Monetizing the Effects of Carbon

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

I see that the New York Times (NYT) is going to close their environmental desk. Given that there still are actual environmental problems on the planet, I consider the closing as a sad commentary on the hijacking of the environmental movement by carbon alarmists. CO2 alarmism has done huge damage to the environmental movement, and thus to the environment itself.

In any case, a few months ago in the NYT Green Blog they talked about “monetizing” the “social cost” of carbon. The article said:

In 2010, 12 government agencies working in conjunction with economists, lawyers and scientists, agreed to work out what they considered a coherent standard for establishing the social cost of carbon. The idea was that, in calculating the costs and benefits of pending policies and regulations, the Department of Transportation could not assume that a ton of emitted carbon dioxide imposed a $2 cost on society while the Environmental Protection Agency plugged 10 times that amount into its equations.

the monetizing of carbonHow does one “monetize” something, and what is a “social cost” when it is in its native habitat?

First, the easy one. A “social cost” is generally some estimated or inferred cost to society from something, in particular a cost that is not reflected in the price of the item itself. For example, alcohol has a social cost in the form of a variety of societal problems. That cost is not included in the raw ex-factory price of alcoholic beverages.

Next, to “monetize” a social cost means 1) to attach some monetary value to that social cost, and then 2) to attach that monetary value to the retail cost of the product in the form of an increased price. In the case of alcohol, that is usually done through government taxes. Sometimes, the revenue from these taxes is dedicated to ameliorating that social cost. In the case of alcohol, that might be in the form of alcohol dependence programs or clinics. Other times the income goes into the general fund.

This is generally not a problem as long as there is widespread agreement about the existence of the social costs. In the case of carbon emissions, however, no such agreement exists. There is no evidence of current costs or damages, only models of possible imagined future damages. Accordingly, even among those who agree that there is a social cost to carbon emissions, there is wide disagreement about the size of those costs.

However, despite the differences, and despite the lack of evidence of any demonstrable costs and the short term loans, the attempt to “monetize” the imagined future damages from carbon emissions continue apace. As you might imagine, I object to the whole process. Oddly, they didn’t listen to me, and the article in the NY Times say that they have settled on a value of $21 per tonne of carbon. The article said one government agency was using $2 a ton and another was using ten times that, or $20 a ton. So I guess they took the average of the two and used that average of $21 per ton for all government calculations … but again I digress.

Over-riding everything in this question is the unthinking, un-acknowledged destruction from jacking up energy prices. This always hits the poor hardest, as I have discussed elsewhere. Energy taxes, including carbon taxes and “monetizations” are the most regressive tax of all. But I digress … I was discussing monetization of carbon.

Let me recapitulate my two main objections to carbon monetization. The first is that for many issues, including carbon, there is no agreed upon way to establish the monetary values. In the case of CO2 there are questions about the very existence of such costs, much less their value. As the NYT article points out, there is great disagreement over the $21 figure even among those who agree that there is some social cost to CO2. Since there is no actual evidence of any actual costs, this is all merely claims and counterclaims, even between adherents. There is no objective way to settle the disagreements.

My second objection is that while people are often in a hurry to monetize the social costs of something, they rarely take the necessary other step. They rarely are in a hurry to monetize the social benefits of something. But if you do one, you have to do the other. After all, this is why it’s called a “cost/benefit” analysis …

I have even had someone seriously argue that there is no need to monetize the social benefits, because they were already included in the market price. After all, he argued, the reason we buy something is because of the perceived benefits. So they are already included in the price.

I find this argument singularly unconvincing. Some benefits are already included in the price, and some aren’t. Since a single counter-example will serve to disprove the general theorem, let me take a social benefit of CO2 as an example. This is the known effect of atmospheric CO2 levels on plants, which is that they increase their production with increasing atmospheric CO2. Obviously, nobody goes out and buys gasoline for their car in order to help the plants, so it is not included in the market price. However, increased plant growth is an undoubted social benefit, a huge one that affects the whole world. Therefore, it is an un-accounted for social benefit, one which does not get included in the price.

Accordingly, let’s take a look at monetizing this un-accounted social benefit. Curiously, the value of increased plant production is both easier and less contentious to calculate than are the claimed social costs of CO2. Why?

Well, it’s because the claimed costs of CO2 are future, imaginary costs that cannot be measured, where the increased plant production is both real and measurable. But I digress.

The folks over at CO2 Science have looked at the experimentally measured increase in plant biomass due to a 300 ppmv increase in atmospheric CO2. The figures are here, in Table 2. The changes are different for each plant, ranging from about 30% to 60%. So let’s be conservative and use the bottom end, an average 30% increase from a 300 ppmv increase. CO2 levels have gone up about 115 ppmv since pre-industrial times. This means that there has been on the order of a 10% increase in the annual production due to CO2.

Now, how much is this 10% increase in global plant production worth? Well, the marvelous FAO database called FAOSTAT puts the value of the annual plant production at $3.3 trillion dollars. Assuming that a 10% increase from some smaller value is due to increased CO2, that puts the annual value of this one single solitary social benefit of CO2 at about $300 billion dollars.

How does that compare to the proposed $21 per tonne social cost? Well, at present we’re emitting about 9.5 gigatonnes of carbon annually. That would mean that the total monetized social cost would be $21 times that number of tonnes emitted, which gives us about $200 billion dollars per year.

So here’s the balance—we have a verified, measurable social benefit to the planet of $300 billion annually, and an unverified, unmeasurable estimated social cost of $200 billion annually. Which leaves me with just one burning question …

When do I get my check for the social benefits I’m providing? The US has provided somewhere around a third of the CO2 responsible for that social benefit, that’s $100 billion per year in benefits … three hundred million Americans, that’s about $333 per American per year …

w.

PS—What’s that I hear you saying? You think I calculated the benefits wrong?

Well, certainly, perhaps I did. After all, it was just a rough cut. But all that does is bring us back to my first objection to “monetizing” CO2 … it’s very hard to get agreement on the actual values.

PPS—Note that I’ve only considered one single social benefit, the increase in plant production. Since their claimed costs relate to claimed future temperature rises, how about the benefit of increased ice-free days at the northern ports if temperatures do rise? And the longer growing seasons if temperatures increase? How much are they worth worldwide? They likely have included the extra costs from air-conditioning to fight the fabled future heat, but have they included the reduction in winter heating? I could go on, but I’m sure you get the point. The whole thing is an exercise in fantasy, shifting sands with no clear answers.

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229 thoughts on “Monetizing the Effects of Carbon

  1. OK, so you are saying the benefit goes to the farmers, so the government who has to pay for global warming has to somehow take this money from the farmers to consider this as a benefit. This implies that to count this as a benefit the farmers’ profit needs to be taxed in some way. Is that what you want? Or perhaps the farmers who make out good can directly subsidize those that weren’t so lucky due to the shifting climate zones by pooling their profits. That would work too.

  2. Quick submit our invoice to the UN, $100 billion now,bill for other benefits to follow, payable by all non emitter who have growing plants.
    Wait, UN practices, bill the UN for $300 Billion and promise the $200billion back when the imagined harm is proven.
    I was thinking more of the costs to society, of this UN grab for power using CO2 emissions as a cover, when I read the title.

  3. Willis

    Elsewhere there have been various attempts by economists to demonstrate that AGW adaptation is cheaper than prevention.

    This line is taken by luminaries such as Lomberg and Moncton. IMHO, they have failed miserably because they demonstrate a complete inability to address threshold AGW issues, non-linear AGW issues, or to provide a time frame for their ‘demonstrations’. RIRO.

    The post above also avoids these three critical issues in any discussion of benefits and disbenefits of CO2 emissions.

    That apart, I take issue with a common meme of BAU boosters, that action on carbon dioxide is ‘unfair’ to the poor. This approach conflates two issues (AGW and poverty) in a way that appears to be designed to undermine motivation to carry out desirable action on either. There is a handy rule-of-thumb test about whether the issue is being addressed in a comprehensive and therefore credible fashion. It involves addressing the following issue: ‘What are the impacts on the poor of BAU fossil industries?’

    This enables BAU boosters to assume uncritically that failure to act on carbon dioxide is somehow not unfair on the poor whereas acting on it is unfair to the poor. Cute. This assumption is never made explicit and it is never discussed. It is palpable nonsense. The reality is that whatever system of distribution of the benefits and disbenefits of carbon dioxide, the poor will end up copping the short end of the stick.

    The issue is poverty. The issue is AGW.

    The logical sequitor is action against both the maldistribution of wealth and resources, and reining in the growth of CO2 emissions.

    It is the evident aim of BAU boosters to change neither.

  4. You are absolutely right. Coming up with an accurate cost-benefit analysis would be a nightmare because the alarmists would freekout about having to admit there are some benefits to increasing CO2 levels.

  5. Another excellent Willis article. The rise in CO2 has been harmless, and beneficial. More is better, and there is no downside.

    @Climate Ace:

    Given that there is no verifiable, testable, falsifiable AGW signal in the temperature record, it seems silly to waste money on a “what if” scenario, no?

  6. Willis,
    Welcome to my bandwagon. The following is excerpted from a comment I made here a couple of years ago.

    It seems increasingly likely that the primary contribution that the AGW community will have made to society after the scientific debate over AGW is concluded will be in the field of economic education. Classical economics teaches (see Pigou,Stigler) that socially optimal resource allocation and use occurs only when the price of the resource is equal to the total (including social) marginal cost of the resource. If we assume, as we have for the last few decades, that a net negative social externality exists as a consequence of converting C into CO2, then social optimality can be achieved most efficiently by charging a fee on top of the fuel price in order to raise the price to a point where both the private and social marginal costs are borne by the user and hence reflected in the quantity of fuel demanded. I believe that the AGW community has done an excellent job of increasing public awareness of this fundamental economic principle, and, with the development of Cap and Trade schemes, have devised a politically palliatable strategy for implementing such a program.

    Any members of the AGW community that are motivated primarily by collectivist or Malthusian political beliefs are not however, likely to enjoy much pride-in-accomplishment from this if it turns out that CAGW is nonsense. Symmetry exists in economics. If we assume that the negative component of social cost inherent in the oxidation of carbon is eventually found to be trivial, then the positive effects documented would predominate, and the net externality inherent in the burning of carbon would be positive. Users of fossil fuel would, in the absence of intervention, be paying more than the total marginal social cost of that fuel, causing them to burn less than the socially optimal amount. Optimality could best be achieved by subsidizing the consumption of fossil fuel. The cost of the subsidy, in order to equate the price of agricultural commodities with their actual total marginal cost, thus achieving socially optimality, would have to be collected in the form of a fee from all people who eat. Since we in the U.S.A. produce about three times the amount of CO2 than we consume in the form of food, this would result in substantial income coming into this country which would accrue to GDP and relieve balance trade worries. The developing world would also benefit as the increased CO2 production induced by the subsidy, would push up agricultural productivity worldwide.

    The increase in the price of food that results from the “food tax”would decrease the quantity of food demanded worldwide, which, along with the increase in agricultural productivity would create and expand agricultural surplus’s which are the foundation of all the economic development that has ever occurred anywhere.

    I am looking forward to that sunny day when the science really is settled, and we can replace talk of “Cap and Trade” with an economically efficient and socially responsible “Burn and Earn” program. We can then begin the task of beating the eyesores we refer to as windmills into ’68 Pontiac GTO’s, and melting the famine-promoting solar panels down and re-casting them into 100 inch flat screen 3d TVs.

  7. This enables BAU boosters to assume uncritically that failure to act on carbon dioxide is somehow not unfair on the poor whereas acting on it is unfair to the poor. Cute. This assumption is never made explicit and it is never discussed. It is palpable nonsense.

    If it is ‘palpable nonsense’, then there must be some measurable cost of increased CO2 emissions to the poor , roughly equal to the costs of CO2 taxes. As Willis points out it isn’t the cost of food, the other main cost to the poor, which increased CO2 significantly reduces the cost of..

    Pray tell us what it is?

    Or was this just a rhetorical exercise intended only to obfuscate?

    I could take issue with the rest of what you say, but like Willis, It concerns me that the poor are disproportionatedly harmed by CO2 taxes. And your logic of we AGWers care about the poor and that’s what matters (even though we hurt them), but climate sceptics don’t care about the poor (even though they want to help them), is the same ‘I’m a good person so I must be right’ rationalization, I’ve seen a 1,000 times from AGWers.

  8. Jim D says:
    January 11, 2013 at 7:46 pm
    OK, so you are saying the benefit goes to the farmers
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Maybe I should bat for the other team? As a public service I mean. Provide some commentary worthy of provoking an actual discussion of benefit to the forum in general. The trolls hardly show up in the science threads at all anymore, they look like complete fools in short order when they do. So now they show up in a thread about economics and they can’t get that right either. Poor Jim D is under the impression that 10% more farm production means 10% more revenue for the farmer. He missed that part about supply and demand and how the increased production actually reduces prices and since input costs remain about the same, a bumper crop produces very little extra net revenue and may actually produce less net revenue. But I digress, I was talking about hitting for the other team and perhaps showing the Jim D’s of the world how to be a proper troll.

  9. How does one “monetize” something, and what is a “social cost” when it is in its native habitat?

    How big is the federal deficit?

  10. Climate Ace says:
    January 11, 2013 at 7:51 pm

    “There is a handy rule-of-thumb test about whether the issue is being addressed in a comprehensive and therefore credible fashion. It involves addressing the following issue: ‘What are the impacts on the poor of BAU fossil industries?’”

    It seems that a “poor”, underdeveloped China has already addressed your question by building a new fossil fuel electricity generating plant every 5-7 days, on average. Where the rubber has met the road, China’s [and India’s] answer is BAU on steroids. As for me, I’m envious.

    Btw, there is no fossil fuel “AGW’ demonstrable.

  11. Willis,
    I don’t think you can claim a 10% productivity increase on the basis of the numbers you presented because you haven’t established that there is a linear relationship. For example, if CO2 concentrations were 10,000X you would obviously not expect land to produce wheat at 400,000 bushels to the acre. Sure that’s a ridiculous comparison, but I think you should be able to see my point? The net benefit of CO2 increases to plant growth is probably logarithmic, I’d suggest that your estimate is rather high. An increase of perhaps 5% or even lower seems more in line with reality.

  12. OK, I’ve re-booted, I’m back in standard mode. Feel a bit icky, will finish this comment and go take 11 showers.

    Jim D, were you paying attention? Climate Ace? Could you guys ratchet back on the talking points provided to you and actually do some original thinking and commentary? Give the rest of us something thought provoking enough to make us sit back and think a bit instead of just mocking you because it is so easy to do?

  13. mods ~ my tongue in cheek comment went to the hidey hole. Gawd, what word was it this time?

    [Reply: Sorry, no can find. Sometimes comments disappear for no known reason. — mod.]

  14. Climate Ace says:
    January 11, 2013 at 7:51 pm

    Willis

    Elsewhere there have been various attempts by economists to demonstrate that AGW adaptation is cheaper than prevention.

    This line is taken by luminaries such as Lomberg and Moncton. IMHO, they have failed miserably because they demonstrate a complete inability to address threshold AGW issues, non-linear AGW issues, or to provide a time frame for their ‘demonstrations’. RIRO.

    The post above also avoids these three critical issues in any discussion of benefits and disbenefits of CO2 emissions.

    That apart, I take issue with a common meme of BAU boosters, that action on carbon dioxide is ‘unfair’ to the poor. This approach conflates two issues (AGW and poverty) in a way that appears to be designed to undermine motivation to carry out desirable action on either. There is a handy rule-of-thumb test about whether the issue is being addressed in a comprehensive and therefore credible fashion. It involves addressing the following issue: ‘What are the impacts on the poor of BAU fossil industries?’

    Speaking in general, the effect of fossil fuels on the poor has been hugely, fantastically beneficial. Without fossil fuels, all of us would be crushingly poor. So “the impacts on the poor of BAU fossil industries” is that it has made you personally wealthy rather than dirt-poor as you would be without fossil fuels.

    w.

  15. The first controversy the IPCC ever fell into was over this issue of defining the social cost. I will be posting an essay on this fascinating but forgotten controversy over the ‘value of a statistical life’ when I revive from a sun sand and surf induced stupor next week. For now I recommend engagement with one Richard Tol. He is on the other side but I have seen him active at Climate ect., and he was most helpful in my research.

  16. [Reply: Sorry, no can find. Sometimes comments disappear for no known reason. — mod.]
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Strangely, it has now appeared again. Sorry to trouble you.

  17. JT says:
    January 11, 2013 at 8:52 pm

    Um, the average of 20 + 2 = 22 is calculated by dividing 22 by 2 which = 11, not 21.

    Yeah, I know, that was just my poor attempt at humor regarding the whole thing, that they picked the big number.

    w.

  18. Davidmhoffer says jan 11,2013 8:38 pm

    ” An increase of perhaps 5% or even lower seems more in line with reality.”

    An impressive study of the effect of a doubling of CO2 was done by Kimball before the subject became politicized (making real science a difficult proposition). His projection is that a doubling of CO2 would increase agricultural productivity by 33%. This is anything but trivial.

    Abstract and link below

    Carbon Dioxide and Agricultural Yield: An Assemblage and Analysis of 430 Prior Observations

    B. A. Kimball

    Abstract

    The probable effect of the increasing global atmospheric CO2 concentration on agricultural yields was evaluated. More than 430 observations of the yield of 37 species grown with CO2 enrichment were extracted from more than 70 reports published during the past 64 years. Most of the studies were performed in greenhouses or growth chambers. Open fields might respond less than greenhouses or growth chambers to increased CO2 because nutrient levels in general world-wide agriculture are lower than those in the indoor studies, or open fields might respond more because light levels are generally higher outside. The data also were dominated by high value crops, but results should be applicable to the three-fourths of the world agriculture represented by the C3 crops and possibly to the remaining C4 crops as well. Keeping these limitations of the data in mind, the analysis showed that yields probably will increase by 33% (with a 99.9% confidence interval from 24 to 43%) with a doubling of atmospheric CO2 concentration.

    https://www.soils.org/publications/aj/abstracts/75/5/AJ0750050779?access=0&view=pdf

  19. The imagined damage to the poor some how trumps the real damage of inflated food prices, fuel poverty and denial of reliable affordable electricity to Africa.
    Thats addressed to Climate Ace, good troll tag, thats you get one fact in hundred correct, hence the ace on climatism?
    Maybe you can produce the empirical evidence of causation? CO2= Temps rising?
    30 years, billions spent, come on Ace show me what you got.

  20. Some people have no clue.

    Climate Scientists Suggest Geoengineering Approach With Engineered Nanoparticles

    “There may be better ways to engineer the planet’s climate to prevent dangerous global warming than mimicking volcanoes, a University of Calgary climate scientist says in two new studies. “Releasing engineered nano-sized disks, or sulphuric acid in a condensable vapour above the Earth, are two novel approaches. These approaches offer advantages over simply putting sulphur dioxide gas into the atmosphere,” says David Keith, a director in the Institute for Sustainable Energy, Environment and Economy and a Schulich School of Engineering professor. Keith, a global leader in investigating this topic, says that geoengineering, or engineering the climate on a global scale, is an imperfect science. “It cannot offset the risks that come from increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. If we don’t halt man-made CO2 emissions, no amount of climate engineering can eliminate the problems – massive emissions reductions are still necessary.” Nevertheless, Keith believes that research on geoengineering technologies,their effectiveness and environmental impacts needs to be expanded.”

    http://www.nanowerk.com/news/newsid=17926.php

    Geoengineering: Workshop on Unilateral Planetary Scale Geoengineering
    Workshop on Unilateral Planetary-Scale Geoengineering: The Science and Technology of Geoengineering
    Workshop on Unilateral Planetary-Scale Geoengineering: Framing the Foreign Policy Problem-Avoiding and Regulating Unilateral Geoengineering
    Workshop on Unilateral Planetary-Scale Geoengineering: Planning for Next Steps
    Workshop on Unilateral Planetary-Scale Geoengineering: Geoengineering and the Challenge of Global Governance

    http://www.cfr.org/projects/world/geoengineering-workshop-on-unilateral-planetary-scale-geoengineering/pr1364

  21. davidmhoffer (troll mode) says:

    “I don’t think you can claim a 10% productivity increase on the basis of the numbers you presented because you haven’t established that there is a linear relationship. For example, if CO2 concentrations were 10,000X you would obviously not expect land to produce wheat at 400,000 bushels to the acre. Sure that’s a ridiculous comparison, but I think you should be able to see my point? The net benefit of CO2 increases to plant growth is probably logarithmic, I’d suggest that your estimate is rather high. An increase of perhaps 5% or even lower seems more in line with reality.”

    I have to disagree that the 10% estimate is inflated, if anything its conservative. I agree that the relationship is probably logarithmic and more than likely follows the Law of Diminishing Marginal Returns such that more and more CO2 would have to be added to get the same benefit. Since Willis estimated linearly from a 300 ppmv increase down to a 115 ppmv increase his estimate is low. The first 115 ppmv would have a greater benefit than the last 115 ppmv increase of a supposed total 300 ppmv increase.

  22. Climate Ace;
    I take issue with a common meme of BAU boosters, that action on carbon dioxide is ‘unfair’ to the poor.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    I read an article a while back about a woman in some dirt poor country in Asia. She had a rice paddy and a small gasoline powered pump which she used to irrigate the rice paddy. She was talked into giving up the gas powered pump and instead used a foot treadle powered pump. It took her 6 hours a day to pump the same amount of water, but the benefit to her was that she earned an extra $10 in carbon credits.

    Now if the master minds of this program had instead got her and hundreds of other women to work for ten bucks a day in a shoe factory while they themselves got paid tens of thousands for putting the deal together, there’d be plenty of screaming about exploitation of the poor.

  23. Cost of carbon? Wouldn’t their be a negative cost since other forms of energy cost more given current technology?

    What if we could burn enough carbon to delay the onset of the next ice age? Not sure we can burn enough, but wouldn’t that also contribute to a negative cost? That next ice age is going to be very expensive to adapt to.

  24. Climate Ace says “they demonstrate a complete inability to address threshold AGW issues, non-linear AGW issues”

    Sounds impressive but just what the flying F are these threshold and non linear AGW issues? Please elucidate.

  25. Once again ‘CO2 increases plant growth’ is discussed, which I’m sure is correct. But does such increased plant growth with higher CO2 levels actually see a commensurate heightening of nutritional levels?
    I don’t see this discussed. I see a lot about increased growth but does the nutritional level increase pro-rata?
    Or will be just be growing, transporting, and processing more volume of plant matter for no greater nutritional value…and that would be a nett cost.
    Are their any studies on increased nutritional levels associated with increased growth from higher CO2 levels?

  26. Just following up on my earlier post re nutritional values, there are reports that say that while volume of crops has increased, the actual nutritional value has markedly decreased. So not much point touting that plant volumes increase with more CO2, if nutritional values do not increase the same.
    We need studies that show increases in nutritional value, not just mass.

  27. Willis, amazing, your post is priceless! No pun intended. Maybe we can find a weird agreement with the alarmists by saying that we want to stretch our carbon as long as we can, so that future generations, too, can enjoy better plant growth and a little extra warmth!

  28. By even a conservative calculation like this, the benefits far outrank the so-called problems. I think that the Romans would have preferred their old warmer climate to the new cooler one that led to the downfall of the Empire. As the Chinese say, ‘Beware of what you wish for…it may come true.

  29. D Boehm Stealey

    Given that there is no verifiable, testable, falsifiable AGW signal in the temperature record, it seems silly to waste money on a “what if” scenario, no?

    I am not too fussed by short term air temperatures. Following global heat makes a bit more sense, IMHO. I am also not too fussed by days, weeks, months, years or even decades of weather – I am happy to go with centuries in any discussion.

    I guess your position is a sort of argument for what I would take as BAU policy paralysis, but not a very good one. Arguing that, theoretically, we have a one-off experiment on our hands is a good argument for doing nothing is not a plausible approach.

    In short, IMHO, BAU does not pass Risk Management 101.

    I think I will stick with the views of those scientists in BOM and CSIRO whom I know personally (I am not a climate scientist). They are whip-smart and, to my personal knowledge, behave with integrity. You would have no idea of the depth of utter contempt I have for the occasional pig-ignorant posters who mount vicious personal attacks on what I know very well to be ordinary, decent, human beings who are doing their best to make sense of that wonderfully complex thing – climate.

  30. Willis

    Speaking in general, the effect of fossil fuels on the poor has been hugely, fantastically beneficial. Without fossil fuels, all of us would be crushingly poor. So “the impacts on the poor of BAU fossil industries” is that it has made you personally wealthy rather than dirt-poor as you would be without fossil fuels.

    This is a classic case of treating the environment as an externality, assuming that the environment is an infinite source and an infinite sump, ignoring time frames in making judgements, ignoring threhold effects, and making the heroic assumption that AGW phenomena will be linear.

  31. JA
    Yep ‘BAU’ = Business As Usual.
    This is implicitly (usually) the de facto default position of those who do not accept AGW.

  32. davidmhoffer (troll mode)

    I admire your public spiritedness, but \you need to improve if you want to do good devil’s advocate. I didn’t bother with going to Willis’ 10% plant productivity argument per se because it was, any which way you want to look at it, absurd.

    I was more interested in the persistent attemtps by BAU folk to (a) ignore the poverty which is part and parcel of BAU, and (b) use poverty as an argument for doing nowt about AGW.

    The lack of consistency is obvious.

  33. JPeden

    It seems that a “poor”, underdeveloped China has already addressed your question by building a new fossil fuel electricity generating plant every 5-7 days, on average. Where the rubber has met the road, China’s [and India’s] answer is BAU on steroids. As for me, I’m envious.

    As to ‘envy’, you can relax. You need to put your thinking into some sort of time frame that gets you beyond the here-and-now. China is heading for the wall, vis-a-vis environmental blowback. AGW is only one of massive, systemic environmental costs that have been, notionally, ‘externalised’. Our only hope is that the comrades in charge are technocrats who take AGW seriously. But, will they focus properly? They have, as we might say, other balls in the air as well.

    As for India…

    There is no such thing as the environment as economic externality. It always comes back to bite you on the bum.

  34. Following is some text from the federal interagency working group report that estimated a “median” price per ton for the social cost of carbon using three integrated assessment models (IAMs):

    “There is currently a limited amount of research linking climate impacts to economic damages, which makes this exercise even more difficult. Underlying the three IAMs selected for this exercise are a number of simplifying assumptions and judgments reflecting the various modelers’ best attempts to synthesize the available scientific and economic research characterizing these relationships.”

    Does that give you confidence in the reliability of the IAMs?

    The interagency study that estimated the price of carbon uses three economic models to attempt to give them a range. Just for an example, one of them known as the DICE model (sounds real scientific) is described in the report as calculating impacts thus:

    “The DICE damage function also includes the expected value of damages associated with low probability, high impact “catastrophic” climate change. This last component is calibrated based on a survey of experts (Nordhaus 1994)

    The Nordhaus paper is a non-scientific survey of mostly non-scientists (mostly economists and “social scientists”). Only two of the surveyed group of 19 appeared to have any formal atmospheric science education/degree. You can see the list at the end of the paper (and no, I’m not counting Stephen Schneider as an atmospheric scientist). It is also interesting that Nordhaus surveyed himself as one of the 19 participants. In any case, the economic damage estimates in the Nordhaus paper are mere speculation (WAGs), mostly by people without expertise in atmospheric dynamics. Of course, little thought is given to the potential benefit of carbon dioxide. The speculations in this non-scientific survey are then used in models by the interagency group to estimate the “social cost of carbon.” It is hard to imagine a bigger house of cards.

  35. Philip Bradley

    I was not trying to obfuscate, so, if I have done that, my apologies.

    To clarify, my general point was that for BAU boosters to look at only one side of the ledger when looking at AGW and poverty is palpable nonsense, that those who argue that adaptation is cheaper than prevention ignore AGW reality, and that the consequent costings are a sham.

  36. @davidmhoffer
    ” The net benefit of CO2 increases to plant growth is probably logarithmic, I’d suggest that your estimate is rather high. An increase of perhaps 5% or even lower seems more in line with reality.”

    Logarithmic sounds reasonable to me, but shouldn’t we have the bulk of the benefit early on, and less and less toward the end? That would mean that the UN owes us even more money!

  37. Chris Riley

    I really don’t have too much of a problem with your point of view, provided you can afford to ignore AGW. Unfortunately, otherwise good economic theory with its envrionmental head in the AGW sand is ostrich economics.

    We all know what is left in the air.

    I support market-based instruments to address the massive market failure that is AGW.

  38. Ralph Selman

    You are absolutely right. Coming up with an accurate cost-benefit analysis would be a nightmare because the alarmists would freekout about having to admit there are some benefits to increasing CO2 levels.

    What smug trash talk.

    The issue is not whether or not there will be some benefits. The issue is whether the benefits will outweigh the disbenefits and to what degree and over what time frame.

  39. Our beloved Australian government has done a pretty good job of effectively carbonizing money.
    They have burned billions on this insane CAGW scam.

  40. Since everyone seems to have missed it, I will take the liberty of reposting a key paragraph:

    This line is taken by luminaries such as Lomberg and Moncton. IMHO, they have failed miserably because they demonstrate a complete inability to address threshold AGW issues, non-linear AGW issues, or to provide a time frame for their ‘demonstrations’. RIRO.

  41. Our beloved Australian government has done a pretty good job of carbonizing money.
    They have burned through billions on this insane CAGW scam.

  42. The statement

    This is the known effect of atmospheric CO2 levels on plants, which is that they increase their production with increasing atmospheric CO2.

    Is far too simplistic. Research has shown that although total biomas will increase, the nutritional value of the food is reduced. The percentage of protein in cassava, for instance, drops as the concentration of carbon-dioxide increases. Cassava is exclusively grown and eaten by the poor of the world and is a primary source of protein for these people.

    Secondly, it really doesn’t matter what the concentration of carbon-dioxide is, crop yield will be low if it is flooded, is heat stressed or curls up because of lack of rain sometime during its growth.

  43. Hi Willis –

    I enjoy your articles in general, but I have to take exception to your argumentation in this case. Monetising the “cost” of carbon dioxide is no less logical than monetising the “cost” of alcohol consumption (which you appear to accept as a given at the beginning of your article). For my part, I do not pretend that either is logical or rational. For example, the benefits of (responsibly or traditionally consumed) alcohol are rarely taken into account. These include improved digestion, improved wellbeing, and reductions in heart and other diseases.

    As a matter of historical fact, I believe taxes on alcoholic drinks were introduced (in the 17th or 18th centuries) as a means to raise government revenue and to prevent the common people having a good time. We couldn’t have that, could we!

    All the best.

  44. .Many commercial growers pump CO2 into their greenhouses to improve plant growth so it seems there is a real greenhouse effect after all, and yes it should be taxed.

    It would be reasonable that the money so raised should be returned to the fossil fuel suppliers so that in turn they and the consumers can increase this proven benefit via lower fuel costs, this way we can collectively green the planet.

    I never thought I would find myself in such agreement with the alarmists.

    Stay cool!

  45. Willis: “I consider the closing as a sad commentary on the hijacking of the environmental movement by carbon alarmists. CO2 alarmism has done huge damage to the environmental movement, and thus to the environment itself.”

    Indeed. I’m of the generation who grew up demanding recycling of paper and glass. In the 80’s I was a signed-up Greenpeace supporter (ie sent them a regular check, though even that long ago, when they got into glossy catalogues and merchandising, I saw the writing on the wall and told them I no longer wished to support what they were doing. The cheques stopped).

    Now, whenever some enviro starts deploring some ecological disaster, my initial reaction is “Oh yeah, where’s the proof?”

    The sad part is they may be right and I may want to support efforts to prevent it but I no longer believe a frigging word they say”. Neither do I have the time to thoroughly research any and all issues since all my spare time gets eaten up fighting their AGW propagandistic bullshit.

    The environmental movement has f[snip!] itself. And as a result disarmed all those of us are concerned about REAL environmental problems.

    Reply:Inverting two letters is not enough. -ModE]

  46. Willis said:
    My second objection is that while people are often in a hurry to monetize the social costs of something, they rarely take the necessary other step. They rarely are in a hurry to monetize the social benefits of something. But if you do one, you have to do the other. After all, this is why it’s called a “cost/benefit” analysis …
    ===========================================================================
    The costs assigned are always punitive. The other side is left to the greedy to both calculate and speculate in for their own benefit…it’s how the rich become rich.

  47. Lets not forget the other big disbenefit caused by the AGW scam – forcing up food prices by mandating arable crop land for fuel production. Since the poor spend relatively high percentages of their income on fuel and food any action which increases the cost of either impacts disproportionately.

  48. In order to ascertain supposed social value or pricing, one must first establish what cost (if any) is actually incurred.

    And the evidence is becoming clearer every day that there is no actual cost to carbon.

    Some politicians are finally waking up. Canada’s Prime Minister Harper has withdrawn the country from Kyoto, for example.

  49. davidmhoffer (troll mode) says:
    January 11, 2013 at 8:38 pm
    Willis,
    I don’t think you can claim a 10% productivity increase on the basis of the numbers …
    ======================================================================
    You have the Medieval Warming Period as a close historical source.
    Agriculture then was pretty primitive compared with now, yet the economic
    surplus from the increase in agricultural production financed the Crusades
    and the burst of Cathedral building across Europe. A bit of research into that
    gain should be possible … and give a better value than an estimate.
    … just a thought.

  50. I think if we’re going to get into ‘social benefits’ of carbon dioxide we are going to have a complex discussion indeed.

    I agree wholeheartedly that ALL OTHER THINGS BEING EQUAL, plants grow faster with more seeohtwo around. Question is, are all other things equal?

    a. What level of water do those plants need? Do they prefer steady feeding, short-sharp deluges or seasonal dousings??
    b. Do particular plants grow slower, faster or not at all in different habitats, notably free of shade, in areas where daily temperatures fluctuate more due to the loss of forest cover, where daytime light may be more intensely focussed due to man-made reflective surfaces etc?
    c. Do the other essential nutrients required for growth get affected by the type of rainfall, the other foliage etc etc? What happens to bioavailability of trace elements, NPK etc etc?

    The global audits will be:
    i. If you chop down forests and replace them with cows, you will create greater levels of desert, ergo fewer plants.
    ii. If you get flash floods on deforested lands, you increase the rate of fertile soil erosion, thereby reducing the ability to use that land productively in future.
    iii. If you reduce the fertility of the soil through deforestation, you are more likely to leach out essential minerals from what remains when heavy rains occur.

    Of course, things can get much, much more complex than that.

    The question of course would arise as to what the correlation is between increasing seeohtwo emissions and chopping down forests etc.

    A question probably impossible to prove in a court of law, but the crux to any sentient and thinking society.

    Complicated all this, isn’t it?!

  51. Lew Skannen says:
    January 11, 2013 at 10:46 pm

    Our beloved Australian government has done a pretty good job of carbonizing money.
    They have burned through billions on this insane CAGW scam.

    You must be looking forward to the Coalition spending $10 billion taxpayer’s money to reduce CO2 emissions by 5% by 2020. Absurdly enough, the leader has said that ‘Climate science is crap.’ and the free market party is eschewing market-based instruments in favour of direct spending by government.

    Spot the inconsistencies.

  52. BrianMcL says:
    January 12, 2013 at 12:03 am

    Lets not forget the other big disbenefit caused by the AGW scam – forcing up food prices by mandating arable crop land for fuel production.

    I support AGW science and I oppose biofuels completely – for the reasons you raise and for others besides. It is quite obvious that special interest groups have ‘captured’ this bit of the AGW response to the disbenefit of taxpayers, the poverty-stricken, and the planet.

  53. davidmhoffer

    Climate Ace;
    I take issue with a common meme of BAU boosters, that action on carbon dioxide is ‘unfair’ to the poor.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    I read an article a while back about a woman in some dirt poor country in Asia. She had a rice paddy and a small gasoline powered pump which she used to irrigate the rice paddy. She was talked into giving up the gas powered pump and instead used a foot treadle powered pump. It took her 6 hours a day to pump the same amount of water, but the benefit to her was that she earned an extra $10 in carbon credits.

    I read an article a while back about a an inuit village in Canada that needs to find tens of millions of dollars because the lack of sea ice and fast ice is no longer protecting their land from coastal erosion. Their village will fall into the sea so it needs to be shifted.

    If I used your lack of logic I would draw some overwhelming general conclusions from this one story about the relationship between poverty and AGW.

    But, IMHO, it would not hold water. The first reason is the obvious one: one example would not support such glib over-generalisations.

    I suggest you go back to taws and to stop trying to conflate poverty and AGW issues. Poverty is an issue in an of itself. Poverty is a major issue with BAU. It will be a major issue with AGW. Either way, it needs to be addressed as poverty.

    AGW is also an issue in and off itself. It needs to be addressed as such.

  54. Willis Eschenbach says:
    January 11, 2013 at 9:07 pm
    JT says:
    January 11, 2013 at 8:52 pm

    Um, the average of 20 + 2 = 22 is calculated by dividing 22 by 2 which = 11, not 21.

    Yeah, I know, that was just my poor attempt at humor regarding the whole thing, that they picked the big number.

    w.
    —————————-
    As soon as I read it I thought Willis should have added a /sarc tag.
    Someone will miss it.
    cn

  55. Biofuels was mandated to support corn farmers. There is no environmental benefit in growing crops for fuel. The energy used in plowing,seeding, spraying, cropping, transporting, fermenting, distilling and distributing the end product is not recovered.

    Biofuels as a by product using waste from food manufacture is a different matter.

  56. jimshu says: January 11, 2013 at 9:54 pm
    Just following up on my earlier post re nutritional values, there are reports that say that while volume of crops has increased, the actual nutritional value has markedly decreased.
    – – –
    Lets do a reverse analysis. If the CO2 levels were so low that we could only grow half as much food, but the nutritious content of that food per mass was improved, would that be a good thing?

    I will copy my comment I made at JoNova on a recent thread, which apparently was well received by the greenies / warmists judging by the number of snipped comments it received ;-) :

    http://joannenova.com.au/2013/01/gone-bezerkers-climate-change-will-turn-humans-turn-into-hobbits/

    Gary Mount

    January 8, 2013 at 5:16 pm · Reply

    Let us imagine a scenario (to make the math easier) where the quantity of food we grow is more than double because of the increased CO2, but the nutritious content is only 95% what it otherwise is when only half as much food could be grown with the given inputs.
    You have 2.1 times as much food x 95% nutrition and end up with twice as much nutrition overall available to the population, though each individual has to eat slightly more. Its a quantity trick when the alarmists state that food is less nutritious but leaving out the part where there is much more nutrition available overall. As stated in this article “we might have to eat a higher carbohydrate diet?”.

  57. Climate Ace says at 10:10 pm on 11 Jan 2013 “I think I will stick with the views of those scientists in BOM and CSIRO whom I know personally”
    Would these be the same whip-sharp Australian scientists that Ian Harris noted in Climategate One?
    “Ian “Harry” Harris, a programmer at the Climate Research Unit, kept extensive notes of the defects he had found in the data and computer programs that the CRU uses in the compilation of its global mean surface temperature anomaly dataset. These notes, some 15,000 lines in length, were stored in the text file labeled “Harry_Read_Me.txt”, which was among the data released by the whistleblower with the Climategate emails. This is just one of his comments –
    15
    “[The] hopeless state of their (CRU) database. No uniform data integrity, it’s just a catalogue of issues that continues to grow as they’re found…I am very sorry to report that the rest of the databases seem to be in nearly as poor a state as Australia was. There are hundreds if not thousands of pairs of dummy stations, one with no WMO and one with, usually overlapping and with the same station name and very similar coordinates. I know it could be old and new stations, but why such large overlaps if that’s the case? Aarrggghhh! There truly is no end in sight.
    “This whole project is SUCH A MESS. No wonder I needed therapy!!
    “I am seriously close to giving up, again. The history of this is so complex that I can’t get far enough into it before by head hurts and I have to stop. Each parameter has a tortuous history of manual and semi-automated interventions that I simply cannot just go back to early versions and run the updateprog. I could be throwing away all kinds of corrections – to lat/lons, to WMOs (yes!), and more. So what the hell can I do about all these duplicate stations?””
    …………………………………
    I have file after file like this, some going back to 1985, before CAGW was trendy. though it was about then that research fund allocation started to favour “the environment” rather than more tangible matters. What I mean is, after that time, more and more reasearch money was spent on knowing less and less. We shall never know the major innovations, inventions, discoveries that were not made, or that were delayed for decades, by this mad rush of CAGW spending.
    ……………………….
    Give me the evidence, Climate Ace. 1. Name one way in which you have been personally harmed (or benefitted) by the notion of climate change. 2. Show me the quantitative paper that links GHG change with global temperature – it will have to be after 2012, because there is not one before then.

  58. Although I am not a believer that the 40% rise in CO2 levels over the past 150 years has had much to do with the modest (circa 0.7 degrees C) increase in temperature over the same period, this thought brings up the question:

    In the unlikely event the alarmists are correct about CO2 being the principal cause of the recent temperature rise, then we would obviously still be experiencing the climate of the LIA. This means less rainfall in monsoon regions, lower temperatures in the wheat lands of the northern hemisphere. In other words, a greater frequency of crop failure and famine. Our ability to produce sufficient food for the world’s population would be significantly reduced.

    So using the logic of ‘climate science’, someone like me who has a relatively large carbon footprint (but only a tiny fraction of that of Al Gore) needs to be rewarded/ compensated for this by the poor. After all, without Al Gore and I most of them would have starved to death.

    I am not sure which concept is more ridiculous: taxing the poor for not producing enough CO2, or CAGW.

  59. garymount

    IMHO, nano technology, GMOs, a global move down the trophic chain, and some heavy lifting on preventing food waste might just get us to feeding the extra billions that are already, in a manner of speaking, in the pipeline.

    Atmospheric CO2 based productivity changes might contribute, and IMHO if they do, good. We should welcome them. But then again they might also be offset by productivity-smashing heatwaves as is occurring in Australia at the moment.

  60. Garymount, your supposition regarding the nutrient content of food in higher carbon-dioxide concentrations is too simplistic. Cassava leaves and roots both contain glycosides that break down to release toxic hydrogen cyanide when chewed or crushed. Villagers grind cassava roots to make flour, which can be processed to remove cyanide, but leaves are often eaten raw. The cyanide can cause a condition called konzo that permanently paralyses the legs. One study found that 9 per cent of Nigerians suffer some form of cyanide poisoning from eating cassava.

    The toxicity of cassava increases as the concentration of carbon-dioxide increases. The toxicity iincreases again if the plants are water stressed. This is a problem with droughts increasingly affecting areas of Africa where cassava is a staple food for poor people.

    BTW your analysis that the nutritional content only reduces by 95% is interesting, where did you get that figure from? (And while you are at it, I would be interested where you got a 2.1 times increase in growth as well, both those figures appear to be very strange).

  61. Climate Ace said @ January 11, 2013 at 10:10 pm

    I think I will stick with the views of those scientists in BOM and CSIRO whom I know personally (I am not a climate scientist). They are whip-smart and, to my personal knowledge, behave with integrity.

    I seem to recall those BOM/CSIRO scientists telling us that drought intensity/frequency was increasing and to prepare for perpetual drought. But when I look here:

    http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/change/rain.shtml

    I see that rainfall has been increasing over the last hundred years. So how does rainfall and drought simultaneously increase? Perhaps you have a different definition of integrity to my OED.

  62. Enhanced plant growth due to increased co2 is sound science. AGW[CAGW] proponents targeting of increased co2 and modern economies and society is based solely upon assumptions, speculation and the precautionary principle. Pro-AGWer’s side stepping their lack of a solid scientific foundation and unable to prove or show empirically how they are correct and talking up a storm about everything else is ancillary to the main argument of their half-baked, unfounded and alarmist AGW hypothesis- boils down to intellectual masturbation and a deliberate distraction away from their failed position.

    The CAGWer’s usually fall back upon their pet assumptions and hope nobody notices, such as attributing weather events and trends such as a heatwave[apparently for them, heatwaves never existed until modern times] to AGW. How is that position any different than those during the Middle Ages who, without the slightest empirical evidence, deemed certain types of people needed to be sacrificed for the common good and to improve the weather?

  63. Climate Ace says:
    January 12, 2013 at 2:13 am
    Atmospheric CO2 based productivity changes might contribute, and IMHO if they do, good. We should welcome them. But then again they might also be offset by productivity-smashing heatwaves as is occurring in Australia at the moment.
    What you fail to mention is China’s & Russia’s cold wave. Or is it also caused by AGW? This was called weather in the old times. Everything gets now blamed on AGW.
    You know the measured average temperature is disconnected from models forecasts, but you still spew nonsense based on models forecasts.
    Why don’t you look at satellite data – sea level temperature and atmosphere temperature?
    Why is RSS, UAH and Sea Level temperature so much off with CAGW model predictions?
    Atmospheric CO2 might contribute
    This is a measured value per satellite. So don’t put your head in sand. We have a measured greening of the Earth:

    http://www.rationaloptimist.com/blog/the-greening-of-the-planet.aspx

    period. Digest that, it is fact.
    I am sorry if my post sounds too aggressive but I am being fed off with alarmists tunes. If you have something to say please show evidence for your arguments, don’t just spam the blog.

  64. Further to my last comment, I occasionally have a drink with a CSIRO employee who claims to have a doctorate in astrophysics. He claims the barycentre of the solar system is always in the exact centre of the sun. Far from “whip-smart” I’d say.

  65. davidmhoffer (troll mode) says:
    January 11, 2013 at 8:38 pm
    Willis,
    I don’t think you can claim a 10% productivity increase on the basis of the numbers you presented because you haven’t established that there is a linear relationship. For example, if CO2 concentrations were 10,000X you would obviously not expect land to produce wheat at 400,000 bushels to the acre. Sure that’s a ridiculous comparison, but I think you should be able to see my point? The net benefit of CO2 increases to plant growth is probably logarithmic, I’d suggest that your estimate is rather high. An increase of perhaps 5% or even lower seems more in line with reality.

    David, the increase is certainly not linear and above 2000 ppm is contraproductive or toxic, however we are still on the side of the slope where increase is significant. If I correctly remember satellite data were showing some increase in plans growth of about 10-11% only for the last 3 decades. the numbers on top of my head, need again to check but must not be too way off.

  66. chinook said @ January 12, 2013 at 3:09 am

    Enhanced plant growth due to increased co2 is sound science.

    Much of the enhanced growth due to higher CO2 levels is due to reduced transpiration of water by the plant. The pores in plant leaves that allow gas exchange also allow water vapour to be lost. Higher levels of CO2 lead to decreased pore-size, reducing this latter effect. According to the CSIRO, this leads to a decrease in water runoff.

  67. Climate Ace says “The issue is poverty. The issue is AGW.”

    I disagree with your (purely didactic) reasoning in this thread, which you now seem to have taken over – 26 search hits on your moniker as I write. It would also be helpful if you occasionally gave reasons behind your propositions, and meanings for the cascade of TLAs (three-letter acronyms) you use.

    Your hypothesis (as you set it out above) was: “I think I will stick with the views of those scientists in BOM and CSIRO whom I know personally (I am not a climate scientist). They are whip-smart and, to my personal knowledge, behave with integrity. You would have no idea of the depth of utter contempt I have for the occasional pig-ignorant posters who mount vicious personal attacks on what I know very well to be ordinary, decent, human beings …”

    At the outset Willis said: “CO2 alarmism has done huge damage to the environmental movement, and thus to the environment itself”. That is not a personal attack of any kind – it is a comment on a matter of public concern (see principles of defamation) on something in a field in which you accept you are not an expert. I don’t see any other “vicious personal attacks” in this thread.

    And, from your hypothesis above, all your arguments are vicarious (“ … stick with the views of [others]”): do you not have anything personally to share with us lesser mortals here?

    I won’t even get started on your conflating poverty and AGW – have you not encountered the differences between market and command economies? Under which of these systems do you think poverty is less, in absolute terms?

  68. Pretty much covered it w. Nice.

    It’s become ‘trendy’ to talk about internalizing externalities and using market mechanisms for it. It’s mostly a phony “Given these conclusions what assumptions can we draw?” game with the “interested parties” having their thumb on the scales. “Just say no. Thank you very much…”

    Once they can demonstrate that there really IS a problem (not just “project one”, but predict it, then measure it, then confirm it independently) and that it IS caused by CO2, maybe we can talk. Maybe….

    Oh, and they need to let go of that whole ‘take over running the world from the UN’ thing. “Cost of entry” if they want me to play…

  69. If you hear anyone referring to monetizing the “social cost” of carbon you must automatically think “And the ulterior motive is?”

    Well I’ll tell you.

    It’s useful for governments as a basis for taxing “we the people”.

    It’s especially useful to the international bankers trading in carbon dioxide making squillions in trading fees.

    Apart from these two stakeholders, nobody is bothered with such a ludicrous issue… especially when 97% of the carbon dioxide entering the atmosphere each year is from natural sources as declared by the IPCC with its “settled science” bible – the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report of 2007.

  70. In re social cost; recall BJ Xlinton & Hag promoting taxation of imputed value to divorce taxation from realty reality. SCOTUS first addressed imputed income value in Helvering v. Independent Life Ins. Co., 292 U.S. 371, 378-79 (1934).

  71. I read the article as highlighting, with clarity and a touch of humor, the hijacking of environmentalism by the rapacious prophets of CAGW and the absurdity of trying to calculate the cost of an increase in carbon dioxide.

    Such absurdity is embodied in the NRDC tax return where carbon dioxide is described as pollution five times.

    http://www.nrdc.org/about/NRDC_990_2010.pdf

    I entirely agree that lack of accessible and affordable energy is one of the the major causes of poverty. Anyone who thinks otherwise really needs to get out more.

  72. In re monetization; a mere euphemism for profiting from abuse of the commons. See today’s monetization of free Coursera certification.

  73. In the event there is anyone out there is who is puzzled to note that it is very difficult to find even a single, one-world-socialist anywhere who does not swear fealty to AGW theory regardless of hard facts, there is a reason:

    AGW is the granddaddy of all “transfer-the-wealth, centralized-control-of-everything” mechanisms ever invented by man.

  74. “[L]ack of accessible and affordable energy is one of the the major causes of poverty.” Which precedes what, “affordable” or “poverty”?

    A hero poster here posted energy cost analysis suggesting 10¢ as the value of 10 hours on a human powered generator. Meanwhile the value of a barrel of oil hovers around US$100, and simple math reciprocates that to the value of US$1.

  75. The Pompous Git says:
    January 12, 2013 at 3:29 am
    chinook said @ January 12, 2013 at 3:09 am

    “Enhanced plant growth due to increased co2 is sound science.”

    “Much of the enhanced growth due to higher CO2 levels is due to reduced transpiration of water by the plant. The pores in plant leaves that allow gas exchange also allow water vapour to be lost. Higher levels of CO2 lead to decreased pore-size, reducing this latter effect. According to the CSIRO, this leads to a decrease in water runoff.”

    CO2 is an essential element in carbohydrate production. It’s a building block for plant food. The effects you mention will enhance that and the plant’s survival and those effects are secondary to or a result of the plants having enough of certain elements to produce their own carb’s. A lack of essential elements and h2o results in poor or no plant growth. I question – “much of enhanced growth” is due to reduced transpiration. For me that means plants will do better during drought conditions and in general, but without co2 the plants will not grow in the first place. Just because a plant has plenty of h2o available or utilizes it more efficiently, if essential elements for it’s carb production are missing, the plant isn’t going to flourish.

    Just found this which is interesting: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/01/06/co2-is-plant-food-clean-coal-say-watt/

  76. Climate Ace says:
    January 11, 2013 at 10:10 pm
    I am not too fussed by short term air temperatures. Following global heat makes a bit more sense, IMHO. I am also not too fussed by days, weeks, months, years or even decades of weather – I am happy to go with centuries in any discussion.

    Climate science – and especially the greenhouse gases theorists – are not able to explain past variations of the climate. The overall tendencies of such theorists are to negate, deny such variations existed. Example the MWP.
    The explanations for the LIA from such groups are in the grotesque area of fringe science, like Genghis Khan the green warrior who killing 40 millions reforested large areas and reduced CO2 with 6-12 ppm causing LIA, or conquistadores doing the same with the Mayans. Or early human killing farting mega-fauna and causing the Younger Dryas.
    These theories do not stand a fact check but will remain as historical climate-science lows of the twenties century.
    If the greenhouse gases would be as powerful as these theorists think, why did the climate not ran out of balance during the Holocene optimum, when Arctic was largely ice-free? Why did not all that freed Methane run us in Thermaggedon? Or during the previous interglacial, Eemian warming which was 2 degrees warmer then now?
    Waiting your happy answer with documented data.
    If you need any reference for the any of the above am be happy to provide my sources.

  77. The elephant in the room is that this conversation wouldn’t even be taking place if it weren’t for fossil fuels. The primary benefit of fossil fuels is low-cost energy. The benefit of low-cost energy is that it frees a lot of people to do a lot of things they would not otherwise be able to do because they would be out in the field behind a team of horses trying to produce enough food to last through the winter, or trying to cut enough wood to stay warm through the winter, or hunkering down and trying to survive the winter. The modern world as we know it would not exist but for fossil fuels.

    Put a cost on that.

  78. Climate Ace:
    The whole of your argument is predicated on invalid theory. AGW does not exist. In fact, many climatologists say that the earth is starting a prolonged cooling trend. This winter has brought record cold, and people are freezing to death by the scores in the NH and you wish to tax the people who try to keep warm. This is unconscionable.

  79. Lew Skannen says on January 11, 2013 at 10:46 pm

    “Our beloved Australian government has done a pretty good job of carbonizing money.
    They have burned through billions on this insane CAGW scam.”

    Excellent! I nominate Lew Skannen’s quip for quote of the week!

    Monetizing carbon carbonizes money.

  80. Climate Ace:

    At January 11, 2013 at 10:10 pm you assert

    In short, IMHO, BAU does not pass Risk Management 101.

    A “risk” which does not exist cannot be “managed”.
    And problems often result from adopting actions to avoid a risk which does not exist.

    There is no evidence – none, zilch, nada – for discernible AGW.
    But there is much evidence that discernible AGW does not exist; e.g.
    missing ‘hot spot’.
    missing ‘Trenberth’s heat’,
    missing ‘committed warming’
    lack of global warming at 95% confidence for 16 years (and counting) despite increasing atmospheric CO2 concentration,
    etc.
    Of course, AGW may exist at some trivial level which is too small for it to be discerned, but if it cannot be detected then it cannot be a problem and, therefore, poses no “risk”.

    So, there is no “risk” of AGW to be “managed” except in the fertile imaginations of some people, including you.

    In the unlikely event that discernible AGW is detected then it would be reasonable to consider what – if any – “risk management” it requires. Until then, absolute rejection and ridicule are the only rational responses to comments such as all of your posts on this thread.

    Richard

  81. Carbon Dioxide: Poison or Essential gas for life on this planet? What is the ideal level of atmospheric CO2 for life on this planet?

    Comment: In reply to the question concerning what is the ideal atmospheric CO2 level for plants on this plant. The ideal level is around 1000 ppm. Business as usual will see atmospheric CO2 levels rise from 390 ppm to 560 ppm by 2100. (See figure 1 in the attached review paper, first attachment.)

    It is absurd that the benefits of increased CO2 have not been quantified and compared to benign planetary temperature rise. (If the planet’s response to a change in forcing is to resist the change by an increase or decrease of clouds in the tropical region – negative feedback – rather than to amplify the forcing change – positive feedback – then the warming due to doubling of atmospheric CO2 from 280 ppm to 560 ppm will be roughly 1C with most of the warming occurring at high latitudes which will cause the biosphere to expand, particularly in the Northern hemisphere.)

    Commercial greenhouses inject CO2 to raise the CO2 level in the greenhouse to about 800 ppm to 1200 ppm to increase in yield and reduce growing times. The fact that higher levels of CO2 increase plant growth rates and cereal crop yield is not new science. We are carbon based life forms. The carbon which we are formed from comes from atmospheric CO2. CO2 is not a poison. Increased atmospheric CO2 will result in an expanded and more productive biosphere.

    There is an additional benefit (in addition to an increase in cereal crop yield of up to 40% and benign warming of roughly 1C) for a doubling of atmospheric CO2 from 280 ppm to 560 ppm by the end of this century: Reduced desertification.

    Increasing CO2 enables plants to make efficient use of water. That enables plants to survive and to have increased productivity in low water regions which reduces desertification. It also enables the plant to leave more water at its roots which enables synergistic nitrogen producing bacteria to thrive.

    C3 plants lose roughly 40% of the absorbed water due to transrespiration. To absorb sufficient CO2 to grow the C3 plant requires more stomata on the surface of their leaves. Water is lost from the stomata as CO2 is absorbed.

    http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/crops/facts/00-077.htm

    For the majority of greenhouse crops, net photosynthesis increases as CO2 levels increase from 340–1,000 ppm (parts per million). Most crops show that for any given level of photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), increasing the CO2 level to 1,000 ppm will increase the photosynthesis by about 50% over ambient CO2 levels. For some crops the economics may not warrant supplementing to 1,000 ppm CO2 at low light levels. For others such as tulips, and Easter lilies, no response has been observed.

    Carbon dioxide enters into the plant through the stomatal openings by the process of diffusion. Stomata are specialized cells located mainly on the underside of the leaves in the epidermal layer. The cells open and close allowing gas exchange to occur. The concentration of CO2 outside the leaf strongly influences the rate of CO2 uptake by the plant. The higher the CO2 concentration outside the leaf, the greater the uptake of CO2 by the plant. Light levels, leaf and ambient air temperatures, relative humidity, water stress and the CO2 and oxygen (O2) concentration in the air and the leaf, are many of the key factors that determine the opening and closing of the stomata. Ambient CO2 level in outside air is about 340 ppm by volume. All plants grow well at this level but as CO2 levels are raised by 1,000 ppm photosynthesis increases proportionately resulting in more sugars and carbohydrates available for plant growth. Any actively growing crop in a tightly clad greenhouse with little or no ventilation can readily reduce the CO2 level during the day to as low as 200 ppm. The decrease in photosynthesis when CO2 level drops from 340 ppm to 200 ppm is similar to the increase when the CO2 levels are raised from 340 to about 1,300 ppm (Figure 1). As a rule of thumb, a drop in carbon dioxide levels below ambient has a stronger effect than supplementation above ambient.

    http://www.springerlink.com/content/w7gy1cyyr5yey994/

    Carbon dioxide effects on stomatal responses to the environment and water use by crops under field conditions

    Reductions in leaf stomatal conductance with rising atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration ([CO2]) could reduce water use by vegetation and potentially alter climate. Crop plants have among the largest reductions in stomatal conductance at elevated [CO2]. The relative reduction in stomatal conductance caused by a given increase in [CO2] is often not constant within a day nor between days, but may vary considerably with light, temperature and humidity. Species also differ in response, with a doubling of [CO2] reducing mean midday conductances by 50% in others. Elevated [CO2] increases leaf area index throughout the growing season in some species. Simulations, and measurements in free air carbon dioxide enrichment systems both indicate that the relatively large reductions in stomatal conductance in crops would translate into reductions of <10% in evapotranspiration, partly because of increases in temperature and decreases in humidity in the air around crop leaves.

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/07/090731-green-sahara.html

    The green shoots of recovery are showing up on satellite images of regions including the Sahel, a semi-desert zone bordering the Sahara to the south that stretches some 2,400 miles (3,860 kilometers).

    Images taken between 1982 and 2002 revealed extensive regreening throughout the Sahel, according to a new study in the journal Biogeosciences. The study suggests huge increases in vegetation in areas including central Chad and western Sudan. In the eastern Sahara area of southwestern Egypt and northern Sudan, new trees—such as acacias—are flourishing, according to Stefan Kröpelin, a climate scientist at the University of Cologne's Africa Research Unit in Germany.

    "Shrubs are coming up and growing into big shrubs. This is completely different from having a bit more tiny grass," said Kröpelin, who has studied the region for two decades

    In 2008 Kröpelin—not involved in the new satellite research—visited Western Sahara, a disputed territory controlled by Morocco. "The nomads there told me there was never as much rainfall as in the past few years," Kröpelin said. "They have never seen so much grazing land."

    "Before, there was not a single scorpion, not a single blade of grass," he said.
    "Now you have people grazing their camels in areas which may not have been used for hundreds or even thousands of years. You see birds, ostriches, gazelles coming back, even sorts of amphibians coming back," he said. "The trend has continued for more than 20 years. It is indisputable."

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/05/030509084556.htm

    Greenhouse Gas Might Green Up The Desert; Weizmann Institute Study Suggests That Rising Carbon Dioxide Levels Might Cause Forests To Spread Into Dry Environments

  82. davidmhoffer, my comment was along the lines of “follow the money”. Who gets the benefit if the farms are more productive. You say the farmers won’t gain beause supply and demand means the food prices will come down. OK, obviously it won’t if the global population is grows more than 10%, so nobody sees the reduced costs except the farmers, and it can’t be factored in to mitigating climate change costs. This still leaves the government with costs to pay and no funds to pay for it, because cheaper corn doesn’t help them much when they have to build sea-walls. See the disconnect?

  83. ***
    Climate Ace says:
    January 11, 2013 at 10:10 pm

    I think I will stick with the views of those scientists in BOM and CSIRO whom I know personally (I am not a climate scientist).
    ***

    Naturally you have to support your personal friends no matter what — it’s just the right thing to do. To do otherwise would just be……..heresy.

  84. Climate Ace and his “whip smart” buddies suffer from the typical arrogance we see among “believers”. They are sad victims of the old adage that goes something like this… “he who ignores history is doomed to repeat it(s failures)”.

    About 50 years ago there was a revolution in medical research. It was called double blind studies. Today almost no medical research is accepted without these studies. Why is that? Very simple. It turned out the smartest and best researchers still suffered from confirmation bias, group think and a whole host of problems that led to studies that supported their biases. That pretty much fits the current group of climate scientists. And, any individual (yes, you Climate Ace) who ignores the obvious nature of their bias (their jobs are dependent on it) is just as guilty of this arrogance.

    We’ve been here before.

  85. Jim D says:
    January 12, 2013 at 7:17 am
    davidmhoffer, my comment was along the lines of “follow the money”. Who gets the benefit if the farms are more productive. You say the farmers won’t gain beause supply and demand means the food prices will come down. OK, obviously it won’t if the global population is grows more than 10%
    >>>>>>>>>>>>

    How old are you? 12? Someone points out that the economic relationship you based your argument on is false, so you add a new factor to equation that has nothing to do with your own argument?

    Then you whine about cheaper corn doesn’t help them when they have to build sea walls. Well Jimmy, you have missed the point entirely. It costs 10 times or more to not have to build sea walls as it does to build them, and that is on the assumption that spending the money to not have to build them can possibly work in the first place.

    See the disconnect?

    Don’t bother to reply, I’m certain you don’t.

  86. davidmhoffer, we agree on something. It costs ten times more if you don’t build the defenses against climate change. I will leave it at that. Mitigation is better than adaptation costwise.

  87. Climate Ace knows some whip smart people and he’s going with their opinion on the science. Gosh, I know some whip smart people who have the opposite view, and I’m going with them. Now what happens when one of us is introduced to some of the whip smart people that the other one knows. How does that work Climate Ace? Do we become conflicted? Resort to having no opinion at all? Or do we choose to believe one set of whip smart people and not the other based on…..what? Coin flip?

    What you have chosen Climate Ace, is to abdicate any responsibility to think for yourself.

    As for your response to me about a single example being the exception to the rule, you have it precisely backwards. My example is the rule, NY DEFINITION. The entire carbon credits system works by paying poor people and poor countries to NOT use fossil fuels so that those of us who live in rich countries can continue to use fossil fuel. My example illustrates the hardship this places on the poor in developing nations, and it is the rule, not the exception. My example illustrates the massive amount of human labour that is required to replace a tiny gasoline engine that can be run for pennies a day. My example also illustrates the disproportional amount of money the victims of carbon credit system get versus the people who administer them. The entire carbon credit system is the rich getting richer at the expense of the poor.

    As for your blathering on about BAU, apparently you seem to think that Business As Usual is the same thing as no change. That isn’t what it means. We’ve been in a BAU world for centuries. Business As Usual REQUIRES CHANGE. Do you think BAU means no new products, no new techniques, no new development? It means the opposite of that. BAU means we keep on coming up with better ways of doing things, inventing new products, developing new resources, improving efficiency, expanding education systems, improving human rights, establishing the rule of law. THAT is what BAU you means, THAT is what we’ve been doing for centuries and THAT is what has lifted billions out of poverty and THAT is what will lift billions more out of poverty.

    Unless we’re stupid enough to listen to idiots like Climate Ace who want to stop BAU by ensuring that the poor stay poor in order to save them from being poor.

  88. Doug Huffman said: “re social cost … SCOTUS first addressed imputed income value in Helvering v. Independent”.

    I don’t think that Helvering was concerned with “social cost” at all (if I have meaning correctly – it doesn’t seem well defined which perhaps explains why it is generally shown in quotes). Helvering decided that tax could not be levied on a notional rental income imputed from living in or occupying one’s own house or land – or more generally from resources already owned, such as the case of a farm owner living from the produce of his own land and labour.

    Whatever it might be I don’t think using resources already owned is a “social cost” – which presumably refers to some (alleged) cost to society at large. However, Willis (and the markets) seems to show here that there is no real cost at all – if anything, a benefit.

  89. Jim D says:
    January 12, 2013 at 8:15 am
    davidmhoffer, we agree on something. It costs ten times more if you don’t build the defenses against climate change. I will leave it at that. Mitigation is better than adaptation costwise.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Apparently you are afflicted with a reading comprehension problem as well. Read what I said again, carefully. If you still think we agree, then your comprehension problem may be permanent and irreversible.

  90. Jim D says:

    January 12, 2013 at 8:15 am

    davidmhoffer, we agree on something. It costs ten times more if you don’t build the defenses against climate change. I will leave it at that. Mitigation is better than adaptation costwise.
    ==============================
    Talk about mitigation is foolish drivel. AGW theory and climate models have been refuted by the last sixteen years temperature record. I will leave it at that.

  91. Claude Harvey:
    “n the event there is anyone out there is who is puzzled to note that it is very difficult to find even a single, one-world-socialist anywhere who does not swear fealty to AGW theory regardless of hard facts, there is a reason:

    AGW is the granddaddy of all “transfer-the-wealth, centralized-control-of-everything” mechanisms ever invented by man.”

    This is true, but the strange thing is that the wealth is being transfered from the poor to the wealthy. Traditionally, this is something that socialists protested against. I suppose the meaning of socialism is changing to control-the-masses.

  92. Climate Ace says:

    January 11, 2013 at 10:45 pm

    Since everyone seems to have missed it, I will take the liberty of reposting a key paragraph:

    This line is taken by luminaries such as Lomberg and Moncton. IMHO, they have failed miserably because they demonstrate a complete inability to address threshold AGW issues, non-linear AGW issues, or to provide a time frame for their ‘demonstrations’. RIRO.
    ================================
    Intelligent people ignore gobbledegoop and obscurities.

  93. Climate Ace says:
    January 11, 2013 at 10:15 pm

    Willis

    Speaking in general, the effect of fossil fuels on the poor has been hugely, fantastically beneficial. Without fossil fuels, all of us would be crushingly poor. So “the impacts on the poor of BAU fossil industries” is that it has made you personally wealthy rather than dirt-poor as you would be without fossil fuels.

    This is a classic case of treating the environment as an externality, assuming that the environment is an infinite source and an infinite sump, ignoring time frames in making judgements, ignoring threhold effects, and making the heroic assumption that AGW phenomena will be linear.

    I have neither treated the environment as an externality nor as an internality. I have not assumed that the environment is an infinite source/sump. I have not ignored time frames. I have not made any assumptions about AGW at all.

    Those are all your fantasies, Ace, or perhaps the result of a terrible reading problem. Sure, fossil fuels have an effect on the environment. But I made no assumptions about infinite sumps.

    I said that fossil fuels have made you wealthy, and without them you would be crushingly poor, and that was ALL I SAID. I note that you are running from that idea will every fibre of your being …

    But what I said happens to be true, so you can take your externalities and your time frames and go play with them all you want. I don’t care. But you can’t claim I’m “treating the environment” in any way at all, since I haven’t said a single word about the environment.

    Please deal with what I say, and leave off all of your fantasies about “classic cases”.

    w.

  94. Climate Ace says:
    January 11, 2013 at 10:45 pm

    Since everyone seems to have missed it, I will take the liberty of reposting a key paragraph:

    This line is taken by luminaries such as Lomberg and Moncton. IMHO, they have failed miserably because they demonstrate a complete inability to address threshold AGW issues, non-linear AGW issues, or to provide a time frame for their ‘demonstrations’. RIRO.

    Reposting something which was unintelligible the first time doesn’t make it more intelligible, Ace …

    I’d ask you for an explanation of your mystery terms, including RIRO, but I know I would regret it.

    w.

  95. After all, the company Johnson Co2 generators gets paid for providing them for greenhouses to increase the co2 levels up to 1000ppm.

  96. davidmhoffer, reading what you said again, it is very convoluted but you say it is cheaper to build sea-walls than not to have to build them. Here I am assuming you are talking about effective CO2 mitigation versus building sea walls. Mitigation won’t be effective, so go ahead and build those sea walls. Where is the money coming from? Cheaper corn, apparently.

  97. @ Climate Ace, troll, thread-jacker and bureaucrat.
    You have “Whip Smart” scientist friends?
    Your belief is charming,matches your apparent gullibility. Science does not require belief. If you speak truth, you have no excuse for your inability to produce genuine science to back your assertions.Plenty evidence you assert, links???
    All you have offered so far is bureau-speak and handwaving.
    So, “Ace”, right now you look like a zero, a zombie desk warming parasite on the taxpayers back.

  98. Jim D says:
    January 12, 2013 at 8:15 am

    davidmhoffer, we agree on something. It costs ten times more if you don’t build the defenses against climate change. I will leave it at that. Mitigation is better than adaptation costwise.

    That’s absolute bollocks, Jim. Mitigation is hugely expensive and may not even work. Even its supporters agree that it will make virtually no difference. See my post “How Much Would You Buy?” for an explanation of the actual economics.

    w.

  99. Climate Ace,
    ” I didn’t bother with going to Willis’ 10% plant productivity argument per se because it was, any which way you want to look at it, absurd.”

    This is an argument? You might claim that while it’s an interesting idea, the details just don’t work out and then give some examples. But to call it absurd with no back-up is what’s absurd. And surely you know it won’t work here. Maybe on some hot-house blog, but not on WUWT.

    ” ignore the poverty which is part and parcel of BAU”

    I’m not sure what use of “poverty” you’re using. As Willis points out in a response, a huge amount of poverty has been alleviated by the development of fossil fuels. Do you really realize what people had to do without in the past that we take for granted these days? OTOH if you were using “poverty” in the sense of modifying “BAU”, i.e. claiming that BAU is a poor position to take, you first need to realize that “business as usual” is a slur on the actual skeptic position(s) which don’t reject sensible changes in the way we do things, but actually encourage and expect them. It’s the CAGW crowd which assume there will be no breakthroughs in energy production and thus claim we have to act now rather than wait until there’s better technology, increased wealth to draw from, and most importantly actual damages, before we spend vast sums trying to change our energy infrastructure.

    “use poverty as an argument for doing nowt (sic) about AGW.”

    If you don’t understand that directing huge amounts of money toward subsidizing unprofitable energy sources will take money away from alleviating poverty, then I’m not sure what I can say other than “get an education.” The claimed things which will affect the poor via CAGW like sea level rise, increased floods and droughts, etc. Just aren’t happening, at least not yet.

    And this applies also to your clarification: “my general point was that for BAU boosters to look at only one side of the ledger when looking at AGW and poverty is palpable nonsense, that those who argue that adaptation is cheaper than prevention ignore AGW reality, and that the consequent costings are a sham.”

    First of all, Willis was using the AGW boosters’ analysis of what the “cost of C in CO2″ is. If they really think it’s much more, then that’s what you should be arguing for. And the costs of carbon at any given time should reflect any current damages which should be remediated.

    As an example, say that we did deplete all our fossil fuels. Does that really create a problem in terms of the long-term survivability of the earth, or even the human species? I don’t see where it will. We’ll still have solar power, wind, biomass, etc. to fall back on as well as whatever newer sources are discovered / developed. Furthermore businesses (and governments) will see this depletion coming and start to ramp up their investments in such areas at the appropriate time. Yes I know there have been people pushing peak oil, for instance, but it doesn’t look like that’s going to be the case. And now we have the new and improved fracking technology which will give us an expanded supply which will delay for decades or centuries the time when fossil fuels become rare.

  100. Willis, why is that people think the only mitigation measure is reducing CO2 emission rates? Clearly that is not going to happen. Look at China and India and other global growth in carbon footprints. No, the real cost is in mitigating the effects. Sea-walls is one area, energy, water, food production are others where things can be done early. Even just saving money for future expenditure earlier can save emergency measures at larger cost later, because that needs deficit spending if no planning has been done for it. The only difference between mitigation and adaptation is whether it happens before or after the disasters (take Sandy). Mitigation is better. More corn for everyone may help too, though.

  101. Jim D says:
    January 12, 2013 at 9:41 am
    davidmhoffer, reading what you said again, it is very convoluted but you say it is cheaper to build sea-walls than not to have to build them. Here I am assuming you are talking about effective CO2 mitigation versus building sea walls. Mitigation won’t be effective, so go ahead and build those sea walls. Where is the money coming from? Cheaper corn, apparently.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Seriously, how old are you?

    Let’s put it in point form so that your reading comprehension challenges are… dare I say it? mitigated to the extent possible.

    Cost of Sea Wall, $10,000,000
    Cost of not needing Sea Wall $100,000,000
    Savings if CAGW is real. $90,000,000
    Savings if CAGW is not real. $100,000,000

    You can pay with cheaper corn, more expensive corn, popped corn, corn dogs, or corned beef if you want, you still need 10x as much for a problem that evidence suggests doesn’t exist.

  102. Jim D says:
    January 12, 2013 at 9:41 am

    davidmhoffer, reading what you said again, it is very convoluted but you say it is cheaper to build sea-walls than not to have to build them. Here I am assuming you are talking about effective CO2 mitigation versus building sea walls. Mitigation won’t be effective, so go ahead and build those sea walls. Where is the money coming from? Cheaper corn, apparently.

    David actually said:

    It costs 10 times or more to not have to build sea walls as it does to build them, and that is on the assumption that spending the money to not have to build them can possibly work in the first place.

    Convoluted? Seems perfectly clear to me. Perhaps you should re-read it. He’s saying that if you wish to stop sea level rise by increasing the poverty in the world, AKA increasing the cost of fossil fuels via various mechanisms like Kyoto, it’s gonna cost you ten times more than building sea walls. I would say he is being hugely conservative. I’d say it would be at least a thousand times more costly to try to affect sea level by way of fossil fuel price increases than to build them as and when they are needed.

    Reducing temperature by reducing CO2 costs literally trillions of dollars per possible degree saved, and we have no certainty that it will make the slightest difference. Perhaps you think that’s a good deal. Me, not so much. To me it’s like spending a thousand dollars on insurance that only pays out a hundred dollars.

    w.

  103. I would like to thank William Astley on his thoughtful post regarding the environmetal benefits of CO2 and would concur that 1000ppm would be a good level of CO2 for the planet and those that live on it.

  104. Willis;
    I’d say it would be at least a thousand times more costly to try to affect sea level by way of fossil fuel price increases than to build them as and when they are needed.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Agreed. But what value establishing the order of magnitude to any degree of accuracy when the proponent is having difficulty with the concepts of “more” and “less”?

    We need a better quality of troll.

  105. Has anyone mentioned that CO2 is not the limiting factor in plant growth? If you follow the web page that Willis refers to (Table2), and then follow that (thru another web page or two) to the literature sources the term “well watered” is seen a lot. I suspect they are well fertilized as well. One thing for sure, 900 ppm CO2 wouldnt have helped the fields in the midwest last summer, and in the real world I suspect the situation where conversion of CO2 is the limiting factor is not that common.

  106. I see that the New York Times (NYT) is going to close their environmental desk. OMG don’t say it true, where will we learn the art of spinning, story line adjustment, cover ups techniques, we’ve got the alarmists backsides covered. Maybe just maybe the NYT is seeing through the socialist/water melon fog and is SLOWLY backing away form the indefensible.
    Or the crock and crooked Carbon trading market is showing itself to be the ultimate Pozi scheme it always was, Or they cleaned their rose/red/green coloured glasses and to their shock and horror AL GORE is now an OIL man and a big green gig liability.
    Take your pick, or add to it?

  107. “We’ll still have solar power, wind, biomass, etc. to fall back on as well as whatever newer sources are discovered / developed. ”

    No you can not. There is nothing wrong with getting a small amount of energy from ‘alternatives’. The word ‘alternative’ like ‘sustainable’ are used those who ignore why we do things. If we could grow enough energy, there would be only a few coal miners providing coal to the steel industry.

    All the power society needs can be produced by fission. There is a reason that the AGW crowd ignores nuclear power. Many of the leaders got their start fear mongering nuke plants.

    After a while when no one is hurt from LWR with containment buildings, people stop listening to the fear mongers. AGW is the perfect topic for fear mongers. It will out live them.

    I predict that people will stop listening but for a different reason. The fear mongers jet around the world in party jets and ride in big limos while suggesting solutions that they personally or are just down right silly.

    They are addicted to drama and other things. They are recovering alcoholics who want to ban the rest of us from a glass of beer or wine with dinner. They want us to turn down our thermostats while the fly to Hawaii for the holidays.

  108. Willis says: “To me it’s like spending a thousand dollars on insurance that only pays out a hundred dollars.”

    What if it was playing out $100 to each of the next 20 generations of your descendants? That would be a more accurate comparison.

  109. Let’s put adaptation versus mitigation into a slightly different context.

    Oil is selling at about $100 per barrel right now. There’s about 690 cups in a barrel. In other words, crude oil is selling for about 15 cents per cup. You can’t even buy a cup of coffee for 15 cents. 15 cents won’t even cover the tip on a cup of coffee!

    Oil is possibly one of the cheapest commodities on the planet. What else can you buy in raw form for 15 cents a cup? That’s around 2 cents per ounce! That’s a whopping 70 cents per kilogram.

    Now what can you DO with a barrel of oil? Well a lot. For example, you can extract gasoline from the oil. Let’s say you extract one gallon of gasoline. You’d have almost the entire barrel left. Plus you would have enough gas in that single gallon to propel a 3,000 pound car with four occupants a distance of 30 miles or more. Yes there are refining costs and so on, but the raw materials in that gallon of gas actually sell for pennies. B*tch and complain though we do about the price of fuel, the fact of the matter is that it is almost free.

    Mitigation versus adaptation falls apart pretty quick when you understand that the raw material required as an input for adaptation is almost free.

    Find me a mitigation scheme based on something even close.

  110. Jim D says:
    January 12, 2013 at 9:41 am
    davidmhoffer, reading what you said again, it is very convoluted but you say it is cheaper to build sea-walls than not to have to build them
    Sea levels have oscillated a lot in the past, with a rising sea level since the end of the glaciation.
    Looking at the tide gauges I am asking myself where do you see that accelerated sea level rise?

    http://www.sealevel.info/MSL_global_trendtable2.html

    average 1.07 mm
    See also the Maldives from a greenie blog:

    http://www.marklynas.org/2012/04/where-sea-level-rise-isnt-what-it-seems/

    The problem to mitigate is not the sea level rise, but many other big problems, read through Mark’s post. the check Willis posts here at WUWT about life on atols.
    There are real many problems that need to be addressed there, wasting money and making more people poor is not the way to fix any:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-16072020

  111. Excellent article Willis.

    In part you bring up the issue of unintended consequences. My Bother-in-Law, an economist, suggest we should have particular concern at what he called “unintended, but not unforeseeable, consequences”.

    Those who have a problem understanding unintended economic consequences should read Thomas Sowell’s book “Basic Economics”.

    Nothing is free. No matter how well intended it may be.

  112. monetising CO2:

    9 Nov 2011: Sydney Morning Herald: Elizabeth Knight: Carbon tax just another cost – so get used to it
    The director of emissions and environment at Westpac, Emma Herd, describes carbon as a bit like a currency. Each country has a different carbon currency and Australia will soon join the ranks.
    Most can also trade in the international carbon currency, the CER…

    http://www.smh.com.au/business/carbon-tax-just-another-cost–so-get-used-to-it-20111108-1n5k6.html

    13 July 2011: Australian Financial Review: John Kehoe: Banks cash in on carbon market
    Banks will cash in on the Gillard ­government’s carbon policy as they develop new financial products and services and trade instruments in a market estimated to be worth many tens of billions of dollars locally…
    “We think that there are going to be opportunities to arbitrage between different markets internationally, so that’s going to open up opportunities for us,” said Morgan Stanley executive director Emile Abdurahman, who recently relocated from Singapore to set up a ­Sydney trading desk…
    While the carbon price policy will present some trading opportunities for banks in the initial three-year fixed carbon tax period from 2012, the real bonanza for the finance industry will come when ETS permits are auctioned by 2015.
    ANZ’s head of energy trading, Gary Wyatt, said international evidence suggested the value of the derivatives carbon market would dwarf the $10 billion initially raised by the government.
    “I’d be really surprised if the trading market didn’t end up being several multiple times of the underlying physical market,” Mr Wyatt said.
    Besides trading carbon permits on their own account, banks say there will be business opportunities from entering into forward contracts for big-emitting clients wanting to lock in a future certain carbon price, hedging fuel costs for airlines, and hedging currency risk when permits are traded internationally…
    Emma Herd, director of emissions and environment at Westpac, whose London-based energy traders have been trading European permits since 2006 and which was the first bank to trade New Zealand ETS permits, said the bank would use its offshore experience in Australia.
    “There really is a lot of overlap between energy, commodities and carbon markets,” she said.
    “They either trade directly in correlation with each other or they’re heavily influenced by activity in related markets.”…
    Banks also plan to develop new carbon-related financial products, to take advantage of the government’s carbon farming intitiatives (CFI)…

    http://afr.com/p/business/financial_services/banks_cash_in_on_carbon_market_ZHUVTvKlE0Akcs1JaL9n8M

    ——————————————————————————–

    2 July: National Times Australia: Lenore Taylor: Let’s give it a chance, says business grouping
    Emma Herd, Westpac’s executive director for emissions and environment, said her company had supported a carbon price for a decade, under two chief executives and three prime ministers. ”When we talk to clients now they just want certainty, they want to know the rules and they want to get on with the job.”…

    http://www.nationaltimes.com.au/opinion/political-news/lets-give-it-a-chance-says-business-grouping-20120701-21b2v.html

  113. @Climate Ace: “You need to put your thinking into some sort of time frame that gets you beyond the here-and-now. China is heading for the wall, vis-a-vis environmental blowback.”

    Right, letting those poor people act on their own instead of us “saving” them always results in their self-destruction! Therefore, Climate Ace, China needs you now more than ever – so as to ensure its future wellbeing, and ours! Drop us a line sometime from the PRC.

  114. trafamadore says:
    January 12, 2013 at 11:34 am
    Willis says: “To me it’s like spending a thousand dollars on insurance that only pays out a hundred dollars.”
    What if it was playing out $100 to each of the next 20 generations of your descendants? That would be a more accurate comparison.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    What if it was $1,000 per generation for 20 generations versus a payout of $100 per generation for 20 generations? Are the trolls so dense that they think mitigation costs are a one time thing? Or do they think that skeptics are so dense that they might fall for such a totally absurd notion?

  115. Jim D says:
    January 12, 2013 at 10:08 am
    Willis, why is that people think the only mitigation measure is reducing CO2 emission rates? Clearly that is not going to happen. Look at China and India and other global growth in carbon footprints. No, the real cost is in mitigating the effects. Sea-walls is one area, energy, water, food production are others where things can be done early.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    I see the problem. The writer doesn’t understand the difference between mitigation and adaptation. So, he insists that mitigation is better than adaptation, then when faced with the costs of mitigation, proposes instead adaptation measures and mistakenly calls them mitigation measures.

  116. Willis,
    Reading this post and some of the comments and the other WUWT post http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/01/11/the-royal-society-disaster-movie-starring-the-ehrlichs-and-the-prince-of-wales/ I cannot help but ‘think’ that the whole reduce CO2 furphy is still driven by the original ‘kill off the population because we haven’t got the resources’ crap.

    For anyone to deny that CO2 is not beneficial to plant growth or that the fossil fuel industry has not made an enormous contribution to the greening of the planet is OTFH (Off Their Fracking Head).

  117. Aren’t diamonds carbon? Maybe DeBeers and not “Big Oil” is the cause of CAGW? /sarc off

    One thing I’ve noticed is that those who argue for CO2 causing CAGW tend to forget that “we” don’t want to commit our money or our lifestyles to solve a nonproblem.
    The science isn’t there.
    What are those promoting CAGW after? Some may be out to “save the planet” from the threat they’ve been convinced exist. The politics of it is that those now promoting the “convincing” are really out to consolidate authority. “Global Warming” or “Global Cooling”, they don’t care. They just want to be handed the keys to the planet.

  118. @trafamadore
    “trafamadore says:
    January 12, 2013 at 11:04 am
    Has anyone mentioned that CO2 is not the limiting factor in plant growth? If you follow the web page that Willis refers to (Table2), and then follow that (thru another web page or two) to the literature sources the term “well watered” is seen a lot. I suspect they are well fertilized as well. One thing for sure, 900 ppm CO2 wouldnt have helped the fields in the midwest last summer, and in the real world I suspect the situation where conversion of CO2 is the limiting factor is not that common.”

    Yes and no, where other factors are limiting (such as cold or lack of sunlight), adding CO2 will not help. However: you have to look at overall production, not marginal situations here and there. Overall, it is very clear that our vegetation has increased since we put more CO2 in the air. You mention the most recent drought in the Midwest. There are two fallacies with the drought-argument: 
    a) global warming does not increase droughts.
    b) increased atmospheric CO2 actually helps plants to become more drought resistant (with more CO2 available, plants can keep their breathing pores (stomata) less wide open, and thus they do not lose so much water from evaporation through stomata).

    All in all, CO2 if anything has been helpful for food production. With a predicted 9 billion mouths to feed, I would not dare to reduce it.

  119. Any increase in carbon-dioxide is bad news for the poor people of Africa and the Pacific Islands that derive most of their nutrition from cassava. We have already seen the protein levels drop and cyanide levels increase with the increase in carbon-dioxide levels so far experienced. Cassava will be useless as a food source at carbon-dioxide levels of 1,000 ppm. Unfortunately, there is no substitute crop (that why it is described as the saviour of Africa). The only conclusion that can be drawn is that poor people will suffer with increases in carbon-dioxide concentrations.

  120. trafamadore says:

    January 12, 2013 at 11:04 am

    Has anyone mentioned that CO2 is not the limiting factor in plant growth?
    =============================
    On a recent thread that issue was addressed. It seems that last year’s drought in the midwest produced a surprise: the yields were much higher than the forecasts by agricultural production models.
    The inference is that higher atm CO2 means fewer stomata which leads to less water loss through respiration, the water saved going into yield. As a consequence, the models are being revised. How about that wonderful CO2!
    Tralamadore, relax, everything is going to be fine.

  121. davidmhoffer, it costs just as much whether you classify building sea walls as mitigation or adaptation. By these definitions, yes, adaptation is a better place to put the money in terms of cost-benefit. With no mitigation, adaptation is going to be more expensive and the effects more profound. I prefer the definition of mitigation as any kind of thinking ahead to reduce harm, but I see that in climate discussion it has a more narrow meaning in terms just reducing the amount of change.

  122. Thanks for looking at Helvering, it was in my file and hadn’t been looked at since school. Believe nothing that you read or hear without verifying it yourself unless congruent to Weltanschauung.

    None the less, imputed value is not a recent discovery. We may not rent the Commons.

  123. Tralfamadore, Tralfamadorians are a fictional alien race mentioned in several novels by Kurt Vonnegut. Tralfamadore is their home planet. In the novel Slaughterhouse-Five, protagonist Billy Pilgrim reports that the Tralfamadorians look like upright toilet plungers with a hand on top, into which is set a single green eye:

  124. Doug Huffman says: “Tralfamadore, Tralfamadorians are a fictional alien race mentioned in several novels by Kurt Vonnegut. Tralfamadore is their home planet.”

    and trafamadore, without the “L” is me, unworldly but wrong.

  125. @Caldermeade
    “Caldermeade says:
    January 12, 2013 at 2:06 pm
    Any increase in carbon-dioxide is bad news for the poor people of Africa and the Pacific Islands that derive most of their nutrition from cassava. We have already seen the protein levels drop and cyanide levels increase with the increase in carbon-dioxide levels so far experienced. Cassava will be useless as a food source at carbon-dioxide levels of 1,000 ppm. Unfortunately, there is no substitute crop (that why it is described as the saviour of Africa). The only conclusion that can be drawn is that poor people will suffer with increases in carbon-dioxide concentrations.”

    Caldermeade, your post about cassava is interesting, but where is the link? I googled the subject and immediately found several links disputing the findings you describe. It appears that the experiment you describe was done under unfavorable conditions for the plant, in the laboratory. A different experiment done in the field, under more realistic conditions, showed that increased CO2 increases cassava growth and does not make it toxic….

    http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/30540

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2486.2012.02726.x/abstract

  126. Jim D says:
    January 12, 2013 at 2:16 pm
    davidmhoffer, it costs just as much whether you classify building sea walls as mitigation or adaptation. By these definitions, yes, adaptation is a better place to put the money in terms of cost-benefit.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Wonderful! What do you propose we adapt to?

    The higher temperatures? They haven’t gone up in the last 16 years.
    Rising sea levels? The measured change is so small we’re not even sure if it is changing or not.
    Hurricanes? They’ve been decreasing for decades.
    Droughts? No change in the drought index for decades.
    Floods? No change in frequency or severity of flooding world wide for decades.
    Ice free arctic? How, exactly, would you adapt to that? Sail through it for free?

    Every time the CAGW crowd has made a prediction, they’ve fallen flat on their faces. I don’t know if it is on their lying faces or their incompetent faces, but on their faces they are. They got it wrong over, and over and over. Yet you STILL want to spend enormous amounts of money IN ADVANCE OF ANYTHING BAD ACTUALLY HAPPENING to adapt to things they are predicting MIGHT happen DESPITE the fact that everything they have predicted so far has been WRONG. In fact, it hasn’t JUST been wrong, it has been wrong by the standards that THEY THEMSELVES PROPOSED which is no warming for 15 years or more. Did these clown predict 50 below F in Siberia? Or the worst winter in 30 years in China? Or the worst blizzard in 20 years in the mid east? Why didn’t we adapt in advance to these things? We didn’t know they were going to happen, that’s why!

    You know what the best defense against unknown future changes is? A strong economy. The stronger the economy, the greater our ability to adapt to unforeseen changes. Screw the economy now building adaptation measures that we don’t need, and we’ll be too broke to build the ones we do need when we find out what they heck they actually are if they exist at all.

  127. trafamadore:

    You end your post at January 12, 2013 at 2:33 pm saying

    and trafamadore, without the “L” is me, unworldly but wrong.

    I write because it gives me great pleasure that for the first time you have said something which is clearly true, and I did not want it to go unnoticed.

    Yes, indeed, each of your posts clearly shows you are “unworldly but wrong”.

    Richard

  128. trafamadore says:

    January 12, 2013 at 2:33 pm
    “and trafamadore, without the “L” is me, unworldly but wrong.”
    ==================================
    “unworldly but wrong”
    well, yes.

  129. And, talking about adaptation or mitigation: if cassava were a true problem, it would not be very hard to task a team of agricultural scientists to come up with a strain of cassava that does not produce cyanide and thrives in higher CO2 levels. This could be done either by bioengineering or through old fashioned breeding. In either case, the money spent would be very modest.

  130. Caldermeade says: January 12, 2013 at 2:06 pm
    ============================
    Caldermeade, this is typical of the sort of rubbish that is spouted by alarmists.

    Just a few minutes reading internet sources on cassava reveals that 1) protein content of cassava is 1-2%, hence cassava cannot be regarded as a significant source of protein for those who depend on the crop 2) cyanogenic glucosides in cassava vary by a factor of 50, depending on the variety, and all varieties are consumed. In fact, some growers prefer the more toxic variety because of their insect resistance.

    Thank you for the opportunity to expose, once again, the hollowness of the CAGW alarms.

  131. davidmhoffer, there are plenty of adaptations that can be predicted apart from sea walls. The US has 6 million people living within 4 feet of sea level. A one meter rise means some expensive adaptation are needed. The western croplands increasingly rely on depleting the underground aquifer, which is half gone since the 50’s. This irrigation prevented another dust bowl, but where to when this water has gone. Planning might be in order. Drought problems are increasing in frequency and will pose an increasing obstacle to maintaining food production, despite Willis’s optimism. Somebody needs to study that. A good economy would have some contingency fund for such things, but I don’t see that happening in this political climate which is opposed to the government having any funds at all, let alone building up an escrow account with a carbon tax. The US is not on a good path.

  132. I see that quite a few posts have come in since I went to bed. I can’t respond to them all so I will try and address the main issues people have.

    The first thing is that someone wondered why I thought Willis’ post was absurd. There are a number of reasons, some of which I have already provided and won’t repeat. Here goes:

    The 10% is almost certainly inaccurate. It is inaccurate because it does not take into account of, or ignores:

    (1) a time frame
    (2) changes to food production and crop productivity arising from AGW. It is somewhat ironic that as I write our house is shrouded in smoke from burnt out pasturelands. The productivity loss there is 100%.
    (3) other critical limiting factors on food production including notably global phosphorous supplies over the coming century
    (4) the impact on food availability caused by chemical changes in the oceans, for example, the possible collapse of Southern Ocean fisheries based on pterapods.

    In other words, the post is based on enough oversimplification, ignoring other variables and a general lack of framework to make it absurd.

    There are other issues with the post. It ignores commercial reality. CO2 pollution costs are already being monetised, mainly through insurance premiums but also through the cost of risk capital. But that is on the other side of the ledger and the post in general fails because it only takes into account one side of the ledger.

    Some folk are wondering about my reference to a time frame, threshold events and the non-linear nature of AGW.

    The reason time frames are important is that they provide a necessary context for discussions about AGW and the economic benefits. No-one invests in an IPO without a very firm notion of the likely degree and timing of ROI. The same ought to be case when discussing the economic impacts of AGW. Any such discussion which omits a time frame is, therefore, an obvious absurdity.

    As an example of why time frames are critical for making sense of someone’s position, almost the entire set of posts above about sea walls is invalid (and inherently irrational) because it lacks an investment time frame. Bankers would laugh at the posts.

    Discussion of the economic impacts of AGW which lack a reference to threshold events is also obviously a clear fail. Possible threshold events: changes to environmental parameters such that insect pests, fungal diseases of crops, feral animals and weeds cut lose. This sort of stuff happens all the time. Ignoring it invalidates any rational assessment of AGW adaptation costs.

    The non-linear nature of climate behaviour is, I believe, reasonably well accepted. Assessing AGW adaptation costs therefore not only needs a time frame, it needs provision for non-linearity.

    A couple of people have accused me of being a troll. I don’t mind if some or many of you disagree with what I write. If everyone here agreed with what I post, I wouldn’t post. The sound of one hand clapping so common in blog strings is utterly boring.

    But I will not be calling you a troll because you disagree with me.

    Some people also called me some other things but I guess that since I called that EMSmith poster a fool, I have to expect to take a bit of personal flak.

  133. Jim D says: build seawalls, etc.
    =============================
    Not to worry, sea level rise is no threat at present and global wwarming is no more.
    Concerning the Agallala Aquifer, the best way to recharge that is by rainfall. The good thing about about a warmer world is that rainfall increases. A cooler world means less rainfall. Did you not know this? That means all of this scare talk about increasing drought can be ignored, unless the globe starts to cool. That’s the good news.

    The badnews is that, according to some climatologists, the globe has already started cooling, and this trend can be expected for several decades.

  134. Climate says:

    January 12, 2013 at 3:48 pm
    ================================
    You post reveals that you are too far gone to be saved, but for the benefit of others I wish to point out your errors:

    Concerning food production- a warmer world means more food production

    Concerning the so-called acidification of the oceans- the oceans are alkaline and will remain so for the next one billion years or so.

    CO2 is not pollution, but entirely beneficial; it is a plant fertilizer and the basis of all life. Without atmospheric CO2, there would be no life on this planet.

    Vague talk about time frame, threshold events, non-linear nature, etc. is just pseudo-scientific gobbledegoop that reveals a “warming -on-the-brain” syndrome. It is the inevitable consequence of being indoctrinated instead of educated.

    mpainter

  135. S. Meyer says: “There are two fallacies with the drought-argument:
    a) global warming does not increase droughts.”

    Let’s see the published ref on this, cuz I think you are full of it.

  136. trafamadore says:
    January 12, 2013 at 4:28 pm
    S. Meyer says: “There are two fallacies with the drought-argument:
    a) global warming does not increase droughts.”
    Let’s see the published ref on this, cuz I think you are full of it.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/11/16/global-warming-to-drought-links-shot-down/

    You may also want to check out the recent SREX report from the World Meteorological Organization and the multiple references on the matter in the IPCC AR5 SOD.

  137. Climate;
    Possible threshold events: changes to environmental parameters such that insect pests, fungal diseases of crops, feral animals and weeds cut lose. This sort of stuff happens all the time.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    You bet it does. Has for centuries. Episodes in the past have wiped out entire civilizations. Of course that was before CAGW. Hmmmm, maybe they aren’t even caused by CAGW? Well never mind that, point is they don’t have the same devastating impacts they had in the past. Ya know why?

    ‘cuz us pesky humans invented pesticides, fungicides, animal traps and herbicides.

    Climate;
    The non-linear nature of climate behaviour is, I believe, reasonably well accepted.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Yes it is. CO2’s effects are logarithmic and the cooling response of the planet is exponential. As a consequence the earth’s temperature varies within a very narrow range as confirmed by the geological record which includes time periods with CO2 levels in the thousands of ppm. Thanks for bringing this important point to everyone’s attention.

  138. Jim D says:
    January 12, 2013 at 3:46 pm
    davidmhoffer, there are plenty of adaptations that can be predicted apart from sea walls. The US has 6 million people living within 4 feet of sea level
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Jim, seriously, stop.

  139. @trafamadore
    A Michigan girl accusing someone of being ‘full of it’ is just silly as the anagram of your pseudo-moniker is:
    “Farted Aroma.”

  140. mpainter

    Concerning food production- a warmer world means more food production

    How much warmer?

    Concerning the so-called acidification of the oceans- the oceans are alkaline and will remain so for the next one billion years or so.

    Who said anything about acidification? Not me. Stop pretending that I did.

    CO2 is not pollution, but entirely beneficial; it is a plant fertilizer and the basis of all life. Without atmospheric CO2, there would be no life on this planet.

    Many pollutants (as well as poisons) are beneficial within certain parameters. It is once they get beyond these parameters that they become pollutants (or become deadly). The notion that substances must necessarily be one or the other is a classic BAU booster strawman.

    Vague talk about time frame, threshold events, non-linear nature, etc. is just pseudo-scientific gobbledegoop that reveals a “warming -on-the-brain” syndrome. It is the inevitable consequence of being indoctrinated instead of educated.

    I see that you are avoiding the issues of threshold events, non-linearity and the lack of a time frame for economic discussions.

    BTW, I notice that you ignored the fact that the Coalition has as a policy the spending of $10 billion of taxpayers’s funds to reduce Australia’s CO2 emissions by 5% by 2020.

  141. SMeyer

    And, talking about adaptation or mitigation: if cassava were a true problem, it would not be very hard to task a team of agricultural scientists to come up with a strain of cassava that does not produce cyanide and thrives in higher CO2 levels. This could be done either by bioengineering or through old fashioned breeding. In either case, the money spent would be very modest.

    Technically, using GMOs, should be entirely doable. I guess there isn’t a buck in it for the plant breeding companies?

    By the way, ‘mitigation’ is a bit confusing IMHO. I prefer ‘prevention’ of AGW.

  142. Climate Ace,

    Let me put it in terms you can understand:

    At current and projected levels, CO2 is harmless, and beneficial to the biosphere.

    That is a testable hypothesis. Try to falsify it, per the scientific method.

  143. davidmhoffer, yes, I will stop. It was a funny premise that growing more corn could offset climate change impacts, so I gave my reaction to that, and that is sufficient.

  144. D Böehm Stealey says:
    January 12, 2013 at 5:41 pm

    Climate Ace,

    Let me put it in terms you can understand:

    At current and projected levels, CO2 is harmless, and beneficial to the biosphere.

    That is a testable hypothesis. Try to falsify it, per the scientific method.

    I prefer the BAU approach of continuing with our once only experiment with the planet and the future of humanity. You know it makes sense.

    BTW, did you really mean what your statement implies, that CO2 is ‘beneficial’ in all cases and in all circumstances? Or was that a bit of an over-generalisation?

  145. Jim D says:
    January 12, 2013 at 6:02 pm
    davidmhoffer, yes, I will stop. It was a funny premise that growing more corn could offset climate change impacts, so I gave my reaction to that, and that is sufficient.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    That wasn’t even the premise. Your reaction was to something rattling around inside of your head. Go back and read the thing from the beginning. Seriously. This time pay attention to what is being said instead of what you presume is being said. If you work hard at it, you may be able to overcome the reading comprehension issues you have thus far demonstrated.

  146. @ Climate Ace: 5:35 pm
    ==============================

    mpainter:The warmer the world, the higher the food production. This is an indisputable fact.
    ==============================

    Climate Ace says: Who said anything about acidification? Not me. Stop pretending that I did.
    =============================

    mpainter: then why don’t explain your statement concerning pterapods, if you did not mean to refer to the standard context of ocean acidification.
    ======================================
    Climate Ace says: “Many pollutants (as well as poisons) are beneficial within certain parameters”
    =======================================
    mpainter: CO2 is not “many pollutants(as well as poisons)”. CO2 is entirely beneficial and atm CO2 forms the basis of life. The idea that CO2 is harmful is an unsustainable myth.
    ================================
    Climate Ace: I see that you are avoiding the issues of threshold events, non-linearity and the lack of a time frame for economic discussions.
    ===============================
    mpainter: I never respond to pseudo-scientific gobbledegoop.
    ==================================
    Climate Ace: BTW, I notice that you ignored the fact that the Coalition has as a policy the spending of $10 billion of taxpayers’s funds to reduce Australia’s CO2 emissions by 5% by 2020.
    =================================
    What do you expect me to do about that? Poor Australia.

  147. S. Meyer says: “Concerning droughts”

    Thank you for your effort S. Meyer, but you found internet opinion pieces not published articles. And even in them the word “maybe” was everywhere.

    I was a leading Q from me because I know there is no published data saying that there will be more or less droughts with AGW; we really dont know. All people can guess with regard to drought is that some places (Texas) might be loosers and some places (Canada) might be winners, but those are only guesses.

    But no name calling, agreed.

  148. Climate Ace;
    BTW, did you really mean what your statement implies, that CO2 is ‘beneficial’ in all cases and in all circumstances?
    >>>>>>>>>>>>

    Well since Stealey was rather specific, saying “At current and projected levels” it seems that you suffer from the same reading comprehension problem as Jim D. btw, your complaint about ignoring your whining about threshold events is interesting. Are you ignoring my response to you, failing to understand it due to reading comprehension issues, or just hoping that by complaining you can distract attention from the fact that someone else responded to you and made you look rather foolish?

  149. mpainter says:
    January 12, 2013 at 6:20 pm

    @ Climate Ace: 5:35 pm

    mpainter:The warmer the world, the higher the food production. This is an indisputable fact.

    How much warmer?

    Climate Ace says: Who said anything about acidification? Not me. Stop pretending that I did.

    mpainter: then why don’t explain your statement concerning pterapods, if you did not mean to refer to the standard context of ocean acidification.

    You are verballing me. I did not mention ‘acidification’. Stop pretending I did.

    Climate Ace says: “Many pollutants (as well as poisons) are beneficial within certain parameters”
    mpainter: CO2 is not “many pollutants(as well as poisons)”. CO2 is entirely beneficial and atm CO2 forms the basis of life. The idea that CO2 is harmful is an unsustainable myth.

    Arguing that any substance must always be either beneficial or harmful fails the pub test.

  150. Climate Ace,

    So you are unable to falsify my hypothesis spelled out @5:41 pm above. Don’t feel too bad, no one else has been able to falsify it, either.

    You ask: “…did you really mean what your statement implies, that CO2 is ‘beneficial’ in all cases and in all circumstances?”

    Don’t be silly. In science as in life, nothing is 100%. But the benefit of more CO2 comes about as close to 100% as anything. Unless you can cite a verifiable, testable, unequivocal, quantifiable level of global harm from the rise in CO2.

    If not, then more CO2 is “harmless”. QED

  151. davidmhoffer says:
    January 12, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    Climate;
    Possible threshold events: changes to environmental parameters such that insect pests, fungal diseases of crops, feral animals and weeds cut lose. This sort of stuff happens all the time.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    You bet it does. Has for centuries. Episodes in the past have wiped out entire civilizations. Of course that was before CAGW. Hmmmm, maybe they aren’t even caused by CAGW? Well never mind that, point is they don’t have the same devastating impacts they had in the past. Ya know why?

    ‘cuz us pesky humans invented pesticides, fungicides, animal traps and herbicides.

    Thank you for accepting what several other posters are still rejecting: the existence of threshold events.

    Climate;
    The non-linear nature of climate behaviour is, I believe, reasonably well accepted.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Yes it is. CO2′s effects are logarithmic and the cooling response of the planet is exponential. As a consequence the earth’s temperature varies within a very narrow range as confirmed by the geological record which includes time periods with CO2 levels in the thousands of ppm. Thanks for bringing this important point to everyone’s attention.

    Thank you for accepting what several other posters are still rejecting: the non-linear nature of climate. Mpainter persists in calling it ‘unscientific gobbleydook’.

    These elements are ignored in Willis’ post detracts significantly from the credibility of the post. As does the absence of a time frame. As does his ignoring other aspects of monetization of CO2 emissions, including that by the insurance industry.

  152. @Ace, climate that is,
    Care to produce some evidence of AGW?
    Then some impact of AGW over unmeasurable?
    All you’ve managed so far is grandiose assertions, in bureau speak… Troll.
    You have filled a lot of space on this thread, but have not said much, if you won’t provide some arguments of substance, with evidence, its thread-jacker, troll and bureaucrat.

  153. trafamadore;
    I was a leading Q from me because I know there is no published data saying that there will be more or less droughts with AGW; we really dont know.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    I provided you a link to an article discussing a peer reviewed paper recently published in Nature. This paper is heavily referenced in the draft of the UN report scheduled to be released next year. I also suggested you read the most recent literature from the WMO on weather extremes which says the same thing. I suggest you either read the literature so as to be able to discuss it, or continue looking foolish by insisting that the most recent science doesn’t say what you want it to say.

  154. Climate Ace says:
    January 12, 2013 at 6:45 pm
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Having had his entire premise demolished in my response, Climate Ace can only focus on the 2% of my response that he tries to paint as somehow agreeing with him. Sorry Ace, I didn’t agree with you. I pointed out that you used some words that sound all sciencey but that you drew conclusions from them that those very sciencey words don’t support.

  155. I go back to my original point. While it is true, following the logic, that taking the purported crop-yield benefit could pay for future damage via some kind of taxing scheme, this assumes the farmers would be happy to just donate their CO2-produced profit, that crop prices could be kept high to pay for climate damage, and that the increased population didn’t just use up that increased yield, but otherwise the idea is fine. So we pay for the damage via the food prices rather than a carbon tax, all assuming the crop yields go up, and demand doesn’t, to support this plan. Excellent idea(?).

  156. JT says:
    January 11, 2013 at 8:52 pm

    Um, the average of 20 + 2 = 22 is calculated by dividing 22 by 2 which = 11, not 21.

    You don’t understand government arithmetic.

  157. “maldistribution of wealth and resources, and reining in the growth of CO2 emissions.”

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

    So we approach the nub of the issue. Wealth is “maldistributed” by “malappropriation” of carbon. The dinosaurs died for our sins. Whether it be the suffering of the I phone deprived in this country who must suffer the indignity of flipphones or the actual suffering and starvation where industrialization has not occurred, energy is salvation.

    Energy is a dancing plasma. More energy dances between the surface of the earth and the atmosphere than the earth recieves from the sun. According to quantum theory we create it by merely observing it. Still thinking about that one, but fission is essentially denied, fusion is being fussy, and we are left for the time being with Carbon, the element of life.

    If we were really messing up the place with Carbon it would be one thing, but all of the evidence except for a twenty year correlation with atmospheric warming indicates otherwise.

  158. D Böehm Stealey says:
    January 12, 2013 at 6:39 pm

    You ask: “…did you really mean what your statement implies, that CO2 is ‘beneficial’ in all cases and in all circumstances?”

    Don’t be silly. In science as in life, nothing is 100%.

    OK. So your statement was silly because it was an overgeneralisation. I suggest you vary it accordingly.

    I would also be curious to know your views about where CO2 is not beneficial.

  159. davidmhoffer says:
    January 12, 2013 at 6:58 pm

    Climate Ace says:
    January 12, 2013 at 6:45 pm
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Having had his entire premise demolished in my response, Climate Ace can only focus on the 2% of my response that he tries to paint as somehow agreeing with him. Sorry Ace, I didn’t agree with you. I pointed out that you used some words that sound all sciencey but that you drew conclusions from them that those very sciencey words don’t support.

    Which ‘entire premise’? That effective monetisation requires a time frame and needs to integrate climate thresholds and the non linear nature of climate? You have not demolished the premise. You have reinforced it. And no wonder. It is the sort of stuff investors do when they analyse an IPO. It is sort of stuff insurance companies take into account when they set their premiums.

    I wasn’t really all that keen to get into a discussion about the implications of the concepts, although you make a start. They exist and therefore it is necessary to take them into account when trying to monetizing CO2 in a comprehensive and integrated fashion. Willis doesn’t do this which is why his post lacks credibility.

    I am just grateful that you accepted their existence because there are a few posters who appear to be having difficulty with the notion that they exist at all. It means that they have difficulty understanding Willis’ post.

  160. Caldermeade says:
    January 12, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    Along with S. Meyer, I’m having a bit of a problem with your cassava/CO2/cyanide connection and the information in this mid-2003 report:

    http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/cassava.htm

    Sayre and Siritunga engineered cassava plants in which the expression of the genes responsible for linamarin synthesis was blocked. They then analyzed the linamarin content in these plants’ leaves and roots, finding a significant reduction of the cyanogen in leaves (by 60 to 94 percent) and in roots (by 99 percent) compared to normal cassava plants.

  161. Climate Ace : How much warmer
    ==========================
    How much warmer do you like it? The warmer the world, the more life florishes.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Climate Ace: I did not mention ‘acidification’. Stop pretending I did.
    ===========================
    You are the pretender; quit being evasive- For the second time, I ask what you mean by this statement:

    “4) the impact on food availability caused by chemical changes in the oceans, for example, the possible collapse of Southern Ocean fisheries based on pterapods”
    ===========================
    Climate Ace: Arguing that any substance must always be either beneficial or harmful fails the pub test.
    ========================
    Atmospheric CO2 forms the basis of life. The higher the level, the more life florishes. Formerly it was believed that CO2 would bring the further benefit of a warmer world, but that theory has so far been nothing but a disapointment.

    Concerning what I refer to pseudo-scientific gobbledegoop, I mean your disconnected statements which showcase certain terms in order to convey the impression of competence. In fact, you appear as poorly educated and doctrinaire- another glib, but evasive, would-be scientist from Australia who imagines to refute the skeptical viewpoint.

  162. Climate Ace,

    As David Hoffer noted, I was quite specific. My statement was not an “overgeneralization”, it was a specific hypothesis that states that there is no global harm resulting from the rise in CO2.

    You also say:

    “I would also be curious to know your views about where CO2 is not beneficial.”

    You do not understand the Scientific Method. It is your conjecture that AGW is a problem. It is your conjecture that CO2 causes global harm. Therefore, it is incumbent upon you to provide testable scientific evidence, per the Scientific Method, verifying that global harm.

    If you cannot do so, then my hypothesis stands: CO2 causes no verifiable global harm, and thus it is “harmless”. QED

  163. Climate Ace says:
    January 12, 2013 at 6:45 pm

    These elements are ignored in Willis’ post detracts significantly from the credibility of the post. As does the absence of a time frame. As does his ignoring other aspects of monetization of CO2 emissions, including that by the insurance industry.

    Nonsense. All of those factors are included in the $21 per ton that the alarmists claim is a reasonable estimate. Willis accepted the alarmist value in his calculation. Nothing was ignored.

  164. davidmhoffer says: “I provided you a link to an article discussing a peer reviewed paper recently published in Nature.”

    Right. Does the paper say that droughts cant be caused by AGW? No. It says there is no conclusive evidence that that droughts are caused by AGW but there could be. That means we dont know. Which is what I said.

  165. Caldermeade says:
    January 12, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    Any increase in carbon-dioxide is bad news for the poor people of Africa and the Pacific Islands that derive most of their nutrition from cassava. We have already seen the protein levels drop and cyanide levels increase with the increase in carbon-dioxide levels so far experienced. Cassava will be useless as a food source at carbon-dioxide levels of 1,000 ppm. Unfortunately, there is no substitute crop (that why it is described as the saviour of Africa). The only conclusion that can be drawn is that poor people will suffer with increases in carbon-dioxide concentrations.

    I tried to read the study you refer to but it was paywalled. I doubt greatly that cassava will be “useless” because of elevated CO2, that makes no sense. If you have an unpaywalled copy send it to me and I’ll take a look.

    Finally, in any case the odds of hitting 1,000 ppmv are very slim in this century at least, and perhaps ever. So once again, an AGW supporter is getting all hot and bothered about something that might, and I emphasize might, happen in a hundred years … sorry, but that doesn’t move me in the slightest.

    w.

  166. trafamadore says:
    January 12, 2013 at 8:36 pm

    davidmhoffer says: “I provided you a link to an article discussing a peer reviewed paper recently published in Nature.”
    —————————–
    “Right. Does the paper say that droughts cant be caused by AGW? No. It says there is no conclusive evidence that that droughts are caused by AGW but there could be. That means we dont know. Which is what I said.”

    <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

    No, the paper means nothing. It discovered ZERO, and revealed ZERO new evidence. It's only implication is that the AUTHOR ASSERTS HE doesn't know, and that no one else can.

    Which is NOT what you said.

    YOU said the paper has 'meaning.'

    YOU said it and provided no basis for measurement of it that meaning, just religious conviction it HAS 'meaning.'

    That means YOU assert, that because the AUTHOR asserts NO ONE can know,
    no one can. But you've given zilch indication of why.

    People are asking you repeatedly which field of energy instrumentation you say claims there is man made global warming. We've got billions of dollars' infrared sensing based in space. We've got billions of dollars based on the ground in thermal sensing.

    We've got an entire photographic history of the sky since invention of photography and no indication that increasing heat on atmospheric gas, is creating more thermal turbulence, limiting astronomical viewing through the increase in that effect – that motion on gas is heat effect derived from the convective currents of earth frequency infrared.

    That's called the twinkling of the stars, and we've got computerized machine assemblies which flex the mirrors of many major earth-based telescopes, to take that effect out. We've had these for thirty years. Not a soul's ever said a word about the need for more flexing of the telescope mirrors, or more days being lost to bad viewing from too much convective waver.

    So it goes with the entire infrared astronomy field based on earth, not a soul's ever noticed a steadily climbing earth frequency infrared rate, or we'd have heard about it.

    Which means you've got a learning disability of some kind. Because the theory that man adding CO2 can add measurable change to ANYTHING related to climate is pretty well shot to the same tiny pieces as the grasp you seem to have of just what scientific fields your religion is flying into the face of.

    You'd better go ask yourself if you really think the entire space-based and earth based infrared astronomy fields are unable to tell whether there's any more atmospheric infrared in the earth frequency.

    Hey wait that's right someone did check that for 12 to 14 years, by laying out infrared meters out in the U.S. Midwest: ground zero for your religion's apocalyptic meltdown.

    Turned out as mankind's co2 emissions rose by a third, night time atmospheric infrared went
    D.O.W.N.

    Which is impossible, according to your religion.

    Just sayin.

  167. D Böehm Stealey says:
    January 12, 2013 at 7:48 pm You do not understand the Scientific Method. It is your conjecture that AGW is a problem. It is your conjecture that CO2 causes global harm. Therefore, it is incumbent upon you to provide testable scientific evidence, per the Scientific Method, verifying that global harm.

    Um, you have devised what you call a conjecture. Your proposition is that carbon dioxide causes no disbenefits at all Feel free to prove it.

  168. Tom_R says:
    January 12, 2013 at 8:27 pm

    Climate Ace says:
    January 12, 2013 at 6:45 pm

    These elements are ignored in Willis’ post detracts significantly from the credibility of the post. As does the absence of a time frame. As does his ignoring other aspects of monetization of CO2 emissions, including that by the insurance industry.

    Nonsense. All of those factors are included in the $21 per ton that the alarmists claim is a reasonable estimate. Willis accepted the alarmist value in his calculation. Nothing was ignored.

    Not really. Willis left out the monetisation that the private sector is already putting on CO2 costs, regardless of what government does with its $21 per ton. It would be difficult to calculate but the insurance industry (around 7% of the global economy) might have the stats vis-a-vis premiums. Rather harder to calculate to way AGW risk is being monetised in venture capital.

  169. Climate ace your lack of facts and logic combined with your assertions, assumptions and gibberish pseudo science buzzwords has convinced me that cagw exists. Than you.

  170. JFHultquist

    cf RIRO, I hadn’t realized there was more than one possible meaning. ‘Rubbish In Rubbish Out’ was what I had intended.

  171. mpainter

    “4) the impact on food availability caused by chemical changes in the oceans, for example, the possible collapse of Southern Ocean fisheries based on pterapods”

    You seem to be obsessive about ‘acidification’. BAU boosters love to hate the term so I don’t use it.

    I was referring to the changes in ocean chemistry arising from rising concentrations of atmospheric CO2.

  172. @trafamadore
    “Thank you for your effort S. Meyer, but you found internet opinion pieces not published articles. And even in them the word “maybe” was everywhere.”

    I am puzzled. One of my references was from the Journal of Hydrology, one from a US government (U.S. Climate Change Science Program), one from National Geographic and one refers to the most recent IPCC draft report.

    Those are hardly “opinion pieces”.

    As to the maybe: A degree of uncertainty is in the nature of statistical evidence. I am afraid there is no absolute proof. If you were to put up the hypothesis that “looking at the moon causes blindness”, an honest scientist can tell you that there is no evidence for that, and that is as good as it gets.

  173. Alex says:
    January 12, 2013 at 10:06 pm

    Climate ace your lack of facts and logic combined with your assertions, assumptions and gibberish pseudo science buzzwords has convinced me that cagw exists. Than you.

    Excellent. Now we can get to work to improve your spelling, grammar and punctuation.

  174. BTW, I saw a suggestion on an Australian blog which might appeal to BAU boosters: why not hold a 400ppm CO2 victory party? It is quite an achievement and deserves celebration as a symbol of humanity’s mastery over nature.

  175. Alan E Eltor

    I would appreciate a link or reference to your comments about infrared trends and the inference that might be drawn therefrom. I had not heard that point made before and am intrigued to know more.

  176. The good news here is that the smoke that blanketed our place this morning has been blown away, a cool change has swept past, and we have had a generally good day. The humans have come out of their cool caves and are out and about.

    All fires are either out or contained and we can relax until the next hotties which will be later in the week.

    The firies have done a magnificent job.

  177. Allen B. Eltor says: “No, the paper means nothing.”

    Hum. Isn’t that what I said? You used 500 words to say that? Maybe I am missing something, perhaps you should use 2000 words.

  178. Climate Ace;
    With your rapier-like intelect it is surprising that you would lower yourself to posting on a drooling hillbilly moron site like this one. It must cause brain cell loss and migraines and diminishes your station.

    The monetizing CO2 idea is excellent. Using CO2 to replace the USD for settlement of US govt accounts would overcome the debt ceiling/defecit problem. Being an invisible gas would conceal the fact that the emperor has no clothes. Is the gas bag half empty or half full?

    sarc

  179. Climate Ace:

    You have been trumped repeatedly.

    So, you can stop snowing this thread with your nonsense and play somewhere else. I suggest trafamadore’s playpen would be a suitable place for you and the two of you could try to share your toys.

    This would allow the grownups to discuss on this thread without your continual interruptions and tantrums.

    Richard

  180. Hey Climate Ace, your climate dog don’t hunt:

    http://petaluma.granicus.com/MetaViewer.php?view_id=3&clip_id=986&meta_id=190697

    A 300 ppm increase in the air’s CO2 content typically
    raises the productivity of most herbaceous plants by
    about one-third (Cure and Acock, 1986; Mortensen,
    1987). This positive response occurs in plants that
    utilize all three of the major biochemical pathways
    (C3, C4, and crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM)) of
    photosynthesis (Poorter, 1993). Thus, with more CO2
    in the air, the productivity of nearly all crops rises, as
    they produce more branches and tillers, more and
    thicker leaves, more extensive root systems, and more
    flowers and fruit (Idso, 1989).
    On average, a 300 ppm increase in atmospheric
    CO2 enrichment leads to yield increases of 15 percent
    for CAM crops, 49 percent for C3 cereals, 20 percent
    for C4 cereals, 24 percent for fruits and melons, 44
    percent for legumes, 48 percent for roots and tubers,
    and 37 percent for vegetables (Idso and Idso, 2000).
    References
    Cure, J.D., and Acock, B. (1986). Crop Responses to
    Carbon Dioxide Doubling: A Literature Survey. Agric. For.
    Meteorol. 38, 127-145.
    Idso, C.D. and Idso, K.E. (2000) Forecasting world food
    supplies: The impact of rising atmospheric CO2
    concentration. Technology 7 (suppl): 33-56.

  181. Willis you said

    Finally, in any case the odds of hitting 1,000 ppmv are very slim in this century at least, and perhaps ever. So once again, an AGW supporter is getting all hot and bothered about something that might, and I emphasize might, happen in a hundred years … sorry, but that doesn’t move me in the slightest.

    That is unfair as I was responding to,another poster who said 1,000 ppm was the ideal concentration.

  182. Climate Ace said (January 12, 5:35 pm – otherwise one loses track): “BTW, I notice that you ignored the fact that the Coalition has as a policy the spending of $10 billion of taxpayers’s funds to reduce Australia’s CO2 emissions by 5% by 2020”.

    Ah – so it’s a cobber from Oz! Wait a mo – we haven’t seen the Bear around of late: this looks suspiciously like a new incarnation. Grrr to you from the Old Country (in case it rings a bell)!

  183. richardscourtney says:
    January 12, 2013 at 11:42 pm

    Climate Ace:

    You have been trumped repeatedly.

    So, you can stop snowing this thread with your nonsense and play somewhere else. I suggest trafamadore’s playpen would be a suitable place for you and the two of you could try to share your toys.

    This would allow the grownups to discuss on this thread without your continual interruptions and tantrums.

    Richard

    You are a seagull. You have not participated in a single discussion of substance on this thread. You turn up like a seagull, squawk a bit, and then crap all over the place. I suggest you do the classic seagull stuff now and fly away.

  184. Richard G says:
    January 12, 2013 at 11:54 pm

    Hey Climate Ace, your climate dog don’t hunt:

    Stop making up stuff about me. I have never said that increased concentrations of atmospheric CO2 will not have an impact on productivity.

    To underdstand them you have to get down and dirty with reality. The figures quoted in this study, inter alia, depend on the continued availability of phosphorous as an input. Over the course of the next century, this is questionable at best.

    [the site rules require civility, both of you take note, thanks . . mod]

  185. Billy says:
    January 12, 2013 at 11:26 pm

    Climate Ace;
    With your rapier-like intelect it is surprising that you would lower yourself to posting on a drooling hillbilly moron site like this one. It must cause brain cell loss and migraines and diminishes your station.

    It would be nice to know what you are talking about. I have not spotted a single hillbilly. I have seen anyone drooling. I have no issues with migraines. My station is as it was.

    So stop making stuff up about me.

    The monetizing CO2 idea is excellent. Using CO2 to replace the USD for settlement of US govt accounts would overcome the debt ceiling/defecit problem. Being an invisible gas would conceal the fact that the emperor has no clothes. Is the gas bag half empty or half full?

    I am most excellently glad that I live in Australia and not the USA. We have a carbon pricing mechanism and practically all useful economic indicators show that our economy is in a much better state of health than that of the USA. (Even the dopey Opposition whose leader has said ‘Climate Science is Crap’ has a policy of doing something positive about CO2 emissions.)

    Compared to the US, we have lower unemployment, lower inflation, higher growth rate, lower debt to GDP ratio, higher international ratings agencies ratings, etc, etc, etc. Home borrowers do not have negative equity in their houses here and the Aussie dollar has been above parity with the US dollar for some time. And it is mostly safe to go out for a walk at night.

    I have admired the US since I was a child and I still do. I think that, apart from the tendency to go to war unnecessarily, and also to shoot each other in huge numbers during a time of peace, US civilisation has been, on balance, a great force for good on the planet. In particular I believe that the US has been especially good at forcing the pace on the democratisation of large slabs of the world. I look forward to the US leading the planet on addressing the AGW.

    I wish you guys all the best of luck going forward but am a tad concerned that you are going to need more than luck. What with Guns R Us, the Tea Party fruitloops, your carbon problem and your debt problem you have huge challenges. Nevertheless, I have great faith that you guys will pull through and sort it all out.

    Best wishes with it.

  186. Willis and readers, I apologise for my countryman, who apparently considers him/herself an “Ace”.

    The concept of monetising externalities is hotly debated, and possibly contains more junk numbers than climate ‘science’. You will all have read those dumb articles in the MSM that say something like “Experts estimate that the cost of (road accidents/obesity/alcohol consumption or another bugbear du jour) is eleventy billion dollars per year, and growing …”

    These numbers, when analysed, consist only fractionally of anything that can be measured, like medical costs or infrastructure costs. The bulk of the number consists of made-up statistics. A common one is loss of quality of life, another favourite is loss of economic production. Bizarrely, in the case of someone who dies prematurely, they may incur a cost for not being alive (premature death), a cost for not working and a cost for loss of the quality of life they would have had if they had kept on living. I am not making this up.

    It is a popular tactic of lobby groups of all kinds who are trying to raise the profile of their issue. Not only do they confuse social costs with personal costs, a lot of the numbers they cite are meaningless in economic terms. Once you are dead, you don’t cost society anything, ever again.

    Environmental activists have enthusiastically embraced this idea. Instead of, as in ordinary tort law, somebody having to actually demonstrate a real loss that they can claim compensation for, huge numbers can be conjured out of the air and used as an excuse for all embracing regulation.

    It is complete voodoo. While it makes sense to say to a factory, or a household – you can’t dump your rubbish in the river because it adversely affects everyone who lives near it or uses it, that is not the same as what the EPA and our local equivalents now do. Instead, they invent statistics (like the infamous mercury rules recently mooted in the US) which do not identify a single real victim but proceed to bludgeon everyone with ideologically driven rules. Anti-CO2 rules manage to combine the worst of climate ‘science’ with the shonkiest economic hokum. Quite a coup for their proponents, not great for those who have to pay the bill.

  187. Climate Ace finally succumbed to his/her/its basic instincts, posted a bunch of spitballs and fled. No surprise here.

  188. Monetizing the Effects of Carbon
    Posted on January 11, 2013 by Willis Eschenbach
    I would like to thank Willis Eschenbach for this post.

    There is unquestionably a significant benefit to commercial agriculture and to the biosphere for a doubling of atmospheric CO2 from 280 ppm to 560 ppm. Commercial greenhouses inject CO2 into the greenhouse up to 1000 ppm to 1200 ppm to increase yield and reduce growing times. There is roughly a 40% increase in cereal crop yield due to a doubling of CO2 from 280 ppm to 560 ppm.

    When atmospheric CO2 rises plants can make more effective use of water which means less water is required for irrigation and there is reduce desertification.

    Environmentalists should be fully in support of the rise in atmospheric CO2, for the reasons noted above, and as scientific analysis and observations indicates the temperature rise due to a doubling of atmospheric CO2 from 280 ppm to 560 ppm by the end of 2100 will result in roughly 1C warming with most the warming occurring at high latitudes which will also result in an expansion in the biosphere due to an increase in the growing season and increased precipitation. All of the unbiased research supports these conclusions.

    Why has logic and reason been removed from the discussion of atmospheric CO2 rise?
    I do not understand how a gas that is absolutely essential to life on this planet has been deemed a pollutant by the EPA.

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S016788090700045X

    Impact of elevated CO2 and temperature on rice yield and methods of adaptation as evaluated by crop simulation studies But increases in the CO2 concentration up to 700 ppm led to the average yield increases of about 30.73% by ORYZA1 and 56.37% by INFOCROP rice.

    http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/crops/facts/00-077.htm#f1

    For most crops the saturation point will be reached at about 1,000–1,300 ppm under ideal circumstances. A lower level (800–1,000 ppm) is recommended for raising seedlings (tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers) as well as for lettuce production. Even lower levels (500–800 ppm) are recommended for African violets and some Gerbera varieties. Increased CO2 levels will shorten the growing period (5%–10%), improve crop quality and yield, as well as, increase leaf size and leaf thickness. The increase in yield of tomato, cucumber and pepper crops is a result of increased numbers and faster flowering per plant.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090218135031.htm

    Published today in Nature, the 40 year study of African tropical forests–one third of the world’s total tropical forest–shows that for at least the last few decades each hectare of intact African forest has trapped an extra 0.6 tonnes of carbon per year.

    The reason why the trees are getting bigger and mopping up carbon is unclear. A leading suspect is the extra CO2 in the atmosphere itself, which may be acting like a fertiliser.
    African forests have the highest mammal diversity of any ecosystem, with over 400 species, alongside over 10,000 species of plants and over 1,000 species of birds. According to the FAO deforestation rates are approximately 6 million hectares per year (almost 1% of total forest area per year), although other studies show the rate to be half that (approximately 0.5% of total forest area per year). The African Tropical Rainforest Observation Network, Afritron brings together researchers active in African countries with tropical forest to standardise and pool data to better understand how African tropical forests are changing in a globally changing environment.

    http://www.co2science.org/subject/t/summaries/transpiration.php

    Transpiration
    Transpiration – Summary Most plants respond to increases in the air’s CO2 content by displaying reduced stomatal conductances, which typically leads to reduced rates of transpirational water loss. This water savings often results in greater soil moisture contents in CO2-enriched ecosystems, which positively feeds back to increase plant growth. In this summary, we review a few papers that treat various aspects of this phenomenon.

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article6036529.ece

    “There is no doubt that the enrichment of the air with CO2 is increasing plant growth rates in many areas,” said Professor Martin Parry, head of plant science at Rothamsted Research, Britain’s leading crop institute.

    TREES and plants are growing bigger and faster in response to the billions of tons of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere by humans, scientists have found. Researchers in Germany recently discovered that wheat grown in similar conditions would produce up to 16% more grain.

    http://www.springerlink.com/content/w7gy1cyyr5yey994/

    Carbon dioxide effects on stomata responses to the environment and water use by crops under field conditions

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/07/090731-green-sahara.html

    The green shoots of recovery are showing up on satellite images of regions including the Sahel, a semi-desert zone bordering the Sahara to the south that stretches some 2,400 miles (3,860 kilometers). Images taken between 1982 and 2002 revealed extensive regreening throughout the Sahel, according to a new study in the journal Biogeosciences.

    The study suggests huge increases in vegetation in areas including central Chad and western Sudan. In the eastern Sahara area of southwestern Egypt and northern Sudan, new trees—such as acacias—are flourishing, according to Stefan Kröpelin, a climate scientist at the University of Cologne’s Africa Research Unit in Germany.

    “Shrubs are coming up and growing into big shrubs. This is completely different from having a bit more tiny grass,” said Kröpelin, who has studied the region for two decades. In 2008 Kröpelin—not involved in the new satellite research—visited Western Sahara, a disputed territory controlled by Morocco.

    “The nomads there told me there was never as much rainfall as in the past few years,” Kröpelin said. “They have never seen so much grazing land.” “Before, there was not a single scorpion, not a single blade of grass,” he said. “Now you have people grazing their camels in areas which may not have been used for hundreds or even thousands of years. You see birds, ostriches, gazelles coming back, even sorts of amphibians coming back,” he said. “The trend has continued for more than 20 years. It is indisputable.”

  189. Climate ace:
    “What with Guns R Us, the Tea Party fruitloops, your carbon problem and your debt problem you have huge challenges. ”

    Carbon problem? Are you suggesting that if the US implements “a carbon pricing mechanism” then “practically all useful economic indicators [will] show that the economy will be in a much better state of health?”

    Many folk have been arguing that carbon pricing has the effect of reducing the wealth of a nation by raising energy costs. From my limited knowledge of economics I have tended to believe them. Could you please give an economic argument as to why you think carbon prices increase prosperity, rather than say, Australia’s economic position being the result of some other (unrelated) factors?

  190. Thankyou Johanna for presenting the long-overdue word “voodoo” in this debate. It’s rather touching, the primitive faith shown by some commenters in a pseudo-science called “economics.” The voodoo practitioners of economics failed to see the financial crash coming, they can’t tell us how to get out of it, and they still can’t explain how it happened. The prime requisite of a science being that it should make falsifiable predictions which upon testing turn out to be not false. Now both sides in this debate are using “the shonkiest economic hokum” (thankyou Johanna) to back their arguments. What a friend we have in economics.

    I suppose that if I wanted to spout some hokum of my own and shoot down the “social cost” balloon, I would wonder why the brand of smartphone most beloved in green circles is produced at the highest social cost. Bah humbug.

  191. “Extreme” weather also has both costs and benefits. Both are nicely shown by this series of photos of unusual snow and rain in the Middle East. Flooding has obvious costs but it also brings money to the enterprising donkey-ferry operator, and brings topsoil to farms in the floodplain. A few inches of snow may impair traffic, but it also brings enjoyment to kids in refugee camps.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/picturegalleries/worldnews/9791269/Winter-storms-snow-torrential-rain-and-flash-floods-hit-the-Middle-East.html

  192. @Willis

    “I have even had someone seriously argue that there is no need to monetize the social benefits, because they were already included in the market price. After all, he argued, the reason we buy something is because of the perceived benefits. So they are already included in the price.”

    There is a market principle called the value proposition. When the benefits of the proposed value porposition exceed the cost, people are willing to make the purchase. A lot of the perceived value is…perception, let’s not fool ourselves, but the principle remains. If buying CO2 brings enough perceived benefit people will do it. Failing that, they won’t.

    The concept of a carbon is as bass-ackwards as the many other fiat currencies that have been proposed over the years.

  193. lol I’m not a native english speaker but I’m pretty sure you didn’t need the sarc/ tag for my post. So your reply is an attempt to insult me. You failed, just like you have failed everything throughout this thread. I sugest you drop the ace part of your name..You can’t even troll properly.

  194. davidmhoffer says:

    Then you whine about cheaper corn doesn’t help them when they have to build sea walls. Well Jimmy, you have missed the point entirely. It costs 10 times or more to not have to build sea walls as it does to build them, and that is on the assumption that spending the money to not have to build them can possibly work in the first place.

    If the reason sea walls might be needed is due to the land sinking then it’s rather unlikely that geo-engineering to alter the composition of the atmosphere would be in any way useful. Even if this geo-engineering actually “worked”.
    Indeed even if the “worst case” AGW claims for sea levels were true buliding sea walls still might be the easiest and cheapest thing to do.

  195. Climate Ace says:
    January 12, 2013 at 10:11 pm
    mpainter
    “4) the impact on food availability caused by chemical changes in the oceans, for example, the possible collapse of Southern Ocean fisheries based on pterapods”
    You seem to be obsessive about ‘acidification’. BAU boosters love to hate the term so I don’t use it.
    I was referring to the changes in ocean chemistry arising from rising concentrations of atmospheric CO2

    ——————————————–
    ok, Climate Ace what do you call changes in ocean chemistry arising from rising concentrations of atmospheric CO2?

    Climate Ace says:
    January 12, 2013 at 5:35 pm
    …Who said anything about acidification? Not me. Stop pretending that I did…..

    Explaining us what you understand under changes in ocean chemistry arising from rising concentrations of atmospheric CO2, would help us avoid to misunderstand it as ocean acidification?
    You have snowed the thread with a lot of posts but no one of those contains a single scientific reference to support you.

  196. trafamadore says:
    January 12, 2013 at 8:36 pm
    davidmhoffer says: “I provided you a link to an article discussing a peer reviewed paper recently published in Nature.”
    Right. Does the paper say that droughts cant be caused by AGW? No. It says there is no conclusive evidence that that droughts are caused by AGW but there could be. That means we dont know. Which is what I said.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    You are confusing science with spin. The science part of the paper is quite clear, no evidence. Then the author allows that even though there is no evidence, it is possible. Well, there is no evidence that the sun will explode tomorrow, that we’ll be invaded by aliens, that we’ll be hit by an asteroid… but it is possible. Sure, but is it likely. According to the science, these things are highly unlikely which is why we don’t spend any of our resources trying to prepare for them. Our resources are limited, there are only so many possibilities that we can prepare for. Which ones should we choose to prepare for? The ones the science can find not evidence for? Don’t be daft.

  197. some further thoughts …

    Not just should the benefits of CO2 be weighted against the costs, but the costs of mitigating CO2 should equally weigh in the argument. There is cost/benefit both in DOING something and in NOT DOING something.

    And to add to the futility of trying to monetize either, the $300 billion benefit in increased plant growth itself has related costs. Plants can’t increase growth with CO2 alone. Increasing growth also increases the uptake in nutrients and water, changing the rate or balance of soil depletion and otherwise available water. How should this impact be monetized?

  198. Climate Ace;
    Which ‘entire premise’? That effective monetisation requires a time frame and needs to integrate climate thresholds and the non linear nature of climate? You have not demolished the premise. You have reinforced it.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Uhm no. I pointed out that the threshold examples you provided are not relevant in the modern context and I pointed out that the non-linear nature of climate dictates that temps fluctuate within a very narrow range and hence are also not relevant to your argument.

  199. davidmhoffer says:

    Cost of Sea Wall, $10,000,000
    Cost of not needing Sea Wall $100,000,000
    Savings if CAGW is real. $90,000,000
    Savings if CAGW is not real. $100,000,000

    It’s perfectly possible that you need a sea wall after spending that $100,000,000 e.g. because the sea level “rise” was nothing to do with CAGW; the anti-CAGW didn’t work or CAGW supporting bankers and politicans just took the money for their own ends.

  200. http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/crops/facts/00-077.htm

    extract

    Natural air exchange
    Leaks in the greenhouse allow a continuous infiltration of outside air, which contains only 340 ppm CO2. An average value for infiltration in a glass house would be one air change per hour. To compensate for this dilution, approximately 0.37 kg CO2/100 m2 must be added to maintain the desired level of 1,300 ppm CO2.

  201. davidmhoffer says: “You are confusing science with spin. The science part of the paper is quite clear, no evidence. Then the author allows that even though there is no evidence, it is possible.”

    And me thinks you confusing the results with the discussion.
    In a paper, the results section is fact, the discussion is opinion. Never believe the discussion, or at least view with skepticism.

    I find it interesting that many of love to use science to support your cases when you can, but seem to ignore it when it shows the earths temp is going up. Sort of an interesting kind of color blindness.

  202. Climate Ace said @ January 13, 2013 at 12:44 am

    To underdstand them you have to get down and dirty with reality. The figures quoted in this study, inter alia, depend on the continued availability of phosphorous as an input. Over the course of the next century, this is questionable at best.

    At the Organic Farming Conference in Adelaide in 1990, I met a researcher who had radioactively labelled phosphorus to determine P uptake of wheat in the Mallee. He said that the wheat plants were exploiting P from 2 metres deep in the soil, not just the top 100 mm convention says plants exploit. Further, he had calculated that this notoriously phosphorus deficient soil had sufficient P reserves to allow more than a thousand years of wheat cropping. Presumably, CO2 stimulating more extensive root development in plants allows those plants to exploit a greater volume of soil. There’s far more to plant nutrition than merely what comes from the fertiliser bag.

    On another note, perhaps King Cnut should have built a sea wall to protect the port Rutupiæ. The island of Ennor had been inundated by sea level rise and in Cnut’s day had become what we now call the Scilly Isles and mitigation is so much less expensive than adaptation. Rutupiæ is now several miles inland from the sea. [/sarc]

  203. tralamadore says: January 13, 2013 at 9:42 am
    it shows the earths temp is going up.
    ===================================
    talk about ignoring the data, you do so chronically. The temperature trend has been flat for the last sixteen years.

  204. This thread is well threadjacked,
    Has the Zero aka ace offered a single link to scientific evidence in his jolly handwaving distraction tour through this posting?
    Only link I followed was to an opinion piece in a small time news paper.
    Some trolls are savagely funny, others stunningly obtuse but the Ace is neither, its tag will have to change before I bother reading it again.
    I demand a better class of troll.
    Come on Ace, up your game.

  205. The greens have stated that increased CO2 is putting off the start of the next ice age, scheduled to start right about now.
    An ice age would kil billions of people on this planet due to the shutting down of huge areas of farmland, not to mention the following wars over the remainder and the wars of desperate migrations.
    So, as a social benefit, a huge chunk of the worlds wealth and lives.

    I should be paid to drive my car!

  206. About the difference between mitigation and building a seawall, there is one wee little problem.
    We don’t need a seawall.
    The carbon dioxide has increased.
    There has been no detectable increase in the extremly slow rise of sea level for the last several thousand years of 9 inches or less per century seen (actually SEEN, actual data, not fictional computer models).
    For global warming to be true, there MUST be an increase in the rate of sea level rise.
    There is NOT (the model has been falsified).

    Conclusion, we do not need that seawall.
    Reset it’s cost to ZERO.
    And the mitigation costs you stated are huegly underestimated, by orders of magnitude.

  207. Reduce the worlds population down to 500 million, a problem:
    Who stays?
    Who goes?
    Who decides?

    What if those who are told “you have to go” decide they do not wish to?

    And if you really believe that the worlds population should be smaller, what are you still doing here? Practice what you preach.

  208. 9:50AM Sydney 19C, both Melbourne and Adelaide 16C, Canberra 13C a very warm Australian global warming summers day so far!

  209. “I see that the New York Times (NYT) is going to close their environmental desk. Given that there still are actual environmental problems on the planet, I consider the closing as a sad commentary on the hijacking of the environmental movement by carbon alarmists. CO2 alarmism has done huge damage to the environmental movement, and thus to the environment itself.”

    Bingo. Give that man a Cigar.

  210. Climate Ace says:
    January 13, 2013 at 12:58 am

    ….The monetizing CO2 idea is excellent. Using CO2 to replace the USD for settlement of US govt accounts would overcome the debt ceiling/defecit problem. Being an invisible gas would conceal the fact that the emperor has no clothes. Is the gas bag half empty or half full?
    I am most excellently glad that I live in Australia and not the USA. We have a carbon pricing mechanism and practically all useful economic indicators show that our economy is in a much better state of health than that of the USA. (Even the dopey Opposition whose leader has said ‘Climate Science is Crap’ has a policy of doing something positive about CO2 emissions.)
    Compared to the US, we have lower unemployment, lower inflation, higher growth rate, lower debt to GDP ratio, higher international ratings agencies ratings, etc, etc, etc. Home borrowers do not have negative equity in their houses here and the Aussie dollar has been above parity with the US dollar for some time. And it is mostly safe to go out for a walk at night.

    Climate Ace, you are monetising on the past. Like climate, the economy has a certain inertia, it does not react immediately to drivers.
    What you had until now was cheap energy based on coal. You have to face the facts:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_in_Australia

    What is the existing current base of the Australian economy that you are so happy & proud about?
    The carbon tax was introduced shortly. If it stays at least 2-3 years you’ll see the results. In 10 years this can be better quantified. The energy production base should be at least 5 to 10 years in advance to the rest of the economy. You got it? If this is not the case disruptions may occur, and disruption means huge loses in industry.
    For the current economy state you should thank to those who were setting up the rules several years ago and the good entrepreneurs who did the hard work. But they need a functioning environment for this.
    If the economy would be based on renewables not on coal, then you could put that as an example for carbon tax. For the future it is interesting to see what wikipedia says:
    “Electricity shortage in the near future
    The electricity producers in Australia are not building gas-fired power stations to meet future demand,[15] while the 4 major banks are not willing to give loans to build dirty coal power stations,[16] therefore power cuts are predicted in Queensland in 2013-14 and NSW, Victoria from 2015-16.[17]”
    Does this help you start a thinking process?
    I am no australian, so all this is not directly relevant to me, but as Jo says on her site:
    “…hate to see a good civilisation going to waste”

    http://joannenova.com.au/

  211. Lars P. says:
    January 14, 2013 at 1:26 am

    Climate Ace says:
    January 13, 2013 at 12:58 am

    ….The monetizing CO2 idea is excellent. Using CO2 to replace the USD for settlement of US govt accounts would overcome the debt ceiling/defecit problem. Being an invisible gas would conceal the fact that the emperor has no clothes. Is the gas bag half empty or half full?
    I am most excellently glad that I live in Australia and not the USA. We have a carbon pricing mechanism and practically all useful economic indicators show that our economy is in a much better state of health than that of the USA. (Even the dopey Opposition whose leader has said ‘Climate Science is Crap’ has a policy of doing something positive about CO2 emissions.)
    Compared to the US, we have lower unemployment, lower inflation, higher growth rate, lower debt to GDP ratio, higher international ratings agencies ratings, etc, etc, etc. Home borrowers do not have negative equity in their houses here and the Aussie dollar has been above parity with the US dollar for some time. And it is mostly safe to go out for a walk at night.

    Climate Ace, you are monetising on the past. Like climate, the economy has a certain inertia, it does not react immediately to drivers.
    What you had until now was cheap energy based on coal. You have to face the facts:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_in_Australia

    What is the existing current base of the Australian economy that you are so happy & proud about?
    The carbon tax was introduced shortly. If it stays at least 2-3 years you’ll see the results. In 10 years this can be better quantified. The energy production base should be at least 5 to 10 years in advance to the rest of the economy. You got it? If this is not the case disruptions may occur, and disruption means huge loses in industry.
    For the current economy state you should thank to those who were setting up the rules several years ago and the good entrepreneurs who did the hard work. But they need a functioning environment for this.
    If the economy would be based on renewables not on coal, then you could put that as an example for carbon tax. For the future it is interesting to see what wikipedia says:
    “Electricity shortage in the near future
    The electricity producers in Australia are not building gas-fired power stations to meet future demand,[15] while the 4 major banks are not willing to give loans to build dirty coal power stations,[16] therefore power cuts are predicted in Queensland in 2013-14 and NSW, Victoria from 2015-16.[17]”
    Does this help you start a thinking process?
    I am no australian, so all this is not directly relevant to me, but as Jo says on her site:
    “…hate to see a good civilisation going to waste”

    http://joannenova.com.au/

    You may well be right but I would be a bit skeptical about it because you have ascribed to me the post of another person.

  212. The Pompous Git says:
    January 13, 2013 at 10:24 am

    Climate Ace said @ January 13, 2013 at 12:44 am

    To underdstand them you have to get down and dirty with reality. The figures quoted in this study, inter alia, depend on the continued availability of phosphorous as an input. Over the course of the next century, this is questionable at best.

    At the Organic Farming Conference in Adelaide in 1990, I met a researcher who had radioactively labelled phosphorus to determine P uptake of wheat in the Mallee. He said that the wheat plants were exploiting P from 2 metres deep in the soil, not just the top 100 mm convention says plants exploit. Further, he had calculated that this notoriously phosphorus deficient soil had sufficient P reserves to allow more than a thousand years of wheat cropping. Presumably, CO2 stimulating more extensive root development in plants allows those plants to exploit a greater volume of soil. There’s far more to plant nutrition than merely what comes from the fertiliser bag.

    On another note, perhaps King Cnut should have built a sea wall to protect the port Rutupiæ. The island of Ennor had been inundated by sea level rise and in Cnut’s day had become what we now call the Scilly Isles and mitigation is so much less expensive than adaptation. Rutupiæ is now several miles inland from the sea.

    Poor old Cnut. He took his entourage down to the beach to show that he could not stop the tide and all sorts of folk have been misrepresenting him every since. This is especially clear when you realize that BAU boosters based their philosophy on hunamity’s complete mastery over nature. You know what I mean. You can see why it pays to be skeptical about BAU booster assertions.

    The bottom line is that phosphorous is a critical limiting element for plant growth and that phosphorous, not atmospheric CO2 concentrations, is going to be why we are heading for something of an interesting time.

    Plants just have to have it. I am sure that as phosphorous becomes scarcer and more expensive, all sorts of GMO, cropping and nanotechnologies will be brought to bear. I hope so. But that will only slow down what every single farmer in the developed world knows: they need to add phosphorous to keep productivity high. What they may not know is that phosphorous deposits take a long, long time to build up. And once they are used up, that is it.

    We are talking a century? Maybe two? Meanwhile, I advise you to stay skeptical.

    BTW, as for sea walls, any investment horizon ought to be centuries. I am skeptical of folk who think that that are erecting a seawall and can then walk away from it. Every single seawall will have to be broadened and heightened as sea levels rise and the maintenance costs will not increase in a linear fashion. That is a dirty little secret that the adaptationists will not talk about. It pays to be skeptical of them.

  213. climate deuce said:

    BTW, as for sea walls, any investment horizon ought to be centuries. I am skeptical of folk who think that that are erecting a seawall and can then walk away from it. Every single seawall will have to be broadened and heightened as sea levels rise and the maintenance costs will not increase in a linear fashion. That is a dirty little secret that the adaptationists will not talk about. It pays to be skeptical of them.
    —————————————————
    Tell it to the Dutch. What is your point, apart from disrupting threads?

  214. Not too worry. 1-2 mm/year SL rise is no sweat. This is fixing to stop, and then SL will fall as cooling sets in.

  215. Pops says:
    January 12, 2013 at 5:34 am
    The elephant in the room is that this conversation wouldn’t even be taking place if it weren’t for fossil fuels. The primary benefit of fossil fuels is low-cost energy. The benefit of low-cost energy is that it frees a lot of people to do a lot of things they would not otherwise be able to do because they would be out in the field behind a team of horses trying to produce enough food to last through the winter, or trying to cut enough wood to stay warm through the winter, or hunkering down and trying to survive the winter. The modern world as we know it would not exist but for fossil fuels.

    Put a cost on that.

    Pops – you miss the point.

    AGW is not about science, it is about depopulating the world and returning to subsistence based economy where people put all there effort into just living.

  216. Legatus says:
    January 13, 2013 at 12:45 pm
    Reduce the worlds population down to 500 million, a problem:
    Who stays?
    Who goes?
    Who decides?

    What if those who are told “you have to go” decide they do not wish to?

    And if you really believe that the worlds population should be smaller, what are you still doing here? Practice what you preach.

    Didn’t Star Trek and Gene Roddenberry do a show about this concept?

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