Sunday, January 20, 2019

And the Economists Keep Rolling On!

The Worthwhile Canadian Initiative site lay forth the most obfuscated discussion of carbon tax ever. Some of the folks there are not bad but there is not an engineer in the batch. Folks, it is a technology problem, not an economics problem. Tax Cancer, Tax War, Tax Poverty, just keep using your tax "hammer" and all we do is annoy people and enrich the politicians.

This problem is readily solved with technology. We solved yellow fever and so too can we solve this.

God, let us pray that the economists somehow disappear. Please dear Lord!

And in a Technology Review article, hardly a technology rich rag in my opinion, an author risks being ostracized by stating:
 
That suggests the entire nation should run on wind, solar, and maybe some geothermal electricity. It’s an absurd strategy for rapidly and affordably reaching the low-to-no-carbon energy system required to limit the threat of climate change. Everything we know from recent research indicates that nuclear, carbon capture, and hydropower are essential, and that carbon pricing could be among the most powerful tools for driving the transformation.

At least this is a start.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Happy 100th!

Today would have been my father's 100th birthday. He left me with such pearls of wisdom as "Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance" Such advice saved me many times. He also left me with: "Don't "who" me, I don't see any feathers on your a.."

Born in Brooklyn, mother dies at young age and all seven children were sent to Mt Loretto orphanage, then released after ten years and schooled on Staten Island, off to the Navy for WW II, then NYC Police and then his own business. Never would have started my own companies if I had not have seen him succeed.

So Happy 100!

Friday, January 18, 2019

If All You Have is a Hammer....

Here they go again: (supported by those Harvard folks)

I. A carbon tax offers the most cost-effective lever to reduce carbon emissions at the scale and speed that is necessary. By correcting a well-known market failure, a carbon tax will send a powerful price signal that harnesses the invisible hand of the marketplace to steer economic actors towards a low-carbon future. II. A carbon tax should increase every year until emissions reductions goals are met and be revenue neutral to avoid debates over the size of government. A consistently rising carbon price will encourage technological innovation and large-scale infrastructure development. It will also accelerate the diffusion of carbon-efficient goods and services. III. A sufficiently robust and gradually rising carbon tax will replace the need for various carbon regulations that are less efficient. Substituting a price signal for cumbersome regulations will promote economic growth and provide the regulatory certainty companies need for long- term investment in clean-energy alternatives. IV. To prevent carbon leakage and to protect U.S. competitiveness, a border carbon adjustment system should be established. This system would enhance the competitiveness of American firms that are more energy-efficient than their global competitors. It would also create an incentive for other nations to adopt similar carbon pricing. V. To maximize the fairness and political viability of a rising carbon tax, all the revenue should be returned directly to U.S. citizens through equal lump-sum rebates. The majority of American families, including the most vulnerable, will benefit financially by receiving more in “carbon dividends” than they pay in increased energy prices.

Now just think.

I. There is no real evidence that taxing reduces anything. Especially if demand is inelastic. Please consider your cleaning staff dear Harvard. There is a great deal of evidence that technology solves this problem. Again, not something any economist seems to grasp.

II. So keep taxing until we drive down the poor folks who cannot afford it. Truly beastly.

III Now you folks are talking about our Government. They never saw anything they cannot regulate. Starting with the Whiskey Rebellion!

IV I thought these folks were against tariffs. Enough said here.

V The Government giving back! What iota of evidence do we have here. At best it is income redistribution.

And my poor grandson is studying economics! This whole proposal makes no sense, at least from a real world perspective.

The Chinese will solve this while we are taxing our civilization out of existence. Where is Marx when we need him?

Now imagine if we applied this theory to say cancer. Cancer is bad. We want to eradicate cancer. So tax every person who gets cancer, if they get sicker, raise the taxes, if they die, confiscate all they have left.

Will that cure cancer? What do you think. Remember, do not ask an economist! 

And one more thing, the above Manifesto reminds me of the many that were produced by the Marxists during the turn of the last century. Guess some folks never learn.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Microsoft At It Again?

It seems that whoever is running Microsoft really must hate the customers, in my opinion. The most recent disaster is the Windows 10 KB4023057 download. You see this was done several months ago but the wizards at Microsoft tried again and the result is failures to update.

One of the web sites discussing this notes:

It looks like Windows 10 KB4023057 has been re-released and the update appears to be causing unexpected issues on some machines. We have come across some isolated reports from Twitter and Reddit which revealed that Windows 10 KB4023057 installation fails. A thread on Reddit claims that the system downloaded the update but the installation of KB4023057 failed with error 0x80070643....“Windows Update just tried (and failed) to install a “KB4023057″ update just now. I’m wondering, what on earth does it do? I can’t seem to find a post on the official Microsoft website about it, and any news articles I find of it (from MONTHS ago) talk about it messing with files in the user directory and network settings,” the Redditor explained.

Just think how many billions of hours are wasted remedying  Microsoft's blunders. They have no shame, no credibility, in my opinion. It really in my opinion calls for a legal action of some type. So far Android has never been such a mess.

Intellectual Dissonance

Let us for the sake of argument make the following assumptions.

1. CO2 in the atmosphere is increasing
2. Increased CO2 will raise temperatures
3. Increased temperatures will have detrimental effects on life on the planet
4. The fundamental, principal and primary cause of increased CO2 is human use of fossil fuels

Now that I believe is the general argument. The problem then is; how do we mitigate the detrimental effects? One guesses that it is simply the reduction of human actions resulting in the emission of CO2 if one accepts the above.

Thus how does one reduce CO2 emissions? There are two ways:

1. Reduce use of fossil fuels and the like which emit them.
2. Capture and isolate the CO2 emitted by fossil fuels so they do not enter the atmosphere

Namely the classic law of nature:

Input-Output=Net Accumulation

If we want no or negative accumulation then we need less input, namely fossil fuel usage, OR more output, which is CO2 extraction by technical means. Somehow the second step is forgotten.

Now how does one accomplish a reduction in Output? If one is an economist or politician you tax it. The old phrase is; "if all you have is a hammer then everything looks like a nail" So tax it. That my friends just means more "food" to the monster.

The second approach is; how does one accomplish Output? Simply, one uses the mass technical means available to us. Send a man, person, to the moon, no problem. Extract CO2, well we already have dozens of ways. So why not just do it? No taxes from this approach.

Now Nature has a piece which states:

Imposing a cost on carbon is the most economically efficient way to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and keep global temperatures within the targets of the Paris climate agreement. If heavy emitters must pay the most, they will shift to cleaner practices. Many jurisdictions have introduced carbon taxes (including Chile, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden) and emissions-trading schemes (such as those in California, the European Union, Quebec, Ontario and South Korea). About 20% of global greenhouse-gas emissions are covered, or soon will be. But almost half of those are still priced below US$10 per tonne of carbon dioxide — too low to make a dent in global emissions. A worldwide carbon-pricing system would speed up emissions cuts and prevent carbon-intensive industries from relocating to avoid charges. It would ensure that carbon pricing is effective and emissions are reduced at the lowest possible cost. 

Now the principal author is allegedly an assistant professor of economics. Remember the hammer metaphor. Why in the good Lord's name in a science journal do we have this unopposed view. Tax not Technology! No wonder the French are in revolt.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Yikes, Another Global Calamity

Nature reports on the ever more faster moving magnetic North Pole. They note:

Second, the motion of the north magnetic pole made the problem worse. The pole wanders in unpredictable ways that have fascinated explorers and scientists since James Clark Ross first measured it in 1831 in the Canadian Arctic. In the mid-1990s it picked up speed, from around 15 kilometres per year to around 55 kilometres per year. By 2001, it had entered the Arctic Ocean — where, in 2007, a team including Chulliat landed an aeroplane on the sea ice in an attempt to locate the pole. In 2018, the pole crossed the International Date Line into the Eastern Hemisphere. It is currently making a beeline for Siberia.

Now the German Press notes a bit of excitement:

By 2018, scientists at US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the British Geological Survey realized they needed to release an updated WMM because it had become "so inaccurate that it was about to exceed the acceptable limit for navigational errors." The wandering pole is driven by unpredictable changes in liquid iron inside the Earth. Due to the US government shutdown, scientists have been unable to release the updated WMM. Instead, they have pushed back the date to January 30, hoping that the government will be running by then. But it's unclear if that will be the case.

The issue is that GPS is independent of the magnetic pole so who cares and second a shift in the pole has  real issues not yet discussed, such as the flipping of the Pole to the South. Global Warming anyone?