Taxing Fire


By Carl Brehmer

“Evidence of widespread control of fire dates to approximately 125,000 years.”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Control_of_fire_by_early_humans

Many people assert that environmental extremists want to take civilization back to a pre-industrial state some 150-200 years ago, but the achievement of a “carbon free economy” would take humanity back at least 125,000 years before the discovery and control of fire, because that is the source of the carbon dioxide emissions that have now been declared “pollution.” Even as the somewhat obscure term “cap-and-trade” is a little more clear when called a “carbon tax”, even more clarity would be achieved by calling it a tax on the use of fire, because that is what it is. In their role as fuels, all hydrocarbons are useless until they are burned, which produces the energy that has fuelled human progress and provided the following benefits, which even the environmental extremists and various “rent takers” take for granted:

1) Light; even kerosene lanterns burn fossil fuel and produce carbon dioxide.

2) Heat; ask the victims of hurricane Sandy or anybody who experiences a power outage about the value of heat. Even primitive people use fire for heat.

3) Communication; all modern forms of communication depend upon the power provided by the energy derived from fire.

4) Rapid travel; what form of travel today isn’t powered by the use of fire? Trains, planes and automobiles are all powered with fire.

5) Escape from countless hours of physical labour. Prior to the discovery and use of fire, especially that used to produce electricity, disparate groups of human being were stuck in separate small communities around the world forced to spend most of their time in physical labour.

6) Inventions such as the modern computer and the rapid, worldwide communication network, which includes cell phones, e-mail and the internet would not have been developed nor could they be sustained by the intermittent, low density energy derived from solar cells and wind mills.

7) Satellites, both communication and weather; how many satellites have been launched into space without the use of fire? Many, but not all, are sent to space by hydrocarbon fuels. (Even those satellites that study outgoing long wave radiation and have futilely been attempting to prove that increasing levels of carbon dioxide are causing catastrophic climate change.)

8) One of the consequences of using fire as an energy source is that it has provided many people with enough time on their hands to debate whether or not fire is a good thing, i.e., the global warming AKA climate change AKA biodiversity AKA sustainable development debate.

(Remember also that environmental extremists not only want to ban the use of fire for energy production; they want to ban the use of nuclear energy and hydroelectric energy as well.)

The vast amount of energy that the use of fire has placed at the disposal of humanity has been used to revolutionize the nature of our existence. The mere fact that fire was a source of light and heat independent of the sun meant that humans could roam beyond the tropics into the damp, cold regions of the north with seasons of snow and long freezing nights. It was fire and fire alone that enabled man to become a creature native to the entire world and not just the tropics. In addition, the heat of the fire, i.e. cooking, brought about changes in our food supply that made otherwise inedible food palatable and nourishing. Fire has not only increased the variety of food that humans can eat, it also powers the diesel tractors used in modern farming. Our food supply has consequently multiplied beyond the wildest dreams of our ancient ancestors. Current world hunger problems are primarily distribution problems not quantity problems.

Nor has the importance of fire diminished with time; rather the reverse. Wood was no doubt the first fuel used in building and maintaining a fire, but coal took primacy over wood in the 17th century. In the 20th century these two fuels were join by gasoline and oil. In the 21st century shale oil and natural gas are gaining importance.

If the “powers that be” really thought that the continued use of fire was causing a climate catastrophe they would ban its use all together, but it would seem that they just want a piece of the action. The cap-and-trade scheme is not unlike property tax in which the government just lays claim to your property and starts charging you rent, i.e. property tax. (If you think that you own your home just stop paying your property tax and see what happens.) The cap-and-trade scheme is the government just laying claim on all fossil fuel resource within its jurisdiction and charging people a fee to burn them as an energy source.

“The power to tax is the power to destroy.” (John Marshall in McCulloch v. Maryland 17 U.S. 327)

It could be that humans will eventually run out of things to burn, but that day keeps getting pushed back by innovation. For the present I can’t think of a more efficient way to destroy our society’s prosperity, which has brought us all of the above benefits, than to impose a tax on the use of fire. It leaves me wondering; in what kind of society do we now live in which we have to buy a license to use fire as an energy source, something that has been free for 125,000 years? And who exactly are we paying these fees to in order to obtain the privilege of burning that which nature provides?

Carl Brehmer

(Slightly edited from the original.)



Carbon Fools Day


Australian Senate passes Carbon Tax Bill – Nov 8 2011.
– a date that will be remembered as Carbon Fools Day.

Just a year ago, Australia joined the ranks of Carbon Fools by passing the Carbon Tax Bill (actually 18 separate bills called the “Clean Energy Bills”.) Now the same fools who introduced it are among the front rank of volunteers for carbon suicide by trumpeting their intention to sign Kyoto 2.

Barack Obama and Julia Gillard are founding members of the Carbon Fools Club, and have learned tricks from one another on how to betray the electorate without getting punished.

Before the election Gillard said “There will be no carbon tax under the government I lead”. Her Treasurer confirmed the promise. After the election, she changed her mind and introduced it. Now she is proceeding to bribe enough of the electorate into acceptance of the betrayal.
(more…)



Retreat to the Past


The human race advances by exploration, adventure, experiment and innovation – by looking forward. The Green Generation worships the past and would take us backwards.

Their promotion of “sustainable farming” yearns for a bucolic nirvana of self-sufficiency with no room for modern farming that has produced the food surpluses that sustain the cities. Their worship of the ‘precautionary principle” would have us cease innovating and experimenting “in case something goes wrong”. They scare our kids with never ending forecasts of doom. And they hobble our enterprising spirit with taxes and green tape. Their goal is to force the human race to retreat to the past, abandoning our mines, farms, forests and fishing grounds. This is a real model of doom for a large part of the human race.

The climate industry forges on with scant regard for science or logic. Water vapour in the atmosphere is by far the most effective “greenhouse gas”. Should we also have a tax on steam?

Finally, to the people who say “we have not noticed any effects from the carbon tax” – we say “They planned it that way”.

More:

  • Sustainable Farming – the Impossible Dream
  • Retreat to the Past
  • Climatists not Fair Dinkum?
  • Why have we not noticed effects of the carbon tax?
  • How to Create an Intermittent and Costly Electricity Supply Industry

Read the full report: http://carbon-sense.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/retreat-to-past.pdf [PDF, 184 KB]

Keywords: Sustainable farming.



Burning the Biosphere


When I was a kid, Mum did the washing in a copper of boiling water over an open fire in the back yard. We collected the wood from the back paddock with a horse and dray. It was all very “green” (but we thought it was just hard yakka).

Greens want us to return to this primitive method for generating heat, and even electricity.

It is sensible for industrial plants such as sugar mills to burn readily available organic waste such as bagasse to generate power. But to deliberately build power stations to run on wood chips is a step back to the BC (before coal) era when forests were clear-felled to produce fuel and charcoal to feed boilers and furnaces.

Coal is an energy-dense fuel, and often has huge deposits in a concentrated area. Long-life power stations can be built close to the coal deposits, thus minimising transport costs and land disturbance.

Wood, however, has very low energy density and biomass energy is always spread over large areas of land. The fuel gathering operation must move every day, with enormous waste of transport energy and displacement of plants and animals.

Burning coal or burning biomass produces exactly the same harmless combustion gases, and a switch of fuels will have no measurable effect on climate.

Even more stupid than wood power are Green dreams to feed power stations with low grade fuels such as wheat stubble or fowl manure. The collection and transport costs for such inferior fuels will exceed the value of electricity produced. It also robs the bio-sphere of valuable mulch, fertiliser and humus.

Burning biomass to generate electricity is Green madness. Speculators should be free to fritter their own funds on such nonsense but public subsidies, carbon credits and market mandates should not be used to support them.

Here is a new slogan for true environmentalists: “Don’t Burn the Bio-sphere”.

Read how one foolish island nation plans to burn its food (coconuts) in diesel generators:
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/08/09/of-coconuts-the-sun-and-small-isolated-islands/

More:

  • Why Bury the Essentials of Life in Carbon Cemeteries?
  • Abolish the Two Big Climate Taxes
  • The Real Agenda: Agenda 21
  • Nothing New about Extreme Weather
  • Has the LNP forgotten the battlers?

See: http://carbon-sense.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/burning-the-biosphere.pdf [PDF, 219 KB]

Keywords: Green Energy, biomass, wood power, biofuel, CCS (carbon capture & sequestration), climate taxes, electricity costs, carbon tax, renewable energy targets, Agenda 21, extreme weather.



Aussie Pollution Solution


aussie-pollution-solution.jpg

With acknowledgement to Steve Hunter.



Is Coal Dirty? Some Facts on Coal Combustion


We are winning the war about Man-made Global Warming.

But about half of the population still think that the carbon tax will do some good. Why? It is all about “cleaning up dirty coal energy”.

The seeds of public concern were sewn with Penny Wong’s Machiavellian linking of “carbon” and “pollution”. She was assisted by the gross stupidity of the coal industry leadership in promoting nonsense like carbon sequestration as a “clean coal” option. The public naturally assumed “if they need to spend billions to produce “clean coal”, obviously we are now using “dirty coal”. This generation of coal industry leaders is more culpable than the greens – they should have known better – they have betrayed their shareholders, their employees and the nation.

The whole “dirty coal” program was assisted by the continual portrayal by alarmist media and government propagandists of power station cooling towers belching “pollution”. As carbon dioxide is an invisible gas, this is clearly a lie. What is seen are clouds of water vapour with no more pollution potential than wispy white cumulus clouds or boiling dark nimbus thunderheads.

And of course coal is black, thus dirty and dangerous like “a black mark” which is a de-merit point, a “black act”, which is nasty behaviour, “black magic” which is evil sorcery and “the black death” which kills people. What a pity coal was not rare and pretty like that other form of carbon, diamond.

A local climax of this unrelenting black-guarding of coal was a letter published in the Queensland Times of Ipswich, a town founded on coal mining, describing carbon dioxide as “one of many lethal pollutants released by coal combustion”.

What are the facts on coal combustion?

Read on for more, including:

  • Taxing Termites, Wetlands, Volcanoes & Sacred Cows?
  • Four Steps to Cheaper Electricity
  • Solar Energy Dims and Wind Power Runs out of Puff
  • The Measure of our Stupidity
  • The Last Word – the Consensus is Destroyed

See: http://carbon-sense.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/is-coal-dirty.pdf [PDF, 512 KB]

Letter to the Editor

Add more carbon dioxide to green the planet

In western Canada, a ‘BC Greenhouse Growers Association’ spokesperson said on a radio program to the effect, “most greenhouses consume the available CO2 within the first 1/2 hour of the daytime growing cycle, and thereafter the grower must add CO2 within the greenhouse”.

Therefor assuming a 12 hour daylight growing period, they would add 23 times the ambient (380 parts per million) amount of CO2 to make the plants grow stronger to the desired size, strength and health etc. These CO2 enhanced plants also use less water to grow. If we wanted to green the planet, we should be adding more CO2 to the atmosphere, not less.

Roland Seguin
Langley, BC Canada

Keywords: coal, combustion, pollution, SOX, NOX, mercury, termites, wetlands, volcanoes, sacred cows, electricity costs, solar, wind, carbon trading, consensus, sustainability, censorship.



The Sermon on the Mount


combet-sermon-mount.jpg



The Long and Costly War on Carbon


The Australian government claims that next month’s tax on carbon dioxide cannot be blamed for today’s soaring costs of living.

This tax, however, is just their latest assault in the decades-long war on carbon that is already inflating the cost of everything.

For at least a decade, power companies have been obliged to source 10-15% of their power at inflated prices from costly and unreliable sources like wind and solar. And for every wind or solar plant built, a duplicate backup gas facility is needed, increasing the demand and price for backup gas, hitting other gas consumers. Moreover, the threat of more carbon taxes has deterred the construction of efficient new coal-burning power plants. Rising electricity costs feed into the cost of everything from public transport to building materials.

The climatists are also responsible for numerous policies pushing up the price of food. These include the ethanol/biofuel madness, the restrictions on the fishing industry, the Kyoto scrub clearing bans, the spread of carbon-credit forests over farming and grazing land, the never ending war on irrigators, and the virtual ban on building new water-supply dams.

Then we have all the hidden costs of the climate industry. Thousands of our smartest graduates are lured into well-paid dead-end desk jobs in the overheads industry devoted to climate red tape, while real entrepreneurs are unable to find workers to develop our continent of under-utilised resources. There is an overpaid bureaucracy devoted to climate “research”, alternate energy, international junkets, Kyoto give-aways, and administration, auditing, enforcement, accounting, law and propaganda for their empire of climate taxes and subsidies.

Finally we have income tax implications from all the money being flung around to bribe people to accept their carbon tax? Every Australian will get these bills somewhere, sometime. And who pays for the hundreds of millions poured down subsidy rat-holes like carbon capture, solar panels, pink bats and the IPCC?

Australia’s crippling carbon tax is but the latest symptom of the costly Climate Madness infecting the well-fed elite of the western world.

When the consumers of Australia realise the extent to which they have been conned and needlessly pauperised, the electoral retribution will be swift.

See more:
http://us2.campaign-archive2.com/?u=d9f51dd317ac24a90c904906c&id=fe9a5fd1c6&e=8391ec2f7c

And more in this newsletter:

  • Carbon Price Propaganda Taxes the Truth
  • Sawmills to Save the Planet?
  • Species Extinction is Nothing New
  • Rallies to “Smash the Carbon Tax”
  • It’s the Sun, Stupid
  • More Green Jobs Created – in China
  • Rio – 50,000 People Flock to another UN Flop
  • Ian Plimer comes to Brisbane
  • The Carbon Tax Explained
  • Turn up the Heat on The Liberals too

See: http://carbon-sense.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/war-on-carbon.pdf [PDF, 88KB]

Keywords: Australia, carbon tax, electricity, food, costs, propaganda, sawmills, species extinctions, solar cycles, protests, green jobs, Rio flop.



The Soda Water Scare


With the failure of “Global Warming” the climatists have concocted a new alarm – the soda water scare.

Their computer models are forecasting that the oceans, which weigh 300 times more than all the gases in the atmosphere, are being turned acidic by the 0.0012% (12 parts per million) of man-made additions to the carbon dioxide (CO2) in Earth’s atmosphere.

CO2 is a natural gas that dissolves in water. The amount absorbed depends upon how much CO2 there is in the air, and the temperature of the water. CO2 dissolves best in cold water and is expelled as the water warms. And far more would be absorbed if there was 100% CO2 in the atmosphere above.

When concentrated CO2 gas is bubbled under high pressure into ice cold water much CO2 dissolves, producing acidic soda water whose pH (acidity) could be as low as 4. This is 1,000 times more acidic than pure water whose pH is a neutral 7.

But oceans are much warmer than that and atmospheric CO2 is at much lower pressure. Therefore in the open ocean, pH seldom gets below 8, ten times more alkaline than pure water.

This weak soda water could only be described as “acidic” by someone pushing an alarmist agenda. There are no measurements that show that the pH of the ocean is changing more now than in the past – only models. In historical terms, atmospheric CO2 levels are now close to record lows. Corals and other ocean life have flourished in atmospheric levels of CO2 far higher than today’s.

We are told that the tiny bit of natural soda water in still-alkaline sea water will dissolve corals and shells, kill fish and create oceanic mayhem?

If soda water is so dangerous, then how come people consume it in copious amounts in beer, scotch and fizzy drinks?

Read on for more, including:

  • The Impact of Carbon Dioxide on Climate Change and Earth’s Plant and Animal Kingdoms
  • Saving the Planet?
  • Lord Monckton on Agenda 21
  • Germany faces some painful Truths on Green Energy
  • The Wheels are coming off the Wind Energy Gravy Train
  • Green Companies Crash and Teeter
  • Rallies to “Smash the Carbon Tax”
  • The Last Word: Three Inconvenient Facts

See: http://carbon-sense.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/soda-water-scare.pdf [PDF, 303 KB]



Five Big Carbon Lies


The Australian government’s plan to sell their un-saleable carbon tax has hit a snag – their pollsters have discovered that the word ”carbon” provokes anger in the electorate. This is no surprise. Most decent people hate liars and the carbon tax campaign has been mired in lies from the start.

There are five big carbon lies.

Read on for more, including:

  • Farming Carbon Credits
  • The New Brisbane Line?
  • The Big Unravelling Starts, in Germany
  • Global Warming is not the Threat – Ice is the Killer
  • Renewable Electricity for Australia – the Cost
  • Practical Weather Prediction
  • How we are Winning the Climate Wars
  • Carbon Sense will keep up the fight

See: http://carbon-sense.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/carbon-lies.pdf [PDF, 230 KB]

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