Climate Fund with No Impact on Climate Becomes Miracle Money Stash

posted at 2:00 pm on December 4, 2010 by J.E. Dyer

A number of conservative and libertarian types have pointed out that these days, smokers are basically “smoking for the children.” States are relying heavily on cigarette taxes to fund such a variety of programs that it’s practically an act of public spiritedness to buy cigarettes. And now, for residents of the 10 Northeastern states, the same can be said of flipping your light switch to the “ON” position – or, presumably, using incandescent bulbs and setting the thermostat on 72. The more electric power you use, the more money there is in the state treasury to raid for the children.  The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI, or “Reggie”), which requires the power industry to purchase carbon dioxide permits from the governmental RGGI collective, has seen to that.

There is a problem with this perfect scheme, however. Cash-strapped Northeasterners, reverting to their infamous thrift (and with businesses closing to boot), are using a lot less electricity than they were a couple of years ago.  A whole lot less.  In fact, the results from the latest sale of RGGI carbon dioxide permits were abysmal: only 57% of those on offer in the RGGI exchange sold, and the selling price was the minimum allowable bid of $1.86 per unit. The reason is simple:  electricity use is way, way down in the Northeast.  The power industry doesn’t need all the CO2 units being offered.

Environmentalists, who ought to be ecstatic, can still kvetch. The diversion of the RGGI funds already deposited with the states is problematic: instead of being used for energy-salvation measures, they are being used to pay for schools and other state expenses. One environmental activist is quoted as follows:

Some environmentalists who support the multistate pact agree that without the investment in programs that cut energy use and create green jobs, the initiative’s potential economic benefit becomes an expense.

“There’s a direct consequence for taking this money,” said Jeff Tittel, director of the New Jersey chapter of the Sierra Club. “Families are going to pay higher energy bills this winter if they didn’t weatherize their homes.”

It’s worth briefly unpacking this logic. Mr. Tittel’s statement – “Families are going to pay higher energy bills this winter if they didn’t weatherize their homes” – is a truism independent of whether there is a RGGI or not.  If you weatherize your home, you will pay lower energy bills than if you don’t weatherize your home.  There could be no RGGI at all, and that would still be true.

The differences with RGGI are the following:

1. Energy bills are higher, regardless of whether you weatherize or not.

2.  Additional money goes to the state treasuries, with RGGI in effect.  The additional amount doesn’t deliver more electricity to you, or deliver it better.  You just pay more per unit than you did before, and the state gets a new income stream.

You may get a home weatherization out of the deal, but you could have gotten that anyway, without RGGI.  Either way, you’re paying for it; the difference lies in who extracts income from the process, and how.

It’s in the nature of politics that money sitting around in a fund becomes the target of public spenders.  It’s in the nature of economics that when people have less income, but things cost them more, they buy less of those things.  Nevertheless, it’s funny how quickly politics and economics have kicked in to torpedo RGGI, our nation’s grandest (so far) carbon rent-seeking scheme.

Make no mistake:  carbon-credit schemes are about generating income.  They are not about reducing emissions until we can declare victory; their purpose is to institute a method for government and interest groups to perpetually manipulate and make money off of humanity’s most basic interactions with the environment.

Think of it this way.  Option One: you could weatherize your home, and pay lower utility bills.  But why do that, when with Option Two, you could arrange for the government to make the power industry pay it a new surcharge for the authorization to generate power; a move that raises your energy bills (and all your other bills, since everyone you buy anything from uses energy) to cover the surcharge, but also puts more money in the state kitty, some of which might be used to weatherize your home?  Is there any question that Option Two is preferable?  Higher costs overall, money going to the government, special interests rather than the market  dictating the system’s premises – and still you have the possibility, although not the guarantee, of course, of a home weatherization.  What’s not to love?

J.E. Dyer blogs at The Green Room, Commentary’s “contentions” and as The Optimistic Conservative.  She writes a weekly column for Patheos.

This post was promoted from GreenRoom to HotAir.com.
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hmmm and Gov christie is in favor of all this. doesn’t sound very conservative to me….

unseen on December 4, 2010 at 2:16 PM

The US diplomatic cables reveal reveal how the US seeks dirt on nations opposed to its approach to tackling global warming; how financial and other aid is used by countries to gain political backing; how distrust, broken promises and creative accounting dog negotiations; and how the US mounted a secret global diplomatic offensive to overwhelm opposition to the controversial “Copenhagen accord”, the unofficial document that emerged from the ruins of the Copenhagen climate change summit in 2009.

J_Crater on December 4, 2010 at 2:32 PM

i think the damage done by the eviro-freaks is probably irreparable. the urban myths that have been put into people’s minds will last at least 2 generations.

by 2100 we could well be a third world, poor country, with a few pockets of rich…a centrally planned economy, where people get housing and food from the state.

r keller on December 4, 2010 at 2:34 PM

oh, and here’s China building 245 nuclear energy plants

http://nextbigfuture.com/2010/12/china-spending-511-billion-to-build-up.html

Developing clean, low-carbon energy is an international priority,” says Zhao Chengkun, vice-president of the China Nuclear Energy Association. “Nuclear is recognized as the only energy source that can be used on a mass scale to achieve this.”

but, no, sadly we are too scared…Jane Fonda has told us how scary nukes are.

r keller on December 4, 2010 at 2:50 PM

keller on December 4, 2010 at 2:34 PM

sadly the only thing that will get us out of this recession is abundant low cost energy and the libs are mad dashing to see not onlt increased cost for energy but less energy altogether. which means no economic recovery and the destruction of the nation state.

unseen on December 4, 2010 at 2:53 PM

CARBON CREDIT, RPS, AND FEED-IN TARIFF ARE NOTHING BUT A HOAX!

Repeal all state RPS!

Nuff said.

TheAlamos on December 4, 2010 at 2:54 PM

Sounds like the people in the Northeast are about to get screwed like we did in California. The wonderful state legislators ‘deregulated’ electrical markets to ‘save’ money.

Hahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!

GarandFan on December 4, 2010 at 3:11 PM

Stephen Chu, Obama Energy Secretary, recently appeared on C-SPAN talking how China is building 245 nuclear plant, while the US is building 2

J_Crater on December 4, 2010 at 3:21 PM

Carbon reduction schemes are going to start off ugly; no doubt about it. Some will be scrapped almost immediately, while others will have longeivity. Only the most efficacious will survive.

One thing’s for certain – energy costs are going to skyrocket (already have begun). Those who make appropriate adaptations (weatherizing, investing in efficient units) will come out better.

Another thing’s for certain – we use far too much energy. With minimal adaptations, we could cut electricity and liquid fuel use dramatically by taking voluntary efforts to reduce our consumption. Republican presidents (particularly the Bushes) have urged a voluntary approach to do this. Unfortunately, most of us didn’t heed their call.

Energy conservation only makes sense. Saving money while reducing environmental impacts is win-win. For example, while I taught school, air conditioners were churning out the cold air even after school let out, resulting in enormous power bills. As austerity measures set in with the soured economy, suddenly we see conservation religion in the schools. We could have funded an extra teacher in each school if we had just been more mindful of the thermostat.

I agree that the government usually messes up things with its schemes, and money is diverted for political purposes. In the end, private initiatives and voluntary efforts will prevail. The solution to global warming doesn’t need to involve government schemes, but international treaties will demand carbon-emissions caps if voluntary efforts fail.

So, let’s all voluntarily reduce our emissions and save money in the process.

oakland on December 4, 2010 at 3:24 PM

Hippies in control…

yubley on December 4, 2010 at 3:24 PM

Carbon reduction schemes are going to start off ugly; no doubt about it. Some will be scrapped almost immediately, while others will have longeivity. Only the most efficacious will survive….

oakland on December 4, 2010 at 3:24 PM

There is no Carbon reduction scheme that makes sense because our emissions of ‘Carbon’ are of no consequence. It’s all about the redistribution of wealth and socialism.

slickwillie2001 on December 4, 2010 at 3:32 PM

RGGI was really an attempt to force a switch to natural gas from coal. When you looked at the original reduction goals, they were what you would get if you achieved this outcome. Of course, this whole move to get electrical generation with natural gas raised the price of natural gas by throwing in a huge new source of demand. Thus industries with gas-fired furnaces suffered from this policy as well.

It used to be in New York that the spot market price for electricity on weekends and at night came from coal and nuclear source prices (2 to 5 cents/kwh). Now, the spot price is based on natural gas costs almost all the time which more than doubled the cost. Thus, we have made large energy consuming industries much less competitive.

KW64 on December 4, 2010 at 3:49 PM

On December 4, 2010, [Danny Bloom] married his longtime companion and love of his life — Earth!

Thus beggars the question … what will he be doing on his wedding night ?

J_Crater on December 4, 2010 at 3:49 PM

Dynamite: Wikileaks Documents Show Obama Administration Used Spying, Threats & Bribes to Get Support for Copenhagen Accord

Can’t do anything about those nuclear weapons in Iran and North Korea though.

slickwillie2001 on December 4, 2010 at 4:07 PM

our emissions of ‘Carbon’ are of no consequence

The vast majority of scientific evidence is at odds with your opinion.

oakland on December 4, 2010 at 4:11 PM

The vast majority of scientific evidence is at odds with your opinion.

oakland on December 4, 2010 at 4:11 PM

Define “vast majority”, “scientific” and “evidence.” Perhaps one could offer an example of such scientific evidence that is accessible to the reasonably well educated inquirer.

I am not going to simply take your word for it.

A Balrog of Morgoth on December 4, 2010 at 4:21 PM

Wow, if I wasn’t completely and totally convinced that all of this running up the costs of energy (which ripples and makes just about everything more expensive) wasn’t as a result of a genuine, absolute need of some sort or other, and not just a confluence of pie in the sky greenie idealism and the greed of politicians thinking they see a wad of cash they can play with, instead of just a perfect storm of idiocy to take careful aim, shoot ourselves in both feet, and trash the economy in the process, I might actually be worried.

Oh, wait. . .

Wind Rider on December 4, 2010 at 4:33 PM

I am not going to simply take your word for it.

The scientific societies are repositories for current theories and findings in the sciences. I don’t think you will find a single one that takes a position that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are contributing to climate change.

You can go to the National Academies of Science, and the American Physical Society for starters.

oakland on December 4, 2010 at 4:41 PM

Sounds like the people in the Northeast are about to get screwed like we did in California. The wonderful state legislators ‘deregulated’ electrical markets to ‘save’ money.

Hahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!

GarandFan on December 4, 2010 at 3:11 PM

What California called deregulation, was a group of rules designed to put private electricity providers out of business.

Slowburn on December 4, 2010 at 4:51 PM

The scam is a lie …

And watching a U.S. president lie, there is something unseemly in all that.

tarpon on December 4, 2010 at 4:55 PM

oakland on December 4, 2010 at 4:41 PM

Nice appeal to authority argument ya gots there, hate to see anything happen to it.

Such as having an insurgence of members for such organizations revolting in the form of resignation, as has happened, due to the suppression of dissenting viewpoints from being given full discussion – similar to what has happened in the public forums for discussion on the matter.

While the point that saving energy, via making sure that inefficiency and waste are reduced or eliminated to the maximum extend feasible is a valid one, using the AGW bugaboo as a giant club to justify centralized command and control actions to mandate such changes has many more bad effects than the projected savings can ever support.

To way oversimplify the point, it’s a question of freedom. In the United States, and in most other parts of the world, rightly or wrongly, freedom is defined by how much money one has available to use at their own discretion. As such, schemes which artificially inflate energy costs, which are a portion of everything having to do with modern day comfort and amenities, robs people of that freedom – with lower income and people on fixed incomes being the hardest hit – and as such are regressive taxation and thieves of freedom on an almost pornographic scale.

Personally, I could really give a flying flip if James Cameron or Ed Begley Jr have more self righteous self esteem, and smugly sit in their multi million dollar homes, using and paying for more energy than whole groups of other people. It’s outrageous to see Al Gore propagandize ‘for the planet’ and ‘for the children’, when in point of fact, he’s huckstering for as much money to flow into his investment portfolio scheme.

Yeah, it’s a scam. Which is why the Chinese and the Indians told the con-artists to sod off in Copenhagen, and why Cancun is a last hurrah for the rent seekers and kleptocrats hoping to make out large on the deal as their scheme circles the drain as more and more people figure that out.

All that aside, a simple question about the validity of the entire AGW hypothesis – if their science is truly that solid and irrefutable, why, oh why, are they constantly being caught out lying through their teeth on the subject? And why is it necessary for the proponents to rig the game by shouting down any who dare dissent from their party line?

Wind Rider on December 4, 2010 at 4:58 PM

The vast majority of scientific evidence is at odds with your opinion.

oakland on December 4, 2010 at 4:11 PM

DISAGREE.

“The vast majority of scientific evidence…” isn’t “…at odds with your opinion.” The vast majority of scientists funded by government tax dollars are the problem. “Scientific evidence” does NOT support Man-Made Global Warming. Scientists, whose grants and cushy life-styles (Cancun, anyone?) depend on their twisting, distorting, and flat-out lying are the problem. Green plants take care of carbon emissions very nicely. And something no one can explain to me is, if we’re experiencing “global warming”, why is it only happening in parts of the Northern Hemisphere? Shouldn’t it be, like, GLOBAL?? And on a related note, where’s all the outrage over mixing religion and “the state”-

Global Warming Summit in Cancun Opens with Prayer to Pagan Goddess Ixchelhttp://newsbusters.org/blogs/ken-shepherd/2010/12/02/global-warming-summit-cancun-opens-prayer-pagan-goddess-ixchel

Guess to get any coverage, they should have opened by praying to Jesus. Now THAT would have been covered by the media!

As the writer noted, “It’s all about the redistribution of wealth and socialism.”

oldleprechaun on December 4, 2010 at 5:04 PM

“Scientific evidence” does NOT support Man-Made Global Warming.

Every scientific society says that it does. Perhaps you have some alternate scientific evidence that you can share.
Your claim about the Northern Hemisphere is particularly intriguing. Please give references.

why, are they constantly being caught out lying through their teeth on the subject? And why is it necessary for the proponents to rig the game by shouting down any who dare dissent from their party line?

Describes the denialist crowd perfectly. John Coleman, in particular.

Which scientists “lie through their teeth” and “shout down” with regard to this matter?

oakland on December 4, 2010 at 6:16 PM

Make no mistake: carbon-credit schemes are about generating income.

Not really, or at least not government revenue. They are about generating income for certain special interests, though.

Count to 10 on December 4, 2010 at 7:00 PM

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/dec/03/wikileaks-us-manipulated-climate-accord

How could any American trust this government and or the media ever again after this.

Keemo on December 4, 2010 at 7:09 PM

Make no mistake: carbon-credit schemes are about generating income.

Not really, or at least not government revenue. They are about generating income for certain special interests, though.

Count to 10 on December 4, 2010 at 7:00 PM

And those special interests turn the money back around in the form of political donations and out right paybacks.

Keemo on December 4, 2010 at 7:10 PM

oakland on December 4, 2010 at 6:16 PM

Yeah, ya don’t know nuttin bout nuttin havin to do with nuttin. Funny how that happens.

Let’s see -

Mike Mann *hockey stick fame
Phil Jones *delete the evidence!
Al Gore *lots to choose from
Pachauri *Melting Himalaya-pop

Let’s also not review how Gavin Schmidt, one of James Hansen’s co-workers at NASA GISS (in posh downtown Manhattan prime real estate) ran his .com ‘RealClimate’ site while he was on the government dime, and routinely shut down ‘inconvenient’ discussion threads, or closed comments completely when they were caught speeding.

But those blinders look good, on you. Did they come with a bowl of soup?

Wind Rider on December 4, 2010 at 8:05 PM

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/dec/03/wikileaks-us-manipulated-climate-accord

How could any American trust this government and or the media ever again after this.

Keemo on December 4, 2010 at 7:09 PM

Keemo:Yup,the Progressive Grand Scam with the Political
Liberal FlimFlam’s!!!!!!!!!!!!!:)

canopfor on December 4, 2010 at 8:09 PM

How many Liberals does it take to screw up a light bulb?

Twenty-five million.

One to hatch the plan, one to introduce the plan to Congress, 218 in the House and 51 in the Senate to vote “aye” on the plan, one to sign it into law, 5 million to enforce it by going into every retail store in the country to make sure incandescent light bulbs are removed from the shelves after a date certain, and all the rest to form an angry, roving mob that breaks into homes and ransacks those dwellings if they are even remotely suspected of containing an offending bulb.

FlameWarrior on December 4, 2010 at 8:23 PM

Dedicated to those Environmental Wackos
========================================

REJOICE IN THE SUN / vocal version -Silent Running Movie

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DiCoGkbln-0&feature=related

canopfor on December 4, 2010 at 9:47 PM

From the NYT

“In just over two years, the initiative, known as RGGI, has generated more than $729 million for the 10 states that have participated. Each state is supposed to use its share of the money raised to invest in renewable energy and to promote energy efficiency and consumer benefits, like programs that help low-income electricity customers pay their utility bills.

LMAO !! You see these states were “supposed to” do so many greeney dovey things with all the loot…. and tragically these programs to help low income electricity customers pay their utility bills… never happened !

Exit Question: Is it possible for these low income electricity consumers to consume electricity that is..you know.. commensurate with their low incomes ?

I used to be a student once in Buffalo, NY living in an apartment with two other students and our heating bills averaged no more than 70$ a month. If we could do it, and we were the very definition of low income (our combined incomes for a year was less than 30K) then why cannot the other ?

We did it with no fracking Government “help” either.

nagee76 on December 5, 2010 at 3:37 AM

oakland on December 4, 2010 at 6:16 PM

Very simple way to evaluate this. If people have incentive to lie, some people will. The higher the incentive, the more people will lie.

If global warming turns out to be a bunk theory, hundreds of climatologists are out of a job. Their expensive doctoral degrees are essentially worthless. That’s a hell of a lot of incentive. Then, let’s tack on the hundreds of millions of dollars of grants, fellowships, fundraisers, and all, and you’ve got a deal only a person of extraordinary integrity could refuse. Funny, in my time in academia, I’ve not met many people with integrity, and I’m in a relatively grant-poor field.

Conveniently, they tell us that without hundreds of millions of dollars of funding for their projects the WORLD IS COMING TO AN END!!!!11!

Until I see evidence from someone without incentive to lie, I won’t believe a word, especially in the light of the East Anglia Climate Center leaks, which proved that they /are/ lying.

So show me someone who is not looking for funding, interested in reducing human liberty, or maximizing government power, who provides quantitative proof, with results at least significant to the level of .005 (since something this important should have an extremely small alpha). Remember, academic organizations who use NSF grants don’t count, since they have financial incentive to keep the lie going.

mabryb1 on December 5, 2010 at 10:35 AM

mabryb1 on December 5, 2010 at 10:35 AM

Nicely stated… :-)

Keemo on December 5, 2010 at 10:50 AM

The scientific societies are repositories for current theories and findings in the sciences. I don’t think you will find a single one that takes a position that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are contributing to climate change.

You can go to the National Academies of Science, and the American Physical Society for starters.

oakland on December 4, 2010 at 4:41 PM

Quite so.

Kenosha Kid on December 5, 2010 at 12:01 PM

The scientific societies are repositories for current theories and findings in the sciences. I don’t think you will find a single one that takes a position that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are contributing to climate change.

You can go to the National Academies of Science, and the American Physical Society for starters.

oakland on December 4, 2010 at 4:41 PM
Quite so.

Kenosha Kid on December 5, 2010 at 12:01 PM

A point of clarification. You won’t find a single one that takes a position that carbon dioxide and other greenhous gases are not contributing to climate change.

Thanks for the tip, Kenosha.

oakland on December 5, 2010 at 1:19 PM

I won’t believe a word, especially in the light of the East Anglia Climate Center leaks, which proved that they /are/ lying.

And,please tell, what are they “lying” about?

oakland on December 5, 2010 at 1:20 PM

So show me someone who is not looking for funding, interested in reducing human liberty, or maximizing government power, who provides quantitative proof, with results at least significant to the level of .005 (since something this important should have an extremely small alpha). Remember, academic organizations who use NSF grants don’t count, since they have financial incentive to keep the lie going.

Did you know that your doctors and pharmaceutical companies take both private and public money to ply their trades? Are you skeptical enough of their products that you would eschew them?

As for the “extremely small alpha”, you might be interested to know that the generally-agreed upon figure of confidence is over 90% that humans contribute significantly to the present warming trend. And, if that means that there is a greater than 90% change of climate disruptions severe enough to put our food supply at risk (according to biologists), do you really believe that the present course of action (or rather inaction) on controlling emissions is prudent?

As far as this risk to the food supply, we are presently seeing prices of some stocks increasing dramatically. Russia will export no grains this year due to an unprecedented drought that devastated their crops in the wake of unprecedented heat. Do you really want to see more of that?

oakland on December 5, 2010 at 1:32 PM

oakland on December 5, 2010 at 1:32 PM

Alright, this is stats 101:

If you’re doing research into something unimportant like what the gender gap in voting is, you accept a 5% error factor.

If you’re doing economics, it’s usually a 1% chance of error.

The more important your research is, the lower error chance (that’s alpha) that you should accept. I think half the error of a routine problem like Fed interest rates is acceptable, when you’re trying to torpedo all of Western civilization with some Luddite anti-technology anti-freedom scam.

But if you’re only 90% confident, that’s not statistically significant, and your hypothesis is invalid.

mabryb1 on December 5, 2010 at 2:25 PM

Oh, also, your figure is wrong.

A 90% confidence interval does not mean that an event is 90% probable. That’s a fallacy. A 90% confidence interval means that if you were to repeatedly test your hypothesis using the same methods, you will get a successful result 90% of the time.

It doesn’t mean that your methods are correct. It doesn’t mean that your research design is valid or reliable. It only means that if you repeatedly run trials, your methods will get a successful answer 9 out of 10 times.

mabryb1 on December 5, 2010 at 2:29 PM

oakland on December 5, 2010 at 1:32 PM

If you are worried about rising food prices caused by “global warming” caused droughts, you might want to dump the ethanol shame that is using up our corn as fuel but uses almost as much energy as it produces.

Sugarcane based ethanol is more efficiently produced and can provide all the oxygenate needed to lower air pollution which is what ethanol has an actual use for in motor fuel.

KW64 on December 5, 2010 at 2:34 PM

you might want to dump the ethanol shame that is using up our corn as fuel but uses almost as much energy as it produces.

Who is you?

oakland on December 5, 2010 at 2:50 PM

A 90% confidence interval means that if you were to repeatedly test your hypothesis using the same methods, you will get a successful result 90% of the time.

No, it means that the probability of an event not occurring as the result of a suspected cause (that is, occurring by “chance”) is only ten times out of every hundred, given the same set of circumstances each time. In other words, scientists feel that there is only about a ten percent change of the present warming trend being caused mostly by something other than greenhouse gas emissions.
This may be an acceptable level of risk for some folks. However, a 90% chance of significant harm to the world’s ecosystems is unacceptable to me and to many others, especially when one considers that a stable environment is necessary for food production.

“you’re trying to torpedo all of Western civilization with some Luddite anti-technology anti-freedom scam..”

It is obvious that you don’t think that scientists are competent, in general. I would like to know who you believe are the experts in this matter. Also, I would like to know why you think climatologists are somehow “anti-freedom” simply because they conduct research and analyze data.

oakland on December 5, 2010 at 3:02 PM

Confidence Interval:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confidence_interval
http://www.stat.yale.edu/Courses/1997-98/101/confint.htm
http://onlinestatbook.com/chapter8/mean.html

Do your research before making up statistics. It does not mean that there’s a 90% probability of occuring. Probability only occurs in Bayesian statistics, and Bayesians don’t use confidence intervals, Frequentists do. Like I said before, this is Stats 101.

And no, I don’t consider scientists to be competent, in general. They’re human, and as prone to lie, steal, and cheat as anyone else. They’re not gods, not sacred totems, and their opinions are no more valid than anyone else’s unless they provide clear, unbiased evidence according to valid emperical processes, which abide by open and transparent standards of reliability and validity, in which the original data has not been “lost”, “fixed” with a “trick”, or otherwise manipulated, like in the East Anglia Climate fraud.

Until the time that it’s shown that climatologists actually /conduct/ research rather than put on showy farces of research that violate every rule of empiricism, I’m going to continue to call them anti-Freedom Luddites, because that’s what they are.

Methods matter. Methodology is the definition of science. Acolytes of Global Warming should learn them before spouting off phony statistics for the federal tit they suckle at.

mabryb1 on December 5, 2010 at 3:33 PM

Classic troll technique. “oakland” shows up, makes vague claims, appeals to authority, and demands everyone else prove it wrong.

How about no? No, you have to prove your contention RIGHT, and you have not done so. Everyone quoting specifics here is against you, and doing your homework for you.

The catastrophic predictions of the “scare crowd” have been proven wrong OVER AND OVER AND OVER again since Malthus, for crying out loud. You don’t get the benefit of the doubt anymore.

And the stupid questions will continue, because That’s What Trolls Do.

Merovign on December 5, 2010 at 4:11 PM

Oh, and I’ve been doing a lot of medical research lately, and in medicine as in science in general, good statistical practices have been largely abandoned in favor of “exciting results.”

It’s actually quite revolting, and people are dying in large numbers because of it. Some people are trying to stop it or at least educate people, but we’re fighting a tidal wave of funding (whether the source is governments, pharmaceutical companies, advocacy groups, etc.).

In the case of AGW, almost all the funding comes from governments and advocacy groups and is given to people who support the “catastrophic” scares. Journals have actually taken explicit editorial positions about which hypotheses they will and won’t publish, it’s all really quite broken.

Merovign on December 5, 2010 at 4:17 PM

It does not mean that there’s a 90% probability of occuring.

Thanks, I’ve had Stat 101 and more. I am giving the statistic in the sense that the consensus of the scientific community intends us to understand it. Of course, the science isn’t “settled” as Al Gore said. Scientists speak in terms of confidence levels. They (properly)won’t say that they’re sure that human activities cause global warming. What they attempt to do is to rule out other factors when they suspect a particular cause. The other factors include solar activity, albedo effects, inclination of the earth’s axis in relation to the sun, perturbations in the orbital path of the earth around the sun.

So, the message that the experts are giving us is that they are very confident that they can reject these other factors as major contributors to the recent warming.

oakland on December 5, 2010 at 5:33 PM

Everyone quoting specifics here is against you, and doing your homework for you.

So, you expect me to stop posting because “everyone” is against me? Not a chance.

No, you have to prove your contention RIGHT, and you have not done so.”

Scientists can’t “prove” AGW is occurring, so why do you think I (a non-scientist) would have any chance? AGW cannot be proven or disproven. Scientists can present evidence and analysis and provide a level of confidence that human activities are responsible for the bulk of the warming that is taking place now.

If you have some other information, please share it. Making insults doesn’t prove or support any view other than the fact that you lack a certain measure of decorum.

Journals have actually taken explicit editorial positions about which hypotheses they will and won’t publish, it’s all really quite broken.

Again, if you have anything authoritative to share, please do so. As far as I am concerned, the denialist perspective doesn’t have much, if anything, to offer in terms of reasoned debate. Your use of the “troll” doesn’t offer anything pursuant to a dignified exchange if ideas.

oakland on December 5, 2010 at 5:56 PM

So, you expect me to stop posting because “everyone” is against me? Not a chance.
oakland on December 5, 2010 at 5:56 PM

Ummm … no. I would, personally speaking, expect you to stop posting because (a) you have presented no support whatsoever for your “points”; (b) have denigrated those who have attempted to present evidence upon behalf of their points; and (c) simply because I, personally, find your demeanor and efforts offensive.

Journals have actually taken explicit editorial positions about which hypotheses they will and won’t publish, it’s all really quite broken.
oakland on December 5, 2010 at 5:56 PM

See?

WHICH journals, WHOM is responsible for your claim, WHAT, exactly is it that is broken, and , of course, WHY is whatever it is that you believe to be broken, broken?

Get my point, Junior? Al Gore did.

Farmer on December 5, 2010 at 6:11 PM

Farmer,

Which “point” have I not supported?
Whom have I “denigrated”? If you mean by “denigrated”, simple disagreement, then what’s the problem?
If you find my viewpoint, offensive, then I suggest that when you see a post subscripted by “Oakland”, just don’t read it. My aim is not to “offend” but to debate. You might consider a willingness to debate “offensive”; I do not.

As for your last question, you are directing your comment the Merovign’s quote. Because of my ineptitude in using the “quote” function, I inadvertently made his/her quote seem like it was mine. I actually would like to know what he meant by that quote as well.

oakland on December 5, 2010 at 7:27 PM

Farmer,

Which “point” have I not supported?

Well … let’s see, shall we?

1.

Another thing’s for certain – we use far too much energy

.

2.

With minimal adaptations, we could cut electricity and liquid fuel use dramatically by taking voluntary efforts to reduce our consumption.

3.

Energy conservation only makes sense.

4.

Saving money while reducing environmental impacts is win-win.

5.

As austerity measures set in with the soured economy, suddenly we see conservation religion in the schools.

6.

We could have funded an extra teacher in each school if we had just been more mindful of the thermostat.

7.

The solution to global warming doesn’t need to involve government schemes, but international treaties will demand carbon-emissions caps if voluntary efforts fail.

Well, Teacher, there’s SEVEN, uh, that’d be (7) from your first post.

Look — I’d bet that it’s all nice and fuzzy-warm to think about that stuff, and maybe even to believe it, but, Teach’, we’re in the real world where I live.

I’m a farmer, among other things, and as such the keeping of a very close eye on the weather and the climate is of paramount importance to me. I also live where there’s hurricanes, another part of weather and climate of considerable importance to me.

Y’know what? NO CHANGE OF ANY SIGNIFICANCE HAS OCCURRED, WEATHERWISE NOR CLIMATEWISE OUT HERE IN 40 YEARS.

You’ve been had, Teach’. Al his very own guru-self has admitted that the ethanol thing was a horrible idea, and, by inferrence (that’d be his bailing out of the carbon markets, among other things) his actions indicate that the whole global warming/climate change/ scary hoo-hah was exactly that — scary hoo-hah.

My unsolicited advice? Go find a cause that actually means something, like, maybe — education??? Go work on that, you can actually get results and have a positive effect on other humans.

Re, “Debate”: I’m formally trained in debate. Should you wish to proceed, please state your postulation and defend your position.

Farmer on December 5, 2010 at 8:07 PM

1) Yes, we do use far too much energy. This is my opinion, based on how much energy I see wasted. This isn’t a scientific issue; merely one of values.

2) I have found a number of methods to be useful. Get more efficient appliances. Use more insulation. Get used to a wider range of indoor temperatures. These are a few that have worked for me.

3) Energy conservation makes sense; it saves money and there is less harm to the environment. Carbon dioxide emissions are probably warming the planet, according to the overwhelming consensus of scientists.

4) see 3

5) Where I taught, in fact there have been a number of conservation measures implemented, resulting in many thousands of dollars per year, system-wide.

6) see 5; more money for hiring teachers

7) If folks don’t voluntarily act (as recent Republican presidents have suggested), and the world’s climate continues to de-stabilize, then, in order to feed our six billion souls, steps must be taken to mitigate climate destabilization.

I’m glad you’re a farmer. They produce our food source, and they are smart folks. Now, farmers around here have seen a decrease in productivity (as has happend in many locations around the world, such as in central Russia).

As an example, extreme cold has killed the peach crop several times recently. Global warming theory suggests that there are going to be, initially, more frequent extremes-including extreme cold events.

In addition, high temperatures this summer have reduced milk production on the local dairy farms. AGW theories state that heat waves will become more frequent in the future.

As for your enthanol issue – I don’t know why you think that I was in favor of it. You may be confusing me with someone else.

Climate disruption by AGW is a serious issue, and one that we have a large degree of control over, if we have the will. According to the best scientific work available, we have reasons to be concerned. Changing climate patterns is all probability will not be good for you and for other farmers (and those who consume their produce).

In the long term, civilization will adapt to changes in the environment (assuming an eventual stability). It’s the short-term that has me worried, as we have to learn how to adapt.

So, my postulation is that reduction in unnecessary energy use helps to reduce (undesirable)carbon emissions, and can save money as well.

Your turn.

oakland on December 5, 2010 at 8:41 PM

Your turn.

oakland on December 5, 2010 at 8:41 PM

Teach’ you’re out of your league here. OPINIONS are not FACTS. By promoting OPINIONS, you’re not presenting FACTS to support any part, parcel nor portion of what you’re designating as your part of what you’re calling a “debate”.

You have opinions with nothing to support them, and no FACTS to even begin to debate.

Thank you for your thoughts. You are, of course, more than welcome to them.

Best of luck to you, and Merry Christmas.

Farmer on December 5, 2010 at 9:21 PM

1. Agreed. Normative arguments are not scientific arguments. Your opinion on peoples’ home thermostat isn’t part of the scientific argument.

2. Taxation of energy is not voluntary. If you’re one of those libertarian environmentalists who wants to convince people to do the Three-R’s, great, but the debate is about energy taxation and rationing. The libertarian agenda isn’t on the table in DC.

3. The majority of recent quality-of-life improvements have been among the poor and lower-middle class. People like my grandmother who got A/C in her house in the mid-90′s. Energy “conservation” … hell, I’ll just call it what it is, government rationing, is always on the backs of the poor and middle-class. Those who advocate for rationing tend to live in nice cozy mansions in the hills, and they tend to not freeze to death in the winter, nor die of heat exhaustion in the summer. Poor folks in the country do, when the government turns off the energy. Energy that, by any right, ought to be sold at market value, to best improve quality of life. We’re talking people-centric here, else there is no conversation.

4. Once again, voluntary = good. Involuntary, including tax credits paid for by the rest of us = not so much. Is it a good thing in your book for well-connected contractors to make big bucks on weatherization schemes, while the rest of us pay for it in higher taxes?

5 & 6. You’re assuming honesty from our politicians. We can’t get a roof that doesn’t leak in some public schools. Wiring and plumbing up to code? Forget about it. School funding has increased by leaps and bounds over the last few decades. Where has it all gone? Do you seriously think federal funding for weatherization of public buildings, for example, would be put to its proper use, or would it disappear down the money-hole, never to be seen again?

7. International treaties? UN mandates? Are you serious? Well, truth be told, four of our nine Justices seem to think they’re more binding than our Constitution, but all it takes is 41 Senators will some testicular fortitude to deal with that.

There’s a few more assumptions here that have gone awry. Even the IPCC has admitted that the hockey-stick graph is bunk. This is not unprecidented weather change, and I have yet to see a single climatologist take the Medieval Warm Period seriously. Or the one that occured during the mid-to-late Classical period. Both of these periods coincided with huge population booms, crop harvests, and civilization flourished. According to monastaic sources, during the MWP, Champagne grapes grew in York, England. That’s pretty warm. Sure, sucks to live in the tropics, but there is historical precident for natural, non-anthropogenic climate change.

Unfortunately, nobody will make a ton of grant money writing about that.

mabryb1 on December 5, 2010 at 9:51 PM

oakland on December 5, 2010 at 8:41 PM

You should send Obama an email, he loves freedom hating tyrants like yourself. Maybe he find a czar position for you in his regime.

Inanemergencydial on December 6, 2010 at 12:55 AM

I can’t believe anyone is still so uninformed as to believe in man-made global warming. (Key hint: look up “belief”.)

Jeezus, don’t you people (“oakland”, sigh: how apropriate is that) actually read about this crap? Do you NOT understand the arguments that have already been thrashed by dissenting scientists? Have you been that missing in action the past three years?

What. Are you blind? Deaf? or just stubbornly uneducable.

Oakland? You’re not merely wrong, you’re boringly stupid.

davisbr on December 6, 2010 at 1:14 AM

…my apologies to everyone else trying to enlighten this moron. I just gag over this kind of stupidity any more. I have no patience left. None.

Oakland. Every stinking one of your “beliefs” has entire websites – filled with data and hard science – that more than adequately refute your faith-based assertions.

…and it’s your fricking responsibility to inform yourself of that …scientific …dissent prior to making a total fool of yourself in a public forum just chock full of people who’ve already made themselves informed.

…it’s not hard to find. But you have to want to be informed.

Gah. Talk about dittoheads.

davisbr on December 6, 2010 at 1:22 AM

Thanks, Farmer and Mabryb1 for your thoughts. It’s always good to exchange with intelligent and polite folks like yourselves. I hope to give replies tonight after work.

As for davisbr, it would be good to see some scientific quotations from experts, rather than your ad honimens. The fact that you choose to attack me personally, rather than challenge my beliefs with rational counterpoints shows me that you really have nothing to offer (beyond insults).

oakland on December 6, 2010 at 6:47 AM

Just another tax placed upon you by democrats and republicans. When will you had enough?

paulsur on December 6, 2010 at 8:48 AM

oakland …you’re only right inasmuch as saying mine was an ad hominem attack. A richly deserved one, but whatever.

My only apology remains for those who elevated the discussion, and provided you with at least a basis for why much of what you believe is balderdash and pure drivel.

I don’t really think providing you with anything other then my original hint – i.e., to look up the definition of “belief” – will do a damn bit of good.

For your words have betrayed a faith-based belief system, and as such, is less about the mindless worship of the science you profess so eagerly to admire, but know so little about, than it is about your inability to know the difference between the tenets of rational debate, and with sitting in a pew.

But useless as I know it to be, here’s a beginning (please note, before you even begin the protest I already know is coming: most of these are not scientific papers per se, but they CAN BE a road map to where you can find those papers …and that said, you could do worse than start at the blog Watts Up with That …not that I expect you will, of course, as I stand by my assertion that you are a true believer, and hence closed to anything that uncomfortably challenges your gestalt):

Copenhagen climate summit

DOE sends a “litigation hold notice”

Fables of the Reconstruction (iowahawk is usually only funny, but …)

The Smoking Gun At Darwin Zero

ClimateGate: Was Data Faked?

The Science Is Very Clear (video: Ed Begley shows he’s an idiot, too, in an unintentioal parody of true believers)

Climategate: When Scientists Become Politicians

Wikipedia: Tommaso Caccini (backgrounder ref to the Pigeon League: you will find here a portrait of yourself)

Wikipedia: The Galileo Affair (another backgrounder)

The CRU hack

I end as I began “…as you so richly deserve”.

davisbr on December 6, 2010 at 9:40 AM

Energy conservation only makes sense. Saving money while reducing environmental impacts is win-win. For example, while I taught school, air conditioners were churning out the cold air even after school let out, resulting in enormous power bills. As austerity measures set in with the soured economy, suddenly we see conservation religion in the schools. We could have funded an extra teacher in each school if we had just been more mindful of the thermostat.

I agree that the government usually messes up things with its schemes, and money is diverted for political purposes. In the end, private initiatives and voluntary efforts will prevail.

If energy prices rise, people will become more conservation-minded out of necessity–even private businesses. What about stores with open frozen-food cases, using energy to freeze the food, which cools the air above them, while the store burns fuel to keep shoppers warm? A lot of money could be saved by using frozen-food cases with sliding glass doors, which allows shoppers to see the food, but only allow air exchange if the shopper actually takes an item.

Then there are those department stores refrigerated to 62 degrees in the middle of summer, so that a shopper comes in dripping with sweat on a hot day (outdoors), then promptly catches cold in damp chilly clothes indoors. This might be good business for drug stores wanting to sell more cold and flu remedies, but couldn’t department stores save lots of money by air-conditioning only to 72 or 75 degrees, with healthier customers to boot?

Steve Z on December 6, 2010 at 10:17 AM

The more electric power you use, the more money there is in the state treasury to raid for the children. The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI, or “Reggie”), which requires the power industry to purchase carbon dioxide permits from the governmental RGGI collective, has seen to that.
There is a problem with this perfect scheme, however. Cash-strapped Northeasterners, reverting to their infamous thrift (and with businesses closing to boot), are using a lot less electricity than they were a couple of years ago. A whole lot less. In fact, the results from the latest sale of RGGI carbon dioxide permits were abysmal: only 57% of those on offer in the RGGI exchange sold, and the selling price was the minimum allowable bid of $1.86 per unit. The reason is simple: electricity use is way, way down in the Northeast. The power industry doesn’t need all the CO2 units being offered.

The RGGI people are really missing the boat here, since market forces could induce far more conservation. Power companies trying to negotiate with this consortium of state governments want freedom to vary the price of power by season and time of day, allowing them to charge more during times of peak demand, and less during periods of slack demand.

There’s a reason for this–electricity demand is highest on hot summer afternoons (for air-conditioning), and to provide power during these periods, power companies need to bring on so-called “peaker” plants which are less fuel-efficient than combined-cycle plants that run continuously. If power companies could charge more during peak demand hours, and less during slack hours, consumers would tend to shift their consumption toward the cheaper hours to save money, and reduce the use of the inefficient “peaker” plants.

But government regulators are resisting this effort, claiming that a kilowatthour has to always have the same price, regardless of the fuel required to generate it. So, in order to recoup their losses during the peak demand period, power companies must set their “average” fixed price higher than required during slack demand periods, and consumers have no incentive to shift their demand.

Steve Z on December 6, 2010 at 10:35 AM

Awwww, jeeze — now there’s TWO of ‘em.

Steve: Look here, THE MARKET has and SHOULD continue to determine whether or not a freezer-case is open, whether the AC is cranking, or the heat is going full-blast.

Whether I run heat to my calving shed or horse-stalls in the winter, or run my cooling fans at full tilt in the summer is MY ECONOMIC DECISION, and I PAY FOR IT OUT OF MY GROSS PROFITS. It has absolutely nothing to do with you, nor anybody remotely connected with anyone else but me.

See — if I’ve got the money to keep my animals comfortable, they are less stressed, and grow faster, bigger, and are measurably healthier, which means my PROFIT is greater come sale time. THAT’S WHY I’M IN BUSINESS! FOR PROFIT, so I can feed my family, improve my lot, and make as sure as I can that I don’t die destitute.

If I choose to keep my extruders warm, and my chill troughs cold 24/7 in my plastics operations, THAT’S MY BUSINESS! It’s not yours, nor the power company’s, nor Al Gore’s. If I pay for it, who cares?

I don’t CARE if the freezer at the store is cranking, ’cause if I’m buying something frozen, IT IS TO MY HEALTHY BENEFIT IF IT’S FRICKIN’ FROZEN!!

If the store ain’t making any money, then they’ll go broke, and you won’t have to worry about their freezers or HVAC plant, will you? But — comfortable customers and properly temperature-controlled food makes for a healthy populace, and is a big contributor to a profitable store operation.

Go invent the freezer-case you’re advocating. Build it, market it, and see if you can sell it. THEN you’ll be contributing. Until that happens ….

Keep your environmentally-sensitive nose outta MY business and go do something constructive instead of bleating sheepily at those of us who ARE making a real difference in the world — like farming and manufacturing.

I will stone-cold guarantee you that you’ll get the same answer from anyone else you go pointing your little weasly Gore-y fingers at.

You wanna make a difference? Invest in electric power production, pipelines, powerhouses, nuc-plants, and power distribution lines SO WE CAN GROW THIS COUNTRY!!

Get it yet?!?!?

Farmer on December 6, 2010 at 12:28 PM

Steve Z on December 6, 2010 at 10:35 AM

You would have a point, Steve Z, if RGGI were about getting people to conserve. It’s not. It’s about turning people’s propensity to use electricity into a cash cow for governments.

If we ever did somehow reduce our carbon emissions below the level of 1990 (or 1994, or any other arbitrary year in the past), there would be no further need to punish carbon emissions by charging for them arbitrarily and filling the coffers of government and special interests. The bottom line is that reaching that halcyon state is not the objective.

J.E. Dyer on December 6, 2010 at 12:28 PM

…from the “a dead thread has never stopped me before” motivational theories concept series ….

oakland? Someone posted something today that is relevant to your particular brand of catastrophic lunacy witlessness: “Has Anybody Seen My Ozone“.

It’s a LOL moment (well for me). For you, it could be a teachable moment.

It won’t be, of course. But it could be.

davisbr on December 7, 2010 at 2:08 AM