James Hansen’s Policies Are Shafting The Poor

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

I was reading an interview with Adrian Bejan (worth taking a look at), and I got to musing about his comments regarding the relationship between energy use and per capita income. So I pulled up GapMinder, the world’s best online visualization software. Here’s a first cut at the relationship between energy and income.

energy use vs incomeFigure 1. Energy use per person (tons of oil equivalent, TOE) versus average income, by country. Colors show geographical regions. Size of the circle indicates population. The US is the large yellow circle at the top right. Canada is the overlapping yellow circle. China is the large red circle, India the large light blue circle. Here’s a link to the live Gapminder graph so you can experiment with it yourself.

Clearly, other than a few outliers, the relationship between energy use and income is quite straightforward. You can’t have one without the other. Well, that’s not quite true, you can have energy without income. You can have (relatively) high energy use without having the corresponding income, plenty of Africa is in that boat. But the reverse is not true—you can’t have high income without high energy use. You need the energy to make the income.

Now, James Hansen is the NASA guy who is leading the charge to stop all forms of cheap energy. Coal is bad, terrible stuff in his world. He calls trains of coal “death trains”. He wants to deny cheap energy to all of those folks in the bottom half of the graph above. Well, actually, he wants to deny access to cheap energy to everyone, but where it hurts is the bottom half of the graph. For example, the World Bank and other international funding agencies, at the urging of folks like Hansen, have been turning down loans for coal plants in developing countries.

But as you can see, if you deny energy to those folks, that is the same as denying them development. Because when there’s less energy, there’s less income. The two go hand in hand. So what James Hansen is advising is that we should take money from the poor … actually he wants to deny them cheap energy, but that means denying them income and the development that accompanies it.

A look at the history of some of the countries is instructive in that regard, to see how the income and the energy use have changed over time. Figure 2 shows the history of some selected countries.

energy use vs income historyFigure 2. A history of selected countries. Colors now show crude birth rate (births per thousand)

Now, this is showing something very interesting. It may reveal why Hansen thinks he’s doing good. Notice that for countries where people make below say $20,000 of annual income, the only way up is up and to the right … which means that the only way to increase income is to increase energy use. Look at India and China and Brazil and Spain and the Netherlands as examples. (Note also that crude birth rate is tied to increasing income, and that the crude birth rate in the US has dropped by about half since 1960.)

Above that annual income level of ~ $20,000, however something different happens. The countries start to substitute increased energy efficiency for increased energy use. This is reflected in the vertical movement of say the US, where the 2011 per capita energy use is exactly the same as the 1968 per capita energy use. And Canada is using the same energy per person as in 1977 … so let’s take a closer look at the upper right section of the chart. Figure 3 shows an enlargement of just the top right of the chart, displaying more countries.

energy use vs income history closeupFigure 3. A closeup of Figure 2, showing more countries. Start date is 1968 for clarity.

Now, this is interesting. Many, perhaps most of these countries show vertical or near vertical movement during the last twenty years or so. And the recent economic crash has caused people to be more conservative about energy use, squeezing more dollars out per ton of oil equivalent.

But that only happens up at the high end of the income spectrum, where people are making above about twenty or even twenty-five thousand dollars per year. You need to have really good technology to make that one work, to produce more income without using more energy. You need to be in what is called a “developed” nation.

When people think “development”, they often think “bulldozers”. But they should think “energy efficiency”, because that is the hallmark of each technological advance—it squeezes more stuff out of less energy. But you have to be in an industrialized, modern society to take advantage of that opportunity.

So this may be the reason for Hansen’s attitude toward energy use. He may not know that most of the world is not in the situation of the US. This may be the reason the he claims that we should curtail energy use by all means possible. He may not see that while the US and industrialized countries can get away with that, in part because we waste a lot of energy and have a lot of both money and technology, the poor and even the less well off of the world have little energy or money to waste.

For those poorer countries and individuals, which make up the overwhelming bulk of the world’s population, a reduction in energy use means a reduction in the standard of living. And the part Hansen and his adherents don’t seem to get is that for most of the world, the standard of living is “barely” … as in barely making ends meet.

As is usual in this world, the situation of the rich and the poor is different, and in this case the break line is high. Twenty grand of income per year is the line dividing those who can take advantage of technology to get more income with the same energy, and the rest, which is most of the world. Most of the world are still among those who must use more energy to increase their income. They don’t have the option the US and the developed nations have. They must increase energy use to increase income.

And when you start jacking up energy prices and discouraging the use of cheap energy sources around the planet, as Hansen and his adherents are doing, the poorest of the poor get shafted. James Hansen is making lots and lots of money. He’s comfortably in the top 1% of the world’s population by income, and he obviously doesn’t give much thought to the rest. We know this because if he thought about the poor he’d realize that while he is mouthing platitudes about how he’s doing his agitation and advocacy for his grandchildren’s world in fifty years, what he’s doing is shafting the poor today in the name of his grandchildren. Of course Hansen is not the first rich white guy to do that, so I suppose I really shouldn’t be surprised, but still …

Increased energy prices, often in the form of taxes and “cap-and-trade” and “renewable standards”, are THE WORLDS MOST REGRESSIVE TAX. Hansen proposes taxing the living daylights out of the poor, but he won’t feel the pain. He can stand a doubling of the gas prices, no problem. But when electricity and gas prices double around the planet, POOR PEOPLE DIE … and Hansen just keeps rolling, he has quarter-million-dollar awards from his friends and a fat government salary and a princely retirement pension you and I paid for, he could care less about increased energy prices. He’s one of the 1%, why should he pay attention to the poor?

Forgive the shouting, but the damn hypocrisy is infuriating, and I’m sick of being nice about it. James Hansen and Michael Mann and Gavin Schmidt and Phil Jones and Peter Gleick and the rest of the un-indicted co-conspirators are a bunch of rich arrogant 1%er jerkwagons who don’t care in the slightest about the poor. Not only that, but they’ve given the finger to the rest of the climate scientists and to the scientific establishment, most of whom have said nothing in protest, and far too many of whom have approved of their malfeasance.

Their patented combination of insolent arrogance and shabby science would be bad enough if that was all they were doing … but they are hurting poor people right now. Their policies are causing harder times for the poor today, as we speak … and they mouth platitudes about how they are saving the poor from some danger they won’t see for fifty years?

If you ask the poor whether they’d rather get shafted for sure today, or possibly get shafted in fifty years, I know what they’d tell you. To me, hurting the poor today under the rubric of saving them in half a century from an unsubstantiated and fanciful danger is moral dishonesty of the first order.

So let me say to all of you folks who claim the world is using too much energy, you have the stick by the wrong end. The world needs to use MORE energy, not less, because there is no other way to get the poor out of poverty. It can’t be done without cheap energy. We need to use more energy to lift people out of bone-crushing poverty, not use less and condemn them to brutal lives. And to do that, energy needs to be cheaper, not more expensive.

Let me be crystal clear, and speak directly to Hansen and other global warming alarmists. Any one of you who pushes for more expensive energy is hurting and impoverishing and killing the poor today. Whether through taxes or cap-and-trade or renewable subsidies or blocking drilling or any other way, increasing energy costs represent a highly regressive tax of the worst kind. And there is no escape at the bottom end, quite the opposite. The poorer you are, the harder it bites.

So please, don’t give us the holier-than-thou high moral ground stance. Spare us the “we’re noble because we are saving the world” BS. When a poor single mother of three living outside Las Vegas has her gas costs double, she has little choice other than to cut out some other essential item, food or doctor visits or whatever … because her budget doesn’t have any of the non-essential items that James Hansen’s budget contains, and she needs the gas to get to work, that’s not optional.

For her, all her money goes to essentials— so if gas costs go up, her kids get less of what they need. You’re not saving the world, far from it. You’re taking food out of kids’ mouths.

You are causing pain and suffering to the poor and acting like your excrement has no odor … but at least there is some good news. People are no longer buying your story. People are realizing that if someone argues for expensive energy, they are anti-human, anti-development, and most of all, without compassion for the poor. They are willing to put the most damaging, regressive, destructive tax imaginable on the poorest people of the planet.

Now those of you advocating for higher energy prices, after reading this, you might still fool the media about what you are doing to the poor. And it’s possible for you to not mention to your co-workers about the real results of your actions. And you could still deceive your friends about the question of the poor, or even your wife or husband.

But by god, you can no longer fool yourself about it. As of now, you know that agitating for more expensive energy for any reason hurts the poor. What you do with that information is up to you … but you can’t ignore it, it will haunt you at 3 AM, and hopefully, it will make you think about the less fortunate folk of our planet and seriously reconsider your actions. Because here’s the deal. Even if CO2 will damage the poor in 50 years, hurting the poor now only makes it worse. If you think there is a problem, then look for a no-regrets solution.

Because if you truly care about the poor, and you are afraid CO2 will increase the bad weather and harm the poor fifty years from now, you owe it to them to find a different response to your fears of CO2, a response that doesn’t hurt the poor today.

w.

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128 Responses to James Hansen’s Policies Are Shafting The Poor

  1. geologyjim says:

    Well said, Willis.

    This message is crucial to changing the conversation about energy. Abundant, reliable energy at market prices is the surest way to improve the human condition – everywhere.

    Add on the Matt Ridley video about the positive effects of fossil-fuel energy use:

    and you’ve got a family conversation-starter that might grow into a neighborhood conversation-starter, etc. From there, we might begin to restore sanity and logic to the public square.

  2. At least Hansen favors nuclear and derides Avory Lovins’s renewable solutions.

  3. Russ says:

    Willis,

    When I did a quick look at this back Earth Day – 2008, my conclusions were very similar. Here the pull quotes from my blog post.

    “I obtained the 2006 GNI Per Capita for the top 16 and bottom 26 countries of the world (as estimated by the World Bank) and plotted that against the 2003 Energy Use Per Capita (as estimated by EarthTrends Environmental Information)…

    Basically, the top 10 countries in standard of living use at least 15 times (in cases almost 60) the amount of energy per capita as the bottom 10. Why in the world is this important? It is because access to energy (electricity, oil, etc.) at a reasonable price correlates well with standard of living. It is also important because those countries at the bottom don’t want to stay where they are. They want to move up the list to where Luxembourg, Kuwait, and the U.S. are.

    For those of you intent on saving the world by recycling, changing your light bulbs, and adjusting your thermostat up and down depending on the season, remember that you are nibbling at the edges of the energy equation. There is an entire (third) world out there wanting the kind of standard of living that we have, and the only way to satisfy that demand is to find and produce more energy.

    So, instead of spinning our wheels, let’s look at actually solving the energy equation by investing in energy sources that we know will work (coal, oil, natural gas, and nuclear)…”

  4. NikFromNYC says:

    Jane Fonda on the screen today
    Convinced the liberals it’s okay
    So let’s get dressed and dance away the night

    While they:
    Kill kill kill kill Kill the poor:Tonight

    – The Dead Kennedys, lyrics from “Kill The Poor,” 1980

  5. Frank K. says:

    All you need to know about Hansen income-wise can be found here…

    http://www.app.com/section/DATA

    His federal salary in 2011 was $158,832/yr, base pay. According to recent news reports, his current salary (presumably for FY 2012) is in the range of $180,000/yr. I’ll let everyone do the math as to the percent increase. You can research other years for yourself, especially those during the recent recession of 2009.

    And this, of course, is just a portion of his considerable income…

    Yes, it IS very easy being green…

  6. Clive says:

    Excellent essay. You are an inspiration … and I needed one.

    Thank you.

    CAS
    On the frozen great plains of Canada where spring is but a distant dream

  7. Wamron says:

    I think its time to be frank and make the sort of declaration that is customarily shunned in public debate. Im not going to set fire to myself in protest like Vietnamese monks or Tunisian cigarette sellers (it happenned again this week). My method will be private and hopefully painless. But I am genuinely considering ending my life,purely because I cannot any longer see how I am going to afford to eat and, possibly, keep a roof over my head.

    My business has vanishged because my market has shrivelled to zero. This is largely about energy inflation which is the result of Green taxes and price burdens..

    On the other side of the equation my living costs are skyrocketing. This is also a direct result of Green taxes.and price burdens.

    In this appalling fell year for me I really find it hard to see a way of surviving another nine months.

    So, you do not need to adduce complex statistics or the rest of the world to substantiate the linkage between Green policies and the suffering of people not so privileged as the typical Environmentalist Fascist B$%^&*.

  8. Downdraft says:

    Willis has presented some interesting graphics that point out the unequivocal connection between energy and prosperity. This isn’t anything new, of course. Hansen and the others must know this to be the case but choose to ignore it. More disconcerting is that Obama, the Democrats in Congress, and the EPA are all pushing for a conversion to more expensive fuels under camouflage of climate change. I would question what their real goals are, because everything they are doing appears to be aimed at destroying the wealth of the least wealthy among us. Average net worth is down 40% from 2007 ($126,000) to 2010 ($77,000), not including the money we all owe for the national debt, which is now $53,000 per person. They are doing a very good job of spreading the poverty, and an energy tax will certainly accelerate the trend.

  9. edcaryl says:

    Great article, Willis. You are better at the charts than I am. I made this same point last year.
    http://notrickszone.com/2012/06/03/boosting-per-capita-prosperity-and-energy-consumption-is-the-only-way-to-care-for-our-planet/

  10. agfosterjr says:

    It’s also the well off who are able to adapt to short term, natural climate change. It takes energy to be adaptable–to control temperature, to move, to move food, and so on. And all the late talk of no inflation is likewise a lot of heartless nonsense. Real estate keeps the numbers down while food and gas continue to skyrocket. Renters are currently suffering from double digit inflation; while the rent hasn’t gone up much, everything else has.

    The more energy the poor have available, the better they’ll be able to respond to any sort of climate change. –AGF

  11. perlcat says:

    Hansen, et al are scum first order — It’s not about the poor, it’s not about the planet, and it’s NOT about the climate. It’s about attention, power, and control. A person with no scruples such as Hansen will by definition have no low they will not stoop to. I’m sorry, Willis, but your excellent point will be missed entirely by such as he. Expect standard response #12 out of the warmist’s playbook — when good questions are raised, ridicule the question, ridicule the questioner, and NEVER EVER answer the question.

    The warmist’s reaction to your calling them on their fog of BS is to lay up another wall of BS. That’s the problem with trying to reason with them — since there was no logic or science in their arguments in the first place, they have no problem with spouting more BS in response. The sooner you realize that you are in a PR battle with an unprincipled non-scientist, the sooner you will realize that there are no rules to their game other than that their opponents lose.

    Once you “get” that, you can see the need for taking the gloves off to deal with them. Expose the emperor for being all naked and stuff.

  12. Mark Bofill says:

    Thanks Willis. This is a big part of why I maintain that even if we don’t have certainty regarding AGW or CAGW one way or the other, we still have utter certainty about the stupidity and malevolence of policies that attempt to address atmospheric CO2 by driving up fossil fuel costs. Advocates for destroying the fossil fuel industry like to pretend that the use of these fuels has something to do with greed. It’s got a whole lot more to do with survival for an awful lot of poor people and their children in underdeveloped countries around the world.

  13. cedarhill says:

    Energy is life. Cheap energy is prosperity.
    It really is that simple.

  14. pat says:

    I really don’t think anyone in our government cares. The poor in America are as mesmerized by the current loons in charge as a mouse is a cobra.

  15. manicbeancounter says:

    Well said Willis. The problem about the alarmists is that they can see nothing outside of their narrow sphere. They look at the worst case scenarios for global warming. They then massively overstate the effectiveness of policies in constraining CO2 levels and massively underplay the harm that policies cause. The way that poor countries become rich is through long term, irreversible economic growth. If you reduce the rate of economic growth by just 0.2%, over 100 years the growth foregone is far greater the project costs of global warming that Lord Stern thought up. Yet Stern ignored any consequences of policies on growth.

  16. perlcat99 says:

    @wamron — if you’re considering ending your life, don’t. You have a cause being waved in front of you here, and rather than wave the white flag, why not take up the cause? In the inevitable economic collapse, I’m sure that opportunities will abound.

  17. MT Geoff says:

    Howdy Willis
    Of course you’re right and this may be a new of presenting these facts. But these facts have been known throughout the climate debate and I’ve been one of the voices crying out that, while Hansen and the Enablers are annoying to me, they are dreadful to the seriously poor.
    Some of our local churches are having a “Walk for Water”. Clean water depends on energy even where water is abundant because nature puts a lot of stuff in the water. But the same folks who go to the “Crop Walk” and the “Walk for Water” will protest every form of cheap energy and demand every form of costly energy. Then they go vote that way too.

  18. Michael C. Roberts says:

    Willis – I get the impression you feel very strongly about this subject. I share your depth of feeling as well. An isidious plan has been infiltrating the upper echelons of our Western society for quite a while, and it appears there is no end to the plan in sight. Just recently, lesson plans for school children in the USA have been changed to start the indoctrination at an early stage – extolling the “sustainable” way of life (which includes the counter-science approach of teaching a “settled science” of CAGW or that man is the “problem” in regards to commodity consumption). Villification of the stuff of upward mobility – energy use – is part and parcel of the plan. Let me link this post to the basic push that our society is up against – Club of Rome, Agenda 21, and of course coming soon to a local government near you the I.C.L.E.I. A top down approach with “policy makers” (this phrase tends to make me a bit ill each time I see it used) buying in to the plan, because they know what is best for the rest of us. The first time I remember hearing about the whole thing was when Bush II was singing the praises of “The New World Order”. So, we need to remember this plan is not limited those wearing a particular political set of clothing – it spans the political spectrum. In this appears to lie the insidous nature of the plan. Slow, under-the-radar changes until your goose is thoroughly cooked and society as you remember it no longer exists. It is happening before our eyes. I tend to alert all I come into contact with about this (when the situation presents itself) – and run the constant risk of being viewed as being a bit on the fringe or overzealouos. And I don’t really care if that is the case. The more our fellow citizens understand about the plan that is being carried out around them and what the end state is that has been chosen for them – I see that as doing a noble service to them individually and our country and scoiety as a whole. Hopefully you will check back to this post, it appears I was was the only response – but this is the subject that I feel the most passion about. Must be that Climategate 3 thing, or something?

    Respectfully,

    Michael C. Roberrts

  19. DayHay says:

    Here is another presentation using this amazing style of the display of data:
    http://www.ted.com/talks/hans_rosling_reveals_new_insights_on_poverty.html

    Hans makes his views known on climate starting at 9:07, but actually makes the case for CO2 output and wealth very well. No energy use, no wealth.

  20. David L. Hagen says:

    Willis’ argument is support by Tad Patzek who documents how the US oil production grew 9%/year for 60 years from 1880 to 1940 as it grew from a 3rd world level economy to the world’s superpower. See fig 11 in:
    “Exponential growth, energetic Hubbert cycles, and the advancement of technology”
    Archives of Mining Sciences of the Polish Academy of Sciences, May 3, 2008

  21. Wyguy says:

    cedarhill says:

    March 15, 2013 at 9:01 am

    Energy is life. Cheap energy is prosperity.
    It really is that simple.
    Well said.

  22. Chad Wozniak says:

    Global warming alarmism, and the campaign against carbon dioxide, is MASS MURDER.
    It was the “overwhelming judgment of science” in 1930s Germany that the Jews must go. MASS MURDER
    Now it is the “overwhelming judgment of science” that energy must go – with predictably the same results, another Holocaust. MASS MURDER.
    People are freezing to death in Europe right now because that can’t afford to heat their homes, while the green regime (government) in Denmark boasts of its having caused energy costs to quadruple through carbon taxes and restrictions on fuel imports. MASS MURDER.

  23. ralfellis says:

    Well said, Willis.

    When I were a lad (sic), the great promise for the future was that we would be living on Mars in my lifetime. But now the great Green crusade aims to take us back to the Dark Ages (literally). If we are ever to set up Mars Base One, we will need to increase our energy availability by an order of magnitude.

  24. OssQss says:

    Thanks Willis

    Interesting stuff as usual!

    You post provoked thought on a subject that I had not considered in some time.

    I think some may find it related in several ways to your post.

    Enjoy :-)

  25. Richard M says:

    Let’s not forget that in the US the implementers of this strategy is Obama and the EPA. The are the ones driving the policies that will lead to more deaths.

  26. D.J. Hawkins says:

    Willis;

    Maybe, “THE WORLD’S MOST REGRESSIVE” not REPRESSIVE??

    [Thanks to you and others for noting this, fixed. -w.]

  27. jorgekafkazar says:

    When one fancies oneself a Messiah, out to save the world, one tends to ignore the petty details.

  28. ed mister jones says:

    Willis! When you build up another head of eloquent steam, beat them mercilessly about the head and shoulders that the most effective population growth rate reduction measure is A HIGHER STANDARD OF LIVING. That’s one the Liars can’t ‘re-figure’. I think they need to have their noses rubbed in it.

  29. mikerossander says:

    Minor corrections: 1) The hyperlink to the Gapminder graph is being treated as a subpage rather than a direct link to bit.ly 2) In “THE WORLDS MOST REPRESSIVE TAX”, I think you meant “reGressive”, consistent with the usage several paragraphs lower.

  30. Chad Wozniak says:

    P.S. to my last post: What color is mass murder today? GREEN!!

  31. Well, the poor breed pretty fast & they’re smelly, so I guess what Hansen is doing to okay.

  32. Jon says:

    Hansen is on the grip of religious mania, and like all religious maniacs his only real concern is to assuage his guilt and self-loathing by finding someone to blame for it. The details are incidental.

  33. Very well said sir.

  34. Wamron says:

    @Perlcat99.sorry, the pain isnt worth it. You’ve seen bag people. Ever faced the prospect of being one? The AGW issue isnt a cause. None of us can change anything. Its just one of many topics I find some distraction in. The only opportunities to come out of the colllapse which I agree is on its way will be for men of violence. The latter-day Arkans of Western Europe. Ive no iron in that fire.

  35. michael cap says:

    thomas homer dixon has offered an economic perspective on the cause of the decline of previous civilizations and societies. his reasons for the “synchronous failure” of societies when facing multiple crises are: 1. tremendous increase in the relative price of energy; 2. an increasing (overall) tax burden; 3. an increasing proportion of society engaged in and/or devoted to non productive activities requiring their subsidy by the rest. is this the path onto which we are deliberately led? there is an “upside to this down” as THD views this situation as an opportunity for a creative renewal of our civilization. if only our policy makers will allow such creativity to flourish!

  36. ed mister jones says:

    Sorry, Bill M., Like Obamacare cost estimates, the deliberately inaccurate assumptions and unattainable targets foisted upon us by special interest think-tanks and NGO’s are nothing more than lies that can be pointed to, to give credence to the Con. They exhort one to deny rather obvious reality.

    Your well documented substitution of emotional involvement for critical thought undermines whatever logic may in fact reside somewhere underneath.

    Government Incompetence is directly proportional to the scale of its efforts. Competent Adults know this.

  37. GingerZilla says:

    You anger was palpable Willis and it needs to be said again and again until it sinks into the bloviated heads of the self appointed climate martyrs.

    I was veryuch reminded reminded of a certain Pulp Fiction quote froman old source;

    The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother’s keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who would attempt to poison and destroy My brothers. And you will know My name is the Lord when I lay My vengeance upon thee.

    Not that I believe in vengence but Karma is welcome to bite the climate stasi on the posterior.

    Hopefully some liberals will smell the stench of their creation but I won’t be holding my breath for their Malthusian bubble to pop. They may be trying to build a Green Jerusalem but they will be making it from the corpses of the poor (William Blake reference).

    Green Genocide.

  38. The link in “Here’s a link to the live Gapminder graph so you can experiment with it yourself”, causes a page not found error.

    Jim

    [Thanks, fixed. -w]

  39. Vince Causey says:

    Not much to add, other than the following historical note.

    In the 1920s Stalin condemned millions of Russians to a slow and painful death by starvation, in the name of revolution. In the 1960s, Mao T’se Tung condemned millions of peasants to death by starvation, in the name of revolution. Today, it is the Liberal chatterati who will condemn millions of third world poor to death in the name of Gaia.

    And they claim to be on a higher moral plane?

  40. Mike Haseler says:

    I started writing a reply, and as often happens it got too long and I put it on another site. Then I went swimming, had dinner, found that Climategate III was breaking on junk science … then remembered I was going to post a link to my reply … so here it is Enerconics.

    And, I would quite like permission to use the graph of income and energy use. How do I get in touch with the author and how many kJoules do they want? (Joke … you’ll have to read my article to understand)

  41. Willis Eschenbach says:

    ed mister jones says:
    March 15, 2013 at 10:32 am

    Willis! When you build up another head of eloquent steam, beat them mercilessly about the head and shoulders that the most effective population growth rate reduction measure is A HIGHER STANDARD OF LIVING. That’s one the Liars can’t ‘re-figure’. I think they need to have their noses rubbed in it.

    Thanks, Ed. Why do you think I included the crude birth rate in the graph … everyone at the top is in blue, low birth rate.

    All the best,

    w.

  42. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Mike Haseler says:
    March 15, 2013 at 12:51 pm

    … And, I would quite like permission to use the graph of income and energy use. How do I get in touch with the author and how many kJoules do they want? (Joke … you’ll have to read my article to understand)

    The graph is from Gapminder world, click on the link below it for the live version … you can graph whatever you want, showing four variables at once (via the variables for the two axes, for the color, and for the size).

    w.

  43. Harvey Harrison says:

    The ladder of success is still there – but those that have already gone up it have sawed the bottom rungs off.
    After all, the 1% wouldn’t be if anybody could just up and join them.

  44. Don J. Easterbrook says:

    Great post, Willis (as usual!). Can you tell us the source of the data shown in the graph? I don’t need to look it up, just need to be able to tell people where the data came from.

    Thanks,

    Don

  45. Brad says:

    Willis,
    I continue to enjoy reading your work. I think the information discussed today ties in with another article I’ve read today. So much so that I am providing a link if that is permissible. http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/03/karl_marx_and_the_american_dream.html
    For me at least the above cited article nicely dovetails with your point about destroying the poor. Except that may just be collateral damage. I truly believe that our society has been blindsided. By reading the article above I think you will come to the same conclusion.
    Thanks Willis, I’d offer to help with the rock and stone but well you know my back’s acting up again.

  46. Robert A. Taylor says:

    DON’T !
    Been there, almost did that. Lost my business, lost my savings, lost everything monetary. In my case this was largely due to an undiagnosed thyroid failure. It is possible to keep going. Don’t be so proud that you refuse the available help. Whether CAGW succeeds or fails isn’t a reason; it is an unjustified excuse. I like your comments. Keep it up. The only access I now have to the Internet is though public access and friends.

  47. Jimbo says:

    Here are some shocking numbers showing access to electricity from some of the poorest countries in the world. (1 in 4 and less).

    I defy anyone here to find 2 genuine Warmists from the West who don’t have access to electricity. All the non-genuine Warmists like Hansen, Gore, Pachauri, Mann, Schmidt all have access to abundant electricity. The same goes for all the champagne Warmists in Hollywood etc. These people make me sick to the back teeth with their hypocrisy and selfishness: electricity for me, but not for thee (because ‘we‘ must act now).

  48. RockyRoad says:

    Willis is right. This is exactly why I’ve turned the CAGW acronym (for Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming) used to describe the Alarmists into its real meaning: they are Catastrophic Anthropogenic Genocidal Warmistas.

    Their actions have been Catastrophic to the poor.

    The actions have a human origin, hence “anthropogenic”.

    Their actions have been Genocidal on a world-wide scope.

    Their actions have been promulgated as “Warmistas”–those who are completely brainwashed with this CAGW meme in order to get money, influence, popularity, and power.

    If there were ever an example of pure evil, it is these CAGW people and their anti-human stance.

    Site policy prevents me from describing them in more applicable terms.

  49. Willis

    good stuff. Here in the UK energy policy is run by the LibDems. My MP is Nick Clegg, the leader of that party. He is completely impervious to reason. His mind is closed. He is going to save our grandchildren from the non-existent problem of climate change come what may. In earlier exchanges he asked that we agree to disagree, the inference being he does not want to hear form me. But hear from me he does and he will. The point is and the point these people must understand is that there will be no excuses. They will not be able to say ‘but nobody told me.’ So I say to everyone tell your congressman tell your senator tell your MP and keep telling them. They are doing evil. And there are to be no excuses. Tell them and don’t stop telling them till they start to listen.

  50. Jimbo says:

    By the way, keeping people energy poor and therefore poor will do nothing to reduce fertility. The wealthier people become the less children they have. Take a peek at Mexico.

  51. Spinifers says:

    I’m one of those poor people, at under 10k a year. And yes these policies hurt… electricity goes up every January for the past 3 years; we can no longer afford the electricity to run heat, and even without heat the added expense has forced me to give up my cell phone (internet will be next). Can no longer afford gas to go to the cheap grocery stores; food is getting so expensive we can barely afford to eat anyway. Can’t afford the (dangerous) prescription ‘alternatives’ to the cheap, OTC epinephrine (CFC propelled) asthma inhaler the greenies banned; forced to experiment trying to mix the contents of epi-pens in e-cigarettes. There are no jobs around here, literally, not a single one posted in the local paper; can’t afford to move, don’t know where to go if I could. Things are beginning to get very, very difficult.

  52. ntesdorf says:

    Thanks for yet another excellent article, Willis!

  53. Jimbo says:

    Willis,
    When you speak I listen because I know you have travelled widely and have lived and worked in developing nations. You know how they live at grass roots. I don’t mean visiting a top class hotel in the Maldives or a Kenya all-inclusive.

    Were I live the power used to go out a LOT. Once I ordered 2 steel doors to be made for me. What should have taken 3 days took 2 weeks!!! due to an unbelievable stretch of power outages. The fabricator goes without my full payment for a needless 11 days. That’s 11 days lost. There are so many other examples of how productivity comes to a standstill due to lack of electricity, and very HIGH tariff electricity at that. This, among many other reasons, is why I despise hypocritical Warmists. I am at the receiving end of this Warmist horseshit.

    I hope when this fraud is over there will be trials for crimes against humanity.

  54. A.D. Everard says:

    “When people think “development”, they often think “bulldozers”. But they should think “energy efficiency”, because that is the hallmark of each technological advance—it squeezes more stuff out of less energy. But you have to be in an industrialized, modern society to take advantage of that opportunity.”

    *

    This is such an important point. People have been taught that “development” means destruction (bulldozers), and that is so not so.

    Think how much richer every individual would be today were it not for the steadily increasing destruction caused by eco-whacko policies over the last 30 years. What’s going on now is a massive crime. We have the fuels to make our world a most amazing place for everyone, with health, wealth and happiness in abundance. Yet we have this green cancer telling our children to be afraid of it.

    I’s time for some civilization-saving surgery. Let’s get rid of the green cancer once and for all.

  55. Jimbo says:

    How much will Dr. James Hansen feel a doubling of electricity or gas prices compared to someone living in Cambodia? This greedy, deceptive hypocrite can take the price hike unlike the peasant with a small fridge, a few lightbulbs and his first small, second-hand auto.

    Hansen rakes it in – 3 October, 2011
    ATI obtained Dr. Hansen’s Form SF 278, which is required to be filed annually, also under the Freedom of Information Act. The disclosure revealed that Dr. Hansen received between $236,000 and $1,232,500 in outside income in 2010 relating to his taxpayer-funded employment, which included:

    • Between $26,008 and $72,500 in honoraria for speeches;
    • Between $150,001 and $1.1 million in prizes;
    • Just under $60,000 in the form of in-kind income for travel to his many outside-income generating activities
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/10/03/hansen-rakes-it-in/

    Dr. James Hansen’s growing financial scandal, now over a million dollars of outside income – 18 November, 2011

    NASA records released to resolve litigation filed by the American Tradition Institute reveal that Dr. James E. Hansen, an astronomer, received approximately $1.6 million in outside, direct cash income in the past five years for work related to — and, according to his benefactors, often expressly for — his public service as a global warming activist within NASA.

    This does not include six-figure income over that period in travel expenses to fly around the world to receive money from outside interests. As specifically detailed below, Hansen failed to report tens of thousands of dollars in global travel provided to him by outside parties — including to London, Paris, Rome, Oslo, Tokyo, the Austrian Alps, Bilbao, California, Australia and elsewhere, often business or first-class and also often paying for his wife as well — to receive honoraria to speak about the topic of his taxpayer-funded employment, or get cash awards for his activism and even for his past testimony and other work for NASA.
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/11/18/dr-james-hansens-growing-financial-scandal-now-over-a-million-dollars-of-outside-income/

  56. Jimbo says:

    Willis,
    I have just finished reading your full article and I have to say it’s among your best.

    One issue is population and income rise. I think it would be great if you could illustrate increased income of nations and fertility rates. I mean, why does the average woman in Bangladesh have more children than a German woman?

  57. Well said.

    I’d add 2 further points.

    As FOIA points out, the climate change orthodoxy is resulting in massive redirection of energy and resources away from market driven technological innovations whose overall effect benefits everyone from the richest to the poorest, toward activities that benefit no one except (some believe) people in 50 or 100 years time, and of course crony capitalists (aka socialists).

    The second point is that in the name of saving the planet, they are causing massive environmental damage, from windmills on English hill tops, to vast palm oil monoculture in SE Asia,

    Both these effects result from the same cause. In a free market, all technological innovations result in producing more from less. Redirect the forces of innovation as governments have done and the result is less for all people at greater cost, including environmental costs.

  58. Jimbo says:

    Warmists think that they are going to get away with their nonsense without accountability. It’s now up to people to fight for their interests otherwise they are going to be killed by those in power. The choice is simple and its yours. Stop listening to these liars and scaremongers.
    ———————————
    Excess winter deaths in the UK 2013
    “The brutal Arctic blast has seen temperatures plummet to -13C (9F) amid what could be the coldest March for almost three decades.

    Pensioner groups warned the death rate among Britain’s elderly has already soared this winter with fears it could hit 30,000 – 6,000 more than last year.”
    http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/383823/Deaths-up-by-30-000-in-big-freeze

    Fuel poverty protest in the UK in February, 2013
    http://www.independent.co.uk/money/spend-save/anger-at-decc-as-fuel-poverty-hits-millions-8497485.html

  59. Gary Pearse says:

    Willis, well done. I think it would be great if someone could put together a series of these kinds of stories for publication in African countries’ and other poor nations’ newspapers. This stuff is not known and understood in these places. They have been inveigled into attending the Green conferences but not knowing the ugly subtext. NGOs make presentations to these people all the time, brainwashing them into accepting no developlment.

  60. 3x2 says:

    Forgive the shouting, but the damn hypocrisy is infuriating, and I’m sick of being nice about it.

    No reason to ask for forgiveness Willis. Anger is an energy as someone once said.

    As you correctly point out – the biggest proponents of ‘carbon tax’ (et al) are those that it would hit least. All sounds great at some tax payer funded conference in some piss poor part of the world where one is jetted in and out of ‘the compound’ with a just a banquet and a quick speech in between.

    On the up-side – I have noticed that China is taking a big interest in countries that are sick to death of the western wankfest. Give us a 25 year contract for Coal and we will build you a bunch of power stations and actually pay you for the Coal kind of interest.

    That doesn’t help the ‘first world’ poor of course but it does offer hope to millions who never had any hope in the first place. China may not be everyone’s ideal but at least they are offering an alternative to ‘The West’. One where some in Africa for example may well see their lives move forward for once.

    Tis late here in England and I must get to bed but you have my interest – “I’ll be back” as your old Governor was so fond of suggesting.

    As always – Thanks Willis

  61. Jimbo says:

    Wamron says:
    March 15, 2013 at 8:39 am
    …..But I am genuinely considering ending my life,purely because I cannot any longer see how I am going to afford to eat and, possibly, keep a roof over my head.

    Wamron, we can complain about high energy prices, but taking your life is being weak. Let me tell you why. There are at least 1 billion people poorer than you in this world and they have no intention of ending their lives. Did humans who entered Europe decide they were going to commit suicide as soon as they encountered an ice age because life was just too hard? You are here today because they survived – and the Neanderthals didn’t.

  62. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Don J. Easterbrook says:
    March 15, 2013 at 1:41 pm

    Great post, Willis (as usual!). Can you tell us the source of the data shown in the graph? I don’t need to look it up, just need to be able to tell people where the data came from.

    Thanks,

    Don

    Hey, Don, good question. Actually it’s best if you look it up, because there’s four datasets (and one is from more than one source). Click on this link to go to the live file, and in small print near each of the variables it says where it came from. In this case energy use says “World Bank” and the per capita GDP says “various sources. Click on the tiny icon near the “Various sources” and it gives the data and the details on where they came from.

    Regards,

    w.

  63. Jimbo says:

    Chad Wozniak,
    You talk of mass murder by Warmists and I agree. This is their ‘hidden’ agenda. Be in do doubt they are not stupid, they know full well where their policies will lead. They are living in denial of their sub-consistence which is to eradicate as many poor people as possible so that they and their offspring can live better in this world. They see the teeming hoards as a threat to their genetic offspring. Some people may laugh at what I have just said but focus on the word ‘sub-consistence’. It is the key.

    QUOTES:
    “My three main goals would be to reduce human population to
    about 100 million worldwide, destroy the industrial infrastructure
    and see wilderness, with it’s full complement of species,
    returning throughout the world.”
    -Dave Foreman,
    co-founder of Earth First!
    ———————–
    “A cancer is an uncontrolled multiplication of cells;
    the population explosion is an uncontrolled multiplication of people.
    We must shift our efforts from the treatment of the symptoms to
    the cutting out of the cancer. The operation will demand many
    apparently brutal and heartless decisions.”
    – Prof Paul Ehrlich,
    The Population Bomb
    ———————–
    “I don’t claim to have any special interest in natural history,
    but as a boy I was made aware of the annual fluctuations in
    the number of game animals and the need to adjust
    the cull to the size of the surplus population.”
    – Prince Philip,
    preface of Down to Earth
    ———————–
    “A total population of 250-300 million people,
    a 95% decline from present levels, would be ideal.”
    – Ted Turner,
    founder of CNN and major UN donor
    ———————–
    “… the resultant ideal sustainable population is hence
    more than 500 million but less than one billion.”
    – Club of Rome,
    Goals for Mankind
    ———————–
    “One America burdens the earth much more than
    twenty Bangladeshes. This is a terrible thing to say.
    In order to stabilize world population,we must eliminate
    350,000 people per day. It is a horrible thing to say,
    but it’s just as bad not to say it.”
    – Jacques Cousteau,
    UNESCO Courier

  64. Jimbo says:

    CORRECTIONS:
    You talk of mass murder by Warmists and I agree. This is their ‘hidden’ agenda. Be in no doubt they are not stupid, they know full well where their policies will lead. They are living in denial of their subconscious.

  65. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Spinifers says:
    March 15, 2013 at 2:48 pm

    I’m one of those poor people, at under 10k a year. And yes these policies hurt… electricity goes up every January for the past 3 years; we can no longer afford the electricity to run heat, and even without heat the added expense has forced me to give up my cell phone (internet will be next). Can no longer afford gas to go to the cheap grocery stores; food is getting so expensive we can barely afford to eat anyway. …

    Thank you for your eloquent and tragic statement of fact about your life.

    Folks forget that the poor exist even in the midst of plenty, and that they are the primary victims of the AGW alarmists. My intention in writing this was to give a voice to folks like you and those even further down the economic ladder.

    Best regards and best of luck in your life,

    w.

  66. Jimbo says:

    Good night all. I will part with some Winston Churchill quotes:

    “The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.”
    ——
    “A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.”

  67. Crispin in Waterloo but actually in Yogyakarta says:

    @Chad Wozniak

    “It was the “overwhelming judgment of science” in 1930s Germany that the Jews must go. MASS MURDER”

    It is the overwhelming judgement of some people that a majority of the human population is surplus and also must go, but through the mechanism of depopulation, all the while devoted to a greenish cult that precludes the use of the energy resources available.

    How will they feel when it is the “overwhelming judgement of science” that natural gas is in fact ‘natural’? That ‘fossil’ oil is continuously created at about 100 km depth in the upper mantle at 1500 C? That the methane clathrates are continuously formed by natural processes?

    Will they admit they were idiots all along? No. And that is the very definition of a fanatic.

  68. Gary Hladik says:

    “To me, hurting the poor today under the rubric of saving them in half a century from an unsubstantiated and fanciful danger is moral dishonesty of the first order.”

    We have to destroy the poor in order to “save” them?

    Very good article, Willis. The graphs are chock full of information.

  69. Regnad Kcin says:

    @Bill Mckibben
    I assume you have read and are at least starting to comprehend Willis’s article.

    A bicycle generator and solar still in every backyard will not solve these problems in any meaningful way.

    Posting links to articles which support the current Green ideology just highlights the dichotomy of low energy access and poverty versus carbon emissions.

    Thanks at least for showing us how actually stupid some people can be.

    PS: Clean up your act and start doing the right thing.

  70. David, UK says:

    …he could care less about increased energy prices.
    I assume what you mean is he couldn’t care less about increased energy prices (i.e. he cares not one jot already).

  71. thingodonta says:

    “Any one of you who pushes for more expensive energy is hurting and impoverishing and killing the poor today”.

    Even if they fully understood the above statement, if would not make the slightest difference to the true believers, because the staunch position they have taken is this: the longer term greater good automatically over-rides all present concerns, and this also includes death and destruction on a vast scale.

    I like Richard Pipes comment about the Marxists who said: “you can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs. ” To which he replies: “… apart from the fact the people are not eggs, no omelette has been produced from the carnage”.

    It didn’t make any difference when the same sort of longer term ‘ends’ position was taken by communists in Cambodia, China, and Russia for example. To them, the end justifies the means, and if this includes altering the present data to serve the long term ends, then so be it, if this means kiling vast numbers of people to serve the ends (but supposedly killing less people eventually), then so be it, if this means fudging the science to serve the ends, then so be it.

    It is a tragedy in the human condition, that otherwise intelligent people sometimes get these sort of future visions of ‘ends’, which aren’t even remotely true to begin with, and cause so much death and destruction along the way.

  72. Wow, Willis. Well said, directly. Hansen and Jones are getting the poor poorer.

  73. Richard M says:

    Say hello to “green death”. It will haunt us for decades to come. The unintended consequences (I hope) of green policies.

  74. john robertson says:

    @Wamron 8:39
    Don’t go that route.
    Life has too many surprises.
    What seems eternal, later becomes a useful lesson.
    And may I suggest that by availing yourself of government aid, now, you are helping us all by speeding the future shrinkage of government.
    We can’t afford to let the collapse come fully, the war phase is no longer useful with the toys we now have.
    Thanks for another fine posting Willis, as Rockie Road has been saying for a while now, these do-gooders are really Genocidal Warmista’s.
    This absurd double speak language our would-be saviours use is clear evidence they lie.
    Speaking of the Dead Kennedy’s,try Frank Zappa, ‘I am the Slime”.Thats our media.
    By my calculations, we should be around 1000 comments from the infamous 1 million.

  75. bobl says:

    Absolutely brilliant article Willis. I have been harping on about this for ever it seems. That “Green” policies are diverting us from the real issues. For example the global threat to humans from extensively drug resistant tuberculosis.

    Do I think XDR-TB needs more dollars – damned right, do I think cancer needs more dollars – you bet, do I think feeding and immunising children in poor countries needs more dollars- yup.

    Do I think we shoud burn surplus corn in our cars – hell no, do I think we should spend 100 bn dollars mitigating temperature change by 0.00024 degrees in 2100… um, doesn’t even rate!

    This isn’t a scientific battle, it’s a political one grounded in morallity. We need to make much more of the moral vacuum that green politics lives in. The way to make Obama listen in the US is to show his immorality in supporting misanthropic policy in a largely moral USA. Unfortunely we in Australia have already decsended into the moral pits, throwing money at green schemes while at the same time withdrawing 500million that used to be spent on pallitive care for advanced cancer patients.

    The wonderful nation of Australia supposedly “Leading the way” in fighting the scurge of climate change is only one of a few countries that DOESN’T have an ion beam (proton) cancer treatment facility – jeeze, I think we’re lucky to have MRI here. The money wasted on climate change here is 100 times what it would take to build these things… But then resources like those only stop people dying… they don’t “save the planet”

    Thank you Anthony, now i’ve had a rant about this at your place I feel much better.

  76. Henry Clark says:

    [quote]Above that annual income level of ~ $20,000, however something different happens. The countries start to substitute increased energy efficiency for increased energy use. This is reflected in the vertical movement of say the US, where the 2011 per capita energy use is exactly the same as the 1968 per capita energy use. And Canada is using the same energy per person as in 1977 … so let’s take a closer look at the upper right section of the chart. Figure 3 shows an enlargement of just the top right of the chart, displaying more countries.

    Figure 3. A closeup of Figure 2, showing more countries. Start date is 1968 for clarity.[/quote]

    Although the bulk of this article is very good, that part is not actually so to remotely the degree implied or depicted.

    There is no postindustrial economy to the degree commonly hyped by environmentalists, but, rather, as always, most really critical living expenses are material goods, from residences to cars. Such as the ratio of U.S. income to the cost of living expenses (residence + food + car + gasoline + etc.) has not doubled since 1968 as the false picture presented by GDP “income” in figure 2 would imply. Actual doubling in income and prosperity would be such as if one could work 20 hours a week and afford a residence plus all else as much as someone could in 1968 in the U.S. on 40 hours a week, but that is not so at all.

    While I’m not an expert on Canada, more familiar with the U.S., I bet the primary reason that Canada is using the same energy per person now as in 1977 is that if one were to look at not superficial GDP but real prosperity, like how many hours of work it takes on average to pay for the primary living expense (a residence) plus food and a car and gasoline and other basic living expenses, they’ve probably (like the U.S.) had very little rise in true prosperity ever since around the 1973 oil crisis and the policy-influencing rise of anti-industry enviropolitical ideologies.

    Physical production (if expressed in terms like houses built per capita per year, tons of steel made per person per year domestically as opposed to importing, etc.) has been mostly flat in the U.S. per capita since the 1970s when not outright declining. Overall, it has not doubled like GDP BS would superficially suggest. Agriculture is one of the few endeavors that has had major growth in domestic physical production but more an exception than the rule. Most economists are employed by governments and government-supported colleges, with corresponding biases, not quite as bad as climatology but influencing even how the standard definition of GDP borders on double-counting government spending by design.

    Sometimes there is pure gain from efficiency improvements, such as if an air conditioner is improved to be more efficient even while having less capital cost too, but those little changes are less a major influence than the overall picture discussed before and subsequently.

    GDP is inflated by counting as if gain rather than harm all sorts of BS, especially parasitic overpricing of service sector and support segments of the economy; for instance, due to essentially no real meaningful competition to limit overcharging and inefficiency (as people don’t really shop around and compare prices when it isn’t practical), “the cost of the average American hospital stay nearly doubled from 2000 to 2010 while average stay length declined” and rose a number of times more relative to several decades ago even if adjusting for inflation ( http://www.google.com/search?q=cost+of+a+hospital+stay ). Likewise, educational costs have skyrocketed as colleges overprice more; the government responds by more generous student loans; colleges respond by in turn jacking up prices still higher since the new loans allow them to get as many customers (students) as before without having to moderate price growth like ordinary businesses; and the cycle repeats. Like other service sector segments not cost-moderated sufficiently by competition, government itself has gone up far more in cost (spending) than what it actually non-wastefully provides in return, already at $6.3 trillion annual government spending in the U.S. and continuing to rise rapidly ( http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/ ) if looked at without the typical misleading measure of failing to count all levels from local to federal.

    (Also, a large portion of the superficial U.S. GDP growth per capita since the 1960s comes from factors like, for instance, if a mother stayed at home raising a kid in the 1960s, that wasn’t counted as income and part of GDP, but, if her modern-day counterpart works at a daycare raising kids, that gets counted as raising GDP; such is not to say that women shouldn’t be able to work but just to point out how GDP as constructed is misleading at best).

    Official inflation adjustments are false as discussed, for instance, at shadowstats.com

    The route into an alien unseen reality of real prosperity beyond modern-day first-world levels would include growth in physical production and energy generation on almost everything from innovation in mass-producing residences for fewer instead of more manhours of labor each to industrial-scale space launch, eventually all of the way up to a Kardashev type 2 civilization.

  77. Alexander K says:

    Willis, brilliant essay, as powerful and as full of truth and hope as every good sermon should be.
    @Bill McKibben
    I don’t very often get angry, but your wilful stupidity makes me angry. You obviously don’t understand the thrust of Willis’ excellent article; cheap and available energy enables the poor to claw their way up and out of poverty. Your juvenile Tinkertoy approach to providing the worlds poor with cheap energy is about as useful as attempting to cook breakfast by lighting your farts.

  78. Willis Eschenbach says:

    bill mckibben says:
    March 15, 2013 at 11:33 am

    One recent and interesting study on this topic–here’s the Mirror account, http://businessmirror.com.ph/index.php/features/green/9977-green-energy-solves-dual-crises-of-poverty-and-climate, and here’s the study itself, or at least the abstract. http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nclimate1806.html

    Thanks, Bill. There have been “interesting studies” on the same question since the 1970s. None of them have ever amounted to a fart in a whirlwind. The headline on the Mirror account says

    “‘Green’ energy solves dual crises of poverty and climate”

    Solves? SOLVES? It’s a study about the FUTURE, full of rainbows and unicorns and optimism. Solves? Hardly.

    This one claims that;

    Energy experts calculate that decentralized, off-grid technologies like wind, solar, geothermal and micro-hydro energy generation are the fastest and most cost-effective solutions.

    Bill, none of those are new technologies. Solar, wind, geothermal, all are pretty mature technologies, with years of development and millions of dollars in subsidies pushed their way. And at present, all of those put together aren’t doing anything. Here’s the bad news:

    Wind power … half a percent.

    Solar PV … less than a tenth of a percent

    Geothermal electricity … less than a tenth of a percent.

    After years and years and years of people like you claiming that solar and wind and the like are the fuel of the future … together we’ve got about six-tenths of a percent of global power.

    And you seriously claim that this will solve the worlds’ energy problems?

    Bill, here’s the thing. Pushing renewables pushes up the cost of energy. I don’t care if they run on unicorn farts and only produce distilled water as a waste product—they push up the cost of energy and that harms and impoverishes and kills the poor.

    That’s what you are doing with your BS about “350” ppmv for CO2. You are taking food out of kids mouths, based on your inchoate fears of carbon …

    So I do hope that this disturbs your sleep, Bill. I hope that this makes you reconsider. I hope that you do care about the poor, and you’ve just been blind to the damages that you’ve been doing. And I hope you give up your quixotic quest for a meaningless goal.

    w.

  79. Chad Wozniak says:

    If any poster here hasn’t seen the CornwallAlliance item, elink to which David Hagen has posted here, by all means read it. I am not a religious person, but the moral arguments made here apply to any (humane) belief system, and the evidence they cite is truly impressive.

  80. Chad Wozniak says:

    Jimbo – right you are, these peoiple actually do consciously mean to murder millions. That is their real agenda – and worst of all, they expect to get richer doing it.

  81. Robert A. Taylor says:

    Right now I’m far more interested in “Wamron” than anything about CAGW. If anyone can contact her / him, do so. I earlier asked the moderator or someone at WUWT to since WUWT has the email, and I hope they did. I’ve been in his / her shoes, and it ain’t good. Without outside help it is almost impossible. To hell with whether the help is government or private. Help is help and should be given. In my arrogant opinion human life has intrinsic value beyond any monetary valuation.

  82. Chad Wozniak says:

    Thingodonta –
    Here is a real-life example of the “breaking eggs to make an omelet” thinking from my own experience: In one of my past lives as a university history professor, I had a colleague (also a PhD in history, as I am) who was forever talking about how much more humane and efficient the Soviet system was than ours in the US. Once, when I reminded him of the 80 million people murdered by Lenin and Stalin, his response was, “Well, that was a necessary step in reforming society.”

    Obviously the greens think the same way as this blatherskite.

    Funny how the color of the flag of mass murder has changed: for Hitler, Stalin and Mao it was red, but now it’s green.

  83. Martin says:

    Don’t know why anyone would push old out-dated dirty technology these days when there are cheaper, cleaner energy sources being developed. Shades of the luddites. Eg solar pv is replacing diesel generators as well as bringing electricity for the first time to millions of people in the developing world.

  84. fred says:

    I agree that the climate change “solutions” are a tax on the poor and even the middle class. That’s the reason the powers that be are pushing the climate change agenda. The resources of the planet are limited and the powers that be want to perserve their unfair share of the energy pie. Climate change is smoke screen to disguise the evil motives behind the “solutions”. No energy is being saved. There have been no reductions in carbon dioxide emissions. The US has avoided increasing energy per capita by deindustrializing. Offshoring production to China does not decrease world energy use or carbon emissions, but does lower the energy used in the homeland.

  85. Lew Skannen says:

    Good post, Willis. Summed it up for me.
    After four years in West Africa the realities of life became pretty clear – Life quality =Energy consumption and the poorer you are the less likely you are to be using clean or efficient energy. If there is no electricity or gas you see a lot of deforestation.
    But Mega-bucks Hansen just cannot see what the fuss is about when he wallows in self righteousness having paid a few more bucks to fill his car…

  86. D.B. Stealey says:

    None of this matters in the long run, or even in the short term. It will take only the right crisis to push us into totalitarianism.

    But great article anyway. Hansen is merely one of the enabling puppets.

    Sic transit gloria America.

  87. DennisA says:

    Willis; Says what so many people feel.

    Michael C. Roberts says:
    March 15, 2013 at 9:41 am
    “Slow, under-the-radar changes until your goose is thoroughly cooked and society as you remember it no longer exists. It is happening before our eyes.”

    Michael you are right, this insidious push for World Government has been going on for many years:

    Check out “United Socialist Nations”
    http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/originals/un_progress_governance_via_climate_change.html

  88. johnmarshall says:

    I agree Willis, well said.
    Green policies hold back development. Development is vital for the third world, a non PC name but true, and development needs energy to the same level as we are used to. Development will reduce child mortality rate leading to a reduced birth rate. Energy means time to improve health care, increase child education, clean potable water for all, better housing, more food, in fact it cannot be overemphasized that cheap available energy is good for the planet.

  89. Rabe says:

    Martin,
    you parrot somebody who talks nonsense. If you already left school with a moderate knowledge of math say, dividing two numbers with their units, you should be able to recognize that you are being lied to. You cannot replace diesel generators with pv solar. It doesn’t matter if one is “dirty” and the other is “clean” or if one is “old out-dated” (which it isn’t) and the other “being developed”. The “clean” one cannot work even if its development had been done with a perfect result in e.g. 97% efficiency. Look out the window and do the math.

  90. Bruce Cobb says:

    Carbon taxes and so-called “green” energy have a double and even triple-whammy effect. The first, and most direct effects have already been covered. They have a depressing effect on the economies of developed countries like the U.S., slowing business activity and/or forcing it overseas, and raising unemployment levels. Standards of living are reduced, squeezing the already-suffering middle-class, and shifting many downwards into poverty levels. The supreme irony is that, the poorer an economy is, the less able they are to deal with real environmental issues. Greenie dreams and schemes thus cause death as well as environmental destruction.

  91. Wamron says:

    Re Robert A Taylor…..and others…..you remind me of why I hesitated over making my declaration earlier. Your reactions make me feel self-indulgent. But the problem is that: people who know how much worse off others are will hide their Green-imposed misery and the B^%$#*&^ responsible get off without their effects being made apparent. Lets face it, those who are worse off on the global scale, a billion as someone says, maybe more, have no voice. Nobody hears anything out of them. It is only those in our own societies who are relatively better off than the global poor but nonetheless in poverty by our standards who are in a position to flag-up the oppressive effects of Green policies.

    Even here, we see one of our posters earlier (whose words meant a lot and I hope finds better luck than of late) reporting that he may even lose access to the internet, in which case, he and anyone in our society in such a situation are also denied a voice. I would rather that everyone who is hurting come out with it now, loudly and often. The longer they hold back, the worse the reaction will be when it comes. When we start having power ottages in the UK next winter, thousands will join the ranks of, as Homer put it (and Eighties campaigners misquoted) “the silent majority”. Dead men tell no tales. Well Im talking now. Rather than shame others into staying silent by reacting with misplaced solicitude you should be encouraging everyone of this endangered species to cry out loud.

    As for “help”…well what does that mean? Its part of the illusion in which we in developed societies have dwelled so long that there is necessarily, ever, such a thing as”help”. If you lose every source of income what possible “help” can there be? And the bottom line is, self immolation by Buddhist monks worked. The death of one Tunisian cigarrette seller has changedthe face of the Middle East and North Africa, even if not for the better.

  92. Chris Wright says:

    An excellent piece by Willis.
    It’s true that the poorest will be hardest hit by this green nonsense, but it still has catastrophic effects in the developed world.

    In the UK energy prices have been driven up by nonsensical green policies. Our government is squandering billions of pounds on windmills that don’t work most of the time.
    Many people, including myself, can afford these price increases, though knowing that it’s all based on a mad delusion does hurt.

    But it’s the old and less well off who can’t afford sky-high energy bills and as a result they’re going cold. And dying as a direct result. Quite possibly hundreds or thousands of old people are dying every winter as a fairly direct result of high energy prices. And now we’re having very hard winters with plenty of snow. The English climate has been rapidly getting colder since 2000, as shown by CET.

    I would have been a life-long Conservative voter, but no longer. Now I’m a UKIP voter. I refuse to vote for a party whose policy is to push up the price of energy. In my humble opinion, people who push this green fantasy based on bad and fraudulent science are guilty of mass murder. And that includes our prime monister.
    Chris

  93. Vince Causey says:

    Just had my energy bills through. They tell me my electricity direct debit needs to rise from £58pm to £74pm, and gas from £78pm to £90pm. These are huge increases – even by the standard of recent years. I told my wife that by 2020 we won’t be able to afford to live in the UK any more. Maybe emigrate to India. I’m not joking!

  94. Neville says:

    Once again, Willis, you present obscure and occluded facts and data in an eye-bulgingly simple manner. Thanks you! Large hat-tip to you!

  95. Barry Sheridan says:

    Quite so Willis. Hansen et al are clearly contemptuous of the majority of mankind and indifferent to their fate. It is hard to understand how they can be like this given their undoubted intellectual capacities, but then again throughout human history the hierarchies have always demonstrated a remarkable ability to deny others what they themselves feel entitled. Although I freely admit to not being the brightest of individuals I would be ashamed to sacrifice concern for others less fortunate than myself by adopting or supporting policies that clearly create wholesale suffering while living a life insulated from the consequences of my actions. These people are beyond condemnation in this world.

  96. Hoser says:

    First, deep inside the Left hate people. There are too many humans on Earth. Some must die, and who better than those fecund poor people? Of course, they’ll never admit it. Eugenics again (e.g. Planned Parenthood). Here we see overeducated stupid people rising to high places of authority. We need to remove their authority. They should not have the power to make decisions affecting so many people. That’s why we must shrink government, cut regulations, and never ever join a one world government.
    Second, were you using constant dollars? If not, we might be seeing inflation in the vertical rise, not rising income. And that could be another interesting point to extract from the chart. When are economies actually healthy? I’m seeing a fish hook in Fig 2. Looks like developed are economies slowly sinking where inflation can’t hide it. With constant dollars, the energy-income curve might be sharper.

  97. Toto says:

    When people think “development”, they often think “bulldozers”. But they should think “energy efficiency”, because that is the hallmark of each technological advance—it squeezes more stuff out of less energy. But you have to be in an industrialized, modern society to take advantage of that opportunity.

    More than that. Efficiency is progress. Subsistence living is poverty, when all of your work only just keeps you alive. I don’t romanticize that. The technological advances in energy sources: women, slaves, animals, water and wind powered mills, steam, electricity, fossil fuels, nuclear power. The technology is available. It’s the “modern society” part that is the problem (sorry that’s ambiguous, not everyone believes progress/modernity is good).

  98. Hi Willis

    I am now back in the UK but I was in St Gilgen Austria this morning and came across a road with your exact surname. It appears there was a writer called Eschenbach who hailed from the village as did Mozarts mother

    http://www.weissesroessl.at/en-holidays-austria-culture-lake-wolfgang.htm

    Have you got Austrian ancestors?
    (Ps, intriguing article and an interesting graphic)
    all the best

    tonyb

  99. johanna says:

    Another aspect which should be considered is the ways in which the effects of rationing energy (by making it more expensive) are frequently covered up with so-called “compensation” measures. In rich countries, this often takes the form of government payments or subsidies to pensioners and the like to “make up for” price increases due to carbon taxes and mandated ‘green’ energy boondoggles.

    What they don’t tell you is that they are merely moving around a few crumbs of the cake (with losses along the way), but more importantly, they are making the cake smaller. Every business is poorer because of higher costs, plus someone has to pay more tax to finance the handouts. Worse, businesses become less competitive on world markets for no good reason.

    This means less jobs, less growth and less wealth all around. And guess who the ultimate losers are when the cake becomes smaller? Not Mikey Mann and his pals in their comfy, well-paid jobs. It is those at the bottom of the heap who are a paycheck away from being homeless or destitute.

    It is appalling, but perhaps not surprising, that rich do-gooders in the First World have no comprehension or care about what their policies do to people in the Third World whose lives they neither know nor care about, except in the abstract.

    But deliberately sabotaging their own countries’ economies, and throwing their own poor to the wolves, really brings home the terrifying nature of those who want to ‘save the world’. As long as they continue to enjoy a high standard of living and plenty of international travel in service of The Cause, they don’t give a damn about even their own nest. Horrifying, and very scary.

  100. Wamron says:

    Johanna, price tarrifs are not rationing. Example, Britain had rationing through WW2 and until, heck before I was born but about 195-something. Under that system, nobody (within the law) , not Rupert Murdoch, nor that bug eyed bloke who funds Eco groups, nor Gore nor Mann nor the King of England could purchase anything in any quantity more than the poorest pensioner. Thats rationing. It dishes the misery out equally. even the black market dealers (“spivs” and “wide-boys” so called after their preference for double breasted jackets two sizes too big accross the shoulders) served a socially equitable function as their deals often took unused excess commodities from some and bartered them to those who needed them. Eg two of Lord Fauntleroys collection of shotguns in exchange for the fuel ration held by a farmer and gameskeeper without guns who had no car to fuel.

    Funny now you bring it up, anti-Ecos have often warned of rationing being on the Green agenda, but hey, that would actually be far better than things as they are.

    I go further now, Id say fine, if you Ecos want to reduce consumption, then we should impose rationing on everybody. Lets have it so luxury food imports and foreign holidays are taken away from those who continually berate those of us who enjoy no luxuries and only travel as we have to in search of work .

  101. DavidH says:

    Martin,

    The article you linked to is primarily about India, which I think it a special case. It says that “Electricity demand exceeds supply in India by about 14 percent during peak hours” and “Factories and homes in the Asian nation switch on emergency diesel-fired generators during chronic blackouts”. I can see that there will be times when solar panels can displace the need to run diesel generators at all, certainly saving the cost of the fuel for duration. I doubt though that anyone has got rid of the diesel generators, because there are going to need something to provide power and the grid isn’t doing that.

    In a similar way, there are remote towns in Western Australia where wind power actually works, because when the wind is blowing consistently, they can turn off diesel generators, genuinely saving money. It costs a lot to truck in the diesel fuel.

    But these remote towns and all of India can’t be extrapolated to the whole industrialised world. Even for India, the equation may change in future. The same article says they plan to spend $400 billion “to curb the shortfall” [in grid capacity] and that grid power “comes from burning coal, which is about 4 rupees a kilowatt-hour”. So if diesel at 17 rupees per kWh is being displaced by solar at 8.78 rupees per kWh, surely grid power at 4 rupees will in turn displace solar when (if?) a reliable grid exists.

  102. Caleb says:

    Willis,

    As much as I enjoy your posts, they always seemed a bit objective and scientific. I thought they lacked the more subjective element we call “compassion.”

    I was completely wrong. I apologize.

    I note McKibben has checked in. Does he honestly believe that clap-trap he links to? Either he isn’t as smart as I thought, or he trying to dely us and waste our time, (like the character Wormtongue in Tolkien’s trilogy.)

    In a small way I am trying to alert people to the impending crisis. I don’t care if some think I’m just an old crack-pot grouch. (One good thing about getting old is that you can play the part.) Besides saying gruff things to young idealists, I have an obscure blog. Maybe I only alert between 20 and 100 people, but there are a lot of obscure blogs out there. It adds up.

    One thing FDR did was take advantage of the “new media” of his time. Back then Hoover controled all the newspapers, so FDR used radio. We need to use the blogosphere, and do it now.

    My small contribution:

    http://sunriseswansong.wordpress.com/2013/03/16/big-freeze-in-britain-killing-the-elderly/

  103. johanna says:

    Wamron, increasing prices is a form of rationing. You are conflating government imposed regulation of supply with the economic concept of rationing, which includes adjusting demand (and/or availability) by raising prices. Markets do this automatically, but when governments get involved, the result is always the same – everyone is worse off.

    If a market raises prices, it is either because something is genuinely in short supply or because people are willing and able to pay more, to the extent that a firm can still make a profit.

    When a government raises prices, it may provide some windfalls for lucky market players, but overall it reduces economic activity and competition, and makes consumers poorer. Choice and investment are determined not by real costs and market demand, but by government fiat. It has been tried many times throughout history, and never ends well.

  104. Martin says:

    DavidH, Willis’ article was about keeping the developing world poor – or maybe keeping the industrialised world rich, not sure.

    The Bloomberg article is just one showing how clean energy is being used to replace dirty energy in countries like India. Lots of people in places like Africa and Bangladesh are getting electricity for the very first time using solar pv. I read somewhere that in some states in the USA, wind turbines are taking off like nobody’s business.

    It’s articles like this one that make me think there’s something in what the wife says after all. It just doesn’t make sense. (She believes in AGW.) The more renewable energy come down in price the better off will people be in the developing world, and reduce the awful pollution that’s there now especially in asia. I’m surprised so many people here are against it.

  105. wheelsoc says:

    James Hansen’s actual proposal is not cap-and-trade or a carbon tax, but fee-and-dividend with the revenue being disbursed evenly to all citizens. This has the effect of distributing funds in such a way that the households at the bottom would actually receive more than they pay in increased energy prices so long as the richer use more energy than the poor. The very poor would not be hurt by energy price hikes from this, and in terms of government revenue it would be neutral because 100% of the revenue would be disbursed to the public. This increases the cost of carbon-intensive energy sources without adversely affecting those least able to pay.
    Meanwhile because the cost of carbon-intensive energy is going to be increasing by known amounts as the fee is raised steadily, companies can invest in reducing their carbon footprint however they see fit: there is no government picking of winners and losers, no mandates for this-or-that solution, but a market-driven investigation into the most promising ways to reduce pollution. Technological advances, driven entirely by private industry and investments, help bring the cost of energy (in all forms) down to compensate for the cost of carbon-intensive fuels.
    There is no favoritism or lobbying for advantage as with most Cap-and-Trade schemes, and it has the obvious advantage over a Carbon Tax of not disappearing into government moneypits and pork.
    FAQ from the Citizen Climate Lobby, where James Hansen serves on the advisory board. More of the policy is outlined here in Hansen’s own words. It deals with common complaints about the typical policy solutions: that governments pick risky investments, that assumptions about renewables might not pan out, nuclear power, international cooperation (i.e. China and India), and so on.

    Yet none of this appears here. It’s not even mentioned in passing. It seems to me that James Hansen’s real policy proposal has not been discussed in this post at all. That’s a rather glaring omission, especially since it’s designed from the ground up to address the very premise of this post; that making carbon emissions expensive will necessarily hurt the poor.

  106. Caleb says:

    RE: Martin says:
    March 16, 2013 at 8:59 pm

    Martin,

    I’m glad you are thinking and asking questions.

    I visited India in 1974 and again in 2000. The progress was obvious, in the Western Ghat. Hills that were stark and denuded in 1974 were covered with the green silk of young trees in 2000.

    As far as I could tell, what made the difference was propane. People didn’t need to cook with dung, and this led to less over-grazing. People didn’t gather firewood either. Propane even powered the vehicals. There may have been fewer goats, but perhaps the boys herding the goats just were educated not to rip down the branches of the young trees. The barren landscape now grew grasses in the shade of the trees. It even seemed to be changing the weather. There were light showers in the dry season. Only a few hundredth of an inch, but that was unheard of when the landscape was badly over-grazed.

    What made the difference. Propane. I repeat, Propane.

  107. Willis Eschenbach says:

    wheelsoc says:
    March 16, 2013 at 9:29 pm

    James Hansen’s actual proposal is not cap-and-trade or a carbon tax, but fee-and-dividend with the revenue being disbursed evenly to all citizens. This has the effect of distributing funds in such a way that the households at the bottom would actually receive more than they pay in increased energy prices so long as the richer use more energy than the poor. The very poor would not be hurt by energy price hikes from this, and in terms of government revenue it would be neutral because 100% of the revenue would be disbursed to the public. This increases the cost of carbon-intensive energy sources without adversely affecting those least able to pay.

    Yet none of this appears here. It’s not even mentioned in passing. It seems to me that James Hansen’s real policy proposal has not been discussed in this post at all. That’s a rather glaring omission, especially since it’s designed from the ground up to address the very premise of this post; that making carbon emissions expensive will necessarily hurt the poor.

    James Hansen’s actual proposal is to oppose all coal everywhere all the time. This includes overseas, where people will not even hear about his fanciful payment scheme outlined above.

    Next, if you truly believe that “the households at the bottom would actually receive more than they pay in increased energy prices”, then you need to get out more. The idea that an increase in energy costs would be balanced out by some calculated payment is so naive that I can only ascribe it to James Hansen or someone like that.

    And the idea that “the very poor would not be hurt by energy price hikes from this” is a sick joke. Energy price hikes hit everyone, including the homeless and the drunks sleeping it off under the freeway. They will indeed be hurt by energy prices, as will hundreds of thousands of others who have fallen through society’s safety net, and your claimed Hansen’s benefits check mailed to everyone will never reach those hundreds of thousands … oops, they don’t have a mailing address … and you accuse me of not thinking about Hansen’s plan?

    How about YOU think about Hansen’s plan, and about his anti-coal agitation that leads to things like the World Bank refusing to fund coal plants in the developing world. How many people has that affected already? Your idea that Hansen even considers those poor bastards is nonsense, and the idea that they are not being harmed today is a measure of how very, very far you are from reality. Hansen’s policies are killing people today, as we speak, regardless of his lovingly handcrafted handwaving plans that seem to impress you so strongly and that will never be implemented.

    I say again, increasing energy prices hurts the poor, even with Hansen’s handwaving plan. You are being callous and cruel to ignore the facts. Please stop claiming the moral high ground. YOU are the one advocating killing the poor, not me.

    w.

  108. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Martin says:
    March 16, 2013 at 8:59 pm

    DavidH, Willis’ article was about keeping the developing world poor – or maybe keeping the industrialised world rich, not sure.

    The Bloomberg article is just one showing how clean energy is being used to replace dirty energy in countries like India. Lots of people in places like Africa and Bangladesh are getting electricity for the very first time using solar pv. I read somewhere that in some states in the USA, wind turbines are taking off like nobody’s business.

    It’s articles like this one that make me think there’s something in what the wife says after all. It just doesn’t make sense. (She believes in AGW.) The more renewable energy come down in price the better off will people be in the developing world, and reduce the awful pollution that’s there now especially in asia. I’m surprised so many people here are against it.

    People here, including me, are not generally against renewable energy. I’m a fan of it myself. I wrote the US Peace Corps training manual on windmill design and construction, for example. One of the things I used to teach was appropriate technology. This means picking the appropriate level of technology for each application.

    The number one, most important thing regarding appropriate technology is price. If it costs too much, it’s not appropriate. As a result, there are many places where renewable energy IS appropriate—remote locations, cell phone towers, and the like are perfect spots.

    For road and rail transport, on the other hand, the appropriate technology is oil.

    Now, as you and your wife point out, the cheaper the alternatives get, the more places they are appropriate. And assuredly this will help the developing world.

    But pushing those technologies before then is mondo stupid. Subsidizing them is rank idiocy. And pushing them for road transport is a joke. If they are to make a mark on the world, they must do so on their own.

    All the best,

    w.

  109. Henry Clark says:

    With or without wealth redistribution transfer payments, part of the fallacy of Hansen’s proposals is acting like the economy is something which can be further shackled under increased energy costs without harm.

    Everything from food to manufactured products has indirectly embedded energy costs, which are not compensated for just by telling poor people to apply for some welfare payments on their electricity bill and no doubt spend extra time and paperwork, a further drain on the economy in itself.

    (As my prior comment discussed, there has already been very little real economic growth per capita in the U.S. ever since around the 1973 oil crisis and the rise of policy-influencing anti-industrial ideologies, once stepping past tricks of inaccurate inflation adjustments and skewed GDP figures to look at actual domestic physical production per capita and how many hours of work it takes to pay for a minimal residence of a particular size plus other living expenses, battered under increasingly overpriced non-competitive segments of the service sector from colleges to health care to waste in government spending).

    Government-managed transfer payments and redistribution, taking money from previously successful businesses to give some to welfare applicants, doesn’t eliminate harm. The impact of energy on the real economy in general (not the “postindustrial” BS but the main living expenses which are primarily physical goods from houses to fuel) is so great that there is remarkable correlation between gasoline prices and unemployment rates in history:

    http://www.google.com/search?q=gasoline+unemployment
    (top results point out the correlation)

    Gasoline is not electricity, but electricity is likewise important, in some ways even more so for manufactured products.

    Moreover, even when there is government assistance to the poor, aside from encouraging dependence on the government (though the ideological proponents consider that a bonus), it is done through the biases of the individuals involved, the same kind of people (practically adult spoiled brats with no understanding of what it would be like not to have a bunch of relatives to fall back on) who make such brilliant freedom-respecting charitable policies (NOT!!) as to greatly increase the minimum cost of living and raise homelessness by having almost every U.S. metropolis ban monthly-rent apartments under around 400 or so square feet. For instance, a local craigslist advertises some offices of 100 ft^2 for actually just $140/month rent (about the size of a small motel room but still way better than being on the street), but every last place in areas legally zoned for residences is several times more expensive due to being forced to never, ever, ever be under several times the size. (Government housing assistance is commonly utterly inapplicable, made for those who have children without financial preparation first and who intend to be on the dole long enough for the wait times to be limited in context, yet not on relevant timeframes if ever for childless individuals suddenly involuntarily in an emergency; of course, given the fools in power, it could be dangerous if it was actually effective, as, if they didn’t mismanage it the current way, they’d likely overdo it in the opposite direction, until a slippery slope of eliminating incentives to work and overall economy collapse).

  110. feet2thefire says:

    Those Gapminder charts are amazing. In 1800 no country had an average Life Expectancy of 40. As countries industrialized (and their people began moving to the cities), their life spans increased, with a couple of dozen over 50 by about 1875-1900. There was a bit of a plateau for them until ~1925, when (industrialized) pharmaceuticals became available, and since then life spans have really improved. Now about 20 countries have life spans of 80 or more. Just in the top 20 countries, in 90 years the average has gone up by 30 years!

    For those in the USA who don’t know it, in 1900 the average life span was 49. We also have gone up by 30 years. MUCH of the initial increase was in child mortality. That cannot be said to be the case in 60-80% of the world’s countries now. Why? Because, once developed, better medical care and better natal care can be exported; they don’t have to invent or discover better medical care. These improvements have reached out across borders and made life across the globe better.

    And now over 50% of the world’s population lives in cities. Is there a connection? Yes. Better health care, central heating, better access to more varied foods, easier lives. Rather than shortening our lives, industrialization has helped us to live MORE than twice as long.

    Currently only Afghanistan and Sub-Saharan African nations have life spans under 50. Compare that to 1800 when ZERO countries had even FORTY year life spans on average. And even in those countries, life spans are going up, and are comparable to American and European life spans of the early 1900s. They are catching up, and they will continue to.

    All of this is directly in opposition to what the greens/warmers like to think – that our children will have a worse world. WAY wrong, folks.

    Industrialization has made the world not only POSSIBLE for 7 billion people, but it has made life BETTER for the vast majority of us.

    I got no bone to pick in this. Gapminder has sources referenced for all its data. They are not making this up. I had NO idea the numbers are so encouraging. And I will tell you this: It didn’t improve because people moved from the city to the farms (except to live in housing developments in the burbs). The trend still is FROM rural TO URBAN.

    One other thing: In 1900, when Americans lived only to 49, 90% of the workers in America worked on farms. Today? 1%.

    Steve Garcia

  111. feet2thefire says:

    @Bruce Cobb March 16, 2013 at 6:50 am:

    Carbon taxes and so-called “green” energy have a double and even triple-whammy effect. The first, and most direct effects have already been covered. They have a depressing effect on the economies of developed countries like the U.S., slowing business activity and/or forcing it overseas, and raising unemployment levels.

    Now hold on just a minute, Bruce. The slowing of business in the USA did not come about because of carabon taxes or green energy. Green energy isn’t a pimple on an elephants bum. Carbon taxes came WAY after American businesses ON THEIR OWN chose to relocate manufacturing to Mexican maquiladores and then to China – all based on VERY cheap labor costs. None of those companies were forced to move overseas by anything more than higher profits, dude. Where are you learning your economics?

    I was a senior design mechanical engineer, and up until 2000 there was a LOT of work in industry. ONLY when the manufacturing went overseas did unemployment in America become rampant. You must not remember the 1990s, when there were so many job openings companies couldn’t fill them. 2000 dawned, and POOF! sorry, America! China was willing to get its hands dirty making your products for you!

    And don’t forget Wal-Mart’s hand in all that – forcing vendor prices lower and lower and lower, and putting hundreds and thousands of American companies out of business because Chinese labor was so much cheaper, American companies couldn’t go that low. Screw the Walton family and the boat they road in on.

    I’d still be working if all the manufacturing companies hadn’t CHOSEN to go to China.

    Steve Garcia

    p.s. Adam Smith’s “Invisible Hand” – used by capitalists to justify their greed, is taken completely out of context by corporations. Smith was talking about exactly that – going offshore because of cheap labor. He said that KEEPING the manufacturing domestic was where the invisible hand kicks in. And what does him writing that in 1776 tell us? That capitalists have ALWAYS tried to offshore manufacturing – and ALWAYS to the cheapest competent labor market. (America prospered then. making textiles because English mills offshored to the cheaper American labor market.) The more things change, the more things stay the same, only now the shoe is on the other foot. When around 2000 the American manufacturers moved to China, the money they and their employees are NOT spending in the USA is what is hurting the USA economy.

  112. Parthlan says:

    Good article in the UK Mail on line entitled dated17 March 2013
    “The Great Green Con no. 1: The hard proof that finally shows global warming forecasts that are costing you billions were WRONG all along”

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2294560/The-great-green-1-The-hard-proof-finally-shows-global-warming-forecasts-costing-billions-WRONG-along.html#ixzz2NnOou7wm

  113. Wamron says:

    Rober A Taylor….I got your e-mail, I took time and trouble to write you a reply. now you publicly declare you lost it in a daily emptied spam folder. Ergo, you are a time waster and an idiot.

    You then go on to lecture me in public about things you cannot possibly know squat about.

    Oi pillock, if you fancy living out your remaining years on bench in a street with your entire worldly goods in a plastic bag and your only clothes the ones you have on until one night you die of hypothermia………..well bully for you, I think that makes you a pillock who spouts loudly before he takes the first step towards the resemblence of a thought. You exhibit the same traits aswe are supposedly discussing in Hansen only far worse!

    You and your obsession with depression. Thats as far as I need have read. Then I knew already you would be prating out of your rectal hole.Actually reading the rest confirmed this.

    Now STFU!

  114. Wamron says:

    Johanna, you are arguing over semantics which dont affect the validity of what I said one iota. If we call your conception of “rationing” “rationing A” and my definition”rationing B” then rationing B still constitutes an equitable system which affects everyone equally. It remains the arguable case, which you have disregarded, that in a world dominated by Green agendas, rationing B would be afar more equitable status than rationing A, orwhatyou referto as “rationing”.

  115. Wamron says:

    One last comment from me in this thread.

    I will be speaking out about my situation again. I want to see others here and elsewhere do the same. As I explained in a comment earlier, which, in spite of saying hw he likes my writing (maybe Ill try to do something to correct that) Robert Taylor evidently didnt offer me the basicrespect of reading.

    I would appreciate it if I dont see anyone offering their glib “advice” in future, at least without my asking for it on a specific topic.

  116. David Jojnes says:

    feet2thefire says:
    March 17, 2013 at 2:22 am
    @Bruce Cobb March 16, 2013 at 6:50 am:

    “Now hold on just a minute, Bruce. The slowing of business in the USA did not come about because of carabon taxes or green energy. …. Carbon taxes came WAY after American businesses ON THEIR OWN chose to relocate manufacturing to Mexican maquiladores and then to China – all based on VERY cheap labor costs. None of those companies were forced to move overseas by anything more than higher profits, dude. Where are you learning your economics?”

    Steve: Europe went through a similar process thirty(?) years earlier when Japanese products started to underprice European made products. We were told that the Japanese were “stealing our technology” (aka patents), “they work for peanuts,” “the quality isn’t very good,”
    But, in the end Europeans bought Japanese cameras, because they were cheaper than those made locally. Then it became radios, then TVs, then new hitech products and eventually cars! Soon Japanese products were replaced by South Korean, more recently by Malaysian or Indonesean, now Chinese. In each case it was (largely) because they produced products cheaper (i.e. at a lower retail price point) than the predecessor. As you say, driven by lower labor costs. But also by increasing other costs, employment taxes, “health and safety” issues, paid vacation time, etc. I am sure you can recognize the comparision.

    The driver is ALWAYS, “what will people buy.” You cannot force them to pay more for a domestic procuct which is more expensive unless you make it illegal for them to buy the cheapest or illegal to import prodcuts. Do you think that route would have been better?

  117. Bruce Cobb says:

    The bizarre thing is that here in the U.S., manufacturing is returning from overseas, thanks in part to increased labor costs in places like China, and also to higher shipping costs. Most sane people would like to see that trend continue, but anything that raises manufacturing costs such as forcing electric rates up will counter that.
    A strong, vibrant economy is actually vital to freedom. Those who attack fossil fuels actually attack democracy itself, and are no less than traitors.

  118. Robert A. Taylor says:

    Wamron says: March 17, 2013 at 5:55 am
    Wamron says: March 17, 2013 at 6:08 am

    Thanks for sending the email. YES, I LOST IT. Yes, I make mistakes. I’ve repeatedly said I have very little time on the Internet. I quickly scanned the Spam folder, and simply didn’t notice the wuwt in the email until too late. I just caught the wuwt as it disappeared and was unsure it was actually there. I didn’t expect it to be in Spam; others emailing to my address don’t go there. I am usually very tired when able to get access, and far from my best.

    As to putting my reply in an open comment, I wasn’t sure you or WUWT had sent an email, and chose to reply in that manner to be more nearly certain you would get it. Also, I thought it an imposition on the WUWT moderator to send it on directly. That is far from the purposes of WUWT, and a typical large corporation would not even permit such things.

    As to your condition, depression, and glib advice. Of course, I don’t know your actual condition. Depression in no way implies you do not have real problems. The two are separate issues. As a sufferer of depression which cannot be treated chemically because of my reaction to the drugs, your case still sounds like depression to me. That is merely an impression, not a firm conclusion. As to glib advice, I thought I mostly detailed my condition for your comparison; please read and compare.

    At least you cannot say some on WUWT do not care, do not spend their own time on you. This is the case on an open blog where anyone can write anything, true or not. We do not truely KNOW, although you seem genuine, whether you are really desperate or not. You, of course, are in the same situation about the replies. That is not an insult, merely a statement of fact.

    Please, email me again. I’ll try to be more awake, fresh, and aware.

    BTW to send this I had to compose on one computer, get off, wait, go to another, then send. It may be tomorrow or the next day before I will have Internet access again.

  119. Ray says:

    Wamron says:
    “Johanna, ………… in a world dominated by Green agendas, rationing B would be afar more equitable status than rationing A, orwhatyou referto as “rationing”.”

    Wamron, Johanna is correct. Rationing by government decree disrupts price signalling and the Supply goes down, period. As a result, Poverty is the typical result of Socialism and Equity is not. The Elites always get theirs and at reduced price controlled rates at that, in your Socialist (Green) society and in your utopian Green Society there is simply less to go around. After the the Elite’s unequal share is taken off the top the Non-elites get the crumbs. It’s a lose lose for the poor compaired to the inequalities of free markets.

  120. Fergus Mclean says:

    Why not grant every one the right to a ration of energy at an inexpensive price so that everyone has access to what’s essential, while the excess of what anyone chooses not to use can be traded to those willing to buy more than their ration permits? This could be done with coupons- which could become the currency of the monetary system to follow the collapse of the petro-dollar.

  121. Ray says:

    Fergus,
    What am I missing? From your description “energy ration permit coupons” are the functional equivalent of petro-dollars.
    Given how these things can be managed in the real world we appear to have two choices. We could simply have the central Bank(s) print them in whatever quantity desired and give or issue them to people or we could take them from (Tax) the rich and redistribute them. So hows that working out with petro-dollars in the several working models around the world we have to observe today and what would make what we have different with functionally identical energy ration permit coupons?

  122. johanna says:

    Fergus, who is going to decide what an “essential” ration of energy is, and what an “inexpensive” price is?

    Democratic political systems and free markets already do that, other things being equal. What right has some busybody to decide what “essential” means for every individual? It would just be a paradise for wasteful and unaccountable bureaucracy, as well as destroying the market signals that would otherwise deliver cheaper and more efficient energy.

  123. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Fergus Mclean says:
    March 18, 2013 at 4:51 am

    Why not grant every one the right to a ration of energy at an inexpensive price so that everyone has access to what’s essential, while the excess of what anyone chooses not to use can be traded to those willing to buy more than their ration permits?

    Ummm … because rationing doesn’t work? Because it’s a bad idea to subsidize energy? Because screwing with prices tends to lead to bad things?

    Or some other good reasons …

    Thanks,

    w.

  124. Kajajuk says:

    johanna says:
    March 18, 2013 at 5:51 am
    Democratic political systems and free markets already do that, other things being equal.
    —————————————————————
    hahahaha, you got the hook line and sinker well swallowed…
    Democratic political system? That’s rich, pun intended.
    Free markets? Hmmm, how much did that cost?

    I wonder what it was like to be in USSR when the communist political system and un-free market (hehehe) crashed in 1989? I wonder what it will be like in the US when the democratic political systems (which side of the coin did you vote for?) and ‘free-market’ (hehehe) crash in 201_?

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