back to article Europe: OK, we'll 'backload' carbon emissions - but we'd better not lose big biz

The European Parliament has voted through proposed temporary reforms to the EU's emissions trading system (EU ETS), after the Parliament's Environment Committee set stricter conditions for the proposed "backloading" of allowances. The latest proposed reforms will prevent the European Commission from backloading more than the 900 …

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OH KNOWS!!!!!!

It's teh carbons ... we're all gonna die!

At least the trees can breathe a trifle easier ...

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Meh

Carbon Trading my Arse!

It's a money-making scam.

The only way to reduce 'Carbon Footprints'' (FFS) is to ban Firewalking.

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indulgences are back ?

Sin and all is forgiven for a fee.

Governments and imaginary items of value always a bad mix.

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Re: indulgences are back ?

The new religion really does bear a lot of similarities with the old religion doesn't it?

Will we get our own Martin Luther is the question?

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Re: indulgences are back ?

Cast your eyes to the East, grasshopper. The Chinese do not believe in your strange religion of denial, and are pumping out enormous volumes of CO2. The Russians, Americans and lots of other small nations don't believe either, but are willing to make a show and dance if some bunch of morons are handing out money in return for good acting.

In the light of this, ALL of this carbon credits malarkey is useless. All it does is drives heavy industry out of the country and makes whizzkid traders rich; it does not achieve the stated aim. In the light of this most startling of revelations, let us abandon such mummery and pretense, and save ourselves a packet.

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FFS...

Have either of you even read a basic physics textbook.

More carbon dioxide in the atmosphere = enhanced greenhouse effect = planet warms up.

Regardless of how much the deniers want to "You cannae change the laws of physics"

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Read a textbook..

Have either of you even read a basic physics textbook.

More carbon dioxide in the atmosphere = enhanced greenhouse effect = planet warms up.

Regardless of how much the deniers want to "You cannae change the laws of physics"

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@urbanmythos (was: Re: Read a textbook..)

You can repeat the articles of your faith as many times as you like, but it doesn't make them true. There is more to our atmosphere than the mere release of "carbons" (which are plant food).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Read a textbook..

@urbanmythos

"Have either of you even read a basic physics textbook."

What you state works perfectly well in a basic, spherical chicken in a vacuum, ignore the variables textbook. But since a basic text book doesnt have the grand unified theory I guess you automatically assume that doesnt exist either. Actually I dont think basic text books would have had the super collider although that might have changed recently, so you dont think that exists either.

Aint much left in your world of physics. Maybe you should look to reality first and compare the simplified models. That way you realise we know almost nothing of what is going on. We cant predict, we cant model, we are still learning. And when something is learned and after some time of understanding the new information we then see it appearing in basic textbooks.

Where you read it.

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Re: Read a textbook..

"That way you realise we know almost nothing of what is going on. We cant predict, we cant model, we are still learnin"

All the more reason to cut carbon pollution then until we fully understand what impact it will have.

If we can later prove that rising CO2 is safe then we can resume burning the coal and oil.

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Re: Read a textbook.. @NomNomNom

You need to stop a lot of new people breathing then.

But on what you have just said, can you prove that lowering CO2 too much will not cause the ice sheets (you know the ones that covered continents) to return? If not then where are the taxes on lowering carbon too much?

I am neither for nor against rather sitting on the fence waiting for the people more knowledgeable than I to come to some kind of consensus, but taxing things into oblivion is not helping either. We need to find a middle ground.

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Re: Read a textbook..

@NomNomNom

"All the more reason to cut carbon pollution then until we fully understand what impact it will have.

If we can later prove that rising CO2 is safe then we can resume burning the coal and oil."

By the same logic I guess you dont eat nor drink. Obviously you wouldnt engage in such stupid activity because it might give you cancer and heart disease. The best option is to stop using them until we can later prove what is safe.

If you practised what you preached there would be a lot fewer warmists to contend with.

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Re: Read a textbook..

"All the more reason to cut carbon pollution then until we fully understand what impact it will have."

So in your scenario, we should all live off the land?

I can (and have) done that. I suspect you have no clue ...

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Re: Read a textbook..

wow that's three responses in a row to my suggestion of cutting carbon emissions.

One saying we'd have to stop breathing. Another saying we'd have to stop eating and drinking. Another saying we'd all have to live off the land.

Who is really being alarmist?

Looks like fossil fuel industry has done a good job in shaping people's minds as to our dependence on fossil fuels.

The GM Food industry, Pharmaceutical industry and Pesticide industries must test their products thoroughly for effect before they are allowed to go to market. Fossil fuel industry has no such burden because we NEED fossil fuels.

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Re: Read a textbook..

@NomNomNom

"wow that's three responses in a row to my suggestion of cutting carbon emissions.

One saying we'd have to stop breathing. Another saying we'd have to stop eating and drinking. Another saying we'd all have to live off the land.

Who is really being alarmist?

Looks like fossil fuel industry has done a good job in shaping people's minds as to our dependence on fossil fuels."

I regularly see many posts responding to a stupid comment so it does make sense. Your last line very much smacks of religion. The same argument works against heretics and witches. I would suggest the one crying against witches is the alarmist so you really are being alarmist.

To clear up your misinterpretation I said "By the same logic I guess you dont eat nor drink". That is very different to "Another saying we'd have to stop eating and drinking". You do eat and drink because you do not apply your failed logic to eating and drinking. I am sure when you cannot afford the energy costs to heat and operate your home you would change your mind then too.

The theoretical problem that any food or drink might give you some disease or cancer is irrelevant to the fact that you would die without food and drink. Your belief (it is nothing more) concerning MMCC co2 theory is irrelevant just as belief that non-believers will damn you all to hell.

You used these words- "cut carbon pollution". Your first hurdle is proving co2 as a pollution. Anything is a pollution if there is too much. To be too much requires proof that it is causing enough harm to require action. The only proof we have is that we dont know enough about climate to understand it. That is required before we can blame things as pollution in regards to climate.

Belief is not good enough. we need proof

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Re: Read a textbook..

"The theoretical problem that any food or drink might give you some disease or cancer is irrelevant to the fact that you would die without food and drink"

Food and drink is sufficiently tested. People have been eating potatoes and pies for years. A better analogy would be something newish like GM foods. In that case plenty of people demand that GM foods are properly tested before being introduced into the market.

But for some reason when it comes to experimenting on our planet's climate there are no such demands that it is properly tested. In fact the opposite occurs - we see people using the fact it hasn't been properly tested as an excuse for it being fine!

You do this yourself. You say "The only proof we have is that we dont know enough about climate to understand it. That is required before we can blame things as pollution in regards to climate"

It's like a tire company arguing that because their tires haven't been tested, therefore no fault is known. No known fault = safe.

Or a drug company. A new drug. They know it's safe because no fault has been found. Why not? Because they haven't tested it. The burden of proof is on any worried consumers to find a fault. Until then they are just alarmists.

Arguing that we need the drug, or need the tires is one thing. But to pretend that the danger doesn't exist by equating caution with religion is ridiculous. Especially considering that a experiment on our very climate is particularly bigger more existential issue than any of the others mentioned above.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Read a textbook..

@NomNomNom:

"But to pretend that the danger doesn't exist by equating caution with religion is ridiculous. Especially considering that a experiment on our very climate is particularly bigger more existential issue than any of the others mentioned above."

Then use caution before going off with a bad idea. We know we need energy and that people need it to live. It saves lives. This is directly proven in many instances particularly when people dont have enough energy. So that is a fact. Then there is your theory that one gas singled out from many possible pollutants is bad. Completely ignoring everything else it could be and everything else which affects climate you jump to an answer while ignoring facts. The fact that based on co2 as THE problem we cannot reliably model the situation. It is proven to currently be wrong. Wrong as in not right. And if its not right we cannot claim to know.

Yet you still blame a gas because someone said so. Hey guess what, that proves god exists because we exist. Doesnt say what god nor does it help us understand nor model anything but it makes you happy.

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Re: Read a textbook..

When you say blame a gas what I am doing is looking at how fast CO2 is increasing in the atmosphere. It's not some already happened event, it's an ongoing accumulation and it's accelerating. The climate hasn't yet reacted to the level today, let alone the far higher level CO2 is heading to. In Earth's long history what is happening to the atmosphere today is a noteworthy event, especially given CO2 isn't an inert substance, being a strong component of the greenhouse effect, plant fertilization and affects upper ocean pH. We could be switching our planet to a completely different climate state in a matter of centuries whereas such changes usually take millions of years.

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Re: Read a textbook..

@NomNomNom:

"When you say blame a gas what I am doing is looking at how fast CO2 is increasing in the atmosphere."

Well said. You take a warming trend (2) and increased co2 in the atmosphere (+2) and guess (=6). Your guess has a possibility of being right but that is slim. You have the much higher possibility that your guess might be somewhere near (a very fuzzy and political scale of distance) and then there is the good possibility you are absolutely wrong. So why should we back a guess when we can look for the truth?

"It's not some already happened event, it's an ongoing accumulation and it's accelerating."

And is it the cause or is something causing it? Instead of charging at the difficult problem of reducing co2 while having nothing but your wild guess that it is the (one and only) problem it might make more sense to use good sense. To get facts. We still dont know if the changes in climate are normal or not. That is how little we know, and you want to make random guesses?!? Madness.

"We could be switching our planet to a completely different climate state in a matter of centuries whereas such changes usually take millions of years."

We could be. It could be happening anyway. It could be the normal trend. It could be any number of things. Maybe we need some facts.

You will see this happen a lot to your comments. No matter how much belief and religious pushing you make for this 'problem' you will be asked for facts. Not selective facts that could be misinterpreted to mean something but actual facts. Facts like an understanding of climate. Facts like publishing truth instead of manipulated data and unreproducible scaremongering. Facts that show the split from natural and what is happening.

Because of the above your belief will remain a belief until there is some proof one way or the other. Just like belief in the existence of god.

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Re: Read a textbook..

Everything I said is based on facts. Observations, measurements and physical laws. Here are some more facts.

CO2 is increasing.

The increase is caused by man.

The increase is accelerating.

CO2 is a greenhouse gas.

CO2 levels are now the highest they've been for at least hundreds of thousands of years.

The rate of CO2 rise means the net change in global temperature over the 21st century will be driven by man.

You can deny facts of course. Young earth creationists do it all the time. I can back all these facts up with hard evidence.

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Re: Read a textbook..

@NomNomNom

"Everything I said is based on facts. Observations, measurements and physical laws. Here are some more facts."

Congrats you have spoken about the lab proven effects of co2. Still bugger all on climate change. You will not accept the difference but here it is for all to see. You might as well shout god did it with your only proof being that we are here. You provide nothing of value. Nothing concerning the large and complicated web of interactions which makes up our climate apart from a single gas. No proof of change from the natural climate change nor how why or whatever (scientists still dont know this either).

As I have said you provide no facts concerning your theoretical problem. You provide selective facts that can be misinterpreted to appear to support your unknowing position. And you dont know because even the scientists dont know. As someone mentioned earlier your claim is as funny as claiming that because a lump of metal doesnt float that metal cannot float. You expect to have the answer without even bothering with the question. You peddle belief.

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Re: Read a textbook..

"Congrats you have spoken about the lab proven effects of co2. Still bugger all on climate change."

So you think a doubling of CO2 in the atmosphere doesn't cause any warming?

Lets list some scientists who disagree with you:

Dr Roy Spencer

Dr Richard Lindzen

Dr Judith Curry

Have I made my point?

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Re: Read a textbook..

"Belief is not good enough. we need proof" - Not necessarily, it's also a matter of probability vs risk.

Do we need to be absolutely sure we destroy our ecosystem before starting acting, if it implies it could be too late to avoid our destruction as a species? The risk are enormous, should we take them?

Adding to that, stopping to use fossils fuels would be a good thing for us Europeans anyway, by enabling us to regain our energetic independence.

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Re: Read a textbook..

@Potemkine

"Do we need to be absolutely sure we destroy our ecosystem before starting acting, if it implies it could be too late to avoid our destruction as a species? The risk are enormous, should we take them?"

We need to know what is causing damage to stop that activity. Otherwise we can stop doing everything and die off but that wouldnt be good either. If we witch hunt co2 and co2 isnt a problem then what good has been achieved? Reducing co2 is expensive and damaging to economies. Also the ineffective and currently useless technologies to reduce co2 have reduced our energy capacities, which are necessary for our lives.

So we have demonstrated damage from reducing co2 but no proof that co2 is a problem. It might be but it is yet to be proved in any meaningful way.

"Adding to that, stopping to use fossils fuels would be a good thing for us Europeans anyway, by enabling us to regain our energetic independence."

Technological progress is a good thing. However because of this co2 fetish in MMCC co2 theory we are deploying technologies which are not ready for deployment. Instead of wasting the money on a windfarm the money could be usefully used to improve the various power generation technologies. Instead we have a bad situation of spending loads to get very little. We are causing damage in an effort to fix something we dont know is a problem.

To answer your first question We do seem to need to destroy the ecosystem before we start acting. We are actively destroying ecosystems and economies to build unsuitable technologies to counter what might be a monster under the bed. An illusion. A false problem. The sooner we act to stop this stupidity and instead invest the time/money in seeking the truth the better prepared we will be for real problems.

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Re: Read a textbook..

> CO2 is increasing.

> The increase is accelerating.

No it isn't.

I don't have a reference but have read in the last week or so that the increase in CO2 is much less than the 5% that we're contributing to the atmosphere.

Looks like mother nature's starting to take care of things.

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Re: Read a textbook..

"So you think a doubling of CO2 in the atmosphere doesn't cause any warming?"

Nobody said that.

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Re: Read a textbook..

"I don't have a reference but have read in the last week or so that the increase in CO2 is much less than the 5% that we're contributing to the atmosphere."

Your reference is wrong anyway, it's confusing contribution to a flow with the cause of increase. The CO2 rise is due to man and it's accelerating.

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Tch.

"The rigged market for stuff nobody wants isn't working! Quick, fix the price!"

That's basically it. And the taxpayer will pay for it, again.

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Unhappy

Re: Tch.

""The rigged market for stuff nobody wants isn't working! Quick, fix the price!"...That's basically it. And the taxpayer will pay for it, again."

Almost. As this actually gets added to the price of your electricity and EU manufactured goods, the tax payer merely pays the overheads. The general public and industry then pay the rigged "carbon price" on electricity, because that isn't routinely imported from outside the EU. For manufactured goods, the outcome is that EU made stuff becomes even more expensive, which is why Asia has become the workshop of the world - cheap, poorly regulated labout markets, plus cheap energy, centrally planned infrastructure, and business friendly governments.

Ultimately, the EU is steadily pricing itself out of global markets by driving its own costs up in almost every way possble.

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Re: Tch.

Taxpayers are the general public in my experience. Or perhaps Europe is different in this regard?

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> Have either of you even read a basic physics textbook.

> More carbon dioxide in the atmosphere = enhanced

> greenhouse effect = planet warms up.

As I've said before this is on the same level of analysis as "metal is heavier than water so no metal object will float."

And as for flying! Son't be silly, are you DENYING BASIC PHYSICS?

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No it's more on the same level of analysis as "jumping in a river wearing platemail will cause you to sink"

And your response is akin to claiming "we don't know that because sometimes metal can float".

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> "we don't know that because sometimes metal can float".

DENIER! Have you never read a basic FYSSYCS TEXTBOOK?

BURN HIM to save us from the wrath of the evil lord CO2!

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"No it's more on the same level of analysis as "jumping in a river wearing platemail will cause you to sink" "

To get into the Huscarls, you had to be able to swim across the Thames while wearing a full hauberk of Maille armour, which is somewhat heavier than platemaille. (This requirement came in after the Norse raiders pulled the supports from under the original London Bridge while the Huscarls were crossing it, drowning the lot of them. The King was rather upset so insisted his Huscarls should learn to swim).

Swimming in Plate, or Platemaille is harder due to the restriction in movement, but you can do it. What can cause you greater problems are things like shields and weaponry, but properly slung, it's still possible.

Yes, I have friends who are historians, and re-enactors, or whose work involves dancing Gangnam style while in a full plate rig... (don't ask - he's not explained that one to me, either)

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Stop

NO! Don't burn him, that just relies 324 new carbons.

Fool! Your willy-nilly heretic burning will doom us all.

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"But we'd better not lose Big Biz".

Didn't Tata buy that steel plant in South Wales, sell the £billions of carbon credits associated with it then move the work to a dirtier plant in India.

Result, more crap in the atmosphere, loss of British jobs, bug subsidy from Europe to Tata.

Don't you just love this 'green' thinking.

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Carbon trading has nothing to do with green thinking. It's another way for traders to get rich moving bits of nothing around. The only green in this is US$.

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Holmes

I'm not an expert in climate science, and I understand that it's a field with a lot to discover. However, the fact that almost everyone who IS an expert in climate science accepts anthropogenic climate change to be the best working hypothesis is pretty important here no? I'm willing to accept that the consensus opinion of people who study this stuff is probably a better guide to what's going on than whatever opinion I might form after looking at wikipedia for a few hours!

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Anonymous Coward

Most people believe that there is a god. Shared belief by a majority doesn't automatically make them correct.

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Anonymous Coward

"I understand that it's a field with a lot to discover. However, the fact that almost everyone who IS an expert in climate science accepts anthropogenic climate change to be the best working hypothesis "

Having myself studied climate science to degree level, I think I'm sufficiently well informed to have a valid opinion on the matter. Not a presumption of oracle status or infaillibility, just that I'm capable of evaluating the arguments on merit. And as far as I can see, the evidence is not conclusive, it has been selectively culled to establish that correlation is causation.

Now, in your case, you're saying that all the "experts" agree, and this proves that they must therefore be right. Let's overlook the fact that climate science is very poorly understood, and is too focused on proving rather than testing a hypothesis, and just extend your argument. The vast majority of politicians in all Western countries will tell you that man is changing the climate, and they are going to (Canute like) turn back this tide of CO2. How often are politicians right, on anything? They lie about surveillance of the unwashed masses; they lie about the state of the economy; they lie about inflation, about their expenses, about the threat of distant countries and the reasons for going to war, about their "austerity" programmes, they lie to the electorate, they lie to businesses, to the courts. But curiously, on just a solitary topic, they are telling the truth, you reckon? As a working model, I think you'd be better off asking what politicians publicly believe, and believing the opposite.

When it comes to the science, even where it is unimpeachable, there's a fundamental problem of directive briefs and selective funding that skew the outcome. Climate science is no different to any other branch of science in that respect, but in few other areas of science are we proceding to adopt unproven and expensive policies on the back of an unproven hypothesis.

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Flame

"However, the fact that almost everyone who IS an expert in climate science accepts anthropogenic climate change to be the best working hypothesis is pretty important here no?"

They may accept it but they don't necessarily jump to alarmist conclusions - they leave that to the agenda-led tosspots on either side. Unfortunately climate science has done a deal with the devil - enhanced funding and high attention from politicians - at the price of having every result, publication and statement shamelessy miquoted and exagerated by politicians and careerist "experts" on both sides of the fence, not to mention nutjob ecofreaks and deniers. There isn't a snowball's chance in Hell of the actual facts, and indeed unknowns, getting heard now.

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Holmes

"Now, in your case, you're saying that all the "experts" agree, and this proves that they must therefore be right".

Kind of- I'm saying that the people who study climate science overwhelmingly share the working hypothesis that anthropogenic climate change is a real phenomenon currently affecting the climate, and that unless I can come up with anything better (highly unlikely given that it's not my field) I'm best off also accepting that hypothesis, in much the same way that I do with lots of other things that people who aren't me are experts in (medicine for example). The fact that politicians are habitual liars has nothing to do with it, since they aren't experts in anything more than being politicians, and certainly not in climate science- although even a stopped clock tells the right time twice a day...

Ideally we'd all inform ourselves fully about everything, but given that we unfortunately don't live long enough to be experts in everything we tend to listen to the people who are experts in their field. Of course they're not infallible, and of course they can be challenged, but its a reasonable starting point, and one we accept all the time of course. Until the expert opinion is one we don't like that is....

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Science is NOT a democracy.

It doesn't matter how many people BELIEVE something that doesn't make it true. For hundreds of years people believed the Sun orbited the Earth, but that wasn't true and eventually a minority of Scientists fought for better understanding, suffering persecution until their view was accepted as "the truth".

The problem is Science does not give TRUTH it gives "the best answer we have so far to fit the evidence we have available". So the science can NEVER be "settled".

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Anonymous Coward

"Science does not give TRUTH it gives "the best answer we have so far to fit the evidence we have available". So the science can NEVER be "settled"."

So you are saying the people who said the Sun orbited the Earth might have been right all along? We can't know for sure?

At some point you have to trust people.

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Mushroom

"However, the fact that almost everyone who IS an expert in climate science accepts anthropogenic climate change to be the best working hypothesis is pretty important here no?"

Unfortunately, as was evidenced by the BBC working party on climate change they didnt want you to know about many of the "experts" turned out to be completely unqualified and anything but an expert in that field.

IIRC the woman currently constructing government policy on this area was seconded from Greenpeace and has a degree in some arts subject!

Then we have the clowns from UEA, none of whom should even carry the title scientist as anyone who deletes material to avoid FOI requests does not deserve the title.

As experts go climate science is the wild west of "experts".

The common factor comes back to government policy and what the government believes, we have seen before with the completely fabricated research on DNA retention funded by the home office and more recently with the cosy arrangement between GCHQ and the NSA to spy on each others citiziens the truth is not even on the radar and the priority lies with giving our government what they want.

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"So you are saying the people who said the Sun orbited the Earth might have been right all along? We can't know for sure?"

What he's saying is that for a long time the 'consensus' was that the sun orbited the earth and the tiny majority who understood reality had to endure years of torment before they were believed.

"At some point you have to trust people"

Only when they have evidence (not computer models based on what they think's goign on) to back up what they're telling me.

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I forgot to say, the original '97%' was 75 out of 77 selected responses from ~3,500 replies to a survey that > 10,000 were invited to respond to.

They can stick their 'consensus' where the sun doesn't shine.

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"I forgot to say, the original '97%' was 75 out of 77 selected responses from ~3,500 replies to a survey that > 10,000 were invited to respond to."

77 of the top experts, 75 agreed. Even stepping down to the next level of experts the agreement was something like 95%.

We have half of you jokers claiming the consensus does exist but "science is not a democracy" while the other half of you jokers are denying a consensus exists.

There's a consensus about AGW. The majority of experts on climate accept AGW. Get over it.

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"What he's saying is that for a long time the 'consensus' was that the sun orbited the earth and the tiny majority who understood reality had to endure years of torment before they were believed."

What he's arguing is a logical fallacy. It's the same fallacy as saying because a weather forecaster gets it wrong once therefore the forecaster is never useful.

You can pick a few examples where the consensus was wrong, but the vast majority of the time the consensus turns out right. So it remains a good guide.

There's a consensus that HIV causes AIDs. Are you saying I shouldn't trust that? I sure don't have any medical knowledge to understand the evidence myself. But I believe it's true because I know there is a consensus and find it highly unlikely such a consensus will turn out wrong. If an AIDS denier challenged me I would say "hey, convince the experts first, I am not going to be convinced until THEY change their minds"

And the same is true of climate. Until the majority of climate experts are convinced that AGW is a myth I am sure not going to believe it (especially as I understand the evidence that shows it's a fact).

Why do you think people even solicit the opinion of experts if according to you we can't utilize what they think? If we cannot draw anything from the conclusion that a whole group of experts has reached then what's the point of experts?

Do you ever go to the doctor? Why? They are just ONE expert. If as you say we should not trust a consensus of experts then what use is a a single expert's opinion?

The line you and the other commenter are pushing - the attack on consensus - is a new age fallacy.

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