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Discussion > What do we want this blog to achieve?

"Get the incentives right and someone will build all the capacity you need."

Says a lot, doesn't it?

May 15, 2012 at 11:07 AM | Registered Commentershub

In what universe does a coal/gas power station operator think the UK will incentivise the building of anything that isn't a windmill? BitBucket has answered his own question.

May 15, 2012 at 11:09 AM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

BB - is it possible at 12:11AM your fingers mistyped? Even £1 per litre would be cheap.

I don't know where "here" is but if you can buy leaded petrol there, it will be on a list of not specially nice places.

But europeans are now compelled to breath mercury vapour every time they break a lamp bulb, so who are we to criticise folk who think airborne lead is tolerable.

May 15, 2012 at 11:24 AM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Shub, incentives are how capitalism works.

James, if it is a choice of the lights going out or building/extending existing stations, there is no debate. The government either puts up the money itself or makes it worth someone's while. Most likely the latter.

Martin, I was going on what my wife told me, but since neither of us drive, maybe it is a mistake. Certainly the prices are $1.50 for 'normal' and $2.00 for 'super'. I'll ask what the difference is and whether there is any lead.

May 15, 2012 at 1:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterBitBucket

BitBucket, I agree. When it becomes clear that the lights are going out (or will do imminently) mega bucks will be thrown in by govt (i.e. us) to upgrade existing gas generation, and fracking and all these things that are being ideologically opposed right now. We'll have to spend a lot more then to do it fast.

May 15, 2012 at 1:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

BB: Ask Mrs BB to check if it is $1.50 per gallon or per litre. If the former, even if US gallons, it would be incredibly cheap. Almost worth flying there and back with a couple of jerrycans as luggage.

If it's leaded, you must be living in North Korea, Afganistan or one or two other places that would not be high on my list of places I'd like to be.

BYIJ - I can even believe that some coal fired power stations will be kept running. [I never understood why they are due to be shut down anyway, even if you accept the "coal train = death train" dogma. I'd have thought they could be easily be converted to gas or oil firing, without even changing the boilers.]

May 15, 2012 at 4:59 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

I asked at a petrol station and it really is per-gallon, but not leaded (sorry to mislead). Diesel is cheaper.

James, "We'll have to spend a lot more then to do it fast": but on the other hand, the technology will be better in 10 years and it might be cheaper/better. Maybe even modular nuclear will be available off the shelf (eternal optimist :-)

May 15, 2012 at 5:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterBitBucket

Price Rank Country $/Gallon Premium

1 Norway $9.69
2 Denmark $9.37
3 Italy $9.35
4 Netherlands $9.35
5 Greece $9.23
6 Sweden $8.97
7 Hong Kong $8.89
8 Portugal $8.85
9 U.K. $8.84
10 Belgium $8.82
11 France $8.72
44 U.S. $4.19
48 Mexico $3.20
49 Iran $2.78
50 Nigeria $2.33
51 UAE $1.89
52 Egypt $1.73
53 Kuwait $0.88
54 Saudi Arabia $0.61
55 Venezuela $0.09

MP: The world’s cheapest gas is found in Venezuela at $0.09 per gallon (cheaper than bottled water), where the cost of filling up the 39-gallon tank of a Chevrolet Suburban is only $3.51, compared with $163.41 in the U.S. The most expensive gas among these countries is India, based on the “pain at the pump” measure. A gallon of gas costs $6.06 in India, which is about 100% of per-capita daily income (based on annual per-capita GDP of $1,400). If gas was that expensive in the U.S., it would cost about $200 per gallon (based on annual per-capita GDP of $48,387). So even at $4 per gallon, gasoline here is a real bargain.

Based on the price of gas relative to income, the U.S. ranked No. 50 out of 55 countries for the “pain at the pump” measure, and that was based on gas prices at their peak in the U.S. in early April. Now that U.S. prices have fallen by almost 20 cents in the last six weeks, the “pain at the pump” has eased somewhat – so quit your whining about “high” gas prices! Relative to income, we have some of the cheapest gas in the world.

May 15, 2012 at 6:37 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

I see that the "coal train = death train" dogma quoted earlier relates to extinctions and not to people, but the equivalence could also be applied to people, based upon the WHO numbers I quoted earlier (1 million annually) and on the annual death rate from mining accidents (in the thousands in China, 30-40 in the US).

Coal train = death train seems quite apt.

May 15, 2012 at 8:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterBitBucket

"Shub, incentives are how capitalism works."

Yeah, right, Like a government that puts ten different constraints on a business, or productive activity, and then tempts newcomers by offering to lift the same constraints, and calls it 'incentives'.

More to the original point, if an energy source beats coal, it wouldn't need 'incentivization' in the first place. 'Incentives' in this situation are what a government gives, and not conditions that exist or arise from within a market. Since government doesn't have anything it can truly call its own, it cannot 'give' without taking something from someone.

May 16, 2012 at 2:53 AM | Registered Commentershub

So... what do we want this blog to achieve?

May 16, 2012 at 8:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

BB: "...the WHO numbers I quoted earlier (1 million annually) and on the annual death rate from mining accidents (in the thousands in China, 30-40 in the US).

Coal train = death train seems quite apt."

I don't want to belittle anyone's death and, although I have been down a couple of coal mines, I would not really want to work in a coal mine, in China nor elsewhere.

However, 1 million annually = 0.014% of world population (=7B), so it fades into insignificance relative to other causes of death.

If you look at the WHO figures it is utterly clear that poverty is the major killer. Being poor in a poor country is a seriously life-threatening condition. (40% death rate for people aged 0 - 14, according to WHO.)

Availability of cheap energy is a major factor in increasing living standards.

May 16, 2012 at 11:45 AM | Registered CommenterMartin A

May 16, 2012 at 8:47 AM TheBigYinJames

So... what do we want this blog to achieve?

What I would like it to achieve is:

- Put an end to the CAGW madness, repeal of the climate act.

- Closing down of the IPCC

- Re-organising of the Met Office, to employ around 20 competent meteorologists, 70% of their effort to be focussed on forecasting the weather and the other 30% on process improvement. Plus a small support staff. Computing facilities to comprise a Linux workstation for each meteorologist, plus a small central server machine for secure backup and internet access.

- Closing down of all climate science departments in universities, with the staff usefully re-employed in occupations where they can cause no harm.

- Because of the importance of knowing the truth about the world's climate, the Creation of a new centre for climate research, wiht TheBigYinJames as its director, and a staff to be recruited from physicists, chemists, research engineers and mathematicians who have had no previous involvment with the subject and who are incentivised to redo the whole subject from scratch.

That's the ideal. In reality....

Well, from memory, several people have said "keep it as it is". SKS would like it to be a forum to discuss science (primarily the physics of radiation in the atmosphere I think).

I'm very happy, every time I take a break from mundane activities to have a coffee or a beer, to see what has been posted, have my prejudices reinforced and to post a comment in the hope of provoking BB into apoplexy.

May 16, 2012 at 12:21 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

That's a big ask. Especially the bit about me running something, I have a hard enough time doing the minimal accounting requirements for my own small company.

I suppose I'd like the blog to more away from WUWT (fun but applauds anything anti-, even nonsense) and towards ScienceOfDoom (strictly phsyics, but tends to bad tempered)

May 16, 2012 at 1:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

Shub, regulating (constraining) business is one of governments responsibilities. Would you want unrestrained business? How about a coal fired power station or an incinerator with no controls on their emissions next to you home or school? That's the sort of thing you get without constraints, with capitalism or socialism. Incentives are about the chances of making a profit; if there's no profit, there's no business. The profit has to come from someone, namely the customer.

Martin, you are right of course that poverty is the biggest killer. I was just surprised when I looked for mining deaths that the US still has so many. And if you go back to the early 20th century the US had thousands of deaths in coal mines each year, as in China today.

On "in the hope of provoking BB into apoplexy", why would you want to do that? I'm a nice guy really :-) Actually, I have learnt over the last weeks that it is best not to respond to nasty posts and accusations of trolling etc with equally angry posts, but instead to try to keep replies civil. Angry accusers loose interest. Anyway, I enjoy having my prejudices challenged.

I wondered whether there was sense in creating a 'BishopHill' IRC channel (on freenode for example).

May 16, 2012 at 2:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterBitBucket

IRC? I was a big user in 93-99 period, but it's died a death now. Gone the way of NNTP newsgroups (I'm sure there are still eejits on alt.alien.visitors, or alt.slack arguing about stuff, but it's of no interest to me now!)

I suppose there might be a market for a general forum, not parented by a blog.

May 16, 2012 at 2:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

IRC is not really dead. For example, I use it to chat to tech support at my web host. Answers within minutes - it's great. It would be ideal for the sort of banter here. Forums don't have the immediacy of chatting. Just an idea, anyway.

May 16, 2012 at 3:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterBitBucket

I know the network is still there, but its heyday was over years ago. You'd be better off setting up a Bishophill Facebook page these days - it has some of the forum/chat capability, and most peoplel are already on it.

May 16, 2012 at 3:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

BB On "in the hope of provoking BB into apoplexy", why would you want to do that? I'm a nice guy really :-) Actually, I have learnt over the last weeks that it is best not to respond to nasty posts and accusations of trolling etc with equally angry posts, but instead to try to keep replies civil. Angry accusers loose interest. Anyway, I enjoy having my prejudices challenged.

No, I would not *really* want to do that.

It clear that you are a nice guy from the way you reply to and challenge with good humour those whose views are different from your own.

May 16, 2012 at 4:28 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

To be or to do?

To ask, ever so politely, that if the tiny influence of increased CO2 is amplified by positive feedbacks, why the tiny influence of changed solar output is not allowed to be.

BH tackles the 'allowed' part of that type of question, CA the 'tiny' and WUWT the 'influence'.

If it aint broke.....

May 16, 2012 at 10:27 PM | Unregistered Commentersimpleseekeraftertruth

" ... regulating (constraining) business is one of governments responsibilities."

No, it is one of government's excuses for existence.

May 17, 2012 at 1:35 AM | Registered Commentershub

So BitBucket, I've seen a story arc in your experience here, but how do you feel about "skeptics" now? You came here with a set of expectations, have they panned out? Do you feel more or less empathetic with the skeptic "cause" now than before?

May 17, 2012 at 10:46 AM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

Hey James, I have come to realise that not all sceptics are crazy :-)

Actually it is more complicated than that. The label 'scientific sceptic' can clearly be applied to people like you and Martin who understand the science and have serious doubts about the methods, data, conclusions etc. That is in the tradition of scientific scepticism and should be a common to any scientifically thinking person. I do empathise with such views. One has to be sceptical of proxies and models; of supposition and projection based upon uncertain knowledge. But that doesn't necessarily mean rejecting them out of hand as people here tend to, along with much else. And in fairness, I expect that most climate scientists will not claim absolute knowledge of outcomes; their views are couched in probabilities and uncertainties.

There is another category of people here who are not sceptics in this sense, who reject the orthodox view for a variety of unsound reasons. Many are illogical or disagree with established science and have more in common with religious bigots and conspiracy theorists. I have no sympathy with this.

Even among the true sceptics, there is a degree of intolerance, a willingness to condemn all climate scientists, public figures and bodies as corrupt and dishonest that I find objectionable. Some of it is doubtless playing to the gallery but I find it distasteful nonetheless. I don't see why one cannot be sceptical without doubting the good faith of everyone who takes the orthodox view (I guess this goes both ways). There is some amount of catastrophe panic (such as the lights are going to go out, we will be reduced to penury, etc) that I find ironic, considering that such characteristics in the orthodox view are decried by sceptics.

May 17, 2012 at 7:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterBitBucket


What I always find surprising is that people come here expecting us all to be a monolithic block of identikit beliefs. I don't know why I am surprised, though, since it's the way Mann et al and the compliant mainstream media portray us, in order to demonize us. Like any group of people, including climate scientists, there is a spectrum of views.

As for the intolerance and anger towards science and climate science in particular, you have to remember this has been a long war for some of us. Like the grandad who can never forgive the Japanese long after the war is over, some people have been angered beyond the point of return.

If you don't understand why, I beg you to read our host's book The Hockey Stick Illusion. It's a very good read, and while I don't expect you to suddenly convert after reading it, it will explain in some detail why some people here are angry. We aren't being melodramatic when we say some climate scientists have acted dishonorably.

Over at climateaudit right now is yet another chapter in the saga of so-called scientists lying and acting badly to cover their own backsides. If you don't want to read the Bish's book, at least give the thread over at Steve M's a read.

I'm absolutely sure that there are many (if not most) peope on the warmisst side who are completely in the dark about these shenanigans and who would be shocked and horrified if they knew. They never get reported.

May 18, 2012 at 8:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

I'm reading Gulag Archipelago currently (what happens when madmen take over a country), but when I've finished I might give the Illusion a spin. I see there is a Kindle version so I can get it here. I'm a bit hesitant because I guess it has graphs (!) and these don't come out at all well. MacKay's SEWTHA has lots of figures that are illegible on the Kindle but fortunately there is a free pdf version. Do you happen to know if they are legible? Any BH readers with the Kindle version?

Which Climate Audit thread are you referring to - Schmidt’s “Conspiracy Theory” or another? There are lots :-)

May 18, 2012 at 2:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterBitBucket