Yes, a carbon tax

Efficiency isn’t just some economists’, or accountants’, insistence on doing things cheaply. As Stern himself notes, if we do this inefficiently then we’ll avert less of that warming. The more resources we devote to growing mushrooms the fewer we’ll be able to expend upon the real problem. The more you worry about global warming the more you should be pushing for the most efficient solution — market forces properly incentivised — and the further you’d like politicians from the subject.

That, unfortunately, is not how things have worked out. The biggest problem with the climate change debate is that those most insistent that something must be done are those most insistent that the wrong something is done. That isn’t quite the way we’d hope to deal with the greatest threat to our civilisation. Or even the manner we’d like to deal with any problem at all.

Now that we’ve made the mistake of trying those centralised plans, can we get on with solving that climate change problem? Stick on the carbon tax and allow market forces to chew through the problem? As Hayek would have told us to, as Stern actually did insist, as the manner we’ve splashed the cash so far tells us we should have done.

68 comments on “Yes, a carbon tax

  1. Global warming is Marxist bullshit Tim.

    It would be a kindness to yourself as well as the rest of us if you stopped wasting your mental energy on it.

  2. In a word:
    NO!

    Longer version.
    The political class have subverted climate change to their own ends. Give them a Carbon Tax & they’ll subvert that as well. There simply isn’t a good option.
    What’s needed is to destroy the climate change consensus Undermine the whole thing. If there is a problem, it’s not going to be sorted out this way.

  3. When there is enthusiastic funding of research to falsify/disprove the hypothesis in the interests of robust science then we’ll know it’s a serious problem not a gravy train for overarching nonaccountable globalist control of the minutiae of our lives. Until then I’ll stick with solar and volcanic activity as the most important influences on climate.

  4. The economist Tyler Cowen made the point that voters have rejected carbon taxes.

    It’s all very well screaming until we’re blue in the face about how efficient a carbon tax is, but a less efficient scheme creates a whole class of people who are invested in the project, and who can continue to talk it up. Bonus points if they’re attractive and/or articulate – e.g. better to have an office full of pretty girls doing paper-shuffling, rather than podgy working class blokes installing solar panels.

    There is precedent, in the form of one particularly grandiose and inefficient scheme which has created a phalanx of people heavily invested in it, to the point that it’s becoming nigh impossible to scrap.

  5. Nicholas Stern didn’t just make the case for action on climate change,

    He did not make the case, he relied on the most extreme negative predictions of others.

    Now that we’ve made the mistake of trying those centralised plans, can we get on with solving that climate change problem?

    No we can’t, anything we do will have negligible effect on the climate because, one, we are not the major drivers of climate change, and, two, it is simply not true that a the consequences of a warmer climate are all negative, history suggests they’ll be overwhelmingly positive.

  6. @Andrew M. Do tell, what is the precedent you’re thinking of. Income tax is an example of something introduced to solve a particular issue which has stuck around. A lot of things fall into that category. Which one are you thinking of.

  7. That isn’t quite the way we’d hope to deal with the greatest threat to our civilisation

    This is how you know it’s a scam.

    When we were threatened with Nazi domination of the continent, TPTB declared war and started building vast amounts of weaponry.

    They didn’t buy holiday homes in Berlin while lecturing the rest of us to stop eating German sausages or whatever.

    The fact that none of the leading warmists behave as if they believe their own predictions of doom tells us they’re lying.

  8. No! Just No! For all the reasons outlines above and because it is a TAX and will provide nothing but more cash for politicians to siphon off to themselves and their mates.

  9. Tim, name one country that has/had a carbon tax that doesn’t/didn’t still do all the stupid centralised stuff.

    Show how your idea works in the real world.

  10. Tim, You make the assumption that CO2 is the main driver of climate change. If it were then some form of discouraging the oxidation of carbon might be a good idea, be it carbon tax or some other method.
    However despite (because of) the IPCC there is no good evidence that CO2 is the main or even a minor driver of climate change. So your quixotic and consistent support of a carbon tax is mystifying.

  11. Define ‘climate change.’

    It is a reification fallacy.

    Government is justly authorized to tax the citizenry for revenue to pay for said government. Government abuses that authority when it uses taxation for other purposes.

    There is no explanation of how a tax will change so called ‘climate change.’ We will have ‘climate change’ AND higher taxes.

    A carbon tax is just a tax. ‘Climate change’ is chatter to get people to accept it.

    ‘market forces properly incentivised’

    Market forces properly incentivised is NOT MARKET FORCES. JEEZE! It’s called FASCISM.

    So, let’s corrupt government so we can stop the unicorn invasion. Western Civilization is dead. How remarkably easy it has been to kill it.

  12. So who’s going to administer this carbon tax? Who’s going to set the rate so that plucky little Britain with its one percent and falling share of CO2 emissions pays the same per tonne as China with its thirty percent and rising share?

    And who’s going to dole out the cash to those most affected by the change in climate? And who’s going to ensure that a little bit of that cash gets to those poor guys?

    And who’s going to decide who the poor guys are and who is just trying it on? (I’m looking at you, Maldives.)

    And will this carbon tax include all the carbon taxes we already pay on fuel and electricity and gas or are you proposing yet another stonking great raid on our meagre wealth?

    No, Tim. the carbon tax is a terrible idea which will limit wealth creation by taxing it.

    The only way to deal with climate change, (and the climate will change, we can’t stop it changing and we don’t even know if it will get warmer or colder), is to adapt and the more wealth we have, the easier it will be to adapt.

  13. A Carbon tax is an unnecessary imposition for a non-existent problem. The only scientifically proven effect of CO2 is the greening of the planet. All else is conjecture or blatant fraud and I am ever surprised that Tim buys into the Climate Change scam.

  14. Tim believes carbon tax is a market solution to the climate problem. But, even if the you accept there’s a problem, where does the market get the information to set a price? Somewhere you’d need a cost of climate changing. You could arrive at that retrospectively. How much has a change in the climate cost? Price it in & tax for it. But the current cost seems to be zero. Making a CT zero. Is it worth going to all the trouble of introducing a CT that collects zero?
    If you’re talking about the cost of future climate change, you’re off with the birds. No reliable data within an order of magnitude. So the politicians are just going to make it up. So if you’re being taxed on a made up figure, how is that a market solution? Unless you’re talking Petticoat Lane on a Sunday morning market solutions.

  15. The first step: no study or paper to be considered at all by government unless all the data, and the assumptions made, are made publicly available to allow others to falsify/recreate the findings.

    If it is the “greatest threat to our existence” then get it all out in the open and have the best minds look at it.

  16. What is really odd about Tim’s belief in the “climate change problem” is that the activists and alarmists, WITHOUT EXCEPTION, regardless of scientific credentials – such as Attenborough, Mann et al – always go well beyond what the “science” says. The IPCC says in its latest report that there is no evidence of increased rate of sea-level rise, extreme weather, droughts, hurricanes etc.

    If you trust the IPCXC, then there is no grounded basis for action because there is no problem. Even the IPCC has to make faltering statements to the effect that there might be problems if no action is taken but….NONE OF THIS IS GROUNDED IN SCIENCE.

  17. The IPCC informs us that it is impossible to predict future climate accurately, and the further into the future the prediction goes, the margin of error increases.

    The ‘scientists’ tell us that the temperature record is unreliable. They have made retrospective corrections three (I think) times because of under reported warming (never cooling) and tell us global warmng is ‘still happening’ but it not showing up in the temperature record for some unknown reason.

    If we are unable to measure the progress of an activity, nor be able to know how what we are doing will effect outcome, would not an economist advise against the activity?

    The ‘goal’ is to prevent global temperature from rising above 1,5C. If we cannot measure global temperature reliably how shall we know?

    If the target climate state is one of myriad possibilities in a widely diverging margin of error, how can we possibly know which one to aim for?

  18. The (supposed) goal is to reduce the use of fossil fuels in our economies.
    For the sake this discussion it doesn’t really matter if global warming is real or imagined – the goal is there regardless.

    In the world imagined by economists, a carbon tax is clearly the most sensible way of achieving the goal. In this world, governments will let markets work to reduce the use of fossil fuels, and not interfere via grandiose schemes themselves. In this world, once the reduction has succeeded, governments won’t then tax the replacement energy sources to replace the revenue they’d got used to with the carbon tax.

    In the real world, the one inhabited by all of us, governments will add the carbon tax to the slew of grandiose schemes; they won’t let the market work. In the real world, they will tax the new energies – because they’ll have learned to like this new tax on energy.

    How do we know this? Because in every country a carbon tax has been introduced, the governments have continued with the grandiose schemes. When governments incentivise behaviour with taxes (low road tax for hybrids!) they eventually tax the new behaviour (sorry hybrid users, you shat out this year).

    The wind farms will eventually fall into the sea. A carbon (energy) tax will be with us forever.

  19. Tim’s suggestion, if I understand it right, is that we impose a carbon tax, cease all subsidies to solar/wind/insulation etc. supposed to combat climate change, and repeal all regulations supposedly for that purpose. The money raised/saved would be balanced by tax cuts elsewhere, and everyone would stop shouting as the problem would be solved.
    Were that deal on the table I would agree, notwithstanding that the present is no warmer than the Medieval or Roman warm periods, and likely much cooler than at the building of Stonehenge when to judge by the pollen found under the stones Britain has a Mediterranean climate, and the only people saying otherwise produce no data to support their contentions.
    But that deal has never been accepted anywhere, which encourages me to believe that a significant amount of the fuss is not about solving the problem (assuming there is one) but is a cover for other objectives.
    May I suggest:
    Holding Western Economies back would provide a competitive advantage for a rising “developing” nation that is free to build coal fired plants to it’s hearts content.
    Any number of academics want research grants.
    Any number of activists are desperate for something to be active about.
    Any number of subsidy vultures will circle any scam

  20. This post would be better suited to Continental Telegraph. It would increase your credibility with that target audience (Google algorithm) instead of reduce your credibilty with your established audience here.

  21. Any number of academics want research grants.
    Any number of activists are desperate for something to be active about.
    Any number of subsidy vultures will circle any scam

    And – and this is the real issue – any number of totalitarians see “climate change” as a vehicle to move them closer to totalitarianism.

    This isn’t about efficiency, it’s about a backdoor assault on individual freedom.

  22. And since when – in the entire history of the civilized world – has the promise of efficiency ever placated those who revel in the idea of compelling others to behave or believe in a certain manner?

  23. Do you know why this disappoints, Tim?

    You sound like an economist, rather than an economically literate realist.

  24. Bollocks to carbon tax.

    Observe below and marvel as no less than Princess Toni Bliar himself endorses my plan to sack the entire Senior Civil Service en masse on standard Ecks terms–owt with nowt.

    “I take my hat off to Olly Robbins, Olly is a very skilled guy, the elaborate camouflage of all the different points is a tribute to the skill of the British civil service, I say that sincerely.”

    After an all day carbon tax borefest the above is worth a thread of its own Tim.

  25. All credit to our host, though. Monsieur le pomme de terre would long since have banned you all, you heretics.

  26. @Kevin B, November 14, 2018 at 12:29 pm

    No, Tim. the carbon tax is a terrible idea which will limit wealth creation by taxing it.

    The only way to deal with climate change, (and the climate will change, we can’t stop it changing and we don’t even know if it will get warmer or colder), is to adapt and the more wealth we have, the easier it will be to adapt.

    Spot on.

  27. @Tim “nice but dim”

    You foolishly give credence to the largest scam in human history. I’m amazed and disappointed you are so gullible.

    Disclosure: have you invested in or gain/may-gain money by supporting this Global Warming scam?

    Head over to BH and be educated

  28. @Dennis the Peasant, November 14, 2018 at 4:04 pm

    For GDPR EU Blocked

    Climate contrarian uncovers scientific error, upends major ocean warming study

    Researchers with UC San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography and Princeton University recently walked back scientific findings published last month that showed oceans have been heating up dramatically faster than previously thought as a result of climate change.

    In a paper published Oct. 31 in the journal Nature, researchers found that ocean temperatures had warmed 60 percent more than outlined by the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

    However, the conclusion came under scrutiny after mathematician Nic Lewis, a critic of the scientific consensus around human-induced warming, posted a critique of the paper on the blog of Judith Curry, another well-known critic.

    “The findings of the … paper were peer reviewed and published in the world’s premier scientific journal and were given wide coverage in the English-speaking media,” Lewis wrote. “Despite this, a quick review of the first page of the paper was sufficient to raise doubts as to the accuracy of its results.”

    Co-author Ralph Keeling, climate scientist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, took full blame and thanked Lewis for alerting him to the mistake.

    “When we were confronted with his insight it became immediately clear there was an issue there,” he said. “We’re grateful to have it be pointed out quickly so that we could correct it quickly.”

    Keeling said they have since redone the calculations, finding the ocean is still likely warmer than the estimate used by the IPCC. However, that increase in heat has a larger range of probability than initially thought — between 10 percent and 70 percent, as other studies have already found.

    “Our error margins are too big now to really weigh in on the precise amount of warming that’s going on in the ocean,” Keeling said. “We really muffed the error margins.”

    A correction has been submitted to the journal Nature.

    According to the most recent IPCC report, climate emissions need to be cut by 20 percent by 2030 and then zeroed out by 2075 to keep warming from exceeding 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above preindustrial levels.

    Authors of the recent study had previously claimed that emissions levels in coming decades would need to be 25 percent lower to keep warming under that 2-degree cap.

    While papers are peer reviewed before they’re published, new findings must always be reproduced before gaining widespread acceptance throughout the scientific community, said Gerald Meehl, a climate scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado.

    “This is how the process works,” he said. “Every paper that comes out is not bulletproof or infallible. If it doesn’t stand up under scrutiny, you review the findings.”

    The report relied on a novel approach that still has the potential to revolutionize how scientists measure the ocean’s temperature.

    Much of the data on ocean temperatures currently relies on the Argo array, robotic devices that float at different depths. The program, which started in 2000, has gaps in coverage.

    By comparison, Keeling and Laure Resplandy, a researcher at Princeton University’s Environmental Institute who co-authored the report, calculated heat based on the amount of oxygen and carbon dioxide rising off the ocean, filling round glass flasks with air collected at research stations around the globe.

    Keeling said they will continue to experiment with the data in coming years in an attempt to fine-tune the data.

    “It’s a promising new method, but we didn’t get the precision right on the first pass,” he said.

    The study is still the first to confirm that the ocean is warming using a method independent of direct ocean temperature measurements.

    Twitter: @jemersmith
    Phone: (619) 293-2234
    Email: joshua.smith@sduniontribune.com
    Copyright © 2018, The San Diego Union-Tribune

    Marine Science Environmental Science Scientific Research Princeton University

  29. Peer review is broken, it’s bollocks. Who will attempt to recreate it and thus falsify or verify it? No one. It’s worthless – except as an (increasingly threadbare) stamp of authority, yet people gasp and treat “peer review” like someone holding a cross at a vampire.

  30. “You foolishly give credence to the largest scam in human history.”

    You seriously underrate Western religions.

  31. Post script.
    It would of course be necessary to charge the tax on the carbon used in making and transporting imports.
    Else we land up using metals refined and shaped by the energy from Chinese coal even when metals refined and shaped here would use less carbon- like we’re doing for windfarms even now.
    Could be ticklish to implement.

  32. “Tim believes carbon tax is a market solution to the climate problem. But, even if the you accept there’s a problem, where does the market get the information to set a price? Somewhere you’d need a cost of climate changing. You could arrive at that retrospectively.”

    You can arrive at it in advance too. Do it the same way futures markets work.

    You issue a bond that pays out at 10% (or whatever) if climate change turns out to be real (e.g. sea level rises 1 metre) or goes null and void on a set date if it isn’t. Or vice versa. If you believe, sell them to those who don’t, and use the money raised to fund your anti-CO2 programmes. The price integrates our best collective knowledge about the future, converges on the true value as the deadline approaches, and whoever turns out to be wrong ends up paying for the costs of any action taken.

    It’s simple, and genuinely market based – unlike carbon taxes. I suspect it’s not done in practice because it would quickly reveal the current true market price to be near zero, since only the most gullible on either side truly believes in it. The only people who invested would be governments spending ‘other people’s money’. Why supposed market-supporters like Tim reject it in favour of MOAR TAX is a mystery to me.

  33. In other news, May’s treason is worse than I feared it would be. Guy Fawkes was a petty vandal compared to that mad cow.

    I’m seriously thinking about voting Labour in the next election (because tactical voting, innit. UKIP aren’t gonna win this constituency).

    RIP, The Conservative Party. 1834-2018

  34. For some usually intelligent commentators to deny the existence of AGW is as mind-bogglingly stupid as the claims by Gore and friends.
    AGW exists. We have burned a trillion tons of coal in the last couple of decades. If that hasn’t warmed us up what was the point of it? When I visited Novosibirsk it was *only* -40C, a generation earlier it was -50C in winter, so to survive the humans burned thousands of tons of coal to heat their flats.
    The only bit in dispute is how much AGW contributes to global warming (I think sunspots are more important but …) AGW is the only bit under humanity’s control, so that is the bit we should tackle. Xi JingPing has the fate of our grandchildren in his hands..

  35. John – so you’re saying we have no idea how much humans affect global warming, but we should “tackle” it anyway?

    What if it’s 0.1%? And the cost of tackling the scary prospect of nicer summers is a bazillion pounds?

    Xi JingPing has the fate of our grandchildren in his hands..

    This is another reason why AGW is a scam. China’s CO2 output is greater than the USA and Europe put together. And they have no intention of slowing down – they are currently building hundreds of new coal-fired power stations. Hundreds! Enough to power another United States.

    Yet the Paris agreement doesn’t oblige China to do anything. Strange, for the Greatest Threat To Our Civilisation, innit?

    The Paris accords, and other eco-initiatives, are designed to keep feeding China what remains of our industries, while retarding living standards for common people in the West and transferring more of our wealth to politicians and bankers. Funny how that works.

    So if AGW is a real and terrible threat, either we nuke China (they’re not going to stop burning coal), or we get used to being able to fry eggs without turning on the stove.

    Luckily, AGW is not a real and terrible threat. If it’s even happening (and we can’t prove that if we can’t even measure it), it’s probably a good thing. We do know that warmer weather tends to correspond with better crop yields and more abundance.

    It was significantly warmer circa a thousand years ago. So much so, that the Vikings were able to grow wheat and sustain farms in areas of Greenland now covered with permafrost. Amazingly, the world didn’t end in 900 AD, so why worry?

  36. Sigh. I’m the guy who first pointed that out. That the Stern Review carbon tax would mean 11 p a litre *off* fuel duty…..

  37. “Sigh. I’m the guy who first pointed that out. That the Stern Review carbon tax would mean 11 p a litre *off* fuel duty…..”

    An economic technical nerd point that – – – – -> would absolutely never happen in reality. Just say it out loud to yourself, Tim. Seriously, vibrate the air molecules with this:

    “Hey, if we’d implemented the Stern Review carbon tax, the chancellor would have just straight gone and knocked off eleven pence a litre in fuel duty.”

    Yeah, that was just bound to happen, wasn’t it? What with the chancellor being a politician and all.

  38. “AGW exists. We have burned a trillion tons of coal in the last couple of decades. If that hasn’t warmed us up what was the point of it?”

    Do you really think it was the heat from the fires that warmed the Earth, John77?

    A short trillion:
    1,000,000,000,000

    Coal burned in 20 years (tonnes):
    151,000,000,000 (approx. – rounded up) [source – Guardian alarmist page]

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/ng-interactive/2015/apr/10/how-much-fossil-fuel-are-we-using-right-now

  39. You lads love dull.

    Global warming is Marxist bollocks.

    Steve–you are correct re the mad cow. But she might just have bitten off more than she can spew. CCHQ Tweets as of 6 or so hours after her cringe show outside No 10 contained exactly 7 tweets from Tory twat MPs endorsing her negotiating genius in fulsome terms. Indeed in terms not that fulsome and that is from prime remain shite like Shelbrooke .

    It took five hours and a team of SCS bouncers to browbeat her own gutless gang of remainiac stooges to shut up and pretend they were on the same hymn sheet.

    She is meeting Jizza tonight. To beg him to help sell us out –and piss on millions of his own voters of course. If I were him I’d make her moon passing motorists out the window and still laugh in her face before going for a pint.

  40. I think what Tim’s saying is that if unicorn farts have a negative externality then they should be taxed accordingly. Something I think we can all agree upon.

  41. Guys, guys. AGW is one of Tim’s famous Blind Spots or Achilles Heels or whatever you want to call them. (Of which there are five that I’m aware of.) No amount of facts, reason and logic will change his mind. Just let it go.

  42. Replying to Ian Reid a day later, I was thinking of the EU, but you’re right that income tax (and indeed many other things) have created similar self-interested lobby groups.

  43. “Guys, guys. AGW is one of Tim’s famous Blind Spots or Achilles Heels ”
    He’s trying to apply economics to something not amenable to economics.
    Politics.

  44. “I think what Tim’s saying is that if unicorn farts have a negative externality then they should be taxed accordingly. Something I think we can all agree upon.”

    What you describe is an excuse for a new tax.

  45. @ PJF
    Sorry, a trillion tons of coal equivalent.
    Doesn’t change my point – AGW is real; I just happen to think that sunspots are more significant.
    Anyone who cares about Global Warming should be lobbying Xi JingPing – so why aren’t they doing so?.

  46. Ahh, ‘AGW is real.’

    Man had no data for Global Mean Temperature before 1979. Until globe circling satellites started measuring atmospheric temperatures everywhere, we simply didn’t have anything approaching adequate data. As I recall, each land station represented 40,000 square miles, Ocean areas – most of the earth – approached zero representation. Antarctica – 5,000,000 square miles, but few stations. Arctic ocean – virtually no stations.

    Graphs you see of GMT before 1979 are all speculation, based on virtually zero actual measured data. The little actual data is concentrated in populated land areas, mostly in the West. Leaving over 80% of the earth completely unrepresented.

    The change in atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide since 1979, and the changes in GMT since 1979, as measured by the ONLY MEANS WE HAVE TO MEASURE IT, do not correlate.

    QED

  47. @ Gamecock
    Yes, AGW is real. No honest and competent observer can deny that so denying makes you look either dishonest or incompetent or both.
    If you want to debate with the alarmists, you need to say that you think that it is trivial relative to sunspots. And to ask them why they aren’t beseiging the Chinese Embassy and burning effigies of Xi JingPing.

  48. “Sorry, a trillion tons of coal equivalent.”

    Well, a trillion tons worth of coal equivalent is a whole bunch of energy, that’s for sure. However, to put it in perspective, the energy from a trillion tons of coal equivalent is also equivalent to less than two hours of solar energy hitting the Earth.

    Twenty years of our best output from all our sources of energy comes to less than two hours of what the Earth copes with from the sun.

    The energy value of what we unbury-and-burn has no significant impact on global temperatures. If you think that’s what causes AGW (which you implied above) then you may believe in AGW, but you don’t understand it.

  49. “Yes, AGW is real. No honest and competent observer can deny that so denying makes you look either dishonest or incompetent or both.”

    It depends on exactly what you mean by “global warming”. If you mean “is the world warming” then the answer is probably yes (although the data is dodgy enough to put the issue into serious question), but that says nothing at all about the cause. If you mean: will CO2 have a non-zero effect assuming other things held equal, then yes, it will, although we don’t know how big, and have no proof that the observed increase is due to CO2 rather than some other cause (like natural variation). If you mean: will the alarmist IPCC predictions about the size and consequences of the warming come true, then we don’t know for certain but very probably not.

    Most people interpret “global warming” to mean the political campaign, with Al Gore and Michael Mann and whatnot. But it’s a highly ambiguous term, within the debate. I’m guessing you have a different specific meaning in mind, that you actually agree with us, and that you’re simply arguing that we need more technical accuracy when we argue. Agreed.

    “If you want to debate with the alarmists, you need to say that you think that it is trivial relative to sunspots.”

    I’ve debated extensively with the alarmists, and you’d have to be a lot more careful about how you phrased the sunspot connection! It’s one hypothesis among many, and not a strategy I’d recommend to an amateur.

    “And to ask them why they aren’t beseiging the Chinese Embassy and burning effigies of Xi JingPing.”

    Mmm, yes. Agreed. Most people seem unaware of the implications of the Byrd-Hagel resolution and why international nogotiations have failed. But of course we know the real reason – that they don’t believe in it either!

  50. @ PJF
    If you could summon up the energy to read what I have written, not what you assume I must have written because I acknowledge the existence of AGW, you just might understand it.
    As anyone else can see, I have consistently said that I consider the effect of sunspots (that’s not total energy from the sun, just cyclical variations of it) are more important than AGW. Global warming/cooling is not caused by the normal rate of energy from the sun but by temporary increases/decreases. If *you* think that the normal level causes global warming then you need to ask yourself why the oceans didn’t boil away umpteen million years ago, why Britain cooled so much that they had ice fairs on the Thames a few hundred years ago after the Romans cultivated grapes. …
    The answer to the idiots is to explain how insignificant AGW is not to stupidly pretend that it is non-existent which will make people think that we are hiding the truth.

  51. “If you could summon up the energy to read what I have written, not what you assume I must have written…”

    I tend to limit myself to what is actually written. You might mean something else entirely, of course, and I certainly don’t know your motivations – so just going with the words on the screen, in the context of the discussion, is the safest bet.

    When you wrote: “AGW exists. We have burned a trillion tons of coal in the last couple of decades. If that hasn’t warmed us up what was the point of it?” the most straightforward conclusion is that you might actually think anthropogenic global warming is caused by the energy output of burning fossil fuels. There was a possibility you didn’t mean that, so I asked you. You didn’t respond to the point, so I addressed it further.

    If you don’t think that, just say. Job done. Or not, as you please.

    “If *you* think that the normal level causes global warming then…”

    I did say “the Earth copes”, did I not? All of the solar energy is reradiated back into space, most of it immediately. The temporary delay of some it departing (by various processes) is what gives us our global surface temperature.

    I haven’t stated that AGW doesn’t exist. If it does, I agree with you that it is insignificant. I do not agree with the sunspot notion as a cause of variations in warming (total solar irradiance doesn’t vary enough through sunspot cycles).

  52. I sense a contradiction:

    AGW is the only bit under humanity’s control, so that is the bit we should tackle. Xi JingPing has the fate of our grandchildren in his hands.

    The answer to the idiots is to explain how insignificant AGW is not to stupidly pretend that it is non-existent which will make people think that we are hiding the truth.

  53. @john 77, November 14, 2018 at 11:46 pm

    “deny the existence of AGW” – spouting that old lie again, why not call us racists too?

    Nobody here denied Global Warming or for that matter Global Cooling might happen. It’s happened many times before.

    We say it’s not proven that we cause it and If it happens, adapt like everything else on Earth will do.

    Man is king of life, but in perspective we’re mere maggots eating Earth’s faeces

  54. ‘Yes, AGW is real. No honest and competent observer can deny that so denying makes you look either dishonest or incompetent or both.’

    No True Scotsman bullshit.

    There is no correlation between atmospheric CO2 concentration and Global Mean Temperature. You have to be weapons grade stupid to think “AGW is real.”

    Sucka.

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