William M. Briggs

Statistician to the Stars!

Obama’s Climate Challenge. Do Business Leaders Dare To Take It?

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Today’s important political post is at The Stream: Obama’s Climate Challenge. Do Business Leaders Dare To Take It?

President Obama is bruiting the idea of a $10 per barrel oil tax, which will of course ride on top of existing oil taxes, and which naturally you would end up paying for in increased gasoline taxes and food and goods costs.

Besides employing a whole swath of new government bureaucrats tasked to write regulations, Mr Obama would “invest”, i.e. spend your money on “clean-energy technologies that will power our future.” Politico reports that he has already “doled out unprecedented green energy subsidies” to those who are friends (like Solyndra) of his administration.

So with these new taxes we can move from “unprecedented” to, what, astronomical?

Anyway, everybody knows the reason the government gives to explain its largess, and that is global-warming-of-doom. We’re long past the point of taking this subject seriously, since every forecast of tragedy over the last thirty years has failed to be realized. But let’s here assume what isn’t true, that global-warming-of-doom really will kill us all unless we spend your money in so-called clean energy, clean transportation, and clean whatever.

Now that is going to cost a bundle. It would take hundreds of billions of dollars, maybe even trillions or multiple tens of trillions, to switch out all fossil-fuel electricity generation and swap all gasoline- and diesel-propelled vehicles, which includes your car. That means somebody has to sell new power plants and new methods of transportation.

Who gets the money?…

That brings us to Obama’s Climate Challenge, which is this. I hereby challenge all and every seller of any clean or green technology who accepts any money or consideration whatsoever from government to…

Go there to read what it is! And pass it on to all those greenies who would sell us “clean” energy products.

9 Comments

  1. Maybe Bernie will take you up on the idea, provided of course the profiteering weasels be forced into it by his administration. Or is that a bridge too far?

  2. Mark Z. Jacobson and Mark A. Delucchi published an article in the November 2009 issue of Scientific American titled “A Path to Sustainable Energy.” My first thought was, this must be a spoof. It is very easy to show how to power the US with renewable energy if you ignore the implementation problems and assume ridiculously low costs for producing the energy. So how do you power the US with renewable energy? According to Jacobson all you need is 490,000 tidal turbines, 5,350 geothermal plants, 900 hydroelectric plants, 3,800,000 5-MW wind turbines, 720,000 wave converters, 1,700,000,000 3-kW solar PV systems, 49,000 concentrated solar power plants, and 40,000 300-MW solar PV power plants.
    Those numbers should sober even the most enthusiastic supporter of renewable energy.

  3. Cheap oil is one of America’s strengths. Obama wants to take away one of the pillars of success.
    Obama understands that a good proportion of voters don’t attend to the reality of oil prices and how this affects economics as well as the truth on global warming.
    Given that businesses have to make money or fail whatever colour they are.
    I would like to see the “green businesses” forced to fess up about the entire cost of producing their products by unit for comparison, i.e. wind or solar installations, hybrid cars, fully electric cars. I’d like to see them show what goes into an ‘energy saving” light bulb and show it compared to a non green option to show frightened environmentalists what toxic chemicals are used in producing some vital everyday so called greener solutions.

    Real cost, fossil fuel use for production and all dodgy chemicals listed on a yellow sticker on every product or package. European style!
    It’s only fair.
    A farmer explained to me several years ago that the wind farms off the coast of Essex like all wind turbines, don’t turn if it isn’t windy. When they had dignitaries visit they had someone designated to switch on the battery which made the sails move. In a normal world I should have doubted this but It sounds about right. I expect they call this “demo mode” for all those who don’t know what windmills do best.

  4. I just finished “The Confidence Game” by Maria Kuonnikova and it strikes me that this whole thing–subsidizing “green energy” is a giant confidence racket–maybe the biggest in history.

    I’m not even talking about whether AGW is happening–for the sake of argument I will stipulate that it is, and that the consensus models are reasonably trustworthy (neither of which I really believe, but I can so stipulate).

    Aaccording to the mid-range IPCC modelling, all the recent promises made in Paris, if fully implemented, will only reduce global average temp by about 0.2 degrees C compared to unrestrained trends. Which is the margin of error in the models, and leaves temps well above the 2 degrees that has been advanced (with no persuasive basis) as the safe limit.

    So, even if I stipulate to all the questionable “science,” throwing hundreds of billions of dollars around makes no sense. But, that is what the grifters are telling us we should do.

    There is not space here, nor is this the place, to recap what the book covers in 320pp, but I will briefly summarize that the con appeals to the mark’s insecurities (am I hurting the planet?), belief systems (industrial civilization is a bad thing, we ALL are hurting the planet), ego (I am too smart to be fooled, I am highly moral and good, and I deserve the best), and need to find spiritual value (if I do this it validates me as a moral, good person).

    And, if you believe the “science” there is a far better alternative, teh one identified by Bjorn Lomborg and others: work on how to ameliorate any bad consequences of the warming that we cannot control. Things like flood control, restricting development of vulnerable areas, increased water supply capacity and robustness, developing crops that are more tolerant of extreme weather, and so on–things we could do, and prudence says maybe we should look into even if we are skeptical about AGW–much of it is just smart policy. Far more effective and far cheaper than abandoning fossil fuel and paying $100Bn to third world kleptocracies.

    The fact that all the emphasis is on something that doesn’t do any good at all, when clearly better (and cheaper) alternatives are at hand, tells me this is a con.

    I highly recommend the book, while we are waiting for Uncertainty to be published.

  5. “According to Jacobson all you need is 490,000 tidal turbines, 5,350 geothermal plants, 900 hydroelectric plants, 3,800,000 5-MW wind turbines, 720,000 wave converters, 1,700,000,000 3-kW solar PV systems, 49,000 concentrated solar power plants, and 40,000 300-MW solar PV power plants.”

    How much land area will all that take?

  6. Not to mention the large number of mule teams we will need to drag all this stuff to its final destination.

  7. Hydrocarbophiles. That’s what I’m calling you guys.

    Obama floated the idea of a $10 per barrel tax but the congress literally won’t even gaze in the direction of his budget, so it’s moot. But the idea is sound. I would help to suppress the next bubble coming in that market, and the money could do some real good, for the infrastructure and more efficient energy consumption. But if profiteering from the energy business is your thing, or you’re just a hydrocarbophile, it probably doesn’t sound very good to you.

    JMJ

  8. Speaking of electric cares, I read that the Netherlands are building three new coal plants to recharge its electric cars.

    Ray: The numbers would sober them if there was a chance they would believe the numbers. They will not.

    JMJ: Can we call you “Gullible Guy”? You are, however, loved and adored by the fossil fuel industry as they lap up all the wind subsidies and 20 year contracts, knowing the things are useless. It’s so kind of you to support oil and gas, especially in this reality. You’re sweet.

  9. Sheri: Excellent… JMJ probably doesn’t grasp how much he helps Big Oil. Even the $10/Barrel tax on the oil make the Oil Companies smile. They make the Bureaucrats smile even more.

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