Fossil Fuels To The Rescue

I turned on the heat in the apartment tonight.

Not because I was particularly cold, but because I realized that I didn’t feel at home. A warm home is much more enjoyable, and makes you feel freer.

Thank you Baltimore Gas and Electric, for delivering  a reliable supply of fossil fuel powered energy.


About stevengoddard

Just having fun
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25 Responses to Fossil Fuels To The Rescue

  1. Mat Helm says:

    About time. While waste not want not is a rule to live by, self inflected misery is only good for making progressives feel superior….

  2. Joe P. says:

    I live close on same grid, have not turned on my furnace in four years, all wood, temped at record breaking low temps last winter, but despite used some gas for the chainsaw which is now happily cheaper than milk, too bad EPA wants to regulate my emissions and make me buy a more expensive and unaffordable $3,000 wood stove so I produce less C02 when using renewables and zero fossil fuels to heat house, waiting for the cow fart and human exhale CO2 emissions tax, but mainly TH at “Thank you Baltimore Gas and Electric, for delivering a reliable supply of fossil fuel powered energy.” – BGE, it is powered only 65% by fossil fuels, 35% uranium, Calvert Cliffs, nice nature place to look for shark teeth fossils.

  3. gregole says:

    Our system of energy distribution is simply a marvel, and one we are all too likely to take for granted. Being warm in our homes, easy just set the thermostat, frees us to do stuff like creative writing on blogs in our PJs with a nice glass of white wine.

    Know what would be really cool? If everybody on the planet could live in an orderly, well run society where they could all do the same. Right now, fossil fuels are their best bet; simply because it’s a sure bet. A coal plant is probably the best thing for Zaire, or Afghanistan, or Haiti. Gas even better; but that’s not what counts…get them juice right now.

    You might call me a dreamer…But I’m not the only one. John Lennon I think.

    Steven, enjoy your warmth and keep blogging. We need your truth.

    • Gail Combs says:

      A power systems engineer commented on WUWT:

      “Letting non-professionals get involved in the power grid is like giving the keys to the family car and a bottle of whiskey to a 14 year old boy and his pals. If the renewables were viable, we’d adopt them by the train-load and build them so fast your head would spin.”

      Now we have the green idiots in the EPA doing exactly that.
      The North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) an NGO that was granted regulatory power in 2007 wrote a carefully worded report saying the EPA was completely nuts.

      EPA’s June 2014 proposal to regulate energy:

      We are familiar with one type of computer model but there is a second type that is even worse. They are called Integrated Assessment Models or IAMs and have been created by economists, not climate scientists. (Think Lord Stern)

      Robert S. Pindyck is a professor of economics and finance at MIT who believes that man-made emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases will impose climate change damages on future generations, and is an advocate of a carbon tax agreement among the major world governments. Pindyck who has decades of experience dealing with energy wrote a Scathing MIT Paper Blasting Obama’s Climate Models about a year ago.

      Well at least one MIT professor of Economics is honest.

    • Gail Combs says:

      Speaking of Economic climate models….

      The Economists are GRUBERING again:
      “…a handful of vocal conservatives have been arguing that a carbon “tax swap deal”—where new revenues from a carbon tax are used dollar-for-dollar to reduce existing taxes—could provide a win-win, both mitigating climate change and even boosting conventional economic growth…”

      This Carbon Tax is allegedly a ‘Double Dividend’ that is ‘good for the economy’. The logic of a carbon tax swap deal is if the government is going to tax “bad” carbon dioxide emissions because of the threat of climate change, then surely the way to limit the economic damage is to use the new revenues to cut pre-existing taxes on capital. They then claim that the economy will be better off compared to the original status quo with no carbon tax in the first place!!! Lets get real folks, making energy expensive and hard to come makes us peasants poorer so who gives a ^%$ if it cuts personal capital gains tax for the wealthy?

      Here is how it works according to Lawrence H. Goulder, in his 2013 review article in the journal Energy Economics.

      Although the initial theoretical analyses tended to reject the double dividend, a second wave of models offered more scope for the double dividend by acknowledging additional potential channels for beneficial efficiency impacts from green taxes. One such channel is an improvement in the relative taxation of capital and labor. If, prior to introducing the environmental tax, capital is highly overtaxed (in efficiency terms) relative to labor, and if the revenue-neutral green tax reform shifts the burden of the overall tax system from capital to labor (a phenomenon that can be enhanced by using the green tax revenues exclusively to reduce capital income taxes), then the reform can improve (in efficiency terms) the relative taxation of these factors. If this beneficial impact is strong enough, it can overcome the inherent efficiency handicap that (narrow) environmental taxes have relative to income taxes as a source of revenue. Similarly, if the initial tax system is highly distorted in terms of consumer goods, and the green tax reform improves the system in that dimension, then the double dividend can occur after all.

      The presence or absence of the double dividend thus depends on the nature of the prior tax system and on how environmental tax revenues are recycled. Empirical conditions are important. This does not mean that the double dividend is as likely to occur as not, however. The narrow base of green taxes constitutes an inherent efficiency handicap…Although results vary, the bulk of existing research tends to indicate that even when revenues are recycled in ways conducive to a double dividend, the beneficial efficiency impact is not large enough to overcome the inherent handicap, and the double dividend does not arise. [Bold added.]

      Those conservatives who have been led to believe that a carbon tax swap deal will “help the economy” so long as it’s tied with other tax cuts need to study the above excerpt carefully. Because a carbon tax starts out with such a handicap in terms of conventional economic efficiency, the only way even in theory it can make the tax code in total more efficient is if the bulk of the revenue is used to cut taxes on capitalists, so that the workers (through higher energy prices and conventional taxes) end up shouldering the burden of the new carbon tax.

      …Does any conservative reader actually think this is a politically feasible policy? Try to imagine President Obama saying the following in a national address: “We’d like to provide some tax relief to workers and the elderly dependent on Social Security, who are seeing gasoline, electricity, and natural gas prices zoom upward from this new carbon tax, but I’m sorry, we just can’t do it. No tax relief for you. The thing is, those folks getting dividend and interest income need a tax break more than you do, because my Administration is committed to minimizing what my friend Larry Summers calls the ‘deadweight loss’ of the tax code.”……

      As I said another excellent example of economists Grubering. Now all we have to do is tell the black and Hispanics that the price of gas and food and everything else is going to go up because of a carbon tax and the money from the tax is going to be handed to the elite to offset the 15% capital gains tax .

      Capital Gains and Dividends: How are capital gains taxed?

      Capital gains are profits from the sale of a capital asset, such as shares of corporate stock, a business, a parcel of land, or a piece of art. Capital gains are generally included in taxable income but are often taxed at a lower rate; under current law, for example, most long-term capital gains face a top rate of 15 percent…..

      • Joe P. says:

        Read the repeated “if” “if” in the economics you cite. Anyone can make up any assumptions which can give any conclusion wanted by “proof.” The bottom line is economic efficiency, this is transforming resources of lesser value into outputs of higher value. Market systems do great by this since there is an incentive. Market systems to allocate resources have much higher standards of living and growth rates than government/socialist/communist systems by empirics or real data as opposed to just theory too for scientific method. You get about 1/3 percentage point lower annual GDP growth when government spending as opposed to private sector rises by 1% of GDP. When you have taxation, it distorts the costs and benefits and leads to inefficiency or dead weight losses. The question is that is there less dead weight losses taxing consumers via higher energy bills or by taxing labor at say 1/3 of income to fund government or taxing capital. This is not a political question, but an empirical question … like so much climate stuff in question. The answer depends on the elasticity of supply and demand for what is taxed or how much the distortion is where marginal cost deviated from benefit. A tax on a highly elastic good or resource is highly distortional causing large dead weight losses relative to an inelastic good, service or resource. [Aside for tax incidence, the distributional burden of the tax (who it hurts) is also dependent on the relative elasticities of supply and demand. If energy demand is inelatistic (people assume – or at least in short-run, like getting gas for car relative to price), any tax on gas (irreverent if collected from producer or consumer), will be paid for by consumers.] The economist you cite is just applying a principle of taxation assuming energy demand is inelastic compared to other things taxed. Similar arguments can be made for land or property taxes since almost completely inelastic in supply reducing distortions where cost and benefit do not collide naturally at margin. It is all hypothetical based on assumptions. Elasticity or percent quantity change versus percent change in price changes – lower in long-run, can switch furnace to natural gas if oil prices rise, but not next month and pay bill willingly. Also impacted are close substitutes in production and consumption, e.g. if oil or coal prices rise you can turn on a natural gas powered generator, or if mackintosh apple prices rise at store you can but granny smith, a tax on granny smith apples would cause a huge disorton and massive deadweight losses or inefficiency lowering the standard of living since costs of growing a granny smith apple noone buys anymore deviates from benefits people get from consuming, resources at lower cost can be potentially allocated to a higher value but are not by taxing an elastic item. The argument to tax energy can hold water relative to labor but has nothing to do global warming, but economic models by partial equilibrium analysis do not account for feedback effects, so odd to say this feedback word in re climate like forcing, but lower standard of living by not allocating resources efficiently say in energy market does not have a feedback loop into labor market by common partial equilibrium analysis (all else remains same, ceteris paribus), real wages lower do to higher energy prices due to energy taxes – do you work more or less or prefer leisure? This will be ignored in almost any model, flaw.
        As far as intertemporal and spacial externalities by hypothetical damage by CO2 (which I dismiss as non-existent, or higher CO2 is a benefit to planet), that is another story, but story is real theoretical economic basis of taxing CO2, is a Pigovian tax on a negative externality or cost not borne by producers or consumers in market, this goes back to 80s when benefits or costs of higher CO2 were unknown hypothetical or guess (e.g. grow crops in Siberia) as opposed to massively BSed by IPCC in last few reports at a cost/catastrophe. Now that the debate has gone propaganda as opposed to science from “global warming” to “climate change,” would expect in ten or twenty years in future some global cooling damage to be substituted in climate change, do not worry, scientific assumptions are there, follow the temperature data and dollars of flip. Unfortunately, in ten or twenty years, humans will be more active in altering atmosphere by purpose like we alter land for agriculture, fix with aerosol seeding, or as in 70s nightmare of idiots wanting to melt polar ice caps with nukes to prevent global cooling. I say hands off to prevent catastrophe in theory like fiction in movies, but politics and stupidity may dominate, or can I say Grubinate for the experts in control?

        • Gail Combs says:

          I would say energy use to some extent is elastic within bounds. You can plan your errands, car pool, turn the heat down and use a sweater, install a wood stove (until they are illegal) but at some point, and I think we are getting close, you degrade the quality of living and more important start substituting human time and labor for energy.

          I have done the clear an acre of land with buck saw lopping shears and pick axe gig. ONCE – NO THANK YOU!

          Perhaps E.M. Smith, an economist is a good example. He used to own a business with employees but the hassles and headaches from regulations just wasn’t worth the time and effort so he quit and stayed home. A study done found that although 80% of business start-ups folded it often was for just this reason and not because they did not make money.

          We do know that the ultimate goal is to lower the living standard of the American people. Maurice Strong during the opening session of the Rio Conference (Earth Summit II) in 1992, said that industrialized countries have:

          …developed and benefited from the unsustainable patterns of production and consumption which have produced our present dilemma. It is clear that current lifestyles and consumption patterns of the affluent middle class — involving high meat intake, consumption of large amounts of frozen and convenience foods, use of fossil fuels, appliances, home and work-place air-conditioning, and suburban housing — are not sustainable. A shift is necessary toward lifestyles less geared to environmentally damaging consumption patterns.

          But the plan did not start with Strong.

          Pascal Lamy: Whither Globalization?
          …In the same way, climate change negotiations are not just about the global environment but global economics as well — the way that technology, costs and growth are to be distributed and shared. Can we maintain an open trading system without a more coordinated financial system?

          Can we balance the need for a sustainable planet with the need to provide billions with decent living standards? Can we do that without questioning radically the Western way of life?

          The reality is that, so far, we have largely failed to articulate a clear and compelling vision of why a new global order matters — and where the world should be headed. Half a century ago, those who designed the post-war system — the United Nations, the Bretton Woods system, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) — were deeply influenced by the shared lessons of history.

          All had lived through the chaos of the 1930s — when turning inwards led to economic depression, nationalism and war. All, including the defeated powers, agreed that the road to peace lay with building a new international order — and an approach to international relations that questioned the Westphalian, sacrosanct principle of sovereignty — rooted in freedom, openness, prosperity and interdependence.

          Too bad FDR and the politicians following didn’t ask the American people if they wanted to wipe out US sovereignty and the American standard of living.

          Too bad the idiots focus on this ‘Grand Plan’ can not see that China is not interested in interdependence but dominance and traitors like Bill Clinton and Obama are handing China our country on a platter.

          If I can find this on the net, you think our politicians could before they go betraying us.
          Lessons of history: China’s century of humiliation The repercussions of British opportunism in China during the Opium Wars can be felt in geopolitics even today

          …The current Chinese leader, Xi Jinping, is the first of the “heirs” to take power. As the son of a communist general who fought the Japanese and the Nationalists, he is a princeling, a member of the new hereditary aristocracy. A passage from an essay by the Australian defense analyst Paul Monk is very telling on the subject of what President Xi intends for Asia’s near future:

          In any case, Xi Jinping, despite his genial smile, good English, and familiarity with the United States, is no reforming liberal. Shortly after assuming the presidency, he took all the members of his politburo with him to the bizarre museum the Party has built in Tiananmen Square – the museum of national humiliation and revival. He pointed out to them the exhibits showing the arrival of the Jesuits via Macao in the sixteenth century and how this had been the beginning of the infiltration and humiliation of China by the West. He pointed out the exhibits showing the Japanese invasions of China and making the unfounded assertion that the Japanese were defeated by the Communist Party with a little help from “good” Nationalist generals. The Americans, he said, then became the enemy. “Against this external enemy,” he told China’s inner group of top leaders, “we must stick together.”


      • Tim says:

        So create nothing Wall Streeters and stay at home shiftless day traders pay less in tax on their profits than real workers do in income taxes, makes sense to me. And if you are really fortunate and born with a trust fund than you probably never have to do any real work and yet still pay less in taxes as the money given to you makes you more money. Meanwhile everyone else’s kids have to go into the job market and compete and now soon to compete with cheap labor in the form of millions of illegal immigrants that Obama Will grant executive amnesty to today. The uber wealthy like Zuckerberg and Gates win again .

  4. Good call Tony. That’s what life is all about.

  5. Greg Hansen says:

    Down blankets in Hawaii tonight..

  6. Robertv says:

    This time of the year it is the only way to excite the H2O molecules inside the house. You could also have a party every night with at least 40 people.

  7. James Anderson says:

    Following your lead from yesterday I turned the heat off. Got up this morning to a toasty 51 degrees.

  8. bleakhouses says:


    Have you been reading Alex Epstein, or maybe he has been sitting in for you for the past few weeks?

      • bleakhouses says:

        You two are clearly coming from the same place.
        If you haven’t already read it I suggest Matt Ridley’s The Rational Optimist, mentioned by Epstein in his book, next; then of course Lomborg, but Im sure you’ve read him already.
        As an economist (and attorney) I admire the three of them particularly for understanding and conveying the broad case not being addressed by the alarmists.
        I admire you’re ability to make the finite details of the case accessible.
        You would be a formidable panel of experts in the coming Climate Fraud Trials.

  9. Tim says:

    Wow Tony quite a turnabout, just a few days ago you seemed to be espousing the wonderfulness of frugality and cheaply purchased wool clothing

  10. Tim says:

    What about all the warm home feels like home and sets you free talk…ahhh never mind.

  11. gator69 says:

    Still holding out. Looks like I may make December before I fire up the furnace. My home is on a hilltop with 360 degree views, and virtually no wind breaks. I built a very efficient home 12 years ago and have only 1 regret, that I did not go geothermal when I built. It’s about saving money, not the planet.

  12. philjourdan says:

    I was shocked – my wife did as well. Guess 3 sneezing cats got to her.

  13. Olaf Koenders says:

    With the discoveries of hydrocarbons on Titan and in deep space, it seems Greenpiss needs to rename “fossil fuel” to something just as gloomy, such as “Blood of Gaia”. Abiotic oil may not be a myth after all.

    We know for a fact that coal is made up of ancient plant material, but hippie farts are a fossil fuel if they’re older than 70..

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