My town's "Climate Action Plan"

The town I live in, Chico, CA is sometimes known as “Berkeley North” due to the liberal influence of Chico State University (CSUC). In this case, CSUC’s sustainability cabal, led by Professor Mark Stemen and Mayor Ann Schwab, has snookered our town into passing a “Climate Action Plan”.

Last Tuesday, our city council (who’s been deep in the red financially) approved by a 6 to 1 vote, the “Climate Action Plan” (CAP) from the “Sustainability Task Force”. It’s quite the hoot, because as I point out, they could buy “carbon indulgences”, for less than the cost of the “studies” money, and be done with it rather than continue to waste everybody’s time and effort. But in my opinion, the CAP really isn’t about results, it is about a continued agenda and public funds being used to support that agenda.

Here’s the story on it:

Full story here

Here’s what went down in discussion:

But Councilor Larry Wahl contested whether a Climate Action Plan, or its subsequent directives, would produce any “tangible benefit” to Chico.

“I do not literally see what this will accomplish … Will the sky be bluer? Will anything be prettier?” Wahl asked.

Holcombe said he didn’t want the city to take the chance that it wouldn’t.

“Nature is not waiting and certainly I don’t want the city of Chico to wait,” Holcombe said.

The rest of the council supported Holcombe.

By a 6-1 vote with Wahl dissenting, the council directed the creation of a Climate Action Plan, simultaneously approving a number of actions to be implemented in the first phase of the plan.

Here’s the Climate Action Plan (PDF) as it was approved that night. You’ll find it starting on page 80 of the meeting agenda. The Enterprise Record wrote a scathing editorial on it:

Full editorial here.

I had identified the same issues, but took it a step further with my letter to the editor I sent, citing what I recently discovered about the Chicago Climate Exchange:

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

Dear Editor:

Regarding the recently passed city “Climate Action Plan,” one good idea is the installation of LED street lighting. While it won’t do much to offset carbon dioxide (since power plants program for lower idle loads at night) it will save money due to increased power efficiency. Anything minimizing expense and waste is a good thing for our spend-happy city government.

Besides this misguided but fiscally sensible idea, I note this in the Climate Action Plan: “Carbon Offsets Goal 1: Purchase Carbon Offsets Where Cost Effective.”

Since Team Schwab seems determined to waste money on this, I’ll point out three things:

1. Carbon offset trading in the USA is essentially dead. Even Sen. Harry Reid admits this. The Senate failed to pass cap and trade.

2. If they must waste money, don’t wait, do it now, because carbon offsets at the Chicago Climate Exchange are going for the bargain price of 5 cents per ton, down from the heyday highs of $7.50 per ton. See www.chicagoclimatex.com.

A bag of charcoal briquettes is worth more right now.

3. The plan said Chico emits 516,000 tons of carbon. At that price, we can offset the whole town for $25,800, far less than the cost of the actual city “Climate Plan.”

Maybe the council should buy boatloads of carbon credits at 5 cents per ton then resell it to the clueless Europeans trading carbon at nearly $20 per ton (see www.ecx.eu).

Yeah, that’s the ticket out of our city financial crisis.

Anthony Watts,

Chico CA

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

Here’s the price today:

Waste money now, or later? That is the question.

For the record, I like LED lighting, and I put my money where my mouth is.

My view of carbon offsets? The City of Chico could buy them here, save our public funds, and they’d be just as effective. In fact, if they print them on this paper, the 69 cents a sheet paper would actually be worth more than the 5 cents per ton of carbon they “offset”.

Such a deal, sounds just like a job for our city government.

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

UPDATE: I’ve added the PowerPoint presentation given at the City Council Meeting which you can download here: CityCouncil9-7

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205 thoughts on “My town's "Climate Action Plan"

  1. “Maybe the council should buy boatloads of carbon credits at 5 cents per ton then resell it to the clueless Europeans trading carbon at nearly $20 per ton (see http://www.ecx.eu).”
    Won’t the EU complain about Carbon Credit dumping if your proposal takes place?
    [REPLY – Dump?! Sir, we do not dump. We “sell abroad at a loss in defense of the national interest”. ~ Evan]

  2. Let me guess, when somebody in the US buys a “carbon credit,” some foreign country benefits?
    [And an angel gets his wings. (Probably some dang foreigner.) ~ Evan]

  3. Here (literally) is the money quote from the article:

    But the plan itself comes with a price tag, with Herman saying the city has already spent approximately $10,000 in grant funding on developing the plan up until this point.
    She estimated the plan would cost an additional $30,000 , noting that those costs could be covered by the city’s Energy Conservation and Efficiency Block Grant funds. She noted that sum does not include her staff time to work with the Sustainability Task Force.
    Regardless of the costs, however, Chico resident Karen Laslo said funding the plan is well worth the benefits it will provide.
    “I don’t think the Climate Action Plan is much of a sacrifice,” Laslo said. “It’s the least we can do.”

    In the end, it’s all about the Climate Ca$h…which in this case ends up being your tax money.
    And I wonder how many poor and indigent people in the city could have been fed using the $40,000+?

  4. If US Carbon Credits were accepted in Europe, they wouldn’t trade for 5 cent. I don’t say they’re bad or something, it’s just that you seem to have an oversupply of them.

  5. It is unfortunate that we can’t keep the politicians in Washington equally busy with such nonsense – then they would not have time to do real harm to the country.
    It would be instructive to see where Chico’s $70,000 came from and trace its path back to and around the area. Taxes and fees come in to the city budget. Out go dollars to a professor’s salary, some to students with clipboards, some to University overhead, paper, laptops, and so on. One could make an input-output table (likely only another $5,000 project) to track all the $$ going round-and-round. Two lines in the table I would want to look at are “who benefits” and “leakages-out-of-Chico.”

  6. Anthony pulled the last item on an extensive list of 83 possible actions, and made it appear this was part of the current discussion, which it is not.
    The ER editorial is far from scathing, and it asked the same question I did, where is the action?
    I know you do not believe in AGW. I do, and I am happy to debate that in a community forum.
    In the meantime, I simply ask that you quit being purposefully deceptive. It is fine for you own blog, but it is a disservice to our community.
    REPLY: Mark, wow, a new speed record for you showing up here after publication. Ah and we have the obligatory “judgment from on high”. You may think I’m “purposely deceptive” but I’m not wasting public money on “studies”. Point out anything in my letter that is not factual. You can in fact buy offsets at the Chicago Exchange for less than the cost of the city funded studies.
    And tell me Mark, with a 250 word limit in the Newspaper, how could I cover “83 possible actions”. I picked two, one I like, one I don’t. Who’s being “purposely deceptive” now?
    And I do believe in AGW, I just don’t believe it’s much of a problem.
    see the CO2 saturation curve here
    I’d like to add this graph showing CO2′s temperature response to supplement the one Doug Hoffman cites from IPCC AR4. here we see that we are indeed pretty close to saturation of the response.
    http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2009/07/co2_temperature_curve_saturation.png?w=510&h=414
    The “blue fuzz” represents measured global CO2 increases in our modern times.
    see Dr. John Christy’s finding on irrigation here http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/09/12/christy-on-irrigation-and-regional-temperature-effects/
    then there’s UHI, and a whole host of other things. But you don’t want to look at those.
    – Anthony

  7. Anthony, the insanity is coast to coast. See my recent post about the guy being sued by the County for growing too much food (in Tips&Notes).
    [REPLY – That’ll teach you to beat your sword into a ploughshare! ~ Evan]

  8. I hope the councillors have traded their cars for bicycles. However I’ll bet like most in power, they are following Al Gore’s example of excessive consumption.

  9. I noticed that the editorial mentioned that the CSU inventory indicated most of the emissions were due to vehicles. Did anyone check their figures? Don’t they use electricity in Chino? How about construction, making concrete creates a lot of CO2.

  10. It looks like the word “carbon” has been officially redefined to mean “carbon dioxide.” What word shall we use when referring to element 6? Wolfram? Luminiferous aether?
    This carbon-based life form would like to know.

  11. Mark says:
    September 13, 2010 at 1:21 pm
    So is Mark on the receiving end of the Chico Climate Ca$h?? I didn’t realize the price tag was already up to $70,000…

    REPLY:
    We’ll he’s here, why not ask him? Hey Mark, how much of that went to you or to your department at Chico State? – Anthony

  12. “I note this in the Climate Action Plan: “Carbon Offsets Goal 1: Purchase Carbon Offsets Where Cost Effective.””
    The LED street lights are in Phase One of the Climate Action Plan.
    Carbon Offsets are on a separate list of potential actions ‘to be considered.’
    For someone who makes their fame in minutia, I am surprised you do not read entire documents before you start belittling people.
    And I just happened to be reading the local paper when your blog popped up. Lucky me.
    REPLY: Yet the whole report was presented for approval that night. And, the section on Carbon Offsets is in fact part of the report submitted, considered, and voted on that night. So citing from the whole report is in fact fair game. Public discussion and voting can’t be limited to just a part of a report presented to the city council, it’s all or nothing, unless of course you want a Brown Act violation.
    If the report had not mentioned the Carbon Offsets, or only presented phase 1, and nothing from the other phases at all, then you’d in fact have an actual argument. As it stands you do not. Sorry.
    – Anthony

  13. I’m sorry Anthony but Chico can’t be Northern Berkley. Eugene, OR has owned that title for way to long already.

  14. Drunk with power and beliefs the council lurches on. No purpose but to spend taxpayers monies while California unemployment sits at 12% and a real possibility of California not able to pay their debt obligations. City after city facing bankruptcies while council clowns run fools errands for Al Gore. Ah yes think of the children, will they have jobs to pay for the councils games?

  15. I hate to see Chico City Council waste money — so I offer a solution to the study and the plan.
    Go to the Ontario Site, copy all the plans under publications and just copy the plan. The information is wrong, out of date and misleading. It seems to be a perfect fit.
    see here for example…
    http://www.ene.gov.on.ca/en/publications/air/index.php#9b
    Take your pick. We even have studies based on 1990’s data predicting disasters and heatwaves over the last five years. The fact that the predictions were wrong should not devalue the studies for the use intended.
    Your odds of stopping this are just about zero — so I thought I would offer cost mitigation. 🙂

  16. It appears that Chico has some 60000 inhabitants and the state university- who carried out the Co2 audit is one of the largest institutions in town. Taking into account deliveries, travel to and from the Univesty, building etc I would say that it is probably one of the largest Co2 emmitters in town, so its a bit ironic they got paid for doing the inventory.
    Tonyb

  17. I have not received a single cent for my work, nor has my department.
    Thirty thousand went to pay the researchers who gathered the data for the greenhouse gas inventory I co-authored.
    Ten thousand went to pay two interns who worked at the city.
    The remaining $30,000 has yet to be allocated
    REPLY: Thanks for that info Mark – Anthony

  18. Installing LED street lights is part of a “carbon offset” plan? In what stretch of the imagination? Or does Chico generate their own electricity? You’d probably emit more CO2 with the linemen trucks moving around replacing them one by one more than you’d save, unless you replace them by attrition. I feel sorry for the lone councilman who seemed preoccupied for tangible results for the citizenry of the city. Silly guy. But as I’m sure we’re all used to by now, it is style over substance these days.

  19. This is all quite funny in a sad sort of way. I’m sure all these people have nearly wet themselves with excitement at how smart and virtuous they imagine themselves to be totally unaware as to the howls of mirth they induce in the sane world. And thanks to Mark for offering himself up for our amusement like a pompous chew toy. Ah, me….

  20. Mark writes:
    “It is fine for you own blog, but it is a disservice to our community.”
    So what Mark is saying then is that my free speech, my right to publish my opinion in a local newspaper, on a local issue, should be revoked because he sees a dissenting opinion as a “disservice to our community.”
    Thanks for allowing me to continue publishing in my blog, I’m forever grateful.

  21. Anthony- you say
    “In fact, if they print them on this paper, the 69 cents a sheet paper would actually be worth more than the 5 cents per ton of carbon they “offset”.”
    This is one of the funniest comments you have posted this year! Bravo!

  22. P Gosselin says:
    September 13, 2010 at 1:19 pm
    Anyone still interested in the “free” economy?
    “Live free and die?” 😉

  23. Anthony,
    You have a right to say whatever you want, wherever you want.
    I don’t care if you play fast on loose with the facts on your blog.
    I will call you on your BS, however, when you drag our town into it.
    As a reminder to all your readers, this blog is also posted in our local paper, and the original lie was sent in as a letter to the editor
    REPLY: Wow, now you care calling my constitutionally protected free speech opinion a “lie”? Mark, you’ve gone off the deep end. Serenity now buddy. Hey, newsflash professor! The town IS in it- through no action of mine. You should quit while you are ahead, you’ve now left factual discourse and descended into spinning silliness. – Anthony

  24. I like the idea of buying a few hundred carbon offsets (if the certificates were printed on individual pieces of paper). Imagine what a unique collectors item these will be in 50-100 years. Better than Confederate currency.

  25. You have to admit, its probably a nice head trip for those selected to be on the “Sustainability Task Force” where they can be self important, self-righteous bores.
    JT

  26. Two years ago we re-did our kitchen and used 12 volt lighting under the cabinets. Recently, one quit on us and I went to a lighting store and had the transformer replaced. While there, I looked at the LED under-cabinet lights and was impressed with their low usage and their coolness. Until I asked their price. The lights we have cost about 40 bucks for an 18 inch fixture. The same LED fxture costs $180. I wonder what it is going to cost your city to replace all its street lights and how long will it take to re-coup the expense through lower electric bills.

  27. Mark says:
    September 13, 2010 at 2:23 pm
    “I have not received a single cent for my work, nor has my department. ”
    And pigs fly.

  28. LED lighting has come of age. Granted the stuff you buy will be made in China, but so are Apple computers. If you go with LEDs go for the SMD type and not the bazillion small leds mounted on wafers and enclosed in a capsule. They will not last. While LEDs do not emit a lot of heat, they emit some. When it is trapped in the capsule (no convective cooling) the solder joints thermally stress. Eventually you will have a wafer at a time drop out because their connection to the power bus running through the bulb fatigued to death. Some of the open air ones are ok, but if you stick with the SMD flavor, you will win. As to the difference in price between high pressure sodium and LEDs I will not comment. As has been pointed out, you have to take man-hours into account when you swap them out.

  29. Hey Anthony,
    There are a series of debates scheduled on AB 32/ Prop 23.
    Do you want to crawl out and play?
    Or is it too scary in public?
    REPLY: Oh Mark, please. You know with my hearing loss as bad as it is now, I can’t participate in a live debate. I can’t hear well enough to keep up. I can give presentations, but I can’t do live interaction well. I’m at a huge disadvantage. Have you noticed that my radio broadcasts on KPAY are no longer “live in the studio” interactive? I record them because I can’t keep up with the one-on-one fast paced dialog. Oh sorry, you never listen to my station.
    I can do presentations, just like I did on TV, but Q&A with audience is really rough. During my Australian tour I had to have an “interpreter” who would listen to questions from the audience and then repeat them to me on-stage. Even then I didn’t get them all because he had an accent.
    But if you want to add “abusing the handicapped” to your resume already soiled with the free speech issue you made here, please be my guest.
    Until you live with hearing loss, please don’t pretend to lecture to me about being “scared” or “crawling out”. You should be ashamed.
    – Anthony

  30. Odd, Mark thinks he called someone else on the BS….
    Are these the same people teaching our kids?
    Is this what they are teaching them?
    Do they ever get out in the real world?
    Do they really melt in sun light?
    …..stay tuned for another installment of The Day of the Triffids………

  31. Mark, if you co-authored the paper and the researchers were paid for their work, were they paid directly by the city council or through the University, and did you co-author as a private citizen or as a member of the University? I ask this because, putting out is quite the big deal at Universities. Publish or perish. You keep your job because you publish, and because you publish you reap money awards in the future. You may not have had the audit money put in your department’s account, but having a publishing record related to CO2 garners more grants of any kind in the future. And you know that.

  32. I’ve been in the Ivory tower and sad to say, the childish attitude shown by whoever this Mark guy is, is what I experienced. It’s as if churlishness in some research circles is a resume requirement.
    Let’s get back to the cost of this thing Chico is doing. Does seem a bit over the top to me, and focused on bandwagon appearances rather than impactful decisions. Plus buying carbon credits seems like the way to go as a first step. Meanwhile, focusing on what lowers city service expenses seems very reasonable, politically smart, and party-blind in the long term.

  33. When I was a kid, rumor was, some other kids (not I, I hasten to add) would shoot out streetlights with powerful slingshots. What is the replacement cost of LED’s vs. incandescents, and has that been factored into the economics of the use of LED’s as streetlights?

  34. Mark says:
    September 13, 2010 at 3:02 pm
    You guys never have the balls to debate. Look what a waste of time Cameron was when he reneged in public.
    When one has no facts on one’s side, it is mighty hard to debate and win, as wimpy Cameron found out.
    REPLY: Actually, in defense of Mark, he does. And has. I sat in on a debate several years ago (when I still had some hearing left) with him. – Anthony

  35. Anthony,
    Beautifully done. Such Entertainment. Unconcionable waste of tax dollars, but well skewered.

  36. Hey Mark……can’t argue the message so you attack the messanger. How typical of the loony left. Look around buddy; your city, county and state does not have one dollar to spare. Businesses are fleeing in droves because of this kind of regulatory stupidity.
    You golden-staters out there had better clean house, and fast before you go bankrupt. You need to start with that wack-job Barbara Boxer and work your way down from there.

  37. If Mark is so convinced, why not have him submit his explaination here why he believes AGW is an issue? I’m dying to know why anyone would still believe it now.
    REPLY: Professor Mark Stemen is welcome to submit a guest post here at any time. Since he said earlier in the thread that:

    I know you do not believe in AGW. I do, and I am happy to debate that in a community forum.

    And since this is a worldwide public forum, I’m sure he’ll accept.
    I’ll even overlook his childish name calling of me on another forum. “Agony Watts”
    Way to stay classy professor Stemen, but you are welcome to do a guest post here. – Anthony

  38. If I was just a little more reckless and younger, I probably would have started knocking out lights around people who believe in agw…
    They believe in returning to the dark at night, so it makes sense from someone who wants to commit vandalism..
    Is it truly a crime if the person who is vicimized believes that you are saving the world by doing it? The philosophical question of the day to be added to the
    professor question of the day: “how many hours do you work per week on the tax-payer dime”
    Remember, you are supposed to work at a university to teach children, are you doing that or are you using tax-payer funded monies to influence political decisions?

  39. Pamela Gray says:
    “Mark, if you co-authored the paper and the researchers were paid for their work, were they paid directly by the city council or through the University, and did you co-author as a private citizen or as a member of the University? I ask this because, putting out is quite the big deal at Universities. Publish or perish. You keep your job because you publish, and because you publish you reap money awards in the future. You may not have had the audit money put in your department’s account, but having a publishing record related to CO2 garners more grants of any kind in the future. And you know that.”
    Cui bono indeed, which makes Mark hardly a disinterested person with nothing to gain from all of this.

  40. In Canada, the Suzuki greens have been elected under others list in municipal elections. They too are pushing those climate action plans, trying to subvert the democratic vote: the greens only were 8% at the latest BC provincial election, a Canadian province that is the base of the Suzuki Foundation and Desmogblog founder.
    This is eco-totalitarism. DANGER!!!

  41. erik sloneker says:
    September 13, 2010 at 3:37 pm
    ummm…. they’re already bankrupt. The state is sending IOUs in place of payment. They’re just waiting for the pension system to bring final catastrophic collapse.

  42. Sorry, I live too far south to know the players in Chico. But maybe someone can enlighten me. Who is Holcombe? Can’t find an id anywhere.
    John in Azusa
    REPLY: Andy Holcombe, the same councilor who thinks having a coop pot warehouse in town is a good idea.
    Huge indoor medical marijuana grow proposed at Chico airport
    http://www.chicoer.com/ci_15910557
    From the story:

    Chico City Councilor Andy Holcombe said that is a possibility he can rally behind.
    “If it actually creates jobs and tax revenue, it sounds like a promising business, just like any other business,” Holcombe said. “From a jobs and business standpoint, in principle, it sounds like a good idea. Why not be part of the medical marijuana cluster that’s developing in California? Assuming it’s a legal use, it could be beneficial to our community.”
    The question of legality, however, is one that is contested.
    Oh maintains the business is “legal in every way.”
    “We’re just leasing space in a controlled environment,” he said.
    Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey and Chico Police Chief Mike Maloney disagree.
    Ramsey said based on the information he was provided, the facility would not be a legal operation.
    Although Proposition 215 allows for the cultivation of marijuana for medical purposes, it does not give the green light to mass marijuana production.
    Maloney said it is “ridiculous” to think otherwise.

    But Mark thinks I’m the one hurting the town’s image. – Anthony

  43. Speaking of Money: Has anyone in Chico examined the salaries of the city council and administrators. I noted on the national news that the populace of one California city recently protested the outrageous salaries of its city employees and their associated retirement plans.
    REPLY: Our local newspaper published them online:

  44. This reminds me of the UK about 20/30 years ago when lots of left-wing councils patted themselves on the back and thought they were achieving something by declaring their little bit of the world a ‘Nuclear Free Zone’. It never seemed to occur to them that they stand or fall at the next election depending on whether they get the rubbish collected on time.
    How about suggesting to these councils that they make their little piece of the world a ‘Carbon Free Zone’. I’m sure some of them would go for it. After all they did elect the Terminator as Governor.
    REPLY: Chico is already one of those “nuclear free zones” they actually passed a law to that effect. I’m sure they’ll go for “carbon free” zone. Mark can make it happen. – Anthony

  45. I find it somewhat amazing that we strangely ‘expect’ local councilors and local government officials to be able to get their heads around the complexities and hype around the AGW business. An expert with the right connections will be very able to push through an agenda in this space. Especially when local councils usually have a terrible record on consistent fiscal responsible behavior. I’ll give you an example from the UK:
    “There is a regional council in Dorset a few years back that wanted to make their council tax statement delivery more cost effective; they had staff printing out the statements and then by hand putting the statements in envelopes, sealing them, franking them, and then bagging them for postal pick up. This occurred monthly. Now a machine was found which does all of this in one flow, total cost 100,000 GBP. It was bought and installed. Several months went by and one inquisitive councilor put a question in full council on how well the machine was doing – it turned out it never got used as training was not provided on how to use it…”
    The morals of this story are that:
    – councils are quite capable to spend tax payers money that does nothing expect preserve the status quo or extend the ’empire’ without any sense of guilt
    – it just takes one motivated and inquisitive councilor to upset the apple cart.
    Basically if you really want to upset the apple cart, stand to be a local councilor 🙂

  46. I will try to answer the questions:
    I contracted with the City through our Research Foundation to prepare a Greenhouse Gas Inventory. I did not receive pay, nor is the report considered a publication for tenure/promotion purposes. I am not aware of any benefit for the University either, since this was a city report.
    Sorry to disappoint, but I did the report because it needed to be done; just like Anthony did the Stevenson survey. If you think I have other reasons, you must think the same of Anthony.
    And Anthony, I forgot about your hearing. Sorry. I guess we will never know what would have been. Maybe you can contribute something in writing. Anything would be better than your drive by assaults on Ann Schwab.
    REPLY: You mean “drive by assaults” like this?

    As I offered up thread, both Mayor Schwab and you are welcome to guest post here. The only requirement is that you’ll have to publish your full name with your words.
    – Anthony

  47. It’s just these type of actions that keeps business out of California, and in particular in towns like Chico. They’ll meet zero emissions, because no jobs = no people.

  48. REPLY: Chico is already one of those “nuclear free zones” they actually passed a law to that effect. – Anthony
    ====================================
    Anthony, does that also apply to incoming?
    and
    Does Professor Elitist Mark know that this is a community forum?
    and he just made a total jackass out of himself for the whole world to see?

  49. If towns like Chico buy carbon credits the price won’t stay 0.05c for long. Anthony – you may have breathed life back into a dying market with this post.

  50. Anthony
    This has got to be a spoof – there’s no way this Mark guy can be real.
    Anyhow, no one wastes money like local government can.

  51. “It’s not about money,” Stemen said. “It’s about priorities.”
    Face meet palm. It’s always about the money.
    But that’s a reality that Gang Green will never admit to.

  52. “It is fine for you own blog, but it is a disservice to our community.”
    One might argue that blowing tens of thousands on such silliness is the real “disservice to our community”.
    Anyhow, no one wastes money like local government can.
    If only they wasted it! That would be a huge improvement.
    Usually they make very effective use of it to destroy additional wealth and opportunity. If only they just dumped it in the ocean, we’d all be better off, and it would even serve to curb inflation.
    Better yet, they should jump in themselves, which would be all the better for us and all the worse for the fishes.

  53. This is beauty. Mark is upset it seems. that is fine. When a business or even a recruit for a company interviews in a town, they google news. Why would someone take a job in a town that is facing bankruptcy and strife? I remember a School superintendent interviewed in Oregon. The school district had made the news in attacking Scouts and ROTC. No way for a family to move there. How can they recruit business with an elitist green attitude?

  54. Peter Miller says:
    September 13, 2010 at 4:16 pm
    Anthony
    This has got to be a spoof
    I don’t believe there is a venue large enough to hold all the people “like” Mark. And as for wasting money, I think we all know that dollar foolish penny wise is applied at all levels of government.

  55. Mark says:
    “I simply ask that you quit being purposefully deceptive.” and, “I will call you on your BS……and the original lie was sent in as a letter to the editor”
    Anthony said, “Point out anything in my letter that is not factual.”
    ========================================================
    Mark, Anthony is more than capable of holding his own, but I’ve got to point out that you’ve failed. You have used the words “lie” and “deceptive” also, the abbreviation “BS”. Anthony challenged you to show where he is not factual. You have failed to do so. You’ve also, by your own admission, have shown where the advocates of this policy have reaped financial rewards for the advocacy. I’m not sure how that is perceived in your part of the world, but where I’m from, it isn’t acceptable.
    Moreover, if this act of lunacy was confined to simply the college and town, I’d say “So what? Let them down in their own cesspool of ethical rationalization and financial suicide(if you’re in a hole, quit digging.) But, cities and colleges receive financial help from both state and federal assistance, either directly or indirectly. Today, at the small electric cooperative I work at, almost 4%(unemployment is over twice that) of the membership is 2 or months behind on their bill payments. I can’t help but think there are other priorities we as a community of people can be addressing right now other than ways to spend public monies.
    In summary, show the “lies” and quit encouraging needless expenditures. And start doing something more than advocating the lining of your institution’s pockets with frivolous quixotic ventures. You community, your state, your nation would be better off.
    Thanks.

  56. Mark says
    “…….I am not aware of any benefit for the University either, …….”——-Waaa??? But didn’t you just state, “Thirty thousand went to pay the researchers who gathered the data for the greenhouse gas inventory I co-authored. Ten thousand went to pay two interns who worked at the city.”
    ========================================================
    Or are these people from a different institution? I was to understand they were from your college. Did I misinterpret the exchange or were they not from CSUC?
    Mark, I don’t like to pick on people when they are engaged with others, but come on man!

  57. Mark says: September 13, 2010 at 4:02 pm
    Mark, please give some details on “our Research Foundation”.

  58. “Thirty thousand went to pay the researchers who gathered the data for the greenhouse gas inventory I co-authored.”
    “Ten thousand went to pay two interns who worked at the city.”
    “The remaining $30,000 has yet to be allocated.”
    Well, it’s good to see that $70,000 from the poor taxpayers of Chico, CA trying to keep their heads above water in our awful economy went to such a great use.
    I suppose next the ruling class of Chico can vote to allocate themselves $100,000 to study the impact of unicorn mating habits on groundwater contamination…hey, it’s fun playing with other people’s money!

  59. There were some really choice recommendations in the report.
    Stuff like ‘free bicycle maintenance’ and ‘stop paving roads with asphalt’.
    Just dig up the roads and install a goat path!!!

  60. John Galt says:
    September 13, 2010 at 1:28 pm
    How about construction, making concrete creates a lot of CO2.
    John, if I remember correctly, the creation of Portland cement which is used to make concrete creates a lot of CO2. Ground limestone and other minerals are heated in a kiln and a lot of CO2 comes from driving CO2 from the limestone and from the kiln to heat the limestone and other minerals. When the Portland cement is hydrated, it absorbs CO2 while curing.
    Portland cement used in concrete construction will have already produced the CO2 and won’t create CO2.
    Warren

  61. From the ChicoER article “One called it a “symbolic gesture.” They said there would be no mandate, just a commitment by the city to lead the way in protecting the environment”.
    This is such a bizarre statement by the “one”. How can a symbolic gesture having no mandate to do anything, protect the environment, let alone lead the way in doing so?
    Is this their idea of leading by example? Make symbolic gestures, and pass no-mandate action plans? Leading the world in doing nothing, and saving the environment at the same time. My God these people are seriously confused.

  62. Anthony
    Golly gee willikers, 5c a tonne for Carbon? And BBQ briquettes sell for more?
    I drive to work and occasionally observe bumper stickers etc advertising “Carbon Neutral”, blah, blah.
    I’m a thinking of a new bumber sticker “Carbon Positive and Proud of it – because I’m a carbon based lifeform”. or a big black foot sticker with C +ve ?
    No as pithy as I would like, however, and maybe we could use our resources here to come up with something better? Heck, as a carbon based life form the bigger our carbon foot print the better.

  63. Wow, Chico, what an interesting place. Could not the city counsel perhaps begin a weekly television series based upon these stories? Seems to me that would generate ample income to support these insanely comical and useless ideas.
    From afar, all I can do is think to myself “hmmmm” .. and laugh.
    Professor Mark is a prime example of the very sad and sorry state of our so-called “educational” system in this country. What a complete waste of some poor students money. Just glad it isn’t my daughter wasting her time in an environment such as that. (note to self; do not employ someone graduating from Chico, CA)

  64. Greg Cavanagh says:
    September 13, 2010 at 5:31 pm
    “… How can a symbolic gesture having no mandate to do anything, protect the environment, let alone lead the way in doing so?”
    ========================================================
    lol, its symbolism over substance!! The west coast has perfected the “form over function” thought! Forget reality, we’ll invent a new one! Yes, its a horrible reality, but look at the beautiful thoughts we can provide to counter the invented reality!

  65. “Huge indoor medical marijuana grow proposed at Chico airport”
    How else, can they convince the average joe that global warming is real?

  66. Peter Miller says:
    September 13, 2010 at 4:16 pm
    “Anthony
    This has got to be a spoof – there’s no way this Mark guy can be real.
    Anyhow, no one wastes money like local government can.”

    Have you been paying attention to the Feds? A trillion here, a trillion there and pretty soon you’re talking real money. Oh wait…. they’re just printing it. Never mind.
    @Mark: Please post. Please?
    .
    .
    .
    .
    Still waiting for the lies in Anthony’s post to be pointed out Lovely ad hom, though.

  67. harrywr2 says:
    September 13, 2010 at 5:22 pm
    ….. and ‘stop paving roads with asphalt’.
    Just dig up the roads and install a goat path!!!

    Actually, I was just catching up on some reading earlier today and came across a disturbing article illuminating a disturbing trend in this country, the replacement of asphalt roads with gravel. Because of the tremendous increases in cost of asphalt, many cities and states are opting to replace asphalt roads with gravel instead of rebuilding or repairing them. South Dakota currently ranks towards the top in this trend.

  68. interesting post….
    and apparently the left is happy to drive all industry or farming out of California unless its marijuana…(who knew?)
    as far as the professor types, i recently enrolled for some Computer Science classes at American River JuCo at the age of 40 and was so disappointed by the self-centered instructor that i dropped the class after the first meeting…when i went to college ~20 years ago the professors were humble and happy to help the students learn but if the prof. at ARC was any example, things have changed for the worse….privatization of the UC’s and CSU’s in this state might be the answer – it might force some of them to behave in a decent manner as well as get rid of their bloated salaries and pensions and the silly idea of tenure….

  69. Here’s some good news.
    My local Council (Richmond, London, UK) introduced a “Green Tax” about four years ago with the same sort of “start with the answer” research and potty finance behind it.
    £30,000 in legal fees alone as I recall. They had to “consult” the locals five times before they got the “mandate” they wanted to go ahead.
    Three years in one of the Councillors pointed out that the amount of CO2 saved could have been bought on the EU carbon markets for about £850. Sound familiar?
    Did I say good news? Oh yes. A few months ago that Councillor’s party won control. Tax repealed. Nonsense over.
    (Something for you to look forward to)

  70. Chico sounds like it is already an extremely efficient city.
    The average US CO2 emissions per capita is 19 tons of CO2 per person.
    Wiki says the city has a population of 87,700 so, on average, the emissions should be close to 1,666K tons (while the inventory says Chico is only 516K tons or less than one-third of the US average).
    So either Chico is extremely efficient or the greenhouse gas inventory was done wrong.

  71. I would also be very happy to see Mark discuss his position on AGW in depth. Especially, I would like him to start with a discussion of the quality of the data that goes into determining national and global average temperature, and also the error ranges of that data. That is something I have never seen fully addressed in a way that makes sense to a non-statistician.

  72. Dennis Nikols, P. Geol. says:
    September 13, 2010 at 5:51 pm
    “Are Carbon Indulgences significantly different then those old style indulgences that got M. Luther so excited?”
    ========================================================
    Well, I don’t think you were required to pay for horse flatulence back then.

  73. From the story:
    But Councilor Larry Wahl contested whether a Climate Action Plan, or its subsequent directives, would produce any “tangible benefit” to Chico.
    “I do not literally see what this will accomplish … Will the sky be bluer? Will anything be prettier?” Wahl asked.
    Politicians will get more control and more money to control. The believers will get a good feeling. “Green” entrepreneurs will make money (maybe). Meanwhile, a lot of human endeavor will be misdirected and frittered away on useless projects that in the end will have no redeeming social value. This is what we and the Europeans have been doing for some time now, instead of building a stronger economy that benefits everyone.

  74. We’ve recalled the township board twice in the last 15 years; the whole lot of them. Once was for trying to force an ethanol plant on us after we voted the measure down. The even had the gall to hire an attorney with our money to fight us!
    The second was for them, “new” elected officials years later, passing draconian ordinances infringing on our property rights, paying consultants and general money wasting that politicians are so good at. Oh, and of course reassessing our property values, with outside hired assessors which was odd since we elected a township supervisor and clerk to do that. Most of us have lived in this area our entire lives. It is out in the country, a small population, but these city slickers [no offense to city dwellers 🙂 ] come in and decide they know what’s best for us. Our philosophy is leave us alone and go back to your big lib city politics, we don’t want them; don’t tread on me.
    People now pay more attention to who is running for office.
    Only until the citizenry of Chico, California take control and boot out the board can the situation be improved. That would be my suggestion, but then again maybe the citizens of Chico like what their government officials are doing to them.

  75. Just when you thought Chino was kooky, we had a Climate Action Plan for Maryland since 2008. Look what our enviro wackos are shooting for:
    reduce GHG by “90 percent by 2050”
    90% by 2050, yep.
    Gov. Martin O’Malley has bought into this hook, line and sinker!

  76. Dear Mark –
    Although I am accustomed to strange things coming out of California, I assume you are a real person, and that you hold a real post at a real institution in a real city with a real city council. Were it not for the trust I place in Anthony based on past experience, I might well have assumed the whole post was a spoof, especially the comments made under your name.
    Since you have publicly accused Anthony of BS, deceit and lying, please have the courtesy to substantiate these allegations. I have seen no such substantiation so far. Indeed, I have read and re-read the relevant documents, and find Anthony’s letter to the Editor to be entirely fair and factually correct.
    Even better, why not take up Anthony’s offer to make a guest post setting out your side of the story in full? That might well alter the opinion I have now formed of you, your institution, and your city council.
    Best regards

  77. I lived in Chico for a while (82-84), well I lived in Chapman Town and later Paradise, while finishing off my geology degree. The town was a little nuts back then but apparently the nuttiness has become a lot more institutional since. Most of my profs were oil and mining guys cooling their heels after industrial careers, fairly conservative types. I wonder how the geology staff is now? Seems like rockheads tend to be skeptics, has to do with actually “gorking” the immense scale of time and the changes that occurred and are occurring.
    I haven’t been back in 15 years, is the Madison Bear Gardens still pumping? Burger Hut?

  78. Bill Illis says:
    September 13, 2010 at 6:07 pm
    So either Chico is extremely efficient or the greenhouse gas inventory was done wrong.
    ==========================================
    Bill, actually it’s worse than that.
    There is no industry in Chico that would contribute to CO2. No coal plants, manufacturing, etc.. Chico’s industry is the university, medical, etc.
    They spent the first $30,000 to hire the university ( that’s professor Mark who’s posting here) to do a “greenhouse gas inventory”.
    A greenhouse gas inventory to tell them it’s coming from cars…….
    Anyone with half a brain could have told them that for free…………..

  79. Soon if you make a fire to stay warm, the carbon police will be there with there hand out for the carbon tax or carbon fine.
    Freedom???

  80. Anthony,
    Are you sure you don’t live in Ann Arbor, Michigan? This is exactly the sort of silly, pointless and expensive greenie crap that the city council and the liberals of this town love. A stupid idea like AGW and what to do about a non-existent threat to the planet is perfect for the People’s Republic of Ann Arbor.

  81. Anthony,
    I politely deny your offer. This is not what I consider a community forum. I live in a community where people know each other, and they know when people are telling them the truth because they can see it in their eyes and hear it in their voice.
    For the rest of you, Anthony twisted the truth to make the task force look silly. It is his pattern. My pattern is to sink to his level in my replies to WUWT, and get even worse in the cesspool of Topix.
    REPLY: Thanks for the note. You can “deny” my offer, but it is most certainly there for everybody to see, thus real. Or did you mean to say “politely decline your offer” like most people say?
    So tell me please, where I either lied, as you said in the comment previously or twisted the truth. Going back to my first comment: What part of my letter is non factual? Why would it be so bad to simply send $25,800 off to CCX for Carbon mitigation and disband the task force? Problem solved, some money saved, participant’s lives now with more time to do other useful community things. Seems like a winner.
    Also, see Bill Illis comment earlier, are the numbers wrong?
    – Anthony

  82. Mr Latitude, I am willing to bet, if they have done the job properly, that some of it comes from their buildings (domestic heating, shops, offices, er… educational establishments; that sort of stuff)

  83. Jim Barker says:
    September 13, 2010 at 4:52 pm
    I don’t believe there is a venue large enough to hold all the people “like” Mark.
    California’s big enough. The trouble is that as soon as they’ve finished bankrupting the golden state, they’ll just move elsewhere.

  84. so-called “climate change” action in S-E Queensland and elsewhere in Australia has the public riled up.
    in S-E Queensland, councils pretended to privatise water after spending billions on desal & such-like on the basis of CAGW propaganda, yet they still own the “private” entities! water bills, now sent separately to Rates Bills, were not sent out in July but were held until the australian election was over. the $1.2bn desal plant in my region has barely worked since it was finished in Feb 09, and is unnecessary anyway:
    11 Sept: Australian: Prospect of water ‘white elephants’ raised
    Questions such as whether the Victorian government was panicked by climate change fears into funding a multi-billion-dollar “white elephant”….
    Southeast Queensland’s Grid Three dams have reached 96.6 per cent, from an August 2007 low of 16.7 per cent. Similar rises have been seen in Melbourne and Adelaide, where water restrictions are being eased…
    Victoria’s Auditor-General recently raised concerns that the estimated cost of the desalination plant near Wonthaggi of $3.1bn could balloon out to more than $5bn by the time it comes online next year…
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/prospect-of-water-white-elephants-raised/story-fn59niix-1225917685332
    15 Aug: Courier Mail: High water bills in Queensland without a drop
    DAMS are full and millions of dollars worth of water infrastructure is sitting idle, but residents are still being forced to pay for the white elephant projects with rising water bills.
    Homeowners have lashed out at waste involved in delivering the $9 billion water grid and blamed it for blowing out their household water bills.
    Queensland Water Commission figures reveal it could be more than a decade before the Western Corridor recycled water project adds a single drop to the region’s drinking supply after the State Government backflipped in 2008 on plans for an earlier start date.
    While a length of pipeline sits ready to pump millions of litres a day of recycled water in to Wivenhoe Dam, government predictions show it will remain shut for years…
    The Gold Coast desalination plant – the “showpiece” of the water grid – has been closed for repairs after ongoing problems, including rusting pipes.
    Taxpayers are also facing millions of dollars to pay off the scrapped Traveston Crossing Dam proposal, with $265 million already written-off.
    Angry ratepayers have criticised the costly water grid bungles at public forums held to protest the sky-rocketing water prices…
    http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/high-water-bills-in-queensland-without-a-drop/story-e6freon6-1225905278267
    11 Sept: Brisbane Times Australia: Unitywater’s guesswork slammed
    A lack of trust in consumption amounts on the first set of Unitywater bills sent out in the past month has fuelled anger that led to protest meetings at Kawana and Noosa this week.
    Fed up with what it sees as gross misrepresentation about who is responsible for rapidly increasing water costs, the South-East Queensland Council of Mayors has requested a full and independent review of the books of the three council-owned water retailer-distributors, Allconnex, Unitywater and Urban Water Utilities…
    http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/unitywaters-guesswork-slammed-20100911-155f6.html

  85. Universities frequently receive funding in a manner that requires “in-kind” contributions. This means an instructor could have her/his class load reduced (or committee assignments) and contribute the time to a project. The State still pays and perhaps twice if the department picks up a graduate student or adds to a part-time instructor’s pay and class hours to compensate for the in-kind contribution of the principle investigator (PI). Thus, my earlier comment still holds: @ 1:20 P.M.

  86. JT says:
    September 13, 2010 at 6:33 pm
    Just when you thought Chino was kooky, we had a Climate Action Plan for Maryland since 2008. Look what our enviro wackos are shooting for:
    reduce GHG by “90 percent by 2050″

    The amazing thing about this is that it is actually achievable. Move all electricity generation to nuclear, outlaw gas heating, electric vehicles only and voila!
    But of course, this isn’t what they’re doing.

  87. “Ten thousand went to pay two interns who worked at the city.”
    Perhaps the two interns were students from the University.
    REPLY: I believe they were students associated with Professor Stemen’s sustainability group. -Anthony

  88. from the Climate Action Plan:
    “In October 2006, the City Council signed the U.S. Conference of Mayor’s Climate Protection Agreement confirming the City’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. By signing the Agreement, the City agreed to strive to meet or beat the Kyoto Protocol GHG emission reduction target of 7% below 1990 levels by 2012. In addition, Governor Schwarzenegger’s Executive Order S-3-05 and the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32) establish a statewide goal of reducing GHG emissions reductions to 1990 levels (or by approximately 25%) by 2020, and a GHG emission reduction of 80% by 2050. To assist the City in implementing the U.S. Mayor’s Agreement, the Council formed the Sustainability Task Force in December 2006. The Task Force consists of sixteen members representing the University, business community, environmental groups, and members at large. Mayor Ann Schwab is currently the Chair of the Task Force.”
    lol:
    Mayors aren’t the brightest lights so the idea a U.S. Conference of Mayor’s Climate Protection Agreement has got to be a real treat to read.
    1990 levels were dismissed as unreasonable (no data exists) and 2005 levels were substituted; WUWT. Do they really believe the population and level of emissions to be the same and if not how does this comply with the intent (as stupid as it is intent)?
    What a mess and huge waste of tax dollars — imagine the waste if every community is required to do this!!!

  89. Mark says:
    September 13, 2010 at 6:48 pm
    For the rest of you, Anthony twisted the truth to make the task force look silly. It is his pattern. My pattern is to sink to his level in my replies to WUWT, and get even worse in the cesspool of Topix.
    ========================================================
    Mark, I know you’ll find this hard to believe, but you were given ample opportunity, to present your side of the discussion. You didn’t do so. The fact is, the “task force” made themselves look silly. The fact that Chico has a CO2 task force is silly. Sometimes, an outside perspective is necessary to evaluate if your actions are sensible or not. I am truly sorry you chose not to engage, perhaps when you learn the art of correspondence as opposed to animated dialogue you can come back and engage?
    BTW, it isn’t that you sunk to anyone’s level in replies, it is that you failed to rise to an acceptable level of engagement here. If you repeatedly call someone a liar, you should damned well be able to back it up. We all misinterpret, misquote, or simply misunderstand certain issues and topics. All that means is clarification is necessary. Don’t be to proud to say oops. This is a forgiving bunch here, but you should come here with more than ‘I call BS because it isn’t my perspective!’, that’s pretty lame for someone over the age of 12.

  90. Mark is a university professor? Oh…my…God…
    I remember professors being facilitators of knowledge infusion. Are they merely emotional pro-bots today? What happened to critical thinking? Replaced by bias-of-the day regurgitators?
    Mark, you would serve your students vastly more if you just quit. Imagine them seeing your immature name-calling and accusations backed up with…nothing. Is this the example of an honored professor you want your students to see? Is this the kind of public persona the university expects from its employees?

  91. Having read a number of requests for information on the GHG study, I will try to answer them.
    I will also describe the very specific argument I have with Anthony’s claim, a claim he has made before, and that I clarified before.
    I do not need to debate action on climate change because in California, it is state law. The City of Chico is required by SB 375 to include a greenhouse reduction strategy as part of its general plan update. The law reinforces a previous decision by the city council to reduce greenhouse gasses by 25% by 2020.
    To establish the baseline, the CSU, Chico Research Foundation contracted with the City of Chico to complete the study in three months for $30,000. The money went to a laptop and software (both City property now), and a staff of four researchers to gather data (1200 hours).
    The City joined ICLEI (www.iclei.org) to help with the process. ICLEI provided the software. A GHG inventory is not rocket science. It is EXCEL. The software provides coefficients for easily accessible data like energy use or gasoline use. I am sure readers have a myriad of objections to this approach, but it is the universally accepted method in California.
    As part of the package, ICLEI provides a long list of potential items. These were added to the appendix of the report. Here is my specific beef: Anthony then wrote that the Council was proposing a gas tax. The Council was doing no such thing. The gas tax was on a list of recommendations coming from a third party consultant.
    Oops, he did it again. The carbon offsets are from another ICLEI list. What the council voted on was clear to all who attended, or watched on TV, as many do in Chico. His ‘mistake’ then led him to ridicule his neighbors. I guess I am too sensitive.
    What we found was not surprising. The low pounds per person figure reflects the fact that we do not produce much of what consume, which is also reflected in our high transportation number.
    And one does not need to twist the truth to pick holes in the plan. The Council has repeatedly said the reductions will “pay for themselves,” and while that may be true for some electrical conversions, it is clearly not true. As an aside; the Council did not like being called on this either.
    Unfortunately, my peers are not like me. They are normal faculty. So please do not think poorly of Chico State by association. Lest you think me a complete loon or spoof, however, . . . http://news.csuchico.edu/2008/09/10/‘dr-mark’-honored-for-sustainability-contributions/
    REPLY: Thanks Mark, that is the first factual response you’ve made. I’ll publish a detailed reply later- Anthony

  92. I’m sure glad that here in the “Live Free of Die” state we wouldn’t put up with such silliness. Umm. We seem to have lost our way – in my Email this AM:

    Good Morning –
    The NH Energy and Climate Collaborative will be hosting its next Public Session this Thursday, September 16th from 4 – 5pm at the Two C Pack Corporation offices in Nashua, NH (www.twocpack.com for directions). The one-hour public session will be dedicated to a business roundtable discussion. The Collaborative members representing the business sector will lead a discussion, with other business representatives present, on the successes, challenges and next steps for implementing the Climate Action Plan goals in the business community. We hope this meeting will initiate and inform other forums in the business community in an effort to continue this conversation.
    Hope to see you there!
    Stacey
    NH Energy & Climate Collaborative Coordinator
    http://www.nhcollaborative.org/

    (I deleted some ID info.)
    I attended a “public listening session” a couple years ago when the CAP was being formulated. They didn’t listen to me, they didn’t listen to Joe D’Aleo. Their only scientist didn’t attend. http://wermenh.com/climate/gccptf.html
    I work in Nashua, this will be a convenient thing for me to attend. The Collaborative is a different group than the one that created the plan. Well, the organizers are the same, the folks implementing the plan are not.

  93. “Anthony then wrote that the Council was proposing a gas tax. The Council was doing no such thing. The gas tax was on a list of recommendations coming from a third party consultant.”
    ========================================================
    Anthony, by your reply, “Thanks Mark, that the first factual response you’ve made.”, am I to assume the above comment is an rejoinder to a prior discussion? I’m not seeing a reference to a gas tax here.

  94. Good letter, Anthony.
    I don’t suppose that even one of the councillors had the intellectual curiosity, or the temerity, to ask whether anthropogenic CO2 was actually a problem or not. Surely some of them must know that their city hosts the pre-eminent Internet site for Climate Realism in the world, and that they have a resident expert on the subject of climate named Anthony Watts in their own backyard. Surely!
    /Mr Lynn

  95. Chico is a party school and therefore does not qualify to be “Berkeley north”. The Northern CA college town that suffers from enough Berkeley envy to earn that honor is Davis. Davis once delayed a much needed overpass for years to save toad habitat. When they could no longer stall the construction they had a $14,000 (not including the cost of research and the delays) toad tunnel built so the little guys wouldn’t get squished. http://www.widgetworks.net/toad-tunnel/welcome.htm
    There was at least one rational thinker there. The Post Master’s father realized that the little fellas would need a place to rest after the long journey through the tunnel, so he built Toad Hollow, a town complete with a hotel and a saloon (with little toad stools to sit on). So far only a few toads have found the tunnel. Davis also has a strict anti-nuclear law that will hit Russia with a heavy fine if they dare bomb Davis. They too are working on their climate plan.
    Chico only has the world’s largest yo-yo.

  96. Mark says:
    September 13, 2010 at 2:23 pm
    “I have not received a single cent for my work, nor has my department. ”
    As a former prof, I noted no mention was made of “in-kind time release” nor for the typical exorbitant overhead usually charged by the U. Foundation. $30K for an inventory seems a bit high since the excel program apparently had coefficients built into it and all one had to do was provide the inventory of people, cars, etc.
    BTW, just because the entire State of CA has gone loony over AGW still doesn’t make it true.

  97. Breckenridge, Colorado is also working on a sustainability plan. I attended the initial meeting in June where a slick environmental activist told us that global warming was real and that the oil industry was spreading lies to discredit the science. As proof that the world was taking it seriously He pointed to the election of Kevin Rudd who would soon usher in an ETS scheme for Australia. Ironically, the next day Rudd was thrown out of office. During the question, answer session I asked whether Breckenridge was now pro tree or anti tree pointing to recent studies that indicated that the cooling due to the increased albedo of snow with fewer trees apparently was more effective than the effect of reducing co2 through absorption by more trees and less snow . The town in the past would send tree nazis to fine you if you tried to cut down trees. They said they would study that and get back to me. The environmental activist’s claim to fame was in converting the always on incandescent light bulbs in the parking garages in Aspen to LEDs.
    One slick tool were the clickers they passed out which allowed us to immediately select choices displayed on the screen. What a surprise when they discovered that saving electricity scored much lower than the need for more jobs.

  98. @James Sexton:
    “The fact is, the “task force” made themselves look silly. The fact that Chico has a CO2 task force is silly.”
    Exactly what I was thinking. Because really, states without money, comprising a bunch of towns without money, really should be spending money on what is arguably a non-problem in order to feel superior.

  99. Mark says:
    September 13, 2010 at 7:25 pm
    Mark, of course, could have written this first but chose not to. We find now that the Climate Ca$h went from the poor taxpayers of the city to Chico State. I’m sure the ruling class will be appropriating more. Remember this, Anthony, when they vote to raise your property tax rates…

  100. Mr Lynn says:
    September 13, 2010 at 8:00 pm
    Good letter, Anthony.
    I don’t suppose that even one of the councillors had the intellectual curiosity, or the temerity, to ask whether anthropogenic CO2 was actually a problem or not. Surely some of them must know that their city hosts the pre-eminent Internet site for Climate Realism in the world, and that they have a resident expert on the subject of climate named Anthony Watts in their own backyard. Surely!
    ——————
    Generally, it’s just human nature. As Jesus sagely observed, “A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and in his own house.” Just another version of familiarity breeding contempt, especially when the message is not popular or trendy.
    By the way, contra the obnoxious Mark, I would argue that WUWT has a very well-defined community: regulars here (readers and contributors) enjoy the interplay of frequent and familiar commentators, and, like all communities, despite our different perspectives and backgrounds we share common interests. It’s unfortunate that Mark has such a parochial understanding of the word and feels the need to belittle us.

  101. @pat – with regard to desalination plants in Australia …
    The purpose of having desalination plants is not to run them 24/7 . These plants are very expensive to run and you therefore want to make absolutely minimal use of them. They are and always will be absolutely the last resort when it comes to sourcing fresh water because the fresh water they produce is very expensive.
    Desalination plants are really an insurance policy against the prospect of running out of water in times of drought. Australia as you know is subject to horrific droughts on a reasonably regular basis. The prospect of a major Australian city running completely out of fresh water is a pretty awful one. Desalination plants are there to prevent that disaster from ever happening. I am unsurprised to hear that desalination plants are only being used minimally in normal non-drought conditions.
    Complaining about this is rather like complaining that your insurance policy is a waste of money because you haven’t used it yet. It is a trivial corollary of Murphy’s law that canceling your insurance policy pretty much guarantees that your house will burn down. Similarly if you guys hadn’t built those desalination plants you’d be having a huge drought right now ;-).
    Incidentally global warming is expected to lead to increased precipitation overall. While rainfall is notoriously fickle and difficult to predict, there is a good chance that global warming could lead to a greening of the outback rather similar to the greening of the Sahara which we now seem to be seeing. So that insurance policy might be less essential than previously thought. As is typical of climate research, potential negatives to warming are explored in great depth while potential positives are ignored.
    The majority of the population doesn’t get the precipitation angle and associates warming with dry and with deserts. That picture is wrong. Don’t think deserts – think jungles.

  102. JT says:
    September 13, 2010 at 2:43 pm
    You have to admit, its probably a nice head trip for those selected to be on the “Sustainability Task Force” where they can be self important, self-righteous bores.
    __________________________
    Remember “Sustainability Task Force” is the code for implementing the UN’s Agenda 21. Professor Mark is an classic example of our new would be petty dictators.
    A word to the wise Professor Mark. Take a look at the history of the Attacks on Intelligentsia once the “war” is won. Historically you see “mass arrests of professors and scientists ..[as the new] leadership sought rapidly to purge Russia of past leaders in order to build the future on a clean slate.”
    I think the term “useful idiots” applies.

  103. It seems to me that Chico is already an extremely efficient city. Was city council told this?
    I know, where I live, we are 10 times higher in terms of emissions per capita. Yes, we are very bad and quite evil and should be soundly scolded for this (if not subjected to the fingernails on a chalkboard torture treatment or worse).

  104. Anthony asked Mark
    “Why would it be so bad to simply send $25,800 off to CCX for Carbon mitigation and disband the task force?”
    Seems that CSU recently considered that very thing, in their 2010 Climate Action Plan:
    http://acupcc.aashe.org/site_media/uploads/cap/22-cap.pdf
    “Carbon offsets currently can be purchased for an average of $10/MTeCO2. It is clear that in comparing all of the suggested projects, even those without a payback schedule, implementing the projects will be more cost effective than the purchase of carbon offsets at an average price of $10/MTeCO2. ”
    There seems a small discrepancy in the price of offsets here, since CCX lists a ton going for a nickel. MTE is metric ton.

  105. Chico Mark says:
    “This is not what I consider a community forum. I live in a community where people know each other, and they know when people are telling them the truth because they can see it in their eyes and hear it in their voice.”
    Yanno, Mark, many of the people who post here are my friends IRL and here and on Facebook. It’s a real community. I ought to know something about it, I’ve run a real community for over a decade. I’ve come to call many my friends and have spent real life time with them, in addition to having them enrich my life daily online.
    I know this is a bit rough-and-tumble, but for the most part, Anthony and crew have protected you from inappropriate abuse.
    I and thousands of others want to know your position in full, and we’d like to see EXACTLY why you think Anthony is “lying” or spreading “BS”.
    If you’re running away, well, fine, but you you have had Anthony’s and I’m confident, all of his moderators and a goodly number of readers committed to treating you civilly and interested in what you have to say. That you choose to evade REAL engagement is something that we will judge you by.
    Mark

  106. @ Bill Illis –
    You’re correct. Unfortunately Chico, and most of the rest of California, is already on the steep part of the cost/effectiveness curve when it comes to energy efficiency. My idea for reducing CO2 emissions is to charge a modest fee for all new development, then use that for electricity efficiency upgrades in Kentucky, West Virginia, and other places where the grid is 100% coal-powered. If AGW is truly a global problem (and I’m not convinced it is), then the rational solution is to look for the most cost-effective solutions on a dollar per ton of CO2E reduction basis. It’ll be a lot cheaper than trying to wring greater efficiency out of already-efficient California.
    Greg


  107. Carl says:
    September 13, 2010 at 8:18 pm


    BTW, just because the entire State of CA has gone loony over AGW still doesn’t make it true.”

    Truer words were never spoken. Consensus is not science.
    The silliness is not limited to northern California though; in the central California city where I have lived for many years, the powers that be proposed, several years ago, painting a “blue line” through out the city to mark the pontificated rise in sea level due to AGW. So far as I know, average sea level hasn’t changed one iota – well maybe one or two iotas. The proposed “blue line” was so publicly ridiculed that the idea was shelved.

  108. I really am lost for words… how can I express my admiration and gratitude for Anthony’s remarkable achievements… how can I express my contempt for the personal attacks he has to ensure.
    Reading this thread is a case study in how the world is being turned inside out and upside down:
    A city council that spends $70,000 on studies and plans that doesn’t change anything except their budget deficit.
    An academic needing a $30,000 budget to audit emissions in a city of cars, traffic lights and air conditioners in Excel.
    If these guys really wanted to make a difference with their $70,000 how about changing a few traffic lights for roundabouts… no traffic lights… less emissions… shorter journey times… everyone wins… or is that too sensible for the gravy trainers.
    http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2010/09/10/unnecessary-traffic-jams/

  109. PS: If I lived in Chico I prefer that my City Council spent that $70,000 putting up some frigging great neon signs proclaiming: CHICO – Watts Up With That?

  110. PPS: I am proud to say that Malaga City Council invests in civic pride, public entertainment and tourism by arranging spectacular frigging great firework displays at every possible opportunity… just about everyone here enjoys a good BANG for their buck!
    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lnuMg4GX8Oo&fs=1&hl=en_US]

  111. woodentop says:
    September 13, 2010 at 5:50 pm
    Try 8 billion quid in Scotland (about 12 billion dollars).
    http://scotlandonsunday.scotsman.com/health/Climate-change-law-to-rip.6526829.jp

    From the link:
    Officials have placed an £8bn price tag on achieving the target to reduce by 2020 emissions harmful to the environment by 42 per cent below 1990 levels.
    Well, at least it sounds like the Scottish Parliament has a mentality appropriately suiting a Cave Dwelling lifestyle. [I’m lenient that way]

  112. Dave L says:
    September 13, 2010 at 3:51 pm

    Speaking of Money: Has anyone in Chico examined the salaries of the city council and administrators. I noted on the national news that the populace of one California city recently protested the outrageous salaries of its city employees and their associated retirement plans.

    Because of the situation the LA Times uncovered in the City of Bell, the state Controller has mandated that all local governments submit such information for publication on the state’s site. I don’t know if it is live yet, but it soon will be.
    If Chico is serious about their “carbon footprint”, subsidizing the insulation (and replacing of too-large windows with smaller, triple-glazed windows) of homes and the replacement of appliances with newer, more efficient models, together with zoning changes which encourage employers to locate close to residential areas and employees to live close to work are high impact moves. If, instead, they are just looking for checkoffs, they’ll come up with annoyingly detailed rules about what residents must and must not do.

  113. Brego says: (September 13, 2010 at 3:17 pm) When I was a kid, rumor was, some other kids (not I, I hasten to add) would shoot out streetlights with powerful slingshots.
    Don’t name me, Brego… please don’t name me…

  114. One Eco-busybody costs New Yorkers $2,000+ a week.
    George Pakenham is typical of the holier-than-thou eco-busybodies eager to inflict their ideas on those of whom they disapprove. Leaving your car’s engine running might not seem like a crime, but it is in New York, and dear old George is determined to eradicate it.
    “…If he spots a car or van which isn’t moving but has the engine running, he’ll wait a few minutes to see whether it moves off before stopping to speak to the driver. With the aid of a printed card, Pakenham then explains that “engine idling” – keeping your engine running while stationary for more than three minutes – is actually an offense in the City of New York, and has been since 1971. It is a waste of expensive gas and pollutes the air and, as a consequence, contributes to global climate change. What’s more, it is punishable with a fine of $115…
    “…Engine idlers are breaking the law and could be fined for their actions, but while, as Pakenham puts it, “there are 2,300 traffic cops in the City of New York who will write you a ticket for parking by a fire hydrant”, getting them to write one for idling used to be a struggle…”
    But thanks to his sterling efforts, and support from the Environmental Defense Fund (whatever that is), in 2009 Mayor Bloomberg signed a bill clamping down on idling and giving traffic agents the right to issue and enforce tickets.
    If that wasn’t enough, he actually records all his “encounters” with the evil idlers…”…To date, Pakenham has approached more than 2,500 engine idlers and reports a 78 to 80 per cent success rate. He keeps a record of every interaction, recording on a spreadsheet the date, location, type of vehicle and its plate, the gender and estimated age and race of the driver, whether they were aware of the law or not and a few comments on the incident…”
    So there you have it. Big Brother comes to New York wearing a “green” outfit.
    Read about it here
    http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/george-pakenham-man-on-emissions-2078395.html

  115. Maybe I did not find the correct “Chica State University” on Google-Maps, but the one I found has an awful lot of parking spaces. What are they used for? Would it not be easy to rid the campus of all cars?

  116. They do like to waste money, these guys. How do they ever get elected?
    It is the same in the UK. We used to have councils declaring peace treaties with Russia, but now they try to divine the vagaries of climate. Why cannot they just stick to sewers, roads and rubbish collection?
    .

  117. Mark says,
    “I know you do not believe in AGW. I do, and I am happy to debate that in a community forum.”
    Mark, you actually “believe in AGW”? Just a poor choice of words, for which you have made yourself well known, or a Freudian slip? Gee, I thought climate science was, well, science. When is it that belief enters the world of climate science? Mark, when does belief exit climate science? I BELIEVE the entire, rational world wonders.

  118. >>Mark says September 13, 2010 at 2:23 pm
    >>“I have not received a single cent for my work, nor has my department. ”
    Hmm. So you did all of the report in your own time, without using any departmental facilities or staff? Or did you, in fact, use university time, facilities and staff in composing your report?
    The latter is ‘funding’, however you want to look at it.
    (I am supposing that universities in Chico are predominantly local authority funded, as in the UK.)
    .

  119. Question?
    If every city in the US is delegated to have a CO2 reduction plan and they ALL have to spend that kind of money on research individually (more for the bigger communities), that is an incredible amount of funding wasted.

  120. Mark, the professor from Chico, called Anthony a liar, a bullshi**er, and used an insulting parody (Agony) of the name Anthony. In earlier societies this would be cause for a duel or a fistfight, depending on the protagonists’ social class . But most men and women would not lower themselves to indulging in such gratuitously ill-mannered behaviour. If that is the standard being set by a university-based teacher, he has forgotten the first precept of teaching; that respect for others should be paramount.
    The lunatics in Chico seem to have taken over the asylum.

  121. They do like to waste money, these guys. How do they ever get elected?
    This is exactly the point .
    Once people elect confused politicians to the council (or to the CA state office for that matter) , it is not astounding that they take confused and in this case obviously ridiculous decisions.
    This Mark is just one among many opportunists who make a living from the existence of confused people .
    And if he can manipulate them and it works , why should he stop ?
    In any case I am very glad I do not live in this Chico town yet the only way to stop such nonsense is to show the council where the door is .
    On the other hand if the majority of the voters doesn’t mind increasing taxes , increasing debt and budgets spent on ridiculous measures that bring no benefit whatsoever for them , then no help is possible in the short term .
    What helps in the long term is to inform and ask over and over the one fundamental question : “What is the benefit of this measure for the population ? And if the answer is none , how to kill it ?”

  122. Mark said “The low pounds per person figure reflects the fact that we do not produce much of what consume…”
    Therein, methinks, lies the root of a lot of the problem. People who actually produce things, particularly farmers, usually have a firmer grasp of reality and priorities than passive consumers who all too often vector off into fringe items like AGW or such.

  123. Why don’t they just turn the street lights off, dig up the poles and recycle the materials? Light pollution 🙁 Cars have lights. Bikes have lights. People have flashlights. Let’s just get rid of the streetlights and return the earth back to a more natural condition. Isn’t that what they want anyway. They’re

  124. REPLY: Andy Holcombe, the same councilor who thinks having a coop pot warehouse in town is a good idea.
    Huge indoor medical marijuana grow proposed at Chico airport
    http://www.chicoer.com/ci_15910557

    “Frankly, we discouraged it,” Burkland said. “This is not something we would support from a city staff level. I don’t think it’s appropriate for our city and I don’t think it’s the best use of that building.”
    As evidenced by Burkland’s comment, the objections to the facility do seem to have more of an irrational basis than an irrational one, and that is a shame. I’m sure Chico could use the tax base, and jobs it would provide.

  125. Mark Stemen says:
    “…I live in a community where people know each other, and they know when people are telling them the truth because they can see it in their eyes and hear it in their voice.”
    Really? I mean, and please correct me if I am wrong, isn’t the, “see it in their eyes and hear it in their voice.” meme the refuge of ‘snake-oil-salesmen’ and shady used car salesmen? Did I leave out politicians? This is the worst of all measures possible when it comes to science and/or the spending of taxpayers monies (if this was tongue-in-cheek please disregard). Do you watch any TV?
    As Steve Allen points out above:
    “Gee, I thought climate science was, well, science. When is it that belief enters the world of climate science? Mark, when does belief exit climate science?”
    It is exactly the people who “believe” because of a well rehersed script and the projection of sincerity that this controversy exhibits such tenacity amongst the public. You won’t find many of that ilk here, you see, we want facts, we want sound science, we want the truth to the best it can be understood. It’s not that we don’t believe Mark it’s that the claims lack proof: factual data extrapolated through the proper use of the scientific method.
    In your position you have a unique opportunity to return your students to critical thinking. I also understand that if you were to engage scepticism objectively it would put you between a ‘rock-&-hard-place’ given your past views and apparent enthusiasm (I read your link: and congratulations) for the “cause” you are championing. That, not to mention the fact, as you point out, it is law in CA. Good luck with all that.
    This, howerver, does not preclude, in any way, your responsibility as an educator; do so with objectivity, upholding the scientific method and a dogged committment to the truth.
    A good start would be to hang out here more. Take Anthony up on his offer to post your views. And please, by all means, clear up the ‘lies’ and ‘BS’ accusations as a first step.
    You can, and should (along with all educators) be a motivational source for answering the question that Steve Allen asks above,” …when does belief exit climate science?”. It can start with you.

  126. When I was a lad I opted to go to a college to learn engineering, it was long and hard, longer and harder than being a medical doctor, infinitely harder than becoming a tenured professor of unicorn mate-ship rituals. This man Mark in this Californian village seems to have gained a degree in rudeness and a tenure in dumb. In Australia he would rightly be referred to as a wanker. We have the same problem that our higher education facilities have been usurped by clones that have no capacity for original thought or the cajones to disagree with the prevailing wisdom. Thus our children are brainwashed, it will take a generation of un PC action to thwart the insidious infiltration that has occurred over the last five decades. I am too old to fight, but have armed my children with the knowledge to fight this stupidity. Mark sorry to say, you are a dipstick.

  127. Kate says:
    September 14, 2010 at 1:35 am
    One Eco-busybody costs New Yorkers $2,000+ a week.
    George Pakenham is typical of the holier-than-thou eco-busybodies eager to inflict their ideas on those of whom they disapprove. Leaving your car’s engine running might not seem like a crime, but it is in New York, and dear old George is determined to eradicate it. . .

    As I recall, the greatest wear on an IC engine is starting up, when the oil is in the sump. And cold engines create the most pollution. So shutting down for relatively short waits can actually be counter-productive.
    The cabs in NY City used to get 3-400K miles on their engines, largely because they kept them running all day.
    /Mr Lynn

  128. Just to play a little on the other side, if the city actually got 1200 hours of effort from the interns for $30,000, that’s only $25/hour. Assuming a conservative multiplier of 2.5 for overhead, thats only about $10/hour for the interns. Don’t get me wrong; I think the basis of the study was silly, but there are very consulting projects that are going this cheaply.

  129. If I understand correctly a Mark Stemen and a Anthony Watts
    live in Chico, CA? And the majority of you other posters do not?
    So, is this really your business?
    A minimum of decorum would prevent you from throwing
    patronizing crap at MS, but I guess you all need your daily
    portion of ….?

  130. Professor Mark said:
    To establish the baseline, the CSU, Chico Research Foundation contracted with the City of Chico to complete the study in three months for $30,000. The money went to a laptop and software (both City property now), and a staff of four researchers to gather data (1200 hours).
    ============================================================
    One laptop, and software.
    Four researchers, to look at the obvious…
    and you have the nerve…………………

  131. Do you live in Chico, Mikael, and if so why are you, too, posting on this thread?
    To borrow a phrase from my fellow antipodean, Wayne Job, you, Sir are not merely a [snip . . too much rudeness here today already . . mod]

  132. >>Mikael
    >>A minimum of decorum would prevent you from throwing
    >>patronizing crap at MS, but I guess you all need your daily
    >>portion of ….?
    Hey, Mikael, butt out of what you don’t understand.
    This is one small example of something that is happening all over the Western world. Left-leaning (normally) councils are jumping over themselves to waste our money of half-baked Green projects, just so they can glow in their own reflected ego – while we get ever less of the council services that we require.
    Plus, the left-leaning (almost exclusively) education establishment has all but destroyed our education system. In the UK, you now have to murder a teacher before you can get expelled, while the syllabus and exam system has been reduced to Green propaganda.
    Take a look at this travesty of a physics exam:
    http://store.aqa.org.uk/qual/gcse/qp-ms/AQA-PHY1AP-W-QP-MAR08.PDF
    How can you do physics without a single formula? It is time that the likes of this Prof Mark were driven from their cozy jobs-for-life, where it does not matter how useless you are, and made to compete in the real world.
    .

  133. So, is this really your business?
    I think it is .
    Because the rather horrifying example of Chico today might be our reality tomorrow .
    We have also our opportunistic Marks, our confused Holcombs and our crazy environmentalists who would like us spending money to count tons of carbon and worse .
    But we have succeeded to hold them in check sofar .
    So yes , I think we are all concerned .

  134. The city I live in (Midwestern US) has been replacing “normal” street lights with LED’s as they need replacing, but they ran into a bit of a problem last winter.
    Normal lights are inefficient -they create heat. When it snows, that heat melts the snow that would otherwise accumulate over the lights. With LED’s you get no heat and the snow/ice builds up making the lights invisible. Now the city council is trying to figure out how to clean the snow off the lights…

  135. mikael pihlström says:
    September 14, 2010 at 5:52 am
    —————-
    Just out of curiosity mikael. Are you the same person ( see the website), who is a coordinator of a-lup project of university of Helsinki, which main goal is meddling in other peoples life ? Just asking.
    http://www.helsinki.fi/bioscience/elup/

  136. mikael pihlström says:
    September 14, 2010 at 5:52 am
    “If I understand correctly a Mark Stemen and a Anthony Watts
    live in Chico, CA? And the majority of you other posters do not?
    So, is this really your business?
    A minimum of decorum would prevent you from throwing
    patronizing crap at MS, but I guess you all need your daily
    portion of ….?”
    Sorry, but if it’s on a thread it’s open for comment.
    By your logic, nobody should be permitted to comment on anything unless they live in the town that is the subject of the news. Let me ask you this. Suppose the thread was devoted to critizing that skeptical councillor Wahl, for daring to oppose Green measures. Suppose Wahl, attempting to support his actions, posted here, but was blasted by waves of outraged warmists. Would you be so quick to jump to his defence? Or is your indignation only reserved for one side of the argument?

  137. >>John:
    >>With LED’s you get no heat and the snow/ice builds up making
    >>the lights invisible. Now the city council is trying to figure out how
    >>to clean the snow off the lights…
    Hey, John, that’s simple .. dude.
    You just put a small heating element behind each LED bulb, to produce a little heat, and then you get an LED that consumes more energy.
    Simple … 😉
    .
    P.S. Since going to low energy light bulbs, I have had to turn the heating up two notches. Did I help the environment, or not?
    .

  138. In the days when I was an undergraduate,Professors would never tolerate open statements or poor citation. Standards, Mark, standards!

  139. Mods, A comment of mine got snipped for calling someone a ‘Dipstick’. I don’t know about you, but in NZ and Oz, a Dipstick is a relatively mild and kindly term for someone who is intellectually challenged.

  140. Mark says- “They are normal faculty. Lest you think me a complete loon or spoof, however, . . . http://news.csuchico.edu/2008/09/10/‘dr-mark’-honored-for-sustainability-contributions/
    QED!
    For those who may be wondering, here is a short list of courses Mark has recently been teaching.
    http://www.csuchico.edu/geop/syllabi/Archived%20Syllabi/index.shtml
    I’m sure a balanced view of AGW is being presented…
    GEOG 304 Section 2- Environmental Issues
    GEOG 440 Section 1- Environmental Thought and Action
    GEOG 603 Section 1- Seminar in Human Geography
    GEOG 405s Section 1- Nature & Restoration
    ‘Environmental thought and action’ is a senior undergraduate course in Geography?!? Who knew…
    Mark receives very good student reviews at ratemyprofessors, 4.5 or better on quality, helpfulness, clarity, and easiness (out of 5). Here are some sample glowing comments-
    http://www.ratemyprofessors.com/ShowRatings.jsp?tid=379580
    “If you want to, as he says, “seize control of your education”– then get on the Dr. Mark train. Feel the love, for cryin out loud.”
    “This class was very easy, although there is a lot of writing. Mark knows his stuff and is such a great person! TAKE CLASSES FROM HIM! HE’LL CHANGE YOUR LIFE!”
    And here is an unhappy customer’s comment-
    “Don’t take his classes if you have a working knowledge of the enviroment. He is a creepy guy who teaches as if we are living in the 60’s. If you want to get a job locally that involves the environment do not mention that you studied under Mark. He is a JOKE in the professional environmental community. He would be a great grade school teacher.”

  141. Tom Vonk:
    “We have also our opportunistic Marks, our confused Holcombs and our crazy environmentalists who would like us spending money to count tons of carbon and worse .”
    Tom hits the bullseye here. For me it is the spending money, specifically when it’s the public’s money, on dubious and needless activities such as this that I find most repugnant. Some may say that it’s not my money but the people of Chico, CA … true … until California goes broke and has to get a bailout, which then (like all of our bailouts here in the US) makes it my money

  142. Alexander K says:
    September 14, 2010 at 6:24 am
    Ralph says:
    September 14, 2010 at 6:36 am
    TomVonk says:
    September 14, 2010 at 6:45 am
    IMO, local self government should be respected. Whether the council is
    right, left or buddhist, it is still locally elected. Of course, anyone can
    comment, I was refering to the tone used. Do you have inquisitor
    mandates to go directly for the book keeping, using demeaning
    language all the way?

  143. Beyond the CCX, another “unprecedented” decline due Climategate:
    http://www.skyfall.fr/wp-content/tcp_month1.png
    From:
    http://www.skyfall.fr/?p=608
    Al Gore, a victim of climate change (translated from the french by google)
    The program The Climate Project (TCP) of Al Gore’s goal is to widely distribute the film An Inconvenient Truth and to raise awareness about the climate emergency by series of conferences throughout the world. He has suffered in recent months against the shock of Copenhagen and various ClimateGates. According to the list of events planned at the site of TCP (link above), the monthly number of conferences reached a peak of 193 just before Copenhagen in October 2009 before continuing decline “unprecedented” and “irreversible” to s ‘collapse in recent months. For now, no conference is scheduled for 2011, which bodes ill for the continuation of the project. This is unquestionably one more sign of “climate fatigue” that affects the movement warming. Celebrating still performance of TCP fans who managed to mobilize 19,613 conferences so far! If they were angry at the idea that so much effort may also produce some results, it would be understandable.

  144. Prof Mark is a cool guy!
    http://www.ratemyprofessors.com/ShowRatings.jsp?tid=379580&page=2
    “He is outstanding! Love him! Take as many classes of his as you can and your GPA will thank you! Also, at the end of the semester, he asks you to give yourself a grade. Give your self a good grade because that is the one you will get. Really!”
    “one of the best teachers ever. take his class!!! he is a really cool environmentalist, and his classes are sooooo easy. NO tests!!!”

    Cut him some slack, he does…

  145. >>Mikael:
    >> Local self government should be respected. Whether the
    >>council is right, left or buddhist, it is still locally elected.
    Respected if they keep to their remit. They are elected to look after the sewers, roads, schools and rubbish collection – not to change our climate, ban nuclear weapons or make peace agreements with the USSR.
    .

  146. Djozar says:
    September 14, 2010 at 5:48 am
    “Just to play a little on the other side, if the city actually got 1200 hours of effort from the interns for $30,000, that’s only $25/hour. Assuming a conservative multiplier of 2.5 for overhead, thats only about $10/hour for the interns. Don’t get me wrong; I think the basis of the study was silly, but there are very consulting projects that are going this cheaply.”
    If the “researchers” were Mark’s students, would they be considered consultants?
    And what overhead do you refer? Riding bikes and cruising the Internet? And why would $10 an hour be considered cheap for a student that is involved by a teacher to do research?

  147. Mikael Pihlström says:
    September 14, 2010 at 10:38 am
    [….]
    IMO, local self government should be respected. Whether the council is
    right, left or buddhist, it is still locally elected.

    The problem with that statement is the question of whether or not these officials were actually lawfuly elected or not. A personal example is the occasion when I went to vote at my local precinct polling location in California, was denied the right to vote despite my valid voter’s registration card, and was threatened with arrest before even having an opportunity to speak one word to even question the reason why. While I was leaving the polling location, I stopped outside long enough to read the posted list of voters registered to vote at this polling location. My name had been removed from my correct street address and the names, plural, substituted for mine were those of illegal aliens who certainly did not have a legal residence at my house address. In fact, the names were the same names appearing in the mail from the California Department of Motor Vehicles, and you could see through the envelope window that they were California driver’s licenses issued to people who certainly did not and never did reside in my home of many years.
    All efforts to report the false driver’s licenses and the vote fraud of the polling officials to the California Department of Motor Vehicles, the county sheriff, the California State Highway Patrol, the county recorder, and the final recommended authority, the state attorney general’s office were met with strong hostility, accusations of racial bias, and intimidating threats to have me arrested for opening someone else’s mail, which was never opened to this day. My experience is far far from unique. Court cases pursuing massive voter fraud in California have made it all the way through the U.S. District Courts, only to be overturned on some controversial technical grounds by justices of the appelate court with backgrounds from the same political party benefiting from the vote fraud.
    In another state and time a candidate challenged an incumbent who conventional wisdom indicated was certainly in a supposedly safe voting district. Angry voters, however, gave the challenger a strong lead in all but two counties, where there were some very suspicious lopsided voting statistics. In at least one of those two counties, the vote results were delayed when the county recorder claimed the vote counting machine had failed, and the ballots and votes would have to be recounted manually. An anonymous source later confirmed being a witness to the workers in the county recorder’s office going through the ballots and destroying the ballots with votes for the challenger.
    Science is under asssault by some of the same individuals who are corrupting the integrity of our democratic institutions. As a consequence, citizens cannot take it for granted that elected officials actually have a true mandate from the citizens to exercise the authority delegated by the sovereign citizens.

  148. Wow : (
    I read over the comments and was very surprised by the response.
    In the US, each county seat in conjunction with the support of town councils is required to implement State mandates like Executive Order S-3-05. In this case it was the State that opted for the action related to GHGs. Usually, the loons in Washington mandate regulation and compliance using the threat of withholding federal funding for non-compliance.
    The County seat typically contracts for feasibility, environmental, etc. studies because they aren’t experts or don’t want to take the rap for bad conclusions. This is the real problem.
    Sustainability is a worthy cause — CO2 isn’t the problem — wasting tax dollars is the issue.
    In my opinion, the real problem is Executive Order S-3-05. A mandate without providing adequate tools to the counties.
    Chico should not have had to do several studies, should have been given a State plan, and should have simply had the local high school students plug the numbers into a State website for analysis.
    This isn’t about Professor Mark (who btw seems like a reasonable guy) — its about the inefficiency of government that wastes resources and our tax dollars.

  149. The People’s Republic of Chico is missing a golden opportunity. Why not slap a carbon tax on the sale of beans, lentils, and cabbages? Make no mistake about it; I’m talking about Killer Anthropogenic Methane Emissions, or KAME. However I may not be the first to broach this delicate subject. Apparently great minds think alike.
    Blame it on lentil lovers, not sheep
    01 April 2010
    http://jennifermarohasy.com/articles182.html
    (Jennifer Marohasy is a biologist and author from Australia.)

  150. I ran across some of the Orange County approach and it largely relates to water, land use, and public transportation projects as the basis for emissions reductions. Its actually pretty cleaver.
    I wonder if the counties are coordinating and if they require the use of products manufactured in California to achieve the various projects?
    Its probably asking a lot but it would be great if they are being smart about the solutions.
    SB 375
    Impact Analysis Report
    http://www.uli.org/~/media/Documents/ResearchAndPublications/Reports/Sustainable%20Development/SB375ImpactAnalysisReport.ashx
    Urban Land Institute/Orange County
    http://orangecounty.uli.org/sitecore/content/ULI2Home/ResearchAndPublications/PolicyPracticePriorityAreas/Sustainability.aspx

  151. John from CA says:
    September 14, 2010 at 4:22 pm
    “Sustainability is a worthy cause — CO2 isn’t the problem — wasting tax dollars is the issue.”
    It would appear that the “sustainability” sought by the ruling class in Chico is the sustainability of their positions and salaries…they make sure to get theirs before spending your money…

  152. Glenn says
    “If the “researchers” were Mark’s students, would they be considered consultants?
    And what overhead do you refer? Riding bikes and cruising the Internet? And why would $10 an hour be considered cheap for a student that is involved by a teacher to do research?”
    I was only making a comparison – while it is true that they were students, they were acting as consultants. Even my administrator and support people get more than $10 a hour. If the studnets get any benefits, it’s overhead.

  153. Glenn says:
    September 13, 2010 at 9:17 pm

    It is clear that in comparing all of the suggested projects, even those without a payback schedule, implementing the projects will be more cost effective than the purchase of carbon offsets at an average price of $10/MTeCO2. ”
    There seems a small discrepancy in the price of offsets here, since CCX lists a ton going for a nickel. MTE is metric ton.

    That was the nominal Gorian PR hoped-for minimum, AFAIK. The EUX is currently about $15/MTE; official Warmist estimates are that it should be pushed up to about $45 to have any effect.

  154. Actually, “Sustainability” is code for the whole panoply of loon-beloved and grotesque inefficiencies and imaginary Gaian benefits.
    The basic trick is that some arbitrary and assumptive base is taken as the ideal, whether it’s the present state of affairs, or some imaginary 18th C Elysium, and anything purporting to force inputs and outputs to match is “sustainable”, and deviations are fair game for any manner of financial or penal penalties.
    It is a core catch-word of the UN’s Agenda 21, and of the programme of every other watermelon pressure group on the planet.
    Beware!

  155. Mark says:
    September 13, 2010 at 6:48 pm
    For the rest of you, Anthony twisted the truth to make the task force look silly. It is his pattern. My pattern is to sink to his level in my replies to WUWT, and get even worse in the cesspool of Topix.

    No, Anthony twisted nothing, but your ego required you to try to bluster your way onto a “community” forum and beard the lion in his den. (I say bluster because you have yet to substantiate any of the slanderous statements made about Anthony or his writings.). I guess in the college world, the word of a tenured “professor” is akin to an acclamation from God. However in the real world, where facts and figures are needed, your word and a buck will get you a cup of coffee – and they want the buck before they give you the coffee.

  156. I have waited for Anthony’s reply, but I understand that he is busy with other (more important) things, and there is not much for him to say.
    My beef is clear. Anthony wanted to make fun of the task force, which is all good and well, but he reached too far. He also provided the necessary proof, the powerpoint. Check for yourselves, carbon offsets are nowhere to be found. The list he found in the staff report was being sent to the task force for discussion. He overreached before when I submitted the GHG Inventory, which had a similar list of possible actions for discussion. The first time was an honest mistake. The second time . . . Well maybe it was a careless mistake, or maybe it was deliberate? Since Anthony and I have history, my perspective is jaded, and suspect.
    It is a common refrain from those on “your side” (to generalize) that researchers are in it for the money, and the publications. You seem unable to believe that I did this simply as a service to my community. I live here. I volunteer here. I participate in local government by attending City Council meetings, and meetings like the Sustainability Task Force. To set a reduction target, they needed a baseline. The report identified percentages for each sector, but the important piece of information was 515, 910 MTE. The City’s normal consultants wanted $100,000 for the report, and the task force balked, and this was before the economic meltdown. The report was more time consuming that technical, so I figured I could help.
    I put together a proposal to hire students and former students to collect the data and plug it into the software the city had purchased. The City has a historic relationship with the University Research Foundation that made the contract portion easy, since the Foundation could handle the payroll, liability, and auditing requirements. The Foundation hired three of my former students (2MA, 1BA) and one current student who say the ad. They were paid $15-$20. The Foundation also took their cut of the $30,000 as “indirect.” I wish the money had gone to the students doing the work, but that is the arrangement between the City and the University.
    I was paid nothing. I received no release time. I carried the standard 4/4 teaching load. I wrote the report on my own time, and on my own computer. Sorry to disappoint, but in this case, you are wrong.
    I do not need to say these things to people in Chico. They know. They know me. They know I am a fellow member of the Chico community and not a snake oil salesman. I do not want to demean WUWT, but your discussions are not attached to any ‘place.’ Thus, when you comment on actual actions in actual places, you overlook the important but obvious details, like the fact it does not snow in Chico.
    And lastly, what does my profession “have” to do with anything? Few of you even use your own name, let alone have the moderator out your employer. This is a blog, and I am a blogger. Period. Why do I have to argue any differently than the rest of you?
    And for people who fault IPPC data, RatemyProfessor.com? Really?
    REPLY: Well Mark, once again you’ve put your foot in your mouth. Yes I’ve been busy, for example yesterday I had to prepare and present a powerpoint to a group of Chico citizens, so yes there were more important things to do. My reply is forthcoming. – Anthony

  157. Please fix my post, had to have in last paragraph. I will live with the other typos. Thanks
    And lastly, what does my profession had to do with anything
    And lastly, what does my profession “have” to do with anything
    REPLY: Fixed, Anthony

  158. Mark,
    As part of my research for my response, I’ve heard that you came up to councilman Larry Wahl (the lone dissenting vote) and said to him:
    “You are going down in flames Wahl”.
    Care to comment?

  159. The comment was from the crowd. I relayed to Larry that I corrected them and point out, if anything, Larry was moving up in flames since he is moving from Council to Board of Supervisor. It was loud in the lobby after the meeting, and late. I am sorry Larry misheard what I said. I will be sure to chat with him again next meeting
    I await your response.
    And, who was the group, if I might ask.
    REPLY: It might have been me that misheard, I’m the one with the hearing problem. He did mention the “up in flames” comment too, but I thought it was his quip.
    And you wonder why why people don’t like to attend city council meetings? The last time I was there, presenting what was my right, I was shouted at, humiliated, name called, and generally run through the ringer, all for what is my right as a citizen. Your liberal friends there are just plain rude and childish, sort of like the name calling behavior you’ve demonstrated over this episode.
    And I’ve sat there as an elected official and taken it too, thought I did take one person to task for calling the whole school board (including me at the time) a “bunch of Nazi’s” in the hall of democracy, aka the City Council chambers.
    Most sensible people avoid city council meetings these days, I sure do, as I’m not welcome there thanks to the group of people you hang out with. Maybe, though just maybe, if I ever do go again, I’ll take my hearing aids out, and let them squeal in feedback at the podium while I talk. That way I can’t hear the insults being hurled from the “friends of …” (choose your topic).
    Yes been busy, caught NOAA in a major blunder yesterday/today, have orders to get out, have more meetings this week with Chamber of Commerce, plus visitors from China to entertain…so probably won’t be until the weekend until you see my fully researched response. You’ll know it when you see it.
    – Anthony

  160. @Mark
    Glad to see your explanations. It seems to me that the back and forth ‘twixt you and Anthony is on more narrow issues than the issues the commenters here have discussed. I’ve just been hanging out and waiting to read what you and Anthony have to say.
    Meanwhile, since broader issues have been raised, and if you have the time…
    Is it true you don’t give tests? Do your students grade themselves?

  161. I do not give exams in my classes. The students take quizzes, and turn in around forty pages of written work. They write two page “journals” each week, plus three longer essays on various topics.
    Students in one class (GEOG 440) grade themselves on one assignment, participation in the class service learning project.
    Thanks for asking

  162. “It is a common refrain from those on your side (to generalize) that researchers are in it for the money, and the publications.”
    That is because…they are! And the status. Climate researchers don’t work for free…
    Climate Ca$h is as abundant these days as excessive CO2, especially in the University community. I can’t blame them, though. It’s fun to work on dubious projects with other people’s money…
    Meanwhile, our economy is going to pot, unemployment is at 10%, and we’re racking up massive debt.

  163. Mark says:
    September 15, 2010 at 8:45 am
    (In response to H.R.’s queries)
    “I do not give exams in my classes. The students take quizzes, and turn in around forty pages of written work. They write two page “journals” each week, plus three longer essays on various topics.
    Students in one class (GEOG 440) grade themselves on one assignment, participation in the class service learning project.
    Thanks for asking”

    Quizzes are short tests. Now I’m LMAO at those online reviews because there are going to be a bunch of very surprised students if they’ve signed up on the basis of “no tests & grade yourself.”
    It’s an amusing sidebar. Thanks for your time.

  164. Frank K. said at 10:11 am
    That is because…they are! And the status. Climate researchers don’t work for free… Climate Ca$h is as abundant these days as excessive CO2, especially in the University community.
    And that IS the “status” through out the higher education system. It’s “Go Green” or get left behind. For example, here is part (some deadlines removed to save space) of the syllabus of a GEOGRAPHY course taught at Chico U. –
    GEOG 440: Environmental Thought and Action (No, it’s not a Political Science class, it’s a Geography)
    This seminar will integrate the various interdisciplinary curricular elements of the Environmental Studies minor and provide students with an appreciation for the interplay between the many interrelated dimensions—the scientific, the social, the historical, and the humanistic—of the study of the environment.
    Readings
    Any environmental title purchased this semester from Galaria books
    Mark Stemen ed., Environmental Studies Reader
    Objectives
    Increase knowledge of important writings in environmental studies
    Synthesize and reflect on the ideas and theories presented in other environmental studies classes
    Translate abstract thought into concrete action
    Learn direct democracy skills
    Produce a resume and job application
    Practice buying and reading books without instructions from a teacher.
    Weekly reading assignments and course work deadlines
    January 27 — The 411
    Wendell Berry, “Higher Education and Home Defense”
    January 29 — Top Ten Issues
    List of Issues due
    February 3 — Campus Ballot Issues
    Narrow top ten issues to two or three
    February 5 — The Century of Declines
    Heinberg, Peak Everything
    February 10 — How to Write an Initiative
    Draft Initiative
    BOD meeting Wednesday, 12pm, BMU 205
    February 12— Getting Real About the Future
    Kunstler, Making Other Arrangements
    February 17 — Negotiating the Process
    Finalize initiative wording – Initiative Due by 5pm
    February 19 — Change Agents
    Meadows, “Tools for the Transition to Sustainability”
    McKenzie-Mohr, “Creating Effective Messages”
    February 24 — The Art of Tabling
    Form campaign committees
    February 26 — Eugene Conference – No Class
    March 3 — Excuse me, would you like to sign . . .
    Gather signatures
    March 5 — For the Love of the Earth
    Rassmussen, Green Rage
    March 10 — Signature Update
    Bring signatures sheets to class
    March 12 — Mother Culture and the Great Forgetting
    Quinn, “The Public Lectures of B”
    Signature Deadline – March 15, 5pm in BMU 205
    March 24 — Planning a Campaign
    March 26 — Intentions and Design
    McDonough, “This Book is Not a Tree”
    March 31 — Campaign Update
    April 2 — What is Food?
    Pollan, “An Eater’s Manifesto”
    April 7 — Campaign Update
    April 9 — Living Simply
    Sanders, The Common Life
    April 14 — GOTV: Get Out The Vote
    Group campaign effort around campus
    April 16 — Sustainable Transportation
    Mark Svenvold, Send in the Clowns
    April 21 — Campaign Reflection
    April 23 — Another Turn of the Crank
    Berry, Think Little
    April 28 — Look what I found!
    Book of Choice presentations
    May 5 — What do you want to be when you grow up?
    May 7 — What is Environmental Studies?
    May 12 — Rachel Carson and Silent Spring
    Video: Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring
    May 14 — “that which we tame”

    ??? GEOGRAPHY??? AND Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring?? Pleaaaaase!
    Even taking into consideration that it is the Geography AND Planning Dept. wherein it suggests: Geography invites critical and creative thinking about our impact on the earth, the equitable distribution of resources, and sustainable livelihoods across the globe. (Geography does that? Except for the word “earth”, what the H does any of …. never mind.) The Department of Geography and Planning provides students with opportunities to practice critical spatial thinking and research skills using advanced technologies in geographic information sciences, cartography, remote sensing and planning. one must ask- “practice critical spatial thinking and research skills”?? Not in GEOG 440! It’s all about becoming a political enviro-activist. But hey, I can’t blame Mark. Somebody has to teach these kids how to survive in the new Socialist Order. If you can get the Ca$h for it, do it!
    and go here – http://cypress.csuchico.edu/APO/Course_net1/GreenCourses.aspx
    for an amazing list of “green” courses like: “Religion and America’s Ethnic Minorities” & “Mysticism: East and West”….?? Well, it is California…. and if it only was thus in the lane of fruits & nuts.

  165. Mark,
    Your explanation is exactly what I wanted to emphasize with my note about billing rates. I’ve worked for engineering consulting firms for over twenty years, and any study/evaluation/report that required over 1200 hours of labor would be much more expensive with a conventional consulting firm. The $100,000 quoted would have been cheap.

  166. Profesor Stemen,
    Assuming you don’t mind answering a question, is there any California effort to coordinate the mass purchase of break through technology with the idea of attracting new business, manufacturing, job creation, and maximizing ROI?
    It seems like an obvious opportunity to also promote California institutions like Caltech and Disney? Disney has been a leader in energy efficiency and waste management for decades.
    Thanks,
    John from Orange County, CA
    Caltech GHG Mitigation Summary
    http://www.sustainability.caltech.edu/climate/mitigation_projects
    “Caltech utilized the Clean Air-Cool Planet (CACP) greenhouse gas emissions calculator to compile its emissions footprint.  The CACP model was chosen since it was designed to model university emissions, has been widely used by other universities and is endorsed by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).”
    They managed to establish a 63,000 MTCO2e for 1990 and a historical trend to 2009. Solar and Biogas Fuel Cells are part of their plan.
    http://www.sustainability.caltech.edu/climate

  167. Anthony,
    I do believe it was your friends who were acting rude and childish at the last meeting.
    http://www.newsreview.com/chico/content?oid=1653469
    And that is not to say you were not treated the same.
    So how do you think I feel when you hurl rude and childish claims from your computer?
    I await your reply to my claim you misled people about the actions of the council that night having anything to do with buying carbon offsets.
    Take your time. I’ll check back in a few days.

  168. If they are serious, there are immediate simple steps that can be taken.
    #1 Turn off the air conditioning in all city buildings, open the windows. Including the University buildings.
    #2 Turn down the heat for winter to 62F. People can wear sweaters. In Chico this should eliminate the need for heating for most days.

  169. vigilantfish says:
    September 13, 2010 at 8:45 pm
    It’s unfortunate that Mark ..feels the need to belittle us.
    Here in the UK our National Head of Taxation (collecting) recently said he didn’t feel he had any need to apologise for the fact that something like 6 million UK taxpayers had been paying the wrong amount of tax for about 4 years and would now have to pay up!
    It must be something that affects only people paid out of taxes the rest of us pay.

  170. TomVonk says:
    September 14, 2010 at 6:45 am
    So, is this really your business?
    I think it is .
    Because the rather horrifying example of Chico today might be our reality tomorrow .
    We have also our opportunistic Marks, our confused Holcombs and our crazy environmentalists who would like us spending money to count tons of carbon and worse .
    But we have succeeded to hold them in check sofar .
    So yes , I think we are all concerned
    California is on the verge, the very edge, of going bankrupt. An economy equal to that of the 7th largest country in the world. Would be a bigger, far bigger, bankruptcy than Greec or Portugal. Wasting small ($70,000 small!) amounts of money on these exercises in small cities throughout the state and larger amounts in bigger cities and undoubtedly other amounts on equally daft projects is one major reason why California will soon be bankrupt!

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  172. My delay in replying to Mark is that I’m having trouble hearing everything clearly in the audio transcript of the city council meeting, because that goes to the basis of my reply. The task is tedious (as are most city council meetings).
    Would somebody be willing to listen and to write a transcript for me? Or does somebody know of a an affordable service that will do so?

  173. Anthony,
    Please explain why you need to review the transcripts of a meeting you did to listen to in the first place.
    You read the staff report, and in your glee to ridicule, you confused Phase One items with upcoming discussion items.
    What more research is there?
    The topic has fallen off Ric Wermes guide. No one is listening anymore. Just admit you were wrong, and let’s move on.

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