Joined: Oct 2005 Posts: 5524 Location: Canberra
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Re: The Jug
Next a bull sperm whale, Dybkimoc, spoke.
“It is important in this discussion that we acknowledge our scientific frontiers,” the whale began. “Our understanding of how to fix the climate must be situated within a complex and accurate scientific understanding of our cosmos, and its perpetual stable patterns and rhythmic cycles. That is the theme I will now address.”
“We whales have an automatic inbuilt clock and calendar. We instinctively and constantly know the time of day, the phase of the moon and the season of the year. Some of our deep intuitions have also benefited from our discussion with humans.”
“A thousand years for a whale is like a day for humans. Our minds have long term continuity with our ancestors, built through excellent social communication when we are young. We have ruled the seas for many millions of years, a timeframe against which humans are mere children. We are aware of the rising and falling of the seas every twenty millennia in line with the advance and retreat of the glaciers through the ice ages. These long term natural changes in the global climate are the foundation of our knowledge of the structure of time, but are now under intense disruption by human carbon emissions. It has been immensely illuminating for us to discuss this material with your astronomers who have been able to explain some of the quantitative basis of our intuition of the great cycles of planetary time.”
“The big story of the structure of time starts with the length of the seasons. We whales have always known that the length of the four seasons, the number of days between the solstices and equinoxes, is unequal. Whales have a profound gravitational sense. We can tell when the moon is above the horizon and when it is rising or setting. We can tell when in the year our planet is near or far from the sun, at the orbital points termed perihelion and aphelion. These senses show our deep sensitivity to subtle cosmic forces that are covered over for humans.
“Antarctica is the hub of our planetary waters, and the pulsing heart of the global currents which are our home. The seasons of the northern hemisphere drive the onset of ice ages, because when the northern winter solstice is at perihelion, the orbital point closest to the sun, less of the snowfall will melt over the summer, so glaciers will expand. Northern winter is now the shortest season and summer is longest, but the ice age that we expected has not happened, because human agriculture began thousands of years ago to add extra carbon to the air.”
“In five thousand years, as the earth’s orbit shifts, the northern spring will be the shortest and autumn will be longest. A hundred thousand years ago, the difference between summer and winter was thirteen days. This difference of season length constantly changes, and is now just four days. Your astronomers have kindly confirmed our sense of the steady cyclic patterns of the orbit of the earth, the wobble of the axis, the angle of tilt and how round or oval the orbit is. The deep slow pattern of the relation between our earth and the planets Venus and Jupiter pull our orbit into circular and oval shapes on cycles around a hundred thousand years long, while the glacier cycle depends mainly on whether the northern summer or winter is closest to the sun, at the perihelion point.”
“We whales have long known that the shortest northern season, holding the perihelion, marks the matching point in the glacial cycle. When the winter is shortest and summer is longest in the northern hemisphere, the glaciers are at their most advanced and the sea level is at its lowest. When northern summer is shortest and winter is longest, the glaciers are at their minimum and the sea is at its highest. However, we are now in a topsy-turvy position. We expected the glaciers to start advancing again ten thousand years ago after the last interglacial, but they did not. As your astronomers have now explained to us, it was due to humans in the period you call the Holocene that climate began to depart from its natural pattern. When you domesticated rice and cows at the dawn of agriculture, you added so much methane to the air that the natural return to ice was stopped, and the sea level was held high. Your stone age ancestors began to engineer the global climate.”
“The seasonal change follows a cycle twenty-one thousand years long. Since we entered the sea fifty million years ago, whales have lived through about two thousand such cycles. We are well aware of these patterns, which match to what your ancient human religion in India called the Yuga cycle of golden ages and iron ages. Human seers in India lived through three of these cycles since their ancestors wandered out of Africa about eighty thousand years ago. The golden age of knowledge, abundance and peace occurs at glacial minima, when the earth is warmer, while the iron age of ignorance, poverty and war occurs at glacial maxima, when the earth is cooler, in a great year of long summer and winter cycles.
“This story of the golden ages and iron ages provides the big real encompassing scientific framework for the religious ideas of creation, fall and redemption found in your Bible. The South Celestial Pole was imagined in some of your ancient religion as the land of the dead. In India over long ages of peace and stability, the seers recorded how the South Pole circles around the Large Magellanic Cloud on the southern horizon every 25771 years. Indian myth knew this nearby galaxy as Kurma the Turtle at the Bottom of the Universe, the foundation of reality. In fact, the Cloud of Magellan marks the south pole of the sun, known as the ecliptic pole. From India, Kurma appears briefly on the southern horizon one day earlier every seventy one years, indicating the shift of the ages. The golden ages of our cosmic summer occur when the two bright stars Canopus and Vega are at the south and north poles. The iron ages of cosmic winter are when Canopus and Vega are furthest from the poles. We are now emerging from the last iron age, whose low point, when the perihelion was at the December 22 winter solstice, was in 1246 AD.”
“Glaciers are at their greatest extent in what you humans have called the iron age of ignorant winter. Then as the cosmic tide turns, we advance through ages you call bronze and silver to a new golden age of summer wisdom. We then eventually fall again through ages of silver and bronze to the next iron leaden winter age. We whales have lived through half a thousand times as many iterations of this natural cosmic planetary cycle as you humans have. We know the sea goes up and down by more than one hundred yards each cycle. The poles freeze and thaw, and the species of plankton and fish vary in abundance every ten thousand years just as the growth cycle follows the annual pattern of the four seasons. There are some species that do best in the golden age when summer is shortest and some that do best in the iron age when summer is longest.”
This planetary astronomy was all quite new to most hearers, and these basic facts about the structure of time went over most people’s heads. Even so, these were central and simple facts regarding how we live on our planet, and therefore essential priority information to re-base our understanding of time. It was good of the whales to take the time to patiently explain the science that enables our cooperation. Dybkimoc went on:
“This seasonal cycle of ages is all material that we whales have simply learned from observation and intuition. So it has been wonderful for us to learn from human astronomers why it is all so, to fit our old intuitions into the precise mathematical prediction of celestial mechanics. The seasons are shortest when they happen at the point of the earth’s orbit that is closest to the sun, the perihelion. We have long known that this is the time of year when the sun appears biggest in the sky.
"Learning the celestial mechanics has been broadly welcomed by the whales. When northern summer is at perihelion, the snow that fell in winter melts and the glaciers retreat. When northern winter is at perihelion, less snow melts in summer and the glaciers advance. This is the main orbital driver of our planetary climate.”
“But you humans threw the cosmic mill off its natural axis. In the Golden Age, the great star Canopus is the South Pole Star and Vega is the North Pole Star. They form a beautiful symbolic match to the interglacial warmth of our planetary cycle, marking the stable seats of power and authority in the heavens around which all the stars appear to revolve. In the Golden Age, the cosmic mill ground out a cornucopia of abundance, as described by human story in the epic myth of the Kalevala from Finland. But as the mill lost its alignment, through the ages of silver and bronze, the quality of its product fell until in the iron age, as your epics say, it ground out salt and rocks. This story is a parable for how humans have wrecked our planetary climate through carbon emissions and other wanton reckless destruction. We are now on a slow path of rebuilding towards a new Golden Age of universal abundance and peace.”
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Re: The Jug
The new ocean economy only emerged through political conflict and scientific debate. A few years ago, when the big ideas were new, elements in the fossil fuel industry, with its friends and dupes, mounted a concerted effort to ban algae farms at sea. Their desperation to prevent the emergence of the new ocean industries has evaporated completely. The fossil fuel industries are now the biggest supporters of innovation, providing their funds, expertise, advocacy, research and resources to expand the ocean economy, stabilise the climate and prevent mass extinction of biodiversity. How did that happen?
Fossil fuel companies support large scale ocean based algae production because algae makes their businesses sustainable. Algae factories convert CO2 into hydrocarbon. That closes the loop of the carbon cycle and creates valuable commodities from the burnt coal and gas and oil. It turned out that this process was the only way that fossil fuel extraction could continue. Algae conversion produced a massive sudden increase in global prosperity.
The basic fact which people found hard to grasp is that it is completely fine to move carbon from the crust to the air as long as we then turn it into something useful instead of leaving it to pollute the earth.
The first irony was that the ocean economy proved the saviour of the coal and gas and oil industries by putting them onto a sustainable ecological footing. This was trumped by the even bigger irony that the main political opponents of carbon mining were those bleeding heart liars who screamed the loudest about their concern for the world climate and biodiversity, and whose action did the most to delay effective climate action. The main conflict with the practical methods to stabilise the world climate came from climate campaigners.
From the perspective of the mad times that we now call the age of destruction, ending in the early twenty first century, the shift in thinking that we have managed would have sounded impossible. Understanding all this is an essential part of inverting our thinking for the new paradigm.
The basic problem with fossil fuels, as explained in the speeches at the great first congress with the whales, is that unless you have a way to take the added carbon back out of the air, you will eventually be on a path towards boiling the sea. Under that scenario, the world economy would collapse long before runaway climate change occurred.
We now have a way to take the added carbon out and convert it into new useful products at industrial scale, so the emission problem is solved. But that took a long time to explain to people, especially since the stock prices of the fossil energy industry embed a quantity of carbon reserves that would be enough to send our climate on a one-way trip to Venus if just added to the air as CO2.
Success was not easily won. In fact, it could have been very different. Only visionary leadership within the fossil fuel industry changed the old policy of climate denial, and delivered the resources and political will needed to research and develop carbon mining.
The decisive big meeting happened in New York City, in the Swannee Tower high above the West Side, at a long table looking out through glass windows with sweeping views up the Hudson Valley and down the New Jersey coast.
The CEO of global oil, gas and coal conglomerate OS Corporation, Mr Collaine St Baukueng, opened the discussion. Mr St Baukueng put the case for business as usual, arguing that deflection of the political process away from measures to address climate change remained an urgent priority. Here is the transcript of the discussion, beginning with the opening remarks on behalf of OS.
“Colleagues, I warmly welcome you to this important discussion today. I should first reiterate the advice you have received, that our meeting today is secret. Our agreed strategies to protect our existing systems must not be made public. Any publicity about the fact that we are meeting, or about our views or plans, would damage our goals. I trust all of you here to keep this strict confidence.
“The use of oceanic energy at the scale planned by our algae competitors changes the whole field of our operations. We must do everything to stop this attack on our wealth and on our very existence. We have analysed the data, and conclude that the emerging ocean economy, in conjunction with land based renewable energy, will make fossil fuels worthless. Our reserves will be too expensive to extract, even without a carbon tax. Diesel from large scale ocean based algae production will soon be less expensive at the pump than Saudi crude oil. Moore’s Law of exponential improvement is working in algae energy at an even faster pace than with semiconductors or solar panels. That displacement of our stockholder value is an unacceptable prospect.
“Our traditional energy industry is moral, safe, trusted and secure. Internal combustion engines and coal fired power stations are flexible and economic ways to deliver energy for transport and electricity. Algae farming is immoral, unsafe, risky and dangerous. We have good examples already in how the tobacco and sugar industries fought off the attacks of critics for decades in defence of freedom and liberty. We have already sown enough doubt about climate science to stymie effective government action. A large and influential cadre of conservatives are hostile to science and instead believe our case.”
“I know you are all familiar with our main public talking points. It is useful to reiterate them here. Leaving aside how far the science is settled on global warming, it is very clear that regulation of carbon emissions will have no effect on climate. Our priority is a long-term plan to deliver competitively priced energy, as the key to affording investment in new technology for a clean environment. Only when free markets balance supply and demand can we ensure reliable and affordable energy.
“We support the scientific method, forming policy on the basis of evidence, but that is exactly what the climate lobby fail to do. All of the climate measures proposed are purely symbolic, expensive feel-good measures. And their advocates are not interested in reasoned debate, but are only trying to mobilise a popular front aimed squarely at making energy more expensive. They shout down or just ignore anybody who wants to enter into debate about it.
"Their focus on spin over substance is shown by how they pretend that shifting industry to China helps the environment, even where Chinese operations have higher emissions to produce the same output. And then there are completely absurd policies like subsidizing wood pellets as so-called biofuel, a wholly destructive and useless idea that destroys forests when we could be making energy from coal.
"The scientists want to restrict debate to the peer-reviewed scientific literature and the United Nations. What we need to understand is that while the consensus that humans are causing global warming is clear, there is no scientific consensus at all about how to fix the climate. The mad idea that we should stifle the economy by making energy more expensive is not part of any peer-reviewed consensus, but is solely a product of political group-think. These climate lobbyists jump from climate science to advocacy, saying that just because it is clear that temperature is rising we should accept their opinions on policy. I say we should not do anything of the sort.
"China and India are going to expand their fossil fuel use whatever the USA and Europe may say. Affordable energy is the great motor for economic growth and poverty reduction. We want, as responsible corporate citizens, to help our own nations avoid falling for nonsensical claims that are damaging and costly and cannot achieve their objectives. Leaving aside how climate science has made exaggerated predictions of temperature rise, it looks like the policy suggestions from the climate lobby are also exaggerated, especially regarding the supposed advantages of renewable energy. The climate lobby promotes an adolescent emotional response, failing to apply the logic of cause and effect, failing to see the practical consequences of its proposals. We don’t want to just hurt ourselves so a few undergraduates can feel good about it.
"We need to invest in biofuels, in biotechnology, in information technology, but not at the expense of the centrality of oil, coal and gas. Innovation can make these new industries profitable, but we need to criticise subsidies that slow economic growth by promoting forms of energy that do not generate wider investment. The real victims of a slow down in investment, caused by government policies that disregard market signals, are always mainly the poor, who can’t get jobs and who need the help that a strong economy brings.
"The climate lobby always claims the moral high ground, but its views that cutting emissions will cut temperature flies in the face of all research evidence. Yes there is science behind it. Greenhouse gases cause warming. But the weather response has been nothing like the predictions.
“This ocean industry threat to our profits and viability is of a different order of magnitude to previous suggestions to expand the size of government through carbon taxes. The ocean industry is a real competitor to us since algae production is driven by commerce rather than by the bureaucracy of the bumbling United Nations. Carbon taxes are socialism by stealth. The social engineers masquerade as environmentalists in order to achieve their real main goal of big government, gaining votes through a corrupt and incompetent tax and spend strategy. The targets they set are both unworkable and pointless, not delivering any possibility of temperature reduction except through the collateral damage of causing economic collapse through raising energy costs. The carbon tax model would not actually reduce the amount of carbon in the air.”
“These new ‘unicorn’ companies engaged in algae research and biofuel development do not rely on government subsidy. They have now hit on a model that can raise private equity for share market investment against highly profitable prospectuses. They will expand simply by selling into a free market. We have to move fast or we will go the way of Kodak.”
“Our strategy has the following prongs. We will lobby governments and the United Nations to ban ocean based algae production, on the model of the successful ban on ocean iron fertilization. We will sow fear and doubt about environmental impacts, suggesting that unforeseen results could cause mass extinction. There is a good example in the scare campaign about ocean iron fertilization by our useful idiots in the environmental movement. They successfully stopped trials by sowing the idea that the iron was pollution being dumped at sea. It suited us that almost no one noticed the direct positive effects of iron seeding on the ocean productivity of the salmon industry, and the complete absence of any negative effects. Just the suggestion that iron was dangerous was enough for the stupid media who lap up any claim that tinkering with nature must be stopped.”
“We will argue that the diesel from algae is of lower quality than fossil oil. Car drivers are highly susceptible to suggestion from advertising and strategic media commentary. Once this idea is out there in supposedly reputable locations it will be a solid meme.”
“We will refuse access to our refineries for their ocean crude. These plastic fish that they want to build require major cooperation from the petrochemical industry, with resources and expertise. They will not get that help.”
And so it went. The participants in the New York conference to save fossil fuel thought they had hit on a final solution to prevent the paradigm shift to sustainable energy. The ideas of the One Sea Conference, the coded name of this New York event, certainly did get some traction. The depth of human ignorance and delusion meant that many people based their opinions and actions upon emotional prejudice rather than logic and evidence.
But the times were against these advocates of twentieth century beliefs. The algae proponents were far smarter, and unlike the UN emission reduction efforts, were able to turn the big energy suppliers into allies rather than opponents, so the conflict collapsed.
Luckily for us and the world, we had friends at the One Sea Conference.
Joined: Oct 2005 Posts: 5524 Location: Canberra
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Re: The Jug
Glon Broom Jr.
Next to speak at the One Sea Conference was Mr Glon Broom Jr, head of engineering in the global oil company Loellish Ltd
“The oil industry must completely reject all ideas that reject science,” he began. “We must form alliance with the new technology of ocean based algae production. We must consider our strategic position politically, scientifically, ecologically, morally and most importantly economically. Those among us who disagree, who propose opposition to the new algae industry, can't count and can’t see. This disruptive technology spells the end of our previous business model. It is on track to remove double the total amount of carbon emissions from the air, and stabilise the climate at a profit.
“We can be part of that and provide all our capital, skills, resources and contacts, or we can go out of business. The algae economy is proving that the entire liberal theory of CO2 emission reduction as the framework of climate response is nothing but a corrupt farce. Reducing emissions has as much prospect of stabilising the world climate as reducing defecation has of delivering sanitation - none. The old scientific climate consensus has a massive logical hole that algae is driving an oil tanker through.
“We all need the logical smarts to grasp this simple numerical argument. Unfortunately, many in the emission reduction lobby still believe their own fantasies, and are incapable of serious dialogue outside these corrupted assumptions. The big hoax is not climate change but the false claim that emission reduction is the path to address climate change.
“The 2015 Paris Climate Agreement sought to impose economic costs in the trillions while promising to reduce temperature rises by only 0.2° Celsius over the 85 years to 2100 AD, not counting earlier pledges. That is flatly ridiculous and no sensible person should have ever fell for it. Read it and weep. The emperor has no clothes. All the expense and effort of the Paris Accord would have delivered zero mitigation of actual temperature rise. This is stupid, a waste of time and effort and money, and worse, a crazy diversion from urgently needed climate security and economic investment priorities. But many of us have not caught the new paradigm. We need to change our old thinking.
“The Paris treaty was never the ultimate deal to fix climate change. It was only ever a corrupt device to enable rent-seeking by the climate bandwagon. The old UN ideas of decarbonising the economy and emission reduction are irrelevant to any real solution to climate stability, and should be junked as obsolete and dangerous. Poor nations only signed at Paris to get cash. Taxpayers from wealthy nations won’t pay, and that will be the end of the Paris climate romance. We will always have Paris, if you don’t mind the Casablanca joke, but now Paris signifies a warning of the danger of climate group-think.
“The corrupt UN system was just rehashing the failed Kyoto Protocol with its corrupt diversion of effort away from effective solutions to climate change. Solar and wind technology are useless at climate repair, since the only thing needed for climate repair is removing carbon from the air. Carbon removal is the big game that we have to drive. Solar and wind crowd out R&D by soaking up hundreds of billions of dollars in annual subsidies. Solar and wind do nothing to repair the climate. So they could hardly be the only things working to repair the climate. To do that we need carbon mining.
“That is where we come in. By supporting research and development of large scale ocean based algae production, the established energy industry will continue to pump out all of our proven and unproven reserves of oil, gas and coal. Algae can convert all the added CO2 into useful stable products. Global warming’s new math is that carbon removal is orders of magnitude bigger than emission reduction. We need to collect the CO2 from coal fired power stations, take it out to sea, and use it as feedstock for industrial algae production at mega scale. We are the pioneers crossing the new frontier for the world economy.
“Emission reduction is just dumb. It assumes the climate can be fixed by cutting growth and raising energy costs. That means sand in the gears of the world economy, and will cause a grinding halt to activity, completely failing in its dream of saving the world, and instead inducing mass poverty. Why would anyone support that?
“Climate policy should focus on energy research and development. It is unfortunate that the liberal left claimed ownership of climate policy. The stupidity of the left polarised the debate and made it harder for carbon mining to emerge as the keystone for the turn to infrastructure as a growth strategy. Paris was a paper tiger.
“Let us be clear. The science is clear-cut: Climate change is real and dangerous and caused by human industry. The Holocene climate stability is over unless we act fast. Oil, coal and gas are the motor of industry and prosperity. We want to keep our dominant economic position. The way to do that is to switch to algae. We will own the big investments by getting in at the start. This new industry is like aviation in 1903. Who at Kitty Hawk could have imagined modern airports and air travel?
“Carbon mining is a paradigm shift in climate science. Einstein defended relativity against a hundred scientist critics. He said study the numbers, and if one scientist could prove the numbers are wrong then he would listen. When a paradigm shifts, the adherents of the old way of thinking have emotional and practical commitments that prevent them from studying the numbers and the theory of change. The scientific paradigm shift in climate science from emission reduction to carbon mining is based on observing that if we mine twice as much carbon as we emit then we can save the fossil fuel industry and deliver climate stability. That is something that should be very attractive to everyone here today. But people have not even studied or discussed it as a real prospect, precisely because it destroys the emission reduction paradigm beloved by the climate lobby.
“Liberals have convinced themselves of their own delusional moral propaganda. They are incapable of discussing facts. Let us not be like that. Facts are our bread and butter. Fixing climate change is not up to governments and scientists. Stopping global warming needs private investment in research and development. Governments should steer not row, setting a regulatory framework for business investment without bias toward any technology. Scientists can give us facts, but their ideas about policy are often stupid. We will prove that recycling carbon emissions from coal powered energy using ocean based algae factories is the only economic thing that will save the oil, gas and coal industries. Industrial algae production will increase our profit and deliver social and environmental licence to operate.
“Solar and wind are practical and rapidly expanding. That is a great thing, a source of clean innovative energy, as long as it does not get politicised through subsidy. Solar has reached the takeoff point where it is economic without subsidy. Moore’s Law of exponential improvement in computing also applies in solar, and also in algae. But we should not pretend that solar or wind have any prospect of helping stop climate change, given the numbers on the expected zero temperature impact from all the Paris Accord efforts.
“Investment and regulation should proceed on a level playing field. We should advocate the technologies that will sustain our business model. Algae technology should be pursued, and needs our backing to succeed against the corrupt politics of the United Nations, who class all “marine geoengineering” as illegal, because it undermines their exclusive focus on emission reduction. We need to help drain that swamp, and bring fairness into the investment rules.
“Carbon mining technology is at an early stage, but the business case is compelling. Industrial algae production is the best way to save biodiversity, and also save the oil, gas and coal industries. Building infrastructure from plastic and other carbon materials made from recycled carbon emissions will remove more carbon than all fossil fuel emissions. Creating enduring value means working with new technology instead of against it. Finding ways that fossil fuels can be compatible with CO2 removal are the only thing that will protect shareholder value and profit for oil, coal and gas.
“We as an industry have flirted with denial of climate change. Denying scientific facts is a placeholder ideology, an attitude that just rejects the need for climate stability. Denial of climate change seemed to be the simplest popular way to protect the value of our investments. Denial got traction in the right wing media due to realistic distrust of the policy prescriptions of liberals. But such denial is not sustainable. We cannot win through ideas that are not based on facts, since critics will rightly accuse us of vested motives. We now have a far better argument in carbon mining using algae.
“We must reject the UN language of decarbonisation and emission reduction. Those policies are on a collision path with the fossil fuel industries. We can address that debate by focussing on how fossil fuels can become sustainable by using their carbon pollution as a resource for major new infrastructure and energy technology. We will use the oceans as the new frontier for pioneers and inventors through industrial algae mining.
“Once Moore’s Law kicks in to make carbon mining profitable, coal will be back in a big way. The involvement of government should not be to subsidise operations but to enable research and development. Subsidising the operation of private companies is socialism, and is a path to stagnation, tyranny and corruption. Capitalist economics provides the market dynamism that has built modern wealth and prosperity and innovation. Carbon mining is the way to save capitalism.
“When government regulates well, the risk of innovation is reduced within a strategic policy framework focussed on security and stability and prosperity. Only socialists subsidise unprofitable technology. At the moment, the externalities of fossil industry are socialised by treating the air as an open sewer. That externality can be removed by carbon mining.
"The problem is that governments are not neutral about technology. They play favourites and pick winners, often based on popularity rather than results. When governments provide subsidies and permits, the decision process corrupts market forces by ideology and politics. Attitudes about fossil fuels versus renewables are especially ideological. The left is hostile to fossil energy. But the fact that climate science is settled does not mean climate policy is settled. Rather, climate policy has settled on a hoax, that reducing emissions could fix the climate.
"We advocate small and effective government with a focus on policy and security to enable economic growth and moral virtue in a free community. Governments must provide rule of law as the central function of state to regulate markets to deliver public goods. Emission reduction completely fails against those values, and is a dangerous throwback to central economic planning. Capitalism works through a decentralized market system with free competition and pricing. This observation demolishes the idea that carbon taxation should be central to climate response. The climate model that focusses on reducing emissions alone is a recrudescence of socialist planning, suffering from all the ills of stagnation and corruption and inefficiency that brought down the Soviet Union.
Taxing carbon makes energy more expensive, private industry more difficult and big government more intrusive and powerful. The political reaction against expensive energy then means carbon taxes fail, and the result is just to make the world hotter, the oceans more acidic, and society more conflictive and poor. We should prefer the view that instead of the emission reduction nightmare we can harness the profit motive to remove more carbon from the air than we add, creating a world where high energy use and high biodiversity work together.
"We all like our cars and electric power. Some of us still think the easiest way to get the greenies off our backs, at least temporarily, is to assert that the greenies are mad because world science is a conspiracy. But denial of science can be refuted by simple facts, so deniers get a bad reputation. Climate denial is enabling the planet’s sixth extinction, with potential to take us down too. We need to shift from the crazy claim that climate change is not caused by man to a view that by mining carbon we can establish a new profitable industry that allows oil, gas and coal to retain their central place in the world economy.
“The last time the world had 400 parts per million of carbon dioxide in the air was in the Pliocene Era, three million years ago. The sea was then thirty feet higher. It is a simple obvious matter of numbers that carbon emissions have now created the physical driver to lift sea level by thirty feet. We have to remove that physical forcing or the world will flood, possibly in a few centuries, possibly in decades, possibly tomorrow with a dramatic ice sheet collapse. That is bad for everyone, including us. Reducing emissions does not remove the excess CO2 that is driving climate change but only seeks to slow the pace at which it worsens, and the numbers show it even fails at that.
"CO2 is hard to collect at scale, and worthless until it is transformed into something else. Finding ways to mine carbon from the air and turn a dime on it is hard. We need an evolutionary adaptive path, putting resources into research and development. A good analogy for how we can work out how to mine carbon is the evolution of whales. Fifty million years ago, the ancestors of both whales and hippos lived in coastal rivers. Some of them found that by swimming out further to sea they could prosper. These swimming hippos gradually evolved to become the ancestors of the great whales of today. We can mimic that evolution at a rapid pace using industrial innovation.
"We can start carbon mining with plastic run-of-river 'hippo' bags to produce controlled algae blooms on polluted rivers like the Mississippi, to convert the nutrient back into fertilizer and stock feed. This will also fix the dead zones in the Gulf of Mexico and elsewhere by turning the runoff phosphates and nitrates that now pollute the sea into algae, which can then be sold for fertilizer and other products. River laboratories will enable materials and design to be sorted for industrial algae production as a basis to replicate in coastal waters. We will use tide and wave power for pumping, we will breed algae species suitable to high CO2 environments, and we will pipe in CO2 from coastal power stations to maximise productivity.
"Coastal operations will provide the basis for gradual expansion of algae farming to the deep blue sea, much as hippos gradually lost their feet and grew flukes and baleen to become the whales that dominated the oceans for fifty million years until yesterday. Our algae ‘whales’ will mimic the real whales, but will apply technological ingenuity to evolve much faster, in years not decades or centuries. The expected path for research and development of algae factories for carbon mining promises to be like the aviation industry. Flying was at take-off point a century ago, and has since grown to a scale completely unimaginable from Kitty Hawk.
"There are several reasons why carbon mining can fly even faster than planes. Firstly, the fossil fuel industries need ways to sustain our competitiveness against renewables. Cheap energy is a public good. Solar prices are now quoted at three cents a kilowatt hour, but solar undermines grid stability and does not help fix climate change. Until the externalities of climate destruction can be addressed, fossil fuels have a foul odour. If we can reuse the carbon we dig up, then world energy use can rise to a whole new paradigm, with power essentially becoming free. Shifting carbon from the crust to the atmosphere can only work if it ends up in stable form, such as graphite skyscrapers and road bitumen.
"Coal is the best potential ally for industrial algae. Coal is a massive industry that needs to shift its paradigm to have a future. Our industry has the expertise and contacts and need to back carbon mining using industrial algae production. Solar and wind cannot solve the problem of having too much carbon in the air. They actively displace negative emission technology, which is the only method able to deliver climate stability. Advocacy of emission reduction creates a policy framework that is unworkable. We must respect the lessons of why socialism has always failed to deal with incentives. Sustainability at scale requires the leadership of free enterprise.
"Climate politics has painted us as ‘special interests’ who have corruptly prevented rational policy. We have to prove that is not true. The early political consensus on climate policy was only because the conservative side had not fully thought through the implications of carbon pricing.
"The whole infrastructure of internal combustion engines and coal fired electricity is under attack from the renewable energy lobby. Climate economists and lobbyists are not engaging in objective analysis, but are twisting data to support the goal of shutting down fossil emissions. We need to think creatively and strategically to defeat this attack. Economics is part of the story, together with the whole cultural and political debates around climate policy, such as implications for size and role of government. We need to overcome the paralysis on climate. We get the blame for the collapse of planetary biodiversity and threat of collapse of civilization. The answer is for us to focus on carbon mining at industrial scale, in cooperation with governments and scientists.
"We can’t draw from the tobacco playbook to play dirty in public debate. But we can point out that climate lobbyists are obfuscating facts as well. For example, there is the fact that emission reduction by itself can do nothing to reverse climate change. And there is the fact that higher prices for energy have a devastating ripple effect through the whole economy. There are also the problems of intermittency of renewables, reduction of grids to a residual, and scaling to baseload reliability.
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Re: The Jug
The Paradigm Shift
Mr Glon Broom Jr, head of engineering in the global oil company Loellish Ltd, continued his address to the One Sea Conference, the secret meeting attended by leaders of the fossil fuel industry to decide their approach to climate change and new energy. The sceptical tone of the conference had been set by the opening speech from the head of OS, advocating a confrontational approach to rival technologies such as algae carbon mining. And yet Mr Broom’s proposal for a cooperative stance had a compelling logic and vision that were swaying the listeners with the elegant simplicity and clarity of his ideas. He now moved to explain more about the nature of the paradigm shift required for the world energy industry.
“We need to address the security dimension of climate change. That means insuring against the significant risk of rapid unexpected tipping points, due to the excess amount of carbon in the air and sea. As a global security priority, we should be looking at how to remove the dangerous carbon from the air, not pussyfooting about with policy levers like a carbon tax. Emission reduction cannot help. Economic incentives through carbon taxes are basically irrelevant to the security problem of unpredictable risks such as sea level rise. The Russians did not stop Hitler in World War Two by changing their tax code. Climate change is an urgent security problem on a scale comparable to the Second World War.
“We all know politics is polarised. Our critics assume that climate policy is a simple matter of angels versus devils. They are mobilizing a popular front against the fossil fuel industry to put the planet on an imagined path to salvation. If only it were so easy as that simple religious faith imagines! Advocates of climate stability must instead look for allies able to develop carbon mining. The fossil fuel industry contains the only organisations well placed to do that.
“Our conservative allies have stumbled badly in their approach to climate politics. The political traction gained by denying climate change is a seductive mistake, attractive only to those who lack ability to understand quantitative arguments. So let us turn the data to our advantage to analyse our options. We need to gain the confidence of people who are denying climate change, so they recognise the enemy is not climate science but the policy proposal of emission reduction.
“Climate denial is a Big Lie whose moral odium means those who deny climate change are not trustworthy, since they show they can’t understand basic facts of the greenhouse effect. The prospect of American capitalism falling in a screaming heap as a result of this Big Lie requires a dramatic about face by the fossil fuel industry. You may say that is impossible, but I say the prospect of making a very large amount of money from carbon mining should focus our thick skulls.
"Far from pandering to ignorance through climate denial, we will explain broadly that our industrial interest is to find profitable ways to remove more carbon from the air than our products add, as the only way the fossil fuel industry will save our skins. The only paranoia in this debate is from the false idea that emission reduction can help to stabilise the climate. As the scientists say, all the emission promises together would only reduce temperature rise in 2100 by 0.02°C from the do nothing scenario of a 4.5° rise, a rounding error from no change at all. There is no answer to that critique except fallacious deflection.
"We are correct to condemn emission reduction proposals as part of the progressive vision of politics whose features include weak borders, rejection of traditional morality, promotion of social welfare payments, state intrusion on freedom of speech, etc. The decisive step we must take now, to form a new paradigm, a new way of thinking that will capture the popular imagination, is to separate climate change from progressive politics, and present climate as a strategic security problem with viable commercial solutions. Only through that hard logic can we win the debate and mobilise all our leadership to provide funds, skills, contacts and resources.
“The military security reality is that climate stability is vastly preferable and more economical than global social upheaval. Without preventive action now, we risk creating a billion climate refugees by unforeseen sea level rise and other climate impacts. But emission reduction fails to do anything to slow that risk.
"Climate stability can only be delivered by carbon mining, managed by the fossil fuel industry. The dithering and delay from the false emission reduction path of global political agreements will mean global upheaval and suffering, as a result of failure to remove the security problem, the dangerous quantity of carbon in the air.
"The fossil fuel industry must lead policy debate on the relation between emission reduction, climate stability and military security. The left of politics make climate part of a progressive package that raises the hackles of traditional communities, while the right have been unable to split climate from the progressive paradigm. Algae factories are the technology that will disrupt this political paralysis on climate.
“Fossil fuels are keeping lights on, houses warm and cars running. The world is a long way from wind and solar energy delivering these mass market public goods at reliable scale. Algae factories will feed straight into our existing infrastructure. Algae farms on one percent of the world ocean, with ability to produce double the amount of carbon we emit, can operate commercially, funded mainly by re-use of coal based carbon. The economic benefits of such a transformation of our energy systems are many orders of magnitude greater than the possible impacts of emission reduction.
“To show the scale of the mistake caused by putting all our climate eggs in the emission reduction basket, consider just as a hypothetical illustration if emission reduction measures could reduce global fossil energy use by 2% immediately. If achieved, that result would also reduce CO2 emissions by 2%, from the current annual addition of ten gigatons of carbon to 9.8 gigatons per year, a trivial change. That would delay the time of arrival of dangerous two degree temperature rise by the equal amount, 2%, say from twenty years to twenty and a half years, by six months in the year 2040 or so, effectively nothing.
“Please understand though, that the actual forecast from emission reduction advocates is far slower and weaker, due to the grave political barrier of popular unwillingness to reduce energy use. The Paris Climate Accord stated that rather than such an immediate reduction, all its pledges would instead increase emissions by 50% by 2030, from ten to fifteen gigatons of carbon. By contrast, carbon mining aims to provide an economic method to store more carbon than we emit, with a goal of storing 20 gigatons per year in hydrocarbon form in bags at the bottom of the sea, in bitumen on roads, and in vast plastic infrastructure construction. Carbon can produce useful commodities that will keep for ever. The comparison is between removing 0.2 gigatonnes per year by emission reduction or 20 gigatonnes by carbon mining, a hundred-fold difference in scale.
“We must mimic nature to enable rapid economic development of algae factories, aiming for sustainability at scale. An ‘algae whale’, a floating fabric storage container, could hold cubic kilometres of algae, floating in the vast corridor of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current. We can make fabric whales for a range of other uses, such as removing the plastic pollution in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
“The only benefits of emission reduction are removing pollution and as a means to develop technology for carbon mining. But it doesn’t even work for that technological goal, instead serving as a form of central planning that operates as a political barrier. To treat emission reduction as an end in itself is a recipe for climate catastrophe. We must reject central planning. The moral and economic collapse that central planning caused for the Soviet bloc is the great warning of what will result for the world from the current policy focus on emission reduction alone. Central planning is unacceptable to the free world.
“Emission reduction is a recipe for ongoing deadlock on climate policy. We need solutions to climate problems that are acceptable to our moral values of liberty and enterprise. This is about moral principles in economics and politics. A strong and prosperous economy rests on a thriving democratic civil society and private sector where people pull their own weight. The insidious force working against this vision of capitalist freedom is the cancer of government, the displacement of private enterprise by a leading role for the state.
“We cannot accept that methods to stabilise the climate must be led by governments. Governments are intrinsically incompetent to have the level of involvement inherent in the model of carbon pricing by central planning. We should aim instead to severely restrict and curtail the scope of state activity.
“Carbon mining using large scale ocean based algae production can be a major new profitable private enterprise. Governments have an essential regulatory role, but putting a price on carbon oversteps that regulatory job, and would undermine the ability to achieve the goal of rapid sustainable scale up of private industry. We must reject the dogmas of the climate lobby, including decarbonisation of the economy and the false hypothesis that emission reduction can promote climate stability.
“Emission reduction as an ideology rests on major contested assumptions about the role of the state, causes needless economic damage, generates political conflict with key players and just gets in the way of achieving a realistic path towards climate stability. Placing a price on carbon means that power bills will rise, as people are asked to pay for the externality of global warming. But that logic is a mirage.
“Many advocates of climate action think that overall reduction of energy use is an end in itself, so they want higher energy prices. These are the people we must contest against, as their activities undermine the prospect of climate stability and our commercial interest in supporting a stable climate where fossil fuels have enduring value. Their plan to make electricity and fuel more expensive in the short term undermines all prospect of political agreement on climate, as it naturally causes mistrust from ordinary people who cannot see the logical connection between higher prices and a safer and more secure world, and don’t want to pay for a pipe-dream.
“Any proposed major structural political change, such as carbon pricing, has basic strategic and tactical problems to solve. The political rejection of carbon pricing would only intensify if carbon pricing was rammed through against widespread community opposition. The practical result would be minimal slowdown or small reduction in the growth of emissions, with worsening political conflict. And that would mean a hotter world and more acidic oceans.
“The largesse of a carbon tax for businesses who are seeking subsidy for their technology would not guarantee any climate benefit, given the incompetent track record of governments in implementing such large scale programs. For example, European subsidies for burning wood are just the sort of lunacy that government carbon policies can promote if badly designed. Any policy that causes a bigger role for governments is corrosive for civil society and private sector development, which together have far bigger potential effectiveness than government leadership.
“Advocacy of carbon taxes sucks up the political and commercial oxygen needed for realistic policies such as carbon mining. Step back from the rhetorical dream of the economic models and consider the political reality of a corrupt and stupid world. The hypothetical benefits of carbon taxes must be weighed against their real direct impost on actual economic activity. Making transport and power more costly in the short term is a hit on growth and wealth creation. Carbon taxes hinder economic activity in the name of a state led process of alleged creative destruction whose actual impact on economic incentives is far too small to deliver climate stability.
"Carbon taxes are socialism masquerading as environmentalism. The sneaky real objective is to use carbon tax to redistribute wealth and buy votes. Its supposed climate benefits are a Big Lie, a hoax based on paying a lot for nothing.
“We have to admit that the fossil fuel industry are not angels. The bad habits of buccaneering are part of the industry DNA, dating back to the monopoly of Standard Oil. But that illustrates that we cannot easily see our own strategic interests.
"Like Kodak, many of us want to live in the past and prevent innovative new technology to meet new realities. By embracing carbon mining as a main R&D goal, the carbon energy industry will transform from climate destroyer to climate saviour, from reactionary to innovator. By developing methods to collect and transform CO2 from large scale point sources such as High Efficiency Low Emission coal fired power stations, the energy industry can mobilise resources, skills and contacts to close the carbon loop, using emitted CO2 as the feed-stock for a new world economy, using large scale ocean based algae for industrial transformation of CO2 pollution into valuable hydrocarbons.
“Our argument that the fossil fuel industry can be a force for climate stability will be attacked and twisted. That obviously suits the climate lobby campaign to increase government intrusion in society and dependence of everyone on the 'Big Brother' state. I am simply pointing out that the needed industrial removal of carbon from the air can only be done in alliance with the people who put the carbon there in the first place, the fossil fuel industry.
“Our old ways will not control the market. Carbon mining by the fossil fuel industry will not at all exclude wind and solar. We only observe that solar and wind do nothing to remove carbon from the air, which is what we need to do.
“Our enemies are embarked on an ideological plan to shut down the fossil fuel industry and wreck the world economy. Consumers will totally rebel against any governments who are stupid enough to mount such a frontal assault on American capitalism under the sneaky guise of neutrality and the false promise to decarbonise the economy. But we need to disarm that assault now, through calmly considered rational argument and by force of example.
“Our interest includes to prevent polar icecap melt, sea levels rise, and damage to biodiversity. All those problems are bad for business and bad for the planet. We have the bullet loaded for all those catastrophes and don’t know when the trigger will be pulled by Mother Nature.
“Humans add ten cubic kilometres (km3) of carbon to the air every year. Emission reduction, the basket holding all the Paris eggs, means we keep adding 15 km3 of carbon, 50% more, not even delaying dangerous warming, effectively doing nothing. Carbon reduction, what I call carbon mining, holds the potential to remove a net 10 km3 of carbon from the air every year while still emitting the same amount. The impact on climate stability of these rival scenarios are totally opposite. Emission reduction is pointless and worse, diverting focus from the main global security problem of climate change.
“Climate science is settled by the broad scientific consensus, but political strategies to respond to climate change are not equally settled. Emission reduction cannot deliver climate stability. The IPCC has demonised the entire agenda of carbon dioxide removal for deflecting focus from its holy grail of emission reduction. Yes there has been open debate about climate science, but that same level of openness is largely absent from debate on climate response. The lame and tendentious outcomes of Paris with its sole focus on emission reduction rely entirely on the ‘bureau-speak’ of Intended Nationally Determined Contributions. INDCs should more accurately be known as spin and lies.
“The IPCC is holding a metaphorical gun to the head of the planet, saying reduce emissions or else Gaia gets it. Given that emission reduction is pointless and politically impossible, other options are needed if we wish to avoid an earth-shattering kaboom, to quote Marvin the Martian.
“Calculation of the effect on warmth of all the Paris commitments compared to business as usual proves very clearly that emission reduction by itself can do nothing to reverse climate change. All these vaunted consensus Parisiens have done nothing to refute this simple calculation. Their emission reduction arguments stand bereft. When the King is pretending to wear a glorious suit but is naked, the moral course is to keep telling him until he takes notice.
"The economic reason is called ‘crowding out’. Rises in public sector spending can drive down or even eliminate private sector spending. In the climate space, advocates of emission reduction crowd out carbon mining by observing that carbon mining enables emissions to continue and then falsely asserting that emissions are intrinsically bad, which is as sensible as saying that defecating is bad. Pollution is only bad when no one cleans it up. A massive paradigm shift in thinking is needed if we are to get serious on a global scale about actually subtracting carbon from the air to step back from the brink of major instability.
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