“Forgive me but one more thing. Demand/supply--who cares? They are both important. Your argument is a straw man and an easy one to make from an easy chair. Meanwhile, the world grows hotter and more dangerous. If you think people are going to wait around for the perfect fight that the pundit/think tank class can sign off on, well than good luck to you.”
Of course the world remains awash in fossil fuels. The question for us is are we ready to push ourselves and policymakers to make sure they stay in the ground? You know as well as I do what the economic and social costs will be if we allow 5-7 C of warming. So I find your argument defeatist. There was a time in the country, and forgive me for saying so a time at Cato, when we believed we could do great things. You seem to shrug your shoulders and snipe at those who are pushing for action. This is the definition of cynicism.”
Chip Knappenberger on Feb 28, 2013 at 13:01:36
The folks at Cato *still* believe that they can do great things. Just check out our website, http://www.cato.org/, to see the efforts towards defeating Obamacare, improving school choice, immigration reform, pulling back our military, and a lot of other topics, all with an eye towards reducing government intrusion in our lives.
Keeping the government out of the Keystone XL decision is another such effort.
As Cato’s Jerry Taylor wrote “The argument for allowing the construction of the Keystone [XL] pipeline to go forward is simple but, perhaps, not politically all that sexy; the federal government should not needlessly frustrate markets and the gains from trade that go to market participants; firms, consumers, and labor.” And I’ll add, especially when the climate impact is negligible.
“This is a tremendously misinformed post. The tar sands of Alberta contain a recoverable 240Gt of carbon, about half of what we can burn to avoid runaway climate change. KXL is the key to unlocking the tar sands for development. Don't believe me. Believe the Canadian government and the industry who are saying this.
Secondly Paul, I know it's easy to snicker from the sidelines about what should be the priorities of activists, but do you have an issue or cause on climate that can turn out 50K in February? I'm eager to hear it.”
Chip Knappenberger on Feb 28, 2013 at 11:02:40
Pauls' post is about the oil that may flow through the Keystone XL pipeline. Not the tar sands oil already flowing through the sister Keystone pipeline, or the Enbridge Alberta Clipper pipeline, or on rapidly increasing cross-border train cars, or in the future through expanded rail capacity (in Canada and the U.S.) or additional pipelines.
The world over, there are currently untapped fossil fuel resources that will be developed as the demand necessitates. These undeveloped resources have plenty more than enough carbon tied up in them to push the global temperature beyond what you are comfortable with.
So, as Paul mentions in his article, the supply side of the equation is already a lost cause, so would it not be best to focus on the demand side? Or if you want to focus on supply, then you must focus on outcompeting fossil fuels. For with no better competition and with no demand curb, using widely-available and plentiful fossil fuels for cheap, reliable, scalable energy production will simply prove too tempting.
jamest2 on Feb 27, 2013 at 20:35:48
“I don't know if Paul can cite an issue or cause on climate that should turn out 50k, but I can: The corn ethanol mandate. This monstrosity, which was originally created by many of the misguided "environmentalists" who are ranting about the pipeline, causes far more environmental damage than producing 830,000 barrels of oil per day from the tar sands ever could. This includes far greater greenhouse gas emissions, because of the release of nitrous oxide attributable to the use of nitrogen fertilizer, and the contamination of the Ogalalla aquifer and the Lower Mississippi Basin and the Gulf of Mexico with nitrates and pesticides. It also increases food costs to the poor, but RFK Jr (The Guardian of Nantucket Sound from Tacky Windmills) doesn't care. He can afford a few more bucks for food. A lot of people in the developing world can't, of course, but who cares? He doesn't, and neither does Tom Vilsack or Barack Obama. Why don't I see people chaining themselves to the White House fence about that?
And why don't I see protests against the tariff on imported sugar that makes it economically unfeasible to produce sugar cane ethanol in the United States? Sugarcane ethanol is far the most efficient and environmentally benign biofuel, yet we don't produce it. Where are the protests about that?
Also, your citation of the quantity of recoverable carbon from the tar sands is ridiculous. It would take about 5000 years to produce that much oil from the tar sands.”
“Interesting. I guess I'd direct you to every scientific academy IN THE WORLD to read a different story than the one that Rush told you.”
mioffe on Sep 1, 2012 at 01:25:05
“Dear Daniel, Rush have nothing to do with my background and interests.
In Lattvia and USA together I spent 7 years in university and colleges;.+5 years as teacher of Physics and techology in HS;+25 years as designer engineer; +8 Years of studying climate change, peak oil production, weather disaster, reading books and articles of Lindzen, Al Gore, Hansen, Cullen, Dessler and many others scientific, not scientific and mass media hysteria;+ 2 books:
Economy and climate change or KGB agent, January 2010; Case against the science of climate change, May 30, 2012, by Michael Ioffe, firstname.lastname@example.org for free digital copy of last one. Read, and maybe we could start bussinesses to implement my ideas, how to fight climate change with only USA, Canada, and Mexico. North America influent climate from France to Japan.
“Hi. Interesting reply. Vastly wrong, however. Last week, the president raised vehicle emissions standards to 54.5mpg, doubling the previous standard. His EPA is cracking down on the dirtiest coal plants. And while it's true he didn't sign Kyoto, of course he couldn't since it wasn't ratified by the Senate.
Has he gone far enough? No. Is he better than Romney? Well, are the Yankees better than the bad News Bears?”
Wurkenstiff on Sep 1, 2012 at 08:51:12
Not so much.
Bush was vilified for rejecting Kyoto due to economic garrottes on production while Obama is allowed to wear the mantle of environmental champion despite seeing the same dangers to the US in Kyoto. In the end we settled for Copenhagen 2009 which is a toothless non-binding agreement. We don't have to play the guessing game of what the reaction would have been if a GOPer had pulled a similar bait--and-switch.
The mpg standard signed by Bush (into law, not decree by the way) was 35mpg by 2020.
Obama's headline grab is 35(wait for it...) .5 by 2016. What a bold initiative to raise it .5 mpg and push it up 4 years now that hybrids are mainstream and electric cars near technological viability. Given the raw technology and unproven marketability of hybrid and electric vehicle technology in 2007 the standards signed by Bush were bold.
Ed Bagely Jr was the only guy driving an electric car in 2007.
“I do not know of an eNGO that doesn't "engage" corporations. That's not what is at issue here; it's the quid pro quo that's of concern. To many observers, CI's engagement provides a safe space for many corporations to continue business-as-usual, all while our environmental problems worsen.”
“The time to go green and show leadership is now. I know Facebook can run on clean renewable power like solar and wind and show other tech companies that they can do it too. IT is about 2 percent of global emissions and rising. Facebook, help lead the energy revolution.”
“Great piece on trends. Another trend is the greening of consumer electronics. It's not going as fast as it should, but it is changing. Greenpeace is at CES to mark the progress of any companies. I hope you can write about not just what's hot, but what's green at CES!”
“Great piece. Once the world decides on the rules, investment will follow. But what's key in the short-term is adequate funding from developed countries to developing countries to deal with climate change. Of particular concern is funding for forest protection. We need an independent fund to make sure that we get to zero deforestation by 2020, not a reliance on forest offsets, which have been proven not to work. Go to thecroc.org to find out more.”
Richard2 on Sep 18, 2009 at 10:32:55
“So "the world" gets to decide how much more I have to pay for electricity from my local utility company. Whatever happened to "no taxation without representation?"
The unelected energy czars need to be defunded, with the proceeds returned to the pockets of taxpayers.”