Willis's DDP Presentation Video

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

My thanks again to Dr. Jane Orient, Jeremy Snavely, and the Doctors for Disaster Preparedness (DDP). I previously described how they invited me to Knoxville to speak at the DDP conference.

However, they’ve now outdone themselves and posted my speech online, and have my further thanks for doing so. Here’s the video, featuring me cleverly disguised in a coat and tie. 

As I remarked in my previous post, I stole shamelessly from my past writings to make up my speech. My basic theme was, “First, Do No Harm”.

I went to the Conference thinking I’d talk about science, and I had a bunch of Powerpoint slides and everything. But then I thought better of it, and I junked my prepared speech and put together another one entirely, no slides, just stories and ideas.

I asked for questions after my presentation, but mostly what I got instead were mini-speeches, although some of them were interesting and relevant.

Best to all,


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August 17, 2014 11:23 pm

Willis: DDP is a pretty cool group aren’t they? Their meetings are always interesting and the topics quite varied and wide ranging. I gave a lecture to their Southern California Chapter on dirty bomb preparedness which was well received and enjoyable. I donated my services to calibrate their radiation instruments for awhile and participated in a couple of their exercises. They provide a heck of a service when disasters occur, but few know about them.

August 17, 2014 11:52 pm

Well done I enjoyed it very much. Keep at it.

August 18, 2014 12:03 am

One “questioner’s” mini speech brought focus to the regressivity of carbon based taxes. The short form of his idea is this:
Virtually everyone agrees that sales taxes are regressive, to the point that in some government areas essential basic goods are made tax free or at least lower tax rates.
But take two dresses. One is $50. One is $1000. Clearly these dresses are made for different buyers.
If we use a 5% sales tax, then the $50 dollar dress costs $55 and the $1000 dollar dress costs $1050. To the poor, that $5 increase in the low priced dress can mean skipping one or more meals, but the $50 increase in the $1000 dress is unlikely to change the habits of those who would buy it.
But if we choose to a Cap-And-Trade or Carbon-Tax system and tax items based upon their carbon content or carbon footprint, then we making a super-regressive tax. The $50 dress and the $1000 dress both have the same carbon content. What then if the carbon tax makes the $50 dress $55 and the same carbon tax makes the $1000 dress $1005? The poor are hurt most, the rich feel it not.
To add insult to injury $1000 dress might also carry a green-energy label so that it is exempt from the carbon tax. Energy that is green only because of tax subsidies, some of which are sales taxes, that make it possible.

August 18, 2014 12:18 am

From Gail Combs: 1/10/14 12:49 am

Money has been sucked out of the pockets of the poor and middle class and diverted to the pockets of the rich.
This is the true aim of “Progressives” Ever heard of a politician leaving office poorer than when he entered?

Also from Gail Combs: 3/6/14 3:30 am

Deindustrialisation is just to make the threatening Middle class back into peasants. It never was meant to apply to the elite.
“It is clear that current lifestyles and consumption patterns of the affluent middle class, involving high meat intake, consumption of large amounts of frozen and convenience foods, use of fossil fuels, appliances, home and work place air conditioning, and suburban housing are not sustainable.” ~ Maurice Strong in his introductory speech Kyoto 1992.
Notice there is nothing said about the ultra-rich and their consumption habits just the middle class.

August 18, 2014 12:24 am

Correction to my 8/18 12:03 am
If we use a 5% sales tax, then the $50 dollar dress costs $55 $52.50 and the $1000 dollar dress costs $1050. To the poor, that $2.50 increase in the low priced dress can mean skipping one or more two meals.

August 18, 2014 12:50 am

The Proponents of a Carbon Tax have an answer to its super-regressivity: Make the Carbon-Tax revenue neutral by subsidizing the poor.
A Carbon Tax would be a most efficient tax to collect, (if you don’t count people cutting down trees for firewood). Efficiency of Collection does not make tax just or fair.
Even if one can actually account for a monetary harm done by every ton of carbon extracted from where it was sequestered in the earth, the morality of the tax would depend upon where the lucre flowed. There would be no Invisible Hand to “advance the interests of the society”. No. There would be a great many hands on the revenue stream from a Carbon Tax —- hands that would be neither Invisible nor Transparent.

August 18, 2014 1:06 am

Of course, the Americans are fond of saying “No taxation without representation.” and also “one man one vote”. So why are votes not proportional to tax paid! Or alternatively, if you want to keep one man one vote, tax should be apportioned equally to all citizens. i.e. $1.4trillion / 350million = $4000 per person.

August 18, 2014 1:08 am

Thank you once again, Willis.
Stopping coal fired generation in the world is immoral.

August 18, 2014 1:28 am

Very well done, Willis … I had imagined you as a larger man 😉

richard verney
August 18, 2014 2:08 am

Stephen Rasey says:
August 18, 2014 at 12:50 am
“…Even if one can actually account for a monetary harm done by every ton of carbon extracted from where it was sequestered in the earth, the morality of the tax would depend upon where the lucre flowed….”
Tax is neither fair nor moral, and in most instances it is unfair and immoral.
There is no true democracy in the West, and as long as the political elite control the list of candidates, there never will be government by the people for the people.
At best, all ‘we’ can hope for is that those in political power are held accountable for their actions, not just at the ballot box, but more importantly criminally accountable. That will be a long, hard and slow battle, but it will be the only way that better decision making will be made. It is even more important to bring NGOs under that umbrella since they exercise significant power without democratic accountability, and have never been voted in by the citizens.

Eamon Butler
August 18, 2014 2:32 am

Hi Willis. Nice to put a face and a voice to the wonderful articles I’ve read from you here on WUWT.
I think I probably got the audio fairly correct but my visual impression was different… You’re missing the cape.;)
Looking forward to more.
Regards, Eamon.

August 18, 2014 4:27 am

here I was thinking DDP were something along the lines of Médecins Sans Frontières‎ sending medical help where needed.
Instead I find it is group based on the final scenes of Doctor Strangelove
Strangelove’s plan for post-nuclear war survival involves living underground with a 10:1 female-to-male ratio to live in deep mineshafts in order to escape the radiation,
General “Buck” Turgidson then comes up with the immortal:
“Mr. President, we must not allow a mineshaft gap!”

bit chilly
August 18, 2014 5:04 am

another fantastic presentation willis ,i really enjoyed that. my family has a house in the philippines and my younger brother and sister are half scottish ,half filipino . the filipino people are some of the friendliest in the world ,and manilla is one of the few large cities in the world where i would feel safe walking anywhere as a foreigner .this is based on a similar experience to yourself in my early twenties.
the fact it is one of,if not the most corrupt countries in the world,and at one time was the most dangerous place in the world to be an investigative journalist is a paradox i will never understand.
by the way,did you ever try the balut ? it took two days for the taste to leave my mouth,and very little could ever persuade me to try it again.
on the commentators after your presentation, i really did not know how bad the energy disruption situation was becoming in the united states .

August 18, 2014 5:04 am

I enjoyed that, thanks Willis.

August 18, 2014 5:35 am

Great talk Willis, thank you for posting.

Harry Passfield
August 18, 2014 5:40 am

You’re a ‘warm’ speaker, Willis. Well worth listening to.
You asked: “What shall we do about Climate Change?”
Well, at the risk of repeating myself – and in a way, agreeing with your ‘no regrets’ strategy – I like to think we should use the simple strategy outlined by the great (late) British author and plawright, Keith Waterhouse (who, incidentally, wrote in partnership with the well-named Willis Hall). He said:

“Don’t just do something, stand there!”

Harry Passfield
August 18, 2014 5:41 am

Darn it: ‘Playwright’!

August 18, 2014 6:12 am

Sorry, Willis, you are rambling. Nowt to do with AGW, and switched off after 5 minures. if i had paid for that lecture, I would have demanded my money back.

Rex knight
August 18, 2014 7:02 am

Spot on Willis, thank you.

August 18, 2014 7:21 am

Good stuff Willis – thank you!

August 18, 2014 7:23 am

Wow. Willis wasn’t anything like I thought. But he was just as eloquent in speech as he’s been in writ. He certainly made his point. I’d like to see/hear more of Mr. Eschenbach. His articles are well read, but I like what has to actually say.

August 18, 2014 8:07 am

There appears to be a lot of common sense being applied by Willis.
Alarmists will not take to kindly to that.

August 18, 2014 8:39 am

Streetcred says:
August 18, 2014 at 1:28 am
Very well done, Willis … I had imagined you as a larger man 😉
Willis is a larger man.

August 18, 2014 8:47 am

An excellent presentation Willis!
I do confess to being surprised. My prior mental image of Willis Eschenbach was that of a burly grizzled square jawed tough fisherman adventurer through life. Likely wearing Duofold woolies or Woolrich plaids.
I’ve corrected that mental image now thanks to your video. Instead my mental Willis image is currently a geeky looking tough wiry sharp as a razor guy; not one whit less manly though.
Many of us baby boomer generation, whatever nationality, were brought up by parents who lived a life very similar to those you’ve described Willis. What many of the younger generations fail to grasp is that in spite of appearances they are not far from a life seeking shelter, warmth and any food for a meal.
Right now in America there are unemployed who have fallen through any measurement of unemployment. Whether living in an old car or some relative’s attic or basement or building a cardboard shack, these ‘American’ poor are just as desperate seeking refuge from weather.
I only add these comments in to remind folks that whereas everyone in many nations are very poor there are equally poor people in most if not all nations.
I love your phrase, “First, do no harm!”.

August 18, 2014 12:22 pm

I just saw the whole talk. Inspired and inspiring. Poignant, urgent, a devastating critique of carbo-socialism that turns out to be a war on the poor.
A good call to focus on real people rather than the science. The science of squabbling over fractions of degrees or mm of sea level is insignificant compared to the daily struggle for life of Helena, of the African farmer, or the Solomon Islander.
The new “liberals” are indeed free of either head or heart.
Also from the questions its good to see signs of mobilizing resistance.

Bryan A
August 18, 2014 12:31 pm
Michael D
August 18, 2014 1:18 pm

Willis, thank you. I listened to the whole talk and found it very moving and persuasive. Your meme of “making my feet the same temperature as my head” is brilliant. Perhaps something could be done with “having cool heads and hot feet” … Hmm…
I agree that making energy more expensive for everyone a) does not significantly affect the environment and b) can be very damaging to the poor of the Earth – so the analysis can safely ignore the Global Warming mythology.
However: I suggest that we as a planet would be wise to preserve some of the deep earth carbon for future generations. We have been extracting it at a huge rate for about 200 years, but can we keep that up for another 200? Thus: how can we motivate a gradual switch-over to renewable energy sources, without destroying lives (or civilizations)? I presume you and I agree that telling a Platonic Lie about “carbon pollution” and “Climate Change” is unethical and mischievous.

Paul Hanlon
August 18, 2014 1:41 pm

Excellent presentation, Willis. Very erudite. I think it came off the better for you personalising it in the way you did, rather than another climate presentation. The real battlelines aren’t being fought on the climate, but rather the politics, with the poor bearing the brunt of it.

August 18, 2014 2:15 pm

Willis! You look and sound like people! Sonofagun. Now that I’m forced to think about my unspoken mind-picture of you, I suppose I was expecting a leprechaun with a large forehead in Harley leathers and flip-flops. 😉

August 18, 2014 4:49 pm

@Willis: You’ve done quite a bit of educating from the perspective of your presentation. You’re message is quite effective to non technical folks who want to do the right thing.
I had no idea you were so soft spoken either.
Mario / AKA fan boy

stan stendera
August 18, 2014 4:52 pm

It’s a bird, It’s a plane, no it’s superman. No it’s not ; it’s Willis’ eagle flying ever higher; maybe it’s a spaceship. Seriously, Mr. Echenbach, what a wonderful speech.

August 18, 2014 8:20 pm

Stop referring to the poor as hungry etc. My income on a pension is $20,000 approximately a year, I get concessions too. On land, water and electricity. Movies, medical bulk billing, and when it is really tough the Salvos and St.Vinnies give 500 dollars a year (collectively) to help pay electricity bills. Our neighborhood centre gives 800 a year to welfare recipients for white goods and furnisher or even computer goods. We don’t pay registration on the cars we own, but we do pay for our 3rd party insurance (green slip) and rego checks. We get some really cheap hardly used clothes from the op shops. Food vouchers etc. (not regularly but occasionally, St.Vinnies also give bags of food donated) The thing is though, if you own your own home one doesn’t get rent assistance on top of your allowance. But – I bought a 5,000 L rain water tank, plumbing and pump for just over 2,000 dollars, and both the Fed and State government paid for it but for about $50.00. It is used for the laundry and laundry toilet and watering my bonsai.
But I live in a temperate cold area, Northern tablelands of NSW and our heating is necessary. I don’t heat my house I’m acclimatised and save money that way. Other than an electric blanket, which costs little and a two bar fire if we have visitors from sunny Queensland. But it is the insurances for home, contents, green slips, car expenses that cost as well as land rates even with pensioner reductions. So we are not starving in Oz. Mind you I smoke, that takes a lot of my pension, but I don’t drink nowadays for health reasons. All medication I need are only $6 a prescription, and one Hydrea is $76 per bottle if I wasn’t covered. Firewood is not used as much now as the smoke settles under any mist low in the valley. So we are adapting to the cold already. And two solar farms have quit, and a wind turbine looks to not be supported anyway.

August 18, 2014 8:22 pm

Yes Willis you were so articulate, I enjoyed the lecture. Hope to see more.

August 19, 2014 1:55 am

A great talk. No reliance on slides or visual aids. Well done, Willis.

August 19, 2014 2:49 am

That’s the best talk I’ve heard that makes the moral case against this craze. Excellent!

August 19, 2014 4:47 am

Excellent job, Willis! You presented a logical approach extremely well. I hope some wild-eyed AGW proponents will see the video and perhaps get a different perspective for the manner in which they regard ‘ignorant deniers’.
Your ‘do what’s possible now and see what happens’, in my mind, makes abundant sense.
I have always been uncomfortable with the terms ‘pause’ and ‘hiatus’ to describe the current global temp situation for the reason that they imply an eventual resumption of warming. That may well be true but there are two other possibilities. The curve could remain flat or there could be some cooling as some are beginning to suggest. I don’t claim to know what will happen but it seems to me that governmental actions being taken or suggested now would be counter-productive should there be greater than expected cooling in the next two or three decades when cheaper fuel and electricity would be required. None of what will happen can be known for certain (except of course by the AGW gang) but,it would seem to be imprudent to ignore the possibility (keeping in mind that a degree or so of warming would be much easier to cope with than a degree or two of cooling).
As you say, “Do no harm.”

August 19, 2014 7:24 am

Willis is seen in a good number of videos on youtube. Here’s a search link:
The miserable youtube search tool is imprecise and will return many false positives which you can ignore.

Brian H
August 19, 2014 10:46 am

Want to provide cheap energy? Support LPPhysics.com in its drive to bring to fruition its cheap nano-fusion project. 0.3¢/kWh power, everywhere. No waste, completely dispatchable, in 5 MW chunks. Within 5 years.
It will bring a wealth explosion about, the likes of which have not been seen since the development of steam power and then electricity.

August 19, 2014 9:40 pm

Willis just likes to write. I can’t stand him any more. He doesn’t call FRAUD, in a moral sense, so really he’s just a teeny tiny [trimmed], and nobody in human history likes a wimp.
His *own* data plot, I offer.
[Cut the insults out. .mod]

August 20, 2014 4:50 am

Thanks for publishing my insult though, mod, but you destroyed it by ruining its subtlety. I say, stop being the top jock of skepticism.
Oh, shit, did I “insult” you?
Political correctness is your own ruin, not mine.
Let us New Yorkers free.
Who are you saving?
What single person are you saving from ruin by killing my words?

August 20, 2014 5:54 am

Please reveal Willis’ take on your threat of censorship of opinion, assuming you are not yourself Willis, anonymous mouse mod. Who has insulted who, here?

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