A global warming solution to grow the economy

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  • GK Willington Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 2, 2014 8:36 p.m.

    Dave was a former neighbor seems to still be a reasonable and well meaning individual. I, however, disagree about how his ideas were formulated.

    In the Meteorology classes, I took at the U, it was stated that temperatures have risen since the start of the Industrial Revolution (coincidence?). Yet, that was at the tail end of a 'Little Ice Age'.

    Deductive reasoning tells me climate change is cyclical but to think man hasn't had some 'influence' is foolhardy.

    My issue with Climate change is how the political left uses it to frighten people like the right has used terrorism. Personally, I am tired of the mumbo jumbo from both sides. Jeebus will return before common sense reenters American politics & everyday life.

  • Thinkin\' Man Rexburg, ID
    July 30, 2014 9:59 p.m.

    The good doctor should know that CO2 is NOT a pollutant, and is harmless to humans. That makes the basis of his letter invalid. Reducing CO2 and reducing air pollution are distinct and separate problems that have different solutions and economic effects.

    The doctor also makes the false assumption that the earth is warming as CO2 levels increase. It isn't. It hasn't warmed in 16 years.

    Then there's the insane idea that raising energy prices by imposing a carbon tax will somehow lead to prosperity. First, it will raise the price of everything, especially food, electricity, and fuel. Second, there is no economic perpetual motion machine that can return 100% of the imposed taxes back to consumers -- it'll disappear in the system, and we'll all be stuck paying higher and higher taxes.

    Bad idea.

  • Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    July 30, 2014 3:51 p.m.

    @Pops "So what's the panic?"

    Alarmists say that it's in the "unprecedented" rate of change, but I believe they are basing this on what the models say will happen, and not what is really happening.

    @Maudine "What unproven assumptions? Where and how does this editorial go wrong?"

    Right from paragraph one, and it never gets any better. The writer offers no evidence whatsoever that recent occurrences of drought and wildfire and pestilence are related to global warming. It is only assumed. He completely ignores that these conditions are recurrent throughout earth's history.

    Then there's the economic magical thinking -- the idea that we can tax wealth out of the economy, give the same wealth back again, and it will create more wealth.

    And I'm forever amused when a writer conflates air quality issues with the emission of CO2, a colorless, odorless gas.

    Sorry if you had a differing opinion, but the whole article is a train wreck.

    July 30, 2014 1:45 p.m.

    @VST - yes, you mostly nailed it. I say mostly because you didn't define "advocates". Certainly there are climate scientists who promote AGW as fact, but of course they're the same ones who refuse to debate, hide their methods, and fiddle with the data. But they still can't tell us what the climate sensitivity is to a doubling of CO2, which is what the real scientists are working on.

    I don't completely agree with "rising average temperatures on earth" in the sense that it is somehow extraordinary or unexpected, or that there is any particular reason why we should be in a panic about it. The rate of temperature increase through the 80s and 90s was the same as in the 30s and 40s, so it's not as if such warming is anything new even judging by very recent history. In the longer geological context, earth is at quite a low temperature and recovering from the Little Ice Age. Earth has usually been a lot warmer than it is now. So what's the panic?

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    July 30, 2014 10:40 a.m.

    Thirteen large and publically active environmental organizations have said their goal is to eliminate capitalist societies. Now tell me they have truth in mind about the climate.

  • clearthink Salt Lake City, UT
    July 30, 2014 10:14 a.m.

    First, this article starts out with "bad news" that actually consists of "bad myths." The data shows fires last year (and so far this year) are well below average.

    Second, atmospheric CO2 does not cause health problems. We each exhale around 100 times the concentration of CO2 that is found in the atmosphere. Are we killing ourselves by exhaling? By far the biggest health risk from air pollution is from indoor fires for cooking, and that problem has been solved in the developed world by burning fossil fuels to create electricity (as well as fracking for natural gas).

    Third, having a doctor write about economics is like having an economist perform an appendectomy. The doctor thinks that raising prices and then "giving" households the money back will generate jobs. Apart from the jobs "created" for the bureaucrats/bankers who will redistribute this money (which means households will get back less than they paid), such a proposal will reduce jobs, not create them.

    July 30, 2014 8:55 a.m.

    Any proposal that increases the cost of energy will reduce the proportion of white collar to blue collar jobs and will lower the standard of living of everyone. Furthermore, it will have no measurable effect on the climate, as we have established with a high degree of confidence that there is no correlation between atmospheric CO2 and global temperature. (And it certainly won't put any water in the aquifers of the western US.)

    @mk - One should also check out the rising cost of energy in Germany. The only real hockey stick graph is that one!

  • rmk South Jordan, UT
    July 30, 2014 5:47 a.m.

    Do a little search on surface stations on google or goto surface stations org and check out the documented temperature reading station photos and see for yourselves why the stations are reading higher temperatures. Spain is a prime example of how green jobs have not worked and actually killed jobs. Do a search on it and it kinda kills the whole green job creation. Global warming is nothing more than a tool environmentalist/conservationist are using to push their religion on everyone.

  • showlowdoc Show Low, AZ
    July 29, 2014 9:39 p.m.

    @ rvalens2

    I called the earth science departments of Northern Arizona University, ASU, UofA, and even BYU's Barry Bickmore to challenge any earth science faculty to an open debate about the facts behind climate change. Nobody signed up. I have frequently been told, "The debate is over" or "your a holocaust-denier flat-earther". Looks like everyone forgot to tell good ol' mother earth to follow along with the scam. I think a study needs to be done on how entire scietific societies, univerities, and governments could be sold wholesale on a theory that could be disproven by any 3rd-grader who can read a graph.

  • showlowdoc Show Low, AZ
    July 29, 2014 7:18 p.m.

    This hilarious editorial suggests that global warming is still an issue. I love how the "hottest months" are breathlessly hypoed, then when faced with the the fact that there has not been any appreciable warming for over 17 years now, "it's not long enough" to show a trend.

    I have a task for frozen fractals: Look up the FAR, SAR, TAR reports from the IPCC (if you can find them, most of them have been shamelessly removed) and tell me that the modellers have any clue what they're talking about. Most peope don't argue that the earth has warmed in recent decades, but climate sensitivity to man-made CO2 is probably less than 1/4 what any models have projected. Catastrophic man-made global remains arguably the largest man-made hoax of our lifetimes. Talk of carbon credits are holograms and mirrors.

  • Brian Wasilla, AK
    July 29, 2014 6:37 p.m.

    So why, when I "Like" a comment does the number stay the same?

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    July 29, 2014 5:14 p.m.

    It is a stupid proposal, I'm not going to give it anymore time than that. So many problems with it.

  • What in Tucket? Provo, UT
    July 29, 2014 5:13 p.m.

    This is a pretty funny calculation of money from hot air. Adding fees never produced anything, but hurting the economy. We need a powerful economy using natural gas, oil, etc that we have an abundance of. With a strong economy we can afford to do research on alternates which by the way are progressing. Global warming has the problem of prevarication by warmists. The UN exaggerated global warming in 113 out of 117 reports.

  • rvalens2 Burley, ID
    July 29, 2014 3:49 p.m.

    "The debate is over. Climate change is real." - Barack Obama

    Debate? What debate? There hasn't ever been a prime time nationally televised debate on this issue. If it's such a slam dunk for their side, then why are they afraid to debate the issue? Al Gore runs away from those who have challenged him to debate. Instead, he has set up a company to manage the carbon taxes that will be levied, which will make him a billionaire in the process, if it ever comes to pass.

    I for one believe it's just a scam to rob us all of even more money. Don't fall for it.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    July 29, 2014 2:49 p.m.

    "If you're scared by assertions that successful agriculture must adapt to weather changes, long or short-term, that probably just means you haven't been deeply involved in agriculture."

    We're used to a certain climate regime. Now, thanks to AGW (or just GW if you don't think man has anything to do with it), we are going to have to learn a lot of new ways to do farming. It's a crap shoot. And the more global warming the more the need to adapt.

    It's true that in the past man has had to adapt to climate change, sometimes not effectively. Allowing AGW to continue uncontrolled is a huge gamble.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    July 29, 2014 1:43 p.m.

    Re: ". . .read the EPA report 'Climate Impacts on Agriculture and Food Supply.' This is scary stuff."

    Scary? Hmmmmm. I wonder of we read the same article -- "Increases in temperature and carbon dioxide (CO2) can be beneficial for some crops in some places. But to realize these benefits, nutrient levels, soil moisture, water availability, and other conditions must also be met."

    If you're scared by assertions that successful agriculture must adapt to weather changes, long or short-term, that probably just means you haven't been deeply involved in agriculture.

    That's been the heart of agriculture for millennia.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    July 29, 2014 1:28 p.m.

    Also read the EPA report "Climate Impacts on Agriculture and Food Supply." This is scary stuff.

    Even the Deseret News is going to have to stake out a position on climate change.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    July 29, 2014 1:18 p.m.

    Re: "Are you getting weary of hearing the bad news related to global warming?"

    No. Not at all. There's been precious little, anyway.

    What I am getting weary of is tree-hugging, leftist economists trying to me sell snake oil. Like the biggest lunacy of all -- we can somehow tax our way to prosperity.

    It's just not possible. It defies, not just the laws of economics, but the laws of physics, as well.

    Regardless of what leftist economists say, real people know there's no such thing as a perpetual motion machine. We know there's no cold fusion.

    And, we know there's no such thing as a free lunch.

  • JoeCapitalist2 Orem, UT
    July 29, 2014 1:15 p.m.

    Anyone who believes that imposing yet another tax on everyone and giving it to a bunch of bureaucrats (who will decide policy about how all that "new money" will be distributed) will solve this problem is living in fairy-tale land.

    This money, like a lot of other tax money, will be largely wasted and distributed to a bunch of well-connected people (i.e. "friends" of elected officials). As more and more of them become addicted to this new found wealth, the carbon tax will grow and grow.

    Just like the income tax which was imposed on a small percentage of Americans initially (the most wealthy), this tax will grow until we all have to fill out a 10 page "carbon return" at the end of the year to assess our carbon tax and claim our carbon credits. We will have to keep track of every time we lit a candle or mowed the lawn.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    July 29, 2014 1:05 p.m.

    Everybody should read the National Climate Assessment, available on the NOAA website.

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    July 29, 2014 12:36 p.m.

    "The truth is that current temperatures are about the same as the 1930s. "

    That's not true. Globally they aren't even close (none of the 1930s are in the top 30 warmest years, 1934 is barely in the top 50).

    If you look at a fraction of the world (contiguous US) in a very anomalous pattern (Dust Bowl years) there's a few short spans similar. However, the warmest year for the US was 2012 (+2.46F). 2nd was 1998 (+1.43F). 3rd was 2006 (+1.41F). 4th indeed is 1934 (+1.28F). Obviously 2012 shattered the record.

    1931 is in 10th place, that's 2 years from the 1930s that are in the top 10 for the contiguous US. 7 of the other 8 are from 1998 onward. The coolest year for the contiguous U.S. that starts with 20-- is 2008 which still beat out 5 of the years from the 1930s including 1936.

    Interestingly, while 1936 has the warmest month on record for the contiguous US (that July) it also has the coldest February on record (10.17F below the 1981-2010 mean). It was the 47th warmest year.

  • chilly Salt Lake City, UT
    July 29, 2014 11:58 a.m.

    Frozen Fractals: "Actually their most recent adjustment warmed the earlier years. NOAA currently says that July 1936 is the warmest month on record..."

    Conveniently, they changed it back after virtually every media outlet in the U.S. had run stories on "HOTTEST MONTH ON RECORD". How many of these retracted the story or even mentioned the re-adjustment? Certainly, alarmists like David Folland never got the word.

    The truth is that current temperatures are about the same as the 1930s. This after a significant increase in atmospheric CO2. We've conducted, accidently, the experiment of large scale planetary CO2 addition with little, if any, temperature change. Natural forces clearly dominate earth's climate and we have not yet figured out how it works.

  • Spangs Salt Lake City, UT
    July 29, 2014 11:40 a.m.

    My favorite comment is the one about how this plan is all a conspiracy spearheaded by Al Gore. So true. The Goreluminati. Climate scientists are actually clones of Al Gore who have been programmed to write science papers culminating in the destruction of the American way of life. The only way we can fight this is for all of us to start "rolling coal." I just modified my Toyota Corolla to do just that.

  • soapyrub Boulder, CO
    July 29, 2014 11:34 a.m.

    Finding trustworthy (not politicized) information is difficult with the flood of money from the libertarian/fossil fuel complex. There is overwhelming consensus that: "Though warming has not been uniform across the planet, the upward trend in the globally averaged temperature shows that more areas are warming than cooling. From 1880 to 2012, the globally averaged surface temperature rose by 0.85° C (1.5°F). The rate of temperature increase has risen as well. For the last 50 years, global temperature rose at an average rate of about 0.13°C (around one-quarter degree Fahrenheit) per decade-almost twice as fast as the 0.07°C per decade increase observed over the previous half-century. In the next 20 years, scientists project that global average temperature will rise by around 0.2°C (about one-third of a degree Fahrenheit) per decade."

  • Anti Bush-Obama Chihuahua, 00
    July 29, 2014 11:13 a.m.

    Problem with Carbon Tax is that the biggest polluters will buy carbon credits and be exempt. Also, this tax won't be going to the Government but this cults leader Al Gore.

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    July 29, 2014 10:58 a.m.

    Though "warmed the earlier years" isn't quite right, the net effect bumped up the summers in earlier years and lowered the winters in earlier years (the annual numbers don't really change much). The adjustments largely stem from the matter of how to best deal with the matter of changing numbers of stations and interpolating the space in between stations. From the NOAA national temperature index page you can see that adjustment in ClimDiv compared to the older USHCN method.

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    July 29, 2014 10:46 a.m.

    It was ranked 3rd warmest for NASA and 4th warmest for RSS and UAH. The differences are hundredths of a degree between the 1st and 5th warmest years so it's fairly normal for them to be a few spots different in rankings since there are some differences in methodology for handling things like the more sparsely sampled Arctic. I would note that of the 5 datasets (NOAA, NASA, CRU, RSS, UAH) the one with the fastest warming trend in the satellite era is RSS and the one with the slowest warming trend in the satellite era is UAH. All those "less accurate" datasets are in between the satellite ones, suggesting that they seem to be doing a decent job of it.

    "The hottest temperatures for the US were in the decade of the 1930's. The adjustments have "cooled" the 30s to make present temperatures appear as record warmth."

    Actually their most recent adjustment warmed the earlier years. NOAA currently says that July 1936 is the warmest month on record for the U.S. 2012 is the warmest year for the U.S. (look up "NOAA National Temperature Index")

  • chilly Salt Lake City, UT
    July 29, 2014 10:20 a.m.

    "May and June were the hottest months ever recorded."

    More accurate satellite data (RSS/UAH) show that these months aren't even hottest of the last decade.

    Moreover, NOAA has been systematically making adjustments to the thermometer temperature records. The hottest temperatures for the US were in the decade of the 1930's. The adjustments have "cooled" the 30s to make present temperatures appear as record warmth. Google: "NOAA temperature adjustments" to see for yourselves.

  • Maudine SLC, UT
    July 29, 2014 9:40 a.m.

    @ Nate: What unproven assumptions? Where and how does this editorial go wrong?

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    July 29, 2014 9:15 a.m.

    Denmark basically does this and the first two comments miss the key part of how this works. The tax that gets passed on to consumers does not hit all consumers equally. Those who use more energy pay more in those taxes and those who use less will pay less. However, when it gets returned as a tax credit everyone gets the same amount back so those who use less energy get more back then they put in. That's the incentive to use less.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    July 29, 2014 8:59 a.m.

    The devastation is already upon us in the West. We are draining our ancient aquifers. Every single drop of the Colorado River watershed is pumped out. We have created a greenhouse over our heads, and still our Republican leaders grin blissfully and push for even more development. The carbon tax is the right thing to do, but it is too little too late in the face of self-destructive ignorance.

  • Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    July 29, 2014 7:56 a.m.

    @Dave Folland

    When you begin with unproven presumptions, your conclusion is virtually guaranteed to be wrong. This article does, and is.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    July 29, 2014 7:10 a.m.

    The author misses some very important facts! Carbon taxes will be passed on to consumers which will harm poor people the most by increasing costs of food and energy (and everything else) while doing NOTHING for the environment! Productivity produces prosperity! A carbon tax will guarantee a destruction of productivity and increase poverty! If low productivity produced prosperity, every 3rd world country in the world would be prosperous, but they are not and the reason they are not is that they are not productive! A carbon tax will do nothing but destroy productivity, period!

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    July 29, 2014 12:42 a.m.

    I sympathize but there are some problems with this proposal. If the carbon tax is levied at the mine head or well head, that will raise the price of carbon fuels. But then if the tax is returned to customers they will use those revenues to continue buying such fuels, right? Moreover, the carbon tariff will raise prices at a time when the middle class is suffering.

    Moreover in the current political climate this proposal can go nowhere.

    Also, it attempts to game the market to do the right thing. The market cannot handle climate change. There needs to be declared a humankind emergency to coordinate internationally the advancement of solar energy recovery. I know, I know, this can't go anywhere either in the current political climate, nationally and globally. But a few more big events like a couple of "typhoons of the century," big Sandy-sized hurricanes in New England, or the drying up reservoirs like Lake Mead or Lake Powell will convince people that something is really going on - then we will get action.

    This involves losing precious time, but it's the only way things are going to change.