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Myles, CCS and the T3 tax

Myles Allen has another article in the Guardian today, advocating extensive use of carbon capture and storage. Understandably, he seems to be taking something of a pasting in the comments.

One of his other comments struck me as interesting though:

The very fact that so many have come to believe, rightly or wrongly, that the climate response is at the low end of the range of uncertainty provides us with an opportunity. Rather than targets for arbitrary years, we should aim for a policy explicitly linked to rising temperatures. If George Osborne really believes global warming has stopped, he would have no reason to object.

Ideas like this have been floated before, but too often they amount to kicking the can down the road. There is no point in "wait and see" if – after another decade or two of research into solar and nuclear power, or a modest carbon tax – we find ourselves in exactly the same position as now: fossil fuels dominating global energy supplies and far cheaper than any alternative, only with another couple of hundred billion tonnes of fossil carbon dumped, irreversibly, into the atmosphere.

This would appear to be a reference to Ross McKitrick's T3 tax proposal, linking the level of a carbon tax to tropospheric temperatures. I'm not sure I would agree with Myles' characterisation of it as a "wait and see" policy though. Given that tropospheric temperatures are meant to be a leading indicator of climate change at the surface, it's precisely the opposite.

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Reader Comments (15)

I'm afraid this sounds like an open invitation to fiddle the temperature data.
Now I'm not for one minute suggesting that anyone would do such a thing but if you happen to believe that things really are going to get "worse than anyone in his right mind thought" and politicians are not taking sufficient action to satisfy you and further bankrupt their citizens then, since you are almost certainly one of those for whom the end justifies the means, a modest "adjustment" to the data — all in the long-term interests of humanity and the planet, but especially ..... yourself — would be quite acceptable, n'est-ce pas?
We could think up a name for it: The Gleick Manoeuvre or perhaps Allen's Gambit should suit.

Jun 6, 2013 at 11:01 AM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

".........a couple of hundred tonnes of fossil fuel carbon..." To say nothing of the few thousand billion tonnes of natural carbon.

Jun 6, 2013 at 11:28 AM | Unregistered CommenterPeter Stroud

Myles Allen gets out of his depth when he tries to use his brain. 13 billion years of evolution completely wasted on poor Myles.

Jun 6, 2013 at 11:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterAdhominer

No ''carbon'' dumped into the atmosphere is ''irreversible'' stupid! It is part of the carbon cycle.
What part of ''cycle'' do you not understand Guardian.

Jun 6, 2013 at 12:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Marshall

'dumped irreversibly,into the atmosphere' did it become a 'fossil' fuel in the first place?

Seems he's not very bright

Jun 6, 2013 at 12:04 PM | Unregistered Commenterconfused

Given our atmosphere was once almost all CO2 with an atmospheric pressure over 100 bar the man needs to understand where it has all gone. He then may realise that CO2 is just as critical to life as water and that to get more life back on our planet we need more CO2. But then thinking and joining the dots is not one of the usual pastimes of guardian journalists.

Jun 6, 2013 at 12:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterPeterMG

"we find ourselves in exactly the same position as now: fossil fuels dominating global energy supplies and far cheaper than any alternative, only with another couple of hundred billion tonnes of fossil carbon dumped, irreversibly, into the atmosphere."
"Dumped"? "Irreversibly"? Is this a scientist speaking?

I wonder if he'll be up there on the slopes of the next major volcanic eruption, wagging his finger at it for all the stuff that is being dumped irreversibly into the atmosphere? Or is he down there underwater in a frogman suit plugging up the holes in the ocean floor that are irreversibly dumping stuff, not only into the atmosphere, but into the sea?


I assume that by "irreversibly", he just means that the toothpaste can't be put into the tube. Well, there's a turn-up for the books. Thank goodness we have scientists to explain this to us. The alternative explanation is scarily scientifically illiterate.

Jun 6, 2013 at 12:44 PM | Registered Commenterjohanna

Went to view the comments at the gruniad.
My, its like a parallel universe over there. Used to buy the gurniad just for the crosswords...jeez just cannot bring myself to buy one now

Jun 6, 2013 at 1:04 PM | Unregistered Commenterconfused

Stick to the science Myles.

Climate scientists need to butt out of economics, policy and politics. Those that don't are looking moe stupid by the day, which tends to taint perception of their credibility in those areas where they do have some expertise.

Jun 6, 2013 at 2:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterGeckko

Jeez and I thought Allen had shown some rudiments of intellegence recently.
But CCS? How many more £billions down this particular black hole?

Jun 6, 2013 at 2:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Keiller

Bish, thank you for the link to "Ross McKitrick's T3 Tax Proposal" in your post. I had not seen that previously.

More important than the T3 proposal is the content in the article covering other related topics. Keep in mind this was written/published in 2007, almost 6 years ago.

Continued cooling, Climategates, and the peeling back of the cloak of CAGW and its players, I don't believe any tax would be justified/required now.

Very good read and should be mandatory reading for any policy maker or bureaucrat employed or paid by tax receipts.

There is more I would like to write but I will be nice.

Jun 6, 2013 at 5:28 PM | Unregistered Commentereyesonu

Try downloading the past Grauniad crosswords on line- it's free and saves having to read the paper.

Jun 6, 2013 at 8:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterMessenger

Myles Allen is of the "fixed box earth theory", which, as others have said, denies the carbon cycle and says you can only put so much CO2 into the "box". Hence we get the Hansen rhetoric that we mustn't recover any more "fossil" fuels.

Jun 6, 2013 at 10:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterDennis A

euangray's comment is a corker:'re proposing a solution that doesn't work to a problem that doesn't fit our supposed understanding and may not even exist. That's not awfully impressive.


Jun 7, 2013 at 3:00 AM | Unregistered CommenterJack Hughes

Hmmm. So on planet Myles, the only certainty in life is death and temperature?
That is a slightly new way of describing an old concept. I think a lot of people will see straight away that it isn't science.

Jun 7, 2013 at 12:42 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

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