Well, as progress is still slow with the sea-level study, I thought I’d fill some space by mentioning something that caught my eye recently.  Regular visitors to Climateaudit would have recently seen a post about our dear friend, Dr. James Hansen, discussing kool-aide drinking!  Specifically, he was discussing how soft renewable energy isn’t a realistic alternative to our current energy mix.  He also goes on to equate people who believe it can be to people that believe in the Tooth fairy and the Easter Bunny!

To be honest, I knew he was critical of many different alarmist camps, but I didn’t realize how deep that critical thought went.  You can read his writing here.  It’s an interesting read.  Now, there is a bunch of fluff in it and some other things he gets wrong.  I’ll briefly explore some of what he gets right and what he gets wrong.

Let’s look at what big Jim had to say…….  He starts with some rambling about his grandchildren, but he almost reasonably ties the rambling in with the message he was trying to convey, so I give him points for that…… but only because I’m a grandfather, too and find concern for ones legacy entirely rational.  More on grandchildren later.

He then starts to talk about the graft he’s received and how he invests the graft to receive more graft, off of the backs of the taxpayers of Penn. and the federal government.  I could stop here and go into a rant about how I’m incredulous that Hansen would out of one side of his mouth state that soft renewables aren’t the answer, but in out of another orifice he takes our money to invest in a soft renewable.  According to the information he provided, he received almost $40,000 of tax monies (over half of the investment) so he can get some free electricity.  Very nice……. we wonder why our finances are the way they are?  Here is a great example.  But, I’ll rant later.  But, to his credit, Hansen does recognize the fact that he’s benefitted, in an unfair way, from other people less fortunate.  Quoting  Hansen, “Utilities blame the increases in part on renewable energy requirements; if that is true, the majority of people without renewable energies are in effect providing another subsidy.” —— no doubt.  He goes on to whine about how his daughter got shafted into only getting a smaller part of the graft and that the AEC market took a dive so the ROI isn’t going to be what it could have been.  (AEC is an Alternative Energy Credit used by Pennsylvania)  Waaa!!

He continues by showing how insignificant soft renewables are to the U.S. and world energy mix.  He shows how hydro is the renewable source that provides most of the growth in the world renewable energy generation.  He shows how unreasonable it is to believe soft renewables could provide anywhere close to the necessary energy needed by this nation or the world as a whole.  Hansen introduces one of my favorite reality denying imbeciles, Amory Lovins.  When looking for responsible parties of this renewable madness, Hansen correctly points at one of the culprits.  Amory has a long history of advocating poverty through energy deprivation.  The irony of Hansen pointing to Lovins is amazing.  They are the flip side of the same coin!!!  Lovins advocates use of renewables as a way to decrease the use of “fossil fuels”.  Hansen just hates the largest part of the fossil fuel equation, coal.  Both, through their individual advocacy, have caused poverty through energy deprivation.  Oddly, though, Hansen has a few moments of clarity.  Here is his money quote——- “The insightful cynic will note: “Now I understand all the fossil fuel ads with windmills and solar panels – fossil fuel moguls know that renewables are no threat to the fossil fuel business.” The tragedy is that many environmentalists line up on the side of the fossil fuel industry, advocating renewables as if they, plus energy efficiency, would solve the global climate change matter.  Can renewable energies provide all of society’s energy needs in the foreseeable future? It is conceivable in a few places, such as New Zealand and Norway. But suggesting that renewables will let us phase rapidly off fossil fuels in the United States, China, India, or the world as a whole is almost the equivalent of believing in the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy.” ——- Dr. James Hansen

I don’t know why it must be stated, but apparently there are people out there so ignorant of the sources of energy and how much each supply, that they believe exactly as Dr. Hansen states.  It is gobsmacking!  Dr. Hansen also correctly states that renewables are no threat to the fossil fuel industry.  This is another prevalent thought amongst alarmists that the fossil fuel industry gives a darn about renewable advocacy.  There is only one fossil fuel industry adversely effected by the CAGW and renewable advocacy…… the coal industry.  Oil?  Nope.  Natural Gas?  Natural Gas?!?!?!?!?!?  Natural gas has benefited greatly from this advocacy.  But, even the coal industry understands one can’t just phase them out any time soon.  Why?  Because there isn’t an infrastructure in place that would allow for it without depriving much of world of energy.  It simply can’t happen.  Even if the infrastructure was in place, the effectiveness and pure logistics of soft renewables, (wind, solar, tidal….etc.) isn’t sufficient to supplant coal, nor will they be anytime soon.  Dr. Hansen then goes on to briefly discuss the political  realities of the alarmist advocacy.  It doesn’t matter how hard one wishes, it won’t change reality.

Then, right in the midst of this moment of clarity, Dr. Hansen falls off the rails.  He starts to discuss all of the evil processes we go through to get our fuel and energy!  But, he disconnects because he doesn’t discuss why or even how it is bad, he just simply assumes we’ll believe, like him, that it is bad.  He even has the audacity to mention hydrofracking.  Why do I say that?  Hydrofracking is a newish technique to get at natural gas.  The reason this is becoming more prevalent?  Because additional sources for gas is needed because of the increase demand for energy production.  It is supplanting (in part) coal use.  THIS IS WHAT HANSEN WANTED!!!!!  If he wants to point fingers now, surely he has to recognize he is partially responsible.  He whines about Lovins but doesn’t recognize his contribution to this insanity.  Well, I guess clarity for people such as Hansen can only be taken in small amounts.

In his “Real Solutions” section, it really gets bizarre…………… Or maddening.  Quoting Hansen some more, “The public can appreciate that a rising price must be placed on fossil fuel emissions, if we are to phase out our addiction to fossil fuels.”……. he continues, “The fee, to be effective, perforce must have a notable effect on the price-at-the-pump, utility bills, and almost all aspects of economic life………………… Such a rate would add about $1 per gallon to the price of gasoline. However, it would also yield an annual dividend of $2000- $3000 per legal adult resident, $6000-9000 per family with two or more children. Economic models show that this fee would yield a 30% reduction of carbon emissions at the end of the 10 years, and we would be well on our way to phasing out our fossil fuel addiction by mid-century.”  He then returns to irrational talk of his grandchildren to conclude his ramblings.

Why do I say the “Real Solutions” section is bizarre or maddening?  Because, he seems to recognize renewables cannot supplant the traditional sources for fuel and energy, yet, he advocates us “phasing out our addiction to fossil fuels”.  While he gives momentary lip service to nuclear power, in its present state, it can’t supplant fossil fuels, nor will it ever…… if it is to remain in its present state.  So, he bags on Lovins because renewables can’t supplant traditional sources, but he also advocates supplanting traditional sources, but offers no solutions to what could and should supplant the demand.  At least Lovins offers a fantasy.  So, either there is a disconnect in Hansen’s thinking, or he doesn’t care.  And this is where it gets a bit maddening…….

Let’s look at his personal notes in his offering.  He gets two large monetary awards.  (Not mentioned is that he gets a nice salary, too.)  Now, before I go any further, I want to state, I don’t begrudge Dr. Hansen of his money.  We can debate about what is earned and what isn’t and whether or not it is ethical for a govt scientist in his position to receive such awards, but I don’t begrudge him his money.  So, he divides his money between paying off debt, college funds for grandchildren and installing solar panels.  (And taxes.)  This is nice.  Where it gets bad is the solar panels.  The average taxpayer of Pennsylvania is subsidizing Dr. Hansen’s utility bill.  There was a time when people of this nation didn’t accept government largess out of a position of pride.  People standing in line when Uncle Sam was handing out sugar were frowned upon, especially those that obviously didn’t need it.  Dr. Hansen doesn’t even seem to blink at the idea, even though he recognizes the fact that it is a fools errand the government is on by subsidizing the solar panels.  Very nice…… but it gets worse.  He later advocates an additional  $6000-9000 per family out of pocket expense to solve his imaginary problem.  I can’t decide if Dr. Hansen is so detached from reality that he believes everyone has this sort of money or if he simply doesn’t care about the people on the lower spectrum of personal income.  But, Dr. Hansen, I don’t have $70,000 to plop down so other people can subsidize my electric bill.  I’d like my grandchildren to go to college too, but I don’t have a government position that allows me to be rewarded for my advocacy.  In fact, I can tell you my grandchildren’s family can’t afford $6000 – $9000 out of pocket expense, and their grandfather can’t either.

I’m sick and tired of this elitist mindset that ignores the working poor!  Hansen pretends like everyone should have this kind of money.  But worse, he acts like his ideas wouldn’t put unnecessary hardship on the people who are effected the most by his and Lovins advocacy.  It’s as if the working poor don’t exist.  They do, and they aren’t thriving.  I started as a working poor person.  But, I had opportunity for advancement, and later, an opportunity to finish my pursuit of a degree.  And, that’s all I asked for.  And, that is all that is required.  This is the heritage and birthright of the American people.  I don’t care about a starting point, just an ability to improve one’s personal conditions and an opportunity to provide for ourselves.  Again, this is a birthright.  It isn’t optional.  Our forefathers fought and died over this birthright of self-determination and opportunity.  I’ll be damned if some pinhead like Hansen is going to ruin it for my grandchildren because of his unnatural obsession with a molecule and his indifference for his fellow, less fortunate, citizens.  (Whom he continues to feed off of.)

PS.  To those people who believe behavior should be controlled by tax policy, this is a great example of why not.

James Sexton

This entry was posted in Climate, Economics. Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to HANSEN WAS RIGHT!!!! (IN PART, FOR ONCE.)

  1. Mark Reau says:

    Hey James,
    CNBCW (I think) had a program on today regarding this very issue. Three panelists concurred it was necessary to tax fuels, I’m afraid it will happen.
    I too am sick and tired of the elitist mindset, as is the rest of the world’s middle and lower classes. The Middle East, many parts of Europe, Japan and even in China. Evidence of this is everywhere across all media outlets.
    Furthermore, the powers that be are mandating behavior then regulating business to death, forcing companies overseas. Evergreen Solar got 58 million dollars in state funding, now bankrupt and moving to China.”It costs $1.10 per watt in China to make a solar panel. That same exact process costs $1.80 here in the U.S.,That’s a 60 percent difference.”


    A bit O/T but I saw your post on WUWT today about Perry, the sppi blog has this:


    Gov. Rick Perry and Agenda 21- I don’t trust this guy. The elite don’t give a spit about the hardships on working class America, never have. The sooner the U.S. reaches a tipping point the better. If I was a liberal relying on something for nothing funding I’d likely sing another tune.
    /End Rant (its beer 30)-Mark

    • suyts says:

      Thanks Mark, the republican nomination is going to get real interesting real fast. I’m withholding judgment on Perry until I dig deeper into his actions as Gov., but he says the right words.

      I’m not sure we’re going to get a carbon tax or fuel tax…… this recent drought just about put the poor over the edge from Texas up through Kansas. They don’t have anymore to give, so unless the powers that be want an American spring, they’ll hold off for a bit. In the mean time, we need to find a way to articulate to those pinheads on the panel that our economy can’t take the hit either. Cheap, reliable, and available electricity is the way out of the economic doldrums and the way to stay competitive. We don’t wont to curtail energy use, we need to encourage it!

      Anyway, it is beer:30 Thanks man!

      • Latitude says:

        I read it twice, and couldn’t find the rant………….I’ll try again 😉

        ..Perry is going to be our next president….every time I watch CNN or MSNBC they are trashing him……

        Here’s the next shoe to fall….everyone we know is living off their savings ( you know, those savings that Obama said we didn’t have)….and it’s fixing to run out

      • suyts says:

        The libs are scared to death of this guy. They want Bachmann to win the nomination because they don’t believe she’s electable…… and they’re probably right. They’ll settle for Romney because he’s more like them than any conservative. But Perry sat on the sidelines under their trashing radar. Now, they’ve only got a year to screw up his image to the people that only watch CNN and MSNBC.

      • Latitude says:

        People actually watch CNN and MSNBC??
        I didn’t realize…….must be that constant 20% 😉

      • Latitude says:

        I watch MSNBC just to see the Rev. Al Sharpton….

        He can’t read the teleprompter….
        ….and when he goes off teleprompter he speaks ebonics…. he’s a hoot!

      • Mark Reau says:

        Hey James,
        “I’m withholding judgment on Perry until I dig deeper into his actions as Gov., but he says the right words.”

        How about this: During his 2010 re-election bid in Texas, Perry said he is a “firm believer in intelligent design as a matter of faith and intellect,” according to his responses to questions from the Standard-Times in San Angelo, Texas.

        When Perry lobbed this potshot at President Obama — “You can’t win the future by selling America off to foreign creditors”
        — was he thinking of his own failed attempt to use foreign investments and tolls to finance a controversial $175 billion road project in the Lone Star State?

        When he said at the end of this speech that “the people are not subjects of government,” government “is subject to the people,” was Perry channeling the rage of the Texas farmers who successfully fought off his effort to seize their land to build that 4,000-mile Trans-Texas Corridor?

        In his 2010 book, Fed Up! Our Fight to Save America from Washington, Perry abandons the “strict constructionist” view of the Constitution many Republicans cling
        to by arguing for an amendment that strips federal judges of their lifetime
        appointments. He also wants to tip the balance of power in favor of Congress by tweaking the Constitution to give federal lawmakers the power to overturn Supreme Court decisions. If you think this makes Perry a champion of those who want
        to bring the reins of power closer to this nation’s people, consider this: The tough-talking Texas governor wants to repeal the constitutional amendment that made it possible for voters of every state to elect U.S. senators. Until the 17th amendment
        was ratified in 1913, state legislatures elected senators.

        Its a worrisome prospect how consequential his presidency would be to the life of this nation.

        ( SCARY STUFF) http://www.texasobserver.org/cover-story/rick-perrys-army-of-god

        There’s this-The following are 14 reasons why Rick Perry would be a really, really bad president….

        #1 Rick Perry is a “big government” politician. When Rick Perry became the governor of Texas in 2000, the total spending by the Texas state government was approximately $49 billion. Ten years later it was approximately $90 billion. That is not exactly reducing the size of government.

        #2 The debt of the state of Texas is out of control. According to usdebtclock.org, the debt to GDP ratio in Texas is 22.9% and the debt per citizen is $10,645. In California (a total financial basket case), the debt to GDP ratio is just 18.7% and the debt per citizen is only $9932. If Rick Perry runs for president these are numbers he will want to keep well hidden.

        #3 The total debt of the Texas government has more than doubled since Rick Perry became governor. So what would the U.S. national debt look like after four (or eight) years of Rick Perry?

        #4 Rick Perry has spearheaded the effort to lease roads in Texas to foreign companies, to turn roads that are already free to drive on into toll roads, and to develop the Trans-Texas Corridor which would be part of the planned NAFTA superhighway system. If you really do deep research on this whole Trans-Texas Corridor nonsense you will see why no American should ever cast a single vote for Rick Perry.

        #5 Rick Perry claims that he has a “track record” of not raising taxes. That is a false claim. Rick Perry has repeatedly raised taxes and fees while he has been governor. Today, Texans are faced with significantly higher taxes and fees than they were before Rick Perry was elected.

        #6 Even with the oil boom in Texas, 23 states have a lower unemployment rate than Texas does.

        #7 Back in 1988, Rick Perry supported Al Gore for president. In fact, Rick Perry actually served as Al Gore’s campaign chairman in the state of Texas that year.

        #8 Between December 2007 and April 2011, weekly wages in the U.S. increased by about 5 percent. In the state of Texas they increased by just 0.6% over that same time period.

        #9 Texas now has one of the worst education systems in the nation. The following is from an opinion piece that was actually authored by Barbara Bush earlier this year….

        •  We rank 36th in the nation in high school graduation rates. An estimated 3.8 million Texans do not have a high school diploma.

        •  We rank 49th in verbal SAT scores, 47th in literacy and 46th in average math SAT scores.

        •  We rank 33rd in the nation on teacher salaries.

        #10 Rick Perry attended the Bilderberg Group meetings in 2007. Associating himself with that organization should be a red flag for all American voters.

        #11 Texas has the highest percentage of workers making minimum wage out of all 50 states.

        #12 Rick Perry often gives speeches about illegal immigration, but when you look at the facts, he has been incredibly soft on the issue. If Rick Perry does not plan to secure the border, then he should not be president because illegal immigration
        is absolutely devastating many areas of the southwest United States.

        #13 In 2007, 221,000 residents of Texas were making minimum wage or less. By 2010, that number had risen to 550,000.

        #14 Rick Perry actually issued an executive order in 2007 that would have forced almost every single girl in the state of Texas to receive the Gardasil vaccine before entering the sixth grade. Perry would have put parents in a position where they
        would have had to fill out an application and beg the government not to inject their child with a highly controversial vaccine. Since then, very serious safety issues regarding this vaccine have come to light. Fortunately, lawmakers in Texas
        blocked what Perry was trying to do. According to Wikipedia, many were troubled when “apparent financial connections between Merck and Perry were reported by news outlets, such as a $6,000 campaign contribution and Merck’s hiring of former Perry
        Chief of Staff Mike Toomey to handle its Texas lobbying work.”

        Rick Perry has a record that should make all Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians and Independents cringe.

        He is not the “conservative Republican” that he is trying to claim that he is. He is simply another in a long line of “RINOs” (Republicans in name only). By the way I don’t
        watch CNN or MSNBS. I’ll say it again, I don’t trust this guy. The GOP flatout s***s a*s this go round IMHO.

        • suyts says:

          Mark, thanks for the info…….. I’ve plenty to say about it, but I’ve got this silly job thing that keeps taking up my time. If most of this is verifiable, I’m going to have a dickens of a time during the primary. But, the 17th amendment…… IMHO destroyed an essential fed/state check and balance the founding fathers intentionally put in the constitution. I doubt many of the unfunded mandates imposed by the federal government would have been adopted had we still had senators beholding to the state legislatures. (Just a perspective I thought I’d throw out there for people to consider.) There’s much more to say, but I don’t want to come off as a Perry apologist. Thanks again,


  2. Tony Duncan says:


    very interesting post. I too have wondered at the naiveté of those that propose fantasy proposals, no matter how good their intentions. The amount of world energy use is astronomical, and is only possible because the solar energy in fossil fuels is SO concentrated and formed over many millions of years, which will be used in just a few centuries.
    However, at some point the continued arithmetic increase in energy use cannot be sustained as limits in various different spheres are approached, even assuming that the effects of ACC are exaggerated by most scientists, or mitigation actions can be fairly successful.
    I listen to the podcasts and programs from Yale and Stanford, both of which are engaged in collaborations with various industries regarding some of these issues, I find both sources realistic sources of information about energy use and the viability of alternatives.

    Apparently i did not sign up for your new posts. that lack has now been rectified 😉

  3. suyts says:

    Thanks Tony,

    While it is true that there are limited resources on this earth, our ability to find new sources and new ways to use our resources is limited only to the imagination. I take it you’re referring to “peak oil” or “peak coal” and are considering it from the perspective in the style of Malthus or Paul Ehrlich.

    There isn’t any reason to believe we’re approaching peak oil or coal any time soon. I’m of the opinion that by the time we reach that point, we would have long past found other sources of energy and fuel and other more efficient means to use these resources. One of the biggest things to keep in mind is the Law of energy Conservation. We really don’t create or use up energy, we simply move it from one form to another.

    • Tony Duncan says:


      Actually I am rather skeptical of peak oil, at least as it is portrayed by some as some imminent event. So I think we pretty much agree there. I was referring to other rather hazy issues regarding the effects of increasing energy production on a finite planet. Things like waste, and pollution, and even price. But I agree that we shall find unexpected novel solutions to certain of those problems.I am constantly amazed by some new scientific or technological development I read about at least once a week.

      • suyts says:

        Well, like I said, the Law of energy conservation certainly applies here, and given that energy use is equivalent to economic activity, I say, the more the better. Wast and pollution is, like you say, a bit hazy. Pollution is rather subjective and waste is something we need to address, but only to the point of diminishing returns. Given that we don’t make matter, neither do we destroy matter. We just change it. Waste should be sent back from whence it came, but with a reasonable distribution of the various elements. Mercury, for example. Mercury, BTW, will be very grave future concern here in the U.S. in a very short time. We’ve mandated these silly curly lights, but disposal isn’t something anyone seems to be addressing. They’ll all end up at the land fill,and when it starts leaching into the ground, people are going to have conniptions.

  4. Tony Duncan says:

    Hmm. I have apparently been kicked off of Steve site.I shall labor most vigorously not to meet the same fate here!
    Too bad. I wanted to respond to Scott about a little back and forth we had was very interesting.

    • suyts says:

      I’m real sorry and very surprised to hear that. Hopefully it was some sort of mix up. I really can’t imagine you or anyone else doing anything in which I would kick people off this site. lol, I’d have to look to see how.

      Spamming, excessive vulgarity…..I guess those would do it, but I don’t see that being a problem.

      • Tony Duncan says:

        Well, I certainly think my comments qualify as spam by Steve’s way of looking at things. I just think that numerous other comments are just as spamy as mine. But as I have said repeatedly, it is his blog, and he has given me an extraordinary degree of latitude over the last 6 months.
        I tend to mirror what I read, so I concur that I don’t see that being any sort of a problem on your site.

      • suyts says:

        Just got back from a newly wed cousin. Tony, I welcome alternative views. Flames, not so much. The interaction between you and Steve seemed wrong to me.
        No happy ending in sight, Big Al would have been disappointed.

  5. Pingback: The mischaracterization of skepticism and the misapplication of the Skeptic label | suyts space

  6. Pingback: AC/DC (and typical talking points) | suyts space

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