What Hath Kyoto Wrought?

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

The Kyoto Protocol is the quixotic attempt by some countries around the world to reduce each participating country’s CO2 emissions to their emission levels in 1990. Since CO2 emissions are a measure of the energy used, that seemed foolish to me, but hey, I was born yesterday. I figured nobody would be that dumb, and although the leaders might agree to such a goofy plan, people would find ways around the restrictions.

There are two very different groups of countries who have signed up to Kyoto to reduce emissions. One group is called the “Economies In Transition” (EIT) group. These are the Eastern European countries who were going from communism to capitalism. They are composed of Belarus, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Russian Federation, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Ukraine. They’ve done well at reducing to 1990 levels, since their 1990 emissions were all high, and have declined since after the fall of the Soviet Empire. They’ve reduced their emissions, but no thanks to Kyoto. Indeed, some signed on just so they could sell their carbon credits, because their countries were already below the 1990 levels by the time they ratified … and they did very well at the scam, too. Russia made big bucks from selling credits to the rest of the fools …

The other group, called the “non-EIT” group, is composed of Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and United Kingdom. This is the group of interest, as they are the group which is like the US—established democracies with generally mature industrialized economies.

I took this issue up because of the recent release of the newest CO2 emission figures for 2009-2010. These gave me the opportunity to investigate the question in the title—what difference has Kyoto made? How much has Kyoto affected the emissions of the countries involved? Carbon saved is carbon earned … Figure 1 shows the emissions of the US, and the emissions of the Kyoto non-EIT nations, from 1990 to 2010.

Figure 1. Annual Emissions of Carbon. Units are billions of metric tonnes of carbon (C, not CO2). “Kyoto Countries” is the total of all of the non-EIT countries, as listed above. Data Source Up to 2008  and 2008-2010 Photo Source 

Hmmmm.

Other than the post-2007 drop due to the 2008 global financial crisis and ensuing world-wide depression, what can we see in this data?

Well, the most obvious thing I see is what’s not there. Looking at the pre- and post-ratification behavior of the Kyoto countries, I don’t see any change in the emissions due to ratification. The trend 1990-1999 is no different from the trend 1999-2007.

Curiously, it looks like the US on the other hand slowed down the growth in emissions over the period. Before ratification the US emissions were rising faster than the EU emissions. After 1998, they have changed pretty much in lock-step. This can be tested by fitting a 2nd order polynomial to the 1990-2007 data for both the US and Kyoto countries, as shown in Figure 2:

Figure 2. Same as Figure 1, with 2nd order polynomial trend lines fitted to the data up to 2007.

So to at least a first approximation, I’d have to say that the total amount of CO2 saved by the Kyoto Protocol to date is … well … not to put too fine a point on it, the CO2 saved by Kyoto seems to be approximately zero. There’s been no change in the rate of rise of the emissions by the Kyoto countries. No difference. Zip. Nicht. Zilch. The US reduced its rate of emission growth  over the period more than the Kyoto countries did.

In any case, not to worry, the deus ex machina was waiting in the wings all along . What the Kyoto Protocol was incapable of achieving, the 2008 global economic meltdown had no problem doing. Figure 1 shows the total emissions of the Kyoto countries are now well below the 1990 benchmark … so I suppose the unfortunate citizens in the those countries are celebrating their great success, and hoping that the economic depression continues, no?

No?

w.

PS—It is obvious from this data that economic depression causes a reduction in CO2 emissions.

What has not been so obvious to the Kyoto folks is that the converse is true—forcibly reducing CO2 emissions comes at a cost to the economy.

123 thoughts on “What Hath Kyoto Wrought?

  1. On a per capita base, Kyoto would even more look like a failure.

    The US population increased, mainly due to immigration, by about 62 million (!), European population did not change a lot.

  2. I always enjoy your posts Willis. They are a breath of fresh air compared to the drivel that we get in the MSM.

    If only you weren’t a damn sceptic, I could use it (and all the other great stuff on this blog – thanks Anthony!) to explain to the converted what is wrong with their religion.

    Thank you and keep up the good work

  3. So, would it appear that the destruction of the developed economies is on schedule ?
    After all saving the world is worth any cost.
    Personally, I doubt the planet gives a damn one way or the other. I, on the other hand, prefer prosperity.
    It’s going to be a long cold winter. pg

  4. Well its obvious that CO2 was not reduced overall compared to the previous baseline…

    But possibly CO2 was reduced compared to what might have been emitted if Kyoto was not in effect.

    I do agree that the difference is probably trivial and until China and India (and the rest of the 3rd world) raise the standard of living for the majority of their citizens it really doesn’t matter what the 1st world does…

  5. Does this chart have another line? The one for “everybody else” (you show U.S, and the “Kyoto Countries”). Is there a way to show the “developing countries” as a separate line?

  6. This is very important point. My take is that there’s no CO2GW, there’s not even significant anthropogenic influence on atmospheric CO2 (it’s quasi-condensable). But, even if we all agree and sign whatever protocols, NO reduction in CO2 emissions will be acheived. It’s just empty talk and bureaucratic verbiage. It might even increase CO2 emissions. It will definitely increase pollution, corruption and buraucracy.

  7. The US reduced its rate of emission growth over the period more than the Kyoto countries did.

    Well, there are all sorts of ways of looking at the data.

    In 1990, the Kyoto countries combined emitted ~40 million tonnes C less than the US.

    17 years later, the US was emitting ~140 million tonnes C more than the combined Kyoto countries.

    Trend changes would be difficult to estimate without a good number of years pre-1990. The Kyoto country trend may have been much higher previously.

    Willis, are those polynomial fits statistically significant?

    We are in the midst of a global financial crisis that has forced the Kyoto countries to ‘reach’ their pre-1990 target (combined). Amazingly the world hasn’t fallen apart. I thought that would have been the result of such a downturn in CO2 emissions. Is it only a matter of time?

    I like the point about the abrupt collapse of the economy and drop in carbon emissions. But let’s extend the hypothetical a bit further. Imagine if the target was met with much less abruptness – that there had been a steady decline to the 1990 levels (because Kyoto countries put some effort into it) rather than a GFC drop-off. The world’s economies could have absorbed that with much more ease than the GFC.

    The point is to avoid the steep spikes, innit?

  8. barry says:
    November 9, 2011 at 11:19 pm

    The US reduced its rate of emission growth over the period more than the Kyoto countries did.

    Well, there are all sorts of ways of looking at the data.

    In 1990, the Kyoto countries combined emitted ~40 million tonnes C less than the US.

    17 years later, the US was emitting ~140 million tonnes C more than the combined Kyoto countries.

    Trend changes would be difficult to estimate without a good number of years pre-1990. The Kyoto country trend may have been much higher previously.

    Willis, are those polynomial fits statistically significant?

    Thanks, barry. I don’t know if the fits are significant. I use them to indicate which way things are turning. We do not really have enough data to determine the fate of Kyoto, so we have to use what we can to analyze it as best as we can.

    The most significant thing to me is that there is little to no change after the Kyoto Protocol was ratified. The trend before and after ratification is unchanged.

    We are in the midst of a global financial crisis that has forced the Kyoto countries to ‘reach’ their pre-1990 target (combined). Amazingly the world hasn’t fallen apart. I thought that would have been the result of such a downturn in CO2 emissions. Is it only a matter of time?

    I like the point about the abrupt collapse of the economy and drop in carbon emissions. But let’s extend the hypothetical a bit further. Imagine if the target was met with much less abruptness – that there had been a steady decline to the 1990 levels (because Kyoto countries put some effort into it) rather than a GFC drop-off. The world’s economies could have absorbed that with much more ease than the GFC.

    The point is to avoid the steep spikes, innit?

    That sounds like the story about boiling the frog … I don’t understand why you would want the world’s economy to “absorb” any kind of a shock, whether it can absorb it with “much more ease” or not.

    w.

  9. Well as far as I know the standard of living in the USA was flat over the same period, so why is the USA managing to out burn the combined other Kyoto countries by an increasingly large margin? Especially considering it has shipped a good chunk of it’s industrial capacity off to China.

    This observation would appear to contradict the notion that standard-of-living is directly proportional to energy consumption.

    Oh and the claim that CO2 reductions are damaging the economy is made without any evidence whatsoever. It’s especially hard to claim this if you are also claiming there has been no significant CO2 reductions.

    And just to preempt a potentially nonsensical claim and logical fallacy : evidence that a downturn in the economy causes reductions in energy consumption is not evidence of the converse.

  10. barry says:
    “Amazingly the world hasn’t fallen apart. ”

    Really? Maybe you should look at the current events… the EU is about to break up, Israel is likely being nukes all its neighbors soon since they are going to invade it, the US is falling apart and as a result as ALWAYS happens during these down turns global war is going to kick off… but hey other then that things are going great.

  11. So it’s only a matter of time, temp? Ok, we’ll watch this space.

    Israel’s jitteriness is not a result of the GFC. Rather, it is a result of neighbouring countries’ civil action against dictatorships. Ironies abound in that arena, but it’s off-topic.

  12. A little-known fact is that the Montreal Protocol, designed to protect the ozone layer, has as a side effect been much more efficient than Kyoto in reducing greenhouse gases.

    It might have been, but we know almost nothing about the actual behaviour of CFCs and HFCs in the atmosphere. So, the actual effects could be completely different to the theoretical projections, if the atmospheric residence times of HFCs are wrong, for example.

    And of course ozone is the 4th most important greenhouse gas after H2O, CO2 and CH4.

    The Montreal protocol could well have contributed to global warming . We simply don’t know.

  13. As you conclude, W., the only way to cut CO2 is to choke development, and cutting CO2 chokes development. Perfect reciprocity.

  14. Just the other day there was a documentary or report on UK TV which looked into renewables. They said because the US changed their use of crop/corn to fuel production to such an extent, other countries stepped in to fill the food gap. As a result, in 2009 alone, developping (?) countries had chopped down so much rain forest to grow food to make up for the US gap, that the burning of the forests released more CO2 (in 2009) than the world’s entire emissions from cars!

    Bio-fuel production should be a criminal offence :P

  15. That sounds like the story about boiling the frog … I don’t understand why you would want the world’s economy to “absorb” any kind of a shock

    Personally I don’t give a toss what the world does. I’m a bigger cynic than most people posting here.

    The boiling frog analogy applies both ways in the political debate on climate change. IMO it’s equally useless. But my point was about avoiding shocks, not absorbing them.

    If the mainstream view is ‘alarmist’, then the ‘skeptics’ have economic Armageddon as their scare tactic. As pretty much all economic studies on mitigation/adaption, cost/benefit conclude that mitigation will be less costly, less of a financial shock than adaptation, and that the hit to GDP is a small percentage GDP, I consider the financial bogeyman as articulated by the skeptics to be even more alarmist than the other. At least the warmista have science to refer to. Economic Armageddon is based on pretty much no serious review whatsoever.

    But I’m always looking… is there some authoritative study concluding differently to the majority of economic studies on this topic? And not articles written in a couple of days by journos and bloggers. You know what I’m talking about. Something as well investigated as the Stern Report, the Garnaut Report, MIT’s analysis and the like.

  16. LazyTeenager says:
    November 9, 2011 at 11:30 pm

    “Oh and the claim that CO2 reductions are damaging the economy is made without any evidence whatsoever. It’s especially hard to claim this if you are also claiming there has been no significant CO2 reductions.”

    Now who could possibly argue with logic like that ?/sarc

    So we can all assume that the billions upon billions of dollars wasted on government policy to try and halt CO2 induced AGW was, and still is billions upon billions of dollars that had no other use whatsoever? Here’s an idea, perhaps the E.U could potentially use that wasted billions right now./sarc

  17. Solution to CC and Power Crisis

    Please give me either just one and only one scientific reason/ theory that justifies CC is due to gases OR STOP ACCUSING GASES for CC. Just accusation is not science. CC by gases is impossible. Man has disturbed the ‘rain cycle’ causing the ‘climate change.’ No gas can be ‘green house gas.’
    I have also explained that applying the property / theory of standing still water column to the running water condition is the blunder being done in the ‘Hydropower Engineering’ and, its correction can give us unlimited hydropower.
    Please visit devbahadurdongol.blogspot.com for solutions to ‘CC and power Crisis.’
    Summary is attached for your convenience.

    Challenger,
    Dr. Dev
    Email: dev.dangol@yahoo.co.uk

    “Already sent to the addressees, green peace and many others throughout the world”

  18. Thje kyoto Protocol has done a lot of things other than reduction of carbon dioxide emissions from non-EIT countries and the US. It has shifted the industrial powerhouse from those countries to the developing countries such as china, brazil, india, and south east asia. Aside from shifting the industrial base, it has also shifted the financial and economic power to those countries. Who would think the unthinkable in the 1980s, the French president will publicly raise the issue of asking china to save the eu from financial mess. The French proposal was very unpopular but lets wait until reality sinks in especially if the EU financial crisis spreads to Italy and Spain.

  19. LazyTeenager says:
    November 9, 2011 at 11:30 pm
    “Well as far as I know the standard of living in the USA was flat over the same period, so why is the USA managing to out burn the combined other Kyoto countries by an increasingly large margin? Especially considering it has shipped a good chunk of it’s industrial capacity off to China.

    This observation would appear to contradict the notion that standard-of-living is directly proportional to energy consumption.”

    The data does not confirm your observation. GDP of OECD countries in constant 2000 USD, PPP:

    http://qmarks.wordpress.com/2008/06/20/gdp-per-capita-in-oecd-countries/

  20. In the U.S. per capita CO2 emissions peaked in the early Seventies and have been flat to declining ever since, as evidenced by the fact that, although the population grew 25% between 1990 and 2010 carbon emissions were up only 10%. Due to this fortuitous circumstance we are spared the burden of having to eliminate 60+ million of our fellow citizens to achieve 1990 levels. We shouldn’t have to mix up more than 35 million glasses of Jonestown Kool-Aid to get the job done. Of course the right to be first in line for their refreshing beverage should be reserved for the members of the U.S. delegation to Durban and I’m sure many members of the CAGW blogosphere will be eager to demonstrate their dedication to the cause. The entertainment and news businesses are apt to have some hard times due to a sharp decline in available talent, but there has always been an excess of volunteers to fill those slots so the recovery should be brief

  21. barry says:
    November 10, 2011 at 12:08 am

    If the mainstream view is ‘alarmist’, then the ‘skeptics’ have economic Armageddon as their scare tactic. As pretty much all economic studies on mitigation/adaption, cost/benefit conclude that mitigation will be less costly, less of a financial shock than adaptation, and that the hit to GDP is a small percentage GDP, I consider the financial bogeyman as articulated by the skeptics to be even more alarmist than the other. At least the warmista have science to refer to. Economic Armageddon is based on pretty much no serious review whatsoever.

    Whenever someone says “pretty much all studies”, my first guess is they’re blowing smoke.

    I advocate the “no-regrets” option. If you think that future droughts will be a problem, put money into solving the problems caused by current droughts. That way you know you’ll get something for your money.

    Consider, on the other hand, the current example of the mitigation that you say will be “less costly”. Kyoto has cost billions of dollars, with absolutely no visible results. How can that be less costly than putting money into solving current problems and getting real returns?

    Do I think there will be “economic armageddon”? Please. I think that Kyoto put a damper on European economic growth. Rather than build hydroelectric dams in Europe, CDM funds from Europe paid for hydroelectric dams in China … and yes, that does put a damper on European growth.

    The effects are worse in the third world, because the poor have far less slack in the system. If gas prices go up, the people in industrialized nations drive less, everything costs a bit more, and life goes on. But when you’re living on a couple bucks a day and gas prices go up, it raises the price of every single thing that you buy, and for a poor man, that can hurt badly.

    “Economic armageddon”? No way. Pain and suffering for the poor? You bet. Fuel poverty in Ireland has gone up by two-thirds in the last eight years. It’s also bad in Britain, 18% of all households are in fuel poverty. Chalk it up to the skyrocketing electricity prices, with the British boffins assuring everyone that the country can run on wind and hot air, or something like that …

    That’s today’s reality, barry. Fuel poverty and huge electric costs in Britain, with the poor getting hit the hardest. That’s not a “scare tactic”. That’s not “alarmism” about some imagined future, the specialty of the AGW supporters. I don’t need or use alarmism, I leave the “financial bogeyman” to others. I simply point to the ugly reality of 2011. Billions poured down the Kyoto rathole with no change in CO2 emissions, windmills replacing coal plants across the UK, nuclear plants closing, electrical costs skyrocketing, and fuel poverty on the rise … not pretty.

    Heck, it’s happening here in California. Many nearby states have electricity prices about seven cents per kilowatt-hour. Here in the Golden State it’s fifteen cents per kWh … simply because of a demented push to stop CO2, so we’re buying hideously expensive solar and wind-power.

    So no, barry, it’s not theoretical economic armageddon that worries me. It’s the slow drip, drip, drip of the all-too-real penny by penny increases in the electricity costs that are grinding the economy down around here …

    Not theory, barry. Not alarmism. No bogeyman. Nothing to do with “armageddon”. Not fears for the future. The reality is twice the price for electricity today as in nearby states, and the drag on the economy that creates.

    w.

  22. Here’s how Norway reduces its emissions:

    1. Because of the decline in farming, the forests are growing. This growth is deducted from the emissions as carbon storage.

    2. Give some billions of kroners to Brazil and indonesia, who report back that the rate of deforestation has been reduced because of thesee programs. This is also deducted from our national figures.
    3. Work in porogress to elecrtify the offshore oil installations which were previously gas-powered. So the gas previously burned offshore is now exported to Europe and burnt there. No net reduction, but a transfer of emissions to other countries.

    Of course there is no real reduction in national emissions.

  23. Dev Bahadur Dongol says:
    November 10, 2011 at 12:44 am

    I have also explained that applying the property / theory of standing still water column to the running water condition is the blunder being done in the ‘Hydropower Engineering’ and, its correction can give us unlimited hydropower.

    Dude, you have officially and completely lost the plot. If you have unlimited hydropower, why aren’t you out making millions with it? Seriously, don’t be babbling about it here, you are wasting your precious time. And ours. Go out into the world and make your fortune with your brilliant ideas.

    Actions, my friend. Give up on the words. Actions speak louder. Enough words.

    w.

    • I request you to visit the blog: devbahadurdongol.blogspot.com for experimental video clip of the connection of turbines in series and scientific explanations. if you like to email me please do so, then i can send you the details as attachments. with regards, dev.

  24. What does it matter how many billions of mertrc tons of CO2 we produce, the important bit is What Proportion is Our Output of the Total CO2 Produced Annually? that is still 3-4%. A very small proportion to make so much fuss especially since CO2 does NOT drive climate.

    We all know that CO2 is a political choice so as to reduce the power of the West and redistribute wealth to those who can’t be bothered to work. ( I name no names but we all know who they are.).

  25. If British Columbia needs more power, we will simply build another dam…
    “Site C would provide up to 1,100 megawatts of capacity, and produce about 5,100 gigawatt hours of electricity each year – enough energy to power more than 450,000 homes per year in B.C.

    As the third project on one river system, Site C would gain significant efficiencies by taking advantage of water already stored in the Williston Reservoir. This means that Site C would generate approximately 35 per cent of the energy produced at W.A.C. Bennett Dam, with only five per cent of the reservoir area.

    http://www.bchydro.com/energy_in_bc/projects/site_c.html

  26. The IEA has just produced its latest World Energy Outlook – and have truly jumped the shark…
    …I guess they don’t look out the window much in the IEA Headquarters

    “We cannot afford to delay further action to tackle climate change if the long-term target of
    limiting the global average temperature increase to 2°C, as analysed in the 450 Scenario, is
    to be achieved at reasonable cost. In the New Policies Scenario, the world is on a trajectory
    that results in a level of emissions consistent with a long-term average temperature increase
    of more than 3.5°C. Without these new policies, we are on an even more dangerous track,
    for a temperature increase of 6°C or more.”

  27. Well, in the UK, our politicians in their infinite wisdom have decided that Kyoto is for wimps. Alone in the world, the UK has an insane target of an 80% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050, i.e. down to one fifth of 1990 levels.

    What has KyotoPlus wrought for the UK? Lots of windmills on our hills, in our valleys, and growing forests of them offshore. Lots of money for landowners who allow wind turbines to be built on their land. Big Superman-style ego-boost to the politicians who are Saving The Planet. Rising electricity bills to subsidise the cost of the windmills and their costly intermittent output, bringing fuel poverty to millions. Energy-intensive industries being re-located away to countries with cheaper and more CO2-intensive energy. New networks of overhead transmission lines planned from windmill to city to further disfigure the landscape.

    And, of course, negligible impact on global carbon emissions.

    Perhaps there’s something beyond windmills? I don’t think they’ve figured that out yet. All suggestions welcome at http://2050-calculator-tool.decc.gov.uk/ .

    Anyway, that’s what Kyoto hath wrought – and continues to – ? – wring? in the UK.

  28. Willis, I named three major economic studies independent of the IPCC. That’s not smoke. IPCC WGII and III collate many economic assessments: the weight of opinion is clear.

    I ask again, do you know of any major assessments that come to significantly alternative conclusions? Or any that corroborate the kind of policy you’re advocating on climate change? Just wondering what your opinion is based on.

  29. Earth Summit 2012
    On 4th – 6th June 2012, the UNCSD will take place in Rio de Janeiro. Also referred to as the Rio+20 or the Earth Summit 2012 due to the initial conference held in Rio in 1992, the objectives of the Summit are: to secure renewed political commitment to sustainable development; to assess progress towards internationally agreed goals on sustainable development and to address new and emerging challenges. The Summit will also focus on two specific themes: a green economy in the context of poverty eradication and sustainable development, and an institutional framework for sustainable development. The full text of Resolution A/RES/64/236, which endorsed the Summit is available here.

    http://www.earthsummit2012.org/

  30. What has the Kyoto ratification done for us?

    Well, for my country that use mainly hydro and nuclear (over 90%) and recycled garbage and energy forests and such (wind < 2%), but next to no oil, coal, nor gas, for electricity and heat production, we made the smartest of decisions to –during several decades of getting behind in building and maintaining railroad infrastructure and so upping the need, and therefor the emissions, of freight by cargo plane and trucking–subsidized, and this is so ingenious for lowering our emissions, with hundreds of billions in our currency, ta da, wind driven propellers.

    So what we got was absolutely no new railroad infrastructure but bird choppers around and inside protected areas and higher emissions and, of course, even higher taxes on electricity and apparently we burn more oil and coal when it's really cold because more wind power in my country means less clean back up from hydro and nuclear.

    Like I said, we're ever so ingenious. :p

  31. Willis Eschenbach says:
    November 10, 2011 at 1:38 am
    barry says:
    November 10, 2011 at 12:08 am

    Heck, it’s happening here in California. Many nearby states have electricity prices about seven cents per kilowatt-hour. Here in the Golden State it’s fifteen cents per kWh … simply because of a demented push to stop CO2, so we’re buying hideously expensive solar and wind-power.

    Not theory, barry. Not alarmism. No bogeyman. Nothing to do with “armageddon”. Not fears for the future. The reality is twice the price for electricity today as in nearby states, and the drag on the economy that creates.

    Let’s assume we add a mix of half solar and half wind power to the grid here in the US. I’ve read where “hideously expensive” solar-generated electricity (SGE) costs about 40 cents/kWh and “hideously expensive” wind-generated electricity (WGE) costs about 20 cents/kWh, so an equal amount of each would be 30 cents/kWh (and since all the good spots for solar and wind are already utilized and economies of scale have pretty much leveled off, I don’t see it costing less per kWh as we use more of it). So the more of this SGE and WGE we add to the grid, the higher overall electricity prices will go, asymptotically approaching 30 cents per kWh, which is something we’d all have to pay for through increased production costs on everything that uses electricity, which is practically everything (or get taxed to subsidize it because electricity customers will scream about their bills).

    Switch to electric cars? Not a good idea if electricity prices increase dramatically. Switch to SGE and WGE? Also not a stellar idea.

  32. LazyTeenager says:

    Well as far as I know the standard of living in the USA was flat over the same period, so why is the USA managing to out burn the combined other Kyoto countries by an increasingly large margin?

    Increased CO2 production without GDP growth wouldn’t make any sense. The USA have had significant GDP growth during the 1990s and 2000s until the financial crisis. I don’t know how much of that growth has actually arrived in middle class households, but it was there nonetheless. Part of it was grabbed by the rich in your country overproportionally, and part of it went into wars, which might explain in part why normal people haven’t felt much of it.

  33. Kyoto was just another little step towards moving us towards world governance. Results don’t matter. It doesn’t matter that the USA reduced emissions more than some Kyoto members, that many signatories didn’t make their goals, or that overall emissions were not reduced. All that matters is that the USA decided to make it’s own way, rather than going along with the herd.

    BTW: Did you know President Obama never signed the Kyoto Protocol Treaty?

  34. Australia is now the undisputed world capital of climate zombie alarmism, its Greens-Labor government having just passed the world’s most punitive ($23tonne) carbon dioxide tax to be enacted next July, but the pre-Durban hysteria is at fever pitch with Australia’s most disgracefully biased “news” organisation, Fairfax (The Age, Sydney Morning Herald), using Faith Birol at the IEA to crank up the doomsday CAGW “only five years to act” scare campaign and to showcase a new Australian Greens assault on LPG as a “dirty” energy source. This story was first posted at about 0500 US PST: http://www.theage.com.au/national/five-years-to-act-on-climate-report-20111110-1n9he.html. The same report on IEA’s annual report is being carried by WSJ: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204358004577027542955102790.html?mod=googlenews_wsj.

  35. barry,

    “I ask again, do you know of any major assessments that come to significantly alternative conclusions?”

    You’re asking the wrong question. The question I would ask, is what are these economic assessments based on? Well, they are based on some hypothesised level of climate damage that will result under business as usual. So now we must move from the economic study to the climate damage study, because if the outcome is not as predicted by theorists, then the economic analysis is redundant – it would have been based upon an outcome that did not materialise. As most people now understand, the IPCC projections aren’t worth wiping your bum with – 30% based on literature from advocacy groups – so what now for the economic forecasts on which this is based?

    That doesn’t mean that your favoured economic studies are not flawed, even if the IPCC projections were correct. As I recall, Stern has been debunked because he used a discount rate of near zero. Even an economic illiiterate can see the absurditity of that – it is tantamount to saying that you are indifferent to receiving $100 in 50 years time compared to $100 now. Total bunk.

  36. anorak2 says:
    November 10, 2011 at 6:29 am
    “I don’t know how much of that growth has actually arrived in middle class households, but it was there nonetheless. Part of it was grabbed by the rich in your country overproportionally, and part of it went into wars, which might explain in part why normal people haven’t felt much of it.”

    Lazy Teenager is an Australian AFAIK. He’s making his observations from a distance. American median wages etc from 1990 to now:

    http://pragcap.com/the-mythical-collapse-in-american-living-standards

  37. One of the dirty little secrets of the Kyoto Protocol is that the 1990 baseline was chosen by the Europeans to screw the US, whose economy was much more robust in the 90s. The US fought it for a while, but Gore was so eager for a deal that they dropped the point.

  38. One small question… How do we measure the amount of CO2 that is produced in each country? Is the method consistent? And, most importantly, how accurate are the measurements? Is the accuracy consistent accross the world? Of course, I highly suspect that the numbers reflect a WAG (wild ass guess) with wide accuracy bands but I could be wrong :-)

  39. barry quips-
    “Something as well investigated as the Stern Report, the Garnaut Report, MIT’s analysis and the like.”

    You forgot to use the /sarc and \sarc markers.
    You did forget, right?

    It is ironic that your suggested reports all predict catastrophic *economic* impacts due to globalwarmingclimatechangeclimatedisruptionclimateweirdingclimatetippingpoints, in order to rationalize wasting gobs of money now to reduce CO2 emissions.

    It is also humorous that the dismal science (economics) is so heavily relied upon by an even more dismal science (CACC) to justify immediate ‘de facto redistribution of global wealth’ by the UN… minus their commission, of course. Fortunately, the first-victims-of-global-warming drowning Maldives are busily constructing a sufficient number of new few-feet-above-sea-level airports to handle the growing UN conference traffic.

  40. Willis- An article by Cynthia Mitchcell, et al entitled “Stabilizing CA Demand- The real reasons behind the state’s energy savings” http://www.fortnightly.com/exclusive.cfm?o_id=159 is an enlightening review of the factors that influenced the stable kw/capita usage in CA over the years. The costs of electrical energy is noted as being one of the biggest drivers…….

    One way of looking at the data in the report is to conclude that many of the firms that require energy intensive activities have relocated over the years as the costs to produce their goods has increased to the point that they have looked at alternatives and moved out of the state. The concept of leakage (moving the CO2 generation for making goods or services from say CA, to a neighboring state, country) is know a concept that our regulators are aware of. The closure of the NUMMI plant being an example of leakage.

    By the way LADWP customers are the ones that are going to see the biggest sticker shock (percentage wise) for their electrical energy costs- no more $.07 a kwh for all electrical energy use in the winter- with LADWP now being required to meet the 33%RES by 2020.

  41. @willis

    The gap between US emissions and “Kyoto country” emissions has been widening since the treaty was signed and it’s been widening in the direction of them emitting less and us emitting more.

    I’m simply amazed at the tortuous logic you’ve concocted in this article to try to spin it into something else.

  42. Tom says:

    You’re asking the wrong question. The question I would ask, is what are these economic assessments based on? Well, they are based on some hypothesised level of climate damage that will result under business as usual.

    chris y says:

    It is ironic that your suggested reports all predict catastrophic *economic* impacts due to globalwarmingclimatechangeclimatedisruptionclimateweirdingclimatetippingpoints, in order to rationalize wasting gobs of money now to reduce CO2 emissions.

    A good number of economic assessments estimate only the cost of implementing various policies, and make no impact analysis from climate change. IOW, they only look at one side of the balance sheet (and generally find the cost of pricing carbon to be quite small).

    The analyses evaluate the costs of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but do not measure the resulting payoff – the benefits of averting dangerous climate change. Nor do they consider the ancillary benefits, such as the improved local air quality and reduced ocean acidification.

    They merely model the economic impact of the climate policy to a BAU scenario where climate change does not impact the economy.

    (The studies referred to here were based on US congressional policy proposals)

    Hands up anyone who has actually spent any time reading economic analyses like the ones mentioned thus far.

    Or is everyone blowing smoke?

  43. barry,

    You are the one blowing second hand smoke.

    Let’s back up for a moment, and consider this:

    CO2 [“carbon”] is harmless and beneficial. More is better.

    Based on those facts, any proposal to ‘price carbon’ is economic illiteracy and anti-scientific nonsense. Why do you persist in emitting alarmist propaganda? Are you that incapable of understanding the science and the economics of those lunatic proposals? They only benefit self-serving rent seekers at the expense of the rest of us.

  44. Willis says;
    “Other than the post-2007 drop due to the 2008 global financial crisis and ensuing world-wide depression, what can we see in this data?”

    That reducing CO2 will make us all depressed?

  45. Albert says:
    November 10, 2011 at 7:25 am

    “One small question… How do we measure the amount of CO2 that is produced in each country?”

    I know how this is done in Norway;
    The Prime Minister, Mr. Stoltenberg has a meter in his office. He has also a knob where he can increase/decrease the Norwegian temperature.

    He hand the other Prime Ministers in europe is quarreling all the time on how many degrees they will reduce the temperatures. It has been in the newspapers many times.

    Why?

  46. DirkH says:
    November 10, 2011 at 7:16 am

    http://pragcap.com/the-mythical-collapse-in-american-living-standards

    Suggest you read the comments to that article. Cullen has no reference point for the 1960’s. He’s too young to have lived then. He can’t imagine life without a cell phone or broadband internet as anything but miserable and primitive. Those of us who lived most of our lives without these things don’t remember it that way. Living standards, judging by our happiness with the present and our optimism about the future is, at least for a majority in the US IMO, way down. My kids aren’t as happy go-lucky as we were at that age. And as parents my wife and I have had to work a lot harder than our parents did. Without actually being able to compare then and now people like Cullen simply have no reference point on which to base an opinion so they basically try to imagine living life without a cell phone or the internet and come away with “it must have been awful”. Well, it wasn’t awful. It was better. Far better. Cell phones and internet are addictions. Of course it’s difficult to imagine life without these things. That’s a hallmark of an addiction – the inability to get along without something!

  47. @dave Springer

    “The gap between US emissions and “Kyoto country” emissions has been widening since the treaty was signed and it’s been widening in the direction of them emitting less and us emitting more.”

    Yes, when I looked at the slide the simple take away was that the gap between our emissions levels had grown. If one wanted to look at this the simple approach is to diffrence the two emissions and look at the trend of that, not to fit “trends” to both and do what willis did.

  48. Its interesting you say this: “CO2 emissions are a measure of the energy used”. I don’t necessarily agree – that would only be true if countries all used the same methods and technologies for power generation. Anyway, the whole point of Kyoto is to reduce the CO2 emissions per unit of energy used. Take France and Germany for example – France uses more energy per capita than Germany (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_electricity_consumption), but has roughly half of the CO2 output per-capita (http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/EN.ATM.CO2E.PC/countries/DE–XS-US-FR-GB-CA?display=graph), likely due to France’s large amount of nuclear power stations.

  49. barry says:
    November 10, 2011 at 12:08 am

    “As pretty much all economic studies on mitigation/adaption, cost/benefit conclude that mitigation will be less costly, less of a financial shock than adaptation, and that the hit to GDP is a small percentage GDP, I consider the financial bogeyman as articulated by the skeptics to be even more alarmist than the other.”

    I consider mitigation to be counter productive even if it cost nothing. There is an abundance of both science and agricultural practice showing that increased level of CO2 increases the rate of plant growth and at the same reduces the amount of fresh water required per unit of plant growth. This is common knowledge. Many greenhouses artificially raise CO2 level to increase production. If it could be economically raised even more in outdoor agriculture growers would do it there too. In fact is has been done economically as we burn fossil fuels to the tune of 280ppm to 390ppm which is one of the reasons why world population has grown while world hunger has not both because plants grow better and faster with less water due to more CO2 and because of the agricultural tools and related industries such as fertilizer mining, manufacture, and distribution which was made possible in large scale by fossil-fuel energy.

    Adding insult to injury the reality of CO2 “global” warming is that it isn’t global at all. It’s regional. It’s confined predominantly to continental interiors in higher latitudes at night and in the winter. So what little warming is actually happening, be it anthropologic or natural in origin, or not, is beneficial as it translates into longer growing seasons where longer growing seasons are most needed and doesn’t translate into higher summertime maximum temperatures. These are all good things.

    The things we would be “mitigating” against are fantasies which have no empirical support of coming to pass. In fact the world hasn’t warmed at all in the past decade despite CO2 emissions relentlessly increasing during that time. In fact sea level rise has not accelerated and is not anywhere near an alarming rate but rather the same rate it’s been for many centuries. There is no statistical increase in the number of severe weather events yet due to the industrial, agricultural, and technological advances that cheap fossil energy entails every individual human being’s probability of being harmed by severe weather has dramatically decreased.

    This are the facts and they speak for themselves. Global warming alamists have no facts. They have agendas and specious fantasies invented to further those agendas.

  50. [SNIP – take your ugly personal attacks elsewhere, Dave, they make you look like a pre-schooler. -w.]

  51. Gail Combs says:
    November 10, 2011 at 9:13 am

    In all fairness the deal with outsourcing manufacturing overseas to China is it’s one of the mutually assured destruction deals. We can end the trade imbalance and they can stop taking IOU’s for it. We can welch on the IOUs too or simply inflate the principle into worthlessness. It’s a bargain made in hell if you ask me and all parties involved are getting nervous about it. I’m not sure what the best way to extricate ourselves from it might be. I hold out the hope that breakthrough technology in synthetic biology that I’ve been anticipating for almost 30 years will make it all moot before the international economic house of cards comes tumbling down.

  52. “If the mainstream view is ‘alarmist’, then the ‘skeptics’ have economic Armageddon as their scare tactic. As pretty much all economic studies on mitigation/adaption, cost/benefit conclude that mitigation will be less costly, less of a financial shock than adaptation, and that the hit to GDP is a small percentage GDP, I consider the financial bogeyman as articulated by the skeptics to be even more alarmist than the other. At least the warmista have science to refer to. Economic Armageddon is based on pretty much no serious review whatsoever.”

    Let me add two more cents to Willis’ response:

    Mitigation and adaptation are two very different beasts. Mitigation is an action taken against a known-certain future outcome, even if probabilistic, like putting seat belts in cars. However, in the climate sense, with or without mitigation, I would submit that no one can accurately predict the future direction of the climate – certainly not with an accuracy that would allow wise policy decisions. Mitigation might produce positive, negative or no benefits. In the 1970s, the very same climate scientists were proposing dumping carbon dust on the ice caps to prevent the certainly-coming ice age. Had that come about, they would have been guilty of producing an unintended consequence that promoted global warming today. If, as the sun seems to be indicating, we are headed for a colder climate in the future, all that mitigation effort and money would be down the drain or in fact deleterious. Scientists today may claim to be smarter than in 1975 (bigger computers after all), but I would submit that on a scale of one to ten, they have gone from a two to a three. Every day we see new research pointing to the radical deficiencies of current climate theory. That is why we who believe in science and pursue scientific knowledge as an existential imperative are skeptics – as opposed to those who pursue scientific grants as a means of gaining fame and putting dinner on the table by going along with the party line.

    When you combine climate scientists (and their friends, climate industrialists) with economists, you create uncertainty squared. These are the same economists who convinced the politicians that securitizing mortgages would be a benefit to the economy. Where was it, New York state, where the nuclear industry lobbyists got together with the politicians and decided it would be better if the rate payers pre-paid for yet-to-be-built nuclear plants so the economic shock would mitigated when the actual costs were incurred. And so it was. In the meantime, the cost of the plants went from $4 billion to $20 billion, a cost being paid despite the almost certain fact that they will never be built, despite the certainty of the economists and industrialists at the time.

    So, mitigation based on scientific/industrial/economic prognosticators? No thanks.

    And as for the “mitigation as insurance” argument: Mitigation is not insurance – otherwise you would cancel your car insurance seeing that you have seat belts. Since we don’t even know the sign of medium-term climate change, I would submit that we already have a thriving free-market insurance industry that will both adapt to climate change and drive adaptation. From an article yesterday, the cost of the “unprecedented” climate “disasters” of the last year – $34 billion for the entire world. Whopee do! Less than the cost of air conditioning the military quarters in Afghanistan. And these costs will track accurately with ACTUAL climate change in whichever direction it takes all the while actually insuring people and businesses against short-medium term risks at minimum cost to society.

  53. Willis Eschenbach says:
    November 10, 2011 at 2:06 am

    Dev Bahadur Dongol says:
    November 10, 2011 at 12:44 am

    I have also explained that applying the property / theory of standing still water column to the running water condition is the blunder being done in the ‘Hydropower Engineering’ and, its correction can give us unlimited hydropower.

    Fruitloop::ignore

    This guy’s idea is to add turbines in series at the base of dams because he’s under the mistaken impression that there’s no energy lost as the water passes through the turbine so you can just hang another turbine on to the end of the first one and do this infinitely. I guess he has no clue that the inlet pressure and outlet pressure of turbines are substantially different and the pressure differential is an unavoidable consequence of removing energy from the water. It also doesn’t seem to occur to him that inside the turbines there are already individual stages arranged in series to extract as much energy from the water as it practical until there isn’t enough pressure left in it to drive a pissant’s motorcycle halfway around the inside of a cheerio.

    [SNIP – man, you just can’t stop your nasty mouth from running, can you? -w.]

    • (This guy’s idea is to add turbines in series at the base of dams because he’s under the mistaken impression that there’s no energy lost as the water passes through the turbine so you can just hang another turbine on to the end of the first one and do this infinitely.)

      1# Energy is never lost nor created – law of conservation of energy. After running a turbine running water is not even slowed down. Running water has kinetic energy. To keep turbine running consistently water must keep on running. The force involved here is the force of gravity which can’t be reduced nor blocked nor shifted; at a given point it is always there uninterrupted. If you slow down the running water the turbine on the way also runs slowly. The turbine stops when water stops running; then no energy is available.

      (I guess he has no clue that the inlet pressure and outlet pressure of turbines are substantially different and the pressure differential is an unavoidable consequence of removing energy from the water.)

      2# The pressure difference makes water to run. You can’t remove energy from water but transfer to another form (law of conservation). Kinetic energy that you can get from running water is by virtue of the force of gravity which is always available all the time.
      The pressure effect throughout the running water column is uniform (Bernoulli Theory). So we can install turbine at any point of the running water column; between the inlet and outlet points of the running water column. Velocity of water at each point of the running water column is same.

      ( It also doesn’t seem to occur to him that inside the turbines there are already individual stages arranged in series to extract as much energy from the water as it practical until there isn’t enough pressure left in it to drive a pissant’s motorcycle halfway around the inside of a cheerio.)

      3# From the comments above it is clear that you can’t but transfer energy. So far water is available for running you have the ‘force’ to drive water all the time indefinitely and unlimited. If there is no pressure difference water can’t run and by installing turbines we don’t stop but let water continue running. Do we? At least I don’t know hydropower station where water is stopped by running turbines. CHEERIO!!!

      If you wish more details please visit my blog devbahadurdongol.blogspot.com and if you want to ask me any question please email me. (email address dev.dangol AT yahoo.co.uk) Physics teacher who knows Bernoulli Theory is very helpful.

  54. US population increased by 25% in 1990-2011, EU/Japan population did not change.Taking this into account, US increase is WELL BELOW non-EIT.

  55. Yo Dave,

    ” I hold out the hope that breakthrough technology in synthetic biology that I’ve been anticipating for almost 30 years will make it all moot before the international economic house of cards comes tumbling down.”

    Have you checked out the book Robopocalypse? It’s all there spelled out in “soon to be a Speilberg movie” black and white. The thing is, when it happens, it might be a kind of biological hyper-inflation, in which the “old” biology is no longer worth a farthing and can not/will not interbreed with the new. Sort of like the way the Neanderthals were wiped out by the Cro Magnans. Don’t use Twitter? Can’t mate with me chap…

    Or from the Firesign Theater in the 60s: “I’m sorry, you have violated Robots Rules of Order and will be asked to leave the future immediately.”

    And where is Apple going if not synthetic biology? Imagine if Siri was run by IBM’s Watson supercomputer. Maybe later next year. Now imagine 1 million Wantons talking to us and to each other. In ten years it will be true. Fasten your safety belt and hang on dude, it’s going to be a wild ride. If you can adapt…

  56. steven mosher says:
    November 10, 2011 at 8:27 am

    @dave Springer

    “The gap between US emissions and “Kyoto country” emissions has been widening since the treaty was signed and it’s been widening in the direction of them emitting less and us emitting more.”

    Yes, when I looked at the slide the simple take away was that the gap between our emissions levels had grown. If one wanted to look at this the simple approach is to diffrence the two emissions and look at the trend of that, not to fit “trends” to both and do what willis did.

    Well, guys, if I’d been interested in the difference between the Kyoto countries and the US, that’s what I would have done.

    But I wasn’t interested in that. I was interested in whether Kyoto had caused the participating countries to reduce their emissions. So I looked at their emissions, pre- and post-ratification, to determine if they had changed. I also did the same for the US emissions.

    If you want to do a different analysis, more power to the both of you. But to claim that I should have done your analysis? That just proves you didn’t understand what I was doing. Perhaps my fault, my writing is not always clear … but you two seem to be the among the very few who misunderstood what I was up to.

    w.

  57. Manfred says:
    November 10, 2011 at 9:55 am

    US population increased by 25% in 1990-2011, EU/Japan population did not change.Taking this into account, US increase is WELL BELOW non-EIT.

    That’s exactly why I didn’t do it on a per-capita basis. I figured people would scream that I was cheating if I used per-capita figures …

    w.

  58. DirkH says:
    November 10, 2011 at 7:16 am

    http://pragcap.com/the-mythical-collapse-in-american-living-standards

    Suggest you read the comments to that article.

    response cont’d;

    In the comments Cullen asks a doubter that living standards are better now than 1960’s if he’d rather deal with a heart attack or cancer now or in the 1960’s.

    I have an uncommon opinion on that. I’ve seen friends and loved ones die many ways and cancer is pretty much the worst, or at least the worst of the common causes. You get plenty of advance notice (sometimes years) and unless you get lucky by a tumor popping a blood vessel and you bleed out quickly by internal hemorrhage the end is going to drawn out and painful for both yourself and possibly worse for your loved ones who have to helplessly watch you suffer and die by the inch.

    Because of the uneven progress in preventing and treating cancer vs. heart disease, cancer recently became the #1 cause of death in the United States. Modern medicine has made dying a quick death from a heart attack much less likely and dying a prolonged death over weeks or months from cancer a much more likely way of leaving the stage. Just as bad the protracted death by cancer is hideously expensive and is bankrupting our healthcare system.

    Personally, I’m trying to carefully cultivate a heart attack by assessing the risk factors in my life and weighting them in favor of heart disease. My dad dropped dead from a heart attack. He hardly had time to grab his chest and say “Oh shit” before he lost consciousness and died. He was happily playing badmitten with some bouncy young women on a fine summer day when it happened. That’s how I want to go. Modern medicine and modern lifestyle recommendations make that very unlikely. More likely is dying in a hospice after months of suffering by myself and family, at huge expense, after slipping into a coma because my organs are failing with the exception of one organ – a strong heart that just refuses to stop pumping enough blood to my brain so I remain conscious.

    Screw that. I’ll take the 1960’s way of dying thank you very much. It’s better for me, better for my family, and better for society.

  59. Dave Springer says:
    November 10, 2011 at 9:28 am

    Gail Combs says:
    November 10, 2011 at 9:13 am

    In all fairness the deal with outsourcing manufacturing overseas to China is it’s one of the mutually assured destruction deals. We can end the trade imbalance and they can stop taking IOU’s for it. We can welch on the IOUs too or simply inflate the principle into worthlessness. It’s a bargain made in hell if you ask me and all parties involved are getting nervous about it. I’m not sure what the best way to extricate ourselves from it might be. I hold out the hope that breakthrough technology in synthetic biology that I’ve been anticipating for almost 30 years will make it all moot before the international economic house of cards comes tumbling down.
    ______________________________

    On that we most certainly agree. WTO is a deal made for the benefit of the international multi-billionaires ONLY at the expense of the “little people”

    Interconnecting the entire world’s economy and putting it under the control of just a few people is utter madness. Especially when those people are power hungry and greedy. Unfortunately they get labeled “Capitalists” and what they are doing is labeled “Free Market” when both terms are completely misused.

  60. @willis

    You say you didn’t want to show that the emissions gap widened with Kyoto countries growing emissions more slowly than US emissions since ratification. You wanted to show that Kyoto did nothing to reduce emissions from signatories.

    Fair enough.

    Unfortunately the fact of the matter is that your graph does not support the latter purpose either.

    Kyoto country emissions are below where they were when treaty was ratified at 1.45gta then and 1.3gta now for a total decrease of 12%. US emissions are lower too at 1.53gta then and 1.5gta now for a total decrease of 2%.

    Moreover the emissions of Kyoto countries is now below their 1990 level which was 1.4gta then and 1.3gta now. US emissions on the other hand are substantially higher at 1.36gta then and 1.5gta now.

    You wave your hands and pass this off as a result of a recession and speculate that without the recession the goal would not have been acheived by the Kyoto countries.

    What exactly makes you think the recession would have happened whether Kyoto was signed or not? I’m certainly not convinced of that and any conviction would be pointless as you can’t set the clock backward and see what would have happened if the treaty had not been ratified. But my gut feel is that the global warming brouhaha both inspired Kyoto and inspired crude oil to rise from $20/bbl when it was signed to as much as $150/bbl when the recession began. I strongly feel, but cannot prove it, that Kyoto, the unprecedentedly rapid increase in the price of crude oil that began with its signing, and the recession that began when oil price peaked are all causally related thus it is reasonable to say that Kyoto caused the bloody recession which caused the sharp downward spike in CO2 emission by both Kyoto countries and the U.S. whose economic well-being is tied to some extent to that of the Kyoto countries (global economy).

    FAIL.

  61. There seems a to be an assumption that these figures mean something or that they are remotely accurate, when they are not any such thing.

    They are merely an indication of what Mankind in those countries has reported as their CO2 emissions.

    But that is hardly the correct view of anything. Some countries cheat! If i told you that I had all the deposits made to my checking account in the last year, and it added up to say $4000 dollars, would you believe the calculated checking account balance is $4000?

    Certainly NOT. You’d say but what about the the withdrawals that you made? And what was the starting balance? The answer you would get is that nobody kept track of them, so they don’t count. But we did find one mistake that was reported that it was underestimating fees by and corrected by removing $75,000 dollars from the account. Mr. Kevin Trendbert and the Warmunsit Team agrees that a miscalculation of this magnitude happened, and he concurs that the transaction fees were underestimated by that amount.

    Just such a situation exists in all this CO2 pseudo-accounting. The natural CO2 flux caused by plants absorbing CO2 to incorporate into their bodies, the ocean dissolving or emitting CO2 due to thermal changes, the absorption or desorption by minerals on the Earth’s surface is not done by Mankind. The bureaucrats are frustrated. They can’t force the Oak or Pine to divulge an report their CO2 actions.

    So they simply ignore those transactions. It is just like ignoring the withdrawals in our hypothetical checking account example. Except for the mistake that they now correct for 25 times the deposits.

    So what IS the checking account balance? Despite spending $75 Billion dollars a year on “climate research”, there actually was a group that undertook to find out, once. A Team of Scientists working at Princeton University, actually measured the concentration of CO2 arriving on the shores of America, and measured it as the prevailing winds carries it across the continent. They measured it when t blew out to sea into the Atlantic. Guess what? There was less CO2 in the Air going into the Atlantic then there was in the Air blowing in from the prevailing winds from the Pacific,despite industrilaized mankinds adding or maybe even substacting some CO2 by his lumbering, papermaking and farming.

    Mankind in America, despite its industrialization, was unable to add to the CO2 on NET. Mankind in America wasn’t even able to keep it at the same level. The North American continent WAS and IS a NET CARBON DIOXIDE SINK, absorbing more CO2 than it emits into the atmosphere. Surprise ! SURPRISE !!!!

    Now the Warmunists would say, “NO we estimate how much the forests and farms absorb.” They even claim that they are accurate to a gnat’s eyelash. Until they had to admit just this year, that the mere error in their estimates was 25 times the total amount reported on those charts above that the United States supposedly emits. But in reality are nothing but what was reported on forms to bureaucrats plus some Wild aSS Guesses with estmation errors 25 times the total reported numbers. Mankind it is ESTIMATED emits only 4% of the annual CO2 Flux, but no one knows what the total flux IS, or what Mankind really emits. Is it 3.5% or 3.8% or a nice round number like 4%.

    Research by these Princeton Scientists reveal that North and South America and Australia are NET CARBON DIOXIDE SINKs. Only Eurasia and Africa emit CO2 on NET. So if there is any CO2 reductions needed as chanted by the Warmunists, only Eurasia needs to do it. So why pray tell are we being harangued to reduce our Man-made CO2?

    GARBAGE IN, GARBAGE OUT !!!!!!!!!

  62. Does anyone have a good conservative number for the average natural carbon emission level? I have seen everything from termites to volcanoes cited as major natural sources.

  63. Gail Combs says:
    November 10, 2011 at 10:18 am
    “On that we most certainly agree. WTO is a deal made for the benefit of the international multi-billionaires ONLY at the expense of the “little people” ”

    We’ll have to part ways there. WTO is for the benefit of the international multi-billion dollar corporations. The little people can have as much or as little part of the success of global enterprises as they desire both through employment with them and purchase of their publically traded stock. I did both. It’s not my fault if others chose to spend their free time taking vacations they could hardly afford or putting money into down payments on real estate at the wrong time. I spent my leisure time making myself more valuable to the international corporation that employed me and I continued renting and put the money I could have used for a down payment on a home into the purchase of stock in the company I worked for which was an even better deal because employees got substantial discounts from market price on voluntary stock purchases – the company encouraged employees to become owners in the company for the benefit of both.

    I suppose it’s the Protestant work ethic that I can really thank and the crumbling of traditional religious values in the U.S. can be blamed, at least in part, for the current malaise. But I don’t want to preach about the economic value of being a good Protestant so I won’t go into it further except to say that the highest living standards in the world today are invariably attached to the countries which embraced the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century. I’m agnostic about the divine, afterlife, salvation and immortality aspects of religions but I’m not at all agnostic about the things which can be measured like freedom and prosperity enjoyed (or not) by various religious groups and the cultures associated with them where they are in the majority.

  64. Dave Springer says:
    November 10, 2011 at 10:14 am
    “Suggest you read the comments to that article.”

    I have. Of course there are different opinions – and people who thrived and people who went under during the time period in question, and everything in between – , we don’t have to rehash the back and forth here.

  65. Stas Peterson says:
    November 10, 2011 at 10:47 am

    “There seems a to be an assumption that these figures mean something or that they are remotely accurate, when they are not any such thing.”

    For my part I will tell you that the accuracy of the data represented in the OP graphs I accept “for the sake of argument”. Just because I don’t contest the data doesn’t mean I endorse its precision, accuracy, or general reliability. Just sayin…

  66. @Manfred
    Good point on per capita basis observation

    Looking beyond the post, if G. Bush had signed Kyoto the U.S. would have had no economic growth in the decade leading up to the current financial crisis and would also have shown much faster decline in CO2 emissions at an earlier point. All of the PIIGS are in the Kyoto list….so much for sustainability arguments.

  67. In any case, not to worry, the deus ex machina was waiting in the wings all along . What the Kyoto Protocol was incapable of achieving, the 2008 global economic meltdown had no problem doing. Figure 1 shows the total emissions of the Kyoto countries are now well below the 1990 benchmark … so I suppose the unfortunate citizens in the those countries are celebrating their great success, and hoping that the economic depression continues, no?

    While I’m not convinced it will stop at “economic depression”, one positive is that money to fund the “pet projects” of everyone+dog will dry up. Who knows “cost benefit analysis” may return to the assessment of proposals. The “cash raining from the sky” era is over and hardship tends to focus minds. You can bet that Obama won’t be using Spain as a shining beacon of green nonsense come 2012.

    Europe will be pushing for Kyoto nonsense. Here it is a stealth tax and boy does Europe need those show those taxes right now. What will change is that most of that tax will stay within the EU. I can’t really see us exporting the proceeds of the Euro carbon scam to the “developing world”. The Maldives “parliament” will have to buy their own oxygen and wet suits from now on.

  68. Dave Springer,

    “It’s not my fault if others chose to spend their free time taking vacations they could hardly afford or putting money into down payments on real estate at the wrong time. I spent my leisure time making myself more valuable to the international corporation that employed me and I continued renting and put the money I could have used for a down payment on a home into the purchase of stock in the company I worked for ”

    You’re the sort of guy who makes socialists apoplectic :)

  69. barry,

    “A good number of economic assessments estimate only the cost of implementing various policies, and make no impact analysis from climate change.”

    With all due respect, what’s the point of a study that looks only at the costs and not the benefits? Lord Monckton has shown that even allowing for the supposed IPCC sensitivities, the benefit in terms of temperature from implementing Kyoto in the West is as near zero as makes no difference. In other words, even acheiving set targets, the reduction in temperature would be negligible – and that is taking the IPCC average sensitivity of 3.5C per CO2 doubling.

    But your studies saying that the cost of CO2 reduction strategies are low, are plain wrong. They may have thought they would be low, but reality is catching up. They are now causing energy costs to escalate in the UK and driving energy intensive industries eastward. More UK households are being driven into fuel poverty. And that is before we have got anywhere near the renewable targets.

    I say reality is starting to catch up, but there are still some politicians with their heads in the sand. The UK energy minister, recently condemned as “rubbish” two studies that showed that renewable energy costs would continue to rise. He apparently still believes in the same studies you do.

  70. Ok. So emissions declined from roughly 2008 – 2009 ish, during a global recession… Was there a detectable and corresponding dip in the rise of atmospheric co2 content during the same period? Would we expect to see that or not?

  71. @Dave Springer,

    Err… did you not notice that the fall in everyone’s economies happened with the GFC? Kyoto didn’t cause emission decreases after its ratification–emission speeds remained unchanged in the signing countries. It was when the world markets dropped like a rock that suddenly no one could produce much CO2 due to loss of industry. That’s what Willis shows so plainly… I have no idea what you are going on about.

    Interestingly, the US economy, and emissions, fell less than the Kyoto signed countries, according to the first graph. There could be many reasons for that, related or unrelated to Kyoto affecting economic robustness.

  72. So the way I see it CO2 is up everywhere, trillions spent on carbon capture and non efficient power production, BUT where is the heat? we must all be toast and not realise it, other wise the whole thing is a con, which it cannot be as the Politicos tell us it is true. I need to see my Doctor.

  73. Spector says:
    November 10, 2011 at 11:05 am

    “It looks like Willis gave us a good example of ‘Hide the Decline” in Figure 2.
    :-)”

    Glad I wasn’t taking a sip of my coffee the moment I read that. LOL

    I suppose Willis could mount a defense based on “when in Rome, do as the Romans do”. At any rate that’s MY fallback position when I get caught red handed using the same intellectually dishonest tactics as an opponent. :-)

  74. You would also have to classify trillion dollar stimulus packages and zero interest rates by central banks as forcing factors for CO2.

  75. @GED

    Or try these:

    http://daily.sightline.org/2008/10/13/oil-addiction-and-recession/

    http://www.heatingoil.com/blog/energy-analyst-kopits-oil-prices-recession/

    http://www.theoildrum.com/story/2006/10/2/111911/949

    http://peakwatch.typepad.com/peak_watch/2008/09/bottoming-out.html

    Or pick some of your own. There’s literally millions of google hits on images relating oil price spikes to business cycle downturns.

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=&q=oil+price+recession&sourceid=navclient-ff&rlz=1B3GGHP_en___US455&ie=UTF-8&biw=1280&bih=615&sei=%20WzG8TqjxNMKC2AX1y7DIBw&tbm=isch

    Every major and minor downturn of the business cycle in the second half of the 20th century has been preceded by a spike in price of oil. This latest one is no exception – its the biggest spike and the greatest downturn too. It was quickly and temporarily arrested by oil dropping like a stone from >$100/bbl to <$50/bbl. The arrest likely had nothing at all to do with government bailouts, TARP, or stimulous spending and everything to do with suddenly cutting the price of oil in half. Everything else is a distraction. Manipulation of oil price is letting both domestic and foreign interests play the U.S. economy like a fiddle bleeding every last drop of money out of it by keeping it teetering on the edge of financial meltdown.

    Vote for Rick Perry. He knows the score and will end it by producing all the energy the U.S. needs from American land and American territorial waters. BUH-BYE OPEC you caustic illegal price fixing MOFOs! Without US demand to prop up your oil prices you'll go broke. If it was up to me I'd bust up OPEC by force if necessary taking out every sovereign government of every member nation if there was no other way. I don't believe when you're the only superpower in the world you should let an oil cartel composed mostly of pissant petty dictators and communists illegally f*ck with the world economy like that. Price fixing is a violation of international law. It needs to end one way or another.

  76. Vince Causey says:
    November 10, 2011 at 11:08 am

    “You’re the sort of guy who makes socialists apoplectic :)”

    Atheists too although I’m not sure there’s much difference between the two. In other words membership in the one club is a really good predictor of membership in the other.

    Freud, Marx, and Darwin. The three pillars of post-modern culture. Two down and one to go.***

    ***A detour to take out the global warming brigade appears to be necessary. Of course the global warming brigade are also predominantly those who still embrace Freud, Marx, and Darwin so it’s really just different battles all within the same culture war.

  77. DirkH says:
    November 10, 2011 at 10:58 am
    Dave Springer says:
    November 10, 2011 at 10:14 am
    “Suggest you read the comments to that article.”

    I have. Of course there are different opinions – and people who thrived and people who went under during the time period in question, and everything in between – , we don’t have to rehash the back and forth here.
    ———————————————————————

    I just wanted to make the point that Cullen’s opinion lacks credulity and validity to virtually everyone whose lives actually encompassed both the 1960’s and the 2000’s. He can’t imagine living without a cell phone, internet, and cable TV. I don’t have to imagine. I spent the greater portion of my life without them. I’m a baby boomer born and raised in a working class family in small town America and I still live a modest lifestyle well within my means. There is no larger demographic group in America than the one I’m in so I can speak as a majority member of American culture both then and now. Cullen is full of crap and is just making stuff up he knows nothing about.

  78. Dave Springer says:
    November 10, 2011 at 12:13 pm

    @GED

    What I’m going on about is probably above your pay grade but even though I figured it out by myself I’m hardly the first one to make the connection.

    Start here:

    http://seekingalpha.com/article/243509-do-oil-price-spikes-cause-recessions

    So if your theory is correct, why not convince the PTB to increase crude prices to $300 a barrel and see a simply amazing rise in the GDP. And if that doesn’t work, try $1,300 a barrel, or $2,300 a barrel, or $3,300 and so on and so on. (Or is that series of numbers too complicated for someone at “your pay grade” to understand?)

  79. Dave Springer says:
    November 10, 2011 at 10:14 am

    … I have an uncommon opinion on that. I’ve seen friends and loved ones die many ways and cancer is pretty much the worst, or at least the worst of the common causes. You get plenty of advance notice (sometimes years) and unless you get lucky by a tumor popping a blood vessel and you bleed out quickly by internal hemorrhage the end is going to drawn out and painful for both yourself and possibly worse for your loved ones who have to helplessly watch you suffer and die by the inch.

    Because of the uneven progress in preventing and treating cancer vs. heart disease, cancer recently became the #1 cause of death in the United States. Modern medicine has made dying a quick death from a heart attack much less likely and dying a prolonged death over weeks or months from cancer a much more likely way of leaving the stage. Just as bad the protracted death by cancer is hideously expensive and is bankrupting our healthcare system.

    Personally, I’m trying to carefully cultivate a heart attack by assessing the risk factors in my life and weighting them in favor of heart disease. My dad dropped dead from a heart attack. He hardly had time to grab his chest and say “Oh shit” before he lost consciousness and died. He was happily playing badmitten with some bouncy young women on a fine summer day when it happened. That’s how I want to go. Modern medicine and modern lifestyle recommendations make that very unlikely. More likely is dying in a hospice after months of suffering by myself and family, at huge expense, after slipping into a coma because my organs are failing with the exception of one organ – a strong heart that just refuses to stop pumping enough blood to my brain so I remain conscious.

    Screw that. I’ll take the 1960′s way of dying thank you very much. It’s better for me, better for my family, and better for society.

    Thanks for that, Dave, I’d never looked at it that way, a most interesting and insightful point of view.

    w.

    PS—Not sarcasm. Honestly meant.

  80. Dave Springer says:
    November 10, 2011 at 10:37 am

    …Kyoto country emissions are below where they were when treaty was ratified at 1.45gta then and 1.3gta now for a total decrease of 12%. US emissions are lower too at 1.53gta then and 1.5gta now for a total decrease of 2%.

    Moreover the emissions of Kyoto countries is now below their 1990 level which was 1.4gta then and 1.3gta now. US emissions on the other hand are substantially higher at 1.36gta then and 1.5gta now.

    You wave your hands and pass this off as a result of a recession and speculate that without the recession the goal would not have been acheived by the Kyoto countries.

    One man’s handwaving is another man’s logic.

    I notice that both the US and the Kyoto counties’ emissions were rising steadily until 2007. I notice that the emissions of both the US and the Kyoto countries dropped in 2008 and 2009, and then rose slightly in 2010.

    I deduce, not handwave but deduce, something from this.

    The drop in emissions 2008-2009 was due to the worldwide economic meltdown.

    If you disagree, what is your alternate explanation?

    More to the point, my analysis did not depend on that period at all. Look at my Figure 2, comparing the pre- and post-ratification periods.

    If Kyoto worked … then where is the reduction in emissions after ratification? Or five years after ratification? There was no drop.

    This does not depend on any logical deductions (or even illogical deductions) about the source of the 2008-2009 drops in emissions. It doesn’t consider those at all.

    To summarize:

    1. My analysis (see Figure 2) does not depend on the period containing the global financial crisis.

    2. I hold that the 2008-2009 drop in emissions was a result of reduced economic activity stemming from the global financial crisis. I say this for two reasons:

    a) It has a direct and logical chain of cause and effect. Less economic activity means less fuel burnt means less CO2 emissions …

    b) There were no other worldwide changes that I know of that would have affected all the Kyoto countries and the US at the same time. It was not oil prices, because oil prices crashed with the financial crisis. After the crash fuel was cheap, so fuel costs were not holding down emissions. What else explains it?

    And no, that’s not handwaving. That’s logic. If you have another logical explanation for a world-wide drop in CO2 emissions, please expound it.

    w.

  81. Dave Springer says:
    November 10, 2011 at 11:00 am

    Stas Peterson says:
    November 10, 2011 at 10:47 am

    “There seems a to be an assumption that these figures mean something or that they are remotely accurate, when they are not any such thing.”

    For my part I will tell you that the accuracy of the data represented in the OP graphs I accept “for the sake of argument”. Just because I don’t contest the data doesn’t mean I endorse its precision, accuracy, or general reliability. Just sayin…

    Generally, I agree with both of you gentlemen that there are inaccuracies in the data. Any data gathering exercise of this nature will inevitably contain errors and problems.

    However, it’s not as bad as you think, Stas. This is because so much fuel is traded on the international market. The guys that collect these figures aren’t stupid. If country X says they burned 300 million barrels of oil, and the international shipping records show that they were delivered 900 million barrels of oil, it raises a flag.

    So then they have to do a couple things. Get back to the folks that told them “300 million barrels” and point out that they must have an inadvertent error or an accidental transposition of digits in their figures, could they please recheck? And they have to look at other estimates of fuel use from other sources.

    In other words, for many (but by no means all) of the reported oil/gas/coal use figures, there are more than one way to check the data. For the fuel producing countries, data is more dependent on the honesty/diligence/accuracy of the local barrel-counters. However, even there the oil companies have records of how much each and every one of their wells produces. So some production is recorded there as well.

    Here’s how it breaks down.

    For all the nations that don’t produce fuel, we can keep tabs on their fuel use and verify their domestic figures by comparing their results with the shipping data. That’s a huge chunk of the world right there, including many of the Kyoto nations like say Japan and France.

    For oil producing nations like say Canada and Norway and the US, we can trust their production figures. In an open society, there’s a variety of ways being used to track how many barrels go where.

    For nations like say the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the oil there is extracted by one of the major oil companies, they’ll have records of how much the DRC uses for their own needs.

    The Saudis or the Venezuelans, who pump their own oil, could be exaggerating (or minimizing) the amount of oil used domestically.

    That leaves the big question mark, China … I mean, if they were to shade their coal use figures by say 10%, would we notice?

    Well, we might notice. People look at things like how much energy it takes to produce a thousand dollars worth of GDP. If that gets way out of line, then people say “What’s up with the Saudi figures this quarter”, and the like.

    Remember, Stas, that the energy we are talking about (coal / oil / gas) is the economic lifeblood of the planet. There are people who spend their lives doing nothing but analyzing exactly how much and what kind of energy a country is consuming. In the oil industry, there are trade publications ($3,000 per year) that do nothing but report on the ebb and flow of coal and oil and gas. There are companies which do nothing but research these very questions for their clients … because all those flows are flows of dollars as well as flows of energy. Big dollars. Huge dollars.

    As a result, it’s not like we’re collecting information on global butterfly distributions. There’s not a dime in butterflies, so nobody but scientists and interested people study them. On the other hand, there’s a whole industry of people making their living recording and looking at and investigating (and making large-dollar bets on) the coal / oil / gas flows. Which means that we have a lot of information available to cross-check our CO2 emissions data.

    To summarize:

    Yes, there are sure to be errors and inaccuracies in the CO2 emission figures. However, enough of them are double-checked against independent sources that in general I think they are reasonable. And in particular, I do think that they are generally good to excellent for the Kyoto countries and the US.

    w.

  82. Dave Springer says:
    November 10, 2011 at 1:03 pm
    “I just wanted to make the point that Cullen’s opinion lacks credulity and validity to virtually everyone whose lives actually encompassed both the 1960′s and the 2000′s.”

    I didn’t post the link because of Cullen’s opinion but because of the data he shows.

  83. Vince,

    With all due respect, what’s the point of a study that looks only at the costs and not the benefits?

    So you’re talking about a subject you are not familiar with. That’s ok, my knowledge of it is not too deep either. But the answer is pretty straightforward. Economic studies that look at one side of the ledger are very common. Think military expenditure. Carbon policies are about risk management. Politicos are mostly interested in direct impacts to the economy.

    But your studies saying that the cost of CO2 reduction strategies are low, are plain wrong. They may have thought they would be low, but reality is catching up. They are now causing energy costs to escalate in the UK and driving energy intensive industries eastward

    The causes of rising energy cost in the UK are many. Carbon policies contribute, but are most certainly not the primary cause. One of the chief determinants of energy (and other) price shifts is the price of oil, which is 400% greater than it was 9 years ago. This is not because of carbon policies. Nor was it in the 80s. Oil is a volatile commodity. The UK is suffering from the GFC, same as most countries.

    I don’t find Monckton at all credible. Surely there are other, credible sources to refer to for your views?

    There are other European countries that before the GFC were doing fine with carbon policies. There are 10 US states that have implemented carbon policies from 2008. It would be a great exercise to see how their economies stack up against non-carbon policy states in the US. I can think of no simpler way to tease out carbon policy impacts from the impact of the GFC.

    Finally, the Australian government a couple of days ago ratified a carbon tax effective July 2012. This will be an interesting test case indeed. Australia’s economy has weathered the GFC virtually unscathed. IMO this has been because 1) our real estate sector was a bit more heavily regulated than other countries and our bubble burst less cataclysmically; 2) strong trade relationship with China; 3) two major stimulus boosts from government coffers and beyond; 4) boom in mining and coal exports.

    So we’re going to tax our 500 biggest emitters at $23 a ton of carbon and rising for the first three years, whereafter the tax will evolve into an ETS. We will be taxing the primary industries that support the economy – particularly mining and coal. This is the largest tax price on carbon in the world. And it provides an opportunity for all the economic theorists out there.

    Vince, and anyone else. can you predict what will happen to the Australian economy. How quickly will it subside? If you make your prediction below, I will save the posts to my computer. What will the Australian economy be like 5 and then 10 years from July 2012?

    (I have no idea myself)

  84. Kyoto countries “reduced” their emissions by these 4 ingenious methods:
    1. They exported their factories and shifted emissions to developing countries.
    2. They bought “credits” from east European countries.
    3. They did some funny accounting with other “credits” for forests planted
    4.They lowered their standard of living due to the recession, and due to money wasted on windmills.

    They cheated God…
    I think the whole point of Kyoto was to induce poverty (err.. to halt over consumption), and as such it had some success.

  85. barry says:

    “Economic studies that look at one side of the ledger are very common. Think military expenditure. Carbon policies are about risk management.”

    Both examples are flawed. Military expenditure has a direct, known and equal benefit for every citizen. And “carbon” policies are predicated on the argumentum ad ignorantium fallacy: “Since we can’t think of any other cause, then CO2 must be the cause.” Nonsense.

    And:

    “I don’t find Monckton at all credible. Surely there are other, credible sources to refer to for your views?”

    As we can see, yours is an unsupported and baseless opinion. Lord Monckton has consistently spanked his debate foes, to the point that now they hide out from debating him. If he said anything that was not credible or factual, his opponents would rip him to shreds. The simple fact that Monckton wins his debates while his opponents quake in fear confers credibility. You may not like Viscount Monckton. But he has his ducks in a row; he knows his facts.

    Finally, every “carbon” tax is just a convenient way for mendacious, kleptocratic governments to separate productive workers from their money. Until China and India agree to the same restrictions [which will not happen], carbon taxes will do nothing whatever for the atmosphere. Not that it matters a whit, because CO2 is harmless and beneficial. More is better.

  86. Both examples are flawed. Military expenditure has a direct, known and equal benefit for every citizen.

    Not in dollar values. But you’ve missed the point.

    And “carbon” policies are predicated on the argumentum ad ignorantium fallacy: “Since we can’t think of any other cause, then CO2 must be the cause.”

    You haven’t followed the conversation or the links. Many (maybe most) economic impact studies don’t factor in the cost of climate change, CO2-induced or otherwise.

    If your argument is that the science is completely empty therefore carbon policies are needless, then fine. The logic is superb. Someone else may be interested in taking you up on that.

  87. Forgot to add,

    As we can see, yours is an unsupported and baseless opinion

    I’ve cited numerous economic studies by groups of experts on the matter and provided links to them, pointing out that the weight of expert opinion corroborates what I’m saying. I’ve asked for similarly doughty reports in rebuttal. The defence is currently resting its case on one Lord Monckton, who has no credentials in economic theory (or climate science), and no links whatsoever have been provided to his testimony.

    I report, you invent.

  88. barry says:

    “But you’ve missed the point.” No, barry, you miss the point: military expenditures are equally beneficial for every citizen, because without them the country would be invaded and taken over. Defense is what allows us to defend our country, and keep us out of slavery.

    “You haven’t followed the conversation or the links.” In fact, I have, barry, ever since Enron pushed “carbon” trading. The only benefits of “carbon” trading are based on complete “what if” speculation, which totally ignores the fact that Ice Ages happened when CO2 was many times today’s levels, and much warmer temperatures occurred when CO2 levels were very low. The CO2=CAGW conjecture is absolutely based on the argumentum ad ignorantium fallacy; the argument from ignorance. It is an untestable conjecture.

    Finally, I properly responded to your completely baseless attack on Lord Monckton. Backing and filling now is too late. You made a fact-free ad hominem attack, and now you’re simply trying to justify it.

    Now, if you want to defend your belief system, try to falsify this hypothesis:

    CO2 is harmless and beneficial. More is better.

    Use the scientific method, me boy. Give it your best shot.

  89. Barry: “Carbon policies are about risk management. ”

    No they’re not. Go read Agenda 21 again. They are not about risk management, they are about North-South transfers. The precursor to this was laid out in the Brundtland Commission report on Sustainable Development in the 1980s.

    Your comment about predicting Australia’s future economy after implementing a $23/tonne tax is simply silly. As an exporting economy, Australia’s future depends entirely upon the costs of its exports relative to those of dozens of other nations around the world and a legion of economic factors. Within Australian alone, the $23 is only one of a host of economic factors affecting costs. If it’s accompanied by a massive corporate income tax cut, for example, the net result could be zero. We know better than to play your stupid ‘pin the tail on the donkey’ game.

    The point you seem determined to miss is simply this. It is economically self destructive to add a cost to an essential when: 1, it is unclear that the effects of increased atmospheric CO2 has any significant harmful effects; and 2, it is unclear that increased CO2 concentration in the atmosphere has anything to do with human activity, given that natural sources exceed human emissions by many orders of magnitude and, as IPCC itself has noted in its expert reports, neither the natural sources nor the sinks are known with any degree of precision.

    Speaking as a Canadian and hence a competitor to Australia in many of the commodities both nations produce, I’m delighted that Australia is going to be pricing itself higher in markets that Canadian companies and commodities want to move into. I love it when the competition blows bullet holes in their own feet.

    Willis: “Yes, there are sure to be errors and inaccuracies in the CO2 emission figures.”

    This is one of the great potential problems in all this. I’ve been working with energy and fuel production statistics for years. One of the biggest problems here is that while the production of raw fuel in all its various forms is well known, how much of it is converted into CO2 is another matter entirely. For example, we know rather well how much gas Russia produces, and the IEA has rather good tracking and reporting systems. However, I have heard some pipeline experts note that leak rates on Russian gas pipelines could be as much as 5%. Even in North America, there is a leak rate at some fraction of 1%. This is just an example to show that straight extrapolations from fuel produced to CO2 released is not that simple.

    To my knowledge, the COP/MOP negotiators have still not resolved the problem of how countries are to measure and report their emission levels. Not that it matters any more, because Kyoto expires at the end of next year and there will not be a successor agreement. In one sense, the collapse of the Copenhagen conference makes this entire topic moot. Enviros like Barry can shout and scream all they want, but the international process has failed, finally and completely. The BRIC nations have said “no”, and that’s the end of it. International climate change initiatives died in a Denmark snowfall.

  90. SOLUTION TO CLIMATE CHANGE AND POWER CRISIS
    [SNIP: Dear Dev. Go away. Take your polemic with you. I’m happy if you post on-topic science or opinion. I am not happy with your cut and pasted rants. Stop them now, they are not wanted. -w.]

  91. W, “What has not been so obvious to the Kyoto folks is that the converse is true—forcibly reducing CO2 emissions comes at a cost to the economy.”

    Shouldn’t that be,
    “What has not been so obvious to the Kyoto folks is that the converse is true—forcibly attempting to reduce CO2 emissions comes at a cost to the economy. While not reducing the emissions.

  92. More Soylent Green! says:
    November 10, 2011 at 6:31 am
    Kyoto was just another little step towards moving us towards world governance. Results don’t matter. It doesn’t matter that the USA reduced emissions more than some Kyoto members, that many signatories didn’t make their goals, or that overall emissions were not reduced. All that matters is that the USA decided to make it’s own way, rather than going along with the herd.

    BTW: Did you know President Obama never signed the Kyoto Protocol Treaty?
    ________________________________________________________________
    Did you know President Obama won’t sign anything until after the 2012 election??

  93. Colin says:
    November 10, 2011 at 8:08 pm

    … This is one of the great potential problems in all this. I’ve been working with energy and fuel production statistics for years. One of the biggest problems here is that while the production of raw fuel in all its various forms is well known, how much of it is converted into CO2 is another matter entirely. For example, we know rather well how much gas Russia produces, and the IEA has rather good tracking and reporting systems. However, I have heard some pipeline experts note that leak rates on Russian gas pipelines could be as much as 5%. Even in North America, there is a leak rate at some fraction of 1%. This is just an example to show that straight extrapolations from fuel produced to CO2 released is not that simple.

    Indeed. I did not mean to minimize the complexity of the calculations, and the fine judgements involved. My point was that there are a lot of bright folks like yourself working on it, so the numbers are not likely to be far wrong. Sure, there will be over and under estimates, but by and large, those numbers are well researched and cross-checked.

    … International climate change initiatives died in a Denmark snowfall.

    Dang, sounds like a bleak death, encompassed in a very poetic line. Nice work.

    I suspect, however, that a number of efforts will be made to reanimate the corpse, and that when these fail, then the jackals will circle the kill and demand their rightful share of the climate bounty …

    w.

  94. I can’t find anything about what Canada has done to comply with its Kyoto commitments, except for this:
    “The world is now turning the page on Kyoto…”

    http://www.ec.gc.ca/doc/ed-es/KPIA2009/s1_eng.htm

    The only other thing Canada has done is run commercials urging Canadians to take the One Tonne challenge, by turning off lights they were not using. I think those commercials blew the Kyoto compliance budget years ago.

  95. Gary Mount says:
    November 10, 2011 at 9:16 pm
    I can’t find anything about what Canada has done to comply with its Kyoto commitments, except for this:
    _________________________________________________________________________
    Well, they are putting a few billion dollars into CO2 sequestration … read “enhanced oil recovery”. No spending on credits in Brazil, but there are credits for tree planting, no till farming, home energy efficiency upgrades to name a few … and the CO2 “sequestered” in oil bearing formations will allow more oil to be recovered from the formation. No different from what oil companies have been doing for years but by upping the scale and capturing CO2 from coal fired power plants, you get to claim credits for producing more oil … win win?

  96. John Trigge says:
    November 10, 2011 at 10:17 pm

    Can anyone offer a suggestion as to why the Mauna Loa CO2 record (http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/#mlo_full) does not reflect the drop in emissions in 2007 as shown by Willis?

    CO2 is supposedly a well mixed gas and even if it takes some time to mix, is it reasonable to expect the Mauna Loa record to show at least a small downward blip by now?

    John, please note that I’m showing a total of something around a third of the total CO2 emissions. In addition, these are from the nations hit hardest by the global financial crisis. If you want to compare the atmospheric CO2 to something, you have to use the global emissions.

    That may answer your question …

    w.

  97. Wayne Delbeke says:
    November 10, 2011 at 10:32 pm

    Gary Mount says:
    November 10, 2011 at 9:16 pm
    I can’t find anything about what Canada has done to comply with its Kyoto commitments, except for this:
    _________________________________________________________________________
    Well, they are putting a few billion dollars into CO2 sequestration … read “enhanced oil recovery”. No spending on credits in Brazil, but there are credits for tree planting, no till farming, home energy efficiency upgrades to name a few … and the CO2 “sequestered” in oil bearing formations will allow more oil to be recovered from the formation. No different from what oil companies have been doing for years but by upping the scale and capturing CO2 from coal fired power plants, you get to claim credits for producing more oil … win win?

    Well, no. “Enhanced oil recovery” with high-pressure CO2 in the bottoms of oil wells – when done to recover oil from known, under-production wells! – IS an economically viable way of using CO2.

    But to arbitrarily extract, cool, compress, and pump very low pressure, very high-temperature CO2 from a power plant or cement plant exhaust to very high pressures and then pump it into into random-placed holes very deep underground wastes 28 to 32 percent of the power produced FROM that existing power plant.

  98. barry says:
    November 10, 2011 at 5:17 pm (replying to previous comments)

    Both examples are flawed. Military expenditure has a direct, known and equal benefit for every citizen.

    Not in dollar values. But you’ve missed the point.

    And “carbon” policies are predicated on the argumentum ad ignorantium fallacy: “Since we can’t think of any other cause, then CO2 must be the cause.”

    You haven’t followed the conversation or the links. Many (maybe most) economic impact studies don’t factor in the cost of climate change, CO2-induced or otherwise.

    If your argument is that the science is completely empty therefore carbon policies are needless, then fine. The logic is superb. Someone else may be interested in taking you up on that.

    So, we are agreed that CO2 limiting government policies like Kyoto and Copenhagen:

    A. Will not, and have not, actually changed the world’s CO2 emission levels.
    B. That (attempting to) change the world’s CO2 levels will not change the future climate by noticeable amounts – that is, man’s CO2 releases will not change the world’s temperatures by a noticeable amount (3/4 of one degree) from natural, already-existing variations.
    C. That a warmer world with more CO2 in it has led to a 17 to 28% increase in plant growth of all plants and seaweeds and plankton and the like.
    D. That efforts to limit CO2 production by Pelosi in 2007 and 2008 DID lead to the (deliberate) economic catastrophe of 2008; and that recession in 2008 is continued by the subsequent democrat-socialists in the White House, EPA, DOE, NOAA, NSIDC, NWS, NASA-GISS, Penn State, CRU, etc and the world’s elite training grounds who DID succeed in destroying the world’s economies.
    E. That worldwide economic troubles harm billions, and serve only the politicians at those governments who pay for self-serving “economic” studies by fellow politicians at such universities and foundations who get paid for producing such “studies” …
    F. That controlling energy production worldwide will directly murder hundreds of millions through disease and poor nutrition and bad water and lack of sewage treatment and real pollution controls, while condemning billions to a short hard life of utter poverty and misery by limiting their food, fuel, heat, power, water, transportation, health and building needs.
    G. That so-called “studies” of the “economic harm” from increasing CO2 are (deliberately) exaggerated and falsified by those who benefit socially and politically and economically and mentally (in the sense of their need for a superior “moral” Gaian-Utopia justification for their religious dogmas of CAGW) in order to justify such harm to the innocent poor worldwide. (Human = evil, prosperity or capitalism = evil, God = evil, earth = Divine)

  99. Willis:

    I will disagree with the logic behind a couple of your original graphes for CO2 trends before and after Kyoto, particularly with respect to the European community who did choose to “sign” the Kyoto Treaty limiting CO2 emissions, but who didn’t actually have to “implement” the carbon limits that the Kyoto Treaty required.

    USSR. Burns very little natural gas (compared to its total and very poorly managed economy and energy production) but DOES export tens of millions of tons of natural gas and oil to Europe, who will be buying it and burnign it there. (Actually, Russia did strongly oppose the treaty because it would have limite Russian economic growth, but then their president (Putin at the time I believe) got bribed/convinced that the limits wouldn’t actually be applied/got told that carbon offsets (into this pocket and hhis supporters’ pockets) would make make up for the known economic penalties of carbon restrictions.

    Former Socialist/communist countries in east Europe. They had little/nothing to gain from Kyoto’s restrictions, but were not strong enough to withstand the pressure to sign, and who felt that the international pressure to sign, plus the international condemnation of those who refused (witness Czech’s ostracism when its president refused to kowtow to the socialists!), plus the international “good will” they needed in terms of gains and development money made up the difference. (Obviously, none of the Kyoto benefits actually happened, and all of the penalties did happen, but “internatinal studies” of international pressure-ployed politics won’t ever “predict” failures, will they?…)

    Germany. Convinced rightly that by setting the start time of Kyoto when there were hundreds of poorly-run inefficient coal-powered East German power plants going, and by setting the target time at a point when these plants were stopped and the West German power was flowing into East Germany to replace it, made the Kyoto limits without doing anything.

    UK/Great Britain. Likewise. Was measured by changes from old coal plants into newer gas-fired plants and nuclear. Was a natural gas and oil exporter, as was Denmark, Belgium, Norway, Sweden (hydro-power exporter – a BIG winner in Kyoto) and the other North Sea production cartel.

  100. Dev Bahadur Dongol :

    “1# Energy is never lost nor created – law of conservation of energy.”

    This is true, but also meaningless. It is energy gradient that creates work. The law of entropy tells us that eventually all energy will consist of heat at a uniform temperature everywhere – the so called heat death of the universe. The energy will still be there, but no work can be done. Life dies.

    Hydro electric uses the potential energy that exists between water at the top of the dam and the bottom When you release this water, the potential energy is converted into kinetic energy. When you place a turbine in the way, most of that kinetic energy is converted to rotational energy of the blades. Therefore the water has less kinetic energy. You could theoretically place another turbine lower down in the water flow, as gravity will speed the water up. But that water will have less energy than it would have had if the first turbine had not extracted it.

    An analogy would be a man jumping from a 100ft tower. When he hits the ground he has a lot of kinetic energy to be dissipated – with disasterous results. If however, we arrange a series of platforms – 10 each of 10ft intervals – he is able to arrive safely on the ground. At each platform, 1 tenth of the kinetic energy of the first scenario is extracted. The conventional hydro turbine system is analogous to the first scenario. Your modification is analogous to the second scenario. Either way, the amount of energy that can be extracted is limited to the original potential energy of the water at the top of the dam.

    • To Vince Causey

      [snip]

      NB: I have been explaining this ‘theme and on climate change’ to the people in the street and various science departments, clubs and exhibitions since last 3 years. I have signature collection of over 1500 people. I have satisfied all of them and hope you are also satisfied. Please go to the blog: devbahadurdongol.blogspot.com for more details. There are three video clips to show practically that the turbines can be installed in series and number does not make any difference. You can do the experiment yourself and it is not costly. Please help me to disseminate this invention as much as you can. Can we be email friends? My email address is dev.dangol@yahoo.co.uk

      [Please do no hijack the tread in this way with something very specific that is of only peripheral relevance. Please take your conversation off-line ~ jove, mod]

  101. They’ve done well at reducing to 1990 levels, since their 1990 emissions were all high, and have declined since after the fall of the Soviet Empire. They’ve reduced their emissions, but no thanks to Kyoto

  102. What has not been so obvious to the Kyoto folks is that the converse is true—forcibly reducing CO2 emissions comes at a cost to the economy.

    ============

    Oversimplified and not entirely correct. For example, Oil furnaces last about 20 years. A US user who replaces a terminal case oil furnace with a natural gas furnace, will emit less CO2 per BTU, remove a tiny amount from the US current account deficit, etc. A bit of economic gain and a reduction in CO2.

    Developing countries OTOH …. It’s amazing that the Kyoto folk never did even a cocktail napkin analysis of where future emissions increases were going to come from. But they didn’t. Many still haven’t.

  103. Don K says:
    November 11, 2011 at 7:26 am

    What has not been so obvious to the Kyoto folks is that the converse is true—forcibly reducing CO2 emissions comes at a cost to the economy.

    ============

    Oversimplified and not entirely correct. For example, Oil furnaces last about 20 years. A US user who replaces a terminal case oil furnace with a natural gas furnace, will emit less CO2 per BTU, remove a tiny amount from the US current account deficit, etc. A bit of economic gain and a reduction in CO2.

    You missed an important word in my statement, Don—”forcibly”. The guy replacing his furnace is doing so voluntarily, and so his situation is not relevant to what I had said.

    It is when we are forced to reduce CO2 purely for the sake of reduction by e.g. a carbon tax that it comes at a cost to the economy.

    w.

  104. RACook: “….but then their president (Putin at the time I believe) got bribed/convinced that the limits wouldn’t actually be applied/got told that carbon offsets (into this pocket and hhis supporters’ pockets) would make make up for the known economic penalties of carbon restrictions”

    Close but not quite. Putin was indeed bribed but by the EU nations. Putin was inclined against ratifying Kyoto on the grounds that the damage done to Russia’s oil exports would not be met by payment for hot air credits. This had become an issue because the COP parties were introducing increasing difficulty in having such credits recognized as emission reductions under the Kyoto Emission Trading Mechanisms. This occurred throughout the COP conferences in the period 2001-2003.

    What turned the tide was that the EU got desperate and promised Putin admission to the World Trade Organization if Russia signed on.

    Willis: “…so the numbers are not likely to be far wrong.”

    That’s a reasonable statement as long as we don’t put too high a degree of precision on it. On a global basis the estimates are probably reasonable plus or minus several hundred million tonnes.

    While we’re on the topic of Kyoto, there’s a central aspect that essentially everyone on this board has missed. Kyoto is and always has been about economic competition. This became very apparent at the COP conferences late in the 1990s. In fact this topic was quite openly discussed among the various EU delegates.

    Quite simply it’s this. The EU has an average population density of about 500/sq/km. The US is about a tenth of that. In short, the US has enormous potential for future population, industrial and economic growth that Europe does not. With the rise of China starting in the 1990s, many EU economic planners have become greatly concerned that over the next century or so there will be a great shift in the world’s economic axis from North America-Europe to North America-Asia. Given the geographic constraints on Europe, sooner or later it becomes irrelevant to the overall global economy. Their concern over this has risen since the end of the Cold War. Europe no longer matters as much given the absence of the need to confront the USSR. Thus they saw, and still believe, that US interests will become increasingly distant from those of Europe over time.

    The purpose of Kyoto from the perspective of the EU was to restrain US growth. Less dependent upon fossil fuel than the US, and with the starting bonus of using 1990 as a benchmark year, they saw and still see Kyoto as a means of keeping the US from overwhelming Europe in its relations with and trade penetration of China and the rest of Asia. In short, rather than try to run faster, they’re trying to compete by putting leg-irons on the runner beside them.

  105. Colin;
    Just another set of calculations that the Frack Gas boom has knocked into a cocked hat. The US, and the EU if it so chose, are now both de facto energy independent. China is likely to be. What that changes is almost everything.

Comments are closed.