Posted by: graemebird | June 4, 2008

The Idiot Humphreys Shows Up At Catallaxy Incognito: By His Idiocy We Shall Know Him.

Here’s a new bloke on Catallaxy trying to play arbiter of compromise-world-opinion in the face of those relentless liars that make up the ranks of the CO2 bedwetters. Let us go through his post to angrily remind this whipper-snapper that there is to be no compromising with these nazis. And that our job is to try and pick fights and inspire embarrassing scenes involving punch-ups and humiliating them in front of their sheilas whenever we do get the chance.

PSC Says: 
June 5th, 2008 at 2:09 am


The question is, are the models true?”

No dopey. Thats not the question. The question doesn’t arise since models only reflect the wrong assumptions of the models. So thats no question at all.

“Let’s imagine that we have moderate, but not absolute confidence in them.”

No lets not. Because later you are going to forget that this idiocy is just an hypothetical.

“We accept the basics of the physics of gases and oceans, but are perhaps unhappy about the degree of cloud parameterization and the large cell size required on GCMs such as HadCM3. Perhaps if it were possible to produce a model similar to fvGCM and run an ensemble for many decades we would be satisfied, but computation is obviously beyond the capability of modern computers.”

Look fucker. They don’t have any evidence. And the models aren’t evidence. The models contain assumptions that these guys can find no evidence for.

“Something along these lines seems to be the net conclusion of the people on this blog if we read the other comments; happy that there is some kind of AGW going on, but not willing to commit to a 2-3 C change over the next century without some more convinicing, particularly given the costs of some of the more radical abatement strategies.”

2 or 3 degrees would be a magnificent outcome dufus.  But its not going to happen. We can only get cooler. 

“What should we do?

The answer is: do the easy abatement strategies now, and the hard ones when we have better models. “Easy” in this context can be translated into “revenue positive”, i.e. putting more dollars into consumer pockets.”

No thats wrong. There is no abatement to be done since industrial-CO2 is good for the biosphere. Or in your rush to gutless pre-emptive surrender did you miss that fucking fact?

“It’s important to distinguish between two kinds of changes, the natural upgrade cycle and the retrofit. Generally the costs of a retrofit are orders of magnitude higher than the costs of inclusion of a technology at build time. Insulation is a case in point. The cost of insulating a wall as a house is being built is trivial.”

Magnificently good point and wonderfully expressed.

“The cost of retrofit (which often requires removing the wall and replacing it) is enormous. A house wall should last (say) 30 years. If we need to replace this wall after 15 years to install insulation, we loose 15 years of the value, half the cost of the wall is thrown away. If we insulate at build time, it happens that the cost is close to zero.”

Excellent reasoning.

“Happily it appears that many of the revenue positive changes (e.g. insulation, hot water, etc.) are the ones with the long lead times. These are the changes which it is easy to do as part of a natural upgrade cycle.”

Superb reasoning.

“A modern building is depreciated over something like 30 years; the cost of replacing it with an insulated version as part of this 30 year replacement cycle is little more than zero if we look at the capital costs, and if we include the heating/air-con expenses we are easily ahead. Similarly cars last 10-15 years, appliances 10-15 years, and so on.”

All true. And triply true on account of us facing decades of pricey energy. So no need to load in any extra carbon costs in order to get this attention to costs.

“Lets suppose that we’re uncertain about AGW.”

No lets not. Because you are later going to forget this is a stupid hypothetical. We know for a fucking fact that AGW is too weak not to be a GOOD THING.

“We know that if AGW per IPCC is correct, we need to replace all these devices, buildings, etc.”

Bullshit. IPCC TEMPERATURE predictions would clearly be a good thing.

“If AGW per IPCC is cloud-cuckoo-land, we could keep our old infrastructure.”

No we could not. We would have to update all our capital WITH HIGH ENERGY COSTS IN MIND. But not with carbon in minds.

“Let’s imagine that today (June 2006) we don’t know. However we do know that irrespective of the truth of the AGW proposition, were we to replace this infrastructure as part of a crash program, we would incur a great expense. If we replace this infrastructure as part of a natural upgrade cycle, the cost is trivial, and if we include a few years of running costs we’re well ahead.”

All true good and correct.

“What is the rational thing to do?”


“What is the rational thing to do?”

We aint going to hear it from you pal.

“The clear answer to me is to do the revenue positive and neutral things today.”

“I’m really not convinced that “wholesale re-evaluation of our lifestyles” is necessary today.”

Right but piss-weak in terms of the wording.

“Minor changes on th other hand are wise today. There will (for instance) be a net gain in moving from aluminium to plastics for a lot of applications. There will be a net gain in better power-to-weight ratio/ more efficient cars (as well as a far better ability to go doughnutting! A win everywhere!) This isn’t to say that specific industries might be unhappy. People will be using more composites and plastics in cars. The steel and aluminium industries will not be happy. Your yuppie will find it easier to give up the Hummer (2 + ton weight, looks like a brick, handles like a brick) and get a Lotus Elise (908kg wet weight, 1.8 litre engine, and apparently delightful holding properties on the corners) for a status symbol. We non-super-rich will have to start looking to 1.3 litre engines, diesel, and hybrids, moving from 10-12 l/100km -> 4-5 l/100 km. This is not new technology. This is not “everyone live in mud huts and wear hair shirts”. This is taking existing technology and bothering to use it.”

Right. But we are destined for high energy prices for a long time to come. So the idea is that no government action ought to be taken with this horrible fraud haunting the situation.

“Look at the arithmetic, according to McKinsey’s (not a nutty environmental organization by any means,…”

You are telling the story bud..

“..nor a government organization; they are perhaps the best known consulting firm in the world) the US needs to price carbon at $30 a ton, permit nuclear, and institute things like tougher building codes to roughly halve its emissions. People will still be able to build granny flats and second story extensions under such a scheme. The sky will not fall!”

They don’t need to do any damn thing but look after their own budgets. And no justification has been tendered for a 30USD a ton permit system. Which is incredible idiocy that is leading to malinvestment even prior to it being applied.

“But (and this is the big but) you need to institute these regulations today….”

No you don’t.

” so that new housing, new cars are more efficient as part of a natural upgrade cycle.”

No you don’t need to do that at all. Have you not heard that oil barrels cost 120USD. Totally moronic.

“If you decide to try “business as usual” and then do a massive retrofit when you reach some arbitrary level of certainty the costs are massive.”

No thats bullshit. Since there is nothing to this crap in the first place. You were playing hypotheticals and now you have forgotten and pretended that your ridiculous hypotheticals are real.

“And you want to know how much it will cost to make a building energy efficient? Here’s the lovely thing: when you do the arithmetic, as a consumer, it puts dollars in your pocket as you save on your energy bills if you amortize over several years.”

No need for carbon taxes at all. Energy prices are already high. Carbon taxes will lead to destruction of better alternatives for generating energy. We will wind up using our gas in totally inappropriate ways as just one consequence.




Now that post wasn’t all that bad. But his next post is so idiotic that there is only one man this person can be. And that mans last name is HUMPHREYS and his first name is JOHN.

PSC Says: 

June 5th, 2008 at 6:04 am


In turn:

1. It’s the first 40% of GHG reductions (i.e. roughly Garnaut’s 60%) which are revenue positive. Building codes. Hot water. Lighting. More efficient cars. Ethanol fuel. You end up spending less on energy and having more money in your pocket.”


This cannot be anyone else but Humphreys. The classic Humphreys side-stepping the science and only acknowledging what he wants to. Getting mixed up between gains to be made to the individual when it comes to investment in energy efficiency, and losses that will be made if society is armtwisted into having to reduce their carbon output specifically. No two people could be this moronic so it must be Humphreys. This second post simply has to be read to be believed. 

“2. No estimate of damage: I want to make an estimate of damage *you* are happy with.”

So the idiot is saying that the reality of the science is irrelevant. This is after spending 2 years dodging evidence on this matter. He knows he has no evidence.  Proof that this is Humphreys who is an idiot. Read further and you will find that this moron thinks that his carbontax at 30 AUD is revenue-positive even if we have no hope of substituting to nuclear. The stupidity never ends with these people. Quiggin is almost as bad but hides his stupidity better.

Our economists are taking us to a very bad place. So its important that the laity learns the better economics so as to try and overide their bad advice and malign intentions.


The fellow is actually in contempt of reality. He says to JC in effect… Lets choose YOUR reality. Reality does not matter in the face of  my marvellous economics certificate.

Humphreys once worked for the Treasury. And there is reason to believe that these guys are almost as stupid as what Humphreys is.




  1. Graeme

    Good work. Have been following your comments at that clownish Catallaxy site for a while with great delight (their page is highly misnamed, given the amount of abuse they like to heap on dissenting opinions). Was delighted to discover yesterday that you have your own blog.

    Keep on criticising all those clowns! They definitely deserve it.

    Cheerio for now


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