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The $6 Billion Dollar Scandal and CAPS

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November 28, 2009 – Comments (27)

I've been hearing quite a bit of chirping on CAPS lately about content (or as I like to call it, the anti-alstry legislation.)  Recently, i've been bringing the CRU global warming scandal to CAPS.  Some have called this the wrong forum.  It's very hypocritical. Why don't you just admit that the content you wish to ban is the content you don't agree with?  Devoish and zloj penned about 100 Healthcare blogs over the last 6 months. I don't remember even a whisper of complaint.  Did a soul asked if CAPS was the place for that?

The Cap and Tax bill / Copenhagen meeting is just as import to CAPS investors as the Health Care bill.

Not only that, we are on the cusp of seeing the greatest boondoggle in the history of science exposed.  I can think of only a few scandals in my lifetime that are definitely bigger (WMD, torture, Madoff come to mind.)

This is going to be the week of ClimateGate.

David in Qatar

27 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On November 28, 2009 at 3:03 PM, DaretothREdux (36.24) wrote:

I guess it will be about a 100 years or so before we quit putting "gate" on the end of things....

Dare

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#2) On November 28, 2009 at 3:55 PM, alstry (36.27) wrote:

Climategate will dwarf the items you mentioned.

Global warming is being used as a conduit for a global world order....maybe that is what global warming is actually a code word for.....the warming of global relations.

Either way.....most of the CAPS blogging whiners are low cap scoreres.....and wasn't caps about investors helping investors score points????

Between now and 1.01.10.......it is very possible much of this debate will be mute anyway.

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#3) On November 28, 2009 at 4:29 PM, kdakota630 (29.71) wrote:

I guess it will be about a 100 years or so before we quit putting "gate" on the end of things....

Perhaps you've uncovered the beginning of gategate.

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#4) On November 28, 2009 at 6:38 PM, rofgile (99.43) wrote:

Healthcare legislation affects lots of companies in the US in that sector, and perhaps all small businesses.

Calling global warming a farce has little business relevance.  

Research supports global warming, and all the major countries are going to continue to act with regards to that being treated as a positively supported FACT.  As you've seen this week, both China and US are making moves that support their participation at the Copenhagen conference.

While you may decry global warming as a farce, the consortium of water using companies in the US (SABMiller, Coca Cola, Nestle, etc) are finding ways to divide up the future water supplies amongst themselves and cut out small farmers.  This is based upon the realization that in a climate changed world, water is a scarce, valuable resource.

US, Russia, Canada, and Norway are acting to claim the north pole for its energy resources.  They are doing this based on the realization that the ice caps are melting, and pathways will be available.  This is based on the idea that climate change will proceed.

---

 You can choose to believe and act against the best research in the world, and against the actions of those with the most power and resources -> which would have the best perspective on the future climate of the world and incentive to capitalize on their information.

 You'll find me investing in wind and solar, and possibly water treatment companies. 

 -Rof 

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#5) On November 28, 2009 at 6:42 PM, chk999 (99.97) wrote:

The Cap and Tax bill / Copenhagen meeting is just as import to CAPS investors as the Health Care bill.

Actually, I think that Cap 'n Trade is bigger than healthcare reform. Some of the biggest problems sneak into the house the quietest. 

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#6) On November 28, 2009 at 7:18 PM, devoish (96.42) wrote:

Some have called this the wrong forum.  It's very hypocritical. Why don't you just admit that the content you wish to ban is the content you don't agree with?  Devoish and zloj penned about 100 Healthcare blogs over the last 6 months. I don't remember even a whisper of complaint.  Did a soul asked if CAPS was the place for that? 

David,

Thanks for reading. Your suggestion that I was not censored because people on this site agreed with me on Single Payer, I find to be self serving on your part. Especially as you were commenting on my blog pretty often that "America" doesn't want Gov't involved in healthcare.

And for the record, the answer is yes. More than once I was asked to connect my posts to investing.

Possibly in their frustration at me, you are hearing it worse, but far more likely your portraying Scientists collaborating to improve their knowledge as a global conspiracy is farfetched even for your posts.

 

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#7) On November 29, 2009 at 10:21 AM, dwot (43.80) wrote:

US, Russia, Canada, and Norway are acting to claim the north pole for its energy resources.  They are doing this based on the realization that the ice caps are melting, and pathways will be available.  This is based on the idea that climate change will proceed.

 Is that part of the farce?  Good for you for focusing on smoke and mirrors.

So a bunch of idiots did the wrong thing.  The planet is still in serious trouble because of global warming.

But, perhaps the issue has been framed incorrectedly and important science concepts have been ignored.  Think of the planet as having a storage of energy.  Water stores more energy then ice, and vapor more then water.  There is a huge amount of energy involved in a phase change, like ice to water and water to vapor.  The earth has been absorbing massive amounts of energy converting ice to water and the total energy stored on the planet from this change has gone up.  The next phase, when the ice is can no longer absorb the excess energy, is that the temperature starts to go up much faster.

I am with rof, invest, and perhap live, based on global warming.  What happens to agriculture when water is not readily available?

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#8) On November 29, 2009 at 10:31 AM, djkumquat (47.44) wrote:

rof, you nailed it.

face it, global warming is real and world governments and corporations are going forward with this is mind. why not write about how you can profit? i guess you could sit on the sidelines if you really don't believe the science.

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#9) On November 29, 2009 at 10:40 AM, djkumquat (47.44) wrote:

this in mind...

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#10) On November 29, 2009 at 10:49 AM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

djkumquat,

Face it, global warming is real

Not according to the scientists quoted in the emails. Again, don't read them if it makes you uncomfortable, but that would make you a fraud denier.

David in Qatar

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#11) On November 29, 2009 at 10:50 AM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

Here are some summaries of the CRUgate files.  The refs are the email number.

Phil Jones writes to University of Hull to try to stop sceptic Sonia Boehmer Christiansen using her Hull affiliation. Graham F Haughton of Hull University says its easier to push greenery there now SB-C has retired.(1256765544)

Michael Mann discusses how to destroy a journal that has published sceptic papers.(1047388489)

Tim Osborn discusses how data are truncated to stop an apparent cooling trend showing up in the results (0939154709).

Analysis of impact here. Wow!Phil Jones describes the death of sceptic, John Daly, as "cheering news".(1075403821)

Phil Jones encourages colleagues to delete information subject to FoI request.(1212063122)

Phil Jones says he has use Mann's "Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series"...to hide the decline". Real Climate says "hiding" was an unfortunate turn of phrase.(0942777075)

Letter to The Times from climate scientists was drafted with the help of Greenpeace.(0872202064)

Mann thinks he will contact BBC's Richard Black to find out why another BBC journalist was allowed to publish a vaguely sceptical article.(1255352257)

Kevin Trenberth says they can't account for the lack of recent warming and that it is a travesty that they can't.(1255352257)

Tom Wigley says that Lindzen and Choi's paper is crap.(1257532857)

Tom Wigley says that von Storch is partly to blame for sceptic papers getting published at Climate Research. Says he encourages the publication of crap science. Says they should tell publisher that the journal is being used for misinformation. Says that whether this is true or not doesn't matter. Says they need to get editorial board to resign. Says they need to get rid of von Storch too. (1051190249)

Ben Santer says (presumably jokingly!) he's "tempted, very tempted, to beat the crap" out of sceptic Pat Michaels. (1255100876)

Mann tells Jones that it would be nice to '"contain" the putative Medieval Warm Period'. (1054736277)

Tom Wigley tells Jones that the land warming since 1980 has been twice the ocean warming and that this might be used by sceptics as evidence for urban heat islands.(1257546975)

Tom Wigley say that Keith Briffa has got himself into a mess over the Yamal chronology (although also says it's insignificant. Wonders how Briffa explains McIntyre's sensitivity test on Yamal and how he explains the use of a less-well replicated chronology over a better one. Wonders if he can. Says data withholding issue is hot potato, since many "good" scientists condemn it.(1254756944)

Briffa is funding Russian dendro Shiyatov, who asks him to send money to personal bank account so as to avoid tax, thereby retaining money for research.(0826209667)

Kevin Trenberth says climatologists are nowhere near knowing where the energy goes or what the effect of clouds is. Says nowhere balancing the energy budget. Geoengineering is not possible.(1255523796)

Mann discusses tactics for screening and delaying postings at Real Climate.(1139521913)

Tom Wigley discusses how to deal with the advent of FoI law in UK. Jones says use IPR argument to hold onto code. Says data is covered by agreements with outsiders and that CRU will be "hiding behind them".(1106338806)

Overpeck has no recollection of saying that he wanted to "get rid of the Medieval Warm Period". Thinks he may have been quoted out of context.(1206628118)

Mann launches RealClimate to the scientific community.(1102687002)

Santer complaining about FoI requests from McIntyre. Says he expects support of Lawrence Livermore Lab management. Jones says that once support staff at CRU realised the kind of people the scientists were dealing with they became very supportive. Says the VC [vice chancellor] knows what is going on (in one case).(1228330629)

Rob Wilson concerned about upsetting Mann in a manuscript. Says he needs to word things diplomatically.(1140554230)

Briffa says he is sick to death of Mann claiming his reconstruction is tropical because it has a few poorly temp sensitive tropical proxies. Says he should regress these against something else like the "increasing trend of self-opinionated verbiage" he produces. Ed Cook agrees with problems.(1024334440)

Overpeck tells Team to write emails as if they would be made public. Discussion of what to do with McIntyre finding an error in Kaufman paper. Kaufman's admits error and wants to correct. Appears interested in Climate Audit findings.(1252164302)

Jones calls Pielke Snr a prat.(1233249393)

Santer says he will no longer publish in Royal Met Soc journals if they enforce intermediate data being made available. Jones has complained to head of Royal Met Soc about new editor of Weather [why?data?] and has threatened to resign from RMS.(1237496573)

Reaction to McIntyre's 2005 paper in GRL. Mann has challenged GRL editor-in-chief over the publication. Mann is concerned about the connections of the paper's editor James Saiers with U Virginia [does he mean Pat Michaels?]. Tom Wigley says that if Saiers is a sceptic they should go through official GRL channels to get him ousted. (1106322460)

[Note to readers - Saiers was subsequently ousted]Later on Mann refers to the leak at GRL being plugged.(1132094873)

Jones says he's found a way around releasing AR4 review comments to David Holland.(1210367056)

Wigley says Keenan's fraud accusation against Wang is correct. (1188557698)

Jones calls for Wahl and Ammann to try to change the received date on their alleged refutation of McIntyre [presumably so it can get into AR4](1189722851)

Mann tells Jones that he is on board and that they are working towards a common goal.(0926010576)

Mann sends calibration residuals for MBH99 to Osborn. Says they are pretty red, and that they shouldn't be passed on to others, this being the kind of dirty laundry they don't want in the hands of those who might distort it.(1059664704)

Prior to AR3 Briffa talks of pressure to produce a tidy picture of "apparent unprecedented warming in a thousand years or more in the proxy data". [This appears to be the politics leading the science] Briffa says it was just as warm a thousand years ago.(0938018124)

Jones says that UK climate organisations are coordinating themselves to resist FoI. They got advice from the Information Commissioner [!](1219239172)

Mann tells Revkin that McIntyre is not to be trusted.(1254259645)

Revkin quotes von Storch as saying it is time to toss the Hockey Stick . This back in 2004.(1096382684)

Funkhouser says he's pulled every trick up his sleeve to milk his Kyrgistan series. Doesn't think it's productive to juggle the chronology statistics any more than he has.(0843161829)

Wigley discusses fixing an issue with sea surface temperatures in the context of making the results look both warmer but still plausible. (1254108338)

Jones says he and Kevin will keep some papers out of the next IPCC report.(1089318616)

Tom Wigley tells Mann that a figure Schmidt put together to refute Monckton is deceptive and that the match it shows of instrumental to model predictions is a fluke. Says there have been a number of dishonest presentations of model output by authors and IPCC.(1255553034)

Grant Foster putting together a critical comment on a sceptic paper. Asks for help for names of possible reviewers. Jones replies with a list of people, telling Foster they know what to say about the paper and the comment without any prompting.(1249503274)

David Parker discussing the possibility of changing the reference period for global temperature index. Thinks this shouldn't be done because it confuses people and because it will make things look less warm.(1105019698)

Briffa discusses an sceptic article review with Ed Cook. Says that confidentially he needs to put together a case to reject it (1054756929)

Ben Santer, referring to McIntyre says he hopes Mr "I'm not entirely there in the head" will not be at the AGU.(1233249393)

Jones tells Mann that he is sending station data. Says that if McIntyre requests it under FoI he will delete it rather than hand it over. Says he will hide behind data protection laws. Says Rutherford screwed up big time by creating an FTP directory for Osborn. Says Wigley worried he will have to release his model code. Also discuss AR4 draft. Mann says paleoclimate chapter will be contentious but that the author team has the right personalities to deal with sceptics.(1107454306)

Phil Jones having problems with explaining issues over the Lamb image of global temps in the early IPCC reports. Says it shouldn't be discussed openly at Real Climate. Says better left buried.(1168356704)

Phil Jones emails Steve [Schneider], editor of Climatic Change [plus others, editorial board of the journal?], telling him he shouldn't accede to McIntyre's request for Mann's computer code. In later email to Mann ("For your eyes only, delete after reading") Jones says he told Jones separately [presumably meaning without saying to the rest of the board] that he should seek advice elsewhere and also consult the publisher and take legal advice.(1074277559)

Briffa says he tried hard to balance the needs of the IPCC and science, which were not always the same.(1177890796)

An anonymous source says that robustness problems with the Hockey Stick are known to anyone who understands his methodology. The source says that there will be a lot of noise over McIntyre's 2003 paper and that knowing Mann'svery thin skin he will react strongly, unless he has learned from the past.(1067194064)

Giorgio Filippo (University of Trieste) says that IPCC is not an assessment of published science but about production of results. Says there are very few rules and anything goes. Thinks this will undermine IPCC credibility. Says everyone seems to think it's OK to do this.(0968705882)

IPCC review editor John Mitchell says that the issue of why proxy data for recent decades is not shown (he says it's because they don't show warming) needs to be explained. [Note to readers, this was not done Let's say that the explanation was nuanced - it said that the divergence problem, as this issue is known, was restricted to a few areas]. Also says that Mann's short-centred PC analysis is wrong and that Mann's results are not statistically significant.(1150923423)

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#12) On November 29, 2009 at 12:38 PM, ElCid16 (97.30) wrote:

An interesting analogy that I heard recently went like this:

Imagine you have a tractor trailer that is sitting at the top of a hill.  The truck is put in neutral and it slowly starts to creep down the hill.  Some people are trying to prove that the truck is going 3 mph.  Others dispute this evidence, saying that the truck is only going 2 mph.  The important issue, however, is the realization that the truck is indeed rolling down the hill.

Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas.  Carbon dioxide levels are higher than they've been in hundreds of thousands of years and continue to rise at an incredible rate.  Scientific modeling is tough, and modeling something like global temperature rise is probably really tough.  As a result, many of the models that are currently being are probably incredibly flawed.  Average global temperatures 50 years from now may be 2 degrees higher or 10 degrees higher, but either way - the truck is moving down the hill. 

And not to mention, since fossil fuels are finite, shouldn't we begin looking at renewable energy sources regardless of the climate change debate?  Its like we have a 50 pound bag of rice, but we also have a huge garden with an endless supply of vegetable seeds.  Rather than learn how to effectively garden and sustain ourselves for years with a vegetable garden, we're content with saying eff the garden, lets use the rice.  There's a natural gas commercial out right now saying "we have 100 years worth of gas right here in the US...lets use it."  We've existed on this planet for 300,000 years, but we should be optimistic about 100 years of an energy supply?  How short-minded are we?

Now for a much more important issue - Do I start Donovan McNabb or Philip Rivers today on my fantasy team...?

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#13) On November 29, 2009 at 12:59 PM, ease1 (89.98) wrote:

 dkilgour16

Agreed to some extent on that.  Is it right to want to do a good thing and our part in helping to maintain the enviro?  Sure.  Should we develop renewable energy sources?  Sure.

These examples are things we should do anyway, regardless of the climate debate, global warming or polar bears.

But that's not what's being forced onto the community.  The green message is that humans are causing climate change and the end is near if we don't about face.  Oh, and because all of this cost so much we need to tax the crap out of you.  Cap and trade anyone?

Rivers should have a good game.

 

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#14) On November 29, 2009 at 1:05 PM, Teacherman1 (28.03) wrote:

Foolanthropy on.

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#15) On November 29, 2009 at 2:16 PM, rofgile (99.43) wrote:

whereaminow:

 I'm not sure what the hoopla is over the emails yet.  Scientists are a very contentious, dramatic, egotistical, and self-critical bunch.  If you saw the internal conversations of most labs, you'd realize how much scientists are critical of their own work (at least the critically-thinking ones) and worried about their own data.

 That's a good thing.

 The truth is that any group, any paper, etc could have problems or been poorly conducted work in science.  That's fine.  Other groups can reproduce the work or fail to do so, so science can self-correct.  Global warming science is much like trying to predict the weather, and guessing the fluctuations or temperature change has lots of error (like trying to estimate a companies earnings 10 years from now).  However, you can still spot a company that will grow in 5 years, and one that will fail.  Likewise, the scientists might bitterly argue about the rates of warming, year to year effects, CO2 taken up by the oceans, the effect of solar changes, and much more - but still the total picture is that increasing CO2 levels lead to increasing average temperatures - providing an explanation of why the glaciers at Glacier National park are disappearing, why the arctic is losing ice, why species are migrating, etc, etc, etc.  There are so many things connected to climate change that the amount of subjects affected by climate change with measured data supporting warming is immense.

 -Rof 

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#16) On November 29, 2009 at 2:35 PM, ease1 (89.98) wrote:

"The truth is that any group, any paper, etc could have problems or been poorly conducted work in science. "

True, but how many of those affect the globe and will require trillions be poured into efforts to curb it's supposed effects and freedoms stolen and given to some world government power in charge of regulating world global warming?

"Global warming science is much like trying to predict the weather, and guessing the fluctuations or temperature change has lots of error "

If so, why shoud trillions be dumped on an inexact science?  Should we try instead to cure cancer or something like that?

"There are so many things connected to climate change that the amount of subjects affected by climate change with measured data supporting warming is immense."

You meant to say "the amount of money affected" didn't you?  How many companies are being forced to adopt green so they don't fall out of favor with the green religion in society (IBM anyone? how many add's do we see each day touting green blah, blah?).

I love seeing those commercials of this lady that goes on a mission to the hardware store to buy a very special energy saving light bulb.  At twice the price, she goes home and installs it.  With a satisfied smile on her face, she's done her good deed for the day and saved the environment.  Good for her..  To bad it's not enough.  Soon she'll be saddled with cap and trade.

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#17) On November 29, 2009 at 2:50 PM, dwot (43.80) wrote:

 Second cartoon is from a cartoonist on the issue.  Polar bears have struggle through broken ice to get to their feed ground and they simply have way more broken ice to struggle through to get to the remaining ice.  Add to that that they have a longer struggle that starts about 10 days later then 30 years ago, so they trying to get to their feed site going hungry an extra 10 days and needing more energy because of the increased distance and struggle to make it to their feed site.  Then their feeding time is over 10 days earler.  They are not building up enough fat reserves to breed successfully.

 

http://economicedge.blogspot.com/2009/11/sunday-funnies_29.html

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#18) On November 29, 2009 at 2:59 PM, ease1 (89.98) wrote:

Have you ever considered that perhaps in the grand scheme of things, they wern't meant to survive? I know that sounds pretty ruthless but I'm just saying...

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#19) On November 29, 2009 at 2:59 PM, djkumquat (47.44) wrote:

dkilgour16, you're right on.

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#20) On November 29, 2009 at 3:05 PM, AbstractMotion (53.13) wrote:

The mechanics of how CO2 traps heat and energy are pretty well understood.  The climategate thing is really irrelevant and overhyped in my opinion, climate models are largely inaccurate to begin with simply because the weather system is incredibly complicated.  Scientific fraud has happened before, it'll probably happen again, but the implications of it here are not nearly as severe as they're being made out to be.  That said, I really don't think the argument over cap and trade or Copenhagen comes down to if CO2 warms the planet or not, but applies chiefly to the net effect of limiting emissions as a solution to this problem in the critical time frames given.  I agree with dwot and chk999, the fact is that water shortages are going to be a reality, especially in developed countries.  Put simply we have too many people living in areas that use to be sparse brush lands at best throughout the SW US, California is really already at or near the crisis point I wouldn't be surprised if Nevada or Arizona ends up in the same boat in 10-15 years either.  It's not a problem that cannot be overcome, it's more then possible to purify ocean water and transport it, it just won't be nearly as cost effective and water will become a real commodity in such areas.

 

Regarding CO2, it strikes me as if we're trying to defuse a bomb that's already gone off.  The planet is going to get warmer in the next 50 years regardless of what we do.  Efforts should be made to curb emissions, but the planet is going to inevitably get warmer at this point.  I don't think we should be paying the developing world to make good investments going forward, it's really in their best interest to.  Solar will become increasingly cost competitive, as time progresses.  I'd prefer a feed in tariff to cap and trade personally, it'd keep costs down and make the investment practical for those who can afford it.  Likewise we just need to ween ourselves off of coal in general.  If that fails and warming is the gigantic problem it's said to be then geoengineering really is the only practical solution.  It's touched on briefly by the Superfreakonomics guys here.

In general I get the impression that the new solution to every problem is taxes and that bothers me.  If people are overweight tax soft drinks, nevermind the fact that you could just stop subsidizing farmers to grow corn for corn syrup specifically.  If carbon is bad, tax that too.  Sure you could cut emissions down dramatically just but shutting down old coal plants and opening up new NG ones and just forbidding the building of coal plants going forward.  The list goes on and on.

 

Regarding things at TMF, I for one will be glad when they put in some basic categories in here.  I'm all for people's freedom to post, but really David your average post consists of a short rant by you, a few copy and pastes from the mises institute and generally 4 additional pages of you and Darth embracing each other.  Post something with a bit more content.  I don't care for devoish posts either, but at least they're short in their lifetime.

 

 

 

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#21) On November 30, 2009 at 2:17 AM, lucas1985 (< 20) wrote:

@AbstractMotion,
"In general I get the impression that the new solution to every problem is taxes and that bothers me."
Well, you disagree about policy and that's fine. Everyone has their preferences on policy. But the physical science is unequivocal as you point out.
You can choose between market-based policies and command-and-control policies. In the case of climate policy, carbon taxes and cap and trade are market-based policies (they introduce a price signal for carbon and/or create a new set of property rights) used to internalize the externality of GHG emissions. Taxes are revenue neutral (e.g., you use the revenues of carbon taxes to cut payroll or income taxes) and probably less prone to manipulation and speculation. Cap and trade creates a market for emissions permits, it involves less government intrusion and avoids the political issue of taxes.
Command-and-control policies include a variety of strict regulations (efficiency standards, emissions limits, speed limits, rationing, etc) which are arguably less efficient than market-based schemes and impose great government oversight. The funny thing is that as long as denialists keep delaying climate policy, the certainties of heavy-handed policies become bigger.

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#22) On November 30, 2009 at 1:35 PM, nzsvz9 (< 20) wrote:

So,

If I am skeptical of the "science" of global warming, becuase of the exposure (pardon the pun) of the fraud of several main proponents of global warming, that makes me a "denialist". No, that makes the proponents frauds.

The science of the properties of CO2 gas are well known. No, not entirely. Science continues to add to the body of knowledge every year - we know something about CO2. We do not understand the climate.

When complex systems are reduced to simple interactions on a single variant basis, they can not predict significant outcomes due to the lack of complexity of the model to effectively describe reality. If in the model we change CO2 (all other things being equal - the second fallacy here - ceretus paribus) then temperature rises ... but complex systems are multi-variant - and as such any model is insufficient to predict outcomes based opon the change in any modeled component.

It is a fraud. The worst part is that it looks like science, when really it is not. It is pretense. And fraud. The greatest weapons of AGWers is pretense and fraud. And ... an almost fanatical devotion to the cause. Yes, fraud, pretense and an almost fanatical devotion to the cause. Let me start again ...

No one expect the IPCC Global Warming Inquisition!

Known as simple peasant nzsvz9

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#23) On November 30, 2009 at 3:20 PM, USNHR (32.48) wrote:

Imagine you have a tractor trailer that is sitting at the top of a hill.  The truck is put in neutral and it slowly starts to creep down the hill.  Some people are trying to prove that the truck is going 3 mph.  Others dispute this evidence, saying that the truck is only going 2 mph.  The important issue, however, is the realization that the truck is indeed rolling down the hill.

The important issue is that there was a driver in the truck that put it in neutral, that the road goes down the hill, that the driver can steer the truck and that everything will be fine in the end.

How fast the truck is traveling only matters to the people paying to have the cargo at delivery on time. The people discussing the speed are totally irrelevant.

How did the truck get to the top of the hill anyway? Why wasn't anyone crying about that? 

Cap and tax is B.S.  If there is global warming, I trust our human ingenuity to get us out of it. Politicians don't produce anything, and therefore are definately not part of the solution... if there is global warming... or as some people like to say "climate change", because that implies whether there is warming or cooling or frogs falling out of the sky, it is caused by humans.

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#24) On November 30, 2009 at 8:55 PM, AbstractMotion (53.13) wrote:

Pretty much the point I think, one can argue about if things will heat up a degree or three, why it's happening but regardless it's going to happen.  Heavily burning fossil fuels for another 75 years won't help the case either, and from an economic standpoint it really isn't practical going forward either.  Poor planning and population growth is going to cause water shortages if we don't start building the proper infrastructure as well.  So let's focus on doing those things instead of coming up with some convoluted scheme of shifting money from pile A to pile B or a tax to represent a social view on the situation.

 

@lucas1985:  I really doubt such a tax would be revenue neutral given the budget problems we face and if it was the bill would still get passed to the consumer.  I like the market to work on problems it can realistically solve given the mechanics of supply and demand.  Artificial markets governed heavily by government credits, quotas and so forth will never work properly and really referring to it as a market based approach strikes me as dishonest marketing more then anything else.  At best it allows alternative energy that isn't yet price competitive to be a bit more so, but we're still so far off at this point that there would have to be a massive tax associated with coal power to make solar remotely effective(another great link, I'd recommend watching the full program).  I'd rather a decision actually be made about what we're going to do moving forward.  Coal is the biggest problem in terms of electrical power generation, automobiles are probably next.   What's needed going forward is a plan personally I think given the price of NG and the amount of reserves we're finding domestically coal is the easiest to replace going forward.  If you can build a plant that works just as well, costs the same and pollutes far less why use coal really?  Would it require regulation?  Absolutely, but let's not kid ourselves here.  A carbon market is just regulation with a marketplace placed on top of it.  I'd rather an open public policy which has some clear targets as opposed to a big exchange system that will likely lead to excessive price gouging.  Of course that's my opinion and nothing more.

 

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#25) On December 01, 2009 at 6:00 PM, lucas1985 (< 20) wrote:

@AbstractMotion,
"I really doubt such a tax would be revenue neutral given the budget problems we face"
With all of the teabagging and such nonsense, a non-revenue neutral tax would have zero chances of getting political support.

"the bill would still get passed to the consumer."

That's the point. Both producers and consumers of high-carbon energy sources have to "feel" the price signal of carbon to change their behaviours. Remember that people respond to incentives.

"I like the market to work on problems it can realistically solve given the mechanics of supply and demand.  Artificial markets governed heavily by government credits, quotas and so forth will never work properly and really referring to it as a market based approach strikes me as dishonest marketing more then anything else."
Well, retiring subsidies for an obsolete industry would also help. Also, cap and trade worked remarkably well to control the emissions of precursors of acid rain and other pollutants.

"What's needed going forward is a plan personally I think given the price of NG and the amount of reserves we're finding domestically coal is the easiest to replace going forward."
Fuel switching to displace coal (the dirtiest fuel, not only in GHG emissions) is an excellent strategy ... to buy time.

"A carbon market is just regulation with a marketplace placed on top of it.  I'd rather an open public policy which has some clear targets as opposed to a big exchange system that will likely lead to excessive price gouging."
You'd be surprised at the blessings a carbon market can bring.




Besides that, GHG abatement can have a big impact on public health, on ocean acidification, etc.

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#26) On December 01, 2009 at 8:58 PM, AbstractMotion (53.13) wrote:

That's the point. Both producers and consumers of high-carbon energy sources have to "feel" the price signal of carbon to change their behaviours. Remember that people respond to incentives.

The thing is, this is not an incentive.  It's a flat out penalty, I'm fine with incentives for good practices that require some capital investment.  I.e investment in more energy efficient appliances, rooftop solar, better windows and so forth.  Many of these things already exist in our tax code, though their scale should be expanded.  Looking at your graph for example, these are the huge high impact areas that are easily obtainable and ecnonomic now and should be focused on.  What's gained through through a carbon market is (potentially) the things above that line on right side of the graph.  Many of these are huge, expensive and really have little impact.  Half of it is CCS, which from my viewpoint doesn't make any sense no matter how you look at it.  Deforestation prevention is perhaps the most reasonable benefit mentioned, but a working carbon in the developing world where this would really make an impact doesn't really exist.

SO2 reductions are a bad example in my view as it was fairly easy to switch to lower sulfur coal without too high of a cost premium, where as the alternatives for CO2 just don't exist yet really.

Ocean acidification is kind of a moot point imo, any scheme that reduces carbon emissions would ease that regardless of how it was employed.  Public health (at least nationally) would generally benefit more from reducing particulate emissions i.e coal once again.

My biggest problem with all this is that very present, affordable, real world solutions are not being discussed by in large here.  NG is here right now and can literally halve CO2 emissions going forward, reduce sulfur emissions by 99% and nitrogen based oxides by 2/3rds.  It gives the big fuel producers a place at the table going forward and is far more likely to be passed then a big push into what are really fledgling renewable technologies (in terms of progress, not so much age).  Or flat out ridiculous ones (CCS).  There's a huge piece of middle ground here for which practical legislation can be passed here and now without stepping on many toes.  There's some people realistically discussing it, but as usual factions have developed on the outer edges of the issue.

 

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#27) On December 02, 2009 at 4:00 PM, lucas1985 (< 20) wrote:

@AbstractMotion,
The climate bills (dressed up as clean energy, energy security and jobs bills) being passed through the US Congress have huge provisions for energy efficiency and such things. With a carbon price, many of these energy efficiency measures can be done at a negative cost. The thing is that we need every measure to achieve "safe" GHG concentrations and energy efficiency alone won't be enough.
I agree with you that CCS will probably be a (big) failure.
I also agree that NG has a big potential as a bridge fuel in countries heavily dependant on coal power (we don't have that problem at the other end of the continent). Strangely, the NG producers haven't lobbied for a bill that would clearly favor their interests and in some cases they've worked to undermine the bills.
If you're interested in climate/energy policy, I'll recommend the following sources:
- Sustainable Energy – without the hot air, a freely downloadable book by David MacKay, Professor in the Department of Physics at the University of Cambridge and now Chief Scientific Advisor to the Department of Energy and Climate Change (UK).
- Real Climate Economics, a survey of the peer-reviewed literature on climate economics.
- Pathways to a low carbon economy. McKinsey & Company report.
- ClimateProgress, a blog run by Joseph Romm, physicist and energy expert working at a liberal think tank (CAP). I don't agree with his opposition to nuclear power, though.

"SO2 reductions are a bad example in my view as it was fairly easy to switch to lower sulfur coal without too high of a cost premium"
I think this behavior rather proves my point: the technologies and raw materials for SO2/NOx reductions were available but weren't used until the apparition of an economic incentive. I also think that cap and trade is not the best tool for climate policy; I prefer carbon taxes (James Hansen agrees)

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