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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 5086

PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 10:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

KC--Thanks. I try. Even with the loonies--for a while.
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 5086

PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 10:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's not the loonies we really have to worry about, it's the liars and their funders in the coal and oil companies. To the myth that global warming stopped 10 years ago, take a look at the actual graphs in this link, after this summary:

Quote:
NOAA released the 2010 edition of its annual State of the Climate report this week revealing that Earth’s atmospheric and oceanic temperatures are rising unabated. The 218-page report, consisting of the peer-reviewed conclusions of more than 350 researchers in 45 nations, will be distributed with the June issue of the Bulletin of the AMS.

A press briefing summarizing the report’s findings noted a “consistent and unmistakable signal from the top of the atmosphere to the bottom of the oceans” that the world continues to warm.

Those signals include last year’s global surface temperatures virtually tying 2005 as the warmest in the reliable global record, which dates to 1980. The Arctic warmed about twice as fast as the rest of the world, reducing sea ice extent to its third lowest level on record.


http://blog.ametsoc.org/news/noaa-unmistakable-global-warming-continues/
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GURGLETROUSERS



Joined: 30 Dec 2009
Posts: 1323

PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 5:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The report is testimony to the accuracy of modern science, and techniques for recording suble changes. It certainly shows (always assuming the figures have not been manipulated to fit an agenda) the earth is in a warming phase, part of which may be assisted by us.

Unfortunately, we have no such detailed data to explain the 'hot' Roman phase, (grape vines being grown in England), or the middle ages thriving farming settlements in Greenland, (what was happening to the Greenland ice cover then, and what was the extent of the Arctic ice cover in those days?), or the Carboniferous period global heat wave, (tropical forests and swamps here there and everywhere ...was there ANY Arctic ice covering then?).

As geologists keep saying, the average temperature of the earth for most of its past geological history appears to have been higher than in our times, so WHY do we keep assuming that our present/past cooler climate is the correct one?

I am NOT disputing global warming trend, just questioning WHY the earth seems to have been cooler than average in our times?
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 5086

PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 1:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GT--we have to be pretty careful trying to compare anecdotal accounts with measurements. We only have relatively accurate measurements for about a hundred years. We can and should try to get reliable estimates of past trends, and the timing of bud break for consistent crops in given climates are a pretty good metric. So are ice cores from glaciers--as long as they haven't been through a warming and subsequent cooling period. But we also have to be careful of confounding factors. For the British Isles, I would suspect that the oceanic currents are such a factor. Relatively minor changes in temperature can swing the trajectory of the currents and amplify--or dilute--the impacts. All points to moderate response, not denial.

In that vein, an interesting article came up today. From this morning's chronicle by David R. Baker:

Quote:
Left for dead years ago, the idea of taxing greenhouse gases has sprung back to life in Washington, as politicians look for ways to tackle global warming and tame the deficit.

It's welcome news for environmentalists, desperate for federal action on climate change. But the proposed carbon tax could pose a problem for California.

The state has taken a different approach to fighting global warming, last month launching a cap-and-trade system in which companies buy and sell the right to pump greenhouse gases into the air.

Both approaches - a carbon tax and cap and trade - put a price on the emissions that are heating the planet. But they do it in different ways. Use both systems at once, and companies could end up paying twice for the same pollution.

"You either have one or the other - you don't have them both," said Jasmin Ansar, climate economist with the Union of Concerned Scientists, an environmental group. "You'd have the danger of, in effect, double taxation."

The chance of Congress adopting a carbon tax still seems remote. Many Republicans, doubtful about climate change, remain adamantly opposed to the tax, saying it would do little more than raise gasoline and electricity prices. The conflict with California's cap-and-trade system may never happen.

But it's enough of a chance that officials at the California Air Resources Board, which oversees the cap-and-trade program, have started discussing it, even if they're not sure how to respond.

"We are aware that it is a possibility, and we have been considering it as of late," said board spokesman Stanley Young. "We want to make sure that California companies continue to transition into the program without any sort of disadvantage."
One possible fix, suggested by some carbon-tax advocates, would involve Congress exempting California companies from the tax if they're already participating in cap and trade. Young said the board would also be willing to tweak its own system, if necessary, to harmonize it with any federal global warming legislation.

"We promote the possibility of the federal government addressing climate change," he said. "And on our part, we're prepared to align our program in a way that allows California to move forward."

Differing approaches

With cap and trade, the government sets a limit on the amount of greenhouse gases the economy can produce, lowering that limit year by year. Companies buy and sell a declining number of permits to emit those gases. The marketplace determines the price.

With a tax, the government charges a fixed amount for each ton of carbon dioxide spewed into the atmosphere. There's no limit, just a strong financial incentive for companies to cut their emissions.

Each approach has its merits - and problems.

For environmentalists, cap and trade's main selling point is the cap. The system promises specific cuts in greenhouse gas emissions - something a tax can't do. At the same time, the process of trading emission permits, called "allowances," provides flexibility to the business community. Anyone who can't easily cut emissions can buy extra allowances from someone who can.

A tax, however, is simpler. It's relatively easy to administer and easy for the public to understand. Cap-and-trade systems, in contrast, are fiendishly complex, full of rules meant to thwart market manipulation and protect specific industries from price shocks. California's system took six years to design.

In addition, a tax is easy for businesses to predict. They know what they'll be paying for emissions years from now. Forecasting the future market price for emissions under a cap-and-trade system is far harder.

"Cap and trade provides more clarity on the level of emissions, and a carbon tax provides more clarity on costs," said Mark Muro, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution who recently co-authored a proposal for a federal carbon tax. "You have a non-moving target, and that's very appealing to businesses."

A carbon tax even has the backing of Rex Tillerson, chief executive officer of Exxon Mobil Corp. He prefers the predictability of a tax to the wild price swings possible under cap and trade.

Clear, uniform cost

"As a businessman, I have to take a deep breath every time I speak about this, because it's hard for me to speak favorably about any new tax," he told the Economic Club of Washington in 2009. "A carbon tax can create a clear and uniform cost for emissions in all economic decisions."

California looked at both approaches after the state passed its landmark 2006 global warming law known as AB32. A carbon tax, however, would have required two-thirds approval in the Legislature, making it a political nonstarter. Plus, the law called for a specific cut in greenhouse gas emissions, bringing them back to 1990 levels by 2020.

"The structure of AB32 gave us a very finite limit that we had to hit, and that impacted how we would get there," Young said. "With a tax, you know what you're paying, but you don't know how many reductions you're getting. With cap and trade, you know exactly how many reductions you're getting."

A carbon tax was assumed to be politically impossible at the federal level as well. So congressional Democrats decided to push cap and trade instead. A bill to create a nationwide cap-and-trade system narrowly passed the House of Representatives in 2009 but died the following year in the Senate.

Interest in a carbon tax resurfaced this summer as part of the broader debate about taxes triggered by the presidential race and the looming "fiscal cliff." President Obama has downplayed the idea and said he isn't pursuing it. But several think tanks and advocacy groups have promoted it as a way to raise new revenue. It could be part of a grand bargain on taxes, providing enough cash to let the government cut other taxes while still addressing the deficit.

Some GOP support

And while many Republicans reject the idea, that opposition isn't universal. Arthur Laffer, former economic adviser to President Ronald Reagan, and Gregory Mankiw, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under President George W. Bush, both support carbon pricing.

"There is an impeccable conservative lineage for this thing," Muro said. His proposal calls for a carbon tax of $20 per ton, rising 4 percent each year. Of the $150 billion raised annually, $30 billion would go toward clean-energy research, while the rest would go to cutting other taxes and reducing the deficit.

California officials always hoped their cap-and-trade system would lay the groundwork for a national carbon market. But if the federal government decides on a tax instead, the two approaches could be made to work side-by-side, tax advocates say.

"What Congress could do and probably would do, given the strength of California's delegation, is say, 'OK, if you're participating in the (cap-and-trade system), you don't have to pay the tax,'" said Shi-Ling Hsu, a law professor at Florida State University and author of the book "The Case for a Carbon Tax."

"For sure, they're not going to make those companies double pay," he said.

David R. Baker is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. E-mail: dbaker@sfchronicle.com


Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/business/article/California-faces-carbon-conundrum-4098030.php#ixzz2EOEg99Pi


It is interesting both that Exxon executives are continuing to support a carbon tax instead of a cap and trade system, and that the idea is getting traction with the Brookings Institute. I agree almost completely with Mark Muro. A direct tax is far more efficient, and sends a small but effective price signal without developing an administrative system. Cap and trade is also market based, and has been effective, but is definitely less efficient. I agree that we should limit our incentives for alternatives, at this stage, to research. But I would use some of the funds generated by the tax to reduce the Federal debt and some to continue grants or tax credits for residential conservation. Price signals are much more effective for businesses, not so much for residential, where cash flow matters. Minor quibbles with what is, in the grand old tradition, a sensible and moderate Republican approach. Now if we could just shut the Tea Party thugs up...
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GURGLETROUSERS



Joined: 30 Dec 2009
Posts: 1323

PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the reply Mac. I think much of our countries growing scepticism towards global warming (the run of very severe winters is a godsend to their cause) is on economic grounds.

The E.U. has laid down strict green targets which our government has enthusiastically and wholeheartedly embraced (as an example to the world!!) with little apparent regard to the ruinous economic costs and unreliability of the power generation methods proposed. (Wind power in our case.) These renewable power sources are meant to supply 30% - I think the figure is - in the near future.

By embracing this dream, our government is ignoring the clear fact that our current means power generation of coal, gas, and nuclear power stations, are all near the end of their working lives, and must soon be closed down. We face a HUGE gap in reliable power supply in the near future, yet the green lobby vigourously oppose the building of new conventional power stations, especially nuclear. As we all realise, the lights will soon be going out, and our government appears to have no plan B!

A reader, writing in to one of our right wing papers quoted current power output figures, which are probably fairly accurate. 'The elements producing our electricity today are; gas 28%, coal 45%, nuclear 18%, and wind only 1.7%.' The reader goes on to say that 'Thirteen countries already generate more than 30% of their electricity from nuclear. In France it's 77.7%. As for coal, Germany's environmental miniter Peter Altmater says he's building 23 new coal fired plants because electricity from Germany's 22,200 wind turbines is unaffordable, and unrealistic. There are now 1,231 new coal fired power plants proposed worldwide.'

The phasing in of surcharges on the means of CO2 pollution is necessary, but unrealistic reliance on future means of generating clean green energy to run large industrial eceonomies is, at present, unrealistic.
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pueno



Joined: 03 Mar 2007
Posts: 2617

PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 8:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

GURGLETROUSERS wrote:
...(the run of very severe winters is a godsend to their cause)...

Ironically, global warming aka climate change may be the very reason for the severe weather.

A one-degree rise in the average global air temperature means two things.

First, the atmosphere will evaporate and hold billions of tons more moisture, which will come out of the atmosphere as precipitation when the temperature drops below the dew point temp. That means a deluge of rain, or if the temp is below freezing, horrendous blizzards. Keep in mind that in winter, that one degree increase means that the temperature is 21 degrees F, not 20 -- still cold enough to freeze your nuts AND produce mountains of snow -- and because of the extra moisture, those mountains are bigger.

Second, that extra heat energy in the atmosphere means more thermal energy to drive atmospheric engines, aka storms -- just what we've seen.... more severe, stronger storms.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 13998

PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 9:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

nw30 wrote:
C.I.A. Closes Its Climate Change Office

So when's NASA going to get out of the Muslim Outreach business Obama relegated it to?

The mind reels.
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windoggie



Joined: 22 Feb 2002
Posts: 2377

PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 10:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

isobars wrote:
nw30 wrote:
C.I.A. Closes Its Climate Change Office

So when's NASA going to get out of the Muslim Outreach business Obama relegated it to?

The mind reels.
Could you be a bigger dick?
_________________
/w\
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pueno



Joined: 03 Mar 2007
Posts: 2617

PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 12:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

windoggie wrote:
isobars wrote:
nw30 wrote:
C.I.A. Closes Its Climate Change Office

So when's NASA going to get out of the Muslim Outreach business Obama relegated it to?

The mind reels.
Could you be a bigger dick?

With an analytical mind like Mikey has, he might answer "YES."

Anyway, calling him a big dick is, in his eyes, a compliment.
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GURGLETROUSERS



Joined: 30 Dec 2009
Posts: 1323

PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 1:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agreed pueno, the irony was not lost on me which was why I made the remark.

Where I paertly disagree however, is on blaming our run of severe Winters solely (or perhaps even partly) on global warming. A decade of such Winters was predicted form a study of the (complicated) suns cycles over three years ago. Perhaps they got that one right. Such things have happened in the past. (Mini Ice Age in 1600's, and big freeze up.)

As you are probably aware, coalition government ranks are breaking, and a proposed halt to massively subsidizing a country wide proliferation of wind turbines has been called for. The ministers exact quoted words were, 'Enough is enough!' There is renewed talk of the immediate necessity to solve the looming crisis with a new round of nuclear power stations, built, it would seem, by the Japanese!

As I've always said, women (through mens desire to please them) really rule the world, and if houses go cold, the lights go out, and they can't see to put on their make up Twisted Evil , the command to get the damned things working, pronto! will reverberate throughout the land. (Bless 'em!)
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