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Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

08/30/2011 11:47 AM

"The science is now all-but-settled on global warming, convincing new evidence demonstrates, but Al Gore, the IPCC and other global warming doomsayers won't be celebrating. The new findings point to cosmic rays and the sun - not human activities - as the dominant controller of climate on Earth."

from: http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100102296/sun-causes-climate-change-shock/

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#276
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Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/07/2011 6:16 AM

What does any of your side points have to do with your original argument; that increasing cost of operation for business is a good thing?

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#284
In reply to #276

Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/07/2011 8:59 AM

why is it legitimate to defer your costs to the public?

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#288
In reply to #284

Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/07/2011 9:14 AM

Just who do you think should pay for it?

Do you believe that companies should all be non-profit?

Or should companies simply ask the government for subsidies to cover the added expenses?

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#286
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Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/07/2011 9:10 AM

The Federal and State Governments make FAR more than the oil companies do on every gallon sold. Instead of picking on them, perhaps look at where the real problems are.

People Like Al Gore who have a "carbon footprint" larger than many entire towns, yet are up on their soapboxes bloviating about what everyone else has to do....while of course, doing the exact opposite themselves.

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#304
In reply to #286

Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/07/2011 11:56 PM

Smoothy - Your first paragraph is a legitimate topic of discussion. Your second paragraph seems to be far out of the context of the first. Did you paste your "siggie" into your reply by accident or do you rate the actions of Al Gore as a "real problem"?

Ed Weldon

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#314
In reply to #304

Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/08/2011 7:56 AM

No I actually typed that in.....Because this topic can't be discussed without AL GORE being central to it....and that man is the biggest Hypocrit of our time. Particularly on this topic.

I do honestly rate Al Gore as a major source of the "PROBLEM" he harps about so much.

I don't agree with Daryl Hannah, Ed Begly either...But I can respect them because they unlike so many of that camp, actually practice what they preach.

I have less than no respect for someone who refuses to practice what they preach, particularly in this situation, where he literally does it in orders of MAGNITUTDE greater than the average person.

After all the Boreacle once wrote advocating abolishing the internal combustion engine....and yet he lives as he does.

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#318
In reply to #314

Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/08/2011 10:18 AM

One article about Al Gore's palatial mansion says that it uses 12 times the energy that the average house uses. Anybody else using that much power would have been raided by the cops by now as running a suspected pot growing operation.

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#359
In reply to #314

Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/09/2011 2:13 PM

Smoothy and SWB -- Legitimate criticism has an important place in this forum. But your continual rants about Al Gore, the President and other national leaders are getting old. Please confine your comments to constructive contributions to these ongoing discussions. Such an approach will surely help your credibility here, which personal attribute has taken some tarnish of late.

If you feel you have to make contempt and even hatred for any individual a part of your persona put it in your bio where we won't have to be continuously confronted with it.

Thanks, Ed Weldon

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#360
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Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/09/2011 4:13 PM

There are more than a couple others here who make their personal political views part of their posts.....no names need to be mentioned as its clear who they are.

Remember the old addage about pointing a finger.......there are always three pointing right back at you.

And there is little about Climate change that ISN'T political in nature the closer you look at it.

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#361
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Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/09/2011 4:21 PM

Just so you know. I wasn't pointing any fingers or scolding anyone. I've been totally guilty of going off on rants.............ask anyone. I've gone off on some big ones.

I'm trying to get better.

I just don't want them to close the thread.

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#362
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Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/09/2011 6:23 PM

Just so you don't think I felt otherwise, I should have said this earlier.....No, I am not angry with you....and not with anyone else here for that matter. They expressed their opinion and viewpoint...I expressed mine.....and except for some rude comments directed at tea party members....there really wasn't any real name calling common like at some forums. A few things have bordered on personal attacks...but we are adults here. I believe anyway.

Just a few points to show WHY I feel the way I do......three actually.

#1 The people pushing this are typically the far left. EG Al Gore

#2 The tactics used against the non-believers are typical of the far left....EG right out of "Rules for Radicals" by Saul Alinsky. Surprisingly used by the most ardent Obama supporters. Attack, belittle, threaten, etc.....anyone who doesn't do exactly as you say.

#3 The "CURE" for Global warming is the same exact "CURE" for Social Inequities, and Financial Inequities as well as curing the current economy and every other precieved injustice in the world....the redistribution of wealth....the Holy grail of the left.

Tax the evil businesses and rich into poverty, and exempt all the so called poor.

Exactly how Billions of taxes for the government to spend on pet projects will fix anything is beyond fathoming....

Does nobody ELSE see these identical tactics....its like watching the many cookie cutter shows on the Discovery channel where everything is structured exactly identically....only the settings and the faces change. You know the same producer, director and crew were used on every single one of them.

Not intending to flog a dead horse.....but SOMEONE has to notice these things too.

The harder someone tries to sell you something, the more likely it is a scam.....and you are to be duped. And this hard sell makes the Worst Used car Dealers look honest.

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#363
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Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/09/2011 8:50 PM

I know what you're saying...............believe me.

You should see my facebook page. I think I've been unfriended by some people because of my posts back in 2008.

This weekend is going to be an emotional cauldron. It's a good thing I won't be on here. I realized today that 10 years after 911, I don't feel sorrow..............I feel rage..........still.

On a lighter note. In a sudden twist of intense irony, my wife has been called for an interview for a non profit that is akin to ACORN. We are both fiscal conservatives..............I'm a little more intense than she. I probably won't be going to the universal holiday celebration, or whatever they call Christmas now.

Should be interesting if she gets the job.

This place operates, apparently, on private grant money. OPM baby!!!

We actually get along quite well with people on the left side of the spectrum. My criteria is that they must like beer, or something to bend the brain a little.

I said that I blame politicians for everything, and I meant it. The hatred that we hear in TV and radio sound bites does not exist in my world, nor my friends. We are black, white, male, female, democrat, republican, christian, jew......................whatever we are or want to be, and we get along just fine.

There are people in the political arena, (on both sides), who's sole job it is, to keep the fires of division burning. The last thing they want is a united country..................they will be out of work.

They will keep the pressure on to keep us little people at each others throats.............................it's not reality............it's brainwashing and I'm sick of it.

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#364
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Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/09/2011 9:30 PM

I can attack both sides equally. We hear a lot of - ism's lately..................communism, racism, capitalism, socialism.

How about this? Individualism...................live and let live.

Be true to yourself and don't hurt others. Simple.

We all know that a lifetime of welfare, food stamps, and government cheese is not healthy for the mind, body and spirit...................and yet it continues.

We all know that the stupid, expensive war on drugs is a farce............and yet it continues. Drugs are easier to get than ever. We spend billions chopping down coca trees in other people's countries, while our kids............our future, are eating their brains out with bathtub meth.

We all have to stop being stupid.

When these politicians promise things, they need to do it. I think I can speak for all of us when I say that I'm tired of being fed crap. Turning on each other is not the answer.

I'm done now. Have a good one.

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#365
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Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/09/2011 10:18 PM

Yeah..understand that....some of best friends are liberals....but like me...they aren't the kind of people that restrict themselves to associating ONLY with like minded people.

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#280
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Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/07/2011 8:16 AM

Kramarat - all of science is just "our best hypothesis" - you don't get any better than that. The sun is made of hydrogen is our best hypothesis. If I drop something it will fall downwards - that's our best hypothesis. Usually by the time it's accepted by most scientists, the best hypothesis is a very, very, very good one.

(and by the way the science of thermodynamics has lead to a lot more laws being passed than climate science. Pretty much every energy law, every energy tax, every fuel tax, every vehicle emissions rule, every smokestack emissions law... all based on advice from thermodynamicists.)

Thirdly you say (below) that you don't think incomplete science and hypotheses should drive policy decisions...

Certain elements of the media love to play up the fact that climate science is incomplete, so I can see how the issue has been confused, but be clear on this one point... There is no such thing as complete science in any field.

All science is incomplete science. That's why science works - because it always welcomes new data and never ever makes truth claims. Science becomes legitimised by its acceptance within the scientific community. Climate science is completely legitimised. Legitimised doesn't mean true, and it doesn't mean every scientist agrees. It just means that no better hypothesis has been advanced that fits the evidence. It is no different in any field of science.

All government decisions that are based on science (bar none) are based on incomplete science. So when you are asking for complete science, you are demanding something that can never exist.

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#283
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Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/07/2011 8:57 AM

To further your argument:

You can't make a point that science is either complete or incomplete. It dos not exist in a digital state of true/false.

The degree of completeness is what counts. Couching an argument that something isn't complete is worthless without quantifying how complete or incomplete that something is.

The question with this subject becomes, is there enough data to drive political decisions of great magnitude?

One may be able to prove with great certainty that the Earth is warming up. We may not be able to determine with great certainty what percentage of that warming is our doing, what, with great certainty, are the causative agents, and what, with great certainty, will be the magnitude of the effects and the rate of those changes.

What I question is: do we have enough information on all of those points to justify the barrage of proposed political changes put forward and already enacted into law?

It would seem wise to me to question those with great detail rather than accept the words of politicians and political hacks that the debate is over.

I only point this out because these same people have a long track record of lying to the public with great certainty. As Descartes said, if someone has been proven to be untruthful, even once, it is wise to doubt.

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#287
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Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/07/2011 9:13 AM

Thanks AH - that's exactly my point. The degree of completeness is determined by the agreement of the scientific community. On climate science there is pretty much unanimous agreement by climate scientists. Thousands of climate scientists have questioned the data in great detail and they have reported back and continue to report back that we are in a desperately dangerous situation.

The only reasonable thing to do is listen to the scientists and act (just as we would if they said that cigarettes were deadly, DDT was deadly, dioxins were deadly, CFCs were environmentally disastrous, lead in petrol was toxic etc etc).

Plenty of the politics in the situation is coming from people with large sums of money invested who don't want to change things, and the politicians who speak for them.

The politicians and hacks exist everywhere on every side... I'm not advocating listening to them - most of them haven't got a clue. I'm saying go back to the science... listen to the scientists. Their message is very real and it is very urgent.

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#293
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Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/07/2011 5:56 PM

I appreciate the point you're making about science.

I don't trust lawyers....................most politicians in the US are lawyers.............therefore, I don't trust politicians, whether they are lawyers or not.

I can't prove that there is no correlation between climate change and humans. I can prove that throughout modern history, politicians have used science to make horrible, destructive decisions................science that they can't even comprehend.

Do you trust what politicians tell you about science?

I don't understand everything about science. My understanding of politicians is much sharper.

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#295
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Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/07/2011 6:31 PM

I don't trust politicians because they are mostly lawyers....I don't trust them because they are politicians. Even the ones I like, I am cautious about believing what they say. It try to look at their past actions to get as good a read as I can on what they may do in office.

Regarding government/politicians screwing things up....just saw this the other day:

Here are a few paragraphs:

It's the Yuma Desalting Plant in Arizona, built by the federal Bureau of Reclamation at a taxpayer cost of $245 million. After completing the plant in 1993, Uncle Sam said: "Whoops, we don't need it after all." The plant has sat idle for almost two decades, and taxpayers are getting hit for $6 million a year to maintain it.

The purpose of the Yuma plant is to reverse some of the environmental damage done by government-subsidized irrigation farming. As irrigation waters reflow back into Western rivers, they boost saline levels and can make the water useless for downstream users. The Yuma plant was supposed to desalinate some of the irrigation flow into the Colorado River, but the government spent more money to build a separate 73-mile canal to drain water straight to the ocean.

So let me get this straight, the government messes up the environment, then pays to do something to correct the environmental mess, then screws that up too......all at taxpayer expense.
Yes, the free market isn't perfect, but I believe far less damage gets done for two reasons.....individuals (owners of businesses doing development, etc) have a more direct involvement in the project and they also have more culpability.

While it may not be easy to sue a large corporation for environmental damages, just try to sue the government. If you are able to sue the corp...those running the company and stock holders (owners) generally have to pay....if you win your suit against the government, the taxpayer pays. How's that fair?

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#298
In reply to #295

Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/07/2011 6:51 PM

Wow!!!!

There are tens of thousands of examples just like that one.

Thanks....................I was waiting for someone to say, prove it.

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#296
In reply to #280

Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/07/2011 6:41 PM

"Thirdly you say (below) that you don't think incomplete science and hypotheses should drive policy decisions... Certain elements of the media love to play up the fact that climate science is incomplete, so I can see how the issue has been confused",

I can't figure this argument out. According to the believers of the global warming, climate change or whatever terminology is in vogue at the moment for this hoax; we are supposed to take drastic measures that will kill an already ailing economy and business even more for the HOPE that it might help a tiny fraction of an amount.

You are correct when you say that "there is no such thing as complete science in any field". The ability for us to understand how this universe has been put together is amazing and extremely intricate. We understand very little of the large scope of things operate and mankinds place in it. We are continually adding information all the time to help us put new pieces of the "puzzle" of nature together.

As to whether there is TRUTH or not in science; there is truth and you gave an example of it with gravity. Gravity happens every time it is tried. Thereby it is TRUTH.

"All government decisions that are based on science (bar none) are based on incomplete science." You're correct, so we had better then be very careful who we listen to before decisions are made by way of legislation that has such great impact on our economic welfare.

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#305
In reply to #296

Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/08/2011 12:00 AM

Gravity happens every time it is tried. Thereby it is TRUTH.

Actually no. That's not how science operates. It's more like this:

  • Our experience is that things tend to fall when they are dropped.
  • Experiments set up to measure this more rigorously have produced certain data about the nature of the movement of objects released on earth.
  • Based on some of this recorded data, the hypothesis was posed by Newton that bodies must attract each other due to a law concerning the ratio of their masses.
  • This hypothesis was unchallenged until Einstein provided a better hypothesis (that matter causes curvature in space time).
  • Einstein's theory remains the dominant theory of gravity. Newton's theory, shown to be a good approximation, remains valid for most science and engineering purposes.
  • Experiments with better technology (e.g. the large Hadron collider) are ongoing into the fundamental cause of gravity, which is a total mystery to us at the moment (far from being known as truth).

No hypothesis is ever claimed to be true. Not even "gravity happens every time". That's a supposition based on your experiences - science allows for the possibility that every supposition can be proved false. But it does not allow for things to be proved true - only that things can be shown to fit our current data. Same for every science. (Not maths of course - maths depends on proofs that can be shown to be true - that makes mathematics different to science).

"...we had better then be very careful who we listen to..."

We are very careful about who we listen to. We listen to the consensus of the scientific community.

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#306
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Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/08/2011 12:34 AM

GA. This and several other posts seem to describe well how science works, in its underlying assumptions as well as methods.

However, I would be wary of the term "consensus." I think it would be fair to say that there is scientific consensus on relativity, quantum mechanics, and evolution, to name a few. But I see only a claimed consensus, not a real one, on global warming. There are too many reputable scientists (not just industry spokespeople or ideologues) who have doubts.

Consensus does not require unanimity, but it does require that nearly everyone be on board, with a largely marginal status for dissenters.

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#307
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Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/08/2011 12:51 AM

So what words would you say to your great grandchildren? ..........Ed Weldon

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#308
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Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/08/2011 1:22 AM

If I guess wrong, I suppose I will say "I'm sorry."

And if you guess wrong?

Some of the suggested fixes might prove so uneconomic as to starve our grandchildren, in which case we won't have great-grandchildren.
(To be fair, non-fixes might bake our grandchildren, with the same result.)

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#309
In reply to #308

Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/08/2011 1:59 AM

If I guess wrong in the absolute then we will have reduced our standard of living for no gain. How much of a reduction? Who can predict? There are many variables.

But I think a case can be made for moderation and cooperation on both sides. Beyond the consequences of any climax on the specific issue at hand there is the inevitable harm to our human relationships by forcing an extreme solution. Our own history should teach us about that.

Almost inevitable is that there will be unexpected changes in the field of play. We will have to be ready to handle whatever comes. We don't want to be divided and unable to face a new problem with strength.

Ed Weldon

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#310
In reply to #309

Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/08/2011 7:11 AM

Well, with no significant growth for the last three years and the European banks teetering on the brink of collapse, it will not take much to throw the world economy into a steep reverse.

The world is very interdependent economically. Sort of like a giant mobile suspended from the ceiling. Kick one piece and every piece starts to wobble and shake.

If Europe dives into a crises it will surely impact the US as much as if the US plunges into a second recession, which it is poised to do right now. Even China has its issues.

Think of it as a medical condition where the patient is sick from multiple illnesses and cancer. You want to start chemotherapy, but the patient's present condition is not yet strong enough to survive chemo.

That may be where we are now only there is no real understanding of how much time we have before ecological damage gets too painful to manage if at all.

Unfortunately, the ideology propelling the current administration in Washington is dragging down the economic recovery (in my opinion). Washington has tried numerous short-term fixes to jump-start things and failed. All at the cost of loading a burden much further down the road (debt). We will see the exact same proposal again tonight because it is the only medicine they know.

Obama made a campaign commitment to address climate change and he has a base that expects him to uphold that promise. Thus the balancing act. Addressing climate change negatively impacts the economy and the economy is in what doctors call guarded condition.

I think the smart move is to allow the economy to gain strength before attaching the climate change leeches. It doesn't appear Washington knows how to do that.

All of that presumes that we must do something because AGW (Al Gore Warming) has reached a crises and I don't believe we have reached a crises, but we have no shortage of drama queens ready to take to the stage.

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#328
In reply to #306

Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/08/2011 8:17 PM

Hi Tornado. I know that the "no consensus" thing is a popular line in the media, but it's simply not supported by the evidence.

Below is an extract from a reviewed publication from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. (And you don't get much more gold standard than this.)

You want "nearly everyone on board" with "largely marginal status for dissenters". I have emphasised the quote below to show that the evidence suggests that is exactly what we have today in climate science.

QUOTE

"Here, we use an extensive dataset of 1,372 climate researchers and their publication and citation data to show that

(i) 97-98% of the climate researchers most actively publishing in the field support the tenets of ACC outlined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and

(ii) the relative climate expertise and scientific prominence of the researchers unconvinced of ACC are substantially below that of the convinced researchers."

END QUOTE

Expert credibility in climate change (William R. L. Anderegga,1, James W. Prallb, Jacob Haroldc, and Stephen H. Schneidera)

full publication: http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2010/06/04/1003187107.full.pdf+html

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#331
In reply to #328

Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/08/2011 9:03 PM

Robert,

Your posts make complete sense, and I don't know if you saw my earlier posts.

I contend that the amount of global CO2 that is being spewed into the atmosphere will continue to rise.

If the US, Oz..................whoever, hobbles our manufacturing base over climate change, someone else will take over and make the products and the CO2 that goes with it.

I'm seeing ever growing evidence that this hypothesis is correct. The more correct this hypothesis becomes.................the more moot this conversation becomes.

We can divide manufacturing and compete around the globe, or we can allow manufacturing to become concentrated in China, India and other producing countries. As long as there are people that want to purchase the products..............they will be made............by someone. The CO2 that goes along with them will continue to rise.............globally.

Short of military intervention, we will not stop other countries from producing CO2 through manufacturing and other activities. So why eliminate our own productivity? So we can feel good?

It makes no sense to me.

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#332
In reply to #331

Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/08/2011 9:45 PM

Thanks Kramarat,

Try turning the argument around. If the US puts a decent tax on carbon, then all products will be more expensive if they were made with high carbon content. It doesn't matter where they were made - India, China, wherever.

Then countries with low-carbon manufacturing have a competitive advantage.

The tax can be targetted (for instance in Australia the proposed carbon tax doesn't touch petrol and a whole lot of other things) and most people (i.e. those earning under about $200k per year) will get a net tax break from the package.

The US has the best technical skills, the best technical universities and the IP on the some of the best of the world's renewable energy technologies. It has perhaps the best chance (better than China at this stage) of producing low-carbon goods and services - therefore bringing manufacturing back to the USA. The USA can't ever compete on labour costs, but it can compete on brand, trust, quality and low-carbon production (if it pulls its finger out).

Some goods will become more expensive - so what - we only have ridiculous Walmart $15 power drills now because Chinese energy is cheap and its labour is cheaper. I own a US-made power drill that my dad bought in 1960. It works every time. I have bought about 5 China cheapies that have lasted a few months. Let's get over the stupidity and support any policy that will get us to start buying quality goods that last for decades instead of pretending that a $15 drill is good value when all it represents is a waste of precious carbon-based resources. (Put a carbon tax on the $15 drill - now it's $45 ... if the US-made one beside it is $65 or $70 you'll probably throw in the extra $25).

The economic disaster facing the USA and Europe can't be blamed on carbon - it's the fault of poorly regulated banks and dishonest greedy brokers who lined their pockets both before and after the crash.

I'm usually pretty level headed, but I'd like to see a few of them lined up and shot (ok jailed or at least taxed fairly) for what they have done - but instead they have come out of it with bigger golden handshakes than ever. Despite all the rhetoric about needing free markets, Australian banks are quite heavily regulated (i.e. they are not allowed to gamble a high percentage of their clients' money on higly levered risky investments like toxic mortgage products). They are amongst the most profitable banks in the world and suffered almost no ill effects from the GFC.

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#333
In reply to #332

Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/08/2011 11:05 PM

Why tax anything.....Carbon credits are the real estate derivatives of the Global warming crowd. Al Gore and the Greenies are who will line their pockets getting wealthy and nothing is going to change.

Carbon taxes are an attempt at a money grab....nothing more.

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#336
In reply to #333

Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/08/2011 11:58 PM

The argument is circular. Why tax CO2 is because climate science says we need to limit CO2. Raising the price does this - basic economics.

A tax is not a carbon credit, it's a tax.

People who vote Green are not getting rich out this (I'm not sure what this even means).

The people who get rich out of it will be entrepreneurs and those who develop IP for better low-emissions technology.

I could just as easily say that no carbon tax is an attempt at a money grab... there's a lot of money in being allowed to pollute tax-free.

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#337
In reply to #336

Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/09/2011 12:44 AM

there's a lot of money in being allowed to pollute tax-free.

True enough. But the polluters are creating something in the process. I'm most certainly not condoning polluting.

But the people that are able to collect billions of dollars by labeling CO2 as a pollutant produce nothing. They will literally be sucking money from thin air.

That's just not right.

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#344
In reply to #336

Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/09/2011 8:05 AM

The tax idea has some bad effects.

1. First, that money has to come from somewhere. You claim companies will pay that. Well, yes, but they will pass the cost on to the consumer. Even if the rich are taxed, those dollars will not go into the public sector, but the government's pocket.

Taxing the wealthy puts less money into the economy and therefore less money into business and therefore kills the employment. It's a vicious cycle.

2. If the government gets the tax revenue - they will spend it. As that tax revenue dries up (companies shift their manufacturing techniques) we will have another budget deficit crisis. For some crazy reason once the government takes in a new revenue stream they tend to budget on that stream's peak revenue and do it forever more.

We borrow 40% of what we spend because we over budget what revenues we have. That's another problem with a government that spends 60% of its budget just on entitlements (entitlements is really a euphemism).

These are the reasons why I am ardently against any tax increases. It robs money from the free sector and then gives government the false sense that it can spend it on frivolous projects plus 40% more money that we don't have.

Its wasteful and it drags a fragile economy further down the tubes.

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#346
In reply to #344

Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/09/2011 9:21 AM

The US should take a look over at Australia! Here taxes are perhaps a little higher (not much) but health care is free, education is free, university is free (undergraduate, post graduate, pHd - all free in every university - it's on a pay-back scheme where you pay a small percentage in your tax, but only when your salary goes above about $60k.)

Banks are regulated so there's no toxic debt crisis.

There are lots of things about Oz that you might call "big government" (it would probably make your average a US Republican cringe). But the economy is strong, public debt is low and we have close to full employment.

Plenty of people get mega-rich. Almost no-one gets mega-poor. Most people live a great middle class life! No one has a gun, crime rates are low, mortgage foreclosures are rare...

Government funded medicare and university hasn't crippled the country. Higher taxes against the wealthy haven't stifled investment. (Reagan brought in his trickle-down ideas and they have stuck in the US ever since... but they didn't really work - the rich got super-dooper rich and the economy went down the toilet.)

Here the investment in education and what you might call big-government programs came during the 1970s and 1980s (while you guys were embracing Reganomics) and here they have led to "trickle-up" economics. Almost everyone became better off, better educated, better skilled, more healthy.

Social security is more generous here - but that hasn't led to a crippling problem - people work when there is work and get supported when there isn't work. Some people take advantage - so what - that's a small price for a humane system. It's not a big deal.

Live a little! Tax the wealthy and use it to fund great health, science and education programs. Big government in America has done great things in the past.

Go to Mars for chrissake - shoot for the freakin stars - that's we all want to see America do again!

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#347
In reply to #346

Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/09/2011 9:33 AM

Blasphemer

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#348
In reply to #347

Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/09/2011 9:39 AM

Guilty

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#349
In reply to #347

Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/09/2011 9:55 AM

Yes, but he's a pretty good one. Come on in, the water's warm.

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#350
In reply to #346

Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/09/2011 10:00 AM

Australia has just over 21 million people.

The US has about 312 million. 50% pay no taxes. 47% receive some sort of government subsidy. Please explain how we can make everything free by taxing the rich. How many illegals in Australia?

You're a smart guy, but you need to brush up on your math.

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#351
In reply to #350

Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/09/2011 10:41 AM

Everything's not free - cost of living is about the same here as there... (our petrol, groceries, books, CDs movies, internet access etc are more expensive). But the rationale for higher taxes for the wealthy in the US? I guess I'd start with:

  • The top 1% of Americans own about 30% - 40% of the nation's wealth
  • The top 20% of Americans own about 80% - 90% of America's wealth.
  • The bottom 80% of Americans own the rest.

Add to this that top executive salaries went from about 40 times the average worker's pay in 1960 to 500 times the average worker's pay in 2000 (currently around 350x).

You're not going to squeeze much out of the bottom 80%. You're not going to get more tax receipts or income dollars without job creation. To fix it you either have to borrow cash or raise taxes. Maybe it's time to look at taxes. (Fair increases for the $300K per annum and up bracket, say).

By my math, when taxes for the wealthy were higher in the US, the US was in much better shape - sure lots of other things are in the mix, but I can't see much evidence that trickle-down Reagonomics has really paid off (except for those few people who like it very very much).

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#352
In reply to #351

Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/09/2011 11:04 AM

The problem is, that the top 21% of the people that own our wealth, are people that tend to produce things. They didn't steal that wealth.

They also already pay the bulk of the taxes in the US, as AH has pointed out numerous times. If we raise their taxes, it will be reflected in the goods and services that they produce. Therefore, it becomes a De Facto tax on all of us.

I am not a rich person by any stretch of the imagination, and I don't like class envy. If the tax rate is 25%, which it should be across the board, it should be 25% for everyone. If someone goes out and busts their a$$ and makes 10 million a year........................good for them. It shouldn't be a punishable offense.

That said, we do need to close loop holes in our tax code. Loop holes that have been intentionally created by our politicians to take care of themselves and their friends.

I blame everything on our politicians. They made the mess.

Did you realize that insider trading by members of congress and their staff is perfectly legal in the US, but the rest of us will go to jail for it? It's true.

Punishing people that make lots of money legally is going to push us off the cliff.

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#413
In reply to #352

Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/13/2011 9:28 AM

I don't see paying tax as punishment. And while the richest people may once have been the producers they are more likely now to be the financiers and speculators. Warren Buffet himself thinks his own tax rate is embarrassing and has called on congress to wake up to themselves and lift taxes for the wealthy.

Buffet said "Our leaders have asked for 'shared sacrifice'. But when they did the asking, they spared me." (He pays 17% tax - his own office employees pay between 33% to 41%).

It's not class envy, it's basic common sense. Big democratic nations are expensive to run. Private companies are never going to invest in loss-making infrastructure, but the same companies can only exist because that infrastructure in in place, paid for by taxpayers.

The wealthy gain hugely more benefit from public infrastructure than the poor (because they travel and benefit financially from networks of transport and communication. Moreover wealth and investments are protected by law enforcement, government research, government grants, government bailouts, the courts, the military, America's clout when it comes to protecting US-owned IP, your government's skill in negotiating free trade deals etc etc etc).

So it isn't a punishment, it's a duty, a public service and a good investment to pay higher taxes to cover all those big government services which, frankly, the US as a nation would be screwed without.

When I hear Palin and Bachmann going on about getting government out of the way I can only scratch my head... You need to look at your government from the outside - there has been no greater business force in history than the US government - it goes gung-ho 24/7 to get the best deal for American businesses everywhere in the world... The beneficiaries of those services earn astoundlingly big bucks - they should pay big tax.

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#414
In reply to #413

Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/13/2011 10:28 AM

Oh you mean the same governments that spends $4 million to house 12 homeless people for one year (seen here) and spent $535 million on Solyndra (bankrupt solar panel manufacturer).

Regarding Buffet, I find him disingenuous. He says the government should raise his taxes. Nothing is stopping him from writing a check to the Federal government. By the way, his company, Berkshire Hathaway, owes taxes as far back as 2002 (from Huffington Post, hardly a right wing paper).

The reason Palin and others talk about getting the government out of the way is that according to the US Small Business Administration the smallest firms (fewer than 20 employees) spend 36 percent more per employee than larger firms to comply with federal regulations and ....

Small firms:

  • Represent 99.7 percent of all employer firms.
  • Employ just over half of all private sector employees.
  • Pay 44 percent of total U.S. private payroll.
  • Have generated 65 percent of net new jobs over the past 17 years.
  • Create more than half of the non-farm private gross domestic product (GDP).
  • Hire 43 percent of high tech workers (such as scientists, engineers, and computer programmers).
  • Are 52 percent home-based and 2 percent franchises.
  • Made up 97.5 percent of all identified exporters and produced 31 percent of the known export value in FY 2008.
  • Produce 13 times more patents per employee than large patenting firms;
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#416
In reply to #414

Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/13/2011 11:41 AM

Sources people, sources

Here is at least the original article

http://washingtonexaminer.com/local/2011/09/new-housing-homeless-opening-bethesda

I couldn't find anything on the

http://www.hocmc.org/About_HOC/about.asp site

it is almost impossible to have a coherent discussion about an expenditure from a sound byte...

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#420
In reply to #416

Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/13/2011 4:10 PM

Sources people, sources

I did include my sources. The article in the link to the housing for the homeless included a link to the Washington Examiner which I thought would be sufficient as opposed to me inserting two links.

The information wasn't intended for purposes of discussing the expenditure in detail, but to give a recent example of how inefficient goverments are at spending money taken from taxpayers. Implying the big government programs aren't always a great idea nor do they need to be financed. If local governments want to finance such projects, then the local taxpayers can deal with their elected officials accordingly.

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#421
In reply to #420

Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/13/2011 6:49 PM

neither link is more than an opinion piece, a sound byte

it might be an example of inefficiency or not no way to tell

I get your point

poor people bad

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#422
In reply to #421

Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/13/2011 10:12 PM

How do you interpret what I write as "poor people bad". I am assuming you mean I am saying that poor people are bad. I am saying nothing of the kind. I am not even implying that they are in their financial situation because of their own actions.

However, I would say that if society wants to do something for the homeless they could provide quite decent living conditions to a lot more homeless for $4 million.

And my point was to counter the comment I was responding to which stated that "Big democratic nations are expensive to run". While he may be correct that they are, that does not mean they have to be. It would be a lot easier to operate the government on less money if the government wasn't spending foolishly. Perhaps that was his point....large democratic governments are not able to control their spending and thus spend foolishly....but I don't really think so.

Regarding the accuracy or factualness (?) of the article I linked to....you may be correct that it's someone's opinion....generally when someone writes their opinion they don't use figures as precise as those given. Now they may have misquoted them or used incorrect figures or even made them up. What's funny is that so many (on CR4 and even other sites) are so quick trust government statistics and numbers which can be misleading (i.e. unemployment being 9.1% for one or inflation being between 2 and 3%).

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#415
In reply to #413

Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/13/2011 10:29 AM

You wrote, "Warren Buffet himself thinks his own tax rate is embarrassing and has called on congress to wake up to themselves and lift taxes for the wealthy."

That is a bunch of rhetoric!!!

I have yet to see any one of these people calling for higher taxes to put their money where their mouth is.

Every American is free to write a check to the IRS above the amount they owe as a donation.

I say, lead by example!

Now, the truth of that is those people know that they can shelter their money. Nobody actually pays the top rate, they all weasel out of what they owe and why Buffet is embarrassed (yeah, right).

All of this idea of tax increases is superfluous anyway. It is simply a mechanism to buy votes.

The government simply needs to spend less!

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#424
In reply to #415

Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/14/2011 6:33 AM

Agreed - Buffet could pay directly to the IRS, but one person writing a cheque to the IRS wouldn't do much - even Warren Buffet. I assume his point was that people like him should be paying more.

We have just been through the GFC and seen all the financial institutions bailed out after crying like babies about being too big to fail. The losses from their greed and stupidity were socialised (of course). But their leaders, far from being punished for the havoc they wreaked on the global economy, walked away with all their bonuses and Bush tax cuts intact.

(And remember we're talking about super-rich financial guys who really did wreck the economy - due to a combination of ignorance, greed and pure criminal fraud - not some carbon tax that people seem to think is public enemy no.1 because they have convinced themselves it might wreck the economy).

Meanwhile working Americans and small business America got screwed and remains screwed.

But on this thread almost all I hear from working Americans and small business Americans is that the nasty big government should keep their hands off the money of the super rich.

Is it something in the water or just you've all fallen victim to that bloody Australian who owns Fox News?...

Wow - P.T. Barnum got it so right!

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#425
In reply to #424

Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/14/2011 7:50 AM

You wrote, "but one person writing a cheque to the IRS wouldn't do much"

It is said a single stone can change the course of a river.

Nevertheless, these individuals are not acting like leaders, just megaphones.

Look, I believe the private sector can spend money better than the government. Maybe not a whole lot better, but better just the same.

We have a government run amok. Our budgets are busting with nearly 2/3 of that budget in the form of intitlements designed to buy votes and secure power.

Companies that fail at business earned that failure. Let them file for bankruptcy, restructure, and eject the leadership that got them there. Yes it is painful, but if there are no consequences to bad decisions we will never make good ones.

It seems outlandish to me that so many people actually believe that government is the answer to making everything better and bigger government will make it even more so.

Which, to bring this back on topic, is one of the reasons that we must be weary about climate change legislation. It is designed more for empowering the government. If it actually does any good along the way... well that's just a lucky break.

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#426
In reply to #424

Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/14/2011 8:05 AM

Perhaps just one person writing a check to the IRS won't do much, but people would certainly take that individual more seriously. Like when Al Gore preaches to the masses that we must cut our carbon footprint...as he flies about the World and drives everywhere. If he were to ride from the hotel to the auditorium via bike, I'd believe he was truly interested in saving the planet.

I would not say ALL the financial institutions were bailed out....just the big ones...the ones that contributed most to the mess. It's a travesty that many of those banking execs were not punished. As a matter of fact, I think the government should have let them fail....that would have sent a clear message to investors, banking execs and tax payers that we should be careful and responsible. The Bush tax cuts are irrelevant. One of the problems with punishing those responsible for wrecking the economy is that it wasn't just the bankers...the Fed Reserve (okay bankers), Fannie/Freddie (more banking), Congress, and special interest groups all had a hand in it.

Regarding Americans and small business America getting screwed.....that's the main reason most of us want the Federal Government to reduce (not eliminate) it's footprint...so Americans don't get screwed. This leads to the carbon tax....what may be a problem (global warming) the government over reacts (implements a carbon tax) and in screws all it's citizens while in the process some how making the politicians rich. Hmmmmmm

And it's not the super rich most of us are trying to protect from taxes. I, for one, am in favor of eliminating loop holes and simplifying the tax structure. But that does not mean I'm in favor of higher tax rates. You mention the super rich, but those on the left who want to raise taxes on the filthy rich for some reason want to start at $200,000 to $250,000. How is that anywhere close to being super rich?

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#427
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Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/14/2011 9:00 AM

I do know where you are coming from (and you AH). And I'm not simply in favour of big govermnent ... I too get enraged by govt meddling (like in Aus for many positions, if you want to hire someone and you know who you want to hire, you still have to advertise the position - simply wasting time for all the hopefuls who apply for the job not realising someone has already been chosen. And if someone is utterly incompetent and you want to get rid of them... well good luck). But I also take it on balance - a nation of powerless employees is not much of a nation either.

I guess I see the carbon issue as chiefly a science issue - others see it as chiefly a political issue. So I am (against my better nature!) impressed by the attitude to carbon of the conservative government in the UK ... while many conservatives in the UK are appalled. I just don't see carbon taxes as a power grab by government...

And on the $200,000 bracket - I agree that's doing well, but hardly super rich... however... when I want beer and pizza I don't suggest to my one-and-only that we get beer and pizza, I suggest we go out to an expensive restaurant in a taxi. When she says we can't afford it, I say, "oh well, let's get beer and pizza instead".

So if I want to tax people earning over $3m, I say to the people "Hey, all you super rich folks earning $200k, pay up!". When they say "$200k is not super rich!" ... well you know what I say.

Beerandpizzanomics - you heard it here first.

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#428
In reply to #427

Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/14/2011 9:26 AM

I like your beer and pizza idea.

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#429
In reply to #427

Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/14/2011 9:51 AM

The way I read it, that $200K also includes business owners, like myself, that don't personally get that kind of salary, but still get slammed if the business nets more than that.

Also, the super rich's combined salaries don't amount to a significant chunk of the debt problems.

The whole argument isn't about collecting revenue, but creating class warfare.

Nevertheless, the super rich still spend their money. It's not like they stuff it under the mattress.

I would rather they invest that money in the private sector than have the government steal it and reward their good old boys.

The carbon tax is just that, another tax, more bureaucracy to collect and spend it, and more corruption following the revenue stream. Bigger government.

What historically happens with any tax designed to limit a product is this:

1. The tax money is used for other expenditures and incorporated into the yearly budget.

2. The taxed goods are now purchased or used less, the tax revenue for this declines.

3. The government's revenue declines, but the overall budget remains the same (or more likely grows); results are larger deficits. It is a vicious cycle.

Incentives by taxation are a very sharp two-edge sword. You need to be very careful with what you do since there are always side effects.

Lastly, this current economy is very fragile and the current initiatives to turn it around are very ineffective. Pulling more revenue out of the economy by taxing the movers and shakers will further drag the economy at a point where it is most vulnerable.

Carbon taxes and other "green" initiatives are like giving chemotherapy to a patient with acute pneumonia. The cure will likely kill the patient because they are too weak.

Before we do that we need to breath some health back into the economy so we have a little more resilience to weather the green storm.

It also provides us a little more time to understand "climate change", its impact, and its fixes rather than run off half cocked like some of the proponents.

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#430
In reply to #429

Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/14/2011 11:04 AM

Well put.

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#431
In reply to #429

Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/14/2011 1:02 PM

"........ we need to breath some health back into the economy so we have a little more resilience to weather the green storm."

AH -- Green storm? I too enjoy the use of hyperbole. This one is clever. But realistically it would be but a "few raindrops falling on my head" to quote the fictional rendition of Butch Cassidy. A truly effective carbon tax would indeed bankrupt our society. Just look at the inflexible demand curves for energy. Anything less than that is petty symbolism just like me sending a bonus check to the IRS to help pay down the federal debt.

What we really have to weather is the mounting storm of human consumption and its byproducts which are slowly poisoning our planet. To breath health back into our economy we need to do more than increase consumption. We need to invest. And the investment has to come from existing American resources. We can't go on borrowing it from others who have no major commitment to our nation. Which resources?

The United States of America is the richest nation on Earth. We have the resources.(read money, technology, people, natural resources, societal structure) We just need to put them to efficient work. Letting them sit on the sidelines or frittering them away on unproductive nonsense isn't going to get the job done.

Let's look at the name of our nation. It starts with the word United. That should say something. To those who don't like the United part; to those who think our nation is a bad investment; I say take your stuff and leave. We are better off without you. To those who have already "left" and still want to control the ones they left behind? I say you made your bed; go sleep in it. Because we don't want you sleeping in ours.

There are tinges of every "ism" in what I suggest. Plenty of excuses for talking such a program to death. Suppose something like that had been the prevailing response by Americans after Dec 7, 1941. Where would we be today?

"It also provides us a little more time to understand "climate change", its impact, and its fixes rather than run off half cocked like some of the proponents."

We need more time??? That's like saying we needed to be sure that attack on Pearl Harbor was not some mistake in a peaceful Japanese naval exercise and needed to carefully examine and debate our response before we fought back. Or we could have said that the reports of the Dec 7 attacks were some grand conspiracy of the generals and admirals to get more appropriations for the War Department and let them go play with their noisy gadgets. Or we could have said that we were still in bad economic times and the war across the ocean was somebody else's problem. And talk, argue, talk , argue ad infinitem……….

Ed Weldon

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#432
In reply to #431

Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/14/2011 2:30 PM

You wrote, "We need more time??? That's like saying we needed to be sure that attack on Pearl Harbor"

Ed, tell me:

1. What the actual effects are,

2. What rate of change will we see,

3. What percent of the changes we see are anthropogenic,

4. What are the causative agents that are producing this change (anthropogenic and natural),

5. What changes and their magnitude we will see.

So far we have seen changes, but I seriously doubt we have a good grasp of much else.

Hell, in the last 30-40 years we were told the Earth is heating up, cooling down, heating back up again, no, cooling off, ah, hot again, prediction of food riots by 1980, predictions that most sea life will be extinct before the 21st century, and the list goes on and on by all these so called experts in the field.

If I was sick and had a team of doctors presenting all of those conflicting predictions (none of which have really come true), why would I put any credibility in those doctors? Sure, chances are if you make enough predictions something will come true.

This is why they call it climate change because global cooling and global warming pin you down too much.

I seriously doubt that we have enough answers to make intelligent decisions on what we should be doing, but the lack of intelligence in political decisions has never stopped us before!

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#433
In reply to #432

Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/14/2011 3:52 PM

AH -- I know you really don't want me to literally write a thesis on the scientifically predicted effects of global warming. Plenty of writers are dealing with that already.

So I will give you another analogy. Say someone has been told he has a life threatening disease which may be treatable at least to prolong the worst symptoms and preserve his life. He consults many doctors for opinions and they give him the best professional advice they can. 9 out of 10 tell him the disease will kill him. But they give him differing numbers of how many months it will take and how serious the symptoms will be. He replies that he already feels some slight symptoms. A couple of doctors tell him they are actual symptoms. Others tell him the symptoms could have other causes. They are not sure.

What are his choices?

1. Get on with the treatment in spite of the cost and discomfort.

2. Refuse to believe the doctors and proceed to live his life as if he never knew he was sick. He's become too cynical from previous experiences with the medical profession

3. Keep visiting new doctors for new opinions before doing anything.

4. Seek out unconventional treatments in hopes of finding a cure

5. Accept that he will die and live life as predicted with the idea that it will be shorter.

6. Ignore the effects on others of the remaining short life he has and spend his children's inheritance in pleasurable pursuits.

7. Shorten his predicted life in a flurry exciting and dangerous activities.

8. Commit suicide

9. Use his remaining time to build something of hopefully lasting value to someone else.

10. Descend into a comforting belief system, religion, drug induced trance or whatever.

There are still other choices that can be added to this list but I will stop here because think I've presented my point.

Humanity has a similar set of choices this century. Individuals within humanity will likely favor one or the other. Which would you favor?

Ed Weldon

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#434
In reply to #433

Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/14/2011 4:10 PM

Option number one is nice, but you have to at least understand the problem first before you can find an answer.

My whole point in my post is that we understand very, very little about the problem.

If you have read any of my previous posts you would know I do advocate minimizing our own footprint in ways that make sense, but in no way can you take rash action without understanding the problem (at least to some extent).

We are not there yet, except in Al Gore's eyes, and he is another sad story.

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#435
In reply to #434

Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/14/2011 7:40 PM

What if 'number one' disease just 'inefficiency'? I.e. finite resources being consumed at an 'unsustainable rate' at 2/3 waste. What 'additional understanding' is actually required?

Is there not reason enough in that, to act?

As for 'rash action' - the world in general has been having a party on an energy credit card running up a debt against a climate subsidy. At some point the world has to realize this 'finite' account needs to be addressed. Refusing to recognise the oceans are speeding up and ice levels are radically changing and playing semantics about the 'air temperature' - as if this is the 'climate temperature' - then saying "It's all too hard to understand" when more than 'air' is mentioned - is just recalcitrant ostrich.

Of course people selling climate subsidised fossil at a fraction of the true energy cost, are going to compare the 'pocket book pain' of their reckless inefficient methodology, to paying the true price.

But squirm as you you like at paying the true price - like for increasingly rare oil - everyone has to. It's a world wide adjustment. It's a level playing field - short of adjustment by war.

It is only 'future un-level' for those who adapt to renewable first and conserve their 'extremely valuable' fossil for 'better uses', pursuing 'more efficiently done'.

So - the things 'fully understood' in the problem are;

1. this stuff is running out.

2. it is being used at a faster rate

3. it is being wasted (at around 27% conversion efficiency)

4. it is getting closer to 'true price'

5. investing in alternatives is economic sense

The government 'acceleration' of carbon cost is directed at making that 'economic sense' arrive sooner. If you like, making the 'break even point' arrive earlier and pressuring 'efficiency' in a waste based system. Both in production and consumption.

This is not a bad idea - particularly if engineered solutions are resisted by such as "greenies", who need to suffer a bit of reality before reassessing their misinformed grasp of how the carbon cycle works.

The other factor is; if 'climate change' reduces insolation, what happens to harvesting the only real source of energy?

I.e. how well does the solar farm run in storm after storm? or a greatly more overcast sky?

Pretending that 'climate violence' is not increasing is 'that river in Egypt' stuff.

Whether it is 'anthropomorphic' or 'natural cycle' is an irrelevant argument. Except anthropomorphic is known to be criminally wasted and finite.

The pit fall in all this is; if you have lots of fossil reserves which are rapidly appreciating in value and another Nation has not 'gone alternate' and is running out, it may turn up and demand yours.

So the policy in geopolitics becomes; sell it as fast as possible for the 'highest price, short of invasion', whilst using the profits to build your own renewable energy infrastructure. This 'carbon conundrum' is manifest in the Australian model. Except for they don't quite get how to build a renewable energy infrastructure, it's not a bad bit of 'future thinking'.

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#436
In reply to #435

Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/14/2011 7:50 PM

If it is anthropogenic, then it is something we need to fix.

If it is just one of nature's cycles, then trying to fix it will most likely screw things up worse. We have an excellent track record to that effect.

If it is nature's work, let it be.

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#437
In reply to #436

Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/14/2011 8:12 PM

We need to fix the gluttony anyway - or face the war outcomes.

"If" it's a natural cycle, true, we are extinct anyway.

"If" it's not, then fixing the gluttony is a dual bonus - so why not?

Where is the argument for inaction?

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#439
In reply to #437

Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/14/2011 10:06 PM

Ah, who said we are going extinct?

That is absurd. The human race and its predecessor has endured far greater climate changes than what is proposed. Those past climate changes are responsible for us being who and what we are today. Without them we likely would not be out of the trees.

The argument for inaction is that first, the likely natural changes would not be an extinction event, certainly not on a global scale. Show me evidence that it would.

Second, our past efforts to shape ecology and weather has resulted in some very bad side effects. We are far more likely to cause a larger disaster trying to terraform our planet. The risk is very great.

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#441
In reply to #437

Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/14/2011 11:59 PM

accelerating the increase of the cost of fossil fuels [ don't forget coal AH], will incentivize efficiency

there will be different winners & losers

a majority of the big players will adapt

think of it as a war on gluttony

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#442
In reply to #436

Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/15/2011 1:12 AM

"If it is nature's work, let it be."

AH -- I know where you are coming from here. There is a legitimate perception that the "nature" caused component of our climate change is something too big for us to influence in a favorable (to humans) direction. I wouldn't say the door is completely closed to a technological method; but I'm not hopeful.

On the other hand there is much we can do to adapt to the change. The human species like other species has been adapting to climate changes ever since its beginning. With our brains and technology we have done well, perhaps too well at that enterprise.

"If it is anthropogenic, then it is something we need to fix."

Agreed. But can we fix it? Maybe a little bit. And maybe a little bit will be noticeably better than nothing. ............... Ed Weldon

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#401
In reply to #351

Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/12/2011 10:08 AM

You are talking about raising taxes....generally that means income taxes. Income taxes don't tax wealth. A consumption tax (not a VAT) on the other hand would do more to broaden that tax bases (get those on both ends of the spectrum) to pay something in taxes (a small amount for low income who pay nothing, as well as gathering revenue from those at the high end). Furthermore it doesn't penalize hard work.

In general, I think taxes (in an effort to generate more revenue) are really the wrong thing to focus on. If you look at the huge increase in spending over the past several years you will see that it's unsustainable, even if taxing the wealthy or high income earners. The focus should be on drastically reducing spending right away with short and long term emphasis on getting the government out of the way of small businesses.

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#402
In reply to #401

Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/12/2011 10:25 AM

Good idea - and I just thought of the perfect way to do this... a carbon tax!

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#403
In reply to #402

Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/12/2011 1:14 PM

Carbon tax will cut government spending?

If that works you can probably sell the idea that carbon tax will increase the size of your pen... Naw, I won't write that. ;-)

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#405
In reply to #403

Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/12/2011 6:01 PM

a carbon tax would make energy from fossil fuels more expensive, which would make other forms of energy more competitive

a carbon tax would be sales tax targeting one type of product, much the way most retail sales taxes target, everything except a list of exemptions like food & medications

what the revenues would be used for is a different discussion

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#406
In reply to #405

Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/12/2011 6:37 PM

You wrote, "what the revenues would be used for is a different discussion"

No, sir, Robert inferred that it would reduce government spending and I challenged that.

There is no way that giving government more revenue will result in less spending. If anything, it will increase spending above and beyond that new revenue. The current data shows that the government spends $1.50 for every $1.00 it takes in. The government has a well established track record of doing this.

More importantly, I can't see how stealing money from the private sector (particularly with a weak economy) and giving it to government is going to improve the economy. That is just loony to me.

You are right that making something artificially expensive will reduce its usage, but the cost of doing that will kill us (and subsequently the rest of the world) economically. Not to mention just increase government spending and debt.

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#407
In reply to #406

Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/12/2011 7:03 PM

AH -- "but the cost of doing that will kill us (and subsequently the rest of the world) economically." I hear and read this statement about a carbon tax very frequently these days. It simply sounds to me like another "just so" story promulgated by media types who need to buy groceries and people hoping to get elected on a low/no tax platform.

Some actual numbers from one or more responsible economists would make that position a whole lot more credible. And a part of that calculation would have to be assumptions about the disposition of those tax dollars. To the extent they go into economic activity or even investment a destructive effect on the conomy will be mitigated. Economists are the ones best equipped to research and report on this.

Has that already happened? How about links to economic studied inspired by both sides of the inevitable argument?

Ed Weldon

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#408
In reply to #407

Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/12/2011 8:02 PM

No, but let's take this scenario and you tell me.

Let's pretend your family take-home income is $52,000 per year.

Your yearly expenditures are $78,000 per year. This includes food, shelter, car, entertainment, medical, etc. Everything you need to live. Since you are running in the red every year the federal government allows you to print and borrow $26,000 per year to pay for the expenses above your income. That is the same way the federal government operates and, gee, you should be able to, too!

Now, along comes the evil Big Oil and charges you an extra dollar per gallon because they want you to spend less money.

How does that impact your family's life? Well, you can drive less, but you need to get to work to earn money. You can cut family vacations, but that doesn't cover your cost increase.

Now you sit on your old sofa and think... What can I do?

Well, if you were the government you would just get another loan and print more money!

But, let's pretend you can get a loan and you can't print any more money. Evil Big Oil has really put a crunch on you.

I guess you can have a yard sale and that might even stimulate the neighborhood economy! Yeah, that's the ticket, except everyone else is trying to sell their stuff, too. Now there is a glut of items that no one else can afford to buy.

Times are hard and it's all Evil Big Oil's fault because everyone, not just you, has less money to spend, but the bills are all the same.

I know that is simplistic, but simply how can you expect any economy to run more robustly by sucking more money out of it?

I don't think we need an accountant here, but feel free to call one up if you have doubts.

The more money you take out of the private sector, the less of it there is to circulate where it is needed and the less jobs there will be.

Yeah, the government will redistribute it. But just like lightning, it is not going to be distributed evenly or even wisely. Do you want the government telling you how to spend your income?

Right now the ratio between private sector jobs that are Goods Producing jobs are equal to the number of jobs that are employed through government. I don't know what the total private sector jobs versus total public sector (government jobs) are, but those in the private sector generate the GDP. The government jobs do not. The GDP is the blood pressure of our economy. The more GDP, the better the economy is.

Now, the government jobs are paid for by the private sector. Government does not produce revenue (yes, they can print it, but they can't create anything towards the GDP). They don't build widgets and they are not a business, so they do not generate revenue, just steal it from everyone else. That's their job.

What this means is that the growing government is doing just what Evil Big Oil was doing in my little fairy tale. It is sucking the blood out of the private sector, which only generates so much GDP, paying itself salaries that are higher than the private sector pays for equivilent jobs, and enjoying much greater job security. Look it up, Ed. This is now the tipping point where people will be drawn into the government workplace and away from the goods producing jobs. As this happens the goods producing jobs and all the rest of the citizens will be required to foot the bill for the growing government and the economy will shrink because the available revenue in the private sector will shrink.

It can't happen any other way, but just check with your accountant if you don't believe me.

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#410
In reply to #408

Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/13/2011 12:22 AM

AH -- Please go review the definition of GDP.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gross_domestic_product

As to the analogy to a family financial situation it is a poor match to the US government macroeconomics. The US government can indeed print money. But each dollar printed is simply an interest free loan from the American people against their future ability to create wealth. I submit that comparisons of a family finances with a government finances may produce fodder for talk shows and political candidates addressing the voters. But it is too filled with questionable assumptions to be worth much to me.

It is interesting to note that our one year GDP is about the same as our national debt. It is certainly a situation to be managed better. It is hardly a crisis. Compare this with the average home purchase loan qualifying amount which in even conservative times is 2-1/2 times the income of the home owners. And that in the face of an important possibility of borrower default.

But then we are comparing the foreclosure resale value of a piece of real estate with the full and faithful credit of the United States of America. There are a lot of poor fits in this comparison.

I feel it is important, nay critical, to view taxes paid to the government through the lens of economics rather than the lens of political ideology. The government is a producer of wealth. (see the GDP definition) Some of its operations produce an immediately identifiable product (e.g. Air traffic control, Post Office operations, public works contracts, Army Corps of Engineer operations). Some are more efficient than others; but efficiency cannot be measured on the basis of benefit or lack thereof to any one individual of group. Some pay off only via very long term effects of the expenditure (defense and homeland security expenses.) These types of benefits are hard to quantify; so rely upon the wisdom of the leaders we choose to spend our treasure wisely in these areas.

You state your concern with "the government" by which I think you mean primarily the Federal government adding more employees and thereby reducing the wealth output of the nation. But that is only a problem to the extent that such additions of government headcount will lower the wealth producing efficiency of the government. But this reduction is not due to the full cost of the employee or material purchase. It only consists of the startup costs of a new employee or system which always needs to go through a "training and improving" stage. A fraction of the total. And you have to remember that government employees pay income taxes just like everybody else. So the government does not rely on just "the rest of the citizens" to pay the bills.

The real problem with adding employees to any government come when their collective bargaining and special interest political contribution power enables them to directly influence the votes of legislatures who determining their pay and benefits through laws which set appropriations, various pay and benefit schemes and other issues related to working conditions. No such connection has anywhere near the effect in private enterprise.

This is not yet a serious problem in the Federal government but has gotten serious in California where the influence of the prison guards union has become an issue.

Now, another issue is entitlements. That is the real sink. They are of part of the GDP definition. To the extent that the taxpayers cover the entitlements that the "entitled" don't pay themselves via SS, Medicare, etc. contributions it is a piece of everybody's taxes that go into it. Now Medicare and Social Security retirement have most if not all the money they need this year. Next year or soon they won't. But they are not the real problem. There are something like $600B net in other entitlements that have little or no money coming in like the SS system has. The question to Americans is "what value do these programs produce to you personally? Do you want to fund them either through tax payments or federal debt accumulation? It's real easy to through on a cloak of ideology and just so stories about welfare cheats and ignore the reality of the entitlements. When you take that position you are effectively rejecting any values that entitlements provide to the substance as well as the heart and soul of America. Sadly many people are happy with that position. They form the backbone of the "ME" generations.

Ed Weldon

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#411
In reply to #410

Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/13/2011 8:08 AM

You wrote, "It is interesting to note that our one year GDP is about the same as our national debt. It is certainly a situation to be managed better. It is hardly a crisis."

Really? It may not be now, but look at the rate that debt has been increasing and look at the operational budget for the government versus its expenditures over the last 4 years or last 10 years. It's a trend, Ed.

While the kettle hasn't boiled over yet, the trend is obvious. It's not linear, it's almost exponential of the last 4 years. It will be a crises and it will not be long if left unchecked.

Look at the EU and get a glimpse of the financial future for us.

The shocking difference between a family taking out a mortgage and our government is this. A family takes out a loan which gets paid back over time. The government takes out a loan which never gets paid back and only balloons in size over time.

It's like the family buys a $100,000 house, then subsequently takes out an additional $25,000 equity loan every year, yet does not see a subsequent increase in income to offset the borrowing.

Ed, it is so simple. We simply outspend what we earn as a country by a wide margin and the pace of that has increased dramatically. Taken to its ultimate end it is simply unsustainable. It's compounded debt.

You can claim this or that about politics, but this economic model is a train wreck that we are handing to our children. It is wrong and indefensible.

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#417
In reply to #411

Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/13/2011 11:56 AM

In the world of investing there is a saying that goes something like "Past history does not guarantee future performance." This applies to governments as well.

Promises of future entitlements are not the same as contracts. And with respect to contracts the federal governement has an edge that you and I as well as businesses don't have. It's called sovereign immunity. All it takes is one piece of legislation agreed to by all three branches of our government to wipe away any or all those entitlement promises and even contracts and make them unenforceable.

Such actions are not without unpleasant consequences.

Americas are still living in a dream world and will not solve any of the big problems until they face reality. And when I speak of reality I am not about the spin of any one facet of the political spectrum. Reality is we want more than we are willing to pay for ourselves and we will try our best to get it from someone else. But at the same time we harbor a pathological abhorence of anyone taking away something we already have.

Ultimately we can deal with it with lies, guns, blood and destruction. We tried that once. The results were not pretty.

Or we can talk, be truthful, negotiate and ultimately share. What's it going to be?

And do you really want people with a global perspective rather than an American perspective influencing this discussion? Remember, America is impeding their profitablility. They would like nothing more than for the USA to simply go away or at least be under their complete control.

Ed Weldon

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#418
In reply to #417

Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/13/2011 2:05 PM

You wrote, "In the world of investing there is a saying that goes something like "Past history does not guarantee future performance." This applies to governments as well."

So, you are stating that the process of increasing debt will suddenly stop and reverse?

Could you enlighten me on what will cause this to happen and when?

Then you go on and seem to state that we are overspending, so would you now agree that we have a problem?

Actually, I am not sure where you are standing on the issue, but sometimes I don't know where I am standing either. ;-)

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#419
In reply to #418

Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/13/2011 2:16 PM

At this point I feel like I am standing right in the middle of the tracks with the train coming. I would love to get out of the way but the government is holding me back saying "This didn't work in the past but lets just try again. Hopefully you won't get hit this time."

"We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them." - Albert Einstein

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#423
In reply to #418

Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/14/2011 1:40 AM

So, you are stating that the process of increasing debt will suddenly stop and reverse? Could you enlighten me on what will cause this to happen and when?

"No" to the first question. Please read exactly what I said and take it at face value. There is nothing in my statement about the debt, past, present or future. As to your second question I have no special way of knowing.

It's very possible if the Republicans take control of all of the Congress and the Executive. If that happens I think we will see some massive cuts in both entitlements and government operations. Whether that will be acceptable to the American public will remain an open question.

If the Democrats were to get in control I think they would muddle along doing little to cut expenditures on entitlements but would raise taxes. The most they would accomplish with that effort would be like a 20 or possibly 25% fraction of the deficit in the first year or two and that would continue to diminish each year. History would not be kind to the Dems over such an "accomplishment".

I believe that general reductions in our standard of living face us over the next 8 years as we test various plans to improve employment and our GDP. We'll all grumble; but Americans like all humans adapt. In the face of this how can we continue the present level of entitlements? They must be reduced for this reason also.

Then you go on and seem to state that we are overspending, so would you now agree that we have a problem?

Sure we have an overspending problem. But I'm not just now coming to that position. I began thinking we had that problem when it became obvious that the last administration, who started a war and gave America a tax cut at the same time, had no interest in reducing the deficit or debt.

We also have a problem with a population that thinks all the benefits that accrue to US residents ought to be free or were already paid for. And another problem is the peoples' attitude that government money that benefits them is OK and everything else is "waste, fraud and inefficiency".

"Actually, I am not sure where you are standing on the issue, ........ ;-)"

Well, I know where I stand on this and many issues. But if I were to take the time to compose and articulate nobody would agree with me. Because my position is one of pragmatism as opposed to most others whose positions are based on other instincts and excessive influence from self promoting types who have found that there are stories that sell much better with a spin approaching fraud.

Ed Weldon

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#412
In reply to #410

Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/13/2011 8:51 AM

Ed,

You say our GDP is approx equal to our debt, which is true the way the government reports it. However, the government gets to play by a different set of rules. The Federal government has a mountain of unfunded liabilities (approx $61 trillion according to USA Today).

Per the article "Corporations would be required to count these new liabilities when they are taken on - and report a big loss to shareholders. Unlike businesses, however, Congress postpones recording spending commitments until it writes a check."

And to quote Sheila Weinberg, founder of the Institute for Truth in Accounting, a Chicago-based group that advocates better financial reporting. "Without accurate accounting, we can't make good decisions."

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#454
In reply to #410

Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/16/2011 12:42 AM

Side note:

The largest holders of US debt are -

The SS Trust Fund - about 2.5 Trillion

The Federal Reserve - QE1+QE2 somewhere around 2 Trillion but I am not sure as they are not listed as an entity in the Monthly Debt Report. Who gets the interest on that money?

China is next with more than 1 Trillion. - Interest is capital outflow

Then Japan - Interest is capital outflow.

Then the Medicare fund.

About 32 percent is intragovenmental debt.

The 2.5 Trillion held by the SS Trust Fund was transferred to the general fund which means 2.5 Trillion dollars of government operations were 100 percent financed by the working poor and middle-class. That is; those with "earned income" of less that 108,600 dollars.

There is a huge misconception as to who pays the highest tax rates. It is not the wealthy or the corporations. Look up the SS tax and Income Tax tables and do the arithmetic. It will surprise you.

Is corporate reinvestment in infrastructure considered income? If not then reducing corporate taxes would actually be a disincentive to reinvestment.

Its hard to understand what it taking place given all of the smoke and mirrors.

Rule number 1. Do your own analysis

Rule number 2. Never use single source information. Which includes this post.

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#334
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Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/08/2011 11:36 PM

In order for what you propose to work, we will need full time global carbon police.

Something tells me that China will have no interest in that game.

If we try to play a tax raising scheme with the people that we owe 14.5 trillion to, they will simply stop selling to us and call in the debt.

When humans are part of any equation..................there will never be anything that resembles a clear scientific answer.

The Chinese are smart, patient, and ruthless if need be. My latest hypothesis sees them looking for complete global domination within the next 100 years..................maybe 150............who's counting?

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#335
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Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/08/2011 11:58 PM

How's this for a scenario?

30 years from now, as we've been wringing our hands over climate change and recycling.................shutting down production, etc. We owe China 300 trillion dollars.

China says, alright, debt forgiven.......................you just give us drilling and mining rights to all of your public land.

They get the resources that we we refuse to, and loan us more money to buy it from them.

This doesn't work for me.

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#338
In reply to #334

Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/09/2011 1:15 AM

Here's some US national debt factoids:

Total as of today: $14,702 trillion. http://www.usdebtclock.org/

As of June: around $14.3 trillion (various sources)

Foreign held US debt June 2011: $4.499T (T for trillion; B for billion) of which China $1,166T; Japan $911B; UK $349B; 14 oil exporters incl. Saudi Arabia $230B; Brazil $207B; Taiwan $153B; Major Caribbean banking centers $141B. (top 6 in list of 40 named and the rest unnamed) The remaining $9.3 trillion is held by US creditors of all types.

http://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/tic/Documents/mfh.txt

That $9.3T includes (roughly) $5.13T held by US public and $4.61T "intergovernmental" (June 5 ,2011)

http://henrypatrick1736.wordpress.com/2011/06/05/national-debt-history-with-chinas-percent-holdings-versus-public-means-you-owning-the-debt/

Note a bit of variation in the numbers between sources. Here's a partial quote from the henrypatrick web page.

"As of the close of business on Thursday, the total U.S. debt was $14.34 trillion, according to the Daily Treasury Statement. Of that, approximately $9.74 trillion was debt held by the public and approximately $4.61 trillion was "intragovernmental" debt."

I think that the intragovernmental debt is stuff like the pension money the Post Office official were talking about and maybe the Social Security lockbox money. Bottom line for the Chinese is that they are in to the tune of about 11% of the public debt and 8% of the total. With the US GDP at $15T it means that we owe the Chinese about one month of our annual "earnings". So before we get too excited about the Chinese holdings we need to gain a bit of perspective.

Ed Weldon

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#339
In reply to #338

Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/09/2011 2:03 AM

My perspective is that I'm drinking some beers.

I just got paid good money for two consecutive jobs.

I'm going on vacation, beach front on Sat morning, for a week.

And as long as you've been here, you should know how to post links.

Ed, I don't care how this all gets resolved. We can't borrow our way out of it.

Period.

I came from people that considered debt and dependency a curse. Now it's a freaking human right. I'll stay out of these threads in the future.

Nothing personal..................but I earned my vacation. I'm going to fish and drink for a solid week!!!!

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#340
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Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/09/2011 2:28 AM

Ran out of edit time.

I can't go on vacation knowing that I lied to you.

I'm not going to stay out of these threads.

Forgive me.

I will tell you some fishing lies when I get back.................those don't count.

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#341
In reply to #339

Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/09/2011 3:02 AM

Did that last month. Discovered the White Goose Bar. Hope you have more luck fishing than I had. Catching fish doesn't matter that much to me. Fishing is just something to do in some of the most beautiful places on Earth. ............EW

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#342
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Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/09/2011 7:24 AM

Exactly my perspective.

I realized that I like catching fish, but cleaning them is a pain. Therefore 99% of what I catch, is released.

Blue crabs are another matter. If they're the right size, they die! Yum!!

A steaming pot of blue crabs that have been generously sprinkled with Old Bay seasoning. A steaming loaf of garlic bread. An ice cold beer in a frosted mug..........................all while overlooking the surf.

My eyes get crossed and there are no worries.

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#343
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Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/09/2011 7:44 AM

I will also be boogie boarding in shark infested waters. Which I also did in Davenport, Santa Cruz and Pacifica while in CA.

Whatever the climate is going to do, we should all live life to the fullest and treat others well.

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#320
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Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/08/2011 11:48 AM

"the fundamental cause of gravity, which is a total mystery to us at the moment (far from being known as truth)." You don't need to understand everything about a particular science, idea or mechanics to state that it is truth. Otherwise nothing would be able to be classified as Truth, which isn't the case. You don't need to know everything about a car before you know that it is a piece of machinery that will transport you from Point A to Point B. You still know the truth that it is a car.

There is a difference in Truth as it applies to philosophical thought as opposed to a scientific fact, i.e. gravity, that does operate the same way every time.

"Not even "gravity happens every time". That's a supposition based on your experiences - science allows for the possibility that every supposition can be proved false." That is like the statement in a philosophy class that asks the question, "if a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, did it really make noise?" Well, yes, of course, because there is empirical evidence of thousands of years that says there is cause and effect every time the same things occur. Sometimes people get soooo myopic that they can't or won't want to accept the fact/truth of a matter. There are Natural Laws that affect how nature and science work, eventhough we may not understand them.

You're correct in the statement that "science allows for the possibility that every supposition can be proved false", but there is evidence in which common sense and past experience is proof that the supposition is correct. It is good to question what is currently taken for fact because as we are able to understand more because of new ways of finding and collecting new data are expanding all the time. But, at the same time we decide what to question and is there value in the time, money, effort and research of a particular area.

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#325
In reply to #320

Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/08/2011 7:37 PM

Hi FM, I'm the first to admit that we happily accept scientific hypotheses as truth once they have been accepted by the scientific community. I do it every day (even though in the back of my mind I know it's not truth, but a working hypothesis).

So gravity - I very happily take it as truth (even thought it's not truth - it's bloody good hypothesis) that it exerts a force in Newtons of (9.81m/s2) x (mass in kg). I don't check it every time. I don't check that the Stefan Boltzmann constant is correct every time I calculate radiated heat. I don't check the fundamental charge on an electron. I don't check the specific heat of water, nor do I check that it is acting to a good approximation as an incompressible fluid. I don't verify the ideal gas law by experiement, and I don't check that the metal in my gearbox is strong enough to take the torque supplied by my engine.

Why don't I do these things? Because they have all been consistently verified by peer reviewed science and I can therefore trust them to be very good hypotheses - i.e. for all purposes of everyday life I can accept them as true.

So it's exactly the same with climate science - I don't go back to the data and try to verify everything that peer-reviewed climate science has said on the basis of my very sketchy understanding of how the climate fits together. I trust climate scientists as much as I trust physisists, chemists, materials scientists, engineers, doctors etc to examine their own data carefully and draw the best possible conclusions.

And I trust the peer review process which takes other experts (not the original scientist's buddies as someone here has suggested) and puts their reputations on the line to independently verify or critique the claims made by the original scientist.

After this process we have working hypotheses that fit the data, which in non-scientific language you might well call "facts" and "the truth". We accept them as truth - even though anyone who understands science knows they are not truth claims.

"This is a car" is not a scientific hypothesis.

"The highest possible efficiency of the petrol driven car is given by a Carnot heat engine operating between the same temperature points" is a scientific hypothesis.

It may or may not be true, even though all evidence points to it being true. If someone shows evidence that the first and second laws of thermodynamics can be broken then it will no longer be true. This sort of thing happens in science all the time, where things everyone throught was true, turn out not to be true.

(Take stomach ulcers... everybody thought they were caused by stress until two very persistant scientists showed they appeared to be caused by bacteria and could be treated with antibiotics. 7 years ago if you had said stomach ulcers were caused by bacteria you would have been laughed out of the room. But Barry Marshall and Robin Warren have just been given the Nobel prize for showing that the evidence pointed to the Helicobacter pylori bacteria as the cause.)

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#511
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Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/27/2011 6:38 PM

this climate change started over 10,000 years ago this is a fact. and there were many climate changes before this FACT. AND in you're opinion ALL OF THIS IS MANKINDS FAULT? after al gore makes trillions saving the world from climate change and manbearpig, you can go to work on you're bicycle, if you are one of the few to have a job. and eat a tofo sandwich(only 1 sandwich) for youre 1 meal a day because all youre money went to pay youre $5000.00 monthly light bill. and the earths going to get warmer until it goes thru another cooling period either way nice

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Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/04/2011 6:59 PM

Hi Guys,

"1)There is more CO2 in the air due to human activity. 2)We are experiencing a climate shift....................................they must be related."

How about this? 1) There is more CO2 in the air due to human activity

2) We are experiencing a climate shift that may be accelerated by human activity.

3) Climate shifts will occur regularly, in both directions, regardless of human activity.

Have to run, for now.

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#232
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Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/04/2011 7:05 PM

lyn - you forgot one.

4) All other things being constant increased CO2 in the atmosphere allows more heat to be retained by the Earth and high levels persist for thousands of years.

Ed Weldon

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#236
In reply to #232

Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/04/2011 9:56 PM

Yes, and there is historic evidence of much higher CO2 levels in the Earth's past.

There is also historical evidence of swings in CO2 levels and large swings in temperature. I posted one of those charts a number of times and it is clear that there is no correlation between the two.

What I take from that history is that temperature changes can happen regardless of CO2 levels and changes in CO2 levels does not always mean a corresponding rise in temperature.

It seems there are other factors in play in those instances. I don't know what factors are really working in the current time we live in.

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#264
In reply to #236

Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/06/2011 4:12 PM

A.H. -- You are right. Rising costs for business are generally bad for business. That includes energy costs. The exceptions such as the one I cited are second order issues.

Modern business enterprises have a relatively short view into the future. No more than a few years. Again, the exceptions are second order issues.

Most motivations I see for raising energy costs fall into two categories. First are the controllers of energy, who stand to profit from raising prices. Within that category there are two warring factions. Those who possess the energy to sell and those who want to take a piece of it for their own use (typically governments).

The second category is people whose living standards place them in the hierarchy of needs where they become concerned about their own or their offspring's future welfare. So they worry about the effects of energy use on their children who may have to fight wars over oil, their grandchildren who might endure economic privation and their great grandchildren who may die of starvation in a postulated overheating of the planet.

This area of human concern is fueled by a lot of media hype. So we pay attention to it, rightly or wrongly. There are a lot of other long term problems our world faces. This is the one that happens to be getting our attention in large measure because the issues are not black and white.

I do think we need to put the welfare of "business" enterprise in its proper place and not let it totally dominate all our actions. But that position notwithstanding we need to deal with immediate problems and they are essentially economic. This means that in the short run we need to put a big piece of our population back to work. American business (regardless of who owns it) is the biggest player in this picture when it comes to putting people to work and generating wealth. Above the level of the smallest business, at most a handful of employees, businesses behave according to timeless rules.

They are like growing plants, which require energy, water, soil, nutrients and a space to grow. You simply can't fool them. Restrict or poison any of these and the plant withers producing little or no fruit.

But this analogy only goes so far. While we have substantial knowledge that enables use to manage the growth of plants we (at the central control points) still have a lot to learn about how to manage the complexities of business and the overarching economies. The failure of Lenin's communist model, the impending failure of the Mr. Chavez, the near collapse of General Motors and closer to home the bankruptcy of Solyndra are examples.

So I think that you and I can agree that a refocusing of priorities is the order of the day and that maybe it's time to loosen the strings restraining American business. And others please note I used the word "loosen" advisedly. I don't mean cut and throw away.

Ed Weldon

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#265
In reply to #264

Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/06/2011 4:45 PM

Ed, I think you were responding to a different post of mine.

Not only are higher costs bad for business, but they generally are going to be bad for the general population.

I do not think that energy providers gain much from higher energy costs. Either the provider's wholesale costs are increasing or the government is getting a bigger handout in the form of additional taxes. Both end up being passed onto the consumer.

Typically, energy providers do not show high profit margins. They may do large volumes of business, but the percentage of profit each year is smaller than many other companies. What energy providers offer to investors is steady state performance. You can pretty much bank on your dividends, they just don't return as much as most other businesses, which have a higher risk factor.

Of course higher prices also hit people on fixed incomes hard.

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#266
In reply to #265

Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/06/2011 5:00 PM

A.H. -- You're right. I hit the reply button under the wrong post of yours. My reply probably can stand on its own anyways. ......Ed

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#267
In reply to #264

Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/06/2011 5:01 PM

Ed, I strongly agree with you that it is primarily the small businesses that help fuel a free enterprise economy and we need to do whatever we can to help promote the viability of that sector of our country.

Many times the "rich" are castigated/chastied for having money, but poor people don't typically start businesses and hire people. Taking away the incentive for those people to start businesses through a terribly restrictive tax structure, among other things, is destructive to the dynamics of businesses starting and hiring new people. If you want to help the business environment and get people working again, do some trimming of the taxes, and government involvement, etc., for small and large businesses alike.

Also, get some of the government agencies out of the way who seem to have the sole goal of their existence to throw a monkey wrench into the gearbox of industry (like requiring every operator of farm equipment to have a CDL liscense). Like you said, there needs to be some oversight but there needs to be common sense attached to their actions.

"Modern business enterprises have a relatively short view into the future. No more than a few years."

Your statement is very true. Current government indesiciveness about tax structure, healthcare, environmental regulations, etc. all lend itself to a very wary and guarded willingness to invest a lot of money, time and effort on startup or expansion of existing businesses. Corporations have a lot of capital to invest but they aren't investing because of that uncertainty. I don't blame them at all. They exist for the purpose of making a profit for the shareholders, you and me, and they can't do that if they don't know what decisions to make because somebody keeps coming along and changing the rules of the game.

The current results, very high unemployment and hardly any growth in our GDP for a sustained period of time, are clear indicators that there is a great deal wrong with the affect of government on business development.

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Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/05/2011 7:36 AM

Of course I was being absurd. It was meant to be absurd to make a point.

But the point is not absurd. Smoking is not "well known" to be harmful, it has gradually and very painfully been generally accepted that smoking is harmful because that's what the evidence pointed to.

I'm not linking smoking and climate change. I'm saying that denying any science that you personally don't agree with and making the tacit or explicit claim that the scientists involved in it must be corrupt, stupid, misled or part of a conspiracy because they don't happen to present agreeable hypotheses is unscientific (and absurd for that matter).

You say we don't know enough yet. Of course we don't. We don't know enough about cancer, consciousness, psychosis, fire retardation, flood prevention, car safety, brain injury, finance, habitat destruction, radio telescopy, nuclear fission, quarks, quantum computing, food science, alcohol, solar radiation... we just act on the best evidence available. That's what we've always done.

We didn't know enough about CFCs and their effect on ozone, but the evidence was pretty compelling and they were largely phased out before overwhelming damage was done, although very significant damage was done and continues to be done by them.

Now, we may not know enough, but we do know a lot. For instance...

1. There has never (for any period where data exists - i.e. for hundreds of millions of years) been such a rapid rise of CO2 concentrations on earth.

2. There is no serious doubt that humans are responsible for the current increase in CO2 levels.

3. CO2 levels are well-correlated to global temperatures from ice-core studies over many hundreds of thousands of years (here's 200 of them graphed for you).

http://wupcenter.mtu.edu/education/Global_Climate_Change/lessons/Lerner%20globalclimatechange.pdf

You may claim that the data was fudged by Al Gore personally (he obviously has something on the people at Nature).

You can draw whatever conclusions you like from the evidence. But scientists who spend their entire lives doing this research (and we're not talking about people making buckets of money - we're talking about scientific researchers) have drawn some very stark conclusions. Nobody likes the conclusions. There is no conspiracy to produce them; but pretty much every climate scientist, and most other scientists who take the trouble to read the evidence, agree that they provide the best hypothesis for the available evidence. They may be wrong - of course. All of science may be wrong - that's the beauty of it. It presents hypotheses and corrects the record whenever enough evidence is amassed to prove them wrong - that's what separates science from religion.

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#268
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Re: Sun Causes Climate Change Shock

09/06/2011 7:20 PM

Thanks for the post. I also found this. It goes back 100s of millions of years, so the resolution is not nearly as precise as your shorterm graph.

CO2 levels below 400 ppm were the abnormal states during the ancient past. The middle Carbonaceous period was the only period most like today in temperature and CO2 levels.

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