Why mitigating CO2 emissions is cost-ineffective

By Christopher Monckton of Brenchley

A couple of weeks ago I appeared before the California State Assembly and told legislators that the cost of the State’s cap-and-trade legislation, which comes into full effect in August this year, will be $450 billion over a decade.

This was a deliberate underestimate. I bent over backward to see whether the Californian proposal could ever make any economic sense. The results, when I ran them through my simple model, confirmed what many have long suspected but few have calculated until now: that attempting to mitigate our sins of emission is one of the most cost-ineffective wastes of taxpayers’ money ever devised.

I had multiplied the $182-billion annual cost of California’s scheme and associated mitigation measures not by 10 but by 2.5 – a quarter of the true gross cost over a decade. The reason for effectively dividing the stated costs of California’s mitigation policies by four is that some had criticized the paper from which I obtained the $182 billion annual cost – Varshney & Tootelian, 2012 – for overstating the costs.

I should really have applied a minimum intertemporal discount rate of at least 5%, which would bring the cost down to $410 billion. In the updated figures I present in this posting, I have correctly applied that discount rate.

My model is simple and excludes costs and benefits external to CO2 mitigation: however, unlike other methods reported in the literature, it does count as a benefit of mitigation the cost of the climate-related damage caused by the warming that would occur if we did not act at once on CO2.

On the benefit side of the account, too, I have bent over backwards to try to be generous to those proposing mitigation measures. I have taken the generally exaggerated estimates of the welfare loss from climate inaction that are in the Stern report on the economics of climate change.

Briefly, Stern says that if the manmade warming of the 20th century is the 3 Celsius degrees (or 6 F°) that is the IPCC’s central projection the cost of the climate-related damage will be 0-3% of 21st-century GDP (actually, he says, “now and forever”, but that is not economic analysis: it is political rodomontade: as Margaret Thatcher might have said, “Don’t be silly, dear!”).

So the mean cost of the welfare loss estimated by Stern on the basis of 3 C° total manmade 21st-century warming is the average of 0 and 3%, i.e. 1.5%, of 21st-century GDP. This too should be discounted at 5% over the ten-year life of the scheme, giving a benefit of just 1.27% of GDP over the period.

Now, given the errors, exaggerations, and failures of prediction in the IPCC’s documents, I do not for a moment think we are going to see anything like as much as 3 C° of manmade warming by 2100. Even the IPCC expects only half of that, or 1.5 C°, to occur by 2100 as a result of the CO2 that we emit in this century. Yet it is only that 1.5 C° that CO2 mitigation measures such as those in California can possibly affect to any discernible extent.

That 1.5 C° is the maximum 21st-century warming that we could have prevented even if we had shut down all CO2 emissions in the year 2000. The remaining 1.5 C° – about half of it from non-CO2 greenhouse gases and half from warming already in the pipeline because of our past emissions – will happen regardless of measures such as those which California is trying to take.

On that basis, one should really halve the benefit that arises from preventing Stern’s mean 1.27%-of-GDP inaction cost. But let us – again generously – stick with a benefit equivalent to 1.27% of GDP if we prevent all CO2-driven warming in the 21st century.

Should the model take account of the possibility that California’s cap-and-trade scheme will create opportunities for job growth? I think not. The Friedman Multiple applies: every job artificially created via taxation destroys two jobs among the taxpaying classes: and, according to a recent Scottish report, each “green job” provided at taxpayers’ expense destroys getting on for five real jobs elsewhere.

Why has Intel said it will never again build another plant in California? Why has production of oil from the Monterey Shale been cut by more than a third since 1990, though proven reserves have increased? Why has there been a near-total moratorium on offshore oil and gas drilling in California for nigh on 40 years?

Why are there 11% jobless in California – a higher proportion than anywhere in the US except Nevada? Why are 50% unemployed in the construction industry that is supposed to benefit from retrofitting buildings with “green” technology?

Why does the State Treasury have a deficit of $6 billion for 2012/13? Why does California have unfunded pension liabilities of $250-200 billion to its senior citizens, and how is it going to pay for them if it goes on as it is?

Why have 50,000 high-net-worth Californians (one-third of the total) fled in just two years, according to the Sacramento Bee? Why did twice as many firms flee California in 2011 as in 2010? Why did Globalstar, Trizetto and eEye flee in just one month last year? Why have Boeing, Toyota, Apple, Facebook, DirecTV, Hilton Hotels, and Thomas Bros. Maps all fled?

It would be wrong to imply that these decisions to flee were a direct result of California’s cap-and-trade law, and I did not do so. The truth is that California – long dominated by entrenched, hard-Left unions and a frankly Marxist legislature – is already notorious as far and away the least business-friendly State in the Union. Cap-and-trade will merely make matters a great deal worse. The wagons are already rolling eastward: soon they will become a stampede.

When I testified in Sacramento, the first point I put to the legislators was that the declared aim of their cap-and-trade scheme is to abate 25% of California’s CO2 emissions over the decade during which it will run. But California’s emissions are only 8% of total US emissions, which in turn are only 17% of global emissions.

So, even if the cap-and-trade scheme is every bit as successful as its promoters would wish, only 0.34% of global emissions – one-third of one per cent – will be abated. There is nothing in the least controversial about this figure, except that no one seems to have pointed it out before. The legislators’ faces were a picture when I told them.

Because so small a fraction of global emissions will be abated by the scheme, simple calculations based on the IPCC’s central assumptions about how much warming will occur this century (which, for the sake of argument, I simply accepted as correct) show that as a result of the full and successful operation of the scheme global CO2 concentration will fall from 410 to – er – 409.93 parts per million by volume by the end of the decade.

Manmade radiative forcing abated would thus be less than 0.001 Watts per square meter, and the warming prevented would be – wait for it, wait for it – a staggering 0.001 Fahrenheit degrees (almost). Yup, less than one-thousandth of a Fahrenheit degree of global warming prevented, at a cost of $410 billion even after discounting to present value.

Is that a bargain for the already over-taxed, over-regulated citizenry of California? We report – you decide.

It is important to understand why measures to attempt to mitigate CO2 emissions are always going to be unaffordable. First, as the California example demonstrates, regional mitigation measures do not noticeably change the global CO2 concentration. Therefore manmade radiative forcing is scarcely altered.

So, in turn, California’s attempt to stop global warming will cause so tiny a cooling – in the present instance, under one-thousandth of a Fahrenheit degree – that no modern instrument or method can detect it. Even if California’s scheme succeeded in cutting as much as 25% of the State’s emissions (which it won’t), the State would have no way of measuring that it had succeeded in causing global cooling.

You might say, as some commentators on my presentation to the California legislators have said, that of course California cannot make much difference by going it alone. Everyone else must follow California’s leadership in closing down as much of their economies as possible. So let us cost that unattractive option.

A little further elementary math will show that the cost of abating 1 Fahrenheit degree of global warming by worldwide measures as spectacularly cost-ineffective as those of California will be close to $640 trillion – rather more than the $454 trillion I had originally estimated, because I had been too generous with the value of the centennial-scale climate-sensitivity parameter.

Its value should not exceed 0.4 Kelvin per Watt per square meter, whereas I had generously adopted the bicentennial-scale parameter at 0.5 Kelvin per Watt per square meter that is implicit in IPCC (2007), p. 13, Table SPM.3.

To put all of this in context, the cost of abating the one-third of a Fahrenheit degree of warming that the IPCC imagines will happen over the decade of the scheme, if everyone worldwide were crazy enough to adopt measures as laughably cost-ineffective as these, would be $25,000 per head of the world population, or one-third of global GDP over a decade. This would be 26 times the cost enduring the welfare loss that might arise from the global warming we fail to prevent if we do nothing.

I deliberately used very cautious assumptions in my presentation to the Assembly in Sacramento, and told the legislators that action would only cost 11 times inaction.

For various reasons, I should expect the cost-ineffectiveness of California’s scheme (which is by no means untypical of such schemes) to be considerably worse than any of the figures I have cited above.

For a start, it is not at all likely that the scheme will succeed in abating 25% of California’s emissions. The EU and New Zealand schemes have failed to make any noticeable dent in emissions, and the EU scheme – for the fourth successive time – is collapsing as the cost of the right to emit a ton of CO2 has fallen below $8. It nosedived yet again earlier this week, and – if things go on as they are – could end up like the now-failed Chicago Carbon Exchange, where the unit price fell below 10 cents.

The EU’s dictators, of course, have the power artificially to cut the quantity of permits available and so boost the price. That is why cap-and-trade is not, repeat not, a market mechanism. It is a tyrant’s wet dream and a businessman’s nightmare, which is why heavily-emitting businesses are getting out of Europe, just as they will soon be joining the flood of businesses already fleeing California.

For these and many other reasons, my model actually tends to overstate the warming that any CO2-reduction policy may abate, and also to understate cost-ineffectiveness. For instance, the IPCC takes CO2’s mean atmospheric residence time as 50-200 years: if so, little mitigation will occur within the 21st century.

Also, my numbers assume that any policy-driven reduction in CO2 concentration occurs at once, when it would be likely to occur stepwise between the starting and ending years, halving the warming otherwise abated by that year and doubling the cost-ineffectiveness.

If the IPCC’s central projections (on which my figures are based) continue to exaggerate the warming that may arise from a given increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration, the cost-effectiveness may be less than shown.

So far, there has been no global warming at all since 2001. In fact, on the latest data from the Hadley Centre and the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, there has been no statistically-significant warming for fully 15 years.

Of course, such periods of temperature stasis are quite frequent in the record. They do not imply there will be no further warming. But they do constrain the rate of warming, which has been and remains far too slow to come close to the IPCC’s unjustifiably alarmist central estimate.

Also, though CO2 emissions are rising in accordance with the IPCC’s A2 emissions scenario, CO2 concentration growth has been near-linear for a decade. Outturn by 2100 may well be considerably below the IPCC’s mean estimate of 700 ppmv.

The climate-sensitivity parameter that I use is centennial-scale: accordingly, over the shorter periods covered by the studies a lesser coefficient (allowing for the fact that longer-term temperature feedbacks may not yet have acted) is appropriate. Consequently, less warming abated would again reduce mitigation cost-effectiveness.

Finally, my calculations ignore all opportunity losses from diverting resources to global-warming mitigation. However, the businesses that are already fleeing the business-hating People’s Republic of California cannot afford to ignore such vital considerations. That is why any individual and any firm in California with any get-up-and-go is getting up and going or has already gotten up and gone.

The figures I have cited here are a deliberately much-simplified but nevertheless highly revealing method of combining the central climatological projections of the IPCC with the standard economic techniques of intertemporal analysis so as to allow even non-specialist policy-makers rapidly to reach a not unreliable first approximation of the costs and benefits of policies to mitigate CO2 emissions.

My method is unique in two respects. First, no one has previously combined the IPCC’s climatology with economic methods so straightforwardly before. Secondly, the method, for the first time, allows even localized policies to be evaluated and compared with competing policies on any scale.

If anyone would like a copy of the paper that explains the method and justifies the equations, please get in touch. (monckton at mail dot com) I’ll be happy to send it to you, and I’ll welcome your comments. I can’t post it up because, after I presented these ideas at the Third Santa Fe Climate Conference in November last year, I have been asked to submit the paper to a learned journal and the final draft is just about to go out to the reviewers.

One of my Noble Friends tells me he has sent the analysis to the chief economic adviser to the UK Treasury, which, however, cannot do much about it because all British environmental policy is now set by the unelected Kommissars of Brussels. His message to the mandarins: “As they say on the London insurance market, ‘When the premium exceeds the cost of the risk, don’t insure.’”

Since the opportunity cost of mitigation is heavy (just watch all those wagons rollin’ away from the extravagantly pointless over-regulation and over-taxation in California), the question arises whether CO2 mitigation should be attempted at all.

Economically speaking, the bottom line is brutally simple and entirely clear. CO2 mitigation policies inexpensive enough to be affordable are likely to prove ineffective, while policies costly enough to be effective will be unaffordable.


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But…but…but…. How will we pay for our bullet train? (There is an AP story out this morning on proposals to use CA’s cap and trade income for this purpose. I had just mentioned it in Tips and Notes, when this essay came up.)
They’re all ready to spend the money

Great summary.
(And now I know what “rodomontade” means!)


The “watermelons” are holding a gun to California taxpayers. But drunk on the religion of “global warming”, they’d rather be pious and pentulant than sober and sane.
Sad to see a once-great state go under.

An elegant and beautifully lucid piece of analysis.

Alexej Buergin

The EU wants to have a trade war over their ETS, which might be exactely the right stimulus for the new B-747 to make a comeback against the A-380.
Does anyone have a idea about how big the influence of ETS on world temperature is supposed to be?

express amusement:
Stripping CO2 from air requires largest industry ever
Colin Axon of Brunel University in Uxbridge, UK, and Alex Lubansky at the University of Oxford estimated what it would take to remove the 30 gigatonnes of CO2 we emit every year.
That would mean processing 75,000 Gt of dry air. Scaling up proposals to filter air would use 180 Gt of clean water per year, depriving 53 million people of water, on top of the 66 per cent of the world’s population who will face water shortages by 2025.
Enhancing rock weathering is no better. It would call for 100 Gt of olivine, a common mineral. This is 12,500 times more than is produced worldwide. To deal with 30 Gt of CO2 we would need to spread the olivine 1 centimetre thick over 3.6 billion square kilometres of dry land, 1000 times more than Earth has available.


Has Apple fled California? According to this the newly planned campus will increase the number of employees in Cupertino from 9,500 to 15,000 by 2015: http://www.mactech.com/2011/06/08/apple-planning-space-ship-headquarters-12000-employees

robert barclay

We won’t get rid of this wretched nonsense until we absorb the fact that SURFACE TENSION blocks heat transfer.

Richard BAJA Bell

As an English man living in SoCal I applaud Lord Monckton for his efforts ……BUT I am sorry to say that “THEY” will soundly ignore him as”THEY” are to far gone towards the MADNESS of the left, what is sooooooooo…..sad is the people of California are WONDRFUL and should be better treated by politicians !!!!!!!! ….


Did the presentation get through to any in the audience?
Thank you for the new word. Now I know how to characterize Mr. Obama’s speeches in one word.
Sorry, off topic.


There’s quite the underground economy in Cali and I think it will grow by leaps and bounds in the next few years.
Good post!

Jim Clarke

I think Lord Monckton’s analysis spells out what most of us thought was intuitively obvious. It is not really surprising to see the economic stupidity of carbon mitigation presented so clearly. There is one statement however, where I believe he is mistaken:
“Even if California’s scheme succeeded in cutting as much as 25% of the State’s emissions (which it won’t)…”
I think California is well on its way to exceeding a 25% reduction in emissions by inadvertently producing a 40% reduction in its viable businesses and a 30-35% reduction in its population. This will also result in a very large decrease in California tax revenue and a spiraling deficit that will make Greece look like an economic safe haven! There will be much misery and gnashing of teeth, but at least they will have reduced their emissions by 25% or more, achieving absolutely nothing in the way of climate control.
It is a small price to pay for the possibility of a commemorative plaque in the Socialist Hall of Fame. /sarc


I am sure the high speed train from Madera to Fresno will clear the freeways and mitigate CO2 everywhere. How could it not?

Pat Frank

Christopher Monckton’s talk was apparently skipped by all but one of the Democrats in the California Legislature, Sen. Rod Wright of Inglewood.


CO2 emission cost/benefit analysis never seem to add in the benefit side. My amateur greenhouse runs 1400ppm CO2. My greenhouse plants double growth and use far less water. At 700ppm CO2, a 25% increase in California’s agricultural output would be easy. We are expecting 10 billion people for dinner soon. If we don’t get ready to feed them, we are going to have to shoot them.


But doesn’t all this leave out population growth? If we add a billion people to the planet every 20 years what does that do to co2 increases?


We won’t get rid of this wretched nonsense until we absorb the fact that SURFACE TENSION blocks heat transfer.
Wow, you’ve taken a lucid discussion and left me — speechless.
First of all, I have no idea what this even means. Surface tension blocks heat transfer how, exactly? Since surface tension exists in almost any fluid interface with a meniscus, I guess that means that fluids never change temperature, right? Or do you mean “fluid-fluid interfaces with surface tension can have a different conductivity across the interface than they do in the bulk medium on either side”, which is quite possibly true but fails to show that the conductivity is always lower or significantly lower, relevantly lower.
Or perhaps you are referring to the transmission and reflection coefficient from the boundary between two dielectrics and radiative cooling? Again, true — hell, I can derive that truth and have in my online E&M textbook — but this is relevant how?
The relevant part of heat transfer is the transfer from the Earth’s surface (and lower atmosphere) to outgoing radiation, which must match, on average, the transfer from the Sun’s surface to the Earth’s surface (and lower atmosphere). Where I’m not neglecting the upper atmosphere, but its dynamics and heat capacity are such as to make exosphere or thermosphere phenomena not obviously relevant once again. The thing that “blocks heat transfer” (or enables it) down low is a mix of conduction, convection, and radiation phenomena, one important component of which is CO_2. Monckton openly acknowledges that CO_2 is a greenhouse gas, that greenhouse warming is an important contributor to global mean temperatures in the energy balance differential equations, and that humans have contributed to increases in CO_2 concentration in the atmosphere, because all of these things are true — experimentally and empirically confirmed facts. So do all reasonable skeptics familiar with the science and evidence, including myself.
His point is (correctly) that the cost of doing anything about it at taxpayer or legally enforced corporate expense is greater than any possible benefit when compared to the cost of doing nothing, even assuming that the worst-case assumptions of CAGW warmists are true! Which almost certainly are not, in fact true. One could then add the latter arguments to the case, that the real costs are almost certainly going to be far lower than those trumpeted by the alarmists, and that furthermore, there may well be benefits (like staving off the next ice age for a bit — hmmm, wonder what the marginal benefit of that might be given that a sudden onset of catastrophic cooling back to ice age conditions could kill off a significant fraction of humanity, numerous species, and increase the probability of nuclear encounters that could end civilization as we known it along with the temperate and benign conditions that have nurtured the development of human civilization over the last 10,000 years).
Now, I’m all for improving climate science. For example, I agitate on these pages for a careful analysis of the direct impact one should expect on the Earth’s mean global temperature associated with the 6% increase in bond albedo empirically observed in the Earth’s reflected earthlight falling on the dark side of the moon by NASA over the last 15 years (down from the global minimum of albedo across the period where we had the means to measure it at all, which occurred back during the grand solar maximum of the latter 20th century). Albedo modulation, whatever the cause, is a directly observable phenomenon with the soundest of physics to connect it to mean global temperature modulation, and the latter predicts that the Earth’s global mean temperature should decrease by roughly 2K over the next couple of decades — the flattening of the Earth’s temperature over the last decade plus may well be the first visible precursor of this decrease.
So please, if there is important physics being left out, some way that “surface tension” between two immiscible fluids “blocks heat transfer” in a way that is relevant to the Earth’s radiative energy balance, by all means enlighten me (and the rest of us), ideally with peer reviewed publications or a sound and complete description of the physics and at least order of magnitude estimates of the expected effect. Otherwise, a remark like this simply encourages the dismissal of the entire skeptical position. Whether or not it is sound reason or justified, accompanying good arguments with terrible ones causes third parties to decrease degree of belief and respect accorded to the good ones if they are associated with the bad ones in some proximate way.


“action would only cost 11 times inaction”
If one takes into account that ‘feelings’ are the greatest motivator for the Environmental Eco-Alarmists’ religion, the expenditure involved may be 11 times the cost of inaction, but it makes them ‘feel’ 11 times better. To the true believers, that would still be a bargain at twice the price.

@jim, @mushroomgeorge
You can’t add billions of people to the world population, because we are in a test tube.
Look up scientist David Suzuki’s analysis of the situation.
We are even now headed for a massive catastrophe in human population,
ecological disaster, a mass extinction event in the oceans within 50 years

The kicker is that the Stern Report is 180° wrong. If the man-made warming of the 21st Century (this one) is 3° C, that unlikely outcome would increase global GDP a good 10% over what it would have been (will be) otherwise. Global warming is not something to mitigate but to encourage.
If the unlikely happens and the globe warms, it will increase rainfall, growing seasons, agricultural success and output, health, welfare, goodness, and happiness.
Note that the warmest place in California, the Imperial Valley, is the most productive farmland in that state.
Note that most of the human population on this planet lives in warm climes, the tropics and semitropics. We like it warm.
Note that biodiversity (number of species per hectare) is greatest in equatorial regions and least in polar ones; the gradient follows latitude. Plants and animals prefer it warm.
The California Plan will not only cost an unimaginable fortune and accomplish nothing but massive impoverishment, it is wrong-headed from the get go.

Also it’s not going to be every 20 years. The number multiplies exponentially which means the next 20 years might be 1 billion, the next 5 years another, the very next year possibly, another

Reblogged this on Climate Ponderings.

Reblogged this on ATA MOTEK.

The real question “why” regarding anything Monckton presents is “Why anyone would believe him?”
He is not a scientist.
He lies and makes up fax to fit his political agenda.
2. His so-called work has been thoroughly debunked a realclimate.org.

BTW, sorry for the misspellings and grammatical errors. My droid phone is having a really rough time with entering text on this website.


Another tour de force by his lordship.
Who does it better?

juanslayton says:
April 4, 2012 at 8:40 am
But…but…but…. How will we pay for our bullet train?
I doubt ecol-gists will ever allow the rail to be laid…they will hold it up in courts for decades…. And I’m pretty sure the California Governor knows this. The political promise is a pea shuffle.

That was supposed to be “facts ” to fit his political agenda.
People don’t usually hire a dishwasher salesman to fix the plumbing problems in there home. But that is just what climate science deniers are doing when they hire Monckton instead of a real scientist.
Check the facts here from real scientists who are trained in climate science:

Jim says:
April 4, 2012 at 9:43 am
But doesn’t all this leave out population growth? If we add a billion people to the planet every 20 years what does that do to co2 increases?
Who knows?
But we DO know innovation and technology doesn’t stand still….And that is left from most debates about population growth. 🙂

John Bosworth

“The legislators’ faces were a picture when I told them.”
I am sure. But as the majority of them are hardcore Marxists, the minds(?) behind those faces were surely thinking “Yes, we will have to go global with this in order to make a difference”.
Both predictable and pathetic. I vote we let the Mexico take California back 😉 (Sorry Anthony)

Tim Mantyla says:
April 4, 2012 at 10:30 am
2. His so-called work has been thoroughly debunked a realclimate.org.
Ha ha ha ha

The level of ignorance of science of this site is shocking.
Mike D.:
To state that global warming is not happening is pure ignorance, as the scientific measurements have demonstrated it is so..
Even the oil companies, who have a vested interest in fossil fuel production agree
REPLY: For readers that want to see a “level of ignorance” on science on a website, I heartily suggest visiting Tim’s which he provided a link for in his name: http://timmantyla.wordpress.com/
It is really quite a mishmashed mind bender. This one is rather fun: http://timmantyla.wordpress.com/tag/mental-ability/ – Anthony

R. de Haan

Lord Monckton simply explains why the true objectives behind the CO2 mitigation is a totalitrian wet dream. And that’s why no reasonable argument will be accepted.
We’re killing the evil USA you know and nobody is going to stop us.

Tim Mantyla says:
April 4, 2012 at 10:09 am
Look up scientist David Suzuki’s analysis of the situation.
Do fruit-fly scientists impress you?
I choose my Mentors very carefully.

Mike, Stockholm

Very interesting and informative from the good Lord – couldn’t stop reading this one!
Also disturbing.

Your laughter is silly here, it’s clear you fail to check the facts. It is obvious that you are no scientist either, and have no respect for science.
There is no technology that can re mediate the number of people polluting and destroying in the billions and billions as the population rises exponentially.
The green revolution of the seventy’s has already happened and increased the population not nearly fed those billion.

to commenters: Don’t feed the trolls, but do visit http://timmantyla.wordpress.com/ for a good laugh…. brains….BRAINS!

J. Felton

@Tim Mantyla
By your logic we should not listen to you, because you are not a scientist. (And if you are, I think it’s safe to safe you’re a fairly bad one.)
Way to ignore everything Lord Monckton said, and attack him personally. Kudos.
Who here would love to see another thorough smackdown of Tim Mantalys comments by the good Lord Monckton? Aside from his excellent essay on California’s desire to bankrupt themselves, the chance to shut down this troll’s asinine comments should be too good to pass up.


Tim Mantyla says:
April 4, 2012 at 10:09 am
@jim, @mushroomgeorge
You can’t add billions of people to the world population, because we are in a test tube.
Look up scientist David Suzuki’s analysis of the situation.
You have got to be kidding. Apparently not. Wow .Can I ask you one question,
It is well recognized the CO2 levels have gone up >5% in the past decade and yet the global temperature has not (this according to the HADCRU data, so please explain this discrepency. Either CO2 is the driver or it is not. Sorry not both ways arguments are accepted here.

MODERATOR: REMINDER to commenters: Don’t feed the trolls, but do visit http://timmantyla.wordpress.com/ for a good laugh…. brains….BRAINS!
But he told me not to go to a dishwasher repairman for plumbing help…But sent me to a fruit-fly scientist for AGW 🙂 🙂
O’kay I’ll be good 😉

Dear Tim,
Calm down, son. A warming earth is nothing to fear. It is a GOOD thing.
I understand your problem. You have been inundated by paranoia perpetrated by the Goreans and their global authoritarian hegemonist manipulations. You have been taught to fear warmth.
It isn’t a natural thing. People prefer it warmer. That’s why most people live in warm climes, and those who don’t heat their shelters and wear thick clothing outdoors. It really has been quite a feat of propaganda to convince so many to believe something contrary to their own gut instincts, that a colder globe is preferable.
Don’t drink their Kool Aid. Trust your own instincts and sensibilities. Don’t be a tool. Embrace your true nature and life itself. Be warm.

Scott Brim

Tim Mantyla, if California’s politicians truly believe that carbon dioxide concentrations above 1990 levels represent a serious danger to the planet, then their actions need to reflect their words, and they should promptly enact a carbon reduction action plan with real teeth in it, one which directly rations energy consumption within the state as necessary to quickly reach California’s own 1990 carbon emission figures. Anything less than that is simply pandering to the environmental community for votes.


So basically, this entire analysis based on the Varshney & Tootelian report (which was 2009 not 2012). If you read the actual report it estimates the total loss to California GDP of AB32 at $402 billion annually, or some 20% of GDP (at that point, who’s counting?) and some 15% of all of the jobs in the state. They make it sound like AB32 is the legislative equivalent of the alien attack on L.A. in Independence Day. It’s amusing but it totally lacks any kind of credibility which is why it was torn apart by real economists. The whole report is based on a phony IMPLAN analysis which is the same econometric program people use to prove that building a sports stadium or shopping mall will create thousands of jobs and generate millions of tax dollars. Usually those reports are only worth the paper they are printed on, if not less.


Another pesky little fact. according to the world experts on ice the global average ice coverage is actually +0.16 thousand sq. kilometers. (Arctic -0.3, Antarctic +0.46).
See the Sea Ice reference for the data, if you have doubts about the data.
Any answers come to mind Tim?


Reading this and other Lord M cost benefit analyses leads to the conclusion that another extension of the work is needed. In this extension we need simulations of the costs of fighting the policy fire or throwing gasoline on it with the argument that the mitigation targets are too low. Turning science skeptics and policy advisers from firefighters and rescuers of reason to gasoline throwers might save money in the end by helping to wreck the whole effort at an earlier stage when the unions and other Marxist backers of legislative savants see direct conflict with their own goals of carving up the budget and debt capacity for themselves. For that to happen the budget fire needs to be so huge that the private sector no longer matters and only public sector and CO2 mitigators are left to fight it out. I think we can guess which side would win that fight. After all, how many Prius tires need to slashed by unions and daily union threats need to be issued to get the nonprofit advocacy leaders attention?

William Astley

In reply to Mantyla,
Do you have a logical comment concerning the subject of this thread? Do not try to change the subject.
Monckton’s summary is based on facts which are from the IPCC and the state of California.
California is wasting billions on wind farms, solar stations and other AGW schemes which will result in no significant reduction in CO2 emissions. Even if the schemes which are scams did reduce Californian CO2 emissions by the fantasy amount, the net change in planetary temperature, assuming the IPCC incorrect science was correct, is not possible to measure.
I notice Realclimate is completely silent on details concerning the means, the costs, and impact on the economy of the scams to reduce carbon dioxide emission.
China is placing one large coal fired plant into service every week. The Chinese CO2 emissions are now roughly 40% greater than the US. India and China have stated there CO2 emissions will continue to increase. I notice Realclimate is silent on CO2 emissions by country also.


For a rental 24 foot moving truck, the difference between moving from Houston TX to LA CA and the reverse, is about $700. This reflects the cost of flying a rental company employee to Texas to retrieve the empty truck.

Michael D Smith

Tim Mantyla –
RealClimate? Hilarious. I think most of us have been to RC, some of us more than once. Most people I know won’t go there anymore, we don’t like supporting well coordinated AGW industry funded disinformation campaigns.

Once again, many thanks to those commenters who have made constructive points. Ed Caryl’s real-world evidence that the cost of hiring a 24ft removal truck to go from CA to TX is $700 greater than the cost of going the other way confirms that the wagons are indeed rolling eastward out of California to escape the crippling cost of its loony-Left over-taxation and over-regulation.
One or two commenters have taken me to task for relying on the Varshney and Tootelian report of 2009 (not 2012, as I had mistakenly written). However, as I pointed out in the posting, I had taken not their high-end annual cost of cap-and-trade and related anti-CO2 measures ($402 billion) but the direct annual cost only ($182 billion), and I had multiplied it not by 10 for a full decade but only by 2.5, effectively dividing the direct cost by four. I had deliberately erred on the side of caution, here as elsewhere throughout the analysis.
It is worth summarizing why it is that any attempt to mitigate CO2 emissions is likely to be cost-ineffective. First, any individual scheme will make only a minuscule difference to CO2 concentration; therefore the reduction in radiative forcing will be barely measurable; therefore the consequent global cooling, compared with business as usual, will be unmeasurable by any modern instrument or method. Upscaling an individual scheme globally merely increases the costs more or less in line with the upscaling. Economies of scale do not seem to apply: for instance, the cost of windmills, per MWh generated, is higher than ever at present.
Bottom line: whichever way you stack the numbers, preventing warmer weather is many times costlier than letting it happen and paying the cost of adapting to it in a focused way.
A troll says I am not a scientist. No, but – as regular readers of Anthony’s award-winning blog will know – I am an experienced policy analyst, and I used to conduct intertemporal investment appraisals for HM Government, using the first computer ever to find its way into 10 Downing Street. Besides, the rule at this blog – which is a good one – is that one should attack the argument and not the man. Aristotle pointed out 2300 years ago, in his Sophistical Refutations, that attacking the man with mere non-specific yah-boo points, rather than debating him on the arguments he has presented, is one of the dozen commonest and stupidest logical fallacies in human discourse.
The same troll (I shall forbear to discuss the question whether he is a scientist) says global population is rising “exponentially”. No, it isn’t. Populations don’t do that. They follow not an exponential curve but an epidemic curve. The curve is S-shaped. At first, the population grows very slowly: then it grows very rapidly, mimicking an exponential curve. Finally and inevitably, however, population growth slows and eventually tails off. As recently as 2000, the UN’s fatuous “population clock” predicted that there would be 16 billion of us one day. Now, however, the UN’s estimate of the population peak is 9-10 billion, compared with 7 billion now: not exactly an insuperable problem, particularly as people seem to like cramming themselves into cities rather than sprawling all over the countryside. The UN has at last understood that the population curve is not, repeat not, exponential.
Paradoxically, the one course of action that might lead to a population increase well above the UN’s current prediction would be to make everyone poorer by banning the use of fossil fuels such as coal. Overwhelming demographic evidence demonstrates that the surest and quickest way to stabilize population growth rates at replacement level is to raise the standard of living above the poverty line. Though the Left (those who know this is the case) usually maintain that the stabilization occurs because more wealth means better education for women, in practice this factor is almost entirely irrelevant as far as rates of population growth are concerned.
Another bottom line: if we want to minimize the total environmental footprint of Man by bringing down the global population growth rate to replacement level, we need to raise standards of living worldwide. And the cheapest and most effective way to do that is to give affordable, fossil-fueled electricity to those who don’t have it yet. For this reason, the biggest threat to the Earth’s environment is environmentalists.

Arno Arrak

I quote: “…there has been no global warming at all since 2001. In fact, on the latest data from the Hadley Centre and the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, there has been no statistically-significant warming for fully 15 years. Of course, such periods of temperature stasis are quite frequent in the record….”
It is not accurate to say that such temperature stases are quite frequent but they do exist in the record. The satellite record that starts in 1979 shows two of them: the present standstill starting in 2002, and a temperature standstill from 1979 to 1997. What you see in satellite data for these years is a series of ENSO oscillations about a mean temperature that remains constant for almost twenty years. There are five El Nino peaks in this period with La Nina valleys in between. To show these peaks clearly a magic marker must be used. Then put a dot at the midpoint of each line connecting an El Nino peak and its adjacent La Nina valley and fit a straight line to them. It will be horizontal. Next, put a ground-based curve like HadCRUT3 on the same graph. I did that in figure 24 in my book “What Warming?” The locations of El Nino peaks in both coincide but when you draw the straight line that defines the mean temperature of the ground-based curve it slopes up at 0.1 degrees per decade. This major difference comes from differences in the La Nina valleys in between the peaks. In ground-based curves they have all been raised up so that the depth of a valley in the ground-based record is only half the depth of the same valley in the satellite record. I know of no natural process that can zero in on low temperatures this way and raise them without raising the adjacent high temperature points as well. The time interval between the peaks is somewhat variable but averages five years. It requires a precise and long term process, active for twenty years, to raise all the valleys involved as consistently as they are. I can only think of one thing that can do it, and that is anthropogenic warming. This fakery started approximately at the same time as the satellite record and is not limited to HadCRUT3. To get such long term and widespread and coordinated action one needs to have some central control. I looked at the records available on the web and came across a document posted by GISS. It is called “GISS (Goddard Institute of Space Studies) Surface Temperature Analysis.” in the “History” section it says: “The basic GISS temperature analysis was defined in the late 1970s by James Hansen when a method of estimating global temperature change was needed.” Here I want to point out that the period from 1950 to the late seventies did not experience any temperature rise. There was a method of recording temperature already in use and it is somewhat puzzling why a method for determining temperature change was even needed at that point. In his book about his grandchildren Hansen relates that he left the Pioneer Venus Project in 1978 to join GISS because “The composition of the atmosphere of our home planet was changing before our eyes.” Apparently he had found a mission that was so important that it justified abandoning his experiment that was on the way to Venus by spacecraft. We know what happened next: from the late seventies on global temperature began to rise and by 1988 Hansen could declare to the US Senate that anthropogenic warming had arrived. Is it then just a coincidence that ground based temperatures started to rise as soon as his method was invented? We don’t know how his new method differs from the previous one. Was this method adopted by other temperature measuring groups? And, more importantly, is it possible that adoption of this method is what automatically lowers the depth of temperature valleys by lifting up the low points? We don’t know that either simply because full information on how his method really works has not been published. It should be made public to clear up the mystery surrounding these temperature discrepancies that have a huge impact on global warming science and politics. In the meantime I suggest abandoning all ground-based temperature curves that overlap the satellite era and using satellite temperature measurements exclusively from that point on.


Related news:
Mine union boss: Coal industry could suffer same fate as bin Laden
By Andrew Restuccia – 04/04/12 11:37 AM ET
The coal industry will suffer the same fate as Osama bin Laden under new climate regulations proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency, the head of the United Mine Workers of America said this week.
“The Navy SEALs shot Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan and Lisa Jackson shot us in Washington,” Cecil Roberts, president of the powerful union, said during an interview Tuesday on the West Virginia radio show MetroNews Talkline.
Roberts blasted Jackson, the EPA administrator, over the proposed regulations, which would limit greenhouse gas emissions from new power plants. Opponents of the regulations, including Roberts, say the new rules would be the death knell of the coal industry.
New coal-fired power plants would have to install technology to capture carbon dioxide emissions in order to comply with the rules. The technology, known as carbon capture and storage (CCS), “is not commercially available,” Roberts said.