Some words from our sponsor
As is well known, generous funding towards the multi-million budget of our Climate Scepticism blog and many others like it is provided by the Koch brothers, along with Exxon and other oil companies.
So it’s with sincere gratitude for his support that we report here the wise words of Charles Koch, from a recent interview at the Washington Post.
Jim Tankersley: Do you still have the potential to be surprised or have your mind changed on big things, and the specific example I was thinking of is, could someone produce a piece of research that could convince you that carbon regulation is necessary to head off disastrous global warming?
Charles Koch: Yeah. If we apply the republic of science here and use the scientific method rather than of trying to shut down and shout down and punish anybody who wants to enter into debate about it. And not do it through corporate welfare. Look at what’s happened. What’s being done is symbolic, even under their own thing. It’s not reducing CO2. Not approving the Keystone pipeline – so the oil is produced, now it’s shipped by rail and shipped to China, rather than by pipeline. So that’s symbolic. And making wood pellets, subsidizing making wood pellets, I mean, we’re back in medieval times, we’re going to burn wood. And shipping them to Europe. How is that reducing CO2? And we’re going to put a tax on natural gas, on BTUs, here, so we’ll be making less chemicals and fertilizers here, and we’ll be doing it in China, where they make it out of coal gas, and per unit the production has five times the CO2 emissions. So these things don’t make sense.
CK: And then these agreements on limiting CO2 — well I liken it to, if you’re at a poker game, and you don’t know who the pigeon is, you’re it. And we’re it. So we’re going to regulate the hell, make our — particularly the poor — worse, stifle the economy by having less reliable, cheap, abundant energy, and make it more expensive.
CK: China and India are going to do what they’re going to do anyway. So we just hurt ourselves, even under their theory. And their theories aren’t working very well, because they keep predicting all these theories that aren’t happening. And if they start happening, or they get evidence, and they’ll enter into a debate rather than shut down anybody who has questions about it or wants to challenge any aspect of it, then I get a lot more sympathetic, yeah. If we’re all trying to find the truth of the matter, then I’m all for that. I’m all for applying the Republic of Science on climate, as I am on anything.
JT: Do you think it’s a problem the market can solve, without governments?
CK: I think it will, just like we’re doing all these things (at Koch Industries). We’re investing heavily in biofuels, in biotechnology, in information technology, to do this. Why do we do it? Because we think through innovation we can make it competitive, better than competitive. And that’s the way to go. And like, Bill Gates is raising billions to go find it — that’s the way to do it, is innovation. So it’s win-win, rather than more cronyism, which so far, all it does is enrich a few people and hurt the average and particularly the poor.
KOCH AIDE: There’s a lot of varying reports on what Charles’s position on climate change actually is. So I think it would be a good idea if —
CK: Yeah, I say that a lot of what is done by the climate lobby is anti-science. But there is some science behind it. Like, there are greenhouse gases, and they do contribute to warming. But if you look at the last, say, 160 years, the first 80 of that period, they went up four-tenths of a degree. And now, the second 80 that CO2 has gone up, what, 30 percent or something, it’s gone up five-tenths of a degree. And there’s been in the last 30 or 40 years, there’s been no real increase in storms or bad weather. So, let’s use the part that’s real science and then apply the Republic of Science to the rest of it.
A little common sense goes a long way.
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Yeah the guy must be one of those denier people! You know, the ones with a brain. The ones with some sense.
When does my cheque (or is that check?) arrive.
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I find it odd that Koch spends so much on right wing economic professorships and so on when if he cared about poverty (as he seems to claim to) there are better ways to help. Maybe he donates to causes that have a direct benefit to the poor and it is just not reported. Or maybe not.
Raff, AKA comment #82
The best thing to reduce poverty has been trade. Jobs, salaries, consumerism, the perfect circle. I don’t know why anyone still hasn’t accepted it. Much better than charity or fake concern.
Everything he says is reasonable – those that don’t recognise that are the warped individuals.
Tiny, Koch was talking about poverty in the USA and while trade might be known to reduce poverty in general it is not the silver bullet that cures all. There are many things that might reduce poverty across the US but funding professorships is probably not one of them. If Koch really cares about the poor, what is he doing to address it? If nothing then his rhetoric is just hot air.
If climate activists really cared about the poor, they wouldn’t be advocating policies that hurt them by pushing up energy prices. That seems to be the point Koch is making.
Here’s the latest example of green activists hurting poor people:
How to Starve Africa: Ask the European Green Party
Climate activists care little about the poor and even less for the environment, beyond preserving a hypothetical ‘ideal global mean climate’ for future generations to enjoy. However, I find Koch’s statement that Koch Industries are investing heavily in biofuels to make renewable energy competitive without the hindrance of government intervention rather concerning. Palm oil industries to supply biofuels for European markets have devastated vast tracts of precious rainforest in SE Asia. How is that in any way ‘sustainable’ or environmentally friendly, or indeed economically sensible? It’s also odd in that Koch berates the use of wood pellets on the basis that they actually increase CO2 emissions but seems unaware that biofuels effectively do the same – whilst also destroying the natural environment.
PM, it is difficult to know what he was saying from those broken sentences. On CO2 agreements:
“So we’re going to regulate the hell, make our — particularly the poor — worse, stifle the economy by having less reliable, cheap, abundant energy, and make it more expensive.”
So we are going to regulate the hell out of something and make our something worse. The poor seem to be an afterthought. A tax and dividend policy paying a flat dividend per-person would perhaps aid the poor at the expense of him, so I’d take his words with a pinch of salt.
Jaime, you didn’t respond to my latest graph on the other thread, having asked me to produce it.
He’s starts by saying what government is going to do ‘tax’ and then ends up with the consequences
Raff. Yes, I did.
Koch responds like someone who isn’t in the habit of producing quotable soundbites for journalists – just like that other millionaire Donald Trump. It’s not difficult to understand what he’s saying: for your benefit I’ve provided some filling:
“So we’re going to regulate the hell [out of our economy], make our [standard of living ]— particularly [for] the poor — worse, stifle the economy by having less reliable, cheap, abundant energy, and make it more expensive.”
While I have no sympathy for the politics of millionaires like Koch and Trump, I find their statements refreshingly clear, unlike the slime that emanates from the Green Blob. His statement of the scientific way of looking at temperature rise is particularly clear:
“…if you look at the last, say, 160 years, the first 80 of that period, they went up four-tenths of a degree. And now, the second 80 that CO2 has gone up, what, 30 percent or something, it’s gone up five-tenths of a degree. And there’s been in the last 30 or 40 years, there’s been no real increase in storms or bad weather.”
I wonder if Sir Paul Nurse or 195 heads of state or that nice Mexican lady who’s now in charge of spending trillions to make us poorer have ever thought of that.
For several years my youngest son was employed by a Koch Industries subsidiary involved in commodity trading. He said that it was a well run, very ethical operation with quality employees. He departed when a competitor offered him a position equivalent to a promotion with a sizable pay increase.
Geoff, it is certainly easier to be clear if you are not constrained by accuracy or completeness.
BTW, what does “regulate the hell [out of our economy]” actually mean and how does it correspond to anything actually and seriously proposed?
It seems that Koch is not so clear after all. Asked what his words mean in practice, nobody has a clue.
Stop spamming the board mate.
Is it spamming to point out that far from being refreshingly clear, nobody knows what he is talking about?
[PM: Yes, it is. Everybody knows what he’s talking about when he says regulate, including you. The first question is about “carbon regulation”. If you don’t know what that means, look it up.]