Monday, September 22, 2008

Not before time

As reported on Spaceweather.com and Anthony Watts blog, we have a cycle 24 sunspot. Never thought I'd be so relieved to see something so mundane. While I'd pay a great deal of money to see the warmists hysterical prognostications of doom and disaster discredited, I would not be happy to see another Sp├Ârer, Dalton or Maunder minimum with all that a cooler Earth might entail. Neither would any of my putative as-yet-unborn grandchildren.

While sunspots may not be the cause of increased solar output, they are at least a reliable indicator that things 93 million miles away are either going to stay nice and toasty, or cause billions of people to have to wrap up warm and take up ice skating.

If the Earth gets significantly cooler this means less food for a bigger population with all the issues that a run of consecutive failed harvests etc will entail. If the Earth warms, this means a longer growing season, and our little blue green orb can support more of it's increased human population. A cooler planet means less food for everyone just as 'biofuels' mean less food for the many when crops are utilised for ethanol production. Green taxes, by the same token are anything but, and a similar own goal which work to the benefit of no-one but the traders in hysteria like the much vaunted 'carbon trading' scams, sorry, schemes. Damn these typos.

People still have to go to work to earn money to pay for energy, food and accommodation. 'Green' taxes increase the cost of going to work and the transportation of everything from basic foodstuffs to high end consumer goods. No matter what certain politicians say, people will need to work more to pay the new taxes either directly or indirectly. More economic activity will be required to pay the extra cost of living. More economic activity means more transportation, and ironically, pollution. More transportation means more 'green' tax revenue which translates into a higher cost of living for everyone. Therefore, it is my contention that 'Green' taxes are in no way, shape or form 'Revenue Neutral'. To maintain otherwise is conclusive evidence of total economic illiteracy.

As for the climate, it changes. Nothing we can do can alter that. That much is proven by history. While we have a duty of care to future generations to cut down pollution and not turn the worlds oceans into very wet versions of deserts, we should not think that tax is the answer. That's just a lack of courage and imagination by the politicians. We should be planning to embrace whatever changes the planet throws at us. To adapt and improvise workable solutions. That's why we as a species have been so successful.

One strategy that would help might be to improve building and insulation standards, promote energy efficiency using incentives, not penalties, tax breaks for products with lower emissions and low waste output. Let's say tax breaks on locally grown food, making it more competitive to produce in the global marketplace. If the global temperature trend is down like the past couple of years indicate, then maybe we should be planning and building power stations and laying up stores (Fuel, dry goods) for the possible shortages ahead. If things do turn around and get warmer, then we should be looking to reap the benefits of surpluses from a longer growing season. All tax will do is shift the economic activity pollution further to nations which aren't too fussy about it because it will cost less to buy stuff we need from there. Until of course the economy goes pear shaped and then no-one benefits. Exporters or importers.

Oh what the hell, I know I'm just ranting at thin air, but I have to get this out of my system somehow. Stuff it. Time for bed. It'll all be the same in a thousand years.

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