Natural disasters and climate change

A number of climate change commentators are trying to have it both ways: not directly stating that recent natural disasters are caused by AGW, but claiming that the events are becoming more frequent and more severe. (See also column by Piers Ackerman)

Garnaut states that this bolsters the argument for a carbon tax. Yet no one has yet put forward the proposition that, were Australia to adopt a carbon tax, natural disasters will be less frequent and less intense. Unless one considers smugness, it is a poor policy to introduce a measure which will do nothing to address the problem that is being posited.

But there is action that could have mitigated the damage of the Queensland floods – build more dams and / or let out some water from the Wivenhoe dam. Yet vested interests such as the Greens have effectively stymied the building of new dams.

So we have advocates pushing a new tax that won’t affect the frequency or outcome of natural disasters while the same people oppose measures which would have mitigated the damage of the same natural disasters.

And what of the $1000 flood payment and associated flood levy?

We have people who did not suffer damage to their home – merely being delayed entry for 24 hours or so – receiving the $1000 Australian Government Flood Relief Payment and consequently (see fact sheet) being exempted from the flood levy.

Yet people who lost their homes in the floods in NSW or from Cyclone Yasi will not receive the flood payment and will (if of sufficient income) be required to pay the flood levy.

Is this equitable? Of course not.

It is the outcome of ad hoc and poorly thought through policies such as the Australian Government Flood Relief Payment and Flood Levy.

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155 Responses to Natural disasters and climate change

  1. Sid Vicious

    I thought all those fact-finding-missions to various locations in Europe were supposed to deliver a better educated MP.

  2. Myrddin Seren

    Garnaut seems to have gotten the message to go on the attack though:

    “So for that world champion of high per capita emissions not to do its proportionate part, not to do its share in an international effort, would be deeply subversive to that international effort,” he said.

    No subtlty there. This does not bode well.

  3. Chris M

    I wrote to my local federal member (Labor) a few months back asking him how much our temperatures are expected to drop once the carbon tax / ETS was in place. In other words what do Australian citizens get in return for spending their money.

    He was not able to answer. Just blathered on about moving in this direction with the rest of the world (which is not). Labor + Greens = the Lemming party.

  4. .

    An Australian award winning scientist stated that it would never flood again in Australia.

  5. Karl Kessel

    There is a huge push of PR being prepared to push for whatever the carbon tax/trading scheme is going to be. Garnaut is the figurehead. He writes and believes what the government wants to hear.

    Good on him, he and Stern have rejuvenated their careers by pushing this stuff. Stern’s consulting business is a gold mine.

    Roger Pielke Jnr has a good entry on the trend in extreme weather damage for Australia.

  6. .

    Garnaut should be wedged.

    Dr Garnaut, are you calling Dr Flannery a liar? Yes or no.

    The recriminations would then involve either a) how dare you, you’re not a scientist, Falnnery is an Australian of the year, therefore his advice is bunk or b) point out the fact that we’ve had two tropical storms which have lead to transnational floods, therefore his advice is bunk.

    Why don’t I trust Garnaut? He’s not pushing good policy. He’s smart enough to push the worst amongst alternatives.

  7. Grendel

    A couple of points on the post above:

    But there is action that could have mitigated the damage of the Queensland floods – build more dams and / or let out some water from the Wivenhoe dam. Yet vested interests such as the Greens have effectively stymied the building of new dams.

    The statement conflates two issues – one of decision making with regard to infrastructure development and the other with catchment managements. The Greens do not influence the decisions of engineers to release water from Wivenhoe. This is a critical issue of consideration in the case of flooding around Brisbane and Ipswich and even a second dam the size of Wivenhoe would not have helped given the sheer volumes of water falling into the Brisbane catchment.

    However even if building more dams had reduced flooding around Brisbane and Ipswich – it would have done nothing in the rest of the main flood districtis in the rest of Queensland where dam flood mitigation was simply not an option. Remember that most of the flooding in Queensland was across multiple catchments.

    Like 1974 the rainfall into the Brisbane catchment was excessive. Unlike 1974 it also happened across most of the rest of the state as well. I think it well qualifies as an extreme weather event but I will leave the determination of whether it was the result of climate change up to later generations who will be better able to identify the date trend.

  8. .

    Grendel,

    Is Tim Flannery a liar or not?

  9. Grendel

    This Brisbane Time article from October is worth reading too – Campbell Newman got it right.

    http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/environment/weather/could-the-1974-flood-happen-again-20101012-16hpq.html

    However I think the state opposition in Queensland is likely to find their own comments from October quite embarressing:

    http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/water-is-being-released-from-wivenhoe-20101006-167m4.html

  10. Grendel

    _ I have no idea what you are referring to – I’ve not read any of Tim Flannery’s books, I’ve only rarely heard him interviewed and thus do not know what claims he has made. In any case – making a claim that something will never happen doesn’t make you a liar when it happens, it just makes you wrong.

  11. .

    Why won’t you answer this embarrassing question?

  12. Grendel

    I just did – but why are you asking me the question? I’m not Garnaut or Flannery and my point was about the article above, not about Tim Flannery.

  13. .

    I know that but this shitty server gainsaid my understanding of space time continuity… thank you for being frank.

  14. Grendel

    Ahhh and I thought you were being particularly dim – my apologies. As I said, I’ve read nothing of Flannery’s work and am therefore unqualified to comment on it.

  15. The floods in Brisbane and the rest of QLD were due to unusual excessive rainfall as Grendel mentions. The article by a senior correspondent of the Australian that 80% of the Brisbane flood was due to a large amount of water released from the dam was as disgraceful as it was inaccurate. Flooding was also “due” to La Nina and a change in climate.

    As I have mentioned a number of times in my blog, not all of the climate change is due to global warming. Some is due to a movement of all weather systems in the southern hemisphere towards the south pole. The movement means that Perth is getting less rainfall and coastal eastern Australia is going to get more summer rain.

    The idea of a carbon tax as I understand it is that it is supposed to encourage use of less carbon based energy. Given that in this country we think any type of nuclear power is a creation of an entity that makes the devil look like a boy scout, the carbon tax is not likely to do much to the weather.

    Finally, I disagree with Samual J re: “merely being delayed entry for 24 hours or so”. Such a statement was made by a Justice of Peace in an on air interview. The JP provided enough info to identify the individual but provided no proof at all. Rather a strange way for a JP to behave. So far, Centrelink has found no evidence of fraud among applicants for the $1000.

  16. Jarrah

    “A number of climate change commentators are trying to have it both ways: not directly stating that recent natural disasters are caused by AGW, but claiming that the events are becoming more frequent and more severe.”

    Looks like you’re also trying to have it both ways – criticising when someone claims one particular event is due to climate change, and criticising when they don’t.

    “Unless one considers smugness, it is a poor policy to introduce a measure which will do nothing to address the problem that is being posited.”

    That’s a leap. As you rightly point out, no-one is saying the mere imposition of a carbon tax will be of any help. But that’s far from saying it will do “nothing to address the problem”, because part of the problem is getting a global response, a political goal. Rich countries who have benefited most from fossil fuels (and produced the most emissions), if they want to get a global response, will have to lead the way. Australia is currently lagging.

    “whether it was the result of climate change up to later generations who will be better able to identify the date trend.”

    Well put.

  17. .

    “Rich countries who have benefited most from fossil fuels (and produced the most emissions), if they want to get a global response, will have to lead the way. Australia is currently lagging.”

    Who do you think will benefit the most over the next 20-30 years?

    “Looks like you’re also trying to have it both ways – criticising when someone claims one particular event is due to climate change, and criticising when they don’t.”

    No Jarrah the apocolyptics are having an each way bet.

    Global warming caused no floods ever again and two tropical depression driven floods. Apparently.

    “Doing nothing” actually involves reform and it could well be an excellent policy.

    If we end subsidies to agriculture, unprofitable land degradation is discouraged. Holistic methods have higher net profits. They can also sequester a heap of carbon. If we end the regulatory bias against the entire nuclear industry, we open up exploration, extraction, refining, export and domestic industrial, residential and transport use. If we end the electricity subsidies to aluminium, we end the subsidisation of coal fired power. If we end the rules on tree preservation orders, we end the perverse incentive where people are discouraged from planting trees. If we end the use of the nebulous and nefarious precautionary principle as a regulatory barrier, feasible geo engineering like iron seeding can mitigate and help to restore “biologically dead” patches of ocean.

    Maybe we should actually “do nothing”.

  18. C.L.

    Yes, about a year ago warmenists realised that their beloved ETS was prone to criticism and ridicule because it would – of course – do absolutely nothing to affect the temperature of the planet. So a new narrative was needed. Voila: the world was gearing up for an inevitable carbon marketised world (not) and if we acted now we would save lots of money and have a killer advantage over our slow-coach competitors or something.

  19. Infidel Tiger

    Australia is currently lagging.

    At what? Cricket? Lesbian glove puppet theatre?

  20. AndrewL

    Reading the quotes in the Australian: aren’t the commentators saying that there will be fewer but more intense events, which would be consistent with the IPCC:

    A synthesis of the model results to date indicates that, for a future warmer climate, coarse-resolution models show few consistent changes in tropical cyclones, with results dependent on the model, although those models do show a consistent increase in precipitation intensity in future storms. Higher-resolution models that more credibly simulate tropical cyclones project some consistent increase in peak wind intensities, but a more consistent projected increase in mean and peak precipitation intensities in future tropical cyclones. There is also a less certain possibility of a decrease in the number of relatively weak tropical cyclones, increased numbers of intense tropical cyclones and a global decrease in total numbers of tropical cyclones.

  21. JC.

    Why are they wheeling out Garnaut again?

  22. Fran Barlow

    Garnaut states that this bolsters the argument for a carbon tax. Yet no one has yet put forward the proposition that, were Australia to adopt a carbon tax, natural disasters will be less frequent and less intense. Unless one considers smugness, it is a poor policy to introduce a measure which will do nothing to address the problem that is being posited.

    Jarrah is on the right track above, but some further commentary is needed.

    1. Nobody need show that Australia’s implementation of a price on carbon (not necessarily a carbon tax) will reduce the severity, frequency or cost of severe weather events. There is, as people here should know, a difference between necessary and sufficient conditions for a given outcome. A pro-rata price on carbon reflecting the negative value of the externality to the commons is, a necessary precondition to various classes of remedy, which, if generalised, would constitute a sufficient condition for moderating the severity and frequency and cost of severe weather events. It is worth noting that whichever suite of adaptive, mitigatory or restitutive or geoengineering tactics are adopted, the funds raised from a carbon price underpin them and discourage conduct predisposing the unwanted outcome.

    Blurring the lines here is a variant of a strawman argument.

    2. Successful introduction of a carbon price here predisposes the adoption of a carbon price elsewhere. The failure of significant emitters such as Australia and the United States to introduce such a price is after all, the most commonly raised objection in every jurisdiction against acting.

    3. World temperature is a lagging indicator. It takes decades for heat to accumulate at depth in the ocean and it is clear that even if all anthropogenic emissions were to stop now, elevated CO2 and elevated ocean temperatures would continue to underpin elevated global temperatures for quite some time — perhaps longer than many of the visitors to this site will be alive. However, both the rate of temperature increase and the point at which temperature stabilises would be more favourable to those in the future, to whom we have, I believe, an ethical obligation. Past and contemporary humans have been guilty of enriching themselves at the expense of the life chances of humans in the future. We are in the curious position of being both victims of past malfeasance and authors of new malfeasance. The ethical difference is that whereas people living in 1950 could plead both ignorance and lack of technological acumen, we cannot. We cannot sue our ancestors, but we cannot even complain at their legacy if we help perpetuate it, for we have markedly fewer defences.

    4. It might also be added that if we do indeed take the course of implementation of a suitable carbon price, then we will derive benefits that don’t depend on assumptions about carbon sensitivity and climate. In practice, an industrial society configured to minimise resort to combustion of fossil hydrocarbons, will be one with cleaner air and water, in which fewer people commute long distances and run up significant transport costs. It will be one in which the per person cost of infrastructure will likely be lower (since it implies an increase in urban density) and in which people are healthier and have more leisure time. It will be one less exposed to price shock inflation caused by volatility in supply of hydrocarbon fuels and in which the funds available to the world’s autocrats and their catspaws would be reduced. So while we have no particular right to fare well from discharging our responsibility to future generations, we certainly will derive significant side benefits in timeframes meaningful to us personally.

  23. JC.

    Fran Says:

    Successful introduction of a carbon price here predisposes the adoption of a carbon price elsewhere. The failure of significant emitters such as Australia and the United States to introduce such a price is after all, the most commonly raised objection in every jurisdiction against acting.

    Really? My understanding why Copenhagen failed was the opposite of yours. Both Rudd and Obama offered pricing and the lesser developed countries not only walked away but scoffed at it.

    You have any evidence of your claim, Fran?

  24. .

    No Fran, Jarrah is not “right on track”.

    What I’ve outlined for “doing nothing” would be immensely more environmentally beneficial than an ETS which will be gamed harder than two up on ANZAC Day. It would also have immediate first round economic benefits, the ETS would be unequivocally economically harmful.

  25. Infidel Tiger

    Yes, the world is waiting for that international goliath, Australia – the place with all the mountains, the dancing horses and strudel – to take decisive action.

  26. rog

    Not so, it was the US and China that stymied any agreement in Copenhagen.

  27. JC.

    Fuck, you’re stupid Quodger. You’re stupider than a pig’s trotter.

    If China also “stymied” the agreement how exactly does that offer any legitimacy to Fran’s comment?

    The failure of significant emitters such as Australia and the United States to introduce such a price is after all, the most commonly raised objection in every jurisdiction against acting.

    You’re deficient.

  28. Michael Fisk

    Australia is a “significant emitter”!? What planet are you on? Our total emissions are tiny. We could tip the entire continent into the Pacific Ocean and it would have no effect on global warming. None.

  29. Gabrielle

    Tiny? At 1.4% I call that bugger all. Let’s face it, this “carbon” tax should just be called the Budget Surplus Tax. At least it would be an honest description.

  30. dover_beach

    World temperature is a lagging indicator. It takes decades for heat to accumulate at depth in the ocean

    What is absorbed by the deep ocean is no longer a problem for anyone; since it will be dissipated over time and will not return in the quantity in which it was absorbed.

  31. rog

    Now we have the inmates competing against each other to see who can be stupider than JC. I reckon that when you are down at that level it doesn’t really matter, let’s just call it a draw.

  32. Mr. Papaya

    Heat accumulates in the ocean at depth over the space of several hundred years, not decades.

  33. JC.

    Now we have the inmates competing against each other to see who can be stupider than JC. I reckon that when you are down at that level it doesn’t really matter, let’s just call it a draw.

    You’d know stupid, quodger, seeing you never finished high school.

  34. Fran Barlow

    JC said:

    Both Rudd and Obama offered pricing and the lesser developed countries not only walked away but scoffed at it. You have any evidence of your claim, Fran?

    It was common knowledge that the Obama proposal would not survive congress and of course Australia’s bill (the egregiously inadequate CPRS) had been rejected. Domestic pressure everywhere is not to do anything significant “unilaterally”. Of course, there was more to the failure of Copenhagen than that. There was the question of clean development adjustment funds for the developing world, where there were sharply different ideas on how the developed world should contribute.

    Yet politically, there’s no doubt that domestically the most common “cut through” argument raised against coherent action is that we dare not go it alone, because there will be lost jobs and fugitive emissions. And of course every regime promises “to do more” if others do more.

  35. Fran Barlow

    Dover Beach said:

    What is absorbed by the deep ocean is no longer a problem for anyone; since it will be dissipated over time and will not return in the quantity in which it was absorbed

    You should write that idea up as a paper and submit it to a physics journal! Don’t forget to show all working, heat sink operations etc … Post a link here when it is done.

  36. Fran Barlow

    I do understand that the consensus here embraces the idea that AGW is some sort of evidence-free bait and switch by governments obsessed with taxation and wanting to “take our freedoms” & etc … but as a thought experiment, let’s put all that to one side and try this:

    Imagine that you are persuaded that anthropogenic augmentation of atmospheric inventories of GHGs really were causing quantifiable harm both to humans alive now and prpospective harm to humans in the future over at least the next several hundred years. What, suite of measures, most compatible with the ethical standpoint of libertarians ought the responsible human communities take in response? How should the resources needed to support the various remedies be marshalled? On whose shoulders should the burdens of this effort fall most heavily?

  37. ken n

    “I do understand that the consensus here embraces the idea that AGW is some sort of evidence-free bait and switch by governments obsessed with taxation and wanting to “take our freedoms” & etc”

    That is nonsense Fran. If you are to comment here (and you are very welcome) I suggest you do a bit more reading before making sweeping statements like that.

  38. What, suite of measures, most compatible with the ethical standpoint of libertarians ought the responsible human communities take in response?

    I speak for myself, not libertarians collectively (a misomer if ever there was one), but I don’t accept anything needs to be done at all by “responsible human communities”.

    If enough people are persuaded that the anthropogenic case is persuasive, market-based mechanisms will be developed to adapt or mitigate, or both. We are not at that point.

    Skepticism about governments having superior wisdom that permits them to tell the rest of us what’s good for us is about the only thing that libertarians have in common.

  39. PSC

    If enough people are persuaded that the anthropogenic case is persuasive, market-based mechanisms will be developed to adapt or mitigate, or both. We are not at that point.

    Market based mechanisms are being developed to adapt and mitigate.

    Prima facie we are at that point.

  40. Fran Barlow

    Ken N said:

    That is nonsense Fran. If you are to comment here (and you are very welcome) I suggest you do a bit more reading before making sweeping statements like that.

    So what is the consensus ’round these parts then Ken? If my claim is not merely “a sweeping statement” but spurious, what is the majority explanation here for why there is near universal acknowledgement at policy level of the need to reduce anthropogenic emissions of GHGs?

    Perhaps more importantly, how would you go about answering my substantive question?

    What, suite of measures, most compatible with the ethical standpoint of libertarians ought the responsible human communities take in response? How should the resources needed to support the various remedies be marshalled? On whose shoulders should the burdens of this effort fall most heavily?

    David Leyonhjelm said:

    I speak for myself, not libertarians collectively (a misnomer {paradoxical term?} if ever there were one), [my corrections: FB]

    Oh dear … I was asking each of you as individual libertarians to respond with what you regarded as a bona fide libertarian position. I am aware that not all libertarians, even of the centre-right variety, are in agreement on all matters of the boundaries between community and the individual. Perhaps I misled you unwittingly by using the phrase the ethical standpoint of libertarians. I meant this in a plural sense. Perhaps I should have said the ethical positions of libertarians … though I had intended “standpoint” to specify a nuanced and somewhat heterogenous paradigm.

    If enough people are persuaded that the anthropogenic case is persuasive,

    Oh dear …

  41. daddy dave

    Imagine that you are persuaded that anthropogenic augmentation of atmospheric inventories of GHGs really were causing quantifiable harm both to humans alive now and prpospective harm to humans in the future over at least the next several hundred years.

    Fran, let’s take it at face value that AGW will cause “quantifiable harm” to humans in the future.
    Let’s leave aside that I don’t even know what this means (since the only major “quantifiable harm” that has any meaning as far as I can tell is destruction of food supply Everything else being small fry on the historical scale).

    Some additional facts (a) Australia is attempting to ‘lead the way’
    (b) proponents of policy change are pretending that others (China, US, etc) are leading the way. This isn’t true.

    The major economies are never going to do anything that actually has any effect on ‘Carbon’ outputs. We are a minnow in the industrialised world, economically and politically. There is no point in doing anything but sit back and wait.
    There will never be a global accord so we will be waiting forever.
    Should we introduce policy outside a global accord? Are you crazy? That will have no effect on climate change. All it will do is put all our industries at a disadvantage, reducing Australia’s relative economic size even further.

    Should we prepare? No. Since the effects are unknown, there’s nothing to prepare for. Also, a century is a bloody long time. The world will be totally different in a century from now. There is no point in planning for the people of 100 years from now.

    Also – we can’t save them anyway. It’s not just global warming that’s unpredictable. The future is unpredictable in so many ways that it’s difficult to even convey. There will be volcanos, wars, epidemics, earthquakes, man-made disasters, man-made breakthroughs. Nations will rise. nations will fall. There will be several genius inventions that will revolutionise society. People will live in different places.

    So many events are going to take place in the next 100 years that anything we do now will appear foolish and vain in hindsight. Possibly humourous too, in a wry, how-naive-they-were-in-the-past sense.

  42. ken n

    Oh dear, indeed, Fran.
    There is no consensus here. That is why many of our discussions about all sorts of things are so interesting. If we were all in violent agreement, I would not bother to turn up.
    Last time I looked Sinclair, Judith (I think), JC and I accept what appears to be the consensus view of scientists on AGW. I am sure there are others. My guess (that is all it is) is that a majority of regular posters and commenters do also. Where we depart from the consensus (and each other) is on the politics and what should be done. It seems to me that is very healthy.
    I have set out here and elsewhere several time where I stand.
    I enter this thread now only to correct your assumption about the residents of this site. I am not interested in discussing any of the other issues or in denouncing anyone who thinks differently to me – as I was invited to do by another welcome visitor.
    I don’t think any opinion is going to change, here or at the others blogs you frequent, and it really does not matter what anyone here thinks. It probably does not matter to the world what anyone in Australia thinks.
    The issues has become something with which to beat your enemies over the head.
    I don’t find that fun.

  43. Fran Barlow

    Ken N

    For someone who claims to find intellectual heterogeneity so appealing, your dismissal of the value of the opinions of people on this blog, blogs in general or even those of the whole country seems rather perverse.

    Don’t you have an opinion about what policies for raising the resources to effect remedies best comport with libertarianism, as best you grasp it? Is you want of an opinion simply a consequence of the view that opinions in Australia on this subject don’t matter and so forming one would be a waste of your time? Alternatively, does it reflect the view that if the harm were indeed quantifiable, libertarian approaches (as you understand them) would shed no useful insight on what ought to be done and by whom? Which other approaches might shed useful insight on the resolution of the harms in that case?

  44. dover_beach

    You should write that idea up as a paper and submit it to a physics journal! Don’t forget to show all working, heat sink operations etc … Post a link here when it is done.

    Fran, I’ll get on to that as soon as you point me towards the physics paper that quantifies all the heat in joules being deposited in the deep oceans.

  45. daddy dave

    Fran,
    I wrote a long and considered response to you. Any opinion on what I said?

    Alternatively, does it reflect the view that if the harm were indeed quantifiable

    It’s not. pretending otherwise is just playing dancing-on-a-pin mind games.

  46. ken n

    “For someone who claims to find intellectual heterogeneity so appealing, your dismissal of the value of the opinions of people on this blog, blogs in general or even those of the whole country seems rather perverse.”

    Huh?

    “Don’t you have an opinion about what policies for raising the resources to effect remedies”

    Nope. The whole issue, in my view, has been done to death in the blogs and in the MSM. Nothing new is being said. I’d prefer to spend my time (and electrons) on questions that are still developing. And which interest me. Sorry.

  47. daddy dave

    It might also be added that if we do indeed take the course of implementation of a suitable carbon price, then we will derive benefits that don’t depend on assumptions about carbon sensitivity and climate.

    This is where you’re wrong, Fran. You concede all the arguments against carbon price, then add, “but it would be economically good for us anyway.”
    It wouldn’t.

  48. Fran Barlow

    You concede all the arguments against carbon price,

    Hitherto, Daddy Dave, I’ve conceded no arguments at all against carbon price.

  49. JC.

    “but it would be economically good for us anyway.

    WTF? Seinfeld economics?

  50. Fran Barlow

    WTF? Seinfeld economics?

    WTF? A Cosmo Kramer handwave?

  51. JC.

    I was thinking more of George than Kramer, Fran.

    George would be the one peddling the idea that a tax would be good the economy and raise living standards.

  52. PSC

    Meanwhile on the Onion:

    http://www.theonion.com/articles/republicans-vote-to-repeal-obamabacked-bill-that-w,19025/#enlarge

    Republicans Vote To Repeal Obama-Backed Bill That Would Destroy Asteroid Headed For Earth

    “The voters sent us to Washington to stand up for individual liberty, not big government,” Rep. Steve King (R-IA) said at a press conference. “Obama’s plan would take away citizens’ fundamental freedoms, forcing each of us into hastily built concrete bunkers and empowering the federal government to ration our access to food, water, and potassium iodide tablets while underground.”

    “We believe that the decisions of how to deal with the massive asteroid are best left to the individual,” King added.

  53. Oh dear …

    If you choose to sneer, you should contribute something that demonstrates you are entitled to do so.

    I’ve re-read your comments above and there’s nothing that comes close.

    So please go ahead.

  54. JC.

    PSC

    The Onion would be doing that piece because the GOP wants to cripple the EPA’s ability to “enact laws” outside of the Congress. The Reps are now voting on a bill and sending it to the Demolition controlled senate. Lets see what Harry Reid does with it.

  55. JC.

    Fran:

    “but it would be economically good for us anyway.

    Okay, tell me how that works. I have a demand/supply curve here

    You’re shifting the price of energy from p2 to P1. Supply therefore shifts to the left. Can you please explain how less energy use (lowering demand) is good for a first world industrialized economy when it uses less energy, not because of productivity enhancement reason but through artificial means of raising a tax?

  56. daddy dave

    Fran’s ‘benefits.’

    In practice, an industrial society configured to minimise resort to combustion of fossil hydrocarbons, will be one with cleaner air and water, in which fewer people commute long distances and run up significant transport costs. It will be one in which the per person cost of infrastructure will likely be lower (since it implies an increase in urban density) and in which people are healthier and have more leisure time. It will be one less exposed to price shock inflation caused by volatility in supply of hydrocarbon fuels and in which the funds available to the world’s autocrats and their catspaws would be reduced. So while we have no particular right to fare well from discharging our responsibility to future generations, we certainly will derive significant side benefits in timeframes meaningful to us personally.

    Fran, these purported benefits all arise from less cars. However, the car has massive economic advantages to individuals. Too many to list, but an increased choice of jobs is a big one (due to being able to drive to a greater number of workplaces).
    The low-carbon response is “no-probs, we’ll just put all the people and all the jobs within walking distance or next to public transport.” Nice thought, but it’s impractical. More importantly it still doesn’t eliminate the economic benefit of the car.

  57. daddy dave

    an aside: there would be advantages to fewer cars, for sure. But there are also disadvantages. The disadvantages are bigger (by orders of magnitude).

  58. Fran Barlow

    DavidLeyonhjelm

    If you choose to sneer, you should contribute something that demonstrates you are entitled to do so. {…} I’ve re-read your comments above and there’s nothing that comes close.

    It depends on which of the two iterations of “oh dear” you’re complaining about. In the former, I was not sneering but chiding myself at the ambiguity of my phrasing, which admitted the implication of a unitary position for the class “libertarian”.

    In the latter, I was objecting both to your tautological use of the concept of persuasion and the implication that the development of “market-based mechanisms” would arise in some vague organic way from a growing perception that there was indeed a problem to be addressed. Apart from the structurally metaphysical character of such a proposition, and its temporal implausibility, the record is clear. While most people are persuaded that something concerted should be done to staunch the problem, “market based mechanisms” have been fairly thin on the ground. Some of the most concerted action has arisen where the opinions of people are moot and where the action has been state-driven. What that says about the efficacy of markets, I leave to you.

  59. JC.

    Fran:

    Your last para makes little sense. No offense but you’re making this shit up as you go along.

    Emissions is a technological issue for which there a solution. It is not making decisions from above about how people go about their lives and if they should or should not drive and where they live. You can of course live next door to where you work. Other people don’t. You may prefer the inner city while others don’t want to live in cramped conditions.

    Raising the price of energy does nothing to improve living standards and your assertion that it would do the economy a bit of good is nonsense.

  60. Fran Barlow

    Daddy Dave said:

    Fran, these purported benefits all arise from less {fewer} cars.

    Not at all. Reduced rates of respiratory and neural injury within the footprint of coal harvest, transport and combustion has little to do with the number of tonne-miles done in private motor vehicles. Moreover, as ABARE raises questions about the longevity of coal as an energy source at current prices. Certainly, it is far from clear that Australian coal will be available for harvest at current rates in the latter half of this century. If there is a widespread take up of natural gas globally, one may have similar doubts about the longterm real price of gas. More densely configured residential areas will make scheduled transport more viable but also reduce the per person cost of supplying and maintaining services.

    the car has massive economic advantages to individuals. Too many to list, but an increased choice of jobs is a big one (due to being able to drive to a greater number of workplaces)

    You are simply assuming the current urban configuration — i.e. sprawling low density living. This pretty much mandates dependence on private motor vehicles and once it does that the marginal cost of those extra kilometres and the high cost of building and maintaining transport is self-reinforcing. If the city is far more compact, then building highly convenient and cost-effective public transport sercing almost everyone becomes far more viable. Getting to any point in the city by public transport is a lot more viable, and even if you need to use a car, the roads are less cluttered.

    Your wave of the hand at the end — “it’s impractical” — requires support. Such a system would very substantially prejudice the economic advantages of private motor vehicles for commuting purposes.

  61. Fran Barlow

    JC said:

    Your last para makes little sense. No offense but you’re making this shit up as you go along.

    Yes … I can see that you mean to be serious and civil …

    Emissions is a technological issue for which there {is} a solution.

    Not that you are about to offer one. Perish the thought! I suppose it makes sense that you would refrain from that. It seems to be the pattern here. Perhaps one of the fellow travellers will suggest something feasible. Your answer recalls an amusing episode of Father Ted in which Father Jack was coached to answer all questions with the phrase: that would be an ecumenical matter. In this place it seems phrases like: that would be a technological issue or market mechanisms will arise have similar status. Perhaps a hidden hand (at least those of us on the right side rather than the recalcitrants on the left) will guide us? Such things are surely comforting to your club.

    Raising the price of energy does nothing to improve living standards and your assertion that it would do the economy a bit of good is nonsense.

    So you say, but unless you are arguing that people having dirtier air, longer commutes, inferior accommodation and more exposure to price-shock inflation amounts to “improved living standards” I fear it is you who are unclear about the scope and quality of your claims.

  62. JC.

    Not at all. Reduced rates of respiratory and neural injury within the footprint of coal harvest, transport and combustion has little to do with the number of tonne-miles done in private motor vehicles.

    And the benefits of the “coal harvest” is what exactly? Can you point to any example where low energy intensity promotes higher living standards instead of back-breaking work in the field? There are trade off in life.

    Moreover, as ABARE raises questions about the longevity of coal as an energy source at current prices.

    Well that’s a good things from you perspective, no? Furthermore your assertion doesn’t apply to us as we mostly consume brown coal and we have 100’s of years supply. Brown coal is not traded in the world market therefore not having an international price and it’s essentially free.

    Certainly, it is far from clear that Australian coal will be available for harvest at current rates in the latter half of this century.

    Yes it is. We have tons of that crap… brown coal.

    If there is a widespread take up of natural gas globally, one may have similar doubts about the longterm real price of gas.

    Nonsense. The US went from relatively gas poor to the point where it is beginning to export gas and is regarded as the Saudi Arabia of gas in just a few short years as a result of technological breakthroughs. Energy is simply a function of available technology in most ways.

    More densely configured residential areas will make scheduled transport more viable but also reduce the per person cost of supplying and maintaining services.

    Possibly. It is also dependent on a lot of things that you haven’t even considered. If Australia’s city populations were forced to live in the inner city through government edict it would make the cost unaffordable. Only 15% of work commutes are now in the CBD so straight line commuting, which public transport is adequate for is unrealistic as people’s jobs locations are very diffuse now.

    You are simply assuming the current urban configuration — i.e. sprawling low density living. This pretty much mandates dependence on private motor vehicles and once it does that the marginal cost of those extra kilometres and the high cost of building and maintaining transport is self-reinforcing. If the city is far more compact, then building highly convenient and cost-effective public transport sercing almost everyone becomes far more viable.

    NYC is pretty much like that, But I somehow doubt Australians would want to live like that in the near term.

    Getting to any point in the city by public transport is a lot more viable, and even if you need to use a car, the roads are less cluttered.

    So what if they’re cluttered. People can make those decisions for themselves if they want to participate in a cluttered road system. People still wake up in the morning and go to work at the same time for a number of good reasons which causes ‘clutter’ as you call it.

  63. JC.

    Not that you are about to offer one. Perish the thought! I suppose it makes sense that you would refrain from that. It seems to be the pattern here. Perhaps one of the fellow travellers will suggest something feasible.

    Yes they do. Most people here don;t have a problem with nuclear energy, but it seems it’s you anti science side that is emotionally against it because it sounds scary. Nuclear is the safest form of energy in the world we know of.

  64. Boris

    I find myself in agreement with Daddy Dave. I think his response is detailed, considered, measured and eloquent. I think a response from Fran is due.

    However, I do not necessarily agree with arguments based on the fact that Australia is small. These are weak arguments because these people are usually equally againts similar policies by larger nations, and against international agreements. S

  65. JC.

    So you say, but unless you are arguing that people having dirtier air, longer commutes, inferior accommodation and more exposure to price-shock inflation amounts to “improved living standards” I fear it is you who are unclear about the scope and quality of your claims.

    Please. This is just drivel. Longevity stats are rising. Other than the recession putting a temporary dampener on the global economy it’s back to growing at just below trend level of around 4.25 this year. Goods are cheaper and life is better at this point in time for large numbers of people in the world like never before. Your picture of grimy towns and child labor working in cold English factories doesn’t ring true in the rich west anyway.

    As for dirty air… sorry but that also doesn’t sound right. Respiratory illness has been heading down in the west for a long time and as I said there are trade offs in life.

  66. Fran Barlow

    Daddy Dave asked:

    Fran,I wrote a long and considered response to you. Any opinion on what I said?

    Yes. My opinion was that is was fundamentally flawed and that these flaws were so obvious that they did not demand that I draw anyone’s attention to them.

    You conceded for example that:

    Let’s leave aside that I don’t even know what this means (since the only major “quantifiable harm” that has any meaning as far as I can tell is destruction of food supply Everything else being small fry on the historical scale).

    What this must mean is that you are unfamiliar with the major work in this area. You don’t need to accept it, but you do need to know what it is so that you can challenge it. I was forced to conclude that you were arguing from an ill-informed “as far as I can tell”. I have no reason to think you can tell very much at all. You may have “considered” but with radically inadequate data. You don’t even pose a serious of propositions that could guide your “consideration” suggesting that it could not have been all that rigorous. Your later responses rather affirm the view that your responses are purely cultural — rather like Mr Horse from Ren & Stimpyno sir, I don’t like that!.

    I also found this passage telling:

    There is no point in doing anything but sit back and wait. There will never be a global accord so we will be waiting forever.

    Really, the first sentence speaks for itself. On that advice, the second is superfluous. It’s structurally rather like a joke I occasionally play on my students. I say to the class on walking in Ok, hands up all the students who are absent!. Inevitably, three or four hands go up, to general amusement because really it’s a statement that ought to return a null value. Your ‘There is no point in doing anything but sit back and wait’ presents as if the speaker really is prepared in principle to do something, in the right circumstances, but upon closer examination, will do it only under conditions that can never arise. Your second sentence just states the obvious underlying attitude. It’s Mr Horse standing behind a translucent screen.

    All it {implementing a carbon price outside a global accord that you insist nobody should sign up to until everyone else does} will do is put all our industries at a disadvantage, reducing Australia’s relative economic size even further.

    Again, you haven’t read Grattan have you? Such a pity.

    Should we prepare? No. Since the effects are unknown, there’s nothing to prepare for.

    The effects are known, just not to you. You are not everybody. You’ve chosen not to know. Yes there’s some uncertainty about timelines and regional climate impacts, but this is not the same as not knowing. It’s really the kind of not knowing one has when one drives at full speed through a busy intersection against the red light in the middle of the afternoon peak. Perhaps you won’t be killed or injured and perhaps nobody else will be either. It’s uncertain, but you are almost certainly going to kill and injure somebody or at least total a few cars. If someone were to counsel against running that risk, you might reasonably accuse them of being against progress, and they might retort that they were against poor risk trading especially the kind with life-altering consequences.

    I hope this answer affords your “considered response” the respect it was due.

  67. Boris

    Fran you are talking as if you are well read on the subject, but your argument based on the idea that supply of fossil fuel is limited is not well considered. Imagine (to take an extreme case) we will run out of fuel in 20 years! Then AGW problem will solve itself because there will be no carbon to burn. Even before that the fuel consumption will be reduced due to extremely high prices. This will promote lifestyles that you are advocating (but many people don’t want). We already saw this during the last oil price spike. People stopped buying SUVs. People do respond to price signals.

    Fortunately, we have hundreds of years supply of some fossil fuels. The downside is AGW, which is notoriously difficult for market-based mechnaisms, because no one owns atmosphere. Maybe we need some international government action on AGW, but if we do, it is because we have too much fossil fuel, not because we have too little.

  68. Fran Barlow

    Boris

    your argument based on the idea that supply of fossil fuel is limited is not well considered.

    There’s plenty enough left to disrupt the biosphere but at rates of world growth of 2% the position in 2100 is most uncertain. Some projections have coal in short supply by 2070.

    The downside is AGW, which is notoriously difficult for market-based mechanisms, because no one owns atmosphere.

    So we should treat it as part of the commons, since every human needs it. We should put a value on it continuing to deliver the benefits it has over the last 13,000 years. People here think that market mechanisms are the most rational way to deliver public goods, but you seem to be in contradicting them. Perhaps you should develop this thought.

  69. Fran Barlow

    Oh dear!

    People here think that market mechanisms are the most rational way to deliver public goods, but you seem to be in contradicting them.

  70. Jarrah

    “The downside is AGW, which is notoriously difficult for market-based mechnaisms, because no one owns atmosphere.”

    This is a very important point. AGW is a classic tragedy-of-the-commons problem. Unfortunately, it can’t be solved in the traditional way – privatisation. The only incentive-based option (far preferable from a libertarian standpoint than direct action) is an externality charge.

  71. daddy dave

    So we should treat it as part of the commons, since every human needs it.

    Impossible. A commons is a type of social contract. There will never be a universal, worldwide social contract about how much carbon dioxide to produce.
    It’s time for you to give up hoping for it, amd think about adaptation.

  72. JC.

    • There’s plenty enough left to disrupt the biosphere but at rates of world growth of 2% the position in 2100 is most uncertain. Some projections have coal in short supply by 2070.

    Price and technology determines the use or substitution occurs. Predictions are bullshit.

    So we should treat it as part of the commons, since every human needs it.

    It’s the Commons that causes the problems in the first place.

    We should put a value on it continuing to deliver the benefits it has over the last 13,000 years. People here think that market mechanisms are the most rational way to deliver public goods, but you seem to be in contradicting them. Perhaps you should develop this thought.

    Define what you mean exactly by ‘public goods” as I feel you’re greatly confused by the term.

    People here think that market mechanisms are the most rational way to deliver public goods, but you seem to be contradicting them.

    You mean that demand/supply/price mechanism doesn’t work? Wow! That’s interesting. Do go on.

  73. Boris

    Fran, I am puzzled why you mentioned two of my points but did not respond to my central point. Do you agree that if supplies are limited then AGW problem will solve itself without government intervention?

  74. daddy dave

    Do you agree that if supplies are limited then AGW problem will solve itself without government intervention?

    no she already said that no matter how small the supply of oil, it will destroy the earth before it runs out.

  75. Boris

    “People here think that market mechanisms are the most rational way to deliver public goods, but you seem to be contradicting them.”

    Yes, I do. I don’t think markets can solve everything. Where I agree with more extreme libertarians, is that I think government action is a necessary evil and has to be the last resort. On top of markets we have democracy. If enough people support government action, then it will happen.

  76. Boris

    “There will never be a universal, worldwide social contract about how much carbon dioxide to produce.”

    There are precedents. Ban on freons is one.

  77. PSC


    There will never be a universal, worldwide social contract about how much carbon dioxide to produce.


    Meanwhile, Ogg, Thugg, and Lugg are having a chat in the caveman village:

    Ogg: the neighbouring village keep raiding us! We need to defend ourselves!

    Thugg: But we have no weapons.

    Ogg: We could get Lugg to make us the weapons.

    Lugg: But if I’m busy making weapons, I wouldn’t have anything to eat.

    Ogg: We give Lugg food to make weapons for us.

    Thugg: But if we give Lugg food, then all the other cavemen in our village with no weapons will benefit when we fight off the neighbouring village. That’s unfair.

    Ogg: We could go round this village, and as a common act get everyone to donate food to feed Lugg to make us all weapons.

    Thugg: Impossible. A commons is a type of social contract. There will never be a universal, village-wide social contract about how many weapons to produce and how to defend ourselves.

    It’s time for you to give up hoping for it, and think about a life enslaved to the neighbours.

  78. JC.

    There will never be a universal, worldwide social contract about how much carbon dioxide to produce.”

    There are precedents. Ban on freons is one.

    It was a tiny market, boris. No one gave much of a shit because it was a small effect and there were of substitutes.

  79. JC.

    PSC

    I stop reading your post after the first line as it looked silly.

    Please explain why Australia should ever move before the big players. After a decade of the Euros bumbling their way around with a cap and trade it has been a total and compete failure. What’s worse the intention of enticing substitute technologies has been laughable unless you think propellers of sticks and plastic panels will fuel industrial civilization.

    UK energy prices have gone up 65% since 2005.

  80. daddy dave

    The scene: Ogg, leader of the tribe, meets Grogg, leader of rival tribe

    Ogg: weapons manufacture is hurting all our villages. we are chopping down the trees to make clubs, and now there are fewer trees!

    Grogg: out tribe must make clubs to defend ourselves against your clubs.

    Ogg: but if we both agree to stop making clubs, then we have less war, and we don’t have to chop down trees!

    Grogg: you are right. it’s a deal.

    Ogg: I am so happy that this is a happy ending. And the trees, I’m sure are happy too.

    (epilog: a year later, a third tribe from the other side of the hill led by Togg comes around the hill and clubs everyone in both tribes to death)

  81. Fran Barlow

    JC asked:

    Define what you mean exactly by ‘public goods’ as I feel you’re greatly confused by the term.

    I’m just using the term in a rather different way than is conventional. While public gooods are typically described as non-rival and non-exludable goods — and pace the above access to ecosystem services substantially (but with some clear exceptions — e.g. water) fit that definition — I also include those “goods” which are typically taken to be the core business of a community — education, health, supply of water, public safety, transport, welfare, shelter for those in need etc …

  82. .

    ” I also include those “goods” which are typically taken to be the core business of a community — education, health, supply of water, public safety, transport, welfare, shelter for those in need etc …”

    Sorry fran, but that means you’re talking out your rear.

    Transport is a “core service” of a community?

    Right. Fly me to Alice Springs tomorrow at 9 am. You can pick me up at my house at 8 am.

  83. Fran Barlow

    JC said:

    Please. This is just drivel. Longevity stats are rising.

    So? Much of that was driven in the first part of the last century by falling infant mortality and then later with major breakthroughs in epidemiology, improved sanitation etc.

    One can acknowledge that while acknowledging also that relative to what might be done with a less hydrocarbon intensive industrial system might be better yet. You are making a composition error.

    Goods are cheaper and life is better at this point in time for large numbers of people in the world like never before.

    A red herring. Our benchmark should not be early Victorian-era squalour.

    Your picture of grimy towns and child labor working in cold English factories doesn’t ring true in the rich west anyway.

    You do love your strawmen! But here’s the thing: Firstly, I’m not merely concerned with “the rich west”. I’m with Donne on this one:

    No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as any manner of thy friends or of thine own were; any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind. And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.

    And secondly, this is the case in places living within the footprint of coal plants like Hazelwood, for example. Their health stats are inferior to comparable places in Australia without a coal fired plant. It’s well documented that breathing in coal effluent isn’t good for you. In the US, there are good stats for working days lost through respiratory irritation associated with airborne pollutants. And of course, mercury in coal effluent is a neurotoxin.

  84. PSC

    Please explain why Australia should ever move before the big players. After a decade of the Euros bumbling their way around with a cap and trade it has been a total and compete failure.

    The Europeans are big players.

    What’s worse the intention of enticing substitute technologies has been laughable unless you think propellers of sticks and plastic panels will fuel industrial civilization.

    Two words: Nuclear Fucking Power.

    UK energy prices have gone up 65% since 2005.

    Nuclear Fucking Power.

  85. Fran Barlow

    Period said:

    Transport is a “core service” of a community?

    Right. Fly me to Alice Springs tomorrow at 9 am. You can pick me up at my house at 8 am.

    I can see that you mean to play semantic games. I am not “the community”. Perhaps you can get the community to do it. I suggest you direct a firmly worded letter to your local member.

    More seriously, transport comes in two parts. Transport infrastructure — roads and associated services, bridges, ports and in most places mass urban transport is considered community business. Pretty much every state election has this issue as one of the keys. Discretionary transport is private.

    Hope that helps, but I suspect you have already been talking to your member on this one.

  86. .

    “I can see that you mean to play semantic games.”

    That’s just bollocks fran. You are distorting “public goods” to mean whatever the hell you like it to mean.

    Your qualifiers pretty much mean collectivisation of everything.

    “Transport infrastructure — roads and associated services, bridges, ports and in most places mass urban transport is considered community business.”

    Yes, big deal. Tradition doesn’t mean a pinch of crap. There is no justification for this save for tradition.

    You’re not lining up to have the NSW Governor dictate what plants are grown? No?

    Australian publicly owned ports have been renowned for their efficiency, haven’t they? LOL

    Face facts fran. The Vic system which is mostly privatised has far superior services and scheduling/routes than to poor old NSW.

    But you’re saying we shouldn’t privatise things, for tradition and your nebulous standard.

  87. Fran Barlow

    Period said:

    Tradition doesn’t mean a pinch of crap. There is no justification for this save for tradition.

    I suspect you will find that most people think rather differently, and in democratic systems, that is pretty key.

    Face facts fran. The Vic system which is mostly privatised has far superior services and scheduling/routes than to poor old NSW.

    As I understand it, Sydney shapes up pretty well compared with Melbourne.

    But you’re saying we shouldn’t privatise things, for tradition and your nebulous standard.

    Oh you are naughty, Period! I never said any such thing. I’d never make such a sweeping claim. Perhaps though, you’re chatting with that other voice in your head.

  88. Jarrah

    I think he prefers ‘Dot’, Fran.

  89. Boris

    “There’s plenty enough left to disrupt the biosphere”

    Sorry I initially missed/misunderstood this. Now I understand what you are saying. Basically, you are saying that we need government action on climate change despite having limited supply of fossil fuels (because we have too much). Fair enough. But previuosly you argued that limited supply is one more reason to support this action. Is it despite or because? I am confused.

  90. Boris

    dot, traditions and inertia are hugely important.

  91. Fran Barlow

    Period is, I believe, the official term for the ASCII char and I defaulted to it, but I’ll call him whatever he wants.

  92. .

    In democratic systems like NSW, people like you are going to get a huge kick up the arse come April.

  93. Jarrah

    Fran, you might have missed my response at 7:16, but it’s nothing you haven’t seen before anyway.

  94. JC.

    PSC says:

    Two words: Nuclear Fucking Power.

    UK energy prices have gone up 65% since 2005.

    Nuclear Fucking Power.

    Hey PSC, no need to preach here o the converted. Go make the point to you anti science buddies on he left who think they will fry if we allowed nuclear power.

    You have some audacity to be pushing nuclear at a site where everyone supports it as though it is somehting new here. Go peddle it to you buddies on the left who actually think the subsidy whores, wind and solar will energy our civilization.

  95. daddy dave

    The Europeans are big players.

    Yeah, but surely “waiting for the big players to move” presumes that if they step off a cliff, you go, “gee I’m glad I waited to see how that turned out.”

    Nuclear Fucking Power.

    Of course!
    It is the solution to reducing carbon emissions and bringing us into the 21st century. It’s the solution where everyone wins.

  96. JC.

    One can acknowledge that while acknowledging also that relative to what might be done with a less hydrocarbon intensive industrial system might be better yet. You are making a composition error.
    Goods are cheaper and life is better at this point in time for large numbers of people in the world like never before.
    A red herring. Our benchmark should not be early Victorian-era squalour.

    You were the one painting this dark existence we’re supposed to be living, which we can immediately stop if only we lived like sardines packed in a small area where we never drove but walked or caught public transport. I was making fun of your silly characterization that’s all.

    Your picture of grimy towns and child labor working in cold English factories doesn’t ring true in the rich west anyway.

    Huh? Isn’t that what you were saying? Good to see you at least acknowledge that far too many of our species live badly. That’s taking baby steps at least.

    You do love your strawmen! But here’s the thing: Firstly, I’m not merely concerned with “the rich west”. I’m with Donne on this one:
    No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as any manner of thy friends or of thine own were; any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind. And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.

    Leave the poetry for English classes and focus the important bits.

    And secondly, this is the case in places living within the footprint of coal plants like Hazelwood, for example. Their health stats are inferior to comparable places in Australia without a coal fired plant.

    Are they? Evidence please. What I mean by evidence is not some bullshit propaganda cooked up by those two morons like Bobster Brown and Christine (New Technology) Milne. real evidence.

    It’s well documented that breathing in coal effluent isn’t good for you

    Ya don’t say Sherlock. So the workers in these areas don’t use protective masks?

    In the US, there are good stats for working days lost through respiratory irritation associated with airborne pollutants. And of course, mercury in coal effluent is a neurotoxin.

    Trade offs again. And compare that to longevity tables. Furthermore if things were as bad as you suggest we ought to be dipping not rising.

    No one is forced to live in these areas and quite frankly I would be more than a little surprised if longevity tables for West Virginia was different to say NY State. Again evidence please.

  97. JC.

    oops
    earlier comment correction.
    Go peddle it to you buddies on the left who actually think the subsidy whores, wind and solar will provide enough energy for our civilization.

  98. JC.

    Keyzar Job says:

    Fran, you might have missed my response at 7:16, but it’s nothing you haven’t seen before anyway

    “The downside is AGW, which is notoriously difficult for market-based mechnaisms, because no one owns atmosphere.”
    This is a very important point. AGW is a classic tragedy-of-the-commons problem. Unfortunately, it can’t be solved in the traditional way – privatisation. The only incentive-based option (far preferable from a libertarian standpoint than direct action) is an externality charge.

    No Keyze, the tragedy is the Western fucking left that have stymied nuclear energy for 40 years in the US where the major advances were expected because of the anti-science nature of this destructive movement. If they hadn’t done this, it would be a fair bet the US would be 80% nuclear by now and the nuke derived energy price would have walked through the coal price by now. You are aware that numerous parts of the US along the North Eastern complex were forced to decommission nuclear plants or permanently shelve them because of the environmental movement’s political actions and propaganda against nuclear energy.

    Your tragedy of the commons argument is bullshit in the context of the damage those fucking arseholes have caused. The trogs.

  99. JC.

    Not only were they forced to decommission nuclear plants but they were forced to return to coal like on Long Island with the cost of forced scrapping absorbed by the consumer.

    If anyone thinks I’m always hard on the Greens, just be ware that I actually think I’m not being hard enough on those scumbags.

  100. Tal

    JC wants nukes cause he’s an elder from Olympic Dam.

  101. Boris

    I agree that coal production (and mining more generally) is hazardous and dangerous enterprise, for a range of reasons, not one of which is AGW. There is real pollution by a range of harmful chemicals, and there is ever present risk of catastrophic gas explosions and other accidents.

    One can also say that driving trucks and piloting jets is also dangerous. But these are choices people make.

    What I find weird is that 95% environmentalists have forgotten all the massive environmental problems in places like Africa and concentrated on this rather slow process which may affect us in 50 or 100 years. Just go to Beijing and see what these people are breathing… This is real stuff that requires urgent action, and it is not CO2.

  102. JC.

    What I find weird is that 95% environmentalists have forgotten all the massive environmental problems in places like Africa and concentrated on this rather slow process which may affect us in 50 or 100 years. Just go to Beijing and see what these people are breathing…

    ‘sactly. There is no point in even trying to reason with the people. You confront and attack them while never ever compromising.

  103. FDB

    There are local environmental problams, and there are global ones.

    There is a difference.

  104. FDB

    There are also spelling problams.

  105. Infidel Tiger

    You know what, i reckon I agree with Mark Latham

  106. Infidel Tiger

    Wrong thread. Carry on.

  107. FDB

    “You know what, i reckon I agree with Mark Latham”

    Well then, you’re a fucking deadshit.

  108. FDB

    Wrong thread. Carry on being a fucking deadshit.

  109. Infidel Tiger

    Fair enough. Very personal opinion.

  110. JC.

    My response on the other thread.

  111. Boris

    “There are local environmental problams, and there are global ones.”

    I heard this before. But just because it is global, does not mean it is bigger than any one local problem.

  112. Boris

    To give an analogy, arguably islamist terrorism is a global problem, while traffic offenses and local crime are local. Fortunately, while law enforcement agencies did shift their resources to fight this global threat, fortunately they did not shift 99% of resources, but only a fraction…

  113. FDB

    “I heard this before. But just because it is global, does not mean it is bigger than any one local problem.”

    You may have noticed that I made no such claim. But you didn’t, because you were just reading for a point of contention.

    The point is, a global problem is qualitatively different, because it’s not in the interest of any particular political juristiction to address it.

    Statism and nationalism get in the way, in other words.

    Proper libertarians should detest such dynamics, and resist them actively.

    Some do.

  114. Boris

    “You may have noticed that I made no such claim. But you didn’t, because you were just reading for a point of contention.”

    This is a strange statement. How can I notice what you did NOT say? You did not say zillions of other things.

    But the promlem is that nearly all of them focus on this one problem, as if it is not only the biggest (in whatever measure you take), but but much bigger than ALL other problems combined.

    You have explained this in a roundabout way. I think you are implying that local problems can be solved by local people and local means while a global problem requires this special attention. I am not against this. If they committed say 5% of their resources and energy to AGW, this would still make a substantial contribution etc, while still targetting local problems. Instead all their effort is focused on this one problem. Weird.

    Of course I am unfair. There are other problems they are worried about, such as whaling, animal rights, dog eating in Korea etc. Maybe they have special interest in problems that have little relevance to people’s lives.

  115. Boris

    I must say that I am not against public transport or cycling. I love TGV and French Metro. What I am battling with is this: if it is so great, why it requires tax payer involvement? Why can’t it be funded by tickets?

    It seems that the problems lies in the fact that roads and streets are also subsidised by taxpayers, and thus cars have an unfair advantage. Can anyone confirm this?

  116. ken n

    At least in Australia Boris, fuel taxes more than cover the cost of roads.
    I think many people simply prefer driving their own care and are willing to put up with any inconvenience of traffic and such. ( I was having a haircut once and the hairdresser was telling the harrowing tale of how her car broke down and she had to get a bus – “and I’m just not a public transport kind of person”)
    The car is a wonderful invention – comfortable, goes exactly where you want to go…much better for most purposes and for most people than public transport.
    I also wonder whether, if public transport was efficiently run, people would be willing to pay the cost in fares.

  117. rog

    Kem, fuel tax in Australia is an excise which mostly is absorbed into general revenue, there is some that is used for national road building.

    Most of the roads are the concerns of the states and councils.

  118. ken n

    Sure rog, but putting all tax and government spending together (as you must for this purpose) fuel taxes more than cover what is spent on the roads.
    Drivers are not subsidized.

  119. Fran Barlow

    So here we are nearly 24 hours after I asked if anyone could articulate a right-of-centre libertarian-acceptable suite of remedies to quantifiable harms associated with anthropogenic augmentation of atmospheric GHGs.

    So far, one person has backed away slowly because talking about AGW makes that right-of-centre libertarian cry, or hurts his head, or something. Others have tried deflecting, and/or engaged in histrionics about greenies, and/or paraded their ignorance about harms or even winked at rejection of mainstream science. Curiously, this last group may have the most robust position, since the silence here on remedies seems to amount to a concession by most in this place that market-based solutions are inadequate to create a context in which even partial or ameliorating remedies may be efficient or effective.

    This position, if maintained, would seem to be utterly damning of your paradigm, for the creation and aggravation of these substantial and likely to be long-lived harms seems a very clear case of market failure. Right-of-centre libertarians have hitherto countered with no true Scotsman-style defences — markets-aren’t-markets — to paraphrase the old Castrol ad. This ought to be where right-of-centre libertarians step in and explain how a real free market would operate — and yet you are silent. The conclusion is urged that perhaps, after all, this is, for better or worse, how markets operate in the real world, as opposed to that which lurks in the mind of economic and cultural fundamentalists. If the market can’t respond in a timely, effective and efficient way to what is a prospective existential crisis, then the fundamentalist view of markets one hears in places such as this must be abandoned.

    It ought to be very clear that if remedies are to be effected, then those devising and effecting the remedies must be rewarded for their work. The funds for these rewards must be raised somewhere, both from the beneficiaries of the remedies and those whose tortious acts demanded it. And unless the remedies are more feasible in schedule, technical, financial, environmental and operational terms, then some means must be found to restrain tortfeasors from compounding the harms they are doing.

    One may seek to achieve these objects through some combination of regulation, the creation of specific markets in ecosystem services or taxation, but unless one denies the harms or declares that no remedy is possible, one cannot avoid proposing a remedy and yet be taken seriously.

    There is, especially on the right, something of an obsession with public debt. On the face of it, the objection seems to be that we should not live well in ways that leave future generations to pick up the economic tab for our profligacy. Rather, the argument goes, we should hand on a legacy that was no worse than the one we had, and ideally, rather better. Putting aside the question of the point at which public debt actually meets the “bad legacy” test, I can easily agree that the claim, in ethical terms, is robust. We have both an ethical obligation and an existential interest in not “eating the future”. We want those who follow us to live no worse than we do, and ideally, to live well enough to look back on us with the respect that attaches to those who had their interests firmly in mind and acted responsibly, with the knowledge we had, to safeguard their interests.

    That ethical claim applies with at least equal force to the environmental legacy we hand on to those who follow us. It falls to us to ensure that future access to ecosystem services is not harder than at present for those who come to live in it. It is not reasonable for us to assume they can fix what we could not, and even less so that they should bear the full cost of it. That too would be a passed on debt occasioned by our profligacy.

    Nuclear power has been raised above, and for my part, I regard this suggestion as entirely salient. I rarely miss an opportunity to tell those who listen with sympathy to what I have to say that nuclear power is virtually certain to be at the heart of any effective and efficient reconciliation of the benefits of contemporary life with the preservation of ecosystem services of vital interest to humanity. Yet it is also clear that if nuclear power is to begin playing this role, we are absolutely going to need something which amounts to a price on carbon. As things stand now, whereas nuclear power must (quite rightly) handle 100% of its hazardous materiel with absolute care, and thus at considerable cost, those burning hydrocarbon for energy are allowed to dump their waste into the biosphere, and thus, ultimately, into the tissue of pretty much every organism on the planet, for zero cost. In no way does this amount to a level playing field in power supply. If we required of coal and gas plants and motor vehicles complete sequestration from well/mine site to end user of all emissions with the potential to harm humanity the cost of these measures would radically favour nuclear energy. But of course we don’t and that holiday from responsibility represents a massive subsidy from the commons to the polluters. If it’s not technically feasible to achieve this level of sequestration then the competitive advantage with nuclear power should be monetised and built into the price, and the funds used to effect remedies. It really is no more complex than that.

  120. ken n

    Once again Fran, you misrepresent me. You really should be more careful with your facts.
    I declined to join the argument because it’s all been said, no one’s opinion is going to change and what we all think does not matter to anything in the real world.
    Dunno whether I am a “right of centre libertarian” – that’s the tag on the blog but we don’t wear labels around here.
    Tell you what, if you enjoy stirring an ants’ nest – I suspect that’s why you are here – go to Deltoid and mention DDT and malaria is the same sentence.
    Which is not to say you are not very welcome here.

  121. rog

    Yes they are ken, subsidised by the taxpayer.

    The majority of fuel excise is spent by the federal govt on other projects and the state taxpayer (eg stamp duty, GST) and council ratepayer fund roads. Excise is revenue raising.

  122. ken n

    rog, tax and government spending are fungible. The commonwealth raises taxes, gives a large chunk to the states which spend it.
    You simply can’t say “this dollar of tax went to that end”. So you can’t say fuel exercise don’t go on roads.
    Car and other vehicle users pay out more on fuel tax than is spent on the roads they use. End of story.
    For simplicity, I’m leaving out tolls and car registration fees and such..

  123. Pingback: A though experiment on AGW and libertarian principles at Catallaxy Files

  124. Fran Barlow

    Ken N tried:

    I declined to join the argument because it’s all been said, no one’s opinion is going to change and what we all think does not matter to anything in the real world.

    You also said:

    The issue has become something with which to beat your enemies over the head. I don’t find that fun 5 Feb 11 at 12:29 pm

    My description was rhetorical, but not unfair, bearing in mind the usages in this place.

    Dunno whether I am a “right of centre libertarian” – that’s the tag on the blog but we don’t wear labels around here.

    Then why does the blog “wear” the tag? It does seem perverse for those with such a focus on markets.

    Tell you what, if you enjoy stirring an ants’ nest – I suspect that’s why you are here – go to Deltoid and mention DDT and malaria is the same sentence.

    I have done that, and no ants stirred. Admittedly, I wasn’t disputing the consensus on the matter over there, largely because I saw no sufficient basis for doing so.

    Which is not to say you are not very welcome here.

    Well that is formally generous of you — it cannot be gainsaid. Yet the locus standi question presses its nose upon the window. One cannot give away that to which one lacks title. You say you speak for none but yourself — a robustly libertarian position to be sure — but if that is so then you can scarcely advise that my participation is welcome, unless you do hold the requisite intellectual or cultural title. So which is it? Do you speak for “catallaxy” on this matter?

    Perhaps you mean that you alone welcome my participation. Of course you alone think discussion on this matter is moot, or worse, an occasion to trade figurative blows. Pardon me, but such a “welcome” sounds quite as moot as you deem the subject, as civilly as the claim is composed.

  125. daddy dave

    Fran.
    1. I have never heard a good reason why we should act outside of a global accord.
    2. If we act outside of a global accord, our actions will achieve nothing.
    3. arguing that a carbon tax is good for us anyway is perhaps the most dishonest approach you can take. It’s (a) wrong and (b) is a bait and switch on the main question.
    4. if you want to act on your own, then the best way to do it is nuclear. Unlike a carbon price, this actually is good for us anyway.

    I happen to think we should go nuclear for reasons that have nothing to do with climate change. It’s a happy coincidence that it also solves the carbon emissions political problem.

    5. if you respond that ‘if we go nuclear we still need a carbon tax’ then you’re effectively saying that nuclear isn’t a solution. I didn’t understand your argument about subsidies and sequestration.

    6. the “harm” you keep talking about is not as bad as you think. It’s not like the human race is going extinct. We’re going to a lose a percent of GDP in a hundred years. that’s not really a big deal.

  126. JC.

    Yet it is also clear that if nuclear power is to begin playing this role, we are absolutely going to need something which amounts to a price on carbon.

    That’s bullshit. Nuclear power is currently hobbled through regulation. Remove the shackles and economic scaling would walk the price of nuclear power through that of coal in no time.

    We don’t need to pud a pwice on carbin at all.

    What is it with you left wingers suddenly trusting the price mechanism to do your work anyway? It makes me feel uncomfortable.

    You accuse people here of not offering any solutions to emissions and then contradicting yourself a few para later by admitting nuclear energy was mentioned.

    lastly you haven’t apologized for your silly comment that raising a tax would be good for the economy- possibly the stupidest comment I’ve seen for a while now.

  127. JC.

    The majority of fuel excise is spent by the federal govt on other projects and the state taxpayer (eg stamp duty, GST) and council ratepayer fund roads. Excise is revenue raising.

    It goes into general revenue, you uneducated dunce. You can’t make such a claim without understanding that point.

  128. Fran Barlow

    JC tried:

    You accuse people here of not offering any solutions to emissions and then contradicting yourself a few para later by admitting nuclear energy was mentioned.

    Simply uttering the phrase nuclear energy doesn’t amount to a remedy/ Who will pay for the roll-out of this currently a lot more expensive energy on the scale and at the speed required? Who will bear the sunk-cost losses on existing but rapidly to be retired fossil-hydrocarbon infrastructure? Who will oversee this program, ensuring regulatory compliance and ubiquity? How will adaptive, geoengineering or matters of restitution be composed? How will one deal with non-energy based anthropogenic forcings? etc ..

    lastly you haven’t apologized for your silly comment that raising a tax would be good for the economy- possibly the stupidest comment I’ve seen for a while now.

    Your apparent deliberately eccentric syntax [pud a pwice on carbin], this misstatement of my position and the vituperation you’ve added here and above don’t recommend you as a serious interlocutor. You’re obviously very upset but I’d urge you to stick to discussing substantive questions with intellectual integrity in mind.

    I asserted that putting a suitable price on CO2e emissions (not necessarily a tax and, IMO, preferably not) would lead to benefits to the public not dependent on acceptance of the IPCC position on radiative forcing and GHGs. More than this simple measure would of course be needed but the measure predisposes improved public utility. I stand by that claim so no apology is warranted.

  129. daddy dave

    Who will pay for the roll-out of this currently a lot more expensive energy on the scale and at the speed required?

    the people who will no longer be paying carbon tax; or alternatively, we could delay the roll-out of our deluxe World-of-Warcraft and porn network. If it’s for the good of the planet then surely high speed internet can wait.
    (yes, I’m being sarcastic but my point is serious- these really are ways of funding it).

    the measure predisposes improved public utility. I stand by that claim so no apology is warranted.

    You can stand by it all you like, but you haven’t defended it.

  130. Michael Sutcliffe

    I asserted that putting a suitable price on CO2e emissions (not necessarily a tax and, IMO, preferably not)

    Like the GST is just putting a suitable price on other goods and services and isn’t a tax either.

    would lead to benefits to the public not dependent on acceptance of the IPCC position on radiative forcing and GHGs.

    I’m really curious what you think the benefit are? ‘Green jobs’? Less consumption and a return to more ‘natural’ living because people won’t be able to afford so much?

  131. Fran Barlow

    Daddy Dave tried:

    I have never heard a good reason why we should act outside of a global accord.

    Then you need to read more widely, and/or consider more rigorously. You are recklessly dismissing claims that you ought to critique before rejecting.

    If we act outside of a global accord, our actions will achieve nothing.

    That’s not something you can claim because, as noted above, only those ignoring your advice to sit back and wait can create the conditions in which a global agreement can emerge — your implied condition for not sitting back and waiting.

    arguing that a carbon tax {a suitable price on carbon: FB} is good for us anyway is perhaps the most dishonest approach you can take. {my emendment: FB}

    So you claim, but without any evidence to show it to be so. Given that you effectively admit you haven’t read any of the salient literature and are using the LNPs preferred form of words [carbon tax, fits with “GBNT” meme], one wonders why anyone should take your word on this? You are the one dissembling here.

    if you respond that ‘if we go nuclear we still need a carbon tax’ then you’re effectively saying that nuclear isn’t a solution. I didn’t understand your argument about subsidies and sequestration.

    There’s an awful lot you apparently don’t understand and haven’t bothered to think through. Why are you still posting on this matter when each of your posts urges that inference?

    Go back and re-read what I wrote, or read something else. Get your grey matter functioning. Then, when you have the chops, critique it. Simply saying you don’t get it in circumstance where anyone with the will to do so and possessed of typical cognitive competence and erudition could, ought to embarrass you.

    the “harm” you keep talking about is not as bad as you think. It’s not like {as if} the human race is going extinct. {my emendment: FB}

    You are, as noted, in no position to tell me how bad the actual or prospective harm is because you haven’t read the claims made by people who have thought these matters through and brought special expertise to the project. A serious harm need not entail an extinction event. It only needs to be something that causes widespread suffering. If we can foreclose that suffering or the elevated prospect of it, we ought to do so, subject to the usual feasibility considerations (see above).

  132. JC.

    Fran:

    If you think that pudding a pwice on carbin is suddenly going to reduce reliance of coal etc, you really need to wake up a little. Prior to the GFC, Germany had 21 new coal plants on order even with the European cap and trade system fully operational. Demand would mean consumers would simply pay through the cost of the credit. It would likely happen here too by the way.

    What is the solution?

    Wait.

    At present the nuclear industry is working towards agreement on standardizing plants to 5 different types and sizes, which they believe will reduce the cost of construction allowing for meaningful economies of scale.

    All the government has to do is say that no new coal plants can be built beyond 2025 and leave everything alone other than removing all subsidizes to the two subsidy whores- solar and wind. At the same time remove the ban on nuclear power.

    That’s about it.

    The reason I make fun of the syntax is that I keep hearing this term from leftwingers (constantly) and I’m more than certain they’ve never used the term before so they’re unfamiliar with the pronunciation.

    I asserted that putting a suitable price on CO2e emissions (not necessarily a tax and, IMO, preferably not) would lead to benefits to the public

    You need to explain yourself in terms of what exactly would be the benefit of a tax on energy to the economic well being of the population.

    If you can’t so , you really need to think of how you’re going to apologize to the readership here over making such a daft comment.

  133. .

    Fran chooses to be ignorant.

    I mentioned sustainable agriculture, nuclear, iron seeding and cutting off energy subsidies as four free market solutions which would require removing protectionism and regulatory bias. They would do more for the environment than any “mitigation” plan thus far proposed (perhaps bringing us very close to carbon neutrality) – and with explicit economic reform benefits and no costs bar distributive ones to those currently getting a free ride.

  134. Fran Barlow

    Michael Sutcliffe writes

    Like the GST is just putting a suitable price on other goods and services and isn’t a tax either.

    Ah … another strawman/red herring. If only I were in the straw-bale house or fish-mongering businesses. So much free stock!

    Here’s an idea: stick to the topic we are discussing. The G&ST is clearly a tax, and not merely because it has “tax” in its name. Of course, if one regards taxes as a special kind of evil, one can easily see why this might subvert your judgement.

    I’m really curious what you think the benefit are?

    I disagree. You’re not really curious. You’re really disingenuous. Had you been “really curious” you’d have read what I wrote above and perhaps some of the responses to it instead of adding a further strawman:

    ‘Green jobs’? Less consumption and a return to more ‘natural’ living because people won’t be able to afford so much?

    One has to laugh at the work some folks put into appearing ridiculous.

  135. .

    The only mitigation plan I would ever propose is a 30 year tax exemption for the extent that a firm/person is carbon neutral. If you were 100% carbon neutral, you would get your entire tax bill rebated.

    Of course such action would see prodigious growth of the nuclear industry. Besides plant construction and transport of the first reactor load, they could be 100% revenue neutral.

    Such a plan could be internationally adopted – unlike the current “too clever by half” schemes cooked up by wannabe academics looking for a nobel they have three fifths of fuck all chance of ever getting.

  136. daddy dave

    Fran, we’re having a discussion on a blog; there’s no need for you to micro-edit “like” (acceptable, although colloquial) to “as if”. I don’t write stuff here that’s publication ready. In fact, it’s rather pompous and condescending of you to do that.

    Then you need to read more widely, and/or consider more rigorously.

    I listened to Penny Wong’s interview on Insiders on the matter. Besides being tedious, she, like you, skirts around the big, obvious questions with fast talk.

    You are, as noted, in no position to tell me how bad the actual or prospective harm is because you haven’t read the claims made by people who have thought these matters through and brought special expertise to the project.

    reduction in GDP. rising oceans (very slowly). That’s the gist. Since the oceans aren’t currently complying with theoretical predictions, we’ll leave that one as a coin toss.

  137. .

    That and some kind of X prize.

    That’s it.

    I am 100% against any other scheme.

    They are ineffective and economically destructive.

    I would be against it but a not too stupid idea is replacing excise tax and reducing payroll and income tax with a flat carbon tax then using the revenue to plant trees.

    It’s still a bad idea because no one else may want to implement it.

  138. .

    “Then you need to read more widely, and/or consider more rigorously.”

    LOL LOL fucking LOL.

    Do you even realise how cheap the four free market solutions I note are, or how much freaking carbon they can sequester?

    It’s a Goddamn veritable carbon sequestering bonanza.

    Have you even considered or seen ideas like the X prize or tax exemptions before? If so, why do you still back the economic self harm and environmental inadequacy perpetrated by an ETS etc?

  139. Fran Barlow

    Dot said:

    I mentioned sustainable agriculture, nuclear, iron seeding and cutting off energy subsidies as four free market solutions which would require removing protectionism and regulatory bias.

    So you did and as far as it goes, I’m not unsympathetic to these things, but as I said to JC, you missed the key where the rubber hits the road questions. Speaking as a teacher, if you walk into a class with an absolutely cracking idea for explaining some concept or topic but have no means of implementing it in the settings available, then you really don’t yet have a cracking idea. Good ideas are those that can be implemented when they are likely to make a positive difference rather than those that merely give you a warm inner glow (unless of course that is all you want). Speaking as a Green, I know a bit about this latter condition, but it is interesting to see that The Greens haven’t cornered the market on the warm inner glow.

  140. JC.

    Fran:

    Michael is NOT being disingenuous. If anyone is not being honest here it’s you.

    You did say that you believed taxing energy would be good for the economy without offering any empirical evidence to suggest why you are making this astonishing claim.

    Michael simply extended that astonishing unsupported claim and felt that you were peddling that bonehead, Christine (new technology) Milne’s crap that wind and solar would make us rich, the kids would be singing in the streets and the rivers flowing with chocolate.

  141. Michael Sutcliffe

    Have a look at Fran’s response to me at 11:40am; writes a full paragraph but refuses to address any of the questions. Here’s a tip: rationally destroying someone’s argument has credibility, calling everything you can’t answer a ‘strawman’ has none’. You’re a waste of time, Fran, and you have no credibility.

  142. JC.

    Speaking as a Green, I know a bit about this latter condition, but it is interesting to see that The Greens haven’t cornered the market on the warm inner glow.

    You realize that in 5 years you will not be making such a claim in polite company as anyone known to be supporting One Nation the Green party will be looked on with deep suspicions about their sanity and/or misanthropy.

  143. .

    “So you did and as far as it goes, I’m not unsympathetic to these things, but as I said to JC, you missed the key where the rubber hits the road questions. Speaking as a teacher, if you walk into a class with an absolutely cracking idea for explaining some concept or topic but have no means of implementing it in the settings available, then you really don’t yet have a cracking idea. Good ideas are those that can be implemented when they are likely to make a positive difference rather than those that merely give you a warm inner glow (unless of course that is all you want).”

    WTF are you on about? The total of these solutions exceeds Australia’s entire carbon footprint – at zero cost to the taxpayer and with positive GDP outcomes. In fact, there would be budgetary savings.

    Maybe you should be more informed before you pull out the driving others to the bottle school marm routine.

  144. JC.

    The Greens haven’t cornered the market on the warm inner glow.

    I don’t see it that way.

    I see them like any human predator or group of predators, which in this case they are prying on the more gullible and feeble minded in the community…. it’s like Scientology or the group that followed Jim Jones. At this stage I’m not sure which.

    My only fear is that we may end up seeing a mass suicide which is why they should be watched carefully.

  145. Fran Barlow

    JC said:

    I see {Greens} like any human predator or group of predators … it’s like Scientology or the group that followed Jim Jones … we may end up seeing a mass suicide

    So what you are saying is that you count me as part of a group of unhinged psychopaths with a plausible shot at being concerned in mass murder based on nothing more than that I support protection of the quality of ecosystem services including by resort to a price on carbon.

    If I’m to take your claim at face value (i.e you’re not simply trolling so as to start a flame war) then I’m forced to conclude that you are irrational. The claims are not merely offensive, but ridiculous and engaging with you further would seem a poor use of my time.

    On the other hand, if you are merely trolling for effect or getting out your cultural angst at someone who appears to be your very own Emmanuel Goldstein, then I see no reason to indulge you. This ought to be a place where we trade ideas rather than insults, and while robust banter is fair enough, when the noise overwhelms the signal, the whole forum declines. Why you’d want to trash your own forum is something others might reflect upon.

    So I’m taking the unusual step of treating you as plonked, at least until such time as you can discuss issues of substance without the gratuitous and overblown vituperation.

  146. Fran Barlow

    Dot claimed:

    The total of these solutions exceeds Australia’s entire carbon footprint – at zero cost to the taxpayer and with positive GDP outcomes.

    OK … do you have some data and modelling to support this claim? Is there a paper that discusses in detail the Dot plan for emissions mitigation? Does it specify how much each tonne of CO2 emissions abatement will cost and how it will be funded?

  147. JC.

    No, Fran. I don’t see you in that predatory group at all but more like the victim of this scam.

    And do I see the Australian Greens that way?

    Of course I do and continue saying so. It is the most anti-intellectual, anti-science, anti-enlightenment, anti-western misanthropic grouping we’ve seen since religious loons would take over northern European cities and temporarily rule under a rein of terror.

    I’m not just saying this now, but anyone who’s has read my comments in the past would know that is exactly how I see the Australian Green party.

    I despise the party because they are worse than despicable on so many levels.

  148. .

    You have no idea do you, and you’re trying for a piss ant “gotcha” moment.

    Google Christine Jones and iron seeding. It’s all you get for being a naughty girl.

    ” Does it specify how much each tonne of CO2 emissions abatement will cost and how it will be funded?”

    You twit I specifically said they don’t require funding.

  149. Fran Barlow

    With unwitting irony, Michael Sutcliffe said:

    calling everything you can’t answer a ‘strawman’ has none’.

    That implies that

    a) there are some things I can’t answer

    No evidence for that here yet. There are things I choose not to answer because they are diversions from the key question. Michael Sutcliffe‘s Like the GST is just putting a suitable price on other goods and services and isn’t a tax either was an excellent example of this.

    b) Things in a) above are all described as strawmen. As the class is empty, this claim must fail.

    Of course, what this means is that Michael Sutcliffe‘s claim above is itself a strawman. QED.

    You’re a waste of time, Fran, and you have no credibility

    The pot calls the kettle black. You trolled and failed and now you’re annoyed. Such a shame!

    I wonder why, having concluded, you say, that I am a waste of time with no credibility, you are responding to me at all? Surely estoppel applies.

  150. .

    “The pot calls the kettle black. You trolled and failed and now you’re annoyed.”

    Oh bullshit. These are your words:

    1.

    ” This ought to be a place where we trade ideas rather than insults”

    2.

    “So I’m taking the unusual step of treating you as plonked”

    —————————————————-

    Now let us see some “contribution” you lament is so clearly lacking.

  151. Fran Barlow

    Dot said:

    Google Christine Jones and iron seeding

    .

    So no properly costed plan with timelines, resources spanning more than one prototyped geoengineering proposal?

    Dot quoted me:

    Does it specify how much each tonne of CO2 emissions abatement will cost and how it will be funded?”

    then continued:

    You twit I specifically said they don’t require funding.

    I see. Someone will set up sustainable agriculture, nuclear power, iron seeding and whatver else you have in mind without any resources, or perhaps out of some hitherto unspecified pool of funds. Your real name isn’t Karl Pilkington is it?

  152. .

    Fuck me you’re as thick as pigshit.

    Soon you’ll be telling me that removing sugar subsidies “requires funding”.

    They don’t require funding and the total of mitigation they provide is more than our current carbon footprint.

    Get over yourself. This stuff doesn’t need a timeline because it is lower cost and would substitute current practice.

  153. Fran Barlow

    Dot said:

    Soon you’ll be telling me that removing sugar subsidies “requires funding”.

    Hardly. I’m very much in favour of removing sugar subsidies, and agricultural subsidies more generally. I’m in favour of removing the diesel fuel rebate. I’d also favour progressively removing the tax deductibility of “dirty energy” so that deductibility would be correlated closely with lowered emissions intensity. (Some benchmarks would need to be established obviously). As to road policy, I’d favour abolishing all excises, sales taxes, CTP Greenslip charges, stamp duties, tolls etc and instead go to user-road based charges that would factor in road contention, exhaust emissions including CO2, driver compliance and skill, TARE of the vehicle and vehicle type etc. I’d also favour doing this before imposing an ETS or some other method costing emissions.

    Of course, even these measures amount in practice to putting a price on carbon, since fairly obviously, if companies can’t deduct dirty energy costs they must attempt to pass these down the chain to end users. That would put a price on carbon that looked a lot like the company tax rate.

    What we would do then is to take funds raised by the changed tax/subsidy treatment and hypothecate them so that people on or below a benchmark income of AFTWE got 100% (or better compensation for cost increases driven by the tax deductibility measures) in cash or kind. It would be rather like the opposite of a loyalty scheme. People could use their compensation money to buy dirty energy intensive products, or avoid buying them and make other arrangements that allowed them to keep the value of the money/in kind services.

    The emissions component of the road user charges would be partially thrown into this pool and partially used to support infrastructure needed to make plug-in electric vehicles more viable. e.g. more charging points.

    The rest would go to roads upkeep and infrastructure augmentation, alternative public transport and high quality public or coop housing close to the city (i.e within about 25kms).

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