This bubble will burn with the rest of us
Within a reality bubble conference reminiscent of statements by Comical Ali, mischievously coinciding with the meeting of real scientists over in Copenhagen (the press these days is too dim to tell the difference), Myron Ebell made a presentation, transcribed in all its glory below:
I'm disappointed to see you all here. I'd have hoped you would have gone to the more important sessions on climate science and impacts instead of this icky political stuff.So, there's that allegation that Business As Usual would make us all exponentially richer, if it wasn't for those pesky environmentalists who are capable of deranging public policy to a greater extent than the military-industrial complex.
If you want to get involved in the Cooler heads coalition, just send me an email. There's a website (globalwarming.org) and a weekly newsletter called the Cooler Heads Digest.
I'm not doing a slide show. But I did bring a show and tell. It's Fiji Water. This is the most politically incorrect bottled water and I buy it every time I go to the airport. It comes direct to you from Fiji, it's very energy inefficient, and the only thing they could do to improve it would be to carbonate it.
The interesting thing about this is the environmentalists are on a campaign against bottled water, but they haven't gone against carbonated beverages yet: Cocacola, budweiser, Champagne, that will be next.
I prefer ethanol in Champagne and those kinds of delivery vehicles rather than Fords and Toyotas.
The conference motto is that global warming is not a crisis, and what I want to propose to you today is that the alarmist consensus is that global warming is not a crisis. Now they say it's a crisis. As you know you can google this and you can find thousands of references to people, starting with Al Gore, that the greatest threat facing humanity today, the greatest threat in the history of humankind, the greatest threat to the planet that has ever existed is human caused global warming.
But I am going to propose to you that they don't actually believe that.
I think that global warming is a solution in search of a problem. The solution is energy rationing. That is the goal. If you look at the history of the environmental movement you find (Greenpeace had this on their website about 7 years ago) "the modern world has faced two energy crises. In the 1970s we were running out of energy. Today we have too much energy."
The environmental movement is based on a bias against human power over nature. What is it that gives us power over nature? Energy, modern energy. And therefore they have been waging war on the use of energy ever since the first Earth Day on Lenin's birthday in 1970, April 22.
Al Gore said in, Earth in the Balance, that the central organizing principle of all human society must become saving the environment. In other words, all of our efforts should not be towards pursuing out own goals, but pursuing a centrally organized goal which will be in this case saving the environment.
Al Gore has been a leader in all this. But I would like to compare global warming to what a real crisis would be like.
Take for example the Second World War. Everything in society was reorganized to win the war, whichever country you were in. All the resources were dedicated towards it. And of course people had rationing coupons.
Now think about it: If the purpose of the war were to have rationing coupons, rather than defeating the enemy, that is what the modern environmental movement is. The purpose is the rationing coupons. That's the end goal. I think you will see that in everything they do. The science really doesn't matter.
I have a lot of examples, but I'm going to run through a few of them.
If global warming were a crisis, wouldn't the environmental movement be pushing a zero emissions source that could produce a huge amount of energy. Say, nuclear power.
No, they oppose nuclear power.
But you may say that some groups don't, but the environmental movement is organized so that there are good cops and bad cops on every issue. Some groups will try to seduce the business community, and then there are the groups that just say no.
Al Gore is a good example on nuclear power. He says, yes the crisis is so serious we must consider it. He didn't say we had to build a nuclear power plant. He said we should consider building one. And he'll still be considering one after that ten year window that he said we have is over.
Remember about three years ago he said if we don't do something in ten years we'd all be dead? Well, you'd think he'd be saying we need a crash program the way we had in the second world war to build ships; we would be building nuclear power plants.
What about natural gas? In the NRDC plan for the future of our energy use, natural gas is seen as the most important transitional fuel because it has a lower carbon footprint than coal and petroleum. Our natural gas consumption has gone up at 1.5% per year for decades. 90% of the new electrical capacity added in this country in the past 20 years is gas. And yet 20 years ago 75% of Federal lands were open to oil and gas exploration. Today, 16% of federal lands are open.
Okay, if we can't drill it here, where are we going to get it? We're going to ship it. We're going to compress it and liquefy it and bring it from other countries. Where in the country are they allowing you to build a new LNG terminal? They are being fought and litigated and demonstrated against all over the country. The only LNG terminals are being build in the Gulf where they still believe in energy, in places like Louisiana and Texas.
What about carbon capture and storage? Greenpeace has said, "No no no, we don't want that Carbon Dioxide. That's dangerous stuff. We don't want to be storing that underground."
What about other things? Instead of cutting down CO2, we did bioengineering? Oh no no no, you can't do that.
What about seeding the Pacific Ocean with iron pellets? No no no, you can't do that.
What about the kinds of things talked about ten or fifteen years ago about atmospheric engineering or putting things up into space with mirrors? Oh no no no.
All of these things would be one millionth as expensive as cutting our energy use, but they're all off the table.
And so I believe that global warming alarmists do not believe that global warming is a crisis. Instead, it is a solution in search of a problem.
Now a few other points.
85% of the world's energy comes from hydrocarbon fuels. The Energy Information Administration projects that in 2030 there will be a 70% increase in global energy use. I think that's on the low side if you look at what's happening in China right now. In other words, the world is not energy rich, it's energy poor.
There are a billion and a half people in the world who don't have electricity today. There's a lot of unmet demand here.
The EIA projects that in 2030 when the world is using 70% more energy, 85% of it will come from hydrocarbons. That's the business as usual scenario.
So, what is the goal of Al Gore and the alarmists? It's to reduce hydrocarbon consumption from 1990 levels to 60% below those 1990 levels by 2050. What would that take?
Well, in 1990, the world emitted about 18 Gigatonnes of carbon dioxide, so you can figure out how much 60% below that is. The reference case is that the world in 2050 will be emitting close to 40 Gigatonnes, and we're supposed to get below 10 Gigatonnes in order to stave off this catastrophe.
How could we do that?
Well, the Department of Energy and Jim Connaughton have done a wonderful little table that explains: to get rid of one Gigatonne you have to build 273 zero emission coal fired power plants of 500Mwatts. Right now there are zero of those coal fired power plants in the world. You would have to install 1000 carbon capture and storage sites like Norway's Sleipner project. There are 3 of those in the world today.
This is to get rid of 1 Gigatonne, and we've got to get rid of about 30, so you can multiply each one of these by 30.
We'd have to build 136 new nuclear power plants of 1 Gigawatt each. That's one third of current worldwide capacity. We have not built a new nuclear power plant in this country in 30 years, and maybe the next one might come online in the next ten or fifteen years if they're lucky.
We could deploy 273 million new cars that get 40 mpg instead of 20 mpg.(testimony that refers to this when fighting for car efficiency standards)
Remember, that's 1 Gigatonne, and we need to get rid of 30 Gigatonnes.
So what this is all about is a looming trainwreck. And I'll just finish with this.
We have a number of Bills in Washington right now to create a cap-and-trade mechanism for carbon dioxide. Cap-and-trade is another term for tax. It's a hidden tax, and it redistributes income from consumers to special interests. The primary Bill that we're looking at right now is the Leiberman-Warner Bill (not the Leiberman-McCain Bill). It's been marked up by the Senate and Public Works Committee and passed out on a party line vote with the exception fo Senator John Warner who voted for it.
What will it do?
Well, it adopts targets a little less onerous than Al Gore's targets, but they're in the same ball-park.
We have a paper coming out by Ross McKitrick where he estimates what it would do to income. His estimate is that between now and 2050 the average American income in business as usual will go up 190% in real dollars.
Under Leiberman-Warner, real income would have to go down by 50% per capita. That's because the United States is not a static economy. It's a developing economy. We have 1% per year increase in population. Significantly, our CO2 emissions for the last 25-30 years have been going up 1% per year. In other words, we have stable CO2 emissions. We're using energy more efficiently every year, but the environmentalists are saying "Oh no no no, that's not good enough. You have to quadruple or quintuple the rate of efficiency growth."
If I have one or two more minutes, I will say this about what's at stake here. In Europe they have $8 a gallon gasoline, but emissions are going up. Let's say that $5 of that is tax. That's equivalent to about $500 per tonne of CO2 avoided. We're told that it will only take $20-$50 to get CO2 out of the economy, and yet when consumers have a choice they're willing to pay an awful lot more and still consume a product that gets them where they want to go. So, mobility is a very great value, the price signal is very inelastic, and we're talking about tripling or quadrupling the price of gasoline in order to start to get demand down.
Meanwhile, over in the real world:
Experts predict that higher worldwide temperatures will reduce rainfall in the Amazon region, which will cause widespread local drought. With less water and tree growth, "homegrown" rainfall produced by the forest will reduce as well, as it depends on water passed into the atmosphere above the forests by the trees. The cycle continues, with even less rain causing more drought, and so on.We are SO screwed!
With no water, the root systems collapse and the trees fall over. The parched forest becomes tinderbox dry and more susceptible to fire, which can spread to destroy the still-healthy patches of forest.