Jeremy Grantham, who has long had investments in Timber and Natural Resources, puts a surprising smackdown on the Global Warming denialist crowd.

In the updated version of Bailout Nation, I specifically mention the same think tanks slavish devotion to ideology and disproven ideas (EMH, etc.). I find it encouraging Grantham calls them out as well.

>

Everything You Need to Know About Global Warming in 5 Minutes

1) The amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere, after at least several hundred thousand years of remaining within a constant range, started to rise with the advent of the Industrial Revolution.  It has increased by almost 40% and is rising each year.  This is certain and straightforward.

2) One of the properties of CO2 is that it creates a greenhouse effect and, all other things being equal, an increase in its concentration in the atmosphere causes the Earth’s temperature to rise.  This is just physics.  (The amount of other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, such as methane, has also risen steeply since industrialization, which has added to the impact of higher CO2 levels.)

3) Several other factors, like changes in solar output, have major influences on climate over millennia, but these effects have been observed and measured.  They alone cannot explain the rise in the global temperature over the past 50 years.

4) The uncertainties arise when it comes to the interaction between greenhouse gases and other factors in the complicated climate system.  It is impossible to be sure exactly how quickly or how much the temperature will rise.  But, the past can be measured.  The temperature has indeed steadily risen over the past century while greenhouse gas levels have increased.  But the forecasts still range very widely for what will happen in the future, ranging from a small but still potentially harmful rise of 1 to 2 degrees Fahrenheit to a potentially disastrous level of +6 to +10 degrees Fahrenheit within this century.  A warmer atmosphere melts glaciers and ice sheets, and causes global sea levels to rise. A warmer atmosphere also contains more energy and holds more water, changing the global occurrences of storms, fl oods, and other extreme weather events.

5) Skeptics argue that this wide range of uncertainty about future temperature changes lowers the need to act: “Why spend money when you’re not certain?”  But since the penalties can rise at an accelerating rate at the tail, a wider range implies a greater risk (and a greater expected value of the costs.)  This is logically and mathematically rigorous and yet is still argued.

6) Pascal asks the question: What is the expected value of a very small chance of an infi nite loss?  And, he answers, “Infinite.”  In this example, what is the cost of lowering CO2 output and having the long-term effect of increasing CO2 turn out to be nominal?  The cost appears to be equal to foregoing, once in your life, six months’ to one year’s global growth – 2% to 4% or less.  The benefits, even with no warming, include: energy independence from the Middle East; more jobs, since wind and solar power and increased efficiency are more labor-intensive than another coal-fi red power plant; less pollution of streams and air; and an early leadership role for the U.S. in industries that will inevitably become important.  Conversely, what are the costs of not acting on prevention when the results turn out to be serious:  costs that may dwarf those for prevention; and probable political destabilization from droughts, famine, mass migrations, and even war.  And, to Pascal’s real point, what might be the cost at the very extreme end of the distribution: Definitely life changing, possibly life threatening.

7) The biggest cost of all from global warming is likely to be the accumulated loss of biodiversity.  This features nowhere in economic cost-benefit analysis because, not surprisingly, it is hard to put a price on that which is priceless.

8) A special word on the right-leaning think tanks:  As libertarians, they abhor the need for government spending or even governmental leadership, which in their opinion is best left to private enterprise.  In general, this may be an excellent idea. But global warming is a classic tragedy of the commons – seeking your own individual advantage, for once, does not lead to the common good, and the problem desperately needs government leadership and regulation.  Sensing this, these think tanks have allowed their drive for desirable policy to trump science.  Not a good idea.

9) Also, I should make a brief note to my own group – die hard contrarians.  Dear fellow contrarians, I know the majority is usually wrong in the behavioral jungle of the stock market.  And Heaven knows I have seen the soft scientists who lead finance theory attempt to bully their way to a uniform acceptance of the bankrupt theory of rational expectations and market efficiency. But climate warming involves hard science. The two most prestigious bastions of hard science are the National Academy in the U.S. and the Royal Society in the U.K., to which Isaac Newton and the rest of that huge 18th century cohort of brilliant scientists belonged.  The presidents of both societies wrote a note recently, emphasizing the seriousness of the climate problem and that it was man-made.  (See the attachment to last quarter’s Letter.)  Both societies have also made full reports on behalf of their membership stating the same.  Do we believe the whole elite of science is in a conspiracy?  At some point in the development of a scientific truth, contrarians risk becoming flat earthers.

10) Conspiracy theorists claim to believe that global warming is a carefully constructed hoax driven by scientists desperate for … what?  Being needled by nonscientific newspaper reports, by blogs, and by right-wing politicians and think tanks?  Most hard scientists hate themselves or their colleagues for being in the news.  Being a climate scientist spokesman has already become a hindrance to an academic career, including tenure.  I have a much simpler but plausible “conspiracy theory”: that fossil energy companies, driven by the need to protect hundreds of billions of dollars of profi ts, encourage obfuscation of the inconvenient scientifi c results.

11) Why are we arguing the issue?  Challenging vested interests as powerful as the oil and coal lobbies was never going to be easy.  Scientists are not naturally aggressive defenders of arguments.  In short, they are conservatives by training:  never, ever risk overstating your ideas.  The skeptics are far, far more determined and expert propagandists to boot.  They are also well funded.  That smoking caused cancer was obfuscated deliberately and effectively for 20 years at a cost of hundreds of thousands of extra deaths.

We know that for certain now, yet those who caused this fatal delay have never been held accountable.  The profi ts of the oil and coal industry make tobacco’s resources look like a rounding error.  In some notable cases, the obfuscators of global warming actually use the same “experts” as the tobacco industry did!  The obfuscators’ simple and direct motivation –  making money in the near term, which anyone can relate to – combined with their resources and, as it turns out, propaganda talents, have meant that we are arguing the science long after it has been nailed down.  I, for one, admire them for their P.R. skills, while wondering, as always: “Have they no grandchildren?”

12) Almost no one wants to change.  The long-established status quo is very comfortable, and we are used to its deficiencies.  But for this problem we must change.  This is never easy.

13) Almost everyone wants to hear good news.  They want to believe that dangerous global warming is a hoax.  They, therefore, desperately want to believe the skeptics.  This is a problem for all of us.

Postscript
Global warming will be the most important investment issue for the foreseeable future.  But how to make money around this issue in the next few years is not yet clear to me.  In a fast-moving field rife with treacherous politics, there will be many failures.  Marketing a “climate” fund would be much easier than outperforming with it.

Category: Energy, UnScience

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

152 Responses to “Grantham: Everything You Need to Know About Global Warming in 5 Minutes”

  1. RW says:

    Jeremy Grantham hits the nail squarely on the head. Excellent analysis.

  2. Well now. All this recession/depression porn finally gets too much, so we need end-of-the-world-as-we- know-it porn to keep us enthralled and credulous that indeed, if only we had the right policy prescriptions we could not only save our economies but the very planet itself?

    There’s too much to refute in one post, so I’ll not bother with it here. In my Attic, I think I’ll rip it to shreds…

  3. Tezzer says:

    Curmudgeon- “There’s too much to refute so I won’t bother” has the same effect as “I can’t refute it”. Any recommended reading you’d like to advocate instead of harrumphing off?

  4. DeDude says:

    My favorite intervention is a carbon tax. You don’t even have to accept global warming to accept that as a good idea. We would fight the deficit, reduce our funding of enemies like Iran, Venezuela and terrorist, reduce air pollution. Its already a win, win, win before we add the reduction in global warming.

  5. Tezzer, yeah, I can refute it. And will. I just won’t bother with it here, and I haven’t the time at the moment. Give me a day and I’ll give you a linkfest. In the meantime, the video posted by icm63 should hold you over. Pick the first one.

    DeDude–you know what’s funny? I do not belong to the church of global warming alarmism, yet I believe that we need to drastically alter (at least in the US) the source and rate of our fuel consumption, if for no other reasons than it would alleviate the need for more dead soldiers in God-awful places that happen to have oil. I’m a global warming heretic, but I’d heartily support a massive gasoline tax, for just the reasons you offer, except global warming, which is nonsense.

  6. algernon says:

    More convincing would be more discussion of the science & less discussion of the inferior psychology of the “deniers”. Some topics I would like discussed:
    1. Why is Mars getting warmer too? Sun activity is a huge factor & needs more than Grantham’s glancing blow.
    2. The NASA graft needs to be over a longer period; furthermore, description of the measurement methodology is needed to dispel the stories about weather stations located in what were once rural but are now heat islands, etc.
    3. Tho’ CO2 has increased tremendously, it is still a tiny portion of the atmosphere. It’s effect & the counter reaction to whatever effect is has is a complicated issue that is not likely perfectly understood.
    4. Why do we never see a good coherent concise presentation of the evidence from the scientists, but instead condemnations of the ‘deniers’ as stupid people who have missed out on the debate that is already over?

  7. Sayitisntso says:

    This “smackdown” is sadly very poor from a scientific perspective. I think it could be as effective at proving the opposite of its premise. First hint: when someone says “This is certain and straightforward.” You can safely conclude that they do not really understand science.

    If you want to put forth an argument for global warming to someone who will evaluate it with scientific honesty, it does not take all of those easily rebuffed words. Simply ask what is more likely: that Mankind is adding energy to the system, or removing it.

    Here is an interesting thought: It is actually politicians that determine what scientists believe in the modern world. How can that be? Scientists have to make a living too. Guess where their funding comes from.

    P.S. I have no opinion on global warming itself, not my field.

  8. flipspiceland says:

    The arrogance and conceit of the global warmsters is awesome to behold.

    We have been on this rock and rolling, tilited, dynamic ball of earth and water for what amounts to .01 cent vs the existence of the earth in quadrillions of Euros.

    To think that we are any more than a pimple on the ass of a gnat is light years beyond hubris.

    When the planet has had enough of our mistreatment, she will just get rid of us and go on her merry way
    bubbling, spinning, and doing her own thing until her light naturally goes out and she turns into a frigid cinder.

    All treatises from the global warmsters should begin with a cautionary statement that it is for the ongoing relative comfort of humans that is at stake, and not the preservation of our climate thru various taxing schema, conservation, which is nothing more than a delaying tactic, and austerity.

    They would gain a hell of a lot more credibility than they and their disciples and imitators now have.

    I want to see at least one of these Cassandras refute the blinding light of truthiness about the REAL motives of the Warmsters.

    And what Curmudgeon says….. in spades.

  9. the bohemian says:

    And who decides that it is “man made” global warming? The solid sheet of ice that covered North America disappeared rather quicky. What were the dynamics then?

    Are we taking it on faith that man causes the warming and not the earth itself? If tempertures have risen since the industrial revolution does that equate to causation?

    Kind of silly really to think we can keep the earth from doing what it does all on its very own.

  10. SCCARDAIS says:

    Would one of the commenters who disagree with Grantham comment on why the scientific community, especially those referenced in the article, would take such a strong pro-global warming stance? What’s their motivation?

  11. Patrick Neid says:

    Oh god here we go again. A money manager telling us about the “facts” of global warming. Jerry should stick to trying to beat the S&P. He reminds me of Al “take care of this” Gore’s 2500 scientists who backed his inconvenient half truths. As it turns out most them could not read a thermometer.

    There may or may not be global warming. I certainly hope there is warming because cooling kills by the 100′s of millions. But that said the idea that Jerry and crew have the sligthest idea how to slow it down is laughable. That’s the real tragedy–the hubris of the people who first failed with global cooling in the 70′s now put gauges at airports and tell us that it is warming.

    LOL, then cry.

  12. bitjockey says:

    This site, http://motls.blogspot.com/, is hosted by a Czech physicist and is much like the TBP – heavy on the primary purpose (string theory and physics), related passions (anti-global warming), and personal interests (local community, etc.) He’s as passionate about the mathematics of climate modeling as BH is about Fusion IQ and market data analysis. If you want to see well documented and thoroughly explained counter-arguments for a well balanced picture, check him out.

  13. tranchefoot says:

    Hey Barry,

    I’m very curious to hear what you think about this guy’s blog: http://motls.blogspot.com/.
    He’s a string theorist who is also a skeptic of anthropogenic global warming . He makes some strong arguments that current estimates of the climate sensitivity parameter are much too large, but I don’t know enough physics to really critique. You need to sort through his many posts to find the meat of his arguments, but I found it to be worth the time.

    One caveat: like many theoretical physicists, he can be extremely arrogant. He thinks climate science is the armpit of physics and loves to attack the intelligence of climate scientists (and pretty much anyone who disagrees with him). He’s basically a jerk, but some of his arguments are very interesting. To be fair, he is very generous with his time and will respond to your questions swiftly.

    Peter

  14. tranchefoot says:

    oops, didn’t see above post!

  15. Rugby1 says:

    Barry,

    I am passionate reader of this blog and find it entertaining and informtative. That being said, I find it highly illogical that during your post about the SEC v Goldman you say; “I’m not a lawyer, but . . . Then you should not be ignorantly commenting on securities litigation. Why don’t you pour yourself a tall glass of STF up and go sit quietly in the corner.”

    Yet you back up Jeremy Grantham as the oracle of specious science? Grantham is a great investor but quite frankly he can STF up when it comes to climate science. His points are ridiculous and full of errors.

    ~~~

    BR: Grantham is a terrific Macro Investor, and points out that this is the trade of the decade.

    I’ll take JG over the anti-science loons.

  16. RW says:

    The Precautionary Principle: “When an activity raises threats of harm to human health or the environment, precautionary measures should be taken even if some cause and effect relationships are not fully established scientifically. In this context the proponent of an activity, rather than the public, should bear the burden of proof.”; e.g., http://www.sehn.org/precaution.html

    The burden of proof is already far too great for global climate change skeptics to overcome and the scientific debate was essentially finished in broad outline several years ago (e.g., Scientific American) leaving details, models, level and scope of change for further scientific investigation.

    The political debate, largely fueled by economic interests, continues to rage of course but comparing the list of institutions who support global climate change denial in contrast with those who consider climate change a real and a valid concern is instructive; e.g., Think Progress.

    Speaking as an investor rather than a citizen I have to say that while Grantham’s summary is highly accurate and supplies direction what remains unclear (as he also points out) is the approach one might take to profit from the trend(s). Not surprising since this is a non-linear, complex system we are talking about and, as with so many other things, clarity will doubtless emerge when it pleases but it would be nice if that didn’t happen too late to take constructive action.

    And, as others have noted, such action could yield significant benefits even if global climate change turns out to be a tempest in a teapot.

  17. Thor says:

    One of the regular commenters here is a climate scientist . . .I can’t remember who you are off the top of my head, but I know you’re out there. Chime in.

    Fascinating how so many people have to have an opinion (and such strong one’s at that) about absolutely every topic under the sun.

  18. aiadvisors says:

    His arguments die in both points 1 and 2. A couple of hundred thousand years is but a moment in geologic time and there are many eras where CO2 has been many times more concentrated than the last coupla hundred thousand years. Furthermore, in point 2 “all things being equal” is fatal. All things, especially in climate, are never equal.

    Hard Science? Skip over the think tanks and go directly to an MIT climate physicist. You don’t get much harder science than that:

    http://vmsstreamer1.fnal.gov/VMS_Site_03/Lectures/Colloquium/100210Lindzen/f.htm#
    Soundbites:

    The theory of intelligent design sounds rigorous by comparison to the theory of anthropogenic global warming.
    Three pro-CAGW publications have already acknowledged that temperature data has contradicted the man-made attribution assumption (primarily CO2), which is the inherent assumption of the IPCC models.
    The fundamental assumption of CAGW that there is positive feedback by water vapor due to CO2 is “likely wrong”.

  19. Trevor says:

    Well, didn’t that post shake the tree rather successfully. ;-)

  20. DD123 says:

    True science must offer reliable predictive value and it should be falsifiable. Otherwise it’s not science.

    The current state of climatology offers neither. And it’s you who suffers from biased thinking if you say otherwise.

    At this point in time, climatology is not a science. And the concept of Anthropomorphic Global Warming…it is merely a belief system.

  21. stevesliva says:

    It is amusing to see all the selection bias among the denier crowd on an investment blog.

    That means ya’ll probably suck at stock picking, too. What’s that Czech string theorist buying, eh?

  22. Patrick Neid says:

    “The burden of proof is already far too great for global climate change skeptics to overcome and the scientific debate was essentially finished in broad outline several years ago ”

    That depends on what government teat you are on….

  23. hondje says:

    Wow, and you people like to think you’re the cream of the crop. This bodes well for my dream of escaping the ghetto.

    Very long Vestas.

  24. tranchefoot says:

    @stevesliva ,

    What are your thoughts on Lumo’s estimate of the climate sensitivity parameter?

  25. Bruman says:

    Not to toot my own horn too much, but I can’t help thinking that Jeremy Grantham read my December 2009 blog piece while composing his thoughts for this letter… …some of the talking points and even the specific turns of phrase are just awfully similar…

    http://www.chadwickresearch.com/blog/?p=34

    If that’s what happened, I’m not upset about it, and there’s clearly a lot of other stuff in Grantham’s letter that are his own and from other sources, but I find it kind of thrilling to to think that a big guy like him might have stopped by for a read and maybe a bit of prose rubbed off on him.

  26. JerryC says:

    ==> stevesliva

    Free beer when you come to visit :)

  27. tranchefoot says:

    @RW,

    I would recommend spending a few hours with “that Czeck string theorist’s” blog. He’s annoying and sometimes offensive, but it is well worth the slog through old posts. He is also pretty good at replying to your comments/questions. If it matters, I consider myself an environmentalist and an AGW sympathizer (I want to believe), but the scientist in me is forced to pay attention. He’s also not the first physicist I’ve heard say that climate scientists are largely physics flunkies, the chiropractors of the the physics world…

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    DD123 Says: July 22nd, 2010 at 7:23 pm

    True science must offer reliable predictive value and it should be falsifiable. Otherwise it’s not science.

    The current state of climatology offers neither. And it’s you who suffers from biased thinking if you say otherwise.

    At this point in time, climatology is not a science. And the concept of Anthropomorphic Global Warming…it is merely a belief system.
    ~~
    DD123, Well Said.

  29. Thor says:

    tranchefoot – what kind of scientist are you if you don’t mind me asking?

  30. Skeptic Arguments and What the Science Says

    Here is a summary of what the science says on each skeptic argument. You can also view the arguments sorted by taxonomy or a print-friendly version.

      Skeptic Argument vs What the Science Says

    1 “It’s the sun”
    The sun’s output has barely changed since 1970 and is irrelevant to recent global warming.

    2 “Climate’s changed before”
    The climate reacts to whatever forces it to change at the time, which now is dominated by humans.

    3 “There is no consensus”
    Around 95% of climate experts agree that humans are causing global warming.

    4 “It’s cooling”
    The last decade 2000-2009 was the hottest on record.

    5 “Models are unreliable”
    Models successfully reproduce temperatures since 1900 globally, by land, in the air and the ocean.

    6 “Temp record is unreliable”
    The warming trend is the same in rural and urban areas, measured by thermometers and satellites.

    7 “It hasn’t warmed since 1998″
    2005 was the hottest year globally, and 2009 the second hottest.

    8 “Ice age predicted in the 70s”
    The vast majority of climate papers in the 1970s predicted warming.

    9 “We’re heading into an ice age”
    Worry about global warming impacts in the next 100 years, not an ice age in over 10,000 years.

    10 “Antarctica is gaining ice”
    Satellites measure Antarctica losing land ice at an accelerating rate.

    11 “CO2 lags temperature”
    Recent CO2 increase has caused recent warming without any time lag.

    12 “It’s not bad”
    Negative impacts of global warming on agriculture, health & environment far outweigh any positives.

    13 “Al Gore got it wrong”
    Al Gore’s book is quite accurate, and far more accurate than contrarian books.

    14 “It’s cosmic rays”
    Cosmic rays show no trend over the last 30 years & have had little impact on recent global warming.

    15 “It’s freaking cold!”
    A local cold day has nothing to do with the long-term trend of increasing global temperatures.

    16 “Hurricanes aren’t linked to global warming”
    There is increasing evidence that hurricanes are getting stronger due to global warming.

    17 “1934 – hottest year on record”
    1934 was one of the hottest years in the US, not globally.

    18 “Hockey stick is broken”
    Recent studies agree that recent global temperatures are unprecedented in the last 1000 years.

    19 “Mars is warming”
    Mars is not warming globally.

    20 “It’s Urban Heat Island effect”
    Urban and rural regions show the same warming trend.

  31. call me ahab says:

    here’s the best piece of information from Grantham- climate genius that he is (along w/ BR- of course)-

    Global warming will be the most important investment issue for the foreseeable future. But how to make money around this issue in the next few years is not yet clear to me.

    that’s incredibly sage advice- I’ve noted it and saved in multiple locations- so I can refer to it when I am need of inspiration- LOL

  32. the bohemian says:

    . . .and to be clear- I made fun of that stupid Grantham comment when BR posted the Grantham newsletter a day or two ago-

    this little global warming snippet is just a part of the whole newsletter- and I commented about it then-

    if this is part of an investment newsletter- then where is the “red meat” on the “most important investment issue for the foreseeable future”-

    how about there isn’t any- and he has zero clue on what to make of “global warming” as an investment opportunity- because he just wants put his global warming thesis out there-

    fucking ridiculous-

    ahab

  33. tranchefoot says:

    Thor,

    Biologist. Don’t know enough physics to critique the Lumo’s arguments.

  34. Rescission says:

    Its become such a political issue. Even the name “deniers” is derogatory. Skeptic is more accurate. Skepticism used to be a virtue in this country. The tactic of saying that “most all” of the climate scientists are convinced and the matter has already been solved (boy that was quick) is even more fishy. I guess we should have been fully invested in stocks at the end of 2007 when virtually all of the “economic experts” said there would be no recession too. For someone who prides themselves in being a contrarian, I don’t get why this blog has swallowed this so easily.

  35. ahab,

    file under: sad, but *True , if one must, but Grantham’s observation: “Global warming will be the most important investment issue for the foreseeable future.”, from a Financial POV, if not from an Economic one, is, too tragically, spot on..

    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/tragic def. #1, 1.

    as well, for those interested in getting a jump on coming *Trends, I’ll submit:
    http://search.yippy.com/search?input-form=clusty-simple&v%3Asources=webplus&v%3Aproject=clusty&query=History+of+Lysenkoism

    for your contemplation..
    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/contemplation def. #1, 2.

  36. tranchefoot says:

    I gotta say, I am a little disappointed that Grantham failed to mention the enormous interests the financial services industry has in the global warming debate. The market for carbon offsets and various products based on carbon derivatives is supposed to huge… Considering Grantham works in financial services, he has got to be aware of this and should disclose.

  37. Petey Wheatstraw says:

    How do we know it’s “man made” global warming?
    _______

    This is where the fact-challenged always pull out the “correlation is not causation” canard. Over a long enough timeline, correlation can imply causation to the point where denying the dependent relationship between the two or more measurements being compared becomes a lesson in intellectual denial of fact.

    We’re talking 50 years. a drop in the bucket in geologic/environmental terms. The research into past levels of greenhouse gasses in our atmosphere is what all of these scientists drilling core samples in the polar regions has been about, and it is from this data that the sudden rise over the past century have been determined.

    BR’s post has a chart. Look at the chart and compare it to this one:

    http://www.paulchefurka.ca/World%20Population%20and%20Oil%201900.JPG

    If you think this phenomena is not man-made, these charts will do little to alter your belief.

    Arguing over “facts” can quickly lead to the intellectual fuckery of semantics, faux credibility/equivalency of opinion over the core science being presented (a PhD in pharmacology’s opinion being equal to that of an equally degreed climatologist, on the issue of GW, for example), and as a final bastion against reason, the idea that all science is mumbo jumbo because our very existence is unprovable (or some such horse shit). It’s best to counter bad science with ground rules. The best ground rule is to accept data collected and analyzed using the Scientific Method, and only after rigorous peer review.

    As for the experts linked to in this thread, is there an on line source for their peer reviewed science? Did they collect the data from which to support their contrarian opinions?
    _____________________

    algernon Says:
    July 22nd, 2010 at 6:29 pm
    More convincing would be more discussion of the science & less discussion of the inferior psychology of the “deniers”. Some topics I would like discussed:

    1. Why is Mars getting warmer too? Sun activity is a huge factor & needs more than Grantham’s glancing blow.

    Got a link? to that data, or to how it correlates to the earth’s situation? Is there any way to measure the temp variations on mars past the last fer decades, as there is on earth?

    2. The NASA graft needs to be over a longer period; furthermore, description of the measurement methodology is needed to dispel the stories about weather stations located in what were once rural but are now heat islands, etc.

    Agreed. Methodology is important. OTOH, would that say anything at all about the other confirming measured (ice cores/tree rings, for example) and/or anecdotal evidence for warming (glaciers/ocean acidification)?

    3. Tho’ CO2 has increased tremendously, it is still a tiny portion of the atmosphere. It’s effect & the counter reaction to whatever effect is has is a complicated issue that is not likely perfectly understood.

    Take a spackle bucket half full of water. Put a thermometer inside the bucket. Stretch a piece of saran wrap over the bucket. What do you think happens to the temp in the bucket? All of that heat trapped by a miniscule (by comparison to the air in the bucket) layer of saran wrap.

    4. Why do we never see a good coherent concise presentation of the evidence from the scientists, but instead condemnations of the ‘deniers’ as stupid people who have missed out on the debate that is already over?

    There’s plenty of data, and plenty of arguments presented, based on that data. if you want to confirm your position either way, you’ll have to study up on it and assess it for yourself. Otherwise, the scientific consensus (by those who HAVE studied the data and methodology), has been accepted by the vast majority of the scientist community.

    If those who deny global warming appear ignorant in the eyes and opinions of the scientists who spend their lives doing this (in the search for knowledge — not riches), it is because they ignore the science aspect of the argument.

  38. cheapstocks says:

    Of course, the “Flat Earthers” were actually the majority and more akin to Grantham’s side of this argument than the reverse, but let’s not get in the way of a clever turn of phrase….

  39. willid3 says:

    the bohemian Says:
    July 22nd, 2010 at 6:50 pm

    And who decides that it is “man made” global warming? The solid sheet of ice that covered North America disappeared rather quicky. What were the dynamics then?

    how much of a change in temperature would be required to do that? how much of a change in precipitation would be required to do that? were there any volcanos active? what originally caused the glacier to form to begin with? were there any meteorites that impacted the earth that could have changed it? could there have been a large explosion from methane hydrates that release a huge CO cloud into the atmosphere.

    but in the end

    it won’t matter

    we will just have to deal with it
    but i do think that changing our sources for energy, pharmaceuticals and materials would be good, if for no other reason than we could ignore the middle east and others. let them fight there own wars. we can save our money by avoiding those wars

  40. RW says:

    @Tranchfoot, thanks for the invite but I’m afraid I’ll have to pass. String theory is more math than physics and pretty far divorced from any observable reality and having to wade through arrogance or ad hominem in search of occasional brilliant gems significantly reduces the chance of pleasure in any discovery. The fellow is certainly entitled to his opinions regarding the low intellectual attainment of climatologists but, FWIW, the atmospheric physicists and chemists I met at N.C.A.R. would have to be included among the smartest and most disciplined scientists I’ve known (in one capacity or another I’ve known a fair number albeit mostly in the biological sciences).

  41. the bohemian says:

    MEH @ 8:25-

    no doubt-

    investment opportunities for those dealing in the carbon tax world-

    all by predetermined conclusions supported by the best science has to offer-

    reality- we don’t know that much- the solar system is a big place- but we think we got it all down

  42. Petey Wheatstraw says:

    flipspiceland Says:

    “When the planet has had enough of our mistreatment, she will just get rid of us and go on her merry way
    bubbling, spinning, and doing her own thing until her light naturally goes out and she turns into a frigid cinder.”
    __________

    Yeah, so let’s poke that behemoth bitch with a sharp stick.

  43. cheapstocks says:

    For the record, Grantham is someone I respect, his asset allocation record is as good as anyone who practices that discipline, and I read him religously, however that’s his competency, not climate science or science in general. In this case, he’s much like Barry–a guy who has a forum and a microphone for being good at one thing, who’s now using it for another (though in this case, the passion that this subject arises probably has the side effect of a nice boost in traffic).

    Grantham’s asset allocation is something that everyone should pay attention to, like Soros on currencies, whereas the value of relying on their brilliance for science (or social policy in Soros’ case) is debatable at best.

  44. Petey Wheatstraw says:

    bitjockey:

    Please provide a new link as soon as he’s published and peer reviewed on the subject.

  45. cheapstocks says:

    By the way, #3 in his set of essays is the one you want to read. It’s his area of actual expertise, and something that you can actually use! That’s the one an economics/investor blogger should be posting!

  46. the bohemian says:

    but i do think that changing our sources for energy, pharmaceuticals and materials would be good, if for no other reason than we could ignore the middle east and others. let them fight there own wars. we can save our money by avoiding those wars

    no doubt willid-

    it appears empires need to stretch to their maximum before they realize its all over

    ahab

  47. Petey Wheatstraw says:

    DD123 Says:

    True science must offer reliable predictive value and it should be falsifiable. Otherwise it’s not science.

    The current state of climatology offers neither.
    _________

    Bullshit. There are forecasts out the wazoo for both the increase in c02 emissions and continued temp rise. As for the falsifiability of the theory, I’m sure that some have tried. if successful, they would be published and their methodology and conclusions would be challenged and either accepted or rejected by their peers. THAT is what has not happened, but it ain’t for trying.

  48. Thor says:

    Petey – you’re on a roll tonight!

  49. strousd says:

    Grantham should stick investing money. He knows nothing about the science global warming yet he acts like he is an expert. Only a fool would believe that the US Gov’t, which could screw up a one man parade, will be able to control the earth’s temperature. In reality, there are many scientists who don’t believe that human activity causes global warming. Former Chicago weatherman and Weather Channel founder John Coleman recently said he has over 30,000 scientists who want to join with him to sue Al Gore for fraud, and a 2009 Senate minority report cited over 700 dissenting international scientists who challenged man-made global warming claims made by the United Nations IPCC. With those kinds of numbers opposing the conventional wisdom, it is simply not fair to say that the science behind global warming theories has been proven.

    Common sense dictates that other questions should be asked regarding the theory that humans cause global warming. For instance, why did global temperatures rise and fall in the early history of the planet, long before there was human activity? Why have global temperatures declined over the past 10 years despite rising human activity? The answer is that climate change is a natural occurrence, with temperatures going through cycles over time that have little to do with activities by humans. According to Wikipedia, interpretation of ice core data suggests that between 800 and 1300 AD the regions around the fjords of southern Greenland experienced a mild climate, with trees and herbaceous plants growing and livestock being raised. Only two centuries later, Icelandic settlements that had thrived in southern Greenland for centuries disappeared, perhaps at the onset of the Little Ice Age. Today, Greenland’s ice sheet covers 81% of its territory. Howard Bloom, the founder of The Space Development Steering Committee, said it best in his recent Wall Street Journal opinion piece: “Weather changes and the occasional meteor have tossed this planet through roughly 142 mass extinctions since life began 3.85 billion years ago. That’s an average of one mass extinction every 26.5 million years. Where did these mass die-offs come from? Nature. There were no human capitalists, industrialists, or cultures of consumerism to blame.”

    I encourage everyone to watch John Coleman’s interview on youtube in which he explains how Al Gore got the idea for cap and trade from Enron when he was Clinton’s VP. It’s all about the money, not the environment. Grantham is clueless.

  50. TerryC says:

    Just Google “Antarctic cooling” and you will get a snootful of data on that continent’s ice getting thicker on the 10,000 foot thick Eastern ice sheet.

    We can also slow down global warming if we kill off about 4 billion people…..any volunteers to die?? I thought not.

    If you READ the UN report, it says sea level rise in the last 100 years was about 14 inches (several estimates are given, they have the most confidence on that number). Their best guess on sea level rise in the next 100 years? (drum roll, please), about 14-18 inches. Somehow I don’t see this flooding all of Florida (besides, Barry, that would take out a lot of the excess housing inventory we have now).

    As always, life is about POWER AND CONTROL. A crisis is always a great way to get people to give up money and freedom to those who would take it from them in a phony “crisis”. The last time I checked all the talking heads on the 24 hour ‘news’ channels, everything is now a crisis, so just give all your money and freedoms over to the government/university/business “experts” and you will sleep soundly from now on (naked, on the floor of your cave, be careful the bear doesn’t eat you).

  51. the bohemian says:

    Bullshit. There are forecasts out the wazoo

    that doesn’t sound too scientific Petey- LOL

  52. scharfy says:

    I thought this was an excellent and insightful write-up.

    I think it would have been better though, if a virtual java-based Grantham applet would have come on screen wearing a futuristic all-black star trek suit. You know, channeling Al Gore , but more serious is kinda of what i had in mind.

    Then for each of the points he made, it would have been nice to have a related investment theme, or like an ETF or just anything… (paypal, Kindle,swine-flu vaccines, even some itunes links to Beyonce’ albums or Sean Penn movies -)

    Then I could read his platitudes, click the nearest link, and just buy stuff.

  53. Event_horizon says:

    From Grantham’s #6:
    “…what is the cost of lowering CO2 output and having the long-term effect of increasing CO2 turn out to be nominal? The cost appears to be equal to foregoing, once in your life, six months’ to one year’s global growth – 2% to 4% or less. The benefits, even with no warming, include: energy independence from the Middle East; more jobs, since wind and solar power and increased efficiency are more labor-intensive than another coal-fired power plant; less pollution of streams and air…”

    On that note, I’ve often thought of the unintended consequences of Alan Greenspan’s ridiculously-prolonged low-rate policy. Think about it for a minute. Unheard-of residential and commercial real-estate booms –> durable-goods consumption boom –> China industrialization (and consquently pollution) boom. And speaking of durable-goods, how many new SUVs, muscle cars, RVs, and boats were purchased due to refis and those ultra-low rates?

    If we believe CO2 levels to be significant in global warming, then how much did those booms contribute to it? Food for thought.

  54. BigPictureReader says:

    I recently read Jim Hansen’s book – Storms of My Grandchildren.
    Hansen is one of the world’s top climate scientists. There is no way that he is any sort of unreasoned hysteric or has any sort of ulterior motive. This is required reading, especially for all of you who are expressing sceptical sentiments. You can find the book at http://www.amazon.com/Storms-My-Grandchildren-Catastrophe-Humanity/dp/1608192008.

    Essentially, we are truly facing the possibility of an apocalypse. In the near term (the next 50 to 100 years), if we stay on our present carbon burning course, we will face increasing intensity and frequency of storms and concomitant social and economic disruption. But what is even more frightening is that in the longer run – within 500 years or so, essentially all the ice on the planet will melt leading to a runaway greenhouse effect, as the melting of methane hydrates currently locked up in permafrost is dumped into the atmosphere, more than doubling its current CO2 content. Sea level will rise 75 meters and there will be essentially nothing left except ocean and desert. The great majority of species now extant, possibly including humans, will not survive.

    All of this is essentially inevitable if we do not very soon begin to stop increasing, and then start decreasing the amount of CO2 in the atomsphere, because we will soon reach tipping points at which other amplifying effects will come into play.

    Have a great day, and stay out of the heat.

  55. along TerryC’s point (@ 21:06 ) We’ll see a greater exposition of the sentiment, here:

    “CRISIS AND LEVIATHAN”
    Critical Episodes in the Growth of American Government
    By Robert Higgs
    Foreword by Arthur A. Ekirch, Jr.
    Everyone knows that government has continually grown in size and scope during this past century, but how and why has it done so? Is this growth inherent in the nature of government or because of some greater social needs, or are there other causes?

    In Crisis and Leviathan, Robert Higgs shows that the main reason lies in government’s responses to national “crises” (real or imagined), including economic upheavals (e.g., the Great Depression) and especially war (e.g., World Wars I and II, Cold War, etc.). The result is ever increasing government power which endures long after each crisis has passed, impinging on both civil and economic liberties and fostering extensive corporate welfare and pork. As government power grows, writes Higgs, it achieves a form of autonomy, making it ever more difficult to decrease its size and scope, and to resist its further efforts to increase its reach, so long as the citizenry remain uninformed of its true effects.

    One of the most important books ever written on the nature of government power, Crisis and Leviathan is a potent book whose message becomes more trenchant with every passing day…”
    http://www.independent.org/store/book_detail.asp?bookID=15

    in view of these ‘never-ending’ “Threats”, We shood be circumspect, and remember, at least, that We’ve seen these Acts, in play, before..
    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/circumspect

    http://search.yippy.com/search?input-form=clusty-simple&v%3Asources=webplus&v%3Aproject=clusty&query=the+Anti-Federalist+Papers

    “if only our ‘meta-cognition’ functioned as well as our (CGI-fueled)Imaginations..”

  56. Winston Munn says:

    I don’t think much was accomplished about AGW, but you sure as hell fortified Darwinian Theory with these comments.

  57. eddems says:

    Suppose CO2 does cause global warming? Would a reduction in the increase of CO2 matter? Not likely IMHO. (Personally, I think we have a problem of too many people eating up finite and limited resources.) Wouldn’t it a strato shield be worth considering?
    The most controversial of these solutions – a “stratoshield” — involves the controlled injection of sulfur dioxide into the stratosphere to cool ground temperatures, which mimics the natural cooling effects of a big volcanic eruption like Mount Pinatubo. This sort of “geoengineering” solution is intensely disliked within environmental circles, (deleted) it might still be a good idea to consider further research on the stratoshield. I.V.(Intellectual V entures from Seattle ) has suggested several methods that might reflect the sun, and cool the earth. These ideas brought forth in SuperFreakecom cs seem to provide more effective approaches if CO2 is indeed a culprit in warming. we could then discuss running out of resources as a separate issue.

  58. impermanence says:

    “Global warming will be the most important investment issue for the foreseeable future. But how to make money around this issue in the next few years is not yet clear to me.”

    The guy could care less whether there is/is not global warming. It’s simply another opportunity to get something for nothing.

  59. constantnormal says:

    I find it quite amazing how otherwise apparently intelligent beings throw out YouTube clips and nonsensical blogs to refute the massed opinion of the various national academies of science.

    I suppose in a financial blog this should not surprise me, as there is little of science in the world of finance.

  60. Thor says:

    Constant – from the other thread – you are indeed a scientist yes? :-)

  61. alfred e says:

    My feeble little pea brain is searching for the next bubble.

    And I found it: green energy.

    Woohoo! Crank up the presses and the IPO machines.

    Thanks BR.

    Oh, BR, How deep were you into the Internet bubble? I know you’re a NASDAQ kind of guy.

    Transparency? Full disclosure? Interesting how much it depends on your perspective. And where you are in the market, and where your bread gets buttered, as they like to say.

    No one wants to address the single most fundamental issue except China ( and maybe they’re backing off): there are too many energy consuming people in the world.

  62. constantnormal says:

    @eddems — you are correct that the injection of sulfur dust into the upper atmosphere would block a large enough percentage of the incoming solar energy to drop the temperature, but that only buys time on the temperature front, as it does not decrease the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, which gets absorbed into the oceans and alters the PH of the oceans to the point of significantly altering the aquatic ecosystems, the net of which is to make it a lot more difficult to feed the planet’s teeming billions, while providing the false comfort of livable temperatures.

    It only buys us a very few years to resolve the ultimate problem of Too Many People. Of course, that issue can be resolved in only a few days, with modern weaponry.

  63. Petey Wheatstraw says:

    MEH;

    C. Northcote Parkinson had some brilliant observations on the growth of bureaucracies. Although he’s most known for the adage, ‘work expands to fill the time allotted,’ his observations in the book, Parkinson’s Law, or The Pursuit of Progress, go far beyond that observation.

    He’s a worthwhile read.

    A sample:

    http://www.heretical.com/miscella/parkinsl.html

  64. brianinla says:

    You HAVE to follow the money. No atmospheric scientist will continue to get federal grant money if they publish articles proving AGW to be bunk. It is completely politicized now.

    The major investment banks are salivating at the opportunity to make billions trading carbon derivatives. And they completely control congress, which in turn control grant money and distributions. Befriend a publish-or-perish professor and ask them how to get a grant.

  65. Andy T says:

    Couple of points:

    a) So what? So what if the earth is warming? What are we going to do about? What can we do about it? Would it be better to dust trillions of dollars of economic wealth to drop the temperature a 1/2 degree or would be better to spend 50-100 billion in ways to just deal with affects of a warmer globe? i.e.: fortified sea wall structures, etc.

    b) It’s interesting that Barry SLAMMED all the ne’er do wells without law degrees who had the temerity to criticize the SEC case against GS BECAUSE they had no law degrees or expertise on the subject matter. Alas, he gives a full article and nod of approval to Jeremy Grantham and his “expertise” on global warming.

    Funny stuff that!

    From BR’s point of view: If you don’t agree with me and don’t have the parchment, then you’re a dumbass and have no right to challenge me. If you do agree with me and don’t have the parchment, then that’s probably “ok” because you’re just a really smart guy in other ways.

  66. Thor says:

    Btianla – really? Why? It would seem to me that it would be in the governments interest to play down climate change. After all, massive changes in energy laws are not going to be very profitable for many of the most powerful energy interests in this country.

  67. Andy T says:

    My bad…

    Mr. Grantham gave a bunch of money to establish a school named after himself on the matter:

    “Jeremy, together with Hannelore Grantham established the Grantham Foundation for the protection of the environment in 1997. Substantial commitments have been made to both Imperial College and London School of Economics, to establish the Grantham Institutes for Climate Change and the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, which will enable both institutions to build on their extensive expertise in climate change research.”

    So, that must make an expert…..

  68. DL says:

    I have no interest in learning of someone’s views on global warming unless they are willing to also state where they stand on the question of taxes on carbon-based fuels.

    The vast majority of global warming fear-mongerers just want higher taxes. At least they ought to be willing to admit it.

  69. Petey Wheatstraw says:

    Andy T:

    Although probably not an expert himself, he’s smart enough to listen to the experts.

    Now if he had funded the school and had final say on research direction and hiring/firing, I’d question his motives.

  70. contrabandista13 says:

    Barry:

    It’s been a while…. The first thing I thought on your latest post was.. “Oh no…! Not another Global Warming alarmist, tree hugger…” Just kidding….

    The Following is the ECONOMISTA NON GRATA DOCTRINE ON CLIMATE CHANGE

    “….We must stop viewing the issues of sustainability and climate change as good or evil and we must stop viewing this planet Earth as a servile entity, a slave that we can dominate and beat into submission. If we don’t criminalize the battering of the planet and coerce the ignorance that allows this battering into submission, we risk the loss of our species on this planet. The survival of our species on this planet can not be achieved through democratic means. This planet Earth, is simply not going to allow us the timeframe to build consensus and vote for solutions to this problem…..”

    “….We can either step up to the plate “right now” and conserve, preserve and reclaim the damage we have done to this planet by whatever means are necessary and recruit the receptive, persuade the skeptic, coerce the ignorant and eliminate the recalcitrant, or we can leave it to the wisdom of our natural environment to eliminate our entire species, both the so called good and the so called evil, in the same fashion that we eliminate viruses that endanger our species….”

    The nuance of violence is politically incorrect and has upset both liberals and conservatives, however, ask me if I give a shit….. It’s all about time frame and the clock is a tic-kin…..

    Best regards,

    Econolicious

  71. Petey Wheatstraw says:

    DL Says:
    July 22nd, 2010 at 10:30 pm

    . . . unless they are willing to also state where they stand on the question of taxes on carbon-based fuels.

    The vast majority of global warming fear-mongerers just want higher taxes. At least they ought to be willing to admit it.
    _________

    I don’t like the idea of taxes on the consumption of fossil fuels. I prefer taxation on the production of fossil fuels, or, even better, that those profiting from the extraction and burning of them charge enough to the end user/consumer to pay for the clean-up of their waste stream.

    No doubt any business would be highly profitable if allowed to ignore the full costs associated with the production and use of its product.

  72. jeg3 says:

    A String Theorist is an earth scientist? He probably has very little knowledge on the subject area, similar to a lot of libertarian scientific illiterates. String theory may or may not have a future in science, but so far it appears to be math with no predictions. http://www.math.columbia.edu/~woit/wordpress/

    People who understands the subject and are experts:
    “Climate change basics I – observations, causes and consequences”
    http://bravenewclimate.com/2010/07/18/ccbasics1/

    “Climate change basics II – impacts on ice, rain and seas”
    http://bravenewclimate.com/2010/07/21/ccbasics2/

    http://gallery.usgs.gov/video_tags/ClimateChange

    http://www.noaa.gov/climate.html

    http://www.climate.noaa.gov/

    http://www.usda.gov/oce/climate_change/index.htm

  73. Thor says:

    DL – Atta boy! Does that count for all the scientists as well? Can you provide a source for the claim “The vast majority of global warming fear-mongerers just want higher taxes”? Or did you just pull that out of your ass? ;-)

  74. RW says:

    “No doubt any business would be highly profitable if allowed to ignore the full costs associated with the production and use of its product.”

    Even more profitable yet if subsidized by taxpayer dollars as the extraction (and finance) industry has been for lo these many moons: They’ve been sucking at the government teat for so many decades now they think they’re producing milk all on their own.

  75. Andy T says:

    Here’s a clear thinker on climate change on the costs and economic benefits of dealing with a warmer globe. It’s a little long, but probably worth it if you’re in the camp of: “We must stop Global Warming at any cost.”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dtbn9zBfJSs

  76. insaneclownposse says:

    A while back The Economist had a story on how we could eject CO2 into space.

    http://www.economist.com/node/9253976?story_id=9253976

    I know that climate change will ultimately be an issue at some point in time, both warming and cooling, but I think that human technology will find a way to solve the problem. We seem to be fairly resourceful. I don’t think we give ourselves very much credit.

    I think a bigger danger is that we blow ourselves up with these particle accelerators – the LHC and such.

  77. Andy T says:

    Wheatstraw@10.32

    Exactly! Which is why BR was sort of a disappointment in the way he went ad hominem in his attacks on those who questioned the SEC case and their motivations.

  78. Petey Wheatstraw says:

    Andy T:

    I don’t know about “any cost”, but I think we’re plenty foolish for shitting where we eat and claiming that there was nowhere else to go, except for the middle of the banquet table.

    C02 is just one of the very dangerous but completely unnecessary pollutants we release each day without a second thought (petrochemicals are a source of several highly polluting substances).

    Is there really no way to act more responsibly? We’ve only been hooked on this shit since 1910, or so.

  79. river says:

    I find this website offers a good, science based critique of the science of global warming (http://www.climate-skeptic.com/2007/09/table-of-conten.html).

    Basically, we have had a half degree of warming in the last 30 years. The need for action comes from predictions that this half degree of warming will accelerate and feed on itself, like a snow ball rolling down a mountain, becoming four to six degrees of warming over the next one hundred years. That CO2 and the greenhouse effect is pretty accepted science . . . the predicted runaway feedback effects that drive the need for action . . . not so much.

    As someone who is skeptical about global warming that comes from a science background, with a great respect for science and the scientific method, I always cringe when someone describes all skeptics as loons. There are honest reasons for reasonable people to be skeptical of global warming.

    As an engineer who has studied the mathematics and physics behind what drives our society, I am disheartened by the people who downplay just how easy it will be to solve this issue.

  80. beaufou says:

    This issue is just another example of how much bullshit you can recycle for partisan purposes.
    Believe in global warming or not, pollution can’t be good and neither are greenhouse gases.
    If you are interested in long term progress or just a little less shit in the air you breathe, you would certainly advocate for changes.
    This guy says this, this guy says that, grey smoke is good for business and you don’t need to be an expert to know that it’s bad for you.
    Andy T makes a good point, why spend too much on dealing with the cause when we could cheaply deal with the consequences for a while, Andy, you should be working for the government or some rich lobby because this is what they do all day, being stupid and short sighted.
    “Would it be better to dust trillions of dollars of economic wealth to drop the temperature a 1/2 degree or would be better to spend 50-100 billion in ways to just deal with affects of a warmer globe?”
    Economic wealth above all, you’re a twat and I actually kind of hope you choke on your greenbacks one day wondering where all the oxygen went.

  81. Petey Wheatstraw says:

    Greed drives our species.

  82. Andy T says:

    @Wheatstraw….

    Yeah, you’re sort of making the points for me….

    “I don’t know about ‘any cost’”

    Right. We wouldn’t solve any problem at “any cost,” so it’s probably important to understand the costs of these grand solutions, correct?

    “Is there really no way to act more responsibly? We’ve only been hooked on this shit since 1910, or so.”

    Ok. You want to go back to 1910? Would you sacrifice all of the economic progress we’ve achieved in the last 100 years for a few degrees more of global temp? It’s been a pretty amazing run in terms of global economic progress–wouldn’t you agree?

    I’m not a global warmer denialist. I’m just not going to get hysterical over it. We just need to deal with things in a rationale way and not make matters worst.

  83. “…even better, that those profiting from the extraction and burning of them charge enough to the end user/consumer to pay for the clean-up of their waste stream.

    No doubt any business would be highly profitable if allowed to ignore the full costs associated with the production and use of its product…” –Wheatstraw, above

    Yes, quite.

    as in: “…Yes, it’s a huge polluter

    Contrary to Environment Canada’s fairy tale presentations, David Schindler, one of world’s most respected water ecologists, told the committee that the project was directly polluting the Athabasca River. In particular, industry emissions were now depositing substantial volumes of bitumen, heavy metals and fish-killing polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons on the landscape which then run-off into the river. (After his appearance, Schindler published a peer-reviewed paper in the prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences showing that air pollution alone created the equivalent of an annual 5,000-barrel oil spill on the Athabasca River.)

    Schindler also told the committee that once upon a time the federal government did good monitoring on the river but then turned it over to Alberta which “turned a lot of it over to industry itself. As a result we have a database that’s not available to independent scientists to use.”

    “The scientists found that RAMP repeatedly changed what pollutants it studied and where and how it sampled them…”all the things that violate the first principles of monitoring programs.”…”
    http://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2010/07/15/TarSandsReport/index.html

    “Tar Sands” = Financially Profitable (for some), Economically Profitable? a, not so much..

    But, a CO2-based ‘Cap n’ Tax’ will solve every-(any-)thing?

    add’l: http://search.yippy.com/search?input-form=clusty-simple&v%3Asources=webplus&v%3Aproject=clusty&query=European+Carbon+Credits+fail+to+reduce+emmissions

  84. cdrueallen says:

    Kudos to Barry for this post, one that’s guaranteed to annoy many of his readers. It’s amusing how folks believe in science when it gives them stuff they want (iPads, CAT scans) but don’t want to believe in it when it tells them something they don’t want to hear, like, you’re fucking up the planet and no matter how much money you have, you won’t escape the consequences.

    I’ve had a global warming portfolio now for years and there’s one category of investment that stands out: pest management. Warmer weather, more bugs, especially termites and bedbugs. I’m long ROL which has done pretty well vs. the SP 500 over the past 10, 5, and 1 years.

    And I’d be willing to pay taxes at a much higher rate if I could be assured the money would go to protecting biodiversity.

  85. Thor says:

    cdrueallen – It’s amusing how folks believe in science when it gives them stuff they want -

    Don’t forget high frequency trading, trading from home, the ability to create stock charts, or trade from their phones.

    Amusing indeed. That science is valid – environmental science is just overblown fear mongering.

  86. cdrueallen says:

    Thor, what’s your criteria for deciding what branches of science are valid and which ones are “overblown fear mongering”? The ones whose products and conclusions you like are valid and the others are overblown fear mongers? I’ve yet to read the work of a single respectable biologist who isn’t pretty much panic stricken about the current rate of species extinction.

  87. Thor says:

    cdrueallen – That was parody my man, I was agreeing with you :-)

  88. DL says:

    Thor,

    And you have documentation which proves that all of these global-warming enthusiasts have no interest in raising taxes on energy?

    I’m not NECESSARILY opposed to higher taxes on energy (subject to certain provisos); what I object to is people who are disingenuous about their intentions.

  89. cdrueallen says:

    Thor. D’oh. I’m never quick at picking up on satire. Probably a sign that I take myself way too seriously.

  90. Thor says:

    DL – you made a rather serious blanket accusation about quite a few people so I think it maybe should be up to you to back that claim up with something,. Otherwise, it’s just opinion right? Also, I think it may be unwise to accuse a large subset of society of being disingenuous, unless you have direct evidence that they are indeed being disingenuous, all you’re doing is projecting right? In any case, I was mostly just giving you shit, that’s what the wink was for.

    cdrueallen – No, that’s my fault, I do it all the time unfortunately :-/

  91. DL says:

    Thor,

    Have you EVER heard a politician call for a revenue-neutral tax on energy (e.g., raise taxes on gasoline, and cut the payroll tax)…?

    I certainly have never heard a politician take such a position. And with one or two exceptions, I’ve never even heard a journalist take this position.

  92. Thor says:

    DL – oh oh oh, politicians – sorry, thought you were talking about everyone who believes in global warming. My bad. Yes then, you’re absolutely right!

  93. wgj says:

    BR- stick to your knitting- you know markets and money, same goes for JG. It may be that playing the “market” for Gobal Warming can make money- that’s entirely different than man made GW is “real”. Look at the data for 10,000,00 yrs- a stastistcal “1week S&P delta ” and tell me with a straight face you care….

  94. Hey You says:

    Wow thank you for pointing out the errors of my thinking. I actually thought the scientific method had to be followed; this is the 21st century and green politics trumps verification and skeptical enquiry.

  95. bobmitchell says:

    Especially here, there are two problems that are being mixed up with each other.

    1. Does(or can) global warming exist?

    2. What could be done to make it less costly for the future?

    If your answer to the first question is no, you can hardly be surprised when the people discussing the second question laugh at you.

    It’s very similar to the “end the fed” brigade. If you start out with the opinion that it shouldn’t exist, how can you be taken seriously by the people trying to reform it?

  96. tradeking13 says:

    If man is causing the planet to warm (a big if), then the most effective solution is population control on a global scale.

  97. FrancoisT says:

    If I hadn’t lived in this country for the last 15 years, I wouldn’t comprehend why it is going in the wrong direction.

    However, just reading the farcical “arguments”, the pseudo-logic, sophistry and, let’s call it like it is, PURE BULLSHIT of all the denialists here, it is now crystal clear.

    @Hey You: You obviously do not know SHIT about the scientific method.

  98. FrancoisT says:

    @river,
    There is a simple checklist to verify which skeptic is a genuine one and which is a fanatical (or financial) denier.

    http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2010/02/distinguishing-climate-deniers-from.html

  99. carping demon says:

    Whoever taught these loons the word “skeptic” did them a great disfavor.