21 January 2010

Innovation, not Insulation

Bill Gates gets the challenge of decarbonization. Apparently he is a billionaire for good reason. Last week he wrote the following brilliant piece about climate policy:
People often present two timeframes that we should have as goals for CO2 reduction – 30% (off of some baseline) by 2025 and 80% by 2050.

I believe the key one to achieve is 80% by 2050.

But we tend to focus on the first one since it is much more concrete.

We don’t distinguish properly between things that put you on a path to making the 80% goal by 2050 and things that don’t really help.

To make the 80% goal by 2050 we are going to have to reduce emissions from transportation and electrical production in participating countries down to zero.

You will still have emissions from other activities including domestic animals, making fertilizer, and decay processes.

There will still be countries that are too poor to participate.

If the goal is to get the transportation and electrical sectors down to zero emissions you clearly need innovation that leads to entirely new approaches to generating power.

Should society spend a lot of time trying to insulate houses and telling people to turn off lights or should it spend time on accelerating innovation?

If addressing climate change only requires us to get to the 2025 goal, then efficiency would be the key thing.

But you can never insulate your way to anything close to zero no matter what advocates of resource efficiency say. You can never reduce consumerism to anything close to zero.

Because 2025 is too soon for innovation to be completed and widely deployed, behavior change still matters.

Still, the amount of CO2 avoided by these kinds of modest reduction efforts will not be the key to what happens with climate change in the long run.

In fact it is doubtful that any such efforts in the rich countries will even offset the increase coming from richer lifestyles in places like China, India, Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, etc.

Innovation in transportation and electricity will be the key factor.

One of the reasons I bring this up is that I hear a lot of climate change experts focus totally on 2025 or talk about how great it is that there is so much low hanging fruit that will make a difference.

This mostly focuses on saving a little bit of energy, which by itself is simply not enough. The need to get to zero emissions in key sectors almost never gets mentioned. The danger is people will think they just need to do a little bit and things will be fine.

If CO2 reduction is important, we need to make it clear to people what really matters – getting to zero.

With that kind of clarity, people will understand the need to get to zero and begin to grasp the scope and scale of innovation that is needed.

However all the talk about renewable portfolios, efficiency, and cap and trade tends to obscure the specific things that need to be done.

To achieve the kinds of innovations that will be required I think a distributed system of R&D with economic rewards for innovators and strong government encouragement is the key. There just isn’t enough work going on today to get us to where we need to go.

The world is distracted from what counts on this issue in a big way.


  1. "If C02 reduction is important..."

    Until that "if" is resolved, nothing else seems to matter.

  2. Perhaps lots of political people get it, but it's like "dig for victory" in WWII in Britain, or handing over their fence posts to be turned into tanks. A useless gesture but gets everyone revved up and involved. And therefore committed to the cause.

    However, that was a tongue in cheek comment - because I expect that very few, including political leaders, have any idea what 80% reduction really means.

    Most people I know, anecdotally small sample, think "de-carbonization" is all part of reducing pollution and therefore just a good thing anyway and in the theme of: "a bit more insulation, a bit less air-conditioning and LED lights. Maybe a smaller engine car, but no, I need this to get around, that's for people with really big cars.."

    Not hand over the keys to the family car(s) and turn off all the power stations. In fact, if I've suggested to anyone that that is what 80% means they look at me as if I'm just trying to destroy the world with my unhelpful comments.

    Skeptics or not - and I am as to our ability to predict climate 10 years, 50 years from now - it's important to understand what 80% reduction really implies and then society can decide whether they are ready for the challenge.

    Nice work, Bill Gates. And thanks Roger for the post.

  3. And if dilithium crystals could manange a matter-antimatter warp field.......
    All Mr. Gates does is to outline the impossible nature of what AGW promoters demand.

  4. As Craig says - if...

    All this presumes increasing concentrations of man made atmospheric CO2 is a "problem". Haven't heard a convincing aurgument, nor seen data that supports such a presumption.

  5. best way to really quantify what an 80% reduction means is to equate it with money

    take an 80% pay cut with more reductions coming down the line, that drops average wage in the US from $55k/yr to $11k per year

    while some may not like this analogy and that would be a valid objection to an extent it still isn't too far off given the profound intertwined nature of how we do things based on petroleum and how closely money and energy really are tied together

    our monetary system doesn't do contraction or deal with a reduction in energy usage without systemic issues.........everything we do would be gone with an 80% cut

    practically and pragmatically mitigation is a non starter, adaptation will be hard enough and to a large degree impossible unless population is also drastically reduced

    just off the top of my head, 80% less oil per day means for the US dropping to just under 4 million barrels per day, that might support 50 million cars or so vs the 250 million now

    subsidized petrochemical farming, that would be history for the most part

    huge military and global domination, gone too

    shut down 80% of the electric grid too, given a few decades you might get 20-30% of that back via alternatives, maybe !!

    if anyone thinks well we have lots of time to get this stuff into place, well no you don't actually: just cars alone right now the fleet is shrinking but 2 years ago before that happened the replacement rate was about 12 years so assuming production were ramped up to former levels you are looking at 12 years to replace all passenger cars with more efficient models which you still can only fuel about 1/4 of the current fleet with those kinds of cuts

    this nation spent 125 plus years building a hydrocarbon based system, you aren't going to change that into one that isn't in a few decades

    nor is AGW the only concern here, over population and over consumption of resources also are in play along with shrinking energy supply which is coming as well whether voluntary emissions cuts are enacted or not......the problem will to a degree solve itself the old fashioned way

  6. As I have said, instead of bicycling to work our time might be better spent as calculus tutors so more kids might go into engineering...as Steve says, thank you Bill Gates, and thanks to Roger for posting.

  7. Well Sharon that'll be more difficult in the UK because Peter Mandelson has slashed the budget for science, technology and engineering related studies and research. As a firm believer in the magic free market he likely thinks that won't even matter, even though these are the people who will have to achieve that 80% reduction. No solutions for anything will ever come from a government that believes selling financial products is more important than selling real products.

    I hope nobody actually listens to Gates though. Insulation saves money, energy and lives during these harsh Northern Winters regardless of carbon dioxide. Gates is just too rich to even consider that. Imo all new houses should have geothermal heating and 200mm of insulation as a minimum standard and all these thin wooden homes should be reclassified as shacks.

  8. The best approach I have found for conveying the meaning of 80% cuts is historic comparisons using the CDIAC database (I think it was Roger who first suggested this). For the UK it turns out that an 80% cut in total CO2 output means returning to 1850 levels, but allowing for population changes and converting to the more meaningful per capita output gives a year of about 1795. Roughly speaking you can have a coal fire and a small amount of iron working, but that's it; all transport horse or wind powered. Read the Hornblower books to get a reasonable picture.

  9. Hairshirt economic policies only ever work over the short term. Used over the longer term they will only result in political upheaval. Perhaps that is what the eco-activists want thru mitigation - the lowest common denominator prevails - poverty for all.

    Technology has transformed our lives in ways that science could ever predict. Human innovation does appear to transcend the limitations of qualified science. Take away the mights, the coulds and the uncertainty and replace it with a can do.

    However, if innovation cannot maintain economic activity whilst lifting people out of poverty over the long term it too will be seen as failing.

    The reality is that carbon technologies will be with us for the long term, probably for hundreds of years, it's time that everyone got used to that.

  10. Bill should stick to making operating systems that don't work very well.

    Public policy about the torqued threat of CO2 are out of his league.

    A real benefit to mankind would an 80% reduction of PC's running microsoft operating systems . . . by next year.

  11. Roger,
    What is brilliant about it to you?
    I think that if it is going to be called 'brilliant', then it is in that he lays out starkly how insane the goals of the AGW community are.

  12. Roger,

    Sorry but I don't see anything brilliant here about the strawman Gates is trashing. No one is arguing that efficiency measures will get us to our 2050 goals and I've never heard of any climate experts focusing on 2025. Have you?

    Is anyone against more R&D? Can't I have fuel efficiency standards, zero-energy building code targets, cap and trade/carbon tax AND R&D?

    I'd love to see a coherent argument from you on this (or from S&N for that matter).

    And if you agree that the problem is as significant as Gates implies then why do you spend so much time undermining the players and institutions that are engaged in climate policy (e.g. patchygate)? Aren't stories like this far more distracting and ultimately destructive for climate policy than a misguided (in yours and Gates view) emphasis on short-term deployment strategies and targets vs R&D focused on long-term magic bullets?

  13. “Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.” (Bill Gates).

    Unfortunately famous, succesful people suddenly see the urge of become messianic (Bono, Blair, Branson to name a few) and want to solve the worlds problems. Who doesn't want this epitaph "He, who saved the world"?

  14. -12-Marlowe

    1. "I'd love to see a coherent argument from you on this"

    Though "coherence" will be a matter for debate ;-)

    2. "why do you spend so much time undermining the players and institutions that are engaged in climate policy (e.g. patchygate)?"

    I take strong exception to this. The players and institutions who are flouting norms and conventions are the ones doing the undermining. Are you really asking me to look the other way when institutions of science are being compromised? Seriously?

    Climate policy matters and so too does the integrity of science and we can attend to both at once, no?

  15. Roger,

    I'm not asking you to look the other way. I'm asking why you only seem to look in one particular direction and what effect you think that this kind of selective attention produces. And as I've suggested before, while your perfectly entitled to write about whatever interests you (it's your blog after all), I don't see how your efforts here are helpful. If anything, more oftent than not they seem to be the opposite, as they appear to play to the climate skeptic crowd. For evidence of this I'd suggest you need look no further than the commenters here, 95% of whom would appear to skeptics.

    Do you disagree?

    If not, don't you find it odd that your posts attract so much attention from people with these kinds of views when they are pretty far removed from your own basic position (i.e. climate change is a problem and requires serious policy action)?

  16. One way to get to 80% by 2050 is a strong push to next generation "green" nuclear and PHEV.

    For a great "green" nuclear see LFTR. The LFTR produces waste of 1000x less volume and 1000x lower toxicity compared to current deployed nuclear technology.

    Also, since LFTR is projected to be <50% of the cost of current nuclear we can use LFTR as a foundation of a competitive industrial economy.

    This technology have been endorsed by Dr. James Hansen from the "warmer" camp.


    Most of the innovation for LFTR was done in the 60's. It simply needs to be pulled of the shelf and updated. Very doable in 10-20yrs.

  17. Hoping to get some of his money, eh, Roger?

  18. "Can't I have fuel effeciency standards,zero-energy building code targets, cap-and-trade/carbon tax and R & D?"

    Sure you can, but not all at the same time. The point of the Gates article is what should prioritized to meet the scale of the decarbonization challenge.

    But you know what, I don't think there's much political appetite for a fundamental reset in climate policy (which is freighted towards cap and trade)--at least not until a few things happen, I postulate here:


  19. Marlowe- maybe you missed it a while ago we had a taxonomy of what we think about climate change. As a commenter, I don't consider myself a "skeptic."

    We are not 100% sure about human induced global warming, but we are sure enough to take action.

    Some actions we take are good for a variety of reasons ..domestic energy and jobs, clean energy, etc. We should try to maximize those positive benefits to society.

    Many adaptation actions (resilience of social and ecosystems) are good for a variety of changes including economic and climate change.

    Some actions such as cap and trade may not have other benefits. We need folks developing procedures of checking, people checking, and people watching people checking. So we can be for action- a variety of strong action, without being for cap and trade.

  20. -15-Marlowe

    "don't you find it odd that your posts attract so much attention from people with these kinds of views when they are pretty far removed from your own basic position?"

    Not at all. Do you actually think that people who are opposed to action on climate change are going to ignore serious issues in climate science?

    Do you think if I stop talking about these issues that their concerns will go away?

    Take what you read here as good evidence that if the climate science community does not clean up its act, they are giving "succor to the skeptics" (to quote a recent post).

    If you are suggesting that attention to climate science policy hurts the cause for climate policy, then I disagree, strongly.

    For a reality check, I suggest catching up on the latest climate news about Copenhagen, the US Senate and IPCC. For those interested in action on climate change, the presence of skeptics should be way down the list of concerns.

  21. #16 Charles

    "One way to get to 80% by 2050 is a strong push to next generation "green" nuclear and PHEV."

    Concur. The fundamental problem with nuclear is high construction costs and long payback periods.

    Many electric utilities have been seriously burned once when 'public acceptance' of the technology turned against them resulting in an inability to recoup costs.

    The technology also goes to Mr Gates point about timelines.

    If someone decided today they thought it would be a good idea to built a commerical sized demonstration thorium reactor it would be 5-7 years before they got approval from the NRC, then another 5 years to build.

    Then the electric utilities would want at least 10 years of actual operating experience(preferably 20 years) from the reactor before committing to ordering one themselves.

    So we are probably at least 20 or 30 years away from having anything more then a 'demonstration' reactor.

  22. #21 Harry

    Yes, it will take 20-30yrs before LFTR can be deployed widely. That is why we need to get going now. $10B over the next 10 yrs will do wonders to move the technology forward with a demonstration plant and is a small investment compared to the alternatives.

    If we are serious about co2 control then LFTR represents a serious development path to get there.

    If you are not worried about co2 then LFTR still represents an energy solution that a serious competitive industrial economy can be built on. Combined with PHEV we can make a dent in imported oil.

  23. "Do you actually think that people who are opposed to action on climate change are going to ignore serious issues in climate science?"
    - Not at all; it's just that I don't think the issues that you cover are particularly serious and that for the most part you don't cover the issues that I do think are serious.

    "Do you think if I stop talking about these issues that their concerns will go away?"
    -No, but then I don't think that most of the commenters here are particularly interested in an honest discussion about climate science and its implications for climate policy. And I would suggest that this is a significant change from the early days on Prometheus, which is unfortunate IMO as there aren't many places in the blogosphere for this kind of discussion.

    "climate science community does not clean up its act"
    -what exactly is there to clean up?

    "If you are suggesting that attention to climate science policy hurts the cause for climate policy, then I disagree, strongly."
    - It's not the attention per se that I have an issue with, it's the issues you choose to focus on and the way in which you frame them.

    "For those interested in action on climate change, the presence of skeptics should be way down the list of concerns."
    -Agreed on this point, it's pretty far down on my list, but that doesn't mean that it isn't there :).

  24. Marlowe, there are certainly plenty of skeptics here, though most of us are lukewarmers rather than full-scale doubters. The reason for this is that this is one of only two major warmist blogs which don't seek to defend the manifestly indefensible (the other being von Storch's klimazwiebel). Roger performs a very valuable service in reminding us that not all climate scientists are frauds, and I'm surprised you can't see why this is a good thing.

  25. -23-Marlowe

    "you don't cover the issues that I do think are serious"

    OK, what are these issues?

  26. As was brought up in earlier posts all the world needs is about 4 nuclear reactors a week for the next 50 years.

  27. Arithmetic is a beautiful thing.

  28. Well, if we are going to decrease emissions of the terrible CO2 pollutant by 80%, I suppose Princess Pelosi will jsut have to quit flying a 747 back and forth between DC and San Francisco every week, eh? Nah!

  29. "No, but then I don't think that most of the commenters here are particularly interested in an honest discussion about climate science and its implications for climate policy. And I would suggest that this is a significant change from the early days on Prometheus, which is unfortunate IMO as there aren't many places in the blogosphere for this kind of discussion."

    Oh, crap, not another holier-than-thou environmentalist who insists only "she" is honest?! (I am "particularly interested in honest discussions." Really!)

  30. "climate science community does not clean up its act"
    "-what exactly is there to clean up?"

    Amazing. Have you actually been reading Roger's blog?

    The IPCC misrepresentation of research on climate change versus natural disasters? The IPCC claim of Himalayan glaciers disappearing by 2035? The IPCC claim regarding rain-fed agriculture in Africa? Rajendra Pachauri's conflict of interest problems?

    You don't think any of those require "cleaning up"?

  31. "$10B over the next 10 yrs will do wonders to move the technology forward with a demonstration plant and is a small investment compared to the alternatives."

    The irony is that Bill Gates could fund that all by himself quite easily if he wanted to. Wouldn't even make a dent in his finances. How about all these concerned, super-rich luvvies do the rest of us us a favor and stop lecturing us from the comfort of their massive mansions or private islands and instead put their money where their big mouths are!

  32. Windows is such a technical tour de force, free of unpleasant side effects, this must be the answer!

    More seriously, it's certainly correct that deep cuts are some point are the key, and that "a distributed system of R&D with economic rewards for innovators" is the way to get there. However, it's not really all that clear what Gates really means in terms of a policy prescription. The best distributed reward is a pervasive emissions price. Other ideas, like direct R&D funding or subsidies, have their place, but aren't likely to get far when confronted with rebound effects and winner-picking problems.

    When you consider the capital lifetime of energy-intensive assets, and the time it takes to roll out major waves of innovation, 2050 really isn't that far off. A strategy of researching now, in hope that we can magically throw the switch on carbon-free energy in a few decades, might work, but is high risk.

    Since Gates made his billions of technology lock-in effects, he's presumably aware that you can't proceed blithely down a high-carbon path, then expect a quick, cheap shift later on. Even if it were possible, that path is unlikely to be economically efficient. Better to get broad incentives in place now, in the market as well as in the laboratories, so that the tradeoff between reducing now and reducing later is at least somewhat consistent.

  33. -23 Marlow

    ".. I don't think that most of the commenters here are particularly interested in an honest discussion about climate science.."

    An amazing product of the climate debate that our ethics and motives are manifestly clear from solely our position on the predictive accuracy of climate models.

  34. Let's be serious about R&D here. You can spend all you want on R&D and you will not change the laws of physics. We can, of course, devote R&D $ to improving energy generation through nuclear reactions, MAYBE even through fission some day. But the idea that some type of "alternative energy" will allow much decarbonization is a pipe dream that can only be dreamt (sp?) by folks that don't know much about physics and energy generation (such as most environmentalists and politicians).

  35. -23 Marlow

    ".. I don't think that most of the commenters here are particularly interested in an honest discussion about climate science.."

    Actually you are correct, climate policy only interests me as it relates to energy policy and energy policy only interests me as it relates to national security policy...

    Way back when Jimmy Carter was President...I was one of the "The US has no troops in Saudi Arabia troops". Not much has changed in 30 years...we are more dependent on Foreign Oil then we ever were. But we did a lot of 'feel good' things to lie to ourselves that we were somehow going to 'get off of oil'.

  36. Gates has got one thing right we need some honesty from politicians about what's required. I agree with JAE. R&D is a buzz word to paint over the real obstacles. The last innovation (new source) in energy generation was in the 1940's with nuclear fission. We have been R&D-ing fusion since then with big $$$. Similar things can be said about solar, etc. Biomass, renewable fuels and wind power aren't going to get us there. Coal, oil and gas has made industrial society possible. You can't just chuck it a short time frame if at all. If Americans were told the cost to them they will dump all politicians who advocate it. I keeping coming back to geoengineering as the only common sense thing to do.

  37. Marlow,

    At least 30-50% of the population is sceptical of the catastrophic AGW claims and they are not likely to accept any limit to their lifestyle without more compelling evidence than we have today. More importantly, the weight people place on the available evidence is directly proportional to the credibility of the messengers. If the messengers are percieved to be corrupt then the message will be dismissed.

    You may not like it but that is the reality. People who remain silent while prominent AGW messengers undermine their cause are doing more to hurt their case than Roger. I know I have nothing but utter contempt for AGW types who think they can wave away the growing stink of intellectual corruption with platitudes.

    By speaking out Roger demonstrates that believing that action on AGW is necessary and having integrity are not mutually exclusive concepts and people like him are the only people that will be taken seriously by the 30-50% of the people who are sceptical. If you believe that firm action on CO2 is required you should be joining Roger in his condemnation of people who deserved to be condemned.

  38. One of the problems Bill Gates is pointing out is there is patchwork of policy solutions with no focus on the goal. Loosing focus, as I am sure Bill Gates knows better then most, is a recipe for failure.

    Another problem he points out is that many of these patchwork solutions are not effective solutions for achieving the goal. The question, will it work, is not asked often enough. That is the question Bill Gates is asking us to consider.

  39. In other words: we have to quit with the hippie pipe dreams and get real.

    Pure genius.

  40. This is brilliant??? Come on - he clearly doesn't understand the basic physics:

  41. The notion that we have to wait until the man's role in climate change and the risks this may create may create is agreed by all is understandable but misguided (for many reasons that it is not my purpose to discuss now).

    Those who do not agree now - with either the AGW thesis/science or the good faith, motives, intelligence or rationality of those who are concerned about a clearly changing climate and whether man's activities pose serious threats to human welfare and to things that we value - still have lots to gain from plenty of win-win policies that would advance the interests of those who profess to love free markets (more on these at end of this comment), but are just sitting about unused because practically everyone is too busy fighting, vilifying and mistrusting to actually step back from the emotional rush of partisan battle, sit back and to exchange their armor and weapons for thinking caps.

    Nobel-prizewinner political economist Elinor Ostrom reminds us that one sine qua non for solving any commons problem is TRUST.

    Sadly, that lack of that trust - nay, distrust and active hostility - are what characterize our "discussions" on modern-day politics, and especially climate change (the "our" in this case being a complex one at many levels).

    This DISTRUST is the natural product of many factors:

    - the lack of property rights in the atmosphere & of any legal recourse by individuals against GHG emitters/albedo changers, which together mean that - unlike for other resources that can be bought, sold and husbanded - the voluntary actions of individuals and firms via market exchanges simply are not functioning, thus forcing climate concerns - and scientists and this discussion - into the political realm;

    - in the US, both parties have grossly MIS-governed and abused the public trust, via political pandering, grasping for power at all costs (cynically sowing division and cheapening discourse by selling war, hatred and suspicion, corruptly selling favors to the highest bidders, and simply managing resources incompetently). As a result, I think many people rightly feel that the US government generally DOES NOT DESERVE our trust (this sentiment can be seen not only in the TeaParty movement, but in calls by the likes of liberal Larry Lessig for a Constitutional Convention to fix our corrupt, broken political system);

    - as has been the case since corporations were created as the faceless profit-making machines of wealthy investors whose liability for the damage they do and risks that they shift to others is limited by statute (http://bit.ly/4CKFPh), those corporations that have licenses to pollute under current law and whose climate-risk generating activities are now FREE and unregulated work hard to protect their favored status (via behind-the-scenes influence-buying of politicians and "free-market" pundit/voice-pieces, and deliberate PR smokescreen/mis-direction campaigns designed to GENERATE mistrust);

    - likewise, other corporations/investors have been busy working to buy climate legislation that will help to put money in their pockets - while thos who act as spokesmen have not been voluntarily taking actions that show they put their money where their mouth is;

    - most of the science has been funded by governments, which makes it easier for skeptics to dismiss it - and to ignore all of the sophisticated private institutions and corporations that now strongly agree with the "warmers" (viz., notably virtually all oil&gas majors and virtually all insurers);

    - the fact that the chief "solutions" proposed by our Western governments are coercive and ham-handed, would serve to further drive basic manufacturing to developing countries that care even less than we do about respecting human/property rights, would give further give domestic industry rights to behave in ways that are seen as harmful, and provide benefits to a host of favorite insiders while shifting costs to middle and lower income classes;

    (More to follow)

  42. (continued; apologies for length)

    - this leads to group-think, black & white views, hostility and to strawmen that ignores the real issues: you know, "they have a religion", we are right and act in good faith/they are stupid, irrational, are evil and want to destroy all we hold dear, capitalism is evil, those against cap and trade are all pawns, and a host of other mantras regarding "truths" that our respective group-think requires us to hold as “self-evident"; and

    - the "climate" is enormously complex, will never be fully understood or predictable, the changes that we are forcing in it cannot be simply and convincing demonstrated or understood by anyone, the system has many inputs/outputs and displays tremendous variability, has great inertia that is played out on scales of centuries, millennia and eons, and we have NO OTHER EARTHS to run ANY independently verifiable "TESTS" on ... just a number of computer models - again, funded by governments, and with innards none of us has any real ability to verify, much less understand;

    - finally, as climate change is a global issue, it cannot be solved unilaterally by ANY single individual, group, community, corporation or government/polity; the "community" that must address.

    Trust me; it's natural for you NOT to trust me! Don't we ALL understand this? (Roger, you know what I mean.) The high we get from self-righteousness is such an easy evil, such an addictive self-drug.

    Sadly, it is a clear political tactic by many on this issue to treat it as a war, and to deliberately sow mistrust and misinformation, with the intention either to defend turf previously purchased from government or to use government to cram down preferred solutions. But I repeat myself.

    Let me end by noting that

    - those who would are concerned about climate change risks would do well by fostering not anger but trust, and by seeking to use hammers only to build bridges;

    - those who are concerned chiefly with the mis-use of government might do well to re-examine how government has already been misused, and explore whether there are ways to harness the passionate "delusions" of evil/stoopid enviro-facists to actually achieve goals that self-professed market cultists (I'm one!) ought to desire;

    - I have humbly picked up my own hammer and started an exploratory "task-force" of one, to look at the ways that corporate interests have already mis-used government to lot in economic rigidity and market share, and stand in the way of economic freedom and the massive wave of innovation, investment and wealth-creation that would surely result if existing blockages were removed.

    My chief thoughts are here, intended initially as a plea to fellow libertarians (who are deeply distrusting of enviro-facists like me who hope to disguise their nefarious goals by falsely putting on libertarian clothing):


    A few related thoughts at http://bit.ly/aUOcWC (libertarians/climate) and http://bit.ly/bLX25X (delusion)

    Anybody wanna be productive?


  43. Roger, many thanks for putting up my rather long comments.

    I note that I have also cross-posted at my blog, with several paragraphs of background and a bunch of links added: http://bit.ly/912Xkj

    In posting here, it seems that in trying to get my comments to fit I managed to neglect the following paragraph, which fits between the two posts:

    " - Mistrust is not only NATURAL, it's something that we LOVE to do; there is an undeniable human penchant for viewing issues in a tribal, "us against them" manner, which reflects a natural cognitive conservatism that means we subconsciously ignore information that contradicts our pre-existing mental map of reality, and to a strong tendency to reflexively support our tribal brothers and "comrades" and to defend our pre-existing views against what we tend to see as "attacks" by "enemies"; "

    I'm a bit late to the show here, but perhaps a few subscribed to the thread and might take note.