Letters to the Editor

Carbon fee

April 18, 2012

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To the editor:

An April 13 Journal-World article gave us great news: Kansas is leading the nation in current wind energy production! But along with the good news came a warning: Unless Congress extends the wind energy production tax credit, it’s likely the wind will soon be knocked right out of our sails. Hopefully our Members of Congress will vote to extend this tax credit.

Even better if our political leaders would vote for carbon fee and dividend legislation. By placing a tax on carbon at its source (well, mine, port of entry) and then steadily increasing this fee each year, renewable energy would receive a clear, consistent market signal. This would encourage entrepreneurs and investors to invest fully into the green energy economy, with an estimated 4.5 million new jobs as another attractive dividend!

Carbon fee and dividend also shields the poor and middle class from undue economic hardship by returning all the tax collected to American households on an equitable basis. With this legislation, 70 percent of households would actually receive more than they would pay for the increased cost of clean energy.

Sen. Roberts, Sen. Moran, Rep. Yoder and Rep. Jenkins, I sincerely hope you will extend the wind energy production tax AND also vote for carbon fee and dividend legislation. This is your chance to ensure Kansas continues to lead the way in wind production, and also leads the way in downright clever thinking.

Comments

Richard Heckler 2 years, 11 months ago

Thanks for the common sense letter.

Yes WE taxpayers should own all power sources. Why?

Because it is you and me the taxpayer that guarantee construction costs and insurance. Construction costs are famous for their large cost over runs. About 30 years ago Wall Street declared Nuke plants a risky investment that which virtually stopped further construction.

Bottom line: It is best for taxpayers and ratepayers to demand termination of all existing coal and nuke plants as both produce radioactive waste and cost billions to replace.

A combination of new energy sources would produce cleaner and more efficient energy. Additionally this combination would not only provide way more jobs throughout the states but also safer employment.

Rebuilding economies:

The Plan: http://www.ucsusa.org/clean_energy/renewable_energy_basics/renewing-americas-economy.html

Wind http://www.ucsusa.org/clean_energy/renewable_energy_basics/how-wind-energy-works.html

Solar http://www.ucsusa.org/clean_energy/renewable_energy_basics/how-solar-energy-works.html

Bio Mass http://www.ucsusa.org/clean_energy/renewable_energy_basics/offmen-how-biomass-energy-works.html

Geo Thermal http://www.ucsusa.org/clean_energy/renewable_energy_basics/offmen-how-geothermal-energy-works.html

Hydro Power http://www.ucsusa.org/clean_energy/renewable_energy_basics/how-hydroelectric-energy-works.html

Flap Doodle 2 years, 11 months ago

There's no paper here. Could somebody pass me a carbon credit? (from a source)

cato_the_elder 2 years, 11 months ago

Al Gore will be pleased to accomodate your request.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 11 months ago

Carbon fee and dividend is not a "carbon credit."

But I understand that your specialty is short and pithy emissions, not a grasp of facts.

cato_the_elder 2 years, 11 months ago

I was merely responding to Snap's post (he has far more wit than you do). And yes, it's absolutely correct that Al Gore will be pleased to discuss carbon credits with you at any time. Just call him at his carbon footprint-rich $9 million California mansion.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 11 months ago

My response was to snap, not to you.

Regardless, this letter wasn't about either Al Gore or carbon credits.

cato_the_elder 2 years, 11 months ago

I view wind production and Al Gore as one and the same.

camper 2 years, 11 months ago

That is a specialty. Group things together. Lower the common denominator. It is easier that way. Less thinking involved.

cato_the_elder 2 years, 11 months ago

You must be involved in the public education industry. Your comment succinctly describes the state of public education in America today.

Ken Lassman 2 years, 11 months ago

It really is in Kansas' interest to continue the wind production credit, as without it the projections that I've seen shows a significant drop off in new installed wind for 2013. We have a significant number of jobs here in the wind industry and as everyone knows, Kansas is one of the best places in the country for wind to be installed. These jobs can't be exported and unlike the oil wells, they won't go dry.

The carbon tax and dividend seems to me to be a very innovative way for folks to choose with their pocketbook what kind of energy future they want to have. If you want to continue to drive your SUV, don't want to weatherize or conserve, then just use your dividend to pay the higher bills. If you want to support more efficient technologies toward developing a more sustainable energy future, then use the money to pay for them and cut back on your fossil fuel use.

I think that after the election bluster passes, it really might have a chance to appeal to both sides of the aisle.

grammaddy 2 years, 11 months ago

Roberts,Moran,Yoderand Jenkins will need Koch permission.

cato_the_elder 2 years, 11 months ago

Yawn. As soon as someone figures out how to store wind energy, I'll listen.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 11 months ago

There are ways to store it, but most of what is/can be produced doesn't need to be stored any more than the output of a coal or nuclear plant needs to be stored.

cato_the_elder 2 years, 11 months ago

Typical wacko drivel. The primary drawback to wind energy is that it can't be stored. Show me credible scientific evidence that (a) it can be, and/or (b) storage isn't necessary.

If the wind's blowing, the mammoth, environmentally-unfriendly turbines generate moderate quantities of power. If it's not, they don't. Niagara Falls they ain't, Bozo.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 11 months ago

As I stated below, the wind is always blowing. Moreso in some places than others, but it never stops blowing. Ever.

"The primary drawback to wind energy is that it can't be stored. "

Of course it can. Compressed air is one way, and there is a good deal of research going on on how to do that on a large scale. But it could be used right now on a small scale, especially in manufacturing facilities that use a lot of compressed air already.

Similarly, it could be used to pump water into elevated reservoirs, whether they are tanks or ponds/lakes, and then released later to turn hydroelectric generators.

Hey, rumor has it that someday it'll be possible to talk long distances over talking devices linked by a network of wires, carriages and wagons will no long need horses or oxen to pull them, and there will be machines that can fly. Sounds fantastic, I know, but these things really are possible.

cato_the_elder 2 years, 11 months ago

Gee, Bozo, when I think of you, "luddite" is one of the first words that comes to mind, at least vis a vis your views of American industry and capitalism.

Would you want to re-think your use of that word, or perhaps look it up to make sure you understand what it means?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 11 months ago

I know quite well what it means. And you are definitely a luddite w/respect to any technology that isn't part of the fossil-fuel status quo.

cato_the_elder 2 years, 11 months ago

One can't be a luddite as to any technology that doesn't exist.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 11 months ago

Yes, but "one" cato the elder is a luddite to technology that does indeed exist and is otherwise rapidly developing, but doesn't have the proper stamp of ideological purity for said "one."

cato_the_elder 2 years, 11 months ago

There is no technology currently available to make storage of wind energy feasible. That's the major drawback to it as a viable source of energy, as I've stated. You've furnished no evidence to the contrary, and that which I've furnished you haven't rebutted. Frankly, you can't, and you know it.

I'd like to say that the only good thing I can think of on this is that people like you aren't in charge of national energy policy, but, sadly, they are. That's just one more reason why it's a matter of national self-preservation to throw Obama out of office in November.

Ken Lassman 2 years, 11 months ago

Cato, you say that there is no currently available technology available to make storage of wind generated electricity feasible and I say so what? The amount of wind generated electricity penetration that is put into the current overall electrical grid is such a small percentage of the total electrical generation that storage is simply not a significant issue at all--period. The grid is designed to ramp up and down from a variety of sources already, so your so-called issue is simply not a problem at all. Once wind generated electrical production consistently reaches more than 20 percent of the electricity consumed, the grid will hopefully be upgraded and much smarter, and stroage technologies will be more viable. But to say that this is an issue that limits current use or expansion plans is just silly.

cato_the_elder 2 years, 11 months ago

What's really silly is envirowackos like you running around pretending that wind energy is a viable source of power that can replace nuclear and coal-fired energy. If it were, the market would reflect that. The lack of ability to store wind power effectively is the major reason it hasn't, but that will never concern you or anyone else for whom government fiat instead of the actions of the marketplace is always the first non-solution.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 11 months ago

Actually, the market does reflect it. Solar and wind generation are expanding quite rapidly, thank you.

Sorry to interrupt your rant with facts.

cato_the_elder 2 years, 11 months ago

Really, Bozo? How do you spell S-O-L-Y-N-D-R-A?

You also might also want to try this on for size:

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/another-energy-company-lays-off-hundreds-of-workers/

Keep on dreaming. Facts are irrelevant to the brainwashed.

Ken Lassman 2 years, 11 months ago

Cato, your critiques are akin to dumping anything out of the truck as you drive down the road in hopes that the garbage will slow down the pursuit. I thought you were actually interested in engaging in a rational discussion of the issue. Please don't prove me wrong.

How does stating the flexibility of the grid in its ability to absorb wind generated electricity make me an environmental wacko? There's nothing controversial about this aspect of the grid, so your critique seems to be diversionary and of no merit.

The market force that is relevant is not Solyndra, which is solar and not wind and therefore much earlier in the developmental curve of an industry. The relevant market to look at is what is being added in terms of new power generation to the existing grid? Wind has been the main source of new electrical generation added to the grid for the past several years running, leaving new coal and nuclear in the dust. This is the market talking, Cato. Investors are clearly choosing to invest in wind, which is much cheaper, has a better return, and is less complex to line up all the ducks compared to either new coal or new nukes, despite the heavy duty subsidies that nuclear gets.

cato_the_elder 2 years, 11 months ago

Although nothing will dissuade you from the religiosity of your opinions, I'll post this again:

http://www.ehow.com/list_6395386_disadvantages-wind-turbine-energy.html

The notion that there is anything other than a niche market for wind energy is laughable.

Ken Lassman 2 years, 11 months ago

You suffer from strongly resembling your accusation, Cato, as it seems that your source verges on the religious in its vague critique.

Your source has a vague charge that wind is more expensive than coal, citing "the Dept. of Energy" as its reference. Well, how about looking at the projected levelized cost of energy production for 2016 from the US Energy Information Administration: http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/aeo/er/

Seems that wind is cheaper than new coal, new nuclear and solar. There are plenty of other places to verify this, but no need to since this comes from the highest regarded source.

The next charge, that there are only a limited number of sites where wind can be successfully places is pretty funny. Don't you think that this same reasoning can be applied to every single source for energy production out there?

Then there comes the hard hitting charge that there is a visual drawback to having windmills. Last time I looked at a Westar coal fired plant and compared it to a windmill, I just shuddered at that windmill, didn't you?

I could go on, but I think you get the idea of what I think about your article's opinion....surely you can do better than that.

cato_the_elder 2 years, 11 months ago

I have no doubt as to what you think about the truth when it stares you in the face. That by no means signifies that you are correct, regardless of whatever it is you wish for. Again, the religiosity of your narrow-minded views will always prevent you from recognizing reality.

Ken Lassman 2 years, 11 months ago

You're not accusing me of being off-base, you are announcing that the US Energy Information Agency is wrong because I gave you the link to their analysis of wind that clearly shows that it is cheaper than either new coal or new nukes. Unless you can provide better information to the contrary, then you are just saying that since you disagree with the person's perspective, this invalidates the validity of all data that they present you, truth be damned.

That's the very definition of narrow mindedness and otherwise muddled thinking.

cato_the_elder 2 years, 11 months ago

http://sppiblog.org/news/a-new-dark-age-for-germany#more-3602

Of course, the cogent information that this warning imparts won't make any difference within your brainwashed cranial space, but this and other informative analyses on the futility of wind power are all over the internet.

Alfred_W 2 years, 11 months ago

Of course that author, a guy with a BA in Art History, is an expert on wind power...because he agrees with you, right?

Ken Lassman 2 years, 11 months ago

Not only that, Al, but the article is entirely about offshore wind, which is certifiably riskier and way more expensive. If Cato had bothered to review the EIA link I provided, he would have known that. But he spends way more time crafting insults than researching a topic where he has high certainty of opinion but very little actual understanding.

cato_the_elder 2 years, 11 months ago

Great job, Einstein. Alfred_W posted his comment at 11:19 a.m. My comment containing yet one more link demonstrating the folly of wind power as an equal alternative energy source was not posted until 12:17 p.m., so Alfred_W could not have been responding to that post.

As I have previously indicated, there are sources all over the internet demonstrating the futility of wind power as anything other than a play toy in a niche market. A fair number of greenies like you actually find wind turbines to be environmentally harmful. Whatever the case, wind power as it currently exists will never challenge nuclear and coal-fired plants unless we all decide to start living in tents, something that will never happen until Al Gore agrees to vamoose from his $9 million carbon footprint-rich mansion in California.

Ken Lassman 2 years, 11 months ago

The rest of my critique stands as you clearly are unable to find any article that contradicts the article from the EIA that clearly shows that the levelized cost of land based wind is cheaper than new coal and new nukes. Furthermore, newly the number of MW of installed new wind has left those old sources in the dust for a number of years.

These are facts and not controversial, despite your calling them distortions to prove some kind of religious adherence you seem to think I have to wind, other renewables and energy conservation.

But the fact stand. Unless you can show otherwise, your posts are just so much bluster and name-calling.

cato_the_elder 2 years, 11 months ago

I know a distinguished member of the Kansas Geological Survey who has told me that everything you and the rest of your glowarmer pals believe is complete bunk. You have a right to your opinion, but that's all it is, opinion. Citing others' similar opinions is not the equivalent of citing proven fact. It's only proven in your brainwashed cranial space.

One of the links I provided specifically states the following:

        "According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the cost of wind power, as measured by the amount of electricity generated per dollar spent, is still significantly higher than a number of other forms of electricity. Although it is one of the cheaper forms of renewable energy and its price has dropped substantially in the last 10 years, the capital costs of wind turbines are still higher than those of fossil fuel energy sources, such as coal-fired power plants."

Keep living in your dream world. It's a still a free country, at least for now.

Ken Lassman 2 years, 11 months ago

Citation where the Dept. of Energy states that, please. I provided you a link to the EIA study that directly contradicts this statement ABOUT what the Dept. of Energy supposedly said. When I looked at the reference your article cited, it just says "Department of Energy." Huh? No publication, no web page, nothing more specific than a huge, sprawling website.

So my specific citation from the EIA trumps your article that waves their hand at the Department of Energy and said that it's there somewhere. You gotta do better than that.

And with all due respect for your friend from the Kansas Geological Survey, he may be very lonely at times, since this is not at all a widely held opinion even at the KGS as is evidenced by: -KGS Marios Sophocleous and Andrea Brookfield's publications about water resources and how they are impacted by climate change; -Robert Buddemeier's presentation on how human induced climate change is affecting the coral reefs; -the KGS website's links to various websites devoted to climate change, including the Great Plains Regional Center for Global Environmental Change, the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies, and the US National Assessment of Climate Change.

Who is dreaming what?

cato_the_elder 2 years, 11 months ago

Who's dreaming what? I'll tell you: You're dreaming of a world in which the resources of the United States of America are re-distributed globally through the use of bogus "science," foisted on the gullible, that consists of nothing but manufactured opinions fueled by extreme hostility toward industry and capitalism.

Climategate shot your credibility permanently. Your theories are so outrageous that real scientists have deemed it necessary to come out publicly against your religion, a growing trend that is increasing all the time.

You and your ilk have blocked the Keystone Pipeline, one of the most foolish gambits that envirowackos have yet inflicted on this country. You and your fellow cultists are the enemies of jobs, prosperity, and progress. You should be ashamed.

Ken Lassman 2 years, 11 months ago

Climategate has not shot anyone's credibility except your own, since it has been reviewed over and over and repeatedly cleared, something you clearly have no interest in reading about since it would interfere with your belief system. If I am wrong on you actually being interested in what the reviews concluded, I would be happy to provide you the various independent investigations of the situation for you.

Furthermore, the East Anglia dataset is a tiny fraction of the overall overwhelming evidence pouring in from all quarters about the nature of climate change and humanity's role in it. But when presented with this information, you have just blown them off with an irrational ignorance that tells me that you have no interest in understanding the topic at hand. You would rather parrot those conspiracy theorists who think there is a scientific cabaal intent on draining the US of its wealth and distributing it to some kind of UN totalitarian nightmare, as far as I can tell.

And back to the topic of this column, you continue to ignore the US EIA levelized costs of the various new energy sources and utterly fail to produce a single piece of evidence that contradicts this. Neither your single reference nor your geologist friend have helped you, so I can only conclude that you prefer to revert to distracting comments so nobody pays attention to the man behind the curtain.

Sorry, guy, I get to play Toto and just pulled that curtain back.

cato_the_elder 2 years, 11 months ago

"Climategate ... has been reviewed over and over and repeatedly cleared."

That's your opinion. You still don't get it. Others don't share your opinion. The quintessential problem with your views and those of all other environmental zealots is that they are based on opinion, but are presented as fact. Every premise in your bag of tricks can be disputed and has been disputed by real scientists, whose own opinions differ from yours.

Rather than Toto, I submit that "Dodo" is the relevant reference. Just as the Dodo Bird, your views will become extinct when the curtain of history drops on the last Act of anthropogenic "Global Warming." That will, hopefully, be sooner rather than later.

Ken Lassman 2 years, 11 months ago

It's not my opinion about Climategate, but since you show no interest in looking at these reviews and their conclusions, you have just cut off you own nose to spite your face, not mine.

Your skill seems to be limited to repeating variations of "I know you are, but what am I?" but that loses its effectiveness once you leave grade school.

cato_the_elder 2 years, 11 months ago

I read, laughingly I might add, all of the lame, risible attempts to get around Climategate when they were first promulgated, just as I read similar propaganda put out in a futile attempt to defuse the profound impact of the landmark piece signed onto by sixteen distinguished scientists in the WSJ last January. You haven't furnished anything I haven't already seen. It's nothing but opinion, some of it clearly born out of desperation.

As for grade school, I knew the difference between fact and opinion before I finished grade school. Obviously, you still don't. You must have experienced outcomes-based education.

Ken Lassman 2 years, 11 months ago

Well then, why don't you exercise your knowledge of the difference between real education and innuendo? All you seem capable of doing is judgemental blathering without any substantial critique of the content of anything presented to you. Your analysis of pretty much everything that has been presented to you has centered around ad hominem attacks on the source, in an apparent attempt to divert the conversation away from the content of the material. Any time you have attempted to provide a viable alternative explanation to the data that clearly delineates the role of humanity in the current cycle of climate change, your efforts have fallen pathetically short and you revert to your grade school name calling. Your last post is yet another example of how instead of providing any real fact-based challenge to the numerous exonerations of the East Anglia emails, you resort to name calling. Oh, the same goes with the critique of the 16 minority opinion scientists in the WSJ. I provided you with a detailed critique of the assertions of this group, dismantling virtually every point in their letter, and your only response was to call it propaganda. Sorry, buddy. Doesn't cut it.

Once again, you have every right to be childish and insulting to all who are genuinely seeking understanding. But don't expect folks to believe a word you say without you having some real facts to back you up.

cato_the_elder 2 years, 11 months ago

"...ad hominem attacks on the source, in an apparent attempt to divert the conversation away from the content of the material."

Which, my friend, is precisely what you and your fellow travelers have tried to do in your futile attempts to deny the truth of Climategate and discredit the signers of the WSJ article. Attack the source, attack the source, attack the source. That's all you do. Pot, meet kettle.

As for being childish, a number of the radically leftist hippies of the late '60s later grew up and repented the error of their childish ways. Perhaps you and some of your fellow glowarmers will see the light someday and do the same.

Ken Lassman 2 years, 11 months ago

Nope, nope, nope. Sorry, not going to lay over on this one. I offered you a detailed critique of both the Climategate accusations and the WSJ 16 letter, all of which were topic-specific, did not impugn the character of the accusers/writers and stuck to the issues. Each and every one of these are the opposite of an ad hominem attack.

In complete contrast, you have done nothing but impugn the individuals responsible for both the East Anglia reviews and the critique of the SWJ 16 letter, all the time without bringing up a legitimate topical reason to question their analyses or conclusions. Finally, you have done nothing but attack my personal integrity as your primary response to the varied and relevant information that I have presented to counter the denialist ideology that you have put up as the unvarnished truth.

Those, sir, are perfect examples of your ad hominem attacks. Case closed.

PS Any future questioning of my personal integrity willl be ignored herewith. As always, I will be happy to discuss details of the issues surrounding climate change, humanity's role in it all, and future options.

cato_the_elder 2 years, 11 months ago

Wow - if I were to elect to chicken out simply because of the ad hominem slurs you've dished out against me, I couldn't look at myself in the mirror.

By the way, you left out one thing with regard to the "critiques" you've cited - they're all opinion, not fact.

You still don't get it.

Ken Lassman 2 years, 11 months ago

Agreed, bozo. The issue is not so much storing wind generated electricity, rather it is the capacity of the grid to accept and distribute it when it is generated. Much capacity is not currently available to widely distribute due to bottlenecks in transmission infrastructure, a patchwork of small, medium and large utilities who don't coordinate well, wind forecasting and the like. A good summary of the issues can be found here: http://www.awea.org/documents/issues/upload/Gramlich-Goggin_Wind_Integration_in_the_US.pdf

Seems to me that the carbon tax and dividend would be a good way to help finance upgrading the grid to make it more compatible for wind and other low/no carbon sources of electricity.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 11 months ago

Speaking of storage of wind-generated energy, there is one method that, as far as I know, has not been widely exploited yet.

Nearly every manufacturing plant depends on a great deal of compressed air for a wide variety of machines and tools. It would seem that wind turbines located on site at manufacturing facilities could be used to drive compressors that could, at the very least, significantly decrease the amount of electricity needed for that purpose. And at plants that don't run 24-hour shifts, if they have enough storage capacity, which is relatively cheap, those wind turbines would be storing that energy even when the plant is closed.

Mike Ford 2 years, 11 months ago

the luddites attack alternative energy......come on archie bunkers....work harder on denying everything and destroy the earth.....help the koch's deregulate so everything can go to hades in a handbasket.....everyone must suffer for your pursuit of the rapture.....

BigDog 2 years, 11 months ago

Okay .... not my area of expertise. Please tell me how these wind energy tax credits which probably go to companies like Westar (I assumer) are different than the tax breaks for "big oil companies."

And if an industry can't make it without being subsidized by the tax payer ....

Not opposed to alternative energy, just opposed to subsidizing all of these private businesses along the way. And yes I am opposed to the oil company tax breaks also.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 11 months ago

Carbon fee and dividend are not subsidies paid to industry. It's a tax that is collected on carbon sources, and then returned to taxpayers in the form of a dividend. Those taxpayers can spend that money on anything they like, whether it's for gasoline in their car (which will become more expensive because of the carbon fee) or on alternatives that use less or no carbon, but have become competitive because of the carbon fee.

Bottomline, market forces are used to decrease the massive amounts of carbon now being taken out of sequestration in the form of petroleum, coal and natural gas and injected into the atmosphere and into the oceans.

BigDog 2 years, 11 months ago

But if I understand this correctly, the carbon fee comes from a taxes paid by say coal companies ..... and private companies like coal companies get their money from whom? And if this raises the price of coal for the energy companies ..... don't in turn the Westar's of the world raise electric rates.

So in the end isn't this a tax upon me?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 11 months ago

Yes, it is a tax on you, but you get it back, and you can spend it on anything you like. Using the Westar example, you could do nothing about your energy use and use that dividend to pay the higher prices that Westar would charge, which would leave you pretty much exactly where you are.

Or it could be spent on LED lights, which though expensive, use a small fraction of the electricity of even compact fluorescents, and they last for decades. You could use it to weatherize and insulate your house, which would decrease the amount of electricity that you use for heating and cooling. You could use it to buy more a efficient refrigerator and other appliances.

But Westar would also have an incentive to decrease their carbon use because the higher prices they would have to charge would make them less competitive with the alternatives if they didn't.

bendover61 2 years, 11 months ago

I would pay the tax, get it back, then buy what I want.
Why not just buy what I want?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 11 months ago

It gives you the incentive to make a smart choice, not the dumb one you apparently want to make.

booyalab 2 years, 11 months ago

because...sustainability and gaia and colors of the wind.....and that's all i've got.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 11 months ago

I guess you already answered the questions I posed below-- the answer is "no."

Centerville 2 years, 11 months ago

Let's see: everyone from the wind turbine to my computer cord pays an extra fee to the government. Then the government gives back to everyone more money than he or she paid in. If we fell for Social Security, there's no reason we won't fall for this.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 11 months ago

"Then the government gives back to everyone more money than he or she paid in."

No, it won't pay more to everyone than they pay in. If you're a heavy user of carbon, you'll pay more than you get back, and that will provide the incentive for you to find ways to reduce the amount of carbon you use. That's the whole point.

Flap Doodle 2 years, 11 months ago

I ... do ... not ... want ... to ... freeze ... in ... the ... dark . (from a source)

bendover61 2 years, 11 months ago

What we really need is an Oxygen fee. Do you know how much damage oxidation causes? Billions per year.
People with the gall to have grass, trees, shrubs, should pay a fee. Cities with parks should pay the federal government a fee. We should pave everything.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 11 months ago

It must really hurt to have such "thoughts" trapped inside your head. I'm glad that you were able to expel them.

booyalab 2 years, 11 months ago

"By placing a tax on carbon at its source" This is literally the stupidest thing I've read on this site....today.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 11 months ago

Care to state why you think it's stupid? (do you think you can do so intelligently?)

booyalab 2 years, 11 months ago

Do we need some remedial science lessons? First of all, carbon is not produced when something is burned. Carbon dioxide is. Second, carbon is the most abundant element on earth. Are we going to tax the earth?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 11 months ago

"Carbon" is a shorthand expression for a number of carbon compounds that originated in the fossilized substances (coal, petroleum, natural gas, peat) that were sequestered in the earth's crust over several hundred million years, and the compounds that are released into the atmosphere and the oceans when these substances are refined/burned, what have you. CO2 just happens to be the most abundant and critical of those carbon compounds.

There's your remedial science lesson.

gccs14r 2 years, 11 months ago

Have you logged in to your Westar account and looked at how much carbon waste your household generates? It's astounding how much carbon is generated for a very small amount of electricity.

Ken Lassman 2 years, 11 months ago

Actually, climate change that results in increased global temperatures and droughts decreases net primary production. Scientists monitoring rainforests during droughts were shocked to see them switch from net carbon sinks (i.e. absorb CO2) to net carbon emitters.

asixbury 2 years, 11 months ago

My is a little less than one car. Kind of a cool feature.

gccs14r 2 years, 11 months ago

There is a solar plant that recently went online in Spain that stores thermal energy for release at night or on cloudy days. That type of plant can function for baseload power or for supplemental power if the wind dies down.

gccs14r 2 years, 11 months ago

I don't know about you, but I like being able to see the horizon. And if you think we have problems now, wait until all the ice melts and we run out of fresh water.

gccs14r 2 years, 11 months ago

You must be too young to remember when the air was foul-smelling and could be seen. If you mean our current fresh water shortage that's only going to get worse, I can't help it if you ignore the obvious.

bendover61 2 years, 11 months ago

Carbon is only a pollutant to the ignorant. We don't get our drinking water from ice.

camper 2 years, 11 months ago

Sure we do, ice melt from mountains provides drinking water (ie California) and replenishes aquifers. If temperatures continue to rise, we will have less drinking water from this source. Thinks will begin to dry up in inland regions.

gccs14r 2 years, 11 months ago

Anything can be a pollutant if it is in the wrong place at the wrong time in sufficient quantity. And when I use "we" or "our" when talking about the environment, I generally mean humans and Earth. Pollution does not recognize political boundaries, and when people run out of water, they don't recognize them, either.

Ken Lassman 2 years, 11 months ago

Liberty One, I'll have to agree with you on this one--CO2 is indeed colorless and odorless. That doesn't mean that you can play like it isn't an important gas whose increasing percentage in the atmosphere isn't changing the climate. Colorless and odorless carbon dioxide is being released by human activities to the tune of around a hundred volcanoes every year, and while the percentage of CO2 is very small in the total composition of the atmosphere, the amount of geologically sequestered carbon that is being injected into the air is enough to cause climatic change.

This, unlike your dragons and fairy tales, is an empirical property of the gas and is well understood by science. Your ignoring these physical properties is the real fairy tale.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 11 months ago

"the amount of geologically sequestered carbon that is being injected into the air"

On average, it took 3 million years to produce the fossil fuels that are now consumed worldwide in a single year. And the world in which that carbon was sequestered, millions of years ago, was a not world that was suitable for habitation by 7+ billion humans. But we're busy recreating that world because its ideologically essential to the libertarian/capitalist priesthood.

gccs14r 2 years, 11 months ago

I was talking about air pollution WRT burning fossil fuels, not just CO2.

Ken Lassman 2 years, 11 months ago

Well, you got it wrong again, too, Liberty. The EPA has correctly concluded that excessive carbon dioxide emissions is a real problem in that it is changing the climate. Just like drinking too much water can change the metabolic composition of the human body, a normally OK gas like CO2, which is essential for plant metabolism and a host of other things, when emitted excessively, destabilizes the climate in ways that from our human perspective is something to avoid.

So from a human perspective, carbon emissions need to be monitored just like more conventional pollutants like sulfur dioxide, mercury, particulates, etc.

Liberty275 2 years, 11 months ago

Give me the GPS coordinates of any spot within 50 miles that shows any proof of global warming or other damage cause d by excess CO2. I want to see the effect before I believe in the cause.

I don't want to read about it, I want to see it.

Ken Lassman 2 years, 11 months ago

You don't really understand climate change, do you? The problem is that any weather, animal migration or other specific data point you can point to is just that: a data point. Climate is the accumulated record of data points and the trends that are detectable when they are taken as a whole over time. This means that an early spring is a weather/seasonal data point and not necessarily an indication of climate change, although the frequency of extreme weather events is increasing as predicted by climate change models. These details are being hashed out in the climatological community right now, so you get some scientists who are trying to figure out if they can detect the degree of change for a given extreme event that can be attributed to climate change, but all of that is very much a work in progress.

Even though anything you would observe within a 50 mile radius would by definition be regional and anecdotal in nature, with that in mind, seeing how the USDA/Arbor Day growing zones have shifted north 150 miles would be about as close to being able to see the tangible effects of climate change.

Liberty275 2 years, 11 months ago

I understand lots of things. Given the political nature of global warming/climate change/carbon fees/wealth redistribution, I won't believe it until I see proof with my own eyes.

"shifted north 150 miles would be about as close to being able to see the tangible effects of climate change."

OK, which plants no longer grow within our zone because growing zones have shifted? Which plants now grow in our zone that didn't before the shift?

Ken Lassman 2 years, 11 months ago

Shifts in plant zones are also based on 30 year trends, which means that plants that used to get killed from a severe cold snap 30 years ago will most likely survive around here. Go to a nursery and talk to them about what varieties they recommend now compared to 30 years ago. Similarly, plant varieties that seed companies are selling to farmers are changing, so they would be good to talk to.

In other words, why don't you do your own homework? Check out any gardening store or website to see what plants are recommended in zone 6a or 6b instead of 5b, which we used to be in.

Wet-loving native plants move east or downhill when there are extended droughts and the opposite during wetter periods. Since plant species in the oak-hickory woodlands and tallgrass prairies of the area are adapted to a wide territory, we're much less apt to endanger locally rare species, in contrast to montane environments which are much more vulnerable to ecological bottlenecks.

Sorry reality is more complex than you want it to be. Well, actually, I'm not that sorry.

Liberty275 2 years, 11 months ago

Which plants no longer grow in our zone that did 30 years ago? Which plants will now grow that wouldn't 30 years ago? It's a simple question. Each plant has a unique name, so it should be easy to give a straight answer.

You can be sorry or not all you want, I'm just asking for proof I can look at with my own eyes of the allegation that global warming/climate change is a reality.

In my youth (the 70s), I spent most weekends fishing the north end of the Sanibel Causeway on the Gulf of Mexico in Florida. Four years ago I went back to the same spot and saw the same rocks sticking out of the water, the same barnacle lines and beaches just as I remember them. Given the ultimate horror story of global warming causing ocean levels to rise, and that they obviously had not risen in 30 years, I remain suspicious of any second-hand news regarding the issue.

Different people form opinions differently. You believe what you are told, I believe what I have lived, seen and continue to see. Needles to say, I remain unconvinced. Generally, I wouldn't care as everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but those most ardently pressing this issue want my electric bill to rise and want the price of gasoline to go up. Bozo has come right out and admitted the "carbon fee" is little more than a wealth redistribution scheme. I'm already poor enough, I need my money more than I care if you need it. While I'm poor, I do not want money I did not earn. I'm no thief.

Ken Lassman 2 years, 11 months ago

Once again, you need to re-read my post on the nature of midwest plants, the landscape, and the complexity of ecoregional dynamics. Things are more complex that you'd like them to be and complaining about that won't change the nature of the changes taking place.

Also, as I stated before, climate by definition is not the same as weather and as such, an event that you can look at, although the frequency of extreme weather is increasing as predicted. For a detailed review of this, I suggest listening to the scientists interviewed for the two part piece done by Peter Sinclair here:

http://newenergynews.blogspot.com/2012/04/climate-denial-crock-of-week-weird_21.html

Finally, in a previous post in another discussion, I sent you a link that looked at the projected changes for Florida's tidal lines, and apparently you never took the time to look at it. You are now asking me to do your research on plants who are no longer as hardy around here as they once were due to the shifting climate. Why don't you get off your duff and go find out something for yourself? I'm not your gopher, and when in the past I put the information under your nose, you ignored it anyway, so even if I provided you with more information, you wouldn't believe it anyway. So if you are so intent on seeing things with your own eyes, just get out there and do it!

Liberty275 2 years, 11 months ago

"Things are more complex that you'd like them to be and complaining about that won't change the nature of the changes taking place."

Is plant migration not a prime indicator of climate change? I gave you tons of leeway. You could have compared photos from 100 years ago to today, I could have driven out, looked and maybe agreed. Instead you post a link to a blog.

You know the details, you give me the condensed version you want me to believe. Not what some other internet genius has to say.

Here's my condensed version; It looks the same to me as it did 30 years ago. The only difference is the magazine covers.

Ken Lassman 2 years, 11 months ago

Let me walk you through this, since you think that it looks the same as it did 30 years ago. You remember the difference between weather and climate, i.e. a drought spell is weather, but the frequency of drought spells over a 30 year period is climate, and if that frequency changes over time, that is climate change?

Well, what the USDA/Arbor Day planting zones is based on is 30 year averages, and the most relevant number they look at is the extreme low temperatures and their frequency, since these weather events kill or stunt plants which are not adapted to those temps. The American Horticultural Society also keeps track of how susceptible plants are on the other end: which plants die under extreme heat and drought.

The central plains climate has always had a higher frequency of extreme weather in the yearly mix than many parts of the country. The lack of a nearby ocean gives us a "temperate" climate, which is much more susceptible to extreme heat and cold than a more "maritime" climate like you'd find on either coast. I've talked to folks who lived through the droughts of the 30s and 50s and even some of the native oaks were dying during those spells, as I also saw in the drought of the mid 2000s. The fact that we already have more extreme events may mean that Kansas may be in for a tougher ride than other sections of the country, although many of our plants are already more drought and freeze tolerant than many places.

Each time this happens, it kills individual trees who are maybe on thinner, clayier soils, south facing slopes etc. But just like the climate, the composition of a landscape ecosystem is based on plant populations, not individual trees. Over time, a shift in degree and frequency of extreme events will change the composition of plant populations as the local niches where a population thrives shifts. It takes time, since plants don't walk, but the effect is real. Complicating the issue, and why I didn't send you to photos, is that humans have greatly affected the composition of the landscape as well. Just by suppressing fire, humans have allowed trees to shift into prairies in this neck of the woods, which has nothing to do with climate, but has definitely changed the look of the landscape.

There. I've trotted out some more details, and whether you believe it or not is up to you. And I suggest you get away from your computer and go talk to some old timer who grew up in the country and ask them if things have changed.

Liberty275 2 years, 11 months ago

"events will change the composition of plant populations"

OK, GPS coordinates within 50 miles where the composition of plant populations have changed due to climate change will suffice. That's reasonable.

Ken Lassman 2 years, 11 months ago

Look under your nose, Liberty. It's changing right here, right now. Like I said, go talk to an old timer, preferably a farmer who knows his or her plants. Heck, as a kid I remember skating on a farm pond here in November in the 1960s. But as I said, it's hard to tease out just the climate from everything else because of the following complexities: 1) Plants which tolerate the extremes are the only kind that can survive for the long haul in the central irregular plains ecoregion, so to an extent, they are pre-adapted to the extremes and only over longer periods will the change in frequency impact hardier populations. 2) Plants will shift in microhabitat location before they disappear. In other words, the population will shift to the moister, cooler north slope of a hill if the temperature averages increase over time before they leave a region. This is detectable and measurable, but it is much subtler than most folks pay attention to, and is much less dramatic than a treeline going up the side of a mountain as the local climate warms up. 3) Complicating the issue is changes in management practices by humans. Plant varieties change anyway, so it's hard to find a variety of plant that your great grandfather planted, so it's hard to know whether it would be as hardy as it was for your great grandfather anyway. The tree vs. grassland composition has changed at least as much from the management practices on farms as it has from climate change, at least for now, which makes it hard to tease out the climate component. 4) Things change but sometimes we don't know all the issues behind it. Would fire ants be spreading as far as they have if climate changes weren't happening? Armadillos? West Nile virus? Ticks? The increased proliferation of poison ivy and other "increasers? Other invasives? Lots of questions botanists, biologists and other scientists are grappling with, and more and more of them are suspecting that there may be a climate shift component in the mix.

Finally, you might find a new feature of the Weather Underground website interesting: the new Climate Change Center http://www.wunderground.com/climate/

In it you can see global changes, but also look at the local changes that have been occurring in your locale, wherever you live, over the past decades. They don't have the Lawrence weather station for some reason, but they do have Topeka.

Flap Doodle 2 years, 11 months ago

In other windy news: "...The wind industry, for example, has shed 10,000 jobs since 2009 even as the energy capacity of wind farms has nearly doubled, according to the American Wind Energy Association. Meanwhile, the oil and gas industry has added 75,000 jobs since Obama took office, according to Labor Department statistics. Federal agencies also have struggled to get stimulus money out the door in a timely manner, even for prosaic efforts that help local governments reduce energy costs. The rush of funding encouraged private-sector participants to inflate their job-creation projections as they angled for a piece of the action, insiders say. "They were obviously just guessing," said Robert Pollin, a University of Massachusetts professor and green-energy supporter who helped the Energy Department sort through loan applications. "If an undergraduate gave me a paper of that quality I would have probably given them a C or a C-plus."..." http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/04/13/us-usa-campaign-green-idUSBRE83C08D20120413

camper 2 years, 11 months ago

Wind and Solar power can be achieved. Even a 1980's technolgy solar plant in the Mojave desert produces the same amount of mega-watts as a medium sized coal plant.

Because the effects of CO2 levels and global warming will not likely effect us, we are content to pass this problem on to future generations. We will be despised by those generations who come after us.

Peacemaker452 2 years, 11 months ago

Wind and solar power have applications at the residential/light industrial level but what are you going to do at night when the wind is not blowing?

Remember our discussion on March 9th? (http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2012/mar/09/break-oil-cycle/#c1984064) A conservative estimate based on the solar plants in California is 40 square miles and 31 billion dollars to replace Westar’s coal generation.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 11 months ago

"but what are you going to do at night when the wind is not blowing?"

The wind is always blowing. Always.

Peacemaker452 2 years, 11 months ago

I am not sure what fantasy world you and your researchers are living in but here in the real world we have laws of physics that apply.

The wind may always be blowing at some place on earth but it is not consistently blowing with sufficient velocity to produce meaningful amounts of power within feasible transmission distances. You cannot depend on wind/solar power as your only source unless you are working on a small scale that allows storage.

Stored energy hydro and high pressure air storage are feasible, but once again on only a small scale. The efficiency losses that you will face will make it ineffective at grid level power no matter how many carbon credits you throw at it.

I challenge you to provide any meaningful scientific data that proves otherwise. This study would have to include some pretty significant breakthrough technology to be believable. BTW: Some “green” group’s issue paper wishing it was true or planning for future discoveries is not meaningful.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 11 months ago

"The wind may always be blowing at some place on earth "

There's no "may" about it. It's a fact.

"I challenge you to provide any meaningful scientific data "

Stuff it. You couldn't care less about scientific data, or you'd already know about the plethora of data readily available to you. Please, deal with your psychological problems however you need to, and leave the science to those who are capable of it.

Peacemaker452 2 years, 11 months ago

Just saying “No, I don’t have any real data.” would have been sufficient. You didn’t have to try to hide you lack of understanding with a personal attack. I don’t know what science you think you are capable of understanding but you obviously don’t comprehend the science behind electrical generation and transmission.

Peacemaker452 2 years, 11 months ago

Don't forget to address the size and cost of your solar, wind, stored air and stored energy hydro while you are at it.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 11 months ago

Everything has a cost. The costs of fossil fuels have been denied and subsidized and externalized for centuries, and now the piper has to be paid, and all you have to offer is to deny the existence of the piper.

Peacemaker452 2 years, 11 months ago

Where in my statement did I deny anything? I asked you to discuss the cost and size of your proposed solutions. The fact that you chose to ignore that discussion and revert to another unsubstantiated attack on me leads me to believe that you don’t know, don’t care or know the cost and don’t want to publically discuss it.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 11 months ago

The cost of the solutions are orders of magnitude less than pretending that we don't need any.

And yet you want to position yourself as "pragmatic." What a fraud.

Peacemaker452 2 years, 11 months ago

“The cost of the solutions are orders of magnitude less than pretending that we don’t need any” 1) Since you don’t know the cost of the solutions, or the cost of “pretending that we don’t need any”, how do you arrive at your “orders of magnitudes”? 2) I never stated or implied that we don’t need solutions, but I am only interested in real solutions, not pipe dreams. Once again, you revert to a personal attack instead of talking about the issue at hand. You are really starting to sound like some of the posters that you constantly deride. Why don't you drop the punctuation and capitalization to complete your transition?

From the Webster dictionary: Fraud-an act of deceiving or misrepresenting Sounds a lot like someone who claims to have solutions when in reality all they have is vague ideas with no real practical application.

Ken Lassman 2 years, 11 months ago

OK, I'll bite, Peacemaker.

First of all, we're not talking about getting 100% of our electricity from solar panels, which is the straw dog scenario you presented in your first comment. The goal initially isn't even to get 100% of our electricity from ALL renewables--just 20% by 2020, something that is already happening on some days in some states.

So is it reasonable to get 20% by 2020? Wind energy is clearly the biggest contributing renewable right now in Kansas, but the price of solar has dropped so much recently that it could clearly be a significant contributer by 2020 as well.

But that's not the only strategy: by using already existing technology, by far the most cost effective way to get away from fossil fuels is to stop wasting so much of it. It costs way less to save a kilowatt than to generate a new kilowatt using either conventional or renewable sources, so that's where major emphasis needs to be placed. But there have to be incentives for utilities to do that, i.e. why would it be in their interest to spend money to get customers to use less of their product? Making it possible for utilities to make money by financing and retrofitting customers to a more efficient building really works in states where that is being agressively pursued. The ACEEE rates Kansas as 48th out of 50 on pursuing these efforts, so there's a lot that should change in this arena.

So I'm not talking pipe dreams, Peacemaker; just pragmatic things that are already working elsewhere. So the ball is in your court now.

Peacemaker452 2 years, 11 months ago

Well Doug, I will be happy to discuss this with you since you at least presented data and goals that can be discussed. I am not sure why you feel insulted by my discussion with bozo since it had nothing to do with what you are proposing. Bozo did nothing in his replies to me other than attack me. There were no facts, no ideas, and no proposals. First of all, I did not present a “straw dog” scenario. My reply to camper was to simply remind him of a conversation we had in the past. In that discussion I gave camper the same figures that I listed here as well as figures for smaller plants. Never in that discussion did I say, or intend to say, that the goal was to replace 100%. Do I think that 20% is achievable by 2020? If you are measuring the 20% as an average of power generation over a year’s time then I would say it is achievable, provided we are willing to pay the cost. If you are looking at it as a point in time then it is not achievable with today’s technology. Wind can certainly contribute a large portion of the 20% but we need to remember that by 2020 many of the existing wind generators will be near the end of their service life and will need major overhaul/replacement. That will be an additional cost on top of new construction. It will take some pretty heavy subsidies for grid level solar to be viable in Kansas right now. That could change if there are some major innovations in the next decade. Once again, if someone is willing to pay the cost, it can be done. As for the rest of your discussion, you will note that several times I said that residential/light industrial solar and wind are viable alternatives. That would fit right in with your efforts to reduce consumption from the grid. I personally would be hesitant to get utilities involved in financing efficiency efforts, let banks be banks and utilities be utilities.

Ken Lassman 2 years, 11 months ago

Peacemaker, Glad to discuss this with you. The straw dog I was referring to was from your first comment, referring back to an old post of yours where you calculated that it would take 40 square miles of solar cells to replace 100% of Westar's electricity. If you did not mean this to be anything other than a factoid and not a realistic scenario, then we're on the same page and agree.

In regard to the 20% by 2020, you have to look at the prospects of both retiring or upgrading noncompliant and aging power plants, both of which are not going to be cheap, and at least wind is a very cost competitive option to new coal. Natural gas is cheap right now, but it has a history of huge price fluctuations that could jeopardize the cost effectiveness of these kinds of power plants being built. This is especially true if fracking turns out to not be as benign as it is being marketed today.

Yes indeed, wind turbines have a life of 10-20 years, but they can easily be replaced at a much cheaper cost than any centralized power plant, has the decided advantages of being low carbon and pollution free. The relatively short lifespan has the potential advantage of being replaced with even more efficient, productive models each time, so there is actually an advantage here.

Personally, I think that solar's future is more in the distributed energy scenario, i.e. modular solar systems used primarily to power new subdivisions and plugged into a smart grid that can pull/push the electricity where it is needed.

And as far as utilities financing energy efficiency, it sure seems to be a natural fit to me. How else would you deal with the inherent conflict of interest between a utility making money by selling more and more electricity and the need to become more and more efficient with that electricity? Is it reasonable to have utilities pay for something that will result in them selling less electricity? I suggest you check out the ACEEE website to see how successful many utilities have been doing this in other states.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 11 months ago

PeaceMaker--

What DougCounty said--

And what I've said on numerous occasions, even if not as well or as politely as DougCounty regularly does. And what you'll no doubt blithely ignore and deny, yet again.

Peacemaker452 2 years, 11 months ago

Bozo, You said nothing that even resembles what DougCounty said. What you essentially said was: “The wind always blows so stuff it.” If you plan to continue to lie about what I have said, even though it is right in front of your face, then you can stop replying to me. If you want to be part of the reasonable, rational, adult conversation the rest of us are having, feel free to join in.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 11 months ago

You did nothing but make unsupported assertions. If you want to have a discussion about this topic, please go educate yourself first, rather than just swinging away with your ideological strikeouts.

Peacemaker452 2 years, 11 months ago

Please be so kind as to point to my "unsupported assertions".

I am not sure where you think you are getting your education on the subject since you refuse to provide any sources but you seem to be the one "swinging away with your (completely unsupported) ideological strikouts."

I am still waiting to hear your rational reasoning on how wind and solar are going to provide power all the time. If you have some sound engineering on this there are a lot of companies that would pay good money for the solution since industry wide 30% windmill production is considered top tier. (You must have know that already since you are so educated on the subject).

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 11 months ago

"I am still waiting to hear your rational reasoning on how wind and solar are going to provide power all the time."

Never said it would. And in the next several years, it doesn't have to. But within the next ten to fifteen years, a a wide variety of technologies, will come on line. (educate yourself, if you care. If not, enjoy your ignorance.)

But the most significant developments will be those involving conservation, and, (cover your ears) changes in lifestyle (i.e. not being stupid with the use of energy.)

George Lippencott 2 years, 11 months ago

Since we do not have a carbon rule how would one work?? We tax the use of carbon in whatever form and return part of the tax to some people and use some of it for green investments.

Meantime every entity we tax passes the cost of the tax to the consumer. Sounds to me as if a lot of people (Kansans in particular) will see a net loss in standard of living. Seems very much like another income transfer mechanism

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 11 months ago

"Meantime every entity we tax passes the cost of the tax to the consumer. "

That's the whole point-- increasing the cost of injecting greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and the oceans.

"Sounds to me as if a lot of people (Kansans in particular) will see a net loss in standard of living."

Nothing will create a greater loss in standard of living than the continued uncontrolled de-sequestering of the carbon contained in fossil fuels.

"Seems very much like another income transfer mechanism"

Nope-- it just creates a real choice about how you want to spend your money, and slows the massive income transfer that's been going to fossil-fuel conglomerates over the last century or more.

Liberty275 2 years, 11 months ago

Stop calling them "libertines". The are leftists bordering on socialists. I'm a libertine.

George Lippencott 2 years, 11 months ago

So the argument is pay me now or pay me later. I do not dispute that.

I do dispute that a carbon tax will equitably distribute the pain of the national goal we seek to achieve

We use coal. Other parts of the country are blessed with other sources that are not carbon heavy. Why should we get whacked for decisions made a hundred years ago? Big cities have massive tax payer funded mass transit. The tax payers of Chanute Kansas could hardly begin to provide the same. They will continue to drive and pay the penalty. Each child will generate a lifetime 300 tons of carbon. Are we going to continue to subsides children or tax them as carbon generators.

If this is truly a national goal all should feel roughly the same pain. The silly notion of past evil is ridiculous and serves only to cover the bankruptcy in thought of those who argue as you do.

By all means cut carbon by taxing everyone roughly proportionally and requiring changes that are proportionally compensated.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 11 months ago

OK, George, we get it that you just don't get it. Your pointlessly rambling posts add nothing to the discussion.

George Lippencott 2 years, 11 months ago

My issue is equity - do you understand that?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 11 months ago

There is absolutely no equity in the status quo. A carbon fee and dividend would move us in that direction. It's that simple.

jafs 2 years, 11 months ago

If I understand it right, that's the basic idea.

People who use more fossil fuel based energy, and thus create more pollution, will pay more while people who use less, and pollute less, will pay less, in fact may see a bit of a profit.

This is already true, in a smaller way, of course, but this would multiply that effect.

Ironically, wood smoke is quite dirty, and a source of pollution.

jafs 2 years, 11 months ago

Why take something to the extreme just to make it look silly? You can do that with just about anything.

In your hypothetical, unless everybody just stopped using energy, they would be using other forms of it, and so the alternative energy market would replace the carbon based one - it would be a transition to a different economy, not the collapse of one.

I'm not a big fan of this carbon tax, by the way - I was just explaining it to you, since you asked.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 11 months ago

Of course they would. So there would be an incentive for any and all of those businesses to find ways to decrease their use of fossil-based fuels and chemicals. When they do so, they have a competitive advantage and consumers will naturally choose to do business with those companies. That's the whole intent of the tax and dividend.

And in situations where there are no alternatives to fossil-based fuels and chemicals, the dividend is there to help consumers and businesses pay those costs.

That's how markets work. This just puts the full and true costs of fossil-based fuels and chemicals into the market equation rather than allowing them to remain externalized as they have been for well over a century.

FrankCCL 2 years, 11 months ago

Thank you so much for making sense. Clear and to the point. INCENTIVES work. That's how markets work. Let's get Rep. Pete Starks' Bill (or Carbon Fee and Dividend Legislation proposed by some brave, smart, caring senator) passed as soon as the new session of Congress begins (because none of us believe it'll get to the Floor leading up to November's election). Thank you. Our children and grandchildren deserve as much.

George Lippencott 2 years, 11 months ago

That is the theory. I pointed out at least three areas where it punishes people who have no options. i CAN LIST MANY MANY MORE.

Why do we get to do that? Is there no way to accomp[ish the goals without an inequitable process.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 11 months ago

" I pointed out at least three areas where it punishes people who have no options."

With the dividend, there is always an option.

booyalab 2 years, 11 months ago

"Kansas is leading the nation in current wind production!"

FTFY

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 11 months ago

One other important point to mention-- as the fee causes a decrease in demand for fossil-fuels and chemicals, this will simultaneously cause downward pressure on the price of these substances, benefitting those who have no choice but to use them.

jafs 2 years, 11 months ago

Maybe.

But if the well off just pay the tax without changing their lifestyles, which is likely, and the poor folks use their windfall to subsidize their own fossil fuel consumption,...

If we're serious about changing the way we use energy, and the kind of energy we use, there are much simpler and better ways to do it, in my view.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 11 months ago

"But if the well off just pay the tax without changing their lifestyles, which is likely, and the poor folks use their windfall to subsidize their own fossil fuel consumption,..."

That's a big "if," and as more affordable options become available, I think even the super rich will at least reduce their consumption. To the degree that they don't, it'll just make that much more funding available for everyone else to make sensible choices.

jafs 2 years, 11 months ago

How will these "more affordable" alternatives come to pass?

Without significant investment on the government's part, we won't see affordable solar power for many folks, for example.

It just seems to me this is a funny, and rather circuitous route to go.

Why not just require utilities to use alternative energy sources? Or invest directly in them at a governmental level? Or provide low/no interest loans from the government to individuals to invest in alternative sources? Etc.

Or just stop the tax breaks, etc. that oil and gas companies get - that alone would make alternative energy much more competitive.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 11 months ago

It creates the incentive for people to spend money on anything that decreases their use of fossil fuels and chemicals, while simultaneously giving them the money to do so. Increased demand, not just for alternatives but for conservation, and the money to spend on such things will in turn incentivize the private sector to make their own investments. It's really a rather simple, and I think even brilliant, market-based program.

And it's not mutually exclusive from any of the other measures you described.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 11 months ago

I'm still waiting for evidence that you understand what anything means.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 11 months ago

No, it wouldn't have been appropriate. You have nothing to offer but cynical wordplay. Why is that? You obviously have some degree of intelligence. Why do you waste it?

jafs 2 years, 11 months ago

People already have that incentive - if you use less, you pay less.

And, those that use a lot will pay into the program, rather than getting money back, right? So if they want to invest in energy efficiency, they're not getting the money - they'll just pay less in bills over time, which is exactly the situation now.

Unless the poorer folks get a lot of money, they won't have enough to make any major investments.

Conservation is easily and freely available right now - everybody can practice it.

And, again, there's no guarantee whatsoever that the folks who get the money will use it to be more environmentally friendly - they can use it however they like, right? They could just subsidize their current lifestyle, buy some cd's, etc.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 11 months ago

Well, jafs, I think your pessimism isn't well-founded. If conservation and alternatives to fossil fuels and chemicals become the more economical choices, I see no reason why people would, in significant numbers, choose to take the more expensive options.

This has already been implemented in Australia. We'll get to see how it works there.

jafs 2 years, 11 months ago

Conservation is already the more economic choice, and yet many people don't conserve energy.

I'm still waiting for an explanation of how this will help alternative energy become the more economical choice.

Last time I checked, it would cost about $20K to implement a home based grid tie solar system, based on our modest usage (we conserve a lot).

The payback time was somewhere between 10-20 years.

If people get a little bit of money in their bank account each month, it'll take quite a while to save up that $20K.

I just think there are much easier, more direct, and most likely more effective ways of transitioning to alternative energy, and I think we should use them instead of this.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 11 months ago

"I'm still waiting for an explanation of how this will help alternative energy become the more economical choice."

Why is this so hard to understand? As the fee on carbon gradually increases, the products that contain or rely on it become more expensive. Products that don't contain or rely on them will become, relatively speaking, cheaper. Given a choice of products or services, do you not generally choose the more economical option?

jafs 2 years, 11 months ago

  1. "gradual" increases won't result in anything very quick, and we need quicker transitions.

  2. Given the difference between paying a little bit more each month, or investing $20K in a solar system, most people will choose to simply pay a little bit more/month.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 11 months ago

"The payback time was somewhere between 10-20 years."

But with the carbon fee, that payback time will decrease significantly, and because of the dividend, you'll also have a bit of extra money to make the investment.

jafs 2 years, 11 months ago

Not if it's a gradual increase in the monthly bill - then the payback time will only decrease a little bit over time.

And, again, a little bit of extra money each month isn't going to result in massive numbers of people investing $20K in a solar electric system.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 11 months ago

"Not if it's a gradual increase in the monthly bill - then the payback time will only decrease a little bit over time."

Without knowing the precise level of the tax, or how gradually it's phased in, your speculation on this isn't any better than mine. But a substantial tax phased in over five years or less would most certainly have a significant effect on the payback time.

"And, again, a little bit of extra money each month isn't going to result in massive numbers of people investing $20K in a solar electric system."

For one thing, completely off-the-grid systems aren't now and likely never will be the predominant method of getting electrical power. And the carbon fee and dividend would have just as much effect on companies like Westar in their decision making in how they source the electricity they sell as it does on individual consumers. And if you're an individual who heats with natural gas, there would be an incentive to reduce your consumption by investing in weatherization and insulation.

I don't understand why you're so resistant to accepting these 100% certain outcomes. Can you provide some reason why people would choose to make uneconomical choices when more economical choices are just as easy (and cheaper?)

jafs 2 years, 11 months ago

A grid tie system isn't completely "off the grid" - it's tied to the transmission lines of the utility company - an "off the grid" system would be substantially more expensive than $20K.

I just don't believe that there will suddenly be economical, easy and cheaper alternatives - I don't see how that happens.

Right now, many people don't conserve energy/water/etc. even though doing so would be cheaper - you'd have to ask them why.

There is currently that incentive, but it doesn't seem to be affecting behavior enough - and investing in weatherizing, insulating, etc. also pays off over time, but many don't do it as well.

My prediction is that this sort of tax would have a very modest effect on making a transition to alternative, more sustainable energy sources.

And, I'd like to see a more direct and faster transition, without this sort of complexity.

Oh, also, there will undoubtedly be costs of administering this tax program, right? Somebody's got to calculate it, redistribute it, and make sure that's all correct.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 11 months ago

The carbon fee and dividend greatly increases the incentives to do the right thing. It increases the cost of doing the wrong thing (using/wasting fossil fuels,) while simultaneously giving a carrot (the dividend) to do the right thing that will enable people to invest in those things that will decrease dependence on ever-more-expensive fossil fuels.

"And, I'd like to see a more direct and faster transition, without this sort of complexity.

Oh, also, there will undoubtedly be costs of administering this tax program, right? Somebody's got to calculate it, redistribute it, and make sure that's all correct."

I think you're greatly exaggerating how complex this would be. Fuels are already taxed, so there'd be nothing required to levy the additional tax. Otherwise, fossil fuels/chemicals come from easily identified sources-- tax it at the source, simple as that. The dividend is sent to each and every taxpayer- everyone gets the same amount. Not complex at all.

jafs 2 years, 11 months ago

That doesn't make sense.

If you tax it "at the source", that doesn't make heavy users pay more than light ones.

To do that, you have to tax it at the consumption point - ie. individual utility bills.

And, somebody then has to calculate the total amount collected, and divide that by the appropriate number to arrive at the equal dividend.

It's not quite as easy as you think either.

jafs 2 years, 11 months ago

And, of course, mail out all of the dividend checks, which costs money to do.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 11 months ago

"I just think there are much easier, more direct, and most likely more effective ways of transitioning to alternative energy, and I think we should use them instead of this."

As I've already said, the carbon fee and dividend does not mean that other methods of promoting the transition have to be taken off the table. It's not an either/or situation.

FrankCCL 2 years, 11 months ago

Cutting off those subsidies would be fantastic! Let the market decide, please!

George Lippencott 2 years, 11 months ago

Well Bozo I see a poorly constructed carbon tax raising the cost of living for all. I see it impacting people who can not change (like Chanute) even more. I see the top 15% negotiating a better deal and feeling little impact. I see the middle 70% taking the heavy impact.

What is even beginning to be fair about that?

Ken Lassman 2 years, 11 months ago

Actually, I see a real incentive for more local producers, manufacturers and regional economic networks developing. Places like Chanute are going to look closer to home to get goods and local folks will be able to more easily compete against the tyranny of global markets, which will suddenly be saddled with carbon-related transportation hikes, which will help level the playing field.

This seems to me the classic economic engine: a hike in prices for buying widgets results in innovation in order to make money from a cheaper alternative. The carbon base for this economic incentive has worked well in Germany, which has been busy transforming its economy to a much greener one well place for the future. It's about time we figure out how to do this too if we want to be a player in the future.

George Lippencott 2 years, 11 months ago

It's about time we figure out how to do this too if we want to be a player in the future.

How about we figure it out and discuss it before we do it. I argue that Chanute will get hit hard with transportation and power issues and as you suggest maybe they can compensate with more local products. However my view is that the winners and losers are probably different people and I reject a governent sponsored effort to deal that injustice

Ken Lassman 2 years, 11 months ago

I don't really get what you are saying. Isn't the marketplace already full of mechanisms that shift the playing field toward some players and away from otherts, and isn't a lot of this already being reinforced by governmental subsidies, policies and financial directives?

It seems to me that if we want to reduce our dependencies on fossil fuels either because it is running out, or because it is causing climate change, or because of both, then something like a carbon dividend places more power directly back to the average citizen by giving them the money to spend as they wish. Seems a lot less onerous of a government initiative than so many other possibilities, don't you think?

George Lippencott 2 years, 11 months ago

You seem to believe there is no multiplier when you add the tax. The cost of the taxes will be on everything not just at the first level (payment to pay the tax). The cost of food, clothing, and much much else will also go up but no tax will directly be levied on those products to generate revenue to return to the favored few.

Yes, there will be some to help the "poor" but everybody else gets it in the ear (except the wealthy).

Just tax people under the current tax system (modified) and directly subsidize alternate sources. Make the tax system more equitable _ (tax the rich). That will more than likely generate alternate sources that with subsidies will become more economically attractive then current options.

Why make this so complex????

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 11 months ago

Of course there is a multiplier. That just makes it even more effective.

FrankCCL 2 years, 11 months ago

Wow. How do you support that opinion?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 11 months ago

Mindless puffery will get you nowhere, and take the rest of us with you-- if we let you. But we won't.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 11 months ago

Jeez, talk about overreaction.

We can all still wear clothes and eat food, and those who produce it can still get paid for doing so. We just don't need to destroy the viability of the planet for human habitation in order to do that.

Get a grip.

FrankCCL 2 years, 11 months ago

Remember. If you want to take action locally and/or nationally,... www.citizensclimatelobby.org

progressive_thinker 2 years, 11 months ago

85 percent of vehicles in production already have these devices, and the courts are already working through the privacy issues involved.

This is pretty much old news.

MAP 21 actually provides that the data on one of these devices cannot be obtained without the consent of the owner or a court order.

The insurance industry has been pushing for this sort of device since the late 1990's.

tbaker 2 years, 11 months ago

Ms Pettengill is niave. Wind energy is a bad idea for 2 reasons. First it results in a greater carbon footprint per kilowatt hour when you consider the carbon added to the equation by back-up conventional power plants needed for every windfarm. When you take the subsidy out of the equation, cost per kilowatt hour of wind energy is far greater than other sources. Were it not for the government subsidies, you would'nt see a single wind generator. It is more wasteful spending for a government that already blows $1 billion dollars every two and a half hours, 60% of that borrowed, and adding massive new debt to and already huge amount that will enslave our children and grandchildren. Let wind energy compete in the market place like everything else and stop the insane spending.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 11 months ago

Aside from bad math and a good deal of mis- and disinformation, great post!!!

George Lippencott 2 years, 11 months ago

What bad math?? It is only bad because he discounts imputed costs for not doing wind energy. At the up front level he is accurate.

Glad you agree with the multiplier effect. How do we make your system fair so that some people do not get gored a lot more than others. Or do you care?

IMHO the net effect of your proposal carried to its potential conclusion will be a standard of living for the middle 70% that is much reduced from where we are while the wealthy and special interests live even better than they do now.

The carbon tax is nothing more than a thinly concealed income redistribution effort coupled with an effort to reduce most everyone’s standard of living. You have historically been an advocate for equity. How could you so easily fall for the elites (corporate, political, media, entertainment and so on) imposing a solution that so favors their interests at the expense of the rest of us?.

My basic answer is to reduce population not standard of living. We can not sustain the ever growing population whether it be meaningful employment or a meaningful standard of living.

My direct action is to raise taxes progressively on everyone (national program for the national good) and develop and subsidize solutions that will further reduce carbon generation at a manageable rate while allowing the society time to adjust to a post carbon economy without punishing anybody (or compensating them for the punishment).

We need also remember that the rest of the world is really not committed to the pace of change I think you are proposing. Their basic argument is that we need to be the goat because of our past evils. BS!!!! Finding scapegoats will only delay progress and skew the results in unpredictable directions (like wars maybe)?

Ken Lassman 2 years, 11 months ago

Wow: raising taxes progressively, subsidizing solutions that will reduce carbon generation "at a manageable rate" and reducing human population. Now that sounds like a lower level of governmental intervention???

George Lippencott 2 years, 11 months ago

The governments must be involved in such a national effor tand I have not argued against it on this topic. I argue against inequity sponsored by the government. I consider a carbon tax as proposed inequitable.

Ken Lassman 2 years, 11 months ago

Actually, by only using carbon as a tax criteria, it is much more equitable than sales, income tax, tariffs, and the like, which are rife with loopholes for special interests, or subsidies and loan guarantees for darling industries like nukes. The dividends are distributed much more equitably than other tax refunds as well, and if I am reading the literature right, the average consumer should come out ahead.

Finally, the tax (and dividend) is implemented gradually and predictably, which gives the economy a very predictable price signal so that it can adapt to it over time in ways that should not cause undo displacements and will spur green industry growth due to the increased certainty of a return on the investment. It seems to me that what you are suggesting would be much more difficult to accomplish the same outcome in an equitable manner, so I'd be interested to hear how you think that your idea would accomplish this in a less disruptive, more equitable manner.

Ken Lassman 2 years, 11 months ago

T, The conventional power plants that back up wind turbines already exist. And by the way, you wouldn't have ever seen a single nuclear power plant built without heavy duty government subsidies. Or new coal fired plants, for that matter. Don't you see that?

tbaker 2 years, 11 months ago

Not true. Our electrical grid is based on supply, not demand. When a new wind farm goes up, whatever it is "rated" to deliver to the grid has to be delvered to the grid each and every day whether the wind blows or not. Conventional plants close enough not to lose the power over transmission distance have to be augmented with new capacity to pick up the slack for idle wind farms. Sure the conventional plant may already be there, but the additional generation capacity has to be added. The additional carbon-based fuel has to be burned, not to mention the carbon footprint involved in the manufacture, delivery, and construction of all the materials needed to build the new capacity.

The NRC hasn't issued a license to build a new nuclear reactor since 1978, so the subsidies don't seem to be working all that well do they? I am not in favor of ANY subsidy. They waste tax dollars and they subvert the market.

Ken Lassman 2 years, 11 months ago

I don't know any real world examples where this has occurred because typically wind farms are placed into grids that can absorb the wind electricity without building additional capacity. Can you give an example of where the addition of a wind farm has resulted in a net increase in CO2 emissions per kwh generated? While integration is a challenge, there are good solutions being developed as wind scales up--here's a good presentation on that issue, for example: http://www.sari-energy.org/PageFiles/What_We_Do/activities/Supporting_Wind_Power_Take-off_in_the_SARIEnergy_Region/Presentations/Day_1/8_PPT_Wind_Grid_Integration__CRK.pdf

The nuclear industry has a history of defaulting on their loans a good percentage of their time due to cost overruns and delays. The industry is now not only getting loan guarantees to the tunes of billions of dollars per potential plant, they are trying to get future ratepayers to pay for the cost of the plant up front even before it is built, something that the citizens of Missouri voted down when they tried that in an expansion of the Callaway nuclear power plant.

Liberty275 2 years, 11 months ago

Epic.

"Writing for Forbes Magazine, climate change alarmist Steve Zwick calls for skeptics of man-made global warming to be tracked, hunted down and have their homes burned to the ground, yet another shocking illustration of how eco-fascism is rife within the environmentalist lobby."

http://www.infowars.com/climate-alarmist-calls-for-burning-down-skeptics-homes/

Ken Lassman 2 years, 11 months ago

And just how does some attention-seeking journalist with practically no track record represent the scientific community that has so painstakingly developed the datasets that indicate the nature and degree of climate change that is taking place?

Another straw dog.

George Lippencott 2 years, 11 months ago

Doug County Your 533 above

I have already. - at least to the detail for the carbon tax.

I wrote the current tax system modified to address the inadequacies. I have posted that notion many times. While it has many short comings it is progressive (at least at the federal level) and across all the different taxes pretty equitable (except for the rich). I also posted that we limit population growth – we stop subsidizing children and after the first one we tax a penalty that gets steeper with numbers.

Carbon tax is basically inequitable – and you have acknowledged that. It is just a thinly veiled income transfer system that will leave most of us much poorer (except the rich and privileged). It is far easier to just take the money the way we do now and use it to incentivize a transition from an oil based economy over a period that will not destroy us (probably a lifetime.) We do not need a new tax invention with absolutely unanticipated consequences and unintended outcomes.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 11 months ago

"Carbon tax is basically inequitable – and you have acknowledged that."

Where did he acknowledge that?

"It is just a thinly veiled income transfer system that will leave most of us much poorer (except the rich and privileged)."

This is nothing but bald assertion. Please explain how you arrived at this conclusion.

"We do not need a new tax invention with absolutely unanticipated consequences and unintended outcomes."

Yes, we do need this new tax, which comes tied to a dividend, which you want to deny. And while there are almost always unintended consequences to anything humans ever do, the intended consequences are essential to the survival of human civilization, as well as hundreds of other species we'll take with us in our headlong drive to fossil-fuel suicide.

George Lippencott 2 years, 11 months ago

  1. Why will my solution n ot work?

  2. Read above for the inmequitable aspects

  3. "Meantime every entity we tax passes the cost of the tax to the consumer. "

That's the whole point-- increasing the cost of injecting greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and the oceans.

"Sounds to me as if a lot of people (Kansans in particular) will see a net loss in standard of living."

Nothing will create a greater loss in standard of living than the continued uncontrolled de-sequestering of the carbon contained in fossil fuels."

You accept theimpact on everybody

  1. Just how do we end up with more money to give back then we take?? Some goes to energy research. Some goes to the poor, some goes to pay for the program. Nobody wil get back the cost to themselves of the tax. Even if you reduce your carbon the tax will permeate everything (food, shelter, transportation, etc) Are we pulling a"loves and fishes"

Every ones standard of living will decline except the top 15% or so.

Ken Lassman 2 years, 11 months ago

Hey, that's fine if you think we can successfully rectify the current tax system not only to get rid of loopholes for special interests but after this is accomplished, use it to create a climate that will create conditions where we can shift from a fossil based economy to a low carbon economy without inequities and cut birth rates in the process. You are talking about a project that makes the carbon tax and dividend effort seem like chump change, but then what do I know?

Maybe you are mixing up my posts with someone else, since I haven't acknowledged anything other than how the carbon tax and dividend system provides a clear, predictable economic signal to the marketplace that should stimulate growth in the low carbon sector as folks want to avoid giving all that money back to just pay their utilities and fill their gas tanks. The dividend should give even those who are short on cash the ability to get more efficient housing, transportation, more locally produced food and other products. Furthermore, it is done by individuals by how they choose to spend their money, while your scenario sounds much more top-down than this. So I think that this represents a much easier path toward shifting away from fossil based economy than what you are suggesting, and I don't see how folks will be any less susceptible to unintended consequences in your unlikely scenario. But I'm listening so please explain.

George Lippencott 2 years, 11 months ago

See above to Bozo. I just do not buy that the dividend will do all you say it will for the reasons above.

At least if we reform our tax system we stand a chance of taxing the rich. They will just brush off the carbon tax.

Since this discussion comes down to your magic or my magic it is fruitless to continue to badger each other. I acknowledge that the carbon tax sounds wonderful - it is the execution of such a potentially large and unpredictable tax imposition on the society that frightens me.

I can recall few such significant government interventions that have ever worked as advertised.

Ken Lassman 2 years, 11 months ago

"I can recall few such significant government interventions that have ever worked as advertised."--Moderate

Ditto for your proposal for massive tax reform, incentives to control population growth, and using government "guidance" to transition our economies to low carbon ones. But you know what? I agree with you that there's very little to be gained by beating each other up about the shortcomings of each approach, as they are actually striving for the same general outcome with the same kinds of risks. So what do you say we support each other and we'll see which approach gets further down the road?

I'll support tax reform, incentives to reduce population growth and government policies that assist in the transition away from fossil fuels if you support the carbon tax and dividend initiative. If we can't find ways to work together on this issue, then who are we to ask folks further apart than we are to come around to our approaches?

George Lippencott 2 years, 11 months ago

I could support a finely tuned demonstration program.

If we do not figure out a way to more equitably acquire revenue for the government I predict a revolution - hopefully at the ballot box.

Liberty275 2 years, 11 months ago

It seems such a "tax and dividend" would be a boom for the state and the wealthy and a real bust for the poor. Owe back taxes? They attach your dividend until it's paid. Owe student loans? They can apply your dividend to the interest. Grandma's dividend will help pay for her nursing home, freeing up medicaid dollars to treat children. Use a homeless shelter? Only if you sign over your dividend.

Rich fellow? Here's your check. Go buy another Porsche. Let Liberty drive it some. He promises to watch out for cops.

Nice regressive tax scheme you have in the works. Getting the leftist to shill for it is a master stroke.

Ken Lassman 2 years, 11 months ago

Both you and moderate assume that the carbon tax will be regressive when it is not at all apparent that this will be the case. Energy consumption and income are strongly correlated, so it would seem that the amount of increased costs paid by the wealthier segments of society will be proportional, i..e. they fly and travel more, have bigger houses, have more vehicles, etc.

The dividend could be uniform across the board, so in that case, if it were fine tuned, it could be made to be even more progressive. There are all kinds of carbon tax and dividend schemes out there and I found a website: http://www.carbontax.org/faq/ that addresses the potential regressiveness of the tax and ways to deal with it.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 11 months ago

What they really fear is that it won't be regressive, and they dislike anything that doesn't directly benefit the wealthiest among us, likely under the delusion that they may someday be among that select group.

George Lippencott 2 years, 11 months ago

Iight remind you all that our current approach yielding record wind energy generation iin Kansas, regulatory control of carbon emmissiones, investments in all forms of green energy results from my approach. If it is not broke do not fix it.

tbaker 2 years, 11 months ago

The unproven premise here (besides so-called global warming) is that government solutions (like carbon taxes) to global warming are somehow going to be better than the global warming itself. If we impose a carbon tax, we will limit economic activity (in the name of saving the planet) So what percentage of GDP reduction would be appropriate? How many jobs should we lose and how many people should we impoverish / put on government hand-out programs we can't afford to achive this goal? If the track record of the federal government is any meausre, I would argue that any benefits achieved from trying to mitigate global warming by imposing some new tax scheme on carbon emissions will most likely be swamped by the costs of distributing the corporate welfare used to buy the political acquiescence of various industries and in the end will be far, far worse for the average person than a 1 degree average temperature increase over the next 100 years. We should probably first figure out why a lot of the weather data shows average global temperatures dropping before we should spend any time on a carbon tax.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 11 months ago

First, it's not a government solution. It's removing the externalized costs of fossil fuels from market-place decision making. And it does not remove the option of using carbon-based fuels. It merely puts other choices on a level playing field.

And then there's the elephant in the room you want to ignore-- nothing the human race faces is so imminently dangerous, yet within our capability to address, as global warming/climate change.

But you can't budge an inch on that reality, because your purity of ideology offers no solutions. So you have to play the fool.

tbaker 2 years, 11 months ago

So I guess this carbon tax is a voluntary solution then, and people will just cooperate and get along out of a kindred spirit and sense of oneness with the planet. I guess thats what you call it one the government forces you to do something.

Just because you say there is climate change most definately does not make it so. http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/02/03/rss-global-temp-drops-version-change-adjusts-cooler-post-1998/

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 11 months ago

There are already taxes levied against fossil fuels/chemicals of various sorts. This one would just end the subsidies of externalized costs that they've enjoyed for well over a century.

As I've already indicated-- your commitment is to purity of ideology, however fleeting that ideology will be once human civilization is extinguished, which is a very real possibility on our current trajectory. And that precious ideology of yours has no answers for that, which is what really has your panties in a twist.

tbaker 2 years, 11 months ago

So we've established you were wrong, it is a government solution.

Furthermore, even the most generous analysis of past "government solutions" indicates a very, very high likelihood of failure, cost over runs, etc, therefore anyone serious about making the environment on Earth better cannot begin to consider courses of action that depend on the government to run, unless giving the government even more power over our daily lives in the name of protecting the climate isn't really your goal.

Did you look at my link? Explain why the global average temperature dropped to 1998 levels last year? I'll save you the trouble - you can't and niether can the so-called scientists that are selling this idea.

You've made no previous indication as to the purity of my ideology, nor have I provided any, but you've made yours quite easy to see.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 11 months ago

"So we've established you were wrong, it is a government solution."

The key word here is "solution." If government can supply one, that's good. That you can't isn't a reason to avoid this solution.

"Explain why the global average temperature dropped to 1998 levels last year?"

That sounds like it's a good thing-- except that 1998 was a pretty hot year itself.

Ken Lassman 2 years, 11 months ago

First of all, the global temp has gone up at least 1.3 degrees F. from 1900 until 2009 and is expected to accelerate in warming to .6 degrees F. in the next 20 years: http://www.climatewatch.noaa.gov/article/2009/climate-change-global-temperature

After that, because of increased amounts of greenhouse gases, the accelerated warming will continue such that most scientist are looking at 3-4 degrees Celsius by 2100, or 5-7 degrees Fahrenheit: http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/presentations/pre-cop-warsaw-2-10-2008/pres-warsaw-climate%20-botagaj-1.pdf

Add to that ocean sea level rise, increased sea acidification, decreased sea ice, potential destabilization of the Greenland and Antarctic ice masses, increased frequency of extreme weather events, etc. and you get the picture that there is much more at stake than some economic displacement caused by some carbon tax proposal. If you are a Fox devotee, you may not realize how overwhelming the data really is on all of these fronts, and you owe yourself the favor of doing some real research in this arena and decide for yourself. One potentially good starting place would be to start at www.climate.gov or perhaps the www.skepticalscience.com website.

My understanding of the climate tax and dividend proposals is to provide a much more stable transition to a low carbon economy than what an unregulated marketplace will provide. The former produces a gradual, clear and predictable economic signal that investors can count on, creating a good economic transition instead of relying on the much less stable "free market" environment which has a history of much more economic displacement than what this would produce. The devil's in the details, of course, but the longer we wait, the rougher the road gets.

tbaker 2 years, 11 months ago

Whats the green house gas that make's up .04% of the atmosphere concerns you most? Hint: you exhale it.

What makes the Earth warm faster than anything else. Hint: It's is round and bright and will make the temperature go into the 80s today.

Whats the single largest greenhouse gas? Hint: clouds are made out of it.

Why, despite steadily accumulating greenhouse gases, did the rise of the planet’s temperature stall for the past decade?

What casued the “Little ice age” in the last millennium?

What caused the warming period that followed it such that farmers grew grapes in northern England. The Vikings settled Greenland during that period. When it got colder again, Viking villages vanished and the river Thames froze over. Did human activity cause all this?

Why did IPCC climate scientists try to hide evidence that contradicts popular global warming theory?

Why is there more antartic sea ice now than there was in 1979?

Why did 141 climate scientists from around the world send a letter to the UN Secratary General arguing that Global Warming is far from settled science?

The Journal of Geophysical Research, the Rural Netherlands Meteorological Society, and the IPCC itself all say there has been no statistically significant acceleration in sea level rise over the past 100+ years. Why is that?

The answer to all these "whys" is "because man-made global warming is a hoax." If there is a way to do whatever mankind does that is cleaner and better for the environment, I am all for it. Everyone I care about has to breathe the air, drink the water, and eat the food that comes from the Earth. I am not in favor of giving government (yet again) ever more power over people's daily lives and ever more of their hard-earned money for something that is not anything close to a universally accepted scientific fact. All any resonable person has to do is a brief objective analysis of how global average temperature is supposedly being measured and the rest of the theory unravels from there. The only good thing this otherwise crock of dung idea has done is raise awareness about the environment, which as I said is a good thing.

camper 2 years, 11 months ago

tbaker, careful when you use Greenland as an example. This has been in the deniers playbook for years. Yes, the vikings did settle there, but they settled on coastal regions. The ice sheet has been on Greenland for thousands of years. You did not say otherwise or say anything incorrect regarding Greenland, but some use it as a way to mislead.

Ken Lassman 2 years, 11 months ago

Actually the answers are varied and informative, all leading to the opposite conclusion. Humans are releasing prodigious amounts of CO2 from where they have been geologically sequestered, and all of the carbon absorption processes on planet will eventually re-absorb that carbon. Unfortunately for humans, we are releasing it faster than the planet can absorb it, so it will take several hundred years to a thousand years to get back to pre-industrial levels. So with this in mind, here are the answers to your questions--and they don't lead to your conclusion that man-made global warming is a hoax. But thanks for at least bringing up the specifics of the issue instead of just attacking folks, which is sadly the rule, not the exception on the JW website.

-as stated above, the part of the .04% of the atmospheric CO2 that concerns me the most is the part that is not being reabsorbed, which leads to the greenhouse effect, i.e. a series of processes that result in a shift in the energy balance on the planet. The amount of heat released from the earth is no longer keeping up with the amount of heat retained by the earth, leading to a host of effects that are often referred to collectively as climate change.

-the single largest greenhouse is water vapor. Since CO2 starts the temps up, warmer air holds more water vapor, which turbocharges the greenhouse effect.

-you claim that global temps have stalled out for the past decade despite a steady rise in the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere during that same time. That's simply not the picture if you look at long term trends, which can be found here: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/img/climate/globalwarming/ar4-fig-3-6.gif Average global temps are expected to rise .2 degrees celsius per decade for the next couple of decades, which is actually an increase in the rate of warming from the 1900s.

-the "little ice age" was caused by a combination of factors, and the mix is not yet completely understood. High volcanic activity during that time no doubt contributed, which injects sufur compounds and other emissions that cool the planet. Other factors may have to do with the fact that the preceding era was unusually warm, which may have reduced the saltiness of the north Atlantic, which interferes with heat circulation in the waters, making winters more severe. Another factor may have been the plague, which reduced the amount of agricultural activities, which had an impact on the climate. More details? Check it out: http://www.skepticalscience.com/coming-out-of-little-ice-age.htm

I'll continue in another post....

Ken Lassman 2 years, 11 months ago

....continuing right on down the list:

-the "medieval warming trend" seems to be largely a northern european phenomenon, much as the drought in the 30s was strongly felt in the United States but not so much in the rest of the world. Major forcing factors for pre-industrial times seem to be major players during this time: low volcanism, strong solar cycles, and oceanic circulation cycles. For more information, check out: http://books.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=11676&page=98

It's worth noting that the pre-industrial major forcing factors have been largely eclipsed by the impact of human-related releases of geologically sequestered carbon.

-The IPCC scientists have indeed bent over backwards trying to be clear about their processes, and whenever they have run across faulty assumptions or exaggerations of any kind, they have brought them up to the public. This has resulted in the impression that things were covered up when in fact the press releases proved the transparency of the process. Science can often be contradictory if the process is done in public, but the alternative would be to keep it all behind closed doors. Which would you rather have?

-more antarctic ice than in 1979? Citation, please. The citations that I've track down: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature10847.html

show that antarctica and greenland together have been losing 385 billion tons of ice per year between 2003 and 2010.

-141 scientists, do you say? How about the tens of thousands of members of the American Physical Society, the American Geophysical Union, and a host of other scientific organizations who have come out solidly supporting the conclusion that humans are impacting the planet's climate?

-The sea level is one of the hardest things to monitor precisely simply because it is a moving target and has one of the longest latency periods as far as detecting changes related to melting ice. Ocean heat content, ocean acidification and sea surface temperatures are all increasing at an accelerating rate--go to www.climate.gov for details (as well as details about sea level increases).

So since it not a hoax and the data continues to pour in on all of these and other fronts that make it more and more clear, and a low carbon future will provide mankind with a cleaner and better world, then the conversation needs to move ahead from whether climate change is happening and caused by humans, to what are the most effective, painless and even fun ways to transition to living in ways that will mitigate our impacts?

tbaker 2 years, 11 months ago

DougCounty - valiant effort. Unfortunately for everyone of your supposed pieces of evidence, I can provide one that says the opposite from an equally credible source and then this turns into an argument about the trustworthiness of infomation and all the things wrong with this source or that. The simple fact is the idea human activiity is making the Earth warmer is nowhere even close to being a "proven" theory, let alone one that is a universally accepted. As I said, if there are ways to do things cleaner and better for the environmnet, I'm all for it, but in the mean time I am very opposed to the idea of giving government one iota more power or money to do something about it. If it is ever proven beyond any doubt mankind is causing global warming, then I still oppose government being given any additional power or money simply becuase using past performance as a indicator of success, they are almost certainly doomed to failure (again) and this would be far too important an undertaking to tolerate additional government failure.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 11 months ago

"for everyone of your supposed pieces of evidence, I can provide one that says the opposite from an equally credible source "

No, you can't. But your slavish loyalty to your ideology makes you very easily convinced of that which you want to believe.

tbaker 2 years, 11 months ago

Yawn....

Lets run a little experiment to see who really suffers from slavish loyalty to ideology, or lets facts and science form the basis for one's opinion. By all means Bozo, please reply to this and let everyone make up their own mind:

Fact: CO2 is likely not the major cause of the global warming trend over the last one hundred sixty years we have been able to take reasonably accurate measurements of so-called global average temperature. Even if carbon dioxide was the cause, there isn’t much we could do about it. Manmade CO2 accounts for a very tiny percentage of atmospheric CO2. (<.04%). There is a much stronger correlation between solar output and global temperatures.

Fact: There is not a scientific consensus that man is the primary cause of global warming. A group of over 140 scientists and researchers recently gathered at the IPCC to sign a declaration stating that there is no convincing evidence to suggest that CO2 emissions from modern industrial activity cause climate change and called upon world leaders to abandon all efforts to reduce emissions. Over 31,000 scientists have signed a petition stating that there is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of greenhouse gases activity is causing global warming.

Fact: There is no scientific proof that proposed global warming “solutions” will have any impact upon the climate. These proposed “solutions” rely upon extremely intrusive government controls designed to reduce our energy consumption, thereby significantly increasing the cost of energy and the price of nearly all goods and services produced within our economy, as businesses pass these costs onto consumers. The poor would be the hardest hit by increases in gas, utilities, food and other essentials. History is rife with examples of Federal Government programs failing. To depend on a government solution to a so-called global warming crisis would be foolish in the extreme given such a long history of failure of far simpler programs with much less consequence.

Fact: Seventh grade physics shows that CO2's molecular weight makes it very heavy. It can't rise high enough to cause the greenhouse effect. Yes, there is a greenhouse effect, but it's mostly caused by water vapor (the stuff clouds are made out of) because H2O is much lighter than CO2.

Fact: College freshman statistics will show you that the error rate in temperature samples used to calculate the so-called global average temperature is greater than the claimed temperature rise.

Fact: Glaciers in Greenland have recently been shown to be getting thicker, not thinner. Same with Antarctic ice, which is never mentioned by warming alarmists.

Fact: Back in the 70’s, the same government-connected scientists and insiders were trying to scare us with the coming ice age. Remember that?

Fact: Volcanoes and the ocean are by FAR larger sources of CO2 and other "greenhouse" gases. Many, many, many multiples of the amounts we exhaust.

Ken Lassman 2 years, 11 months ago

t, Fine; let's go ahead and look at the facts, which are quite different from your "facts-with-no-citations."

Starting from the bottom: The ocean is currently a net carbon sink, not a net emitter of CO2, as evidenced by the fact that it is becoming more acidic due to the fact that it is absorbing vast amounts of carbon that has been released into the atmosphere--basic chemistry here; let me know if you need a citation.

Studies peg annual CO2 emissions from volcanoes at between 65 and 319 million tonnes/yr. http://www.agu.org/journals/ABS/2001/2001RG000105.shtml ...while the EIA pegs annual human emissions of CO2 at 30 billion tonnes, or around 100 times as much: http://www.eia.gov/totalenergy/data/annual/index.cfm

The concern over the threat of an ice age from scientists in the 70s is precisely what prompted congress to fund NASA and other agencies to begin collecting more data about the energy balance on the planet to see if there were trends toward a new ice age or the opposite. The result was a resounding "the earth is warming!" http://www.wmconnolley.org.uk/sci/iceage/nas-1975.html

The greenland and antarctic ice sheets are not glaciers, they're ice sheets. See my citation above that directly contradicts your "fact-with-no-citation" and therefore the ball is clearly in your court to prove otherwise.

the change is temperature is within the statistical sampling error range?? Look at the combined sea and air global temps and keep a straight face while you say that: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/bams-state-of-the-climate/2009-time-series/land

You are 0 for 5 so far. Let me know if you want me to continue to go up the "fact-with-no-citation" list to watch them melt away like an arctic ice cap in the summer.

Ken Lassman 2 years, 11 months ago

Correction: for the last point, I erroneously said combined sea and air global temps when I meant to say combined sea and land global temps, and while the link I provided is an excellent compilation of various climate indicators that clearly are showing climate change, it does not include the combined sea and land global surface temps graph I meant to include. Here is a link to that chart: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/cmb-faq/anomalies.php

Since I'm correcting myself, I'll go ahead and throw in a response to the next "fact-without-citation," namely how ridiculous it is to think that because CO2 is heavier than water vapor, it cannot disperse throughout the atmosphere enough to create a "greenhouse effect." Volcanic eruptions spew much heavier particulates, sulfur compounds and the like into the atmosphere and can be detected years later. Have you ever noticed how smoke rises and disperses? Same goes for CO2, because it's windy enough and heated enough to permeate the troposphere, which is based on the root word "mixing." To see how completely CO2 mixes throughout the atmosphere, both high and low, check out this really cool video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ivZO6...

Ken Lassman 2 years, 11 months ago

t, First of all, science does not prove that even gravity works beyond any doubt, as the door is always open for contradicting information. One of the strengths of science is to not speak in such absolutes.

Secondly, it's very easy for you to say that you have credible counter-sources, but actually it will be very difficult for you to do. That's the difference between the scientific community that overwhelmingly concurs with the data-based conclusion that humans are impacting the climate, and the denialists who try to find obscure studies and small groups to counter the data/conclusions. The denialist "counter-proofs" quickly melt away under any kind of real scrutiny, but if your goal is to sow the seeds of doubt, that doesn't really matter.

For instance, I would be very interested to see reliable data that shows that the peer reviewed article in Nature was incorrect about ice melting in greenland and antarctica. The journal Nature has very high standards that must be met before publishing an article, so I would think that they would be very interested in seeing a credible article that falsifies their article as well.

I could go down the list for each point and show the validity of the references, which is precisely why I provided them to you and any other readers. This gives you the right to actually read the articles and try to shoot it down based on its content--you know that's how science works, don't you? If you cannot find holes in the quality of the data, the assumptions and conclusion, then it is accepted as the best we know until something more compelling is developed.

So I'll make it simple for you. Instead of going through all of these references and trying to shoot them down, which I believe you cannot do, all you have to do is: 1) either explain how all of the data coming in from land and sea temperatures, ocean heat, sea ice coverage, land ice mass, sea acidification, phenological shifts, extreme weather frequency, and sea level change (there are other indicators too, but let's make it simple) does not show that there is a shift in climate occurring;

OR

2) Agree that the disparate streams of data are clearly indicating a shift in the climate, but you can provide a more compelling model that explains the climate changes in ways that does not include the physical impact of releasing gigatons of geologically sequestered carbon and other myriad greenhouse gases into the atmosphere that are directly attributable to human activity.

It's easy to wave off a conclusion. But science requires that you do a better job of explaining the data, a much more difficult job indeed.

tbaker 2 years, 11 months ago

Doug, hows this for doing a better job explaining the data:

Can we agree that roughly 14,000 years ago there was a sheet of ice several hundred feet thick on top of southern Leavenworth county (where I live). KU geology department says there was.

Can we agree that ice sat there for about 50,000 years? KU geology department says it did.

Can we agree that roughly 14,000 years ago the planet got warmer and the ice melted? KU geology department says it did.

Can we agree that human beings had nothing to do with the planet getting warmer and ending the last ice age about 14,000 years ago? Thats just common sense - right?

Now - tell me why the planet got warmer? Find peer-reviewed theory that the vast majority of climate scientists mostly agree explains how the last (and previous) ice ages ended.

I'll save you the trouble. You can't. The science of how ice ages end that explains the global warming that takes place is not settled. There are a variety of competing theories. How the Earth gets cold and causes the ice ages isn't settled either.

So, common sense says why would a reasonable person accept the idea that human activity is now causing the Earth to get warmer, when the same group of climate scientists who supposedly have all the answers about man-made global warming chiseled in stone cannot agree on an explanation for what caused it to get warmer the last time - when we know humans had nothing to do with it?

Doesn't prudence demand we understand climate process well enough to explain the end of the ice age before we can claim to understand a far more complex process?

When you apply even the most basic form of critical reasoning to this topic, it falls apart. I would argue this is the only way to examine this topic simply because it will otherwise devolve into a pointless argument about the credibility of sources and citations. This happens because there are so many competing ideas. There are so many competing ideas because the issue is NOT settled science. If it is was settled science, there wouldn’t be so many competing ideas and the few there were would have no professional constituency. That cannot be said right now.

Even one of the founders of the Global Warming alarmism [James Lovelock] recently said; “Who knows? Everybody might be wrong. I may be wrong." He continued...”The problem is we don't know what the climate is doing. We thought we knew 20 years ago. That led to some alarmist books – mine included – because it looked clear-cut, but it hasn't happened,” Lovelock said. “The climate is doing its usual tricks. There's nothing much really happening yet. We were supposed to be halfway toward a frying world now,” he said. “The world has not warmed up very much since the millennium. Twelve years is a reasonable time... it (the temperature) has stayed almost constant, whereas it should have been rising….” All this came from an MSNBC article.

Ken Lassman 2 years, 11 months ago

Sorry, your current batch of “facts” isn't much different from the earlier list of "facts-without-citations." But let me be specific and to the point. Let's start at the top this time:

The period of glaciation that pushed ice into the northeast section of what we now call Kansas did not happen 14,000 years ago. That was the latest ice age for North America, but the only time glaciers came this far south was much earlier during a period which used to be commonly called the Kansan ice age. It took place somewhere between 600,000 years ago and 1 million years ago. Here's just one citation about that period, from the Kansas Geological Survey:

http://www.kgs.ku.edu/Publications/PIC/pic28.html but I can provide many more.

Next: yes, the climate has changed many, many times over the history of the earth. We can both agree on that, and I also agree that humans have had very little to no impact on triggering the cycles of ice ages that go back through the time from when there was an ice sheet in Kansas all the way to the quaternary ice age some 14,000 years ago. In other words, there were other "forcings" that were natural cycles that triggered those temperature swings--no citations at all needed here, since we are both on the same page here.

But we then begin to disagree, because we actually do know quite a bit about the dynamics of climate and are learning more and more by leaps and bounds with each passing year, integrating new information into the existing models and refining the models to more accurately reproduce the dynamics of the processes involved. But let's go back to the ice ages, because you ask a legitimate question about how we can attribute the current warming cycle to human activity. We actually know quite a bit about most of the "natural forcings" and how they impact the earth's climate. Those include volcanism, the Milankovitch cycle of the precession of the seasons through the apogee (farthest point) and perigee (closest point) of our elliptical orbit, variations in the sun's irradiance, the solar cycles, the impact of sea and land ice on the planet's albedo, the impact of clouds (this is perhaps the most complex and least understood of the "forcings" tho we're getting better information about it), oceanic circulation patterns, heat retention on the land and ocean, etc. There is an excellent summary of these key factors or “forcings” in a piece headed up by none other than KU Geographer Johannes Feddema:

http://www.climateandenergy.org/_FileLibrary/FileImage/FeddemaSummary.pdf

continued on next post below:

Ken Lassman 2 years, 11 months ago

And here's the key difference between your “fact-with-no-citation” quote throwing strategy and climatologists: they collect data and quantify the dynamics of the complex systems in such a way that they can be used to simulate and predict the real thing, running and re-running the models and altering the assumptions to refine the results and share their findings with each other at conferences with the intention of finding holes in their assumptions. They quantify their “forcings,” ie volcanism, solar cycles, etc. based on their understanding of the physics and the data collected, and then test their assumptions by seeing what “works” based on comparing the models to what is observed.

Here's the kicker: when you run the models without including the known physics/effects of CO2 that humans release, you can't get the “system” to warm up; in fact the other “forcings” make the climate cool down. See page/figure 6 in the Feddema article for more details.

And finally, tho you attributed the Lovelock quotes to msnbc, it's really not any more difficult to provide the complete citation: http://worldnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/04/23/11144098-gaia-scientist-james-lovelock-i-was-alarmist-about-climate-change?lite

Yes, I'd agree with Lovelock that he was overreacting and exaggerated the risks of global warming to our future. But if you saw what he was saying: -80% of humanity would be dead by 2100 -only the artic would still be humanly inhabitable by then -the Sahara Desert would move north to Paris by 2040 -the climate would not return to normal levels for 100,000 years.

...you'd see that he was saying stuff that no self respecting climatologist would say. He went way past what all of the models are predicting. Which isn't to say that we don't have a lot to be worried about or that humanity isn't directly responsible for tipping the balance of the climate dynamics.

camper 2 years, 11 months ago

+1. I like the idea of transitioning to more stable and sustainable economy as you state.

Another factor that is being studied is the effect of permafrost melt. Not only will this make it difficult to maintain oil production in Alaska and Siberia, it could also accelerate warming by releasing carbon and methane from the decaying vegation that has been frozen.

George Lippencott 2 years, 11 months ago

Bottom line. A carbon gax has mostly conceived will be inequitable. The powerful will recover the cost and move on with their share passed on to others. The week except for the poor will pay the freight even though the are not the heavy consumers. The pool will get the dividends - those that make it passed the politics.

It just will not work as advertised. The hard working tax paying middle will take the brunt of the so called cost of carbon.

Ken Lassman 2 years, 11 months ago

So, George, you agreed to a limited controlled experiment with a carbon tax and dividend system, which I think is a great idea. It would help work out the details to make sure that it was simple enough without having unintended consequences, which would address your assertions you expressed above. Perhaps if a state tried this out, in the same way that Massachusetts tried out health care reform before a national system was attempted?

Similarly, I think that your top-down governmental tax reform plus population control plus government programs to stimulate a low carbon economy would be a worthwhile candidate for a trial run, and the closest I can think of that might come close to testing your theory would be Germany. Do you have a better candidate for such an attempt that you are aware of, and what do you think the probabilities are to implement such a solution here in the US?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 11 months ago

"So, George, you agreed to a limited controlled experiment with a carbon tax and dividend system, "

I believe they have one in effect in Australia.

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