## Monday, June 02, 2014

### EPA's carbon planning emulates communism

The EPA, America's major gang of official bureaucratic green brains, decided to write down a plan that every American source of energy should obey:
U.S. to unveil sweeping rules to cut power plant pollution (Reuters)
Obama to announce controversial emissions limit on power plants (Fox News)
The word "pollution" in that sentence is a piece of a dirty toxic propaganda, of course. In reality, they talk about CO2 which is no pollution in any sense – it is a natural gas that unavoidably accompanies a big part of the essential economic activities in the modern world and that is the primary source of the biological material within plants – and therefore also animals.

By 2030, the coal burners have to emit 30% less carbon dioxide than in 2030, and so on. Will they? Is that possible? I don't know. America may need much more coal in 2030 than it needs today and it will emit more CO2 emissions because it's not economically feasible to filter it; America may need much less coal due to the fracking boom and other, known or unknown technological alternatives and other reasons. What's more important is that the stupid green brains don't know the answer at all. These people exhibit a hardwired hardcore communist way of thinking, or the lack of it.

The ability to draw infantile pictures isn't the same thing as the ability to do science or the ability to wisely manage the economy.

The idea is that a group of enlightened leftists sits down and thinks about the best numbers that everyone should achieve in 5, 10, or 20 years for everyone to be optimally happy. And everyone else is just obliged to realize what these superior brains have outlined. That's how countries are supposed to build a rosy future. Does it work?

The reality is, of course, that these brains are heavily inferior and virtually every constraint they try to impose on anyone else is harmful. These individuals are so screwed, in fact, that they haven't even been capable of understanding that it's the free market where prices adapt on a daily basis (or faster) in order to regulate what's needed, and not random guesses by clueless yet arrogant bureaucrats, that directs the work of every human and every company in a way that optimizes their well-being in the near and distant future.

Needless to say, there is no rational basis for the numbers they have emitted. They said that the emissions have to drop by 30% by 2030. It could also have been 15% or 60%. It's a random number. The right value can't be calculated in any way. Guesses like that are pure speculations. If an important company is obliged to distort all of its business in order to satisfy a random number extracted by a bureaucrat whose market value is more than 1 million times lower than the value of the company from his aß – still he or she considers himself or herself to be more important than the company itself, perhaps than all companies in the U.S. or the world – it dramatically influences the econonomic output, efficiency, and profitability of the company and it indirectly affects everyone else.

If the plan turns out to be impossible to achieve while the company remains in the black numbers, what will happen? Well, the company may be closed. Or it may befriend or bribe a bureaucrat to get an exemption. It may go bust because of some goddamn green terrorists who have hijacked the EPA. Or the energy prices may go up five-fold so that you will spend 1/3 of your income for energy – which also raises the prices of other goods and services because they contain energy, too. No one has managed to neutralize these terrorists before it was too late so pretty much everyone may have to pay dearly.

We in the post-socialist Europe have the experience that allows us – and gives us the moral duty, I would say – to accurately point out that and why the EPA terrorists are toxic and deluded trash – not only from the viewpoint of those who hold the coal corporate stocks (and the Republican and Democratic deputies that represent states that power America) but for more or less everyone else. The planning has always been harmful and it was harmful at several levels.

First of all, a key feature of the planning is that the plan is almost never fulfilled. The five-year plans in communism, and to a lesser extent also the analogous four-year plans in Nazism, were a wishful thinking. (The difference between Hitler, Stalin, and EPA is that Hitler had 4-year plans, Stalin had 5-year plans, and the EPA has 6-year plans and longer ones.) Nevertheless, they existed and forced everyone to modify his or her expectations. Because these expectations turned out to be wrong, imbalances on the market almost always emerged. Because it doesn't really matter whether you fail to fulfill the plan by 10% or 30%, people cease caring once things go wrong so things get increasingly bad. There was an excess of UV or, much more frequently, the deficit of XY. People couldn't buy it and other parts of the economy didn't have it either. So there was a deficit of CD as well, and so on (CD may have stood for compact disks – there were none – or anything else). In a free (or at least "partly free"), capitalist economy, the work and efforts dynamically shift towards activities that are more profitable, e.g. the production of products and services suffering from a shortage – which have therefore become more expensive. But in a planned economy, it's not really possible because the individual subjects are constrained by plans and most of them fail.

Another problem is that even if the super-arrogant planners, whether they're in Hitler's Planning Commission or Stalin's Planning Commission or the EU's Planning Commission or the EPA, could design a realistic plan – if they could guess correctly – which is unlikely because if someone at the EPA were competent as a manager, he or she would probably work for a big company and not the EPA – this realistic plan would still be harming the economy. Without the plan – without this constraint – inventions and various other improvements sometimes emerge at a pretty much random, mostly unpredictable place of the economy which is suddenly able to produce more products of a given kind, or to produce them more cheaply. Through the lowered prices etc., such a development modifies the behavior of anyone else who interacts with this "now evolved" sector. This progress is heavily disfavored by any plan because results that are "better than expected" violate the plan, too. One has to send workers home if things become much easier to be produced.

So even if the carbon dioxide were harmful in some way, this communist-style planning based on random numbers that a pack of clueless arrogant bureaucrats has made up would cause more harm than benefits. The production that Hitler or Stalin were planning was at least useful for the economy or its parts. What the EPA is planning isn't useful for anyone because CO2 is a beneficial gas we call life whose positive roles are uncountable and whose negative impact is pretty much non-existent. Even this elementary point – an elementary point that every sufficiently intelligent schoolkid understands after she learns something about fire, photosynthesis, cement, and fermentation ;-), and before she is 10 years old – is just too difficult for the green brains at the EPA.

The EPA – and analogous institutions in European and other countries – may have played a positive role in the past. But these days, they are purely harmful organizations that should be liquidated and those who have ever worked on CO2-related plans in these institutions should be arrested for years.

And that's the memo.

Incidentally, when I mention this criminal activity based on the fraudulent claims about "alternative energy sources", the Czech Republic saw the beginning of a big trial against photovoltaic crooks today. They face up to 12 years in prison (each) for a fraudulent collection of photovoltaic subsidies – up to $100 million stolen from the public coffers. Ms Alena Vitásková, the boss of the Energy Regulation Bureaau, is charged, too – even though she liked to present herself as a brave warrior against the "renewable" crime. Too bad that many people managed to steal the subsidies from the coffers in ways that will be labeled legal. Everyone who is connected with this subsidized "renewable" business is of course the same criminal from an informal ethical viewpoint but unfortunately just some of them will be sent to the prison for those 12 years. #### 65 comments: 1. Lumo, stay cool. What is better: livable climate and weather for all, or few more coal stacks and fracked Earth with most of the profit for the lucky few? The only thing that is "harmful" is to stubbornfully oppose carbon regulation, that will occure anyway - either through our actions, or through increased weather extremes, like those in Serbia... Alex 2. I am afraid that a livable climate - a society where green terrorists like you have been executed - is vastly better. 3. If Ruddiman ("Plows, Plagues & Petroleum") is right, then the only thing that is keeping the next ice age at bay is human carbon dioxide emissions. Perhaps Alex would like to be sitting under 2,000 m of ice. How livable is that? More importantly, while the US and EU disarm and deindustrialize, Sino-Russia is moving in the opposite direction. At some point (when all the US/EU nukes are unilaterally gone), they will impose their will on us. I, for one, welcome our Sino-Russian overlords. 4. Lumo, the question is how would the execution of 97% of publishing climatologists change the fact that anthropogennic climate change is harmful for humanity? 5. Bob, I dont claim that cooling is better than what we have now. Any rapid climate change (up or down) disturbs the staus quo. Ruddiman is a famous climatologist, ask his opinion on carbon regulation, best, Alex 6. US economy has limped and limped along under Obama -- it contracted this past quarter. There is too much regulation, and the uncertainties of what will be decreed next make businesses hunker down. The stupid numbers for future CO2 emissions sound exactly like stuff the Sandinistas did in Nicaragua years ago -- their political elite sat together in meetings to set the price of items such as toilet paper and beef cattle. They just, you know, thought about it a bit and decided on some numbers. There is absolutely no excuse for such economic stupidity in modern times, many reasonable economic treatises have been written over at least a century pointing out the folly of this type of 'economic' policy planning. WHY do we have to keep reliving these bad ideas? It's sad and deeply frustrating to contemplate the lost opportunities and positive developments that are not happening because of the chronic, constricting regulatory overreach that is now the new normal. 7. It wouldn't change it at all. The idea that there is an ongoing climate change that is harmful for humanity is a pseudoscientific myth regardless of the execution of these crooks. However, the execution would have a great impact on protecting the economy and the human freedom. 8. You make a very good point about the 30% being some random number that sounds good. There is also this nugget from the Reuter's article: "Sources briefed on the proposal were told that an economic impact study by the EPA concluded that the health and environmental benefits of the plan outweighed costs anywhere from$8 to $1 to$12 to \$1 by 2030.

I'll bet that economic study used some random numbers as well.

9. The money is not in the coal and oil its in Green Energy. That's why BP, Shell, Suncor, NextEra, GE and others spend over a billion a year directly promoting wind & solar through places like the Energy Foundation.

As the price of energy rises, energy companies make more money.

10. Hi Lumo,

I've actually lived without electricity when S.Korea was dirt, dirt poor. It was a lot a fun. Don't knock it.

11. Very nice piece of writing, Lubos, your description of bureaucrats as random number generators is truly profound and, given the historical record you reference, should be universally understood. Too bad that stochastic processes are so hard to grasp that such has no chance of occurring, meaning the world will almost surely follow some massively constrained dismal path leading to greater poverty. But maybe the stupidity of this carbon restriction business is so great that it actually generates a backlash powerful enough to shatter Power’s infatuation with “climate change”. Hopefully, that will be Obama’s legacy.

12. Gary EhlenbergerJun 2, 2014, 5:28:00 PM

EPA will also require particulate emissions reduction which causes health problems. Also, in the process, mercury and radioactive element emissions will be reduced as well. Mercury and radioactive element emissions from dirty coal plants, build up in streams, lakes, soil, over time. Check out mercury emission maps. Also check out mercury levels in fish. Toxic worldwide pollution is a real problem that needs to be addressed.

13. Well said Lubos.
These people don't see that while the invisible hand of free market sometimes can make some wrongdoings, the visibile hand of government and bureaucrats always make disaster.

14. Gary EhlenbergerJun 2, 2014, 5:46:00 PM

Autonomy all the way down: Systems and dynamics in quantum Bayesianism

http://arxiv.org/pdf/1108.2024v2.pdf

15. Apparently, CO2 production has already decreased by 13% since 2005 so the remaining goal requires only another 17% or so. The onrushing glut of natural gas due to fracking seems likely to achieve this goal even if the government does nothing, a highly desirable end, in my view.
Power generation via modern gas turbines burning natural gas releases only about 25% as much CO2 as the average coal-burning plant today. Natural gas contains only half as much carbon as coal per BTU produced and the 60-61 percent efficiency of modern gas turbines doubles the average 30% efficiency of existing coal plants, leading to the factor of four overall.
Actually, the federal government can do little to change things without new legislation other than pressure the states to do more. Unfortunately, the individual states do have the power to do a lot more damage within their borders than do the feds. My own state, California, leads the way with carbon-trading and other destructive schemes but somehow our economy is doing quite well despite the deluded fools in Sacramento.
One must also remember that China will require over 1400 GW of power generation by the end of next year and 900 GW (the equivalent of 800 nuclear plants) of this will come from coal. Whatever change happens due to the EPA will be insignificant on the world scale. This EPA proposal really seems much about nothing but it is deeply exasperating nonetheless.
Of course it is sad that fracking will lead to less CO2 in the atmosphere; more would be better. That the greenies oppose fracking is just ludicrous. Is it not ironic that economic forces will further their aims against their wishes? We live in a strange world.

16. Great points as usual, Mr, Ehlenberger. Keep adding facts to this political rant, it might help some of the more open minds.

17. Nonsense.

18. Not fair to the EPA, Lubos---along with infantile drawings, they use the most advanced mathematical modelling techniques--

In 2009, the EPA issued this gem:
"The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a finding
that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases constitute a danger to
public health and welfare and are subject to regulation under the Clean
Air Act"

"The law specifically states that EPA "shall" (i.e. must, not may)
regulate dangerous pollutants once they are found to endanger public
health or welfare."

Someone with some sense should tell the EPA to issue a finding that the EPA endangers public health and welfare.
I am by no means against regulating real pollutants, like neo-nicotinic insecticides that are killing bees(they should be banned), but this CO2 statement is a power-hungry ex-cathedra diktat by folks who view "chemicals" as the non-natural anti-Christ.
Fortunately, it is just PC noise that has no chance of being enforced.

19. The comment by SemiMike was posted before the comment by Gary appeared which, I believe, shows that both of them are sockpuppets of the same troll.

20. Gary EhlenbergerJun 2, 2014, 8:17:00 PM

Dirty coal, mercury maps report. Toxic pollution the real problem with coal plants.

21. Gary EhlenbergerJun 2, 2014, 8:56:00 PM

http://www.livescience.com/39982-surprising-mercury-pollution-sources.html

Dirty coal plants, the second leading source, are not good either and
should be cleaned up or closed/phased out. We are all taking the health
hit.
The new EPA rules help. The do nothing congress is hazardous to our health.

22. Also he is misinformed. If you check mercury concentration
or mercury deposition
maps, you see that most of it is natural and has nothing to do with coal burning. It correlates very nicely with the rainfall.

23. "profit for the lucky few..."
Yeah sure, "Profits" from "renewable" power are universally and equally distributed among all the poor only.
Gimme a break with the leftard crap already.

24. The consensus seems to be that people like electricity.

25. John F. HultquistJun 3, 2014, 3:28:00 AM

Two issues with numbers:

1. the 97%, used by AA, for publishing climatologists should be about 0.3 %. This is an indication that the comment is useless [See WUWT on May 30th – “The Myth of ...”]

the second occurance of the year 2030 is an typo problem.
I think it is supposed to be 2005.

26. Alexander, it is the climate hysterics (ie certain of your climatologists) who have suggested executing skeptics, not the other way around.

27. I got to watching the EPA video-clip and was quite disappointed that it have not started with: "Hello carbon based lifeforms...you have become obsolete and are considered pollution now." Without the first part, most people will not understand that while mentioning the carbon pollution, Joe Goffman actually speaks about them. ;-)

28. I agree that fracking can cause problems for people living in the fracking vicinity--aquifer contamination--but deal with the problem---ie better technology, generous land purchases, protection of aquifers, not meaningless carbon regulation that "sounds" good to voters, but is unenforceable and misguided.
The EPA in 2009 declared carbon dioxide a "dangerous pollutant"
while ignoring neo-nicotinoid insecticide and fungicides that are massively killing bees (Monsanto and Bayer). Not all environmentalists are AGW activists, Alexander. Like Lubos (whom I think you would find to love the environment as much as anyone), I just accept that atmospheric CO2 is increasing, but is nowhere near as important as, for example, colony collapse of bees.

29. Pollution has traditionally been contaminants introduced into nature. Here we are expanding it to include introducing what is natural.
Perhaps the carbon based life forms will figure it out. If not they must have other minerals in their head.

30. Wrong. Gary posted his first, but it was delayed by someone. Then it was released. I added my reply to you just in case his thoughts were still delayed. We do discuss these issues, as both of us are engineers, not policy wonks. Not sure why the rush to get every last bit of coal or gas out of the ground. It could be more useful years from now once we learn to extract it with fewer side effects. Any policy-based delays will be undone later I am sure. I just nope it is 50 or 100 years later.

31. Not a Noble Lie,
Goal is de-industrialization, elimination of the middle caste.
Oligarchs are exempt, while taxes on the poor increase.

32. "CO2 production has already decreased by 13% since 2005" -- matter little, since natural processes dominate. http://www.climate4you.com/images/MSU%20RSS%20GlobalMonthlyTempSince1979%20AndCO2.gif

33. "Carbon Pollution" is the ultimate Orwellian oxymoron .

These willfully criminally ignorant eKo-crapitalists have truly earned the epithet "nazi" .

34. What did the mass killing of bees in the 16th century? Was it the evil insecticide companies back then also.

35. That to maintain the artificial energy monopoly the have enjoyed the last fifty years. EPA and thousands of other regulation stifle true competition in the oil and gas business especially the oil refining business. It also make for good PR.

36. Gary What are the links for a think person would know you are not going to get the truth from any of these. First on is the sierra club, yea like you going to get so real data out of those people. The same people whom told me a timber wolf would rather chase a deer rather than a cow, yea you tell me any successful predator would continue chasing and animal that come to a fence leaps over it and continue on as opposed to and animal that stop at the same fence, just like you rather hunt dear with a knife rather a bow of fire arm of like most people you eliminate that dirty business of hunting by buying meat in a grocery store and if you are a vegetarian Sierra club would assume you would hunt or grow all you own food if they applied their logic to you. Mercury another green boondoggle 98% is emitted from the oceans, it everywhere, Their evidence it is coal fire power plants is bogus, they don't know how to ask the question let alone know the answer there the mercury is coming from or what happen in the sediment years out the research is to new, should dump mercury in the water like we did in the past no, hell no. Is coal a problem probably not we will know more in a hundred years, and no it level three forcing so we do have time. EPA know for making up numbers. 2.5 PM wee spent billion of dollars studying it when all the evidence we need to tell us all we need to know by looking at smokers. A smoker in five years takes in 60,000 years of 2.5 Pm particles that you would in the most polluted city. Are they dropping like flies no, hell no. The research shows there are little health affect in the first ten years of smoking. If a smoker quits it takes about a year for his mortality figures to realign with that of the non smoking population. Yet the EPA say it killing thousand if not millions a year. Junk science on steroids. The reason they cannot use toxic pollution to shut them down is there is no research that can prove that a modern coal plant kill anyone. So they have to use and equally bogus but large hype pollutant to justify the totalitarian tendencies, close the plants will kill more people that they propose to save. I would suggest that you go and live off the grid but that a little difficult to do now that EPA has outlawed all wood stoves over PM2.5 emissions. So why don't you cancel you electric service, shut off you gas appliances, and sit in you cold dark house, try to grow a garden with the aid of tillers and fuel driven water pumps, and as you starve and freeze to death write nice book on how great going back to the basic is, OH I forgot you have to eat everything uncooked since combustion of any kind is forbidden in your world.

37. It would since most comes from the oceans.

38. Hi,it wasn't "delayed by someone". It was waiting in the moderation queue. If you were a different person than him, you wouldn't know about the comment and its content at the moment when you were writing yours.

39. Well, Obama is America's first communist - or really, Marxist - president. (I am unsurprised.)

40. The Spanish Inquisition, obviously. To quote Hitchens, "Religion poisons everything." :)

The real answer to your questions is "something else"---neonicotinoids are just part of the current problem.

41. Gary EhlenbergerJun 3, 2014, 5:18:00 PM

As a scientist I look at both sides of a position and study the facts (looking for raw data if possible). Complex issues require a fuzzy logic analysis. I am on guard for the human tendency to have beliefs trump facts, Also full on/off beliefs can, and do, create strong filters/distortions etc. that act as feedback to reinforce the beliefs. Belief does not make something True or False.

42. The 97% myth, eh?
Propagandistic garbage - redundantly revealing climate alarmists (which includes you) to be religious zealots with no respect for facts:
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/05/30/the-myth-of-the-97-climate-change-consensus/

43. "Complex issues require a fuzzy logic analysis." From a scientist. A political scientist?

44. zlop: I am fully aware of the data that you have reproduced once again.

45. I am aware of the data that you have reproduced but my point is that the 30% CO2 reduction is almost certain to result from economic forces alone. It does, in fact, matter because a 30% increase would be a good thing. A 30% decrease would be a bad thing whether forced by regulation or not.

46. I was uncertain what passed moderation. -- Humans contribute only a few percent of the CO2 in the atmosphere. Completely eliminating human produced CO2 would make little difference to the graph. Additionally, greenhouse effect, arguably, cools a little (lowering clouds reasoning)

47. For slow progress and messing things up, Bilderbergers (Anglo-American Empire) are not happy with Obama. Rats are jumping ship, per Steve Pieczenik. -- Judge Napolitano talks impeachment.

48. Gary EhlenbergerJun 4, 2014, 6:20:00 PM

I am Gary Ehlenberger not SimiMike. Might there be a software glitch?

I have several bright conservative friends and we get along quite well when discussions are about data/facts. Assumptions, and especially full on beliefs, on the table, for all to see. Then the discussion becomes logical and we usually are in agreement if the facts are compelling.

49. Gary EhlenbergerJun 4, 2014, 6:45:00 PM

Nice maps

This is a very good report.
http://www.unep.org/PDF/PressReleases/GlobalMercuryAssessment2013.pdf
http://www1.ucsc.edu/currents/02-03/01-06/mercury.html

More data
http://www.ucsusa.org/clean_energy/coalvswind/c02c.html

50. Gary EhlenbergerJun 4, 2014, 6:45:00 PM

http://www.unep.org/PDF/PressReleases/GlobalMercuryAssessment2013.pdf

51. Please Mr Ehlenberger/SemiMike. Please admit that you have been using sockpuppets and lying to TRF readers or I will go after your Internet providers to make sure that they disconnect you.

SemiMike praised Gary Ehlenberger hours before Gary Ehlenberger's comment was approved in the moderation queue. This predicts that they are connected to the Internet from the same area.

Ehlenberger's IP gives Sedona, Arizona:

http://www.ip2location.com/demo/24.121.23.205

while SemiMike's IP gives Mesa, Arizona:

http://www.ip2location.com/demo/68.3.191.126

Hypothesis nontrivially confirmed. Sorry. Just like every other climate alarmist, you are a dishonest crook.

http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=distance+between+mesa%2C+AZ+and+Sidona%2C+AZ

52. Gary EhlenbergerJun 4, 2014, 8:55:00 PM

Sorry, but I am not SemiMike. However, I did find out that SemiMike is a old friend of mine from Motorola, after calling him to resolve this mystery.

Thanks for identifying the IP as Mesa, AZ. That piece of info allowed me to complete the puzzle.

53. Gary EhlenbergerJun 4, 2014, 9:29:00 PM

Thank you for identifying the IP for SemiMike. This allowed me to make the connection. I confirmed it by calling my old friend from Motorola and he indeed said he was SemiMike. I did not know that he was posting on this site.

54. Sure, among 7 billion people on this planet, two Arizona-based ex-colleagues from Motorola accidentally meet in a conversation on a Czech physics blog. One of them praises the other before he can see that the other has posted anything. Elvis Presley lives on the Moon, too. Give me a break, lying alarmist asshole.

55. Gary EhlenbergerJun 4, 2014, 11:00:00 PM

More info to help resolve the confusion: I did an email to my friend Mike 2 days ago about this blog (explains why he went to the blog). However I did not know the identity of SemiMike at the time but should have deduced it. You cinched it with his IP identity (I did not communicate with him during the postings in question).
Also, I edited my post while it was in the moderation queue. May this have caused a problem? I would really like to figure this out.

56. Gary EhlenbergerJun 4, 2014, 11:35:00 PM

Not sure if you didn't post my last comment. More facts to resole the issue.

2. I did not know his identity SemiMike, until I called him today.

3. I did an edit while my post was in moderation queue (could this explain the problem?)

"I really do like your QM and other physics posts."

I copied this posting

57. Gary EhlenbergerJun 5, 2014, 2:13:00 AM

Are you going to post this or not?

More facts to resolve the issue.

2. I did not know his identity SemiMike, until I called him today.

3. I did an edit while my post was in moderation queue (could this explain the problem?)

"I really do like your QM and other physics posts."

59. The total area of solar panels it would take to power the world, Europe, and Germany
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desertec#mediaviewer/File:Fullneed.jpg

60. Gary EhlenbergerJul 4, 2014, 10:20:00 PM

Most can agree on actual pollution from dirty coal.

Soil samples reveal urban mercury footprints