Response to Paul Bain

I posted this over at Jo Nova’s site, but I’m documenting it here, too. ( I’ll even fix up a typo or two and one ‘close bolding’ that I didn’t catch ;-)

I think it sums up my ‘attitude’ toward folks who want to remake the global economy in their image and at our costs, while also addressing my attitude toward “Denier”.

The Posting

Dear Paul Bain:

First off, thank you for responding.

FWIW, I am a hard core skeptic. I’m the “target” of your analysis. As such, what folks like me think ought to be particularly important to you. So a bit of history on me and climate change.

I first came to the AGW issue thinking “Gee, this looks important, I ought to learn more about it.” At the Skeptic sites (like WUWT) I had generally kind acceptance and explanation of where I had parts missing from my understanding of the “issues” about AGW and where it was “gone wrong”. At “Believer” sites (a curiously appropriate term as it has all the hallmarks of a religious belief) I would ask simple and innocent questions and largely get derision in return. Simply asking “But doesn’t CO2 have a log limit on absorption effects that we have passed?” or worse, saying “But this article (on skeptic site) seems to have a valid issue.” would bring “Attack the messenger” responses. That, for me, was the first and largest clue about which side was indulging in propaganda more than in dispassionate examination of facts and data.

So I set about a long path of “learning for myself”.

At Believer sites, I’d have a load of links shoved down my throat with, effectively, “You idiot, read all this first or shut up”… At Skeptic sites I’d get “Well, here are some links, and the net-net is that the data are lousy and the models do not predict. But check it out yourself.” Hardly something to make one feel like Believers were doing decent unbiased examination of the facts.

But I read a lot of the links anyway. Most of them were of the form “Given the assumption that AGW is real, what bad thing happens?” Many more were of the form “Assuming the theory is correct, what does our model show?” While all of that is interesting speculation, none of it is really what I’d call Science. Where are the data? The analysis? The testable hypothesis? Etc. In short, where is the SCIENCE in “Climate Science”? (In most part it really ought to be called “Climate Model Storytelling” once you get to the end of the papers.)

At the core of it all, I found the general truth that there was Agenda Driven Politics. What published papers could be bought to support a pre-designed Agenda for political change. (Only much later did I find the Agenda 21 site at the UN and found the source of The Agenda… but it was nice to find that my earlier conclusion was supported by the facts.) The more I looked at the AGW “Science” claims, the more I found flawed and politically driven papers being written “for effect” with little in the way of actual unbiased search for truth.

On the Skeptic side I found a lot of folks who had no agenda. Often, like me, they just need everything to “fit”. And that “fit” must also fit with the scientific method we learned oh so long ago. (No ‘new age’ science here. No “moral relativism” and there IS an objective reality.) So when we find things like the GHCN temperature history being continually re-written to create a warming trend, it “doesn’t fit”. History is fixed. Temperatures were recorded once, by a known person, and written down. They do not change. And a big buzzer goes off… (One of the earliest users of thermometers was Newton. Another was Galileo. Do we really think folks of that quality could not read the instruments that they, themselves, created?…)

We get folks looking at the statistical methods used and finding them badly designed and poorly used. “Broken” comes to mind. I took it on myself to look into GIStemp (as I am a computer programmer who knows FORTRAN and after saying for 6 months “someone ought to look at it” decided “I am someone”.) What I found was a nightmare of crummy code and questionable methods. A complete lack of any kind of ‘test suite’ or ‘benchmark testing’ code. A level of amateurish code and testing methodology that would have caused me to stop the product from shipping in my shops. (I have managed software production commercially including software that got 4 patents and was used in production.) Eventually that lead to examination of the GHCN data set directly where even worse issues were found.

The result from the Believer side has largely been “We are right, shut up.” Occasionally “We are right, our friends tell us so and we tell them so.”

Then ClimateGate broke. In the emails was direct evidence in their own words of exactly those faults. Producing “science for effect” and manicuring the data and code to produce ‘desired’ warming results.

Along the way, the term “Denier” was coined (as noted in the links) directly to tie Skeptics to The Holocaust and as a political term. Please read that twice and think about it.

Now, to your response.

Your first paragraph amounts to an argument (or reduces to an argument) that “Everyone is doing it”. So, it is OK to use the N-Word because all your friends in the KKK use it? Is it OK to use ANY insulting degrading term “because all your friends” use it? Really?

Ignorance of where a term came from, or what it’s propaganda purpose was and is, is not an excuse. It is even a worse excuse in what is supposed to be a peer reviewed or carefully objective broad science context. Is it acceptable to just plead ignorance of, say, Einstein and Relativity in a paper on physics? Just say “Oops, didn’t know that, but I’m going to keep on ignoring it anyway.”? In ANY paper on the sociology of “Denier” one would reasonably expect the very first step to be looking at where the term originated, from whom, for what purpose and to what effect.

So here’s one free clue for you: I, like others, will now use the term “Denier” from time to time for ourselves. This is EXACTLY like blacks using the N-Word with each other to blunt the effect of it. Someone outside the group uses it, it is a red flag of bigotry. Similar to an Italian calling himself a “Wop” or any of a dozen other bad terms being used inside or outside the insulted group. So WHEN you use the term Denier, and you are not a Skeptic, you are waving a large “I Am A Bigot” flag. Got it?

Keep using it, and you are saying “I am HAPPY to be waving a large I Am A Bigot flag”…

Saying “All my friends us it” is saying “I’m Happy that all my friends are waving large I Am A Bigot flags”.

Just ask yourself “When is the N-Word” acceptable and you will have a decent guide to the proper usage and context of the term, and an accessible touchstone for the sociology of the term.

Now, ask yourself this: If you wish to convince Skeptics to join the Believer side, do you think calling them “The D-Word” will be helpful?

Your second paragraph, as others have pointed out, is mostly a ‘dodge’. “We don’t care to figure out if it is real, just how to convince folks to act on it.” in effect. If it isn’t real, acting on it is incredibly stupid. At the core of the “Skeptic Problem” you face is simply that we do NOT agree that “action” is needed and never will as long as the science is dodgy, the data are mutating before our eyes, and the “science” is politically Agenda (21) driven and of the form “Given these conclusions what assumptions can we draw?”.

So dodging the issue of “truth” is to simply ignore the basic problem. Skeptics are all hung up on that truth and accuracy thing. We are not so interested in “truthyness” and “feeling good”, but in what is actually and accurately true and correct. ANY proposed “solution” that does not recognize that will fail. What I like and what I want and what makes me feel good is entirely irrelevant. My ‘belief’ or ‘skepticism’ is entirely a function of the analytical side of the brain, of hard core real science based in data and analysis. No amount of “feel good” or “peer pressure” or “desired outcomes” will have any effect. Zero. Zip. Nada. Nothing. Got it?

Your third paragraph says, in essence: “Some Believers think we have to convince them. That hasn’t worked, so maybe if we focus on other presumed ‘benefits’ of the actions we propose then they will get on board anyway.” See my last paragraph.

But it is even worse than that. The Agenda 21 stuff comes directly from efforts by The Club Of Rome to foster panic and fear about “running out” as a means of social control. They have been at this for at least since the ’70s (when I studied “The Limits To Growth” by Meadows et. al. Yes, studied. I had an entire 3 unit class at University focused just on that book, promoted by The Club Of Rome). They have now updated The Big Scare (since Limits predicted Doom In Our Time for the ’80s and ’90s and those have, well, kind of passed by without incident…) to be the AGW Scare (and with ongoing ‘resource shortage’ scare sprinkled in for effect). Now I’ve devoted several years of my life to looking at resource issues. The bottom line is, we are not running out, we never run out, and the Big Scare is a political tool.

So, you see, attempting to convince me that we need to destroy Western Industrial Economies to support a political agenda that is based on misdirection and error is not going to be a very productive path either.

Make no mistake about it. Cutting CO2 emissions to 1990 levels means little things like no iron production (coal is used as coke in reducing iron ore from the oxide, and putting out CO2 in the process), no steel (that depends on iron), no aluminum (that uses massive amounts of electricity of a sort not available from solar panels. It needs cheap and concentrated electricy, not expensive and diffuse.) And I’d add, no concrete that depends on burning coal to make cement. It means no shipping of goods by trucks, ships, or airplanes. (You can make a marginal electric car, but not an effective electric truck or ship. They need energy dense fuels.) It also means a dramatic reduction in food production and the attendant deaths. (Modern agriculture largely turns fossil carbon sources into fertilizers, ploughing and harvesting, and processing and delivery. It is not possible to change that and produce the food needed by the world). BTW, my degree is in Economics and from an Ag School in Ag country. I’ve helped raise cows, grow corn, pick fruit and nuts. This isn’t a hypothetical.

So while the Believers have what looks like a “Fuzzy Bunnies and Fluffy Slippers” view of the economy, where it’s always simple, easy, and has no consequences to do things like substitute solar cells for nuclear and coal; ask the engineers and farmers who have to make it work. Ask the business owners who have to make a profit to keep folks employed and fed. They can tell you that it isn’t all Fluffy Bunnies and Fuzzy Slippers…. It’s hard work, often just barely worth it at the margins.

That means that your “maybe we can convince them it’s just a good idea anyway, even if it’s wrong.” approach is going to run headlong into reality. The only question, really, is “Before or after the economic collapse is realized in the economy?” That is going to be a very hard sell. Especially to folks trained and experienced in avoiding The Bums Rush, and The Fairy Tale Story, and Yet Another Bright Idea That Implodes. In essence, the Skeptics tend to come from the group that is expected to make things work, and they can see that the proposed “solutions” just don’t work.

A specific note on oil:

The Peak Oil Theory is just that, a theory. Right now oil prices are in freefall as supply is well ahead of demand. Even IF Peak Oil is true, it’s a bell curve. We’ve taken 200 years to get here, so even if this IS the peak (and that is very much not demonstrated, what with Brazil finding more oil faster than they can produce it and with at least a Trillion Barrels in shale oil in the USA coming into production) but even if this IS the peak, it will take 200 years to slide down the backside of the bell curve. So given that we have a few hundred years of coal, and at least 200 years to the last of the oil, exactly what is the urgency, what is the “emergency” right NOW to do anything, if not AGW and manufactured panic?

At MOST, we ought to use natural gas to replace oil in cars and trucks as fracking has provided a few hundred years of it at about 40 CENTS per Gallon Of Gasoline Equivalent (though it is retailing at $1.80 / GGE locally due to government tariff issues.)

We simply are NOT running out of fuels. Period. Full stop.

So what are you “fixing”?

Frankly, for a very long time (about 40 years) I’ve been a strong advocate for things like “eliminating reliance on foreign oil”. One of THE major “issues” I have with the AGW Agenda is that it is directly in conflict with that goal.

The single most effective thing we in the non-OPEC west could do to eliminate dependence on Foreign Oil is build Gas To Liquids and Coal To Liquids factories to turn our natural gas and coal into gasoline and Diesel. (This avoids “fleet change”. Take the 300,000,000 or so cars and trucks in America. Multiply by about $30,000.00 each for a new replacement. That’s one heck of a lot of $$$ needed to change that fleet. About $ 9 Trillion. Plus tax… As the average vehicle is presently kept for 10-15 years, any solution that involves fleet change would take at least 20 years to turn over naturally even if we were already buying the new non-oil cars which we are not… So you simply MUST make gasoline and Diesel fuel if you wish to get off of OPEC oil.

Yes, by all means, make e-cars, and sell natural gas conversion kits, and LNG trucks, and methanol cars, and everything else. But recognize that the likely “time to solution” down that path is a 1/4 Century of fleet change on a gradual basis.

Now think about THAT for just a minute too. You want to convince me to support mandatory sales of e-cars and destruction of coal mining with mandatory consumption of solar cells. (Never mind that we can’t both charge cars AND eliminate coal electric generation. For homework calculate the cost to replace the existing coal generation with solar cells and windmills, and the land area it consumes.) You want me to embrace electricity that costs 25 Cents US / kW-hr (per my bill – headed for $1/2 kW-hr per filed rate tariffs for mandatory ‘alternative energy’ in California) and at the same time expect me to buy an e-Car as a ‘solution’ to OPEC oil? Just nuts. Obvious to anyone who’s an engineer.

We can turn coal into methanol and with a minor ($500 or so) kit on the car or truck run it in the existing fleet. We can do that conversion in about 5 years and with fuel that would be about $3 / Gallon Of Gasoline Equivalent OR LESS. We can turn coal into gasoline and Diesel, as South Africa has been doing since the ’70s, at similar costs and similar time frames.

Now think about that.

You want to sell me a “bill of goods” that has destruction of electric generation while my transportation is made dependent on electric generation. You want my electric costs to rise from 10 cents / kW-hr to 50 cents kW-hr at the same time. You want me to buy a new $50,000 to $100,000 e-car instead of a $30,000 gas car (or just keeping my old Mercedes Diesel running at about $2000 / year) and you want all of us to do all this buying inside 5 years.

Can you see how “nutty” that is? (If you can’t; I strongly suggest some time spent with an engineer who can ‘do the math’ for you and perhaps a business major who can show you the costs). By putting Coal and Natural Gas ‘off limits’ you assure that there can be no effective conversion away from OPEC oil. Not now. Not in a decade. Not in my lifetime.

If, instead, you advocate for CTL and GTL, you can tell OPEC to go away in less than a decade even if you are slow about it. NO fleet change is required. Gasoline and Diesel prices would likely drop some. (They are competitive with oil at about $80 / bbl, so cheaper when oil is above that price point, more expensive when oil is below it.)

So think again, for just a couple of minutes, about how effective it will be to try and “sell me” that e-cars and solar cells and windmills will replace OPEC. That taking that path, for that reason, is a suitable alternative to AGW Belief. (in promoting those goals).

FWIW, I’ve been an advocate of alternative energy since the ’70s Arab Oil Embargo and have advocated for substituting any and all alternatives (including solar, wind, hydro, garbage gasification, you name it) for OPEC oil for that whole time. I am not against solar and wind. It is just that you must recognize their costs and technical limits in any real world solutions. They are ‘bit players’ at best with very large ‘dispatch’ issues.

So, in summary: Social POV, meet Engineering Mindset and Reality Constraints.

Want to convince me? Then show an Engineering solution that makes business sense.

Until then, the Fluffy Bunnies live in the back yard… (Which reminds me, I need to go check their feed and water… I really do have bunnies…)

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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33 Responses to Response to Paul Bain

  1. P.G. Sharrow says:

    Nice rant! It belongs as an op ed in major and minor papers all around the world! Too bad those that need the message don’t read or listen to it. No rainbows and lollypops to make them feel good. Be sure to warn the bunnies about a visitor next week. pg

  2. Bennett says:

    Excellent. I read this over on Jo Nova’s site (via WUWT) and have you bookmarked. It’s always a pleasure to find someone new (to me) who writes with talent and intelligence. Thank you indeed!

  3. omanuel says:

    Thanks, E.M. Smith, for your excellent message.

    This message, and the earlier one on the UN’s Agenda 21, are extremely important.

    The links posted there to emails do not work now.

    Is there anywhere a copy of the entire Agenda 21 document (40 Chapters) with sections highlighted that violate our constitutional rights as citizens?

    The more I learn, the more convinced I become that loss of integrity in government science and loss of citizens control over government are related to a remarkably rapid series of events at the end of the Second World War:

    06 Aug 1945: Hiroshima was vaporized by the release of energy (E) stored as mass (m) in the cores of uranium atoms.

    09 Aug 1945: Nagasaki was destroyed by the release of energy (E) stored as mass (m) in the cores of plutonium atoms.

    24 Sep 1945: The United Nations was established to end nationalism and “save the world” from destruction by “nuclear fires”.

    1946: Two landmark papers [1,2] abruptly changing the nature of “nuclear fires” in the cores of stars were adopted without debate or discussion [3]

    1948: George Orwell wrote a futuristic novel about life under a tyrannical government that used the control of information and electronic surveillance in “1984” [4].


    1. Fred Hoyle, “The synthesis of the elements from hydrogen,” Monthly Notices Royal Astronomical Society 106, 343-83 (1946).

    2. Fred Hoyle, “The chemical composition of the stars,” Monthly Notices Royal Astronomical Society 106, 255-59 (1946).

    3. Fred Hoyle, Home Is Where the Wind Blows: Chapters from a Cosmologist’s Life (University Science Books, Mill Valley, CA, USA, 1994, 443 pages) pp. 153-154

    4. George Orwell, “1984” (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc, 1949, First Signet Classic Printing, 1950, 328 pages)

  4. Ruhroh says:

    Whoa, Take No Prisoners…

  5. John F. Hultquist says:

    I suspect that Paul Bain and co-writers will have a steep learning curve if they wish to understand all that you have written. Do they know what you mean by “doesn’t CO2 have a log limit on absorption effects?” Can they say why CO2 is a so-called “green house gas” while N2 is not? Do they know why I just put “green house gas” in quotes? And, LOL, what do they know about FORTRAN from the 1960s? And all the things about agriculture – they want you to grow things or source locally. Making a profit! What? Bless their hearts.

    Still, I hope your response is widely circulated. Rumor is that John Kerry could use an explanation of how the world actually works. Luboš has a post:

  6. Reblogged this on contrary2belief and commented:
    Responding to a Bain in the neck.

  7. Pingback: Climate Conversation Group » Chief sceptic explains everything about climate denial

  8. Pingback: Climate Conversation Group » Chief sceptics explain everything about climate denial

  9. omanuel says:

    Yes, Ruhroh, many experimental measurements and observations and/or many members of an influential group have been “lying through their teeth” since 1945.

    Here’s a summary of the observations and measurements [“Neutron repulsion,” The Apeiron Journal 19, 123-150 (2012)] or

  10. Pascvaks says:

    “The hardest part of the scientific method is removing the human element.”

    Some have rediscovered a method or two that they think might work…

    Beware the Church of Climatology!
    It’s followers, priests, rabiis, mulahs, and self-proclamed bishops, will burn every heritic at the stake in the name of “Modern Science”! (Rather Mideval of them, wonder where they ‘discovered’ that trick?;-) “Modern Science” is also going to adopt the favorite little tactic of the ‘Jihadists’, telling all their followers they will go to Climate Heaven and have Pina Coladas served to them all day by the sex-slaves of their choice, if they send 10 or more ‘Deniers’ to Climate Hell in a flash, bang, boom of self-destruction.

  11. philjourdan says:

    Since you were in a cleaning mood, I thought I would point out one more typo. Just under “Now to your response”, you state: “because all your friends in the KKK us it?”. I think that should be “use it”.

    On to my sole disagreement. I do not think the word D-word or N-Word is ever appropriate. Not when used by skeptics or blacks, or anyone else. The words are meant to demean the messenger/person to stop all rational discussion. But even when used by the skeptics/blacks, they generate a trap that is almost as bad as the actual derogatory use of the word. So I do not call anyone either, and I do not tolerate the words being used in my presence (I have no control over blogs, but will generally ignore anyone who uses them.

    I understand this was a response to Bain, so as such not a comprehensive debunking of Malthusianism. And as such, I found it excellent! I also found you to be much more tolerant of fools than I am.

    I frankly did post (on WUWT and Climate Etc.), but basically shunned Bain’s pathetic attempts at justification. He is not a stupid man. His excuses were pathetic. Basically a Bill Clinton trying to discern the meaning of IS. I did not beleive Clinton, and I do not believe Bain.

    Climate Science “Scientists” see the hoax as a vehicle for riches. One need only check the bank accounts of Gore, Trenberth, Jones, Mann, etc. to see the gravy train is running on time. Politicians see the hoax as a means of asserting total control over lives.

    So there is no science in the hoax, nor will it go away soon. It is now a struggle for freedom versus servitude to the “greater good”. Totalitarians failed with the old Soviet Union. This is merely the second attempt. They will fail with this one as well – but perhaps not before bringing out massive starvation, death and destruction. It is this last scenario that I fear if they hoax is allowed to continue.

  12. John F. Hultquist says:

    I tried to submit this on Thurs. evening — it went into a black hole or someother unknown place!!

    I suspect that Paul Bain and co-writers will have a steep learning curve if they wish to understand all that you have written. Do they know what you mean by “doesn’t CO2 have a log limit on absorption effects?” Can they say why CO2 is a so-called “green house gas” while N2 is not? Do they know why I just put “green house gas” in quotes? And, LOL, what do they know about FORTRAN from the 1960s? And all the things about agriculture – they want you to grow things or source locally. Making a profit! What? Bless their hearts.

    Still, I hope your response is widely circulated. Rumor is that John Kerry could use an explanation of how the world actually works. Luboš has a post:

  13. adolfogiurfa says:

    @E.M: Great!, but they are “desesperados” (desperate). “They” know how this will end: The same way it ended many times in the past.
    Usually something almost innocent and unnoticed makes the greatest changes, not their money. Everyone talked about temperatures until someone found it related to LOD and both to GMF:
    This take us to the Electric Universe paradigm which will replace those propagandistic inventions, currently taught as “truths”, and, not only that, but its holistic conception will take us back to the perennial truths of humanity, transmitted from ancient times, and which were replaced by the “illustration”/ “illuminati”, since the French Revolution, when it began the idea of the “Novus Ordo Seclorum” (The New Secular Order), as opposed to that of the church and nobility, where “they” had no other role but that of “lenders”, with the deliberate purpose of controlling and to own all lands and all means of production in the world.
    We have been cheated, deceived, in every possible field, from science to showbusiness/media in order to keep humanity as much distracted and confused as possible. This is why, among other things, our grand kids are being taught “sustainability” and other craps like this.
    But, from time to time, I guess, there is the possibility of a general awakening, perhaps this phenomena strangely coincides with solar minima. In every corner of the earth people should become aware of the monstrous deceit that has been happening, through the institutions they created.
    The economic world crisis shows that their greed was so big that they have exaggerated and they do not know now how to fix it as to avoid the people to realize the truth. So they are just “kicking the can” ahead to delay what is to come.

  14. Delfino says:


    good work as always. We must all remain vigilant.


  15. G. Combs says:

    Thank you E.M.Smith, well thought out and well written You and RGB@Duke over at WUWT have caught the essence of the Skeptics. The two comments should be sent to the Wall Street Journal as a combined rebuttal to Paul Bain and Nature.

    Now that you have mentioned you have Bunnies watch out for Big Brother’s Big Foot in the form of the USDA.
    Unfortunately I am not kidding:
    Trojan Horse Law: The Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009 ( The law that passed did not have the sticky Commerce clause inserted… YET. But they did insert it in the Animal Welfare Act a few years after the orginal bill passed)

    USDA Stands Behind Hare-Raising Fine

    P.S. I enjoy your comments over at WUWT.

  16. adolfogiurfa says:

    @G.Combs..Hey, perhaps they refer to the XXX graded bunnies and not those small ones that run in a farm….

  17. DocMartyn says:

    Blood pressure, Chief, blood pressure. Read slowly and stay calm.

  18. Dave says:

    Nice work E.M. On a total side note, I’m in the Emerald Isle! Went to New Grange today (Brú na Bóinne), it was amazing! I’m staying in the Landlord’s house (now converted to a hotel) in Cavan that my ancestor would have worked for in the 1840s before he came to the states. Sweet justice. Actually being able to be here, meet the wonderful people, see the land, reinforces all you have mentioned about Celtic culture. The tours at New Grange and Knowth are way too short, but it is very well done. Could stay at each of the sites for an entire day. Keep up the good fight. Interesting that almost all of the cars here run on diesel, but man is it expensive! So many beautiful new houses that sit empty due to the economic collapse. That is a sad sight to see. These people deserve better.

  19. E.M.Smith says:

    @John F. Hultquist:

    Fished out and present now ;-)

    I don’t expect them to “know”, but I do hope they at least realize there is a question they need to learn about…


    Someday I hope to make the visit… Heck, might even be nice to live there for a while…

    At one time they let authors live free of income tax on their published works. Wonder if that died in the EUnification?…

    Oh, and try some nice Malts while you are there… Some of the Irish ones are quite nice…


    Breathing deeply… in.. out… in… out… ;-)

    @G. Combs:

    As my bunnies are pets and not for sale, I think I’m OK…


    Isn’t “desperadoes” English? My spell checker finds it… Welcome to Spanglish 101…

    That is how things usually evolve. Folks are complacent, so the “others” get ever more ambitious, until folks ‘become aware’, then all hell breaks loose. We are, IMHO, on the cusp, and as you pointed out “The powers that be” are madly doing the can kick thing; but each kick just doesn’t go as far as the last one…


    Thanks! Isn’t it always so?…


    Fixed, thanks.

    The major problem with the Green Solution is that it is “exactly wrong” and will fail. There will be a load of damage and many nations will have some form of collapse or another.

    The belief, I would speculate, is that Socialism in the Communist form expects a “Workers Revolt”. A grand revolution. So, IMHO, they WANT a collapse as a way to get that revolution to happen. What I suspect that are not prepared for is that folks in revolution can take swings at ANY party they think was causal… and there are a lot of folks with long memories keeping notes on who is causing the mess.


    I like that… Climate Jihadists… kind of catchy ;-)

    @Bernd Felsche :


    Like that “Bain In The Neck” line ;-)


    What’s a prisoner? ;-)


    Welcome! Hope you find things here to enjoy.

    I really like Jo Novas… She’s just got so much going…


    That reminds me, I need to pot some bamboos…


    Thanks for the heads up on the links. May take a day or two, but I’ll see if I can revive them…

    Yes, what I find most worrying is the way that there is a clear global non-governmental bypass of government parasitizing the normal agencies and turning things to the dark side.

    Not sure how to stop it yet, but I think greater illumination of it is a good starting point.

  20. In the early 1980s I lived in Holland and was amazed at the way natural gas transformed their economy. LNG was so cheap that the taxis and trucks ran on LNG. The greenhouses relied on natural gas for heating during the winter and used the CO2 from the heater exhausts to boost growth rates.

    It turned out that Holland was not particularly well endowed with natural gas so their economy is finding the going tougher year by year. It seems that the USA has amazing natural gas and shale reserves that will drive a resurgance of the USA economy no matter how hard our government tries to block anything that makes economic sense.

    Viva North Dakota for embracing prosperity! Not even Kalifornia will be able to ignore their example.

  21. Dave says: 22 June 2012 at 11:48 pm

    Thanks for some great observations. For over forty years I have been a fan of the Republic of Ireland’s industrial policies based on tax breaks rather than “Targeted Incentives”.

    The “Celtic Tiger” relied on this superior approach to job creation. Too bad it was all undone by the hubris in the banking sector that created a “Bubble” by building houses nobody wanted.

    If you get to Dublin there is someone who understands climate matters rather well.
    Rodrigo Caballero (UCD):

    I wanted to recommend Richard Tol owing to his writings on the Irish economy as well as climate but he seems to have moved to the University of Sussex.

  22. G. Combs says:

    Gallopingcamel says: @ 23 June 2012 at 4:50 am

    …. Viva North Dakota for embracing prosperity! Not even Kalifornia will be able to ignore their example.
    North Dakota is about the only state doing well, in part because they set-up a STATE Bank and sort of kicked out the Federal Reserve Bank leaches.

    … North Dakota has the only state-owned bank in the nation. It has avoided the credit freeze caused by the derivative schemes of the Wall Street bankers by creating its own credit, leading the nation in establishing state economic sovereignty….

    …the state-owned Bank of North Dakota, which was established by the state legislature in 1919 specifically to free farmers and small businessmen from the clutches of out-of-state bankers and railroad men. By law, the state must deposit all its funds in the bank, and the state guarantees its deposits. The bank’s stated mission is to deliver sound financial services that promote agriculture, commerce and industry in North Dakota. The bank operates as a bankers’ bank, partnering with private banks to loan money to farmers, real estate developers, schools and small businesses. It loans money to students (over 184,000 outstanding loans), and it purchases municipal bonds from public institutions.

    Seems North Dakata is the only state in the whole freaking Union to figure out the Federal Reserve fractional banking scam and turn it to there own advantage.

  23. adolfogiurfa says:

    @G. Combs: That shows that recovery is possible everywhere in the world (the whole world) simply by removing leeches.

  24. DirkH says:

    One of the ideas I like is charging electric cars inductively and get rid of huge expensive batteries, just charge them on the road while they travel. Electricity has the advantage that we can move it pretty fast, with acceptable losses, so why all the expensive batteries.

    So, I looked at the power consumption and traffic density of a typical highway and at the car fleet of Germany, and Germany’s current electricty production of 80 GW. This is actually a seventh of our primary energy consumption – 3/7th are used for heating and cooling, and another 3/7th, in the form of hydrocarbons, as fuel for transportation.

    So, my numbers indicated that we’d need to build 4 to 6 times the electricity transmission capacity we have now if we wanted to switch all road traffic to electric – and it is independent of whether we run the cars via induction or via batteries, as you have to transport the electricity to the battery as well. (I did even ignore losses of batteries, transmission and induction, which would increase the amount of electricity needed by 10 to 30 percent)

    Germany is a country with ultrastrong NIMBYism of a green tinge; and we struggle at the moment to build new transmission lines for about 8GW to bring wind power down into the South where the nukes have been switched off, 8 of them, meaning 8 GW that need to be replaced somehow, while the North is awash with wind power, that is, when the wind happens to blow.

    This 8 GW problem is TINY compared to the construction needed to transport the approx. 240 to 480 supplementary GW for all the electric cars…

    It’s fun to run these numbers. It also silences all Greens and Leftists immediately as most of them don’t seem to DO numbers.

    More of such demonstrations of the infeasibility of the green pipe dreams can be found in

  25. E.M.Smith says:


    In related news… EPA puts new fracking regulations out for comment… I think you will find great effort going into attempts to kill gas drilling…

    Never underestimate the Power Of Stupid. ( P.O.S. thinking… )

    @G. Combs:

    Fascinating… I didn’t know that. (Which is saying a lot for an economist…)

    North Dakota, eh? It would have to be somewhere frozen….

    @Dirk H:

    Thanks! I’ve been thinking of doing something like that for the USA but not gotten around to it.

    Nice to see someone else also notice that at the first speaking of numbers the Green Machine seems to just dummy up. I think you are right that they don’t know how to do that math thing…


    Potato, potahto ;-)

    Yes, recovery is possible but it will be hard and slow. First we have to find a way to stop the growth of the cancer…

  26. Mark Miller says:

    I have seen this dodge that, “Even if it doesn’t turn out to be real, it’ll be no great loss. We will have developed new technologies that will benefit society.” This has long indicated to me that they didn’t consider the science, or the idea of “thousands of the world’s scientists agree,” important in the first place. After having a long talk with a couple warmists, it became apparent to me that, no, they really *didn’t* consider the science important! They talked a good game about “the science” and the “thousands of scientists,” but they used it as a) confirmation of their belief, and b) as a cudgel to get people to shut up. When they were shown that their scientific reasoning was crap, they blithely threw science away, and said things like, “We have to get beyond science, because it cannot answer these questions,” (this from a climate modeler) and, “We can’t wait while the scientists argue amongst themselves. We must act.” I realized then and there that we had entered The Twilight Zone, where nothing makes sense. To use one of Dawkins’s “hand puppets,” we might as well have been talking about the Flying Spaghetti Monster, and how we “must act” to appease it, or suffer its wrath.

    The one thing they hang their hat on is, “The correlation between temperature and CO2 is quite good,” to which any scientist worth their salt would respond, “Hmm. Interesting. But do you have anything more than that?” When the answer comes back, basically, “No,” they’d throw it into the dustbin. This is what gets them called “Deniers,” because they don’t accept the obvious. The fact that nothing is obvious in science is seen as one of its a *weaknesses*. The way they see it, the answer is staring these scientists in the face, and they’re still saying, “It’s not there.”

    The one genuine underlying belief I’ve found with warmists is that they see that the climate of the earth is definitely changing, and they intuitively link this to the advent of the Industrial Revolution in the mid-19th century.

    Some Believers think we have to convince them. That hasn’t worked, so maybe if we focus on other presumed ‘benefits’ of the actions we propose then they will get on board anyway.”

    This has had some success. I know of someone who is a skeptic, and he’s told me that many of the things that the warmists want to do as a response to their beliefs about AGW need to be done anyway. So he didn’t mind them, for the most part. The only point of contention he’d have is he’s pro-nuclear power. Many warmists are not.

    (If you can’t; I strongly suggest some time spent with an engineer who can ‘do the math’ for you and perhaps a business major who can show you the costs).

    This doesn’t always work. I witnessed an interesting thing a couple years ago. An electrical engineer, who worked for an energy co., was explaining to a couple engineers (I include myself among them), and a lawyer, what the energy output and economics of alternative energy is. The engineer explained that he didn’t particularly like coal, even though it was cheap, because of its deeply entrenched transportation costs, and its pollution. He *really* liked nuclear, because of its energy density, and low mining impact. He said, “You can supply a nuclear plant with a small amount of fuel, and walk away from it for the next 20 years, and there’s LOTS of source material.” He liked natural gas as an energy source as well. He didn’t like wind, and he didn’t like solar, because, “They’re just not economical.” Us engineers were nodding our heads. “This guy makes sense,” we thought. The lawyer didn’t like what he heard. No matter how much the engineer tried to tell him about the positives of nuclear, the guy kept going back to wind power as his preference. The engineer kept trying to steer him away from that, saying, “You have to back up wind with conventional power, because it’s unreliable. For every wind farm you install, you have to install a conventional plant, and have it ‘ready to go’ in case the wind fails. Some are talking about installing wind farms out where the wind blows a lot, but they’re going to have to spend billions of dollars creating a new electric grid to carry the power to where people can use it! It’s not going to happen.” The lawyer asked about hydrogen, and the engineer scoffed, saying, “All of the solutions that are currently available require more energy to generate the hydrogen than the hydrogen produces. No, that’s not viable.”

    The “vibe” I was getting from the lawyer was he believed the engineer was only saying these things because he had a vested interest in nuclear power, not that he was evaluating the options on the merits. So even after talking to the engineer, the lawyer hadn’t changed his mind about anything. All he could see was the engineer’s “conflict of interest,” which warmists always use as a rationale to not listen to skeptics. “They must have some angle on this. Oh, I know. They’ve either worked for the tobacco companies, or they’re getting paid by the oil companies! Yeah, that’s it! That’s why they’re wrong.”

    This goes back to something I’ve said before. The only real way IMO for skeptics to reach Believers is for the Believers to care enough to learn what science is about, why its valuable (above their intuitive notions), and to gain some scientific knowledge in relevant areas that would inform their opinions. *Then* you have a chance of reaching them. Absent that, I highly doubt it. You could give them a completely rational analysis of why their opinion is wrong, and they still wouldn’t buy it, because they would be incapable of seeing it for what it is. Instead, they’d look at you and wonder, “So what’s YOUR motivation for trying to change my mind, hmmm??? What are YOU going to gain out of it? Somebody must be paying you to say this, but you won’t admit it.”

  27. Richard Ilfeld says:

    The Point of Atlas Shrugged was hammered like a blunt nail into hard wood. I got the point but it was hard to figure out how capital would go on strike, absent a magic valley in Colorado.

    I think we’re seeing now how capital goes on strike. The true believers, having capture a political party via alliance, are coercing as much investment as they can into “renewables” and “sustainables” (ie payoffs to the complicit on the way to bankruptcy court).

    Real investment in energy, which, as you have outlined is clearly profitable and problem solving, has slowed except in a few pockets temporarily remote from federal control.

    Investors are now punishing the worst of the European offenders.

    Having used up the surplus of the magnificent post WWII expansion of capitalism in an orgy of progressive conspicuous compassion, we have now have a system that is brittle again. Can we bend or must we break.

    That a liberal jurisdiction in Ca. would vote for modest pension reform is a hopeful sign, as was Wisconsin. Note that fiscal sanity does not require a libertarian revolution — a wide range of governments is possible inside an economy allocating20-25% to a public sector.

    But the energy sector is most worrisome … its hard to imagine a quicker way to cause chaos in a modern society than to eliminate the reliability of the grid and the wide availability of fuels at plausable prices.
    And even health care does not posses the potential for social control that control of energy does.

    The opposite of “Climate Deniers” May be Energy Holocst Enablers”,
    and that is worrisome indeed.

  28. E.M.Smith says:

    @Mark Miller:

    Yeah. I’ve seen that too. “I have to believe this because it is what I like, and what I like can’t be wrong”…

    @Richard Ilfeld:

    Well said. The only thing I can see of hope is that folks get cranky when their wallet is empty and their stomach too. Economic downturn is biting. The ‘other side’ has won a couple of big battles and now has a tar baby stuck to them… They are trying desperately to stick it on someone else, but that “Capitalism did it” and “Wall Street did it” and “It is all Bush’s Fault!!!!” are just not working well.

    Though many of them are in denial about it really being their fault.

    Still, with folks like Pelosi “we have to pass the bill to see what is in it” and Obama “Never mind what the public want, I’m issuing an executive order” the average folks are getting less willing to trust their “Hope and change” and are now just hoping for a change…

    Oh, and the other saving grace is that we have Greece / Spain / California acting as good bad examples… Too bad I’m in one of them 8-}

    Yes, that the locals in some liberal places have started saying “Enough already” is a good start. But with the USA at ‘debt=100% of GDP’ and rising at 1/3 / year, we are 2 years from being Greece in terms of debt / GDP ratio. So it may be a close race.

  29. adolfogiurfa says:

    What I see is that it is very difficult for people to perceive any “crisis” whatsoever if they keep on receiving government checks/food stamps. These should be, if possible, be reduced either slowly or radically fast, in any case, inevitably, the day will come (we speak by real experience) when all these aids suddenly stop. Conscious people will prepare for this as there is still time for it.

  30. Peter Lang says:

    I have just seen your excellent comment posted on Jo Nova’s web site. I loved it and has a good laugh at this line:

    “Given these conclusions what assumptions can we draw?”


  31. Peter Lang says:

    Chiefio (E.M.Smith),

    Since you are an economist and I am not, could I ask you to please check my cost-benefit analysis of the Australian CO2 tax and ETS set out below.
    Benefit to cost ratio of the Australian CO2 pricing scheme to 2050

    In an interesting exchange between Roger W. Cohen, William Happer and Richard Lindzen, and reply by William D. Nordhaus on “The New York Review of Books” here Professor William Nordhaus said:

    The final part of the response of CHL comes back to the economics of climate change and public policy. They make two major points: that the difference between acting now and doing nothing for fifty years is “insignificant economically or climatologically,” and that the policy questions are dominated by major uncertainties.

    Is the difference between acting now and waiting fifty years indeed “insignificant economically”? Given the importance attached to this question, I recalculated this figure using the latest published model. When put in 2012 prices, the loss is calculated as $3.5 trillion, and the spreadsheet is available on the Web for those who would like to check the calculations themselves. If, indeed, the climate skeptics think this is an insignificant number, they should not object to spending much smaller sums for slowing climate change starting now.

    Particularly note this bit:

    When put in 2012 prices, the loss is calculated as $3.5 trillion, …. If, indeed, the climate skeptics think this is an insignificant number, they should not object to spending much smaller sums for slowing climate change starting now.

    I am surprised Nordhaus says the $3.5 trillion is a significant number, given that it is cumulative to 2050 and is for the whole world. I am also surprised he says skeptics “should not object to spending much smaller sums for slowing climate change starting now.” I consider the Australian situation and calculate the costs to achieve the Australian share of the $3.5 trillion reduction in climate damages would be around nine times greater than Australia’s share of the estimated $3.5 trillion saving. Here is how I did my calculations.

    I converted the estimated $3.5 trillion world damages avoided to the Australian proportion on the basis of Australia’s share of world GDP, i.e. 1.17%. So Australia’s share of damages avoided is 1.17% x $3.5 trillion = $41 billion. That is the cumulative damages avoided by Australia to 2050. It assumes an optimal CO2 price, the whole world implements the CO2 price in unison, and an economically efficient system is implemented across the whole world. It also assumes Australia’s share of world GDP remains constant.

    The Australian Treasury estimated the loss of GDP that our legislated CO2 tax and ETS will cause. [ However, it seems they may have underestimated because they, apparently, have not estimated the compliance cost]. The cumulative loss of GDP to 2050 (i.e. the net cost) is $1,345 billion (undiscounted) (Chart 5:13), or $390 billion discounted at 4.34%, which I believe is the discount rate that is the default in RICE (2012) and gives the value of $3.5 trillion quoted by WN.

    If my calculations are correct, the benefit, to Australia, of the optimum CO2 tax rate (if the world implements an economically efficient CO2 pricing scheme in unison) would be $41 billion and the cost (reduced GDP) would be $390 billion. Therefore, the benefit to cost ratio is 0.11. [Benefit/cost should be greater than 1 to justify implementation of the policy] .

    Therefore, I do not understand Nordhaus’s statement that “[sceptics] should not object to spending much smaller sums for slowing climate change starting now.” My calculations suggest we would spend nine times greater sums, not smaller sums, to achieve the benefits estimated by WN.

    Additional comments

    I realise I have simplified in many ways, but that was to keep the message simple. What I am really asking is whether there is a major error. I recognise I simplified by taking the ‘net costs’ as the ‘costs’, but changing that would make the costs even higher. I also realise I’ve cumulated to 2050, not to 2590. This is a major issue; however, I and many others do not accept that policies made now will last even a decade, let alone to 2590. We can point to the life span of the Kyoto Protocol and many other examples to show that most policies made at a point in time do not have a long life.

    The following is for the benefit of non specialist readers (i.e. others like me). The assumptions that underpin the Nordhaus analysis (and Stern, Garnaut etc) are (in my words):

    • Negligible leakage (of emissions between countries)

    • All emission sources are included (all countries and all emissions in each country)

    • Negligible compliance cost

    • Negligible fraud

    • An optimal carbon price

    • The whole world implements the optimal carbon price in unison

    • The whole world acts in unison to increase the optimal carbon price periodically

    • The whole world continues to maintain the carbon price at the optimal level for all of this century (and thereafter)

    If these assumptions are not met, the net benefits estimated by Nordhaus cannot be achieved. As Nordhaus says, p198:

    Moreover, the results here incorporate an estimate of the importance of participation for economic efficiency. Complete participation is important because the cost function for abatement appears to be highly convex. We preliminarily estimate that a participation rate of 50 percent instead of 100 percent will impose a cost penalty on abatement of 250 percent.

    In other words, if only 50% of emissions are captured in the carbon pricing scheme, the cost penalty of the participants is 250%. The 50% participation could be achieved by 100% of countries participating in the scheme but only 50% of the emissions in total from within the countries are caught, or 50% of countries participate and 100% of the emissions within those countries are caught in the scheme (i.e. taxed or traded).

    Given the above, we can see that the assumptions are theoretical and totally impracticable. Can we imagine how we could capture 100% of emissions from 100% of emitters in Australia (every cow, sheep, goat) in the CO2 pricing scheme?

    So my question to you is: Is there a major error in my analysis? If so, what is it?

  32. Mark Miller says:

    @E.M. Smith:

    A couple additional thoughts. Getting back to one of our prior discussions, the roots of this appear to be emotional. Larger than that, what we’re witnessing is a massive case of group think.

    The question occurred to me, “What motivation do they have to change their mind?” If they don’t understand the importance of science, engineering, and economics, and the relationship that has to their own feelings about things, plus if they have professional reasons for believing as they do, what in their own minds would they gain by changing their mind? I couldn’t think of anything. Kind of interesting that I’m thinking about this, because Bain appears to be asking the same question, though from the opposite side. Interestingly, C. P. Snow’s notion of “Two Cultures” seems to bear on this profoundly.

    They’d risk losing their friends (since this whole topic is very political, as you’ve pointed out here). They could lose funding for whatever it is they’ve been doing for work. What I’ve kind of realized is that without that critical element of understanding scientific thought, there isn’t anything that they could think of gaining by saying, “You have a point there.” It’s more significant than having a mere discussion about the topic. This would be a life-changing event for them. And what weight would they give to a debate with some stranger about this over the internet, with those consequences? Hardly anything, I imagine. They’d just think of us as a threat to all they hold dear, since group think sees anyone who’s in opposition to the group as a threat.

    This gets to Peter Lang’s point, though I won’t comment on his analysis. Another thing that comes to mind is I remember hearing back in the 90s communists and environmentalists (though perhaps I’m being redundant) complaining about how in capitalism, the costs in labor to produce goods is included in the prices we pay for them, but the “external costs” in the lives of people and animals, and pollution are not. I remember many years ago hearing a couple communists complaining that, “Yeah, we pay the cost of labor for a lb. of beef at the store; the cost of raising the cow, feeding it, the antibiotics, etc., but we pay nothing to the cow for its life.” Now…first of all, I had trouble making sense of that. If the whole point was to eat the cow, there’s no point in paying it. Secondly, even if there was, the cow would have no use for whatever compensation we’d give. It’s like, you know, “You can’t take it with you…”

    Environmentalists had a more “moderate” stance on this. They’d just focus on the pollution aspect, that people were not paying for the “costs to the environment,” the costs of habitat restoration, and toxic waste cleanup. This has been massaged more recently by liberals, talking about how in capitalism businesses “externalize costs.” I remember they’d harp on this quite a bit, and they kept wishing there was a way to include those “costs” into the prices of things, so that people would get a sense of the impact they’re having on the world, and wouldn’t just think about, “What’s the least I can pay to get this item? I have to pay something for it, because the producer owns the good. Other than that, I don’t want to have to worry about it.” I remember I used to chuckle at this notion, because frequently the activists would think along the lines of legislative mandates that were explicit about the goal of coming up with some arbitrary measure of damage caused by production, and then charging a tax for it. I thought, “They’re never going to get that passed. It’s too transparent, and it’ll get criticized for its methodology all day long.” For one thing, the “extra cost” doesn’t get put back into production, or rewarding stockholders, as in the case of a pure profit margin. It would go to the government, who could use it for whatever.

    I came to realize recently that this whole CAGW issue fits into this notion of “paying for externalized costs” very nicely, and in fact that may be one of the prime motivating forces behind it, besides the other ones, like the Marxist notion of redistributing wealth from the rich to the poor. Dr. Lindzen brought this up in a presentation I saw a few years ago. He mentioned a book called, “Why We Disagree About Climate Change,” by Mike Hulme, and used a quote from it talking about how the issue of climate is very plastic, and that it can be used for all sorts of uses, and justification for projects. We’ve seen that play out. It’s not so much, “I like it, therefor it must be right.” That’s part of it, but the prime motivator is anti-humanist. I’ve heard for years that environmentalists do not regard humans as a natural part of the environment, that we’re somehow alien to this planet. This more than anything else reveals their anti-scientific stance, because, through the theory of evolution, science regards humans as being *wholly* tied to Nature. Ayn Rand explained that even deeper, those on the left hate existence, and so they work to destroy it, not just for themselves, but for everyone else.

    CAGW has been a huge boon to the political left, because all sorts of rationales can be justified in its name. The underlying meme being that, “You must pay for your existence, because it destroys something else, of which you have previously been unconscious.” A slight tangent, but Obamacare carries with it the same message. The question I ask myself a lot is, “When is the slippery slope going to become less slippery?” I figure at some point people are going to realize that the agenda is too onerous, and they’re going to rebel against it. I’m going to sound like a CAGW alarmist, but I also wonder if we’re going to hit a “tipping point,” and it’ll be too late to turn back; that we’ll hit a point where the facts of economics (on the negative side) and ignorance become so significant that what we valued before that was such a boon to humanity cannot be recovered anytime soon.

  33. NoFixedAddress, formerly Denis of Perth says:

    Obviously you are Mad.
    I also came to you via the super Nova
    know a bit of basic fortran, cobol, pascal
    never paid a cent for so called certification
    Australian rice farm

    [ Reply: This comment is a bit ambiguous… Is “Mad” in the Brit sense of “crazy in an interesting way” or the American sense of “Grumpy Angry person”? Then the rest doesn’t really clarify the kind of person or what their intent might be. OK, I’m generally prone to giving folks open access first and only later backing out those folks prone to “Carping Comments”; so I’m approving it. Just realize that the “About” box has some guidance about being polite. ( I don’t really care what folks believe, as long as they are polite about it and I don’t end up spending hours and hours wading through drek I’ve waded through too many times already… to IFF the intent of “Mad” is a personal attack, realize the ‘style’ is not acceptable. IF the intent is more the “left handed comment” style, well, I’m OK with that being ambidextrous and with a British Mum ;-) -E.M.Smith ]

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