JoNova

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Cap N trade? The zombie bill may not be dead

There are many ways to play the game, and many loopholes to push. Unfortunately there are all too many players who are willing to step outside the spirit of what Democracy is supposed to be about. The lame-duck session is a loophole. This is well written, though focuses only on the government-grab-for-tax, and not on the banker-benefits of trading…– Jo

Foxnews: Senate Energy Debate is Still all About Cap-and-Trade

Phil Kerpen
A headline on Thursday screamed: “Democrats pull plug on climate bill.” Don’t believe it. It’s a diversionary tactic.

The Obama administration and Democratic congressional leadership, seeing their window for shoving the country to the hard left closing quickly, are intent on making one last major push for cap-and-trade. It starts with their “spill-response bill” or “energy bill,” but it’s really about cap-and-trade.

The irony is that the political genius of cap-and-trade was supposed to be that it hides a tax hike from the American people.

The concept was developed largely as a response to the political price suffered by Democrats for their advocacy of outright energy taxes. As Al Gore explained: “I worked as vice-president to enact a carbon tax. Clinton indulged me against the advice of his economic team. That contributed to our losing Congress two years later to Newt Gingrich.”

Enter cap-and-trade: the code-worded way to impose a massive energy tax and pretend it’s not a tax. The political “innovation” of cap-and-trade is that instead of levying a tax directly, it puts a cap on overall greenhouse gas emissions, and establishes a market for companies to buy and sell the permits.

So it’s a tax with the added uncertainty of the tax rate being set at auction, making it a tax with an unknown rate. The Congressional Budget Office scored the House-passed Waxman-Markey bill as an $846 billion tax hike. They also admitted the costs will be passed onto consumers in higher prices.

It was supposed to be a hidden tax, but the American people broke the code. They know about cap-and-trade. They know it’s a huge tax hike and they don’t want it. Support is crumbling. So cap-and-trade true-believers turn to even deeper subterfuge.

The Senate will take up energy legislation next week and pretend it’s not about cap-and-trade. Democratic leadership had already scaled back the cap-and-trade provisions to just power plants (still enough to, as President Obama explained, cause electricity prices to “necessarily skyrocket”) and now have reportedly removed cap-and-trade completely — temporarily — although it remains the centerpiece of their real plan.

The key first step of the plan is to get something, anything, related to energy passed through the Senate. That will get it into a conference committee – likely an informal, backroom, secret one – where it can be “merged” with the House-passed Waxman-Markey bill.

The lead author of that bill, Henry Waxman, is openly telling reporters that at that stage he will reinsert the full-blown cap-and-trade program.

The lead author of that bill, Henry Waxman, is openly telling reporters that at that stage he will reinsert the full-blown cap-and-trade program.

Both as a function of the legislative calendar and of electoral politics, neither the House nor Senate is likely to vote on the conference report before the election. It will instead, Senate cap-and-trade point man John Kerry has said, be considered in a lame duck session of Congress.

A lame duck session is a session of the old Congress – including those who have already lost re-election – convened after the election but before the newly-elected Congress can be sworn in.

If it gets that far it may be difficult to stop. It could depend on bringing pressure to bear on moderate Republicans like Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine, Scott Brown of Massachusetts, and Mike Castle of Delaware (who will likely win a special election and be seated in time for the lame duck session) to make a firm commitment not to support cap-and-trade in the lame duck.

This would be about process more than policy – a simple stand that establishing far-reaching, expensive new programs should not be considered until after all of the duly-elected senators have been seated and the new Congress has started.

The best, surest way to derail the lame duck strategy is to prevent the Senate from passing any energy bill before the election that could get them into conference.

That’s why the energy debate in the Senate next week is so high stakes. It’s really all about cap-and-trade, and senators who vote yes will have to explain to angry constituents why they voted to advance cap-and-trade and cause energy prices to skyrocket.

Foxnews

Thanks to Bob F

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73 comments to Cap N trade? The zombie bill may not be dead

  • #

    If the U.S. Senate passes a cap and trade bill after the midterm elections in a lame duck session Barack Obama can kiss his second term good by.A politicians first and foremost priority is self preservation.

    Then again, who really knows what will happen?

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    PJB

    It must be hard to let go of a life-long project. When I watched the PBS special on the Amazon and saw a 20 sec. blurb from 1991 with Al Gore in the process of estimating how much carbon was contained in a rainforest tree….it demonstrates the nature of this long con.

    They have worked hard to set it up and have used every possible avenue of influence to get the mind-set of the populace to “inevitable, so try for the least difficult”. What a coup should they ever get this going for, as we know, once a tax is enacted, it never comes off the books. :(

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  • #
    Treeman

    Jo
    Stealth politics is evident here in Australia as well. As you say Gillard’s 150 randoms forum has most sinister overtones. Here in Brisbane the unlikely Bligh Newman team has set up EzyGreen with the promise of 20% renewable energy at no extra cost for those silly enough to sign up to it. All three tiers of government are up to their ears in it and Eddie is absolutely right, self preservation drives them all. Leftist State Premier Bligh is desperate in the face of rapidly declining popularity, Conservative Lord Mayor Newman pitches to greenshirts who oppose his tunnels and riverside makeovers.

    For people like us the challenge is enlightening the naive, most of whom never come to forums like this, many of whom are flat out surviving each week and a large chunk who take MSM climate message as gospel. Maybe it’s coincidence but every time I look at ABC 24 there is a group think panel pushing the environment wagon. It will take a massive effort to counter both the pervasive propaganda machine and the smoke and mirrors politics of Brutus Gillard.

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    Henry chance

    It is very crafty bill. It is the rich taxing the poor. It is a consumption tax. The poor do not pay income taxes but do pay cigarette, sales and alcohol tax. They will be paying tax on energy in their food bill, housing, transportation and other areas.
    The only subsidy I see is the nanny state will give the poor a few dollars for electric.
    Income tax is based on productivity or salaries.

    Energy tax is on people that consume that may have no earned revenue. It is a tax increase on retire people.

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  • #
    papertiger

    Not much you, me, or anybody, can do to thwart a lame duck socialist Senate coupled with Obama in the White House.

    Or is there?

    California – the golden state – where Van Jones is just a face in the chorus, as opposed to a died in the wool communist, forced to resign as Obama’s “energy czar”.

    The bedrock of the Democratic Party.

    If Californians can be pursuaded to defeat the Global Warming Solutions Act by voting Yes on Prop 23 (that’s my baby!)…

    If… well ah Gawd. If that happens will the lamers in Congress sit up and take notice?
    Oh you betcha! ;)

    As goes California, so goes the nation.

    Join me. Nurture this little referendum.

    It’ll make you proud.

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  • #
    papertiger

    Here’s something. There’s a company called Enviance which profits off the global warming scam by selling software for calculating the amount of carbon credits gullible corporations will have to buy to maintain their good standing with the climate clergy in charge of AB32.

    Enviance maintains a web page devoted to the fight against Prop 23.

    On that website is a poll asking readers “What’s your opinion of California’s AB 32 (CAGW Act)?”
    1. like it
    2. opposed
    3. like it with changes

    The default choice if you happen to push the vote key by accident is “like it”, making it a push poll.

    Currently “like it” is leading with 53% of the vote.

    Could this be a mistake? Something to do.

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  • #
    wes george

    Eddy’s right.

    The chaos in American politics is reaching a scale not seen since 1968. The US national health care plan was pushed through Congress using loopholes well “outside the spirit of democracy” and the American people are angry. If the Democrats try still more tricks with cap & trade then Obama has little hope in 2012. The public outrage would not only guarantee the Dems an extended tour of the wilderness, but also set back the US enviro movement. You wouldn’t know if you get your news from Australian media, but the biggest grassroots insurrection since the Vietnam era is brewing in the US against Obama and his politically suicidal desire to replace American exceptionalism with EU-style collectivism.

    As an operator Gillard is the exact opposite of Obama – she’s a pragmatic populist with no great convictions, beyond clinging to power. Unlike the radical ideologue Obama she might well be open to reason on a carbon tax, even if only from a realpolitik perspective. Gillard knows the very fluid politics surrounding the climate issue means rushing into a carbon tax might well be the kiss of death come next election cycle. Only the far-left Greens can be sure to benefit politically from a carbon tax.

    If the opposition had reached out to Labor and engaged them to find a bi-partisan consensus on climate policy this could have defused the incentives to politicise the issue. A great national debate could have ensued under the guise of some variety of Julia’s citizen assembly and the Greens would have been publicly exposed and politically isolated as far-left millenarianism…

    Instead, by using a sledge to perform what should have been surgery, the opposition is channelling the balance of power to the extremist position of the Greens. By failing to drive a wedge between Labor and the Greens, the opposition has increased the likelihood of an Australian carbon tax next year, while insuring that the door Gillard slightly cracked opened yesterday to a national debate will slam shut.

    I suppose this is part of the perverse incentives of the “spirit of democracy.” Abbott doesn’t really understand the climate science debate any more than Gillard. Engaging in an exercise to depoliticise climate science through a national dialog is too hard to manage, even if it is the national interest. Better to stand stoutly, if forlornly, as a minority opposed to a carbon tax and let the tax come to pass. Then leverage the community’s suffering to build support to oust Labor during the next election, assuming that by allowing the Greens to achieve the balance of power the political landscape hasn’t been forever transformed. Another sinister plot? Or just thick headedness? Or perhaps just the natural inefficiency inherent in the democratic process?

    As Churchill said…”democracy is the worst form of government except for all the others that have been tried.”

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  • #
    Mark

    Just heard Penny Wong state that even if the “consensus of 150″ decided against a carbon tax, she would seek to “convince” them otherwise.

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  • #
    Bulldust

    How you get a balanced debate on the ABC:

    http://www.abc.net.au/tv/qanda/coming_up.htm

    Look at the line up…

    Penny Wong – Climate Change Minister
    Malcolm Turnbull – former Liberal leader
    Christine Milne – Deputy Leader of the Greens
    Graham Richardson – Labor identity
    Tom Switzer – The Spectator editor

    So someone who supports the ETS, and someone supports the ETS, and another who supports the ETS and another who supports the ETS, and a token Liberal adviser.

    Does the ABC use the same advisers to stack Q and A as the people who set up climate science inquiries? This is why I do not bother watching Q and A… I won’t even comment on Tony Jones as a moderator because his bias would make my language turn blue.

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  • #
    Bulldust

    I meant commentator, not advisor, for Tom Switzer.

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  • #
    wes george

    Bulldust,

    Exactly! There is no hope of an honest debate on climate by our national taxpayer funded media!

    Instead, day by day the media create more climate zombies ready to slash their economic wrists to save a polar bear. The real threat to the opposition isn’t waffling labor but letting the radical Greens become the power brokers in the senate where they will install themselves as courageous climate heroes for pushing through a carbon tax. The media will crown the Greens as our saviors. Once installed as such, the Labor/Green coalition could hold power for several or more terms of government.

    The opposition’s lack of a strategy to get a foot in the door – through Gillard’s obvious discomfort over the rush into a carbon tax – in order to marginalize the Greens as extremists may be a political blunder that resounds across the next decade or more….

    Hope you all like the wilderness.;-)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xMZlr5Gf9yY

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  • #
    Colin Henderson

    The UN is using revenue from carbon credits to fund (“cleaner”) coal fired hydro projects in China. This cheap power will allow China to steal manufacturing jobs from the US and decimate the American economy; Osama Bin Laden could not have done a better job of destroying the West. A carbon tax is the G7 version of economic Jonestown Kool-Aid; based on the marketing lie of global warming.

    Good work “Greens”, instead of saving the world you have shot yourself and your neighbours in the head.

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  • #
    janama

    Penny Wong – Climate Change Minister
    Malcolm Turnbull – former Liberal leader
    Christine Milne – Deputy Leader of the Greens
    Graham Richardson – Labor identity
    Tom Switzer – The Spectator editor

    unbelievable Bulldust – I’ve already posted my disgust on the Q&A website. I suggest others do the same.

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  • #
    wes george

    Good on ya, Janama.

    But don’t imagine for a second that that’s empowerment. The Q&A producers would be disappointed if their bias towards “saving the planet” wasn’t met by complaints from “denialists.” It all part of the narrative. They wouldn’t be doing their job if we we’re treated as a legitimate voice in the debate.

    This is why I bang on about the need for a game changer. The need to get smarter, rather than just play the stock role in the media narrative. I’m sick to death of playing by the media’s rules. Or pretending, as our politicians seem to do – even the right thinking ones – that the inequity doesn’t exist or that we can ever win at the rigged media table. We’re allowing them to control the language, to write the plot, then we imagine that somehow we can, cast as the villain, make the truth triumph over the whole false dialectic. It doesn’t work like that in real life.

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  • #
    Lawrie

    Winston Churchill must have felt like this on numerous occasions. First no one believed him as he warned of a re-arming Germany. He must have felt overwhelmed from Sep 39 til the US joined after Pearl Harbour. For over two years he had to hold Hitler at bay by himself with some help from the Commonwealth. Hitler aided him by attacking Russia instead of concentrating on destroying Britain.

    There should be a lesson here for us. The closest I can come is the danger of China introducing it’s own carbon tax. It will prevent it’s goods being blackbanned by the west and because of their tightly regulated economy and workforce will make little difference to the price of their end product. A carbon tax here and in the US will send what’s left of our manufacturing offshore or broke.

    It seems much of the science opposed to MMGW is coming out of China and that of necessity means it has been sanctioned by the state. They don’t believe it yet they are introducing green measures. Something smells of wedge politics on the global scale. Look. China is doing it so we have to do it. Followed shortly thereafter by; look, all our industries are uncompetitive and are failing OR moving.

    Check out the later editions of Climate Spectator to see the articles on China’s move to a green economy. Also check out the cheering from the same articles. Unlike Churchill most of our enemies are fellow Australians. Dumb bastards.

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  • #
    pattoh

    Ahoy Mark @ #9

    I heard the back end of a radio conv. referring to this Wong comment.

    I would love the direct link so it can be qouted.

    I can not see such an attitude as anything less than a desire to pervert an already questionable process. It is certainly not democracy in any form.

    I can only assume the “convincing” would be done by some of the handpicked AGW cultists from BoM & CSIRO who produced the propaganda sheet “the state of the climate” a few months ago.

    If this assembly does indeed get up & the Cultists come in as advisors, what hope of balance is there?

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  • #
    Mark

    Pattoh:

    Can’t be more exact than to say it was the 7 am news on Sydney 2UE. Not a quote; Wong herself speaking.

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    Tel

    Winston Churchill must have felt like this on numerous occasions. First no one believed him as he warned of a re-arming Germany.

    Egats! What a dreadful rewrite of history.

    Everyone knew that Germany was re-arming, and they were all busy with their own efforts in a pan-European arms race. Great Britain systematically prevented Germany getting access to iron, copper, aluminium, oil and rubber in order to retard their military buildup and the Royal Air Force was growing at a faster rate than the Luftwaffe so the extra years spent waiting for war only increased the advantage of the Western powers.

    Chamberlain’s strategy was perfectly rational on the presumption that Hitler would also have been rational. Thus, the Western powers gave away things that didn’t matter much to them and they would have been unable to effectively defend anyhow (Poland, etc). The common strategic assessment was that the Soviet Union was inexorably on the rise and that war amongst the “old empires” would destroy all concerned, leaving America and the USSR as the only winners. As it turned out, this was a perfectly accurate assessment.

    Thus, Italy, France, GB, and Germany were in a Mexican Standoff situation. Rational behaviour would have been to establish a status quo.

    For over two years he had to hold Hitler at bay by himself with some help from the Commonwealth. Hitler aided him by attacking Russia instead of concentrating on destroying Britain.

    Hitler always planned to attack Russia, it was in his book, there was no secret. The National Socialists were busy killing off Communists long before they turned against Jews. They expected the Western powers to support them in their attack on Russia but because Nazism was odious, racist and undemocratic, they were never going to get explicit allegiance from the democratic nations. If Hitler had any background in diplomacy he would have understood that Great Britain (and the USA as well) would have been perfectly happy for greater Germany to stand as a bulwark against the expansion of Communism, provided the Germans willing to accept the limited gains they had been offered and not do anything stupid.

    Sadly, Hitler looked at the Mexican standoff and somehow thought that being first to pull trigger would be a winning move — it wasn’t.

    The British Empire has never recovered from this war, nor would they have fared any better by going to war a few years earlier. The only winning strategy for Britain was to convince Germany to behave itself and stabilize the situation. If Winston Churchill had come to power sooner, he would have been equally unable to achieve this.

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  • #
    Joe Lalonde

    Honestly, IS THIS A DEMOCRACY?

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    Bruce of Newcastle

    Interesting tonight WUWT reports the hack of the ECX carbon trading website…by uber-Greens.

    Window into the thinking of the extreme end of the spectrum, cap and trade is evil because it doesn’t go far enough and is a scam (well I might agree to the latter, but not for their reasoning). That’s starting to get ‘way ‘way out into territory presently being explored by the Air Vent: Jeff has an interesting thread on environmentalism as a religion at the moment.

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    tide

    It is a very sad state of affairs when our elected representatives resort to outright fraud and deceit to push their legislative agendas. The warmists have lost on the scientific and public relations fronts yet they and the lawmakers persist. This is proof beyond any doubt that it was never about science.

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    Roy Hogue

    Fraud and deceit may be the best of it. I hope you in Australia can make it through on your own because cap-and-ruin may well pass here, removing any outside pressure on your government to hold back on an ETS.

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    Mark

    This is a classic: “Everywhere warmer than everywhere else”.

    http://tomnelson.blogspot.com/2010/07/settled-science-can-everyplace-really.html

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    Mark

    Yet more biting comment on “Mannian paleo-phrenology” (love that term) by McIntyre at his blog.

    http://climateaudit.org/2010/07/25/the-team-defends-paleo-phrenology/

    Judith Curry’s post at 5:48 pm (she is a “warmer”) is particularly telling. More discussion at:
    http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2010/7/24/zorita-on-smerdon.html

    Not so hard to believe that the usual suspects from “rogues gallery” seek to defend one of their own.

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    Ross

    Question for the experts — I have been reading an article reporting on proposed attempts to drill for shale gas in the UK. The article said it was more more “carbon friendly” than coal — how is there any difference ??

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    Bruce of Newcastle

    Ross – as far as I know this is a hydrofracking project rather than an insitu gasification one. The former means you’re just cracking the shale to let the gas out – because gas has a high hydrogen content compared to coal you don’t produce as much CO2 per kWh when you use it for electricity. The other reason generators like gas is the capital cost is much lower than anything else (its easy to transport and burns cleanly) and is useful for swing production eg to balance out intermittent power from bird munchers.

    Insitu gasification is a different fish entirely, where you do a low oxygen insitu burn of coal or carbonaceous shale to free a gas stream, a bit like an underground coke oven. In theory you are leaving much of the carbon in the ground, and recovering a hydrogen rich fuel, with some CO in it.

    Both technologies have significant issues which mean investing in them would be quite a gamble (in my opinion anyway).

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    Ross

    Thanks Brian. The article was in the UK Guardian ( business section) so I just wasn’t sure if the comment was spin or not.

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    Bruce of Newcastle

    Ross – It took 20+ years development before coal seam gas could be extracted reliably. That is the risk – it may be feasible but if it doesn’t work first time then you’ve lost your investment money. Now coal seam gas is big time.

    Same issue has affected nickel mining, with Twiggy Forest’s original Murrin operation losing the shirts of everyone who first invested. Only now are the current set of Murrin investors making (some) money.

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    janama

    “hydrofracking”

    hasn’t this system been creating problems in central Queensland where they have been cracking the rock to get out the gas but have been upsetting the water table. I saw a farmer who was getting gas coming up via his irrigation bore – he could light it!

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  • #
    John Brookes

    What follows is a short discussion of the ETS and a carbon tax, assuming you think such things are necessary to reduce ghg emissions :-) No need to read further if you already know what an absolute load of bollocks the whole shebang is!

    A sensible emissions trading scheme (as proposed by Ross Garnaut) would work well to reduce carbon dioxide emissions at the cheapest possible price. However, it does have the weakness that the price on CO2 is unknown. This could be a problem for business. Traditionally, business has to handle lots of uncertainty – for example foreign exchange rates. So maybe the price variability for ghg emission permits is not a problem.

    However the ETS proposed by the government was not so good. And it was comprehensively demonised (from the right and the left), as being bad for the poor, a rort for bankers, the ruin of the economy etc etc. It was a victim of overly powerful special interest groups, and its own complexity. What was especially amazing was how people seemed to believe that an ETS would not lead to higher energy prices, when everyone from Garnaut onwards knew it would. Its supposed to. That’s how it works.

    The alternative is a carbon tax. Far simpler, and the price on carbon is known. It is not as efficient, and the actual level of the tax would need regular adjustments to achieve emissions targets. Given politicians are politicians, it seems unlikely that they would ever set the tax high enough to achieve their targets.

    So is our ETS dead and buried? Well yes. The current government will not act unless the US does. And that declining super power looks unlikely to do anything to upset the status quo.

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    Lawrie

    The crew at Climate Spectator are really pushing carbon taxes. While I enjoy and learn from the discussions here we are mostly of one mind about CO2 and it’s role in climate. Some understand better than others granted. The problem at Climate Spectator is that the journalists are both warmers and looking for the quick quid. There is no one putting a counter view except for one or two comment writers. Frankly we need help. I also think it an excellent medium to talk to business decision makers as they are unlikely to gain any real information from the MSM.

    So. Join the discussion. It’s free. Mind you have to register so I doubt any of us will be at Joolias 150 gabfest. I see Penny thinks dissenters should be brainwashed by Steffen, Flannery and Co until they agree with her position. Add Karroly and they will beg for mercy after one session.

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    MattB

    I thought Climate Spectator was pushing Cap and Trade? not taxes. Re-read #31 for a decent summary of the difference.

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    MattB

    And Lawrie – do Keith Orchison’s comments not make it to Climate Spectator. He has a good piece on energy investment on Business Spectator today (I’ve been to lazy to register for CS – ethically I believe one registration should cover both sites). You’d hardly describe Orchison as a warmist.

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  • #

    Ross:
    July 26th, 2010 at 9:26 am

    Question for the experts — I have been reading an article reporting on proposed attempts to drill for shale gas in the UK. The article said it was more more “carbon friendly” than coal — how is there any difference ??

    From http://www.naturalgas.org/environment/naturalgas.asp

    Emissions from the Combustion of Natural Gas

    Natural gas is the cleanest of all the fossil fuels. Composed primarily of methane, the main products of the combustion of natural gas are carbon dioxide and water vapor, the same compounds we exhale when we breathe. Coal and oil are composed of much more complex molecules, with a higher carbon ratio and higher nitrogen and sulfur contents. This means that when combusted, coal and oil release higher levels of harmful emissions, including a higher ratio of carbon emissions, nitrogen oxides (NOx), and sulfur dioxide (SO2). Coal and fuel oil also release ash particles into the environment, substances that do not burn but instead are carried into the atmosphere and contribute to pollution. The combustion of natural gas, on the other hand, releases very small amounts of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides, virtually no ash or particulate matter, and lower levels of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and other reactive hydrocarbons.

    Fossil Fuel Emission Levels
    - Pounds per Billion Btu of Energy Input
    Pollutant Natural Gas Oil Coal
    Carbon Dioxide 117,000 164,000 208,000
    Carbon Monoxide 40 33 208
    Nitrogen Oxides 92 448 457
    Sulfur Dioxide 1 1,122 2,591
    Particulates 7 84 2,744
    Mercury 0.000 0.007 0.016
    Source: EIA – Natural Gas Issues and Trends 1998

    Hydrofracturing is a technique originally developed for the cotton valley shale formation in Eastern Texas, USA to extract natural gas in commercial quantities. Commonly known as a slick water frac, the technique differs from an acid gel frac in that the slickwater frac uses water instead of a gel to hold the sand used as a proppant in suspense. Also, much greater pressure is used in the slick water frac technique to aid the sand in penetrating further out into the formation. If the proppant (sand) does not penetrate far enough then the cracks and fissures created by the fluid pressure will close once the pressure is relieved. The proppant has to be in place to hold the cracks and fissures open. Most water is brackish below 500 feet and shale formations are usually encountered at much greater depths than water reservoirs and aquifers that humans and livestock rely upon.

    The gas is contained in porous rock between two layers of sealing rock. Sometimes, the sealing rock is too thin and the frac fluid breaks through into another strata. Fortunately, it is highly improbable that the frac fluid will be able to migrate far enough towards the surface to contaminate fresh water intervals. Coal bed methane wells can occur where there are coal seems. The fracturing is minimal and the wells often produce copious amounts of fresh potable water. This water would be valuable in a desert area as farmers and ranchers could both use it.

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    george

    Good old MSM at it again – the interesting bit here is the last two paras which mention the possibility of Green groups taking legal action in relation to assertions contrary to warmist ideology. Then again we are talking about an ABC groupthink article…

    http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/stories/s2962929.htm

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    MattB

    Oh no George, not that nasty MSM ABC unleased that has previously published Jo Nova herself and her partner David Evans (or was that The Drum?).

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    george

    MattB – PLEASE re-read my post in relation to the specific subject matter I raised…and the ABC would be VERY ill-advised to allow absolutely no alternative viewpoints, that would be just be too obviously blatant, huh?

    I am not sure what your point is, other than a very cheap attempt at semantic point-scoring…have seen you do a bit better, mate!

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  • #
    Speedy

    george

    Looks like she’s taking a bit of stick back at the Drum. And her idea is a good one – that is to sue the sceptics. I for one would love to see Al Gore (he’s a lawyer) taking the prosecution to Christopher Monckton. The Good Lord would make high-cholesterol fritters out of the Goron.

    But I bet the Warmists won’t and don’t sue anyone – because they’d lose!

    Cheers,

    Speedy

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    Mark D.

    Mattb @ 33

    I thought Climate Spectator was pushing Cap and Trade? not taxes. Re-read #31 for a decent summary of the difference.

    Regardless of what you call it, the net effect of Cap and Trade will be higher cost energy. I find no comfort in the notion that it “isn’t a tax”.

    In the US, some estimates per household are around $1700 or the same impact as a 15% hike in income tax.
    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504383_162-5314040-504383.html

    However others report a much higher $$$ impact:

    When the Heritage Foundation did its analysis of Waxman-Markey, it broadly compared the economy with and without the carbon tax. Under this more comprehensive scenario, it found Waxman-Markey would cost the economy $161 billion in 2020, which is $1,870 for a family of four. As the bill’s restrictions kick in, that number rises to $6,800 for a family of four by 2035.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/NA_WSJ_PUB:SB124588837560750781.html

    The impact on those of us in the northern states will be significantly higher because of winter heating. As was already mentioned the impact is much worse for lower income groups.

    THIS MUST NOT COME TO PASS!

    If you are an AGW warmist, curses to you for creating this economic nightmare!

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    Bruce

    Interesting editorial from the grey lady – smells like the beginnings of a backdown to me:-)

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/26/opinion/26douthat.html?_r=1

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    Submariner

    If the senate passes ANY bill that has the word “Energy” in it they will then claim that this bill complements the house bill on “cap and tax” and “resolve” the two bills in conference (Harry and Nancy behind closed doors) and then give the final POS to Obama to sign. Inform your senator that you will hold them responsible for this “trick.”

    Has anyone noticed that essentially every film that NatGeo, Discovery, etc. has a 30 to 60 second blurb (propaganda) on how whatever you just watched will be affected, in a negative way, by AGW?

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    Submariner

    Questions –

    Have there ever been any experiments with gas balloons proving or disproving the AGW “theory?” It seems to me that it should be easy to release several balloons with different amounts of CO2 and enough helium/hydrogen (whichever that would not mask the results) that the balloon would ascend high enough to get meaningful data.

    Also, if the CO2 is “capturing” the suns radiation then it is NOT striking the earth (land, water, buildings, etc.). Wouldn’t the amount captured by the CO2 equal the amount that was NOT captured by the earth and balance out the equation? Further wouldn’t the earth also “re-radiate” the energy it does capture which would also cause an amplification of heat (think city heat island effect) and cause global warming. Therefore, we should destroy all cities. Why is the amplification factor from 300-500 ppm of CO2 so much greater than that of dark rocks, buildings, land masses, oceans, etc.? The black slate in my foyer is still very warm to the touch the morning after a sunny day, even though the air above it is quite cool. Why do they use Argon in the triple pane “HI-e” windows instead of CO2 if CO2 is such a good “trap” for heat?

    Look at any chart of the Total energy spectrum given off by the Sun. Note that the infrared portion is less than 100th of one percent of this total. Also note the CO2 only “absorbs” a small portion of the infrared spectrum. Are not each of these different forms of the suns energy actual a “photon” of some energy level? And each of them are hitting the earth (or its atmosphere) and therefore must be causing some transfer of energy. Doesn’t the types and levels of these different forms of energy vary with the Suns cycle? How much? Think of how much energy would be needed to make just a visible Aurora, let alone some of the more spectacular ones. Why is no one looking at this, and when someone does write a paper saying the Sun is causing these changes they are called a nut or crackpot or worse?

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    papertiger

    Enviance’s push poll results on AB32 have taken a 15 point swing!

    AND I thank you :)

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    Roy Hogue

    papertiger @45,

    Good news! The people are waking up.

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    Roy Hogue

    I thought Climate Spectator was pushing Cap and Trade? not taxes. Re-read #31 for a decent summary of the difference.

    MattB,

    Cap-and-trade is a TAX.

    Drinking too much Evian Water lately?

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    MattB

    Roy – no Cap and Trade is NOT a tax, although both are economic tools. As I say read post #31 for a nice intro. I’m not being picky, the debate between proponents of the two is fierce. At a Tony Abbott wants to win an election level then “big new tax” is a one size fits all generalisation, but there really are important differences.

    Supporters of a tax and dividend would include James Hansen, Barry Brook… I’ve seen both be highly scathing of a cap and trade. The buzz term for tax is “fee and dividend”, as no one likes a tax.

    Here’s a couple of links:

    http://bravenewclimate.com/2009/11/09/fee-and-dividend-better/
    http://bravenewclimate.com/2009/03/30/cprs-vs-carbon-tax-senate-inquiry/

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    Roy Hogue

    Roy – no Cap and Trade is NOT a tax, although both are economic tools.

    MattB,

    The difference is entirely semantic. In either case it’s the government taking money out of my pocket. In fact, that’s the real purpose for it in the first place. Even the stupidest rock sitting in the middle of the road knows that if we stop use of all fossil fuels tomorrow it will never make a significant change in the temperature of this planet.

    Only you guys who are still committed to this scam called global warming believe otherwise. John Brookes makes an eloquent argument but it just doesn’t matter. The only time the government gets any of my money and it isn’t a tax is when I pay for something of value directly, service rendered for a fee, such as passport processing or entry into the National Parks. In other words only if it’s voluntary is it not a tax. Cap-and-trade will raise the price of everything I need, right down to the food I eat. How will that be voluntary?

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    MattB

    mmm maybe you will make purchasing choices to change to products that are less carbon-intensive thus avoiding the additional charges.

    A key difference to me is that in 50 years and CO2 is all under control, then each tonne of CO2 will attract the tax. But if there is little demand for CO2 permits under a trading system then there will be very little additional cost.

    Roy it really isn’t semantic, they are quite different economic tools. Your disagreeing does not change the reality.

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    Grant

    MattB @ 50

    maybe you will make purchasing choices to change to products that are less carbon-intensive thus avoiding the additional charges

    When you are on the minimum wage you can’t choose to replace your old car with a Prius or hydrogen powered car, so you have to buy an “old banger” that burns fuel like there’s not tomorrow and probably goes through a fair bit of oil because the rings are shot. You can’t afford to insulate your house or you don’t have that option since your landlord is not interested in your well-being, so you continue to try to keep warm using more expensive electricity, which eats into any savings you could make to buy a more efficient heater.

    Maybe you buy more woollen garments if the price of wool hasn’t gone up in response to the wool grower having been punished for the (imaginary effects of) emissions from his ovine methane machines. You could turn to eating more protein rich foods, which help the body generate more energy and warmth than tofu and bean curd, but they too are being priced out of your reach.

    Your “choices” are obvious.

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    MattB

    Grant not sure if you noticed but the proposed ETS offered almost 100% compensation to lower income earners such as those you mention. The fee and dividend approach is even more blatant in this regard (personally I’m a cap and trade guy though).

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    Roy Hogue

    MattB,

    Reality is that you don’t understand this thing. But you will once it hits you. Then it will be too late. It’s all designed to extract money from your pocket and has nothing real to do with CO2.

    Ask any 10 other people posting on this thread (except John Brookes) why they oppose it and see what they say.

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    MattB

    And you claim that I’ve fallen hook line and sinker!

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    Mark

    Matt, you really are a dreamer. You believe that the subsidies will last forever or until we have achieved your halcyon days of a low carbon existence.

    The government will soon find that these subsidies are utterly unaffordable within a very few years and will cut them out and none too gently at that. We will all be the poorer not to mention colder, except for the merchant bankers and politicians of course. Have you not read anything about the slashing of subsidies to wind farms and solar cell plants in Spain and Italy?

    Just as every disaster scenario over the last twenty years has proved false, we will find that the planet will adjust itself the way it wants, not what we want. So you go ahead Mattyboy, send all your income to the government for your pipedream. If there are as many of you as you state, a measureable difference should be discernible within a few years, I’m sure Michael Mann would be able to measure it with a Siberian larch or two.

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    Grant

    MattB @ 52

    Why bother with a redistribution of wealth at all?

    1. Whole economies have collapsed when based on a redistribution of wealth model. The Socialist ideal has caused more misery and poverty than it has alleviated.

    2. The supposed reason for this redistribution of wealth is based on specious claims of global warming premised on flawed science.

    3. The costs of the machinery of redistribution of wealth are huge and the processes notoriously inefficient and open to significant rorting by the less scrupulous.

    ETS, Cap and Trade or Fee and Dividend are all just other words for a failed ideal – Socialism.

    And MattB I currently live and work under an ETS regime (in New Zealand) the details of which may vary from those proposed in Australia. As per usual it is the middle income earner who is bearing most of the cost of the ETS here. Those on benefits have not been provided with any additional money to reduce the impact of the ETS (apart from a 1/3 rebate on house insulation – which just covered the increased cost that the approved installers ratcheted their costs up by). Middle income earners don’t qualify for these benefits and regardless of how it is spun the ETS is yet another tax that is unavoidable. Middle income earners are “chasing their tails” paying higher costs for their essentials while trying to save up to buy more efficient appliances or cars or a solar hot water heating system (that has mysteriously become more expensive despite greater demand – I blame Adam Smith’s “invisible hand”).

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    Mark D.

    Mattb @ :

    mmm maybe you will make purchasing choices to change to products that are less carbon-intensive thus avoiding the additional charges.

    Righto; like no meat, no travel, no heat, no beer (a huge Co2 contributor), no money, no equity in my home, huge bureaucracies to administer the boondoggle……..

    ALL BECAUSE YOU THINK YOU SEE IT WARMING?!?!?!?!?!?!!!!!!!!!!

    And assuming everybody makes these “purchasing choices” you don’t think it will affect the economy?

    You are truly naive!

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    Submariner

    Next time you hear the ad about all of the things made from plastic keep in mind that most plastic is made from oil. Everything, and I mean everything, will necessarily increase in cost when a Cap and tax system is implemented. It takes electricity to make plastic, aluminum, paper, etc. etc. etc. and electricity will increase in price by 50 to 100 percent, don’t take my word for it – Obama has said so in several campaign speeches (or were you asleep?) Oh, you say we will use wind, which is free, to make electricity. Electricity made from wind costs 4 to 5 times as much as that made from coal. So even if they make it twice as efficiently it will still double the cost. And then it is only around 1/2 the time. So what do you do – only run the manufacturing plants when the wind is blowing? The only thing cap and tax really does is make it seem like wind/solar is a good deal.

    Quit reading all of the propaganda by the climate activists. Use your brain and find out how much wind power really costs. Find out how much solar power really costs. Find out howmuch land area they really use. They are not FREE. What is their enviornmental impact.

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    Roy Hogue

    MattB,

    Tax, tax, tax, tax, tax, tax, tax, tax, tax, tax, tax, tax, tax, tax, tax, tax, tax, tax, tax, tax, tax, tax, tax, tax, tax, tax, tax, tax, tax, tax, tax, tax, tax, tax……………….., tax, tax, tax, tax, tax, tax and tax.

    You may think those evil rich can afford to pay and pay and pay. After all, according to the current doctrine they’re dragging down the poor. Unfortunately what’s really happening is that those with money are lifting up the poor. Tell me, when was the last time a poor man offered you a job? Hasn’t happened, I’ll bet. Me neither. The man I work for is worth millions. He offered me a good position.

    Why on this Earth you’re so eager to kill the goose that once laid Australia’s Golden Egg is beyond me to figure out.

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    MattB

    no beer!!!!! for the first time my absolute belief in AGW shows the first sign of cracking…

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    Grant

    Roy Hogue @ 59

    Actually I think the rich are going to be fairly well insulated from the effects of the carbon tax (whatever form it takes).

    It seems ironic that those who are prone to throw around the ‘d’ word propose something that would likely make the architects of the ‘ultimate solution’ envious. For those whose whole income is taken up with essentials, (food, housing, clothing – not even any beer allowance) the additional cost burden is going to result in some unpleasant outcomes.

    When Jesus said “the poor you will always have with you”, the socialists and eugenicists listened and decided “We’ll prove Him wrong. Clearly trying to raise their standard of living has failed – what we need to do is starve them out of existence.”

    No, I don’t have any peer reviewed papers that support this but if someone does then I say the research was a waste of money, as the conclusion is pretty obvious. This ubiquitous tax is going to impoverish the poorest and most vulnerable in society.

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    Mark D.

    MattB, worse than that: there will be some beer just that it will be unaffordable to the masses that consume beer today. Cold pints on the table of that fat bastard carbon trader over there and not even a warm Fosters for us……..

    1.8 billion hectoliters of beer production annually. How many BTU of carbon fuel is consumed to boil that much water? The Co2 given off by the fermentation process, and do I need to mention the carbon used to transport and refrigerate the finished product?

    Beer is a carbon nightmare and it is only a matter of time before it is demonized by the warmist faithful.

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    MattB

    either that or it could just buy some carbon permits…

    you’ll be glad that actual experts in beer are on the case. In fact the linked article reminds me I had my 1st pint of Cascade Green up in Coral Bay last month.

    http://togatus.com.au/issue/2010/article/green-beer

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    Mark

    Submariner #58

    Didn’t you know that MattB’s computer, keyboard, mobile phone etc. are made out of dessicated and compressed cow dung?

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    Richard S Courtney

    Friends:

    It is time to nail the assertion that some sources of energy are “free”.

    All energy is “free” because it was all created at the time of the Big Bang and cannot be destroyed.

    But collecting energy for use is expensive.

    Some energy is diffuse so costs a lot to collect.
    Wind energy is an example of such diffuse energy. Its use was abandoned when the greater energy intensity in fossil fuels became available by use of the steam engine.

    The energy in fossil fuels is solar power collected by photosynthesis over very long times (geological ages) that now exists in dried and compressed materials.

    The energy in wind is solar power collected by regions of the atmosphere over a few hours.

    It is a physical impossibility for wind and solar to be as cheap energy sources as fossil fuels even if one were to assume 100% efficiencies of technologies that use wind and solar.

    So, a call for a return to using wind and solar as basic energy supplies is a call for return to the poverty which existed before the steam age.

    Richard

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    Mark D.

    Mattb @ 63

    either that or it could just buy some carbon permits…

    Well after the “non tax” cap and trade kicks in and my family budget is reduced by $1700.00, I don’t think there will be any “beer carbon permit money” left……

    Matt, I am a beer expert. Further, your news story focused a substantial amount of environmental impact on the water used which is not my point (but would be more ammunition for attacking the industry).

    From your link:

    Cascade has calculated that a carton of 24 beers produces 16 kg of carbon emissions.

    Without debating that calculation, they leave out all the other carbon impact: Co2 given off by the yeast, carbon emitted as a result of transport and cold storage.

    By the way brewery efficiency is of major importance to the success (or lack of) the brewery. Most of the energy used in brewing is for heating water. Only a foolish brewer would leave 16% of their “carbon impact” wasted. (as per the story)

    You might think I’m making light of this but I’m dead serious.

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    Roy Hogue

    Grant @61,

    Unfortunately true.

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    Roy Hogue

    Mark D.,

    I guess all the soft drinks with their CO2 will have to go too. What a dull world MattB envisions.

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    Grant

    Matt’s problem is that he doesn’t envision the reality we do. He believes the CO2 scare stories and thinks that there is a need to avert disaster (unreality). The warmists don’t want to face the reality of what they are proposing. But the human cost is likely to be very high.

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    papertiger

    A story that will be squelched by the media;
    the collapse of SO2 cap n trade market.

    As you might know the SO2 cap n trade legislation was created to address the presumed connection between SO2 emissions and acid rain.
    These connections were found to be in error. There are just some lakes and streams which are naturally acidic.

    But in the 1990′s the defunct energy broker Enron saw an opportunity and seized it. By feeding disinformation through their shill “news organization”, Fenton Communications, Enron drummed up the acid rain scare, then lobbied congress to adopt the SO2 cap and trade bill. The bill , written by Enron, marginalized coal power, making natural gas more desirable for standby power production.
    Enron was well place in the NG market, so these changes made them a fortune.

    Now we have the same villians wearing different suits, using the failed SO2 controls as the blueprint for their CO2 crusade.

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    papertiger

    Here’s a key passage that deserves highlight;

    The market for SO2 emission allowances was created to address widespread concern that SO2 emissions from power plants were causing acid rain, which in turn was acidifying lakes and damaging forests. That connection, though heavily hyped by environmental groups and the media and still regarded as an article of faith in both circles, was never scientifically proven. Shortly before the cap-and-trade legislation was enacted, a massive research project called the National Acid Precipitation Assessment Program found that most of the damages attributed to acid rain were in fact due to logging and natural processes. But it was too late: Congress didn’t want to be confused by the facts.

    The parallel to global warming couldn’t be clearer. Congress is taking up cap-and-trade legislation for CO2 emissions even as the scientific community backs away from the sensational claims by Al Gore, James Hansen, and the like. Even one-time leaders of the alarmist side of the global warming debate, such as Phil Jones, now admit that the warming of the 20th century was not unusual or evidence of a human impact on climate. Estimates of the effects of “man-made global warming” on sea levels, wildlife, and weather have all been called into question or scaled back dramatically in recent years.

    The SO2 trading program had a fatal flaw that only a few astute observers (such as economist Jim Johnston, at the time working for Amoco and now retired) commented on at the time: It did not give emission allowance the legal status of private property. This meant the government could change the rules of the game without fear of being sued by businesses and investors whose allowances became worthless. Predictably, government officials couldn’t keep their hands off the program, and their meddling with the rules since 2005 destroyed the system.

    Johnston further predicted that the failure to give property rights status to emission allowances would discourage businesses from buying the allowances, causing the market to be too thin to have much effect on emissions. He was right again: The volume of trading never approached that of successful “real” markets. This remains a strange blind spot for many reporters: An illustration in the July 12 Wall Street Journal article, for example, shows the collapse in SO2 prices and refers to “the once-robust market in sulfur-dioxide allowances.” But high prices don’t reveal whether a market is “robust.” Volume does.

    Australia dodged a bullet with the ouster of Turnbull. I can only hope our American minority party acts with the same resolve and speed.

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    Tel

    Without debating that calculation, they leave out all the other carbon impact: Co2 given off by the yeast, carbon emitted as a result of transport and cold storage.

    At least in principle, CO2 given off by the yeast is part of the short-term carbon cycle that was taken up by the barley plants just a few months earlier (should come to zero long term). Transport as an industry would be hit with their own carbon credits (built into fuel prices which are mostly tax right now) and cold storage would get hit with electricity prices (also mostly tax right now) — all of which would finally be built into the over the counter price of the beer (which is nearly entirely tax right now).

    The argument for brewing one’s own just got a whole lot better. Mind you, after Greens are finished with our industry there will no doubt be very solid arguments for knapping beer bottles into knives and hammering old beer cans into utensils *sigh*.

    Finally, I’ll point out that by brewing beer at home you not only save vast amounts of tax, but you also protect the environment by preventing the government spending your tax money on pointless jaunts to conferences around the world (think about it). This will overwhelm any additional energy you might happen to spend boiling the kettle, washing bottles or using a brew-belt to speed up the fermentation process during winter.

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    Mark D.

    Tel, @ 72

    At least in principle, CO2 given off by the yeast is part of the short-term carbon cycle that was taken up by the barley plants just a few months earlier (should come to zero long term).

    Good point except for the energy lost to planting, fertilizing, harvesting, transporting grain and malting.

    I enjoy any legal avoidance of taxes allowed.
    Of course when food grains are diverted to make alcohol there is the ethical aspect.

    It sounds like you might have a Saccharomyces Cerevisiae aquarium at home? :)

    Prosit!

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