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Solyndra! Solyndra! How the US Presidential campaign is hastening the end of the CAGW scare

Dr Fred Singer says that Mitt Romney should exploit the energy issue to get himself elected President of the United States. You don’t have to agree with everything Singer says nevertheless to be optimistic about the impact that the kind of arguments Singer refers to might have during the campaign. I basically agree with Singer. The new energy Singer refers to is such a huge economic open goal (as we here in the soccer mad UK would say), and at a time when the entire Western world needs economic open goals like almost never before, that not even Romney will be able to avoid at least aiming kicks in its general direction, even if for some reason or another he would rather not.

The economy is the basic issue in this Presidential election, as it almost always is. If you are happy about how well you and your loved ones and friends and neighbours are doing, you vote for the incumbent or his younger friend. If not, not.

Meanwhile, a vast apparatus of energy sabotage has been created, the excuse or the reason for that being that energy of the sort that the modern world likes will ruin the climate and destroy humanity, in accordance with the C(atastrophic) A(nthropogenic) G(lobal) W(arming) story alluded to acronymically in the title of this posting. Only energy of the most non-energetic sort, such as solar panels and silly big propellers, should be allowed, say the CAGW-ers. President Obama either really believes all this CAGW stuff or has lots of supporters who really do believe it, or supporters who placed business bets at a time when they really did believe it, or when they reckoned that a lot of other idiots really did believe it, so Obama is now looking like a green saboteur himself.

It gets worse for Team Obama. Americans want their energy to stop being sabotaged into being much more expensive, and to go back to being cheap again. And, says Singer, new sources of non-green energy now coming on stream might make this happen. Singer’s argument may not be true, what with politicians being politicians, but it is at least plausible. Vast new underground oceans of stuff you can set fire to and power four wheel drive vehicles with have recently been discovered under America. Or, they have always known this stuff was there but now they also know how to suck it out. Or push it out. Or some such thing. The point is, here’s a potential economic bonanza. Do we bonanzify it and go with the flow? Or do we ignore it, to save the planet from climate doom? Although Team Obama has changed its tune about this new, bad, energetic type energy somewhat, it hasn’t changed it enough to be convincing. Fred Singer says Romney should talk up this new energy, and that if he does he will make Obama look an even bigger economic saboteur than he looks already.

According to Singer, not only is the story of the economy as it is now bad for Team Obama. So is the new story, of the economy as it might be. I agree with Singer. I think this is one of those situations where what the contending Presidential teams merely say might actually make a big difference. Now, you’d think Team Romney would be aware of all this, but truly, I don’t know if they are or if they are whether they think this new energy stuff will count for that much. Maybe they think it will get in the way of them saying that Obama has screwed the rest of the economy. But, however they see the bigger picture, Team Romney happens just recently to have been talking up and denouncing something called Solyndra, which is a silly, big, failed, Obama-supported enterprise for making silly solar panels. Team Obama has accused Romney of being bad because Romney used to work for something called Bain, which Team Obama says is bad. So Romney said: But what about Solyndra, which is run by dodgy friends of yours and which you gave a ton of tax money to, and which has now collapsed? Team Obama says operations like Solyndra are the best way to juice up the economy. Romney says that’s ludicrous, as indeed it is. How can a company that gobbled up a ton of tax money and then went bust be good for the economy? Solyndra bad. Yah! Boo!

The Solyndra story got another push from Team Romney when Chicago Obama crony and close confidant David Axelrod showed up at a Team Romney event with a view to spoiling and hijacking the media coverage Team Romney was going for. In the end the media coverage was of Axelrod being himself drowned out by Team Romey people with cries of Solyndra! Solyndra!

As many have recently noted, Romney is now playing tit for tat. The central Romney claim, to repeat – as he will, relentlessly – is: Obama is screwing the economy, so vote for me. Whatever Team Obama says or does to avoid that argumentative terrain, Romney responds to with an equal and opposite attack, and he wants everyone, including and especially Team Obama, to know this. Don’t change the subject! You attack my religion? I attack your religion! You send hecklers? I send hecklers! Bain? Solyndra! Tat? Tit! Don’t change the subject. Aversion therapy, you might say. Then, after each tit, Romney gets back to how Obama is screwing the economy so vote for me. This is how Romney is playing this, and as of now, Obama looks well and truly trapped in what my friend Tim Evans likes to call a “killing ground”, i.e. stuck having an argument that he can only lose.

Romney’s tactics in this campaign, as practised so far, also remind me of what my trial lawyer dad used to tell me about the art of cross examination. You close off all exits from the central question, often in the form of allowing the witness to indulge in triumphant demolitions of what the witness thought were the real attacks, attacks which were really just feints designed to elicit exactly those declarations. And then you move in for the kill with the real question. (See also the Tom Cruise character’s demolition of the Jack Nicholson character in A Few Good Men.)

Were Romney to also to start using that old line of Reagan’s – “There you go again”, every time he accuses Team Obama of trying to change the subject, he would surely endear himself to Conservative Republicans even more.

Tit for tat is a fine tactic for Romney, because it enables him to be a bit nasty, about a whole succession of things, but without seeming too nasty. When the American mainstream media say hey you’re being nasty, Romney can say: only a bit nasty, in response to all this diversionary nastiness from Team Obama. Which the mainstream media ignored when Team Obama said or did whatever nastiness it was that Romney is tit for tatting against, which means that the mainstream media come across as biased and dishonest, that being no surprise because that is what they are. Romney comes across as strong, moderate, as nasty as he has to be, as nice as he can be, a good man in a bad world. Just what you want in a President.

Because of this tit for tat tactic, it really is quite possible that Team Romney attacked Solyndra only because Team Obama attacked Bain, and heckled Axelrod with cries of Solyndra! Solyndra! only in retaliation for earlier Team Obama heckling and because they had to shout something, so they shouted that. It may truly be that the bigger climate doom reasons for and against Solyndra are of no interest to Romney. Doesn’t matter. Trashing Solyndra still lines Team Romney up against the big, green, world-saving reasons for Solyndra.

Put it like this. Suppose Romney had said, during his Solyndra attack: Green energy is indeed totally necessary to save the world from climate catastrophe, but Solyndra was doing this the wrong way. That would have separated the “Solyndra is crony capitalism” argument from the “green energy is necessary to save the world” argument, in just the way Romney might now want to do. But Romney saying that would have given Team Obama an excuse for Solyndra. They could have said, as some Democrats did try to say: Well, at least we’re trying to do green energy. At least we’re trying to save the world. Romney would have come across as like those faint-hearted war “supporters”, who say they favour the war but who oppose any attempt to fight a battle to try to win the war which doesn’t go absolutely perfectly. So rather than let that happen, Romney has just said: To hell with Solyndra. He stood in front of a big Solyndra sign and said yah boo, it was just a racket to syphon tax money into the pockets of Obama supporters. And in response, spluttering Democrats then proceeded to attach themselves to the CAGW story, a story which Romney himself had completely ignored.

But even as they spluttered, Democrats knew that nobody was buying all that save the world crap. And indeed they were not. Throughout all the Solyndra commentary I have been looking at, saving the world from climate catastrophe hardly gets a mention. Even green, “renewable”, “sustainable” energy only gets mentioned by Democrats trying to evade the question about Solyndra being a huge wast of public money and a nonsensical failure as an economic stimulus.

The CAGW people tried to scare millions of people generally, and millions of Americans in particular, into believing that the climate is about to unleash catastrophe and that therefore CAGW-ers and their friends should be put in charge of the world and in the meantime in charge of America. But the American millions in particular aren’t buying this story any more, if they ever did.

Nor is it merely that these American millions can’t afford to buy this argument. If they did buy it, they’d damn well make themselves afford it, no matter what, same as they would if, rightly or wrongly, they were definitely persuaded to believe that a giant meteorite was hurtling straight towards the earth that would kill us all. Well, the CAGW-ers have been saying that the equivalent of a climate meteorite is indeed coming straight at us. If Americans believed in the serious likelihood of the climate meteorite clobbering us all, they would indeed accept that it was far better to be safe than sorry, no matter what the cost was of being safe. But, they don’t believe this. Being safe is accordingly far too expensive, because actually we are safe enough anyway, as safe as we ever are.

The idea that the economic crisis, credit crunch etc., is deciding the CAGW argument is a half truth, if that. Economic woe has made the CAGW question more urgent, because economic woe makes the cost of doing what the CAGW-ers say should be done hurt more. But economic woe is not deciding the argument. The argument is deciding the argument, and the CAGW-ers are losing it.

America, then, is fast “moving on” from CAGW. But I live in a country still very much bossed by CAGW-obsessed green saboteurs, and I remain very interested in how the CAGW argument will continue to play out, not least because of my own electricity bills. This is not a blog posting wholly or even mostly about what a clever campaign Team Romney is running. Maybe it is a clever campaign, but a lot can happen in five months. No, what interests me is how all this campaigning to-ing and fro-ing, titting and tatting, is affecting the ongoing CAGW argument.

To answer that question you have to understand the peculiar stage that this argument has already reached, between the two specialist teams. Basically, the CAGW-ers, lead by a small clique of self-styled “climate scientists”, have made their CAGW case. This case has been ripped to pieces by climate skeptics. But the climate scientists – please assume my continuing sneer quotes around these words from now on, in the event that I don’t always include them – have mostly refused to back down. If they have backed down, they have done so in silence. The still vocal remainder are simply repeating that they are right and their critics wrong. They are scientists; their critics not. Their opinions are published in peer reviewed journals; those of their critics are not. They are right; the other fellows are wrong.

Insofar as the CAGW-ers do manage to insert their argument into this Presidential election, all that they are likely to achieve is to speed up this process of the world learning just how stubbornly mendacious, relentlessly manipulative, absurdly self-deluding, and just plain wrong the CAGW “climate scientists” are, and how right their critics are to denounce their silly prophesies. The campaign, if it does shine its torch back on this argument, will only illuminate who is already making a good case and who is not. The campaign won’t change the argument, merely amplify it, and speed it up.

For despite the refusal of the climate scientists to budge, the word is gradually spreading that the climate skeptics have long been making more sense in this intellectual arm-wrestling contest than the “climate scientists”. The climate skeptics, by an large, are coming across as more honest and intellectually formidable and intellectually scrupulous than the climate scientists, because they are. The climate scientists are coming across as dishonest and economically corrupt and intellectually corrupt and manipulative and just plain wrong, ditto.

To the intense frustration of climate skeptics everywhere, now utterly convinced of the wrongness of the CAGW story, it has taken quite a while for the news of this skeptic victory to spread, given that the regular news organisations of the Western World are mostly still part of the CAGW scare themselves. But this news now is spreading, inexorably, and when it comes to the wider American public arena, it will now be up to the CAGW-ers to persuade America’s voters to change their minds and start – or go back to – being scared about CAGW. The CAGW-ers will no more be able to do this than they have been able to persuade the climate skeptics themselves to shut up.

Let me emphasise that point. In the sense that the climate skeptics have failed to convince the CAGW-ers themselves all to admit their utter wrongness, they have mostly failed. But when it comes to the CAGW-ers trying to convince the skeptics that they, the climate skeptics, are wrong, and that all the millions who now side more with the climate skeptics than the CAGW-ers are likewise wrong, the CAGW-ers have failed far more completely, and will continue to fail even more completely. It’s all depends on whose shoulders the burden of proof lies. In the climate skeptic blogs, you can feel the burden of proof still weighing heavily on the shoulders of the climate skeptics. What the hell do we have to say to these idiots that will convince them of how idiotic they are?!? How the hell will we even shut these people up from spouting nonsense that we blew to pieces years ago?!? But in the wider public arena, it is the CAGW-ers who now – if they really believe what they say they believe, that the humanity is staring certain doom in the face and must change its wicked ways or perish – have to prove that they are right. And they will not prove that they are right, for the simplest of all reasons. They are not right, and more and more people now know this.

A second possibility is that the CAGW-ers will try to get the CAGW story inserted into the Presidential debate, but will fail completely. This is quite likely, if only because the mainstream media are now embarrassed by the CAGW scare, which they did so much to create, rather than enthusiastic about it. The CAGW-ers won’t even be allowed to argue their case. They will simply be assumed to be wrong, like mad old uncles, gibbering away in the corner of the room.

And a third possibility is that, seeing all this coming at them, the CAGW-ers will simply give up, and not even try to get their nonsense talked about during this campaign. Some of them already are doing this. The CAGW-ers are now beginning seriously to concede, as they now must, that in terms of convincing the wider public of the truth of CAGW, they are definitely losing, and they now fret about whether to stick with their “science” or instead to forget about science altogether and switch to straightforward public lying, or “social science” as some of them like to call this alternative plan. Given that the world is now full of skeptics waiting to identify and explain the lyingness of all these lies, that tactic will only hasten the end of the debate.

Meanwhile, the more publicly Romney follows Fred Singer’s advice about talking up the new energy discoveries and extraction techniques and denouncing Obama for not allowing all this to go ahead, the more the non-belief of most Americans in the CAGW scare will become clear.

Insofar as Obama himself has greenlighted various old school energy schemes, well, that proves that he no longer believes, if he ever did, in the CAGW scare. Team Obama is indeed now running away from CAGW just as fast as it can, which is yet another reason why the CAGW-ers may now find themselves gagged rather than egged on by the mainstream media. In the decidedly unlikely event that Team Obama is, in the course of this campaign, foolish enough actually to argue in all deliberate seriousness (as opposed to mere reflex outbursts while failing to excuse things like Solyndra) for the truth of the CAGW story, then they too will find themselves on the receiving end of the same drubbing that the CAGW-ers have already had handed to them by the climate skeptics in the privacy of the blogosphere. They will also face questions about why Obama has greenlighted even some un-green energy schemes. But don’t completely rule this out. Failing, flailing campaigns, such as the Obama campaign now more and more looks to be, often find themselves saying and doing very, very stupid things. (As a Brit, I recall all those floundering pre-Cameron Conservative efforts to defeat Tony Blair.) Plus, unlike the full-time CAGW-ers, members of Team Obama might really not know what would then hit them between the eyes if they were silly enough to wade back into this argument in all seriousness. I would love to see this happen, even though it may be too much to hope for.

If Team Obama, or even just some of Team Obama, does take sides in this argument, Romney himself might then join in, against the CAGW-ers, and he might even do this anyway, just as part of a general exercise is flinging as much mud as he can at Team Obama. That I would also like to see, because (little known fact on this side of the Atlantic, as yet), Romney is actually quite a fluent and convincing public speaker.

Whichever way all this plays out, and I for one will be watching with great interest, the CAGW-ers in the USA are now on a hiding to nothing.

Latest twist: Romney himself is now being accused (note that this is now an accusation) of lending government money to another stupid green energy company. Hah!

I will end by quoting an earlier me, of December 2009, at the end of this:

And yes, I know, a huge amount of institutional infrastructure remains in place, created partly by means of these climatic lies, before people had to justify believing in them and when critics of that apparent scientific consensus … had to justify believing in anything else. … The war isn’t over, to put it mildly.

But winning arguments is no small thing. During the 1980s I vividly recall being told, by people whose pessimism about the Cold War was so profound that they might as well have been Soviet agents of influence for all the use they were to the side they claimed to be on, that merely proving that despotic state centralism was an economic disaster would make no difference. Those wicked Soviet Communists – who were, they claimed, so very much cleverer than any of us – would still eat us all alive, and all the more horribly on account of having run out of stuff to eat in Russia and surrounding parts. Well, it turned out that winning that argument counted for quite a lot. And winning this one will count for a lot too.


17 comments to Solyndra! Solyndra! How the US Presidential campaign is hastening the end of the CAGW scare

  • mdc

    I think 6 pages of A4 is a little much for a blog post. Getting just 1 interesting idea or event and distilling it into at most about 3 paragraphs is preferable.

  • So don’t read it. You can’t please everyone, and I wasn’t trying to. I’m sure there’ll be plenty of short postings along soon.

    Besides which, I think you are confusing emerged convention with obligation. Your comment to me just sounds like a variant of: you can’t say that. Yes I can.

    Perhaps those who do read this might be willing to take a crack at summarising it for you.

  • Seriously, one of the annoying things working for a large and bureaucratic company is that every now and then is that one will be sent off to a seminar in which one is taught about “presentation skills”. Typically, one will be told that everything worthwhile or useful can be told in point form in a Powerpoint presentation, by someone whose mind is incapable of understanding anything more complex than what can be conveyed in two pages of Powerpoint.

    The basic point – that it is easy to be unnecessarily verbose and that one should be brief and clear when it is appropriate to be – is an excellent one.

    But going from there to “One should therefore be able to convey any message at all in three paragraphs” is moronic.

    (Of course, I just posted something longer than Brian’s piece).

  • For the benefit of all those who share mdc’s tastes in brevity, I have now devised a shortened version of this posting, which goes like this:

    The US Presidential campaign is hastening the end of the CAGW scare. Take my word for it.


  • mdc

    One can, of course, write a post of almost any length. That doesn’t make it a good idea.

    On that, is the latest article some kind of jab at me? Another 6 pages of telecomms acronyms and half-page long paragraphs.

  • jay

    mdc perhaps you could provide everyone with a table indicating what the acceptable lengths are for various forms of written communication, so we all know what to avoid in the future.

    would it have been acceptable, in this case, if the voluminous text had been posted on some separate, static, non-“blog” web page?

  • mdc

    No table unfortunately; good writing cannot be reduced to numerical observations, but is rather more intuitive.

  • Laird

    If I may return to the substance of the post (rather than its length), I’m not convinced. Romney is taking pokes at Solyndra not because it’s “green” energy but because it was an economic train wreck and a blatant subsidy for Obama’s cronies. Americans aren’t opposed to green energy per se, but rather are becoming increasingly unhappy over crony capitalism, especially where the beneficiary is so obviously, spectacularly, unworthy.

    The Stanford chart you linked shows that American opinions on CAGW are trending in the right direction, but nonetheless remain at or above 50% in every one of the four catagories shown. As I read the tea leaves, most Americans still believe that global warming is occurring and that we should “do something” about it. The war over what constitutes the truth is far from won. What is saving us is simple economics and our “me first” mentality: we like the idea of saving the planet for our descendants, but when push comes to shove and our energy costs start to rise we get cold feet. After all, we’re the culture that isn’t willing to scale back on Medicaid or any of our social welfare programs even though we know it’s bankrupting our country and impoverishing our children. Delayed gratification is not in our nature, and worrying about higher sea levels flooding Sri Lanka (or wherever) 50 years from now is just not going to trump $4 gasoline today. So we’ll continue to piously whine about CAGW while refusing to do anything meaningful about it.

    Which is where Romney is and will remain. He doesn’t speak about CAGW, so I don’t know his position on it, but if pressed I would bet that he believes it is occurring. But since the economic cost of any meaningful reduction in greenhouse gas emissions is so high (and our economy is such bad shape) he will ignore the issue, and go with the flow by advocating increased domestic petroleum production. (Obama will be forced to do the same, only less, and grudgingly.) But Romney won’t try to do anything to cut back on current green energy programs (no talk of eliminating ethanol subsidies, for instance), other than obvious and politically juicy boondoggles like Solyndra. Romney’s Energy Secretary will still be handing out green energy subsidies (just like the extraordinarily inept and incompetent Steven Chu), only better-targeted ones which won’t go bankrupt. After all, if Solyndra hadn’t filed for bankruptcy no one would have heard about it, and it would still be wallowing in the public trough today.

    CAGW alarmism isn’t going away, just slowing down. We have received a reprieve thanks to the “luck” of a global recession, but that reprieve will last only as long as the recession does. Once it shows signs of ending they will be back, with the same catastrophic predictions just pushed out another decade or so. And the same fools will believe it. So, much as I appreciate your optimism, I don’t share it.

  • Maz

    Don’t normally post, but wanted to counter mdc’s complain about the length of the original post. Fascinating, and deserved the extended treatment. Laird, I hope that the USSR parallel proves your last paragraph wrong. Time will tell.

  • Runcie Balspune

    I think 6 pages of A4 is a little much for a blog post. Getting just 1 interesting idea or event and distilling it into at most about 3 paragraphs is preferable.

    tl:dr you mean?

  • RRS

    Back to basics:

    It is early on.

    The timing for use of this “energy vulnerability” of Obama, coupled with demonstrations of incompetence (leaving the “crony” stuff for the uncoordinated s-pacs), should come later and closer to actual balloting.

    Of course in a debate, MR could ask if his opponent still intends to make electricity rates go on “skyrocketing.”

    Timing will be the key; as O (and the annoited of his inside group) are just as likely to keep revealing more of the “real them” over the next 150 days. He just can’t keep quite and mount a serious defense based on forward thinking.

  • Slartibartfarst

    @Brian Micklethwait: Thanks for an interesting slant on CAGW, which looks at it from a an unfamiliar (to me) US political perspective.
    By the way, I think it could have been difficult to condense what you had to say into anything much shorter, without losing meaning, and I don’t have ADD, so I had no problem with the length of the post – nor would I be so rude or irrational as to criticise it for such an irrelevance if I did.

    Like @Laird, I suspect that CAGW isn’t going to go away anytime soon. It seems to be driven at grassroots by one of the worst kinds of things invented by Man – a religio-political ideoology. This ideology seems to be from the Gaia Church combined with something called “Panarchy” (in accordance with “nature’s rules” of “unpredictable change”) which appears to be a pagan variant/mutation of Communism.
    We have already seen/read/heard how the objectives of the ideologists apparently include:
    * a totalitarian New World Order led by a World Government (QED the “Covenant”);
    * to effectively bring about economic destruction of the Western economies and global wealth redistribution to the developing world economies;
    * all essentially funded by a tax on Life/Energy use – i.e., a virtual monopsony in Carbon Credit Trading, presenting a situation in which there is a sole or predominant consumer (state government) for a particular product;
    * global de-population (read “deaths”) to “sustainable” levels for the planet (Mankind being a blight on the planet/Gaia/Nature).

    And separately we have heard the proponents of this ideology – who are now openly coming out of hiding – advocating things such as, for example, the treatment of CAGW skeptics or non-believers as though they were psychologically ill. The new Gulags?

  • veryretired

    Energy is the key to everything else. If it can be shown that using our plentiful energy resources is critically dangerous, then the de-industrialization of the west can proceed apace.

    This produces several highly desireable outcomes, if one is opposed to western technological society, as many deep ecologists are.

    Lack of energy starves economic development, reduces corresponding military power and projection, and undercuts the enterprise system upon which the middle class depends.

    Long derided as staid and unimaginative, it is the middle class which has powered the modern revolution to representative government, and is the most troublesome when burdened with a repressive political/economic system.

    (The chinese are finding out now what the european repressive states learned a few decades ago—when the work-a-day citizenry is fed up, that’s the end of it.)

    Energy is the lifesblood. A few decades ago, the song was that it was running out and must be drastically conserved, and the western lifestyle curtailed.

    Now, in the face of ever multiplying discoveries of recoverable supplies, the tune has changed to how dangerous the emissions are. Since pollution is pretty much under control, in the west at least, a new danger was needed, and sure enough, here comes agw in all its varied forms and permutations.

    The climate cult is a crisis of convenience. Regardless of the claimed danger, and there have been any number over my lifetime, the answer is always, conveniently, the same recipe—more state controls, less individual freedom, and increasing impediments to economic development and innovation.

    All is perverted to the ultimate goal, whether science, or government, or conservation, or environmental prudence.

    And the ultimate goal never changes—it is power, more power, all the power there is to grasp.

    Climate is merely the latest wooden horse at the gate.

  • Mike James

    I’m voting against Obama, not for Romney.

    But it is comforting that Romney is, here at the beginning, going to try fighting this election. The dispiriting spectacle in ’08 of John McCain deliberately taking part in the kabuki of ‘we’re all gentlemen here’, and not even firing back when Obama uttered one of his trademark sneakyshit little cheapshots gave me stomach trouble, and this was aggravated after he squandered the bounce that naming Sarah Palin for the VP slot gave him. Obama was treated with kid gloves, and John McCain bears responsibility for not swinging as hard as he could to spare the country that twisted little abuse victim, Obama.

    I love seeing the Obama campaign writhing like this. We Republicans rarely get anyone who displays much fight. Someday the film adaptation of the book written about the 2012 election will be titled, “Faster, Mormon, Kill, Kill!”

  • “Stonyground” commented on this posting as follows, but attached the comment in error to another posting:

    “For reasons that I don’t understand, shale gas produces far less CO2 emissions than oil or coal. As I understand it, CO2 emissions can be drastically reduced, at no cost, by switching electricity generation from oil and coal to shale gas.

    “Billions of $/£s have been wasted on subsidising solar panels and windmills. As a result “Renewable” energy now contributes just under half a percent toward our energy needs. because such energy sources are intermittant, they need to be backed up by proper power sources and so they have contributed nothing to CO2 reduction.

    Meanwhile, here in North-East England, after being promised a mediteranian climate, I am gardening, while wearing a quilted lumberjack shirt and a thinsulate hat, in June.”

    Posted by Stonyground at  June 4, 2012 08:40 PM

  • And then Kevin B (June 5, 2012 12:12 PM) responded to Stonyground thus:

    “A quick OT response to Stony’s wrong thread comment:
    Coal is mostly Carbon. When it is burnt, it combines with Oxygen to produce energy and Carbon Dioxide.

    “Oil is a Hydrocarbon consisting largely of molecules of combined hydrogen and carbon. When burnt, it produces energy from the hydrogen combining with oxygen to produce H2O and the carbon combining with oxygen to produce CO2. There are heavy oils and light oils and these designations depend on the ratio of hydrogen to carbon that make up the hydrocarbon.

    “Gas is also a hydrocarbon but it has a much higher ratio of hydrogen to carbon and thus when it is burned it produces more water and less CO2 per unit of energy. This is supposed to be a good thing even though water is a much more potent ‘greenhouse’ gas than CO2. The opposition to shale gas even though it reduces the nasty CO2 emiisions is thus clear evidence that this is about the destruction of western civilisation rather than global warming.”

    At which point Kevin B then started commenting on the posting to which the above was attached. So, I have left that bit where it should be.

  • Roy Lofquist

    “How deep is the ocean, how high is the sky?”


    I don’t know about the ocean but the sky is way up there. It’s been falling for my 70 years and it ain’t got here yet.