/assets/2010/09/16/document_gw_02.pdf

    but may ultimately come from here:

    http://www.epa.gov/ttnecas1/regdata/RIAs/riatailoring.pdf

    There is reference here to a relief from administrative costs that would fall for the issuing of permits according to the rule proper by omitting the 6.12 million smallest sources from permit requirements, (in the hope that they can fix the permitting system?) as a short term measure, the $b78 seems to refer to these permitting costs, but I have not had time to locate it in the EPA document.

    Also report the 2.9ppm the reduction figure comes from (my previous comment) is titled:

    “Light‐Duty Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Emissions Standards and Corporate Average Fuel Economy Standards”

    which I think is just a small part of the emissions under consideration.

    Alex

  37. Edmh says:

    We are in a time where there are very good reasons to believe that we are in for serious cooling 1+ degC over the next 30-40 years: the Sun, the PDO etc.

    What is the cost of that going to be in starvation and civil unrest.

    A warmer world which we are not getting at present feeds more people and makes mankind more successful.

  38. TFN Johnson says:

    John Lanchester’s excellent book ‘Whoops’ in the financial crisis has a useful hint on millions/billions/trillions etc. Write down (quickly, don’t do the math) how long is:-
    1,000 seconds
    1,000,000 seconds
    1,000,000,000 seconds
    1,000,000,000,000 seconds.
    You get from a quarter of an hour to the last glacial maximum rather quickly!

  39. richard verney says:

    These projects beggar belief. It is not just the staggering cost but of more concern is the real consequence that this project will result in, namely it will bu**er the economy of every developed nation that is a party to implementing such schemes. Research already shows that for every so called ‘green’ job created, 4 jobs are lost from other industries. As energy prices sour, developed nations will become less and less competitive and inductry will inevitable shift to those countries not adopting such stupid policies, where energy prices will be cheaper, very probably China, India, Latin America etc. The true consequences will be truly awful for generations to come.

    It is not just the EPA that does not know the implications of the project it is seeking to implement. In the EU, Jill Duggan (who is the European Commission’s Director General for Climate Action) admitted that she had no idea as to the cost of the EU’s programme nor what result it would achieve. She was totally discredited in a recent interview on Australian radio (I think by Andrew Bolt). It is only in a public institution that the project manager could remain in office when they do not know the costs of implementing the project that they are in charge of nor the results that the project will deliver when implemented . In the real world, in the private sector, where performance matters, the project manager would be kicked out on their ear.

    I consider these schemes to be madness especially given that they are based on what is no more than a hypothesis, not even a scientic theory, still less a theory that has been subjected to rigorous scientific testing and always found to be sound. It should be obvious to anyone, who has even an ounce of commonsense, that adaption is a far better policy compared to mitigation and adaption would save trillions of dollars and millions of jobs.

    Willis, however, in fairness to the EPA and its EC equivalent, these schemes are not about bringing down temperature, they are about restricting temperature rise to no more than 2 degC. It is therefore not fair to suggest that the rediculous costs involved (which in the end will turn out to be far higher than you calculate because of inflation, the loss of inductry, the loss of jobs, increased social benefit payments etc), are being expended merely to reduce temperature by a paultry 0.00375°C (which in any event is so small that it would be unmeasurable). Nonetheless, even with this concession, the schemes are pure madness.

    Unfortunately, we have reached the stage where government has lost all commonsense and the lunatics are running the sanatorium.

  40. Jimbo says:

    Let’s look at C02 ‘reductions’ since Kyoto Protocol according to the Guardian:

    Guardian – 11 March 2011
    “Worldwide, emissions soared by nearly 40% from 1990 to 2009, according to the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency.”
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/mar/11/kyoto-protocol
    http://www.pbl.nl/en

    Apart from the blip caused by the global economic crisis it is still rising. So much pain so little gain. Even if Warmists are correct there is little we can do to adjust the Earth’s thermostat.

  41. Natsman says:

    However much humanity exchanges its money, the climate will carry on being the climate. It’s a completely separate entity, and doesn’t give a toss what humanity does, spends or thinks. When will we get a grip and realise this?

  42. Don Keiller says:

    If you think this is bad just look what the Eurocrats are doing over here- see transcipt of radio interview.

    Below is an excerpt to vividly illustrate how liars, incompetence and junk science are stealing our taxes. http://johnosullivan.livejournal.com/32823.html

    The woman is an economically illiterate moron. But still highly dangerous.

  43. rbateman says:

    Welcome to Lisa Jacksons Carbon Casino, where everyone is a loser.
    All proceeds are summarily dumped into the nearest volcanic cauldron, to appease GAIA of course.
    Sort of has a Mayan sacrificial Hero Twins taste to it, eh?
    No, they don’t serve any drinks and there’s nothing to eat.
    Go back: You’ll be sorry.

  44. Bomber_the_Cat says:

    The European Union is also introducing a carbon trading scheme on the same basis. That is, they don’t know what it will cost and don’t know what it might achieve.
    The EU’s expert on carbon markets is Jill Duggan, who is currently trying to persuade Australia to follow suit. Unfortunately for her, she gave an interview on Australian radio which is best described as a car crash.
    Listen to excerpt here

    Obviously, she has never been asked a hard question before, and was totally unprepared for the unnerving horror of encountering disagreement.

    Regrettably, however, it is on the basis of expert opinion such as hers that the EU is proposing to bankrupt parts of western civilisation back to the stone age.

  45. Joe Lalonde says:

    Willis,

    That is a good start considering the population would still be growing and using more resources.

    The measuring of temperature is such a short period of time in the overall time frame of this planet as to be non-sense. Then projecting a speculative model of that time without any physical motion or events.
    Like measuring the temperature over our whole body for one minute over our life time. Does that make sense?

  46. Lawrie Ayres says:

    Willis,
    One must also look at oportunity costs. Say that $78 billion was spent on new nukes. Forget the ineffective wind and solar. That should buy about 13 GW of energy per year replacing about six coal fired stations a year. Convert the coal to gas and reduce the dependance on foreign oil. Conversely use the dough to mitigate any climate issues. A few more dams or a desal plant perhaps.

    The real question is where does the money go. In the Australian tax proposal the proponents say it will all be returned to the poor and lower middle class so they can afford the higher utility bills. No pain to them so why reduce consumption? Then there are to be payments to help the really big polluters (emitters) cope with the tax. And we will give ten percent to the UN to help the Pacific Islands being drowned by runaway sea level rise. I’m not an accountant but it seems we have spent twice what the tax raises. Our ALP, your Democrats, are from union and public service and welfare backgrounds and have absolutely no idea of managing money but are excellent at spending yours.

    The solution is to do what you have done and what Jo and a few reporters (Bolt, Blair) have done and ask the question. How much and what do I get? Andrew Bolt asked Jill Duggan the European Commissioner on Climate Change that question in a radio interview. http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/dont_know_the_cost_dont_know_if_it_works/ She had no idea. It doesn’t matter what it costs and it doesn’t matter the result just so they can be seen to do something.

  47. CharlieFFoxtrot says:

    When numbers get so big, they become meaningless. In such cases, I like to break them down to more human terms. Let’s break it down to more personal terms.

    Using Willis’ numbers:

    $7T (in 2011 dollars) divided by the approximate number of families, 50M (only half of whom actually pay taxes), gives $140,000 per US family. That’s only $1500 per family per year. It would be crippling, but it would be possible for the US, at least for until the economy crashes.

    When you extend the total cost ($1,900T) to everyone on the planet, you get about $29,000 per individual. In terms of Gross World Product, that is around 3 years of total world output. Another way to look at it is the yearly cost, which would be $322 per person. I’m not sure, but I think that exceeds the income of a good percent of the world population.

    Looks like fiscal insanity, even if it succeeded in controlling warming.

  48. Alexander K says:

    Willis, whatever the above arguments about the correctness of your math, you have shone a bright light down the logic hole and brilliantly illuminated the insanity of selling secular indulgences to propitiate whatever profoundly illogical and nonsensical diety the Warmists worship. The creator of ‘Alice in Wonderland’, a theologian and mathemetician with an unfortunate fondness for little girls, could not have invented anything as absurd as the mad world where hot becomes cold and dry becomes wet, etc, beloved of the warmists, and which requires Man to adapt back to the Stone Age by flinging all of our income down the logic hole and supressing our universal and incredible urge to improve stuff.

  49. Tom Bauch says:

    Hey, don’t beat the EPA up too badly… If all 196 countries in the world saved the .00375 degrees it would be .735 degrees! In 2100. Of course, most of the other countries would have to abandon electricity to make that kind of impact, but no sacrifice is too great for Mother Gaia!

  50. John Marshall says:

    Considering that CO2 has NO effect on climate you Americans should stop the EPA in its tracks.

  51. Smoking Frog says:

    old44 said: Anthony, I believe your mathematics are grossly inaccurate, starting in 2012 at $78 billion P.A. it will increase with an inflation rate of 4.5% to 3,752 trillion P.A. by 2100, this of course excludes any price in (Carbon), the wonders of compound interest.
    Total: $84.402 thousand trillion for the 88 years.
    I am open to correction on my arithmatic.

    I think you should mean Willis, not Anthony, but correct me if I’m wrong. Anyway, your arithmetic is wrong.

    P.A. in 2100 = 1.045^88 = 48.01; (78 billion)(48.01) = 3.7518 trillion

    88-year sum = (78 billion)(1.045^88-1)/(0.045) = 81.657 trillion

    Those are roughly 1/1000 of your figures. Besides, the average rate of inflation over the 20th century was 3%, so it’s not clear why you’re assuming 4.5% for the 21st century.

  52. Smoking Frog says:

    Gary Mount said: If you go back 6000 generations, thats 2 ^6000 ancestors (assuming perfect pairing, for genetic diversity ;-) ) My calculator throws out this number, 1.5e+1806 as the number of ancestors, or, if you like, the percent of blood one has from one of the year zero ancestors is 6.6e-1807. These are very large, and very small numbers, which obviously aren’t real world numbers.

    They’re not only not real world. They’re illogical. Any given ancestor may be your ancestor in more than one way, and any given ancestor, except a very near ancestor, is the ancestor of other people living today as well.

    If you divide the accumulated debt, even if it reached 1 Quatloo Quadrilion, by the total number of descendants, well you get a small number.

    That contradicts your argument that the population shrinks over time.

  53. HaroldW says:

    40 shades said: “Could I suggest that you calculate how long the catastrophe would be delayed rather than the reduction in temperature. ”

    The annual increase in CO2 is currently about 2 ppm/year, so this is about a year and a half’s worth. Of course, we probably *should* use the rate of 2100, however we have no real idea about what this would be; projections over this sort of time span are merely wild guesses.

    Alexander Harvey’s observation of a mis-quote in the Senate document seems to be correct. It would be very unusual for the EPA/NHTSA to write “0.006 to 0.0015″ — that is, giving the smaller figure first. Using the correct range [0.006 to .015 ], the average is .0105, so the figure you compute for dollars per degree, while remaining huge, is reduced to approximately a third of what’s currently there.

  54. Blade says:

    During transitional phases from one level of magnitude to the next it can be helpful to the lesser informed to emphasize the previous magnitude. For example in computing, we are currently transitioning (in everyday use) from Gigabyte to Terabyte size drives. Someone who is familiar with 80 GB and 250 GB drives scratches their head over 2 TB. I explain that it’s just moving up to the next comma: it’s easy dude, 80 gig, 250 gig, 2,000 gig. The danger is that moving to the next prefix of magnitude actually minimizes the impact of this thousand unit step.

    Needless to say, this can be an expensive step in federal budgeting. I dare say that if we just dutifully make the verbal switch from billion to trillion then we may be cutting our own throats by increasing the citizens numbness to large numbers. To use a metaphor, regarding the citizens ability to fight the infection of socialist over-spending, by seamlessly transitioning to the next prefix we are whacking the body politics’ immune system.

    I had a space junkie relative tell me: “NASA only spends 10 or 15 billion a year”. I quickly said: “That’s 10 thousand million to 15 thousand million EACH year!”, and it helps to hit the right words to make the point (see Cheers episode with Johnny Carson).

    Today, it is utterly painless for a talking head to say: ‘Last year in 1010 the deficit was 1.294 Trillion’. Although that is accurate we can be far more descriptive: ‘The deficit for JUST last year in 2010, the red ink overcharge on your kids credit card was almost ONE THOUSAND THREE HUNDRED BILLION dollars’. I believe that the proper use of language will help stir up the natives which is the only way that this disaster will be stopped. [References: FY 2010: In - Out]

    Total Cost = US$78 billion per year times 90 years = US$7 trillion dollars with a “t”, or about half a years GDP for the US. … Total Cooling = 0.00375° C in 90 years … final calculation … US$7 trillion divided by 0.00375°C gives us … US$1,900 trillion dollars for each measly degree of cooling.

    This can be applied to what Willis has calculated above …

    The AGW socialists want the USA to spend almost Two MILLION BILLION dollars for each measly degree of cooling.

    Willis uses $78 billion which I think is way low because the UN would like a steady wealth re-distributing contribution of $100 billion each year (no source, just from reading a lot). So my favorite argument is just to simplify and say this:

    The ecophobic liberal green socialists want to de-industrialize and destroy America by taking from the hard-working taxpayers ONE THOUSAND MILLION Dollars each and every year to give as welfare to their friends and cronies and 3rd world hellholes.

    ;-)

  55. Ed Reid says:

    Someone needs to explain the concept of “significant digits” to EPA. The fact that a calculator will display the numbers does not imply significance.

    Also, EPA ignores the fact that significant funds would be required to be invested in new facilities and equipment which do not emit carbon. That investment, in the US alone, would be on the order of $30 trillion. The investors would likely insist on a return of ~10%, or $3 trillion per year once all of the investment was in place.

    That investment would all be for several “naughts” to the right of the decimal point, unless the rest of the notions on the globe invested their ~$120 trillion in zero-carbon facilities and equipment; and, perhaps even then.

    I am having a hard time getting the image of the Chinese “digging a hole” with power equipment, while the rest of the world tries to fill the hole with teaspoons. Too bad I can’t draw.

  56. Pamela Gray says:

    Because this is a political agenda, tax payers should have the choice to fund carbon reduction, be it carbon dioxide, bioxide, singleoxide, or any other lifestyle form carbon comes in, just like we are given the choice to fund campaigns through a $3.00 tax donation. Whatever the greenies are willing to fund through their taxes, let it be so. Their generosity can help put scrubbers on cows and whoever else wants one. Our guvmnt can buy credits from foreign countries who are wanting to sell, waiting to sell, and willing to sell themselves and their prosperity. Or the whitehouse could replace all its lightfixtures with curly bulbs. But leave the rest of us alone. Stay out of my house and its lightfixtures, my business, and my gas tank.

  57. Jon says:

    My first gut reaction is to point out that doubling nuclear power would reduce carbon emissions by many times the feeble capacity of the beloved favorites of the green coalition, wind and solar.

    Recent events in Japan will make tis practical solution unpallatable for many. My second thouught is to replcae the 40% of oil usage for gasoline with the recently developable 250 year supply of natural gas. That would reduce carbon emissions by 20%, cut the imported oil trade imbalance by $350 billion (the trade deficit with China is 40% of this) and cut imports in half.

    Either of these would reduce carbon emissions by many times the possibity of wind or solar at a small fraction of the cost and would supply power at affoordable rates and most of the time less cost than current technology.

    We have the resources to be 100% enrgy independent. We have the technolgy and choice of fuels to reduce carbon emissions and pollution by huge amounts at affordable cost. What we lack are politicians that can understand this or that can wean themselves away from the political support of special interests proposing unworkable and unaffordable “solutions”
    The added bonus of either of these technlogies is that real pollution would be greatly reduced rather than the immeasurabl amount that wind or solar could possibly obtain.

  58. Jon says:

    I apologize for my two-fingered typos and laziness in proof reading.

  59. David says:

    Some time ago I saw some calculations to show what just a BILLION looks like (never mind a trillion). It went like this, as far as I recall…
    A billion seconds ago it was 1959.
    A billion hours ago, Christ was on earth.
    A billion days ago, no animal walked upright…

  60. Jeff L says:

    This does emphasize the point that at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter who’s right on the science because economic solutions are completely untenable.

  61. Svend Ferdinandsen says:

    You have to see it from the govenments point of view.

    If the temperature drops a bit relative to forecast (that could always be figured out) , then it works and all is good.
    If the temperature still rises, then it is because we have not done enough, and even harder regulations must be put in effect.
    So no matter reality, it is a win win situation for the government.
    Politicians have nevered cared very much for reality anyway. It’s disturbing the political process with all those facts.

  62. Claude Harvey says:

    Between March 11, 2010 and March 11, 2011 global average temperature as measured by the satellites dropped 0.83 deg C and now hovers only 0.09 deg C above the coldest average temperature ever recorded on that date by the satellites (see http://discover.itsc.uah.edu/amsutemps/ and select “14,000 feet”). I believe we’ve just wiped out 100 years worth of “manmade global warming” without having lifted a finger (come to think of it, I think I WILL “lift a finger”). According to Willis’ straightforward, cost-versus-benefits, that decline is worth about a gazillion dollars. I say we credit our accounts with that windfall, declare the federal budget balanced and let the carbon fly! Economics is easy when you apply “new math”.

  63. Jeremy says:

    Suppose I lost a million dollars a day, every day for the last 2,011 years. Generation after generation of the family, call it three generations per century, reaching down sixty generations. And every one of them, for their entire lives, losing a million dollars a day.

    If we had done that, lost a million dollars a day, every single day since Biblical times, not taking a single day off, we still wouldn’t have lost a trillion dollars. We wouldn’t even have reached three-quarters of a trillion dollars.

    —> And, because you deal with the magical “U.S. Dollar” You wouldn’t even have a major hit on your bond rating.

    nyuk, nyuk, nyuk…

  64. JohnWho says:

    Somebody help me -

    “Based on the reanalysis the results for projected atmospheric CO2 concentrations are estimated to be reduced by an average of 2.9 ppm (previously 3.0 ppm), global mean temperature is estimated to be reduced by 0.006 to 0.0015 °C by 2100.”

    Isn’t the current rate of CO2 increase per year just under 3 ppm? Is the EPA saying that taking the measures they endorse, the USA itself will effectively negate the entire planets CO2 yearly increase?

    Otherwise, I do not believe that Warmists here in the US want anyone to see how little the excessive EPA measures will effect “saving the world”.

  65. KenB says:

    AusieDan

    Yep Australia will bankrupt itself, but it has nothing to do with climate, Julia just needs the money, after all she already paid out a large ransom to buy her independents and then spent another 400 to 500 million to buy one independent vote – she needs this moolah so bad and it won’t be spent on carbon dioxide mitigation, it will be spent on buying enough votes to get re-elected in her own right (left).

    Messers Windsor and Oakeshott should wake up the game is on and they won’t be re-elected when they go to the polls with Julia. A sucker is born every minute!

    Good post Willis, hope the USA rises up in anger at the deceit and blatent waste.

  66. Quinn the Eskimo says:

    This has a couple of errors that render the premise and central proposition unsupported.

    1. As pointed out above, the actual estimated range of temperature change from the vehicle regulations is .006 to .015, not .0015. See 75 Federal Register 25495.

    2. The $68 billion figure in the cited document is not attributable to the vehicle rule. Instead, it is the avoided costs saved by what EPA calls the “regulatory relief” of the Tailoring Rule, which applies to stationary sources in contrast to the vehicle rule which applies to light duty vehicles. (This is a bit of newspeak – a new regulation of GHG’s from stationary sources which will cost billions is called “regulatory relief”).

    3. In the final Tailoring Rule, the avoided costs from”Regulatory Relief” are claimed to be $70 billion. See 75 Federal Register 31598.

    In light of the foregoing, the premise and central proposition are incorrect.

  67. Hilary Barnes says:

    Where’s an economist to give us the opportunity cost of the EPA expenditure, for example what is the net job loss/creation of spending the money on climate change combat rather than other desirable programmes, such as better education or physical infrastrcture? I have seen references to a British report that claims one job created in “sustainable” energy means 3.7 jobs lost in the rest of the economy.

  68. Bob Barker says:

    Thanks for showing the absurdity of this whole affair.

  69. Alan Clark of Dirty Oil-berta says:

    The undeniable fact of carbon credits is that the funds will do nothing more than enrich governments in the same way that gasoline taxes do. Gas taxes do not reduce consumption except for the poor, limiting the ability of the unskilled to travel independently for more lucrative work or education. Carbon taxes will further limit the mobility of the unskilled as well as their ability to feed, warm and house themselves without government programs.

  70. Vince Causey says:

    “Total Cost = US$78 billion per year times 90 years = US$7 trillion dollars.”

    Slow down Willis. You need to use a discount rate to get the present value. However, I think it’s a moot point anyway, because their figures are way too low.

  71. Peter Miller says:

    Everyone is missing the point:

    The EPA is a bureaucracy.

    Any bureaucracy needs reasons to justify their existence, but much more important to justify its growth.

    Over time, bureaucracies always create their own teams of highly paid super-bureaucrats, who spend most of their time dreaming up growth strategies and new ways of avoiding budgetary or political control.

    Willis’ example is just another classic example of a bureaucracy that needs to be culled, especially in its upper echelon fat cat levels.

    If you give governments a dollar, you may get back – if you’re lucky – around 70 cents in value. Give the EPA a dollar and you’ll likely get back less than one cent.

  72. Rob Starkey says:

    Please check my number[s] of a cost benefit analysis.

    A recent NASA-GISS paper in Env. Sci. Tech., co-authored by James E. Hansen calls for the shutting down of all coal-fired power plants in the USA by 2030, in order to avoid the global warming caused by the emitted CO2.
    http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/docs/2010/2010_Kharecha_etal.pdf
    What effect would this specific actionable step actually have on global warming?
    The paper tells us that 1,994 billion kWh/year were generated from coal in 2009 and that the average CO2 emission is 1,000 tons CO2 per GWh generated.
    So by 2030 Hansen’s plan would reduce CO2 emissions by roughly 2 GtCO2 per year.
    Roughly half of this “stays” in the atmosphere (with the rest disappearing into the ocean, the biosphere or outer space) so the annual reduction after 2030 will be around 1 GtCO2/year and over the period from today to year 2100 the cumulative reduction would be 80.5 GtCO2.
    The mass of the atmosphere is 5,140,000 Gt.
    So the net reduction in atmospheric CO2 would be around 16 ppm(mass) or 10 ppmv.
    If we assume (as IPCC does) that by year 2100 the atmospheric CO2 level (without Hansen’s plan) will be around 600 ppmv (“scenario B1”), this means that with Hansen’s plan it will be 590 ppmv.
    Today we have 390 ppmv.
    Using IPCC’s 2xCO2 climate sensitivity of 3.2C we have:
    Case 1 – no Hansen plan
    600 ppmv CO2
    ln(600/390) = 0.431
    ln(2) = 0.693
    dT (warming from today to 2100) = 3.2 * 0.431 / 0.693 = 1.99
    Case 2 – Hansen plan implemented
    590 ppmv CO2
    ln(590/390) = 0.414
    ln(2) = 0.693
    dT (warming from today to 2100) = 3.2 * 0.414 / 0.693 = 1.91C
    So Hansen’s plan will result in a total reduction of global temperature by year 2100 of 0.08C.
    But what will this non-measurable reduction of global temperature cost?
    The total, all-in capital cost investment to replace 1,994 billion kWh/year capacity with the least expensive alternate (current nuclear fission technology) is between $4,000 and $8,000 per installed kW (say $6,000 on average). [Note: If we replace it with wind or solar, it will cost several times this amount per generated kWh, due in part to the low on-line factor.]
    1,994 billion kWh/year at a 90% on-line factor represents an installed capacity of:
    1994 / 8760 * .9 = 0.251 billion kWh
    This equals an investment cost of 0.251 * 6,000 = $1.5 trillion
    Globally some 6,700 billion kWh/year are generated from coal (around 3.4 times as much as in the USA).
    So shutting down all the world’s coal-fired plants by 2030 would cost $5 trillion and result in 0.27C reduced warming by year 2100.

  73. Mark Miller says:

    Out here in CA our leaders seem to be aware that our efforts to reduce the states carbon dioxide footprint may not do much of anything-

    “California emits only one percent of the world’s greenhouse gases. In fact, in the United States all 300 million Americans today can stop driving, get on bicycles, turn off their lights and in the long run it would not make much difference because ten times that many people around the world are just getting off of bicycles,and into cars and into homes and flipping on the lights.”

    David Crane, Special Assistant to Governor Schwarzenegger
    Speaking at AB 32 Forum sponsored by the San Mateo County Economic Development Association, May 2008

    “California acting alone cannot reduce emissions sufficiently to change the course of climate change worldwide.”
    California Air Resources Board
    Updated Economic Analysis of California’s Climate Change Scoping Plan, March 24, 2010 Page ES-3
    http://www.arb.ca.gov/cc/scopingplan/economics-sp/updated-analysis/updated_sp_analysis

  74. JeffT says:

    The figures that Willis mentions come from a Senate report (SR). He doesn’t seem to have checked the references in it. SR appears to draw the $78Billion cost from a legal brief filed by the Chamber of Commerce. However, the legal brief isn’t available at the Chamber’s website. Did the EPA actually give such a figure? To what did it apply? Let’s have a reference to an EPA document, so that we can know.

    The temperature change of “0.006 to 0.0015 °C” is a misquote from page 4-101 of http://www.epa.gov/oms/climate/regulations/420r10012a.pdf. The full context is this:
    “With regard to the light duty motor vehicle rule, EPA’s analysis determined that the rule would reduce GHG emissions over the lifetime of MY2012-2016 passenger cars and light trucks in the amount of 962.0 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent. RIA Table 5-3. Based on these reductions, EPA modeled the anticipated potential effect on climate change and found that in year 2100, the rule would reduce temperature increases by 0.006-0.015 degrees Celsius…” One can see that the EPA estimate is for the temperature of regulating light vehicles between 2012 and 2016. The correct average of the range is 0.0105 °C, not 0.00375 °C.

    We don’t know what the $78B figure applies to; it is certainly not the cost of regulating light vehicles for five years. Dividing $78B by 0.00375 °C (or even 0.0105 °C) makes no sense.

    It is unwise to quote partisan Senate reports and not check the references.

  75. JeffT says:

    Please note “temperature of regulating ” in my previous post should read “temperature effect of regulating “

  76. John from CA says:

    Excellent post, I hope the news media sees the numbers.

    What if one were to take the same numbers and, instead of throwing 78 billion/year away to achieve basically nothing, devoted the same mount to tax credits for US companies who manufacture products which are actually energy efficient and set the bar very high.

    Would we see point of use hot water heaters, washer/dryers and dishwashers that actually generate the power they need — only generate when in us? My guess is yes and it would deliver an exportable US product that was manufactured at a discount in the US thus eliminating unnecessary transportation costs.

    We are never likely to see anything of merit coming from government until they decide to stop the tax and spend and embrace an insightful approach. Sadly, they don’t have an insight.

    Probability of an intelligent approach is nearly zero until government gets out of the solutions business and stops the unnecessary taxation.

  77. ShrNfr says:

    Is that why we guaranteed a half a billion dollar loan to a solar energy panel company that can not turn a profit? It’s almost as bad as FNM and FRE.

  78. John from CA says:

    ShrNfr says:
    March 14, 2011 at 8:43 am

    Is that why we guaranteed a half a billion dollar loan to a solar energy panel company that can not turn a profit? It’s almost as bad as FNM and FRE.
    =======
    No, its actually worse then this — that was just “doll”.

    Yes, FNM and FRE should be Nationalized, broken up, assets sold, and anything left dumped into the FHA for disposition. Any benefit should pay down the national debt.

    When one sees amendments to a national health care bill that include lifting a ban on wooden arrow manufacture, one understands just how screwed up the situation is. The tragic loons can’t even pass a solid piece of budget that gets us back on track without once again turning the exercise into partisan foolishness.

    The American people are completely fed up with this nonsense and will vote again in 2 years.

  79. John from CA says:

    sorry “doll” = “dole” in my last post though both are equally useless in a real sense.

  80. David S says:

    $1900 trillion per 1 degree C. (That’s more than 100 times the current GDP of the US.)

    More proof that our government is run by morons.

  81. David S says:

    And by the way, given the cold and snow we had this winter I wouldn’t give you a nickel to make it colder. Now if you could make it warmer we might have something to talk about.

  82. e. c. cowan says:

    ‘US$1,900 trillion dollars for each measly degree of cooling.’

    These people are absolutely INSANE!

  83. HaroldW says:

    @Rob Starkey (March 14, 2011 at 7:56 am) –
    Unfortunately, I haven’t time to look more deeply at this, which seems an excellent topic.

    But one thing which is apparent is that the existing coal plants have a finite lifetime, and would need to be replaced in any case. Although I haven’t read Hansen’s paper, that might account for the 2030 sunsetting date. The main point is that the cost side of the analysis should show the incremental cost of building an alternative (read nuclear) plant vs. a coal plant.

    I haven’t looked at the “benefit” side (reduction of pCO2), but the calculation approach seems correct. There’s some danger in a blanket assumption that natural absorption of additional CO2 remains at 50% [the 50% figure comes from the IPCC carbon cycle estimates], but I think that’s preferable to making assumptions which probably not provable about how the carbon cycle might change over time.

  84. kellys_eye says:

    I’ve never understood the reason behind ‘combating’ climate change. Surely we should be ‘adapting’ to climate change.
    The first is impossible – the second can happen naturally (if we let it) but easily if we embrace it.
    Far easier, cheaper, productive, beneficial….. etc

  85. Grant from Calgary says:

    Cold Canada should find a way to sue!

  86. Tony says:

    The Hobbs End Martian says:
    That kind of money would allow us to totally eliminate hunger and all disease, create a world where every single person is valued and tutored, make the human race a space faring society and a welcome member of the Galactic Council.

    More likely the Solar Federation, with Father Brown and his Great Computers in charge.

  87. Rich Lambert says:

    According to the EPA if we just follow their advice we will all be rich and live forever.

  88. Sounds like a bargain to me, but I always was a sucker for a good sales pitch!

  89. Tom says:

    I’ll go ahead and buy a degree of cooling… Will you take a check?

  90. Werner Brozek says:

    “And how much will it reduce the temperature?”
    Perhaps we should all wait and see what is happening without any expenditure. The GISS number for February just came out at 0.44. See http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/tabledata/GLB.Ts+dSST.txt
    Continuing at this rate, 2011 will only come in at 11th warmest, even according to GISS.

  91. Smokey says:

    Listen to Sen. Rand Paul skewer Kathleen Hogan, “US deputy assistant secretary for energy efficiency” about government “busybodies”:

  92. Willis Eschenbach says:

    JohnWho says:
    March 14, 2011 at 6:13 am

    Somebody help me -

    “Based on the reanalysis the results for projected atmospheric CO2 concentrations are estimated to be reduced by an average of 2.9 ppm (previously 3.0 ppm), global mean temperature is estimated to be reduced by 0.006 to 0.0015 °C by 2100.”

    Isn’t the current rate of CO2 increase per year just under 3 ppm? Is the EPA saying that taking the measures they endorse, the USA itself will effectively negate the entire planets CO2 yearly increase?

    No, they’re saying it will reduce the CO2 by 3 ppmv over the next 90 years.

    w.

  93. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Quinn the Eskimo says:
    March 14, 2011 at 6:35 am

    This has a couple of errors that render the premise and central proposition unsupported.

    1. As pointed out above, the actual estimated range of temperature change from the vehicle regulations is .006 to .015, not .0015. See 75 Federal Register 25495.

    2. The $68 billion figure in the cited document is not attributable to the vehicle rule. Instead, it is the avoided costs saved by what EPA calls the “regulatory relief” of the Tailoring Rule, which applies to stationary sources in contrast to the vehicle rule which applies to light duty vehicles. (This is a bit of newspeak – a new regulation of GHG’s from stationary sources which will cost billions is called “regulatory relief”).

    3. In the final Tailoring Rule, the avoided costs from”Regulatory Relief” are claimed to be $70 billion. See 75 Federal Register 31598.

    In light of the foregoing, the premise and central proposition are incorrect.

    That’s not all that clear, Quinn. Could you cut to the chase and tell us how much a degree will cost us?

    Thanks,

    w.

  94. Willis Eschenbach says:

    JeffT says:
    March 14, 2011 at 8:14 am

    … It is unwise to quote partisan Senate reports and not check the references.

    I’m easy, pick the numbers you like and let us know the cost per degree using your figures.

    w.

  95. David says:

    JeffT says:
    March 14, 2011 at 8:14 am

    … It is unwise to quote partisan Senate reports and not check the references.

    And it does limited good to check the references in congress. The health care bill has hundreds of references, Many of them refer to another reference, and a few of those to yet another. (attorney paradice)

    Quinn, can you splain your poast please?

  96. wayne says:

    I’m having trouble answering you question. After going through Dr. Miskolczi’s work thoroughly, I now realize that such question is abstract complete. If temperature can not change at all due to components of this atmosphere then you would have to divide by zero. But, by approaching this problem as a limit as delta T approaches zero, the answer to your question would converge on infinity…

    so, $∞(infinite) per degree.

  97. old44 says:

    Smoking Frog says:
    March 14, 2011 at 3:55 am
    old44 said: Anthony, I believe your mathematics are grossly inaccurate, starting in 2012 at $78 billion P.A. it will increase with an inflation rate of 4.5% to 3,752 trillion P.A. by 2100, this of course excludes any price in (Carbon), the wonders of compound interest.
    Total: $84.402 thousand trillion for the 88 years.
    I am open to correction on my arithmetic.

    I think you should mean Willis, not Anthony, but correct me if I’m wrong. Anyway, your arithmetic is wrong.

    P.A. in 2100 = 1.045^88 = 48.01; (78 billion)(48.01) = 3.7518 trillion

    88-year sum = (78 billion)(1.045^88-1)/(0.045) = 81.657 trillion

    Those are roughly 1/1000 of your figures. Besides, the average rate of inflation over the 20th century was 3%, so it’s not clear why you’re assuming 4.5% for the 21st century.

    YOU GOT ME on the arithmetic, too many zero’s, it was ONLY 81.657 trillion
    however I love your optimism on the inflation rate for the future, in the 60 years from 1913-1973 the U.S. CPI went from 9.8 to 42.6 (434% increase) this period included the two greatest wars in history that left the US untouched and the greatest depression which didn’t, however in the last 38 years it progressed to 220.2 (517% for 38 years). With the current lunatic rate of spending there is no way that 3% is achievable in the future.
    Australian de facto P.M. Bob Brown stated last year that a carbon tax should be linked to the CPI PLUS 4%. We will all meet in the poorhouse.

  98. Smoking Frog says:

    old44 said however I love your optimism on the inflation rate for the future, in the 60 years from 1913-1973 the U.S. CPI went from 9.8 to 42.6 (434% increase) this period included the two greatest wars in history that left the US untouched and the greatest depression which didn’t, however in the last 38 years it progressed to 220.2 (517% for 38 years). With the current lunatic rate of spending there is no way that 3% is achievable in the future.

    I’m not optimistic for the near and medium term, but you were talking about 2100. For that length of time, I’m neither optimistic nor pessimistic. The only thing I really have is history.

    It’s true that average inflation over the past 38 years was 4-point-something percent, but this doesn’t mean that it just wobbled a little around that rate. For example, split the period into halves:

    1971-1990 : 6.4%/year
    1990-2009 : 2.6%/year

    (I used the Westegg Inflation Calculator, which only goes to 2009.)

  99. rum says:

    but you forgot to offset all the costs with green job income

  100. A. Capitalist says:

    Cost/Benefit is way out of wack with this approach. We could go the X-Prize route for a scale-able Thorium based electrical generation process to move us beyond this debate. Make the inventor(s) a hero and a billionaire. No goverment investment other than patients.

  101. Quinn the Eskimo says:

    Willis & David –

    I’ll respond later – tied up at the moment.

    Best,

  102. Brian H says:

    A. Capitalist;
    Workable, except I wonder where the government will get all the patients to invest. Will they empty the loony bins? What will be done with them?
    Answer quickly, pls; I’m running out of patience.

    :pPpP

  103. Quinn the Eskimo says:

    Willis & Dan:

    The problem with Willis’ analysis is that he compares the benefits of the EPA’s Tailpipe Rule with the avoided costs of the Tailoring Rule.

    To compare costs and benefits you have to compare actual or projected costs of compliance, not the avoided costs. The figure you used for costs was the figure for the costs EPA claims are “avoided” by the “regulatory relief” afforded by the Tailoring Rule. If you were to compare the benefits of the Tailpipe Rule to the costs imposed – rather than avoided – by the Tailoring Rule, that would make more sense.

    Some context:

    EPA has issued a suite of GHG rules consisting of:

    1. The Endangerment Finding;
    2. The Triggering Rule;
    3. The Tailpipe Rule; and
    4. The Tailoring Rule.

    The Endangerment Finding says human emissions of GHGs, mainly CO2, endanger human health and welfare. Under the Clean Air Act, the effect of this is to require regulation of GHG emissions from motor vehicles.

    The Triggering Rule says that any regulation of GHGs under the motor vehicle portion of the Clean Air Act triggers regulation of GHGs under the stationary source portions of the Clean Air Act.

    The Tailpipe Rule Regulates GHG emissions from light duty vehicles, and claims to thereby avoid warming of the astounding sum of .006 to .015 C.

    The Tailoring Rule says:
    1. Stationary source emissions of GHGs are regulated under the Clean Air Act because under the Triggering Rule, the Tailpipe Rule triggers regulation of stationary sources.
    2. The Clean Air Act has statutory thresholds for regulation of “major [stationary] sources” at 100 tons per year and 250 tons per year.
    3. Regulating CO2 under these statutory thresholds would be absurd and impossible because the number of sources that would be subject to regulation would overwhelm and paralyze the permitting processes and cost a bazillion dollars.
    4. Therefore, we, the agency, on our own, are going raise the statutory thresholds to a level that we think will be administratively feasible, 100,000 tons per year.
    5. Raising the statutory thresholds constitutes “regulatory relief” as compared to requiring compliance with the statute as written.
    6. The costs that are saved – avoided – by this “regulatory relief” are $70 billion.
    7. Since this is “regulatory relief,” i.e. a relaxation of an emissions standard, there is no correlative environmental “benefit” in terms of reduced GHG emissions and avoided temperature increases; there is only an environmental cost of the relaxation of the emissions standard, which they say is not too high.
    8. Since no environmental benefit is claimed by EPA to result from the Tailoring Rule, there can be no analysis of the costs of those benefits. Instead, they reverse the analysis, and determine if the financial and administrative benefits of regulatory relief are worth the environmental costs. As far as I know they say this with a straight face, though I do not see how.

    This is all completely nuts, backwards, upside down and blatantly illegal. The Agency cannot rewrite laws passed by Congress and signed by the President. You need another law passed by Congress and signed by the President to do that. Any fool knows that.

    EPA refused to consider the costs and benefits of their overall policy.

    They did this because the costs are gargantuan, and the benefits imperceptible and to acknowledge that fact would be too much even for them.

    So I will amend my previous statement to say that I agree with you 100% that the costs of EPA’s GHG folly are ludicrously high and the benefits purely imaginary. The benefits are so small they can only be calculated – if you accept their contentions about the effect of human emissions of CO2 on global average temp – but they cannot be detected by the state of the art in measurement of global average surface temperature.

    Where I differ is how you demonstrated your point. The “avoided” costs are not appropriate for the cost-benefit analysis. The incurred costs should be used instead.

    Best regards.

  104. Todd Gillette says:

    It might be worth noting to your readers that the linked article is not an EPA document, but rather a Republican Party document (more specifically United States Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Minority Staff) that quotes EPA documents with minimal context. The “0.006 to 0.0015 °C by 2100″ estimate is at least partially in context in the linked article, but not by a long shot in your post. That estimate is of “the impacts on global temperatures of the agency’s mobile source rule” and NOT of the entire set of Clean Air Act regulations. Mobile sources make up about one-third of human CO2 sources in the US. Given the lack of a number for the drop in CO2 and warming due to regulations on other sources, the cost estimates here are meaningless.
    It’s also unclear where the cost estimate comes from or what it takes into consideration. Does it consider the potential benefits of innovation, increased demand for jobs, or improvement in and savings in national security with increased energy self-sufficiency?
    Someone here raised the point that he didn’t see any reason increased temperatures were a net negative. Well, for you it might not be so bad if you are already fairly well off, don’t live in any low lying areas, areas prone to hurricane, or areas prone to drought. However most of the rest of the world will get hammered, and it is happening, though not nearly as bad as it’s going to get.

  105. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Todd Gillette says:
    March 17, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    It might be worth noting to your readers that the linked article is not an EPA document, but rather a Republican Party document (more specifically United States Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Minority Staff) that quotes EPA documents with minimal context.

    Y’know, I figure that my readers, just like you, can actually click on a link and see the source. And since I put the link right there, and they can click it, they generally assume that I’m not trying to hide anything from them. It’s called a “citation”. You might try it some time.

    The “0.006 to 0.0015 °C by 2100″ estimate is at least partially in context in the linked article, but not by a long shot in your post. That estimate is of “the impacts on global temperatures of the agency’s mobile source rule” and NOT of the entire set of Clean Air Act regulations. Mobile sources make up about one-third of human CO2 sources in the US. Given the lack of a number for the drop in CO2 and warming due to regulations on other sources, the cost estimates here are meaningless.

    Gosh. From the sound of your desired corrections, my estimate might be as much as ten times too high. It might only be $200 trillion dollars instead of $2,000 trillion. I feel so much better now.

    Here’s another data point. The Kyoto Protocol costs have been estimated at $300 billion per year across all countries, and it’s been claimed by Tom Wigley at UCAR, a Kyoto proponent, that after 15 years it would cool the earth by 0.06°C. That gives us a cost of only $75 trillion per degree, a real bargain, and the same order of magnitude as your EPA number.

    Unfortunately, none of that changes the fact that it would still be insanely costly per degree … or it would be if the temperature had in fact dropped by 0.06°C. Since that’s way too small to measure, we don’t know if we got anything for our money at all. Perhaps you are happy spending trillions to achieve a result so tiny it is unmeasurable … I’m not.

    It’s also unclear where the cost estimate comes from or what it takes into consideration. Does it consider the potential benefits of innovation, increased demand for jobs, or improvement in and savings in national security with increased energy self-sufficiency?

    Remember what I said at the start regarding the costs? I said “No one knows”. If you have better numbers, bring them out. Be aware, however, that whatever numbers you choose, someone just like you will show up to tell you that you’ve used the wrong numbers.

    Someone here raised the point that he didn’t see any reason increased temperatures were a net negative. Well, for you it might not be so bad if you are already fairly well off, don’t live in any low lying areas, areas prone to hurricane, or areas prone to drought. However most of the rest of the world will get hammered, and it is happening, though not nearly as bad as it’s going to get.

    The globe has been generally warming over the last half century, yet hurricanes haven’t increased. Undeterred by the facts, you want to try to scare us with hurricanes?

    The globe has been generally warming over the last half century, yet sea level rise shows no sign of accelerating, and in fact is slowing down lately. Undeterred by the facts, you want to try to scare us with the sea level?

    The globe has been generally warming over the last half century, yet droughts show no sign of increasing. Indeed, historical records show that droughts are more common during colder periods. Undeterred by the facts, you want to try to scare us with the droughts?

    Indeed, the globe has been generally warming for the last three centuries without any climate refugees or increase in North Atlantic storms or anything at all.

    I’d advise you to take your frightener act to a place where it has a chance of actually scaring people. You might start with your local grade school, because high schoolers probably won’t buy it, they’re pretty sophisticated these days. Because around here, your unsupported claims that we’ll be “hammered”, and your handwaving that “it is happening”, they won’t bring heart-quaking fear of Thermageddon™ as you’d like. Instead, they’ll bring laughter … and I assure you that folks are not laughing with you …

    w.

  106. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Quinn the Eskimo says:
    March 15, 2011 at 7:40 pm (Edit)

    … EPA refused to consider the costs and benefits of their overall policy.

    They did this because the costs are gargantuan, and the benefits imperceptible and to acknowledge that fact would be too much even for them.

    So I will amend my previous statement to say that I agree with you 100% that the costs of EPA’s GHG folly are ludicrously high and the benefits purely imaginary. The benefits are so small they can only be calculated – if you accept their contentions about the effect of human emissions of CO2 on global average temp – but they cannot be detected by the state of the art in measurement of global average surface temperature.

    Where I differ is how you demonstrated your point. The “avoided” costs are not appropriate for the cost-benefit analysis. The incurred costs should be used instead.

    You’re right, Quinn, thanks. But I didn’t mess with trying to get exact numbers because 1) there aren’t any, we’ve never done it before, there’s just lots of guesses, and 2) no matter what numbers you choose, the cost/benefit analysis is a joke where “the costs are gargantuan, and the benefits imperceptible” , and 3) no matter what numbers I used, someone would be unhappy with them and would give me lots of reasons why.

    Given that, it wasn’t worth the candle to get more accurate.

    w.

  107. Lars Karlsson says:

    The document you link to got the numbers wrong. The original document (Light-Duty Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Emission Standards and Corporate
    Average Fuel Economy Standards
    )
    states:

    “Based on these reductions, EPA modeled the anticipated potential effect on climate change and found that in year 2100, the rule would reduce temperature increases by 0.006-0.015 degrees Celsius, and the reduction in sea-level rise would be 0.06-0.14 centimeters.”

  108. Paul L says:

    Another pertinent point: if you actually read the full original quote (pretty difficult because the citation here/in the Senate minority document is wrong – just as well it wasn’t the IPCC, I guess) it says that the EPA modelled the impact of the measures “over the lifetime of MY2012-2016″, which if I’m not mistaken means that the total cost is not 90 * $78bn, but 5 * $78bn.

  109. Todd Gillette says:

    A good citation says somewhere what is actually being cited. Your post says ” I took the EPA figures.” linking to something that is NOT an EPA document, and worse you take those figures out of context even from what is in the cited document. Say what you will about my “frightener act”, you’re the one hosting a blog and posting misleading and poorly developed information, you’ve been alerted to the mistake, and you haven’t updated the blog post. That is irresponsible and dishonest.

    You and your readers can read some scientific reports regarding the impacts of warming from the US Climate Change Science Program here: http://www.climatescience.gov/Library/sap/sap3-3/final-report/
    or check out realclimate.org for some primers on how climate change and the associated science works.
    As for sea level rise, where do you get your figures from? Everywhere I look I see reports saying sea level rise is continuing right along. Maybe I’m misinterpreting your statement somehow.
    http://www.climate.org/topics/sea-level/index.html
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Current_sea_level_rise (with solid citations to the IPCC)
    By the way, I did not mean to imply hurricanes are anticipated to become more frequent, rather they will become more powerful.

    I’m all for cost-benefit analysis, having a good honest discussion, and producing an effective plan. However I won’t readily trust numbers about carbon reduction plans while politics is so manipulated by the oil and coal industries, who have been using the same tactics and even companies used by the tobacco companies to deny tobacco’s addictiveness and health effects: http://www.ucsusa.org/news/press_release/ExxonMobil-GlobalWarming-tobacco.html
    Once deniers stop denying and start having an honest discussion, we can actually make some progress and choose a more viable course of action. As it stands, I’ve got no choice but to suppor the EPA in what I know to be a suboptimal plan, because it’s the only thing that our government is willing and able to do at the moment.

  110. Doug says:

    Willis, this post and some of the follow-up comments make several errors that should be addressed and corrected.

    Several have already been pointed out to you. For example, as Quinn the Eskimo explained, the “costs” you used were actually costs avoided (thanks to the Tailoring Rule) rather than costs incurred. And as Todd Gillette pointed out, the “benefits” in your analysis were from a completely different rule (the Light-Duty Vehicle GHG and CAFE Standards), and misquoted at that. Your response to both was essentially that it doesn’t matter since it’s too hard to get exact numbers anyway. Granted, the numbers are estimates, but that’s no excuse for a fundamentally flawed methodology, is it?

    So you ask others to provide a better cost-benefit analysis. No need to reinvent the wheel. I’ll describe two, both conducted by EPA and freely available on their website. (No need to rely on a Senate EPW Minority Staff report!)

    First the Tailoring Rule: Quinn the Eskimo is correct that the costs and benefits are reversed for this rule. The rule enacts a relaxation of already existing permitting requirements. Since the requirements are relaxed, costs to industry are negative (that is, the rule saves them money), and benefits to the environment are also negative.

    In the Regulatory Impact Analysis, EPA does not evaluate the environmental costs, citing uncertainty and complexity. However, the costs can be discussed qualitatively and are likely to be small because (a) the Tailoring Rule only excludes about 10% of stationary source GHG emissions from regulation; (b) “regulation” does not mean “control” in this case, and those excluded sources would probably not require much in the way of control anyway; and (c) regulatory compliance for the sources that remain covered will probably increase thanks to the simplification of requirements.

    Though it did not calculate environmental costs, EPA did determine an economic benefit of >$387 billion over a five-year period. (I’m guessing this is where the EPW report got its figure of $78 billion that you used, though it’s impossible to tell because they provide no citation. Also, that total includes administration costs to state governments.)

    Discussion Question: Which political party opposes a rule that saves industry (mostly small businesses), state governments, and taxpayers billions of dollars a year? Why?

    Second is the Light-Duty Vehicle GHG Emissions Standards and CAFE Standards: Because this rule requires increased fuel efficiency, total costs to consumers is actually negative. Per vehicle cost of compliance is $948 for 2016 model year vehicles, with annual fuel savings of about $424, for a payback period of 2 years and 7 months (using 2007 dollars and a 3% discount rate). If you finance your car as most people do, “the fuel savings immediately outweigh the increased payments.” Lifetime discounted net savings is about 3 grand per vehicle. Total economic cost (NPV, 3%, 2007 dollars): −$1.2 trillion. (That’s a minus sign in front of that number; consumers will save over a trillion dollars thanks to this law.)

    For the lifetime of the five model years initially affected, EPA estimates a reduction of just under a billion metric tons CO2EQ. Not counting fuel savings, cost of reductions is ~$50/ton. (Counting fuel savings, cost is negative.)

    What about environmental benefits? Keep in mind that transportation accounts for ~16% of GHG emissions, and the US accounts for ~16% of global emissions, so this rule affects a small fraction of total emissions.. Keep in mind also that there are non-GHG environmental benefits that EPA discusses but I don’t. EPA used a range of estimates of the social cost of carbon (SCC) based on societal impacts of global warming to assign monetary values to GHG reductions.

    NPV of emissions reductions for the first five model years ranges from 3 to 53 billion dollars (2007 dollars). NPV for the lifetime of the rule ranges from 34 to 538 billion dollars.

    All told, this rule has a NPV benefit of 1.5 to 2 trillion dollars. This is pretty typical of environmental regulations.

    One final point, related to your comment that government estimates of program costs are usually underestimated: At least regarding environmental regulations, the opposite is true. I refer you to two studies, one by the Economic Policy Institute and one by Resources for the Future.

    Cheers!

  111. Smokey says:

    Doug,

    I’m sorry, but the EPA is not a credible source. Their figures are an invented fantasy used to push their agenda. The EPA’s numbers are no more honest than the government’s grossly inflated ridership projections and greatly underestimated cost for high speed rail.

    Anyone who believes the EPA is going to benefit taxpayers by $1.5 – $2 trillion is extremely gullible. I couldn’t load your economic policy link, but your “Resources for the Future” link discusses safety regulations, which is nothing like the draconian EPA proposals, which are anyway based on the pseudo-science that CO2 is a pollutant. [That last link is obviously the work of government lobbyists. Check their address.]

    There is no benefit to reducing CO2. None. There may be a benefit from mandating higher mileage standards, but it comes at the expense of personal freedom – a very bad trade-off because of the precedent it sets.

    Using government police power to forcibly reduce a completely harmless and benign trace gas, when the BRIC countries and a hundred smaller countries are ramping up CO2 emissions is insane. It is selling snake oil to claim that it will save money, when in reality it would be a hugely expensive job destroyer and would raise the cost of all goods and services.

    Stagflation, doubled and squared.

  112. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Doug says:
    March 25, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    Willis, this post and some of the follow-up comments make several errors that should be addressed and corrected. …

    Thanks, Doug. You raise several points. First, you are correct that this is the “tailoring” rule, and will save industry money. And you are correct that I used the wrong numbers. However, that implies that the actual costs will be much higher. How much higher? The EPA doesn’t say.

    You say:

    Your response to both was essentially that it doesn’t matter since it’s too hard to get exact numbers anyway. Granted, the numbers are estimates, but that’s no excuse for a fundamentally flawed methodology, is it?

    No, that wasn’t my response. My response was to acknowledge I was wrong, and to request for people to run the cost per degree of cooling themselves.

    Since you have not taken me up on my offer, I have to assume that you’re more interested in arguing than in taking the discussion forwards. At least I couldn’t find any numbers for the total cost of the EPA CO2 rules per degree of cooling in what you cited, although I could have missed it.

    What do you calculate the cost per degree to be? It’s hard to say, because EPA won’t or can’t say themselves. In fact, there’s a bill for that:

    Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, and Senator Mike Johanns (R-Neb.), introduced today the Comprehensive Assessment of Regulations on the Economy (CARE) Act, which requires the E.P.A., in conjunction with other relevant federal departments and agencies, to determine the total cost of several major rules E.P.A. is preparing to issue.

    To date, E.P.A. has refused to conduct an analysis examining the total economic impact of its rules on jobs; retail electricity rates and gasoline prices; power plant closures; state and local governments; small businesses; electric reliability; and energy-intensive manufacturers.

    I don’t know what that cost will be, Doug. But it will not be small by any means, and for a hundredth of a degree or so of warming, whatever the cost is, it’s too high for me …

    w.

  113. Doug says:

    Smokey says:
    March 25, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    I’m sorry, but the EPA is not a credible source. Their figures are an invented fantasy used to push their agenda.

    Credible is as credible does. The Light-Duty Vehicle rule, for example, was published with over 1,000 pages of supporting documentation and was the result of a year-long open process. EPA’s summary and response to public comments was in itself over 800 pages long. As Willis would no doubt agree, if you have problems with their data, don’t just complain — show how they were wrong and share your improvements.

    Or is Willis’s admittedly flawed back-of-the-envelope calculation good enough for you?

    [Y]our “Resources for the Future” link discusses safety regulations, which is nothing like the draconian EPA proposals

    ??? Of the 25 case studies they reviewed, 15 were environmental rules, eight were OSHA rules, and two were for traffic congestion.

    That last link is obviously the work of government lobbyists.

    I’m not familiar with the group myself, but from their website:

    RFF is a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization that conducts independent research… on environmental, energy, natural resource and environmental health issues…. RFF neither lobbies nor takes positions on specific legislative or regulatory proposals

    Back to Smokey:

    There may be a benefit from mandating higher mileage standards, but it comes at the expense of personal freedom – a very bad trade-off because of the precedent it sets.

    Ahh, a threat to personal freedom! Just like every other law ever created. What if I really, really want to get drunk and drive my Hummer with a flame-thrower attached through the local orphanage?

    You know, some threats to your personal freedom come from sources other than the government. Corporations, foreign countries, the Republican party, even your next-door neighbor would curtail your personal freedom if they could make a buck off it. (And believe me, they can and do.)

    But what did our founding fathers do when they saw grave threats to their personal freedom? They wrote a law! They understood that sometimes laws are necessary to “secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.” Blessings like the liberty to breathe clean air or drink clean water.

    And what personal freedom are you fighting for exactly? The right to pay more to own a car that emits more pollution?

    Stagflation, doubled and squared.

    This sems a bit off-topic, but since you brought it up, stagflation requires high inflation. Inflation in the US has been stable and low for decades. According to Wikipedia, one of the triggering events of the 1970s stagflation was the 1973 oil crisis. I don’t suppose this would convince you to support a rule that decreases our dependence on foreign oil? (Projected to save 1.8 billion barrels of oil!) Didn’t think so.

  114. Doug says:

    Willis Eschenbach says:
    March 27, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    [Y]ou are correct that this is the “tailoring” rule, and will save industry money… However, that implies that the actual costs will be much higher. How much higher? The EPA doesn’t say.

    If by “actual costs” you mean the costs that would have been incurred if EPA hadn’t passed the Tailoring Rule or the cost that could be incurred if Republicans get their way and repeal the Tailoring Rule, then yes, EPA does say exactly how much more it would cost. It’s right there in the RIA I linked to.

    Your response to both was essentially that it doesn’t matter since it’s too hard to get exact numbers anyway.

    No, that wasn’t my response. My response was to acknowledge I was wrong, and to request for people to run the cost per degree of cooling themselves.

    I apologize for putting words in your mouth! Not my intention.

    Since you have not taken me up on my offer, I have to assume that you’re more interested in arguing than in taking the discussion forwards.

    Perish the thought! I thought I did a pretty decent job of discussing the costs/benefits of the two rules you blogged about. But I was long-winded, so let me try to sum up:

    Tailoring Rule: This rule reduces the economic impact of an existing rule at the cost of increased GHG emissions (amount unknown). So asking for the cost per degree of cooling does not make sense for this rule.

    Light-Duty Vehicle Rule: This rule reduces global mean temperature by 0.006 to 0.015°C by 2100 at a cost of −1.5 to −2 trillion US dollars (NPV, 2007 dollars). Cost per degree cooling: −100 to −250 trillion per °C. (Please don’t forget to include the minus sign when quoting me!)

    To date, E.P.A. has refused to conduct an analysis examining the total economic impact of its rules on jobs; retail electricity rates and gasoline prices; power plant closures; state and local governments; small businesses; electric reliability; and energy-intensive manufacturers.

    If you really believe that, then you haven’t done enough research.

  115. Smokey says:

    Doug,

    If you believe the BLS inflation numbers, you probably have someone else doing your shopping for you. And with U-6 unemployment at almost 20%… it’s stagflation, my friend. The ‘doubled & squared’ part is in our future.

    You say, “You know, some threats to your personal freedom come from sources other than the government. Corporations, foreign countries, the Republican party…”

    I stopped at ‘Republican party.’ IANAR. But you’ve made it a partisan issue, so I’ll leave it at that.

    Rather than argue with an apologist for the EPA’s spectacular pseudo-scientific labeling of the air you exhale as a “pollutant,” I’ll provide a timeline of what happened, and you can see for yourself that tens of thousands of skeptical scientists’ comments were arbitrarily disregarded and discarded by the EPA in their pre-ordained endangerment finding:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/07/29/epa-asking-for-input-on-co2

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/04/17/co2-epa-politics-and-all-that

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/04/20/making-your-opinion-on-co2-and-climate-change-known-to-the-epa

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/06/23/the-june-23rd-epa-co2-endangerment-public-comment-deadline-looms

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/06/24/the-epa-suppresses-dissent-and-opinion-and-apparently-decides-issues-in-advance-of-public-comment

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/06/27/released-the-censored-epa-document-final-report

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/11/09/epa-sends-co2-endangerment-finding-to-the-white-house

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/11/24/epa-co2-comment-deadline-for-cars-and-light-trucks-fast-approaching-get-your-comments-in-now

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/12/06/epa-about-to-declare-co2-dangerous-ssshhh-dont-tell-the-trees

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/07/29/epa-rejects-petitions-to-scuttle-co2-rules

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/03/02/a-banner-day-for-the-epa

    There’s plenty more, Doug. But this should get you on the right track. And the comments are a major bonus, because unlike censoring echo chambers like realclimate, climate progress, etc., WUWT encourages comments from everyone. With the free exchange of ideas, the truth emerges: CO2 is not a pollutant, but a beneficial and harmless trace gas, essential for all life on earth, and the EPA’s corrupt decision was politics, not science.

  116. Todd Gillette says:

    Smokey, and those with a similar frame of mind, please do a teeny tiny amount of thinking before claiming that CO2 is a “a completely harmless and benign trace gas.” Trace amounts of many materials can kill you or cause major health issues. The question of whether CO2 is a pollutant or not is based on whether it negatively impacts our environment. Ignoring for the moment the impressive amount of research and agreement in the climate research community on the warming issue, CO2 is killing our oceans, particular coral reef ecosystems: http://www.bios.edu/Labs/co2lab/research/Coral.html or http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090309162125.htm for a simpler news article. “We can say with a high degree of certainty that all of this CO2 will make the oceans more acidic – that is simple chemistry taught to freshman college students.”
    And if you think the destruction of these ecosystems won’t affect you, just do a simple good search for coral reef benefits, and you’ll get plenty of informative articles.
    Granted the jelly fish will enjoy the new warmer and acidic environment. Oh joy!

    This alone should be enough to at least pick your head out of the sand and contemplate the possibility that there is not a worldwide cabal of climate scientists only interested in grant money. You are welcome to be a climate skeptic, but if you want to actually consider yourself such, please read the following article so you can know the difference between being a true skeptic and simply being a closed-minded denier:
    http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/brin20100213/

    And Willis, can you please edit this post so people don’t see the article, think it’s correct because they don’t bother to read it critically or read the extensive comments, and then link to it and misinform another whole group of people? Thanks :)

  117. Smokey says:

    Todd Gilette says:

    “Trace amounts of many materials can kill you or cause major health issues.”

    Yes, and six inches of H2O can kill you, too.

    CO2 has no effect on corals; the bleaching is completely natural, and is repaired by the next year. Do a search of the WUWT archives to learn all about it. Willis has written an excellent article on coral bleaching.

    And CO2 does not make the oceans acidic. Do a search of the WUWT archives to learn the facts. The oceans have essentially infinite buffering capacity, and they have not become measurably more acidic due to the increase in the entirely benign trace gas CO2.

    I would do the searches to decisively refute your belief system, but I’ve debunked it so often that it’s time you did your own homework. There is zero testable, empirical evidence showing that CO2 is a problem. It’s time you started to deal with that fact.

    There is no empirical, testable evidence showing that CO2 has any effect at all on temperature. There is conjecture based on radiative physics, and CO2 may have a minuscule effect. Or not. But there is absolutely no real world evidence of runaway global warming due to CO2 [the debunked CO2=CAGW conjecture].

    Provide verifiable, definitive evidence of global damage due to the increase in the trace gas CO2, and you will change my mind. But so far, there is no such evidence. The whole global warming belief system is based upon an evidence-free conjecture.

  118. Doug says:

    Smokey says:
    March 28, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    If you believe the BLS inflation numbers, you probably have someone else doing your shopping for you.

    Just another government conspiracy I guess? But again, at least they show their work, and you’ve provided no alternative data. So what am I supposed to do? Just ignore the research because it doesn’t match what I want to believe?

    You say, “You know, some threats to your personal freedom come from sources other than the government. Corporations, foreign countries, the Republican party…”

    I stopped at ‘Republican party.’ IANAR. But you’ve made it a partisan issue, so I’ll leave it at that.

    That part was just a little joke. Sorry it didn’t translate well. One shouldn’t take politics too seriously, or at least political parties. They are all self-perpetuating organizations (not just the GOP).

    labeling of the air you exhale as a “pollutant,”

    If you exhale it, that’s because your body is trying to get rid of it. CO2 is a pollutant to your respiratory system. But that’s not why it was labeled a pollutant by EPA. It’s all a matter of context.

    Thanks for all the links, but this very post is all the evidence I need of the quality of insight, research, and editorial oversight that this website flaunts and/or flouts.

    Smokey says:
    March 28, 2011 at 9:01 pm

    There is conjecture based on radiative physics

    All physics is conjecture.

  119. Smokey says:

    Doug,

    There is no way you could have read the links and comments I provided, indicating that your mind is made up and closed to new information. You’re a True Believer; rational discussion and evidence means nothing. OK, there are lots of believers around. After all, critical thinking takes effort. Easier to drink the Kool Aid, eh?

    Next, the BLS doesn’t account for food and fuel, calling them “transients.” That is nothing but a gimmick to let the government pretend that inflation is low. It isn’t, as anyone who buys gasoline and eats knows. And unless you’re a public worker drone, any pay raises to keep up with rising inflation are scarce to non-existent: Stagflation.

    Worldwide commodity prices have been skyrocketing for the past year. There were food riots in Mexico last year, and the riots in Egypt were started over high food prices. [although the Muslim Brotherhood expertly hijacked the unrest]. And the insanity of using 40% of our corn crop to make ethanol is raising food costs here. Are you blind? No, you’re simply a True Believer; your mind is made up and closed tight.

    Facts mean nothing to you. You even believe that a minor trace gas, essential to all life on earth, is a “pollutant” based on an entirely political – not scientific – Orwellian misuse of the word.

    Agricultural output increases in line with the rise in otherwise harmless CO2. But your cognitive dissonance is so strong that you will not even educate yourself by reading the relevant links provided. Your mind is made up and closed tight: “CO2, Ba-a-a-d. Starvation, Go-o-o-d.” The mantra of insanity, promoted by the eco-totalitarian wannabe crowd.

    Finally, all physics is not conjecture; all physics begins with conjecture. To be generally accepted, it progresses through stages: Conjecture, Hypothesis, Theory and finally, Law, as in the law of gravity. It would help if you got your terms straight. This is the internet’s “Best Science” site. Scientific terms matter.

    Doug, you sound like a government drone feeding at the public trough at the expense of everyone else. If so, you are a central part of the problem, not the solution. So tell us you’re not, please. I can accept someone being misguided a lot easier than I can accept someone with their hand in my back pocket, feeling around for my wallet.

  120. Doug says:

    Smokey says:
    March 29, 2011 at 7:25 am

    your mind is made up and closed to new information… You’re a True Believer; rational discussion and evidence means nothing… critical thinking takes effort. Easier to drink the Kool Aid, eh?… Are you blind? No, you’re simply a True Believer; your mind is made up and closed tight. Facts mean nothing to you… your cognitive dissonance is so strong that you will not even educate yourself… Your mind is made up and closed tight… The mantra of insanity.

    I didn’t think the moderators would approve a comment that is mostly name-calling and repetitive insults. Guess I was wrong.

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