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Sunday, July 27, 2008

Phrase o' the Day

Uttered by Rob Kremer on the radio this morning: "the guy who's running against Merkley."

Comments (15)

That is Gordon somebody, right?

Yeah, I was turning right onto Olsen when that quip came up, and almost went in a complete circle.

BTW, good comments on your part re: the sellin' of the "Green". Long's it's got an "eco-roof"....

I preferred "somewhere between insanity and reason." That might be the best line I've heard all year. Anyway, I caught the last hour and 15 minutes, and I enjoyed the show, but somebody should have brought up that the cap and trade plan is pure market economy - why should polluters not pay the market cost of the pollution? Conservatives never answer that question - they think that pollution is only the stuff they can see, or that affects their favorite places. Granted, Kramer was right that the whole thing will be rigged and jobbed for a while - true. But it is like the Model T, it will evolve and improve. The other thing is that the economy won't necessarily be destroyed, but will only transition to a real market economy where consumers pay the true cost of the goods they buy. Good work on the show Jack.

"but will only transition to a real market economy where consumers pay the true cost of the goods they buy"

On brother,,,, and they'll feel so good about it.

Wow Ben, how selfish is the current generation? Really, and we can't leave the offshore oil deposits for our great, great, great grandkids? We have to have to subsidize our pollution too? Gimme a break. Even the poor in this country have a great standard of living, relatively speaking.


Actually, I am a big believer in internalizing the costs of pollution as a mechanism for a rational environmental policy. But carbon dioxide is not a pollutant. It is necessary for life on Earth.

There is no scientific proof that CO2 causes warming. The notion that it does is simply an assumption built into the climate models. Al Gore's little documentary actually lied about the relationship between CO2 and warming - the fact is, warming happens BEFORE the increase in CO2, by an average of 800 years in that very graph that AL Gore stands in front of in his movie.

Warming causes increased CO2, not the other way around.

Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant.

Sure Rob, but financial and econom ic theory would say that there is a chance, some chance given the data available, and that we should appropriate our resources based on that chance. So sure, even if there is only a 15% chance of severe problems from carbon, we should be applying a 15% mitigation cost. Even that would be bigger than what the politicians are prescribing. And seriously, don't say "the fact is" because nobody knows what the facts are.

What makes you think that a 15% mitigation effort would make any substantive difference?

For that matter, what makes you think that a 50% reduction in CO2 would make any difference?

If you really believe that we have caused a dramatic shift in global climate, don't you believe that a solution will be measured in the geologic time scale?

To put it simply: if humankind has destroyed the global climate eqilibrium, logic suggests that only a dramatic reduction in human population is going to "fix" it.

More thoughts here:


huck should go kill himself to reduce his carbon footprint so that al gore can fly around in lear jets and be driven around in limo's producing more CO2 in a week than poor huck will produce in a lifetime


First, there ARE facts. And one of those facts is that the graph High Pries AlGore showed in his movie had the warming start an average of 800 years before the CO2 increase. Sorry. Facts exist.

Second, your statement about "financial and economic theory" is nonsense.

What if there is a 15% chance of carbon causing global warming, so we devote 15% our resources to mitigating it, and there is also a 15% chance of global cooling? (Remember, in the '70's these same scientists were talking of impending doom from cooling.)

So then what? Are we supposed to spend a total of 30% of our resources on remedies that cancel themselves out?

Then, to take it a step further: There is also a 1% chance of ozone depletion, and a 2% chance that a meteor will strike the Earth, and on and on - easily there are enough potential disasters out there to result in us spending more than 100% of our resources trying to mitigate them.

"easily there are enough potential disasters out there to result in us spending more than 100% of our resources trying to mitigate them."

And thus the debate between insanity and reason.

Thanks Rob:

1) Of course there are facts, but your 800 year relationship is no more a fact than Al Gore's statements. And really, Gore's theory makes more sense to more people than yours, so while I'm inclined to believe his ilk more (I've never seen his movie), I'll listen if you want to defend your inverse relationship theory.

2) The financial and economic argument I made was only an example I'll clarify here. If carbon emissions from things like cars, electric generation, etc. are the additional human element to global warming (and I'll admit, humans are probably only a small fraction, and therefore either way we only can exacerbate natural cycles, rather than "cause" global warming), then we should, as policy, internalize those potential costs now rather than wait for them to be proven. Rob, it's like insurance: you don't wait for the casualty to occur then buy insurance - you allocate an appropriate percentage of your resources to mitigate *select* risks. Of course we could spend all our income on insurance, but we don't. As a society, though, you seem to be losing the debate on whether we should buy global warming insurance. And, as we all know, insurance doesn't always pay, so don't throw that argument out there.

3) Anonymous: you are very likely correct,seriously, I'm not an extremist on this issue. But that doesn't mean humans shouldn't try to be conscious of their impacts, whatever they are, and internalize costs appropriately, which even Rob agrees with in theory.

4) Ace - I've never seen Gore's movie, but he does seem like a hypocrite. Al Gore is not the leading proponent of doing something about climate change, just the one with the largest podium. You and I, on the other hand, have the comments section of Jack's blog. I'm glad to see you manage to be more effective in 2% the space I use.

huck: I'll listen if you want to defend your inverse relationship theory.
JK: Ok, here is just a bit of the evidence, from proper, peer-reviewed journals:

“... temperature and atmospheric carbon dioxide are significantly correlated over the past thirty years. Changes in carbon dioxide content lag those in temperature by five months.” (NATURE . VOL—343 '7 22 FEBRUARY 1990, pg 709; bold added)

“Over the full 420 ka of the Vostok record, CO2 variations lag behind atmospheric temperature changes in the Southern Hemisphere by 1.3+/-1.0 ka ,” (Quaternary Science Reviews 20 (2001) 583 -589; bold added)

Even RealClimate.com, run by a NASA “scientist” closely associated with, Gore science advisor, Jim Hansen said this:

At least three careful ice core studies have shown that CO2 starts to rise about 800 years (600-1000 years) after Antarctic temperature during glacial terminations. (realclimate.org/index.php?p=13; bold added) (they then go on to explain how CO2 could cause further warming after, something unknown started the warming. Of course the original, something unknown could merely continue!)

An interesting fact about Jim Hansen is that is was just 20 years ago that he warned congress of catastrophic warming unless we dramatically cut CO2 emissions. He also maintains the USHCN climate record at NASA. That record shows that the USA is now cooler than when he made his congressional trestimony 20 years ago .


OK, thanks JK, and as we've totally hijacked these comments, I'll wrap this detour up. Sure, as I said above, I don't believe humans to be the primary mover in the climate issue, and I do understand how the warming causes CO2 emissions (released from permafreeze, etc.), but it doesn't change my argument that economic and financial theory would say that as a society we should attribute some risk factor and account for it in the cost to consumers. It is a fairly general principle, and we can argue as a democracy about the appropriate factor.

As long as it's "cooler" in the USA now than it was 20 years ago, who cares what's happening in the rest of the world?

At least all those folks in Manhattan won't be too hot as the polar ice caps melt and flood their city.

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