Thursday, February 25, 2010

Alberta's royalties and tax policies discourage investment

According to  U of C's head of School of Public Policy...
Jack Mintz ... told a Calgary audience that Alberta ranks last among provinces such as B.C., Saskatchewan and the Maritimes -- and lower than states such as Texas -- after factoring in combined royalty and tax payments to government
BC & Saskatchewan have a more attractive royalties and tax policies than Alberta.

... as reported today in the Calgary Herald - "Alberta tax, royalty regime ranks last..."

Alberta's Premier Ed Stelmach

It was proven that governments receive higher revenues when taxes are cut. This may be contrary to intuition, but Presidents Regan, Clinton, and Bush all used this principle and cutting taxes resulted in increased revenues not a decrease. Clinton followed the advice of the conservative economist Arthur Laffer, with very positive results for the US economy.

When governments cuts taxes, businesses grow and consequently hire more people, who in turn buy more good and services and pay more income tax. Increased purchases of goods and services further boosts the economy and creates a multiplier effect.

Liberal and leftist ideology favours government spending, but it tends to have little or no multiplier effect, for the simple reason that governments do not create wealth - they only appropriate it on the peoples' behalf. First for every dollar taken in taxes for use in a government program, a hefty percentage is taken to administer that money by the government itself, or by a government agency. (Take a $ in tax money and put 45 cents into the economy after government waste and expense).

Second, government is inherently inefficient compared to the free market.With lib-left policies we see an increase in government employees, which then typically vote for lib-left parties with policies which increase government spending and therefore taxes to support that spending.

I believe we could apply the same principle to Alberta's royalties and tax policies.

Reducing profits and revenues, discourages investment in drilling, or new projects, this results in decreased royalties. Gas companies such as EnCana prefer to invest in shale plays in the US or BC than in Alberta. Why? They can make a better return on investment in BC or Pennsylvania than they can in Alberta.
The new royalty regime is hurting, especially with respect to conventional oil and gas investments," Mintz told reporters. "I think we have been worse off in the sense that it's not entirely clear the government is going to collect as much new revenue as they hoped because of the investment impacts. I think we need a better fiscal framework to attract investments for Alberta when you have a very competitive global environment for oil and gas investments."

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Devil's Dictionary of "Climate Science"

Sometimes, reader’s comments on a story posted on-line are superb.

One such a comment I saw on the UK Daily Mail’s online posting of the story which I partially reviewed earlier today (Climategate Prof admits Vital Data has gone missing).

Here’s the gem from a gentleman from Lancaster, Pennsylvania...

Devil's Dictionary

Peer Review: The act of banding together a group of like-minded academics with a funding conflict of interest, for the purpose of squeezing out any research voices that threaten the multi-million dollar government grant gravy train.

Settled Science: Betrayal of the scientific method for politics or money or both.

Denier: Anyone who suspects the truth.

Climate Change: What has been happening for billions of years, but should now be flogged to produce 'panic for profit.'

Nobel Peace Prize: Leftist Nutcase Prize, unrelated to "Peace" in any meaningful way.

Data, Evidence: Unnecessary details. If anyone asks for this, see "Denier," above.

Climate Scientist: A person skilled in spouting obscure, scientific-sounding jargon that has the effect of deflecting requests for "Data" by "Deniers." Also skilled at affecting an aura of "Smartest Person in the Room" to buffalo gullible legislators and journalists.

Posted by David, Lancaster, PA, 15 February, 2010

Climategate Prof admits Vital Data has gone missing

While in N. America there's been scant reporting on the MMGW (Man-Made Global Warming) scandal, which is ostentatiously called AGW (Anthropogenic Global Warming); over in the UK the press is having a field-day, and it's not just the conservative papers like the Telegraph and Daily Mail, but also the lib-left Guardian and Times.

It's across the political spectrum, yesterday it was the Daily Mail who had a big story with their coverage of the BBC interview with Professor Phil Jones, director of the University of East Anglia (UEA) Climate Research Unit (CRU) Hadley, which was at the centre of the Climategate affair surrounding the leaked emails documenting cover-ups and dirty tricks.

Look at the Mail's stunning headline:
Climategate U-turn as scientist at centre of row admits: There has been no global warming since 1995
Data for vital 'hockey stick graph' has gone missing
Gone missing, indeed!
Professor Jones admitted the lack of organisation in the system had contributed to his reluctance to share data with critics, which he regretted.
The data is crucial to the famous ‘hockey stick graph’ used by climate change advocates to support the theory.
Let's focus on the science (or lack of it) surrounding the 'hockey-stick graph.' Professor Jones statements are fascinating because when considered carefully they reveal further deep cracks in the rotten foundation of global-warming theories.

Background to the infamous hockey-stick graph.

The poor science surrounding the so-called 'hockey-stick graph' was discussed on Lux et Veritas in Climategate - It Had to Happen. The graph was constructed to show that the earth's temperatures have been relatively stable for about a thousand years and then show a very rapid upward trend coinciding with the growth of the industrial revolution from about the mid 1800s. This graph is supposed to show that global temperatures are rising with recently rising levels of carbon-dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere. The graph is bogus.

In fact it was well accepted that temperatures in the northern hemisphere were not flat at shown in the hockey-stick graph. First there was a very pronounced warm period known as the Medieval Warm Period (MWP), followed by the Little Ice Age (LIA).

Graph from the the IPCC’s 1990 report 
Note; the graph was omitted from subsequent reports clearly showing the MWP and LIA in the northern hemisphere 

The UN body the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) published a graph in their 1990 report clearly showing the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) and the Little Ice Age (LIA) for the Northern Hemisphere.

Now look again at the hockey-stick graph which was boldly displayed multiple times in full colour in the IPCC's Third Assessment Report published in 2001, and we see that this is alsofor the Northern Hemisphere.

 The hockey stick graph [3] as shown in the 2001 IPCC report. 
The colored lines are the reconstructed temperatures, and the gray shaded region represents estimated error bars.

Note the error bars on the hockey-stick graph shown in light-grey; these bars can be thought of as a measure of the uncertainty of the data. The magnitude of these error bars for the entire MWP and at least half of the LIA, are greater than the total increase in temperature from about 1869 to the present day. From the error bars displayed graph itself, how much confidence can we have in it to show global warming, never mind prove it?

the UK Mail states continues...
Skeptics believe there is strong evidence that the world was warmer between about 800 and 1300 AD than now because of evidence of high temperatures in northern countries.
But climate change advocates have dismissed this as false or only applying to the northern part of the world.
Professor Jones departed from this consensus when he said: ‘There is much debate over whether the Medieval Warm Period was global in extent or not. The MWP is most clearly expressed in parts of North America, the North Atlantic and Europe and parts of Asia.
Fatal flaws in MMGW theories

In this debate, and remember this is a debate, because the science is most certainly not settled, we have to keep it clearly in focus that it is the responsibility of the proponents of a new theory to prove their case. Man-made global-warming (MMGW) is a new theory and must be proven. In contrast the skeptics do not have to prove anything; they only have to show the flaws and errors in the MMGW science.

This is a key part of the argument: it's not necessary to disprove MMGW, only to show the flaws in the science. In this case Professor Jones statements show the lack of coherence of the MMGW theories:
‘For it to be global in extent, the MWP would need to be seen clearly in more records from the tropical regions and the Southern hemisphere. There are very few palaeoclimatic records for these latter two regions. (my emphasis)
and then...
‘Of course, if the MWP was shown to be global in extent and as warm or warmer than today, then obviously the late 20th Century warmth would not be unprecedented. On the other hand, if the MWP was global, but was less warm than today, then the current warmth would be unprecedented.’
Definition of Paleoclimatologyfrom Wikipedia:
Paleoclimatology (also Palaeoclimatology) is the study of climate change taken on the scale of the entire history of Earth. It uses records from ice sheets, tree rings, sediment, corals, shells and rocks to determine the past state of the climate system on Earth.
Note Wiki (which is severely biased in favour of MMGW) refers to it as the "study of climate change" however it is supposed to be about estimating temperatures through palaeoclimatic data. We need the data to show that climate change is actually occurring. We know already that the world's climate is always changing.

To convert palaeoclimatic data into a temperature series requires the data to be calibrated, or simply converted to a temperature scale (such as Celsius). This process is not easy because it is the temperatures themselves that we are seeking, and therefore the process depends on underlying assumptions and therefore can be speculative. Conflicting papers on the conclusions exist in the literature.

Summarise what we know

Let's summarise a few things we know about the history of this debate between proponents of MMGW (Man-Made Global Warming), in the light of Professor Jones recent statements:
  1. MMGW scientists (Mann, CRU professors and others) used the hockey-stick graph to try and show that global warming occured only when CO2 concentrations from the industrial period started to rapidly increase  
  2. The MWP and LIA are not shown on the hockey-stick graph as presented by the IPCC, which is for the Northern Hemisphere
  3. A Medieval Warm Period (MWP) and a Little Ice Age did occur in the Northern Hemisphere
  4. Climate skeptics cannot use doubts about the hockey-stick graph against global-warming proponents because the hockey-stick graph is only valid for the Northern Hemisphere and not for the whole globe
  5. Very few palaeoclimatic records for the tropical regions and the Southern hemisphere exist
  6. The MWP and LIA may have occurred over the whole globe but is is hard to prove or disprove (because of the lack of data)
These six points show the contradictory nature of the global-warming argument.

MMGW advocates say the hockey-stick shows global-warming, then they say the skeptics can't use flaws in the hockey stick against MMGW because it only applies to the northern hemisphere, then they claim that science shows that MMGW is a scientific fact, then they say the data doesn't exist for the whole globe.

Conclusions we can apply to the MMGW debate:
  1. The hockey-stick as shown by the IPCC numerous times cannot be used by proponents of global-warming theories to support their arguments because the hockey-stick graph only applies to the northern hemisphere and does not apply to the whole globe.
  2. The lack of palaeoclimatic records for the tropical regions and the Southern hemisphere casts doubts on the viability global-warming theories. If the data does not exist for the whole globe then proponents of global-warming theories cannot assert that the science is proven.

Gurth Whitaker
Calgary, AB