2016 hottest year on record, 16 of 17 hottest years this century

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Mark T. Cenci
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Oh Claudius, we see you've

Oh Claudius, we see you've donned the holy vestments of "science". Word to the wise, get one of those censers and clear the air of our ignorant comments before you reply.

Let's see if we can agree on some real science, accomplished in our own lifetime. Plate tectonics. Multiple, inter related hypotheses presented, measured and proved. Astounding progress in understanding and cataloging earth facts and processes.

Naysayer in our own times conceding. My first geology professor was one of them. A world renowned and well loved teacher. C. Wroe Wolfe. It pained him to admit to it, as he had his own published theories of mountain building that he was forced to abandon, after a lifetime of work in the field. But he did so in the mid 1970's.

And do you know the rest of the story? Early in the 20th century the theory was presented and described by Alfred Wegener. And he was rebuffed and rejected. Why? Because he sought to overthrow orthodox geologic thought and he had no credentials. He was not a trained geologist. He flunked his peer review, miserably. He was, in fact, a METEOROLOGIST!

Bwahahaha!

But that didn't frigging much matter, did it?

Spider
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So, Spider, I'm happy that we

So, Spider, I'm happy that we agree that increase CO2 does cause warming.

Ok Claudius, I will try once more.

We are apparently communicating on different frequencies.

1. What I said was: The interaction between infrared radiation and CO2 was exothermic.

2. By quantifying the reaction rate based on 0.04% abundance I concluded and said:
“but not enough to be the forcing function for increasing global temperatures.”

I say: The naturally occurring variability in global temps….oscillating between Glacial and Interglacial is not caused by the presence of man-made CO2 …..(or the total inventory of CO2). CO2 does not cause global warming. CO2 is deminimis Period.

I say: The thermodynamic balancing, and therefore the global condition (Glacial or not Glacial) is influenced by sunspots, volcanic eruptions clouding the incoming photons from the sun, el Nino and whatever tha hell else is going on.

Claudius, you are free to conclude otherwise. I will not call you a retard. That might hurt your feelings.

Spider
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Dammit, I forgot to address:

Dammit, I forgot to address: “Can you explain why you don't trust science?”

Ok…last attempt.
I trust honest science, I do not trust dishonest scientists….that includes Mike Mann inventor of the hockey stick temperature plot that was debunked.

Those folks at the International Panel for Climate Control (IPCC) had their scientific folks that peer-reviewed all the work and papers on global warming and decided to issue a summary report. The reknown, honored, scientific community at IPCC reviewed 102 models from their peer-reviewed scientific community and predicted the global temps for the future. They blew it and I don’t trust them. See their predictive graph below.

FYI: I am not the only one that is selective about whom they trust, here are two examples:

Over 100 Prominent Scientists Warn UN Against 'Futile' Climate Control Efforts
“In particular, it is not established that it is possible to significantly alter global climate through cuts in human greenhouse gas emissions."
Source: http://www.epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases-all?ID=d4b5fd2...

Top climate expert's sensational claim of government meddling in crucial UN report.
“A top US academic has dramatically revealed how government officials forced him to change a hugely influential scientific report on climate change to suit their own interests.”
Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2614097/Top-climate-experts-sens...

IPCC MODEL GRAPH.png

Spider
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Mainmom....don't know the

Mainmom....don't know the answer to your question about nino and the squirting warm water thru bering straits.....

Claudius
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I'm really not sure what you

@Mark T. Cenci

I'm really not sure what you are trying to say here. Honestly. Please help me understand your point. Your writing about your geology professor is not at all clear.

Alfred Wegener was a scientist who contributed to the theory of plate tectonics. Yes, ok. Got it.

He was a meteorologist. Ok, got it.

He overthrew existing orthodoxy with this theory. Ok, got it.

Flunked peer review? No.

I think you don't understand what that means. Peer review means that other members of your field are reviewing your work and are working to verify and/or challenge your work. Since his work was eventually accepted he categorically did not flunk peer review.

Anthony Watts is not even a meteorologist. He is a blogger. He was a radio weatherman. His work (that many keep referring to here on this forum) constantly fails review from other scientists.

I don't think your comparison is fair or accurate.

The Bwahahah thing was funny though.

Mark T. Cenci
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No claudius. His ideas were

No claudius. His ideas were rejected for the same biased reasons you give for the people whose work you reject. He didnt live long enough to see his ideas vindicated. The gravy train and professional status Orthodoxy had to prevail then as it must now.

I write about Dr. Wolfe so you can learn about how to graciously concede you were wrong, when the time comes you can no longer deny it.

Claudius
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@spider

@spider

Mike Mann inventor of the hockey stick temperature plot that was debunked.

Oh, I see. That is the problem. You still think that the hockey stick controversy is relevant. Certainly you know that since 2001 a wide range of proxies have independently confirmed of the basic hockey stick result: that the past few decades are the hottest in the past 1,300 years.

It is really hard for me to think that you are not a conspiracy theorist. Your premise is that basically these independent researchers are somehow faking surface thermometers, ocean bouys, satellites, tide guages, glacier measurements, etc. It would be a conspiracy at an unprecedented level.

They blew it and I don’t trust them. See their predictive graph below.

They categorically didn't "blow it." Science doesn't work like that.

That work you mention in your graph by two guys named Christy and Spencer. They themselves have made big adjustments to their data (although they often suggest that adjustments to data are part of this conspiracy).

Over 100 Prominent Scientists Warn UN Against 'Futile' Climate Control Efforts

I haven't heard of that event from 2007. But thank you for showing it to me.

Top climate expert's sensational claim of government meddling in crucial UN report.

I think you really misunderstand this article you've posted here. This article is about how governments interfered with an IPCC official's recommendations on how to fight climate change. In other words, the politicians don't want to accept the findings of the IPCC. This is quite different from the conspiracy that you normally seem to espouse. Stavins, whom this article is about, has stated in many occasions that his statements were misconstrued by climate skeptics to mean that he opposed the findings of the IPCC when in fact it was about a lack of international cooperation.

Claudius
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@Mark T. Cenci

@Mark T. Cenci

Ok, I get it now. So you are basically taking the position that the conclusions of literally hundreds and hundreds of perhaps the most rigorous and scrutinized research of in recent memory is wrong and a "blogger" is right.

I just don't get it. You are backing a real long shot, brother. My sense is that you are doing it out of a contrarian desire to spurn a "liberal" idea. I guess it would be ok if we were talking about something of lesser consequence like plate tectonics. But there are real potential consequences at stake here.

Look, I'll happily admit I'm wrong! That would be great! I'll be psyched if my children and grandchildren don't live in a world that is significantly diminished because we were too shortsighted to curb greenhouse admissions.

Unlike conspiracy theorists who suggest that scientists are in it for the "gravy train," I think most climate scientists would be psyched too.

Unfortunately they are terrified you are wrong. And so am I.

I guess we'll find out soon.

Claudius
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Claudius, you are free to

Claudius, you are free to conclude otherwise. I will not call you a retard. That might hurt your feelings.

Don't worry about hurting my feelings. I realize that this is a silly forum debate. No feelings will be hurt here.

What I don't get here is that you are suggesting that my position is somehow retarded and that your findings are somehow rational. But you realize, of course, that your conclusions don't at all match reality. Stating that CO2 is "de minimis" (nice word by the way) is just factually untrue and in contradiction with a hundred years of math and science.

Your post brings to mind the old Daniel Moynihan quote about being entitled to your own opinion but not being entitled to your own facts. Frankly, it just seems like you are so desperate to deny a left wing position that you are grasping at straws. Just seems sort of desperate.

Mark T. Cenci
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Actually I don't know if

Actually I don't know if climates are changing or not and I am open to discovery of the cause if they are. What I do believe is that atmospheric science cannot presently be trusted. A reformation must first take place. And I am certain that governments cannot be trusted. So as far as I'm concerned, and I believe I speak for many, we are better off taking our chances with a hot world than we are trusting in the efficacy of politicians and bureaucrats and the minion scientists who curry their favor

Claudius
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@Mark T. Cenci

@Mark T. Cenci

I agree wholeheartedly with you that governments can't be trusted.

But I honestly want to know what makes you think that you can't trust science. I know that you accused me of donning the holy vestments of science in a previous post. And it is true--I do believe that science is the one and only process that we can count on to make out lives better and bring us to a greater understanding of our universe. So, honestly, explain to me why you don't trust it. I want to understand.

Mark T. Cenci
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But I do trust science

But I do trust science Claudius! And while more libertarian than not, I am not opposed to governmental involvement in protecting commons like streams rivers lakes and air.

I'm also a big fan of Public Choice Economic theory, which posits that government programs and spending quickly become incentivised to serve their own interests.

Had a more cautious and incremental approach been taken by atmospheric science, my confidence would have been sustained. But theres been too much breathless hysteria and hints of self serving monkey business. And treatment of apostates to rival the Church of Scientology.

Maybe the blame should be directed to Al Gore. Had he not blatantly hijacked the conversation and turned it into a self serving cause, my suspicions would not have been raised.

The common person sees this as a religious cult now. That's why I made the joke about your vestments and censer.

And like all religions that become too self absorbed, I think a reformation is needed before the masses will return.

You guys need to root out a few fraudsters and say some mea culpas. Then get back to collecting and analyzing data and entertaining more hypotheses than only anthropogenesis. And stop the pontificating, policy proscriptions and impending doom scenarios for a while.

taxfoe
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Gosh darn it!

Gosh darn it!

Hawaii expected to get 3 feet of snow. You read that right.

SOURCE

“We’ll probably see three to five snow events a year during the cold season. Some years we might not get any, some years we might get more,” said Foster.
_______________________________________________________________________

See that? Readable, digestible 'some years' analysis. Thanks, Foster.

xxx

On a related note, NPR, an early signatory to catastrophic climate certainty via banishment of denier's access to the airwaves, slipped up yesterday during a story about fracking. It seems the Obama's EPA concluded it's study of frack's impact on groundwater by finding 'cause for grave concern' just like Obama wanted. Astonishingly, the election year Obama administration flipped the science to conclude fracking is good for you!

Flipped the science? The government? Even NPR was caught off guard by that one.

The show is 'Marketplace Weekend' and I think they run the same show again , today. Otherwise, find it and search the transcript your own damn self.

Spider
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Do you trust information from

Do you trust information from NOAA?

http://dailycaller.com/2016/01/28/300-scientists-want-noaa-to-stop-hidin...
300 Scientists Want NOAA To Stop Hiding Its Global Warming Data

The NOAA study in dispute claims the scientists found a solution to the 15-year “pause” in global warming. They “adjusted” the hiatus in warming the temperature record from 1998 to 2012, the “new analysis exhibits more than twice as much warming as the old analysis at the global scale.”

“If we subtract the [old] data from the [new] data… we can see that that is exactly what NOAA did,” climate expert Bob Tisdale and meteorologist Anthony Watts wrote on the same science blog. “It’s the same story all over again; the adjustments go towards cooling the past and thus increasing the slope of temperature rise. Their intent and methods are so obvious they’re laughable.”

Hundreds of scientists sent a letter to lawmakers Thursday warning National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) scientists may have violated federal laws when they published a 2015 study purporting to eliminate the 15-year “hiatus” in global warming from the temperature record.

Of the 300 letter signers, 150 had doctorates in a related field. Signers also included: 25 climate or atmospheric scientists, 23 geologists, 18 meteorologists, 51 engineers, 74 physicists, 20 chemists and 12 economists. Additionally, one signer was a Nobel Prize winning physicist and two were astronauts.

Claudius
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@taxfoe

@taxfoe

Really really sloppy response, taxfoe. Did you even read this article? It is an article about snow at a peak 14,000 feet! Which the article itself says is "not uncommon."

The snow at the peak of Mauna Loa is not uncommon because it is so high, nearly 14,000 feet.

“As long as we have deep enough clouds to support ice crystals, and when you have cold enough temperatures at the summit level, you can get snowfall,” said Foster.

Mauna Loa and its sister peak of Mauna Kea are both volcanos. Mauna Kea is the highest point in the state of Hawaii.

Snow on the peaks is not uncommon in the colder months of the year, though deep snow is rare.

“We’ll probably see three to five snow events a year during the cold season. Some years we might not get any, some years we might get more,” said Foster.

The only other area of Hawaii that gets snow with any regularity is the Haleakalā volcano on Maui, which at about 10,000 feet gets snow once every five years or so, he said.

mainemom
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Claudius

Claudius
The value of climate bloggers Watts and Morano for the layman is the uncertainties written about and the ability of the reader to go to the original sources and read for oneself. Also, the comments are robust and always include knowledgeable critics from the "consensus" camp. This is very helpful to the layman who is self-aware enough to want to tease out confirmation bias.

For instance, at the Watts blog I learned the importance of the equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) assumptions used in predictive models. IPCC AR5 is using:
"Climate system properties that determine the response to external forcing have been estimated both from climate models and from analysis of past and recent climate change. The equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS)3325is likely in the range 1.5°C to 4.5°C, extremely unlikely less than 1°C, and very unlikely greater than 6°C."
Source

That's a wide range.
Scientists have tried to improve the estimates of ECS so that predictive models can be more useful.
For instance Lewis & Curry here

"Based on the latest version of the HadCRUT4 dataset, an early base period and longer than decadal final period, the ECS best estimates fall in the range 1.65–1.75°C depending on the final period and OHC dataset used. For two base period – final period combinations not meeting these criteria, the ECS best estimates are around 1.85°C, but these are likely less reliable."
Further discussion here.

I doubt that regular folks, journalists, and politicians know there is huge uncertainty relative to climate sensitivity unless they are open-minded enough to check out skeptics like Watts or Morano, then go to the scientists' own papers for better understanding.

Spider
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Anon:

Anon:
Your post is now at almost 1700 views, and over 150 replies! Congrats again.

Numbers are well, well above the other posts currently running.

Hells bells, man you can just sit back and watch it roll….you don’t even have to submit stuff. Went viral it did. With any luck, some learning is occurring. Well done.

mainemom
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@anonymous_coward did us a

@anonymous_coward did us a favor by posting a link to the WSJ opinion piece by Pielke, Jr.
I wonder if any of Gerald's lurkers dared to read it? (Come on, it won't hurt you.)
I wonder if Claudius read it?

It's a true story that tells of Democrat interest groups, a billionaire, and journalists who worked together to tarnish the reputation of a legitimate scientist based on research he did that was accepted as valid by the IPCC itself and the US government, but that contradicted the narrative the alarmists want to tell.

His main finding is that no, weather-related disasters are NOT becoming more frequent or more expensive to recover from.

The alarmists and their narrative writers in the Democrat party and the media couldn't let that stand. They had to get the guy fired from Nate Silver's 538 and they even got a Congressman to instigate a formal investigation trying to link him to Exxon Mobil (the horror!).

Talk about the Spanish inquisition!
It's the Claudiuses of the world whose moralizing makes such persecution possible in a free country.
Rather than let the arguments and evidence of Pielkes and Currys and Spencers and Christys and Moncktons stand or fall on their merits, the inquisition has to block them from publication, delegitimize their credentials, accuse them of being secret agents of the fossil-fuel industry, make sure they never appear in a newspaper where regular folks could be exposed to their work, and plant the seed for their eventual prosecution for climate heresy.

This is the real War on Science, and it's being waged by progressives and alarmists.

anonymous_coward
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@spider: lol yes... special

@spider: lol yes... special shout out to Claudius for picking up the slack... I definitely don't have the time to keep up with it.

In any event, glad we are having a substantive debate, with a (relatively) small amount of name calling...

anonymous_coward
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@mainemom: not sure if that

@mainemom: not sure if that link was readable or paywalled, no one responded so I assume it was readable?

(I again can copy/paste if people want it).

One thing to note in that op ed: Pielke *does* believe anthropogenic CO2 is warming the Earth and that we *should* have a carbon tax.

mainemom
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Carbon tax...

Carbon tax...

It's difficult to trust our political class with imposing a carbon tax because they're likely to do it all wrong.

I could be persuaded to consider - just consider - a carbon tax if the following conditions were met:

It would replace the individual and corporate income tax, completely.

Hospitals, the military, and prisons would be exempt from paying it (budget busters).

All versions of "cap and trade" at state, regional, and national levels would be terminated and prohibited. (Cap and trade has not been effective in Europe, and the compliance and administrative time, effort, and cost are gross inefficiencies.)

anonymous_coward
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@mainemom: agreed, cap &

@mainemom: agreed, cap & trade leaves a lot of room for abuse. But a very simple carbon tax (very slowly implemented tax on carbon, turn around and cut a check to everyone, no exemptions, *maybe* a one-time payment to states to help poor people with transitions (think heating oil furnace -> wood pellet furnace kind of thing)) I think would be fairly immune to legislative abuse.

When you start talking about exemptions, that's a huge point of entrance for lobbyists. I would not let anyone be exempt (for example, if you let a hospital be exempt, they could buy cheaper natural gas and turn around and sell electricity to people. All sorts of perverse incentives). As long as you give enough time for people to handle the transition, I don't think there's a legitimate hardship claim, nor would there be a populist backlash.

mainemom
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Anon, I beg to differ. Take a

Anon, I beg to differ. Take a not-for-profit hospital like MMC. We already pay them enough for the great things they do. They don't pay taxes (well, they pay payroll taxes). Make them start paying a carbon tax and what happens? Health care costs go up.

I remember 2008 when Obama was running for president and gas prices were up around $4. Over and over he told us how awful it was that folks had to pay so much to fill up their tanks. Why, high-priced energy made it hard for people to participate in the economy!

Well now we're supposed to make energy cost more - on purpose! - because it's known that the carbon dioxide we're adding to the atmosphere is going to warm the planet 1 degree C by the end of the century, plus an unknown amount of warming due to unproven feedback mechanisms, all depending on the sensitivity factor of the climate, which is highly uncertain, but likely to be less than assumed by the alarmists.

No sale.

Vikingstar
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Claudius:

Claudius:

I have a request: when you're quoting an reference, could you provide a link to the reference? It's helpful in evaluating what you're saying.

Thanks in advance.

Spider
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Corporations Have Raked In 25

Corporations Have Raked In 25 Billion Euros Through Corrupt Emissions Trading Scheme.

http://notrickszone.com/2016/12/03/spiegel-eu-corporations-have-raked-in...

Emissions trading was set up to entice fossil fuel intense companies to reduce their CO2 emissions, and thus in this way help bring atmospheric CO2 concentrations to a standstill, and thus rescue the climate, according to the man-made global warming theory.

However, things aren’t quite working out that way. Spiegel here cites a comprehensive report by the non-government organization Carbon Market Watch (CMW), which concludes that large companies are in fact making billions from free emissions certificates, and CO2 emissions aren’t improving at all.

http://carbonmarketwatch.org/mythbuster-reload/
There are at least four problems related to the current system:
• Free allocation has resulted in significant windfall profits for corporations. During 2008-20152 energy-intensive companies made over €25 billion from the EU ETS. Most profits were made in Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain, France and Italy.#
• European taxpayers are picking up the bill as governments forego income and loss of revenues from auctioning pollution permits. As a result of free allocation of emission allowances, less money is available for investments in the climate friendly transition of the European economy. In the 2008-2015 period, governments have given out 11.8 billion free pollution permits and have, thereby, missed out on at least €143 billion in auctioning revenues.
• Emission reductions will stall over the next 15 years – unless there is an urgent change of rules. Giving away free pollution permits reduces the incentive for companies to produce more efficiently.
• The Paris Agreement levels the playing field across the global economy after 2020. The risk of “carbon leakage” diminishes along with the number of countries where companies could relocate their production to avoid climate policies. Furthermore, studies have not been able to find evidence for “carbon leakage”.

Spider
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FOLLOW THE MONEY.

FOLLOW THE MONEY Mainmom. Works everytime.

Developing: McCormick Refuses to Disclose Details of Carbon Trading Scheme
http://www.themainewire.com/2012/02/developing-mccormick-refuses-disclos...

Maine State Housing Director Dale McCormick has entered into a deal with Chevrolet to sell carbon offset credits from the weatherization of Maine homes, but today refused to reveal to the MSHA board of commissioners the pricing details of the agreement. McCormick’s multi-million dollar carbon trading venture is coming under intense scrutiny from the board, as questionable financial decisions from the authority continue to be revealed.

McCormick has paid consultants hundreds of thousands of dollars to develop a process to quantify the amount of carbon saved when a home is weatherized. MSHA paid Lee International more than $370,000 over the last three years to help develop the project, which has thus far generated no revenue. Lee International is run by Catherine Lee, a major Democrat donor and member of the Lee Auto Mall family. Her brother Adam Lee is the chair of Efficiency Maine, and the two are the children of long-time Democrat funder Shep Lee.

Michael Wara, a Stanford assistant professor and scholar of environmental law, tells Bloomberg, “It looks like a deceptive marketing claim. If a project can’t show that it is changing behavior, it’s not clear what you’re buying other than a piece of paper.”

MSHA has also spent millions of dollars on a computer tracking system to facilitate the carbon quantification project. Board chair Peter Anastos Tuesday estimated the total expenditures to be nearly $6 million, though McCormick questioned the claim.

anonymous_coward
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@mainemom: keep in mind the

@mainemom: keep in mind the right way to do it is introduce it very slowly, so that there's no "shock to the system" - to allow 1) people/companies to adjust and 2) to allow renewable produces (wood pellet companies, for example) to scale up without experiencing really bad growing pains.

The increase in cost due to carbon taxes will be a small part compared to the normal increase in health care costs, if that isn't addressed separately (but that's an issue for a separate thread). (Also, I suspect that energy costs are a very small part of the cost of health care, though I don't have any hard data on that.... would love if someone in the industry could comment.)

Trust me, I am as wary as anyone on AMG that a carbon tax can be abused if not implemented correctly. As soon as you start adding any exemptions you are opening the door for all sorts of whiners begging for exemptions. Better to take a hard line (remember that every dollar that gets taken gets returned to the population, so it's not like you're just flat out taxing hospitals.)

mainemom
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remember that every dollar

remember that every dollar that gets taken gets returned to the population

What does this mean? How does that work? Why take money away from the population and then give it back to them? How much gets skimmed off the top of what gets taken away before any is "returned to the population?" Talk about playing games with a tax! If you had to tax carbon, why not just put a flat tax on carbon and let taxpayers reduce their income tax by the amount of carbon tax they pay?

Wood pellets? Aren't those carbon as well? Why do we want them to scale up when they are carbon-based?

The more I hear about the implementation of a carbon tax, the more I infer that it's based on ideology - fossil fuels are evil! - incomes are unequal! - corporations are raping the earth! - not science and economics.

mainemom
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I encourage all the lurkers

I encourage all the lurkers to read this smart blog post by Scott Adams (Dilbert creator).

The Non-Expert Problem and Climate Change Science

Quoting:
It seems to me that a majority of experts could be wrong whenever you have a pattern that looks like this:

1. A theory has been “adjusted” in the past to maintain the conclusion even though the data has changed. For example, “Global warming” evolved to “climate change” because the models didn’t show universal warming.

2. Prediction models are complicated. When things are complicated you have more room for error. Climate science models are complicated.

3. The models require human judgement to decide how variables should be treated. This allows humans to “tune” the output to a desired end. This is the case with climate science models.

4. There is a severe social or economic penalty for having the “wrong” opinion in the field. As I already said, I agree with the consensus of climate scientists because saying otherwise in public would be social and career suicide for me even as a cartoonist. Imagine how much worse the pressure would be if science was my career.

5. There are so many variables that can be measured – and so many that can be ignored – that you can produce any result you want by choosing what to measure and what to ignore. Our measurement sensors do not cover all locations on earth, from the upper atmosphere to the bottom of the ocean, so we have the option to use the measurements that fit our predictions while discounting the rest.

6. The argument from the other side looks disturbingly credible.
End quote. But read the whole thing! Then post the links to the pages that bolster your side in his comments section.

This is why I say public policy has to reject the "solutions" that are designed to kill the fossil fuels industry and instead focus on innovation, development, and adaptations that will help people whether the climate change hypothesis is right or wrong.

anonymous_coward
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@mainemom: Allow me to

@mainemom: Allow me to explain:

"What does this mean? How does that work? Why take money away from the population and then give it back to them? How much gets skimmed off the top of what gets taken away before any is "returned to the population?" Talk about playing games with a tax! If you had to tax carbon, why not just put a flat tax on carbon and let taxpayers reduce their income tax by the amount of carbon tax they pay?"

The idea of the revenue neutral carbon tax is that it adds no new revenue to government: it doesn't expand any programs, it doesn't create any new debt. So all carbon is taxed, and then individual taxpayers get cut a check that is the same for everyone.

If you are buying a car and are decide to drive a car that gets 35 MPG instead of 15MPG, you are coming out ahead compared someone who chooses to drive a gas guzzler. (so you get your check but you pay out less in carbon tax.)

Another example is natural gas, which has a higher energy output per unit of carbon (natural gas is CH4, so you get 4 hydrogen atoms worth of energy per carbon atom) compared to coal or oil. With a carbon tax, natural gas becomes cheaper compared to coal. (Obviously market fluctuations change this but many entities have multiple energy sources and switch based on price, so this would make natural gas the viable option more often.)

"Wood pellets? Aren't those carbon as well? Why do we want them to scale up when they are carbon-based?"

The reason wood pellets don't count with the carbon tax is that the production of them (growing trees) takes out the same amount of carbon that they produce. (Oil on the other just adds new carbon, which is why it is taxed). The U.S. wood pellet industry primarily sells to Europe right now because they have more stringent fossil fuel laws. This industry would benefit quite a bit from a carbon tax.

"The more I hear about the implementation of a carbon tax, the more I infer that it's based on ideology - fossil fuels are evil! - incomes are unequal! - corporations are raping the earth! - not science and economics."

Not sure how you extract all that from the policy, at it's core it's just an incentive use carbon more efficiently, and then letting the free market solve the problem of moving away from it. (Rather than having the government try to mandate fuel standards or the use of coal vs natural gas, or sequester carbon, or other poorly conceived government programs.)

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