Global Warming Getting Bad Press

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They lit the Christmas tree at Trafalgar Square last night. A taxi driver ripped us off coming across town…

Remember the world’s tallest office tower, in Dubai? Economist Andrew Lawrence came up with the Skyscraper’s Index. Apparently, the buildings go up in bubble economies. Then, the bubbles explode…leaving the buildings standing. The owners and builders typically go broke in the aftermath. Note the last line of the chart.

Economic Bubbles

Most of world’s most popular undertakings are mostly giant frauds.

Hitler said his people needed ‘living room.’ Besides, the Germans were the people who were supposed to unite Europe against the Bolshevik/Jewish menace. Would the typical mitteldeutschelander be better off as a result? There was no reason to think so; it was just a popular flimflam.

The Russians supposedly rose up in 1917 to create a ‘workers’ paradise.’ The Chinese followed suit 30 years later. Did the workers get a paradise? Quite the contrary, they got Hell on earth.

Towards the end of the century came the promise of technology…which blew up in 2000…and then the War Against Terror in 2001. And now, there’s a war against depression, similarly hopeless, futile, and expensive.

And, of course, there is the campaign to control the world’s climate. We hadn’t kept up with the battle to control CO2. But it has suddenly burst into the headlines, see below…

Is the planet heating up? If so, is human activity the cause of it? No one knows. But thousands…millions…of people make their reputations, their careers and their fortunes by promising to do something about it. Al Gore, for example, has made millions of dollars by promoting his alternative energy investments.

“Anthropomorphic Global Warming,” is just a hypothesis. It is also a scam, says The Daily Express:

Daily Express Front Page

All of a sudden, global warming is getting bad press. Why? Some of the top scientists pushing global warming were caught in flagrante delicto…apparently ready to bury data that didn’t agree with them and shun unbelievers. One of them has since resigned.

“Climategate,” the press is calling it.

Bill Bonner
for The Daily Reckoning Australia

Bill Bonner

Bill Bonner

Best-selling investment author Bill Bonner is the founder and president of Agora Publishing, one of the world's most successful consumer newsletter companies. Owner of both Fleet Street Publications and MoneyWeek magazine in the UK, he is also author of the free daily e-mail The Daily Reckoning.
Bill Bonner

Latest posts by Bill Bonner (see all)

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Comments

  1. No worries but Bill. Lord Monkton is going to save us all from the climate communists with his new world freedom party.

    Lachlan Scanlan
    December 7, 2009
    Reply
  2. It’s going to take a lot of momentum to stop this attempt at introducing a global taxation system – much more than currently exists, but Abbot’s opposition in Australia is very encouraging.

    Reply
  3. Hi Dan, I agree. Also good to see the nuclear power issue back on the table. By the way my comment in another thread was meant for the other Dan (from DRA) not you.

    Greg Atkinson
    December 7, 2009
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  4. Nuclear power is a non-starter for Australia. It has been quashed by enough ideology to have both feet out the door. It will be solar, wind, hydro and geothermal which get all the good spin off and all the fiscal reward from the government and special interest groups that realise they can’t make money without popular support. Science gets a backseat because in reality most people don’t speak science.

    I actually spent a whole lot of time researching the science behind climate change and found the AGW skeptic/denier arguments get sliced up every which way and a lot of credibility is lost behind the sources of the alternate theories. If it is about the science then AGW wins via the scientific method because of the many lines of evidence which come to the same conclusion with relatively few showing inconclusive or opposing views. When things are said like ‘the science is decided, its a concensus’ etc etc it really always bugged the hell out of me and made me resist all the more. If it is about the politics then I’m willing to disregard a new worthless tax and let everyone pay the future cost because the ALP can’t figure out anything properly to do with actually reducing CO2 emissions anyway. And if it were my choice I’d let the greens have their way so something realistic were done. The world will rebound, we haven’t induced anything so extreme that it hasn’t witnessed itself before, it just might not need us to be along for the correction. The economy is simple compared to worldwide policy deciding how to protect the climate. I don’t really feel like having the climate equivalent of an economic meltdown because of relaxed governmental policies but here we have it anyway. We’ve seen the fixes, let’s let climate work itself out, or us out.. Que Sera Sera.

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  5. If the government(s) hadn’t privatised infrastructure, they could have addressed global warming by building only renewable energy generation.

    Renewable technologies aren’t intrinsically uneconomic and expensive, its just that the distribution infrastructure and engineering experience are almost entirely in old school thermal generation. Power plants are most efficient at large scales, but for smaller companies and new start ups they don’t have the finances to jump into it on a large scale. Existing large companies can make easier profits by lobbying to keep their existing power plants running than by building new ones.
    There is no unsolveable problem here, but frustrating to see Western countries stuggling so much to organise themselves to tackle it.

    China is impressive – the amazing rate at which they are putting in place renewable energy. Partly this is because they don’t have a big legacy transmission infrastructure, and the communist government is brave enough to steamroller vested interests to get it done.
    Its funny how the free market economy can be good at rapid innovation for small changes, but is crap at large disruptive changes where all the major players dig in and resist it.

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  6. Climate-gate certainly isn’t what the mainstream media is calling it. Only the free-press is calling it that.

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  7. I find it strange having been a regular reader of this website that the first two articles on the topic of global warming are penned in response to a sensationalist headline in a tabloid newspaper. The opinions of Bonner appear to be directed against any sort of taxation rather than a discussion of the merits of the climate science which he acknowledges is not within his area of expertise. I guess that Tony Abbots (anti) policy approach will win plaudits from Mr Bonner.

    In order to improve the quality of debate I would highly recommend reading some basic economics textbooks to gain an understanding of when government intervention in the market is likely to lead to a more economically efficient outcome. The classic examples of “the tragedy of the commons” and “economic externalities” should make it clear that government intervention to place a price on carbon is well justified.

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  8. I was agreeing with everything you said Richo until your started to wail on my free market economy.

    I’m afraid we don’t have a free market economy. So your comparisson is actually of a communist government which utilizes a quasi-free market economy and depending on which country you’re referring to (lets take U.S for interests sake), where generally speaking free markets have been undermined by overwhelming government interference. An interference by a communist regime or a ‘democratically’ elected regime is no difference at all if you’re interested in principles of free markets. Free markets are totally derived from every force which acts upon it, including massive leveraging of risk-averse banks because they 1. make huge profits 2. get incentives to do it 3. get bailed out when they lose bad bets 4. get guarantees of securitization.

    I found out today that Timothy Geithner refused to tell congress whether the funds JP Morgan received in the bailout were direct exposure because of bad bets or if they were because of indirect exposure. This important point meant either they had risked and gambled on the market and lost or if they were just paying off losses because of the interlinking banking system and they had hedging exposure which went bad. The money therefore was given to the bank because it made bad bets like betting on red at the casino but the taxpayers are bailing out degenerate gamblers. This is not free market enterprise and there has been no such thing. There should never be a philosophy of too big to fail.

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  9. Good point Drew. We live in a ‘supposedly’ free market economy, but it is far from it.

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  10. Drew: Seems you didn’t do much research. The scientific case for manmade climate change collapsed some time ago. If you look into the means through which CO2 heats the atmosphere you will find that the heating efect reduces as concentration increases and eventually stops. Without the CO2 argument, Copenhagen is just another tax tied to a new mandated financial relationship between the first and third worlds.

    Jock Shockley
    December 9, 2009
    Reply
  11. I wonder if Bill / Dan / Kris reads these comments?

    Anyway, “climategate”, as Daniel (8/12) points out, is a tabloid beat-up of the worst sort.

    Two emails are being used as evidence of a global conspiracy designed to rip money from the taxpayers’ pockets. (For the benefit of who … scientists?? Pfft).

    The first, about using the “Nature trick” to “hide the decline”, is talking about the apparent decline in temperature as shown by tree rings after 1960, not the actual temperature as measured by thermometers. “Trick” is a commonly used term to describe ‘a clever thing to do’. You can search for “trick” on databases of scientific paper databases and confirm this (eg Laplace transform trick, or kernel trick). The “trick” is to switch from using pre-industrial temperatures, as inferred by tree-rings, to real temperature data gathered in the field after the 50s, when plotting temperature vs time.

    Of course, whether tree-rings are a good proxy for pre-industrial temperatures in the first place or not is still being discussed, and would in any case probably be used in combination with data from other sources – ice-cores for example.

    The second email, regarding the “travesty” of the “lack of warming”, is talking about the cooling observed in 2008/09. The reason for the cooling is that we’re at the nadir of the 11 year solar cycle (I know the editors know all about moon phases of investing etc…), coupled with the cooling related to a strong la nina event, where the Pacific Ocean absorbs heat. The “travesty” that the researcher referres to is because he believes warming due to CO2 should be able to overcome the current natural cooling, and it isn’t. This is just his opinion, and other climatologists don’t agree with him, which is what the emails were about in the first place. In fact, his opinion about anthropogenic warming overcoming the natural cooling is in a paper he published, and is available online. Hardly the stuff of cover-ups and conspiracy.

    I wonder if the editors exchanged emails recently when they were trying to account for the low yields on short term US T-bonds and why anyone would buy them only to lose money. (I may not have that entirely correct – I’m trying to learn more about this stuff, hence being here…) Did the editors disagree with each other, or have alternative explanations? Would we discount their overall conclusion if we were privvy to those emails? Or would we be glad they kicked various ideas around and came up with a rigorous answer?

    Bill &co have also shown they’re susceptible to the odd faux email in their day (the Bristol Zoo car park man?? Really?). Funny it might be, but is that enough to publish it? Even for a free newsletter, I reckon they could pick up their game.

    Finally, I’d be very interested in hearing more about free market economics vs the tragedy of the commons – eg how would free market economics protect bluefin tuna populations in the Atlantic, or have decreased industrial SO2 production (leading to less acid rain), or indeed ameliorate CO2/methane/etc emissions without a cap and trade scheme or binding targets? I’m a freemarket agnostic, so hoping to get some others’ thoughts.

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  12. Global Warming is a tabloid beat-up of the worst sort. In fact, it isn’t even called Global Warming now, given that temperatures haven’t been increasing, it has been renamed as Climate Change. That way, if the weather changes in any way at all and at any time, then the people promoting this sham will claim to be correct.
    This is just another “do whatever I say or the world will end” con, like acid rain and the ozone hole scare campaigns.
    Climategate isn’t about two emails either. Apart from the world’s leading Climate Change scientists being caught manipulating data, they were also caught out planning to discredit and smear scientists with opposing views.
    They have also “lost” all of their original data, so that there can be no independant checking. The head of the East Anglia Climate Change Unit has already been stood down pending an investigation. Would this happen over a tabloid beat-up?
    A “trick” is a much more commonly used term to describe how to mislead and con somebody. A trickster has no ethics. That seems to describe the Climate Change fanatics perfectly.

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  13. I only wish it was as you describe Greg.
    Unfortunately there is too much evidence that the World ‘is’ actually warming.

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  14. Your wish has come true, Joe, – it is exactly as I have described.

    But this is an argument for another forum. Have a look here:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/12/04/a-devastating-response-to-theres-nothing-to-see-here-move-along/#more-13710

    Reply
  15. Yawn…I am over global warming now. Time to get back to worrying about asteroids and aliens :) It ain’t going to be funny if we run around trying to reduce CO2 and a big rock hits us.

    Greg Atkinson
    December 9, 2009
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  16. …let us make haste to temple exon, there…we pay hommage to goddess petrolia for she hath made bloom the sterile soil…she brings lightness to aircraft, roadcraft seacraft and even velveeta cheese…eyewear, footwear, earwear, indeed all our senses are satisfied by her…and now…billions more in china, india, south america…everywhere, shall be converted to her…let the high priests apply a tax on CO2 to fill the cap and trade coffers at temple financia…afterall, there are temple upkeep expenses to think about…like…replacing the black marble floor tiles with just white ones to counter the effects of the melting glaciers…

    Reply
  17. I think they were in a hurry to get the climate change arguments through in time:

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100019301/climategate-another-smoking-gun/

    On the melting of glaciers in the Himalayas:

    “J Graham Cogley, a professor at Ontario Trent University, says he believes the UN authors got the date from an earlier report wrong by more than 300 years.

    He is astonished they “misread 2350 as 2035″.”

    Ooops!

    Reply
  18. Evidence from last eight years or so shows temps have dropped…no wonder they binned the data. Still the climate thought police deny this.

    Lachlan Scanlan
    December 9, 2009
    Reply
  19. Yawn…I am over global warming now. Time to get back to worrying about asteroids and aliens. It ain’t going to be funny if we run around trying to reduce CO2 and a big rock hits us!

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  20. Shock Jockley I have no idea where you heard that.

    I’ve never read any journal article which made the statement about ocean or land “sinks” absorbing as concentrations of CO2 increase. I’ve also never read about CO2 increasing in concentrations where at any stage it reduces the amount of heat trapped in the greenhouse. I know of the iris effect hypothesis by Professor Richard Lindzen of MIT which is the only alternate hypothesis to CO2 induced global warming and even he agrees the world has definately warmed. Also he is paid off by exxon mobile $2500 per day. All of you who are saying the world has not been warming are incorrect. The scientists, including the skeptical scientists agree the world has warmed and that it is happening for ‘some reason’. Why the reason is has very little debate remaining as all the experiments for the alternate hypotheses and CO2 ends up being pointed to many times over.

    Just watch this video http://www.desmogblog.com/directory/vocabulary/4522

    I learnt my lesson about listening to skeptics arguments because they constantly move the goal post. Also, every alternate theory always requires a conspiracy which is factless as the hacked emails prove. The global cooling which is occuring is part of the way the climate is changing because of natural variance. If you expected CO2 forcings to be so powerful that temperature always went up you were simply misinformed. Simply think about it this way. If the projections were 5C by the end of the century was the upward trend then seeing as the temperature was swinging up 0.7C per year in the norther hemisphere how would this be sustainable to be 5C in total after 80 years? Because.. it was never meant to be a consistently incremental upward trend.

    Anthropogenic CO2 forcings are the major motivator behind the increased temperature in a general trend but it does not override nature or the sun or every other component as a total. It just constantly raises that bar so that it on average (with all else being equal) will keep rising. If you don’t understand this then you just don’t understand it.

    Reply
  21. Tomk and Greg read this for context of the hacked emails. http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/11/the-cru-hack/

    And Shock Jockley when I replied I meant to say that concentration of CO2 does not increase and then enhance its rate of absorption into land or ocean sinks. So I don’t know what you were trying to say at all. In fact as CO2 accumulates in the greenhouse given that it warms the earth and ocean, the ocean warms which actually releases the trapped CO2. Also, more water vapour enters the atmosphere causing more warming and a positive feedback loop is formed. This is the simple merits of the AGW argument although if you really care you have to look into a lot of detail to understand it properly.

    Reply
  22. I think this article in “The Australian” highlights what a joke the Copenhagen talks are: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/aussie-footprint-1817-tonnes-and-counting/story-e6frg6nf-1225809225797

    Here is an extract “THE Australian delegation to the Copenhagen climate change conference could number 114, official documents reveal.

    That number dwarfs the 71-strong British delegation. Such is the size of the delegation, it includes a dedicated “baggage liaison officer”.

    Greg Atkinson
    December 11, 2009
    Reply
  23. For the record I point out a well researched article that examines the Australian climate data:

    “Before getting homogenized, temperatures in Darwin were falling at 0.7 Celcius per century … but after the homogenization, they were warming at 1.2 Celcius per century. And the adjustment that they made was over two degrees per century … when those guys “adjust”, they don’t mess around. And the adjustment is an odd shape, with the adjustment first going stepwise, then climbing roughly to stop at 2.4C.”

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/12/08/the-smoking-gun-at-darwin-zero/

    Reply
  24. Dan alot of what is written is poetic license and interesting and the snippets are tantalizing. I love the wattsupwiththat website I read it frequently. However, I actually READ The website when I go to it. It’s not much a smoking gun considering it’s one station. Also, here is the quote from Willis Eschenbach at the end of his analysis, “Now, I want to be clear here. The blatantly bogus GHCN adjustment for this one station does NOT mean that the earth is not warming. It also does NOT mean that the three records (CRU, GISS, and GHCN) are generally wrong either.”

    Pretty important concept here I think. And I’d say it’s more important to be rational and sensible about the meaning of what the findings actually mean. The summary overrides the headline.

    Reply

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