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My view: Gambling with our future

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  • Strider303 Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 5:02 a.m.

    Why is it that solutions to "global warming" always contain a tax of some kind? Most of those who propose the tax solution seem to be from an above average income bracket where there is some degree of wealth over and above meeting basic needs?

    Physicians make a lot more than the average person, while I do not decry their earned income in a highly demanding occupation, they seem to forget that there is a group of citizens that are adversely affected by any tax increase. I note the author is retired, and most likely has not children at home.

    From the news, it appears that China and India are the two nations who pollute the most, yet the author proposes to tax Americans as if this will influence the Chinese and Indians to ... do what?

    In light of the ACA's unknown increase in our health care costs, talk of a new tax appears to me to be ill-conceived and just another attempt at control over the citizens by those who think they know best.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 6:19 a.m.

    Why do we assume that the temperature the earth is now is the best temperature possible. This is improbable. Chances are the ideal temperature is either hotter or colder than we are now.

  • higv Dietrich, ID
    Oct. 30, 2013 7:37 a.m.

    If people were this hysterical before the industrial revolution we would be living in the horse and buggy age. We have zero control over the climate, why let it control us? And why are people living longer now? It is because of the industrial revolution.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    Oct. 30, 2013 8:06 a.m.

    These comments are from the usual ostriches in the sand. WE're in a closed room and we're filling it with CO2. This is a dumb thing to do if we want to survive. We need to move rapidly away from CO2 emissions, which doesn't have to be hugely disruptive.

  • MemoFromA Demo SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 8:09 a.m.

    The author writes: "How can we move quickly to clean energy and avoid the cost severe climate effects ...?" He then blows his cover by offering us a glass of Kool-Aid, claiming that a "revenue neutral tax swap" is the answer.

    Come on! Get serious! A revenue neutral tax swap? Please. Don't try to pull that worn out trick on us. Aren't we tired enough with having to deal with political lies?

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Oct. 30, 2013 8:10 a.m.

    Man cannot control his environment.

    Except the history of mankind is specifically that of shaping the environment to suit.

    Other temperatures would be equally beneficial (or more so).

    Except the planet has adapted to the current range over millenia. Adaptation is too slow for the pace of change. Also, OUR adaptation (food sources) are based on the current temperature range.

    It will be expensive to change.

    It will be expensive not to. Just that we will not control the when and where of the expenses nor the outcomes.

    There is no science to support man made global climate change.

    Other than the actual science. What is cited against climate change is mostly bogus.

  • Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 8:11 a.m.

    "To ignore what science has demonstrated would be folly...."

    I agree. And science has demonstrated that global average temperatures have not risen measurably in 16 years. Yet the IPCC report utterly fails to mention this fact, or deal with it in any way.

    Why should we trust "science" that ignores known facts?

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 8:12 a.m.

    We may not gamble here, but we can sure deny.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 8:44 a.m.

    I'm not sold on man made climate change. I've seen the dinosaur bones. I heard that climate changed and froze them I heard that the methane gas from them, was sparked and burned them. I had big dogs in the bed room, I know what methane gas is. I'm more in cline to think that man has an ego to think he is as big as the earth and can change the way the earth turns.

  • joeandrade Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 9:01 a.m.

    Yes, agreed.

    A very substantive (and annually increasing) across the board carbon tax is the easiest and most effective way to move industry and consumers away from fossil fuels and fossil fuel-derived products (packaging, plastic goods, etc.)while at the same time providing a great incentive for non-plastic products and non-fossil fuel energy sources. Distributing the fee equally to all citizens and residents provides revenue which further stimulates the economy. Fee and dividend is clearly a win-win plan for the planet, the environment, the people - and for air quality.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 9:22 a.m.

    Every day we live is a gamble. Turning our future over to some government bureaucrat to tax us and control our access to energy will not make it any less a gamble.

    In fact, the case can be made that people acting in their own self-interest have more information about their own situation and will make BETTER decisions, and more effective decisions concerning their own energy use than some politically affected bureaucrat who doesn't even know what's going on in my house, or in Utah, or in the whole United States, or the world for that matter.

    Every day is a gamble. Every day I gamble that I won't get hit by an asteroid on my way to work. I still go to work.

    That doesn't mean you don't take any precautions to limit risk (including global warming). You limit how much energy you use and how much pollution you cause (as much as you can), and you watch out for asteroids. But you keep on living. Even though every day is a gamble.

    Turning control over to some dude in the government to control my energy use... is not the answer.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 10:38 a.m.

    re Irony Guy
    Bountiful, Utah

    Did you know that with increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere plants grow better? This includes plants that provide food for people.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 11:32 a.m.

    Re "WE're in a closed room and we're filling it with CO2"...

    The irony in Irony Guy's comment is... if you want your comment to be credible.. don't start with a false chicken-little statement. We are NOT living in a closed room (well... maybe he is).

    The atmosphere is far from a closed system. It's NOT a "closed room". IF it were... all the C02 ever breathed out by all living creatures in the millions and millions of years there has been life on this planet would just be accumulating (hint... it's not), all the smoke ever put out by all earth's volcanoes, all the smoke from every forest fire, etc, as long as the world has been around would still be in the air circling the globe (hint... it's not) and we would be dead (but we aren't).

    Obviously nature has ways to scrub the air and even remove C02 from the atmosphere. Plants are one of nature's recycling mechanisms, but earth's vast oceans do even more to scrub the air.

    We do NOT in fact live in a closed room rapidly filling up with C02.

  • ClimateHawk ,
    Oct. 30, 2013 11:35 a.m.

    Strider303,
    Glad you asked. When we do what is right, like making law against pollution (adding a fee to it), we often find that other good things happen. God is good!

    First, the pollution fee is not tax. It won't go to government, but equally back to people. It does not generate revenue. It penalizes & stops pollution because pollution is bad.

    Who'll lose money & make money because of the fossil pollution fee? The answer is who uses more than the average fossil energy and who uses less. Some poor folks who drive further and have leaky houses will find lose money. But MOST poorer folks will find themselves MAKING money, because rich folks like Dr. FOLLAND use enough fossils to put things in poorer folks' favor.

    We should return more to the poorest among us who are most hit by the fee, but wisely. Put it toward efficiency & renewable energy upgrades, not to their fossil energy bills. That's simply smart.

    That's how this works. The market is smart. People are smart. When we trust them, we win. But we cannot expect the right thing to happen when our law is immoral and pollution is free!

  • silo Sandy, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 11:54 a.m.

    "And science has demonstrated that global average temperatures have not risen measurably in 16 years." - Nate

    Whenever I read a comment like Nate's, it becomes clear why MLM supplement companies are so prevalent in Utah.

    For the record, Science doesn't care if you believe it, deny it, or in your case Nate, misrepresent it.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Oct. 30, 2013 12:07 p.m.

    I'll play along with the Global Warming deniers for a minute,
    and pretend that 95% of the Scienticif community 'might' be wrong or at the very least inconclusive at the moment...

    But

    If there was even a remote chance they might be right...
    With what's at stake,
    Wouldn't you want to play it safe, or error on the safe until a final conclusion is made?

    So many of you remind me of the people during Noah's time mocking him about his boat and warning them about the floods,
    that is, until it started raining...

    ========

    BTW-
    cjb
    Bountiful, UT

    Did you know that with increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is what makes the surface of Venus to be over 700 degrees Farenheit?

    This universal fact includes the planet right next to it, the Earth we call home.

    10:38 a.m. Oct. 30, 2013

  • RedShirtMIT Cambridge, MA
    Oct. 30, 2013 12:32 p.m.

    To "David Folland" would you continue to recommend a procedure or medication for your patients that was proven to be based on bad data or analysis?

    According to the NOAA, if we ever have 15 years where there is no statistically significant warming, then the models are wrong. There are now official government agencies stating that there has been no warming for the past 15 to 18 years.

    The models that the IPCC is based on are wrong. If the models are wrong, what makes you think that the results are still accurate?

    The question is why do you still trust a model that the NOAA says is wrong?

    To "Open Minded Mormon" did you know that Venus' atmosphere is 92 times more dense than the Earth's, so it doesn't matter what the atmosphere is comprised of it would be hotter than here. It is like saying that your 3 inch thick quilt is warmer than a flat sheet. It doesn't take a rocket surgeon to figure out that a significantly larger amount of insulation results in a warmer climate.

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 12:46 p.m.

    With the increases in CO2 that now exists, and the current temperature that now exists the earth is at least 11% greener than before. The Redwood forests are growing at a rate 30% faster than they were at lower levels. CO2 is not a pollution. And name one tax that ever got back to the poor at a rate that covered the increases in cost caused by taxing them at a higher rate. For the poor, a carbon tax means milk will cost more because of production costs rising and transporting costs rising, food on the table will cost more because of production costs and transportation costs rising. Heating their apartments will cost more. The housing they live in will cost more to build. And what government program has not resulted in graft and corruption at some level. A carbon tax as proposed will never do more than drive more and more into poverty. Just look at LBJ's war on poverty, has it decreased poverty in the US? No.

    But the really BIG question that all the AGW religion advocates here will not provide and science can not provide, What is the correct temperature? Just give it your best shot.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 1:35 p.m.

    I like the way some people think a majority vote makes something "Scientific Fact".

    You don't have to vote on Science. To become "Scientific fact" It must be testable and predictable and provable (not just a majority vote). For example... We don't have to vote on what gravity should exist for a given mas. It's not up for debate. That's "Science".

    If you can't PROVE your hypothesis... and have to rely on a majority vote, convincing political speeches, and graphs of selective data, followed by no mathematical proof, just a popular vote to see if people are convinced... that's NOT "scientific fact".

    Scientific "fact" is provable, testable and the expected result is precisely predictable. Global Warming is not to that point yet.

    If it were scientific "Fact"... you wouldn't need a popular vote. You could PROVE it, and there would be nothing subjective left to vote on.

  • El Tigre American Fork, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 1:44 p.m.

    Can anybody tell me when the climate has not been changing?

  • Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 2:36 p.m.

    @silo "Science doesn't care if you believe it, deny it, or in your case Nate, misrepresent it."

    One of the first rules of science is that evidence trumps theory. So, if your climate model predicts warming, and that warming does not occur, then you need a new model.

    It doesn't mean that everything about the model is wrong. It only means that it's missing something. It's now your job as a scientist to find out what that something is.

    Castigating people for noticing that your model is flawed is not good science.

  • Sabrecat South Jordan, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 4:02 p.m.

    "Did you know that with increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is what makes the surface of Venus to be over 700 degrees Farenheit?

    This universal fact includes the planet right next to it, the Earth we call home."

    Are you serious ? The fact that Venus is only 64.8 million miles as apposed to 93.7 million miles from the sun has no bearing on the average surface temp? Or the fact that Venus has no carbon cycle at all has nothing to do with that either right?

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 4:07 p.m.

    When gambling... I'd like to control my own bets.

    I wouldn't want to go to the tables and turn my decisions over to some guy in the government who has no idea what's going on in my life, much less cares how his decisions affect me and my family.

    I can cut my consumption on my own. I don't need some Czar or Wizard hired by the government to decide for me and my family, and tax me till I do it HIS way.

    I can make good decisions without the need for taxes designed for social engineering, and nudging me into doing whatever the government wants me to do.

    I resent the leftist government worshipers who WANT to turn my decisions over to somebody in the government.

    I don't NEED a tax to teach me what energy is good/bad and nudge me into using what the government wants me using.

    It's just like seatbelts... the left needs a law and a cop to force them to use them, I just need to know it will save my life and I'll use them on my own. Same with energy.

  • silo Sandy, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 6:10 p.m.

    "Why should we trust "science" that ignores known facts" - Nate
    "Castigating people for noticing that your model is flawed is not good science" - Nate

    Except that you didn't simply 'notice the model was flawed', you flat out accused hundreds of scientists of ignoring facts, while conveniently ignoring facts yourself.

    The castigation results when you don't bother actually read the IPCC report, you simply parrot the anti global warming talking points from proven flawed sources. If you had actually read the report, you would have noted that despite the claims of your previous post, the IPCC does acknowledge the flat satellite temperature trend of the last 16 years, and even made comments on the possible influences. It still did not change the findings.

    Instead of rehashing invalid points, I look forward to your analysis of the IPCC methodology, the structure of the teams, and the resultant findings. Since you proclaim to know 'real science', I'm sure you're already working on submitting your refutation for peer review.

    We'll wait.

  • Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 10:19 p.m.

    @silo: "the IPCC does acknowledge the flat satellite temperature trend"

    They state it as innocuously as they can, and then fail to take it into account.

    "It still did not change the findings."

    Precisely. Right there. When a relevant fact exists, and you don't allow it to influence your conclusion, that is called ignoring it. There are not too many other ways to say this.

  • silo Sandy, UT
    Oct. 31, 2013 12:20 a.m.

    "When a relevant fact exists, and you don't allow it to influence your conclusion, that is called ignoring it." - Nate

    Very well Nate. Here's some relevant facts for you.

    IPCC AR5's position is based in part on the following details:
    800+ climate scientists as authors (selected from 3000+ nominees)
    9000+ peer reviewed climate studies
    150+ years of land and ocean surface increasing temperature data*
    100+ years of changes in precipitation declines over land
    100+ years of decline in northern hemisphere snow cover
    100+ years of decline in arctic sea ice
    100+ years of sea level rise
    50+ years increase of upper ocean heat content
    50+ years of atmospheric CO2 increase
    Numerous models and simulations of best/worst case scenarios

    Your media-driven response:
    There was a 16-year flat trend in one section of the temperature graph, so IPCC's report model is flawed.

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    Oct. 31, 2013 9:58 a.m.

    I love when alarmists misrepresent facts to cause alarm. A quick google of facts and we learn, "In the last 100 years, precipitation has increased by an average of about 1% over all the land surfaces on Earth. Across the United States, alone, precipitation has increased by an average of about 5% in the last 100 years." This is an article dealing about climate change and the increase of temperatures. So what your implying is in the last 50 years we haven't dropped below levels in the past 100 years of increases. Fear factor = none.

    In another article reviewing CO2 levels, ppm levels have peaked above what they are now about every 100,000 years. Was no human caused CO2 100,000 years ago. Levels have been going up since it dropped about 90,000 years ago and we still are not up there. Fear factor = none.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Oct. 31, 2013 10:08 a.m.

    Amazing.

    A quick Google search of facts any layman can interpret tells us there is no problem.

    If only scientists had Google the problem would go away . . .

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    Oct. 31, 2013 10:12 a.m.

    Sea levels, about 22,000 years ago sea levels were 400 feet lower than they are now. About 8,000 years ago they made a drastic jump by about 250 feet since that time they have slowly raised continuing the deicing from the last glacial period. The rate is miniscule compared to 22,000 years ago. 50 year increase? No. 22,000 years of increase and no man made global warming to drive it. Fear factor = none.

    AGW alarmist distort real truth to foment fear and terror to obtain an agenda. Notice all the dire claims are based on 100 or 50 year limits, never mind we are in a better place over the last 10,000 years. It is believed mankind flourished and civilization grew in a period of temperature hotter than they are now.

    What is the temperature you think we need to maintain, alarmists?

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    Oct. 31, 2013 10:16 a.m.

    twin lights, they are published reports, but like all alarmists you discount what does not prove your position, why do you think all the reports by alarmist only reference short periods of recent time and ignore earth historic climates? You must know what the temperature is suppose to be.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Oct. 31, 2013 10:32 a.m.

    jsf,

    No I don't. My background is economics and finance. In those spheres I have some amount of expertise. I do deal with folks in engineering and environmental roles. Most of them have significant study and experience to accumulate their specific expertise. I would not assume that I could gain that expertise in my off time any more than they could gain mine in theirs. I rely on their expertise. Others rely on mine.

    I afford climatologists the same respect. I doubt that I could, in a few off hours and using the internet, gain anything more than a superficial understanding of the science. It would be irrational to assume that one set of smart folks could accomplish in a few hours what other smart folks study and work for decades to accomplish. It doesn't work that way in any field with which I am familiar.

    Of course I have heard the conspiracy theories. But like most such theories they breakdown under analysis. Few folks can keep a secret. The Mafia kills those who tell theirs and even they can't keep folks from blabbing.

    Logic is on the side of the scientists. Not the armchair experts.

  • ingslc salt lake city, UT
    Oct. 31, 2013 11:58 a.m.

    Whatever you think about climate change it is ridiculous that big polluters get to externalize the health, environmental, and quality of life costs onto the general population while simultaneously making huge profits that only enrich a handful of people. Why should my view be obscured? Why should I have to avoid exercising outside? Why should my child suffer worsening asthma attacks? Why should our mothers bear children with higher than normal autism rates? All so some big shots, often in other countries, "maximize profits." They need to pay the true cost of doing business. As a citizen I have rights which these big polluters are recklessly trodding upon. Whatever the climate future may be, I and my family have a right to breathe clean air TODAY. Under the current system, big polluters are allowed to negligently and knowingly do me damage in order to make bigger profits. That's not right.

  • RedShirtMIT Cambridge, MA
    Oct. 31, 2013 12:20 p.m.

    To "ingslc" you are mixing up issues here. In terms of the climate, the largest producer of CO2 is nature itself. Nature accounts for 98% of all carbon emissions.

    Most of the pollution that industry creates does not produce more CO2. Typically the pollutants created in other nations do not reach the US in sufficient quantities to alter autism rates or asthma attacks.

    Thanks to the global temperatures getting warmer, NASA has found that we will have millions of acres more of land become useful for farming. More farmland means more food for you and future inhabitants.

    As others have pointed out, over the past 100 years the average rainfall has increased. The rain is a natural pollution scrubber that actualy makes the air you breathe better. If anything we should accelerate the warming to increase food production and rainfall.

  • Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    Oct. 31, 2013 4:43 p.m.

    @silo "800+ climate scientists as authors"

    All of them fallible human beings who don't understand exactly why the measured results don't match their previous projections. But they don't match.

    "150+ years of land and ocean surface increasing temperature data"

    Zoom out a ways, and you will see that, if my 16 years are not significant, your 150 are not much more so. The earth warms and cools. It always has. With and without man living on it. I'm sorry that this alarms you.

  • ingslc salt lake city, UT
    Oct. 31, 2013 9:33 p.m.

    @ RedShirtMIT
    When I stated that pollution was enriching people in other countries, I was not referring to pollution produced in other countries blowing into Utah. I was referring to the fact that SLC's largest industrial polluter, Kennecott Copper, is owned by the British firm Rio Tinto. The largest polluter in our valley contributes significantly to our terrible air quality, while back at London headquarters, British guys in suits count their fortune. Furthermore, industrial air pollution and global warming are inextricably linked since industry puts out plenty of CO2 from the use of fossil fuels and CO2 isn't the only greenhouse gas to worry about. Forcing companies to pay the true cost of doing business by levying a carbon tax as suggested in this op-ed would be good for air quality and global warming. However one feels about climate change in the long term, air pollution is a serious problem right now.

  • RedShirtUofU Andoria, UT
    Nov. 1, 2013 8:19 a.m.

    To "ingslc" but CO2 is not a pollutant, nor has it been proven to be a significant greenhouse gas. There are much more potent greenhouse gasses that go unregulated. Nobody regulates the emission of gaseous di-hydrogen monoxide. Industry is allowed to dump that into the atmosphere without any concern for the environmnet.

    You realize that in Utah the largest source of pollution is NOT businesses. The largest source of pollution sits in our driveways. Yes, it is YOU and your car. Rather than attacking the minor polluters in industry, why are you not attacking yourself and others like you that drive a car.

    But, if you look historically at air pollution in Utah, the air here is getting cleaner eventhough the population is increasing.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Nov. 1, 2013 10:06 a.m.

    RedShirtUofU,

    So if the air is getting cleaner and the most significant source of pollution is our cars, what explains them getting so much more efficient?

    Could it be Government?

  • RedShirtUofU Andoria, UT
    Nov. 4, 2013 1:30 p.m.

    To "Twin Lights" it isn't governmnet. It is private companies. When the governments sets an emissions level, who has to design the components to meet those requirements? Do we have government automotive engineers working on the next generation of engine, or do we have private companies working on the problem?