Posted by: Tim Sweeney | February 9, 2014

Climate strategy splits as Ericksen sows doubt about greenhouse effect

One of the more recent contributions to the growing pile of failed bipartisan initiatives is the effort to develop a suite of programs to help Washington reduce its greenhouse gases. And Whatcom County plays an important role in the discord.

sen. doug ericksen

Sen. Ericksen at the CLEW Meeting

I’m referring to the Climate Legislative and Executive Workgroup  (CLEW) which hired a consultant and moderator, met for eight months last year, and produced a webpage of information. The Political Junkie wrote initially about this in early December, noting that the workgroup included  two members from Whatcom County: Senators Kevin Ranker and Doug Ericksen. The workgroup was chaired by Governor Jay Inslee and also included State Representatives Shelly Short (R- Republic) and Joe Fitzgibbon (D – Burien).

I say “was” because the group likely will never meet again.

The Legislature created the workgroup last session to “recommend a state program of actions and policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, that if implemented would ensure achievement of the state’s emissions targets” established in state law in 2007.  

The first carbon emission target is only six years away. State law says that by 2020, Washington shall reduce overall emission of greenhouse gases to 1990 levels. Even with current federal and state policies fully in play, our emissions are expected to rise to 97.9 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents by that year, according to the CLEW’s consultant report. That’s not too bad compared to other states and given our expected population growth, but still far short of the 88.4 ton level that is recognized as the 1990 emission goal.

The workgroup reviewed a variety of program options and attempted to determine their economic costs. In some cases, cost could not be determined at the time and in other cases, the cost was stated as a range. This inability to nail down the costs is one of the Republican arguments for not moving forward. The Democrats, on the other hand, argue that inaction will be expensive in terms of impacts to our state’s shellfish, timber and winter recreation industries.

Gov. Jay Inslee

Gov. Jay Inslee

Since no consensus was reached, Inslee, Ranker and Fitzgibbon put forth their proposals and Ericksen and Short put forth alternatives. Their reports have been combined into one document. Specifically, Ericksen and Short balked at moving forward on developing a system that would cap the emissions of greenhouse gases in Washington. They also grumbled about setting a low carbon fuel standard and the counting of out-of-state carbon emissions used to produce the electricity we consume. (The short hand for the last one is “coal by wire”).

The Republicans also seemed peeved that Governor Inslee in October signed an agreement with British Columbia, California and Oregon that committed to a low-carbon fuel standard and greenhouse gas cap. Ironically, the Republicans also argue the futility of the state moving ahead on these measures by itself.

Despite this standoff, I was initially optimistic. After all, its the Republican’s job in our state (at least since Dan Evans retired) to oppose environmental protections. My vague optimism was buoyed by the opening day TVW interview of Ericksen and Ranker where Ericksen appeared reasonable in his arguments for continued study, emphasizing the importance of keeping utility rates low. At least he wasn’t denying the existence of climate change as Congressman Derek Kilmer has experienced in the other Washington. Perhaps I’ve become jaded by years of Fox News indoctrinated policymakers, but better to deal with someone who drags their feet than one who ignores science.

I still had hope even after watching Short and Ericksen at the penultimate CLEW meeting and reading in their minority report that they consider the statutory emission goals “arbitrary” and worthy of revision.  Alright, I thought, as part of a good faith comprehensive emissions reduction program, it would make sense to re-evaluate the goals as part of the process.

Provided we all still believe there’s a climate problem that needs addressing. . .  right?  Wrong.

As the chair of the Senate Energy, Environment & Telecommunications Committee, Sen. Ericksen invited the Heartland Institute to his hearing room. The Heartland Institute is about the only organization out there that continues to promote climate change skepticism and previously worked with the tobacco industry to challenge the research demonstrating health risks associated with second-hand smoke.

If you are already on board with the idea that human activity is contributing to climate change, why invite the last remaining national skeptic into the room?

Jay Lehr

Jay Lehr

The speaker, Jay Lehr, had slides that included graphics of an angel and devil and claimed that because plants have proven to do better with higher concentrations of carbon dioxide, more of it is better for all of us. His lack of professionalism was particularly on display when he depicted those concerned over global climate change as “environmental zealots” who don’t like people.  

To Sen. Ericksen’s credit, he did invite some of those “zealots.” Three University of Washington scientists (Dennis Hartmann, Amy Snover and Lisa Graumlich) and National Park Service geologist Jon Reidel provided their research to the committee the day before. Before this esteemed panel, Sen. Ericksen attempted to distance himself from the skeptics by attributing one of their questions to Lynden farmers.   

Given Sen. Ericksen’s posturing during these work sessions, I now understand why Governor Inslee has moved any further climate policy work within his office.

Instead of continuing the CLEW process with people who don’t believe in its merit, the governor’s office will direct the design of the programs outlined by the majority CLEW report, including: a cap on carbon pollution emissions, a reduction in the consumption of coal-fired electricity within Washington, an energy smart building program for existing and new buildings, and accelerating the use of cleaner fuels and clean cars. Once designed, these proposed programs will be subjected to independent economic analyses and stakeholder work before moving forward either as legislation or, if possible, through executive action.

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Responses

  1. Who’s running against Ericksen. Is there someone we can get behind? Because he has got to go. Really really really.

    • And turn the asylum over to the inmates?

  2. Everything “may” contribute to climate change, in particular the sun. Are we going to replace the sun with a giant L. E. D. bulb?

    Enough of this AGENDA 21 hogwash!

    • Yes, I think Rep. Ericksen has convened a study group from the Heartland Institute to further evaluate the problem from this perspective. If not, perhaps you can forward your insightful suggestion to him; you seem to be operating on congruent intellectual lines

  3. Just wait a couple of weeks!

    From: The Political Junkie Reply-To: The Political Junkie Date: Sunday, February 9, 2014 2:43 PM To: Kevin Ranker Subject: [New post] Climate strategy splits as Ericksen sows doubt about greenhouse effect

    WordPress.com tsweeney57 posted: “One of the more recent contributions to the growing pile of failed bipartisan initiatives is the effort to develop a suite of programs to help Washington reduce its greenhouse gases. And Whatcom County plays an important role in the discord. Im “

  4. Also, lets find a time to catch up this week for sure! Call my cell 360.472.1850 or call Kendall in the office and arrange a time.

    From: The Political Junkie Reply-To: The Political Junkie Date: Sunday, February 9, 2014 2:43 PM To: Kevin Ranker Subject: [New post] Climate strategy splits as Ericksen sows doubt about greenhouse effect

    WordPress.com tsweeney57 posted: “One of the more recent contributions to the growing pile of failed bipartisan initiatives is the effort to develop a suite of programs to help Washington reduce its greenhouse gases. And Whatcom County plays an important role in the discord. Im “

  5. Rilry, Riley,
    You wrote, “If you are already on board with the idea that human activity is contributing to climate change, why invite the last remaining national skeptic into the room?”

    I’ve commented before, but here is another of the (many) “remaining skeptics”, Judith Curry, of Georgia Tech: Judith A. Curry is an American climatologist and chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

    Here’s her blog: http://judithcurry.com/

    Feel free to read.

    You might also Googling Roger A. Pielke, Richard Lindzen, Ross McKitrick, and Steve McIntyre.

    (Look for Climate Audit.com).

    Washington is already a low-CO2 state, partly because of an abundance of hydropower and natural gas powered plants. The advocates of “renewable Power” went so far as to disqualify hydropower as “renewable” in order to make it seem there’s a problem where none exists.

    Thwe other little problem is that there has been no warming for seventeen years.

    Oh, well.

    I applaud the pursuit of scientific endeavor, but I abhor prematurely-applied, counterproductive, useless, and completely ineffective public policy initiatives based on flimsy, or indeed fraudulent, science.

    One example of bad policy run amok is the recent exemption granted by the federal government to wind-power producers for the raptor deaths that are the inevitable result of the installation of wind energy systems.

    • There’s no ignorance so hard to overcome than willful ignorance, which you, Mr. Onkels, exhibit in spades. Try doing some research among the 99% + climate scientists who conclude that global anthropogenic climate change is not only real, it is happening at geologically-unparalleled rates due to our loading the atmosphere with millions of years worth of sequestered carbon in a few hundred years. Here’s an article which might help you with temporal concepts as a starting point:

      http://www.commondreams.org/view/2014/02/03

      Try being part of the solution rather than part of the problem.

      • Apologies due and given.

      • It is 97% and to be considered a “climate scientist” you have to be on board with anthropogenic climate change.

      • Wayne – you have it completely bass-ackwards, as usual. Who exactly do you think is the monolithic entity enforcing this group-think? Do you know any academics? Getting them to agree is like herding cats. In contrast, the entire climate-change denialist effort is funded by an actual monolithic cartel – the global oil oligarchy. You know, the ones who have duped you hook, line, and sinker.

      • You are the one who has been duped. These so-called climate scientists are at best second tier scientists that are only able to exist because of grants given to them along with the guidelines of what their research needs to prove.

    • Mr. Camp, you write, “I applaud the pursuit of scientific endeavor, but I abhor prematurely-applied, counterproductive, useless, and completely ineffective public policy initiatives based on flimsy, or indeed fraudulent, science”. In that case, perhaps you should reconsider the willfully ignorant stance you are advocating in this posting.

      • I think you have me confused with Mr Onkels. My head is not firmly buried in the sand.

    • David (Onkels). You make a valid point. It was an overstatement to say that the Heartland Institute director was the last skeptic. My moment of hyperbole detracted from my main point that if Senator Ericksen is committed to reducing greenhouse gases, as one might expect a member of CLEW to be, then why is he continuing to sow doubt. And if he does wish sow doubt, perhaps hosting someone with a more professional presentation would have been in order. Thank you for commenting. Tim

  6. Camp:
    ” Try doing some research among the 99% + climate scientists who conclude that global …”

    You should be aware that the Cook report, to which you refer, has been widely discredited. There is no “99%”.

    • I’m actually referring to the scientific consensus, in contrast to your citation of oil-company-sponsored propaganda. “There is none so blind as he who will not see”, Mr. Onkels.

      • Consensus of who, the so-called “climate scientists” that rely on government grants for (that promote the ACC theory) their livelihood.

      • More argumentum ad hominem from you Mr. Camp. Is that the best you can manage?

      • It’s hard to take the opinions of dupes seriously – consider Wayne’s valiant effort to make the cumulative efforts of scientists, competing with each other, criticising and testing their theories, into some kind of conspiracy. And yet he ignores completely an actual conspiracy – the oil oligarchy’s filthy propaganda effort to undermine science.
        dave6 – try doing some actual research – or continue to live in duped ignorance.

      • I love this: Camp: “… the oil oligarchy’s filthy propaganda effort to undermine science..”

        Do you have a source to support this nonsense?

        I love this, too: “.. duped ignorance.”

        You are one killer debater, Camp!

      • Mr. Camp,
        You’ve engaged in the logical fallacy of argumentum ad populum.

      • Yes he has.

  7. Camp: “…anthropogenic climate change is not only real, it is happening at geologically-unparalleled rates due to our loading the atmosphere with millions of years worth of sequestered carbon in a few hundred years.”

    If you’d bother to study the subject instead of just calling me names, you would find that the so-called “greenhouse effect”, warming of the upper troposphere, has been demonstrated by RSS data to be absent.

    In addition, the atmospheric feedback processes appear, upon further study, to contain many previously-unanticipated negative effects.

    • You can cherry-pick data to confuse the ignorant all you like but you are so wrong it’s sad. It is hard to accept that our industrial civilization is toxic to our green planet, especially if you get your information from Faux News. You should try harder- a good first step is to cancel your cable tv and free your mind.

      • “FAUX News”-the Progressive chant. You just lost the miniscule creditability that you had.

      • Faux news watchers have more false beliefs than people who don’t get any news at all. If you think they are credible, you’re just another sucker. They think you are a rube to be fleeced, and it’s working.

      • Document that comment Mr. Camp.

      • I suspect he is refering to this study.
        http://publicmind.fdu.edu/2011/knowless/
        which uses current events polls to show that if you want to know about current events your better off not watching news than watching fox.

      • The “so-called” study is irrelevant and unscientific.

      • I could continue to grab studies because there have been numerous, they usually run along the lines of pulling important events going on around the world and USA and quizzing watchers then asking them where they get their news.

        However I suspect tracking down these studies would be a waste of my time because any study I find that contradicts what you believe you will discount on bias…….which I think is the heart of the climate change disagreement above.

      • D before D – amen to that. I’m sorry I got caught trying to wise up deliberate ignoramuses. It will take true catastrophe to break these guys fixed ideas – I’ll bet even when the State of California is in flames this dry season they will try to deny deny deny the terrible and sad state we have made of our atmosphere.

    • The plants love it.

      • Perhaps, at this point, an observation by Schiller might be apropos regarding Mr. Farber’s postings, to wit, “Mit der Dummheit kämpfen die Götter selbst vergebens”.

      • KAC: ” “Mit der Dummheit kämpfen die Götter selbst vergebens”.”

        Herr Schiller was a gentleman who would never have directed a comment such as yours directly to an individual, since doing so would have forfeited his side of the argument.

      • KAC is fond of quoting Schiller, so I thought that another quotation from Schiller might interest him: “It does not prove a thing to be right because the majority say it is so.”

      • Without ad hominem attacks Mr. Camp would be lost.

    • Camp: “… I’ll bet even when the State of California is in flames this dry season…”

      Mr. Camp conflates weather and climate. They’re not the same, you know.

      • John Holdren agrees with Mr. Camp, when he says,
        “Weather practically everywhere is being caused by climate change.”

    • Camp: “We’ve raised the CO2 concentration from about 250 to over 400 ppm in less than 200 years. And it’s increasing geometrically. Pretty soon the second order effects will be eating your lunch…..”

      Allow me please, to restate your argument: “We raised the CO2 content of the atmosphere from .025% to .0395% (the actual figure at Mauna Loa) in less than 200 years.”

      It is not, by the way, “increasing geometrically.”

      Please, sir, identify the “second order effects” (you haven’t identified any).

  8. If you’re looking for a link, try this: http://climateaudit.org/2013/05/24/undercooked-statistics/

    • To KAC: zurück zu dir

  9. Here’s a link to the source for Mr. Camp’s claims: http://www.commondreams.org/tom-engelhardt

    Mr. Engelhart’s latest book is this: Terminator Planet: The First History of Drone Warfare, 2001-2050.

    • Tom Englehart speaks the hard truths in the face of corporatist denial propaganda in the service of greed.

  10. Consider this: “… As Amanda Machin shows in her recent book, asking climate scientists to forge a consensus around facts with the expectation that decisive political action will naturally follow misunderstands science and politics in equal measure. If democratic politics is to be effective we need more disagreement, not more consensus, about what climate change is really about.” Mike Hulme, Professor of Climate and Culture at King’s College London

    https://theconversation.com/science-cant-settle-what-should-be-done-about-climate-change-22727

  11. Roy Spencer: “I am growing weary of the variety of emotional, misleading, and policy-useless statements like “most warming since the 1950s is human caused” or “97% of climate scientists agree humans are contributing to warming”, neither of which leads to the conclusion we need to substantially increase energy prices and freeze and starve more poor people to death for the greater good.

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2014/02/95-of-climate-models-agree-the-observations-must-be-wrong/

    95% of Climate Models Agree: The Observations Must be Wrong

    • SO to continue to live in excess and waste we have to kill the planet? Nice logic, “davesix”.

      • I agree with the logic, which is Roy Spencer’s. He’s a climatologist, you know, at UAH.

        It sure would be nice if you’d make an argument and defend it some time.

      • He is incapable of doing so, so don’t hold your breath.

      • I think you misunderstood – I was mocking the “logic” presented by Roy Spencer, in which he does exactly what he accuses environmentalists of doing – making emotional, policy-useless statements: “we need to substantially increase energy prices and freeze and starve more poor people to death for the greater good.” By this logic we should continue to wreck the atmosphere because poor people might die. And you agree with this?

      • Camp: “…By this logic we should continue to wreck the atmosphere because poor people might die. And you agree with this?”

        You have based your argument on a distortion of his. We are not “wrecking the atmosphere”, and yes, the cost of most (expensive and completely ineffective) efforts to “reduce global warming” will fall disproportionately on the poor and on relatively poor countries.

        Your apocalyptic view of the world is alien to me, and I think that you might view the deaths of a few “poor people” as an acceptable price to pay for the policies you espouse.

        You continue to ignore those second-order effects.

      • d6 – you say ” We are not “wrecking the atmosphere”” – if you don;t consider releasing a couple of hundred million years worth of sequestered carbon directly into the atmosphere in less than 200 years “wrecking” the atmosphere, how would you characterise it? We’ve raised the CO2 concentration from about 250 to over 400 ppm in less than 200 years. And it’s increasing geometrically. Pretty soon the second order effects will be eating your lunch…..

        “Your apocalyptic view of the world is alien to me” – sorry to break it to you but the whole shooting match ends in apocalypse in a couple billion years. You are apparently in denial about the sooner apocalypse we are creating right now, aided and abeted by wishful thinking like yours masquerading as concern about poor people. Oh the poor third world people. What a load. If we had a leader as President instead of the salesman we have to endure now he could set a goal for just the USA – no more fossil fuel use by 2030. How could this hurt 3rd world people? Stop making excuses for an unsustainable status quo. You are seemingly a smart guy – capable of logic – try opening your mind instead of defending fixed ideas.

      • Mr. Camp:
        Please allow me to restate your argument, and then I’ll reply: “We’ve raised the CO2 concentration from about 250 to over 400 ppm in less than 200 years. And it’s increasing geometrically. Pretty soon the second order effects will be eating your lunch…..”

        The CO2 concentration in the atmosphere has increased in the last 200 years from .025% to .0395 percent.

        The cause of that increase is unknown. While a “greenhouse effect” from increasing CO2 concentrations has been demonstrated in the lab, it is not apparent in the real world, in which it was supposed to result in tropospheric warming in the tropics.

        RSS (Remote Sensing systems, or satellite data) data clearly show no warming there.

        You have not identified any “second order effects”, which I identified as those which you failed to consider.

        The rest of your comment is, I’m afraid, nonsensical.

        I do not engage in wishful thinking. I base my arguments on data, in a manner different from some here.

        I love this, however: ” If we had a leader as President instead of the salesman we have to endure now he could set a goal for just the USA – no more fossil fuel use by 2030. How could this hurt 3rd world people? ”

        Again, you ignore second-order effects.

        As far as their energy use is concerned, you, sir don’t get to choose.

        The President could set your nonsensical goal, but it would have no power in the world. In Germany, many coal-fired power plants are under construction. In China they build more in a year than the United states has in service.

        I could continue, but , why bother?

      • Excellent rebuttal.

        Dave Camp should go have a beer with the “raccoon” and chill out.

      • Raccoon better company – eats my fish heads and although he does chatter inanely at least I don’t speak raccoon.

  12. […] taskforce on nuclear energy as an alternative to fossil fuel facilities (SB5991). The taskforce, similar to the efforts of CLEW last summer, would meet and make […]

  13. I’m sure you’ll a ll like this:
    http://on.wsj.com/1fmRdwI

    • I sent this to a friend, as part of an exchange about this discussion: “Who is most affected when the price of power rises as the result of the pursuit of some flakey public policy goal? Who suffers most from the cold? What part of the world’s population most desires and will most benefit from the proliferation of inexpensive electrical power, mostly derived from coal?”

      In Washington State, of course, we’re all rich, so we can afford to shut down efficient coal-fired power generating plants that are perceived by some as having an adverse effect on the environment, whether or not that is true.

      At my house, we don’t like escalating power bills that rise only because the power company is forced to build raptor-killing and inefficient wind-energy systems and is empowered by statute to pass the costs of those systems on to ratepayers with a built-in profit.

      What a country!

      Perhaps Senator Ranker would like to weigh in and defend these programs in the name of saving the environment.

      I’m not holding my breath.

      • Mr. Davesix: You display a nuanced understanding of the second law of thermodynamics, as evidenced in your statement that we, “…shut down efficient coal-fired power generating plants.” I propose we maintain those “efficient coal-fired power generating plants” but I have yet to find any evidence that such entities actually exist at the present time. The commonly quoted efficiency for coal fired power plants (even the latest generation) is ~33% for coal (and oil-fired) plants. It’s better for combined-cycle gas-fired plants (~56 – 60%). Depending on the system used for wind power generation the system can potentially be >90% efficient. Factoring in mechanical losses and one can currently expect ~70%-60% efficiency (at generator terminals). Some sources claim ~98% efficiency for nuclear power. But none of that seems to be the point of your argument, or am I mistaken in that regard?

      • D6 – I found something to agree with you on – windmills are a very bad idea. Harmful to birds, especially raptors, and destructive of bats, who are already in plenty of trouble.

        But coal is not a solution to anything other than excessive population. Thanks, KAC, for elucidating the efficiencies. I, too wonder what exactly D6 is representing – he does seem awfully enamored of coal, wouldn;t you say?

  14. Okay everyone – I just put a few comments in the penalty box. Let’s drop the name-calling and escalation and chill. Reasoned discussion about the issue welcome – anything involving bodily functions or raccoons is not. Thank you.

  15. Riley,

    It is obvious from reading ALL the comments in order that DAVID CAMP started the name calling.

    My profound apology to the raccoon for my insensitive and not politically comment.

    • Wayne – I’d happily meet you anytime to debate over coffee (or beer) – I’m sure you are a reasonable man, full of love, and not an argumentative loudmouth who thinks he’s cute (in the Irish sense of the word). I won’t engage you again here. It’s a waste of time. And I don;t want Riley to be irked. Sorry, Riley.

      • David,

        Were you looking in the mirror when you said: “I’m sure you are a reasonable man, full of love, and not an argumentative loudmouth who thinks he’s cute (in the Irish sense of the word)”?

      • Agree with that statement Mr Camp, except I’d decline the offer to further engage, especially in person. Deniers of anthropogenic climate change are perhaps willfully ignorant, possibly incapable of empiric reasoning, cannot understand scientific reports, or they are filtering their observations through a distorting prism. The latter possibility (and maybe the most likely choice) is nicely encapsulated in a pithy epigram by Louis Althusser, to wit, “Ideology is the imaginary relationship people have with the real conditions of their existence.”

      • Sounds like a typical elitist rant to me.

    • I’m not assigning blame, I nuked a few comments on both sides.

      • KAC: “I have yet to find any evidence that such entities actually exist at the present time. The commonly quoted efficiency for coal fired power plants (even the latest generation) is ~33% for coal (and oil-fired) plants. It’s better for combined-cycle gas-fired plants (~56 – 60%). Depending on the system used for wind power generation the system can potentially be >90% efficient.”

        By restraining your argument to thermal efficiency, you failed to respond to my argument, which was about economic efficiency.

        At the present time, the most economically efficient plants are coal-fired.

        Combined cycle gas plants, while smaller in scale, have begun to approach those levels of efficiency.

        It should be noted that wind and solar facilities all require the installation of backup facilities, which typically are coal or gas-fired. The cost of those facilities should be factored into the efficiency of wind facilities, don’t you think?

        Wind and solar would not exist were it not for huge ratepayer subsidies, so that they exist, at least partially, as parasites.

        Wind power is compromised by the fact that the wind does not blow reliably, and almost always does not blow at night.

        How we compensate for that problem is a matter for discussion, but it certainly does not constitute an argument as a reliable source of power.

      • Dave6 has revealed his sponsors (for why else would someone spend so much time spewing out intellectual flack than a paid hack? What is your real name, sir or madam? Do you even live in Whatcom? How much are you being paid to post so much and so promptly in support of coal interests?
        The giveaway is your cite of coal’s “economic efficiency” to try to rebut kac’s correct cite that coal is the Least efficient of the fossil fuels and hence the dirtiest
        Of course coal is easy and therefore cheap to mine- and to release its toxicity. It’s certainly economically efficient to burn it everywhere and turn the planet into a hazy dusty tip.
        You similarly cloud the truth by converting ppm to percentages to try to make them look small to the stupid and easily duped like your faithful dog. Here’s a fact- at the time of the Permian-Triassic mass extinction, global co2 levels were 1000 ppm. The seas were acidified as a result and 96 % of marine species went extinct. This is what is coming down the pike, aided and abetted by people blinded by short-term profit and shrugging “après-moi le deluge”.
        It is truly a shame that someone of your obvious intellect is spending his time in the service of death and disrespect for our living planet. Shame, Sir!

  16. KAC: “Deniers of anthropogenic climate change are perhaps willfully ignorant, possibly incapable of empiric reasoning, cannot understand scientific reports, or they are filtering their observations through a distorting prism.”

    This comment, sir, is complete ad hominem crap. I think you are capable of a real argument, but it is certainly not demonstrated in what you write here.

    You’re argument is that I am ignorant, stupid, and possessed of ill will.

    Your argument is a declaration of religious belief, amusing in a discussion of “science”.

    • Davesix:
      It’s difficult to respond to your various comments given the mutating nature of your argument. I’ll address the less emotional points you raise and then sign off from this frustrating and unfruitful exchange.

      First, you failed to define the term “efficiency”. Based in the context, I assumed you were referring to thermal efficiency. By that standard, coal fired plants are not efficient. You can refer to the figures for other energy generating sources I cited previously for context. If you don’t agree with those statistics, it will be difficult to reason further with you because those are derived from combined, industry generated data.

      I now infer that by “efficiency” you are perhaps intending “expediency”. Certainly, it is most expedient (because no action is required) to do nothing which costs nothing and is therefore in the immediate-term future “efficient”. If that’s your meaning, I certainly cannot dispute your contention.

      Perhaps, assuming from reading further in your note, your definition of “efficiency” is based on a macro-economic perspective. I deduce that by your allusion to “subsidies”, which you contend are needed to make non-fossil fuel fired generating plants competitive. If that’s, in fact your intention, you might want to balance your argument by factoring in subsidies for coal, oil and gas. I suggest you begin your investigation by reading about the concept of “negative externalities”. William Nordhaus (Sterling Professor of Economics, Yale). Nordhaus writes extensively on this topic and applies the concept to energy production. You might, if you are actually interested in the economic “efficiency” of coal and other fossil fuel fires energy sources, particularly as they relate to public subsidies for private enterprise, begin by reading his less technical articles. You’ll find several such in The New York Review of Books. In the event you aren’t sufficiently motivated, here is a thought for you to consider in assessing the issue. This was taken from his 2008 book (Table 5-1) A Question of Balance. That table shows that the cost of waiting 50 years to begin reducing CO2 emissions is $2.3 trillion in 2005 prices. Adjusting to the current economy and prices, the loss from waiting is $4.1 trillion.

      Your contention about additional infrastructure for wind-generated power is largely counter factual but, regardless of that fact, it presumes a static technology. It’s as if you assume that the most efficient computer is ENIAC because the technology won’t advance and, as that is a “sunk cost” we should stick with it. As it happens, the technology is advancing. See this, in wind turbine power, for example: IEEE 2013;101(4):906-924.

      I’ll conclude my contribution to this thread by drawing an analogy between the scientific consensus on anthropogenic climate change and cigarette smoking. The overwhelming preponderance of data suggests that there is an overwhelming association between cigarette use and disease. Many reputable authorities state a cause-effect relationship. Yet, not all smokers die nor become ill. Similarly, statistical models suggest that there is a very high correlation between human activity and adverse climate change. Could that be erroneous? Possibly, but possibly not. Would you take the chance? Would you take the chance and smoke? Assess the data and decide for yourself..

      • I don’t buy the validity of your analogy at all.

        You write, “Your contention about additional infrastructure for wind-generated power is largely counter factual but, regardless of that fact,…”

        Pardon me? Counterfactual?
        Even you must know that your argument is false.

        I’m going to quote Willis Eschenbach, write in WUWT: “OK, first rule of the grid. You need to have as much dispatchable generation as is required by your most extreme load, and right then. The power grid is a jealous bitch, there’s not an iota of storage. When the demand rises, you have to meet it immediately, not in a half hour, or the system goes down. You need power sources that you can call on at any time.

        You can’t depend on solar or wind for that, because it might not be there when you need it, and you get grid brownout or blackout. Non-dispatchable power doesn’t cut it for that purpose.

        This means that if your demand goes up, even if you’ve added non-dispatchable power sources like wind or solar to your generation mix, you still need to also add dispatchable power equal to the increased demand.”

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/02/16/the-levelized-cost-of-electric-generation/

        There is a chart early in the column, which begins, “In early 2013, the US Energy Information Agency (EIA) released their new figures for the “levelized cost” of new power plants.”

        Any analysis of externalities depends on the pricing of those those externalities. Unfortunately they tend to be neither quantifiable nor subject to accurate price estimates. If I want to postulate a high cost to the world for CO2 emissions then all I need to do is price it that way, and voila! my analysis works and my foregone conclusion is inescapable!

        I would rather relay on human ingenuity to adapt to conditions in the future than to assume the worst and spend money on useless, completely ineffective measures to combat rising CO2.

      • One last little tweak:
        “We live in a time when half the global population experiences some sort of limitation in their access to energy, energy that is needed for the most basic of human needs, including the production of clean water, warmth, and light. One-third of those thus impacted are children. An even greater portion finds its ranks among the poor.

        As a society, it is time to recognize and embrace the truth. Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant. Its increasing concentration only minimally affects earth’s climate, while it offers tremendous benefits to the biosphere. Efforts to regulate and reduce CO2 emissions will hurt far more than they will help.”

        Idso is lead editor and chief scientist for the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change

        http://icecap.us/index.php/go/joes-blog
        Craig D. Idso, Ph.D. SPPI Blog

      • Right on, kac. Note dave6 carries on with his/her disingenuous arguments about the grid and the “necessity” of over-engineering it, assuming in his argument the requirements of the existing unsustainable system. Circular, therefore. He is a sophist, no more nor less, and IMHO probably paid for his flack by fossil fuel interests. Perhaps he is a happy amateur, busily confusing the issues and laughing maniacly. Who knows? Only Dave6 and the shadow.

      • Mr. Camp,
        I posted a link to real data on comparative costs of power generation facilities, and you accuse me of arguing for the “necessity” of “over-engineering” (your term) it.

        I argued for nothing of the kind, merely citing the necessity for properly engineering the grid by providing backup generating facilities for the unreliable facilities that you favor, which if not managed correctly, cause the grid to crash.

        And you call me a sophist.

        Do you have any data to support that?

        You don’t for anything else.
        😉

        Here’s a little red meat for you from Matt Ridley: http://www.rationaloptimist.com/blog/the-sceptics-are-right-don't-scapegoat-them.aspx

  17. KAC,
    ” begin by reading his less technical articles. ”

    You don’t know anything about my background, which qualifies me to understand his “more technical articles”, if I wish.

  18. Mr. Camp,

    By the way, “sophist” is not the worst thing I’ve been called, but I’m surprised that a person of your obvious intellect can’t rise above that form of argument.

    • Only a sophist would make an argument he knows is designed to hide, rather than reveal the truth. In this case, restating ppm into percentages of atmospheric CO2 to gull the ignorant. The atmospheric CO2 levels at the height of the Permian-Triassic mass extinction were 1000 ppm, a level very rarely exceeded in the 3 billion years of life’s history on the earth. This is “merely” 1% – but it was enough to acidify the oceans sufficient to cause 96% of marine species to go extinct. We’ve already acidified the oceans sufficient to cause great stress and die-offs of corals. If we keep going as we are, we will duplicate this.

      You are too intelligent to serve those who profit from acidifying the oceans. Unless they are paying you…..

  19. Mr. Camp,
    I’d describe this a amusing if it weren’t hilarious: You wrote, “You similarly cloud the truth by converting ppm to percentages to try to make them look small to the stupid and easily duped like your faithful dog.”

    I take it from your comment that you don’t understand percentages.

    My dog understands them very well, thank you. 😉

    To continue, sort of out of order, you wrote, “Dave6 has revealed his sponsors (for why else would someone spend so much time spewing out intellectual flack than a paid hack? What is your real name, sir or madam? Do you even live in Whatcom? How much are you being paid to post so much and so promptly in support of coal interests?”

    I have no sponsors, sadly, so my arguments are my own. As a consequence, I am uncorrupt.
    My real name: You didn’t figure this out?: David Onkels

    I live in Bellingham, in a condominium.
    I was born in Bellingham, in St. Joseph Hospital when it was on Forest Street. My grandfather homesteaded in Whatcom county in the middle of the nineteenth century.
    I used to do analytical chemistry for an airplane company.

    Nobody has to pay me to express my arguments in favor of low-cost energy, since I think that low-cost energy has been one of the key drivers of our prosperity, and I want people in other parts of the world to share in the benefits of inexpensive energy, and because i see that economic development is the key to increasing awareness of environmental issues.

    When I was a kid, Fred and Ouida Smith were neighbors of ours. there is a little history in everything that happens here.

    You wrote, “Here’s a fact- at the time of the Permian-Triassic mass extinction, global co2 levels were 1000 ppm. The seas were acidified as a result and 96 % of marine species went extinct.”

    There is a whole lot going on in your comment, but I think the cause-and-effect is missing, and your comment implies that the acidification resulted solely from 1000 ppm atmospheric CO2 content.

    I doubt that.

    Do you have peer-reviewed data to support your assertion?

    You wrote,
    “It is truly a shame that someone of your obvious intellect is spending his time in the service of death and disrespect for our living planet. Shame, Sir!”

    I take pride in my “service to the planet.”

    “Death and disrespect””

    Sheesh!

    • Thank you Dave.

      I believe we met a while back when you were speaking at the NW Business Club or somewhere else.

      Illegitimi non carborundum.

      • Thanks for the tip, illegitimus.

      • You wouldn’t “fit in” at the NW Business Club.

      • I’m glad – if the price of “fitting in” is to espouse reactionary ideas in the face of evolving reality what intelligent person would want to?

    • D6 – SO your motivations are the humanitarian provision of cheap energy to the masses. How very selfless and wonderful!

      Unfortunately, this strategy is rapidly propelling the planet’s weather systems into chaos and likewise humanity.
      But your belief system will not allow you to see the evidence in front of your eyes, let alone recognize scientific consensus around the issue. And citing that “scientific proof” does not exist betrays your deliberate misunderstanding of the nature of scientific method, under which there is NEVER proof of anything, only working hypotheses, which are constantly under investigation and further research.

      MOre sophistry, in other words.

      Sadly, there is none so blind as he who will not see, which includes you and your denying ilk. Sad. Because unlike WF, you have the smarts to actually understand what is going on, but choose to remain wilfully ignorant.

      • More argumentum ad hominem from you, unsurprisingly.

      • There is NO “settled science” on this matter.

      • Your cheap shots know no limit.

  20. Here is an interesting piece in Slate about the subject (arctic warming, that is) that is interesting.

    You’ll all love the photo, I’m sure.

    http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/future_tense/2014/02/windfall_mckenzie_funk_describes_the_business_of_climate_change.html

  21. A piece on scientific modeling,
    http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/the-curious-wavefunction/2013/02/27/are-more-accurate-climate-change-models-worse/

  22. ” The people who care about climate change are the people who are comfortable, who don’t worry about a paycheck, who live on the coast and are in favor of an abstraction. It’s the environmental left and it includes those who believe rather remarkably that any unilateral American on action is going to make a difference on climate in any case.” ”
    Charles Krauthammer

    • Charles Krauthammer? Propagandist for the complex? Thanks for showing yet again your evil bedfellows. Krauthammer, Goebel’s stupider nephew.

      • “Krauthammer, Goebel’s [sic] stupider nephew.”
        You’re losing it, Camp.
        😉
        In addition, you’ve run afoul of Godwin’s Law (Reductio ad Hitlerum).
        😉 again.

      • Attacking cripples now? What fun [sarc]!

      • Who mentioned Hitler? Goebbels was a master propagandist and Krauthammer a pale imitator. But I suppose above any criticism since he’s a poor cripple- what a load!

      • Camp,
        You apparently didn’t bother to research the subject of Godwin’s law. I’m not surprised.

        Your comparison is especially inappropriate because Krauthammer is a Jew.

  23. http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/02/21/steyn-countersues-mann-for-10-millon-dollars/

    What fun!

  24. “There is no scientific proof that human emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) are the dominant cause of the minor warming of the Earth’s atmosphere over the past 100 years. If there were such a proof it would be written down for all to see. No actual proof, as it is understood in science, exists.”

    Dr. Patrick Moore, co-founder of Greenpeace, before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Subcommittee on Oversight

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/02/26/confessions-of-a-greenpeace-droput-to-the-u-s-senate-on-climate-change/

    • Thankyou davesix you saved me the trouble posting it. The enviro-Rats are leaving the sinking ship.

  25. […] been to block good ideas from getting to a vote. Whether it is a state transportation budget, or meaningful environmental protections or even his own bills, Ericksen has been unable or unwilling to move legislation forward in the […]

  26. […] rich. We know that Ericksen is never going to support any efforts to fight climate change – he invited a climate change denier to testify before the State Senate. That’s not even considering the hundreds of thousands he has received from the oil and gas […]

  27. […] Ranker, who sat on a Governor-Legislative climate workgroup with Ericksen in 2013, seemed noticeably impatient with the Senate’s failure to recognize the […]


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