Tuesday, April 06, 2010

James Hansen and Huffington Post

Dr James Hansen published an essay at the Huffington Post. It has a modest title,
Obama's Second Chance on the Predominant Moral Issue of This Century,
and the bulk of the is similarly low-key. If you don't know what's the "predominant moral issue of this century", yes, it's nothing else than the most overrated pseudoscientific media fad of the five years 2005-2009, namely the man-made global warming.

Hansen praises Obama for the healthcare bill and the peace efforts with Russia. However, the AGW plays the same role for Obama as Hitler played for Churchill and slavery played for Lincoln, we learn. Our fossil fuel "addiction" - normally known as the importance of fossil fuels - threatens Hansen's children and grandchildren.

Right. The only AGW threat to Hansen's children and grandchildren is that they could be led to realize that their dad or granddad was mentally impaired.

However, Hansen criticizes Obama for "almost legitimizing denialists" during his State of the Union address. Well, I assure convicted criminal James Hansen that we denialists don't need to be "legitimized". We're much more legitimate than anyone whom Hansen has ever shared a restroom with because having shared a restroom with Mr Hansen already makes you pretty illegitimate. ;-)

How could have Obama legitimized the denialists? It's simple. Obama said - see this video - that he knew that there were "those who disagreed with the overwhelming scientific evidence on climate change." Hansen tells us that by his failure to deny the existence of the denialists, he has actually legitimized them! ;-)

Hansen concludes that the president was embarrassed and his supporters "cringed". If true, that would mean that Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi - aside from Obama himself - are not supporters of Obama. Instead of cringing, they were smiling if not laughing (Obama joined them at the end, too). Why were they smiling? Because they understood the irony and internal contradictions of Obama's amazing understatements.

First, if there are those who disagree, it's enough for the consensus to be non-existent or, if you're very modest, for the consensus not to be "overwhelming". Moreover, those who disagree at least with some parts of the "consensus" are not really exceptions. They include the majority of the very U.S. Congress that was listening to Obama's speech and - according to recent polls - the majority of the U.S. population as well.

Pelosi and Biden were smiling because it was funny for a representative of a fringe opinion that has very little chance to make it through the very U.S. Congress to flex his muscles and paint himself as a member of an overwhelming majority. Pelosi and Biden may realize that the ideas about a consensus are preposterous and they can only get a consensus from the groups that are directly financially and personally vested in one answer.

Hansen continues by saying that this is not the 17th century, so the modern inquisition has all the rights to suppress all the heretics which is what Obama should do. While Obama should support the scientific inquisition attempting to censor the scientific research, the president may also rely on the National Academy of Sciences to publish any statement that will be helpful to the president.

Mr Hansen seems to be able to guarantee that the National Academy of Sciences will endorse any scheme that Mr Hansen invents. So it's a good situation. We learn from Hansen that the AGW mafia has two powerful wings - the openly political one and the would-be scientific one - that should collaborate in such a way that they can't lose. Hansen himself - and his ideology - should be the ultimate winner.

After having criticized that Obama doesn't speak about climate change as the true driver of his life sufficiently often, James Hansen repeats some of his idiosyncratic opinions about the cap-and-trade bill. He apparently prefers a big carbon tax. The collected resources must be fully redistributed to the public so that the public will support an arbitrarily high tax.

That's an interesting hypothesis. In socialism, we effectively had a 100% tax - because everything was planned and redistributed - but people still wanted to reduce it to a 15% flat tax once they realized that the 100% tax had been crippling our economy for 40+ years.

But even in the context of capitalism, it's clear what it would mean if a carbon tax were returned to the people so that they can do whatever they find most important. If the carbon tax were high enough to make the fossil fuels and things that depend on them (and other products that need to produce CO2) much more expensive, then the fossil fuels and things that depend on them (and other products that need to produce CO2) would automatically become the most scarce commodities that people would like to own and "subsidize" from the collected money.

As a result, the redistribution of the collected carbon tax, as determined by the electorate's interests, would undo the "suffocation" of the CO2-related industries caused by the original carbon tax: the macroscopic effects of the carbon tax would therefore be undone.

It's very clear that only a dictatorship that prevents people from doing what they really want to do could force them to behave unnaturally. It's clear that the only way to reduce the CO2 emissions would be for the government to spend the collected carbon tax in a way that disagrees with the desires of most of the citizens. If the electorate really wanted to buy 1 kWh of solar energy instead of 5 kWh of the coal energy for the same money, it would already be doing so today. Everyone is free to buy fewer "green" products for the money normally spend for many more "blue or red" products.

Hansen realizes that some form of a communist-like dictatorship is needed for the society of his desired type. So he explains some details of his rationing system. For example, we learn that a child would get 50% of the adults' ration books. However, the third, fourth, and other children in every family would get nothing. A part of Hansen's clever algorithm is to make children in families with more than two children to starve to death.

What a raving lunatic. I wonder how he would count the children in divorced families with various complicated relationships. It's clear that if you could make your child get this huge extra money that it wouldn't receive otherwise, you could find a new family that would formally adopt your 3rd and 4th children.

The rising price of carbon indulgences will affect everything, Hansen tells us. He even tells us what the prices will be in the following years. $15 per ton of CO2 during the first year will be increased to$25, $35,$45, \$55, ... in the following years. Nice. In ten years, the price of energy would get multiplied by ten.

I agree with him that if such an arithmetic sequence could be imposed, and the collected carbon taxes couldn't be used to undo the destruction caused by such a tax, the carbon emissions (and the economy) would drop by 30 percent by 2020. However, what he doesn't see is that such an evolution of the tax planned on the paper couldn't work in reality.

By 2015, when the energy prices would quintuple and could already represent 1/2 of the average income, a national revolt would abolish the tax. And if a politically organized group wanted to preserve the tax despite the popular opinion, every single advocate of this mafia would be hung on the tree by 2016. (Hansen himself would begin in 2015.) What he's planning is just impossible to do with the real people. It's an insane experiment with the mankind that expands Dr Josef Mengele's experiments to whole nations.

James Hansen has even thought about the "adjustment of dividends" for various states. Around 2020, he's talking about something like 1/2 of the GDP that would be "peacefully" transferred in between the different states of the union according to his arbitrary rules. Oh, really? Does he really think that the payees would peacefully pay e.g. 1/4 of their GDP? We can also read that he has unified all the major U.S. religions under the umbrella of the AGW hysteria. Hansen apparently believes that he has become a super-God. That's interesting because among the Christians, the percentage of the climate skeptics arguably exceeds the percentage in the general population which is already above 50%.

The only obstacle to achieve Hansen's utopia are "special interests". So Obama has to defeat the "special interests" - including all the lawmakers in the U.S. Congress - and become a dictator or a Führer who will try to realize Hansen's insane plan. That will be great because China is also ready to accept the "carbon price" plan and its communist leaders are eager to add an order of magnitude to the energy prices every decade so that they make one billion of people really angry. ;-)

Future generations may remember a nuclear weapons treaty but if Obama wants to be a great president, he must adopt lunatic Hansen's conspiracy theories and Frankenstein plans to liquidate the U.S. and world economy.

And that's Hansen's memo.