Saturday, March 19, 2011

Chart of the Day: Deaths per Energy Source

Data in the chart above are from the Next Big Future blog.

144 Comments:

At 3/19/2011 3:51 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

Let us hope there are no radical revisions in these numbers any time soon.

 
At 3/19/2011 4:58 PM, Blogger Dr. T said...

The numbers are wrong, but I have no estimate of how wrong. The numbers are based on estimated increased risks of air pollution-related deaths years or decades in the future. The numbers do not include present-day accidental deaths from mining, ore processing, refining, construction, transportation, powerline or pipeline installation and maintenance, etc. They also fail to include workplace toxicity-related deaths (that can be acute or delayed for years).

If someone falls off a roof while installing solar panels, that should be counted as a solar power-related death. If someone gets killed at a gallium processing plant, that should be partly counted as a solar power-related death (since solar cells use gallium). An important point is that when doing these types of statistics, present-day deaths should receive more weight than future deaths. (These types of statistics are used by medical researchers and epidemiologists.)

 
At 3/19/2011 5:59 PM, Blogger StVIS said...

Unfortunately, this will have consequence for Japan. Considering the Chernobyl incident, numerous experts believe the UN's estimate of cancer deaths, as a result of radiation exposure, is far too low.

Unlike the Chernobyl incident, the Daiichi Plant brings 4 reactors in question, which is unprecedented, on a densely populated island of a country.

I myself have been pro-nuclear for years. However, when one considers we have 4 CA nuclear power plants sitting on the San Andreas Fault Line, none as well constructed as the Daiichi Plant, it may be good time to take the lesson and learn from it - before Mother Nature visits us.

 
At 3/19/2011 6:34 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

Dr. T--

What if I am driving to work at a solar panel plant and get killed in a fatal auto accident?

 
At 3/19/2011 8:07 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"What if I am driving to work at a solar panel plant and get killed in a fatal auto accident?"

What if you are driving to work at a solar panel plant and you kill a pedestrian??

 
At 3/19/2011 9:30 PM, Blogger James E. Miller said...

Yet the left still badgers to get rid of nuclear energy. I always like to ask environmentalists if they would give up electricity and automobiles for the sake of "saving the Earth." None of them ever say yes. Go figure.

 
At 3/19/2011 9:38 PM, Blogger Bruce Hall said...

With coal providing nearly 1/2 the US electricity and nuclear power another 20%, the only viable alternative is natural gas... of which there is an abundance.

Presuming the CO2 extremists come to their senses, they must acknowledge that without coal or nuclear power, there is no real alternative to natural gas to generate the power to run their plug-in electric cars.

Of course, significant expansion of natural gas for electric power generation increases the risk of gas explosions from natural disasters and people who like blowing things up.

Okay, the risk of natural gas deaths is too high.

 
At 3/20/2011 7:17 AM, Blogger rjs said...

my objection to nuclear power is that radioactive materials are entirely different than other types of pollution, in that it's mutagenic, tetragenic and carcinogenic to a degree that no other substance is...biological life is the only & a fragile counter-entropic (i.e., generating organization rather than defaulting to randomness) force on our planet, and we dont want to upset the delicate balance that allows life to organize molecules…free radiation is known to be one of the most potent disorganizers of life, and as such increasing it would further lower the ecological potential of the planet…deaths in auto accidents (which nuclear apologists site) or from coal induced pollution dont upset the unpinning of life on the planet in the way free radiation does…that no deaths have yet been caused immediately is not the issue; the issue is the mutagenic properties of nuclear radiation; it takes four generations for the effects to even start to show up in mice; we’ve barely gone thru 2 human generations since the widespread atmospheric testing in the 50s…we still dont have a way of dealing with the spent fuel and other nuclear wastes that are a by-product of producing power in this manner; germany encases them in concrete, china ships them off to the western provinces, but japan & the US both store them on site...but spent nuclear fuel is dangerous for 100,000 years, & has a half-life of 10,000 years, which is five times longer than christianity lasted...lest we forget; there is still 740,000 cubic meters of lethally contaminated crap to clean up at cherobyl alone; the stone "sarcophagus" which encases the site is crumbing, gases as hot as 200C are escaping, and it's basically been abandoned with the breakup of the soviet union (its not russia's problem, it's the ukraine's)...in the US, we have two serious problems which are remnants of our nuclear arms programs; one is the hanford nuclear reservation on the columbia river, where 53 million gallons of nuclear waste is being stored in 177 leaky underground tanks; the other is the savannah river site in s.carolina, where the government has stored the high level radioactive waste produced at the plant on site in 51 massive underground tanks, and proposed methods for withdrawing it have proven unsafe...something else co-incidential about those two sites; just offshore from washington state is the cascadia subduction zone, very similar to the japanese quake site, & the site of a 9.2 earthquake in 1700, and the savannah river site is near the site of 1886 charleston earthquake, second only to the new madrid quakes of 1811-12 among the largest quakes east of the rockies...and they say the waste wont get into the water supply...

 
At 3/20/2011 8:10 AM, Blogger juandos said...

I wonder if the CDC can answer a few of the questions floated?

WISQARS Injury Mortality Reports, 1999 - 2007

 
At 3/20/2011 9:17 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

A carbon tax may be a solution, except the government may squander the taxes:

George Shultz (age 90)
Ph.D. in Industrial Economics from MIT
Secretary of State 1982-89

"If I was the energy czar...I would want two things. First, a revenue-neutral carbon tax. It collects money that is then redistributed. It's not a revenue-raising device, it's a tax on carbon. That creates a level playing field (for renewable energy). A carbon tax is much better than cap-and-trade...Second, I'd also support sustained and significant support for energy-oriented R&D. Then I'd go away and let the marketplace sort out the results."

 
At 3/20/2011 10:42 AM, Blogger Hydra said...

Dr t is entirely correct, I believe. Nevertheless the data illustrate important points. Different amounts of regulatory costs apply to each source. If the costs for one source are higher than another and the deaths are fewer then one group is getting more protection than another, and their lives are valued higher.

Dr t also hints that such costs involve a discount factor. Such estimates must be made in order to prevent wasting our regulatory and compliance dollars.

 
At 3/20/2011 10:45 AM, Blogger Hydra said...

Benjamin and ron: I don't see it makes much difference as long as you draw the system boundary consistently.

 
At 3/20/2011 10:51 AM, Blogger Hydra said...

A carbon tax contains no price signal and is more likely to be wrong. At the correct level, a carbon tax is equivalent. At the correct price a gas tax and tolls are equivalent, the same money being required to maintain the road.

 
At 3/20/2011 11:02 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Hydra, are you saying some forms of energy don't emit more carbon than others?

 
At 3/20/2011 11:19 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Hydra, carbon emissions can be measured:

On average, electricity sources emit 1.297 lbs CO2 per kWh.

There are 12.0593 pounds CO2 per CCF of natural gas.

There are 22.384 pounds of CO2 per gallon of heating oil (diesel fuel).

Unleaded gasoline has 8.87 kg (19.56 lbs) of CO2 per gallon.

Etc.

 
At 3/20/2011 11:32 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

More carbon "prices:"

CO2 emissions in air travel vary by length of flight--ranging from .24 kg CO2 per passenger mile for short flights down to .18 kg CO2 per passenger mile for long flights.

The CO2 emissions for rail travel vary by distance of the trip. On average, commuter rail and subway trains emit 0.35 lbs CO2 per passenger mile, and long distance trains emit 0.42 lbs CO2 per passenger mile.

Inner city commuting buses emit 0.66 lbs CO2 per passenger mile, and long distance bus trips emit 0.18 lbs CO2 per passenger mile.

 
At 3/20/2011 11:32 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"A carbon tax may be a solution..."...

Hey PT, why would anyone listen to a Keynesian Klown?

 
At 3/20/2011 1:02 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"I myself have been pro-nuclear for years. However, when one considers we have 4 CA nuclear power plants sitting on the San Andreas Fault Line, none as well constructed as the Daiichi Plant, it may be good time to take the lesson and learn from it - before Mother Nature visits us.

What lesson would you take? the Daiichi plant was damaged by flooding, not the earthquake.

There are only two operating nuclear power plants in CA at this time. I'm not sure I would characterize them as "sitting on" San Andreas fault. Perhaps "near" San Andreas fault would be a less emotionally charged description.

Both Diablo Canyon and San Onofre plants are on the pacific coast, and are designed to withstand major earthquakes. Do you have reason to believe they are in danger of flooding from tsunamis generated off the CA coast?

I'm not suggesting that we shouldn't be concerned about nuclear power plants, only that the CA plants can't be directly compared to those in Japan.

 
At 3/20/2011 1:53 PM, Blogger Che is dead said...

What's really dangerous are wind farms:

"In the last decade the wind farm industry, it turns out, has killed far more people for far less electricity produced than the nuclear industry"

Nuclear fatalities in the last ten years: 7

Wind farm fatalities in the last ten years: 44.

"In those ten years nuclear provided thirty times the energy of wind. This means in the last decade, nuclear has been around 200 times safer than wind on an energy produced/accidents basis.

Did 'climate change' cause the Japanese earthquake?, The Telegraph

And that's just the human carnage, it doesn't include the number of endangered birds and other helpless wildlife killed daily. NO BLOOD FOR WIND!

 
At 3/20/2011 2:02 PM, Blogger Che is dead said...

Thankfully, our nuclear engineers are one step ahead of the environazis who are trying to turn the lights out on western civilization:

"The next generation of nuclear reactors, called Gen IV reactors, promise to be significantly safer and more efficient while producing less hazardous waste than the current generation, and one design, called a pebble bed reactor, may even be incapable of having a meltdown at all."

[...]

"... a pebble bed reactor can have the entirety of its supporting infrastructure power down, blow up, get flooded, get stolen, run out of gas, or otherwise fail, all while the entire staff is on vacation, and the only thing that happens is that the PBR will warm up to its idle temperature and... Stay warm. No meltdowns, no explosions, no radiation leaks. The reactor will just sit there and radiate the heat it produces until you cool it back down or take the fuel out. This scenario was tried once, in a prototype PBR in Germany: they shut off the coolant and removed the control rods and watched, and nothing bad happened. A later inspection of the reactor and fuel pebbles showed no damage."

How to make a nuclear reactor that can't have a meltdown, DVICE

 
At 3/20/2011 2:13 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Peak

"A carbon tax may be a solution..."

A solution for what?

"...except the government may squander the taxes:"

Isn't that pretty much a given?

"Hydra, carbon emissions can be measured:"

(fascinating information follows)

"More carbon "prices:""

(more fascinating numbers)

To suggest a carbon tax or any other method for limiting CO2 emissions requires a belief that there is some problem being caused by this naturally occurring and beneficial gas when it is produced by human activity. This isn't something many people believe any more, now that the utter fraudulence of those promoting the notion has been exposed. We certainly don't need or want government involvement in such an obvious scam.

 
At 3/20/2011 5:10 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

Ron H-

What if I fall off of a windmill into radioactive waste and die, after getting shot by an angry co-worker?

 
At 3/20/2011 6:05 PM, Blogger juandos said...

Hey che, thanks for the link pal...

I knew that pebble bed reactors were safer, I just couldn't locate a nice, simple explanation for someone...

"To suggest a carbon tax or any other method for limiting CO2 emissions requires a belief that there is some problem being caused by this naturally occurring and beneficial gas when it is produced by human activity"...

Amen! Ron H, Amen!

 
At 3/20/2011 7:44 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Ron says: "...limiting CO2 emissions requires a belief that there is some problem..."

"Some people believe that as the concentration of CO2 rises in the atmosphere that it will lead to faster plant growth and therefore increase food production. Recent research supports this position: elevated CO2 levels cause increased growth reflected in the harvestable yield of crops, with wheat, rice and soybean all showing increases in yield of 12–14% under elevated CO2 in FACE experiments.

Mature forests are valuable carbon sinks, helping maintain balance in the Earth's atmosphere. Additionally, and crucially to life on earth, photosynthesis by phytoplankton consumes dissolved CO2 in the upper ocean and thereby promotes the absorption of CO2 from the atmosphere."

My comment: Too much CO2 can cause health problems. A bigger problem is the population explosion causing pollution of land, sea, and air, deforestation, desertification, peak oil, etc., much of it on a global scale.

World Population 1950-2050

1950 2.6 billion
1970 3.7 billion
1990 5.3 billion
2010 6.8 billion

2030 8.2 billion
2050 9.3 billion

 
At 3/20/2011 7:48 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

Pt.

I'm a chemist, I u.derstand stoichiometry.

What is your point?

Natural gas produces less co2 than fuel oil. But it produces more water vapor, also a beneficial gas and also a contributor to global warming.

My observation about cap and trade vs a carbon tax is only that one has a market signal, and one is command and control.

 
At 3/20/2011 7:57 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

Pt:

Natural gas releases less energy by weight than fuel oil. You have to burn more of it to get the same equivalent electric power. Co2 is still cleaner, but not by as much as some claim.

 
At 3/20/2011 8:02 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

A mature forest is co2 neutral. Old trees die and rot, releasing co2. If you want a carbon sink, cut down the mature trees and make something valuable, like a stradivarius.

 
At 3/20/2011 8:31 PM, Blogger AIG said...

The data in the graphs is not only pointless, it is likely to be terribly wrong. It gives no explanation or sources of such ridiculous numbers were estimated.

According to this graph, about 1.4 MILLION people are killed each year by coal! Seriously? Thats complete garbage.

 
At 3/20/2011 8:35 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Hydra, the point is carbon emissions can be measured to "command and control" them either through a carbon tax or cap-and-trade.

It's possible, cap-and-trade can end up like New York city taxi medallians.

"Water vapor" can also be controlled if that's an objective.

CO2 Wikipedia:

"...experts in biochemistry, biogeology, forestry and related areas writing in the science journal Nature that "Our results demonstrate that old-growth forests can continue to accumulate carbon, contrary to the long-standing view that they are carbon neutral."

 
At 3/20/2011 8:43 PM, Blogger AIG said...

On Shultz, he's unfortunately wrong. A carbon tax is likely to be abused and not tied to any revenue-neutral principle. Government bureaucrats are not stupid, unfortunately, and know that you can influence behavior through taxation levels. They make no secret of the fact that THAT is what they want to do with a carbon tax.

An arbitrary tax, on an arbitrary waste product, with scant scientific evidence that it does anything, certainly no evidence that it is a "pollutant", is the perfect tax for abuse by government. We've seen carbon tax schemes in other countries and the disaster they are.

And he's even more wrong on funding R&D, as we've seen on how gov. funds R&D in the energy field (ethanol, massive wastes on wind power, massive transfers of wealth to GE and other powerful lobbyists etc)

What surprises me is that I've heard even some "libertarians" claim that gov. funding of energy R&D is a legitimate action. I can't wrap my head around that.

 
At 3/20/2011 8:50 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

A mature forest is pretty near carbon neutral: the dead trees die and rot, releasing CO2 about as fast as the trees replacing them absorb Co
O2.

If you want to sequester carbon, cut down the mature trees and make something valuable out of them: houses designed to stand for 200 years, or Stradivarius violins.

In the end, it is all about property rights.

 
At 3/20/2011 8:52 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

Hydra, the point is carbon emissions can be measured to "command and control" them either through a carbon tax or cap-and-trade.

=================================

If you get it right through command and control, the results are equivalent, and I said as much.


You have far more faith in government getting it right than I have.

 
At 3/20/2011 8:54 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

AIG, renewable energy can be facilitated:

"From the inception of the Internet until the late 1990s, the Internet was free of regulation by government in the United States at all levels, and also free of any specially targeted tax levies, duties, imposts, or license fees.

By 1996, however, that began to change, as several U.S. states and municipalities began to see Internet services as a potential source of tax revenue."

 
At 3/20/2011 8:56 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

"Our results demonstrate that old-growth forests can continue to accumulate carbon, contrary to the long-standing view that they are carbon neutral."

=================================

Sure, that is how our present fossil fuels accumulated.

But the rate of accumulation compared tothe rate of emission is important. Our fossil fuels required thousands of square miles and hundreds of thousands of years to accumulate.

Considering the rate at which we are using fossil fuels, we will need several more planets to handle the carbon offsets.

 
At 3/20/2011 9:01 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 3/20/2011 9:03 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

A carbon tax is likely to be abused and not tied to any revenue-neutral principle. Government bureaucrats are not stupid, unfortunately, and know that you can influence behavior through taxation levels. They make no secret of the fact that THAT is what they want to do with a carbon tax.

=================================

Not revenue neutral. Well, there is that. But the point is that either too high or too low leads to a non-optimal result.

If you believe that markets are halfway rational and efficient, as cap and trade plan will lead to the most (valuable) production for the allowed pollution levels, and therefore it is revenue maximizing.

 
At 3/20/2011 9:06 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

I believe PT is accurate on his emission data. yet aqctivists "rail" against air travel as if it were the greatest waste of energy.

One reason so much energy is used in air travel, is that it is so efficient.

 
At 3/20/2011 9:11 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Hydra, cap-and-trade will not lead to an optimal level of carbon emissions, because the government sets the limit, not the marketplace.

 
At 3/20/2011 9:16 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

We've seen carbon tax schemes in other countries and the disaster they are.

================================

Maybe, but the sulfur trading scheme seems to be a success, and we have lots of other examples, like liquor licenses and (yes, taxi medallions).

Let me ask you, what evidence would it take to change your mind? three feet of sea level rise? Four? Disappearance of the last glacier? Coffee crops and wildelife moving farther up the mountains?

Lets say you tell me that four feet of sea level rise would convince you.

What rate of rise for how long before we reach that target would it take to convince you? Would a tenth of an inch per year for twenty consecutive years convince you?

 
At 3/20/2011 9:25 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

Hydra, cap-and-trade will not lead to an optimal level of carbon emissions, because the government sets the limit, not the marketplace.

==================================


It will lead to optimal production given the limit.

Not having a limit only leads to optimal production if you ignore external costs.

If government is anywhere near as smart as you seem to think they are, they will set the limit to minimize Total Cost = Production Cost + External Cost + Government Cost.


If they were really smart, government would privatize external costs and declare them to be property which could be bought and sold. People with low regard for external costs could sell part of their share of Oxygen, (for example) to those who wish to convert it to CO2. Those with a high regard would refuse to sell, raising the price of production.

Government costs would devolve to keeping track of the deeds and protecting property from theft.

 
At 3/20/2011 9:51 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

Bill 10 amends Section 19 of the Alberta Land Stewardship Act to create a new right to compensation to any "compensable taking" suffered by a landowner as a consequence of a regional plan. Compensable taking is broadly defined to cover not just the distinguishing of a property right, but any negative impact on "the right, title or interest" for which there is compensation in either Alberta statutes or common law.

This represents a dramatic expansion of landowners' rights to compensation for any negative economic impact that a regional plan might have on their land.



Read more: http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/Albertans+property+rights+aren+being+eroded/4472842/story.html#ixzz1HAMycG5V


==================================

Calgary is apparently on the verge of passing a bill that does pretty much what I have been advocating, and one that is similar to one Oregon passed, and later rescinded.


I am guessing that there are certain political elements in Calgary who see negative external costs developing, and they propose some land use restriction to prevent those costs (from accruing to themselves).

What this bill says is that thay casnnot do that unless they are willing to compensate for the external costs they cause. Oregon passed a similar bill, but it was later rescinded.

Now, the external costs these folks are trying to prevent, ar probably difficult to quantify. But to a landowner, his costs are a lot easier to estimate. You downzone him from 10 potential lots to two, you have cost him 8 times $400k (or something) minus the cost and risk of construction.

Add that up for everyone affected by the plan, and that is the minimum benefit the plan must provide to make sense. And now, the plan proponents have to figure out how to capitalize it, same as anybody else with any other kind of plan to build something,









RH

 
At 3/20/2011 9:56 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

Those with a high regard for external costs] would refuse to sell, raising the price of production.

=================================

Of course, that might affect their electric bill, or something.

When they can no longer afford their electric bill, and they are sitting on this big Oxygen Asset, which they don't need all of for thei own use, they may re-evaluate what the correct level of CO2 is.

Or they may go buy a hundred acres of forest, so they can sell the oxygen produced there.

 
At 3/20/2011 11:27 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

The numbers are wrong, but I have no estimate of how wrong. The numbers are based on estimated increased risks of air pollution-related deaths years or decades in the future. The numbers do not include present-day accidental deaths from mining, ore processing, refining, construction, transportation, powerline or pipeline installation and maintenance, etc. They also fail to include workplace toxicity-related deaths (that can be acute or delayed for years).

I would argue that the numbers are fairly good. Many claims of toxicity are bogus and designed to get money flowing to green groups and trial lawyers. And even if you are correct, the numbers would still work out in favour of nuclear because coal and oil release far more radioactive elements into the environment than uranium mining and use does.

 
At 3/20/2011 11:30 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

Considering the Chernobyl incident, numerous experts believe the UN's estimate of cancer deaths, as a result of radiation exposure, is far too low.

Bull. We were given all kinds of hype about a million dead due to Chernobyl but the numbers never materialized. The direct deaths were less than 500 and the indirect deaths less than 10,000 with most of them having little to do with the effects of radiation. Your average Japanese citizen will get far more exposure to radiation by flying or eating bananas than s/he would by being in contact to any material released by the accidents.

 
At 3/20/2011 11:33 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

my objection to nuclear power is that radioactive materials are entirely different than other types of pollution, in that it's mutagenic, tetragenic and carcinogenic to a degree that no other substance is...biological life is the only & a fragile counter-entropic (i.e., generating organization rather than defaulting to randomness) force on our planet, and we dont want to upset the delicate balance that allows life to organize molecules…free radiation is known to be one of the most potent disorganizers of life, and as such increasing it would further lower the ecological potential of the planet…...

Grow up. People in Denver get far more exposure to radiation than people who live in Manhattan but I do not see much in the way of a difference in mortality rates. The survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki certainly did not seem to suffer when it came to longevity. They actually have a greater life expectancy than the average Japanese citizen.

Try paying attention to empirical evidence rather than bad theories and models.

 
At 3/21/2011 1:16 AM, Blogger AIG said...

"Maybe, but the sulfur trading scheme seems to be a success, and we have lots of other examples, like liquor licenses and (yes, taxi medallions)."

Of course not. Liquor licenses, and especially taxi medallions, are extreme examples of the total failure of "cap and trade" schemes.

SOx cap and trade is also... indisputably...a pointless scheme. SOx cap and trade was introduced in 1990. From 1990 to the present, there is an INDISTINGUISHABLE rate of decline in SOx emissions or air concentrations, as there had been from 1970 to 1990. You can't credit a system for producing identical rates of decline, 2 decades before its existence!

" But the point is that either too high or too low leads to a non-optimal result."

The government doesn't care about optimal results. And this is the regulation of a gas which is in no way shape of form a pollutant, or has been proven to cause anything whatsoever in nature.

"Not having a limit only leads to optimal production if you ignore external costs."

There is not a single human being on this earth who can prove, in any way, what the "external cost" of CO2 is, or even if there is one at all.

You can't go about assigning random "costs" to things you feel need to be regulated for the hell of it.

 
At 3/21/2011 1:35 AM, Blogger AIG said...

"If government is anywhere near as smart as you seem to think they are, they will set the limit to minimize Total Cost = Production Cost + External Cost + Government Cost. If they were really smart, government would privatize external costs and declare them to be property which could be bought and sold."

Wow. I have a friend whose job is to come up with idiotic cost estimations for "carbon" for environmental NGOs (which then lobby government to do what they want). And she makes it quite perfectly clear to me, without realizing of course what idiotic nonsense she is saying, that their calculations are designed only to reduce consumption to the point they think is best, irregardless of the fact that they have to make up all their data. If they figure out that it takes a carbon tax of $45 per ton of CO2, to get a particular energy producer to switch out of coal, or to invest into "clean coal" (which doesn't exist), then they will claim the cost of CO2 IS $45 per ton.

This is a con game.

"I am guessing that there are certain political elements in Calgary who see negative external costs developing"

Yeah. Money-grabbers. The external costs of them not grabbing people's money when they have such an easy target. I mean...taxing hot air! Brilliant!

"When they can no longer afford their electric bill, and they are sitting on this big Oxygen Asset, which they don't need all of for thei own use, they may re-evaluate what the correct level of CO2 is.
Or they may go buy a hundred acres of forest, so they can sell the oxygen produced there."

Cap and trade schemes, particularly the SOx and the even more idiotic CFC trading schemes, are so abused that even their creators and proponents understand that they are little more than money-making schemes for certain elements.

Ask the Chinese how they're making off scheming other country's tax payers in the CFC charade.

The problem was, when politicians passed the SOx and CFC trading schemes, no one stood up and opposed them. They were imposed with no scientific evidence, no economic evidence, and no practical evidence they would do anything. And the politicians and interest groups which pushed them, quickly learned how they could make money from these schemes.

They are trying to apply these lessons now to CO2; ie multiply the scheme by 10,000.

"I would argue that the numbers are fairly good. "

You think 1.4 million people die per year from coal??

 
At 3/21/2011 2:50 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"What if I fall off of a windmill into radioactive waste and die, after getting shot by an angry co-worker?"

That clearly means we need way stricter gun control.

 
At 3/21/2011 3:12 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"My comment: Too much CO2 can cause health problems."

Like what?

 
At 3/21/2011 6:20 AM, Blogger juandos said...

That damn CO2 causing glowbal warming problems again!

Yet another inconvenient story ignored by the MSM

 
At 3/21/2011 11:06 AM, Blogger Prent Rodgers said...

Candles would be off the charts in terms of deaths per tkWh.

http://notrickszone.com/2011/03/14/even-candles-kill-many-more-than-nuclear-power/

 
At 3/21/2011 11:36 AM, Blogger Benjamin said...

I am pro-nuke, especially pro mini-nukes.

Marry nukes to PHEVs, and we can stand won nearly all our foreign military establishments, and save hundreds of billions on imported oil every year.

 
At 3/21/2011 11:45 AM, Blogger Hydra said...

"My comment: Too much CO2 can cause health problems."

Like what?

==================================

Suffocation.

 
At 3/21/2011 11:56 AM, Blogger Hydra said...

If they figure out that it takes a carbon tax of $45 per ton of CO2, to get a particular energy producer to switch out of coal, or to invest into "clean coal" (which doesn't exist), then they will claim the cost of CO2 IS $45 per ton.

===============================
Right. They dont understand or don't believe that either too high or too low government intervention leads to waste, and therefore excess environmental damage.

Industrialists believe that too much government intervention raises costs, but not that too little does.


You are arguing that people will ignore the equation in order to gain a percieved personal or short term advantage, when in fact, all such loobying can do is distort the balance.


However, some things we have pretty good data on. We can correlate urban poluttion data to cases of asthma, etc. We know pretty much what the maximum BOD a stream can handle before we see fish kills.

To claim that limits will be set without any basis other than greed stikes me as unlikely.

But here is the thing, once we have agreed upon ways to measure the cost/value of externalities, then we can lobby for changes in the conttrol level and see whether total costs go up or down.

Since externalities are largely un-owned and unpriced, all we have is a shouting match over what is best, and no price signal to discover it.

 
At 3/21/2011 12:01 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

The problem was, when politicians passed the SOx and CFC trading schemes, no one stood up and opposed them. They were imposed with no scientific evidence,....

==================================

Thats not true. I myself worked on measuring the quantity and effect of atmospheric sulfuric acid.

What about other trading schemes like spectrum space?

It seems to me that if you believe the market is the best arbiter of price, then it must be the best arbiter of the price of pollution as well.

 
At 3/21/2011 12:06 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

"I am guessing that there are certain political elements in Calgary who see negative external costs developing"

Yeah. Money-grabbers. The external costs of them not grabbing people's money when they have such an easy target. I mean...taxing hot air! Brilliant!

==================================

I don;t think that is what is happening in Calgary, and the promoters of th epolicy get no money in their pocket.

Rather, they eliminate what they percieve is a cost to themselves, and do it by causing a cost to others. There is no price associated with the externality of being able to say no, such that other people are no longer allowed to exercise rights that you have already used up.

Now, if you want to argue that loss of property rights is a tax, that is fine, but lets face it, virtuall all the proerty rights we enjoy as a function of zoning were taken from other people without payment.

 
At 3/21/2011 12:10 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

You can't go about assigning random "costs" to things you feel need to be regulated for the hell of it.

=================================

Who said anything about assigning random costs?


The costs are what they are, and that equaation will hold true. Whether we ever bother to discover the system that gets us closest to lowest total cost is a different matter.

It is up to us to discover those costs, and do it accurately. Otherwise we have no hope of achieving lowest overall cost consistent with maximum production and minimum government interference.

 
At 3/21/2011 12:13 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

"Not having a limit only leads to optimal production if you ignore external costs."

There is not a single human being on this earth who can prove, in any way, what the "external cost" of CO2 is, or even if there is one at all.


==================================

That does not change the result of my argument. Reinforces it in fact.

You are suggesting that we ignore the external cost, just because we cannot yet prove (exactly) what it is.

However, to the extent we can prove it is not zero, that there is some coast associated, or even some probable cost, we can use that to make a decision that results in lower cost thatn ignoring it totally.

 
At 3/21/2011 12:16 PM, Blogger Che is dead said...

Not all coal is the same. In fact, some coal burns as cleanly as natural gas without using special technology. Where is this super-coal located? You guessed it, right here in the USA. Unfortunately, the Democrats have made sure that we will never be given the opportunity to exploit this national treasure. Why? Well, to pay off a major political supporter of course:

A large part of America's energy dependence on foreign sources can be traced to Sept. 18, 1996, when President Bill Clinton stood on the edge of the Grand Canyon on the Arizona side and signed an executive proclamation making 1.7 million acres of Utah a new national monument. ...

... the declaration of 1.7 million Utah acres as a national monument, thereby depriving an energy-starved U.S. up to 62 billion tons of environmentally safe low-sulfur coal worth $1.2 trillion and minable with minimal surface impact, was a political payoff to the family of James Riady.

He's the son of Lippo Group owner Mochtar Riady. James was found guilty of — and paid a multimillion dollar fine for — funneling more than $1 million in illegal political contributions through Lippo Bank into various American political campaigns, including Bill Clinton's presidential run in 1992.

Clinton took off the world market the largest known deposit of clean-burning coal. And who owned and controlled the second-largest deposit in the world of this clean coal? The Indonesian Lippo Group of James Riady. It is found and strip-mined on the Indonesian island of Kalimantan.

The Utah reserve contains a kind of low-sulfur, low-ash and therefore low-polluting coal that can be found in only a couple of places in the world. It burns so cleanly that it meets the requirements of the Clean Air Act without additional technology.

The Clinton's Coal-Gate, IBD

Remember this the next time some leftist tool whines about how the "Citizens United" decision will allow foreign firms to influence our elections.

 
At 3/21/2011 12:23 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

" But the point is that either too high or too low leads to a non-optimal result."

The government doesn't care about optimal results.

===================================

Really? Why not. The better the results, the more money governmnt has for promoting other improvements.


GAO has said explicitly that there is no reason for ANY regulation that does not provide a net positive social benefit.

EPA has rules that prohibit any person or group from having an undue burden form environmental regulaton, and that includes an undue burden from artificially low productivity.

Finally, who is this government you are talking about? It is after all us, and I have an interest in optimal outcomes, even though you apparently don't.

I will agree if you argue that government is not responsive enough. An intermittant control signal once every four years is no way to manage a complec large machine. What we need is a government controlled by day to day price signals, and that includes a price on how much pollution we are willing to accept.

Suppose you are right, and no one knows what the costs of CO2 or SO2 are. Why does that mean that people who believe the cost to be one thing or another should not be allowed to put their money where their mouth is?

In such a way that if they turn out to be correct, they make money.

 
At 3/21/2011 12:26 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

Liquor licenses, and especially taxi medallions, are extreme examples of the total failure of "cap and trade" schemes.

==================================AAre you willing to have unlimited liquor stores in your neighborhood? Do you beleive that NYC can absorb an unlimited number of taxicabs, Really?

 
At 3/21/2011 12:51 PM, Blogger AIG said...

"You are arguing that people will ignore the equation in order to gain a percieved personal or short term advantage"

There's no equation here. There's no associated costs with CO2. No one has shown any.

"However, some things we have pretty good data on. We can correlate urban poluttion data to cases of asthma, etc. We know pretty much what the maximum BOD a stream can handle before we see fish kills."

CO2 doesn't cause asthma. It doesn't kill fish. There's a difference between identifiable and assignable causes, costs, and localized sources of a real pollutant, and CO2 (which has none of those)

"To claim that limits will be set without any basis other than greed stikes me as unlikely. "

When the costs and sources and problems a real pollutant causes, then BOTH sides can at least argue to achieve an agreeable level. In those cases, government regulations are unlikely to be below those which industry ITSELF recognizes as reachable levels, simply because industry can then expose the gov. cost calculations to be bogus.

CO2 has no costs associated with it. Gov assigns it to be whatever the hell it wants it to be, and no industry can argue factually against a made-up target.

There is certainly collusion between gov. and industry in the cases of real pollution...but that collusion is in the form of reaching a realistic level.

"But here is the thing, once we have agreed upon ways to measure the cost/value of externalities, then we can lobby for changes in the conttrol level and see whether total costs go up or down."

There's ZERO externalities that have been identified for CO2. We're not even discussing coming up with a "cost" estimate (which is always pointless in such cases, as it doesn't actually factor into anything).

Don't confuse real pollutants, which cause identifiable costs to others, and a made-up scare.

If the "scientific community" really had figured out what CO2 causes, then they should be able to come up with some identifiable problems and some identifiable costs. They haven't.

 
At 3/21/2011 1:13 PM, Blogger AIG said...

"Thats not true. I myself worked on measuring the quantity and effect of atmospheric sulfuric acid.
What about other trading schemes like spectrum space?
It seems to me that if you believe the market is the best arbiter of price, then it must be the best arbiter of the price of pollution as well."

The argument is NOT whether there is a role for government to play in pollution reduction or not. Thats not he argument here, or that markets left alone are the best mechanism for accounting for negative externalities.

The argument is about cap and trade schemes, or tax schemes. Neither of these actually WORKS in doing what it claims to be doing.

If you have worked in measuring levels of SOx, then you ought to know that since 1990 when the cap and trade scheme was introduced, the level of reduction in SOx emissions has NOT changed compared to the pre-cap and trade regime.

http://www.epa.gov/cgi-bin/broker?
_service=data&_program=dataprog.aqp
lot_09.sas&parm=42401&stat=AMEAN&st
year=1980&endyear=2009&pre=val&stye
argraf=1980&region=99

If cap and trade worked as advertised, we should have seen an increase in the rate of reduction, or some discernible difference. We don't. So what is the value of a system which produces the SAME results that had been happening for 20 years prior to the new system (the same trend was happening in the 70s)? Other than produce billions of dollars for special interests?

"The costs are what they are, and that equaation will hold true. Whether we ever bother to discover the system that gets us closest to lowest total cost is a different matter.It is up to us to discover those costs, and do it accurately. "

Its not up to us to determine costs for something that has no identifiable externalities. Its like saying what is the cost associated with ugly people and the externalities they cause to my eyes when I look at them?

You have to PROVE there is some negative impact of CO2, first.

"You are suggesting that we ignore the external cost, just because we cannot yet prove (exactly) what it is.However, to the extent we can prove it is not zero, that there is some coast associated, or even some probable cost, we can use that to make a decision that results in lower cost thatn ignoring it totally."

If you can't figure out the existence of the externalities, if you can't figure out its supposed costs, then ANY action you will take will produce results which are far from optimal. You will get political results, and political goals.

Every action, of whatever character, no matter how small, has negative and positive externalities associated with it. You typing on your keyboard is killing hundreds of skin cells per stroke, its killing hundreds of bacteria per stroke, and causing some level of externalities, both positive or negative.

Obviously the COST of figuring out those externalities exceeds any possible benefit to finding out what they are. The argument of "externalities" is an over-abused and not-understood argument.

The same with CO2. If no one is actually presenting a single piece of evidence that CO2 causes even a single hair to fall off someone's head, why are we wasting billions of dollars trying to find this mythical beast, and worst yet trying to pass taxes and setting arbitrary levels? These levels are clearly NOT intended to reduce any negative externalities, since they can't even be identified.

 
At 3/21/2011 1:34 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"My comment: Too much CO2 can cause health problems."

Like what?

==================================

Suffocation.
"

I would expect no less from you. Another 'fire from the hip' response that hasn't required any thought on your part.

You should be aware that suffocation may occur at concentrations of about 10% CO2. You, having a strong background in math and chemistry, and graduate level courses in statistics, economics, finance, business, law, contracts, and history, should have no trouble converting that to a concentration of 100,000 Parts per million.

That's more than 250 times the current concentration of atmospheric CO2 of 390 PPM.

The highest level of atmospheric CO2 in the last 600 million years is estimated to have been 7000 PPM - less than 1/4 the level of 30,000 PPM (3%)that OSHA considers a safe level.

I know that in the past, you have struggled with the concept of percentages, but do yourself a favor. Do your own calculations, and give these numbers some careful thought before before you respond again.

The discussion you broke in on without thinking, like a child interrupting an adult conversation, was about atmospheric CO2, and the possibility that it could be related to health problems. You, interrupting to shout - SUFFOCATION - , didn't add to the discussion.

How is it possible that you spent so much time exposed to education with so little of it soaking in?

Please, think before you type.

 
At 3/21/2011 1:38 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"You have far more faith in government getting it right than I have."

This seems an odd statement coming from you, who constantly urges more government regulation as the solution to every inequity.

 
At 3/21/2011 1:43 PM, Blogger AIG said...

"Really? Why not. The better the results, the more money governmnt has for promoting other improvements.GAO has said explicitly that there is no reason for ANY regulation that does not provide a net positive social benefit.EPA has rules that prohibit any person or group from having an undue burden form environmental regulaton, and that includes an undue burden from artificially low productivity."

This is not how pollution prevention schemes of government work. They have never worked this way.

Gov. pollution prevention schemes are typically dead on arrival whenever the technology or costs associated with them are too high that industry will just ignore them. Gov has passed dozens of bills which have had no impact on anything, because they were unachievable (the most recent example being California's idiotic electric cars and renewable mandates).

What needs to happen, for any such schemes to succeed, is industry getting costs being pushed down its throat on a particular pollutant (usually this has happened through law suits). Second, the technology for controlling pollution needs to exist, and be cost competitive (catalytic converters just COULDN'T work prior to the 1970s), and desulfurization became practical and economic only in the 1970s, for example. So once the technology exists, and the costs become small enough, and the costs of not implementing become great enough (in almost all cases this has been from market forces; ie PR, customers leaving, law suits, or local communities revolting etc), then what happens is collusion between industry and government to achieve mutually-agreed upon levels of reduction.

Government levels are almost NEVER going to be lower than what the industry already agrees that it can meet. Of course, this introduces a big problem of special interests and lobbyists, because larger firms in the industry get to set levels for themselves. And it forces any such industry to become consolidated, monopolistic, and eventually need government guarantees to survive.

Gov. not only doesn't care about "optimal results", it has no idea what these are.

Now so far as there are real pollutants involved, this very imperfect system has produced some results. It is hard to argue one way or the other if gov. collusion with industry in setting the levels has increased or decreased the level of reduction than would have happened otherwise.

But when we're talking about make-believe fairy-dust sort of "externalities", like CO2 (or CFCs) then we enter into a whole different world.

" What we need is a government controlled by day to day price signals, and that includes a price on how much pollution we are willing to accept."

We do that every day. Every day you drive your car, you signal that you are willing to put up with whatever pollution it produces, and you are willing to allow your neighbor to do the same since you agree that his negative externalities to you, are simply not worth any actions from you.

"Suppose you are right, and no one knows what the costs of CO2 or SO2 are. "

SO2 and CO2 are not the same thing. So2 has an identifiable localized source, localized and identifiable impact, identifiable victims, identifiable negative externalities, with which you can go to court and sue someone. CO2 exhibits none of those characteristics.

"Why does that mean that people who believe the cost to be one thing or another should not be allowed to put their money where their mouth is?"

Let them. Last time I checked the carbon market went out of business.

"Are you willing to have unlimited liquor stores in your neighborhood? Do you beleive that NYC can absorb an unlimited number of taxicabs, Really?"

This is the simplest supply and demand argument in the world.

 
At 3/21/2011 2:17 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Thats not true. I myself worked on measuring the quantity and effect of atmospheric sulfuric acid."

Then it's as AIG said: The trading schemes were imposed with no scientific evidence.

It's no wonder that the threat was so vastly overblown.

 
At 3/21/2011 2:36 PM, Blogger AIG said...

I wonder why some posts either didn't appear, or appeared and then later disappeared. Any explanation for this?

 
At 3/21/2011 3:10 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

Then it's as AIG said: The trading schemes were imposed with no scientific evidence.

================================

Can't resist the gratuitous insult, can you?



No scientific evidence of the trading schemes, maybe, but there is no lack of scentific evidence for the damage caused.

But lets asume you are right, and there is no evidence at present. what evidence would you consider sufficient? How much damage would have to occur before you considered it significant?

I ask because your statement leads me to believe that you think there is no evidence and there will NEVER be sufficient evidence to convince you.

However, if you can think of some evidence that might convince you, or some level of damage that would lead you to demand action, then it is worth while trying to figure out what the most efficient control mechanism is, one that makes sure that we don't take zero action, too little action, or too much action.

 
At 3/21/2011 3:18 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

This seems an odd statement coming from you, who constantly urges more government regulation as the solution to every inequity.

==================================

I never said any such thing. The entire purpose of that equation is to show a path that will lead to less regulation, but not to too little regulation, or excessivleyt less regulation.

You beleive in the law of supply and demand, why wouldn't you think it applies to regulation and protection, just the same: too much supply of regulation gets you a bad result, and so does too little provision of protection.

As long as government does its primary job, protecting people and their property equally, I could care less about inequity.

 
At 3/21/2011 3:39 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

Yes Ron, I know what the lethal limit is for CO2. You asked if there was any danger, not how likely. I agree my resume is improbable, I'm glad you enjoy a good laugh.

At one time the earth had an atmosphere that would hvae been lethal to humans. We may have such a condition again, and nothing we can do about it. Giant swings in the market may be natural events, too, but that doesn't prevent us from making a lot of money off of marginal trades. how do you decide which ones and how big?

I'm not engaging in the is there global warming debate, here, and what I think one way or another is my business. But given there is going to be a climate, how do we manage it? Which investments and how big?

I'm only trying to make the point that the graph suggests to me that we may be spending money on some risks inefficiently. Given that we will spend some money, how will we do it efficiently, especially since all scientific evidence is to be dismissed outright.

We can make a decision to make no investment in atmospheric matters, but that is still a decision that has cost consequences. We may as well know what they are.

 
At 3/21/2011 3:42 PM, Blogger AIG said...

" but there is no lack of scentific evidence for the damage caused.
"

For CO2????????

 
At 3/21/2011 3:53 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

"Carbon dioxide is a natural part of the world around us so we do not view it with the same level of apprehension as manmade compounds, yet carbon dioxide is a deadly gas. Undergorund miners have forfeited their lives to "choke Damp" the term for oxidizing carbon trapped within coal. When this happens in an enclosed space the gas cannot escape and forms and invisible and deadly cloud. On person describing the effect on nine persons killed this way was that they fell down dead as if shot.

In 1986 a carbon monoxise cloud is blamed for the deaths of 1746 people and thousands of cattle at lake Nyos, Cameroon."

 
At 3/21/2011 3:55 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"You are suggesting that we ignore the external cost, just because we cannot yet prove (exactly) what it is."

No, AIG is suggesting that there may not BE an external cost.

"However, to the extent we can prove it is not zero, that there is some coast associated, or even some probable cost..."

And that hasn't been done.

"we can use that to make a decision that results in lower cost thatn ignoring it totally."

Use what? There is nothing to use. Costs can't be lowered if there IS no cost.

Your argument, if it can be called that, is based on two erroneous assumptions:

- First, that somehow people are contributing in some significant way to changes in Earth's climate, specifically by causing temperatures to rise. This has not been demonstrated. Notice the word "significant".

- Second, that a warmer climate is a bad thing. There are plenty of indications that it's not.

The first assumption is dangerous, in that it suggests that somehow people can also lower the Earth's temperature. Policies designed to accomplish this almost certainly require either a return to pre-industrial times, or the occurrance of a miracle, even though there's no reason to believe that such draconian policies would affect temperatures at all.

If people aren't causing climate to change, why should they try to do so now? Can you say for sure that the current climate is ideal, that no mean temperature could be better?

You often ask if sea level rise by some amount would change the mind of someone who is skeptical of the notion that people are destroying the planet by having some miniscule effect, if any, on the climate. The answer has to be no.

Sea levels have risen, off and on, since the last glaciation. There is no reason to attribute any of that to people.

You must understand that sea level isn't uniform over the globe, and is influenced by many things other than temperature. Add to this the rise and fall of land masses due to tectonic activity, and you might appreciate the difficulty of pointing to some amount of sea level rise. You also need to include the where & the when.

You might then appreciate the difficulty of measuring changes in sea level before the use of satellites. There has only been reasonably accurate data for the last 30 years!

To try to make predictions from that is comparable to calculating your gas mileage by measuring consumption while you travel one foot in a 400 mile trip.

More thinking before typing would improve your comments immensely.

I would also recommend A. W. Montford's The Hockey Stick Illusion for a well written and eye openning view of how far climate scientists have gone astray in their determination to be right, for the sake of reputation and reasearch grants.

 
At 3/21/2011 3:57 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

If the "scientific community" really had figured out what CO2 causes, then they should be able to come up with some identifiable problems and some identifiable costs. They haven't.

================================

It is not true that they have not come up with such things.

It is only that they have none you find credible.

I'm suggesting a market based regulatory scheme that you should like. You can put your money where your mouth is, and if you are right, you will make money.

If the CO2 alarmists are wrong, they will lose their shirts.

Whats not to like?

 
At 3/21/2011 3:59 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

"The highest level of atmospheric CO2 in the last 600 million years is estimated to have been 7000 PPM - less than 1/4 the level of 30,000 PPM (3%)that OSHA considers a safe level."

=============================

Try telling that to the dead people at lake Nyos.

 
At 3/21/2011 4:02 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

Don't confuse real pollutants, which cause identifiable costs to others, and a made-up scare.

================================

If there are no costs, the the External Cost term in the equation goes to zero. You have a problem with addition, or are you too involved with promoting your ideology to see beyond your own bug deflector?

 
At 3/21/2011 4:12 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

Hydra, the point is carbon emissions can be measured to "command and control" them either through a carbon tax or cap-and-trade.

It's possible, cap-and-trade can end up like New York city taxi medallians.

"Water vapor" can also be controlled if that's an objective.

==================================

The point of my argument is that we should be looking for an objective way to determine the amount of control, preferabley a market based method, If the amount of control over externalities that people are willing to pay for is zero, then control is not an objective.


My observation is that everyone suffers from some externalities, and causes others. Everyone would like their externalities to go away, and everyone thinks the ones they cause do no damage.

Whoever satisfies that market, makes a bundle.

 
At 3/21/2011 4:33 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Health impacts of CO2:

Urban CO2 domes increase deaths, poke hole in 'cap-and-trade' proposal.
March 16, 2010

"In modeling the health impacts for the Los Angeles area, Jacobson determined an increase in the death rate from air pollution compared to what the rate would be if no local carbon dioxide were being emitted.

Jacobson found that domes of increased carbon dioxide concentrations...cause local temperature increases that in turn increase the amounts of local air pollutants, raising concentrations of health-damaging ground-level ozone as well as particles in urban air.

Jacobson found that there was increased stability of the air column over a city, which slowed the dispersal of pollutants, further adding to the increased pollutant concentrations.

"This study establishes a basis for controlling CO2 based on local health impacts," he said.

Current estimates of the annual air pollution-related death toll in the United States is 50,000 to 100,000.

Mark Z. Jacobson, B.S. Civil Engineering, B.A. Economics, and M.S. Environmental Engineering (1988) Stanford University
M.S. (1991) and Ph.D. (1994) Atmospheric Science, University of California at Los Angeles.

 
At 3/21/2011 5:07 PM, Blogger Dr. T said...

"In modeling the health impacts..."

we find whatever we want, because we don't bother using real evidence, real pollution measurements, and real epidemiology reports of air pollution-related sicknesses and deaths. We just play with models and publish bullshit.

Increased "domes" of carbon dioxide? They act as though CO2 doesn't rapidly diffuse throughout the air. If CO2 were that "sticky", we'd all collapse from respiratory acidosis during a long ride in a crowded elevator.

 
At 3/21/2011 5:59 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Peak

Although I can't seem to find the actual study, this Stanford opinion piece - I mean news release - that you appear to be quoting, starts with this interesting claim:

"Everyone knows that carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas driving climate change, is a global problem."

Are you sure you want to speak with the certainty you do about CO2 causing health problems, based on one study, and the roundabout logic Jacobson uses to reach his conclusions, and an article that begins with such a biased, and unscientific statement?

This is one study, and as admitted by Jacobson, the first of its kind, yet he can claim that:

"This study establishes a basis for controlling CO2 based on local health impacts."

Are you comfortable with the idea that major government policies could be adopted based only on this?

Without the actual study, we have no way of knowing how his model determined the differences in number of deaths.

I'm also aware that air pollution in the LA basin has improved steadily over the years even as CO2 concentrations have no doubt increased, that LA has a natural atmospheric inversion layer that traps air in the basin with or without the help of CO2, that average LA temperatures have dropped in the last 30 years at a rate that would extrapolate to 10deg C per century, and that heat island effect has a tremendous influence on both actual and measured temperatures. So, it's not clear how Jacobson reached his conclusion of 50-100 premature deaths for California, nor by how much these deaths are premature.

 
At 3/21/2011 6:01 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Dr T. said:

"we find whatever we want, because we don't bother using real evidence, real pollution measurements, and real epidemiology reports of air pollution-related sicknesses and deaths. We just play with models and publish bullshit.""

Thank you. That's what I really meant to say. :-)

 
At 3/21/2011 6:07 PM, Blogger AIG said...

That study is some serious garbage with errors of causation that wouldn't be allowed in a freshman year class.

The guy has never heard of UHI or never thought that CO2 sources also tend to release other real pollutants? He managed to get results of 0.0063K warming, associated it with CO2, and voila!

Hey! Why would we need scientific links between these real pollutants, this supposed greater temperature, and this supposed CO2 dome? He apparently found "strong correlation" between levels of CO2 and ozone and PM. Thats some ground-breaking discovery. I could have told him that without that EPA grant he got ;)

Churn it through the models and you get a piece of scientific garbage that only a political body could take seriously. Estimating deaths from CO2 through a model designed for ozone...without establishing a link between CO2 and ozone. Wow!

Of course, the purpose is to say that "since we can't figure out anything on a global scale that CO2 supposedly does, lets focus on the local and associate it with real air pollutants, to at least pass local cap and trade"

A very funny joke (which I'm sure other scientist will rip to pieces in no time)

 
At 3/21/2011 6:10 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Dr T, it seems, CO2 has a density 51.9% greater than air (almost as much as ozone at 66.0% greater than air, while helium has a density about eight times less than air), which is influencial in either a mathematical or empirical model.

 
At 3/21/2011 6:19 PM, Blogger AIG said...

So at 50-100 thousand deaths per year (estimated through models, and completely unrealistic), this guy was able to discern an increase of 50-100 deaths :)

Whats the margin of error in an estimation of "50 to 100 thousands"? :)

This is what passes for science these days. EPA funds scientists...scientist uses EPA mortality estimates...scientist reports results to EPA...EPA presents results to politicians.

Now THATs a positive feedback effect :)

 
At 3/21/2011 6:23 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

AIG, NASA also provided funding.

 
At 3/21/2011 6:25 PM, Blogger AIG said...

"Dr T, it seems, CO2 has a density 51.9% greater than air (almost as much as ozone at 66.0% greater than air, while helium has a density about eight times less than air), which is influencial in either a mathematical or empirical model."

Peak, if these "CO2 domes" existed or CO2 was localized in that manner, than the whole AGW theory would collapse on the fact that it depends upon CO2 to be dispersed.

So which is it?

If you read the paper, the guy is talking about minute differences in parts per BILLION, ie indiscernible differences.

How exactly do differences in part per BILLION of Co2, thousands of m up from ground level, affect local temperatures at the ground level?

The guy is joking.

 
At 3/21/2011 6:53 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

AIG, there are continuous flows of CO2 emissions and they're much larger in cities.

Obviously, concentrations need to be large enough, e.g. in "domes," to affect temperatures.

 
At 3/21/2011 7:26 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

Ron, I agree that starting with such a prejudicial statement is a red flag. Emotionally charged rhetoric in any position usually signals a weak underlying argument. You might remember that.

Sheesh, those guys have more education than I do. Surprised you did not attack their credentials.

 
At 3/21/2011 8:14 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

It is not parts per billion, but parts per million. The record at mauna loa increased from around 300 pom in 1960 to 380 ppm today, an increase of almost more than 25%.

The area of a hemisphere is related to the square of its radius, so more mixing with cleaner air results on the periphery. The result is a concentration gradient, which isn't inconsistent with higher urban concentrations in general.

As for density, co2 is heavier, but not so heavy that even slight perturbations cause some mixing.

So you have a situation with competing rates. Put a torch flame in the middle of a plate of steel. The flame temp is hot enough to melt steel but it doesn't. You get a red spot in the middle, but the plate radiates heat away faster than you apply it. You can still pick up the plate. But turn the flame up and the whole sheet eventually gets hot, because the rates have changed. Turn it high enough, and you blow a hole through. Same flame temperature, just more of it.

 
At 3/21/2011 8:31 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

No model is 100% accurate, but some are useful. I worked on one to predict the measurement of toxic plumes in a city canyon environment. We modeled every buiilding in the test area and did a finite element analysis on the aerodynamics. Then we outfitted the city with sensors and released a tracer gas. The measured results were within a few ppm of the predicted results.

However, the politicization of science has always been an issue, since Copernicus anyway. Doesn't mean the science is wrong.

 
At 3/21/2011 8:43 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

What is the margin of error in an estimate if fifty to a 100 thousand? Surprised the article didn't say. If I recall it is the product of all the errors the final estimate is composed of, since each error could be either way.

Lets say it was 50 to 100000 plus or minus 50 thousand.

So now we are 98% certain the answer is between zero and 150 thousand.

How many deaths would you be 98% certain of before government action would be justified?

 
At 3/21/2011 9:23 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

Coal realeases far more radioactive particles ......
==========================

True, but when was the last time coal caused a recall of spinach and milk?

 
At 3/22/2011 1:28 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Sheesh, those guys have more education than I do. Surprised you did not attack their credentials."

I haven't attacked your credentials, but your silly and poorly thought out comments, and your apparent failure to retain much of the learning you were exposed to. I would expect better of someone who has had the schooling you claim.

If "those guys" posted nonsense on this blog like you do, I would attack them also.

 
At 3/22/2011 2:18 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

SOx cap and trade is also... indisputably...a pointless scheme. SOx cap and trade was introduced in 1990. From 1990 to the present, there is an INDISTINGUISHABLE rate of decline in SOx emissions or air concentrations, as there had been from 1970 to 1990. You can't credit a system for producing identical rates of decline, 2 decades before its existence!

But that is what progressives do because there is no other way to support their failed thinking.

 
At 3/22/2011 2:54 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"But lets asume you are right, and there is no evidence at present. what evidence would you consider sufficient? How much damage would have to occur before you considered it significant?

How about SOME? Has there been speculation? sure, lots of it. Scary model results? Yes indeed. Lots of people attracting tons of money for 'research'? Yep. Alarming studies and news reports? Yes and yes. But evidence? There is NONE. The best "climate scientists" can do is torture and misrepresent data until they get the desired results.

"...then it is worth while trying to figure out what the most efficient control mechanism is, one that makes sure that we don't take zero action, too little action, or too much action."

Control what? If there is no problem, then zero action is the correct course to take, and any amount is too much.

We don't consider "doing something just in case". There needs to be good evidence of a problem before anyone should consider addressing it. The precautionary principle is flawed. It would keep us from ever doing something for the first time. Without evidence of dangerous warming caused by people, it is incredibly arrogant and in fact dangerous to believe people can take some action to prevent it.

"I'm suggesting a market based regulatory scheme that you should like. You can put your money where your mouth is, and if you are right, you will make money."

You must be aware that a market has existed for trading of carbon credits, but due to lack of interest, the Chicago Carbon Exchange has closed. the price of carbon dropped so low as to be meaningless. The "cap" part of the phrase "cap & trade" is in no sense a market action, but purely central planning & government control. The fact that a market didn't exist without government interference, should tell you all you need to know.

"willing to have unlimited liquor stores in your neighborhood? Do you beleive that NYC can absorb an unlimited number of taxicabs, Really?"

Your ignorance is appalling! Do you see what I mean about not retaining what you were exposed to in school? Do you really believe there is no possible limit on the number of liquor stores or taxicabs except government rationing of licenses and medallions? Just think for a moment. Every store and every taxi has to provide a living for someone, or it won't stay in business. As there is a limit to demand for liquor and taxi rides, there is a limit to the number if stores & taxis that can succeed. Please think more before you type. The high prices for licenses and medallions is a signal that the supply doesn't meet demand.

"However, to the extent we can prove it is not zero..."

But we can't.

"..that there is some coast associated, or even some probable cost, we can use that to make a decision that results in lower cost thatn ignoring it totally."

As there is no way to determine that there is a cost, the rest of it is meaningless.

"I'm not engaging in the is there global warming debate, here, and what I think one way or another is my business."

That's cute. You ARE engaging in it by asking what evidence might be convincing, and your opinion is pretty obvious from your comments. It's odd that you consider your beliefs on this subject to be private, when you exhibit no such shyness on any other subject.

 
At 3/22/2011 2:57 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"But given there is going to be a climate, how do we manage it?"

We don't. It's that simple. Climate can't be managed, any more than can the phases of the moon. What hubris! We can only mitigate against undesirable effects, something we already do to a great extent.

"In 1986 a carbon monoxise cloud is blamed for the deaths of 1746 people and thousands of cattle at lake Nyos, Cameroon."

"Try telling that to the dead people at lake Nyos.
"

You are evading the issue. Why do you bring up an occurrences of fatalities? Are you being deliberately obtuse?

 
At 3/22/2011 2:59 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

Suffocation.

Again you forget dose. You can drown in water but regulating or banning it is only something an idiot would be calling for.

 
At 3/22/2011 3:00 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

Right. They dont understand or don't believe that either too high or too low government intervention leads to waste, and therefore excess environmental damage.

Actually, it is government intervention that causes waste and environmental damage.

 
At 3/22/2011 3:26 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

Who said anything about assigning random costs?

Anyone who understands the nature of the game that is being played.

The costs are what they are, and that equaation will hold true.

There is no equation. Many of the costs are imagined and are not compared effectively to alternatives. Nuclear power produces a lot of energy and is responsible for fewer fatalities than a green favourite like wind energy.

Whether we ever bother to discover the system that gets us closest to lowest total cost is a different matter.

The market is far more capable of discovering the lowest total cost than than losers in a government bureaucracy who have to follow a political agenda that is determined by whichever party happens to be in power.

 
At 3/22/2011 3:49 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

You are suggesting that we ignore the external cost, just because we cannot yet prove (exactly) what it is.

Not at all. What is suggested is that you do not meddle in activities unless you can show that there is a cost to others.

However, to the extent we can prove it is not zero, that there is some coast associated, or even some probable cost, we can use that to make a decision that results in lower cost thatn ignoring it totally.

Nonsense. The 'external cost' associated with nuclear power is lower than that of other power sources, including the idiotic wind and solar power that you want us to subsidize.

 
At 3/22/2011 3:52 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

You are evading the issue. Why do you bring up an occurrences of fatalities? Are you being deliberately obtuse?

Because there is no empirical evidence to support the idiotic position that is being taken.

 
At 3/22/2011 12:52 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

including the idiotic wind and solar power that you want us to subsidize.

==================================

You are not listening, but trumpeting your own idieology, and imputing mine where I have none. I never said word one about subsidizing solar or wind.


My only argument is this: there are real costs and benefits associated with production of goods and services, externalites both negative and positive that occure as a result, and the costs and benefits of government activities (whether we agree with them or not) to level the playing field.


No matter which side of whatever fence you are on, no one should be in favor of higher TOTAL COSTS.

So that little equation has an answer, whether we bother to look for it or not. And the answer is most probably constantly shifting.

I frankly don't care whether you are a Darwinian Libertarian or the Greenest Socialist Alive: if you make an argument, and I see that it only considers one term, then I conclude you don't know what you are talking about. At best your argument is true for that term.

I'm almost 100% certain that if you argue for only increase or decrease in one term, without considering the others, there is an extremely low probability that the end result is actually lower TOTAL COST, for me, and everybody else.

I make no claim to know wha that is. But it is patently obvious to me that the supply and demand for regulatory services is just like any other supply and demand curve. There is one point that produces the most profit for producers, and the most benefit for conumers. Too much in either direction increases total costs.

Who in their right mind wants that?

But if you argue for ignoring external costs entirely, on the basis that they are invented, that is exactly what you are doing.

I agree with you. Invented external costs are not real, and should not be counted.

How do we do that, and not throw out true costs that should be consiedered?

GAO says there is no reason for a policy that does not produce a net social benefit (Lower Total Cost). Virtually everyone who proposes a policy claims to meet this test.

Fine. Show me how you plan to take some of the benefits and pay off all of the losers. Any loser can file a claim, but it has to be documentable: this regulation cost me 10 acres of grazing land, or something. I would not rule out well documented statistical costs, but we need uniform and consistent ways of getting them.

But don't just accuse me of being on the other side: I'm on their side when I think you are being supid and your side when I think they are being stupid.

Im convinced we find the lowest cost answer analytically, not . Both sides, or every side, is gulty of dressing up political ideas as if they were analysis, and even of hiring scientists and other analysts to produce official or authoritative sounding documents.

All of which is fine. But, the real answer is out there, and if we come up with a wrong one, then better one will soon surface. At that point the question is whether we accept it, and the savings it brings, or reject it on ethical and dogmatic basis like the Church rejecting Copernicus.

How many years do we want to pay a higher price for being wrong, just so we can believe the present religion?

Unfortunately, the "right answer" is probably moving around, and that is why you need a market based regulatory system that meets current needs. One that is faster than a four yeaar election cycle and responsive to the citizens not the elected.

 
At 3/22/2011 12:57 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

The 'external cost' associated with nuclear power is lower than that of other power sources,

=================================

Lower, but not zero. For any of them.

That suggests there is an appropriate balance in regulation managing these sources, and that regulation will affect the costs.

And I don't believe in zero external costs. I beleive you get to a point where figuring out and controlling the costs is more expensive than the harm claimed.

 
At 3/22/2011 1:01 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

Not at all. What is suggested is that you do not meddle in activities unless you can show that there is a cost to others.

================================

OK fine. But you reject all scientific evdence and anything that you don't agree with.

How do we establish rules of evidence? Ones that we can both live by and accept?

 
At 3/22/2011 1:19 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

OK fine. But you reject all scientific evdence and anything that you don't agree with.

Not at all. I reject claims that have no empirical support. Take a look at the breast implant, power line cancer cluster, MMR, and Erin Brockovich cases of fraud. In all cases there were lies that harmed or bankrupted companies and individuals. By the time the truth came out the harm was already done.

 
At 3/22/2011 2:08 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"But you reject all scientific evdence and anything that you don't agree with."

But there is no scientific evidence for catastrophic AGW. You can't claim causation from short term correlation. In fact, there are more reasons to believe that elevated atmospheric CO2 levels are caused by higher global temperatures than the other way around.

 
At 3/22/2011 3:26 PM, Blogger Che is dead said...

The true cost of Britain's clean, green wind power experiment: Pollution on a disastrous scale, UK Mail

 
At 3/22/2011 3:57 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

My only argument is this: there are real costs and benefits associated with production of goods and services, externalites both negative and positive that occure as a result, and the costs and benefits of government activities (whether we agree with them or not) to level the playing field.

You are a statist who argues for more government involvement where none can be justified. That means that whether you like it or not you are complicit in the political process that is destroying your country and is transferring wealth from consumers and taxpayers to special interests like the alternative energy companies.

Now you can pretend that idiot bureaucrats working under political pressure from an unscrupulous Confess and an administration looking to get reelected are somehow better able at determining true total costs but you have provided no evidence that your assumptions are correct. As for me, I point to the history of interventionism and central planning and show that it does not work. I believe that it was Kotlikoff who identified at least 115 regulatory bodies who were supposed to look after the US financial system. Not only did they fail to detect Madoff's scam, they also missed the entire housing bubble, rating agency conflicts, and reinsurer risk structures that brought the current crisis to a head. For some reason you have faith when audit after audit shows incompetence, corruption and stupidity are the norm. When the very people who are supposedly protecting your interests spend more time watching on-line porn than looking for scams it is time to end the system as it is and let those that have a stake in the game look after their own interests properly.

No matter which side of whatever fence you are on, no one should be in favor of higher TOTAL COSTS.

Nobody is of higher TOTAL COSTS except for the producers who demand protection in the way of tariffs and subsidies. It is they who are bringing up false arguments that idiots find convincing so we wind up with things like corn to ethanol programs that make ADM and some farmers richer while they make the rest of the population poorer. Instead of noticing that and seeing the light you move further into the darkness without a clue about how easily you are being deceived.

 
At 3/22/2011 4:03 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

Lower, but not zero. For any of them.

That suggests there is an appropriate balance in regulation managing these sources, and that regulation will affect the costs.


No it does not because if you need to use energy to do work you have to produce it in a way that minimizes the costs. That is not what happens when government bureaucrats push political agendas and select winners and losers through regulations. The only way to come up with the optimum mix of sources is to have the market determine what gets built where as specific local demands by consumers are met by people competing for their purchasing power.

 
At 3/22/2011 4:57 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

I make no claim to know wha that is. But it is patently obvious to me that the supply and demand for regulatory services is just like any other supply and demand curve. There is one point that produces the most profit for producers, and the most benefit for conumers. Too much in either direction increases total costs.

First, you assume that regulators are less ignorant than you are. While that may turn out to be the case it does not mean that they know any more or are any more capable of planning an economy than you or others as ignorant as you.

Second, you assume that in a competitive marketplace the producers will call the shots and that consumers will suffer. But reality says otherwise because the areas that are freest from regulation are the most competitive and innovative, and offer the best deal for consumers. Compare the advances made in the very competitive tablet, laptop, and cell phone space with the regulated healthcare and education industries. And within the healthcare space, why is it that areas that have fewer regulations and where consumers call the shots because they pay out of pocket (ex., cosmetic and eye surgery) have had a much lower rate of price increases than the more regulated sectors covered by Medicare and insurance?

 
At 3/22/2011 5:35 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"like the Church rejecting Copernicus."

You should be aware that although it was controversial, the Church did not reject Copernicus' idea of a heliocentric universe outright, but only the assertion that this view couldn't be reconciled with Holy Scripture.

 
At 3/22/2011 5:45 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

I frankly don't care whether you are a Darwinian Libertarian or the Greenest Socialist Alive: if you make an argument, and I see that it only considers one term, then I conclude you don't know what you are talking about. At best your argument is true for that term.

I only note that you have no clue what you are talking about because you make assumptions that government regulators are capable of making better decisions about costs than an unhampered marketplace that recognizes property rights. History has shown that you are wrong because regulators have been incompetent failures and always seem to be unable to anticipate the unintended consequences that most rational people should be able to predict with ease.

As I have written before, your inability to see that your assumptions are false is your problem, not anyone else's.

 
At 3/22/2011 7:06 PM, Blogger juandos said...

Hey Che, yet another lovely link amigo...

Muchismas gracias...

 
At 3/22/2011 10:44 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

I only note that you have no clue what you are talking about because you make assumptions that government regulators are capable of making better decisions about costs than an unhampered marketplace that recognizes property rights

=================================

You obviously have not read a word I have said.

Governments job is to protect persons ond property rights. We have such government specifically because the unhampered market has proven over and over again it is incapable of protecting property rights.

I argued above that government regulators are incapable of making command and copntrol decisison about costs, and in any case such decisions are too infrequent.

Therefore we need to have a market based system of regulations which protect property rights. If you want to downzone your neighbor, that can be done, but he will have to be paid for his reduction in rights.

Right now, that does not happen, because as youp oint out government is incapable of properly figuring out the costs: TC = PC + EC + GC. They will downzone one guy, because he hasn't the votes his neighbors have, even if the cost to him is greater than the "savings" or benefit to his collective neighbors.

One might argue, that it would be better if he could not be downzoned. But that would mean he had infinite rights: perfect protection, and his neighbors had none, or less anyway. recognition of proerty rights, implies we all have equal property rights,which means no one gets total property rights.


My solution is not perfect, but at least the loser gets something, and the winners have at least a little deterrence, knowing that they cannot get (steal) what they want, totally for free. And my solution provides a built in and fast acting feedback mechanism, which keeps the government, other property grabbers, and the environmental whiners halfway honest.

 
At 3/22/2011 11:02 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

the Church did not reject Copernicus' idea of a heliocentric universe outright, but only the assertion that this view couldn't be reconciled with Holy Scripture.

================================

Are you confusing Copernicus with Galileo? Galileo was charged, Copernicus was not. As I recall it, the church did refute Copernicus, but not until long after his death.

In any case I don't think the distinction is germane to the argument.

 
At 3/22/2011 11:09 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

First, you assume that regulators are less ignorant than you are. While that may turn out to be the case it does not mean that they know any more or are any more capable of planning an economy than you or others as ignorant as you.

==================================

Wow, you just cinvince me that you know everythintg and everybody else knows nothing.

Now how about making an actual argument?

How is a command and control government, or no gevernment, better than one in which the regulations are (at least partislly) controlled by market forces?

You believe in supply and demand for goods and services, but not for regulation and protection?

Aren't they just special classes of goods and services?

If the law of supply and demand doesn't apply to them, where along the spectrum of things we supply and use does the law of supply and demand break down?

 
At 3/22/2011 11:41 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

"But you reject all scientific evdence and anything that you don't agree with."

But there is no scientific evidence for catastrophic AGW. You can't claim causation from short term correlation. In fact, there are more reasons to believe that elevated atmospheric CO2 levels are caused by higher global temperatures than the other way around.

================================

There is evidence, there is not sufficient evidence to convince you. It is a matter of magnitude aqnd not fact, at least for now. my idea (and it isn't even mine) allows you a means of expressing your opinion with your wallet.

Instead of arguing about it, we just have a market in Global Warming Futures. With payment points triggered by agreed upon events. If one side wins, regulations get stricter, if theother side wins, they get looser.

There are a million ways to go about this, and any of them are better than simply declarign there is no evidence: end of argument.

Forget AGW and look at the idea of market based regulation in general.

We have had oil spills, mine explosions and nuclear accidents. Each of these has external costs.

Right now it looks as if coal is a lot cheaper than nuclear, but one reason might be that coal hasn't got the same level of regulation.

So, have a market in which bets are placed on deaths per million BTU. If you think Nukes need mor oversight, you bet on Nukes.

If they have the moth deaths per Trillion kilowats, then you win, but part of your winnings is taxed, to pay for more oversight. This conttnues until the number of deaths per TKW is equal and there is no more rational betting: there is now a level playing field.

Obviously these examples are patently crazy, but the pointis to illustrate how the market could be used to inform regulatory decisions.

But, in order for it to work, you must first concede that there is some event, or some statistic that would cause you to change your mind about the amount of evidence we have, or what valid evidence would look like.

But for youto say there is no evidence and never will be, tells me youshould be willing to make a large bet. I might be willing to take that bet if you can tell me what the payoff criteria are.

But if your answer is there are none and never will be, then it tells me you just don't care to play.

 
At 3/23/2011 4:37 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Right now, that does not happen, because as youp oint out government is incapable of properly figuring out the costs: TC = PC + EC + GC."

Government? Hell, EVERYONE is incapable of properly figuring out the costs. That's why TC=PC + EC = GC is meaningless. Why do you think it's not already being used? You try too hard to simplify things that can't be reduced.

"I argued above that government regulators are incapable of making command and copntrol decisison about costs, and in any case such decisions are too infrequent."

If it can't be done, why do you include this piece in your formula?

"If you want to downzone your neighbor, that can be done, but he will have to be paid for his reduction in rights."

Yes. You can buy his property, or pay him to not build, or whatever else you want that the two of you are able to agree on. You will have a contract. This is a voluntary market transaction, and government isn't involved.

"Are you confusing Copernicus with Galileo? Galileo was charged, Copernicus was not. As I recall it, the church did refute Copernicus, but not until long after his death."

No, I'm not confusing Copernicus with Galileo. It WAS long after Copernicus' death, and it was because of Galileo. He was charged with heresy for promoting Copernicus' heliocentric world view without reconciling it with scripture. The Church wasn't rigidly opposed to new ideas, but they had to be consistent with scripture.

"In any case I don't think the distinction is germane to the argument."

Well, probably not, as it wasn't much of an argument. But, it was you who brought it up for some reason.

You said:

"...like the Church rejecting Copernicus."

 
At 3/23/2011 5:34 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Right now it looks as if coal is a lot cheaper than nuclear, but one reason might be that coal hasn't got the same level of regulation."

Thank god for that, eh?

"There is evidence, there is not sufficient evidence to convince you.

Read what I wrote: There is no evidence for catastrophic AGW.

Surely even you understand that the drastic reductions in CO2 emissions recommended by some would have very little, if any, effect on future temperatures, but would bring to a halt the industrial world as we know it.

No serious person has suggested otherwise. And, there is no wind, or solar, or pixie dust replacement for fossil fuel and/or nuclear energy in the foreseeable future.

So, there you have it.

No one argues against the physics of CO2 being warmed by infrared radiation, but it's not clear how it affects a real world atmosphere. There is a great deal not known, and there is no evidence to support the notion that it has a major influence on global temperatures, what ever that even means. There are so many other things that appear to have a much stronger effect, things unaffected by reducing CO2 emmissions.

Your whole suggestion of a global warming futures market is just silly. You miss the whole point. Agreed on events triggering regulation changes for CO2 requires the assumption that the event was caused by CO2. If not, it's pointless to regulate CO2 at all.

 
At 3/23/2011 10:14 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

You obviously have not read a word I have said.

Governments job is to protect persons ond property rights. We have such government specifically because the unhampered market has proven over and over again it is incapable of protecting property rights.


This is not true. There is nothing about unhampered markets that is incompatible with the protection of property rights and the state is and always has been the biggest threat to your property rights because it has a monopoly on the legal ability to initiate force against anyone.

As I have written on may occasions, you are a statist who panders to power and makes up excuses for positions that are not moral or ethical. It is because there are so many people like you, who are making excuses for the growth of the state that we are in so much trouble today.

I argued above that government regulators are incapable of making command and copntrol decisison about costs, and in any case such decisions are too infrequent.

Infrequent? Open your eyes and take a look at the growth of the Federal Register. There are more bureaucrats making more decisions and intervening more often than ever before. Anyone who claims that their decisions are too infrequent is either stupid or a liar.

 
At 3/23/2011 10:19 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

Wow, you just cinvince me that you know everythintg and everybody else knows nothing.

No. I only point out the obvious. No matter how smart the planners are or how noble their goals, they will not do as well for the economy as individuals who make their own decisions for themselves. The central planning system that you support is not possible even in theory. I guess that you never got the memo.

The other obvious point is also clear. We are not governed by super-intelligent angels but by flawed and stupid men and women who are driven by personal goals that are not compatible with the well being of all other individuals for whom they make decisions. It is because men are not angels that we cannot concentrate power in the hands of a political elite that is supposed to make decisions for us.

You obviously fail to account for these very simple and very obvious facts. So you pretend that central planning is viable in theory and that there are bureaucrats somewhere who can do better than individuals making decisions for themselves.

 
At 3/23/2011 1:34 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

You believe in supply and demand for goods and services, but not for regulation and protection?

Are you aware how stupid this statement is? If you demand that your actions are regulated because you are too stupid to know what is good for you, that is fine. But that is not good enough because when governments pass regulations to protect idiots from their own stupidity they also regulate those that are more intelligent and capable than you are. Those people did not demand that their actions be regulated because you are too stupid to know what is good for you.

I doubt that many people demanded that government tell them how much water their toilet tanks can hold, how much can flow through their shower heads, and when or where they can buy their booze on Sunday. And before you go off the deep end let me point out that we do not need any regulations against the initiation of force against people or property or against fraud because those are already illegal.

 
At 3/23/2011 1:43 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

There is evidence, there is not sufficient evidence to convince you.

It is put up or shut up time. Please provide a link to empirical evidence that human emissions of CO2 are causing a catastrophic increase in temperature. While you are doing that please provide the link to the IPCC because it could not provide any such evidence and claimed that it thinks that most of the warming since the 1950s was caused by man because its modellers could not find any natural factor.

Only an idiot could ignore history, which tells us that periods of warmer temperatures are better for life on this planet than periods of cooler temperatures. Only an idiot could overlook the fact that exposure to excess cold kills more people than exposure to excess heat. (I guess that is what happens when you can't understand how to read graphs that show that the mortality rate is lowest in the summer and highest in the winter.)

And if you are an American how do you explain the fact that average temperatures for your fellow citizens were higher in the 1930s than they were in the supposedly hot 1980s, 1990s or 2000s?

So let me ask again, where is the empirical evidence of catastrophic warming that is driven by human emissions of CO2. If you can't find it, and you can't because the IPCC could not, you would be better off doing some actual reading and getting an education that would allow you to see the world as it is rather than as you imagine it to be.

 
At 3/23/2011 1:44 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

How is a command and control government, or no gevernment, better than one in which the regulations are (at least partislly) controlled by market forces?

Simple. When you regulate and intervene in voluntary transactions you choose sides and pick winners and losers. You distort the markets and cause capital to flow to areas that would not have attracted investments while you remove capital from other areas of the economy where the capital would be better used. (See the housing bubble on how this works.)

The role of government should be very simple. It is supposed to protect people from those that would initiate force against them or their property and allow for the settlement of disputes. (Even this is going too far but let us accept it as legitimate.)

In a free society there would be no Department of Commerce, Education, Energy, Housing, Agriculture, etc., etc., etc., because there is no need for government to interfere with economic activity. It certainly would not be taxing electricity consumers to subsidize inefficient wind power generation, solar, corn to ethanol programs, or whatever is the flavour of the day.

 
At 3/23/2011 2:36 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

How is a command and control government, or no gevernment, better than one in which the regulations are (at least partislly) controlled by market forces?

=============================
Vange:

Nice wishful thinking, but you didn't answer the question.

 
At 3/23/2011 3:21 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

It is put up or shut up time. Please provide a link to empirical evidence that human emissions of CO2 are causing a catastrophic increase in temperature.

=============================

Please provide an example of what you would accept as evidence.



Look, I never said that I believe we are causing antropogenic global climate change.

Make a truth table: the climate is changing, or it is not.

The causes are natural or they are not.

Given that there is change, the effects will be bad or they will not.

We may be able to cost effectively prevent bad things or not.

With no evidence (which is your argument) each choice is a coin toss, except for the last two which are contingent.

With no evidence whatever, I make that to be a 6% chance that we will be able to prevent some bad things and do it cost effectively.

Also a six percent chance we will try to prevent bad things and fail: it will cost us more than the savings are worth.

And a 12% chance that we don't spend any money and nothing bad happens.


Thats if there is no evidence.

Unlike you, I believe there is evidence, but that it is inconclusive. The proof that it is inconclusive is that you and others don't believe it, yet.

However, I don't think even you are saying that there could never be enough evidence to convince you. I don't see you sprinting up the beach in front of the approaching Tsunami still claiming there is no cause and effect with earthquakes.

Make it easy. Leave humans out of it. wht evidence would you require just for step one: to decide whether we are undergoing climate change or not?

On one hand you reject temperature changes that are the result of stations being encroached on by urban areas, then you turn around and reject data that has been adjusted.

Sounds unreasonable, to me.

 
At 3/23/2011 3:26 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

The government concludes through scientific study that a stream can accept a certain maximum load of BOD without a high probability of periodic fish kills. And it licenses a brewery to reject waste into the stream that does not exceed that amount.

The brewery receives an offer from a pharmaceutical manufacturor to buy their site and their discharge permit, and they offer far more than the brewery can make by selling beer.


What is not voluntary about that transaction?

 
At 3/23/2011 3:29 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

Only an idiot could ignore history,.............


=================================

Every red-blooded american knows history is a pack of reconstructed lies.

You got a real argument in there somewhere?

 
At 3/23/2011 3:32 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

Are you aware how stupid this statement is?

==============================

It is not a statement, it is a question, stupid.

Like any other market, some people ant more regulation, and some peopel want less.

In most such situations we have some kind of an auction. Why do you think this is different?

 
At 3/23/2011 3:45 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

That's why TC=PC + EC + GC is meaningless. Why do you think it's not already being used? You try too hard to simplify things that can't be reduced.

============================

Meaningless? It is a simple sum.
are you now telling me you do not believe in addition?

Those three costs are whatever they are, and the total cost is the sum of them.

If we do not know what those coasts are, or at least have acceptable estimates for them, the only reason is that we have not tried.

We would rather be ignorant about the truth and make the baldheaded claim that lowering government costs ALWAYS lowers total cost, and we will continue to make that claim whether total cost go up or down as a result of our policies.

We would rather be ignorant about the truth and make the baldheaded claim that lowering external costs ALWAYS lowers total cost, and we will continue to make that claim whether total cost go up or down as a result of our policies.

We would rather be ignorant about the truth and make the baldheaded claim that lowering production costs ALWAYS lowers total cost, and we will continue to make that claim whether total cost go up or down as a result of our policies.


You have three choices of stupid. you can either pick one and go with it, or go over to the other side of the equation and try your best to determine what the lowest total cost is.


Or you can say to hell with it, I don't care about anybody else, don't care about growing the pie, I want my profit now and screw everybody else.

Just don't take that position and then claim you are in favor of equal property rights and that pure capitalism will cure all our ills.

 
At 3/23/2011 3:54 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

the state is and always has been the biggest threat to your property rights because it has a monopoly on the legal ability to initiate force against anyone.

===============================


You are delusional. your sentence is internally inconsistent. The state was not always the biggest threat to my property rights. Before the state everyone was a threat to my propreerty rights, and legally so, there being no state to create laws.

We gave the state that monopoly for a reason.

On the other hand, the state is still responsible to us. But it does not have enough feedback from us. That is why we need a market based system that determines the fair level of regulation, in the same way that the market determines the fair and efficient level of prices.

 
At 3/23/2011 4:07 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

No matter how smart the planners are or how noble their goals, they will not do as well for the economy as individuals who make their own decisions for themselves.

===============================

Which is precisely what I am suggesting.

Rather than have a tragedy of the commons, we auction it off the rent of it to the highest bidder. But since it is still our common, we split the proceeds from the auction.

Each of us is responsible for our own decision as to how much to bid.

If the high bidder is overoptimistic and ruins the commons to cover the costs of his auction bid, then next year the max bid will be lower, until the right level of "regulation" for use of the resouce is found.

Or, as I pointed out before, we could just sell the commons outright, and "Trust" that the new owner will be considerate of our property rights and not put a pig farm in the cnter of all our houses.


Or, we could divide it up into litle pieces. The renter of the common would have to negotiate with each of us individually. Each would still be responsible for his own decision. So, if ten percent of the owners elected not to rent, to become conservationists, then only 90% of the common could be rented, and those ten percent who witheld sharing their property rights would bear the cost of getting nothing in return.


Let me guess, you like the scenario where we sell the asset outright.

 
At 3/23/2011 5:00 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Let me guess, you like the scenario where we sell the asset outright.

Only because none of your other suggestions make good sense. A property owner is most likely to maintain the value of their property out of self interest, a tenant isn't. A tragedy of the commons is almost inevitable, as no one owns it. Saying "we all own it" doesn't have the same comforting ring as "It's mine!".

Keep in mind that a property can be sold with conditions attached, like no pig farming. You can buy and sell property with or without rights to minerals, or water. And no one has unlimited rights to the airspace over their property.

 
At 3/23/2011 10:06 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

Only because none of your other suggestions make good sense.

==================================

Virginia is trying to sell its liquor stores outright. There is considerable controversy over this.

Another state (Vermont? , New Hampshire?) opted to lease thiers to a private operator. They made a bundle, and they still have the stores. If the lessee over bid, thats his problem, but the next lease will go for less, until the proper price is reached, considering the (artificially) limited resource.

Massachusetts lets each town decide whether to allow liquor stores, but if they don't, they foregoe the revenue.

Each of these ideas is in effect, so what makes you think mine are off the wall?


You are right, the owner will maintain his property, but will he respect his neighbors rights?




Keep in mind that a property can be sold with conditions attached, like no pig farming.

Bingo.

Pig farming is a separate property right that you still own. You could decide to sell that right at a later date, if the price of pigs skyrocket.

So, I have a farm, and over time it becomes surrounded by genteel residences. They are concerned that I might start pig farming, if theprice of hogs skyrocket.

So they vote a new zoning ordinance that prohibits or severely limits my potential pig farm. They took 100% of that property right (for some public benefit or use) and did not pay me for it.

Seems to me there is a disconnect. A regulatory taking only occurs if substantilly all the value is taken, yet property is recognized as a "bundle of sticks".

I would argue that if you take one of my sticks, you have take substantilly all the value of that stick.

But, we are gettting afield. Property of that sort is different from your tax dollars.

Look at it this way. You have property that you have to let go of for some reason (in this case government coercion, if you like, but the reason does not matter). Before you let it go, you put some conditions on the transaction.

Isn't that what I'm suggesting?

 
At 3/24/2011 7:18 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

Nice wishful thinking, but you didn't answer the question.

Of course I did. Both cases that you gave are examples of a hampered marketplace. While less government interference is better to say that the market forces are controlling regulation is totally stupid because the two are not compatible.

 
At 3/24/2011 7:25 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

Please provide an example of what you would accept as evidence.

Data, not models. The IPCC says that most of the warming SINCE THE 1950s was LIKELY caused by man because the models can't figure out which natural factors could have done the job. That is not empirical evidence. If the IPCC had empirical evidence it would have cited it.

Where are the papers that show that human emissions of CO2 are responsible for the temperature trends that we have observed? Let me note that there are plenty of papers that have argued that the changes in the AMO/PDO, emissions of soot, land use changes, changes in solar activity and cloud cover, and ENSO frequency changes have all had a part in some of the warming that has been observed. Add up the amount claimed for each of those factors and you have no room for CO2 in the picture. But the IPCC has ignored the papers because its lead authors have been picked by governments to help make a case for regulating CO2 emissions and their reputations and careers depend on the CO2 story continuing.

Show me the evidence please. If you can't then stop writing on the subject and start reading the actual empirical science.

 
At 3/24/2011 7:36 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

Look, I never said that I believe we are causing antropogenic global climate change.

Make a truth table: the climate is changing, or it is not.


The climate has always been changing. And depending on the starting point that you choose you can argue that we are either in a warming or a cooling trend.

And let us note that the average temperature tells us nothing about what is happening to extreme temperatures. We saw how 'hot' 1998 was yet it had very few high record highs. The high average came from warm ENSO conditions starting sooner in the spring and lasting longer in the fall. By giving us a milder winter and more warmth in the spring and fall the average temperature for 1998 was quite high. But record highs were not there to support the bigger picture. In fact for the US most record highs came in the 1920s and 1930s.

With no evidence (which is your argument) each choice is a coin toss, except for the last two which are contingent.

You present false choices. I can say that you may or may not be an alien and without conclusive evidence each choice is a coin toss. See how stupid such arguments are?

 
At 3/24/2011 7:44 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

Thats if there is no evidence.

Correct. There is no evidence. You assume that warming may be the problem where it could be cooling that is the bigger problem as it always has been historically. You assume that CO2 is causing material warming for the world even though the US data shows no warming in the US since the 1930s and the NZ data shows no warming for a century.

Unlike you, I believe there is evidence, but that it is inconclusive.

Yours is a theological position. Science demands evidence.

 
At 3/24/2011 9:32 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

Rather than have a tragedy of the commons, we auction it off the rent of it to the highest bidder. But since it is still our common, we split the proceeds from the auction.

It is not YOUR common and there is no WE that comes into the picture. Bureaucrats are not WE. And when I buy my gasoline I get it from its rightful owner, the producer, not the common. It has already been taxed and has provided far more profit (without risk) to the thieves that occupy various levels of government than it did to the people who worked to produce it.

You are an apologist for statism and a panderer to power who has yet to realize that your version of socialism has never worked. You are actually far more dangerous and harmful to society than those that have the courage to declare themselves socialists and statists because you do more harm to the principles that you claim to defend than they ever could.

 
At 3/24/2011 10:16 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Unlike you, I believe there is evidence, but that it is inconclusive."

How many times must you be asked? LET'S SEE IT! Cite it!


"The proof that it is inconclusive is that you and others don't believe it, yet."

"On one hand you reject temperature changes that are the result of stations being encroached on by urban areas, then you turn around and reject data that has been adjusted.

That's only part of it. Do yourself a favor. Read about this project for information on problems with temperature stations, if you are really interested in what they are. Then ponder the fact that US stations represent 1/2 of all stations in the world, but cover only 2% of the earth's surface, and you might begin to understand a small part of the problem.

It becomes obvious that what we know about Earth's temperature and its trends is uncertain at best. Yet, we see temperatures listed to 1/100 or even 1/1000 of a degree. You, the statistics trained person, should see a problem with that.

Oh. I forgot. You don't read references. Too bad.

 
At 3/24/2011 3:19 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Unlike you, I believe there is evidence, but that it is inconclusive."

How many times must you be asked? LET'S SEE IT! Cite it!


"The proof that it is inconclusive is that you and others don't believe it, yet."

"On one hand you reject temperature changes that are the result of stations being encroached on by urban areas, then you turn around and reject data that has been adjusted.

That's only part of it. Do yourself a favor. Read about this project for information on problems with temperature stations, if you are really interested in what they are. Then ponder the fact that US stations represent 1/2 of all stations in the world, but cover only 2% of the earth's surface, and you might begin to understand a small part of the problem.

It becomes obvious that what we know about Earth's temperature and its trends is uncertain at best. Yet, we see temperatures listed to 1/100 or even 1/1000 of a degree. You, the statistics trained person, should see a problem with that.

Oh. I forgot. You don't read references. Too bad.

 
At 3/24/2011 3:32 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Please provide an example of what you would accept as evidence."

OK, please compare the temperature of our planet to one in a parallel universe, in which every detail is exactly the same, down to the number of hairs on your head, except on the parallel Earth, humans don't burn fossil fuel. What did you get? Is there a meaningful difference? Is it catastrophic? I would believe that evidence.

 
At 3/24/2011 5:05 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Truth Table:

You are funny. Your questions are too simple. If only life could be that easy. Based on your choice of questions to be decided, I'd say your not very good at this game.

Can you seriously suggest that major political and economic policies , which if implemented would return the developed world to pre-industrial times, should be decided by tossing coins?

First of all, no one suggests that climate isn't changing, although some so-called climate scientists have told us that climate didn't change in any meaningful way over the last 2000 years, until the 20th century. We know that to be false. Climate has always changed, and will always change.

Is it natural or man made? A coin toss won't help with this one. As climate does in fact change, there certainly must be natural causes. It's also likely that human action is causing some changes. BUT - and here's the whole thing in a nutshell - It's not clear how much of a change humans cause, if any. It seems apparent that several natural influences on temperature are far more important than CO2.

Your third trial assumes #1 is true, which no one disputes, will changes be good or bad? Some of each. It depends on where you are when you ask the question and toss the coin. If you are assuming temperatures are rising, however, most indications are that changes will be good.

Your fourth trial assumes that changing climate is bad, AND that there is something that can be done to prevent it. It is almost certain that nothing "cost effective" can be done. In fact, even those who recommend drastic action admit that by their calculations if all CO2 producing activity in the US was halted completely right now, the temperature, (whatever a global mean temperature even means) by the year 2100 would not be meaningfully different enough to measure.

So, when you talk of "cap and trade" or a carbon tax, or any other "save the planet" remedy, you are recommending pain with no gain.

So, what's your evidence?

And, I'm still waiting for a reference to information on people starving in the US, or will you man up & admit that was BS?

 

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