British Columbia, British Utopia

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

I was pointed by a commenter on another blog to the Canadian Province of British Columbia, where they put a carbon-based energy tax scheme into effect in 2008. Before looking at either the costs or the actual results of the scheme, let me start by looking at the possible benefits of the scheme. I mean, on my planet if there are no benefits the costs are kinda beside the point. The BC carbon-based energy tax was sold on the basis that it would help in the fight against the theorized CO2-caused global warming. So how much will the actions of our northern cousins affect the world temperature?

Well, that’s hard to answer, but we could set an upper bound on the possible cooling by a thought experiment. According to the current climate paradigm, CO2 rules the global temperature, and the change in temperature is about 3°C for each doubling of CO2. That means if we know the emissions, we can calculate the resultant temperature change.

So here’s the thought experiment. Suppose British Columbia had been founded in 1850 as a separate country with the high ethical aim of achieving freedom from evil carbon based fuels. And instead of calling it “British Columbia”, the early colonists decided to call it “British Utopia”, because they were going to make the ultimate sacrifice in the fight against evil carbon dioxide. They weren’t going to use any fossil fuels ever, their country would be a true utopia. So they built a wall around British Utopia and didn’t trade with anyone, to keep out nasty carbon from trade. To avoid CO2 emissions they didn’t use any oil, either their own or from elsewhere. They didn’t make any cement, or import any, too much CO2 released in the manufacture. The Utopians didn’t use coal for heat or transportation or making steel, just wonderful organic renewable wood. Since the carbon in wood was recently taken from the atmosphere, burning it doesn’t add CO2 to the atmosphere, it just replaces what the tree removed from the atmosphere. And suppose further that they had kept true to that until today …

To me that sounds like they’d lead short lives under brutal conditions, breathing a hazy brown atmosphere from all the wood smoke. And if you run your country on wood you might well end up looking like Haiti … but we’ll let all that go for the moment and ask the important question:

If the British Utopians had made that noble sacrifice for humanity in 1850 and foresworn fossil fuels … how much cooler would the world be today?

Fortunately, given the assumptions made by the IPCC under the current paradigm, we can calculate how much cooler it would be if the British Utopians had given up emitting CO2. The CDIAC has data for both Canada and the World ms showing CO2 emissions since 1750. And since for a given country the CO2 emissions are a function of population, and we know the historical BC population as a fraction of the total, we can figure the total BC emissions, and thus, the amount of Utopian cooling. So here’s the true Canadian hockeystick, showing how much cooler, year by year, the world would be from the British Utopians’ self-sacrifice:

british utopians contribution to cooling the globe

Figure 1. How much cooler the world would be if the British Utopians had abjured the evil carbon habit in 1850.

Now, the blue line in Figure 1. shows how much the virtuous actions of the British Utopians have cooled the planet over the last century and a half. If they had “Just Said No” to fossil fuels, the blue line shows how much cooler we’d be today. That would be about five thousandths of one degree … man, those Utopians really know how to get the most bang for their buck, huh? Give up all the modern comforts for a century and a half, live in the dark ages for decade after decade while everyone else is partying down, and what do they have to show for a hundred and fifty years of self-deprivation?

Five thousandths of a degree of cooling.

But wait, it gets worse … think of the grandchildren!

Over on the right hand side of the graph I’ve shown another fifty years of projected emissions. For a young couple just starting a family today, in fifty years their grandchildren will be in their thirties. So what might the BC carbon-based energy tax achieve for these grandchildren?

I’ve shown two possible futures. One is fifty years of the “Business As Usual” scenario in red. This continues the post-1970 trend, which has been an average of about a 1.5% annual increase in British Columbia emissions. That’s what we might pessimistically expect if there were no carbon-based energy tax of any kind. That’s worst-case.

And in green, I’ve shown what would be the absolute best-case result from the carbon-based energy tax. This is the total fantasy outcome, where the BC emissions remain at their 2008 value (the date of the BC tax), and they don’t increase at all for fifty years. Of course atmospheric CO2 levels would continue to rise because of the constant annual addition of the same amount of CO2 emitted in 2008, but not so much as in the “Business As Usual” scenario.

Now, the difference between those two possible scenarios, the worst-case and best-case scenarios, is the theoretical maximum possible cooling that might result from the carbon-based energy tax. That is shown by the black line in the lower right corner … and that cooling is three thousandths of a degree.

So there you have it. All of the pain that the folks of BC are going through, all of the miles of paperwork, all of the sacrifice, all of the damage done to the poor, all the taxes collected and bureaucrats coddled, for all of that, what the good Canadian folks have achieved for their grandchildren is three thousandths of a degree of cooling.

About all I can say is, I certainly hope than the grandchildren show a proper appreciation for that fantastic inter-generational gift, and that they send the old geezers a nice thank-you card like Miss Manners recommends. After all, it’s the thought that counts, and it’s not often you get a present that’s that significant …

Seriously, folks, the anti-carbon zealots must have hypnotized the masses. I know no other way to explain such idiocy. Here’s the thing:

Suppose someone came up to you and said “I can guarantee you that I can cool the planet by three thousandths of a degree over the next fifty years.” And suppose you checked them out, and found that they were telling the truth, in fact they could guarantee the three thousandths of a degree of cooling in fifty years.

How much would you personally pay for that?

Would you pay a thousand dollars to be guaranteed that amount of cooling, 0.003°C, and not today but in fifty years?

I wouldn’t. Not worth it. Too much money for too little benefit.

But the collective madness of the BC citizens has reached the point where they’re willing to establish an economy-slowing tax accompanied by a whole bureaucracy, with enforcement officers and piles of paperwork, and spend millions and millions of dollars in the mad pursuit of a best-case benefit of three thousandths of a degree cooling, not now, but in fifty years.

All I can do is shake my head in astonishment, and wonder at the madness of crowds. A plan is proposed, someone does a cost-benefit analysis, the benefits are too small to have a hope of being measured and don’t occur for decades … and in response people say “Great plan, let’s implement it immediately”???

Ah, well … I’m an optimist, I figure at some point our Canadian neighbors will wake up and go “Wha?” …

Best to all,

w.

PS—As I mentioned above, I wanted to take a look at the benefits, the costs, and the effects of the BC carbon-based energy tax. I’ve only discussed the (lack of) benefits in this post, so as you might expect, there will be a couple of additional posts to cover the effects and the costs. In fact they’re mostly written, because this started as one post and got unbearably long … so I’ll cover the costs and the effects of the BC tax in future posts.

PPS—Please don’t tell me that this is just the first step. The BC taxpayers have already spent half a billion dollars on this farce and that’s not the half of it. If your wonderful first step costs a billion dollars for a cooling of 0.003°C, I am not interested in your second step whatever it may be.

NOTE: This is one of a four-part series on the BC carbon-based energy tax. The parts are:

British Columbia, British Utopia
Fuel on the Highway in British Pre-Columbia
The Real Canadian Hockeystick
Why Revenue Neutral Isn’t, and Other Costs of the BC Tax

About these ads

156 thoughts on “British Columbia, British Utopia

  1. Try again, I hit the “Post” button prematurely and had to scramble to connect the dots, but I think it’s good now.

    w.

  2. My grandmother thought governments were evil entities. She said, “mark my words. If they can, they will find a way to tax the air we breathe”. That was over 30 years ago. She was, unfortunately, right. #disgruntledbritishcolumbian

  3. Willis for President.

    “if there are no benefits the costs are kinda beside the point…” Ah, but these kind of projects bring benefits that politicians seek, the expansion of their government power – very different than the one’s that actually help normal people. Two entirely different kinds of “benefits”.

  4. What is even more delightful is that the Canadian federal government charges GST (5% tax) on the carbon tax. In 2008 the federal government made 30 Million from GST on the carbon tax. Don’t blame the citizens, they didn’t do this or even think it up. It was all the BC Liberal government. Liberals are Democrats, always looking for new ways to take your money.

  5. I actually have a carbon tax rebate cheque in the amount of $3.12 from a while back. Never bothered to cash it and was thinking of getting a frame and putting it on the wall.

  6. Lets not forget Eve, that in BC terms, the Liberals are the current free enterprise (coalition) party.

  7. In Australia we have the same situation.
    It is justified as an example to other countries.
    If all countries follow this lead, then the problem is solved.
    In the meantime, this is a good source of revenue.
    Revenue which can be used to buy votes.

  8. The really wonderful part is that while we in BC do drive cars, roughly 95% of our electricity is generated by wonderful, renewable, hydro power. So, even before the crazy right wing government brought in the carbon tax, (and yes, the “Liberals” are the right wing party in BC) we were already emitting rather less CO2 per capita than virtually any other Western industrialized population.

    Go figure.

  9. hillrj left out the good part, to lower world temperature by reducing demand on fossil fuels a Carbon Tax that would cost the average punter $9.80 per week was to be imposed, having announced the “Carbon Tax” the Labor Party discovered that it would cost votes, in order to regain those votes they announced a compensation package (wait for it) $10.20 per week, LUMP SUM IN ADVANCE. What bogan wouldn’t go for that one, this enables the voter to purchase more energy from fossil fuel than they could afford before.

  10. What is even funnier or sad or proving its just another tax scam is that BC exports lots of oil, coal and natural gas with plans in the works to export a lot more. We are also the home of Andrew Weaver and the infamous David Suzuki with a PHD in bugs, fruit flies, pushing climatic doom. I am not knocking those working with bugs, he is an embarrassment to the field.

  11. What a great model. Up until now nobody has been able to answer the crucial question, “By how much will the CO2 tax reduce global warming ?”. Perhaps the model could be refined and, after peer review, used as evidence why even higher CO2 taxes are needed. Obviously the current tax level is failing dismally.

  12. Indeed Robert and Eve. The scary part is that the other main party in BC (the NDP) would raise carbon taxes even more, stop oil pipeline projects, slow natural gas development in north eastern BC and increase taxes. – http://www.bcndp.ca/newsroom/bc-ndp-lays-out-2013-election-platform-fiscal-plan
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/137836147/BCNDP-Election-Platform-2013 (Willis – read pages 39 and 50 – and you thought California is bad?)
    Had the NDP won the May election, BC would be looking at increased job losses due to increased income taxes and taxes on “vented emissions from oil and gas operations”. Willis’s far fetched scenario would not have been far fetched at all. I grew up in BC but I could never move back there.

    Happy in Oilberta.

  13. Well the dirty little secret is that the provincial government charges rate payers this filthy little carbon tax to fund their filthy little evil projects. Check this report out:

    http://www.policyalternatives.ca/sites/default/files/uploads/publications/BC%20Office/2012/10/CCPA-BC_GHG-Targets-vs-Natural-Gas.pdf

    It shows that their production and export of natural gas and other liquids is set to nearly quadruple in that province alone by 2020. And they feel good that they are cleaning up China’s exports with all their cheap gas. So while they save their little province from the modeled fate of catastrophic global warming, cooling, climate wierding or climate change (pick one, not sure what day of the week it is), they make bank on exporting their supposedly damaging product around the globe.

    Did I mention the provincial government makes bank on the mineral rights as well?

    Grateful for their exports
    I can do without their sanctimonious and hypocritical preaching on the topic.

  14. But we’re LEADING the world and all that “green” power technology is going to locate in British Utopia!! Jobs! Jobs and more jobs!!. . .

    hmmm, wait a minute, if nobody is following, how can we be leading? I guess Aus is following but at least they are in the process of turfing out the party leader who brought them the Carbon tax. Us British Utopians on the other hand, just re-elected the liar in chief. (She originally didn’t win her riding in the general election, called a bi-election in a safe riding, (West Kelowna) and was re-elected. Politics as usual in BC. Shame on West Kelowna.)

    Willis, do a little digging and you’ll find out 70% of the carbon taxes paid out went to friends of the liberals. The auditor general wasn’t very impressed.

  15. Diana Moher [July 11, 2013 at 9:27 pm] says:

    My grandmother thought governments were evil entities. She said, “mark my words. If they can, they will find a way to tax the air we breathe”. That was over 30 years ago. She was, unfortunately, right. #disgruntledbritishcolumbian

    A wise lady because truer words were never spoken. George Harrison alluded to many things but left that particular one out of Taxman. But he got the tax on ‘heat’ correct.

    It is a serious point in my opinion. If you don’t realize the absolute depths these scoundrels will sink to when they tax the air then you are utterly an hopeless sheep. It so simple even a liberal should understand ( ‘leftist’ to you non-USA citizens ).

  16. Hi Willis,

    Thank you again for your creative way of making discussion. It’s rare to be both very technically savvy and creative as you are. There’s not that many left/right brainics like you out there!

    I am not trying to not pick, and I know you’re being generous using the 3C claim per doubling of CO2 to make a point. I just want to be clear I get exactly what you’re saying. When you say 3/1000 cooling, do you mean the temperature would be, according to the IPCC, 3/1000 C cooler than if CO2 emissions remained at business as usual levels? In other words, now is not stasis, but whatever the temperatures are going to be, they’d be 3/1000 cooler if BC stopped increasing emissions?

  17. Why are our left coasts the most extreme? Must be something about living on the Pacific rim and the uncertainty of having another tomorrow….

    Willis, I find a bit of confusion in the post – at first you talk about British Utopia being founded in 1750, but your graph is based on 1850. Shouldn’t that be 1750 (I know it wouldn’t change the configuration much)? Then 2 paragraphs below the graph you state the time lapse as 150 years — that should be 250 years from 1750.
    Thanks for an interesting approach. Peace.

    MS

    [Thanks, fixed. 1850 is correct. -w.]

  18. Cooling the planet is not the objective of Carbon Taxes or other Carbon schemes. Collecting vast amounts of tax for whatever can be dreamed up is the objective. The other objectives as we have all observed, include a self destroying desire for de-industrialization, and conversion of economies from Private Enterprise to Public Bureaucracy.

  19. Mario Lento says:
    July 11, 2013 at 10:47 pm

    … but whatever the temperatures are going to be, they’d be 3/1000 cooler if BC stopped increasing emissions?

    Exactly.

    w.

  20. Willis Eschenbach says:
    July 11, 2013 at 11:14 pm
    ++++++++++
    Thank you… and I can extrapolate that if 3C per doubling is too much of a gracious plenty, the effects (if any) would be much much less than that small number of thousandths of a degree C… and we cannot really measure temperature that precisely as far as I know!

    You’ve in a cogent example shown how ridiculous and harmful it is to abide by the warmists’ agenda.

  21. BC political cartoonist Ingrid Rice (a leftist) published one in August 2012 that you would love. It’s not online that I know of, so I will describe it. A guy is reading a newspaper. Big headline: “Ottawa prof claims BC’s carbon tax works — 15% decline in fuel purchases since 2008″. Another headline: “BC loses 14,500 jobs in July — half of job losses in Canada”. The guy’s comment: “Sure! The carbon tax definitely reduced my fuel usage ………… But what really helped was losing my job. I no longer drive my car. I just live in it.”

  22. And 0.003°C is the measurement uncertainty of a top class temperature calibration laboratory so, even after all this sacrifice, you still could not be sure that you had achieved anything at all.

  23. Thanks for that Willis. I live in BC and it’s a great place, but the attitude of the government on this issue is embarrassing. As a former shop teacher (teaching small engine repair and other classes) I spent the last five years of my career explaining the myths of the warmist community to my students, and coaching them on questions to put to their science teachers, all of whom embraced warming. I wasn’t well liked, but the science department folks also feared me and never once challenged me. I even met a Dr. A. Weaver in my shop, good friend of Dr. M. Mann…..
    Imagine my surprise when the Education Ministry adopted “An Inconvenient Truth” as curriculum ready, without any review or skeptical analysis, and delivered free copies to all secondary schools. I had fun with that too.
    So the leap into carbon based energy taxation was not a large one. Science and the inquiry that drives it, is very much rejected by a large percentage of the population here, as any glance at daily news media will reveal. Carbon tax, no pipelines, no oil tankers, no gas shipments, no log exports, and……..what?……….no revenue? I want my health care!
    No logic either.

  24. Its just a tax … and at least the proceeds are used locally instead of going to some other part of the world.

    Not that I enjoy paying it any more than any other of our taxes!

  25. The BC Carbon tax came from a series of measures, including Smart Meters, proposed by the BC Climate Action Team (CAT). Here is a link to the press Release providing details including members.

    http://www2.news.gov.bc.ca/news_releases_2005-2009/2007OTP0180-001488.htm

    Several of them are connected to the IPCC, especially Andrew Weaver, who was lead author on the modelling chapters in the 1995, 2001, 2007 and the upcoming AR5 Reports.

    Weaver recently won election in the Provincial government as member of the Green Party. I understand he is also deputy leader of the National Green Party.

    David Keith as a member of the University of Calgary had a business promoting CO2 sequestration techniques.

    Keith has been very active in attacking skeptics and others who ask questions. He is now professor of public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School.

    The Ex-officio members on the list are all linked with Weaver and Environment Canada and active in various ways promoting the work of the IPCC.

    The CAT produced the Climate Action Plan (CAP) which you can read here;

    http://www.gov.bc.ca/premier/attachments/climate_action_plan.pdf

    You can see that they cite the IPCC (page 6) as the source of their certainty about the problem and the need for action. There is even a separate insert by Weaver on page 10

    I gave a presentation a few years ago to the BC Municipalities Association in Revelstoke explaining what was wrong with the IPCC science. Gordon Campbell, then leader of the opposition, approached me after and said he had never heard any of the information I provided. He said he would have his environment critic Murray Coell call me. A year later I spoke to the Municipalities again, this time with a greater emphasis on water. Campbell was again present, but now as Premier. He asked me if Coell had called me. I said no and he angrily said I will look after it. A month or so later I was summoned to the Premiers office for a meeting with Coell and his staff. The Premier started the meeting but announced he could not stay – he had arranged for his office to make sure it happened. Campbell and his then cabinet were well aware of the serious scientific limitations.

    This suggests that Campbell, who essentially left office completely out of favour, saw greater benefit in appearing green and reaping the benefits of the carbon tax.

    So, BC, with enormous energy resources, has among the highest gasoline prices on the continent thanks to scientists with political agendas.

  26. If one thought the “FRACKING” issue was interesting in any other country, wait till it comes to BC:

    http://business.financialpost.com/2013/05/27/bc-alberta-lng/?__lsa=19fc-c3c6

    One could speculate if the “tar-sands” was a feign…

    http://www.energy.gov.ab.ca/NaturalGas/944.asp

    Oh, yeah, that “tar-sand oil”, I am sure the Chinese will have not problems processing it. Keystone XL (This is an EXPANSION of a pipeline…) or not, it WILL be burned. I can’t wait till Mckibben, Hanson and Suzuki figure it out the EDF reports were BS, though I suspect Hansen already knew and was just keeping up the image (Not to mention the community service that might have caused his retirement….).

  27. There are two forms of carbon usage taxes in B.C. The Carbon tax on fossil fuel, then there is the carbon offset payments that school and hospital boards must pay.

    Mike H says: July 11, 2013 at 10:15 pmWillis, do a little digging and you’ll find out 70% of the carbon taxes paid out went to friends of the liberals. The auditor general wasn’t very impressed.

    Mike is referring to the offset dollars.
    The Carbon tax is revenue neutral, it does not bring in extra money but rather other taxes were reduced. For low income people, a rebate is given called BC climate action tax credit.
    During the election just over 4 years ago, the NDP (New Democrat Party) promised to axe the tax. This statement has often been reported as a reason why the NDP lost that election. As had been stated, during the most recent election about 2 months ago, the NDP said they would keep the tax and even raise it and add additional costs. This time around the NDP lost even more seats than the previous election. I doubt however that I will see this being reported as a possible reason why they lost this time. By the way, people knew that the NDP would just bring in some kind of other goofy method to collect money from carbon usage if they axed the tax, such as a carbon cap.
    The previous premier that introduced the original carbon tax, Gordon Campbell, was rewarded by being appointed Canadian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in September 2011. He was rewarded for being nice with the Canadian federal government. There was some speculation that after leaving office, he would get a plumb job with G.E. because of the billion dollar contract to replace all the electric meters in B.C. with “smart” meters.
    The wind lobby is constantly trying to get windmills built in B.C. The Run of River lobby has been far more successful and just earlier this year B.C. Hydro had to dump energy through spill ways in favour of the run of river providers, thus increasing B.C. Hydro customers costs.
    A few years ago, the B.C. government was reassuring its citizens that B.C. was getting drier (due to climate change of course), they had scientists in the woods measuring the rain for the previous 8 years. I was appalled to learn of the cherry picking once I had spent time learning climate science.
    The Liberal party had discussed whether  or not to get rid of the carbon tax during their last convention before the last election and they decided that they could not get rid of it because they had come to rely on it to help offset the other tax reductions. So let that be a lesson to any other jurisdictions considering a revenue neutral tax, you might not be able to get rid of the tax later.

  28. As I recall, the annual increase in atmospheric CO2 is only about half of humanity’s estimated CO2 omissions. Not that it would make much difference, but does your analysis take this into account, Willis?

  29. A couple of years ago I wrote ‘The futility of Carbon reduction’ Very much on the same theme as this post by Willis

    “It seems that the UK government is expecting to spend about £32 billion, (~2.2% of UK GDP), according to the Stern Review [1], every year for the foreseeable future in order to achieve by the year 2100 at the absolute maximum global temperature reduction of ~0.0019°C, (less than 2 thousandths of a degree Centigrade). This temperature reduction would have to involve the total elimination of all future UK CO2 emissions. Any lesser goal for reduction as proposed could only be even less effective temperature wise. The Stern review was released in 2006, so as ever with government budgets the sum will have escalated since. If the UK is proposing to spend £32 billion ($50 billion) per annum to partially influence ~1.7% of world CO2 emissions, it means that the equivalent global spend could be as much as ~$3,000 billion per annum for the foreseeable future. At present this would amount to about ~4.5% of the global GDP, ($69,000 billion) to achieve a reduction in temperature for the whole World of 0.11 °C about 1/10 degree Centigrade, on the basis that all future CO2 emissions were eliminated.”

    http://judithcurry.com/2011/05/26/the-futility-of-carbon-reduction/

    I subsequently contacted 12 leading climate scientists to ask for their confirmation as to the effect our herculean efforts would make to this highly theoretical (and lets not forget that) effect on global temperatures.

    4 didn’t bother to reply another 4 blustered but basically agreed the trivial reduction figures were correct but that it was a good thing anyway, and another four said they hadn’t even done the calculations anyway and didn’t intend to.

    I don’t want to hijack this excellent thread by Willis but it seems to me that Willis or Anthony could –if they thought it worthwhile-usefully issue a challenge to climate scientists to either refute the figures, deny them or justify them by way of an article here.

    I’m not holding my breath though that there would be any response. Those that know the answer don’t care and those that haven’t done the calculations don’t care either.
    However, perhaps an even more useful thread might try to determine how we get these figures out into the MSM.

    tonyb

  30. Broder’s headline could tell an entirely different story…cos CAGW policies are definitely going to ensure more energy breakdowns. nice to see the latest buzzword “resiliency” & “wicked” in one sentence:

    11 July: NYT: John M. Broder: Climate Change Will Cause More Energy Breakdowns, U.S. Warns
    “We don’t have a robust energy system, and the costs are significant,” said Jonathan Pershing, the deputy assistant secretary of energy for climate change policy and technology, who oversaw production of the report. “The cost today is measured in the billions. Over the coming decades, it will be in the trillions. You can’t just put your head in the sand anymore.” …
    In the meantime, Mr. Pershing said, cities, states and the federal government must take steps to adapt and improve their resiliency in the face of more wicked weather…

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/11/us/climate-change-will-cause-more-energy-breakdowns-us-warns.html?_r=0

  31. eventually common sense prevails:

    9 July: Australian: AAP: Germany to pull plug on solar subsidies
    GERMANY will stop subsidising solar energy by 2018 at the latest, its
    environment minister says, after last year initiating a scaling-back of
    generous state support for the faltering industry…
    Berlin “has so far invested 216 billion euros ($A308.24 billion) in
    renewables and the biggest chunk went to solar, the technology which does
    least to ensure the power supply,” said the head of industrial group
    Siemens, Peter Loescher, in an interview published in the business daily
    Handelsblatt on Monday.
    Germany has seen a wave of solar company insolvencies and the number of
    people employed in the industry fell to 87,000 in 2012 from 110,900 a year
    earlier, while sales plummeted by 11.9 billion euros, according to
    government figures…

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/breaking-news/germany-to-pull-plug-on-solar-subsidies/story-e6frg90f-1226676305151

    ——————————————————————————–

  32. It’s actually worse than it seems. Just how long will it take for the world to discard fossil fuels? Twenty years on and no progress there I’m afraid.

    July 09, 2013 | Roger Pielke Jr
    “Clean Energy Stagnation

    Growth in Renewables Outpaced by Fossil Fuels

    The world was moving faster towards reducing its reliance on carbon intensive energy consumption in the 1970s and 1980s than in the past several decades. In fact, over the past 20 years there has been little if any progress in expanding the share of carbon-free energy in the global mix. Despite the rhetoric around the rise of renewable energy, the data tells a far different story……”

    http://thebreakthrough.org/index.php/voices/roger-pielke-jr/clean-energy-stagnation/

    H/t
    Hockeyschtick
    “Global percentage of renewable energy hasn’t changed in 20 years
    I wonder why”

    http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2013/07/global-percentage-of-renewable-energy.html

  33. I think the analysis is invalid. Anything worthwhile that BC produced and sold since 1850 has likely been made somewhere else instead. This is not a sacrifice that makes a pro rata contribution to CO2 abatement. It’s a sacrifice that just arbitrages the SOURCE of emissions to non-Kyoto countries.

    Take it from an Aussie – as we closed alumina smelters, new ones popped up in China. And our alumina is shipped by diesel burning ships for a net increase in emissions. And the leftist govt proclaims this as a SUCCESSFUL policy.

  34. From my last comment I forgot to add this second paragraph which is important and shows how badly the greens have failed.

    Roger Pielke Jr – 9 July 2013
    “Clean Energy Stagnation

    Growth in Renewables Outpaced by Fossil Fuels

    The world was moving faster towards reducing its reliance on carbon intensive energy consumption in the 1970s and 1980s than in the past several decades. In fact, over the past 20 years there has been little if any progress in expanding the share of carbon-free energy in the global mix. Despite the rhetoric around the rise of renewable energy, the data tells a far different story……

    The figure above shows the proportion of global energy consumption that comes from carbon-free sources. These sources include nuclear, hydro, solar, wind, geothermal, and biomass.”

    http://thebreakthrough.org/index.php/voices/roger-pielke-jr/clean-energy-stagnation/

    Remember, they don’t like nuclear and some of them say hydro is not renewable / clean energy. That’s how bad it is.

  35. Willis, why not go one step further and make a graph of what how much the global temperature would change if one individual stopped using fossil fuels? You can always divide a problem into sufficiently small parts that any single piece seems insignificant for the total solution. If your goal is to avoid action, that is great, I suppose, but it’s not very constructive.

  36. Actually Willis, given that the actual sensitivity is closer to 1 Deg C it is very generous to offer them 0.003 Degrees, much closer to 0.001 Degrees methinks.

    In Australia, this is known as the Bolt Question after Columnist Andrew Bolt who relentlessly pursued the government with the question,

    How much cooler will it be in 2100 with our 11 Bn per annum carbon tax than without?

    For those in other jurisdictions, this is a great question that NEVER gets a straight answer and makes AGW proponents in government look like right dills.

    BTW I ran the calculations, to offset 1 Degree of global warming in 2100 using measures as cost effective as the Australian (i.e. Gillard) Carbon (Dioxide) tax would require worldwide taxes to the tune of 1/2 Quadrillion dollars per annum. And you Americans (Sorry Canadians, but you are in North America too) let your governments/presidents sell you this stuff.

  37. Horrendously complex but maybe time somebody did a full analysis on the actual emissions created by the production of the tens / hundreds of tonnes of paper forms from standing timber to paper, the emissions created in the collecting, collating and processing of the data including the total emissions of all the government and government contracted personnel employed solely to process the data, The emissions of the extra employees engaged in non productive work, The emissions from the processing, transporting, lighting, heating, cooling, computing, communicating, printing and etc and etc in both business and government that can be directly ascribed to the CO2 emissions regulatory regime.

    In short, the total amount of CO2 emissions including the total emissions by the entire government’s own emissions regulatory system as well as the emissions created by forcing the non government, productive sectors to go through the costly, painful process of complying with all the government’s regulatory demands on CO2 emissions..

    A lot of people both in and out of government including the rather nauseous and rabid green NGO’s who keep forcing this garbage onto our society might get a very serious shock at the amount of CO2 emissions from the completely non productive government emissions regulatory bureaucracies and in the business sectors in meeting the emissions regulations if these CO2 emission numbers were ever done on a real life situation like BC.

    None of the above includes the separate issue of the horrendous and unprofitable financial costs forced onto households and business by the government mandated CO2 emissions regime.

  38. If the BC residents had gone zeroCarbon by 1850 there would be no grandchildren, death would have loomed large.
    Your calculations assume zero change for anything else in the climate driver mix and that the GHE theory is correct.

  39. Willis, it’s really much worse than you thought here in British Columbia – as some of my fellow BC-ers have noted above.

    We have been cursed with the “carbon tax” – in no small measure thanks to IPCC-nik Andrew <barrage of intergalactic ballistic missiles> Weaver (whose campaign histrionics, to much admiration and adulation by the nationally taxpayer-funded CBC, have seen him recently elected to the provincial legislature as the BC Green Party’s first such success) and his connections to the former Premier who lapped up his exhortations and brought forth BC’s very own imitation of the U.K.’s Climate Change Act, known here as the “Climate Action Plan”

    But this legislated lunacy – and rash dash to be the greenest of ‘em all – has resulted in schools and hospitals being required to purchase “carbon offsets” from their already cut-to-the-bone (and for all intents and purposes) provincial government established operating budgets to compensate for the failure of many (old) facilities to live up to “green” standards. As one Canadian MSM reporter had observed:

    The idea that we have struggling schools paying $25 a tonne for the carbon dioxide they emit while having to forgo the hiring of teachers and the purchasing of books is preposterous. Especially given that in many cases this money is going to highly profitable private-sector companies.

    And with such measures, the province claims to be “carbon neutral”. A claim that the Auditor General has found to be “not accurate”.

    Pls. see Of advocacy carts, evidence horses and Andrew Weaver’s carbon “baby”

    And considering that the heretofore unknown entity known as “Sustainable Prosperity” (and its head honcho, Stewart Elgie) cited in some Canadian media reports as pronouncing the “success” of BC’s carbon tax, pls see also:

    BC Auditor General confirms enviro-activist Elgie’s “resignation” claim unsustainable

  40. One of the many things in life that irritates me is when a member of the public on tv says ‘they are not interested in politics’. Until people realise that the decisions politicians make will hurt their pockets, we will carry on being fleeced. It should be remembered that ‘politics’ comes from the Greek word polis, meaning citizenship, and tics, meaning blood-sucking insects.

  41. It is an incorrect assumption that these ‘carbon taxes’ are intended to reduce ‘global warming: they are intended to reduce industrial output and wealth creation and in that they are succeeding. Every country and State that has imposed a carbon tax regime has deindustrialized and its wealth creation has been reduced. Those countries that have avoided the restrictions on ‘carbon’ have become more industrialized and wealthier.

  42. Willis

    It seems to me that one cannot make this type of assessment without first assigning a figure to climate sensitivity to CO2. Accordingly, I enquire:

    1. What sensitivity have you assumed?
    2. Why have you assumed that figure?
    3. What would be the outcome with a lower figure being prescribed to climate sensitivity? For example, if one assumes a figure of 2degC, 1.5degC and 1 degC what would be the various outcomes?

    Sorry if this causes you some extra work, but I consider it important to add some perspective given that climate sensitivity is contentiou, and with ever increasing study and experience from observation, climate sensitivity is increasingly appearing to be lower than the warmists were initially contending.

  43. Willis

    Further to my post at 02:57am, I note that you have used a climate sensitivity figure of 3degC. I do not know why I missed that.

    Please therefore just deal with question 3, since I consider that most people on this site suspect that the figure of 3degC is now (with recent data coming in and being analysed) on the high side, and I suspect that many consider that climate sensitivity falls within the range of 1 to 2 degC (there being some who consider it zero or near to zero that as makes no difference, and others who may consider a figure of over 2degC realistic).

    I know that the answer will show that the temperature reduction is pi**ing small, and I accept that the thrust of the point you were making is demonstrated even using teh 3degC figure that you used. The entire policy is absurd, and becomes ever more absurd as climate sensitivity is reduced.

  44. BC is not my northern cousin, it’s my western neighbor. The block of real estate that blocks me from the coast. The rough-hewn bumpy land distorted by the collision of the Pacific Plate with the North American plate.

    It’s been known to me for my entire life as “La La Land”, and all of our family vacations included trips to both Vancouver and Seattle to visit relatives. I always wondered why there were so many skunks in BC. Or at least, there was always a haze of skunk smell wherever a group of people were hanging around.

    That’s the BC “Green”. It’s grown in a million places in BC, because the rainforest climate is ideal, both for growing it and for hiding it. And no pesky DEA flying around locating crops, either, just some RCMP detachments that mostly seem to be regular customers.

    Extremists? Hell yeah! Many draft dodgers moved to BC in the ‘Nam years, and were probably too stoned to even notice the amnesty, so they stayed. Vancouver is just the extension of Seattle anyway, although I personally find Seattle to be a far, far nicer city to be in. Besides, they have a monorail.

    I have several friends in BC, as most people born in Alberta seem to. Each year there’s a little more distance, as their political landscape drifts so far left that they’re past “here be dragons”. Eventually they’re going to have to build a bridge at the border.

    Oh yeah, it’s great fun hearing BC residents talk about how horrible a pipeline would be, if it were to be built. All you need to do is show them a map of all the pipelines that already exist. They’re usually shocked.

    In all of my travels around Canada, which was a LOT for a few years there. I find BC to be the second oddest place. Oh, don’t get me wrong, they’re usually nice people, they are after all Canadian. But they seem to be a bit slow and not quite connected with reality. (The oddest population in Canada is Winnipeg. No idea why.)

  45. Skeptik said @ July 11, 2013 at 9:48 pm

    hillrj left out the good part, to lower world temperature by reducing demand on fossil fuels a Carbon Tax that would cost the average punter $9.80 per week was to be imposed, having announced the “Carbon Tax” the Labor Party discovered that it would cost votes, in order to regain those votes they announced a compensation package (wait for it) $10.20 per week, LUMP SUM IN ADVANCE. What bogan wouldn’t go for that one, this enables the voter to purchase more energy from fossil fuel than they could afford before.

    Skeptik forgot to mention that in order to receive the compensation package, you had to be on the government teat. Those low income earners such as myself, who earned ~$10,000 last FY, received no compensation. None, nada, zip,.. The government website talks up the benefits for someone earning $30,000 p.a.

    NB The Git is retired and owns pretty much all the toys he needs and grows and barters for nearly all the food he consumes.

  46. Gary Hladik says:
    July 12, 2013 at 12:59 am

    As I recall, the annual increase in atmospheric CO2 is only about half of humanity’s estimated CO2 omissions. Not that it would make much difference, but does your analysis take this into account, Willis?

    Indeed it does, modeled with the standard exponential decay …

    w.

  47. richard verney says:
    July 12, 2013 at 2:57 am

    Willis

    It seems to me that one cannot make this type of assessment without first assigning a figure to climate sensitivity to CO2. Accordingly, I enquire:

    1. What sensitivity have you assumed?
    2. Why have you assumed that figure?
    3. What would be the outcome with a lower figure being prescribed to climate sensitivity? For example, if one assumes a figure of 2degC, 1.5degC and 1 degC what would be the various outcomes?

    As I said in the article, I used the IPCC’s central estimate of 3°C per doubling of CO2. That way nobody can claim I’m minimizing the effects of CO2. If the sensitivity is half that, than the temperature change would be half that.

    w.

  48. tonyb says:

    July 12, 2013 at 1:00 am
    //////////////////
    Tony

    I am surprised that you got any response from the climate scientists. None refuted your figures, and 4 confirmed in broad terms what you were saying. I will leave out the jibe as to whether you can accoringly claim 100% consensus amongst climate scientists as to the temperature reduction that will be achieved.

    i have seen similar figures banded about. May be Booker, or Delingpole or even Andrew Neil would be interested. I would have thought that Booker and Delingpole might well be willing to write an article on this. the problem is that they are not widely read by Joe Public.

    I have seen a number of interviews by Andrew Neil who appears somewhat sceptical. He may be persuaded to use this info when interviewing a politician from DECC, or someone else promoting renewables. It would make for an interesting interview. So although it may not form the main basis of an interview, it could be used by him to create an uncomfortable moment, and interviewers like creating such moments. I consider it worthwhile contacting Andrew Neil additionally providing him with the details of the response(s) that you received from the climate scientists.

    Additionally, your scenario/info could form the basis of a parliamentary question. Bishophill has a post on this, and if it is not one of the proposed questions, I would suggest that you raise it as a proposed question. One could additionally ask whether the government considers that such expenditure represents value for money, and if so why.

  49. If I understand you correctly Willis, you say that what British Columbia do or not do regarding carbon emissions, does not matter because they have such a small population. Therefore they should not do anything. I think this is a rather odd way of reasoning. Please explain if I have misunderstood.

    My other objection to this post is that you call a carbon tax a cost, which I think is misleading. If you apply the same logic to other taxes, why not remove income tax or corporate tax or perhaps value added taxes. What good do they do after all? Income taxes make all working people a bit poorer. Value added taxes make all goods more expensive. Corporate taxes make it more difficult to grow a business and create more jobs. No good in any of those, is it?

    The answer is that, seen from a statewide perspective, a tax are not a cost, it is a way to transfer money to the government. Only the administration part of the taxes should be regarded as costs, and I don’t think carbon taxes need to be more costly than other taxes.

    After all we need some taxes to bring money to the government, so why not put a tax on the bad stuff we want to reduce rather than tax good stuff like creating jobs? I think it is democratic to regard CO2 emissions as bad since the majority think it is bad for the globe. The main purpose of the carbon tax is still to bring money to the government, but a side effect is that it encourages people to choose less carbon intensive products.

  50. Mario Lento says:
    July 11, 2013 at 10:47 pm
    …. In other words, now is not stasis, but whatever the temperatures are going to be, they’d be 3/1000 cooler if BC stopped increasing emissions?
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    It depends on whether or not you invoke the The Logarithmic Effect of Carbon Dioxide and ‘Feedbacks’

  51. Richard Verney says;

    ‘i have seen similar figures banded about. May be Booker, or Delingpole or even Andrew Neil would be interested. I would have thought that Booker and Delingpole might well be willing to write an article on this. the problem is that they are not widely read by Joe Public.’

    That is the problem. Booker Delingpole et al are not widely read, let alone by anyone who would take notice.

    Straws in the wind bur we have been agitating with our local MP’s against absurd solar farms proliferating in our part of the world. I see they intend to table a parliamentary question about better planning to stop the industrialisation of the countryside. I might send the material to her as back up information.

    tonyb

  52. You just have to put that (imaginary) .003°C in the right perspective Willis. The question is, how many Hiroshima-sized atomic explosions does that represent? /sarc

  53. Population of BC = 4.1 million
    Population of the world = 7.1 billion = 7100 million

    Population of world/population of BC = 1732
    x Global temperature change from BC zero carbon= – 0.003
    ——————————————————————————–
    Global temperature difference w/o free riders = – 5.20

    well yes, that is a bit concerning.

  54. BC has two political parties. One is run by crooks, the other by incompetents. We usually elect the crooks because the crooks recognize that you can only steal money from people that have money. The more you keep people working, the more there is to steal.

    The carbon tax has been a disaster for the people of BC, taking large amounts of public money and funneling it to friends of the government. The Auditor General wrote a scathing report on the waste and corruption involved, showing that there was no benefit in terms of CO2 reductions.

    Already short tax money that should have gone to schools and hospitals to buy new, fuel efficient furnaces or to improve insulation in older buildings was instead funneled largely to one single company to fund a project that would have gone ahead anyways.

    To fund the shortfall in taxes the BC government raided the reserves of the Insurance Corporation of BC and BC Hydro, which operate at arms length from the government so that their debt does not appear on the government’s balance sheet, and then used these funds to declare a surplus going into the election.

    Surprise surprise, the Insurance Corporation of BC raised insurance rates 12% over 1 year. Luckily for us it is a monopoly. It is illegal in BC to buy your mandatory basic vehicle insurance from any other insurance company.

  55. Does anyone really believe that the carbon tax was (is for those trying to get one) anything but a new source of revenue for the government to dole out? And how can redistribution of this tax money be revenue neutral since there will be a lot of “friction” from the redistributors?

  56. Canadians don’t like to think for themselves. Too much work. Thus they rely on their governments, the CBC and David Suzuki to tell them what to believe and do. I’m ashamed to be Canadian sometimes. The people up here are very gullible and easily duped.

  57. Many collective approaches can be taken down this way, but it’s a rhetorical argument that entirely misses the point. If every country had waited for other countries to reduce CFCs before doing anything, nothing would have happened.

  58. For those who want to explore the funding of the greens in British Columbia…

    http://fairquestions.typepad.com/rethink_campaigns/

    There are hotbeds of academia’s mercenaries to the green lobby too, providing the perfect cover, going to local governments, invited by the token green on council and spewing their misinformation in front of local politicians who do not know better.

  59. Thank you again for a good post.

    So how much will the actions of our northern cousins affect the world temperature?

    Well, especially when you consider the volumes of coal and oil that they export, and the likely increases in those exports.

  60. I see almost no commentary here reflecting awareness of the political context in BC.

    The BC Liberals are not aligned with the federal Liberals. The BC Liberals are a ruthlessly practical right/center power alliance born out of deep fear of NDP (left) rule. BC Liberals have been free to dominate for over a decade following a string of scandals during the last NDP rule in the 1990s. Without a viable alternative to replace the BC Liberals, they’ve been free to do whatever they want with the exception of the last few years when they’ve had to adjust their ways under increasing public pressure. If there’s a lesson here for any democracy, it’s that you need to maintain at least 2 viable alternatives to avoid being the subject of a dictatorship.

    In summary, the political context in BC can be described with one word: paralysis.

  61. Thomas says (July 12, 2013 at 2:14 am): “Willis, why not go one step further and make a graph of what how much the global temperature would change if one individual stopped using fossil fuels?”

    Why not go one step “back” and see what happens if all of Western Europe, North America, and Australia stop using fossil fuels? Bear in mind, of course, that the rest of the world (e.g. China, India, Russia, etc.) isn’t stupid enough to follow, and so will burn most of the fossil fuels the “virtuous” countries forego, fuels that become cheaper as demand decreases.

    As I say at the dinner table when a finicky kid declines a particular dish, “Great, that leaves more for the rest of us!” :-)

  62. Gary, you give a good description of the prisoner´s dilemma. Does it pay to be cooperative when you don’t know if the other guy is just going to take advantage of you? One solution if international treaties forcing everyone to cooperate. We’ve been trying for some decades but some keep sabotaging the efforts. Or you could appeal to moral, that doing the right thing is always worthwhile even if others don’t. A world where people try to be better than their neighbors is preferable to one where you have a race to the bottom.

    Your example is flawed in that the West is responsible for an overwhelming part of the total historical carbon dioxide emissions, far more than justified by our population. China has lately reached similar per capita emissions as the West, but then it’s unavoidable that you emit more trying to build up an infrastructure than when you have one already built up, and lately China has been showing signs of wanting to limit their emissions. India still has far lower per capita emissions so it’s really unfair of you to mention them the way you do.

  63. There were real utopian settlements established in BC. Utopia never seems to work out but traces remain. Utopian thinking however continues to thrive, and not just in BC.

  64. Andrew says:

    July 12, 2013 at 1:51 am

    Take it from an Aussie – as we closed alumina smelters, new ones popped up in China. And our alumina is shipped by diesel burning ships for a net increase in emissions. And the leftist govt proclaims this as a SUCCESSFUL policy.

    Andrew when I lived in Iceland I toured a aluminum smelter. The alumina they smelted was from Indonesia (if I remember correctly), but Iceland had cheap hydro power to smelt the ore. Cheap electricity is needed to smelt alumina and wherever that is the smelters will follow.

  65. Jan Kjetil Andersen says:

    July 12, 2013 at 4:12 am

    All I can say about your comment is Yikes!!

  66. By a similar calculation, I determined I may as well grow my herd that I pasture on the commons. After all, reducing my herd would barely improve the commons at all.

  67. Jan Kjetil Andersen says:
    July 12, 2013 at 4:12 am

    “After all we need some taxes to bring money to the government, so why not put a tax on the bad stuff we want to reduce rather than tax good stuff like creating jobs?”
    =========================================================================
    Putting aside the fact that taxing CO2 destroys jobs, Jan’s point seems to be “lets raise money for the government by taxing bad stuff.” Here in the US it’s called a “sin tax” and is the excuse for high taxes on such things as cigarettes and liqueur.

    The remark got me to thinking about just how this carbon tax is done in BC. A google search led me to this site:

    http://www.fin.gov.bc.ca/tbs/tp/climate/A1.htm

    From the referenced website:

    “A carbon tax is usually defined as a tax based on greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) generated from burning fuels.
    The carbon tax applies to the purchase or use of fuels within the province. The amount of GHGs emitted when a unit of fuel is burned depends fundamentally on the chemical make-up of the fuel, particularly on the amount of carbon in the fuel.”
    “Administratively, the carbon tax is applied and collected in essentially the same way that motor fuel taxes are currently applied and collected, except natural gas which is collected at
    the retail level.”

    So they are taxing fuels, mostly at the wholesale level, which obviously is passed on the consumer. The tax started at $25 (Canadian) a tonne in 2011 and is now $30.

    The U.S. and most other countries tax transportation fuel also, but don’t call it a “carbon tax” So this is just another tax on transportation and domestic (and business) use of fuels.

    My thoughts are about how little difference the tax will make in the actual production of CO2. That is, until it reaches a level where it discourages economic activity. In the US, the last few years of volatile and high gasoline prices have had little affect on gasoline consumption.

    But in Britain, apparently domestic electricity prices have risen to the point where some people cannot afford to heat their homes. However , one commentor mentioned that BC gets 95% of it’s electricity from hydro.

    So I suspect that until the BC carbon tax reaches the point that it severely depresses the economy, BC will see no reduction in CO2 emissions, and thus even Willis’ calculated tiny reduction in temperature will not be attained. The “carbon tax” will then just be another tax on consumers, like a sales tax or VAT, that consumers will pay little attention to.

  68. Thomas says (July 12, 2013 at 10:50 am): “Gary, you give a good description of the prisoner´s dilemma. Does it pay to be cooperative when you don’t know if the other guy is just going to take advantage of you?”

    Except it’s not really the Prisoner’s Dilemma. In the case of a “carbon tax” the “prisoner” who “defects” always wins, whether the other prisoners defect or not. He just wins more if other “prisoners” defect, and even more if all others defect. It’s really more of a Prisoner’s Stupidity game. :-)

    “One solution if international treaties forcing everyone to cooperate. We’ve been trying for some decades but some keep sabotaging the efforts.”

    No kidding! Can you guess why? (Hint: Prisoner’s Stupidity)

    “Or you could appeal to moral, that doing the right thing is always worthwhile even if others don’t. A world where people try to be better than their neighbors is preferable to one where you have a race to the bottom.”

    I love moral people who “do the right thing” even if others don’t. They don’t impose their morality on others by, for example, passing laws to confiscate others’ property to appease their own consciences, then channel the money to political allies. If individual BC citizens choose to curtail their fossil fuel use–and better yet, voluntarily pay extra for it–I say “good on ya, mate!”

    “Your example is flawed in that the West is responsible for an overwhelming part of the total historical carbon dioxide emissions, far more than justified by our population.”

    And economic growth, science, technology, and wealth. Funny how that kind of thing correlates with cheap energy, isn’t it? Funny how some people don’t seem to realize that.

    “…and lately China has been showing signs of wanting to limit their emissions.”

    Bwahahaha! Remember, in the Prisoner’s Stupidity game, the longer a “prisoner” can sucker the others into “cooperating”, the more he gains.

    “India still has far lower per capita emissions so it’s really unfair of you to mention them the way you do.”

    So you’re predicting that India’s CO2 emissions will not increase significantly in the future? Latin America’s? Africa’s? Their economic growth will be fueled by unicorn dust?

  69. numerobis says (July 12, 2013 at 12:08 pm): “By a similar calculation, I determined I may as well grow my herd that I pasture on the commons. After all, reducing my herd would barely improve the commons at all.”

    Would your decision be easier if:

    1) People have been pasturing ever-increasing herds on the commons for a hundred years with no ill effects on the commons;

    2) Recent “expert” claims of both current and imminent harm to the commons are seen to be wildly incorrect;

    3) Pasturing more animals on the commons actually causes more grass to grow on the commons?

  70. Thanks Willis. If there were no real people and real politics involved, it would be funny.
    It is like watching fish trying to reduce the H20 concentration in their environment.
    I am a carbon-based life form and I need CO2.

  71. garymount (July 12, 2013 at 12:48 am) wrote:
    “[...] whether or not to get rid of the carbon tax [...] they decided that they could not get rid of it because they had come to rely on it to help offset the other tax reductions. So let that be a lesson to any other jurisdictions considering a revenue neutral tax, you might not be able to get rid of the tax later.”

    Sensible advice — particularly for those who value balanced budgets.

    ferd berple (July 12, 2013 at 6:40 am) wrote:
    “BC has two political parties. One is run by crooks, the other by incompetents.”

    I always look at it as a choice between deception & naivety …so Low voter turnout = hardly surprising.

    Overall the public currently appears more comfortable enduring deception than risking naivety.

    When will there be a decisively sea-changing event? And when there is one, to whose advantage will it play?…

  72. Willis, you miscalculated. The premature deaths of all the humans and animals that would have occurred from all that wood smoke would have decreased their CO2 contribution to the atmosphere thereby lowering it another .0000001 deg. C.

  73. Skeptic, in Oz I get 13 dollars per fortnight on my pension for clean energy allowance, and being all electric an electric fire costs $2 a hour to run. The State gives me $50 rebate on my electricity account but charges $47.00 GST? New Start recipients get $5.20 a fortnight. No bulk payment either. So in cold areas we freeze or don jackets most of the time. We are hanging out for a new election. I don’t think people who burn wood should be too worried, but in a valley environment the wood smoke does linger if there is mist or fog around. In other Canadian States they generally burn gas for heating I was told, but they reckon wood has less greenhouse gas emissions. At least the BC’s still have the Union Jack on their State flag like Hawaii. How about the wind turbines in Canada, they came under some criticism too a few years ago.

  74. Gail Combs says:
    July 12, 2013 at 4:29 am
    Mario Lento says:
    July 11, 2013 at 10:47 pm
    …. In other words, now is not stasis, but whatever the temperatures are going to be, they’d be 3/1000 cooler if BC stopped increasing emissions?
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    It depends on whether or not you invoke the The Logarithmic Effect of Carbon Dioxide and ‘Feedbacks’
    +++++++++++++
    I just want to be clear that I was trying to paraphrase what I thought Willis was saying in his example, which for the sake of argument, assumes that the IPPC’s claim is true… I do not think Willis subscribes to 3C rise would result in said doubling of CO2.

    There is very good evidence that the effect of CO2 on temperature follows the log’ effect… It seems also that the “Feedbacks” cannot be trained (in the real world) to behave as either positive or negative on the net of it. That the IPCC can claim that water would have mostly positive effect on temperature is intellectual dishonesty at best.

  75. Willis,

    Someone else may have also mentioned this, but your change in the temperature is likely an overestimate unless you include the “lifetime” of CO2 in the atmosphere. The additional CO2 added into the atmosphere by fossil-fuel consumption is partially offset by an increase in vegetative/oceanic consumption of CO2. Thus, today for instance, the increase in CO2 concentration is only about half of what is put into the atmosphere from combustion…the other half is consumed. Consequently, quite a bit of the emissions saved through the Draconian measures will be be “unsaved” through natural processes. Two ways to estimate this would be to put in a half-life function for the CO2 emissions or to just assume that only half of the emissions actually stay in the atmosphere. The half-life metric would likely give a better result.

    Doing the above and including a more realistic metric than 3 C/doubling for the transient response would likely get you down to 1-2 thousandths of a degree, LOL.

    I know you were try to put an upper limit on the effect, but taking the above into account makes it all the more laughable.

    -Scott

  76. Gary Hladik says (July 12, 2013 at 2:40 pm): ‘He just wins more if other “prisoners” defect, and even more if all others defect.’

    And of course I stepped in it again. What I should have written was

    He just wins more if other “prisoners” cooperate, and even more if all others cooperate. [where "cooperate" means the prisoner/state/country passes a carbon tax]

    I simply must take my meds more regularly…

  77. Scott says (July 12, 2013 at 8:18 pm): “”Someone else may have also mentioned this, but your change in the temperature is likely an overestimate unless you include the “lifetime” of CO2 in the atmosphere.”

    He did.

  78. Jan Kjetil Andersen says:
    July 12, 2013 at 4:12 am

    If I understand you correctly Willis, you say that what British Columbia do or not do regarding carbon emissions, does not matter because they have such a small population.

    Sounds like you don’t understand me, then. What I say is that the sacrifice made by the BC citizens for 0.003°warming is far too large. You seem to want everyone to make that same sacrifice. How noble of you.

    Jan, your position is the same as saying that the problem with the world is that we use too much energy. Go talk to someone living on $2 per day, and let them know that you think they should follow the good burgers of BC and cut their energy use …

    I’ll meet you at the hospital and you can tell me how that went.

    w.

  79. Eli Rabett says:
    July 12, 2013 at 6:22 am

    Population of BC = 4.1 million
    Population of the world = 7.1 billion = 7100 million

    Population of world/population of BC = 1732
    x Global temperature change from BC zero carbon= – 0.003
    ——————————————————————————–
    Global temperature difference w/o free riders = – 5.20

    well yes, that is a bit concerning.

    Half the world lives on less than $2 per day. I’ll let you tell them you think that they are “free riders” and that they need them to cut down their energy use …

    Meanwhile, BC exports huge amounts of natural gas, almost their entire production … so they can drive over to the US and enjoy our prices on goods made using BC natural gas.

    Tell the people making $2 per day that you expect natural gas exports from them as well …

    w.

  80. Willis, third world countries with most of the population either in low income bracket (peasants) or very very rich, and in India people are so poor they reap off the burning coal surface fires. Look at China, with their extravagant rich classes and then all the millions of very poor people. It’s those burning surface coal fires that contribute to pollution. China is the biggest, India and Indonesia next. And in a hot climate you only need fuel to cook mainly, no electricity etc. Such luxuries like electricity are not an option to the billions of the world’s poor.

  81. Willis Eschenbach says:

    July 12, 2013 at 8:57 pm

    Sounds like you don’t understand me, then. What I say is that the sacrifice made by the BC citizens for 0.003°warming is far too large. You seem to want everyone to make that same sacrifice. How noble of you.

    Well, I think that to introduce a carbon tax doesn’t need to be a sacrifice at all. The discussion of increasing or decreasing the total tax level is another topic. To focus on the topic at hand I think we shall discuss carbon tax as an alternative tax which is compensated by a cut in other taxes by the same amount.

    My point is that by shifting the taxation to carbon emission, which we want less of, and away from the stuff we want more off, like creating jobs, we use the market mechanism to cut emissions and to encourage other initiatives.

    No big sacrifice there.

  82. old engineer says:

    July 12, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    Putting aside the fact that taxing CO2 destroys jobs

    It’s an old Keynesian rule of thumbs that in the short run a tax rise is followed by a fall in employment and vice versa. But I am not talking about a tax increase; only a shift towards taxing carbon instead of other taxes and that may create jobs rather than destroy them.

  83. Jan Kjetil Andersen says:
    July 12, 2013 at 11:31 pm

    It’s an old Keynesian rule of thumbs that in the short run a tax rise is followed by a fall in employment and vice versa. But I am not talking about a tax increase; only a shift towards taxing carbon instead of other taxes and that may create jobs rather than destroy them.

    Thanks, Jan. Taxing energy is NOT like other taxes. Taxing energy discourages production. It’s much better to tax something after it is produced than to tax what goes into producing it, duh. And energy goes into producing everything.

    As a result, you’re proposing taxing the wrong end of the production line. Don’t tax it at the start, that prevents production. Tax it at the end, once the object is produced.

    Let me recommend to you my post called “Firing Up The Economy, Literally“, which discusses this issue in depth.

    In addition, taxing energy hits the housewife and the farmer. Remember, they were the original reason for cheap energy, and it’s still true. You propose putting extra weight on them … why?

    w.

  84. Gary, so what you are saying is that we are all doomed? You may not think CO2 is such a big problem,or even a problem at all, but we are going to encounter more and more of these kind of global problems as the economy grows, and if as you say it’s impossible to solve them because anyone who tries is a sucker, then we’re basically screwed. I hope the Montreal treaty proves things aren’t quite that bleak.

  85. Willis Eschenbach says:

    July 13, 2013 at 12:51 am

    Thanks, Jan. Taxing energy is NOT like other taxes. Taxing energy discourages production. It’s much better to tax something after it is produced than to tax what goes into producing it, duh. And energy goes into producing everything.

    I agree that low energy prices are a benefit for industrialization, especially for some heavy industries like metal smelting. But cheap energy is not the most important factor underlying a modern economy. Far more important are, just to mention a few: transparent legal framework and stable institutions to govern them, good transport infrastructure and a good education system to create a well-educated working force.

    More important than low energy prices are also stable energy prices so the investors can make business cases without too much uncertainty. I think your interesting example from the fish market on the Solomon Island in 2008 when the fisher did not afford petrol to go out and fish is more telling to the destructiveness of sudden price rises than stable high prices.

    Since it seems to be little we can do to stabilize the oil prices, the best we can do is to rely less on oil and more of sources with a more stable price structure. Although some sorts of renewable sources fluctuate on the short timescale, it should be fairly stable from year to year. Nuclear is also a stable source.

    By the way, I agree that a price structure of electricity which can climb to nearly a USD/ KWH as Anthony described here some months ago, is horrendous and highly damaging for the economy.

  86. mkelly says:

    July 12, 2013 at 11:20 am

    Jan Kjetil Andersen says:

    July 12, 2013 at 4:12 am

    All I can say about your comment is Yikes!!

    Sorry, but can you expand a little?
    Do you support my comments or not?

  87. IN SEARCH OF A BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF THE PHENOMINA EXAMINED BY THIS GUEST POST and acknowledging the strength of many different perspectives which gather ehere. I offer this thought for improvement.

    Our governments ( citizens) appear to have declared war on them selves. They appear to have lost the compass necessary to process whether a decision is in their own long term best interest or not. One only has to look at Willis’s air photo of the Haitian border to see the illustrative effect of shockingly poor government policies. A horrific centuries long experiment in the consequences of poor government economic policies!

    Having been in many countries of varying economic persuasion and examining the situations it appears to me that there exists a solid anchoring principle which in its simplicity should be the basic filter to examine economically significant proposals.

    I offer that:

    The responsibility of a government that wishes to be successful is to institute policies to make it economically strong: to unleash the creation of “wealth” in any persuasion and thereby the source of the governments ability to fund itself.

    To illustrate:

    Charles the Hammer would simply create an army and raid the next kingdom’s treasury. The US had enough wealth accumulated to win WWI and II. Russia simply ran out of money in it’s attempt to match the Wests economic engine. In the Book “The World is Flat” Friedman examined as an illustration India’s solution it it’s pending bankruptcy. The failure of governments to create the wealth has many obvious consequences which are not good for the government or it’s population. The lesson of Russia’s bankruptcy was not lost on China.

    While I concede that the wealth could be used to fund the the military industrial complex that Eisenhower warned against, it can also be used for great good and tapped aggressively in the face of a disaster such as what happened in Haiti.

    Like any simple principle the application becomes complex but if it becomes the anchor concept then one has an attachment point and a place to retreat to when decisions appear to need grounding in reality.

    The process I suggest illustrates the difference between having a destination and exploring. When you are exploring you never have to admit you are lost. Every where I look we seem to have injected (from my anchor perspective) a political filter and perspective which is counter productive and thus abandoned to politics the principles that guide decisions such that results are optimal. I am not inclined to redefine failure in result as success.

    Truly the difference between a condition and a problem is that there is a possible solution that could be implemented. I am loth to accept the “foolishness” as a condition with no solution. Thanks

  88. Jan Kjetil Andersen says:
    July 13, 2013 at 2:17 am

    Willis Eschenbach says:

    July 13, 2013 at 12:51 am

    Thanks, Jan. Taxing energy is NOT like other taxes. Taxing energy discourages production. It’s much better to tax something after it is produced than to tax what goes into producing it, duh. And energy goes into producing everything.

    I agree that low energy prices are a benefit for industrialization, especially for some heavy industries like metal smelting. But cheap energy is not the most important factor underlying a modern economy. Far more important are, just to mention a few: transparent legal framework and stable institutions to govern them, good transport infrastructure and a good education system to create a well-educated working force.

    We have had strong economies, like the British, when the “transport infrastructure” was nothing more than wooden sailing ships. We’ve had strong economies, such as Mao’s China, when the legal framework was so opaque as to be non-existent. We’ve had strong economies, like Venezuela’s, when there is no “stable institution” in sight.

    But what we haven’t had is a strong economy built on expensive energy.

    More important than low energy prices are also stable energy prices so the investors can make business cases without too much uncertainty. I think your interesting example from the fish market on the Solomon Island in 2008 when the fisher did not afford petrol to go out and fish is more telling to the destructiveness of sudden price rises than stable high prices.

    You are free to think that … but since you haven’t given a scrap of evidence or anything but your assertion to support it, it’s not clear what you are basing that on. Because if the price had stayed at that height, the boats might still be sitting on shore.

    You seem to have a fantasy that people can adjust to high prices, by saving fuel and adopting more economical practices. But if it takes ten gallons of fuel to get to the fishing grounds and back, if a fisherman can’t afford ten gallons of fuel he’s out of the fishing business no matter how conservation-minded he might be.

    Since it seems to be little we can do to stabilize the oil prices, the best we can do is to rely less on oil and more of sources with a more stable price structure. Although some sorts of renewable sources fluctuate on the short timescale, it should be fairly stable from year to year. Nuclear is also a stable source.

    Oh, please. On the basis of some claimed price instability, your solution is to wave your hand and utter the magic phrase “renewables”?

    Have you ever actually been in business, Jan? Because your claims certainly make it sound like you have very little experience in actually creating wealth …

    w.

  89. Willis Eschenbach says:

    July 13, 2013 at 9:24 am

    We have had strong economies, like the British, when the “transport infrastructure” was nothing more than wooden sailing ships. We’ve had strong economies, such as Mao’s China, when the legal framework was so opaque as to be non-existent. We’ve had strong economies, like Venezuela’s, when there is no “stable institution” in sight.

    But what we haven’t had is a strong economy built on expensive energy.

    Well, I live in a country where the fuel prices for automobiles has usually been three times as high as in the US and our economy is quite good. I live in Norway, and yes I know we can thank our oil production for our public wealth, but the point is that we do not give our industry or inhabitants subsidized oil. On the contrary it is very highly taxed.

    When you mention Mao’s China and Venezuela as strong economies I’ll remind you that neither of these countries has succeeded in bringing their countries to the top level economies in the world. They may have some successful years based on an economical structure very different from ours, but their per capita income is nothing compared to Western Europe or the US.

    In support for other factors important to economic development I’ll use Forbes magazine which make a list of countries after how good they are for business. See:
    http://www.forbes.com/best-countries-for-business/list/ important factors are stuff like property rights, corruption, investor protection and tax burden. Energy prices are not on the chart.

    You may say that Forbes doesn’t have a clue or that good for business is not necessarily good for the nation, but I object to that. I think Forbes has a clue and I think that being good for business also is good for the national economy.

  90. Willis Eschenbach says:
    July 13, 2013 at 9:24 am

    Have you ever actually been in business, Jan? Because your claims certainly make it sound like you have very little experience in actually creating wealth …

    Jan Kjetil Andersen says:
    July 13, 2013 at 11:47 am

    [ ... crickets ... ]

    Gotta tell you, Jan, that I have little time for people who don’t answer questions that are directly and clearly put to them …

    In any case, the issue was whether taxing energy is the same as taxing other things. Since nothing in your last comment touched on that, nor did you respond to any of the substantive points I made, well, I’ll give it a pass.

    w.

  91. Thomas says (July 13, 2013 at 12:58 am): “Gary, so what you are saying is that we are all doomed?”

    Eh??? What could I possibly have written that suggests I think we’re “doomed”???

    “With regard to You may not think CO2 is such a big problem,or even a problem at all…”

    Bingo.

    “…but we are going to encounter more and more of these kind of global problems as the economy grows…”

    We have always had problems. Guess what? We’ve also found solutions. Funny how that works out.

    “…and if as you say it’s impossible to solve them because anyone who tries is a sucker…”

    Whoa there! What I actually wrote is that any state/country that applies an economically harmful non-solution to a non-problem is a sucker, especially when there are other states/countries willing & able to take advantage. A primo example is Alberta/US making money selling cheaper gas to British Columbians.

    “…then we’re basically screwed.”

    A good treatment for werescrewed-itis is The Rational Optimist. :-)

  92. Willis Eschenbach says:

    July 13, 2013 at 3:28 pm

    Willis Eschenbach says:
    July 13, 2013 at 9:24 am

    Have you ever actually been in business, Jan? Because your claims certainly make it sound like you have very little experience in actually creating wealth …

    I prefer to discuss cases rather than person, but since you insist.
    Sorry for not commenting on it previously anyway

    I have been 16 years in the Telecom industry and 7 years in the Finance where I still am.
    In the telecom I started as a research scientist and ended in business development. In finance I am responsible for the It architecture and It security.

    I know from my own experience how to make, defend and implement a business case and I have learned from my contacts how the investors think.

  93. Thanks, Jan. Now, could you please tell me the essence of your objection to what I wrote? Re-reading your words it sounds like you think I was attacking Norway or something.

    My objection to the BC energy tax is that a) the chances of the BC residents being able to not increase their total emissions for the next fifty years is zero (given honest accounting), b) the possible benefits (less than three thousands of a degree of cooling) are in no sense commensurate with the sacrifices in time, hassle, and money, and c) taxing energy is taxing the wrong end of the wealth-creation process.

    As a person with some acquaintance with finance, you must know that there are basically three ways to create wealth: mine it, manufacture it, or grow it.

    Everything else is service businesses, hair cutting and the like.

    Now, all of those ways to create wealth depend on energy. As I showed in “James Hansen’s Policies Are Shafting The Poor” and other posts such as here, energy use IS development. Development doesn’t happen without energy use. It takes energy to mine iron ore and transport it and turn it into steel.

    As a resort, taxing energy is box-of-hammers-dumb. Industrial strength dumb. Tax what energy does, after energy has done it. If you tax inputs to wealth creation, the multiplier effect guarantees that the final product will cost more than if you tax the outputs. Businesses have to make a profit on money invested at the start of the process, so when you tax energy you increase the cost of the product for the same tax revenue you’d get with no cost increase if you tax the finished product.

    Sure, if you’ve got a North Sea full of oil to suck on, you can grow fat even if you tax it. But it’s still a foolish and costly move.

    But for a struggling economy like say the Solomon Islands, such rises in energy costs delay their development, extend their poverty, and damage the environment.

    So be clear that when you argue for taxing energy and making it more expensive for any reason, you, the richest 1% of the planet, are screwing the poorest of the poor of the planet.

    Perhaps you could comment about how it feels to argue, like James Hansen, in favor of shafting the poor. While you’re at it, you could parade out a few justifications for doing it, that’s always fun …

    w.

  94. Thomas says:
    July 13, 2013 at 12:58 am
    “… You may not think CO2 is such a big problem,or even a problem at all, but we are going to encounter more and more of these kind of global problems as the economy grows,…”
    +++++++
    This statement should strike fear in all rational people. Thomas, you somehow seem to imply here that CO2 is a problem and if we do not do something, we will all be in some kind of trouble.

    It’s this emotional and irrational thinking that has motivated people into the whole costly AGW mess we are in now. People who talk like you scare me because there are enough ignorant people out there that will buy into the hysteria –but with someone else’s money.

  95. wouldn’t it be interesting to see the security tapes from gas stations in the US near the border, to see how many BC tagged cars filled up. This would provide hard data to replace the hearsay and assumptions, and could be the kernel of some useful study.

  96. Willis Eschenbach says:
    July 13, 2013 at 7:46 pm
    ++++++++++
    With a spokesperson like you Willis, I can go about my business without being frustrated. I was thinking, “Where do I begin with my countering all that Jan’s said. Seriously, you raise all the right points to consider. From what I’ve read and thought about, I consider it intellectual dishonesty to argue in favor of Hansen’s and Jan’s perspective.

    If given this explanation of reason, Jan still disagrees, then there is nothing more than a shallow ideology guiding his statements.

  97. Willis Eschenbach says:

    July 13, 2013 at 7:46 pm

    Thanks, Jan. Now, could you please tell me the essence of your objection to what I wrote?

    You seem to attack me of several things that I do not mean Willis, so I begin by clarifying those:

    Firstly, my only reason for mentioning Norway was that we for a long time have had a high fuel tax and a strong economy. That was an answer to your claim that carbon tax is so destructive for the economy. Nothing more than that.

    Secondly I do not think carbon tax is a good idea in the worlds least developed countries like the Solomon Island. I think that it may be reasonable in the most developed economies like BC.

    Thirdly, I am not in favor of shafting the poor. Neither poor countries nor poor in rich countries should bear the burden of carbon taxes.

    So to the essence of my objections. It is these three:

    1. You make a point out of BC small contribution to the global emissions. Because they are so few they will only cause 0.003 C differences. I think it is rather odd to make a point of BC’s population size.

    2. A tax is not a cost; it is only a way to transfer money to the government. Only the administration part of the tax should be regarded as a cost and carbon tax does not need to be more costly than other taxes.

    3. I do not think a carbon tax will be any sacrifice for a well-developed economy like BC. To justify that I show to the Forbes magazine which make a list of countries after how good they are for business? See: http://www.forbes.com/best-countries-for-business/list/ important factors are stuff like property rights, corruption, investor protection and tax burden. Energy prices are not on the chart.

  98. ” A tax is not a cost; it is only a way to transfer money to the government. Only the administration part of the tax should be regarded as a cost and carbon tax does not need to be more costly than other taxes.”

    Oh, my. That’s like saying “my food bill is not a cost. It’s just a way of transferring money to the supermarket owner.” It’s nonsense. If you don’t think that taxes cost people (and companies) money, why not just give all of our money to the government and be done with it?

    Your comments on the Norwegian economy are way off. Norway was a poor country until it found a bunch of fossil fuel deposits. The fact that it heavily taxes domestic consumption of fossil fuels is just a tribute to how much wealth those deposits have generated. Without them, it would be like Greece with glaciers. It doesn’t mean that the heavy taxes are good policy, just that there is enough wealth coming from evil fossil fuels to support it. For now.

  99. With all due respect, Jan Kjetil Andersen, you haven’t got a clue what you’re talking about.

    BC is about the size of Finland, Norway, and Sweden combined. Other than the multi-million population urban blight called Vancouver on the coast, the entire rest of the Province is huge, separated by vast distances, and it’s all mountainous. Fuel for transportation is NOT OPTIONAL anywhere except in one densely populated urban center. And even though the coast itself is a great climate with minimal heating requirements, the rest of the Province is inland. It’s COLD. Heating is not an option in the Okanagan Valley, for example.

    The carbon tax may not be such a big sacrifice for Vancouverites, they’re already living in squalor for twice the price of anywhere else in the country (don’t tell them, they don’t realize that 800 square foot houses with no yard to speak of for over $800,000 is a complete rip off).

    However, outside of that one urban area, the rest of the place is suffering, a lot.

    It is mind boggling that you “think it’s odd to make a point of BC’s population size”. Why would anyone think that’s odd?

    A tax is a cost. Usually, those costs have some sort of value… paying for police, fire departments, schools, etc. A carbon tax just takes your money with NO RETURN, except possibly unicorns and rainbows, which seem to be in abundance in BC.

    Frankly, your opinion on what’s going in in a place you’ve never been to is ridiculous and ill informed.

  100. CodeTech says:

    July 14, 2013 at 1:54 am

    It is mind boggling that you “think it’s odd to make a point of BC’s population size”. Why would anyone think that’s odd?

    Firstly I think that a long term effect of carbon tax may impact the emissions more than estimated here. I’m taking an example from Norway again just to give you a clue; the annual fuel consumption diesel plus gasoline in Norway is approximately 1000/ liters per capita. The annual fuel consumption in the US is approximately 2400 liters per capita. An average US citizen therefore use more than double of what an average Norwegian citizen use. This is so in spite of the fact that Norway is more sparsely populated than the US so we need to drive longer distances, and that the per capita income is on average higher than in the US. The main factor that accomplishes the huge difference in fuel consumption is that we have a very high tax on automobile fuel.
    Then to the odd part I’m talking about. Since we are only 5 million people our contribution to the global emissions are of course small. If we removed all fuel taxes we would perhaps sooner or later have come up on the US level or more and more than doubled the carbon emissions from the cars. It would not matter much since we are only 5 million, would it?
    Using that logic all small nations in the world should not care about emissions since their share are so small on a global scale. That is the odd logic I’m talking about.

  101. johanna says:

    July 14, 2013 at 1:35 am

    ” A tax is not a cost; it is only a way to transfer money to the government. Only the administration part of the tax should be regarded as a cost and carbon tax does not need to be more costly than other taxes.”

    Oh, my. That’s like saying “my food bill is not a cost.

    Sorry, I should have said in a statewide perspective a tax is not a cost; it is only a way to transfer money to the government. I did that previously, but forgot it in the summary.

    After all, what we are discussing is whether a carbon tax in BC will be a sacrifice for the citizens in BC. I don’t think so as long as we do not raise the total tax level. That means that a carbon tax should be compensated by reliefs in other taxes.

    The discussion of the total tax level is an entirely different topic.

    All taxes are of course a burden for those who pay them and in your personal budget you can correctly regard them as costs. But we need some taxes to transfer money to the government, so why not put a tax on bad stuff like carbon emission instead of taxing good stuff like creating jobs? For most people that will not matter much, but it may encourage people to cut emissions a bit, and perhaps do more of the stuff which has got the tax relief.

    Willis objects to this and argues, if I understand him correctly, that it is bad for the economy to tax energy because it is such a fundamentally important factor to make the economy grow.

    I think he may have a point there, but I do not think it is very important in a highly advanced economy such as the Canadian. I think cheap energy is more important in the less developed countries in the world.

    Your comments on the Norwegian economy are way off. Norway was a poor country until it found a bunch of fossil fuel deposits.

    Norway has never been especially poor compared to the rest of the world; we had the level of an average western European country, which is high compared to most other countries in the world.

  102. Jan;
    Norway is more sparsely populated than the US so we need to drive longer distances,? Puhleeze. What % of the population is huddled in that teeny blob in the south? The US is habitable from corner to corner, excepting a few deserts and mountain ranges bigger than Norway.

    It is 55% the size of Texas. Trivial travel totals .

  103. Jan Kjetil Andersen says:
    July 14, 2013 at 12:38 am
    Willis Eschenbach says:

    July 13, 2013 at 7:46 pm

    Thanks, Jan. Now, could you please tell me the essence of your objection to what I wrote?

    You seem to attack me of several things that I do not mean Willis, so I begin by clarifying those:

    My apologies if I’ve misunderstood, thanks for clarifications.

    Firstly, my only reason for mentioning Norway was that we for a long time have had a high fuel tax and a strong economy. That was an answer to your claim that carbon tax is so destructive for the economy. Nothing more than that.

    As I said, any country with a North Sea full of oil to nurse on can tax it all it wants. Well, not all it wants, but heavily.

    Secondly I do not think carbon tax is a good idea in the worlds least developed countries like the Solomon Island. I think that it may be reasonable in the most developed economies like BC.

    The problem is that organizations like the World Bank and environmental NGSs think that one size fits all.

    Thirdly, I am not in favor of shafting the poor. Neither poor countries nor poor in rich countries should bear the burden of carbon taxes.

    Yes, you are arguing strongly in favor of shafting the poor. Let me state it again.

    Cheap energy is the friend and savior of the farmer, the housewife, and the poor. Therefore, anyone arguing for increasing energy prices is harming those people.

    So to the essence of my objections. It is these three:

    1. You make a point out of BC small contribution to the global emissions. Because they are so few they will only cause 0.003 C differences. I think it is rather odd to make a point of BC’s population size.

    You misunderstand my argument. The people of BC, to achieve the 0.003°C cooling, would have to freeze their emissions at the 2008 level for fifty years. That is a huge sacrifice. For me, that sacrifice is far too great for that kind of return.

    It’s not the small size of the group that matters. It is that every group, including the poor, would have to make a similar size of sacrifice. I’m not willing to ask the world to do that for the next fifty years, when I know for a fact that energy is development, and thus freezing energy use means freezing development.

    2. A tax is not a cost; it is only a way to transfer money to the government. Only the administration part of the tax should be regarded as a cost and carbon tax does not need to be more costly than other taxes.

    Any tax is a cost. It takes money out of my pockets. The question is whether the cost is worth the benefit. I’m not an “anti-tax” person, I don’t think that “tax is theft” or any of that nonsense.

    But it is absolutely a cost, as an accountant I can assure you of that.

    3. I do not think a carbon tax will be any sacrifice for a well-developed economy like BC. To justify that I show to the Forbes magazine which make a list of countries after how good they are for business? See: http://www.forbes.com/best-countries-for-business/list/ important factors are stuff like property rights, corruption, investor protection and tax burden. Energy prices are not on the chart.

    Oh, my goodness, that’s rich. Businesses are fleeing California, in part because of the high cost of energy. And manufacturing tends to cluster around the cheap power plants, do you think that’s coincidence? Claiming that energy costs are not a factor when deciding where to locate a business just reveals what I said a while ago, that you have little experience in the rough-and-tumble world of running a business.

    Look, I’m not dissing you, Jan. It’s just that truly, you don’t seem to understand business and finance. Taxes are not a cost? Don’t say that to an accountant …

    w.

  104. johanna says:
    July 14, 2013 at 1:35 am

    … Your comments on the Norwegian economy are way off. Norway was a poor country until it found a bunch of fossil fuel deposits. The fact that it heavily taxes domestic consumption of fossil fuels is just a tribute to how much wealth those deposits have generated. Without them, it would be like Greece with glaciers. It doesn’t mean that the heavy taxes are good policy, just that there is enough wealth coming from evil fossil fuels to support it. For now.

    Thanks, Johanna. You’re right, here’s how Norway got fat … and I do love “Greece with glaciers”.


    Figure C1. Per Capita Energy use versus per capita GDP.
    The size of the bubbles shows the per capita oil production for that year. So yes, given their huge oil production, Jan’s right that Norway can tax it all it wants … doesn’t make it intelligent policy, though.

    Note also how the availability of energy has fueled manufacturing in Norway (color of the bubbles)

    w.

  105. Willis Eschenbach says:

    As I said, any country with a North Sea full of oil to nurse on can tax it all it wants. Well, not all it wants, but heavily.

    I recognized that we have a huge advantage there when I first mentioned Norway. But why I did mention Norway was to reply to your claim that:
    ” what we haven’t had is a strong economy built on expensive energy”
    And even if I cannot say that Norway’s economy is built on expensive energy in general, a huge part of it is; namely the diesel and gasoline for road transport.

    2. A tax is not a cost; it is only a way to transfer money to the government. Only the administration part of the tax should be regarded as a cost and carbon tax does not need to be more costly than other taxes.

    Any tax is a cost. It takes money out of my pockets. The question is whether the cost is worth the benefit. I’m not an “anti-tax” person, I don’t think that “tax is theft” or any of that nonsense.

    But it is absolutely a cost, as an accountant I can assure you of that.

    This came out wrong as I have explained in answer to Joanna above. I just missed a small explanation. From the start of the discussion you use the words “cost” and “sacrifice” for the citizens of BC. But for the state as whole taxes are just as much revenues as expenses. And a shift from one tax to another is no sacrifice in total.

    3. I do not think a carbon tax will be any sacrifice for a well-developed economy like BC. To justify that I show to the Forbes magazine which make a list of countries after how good they are for business? See: http://www.forbes.com/best-countries-for-business/list/ important factors are stuff like property rights, corruption, investor protection and tax burden. Energy prices are not on the chart.

    Oh, my goodness, that’s rich. Businesses are fleeing California, in part because of the high cost of energy. And manufacturing tends to cluster around the cheap power plants, do you think that’s coincidence? Claiming that energy costs are not a factor when deciding where to locate a business just reveals what I said a while ago, that you have little experience in the rough-and-tumble world of running a business.

    Well I just show to what Forbes magazine have evaluated. Do you mean that they don’t have a clue or what?

    Look, I’m not dissing you, Jan. It’s just that truly, you don’t seem to understand business and finance. Taxes are not a cost? Don’t say that to an accountant …

    No I don’t think this is dissing, you just use a missing sentence for all it is worth, I think that must be in lack of substantial arguments.

  106. Jan says: “No I don’t think this is dissing, you just use a missing sentence for all it is worth, I think that must be in lack of substantial arguments.”
    ++++++
    you have not given anything but oddball references and still you refuse to provide anything that shows Willis missed something. Opinions are different than facts.

  107. Brian H says:

    July 14, 2013 at 10:28 am

    Jan;
    Norway is more sparsely populated than the US so we need to drive longer distances,? Puhleeze. What % of the population is huddled in that teeny blob in the south? The US is habitable from corner to corner, excepting a few deserts and mountain ranges bigger than Norway.

    Norway is also habitable from corner to corner.

    The area of Norway is 323 802 square km. Spitsbergen is then not counted. The population in Oslo with surrounding areas in a circle with a total area of 21 400 km is 1.8 million, i.e. 36 % of the population on the most densely populated 7% of the area. This means that we are not i especially crowded in a small spot.

    You may have a point that the US is even more spread, I don’t know. But that cannot explain that the fuel consumption an average is so much as more than double per citizen compared to what we have.

  108. Mario Lento says:

    July 14, 2013 at 1:21 pm
    you have not given anything but oddball references and still you refuse to provide anything that shows Willis missed something. Opinions are different than facts.

    Can you please be more specific Mario. Which of my objections do you think lack backing and which references do you characterize as oddball?

  109. Jan Kjetil Andersen says:
    July 14, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    Willis Eschenbach says:

    As I said, any country with a North Sea full of oil to nurse on can tax it all it wants. Well, not all it wants, but heavily.

    I recognized that we have a huge advantage there when I first mentioned Norway. But why I did mention Norway was to reply to your claim that:
    ” what we haven’t had is a strong economy built on expensive energy”
    And even if I cannot say that Norway’s economy is built on expensive energy in general, a huge part of it is; namely the diesel and gasoline for road transport.

    Jan, you live in the country that is the third largest oil exporter on the planet. Your country reaps huge stacks of dollars from that … and you want to lecture the poor on how to price their precious drops of oil?

    2. A tax is not a cost; it is only a way to transfer money to the government. Only the administration part of the tax should be regarded as a cost and carbon tax does not need to be more costly than other taxes.

    Any tax is a cost. It takes money out of my pockets. The question is whether the cost is worth the benefit. I’m not an “anti-tax” person, I don’t think that “tax is theft” or any of that nonsense.

    But it is absolutely a cost, as an accountant I can assure you of that.

    This came out wrong as I have explained in answer to Joanna above. I just missed a small explanation. From the start of the discussion you use the words “cost” and “sacrifice” for the citizens of BC. But for the state as whole taxes are just as much revenues as expenses. And a shift from one tax to another is no sacrifice in total.

    Oh, please, your explanation just makes it worse. You say that for the state “taxes are just as much revenues as expenses”. Again you’re just revealing your ignorance. For the state taxes are never a cost (expense), they are a revenue stream. For individuals, taxes are never a revenue stream, they are a cost.

    3. I do not think a carbon tax will be any sacrifice for a well-developed economy like BC.

    Sheesh …

    And again your ignorance of the real world is showing. A shift from one tax to another can involve huge sacrifice for one group and a trivial gain for another. It’s like taking a hundred pound pack from a grown man and putting it on a kid. Yes, the same weight is being borne, but that doesn’t matter in terms of sacrifice. As a result, neither individually nor in total is there “no sacrifice”

    In addition, economies don’t “sacrifice”, they just produce more or less as the case may be. Individuals, on the other hand, sacrifice. And yes, when there are millions of people driving to the US to fill up their gas tanks, that is a sacrifice … just not as large a sacrifice as buying fuel in Canada.

    To justify that I show to the Forbes magazine which make a list of countries after how good they are for business? See: http://www.forbes.com/best-countries-for-business/list/ important factors are stuff like property rights, corruption, investor protection and tax burden. Energy prices are not on the chart.

    Oh, my goodness, that’s rich. Businesses are fleeing California, in part because of the high cost of energy. And manufacturing tends to cluster around the cheap power plants, do you think that’s coincidence? Claiming that energy costs are not a factor when deciding where to locate a business just reveals what I said a while ago, that you have little experience in the rough-and-tumble world of running a business.

    Well I just show to what Forbes magazine have evaluated. Do you mean that they don’t have a clue or what?

    No, I just think they’re looking at a different set of business-related variables that don’t happen to include energy …

    Look, I’m not dissing you, Jan. It’s just that truly, you don’t seem to understand business and finance. Taxes are not a cost? Don’t say that to an accountant …

    No I don’t think this is dissing, you just use a missing sentence for all it is worth, I think that must be in lack of substantial arguments.

    I have given you substantial arguments. I’ve given you references to further studies. I’ve given you citations to my own discussions about the specifics of the issues.

    You, on the other hand, keep showing up with nothing in your hand but your johnson. As I remarked earlier:

    More important than low energy prices are also stable energy prices so the investors can make business cases without too much uncertainty. I think your interesting example from the fish market on the Solomon Island in 2008 when the fisher did not afford petrol to go out and fish is more telling to the destructiveness of sudden price rises than stable high prices.

    You are free to think that … but since you haven’t given a scrap of evidence or anything but your assertion to support it, it’s not clear what you are basing that on. Because if the price had stayed at that height, the boats might still be sitting on shore.

    You seem to have a fantasy that people can adjust to high prices, by saving fuel and adopting more economical practices. But if it takes ten gallons of fuel to get to the fishing grounds and back, if a fisherman can’t afford ten gallons of fuel he’s out of the fishing business no matter how conservation-minded he might be.

    So yes, Jan, I’ve given you a host of very specific examples and very substantial arguments.

    In return, you’ve claimed that taxes are not a cost … and when I comment on that you accuse me of lacking substantial arguments?

    Truly, you need to get out more, Jan. You’re making a spectacle of yourself, and not doing the reputation of Norway any good either. I would strongly recommend that before you say one more word about economics and costs and prices, that you start and run a business for a few years … I say that because its clear that reading about businesses has taught you next to nothing.

    w.

  110. Jan Kjetil Andersen says:
    July 14, 2013 at 2:00 pm
    Mario Lento says:

    July 14, 2013 at 1:21 pm
    you have not given anything but oddball references and still you refuse to provide anything that shows Willis missed something. Opinions are different than facts.

    Can you please be more specific Mario. Which of my objections do you think lack backing and which references do you characterize as oddball?
    +++++++++++++
    Jan: I think you realize that you are intellectually dishonest. I give you credit for not being dumb. But I stand by my statements. Let me give you a single example and expand on it. You do not consider tax a cost. That’s absurd.

    You wrote “A tax is not a cost; it is only a way to transfer money to the government.”

    The explanation you provide after the comma “…it’s the only way…” is 100% obfuscation. It does not in any way show that a tax is not a cost. Instead of proving it’s not a cost, you instead justify why you think taxes are good. You change the argument to avoid the issue. You leave the issue hanging and move on to other opinions of yours. This makes you unreasonable to argue with. It’s like dealing with someone who’s hysterical -or unable to discuss a topic cogently.

    I submit that taxes are one of the costs of doing business. You probably agree, but we cannot tell that by the way you go on an on with obfuscation.

    What’s worse is that you don’t understand that taxing changes behavior in a macro sense. Willis explained this to you in his words. You don’t understand or admit that taxing energy has trickle up effects. It makes everything that uses energy more expensive and hurts everything that is essential to life of poor people. The wealthy have excess money, but the poor must essentially deal with having less of what is necessary to live on.

    You see yourself as being caring of the poor I’m sure. But it is your policy and obfuscation of the truth that hurts them the most. That you don’t admit this is another objection I have.

    Come clean and admit Willis took you to school and you will be a better person because of it.

  111. JKA said:
    Norway has never been especially poor compared to the rest of the world; we had the level of an average western European country, which is high compared to most other countries in the world.

    What is your source for that statement?

    I invite you to look at the graph on page 4 here:

    http://m.norges-bank.no/pages/85389/nhh_foredrag_til%20olsen_english_110405.pdf

    The paper is by the boss of the Norges Bank – hardly a critic. The graph is titled “From Rags to Riches” and demonstrates that, adjusted for purchasing power parity, Norwegian GDP per capita was pretty much static – and 20% less than that of Sweden – from 1900 to … well, well … around 1970 when the oil money began to flow. Since then, it has doubled.

    I don’t know what you mean by “an average European country” – would that be Portugal or Germany you are talking about?

    Without the oil you would be closer in living standard to Portugal than to Germany.

  112. I have to admit, this is one of the most astounding opinions on taxes that I’ve ever encountered.

    Each tax has a purpose (or is supposed to).

    With my property taxes I pay for police and fire, garbage collection, local road maintenance, sanding and plowing in winter, and (Calgarians will get this:) artsy bridges from Italy.

    With my federal income taxes I pay for a military presence, airline safety and security, federal road construction and maintenance, and fireworks displays in Ottawa every Canada Day.

    With my business taxes I pay for people to handle business affairs, file paperwork, handle patents and copyrights, and other tangibles.

    Each tax that I am subject to is supposed to have a purpose. YES it happens that often my money is misused, but at least there is SOME reason for it to be there.

    A Carbon tax, however, is PUNITIVE. It’s goal is to PUNISH me for living in the first world. It is intended to CHANGE MY BEHAVIOR and make me drive less, or heat my home less. The result of a carbon tax is that everything else I do in my entire life costs more, thus my money is worth less. It now costs to get food delivered to my house. Things in retail stores cost more because shipping is more costly. Businesses that depend on power find it difficult to make a profit, or in some cases even break even, which means they have to lay off workers.

    There as ABSOLUTELY NO ADVANTAGE to a carbon tax. NONE. A carbon tax is a parasitic tax that lowers everyone’s standard of living with ABSOLUTELY NO BENEFIT. Except to the few that are lined up to milk that “free” money. And that’s not me, or anyone I know, or am likely to ever know.

    If you think that it’s good to “give” more money to government, then I suggest you find a communist country and let THEM run your life. At the moment there are still a few, I understand North Korea is still welcoming immigrants (that have money).

  113. CodeTech, you raise a great point here. Tesla made a profit of about $11.2 Million, because they received $68 Million in Carbon Credits paid for by other companies. This is according to their own letter to shareholders. The Carbon credit has a purpose… it is to garner political clout from greenies to keep afloat companies that sell products that would otherwise cost more to make than people are willing to pay.

    When people say Tesla is a success story, remind them of this. Just think of all the costs we need to bare to support receivers of Carbon Credits.

  114. Willis Eschenbach says:

    July 14, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    I recognized that we have a huge advantage there when I first mentioned Norway. But why I did mention Norway was to reply to your claim that:
    ” what we haven’t had is a strong economy built on expensive energy”
    And even if I cannot say that Norway’s economy is built on expensive energy in general, a huge part of it is; namely the diesel and gasoline for road transport.

    Jan, you live in the country that is the third largest oil exporter on the planet. Your country reaps huge stacks of dollars from that … and you want to lecture the poor on how to price their precious drops of oil?

    See the dialogue above again. I have explained why I bring in the example of Norway, it is to contradict your statement. I cannot see that this “you want to lecture…” statement of yours is bringing in anything of substance. You just attack me for being who I am.

    This came out wrong as I have explained in answer to Joanna above. I just missed a small explanation. From the start of the discussion you use the words “cost” and “sacrifice” for the citizens of BC. But for the state as whole taxes are just as much revenues as expenses. And a shift from one tax to another is no sacrifice in total.

    Oh, please, your explanation just makes it worse. You say that for the state “taxes are just as much revenues as expenses”. Again you’re just revealing your ignorance. For the state taxes are never a cost (expense), they are a revenue stream. For individuals, taxes are never a revenue stream, they are a cost.

    When I say “the state as a whole” I mean both the government and the individuals who are living there. I thought that much was obvious. Your responses start to get less and less to the case and more to personal attacks on me. You say “Again you’re just revealing your ignorance”, Why not just stick to discuss the case?

    3. I do not think a carbon tax will be any sacrifice for a well-developed economy like BC.

    Sheesh …

    And again your ignorance of the real world is showing. A shift from one tax to another can involve huge sacrifice for one group and a trivial gain for another. It’s like taking a hundred pound pack from a grown man and putting it on a kid. Yes, the same weight is being borne, but that doesn’t matter in terms of sacrifice. As a result, neither individually nor in total is there “no sacrifice”

    In addition, economies don’t “sacrifice”, they just produce more or less as the case may be. Individuals, on the other hand, sacrifice. And yes, when there are millions of people driving to the US to fill up their gas tanks, that is a sacrifice … just not as large a sacrifice as buying fuel in Canada.

    Again you start by attacking me, not the case.
    When shifting from one tax to another then obviously some people will pay more and other less than before. In some cases it can be the way you describes as a huge sacrifice for one group and a trivial gain for another, but the opposite may also be the result; a trivial sacrifice for one group and a huge gain for another. After all we are not talking of increasing the total tax level here.
    With a carbon tax most people will have a choice of how much they shall pay. Buy a huge gas –guzzling car and pay more, or buy a small and pay less. With most other taxes you do not have that choice.

    To justify that I show to the Forbes magazine which make a list of countries after how good they are for business? See: http://www.forbes.com/best-countries-for-business/list/ important factors are stuff like property rights, corruption, investor protection and tax burden. Energy prices are not on the chart.

    Oh, my goodness, that’s rich. Businesses are fleeing California, in part because of the high cost of energy. And manufacturing tends to cluster around the cheap power plants, do you think that’s coincidence? Claiming that energy costs are not a factor when deciding where to locate a business just reveals what I said a while ago, that you have little experience in the rough-and-tumble world of running a business.

    Well I just show to what Forbes magazine have evaluated. Do you mean that they don’t have a clue or what?

    No, I just think they’re looking at a different set of business-related variables that don’t happen to include energy …

    But why do you think they don’t include energy? If energy was so crucial to a modern economy they should have it on the chart, don’t you think?
    When you say that “ Businesses are fleeing California, in part because of the high cost of energy. And manufacturing tends to cluster around the cheap power plants”, it has to be quantified by numbers. How much does this affect the total GDP and employment? There are of course some heavy industries like metal smelting and the like which are depending on huge energy use which benefit a lot of cheap energy, but they counts less in a modern economy than they used to.
    Software industry, as one example, is not so dependent on cheap energy.

    Look, I’m not dissing you, Jan. It’s just that truly, you don’t seem to understand business and finance. Taxes are not a cost? Don’t say that to an accountant …

    No I don’t think this is dissing, you just use a missing sentence for all it is worth, I think that must be in lack of substantial arguments.

    I have given you substantial arguments. I’ve given you references to further studies. I’ve given you citations to my own discussions about the specifics of the issues.

    You, on the other hand, keep showing up with nothing in your hand but your johnson. As I remarked earlier:

    More important than low energy prices are also stable energy prices so the investors can make business cases without too much uncertainty. I think your interesting example from the fish market on the Solomon Island in 2008 when the fisher did not afford petrol to go out and fish is more telling to the destructiveness of sudden price rises than stable high prices.

    You are free to think that … but since you haven’t given a scrap of evidence or anything but your assertion to support it, it’s not clear what you are basing that on. Because if the price had stayed at that height, the boats might still be sitting on shore.

    You seem to have a fantasy that people can adjust to high prices, by saving fuel and adopting more economical practices. But if it takes ten gallons of fuel to get to the fishing grounds and back, if a fisherman can’t afford ten gallons of fuel he’s out of the fishing business no matter how conservation-minded he might be.

    So yes, Jan, I’ve given you a host of very specific examples and very substantial arguments.

    We had a discussion on the Solomon Island and I made it clear that I do not think that a carbon tax is a good idea in the least developed countries in the world. We are talking about BC which is a rich part of the world.

    I have in a similar way answered to the case on the different topics we have bought up, but your counterarguments seems to dry up. Then you change to personal attacks on me, like for instance screaming accusation like “again your ignorance of the real world is showing” instead of sticking to the case.

    Truly, you need to get out more, Jan. You’re making a spectacle of yourself, and not doing the reputation of Norway any good either. I would strongly recommend that before you say one more word about economics and costs and prices, that you start and run a business for a few years … I say that because its clear that reading about businesses has taught you next to nothing.

    You disappoints me here Willis. I have read a couple of your articles and I think that in general they are well written and have a good point. Here you as usual go high out and claim that the carbon tax in BC is a huge sacrifice for the citizen of BC for virtually no gain at all.

    I counter this by suggesting that this may be not so bad idea after all. I am not claiming that this is our savior; let’s have more of it all over the world, and I am not claiming that I have all the answers to this. I just had some objections to your claims that I would like a discussion on.

    I put out the question for debate in my initial comment: “After all we need some taxes to bring money to the government, so why not put a tax on the bad stuff we want to reduce rather than tax good stuff like creating jobs?”

    And we had a good debate for some time. I recognize your argument that cheap energy is an important factor in an economy. But I do not think it is that important and in a modern high tech economy. It was very important in the old days yes, but less now since we have many more profitable high tech industries with low energy usage. I have given arguments for that and showed to the Forbes list. But now you attack me again and just say that “You’re making a spectacle of yourself”. I do not regard that as a very good argument.

    So this is really a disappointing end.

  115. johanna says:

    July 14, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    JKA said:
    Norway has never been especially poor compared to the rest of the world; we had the level of an average western European country, which is high compared to most other countries in the world.

    What is your source for that statement?
    I invite you to look at the graph on page 4 here:

    http://m.norges-bank.no/pages/85389/nhh_foredrag_til%20olsen_english_110405.pdf

    Thank you for the link Joanna. In short is says that Norway’s per capita GDP was 80% of Sweden’s before the oil. All is relative, but I do not think that 80% of a well-developed country like Sweden in the 1970-ties can be termed as a “poor country”. India and Egypt is poor, Norway was not close to that.

  116. Sorry, Jan, and please don’t take this the wrong way, but “spectacle” does describe it quite well.

    If your mode of thinking is common in Norway, I can only say I’m glad I don’t live there.

    Very few people in BC have “gas guzzlers”, and those who do don’t worry about trifles like fuel costs. The vast majority, just as in every other part of the world, drive vehicles that are practical for them and their purposes. I bought a car in August 2009 that used to cost about $30 to fill, now it’s closer to $60. My income hasn’t doubled.

  117. Mario Lento says:

    July 14, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    Jan: I think you realize that you are intellectually dishonest. I give you credit for not being dumb. But I stand by my statements. Let me give you a single example and expand on it. You do not consider tax a cost. That’s absurd.

    No Mario, I have the disadvantage to debate in a, for me, foreign language, but I am trying my best to be clear and not intellectually dishonest.

    You wrote “A tax is not a cost; it is only a way to transfer money to the government.”

    The explanation you provide after the comma “…it’s the only way…” is 100% obfuscation. It does not in any way show that a tax is not a cost. Instead of proving it’s not a cost, you instead justify why you think taxes are good. You change the argument to avoid the issue. You leave the issue hanging and move on to other opinions of yours. This makes you unreasonable to argue with. It’s like dealing with someone who’s hysterical -or unable to discuss a topic cogently.
    I submit that taxes are one of the costs of doing business. You probably agree, but we cannot tell that by the way you go on an on with obfuscation.

    I have commented on that in answer to Joanna and Willis above. I missed one sentence to explain what I meant. Tax is of course a cost for doing business, but when if you just replace one tax with another the cost will be zero.

    What’s worse is that you don’t understand that taxing changes behavior in a macro sense. Willis explained this to you in his words. You don’t understand or admit that taxing energy has trickle up effects. It makes everything that uses energy more expensive and hurts everything that is essential to life of poor people. The wealthy have excess money, but the poor must essentially deal with having less of what is necessary to live on.

    Yes, I understand and admit that taxing changes behavior in a macro sense. It is the purpose of the carbon tax to change the behavior away from carbon intensive behavior and towards less carbon intensive behavior.
    I just wanted to put Willis claim that a carbon tax in BC is such a big sacrifice to the citizens to debate
    I have given a few arguments in favor of carbon tax, and I have got some insightful replies that I have enjoyed and learnt from, like the first replies from Willis and the link from Joanna. I have answered to those trying to be clear, honest and polite.

  118. “Thank you for the link Joanna. In short is says that Norway’s per capita GDP was 80% of Sweden’s before the oil. All is relative, but I do not think that 80% of a well-developed country like Sweden in the 1970-ties can be termed as a “poor country”. India and Egypt is poor, Norway was not close to that.”

    No, it says that Norway’s GDP per capita was static from 1900 till the oil arrived in around 1970. Given the economic history of Europe since 1900, that is hardly a stellar performance. And, if comparing it to India or Egypt is the best that you can do, well …

    My best friend for the last 40 years is Norwegian by birth (we live in Australia). Her family, who were actually quite well off, left in the 1950s because the place was an economic backwater – and as quasi-aristocrats who owned a lot of land, they were well attuned to how the wind was blowing in those days. If it hadn’t been for the oil, and given the taxation and expectation levels of the locals, it would indeed be Greece without the glaciers.

  119. johanna says:

    July 15, 2013 at 12:38 am

    “Thank you for the link Joanna. In short is says that Norway’s per capita GDP was 80% of Sweden’s before the oil. All is relative, but I do not think that 80% of a well-developed country like Sweden in the 1970-ties can be termed as a “poor country”. India and Egypt is poor, Norway was not close to that.”

    No, it says that Norway’s GDP per capita was static from 1900 till the oil arrived in around 1970. Given the economic history of Europe since 1900, that is hardly a stellar performance.

    No, Joanna you misunderstand the graph. It says: GDP per capita, Norway – adjusted by purchasing power parity. Index, Sweden = 100. 1900-2010

    The keyword is “Sweden=100”. That means that Norway’s per capita GDP is compared with Sweden for all the years. Sweden and Norway had more or less the same good development in the period 1900 to 1975, and then Norway leaped away because of the oil income.

    I have not found any English statistic for the actual per capita GDP development from 1900 to 1970, but it was approximately 500% in fixed prices. It is shown in figure two in this Norwegian article:

    http://www.ssb.no/a/filearchive/norsk-okonomi_og_olje_gjennom_100_aar.pdf

    We would have been really bad off if it had been a steady state from 1900 to 1970, don’t you think?

  120. Gee – comparing yourself to Sweden. That’s not a bad thing. Except in the mid 70s, Sweden had ABBA. I once read that for a while, ABBA was the biggest industry in Sweden, surpassing the auto industry, the mining industry, etc. And in spite of this, Norway still found oil on the back 40 and leapt ahead.

    Does your mother know that you’re out?

  121. CodeTech says:

    July 15, 2013 at 5:49 am

    Gee – comparing yourself to Sweden.

    CodeTech , from what you say think you have got the impression that I am boasting about Norway. That is not my intention at all. Norway has a lot of negative sides and it is not better than any other country. To the contrary, I have had the joy of visiting the US a couple of times, both in In my profession and as a tourist and that has in fact made me to a huge supporter of the US way of life.

    As a businessman I have always been met by the good combination of professionalism and friendliness. More informal activities in the evening are also a typical US habit which we perhaps should adopt more in Europe.

    I am also impressed by the openness and friendliness I have experienced as a tourist in the US.
    My experience is that we definitively have a lot to learn from the US

    My reason for bringing in Norway was that I naturally know more about it than other countries, and it fitted as a example. I can now see that it was a mistake because it cased too much confusion. Germany would have served just as well for my example.

    I am not a supporter of big government at all, and most European countries have a big government compared to USA. However, that should not be an obstacle for using an example from a specific item in a European country which seems to work well. That is what I have done and, regrettably, I used Norway as an example.

  122. Jan wrote “Yes, I understand and admit that taxing changes behavior in a macro sense. It is the purpose of the carbon tax to change the behavior away from carbon intensive behavior and towards less carbon intensive behavior.
    I just wanted to put Willis claim that a carbon tax in BC is such a big sacrifice to the citizens to debate
    I have given a few arguments in favor of carbon tax, and I have got some insightful replies that I have enjoyed and learnt from, like the first replies from Willis and the link from Joanna. I have answered to those trying to be clear, honest and polite.”
    ++++++++++++
    You have been polite and I appreciate the language barriers. You’re doing fine.
    Please note that your point above does not consider that taxing Carbon directly hurts the poorest people in almost every way possible as Willis documents for you. You seem to think there is some benefit from curbing carbon emissions (CO2). But you do not seem to know that there is zero evidence that CO2 is causing any harm to anything. You’re suggesting curbing CO2 is good and and that belief is certainly causing major harm to poor people.

    You owe it to yourself to understand exactly what harm CO2 causes. I cannot think of a single thing that missions of CO2 do to cause harm. Yes, it is clear that fossil fuels make life better for all people. This is not to be confused with pollution, which CO2 is certainly not.

  123. Mario Lento says:

    July 15, 2013 at 6:12 pm

    You seem to think there is some benefit from curbing carbon emissions (CO2). But you do not seem to know that there is zero evidence that CO2 is causing any harm to anything. You’re suggesting curbing CO2 is good and and that belief is certainly causing major harm to poor people.

    You owe it to yourself to understand exactly what harm CO2 causes. I cannot think of a single thing that missions of CO2 do to cause harm. Yes, it is clear that fossil fuels make life better for all people. This is not to be confused with pollution, which CO2 is certainly not.
    .

    Thank you Mario,
    I am very well informed about CO2. I am one of the few who actually reads the IPCC reports, and for an alternative view I think this site is one of the best. My position can be described as lukewarm, I think CO2 is causing harm, but I think it is wildly exaggerated in the media.

    But I have learnt that no matter how well informed you are you should always consider the possibility that you may have drawn the wrong conclusions. For my part it would then be that either you are right, that there are no harm, or the “warmists” are right. Perhaps man made CO2 emissions are causing very damaging climate changes, and perhaps the change to a less alkaline sea water is doing massive harm.

    If you are right that there are no harm it will be pity that we have used so much resources for curbing it, but it is no catastrophe.

    But then consider if the warmists are right. Should we go on as before until more evidence is shown, or would it be better to act now to be on the safe side?

    If we go on, and the warmists are right there might be really bad consequences. I prefer to be on the safe side.

  124. Jan Kjetil Andersen says:
    July 15, 2013 at 10:05 pm

    … But I have learnt that no matter how well informed you are you should always consider the possibility that you may have drawn the wrong conclusions. For my part it would then be that either you are right, that there are no harm, or the “warmists” are right. Perhaps man made CO2 emissions are causing very damaging climate changes, and perhaps the change to a less alkaline sea water is doing massive harm.

    If you are right that there are no harm it will be pity that we have used so much resources for curbing it, but it is no catastrophe.

    But then consider if the warmists are right. Should we go on as before until more evidence is shown, or would it be better to act now to be on the safe side?

    If we go on, and the warmists are right there might be really bad consequences. I prefer to be on the safe side.

    Yes, and if the warmistas are wrong there might be really bad consequences. We could piss billions more down the climate rathole In fact, right or wrong there are already bad consequences, and the BC energy tax is one of them.

    Given that we have no information either way, which way is the “safe side”?

    If you truly want to worry about something, you should worry about the ice age we’re living in. We’re temporarily out of it, but when it returns it will be very ugly …

    Given a world like that, if you can find the “safe side” I envy you. Unfortunately, for you, the “save side” seems to involve screwing the poor by raising the price of energy …

    That sounds eminently safe for you, being as how you’re part of the global 1%, sitting on your lake of Norwegian oil.

    But for the poor? Your position is the opposite of safe for them.

    w.

  125. Jan you wrote: “If you are right that there are no harm it will be pity that we have used so much resources for curbing it, but it is no catastrophe.

    But then consider if the warmists are right. Should we go on as before until more evidence is shown, or would it be better to act now to be on the safe side?”
    ++++++++
    Jan, you really sound like a nice guy who wants to do something useful. Have you ever considered volunteering?

    You have fallen into the trap that is “to act prudently”. In other words, act as if one side of the case were correct if that side proposes doom. Then by acting, you avoid doom and everyone’s happy. That is your stance. You say, you’ve done research and you know —that you don’t know —but you know how we should act. Seriously, I can tell you, you don’t know.

    But let me address your reasoning in quotes above where you say “…but it is no catastrophe”

    Someone here please tell Jan about how many lives have been lost because of more costly energy due to the CAGW initiatives. And – as Willis explained, acting by raising our energy costs as if the warmists were right will cost MORE than any effect claimed even if the IPCC story were 100% accurate. Doing something will cost many time more than doing absolutely nothing. It’s like taking chemotherapy for broken bone.

    If you did any research, as you say you have, you’d then know you are on the side of killing poor people in order to make sure that certain people on the green side of the aisle become very wealthy. You have provided ZERO evidence that CO2 is causing any harm by any measurable means. NONE whatsoever, yet you have decided that we must punish society from wealth.

  126. Mario Lento says:

    July 15, 2013 at 10:45 pm

    Jan, you really sound like a nice guy who wants to do something useful. Have you ever considered volunteering?

    I live a pretty active life, so no time for that. Debating is enough.

    You have fallen into the trap that is “to act prudently”. In other words, act as if one side of the case were correct if that side proposes doom. Then by acting, you avoid doom and everyone’s happy. That is your stance. You say, you’ve done research and you know —that you don’t know —but you know how we should act. Seriously, I can tell you, you don’t know.

    This is a good point Mario, and I am aware of it. The challenge is to know whether the cure for the problem is more or less harmful than the problem left alone. Will the initiatives to curb carbon be more harmful to the citizens of the globe than CO2 emissions with no actions taken? It’s no easy answer, but I suggest to take a theoretical analyze on it:

    Imagine that we could curb carbon emissions without any cost at all. In scenario A we would have a development with high and increasing carbon emissions and in scenario B we would have the exact same development in the world economy and welfare in all countries and for all people, but with only 50% of the emissions in scenario A.

    Do you agree that, in this thought experiment, alternative B is to prefer?

    If you do that, as most people do, we come to the question of how much we are willing to pay for the path to scenario B instead of scenario A.

    I have no answer to that, but it is worth debating.

  127. Willis Eschenbach says:

    July 15, 2013 at 10:20 pm

    Yes, and if the warmistas are wrong there might be really bad consequences. We could piss billions more down the climate rathole In fact, right or wrong there are already bad consequences, and the BC energy tax is one of them.

    Given that we have no information either way, which way is the “safe side”?

    Willis, you main argument seems to be pretty similar to Mario’s comment; my answer to Mario applies to you too.
    But you also say:

    If you truly want to worry about something, you should worry about the ice age we’re living in. We’re temporarily out of it, but when it returns it will be very ugly …

    I don’t’ know why you say this, is it a joke or what? Our last real ice age ended approximately 10 k years ago and a new one is probably several millennia away. Do you seriously think we should sit around worrying about it?

    Or is it the little ice ages you worry about? We do not know what underlying factors caused it, other than a theory that the Maunder minimum may have been a factor, but we do not what caused the Maunder minimum.

    Do you want to start scare mongering about our current weak sunspot cycle or what?

  128. Jan says:
    “Or is it the little ice ages you worry about? We do not know what underlying factors caused it, other than a theory that the Maunder minimum may have been a factor, but we do not what caused the Maunder minimum.

    Do you want to start scare mongering about our current weak sunspot cycle or what?”
    +++++++++
    Jan you fail continually to address statements pointed at you. Willis nor I are saying we need to take tax payers’ money, or make energy expensive because of the next ice age. It is your people who want to take tax payers’s money and raise the cost of energy because of something you say we should fear. Your words border on slander…

    It’s really difficult being nice to you. You have a way of writing politely. But the words you choose are deceptive and non cogent.

  129. Jan Kjetil Andersen says:
    July 16, 2013 at 11:17 pm

    Willis Eschenbach says:

    July 15, 2013 at 10:20 pm

    Yes, and if the warmistas are wrong there might be really bad consequences. We could piss billions more down the climate rathole In fact, right or wrong there are already bad consequences, and the BC energy tax is one of them.

    Given that we have no information either way, which way is the “safe side”?

    Willis, you main argument seems to be pretty similar to Mario’s comment; my answer to Mario applies to you too.

    Thanks, Jan. You say to Mario:

    Imagine that we could curb carbon emissions without any cost at all. In scenario A we would have a development with high and increasing carbon emissions and in scenario B we would have the exact same development in the world economy and welfare in all countries and for all people, but with only 50% of the emissions in scenario A.

    Do you agree that, in this thought experiment, alternative B is to prefer?

    This is an excellent question. The naive view would be that B is preferable.

    However, that assumes that there is some net cost to the carbon emissions. Because you see, the increase in CO2 is already estimated to have greened the planet by several percent. This is a benefit worth billions and billions of dollars to the planet, not to mention helping the environment.

    So we know there is already a huge net benefit to raising the CO2 levels. And while there may be a downside to elevated CO2 levels, at present that’s only theory. There is very little evidence that changing the CO2 levels has any effect on global temperatures.

    In any case, the downside of CO2 is alleged to only occur in 50 years, while we have the benefits of greening today. So we have real benefits now and for the next fifty years, compared to theoretical damage in fifty years …

    Next, the descent into the next ice age is 1) unpredictable, 2) likely inevitable, and 3) overdue by geological standards—the Holocene is the longest of the interglacial periods.

    Some people have theorized that the only reason that we haven’t gone into the next ice age is because of the combined warming effects of land clearing and CO2 production … and certainly, if that is the case we’d be huge fools to choose alternative B.

    Next, suppose it were to cause warming. I don’t think so, but I have to examine the possibility. We’ve tried this experiment before. The land has warmed ~ 2°C over the last couple centuries. I defy you to find climate refugees, or huge expansions in diseases, or deaths from sea level rise, or any of the predicted disasters. Instead, coming out of the Little Ice Age was good for both humans and all species. So if we do get a couple degrees more warming, I don’t see the problem. Most of the warming is supposed to occur at night, during the winter, in the extratropics. I doubt if the folks sleeping under the freeway overpasses in Maine will complain … so where are the huge disasters from the last couple degrees warming?

    Finally, me, I think that the CO2 level doesn’t do a damn thing, because the temperature of the planet is set by the action of the emergent phenomena—cloud albedo, thunderstorms, El Nino/La Nina pump, the PDO, and all of the rest. And in that case, it doesn’t matter in the slightest whether you choose A or B … except for the greening of the planet, which makes you choose A.

    So I’d have to go for choice A for four reasons:

    1. Guaranteed benefits vs. theoretical dangers
    2. Present benefits vs. future dangers
    3. Possibility of ice age avoidance
    4. Lack of any significant negative effects and numerous positive effects from the last 2° of warming.

    So no, Jan, even that question is far from simple. The only good news is, we don’t have that choice. Our choice is to have energy by burning fossil fuels, or to not have energy. We don’t have your magical choice. Sun and wind won’t do it. It’s nuclear or fossil, and for most of the world, that means fossil.

    So I’d choose choice A even if I knew for a fact that it would result in warming the globe, since the other choice is not a choice of no CO2—it’s the choice of no energy.

    All the best to you,

    w.

  130. Willis Eschenbach says:

    July 17, 2013 at 12:14 am

    Willis, you main argument seems to be pretty similar to Mario’s comment; my answer to Mario applies to you too.

    Thanks, Jan. You say to Mario:

    Imagine that we could curb carbon emissions without any cost at all. In scenario A we would have a development with high and increasing carbon emissions and in scenario B we would have the exact same development in the world economy and welfare in all countries and for all people, but with only 50% of the emissions in scenario A.

    Do you agree that, in this thought experiment, alternative B is to prefer?

    This is an excellent question. The naive view would be that B is preferable.

    Thank you Williis, I enjoyed reading this,
    You think that carbon emissions do more good than harm and that it is better to continue with high emissions than with reduced emissions. That viewpoint is a bit more in the extreme end of climate skepticism than what I expected, but that does not mean you are wrong. A small group have stood against a massive majority before and been proven to be right in the end, but it does not happen often. More often the majority of scientists have right and the minority shrinks into irrelevance as times go on.

    Because there are no doubt that the vast majority in the scientific community, if we defines this as represented by the peer-reviewed literature, regards CO2 emissions as harmful.

    One can argue that this scientific community is either brain-dead or perhaps they are so corrupt that they do not allow any climate skeptics to publish their papers. I doubt that. But do think that the polarization in the climate debate where each side paint a picture of their opponents as similarly brain-dead or corrupt is very damaging to the scientific progress in this issue. Many opponents may stay out of the debate because they fear the stigma of being a “denier”. That is why I think it is interesting to hear dissident arguments like yours. Your view is in the extreme end but they seem not to be Illogical, I see no contradictions here.
    So to my concrete opposition to your claims:

    So I’d have to go for choice A for four reasons:

    1. Guaranteed benefits vs. theoretical dangers
    2. Present benefits vs. future dangers
    3. Possibility of ice age avoidance
    4. Lack of any significant negative effects and numerous positive effects from the last 2° of warming.

    1. I think it is premature to conclude that the CO2 greening is only a benefit with no negative side effects. I therefore object to the guaranteed benefits claim, the benefits are no more proven than the negative effects.
    2. More CO2 leads to less alkaline sea water, this may have damaging effects on the marine biology.
    3. Sea level could rise up to 80 cm from 1990 to 2100 and it will continue to rise in the centuries after that. This can cause flooding in the coastal regions.
    4. Higher air temperature hold more water which could lead to more extreme rainfalls and damaging flooding.
    5. Higher temperature leads to higher evaporation, which could lead to more deserts in dry areas.
    6. Higher sea temperatures could lead to more extreme tropical cyclones. We do not know all about cyclone formation but we do know that tropical cyclones grow in intensity when it is situated over sea with temperature above 27 Celsius. If the temperature is below that threshold it decreases. The theory is that when all sea water becomes warmer we may have more tropical cyclones and more extreme tropical cyclones. .
    7. About the Ice-age concern I think the CO2 we have emitted to the atmosphere so far is a good buffer. The CO2 level is now 30% higher than before industrialization and it is increasing by 2 ppm annually. A cut to 50% of current emissions is probably not enough to reduce the level in the atmosphere.

  131. Jan Kjetil Andersen says:
    July 17, 2013 at 6:43 am

    Because there are no doubt that the vast majority in the scientific community, if we defines this as represented by the peer-reviewed literature, regards CO2 emissions as harmful.

    One can argue that this scientific community is either brain-dead or perhaps they are so corrupt that they do not allow any climate skeptics to publish their papers. I doubt that. But do think that the polarization in the climate debate where each side paint a picture of their opponents as similarly brain-dead or corrupt is very damaging to the scientific progress in this issue. Many opponents may stay out of the debate because they fear the stigma of being a “denier”. That is why I think it is interesting to hear dissident arguments like yours. Your view is in the extreme end but they seem not to be Illogical, I see no contradictions here.

    I don’t think that they are either brain-dead or corrupt, although a minority certainly are. Many of them, however, suffer from “noble cause corruption”, and many of the rest suffer from “I’d better keep my mouth shut” corruption.

    So to my concrete opposition to your claims:

    So I’d have to go for choice A for four reasons:

    1. Guaranteed benefits vs. theoretical dangers
    2. Present benefits vs. future dangers
    3. Possibility of ice age avoidance
    4. Lack of any significant negative effects and numerous positive effects from the last 2° of warming.

    1. I think it is premature to conclude that the CO2 greening is only a benefit with no negative side effects. I therefore object to the guaranteed benefits claim, the benefits are no more proven than the negative effects.

    I discussed up above that the greening is already happening. It’s guaranteed to help the world because it already has been helping it for decades.

    The dangers, on the other hand, are only theoretical. Nobody’s come up with evidence that CO2 has killed one person or is costing a dime.

    That’s called “Guaranteed benefits vs. theoretical dangers”. We already have the benefits. So that’s guaranteed. You keep warning us of possible future dangers. So that’s theoretical.

    2. More CO2 leads to less alkaline sea water, this may have damaging effects on the marine biology.

    Yes, it may … but since in many places the pH of the ocean naturally changes more in a DAY than CO2 is said to cause in a century, again we’re woefully short on evidence.

    3. Sea level could rise up to 80 cm from 1990 to 2100 and it will continue to rise in the centuries after that. This can cause flooding in the coastal regions.

    Despite warming, and despite increasing CO2, there is no evidence of any acceleration in sea level rise. Come back when you have evidence.

    4. Higher air temperature hold more water which could lead to more extreme rainfalls and damaging flooding.
    5. Higher temperature leads to higher evaporation, which could lead to more deserts in dry areas.

    Yes, that CO2, it will cause more floods AND more droughts … do you realize how stupid you sound, not to mention how frightened? This is all “mommy, it’s dark outside, I’m scared” stuff. We have NO EVIDENCE for either of those claims, and certainly no evidence that they will both occur.

    6. Higher sea temperatures could lead to more extreme tropical cyclones. We do not know all about cyclone formation but we do know that tropical cyclones grow in intensity when it is situated over sea with temperature above 27 Celsius. If the temperature is below that threshold it decreases. The theory is that when all sea water becomes warmer we may have more tropical cyclones and more extreme tropical cyclones. .

    Are you really that dense? What is it about “look at the historical record” that escapes you? The earth has been warming for centuries. We have NO EVIDENCE of any increase in cyclones from that warming. None.

    7. About the Ice-age concern I think the CO2 we have emitted to the atmosphere so far is a good buffer. The CO2 level is now 30% higher than before industrialization and it is increasing by 2 ppm annually. A cut to 50% of current emissions is probably not enough to reduce the level in the atmosphere.

    Sorry, but that last one is incomprehensible.

    Jan, are all people in Norway as terrified of the future as you, that it will bring droughts and floods and it’s all going to hell and the sky is falling and we need to do something NOW about the monsters under your bed?

    Because that list of inchoate fears is … well … I don’t even know what to call it, but Roald Amundsen must be rolling over in his grave about what angst-ridden wretches his countrymen have become.

    WE JUST HAD A 2°C INCREASE IN LAND TEMPERATURES OVER THE LAST TWO CENTURIES AND NOTHING HAPPENED!

    So when you start whining and crying about all the terrible dangers from warming, I just have to point and laugh. We just went through 2° warming. Where are the corpses? Where are the drowned cities from sea level rise? Where are the climate refugees?

    And where did you put your common sense? You’re predicting a temperature rise much like the one that just happened over the last 200 years … where are the climate tragedies from that rise?

    w.

  132. Jan: Let’s not forget that there are reasons for dissenters to the paid climate alarmists message.

    Facts:
    1) The only evidence that shows CO2 causes warming that we can actually measure, (all before 1998) was in the models. That’s when models could show correlation with increasing temperature. The models’ forcing inputs were CO2 and water vapor.
    Once the correlation between increasing CO2 levels and increasing temperatures stopped, the models no longer appears to work. They gave the wrong answers. The models which showed correlation could NOT show a pause in the increase for 5 years, 10 years and now after 15 years the “scientists” admit they do not understand why. They even question the models – which are the only evidence of the bulk of the 0.6C warming.

    2) Questioning the warmists’ claims will not get you funding. No one pays to be told there is no problem.

    3) No skeptic, regardless of how nice or reasonable they are, is allowed in the peer review IPCC process. If they make it in under the radar, their papers do not get credence.

    4) In the entirety of history from all proxies of CO2 and temperature, it is now shown that temperature has always led well before CO2 reacted. CO2 levels levels always rise many years following the increase in temperature. And they decrease many years after the decrees in temperature. ALWAYS.

    5) The IPCC’s paid summary for policy makers tells us we must act. If you followed their reports from the 1st through the 4th assessment, you know that they have had to change their predictions lower and lower as their models always were shown to over predict future warming. They no longer say 5C of warming. Remember those days? Again, their models cannot predict a cooling trend, because they do not correctly consider non CO2 based forcings.

    6) Satellite data show that the feedback effect of water vapor (which is a necessary component of the IPCC GHG warming theory) has been actually neutral to negative –not positive as was claimed by the IPCC. The IPCC’s models all show water vapor feedback as positive. This is now shown to be false based on all of the best observations.

    7) Bob Tisdale has shown something that continues to be valid. ENSO processes store and release energy from the oceans in a way that can not be caused by CO2. The details of Bob’s work are very clear and can show where the heat came from, in quite clear steps changes. Our climate has never followed the CO2 curve shape. It has always goes up in step changes, following ENSO process. The ENSO process can show pretty much all of the temperature changes from the start of the warming trend (which ended 17 years ago). I suggest you read the book from Bob Tisdale. It’s an easy read.

    8) Consensus: I am sick of the fabricated claim that consensus means anything. Science is not and never was based on consensus. But even if it were, there is no 97% consensus. That’s already been debunked. So if you use that term again, you should research the history of the deception.

    So we know a few things.

    1) Models’ assumption are wrong. They are programmed to show warming with CO2 and Water vapor as only varying degrees of positive feedbacks. Never negative!
    2) IPCC could only show correlation while warming was happening. Correlation is not the same as causation. And as such, their models cannot predict what has been happening for over 15 years.
    3) There is no reason to believe that CO2 is the cause of the warming. It used to be shown as proof that as CO2 up, temperatures were going up. That same argument if it were valid, would still hold true. CO2 is going up equal to their “worst case scenario” and temperatures over the past 17 years have not gone up.
    4) We can see where the temperature rises and falls have come from by looking at the ENSO process.

    So what does it matter what political scientists say when you owe it to yourself to think about what’s being said and try to seek truth?

  133. Willis: If it does for some reason rise 2C, I doubt it will be due to CO2… at least I doubt it based on evidence thus far… By then hopefully we will have some sanity to stop nonsense that is climate science of today. By then I predict we’ll understand climate well enough to not do stupid things which unnecessarily make life harder to adapt to whatever is in store for us.

  134. Willis Eschenbach says:

    July 17, 2013 at 11:25 am

    I don’t think that they are either brain-dead or corrupt, although a minority certainly are. Many of them, however, suffer from “noble cause corruption”, and many of the rest suffer from “I’d better keep my mouth shut” corruption.

    Fair enough, I don’t agree but I see your point.

    1. I think it is premature to conclude that the CO2 greening is only a benefit with no negative side effects. I therefore object to the guaranteed benefits claim, the benefits are no more proven than the negative effects.

    I discussed up above that the greening is already happening. It’s guaranteed to help the world because it already has been helping it for decades.

    The dangers, on the other hand, are only theoretical. Nobody’s come up with evidence that CO2 has killed one person or is costing a dime.

    That’s called “Guaranteed benefits vs. theoretical dangers”. We already have the benefits. So that’s guaranteed. You keep warning us of possible future dangers. So that’s theoretical.

    It’s really hard to prove anything and although we see a greening in some areas, we cannot say with certainty that CO2 elevation is the reason. Neither can we say that this is a guaranteed benefit
    Can you show me any published peer reviewed article which support that this is a guaranteed benefit?

    2. More CO2 leads to less alkaline sea water, this may have damaging effects on the marine biology.

    Yes, it may … but since in many places the pH of the ocean naturally changes more in a DAY than CO2 is said to cause in a century, again we’re woefully short on evidence.

    Remember my premise for this was “ If the warmists are right then…” . I am also a bit skeptical to the claim that the marine biology is so sensitive to Ph changes, but they may be right.

    3. Sea level could rise up to 80 cm from 1990 to 2100 and it will continue to rise in the centuries after that. This can cause flooding in the coastal regions.

    Despite warming, and despite increasing CO2, there is no evidence of any acceleration in sea level rise. Come back when you have evidence.

    It depends on what timescale you study. Satellite measurements show a remarkably steady rise of 3.2 mm/year, but they only go back to 1992, so what we see is that there is no acceleration for the last 20 years. However, sea level measurements did not start with satellite measurements. Older measurements indicate that the total sea level rise from 1900 to 2000 was approximately 17 cm, i.e. 1,7 mm/year. Since the current rate is 3.2 mm/year that mean an acceleration on this timescale.

    4. Higher air temperature hold more water which could lead to more extreme rainfalls and damaging flooding.
    5. Higher temperature leads to higher evaporation, which could lead to more deserts in dry areas.

    Yes, that CO2, it will cause more floods AND more droughts … do you realize how stupid you sound, not to mention how frightened? This is all “mommy, it’s dark outside, I’m scared” stuff. We have NO EVIDENCE for either of those claims, and certainly no evidence that they will both occur.

    The floods and droughts will of course not happen both at the same places and at the same time. I thought that was obvious. But it is a scientific fact that warmer air can carry more water. This means that a warmer climate may lead to higher problems with flooding in the areas exposed to flooding today.

    It’s also a fact that warm dry air gives higher evaporation than cold dry air. The warmer it is, the more evaporation if the relative humidity is constant. In places where they have problems with drought this may lead to more severe droughts.

    6. Higher sea temperatures could lead to more extreme tropical cyclones. We do not know all about cyclone formation but we do know that tropical cyclones grow in intensity when it is situated over sea with temperature above 27 Celsius. If the temperature is below that threshold it decreases. The theory is that when all sea water becomes warmer we may have more tropical cyclones and more extreme tropical cyclones. .

    Are you really that dense? What is it about “look at the historical record” that escapes you? The earth has been warming for centuries. We have NO EVIDENCE of any increase in cyclones from that warming. None.

    I hope not (chuckling). It is hard to give any exact measure of the global cyclone activity and reliable historical records of this do not go that far back. We do not know whether the current cyclone activity is the same as in the 19 century. However, over the satellite era (since 1979) increases in the intensity of the strongest storms in the Atlantic appear to have happened.

    Jan, are all people in Norway as terrified of the future as you, that it will bring droughts and floods and it’s all going to hell and the sky is falling and we need to do something NOW about the monsters under your bed?
    Because that list of inchoate fears is … well … I don’t even know what to call it, but Roald Amundsen must be rolling over in his grave about what angst-ridden wretches his countrymen have become.

    Please forget that I live in Norway. Would you say the same if I lived in Texas? How my God, do all Texans think like that? Of course they don’t and neither do all Norwegians. The debate on global warming is going on all over the world and you can find all kind of opinions here as you also can in Texas and Vancouver. I think this kind if comment is inane.

    WE JUST HAD A 2°C INCREASE IN LAND TEMPERATURES OVER THE LAST TWO CENTURIES AND NOTHING HAPPENED!

    So when you start whining and crying about all the terrible dangers from warming, I just have to point and laugh. We just went through 2° warming. Where are the corpses? Where are the drowned cities from sea level rise? Where are the climate refugees?

    And where did you put your common sense? You’re predicting a temperature rise much like the one that just happened over the last 200 years … where are the climate tragedies from that rise?

    As I said above, we do not have reliable statistics for the globe going 200 years back. Perhaps there have been more disasters, perhaps not.

    These possible dangers I have listed above is not something I have made up, all of this is described in the peer reviewed scientific literature. It should not be flatly rejected. Can you show me any peer reviewed scientific articles which reject the possible dangers above?

  135. WE JUST HAD A 2°C INCREASE IN LAND TEMPERATURES OVER THE LAST TWO CENTURIES AND NOTHING HAPPENED!

    So when you start whining and crying about all the terrible dangers from warming, I just have to point and laugh. We just went through 2° warming. Where are the corpses? Where are the drowned cities from sea level rise? Where are the climate refugees?

    And where did you put your common sense? You’re predicting a temperature rise much like the one that just happened over the last 200 years … where are the climate tragedies from that rise?

    As I said above, we do not have reliable statistics for the globe going 200 years back. Perhaps there have been more disasters, perhaps not.

    These possible dangers I have listed above is not something I have made up, all of this is described in the peer reviewed scientific literature. It should not be flatly rejected. Can you show me any peer reviewed scientific articles which reject the possible dangers above?

    I give up, Jan. We just had a couple of degrees warming over the last two centuries. I ask you, where are the corpses and the climate refugees and the cities drowned by sea level rise.

    Your reply is “we do not have reliable statistics for the globe going 200 years back. Perhaps there have been more disasters, perhaps not.”

    I asked for EVIDENCE, Jan. Corpses. Drowned cities. Disasters that actually occurred, from the warming of the last two centuries.

    In response you provide nothing. Instead you say “Can you show me any peer reviewed scientific articles which reject the possible dangers above?”

    I give up. I ask for evidence, and your response is to ask me to prove that your inchoate fears are not realistic? Really?

    It’s not my job to prove that your fears are unreal, Jan. That’s totally backwards.

    It’s your job to prove that your fears are real. You want me to believe your tales of grave future danger, it’s your job to come up with EVIDENCE to convince me.

    And since you don’t seem to be able to cite even one thermally induced disaster from two centuries of warming … well, I hope you’ll understand when I say, come back when you have some evidence of damage. I’m tired of discussing your fantasies of disaster. Bring in some corpses, or I’m outta here.

    w.

  136. Mario Lento says:

    July 17, 2013 at 7:57 pm

    Jan: Let’s not forget that there are reasons for dissenters to the paid climate alarmists message.

    Facts:
    1) The only evidence that shows CO2 causes warming that we can actually measure, (all before 1998) was in the models. That’s when models could show correlation with increasing temperature. The models’ forcing inputs were CO2 and water vapor.
    Once the correlation between increasing CO2 levels and increasing temperatures stopped, the models no longer appears to work. They gave the wrong answers. The models which showed correlation could NOT show a pause in the increase for 5 years, 10 years and now after 15 years the “scientists” admit they do not understand why. They even question the models – which are the only evidence of the bulk of the 0.6C warming.

    That is not entirely true. We have both the models and the theory
    It is a scientific fact that air with elevated CO2 level absorbs more infrared radiation that is easy to measure in a laboratory experiment. The theory says that this increased absorption give a greenhouse effect. Svante Arrhenius described the theory for this already in 1896

    2) Questioning the warmists’ claims will not get you funding. No one pays to be told there is no problem.

    3) No skeptic, regardless of how nice or reasonable they are, is allowed in the peer review IPCC process. If they make it in under the radar, their papers do not get credence.

    You think the scientific community is entirely corrupt. It is an extreme position though.

    4) In the entirety of history from all proxies of CO2 and temperature, it is now shown that temperature has always led well before CO2 reacted. CO2 levels levels always rise many years following the increase in temperature. And they decrease many years after the decrees in temperature. ALWAYS.

    I agree, but what conclusion can we draw from this?

    We are quite certain that the elevated CO2 levels are caused by human emissions. The conclusion we can draw from the time delayed correlation between natural occurring climate variations and CO2 levels is that we may have a positive feedback. If human CO2 emission causes global warming, that warming will lead to an additional, but time delayed, increase in CO2 from natural sources which will drive the temperature further up.

    5) The IPCC’s paid summary for policy makers tells us we must act. If you followed their reports from the 1st through the 4th assessment, you know that they have had to change their predictions lower and lower as their models always were shown to over predict future warming. They no longer say 5C of warming. Remember those days? Again, their models cannot predict a cooling trend, because they do not correctly consider non CO2 based forcings.

    I think it is good and natural that they change their predictions as new evidence come up.
    Best guess estimate have never been 5C, but the uncertainty range has been smaller.

    6) Satellite data show that the feedback effect of water vapor (which is a necessary component of the IPCC GHG warming theory) has been actually neutral to negative –not positive as was claimed by the IPCC. The IPCC’s models all show water vapor feedback as positive. This is now shown to be false based on all of the best observations.

    Can you show to any scientific reports supporting that?

    All the best /jan

  137. Willis Eschenbach says:

    July 17, 2013 at 11:53 pm

    I asked for EVIDENCE, Jan. Corpses. Drowned cities. Disasters that actually occurred, from the warming of the last two centuries.

    In response you provide nothing. Instead you say “Can you show me any peer reviewed scientific articles which reject the possible dangers above?”

    I give up. I ask for evidence, and your response is to ask me to prove that your inchoate fears are not realistic? Really?

    It’s not my job to prove that your fears are unreal, Jan. That’s totally backwards.

    It’s your job to prove that your fears are real. You want me to believe your tales of grave future danger, it’s your job to come up with EVIDENCE to convince me.

    And since you don’t seem to be able to cite even one thermally induced disaster from two centuries of warming … well, I hope you’ll understand when I say, come back when you have some evidence of damage. I’m tired of discussing your fantasies of disaster. Bring in some corpses, or I’m outta here.

    w.

    Willis
    A concern can be justified in at least two different ways. Fist it is the theoretical study which tells you something like:
    Based on the physical properties of these elements we can foresee that if we do A it will lead to B, .
    Then there are the observations which says something like:
    Based on what we have observed we see a clear correlation between A and B. This may mean that A causes B.
    If both theory and observations tell the same thing we have quite strong case, and if theory and observations show opposite results we have very weak case. The theory can be wrong or it could be counteracted by unknown factors.
    However in some cases we only have a theory and no reliable observations, and that does not mean that concern is disproven by the lacking observations.
    I have never claimed that cities have drowned; I have made a list of five concerns which is justified in the scientific literature. All those are either supported by theory or by observation or both.
    The first, less alkaline sea water is justified both by observations and by theory. The evidence is solid, but the objections are that the change is so small that it is probably negligible, but we do not know.
    The second, sea levels could rise to a destructive level, is supported by the observations that the rise has accelerated from approximately 1.7 mm/ year to 3.2 mm/year in one century.
    The third, higher temperatures could lead to higher flooding, is supported by theory and not disproven by observations.
    Similarly the fourth that higher temperatures lead to higher evaporation and drought is supported by theory and not disproven by observations
    The fifth that higher sea temperatures could lead to more extreme tropical cyclones is supported by the well-established observation that tropical cyclones only grow when the sea temperature is above 27 Celsius, and is partially supported by observations that the Atlantic storms have increased in intensity since 1979
    This is the evidence I have for now. Remember my premise for the discussion was “consider If the warmists are right”. I am not claiming that this is doom and gloom, but it should definitely be regarded as real concerns.

  138. Jan:

    You have backed yourself into a hole. You wrote and continue to write philosophical statements because you have nothing concrete. You wrote: “However in some cases we only have a theory and no reliable observations, and that does not mean that concern is disproven by the lacking observations.”
    ++++++++++++++++++++
    This is pure nonsense Jan. Do not say “No reliable observations” The observations that we have were created by people who were hoping for continued warmth, but found none. I think we can reliably say that observations reliably rule out NO WARMTH. The observations belie the claims of warmists. People who want to act, want to do so saying that there is concrete undeniable proof of CAGW. The people who believe in CAGW, could not produce proof no matter how much they have tried. Rather, they have proven that there is no valid reason to believe in CAGW… yet, they want to act just in case they find a valid reason.

    I have an idea Jan. Since you KNOW most people believe in CAGW. Why don’t we have a voluntary system in place where people who BELIEVE in CAGW, can pay for it with THEIR money. They can keep their solar panels and wind mills and not allow us deniers to use the green energy.

  139. Jan: Perhaps you don’t have comprehension of reading. It is rare that a question can actually be wrong, but you succeed over and over again in posing questions to things not stated. You are so far off in the weeds, that you often cannot form cogent questions. I believe now that this is intentional.

    First: A theory is not evidence of warming, just as a theory does not make someone a witch.

    I never said the “science community is corrupt.” I made a cogent point about one aspect of the IPCC peer review process, and from that you create words and meaning out of thin air. It is quite offensive when people are trying politely to engage you and you produce drivel in response.

    I find you quite offensive, and will refrain from further responding to your incorrect questions.

  140. PS – there is plenty of scientific evidence from satellite data supporting the following:
    6) Satellite data show that the feedback effect of water vapor (which is a necessary component of the IPCC GHG warming theory) has been actually neutral to negative –not positive as was claimed by the IPCC. The IPCC’s models all show water vapor feedback as positive. This is now shown to be false based on all of the best observations.

    I will not do the work for the person who posed the question. But will offer that they start with Richard Lindzen, Roy Spencer.

  141. Mario Lento says:

    July 18, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    Jan:

    You have backed yourself into a hole. You wrote and continue to write philosophical statements because you have nothing concrete. You wrote: “However in some cases we only have a theory and no reliable observations, and that does not mean that concern is disproven by the lacking observations.”
    ++++++++++++++++++++
    This is pure nonsense Jan. Do not say “No reliable observations” The observations that we have were created by people who were hoping for continued warmth, but found none. I think we can reliably say that observations reliably rule out NO WARMTH.

    With all due respect Mario, this is nonsense. Take a look at the different temperature records at

    http://woodfortrees.org

    Take a look at HADSST for global sea temperature, the GISTEMP or HADCRUT global mean, or any other of you choice.

    You may also choose the BEST, which is the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature record which was created as a response to criticism of the current records. This open database should address your concern that The observations that we have were created by people who were hoping for continued warmth . To see a clear trend you need to smooth the data by for instance taking the mean of 13 samples.

    The records go back to the 19th century. You see an increase don’t you?

    You can for instance see that all years after 2000 were warmer than any year before 1990. Do that rule out any warmth?

    A much debated fact we also see in the records is that the temperature increase seems to have stopped around 2000 and have since stayed on that high level without any further increase. Nobody know for sure why the increase has stopped and nobody know whether it will stay on that high level, or start rising or falling.

    However, any conclusions on climate change cannot be based on the less than two decades of observations of steady state; one has to take at least a 50-years perspective. What we do know from these observations is that we live in a period with very high global temperatures compared to what we saw before 1990.

  142. Mario Lento says:

    July 18, 2013 at 10:10 pm

    I never said the “science community is corrupt.” I made a cogent point about one aspect of the IPCC peer review process, and from that you create words and meaning out of thin air. It is quite offensive when people are trying politely to engage you and you produce drivel in response.

    I find you quite offensive, and will refrain from further responding to your incorrect questions.

    I am truly sorry if was mistaken there Mario. I hope you accept my apology
    But what you said was:

    2) Questioning the warmists’ claims will not get you funding. No one pays to be told there is no problem.

    3) No skeptic, regardless of how nice or reasonable they are, is allowed in the peer review IPCC process. If they make it in under the radar, their papers do not get credence.

    I think the cause of this calamity is that you may have misunderstood the funding and peer review process.

    IPPC does not fund any climate research. The climate research is funded by more or less the same sources as other scientific research such as universities, research institutions and governments.

    The same with peer review. There is no such thing as the IPCC peer review process IPCC does not perform any peer reviews, they only set as a requirement that papers has to be peer reviewed in the scientific community before they are considered by IPPC .

    I misunderstood your claim to mean that you thought that all scientific funding and peer review process was more or less corrupt.

  143. Mario, from what you say I take that you are deeply offended and that the debate is over.

    I just want to say that it was not my intention to offend you.

    I have followed a generally accepted rule of good discussion ethic all the way; to respond to how I understand what you say and never question your motives or qualifications.

    That’s the best I can do.

    All the best to you,

    Jan

    • Jan: You change people’s words, and then pose rhetorical questions based on those changed words. People reading your posts might get the impression that I have said things that I have NOT said.

      Like I said earlier, you seem like a polite guy. But I am offended by how you change people’s words in a debate. A conversation with you is in fact a train wreck with no redeeming value. You’ve offered zero value in this discussion.

  144. Mario,

    I had hoped to end this debate but I cannot let something which I read as a downright false claim, stay without comment.

    I have never, ever changed people’s word to make it look like they have said things they have not.

    I leave the quoting unchanged in a “blockquote” tag, and then comment on that in the paragraph below the quote. There is never any doubt which words are mine and which are yours.

    I then may rephrase your words to make the meaning stand out more clearly and sometimes ask rhetorical questions, but that is a perfectly normal way of debating. Then you have the opportunity to respond either ”Yes, I mean that” or ”No, you got it wrong” and then explain.

    You should not be offended by that.

    I have brought my viewpoints and a good deal of facts to this debate. You may not like those viewpoints or facts but that it has zero value is only your subjective viewpoint. The fact that my comment started a rather lengthy debate indicates the opposite.

    Good bye

  145. Jan Kjetil Andersen says:
    July 20, 2013 at 10:38 pm
    Mario,

    I had hoped to end this debate but I cannot let something which I read as a downright false claim, stay without comment.

    I have never, ever changed people’s word to make it look like they have said things they have not.
    ++++++++++++++++++
    Jan: This is the last comment. You are not truthful. You’ve posted things such as the following many times. “You think the scientific community is entirely corrupt. It is an extreme position though.” When I never said any such thing. I wasted my time too many times pointing out that you respond to things I had never said.

    So you continue with duplicit words after I asked you to stop.

  146. Mario

    I responded to your claim:

    2) Questioning the warmists’ claims will not get you funding. No one pays to be told there is no problem.
    3) No skeptic, regardless of how nice or reasonable they are, is allowed in the peer review IPCC process. If they make it in under the radar, their papers do not get credence.

    It is a little bit hard to understand what you mean in the last claim, but the only meaning that made sense to me was that you meant that one would neither get funding nor peer review if one were a climate skeptic.

    If you really meant that, I could not draw any other conclusions than that you thought that the scientific community was entirely corrupt.

    But you commented on this later and stated:
    I made a cogent point about one aspect of the IPCC peer review process,

    And from that comment it is clear that you do not know what the peer review process is.

    It is no such thing as the IPCC peer review process

    The peer review is not done by IPCC at all; it is done by the scientific community. Peer reviews are required as a quality assurance by most scientific journals before publishing. IPCC has just set a requirement that all papers which are used as references in their scientific assessment reports should be based on published and peer reviewed articles.

    You seem to be ill informed about the scientific process Mario, and you have no reason to be offended because I correct you.

  147. Jan: You prove me correct, I said “warmists” and “IPCC” – and you translated that the whole “scientific community”.

    Enough – just stop.

Comments are closed.