Tuesday, January 25, 2011

"Factories of Death"

That is the phrase James Hansen used to compare coal-fired power plants to places like Auschwitz. Its welcoming front gate is seen there in the picture.
Is it any wonder why anthropogenic global warming skeptics have been called deniers since Hansen's unfortunate comment.
Coal has been used by people as a fuel since the Bronze Age, maybe earlier. It was the fuel that drove the Industrial Revolution which ultimately gave us the modern world, and it is still the fuel that is responsible for producing 40% of the world's electricity production, 69% of China's electricity production and 90% of American electricity production. Coal is going to be around for a very long time indeed.
Niel Reynolds points out in a recent column, that coal is still the future and Alberta is a laboratory in this link


  1. Yes, you've railed against James Hansen before in your comments.

    Notice how the move is to make coal 'clean'? Why would the industry be trying to reduce the impact of CO2 from coal if CO2 isn't a problem? Hmm.

    You should visit the Alberta Oil Sands (I have) and see for yourself what our quest for oil looks like.

  2. Industry has been deluded, like much of the population, by "experts" like Hansen.
    Just because industry is removing CO2 doesn't mean they believe it to be the cause of global warming. That is a circular argument. Thats like saying companies offer low fat foods because they believe fat is the cause of obesity. They remove fat so that consumers will buy their products, the consumers are deluded by the experts. The likely cause of obesity is the carbs.
    As for oil production, no one is stopping you from giving up your use of oil or any other fossil fuel. I invite you to persuade your peers/neighbours/countrymen to do the same, without lobbying government to use their monopoly on force to legislate compliance. If it's such a good idea everyone should WANT to do it.

  3. Really, everyone is deluded by the experts? But, of course YOU aren't deluded because you don't listen to the experts and prefer to get your information from non-experts - which would explain why you so often post about climate change by referencing economists and non-climate scientists.

    It's really sad to hear that people are reducing science to politics. As if the scientific process of creating models using discovered facts has a political agenda. Usually the experts are right, it's the people responsible for interpreting and implementing what the experts say that get it wrong. If you get cancer, the "experts" will tell you the option most likely to succeed in treating you. You can take their advice or not.

    However, if your house is on fire and the "experts" determine it must be extinguished because it threatens other property, you don't get to decline. Maybe you'd rather it burnt to the ground but you will not be allowed to interfere.

    Your position reminds me of the very recent article in the Skeptic Society's website. It seems that people vehemently denied that mosquitoes were the cause of Yellow Fever and the old guard had to die off before it was accepted. (http://www.skeptic.com/eskeptic/11-01-26/#feature) I fear it's the same with climate change 'skeptics'.

    This BBC program shows how science has been attacked over the climate change issue. In particular, notice how the journalist admits that he doesn't actually read the original sources when reporting on climate and considers his job to be the "interpreter of interpretations." (http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=V89AeCLCtJQ#!)

    No Allen, you are the one deluded by your own political ideology. And, if you bother to read the eSkeptic article "The Ideological Immune System" you may gain some insight as to why.

  4. "It's really sad to hear that people are reducing science to politics."
    I agree but that is what has happened and it was initiated well before the IPCC was created. IPCC is a creature of politics if ever there was one.
    As far as being "deluded by your own political ideology," don't for an instant think that you somehow have NO political ideology, nothing could be further from the truth.
    I will respond further in a new posting shortly.

  5. Absolutely I have a political ideology but I don't let it interfere with the facts - you do. The facts tell me our climate is changing, due to warming primarily as a result of high levels (and increasing!) of CO2. Now, I try to find solutions that fit within my ideology.

    I really do identify with Libertarian ideals. However, I've been turned away from Libertarianism by Libertarians like yourself who conflate the facts with their ideology. I've said it numerous times - accept the scientific facts and show the public how Libertarians would solve the problem of excess CO2 warming the planet.

    Stop giving the excuse of finding a solution when the problem is massive. We KNOW that people who smoke and increase their smoking over time are statistically likely to get cancer so why on earth wouldn't the smoker try to stop smoking before the cancer hits?

  6. The facts tell me our climate is changing, for reasons which we do not yet understand, I doubt that the answer is simple and I'm certain that we aren't going to "fix" the problem. Now, I try to find solutions that fit within my ideology and adapt.
    We're not that different!

  7. BTW, HD, the main libertarian ideal that you do not seem to identify with, is probably the main libertarian ideal.
    The principle of non-aggression is fundamental to libertarianism - the bottom rung, so-to-speak. Most everything else follows from there.
    This means non-aggression between individuals in their day-to-day dealings and between government and individuals day-to-day.
    Most libertarians would say that government must be given a monopoly on the use of force to defend itself and citizens from outside attack and to protect individuals' rights of property and security of the person, period.
    When government imposes itself by declaring that commodities like fossil fuels must be regulated by limiting use (cap & trade) that is a form of aggression on the users. Use should be "regulated" by price and scarcity in a free market. Issues of pollution can be dealt with in a free market as well.

  8. I don't, generally, disagree with Libertarianism. But, like all ideologies, I think it has some flaws or weaknesses.

    So, let's say, for the sake of argument, that something we are doing IS leading us to disaster. We are poisoning our wells. It's cheaper to continue on our current path because of its abundance and the unwashed masses just don't think there is a problem - but the science, commissioned by the Libertarian Party of Canada, has conclusively shown we are heading for disaster.

    It could be CO2, or cutting down trees, or the use of antimicrobials... doesn't matter. Whatever it is, it's cheap, effective, plentiful and people love to use it.

    How does the Libertarian Party get us to change our lifestyle?

  9. First of all the Libertarian Party of Canada (LPC) if it were in power is unlikely to be commissioning a scientific investigation on anything. LPC's first duties would be to alter laws regulating the power of government so that its power is strictly limited to things like protecting the rights of individuals. Changing OUR Lifestyle (globally or locally) would not even be a glimmer in the eye of a true libertarian. Local concerns like poisoning wells would be handled in the courts between the individuals concerned (a true function of government).
    The only global concern that might fall on the radar of a libertarian government would be alien invasion (see War of the Worlds) or maybe imminent collision with an extraterrestrial body. That might require pooling of resources and talent but even there independent companies may have a better solution. Libertarian governments would be much less interventionist and fairly isolationist in world affairs. Trade between individuals and companies would be relatively unfettered.
    A recent example of the inadequacy of governmental solutions to the affairs of men is the miners rescue in Chile. The Chilean gov't took charge, other gov'ts offered help, but the Chileans wisely allowed for competitive solutions to the problem. The ultimate solution fell to a small company out of Pennsylvania with a very good drill bit. Chile BTW, is one of the fastest growing least regulated economies in the Western Hemisphere, and their gov't deserves a lot of credit for the way this problem was handled. I know that is just a local problem, but in the end all problems can be viewed as local if you choose to.


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