One World government

I commented in a post a couple of days ago that we should probably avoid risking the Arctic warming by 10 degrees or more and that the only way that I thought this could be achieved was by avoiding raising atmospheric CO2 concentrations much higher than they are today. There was, however, a suggestion in a comment that this wasn’t strictly true as it could be achieved through geo-engineering, in particular releasing SO2 particles into the upper atmosphere which would then act to increase our albedo.

There’s one immediate issue with this idea, which is that it would act to cool the planet by reflecting more sunlight back into space, but it wouldn’t influence, for example, ocean acidification. There is, however, a more subtle issue that is explained more clearly in this article than I can probably do here (H/T afeman). I’ll do my best to summarise, though.

There’s a rather unfortunate narrative that sometimes rears it’s ugly head in the climate debate, which is essentially that climate change is some kind of conspiracy to take over the world and impose some kind of socialist utopia (I’m paraphrasing, but it’s along these kind of lines). Personally, I think this is nonsense, but even if some do have this goal, it’s all rather unlikely. We can’t really force sovereign nations to not generate energy via fossil fuels. If they can access fossil fuels, then there’s doesn’t seem to be much that could be done to stop them from using it. So, as I see it, any global reduction in CO2 emissions would have to be done through some kind of global agreement, rather than through simply imposing rules on sovereign nations.

This, however, isn’t strictly true for geo-engineering. If we consider injecting SO2 into the atmosphere, it will have a global effect. It may well cool the planet back down to an “acceptable” average, but there will be some areas that suffer, and others that benefit. One could imagine a scenario where there’s global agreement and that those who will suffer agree to the process because of the overall benefit. On the other hand, they may choose to oppose the idea. However, this may not matter. A global superpower, who would benefit from the process, might carry on regardless; effectively imposing their will on the rest of the planet.

Of course, I think we should avoid the risk of getting to a point in the future where we might be forced to consider intentionally geo-engineering the planet (rather than doing it unintentionally, as we are now). If, however, we got there, there’s every chance that this could happen against the wishes of many sovereign nations. So maybe those who worry about a single government making decisions for the entire globe, are right to be worried, but for very different reasons to those that they currently have. Of course, maybe we’ll be lucky; climate sensitivity will be low; ocean ecosystems will adapt to increased ocean acidification; and the changes to our weather from polar amplification will be beneficial, rather than detrimental. However, assuming this without considering the risks that climate sensitivity will be high; that a warmer climate will have negative effects on agriculture; that changes to our weather will have many detrimental effects; that ocean acidification will damage ecosystems; and that we might be forced into taking the kind of action that we’d probably rather avoid, just seems rather silly.

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93 Responses to One World government

  1. victorpetri says:

    We have been getting increaslingly global and intranational cooperation, e.g. the UN, Worldbank, etc. I can imagine an international organisation for Climate Control, in which all countries are represented.

  2. I can imagine an international organisation for Climate Control, in which all countries are represented.

    If by Climate Control you mean geo-engineering, then I didn’t say it was impossible. The point, though, is that it isn’t necessary.

    If you can imagine one for climate control, why not one for emission reduction, or do you accept that as also possible?

  3. victorpetri says:

    @ATTP,

    Yes it is an option also. I have all options open always. However, one that is less likely though, because simply put, fossil fuels are a too valuable resource to not be using.

  4. victorpetri,

    fossil fuels are a too valuable resource to not be using.

    Your opinion, of course? In my opinion, that’s a weak argument, especially as it appears to completely ignore negative externalities..

  5. jsam says:

    SO2 is a pollutant. What else could go wrong? http://naei.defra.gov.uk/overview/pollutants?pollutant_id=8

    If China and Russia were to join the IEA that would be a natural forum to discuss energy.

  6. victorpetri says:

    @jsam,
    If I remember correctly it would be the equivalent of 1 coal plant’s yearly output to be put in the troposphere.

  7. jsam says:

    Victor – that doesn’t sound like a win to me. If I remember correctly the last time we tried geo-engineering we were unimpressed with the unintentional side-effects.

  8. > A global superpower, who would benefit from the process, might carry on regardless; effectively imposing their will on the rest of the planet.

    Some call it the World Bank.

    Any corporation, any consortium could justify doing that for profit. Bechtel already tried something like this in Bolivia:

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/2000_Cochabamba_protests

  9. victorpetri says:

    A global superpower would mean a country.
    The World bank is a force for good in the world.

  10. victorpetri,

    The World bank is a force for good in the world.

    You seem remarkably certain. I don’t think everyone agrees with you.

  11. victorpetri says:

    I know its fashionable not to agree with that, that’s why it seemed prudent to make a clear statement of it.

  12. Road engine manufacturers are currently spending huge amounts to reduce NOx emissions to meet legislation [ http://www.nextgreencar.com/caremissions.php ]. How long before that’s extended to SOx, as for maritime applications? [ http://www.emsa.europa.eu/main/air-pollution.html ]

    To inject sulphur into the high atmosphere appears close to madness. Has anyone worked out how a reduction in sunlight intensity will impact global agriculture yields?

  13. As Anders notes, geoengineering through stratospheric aerosol injection doesn’t address ocean acidification. Apparently that needs to be repeated. Ocean acidification has been linked to mass extinctions. A billion people rely on seafood.

    A more subtle issue is the strength of the hydrological cycle. Injecting aerosols into the stratosphere can’t simultaneously compensate surface warming and the hydrological cycle. Kleidon and Renner 2013 shows that the hydrological cycle is more sensitive to changes in solar radiation (such as from stratospheric aerosol injection) than to changes in greenhouse forcing.

    The strength of the hydrological cycle is crucial for agriculture, and thus crucial for our food security. It’s also crucial for our water security.

    Oh, and once more: geoengineering through stratospheric aerosol injection doesn’t address ocean acidification.

  14. @DumbSci,
    I’ll repeat it too, geoengineering through stratospheric aerosol injection doesn’t address ocean acidification.

    What you say about the hydrological cycle is interesting. I don’t remember hearing about that before. If I understand what you’ve said (and the abstract of the paper to which you link) we can’t use aerosols to both return us to a previous state where both the temperature and hydrological cycle are both the same as before.

    and…geoengineering through stratospheric aerosol injection doesn’t address ocean acidification.

  15. Steve Bloom says:

    Unintentionally, Anders? I think the word you were looking for might be negligently. For quite some time now we’ve been emitting carbon with a conscious disregard for the consequences.

  16. Steve,
    Ahh, I used unintentionally because the reason why we’re emitting CO2 is not to geoengineer the planet, that’s an unfortunate side-effect. Given that we now know that a consequence of our emissions is that we are geo-engineering the planet, “negligent” is indeed an appropriate term.

  17. “A global superpower, who would benefit from the process, might carry on regardless; effectively imposing their will on the rest of the planet.”

    I once heard the claim that it would not need a super power. That any larger country or group could do this. An obvious choice would be Bangladesh. For them the main problem is sea level rise and thus the global mean temperature. Even if the patterns of precipitation change, temperature distribution changes, the insolation becomes different, they probably benefit from geo-engineering, if the world decides not to act and mitigate.

    When I read that you had a post on geo-engineering and One World Government, I thought your argument would be that geo-engineering requires One World Government, that otherwise it becomes a complete mess. How else do you want to prevent Bangladesh from doing it or doing too much? Especially if they do not know exactly how much Tuvalu is doing and the climate responding only slowly. Thus the libertarians with their love of delaying mitigation are steering the world into the direction of One World Government. I would personally prefer mitigation and voluntary collaboration between sovereign countries.

  18. Victor,

    Thus the libertarians with their love of delaying mitigation are steering the world into the direction of One World Government.

    Yes, I was hinting at that in the post but maybe should have been a little blunter. That’s pretty much what I was getting at.

    I would personally prefer mitigation and voluntary collaboration between sovereign countries.

    Likewise.

  19. > The World bank is a force for good in the world.

    Some may disagree:

    Soon after becoming head of the World Bank, Wolfowitz lapsed into his typical favoritism, even while he was, ironically, decrying the technique as practiced by governments of the global South. Instead of having an open search for some key positions and allowing for promotions from within, Wolfowitz simply installed Republicans from the Bush administration in high positions with enormous salaries. He brought Kevin Kellems from Dick Cheney’s office (where he had been communications director) and gave him a tax-free salary said to have been as high as $250,000 a year. As Wolfowitz’s new senior advisor, Kellems was leap-frogged over hundreds of officials with serious credentials in development work, something about which he knew little. When representing Cheney, Kellems went to great lengths to defend the vice president’s implausible conspiracy theory linking Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden.

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/world-bank-scandal-paul-wolfowitz-s-fatal-weakness-a-482945.html

    Let VictorP rope-a-dope to another talking point.

  20. Willard, that article makes me realise just how much damage one individual is capable of doing.

  21. Yes, but the IPCC, AT. But the IPCC.

  22. anoilman says:

    I’d like to harp on the fact that with Solar;
    We’d have full energy independence.
    We’d clean the air, and stop killing people with air pollution.
    We’d stop global warming.

    I wish people would stop bringing up placebos for global warming, and concentrate on solving the problem. Namely, remove CO2, and preferably not put it up in the first place.

  23. Mal Adapted says:

    victorpetri:

    I have all options open always. However, one that is less likely though, because simply put, fossil fuels are a too valuable resource to not be using.

    One would almost suspect that victorpetri is personally invested in sustaining fossil fuel consumption at high rates. Better let those options expire, victor, or you’ll be stuck with stranded assets.

  24. Steve Bloom says:

    +1 Mal.

  25. Steve Bloom says:

    Re Wolfowitz, he was just following the template used in the Iraq and Afghanistan occupations, and we’ve all seem how well *those* worked out. (And continue to work out. It’s almost as if someone planned it.)

  26. victorpetri says:

    @willard
    That’s your argument on why the world bank is bad?
    Nothing on their poverty reduction strategies? Or on the Clean air iniative? The billions for clean technology? And the billions for food security? Nor anything on the fact that your favorite hobby horse, climate change, is high on the priority list of the Worldbank.
    It’s not perfect, but overall, a force for good.

  27. victorpetri says:

    Nearly 40% of my stockportfolio is in Solar, I do think that is the way to go, and I am invested in that.

  28. > That’s your argument on why the world bank is bad?

    I have no idea what you mean by “the world bank is bad”, VictorP. It’s like you’d want to caricature what I say or something. Also, notice that “it’s not perfect” is a fallacy.

    I too can play squirrels:

    So the fact that Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), is facing trial for allegedly raping a maid in a New York hotel room is – rightly – big news. But imagine a prominent figure was charged not with raping a maid, but starving her to death, along with her children, her parents, and thousands of other people. That is what the IMF has done to innocent people in the recent past. That is what it will do again, unless we transform it beyond all recognition. But that is left in the silence.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/commentators/johann-hari/johann-hari-its-not-just-dominique-strausskahn-the-imf-itself-should-be-on-trial-2292270.html

    I think there will need a bit more than “it’s not perfect” to get out of that one, VictorP. Unless you rope-a-dope to your next talking point?

  29. izen says:

    I wonder how it is possible to measure the moral complexion of the world bank?
    the world bank emerges as an inevitable consequence of a world financial market. It exists like the international and global institutions that regulate the radio bandwidth and ocean exploitation because global regulation ensures the optimal outcome.

    The world bank has a rather small role in redistribution from the wealthier nations. The biggest donors get the biggest say on how it is run and who benefits.

    I think to judge such a process would require a pre-existing concept of what a global financial organisation SHOULD be.
    You might then regard it as a force for good if it carries out regulation and investment in the market in ways of which you approve. Even if it is prone to regulatory capture or outright corruption the benefits in improved opportunity outweighs the costs. Cost that may well have been inevitable with ANY global financial interactions.

    But others may have as an absolute a priori principle that anything with “World” or “Global” in the title is a threat to free markets, free nations and individual freedom.

    Given the inevitability of a World Bank of some description, judgement of its ethical status will derive from the subjective opportunity costs and benefits of the real bank against whatever utopian or dystopian imaginary version of such an institution that a person holds.

    Similar problems arise when other actual and potential institutions, panels and councils are judged. Even if they emerge in response to a measurable need that requires a policy response.

  30. So unless you have an absolute a priori principle that anything with “World” or “Global” in the tile is a threat to free stuff, you just can’t judge that ordering Malawi to sell off almost every bit of grains it owned to private companies and speculators right before the biggest famine of its existence may have been suboptimal? And that in its existence, the World Bank played this kind of suboptimal moves was done over and over again, to a point where Joseph Stiglitz left it and became a whistleblower?

    Here’s how he describe its modus operandi:

    When the IMF arrives in a country, they are interested in only one thing. How do we make sure the banks and financial institutions are paid?… It is the IMF that keeps the [financial] speculators in business. They’re not interested in development, or what helps a country to get out of poverty.

    That must be because Stiglitz entertains some absolute a priori principle (as opposed to relative, a posteriori principles, no doubt).

  31. Mal Adapted says:

    victorpetri:

    Nearly 40% of my stockportfolio is in Solar, I do think that is the way to go, and I am invested in that.

    Then your mouth isn’t where your money is 8^D!

  32. Aphan says:

    Anoilman-

    “I’d like to harp on the fact that with Solar;
    We’d have full energy independence.
    We’d clean the air, and stop killing people with air pollution.
    We’d stop global warming.”

    “I wish people would stop bringing up placebos for global warming, and concentrate on solving the problem. Namely, remove CO2, and preferably not put it up in the first place.”

    Offhand, I can think of several logical contradictions to your statements.

    “Full energy dependence”-
    Solar power is fraught with logistical problems-it’s only available 12 hours a day on a perfect, cloudless day, it’s notoriously difficult to power anything with it 24/7 without a backup power source for unexpected downtime and storage shortfalls. So far solar power has only been harnessed successfully to generate basic electricity. How on earth do you see solar replacing all of our energy needs…such as powering cars, airplanes, trains, shipping when there is no way to store the necessary wattage quickly enough or efficiently enough to power travel?

    The NREL report in 2013 estimated that it would take at least 3.68 million acres just to power all of the homes in the US, the equivalent of 5,750 square miles! (That doesn’t include businesses, public utilities, or anything else)

    http://spectrum.ieee.org/energywise/green-tech/solar/report-counts-up-solar-power-land-use-needs
    “We’d stop global warming”-
    That’s a fairly odd statement since every expert in the world knows that the globe has warmed and cooled for billions of years, and there is absolutely NO evidence to support the idea that minus human C02 the globe would have stopped warming entirely or be suspended in some kind of holding pattern. What makes you believe that this interglacial period would have been cooler than any of the previous ones if humans weren’t emitting C02?

    According to experts I’ve read, in rough amounts, the natural sources of CO2…the biosphere and oceans account for 440 gigatons (55%) and 330 gigatons (41%) of the atmospheric CO2 in the air respectively, annually. The burning of fossil fuels sends up roughly 4 gigatons (4%) of the total. If either or both of the natural sources of CO2 in the atmosphere increase even slightly in the absence of human CO2, we’d STILL get global warming! How do you plan to remove just the 4% of human CO2?

    As far as the idea that past climate changes on planet Earth have always been gradual or that they “usually happen slowly” goes, that idea was proven to be scientifically false more than 20 years ago. In 2002, a group of 59 scientific experts produced a 244 page report with over 500 references in it called “Abrupt Climate Change:Inevitable Surprises. The description of the report includes this statement-

    “The climate record for the past 100,000 years clearly indicates that the climate system has undergone periodic–and often extreme–shifts, sometimes in as little as a decade or less. The causes of abrupt climate changes have not been clearly established, but the triggering of events is likely to be the result of multiple natural processes.”

    http://books.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=10136

    Dr. Jeff Masters, commenting on abrupt climate change said:
    “We generally consider climate changes as taking place on the scale of hundreds or even thousands of years. However, since the early 1990s, a radical shift in the scientific understanding of Earth’s climate history has occurred. We now know that that major regional and global climate shifts have occurred in just a few decades or even a single year. ”

    “Ocean and lake sediment data from places such as California, Venezuela, and Antarctica have confirmed that these sudden climate changes affected not just Greenland, but the entire world. During the past 110,000 years, there have been at least 20 such abrupt climate changes. Only one period of stable climate has existed during the past 110,000 years–the 11,000 years of modern climate (the “Holocene” era). “Normal” climate for Earth is the climate of sudden extreme jumps–like a light switch flicking on and off. ”

    http://www.wunderground.com/resources/climate/abruptclimate.asp

    If you can refute the scientific evidence, or authorities referred to here, please do.

  33. izen says:

    @- willard (@nevaudit)
    “So unless you have an absolute a priori principle that anything with “World” or “Global” in the tile is a threat to free stuff, you just can’t judge that ordering Malawi to sell off almost every bit of grains it owned to private companies and speculators right before the biggest famine of its existence may have been suboptimal?”

    It is always possible to judge, and there are indeed many examples of IMF policy and actions that it is easy to determine are sub-optimal.

    It is considerably less straightforward to ascribe culpability to the IMF or World Bank as the specific cause of those suboptimal (for the victim, the banks and companies benefit obviously) policies.

    @- “When the IMF arrives in a country, they are interested in only one thing. How do we make sure the banks and financial institutions are paid?… It is the IMF that keeps the [financial] speculators in business. They’re not interested in development, or what helps a country to get out of poverty.”

    It is not a specific characteristic of the IMF to be primarily concerned with re-payment at profit. That is a feature (and flaw) of the financial markets. It seems naive to assume of only the IMF would pursue this money first, never mind the poverty, policy. If no global institution existed I suggest it is unlikely that individual nations and businesses would take a radically different policy approach. But it is inherently inevitable that some form of global financial governance would emerge from global financial markets. That such an organisation would not adopt the predominate motivations of financial markets, that they get paid at a profitable rate, seems highly unlikely.

    Therefore complaining about the failings of the world bank is less an indictment of the specific institution and much more a disagreement with the core behaviour of our present financial system. Recent attempt to replace it with other financial systems such as Marxist resource governance have not indicated a superior outcome in resource development or a more equitable distribution of those developed resources.

  34. Rob Nicholls says:

    It seems to me that the World Bank and IMF have imposed structural adjustment programmes on many dozens of countries over the last 30 years or so and that these programmes have caused a great amount of suffering. Perhaps this would have happened anyway without the World Bank and the IMF. To an extent these institutions seem to make decisions which favour the rich elites that control them, and if the World Bank and the IMF did not exist then presumably those rich elites would put in place other mechanisms to do the same job. I would personally like to see changes to the global economic system so that it does a much better job of meeting everyone’s basic needs and limiting inequality than it currently does. I don’t believe the changes required to achieve this would be logistically particularly difficult to achieve but elites perceive such changes to be against their self-interest so they resist them at every turn.

  35. Rob Nicholls says:

    Erm…in my last comment I didn’t mean to suggest that improving the world’s economic system wouldn’t be “logistically particularly difficult to achieve” – I don’t want to downplay the complexity of the issues involved. I was really trying to say that I think it shouldn’t be beyond the wit of humankind to make the system work better than it does now, and that I believe that it’s largely a lack of political will among those who hold the most power which prevents this from happening. Apologies for all this conjecture – I have no citations to back it up.

    In politics and economics it seems much more difficult to provide strong evidence for or against a particular view than in, say, climate science. I would like to think that at least where climate change is concerned people from different parts of the political spectrum can look at the evidence and hopefully agree a sensible way forward.

  36. victorpetri says:

    @Rob Nicholls about IMF and the worldbank serving the elite.
    For me those are populist unscientific statements on par with climate change denial. If for example one looks at Europe and the countries that were most keen in implementing the changes that IMF prescribes, these are the countries that are rebounding now the most (e.g. Ireland), whilst laggards have been inadequate in taking the right steps (e.g. France).

  37. Rob Nicholls says:

    Thanks VictorPetri…always fun to see my views equated with climate change denial! I was thinking more of the impact of IMF programmes on, for instance, sub-Saharan Africa, where I understand countries were forced to cut healthcare and education as part of their structural adjustment programmes in the 80s and 90s. One example of many policies imposed by the IMF that were not in the interests of the people living in the countries affected, in my opinion.

  38. > For me those are populist unscientific statements on par with climate change denial.

    Here’s some background on Joseph Stiglitz, one of those who made a statement VictorP characterizes as populist:

    I had no strong agenda, other than doing what I could to promote the development of these countries, in ways which did as much as possible to eliminate poverty. But as I quickly became engrossed in the problems of development, a variety of issues surfaced, the most important of which was the intellectual framework with which development was to be pursued. In a recent article in Atlantic Monthly16 I described a trip to Ethiopia, where I saw the IMF advocate policies of financial market liberalization which made no sense, in which it argued that the countries budget was out of balance – when in my estimate that was clearly not the case – and in which it had suspended its program, in spite of that country’s first rate macro-economic performance. More broadly, the IMF was advocating a set of policies which is generally referred to alternatively as the Washington consensus, the neo-liberal doctrines, or market fundamentalism, based on an incorrect understanding of economic theory and (what I viewed) as an inadequate interpretation of the historical data. The IMF was using models that failed to incorporate the advances in economic theory of the past twenty five years, including the work on imperfect information and incomplete markets to which I had contributed. Most importantly, they had departed from the mission for which they had been founded, under the intellectual guidance of Keynes – they actually promoted contractionary fiscal policies for countries facing an economic downturn – and they advocated polices like capital market liberalization, for which there was little evidence that growth was promoted, while there was ample evidence that such policies generated instability.

    As an academic I was scandalized; as a former adviser to the President who had helped design a “third way” for the United States – a view of the role of government that was markedly different from that envisioned by the Washington consensus – I was particularly disturbed by the role of the US government (or more accurately, the US Treasury) in pushing these views.

    If the IMF had only pushed its views – misrepresenting them as the lessons of economic orthodoxy, describing them as if they were Pareto dominant (that is, they were policies which would make everyone better off, so that there were no trade-offs), rather than the policies which reflected the perspectives and interests of particular groups within society – that would have been bad enough. But all too often they used their economic power effectively to force countries to adopt these policies, undermining democratic processes. As someone who had grown up in mid-America, strongly inculcated with democratic values, I found this hard to accept; and even more so because the IMF’s own governance was so dissonant with democratic principles (a single country has an effective veto; countries like China were long underrepresented, the “governors” of the IMF, those responsible for its decisions, finance ministers and the heads of the central banks, are hardly representative, and the heads of the central banks themselves are typically not directly democratically accountable).

    http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/economic-sciences/laureates/2001/stiglitz-bio.html

    In a squirrel fest, it is important to keep the eye both on the ball and the endzone. My only target is to show that some may disagree with VictorP’s “The World bank is a force for good in the world”. Peddling’s Stiglitz’ disagreement allows me to get something out of this ClimateBall ™ episode, which would otherwise be quite vain.

  39. > It is always possible to judge, and there are indeed many examples of IMF policy and actions that it is easy to determine are sub-optimal. It is considerably less straightforward to ascribe culpability to the IMF or World Bank as the specific cause of those suboptimal (for the victim, the banks and companies benefit obviously) policies.

    Indeed, it is possible that the IMF and the World Bank may not be responsible for the policies they edict at all. Gremlins are everywhere.

    Appealing to this possibility may not be the best way to argue that they are forces for good in the World.

  40. anoilman says:

    Aphan: You are wrong. I think what you posted is just plain trolling. Grow up.

    Solar works at night. There’s this little invention called, “The Battery”. It works, and odds are pretty good you’ve used one. Look it up some time you might learn something. If you need to be spoon fed, read this;
    https://www.purdue.edu/discoverypark/energy/assets/pdfs/SUFG/publications/SUFG%20Energy%20Storage%20Report.pdf

    I agree that long distance travel is a concern. I haven’t looked into it.

    6000 square miles! Eek! 0.16% of the US land area! Indeed, be afraid very afraid. Just an FYI, but Solar PV generally goes on the roof top, and provides power to industry and charges batteries during the day. This is why your traditional power companies are afraid. Read on.
    http://grist.org/climate-energy/solar-panels-could-destroy-u-s-utilities-according-to-u-s-utilities/

    If you don’t think a trace level gas is a concern. Breath 300PPM of H2S and call me in the morning. (Sorry, dark humor.)

  41. Aphan says:

    Anoilman-

    “Solar works at night. There’s this little invention called, “The Battery”.”

    Solar is GONE at night. And I said “it’s notoriously difficult to power anything with it 24/7 without a backup power source for unexpected downtime and storage shortfalls.”

    What exactly did you think I meant by “storage shortfalls”? Buckets? But oh there’s the cost of a battery for your home-$3,000-$10,000 depending (see articles below) and about that charging batteries by day….sure sure…if the SUN is shining. Hope you don’t need more than a couple of days power from your battery before the Sun comes back out.

    http://www.desertsun.com/story/tech/science/greenenergy/2014/04/26/solar-industry-storage-batteries/8227771/

    http://fortune.com/2013/11/06/storing-solar-energy-for-a-rainy-day/

    Because Hydrogen Sulfide shares SO many characteristics with Co2 right?

    Please stick to facts and evidence instead of making wild assumptions about my education or motives, thanks.

  42. Aphan says:

    Oh, and AnOilMan, those Lithium batteries? How sustainable is the manufacturing and disposal of millions and millions of them….to store all that solar power? Defunct lithium batteries have been classified as hazardous to the environment, and people.

    http://phys.org/news/2013-05-emphasis-recycling-reuse-li-ion-batteries.html

  43. anoilman says:

    I never mentioned Lithium Batteries. Last I checked, Lithium wasn’t viable.

    You should read that article I linked to. It will give a first grounder in existing technologies currently deployed, what’s ready, and what the actual requirements are. Not the ones you just invented off the top of your head.
    https://www.purdue.edu/discoverypark/energy/assets/pdfs/SUFG/publications/SUFG%20Energy%20Storage%20Report.pdf

    Anyways, during the Calgary floods they cut the power for a week. Several businesses were unaffected, and they ran 24/7 on solar. I think you are the first person I’ve met this century who doesn’t know what a battery is. 🙂 Life must be hard for you.

  44. Let’s distinguish between the IMF and the World bank.

    The IMF forces neoliberal policies on poor countries that have a downfall.

    The World Bank finances development. There are benefits to multilateral development aid over aid by single countries. If only that the latter case is often closer to being export subsidies, rather than helping poor countries.

  45. victorpetri says:

    @VV, the other V..
    “The IMF forces neoliberal policies on poor countries that have a downfall.”
    And considering the top 100 fastest economic growers of the last decade were practically all under developed nations, and Africa is the economically fastest growing continent, the policies are working well.

  46. I guess you mean grow in percent, expressed in the way bankers find interesting. In absolute terms we grow much faster. The current “boom” in Africa is due to commodity prices, rather than due to good economic policy, I would argue. I hope they will use the revenue to build up a stable and diverse economy.

    Do you mean those fast growing developing countries such as Japan, Korea, China, and the Asian Tiger states, before the IMF got hold of them? They all used the state to develop themselves. Just like Europe and America did when we were still poor.

    This is a great video by a Korean economist working in the UK on the topic. The book to the video is great.

  47. victorpetri says:

    Percentage growth is the only meaningful way to express economic growth, and it does mean that those countries are catching up at breakneck pace.

    Thanks for the link of Ha-Joon Chang, I encountered his work before, perhaps I’ll check it out. Though I do understand his work lacks scientific rigor, and it’s mainly conceptual.
    The economist is not impressed:
    http://www.economist.com/node/9719506
    You know he regularly speaks at the IMF? I would regard his work as a possible addition to the IMF, not a substitution.

  48. Every successful economies known to mankind have been mixed economies. The liberal myth has no bearing in reality. The best one could argue is for increasing liberalization, but even then its relationship between growth is far from being obvious. It is not so linear as to converge toward minarchism.

    That there are benefits to multilateral development aid only shows that both the IMF, which acts more like a bank, and the World Bank, which acts like a fund, are necessary evils. Just like pawn shops, actually. The logic is exactly the same. Where it gets immoral is when the usurary practices mimick the Soprano’s:

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bust_Out

  49. victorpetri says:

    @Willard
    I do see it differently. For me liberalisation is key to wealth creation. Which by no means me that governments do not have an important role to play, since they can pursue other worthy well-being related goals with that wealth. That said, it does seem that occasionally government can create wealth by optimizing markets functionality, Sweden come to mind, and other Scandinavian countries. I am not in favor of total liberalisation, but indeed overall I believe the world would benefit from more liberalisation (and always would have).

    On progressivism, The Economist coined a term True Progressivism with which I can relate to:
    http://www.economist.com/node/21564556

  50. victorpetri,
    Do you think that a school that is publicly funded via taxpayers money creates no wealth, while an entirely private school (in which people pay directly for their schooling) does? I could ask the same question about healthcare, road maintenance, …. too.

  51. victorpetri says:

    ps Love the Sopranos

  52. victorpetri says:

    @ATTP
    Funding universal education might well be a very good example of creating wealth, see e.g. the article of the Economist that I provided. (infrastructure is probably another)
    But in general, if you would ask whether public or private parties fund a certain investment, it is not the question whether one creates no wealth, whilst the other does, the question would be which would be optimal for wealth creation and where would you spend your dollar. Then you could argue that due to creative destruction and competition it will be private parties that have optimal return of investment and have the continuous incentive to improve and optimize.

  53. victorpetri,
    Okay, largely agree. If you have any knowledge of this, do you think the UK’s health service (NHS) is preferable, or not, to the US system of private health coverage?

  54. victorpetri says:

    @ATTP
    Sorry, I have little knowledge of that.
    I do know US’s system is absurdly expensive, which I understood to be blamed on excessive spending by some old and very rich people and legal expenses. In overall, I appreciate European styled health services better, as I do not feel wealth creation should be high priority for health services, nor do I feel that physicians and health service personnel need financial incentives to function properly. The people that I know that work in health care, which are actually quite a lot, are compassionate people that work very hard. (I am from the Netherlands, where everybody has health insurance).

  55. victorpetri,
    Indeed the US system is absurdly expensive. It’s about twice as expensive per person as other comparable countries, doesn’t cover the entire population and – remarkably – still costs the taxpayer as much per person as many other nations that provide full health coverage.

    The only reason I’m pointing this out is that there are examples where a non-publicly funded system becomes extremely inefficient (US healthcare) and examples where something that’s publicly funded becomes unnecessarily costly (I can’t think of a good example, but I’m sure there are some). I just don’t really think that there is a one-size fits all approach to how we run our economies, as I think Willard was trying to point out above.

  56. > I do see it differently.

    I don’t see how. Of course liberalization can be good. It’s an empirical fact. We can even surmize it’s a killer app to prosperous civilizations according to Ferguson:

    (I’m citing Ferguson up to tease BBD.)

    The Devil, as always, lies in the details.

    If we knew these details, there wouldn’t be any need for Lomborgian double talk.

    Growth talk belongs to ideological warfare more than anything.

  57. AnOilMan says:

    My parents founded and operated a private hospital in the US.

    The stories they have are pretty scary. The heart of the issue is that with a for profit system cost has to go up by definition. But its much worse than that, armies of accountants are brought to bear on any given transaction to try and eliminate cost (read: service). So in order to provide service, you need a lot of accountants willing to stay on the phone and argue. (You need all communications in writing since American HMOs will verbally approve anything, and deny payment later.)

    I’ve been present multiple times when criminal endeavors have been offered to my parents. Doctors were offering to prescribe patients to my parents in payment for services, etc. (My mom was cognizant of the law and said no.)

    By far the scariest fellow I met was wanting to start a ‘pain clinic’ to help deal with accident injuries etc. The clinic would be staffed with a variety of professionals able to deal with various aspects of treatment and recovery. He said, (and I quote) “It would be supervised by a doctor who would prescribe treatments to the limits of the insurance.” This man had founded many other clinics in the US.

    My wife worked with Patient Safety in Canada so I’ve heard the worst of the worst here. It ain’t as bad as the US.

    VictorPetri: This is the kind of reality that would be aggressively abused by a libertarian retraction of regulation. However I am sympathetic to doctors in Canada who are essentially required to work for the government. I don’t have an answer, but I feel that no one should be forced to a specific employer.

  58. AnOilMan says:

    wilard: I read that a big part of why the 2008 bust was as hard on the world was because of outsourced jobs. When one sector of the economy fails (financial), the other (manufacturing) picks up some o the slack.

    Globalization has essentially bred economic diversification out of us, and we are now a one trick pony. At least we can get lots of cheap plastic shit from China.

  59. There must be as many theories (or more) about the 2008 bust as there are people, who have developed such theories.

    Economics remains a field of research, where very competent people keep on disagreeing on almost everything.

    The statements of Stiglitz presented in this thread are a good example of thinking supported by many, and found seriously lacking by others of similar competence.

  60. On the contrary, Oily One — we have not gone far enough:

    > COSTS are rising everywhere for American corporations, from energy to employee health insurance premiums. Yet in their drive to cut expenses, most notably by moving factories and call centers to other countries, they are overlooking the escalating cost of the executive suite. It’s time to apply market logic to this disturbing trend and begin outsourcing chief executives. This measure would unlock tremendous value for shareholders.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/09/opinion/09orlow.html

  61. Pekka,

    Economics remains a field of research, where very competent people keep on disagreeing on almost everything.

    That does indeed seem to be true.

    The statements of Stiglitz presented in this thread are a good example of thinking supported by many, and found seriously lacking by others of similar competence.

    Yes, again seems true, which probably says quite a lot about the credibility of economics overall.

  62. AnOilMan says:

    pekka: I don’t disagree. But being a smug Canadian I was happy to sit out the global economic melt down. Our PM had predicted it in the 1990s, and regulated our banks. Our current PM deregulated (for libertarian ideological reasons) for about a year before the melt down, so our exposure was small.

    willard: I’m familiar with many of the issues of the corporate world. I have outsourced jobs as well. I don’t think that outsourcing manufacturing jobs is the source of our corporate woes. I think our businesses are struggling the global economy becoming a closed system. With globalization we all have access to all the same products and their lack of diversity.

    I used to look forward to shopping when I traveled, but you can see all the same shops in Banff Canada, Las Vegas USA, and Beaune France. That really reduces things to seeing the sights and eating.

    Last place I worked was run by people who didn’t know how to run a business, or what was going on in the industry, or how our products worked, and were differentiated in the market space. But the accountants could cost cut, so an endless cycle of downsizing, and reducing ensued.

    I see that time and time again, and particularly in medium to large industries. Once the founders are bought out, autocratic decision making disappears, and a bunch of munchkins who don’t exactly know what they are doing are hired. Rince and Repeat. (I prefer startups.)

    GE is an interesting beast since they have evolved to the point that, that is all they do. They don’t know or understand their products, they just make them. They buy other businesses, and squeeze them dry over and over. The jet engines they brag about are a Pratt and Whitney design. (FYI, they don’t sell the engines, they leased them, so they make money even if the airline does not.)

  63. Having made such strong statements about economics, I must say that I do still consider economics a very important and useful field of research. I do also believe that economists have learned a lot. That they can still disagree as strongly as anyone can see reading Krugman’s columns in NY Times seems to be due to two factors: First of all, economies form an extremely complex substructure of human societies, and secondly the behavior of economies is changing all the time.

    The divide between various forms of Keynesianism and those who trust free markets and rational expectations more in the neoclassical spirit is the main issue also in judging policies of IMF.

    Here again my feeling is that purest forms of both sides reject too easily very important issues emphasized by the other side. One reason for the divide may be that both extremes are theoretically more approachable than the wide field in between. Unfortunately the reality seems to be just in the region that’s too difficult for everybody.

  64. Steve Bloom says:

    There must be as many theories (or more) about the 2008 bust as there are people, who have developed such theories.

    Economics remains a field of research, where very competent people keep on disagreeing on almost everything.

    The statements of Stiglitz presented in this thread are a good example of thinking supported by many, and found seriously lacking by others of similar competence.

    As in science, the ultimate test for hypotheses is the success of their predictions. One side of this debate did rather better than the other when it comes to 2008 and its aftermath. In particular the idea of growth recovery via austerity comes to mind. It’s an especially instructive example since while austerity policies in such circumstances are bad for growth, the associated low inflation (even deflation) is good for the very large sector of the wealthy who have a large dependence on interest income.

  65. Steve,

    In the US the monetary policies of Fed and many other policies have been far from the austerity policies. In Europe the situation has been different, partly because Germans have their ideas on what’s right, and partly because the Euro-area is not a single country.

    One point seems to be that clear-cut to me. Those, who claimed that the policies of Federal Reserve lead very soon to high inflation were clearly wrong. (It’s still possible that those policies have built up other distortions that bite later.)

  66. Steve Bloom says:

    Pekka, inflation is far from the only thing they were wrong about. Anyway, the story in the U.S. is that the stimulus was too small (by about half) due to the political clout of the austerians. Subsequently the Fed tried to cover the gap from its end, but with only partial effectiveness since the Fed has only indirect tools at its disposal. And so we continue to bump along on the edge of recession. BTW, if you want some actual long-term damage, may I suggest the effects of under-production and underemployment over an extended period of time.

    I’m much less up to speed on Europe, but my understanding is that after years of submission to the austerians the ECB at least is showing a little Fed-style backbone.

  67. guthrie says:

    The issue with economics is more that there are actual economists who study the economy, and there are only a handful of schools of thought there, with most of them very wrong and a couple only slightly wrong.
    However what gives the impression that economics isn’t a science or that you can make it all up are the large numbers of hacks, shills, journalists and courtiers who interpret or present economics from the first group of researchers to the politicians and the public. It is there that you can find the plethora of voices and theories.

    The issue is that because of politics and ideology, there are more competing schools of economics than you would in science, meaning that yes, you can find ‘competent’ people who disagree with Stiglitz about things, but their competency (IN the cases that they are wrong about, although obviously judging that is often difficult) is within their own narrow ideology of economics, rather than their adherence to evidence and procedure.

  68. Steve,
    What you write, is a clear example of the situation I tried to explain.

    I don’t claim that you are necessarily wrong, but I have got the impression that you are on many issues far too eager to accept the evidence that agrees with your prejudices, and to disregard the opposing evidence.
    .
    Economics is strongly linked with political ideologies, and that kind of one-sided attitudes are really visible in economics. Paul Krugman finds it in his opponents, where do you think that his opponents find it?

  69. Steve Bloom says:

    I try to avoid making strong claims unless I’ve done my homework, Pekka. I do spend way less time on economics than on climate science and policy, but I don’t just take Krugman’s word on the former. As with physics and climate science, in the end there are cold, hard facts that determine which hypotheses are the correct ones. You listed one such (inflation due to stimulus) that puts Krugman in a favorable light relative to his opponents, but there are several others. Can you list even one to the contrary? I hope this isn’t just a matter of you preferring that someone with Krugman’s politics (not at all the same as mine, BTW) not be right so much.

  70. Steve Bloom says:

    “Here again my feeling is that purest forms of both sides reject too easily very important issues emphasized by the other side.”

    Maybe more to the point would be to ask for examples of this by Krugman’s side.

  71. Steve,

    Krugman presents very strong claims in his NYT columns. He has been a party of similarly strong argumentation many times before. He’s surely a competent economist, but so are also those on the opposite side in these controversies. He claims often that his views have been proven right by later observations. I’m certain that those on the opposing side make similar claims.

    The issues are not nearly that clear-cut. Neither side can present objectively convincing proof for being essentially more right than the other side. Most extreme positions in the Keynesian direction (far beyond Keynes himself) are certainly in error as are the most extreme positions on the other edge (or edges as there are many). Disagreement is going to persist among those, who have strong positions that are not quite that extreme.

    Picking a narrative and filling it with supporting evidence makes you (meaning virtually everyone) feel that everything fits together, and that you must be right and those who disagree wrong. You may even think that they are not fully honest but bought by some interest group to present views against their better knowledge. That’s seldom the case. We did, indeed, have the case of tobacco industry, and we have professional lobbyist, but imagining that all on the other side are just defenders of special interests rather than truth is non-sense.

    That those with views that happen to align with some special interest get support from those interests is natural even when they present only views that they have obtained through their own research and thinking. Industries have also the right to defend their interests. When industries have really big interests to defend that means almost always that also important common interests are involved. Oil has been (and still is) important for us all outside the industry itself. It’s right that such interests are defended. It’s right to take advantage of the understanding of people who have genuine arguments for that. Lying and misleading intentionally is not right.

    It’s also right that some climate scientists take as their task looking for weaknesses in the main stream climate science. Science needs such scientists. What’s not right, is to represent their findings as essentially more significant than they really are. The weakness of their findings must, however, be shown using arguments of science, not ad hominems.

    Creating lists of connections between various people and groups is fine, when the lists concern paid lobbyists and other similar cases, but pretending or implying (or leading others to conclude) that a person with some link to industry and with views that align with interests of the industry is corrupt goes close to libel, when no direct evidence can be presented.

  72. Vinny Burgoo says:

    Nicely put, Pekka Pirila. That’s a keeper.

  73. Eli Rabett says:

    ATTP Ken Caldiera and Eli got there first

    Caldiera:

    The knowledge required to manage an emergency global geoengineering scheme is very considerable, and very rapid and expensive action will be essential when things go wrong, as they probably will. Accordingly the scheme cannot be run democratically with any hope of success, only technocratically. Thought experiment: you have a project running on ocean fertilisation with iron in the Pacific. Evidence has come up that this is pumping up the El Niño cycle, with droughts and fires in Australia and the collapse of Peruvian fisheries. Do you suspend or not?

    Eli:

    That’s only the beginning. The bottom line is that geoengineering requires fleets of black helicopters to get done. The requirement for something that will not amuse the guys at the Breakthrough Institute and their CEI/Heartland type funders. . Stuff like that on a global scale requires a global Ghengis Khan to pull the strings.

  74. Eli Rabett says:

    Pekka joins the world is round, opinions differ school.

  75. Eli,
    Yes, I realise I’m probably repeating (unkowingly of course) things that others more knowledgeable than I have already said. At least I appear to be broadly consistent with those more knowledgeable than I am 🙂

  76. This article by Future Earth fit nice to the above post. Main thesis: Geo-engineering is mainly a social science problem. And a political one, I would add. The article sounds a bit as if scientists would rule the Earth. I thought only WUWT and Co. thought like that.

  77. Michael 2 says:

    anoilman says: “If you don’t think a trace level gas is a concern. Breath 300PPM of H2S and call me in the morning. (Sorry, dark humor.)”

    False equivalence. Any takers? I thought not. Hydrogen sulfide is toxic but long before it reaches that level of toxicity you’d be fleeing its horrible smell.

    But I enjoy about 220,000 ppm oxygen and I seem to suffer no ill effects from a whopping 700,000 ppm nitrogen in the air.

  78. M2,
    So, are you suggesting we shouldn’t do anything until we can smell the CO2?

  79. Michael 2 says:

    “some kind of conspiracy to take over the world and impose some kind of socialist utopia”

    It isn’t a conspiracy and it isn’t a secret. But it *is* a plan.

    http://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/index.php?page=view&nr=23&type=400

    As others here reveal, it is easy for one person to rule a “NGO” (non governmental organization) which in turn influences the lives of millions of people that have absolutely no say in the operation of the NGO, even if they live in a democracy where they might have some say in their local government.

    The United Nations is a giant “NGO” that does not have to answer to anyone and its ambassadors are appointed, not elected. Agenda 21 was struggling a bit to find the money for its grand schemes. It needed a global tax. Carbon is that tax, or one of several possibilities.

  80. Michael 2 says:

    ATTP says: “M2, So, are you suggesting we shouldn’t do anything until we can smell the CO2?”

    Good heavens, no. Why would I chase a false equivalency with another one?

    The property called “trace” is irrelevant to danger. Most trace substances are probably not dangerous but some are. Using “trace” to signify harmless is as irresponsible as using it to signify danger.

  81. verytallguy says:

    Science is always more interesting than fantasy.

    Just for instance, Michael is wrong on H2S; one of the reasons it is so dangerous is that it actually stops smelling at high concentrations.

    That’s just a small example; he’s also wrong on everything else, obviously.

  82. M2,
    Sorry, I was being a little unfair. But, I do think some of the examples you’ve used are also false equivalences. For all of human history, CO2 has never exceeded 300 ppm. We’re now at 400 ppm and could be anywhere between ~ 400 ppm and > 1000 ppm by 2100 depending on what we choose to do. Somewhere in that range – I would argue – is a level that we really don’t want to reach.

  83. Michael 2 says:

    Victor Venema says: “The article sounds a bit as if scientists would rule the Earth.”

    For a time it was so via the UNFCC. The tail wagged the dog. But it is unsustainable. The process of discovery is almost exactly the polar opposite of ruling. Science observes and discovers, trying not to alter the thing being observed. Ruling requires decision often in advance of observation and specifically intends to alter the thing being ruled.

    Therefore in my opinion a good scientist is an incompetent ruler, and a competent ruler is probably going to be a poor scientist, contaminating results, wishing for results or just making them happen the way he wants them to happen.

    http://unfccc.int/kyoto_protocol/items/2830.php

  84. M2,

    Therefore in my opinion a good scientist is an incompetent ruler, and a competent ruler is probably going to be a poor scientist, contaminating results, wishing for results or just making them happen the way he wants them to happen.

    I think that’s far too simplistic. Some people are good at lots of things, other good at specific things, and others useless at almost everything. This is where you start to get problems, I think. You hire a scientist to run something and it all goes wrong, so you say next time we need a manager. You hire a manager and it all goes wrong so you say, next time we need a scientists. AFAICT, it’s just about individuals and their own specific skill sets. Generalising is rarely correct.

    As an aside, I was once talking with our head of Department and asked why we didn’t try to balance the workload by giving those who were good at specific things more of those things to do. That way we could balance the load by everyone doing more of what they were good at. His response was essentially : “the problem is that some people are good at everything, and others at crap at everything ….. but don’t tell anyone I said that.”

  85. Michael 2 says:

    ATTP says: “I do think some of the examples you’ve used are also false equivalences.”

    I suppose. I cannot think of one offhand. Most recently I suppose illuminating conspiracy thinking would count as such; where to me it is an exact equivalence you perhaps consider it a false equivalence. In other words, if the reason for deprecating something is who is paying for it, and the writer imagines vast resources of paid persons to promote a point of view, especially where there is no evidence in sight of vast resources, then it is conspiratorial (IMO, of course).

    “For all of human history, CO2 has never exceeded 300 ppm. We’re now at 400 ppm and could be anywhere between ~ 400 ppm and > 1000 ppm by 2100 depending on what we choose to do. Somewhere in that range – I would argue – is a level that we really don’t want to reach.”

    I tend to agree but for different reasons. As you hint, human society has no experience with CO2 above 400 ppm. That means no proof of danger but also no proof of harmless. Is your cup half full or half empty? Are you an explorer that *chooses* the path less taken or never taken? Some are, most aren’t, it’s dangerous. But it is also how modern man came to be. Someone must take the road never taken — invent the wheel, invent the light bulb, explore Antarctica. Some use deliberate methods while others are rather reckless in this regard.

    No immediate and obvious replacement for coal and oil exist. so I use these things while conducting my own search for alternative. I am libertarian. I take my own steps regardless of what society does or does not. Next on my list is expanding my own solar power. It is liberating. But I recognize that it requires considerable infrastructure just to make a solar panel, I cannot do it alone. I’m not a hermit so “liberty” is always and constantly in tension or conflict with necessity. Cheap solar and cheap electric transportation would produce a revolution. Some think it is just around the corner. We shall see. Until then I take the baby steps I can afford.

  86. M2,

    That means no proof of danger but also no proof of harmless.

    I think you’re confusing the idea that we should be certain of something with the idea that we may have evidence for something. There’s a big difference between knowing nothing, and having evidence for what might happen. We do have some understanding of what will happen if we continue to increase atmospheric CO2 concentrations and there is little evidence that it will be good for us, and lots to suggest it will do damage. How much and what we should do about this are probably the real questions we should be asking, in my opinion.

  87. BBD says:

    M2

    In other words, if the reason for deprecating something is who is paying for it, and the writer imagines vast resources of paid persons to promote a point of view, especially where there is no evidence in sight of vast resources, then it is conspiratorial (IMO, of course).

    There is hard evidence that the fossil fuel sector funded a disinformation campaign against scientific evidence for AGW. You are denying matters of fact.

    The aim of this campaign was to insert spurious controversy and confected doubt about the scientific evidence into the public and so the political discourse. It has succeeded to a dismaying extent.

  88. Michael 2 says:

    ATTP quoted someone saying “the problem is that some people are good at everything, and others at crap at everything ….. but don’t tell anyone I said that.”

    Acutely observant and I actually laughed out loud. But I stick with my original thought even though exceptions exist, the antithesis to the idea popular in the 1980’s that anyone can be anything. No. Most people can be more than they are, and some of these “ropes” courses exist to show people they have more potential than they think, but you need potential.

    I sense that the situation is not symmetrical. You can train a smart person to manage; but you cannot train a stupid person to program computers. In the realm of computer science there’s a saying, “Those who can, do; those who cannot, manage.”

    I am starting to see where you were going with this. In the realm of science, where physical prowess isn’t all that important, maybe an intelligent person CAN do everything that can be done there. He won’t climb ropes but it isn’t necessary in this context.

    But perhaps you see my point, whether he CAN manage and do science at the same time, he ought NOT. It is a conflict of interest. Management produces results, science discovers things (or not). A scientist that is also a department head or manager is going to feel coerced to produce results, and even if he isn’t, the perception will be that he is, and this factor contaminates the purity of his discoveries.

    I’ll have to think about this some more. Your world and experience is very different from mine but I can see where it possesses an unexpected consistency within its realm. I think Isaac Asimov tried to paint a portrait of it in “Foundation”.

  89. Michael 2 says:

    BBD says: “You are denying matters of fact.”

    Really? Oh well. This is the internet. There are no facts here. You make claims, I make claims. I rarely deny other people’s claims because it’s pointless.

    Oh. You’ve jumped threads. Well it’s better on this one anyway, one world government is where conspiratorial thinking ought to be discussed.

    You wrote “There is hard evidence that the fossil fuel sector funded a disinformation campaign against scientific evidence for AGW.”

    That could be, and probably is, trivially true.

    However, governments of the world have spent billions of dollars funding their OWN disinformation campaign such as Himalayan glaciers melting (all gone) by 2035.

    Caveat emptor.

    Choose your disinformation carefully 😉

  90. Steve Bloom says:

    As you hint, human society has no experience with CO2 above 400 ppm. That means no proof of danger but also no proof of harmless.

    Why have you ignored the evidence, presented to you on this very blog when you’ve previously made the same point, that your view is incorrect?

  91. Eli Rabett says:

    anoilman says: “If you don’t think a trace level gas is a concern. Breath 300PPM of H2S and call me in the morning. (Sorry, dark humor.)”

    M2D2: False equivalence. Any takers? I thought not. Hydrogen sulfide is toxic but long before it reaches that level of toxicity you’d be fleeing its horrible smell.

    Unfortunately you might be in a locked room. But then again Eli assumes you believe in terraforming Mars.

  92. Steve Bloom says:

    Or on a locked planet, as with the P-T extinction. But hey, stuff like this isn’t a problem for M2. Today. That he can see.

  93. BBD says:

    M2

    Really? Oh well. This is the internet. There are no facts here. You make claims, I make claims. I rarely deny other people’s claims because it’s pointless.

    I provided links to two full-length, fully referenced books supporting what I said. I made no ‘claim’. I repeat, you are denying matters of fact and now you are denying that you are doing it.

    This doesn’t cut the mustard either:

    That could be, and probably is, trivially true.

    There’s no way that the ongoing misinformation campaign funded by the energy industry to sow confusion and doubt among the electorate and policy makers can be waved away as ‘trivial’.

    More denialsim.

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