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MARCH 2011.


First there was a 5.2 Richter earthquake in NZ.  Lots of damage, deaths estimated at about 200.  People from all over the world sent notes of sympathy, and in some cases sent rescue teams.

Then the revolution moved to Libya.  At one point Qaddafi seemed to have retreated to an enclave around Tripoli.  Qaddafi was totally humiliated, and denies that it is a popular revolution against himself, instead blaming it on al Quaida (the base).   Then Qaddafi used his army and started bombing the bejezus out of the rebels, and showed us the middle eastern way of controlling recalcitrant revolutionaries.  The Saudi and Yemeni seem to have taken that lesson to heart and (over the advice of the Obama government) have quashed sectarian violence in Bahrain & Yemen. Fatalities totals are not well reported on the WWW, but are probably currently somewhere in the range 500 - 1000.  When Qaddafi retakes Benghazi, deaths will probably climb into the tens or possibly into the hundreds of thousands.

21st March

Hours after I wrote the above, Qaddafi gave a speech warning his recalcitrant subjects in terms that promised the bloody results predicted in last sentence above.  Hillary used that speech as a wedge, and within hours the Chinese and Russians had crumbled.  After all, who can support a man who publicly proclaims that it his intention to murder thousands of his insurrectionist subjects?   I can't believe that man.  It was of course great battle tactics, but it lost him the war. 
UN intervention is now sanctioned.

Then the 9.0 Richter quake in Japan.  The Richter scale is log 10 base, which means that 6.2 Richter would be 10 times the energy of 5.2, and 7.2 would be 100 times the energy of 5.2 and so on.  More damaging than the quake was the subsequent tsunami (we used to call it a "tidal wave" because it is more like the tide rises by several meters over a period of a few minutes).  Deaths so far (17th March) are estimated at 25,000, and there are unsettling reports that the nuclear power station problems may be far worse than the authorities are admitting.

Apparently an engineer for the builders of the power stations that are giving all the problems quit his job during construction about what he considered was the crappy design.  I wonder if this is another large multinational issue like the BP Mexico Gulf oil spill?

Worst case scenario?  Massive radiation meltdowns from 10 reactors, adding up to more than 10 Chernobyl's of radiation spilled at a distance of around 200 Km from one of the largest, most populous & most modern cities in the world which happens to be located on a postage stamp sized country.  Possible hundreds of thousands of short term (3 months) fatalities, and tens of millions put at risk of premature death from radiation damage.

Australians complain about our government's generous refugee problem.  But that is because Julia Gillard et al seem to think the boat people are the most deserving.  I believe that political refugees should not be granted asylum or citizenship.  They should instead be offered a three year visa with a work permit and encouraged to engage in the activity of regime change in their own country.  On the other hand, the Japanese have a clear and obvious danger to life.

I suggest that we offer immediate & massive refugee inflows to Japan.

From my understanding of the Japanese psyche, most Japanese would want to return to Japan anyway as soon as the radiation risk there is reduced.  Women and children of the "samurai fighters" putting their lives on the line to repair damaged reactors especially should be given refuge, so that those left to fight the meltdowns need not have the additional worry that their families are at risk.

And I have no doubt but that those Japanese who consented to stay would prove to be at least as good citizens as the best of the current immigrant intake from any other part of the world.


Alarmists have always been with us.  Their raison d'etre appears to be some sort of power thrill they experience when they influence their fellow man and/or change the course of history.  A good book about them is "Battle for the Mind" by William Sargent.  Most of them, fortunately for mankind, are not as persuasive as Wellesley or Hitler. 

Following Hitler (lebensraum alarmist, race was never really a major issue) there were the MacCarthyist alarmists, then the nuclear armageddon alarmists, more recently the greenies alarmists which seem to have metamorphised into the climate change alarmists.  As Sargent explains in his book, the technique in every case is the same.  To paraphrase the alarmist's message is:  A major catastrophe is about to befall us. (i.e. we Germans, Americans, Western world, whole world).  But I can save you!  Just listen to me and do what I say!

When I was in high school, we were taught that the percentage of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere was 0.028%.  According to Wikipedia it is currently 0.039%.  We were also taught that CO2 was a greenhouse gas, in that it warmed the atmosphere.  We were not taught whether that effect was linear (directly proportional).  I very much doubt that it is.

Now the professional alarmists have found out these facts, and the scam is in full cry.

So what is the danger?  When you ask them there are vague hints at sea levels rising (less than a meter in 100 years) or coral reefs being 40% dead (so the variety of coral that survives high concentrations of CO2 will survive and replace the dead coral, much like Charles Darwin suggested, so what's the problem there?).  Or a few old people might die of heat stroke (so give them air conditioners), or glaciers might melt (so what?).

So what is the solution?  Simple, they say, we stop using so much carbon based fuel.  We bring the CO2 in the atmosphere down to reasonable limits.  The less vitriolic strain of alarmists suggest we prevent the concentration rising above 0.045%.   To do that we must tax carbon till the amount of CO2 going into the atmosphere is reduced to a "sustainable" amount.

The problems with a CO2 tax:
  1. There will be massive third world starvation & famine.  The CO2 alarmists have already caused the legislated introduction of ethyl alcohol into petrol.  As a direct result the price of corn and other agricultural products on the world market has risen.  There are reports that food crops in third world countries are being replaced by crops that produce ethyl alcohol for Europe.  The resulting price rises are credited with the unrest that caused the Egyptian revolution.  When the CO2 tax (yet to be introduced) causes the price of fuel and electricity to rise even further, farmers and manufacturers will be under increasing pressure to grow even more cash crops and transport high value items rather than grow and transport cheap food.  People in Africa and Asia will starve.
  2. Massive first world decline of living standards.  Again, by paying more for electricity, and making massive subsidies to expensive alternative energy sources, consumer products (whitegoods, cars, toys, everything) will become a lot more expensive (doubling or quadrupling in cost).
  3. A CO2 tax will not actually do anything to reduce CO2 in the atmosphere significantly unless it stops mankind effectively from using any carbon fuels.  I suggest a CO2 price of $1,500/tonne ($5 Kg, about $25 for a gallon of gas.)  Even if we have zero fuel use, it will take a long time for nature to bring the CO2 concentration back below 0.03%
One author in Wikipedia suggests that a CO2 tax of over $1,500/tonne may be needed to reduce the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere.  Since a tax of $40/tonne is said by Australian treasury modeling to add 25% to your electricity bill, you do the maths. (I get 1,000%, or multiply your current electricity bill by 10).  And everybody who makes and sells stuff you buy has to add in that increase (and fuel tax etc) as a production cost.  On that scenario I would expect worldwide famine within six months.

  Anti-alarmist's Future Scenario.

If we do nothing:

  1. Sure, the average global temperature will rise.  Back in March 2005 I predicted the changes in world climate that would likely result.  Most have since been observed.  I predicted that some agricultural regions would benefit, some would suffer.  (I suggest investing in agricultural land in Dakotas, Minnesota, Canada, Siberia, The Sahel, the top of Australia and Tasmania, but sell in France, Spain, Italy & lower California, and the bottom of mainland Australia.).
  2. Some low lying land might drop below sea level (Suggest investment in Netherlands corporations with Dyke building experience).
  3. Starvation is averted.  The costs of production do not rise, and croplands in Siberia and Canada grow the food previously grown in the (now desert) Mediterranean climates.  In fact, the CO2 improves agricultural yields because it is a fertilizer.
I can not envisage any sea level rise or other effect that would cost more in human famine & suffering than reducing the use of carbon based energy to a "sustainable level" (i.e. no increase in atmospheric CO2) with only present technology

Government does not need to do anything about developing new technology or improving existing photoelectric technology.  This will happen anyhow.  This is because the cost of carbon fuels inevitably rises due to scarcity.  Technology research is always reducing the costs of electronic equipment.  (A Toyota research group predicted five years ago that photoelectric power would undercut coal fired power by 2030.) 

However, I do believe that a carbon tax of $5 - $10 /tonne should be levied because putting CO2 into the atmosphere is an untaxed benefit.  Pollutants should be even more heavily taxed.  Carbon taxes should be GST type taxes (call it a CTax) so as not to disadvantage exports.  Like the GST, a CTax should be levied on all imported goods, based on an estimate of the amount of carbon that was released during their production and transport.   As with the GST, the tax would be refunded on the exported items.

Coal ranges in quality from low polluting & nearly waterless anthracite (black coal) to lignite (brown coal) which contains up to 40% water and many non carbon pollutants.  Anthracite generates about twice as much heat as lignite, and generates significantly more electricity per Kg of carbon released.   As a consequence the demand for anthracite electricity would be greater. 
This is because Anthracite releases less CO2 than lignite per unit of electricity generated, therefore the CTax on electricity generated from lignite would be higher than the CTax on electricity generated from anthracite.  The final price of coal will be determined by market demand. 

Manufacturers would have the option of sourcing their power from brown coal power stations or anthracite power stations, much as consumers currently have the option of purchasing "green" electricity from wind farms etc.   So for example two identical cars could be standing on a showroom floor, one made with anthracite power, the other with lignite power.  The car made with anthracite power might have a CTax component of $1,000, while that made with lignite power might have a CTax of $2,000.  A purchaser from overseas could obtain a $2,000 CTax rebate from the government by purchasing the lignite CTax vehicle.

The carbon that we put into the atmosphere could then be offset against the purchaser's national carbon credit scheme.  And we will have exported the pollution and not the employment.

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