2009 Conference on Climate Change

image001

The debate about climate change is ongoing. In 2008 we have seen the coldest year since 1994 2000* and the current temperature is nearly exactly the same as the average over the 1970s baseline average taken in the 1970s.

We did see some warming in the late 20th century, and we also saw an increase in the amount of greenhouse gases. It’s reasonable to think that these things are linked, but at the moment we still don’t have enough information to really know what’s going on. Will temperatures continue to rise? What other effects are at play? What will be the consequence of warmer temperatures? What is the best policy response?

Some commentators throw their arms in the air and scream like chicken-little about the sky falling.

In contrast, the Heartland Institute in America is hosting the 2009 International Conference on Climate Change which will invite people to have a calm look at the issue without the fear-mongering. Some speakers already signed on include William Gray, Richard Lindzen and Stephen McIntyre.

The conference will be held in New York on March 8-10, and you are invited to attend.

The Australian Libertarian Society is co-sponsoring the event.

* (10 March) The original reference to 1994 was based on the numbers available when the post as written. A commenter consequently pointed out that the updated numbers changed the outcome, and consequently the post was updated.

137 thoughts on “2009 Conference on Climate Change

  1. No matter how many conferences are held, articles or books written or speeches given. Politicians have very cleverly installed the whole issue of ‘climate change’ on society’s mind and are eagerly waiting to find new ways of taking money from us.

    The spoliation will continue or increase, only that now they’ll try and make us believe that we are more ‘socially responsible’.

  2. The cost of a significant carbon tax relative to other taxes would be staggeringly small. On Australias $200 billion budget it would be extremely hard to notice. The only reason to expend political capital opposing such a thing is because it is annoying to see a specific industry sector singled out and persecuted.

  3. Let the markets decide.

    If people want to be ‘socially responsible’ they can consume products from ‘socially responsible’ companies.
    I bet they won’t do it if the price to pay is higher.

    But I don’t want to be forced to spend money in something I don’t believe in, and that’s what actually happens if tax money is used to act on climate change.

  4. I hope they invite David Bellamy! He is a botanist who had some shows on TV, courtesy of the BBC. An article in yesterday’s ‘The Australian’ tells us that he thinks his questioning of the Greenhouse Dogma is what has seen him disappear from shows- not direct censorship, just directors deciding to make shows that go along with their own views. (See, you should all buy ‘The Australian’- who knows what you’ll find?)

  5. I don’t see any more point to a carbon tax than a water tax or a sunshine tax or a carbon subsidy.

    Can we please move on past this man-made, carbon-dioxide-driven, global warming theme, it really isn’t holding up to scrutiny any more.

  6. I’d still come out against a carbon tax, even though many fellow libertarians seem to have… uhm… warmed to the idea. But that’s another argument.

    On the issue of climate-change itself… there’s seems to be a clear upward trend toward the latter half of the 20th century, but it’s hard to tell any trends from the background noise. The normal fluctuations are pretty large by comparison, and so a lot of the public “acceptance” of global warming seems based on what these normal fluctuations rather than an underlying trend.

    Even worse-case scenarios suggest “only” 5 degrees over 100 years. That’s actually quite a lot, but at 0.5 degrees every decade, it’s not something you can feel with your senses – so people claiming that it’s obvious global that warming is occurring because they can feel it getting warmer are mistaken. By the same token, the argument that global warming has stopped (assuming it was even occurring) on the basis that we’ve had a few cooler years is equally invalid (though not necessarily untrue).

    For my money we need a larger statistical sample: Need more input, Stephanie!

    I’m not convinced GW is as large as some of the claims. I’m not even convinced it’s entirely bad. I’m not convinced of the “A” in AGW. I’m not convinced that action will make things better – they could make things worse, or more likely, have zero effect whilst costing a bundle.

  7. Sergio is right in a sense. Climate change is indoctrinated into society. But it’s not caused by politicians. Politicians are reacting to popular opinion (albeit over enthusiastically).

    Grass roots activism for the last 40 years from intellectuals and many others in society now means environmentalism and it’s philosophy is ingrained in our culture. There are hundreds of widely read books on the subject. Thousands of blogs specifically dedicated to the subject. Primary school kids learn that human action is polluting, evil, selfish etc. Movie’s like Wall-E are the blockbusters of today.

    Environmentalism means nihilism because it means the prohibition of human action which means human stagnation, and loss of potential life.
    The wish of environmentalists for no negative environmental effects is an impossibity. They are basically dropping the context in cost and benefit analysis. eg/ Coal power results in deaths to miners every year. This cost was ignored when people protested against Nuclear power during the 70s. As such nuclear technology and useage was dramatically reduced. These days, it’s almost impossible to get approval to build an oil refinery.

    The precautionary principle has allowed arbitrary claims to become legislation. Because there might be some negative effect (as there always is), this small risk is elevated above all else while we hysterically “think of the children”.

    Environmentalism can take over where religion left off in terms of exploiting the guilt of the masses. In addition, environmentalism is highly compatible with collectivist and altruistic ideology and ethics.
    More and more we are seeing religious people becoming involved in environmentalism as “stewards” of the earth against “evil” people. McCain for example was a Republican who was highly pro-environmentalism.

    This is why IMO environmentalism is extremely dangerous and requires identifying the contradictions and nihilistic ideology at its core. It will require a lot of work to counteract it’s cultural influence around the world.

    I don’t think above summits are focussed on tackling these fundamental issues.
    They will focus on economic cost benefits only and this isn’t enough to persuade average Joe blogs against environmentalist ideas.
    Economic theory is all well and good but it’s not enough to change culture, ideology and subsequently politics.

    For what it’s worth I’m totally against collective environmentalist based legislation. I’m totally opposed to the carbon tax. Any taxes or trading schemes will always be harmful to business. This type of legislation legitimizes environmentalist ideology and once in place, it will be hard to repeal.
    If someone damages your property through pollution they should be sued and be held accountable.
    But to disadvantage all legitamite businesses is criminal in my book.

  8. Fleeced – I haven’t warmed to a carbon tax. I just think taxes on cigarettes, booze, payroll, income, luxury cars, clothing imports and house buying are all more offensive.

  9. When the Greenland ice stops melting you can call it over, until then try and understand the difference between a long term trend and short term variations.

  10. charles — so you’re saying that the long-term trend is fine, but we have a short term variation in the greenhouse ice coverage? Perhaps.

    I wonder if the increased ice coverage in the antarctic is part of a long-term trend or a short-term variation?

    One long-term trend is easy to spot… the link between fear campaigns (AGW, terror, financial crisis) and bad government policy, leading to steadily more inerventionist government.

  11. Terje – unless you support other “less efficient” taxes becoming unconstitutional under the new carbon tax regime, then I think you’re idiotically naive to consider it an improvement… it will simply be an additional tax.

    I certainly do not believe that LDP can get any member elected whilst supporting a new tax. It is political suicide. Politically, they would be much better served employing a Keating-style anti-GST scare campaign.

  12. John Hunphreys

    said

    “I wonder if the increased ice coverage in the antarctic is part of a long-term trend”

    And being totally fed up with people that can’t be bothered reading any serious publications: I said:

    Um, have you actually spent any time reading some of the serious literature on the subject ( hint Andrew Bolt doesn’t count). I tell you what; instead of me trying to explain the why how about you do a little reading and come back and tell me.

  13. charles,

    John is familiar with the literature. Please point out how he isn’t beyond your verballing. Tell us what literature you are familiar with?

  14. Fleeced – I don’t think the LDP should advocate a carbon tax. However I also don’t think the LDP should waste energy campaigning against a revenue neutral carbon tax of modest scope if such a thing was actually on the table.

    Given the fact that electing an LDP member will probably entail some good preference deals, and that a large number of parties out there think CO2 might kill us all, I wouldn’t want the LDP to be too dogmatically fixated on any specific detail of tax reform. The point that the LDP should hammer is that the tax burden overall should be lower. Of course if you’re entirely opposed to preference deals with parties that are not libertarian inclined then good luck with that.

    p.s. My original point wasn’t principally about the LDP. And I’m not speaking for the LDP.

  15. I realise you weren’t speaking for LDP, and that this isn’t an LDP site… but when looking at the politics behind an issue, it’s obviously hard not to look at things from an LDP perspective.

    “Of course if you’re entirely opposed to preference deals with parties that are not libertarian inclined then good luck with that.”

    Nice try… no, I’m not opposed to preference deals. But I am not willing to accept bad policy on the grounds of maybe getting a preference swap. There is also a difference between preferencing non-libertarians, and preferencing anti-libertarians (such as the Greens).

    The Keating scare campaign against the Hewson GST was arguably the most effective political advertising this country has ever seen. It won Keating the un-winnable election. There’s no reason it couldn’t work against a carbon tax (or ETS, for that matter).

  16. “The largest threat to freedom, democracy, the market economy, and prosperity at the end of the 20th and at the beginning of the 21st century is no longer socialism, it is, instead, the ambitious, arrogant, unscrupulous ideology of environmentalism.”

    Václav Klaus, President of the Czech Republic, author of Blue Planet in Green Shackles

  17. charles — you seem to think that every piece of evidence, every theory, every idea that supports dramatic AGW is self-evident truth. Every alternative piece of information is a self-evident lie. Such an approach is more like faith than reason.

    Maybe you should come along to this conference.

  18. Perhaps the Australian Libertarian Society can also look into sponsoring Flat Earth 09, Answers in Genesis in 2009 and The Economic Theories of GMB?

  19. I’m curious as to why Charles bothers to log on to this blog. His views seem more contrarian than libertarian.

  20. I can take a joke and I agree with the sentiment.

    But it is important we get this right Ken.

    1. Possibly warming but no net benefit in mitigation.

    2. Warming but using a wrong baseline figure – overtaxation, inefficiency and decreased human welfare.

    3. The economics might still get stuffed up! Stern used too low a discount rate. Quiggin says I am being too parsimonius. Up to a point he is right. But I also disgaree with Stern’s GDP modeling – it does not fit the recent trend or what we know.

    GMB doesn’t have theories. He has edicts. The answers in genesis mob are good for a laugh. The anti guy (Australian – no answers in genesis) is funny too.

  21. I believe the earth is round, the bible is wrong, GMB is confused… and that some people are exagerating AGW.

    I also believe that fear is the greatest threat to human freedom. Fear of terrorists gave us the patriot act, fear of the financial crisis gave us a $8 trillion bail-out, fear of AGW is giving us bad policy suggestions. And everywhere, fear of life is giving us ever-bigger government.

    Don’t be scared.

  22. Fleeced – personally I think income tax is bad policy. Should the LDP cease supporting income tax? Policy formulation does not occur in a political vaccuum. Perfectionism can be a weakness.

    Having said that a strong stand against AGW mitigation may have some publicity benefits.

  23. Income tax is bad policy. But we already have it. Campaigning for lower taxes and spending, whilst supporting a new tax is a hard sell, politically. The public suspect (not without reason) that any new taxes will ultimately be in addition to existing ones. It is a much clearer message to campaign for “no new taxes,” than “a new tax, but less tax overall”

  24. Having said that a strong stand against AGW mitigation may have some publicity benefits.

    I agree. No political party, apart from the CEC, is openly against action to mitigate AGW. The problem for the LDP is to try to determine whether it would attract the right sort of publicity.

  25. Gentlemen and Ladies(if any?) We are aiming for perfection in Government and tax today is only strengthening the tax back system we have, once real Libertarian leadership again takes Office tax can be replaced by pure politics and practical Government. No doubt.

    As for Global warming, as an Electrical Technician I understand the generation of Electricity well and know its Dirty! Also after doing research my sceptism has vanished and I support Carbon Trading in Credits or the ETS but not a Tax.

    Yes politics is going to penalise Utilities and no doubt there is going to be fines, which will tricle down to you and I as another “tax” but indirectly a business oppertunity, only because it is an oppertunity to make money ourselves, by getting involved with Carbon Cedits and the availability thereof that as a businessman/ Technician in the Electrical trade I find lucrative in its self.

    I agree ( sort of) with Charles look beyond the horizon.

  26. Yeah it is dirty. But does the payoff that taxation/mitigation gives you exceed the benefits of simply letting things remain as they are or making other reforms, like removing electricity subsidies to alumina smelters?

    Stern says yes but his GDP modeling and discount rate are questionable. A few notable economists like Nordhaus have pointed out the problems with Stern’s modeling.

    Stern’s discount rate is way below any accepted figure of the long run cost of capital or the real cost of capital to business. On this alone, the anlaysis still stands, but only just. Stern’s GDP assumptions are more problematic – they seem to make the mitigation unfeasible.

    It’s not about perfection, it’s about avoiding (the biggest) mistakes.

    But in Australia we are hamstrung. Nuclear power has cheap, plentiful and can be stored safely and has virtually no carbon footprint and less radiological pollution than carbon fired power. Nuclear politics is simply too emotional in Australia.

  27. I suppose all the quasi climate change experts from the oxymoronic ICSC and ACSC will be in attendance. You know the usual disclaimers, the earth is cooling: CO2 lags temperature: the greenhouse effect doesn’t exist: CO2 levels were greater in the past and it’s all in natural cycles. Be absolutely wonderful, won’t it, not much to do with current science, however.

  28. sillyfilly — can you please cite papers which say that the greenhouse effect doesn’t exist? Surely you wouldn’t be making things up. That would be… well… dishonest.

    And over history it is true that co2 changes have lagged temperatures. That is, temperatures started going down and then 400 years later the co2 levels started going down. It’s an interesting fact.

    Please excuse the last four-letter-word above. I know it’s forbidden in some religions.

  29. Well, first blog on this site and its all down to religion and fiction, comments so atypical of the Heartland acolyes, limited science and denunciation?? I sure if you access either of the web sites for the ACSC or ICSC you’ll be enlightened at their treatment. Of course your right about temperature lags in historical data, pity it doesn’t reflect the current climate variations such as the highest CO2 concentrations for 800,000 years.

  30. sillyfilly — the interesting thing about the co2-temp lag is not that it proves AGW wrong. It doesn’t. It just shows that there are lots of factors at play, some of which aren’t fully understood at the moment. And looking into this issue certainly does constitute current science (contrary to your initial claim).

    I’ve never said AGW was fiction. Indeed, if you’ve read what I’ve written previously you’ll see that I generally accept the “A” in AGW, but I quibble over the certainty of knowledge of the percent man-made, and our understanding of what’s going to happen next to human welfare, and the appropriate response. These are all reasonable positions, but you want to make comparisons to denying the greenhouse effect.

    It would indeed be silly to deny the existence of the greenhouse effect. It would be equally silly to use the discount rates that were used by Stern. I assume you condemned both of these things equally.

  31. It would indeed be silly to deny the existence of the greenhouse effect.

    And yet a number of prominent sceptics do this. Bill Kininmonth has even argued that greenhouse gases cool the atmosphere.

  32. I don’t think humans ideally should live in fear. – I agree that many do.

    And I definitely think it’s worth investigating the causes of an over-fearing population because without a fearing population you will have solved your concerns about who controls the fearful and big government.

  33. No matter how many conferences are held, articles or books written or speeches given. Politicians have very cleverly installed the whole issue of ‘climate change’ on society’s mind and are eagerly waiting to find new ways of taking money from us.
    .
    True, but if the planet doesn’t cook it’s gonna be pretty hard arguing that it is. How do you spin that?
    .
    One problem I see is that, if AGW turns out to be a crock, environmental issues in general like toxicity might become political poison and turn into really dire situations because ignored.
    .
    One of the glitches in the system made apparent by this is that contentious scientific information is processed politically with inevitable distortions, simplifications and outright lies. It would be desirable to have some kind of separation between science and vested interests, private as well as public.
    .
    How you do that I don’t know.

  34. Ken Miles:

    And “Jimmy” Hansen Have argued that sceptics should be tried for crimes against humanity So who the fu..k is more dangerous and who is the bigger lunatic?

    And Nobel prize winner Gore thinks the US could retool to a carbon-less power supply in 10 years.

    Sorry, but the lunatics are on your side of the political fence.

    As John H keeps saying…. don’t be scared.

  35. [beep]

    As I’ve said on this very thread, my interest is in the science (and the misrepresentation of it). If that’s enough for you to pull up the scared ad hom, then [beep]

  36. “The Australian Libertarian Society is co-sponsoring the event.”

    How sad. Libertarians should concern themselves with the response to global warming, not cosying up to cranks and malcontents. I bet you dollars to donuts this conference is not concerned with minimising government’s depridations – it will simply be another attempt to present minor quibbles as spectacularly revelatory scientific breakthroughs.

    Fleeced, would it help to think of a carbon tax as a Pigouvian externality charge? That fits right into a user-pays framework, very libertarian.

    JohnH, fear is a tool of government expansion, but when experts say there is good reason to be afraid, it’s a brave (or foolish) man who dismisses them. Remember, it isn’t a government conspiracy – governments took decades to be convinced, they fought it all the way. The climate change fear-mongering is very much a grassroots movement originating with scientists.

  37. Also, the ‘Useful climate science’ list on the Kyoto campaign page is a sad indictment of the evidence base of the ALS on this topic – not a single reputable scientific organisation is on it. Do you know why? Because climate change denial is the province of ignoramuses, eccentrics, and people who have sunk so much of their time, money and reputation into denial that they can’t turn back.

  38. Jarrah,

    I can’t see Lindzen as a crank. MIT generally don’t put you on the payroll if you believe in weird stuff like Obama conspiracy theories. My rule of thumb is to go along with the scientific consensus but question it when someone asks a seemingly reasonable enough question. My problem is I don’t think the climatology statistical modeling (climatolometrics?) is robust enough or uses sophisticated enough methods.

    You’re assuming there is a net benefit in mitigation. I don’t think there is. Reasonable people argue either way but the no mitigation view is simply more realistic in its assumptions. However, if there is a benefit and action required, a flat Pigouvian tax with all subsidies removed is the way to go. If you don’t choose this above all other options, I doubt mitigation will work efficiently or efficatively.

    What about other options not already on the table? What if it costs less than the mitigation option just to plant trees? Where does the revenue on mitigation go to anyway? Industry policy? I hope not.

  39. Maybe, in Australia you guys are emotional in politics, sure. That is really sad because real politician will then eat you alive! However up yonder in the wild wild South Africa things rarely get tamed or have a chance to be emotional in politics( besides all the distractions- you will stay emotional forever and have a breakdown).

    I suggest you seriously look at Nuclear Electricity, all these other alternatives are good for homes and gardens- not really large factories/plants.

    Nuclear is efficient, the waste at the moment is not usable because its radioactive(its still an energy in its mass) but so is the sunlite at the right amounts who knows?

    As for the Stern report…Ill get back to you after the Nordhaus report is read first.

  40. Also, the ‘Useful climate science’ list on the Kyoto campaign page is a sad indictment of the evidence base of the ALS on this topic – not a single reputable scientific organisation is on it. Do you know why? Because climate change denial is the province of ignoramuses, eccentrics, and people who have sunk so much of their time, money and reputation into denial that they can’t turn back.

    So dissent is not an option? Legitimate dissent by scientists themselves. Some libertarian you are.

    Since when is it our responsibility for generations that haven’t been born. Furthermore since when is reasonable to demand we make transfers from the present generation to future based on almost zero cost of capital considerations.

  41. Miles, on other thing.

    If you think Bird is a lunatic (which he is) I suggest you also take a look at some of the commentors Tim Lambert (UNSW) has skillfully collected at his bog site.

    Exmple:
    One repellent individual is suitably impressed to be compared to the Unabomber. Others are simply hardline Marxists.

    Another thinks all libertarians and right wingers are racists/fascists and has written long monologues.

    Lambert must obviously support such views seeing he disinvowels what he considers to be offensive comments.

    Ask Tim if you don’t believe me.

    Isn’t that right Shines? Please confirm with Ken.

    Pound for pound Lambert’s site has far more repellent lunatics than 100 Birds grafted on than any other site in Australia (even now), so it’s totally dishonest of you to simply single out Bird as a raving loon, when Lambert has far more cache and should a great deal of “disrespect” in that area.

  42. I can confirm that Joe Cambria is angry because he is one of only three people in the entire world banned from my blog.

    Since he can’t abuse the commenters on my blog there, he is doing it here. Does John Humphries think this is an appropriate use of his comment section?

  43. No time now… but I will be coming back and editing out the personal attacks. So please stop making them as you’re only wasting your time and mine.

    Jarrah — before you dismiss the conference check out the 2nd speech of the opening night from 2008. The first thing said is that temperatures are going up and humans have some of the responsibility. He says it’s wrong to say warming has stopped after 1998… and he predicts further warming, caused by humans. But he considers himself a skeptic because he’s not predicting doom & gloom and he’s sick of the distortions of the fear-mongers.

    As for running scared when the experts tell you — the experts said there were WMDs… and the experts said the trillion-dollar bail-out (to them) would work. When anybody (including an expert) says that the government must spend a trillion or we’re all going to die the only sensible response is to slap them. And not be scared.

  44. Gee John, so if experts told you that you had cancer and needed an operation, you would say that experts have been wrong before, slap them, and go with the faith healer who tells you not to be scared?

    [JOHN’S ANSWER: To get the analogy right… if an expert told me that I had cancer and that I needed to give them (and their friends) a trillion dollars or I would die, I would be skeptical. Especially if I knew that they had done the same thing a thousand times over before with exagerated scare stories. I assume you’d run scared and hand over the money. I wonder how you respond to those Nigerian e-mail scams?]

  45. John H

    Fair is fair,

    Ken Miles started off with the personal attacks. All I did was simply bring up examples of lunatic intolerant antics from people like Jimmy Hansen/Gore and subsequently blogs like Deltoid, which is a well-known hate mongering site.

    To be fair, Bird isn’t the only loon when it comes to AGW as Lambert’s site comes easily to mind when dishonesty and delusion intellectual loutishness is raised… Not forgetting smears of course.

    [JOHN: I didn’t censor your comment about Tim’s blog, but I censored your comment about Tim]

    As for being banned, Lambert was banned from Climate Audit for his trollish behavior and he’s basically viewed as [somewhat less than fully welcome] at Catallaxy.

    All Lambert is trying to do is stop the debate when it comes to his dishonesty and intellectual hooliganism.

    [JOHN: You don’t have to convince me that Tim is not always honest. I know. But I want to avoid the excessive personal insults that happen on some blogs.]

  46. Shiny:

    Can you remind people here that you tried to resuscitate Hives Hamilton by unlocking his intellectual coffin and letting him out and that you think Algore 10 year horizon to switch over to non carbon is actually a good idea?

    [beep]

    (you can try to ignore all this , Shines, but other people are reading it)

  47. Jarrah,

    How is Lindzen “somewhat” of a shill?

    No Tim. The experts have not said we need mitigation. The scientists have said there is a problem. The reliable economics says it is not worth mitigating.

    The subtlety is important, and your analogy is not applicable.

  48. Jarrah wrote:

    Fleeced, would it help to think of a carbon tax as a Pigouvian externality charge? That fits right into a user-pays framework, very libertarian.

    No, it wouldn’t… that’s become the standard excuse for any intervention, and in this case, I don’t buy it.

    The onus of proof is on the interventionist, which requires the following:

    1. Is global warming occuring? If so,
    2. Is it a bad thing? Are there more negatives than positives? If so,
    3. By what extent is it caused (if at all) by CO2 and other greenhouse gasses? If significant,
    4. What portion of these gases are caused by mankind? If significant,
    5. Will a carbon tax (or ETS), sufficiently reduce these emissions to have a positive effect on the climate situation? If so,
    6. Will these benefits be greater than the cost of the carbon tax’s imposition? If so, then time for a carbon tax.

    You also have to have regard to human (and government) nature when doing your cost/benefit calculations… eg,

    a) Human nature: If the tax is too low, it would have no effect, if it is too high, people will find ways to cheat.
    b) Government nature: Claiming you can mitigate economic costs by reducing other taxes is (IMO) naive.

  49. I agree with Fleeced. Also note the European ETS simply did not work due to massive accounting fraud.

    Sugar: It’s good your open minded. I’d say there is a fair case to back nuclear since it is more environmentally friendly than coal anyway. But overall, I don’t believe in “energy policy”. It should be called “energy shortage policy”. It’s what happened to President Carter.

  50. Yep Fleeced has it.

    this is the stark contrast……

    As Mark mentioned some time ago Global GDP growth is accelerating.

    Assume that for the next one hundred years the average growth for unmolested GDP is 4.25%. this is quite possible because even with a serious recession in 2009 global GDP is expected to be 2% which is quite remarkable compared to say 20 years ago.

    Current global GDP is $55 trillion. If we assume a 4.25% growth rate for the next 100 years GDP will be $3,531 trillion.

    If we lower the trajectory by placing a dead weight on the growth rate of 1% the expected GDP will be $1,347 trillion.

    So all those who are trying to force mitigation have to explain exactly how we can justify, $2,190 trillion of global GDP going down the drain pipe.

    Compounding has a huge effect over oceans of time.

    Not Lambert, not Miles and not anyone else can justify this kind of loss, which is why the only way they can is to present the most alarmist scenarios and why creeps like Lambert are forced to lie and try to ruin reputations.

  51. If you interested in the science presented in the 2008 conference, their climate science assessment the NIPCC is discussed here by Gavin Schmidt and Michael Mann.

    Maybe the ALS could work together with the CEC with a joint sponsorship for the 2009 conference?

  52. Tim is either acting as a (perhaps well intentioned) concern troll that we should “lift our game” and side with the consensus and not question it – our views on everything else is presumably empirical – or he is smearing us by using the tactic and logic error of guilt by association – if that is so I’ll forgive your ignorance or mendaciousness (hopefully the former) but any literate adult who can use a search engine will take all of 5 seconds to see the truther nutters of the CEC despise libertarians.

    Tim, please nominate your motivation.

    Now Tim, you’re aware that Real Climate was set up by a PR company aren’t you? You can use a search engine, can’t you?

    But that’s immaterial and facetious (like a previous comment I shall fail to nominate). It would be interesting to see a response from Lindzen re: Schmidt and Mann.

  53. Mark, lots of people of people despise libertarians. If you want to get somewhere you are going to have to work with them. If you compare the CEC on the science with the Heartland Conference’s NIPCC, you’ll see they are on the same page, so the potential is there.

    I can use a search engine properly, so I know that RealClimate was not set up by a PR company. A PR company did donate some services to RealClimate, and this was fully disclosed.

  54. Jarrah — did you listen to the presentation by Patrick Michaels?

    http://www.heartland.org/NewYork08/newyork2008-video.html

    His views, and those of many other skeptics (including myself) are very different from the CEC, who believe that AGW theory is part of a grand conspiracy to decrease the earth’s population.

    Of course there are nutters on both sides of the debate. But to compare Michaels/Heartland/ALS to the CEC is quite dishonest.

    As for the links provided by the ALS — I must apologise. I had included a long list of links for both sides of the debate. Unfortunately, another ALSer must have removed the non-skeptical links (not everybody is as tolerant and open-minded as me). I’ll change that when I have time. Though I disagree that the links currently provided are useless.

    Tim — I listened to that painful talk by Ferenc Miskolczi and he wasn’t denying the greenhouse effect. He was saying that a runaway greenhouse effect wasn’t possible on earth and that recent warming wasn’t caused by additional greenhouse gases.

  55. Interestingly, I just got to see my first snow last weekend at Hill End. I realize that NSW people have some strange ideas as to what constitutes a great climate, but snow at the end of spring is just bloody silly.

    As unseasonable weather is now blamed on GW, I guess that has to be the reason.

  56. John,

    Are you saying that strong proponents of AGW mitigation misrepresented Miskolczi on this thread? Is it fair to say that for questioning the alarmist conclusions of some scientists, he was unfairly compared to a crank questioning the proven, known facts?

    I wonder if the persons putting forward such a view are ignorant or mendacious, or both. I also wonder what their financial motivations are.

  57. Another example of Shiny being a [beep]

    in his latest thread, the [beep] attacks The Australian suggesting that it is running a war on science.

    the piece is about some dude claiming he is silenced by the media for having a sceptical view on AGW.

    What the [beep] doesn’t tell you is it was only about 12 months ago when shiny was suggesting Jimmy Hansen (the alarmist who wants to jail sceptics) was saying he was being silenced in the media. Shiny of course was sympathetic to Hansen.

    In short ( pun intended) Shiny is a [beep]. He’s like exactly like Bird.

    JOHN: I believe I was the one who coined the term “LamBird” long ago, in recognition of their similarities. :) But please… moderate the personal attacks. This is a friendly blog.

  58. Interesting how Shiny attempts to analogize libertarians with the CEC. Try a similar analogy at the [beep]’s site and he disenvowels you.

    The hypocrisy of this bone head is truly Homeresque.

  59. Fleeced – GST is an example of a new tax which I supported to replace some old taxes. Looking back I have no real regrets and I would support the reform again without hesitation. If somebody credible offered to introduce a reasonable carbon tax and was going to elliminate the existing fuel tax or significantly cut payroll tax then I’d support the reform for the same reason that I supported the introduction of the GST. Even if I knew the AGW theory to be false I think such a tax reform would be worth it in order to broaden the tax base relative to the existing fuel tax or if it was going to cut payroll tax then I’d support it for reducing the incentive to create unemployment.

    Of course if somebody was going to abolish the fuel tax or payroll tax without any new tax at all then I’d support them first.

    If people want to vote for AGW mitigation it is better that these votes gets used to initiate worthy reforms rather than to impliment useless reforms. Rather than always suffering unintended consequences that are negative wouldn’t it be nice for a change to have some unintended consequences that were positive.

  60. Terje

    they’re not interested in supplanting current taxes with carbon tax. i would have thought the current progress of the ETS would explain that to you. they’re simply interested in having more tax. Have you seen the likes of Quiggin argue for a substitute tax?

    You think the venomous dwarf is interested in seeing the current tax structure supplanted with a carbon tax?

    the prick is only interested in seeing green ideology being advanced. Lend any hand of compromise to a deadbeat like Hamilton, lambert etc. and they’ll bite it off.

    You should be trying to crush this ideology not accommodate these semi barbarians.

  61. Why the HELL would anyone in the LDP suggest a new tax? Please, there are enough weasels and crybabies in the other parties to whine for more taxes. The LDP is supposed to have a backbone.

  62. I think we should have a new tax system, so there is nothing wrong with that in paticular.

    Payroll tax is probably the worst tax of all. It is basically a fine employers pay for the audacity to employ staff. What a supremely stupid policy. Terje’s revulsion is commonsense.

    However the LDP are doing no such thing. There isn’t a reliable cost/benefit test that affirms we need mitigation.

    The mitigation proponents haven’t done much to seek out low cost mitigation options either. This questions their motivations which seem suspicious.

  63. The mitigation proponents haven’t done much to seek out low cost mitigation options either. This questions their motivations which seem suspicious.

    Suspicious in many ways.

    On questioning Lambert once he let the cat of the bag in terms of what he thinks. He once said at Catallaxy that he thought wind power is the only suitable alternative.

    this is why I think these barbarians need to be opposed and treated with scorn and contempt. there’s absolutely no chance of firing up a first world economy with wind power and maintaining present living standards.

    You then have others like Quiggins who has never supported tax mitigation.

    [beep]

  64. You shouldn’t be too harsh. Wind has problems but if development was not tied down, it could be vastly successful.

    The problem is turning off the carbon fired electricity straight away. We need to get people like Tim to be in opposition to Nimbyism and onerous green regulations that stifle the economy and environmental protection.

    Come on Tim. Get cracking on submitting a report to the State and Commonwealth on removing planning regulations.

    A question JC,

    If you were the MD / Corp. Treas. of a power firm, would you prefer to build modular energy generators with ever increasing efficiency and controlled costs in a known resource map, or to make educated guesses as to where the resource map actually lay, and use the “might be there” resource to power your electricity generation?

    Wind has fantastic potential, if only there wasn’t luddite opposition to it.

    Despite the fact that recent reports state they are no serious environmental threat, the newer, larger, more efficient wind turbines are too big and too slow to endanger wildlife.

  65. Why don’t you boys set aside your differences and start a charitable trust to accumulate carbon credits by reforestation and encourage and lobby for the ending current energy subsidies, the development of renewable energy and to hold off the ETS/tax and at least freeze current Government spending/taxes to encourage economic growth, spurring on R&D?

    “Lefty scientist and laisezz faire finance dude set aside difference and team up to save the planet and deliver the poor from inequitable taxation”…

    Come on. They’ll build statues of you guys in every major city.

  66. Mark

    I read a report recently that wind is actually a very poor substitute in Australia due to the weather conditions. Optimization with wind power requires both concentration diffusion. In other words you have to have your turbines spread out in concentration over a wide range. The reason is that weather in Australia functions in 1,000 sq mile blocks.

    Another problem that whichever way you look at it, wind is not as capital intensive as say nuke or coal fired plants so we would be reducing our capital intensity.

    Baseload is also a problem with wind.

    lastly the question is the cost.

    I don’t there is anyone here… in fact anyone in the country who would oppose eventually moving away from coal fired plants to emission free power. However the question is cost.

    Placing a fictitious equalization tax on emissions generated energy and then suggesting other forms are as efficient is laughable.

    And how can we possibly create alternatives without nuke being allowed into the mix of options.

    About Lambert.

    Lambert is a dishonest little trog who deserves no tolerance. he’s been getting away with lies and dishonesty for too long now. His treatment of Bate’s was a disgrace. One of the most decent people in blog world, ONO’s Graham Young had enough of the dwarfs intellectual dishonesty and overall hooligan tactics.

    Short people like lambert should never be allowed to get away with this sort of behavior. He’s not very smart and has a tendency to lie whenever he’s cornered.

  67. JC, have a look at the global wind map. Have a look at the Antarctic.

    I know it has a long horizon, but we should be tapping Antarctica! (Yep, I am serious).

    Developing the place in a minor way to save it is a reasonable trade off.

    Yes you would need undersea cables and step and step down electrical componenents. A little off the wall, but all off the shelf gear. Strangely enough, our “out there” friend, Graeme M Bird loves this idea, as well as the use of ocean current and tides. The Antarctic current is a massive, untapped power resource.

    I wonder of the mainstream Greens and dark Greens could compromise a little development of the Antarctic to secure it’s future. I think it is a reasonable trade off.

  68. JC,

    Have you seen the Worley Parsons solar project? it’s 250 MW, nothing to sneeze at.

    Geothermal might cover our baseload, along with biofuels.

    In short, a carbon tax may be unecessary and a mean impost on the poor of society who can’t buy an electric car.

  69. I hereby propose that all Ice-Age deniers be jailed, ANd hung, AND drawn and quartered, and THEN humanely executed. We are obviously moving into an ice-age, and anyone who says differently is endangering Humanity itself!

  70. mark

    Isn’t there loss over distance?

    The other problem is that I can’t see the present Green party supporting Antarctic development.

    Look at the mischief Greens are causing in the US with the construction of panels in the desert….. in the desert where the sun is!

    These people can’t be reasoned with. They’re intellectual terrorists that are totally opposed to modern civilization. There is nothing other than contempt left for them.

  71. mark

    To be honest, solar has been a rolling promise for the past 50 years. I’m from Missouri from that one. I prefer to wait and see it before I hold out any promise.

    the other problem is that diffusing energy supplies rather than centralized production offer disadvantages in terms of economies of scale.

  72. I agree with you at 79 JC.

    Solar updraft towers are opposed here in Australia.

    Apparently they create “microclimates”. What a lame and pathetic excuse. The only motivation of such people is to keep the status quo or to take us back to the dark ages.

    What human activity doesn’t create microclimates? Why don’t we just lay down and die?

  73. they’re not interested in supplanting current taxes with carbon tax. i would have thought the current progress of the ETS would explain that to you. they’re simply interested in having more tax. Have you seen the likes of Quiggin argue for a substitute tax?

    JC – by the way you use the term “they’re” you seem to think I am defending Quiggin or Lambert or the ALP. I’m not. I’m merely stating what should be the politically obvious which is that the majority of Australian voters want policies to deal with CO2 emissions. “They’re” waiting for leadership. “They’re” thinking that an ETS is the only CO2 mitigation option on the menu so “they’re” going with that. A new carbon tax which reduced other taxes may be something that “they’re” even more keen for. However if nobody puts it on the political menu then of course we won’t ever really know what “they’re” thinking. I’m hopeful that Turnbull puts it on the menu because I think as a political option it is very worthy of consideration. It addresses peoples fear of CO2 whilst also potentially delivering on some meaningful tax reform.

    Your problem, if we want to call it a problem, is that you think too much like a voter and not enough like a policy wonk. Your thinking is confined to what is currently on the menu. Your a political consumer not a political producer. That’s your choice but please don’t mischaracterise my commentary as being that of a passive voter. I’m interested in seeing the political menu expanded so that it is a better menu.

    The sole virtue of an ETS is that it could be quite readily converted into a carbon tax which might then be used to reduce nasty taxes like payroll tax. Hopefully that will happen. However I’m not going to be voting for an ETS. An ETS essentially sux.

  74. Mark – The solar updraft tower proposed by Enviromission has been granted access to accelerated planning approval assuming they decide to go ahead. So why do you say Solar Updraft Towers are opposed in Australia?

  75. Terje,

    You’ve become such a free loving hippie of late. :)

    We also have coal fired power and woodchipping. According to your last toke, these are unopposed?

    But seriously though the no nonsense IT guy in you sees the flaws in your logic?

    …and yes there are specific instances of their opposition. Google them.

    It took seven years after all to get the green light. I takes about a week to incorporate.

  76. Mark — the Miscolsczi presentation did question the current way that the greenhouse effect is generally modelled. I have no idea whether his suggestions were reasonable or wacky, so I’m not going to defend him.

    I was just saying that he didn’t deny the greenhouse effect.

    JC — please stop with the personal attacks. It doesn’t help our side of the debate. It makes us look mean, petty and dumb. And it lowers the standard of debate on this blog. If other people use personal attacks against us and we respond calmly and rationally then they will look mean, petty and dumb.

  77. I was actually serious when I proposed JC and Lambert team up…but maybe not those two guys. If people are concerned about global warming – either the impacts or impacts of Government action, they should engage in private action to mitigate both.

    A lack of initiative to do something is not “market failure”. it’s called being lazy. Making everyone else pay is just mean.

  78. Mark; I can agree with you on geothermal, but biofuels are an ecological and economic disaster in their own right. All biofuels are either subsidized or benefit from government mandates, or both. As result huge areas have been diverted from food production to biofuel crops already, resulting in rising food prices and shortages.

  79. JC – by the way you use the term “they’re” you seem to think I am defending Quiggin or Lambert or the ALP. I’m not. I’m merely stating what should be the politically obvious which is that the majority of Australian voters want policies to deal with CO2 emissions. “They’re” waiting for leadership. “They’re” thinking that an ETS is the only CO2 mitigation option on the menu so “they’re” going with that.

    Well actually I wouldn’t be that certain if I were you, Terje. Polls that Andrew Norton mentioned shows that people are in favor of mitigation but don’t really want to spend much money doing so. It was about $10. The urgency has fallen since the harder economic times which means their desire to spend has fallen even more.

    Moreover polls show the average aussie doesn’t have a clue what an ETS is.

    A new carbon tax which reduced other taxes may be something that “they’re” even more keen for.

    Maybe but that’s not what the punters are getting from the socialists.

    However if nobody puts it on the political menu then of course we won’t ever really know what “they’re” thinking. I’m hopeful that Turnbull puts it on the menu because I think as a political option it is very worthy of consideration. It addresses peoples fear of CO2 whilst also potentially delivering on some meaningful tax reform.

    Possibly but I’m not that hopeful from those dudes.

    Your problem, if we want to call it a problem, is that you think too much like a voter and not enough like a policy wonk. Your thinking is confined to what is currently on the menu. Your a political consumer not a political producer. That’s your choice but please don’t mischaracterise my commentary as being that of a passive voter. I’m interested in seeing the political menu expanded so that it is a better menu.

    Which is what exactly, another tax? That’s what looks like we’re ending up with. It has to be opposed.

    The sole virtue of an ETS is that it could be quite readily converted into a carbon tax which might then be used to reduce nasty taxes like payroll tax.

    Yea? Show me. They’re going into deficit mode and there’s no hope of seeing lower taxes.

  80. JC – If we want to think of the current political establishment as being like a giant cargo ship then I think it is more pragmatic to try and turn the ship rather than trying to swim against it. Instead of pushing against the front I think more of us should push against the side of the front (the same side). In my view pushing directly against the bow in direct opposition to the engine is about as effective as staying home. Of course if we were onboard the ship we should try and turn down the throttle but even that would be very difficult without the captains hat.

  81. JC – given what you say about Andrew Nortons poll, a carbon tax has the virtue of being transparent and providing an easier avenue for a political expression of what people are prepared to pay. An ETS is the current policy direction and it offers far less in the way of price transparency. The wait and see approach offers us the opportunity to wait and see whilst Rudd implements a Kruddy ETS.

  82. Biofuels were perfectly kosher before they started getting subsidies.

    Furthermore, processing sewerage and solid waste into ethanol and natural gas is impacts corn prices minimally whilst reducing environmental degredation.

  83. Mark; They would still be perfectly kosher if they were not getting subsidies. I have no objection to products that are stand alone economic, but that is no longer the case. The use of biofuels is occurring, not because they are in reality a cheaper option, not because the public at large consider them a better option to the point where they are prepared to pay a bit more to use them, but because they are subsidized and in many places mandated.

    They are currently being used only because of state sponsored market distortion.

  84. Well I agree wholeheartedly with you here Jim. They are a terribly wasteful policy option and make everyone losers, except for the subsidy recipients and politicians who get any form of quid pro quo.

  85. It’s a tax grab, Terje. It’s a tax grab and everyone that supports the ETS from Garnaut on down is being less than honest.

    If Garnaut was a decent economist he would have made the proposal of using the ETS as a tax substitution mechanism.

    It’s a tax grab focsued on exactly what makes us a first wrold economy which is cheap and abundant energy.

    There is no reason for the LDP to even go clsoe to this nonsense. We should oppose it.

    These economic illiterates and the barbarians are supporting a tax hike just when the economy is moving into hard times.

    Read what Henry Ergas has to say about.

    Notice how those who support are relatively immune from an economics slowdown as they still keep their jobs.

  86. What would a free market come up with, I wonder?
    Without subsidies, we’d have a more diverse range of options- probably mixtures of solutions; here a wind farm, there, a solar power plant, over there, a geothermal mine.

  87. A free market would leave leaves as they are, Nic. We need to ask what is the purpose of an ETS? How exactly does it reduce global emissions in view of our size.

    A free market would have made a great deal of this issue of less importance as the US was well on its way to being mostly nuclear until 3 mile island was used by the dark greens to stop any further nuke reactors being installed.

  88. The free market would come up with nothing to deal with an externality. If you accept the warming faith then you have to support either a carbon tax, an ets or just emission caps with no trade mechanism.

  89. JC – I largely agree than fear of AGW is being used by many as a tax grab. Which is why Australia would be better off if somebody put a non tax grab CO2 mitigation strategies on the political menu. I don’t think it is really the LDPs place to do this given the niche the LDP occupies but it is something the Liberals should seriously consider. And it is something libertarians should be prepared to consider as a lesser evil.

  90. Good news Tex — as the ALS is sponsoring the event we will have some tickets to give away. If you’re interested please e-mail me and I’ll arrange some tickets for you.

  91. Terje,

    I have to say I completely disagree with your notion that replacing other taxes with this one is a good idea. Even assuming there are worse taxes in terms of the incentives they provide for employment and capital accumulation (although I seriously doubht that), have you given any idea of how many public servants are going to be needed to administer and enforce this lunacy? We will need 20 Canberras to inspect every factory, oil rig, mine etc to ensure that they are not using any more CO2 then they say they are. And they will of course, have an enormous incentive to cheat. Needless to say honest mistakes will be made and executives will be sent to jail – not exactly a good thing for Australia’s sovereign risk rating.

    The idea that this will make the Government money is naive in the extreme. The Government could not possibly make enough money from this lunacy to enable them to reduce other taxes, even if they had any desire to do so.

  92. While I understand the political dynamic that says “we should never introduce a new tax, even if it’s a part of a general tax cut”… the argument that a carbon tax is actually worse than other taxes is simply absurd.

    Punter repeats some of these weird views. He says that he doubts any other tax could be worse. Are you serious? Taxing electricity is worse than taxing labour? Worse than taxing employment? Worse than taxing imported food?

    This view has lost all perspective.

    Punter goes on to imply that the administration cost for an electricity tax would be worse than the administration tax for any other tax. Again — absurd.

    And people aren’t sent to jail for tax mistakes. Again with the extreme fear-mongering.

    And then punter concludes by saying that the tax wouldn’t raise much money. That’s simply wrong because it assumes a high elasticity of demand for electricity when the emperical evidence shows the opposite.

    Look chaps — it is extremely likely that we’re going to get a carbon trading system. Both the ALP and Liberals support it. Only one person in parliament doesn’t support it and nobody is listening to him. The only detail is whether we get it in 2010 or 2012.

    A carbon trading system is a MUCH BIGGER PROBLEM than a carbon tax. A carbon tax will be much easier to remove later than a trading system. In contrast, a trading system will get steadily worse. The proponents of a carbon trading system readily admit this… and claim it as one of the benefits of carbon trading.

    We need to do everything possible to avoid a carbon trading system. The only chance (and even then it’s about 5% at best) is to argue that a revenue-neutral carbon tax is relatively better. By simply screaming “no, the sky is falling” you are HELPING those people who promote the carbon trading system.

    Talk about naivity.

  93. John

    I think if you read Punters assertions he’s basically talking about the ETS not a straight out carbon tax.

    The ETS is a huge big government tax grab and is the worst possible idea. His concerns are real enough in terms of policing an ETS. The administration of such a scheme is unfathomably complex and will require investigation and may end up causing business people to go to jail.

    It’s not his ideas that deserve trashing thrown into a sewer. The dark greens are.

  94. JC — he was responding to Terje, and Terje was talking about a revenue-neutral carbon tax (as opposed to carbon trading).

    Some people use “tax” and “ETS” interchangably, but they are different and I think the difference matters.

    I totally agree about the impending administration and compliance costs involved in an ETS. And I’m more worried about the political economy of another fake-asset being traded. Our experience with taxi licences show how hard it is to get rid of a crappy trading system. And how these systems tend to naturally get more restrictive over time.

  95. A good point John, but I’ve never looked at it simplistically – which might be the best way:

    Taxes don’t have producer rents. Government endowed property rights do.

    Which is therefore the most efficient and easiest to get rid of?

    That said, no reliable CBA says we should mitigate. Furthermore there are more options available, not looked at as well as the point that laziness on the part of stakeholders does not equate to market failre (of mitigation in this instance).

    The less likely the nightmare scenarios look, the less weight the case for mitigation has – which it already is judged in the negative.

  96. I have to say I completely disagree with your notion that replacing other taxes with this one is a good idea. Even assuming there are worse taxes in terms of the incentives they provide for employment and capital accumulation (although I seriously doubht that), have you given any idea of how many public servants are going to be needed to administer and enforce this lunacy?

    Let me know how many it takes to administer the federal fuel tax or state payroll tax and I’ll give you a rough guess.

    In it’s simplist form a carbon tax on the electricity sector entails a measure of electricity output (routinely measured at the egress of power stations already by both generators and transmitters) multiplied by some number that relates to the the class and quality of the power plant.

    Petrol is metered far less accurately than electricity and there is more scope for tax avoidance by misreporting quantities, however we already readily apply taxes to petrol without much trouble.

    We will need 20 Canberras to inspect every factory, oil rig, mine etc to ensure that they are not using any more CO2 then they say they are. And they will of course, have an enormous incentive to cheat. Needless to say honest mistakes will be made and executives will be sent to jail – not exactly a good thing for Australia’s sovereign risk rating.

    There is no significant relative sovereign risk associated with punishing people for deliberate tax avoidance as every nation on the planet already does it. And whilst tax collection entails a lot of administrative cost it is nowhere near as severe as the general dead weight cost due to the overall tax burden.

    The idea that this will make the Government money is naive in the extreme. The Government could not possibly make enough money from this lunacy to enable them to reduce other taxes, even if they had any desire to do so.

    Actually you are right in one sence. If you do the math and look at annual emissions and apply the sort of tax necessary to make alternatives viable then the amount of revenue raised (even with 100% compliance) is not that large in terms of the typical government budgets. In fact on a chart putting it beside general revenue it would look like a speck.

    The only sound argument I can see against introducing a modest revenue neutral carbon tax is that it singles out a particular industry. However that is hardly as bad as picking on labour via payroll taxes and it isn’t overly different to singling out petrol with fuel tax or beer with beer tax or homes with transfer duties.

  97. charles — I pretty much agree with everything that Geller says in the link you provide. The historical co2-temp link doesn’t disprove AGW, it just raises interesting questions. It isn’t appropriate to use 1998 as a base year, but 2002 is more reasonable. It is possible for co2 to have an impact irrespective of how rare it is. Humans probably are having some influence.

    It was wrong for him to use the 1950s as a base for the increase in temperatures as they only started increasing in the 1970s. But that’s not a big issue.

    But the main issue is whether we’re facing significant climate change (more than the currently unimportant 0.6 degrees), what impact that will have (many studies show neglible impacts with moderate warming) and what is the best way to respond. These are still open questions.

    The basics of the science is pretty much settled. The details, such as predictions of the future and public policy issues, are very far from settled.

  98. “The basics of the science is pretty much settled. The details, such as predictions of the future and public policy issues, are very far from settled.”

    Yes. But they are trending in one direction.

    “no reliable CBA says we should mitigate”

    What would make a reliable CBA in your estimation?

  99. For starters, it should have a time value for money greater than 0.1%!!

    I don’t think the information about public policy is trending in one direction. The political winds certainly are blowing one way… but political winds often have little to do with good analysis.

    I also think our understanding of the real-life impacts of global warming is quite limited. As Lomborg has pointed out, the fear-mongers factor in almost no adaption… but history shows that humans are quite good at adapting, especially when a change is happening over 100 years.

    We have adapted to natural climate change, technological revolutions, changing preferences, huge people movements etc… and we’ve not only survived but we’ve prospered.

    And speaking of technology, given the rapid change in how we do nearly everything on earth, it seems likely that alternative energy (including nuclear) will naturally be able to challenge coal in the near future anyway — without the need for fear-campaigns and drastic government action.

  100. In it’s simplist form a carbon tax on the electricity sector entails a measure of electricity output (routinely measured at the egress of power stations already by both generators and transmitters) multiplied by some number that relates to the the class and quality of the power plant.

    Petrol is metered far less accurately than electricity and there is more scope for tax avoidance by misreporting quantities, however we already readily apply taxes to petrol without much trouble.

    I don’t think that this is quite right. If you want to tax carbon, you would best throw a tax on coal/natural gas/oil etc at a value proportional to the CO2 released upon combustion/weight.

    If you tax a power station’s output, you will penalise high efficiency power plants (which extract more useful energy per unit coal burnt) and reward low efficiency power stations. A tax directly on their fuel will reward power stations which generate more power per unit fuel.

    One minor problem would be a hypothetical power station which uses carbon capture and storage. However, because these will be limited to a handful, it could probably be easily dealt with some kind of rebate.

  101. Lambert must obviously support such views seeing he disinvowels what he considers to be offensive comments.

    JC, suffice to say that I couldn’t properly give my opinion on just how dumb the idea that a blog owner implicitly endorses the views commenter’s on his blog have, without JH needing to pull out his bleeb button again.

    That being said, while I don’t agree with everything that that Tim writes, the AGW science in his blog is indefinitely higher and far more intellectually honest than anything on the same topic which was either written by you or endorsed by The Australian Libertarian Society.

  102. Ken – 113

    The Government should allow for tax payments to be traded within a tax regime- but not set up an ETS itself.

    114 – you are dead wrong.

    Lambert put up some work he should have revised more. I’m not going to cop that insult when Lambert puts up a graph inferring 19 degrees plus of warming per decade.

    Science and honesty indefinitely higher? I know it was rough and a obviously a mistake, but you’re stark raving mad if you believe what you said, Ken.

  103. Ken – I clearly said that any tax factor applied to the energy output of a power station would need to account for the class of power plant (coal, gas etc) and the quality of power plant (clean coal, high efficiency, low efficiency etc). In practice such a factor could be fixed during periodic audits that direcly measure emissions and energy production.

    Of course for power stations direct real time measurement is also probably possible.

  104. Ken Miles says:
    suffice to say that I couldn’t properly give my opinion on just how dumb the idea that a blog owner implicitly endorses the views commenter’s on his blog have, without JH needing to pull out his bleeb button again.

    You make me laugh. His comments section is infested with hate mongers. Is the right side of your brain not working, Ken. LOL.

    That being said, while I don’t agree with everything that that Tim writes, the AGW science in his blog is indefinitely higher and far more intellectually honest than anything on the same topic which was either written by you or endorsed by The Australian Libertarian Society.

    Well yes, of course you’d say that seeing you’re a cultist that resembles the Exclusive brethren.

    Here’s the difference between you and me. I think someone like Richard Lindzen has some interesting things to say. I think that people like Roger P is very interesting. I find Climate Audit to be a very useful site.

    I also think that there is some cause for concern with AGW and that conventional science has it pretty much right.

    I think that James Hansen has also got it pretty much right after recently this Wall Street Journal column. But rather than putting down people that have contrary opinions I fully support and respect their input.

    See here: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122843675983981401.html

    If James H had said these things earlier instead of wanting to jail coal company executives I would find his comments more respectable.

    Here’s the amusing thing, Ken. While you and Lambert are out there spewing hatred, Hansen it seems, is coming back to his original home- the moderate wing of the free Republican party which he has said he always came from.

    His comments indicate he’s more aligned with the official LDP position on AGW than the rat bags you support and defend like Lambert etc.

    I suggest you read the WSJ’s opinion piece focusing more on what Hansen has said.

    I guess it should illicit another one of those hate filled threads titled ” James Hansen’s war on science” from you know who. LOL.

    Before you run off pretend this conversation never happen, please explain why John H’s and Mark Hill’s positions are wrong as they seem well positioned and perfectly positioned to me.

  105. eerrr sorry
    please explain why John H’s and Mark Hill’s positions are wrong as they seem well THOUGHT OUT and perfectly positioned to me.

  106. JC – thanks for the Wall Street Journal article.

    But Mr. Hansen also had the honesty to follow his convictions to their logical conclusion, while reproaching his followers — President-elect Obama among them — for not doing the same. To wit, Mr. Hansen endorses a straight carbon tax as the only “honest, clear and effective” way to reduce emissions, with the revenues rebated in their entirety to consumers on a per-capita basis. “Not one dime should go to Washington for politicians to pick winners,” he writes.

  107. Yea, Hansen’s saying a decent thing for a change. The father of the AGW debate is actually 100% behind what John H proposed in terms of dealing with mitigation. Perhapshe read John’s piece :-)

    Hansen has said some pretty horrific things in the past, I am not going to deny that for a second. But it struck me once that he said he was actually a moderate republican…. unfortunately I had to wait a long time to see evidence. This however is some pretty big evidence.

    Now if only the liberal party got behind Hansen, wheeled him out here and used this suggestion, it could change the direction this policy is heading towards.

  108. He’s also suggesting that would like to see a real move towards 4th generation nuke power. This guy is there for the taking buy the non-left to make some real progress in terms of real and effective mitigation. I’m shocked if they don’t give it a try. The same goes for the GOP. He’s far from a dark green it seems.

  109. I’m actually quite excited by the opinion piece piece, Terje as it may have political legs and could change the way in which the debate is going in Washington and here too. If the liberal party was smart they would use him for all it worth and put up John’s proposal as a viable alternative backed and supported by Hansen himself. He could also break the log jam with nuke power over here.

  110. So Mark, the most serious mistake you can find that I made is a minor error that I quickly corrected (something that you failed to mention). Contrast with alsblog, John Humphreys [beep].

    Ken, I think that Humphreys [beep].

    The LDP doesn’t seem to be endorsing a carbon tax. I don’t think that it has the support of any political party.

    ADMIN: The [beeped] sections here started an off-topic discussion, which was partly my fault. I subsequently removed the off-topic posts.

  111. Lambert, stop being so damn hypocritical again. How many times, Shiny, how many freaking times did you castigate Jason Soon for allowing your mirror image, Graeme Bird, to continue posting at Catallaxy?

    Moreover how many comments have you disemvoweled those that support your position compared to those that don’t? Why is it that only people who take opposite views are disenvowelled or castigated by you, shines?

    Have you ever tried and to be freaking honest on one freaking thing, you hypocritical dope?

  112. So Mark, the most serious mistake you can find that I made is a minor error that I quickly corrected (something that you failed to mention).

    Be honest, Shines(lol), you only corrected it when Steve E explained why you were wrong. That was a similar sort error you have berated other people for in the past, dopey even going to the extent of writing threads about their arithmetic errors.

    You also don’t mention how you cheated by going to the data point the supported your argument rather than using the time series to accurately reflect cooling. In short (no pun intended) you flat out cheated.

    Furthermore you didn’t show the correction in the body of the post which is highly irregular and something you have criticized other people for.

    Shines, Lambert Watch wouldn’t be doing its job if it didn’t pick up these large gaps in your honesty and integrity.

    In future please try and be a little cooperative with the people at Lambert Watch, Shines, as they’re only trying to do their job.

  113. 114 – you are dead wrong.

    Lambert put up some work he should have revised more. I’m not going to cop that insult when Lambert puts up a graph inferring 19 degrees plus of warming per decade.

    No Mark, this line simply confirms what I just said is correct. If you think making a simple mistake in a blog post which one corrects as soon as it is pointed out can in any way be compared with sponsoring a conference which makes an utter joke of either basic objectivity, scepticism, reality and honesty – then it’s time for you to take a damn long look in the mirror.

  114. Sorry Ken

    But you’re protecting the wrong person. Normally I would agree that a mistake is just that. However Lambert has had plenty of goes at enough people when people make arithmetic errors- in fact he’s posted threads about it.

    Shiny has also castigated other people that don’t provide a record of their error with a clear correction citation.

    Shiny needs to be treated in the same way… which is with complete scorn, as after all we’re only applying the same standards he applies with others.

    ::
    ::

    Nice doge too by the way. The mistake wasn’t the only thing. Shiny flat out cheated by using data in the series to help his argument. Rather than using the 12 month data the dishonest little bastard used 9.

    That’s flat out dishonest. You’re supporting someone that shows little integrity.

    No point in trying to ignore it, Ken. You need to deal with it and ask yourself why you’re defending someone who shows the ethics of a pole cat.

    Explain otherwise your silence is telling.

  115. Ken Miles – Perhaps the Australian Libertarian Society can also look into sponsoring Flat Earth 09, Answers in Genesis in 2009 and The Economic Theories of GMB?
    .
    Ken – the 2009 Inaugural Symposium on the Esteemed Economics of Graeme Monty Bird is being held next year in Haiti. This lot are the sponsors.
    .
    Shall I book tickets?
    .
    I’m not inclined to think of AGW as anything but a serious problem. But I’m aware in my small way of two things. One is that the science is more complicated than the political message makes clear. The other is that the political message and counter-message are rapidly acquiring the attributes of an Apparatchnik War. Dogma doesn’t help. I see no problem in organizing a conference with full, frank and dispassionate (insofar as possible) exchanges of views.
    .
    BTW Whaddya reckon? Tax or cap n trade? And why?

  116. Exactly Nic.

    Shiny, would you like to tell Nic how many formal computer science papers you have had published in the past decade? Is less than zero going too far? Would zero be about accurate?

    (you know how exact you like to be when it comes to numbers).

    Go on tell him, or do you want me to?

  117. *trying to drag the thread back on topic*

    “1. Is global warming occuring? If so,
    2. Is it a bad thing? Are there more negatives than positives? If so,
    3. By what extent is it caused (if at all) by CO2 and other greenhouse gasses? If significant,
    4. What portion of these gases are caused by mankind? If significant,
    5. Will a carbon tax (or ETS), sufficiently reduce these emissions to have a positive effect on the climate situation? If so,
    6. Will these benefits be greater than the cost of the carbon tax’s imposition? If so, then time for a carbon tax.”

    All but 5 and 6 are well established scientifically.

    5 – it depends on the level of tax. Approx $40 a tonne of CO2e will do a great deal to remove emissions from energy production and transport (ie on the order of 70%-90%), and make carbon sinks financially viable.

    6 – the benefits are variable depending on the modeling. But the likelihood of small-probability, large-consequence outcomes occurring is likely to be enough to warrant insurance.

  118. Jarrah – Don’t you like blood sports?

    Anyway to answer your questions.

    1. Sometimes.
    2. Maybe. Perhaps.
    3. Can we include H2O?
    4. If we include H20 then just a tiny, tiny bit, which may or may not be significant.
    5. Possibly.
    6. A modest revenue neutral carbon tax, relative to the status quo, would probably have a cost that is less than zero. So whilst not the best tax reform option around it should readily pass a CBA.

  119. Also, Jarrah and friends, the Earth had warming times in the past. Until you can account for them, we’re going to stay sceptical.

  120. Oh, charming. As well as following Graeme Bird’s practice of constantly accusing those who disagree with you of lying, you’ve now adopted his practice of deleting dissenting comments.

  121. Jarrah, I don’t think your answers to the 6 questions are entirely accurate.

    1. The earth did warm during the last few decades of the 20th century, but it has stalled lately. It is quite likely that it will go back to warming soon… but there is a small chance that it won’t and we should retain some hope.

    2. The impact of global warming depends very much on how much warming there is. Some areas will benefit and some will lose, and there is no clear net cost until the warming exceeds 2 or 3 degrees. So far we’ve only seen 0.6 degree warming. Remember that humans are always adjusting for a number of reasons, so slow adjustment to a changing environment is not a new trick for humans.

    3 & 4. It seems likely that co2 (& other greenhouse gases) released by humans are contributing. But it is uncertain how much they are contributing. The IPCC says that they are the primary cause, and they may be correct.

    5 & 6 depend very much on the details of the policy solution. While I have no doubt that it’s possible to create a climate policy that passes a benefit-cost analysis (I believe my suggested carbon tax does), I do have quite a bit of doubt that the chosen policy will be as good.

    The theoretical possibility of the govenment doing the right thing is not generally matched by actual government action.

  122. Greeting. Before we set our hearts too much upon anything, let us examine how happy those are who already possess it.
    I am from Indonesia and learning to speak English, tell me right I wrote the following sentence: “Buy airline tickets and buy cheap plane really cheap plane ticket online! Airline tickets to germany can even got from the counters at the airport in the.”

    Thanks :-D. Torin.

Comments are closed.