Archive for the ‘Freakonomics’ Category

Crazy Bill Gates on the need for energy innovation: We need to "fix market barriers and dysfunctions"

February 18th, 2010 No comments

[Note: Snark inside.]

As I mentioned earlier, Bill Gates has recently posted his thoughts on how to address climate issues.

Since we know Gates has been funding scientific inquiry into (and patent rights regarding) methods to dampen “climate change” affects that are expected by many to arise as a result of CO2 emissions and other factors, astute group-thinkers know that Gates has already embraced lunacy.

I invite the free thinkers to read more about Gates’ wild and crazy thoughts (such as my own refrain that libertarians and conservatives should take advantage of climate concerns to put pressure on removing barriers to innovation); here are a few excerpts (emphasis added):

Why We Need Innovation, Not Just Insulation

Posted 01/24/2010
Conservation and behavior change alone will not get us to the
dramatically lower levels of CO2 emissions needed to make a real
difference. We also need to focus on developing innovative technologies
that produce energy without generating any CO2 emissions at all.

People often present two timeframes that
we should have as goals for CO2 reduction – 30% (off of some baseline)
by 2020 and 80% by 2050. …

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 near zero. …

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.

While it is all well and good to insulate houses and turn off lights,
to really solve this problem we need to spend more time on accelerating
innovation. …

Unfortunately, you can never insulate your way to anything close to
zero. But because 2020 is too soon for innovation to be completed and
widely deployed, behavior change and efficiency still matter.

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 2020 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 close 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 close to zero.

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

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. …

We should at the least fix market barriers and dysfunctions that
prevent these gains from being realized. That’s just being smart.

But it’s not enough to slow the growth of CO2 given the strength of demand driven by the poor who need to get access energy.

No amount of insulation will get us there; only innovating our way to
what is essentially zero carbon energy technology will do it. If we
focus on just efficiency to the exclusion of innovation, or imagine
that we can worry about efficiency first and worry about energy
innovation later, we won’t get there.

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


[Update] Geo-engineering: Say It Ain't So, Bill! World's richest man revealed as sugar daddy to vicious/crackpot/envirofascist cult "scientists"

February 4th, 2010 No comments

[Note: Hope the obvious snark isn`t too confusing; some simple thoughts on an alternative view are at bottom.]

An obviously deluded Bill Gates apparently:

  • has become a global warming/carbon cultist and/or
  • has been suckered by carbon-trading swindlers or modern-day sellers of snake oil serums, and/or
  • has a plan to get even more rich by cornering the market on climate moderation services, in part through abusively seeking patents on techniques to geo-engineer the stratosphere.

An article at “Science, the propaganda arm of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, revealed on January 26 that Gates has been funding “atmospheric scientist” Ken Caldeira and others over the past three years, out of his own pocket and to the tune of $4.5 million. Caldeira was recently in the news in connection with Steven Levitt’s and Stephen Dubner’s latest Freakonomics book, which showed that even in the unlikely even that it turns out that puny mankind actually influences the climate, that wizbang mankind has a simple and easy solution. Gates, it turns out, is co-conspirator in Intellectual Ventures, the venture started by genius Nathan Myhrvold, whom is also prominently referred to in Freakonomics. Apparently, Intellectual Ventures has already been busy filing patent applications.

It`s not entirely clear what Gates, Myhrvold, Caldeira, Levitt and Dubner are up to, but since faithful readers at LvMI all know that climate change simply isn`t happening, whatever it is, it can`t be any good, can it? Sure, Gates and Myhvold are privately funding science, but aren`t they really simply creaming information off of the public investment in climate research, while seeking monopoly gains through crackpot geoengineering schemes that they hope their elite friends in our Big Brother government will fund via a massive, coercive use of tax dollars? And isn`t this exactly the reason why Levitt and Dubner, as front men, have been softening up the public for this type of soaking?

[If there`s going to be any large-scale geoengineering, LvMI readers all hope it will be conducted in a purely private manner, as suggested by our own thinking men, who have been in the forefront on intelligent schemes for man to cool the planet (by the atmospheric use of atom bombs to induce a mild nuclear winter).]

Here are a few excerpts for time-pressed readers, including some insightful remarks in the comments by a reader who is up to Gates`s tricks, and some possible further misdirection by Caldeira:

Billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates has been supporting a wide array of research on geoengineering since 2007, ScienceInsider has learned. The world’s richest man has provided at least $4.5 million of his own money over 3 years for the study of methods that could alter the stratosphere to reflect solar energy, techniques to filter carbon dioxide directly from the atmosphere, and brighten ocean clouds. …

Caldeira and physicist David Keith of the University of Calgary in Canada have been in charge of deciding how to dispense the money ….

Recipients of the funding include Armand Neukermans, an inventor based in Silicon Valley who is working with colleagues to design spray systems for the marine clouds, and students and scientists working for Keith and Caldeira. Funding has also helped support scientific meetings in geoengineering in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Edinburgh, Scotland, and aeronautics research related to altering the stratosphere.

There are other grantees, Keith says, but he declined to identify them or say why. “This is like a little private funding agency,” he says, though he says they plan to release more information.

Gates has shown interest in geoengineering research before. He is an investor in Intellectual Ventures, a Seattle, Washington–area firm that pursues inventions and has applied for patents on techniques to geoengineer the stratosphere. Along with officials from that organization, Gates applied for a patent in 2008 to sap hurricanes of their strength by mixing surface and deep ocean water.

What’s his ultimate goal? Gates “views geoengineering as a way to buy time but it’s not a solution to the problem” of climate change, says spokesperson John Pinette. “Bill views this as an important avenue for research—among many others, including new forms of clean energy.” (Pinette works for BCG3, a think-tank type firm Gates started last year which has no apparent role thus far in supporting geoengineering.) “Scientific and technological advances are making it possible to solve big, complicated problems like never before,” writes Gates on the Web site of the Gates Foundation, which is also not involved in the geoengineering work.

Here’s an insightful comment by a level-headed reader:

At it is stated that Bill Gates and Caldeira have filed for a joint patent. All the world should take that into consideration when looking into the ethics of all this. Caldeira has gone from science to money and that Genie aint ever going back into the bottle.

It also says that Caldeira doesn’t advocate deployment. So patents are made by people who dont intend to use them?

There is a major crime going on here. Science is the same thinking that got our world into the tipping point on the cliff position we are in now. Einstein wouldn’t have the problem solving the problem.

Caldeira’s WORDS are correct…we should not deploy. Thats where it ends. There will never be trust from humanity at this point…not to THESE people.

The message from science is so confused….we are warming, we aren’t , we can spray the atmosphere, but we will lose the corals…

and even more troubling…our skies are SPRAYED EVERYDAY…Mr Caldeira doesn’t seem to want to admit what half the world knows by now…Perhaps a third grade science student should teach him a little about contrails.

So why trust him…or any of them. They are arrogant beyond belief.

It is really quite simple: either we use geoengineering or come up with a cheap clean energy production technology. If neither of those two things happen to prevent the carrying capacity of the Earth from falling dramatically, the human population will have to be culled, either deliberately or through a natural bottleneck.

We are indisputably into The Sixth Great Extinction, and preserving the Earth for future generations is BY FAR more important than the fate of the current generation of selfish mass murders who would rather destroy the Earth’s ecosystems than change their self-destructive habits.

By the way, I am only stating the facts, not advocating any action. There is only so much any one individual can do.

[Here’s a start on an alternative read, for those of you who made it this far:
  • Bill Gates, not a stupid man, is honestly worried that we (including China, India, etc.) may be boxing ourselves in on climate change, and regards the potential consequences as serious enough that it is worth his investment into investigating how we might abate such changes.
  • Myhrvold and Caldeira honestly hold their own similar views that climate change is a concern and that geo-engineering research is desirable.
  • Scientist Caldeira – assuming those are indeed his comments – illustrates the concern that has been widely expressed by scientists about how mankind has been rapidly altering ecosystems, threatening not simply biodiversity that they personally highly value, but also the ability of those ecosystems to support still burgeoning human populations. To put it mildly, Caldeira is “hair-on-fire” concerned]
  • All of this should give pause to those who, understandably reluctant to see a further expansion of government, prefer to believe that there are no real risks as economic actors who bear no liability for any subsequent consequences continue, at an accelerating pace, to free up all of the Earth`s stored fossil carbon, to alter albedo via soot and land changes, to strip indigenous lands in favor of corporate-owned monocultures, and to strip the seas of wild fish and to alter the pH of the oceans. (a litany which is all easily documented)