EMR has NEVER been able to figure out why Jim Bacon gets SO upset about Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW). He has his hands full getting out Bloomergeddon, why take on this windmill?

Of course, in the end Jim is correct:

The University of East Anglia scientist’s arrogance has not DISPROVED anything,

This dispute will leave far more casualties than winners, and

There are far more current, important challenges about which there is little controversy than there are resources to address them.

In comments submitted on Jim’s post on the topic (“Cuccinelli is Right” – did not everyone know he was far right?) Larry and Waldo put the East Anglia controversy in perceptive – the helium balloon analogy is priceless.

TMT and Larry do a nice job of sorting out the ‘right to sue’ issue.

But Peter has the best (if not last) word:

Why with all the other things going on is THIS a priority for any elected official in the Commonwealth?

See for example this weekends’s WaPos on the economy, China, giving up on trying to stop radioactive shipments into the US of A… Those containers from Iran via Hong Kong will arrive in Hampton Roads, sue about that…

Here is why all the heat over AGW:

A lot of big money will be lost if something serious is done about reducing Green House Gases (GHG) – which most agree needs to be done to solve a lot of other problems including air and water pollution, the cost and security of energy supplies.

So with Business-As-Usual money at stake, fire up the opinion tanks with some extra donations to take attention off the real issues.

Here is something else to chew on. On 23 Feb WaPo published a nice colored Quake potential map and a story about the need to consider the 430 million humans now living in high risk areas – tens of millions of them poor.

Sure enough, a quake hit Chile last night. There will be less loss of life than in Haiti but the cost will be in the Trillions.

So what if the loss of ice caps (no one disagrees that glaciers and ice caps are shrinking – just how fast they are going) has a direct impact on the tectonic plates and THAT is triggering a rash of earth quakes. Just saying…

The overarching goal must be to shift human Urban agglomerations away from locations, settlement patterns and cheap construction that makes humans and their economic, social and physical well being susceptible to fire, flood, hurricanes, quakes, etc.

As the WaPo map shows, and as events of the past 50 years document, Urban settlement patterns are now vulnerable AND they are energy hogs and untransportable to boot.

Here is a thought:

Now that there is a major shift from Cap and Trade to Criteria for Energy Consumption Sectors to address GHG this is an opportunity to make clear the impact of human settlement patterns on energy, safety and happiness.

Let us turn heat to light.


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  1. Waldo Jaquith Avatar
    Waldo Jaquith

    A couple of years ago, my mother was diagnosed with rectal cancer. Within hours I had delved deeply into research mode, learning all about who gets it, what lifestyle and hereditary factors come into play, what dietary changes can reduce its impact, etc. After a couple of days of this, I realized what I was doing: I was attempting to prove, mathematically, that my mother couldn't have cancer. If I could just demonstrate that it was enormously unlikely that she would get it then, ergo, she must not have it. It was a coping mechanism, so that I could avoid the reality of the situation.

    Climate change denialism is like that. Sure, glaciers around the world are dissolving, enormous chunks of ice have started calving from Antarctica, the north pole has become a viable shipping channel in just the past five years, global temperatures have risen sharply in the past few years, the math about carbon monoxide emission impacts is so simple that a middle school student could do it…but somebody failed to comply with FOIA regulations! So there is no climate change!

    That sort of thing is of interest of psychologists, but not climatologists.

  2. Gooze Views Avatar
    Gooze Views

    Spot on about the Baconator. A highly intelligent specimen of life totally loses it when you say "Global Warming." I confess I like to stick him with a stick as to a bear in a cage, but nevertheless.

    Best wishes.

  3. subpatre Avatar

    After a description of what can only be described as extremely abnormal reaction to a sad but common event, Jaquith projects this bizarre behavior onto normal people, and then follows it with a string of ridiculous untruths.

    "…glaciers around the world are dissolving, enormous chunks of ice have started calving from Antarctica…"

    Glaciers are always calving and dissolving, that’s what keeps them from locking up every drop of the world’s water. Glaciers get built up from inland precipitation, and at their edges, melt into water. It’s a balance, a balance that ebbs and flows over the last few millions of years.

    "…the north pole has become a viable shipping channel in just the past five years…"

    No it hasn’t; the North Pole it totally impassable to any ship.

    "…global temperatures have risen sharply in the past few years…"

    No they haven’t. Even your high priests at East Anglia admit there’s been no change in the last ten years.

    "…the math about carbon monoxide emission impacts is so simple that a middle school student could do it…"

    That’s debatable, but you certainly failed to do it. The substance in question is carbon dioxide.

    "…somebody failed to comply with FOIA regulations…"

    No, they conspired to evade FOIA, destroying the data rather than letting it be publicized.

    "…So there is no climate change!…"

    Of course there is climate change, the climate has always been changing. It’s just that now the greeny-worshipping bozos think that change is caused by something (Jaquith’s carbon-whatcha-ma-call-it) that needs to be regulated and taxed tremendously.

  4. Anonymous Avatar

    "A lot of big money will be lost if something serious is done about reducing Green House Gases (GHG) – which most agree needs to be done .."

    A lot of money will be lost if tht WRONG thing is done. While big money may be lost, most of what is lost wll be tken from small people.


  5. Anonymous Avatar

    Ray – I could not agree with you more. If we spend billions and force businesses and state & local government to spend billions more in compliance and go the wrong way, many people will be hurt badly. The costs will be passed along to people in the middle and the bottom layers of the economy.

    Perhaps, we be better off focusing on energy conservation and diversifying our energy supplies than in counting tons of carbon dioxide. I suspect that such a course would also reduce carbon emissions to the extent that is important as well. We might just be able cut out the crooks in Wall Street and academia too.


  6. Anonymous Avatar

    If we don't spend enough money, people will also be hurt, too..

    The point is to get it right, not to search primarily for an answer that fits your ideological blueprint.

    We do not necessarily have to blame someone for what went wrong in order to make things better.



  7. Anonymous Avatar

    "The world’s most powerful investors have been advised to buy farmland, stock up on gold and prepare for a “dirty war” by Marc Faber, the notoriously bearish market pundit, who predicted the 1987 stock market crash.

    The bleak warning of social and financial meltdown, delivered today in Tokyo at a gathering of 700 pension and sovereign wealth fund managers.

    Dr Faber, who advised his audience to pull out of American stocks one week before the 1987 crash and was among a handful who predicted the more recent financial crisis, vies with the Nouriel Roubini, the economist, as a rival claimant for the nickname Dr Doom.

    Speaking today, Dr Faber said that investors, who control billions of dollars of assets, should start considering the effects of more disruptive events than mere market volatility.

    “The next war will be a dirty war,” he told fund managers: "What are you going to do when your mobile phone gets shut down or the internet stops working or the city water supplies get poisoned?”

    His investment advice, which was the first keynote speech of CLSA’s annual investment forum in Tokyo, included a suggestion that fund managers buy houses in the countryside because it was more likely that violence, biological attack and other acts of a “dirty war” would happen in cities. "

  8. E M Risse Avatar
    E M Risse

    Jim Bacon gets a lot of things right. In addition to the three that are listed in the original post there is a fourth one related to this topic that EMR should have mentioned:

    It goes something like this:

    It does not matter if the Earth is cooling or warming. It does not matter if the climate is changing in some long-term way that will be detrimental to civilization as we know it. That is because the same things that good science and the majority believe must be done to address these issues ALSO need to be done to address issues of:

    Settlement pattern dysfunction

    Social dysfunction

    Ecological dysfunciton

    Governance structure dysfunction

    Energy waste

    The drivers of Mass OverConsumption, and

    Other indicators of a sustainable trajectory for civilization and / or human survival.

    This brings one to TMTs point about the need to spend resources on the right things to obtain a sustainable trajectory.

    “Perhaps, we be better off focusing on energy conservation and diversifying our energy supplies than in counting tons of carbon dioxide. I suspect that such a course would also reduce carbon emissions to the extent that is important as well. We might just be able cut out the crooks in Wall Street …”

    Right on!

    “… and academia too.”

    One needs to keep in mind who pays those “crooks in academia” and all the rest of the ones in Institutions (per GLOSSARY / THE ESTATES MATRIX that includes not just academia but opinion tanks, PACs, political clans, etc,)

    EMR says the only real way to conserve energy is Fundamental Transformation in human settlement patterns. A growing number agree. EMR demonstrated that the sine qua non of a prosperous economy, a stable society and Balanced ecology (a sustainable trajectory for civilization) is functional human settlement patterns. He spent 769 pages laying out that case and what to do about it – the six overarching strategies – in The Shape of the Future.

    There are other things that are very important too of course but sine qua non IS sine qua non directly or indirectly.

    The Business-As-Usual arguments for Riding the Tiger another round come in two forms:

    One is that those at the top of the Ziggurat will lose, and

    The other is that those at the bottom will lose too.

    Over the past 210 years those at the top of the Ziggurat have gamed the economic, social and physical systems so that it seems like a lose, lose if one questions the existing practice.

    The answer is citizen consensus to embrace of Fundamental Transformations of settlement pattern, governance structure and economic systems via democratic processes as defined in TRILO-G.

    Anything else will be UNCIVILIZED or is it UNCIVILIZING?

    The questions is: Are there resources left to pay for the Transformations?


  9. E M Risse Avatar
    E M Risse

    subparte’s comment raises a critical point:

    Blogs, especially those that permit 'anon' and 'pseudo anon' comments are useful vehicles to spew venom and promote Business-As-Usual but not a good tool to evolve a citizen consensus.

  10. Anonymous Avatar

    "Over the past 210 years those at the top of the Ziggurat have gamed the economic, social and physical systems so that it seems like a lose, lose if one questions the existing practice. "

    Sometimes I just don't undersand what EMR is trying to say. I translate the above sentence as follows:

    Since 1800, successful people have played by the rules in order to make the perception that questioning this practice is a loss for everyone.

    I don't see how the second part follows from the first, so I'm further asuming that there are two ideas here, that belong in two sentences.

    "Since 1800, sucessful people have played by the rules in order to in, or get ahead in society." and
    "These people have conspired to make questioning this practice seem un-american."

    Now lets look at these two parts.

    Why have successful people been gaiming the system only since 1800, and what does that have to do with anything?

    I translate "Gaming the system" to mean "playing by the rules" because the first phrase is playing to emotion. If the speed limit is 55, how am I "gaming the system" by driving 55? If the law says I can take a mortgage tax deduction, how am I "gaming the system" if I do what the law allows?

    Surely some of these successful people are card sharks, who play at the limit of respectability, in order to get ahead, personally.

    But why would I "game the system" just to make it seem that merely raising a question about my activities is a lose – lose proposition?

    Why would I conspire with others to make such a presentation? Conversely, what else would you expect, except that the winners in such a system, promote the system as a "good one".

    What has the second thought got to do woth the first thought?

    How do you game a physical system? I can't burn 100,000 btu of oil and get 200,00 BTUs, out of it. Being at the top of the ziggurat doesn't help me here: physical rules are physical rules.

    Why is it necessary to slam successful people, as if they are the enemy?

    Sorry, I don't get it.


  11. Tobias Jodter Avatar
    Tobias Jodter

    to solve a lot of other problems

    This is the key phrase. A lot of folks think it doesn't really matter if AGW is occuring because the solution to that will address other concerns.

  12. Anonymous Avatar

    "to solve a lot of other problems

    This is the key phrase. A lot of folks think it doesn't really matter if AGW is occuring because the solution to that will address other concerns."

    Sounds like wishful thinkingto me. It isn't clear to me how that happens, or who pays for it. We just saw the last climate taqlks collapse over the issue of who pays.

    This is like the issue of green jobs, which may or maqy not be a b enefit of green technology. If it takes more people to produce the same goods with green technology, that is a cost, not a benefit.

    This is a hard problem, and rose colored glasses won't help solve it. Seeing to it that the costs aqnd benefits are evenly distributed will.


  13. Anonymous Avatar

    “I just do not understand what EMR is trying to say”

    The most honest statement “RH” has ever posted

    RH says he does not understand what ‘gaming the system’ means.

    He should know, he does it all the time in an attempt of obfuscate rational discussion.

    In case there are those how have not been paying attention, ‘gaming the system’ referrers to:

    Those who have figured out how to provide cheap goods and services by avoiding to pass on the full cost of externalities. Refer to “Supercapitalism.”

    Whole sectors such as Big Ag, airlines and homebuilders who do not pay the cost of their external impacts.

    Transport enterprises – airlines, truckers, auto makers and their suppliers – who rely on huge subsides to “out-compete” more energy efficient modes of mobility.

    Sectors of the economy which pay lobbyist and make political contributions instead of paying for the externalities of their activity. Refer to food, drug, tobacco, Big Ag, autos … the list is very long…

    Using cheap labor and undervalued resources to create cheap goods and then distribute them via global supply chains that rely on subsidized transport and underpriced energy. Refer to “Supercapitalism.”

    Those who figured out how to roll up monopolies and corner markets in the 19th century and to those who have carried this to extremes when the Reagan, Bush 1, Clinton and Bush 2 administrations stopped enforcing antitrust laws. Professor Risse mentioned a new book to me titled “Cornered” that spells out this problem in terms that Vance Packard and James Howard Kunstler would endorse.

    Those who find a way to collect commissions, fees and bonus that are 500 times the amount made by those who actually create economic activity.

    Do you need more details to 'understand'?


  14. Anonymous Avatar

    Just because someone or some organization makes a lot of money does not meant they are ‘successful’ in any sense of the word related to achieving a sustainable trajectory for human activity. Small Mart vs Wal-Mart. Menu Foods vs the village butcher.

    Also. RHs pseudo – thoughtful comment concerning the imprecision of ‘something’ is typical of his rants. It would have validity only if the person he was accusing of being imprecise and being engaged in wishful thinking had not published extensively exactly what those ‘somethings’ were and the details of how to fix them.


  15. Anonymous Avatar

    RH and his clients are not interested in ‘understanding’ they are bent on filibuster and if RH says he is not paid for his ranting, it is because someone is gaming his system.

    One of the students

  16. Anonymous Avatar

    Three attacks on me, and not one comment on my ideas.

    I don't get paid by anyone and I have no clients. On this blog I have no supporters, not even fake ones.

    All I suggest is that we look a little closer and think a little harder about how to treat our friends and neighbors as equals.

    If one of them is more successful than we are we can admire their effort and their skill. We can study what works or jealously accuse them of gaming the system.

    Sorry EMR, I still don't understand a sentence where the second half has nothing to do with the first.

    We have a system with rules and if you play by the rules you are playing the game. Is that gaming the system?

    What you are really complaining about is that the system does not have enough rules: they are incomplete. The system is broken, not the people who play it.

    Our system has a system for changing the rules. But if you are playing poker, you do not change the rules after the bets have been placed.

    At least, most gentlemen I know would never treat their neighbors that way.

    I'm on your side. I believe that humans are most likely altering the climate, and there will be a price to pay, someday.

    Some people think we need radical rule changes, in order to keep that bill from coming due.

    There are a lot of bets already on the table, so I don't think you will get big rule changes without a fight. That fight may make our environmental problems look like chickenfeed.

    But, of course, my ideas of how to treat your neighbors fairly, and how to use the market and private property to protect the environment; they are just bizarre.

    I recognize externalities:

    Total cost = production cost + External Cost + government cost.

    I have repeated that over and over again. But the idea that:

    "Those who have figured out how to provide cheap goods and services by avoiding to pass on the full cost of externalities."

    Is simply wrong. (This is mis-stated as written, but I think I know what you intended.) You think that those who are engaged in production should absorb the full cost of all the externalities. And government should make sure that they do.

    I think this is an uttterly stupid idea. If manufacturors take up the full and complete cost of eliminating every possible externality, none of us will be able to afford any of their goods.
    And we will have to pay the increased cost of government, as well.

    Total costs will go up if we do that, not down.

    It is all well and good to claim that THEY are gaming the system by not paying the full cost of externalities and it is politically correct to beat up on the giant evil industrialists wringing there short term profits out of the pollution they dump on our heads.

    But it just isn't real. We benefit from accepting some external costs. I believe we will solve our environmental problems better when we learn to look for what is real instead of what is emotionally satisfying.

    Listen to the rant about Big Ag, Airlines, and homebuilders. Those big players LOVE more regulation, because they are the only ones who can play in that game. I have to get a license to apply a herbicide that is already approved by the government. The license costs me the same for a hundred acres as it costs big ag for ten thousand acres.

    Thank you Environmental Defense Fund for putting one more useless nail in the coffin of small ag while paying to make Big Ag immortal.

    EMR needs to stop patting himself on the back and take a look around.


  17. Anonymous Avatar

    "It was no coincidence that the very idea that the common man should own property emerged at the same time that people of the old and new world started clamoring for freedom. Some current-day detractors of the idea try to make the case that property rights were not all that important to the writers of the Constitution since the term is only mentioned once – as though to mention something only once in the Constitution is of no consequence. But the fact is, most of the tenants of the Constitution, whether they mention property rights specifically or not, are primarily about securing the means necessary for the individual citizen to protect what is theirs. If there is only one thing that the Constitution is all about, it’s about property rights.

    And, there’s the rub when it comes to implementing any other kind of government which requires the confiscation of wealth from one citizen to transfer to another – it can’t happen if property rights are upheld.

    Hence it is that advocates of every other kind of government MUST eliminate the very concept of private property if they are to advance their vision of the perfect society."

    I believe that we can have a stong environmental policy that is based on mutual respect and tolerance, fair play and protection of property. I believe we can achieve lowest total costs, low government costs, and low external costs, without invoking unfair damage on individuals.

    EMR and his Shades seems to think it takes vindictive hatred and disrespect for anything big, successful or profit making, retroactivly applied liability for newly invented "wrongs", total disrespect for previously existing and paid for property rights, and total government control over any kind of development or change deemed "unsustainable", where current lifestyles and consumption patterns of the affluent middle class – involving high meat intake, use of fossil fuels, appliances, home and work air-conditioning, and suburban housing are primary targets.


  18. Anonymous Avatar

    "On Thursday, big utility operators and some state officials blasted the administration's formal announcement that it would drop plans for a federal nuclear-waste vault beneath Yucca Mountain, Nev., and instead consider what it believes are better options. On Capitol Hill, a group of Democratic lawmakers introduced legislation to block the administration from using the Clean Air Act to regulate carbon-dioxide emissions. Meanwhile, Democratic lawmakers urged the administration not to use federal stimulus dollars to help finance a wind-energy project that involves a Chinese maker of wind turbines."

  19. Anonymous Avatar

    "TOKYO, March 5 (UPI) — Japan said it won't comply with a proposed ban on trading Atlantic bluefin tuna, despite indications the species risks extinction, officials said."

  20. Anonymous Avatar

    "How could a much worse quake cause much less death? One answer is simply luck that the Hatian quake struck a major population center. But, we know that Chile's city of Concepcion was close to the epi-center.

    My favorite explanation is discussed in My 2005 paper on deaths from disasters . Using data for nations all over the world, I documented the benefits of economic development. Richer nations suffer fewer deaths from the "same quality" shock.

    Now, the open question is "why"?

    Explanation #1: The Quality of Government

    Richer governments can enforce building codes and quality building codes protect the public.

    Explanation #2: Richer people

    Richer people live in newer, higher quality structures and this protects them. The structures are built of higher quality (no collapsing cement).

    Richer people often live at lower density (outside of a Manhattan or a Tokyo) and this reduces risk.

    There is a synergy between #1 and #2. Richer nations tend to have a more educated populace. The educated are better able to monitor their politicians and this provides an incentive for self interested politicians to actually act in the public's interest."

    Matthew Kahn

  21. Anonymous Avatar

    "The efficacy of alternative biofuel policies in achieving energy, environmental and agricultural policy goals is assessed using economic cost-benefit analysis. Government mandates are superior to consumption subsidies, especially with suboptimal fuel taxes and the higher costs involved with raising tax revenues. But subsidies with mandates cause adverse interaction effects; oil consumption is subsidized instead. This unique result also applies to renewable electricity that faces similar policy combinations. Ethanol policy can have a significant impact on corn prices; if not, inefficiency costs rise sharply. Ethanol policy can increase the inefficiency of farm subsidies and vice-versa. Policies that discriminate against trade, such as production subsidies and tariffs, can more than offset any benefits of a mandate. Sustainability standards are ineffective and illegal according to the WTO, and so should be re-designed. "

  22. Anonymous Avatar

    "Elon poll shows support for wind, solar energy

    A poll of North Carolina adults shows most support the construction of wind and solar projects in the state but aren't thrilled about using wood or leaves to generate energy.

    The Elon University Poll released today calculated support for wind energy facilities in the mountains or the coast near 80 percent among 508 adults interviewed last week. For construction of "solar farms" the support level was 83 percent.

    But 52 percent said they're opposed to what's known as biomass energy by burning wood, leaves or forest products into a liquid or gas, compared to 39 percent support.


    Unfortunately, the survey did not address the costs of renewable energy. Whenever costs get involved "support" goes down."

    Environmental Economics

  23. Anonymous Avatar

    "James Weinstein, the transit agency’s executive director, said Friday that he would seek approval from New Jersey Transit’s board to increase fares by 25 percent systemwide and trim service, based on recent ridership declines. "

  24. Anonymous Avatar

    Economics of Poor Property Rights

    By Dr. Sirimal Abeyratne

    "Economics, in all its forms, is at the end about costs and benefits. In order to understand how the costs are minimized and benefits are maximized in all forms of economic activity, a country should have clearly defined and enforced property rights.

    When each person tries to act upon this economic principle by being innovative and creative, they all contribute to national wealth enabling the country to become rich. But in the countries where property rights are poorly defined and poorly enforced, the one who derives the benefits does not necessarily bear the costs. This is injustice, but no compensation for the victims because it is, though clearly visible, difficult to prove with the support of law. The wealth creation is, therefore, weaker and, economic progress is slower.

    Common property belongs to the government or any other central authority. But when the law enforcement is weaker, public properties are used for private gains. Picture shows workers taking down a poster on display.
    Social cost is the cost to others or to the society as a whole arising from private activities. Every activity may have a social cost in varying degrees. However, when the property rights are poorly defined and enforced, social cost becomes greater because the individuals who pass the cost to the others have a greater ability to do so…."

  25. Anonymous Avatar

    "There are the three ways one can legislate/govern:

    1)One can legislate/govern pursuant to the conscience. By this, one enacts whatever they feel the law should be. In this case, the "law" becomes dynamic and can never be understood.

    2)One can legislate/govern pursuant to the will of the nominal majority. By this, if the nominal majority wishes to slaughter the nominal minority, then it's enacted. The "law" is dynamic.


    3)One can legislate/govern pursuant to the rule of law/Constitution. By this, one accepts the fact that the laws of justice are static and can no more be redacted – despite what a legislature or king enacts – than can the laws of physics. Otherwise, pray tell how is one to ever learn and understand the laws of justice?

    So far, neither Sue Lowden or Danny Tarkanian have convinced me that they will legislate pursuant to the rule of law. Lowden's track record is the quintessential example of legislating pursuant to items one or two.


    That we can safely exchange civil liberty for economic liberty, or vice versa, is a ruse. In truth, there is an inextricable nexus between civil liberty and economic liberty. One implies property rights and the other implies the right to self-ownership.

    The right to own and control property and the right to self-ownership is the codification of human rights. There can be no human rights without property rights and the right to self-ownership. Rights are not collective, but belong to each and every individual, regardless of race or religion.

    Theft, arson, vandalism, and fraud have traditionally been considered to be crimes. This is because they violate property rights. Rape, kidnapping, and murder have traditionally been considered to be crimes. This is because they violate the right to self-ownership. Thus we can conclude that any violation of property rights or the right to self-ownership is a crime."

    Mark Anderson

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