Climate Fail Twofer: The “Rising Costs Of Climate Change As Oil Prices Drop” and “Deniers Are a Danger to Our Security”

Guest commentary by David Middleton

In my daily dose of Real Clear Energy, I ran across a “twofer” of climate stupidity, both of which appear to be based on NCA4 and featured the exact same photo from Hurricane Harvey…

Figure 1.  Forbes caption: “Residents of Southeast Texas flee the destruction of Hurricane Harvey in 2017, which left 68 dead and cost more than $125 billion in damage.FOX NEWS”… Washington Post caption: “Rescue boats on a flooded Houston street in August 2017 as people are evacuated from rising floodwaters brought on by Tropical Storm Harvey. (David J. Phillip/AP)”

Both articles feature the exact same photo.  Forbes credits it to Fox News, The Washington Post credits in to David J. Phillip/AP.  This photo was used as the featured image for this post even though it has nothing to do with climate change or this post… However, it also had nothing to do with either article that featured it.  So, at least I’m being consistent (/SARC).

The first article from Forbes is written by Ariel Cohen:

I cover energy, security, Europe, Russia/Eurasia & the Middle East

I am a Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council and the Founding Principal of International Market Analysis, a Washington, D.C.-based global risk advisory boutique. I advise law firms and corporations, and once helped to get a famous Russian oligarch out of Putin’s jail. I am also the founder of Center for Energy, Natural Resources, and Geopolitics (CENRG). For 22 years, I was the Heritage Foundation’s leading Russia/Eurasia and international energy expert. My consultancy focuses on political risk, national security, and energy policy, especially in Russia/Europe/Eurasia, and the Middle East. The firm’s interventions span international security, economics, law, politics, terrorism, and crime and corruption. In addition to consulting for both the public and private sectors, I testify regularly before the U.S. Congress, and appear on Bloomberg, CNN, FOX, BBC, Al Jazeera, and other TV channels. In my free time, I enjoy skiing, sailing, classical music, and my two cats.

Mr. Cohen’s article starts out well.  He notes that the Global War Against the Weather might actually be more economically destructive than the weather will be, but then, the wheels came off…

Dec 18, 2018

The World Faces Rising Costs Of Climate Change As Oil Prices Drop

In the last few weeks, two important climate reports were released – the Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4) and the UN Emissions Gap Report 2018. Both studies highlight the risks of rising greenhouse gas emission (GHG) concentrations in the Earth’s atmosphere, and the potential consequences should these trends continue. The threats posed by a warming world are not just dangerous for the climate-dependent sectors of our economy (crops, livestock, and global fisheries), but bad for global security as well. The Trump Administration’s Pentagon calls climate change a ‘threat multiplier’ because it aggravates pre-existing societal stress factors. Instances of state collapse, refugee flows, and conflicts over basic resources, including food and water attributable to climate change, have already been studied.

But battling climate change will not be easy – or cheap. Since the era of a steam engine, the global economy has been inextricably linked to fossil fuels – from the oil that powers the world’s vehicles to the coal and natural gas that illuminates our cities – which means that a transition to cleaner alternatives will need to be managed with care. Too sudden a shift — and we may risk introducing economic, social and geopolitical shocks that could dwarf the worst outcomes of climate change.


What the Reports Say

The NCA4 is important because it puts in perspective two different greenhouse gas concentration scenarios – Representative Concentration pathways RCP 8.5 and RCP 4.5.

The NCA4 predicts that under the RCP8.5 or ‘business as usual scenario’…


But the dangerous RCP 8.5 is looking much more likely than RCP 4.5. Low oil prices – as we have experienced since their crash in November – hurt the renewables transition by making fossil fuels more competitive. Without a large-scale substitute for oil in the world’s transportation fleets, the lower-case scenario may be out of reach.

Even an RCP 4.5 scenario (2.4 degrees C or 4.5 degrees F temperature rise by 2090) could cost the U.S. economy 4% of GDP.



  • The Global War Against the Weather will almost certainly introduce “economic, social and geopolitical shocks that could dwarf the worst outcomes of climate.”  It is already doing this.
  • RCP8.5 is not “business as usual.”
  • RCP8.5 in not “looking much more likely than RCP 4.5.”
  • This is one of the most idiotic sentences ever written: “Low oil prices – as we have experienced since their crash in November – hurt the renewables transition by making fossil fuels more competitive.”  The crash in the price of oil since November is no more relevant than the rise since 2016 or crash in 2015 or any other boom or bust.  At no point have fossil fuels needed price fluctuations to be “more competitive” with renewables… Because renewables are totally noncompetitive.  Nor has there been any transition to renewables or any other energy transitions in human history.
  • “The lower-case scenario” is not only not “out of reach,” it’s above the current trajectory of reliable temperature trends.
  • “RCP 4.5 scenario… could cost the U.S. economy 4% of GDP”… Wrong.

NCA4, Volume 1 (2017) featured the following image.  I overlaid HadCRUT4 and UAH 6.0 on then image:

Figure 2. HadCRUT4 and UAH 6.0 overlaid on NCA4 figure 1.4 from NCA4, Vol. 1.

On its current trajectory, UAH 6.0 will exit the 21st Century slightly above RCP2.6.  This is consistent with a low climate sensitivity (TCR ~ 1.5-2.0 K).

Mr. Cohen features this image from NCA4 Volume 2:

Figure 3. “Global carbon emissions and damage to the U.S. economy — possible scenarios.THE FOURTH NATIONAL CLIMATE ASSESSMENT (NCA4)”

This is based on Hsiang et al., 2017, which idiotically and literally referred to RCP8.5 as “business-as-usual emissions.”

Based on a simple projection of UAH 6.0 to the end of this century, we get about 1.9 °C of total warming by the end of this century. According to Hsiang et al., 2017, that equates to about a 1% reduction in US GDP from 2080-2099, relative to what it would be without any additional warming…

Figure 4. Figure 5 from Hsiang et al., 2017 with my annotation.

However, this does not reflect a reduction in GDP.  It reflects a reduction in GDP growth.

The Climate Won’t Crash the Economy

A worst-case scenario projects annual GDP growth will be slower by 0.05 percentage point.

By Steven Koonin
Nov. 26, 2018

Headlines warned of economic doom after the U.S. government released its fourth National Climate Assessment last week. Yet a close reading of the report shows that the overall economic impact of human-caused climate change is expected to be quite small.


The final figure of the final chapter shows that an increase in global average temperatures of 9 degrees Fahrenheit (beyond the 1.4-degree rise already recorded since 1880) would directly reduce the U.S. gross domestic product in 2090 by 4%, plus or minus 2%—that is, the GDP would be about 4% less than it would have been absent human influences on the climate. That “worst-worst case” estimate assumes the largest plausible temperature rise and only known modes of adaptation.

To place a 4% reduction in context, conservatively assume that real annual GDP growth will average 2% in the coming decades (it has averaged 3.2% since 1935 and is currently 3%). That would result in a U.S. economy roughly four times as large in 2090 as today. A 4% climate impact would reduce that multiple to 3.8—a correction much smaller than the uncertainty of any projection over seven decades.


If we take the new report’s estimates at face value, human-induced climate change isn’t an existential threat to the overall U.S. economy through the end of this century—or even a significant one.


Steven Koonin, The Wall Street Journal

How much would you spend today to possibly obtain an additional 0.05% of annual GDP growth over the next 80 years?  Dean Wormer has the answer:


Mr. Cohen’s article started out OK before going full stupid.  The other article, from The Washington Post, by Jennifer Rubin, does this right from the start (warning, lots of foul language):


Climate-change deniers are a danger to our security

By Jennifer Rubin
Opinion writer
December 18

Imagine during the Cold War that one political party, in the face of overwhelming evidence that the Soviet Union was engaged in espionage against the United States, had a nuclear arsenal pointed at the United States, kept Eastern Europe under its thumb and imprisoned dissenters, refused to consider the Soviet Union a danger — of any sort — to the United States or other Western democracies. And they would offer no credible evidence to the contrary, but rather assert that it was all a hoax. Besides, they’d insist (with no evidence) that it was too expensive to address the challenge posed by the Soviet Union, a danger which they claimed didn’t exist (So how expensive could it be? Don’t ask!). Actually, you don’t have to imagine this scenario. Many on the left have made arguments along these lines, and many on the right have responded by saying they were fuzzy-headed, in denial or captive of interest groups.

That is essentially what is going on, only with the parties flipped, in the climate-change debate. Climate-change denial has become as necessary to one’s right-wing identity as aversion to immigration, opposition to most abortions and a disbelief that sexual harassment and assault are widespread. Just as rejecting geopolitical reality became a requirement of inclusion in far-left circles, climate-change denial is a must for those who want to remain in the Trump fold.

On what basis do they deny climate change?  President Trump says he knows a lot about science, so believe him instead of all the scientists who work for the federal government [AKA NCA4].


The Washington Post


I take back my comment about describing one of  Mr. Cohen’s remarks as “one of the most idiotic sentences ever written”… This clearly is THE most idiotic sentence ever written:

Besides, they’d insist (with no evidence) that it was too expensive to address the challenge posed by the Soviet Union, a danger which they claimed didn’t exist (So how expensive could it be? Don’t ask!)

Mr. Cohen appears to have at least read NCA4 and made some effort to familiarize himself with the science and economics.  Ms. Rubin just went full retard.  The closest she came to a rational statement was, “President Trump says he knows a lot about science, so believe him instead of all the scientists who work for the federal government.”  Presumably, she was referring to NCA4… But she never cites anything to support her “opinion.”

The recent IPCC SR1.5 clearly stated that it was too expensive to address the challenge posed by the Soviet Union Gorebal Warming. Anyone with half-a-brain would consider a $240/gal tax on gasoline for a $122 trillion slush fund too expensive.  But, Ms. Cohen wasn’t done…

On what basis do they deny climate change?

Who denies climate change?  The point most skeptics focus on is the fact that climate has always changed and always will change.  At this point, Ms. Rubin went even fuller retard…

At some point, maybe in 2020, Democratic candidates are going to start running on the very sensible conclusion that climate-change deniers are a menace to Americans’ economic well-being, comfort and security.

This is what “a menace to Americans’ economic well-being, comfort and security” looks like:

Based on data available for this special report, the price of carbon varies substantially across models and scenarios, and their value increase with mitigation efforts (see Figure 2.26) (high confidence). For instance, undiscounted values under a Higher-2˚C pathway range from 10–200 USD2010 tCO2-eq–1 in 2030, 45–960 USD2010 tCO2-eq–1 in 2050, 120–1000 USD2010 tCO2-eq–1 in 2070 and 160–2125 USD2010 tCO2-eq–1 in 2100. On the contrary, estimates for a Below-1.5˚C pathway range from 135–5500 USD2010 tCO2-eq–1 in 2030, 245– 13000 USD2010 tCO2-eq–1 in 2050, 420–17500 USD2010 tCO2-eq–1 in 2070 and 690–27000 USD2010 tCO2-eq–1 in 2100.

SR15 Chapter 2 Page 2-79

Pages from sr15_chapter2-2

The IPCC presented fairly broad cost ranges for the 1.5˚C and 2˚C pathways… So broad, they are almost meaningless. However, whenever a government agency says a program will cost between $690 and $27,000 per unit, it’s a good bet that it will cost at least $27,000. The IPCC being an intergovernmental agency cannot be expected to be better at economics than a single government agency. Here is a table of the full ranges for both pathways:

Un-discounted 2010 US Dollars
Carbon Tax per Metric Ton of CO2
2˚C Pathway Low 2˚C Pathway High 1.5˚C Pathway Low 1.5˚C Pathway High
2030 $10 $200 $135 $5,500
2050 $45 $960 $245 $13,000
2070 $120 $1,000 $420 $17,500
2100 $160 $2,125 $690 $27,000

Is this really a tax?

Some commentators have said that this isn’t a “tax.” It’s just the price of carbon emissions as estimated by the IPCC. Whether or not it takes the form of a direct tax, it’s a cost that the IPCC says needs to be extracted from the private sector in order to fund the Global War on Weather.

Putting the IPCC price of carbon into context

Since it’s difficult to relate $/ton of CO2, let’s look at it relative to common fuels used for transportation and electricity generation.


The folks at Resources for the Future were kind (or naive) enough to put together a handy carbon tax calculator to demonstrate the effects on various fuels. While it only goes up to $50/ton, it’s a good starting point for the math.

While numbers can vary depending on grades of gasoline, on average, the combustion of 1 gallon of gasoline yields 8.89 kg of CO2. How does a gallon of gasoline, which weighs less than 3 kg yield nearly 9 kg of CO2?

Molecular weight:

  • O = 16
  • C = 12

Chemical equation for combustion of octane:

  • 2[C8H18] + 25[O2] → 16[CO2] + 18[H2O]

The C comes from gasoline, the O2 comes from the air.

Now, let’s translate a carbon tax into a gasoline tax:

Carbon Tax per Gallon of Gasoline (8.89 kg/gal)
2˚C Pathway Low 2˚C Pathway High 1.5˚C Pathway Low 1.5˚C Pathway High
2030 $0.09 $1.78 $1.20 $48.90
2050 $0.40 $8.53 $2.18 $115.57
2070 $1.07 $8.89 $3.73 $155.58
2100 $1.42 $18.89 $6.13 $240.03

This morning, I paid $2.70/gal at a Houston Texaco station. This price already includes $0.184/gal in Federal and $0.20/gal in Texas State taxes. That’s already a 17% tax at current prices.

This is how the IPCC carbon tax looks as a % of $2.70/gal.

Carbon Tax per Gallon of Gasoline % of $2.70/gal
2˚C Pathway Low 2˚C Pathway High 1.5˚C Pathway Low 1.5˚C Pathway High
2030 3% 66% 44% 1811%
2050 15% 316% 81% 4280%
2070 40% 329% 138% 5762%
2100 53% 700% 227% 8890%

It’s fairly obvious that the carbon pricing for the 1.5˚C pathway and the high-end of the 2˚C pathway are ridiculous non-starters as it relates to gasoline prices.

However, when it comes to electricity generation, it’s even worse.

Natural Gas

First, some US natural gas nomenclature:

SCF – Standard Cubic Foot is one cubic foot of gas at standard temperature and pressure (60 degrees F and sea level). Since both temperature and air pressure affect the energy content of a cubic foot of natural gas, the SCF is a way of standardizing. One SCF = 1020 BTUs.


While the Btu content of natural gas is variable, one thousand cubic feet (Mcf) is generally equivalent to one million Btu (mmBtu).

scf Standard cubic foot 1 scf
mcf Thousand cubic feet 1,000 scf
Bcf Billion feet, 1 million mcf 1,000,000,000 scf
Tcf Trillion cubic feet, 1 thousand Bcf 1,000,000,000,000 scf

In terms of British thermal units (Btu):

scf Standard cubic foot 1,020 Btu
mcf Million Btu, mmBtu 1,000,000 Btu
Bcf Trillion Btu 1,000,000,000,000 Btu
Tcf Quadrillion Btu, 1 Quad 1,000,000,000,000,000 Btu

Natural gas is the number one fuel for electricity generation in the US (31.7%), having edged out coal a few years ago. It’s also used for heating and cooking in many US homes. This is what the IPCC carbon tax would look like in $/Mcf of natural gas.

Carbon Tax per Thousand Standard Cubic Feet of Natural Gas (53.12 kg/1,000 scf)
2˚C Pathway Low 2˚C Pathway High 1.5˚C Pathway Low 1.5˚C Pathway High
2030 $0.53 $10.62 $7.17 $292.16
2050 $2.39 $51.00 $13.01 $690.56
2070 $6.37 $53.12 $22.31 $929.60
2100 $8.50 $112.88 $36.65 $1,434.24

The average residential price for natural gas in the US in 2017 was $10.91/Mcf (about 3X the wellhead price). This is what the IPCC carbon tax looks like as a % of $10.91/Mcf:

Carbon Tax per 1,000 scf of Natural Gas % of $10.91/1,000 scf
2˚C Pathway Low 2˚C Pathway High 1.5˚C Pathway Low 1.5˚C Pathway High
2030 5% 97% 66% 2678%
2050 22% 467% 119% 6330%
2070 58% 487% 204% 8521%
2100 78% 1035% 336% 13146%


Coal is the second most prevalent fuel for electricity generation in the US (30.1%). Coal comes in a lot of “flavors”: Anthracite, bituminous, sub-bituminous and lignite… and sometimes coke. For simplicity and due to its dominance in US coal production, I limited my analysis to Powder River Basin sub-bituminous coal. The low-end of the IPCC carbon tax for a 2˚C pathway would immediately more than double the price of Powder River Basin coal:

Carbon Tax per Short Ton of Powder River Basin Sub-Bituminous Coal (1,686 kg/short ton)
2˚C Pathway Low 2˚C Pathway High 1.5˚C Pathway Low 1.5˚C Pathway High
2030 $16.86 $337.20 $227.61 $9,273.00
2050 $75.87 $1,618.56 $413.07 $21,918.00
2070 $202.32 $1,686.00 $708.12 $29,505.00
2100 $269.76 $3,582.75 $1,163.34 $45,522.00

The average price for Powder River Basin coal in September 2017 was $12.10/short ton. This is how the IPCC carbon tax looks as a percentage of that price:

Carbon Tax per Short Ton of Powder River Basin Sub-Bituminous Coal % of $12.10/short ton
2˚C Pathway Low 2˚C Pathway High 1.5˚C Pathway Low 1.5˚C Pathway High
2030 139% 2787% 1881% 76636%
2050 627% 13377% 3414% 181140%
2070 1672% 13934% 5852% 243843%
2100 2229% 29610% 9614% 376215%

While claims of the “death of coal” have all proven premature, the IPCC carbon pricing scheme would almost immediately kill the world’s second most prevalent energy source, with no viable replacement apart from nuclear power and/or natural gas – which aren’t viable in many places.


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December 20, 2018 11:07 am

You’re seeing the absurdity, but not how useful it is.

The whole point of agitating for the 1.5C level is that it requires measures which no-one will ever seriously consider implementing.

Therefore it is a gift that keeps giving. The activist can keep on forever proclaiming how essential it is, without having to fear someone actually trying to do it.

Its called radicalization. Read Alinsky. Never, when radicalizing, agitate for measures which someone may agree to. Still worse, never under any circs agree to implement any measures at all yourself.

John Endicott
Reply to  Michel
December 20, 2018 11:26 am

You’re seeing the absurdity, but not how useful it is.

It’s a short term usefulness. When you put the deadline too close to the present (we only have 1 year to save mother earth, oh wait, that’s starblazers! We only have 12 years to save the earth) when that deadline is reached without any of the measures having been implemented, more and more people will see the scam for what it is. And each time you move the goal post, more people cotton on to what’s really going on. Should 1.5C arrive and the disasters don’t, more people will see through the lies.

The activist can keep on forever proclaiming how essential it is, without having to fear someone actually trying to do it.

It won’t work forever. “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.”, sooner or later a majority of the people wake up to what they’re doing. The only question is how much damage their policies will inflict before that happens.

Ron Long
Reply to  John Endicott
December 20, 2018 1:30 pm

John, not to speak ill of President Lincoln, but the new reality is you can fool a majority of voters all of the time and that’s their endgame. Rational behavior appears to me to be in a death spiral. Good post David M.

Reply to  Ron Long
December 20, 2018 7:32 pm

The reality of civilisation = citification, is that > 50% of the world now lives in a 100% man made environment protected almost completely from ‘natural’ forces.

Man made made environments can be made to respond to human activity on almost any way you want.

If you don’t like it vote someone in to change it.

Who needs rational thought? Only the tiny minority that produces the food, electricity, clean water, and other energy that the city needs.

And they have no political significance really.

The rest can worship Unicorns and live off what they think is renewable pixie dust. What they think is completely and utterly irrelevant to anything except human behaviour.

Ergo the way to keep them placid and docile is to tell them what to think, stir them occasionally with a dose of fear in order to change their view a little and feed them bread and circuses. As the Romans found out 2000 years ago.

Of course a population fed on a diet of bread, circuses, Liberal Arts and political correctness dependent on a nanny state is almost useless when the barbarians coming knocking at the gates, but hey, no civilisation lasts forever.

Steve O
Reply to  Michel
December 20, 2018 1:27 pm

I always thought the main reason to propose ridiculously expensive plans that are guaranteed to not be implemented is that reparations are only justified with failure. If the goal is set too low, and a recession accidentally puts the world in compliance, nobody gets any climate money.

Reply to  Michel
December 20, 2018 10:17 pm

Yep, as is clear from his comment “But battling climate change will not be easy – or cheap”, which means ‘give me your money!!!’

He is a fraud, looking to sell some scared CEO his ‘advice’ on climate change.

John Endicott
December 20, 2018 11:16 am

Ms. Rubin just went full retard. The closest she cam to….

I know that AGW alarmism is sometimes referred to as climate porn, I didn’t realize it also included cam girls. /sarc

just my attempt to amusingly point out that you missed an “e”

Reply to  David Middleton
December 20, 2018 12:09 pm

Eye Halve a Spelling Chequer

Eye halve a spelling chequer
It came with my pea sea
It plainly marques four my revue
Miss steaks eye kin knot sea.

Eye strike a quay and type a word
And weight four it two say
Weather eye am wrong oar write
It shows me strait a weigh.

As soon as a mist ache is maid
It nose bee fore two long
And eye can put the error rite
Its really ever wrong.

Eye have run this poem threw it
I am shore your pleased two no
Its letter perfect in it’s weigh
My chequer tolled me sew.

(Sauce unknown)

Bob Denby
Reply to  acementhead
December 21, 2018 5:51 am

Won dear fool!

December 20, 2018 11:31 am

Denial, huh. In the original form, it was [Jewish] life deemed unworthy of life. There is a similar doctrine today, with a less diverse overture.

Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming is a scientific and political myth that will persist until it is no longer politically congruent.

Steve O
Reply to  n.n
December 20, 2018 1:29 pm

Actually, CAGW is purely a political myth. The word “catastrophe” is hard to find in any scientific paper.

Reply to  Steve O
December 20, 2018 1:52 pm

They don’t use the word “catastrophe”. However they tell us things like the consequences will be dire, tell us about the millions who are going to harmed if we do nothing.

Regardless, with out the myth of “catastrophe”, or whatever euphemism they are using this week, there is no need to do anything regarding climate change. And certainly no need to do it “NOW”.

Greg Cavanagh
Reply to  MarkW
December 22, 2018 12:48 pm

Hansen said the oceans would boil. It’s not he was a hack or anything. He was only the director of Goddard Institute for Space Studies, and already with multiple scientific papers behind his name.

And the original introduction to this absurdity was “Catastrophic Anthropomorphic Global Warming”. Or at least, that was how it was pushed in the public sphere, even if the scientific papers didn’t use the word catastrophic.

Reply to  Steve O
December 20, 2018 1:54 pm

True, Steve O. But the political CAGW myth is fed by the perceived scientific assessment of the AGW myth i.e. it could be bad, very bad or even badder if not badderer. The UNIPCC fulfils its role perfectly.

The “C” word was often used by John Kerry and there is at least one reference to it in the earlier IPCC reports.

Roger Knights
Reply to  Steve O
December 20, 2018 5:00 pm

Nov. 14, 2018

250 quotes warning of imminent catastrophe from various warmist bigshots. A rich resource.

thread reposted at:

HD Hoese
Reply to  Steve O
December 20, 2018 7:19 pm

One of the papers mostly lost to catastrophist’s history is Brongersma-Sanders, M. 1957. Mass mortality in the sea. In. J. W. Hedgpeth, Ed., Treatise on Marine Ecology and Paleoecology. Memoir Geological Society America. 67(1):941-1010. The word catastrophe was used sparingly and in the context of learning the relationship of current events to the those in the fossil record.
This went back to Cuvier’s theory of catastrophes. For mortalities in restricted areas the word ‘Anastrophe’ (borrowed from grammar) was suggested for mass mortalities over limited areas, but apparently not used today in the crisis world.

I have studied a few somewhat rare ‘anastrophes,’ never a catastrophe, although they certainly are to some species in the area affected. A freeze during a glacial period would perhaps qualify.

I suspect the word is dumbed down like many, and carelessly used instead of mass mortality. It does appear, but not very often, in the past at least.

Charles Higley
Reply to  n.n
December 20, 2018 3:51 pm

“as necessary to one’s right-wing identity as aversion to immigration, opposition to most abortions and a disbelief that sexual harassment and assault are widespread. ”

The leftists might know first hand about the rampant sexual harassment and assault, being the majority perpetrators of such acts. They speak about what they know, and then they pretend (claim) the right is doing it, to defer attention from themselves. All the sexual accusations in Hollywood, oh, all leftist, got it.

December 20, 2018 11:34 am

Yeah. It’s a tax, but I’ll accept “Climate Indulgences”.

William Astley
December 20, 2018 11:35 am

Is obvious that the idiots have no solution to CAGW the IDEA (IPCC version of CO2 hell) and have no understanding of what energy is used for in their country.

Carbon taxes solve nothing. Countries need growing GDPs as they are all spending more and more each year.

A super carbon tax would result in food shortages, collapse of all energy intensive production, and riots. i.e. A race to zero GDP.

It does not matter that there is no scientific basic for CAGW.

CAGW the IDEA is being pushed 24/7 by all of the Zombie news outlets and every weather channel. i.e. CAGW the IDEA is alive and well.

Matthew Drobnick
Reply to  William Astley
December 20, 2018 1:06 pm

This is all about depopulation, with the remaining 500 or so million left to either do what robotics cannot, or be stationed to repair and maintain the robotics when they inevitable fail.

I would hope at this point even the most staunch, resistant, status quo apologists see this misanthropic death plan for it’s naked aggression of hatred that it is. This is, always has, and always will be about massive depopulation until it fails or until it is successful.

These people are patient, calculating, and unrelenting in their vision. It spans generations and is family business. The evidence is right in front of you but how many refuse to acknowledge this is way against humanity by the initiated or high ranking club members.

I wonder what the police and military are going to do for work once these machines displace them. Maybe then you’ll understand how we civilians feel about being harassed because of, cough, “the law”.

Dystopian collectivist transhuman future coming with a carbon tax near you, and no! You have no individual rights.

Sounds extreme? Well then you haven’t been paying attention

Reply to  Matthew Drobnick
December 20, 2018 3:48 pm

It’s called Agenda 21.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Hashbang
December 20, 2018 4:36 pm

Usurped by agenda 2030.

Coincidentally, the same year that we are all supposed to die if we don’t kowtow to the UN…

Tom Abbott
December 20, 2018 11:41 am

From the article: “Imagine during the Cold War that one political party, in the face of overwhelming evidence”

The difference between Jennifer Rubin’s example above and human-caused global warming/climate change is there is NO overwhelming evidence that CAGW is real.

Jennifer Rubin obviously thinks there is overwhelming evidence but would find it impossible to provide any evidence to others because there is no evidence to provide. She has been taken in by the fraud.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
December 20, 2018 1:54 pm

“Imagine during the Cold War that one political party, in the face of overwhelming evidence”

We don’t have to imagine it. All we have to do is remember how the Democrats time and time again assured us that the Soviets just wanted to be our friends and that if only the US would disarm we could have world peace.

Robert in Busan
December 20, 2018 11:47 am

For our first 300,000 years on this planet, homo sapiens had a child mortality rate between 400 and 700 per 1000. Humans could not protect their children. But in the last 200 years, this rate has miraculously plummeted from ~500 (w/ Belgium lowest @320) to ~40, varying between Hong Kong @~1 to certain sub-Sahara African nations @~160 (1/2 the rate of the best nation just 200 years ago). In my view, this is all, yes, 100% associated with cheap, abundant energy, mostly fossil fuels which have emerged only in this time frame. Without cheap energy we are all still pulling the plow and helplessly watching our childeen die. Keep up the great reporting and commentary, Dave.

bill johnston
Reply to  Robert in Busan
December 20, 2018 1:34 pm

And by increasing the cost of energy, and people being denied those benefits, we regress to the point 200 years ago. When child mortality was much higher. Which comes down to decreasing the world population. And where have we heard that line before???

Don B
December 20, 2018 11:58 am

Regarding the “unprecedented” Harvey rains:

“Cuba got hammered by more than 100 inches of rain when Hurricane Flora sat over the island for four days in 1963. And even earlier, in 1909 before hurricanes were named, a storm dropped more than 96 inches of rain on Jamaica. In more recent history, Wilma dumped more than 62 inches of rain on Mexico in 2005 and Hurricane Mitch, blamed for killing more than 11,000 in Central America in 1998, soaked Nicaragua with more than 62 inches, according to records compiled by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecaster David Roth.”

Bruce Cobb
December 20, 2018 12:00 pm

The human race has split in two. On one side you have your Greenie Goblins and their hordes of Climate Orcs,
pictured here:
comment image

Then on the other side you have your actual human beings. We know what we look like already.
Never the twain shall meet.

December 20, 2018 12:08 pm

So, it’s not about carbon dioxide, but carbon generally. The so-called decarbonization of our economy through shifting greenbacks and environmental pollution. Carbon-based lifeforms, too? Perhaps a planned population. So very monotonic.

Reply to  n.n
December 22, 2018 12:55 pm

“So, it’s not about carbon dioxide, but carbon generally.”

No, it isn’t. Sometimes “carbon” is used as shorthand for carbon dioxide. Or for carbon dioxide equivalent(s) (

December 20, 2018 12:18 pm

What has the annual average global temperature got to do with the climate? Do we have an annual average global climate? Is it the annual average temperature and climate of Chipping Sodbury?

Does the average global telephone number tell us anything about telecommunications? Is it an actual telephone number? Is it your telephone number?

Reply to  leitmotif
December 20, 2018 12:29 pm

A global average temperature is a politically significant number, and a statistically significant number to assess the value of hypothetical (e.g. model) outputs. It’s just unfortunate that the latter is based on a mechanism characterized in isolation, then inferred to have a universal sense outside of a near-frame context.

Reply to  n.n
December 20, 2018 5:18 pm

You sure took a long time to say “It’s Meaningless in the real world”.

victor m filler
Reply to  leitmotif
December 20, 2018 2:02 pm

I used to live in Old Sodbury, 2 mi from Chipping Sodbury. Sorry, just had to note this, apropos of nothing.

Reply to  leitmotif
December 22, 2018 1:02 pm

“Does the average global telephone number tell us anything about telecommunications?”

Don’t be daft. There are no average and/or global telephone number. You can’t measure telephone numbers. Measuring temperature, on the other hand, on one or more scale(s) is rather quite common.

D. J. Hawkins
December 20, 2018 12:30 pm

David, I believe you’ve got a unit conversion problem somewhere. A short ton (2,000 lbs) is ~907.185 kg.

John Endicott
Reply to  D. J. Hawkins
December 20, 2018 12:57 pm

No, the problem is you aren’t understanding what his chart is telling you.
while 2000 lbs (of subbituminous coal) is indeed ~907.185 of coal, that’s not what is being discussed. What is being discussed is the CO2 that the 2000lbs of coal will generate. 2000lbs of subbituminous coal generates approx. 3,740 pounds of CO2 (because the carbon in the coal is combining with Oxygen in the air) which comes to 1696.43 kg which is close enough to his 1,686 kg (I got the 3740 from an quick internet search and did a conversion through an online calculator)

Crispin in Waterloo
Reply to  John Endicott
December 20, 2018 1:35 pm

That calculation is correct for wood, but not for sub-bituminous coal.

Presuming the coal is dry, the carbon content might be 85%. The same figure applies to wood-charcoal, but not coke which is higher. If you have to make a quick calculation regarding coal, assume that the carbon content is 85% unless you have evidence otherwise like a high ash content. Remember that lignite and many sub-bituminous coals have a lot of water “as mined” so don’t consider that as part of the coal. Emissions calculations are based on dry content.

2000 lbs coal * 0.85 /12*44 = 6233 lbs CO2.
907 kg coal = 2827 kg CO2

Also produced by burning coal with 5% hydrogen:

2000 lbs coal * 0.05 *18 = 1800 lbs H2O.
907 kg coal = 816 kg H2O

“Water vapour is not considered to be a cause of man-made global warming because it does not persist in the atmosphere for more than a few days.”

Ha ha ha! Yeah, right. Define “few”. The exact opposite argument is made for water vapour feedback. I was unable to find a CO2e value for water vapour from the usual suspects because they deny it has any effect like, say, black carbon which has a life in the atmosphere of about 10 days.

If H2O has a CO2e of 4 per unit mass, then the water vapour brings the total CO2e up to

6233+1800 = 8022 pounds

Rounded out, a ton of coal produces 4 tons of CO2 GHG equivalents.

John Endicott
Reply to  Crispin in Waterloo
December 21, 2018 7:03 am

Tell it to the EIA (US Energy Information Administration), they claim “The carbon dioxide emissions from burning a short ton of subbituminous coal weigh approximately 3,740 pounds, or about 3.67 times the weight of the carbon in a short ton of coal and 1.87 times the weight of a short ton of coal…..subbituminous coal is, on average, 51% carbon”

so according to the EIA its about 51%, not the 85% you claim.

John Endicott
Reply to  Crispin in Waterloo
December 21, 2018 7:17 am

Further the website

Bituminous:This is the second rank of coal, softer and younger than anthracite, and containing a lower percentage of carbon (45-85%) and therefore more moisture and volatiles

Subbituminous: This is the third rank of coal, possessing 35-45% carbon and more moisture than bituminous coal

so perhaps you are thinking of Bituminous coal and not Subbituminous with your 85% claim.

michael hart
December 20, 2018 12:30 pm

Under the green-scheme, the fuel protesters in France wouldn’t be a problem because they simply couldn’t afford the fuel to travel to Paris, or anywhere else. Et voilà…in one step the serfs (that’s most of us) have learned to not argue with our green over-lords.

December 20, 2018 12:39 pm

However, when it comes to electricity generation, it’s even worse.”

…but you never gave those numbers WRT electricity. I know, YMMV, but you could have presented the carbon “tax” effect for electricity generated by coal, natural gas and maybe No. 2 fuel oil or similar (since energy generated by unrefined crude oil essentially does not exist, and I once audited a place that tuned their backup generators to run on JP-4, since they had so much of it). So I guess that would be 3 more tables, and this article is already long enough?

Bruce Cobb
December 20, 2018 12:42 pm

It’s a good question, because during both warmer and colder periods you are going to have variation depending on the location. About the current warming all we can really say with some certainty is that average temperatures since the LIA have risen (and a good thing, too) by some 1C, +/- some amount, because no measurement can be very certain. Too many variables. That’s all. We certainly can’t say with any certainty what temperatures are doing now, or will be, despite the wild claims of the Climate Numpties. It’s another reason why they’ve switched to the “climate change” meme. A lot harder to refute, because it can mean everything and anything they want it to mean.

Reply to  Bruce Cobb
December 22, 2018 1:21 pm

“It’s another reason why they’ve switched to the “climate change” meme.”

I believe it’s a term; not a meme.

If I may enquire, who switched it (from what) when? What was the other reason(s)?

December 20, 2018 1:17 pm

Imagine during the Cold War that one political party, in the face of overwhelming evidence that the Soviet Union ….
Was planning a first strike against the US.

This is a much closer analogy because a first strike is an existential threat and we hear that climate change is the same.

Having lived through the cold war many of us are well aware that there was talk of launching a first strike against the USSR to prevent their first strike.

This is no different than from de-industrializing to fight climate change. You stand to be wiped out by the very steps you took to avoid bring wiped out.

The problem is that a large number of people believe we need to launch a first strike against climate so that climate doesn’t wipe us out.

We should expect climate to be a much more resilient and adaptable foe than the USSR ever was.

Al Miller
December 20, 2018 1:20 pm

“Climate-change deniers are a danger to our security”

Fortunately this creature only exists in the minds of the green blob and it’s mythical usefulness is to try and scare the masses into compliance with a criminal fraud.

I and many others are proud skeptics- something everyone will be learning about once the lid is really blown off this AGW fraud.

Reply to  Al Miller
December 20, 2018 1:51 pm

History shows that climate change zealots are a much greater risk.
Ultimately the zealot will insist that the only solution is to get rid of the people causing the problem.

The inquisition, the witch trials, Mme le guillotine, the final solution. All examples of what happens when zealots come to power.

Eventually the high priests and priestesses of climate will claim that hanging is too good for those that oppose them. And the general population will be too afraid to speak out, lest they suffer the same fate.

We already see this happening on a small scale. There is strong likelihood it will get much worse before it gets better.

December 20, 2018 1:31 pm

The warmest global temperature recorded was in 1913 and the coldest global temperature was in 1983.

This tells us that the earth is cooling not warming globally. If the earth was warming these dates would be reversed, with the warmest record closer to the present.

The problem is a matter of faulty statistics. The climate IS NOT CHANGING. What is changing is the length of the instrument record, combined with the false and misleading notion that local records can be averaged to create a global records.

Bruce Cobb
Reply to  Ferdberple
December 20, 2018 1:42 pm

++++ Many. But, the Climate Numpties have moved on to “the weather has changed”. And we know that we are hearing a lot more about the weather now. Because it is now Big News, and big business. Follow the money. The bigger the weather news, the more dollar$.

Reply to  Bruce Cobb
December 20, 2018 2:01 pm

An old person is much more likely to have lived through a major storm than is a young person. Thus it can be said that bad weather was much more likely in the past than it is today.

Or it could also be argued that old people cause major storm while young people do not.

Bruce Cobb
Reply to  Ferdberple
December 20, 2018 2:07 pm

Or, it could be argued (and is) that old people are more apt to be “climate deniers”. But they are old, and decrepit, so what do they know?

Bruce Cobb
December 20, 2018 1:35 pm

While we are imagining things; Imagine during WWII, that the U.S. , instead of fighting the Nazis, decided to fight “Climate Change” instead. I mean, after all, what the Nazis tried to do was piffles compared to what “Climate Change” will supposedly do. I mean, what if, instead of fighting them, that we had gotten them onboard with the whole “Climate Change” thingy. It would have been awesome. Really. The Planet would have been saved. Now imagine Christopher Columbus….

December 20, 2018 1:39 pm

Here’s where this is going…..

If climate deniers are a danger to the general security of the future well being of the U.S., then pretty soon, we will be branded in the same boat as insurrectionists, revolutionaries, and worse. This will result in our posts getting monitored, and worse. It is coming I think. They will use our reactions to these news articles as the evidence they need to ensure that the people trying to save the country can continue unimpeded.

I for one don’t deny there is a ‘climate’, so I think what we need to do is come up with a better name for ourselves. Perception is everything these days, which is how they are winning the word battle in the press.

Reply to  Charlie
December 20, 2018 3:15 pm

We all know what happened to heretics in the Middle Ages. We are heading back to less enlightened times.

Steve O
December 20, 2018 1:45 pm

“Low oil prices – as we have experienced since their crash in November – hurt the renewables transition by making fossil fuels more competitive.”

— In fairness to the author, I’m going to pick a nit. That sentence makes perfect sense. Declining prices make fossil fuels more competitive whether or not they are the most competitive source of energy already. What happens when a runner gets faster? He or she is more competitive. That’s true even if they were already the fastest runner in the world.

Bruce Cobb
Reply to  Steve O
December 20, 2018 2:02 pm

No, because the implication is that renewables are in fact “competitive”. They aren’t, and never were, which is why they need subsidies and mandates. Level the playing field again, and then we can talk about competition.

Johne Morton
December 20, 2018 1:46 pm

I’m surprised the Greenies haven’t filed more lawsuits. “Global warming” heats the oceans, causing more evaporation from surface water. The higher rate of warming in polar regions versus the low latitudes should reduce the temperature gradient, and therefore winds. All they have to do is say that “climate change” is making wind and solar energy production less efficient, and bingo, you have a lawsuit against “big oil”.

December 20, 2018 2:02 pm

“Principal of… a Washington, D.C.-based global risk advisory boutique”

When “advisory boutiques” flourish and prosper, funded on the backs of the poor fools growing the food and doing all of the things required for our survival, then survival begins to look iffy.

December 20, 2018 2:19 pm

Thank you yet again David Middleton for a clear, comprehensive and relevant article exposing yet more of the Alarmist Scam.

December 20, 2018 2:27 pm

All of these projections of doom are based on the falsified assumption that fossil fuel generated CO2 controls atmospheric CO2. Upon that assumption the models work on different RCPs and guess at the awful things that are coming our way.
Starting with Salby then Harde and now Berry, we are introduced to the error of misusing the balance equation to conclude that our CO2 emissions are the only reason the atmosphere is now over 280 PPMV. Now Munshi concludes his analysis with “The results of detrended correlation analysis at five time scales shows that the failure to find a responsiveness of atmospheric composition to fossil fuel emissions in a related work [LINK] cannot be ascribed to the annual time scale used in the study as the result is validated at longer time scales to the point of diminishing returns. We conclude that atmospheric composition specifically in relation to the CO2 concentration is not responsive to the rate of fossil fuel emissions. This finding is a serious weakness in the theory of anthropogenic global warming by way of rising atmospheric CO2 attributed to the use of fossil fuels in the industrial economy; and of the “Climate Action proposition of the UN that reducing fossil fuel emissions will moderate the rate of warming by slowing the rise of atmospheric CO2. ”
None of the RCPs, catastrophic results, or ability to control them are materially effected by fossil fuel emissions. This fact has been effectively hidden from the IPCC.

M Courtney
December 20, 2018 2:38 pm

It is true that opponents of expensive climate change fearmongering are a threat to national security.
They just reversed the policy of France.
And they would do the same in the USA if you tried to act on the words of your media.

December 20, 2018 3:07 pm

Look at this piece from the Daily Caller, …

Here is a key part to what these new Dems want “…Khanna and Democrats supporting the so-called “Green New Deal” want a House climate committee that’s just as strong as others, meaning subpoena power and the authority to introduce bills. ..”. In particularm take note of the call for subpoena power for the new proposed committee.

Gary Pearse
December 20, 2018 3:35 pm

Jennifer Rubin does not see the irony in her use of the Soviet threat as an analogy for the threat of global warming. In the former, as it turned out, totally over-hyped was the “Red Menace”. It turned out to be a non starter. The CAGW threat to is crumbling before it even got a chance to scare us (like the Dirty Thirties hot period, which contains the high T records, did). Empty threat comes to mind in both cases.

R Shearer
December 20, 2018 3:40 pm

Mr. Middleton, thank you for making these calculations and organizing the derived information and analysis in such a logical manner.

It’s sad that it’s coming to this, but on a more happy note, I only paid $1.94/gal for regular gasoline in CO today. The price had risen by $0.01/gal overnight so I figured I had better fill up.

December 20, 2018 3:50 pm

David, you wrote about paying for gas in Houston today.

That’s odd. I used to fill my car with gas in Houston all the time, near Dairy Ashford and Briar Forest. Yeah, on Westheimer. I don’t recall seeing you. Same with Leif Svaalgard…don’t recall seeing him in Houston either, when he lived there.

Regards, and Happy Holidays,

December 20, 2018 5:10 pm

Thank you for the informative article, David Middleton.

The greed on the part of these people becomes more and more arrogant and uncalled for. If they expect to get that kind of money out of ordinary people who have to work for a living, I would like to know what planet they are living on, or as an alternative, who let them go off their meds.

They are nuts. And stupid. And the reporters who provide us with these oddities of unreality do us quite a favor by letting us know just exactly how dumb they really are, to fall for that idiocy. What I want to know is where these twits expect people like me to get the cash to pay these taxes, and whether or not they’d cough up the cash on my behalf. (I know: NEVER.)

Thank you again! And have a very nice Christmas.

December 20, 2018 9:13 pm

Excellent article.

However refuting climate change and / or the attached voodoo economics with logic, data and facts hasn’t worked for the last 30 years.

The French are showing the way in attacking climate taxes on a political basis rather than a scientific basis.
Given that gilets jaunes demonstrations have occurred in Belgium, Holland, the UK, and now Canada, this is very optimistic, in my opinion. People are waking up that messing with the economy now for a possible maybe half degree change in the weather in 80 years’ time is not a good plan.

old construction worker
December 21, 2018 3:21 am

Carbon Tax is nothing more than an added value tax hidden from view. It would start out as a tax at the resource level, coal mine or well head, but then, overtime, it will expand to manufacturing, wholesale and retail sale of all products. Businesses will use their “legal bribe money” to the political parties for special tax deductions which will lower their cost to do “business” therefore staying competitive with the “market” After all it is the end user of goods and services that pay for all cost and profit of that good or service. Those cost include all taxes from the time the resource was pulled from the ground. Personally I would do away with the present tax system and have a point of sale income tax that the seller has to pay which, of course, be included in total sale price of goods and services. Of course, the politicians wouldn’t like it for two reasons. One, it takes power away from them. Two, it would be in full view of the citizens.

Reply to  old construction worker
December 22, 2018 12:33 pm

“Personally I would do away with the present tax system and have a point of sale income tax that the seller has to pay which, of course, [would] be included in total sale price of goods and services.

How is that supposed to be superior to the tried and tested, well-known and straightforward VAT?

Kevin kilty
December 21, 2018 7:36 am

Isn’t it interesting that Mr. Cohen, who touts his academic brilliance, is unaware that spending decisions in corporations have horizons out a year or more, and that no recent event, like the tumble in oil prices over the past 60 days, could possibly have had time to impact these decisions? Cohen talks for a living, and I suspect he has rather mediocre analytical smarts, but is darned good at talking.

During the stone age there were shamans who were darned good at talking and ceremony, but who didn’t understand anything more about what powers the world and its events than the average tribal member, or the average American of today.

Latimer Alder (@latimeralder)
December 21, 2018 11:36 am

In UK, ‘Twofers’ are known as BOGOF.

Buy One Get One Free.

Just saying

Farmer Ch E retired
December 21, 2018 12:57 pm

Here is the quote:
“For instance, undiscounted values under a Higher-2˚C pathway range from 10–200 USD2010 tCO2-eq–1 in 2030, . . . .”

The use of undiscounted values (0%) is not realistic and is disingenuous.

Here is a back-of-the-envelope calculation for a “5% discounted” cost/ton CO2. On an hp financial calculator, the calculation assumes n=240 months (2010 to 2030), i/yr=5%, PV=-$10 (negative $10 indicates a cost in 2010), and PMT=0.
In 2030, the discounted cost/ton CO2 (FV or future value) ranges from $27.13 to $542.53. (note that with an undiscounted rate (0%), the values in 2030 range from $10 to $200 /ton CO2. So in reality, there is a cost benefit/ton CO2 ranging from $17.13 (27.13-10) to $342.53 (542.53-200). I may have totally missed something so if there are any financial geeks familiar with how the cost/ton CO2 is actually calculated, I invite you to correct these estimated numbers as appropriate.

December 22, 2018 12:09 pm

“This is all about depopulation, with the remaining 500 or so million left”

I should hope you’re wrong. I’m sure that this planet cannot sustain such a large population.

[??? if sarcastic, it is not clear. .mod]

December 22, 2018 12:39 pm

What (Watt) happened? My comment was a reply to the comment by “Matthew Drobnick” (December 20, 2018 at 1:06 pm).

Absolutely not sarcastic. Perhaps I should have clarified that.

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