February 2009

I have some questions for the people who think CO2 emissions need to be regulated.

1. What would happen if CO2 could be completely scrubbed from the atmosphere?

2. What fraction of CO2 in the atmosphere is the result of burning fossil fuels?

3. What was the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere when the Earth suffered its worst ice-age?

4. How did the Carbon in fossil fuels get there in the first place?

5. Can you prove that changes in the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere, usually measured in parts per million, impact global temperatures?

6. In past interglacial periods, CO2 concentrations rose as the planet emerged from the previous ice age. Why didn’t these increased levels of CO2 stop the Earth from plunging back into the next ice age?

7. How come global temperatures have been dropping over the last decade, even though CO2 emissions continued to increase?

That’ll do for now. Click more for my answers.
My answers:

1. Life as we know it would cease.

2. 4%. (At least 96% of the current atmospheric CO2 comes from non-fossil-fuel sources, i.e. natural marine and juvenile sources. Hence for the atmospheric CO2 budget marine degassing and juvenile degassing from e.g. volcanic sources must be much more important, and burning of fossil-fuel and biogenic materials much less important, than hitherto assumed. (http://www.co2web.info/hawaii.pdf))

3. 12x more (Late Ordovician Period was also an Ice Age while at the same time CO2 concentrations then were nearly 12 times higher than today– 4400 ppm. (http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/Carboniferous_climate.html))

4. Ancient atmospheric CO2

5. Probably not. Research suggests that CO2 concentrations lag temperatures changes.

6. Could it be that CO2 has little impact on climate compared to other sources, such as a nearby star?

7. See 6. Maybe lower solar activity, as measured by sun spot activity, is a factor.

In 2007, the Feds took in $2.5 trillion in tax revenues. 45% of that came from Federal Personal Income Tax. That is about $1.125 trillion. If we assume that these revenues will grow by 5% p.a. over the next 12 years (from 2007), then individual tax revenue for 2009 through 2018 will total about $16 trillion.

The off-the shelf price of the stimulus package is a bit under $800 billion. However, the long-term cost is much higher. Instapundit linked to a Heritage foundation report, based on CBO research, that the stimulus package will cost $3.27 trillion dollars over 10 years.

Put the two projections together, and the long-term cost of the stimulus package works out to around 20% of the tax revenues for individuals, based on present personal rates.That government spending has to be paid for somehow. the choices are borrowing, which must be repaid, with interest, or increased taxes, or a combination thereof.

Obama promised 95% of American taxpayers a tax decrease. Let’s be generous and assume he meant no tax increases. The top 5% of tax-payers pay around 60% of Federal Personal Income Tax. These taxpayers could be on the hook for a substantial tax increase, anywhere up to 30% more than they currently pay.

Of course, the Obama administration could look for other sources of revenue. Domestic oil and gas production, anyone?

Dr. Sanity starts with Obama’s press conference:

I thought it was interesting last night in the Press Conference that President/Messiah Obama had absolute certainty that his $$ Trillion ‘stimulus’ was the only thing that could save us from utter and irreversible economic catastrophe. His certainty about this leads me to conclude that he has absolutely no idea what he is talking about.

After discussing the failure of previous stimulus packages, most famously, FDR’s new deal, and the inherent impossibility of understanding a system as complex as the US economy, she justifies her conclusion:

Barack Obama not only has been hailed as a Messiah by the clueless left, he actually seems to think of himself as The One; and the fatal conceit that he knows how to ‘properly’ manipulate the complex system known as the US Economy is nothing but a grandiose narcissistic fantasy that is doomed from the start.

I repeat, he doesn’t have a clue to what he is doing, or what unintended economic consequences he and the Democratic Congress are about to unleash. But, since we are all in this together, we are all about to find out.

I notice Obama keeps saying that he inherited the current $$ Trillion debt from the evil BusHitler; but at least it took Bush 8 years to get us that far into debt–Obama’s spending spree will triple that inherited debt in a mere 3 month timeframe! One wonders what the Miracle Worker will do for an encore? I.e., when his stimulus doesn’t stimulate in the same way FDR’s stimulus didn’t back in the 30’s and actually prolonged the Great Depression.

Her conclusion is frightening, and it is one that my wife and I share:

I think the failure of the stimulus will be the impetus and the justification to fully nationalize a number of key industries. Make no mistake: it will be business and the Market that will be blamed for the failure of Obama’s recovery plan; and certainly not the government or any of the plan’s architects. Knowing the underlying neo-Marxist and fundamentally fascist ideology that drives the President and many of his more extreme supporters (who regularly stoke the fires of class envy and identity politics) you can bet that they really don’t much care what happens either way. Because, once the stimulus is passed, no matter what happens, we will be on an almost irreversible course toward socialism and economic suicide.

Then again, maybe Obama does know what he’s on about. Most everything he’s said or done marks him as a Marxist. The destruction of capitalism is a Marxist’s highest calling. Obama is well on his way to answering that call. God help America because its leaders certainly won’t.