Monday, October 05, 2009


An email from Lee Gerhard [] below

There has been much discussion about "running out" of some resource or another, mostly about oil now, but there have been others. I have lectured about this phenomenon over the years, with the succinct ending statement: We have never run out of any natural resource, nor will we.

Simply, resource richness is high initially and the price low. As resource richness declines with production, the price rises, dampening demand. Eventually, the price is high enough that s substitute makes economic sense, and the process is renewed. We will never run out of oil, but it may well become too expensive to burn in automobile engines. But the price will never preclude it being used for pharmaceuticals - we could mine it if necessary, because the resource cost of pharmaceuticals is so low compared to the R&D and production costs.

The rise in price of oil last year was due to the limited producibility volume of oil versus the demand. Demand has dropped, producibility now exceeds demand, and the price has fallen to intrinsic value.

We may be able to kill the last elk, but we can never produce the last barrel of oil or ton of iron ore. In human history, no natural resource has been completely depleted. Price rises will dampen demand until substitutes are found.

Interesting news from Canada

Part of an email from Norm Kalmanovitch [] below:

The Calgary Chamber of Commerce through Friends of Science and the Frontier Centre for Public Policy, hosted a presentation by Lord Christopher Monckton titled “Apocalypse Cancelled; The Overheated Hype behind Global Warming”.

There were four members of the Alberta Provincial Legislature recognized by the host prior to the presentation. During his presentation, Monckton asked by a show of hands for those who did not support the concept of human caused global warming, and there was a unanimous response; when he asked for the supporters not a single hand went up.

The Alberta Government is spending $2billion in taxpayers’ money for CCS (carbon capture and sequestration). The rational given by the government for this ridiculous wastage is the IPCC, which they use as their sole basis for scientific support to the exclusion of all with contrary evidence. This means that members of the Alberta Legislature believe in human caused global warming, yet none of the four members in attendance raised their hands to show support for the government position.

This presentation puts the Members of the Legislature in the awkward position of being exposed to the hard physical facts that contradict their own government position. The simple question is what will they do when they get back to the Legislature? The government is already so committed to this endeavour with projects that are already underway, that it is a physical impossibility for the government to stop the process through political means without losing power.

This is the dilemma facing all world governments, no informed leadership can be unaware of the fact that the Earth is cooling in spite of the continued increase in global CO2 emissions, but all leaders are committed to doing something about “Climate Change” otherwise they will be put out of office. There is only one possible way out of this conundrum. The IPCC was formed under a “science mandate” and under this mandate science protocol demands that all postulations are backed up with physical facts. Since the physical facts clearly demonstrate that there is no possible connection between CO2 emissions and global warming, the IPCC must declare that it is not in the world’s interest to continue with Kyoto Initiatives to stop global warming because global warming has already stopped. Since the IPCC is the sole reference for all governments on this issue, this retraction will allow governments to put an end to the wastage without losing power. It is up to the IPCC to put an end to this fraud, and the world must force them to do so, or be held accountable for the food crisis, the economic crisis, and all of the other detrimental effects to the world population caused by this misrepresentation of facts.

There is a curious coincidence revealed by Lord Monckton. Monckton points to direct measurements in a new paper by Professor Richard Lindzen that shows the effect of doubling CO2 will produce less than 0.5°C of possible warming, in contrast to the model predictions of over 3°C. This is only one sixth of the catastrophic temperature predicted by the IPCC, and certainly nothing to worry about since at the current rate of 2ppmv/year it will take 193 years for this doubling and 0.5°C temperature increase to occur.

Over 20 years ago the whole global warming issue was started by climate models that used a forcing parameter based on 0.6°C of observed warming from a 100ppmv observed increase in atmospheric CO2. The world has been warming since the Little Ice Age at a rate of about 0.5°C/century, and since the observed warming of 0.6°C took place over a century the 0.5°C must be subtracted to determine the temperature increase attributable to CO2.

Since this is only 0.1°C but the climate models are based on 0.6°C the climate models have a forcing parameter that gives CO2 increases six times the forcing than what the measured values allow. It is this false six fold overstatement of the effect from CO2 that underlies the entire premise of AGW alarmism, and it has taken over two decades to finally develop physical proof that the models overstate global warming by a factor of six.

Since the work by Lindzen has clearly passed rigorous peer review, and unlike the MBH98 Temperature Proxy, there has not been a single piece of evidence, that contradicts the assertions of the Lindzen Paper, The IPCC has no choice because of its scientific mandate to discard the computer model projections and accept the six fold decrease in projected warming from CO2 as the physical basis for all further reports. This will put an end to global warming fallacies, and give world governments the “out” that they need to stop these wasteful policies addressing a problem that does not exist.


Poland on Friday put a giant spoke in European negotiations on financing the fight to tame global warming when it refused to stump up for richer, western partners. "Quite frankly, from our point of view it's totally unacceptable that the poor countries of Europe should help the rich countries of Europe to help the poor countries in the rest of the world," said Polish Finance Minister Jan Rostowski. "We will not agree to a mechanism which would lead to such a completely unjust proposal," he added.

European Union finance ministers are meeting in Gothenburg seeking to agree on who pays how much into a pot aimed at convincing newly industrialised countries to sign up to a post-2012 global pact. The European Commission estimates that five billion to seven billion euros annually will be needed in the 2010-2012 period until long-term "financial architecture" is put in place, hopefully, at a UN climate conference in Copenhagen in December. Brussels says the annual figure needed to help developing nations combat and deal with climate change will hit 100 billion euros (147 billion dollars) per year by 2020.

Polish heavy industry -- firmly at odds with the likes of nuclear-powered -- already scored a major victory last week when a top European court annulled the commission's attempt to limit the amount of greenhouse gases it can emit. Six other eastern EU countries -- Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania and Romania -- are pursuing similar appeals.

Disagreements have also emerged among EU member states on Franco-German ideas for a carbon tax on imports from regions with poor environmental standards.



The great global warming scare is over — it is well past its peak, very much a spent force, sputtering in fits and starts to a whimpering end. You may not know this yet. Or rather, you may know it but don’t want to acknowledge it until every one else does, and that won’t happen until the press, much of which also knows it, formally acknowledges it.

I know that the global warming scare is over but for the shouting because that’s what the polls show, at least those in the U.S., where unlike Canada the public is polled extensively on global warming. Most Americans don’t blame humans for climate change — they consider global warming to be a natural phenomenon. Even when the polls showed the public believed man was responsible for global warming, the public didn’t take the scare seriously. When asked to rank global warming’s importance compared to numerous other concerns — unemployment, trade, health care, poverty, crime, and education among them — global warming came in dead last. Fewer than 1% chose global warming as scare-worthy.

The informed members of the media read those polls and know the global warming scare is over, too. Andrew Revkin, The New York Times reporter entrusted with the global warming scare beat, has for months lamented “the public’s waning interest in global warming.” His colleague at The Washington Post, Andrew Freedman, does his best to revive public fear, and to get politicians to act, by urging experts to up their hype so that the press will have scarier material to run with.

The experts do their best to give us the willies. This week they offered up plagues of locusts in China and a warning that the 2016 Olympics “could be the last for mankind” because “the earth has passed the point of no return.” But the press has also begun to tire of Armageddon All-The-Time, and (I believe) to position itself for its inevitable attack on the doomsters. In an online article in June entitled “Massive Estimates of Death are in Vogue for Copenhagen,” Richard Cable of the BBC, until then the most stalwart of scare-mongers, rattled off the global warnings du jour – they included a comparison of global warming to nuclear war and a report from the former Secretary General of the UN, Kofi Annan, to the effect that “every year climate change leaves over 300,000 people dead, 325-million people seriously affected, and economic losses of US $125-billion.” Cable’s conclusion: “The problem is that once you’ve sat up and paid attention enough to examine them a bit more closely, you find that the means by which the figures were arrived at isn’t very compelling… The report contains so many extrapolations derived from guesswork based on estimates inferred from unsuitable data.”

The scientist-scare-mongers, seeing the diminishing returns that come of their escalating claims of catastrophe, also know their stock is falling. Until now, they have all toughed it out when the data disagreed with their findings – as it does on every major climate issue, without exception. Some scientists, like Germany’s Mojib Latif, have begun to break ranks. Frustrated by embarrassing questions about why the world hasn’t seen any warming over the last decade, Latif, a tireless veteran of the public speaking circuits, now explains that global warming has paused, to resume in 2020 or perhaps 2030. “People understand what I’m saying but then basically wind up saying, ‘We don’t believe anything,’” he told The New York Times this week.

And why should they believe anything that comes from the global warming camp? Not only has the globe not warmed over the last decade but the Arctic ice is returning, the Antarctic isn’t shrinking, polar bear populations aren’t diminishing, hurricanes aren’t becoming more extreme. The only thing that’s scary about the science is the frequency with which doomsayer data is hidden from public scrutiny, manipulated to mislead, or simply made up.

None of this matters anymore, I recently heard at the Global Business Forum in Banff, where a fellow panelist from the Pew Centre on Global Climate Change told the audience that, while she couldn’t dispute the claims I had made about the science being dubious, the rights and wrongs in the global warming debate are no longer relevant. “The train has left the station,” she cheerily told the business audience, meaning that the debate is over, global warming regulations are coming in, and everyone in the room — primarily business movers and shakers from Western Canada — had better learn to adapt.

Her advice was well accepted, chiefly because most in the room had already adapted — they are busy trying to cash in by obtaining carbon subsidies, building nuclear plants, or providing services to the new carbon economy.

My assessment for those wondering where we’re at: Yes, the train left the station some time ago. And it is now off the rails.


Green Is Red

I am sick to death of the economically illiterate environmental nonsense peddled in the media in an endless parade of bad thinking disguised as scientific discourse. The Green movement is a collectivist enterprise hell-bent on bending every knee in obeisance to a religious orthodoxy that will cripple the advancement of mankind and create third-world nations where first-world countries used to be, exponentially increasing infant mortality rates and reducing standards of living to make all of us look back on envy at the gold-plated living conditions of medieval serfs. The movement is a nasty brew of National Socialist "blood and soil" (see Anna Bramwells’s books), Marxist bromides and a child-like vision of how the universe works.

Central planning does not work. Larger entities that use force and coercion to make others do the right thing lead to national prison camps disguised as nation-states. Here’s a short quiz for you: grab the nearest envirus and ask him how would he suggest we improve the care and feeding of Mother Earth absent government intervention? He will splutter and get a very blank look in his vapid face as the synapses collapse and fail to function properly.

Use this rule of thumb: cost and benefit analysis will usually determine the economic efficacy of a given course of action. Prices are, among many attributes, the keenest indicator of scarcity or abundance of commodities or services. If recycling is such a great idea, why don’t they pay you to do it? If wind and solar energy are such ideal means to deliver power, why do they require massive subsidy and inevitably, the theft from private owners through eminent domain and other tools of economic oppression?

Speak truth to power because the Greens now have the upper hand. The government-media complex is now fully captive to the entire Green orthodoxy. Excepting shows like Bullshit! on Showtime, none questions the prevailing belief system; it is like a form of national psychosis although I feel the same way about the worship of the State. The environmental agenda is nothing less than a total renunciation of Western civilization and the requisite privileges of clean water, electricity, effective farming and a host of other modern conveniences.

The envirus views nature as a snapshot picture of the world frozen in time and unchanging; a static portraiture of life that possesses no adaptation and dynamism. Infantile views of nature which are most likely a result from having never tread upon it or lived in it. Rarely is the hunter or long-time ruralite seduced by the Disney visions of nature that dance in the heads of the Greens. A perspective further informed by the academic and media professionals whose worldview is shaped by a hive-like collectivist vision of human society in which all individuals are to be subordinated to the whims of what’s good for the herd as directed by omniscient strangers whose fatal conceit is that they are smarter than us so they know what is best for you.

Nature is cruel and dynamic. It is a daily massacre for the lame and the newborn. Vicious spasms of violence red in tooth and claw tempered by turns of weather that can kill and nourish in the same pastoral event. Most importantly, nature is capricious in the most practical sense: the complexity is so immense as to be almost incomprehensible to human cognition. Complexity theory has tried to capture the distillate of what appears to be random phenomenon but is actually a spontaneous order much like economic market forces. Which brings us to the cruelest joke of all on the Greens: they can’t possibly know what they are talking about.

Here’s the rub: there is no question of climate change, the riddle is to what extent man is a culprit. Once a given problem set has three or more variables, it becomes impossible to establish with any certitude correlative or causative connections between A and B and C. The global climate is a complex system far too large to isolate variables and know with pinpoint accuracy what makes it tick or respond to human influences. I don’t deny that humans have an impact on the climate but no one can prove to me what the extent is. No evidence emerges that the ice ages in medieval times were anthropogenic, they were simply within the observed cycle of cooling and warming that one would expect of a planetary ecosystem dependent on solar energy as a driver and engine of weather and life. There is a reason increased sunspot activity is coincident with warming trends. Man is not apart from nature, he is a part of nature. We are part of the infrastructure and no one can even address why carbon dioxide, if a pollutant, nourishes all earthly plant life excepting certain anaerobic moss. The government does not even want to have a discussion since the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently muzzled one of its in-house climate skeptics.

Stand up to the Greens and call them on their idiocy. Question all their assumptions. Stand athwart their diktats and directives as they attempt to rule you as cattle. They are shutting down coal-fired plants by the dozen and seeking to bankrupt the nation by pursuing green technologies that the market has proven to be a technological & economic dead-end. Curiously, they object strenuously to the purest solar energy of all: nuclear energy which harnesses the power of the sun in a relatively clean fission package. One small ray of hope is the fact that the EPA will strangle and mangle all the emerging green technology. They will get all bureaucratically befuddled as the contesting envirus schisms like bird enthusiasts and wind generator proponents do battle. Pollution activists will discover the immense smog component of mass transit buses and the maintenance infrastructure. Electric car boosters will stand dumb-founded in their garages as the AC outlet fails to deliver power after the coal-fired grid is shut down through rolling brown-outs or blackouts. All done, of course, at taxpayer expense.

Under Obamunism, we have a wild ride ahead of us as the Green Reds at first have a terrific honeymoon with Middle America but soon discover the combination of economic illiteracy, scientific buffoonery and collectivist tyranny make for a lethal cocktail. It would be wonderful if we could just sit on the sidelines and observe the circus but the future of America is in the hazard. Indeed, the collectivists have other plans for us.



The majority of people in Britain are in denial about the risk of global warming in our lifetimes, according to a new study into the psychology of climate change.

The Met Office has warned that if the world continues to burn fossil fuels at the current rate temperatures will rise above four degrees C in the next fifty years. This will cause sea level rise, droughts, floods and mass collapse of eco-systems.

However Clive Hamilton, Professor of public ethics at the Australian National University, said the majority of the population is still in denial about the risks of climate change. He compared the situation to the psychology of the British and German populations before the Second World War and said the only way to make people change their behaviour is to "ramp up the fear factor."

Prof Hamilton applied traditional psychological reactions to the threat of future risk. In a paper presented to an Oxford University conference this week, he said people react in three different ways to a frightening situation: denial, apathy or action.

In the case of climate change, he said a minority of people in Britain are in complete denial and refuse to believe man-made greenhouse gases are causing the temperatures to rise. He said a smaller minority are taking action by lobbying Government and adapting their lifestyles through driving less, not eating meat and generally living a low carbon lifestyle.

However, Prof Hamilton said the majority of people use "maladaptive coping strategies" such as ignoring the situation, blaming someone else or simply having a good time. He said people do this to cope with the anxiety. "This means telling ourselves the scientists are probably exaggerating - if it was that bad surely the Government would be doing something," he said. "Or telling ourselves it is a long way off so I will worry about it then or if I change my light bulbs it will not be my fault. It can mean blaming other people like the Chinese for building more coal-fired power stations or pleasure seeking by driving fast cars, eating exotic food and living the high life."

Prof Hamilton said scientists have played down the risks of global warming for fear of overloading people with information. "There is a widespread belief in the scientific community that the public cannot handle the truth and so they have been pulling their punches. Global warming is unique amongst environmental problems - which are often exaggerated - in that it is now clear that the scientists have been understating the true implications."

In December more than 190 countries will meet in Copenhagen to try to thrash out a new international deal on climate change. For any agreement to be struck it is likely that rich countries will have to agree to cut carbon emissions by consuming less energy.

Prof Hamilton said scientists now have a duty to inform the public about the risks of climate change so action is taken and people are ready to adapt their lifestyles. "There is a view we should not scare people because it makes them go down their burrows and close the door but I think the situation is so serious that although people are afraid they are not fearful enough given the science," he said. "Personally I cannot see any alternative to ramping up the fear factor."



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.


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