Thursday, October 8, 2009

Global warming nightmare? I doubt it.

Andrew D Atkin

There is a lot of controversy associated with whether or not global warming is notably carbon-induced or not. I cannot comment on this. What I can comment on is the methods in which governments have chosen to suppress carbon emissions (cap and trade, and making certain carbon-reducing methods compulsory) and also the idea that a slightly warmer earth and rising sea levels will somehow be a disaster.

Methods to reduce carbon emissions:

If you want to reduce the carbon emission then what is the best way to do it? What will give you the most substantial reduction for the least economic/social pain? Easy. The best way to reduce carbon emissions is simply to tax carbon-consumption directly. You do this by employing a taxing system that incrementally but predictably increases the cost of carbon-consumption over time. This will lead to a direct market response. It will automatically induce the private productive sector to invest in non-carbon energy generation, and energy-efficient devices, and induce the consumer to take similar actions in response to higher-priced fuel and electricity. Consumers will buy smaller cars or invest in diesel or electric, or drive less often for example; whichever method happens to be best for them personally, to get their fuel bill under control. That is the great advantage of the market response. It leaves people alone to find their own best methods to reduce fuel consumption, and only the individual consumer themselves can know what the best method is for them.

By having a tax on carbon where the primary purpose of the tax is only to control demand there does not need to be a major net loss to the consumer. The tax collected though carbon control will directly subsidise the tax that would have otherwise been collected through other means.

So, if you say doubled the price of carbon through tax over 5 years, and then quadrupled the price over 10 years, you would then allow a smooth natural transition for any economy to migrate away from carbon dependency. This does not have to be too painful at all, because there are indeed many substantial and affordable alternatives to carbon dependency*. It will only cause real pain to people if it happens too quickly, and to the point where people can't function. There must be a reasonable adaption time. There is no point in asking people to do what is impossible.

What about the carbon consumed through the manufacture of imported goods? This also can be taxed at the national level. An import-tax can be employed on any item based on the approximate amount of carbon used in its manufacture. It will all have the same effect.

There is no need to tell people how to live (directly) where the government prescribes how we must reduce our emissions. This is wasteful, poorly effective and completely unnecessary. It is also not necessary to form an international taxation system that forces high-carbon consuming countries to pay low-carbon consuming countries for the privilege of reducing their own emissions.

So why don't we use the obvious, simple and effective direct-tax market-response system to control emissions? One conspiracy is that the carbon trading system is really about creating an international tax to fund the development of an international political body, to provide for and advance world government. I cannot dismiss this theory because the currently embraced solutions to carbon emissions are not rational if the real objective is only to reduce carbon emissions. Suspicion is justified.

The question is simple: Why do I have to pay other counties to reduce my carbon emissions? The practical truth is you don't.

*To say, geothermal has vast potential as a primary energy resource. There is a lot of exciting progress happening with this technology. Geothermal energy is virtually inexhaustible.

Note: What I am suggesting is consumer-end carbon demand control. This is the right end for demand control because it leads to the most efficient results, and does not destructively interfere with the "natural" free market economy, as I have already expressed. However, with this approach you will not suppress carbon emissions that are generated by exporters, because external consumers are not controlled by a local taxation regime. Also, suppressing carbon emissions coming from exporting industries will only make them internationally uncompetitive, and likewise those industries will be outsourced to nations that do not have carbon restrictions, because it will likewise be cheaper to produce there.

In turn, the only way you can avoid the outsourcing of carbon emissions from the outsourced [once] export industries--while still operating a consumer-end taxation regime--is to achieve international agreement from all relevant nations to employ consumer-end carbon charges on all products (local and imported). This is still far better than collaborating with the comparatively inefficient cap-and-trade system.

Responding to a warming world:

Some scientists (or economists?) have predicted that global warming will cost the global economy incredible amounts of money, in the order of many trillions of dollars. They have even provided concrete figures on the cost. I can't recall what those figures are exactly, but that is irrelevant to my following point.

So how do you calculate the real cost of a warming earth? It is impossible. You have to be able to quantify and account for all the adaptive responses that we would employ in response to a warming world. And there are many, many tangible responses that we can adopt. You also have to calculate all the adaptive responses that we haven't yet thought of.

When scientists (or other) claim to be able to measure the unmeasurable you can know that you are looking at propaganda, at least from somewhere down the line.

When it comes to the cost of a warming climate I believe strongly that there is little reason for the majority people, world over, to be greatly concerned. We are more than capable of modifying our crops--or simply using different crops--more suited to a slightly warmer climate. There is no reason for anyone to starve. Indeed, warmer climates can be great for growth (take a look at the tropics!). We can easily retrofit our houses to withstand a hurricane with little or no damage, or build new houses so that weather extremes are just not a concern. None of this is hard. We can plant trees without much difficulty to protect against soil erosion as well. These are only some examples.

What about rising sea levels? If sea levels rise by about 1 or 2 meters then we can simply build sea walls where required. 1 or 2 meters is not an expensive wall. 10 meters is. The cost of a sea wall increases exponentially with height. No one is predicting massive increases in the height of the ocean. At worst, cities prone to hurricanes that lie below the rising normal sea level will have to be retrofitted to withstand flooding. Over 50 or so years that will be relatively easy.

If global warming happens and the seas rise and the weather gets a little more erratic then that is ok. We will have plenty of time and capability to adapt, as required. I am not saying that global warming is good, but I am saying that the idea that it will lead to some kind of an apocalypse is nonsense. We really do have far better things--and bigger problems--to worry about.

A challenge for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC):

As I have previously expressed, I have reason to question the premises and motives behind today's climate change scaremongering, due to the irrational responses to the proclaimed problems.

The included video provides an interesting and very serious challenge to both the [supposed] findings and integrity of the IPCC. When you can spot something rotten, you have to ask yourself: "How deep does it go?"

I agree with the development of world government, eventually [refer to my Optimum Sustainability in the June index]. But I do not agree with a world government being developed in a corrupt manner nor developing into a seriously unaccountable form, and being led by people who are either stupid and/or insane. And at worst, this is where our global warming saga may be taking us.

But then maybe the world government movement believes that this is the only way that we can develop a world government in a timely-enough manner? Who knows what the minds behind the minds are thinking. All I can hope for is that the childish people who appear to be running so much of modern politics today are primarily only instrumental to better brains from above. Again, if that is what's really going on.


Addition: 7-12-09

Here is another very interesting and informative video. The narrator is excellent - very easy to understand and absorb:

And this is a video from the 1990's, also quite well done. It shows us how far back this whole warming (or cooling?) thing has gone:

And of course my update would not be complete without an informative link to the remarkable "Climategate" [61mb of leaked emails pointing in the direction of scientific corruption, associated with high levels of the IPCC personnel] that has rocketed across the internet:

So why has 'Climategate' not been covered by the mainstream media, either significantly or at all?

I think that we have to remember that the entire political world has now put a huge stake in the ground over AGW alarmism. Imagine if they had to admit that it was/is a massive scam now, if it is. So much has been invested into this--from so many individuals and organisations alike--that it would be an apocalypse for reputations at least, and also a tremendous blow to the public's faith in "officialdom", which in itself could have far-reaching and uncertain consequences.

If the AGW game is a proven fraud (and I can not and do not dismiss that possibility), then it is certainly not a fraud that we should expect to lie down quickly. Simply too much from too many quarters has been invested in the affirmative AGW position.

Note: As of yet it is unconfirmed as to whether or not these hacked emails are completely authentic and untampered with. We will wait and see.


More interesting material: 17-12-09

The senator in the following video (there are 4 parts on Google, I only provide the first) makes some interesting points about CO2, such as the fact that less than 0.04% [less than 1 part in 2,000] of our atmosphere is made up of CO2, and that at least 70% of CO2 emissions come from natural sources such as volcanoes. He also brings attention to the political connections within the AGW movement. His statement is courageous and intense.

The following is another [first part] video of Lord Monckton, discussing the science and politics of Global warming. He makes some very interesting political insights, especially respecting that he has long been a prominent insider to the political world.


Addition 8-01-10:

The following was posted on John Key's [the New Zealand prime minister] public blog:

Hello My Key and National: Sorry for beating this drum so hard, but the included point (and link) reinforces a point that, to me, is a "cruncher"; a simple, common sense reality that makes the runaway greenhouse effect so hard to believe.

It is understood by both sides of the debate that if we double atmospheric CO2 then that, alone, would give us about a 1-degree Celsius increase in global temperatures. The IPCC have done everything that they can to try and "prove" that this will be reinforced by positive-feedback so as to produce a runaway greenhouse effect. What nonsense, I say! Because if the feedback was positive (rather than negative) then the Sun, with its great output-variability, would have provoked runaway greenhouse effects probably 10 million times over since the dawn of life on Earth, as it does exactly what CO2 does - increases temperature. And obviously it has not.

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