Seen elsewhere
The calendar

Click to buy!

Support

 

Twitter
Buy

Click images for more details

Recent posts
Recent comments
Currently discussing
Links

A few sites I've stumbled across recently....

Powered by Squarespace
« Gleick "cleared" | Main | The forbidden history of unpopular people »
Thursday
Jun072012

Worstall again

Having fired up quite a lot of people with his riffing on carbon taxes, Tim Worstall is now riffing on the actual governmental responses to climate change.

So this is where I identify the conspiracy in climate change. Not in the basic science, which I'm perfectly happy to accept. But in the discussion, the rules, the regulations, about what we should do about it. Just about every decision that is actually being made seems to flow from ignorance, mendacity or even, as with the CCL and nuclear, just plain flat-out stupidity.

I still haven't worked out whether this is simply a conspiracy of damn fool idiots or whether they really do have it in for us.

Here, I think, there will be a much greater level of agreement.

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

Reader Comments (56)

First par:

Are politicians simply too dim to perceive the effects of what they do, or are they are plotting to make the world a worse place?

Neither. Politicians are driven only by narcissism, vanity and ego, and their decisions are thus based purely on what they think will garner them the maximum admiration from the largest number of people.

Naturally, the results tend to be fairly poor. It's not a 'dimness' (IQ) problem, but an emotional (EQ) problem.

Jun 7, 2012 at 7:51 AM | Unregistered CommenterRick Bradford

Very much one of the reasons why everyone should take an interest in the debate.

It does not really matter where you are on a scale which stretches from "Nothing is happening" to "Catastrophes are already happening"..... the response of (almost all) government is supremely idiotic.

Jun 7, 2012 at 7:59 AM | Unregistered CommenterJack Savage

On the suggestions part of Tallbloke**, MDGNN sketches out an indirect thermalisation model of the atmosphere including variable DOWN emissivity with height, tending to zero at TOA. Empirical data show that at >200 ppmV [CO2], all pseudo-scattering is complete.

In other words there can be no significant post-glacial CO2-(A)GW. Also the IPCC modelling is wrong because it gives an imaginary increase of heat energy by 40%, a factor of 5 in the IR, hence imaginary positive feedback. It cannot exist and has never been proved experimentally.

**http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/suggestionstemp/#comment-26262

This is on topic: the likes of Worstall have no case to suggest carbon taxes.

Jun 7, 2012 at 8:33 AM | Unregistered Commenterspartacusisfree

"Not in the basic science, which I'm perfectly happy to accept?"

Tim - what do you mean by the "basic science"?

Jun 7, 2012 at 9:06 AM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

The 'basic science' is propaganda designed to persuade populations to accept UN Agenda 21.

Jun 7, 2012 at 9:27 AM | Unregistered Commenterspartacusisfree

"The 'basic science' is propaganda designed to persuade populations to accept UN Agenda 21"

I disagree, the basic science has been high jacked at an early stage to validate the political will to implement Agenda 21 through EU initiatives.

The science is moving on, the political agenda will remain.

Jun 7, 2012 at 9:38 AM | Registered CommenterLord Beaverbrook

spartacusisfree, to repeat my question from a previous thread: your off-topic comments really sound very similar in tone and content to those mydog used to make. Are you perhaps related to him in the same way that Johann Hari was to David Rose? How about 'Alexander' (e.g. this comment) or 'alistair' (e.g. the comment here - and people may find a read of this thread at Lucia's quite interesting also)?

Jun 7, 2012 at 9:40 AM | Unregistered Commentercalling spartacus

A Good Point My Lord. The 1967 Manabe and Wetherald modelling paper used BOA IR UP = SW DOWN, a gross exaggeration but not incorrect physics. However following the 1975 'Endangered Atmosphere Conference', controlled by Eugenicists Ehrlich and Mead, the 'new ice age' research was switched first to Ozone then to CO2-AGW.

Lovelock has pointed out that the ozone research was corrupted in the same was as was the CO2-AGW research.The IPCC's perpetual motion machine of the 2nd kind at BOA was the result of Houghton's naive use of the Schwarzchild equation. The outright corruption started in 1995 with Santer then the Mann/CRU hockey stick was the response to the discovery in 1997 that CO2 rise followed T at the end of ice ages.

Jun 7, 2012 at 9:49 AM | Unregistered Commenterspartacusisfree

I still haven't worked out whether this is simply a conspiracy of damn fool idiots or whether they really do have it in for us.

I have worked this out. It's both.

Jun 7, 2012 at 9:55 AM | Unregistered CommenterSara Chan

@Spartacusisfree
I had a Damascene conversion from "concerned scientist" to "sceptic/cynic" in 1997 when I was doing research in the Antarctic on the effects of the Ozone Hole on the plant life there.
Contrary to expectations (my own included) I found absolutely no effect. This was, of course, when the Greens were shouting that crops would fry in the fields and we would all be blinded.
Then, as now, credulous or just plain greedy/incompetent Governments were rushing to sign the Montreal Protocol.

History has an unfortunate habit of repeating itself.

Jun 7, 2012 at 10:02 AM | Unregistered CommenterDon Keiller

Hi Don: the Ozone hole is a natural phenomenon and the chemistry is very subtle. What amazed Lovelock was that scientists were faking results to get grants. This corruption of experimental science started about 1990. The modelling was a bit earlier, probably starting in the mid 1980s.

I don't see a corrective process because we appear to be on an inexorable escalator like in the 1930s when the science of Eugenics switched to action when the Hitler regime put in the Law to eliminate inherited diseases. In our World, the intention is to depopulate the countryside by populating it with windmills.

Jun 7, 2012 at 10:14 AM | Unregistered Commenterspartacusisfree

Sara Chan beat me to it!

It is indeed a conspiracy of damn fool idiots who have it in for us.

Jun 7, 2012 at 10:19 AM | Unregistered CommenterDougS

But in the discussion, the rules, the regulations, about what we should do about it. Just about every decision that is actually being made seems to flow from ignorance, mendacity or even, as with the CCL and nuclear, just plain flat-out stupidity.[emphasis added -hro]

Speaking of the "rules and regulations" ...

I live in British Columbia where the provincial gov't decided to implement a so-called "revenue neutral" carbon tax some years ago. To my mind, this was nothing less than bribing the residents with their own money. A spoonful of sugar to help the medicine go down, perhaps.

This tax was the "centerpiece" of a "Climate Action Plan" to be enshrined in legislation - with an inordinate amount of "rules and regulations" to be implemented at some future point in time. two of which came to fruition about a year ago.

This resulted in schools and hospitals (with budgets already cut to the bone) now required to be "carbon neutral" and being forced to purchase carbon offsets and "smart meters" to calculate their "carbon footprints". All the gory details can be found here

Many moons ago, in a completely different career, I was a quasi-bureaucrat (on gov't payroll) charged with the task of supporting a volunteer Working Group which the gov't had established.

The Chair of the WG was a marvellous woman who was quite familiar with the workings of gov't bureaucracies. One day she brought in a cartoon for me. It was a depiction of Moses holding the Ten Commandments (natch) standing amidst a huge pile of rocks. The caption read something along the lines of "Here are the commandments ... and these over here are all the rules and regulations"!

So whenever I hear someone sing the praises of a "revenue neutral" carbon tax, I am reminded of this cartoon which makes me smile, rather than crying out, "Stop the world, I want to get off"!

Jun 7, 2012 at 10:28 AM | Registered CommenterHilary Ostrov

@Spartacusisfree
Most reasonable people now know that the Ozone hole is a natural phenomenon. However the Greens still refuse to.
What is more the ludicrous laws put in place to deal with this non-problem are still in place.
They ruined a (previously) successful company that my father in law ran and have been responsible for numerous avoidable deaths in poor countries as refrigerators for food and medicines became more expensive.

Jun 7, 2012 at 10:37 AM | Unregistered CommenterDon Keiller

A review of Tim's book states 'This isn't a sceptic book in that it accepts all the 'consensus' science and policies of the IPCC and Lord Stern'.
Tim states - "I've pointed out that if we assume that the basic science is correct ( and I don't have either the hubris or technical science to check it)
Several of us pressed him to read books by Plimer, Carter, Booker, Delingpole and your good self.
At 9.19 Tim replied - 'HSI -(Hockey Stick Illusion0 was started by Andrew (Montford) reading something I had written.
I would suggest that Tim has read widely on the topic of Climate Change but doesn't want to discuss it.
'Leaving the science to the "Delingpolistas" is a cop-out !

Jun 7, 2012 at 10:56 AM | Unregistered Commentermalc.delingpole@tiscali.co.uk

There are two possible ways out of this mess for those of us in the UK. One is a massive revolt by Conservative MPs (not very likely and if it did happen, it is not likely to go far enough). The other is a massive swing to UKIP at the next election.

Jun 7, 2012 at 10:59 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

So Worstall thinks it is hubris to question the claims of the IPCC.

How humble of him.

Jun 7, 2012 at 11:20 AM | Unregistered CommenterShub

The way out of this mess has already started even though the benefits are not widely known for example This Group was closed down during the 'cut backs' last year, a read of some of their reports is eye opening. Next in line will be to distance ourselves from higher level bureaucracy, EU, which may be accelerated by the current European beneficial crisis which will either break Europe apart or, as intended, force a closer political unification to which our young leader has indicated will not involve the UK.
UKIP may provide the rhetoric but unfortunately will not provide the means, within the next couple of elections, to provide an alternative to the big three, and yes I have backed them before locally.
If the Tories present a leader of, shall we say greater stature and wisdom, it could be the salvation of the nation in 2015.

All this from someone who has voted Red more times in his life than Blue, needs must in extreme times.

Jun 7, 2012 at 11:29 AM | Registered CommenterLord Beaverbrook

"So Worstall thinks it is hubris to question the claims of the IPCC."

No, it would be hubris if *I* did it. For I have no basic knowledge of the subject under discussion. You could tell me that IR back radiation proves it. Or that the weasel flange means that she canna' take any more. And I simply wouldn't know the difference. My commenting upon the science would be like turning to a blind person to describe the experience of colour, or the tone deaf to evaluate new tunes.

Someone like me who can easily be bamboozled by the difference between kW and kWHr is really not one of the people you want pronouncing on the physics of anything now, it it?

However, I do understand the economic arguments and so that's where I might be able to add a little something.

Jun 7, 2012 at 11:45 AM | Unregistered CommenterTim Worstall

Their basic science is wrong, always has been. CO2 has never driven temperature/climate as even a cursory glance at the past will demonstrate.
With politicians who do not know an atom from a lemon, and wanting to claim the minority 'green' vote, it is obvious how we got into this mess.

Jun 7, 2012 at 11:48 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Marshall

Sorry Tim - I find you wholly unconvincing. kWh is simply the time accumulation of a flow rate - a concept essential to grasp in economics. If the level of your thinking and investigative skills is such that you find this concept "bamboozling" I, like you, am baffled at how you became a Fellow of the Adam Smith Institute.

Jun 7, 2012 at 12:04 PM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

Tim,

The economic arguments are probably the main constituent now as the science will correct itself. The more prominence of the cost of greening will focus minds over hearts, it's a nice thought until it stops you from having a holiday this year or whether planning for an addition to the family is 'affordable'.

Jun 7, 2012 at 12:05 PM | Registered CommenterLord Beaverbrook

Tim> Hurrah, well said.

To reiterate what I posted on your blog, the skeptics tend to forget just how much effort they've had to put in to get to the stage where they can have an informed opinion - those who actually have put the work in, anyway. I wish more people would admit when they find something lies outside their area of expertise.

Jun 7, 2012 at 12:23 PM | Unregistered Commenterdave

A lot of it is probably elitist groupthink, with probably a degree of green brainwashing when younger and a fair amount of intellectual laziness. After all, Generation X now runs the show, and as teenagers in the 1980s they were humorously labelled as "slackers".

Jun 7, 2012 at 12:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterChris M

Tim: look at MDGNN's post: http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/06/07/mdgnn-limits-on-the-co2-greenhouse-effect/#comment-26278

'Back Radiation' does not exist. It is disproved experimentally [email from Ned Nikolov]. The pyrgeometers cannot measure it. The IPCC has got every part of the heat transfer wrong. 240 W/m^2 goes in and 240 W/m^2 goes out mainly by convection. There is no Perpetual motion Machine of the 2nd Kind. This 'science' hails from Norway and is nailed to its perch. You cannot use it to justify redistribution as a correction/punishment for Society.

Jun 7, 2012 at 12:26 PM | Unregistered Commenterspartacusisfree

Trouble is, of course, we are all right - but preaching to the converted...
As Winston Churchill once said about Stanley Baldwin: 'Politicians occasional stumble upon the truth, but quickly pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and hurry on as if nothing has happened...'

Jun 7, 2012 at 12:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid

Lord Beverbrook: "...the current European beneficial crisis ..."

Like that very much, M'lud!

Jun 7, 2012 at 12:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoger Carr

None of us really know anything about climate models and radiation physics. So we should accept the IPCC. None of us are formally trained in economics either. So we ought to listen to Worstall?

The reality is, everyone is an expert in something, and through that window to the world, everyone is a bit of a polymath as well. We ought to cross-question each others' disciplines' conclusions. I can quote Kary Mullis for that. Indeed there is a lot in common between the science of economic analysis, public health, and environmental science, among others.

More importantly, expertise in scientific knowledge and practice notwithstanding, all of us can learn history, especially the history of the environmental movement and the nature of its claimsmaking. Almost all of us know this from first-hand experience.

While Worstall's stance about the 'science of the IPCC' seems admirable at first glance, it is only a segue into his larger position to 'accept the science' in order to proceed to a 'let us think about solutions stage'. As such therefore, it is of little relevance when you can and do question the supposed 'basic science' that allows him think about these solutions in the first place.

Jun 7, 2012 at 1:26 PM | Unregistered Commentershub

I cannot accept as a premise that the IPCC is right for a number of reason.

First, why do they need to cheat?

Second, why do they close ranks and protect the cheats?

Third, why do they suppress any data or hypothesis which does not fit their agenda?

Fourth, why is their emphasis on proxies, dodgy temp records and models when there might be far better evidence were they to look for it?

Fifth, their agenda by their own charter is to support the CAGW hypothesis, not to discover scientific truth.

If those reasons do not raise a giant flag of suspicion, whoever swallows it all may be too gullible to be allowed out, much less to set taxes.


However, I think Tim's stance is disingenuous, a rhetorical device to allow him to accept the other side's story in order to debate policy. I think any such tactic is a mistake. We ought not to accept the other side's premise when it is so dishonestly arrived at. Note that I do not need to know better scientifically to get to this point. It is a trust issue.

Jun 7, 2012 at 1:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterRhoda

I would urge Tim Worstall's critics to read his book (or at least his copious blog) before leaping to the conclusion that he is some sort of shill for the Green Party.

Tim's position is actually quite straightforward: he starts by accepting (for the sake of argument) that the IPCC is right on the physical impacts and then by accepting (for the sake of argument) that the Stern review is right on the economic impacts, and he then goes on to deduce in best economist fashion what we should do if we do indeed take the above seriously. The results are somewhat surprising: for example it turns out that the UK should reduce fuel duty and air passenger duties.

This technique of stipulating (in the legal sense) your opponent's facts and then going on to show that their conclusions are still utterly idefensible is a powerful one. Pielke Jr uses it well, and Lucia Liljegren uses it to devastating effect. It's not necessary for everybody to attack everything all the time.

Jun 7, 2012 at 3:09 PM | Registered CommenterJonathan Jones

Jonathan, if it is that widely misunderstood, is it really a helpful idea? Personally I saw that possibility, but I reject fighting on the enemy's chosen ground. I stipulate nothing. Prove it, IPCC, and while you're at it, why do they need to cheat?

Jun 7, 2012 at 3:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterRhoda

Rhoda>

It's not about fighting on the enemy's chosen ground, but rather about pointing out that fighting at all is unnecessary. We can outflank 'the enemy' with a march around the edge, rendering their prepared positions useless.

If we could say to the alarmists 'it simply doesn't matter if you're right or wrong, because here's what the right thing is to do either way' that would be a very powerful argument. If we have a complicated argument like this one, it's often worthwhile stepping back a bit and asking if we really need to resolve it.

Jun 7, 2012 at 3:46 PM | Unregistered Commenterdave

Tim Worstall - I take your point - up to a point.

BUT

I am not an economist, but I do have quite a good idea of where it has all gone wrong, and in fact with many others saw the wreck coming, boring folks (no comments please) at dinner parties how it would end badly and why. I have a good enough grasp to see that Keynesian methods are not as likely to work, when a one eyed Scotsman has borrowed/spent the rainy day money already. The Austrians are gaining ground - you know the daft idea that one pays ones way in the world.

So while I am happy to accept that you are not a scientist, it is a cop out to just accept any old tat that you are fed by the industry. The mere fact that the world has not warmed in the last 15 years despite 25% of all the CO2 man has released being emitted in that time, plus the fact that the modellers bounce around from, the UK will have milder wetter winters to colder drier ones (and probably back), must surely give you a clue that the IPCC et al do not have a clue.

AGW is a religion and much stated is based on that - but then so is economics really.

Jun 7, 2012 at 4:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterRetired Dave

Jonathan:

It's not necessary for everybody to attack everything all the time.

It took an Oxford professor to say it. But I would have thought one or two of our brightest on Bishop Hill (who evidently often think they exceed such old-money recognition) might have tumbled to this by now. Thanks anyhow, Jonathan. I'm going to follow BBD and read the book.

Jun 7, 2012 at 4:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

No, I do not accept arguments on an economic front when the other side have a political agenda that requires, absolutely requires, the tax, subsidize, control, re-distribute solution, even if they have to re-define the problem and move the metaphorical goalposts to get there. Now, were you to say that is has proved fruitless to argue in terms of scientific truth, I'd have to say you were right. But you cannot and will not prove to 'them' that nothing needs to be done, or that some anodyne carbon tax regime will nudge us all into solving the problem, because for them the solution is only acceptable if it brings about a set of political conditions, among which 'no change' and 'prosperity of western nations' have no place.

Jun 7, 2012 at 4:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterRhoda

Rhoda>

You're stating the case more strongly than I'd put it, but I don't disagree entirely. What I don't see is why you think Tim Worstall is doing anything but presenting a different form of argument against what you're objecting to.

Jun 7, 2012 at 4:33 PM | Unregistered Commenterdave

Mr Worstall - OK, "taking the science as correct" I can live with, as you say, you're not qualified to decide... However, your acceptance of Stern I find quite strange. ISTR that when the report was first published you were incredibly critical of it on your blog and appeared to have dismissed it as rubbish - a dismissal supported (also IIRC) by Richard Tol.

Why the change of tack?

Jun 7, 2012 at 4:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterPogo

dave, perhaps I don't really need to argue with Tim, whose heart seems to be in the right place. Perhaps his approach has some legs. But it does rankle, for the reason that some of the other side might take him out of context (and the 'for the sake of argument' bit was downplayed at least here) and claim support where there is really none. However, no biggie. If he can prove their proposals are fruitless then something is achieved. I wouldn't give 'em an inch though.

Plus of course I am hoping the climate in oxfordshire is going to be like that of Portugal. I can put up with the inconvenience somehow.

Jun 7, 2012 at 4:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterRhoda

I started writing a post similar to the one Jonathan Jones wrote at 3:09 pm, then got interrupted and couldn't find it again. But seeing as people are disagreeing with Jonathan, I'll try my version.

I'm surprised at how aggressively many people on BH seem to have weighed in on Tim Worstall. It's as though he had said that he believed that Michael Mann is God and that he wanted to be his prophet. To me, it looks a little bit like tilting at windmills (pun intended?). For all we know, Tim may be as sceptical as anyone here. It may well be that he believes that tactically, his arguments on policy are more likely to have effect if he remains in the mainstream on the IPCC. When negotiating, you often have to bite your tongue, hold your nose, and so on, and you simply cannot afford to be absolutist.

Of course, you may believe that AGW will be discredited among political circles in a year or two, so any such tactical positioning is unnecessary. Speaking for myself, as a lukewarmist, I don't believe it will ever be that highly discredited, and that instead the C in CAGW will just fade away and people will realize that only adaptation, not mitigation, is a realistic or even desirable objective. But even for those who are not lukewarmers, who believe that there's no AGW at all, you still need to look at the tactics. The fact is that the majority view among the political classes, and associated chattering classes, is in disagreement with you. The strength of your conviction, on its own, will do nothing to change their mind.

Jun 7, 2012 at 4:58 PM | Registered CommenterJeremy Harvey

"However, your acceptance of Stern I find quite strange. ISTR that when the report was first published you were incredibly critical of it on your blog and appeared to have dismissed it as rubbish - a dismissal supported (also IIRC) by Richard Tol."

That is a good question. Partly it's because I've been convinced by some of the subsequent work looking at some of Stern's assumptions. I'm still not entirely convinced by his discount rate for example but I am convinced that standard market interest rates shouldn't be used. I also think Weizman has a good point about uncertainty.

Some of my other criticisms remain. Using A2 only for example.

The other side of it is that as some have noted above. My real position is this. "Even if we accept everything you tell us about the science, Stern, Weizman, etc, etc, the actual things you're telling us to do are still insane.

"For even if we do accept all of those things you're telling us then the answer, as Stern says, is a simple carbon tax. And we're already paying the right amount of tax, just not as yet in the right places."

I realise that many don't like this style of argument. But I'm afraid that I do and as I'm the one doing the arguing there's an end to that problem.

I do the same when people say we must be more like Sweden: great, so you want VAT at 25%, the abolition of inheritance tax, the minimum wage and the lowering of capital and corporate taxation then? Or if more like Denmark private sector fire engines and a national top tax rate of 15%?

I'm afraid that that's just my style. OK, so, what actually are the implications of what you say that you desire?

Jun 7, 2012 at 5:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterTim Worstall

I used to be a complete dismisser of the warming argument, based on having seen a lot of scares in my time, and this looking like another. Then I looked into it a bit, and became somewhat of a lukewarmer. Couldn't see the catastrophe, but maybe there is something in it. Now as I look at the tactics and arguments of the other side, I have stepped back from lukewarmism. I can't see any convincing evidence that anything unusual is happening. That's my position now. I see no point in going elsewhere 'for the sake of argument'. First, it's cyclic and we know little. Second, a little warming will do us good. Third, if it really is true, we are better to adapt. No need in there for economic options or the climate tax which will cut us off from prosperity for the foreseeable future.

Now Jeremy, you are right, that stance is not about to change anybody's mind who believes in CAGW. Nor is anything else, but agreeing with their premise, even for the sake of argument, is no good to me. We sceptics do not all need to agree or present a united face.

Jun 7, 2012 at 5:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterRhoda

Following on from J & J - Worstall's position is a rational one. We may disagree with him about whether the science is sound. But he's an economist, and probably not intimately familiar with the Navier-Stokes equations, de-centred PCA and mechanisms for heat transfer. Therefore he is unable to comment expertly on the science, so he accepts that and goes on to consider the economics, which is within his sphere of expertise. A similar approach is adopted by Nigel Lawson in his book "An Appeal to Reason".

Jun 7, 2012 at 5:22 PM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

Not seeing the point of the problem with private-sector fire engines? Do they come in a timely manner and put fires out?

Jun 7, 2012 at 5:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterRhoda

Rhoda, fair enough, we don't all have to agree - but Tim seemed like a poor target for spleen-venting given that he seems to agree with a lot of peoples view here at BH. Private sector Fire Engines: I don't think Tim has a problem with them either. He's suggesting that the Polly-Toynbee-soundalikes who talk about Scandinavia as if it were some kind of socialist garden of Eden may wish to take a closer look at how it actually works there. High VAT, low or abolished inheritance tax are not high on Labour's manifesto pledges.

Jun 7, 2012 at 5:43 PM | Registered CommenterJeremy Harvey

Sorry about the spleen-venting, if that is how it is seen. I have to find something to do between science communicators having their turn in the barrel.

I mention fire engines only because I find it strange that they should ever be judged on factors other than their effectiveness. That they could be good or bad on an ideological basis is anathema to me. Socialists are strange creatures.

Jun 7, 2012 at 6:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterRhoda

from my cynical standpoint, I can see that most people here would agree that the current energy policies of the UK government are a disaster waiting to happen. That windmills and tidal power will never be able to replace coal/gas/oil. That we should be investing in modern nuclear. Given that Ministers are not allowed to use their brains in an independent fashion but have to follow the dictats of "party central" - as is confirmed to me by each repsonse from my sitting MP (a junior minister) to my protests against the current, ruinous energy policy - we need to consider approaches that might persuade the stupiderati to revise their policies.

Tim's idea of behaving ultra-rationally and showing that current "energy" taxes do all that is required and more is a useful approach. Instead, we should phase out the moronic feed-in subsidies for small-scale electricity generation. I personally would like to destroy my greedy neighbours' solar panels but fixing the regime so that it costs them to "generate " electricity would be far more effective...as well as rewarding in the long-run. How long before they would remove those panels if a sane system prevailed? How much power have they generated in the last week or so, i wonder....

Jun 7, 2012 at 6:29 PM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenes

Fired up commentary on TW's thinking here:

http://motls.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/institute-named-after-adam-smith.html

Jun 7, 2012 at 8:06 PM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

Jun 7, 2012 at 8:33 AM | spartacusisfree

... MDGNN sketches out an indirect thermalisation model of the atmosphere ...

Have I missed somrthing here? Why are you referring to yourself in the third person?

Jun 7, 2012 at 8:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterBilly Liar

Jeremy Harvey:

He's suggesting that the Polly-Toynbee-soundalikes who talk about Scandinavia as if it were some kind of socialist garden of Eden may wish to take a closer look at how it actually works there.

And free schools - or rather whole chains of schools free of government control - that are allowed to be run at a profit? Isn't that the case in Sweden whereas even the Tory arch-demon for the UK unions, Michael Gove, has only allowed for the non-profit case here? Despite all our disappointments with the Tories we shouldn't take our eye off the fact that Gove is demonised every day even for this 'little'. The vested interests in the climate policy area likewise won't go quietly. Tim is doing exactly the right thing, from the safety of the think tank, and he's been a good sport on Bishop Hill, despite the provocations.

Jun 7, 2012 at 9:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

I am possibly the only person here who knows what Tim thinks of the global warming scare, because I asked him years ago. It was private correspondence, so I will not repeat it.

However I will say that I am quite happy with Tim's approach: it may shift a few political positions as the economic crunch approaches which I think is coming. In fact the thought of that crunch scares me only a little less than the thought of the next ice age.

Other people, who do not understand the economics, will be impressed by demolitions of the pscience. Still more will be repelled by the threat to liberty posed by current and proposed measures to "combat" global warming. And so on: we labour in different parts of the garden.

One thing we should do though, is hold the argument to Global Warming, and not allow the weaselly cop-out of "climate change" or whatever. If the other side have given up on warming, then why are they still pushing solutions designed to cope with CAGW?

Jun 7, 2012 at 11:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterJeff Wood

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>