1. I don’t know about Jerry Taylor, but I hope you realize that Libertarians (and the Cato Institute) include a fair number of lunatics.

    1. Funny, Jerry used nearly the same language to describe nuclear advocates, except that he (indirectly) referred to them as cultists.
      It’s nice to see that you have taken the high road and refrained from name calling. 😉

  2. That “rebuttal” is a bad joke. Pat Michaels and Der Speigel are authoritative on climate change. Reality (eg the understanding of the climatology community, which produce reports like those of the IPCC) is dismissed as “alarmist” and propagating “errors” which must somehow affect the basic conclusions of what warming their has been and what climate change we can expect in the future, which is thought by most experts to range from being costly to disastrously costly. After dismissing climatology with tabloid article in “der speigel” he can segue into dismissing that elephantine market failure: the zero dollar price paid by emitters carbon dioxide. This real market failure goes some way (though, admittedly, probably not all the way) to explaining why coal is “cheap” and nuclear “expensive”.
    You cannot nakedly compare costs of industries, like nuclear, who are paying up front in real dollars today for largely dealing with most of their present and future costs to society, and industries like coal and gas, who pay nothing presently for the harms, as we best understand them using SCIENCE, that their carbon dioxide emissions are doing now in altering climate, and what harms it will do in the future.

  3. If Der Speigel is to be discounted as “authoritative”, then so, too, should articles from climbing magazines and other non- peer–reviewed opinions that made their way into the UN IPCC AR4. If Pat Michaels is to be discounted as a credible resource on climate science (due to his affiliation with CATO Institute(?)), then cannot the same be said of other scientists who have affiliation with pro-AGW organizations or entities?
    Lastly, in regards to the effect of CO2 concentration and atmospheric warming, has anyone else seen this and care to comment?

    1. Doc, yes everyone seriously investigating GHGs and climate knows, since the 1960s latest, that the CO2 concentration has (at zeroth order) a logarithmic effect on global temperature. Another Watts’ non-discovery which he appears to misunderstand.
      Watts’ colorings are misconstrued tools to confuse fools. Read science not propaganda.

      1. @ ABison,
        So, if everyone knows that CO2 concentrations are logarithmic rather than liner why has this NOT shown up in the current discourse and newspaper articles? It is very significant if the increase in CO2 has a diminishing effect on the rise in temperature. To have not pointed this out and to have instead have shouted from the rooftops that we are destroying the world is the height of deception.
        The Der Speigel article was well balanced and pointed out that temps are rising – and likely as a result of human introduced CO2, but that the alarm was not as high as those typical news articles pounding us over the past 5 years.
        So, I a deeply confused about your last statement – Read science not propaganda – What about this logarithmic effect is not science? What about this effect is not germane to the current debate over what to do in the short to medium future? Would you link us to an article that refutes this effect or are you just going to complain about colored charts? (As though I have not suffered from green colors splashed over everything ad-nausea).
        The logarithmic increase seems to me to give a great deal of hope that moving over to Nuclear power is the right, and paced way to deal with the potential problem. We can continue replacing coal with Nukes and develop LFTR’s to replace natural gas turbines for load following, and develop pebble beds to power boats with Adam’s Atomic engines (If you live long enough Rod). In other words, if increasing CO2 from human sources is a real problem (rather than a positive good improving plant growth and opening vast areas of cold frozen ground) – which I am still debating as I read, there are other very good reasons for replacing fossil fuels with atomic ones and it means we have the time to do it without falsely induced panic or massive increases in taxes.

        1. > So, if everyone knows that CO2 concentrations are logarithmic rather than liner why has this NOT shown up in the current discourse and newspaper articles?
          Perhaps because it is not anything new to report on.
          > So, I a deeply confused about your last statement – Read science not propaganda – What about this logarithmic effect is not science?
          This effect is a very basic science. The propaganda I’ve encountered is pretending that this is something new, suggesting it is not contained in the current understanding of the climate.
          > The logarithmic increase seems to me to give a great deal of hope that moving over to Nuclear power is …
          I dont see how that follows, but I do agree that we need to transition to nuclear energy ASAP, for multitude of reasons, some of which I may not understand 🙂

  4. “MasterResource welcomes comments of substance that are on-topic and in good taste. “
    Or so they say. My comment doesn’t appear to have made it out of moderation, so I guess it failed on one or more of those critical properties.
    Near as I can recall it, I said:
    “The CATO Institute has done itself no favours allowing itself to become a mouthpeice of the anti-nuclear movement. This tarnish will stick for a long time to come.”
    Or somethin g to that effect. I’d also like to add that attacking government intervention in one dector while completely ignoring similar intervention in another which you are promoting is so far away from the ideal of free trade that it is transparently obvious the CATO Institute has taken to anti-nuke shilling… a black depth of despicable hypocracy.

  5. I commented on Taylor’s blog. I pointed out that Taylor, who ignorantly dismisses “climate alarmism” by asserting that the scientific foundation for doing something about climate can be dismissed as “rubble”, or in a state of “collapse”, is contradicted by Ralph Cicerone, President of the National Academy of Sciences, who published in Science, 5 Feb 2010, that “our understanding is undiminished”. I further noted that Cicerone’s views are shared by the Presidents or leading executives of every comparable national science academy in the world. If the comment makes it out of moderation over there, perhaps DocForesight would like to comment on it here.
    I ended with “I

  6. Sorry about this taking up space.
    The Cato institute would not post my comment which addressed one of the fundamental points in Mr. Taylor’s analysis of Rods post. I then sent Cato this note: “Your refusal to post my comment clearly indicates your fear of actual debate on a fundamental point in Mr. Taylor’s analysis, i.e. whether climate science is sound. I have posted the comment you refused to post on Rod Adams site, with a note that you are afraid to so much as let it stand as a comment on your website”
    And so, here is what I tried to post over at Cato:
    “The Cato Institute seems to be busy proving the new adage that you can put a mind, such as Jerry Taylor

  7. “AGW is the greatest market failure there has ever been …”
    Here I have to agree. It has been an awful failure in producing a market sufficiently driven by fear that people are willing to be stampeded like cattle into some of the dumbest policy proposals to come down the pipe in a long time.
    Perhaps a better choice of words, however, is that AGW has been the greatest marketing failure there has ever been.
    But hey, if you make a cold fish like Al Gore the point man for getting the word out, what can you expect?
    The over-zealous “advocates” who populate the comment sections of blogs like this one and who confuse condescending insults and appeals to authority for rational discussion and relevant information provide the coup de grace that, I’m sure, convince many common-sense folks out there that AGW is nothing but a steaming pile of politically charged manure that is infested by the maggots of special interest groups and environmental wackos.

  8. Taylor’s economics as to why BP, Chevron, Shell promote solar energy is example of market failure because good economics says you design your investment plan include emerging technology so you don’t have to rely increasing on outdated technology but more on the technology. It called the law of increasing and diminishing returns which Jerry Taylor apparently missed in Econ 101 probably because he was reading Milton Friedmen and other non-economist failed statistians and their joke models.
    By fighting nuclear power, Big Oil is killing itself just like GM did making gas wasting SUVs rather than re-tooling for Mass Transit systems and other products that could have been made and will eventually be made .
    The reason BP, Chevron, and Shell act the way they do is because they are a Cartel and Cartels are controlled by Plutocrats/Oligarchs who by nature hate all change that would improve the lives of commoners and therefore the political power of the common people. It is job of government to break up cartels to ignore their hired apologists and perhaps investigate such cartels under laws regarding corrupt influences, conspiracy to defraud the Government, etc…
    Political economy explains economic decision making not “market logic” but Mr. Taylor hasn’t studied “real world Economics” or “political economy” but rather he’s studied nonsense about “free market economics” which doesn’t exist anywhere but his own mind and was designed to keep people from thinking about their political power as citizens on the economy rather consumers in a “free market” owned by plutocrats.

  9. @ katana0182 (Dave)
    Very well argued and I agree with most, perhaps nearly all of it with a couple of small exceptions. First, if those who oppose AGW from science based arguments are right we are chasing a huge rat down a deep sewer. Next, is the alarmist rhetoric. Finrod made a statement last year I believe, quoting an Australian scientist saying we had 5 years. I cringe on a daily basis hearing that “islands are disappearing” and nearly every piece of bad news is attributed to “global warming” until the mantra is sickening.
    I have enjoyed Rod’s approach because it is a positive way forward and out of this debate. For the long term, the next 200 to 300 years, Fossil fuels cannot last without becoming horribly expensive in the face of rising population. Killing people to “fix” the problem is unthinkable to me. So increasing the energy supply as you point out is the real solution. Humanity being destroyed by AWG (especially in a short time – decades) is what I have a hard time believing. Frankly having people shout – read the science – at me is insulting. I have read science for decades, I think the climate scientist have the same responsibility for transparency as those studying the metalicity of stars. I am very grateful to see a re-examination of this in such a way that is transparent.

    1. ” Finrod made a statement last year I believe, quoting an Australian scientist saying we had 5 years.”
      That would be this post:
      Wherein you will find this link:
      I don’t really know whether or not 2015 is the cutoff date for avoiding the 2 degree Celcius temperature rise Dr. Sackett spoke of. That wasn’t really my point. My point was that if this occurs and we desperately need to do some large scale engineering to address it, we damn well better have something at least as capable as nuclear power to back that up. It was an anti-‘renewables’ post.

      1. Thanks Finrod, for the link and for the concise point.
        I totally agree that we need to do some large scale engineering and I would love to be in on selling those systems to poor countries. I have lived in Southeast Asia for nearly 12 years now. Currently the country I am living in is experiencing a drought and the hydro electric plants are down by hundreds of megawatts. Up to now I had not considered how a drought would affect electric production, but now I am living with rolling blackouts. I am more and more impressed with Nuclear price stability, the amount of time the electricity is actually on line – capacity, and the inexpensive production once the capital cost of Nuclear has been paid. Those would all be wonderful in the place I live.
        I think you also made a similar point about needing large scale engineering one time using a neighbor who liked fast cars. We need lots of power to pull us out of this problem. I for one, am very encouraged at the progress of the debate over Nukes in the public. We are making real headway and I think this will encourage more of the Political class to support reasonable regulation and new designs, (especially small nukes).

  10. The Russians recognized the value of nuclear power as a replacement for fossil fuels long before the “climate change” scare started. The prospect of being able to export more oil and natural gas was a main driver behind their nuclear program. If supposed “communists” were able to understand that 30 years ago, why is Cato having a problem understanding it now, with a massive trade deficit being caused in large part by oil imports? The answer is obvious: “Big Oil” doesn’t want independence of foreign oil, neither do they want any increase in energy supply that could drive the price of natural gas further down, that’s why they fund Greenpeace and other green groups that promote “conservation” and other non-solutions as the only option.

  11. Dave – You have done a very good job of demonstrating my point. My little remark that public concern over Global Warming is at an all-time low has driven you to an emotional, nonsensical tirade. Christ, what a marketing disaster!
    Haven’t you learned anything from Rod’s little lectures on the importance of communication skills that he includes in his blog articles every now and then? One important skill is that, if you want to be convincing, you should alienate as few people as possible. That is, throwing around names like “imbecile” doesn’t get you very far.
    I also suggest that you get your damn facts straight before you write, so that you don’t end up looking foolish. For example, the notorious Indiana “Pi Bill” of a century ago had nothing at all to do with the Bible, nor was the Indiana General Assembly declaring by fiat that π ought to have a value of 3. Rather, this was a case of the Indiana government trying to legislate a “new mathematical truth” because they had been suckered in by a crank. The bill itself can be interpreted to result in a value of π that is 3.2. There are no biblical implications to this story, just a warning against government attempts to legislate “truths” (inconvenient or not) resulting from the work of crackpots.
    It is rather telling, however, that your mistake involves religion. I have noticed that some people, when at a loss for anything meaningful to say, bring up some sort of religious topic (often creationism) — obviously to imply that anyone who disagrees with them is an ignorant backwoods bible-thumper or the mental equivalent thereof. If religion isn’t used as a smear technique then politics is often a convenient substitute. After all, fanatical wing-nuts win very few arguments with mainstream audiences.
    You’ve managed to slip in both rhetorical techniques.
    Good luck trying to get anybody to take action with an attitude that considers public opinion to be irrelevant. You might look down with contempt on the bible-thumpers, but your method of evangelizing is strikingly similar to theirs.

    1. Dave and Brian – though I respect both of you and value the contributions that you both make to the discussion here on Atomic Insights, can we please back down just a bit from the smelly waste rhetoric that seems almost aimed at each other?
      I am speaking only for myself here, but perhaps all of us would agree that there has been some excessively dramatic politicking and crisis related salesmanship using global warming as a scare tactic. I am pretty sure that even the most worried scientist or engineer does not believe that the sky is falling immediately or that the earth is somehow going to end if we do not abandon all use of coal in favor of wind turbines and solar panels tomorrow. Some of the most high profile worriers have exposed themselves as wind/gas/solar salesmen, partisan politicians, or emissions trading schemers by their inconsistent demands for a damn-the-cost response – as long as we avoid that scary or expensive nuclear stuff (Romm, Lovins, Gore)
      Scientists who really study the issue and believe that we need to take intelligent action to slow down the massive and difficult to reverse atmospheric experimentation have been trying to sound warnings since the 1950s (Weinberg). They have also recognized that nuclear fission offers us an almost unbelievably convenient solution that was discovered in the nick of time – just as human populations and economies have grown to the point where our rate of CO2 addition has overcome natural absorption processes.
      I happen to have a difficult time believing in pure coincidence – order does not emerge out of disorder by random chance and technology that is just right for solving a pressing issue does not magically appear. (Yes, by deduction and observation, it is my working assumption that there is a creative force working that none of us can comprehend. I guess that makes me some kind of crackpot in a science discussion, but engineers who have worked through the inventive process and have studied thermodynamics might be more inclined to agree.)
      We have a low cost energy source that is actually better than the alternatives and we (US and Europe) have an inventory of very old coal plants that can be readily replaced. The new Chinese coal plants are almost ideally suited for coal2nuclear conversions with the HTR-PM modules that are being built. Those actions alone might be enough to slow the addition rate of CO2 to the point where it will be able to be managed through natural absorption processes.

  12. A qestion for Brian Mays: Have you now arrived a the position that Price-Anderson should be repealed and the loan guarantee program be abolished?

  13. I agree with Rod that there are some people who have agendas other than confronting AGW who have attempted to hijack that scientific theory as a vehicle and a stalking horse for anti-technology, anti-science, and anti-human purposes. Whether for some Malthusian agenda, or other things, some misguided campaign against banal consumption for consumption’s sake (which might, indeed, be banal and cheesy, but refraining from excess is a matter of personal virtue, not public policy), or to try to frustrate technological progress, I do not know. Indeed, even if AGW is correct, the sky is not falling tomorrow, or anytime very soon. We have time to take action, and even if we do nothing – the human race and the biosphere will survive. Still, if we do nothing, it could be a profoundly rough ride.
    As for my motivation, I’m not selling or marketing anything. I’m merely an observer who’s trying to help out with 2 causes he believes are worth the fighting for, and I respectfully judge that both nuclear power – as well as good faith from all sides about AGW – are both causes worth fighting for.
    For the reference that I made to a well-known part of a well-known story of betrayal for money, it felt like it fit, and indicates nothing beyond that I made a reference to that very well-known story. I apologize if I offended anyone’s religious sensibilities. Nothing should be implied regarding my religion; I do believe in a first cause, from which all other causes flow, a sort of Great Architect of the Universe, but beyond that, I have no strong preferences, except against religious intolerance, against forcing religious beliefs (or lack thereof) onto others, and against using literal interpretations of allegorical texts to make 21st century public policy.
    I am withdrawing the other comments which were perhaps a bit overheated in a spirit of reconciliation and good faith; I believe it to be important that we avoid becoming a circular firing squad, ultimately because we aren’t the opposition, who are out to destroy nuclear power altogether. Some of us may place more weight on certain beneficial characteristics of nuclear power than others, but the fact remains that we’re all on the same side here.
    Apologies for my part in the drama, let’s go forward.

  14. Here is the comment I left @ Taylor’s reply on Master Resource:
    Although Mr. Taylor acknowledges “[n]uclear power is a swell technology” he asks for some “concrete accounting” behind the high costs associated with building reactors, incredibly he draws the conclusion that “it

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