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Climate Change and the Economy

Politics / Climate Change Dec 20, 2007 - 09:09 PM GMT

By: Brian_Bloom

Politics

The following is the headline of a report to the US Senate, published on December 20th 2007.

U.S. Senate Report: Over 400 Prominent Scientists Disputed Man-Made Global Warming Claims in 2007 

Senate Report Debunks "Consensus"


http://epw.senate.gov/....

Full Report: http://epw.senate.gov/public/...

This report is not a cause for an “I told you so” celebration. It begs the question as to why Al Gore and the media have been whipping the public up into a state of frenzy about Climate Change.

One possible answer is as follows:

As I write these words, the US National Debt (amount owed by the US Federal Government) is $9.154 Trillion

The currently published statistic on the amount of gold bullion held at Fort Knox in Kentucky is 147.3 million ounces. Doubts have been raised in some circles as to whether this gold deposit is actually there, as no regular audits are done. Nevertheless, let's assume that it is all present and accounted for.

If the world were ever to go back onto a Gold Standard, the price of gold would have to rise to $62,000 an ounce to enable the US Government to meet its debt obligations. This is very unlikely to happen. It will cause economic dislocation. In any event, Gold has critically important industrial applications. The price will certainly rise, but at $62,000 an ounce the industrial applications will be priced out of the market. It will not be in the greater interests of society if this were to happen.

What is appropriate behaviour? Can we dig ourselves out the mess (economic and other)? The short answer is: “Yes, I believe that we can.” But we need to keep level heads, and we need to approach the problems facing us with integrity.

The “driver” of the world economy is energy – currently derived from fossil fuels; and the world has passed “Peak Oil”. We have an estimated 50 years of oil reserves left at current rates of consumption. The oil reserve numbers are probably overstated and the rate of consumption has been growing as a result of the entry of China and India into the world economy. Let's be conservative and assume 30 years. That's how long we have to get our house in order. In fact, the problems are more urgent than that, but let's not get sidetracked. Let's just understand that it would be better to act as a matter of urgency.

In 1998, the US Government, aided and abetted by the Australian Government, derailed the Kyoto protocols agreement. This had two implications:

§ It raised the profile of Carbon Dioxide emissions, and provided the fodder for hysterical reporting and hysteria mongering by the profit oriented media. (Their job used to be to report the news. That was in the old days. Now their job is to sell newspapers or capture reader/listener/viewer attention. Sell! Sell! Sell!)

§ It blocked the emergence of alternatives to Fossil Fuel energy technologies

I have read reports (and pass no comment on the veracity of these reports) that one targeted outcome of this blockage was “intended” to be that the world would eventually embrace Nuclear Fission energy. That may have been the political agenda, initiated by Margaret Thatcher some years prior to Kyoto. But, if we thought Carbon Dioxide emissions were bad, think through what will inevitably happen if we emit ever increasing quantities of radioactive waste into the environment. What were we going to do with that waste? Sweep it under the carpet? Even buried under the ground it will remain a problem and eventually we will run out of ground under which to bury it. That agenda, if it was indeed the agenda, would have been particularly ill conceived, but it would also have been understandable. It would, logically, have been motivated by the will of incumbents to retain political power. But let's not get too hung up on Conspiracy Theories. Let's focus on facts.

An “unintended consequence” of blocking the March to Market of new energy paradigms was that the public began to panic because of all the hysteria being whipped up in the media about Peak Oil, and the politicians began to reach for quick fixes. “Biofuels” were embraced in the past couple of years.

As a result of this embracement of biofuels, the amount of land available for conventional food crops has reduced, and now the world is running out of food. The price of wheat, as an example, is skyrocketing. Of course, there has been climate change as well (caused by the unusual solar flaring activity) and this has served to exacerbate the food shortage. Some will argue that the world population is too high and that the solution is “culling”.

Objectively, that is not a defensible argument. The world's population occupies about 30% of the world's land. In some parts of the world there is overproduction of food which is being dumped. Private Enterprise is a brilliant concept for a young, emerging economy. In a mature economy, unless Free Market forces are allowed to prevail, massive misallocation of resources results. Central Bank behaviour since 1913 has given rise to massive misallocation of resources in recent years, as markets for legacy products have been saturating.

But another  critically important problem that has arisen is this: Because energy drives the world economy, and because the “March to Market” of alternative energies has been blocked, and because the world is now sitting on a mountain of debt, we have a serious economic problem brewing . How can we possibly stimulate the world economy sufficiently to pay down the debt? The answer, in short, is:  “We can't”.  Let's not use up oxygen debating this issue. The debt will never be repaid. Alternatively, if it is repaid, it will be repaid in worthless dollars. That does not represent a solution and we should not go down that path.

I have been monitoring the “tactics” of the Western politicians since the 1980s. From time to time they use a “feint” tactic to divert the public's attention away from pressing issues. In my view, this whole brouhaha about Global Warming has been to deflect the public's attention away from the brewing economic problems. This behaviour does not result from “conspiracies”. It results from paternalism. We all do it with our children. We divert the child's attention away from the scraped knee by offering him a sweet. If he keeps wailing we belt him one. Those who don't believe in belting a chronically precocious child land up with children who are chronically insecure adults. Parenting is natural behaviour. There are no conspiracies. Unfortunately, our politicians are square pegs in round holes. Generally, they are unfit parents. People who are addled with testosterone should not be appointed to lead society.  With the wrong people in power (generally devoid of wisdom and compassion), the following was the outcome:

The “unfit to lead” politicians' attempts to solve the economic problems were doomed to failure because a banking approach was used when an industrialisation approach should have been used. Money does not drive the world economy, human endeavour, facilitated by artificial energy input drives the world economy. The industrial activity in China had no hope of developing the necessary momentum to drive the world economy, because it was predicated on fossil fuel energy input. Euro/American authorities, who had the bankers and fossil fuel lobbies whispering in their ears, made some serious (now life threatening) errors of judgement.

Is there a way out of this quagmire?

Provided we quarantine the debt, turn the page and start afresh, I believe the answer is “yes”. The debt should continue to be serviced, but it cannot be repaid and we need to formally admit to that so that we can move on. That will automatically freeze up the capital markets and plans need to be put in place to cope with that. We need to understand that making such an admission will likely cause an emotional backlash, but we'll get over it. We need to face our problems, not hide from them. Non repayment of the debt will in fact not be as a serious as it sounds, but it is also a fact that our ability to keep servicing it is becoming more difficult. At current rates of interest, the interest burden on the US Public debt roughly equals the US budget deficit. That has to be the case because, when you cut through the political obfuscation, that's the rate at which the Public Debt has been growing. However, if we apply our minds, we'll come up with something. One thing modern humans are not is we are not stupid. We may have been misguided in our actions, but there's a difference.

Unfortunately, there are also other and very significant human behavioural issues to be addressed.

One consequence of the reckless behaviour of the western political juggernaut has been a build-up of hysteria about matters like Global Warming (there are also other ‘crisis' subjects which the media have been fomenting). The world's thinking population is generally feeling extremely anxious. When you are anxious you make stupid mistakes. We need to soothe the anxieties.

Another consequence has been that the balance in human affairs has been disturbed, and there has been an escalation of the Clash of Civilizations, or Clash of Cultures. Sir Isaac Newton taught us that for every action in this Universe there is an equal and opposite reaction. This “law” applies to human actions as well. If you punch me in the teeth, I'll kick you in the balls. It's the way we are designed. The irresponsible behaviour in the West has created another monster in the form of an Islamic Jihad which has been gaining momentum. As these words are being written, there are approximately 2 million religious Muslims gathered in Mecca for the annual Hajj. Understanding what the Hajj is all about is not as easy as it seems because non Muslims are not allowed to enter the holy city of Mecca.

But the important action does not occur in Mecca. The important action occurs in a place called Arafat. It is in Arafat that the stoning of the Jamarat occurs and an outcome of that behaviour is “a significant increase in testosterone levels”

If you have ever watched the riots following a soccer match in Europe or England, understand that what you were watching was a consequence of testosterone levels which were raised as the two soccer teams of opposing sides clashed in combat. Human males (and females also) are designed that way. To avoid all out violence, we need to understand the dangers of a build up in testosterone levels, and we need to go forward in a manner which is consciously targeting an outcome of lowered testosterone levels.

Our top priority is to defuse the build-up of hatred that has been festering and growing as a result of the patently dishonest/irresponsible behaviour of Western leaders, of which Al Gore's reckless behaviour is but one example. Al Gore is a public figure so I can express my opinions freely. That's the price you pay when you aspire to public office. Is a he a crook? I don't think so. I think he is probably a decent family man. But I also think he is a man whose ego was badly dented when he lost to George Bush and, after licking his wounds, he needed a cause. Global Warming was his cause. That is how much damage can be caused when we appoint men and women with big egos and/or raging testosterone to represent us as our leaders.

So we need to soothe the anxious thinking population. People need to calm down. Once people are calm, and they are receptive to dialogue, we can begin to implement sensible solutions.

Fortunately, there is a raft of sensible alternatives, all of which can be implemented in a manner which is calculated to converge on a sensible targeted outcome. Human knowledge has grown to become awe inspiring. One such sensible targeted outcome, which has emerged after roughly four decades of research by this author, seems highly desirable. It will give rise to a general increase in the quality of life across the planet – including within the poorer nations of the world.

Beyond Neanderthal is a factional novel which has a storyline woven around the findings of this research. It may or may not arrive at the “correct” conclusions, but it has been written with integrity. Please register your interest to acquire a copy. We are targeting to publish towards the end of March 2008.

The bottom line is that humanity needs to close ranks. The missing element has been “integrity”.

Perhaps the US Senate Report referred to above will clear the decks for people of integrity to be heard. They are there, waiting in the shadows. 400 of them were prepared to put their names to the US Senate Report. That is not to say that the scientists who supported the IPCC conclusions were not possessed of integrity. They were merely caught up in the hysteria. Calm thinking is very difficult when everyone around you is hysterical. Especially if you are a sociable animal who cares about what people might think about you.

By Brian Bloom

www.beyondneanderthal.com

Since 1987, when Brian Bloom became involved in the Venture Capital Industry, he has been constantly on the lookout for alternative energy technologies to replace fossil fuels. He has recently completed the manuscript of a novel entitled Beyond Neanderthal which he is targeting to publish towards the end of March 2008.

The novel has been drafted on three levels: As a vehicle for communication it tells the light hearted, romantic story of four heroes in search of alternative energy technologies which can fully replace Neanderthal Fire. On that level, its storyline and language have been crafted to be understood and enjoyed by everyone with a high school education.  The second level of the novel explores the intricacies of the processes involved and stimulates thinking about their development. None of the three new energy technologies which it introduces is yet on commercial radar. Gold, the element , (Au) will power one of them. On the third level, it examines why these technologies have not yet been commercialised. The answer: We've got our priorities wrong.

Beyond Neanderthal also provides a roughly quantified strategic plan to commercialise at least two of these technologies within a decade – across the planet.  In context of our incorrect priorities, this cannot be achieved by Private Enterprise. Tragically, Governments will not act unless there is pressure from voters. It is therefore necessary to generate a juggernaut tidal wave of that pressure. The cost will be ‘peppercorn' relative to what is being currently considered by some Governments. Together, these three technologies have the power to lift humanity to a new level of evolution.

Within a decade, Carbon emissions will plummet but, as you will discover, they are an irrelevancy. Please register your interest to acquire a copy of this novel at www.beyondneanderthal.com . Please also inform all your friends and associates. The more people who read the novel, the greater will be the pressure for Governments to act.

Copyright © 2007 Brian Bloom - All Rights Reserved

Brian Bloom Archive

© 2005-2019 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Comments

Luis
21 Dec 07, 15:31
Global Warming

You are quite eager to call IPCC scientists as "hysterical", but then applaud the magnificent, non-paid and non-interested, honest and calm, serious incredible 400 scientists that went over the senate to sign a paper down, with no scientific purpose, rather a political one. For me this is a CLEAR sign of "hysteria".

Story never told was how much of "scientists" were these guys, what is their history records, what were their sponsors over the years. I'd think a very interesting story is behind all this farce.

But generally speaking, I agree with you: even if GW is for real and frightening, it is a distraction for the closer and direst predicament we are to face: Peak Energy and its global consequences.


Kerry Kovarik
21 Dec 07, 16:02
Debunking Global Warming Consensus?

It is interesting to note that the cited report comes from the Minority - a group who also advocates "abstinence-only" sexual education as prudent and "intelligent design" as scientifically credible. According to Wikipedia, worldwide production of CO2 PER YEAR is 27,245,758,000 tons.

While the exact range of effects that this infusion of CO2 is/will cause is not known with certainty - it is beyond doubt that it is having an effect. Additionally, if external forces are also affecting our climate, by not policing our output, we are effectively "hitting the accelerator when skidding toward a cliff." There will always be differences of opinion regarding specifics, but the ability to find 400 critics does not negate the overwhelming agreement by the majority of climate scientists that our pollution of the environment is having measurable effects on climate.

Just as I will not suspend my judgment regarding the ill-effects of smoking based on the minority of credentialed skeptics whose livelihood depends on grants from Big Tobacco – I would not advocate the postponement of efforts to cut CO2 emissions.


Robert Berger
25 Dec 07, 09:30
Mitigation of Climate Change

Given that many of the mitigation strategies for climate change are identical to those needed to address peak oil (natural gas and coal to follow), let's purue a course which addresses both issues. While there are some folks who believe neither issue is serious, there aren't many of those.


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