GMB’s Carbon rant

March 6, 2008

Lets talk about South Africa for awhile. Energy-rich country. Ran its transport systems on liquified-coal which was synthesised by a company called Sassol. This gave them energy independence and they would have been able to fight under conditions of embargo since liquified coal can go straight into diesel engines. I speak of Apartheid South Africa that would have been almost impossible to defeat had they wanted to defend their position.

Whats happened in the last few years is reminiscient of the dying days of Atlas Shrugged. The South Africans have been having forced promotions of black people and a lot of the dudded skilled people have left. So the power engine is running down. Instead of throwing their hopes behind John Galts engine they are now hoping to get hold of French nuclear energy. There are blackouts the whole time. Every time there is a blackout this must cost millions in lost production.

Once you get to such a dire situation there is no innovating your way out of it. There is no substitution towards different non-carbon technologies to get out of that sort of mess because energy and capital are one. Capital takes energy to build and energy to run and cheap enough energy to make the lengthening of the structure of production worthwhile.

A progressing (growing) economy grows by the lengthening of the structure of production. The Gross Domestic revenue must grow a great deal faster then the Gross Domestic Product. This means that growth implies DISSPROPORTIONATELY increased per capita energy consumption. With any energy efficiencies an afterthought.

Fortunately we have abundant energy. We just need the capital to gather it. Capital needs energy. Energy needs capital. Hence no talk of the vanity of solar, wind and other nutball bean-sprout-munching energy methods ought to be condoned as a way of dealing with a looming crises.

These vanities are to be invested in only when we are back under conditions of cheap energy. Which we won’t be for some decades thanks to the environmentalist movement.

Now supposing that the South Africans, who appear doomed by the way, suppose they didn’t get this French nuclear power to bail them out. And instead they engaged in endless chatter about seaweed-biodiesel and carbon taxes? Supposing whenever an investor thought of sticking up another coal-electricity generator alarm bells went off in his head at the contemplation of the harrassment, legal costs, and political hurdles he would encounter. And supposing the South Africans starting madly subsidising solar power, wind farms and solar towers?

Each of these measures would hasten their econonmic collapse. If their total economic collapse was fated for 5 years time, which is realistic from where I sit, instead that collapse would come in two years lets say.

Because Humphreys feels he is allowed to and within his best behaviour to merely DODGE rather than BEST arguments against his arguments …………. he has therefore not seen fit to educate himself in the understanding of the capital structure or of energy economics.


The amount of money spent between and within businesses vastly dwarfs GDP. And the whole thing runs on energy. I won’t address the issue of Keynesians here because they are lunatics who don’t understand economics at all. But neo-classicals have put GROSS INVESTMENT into the too-hard-basket. They think of capital as one big undifferentiated blob. They have to work hard in their mind to untangle physical capital spending with whatever it is a Hedge Fund is doing. Its a big confusion to them and they prefer to brush up on otherworldly theories of the firm and assure people of their credentials.


Now notice something strange and entirely bogus about GDP.

We have these gross figures lumped together. But I is NET investment. Which is something of an accounting fiction since it contains highly processed notions of retained profits and depreciation.

What if we were dealing with GROSS INVESTMENT?

As it turns out Gross investment is the whole deal in econonmics. The figure of Gross investment vastly dwarfes the other figures. It is internal spending within and between business. Its a massive figure. Its where all the important economic action is. Its where the vast bulk of the energy is consumed AND NEOCLASSICAL ECONOMISTS ARE TRAINED TO VIGOUROUSLY BLOCK IT OUT OF THEIR MINDS.

So they cannot see the economy as such. They cannot think about it properly. They do not register the importance of so many things. And so the notion that you could run 1000 households with some solar tower sounds like relevant information to them because they vaguely see the shops and the ships and they see the households in their minds eye….. but they are trained not to see most of the economy most of the time.

So thouroughly are they trained not to see the bulk of the economy, that they come up with all sorts of daft notions like the “service economy” and the “information economy” and they imagine we can all be landscape gardeners, fast-food franchise operators and hedge-fund managers.


Now you have a turbine running. Its turning through a magnetic field which is creating a resistance. You have all these transformers all over town.

That giant turbine cannot be let slow down because it will take hours to fire it up again. So if its slowing the resistance must be eased. The strength of the field must be reduced. Hence electricity generation must be reduced if the giant turbine is losing momentum.

The transformers are all over town. They might be dealing with 132000 volts or something. ACDC. And they cannot allowed tot drop below about 49.95 Hertz or they will do just enourmous damage, screwing up everyones electrical equipment.

So if demand for energy exceeds what the system can handle one of the transformers must be shut down causing millions of dollars in lost production.

So supposing we open up a lot more land for housing development or we have some sort of investment boom, double digit GDR growth and all that. The energy production must always be the first tent in the peg. We must have an investment environment that leaves us with massive overcapacity at all times.

If the new suburbs and economic growth goes ahead without this overcapacity we can bugger ourselves up.

I have anecdotal evidence that our system doesn’t have much excess capacity. In wartime a single bombed coal-electricity plant could screw us up bad. Could make it near impossible to conduct sane econonmic activity while our boys got on with the butchering.


The environmentalist movement has been pushing us into a situation of energy stress for three or four decades now. They have made everyone frightened of nuclear and coal. This energy-deprivation-crusade predates the global warming lying campaign by two decades at least.

We cannot be reinforcing their lies. It doesn’t take a total ban on nuclear, coal-to-electricity or coal-to-liquified-coal to set us up for disaster. Money is a coward.

MONEY IS A COWARD. Investors are easily discouraged. And for no reason at all Humphreys wants to discourage them more.

There is no alternative to coal and nuclear that can be put up in an age of energy stress. Post-war up until the 1970’s was a cheap energy age. It didn’t need to stop but we had to move to coal and nuclear. And the environmentalist movement wouldn’t let us.

Before 1973 when we left a room we’d leave the light on. Wouldn’t even bother to switch it off. Those were the good days when even mind-blowingly stupid Keynesian practices couldn’t stop economic growth. We can only get those days back with massive expansion of coal and nuclear use.

So we have to start talking differently, we have start taxing differently, and we cannot have policy which reinforces lies.

The plan of the energy-deprivation crusade is and always has been global energy rationing as spelled out this very day on Late Night Live. To promote carbon tax literally is not to promote carbon tax actually. To promote carbon tax is to promote a global scheme of per capita CO2-rationing. Which means energy-rationing, global governance, massive payments to socialist countries and on and on.

Why on earth does Humphreys imagine that if he promotes his policy he also gets to nuance it?????

This is a childish delusional fantasy that Humphreys and Soon entertain.  You cannot both push and nuance policy. This was the one devastating anti-war point that Humphreys made against me on another subject. You push an idea you don’t get to nuance it.

But the Humphreys policy itself is typical neoclassical economic illiteracy. Since it fails to see the economy entire and its just one more nail in the coffin for energy investment.
(Tapping the hitman on the hand like the nazi in marathon man.)

The environmental movement did not kill tens of millions of black children through a total DDT-Ban. They killed them by a variety of methods including just simple discouragement.

DDT-discouragement. DDT-bureaucratisation. And a closed factory there. A price increase here. A ban here and there. And that was enough to get the job done. Millions of wailing Mothers screaming all night long. 300 million chronically sick people on top of the kiddie-killing.

And so it goes for this current campaign. Its a tax there. A stupid misconception there. Somebody over here is convinced to be fearful of nuclear power. Some kids are taught to be bigoted about CO2. Its a Lamberting campaign. And there is some nutball out there that keeps wanting a carbon tax. He’s a nutball whose out there and he refuses to fucking LISTEN!!!!!!!

This nutball that keeps wanting a carbon tax. We say why we cannot-must-not have one. And he just ignores our argument, waits another freaking month. And he springs it on us again.

Now what is going on here?

Now the other thing is this. All our readily profitable non-nuclear energy sources are hydrogen-poor and carbon-rich. So much so that they are solids. Hence the next move is towards heavy carbon fuels. And carbon tax will get in the way of that. Our vehicles will be dieselised. The gasoline is on the way out and diesel has to come in.

THIS MUST HAPPEN. Because of the basic hydrogen-dearth. Its got to happen. But money is a coward. And another tax sitting directly on this transformation will hobble us horribly. Its a total disaster that Humphreys is talking about here.

We will go to heavy fuels everywhere they can be applied. That means diesel and liquified-coal.

And this must continue until such time as we have saturation nuclear power, which will provide the extra hydrogen atoms that will progressively lighten the fuels towards the methane end of the spectrum.

Now all of you must understand everything I’ve said here. Just keep reading it, and reading it, and reading it until you understand it all the way down to your blood-and-bones …….marrow-and-mitochondria. You must understand the energy landscape viscerally to fight this ugly ugly environmentalists looming disaster.  They have replaced a make-believe disaster in the space of the real one they are pushing us towards.

This is a matter of the utmost seriousness.


JC/Terje context

April 7, 2007

JC asked me to move Terje’s original comment to this blog for context, so it is below. Readers can decide whether it was provocative. Responses to the JC/Terje stoush have also been removed from the ALS blog and placed here.

I’m trying to separate the real arguments from the personal stuff, so please help me out people and try to keep the ALS discussion relevant. Thanks.

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JC discusses Terje

April 3, 2007

This comment was posted by JC at the ALS blog in response to a comment by Terje:

In an attempt to remove the ongoing meta-analysis and personal insults from the ALS blog I am moving the comment here for people to discuss and debate at their will. This blog will never be moderated for any reason, so feel free to be as rude, repetitive and hurtful as you think appropriate.

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Bird’s breakdown

March 6, 2007

The following is a stream of comments posted by Graeme over the course of 40 minutes after one of his posts was blocked by the wordpress moderator. There were plenty of other posts which were written before and after this stream and over a dozen more in moderation… but this is just a glimce into Bird’s breakdown.

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Graeme’s money rant

March 6, 2007

No I won’t stop insulting them because they get onto this subject and they become everything I hate about left-wingers.

See how Jason is lying and implying that I was after an instant collapse of the money supply. By banning fractional reserve overnight without the cash to replace the destroyed FIDUCIARY MONEY….

See how he tried to lie to third parties in this way?

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The End

November 23, 2006

Well, that’s enough of this silliness from me. This blog will now going into hibernation until Graeme shows himself once again in desperate need of education. Until then, don’t be scared.

Lesson 4: how not to lie

November 17, 2006

Graeme, Graeme, Graeme. I have watched you over at Catallaxy break into fits of moral indignation when somebody has apparently misrepresented you. So why did you do it to me?

You know perfectly well my position on terrorism and the threat of islamic socialism. My opinion, based on the reality of deaths, injuries and damage caused, is that terrorism is a minor threat to the west. In Australia you have more chance of dying from pesticide poisoning, lightening strikes, smoking and many other activities that don’t warrant a pretend war. In my opinion, such a minor threat does not warrant your tax-eating and government-loving policy preferences.

But I don’t want to argue that point here. Instead, I want to confront you about these comments:

“No it [issue from previous debate] won’t go away. And neither will the terrorists.”

“And you might think that jihadism will go a way if you just treat it like a natural disaster. An act of God.”

You are clearly implying that I think that terrorism will go away.

I don’t think that. I have never said that. Further, you know I don’t think that. So you are intentionally misrepresenting me. Twice. Bad form Graeme.

I can only assume that you are lying on this issue because you think it helps you to score arguing points. Unforunately it just makes you look like a desperate liar. If you had a good point to make, you would have made it. The correct thing for you to do now is to recant and apologise.

Lesson 3: what is a libertarian?

November 13, 2006

It has recently become clear the my grand-libertarian-poobah-in-waiting doesn’t actually have a clear idea what it means to be a libertarian. I didn’t know I had this much work left in front of me. Here we go…

At the core of libertarian philosophy is the simple idea that humans own themselves. 

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Lesson 2: global warming

November 12, 2006

Graeme, on this comments thread you admitted that humans are contributing to increased global temperatures… but you claim that this is a good thing because we have been in an ice age for 39 million years and in a severe phase for the last 3.5 million years. You have suggested that only “perverts” would disagree.

In response, Terje pointed out to you that “The ice age seems to have been favourable for us. Are you sure you want a new venue after 39 million years?”

Your response was: “Bullshit. Its been one holocaust after another.” 

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Lesson 1: don’t be scared

November 12, 2006

Bird, you have previously complained of my “lightning-strike approach to terrorism”.  

Indeed. Perhaps you should check which is a greater threat to your life — terrorists or lightning. Or pesticide poisoning. Or falling down stairs. Or smoking. Or sex.

Ignorance is not strength. Fearmongering is the number one tool of the government lover. Don’t fall for that trick Graeme. Stop being scared. Stop trusting your beloved government and learn to love freedom.

Stop stealing my tax money for your foreign adventures and stop taking away my right to privacy and liberty for the sake of your delicate and irrational peace of mind.