A way to end the global warming debate forever

Imagine if we had a virtually unlimited source of cheap energy without the nasty CO2 emissions or nuclear waste. I’m not talking about the environmentalist’s idealised perceptions of renewable energy, a technology reliant on government assistance to survive. I’m talking about nuclear fusion.

Lockheed Martin caused quite a stir in the nuclear energy industry as it announced plans to begin work on a nuclear fusion reactor. Speaking at the recent Google “Solve for X” conference on February 7, Charles Chase of Lockheed’s “Skunk Works” said that a prototype 100-megawatt nuclear fusion machine will be tested in 2017, and that a fully operational machine should be grid-ready ten years from now.

A technology with the civilisational-developing, poverty-crushing potential of fossil fuels, but without the greenhouse gas emissions. If such a technology could become economically viable, it wouldn’t matter who was right about global warming. Everyone would agree that fusion would be the way to go, and likely, so would the market.

Some of the more radical environmentalists, however, remain opposed to economic growth, no matter the means used to facilitate it. You can’t win with these people, but their reaction to this development should reveal their true colours.

(Via: PJTV)

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Carbon Tax: Who benefits?

Cory Bernardi makes the claim that the only group that benefits from Australia’s carbon tax are the overseas firms that have to compete with Australian businesses. I’m gonna have to disagree with the senator on this one. I can think of a number of other beneficiaries.

  • The green energy rent seekers who will receive a proportion of the stolen wealth.
  • Other rent seekers with political influence who will be overcompensated.
  • Banks who will be advantaged when the tax becomes an ETS (unless an election intervenes).
  • Environmental activists and inner city leftists who get to feel good about themselves (and isn’t that the most important thing?)
  • The new government bureaucrats who land cushy jobs at our expense to administer this atrocity.
  • Politicians who get to go to the UN and brag about how noble they are.
  • Tony Abbott. Labor’s problems started with the broken promise on the carbon tax. While other policy blunders and scandals have also helped Tony’s journey to the prime ministership, the carbon tax probably played the biggest role.
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Prager: Environmentalism and human sacrifice

Dennis Prager talks about the perverse priorities of environmentalism.

Last week, Bjorn Lomborg, the widely published Danish professor and director of one of the world’s leading environmental think tanks, the Copenhagen Consensus Center, published an article about the Philippines’ decision, after 12 years, to allow genetically modified (GM) rice — “golden rice” — to be grown and consumed in that country.

The reason for the delay was environmentalist opposition to GM rice; and the reason for the change in Philippine policy was that 4.4 million Filipino children suffer from vitamin A deficiency. That deficiency, Lomborg writes, “according to the World Health Organization, causes 250,000 to 500,000 children to go blind each year. Of these, half die within a year.”

During the 12-year delay, Lomborg continues, “About eight million children worldwide died from vitamin A deficiency.”

“Golden rice” contains vitamin A, making it by far the most effective and cheapest way to get vitamin A into Third World children.

So who would oppose something that could save millions of children’s lives and millions of other children from blindness?

The answer is people who are more devoted to nature than to human life.

And who might such people be?

They are called environmentalists.

Other examples include the transformation of food into fuel and the ban on DDT, which Prager refers to.

The precautionary principle states that any doubt must favour the side of the environment and any consideration on the other side should be ignored – after all, we only have one planet. Environmentalists need to realise that weighed against the impulse to keep the environment in a pristine condition are often human lives.

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Milton Friedman on energy

It’s spooky how applicable this is today.

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Pachauri to tell Australia to stop climate change/redistribute the wealth

How honoured are we? The chairman of the IPCC and soft-porn novelist Rajendra Pachauri is going to lecture us on the science of climate change.

“Depending on what media you read or follow, Dr Pachauri is either the world’s leading climate change scientist or an alarmist but he has argued that the issue of climate change requires sane and rational responses and we have decided that this year’s Fusion lecture will play a role in that,” he said.

“Dr Pachauri has said previously that the West needs to make major structural and policy changes in the way it goes about economic development – wealth needs to be shifted from the developed to the developing nations.

For an organisation like the IPCC which is supposed to be about science, this call to re-distribute the wealth sounds more like a political statement (one which subscribes to the fallacy of a limited pot of wealth). The purpose of science in policy-making is purely to advise of the consequences of certain courses of action, not advocating one or the other.

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A familiar pattern

Questioning the dangers associated with carbon dioxide emissions has a tendency to upset those attached to the idea. What results is usually logically flawed responses; personal smears, red herrings and the avoidance of discussion. These tactics were experienced by John Lott when he wrote a paper that supported concealed-carry laws for firearms. He outlines the response he received from the gun control crowd in his book, More guns less crime (chapter seven):

  • Rather than focusing on any evidence, the authority of peer review is often submitted as proof that your opponents have no idea. Unfortunately for those who throw out such arguments, AGW skeptics have hundreds of papers that have passed this process, and so did Lott’s paper.
  • If you question global warming, you must be paid by big oil. Likewise, if you question gun control, you must be in the pocket of gun manufacturers.
  • Fred Singer’s credibility has been attacked on the basis of past and unrelated work he has done on smoking. Clearly then, he can’t be trusted on climate issues. So too, did Lott find his past statements on crime being used to discredit him. The trouble is for their respective detractors, that what they had previously claimed had been so uncontroversial, that their true meaning had to be distorted.
  • Just as climate change fear mongers avoid debate with dissenters so as not to lend them credibility, gun control advocate Brandon Stone also avoided discussion with John Lott for the same reason.

The same old tired tactics, yet no meaningful debate.

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Executions and now assassinations

An academic calls for climate skeptics to be put to death and now some environmental activists are exposing their blood lust.

Let us say clearly, this is not a call to undertake assassinations of the elite scum who are pillaging the planet and enslaving the populace — but not because we think that is a bad idea.

This is the position PETA takes on acts of terrorism. They neither condemn nor condone it. Regardless,  they are clearly sympathetic towards it.

And it’s also not because we think killing CEOs and lobbyists is negative PR either. In fact, most everyone hates these creeps, and many would applaud their demise.

These people live in a bubble. Just about everybody would be disgusted by such actions.

Some would even be so enthusiastic as to make a bid on the assassin’s old underwear if given the chance in a government auction, as we found out last year, when the State sold off Ted’s personal belongings to further enrich the family of Unabomber victim Thomas J. Mosser, executive of corporate marketing giants Burson Marsteller.

We are not calling for the assassinations of CEOs and lobbyists primarily because those assholes are disposable and replaced with relative ease. Whereas eco-revolutionaries like us are still far and few between, and someone getting popped on that sort of charge it could pull them out of the game for a long time. So instead, until the police state and prison industrial complex is weakened, thus leveling the battlefield a bit more, we propose a campaign of “prank assassinations.”

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Only in academia

Nice fella, Professor Richard Parncutt.

“I have always been opposed to the death penalty in all cases…”

“Even mass murderers [like Breivik] should not be executed, in my opinion.”

“GW deniers fall into a completely different category from Behring Breivik. They are already causing the deaths of hundreds of millions of future people. We could be speaking of billions, but I am making a conservative estimate.”


If a jury of suitably qualified scientists estimated that a given GW denier had already, with high probability (say 95%), caused the deaths of over one million future people, then s/he would be sentenced to death. The sentence would then be commuted to life imprisonment if the accused admitted their mistake, demonstrated genuine regret, AND participated significantly and positively over a long period in programs to reduce the effects of GW (from jail) – using much the same means that were previously used to spread the message of denial. At the end of that process, some GW deniers would never admit their mistake and as a result they would be executed. Perhaps that would be the only way to stop the rest of them. The death penalty would have been justified in terms of the enormous numbers of saved future lives.

Okay, let’s consider this guy’s warped sense of morality. Anders Behring Breivik – the evil who slaughtered 77 innocent people – does not deserve to die, yet those who question the scientific orthodoxy – who speak and write things that others do not like – do. Clearly a sense of moral clarity is required, but perhaps also a sense of history. How many tyrants throughout history, any of those who rule today,  have used their power of life and death to enforce their world view on their subjects? Not only in politics, but such dictators have also sought to apply their ideology to the scientific process. To name a few, there was the persecution faced by Galileo and the institutionalisation of Lysenkoism in the Soviet Union. What about these regimes does Parncutt find so irresistible?

(Via: Jo Nova)

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85% of global emissions exempt from Kyoto

The result of Doh-ha.

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An act of desperation

After imposing a carbon tax and jumping in bed with the greens, now the Prime Minister is concerned about electricity prices.

JULIA Gillard has unveiled a plan to reform the electricity sector, vowing to save households up to $250 a year on their power bills.

Ms Gillard said under the current system there was a “perverse incentive” for electricity companies to keep “gold-plating” or overinvesting in poles and wires in the system and keep passing on the full cost to consumers.

“I will have a Council of Australian Governments meeting at the end of this week and I will be taking there a plan to make a difference, a plan to make sure that families pay $250 less per year for electricity than they would if we just let the current system run,” Ms Gillard told Network Ten’s Meet The Press program.

This is the tricky position that Labor has put itself into. In trying to curb emissions, it has imposed a carbon tax, driving electricity bills up 15%. Barack Obama demonstrated this feeling towards power prices that exists on the left. The average consumer needs to hurt for the sake of the planet. However, politicians exist to win elections, and making a key commodity more expensive tends to alienate a lot of voters.

One wonders why this announcement has come about. Julia Gillard has been under a lot of pressure in recent days over the AWU scandal. This is a perfect distraction and is seemingly an opportunity to try to win back some voters. It can only be an act of desperation. Power prices have gone up 89% under the ALP and they only now take up any sort of concern? And after levelling the carbon tax. They’re not going to be fooling anyone.

The details of the plan fail to inspire any confidence of success:

  1. End gold-plating of electrical infrastructure. This probably would reduce costs, but could it come at the expense of safety (pink batts, anyone?)?
  2. A Consumer Challenge Panel plans to give consumers a say in pricing decisions. Consumers already do get a say. They can simply switch providers. It’s called free market competition. What this panel amounts to is price controls, which do not work because they do not address the underlying problem of supply. All they do is disincentivise producers to produce by reducing the profit motive, which further impacts in supply.
  3. Throwing $23.2million at the Australian Energy Regulator. More price controls.
  4. Smart meters (because they’re so popular).
  5. Paying companies to reduce consumption during peak periods. Why do you have to incentivise companies to cut back on energy wastage? I thought they were selfish and greedy. Any reductions in electricity use will come at the expense of productivity, for which businesses will be duly compensated with redistributed wealth which has already been produced, only to be wasted.

The only way to have any significant positive impact on electricity prices is to allow supply to increase. Ditching the carbon tax is a good start, but we need to lift the toxic regulatory environment that hampers fossil fuel power development in this country. In a nutshell, environmentalism is the problem.


Henry Ergas.

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