Spencer on Waxman-Markey's Cap and Trade

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Cap and Trade and the Illusion of the New Green Economy

Dr. Roy Spencer, from his blog at www.drroyspencer.com

July 1st, 2009

I don’t think Al Gore in his wildest dreams could have imagined how successful the “climate crisis” movement would become. It is probably safe to assume that this success is not so much the result of Gore’s charisma as it is humanity’s spiritual need to be involved in something transcendent – like saving the Earth.

After all, who wouldn’t want to Save the Earth? I certainly would. If I really believed that manmade global warming was a serious threat to life on Earth, I would be actively campaigning to ‘fix’ the problem.

But there are two practical problems with the theory of anthropogenic global warming: (1) global warming is (or at least was) likely to be a mostly natural process; and (2) even if global warming is manmade, it will be immensely difficult to avoid further warming without new energy technologies that do not currently exist.

On the first point, since the scientific evidence against global warming being anthropogenic is what most of the rest of this website is about, I won’t repeat it here. But on the second point…what if the alarmists are correct? What if humanity’s burning of fossil fuels really is causing global warming? What is the best path to follow to fix the problem?

Cap-and-Trade

The most popular solution today is carbon cap-and-trade legislation. The European Union has hands-on experience with cap-and-trade over the last couple of years, and it isn’t pretty. Over there it is called their Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). Here in the U.S., the House of Representatives last Friday narrowly passed the Waxman-Markey bill. The Senate plans on taking up the bill as early as the fall of 2009.

Under cap-and-trade, the government institutes “caps” on how much carbon dioxide can be emitted, and then allows companies to “trade” carbon credits so that the market rewards those companies that find ways to produce less CO2. If a company ends up having more credits than they need, they can then sell those credits to other companies.

While it’s advertised as a “market-based” approach to pollution reduction, it really isn’t since the market did not freely choose cap-and-trade…it was imposed upon the market by the government. The ‘free market’ aspect of it just helps to reduce the economic damage done as a result of the government regulations.

The Free Market Makes Waxman-Markey Unnecessary

There are several serious problems with cap-and-trade. In the big picture, as Europe has found out, it will damage the economy. This is simply because there are as yet no large-scale, practical, and cost-competitive replacements for fossil fuels. As a result, if you punish fossil fuel use with either taxes or by capping how much energy is allowed to be used, you punish the economy.

Now, if you are under the illusion that cap-and-trade will result in the development of high-tech replacements for fossil fuels, you do not understand basic economics. No matter how badly you might want it, you can not legislate a time-travel machine into existence. Space-based solar power might sound really cool, but the cost of it would be astronomical (no pun intended), and it could only provide the tiniest fraction of our energy needs. Wind power goes away when the wind stops, and is only practical in windy parts of the country. Land-based solar power goes away when the sun sets, and is only practical in the sunny Southwest U.S. While I personally favor nuclear power, it takes forever to license and build a nuclear power plant, and it would take 1,000 1-gigawatt nuclear power plants to meet electricity demand in the United States.

And no one wants any of these facilities near where they live.

Fortunately, cap-and-trade legislation is not necessary anyway because incentives already exist – right now — for anyone to come up with alternative technologies for energy generation and energy efficiency. Taxpayers and consumers already pay for billions of dollars in both government research (through taxes) and private research (through the cost of goods and services) to develop new energy technologies.

Whoever succeeds in these efforts stands to make a lot of money simply because everything we do requires energy. And I do mean everything…even sitting there and thinking. Using your brain requires energy, which requires food, which requires fossil fuels to grow, distribute, refrigerate and cook that food.

Economic Competitiveness in the Global Marketplace

Secondly, when instituted unilaterally by a country, cap-and-trade legislation makes that country less competitive in the global economy. Imports and trade deficits increase as prices at home rise, while companies or whole industries close and move abroad to countries where they can be more competitive.

The Obama administration and congress are trying to minimize this problem by imposing tariffs on imports, but this then hurts everyone in all of the countries involved. Remember, two countries only willingly engage in trade with each other because it economically benefits both countries by reducing costs, thus raising the standard of living in those countries.

The Green Mafia

Third, cap-and-trade is a system that is just begging for cheating, bribing, and cooking the books. How will a company’s (or a farm’s) greenhouse gas emissions be gauged, and then monitored over time? A massive new bureaucracy will be required, with a litany of rules and procedures which have limited basis in science and previous experience.

And who will decide how many credits will initially be given by the government to each company/farm/industry? Does anyone expect that these decisions will be impartial, without political favoritism shown toward one company over another, or one industry over another? This is one reason why some high-profile corporations are now on the global warming bandwagon. They (or at least a few of their executives) are trying to position themselves more favorably in what they see to be an inevitable energy-rationed economic system.

Big Oil and Big Coal Will Not Pay for Cap-and-Trade

Fourth, it is the consumer – the citizen – who will pay for all of this, either in the form of higher prices, or reduced availability, or reduced economic growth. Companies have no choice but to pass increased costs on to consumers, and decreased profits to investors. You might think that “Big Business” will finally be paying their “fair share”, but Big Business is what provides jobs. No Big Business, no jobs.

The Green Jobs Illusion

Fifth, the allure of “green jobs” might be strong, but the economic benefit of those jobs is an illusion. The claim that many thousands of new green jobs will be created under such a system is probably true. But achieving low unemployment through government mandates does not create wealth – it destroys wealth.

Let me illustrate. We could have full employment with green jobs today if we wanted to. We could pay each other to dig holes in the ground and then fill the holes up again, day after day, month after month. (Of course, we’ll use shovels rather than backhoes to reduce fossil fuel use.) How’s that for a green jobs program?

My point is that it matters a LOT what kinds of jobs are created. Let’s say that today 1,000 jobs are required to create 1 gigawatt of coal-fired electricity. Now, suppose we require that electricity to come from a renewable source instead. If 5,000 jobs are needed to create the same amount of electricity with windmills that 1,000 jobs created with coal, then efficiency and wealth generation will be destroyed.

Sure, you can create as many green jobs as you want, but the comparative productivity of those jobs is what really matters. In the end, when the government manipulates the economy in such a fashion, the economy suffers.

And even if a market for green equipment (solar panels, windmills, etc.) does develop, there is little doubt that countries like China will be able to manufacture that equipment at lower cost than the United States. Especially considering all of our laws, regulations, limits, and restrictions.

So, What’s the Alternative?

If anthropogenic global warming does end up being a serious problem, then what can be done to move away from fossil fuels? I would say: Encourage economic growth, and burn fossil fuels like there is no tomorrow! Increased demand will lead to higher prices, and as long as the free market is allowed to work, new energy technologies will be developed.

As long a demand exists for energy (and it always will), there will be people who find ways to meet that demand. There is no need for silly awards for best inventions, etc., because the market value of those inventions will far exceed the value of any gimmicky, government-sponsored competitions.

Why are Politicians so Enamored by Cap-and-Trade?

Given the pain (and public backlash) the EU has experienced from two years’ experience with its Emissions Trading Scheme, why would our politicians ignore that foreign experience, as well as popular sentiment against cap-and-trade here at home, and run full-steam with eyes closed into this regulatory quagmire?

The only answer I can come up with is: more money and more power for government. As a former government employee, I am familiar with the mindset. While the goal of a private sector job is to create wealth, the government employee’s main job is to spend as much of that wealth as possible. A government agency’s foremost goal is self preservation, which means perpetuating a public need for the agency. The idea that our government exists to help enable a better life for its citizens might have been true 100 years ago, but today it is hopelessly naïve.

All Pain, No Gain

And finally, let’s remember what the whole purpose of carbon cap-and-trade is: to reduce future warming of the climate system. Even some prominent environmentalists are against Waxman-Markey because they do not believe it will substantially reduce carbon dioxide emissions here at home. To the extent that provisions are added to the bill to make it more palatable to politicians from agricultural states or industrial states, it then accomplishes even less of what it is intended to accomplish: reductions in carbon dioxide emissions.

And even if cap-and-trade does what is intended, the reduction in CO2 emissions as a fraction of global CO2 emissions will moderate future warming by, at most, around one tenth of a degree C by late in this century. That is probably not even measurable.

Of course, this whole discussion assumes that the climate system is very sensitive to our carbon dioxide emissions. But if the research we are doing is correct, then manmade global warming is being overestimated by about a factor of 5, and it is the climate system itself that causes climate change…not humans.

If that is the case, then nothing humanity does is going to substantially affect climate one way or the other. Indeed, given the fact that life on Earth depends upon the tiny amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, I continue to predict that more atmospheric CO2 will, in the end, be a good thing for life on Earth.

Yet, many politicians are so blinded by the additional political power and tax revenue that will come from a cap-and-trade system that they do not want to hear any good news from the science. For instance, in my most recent congressional testimony, the good news I presented was met with an ad hominem insult from Senator Barbara Boxer.

I can only conclude that some politicians actually want global warming to be a serious threat to humanity. I wonder why?

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149 thoughts on “Spencer on Waxman-Markey's Cap and Trade

  1. Maybe OT, but somewhat a propos considering Dr Spencer’s “I wonder why?”:
    “Now, there is a superabundance of technical intellectuals, and their mentality has changed very sharply. The skilled man, who would formerly never listen to revolutionary talk, is now greatly interested in it. Recently I was dining with the Royal Society, our great English scientific society. The President’s speech was a speech for social planning and scientific control. To-day, the man at the head of the Royal Society holds revolutionary views, and insists on the scientific reorganisation of human society.”
    — H.G. Wells, letter to Josef Stalin, 1932

  2. Very well put, the whole post!
    Now, I just want to point out one uh… “minute” thing… that REALLY bothers me about the whole energy issue. It has little to do with the post, but still…
    Coal and oil provide far more than energy. I’ve charts/diagrams that show just how important these resources are, how the compounds they provide branch into just about every aspect of our lives.
    So all the energy that coal and oil provide not only do so very well, but what they are also gives that generated energy a purpose, provides the very basis for an industrial economy. Try getting away without steel, rubber, plastic, and lubricants (to name just four things). Not even nuclear (being a net consumer of those afore mentioned things), for all the mega-wattage it can provide, can not even come close to doing what oil and coal can do.
    So whatever the would-be alternatives turn out to be… they have their work cut out for them! It will not only have to provide the kick, it will have to provide numerous other byproducts in order to as economical or more economical than coal and oil.
    And thus far, I ain’t seen anything yet( and I doubt that I will in my lifetime)
    I just wanted to point that out because it’s never mentioned, not even among the best commentary I’ve come across over the years. I mean… why do we worry about JUST energy output, when so many other things matter as well?

  3. Perhaps, slightly OT.
    In 1988 I was fortunate to be able to lease a waterfront property on an island off Mersing in Malaysia. I built a house and a jetty for my boat, the jetty is 112 meters long, with piles of Malaysian teak, the local contractor before driving the piles ( a tripod with a rope and a big stone hand shaped as a hammer and 8 men to pull the rope) painted the part that would remain under water and cut a ring in the wood to show the workmen where to stop driving the piles, this ring was a work of art as the piles were driven at different times but somehow they all arrived at mean high tide.
    Over the years my family and I have spent 2-3 months a year there and next year i hope to retire and live there permanently. The point that I want to make is this, until I started following WUWT I never gave a thought to sea levels, but now I have, as I have a ‘personal’ gauge going back to 1988, as the bay in which the jetty is located is sheltered, and in a area that has next to no sea turbulence, ( natives think nothing go fishing and visiting 50 miles offshore in a dugout ) a normal wave is about 6-12 inches, yep you guessed it no I repeat NO changes in sea level.

  4. And, gosh, I wouldn’t be doing my self-appointed duty of drawing people’s attention to things if I didn’t point out that…
    When priced in gold, the cost of a bbl of oil has remained remarkably stable over the last 60 years (!), even during the war, the post war era, the OPEC embargo, the Gulf War of the 90’s, and the recent run-up to the $150/bbl. The price of oil in gold has remained in the range of about 2.5 to 3.5 grams of gold per bbl! Right now, it’s at about 2.25 grams, an all-time low!
    http://goldprice.org/james-turk/uploaded_images/Oil-Price-780567.GIF
    http://goldprice.org/james-turk/index.html
    And it just makes me wonder about what they mean when they say “when the price of oil rises, more resources will become economical to drill”. Because so far in my analysis of the gold/oil ratio, it seems to me that oil becomes cheaper in gold when it becomes more expensive in dollars. And dollar fluctuations being a function of interest rates being out of control of the free-market…
    Well, it just boggles the mind into a state of wonder. Also, the whole peak oil theory rests on things like cost analysis. Makes me wonder if in fact we are running out of economical oil at all or if we in fact much much more of it than is oft reported.

  5. America, they are steeling your freedom.
    Government is turning into a theater where what is said and what is done is as different as Venus and Mars.
    Don’t take it.
    The 4th of July is a good day to show them where you stand.
    Visit a Tea Party.

  6. OT, but Randal Munroe just posted a comic at xkcd.com today that Anthony can use in any prediction related blog entry. Recommended for Al Gore’s “in five years the Arctic will be ice free” and the like.
    http://xkcd.com/605/

  7. As a European, I really wonder where this idea that C&T has seriously damaged the EU economy comes from? It started in January 2005 and since then the GDP growth has been 2.1 (2005) 3.3 (2006) 3.1 (2007), while the GDP in 2008 went down to 1.8 because of the subprime crisis. In the US the evolution was 4.40 (2005) 3.20 (2006) 3.20 (2007) and 2 in 2008.
    In other words, since it was implemented the GDP growth rate has comparatively increased in Europe while it decreased in the US. Or, at least, the were equal. So where’s the problem?

  8. “Flanagan (02:15:03) :
    As a European, I really wonder where this idea that C&T has seriously damaged the EU economy comes from? It started in January 2005 and since then the GDP growth has been 2.1 (2005) 3.3 (2006) 3.1 (2007), while the GDP in 2008 went down to 1.8 because of the subprime crisis. In the US the evolution was 4.40 (2005) 3.20 (2006) 3.20 (2007) and 2 in 2008.
    In other words, since it was implemented the GDP growth rate has comparatively increased in Europe while it decreased in the US. Or, at least, the were equal. So where’s the problem?”
    So far off the mark it’s unreal. The European implementation of an “ETS” has done nothing but raise billions of euros. It has not “kick started” the Green revolution. It has not reduced greenhouse emissions.

  9. Dr. Spencer is of course correct.
    But I have to admit that I’m getting tired of always reading the same narratives. Everything he has written I’ve read 10 times somewhere else already, and it is getting tiresome.
    Why can’t the climate just cool another degree or two Celsius more, and then we could be done with it.
    I showing symptoms of batttle fatigue.

  10. Flanagan,
    You ought to enroll in a basic economics course.
    Artificially high energy costs lead to higher prices, a greater competitive disadvantage and thus a huge net loss of jobs.
    Then there’s the price of greater government intrusion into our private lives.

  11. The car industry also provides a good example. Why do you think the US car industry is si low rightnow? And what about Fiat buying Chrysler?
    European constructors had to cope with increasingly stricter rules about CO2 emissions, something I think that could never be accepted in the US. The consequence is that those cars actually have incredibly low fuel consumption – in American standards. 70 mpg? 80 mpg? And these cars cost exactly the same as the American ones. The consumer doesn’t need to think twice before choosing… It is time the US wake up before it’s too late.

  12. The aim is to shut down our economies.
    This is the next step, reducing free trade!
    Obama and his gang are the executioners and they make the best of it the way they spend tax money and jet around the world.
    http://www.euractiv.com/en/climate-change/un-wto-call-trade-shift-halt-climate-change/article-183687?Ref=RSS
    Obama and his gang are the executioners and they make the best of it, the way they spend tax money, the way they are jetting around the world.
    Think about the 4th of July and visit a Tea Party.

  13. Roy left out one of the most important parts of the argument, the Indians and Chinese won’t play ball.
    Most of the growth in emissions in the next 20, 30, 40 years will come from these 2 big countries each with a population of 1 billion plus and by 2040 they will emit around 50% of the planet’s co2.
    They have stated often enough that they will not reduce their use of fossil fuels ,so anything wealthy first world countries try and accomplish will be a waste of time and money.
    We may as well flush those trillions of dollars down the toilet for all the good we will do.
    In other words we cannot keep up with our reductions and match their growth in co2 in the years to come, therefore co2 levels must inevitably rise.

  14. Nice essay Dr. Spencer, but like most discussions of this topic it fails to address the aspect which I have always found most troubling. That is the almost automatic, and to my thinking weakly supported, assumption that if the predicted warming does eventuate it will necessarily be catastrophic for all life on the planet. In my own efforts to understand this controversy, I have come upon a fair number statements from seemingly authoritative people, who actually spend their time investigating catastrophic weather phenomena (hurricanes, cyclones,tornadoes,droughts,etc.) who question this conventional wisdom. Given the intellectual thuggery that people who have the temerity to challenge climate orthodoxy expose themselves to, I strongly suspect that there may exist a larger population who share this belief, but aren’t willing to incur the abuse and or the financial cost of speaking out.
    To my mind the only path that makes sense is to pursue a path which produces the greatest amount of wealth for the greatest number of people on the planet, since any society’s ability to adapt to and survive the vagaries that the climate may present is directly related to its’ relative wealth. Even if the Waxman Markey bill could absolutely guarantee flatline temperatures from now until 2100 the sacrifices of liberty and prosperity that it demands would make it an incredibly stupid thing to do. And if continuing to burn fossil fuels exactly as we have continues to move a growing percentage of the world to middle class standards of living (the burgeoning prosperity of China and India have created a situation where for the first time in history a majority of the planet’s population is now middle class) even if we could prove that a warmer climate would result, it would still be the smart thing to do.

  15. I’ve heard it that
    “Daylight Saving” was the ultimate political delusion – let politicians think they controlled time.
    Methinks this has now have been trumped

  16. Flanagan (02:15:03) : “…” (on GDP)
    What you need to look at is the ratio of GDP to debt. GDP to debt means that, for every new dollar (or in your case, euro) created a certain amount of return can be exected. If the ratio is postive, then every new dollar in debt will generate a postive GDP. If, on the other hand, the ratio is less than 1:1, then every new dollar costs more to make than it’s worth. So if it’s 1: .99, then every 99 cents of GDP growth costs one dollar of debt to make.
    This doesn’t stop GDP from APPEARING to grow, however. It can, and just so long as people don’t see the dark side of the moon, government and thier economists can claim anything they want by pointing to the growing GDP, no matter how lame-brained or ham-fisted their spending is.
    If you’re really, truly curious about the subject, Flannigan, I suggest, as someone already did, that you read up on economics and economic indicators. But debt to GDP isn’t exactly econ 101 and the info on such isn’t exactly readily available. It’s a bit more advanced a concept. What you’ll need to do is learn to use the data that the ECB (in your case) puts out, and learn to derive the ratio from that info. Or perhaps you can find an economist that can do it for you and explain it.
    Wheather you do or don’t though, be warned that GDP alone is NOT the full story!

  17. from Gillian
    It really seems that the only Green Jobs which would be worthwhile are treadmills and rickshaws.

  18. Pat: your assertion on no reduction is somewhat strange. A whole bunch of countries decreased their emissions of CO2. Examples are: Belgium, France, Ireland, Portugal, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Sweden, etc. Other countries still increased their emissions, resulting in a globally slightly positive balance which is MUCH less than the US and than what would have been observed without these rules, of course.
    Pierre: unemployement in EU went from 8.9% in 2005 (when the ETS started) to 6.7% in 2008. Would you call that a ” huge net loss of jobs”?

  19. Dr. Roy Spencer is on the money again with his assessment of the Cap and Trade debacle.
    I think the tipping point is now fast approaching when the people of the Western world will wake up and smell the coffee big time.
    It’s not just the sham of global warming, but the constant erosion of our freedoms and the relentless pressure for world government which is making the ordinary man in the street start to think at last.
    We’re in for some interesting times over the next few years.

  20. This getting off foreign oil is a promise to the ignorant. I will continue to heat my house with oil. I will continue to drive my car with gasoline. How do they propose that I drive the 300 mile roundtrip I am making today? Stop for a 6 hr recharge in the middle? Anthony you might have an electric car, but my driveway only fits so many cars, I don’t have room nor cash for extra for a novelty item. Also, what is so bad about foreign oil? They pull the tanker up, push it through the pipelines and walla, for $2.75/g I can drive my 300 miles today for $40, that is a deal. Let’s use the Arab’s oil for now at $2.75/g and in 30 years when supplies decrease we can drill offshore and in Alaska sell ours for $200/barrel.
    Regarding alternative energy. It doesn’t exist. You can’t make energy out of dollars. Wind energy results in a net loss of dollars. More dollars are put in than energy is received.
    http://nofreewind.blogspot.com/2009/07/wind-turbines-do-not-create-energy.html
    Here is something about how ridiculous it is to think that we can run our electric cars on wind energy.
    http://nofreewind.blogspot.com/2009/05/texas-wind-doesnt-work.html

  21. “I wonder why?”
    Such a simple innocuous question. If I were try to give a full answer, it would turn into several books. But since they’ve already been written and are already in print, try starting with Atlas Shrugged. As a country we’re getting what we’ve always asked for from the government, be it local, state, or national – “do something.” There is no vast evil conspiracy plotting the demise of the country, we’re doing it ourselves to ourselves.

  22. “I can only conclude that some politicians actually want global warming to be a serious threat to humanity. I wonder why?”
    Because they are executing a sick UN doctrine that intends to set limits to world population and use of resources by reducing access to energy, limiting free trade and lowering consumption.
    The current crises is making millions of people “obsolete” and new legislation will reduce any chance of an economic recovery.
    In the mean time our politicians are having a frenzy.
    I am afraid we need a lot more than WUWT to stop this political crime against humanity.

  23. Hi
    One of the moderators will probably grab this and put it in an appropriate place.
    The link below is to a BBC programme called One Planet, in this weeks episode Pen Hadow of Catlin fame explains to the presenter the terrible state of the ice thickness he found on his epic journey.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p003jd5r
    Cheers
    Peter

  24. Probably GDP does not tell the whole story. The debt-to-GDP ratio for EU was 57% in 2007, in the US it was 65% following OECD.

  25. In case anybody is interested, here is a radio interview Richard Lindzen did in Boston yesterday. In it is says he is no longer a skeptic, but a full “denier”, on account of the overwhelming evidence against severe AGW.
    http://audio.wrko.com/

  26. Re: ETS, C&T, China ….
    I asked this question on a previous thread but I will repeat it here.
    Imagine you are writing your thesis one hundred years from now on the industrial growth of the late twentieth century. You are looking for global indicators to identify booms, recessions, the collapse of the USSR, the industrial growth of China or Japan … whatevever.
    Would this graph be of any use whatsoever? According to the graph, the history of worldwide industry for the last 50 years can be summmed up in the formula y=mx+c. Who knew?
    ETS, C&T have nothing to do with CO2 reduction. They are not pegged to anything measurable other than the personal fortunes of those who get into the scam early. If it were really about CO2 then the m in the mx+c (or at least some other real world measure) would control the price of “certificates”. I comfortably predict that the graph will remain completely unaffected by the great carbon scam.

    Louis Redshaw, head of environmental markets at Barclays Capital predicts that ‘carbon will be the world’s biggest commodity market – and it could become the world’s biggest market overall.’

    Welcome to the future – trading fresh air.

  27. Nev (03:03:36) :
    We need more voices like Anthony’s and Roy’s. And for those who haven’t seen it yet, Monckton of Brenchley has posted this Air Con extract which underlines Roy’s post above with some very disturbing facts and figures:
    http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/commentaries_essays/seriously_inconvenient_truth.html

    I wend to the link. It sounds like the Illuminati.
    We should brace ourselves for the crash, because crash there will be if the west goes nuts on cap and trade and China and India dance to the banks.
    Or sacrifice to the gods requesting that the weather turns two degrees colder this winter and the icebergs start moving down. It is about the only thing that will stop this behemoth.

  28. http://www.businessinsider.com/us-joins-the-rest-of-the-world-in-a-climate-pact-for-the-first-time-2009-7
    US Signs Up For A Global Climate Pact For The First Time
    The U.S. is ready to join the rest of the world in a climate pact for the first time in history, Bloomberg reports.
    The U.S. is joining other developed countries for the first time in saying global greenhouse gases should peak by 2020 and the average worldwide temperature shouldn’t rise more than 2 degrees Celsius, according to a draft document of the Group of Eight industrialized nations.
    “This is a crucial year for taking rapid and effective global action to combat climate change,” according to the text, not yet final, that is being negotiated by government officials ahead of next week’s G-8 summit in L’Aquila, Italy. The draft was circulated by nongovernmental organizations.
    World leaders at the gathering, including President Barack Obama, also will discuss a new climate treaty to replace the Kyoto Protocol after it expires in 2012. Almost 200 countries are set to gather in Copenhagen in December to debate terms for a new accord to combat rising temperatures and sea levels.
    Obama, who will be chairman of the climate meeting, will be watched by other leaders for signals on where the U.S. stands on issues such as emissions-reduction targets and how much rich nations should do to help poorer countries deal with the impacts of climate change.
    The Democratic president will arrive in Italy with a victory to promote after the U.S. House approved legislation last week that would set the first-ever U.S. cap on greenhouse gases from power plants, factories and other sources. The Senate hasn’t yet acted on a measure.
    end of article
    I wonder if Obama really believes the BS he is spreading around.
    This is a “lunatic” President.

  29. This is an extremely well written article.
    “it is humanity’s spiritual need to be involved in something transcendent – like saving the Earth.”
    We have been indoctrinated since our elementary school days with this spiritualism. Most individuals do not think independently and have a strong desire to conform (and to want those around them to conform as well). To even question AGW shows a callous disregard for our Planet Earth in the minds of many.
    The scene from the movie Apocalypto, where humans were sacrificed to the gods and their heads thrown down the temple steps just popped into my mind.

  30. The economy is just booming Flannagan. European unemployment is over 9% and it is going to get a lot worse.
    That is such a well layed out economic explanation by Dr. Spencer.
    The real problem in the US is that only a fool would invest their money into an industrial operation in such a high tax, high regulation country.
    I have worked in the auto industry over thirty years and the regulation has increaesed and increased. Now there is one person actually doing the engineering and likely about three people regulating that persons work.
    Whether cap and trade passes the Senate the damage is already done. The business people our quietly discussing this and deciding what to do. Well except for the government owned ones like GM.

  31. Hansen
    1) Makes political statements about AGW
    2) Controls a widely used temperature product
    3) Temperature product has had to be corrected due to errors in the past
    4) Temperature product still contains questionable traits (surface stations, corrections)
    5) Treated like a traitor and savaged on a daily basis
    Spencer
    1) Makes political statements about AGW
    2) Controls a widely used temperature product
    3) Temperature product has had to be corrected due to errors in the past (so bad, in fact, that the sign of the change was wrong)
    4) Temperature product still contains questionable traits (seasonal anomaly cycle, by far the coolest of the analyses of the data)
    5) Treated like a hero and the UAH temperature record is almost never scrutinized
    Interesting.

  32. Good article from Dr. Spencer.
    We have a good example of how this can work as a result of the current economic recession.
    Preliminary estimates show the growth of CO2 was only 1.7% in 2008 as a result of high oil prices and the world-wide recession (compared to 3.5% previously). So, a 5% decline in the economy can halve or eliminate the growth rate of CO2 considering the recession didn’t start until later in the year.
    But a low growth rate still amounted to emissions of about 31.5 billion tonnes of CO2 (low growth still means increasing). Natural processes are removing about 13 to 14 billion tonnes of CO2 each year right now.
    The CO2 concentration in the atmosphere is still going to increase by about 2 ppm (only 1.7% higher than the rate before the recession.)
    But we can eventually stop the growth of CO2 by having our economies contract by 5% each year. In 20 or 30 years, when half of us are unemployed, CO2 emissions will fall to the level where natural sinks/processes can stop the growth of CO2 in the atmosphere.
    Simple math.

  33. The six EPA toxic gases are carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, and sulfur hexafluoride.
    Enron Launches Online SO2 Allowance Auction
    March 9, 2000
    The initial emissions allowance auction kicks off March 13 and extend through March 16. During this period, users can place online orders, free of charge, for the purchase or sale of SO2 allowances. Enron plans to sell a minimum of 15,000 allowances during the auction, subject to the online reservation price. After this initial auction, Enron plans to parlay emissions allowances on a monthly basis.
    “Using the EnronOnline platform to offer auction capabilities will help increase liquidity in the SO2 allowances market,” said Greg Woulfe, director of emissions trading at Enron North America. “The online auction system is efficient and convenient for customers and provides the advantage of a streamlined transaction process.”
    Enron launched its online auction system in the U.K. when it ran its second annual natural gas storage auction, EnBank, via the EnronOnline website. The first round of online bidding ended with the completion of several long-term storage contracts.
    EnronOnline is a global, Internet-based system for conducting wholesale energy and other commodity transactions with Enron. More than 25,000 transactions have been completed via EnronOnline since its inception in November.
    James Hansen was an Enron buddy. Enron crashed due to fraudulent financial statements.
    Madoff is in the slammer. Carbon traDING IS THE NEXT BUBBLE AND ALSO GAMING INDUSTRY. Watch your wallet.

  34. Flanagan (02:15:03) : “…” (on GDP)
    What you need to look at is the ratio of GDP to debt. GDP to debt means that, for every new dollar (or in your case, euro) created a certain amount of return can be exected. If the ratio is postive, then every new dollar in debt will generate a postive GDP. If, on the other hand, the ratio is less than 1:1, then every new dollar costs more to make than it’s worth. So if it’s 1: .99, then every 99 cents of GDP growth costs one dollar of debt to make.
    Just a comparative example. We will need GDP growth to outgrow the growth of debt. Gov spending and applying the multiplyer effect causes 1 dollar spent to grow over time to others having income and spending. Those incomes are taxed. A gov dollar spent multiplies to 1.25 to 1.5 times itself.
    A tax cut dollar applying the longer term multiplier effect is closer to 3 dollars. But the disadvantage on a tax cut is lack of gov control. In other words, both your friends and enemies enjoy tax cuts. In gov spending for growth, yoou can direct the money to friends only. If you have a railroad friend, he gets the money.

  35. I’m curious as to the “ad hominem” comment by Ms. Pelosi to Mr. Spenser.
    Anybody have a transcript snip?

  36. Ron de Haan (02:37:04) :
    The aim is to shut down our economies.
    This is the next step, reducing free trade!
    Obama and his gang are the executioners and they make the best of it the way they spend tax money and jet around the world.
    http://www.euractiv.com/en/climate-change/un-wto-call-trade-shift-halt-climate-change/article-183687?Ref=RSS
    Obama and his gang are the executioners and they make the best of it, the way they spend tax money, the way they are jetting around the world.

    No, they are just hypocrites. WTO, the flagship of globalization calls against free trade? Sorry, I’m not going to buy into this nonsense.
    Who will be the next main voice in the campaign against free trade? World Bank, or the IMF? 🙂

  37. This entire post reads basically true. First the economic load will reduce jobs as economic loads necessarily do. While you’ve done a good job pointing out the extra people required to do the same thing, the balance has to be found somewhere in the economy. When we’re talking substantial percentages of GDP the job qty isn’t small either.
    The other quibble I have is with the rational for the bill from a political perspective.
    Why are Politicians so Enamored by Cap-and-Trade?
    The real reason politicians like it is because CO2 becomes a currency which has no real assigned value and can be assigned at random by politicians in exchange for campaign contributions, personal favors and the like. For instance, if worldwide shipping company AA installs high efficiency lighting on their vehicles they can say they save X CO2, by making a contribution to a group of politicians they can receive carbon credits reducing their fuel cost.
    The problem is, nobody will know how much carbon was saved and the value of the carbon credit will exceed the value of the campaign outlay. It’s already happened ironically, in true quid pro quo fashion this is how the bill got through congress. States and industries which complained received more carbon credits to dole out in exchange for their votes.
    It’s a fake currency of unknowable value and unstoppable limits exchanged for real currency.
    Now that’s only part of the story, there is a large network of tax free foundations which are fully intertwined. Pick almost any 501 and follow the board names and investments and you’ll find they are joined together.
    Barack Obama wants cap and trade because through the Ayers brothers he helped fund (by voting money) to form the Chicago CO2 exchange. These various charities are money laundering organizations which transfer money from deep pocketed people like Soros around the country. They are controlled by Banks, Government officials, politicians and more rarely celeberties.
    Due to Federal reporting requirements, the network is easily visible to anyone willing to spend two hours looking at board member names. I was shocked at how extensive and intertwined the payouts are.
    CO2 is a form of tax free money which has less regulation on how it can be distributed by politicians. After all, who will question when a politician pays off an energy company with CO2 credits for an improved efficiency -fill in whatever here – and nobody notices the back door payment to the politicians campaign to help support their cause.
    This is a post I did on my views a short while ago.
    http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2009/06/27/co2-currency-of-corruption/

  38. Soros is an investor in Powerspan, a company that scrubs and sequesters CO2 from coal fired plants. Follow the money trail.
    Well written article.

  39. Dr. Spencer’s last question is very interesting.
    There is a thread running through the AGW community that rejects any good news about how CO2 acts in the atmosphere and climate that is puzzling, to say the least.
    It will require a lot of time and research to research the causes and implications of this aspect of AGW and other social movements like it.

  40. Flanagan,
    As an European, I am ashamed at the lack of democracy that the EU has become.
    First, I didn’t approve the European Constitution, and not only me, but also the majority of the Europeans didn’t approve the European Constitution in the terms the french guy, I am not going to look for his name, wrote it. Being approved by the individual parliaments doesn’t count in my opinion. The European Constitution is something important enough to require a mayor consensus of the people of Europe.
    Second, I know that CO2 is good for the environment, as thousands of experiments and publications prove it. Doubling CO2 levels increase plant growth rate by at least 20%. The cap and trade system only hurts the economy, the whole of it, agricultural, industrial and services economy.
    Third, I don’t believe in AGW. And that is all they can offer me, Beliefs in a lousy religion. They can’t prove that the climate sensitivity to doubling CO2 levels is 3º C, 2.4º C, 4.5º C or 0.3º C. If you can’t measure the climate sensitivity they are not talking about SCIENCE, they are talking about cargo cult. AGW is, therefore, a religion, not a branch of science. And last time I checked there was freedom of religion in Europe. I don’t have to pay to support the Catholic or protestant churches in Europe and I don’t want to pay to support AGW.
    And Fourth, anything above the tithe or diezmo tax (10% of agricultural production) is institutionalized armed robbery. And we are already suffering from taxes well higher than 10%. IIRC, VAT in Germany is 21%. The roman empire flourished while the only taxes the romans had to pay was the tithe. and It collapsed when they started taxing everything.
    For all of the above, I think Europe is not a Democracy, but an Idiocracy.
    (Or maybe you should say Idiocrazy?)

  41. Thank you Dr. Spencer for your efforts
    “Yet, many politicians are so blinded by the additional political power and tax revenue that will come from a cap-and-trade system that they do not want to hear any good news from the science. For instance, in my most recent congressional testimony, the good news I presented was met with an ad hominem insult from Senator Barbara Boxer.”
    I watched video of your testimony and was personally shocked at your treatment. I believe that it is science be dammed, we ( the royal we of government ) are in charge. The royal we expect you to obey and pay your taxes as good serfs should. Again a shocking development in the U.S. All of the wealth accumulated by our forebarers and ourselves will be squandered by this new royalty that have not earned a dime of the money they are throwing away. This suicidal effort on their part is being called by them as “investment”. Unfortunately, the we are forcing us to join them.

  42. Much as I distrust any “fact” promulgated by Flanagan, he is the only one producing a statistic (without citations, links or caveats, of course) and everyone else is just talking around him. It’s fine talking about GDP to debt ratio, but just what is that ratio? And has Flanagan cherry-picked the economic performance of Monaco to represent Europe?

  43. Flanagan ( 02:15:03 )
    After a tiny little bit of research on my part I found out who you really are,
    Welcome aboard Barrack Obama.

  44. Jeff Id (06:42:33) : “The real reason politicians like it is because CO2 becomes a currency which has no real assigned value and can be assigned at random by politicians…”
    As Steve Forbes said yesterday on FoxNews, anytime the government wants to increase it’s “income” from selling CO2 warrants, they can just lower the CO2 cap.

  45. James Inhofe had a piece in Human Events today that blasted C&T , from an economical/political point of view . He didn’t mention the science , but he’s bound to be aware of it .

  46. Ron de Haan (02:04:30) :
    The 4th of July is a good day to show them where you stand.
    Visit a Tea Party.

    A capital idea. Print up your carbon credits (preferrable on a squeezeble medium) and toss them into the briny.

  47. FredA (05:51:47) : Uh…no. Just no. No one treats Hansen like a traitor-many treat him like a god or a prophet. Spencer is not a hero but to many (including you apparently) a sinister, biased person, and by a very few as a scientist who is trying very hard to get at the truth. More over, this innuendo that suggests that UAH is incorrect is a tiresome bag of trite from the movement. IN FACT research has shown UAH to be superior*. There is nothing “suspicious” other than the fact that “by far the coolest” is treated by you as a “problem”…you tire me.
    *See:
    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2008/2007JD008864.shtml
    As for political statements, well, In My Arrogant (An Correct!) Opinion, the difference is that Spencer gets the politics right, and Hansen gets them flat out wrong. If you have a problem with the arguments in the post….try actually challenging them on merits, not with innuendo!

  48. NOAA (Spaceweather.com) states that the current stretchout in the demise of Sunspor Cycle No. 23 is unprecedented for at least the past 100 years. If this portends the onset of a period of natural global cooling (as occurred following similar stretchouts in the past) and it actually happens, will Nancy Pelosi and her ilk proclaim vindication for their successful preemptive policy? Or, perhaps upon eventual popular recognition that they wrecked our economy unnecessarily for such a foolish reason as unproven AGW, will she and Henry Waxman and their fellow-travelers suffer shame and opprobrium forevermore?

  49. Flannigan my friend,
    The European economic effect of ETS cannot be judged as a single trading block it must be judged as the effect on individual countries within the EU. The Caps were not applied evenly across the member countries and certain high growth countries who are the newest EU members actually were allow to grow at the expense of richer nations. I realize that the EU is a semi-socialist construct that was supposed to do this, but if I read the political ramifications of this economic situation by simply looking at the EU elections it would seem the EU is lurching to the right in response.
    Additionally the ETS was done exactly the same as the Cap and Trade is being proposed, they gave away too many credits and the Cap was too high to impact emissions (the main driver in emission reduction in the EU was the recession felt worst in the UK and Germany but Denmark home of the windmill was the first to enter the recession, one word to summarize…Spain) and was under cut by the Global Recession. You wait and see what happens in the next four auctions when the recovery starts and the cap is lowered, when growth runs up against the cap (which has not happened yet under the ETS broadly) so you have yet to feel the true impact economy wide.Yet you can ask a steel foundry worker in Germany how ETS is working out for them.
    I simply put it this way, there was a 3% reduction in Worldwide Emissions in the last 12 months, so this is what the global economy looks like with 3% less (even with China and India gorwing at 5-7%) … now imagine 20%, then imagine 80%.

  50. A note to AGWers: If you have beachfront property and you are really concerned about sea level rise, I will be happy to trade with you. After all, you really don’t want to live next to the beach when sea levels are rapidly rising.

  51. How much of Flanagan’s EU GDP is affected by their Emissions Trading Scheme? How would their GDP perform with that removed from the equation?

  52. FredA (05:51:47) :
    Hansen
    Spencer
    Interesting.

    Very good. Now repost it on RC with the names swapped.

  53. And of course bio fuels are much worse then fossil fuels according to the alarmists.
    http://www.atmos-chem-phys.net/8/389/2008/acp-8-389-2008.html
    My head is spinning and my stomach hurts thinking about where this might lead us to. The next thing these people are going to do is ban all plastic to save the baby whales. Well whose going to save us? When will we become endangered species from the efforts to save us?

  54. @ Benjamin, re important uses of oil:
    Welcome to my world. I write on this subject. Oil not only produces transportation fuels (gasoline, jet fuel, diesel, bunker fuel for ships) but petrochemical feedstocks, asphalt, lubricants, waxes, and greases.
    (as an aside, the EPA and California’s ARB compensate for byproducts in their ethanol from corn analysis, but do not do the same for non-fuel refinery products. Just a MINOR inconsistency that further invalidates the entire green-benefits of bio-fuels).
    See my post at http://energyguysmusings.blogspot.com/2008/07/renewable-energy.html
    The chemical engineers in the oil refining industry are of course aware of the importance of oil, beyond mere transportation purposes. It is a constant source of amusement to us that the nuclear-power promoters think that oil will disappear when the world runs off of nukes. I’d like to see a nuke make medications, or plastic, or carpet, or…the list runs to thousands of items.
    The reality is that nuclear power costs more than anyone can afford, and the cost of electric power in a state (U.S) goes UP as the percent of power produced from nuclear goes up.
    see http://sowellslawblog.blogspot.com/2009/04/nuclear-nuts.html
    and scroll down to the graph just below “Third, is nuclear power affordable?”

  55. We may see a more immediate disaster: If the import tariffs based on carbon content of production passes, China could well retaliate. They have made noises to this effect. If they sell or at least stop buying our debt, we will find ourselves in very deep water. (‘water’ used to avoid a well deserved snip)
    The last Depression really started with Smoot-Hawley. It could have been an normal recession, until the resulting trade war inflated it. It now seems that we will repeat the mistake of the past, having failed to learn from it. (misquoting Santayana)

  56. Kath (07:58:09) : I’m sorry but AGW or no, SLR or no, Beach front property is a BAD investment. Sure, its pretty, Beaches are nice, But I listen to Hurricane researchers on ALL sides of the AGW issue and they really do ALL agree that coastal development is extremely risky. There WILL be hurricanes in the future and almost assuredly THEY WILL damage your property. Stay on the coast, is my friendly advice to you.

  57. timetochooseagain (08:20:40) : ER, stay OFF the coast! Yikes! A disastrous typo on my part.

  58. timetochooseagain,
    Well, we have *several* miles of beach on the West Coast (a lot of it very near sea level) and nobody’s property values have fallen due to sea-level rising fears. I check this regularly, as I intend to buy a LOT of beach-front property when those values drop far enough.
    And no hurricanes.

  59. Tom in Florida (07:24:33) :
    This also allows them to ‘pump’ the market for their friends. Knowing a day in advance about a strong public statement on a CO2 cap change either way will create gigantic money making opportunities.

  60. Roger Sowell (08:38:32) : Us East-Coasters are arrogant and forget that the West is different…

  61. Simple falsification of the formula derived from Arrhenius hypothesis on the thermophysical properties of carbon dioxide:
    1. In the Permian, the concentration of carbon dioxide was 340 ppmV, lower than the current concentration (385 ppmV). Nevertheless, the anomaly of temperature was 10 °C. Contrasting with the 90s decade anomaly, which was 0.52 °C.
    2. During the Ordovician, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was 2240 ppmV; however, the anomaly of temperature was between -10 °C and -12 °C (a severe ice age occurred). If IPCC idea on AGW, derived from Arrhenius’ hypothesis, were applied, the change of temperature should have been 3 °C above the “standard” temperature, that is, it would have occurred a warmhouse instead an ice age.
    3. The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has never determined the sea level neither the percentage of flooded lands by the oceans; quite the opposite, as the ocean is heated up by incoming solar radiation, the volume of water expands and releases carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.
    4. The Pp of the carbon dioxide in the atmospher is so low that it has an absorptivity-emissivity excessively low as to be considered a factor of climate change.

  62. timetochooseagain (09:22:35) :
    It looks like the US West coast really doesn’t get ‘canes
    Very interesting plot. Western Africa and All of South America look safe too. Probably something to do with cold ocean currents, but interesting how strong the effect is.

  63. timetochooseagain,
    nice graphic of the cyclone tracks. To compensate for our lack of hurricanes, we get earthquakes, and maroons in the state legislature who imposed AB 32 on us (state-level climate change law, complete with cap and trade).
    Industries and other businesses are fleeing California while they can still obtain some value for their real estate, before the real problems from cap and trade laws begin.

  64. Results derived from Arrhenius’ hypothesis for the previous points:
    1. During the Permian, with that concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the formula derived from Arrhenius’ hypothesis gives a change of temperature of 0.23 °C; however, the change of temperature during the Permian was 10 °C above the “standard” temperature.
    2. During the Ordovician, with an atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide of 2240 ppmV, following the logics of Arrhenius and the IPCC, the change of temperature would have been 3 °C above the “standard” temperature. Nevertheless, despite the enormous concentration of that “greenhouse” (hah!) gas, an Ice Age occurred with a negative anomaly of -10 °C to -12 °C.
    3. Reference on the percentages of flooded continental area through geological eras:
    Ronov, A. B. 1994. Phanerozoic Transgressions and Regressions on the Continents: A Quantitative Approach Based on Areas Flooded by the Sea and Areas of Marine and Continental Deposition. American Journal of Science 294:777–801.
    4. The Pp of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is 0.00034 atm. The emissivity and absorptivity of any fluid substance are determined by its Pp in a given media. The lower the Pp, the lower the emissivity-absorptivity of the analyzed substance. From Hottel et al experiments, the emissivity-absorptivity of carbon dioxide at a Pp of 0.00034 atm in the atmosphere is 0.001. References:
    Pitts, Donald and Sissom, Leighton. Heat Transfer. 1998. McGraw-Hill.
    Modest, Michael F. Radiative Heat Transfer-Second Edition. 2003. Elsevier Science, USA and Academic Press, UK.
    Peixoto, José P., Oort, Abraham H. 1992. Physics of Climate. Springer-Verlag New York Inc. New York.
    Boyer, Rodney F. Conceptos de Bioquímica. 2000. International Thompson Editores, S. A. de C. V. México, D. F.
    P.S. Someone told me in a TV debate: “I don’t know what is wrong in your algorithms, but they are wrong…” Heh!

  65. Flanagan,
    Like the warmists, you are cherry picking.
    What about joblessness in 2009?
    Spain is the biggest when it comes to renewable energy / crap and trade. It’s now enjoying a wonderful 16% unemployment rate!
    Growth you find where energy is cheap and labor is flexible and skilled. Attributing growth to high energy costs is economic imbecility.

  66. Maybe that’s the wake up call America and Europe will get: a severe economic downturn with a sharp temperature drop. That would be enough to drive all those enviro-eco-nutjobs out of town.

  67. @ j.pickens (06:23:49)
    Ask and you shall receive. Here is the full exchange:
    SEN. BOXER: Mr. Spencer, did you quit NASA when Bill Clinton was president or George Bush was president?
    MR. SPENCER: I believe when George Bush was president.
    SEN. BOXER: I also want to point out that on your own blog you said you never were told you couldn’t speak about your scientific views. And I think that’s really key, because what we have happening now is the scientific views are being censored.
    And lastly, I guess there’s a certain congratulations. Rush Limbaugh referred to you as the official climatologist of the Rush Limbaugh Excellence in Broadcasting Network.
    MR. SPENCER: Yeah, that’s a tongue-in-cheek reference.
    SEN. BOXER: Right. But I just wanted to point that out for people to understand. You know, we know that Mr. Burnett has been forthcoming about his problems and where he stands, and I just want to make sure everybody knows what’s really happening.

  68. This country has to get going again. To do that will need cheap, reliable abundant energy. This cap and trade, carbon tax,etc will not allow this.
    Funny as a student of economic history mistakes of the Thirties appear as if they are being repeated.
    Hopefully, this massive government intrusion will be stopped so we won’t get GREAT DEPRESSION II.

  69. I actually read 1,000 pages of the dirty act last Friday. That is all the farther I got before they passed it. It is unbelievably intrusive in almost every aspect of life. This will do nothing positive for the environment, but it will enrich a lot of pols and people smart enough to game the system. It provides the groundwork for a lot of corruption.
    I believe that the figure of 2.5 million jobs lost PER YEAR is a little low, perhaps half or more. This would be a huge disaster for our country and our remaining industry, and many millions of people would perish in poverty.
    One place that is missing in the discussions about this act are the attacks on refrigerants. The act has them on a schedule that they are 1,430-14,000+ times as damaging as the demon CO2. That would make refrigeration and air conditioning prohibitively expensive when you go to buy those scam credits.
    The act would serve two purposes. 1)It would enrich certain well placed individuals. 2) It would cripple the country to the point that our reduced prosperity would eventually lead to a reduced population. That is called eugenics. Do we recall a certain environmentalist wishing for a virus to wipe mankind from the earth? It is a common theme for environmentalists. That is why they fight energy usage of all types, and now refrigeration too.
    Item two might sound a little extreme, but go and look into it. Check into ‘ol Zeke Emanuel, brother of Rahm, hanging with an old German eugenicist. Check the various “green” groups advocating population reduction or elimination.
    The one place where the act almost stuck a toe in the water of getting it right is tariffs. Our framers actually advocated high tariffs and low taxes domestically. I believe it was Lincoln that asked if a piece of rail was US made of foreign. Loosely quoted, he said that with foreign trade, you give money and get a rail. With a US made rail, you get the money and the rail, and 40 men get a day’s work.
    At the moment we have so much burden on producers with regulation, environmentalism, unions, and out of control lawsuit lottery, that we can not compete with moving production to third world countries. Either we need to dial back some of that liberalism or have protective measures at the border.
    Energy is the very source of our prosperity. That is why it is constantly under attack by people that hate other people and American prosperity.
    One final word of warning.. The buzz now is that it will NEVER pass the senate. That is a distraction to stop people from opposing it while they line up their senators. Be very vigilant. They want to smash this through while they are still in power and the sleeping giant of the population is still buying the algore CO2/AGW line of hokum.
    When I wrote my congressman last week about this, I termed it the ‘Cripple American Prosperity and Exponential Growth of Government Act of 2009’.

  70. I’m not sure if anyone mentioned this, but the government prefers cap and trade because it is hidden. The feel that most people won’t make the connection between C&T and the higher electric bills and gas costs (especially gas costs, which will be blamed on the “windfall profits” of “big oil”). That way, they can say “yay, we saved the planet!” without so much political backlash.
    In the end, I’m not sure C&T would be as opaque as the Dems hope. It could make it rough for that party after a while.
    An even bigger problem than C&T is the upcoming Copenhagen summit. C&T can be discarded by future congresses and administrations as the pain becomes too unpalatable. If we agree to an international treaty in Copenhagen, our constitution says that it must be adhered to, and that no act of congress can withdraw from it. We would need all of the other signatories to agree, but why would the developing countries agree to cut off all the money that we would be sending them? While C&T is a serious problem, Copenhagen could be the noose that would kill us off.

  71. Most amusing in the cartoon at the top of this thread is the nameplate on the vehicle. It says: “NASA MARS ROVER.” But like the once well-intended alarmists it seems to have landed on Venus. The focus of famed astro-physicist Jim Hansen.
    REPLY: Mars atmosphere is 95.32% CO2, but with very low pressure 0.13 psi, unlike Venus which has 96.5% CO2 and 1334 psi – Anthony

  72. Leif Svalgaard (09:47:37) : I think in West Africa the absence is related to the trade winds…The lack of cyclones in the South Atlantic seems to be a meteorological mystery, I can’t find anyone who has a n explanation for it…Maybe it is cold currents? Interestingly, there was one (very recent) exception to the general rule down there (naturally blamed on AGW). At the time, however, the water off of South America was unusually cold compared to the air above.

  73. Another Ian (03:13:39):
    I’ve heard it that
    “Daylight Saving” was the ultimate political delusion – let politicians think they controlled time.
    Methinks this has now have been trumped

    Absolutely agree… Daylight Saving Time is a waste of time, health and money. We have not seen any “savings” in our electricity bill. On the contrary, the expenses have increased.
    We are living near Hades’s home: high temperatures during the summer and moderately cold during the winter. Most people here are poor people who cannot spend in domestic air conditioning equipment, so they have to struggle against sizzling temperatures with fans or sweat. The hour on which they go to bed is the usual hour they would go without DST, so sleep patterns are one hour lesser than under standard daylight time.

  74. Roger Sowell (09:52:01) :
    we get earthquakes, and maroons in the state legislature…
    Don’t forget the hippies Roger; we’re lousy with hippies.

  75. Roger Sowell (08:18:33) : “…” (on the importance of crude)
    Thanks Roger. I’ll put those links on my to-read list (and I’ll read them, too!)
    But I have got to know… what did you think about the gold comparison? Do you think, or does anyone in the field that you know think that exploration/exploitation costs are distorted by the erratic moves of the currencies, such that it renders the peak oil prophecy self-fulfilling?
    henrychance (06:18:24) : “…” (on GDP and taxes)
    Hello, Henry. Well, I WOULD agree with what you said, IF these were normal times.
    However, for one, the multiplier has fallen off a cliff…
    http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/MULT
    That pretty much does it in for any hope of taxation working. But that might have been what you were saying. I’m just not sure, though.
    Anyway, imo, that fallen multiplier would take quite a bit of new debt (issuance of govt securities) to get back up to pre-fall levels. At least thats how I undertsand it.
    What the multiplier is a reflection of, I think, is all that new money from the monetized long-term debt that the Fed started. It has gone from the long end of the securities to the short end, and there it sits earning a miniscule interest. Where else could it go?
    There isn’t. Across the board, for the most part, is price deflation and banks aren’t exactly hungry for risk these days. Well, they could start to buy more gold. Its not a risk and its price has held up when all else has fallen. But they aren’t about to do that. Not yet anyway. No need to cause a stampede, especially when the government doesn’t want that.
    So to get that money moving out to cause GDP to grow would require the creation and issuance of new govt securities, to act as a place holder for the money banks would then lend out. Ie, a point just over break-even of debt to GDP would require just a bit more debt than the amount of idle money they would be moving. To get a modest 2% GDP growth… Well, I’m pretty sure I don’t know how much new debt it would take, especially since there aren’t many buyers in the world today for govt debt (esp the US). But my first guess is: A WHOLE FRIGGIN’ LOT OF IT!
    And if none of that made any sense… my apolgies. I’m on my second year in learning this stuff, so maybe I got it all wrong. 🙂

  76. Nasif Nahle (09:35:48) :
    Simple falsification of the formula derived from Arrhenius hypothesis on the thermophysical properties of carbon dioxide:
    1. In the Permian, the concentration of carbon dioxide was 340 ppmV, lower than the current concentration (385 ppmV). Nevertheless, the anomaly of temperature was 10 °C. Contrasting with the 90s decade anomaly, which was 0.52 °C.

    Only if you assume that the TSI and albedo in the Permian was the same as today, care to justify that?

  77. As we are discussing Dr Spencer and his views on C&T I would like to point out that he has just published his June Global Temperature at 0.00% deviation from 1979-2009 average. This in an interesting development as really it ought to increase with all the CO2 emissions President Obama is now trying to control. This in only one month but maybe we are indeed in for a period of steady or falling global temperatures. Time will show.

  78. Flanagan (02:15:03) :
    As a European, I really wonder where this idea that C&T has seriously damaged the EU economy comes from? It started in January 2005 and since then the GDP growth has been 2.1 (2005) 3.3 (2006) 3.1 (2007), while the GDP in 2008 went down to 1.8 because of the subprime crisis. In the US the evolution was 4.40 (2005) 3.20 (2006) 3.20 (2007) and 2 in 2008.
    In other words, since it was implemented the GDP growth rate has comparatively increased in Europe while it decreased in the US. Or, at least, the were equal. So where’s the problem?
    Flanagan,
    We are bleeding resources and capital totally in vain.
    Today the EU is in a deep economic crises and it’s getting worse.
    People are confronted with reduced income and (much)higher energy bills.
    As C&P real effects play at a longer time table I doubt if the EU will ever recover.
    I really ask myself sometimes, where is your common sense?

  79. Ron and Pierre: 2009 is a very special year because of the crisis, and the US is doing even worse than EU. Unemployment in the US is now higher than in Europe – you known the crumbling continent with horribly reduced incomes.

  80. ” Neville (02:41:29) :
    Roy left out one of the most important parts of the argument, the Indians and Chinese won’t play ball.
    Most of the growth in emissions in the next 20, 30, 40 years will come from these 2 big countries each with a population of 1 billion plus and by 2040 they will emit around 50% of the planet’s co2.
    ….
    In other words we cannot keep up with our reductions and match their growth in co2 in the years to come, therefore co2 levels must inevitably rise.”
    Don’t miss the importance of the supposed tipping point above which positive feedback will cause runaway warming.
    If India and China exhaust enough CO2 to reach the atmospheric concentrations that supposedly cause enough warming to cross the tipping point, everything the US and Europe do to diminish their exhaust will be in vain, the money wasted.
    Remember the case for the need for immediate action to control the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is not based on the expected warming that CO2 will cause, but on the idea of a tipping point above which positive feedback will cause run-away warming.
    The IPCC has corrected down its predictions of CO2-caused global warming so much that even their expected CO2-warming in itself is not enough to be catastrophic. It is the supposed tipping point and positive feedback mechanisms that cause the supposed catastrophes.
    In the discussion about cap and trade I continuously miss this IMO essential point.
    AGW-believers use the positive tipping point-positive feedback-runaway global warming argument to press for immediate action. Without the tipping point it makes obvious sense to take a few decades to develop cheap clean energy.
    Now, if this supposed tipping point will be reached despite cap and trade in the US and Europa, then the best course of action is to pour money into research, hoping to come up with non-CO2 or low-CO2 energy that is so cheap that India and China will want to stop building coal plants.
    My point is that even within their logic, it would then be a bad idea to spend huge amounts of money to change the US energy production using the inefficient and costly techniques now available.
    Even within their logic, every dollar not spent on research would be a dollar wasted.
    What are the exact predictions James Hansen cs make? I keep hearing that the effect of cap and trade will be very small. At what concentration of CO2 are we told that the tipping point will happen? What temperature is that supposed to be? And if India and China build enough coal plants to give every one of their citizens about as much energy as us westerners, will they then have reached that concentration of CO2?

  81. Since my post on cap&trade seems to have been deleted I’ll try again.
    James H (10:22:49) :
    I’m not sure if anyone mentioned this, but the government prefers cap and trade because it is hidden. The feel that most people won’t make the connection between C&T and the higher electric bills and gas costs (especially gas costs, which will be blamed on the “windfall profits” of “big oil”). That way, they can say “yay, we saved the planet!” without so much political backlash.

    Maybe it’s because having tried it for 15yrs they know that it works?
    Interesting that Spencer chose the European example rather than the US one.
    http://www.epa.gov/airmarkt/progress/arp04.html
    REPLY: Phil. if it was deleted, it wasn’t intentional. We are getting quite a spam barrage lately, I’m wholesale deleting dozens of spam posts at a time. Sometimes legitimate comments that have links get put in the spam filter automatically. Holiday weekends are prime-time for such attacks since most system admins are off for holiday. So here’s your new comment. Other commentators take note. If your post disappears, and is not restored within a couple of hours, try again. – Anthony
    Reply 2: It is possible I accidentally deleted on of Phil.’s posts yesterday, but I can’t be sure. I responded to it, then it disappeared. That is why I took myself out of the exchange and embargoed for Anthony to deal with. ~ charles the moderator

  82. Phil. (11:15:38) : That’s extremely misleading. The “working” is the result of technology NOT the trading scheme. There is not simple fix in this case.

  83. To put it more simply: Spencer used the European example because to use “the US one” would be comparing Apples to Oranges.

  84. Phil. (10:50:29) :
    Nasif Nahle (09:35:48) :
    1. In the Permian, the concentration of carbon dioxide was 340 ppmV, lower than the current concentration (385 ppmV). Nevertheless, the anomaly of temperature was 10 °C. Contrasting with the 90s decade anomaly, which was 0.52 °C.
    Only if you assume that the TSI and albedo in the Permian was the same as today, care to justify that?

    Dim Sun, Pangaea and high volumes of ice were covering extensive areas of sea and land so albedo was higher than at present and humidity was very low. A concentration of carbon dioxide of 340 ppmV does not justify either the increase of temperature of 10 °C, once the ice age finished. Intense volcanism increased many years after the increase of temperature. Something enlightening is that the warmhouse in the Early Permian occurred through an icehouse period, so the occurrence of that icehouse is not explained either by the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. For the Permian icehouse could occur under Arrhenius’ fantasies adopted by the IPCC, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere should have been from 0 to 5 ppmV. Well, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the Permian atmosphere was 340 ppmV and the warmhouse occurred during a period of icehouse.

  85. John Peter (10:58:34) :
    As we are discussing Dr Spencer and his views on C&T I would like to point out that he has just published his June Global Temperature at 0.00% deviation from 1979-2009 average. This in an interesting development as really it ought to increase with all the CO2 emissions President Obama is now trying to control. This in only one month but maybe we are indeed in for a period of steady or falling global temperatures. Time will show.

    May and June show a substantial minimum in UAH it usually rises in July.

  86. Flanagan (11:13:37) :
    Ron and Pierre: 2009 is a very special year because of the crisis, and the US is doing even worse than EU. Unemployment in the US is now higher than in Europe – you known the crumbling continent with horribly reduced incomes.
    Flanagan,
    There is no average EU unemployment figure.
    Take it per country.
    What to think about Spain?
    The more wind mills, the higher the unemployment rate?
    +18% is the current number for Spain.
    Other European countries are catching up fast.

  87. @ Bill Illis (05:52:50) :
    …Preliminary estimates show the growth of CO2 was only 1.7% in 2008 as a result of high oil prices and the world-wide recession (compared to 3.5% previously). So, a 5% decline in the economy can halve or eliminate the growth rate of CO2 considering the recession didn’t start until later in the year.

    I’m not understanding here… what you say seems to contradict this:
    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/

  88. Flanagan
    Ron and Pierre: 2009 is a very special year because of the crisis, and the US is doing even worse than EU. Unemployment in the US is now higher than in Europe – you known the crumbling continent with horribly reduced incomes.
    according to Eurostat the Eu’s unemployment rate in may was 9.5 percent that is the same as the U.S. not lower. Second countries like Spain that are fully on cap and trade unlike other E.U. countries unemployment is 18.7 percent as of May. Spain is the poster child for cap and trade and you can see what is happening there, just wait till it happens in your home country then we will see what a supporter of cap and trade you are OK?

  89. If… The Lights Go Out
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/if/3487048.stm
    I’ve read that in the next 10 years the majority of the UKs Nuclear and coal fired powered electricity generating stations will come to an end. There is talk about replacing them but nothing seems definite. Protests and court action could delay the building of these generating stations for years.
    “IF” those who predict another little ice age prove to be correct, added to cap and trade the UK will suffer.

  90. Neville, above, has pretty much nailed it. Waxman-Malarkey will not reduce CO2 on the global level. Worse, it will increase it (not that I care if it does).
    In an example of the Law of Unintended Consequences, Cap and Trade will cause US and EU production to “move offshore” where the same production will be performed in nations which are much less efficient at burning fossil fuels than we and the Euros. Assuming the amount of net energy to perform a particular manufacturing task is the same everywhere, the net effect is more CO2. And unfortunately that assumption is also wrong- the third world is much less efficient than we in energy use as well as production. QED.

  91. Cap and trade? Carbon taxes? Monitoring of business and individuals? “Waxman-Malarkey” bill requesting major renovation of our homes? Bah humbug. Nothing compared to when the British parliament passed this ridiculous law to impose a stealth tax upon citizens
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Window_tax
    “the tax was unpopular, because it was seen by some as a tax on “light and air”.”
    See the contemporary section too, cough

  92. There is NO EVIDENCE!
    Jul 03, 2009
    There is No Evidence
    By Dr. David Evans
    Let’s break down the case for human-caused global warming logically:
    1) There is plenty of evidence that global warming has been occurring recently.
    2) There is ample evidence that carbon emissions causes warming and that the level of atmospheric carbon dioxide is increasing.
    3) But there is no evidence that carbon dioxide emissions are the main cause of the recent global warming.
    The alarmists focus you entirely on the first two points, to distract you from the third. The public is increasingly aware of this misdirection. Yes, every emitted molecule of carbon dioxide (CO2) causes some warming – but the crucial question is how much warming do the CO2 emissions cause? If atmospheric CO2 levels doubled, would temperatures rise by 0.1, 1.0, or by 10.0C?
    We go through the usual “evidence” offered by alarmists, and show that in each case either it:
    � Is not evidence about what causes global warming. Proof that global warming occurred is not proof that CO2 was mainly responsible.
    � Is not empirical evidence; that is, it is not independent of theory. In particular models are theory, not evidence.
    � Says nothing about how much the temperature would rise for a given rise in CO2 levels.
    Despite spending $50bn over the last 20 years looking for evidence of point (3) above, the alarmists have found none. In two instances they expected to find it, but in both cases they found only evidence of the opposite – and they have kept awfully quiet about those cases. If they just had some evidence of (3) they could just tell us what it was and end the debate.
    We note that there used to be some supporting evidence, but better data later reversed that evidence. Instead there are now at least three independent pieces of evidence that the temperature rises predicted by the IPCC due to carbon dioxide emissions are exaggerated by a factor of between 2 and 10, primarily due to the assumption of overly positive water vapor feedback in the climate models. Finally, we discuss some examples of what would constitute evidence. The evidence must of course be empirical, meaning that it is independent of theory.
    Typical Evidence
    Typical Alarmist Offerings of “Evidence”: Polar Bears, Glaciers, Arctic Melt, Antarctic Ice Shelves, Storms, Droughts, Fires, Malaria, Snow Melt on Mt Kilimanjaro, Rising Sea Levels, Ocean Warming, Urban Heat Island Effect. Although each of these issues may say something about whether or not global warming is or was occurring, none of them say anything about the causes of global warming. It would make no difference to these issues if the recent global warming was caused by CO2 or by aliens heating the planet with ray guns.
    The IPCC Said So
    So what is their evidence? Chapter 9 of their latest Assessment Report 4 (2007), “Understanding and Attributing Climate Change”, contains no evidence. That CO2 is the main cause of the recent global warming is an assumption in much of what they say, and they find many ingenious ways of saying it and implying it using complex language. But repetition is not proof, and nowhere do they present any actual evidence. If you doubt me, read it yourself then say what the evidence is in your own words.
    Often the assumption takes the form that nearly all the temperature rises since the start of industrialization are due to CO2 rises, or that there are no other possible significant causes of global warming.
    Computer Models are Evidence
    Computer models consist solely of a large number of calculations that, individually, you could do on a hand-held calculator. So models are theoretical, and cannot form part of any evidence.
    Computer Models Incorporate a Lot of Sound Empirical Science
    Yes they do. The climate models contain some well-established science that has been verified by empirical observations. But they also contain a myriad of:
    – implicit and explicit assumptions
    – omissions
    – guesses
    – gross approximations.
    A single mistake in any one of these can invalidate the climate models. Typical engineering models that mimic reality closely contain no untested assumptions, material omissions, guesses, or gross approximations. They are the result of mature understanding of the reality being modelled, and have been tested ad nauseum in a wide range of circumstances. On the other hand, climate science is in its infancy, individual models routinely fail most tests, the climate models are riddled with untested assumptions and guesses, they approximate the atmosphere with cells a hundred kilometres square and hundreds of meters high, and they do not even attempt to model individual cloud formations or any feature smaller than the cell size. Don’t let the word “model” fool you into thinking climate models are better than they are.
    Read much more here.
    http://www.icecap.us

  93. timetochooseagain (12:08:43) :
    Phil. (11:56:12) : Your point? No more of this innuendo please.

    What innuendo? The monthly UAH has a minimum at May/June so low values are to be expected.

  94. Open letter to Congressman Dave Reichert
    Are you aware that glaciers are growing in Washington State?
    __________________
    3 Jul 09
    Dear Congressman Reichert,
    As a resident of Washington State, I feel betrayed by your vote for the Control-and-Tax bill, a bill purportedly designed to fight “global warming.”
    What global warming?
    Dave, are you aware that glaciers are growing in your own state?
    Yes, glaciers are growing in Washington State.
    The Nisqually Glacier on Mt. Rainier is growing. The Emmons Glacier on Mt. Rainier is growing. Crater Glacier on Mount St. Helens is growing. (Crater Glacier is now larger than it was before the 1980 eruption.) Glaciers on Mt. Shuksan in northern Washington are growing. Glaciers on Glacier Peak in northern Washington are growing.
    Congressman Reichert, I wish you would ask the US Forest Service for a list of glaciers in Washington State, and ask them to tell you – honestly – which ones are growing. I have a feeling that there are more growing glaciers that any of us have been told.
    My fear is that that there is a giant cover up going on, especially given the fact that glaciers are also growing on California’s Mt. Shasta, and that glaciers are growing in Alaska for the first time in 250 years. In May, Alaska’s Hubbard Glacier was advancing at the rate of seven feet per day.
    Every time I read about another growing glacier, I’m told that it’s “the only glacier in the world that is bucking the global warming trend.”
    But that’s not true.
    Perito Moreno Glacier, the largest glacier in Argentina, is growing. Pio XI Glacier, the largest glacier in Chile, is growing. Glaciers are growing on Mt. Logan, the tallest mountain in Canada. Glaciers are growing on Mt. Blanc, the tallest mountain in France.
    Glaciers (230 of them) are growing in the Western Himalayas. Glaciers are growing in Norway. Recently, all 50 glaciers in New Zealand were growing. And contrary to what we’ve being told, the Antarctic Ice Sheet is growing, not shrinking.
    More than 90 percent of the world’s glaciers are growing, but all that we hear about are the ones that are shrinking.
    As author of the book Not by Fire but by Ice, and publisher of http://www.iceagenow.com, I can verify the facts that I am presenting to you today.
    Respectfully,
    Robert W. Felix
    P.S. Here are links to verify some of what I’m saying.
    http://www.iceagenow.com/Nisqually_Glacier_Growing.htm
    http://www.iceagenow.com/Mount_St_Helens.htm
    http://www.iceagenow.com/Glaciers_growing_on_Glacier_Peak_WA.htm
    http://www.iceagenow.com/California_Glaciers_Growing.htm
    http://iceagenow.com/Alaskas_Hubbard_Glacier_advancing_7_feet_per_day.htm
    http://www.iceagenow.com/Largest_glacier_in_Argentina_advancing.htm
    http://www.iceagenow.com/Glaciers_growing_on_Canada_tallest_mountain.htm
    http://www.iceagenow.com/Glaciers_in_Norway_Growing_Again.htm
    http://www.iceagenow.com/New_Zealand_Glaciers_Growing.htm
    http://www.iceagenow.com/Mont_Blanc_glacier_almost_doubles_in_size.htm
    http://iceagenow.com/Glaciers_Growing_in_Western_Himalayas.htm
    http://www.iceagenow.com/Antarctic_ice_growing_not_shrinking.htm

  95. Politicians tell us CO2 Cap and trade will lead the U.S. to energy independence. What they fail to mention it will make us dependent on foreign carbon credits.
    Welfare for dictators

  96. Phil. (14:36:55) : There is a subtle suggestion here, which originated with Tamino I believe, then went to Atmoz, and finally found it’s way over to “Deep Climate” that there must be something still “wrong” with the UAH data because of this “annual cycle” whining. Well, if such a thing is there, evidently it’s really not a problem. Research has shown UAH to be superior:
    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2008/2007JD008864.shtml

  97. Gee, but you know?
    .
    I must ask just one really, REALLY relevant question: IF CO2 is such a contributor to so-called ‘global warming,’ why aren’t we cooking with it to save energy?
    .
    Yes, I know, that’s simplistic, but if CO2 is ~really~ the contributor to AGW as it is supposed to be, then WHY NOT use it to cook with?
    .
    Why not inject it into a covered pot with simmering whatever?
    .
    If that doesn’t work out, then I propose to say that the whole matter has been so overblown as to be nought but an Artificial Global Wax job. If you know what I mean …

  98. O.T. Reminder:
    This weekend is the first annual Watts Up With That Barbeque (for those that recall the suggestion made back in April in the comments on the post “Weather is Not Climate,” by Steven Goddard, for an annual WUWT BBQ with attendant temperature data collection).
    All those participating are encouraged to record the temperature on their grill and report the temperature with as much or as little accuracy as they feel is necessary. The data will be collected and appropriately adjusted for UHI (Unbelievably Hungover Individual) effects. Any temperature data missing from unreported cookouts will be infilled with RegM.
    The results will be made available to the MSM so they can report unprecedented barbeque temperatures and duly alarm the general population.
    N.B. If cap n’ tax passes in the Senate, this may well be the first and LAST annual WUWT Barbeque.
    Everyone enjoy!

  99. timetochooseagain (18:17:04) :
    Phil. (14:36:55) : There is a subtle suggestion here, which originated with Tamino I believe, then went to Atmoz, and finally found it’s way over to “Deep Climate” that there must be something still “wrong” with the UAH data because of this “annual cycle” whining.

    Which is all irrelevant to the point which I made that a low anomaly is to be expected in May & June because that is the way that UAH is set up.
    REPLY: Yet all of the above think GISS is just dandy. Sure, lets beat up on UAH and ignore the elephant in the room problem wise. Phil. as usual you fail to impress.- Anthony

  100. Bill Junga (10:13:47) :
    This country has to get going again. To do that will need cheap, reliable abundant energy. This cap and trade, carbon tax,etc will not allow this.
    Funny as a student of economic history mistakes of the Thirties appear as if they are being repeated.
    Hopefully, this massive government intrusion will be stopped so we won’t get GREAT DEPRESSION II.
    Bill, have a read here:
    http://heliogenic.blogspot.com/2009/07/government-killing-jobs-with-taxes-and.html

  101. Friday, July 03, 2009
    Breaking: Another moonwalker is a climate realist
    Buzz Aldrin [the second person to walk on the moon] calls for manned flight to Mars to overcome global problems – Telegraph
    But while trying to spread the word about the possibilities of space, Dr Aldrin said he was sceptical of climate change theories.
    “I think the climate has been changing for billions of years,” he said.
    “If it’s warming now, it may cool off later. I’m not in favour of just taking short-term isolated situations and depleting our resources to keep our climate just the way it is today.
    “I’m not necessarily of the school that we are causing it all, I think the world is causing it.”
    Feb ’09: Former astronaut speaks out on global warming – BostonHerald.com
    SANTA FE, N.M. – Former astronaut Harrison Schmitt, who walked on the moon and once served New Mexico in the U.S. Senate, doesn’t believe that humans are causing global warming.
    “I don’t think the human effect is significant compared to the natural effect,” said Schmitt, who is among 70 skeptics scheduled to speak next month at the International Conference on Climate Change in New York.
    Inconvenient quotes by Al Gore
    Former Vice President Gore has claimed that scientists skeptical of climate change are akin to “flat Earth society members” and similar in number to those who “believe the moon landing was actually staged in a movie lot in Arizona.” (LINK) & (LINK)
    http://tomnelson.blogspot.com/2009/07/breaking-another-moonwalker-is-climate.html

  102. Never wrong, but never fully right, right, Phil.? What an advocate, but the power of the advocacy diminishes the science. The satellites are telling a more accurate and reproducible story than the surface based thermometers.
    ==================================

  103. I’m awaiting microwave or other sensors that can actually measure the UHI of a city. Why wouldn’t IR do it?
    ==========================================

  104. Phil. (19:32:28) :
    timetochooseagain (18:17:04) :
    Phil. (14:36:55) : There is a subtle suggestion here, which originated with Tamino I believe, then went to Atmoz, and finally found it’s way over to “Deep Climate” that there must be something still “wrong” with the UAH data because of this “annual cycle” whining.
    Which is all irrelevant to the point which I made that a low anomaly is to be expected in May & June because that is the way that UAH is set up.
    REPLY: Yet all of the above think GISS is just dandy. Sure, lets beat up on UAH and ignore the elephant in the room problem wise. Phil. as usual you fail to impress.- Anthony

    And you miss the point Anthony, it has nothing to do with GISS or beating up on UAH. Over recent years UAH shows a minimum in the anomaly at this time of year, for whatever reason, therefore as recognition of that pattern a low anomaly is expected. Whether the current anomaly is ‘low’ or ‘high’ should be judged against that standard. Since 2003 the average May value has been 0.09 and June 0.10 so the current values are slightly low (as they have been all year but not as low as last year, the first half of which was very different from the other years in the series).
    REPLY: And you miss the point also. Spencer has explained it to me personally He explained the deviation that occurs between UAH and RSS. Judging them low or high has nothing to do with it. You are the one always raising the cherry picking issue, so we have 5 years where May/June are a bit lower in the measurement. Are you ready to call a trend on 5 years and rule out any natural variation? – Anthony

  105. @Benjamin (10:46:24) :
    “Roger Sowell (08:18:33) : “…” (on the importance of crude)
    Thanks Roger. I’ll put those links on my to-read list (and I’ll read them, too!)
    But I have got to know… what did you think about the gold comparison? Do you think, or does anyone in the field that you know think that exploration/exploitation costs are distorted by the erratic moves of the currencies, such that it renders the peak oil prophecy self-fulfilling?”

    The price of gold is interesting, but not the end-all for analysis. Gold prices tend to not only reflect general inflation over long periods, but also perceived instability or panic (or the lack thereof) in the world.
    As the graphs in the following link show, the real price of gasoline (U.S., regular) has steadily declined since 1919. This is deadly data to the peak-oil believers. All during this period (1919 to now) peak-oil believers have sounded their alarms. Peak oil never happened, and never will. Oil price increases are due to temporary market distortions, and nothing more. Technology for finding oil improves much faster than oil consumption, thus driving the price down in real terms. Technology is improving faster and faster, with better computers, more sophisticated techniques, economy of scale in transportation (ships, pipelines), refineries, and vehicles that achieve higher miles per gallon. All these drive the cost of gasoline down.
    As ExxonMobil’s executives state frequently, what is keeping the price of oil up is restricted access to known oil deposits around the world. The Saudis and others in OPEC knew what they were doing when they nationalized their oil assets, kicked out foreigners, and restricted the production of oil so as to increase the price and thus their revenues. Smart guys, have to admire them for that.
    Peak oil is a myth, just as unicorns are mythical.
    http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/steo/pub/fsheets/real_prices.html
    As an economics student (I believe you mentioned you are?), it would be well to learn what the profs teach regarding gold. But it would also be well to identify a few common commodities (gallon of gasoline, loaf of ordinary bread, gallon of milk, dozen eggs, etc) and follow their long-term price trends. Find a few commodities that are produced and consumed world-wide by nearly all consumers, and follow them. These commodities are not like gold in that they have little to zero price influence by hoarding, inflation-hedging, or panic.
    At one time, we also followed the price of electric power as cents per kwh. But that market got distorted when nuclear power plants became operational due to their exorbitant costs, then that is softened by government subsidies. Now that government-subsidized renewable energy is entering the power mix, those prices will be even less reliable.

  106. Flanagan (02:35:51) :
    The car industry also provides a good example. Why do you think the US car industry is si low rightnow? And what about Fiat buying Chrysler?
    European constructors had to cope with increasingly stricter rules about CO2 emissions, something I think that could never be accepted in the US. The consequence is that those cars actually have incredibly low fuel consumption – in American standards. 70 mpg? 80 mpg? And these cars cost exactly the same as the American ones. The consumer doesn’t need to think twice before choosing… It is time the US wake up before it’s too late.

    Sir, you are what is commonly known as a pratt!
    70mpg?
    No car I’ve driven!
    A Ford Fiesta diesel 1.4 driven 450+ miles overnight? 39mpg on cruise control!
    I got better from my Peugiot 405 1.9TD dated 1996 with my right foot as cruise control.
    The Toyota Pious?
    Forget that for economy too! actually got better mileage from a Landcruiser on a run.
    C&T has made our energy bills intolerable, I don’t care which government department you work for, you seem to be one of the few Europeans that holds your views!
    Pensioners & other people on fixed incomes are struggling & people like you couldn’t give a toss!
    Dr. Spencer.
    Your efforts are commendable but I’m afraid you are pi$$ing in the wind with people like Flanagan around 🙁
    DaveE.

  107. timetochooseagain (09:22:35) :
    It looks like the US West coast really doesn’t get ‘canes
    Yes, very interesting. Nothing in the equatorial region, what seem to be cockwise paths in NH and anticockwise paths in SH. Looks to me like 1. rotation of the earth; 2. temperature gradients moving away from tropics; 3 landmasses (physical barriers+dry) getting in the way. Clearly no CO2 signature.

  108. It is worth pointing out that there is absolutely no need to “develop” new energy sources. We have them in abundance and they work just fine. Many came out of the Arab Oil Embargo of the ’70s. The problem is not a lack of alternatives, the problem is that oil and coal are just dirt cheap in comparison. The whole notion that we need to “develop new alternatives” is a fantasy.
    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/03/20/there-is-no-energy-shortage/
    Also, oil is almost entirely used for transportation. Gasoline, Diesel, bunker fuel oil, jet turbine fuel. To replace fossil fuels requires “fleet change” (unless you want to go with a dramatic expansion of crop based biofuels… which has it’s own “green” issues). The e-car as a replacement for gasoline is another fantasy since it passes through the issue of “fleet change”. The present automotive fleet has about a 12 year average vehicle life. It is longer for trains, ships, airplanes, trucks, tanks, construction equipment, harvesters, tractors…
    So any solution requiring “fleet change” is a 20 year or longer solution. (We are not selling non-petroleum cars in any volume, so you must add the lag time for design, production, and SALES… there will not be a lot of new cars sold for several years as the economy stagnates…) And as the AGW Advocates have pointed out, 20 years is “way too late”. (You MIGHT be able to get a small change in 10 years. It would be good to have alternative powered vehicles on sale now for that reason. Just don’t expect this to reduce total fuel use by then.)
    So shutting down coal fired electricity does nothing for oil use. Windmills, solar panels, geothermal, hydroelectric, you name it. Nada. Zilch. Zero.
    Because they don’t make the gasoline and Diesel fuels used by the present fleet. And any path the runs through “fleet change” is a 20 year plus path… What it can (and will) do is kill the only really viable choice the U.S.A. has for energy independence: coal. Within 5 to 10 years we could have a substantial part of our oil use converted over to liquids from coal. But not if coal is defined as “evil”. (South Africa did this, so there is an existence proof).
    Oh, and a final note on solar and “green jobs”. The bulk of all solar factories and companies are in China already. Folks may develop here, but production goes to the lowest cost and lowest regulatory burden country. That’s China. Maybe some Mexican construction workers will bolt the panel on your roof, but that’s about it. (No, that’s not a pejorative statement, it is a recognition that the bulk of the home construction tradesmen in this country had come from Mexico. Any typical job site had more Spanish being spoken than English, back when we were building houses… thanks to NAFTA and the H1-B visa programs. Remember when the Republicans and Democrats both were pushing for all those new immigrants we needed to fill all the jobs “American’s just won’t do”? …)
    So those “green solar jobs” are mostly going to be Chinese manufacture, Chinese shipping (perhaps to Mexican ports, Mexican trucking into the USA), and installation with many Mexican trades. Oh, and a U.S. management company… Not all, just mostly.
    Wind will be a bit better, since the big ones are made by G.E., but not many of those are needed and the jobs don’t last past installation. Biofuel doesn’t fair much better – farm jobs have been dominated by Mexican labor for at least 50 years that I know of ( I grew up when the Brassero program was still fresh in folks memories…)
    Basically, the notion that anything in Cap and Tirade is a “jobs bill” is so hideously broken that it makes me want to spit. And, as noted in the article, jobs bills are mostly “make work waste wealth” bills. True jobs and true economic improvement come from net economic gain, not from consuming tools and labor to produce a net economic loss.
    Somehow business managers “get it” and politicians don’t “get it”. You can have full employment any time you want it with government jobs; you just don’t get economic improvement while doing it… And frankly, if I’m going to be poor, I’d at least like to be able to enjoy the free time while I’m being poor. Doing “shovel time” for the privilege of being poor does not appeal…
    (The basic problem is that at the end of the day, if the society makes 10 pizzas and 10 bottles of beer, putting 100 folks to work digging holes and filling them in does not make any more pizzas and beer; and at the end of that day 90 people are still going to be unhappy and hungry, just more tired and with worn out shovels too… )
    Same reason minimum wage laws and price controls fail to make life better. There is only so much “stuff” and it will absorb the available money in being distributed. Cap the price, you get less “stuff” made due to lack of any profit to make it (or quality degrades). Now the money chases the remaining stuff… Raise the minimum wage and, over time, prices rise to absorb it. (When I was a kid, minimum wage was $0.80, now it’s $8.00 but bread was $.30 and now it’s $3.00 and postage was 5 cents now it’s headed for 50 cents… )
    Yet our political class constantly sells the same snake oil “economic” solutions that never accomplish anything other than reelection. The laws of economics are not subject to political control. Yet politicians in all systems for all time periods try, repeatedly, and never learn.
    Interesting example? I have been watching the price of Pb Lead skyrocket. Couldn’t quite figure out why… Turns out that in China an e-bike has caught on with the masses. The excess demand just for the tiny battery to go on bikes has moved world lead prices dramatically. Now just imagine what 100 times as much demand for batteries for e-cars is going to do to resource costs… only it’s not just lead, it will be copper, lithium, nickel, … But we are all magically going to transform the fleet over night into a non-fuel driven fleet. Yeah, right.
    There was a reason our constitution left economics to markets. What is sad is that the “Commerce Clause” has been stretched from something to “prevent tariffs between the states” into being carte blanche for DC Politicians to meddle in the economy. Want to fix things? Have an amendment that strikes the Commerce Clause from the constitution. The States could do this on their own…
    For those who think I’m being too hard on politicians, this link could be describing our present housing / banking crisis, but for a few details and the financial instruments being more convoluted. Even the same solution: Pour government money at it…
    http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Influence_of_Wealth_in_Imperial_Rome/The_Business_Panic_of_33_A.D.
    Yes, that really IS the Business Panic of 33 A. D. as in time when Christ was wondering around… I especially like the parts about government rule changes precipitating the panic and the failure of the Ostrich Feather market 😉

  109. James H (10:22:49) :
    C&T can be discarded by future congresses and administrations as the pain becomes too unpalatable.

    Not sure it could be dismantled. None of the politicians seem to have given much thought to how we might unravel ourselves from the C&T/ETS “spaghetti” that will inevitably be created. It strikes me that as the politicians have come to this from “the science is settled” they have not given much thought to what happens when science returns CO2 back to being a harmless but beneficial trace gas.
    Once the “carbon market” has been around for a few years and real pension funds and the like are invested there it would be a brave government that announces that it is all over and they are pulling out in the next fiscal year. Even a hint of the US/EU pulling out would cause an overnight collapse. If, as some think, “carbon” becomes the worlds biggest market who would risk collapsing that?
    If C&T becomes a reality there is no turning back no matter what the science tells us or indeed what the climate does in the next few decades. It will be impossible to dismantle without creating a worldwide crisis.

  110. Nev (03:03:36) : We need more voices like Anthony’s and Roy’s. And for those who haven’t seen it yet, Monckton of Brenchley has posted this Air Con extract which underlines Roy’s post above with some very disturbing facts and figures:
    http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/commentaries_essays/seriously_inconvenient_truth.html

    Seconded, Nev. I’ve wondered for a long time what was driving the obviously bad science of AGW, feeling that “follow the money” while true was not enough, and this chapter made sense of a lot.

  111. Benjamin (03:18:58) : Wheather you do or don’t though, be warned that GDP alone is NOT the full story!
    GDP isn’t even the beginning of the story… First you must deflate it by whatever passes for the real inflation rate (IF you can find data not compromised by government manipulation…) then you have the bigger issue:
    GDP is NOT economic gain and certainly not quality of life improvement.
    Digging and filling holes on a government contract would add to GDP, but be a real loss. Similarly, building bridges to nowhere and windmills that make electricity with a negative real worth are counted as part of GDP. Further, if you make a chemical that causes 1,000,000 people to go to the hospital for medical care running into the billions of Euros of costs after exposure, BOTH the medical care AND the clean up of the toxin are counted as increases in GDP. If I buy a widget from China for a buck, and sell it for 2, that’s an addition to GDP. If I double my price to $4, that’s a big increase in GDP (even though all that really happened is that more pretty pictures of dead presidents changed hands). If I tune up my car, that is not in GDP, nor if I have a wonderful home cooked meal. If you tune up my car that is in GDP and if my spouse works at Taco Bell and I eat there, that is in GDP. My garden is not part of GDP, yet is worth a great deal to me.
    And I won’t even begin to explore the more esoteric brokennesses of GDP. Basically, it’s a number that everyone uses because it isn’t that hard to calculate it; it just doesn’t have much real truth in it. Hmmm… kind of like global average temperature…
    So ask the folks on the ground: Did ETS make things better or worse, then be quiet and listen. All I hear is “worse”.

  112. Flanagan (11:13:37) : Ron and Pierre: 2009 is a very special year because of the crisis, and the US is doing even worse than EU. Unemployment in the US is now higher than in Europe – you known the crumbling continent with horribly reduced incomes.
    The US always has a higher beta in it’s unemployment numbers. We don’t do much to soften the economic truth, so it’s over quicker. The EU has all sorts of ways to prevent job losses (like several month notice to shut down a factory) so it spreads it’s pain out over much longer time periods.
    Traditionally, this gave the USA a quick sharp recession with a much more rapid recovery. Unfortunately, thanks to our politicos being enamored of EuroSocialism, we are playing with the socialism shiny thing this time. But we still have less impediments to rapid adjustment.
    To really have a clue how 2009 will sort out, you need to look back at it from about 2012… but that doesn’t do much for the discussion.
    The bottom line is that economic statistics are almost as variable and cooked as the temperature series and you can’t really compare them much across systems. The EU system is much more lethargic both in fall and recovery, so any comparison in less than half decade time scales is more comparing the legal systems than the economic results.
    In the longer term, the EU is going to have major issues. Their mercantilist behaviours will hold it off a little bit better for a while, but in the end, just whom will be buying an over priced German car when they can get a Jaguar from India for less? A lot less.
    The US will play with the Socialism Shiny Thing for a couple of years, and wear the AGW Cap & T until the tantrum hits, then, just like metric, we’ll toss it aside as uncomfortable and move on. Europe will continue it’s basic stagnation with the only real growth coming from added ex-Soviet countries. Eventually, when that runs out, the EU will add Turkey, (and probably lose Greece if they do…) and that will be the end of it. Disintegration back into bickering will follow shortly after. Unfortunately, these kinds of processes run in 10 to 20 year ruts, so the result is a ways off.
    I just hope the USA has the good sense not to come over and clean up the mess a third time if your disintegration leads to a third Great War.

  113. Flanagan (02:35:51) :
    The car industry also provides a good example. Why do you think the US car industry is si low rightnow? And what about Fiat buying Chrysler?
    European constructors had to cope with increasingly stricter rules about CO2 emissions, something I think that could never be accepted in the US. The consequence is that those cars actually have incredibly low fuel consumption – in American standards. 70 mpg? 80 mpg? And these cars cost exactly the same as the American ones. The consumer doesn’t need to think twice before choosing… It is time the US wake up before it’s too late.
    Flanagan,
    You are telling our American friends that a bloody FIAT is a car?
    There is nothing wrong with American cars and compared to the (size and weight)
    European cars there is not much of a difference in fuel consumption.
    If we look at the 4WD cars the European cars even use more fuel, much more fuel.
    (BWW X5, AUDI and PORCHE)
    You can not ask people who spend half their lives in their cars to drive a FIAT!
    These cars will not be sold in the USA, anyhow, not in big numbers.

  114. Flanagan (04:37:37) :
    Probably GDP does not tell the whole story. The debt-to-GDP ratio for EU was 57% in 2007, in the US it was 65% following OECD.
    Flanagan,
    2007 is history.
    As the political establishments in the world have pumped all our wealth into the financial system in order to keep it afloat, the gamble was made that economic recovery would happen short term. Unfortunately it is not.
    We now see the slow collapse of our economies and communal and social structures.
    You have no idea how close we are to a total collapse of the international monetary
    system.
    We are in an extremely vulnerable situation now and the lives of millions of people is at stake.
    There very well could be a situation where discussions about climate and windmills are nothing more but a faint memory as people are occupied with the single and most powerful reflex of life, survival.
    This is what will happen if the financial system collapses and governments are not able to pay the law enforcers.
    Look what happens in California and several other States right now.
    They are shutting down the parks, they can’t pay the teachers etc.
    You don’t realize it, but your own country Belgium is on the edge of financial collapse as well.
    See what will happen if people lose their pension, lose their income, their jobs and the supermarkets don’t receive any supplies because the entire distribution system has collapsed?
    People forget very quickly but it was only 65 years ago when people in the Netherlands were starving, steeling trees from the park to keep warm and marching for days to find some food.
    It has taken decades of blood sweat and tears to build the society at the standard we are used to today, but it can be destroyed in a very short period of time.
    The thin veneer called civilization can wear of very quickly and before you know it you live in a place that resembles a nightmare.
    Thousands of Americans who have lost their jobs and their homes are already in such a situation.
    Entire towns have fallen into the hands of organized crime.
    At this moment in time there is no light at the end of the tunnel.
    Europe in 1945 could count on the economic and military support of the USA.
    Who is going to help us or the USA for that matter if the economic house of cards is going to collapse?
    The Chinese or the Russians?
    Our leader are playing with fire.
    They have planned a total reform of Governance based on a very sick doctrine.
    There are powers in this world who have their own Agenda waiting for our weak spot at the right time.
    We can not afford to be weak and we can not afford to reduce our economies to rubble because our leaders believe or make us believe we are a menace to the climate and the planet.
    We can not afford to spend massive amount of capital and resources to green fantasies if our basics are undermined.
    It is time for you to wake up Flanagan, you are living in a dream.
    You call yourself a European, a type of citizen that does not exist in the real world.
    The political establishment took steps bypassing the democratic rights of the French, the Dutch and the Irish to introduce the Lisbon Treaty.
    Although people love the idea of free trade and free travel within the European Union, they detest the political powers that take away their democratic and civil rights, especially if they don’t trust the political establishment which is the case.
    Now, before the EU has grown into a solid body, our leaders are working on a world government, handing over major powers to the UN.
    The only thing the UN and the EU have in common is covered with a single word.
    And that word is “corruption”.
    People don’t want to handover extensive powers to corrupt Government bodies.
    That is why we have opposition and that is why we are going to stop the current process.
    We don’t want to lose our freedom and we still can prevent the Climate Treaty.

  115. urederra (06:58:07) :
    Flanagan,
    As an European, I am ashamed at the lack of democracy that the EU has become.
    First, I didn’t approve the European Constitution, and not only me, but also the majority of the Europeans didn’t approve the European Constitution in the terms the french guy, I am not going to look for his name, wrote it. Being approved by the individual parliaments doesn’t count in my opinion. The European Constitution is something important enough to require a mayor consensus of the people of Europe.
    Second, I know that CO2 is good for the environment, as thousands of experiments and publications prove it. Doubling CO2 levels increase plant growth rate by at least 20%. The cap and trade system only hurts the economy, the whole of it, agricultural, industrial and services economy.
    Third, I don’t believe in AGW. And that is all they can offer me, Beliefs in a lousy religion. They can’t prove that the climate sensitivity to doubling CO2 levels is 3º C, 2.4º C, 4.5º C or 0.3º C. If you can’t measure the climate sensitivity they are not talking about SCIENCE, they are talking about cargo cult. AGW is, therefore, a religion, not a branch of science. And last time I checked there was freedom of religion in Europe. I don’t have to pay to support the Catholic or protestant churches in Europe and I don’t want to pay to support AGW.
    And Fourth, anything above the tithe or diezmo tax (10% of agricultural production) is institutionalized armed robbery. And we are already suffering from taxes well higher than 10%. IIRC, VAT in Germany is 21%. The roman empire flourished while the only taxes the romans had to pay was the tithe. and It collapsed when they started taxing everything.
    For all of the above, I think Europe is not a Democracy, but an Idiocracy.
    (Or maybe you should say Idiocrazy?)
    Urederra,
    I agree 100%, thanks.

  116. Dr Spencer,
    There is other alternatives, not that any sane person would entertain them.
    Geo-engineering,
    some concepts coming from:-
    Dr John Holdren, particulate matter injected into the atmosphere, similar to volcanic ash. (hate to surmise how this would be achieved, probably nuke a volcano)
    Dr Tim Flannery, sulphur injected into he atmosphere, yellow sunglasses for the planet. Others have also fronted up with this idea.
    Micro mirrors to reflect radiation back into space.
    Millions of man made trees to remove CO2 from the atmosphere.
    Already tried – iron sulphate, tonnes dropped into the southern Atlantic Ocean, near South Georgia Islands by the German vessel Polarstern – to sequester CO2 into a algal bloom, feeding plankton which die and take the CO2 to the ocean bottom – failed – must have looked good in someones computer modeling.
    Heaven forbid if any of these concepts get up , with approval and funding from the POTUS.
    Then we have the ridiculous – lets paint all the roofs, buildings, roads and parking lots – WHITE. Someone must have a premium on white paint. Then maybe this is the ‘green jobs’ Obama keep telling us about, along with most of the compliant governments around the world. – Yes I know, white reflects!!

  117. paulID (12:15:50) :
    Flanagan
    Ron and Pierre: 2009 is a very special year because of the crisis, and the US is doing even worse than EU. Unemployment in the US is now higher than in Europe – you known the crumbling continent with horribly reduced incomes.
    according to Eurostat the Eu’s unemployment rate in may was 9.5 percent that is the same as the U.S. not lower. Second countries like Spain that are fully on cap and trade unlike other E.U. countries unemployment is 18.7 percent as of May. Spain is the poster child for cap and trade and you can see what is happening there, just wait till it happens in your home country then we will see what a supporter of cap and trade you are OK?
    PaulID,
    I am not a supporter of C&P, a supporter of the Lisbon Treaty or any European or Global Government scheme.
    I am 100% for personal freedom, capitalism and against big Government, high taxes,
    stupid rules and meddling. I am also against Corporatism (read Fascism) and against the corrupt UN. And I can”t stand the lies about our climate.

  118. “Flanagan (03:42:22) :
    Pat: your assertion on no reduction is somewhat strange. A whole bunch of countries decreased their emissions of CO2. Examples are: Belgium, France, Ireland, Portugal, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Sweden, etc. Other countries still increased their emissions, resulting in a globally slightly positive balance which is MUCH less than the US and than what would have been observed without these rules, of course. ”
    I hope you have read the replies to your initial post and has cleared up your delusional view of ETS, Cap and Trade systems etc.
    The Irish economy shrank 8.5% in this year. Where is the money going to come from to pay for an ETS? (OK, the Irish economy was built on billions of EU grants in the first place. It was (In the mid-70’s before the EU funded “boom”), as it is today, a very depressed place to be).
    PS. Not sure what year it was..but an Australian based company trading “carbon emissions” between Europe and Asia turned over AU$10bil. Nice little earner if you are in on the top floor, say like Al Gore (Whose family wealth was dervied from oil).

  119. E.M.Smith (03:22:49) : … more on GDP…
    Of course, you’re right about GDP and I don’t think we really disagree on anything in that regard. As you so wonderfully illustrated through many examples, it grows but we have to look at the productivity vs debt behind it that makes it grow. Is it, for example, economical to create more Taco Bell/GREEN jobs so that we can say we’re employing more people? GDP can’t answer that question except in the affirmative if only because it got a bit bigger or didn’t shrink. It’s the ultimate “yes man”.
    Some economists look to something called “gross output”, and say that that is far more representative of true economic activity than GDP. My jury is still out on that one, but I suspect gross output wouldn’t be any more helpful. All that need be done is to look at debt levels, though. They’re there, for the whole world to see, so even if this gross output reads better (or worse), there is no escaping the fact that excess credit-debt is destined to contract at some point (followed, in all likelihood, by a vast explosion of it).
    Similar to the GDP falsehoods…
    As I hoped to point out much earlier on in the gold to oil price ratio, is that higher prices, as is so often contended by anti-peak oil opposition, can not sustain production. They hold that higher prices will be the new order, but insist we will not run out any time soon because of that market mechanism.
    And I WOULD agree, except for one thing… Financing will not allow even higher prices to sustain oil production (and food production, and silver, copper, lead… all commodities). Why? I beleive that increasingly higher prices are a result of interest rates (thus stability of investment) being wildly out of controll. And since interest rates are in the hands of governments and their central banks, and not the free market (if there is such a thing), sustainability of oil production, among other things, will simply not continue, at higher prices or otherwise.
    And so we arrive at cap and trade. It is generally well-understood by the wonderful system government and centalized banking that elastic currency/credit leads to eventual bankruptcy. Thus, governments, in order to assure some supply until the day comes, handle things like oil production. They know there is no private firm out there that could endure what their controll on interest rates can dish out, especially over the longer haul, which is nessecary for private firms to undertake such tasks.
    They might let private firms handle some things, but they always come back to nationalize them. Only now, governments are getting tired of taking their own punches… thus cap and trade and more and more prophecy on peak oil. They just aren’t going to advocate privatizing oil production. They’re not even going to discuss oil. Period. They’re not going to advocate privitization of alternatives. Period. They’re not going to allow privitization at all. And wheather they know it or not, they aren’t even going to allow intervention.
    What I’m saying is that fiat currencies, and more to the point government securities creating unlimited credit and risk, is doing the opposite of gold. The price of oil in gold (and indeed all other commodities below gold, which is every last one of them) is telling us that the utlimate government intervention (fiat money) is not cutting it. Nor will it ever. Not other commodity pricing another commodity would tell you this story. When gold is used, it is just as economical to grow/mine/pump things from the ground today as it was 60 years ago. By the same token, it is just as economical to develop and most importantly deploy new tech to provide a wealth of commodity production as it was 60 years ago.
    Roger Sowell pointed out why gold is best, but I think he missed the point despite that realization. He correctly pointed out that gold tends to accumulate vs other commodities. BINGO! That is the concept of marginal utility and stocks to flow. And because no other thing known to man has such a high marginal utility and stocks to flow ratio than gold, there is nothing better that can provide stability to interest rates, and thus investment, as gold can. And with stable interest over a long period of time, via Gibson’s paradox, price ranges in gold also tend to stabilize in range over the longer term.
    Government bonds, credit bubbles, and the resulting money-printing bankruptcy, on the other hand, have highly uncertain value and that uncertainty only increases with time. But that was the point of them. Central banks wanted to create an elastic currency, a lie for all occasions, so that a supposedly benevolent government could regulate us to a better world (unlike that no-good cut-throat free market, they said and continue to maintain today)
    No, peak oil isn’t a near-term certainty, or, I contend, even a longer-term concern, any more than AGW is real and cap and tax desirable. Many realize this and thats good. But what we must remember is that in the past, peak oil and AGW resistence was routinely disproven/repelled because…
    a) In the past, gold was at least somewhere in the system to have the effects that it does on interest.
    b) that debt-backed fiat money almost always has at least a short term stability to it which it allows it to do some good. For a while anyway.
    That is not true today. Not even the Swiss use gold to back their currencies anymore. And now the whole world is in a recession and they’re talking seriously about just walking away from oil for reasons that I don’t really think most in govt truly beleive. That CAN bring about peak energy. But not because of an actuall shortage of resource left in the earth but rather for the want of stable financing.
    GDP would never tell us that story except perhaps in the most vague of ways. And just the same, so do prices in currencies fail to tell that story. And that story, I’m not the least ashamed to admit… scares the hell out of me. I come here frequently to read what the genuine scientists have to say. And I confess, a lot of it is greek to me (it is interesting greek though! :-). Its nice to know that the science is being done. But that, to me, is mostly a smaller comfort. I know that no matter what they have to say about it, other considerations are going to see the science ignored. Its a shame, because while its all mostly greek to me, I can see that these people clearly put a lot of effort into their work. But even if cap and trade is repelled this time, it will be back and I can almost assure that it will be under far uglier circumstances than today. Take North Korea and it’s mud-slinging. Its mud, maybe with some pluto mixed in to create a dirty nuke or two. But they won’t stop until China reels them in. And China will not be able to reel them in until we make sure that all the debt that China holds of the US is worth something. We would have bought off NK already, ourselves, if we were able to afford it. WWI was started and fought under very similar cirumstances. Governments lied about their fixed rates to gold and so the system defaulted. That increases hostility in the world.
    So again I urge all to learn about the virtues of gold vs imaginative fiat values, and pester their reps to come clean about it, and reintroduce it into the poisoned monetary bloodstream. It is not enough to protest bad science. To learn more about gold, I highly recommend one Professor Antal Fekete…
    http://www.professorfekete.com/articles.asp
    I can’t point to any one essay, but there are common themes all throughout. Anything about the Mint and the Depression, especially. And there’s no Waxmanship! No sir, most of them are ten pages or less and within reach of those who have at least a basic grasp of financials.

  120. @Benjamin (03:12:55) :, re price of oil relative to gold;
    I would not get too worked up over any prices relative to gold. What matters, from a mythical “Peak Oil” perspective, is the price (in any currency) of oil relative to the next most expensive fossil fuel, whether that be tar sands, coal-to-liquids, shale oil, etc. The relative prices are key.
    The interest rates you mentioned are not important, either, what is crucial is obtaining access to energy resources. High interest rates merely put more money in the banks’ pockets temporarily, and result in more innovation from oil companies – thus further reducing the real cost of producing oil. This produces more oil, and reduces interest rates over time.
    Have another look at that graph in the link I provided from EIA on the real price of gasoline since 1919. Interest rates have fluctuated, and so has the price of gold since 1919. The key point is oil price has gone up in real dollars *only* when the oil market was severely disrupted. The steady downward trend in the real price of oil is quite obvious.
    Economic theory is a fascinating subject, and there are endless theories and proposed mechanisms; but at the end of the day, the men who drill for oil do not worry too much about theoretical economics. What matters is access to oil reserves. We know where the oil is, and we know how to get it. All we need is access.
    Such access has always been the key, as for example Rockefeller strove to restrict access to oil refineries – and was so successful his empire was broken up under monopoly laws. One can no longer restrict access via refineries, so oil-rich regions restrict access to the oil in the ground. The USA is complicit in this by restricting access to ANWR on environmental issues, and by restricting drilling off the East Coast and the West Coast, again on environmental issues. Whatever the reason given, the effect is the same: higher oil prices because of restricted access. Other countries do the same.

  121. This is about the market — Wall Street’s market.
    Wall Street will be trading these credits — for an outrageous fee — to suckers all over the world.
    There will be a bubble, then a bust, and we will be fleeced again — first by the government in taxes and then by Wall Street. Deja vous.

  122. Interesting link
    http://sites.google.com/site/disclosuredelta/
    Here’s how it works: If the bill passes, there will be limits for coal plants, utilities, natural-gas distributors and numerous other industries on the amount of carbon emissions (a.k.a. greenhouse gases) they can produce per year. If the companies go over their allotment, they will be able to buy “allocations” or credits from other companies that have managed to produce fewer emissions: President Obama conservatively estimates that about $646 billion worth of carbon credits will be auctioned in the first seven years; one of his top economic aides speculates that the real number might be twice or even three times that amount.
    The feature of this plan that has special appeal to speculators is that the “cap” on carbon will be continually lowered by the government, which means that carbon credits will become more and more scarce with each passing year. Which means that this is a brand-new commodities market where the main commodity to be traded is guaranteed to rise in price over time. The volume of this new market will be upwards of a trillion dollars annually; for comparison’s sake, the annual combined revenues of all’ electricity suppliers in the U.S. total $320 billion.
    Goldman wants this bill. The plan is (1) to get in on the ground floor of paradigm-shifting legislation, (2) make sure that they’re the profit-making slice of that paradigm and (3) make sure the slice is a big slice. Goldman started pushing hard for cap-and-trade long ago, but things really ramped up last year when the firm spent $3.5 million to lobby climate issues. (One of their lobbyists at the time was none other than Patterson, now Treasury chief ofstaff.) Back in 2005, when Hank Paulson was chief of Goldman, he personally helped author the bank’s environmental policy, a document that contains some surprising elements for a firm that in all other areas has been consistently opposed to any sort of government regulation. Paulson’s report argued that “voluntary action alone cannot solve the climate-change problem.” A few years later, the bank’s carbon chief, Ken Newcombe, insisted that cap-and-trade alone won’t be enough to fix the climate problem and called for further public investments in research and development. Which is convenient, considering that Goldman made early investments in wind power (it bought a subsidiary called Horizon Wind Energy), renewable diesel (it is an investor in a firm called Changing World Technologies) and solar power (it partnered with BP Solar), exactly the kind of deals that will prosper if the government forces energy producers to use cleaner energy. As Paulson said at the time, “We’re not making those investments to lose money.”
    The bank owns a 10 percent stake in the Chicago Climate Exchange, where the carbon credits will be traded. Moreover, Goldman owns a minority stake in Blue Source LLC, a Utah-based firm that sells carbon credits of the type that will be in great demand if the bill passes. Nobel Prize winner Al Gore, who is intimately involved with the planning of cap-and-trade, started up a company called Generation Investment Management with three former bigwigs from Goldman Sachs Asset Management, David Blood, Mark Ferguson and Peter Hanis. Their business? Investing in carbon offsets, There’s also a $500 million Green Growth Fund set up by a Goldmanite to invest in green-tech … the list goes on and on. Goldman is ahead of the headlines again, just waiting for someone to make it rain in the right spot. Will this market be bigger than the energy-futures market?
    “Oh, it’ll dwarf it,” says a former staffer on the House energy committee.
    ………
    But this is it. This is the world we live in now. And in this world, some of us have to play by the rules, while others get a note from the principal excusing them from homework till the end of time, plus 10 billion free dollars in a paper bag to buy lunch. It’s a gangster state, running on gangster economics, and even prices can’t be trusted anymore; there are hidden taxes in every buck you pay. And maybe we can’t stop it, but we should at least know where it’s all going.


  123. and they’re talking seriously about just walking away from oil for reasons that I don’t really think most in govt truly beleive. That CAN bring about peak energy. But not because of an actuall shortage of resource left in the earth but rather for the want of stable financing.
    Um, no, it can’t. “Peak Oil” has a very specific PHYSICAL definition. It is that rate of production that can never be exceeded. Nothing at all to do with resource in the ground nor with the value in the marketplace. It is a simple statement of maximum gallons (or bbls or L or cubic furlongs…) you can pump per day. Period. NOTHING can change that.
    GDP would never tell us that story except perhaps in the most vague of ways. And just the same, so do prices in currencies fail to tell that story.
    Very true. Both GDP and currencies are “rubber rulers” that have great travails in the interpretation…
    And that story, I’m not the least ashamed to admit… scares the hell out of me.
    Which, IMHO, makes you a wise and perceptive person…
    Take North Korea and it’s mud-slinging. Its mud, maybe with some pluto mixed in to create a dirty nuke or two. But they won’t stop until China reels them in.
    N. Korea is just trying to re-play the “shakedown” they pulled on Clinton. He was dumb enough to hand over cash based on their promise to ‘play nice’. Dictators never play nice. They realized they had a good scam going and tried the same shakedown on Bush. It didn’t work. Obama is a democrat, so maybe it will work on him (they think). We’ll see. If Obama has a brain and, er, oblate spheroids sub pubic bone… he will simply have a predator drone make any launch site into a pile of rubble and announce that N. Korea has had a “launch failure”… The proper answer to a “protection racket shakedown” is to put the shakedown artist in a body bag… Chicago knows this, so I hope to see Obama display an innate understanding of this too…
    (A friend has suggested that any nuke building site could benefit from a predator launched nuke coupled with a public announcement that N. Korea ought to be be more careful since nuclear materials are unstable and dangerous … but I’m not sure thats the right answer at that scale… though it does have a certain charm about it… 😎
    And China will not be able to reel them in until we make sure that all the debt that China holds of the US is worth something. We would have bought off NK already, ourselves, if we were able to afford it.
    2 issues here.
    1) China will do what is best for China. The US $ is not tied to N. Korea in any way. China is already moving away from the $ (today had the news flow that the first “settlement” of a trade had happened in Yuan… and Brazil and China have agreed to trade sans US $…) As long as N. Korea is doing what benefits China, China will do nothing. Once it hurts China, N. Korea will be speaking Mandarin…
    2) It NEVER EVER EVER works to pay a blackmail shakedown. Ever. Nuke em. Kill em. Sic the police on them. Promise to pay, then double cross them. Slip them a poison money packet. ANYTHING other than letting them profit. If they profit, they will return. Just don’t go there. That is the fundamental mistake Clinton made last time. THE ONLY proper answer to a blackmail attempt is to attack the blackmailer with overwhelming force and as much lethality as you can muster. Period. Got it? Yes, it has risks. But the risk is the same as NOT doing it and having a new blackmail event next year. You can not reduce the risks. You CAN reduce the blackmailer…
    So again I urge all to learn about the virtues of gold vs imaginative fiat values, and pester their reps to come clean about it, and reintroduce it into the poisoned monetary bloodstream. It is not enough to protest bad science.
    Well, gold is better than fiat currencies, but not by much. Most of the world supply comes from Russia and South Africa, so you are handing over control of the money supply to two not very good places… I’m not sure there is a better answer, though. I’d probably go with silver and copper as a basis, but that’s just me…
    Roger Sowell (07:43:41) :
    @Benjamin (03:12:55) :, re price of oil relative to gold;
    I would not get too worked up over any prices relative to gold. What matters, from a mythical “Peak Oil” perspective, is the price (in any currency) of oil relative to the next most expensive fossil fuel, whether that be tar sands, coal-to-liquids, shale oil, etc. The relative prices are key.

    BINGO! And the alternatives come on line between $40 and $80 / bbl (which is why we have oil sands in play now, but not coal to oil) …
    High interest rates merely put more money in the banks’ pockets temporarily,
    Um, minor nit: It is the “yield curve” not the absolute yield that puts money in the pocket of the bank. They “borrow short” and “lend long” so it’s the ratio of short term to long term rates that makes profit (a “steep yield curve”) Rates could be at 19% for a 6 month bond and 20% for a 10 year and banks would go broke, while a 1% to 4% ratio is literally “money in the bank”…
    Have another look at that graph in the link I provided from EIA on the real price of gasoline since 1919. Interest rates have fluctuated, and so has the price of gold since 1919. The key point is oil price has gone up in real dollars *only* when the oil market was severely disrupted. The steady downward trend in the real price of oil is quite obvious.
    In direct proportion to technological improvement. It is the improvement of technology that drives all cost changes.
    Economic theory is a fascinating subject, and there are endless theories and proposed mechanisms; but at the end of the day, the men who drill for oil do not worry too much about theoretical economics. What matters is access to oil reserves. We know where the oil is, and we know how to get it. All we need is access.
    BINGO! again!
    … so oil-rich regions restrict access to the oil in the ground. The USA is complicit in this by restricting access to ANWR on environmental issues, and by restricting drilling off the East Coast and the West Coast, again on environmental issues. Whatever the reason given, the effect is the same: higher oil prices because of restricted access. Other countries do the same.
    Yup. Interesting enough, the Elk Hills Naval Oil Reserve was sold to a company who’s stock was heavily owned by AlGores family… a “sweetheart deal ” to a government employee if ever there was one. Now we have the Naval OIl Reserve to the west of ANWR (out to the pacific) with more proven oil than ANWR ever will have, and we are bickering over ANWR…
    Were I in charge, I’d be building enough coal to oil factories to power the navy should they ever be needed and drilling in the Alaska Oil Reserve.
    http://www.blm.gov/ak/st/en/prog/energy/oil_gas/npra.html
    But don’t be surprised if the democrats sell it to one of their own and do NOT build the coal to oil facilities to replace it… they have in the past…
    Mike Guerin (11:44:14) : The more productive the average worker is the higher the standard of living and the government can not artifically manipulate wealth. The government can only manipulate how productive the workers are with policy decisions, not directly manipulate wealth or standard of living.
    Um, I’d assert that the government can’t even do that. All it can do is mandate how the workers productivity is distributed. They can not make the worker more productive, only technology can do that. The can “spread the wealth around” and they can destroy wealth, but that’s about it.
    Right now most green energy jobs produce less product (their less productive) than fossil fuels. Therefore it is without question, undebatable that the governments manipulation of policies that create jobs in solar or wind etc will result in a net LOSS in productivity and therefore wealth.
    BINGO! Again!
    davidgmills (12:48:18) : Wall Street will be trading these credits — for an outrageous fee — to suckers all over the world.
    There will be a bubble, then a bust, and we will be fleeced again — first by the government in taxes and then by Wall Street. Deja vous.

    Not just Wall Street. The London exchanges are expecting to profit from trade in Quatloos too. Both ICE and CME expect to make big money on big markets… (ICE is InterContinental Echange, while CME is the Chicago Mercantile Exchange … hmmm isn’t Obama from Chicago?… )

  124. Roger,
    Yes, I have seen the EIA chart before, and seen many an argument made from it. Unfortuneately, they make convinving ones 🙂
    And I ought to know, as that once served to convince me of some things. I’ll have another go at it, though, and see if I can’t reconsider. Heck, I even know of an economics prof that likes to talk about that (and favorably, at that). But I have to warn… it’s tough to sell ice to an eskimo.
    Now about ANWR, and probably a number of other blocks against development, just humor my argument for a moment that the financial/monetary system is so corrupt and then ask yourself why they WOULDN’T…
    a) Invent and maintain stories about polar bears, caribou, melting ice, hot air etc in order to justify not undertaking any large financial commitments (democrats)
    b) Dismiss all that, but insist that a puny investment would somehow have a meaningful impact even in the face of world-wide demand ramping up (and good lord should Africa join the party), such that the US would pretty much still be doing more of the same, which is not make any big commitments towards expanding it’s resource base/output in order to sell an actual something in the world instead of govt promises that make Wall Street happy (republicans)
    c) Tell the truth. The empire is broke, or would be if it tried to do anything significant like expand it’s resource bas/output. Perhaps your people and enemies will forgive and forget. (not in a million years)
    Unfortunately, the emperor always has clothes even when he does not. Sad, but true. At least if our monetary system is so corrupt to make the stories seem more tempting to our government. I hope I’m wrong, but history does not support my shred of optimism. Nor does monetary science. So it’s even harder to sell sunshine to this eskimo than it is to sell ice. Speaking of which, about interest…
    You’re right. Rate per se does not matter… so much as stability of rate over time.
    With that difference in mind, let’s put that in the context of something else…
    “Interest is not so relevent to real estate. What is crucial is making and selling houses”
    We’ve recently seen the fallacy of that of assumption, though. The housing bubble went pop. And so we’ve seen it in every single bubble we’ve had since bubbles became the order of the day. And those bubbles were the result of FALLING interest from the day that Fed Chairman Volcker said “UP!”. And if they trend up?
    Volcker’s failed feat aside proves that another bounce to the opposite is no medicine. Nothing stopped it from lowering to dangerous levels in his time. Nor did anything stop it from trending lower over the past couple decades, to just as if not more dangerously low levels. Still, many think the opposite nessecarily means correction. They still think we’re in Kansas, classic economics. They mistake rate for stability of rate. Since there was no backstop to excess in the lowering trend, it may well turn out that there isn’t a backstop on the rising trend either. Ie, a depression, where more credit than has right to will evaporate.
    And that is the difference between steady fluctuation and gyrating interest. Debt-based monetary policy can not stabilize interest to save the day. What production and deployment of tech that takes place and has taken place is mostly if not entirely government strong-arming. And cap and trade, imv, is the shrugging Atlas.
    E.M. Smith said earlier that this was not peak oil, in the pure sense, and I agree. I never meant peak in geological supply. What I meant to say all along is peak production. There is one example I can think of when peak production did in a civilization even though geological abundance said it was impossible. The Incan civilization, some argue, took a big hit that sent them into oblivion. They didn’t produce enough water, didn’t expand their structure for doing so. For whatever reason, the leadership/culture went lax in that in endeavor and the rest is history. Some states are complaining about water these days.
    Anyway, even if we still don’t see eye to eye, just so you know, I’m not “a bit” worked up because we do not. I’m just a nut on the subject and I’ve rather liked talking about it 🙂
    Btw, I did read those links and while the peak energy one didn’t offer a fresh perspective, the one on nuclear was an oft not heard take on the issue. Not the usual anti-science, ie, but a good case against. I think like AGW, it will have it’s day when it’s called to the carpet to be debated.

  125. E.M. Smith,
    I’ve had a skim over your recent commentary. I’ll have to have a closer look later, but I wanted to clarify something right now…
    “2) It NEVER EVER EVER works to pay a blackmail shakedown.”
    Absolutely! I wasn’t advocating that, just trying to illustrate how weak our financial system is and what that implies for cap and trade, presently and in the future. In fact, if we did have a strong financial/monetary policy we probably wouldn’t have to worry about NK for entirely different reasons. Perhaps not even China, for that matter.
    And yes, China does indeed have it’s own reasons. It’s very fascinating subject, but not a topic for discussion here unfortunately. Suffice to say, they are having their own problems in controlling impoverished populations. They had a riot the other day. They don’t want that on their border with Korea. Unity is not beneificial to the security of the status quo. So they would reel NK in if they could, but for the same reason we haven’t through bribe, they haven’t either. Cap and trade would allow a temporary releif, though. It’s political TO THE CORE, and so I don’t think scientific arguments can be used to defeat it, hard as the scientists work to do so.

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