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Old 02-17-2011, 07:59 PM   #631
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Originally Posted by purpleoscar View Post
And with the Copenhagen Consensus you have the opposite view. The third world wants our standard of living and it would be hypocritical to be pro Bono's philanthropy but prevent the third world from growing.
Of course, and at the moment the only model they have is our energy-intensive economies. Copenhagen is pretty much anything but a consensus, it simply underscores the complexities of reconciling long-term objectives with day-to-day, more short-term worries. I don't blame developing countries for wanting a higher quality of life and using lots of energy to do it. But eventually, we'll hit a wall: economic and/or environmental.

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Originally Posted by purpleoscar View Post
Wind and solar is not going to hack it. Since there is no technology that can replace fossil fuels we would have to wait until someone like Craig Venter can create enough bacteria to convert CO2 into octane in large enough quantities, or new nuclear fusion technologies move from prototype to something safe and viable.

Fusion power - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
I agree that wind and solar won't cut it. I'm a realist here, we'll be using fossil fuels for decades to come. This does not mean that we should sit here and keep paying the onerous price of our current energy model (inefficiencies, health issues, climate change, etc.) without acting on it.

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The major problem is what is natural and what is man made. That hasn't been even close to be proven:

Not sure what I'm looking at here.

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Originally Posted by purpleoscar View Post
Aren't we supposed to have more storms now? Is Global Warming/Climate Change supposed to have less winter or more winter? No matter what happens the AGW types say they predicted it. It also becomes fishy when you have supposed scientists using El Nino and La Nina variations as proof of AGW.
And this goes back to the communication issue that I was mentioning earlier. We'll see people blaming climate change for many things, and others claiming that it's all natural. It's silly to be an alarmist, but just as silly to voluntarily keep one's head in the sand. It will be hard to quantify the contribution of climate change to many phenomena, there is no question here. This amplifies the issue of communication and the difficulty to reach political consensus.

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Go tell that to the Spanish. Even they ditched their solar subsidies. At 20% unemployment and a horrible budget, economic realities appear. The U.S. isn't immune to the same story. If I wanted a depression I would follow the same course of action. Whether it's intended or not it hurts. Though I should qualify my words because SOME Democrats are against wiping out coal because they have constituents that would vote them out if they did.
You're cherry picking. Spain is not doing too well (but is it really due to its environmental policies?), but you could very well look at, say, Denmark, with its distributed energy systems and high renewable capacity, and conclude otherwise. I wouldn't attribute Denmark's entire success to their energy policies, but their aggressive approach doesn't seem to have held them back (unemployment below 5% right now...).

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Are we in the middle ages with "just prices" that Aquinas supported? There is no clairvoyance to special knowledge to allow bureaucrats to set the price. The artificial price would be after cap and trade.Even the current prices are somewhat artificial because of regulation and a cartel.
In a cap-and-trade system, bureaucrats set the emissions cap, the market sets the price. You're thinking of a carbon tax. Regardless, this is not a new concept. Many jurisdictions, including your own, have prices on air pollutant emissions. Or on tobacco. Or on gasoline. Trying to internalize externalities is nothing new, and greenhouse gases should be no different.

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You totally ignore the European experience. Green jobs cost jobs overall. Higher energy prices means you will have less money in your pocket to buy and save, meaning lost jobs. If green jobs could gain jobs they would have to be not only better than nuclear is right now but be close to fossil fuels. In which case we would be celebrating because lots of people would want to invest in cheaper energy sources.

Our move to green energy is going to be much slower than you want because of economics.
I actually agree with this. I'm a realist, I am not against fossil fuels and I recognize that economics will drive change, as it always does. The difference between our approaches is that I recognize the issues with our current energy model (environmental, geopolitical, supply limitations) and think we should act on it, as cost effectively as possible.

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This is already happening in Spain and Germany. They stuggle with just the most basic targets to meet.
Germany is not too shabby, their economy is strong and growing, last I checked they were going to meet their reduction targets, and the country is becoming a prime mover in several fields that we North Americans are barely touching yet. Who will come out ahead when oil prices reach 200 $/bbl? (Well, Canada won't be complaining heh)

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We do teach about innovation in school but the problem here is that the AGW supporters want growth without the innovation.
Not sure what you're alluding to. I want economic growth as a result of innovation. At the moment, this is not happening much. Proportionately, the energy industry invests very little on R&D (the last figure I saw was 0.3% of sales, whereas automotive is at 2.4%, aerospace and defense at 11%, pharmaceuticals at 19%).

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You just answered it. Solar and wind can't replace it so what technology related to your point of "In many cases" are you talking about? At best nuclear can replace coal but we don't want all countries to have nuclear because many would like to use it for more nefarious reasons than energy. If the U.S. did it there would have to be some decades to build it and we still would use oil and natural gas as well. I would love to see Obama actually pushing for nuclear instead of just talking about it
There is no silver bullet. A combination of technologies will lead to reductions, and that includes fossil fuels (looking at you, natural gas), renewables, efficiency improvements, and others. Again, you're right in the sense that things won't change overnight, the technology and infrastructure is not ready. But we need to start acting.

Why don't we discuss the figure (from McKinsey & Co) that I posted a page or two earlier?

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Yes it will be gradual and the market will exploit cheap energy sources whether they are green or not. BTW we don't have any scientific smoking gun that can actually predict with models exactly our progress of 1-2C when nature has more variability than that.



CO2 is hardly the main climate driver. The climate models are too reductive to predict well. When the natural climate wants to go into an ice age 10 times the CO2 doesn't affect it. CO2 creates marginal warming. Once the blanket is set adding more is not going to kill the planet. We would have to run out of fossil fuels to actually try and aim for the Cambrian period. Doubling CO2 will have little effect.
Paul Macrae? Good grief.

The graph you'll see in independent papers looks more like this:



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I don't have "pure" free market ideals. What does that mean? Should I be against all government? Should NASA never go into space? Government needs to be limited because the private sector can only pay so much one generation at a time. The U.S.'s current budget will send the country into a debt crisis. We can't afford billions of dollars of green taxes. I'd rather have prototypes created that prove themselves before we foist them on the general public.
I get the feeling that whichever argument I present, you will respond with a "taxes are evil" mantra, even if a properly designed system can take advantage of market forces to minimize costs and lead to considerable reductions. The Acid Rain Program in the US is a good example of a market-based instrument that led to reductions without significantly hampering economic growth and profits from the sector.

-------

Ultimately, I think we agree on many points, the most important being: it's the economy, stupid. I just sense that you're trying to discredit climate science at all costs to fit your view that environmental / energy policies should not be enacted at all.
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Old 02-17-2011, 11:03 PM   #632
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Of course, and at the moment the only model they have is our energy-intensive economies. Copenhagen is pretty much anything but a consensus, it simply underscores the complexities of reconciling long-term objectives with day-to-day, more short-term worries. I don't blame developing countries for wanting a higher quality of life and using lots of energy to do it. But eventually, we'll hit a wall: economic and/or environmental.
The Copenhagen consensus (unfortunate name) I'm talking about was created by Bjorn Lomborg.

Copenhagen Consensus Center - CCC Home Page

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I agree that wind and solar won't cut it. I'm a realist here, we'll be using fossil fuels for decades to come. This does not mean that we should sit here and keep paying the onerous price of our current energy model (inefficiencies, health issues, climate change, etc.) without acting on it.
I don't agree with your premise. I believe that "climate change" is mostly natural.

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Not sure what I'm looking at here.
The frequency of cyclones in China. Here's one on hurricanes:



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Originally Posted by Badyouken View Post
And this goes back to the communication issue that I was mentioning earlier. We'll see people blaming climate change for many things, and others claiming that it's all natural. It's silly to be an alarmist, but just as silly to voluntarily keep one's head in the sand. It will be hard to quantify the contribution of climate change to many phenomena, there is no question here. This amplifies the issue of communication and the difficulty to reach political consensus.
I'm all for studying man-made affects on the planet but it would be nice if similar amounts of funding went to natural causes.

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You're cherry picking. Spain is not doing too well (but is it really due to its environmental policies?), but you could very well look at, say, Denmark, with its distributed energy systems and high renewable capacity, and conclude otherwise. I wouldn't attribute Denmark's entire success to their energy policies, but their aggressive approach doesn't seem to have held them back (unemployment below 5% right now...).
Denmark imports nuclear from Sweden and uses plenty of coal. I certainly did cherry-pick Spain because Obama picked them as a model for solar power.

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In a cap-and-trade system, bureaucrats set the emissions cap, the market sets the price. You're thinking of a carbon tax. Regardless, this is not a new concept. Many jurisdictions, including your own, have prices on air pollutant emissions. Or on tobacco. Or on gasoline. Trying to internalize externalities is nothing new, and greenhouse gases should be no different.
They are different because there are no options.

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I actually agree with this. I'm a realist, I am not against fossil fuels and I recognize that economics will drive change, as it always does. The difference between our approaches is that I recognize the issues with our current energy model (environmental, geopolitical, supply limitations) and think we should act on it, as cost effectively as possible.
It isn't cost effective. As Inhofe stated it's the biggest tax hike ever.

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Germany is not too shabby, their economy is strong and growing, last I checked they were going to meet their reduction targets, and the country is becoming a prime mover in several fields that we North Americans are barely touching yet. Who will come out ahead when oil prices reach 200 $/bbl? (Well, Canada won't be complaining heh)
German minister says no guarantees on solar tariffs | Reuters

They have some ways to go, to say the least:

Quote:
Feed in tariffs are the sector's lifeline as long as grid parity -- the point at which renewables cost the same as fossil fuel-based power -- has not been reached.

The tariffs have made Germany the world's top market for solar power, accounting for half of all 2009 installations in the 18 billion euro global market. About half of the world's solar electricity is produced in Germany thanks to feed-in tariffs.

Roettgen said the expansion of the solar was moving forward so quickly that it was important to talk about the issue.

"Those who want renewable energy should keep in mind that there is a need for society's acceptance of it," Roettgen said.

Some members of parliament in his conservative Christian Democrats have said they want the feed-in tariffs cut further than planned in 2012.

Germany, a world leader in renewable energy, gets about 16 percent of its electricity from green sources -- triple the level of 15 years ago. It wants to raise that to 30 percent by 2020.

But the growing popularity of solar and wind power has also drawn criticism from consumer groups and some politicians, who complain the expansion of renewable energy costs consumers about 13 billion euros per year.

Germany added a record 3.4 gigawatts of photovoltaic capacity in the first half of 2010 and is on track to add about 8 gigawatts this year. That is nearly double the existing capacity of 9.8 GW installed at the end of 2009.

Germany's Renewable Energy Act has fueled its rapid growth over the last decade. The government cut the feed-in tariffs for photovoltaic power by a further 16 percent this year on top of the 10 percent annual reduction already included in the law.
It's hard to balance a budget even to meet these goals, can you imagine trying to get the whole world (including the poor and developing world) to sign on to 40% reductions.

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Not sure what you're alluding to. I want economic growth as a result of innovation. At the moment, this is not happening much. Proportionately, the energy industry invests very little on R&D (the last figure I saw was 0.3% of sales, whereas automotive is at 2.4%, aerospace and defense at 11%, pharmaceuticals at 19%).
That's because money doesn't always lead to innovation. It's the know how mixed with the money. I don't think we'll leave the prototype stage until there is a major breakthrough. Sometimes breakthroughs happen unexpectedly (like a new paradigm discovered from some unforeseen synergy between different sciences) and not always directed to an influx of cash.

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There is no silver bullet. A combination of technologies will lead to reductions, and that includes fossil fuels (looking at you, natural gas), renewables, efficiency improvements, and others. Again, you're right in the sense that things won't change overnight, the technology and infrastructure is not ready. But we need to start acting.
I think we are acting just fine. Maybe we could increase some money for renewables R & D (especially when there are promising findings) since results will command more gravitas for further funding. Of course that debt crisis will have to be averted first before the U.S. can find the money.

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Why don't we discuss the figure (from McKinsey & Co) that I posted a page or two earlier?

Paul Macrae? Good grief.

The graph you'll see in independent papers looks more like this:

I'm not against the graph. Both graphs show that CO2 follows temperature. The graph was just found on google. The source is from a geologist who wants to map the past. Geologists are often skeptical because they don't see much correlation between CO2 affecting temperature over long periods of time. Again it's marginal warming. Once the blanket is up we are not going to lose all the ice mainly due to a doubling of CO2.

Climate History



Here's an icecore look at our period compared to much of the past:

YouTube - The Hockey Stick vs. Ice Core Data

If it warms for 30 years or cools for 30 years when should we panic?

When it comes to the McKinsey graph from what I remember criticism went like this:

If we could change with no cost step by step we should be able to do this right away. Of course it's not that easy or else the market would have exploited it already. These McKinsey consultants must have been really exceptional.

Secondly predictions into the future on the cost of capital are often wrong and any estimates related to government efficiency are also wrong most often. How many times have you seen predicted government project costs skyrocket once the project was actually happening. If the government is that good they should just plan the economy.

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Originally Posted by Badyouken View Post
I get the feeling that whichever argument I present, you will respond with a "taxes are evil" mantra, even if a properly designed system can take advantage of market forces to minimize costs and lead to considerable reductions. The Acid Rain Program in the US is a good example of a market-based instrument that led to reductions without significantly hampering economic growth and profits from the sector.
I wouldn't go that far. I want reasonable solutions to environmental problems (when they actually exist) than hysteria. (Polar Bears going extinct, massive floods covering over Al Gore's properties and prostitutes increasing due to AGW flooding in the Phillipines).

It doesn't help when we have crazy people who don't want to slow down but speed up to 30-40% reductions with the help of government restrictions:

YouTube - The Guardian's 10:10 climate change campaign

and if you don't like what she has to say?

YouTube - Eco-terrorism fantasy film No Pressure

People who think like this are DANGEROUS. What was more scary was that there were people who actually thought the video was funny and couldn't understand how that offended some.

There was even a marketing company that had some advice that was found in the ClimateGate emails (I posted a long time ago in this thread) and it showed that they wanted to coax people to get addicted to good feelings for the environment by getting them to take on small changes and then with those good feelings try to propel them into taking on more drastic changes afterwards. These are the kind of people that will ruin environmental science with their politics, brainwashing, and hysteria.

YouTube - greenpeace founder questions manmade global warming

There are reasons why I'm skeptical. The skeptical environmentalist book, as another example, by Lomborg showed a lot of exagerrated claims from the 60s and on related to overpopulation. It's well known that to get funding telling it like it is doesn't bring in as much funding as induced panic.

Replacing CO2 from our energy quotient is much harder to accomplish than reducing SO2 and CFCs and the taxes proposed are much higher.

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Ultimately, I think we agree on many points, the most important being: it's the economy, stupid. I just sense that you're trying to discredit climate science at all costs to fit your view that environmental / energy policies should not be enacted at all.
The economy switches with the environment on the top priority depending on how wealthy we are. Countries that are wealthier can afford to use natural gas to heat their homes. Solutions to replace fossil fuels will have to really prove themselves before it becomes a top priority. I can't imagine being so poor as to use wood burning (and have to breathe that smoke in) like in some areas in Africa. Fossil fuels are what the developing world will need to become developed.

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So we'll stop polluting when we run out of fossil fuels? Cool. Because honestly, the difference will be like ten years.

Peak oil is closing in.
Speaking of alarmism?
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Old 02-18-2011, 07:52 AM   #633
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Old 02-19-2011, 06:46 AM   #634
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[QUOTE=Badyouken;7125381

(How do you know that dinosaurs really existed? That was way before we started keeping records! )[/QUOTE]

We know they existed because off excavating archaeologists.

That still doesn't deal with the problem that we haven't got all the records on planet earth's climate throughout its existence in order to get any picture on climate change. This clinches it for me.

Physiscists say that one day we have to move to Mars and then to one of the moons surrounding Saturn. Then we'll have to settle in a new solar system. I'd miss earth . But luckily this wouldn't be 'till millions of years yet .
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Old 02-19-2011, 11:54 AM   #635
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Physiscists say that one day we have to move to Mars and then to one of the moons surrounding Saturn. Then we'll have to settle in a new solar system. I'd miss earth . But luckily this wouldn't be 'till millions of years yet .
Do they say if we'll have autotune there?
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Old 02-19-2011, 06:30 PM   #636
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The Copenhagen consensus (unfortunate name) I'm talking about was created by Bjorn Lomborg.

Copenhagen Consensus Center - CCC Home Page
Ah, yes. Interestingly enough, Bjorn Lomborg recently changed his mind on the issue. He now sees anthropogenic climate change as a serious challenge and is advocating strong action.

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I don't agree with your premise. I believe that "climate change" is mostly natural.

The frequency of cyclones in China. Here's one on hurricanes:
It would be a waste of time and space for both of us to argue over the science, I really don't think I'll convince you at this point.

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I'm all for studying man-made affects on the planet but it would be nice if similar amounts of funding went to natural causes.
Agreed. Care to share numbers breaking down the funding for "natural" and "anthropogenic" causes? (I'd be interested to see how these would be categorized.)

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Denmark imports nuclear from Sweden and uses plenty of coal. I certainly did cherry-pick Spain because Obama picked them as a model for solar power.
You're missing the point. Denmark instituted progressive energy policies and, as a result, went from a highly centralized fossil energy mix to a decentralized, much cleaner mix, all while maintaining strong growth and low unemployment. Their system is not entirely clean yet, naturally, but the country illustrates that it is indeed possible to lower one's dependence on fossil fuels without destroying the economy.

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They are different because there are no options.
The rationale was that we put a price on emissions to better reflect their social and environmental impacts. In this regard, CO2 is no different than SO2.

There is a suite of options, some more expensive than others, some more advanced than others. For this to happen, we need the right price signal. A slowly increasing price on carbon (as would be achieved using a cap-and-trade system) would help the transition and the emergence of appropriate technologies. Do you think that flue gas desulphurization was well advanced before restrictions were put on SO2? Now it's a staple of coal power plants.

Regardless, even without a price on carbon, this very situation will occur as energy prices rise due to supply shortages, you know that. New technologies will replace a technology that is no longer viable. Whether it is due to its limited supply or unsustainable effects. The question here is choose your poison.

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It isn't cost effective. As Inhofe stated it's the biggest tax hike ever.
I highly doubt that.

The funny thing is that corporate officials are increasingly calling for clear policy. They need business certainty to plan ahead, the current business climate is too unclear: will they regulate, won't they regulate, who/how will they regulate, etc.

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German minister says no guarantees on solar tariffs | Reuters

They have some ways to go, to say the least:

It's hard to balance a budget even to meet these goals, can you imagine trying to get the whole world (including the poor and developing world) to sign on to 40% reductions.
Agreed - it is a huge challenge. We will most likely fall short of our ideal reductions. This is still not an argument to sit still.

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That's because money doesn't always lead to innovation. It's the know how mixed with the money. I don't think we'll leave the prototype stage until there is a major breakthrough. Sometimes breakthroughs happen unexpectedly (like a new paradigm discovered from some unforeseen synergy between different sciences) and not always directed to an influx of cash.
You're rationalizing. Money is needed for innovation, especially of the scale needed here. Innovation in energy is somewhat low because the product is of equal quality - a kWh is a kWh, a WTI bbl is a WTI bbl (generally speaking) - and the business is highly lucrative as it is.

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I think we are acting just fine. Maybe we could increase some money for renewables R & D (especially when there are promising findings) since results will command more gravitas for further funding. Of course that debt crisis will have to be averted first before the U.S. can find the money.
It depends who you mean by "we". Canada, the US? Not so much. That said, the financial situation is not helping, there's no denying that.

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I'm not against the graph. Both graphs show that CO2 follows temperature. The graph was just found on google. The source is from a geologist who wants to map the past. Geologists are often skeptical because they don't see much correlation between CO2 affecting temperature over long periods of time. Again it's marginal warming. Once the blanket is up we are not going to lose all the ice mainly due to a doubling of CO2.
Both graphs were not showing the same thing. I find it puzzling that you would choose one lone scientist to support your claim, but refuse the (opposing) professional opinion of the overwhelming number of other scientists.

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When it comes to the McKinsey graph from what I remember criticism went like this:

If we could change with no cost step by step we should be able to do this right away. Of course it's not that easy or else the market would have exploited it already.
I wish this were true. There is a considerable number of cheap efficiency measures, to take an example, that could be implemented by businesses. Now. But markets are not perfect - there is a serious issue with information flow. Management is not always aware of these measures or willing to hear about them. It's still too unconventional. Other reasons include limited capital (even if it pays off in only a few years) and perceived risk.

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Secondly predictions into the future on the cost of capital are often wrong and any estimates related to government efficiency are also wrong most often. How many times have you seen predicted government project costs skyrocket once the project was actually happening. If the government is that good they should just plan the economy.
I wouldn't take the figures at face value, but the concept is there.

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I wouldn't go that far. I want reasonable solutions to environmental problems (when they actually exist) than hysteria. (Polar Bears going extinct, massive floods covering over Al Gore's properties and prostitutes increasing due to AGW flooding in the Phillipines).

It doesn't help when we have crazy people who don't want to slow down but speed up to 30-40% reductions with the help of government restrictions:

People who think like this are DANGEROUS. What was more scary was that there were people who actually thought the video was funny and couldn't understand how that offended some.

There was even a marketing company that had some advice that was found in the ClimateGate emails (I posted a long time ago in this thread) and it showed that they wanted to coax people to get addicted to good feelings for the environment by getting them to take on small changes and then with those good feelings try to propel them into taking on more drastic changes afterwards. These are the kind of people that will ruin environmental science with their politics, brainwashing, and hysteria.
Yep, there are extremists and people who will take advantage of the situation. But I see them on both sides... We really need a level-headed discussion on this, not the current chaos.

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There are reasons why I'm skeptical. The skeptical environmentalist book, as another example, by Lomborg showed a lot of exagerrated claims from the 60s and on related to overpopulation. It's well known that to get funding telling it like it is doesn't bring in as much funding as induced panic.
Fair enough. I'll also remind you that the author of this book is advocating $100B a year to fight climate change. To be just, however, we should acknowledge the times when environmentalists were correct in their warning signals (which is, of course, not always the case).

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Replacing CO2 from our energy quotient is much harder to accomplish than reducing SO2 and CFCs and the taxes proposed are much higher.
It is indeed a huge challenge, I never said the contrary. But I'm willing to put a price on CO2 emissions to 1) reflect the actual cost of fossil fuel use; 2) promote improvements in efficiency; and 3) help the development and emergence of cleaner alternatives.

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The economy switches with the environment on the top priority depending on how wealthy we are. Countries that are wealthier can afford to use natural gas to heat their homes. Solutions to replace fossil fuels will have to really prove themselves before it becomes a top priority. I can't imagine being so poor as to use wood burning (and have to breathe that smoke in) like in some areas in Africa. Fossil fuels are what the developing world will need to become developed.
It is a very complex issue. A political landmine. A development headache. We could act, we could also decide not to act too much for development / economic reasons. Both are valid and debatable responses to the problem. But simply burying our heads in the sand and denying everything is pointless. Even energy companies are acknowledging the problem.
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Old 02-19-2011, 06:39 PM   #637
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Old 02-20-2011, 12:07 AM   #638
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Ah, yes. Interestingly enough, Bjorn Lomborg recently changed his mind on the issue. He now sees anthropogenic climate change as a serious challenge and is advocating strong action.
I think his idea of strong action is different than yours:

http://www.copenhagenconsensus.com/Default.aspx?ID=1542

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Green jobs

Job creation claims rest on unreliable assumptions and fuzzy definitions
Any job increase is likely to be outweighed by job destruction elsewhere
Other sectors could create more jobs for the same investment
Claims of higher productivity and income are not backed up by evidence
YouTube - Climate Change-05 Bjørn Lomborg Opening Remarks

And this video was just after Climategate and other reports and science that's coming out more and more against global warming being the defining crisis.

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It would be a waste of time and space for both of us to argue over the science, I really don't think I'll convince you at this point.
Yes because there's plenty of science that goes the other way and plenty of reason to view peer-review being manipulated when scientists make claims but they don't release their work to be audited. Or it's deleted like with Phil Jones. Shenanigans like barring skeptics from publishing while having crappy investigations of the AGW universities with no skeptics being represented and not even looking into the science makes things look very suspicious to say the least.

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Agreed. Care to share numbers breaking down the funding for "natural" and "anthropogenic" causes? (I'd be interested to see how these would be categorized.)
Who are you fooling? The U.N. and national governments are asking for a carbon tax in which they will benefit. Not only governments but businesses that want to trade in credits. Do you think governments don't want to collect more since they have stimulus deficit budgets to pay for?

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Originally Posted by Badyouken View Post
You're missing the point. Denmark instituted progressive energy policies and, as a result, went from a highly centralized fossil energy mix to a decentralized, much cleaner mix, all while maintaining strong growth and low unemployment. Their system is not entirely clean yet, naturally, but the country illustrates that it is indeed possible to lower one's dependence on fossil fuels without destroying the economy.
An ill wind blows for Denmark's green energy revolution - Telegraph

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Unfortunately, Danish electricity bills have been almost as dramatically affected as the Danish landscape. Thanks in part to the windfarm subsidies, Danes pay some of Europe's highest energy tariffs – on average, more than twice those in Britain. Under public pressure, Denmark's ruling Left Party is curbing the handouts to the wind industry.
Quote:
Except with hydropower, electricity cannot be stored in large quantities. The power companies have to generate it at the moment you need to use it. But wind's key disadvantage – in Denmark, as elsewhere – is its unpredictability and uncontrollability. Most of the time, the wind does not blow at the right speeds to generate electricity. And even when it does, that is often at times when little electricity is needed – in the middle of the night, for instance.

So most of the wind electricity Denmark generates has to be exported, through interconnection cables - to Germany, to balance the fluctuations in that country's own wind carpet, or to Sweden and Norway, whose entire power system is hydroelectric, and where it can be stored. (The Swedes and Norwegians use it themselves - or sell it back, at a profit, to the Danes. If they use it themselves, there is, of course, no saving whatever of C02 – because all Norway and Sweden's domestically-generated hydropower is carbon-neutral anyway.)

"I would interpret the [export] data as showing that the Danes rely on their fossil-fuel plants for their everyday needs," says John Constable, research director for the London-based Renewable Energy Foundation, which has commissioned detailed research on the Danish experience. "They don't get 20 per cent of their electricity from wind. The truth is that a much larger unit, consisting of Denmark and Germany, has managed to get about 7 per cent – and that only because of a fortuitous link with Norwegian and Swedish hydropower."
Quote:
"I think there's an outbreak of realism," says Constable. "Wind is not a bad technology. It's just a lot more limited than people thought in the past."
I don't think the U.S. wants to go in that direction. Nuclear would still be cheaper.

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The rationale was that we put a price on emissions to better reflect their social and environmental impacts. In this regard, CO2 is no different than SO2.
Yes it's different. The cost is higher to replace CO2 versus SO2. Not all regulations that are successful can be conflated and treated as the same.

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Originally Posted by Badyouken View Post
There is a suite of options, some more expensive than others, some more advanced than others. For this to happen, we need the right price signal. A slowly increasing price on carbon (as would be achieved using a cap-and-trade system) would help the transition and the emergence of appropriate technologies. Do you think that flue gas desulphurization was well advanced before restrictions were put on SO2? Now it's a staple of coal power plants.

Regardless, even without a price on carbon, this very situation will occur as energy prices rise due to supply shortages, you know that. New technologies will replace a technology that is no longer viable. Whether it is due to its limited supply or unsustainable effects. The question here is choose your poison.
You know which I will choose. It's bad enough that scams can occur without auditing protocols in place.

Lawrence Solomon: The $7-billion carbon scam | FP Comment | Financial Post

Quote:
Scam artists from around the world, capitalizing on lax regulations at the Danish emissions trading registry, have made off with an estimated $7-billion over the last two years, according to Europol. Denmark’s Office of the Auditor General is now investigating the fraud, which occurred after the Danish registry dropped requirements that carbon traders be documented. While allowing a free-for-all served the carbon market on the short term, by appearing to inflate the interest in carbon as a commodity, it ultimately backfired when much of the trading proved to be phony.

Aided by lax rules, the Danish emissions registry became the world’s largest, with 1256 registered permit traders, most of them fake. As one example, a registered trader used a London parking lot as his address. Following the discovery of the scam, some 1100 of these have been de-registered, leaving scant few traders in the Danish market.
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I highly doubt that.

The funny thing is that corporate officials are increasingly calling for clear policy. They need business certainty to plan ahead, the current business climate is too unclear: will they regulate, won't they regulate, who/how will they regulate, etc.
At least GE is in the clear. BTW this problem goes both ways except if the choice for a tax is picked it will be passed on to the consumer.

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Originally Posted by Badyouken View Post
Agreed - it is a huge challenge. We will most likely fall short of our ideal reductions. This is still not an argument to sit still.
R & D is not sitting still for me. It allows more flexibility to adjust when financial problems appear whereas a world cap and trade system that punishes countries that reneg on binding deals are not flexible.

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Originally Posted by Badyouken View Post
You're rationalizing. Money is needed for innovation, especially of the scale needed here. Innovation in energy is somewhat low because the product is of equal quality - a kWh is a kWh, a WTI bbl is a WTI bbl (generally speaking) - and the business is highly lucrative as it is.
The scale is the problem. It's the main problem.

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Originally Posted by Badyouken View Post
Both graphs were not showing the same thing. I find it puzzling that you would choose one lone scientist to support your claim, but refuse the (opposing) professional opinion of the overwhelming number of other scientists.
Are you trying to tell me that temperature follows CO2 and not mainly the other way around? There's around a 800 year lag on ice cores.

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Originally Posted by Badyouken View Post
I wish this were true. There is a considerable number of cheap efficiency measures, to take an example, that could be implemented by businesses. Now. But markets are not perfect - there is a serious issue with information flow. Management is not always aware of these measures or willing to hear about them. It's still too unconventional. Other reasons include limited capital (even if it pays off in only a few years) and perceived risk.
If green energy doesn't produce enough energy like fossil fuels I think the perceived risk is real. Wind and solar will be only in certain areas in the planet so they are extremely limited. Nuclear can probably replace coal.

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Originally Posted by Badyouken View Post
I wouldn't take the figures at face value, but the concept is there.
It looks more like a sales pitch than an actual plan.

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Originally Posted by Badyouken View Post
Yep, there are extremists and people who will take advantage of the situation. But I see them on both sides... We really need a level-headed discussion on this, not the current chaos.
It looks like chaos but I assure you debates are not clean or fun, but necessary.

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Originally Posted by Badyouken View Post
Fair enough. I'll also remind you that the author of this book is advocating $100B a year to fight climate change. To be just, however, we should acknowledge the times when environmentalists were correct in their warning signals (which is, of course, not always the case).
I would say 100% of Malthusian catastrophic claims were wrong (that's why we are still here and thriving). I don't want to eliminate freedom of speech or environmental watchdogs but it's a problem when watchdogs need watchdogs. BTW I don't agree with Lomborg on the science but really do you think 100 billion is anything like what the U.N. proposed? Inhofe is talking about 300-400 billion for starters just for the U.S. In the entire world it would be trillions. 100 billion would be more like strong R & D development which I think is good (of course this would have to be part of a balanced budget plan or else that goes away too). Remember Lomborg is talking as if the money spent on his other projects that he prefers (micronutrient deficiency, clean drinking water, etc) isn't also going to have problems with corruption and that it won't interfere with other special interest groups that want domestic spending on health and education.

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Originally Posted by Badyouken View Post
It is indeed a huge challenge, I never said the contrary. But I'm willing to put a price on CO2 emissions to 1) reflect the actual cost of fossil fuel use; 2) promote improvements in efficiency; and 3) help the development and emergence of cleaner alternatives.
To me it's still in the R & D stage. Most companies get into trouble when they put half-baked technologies out on the market. Now if the government forces us to pay more no matter what technology we have I think the tax rate would have to be quite steep before green technology would be implemented in high rates. A small tax would still mean use of fossil fuels. Then you have the problem that we are only playing with a theoretical 1-2 C that would have benefits for food growth as well. The difference could well be so marginal with natural swings we will look like dupes.

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Originally Posted by Badyouken View Post
It is a very complex issue. A political landmine. A development headache. We could act, we could also decide not to act too much for development / economic reasons. Both are valid and debatable responses to the problem. But simply burying our heads in the sand and denying everything is pointless. Even energy companies are acknowledging the problem.
It doesn't help that the U.N. would like to administer a world bureaucracy to implement this and once they get a tax like this it's highly likely they'll get addicted to it indefinitely. The political landmine would be sovreignty issues (tax barriers and sanctions to countries who don't comply), corrupt use of funds transferred to the third world and slower economic growth. Also like Lomborg says to do a little is possible but to actually meet these targets when no one has shows the uphill battle that it is. I don't trust an unaccountable world government to adminster this properly. Nuclear seems the bridge technology for now. Wind is a deadend and solar MAY have some opportunities to compete with nuclear but that remains to be seen.

In the end subject is now split into two parts:

1) AGW is a catastrophe waiting to happen so we must make drastic changes now...vs.
2) We need to start working on replacing fossil fuels with green energy alternatives so in a few centuries (or sooner if we are lucky) we can achieve our goals.

#2 is much easier to achieve becuase it will be slower and will allow for many technologies to compete. I'm also for removing subsidies for oil unless they can come up with a green alternative where they can some how capture the CO2 and recycle it.
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Old 02-20-2011, 11:27 AM   #639
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I think his idea of strong action is different than yours:

Green Jobs
Bjorn Lomborg calls for a carbon tax (directionally similar to my position). He also calls for geoengineering (which I oppose). What you're alluding to is his institute's research on net job creation from the transition away from fossil fuels. This is a debatable question which, ironically, goes back to long-term model estimates and economic predictions, the very arguments that you were skeptical of a few posts earlier.

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Yes because there's plenty of science that goes the other way and plenty of reason to view peer-review being manipulated when scientists make claims but they don't release their work to be audited. Or it's deleted like with Phil Jones. Shenanigans like barring skeptics from publishing while having crappy investigations of the AGW universities with no skeptics being represented and not even looking into the science makes things look very suspicious to say the least.
I won't argue here.

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Originally Posted by purpleoscar View Post
Who are you fooling? The U.N. and national governments are asking for a carbon tax in which they will benefit. Not only governments but businesses that want to trade in credits. Do you think governments don't want to collect more since they have stimulus deficit budgets to pay for?
A well designed carbon tax would redirect the levied funds into incremental funding for energy efficiency and low-emitting solutions. Anything else would be unacceptable in my view. As for cap-and-trade, the government is not collecting anything, except if it institutes flexibilities such as "technology funds", which are conceptually similar to a carbon tax; in this case my position above stands.

This is an interesting piece and illustrates the saturation point for wind capacity in particular, but it fails to look at other elements of the Danish system, including its successful distributed energy system (reduced transmission losses), high rate of combined heat & power penetration, low energy imports, smart metering, etc.

Wind is becoming the poster child of emission reductions and is thus an easy target. But it's only a tiny tiny part of the solution. Meanwhile, natural gas has a huge role to play, same with nuclear and, most importantly in my view, efficiency.

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Originally Posted by purpleoscar View Post
Yes it's different. The cost is higher to replace CO2 versus SO2. Not all regulations that are successful can be conflated and treated as the same.
What I get from your rationale is that you're not opposed to the concept per se, but to the magnitude of the price tag. Regardless of the policy. This is why the price on emissions must be progressive - low-cost solutions first, and then up. This means that we will most likely not meet the most aggressive targets that environmentalists advocate.

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You know which I will choose. It's bad enough that scams can occur without auditing protocols in place.
Yeah, this was and is completely unacceptable. But surely I don't need to go in detail about all the scams that take place within and because of the fossil fuel industry.

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At least GE is in the clear. BTW this problem goes both ways except if the choice for a tax is picked it will be passed on to the consumer.
I see what you're saying, but the problem is that businesses will never receive a guarantee that no environmental regulation will be enacted. In their eyes, no action remains uncertainty.

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Originally Posted by purpleoscar View Post
R & D is not sitting still for me. It allows more flexibility to adjust when financial problems appear whereas a world cap and trade system that punishes countries that reneg on binding deals are not flexible.
I'm not a big fan of multi-country cap-and-trade initiatives, there are too many opportunities for leakage and inconsistent accounting. More local policies allow sufficient flexibility to adjust the system to local circumstances.

What I dislike about targeted R&D is that you let some bureaucrat decide which projects should be funded, whereas a price signal lets the market work on it. I find the latter much more effective.

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The scale is the problem. It's the main problem.
No disagreement here.

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Originally Posted by purpleoscar View Post
Are you trying to tell me that temperature follows CO2 and not mainly the other way around? There's around a 800 year lag on ice cores.
As stated earlier, I won't argue on the science, we'll be here forever.

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Originally Posted by purpleoscar View Post
If green energy doesn't produce enough energy like fossil fuels I think the perceived risk is real. Wind and solar will be only in certain areas in the planet so they are extremely limited. Nuclear can probably replace coal.
Nuclear, yes. Natural gas as a first start (already happening).

You'll notice that I wasn't talking about "green energy" in that paragraph, but energy efficiency measures. There are scores of efficiency techniques, often tailored to each particular business, that lead to a reduced environmental footprint and higher profitability. Literature and case examples on this are abundant.

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It looks more like a sales pitch than an actual plan.
Come on. They are simply showcasing the results of their analysis in a single figure for convenience. I could take any figure from your sources and say it's a "sales pitch".

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Originally Posted by purpleoscar View Post
It looks like chaos but I assure you debates are not clean or fun, but necessary.
Debates with informed parties are necessary.

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Originally Posted by purpleoscar View Post
I would say 100% of Malthusian catastrophic claims were wrong (that's why we are still here and thriving). I don't want to eliminate freedom of speech or environmental watchdogs but it's a problem when watchdogs need watchdogs. BTW I don't agree with Lomborg on the science but really do you think 100 billion is anything like what the U.N. proposed? Inhofe is talking about 300-400 billion for starters just for the U.S. In the entire world it would be trillions. 100 billion would be more like strong R & D development which I think is good (of course this would have to be part of a balanced budget plan or else that goes away too). Remember Lomborg is talking as if the money spent on his other projects that he prefers (micronutrient deficiency, clean drinking water, etc) isn't also going to have problems with corruption and that it won't interfere with other special interest groups that want domestic spending on health and education.
Lomborg argues for a price on carbon. That's fair. The magnitude of the price then is to be discussed; as I argued earlier I am not for drastic spending either.

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Originally Posted by purpleoscar View Post
To me it's still in the R & D stage. Most companies get into trouble when they put half-baked technologies out on the market. Now if the government forces us to pay more no matter what technology we have I think the tax rate would have to be quite steep before green technology would be implemented in high rates. A small tax would still mean use of fossil fuels. Then you have the problem that we are only playing with a theoretical 1-2 C that would have benefits for food growth as well. The difference could well be so marginal with natural swings we will look like dupes.
I agree with most of this (except the 2C being only beneficial). But again, I am not advocating drastic pricing - it will need to be gradual, and fossil fuels will remain part of the equation for a long time still.

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Originally Posted by purpleoscar View Post
It doesn't help that the U.N. would like to administer a world bureaucracy to implement this and once they get a tax like this it's highly likely they'll get addicted to it indefinitely. The political landmine would be sovreignty issues (tax barriers and sanctions to countries who don't comply), corrupt use of funds transferred to the third world and slower economic growth.
Ok you've jumped to an international system. I prefer decentralized systems with directionally common goals.

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Originally Posted by purpleoscar View Post
Also like Lomborg says to do a little is possible but to actually meet these targets when no one has shows the uphill battle that it is. I don't trust an unaccountable world government to adminster this properly. Nuclear seems the bridge technology for now. Wind is a deadend and solar MAY have some opportunities to compete with nuclear but that remains to be seen.
I see natural gas as a bridge technology, nuclear in some respect as well.

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Originally Posted by purpleoscar View Post
In the end subject is now split into two parts:

1) AGW is a catastrophe waiting to happen so we must make drastic changes now...vs.
2) We need to start working on replacing fossil fuels with green energy alternatives so in a few centuries (or sooner if we are lucky) we can achieve our goals.

#2 is much easier to achieve becuase it will be slower and will allow for many technologies to compete.
That's pretty black and white. My view doesn't fit in 1) -- AGW is a problem, and it will be very costly, but I don't subscribe to alarmism. 2) is closer to my view, but as we clearly argued for pages now, our methods to get there are different.

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Originally Posted by purpleoscar View Post
I'm also for removing subsidies for oil unless they can come up with a green alternative where they can some how capture the CO2 and recycle it.
Agreed. But don't you see a disconnect with your overall position (this will likely raise prices)?
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Old 02-20-2011, 03:25 PM   #640
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Troll much?
Inside joke that Annie and I have shared, pretty sure she knows I mean no harm.
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Old 02-20-2011, 04:08 PM   #641
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Bjorn Lomborg calls for a carbon tax (directionally similar to my position). He also calls for geoengineering (which I oppose). What you're alluding to is his institute's research on net job creation from the transition away from fossil fuels. This is a debatable question which, ironically, goes back to long-term model estimates and economic predictions, the very arguments that you were skeptical of a few posts earlier.
A carbon tax of 100 billion won't do anything and goes against his argument that we are dealing with lots of money doing little to change the climate. Are we talking about situation 1 or 2 now from my last post? He's trying to have his cake and eat it too.

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Originally Posted by Badyouken View Post
A well designed carbon tax would redirect the levied funds into incremental funding for energy efficiency and low-emitting solutions. Anything else would be unacceptable in my view. As for cap-and-trade, the government is not collecting anything, except if it institutes flexibilities such as "technology funds", which are conceptually similar to a carbon tax; in this case my position above stands.
The only way to get a carbon tax to actually do what it's supposed to (like not fund other programs) is to reduce spending in other areas and therefore reduce taxes and programs. I'm pretty sure the Denmark personal tax rate is pretty high and has reached the plateau it's going to.

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Originally Posted by Badyouken View Post
This is an interesting piece and illustrates the saturation point for wind capacity in particular, but it fails to look at other elements of the Danish system, including its successful distributed energy system (reduced transmission losses), high rate of combined heat & power penetration, low energy imports, smart metering, etc.
Increased efficiencies and a smart grid are a good idea but from what engineers are saying it will take decades to get all of that.

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Wind is becoming the poster child of emission reductions and is thus an easy target. But it's only a tiny tiny part of the solution. Meanwhile, natural gas has a huge role to play, same with nuclear and, most importantly in my view, efficiency.
We don't need cap and tax for those options. Those are good. The U.S. has found 90+ years of natural gas and it has half of the emissions of other fossil fuels.

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Originally Posted by Badyouken View Post
What I get from your rationale is that you're not opposed to the concept per se, but to the magnitude of the price tag. Regardless of the policy. This is why the price on emissions must be progressive - low-cost solutions first, and then up. This means that we will most likely not meet the most aggressive targets that environmentalists advocate.
I'm against worldwide cap and trade and most any cap and trade because of the political ramifications and waste that is already happening. It's better to have find a normal way via R & D expenditure and move on the technologies (nuclear and natural gas) which already proved themselves. I also don't want the progressive tax system of Scandinavia. Their only good thing is that they keep their corporate taxes lower and competitive otherwise no business would go there.

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Originally Posted by Badyouken View Post
I see what you're saying, but the problem is that businesses will never receive a guarantee that no environmental regulation will be enacted. In their eyes, no action remains uncertainty.
You could say that about any environmental regulations. The certainty they need is now is no increased taxes and major attempts via the government to reduce its size because the current deficit trajectory by the current budget is even admitted by Geithner to be unsustainable (therefore more tax increases before we even talk about the environment).

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Originally Posted by Badyouken View Post
I'm not a big fan of multi-country cap-and-trade initiatives, there are too many opportunities for leakage and inconsistent accounting. More local policies allow sufficient flexibility to adjust the system to local circumstances.
Bureaucrats who are farther away from a problem tend to be out of touch so I agree, but California and New Jersey should not be examples to follow. Too much unemployment.

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Originally Posted by Badyouken View Post
What I dislike about targeted R&D is that you let some bureaucrat decide which projects should be funded, whereas a price signal lets the market work on it. I find the latter much more effective.
What I dislike about cap and trade is that it would have to be worldwide because if one jursdiction doesn't follow, jobs will move to the freer climates forcing countries to erect trade barriers to punish those countries. That would lead to a trade war. These barriers were proposed with the climate bill that failed in congress. Once the U.S. signs on to cap and trade the entire world will have to or the U.S. will have a depression.

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Originally Posted by Badyouken View Post
You'll notice that I wasn't talking about "green energy" in that paragraph, but energy efficiency measures. There are scores of efficiency techniques, often tailored to each particular business, that lead to a reduced environmental footprint and higher profitability. Literature and case examples on this are abundant.
All companies need is awareness on this subject to exploit it. If they don't exploit it after being aware then those cheaper costs aren't honest (therefore not cheaper).

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Come on. They are simply showcasing the results of their analysis in a single figure for convenience. I could take any figure from your sources and say it's a "sales pitch".
It was a sales pitch for climate meetings, but again once ignorance is eliminated on the subject profit seekers should exploit those areas without cap and trade.

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Debates with informed parties are necessary.
Yeah but in debates one will be closer to the truth and the other farther away. Both are "informed" by their own sources and that goes right to the science where they disagree.

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Originally Posted by Badyouken View Post
Lomborg argues for a price on carbon. That's fair. The magnitude of the price then is to be discussed; as I argued earlier I am not for drastic spending either.
Well do you want the EPA to move to a carbon tax now? If it will cost 400 billion you probably wouldn't want that kind of "drastic spending" right?

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That's pretty black and white. My view doesn't fit in 1) -- AGW is a problem, and it will be very costly, but I don't subscribe to alarmism. 2) is closer to my view, but as we clearly argued for pages now, our methods to get there are different.
To me it's not a black and white issue for me it's just where the discussion went. First it was blared by alarmists situation #1 but now that science is less alarmist so it's moved to situation #2. You can see that in the earlier SOTU of Obama where he made that claim. "If you don't believe at least we need to move from fossil fuels". Yet situation #1 requires a lot more drastic action than situation #2.

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Agreed. But don't you see a disconnect with your overall position (this will likely raise prices)?
That's okay because paying subsidies increases taxes. There's no free lunch.
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Old 02-23-2011, 09:37 AM   #642
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The dividing line in the climate-change debate could be the 49th parallel, according to a new survey that suggests there are major differences in attitudes between Canadians and Americans when it comes to global warming.

A survey released Wednesday found that 80 per cent of Canadians polled said they believe there is solid evidence of global warming, compared to 58 per cent of Americans.

The survey is being touted as the first to explicitly compare public opinions in Canada versus the United States.

The results had some potentially significant information for political leaders, as they suggest that 73 per cent of Canadians would be willing to pay at least $50 a year in extra energy costs so more renewable energy could be produced.

Of Americans surveyed, 55 per cent said they'd be willing to pay the extra costs of green energy.

Canadians more likely than Americans to believe in global warming: Survey
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Old 02-23-2011, 08:44 PM   #643
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A carbon tax of 100 billion won't do anything and goes against his argument that we are dealing with lots of money doing little to change the climate. Are we talking about situation 1 or 2 now from my last post? He's trying to have his cake and eat it too.
He makes a lot of noise, but I think he still needs to refine his position.

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The only way to get a carbon tax to actually do what it's supposed to (like not fund other programs) is to reduce spending in other areas and therefore reduce taxes and programs. I'm pretty sure the Denmark personal tax rate is pretty high and has reached the plateau it's going to.
You seem to perceive a carbon tax, or any price on carbon, as the same as a sales tax: an unavoidable expense. Yes, a carbon tax will be passed on to the consumer, but it does not necessarily lead to greater expenses across the board in the long term. Consumers will react to this new price signal by either going for less carbon-intensive products (creating a greater demand for this market) or managing their demand (recycling, efficiency, conservation). Some carbon tax schemes can also be devised to return the proceeds in tax breaks.

The higher taxes on gasoline in Europe are an interesting example where a clear price signal led to change: more efficient cars, fewer cars per person, better public transit, etc.

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Increased efficiencies and a smart grid are a good idea but from what engineers are saying it will take decades to get all of that.
No doubt. Here again, prices (as a result of carbon policy or simply market fundamentals) will be crucial.

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We don't need cap and tax for those options. Those are good. The U.S. has found 90+ years of natural gas and it has half of the emissions of other fossil fuels.
Yes, but coal still remains much cheaper for base load power generation, despite its enormous externalities.

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I'm against worldwide cap and trade and most any cap and trade because of the political ramifications and waste that is already happening. It's better to have find a normal way via R & D expenditure and move on the technologies (nuclear and natural gas) which already proved themselves. I also don't want the progressive tax system of Scandinavia. Their only good thing is that they keep their corporate taxes lower and competitive otherwise no business would go there.
Natural gas can only hardly compete with coal if carbon is not priced. Nuclear has its own major issues (large upfront capital, slow construction and, quite importantly still, image) - it would definitely benefit from a price on carbon.

As for Scandinavia, overall they're doing just fine.

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You could say that about any environmental regulations. The certainty they need is now is no increased taxes and major attempts via the government to reduce its size because the current deficit trajectory by the current budget is even admitted by Geithner to be unsustainable (therefore more tax increases before we even talk about the environment).
The scale of changes that a CO2 policy would bring is enormous, much larger than most environmental regulations. Investors are not willing to put money in assets that might end up stranded in the long term.

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Bureaucrats who are farther away from a problem tend to be out of touch so I agree, but California and New Jersey should not be examples to follow. Too much unemployment.
OK.

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What I dislike about cap and trade is that it would have to be worldwide because if one jursdiction doesn't follow, jobs will move to the freer climates forcing countries to erect trade barriers to punish those countries. That would lead to a trade war. These barriers were proposed with the climate bill that failed in congress. Once the U.S. signs on to cap and trade the entire world will have to or the U.S. will have a depression.
That's a valid point, and we're seeing some of these issues pop up in the current trade negotiations between Canada (no price on carbon at the federal level) and Europe (price on carbon). That said, several jurisdictions have put a price on carbon in one way or another, with (so far) limited effects on trade. Scale will be important.

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Originally Posted by purpleoscar View Post
All companies need is awareness on this subject to exploit it. If they don't exploit it after being aware then those cheaper costs aren't honest (therefore not cheaper).
Exactly what I was saying earlier - awareness and openness (response to change) are key here, and somehow still elusive for many businesses.

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Originally Posted by purpleoscar View Post
It was a sales pitch for climate meetings, but again once ignorance is eliminated on the subject profit seekers should exploit those areas without cap and trade.
Sure. It's slowly happening, profitable efficiency consultancy firms are popping up; significant growth there.

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Originally Posted by purpleoscar View Post
Well do you want the EPA to move to a carbon tax now? If it will cost 400 billion you probably wouldn't want that kind of "drastic spending" right?
The EPA is not in this position right now, clearly. But in any case, "it will cost $400B" would need to be detailed: it will cost money to whom, over how long, what are the benefits, etc. A more detailed account would be needed, then we'll see.

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To me it's not a black and white issue for me it's just where the discussion went. First it was blared by alarmists situation #1 but now that science is less alarmist so it's moved to situation #2. You can see that in the earlier SOTU of Obama where he made that claim. "If you don't believe at least we need to move from fossil fuels". Yet situation #1 requires a lot more drastic action than situation #2.
I'd argue that science is clearer than ever, but again I said we'd agree to disagree on this...

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Originally Posted by purpleoscar View Post
That's okay because paying subsidies increases taxes. There's no free lunch.
I'm not convinced that removing oil subsidies would then lead to lower taxes; they'd likely keep the tax income and spend it elsewhere, preferably in clean energy projects.
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Old 02-24-2011, 12:52 AM   #644
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this is all further proof why i should live in canada. if only it didn't get so cold there.
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Old 02-24-2011, 06:18 PM   #645
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Well, New Zealand is also pretty progressive on this issue, so you're doing just fine it seems!

Australia is trying to follow suit:

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(Reuters) - Australia's government launched a third attempt on Thursday to make carbon polluters pay for their emissions, unveiling plans for a fixed-price scheme from 2012 and vowing not to surrender this time in the face of fierce opposition.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard, whose predecessor was dumped last year after two failed attempts to address climate change, said polluters would pay a yet-to-be-determined fixed price from July 2012, then move to a market-based system within five years.

"This is an essential economic reform, and it is the right thing to do," Gillard told a news conference, describing man-made climate as a national threat -- just weeks after the country endured record floods and a massive cyclone.

"Can I make it very clear that in the debate that will ensue, I am not intending to take a backwards step," she added.

[...]

Outside Canberra, polluters have become frustrated by the continuing uncertainty, which in some cases is impinging on their talks with borrowers. Many of them realize a carbon price is inevitable and are calling for a clear, workable plan.

[...]

This is kind of a half baked announcement, lots of details to work out still. I'm not sure if this will ever pass, given her frail government and the huge coal lobby in Oz.
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