Michael O’Leary of RyanAir tries to start a thread of doom on Troppo: Shock!

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Richard Tsukamasa Green
Richard Tsukamasa Green(@richard-green)
10 years ago

I have a rather simple post on income tax indexation that is almost finished, but I’m leaving it for a few days until the trolldom gets bored and trundles on somewhere else.

That or we could fill the front page with articles on positivism, philosophy (espoused in the most opaque Hegel quotes available), oriental history, constitutional law etc. Fill the garden with soil fertile to the flowering of Troppodillia, but harsh to time rich and insight poor weeds.

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10 years ago

Hi Richard,

You’re saying that people who don’t agree with centre leftism are trolls.

I think the only troll here is the Neo Nazi Homer Paxton.

Get rid of him.

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10 years ago

Anyone want to tell me why O Leary is wrong?

wizofaus
wizofaus
10 years ago

Because if he’s right there’d be no need for your beloved 45c trees and nukes sprinkled over every privately-owned hectare of Australia?

Ken Parish
Admin
Ken Parish(@ken-parish)
10 years ago

Richard

How dare you equate constitutional law with opaque Hegel quotes etc. You lying, treasonous, deranged, parasitical moron. Oops. Sorry. Wrong thread.

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10 years ago

Very smarmy wiz.

I’m looking for low cost solutions. Why do you want to destroy GDP?

The trees are cheaper than the MRET or direct action. Nuclear is far superior to other energy sources and allows us to export carbon neutral fuel.

But really what have you got against private property?

Richard Tsukamasa Green
Richard Tsukamasa Green(@richard-green)
10 years ago

I really hope it is not at the twilight of Troppo that the vulture of Bellona spreads its wings.

wizofaus
wizofaus
10 years ago

Shovels would seem like a low cost solution to horse**** surely. But is the horse**** privately owned, I wonder?

steve from brisbane
10 years ago

You know that Rafe is complaining at Catallaxy that he wasn’t able to get a comment on Troppo this afternoon? (he posted the comment in the open thread there anyway). It’s spectacularly ill conceived, but I would prefer to attack it than there.

steve from brisbane
10 years ago

…attack it here than there.

rog
rog
10 years ago

Friends of mine flew with RyanAir in Europe. They said that the service was f**** horse ****.

Geoff Honnor
Geoff Honnor
10 years ago

Relax, Richard. In the beginning (of Troppo, I mean) this site frequently resembled Germany after the Thirty Years War, complete with spin-off fiefdoms like Larvatus Prodeo and Christopher Sheil’s shortlived but very memorable blog, forever encapsulated in my memory by the owner’s frequent cries of “Go Latho! You good thing.” I imagine that Chris, OTOH, is trying to forget – but it was 2004.
And who could forget the Troppo/Sophie Masson Culture Wars, the precursor to LP’s founding?

Nowadays the site is rather more focussed on Nicholas Gruen’s mobile phone selection conundrums – a definitively 2011 kind of thing. All things must pass, clearly. Except Homer Paxton.

wizofaus
wizofaus
10 years ago

What we really want to know is what Paul Krugman would think of your phone.

KB Keynes
KB Keynes
10 years ago

what a phoney

murph the surf.
murph the surf.
10 years ago

Thanks for the brief history at 12, it helps to explain what otherwise is sometimes a cryptic experience.

Patrick
Patrick
10 years ago

Nick and KP are clearly getting nostalgic, judging by their good work keeping some life in that last thread.

rog
rog
10 years ago

A ring in

Martin
Martin
10 years ago

@3,

he’s failing to distinguish between climate and weather

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10 years ago
PSC
PSC
10 years ago

Anyone want to tell me why O Leary is wrong?

Faulty first premise.

1) People can tell us what the fuck the weather will be like next Tuesday, with reasonable skill.

2) No-one claims what the fucking global temperatures will be like with absolute precision in 100 years time.

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10 years ago

“reasonable skill, no absolute precision”

How much does this multiplicative margin of error push our carbon tax up or down?

Paul Montgomery
Paul Montgomery
10 years ago

Anyone want to tell me why O Leary is wrong?

Predicting one data point in a set with high standard deviation is a lot harder than predicting an average with known long term factors.

wizofaus
wizofaus
10 years ago

“.” – that’s not a particularly new claim, and does seem to be one of the more likely explanations for an apparent levelling off in upward temperature gradient over the last decade (a similar explanation applies to the period from ~1940-1970).
Indeed, possibly one of the “cheapest” solutions to global warming is spraying the upper atmosphere with particulates. “Cheapest”, that is, if your only goal is to keep a cap on temperatures for another decade or so. Needless to say, it won’t help much with ocean acidification, and we have very little idea what other side-effects might stem from an experiment that results in a measurable drop in global insolation levels.

Ken Parish
Admin
Ken Parish(@ken-parish)
10 years ago

“Anyone want to tell me why O Leary is wrong?”

In addition to Paul Montgomery’s point above, O’Leary’s fundamental premise is wrong.

IPCC reports DON’T purport to predict the global temperature in 100 years time, with absolute precision or otherwise. They detail several “scenarios” each involving a different set of circumstances and human responses to global warming over time. Each scenario leads not to a specific temperature prediction but to a range of possible temperature rises in those circumstances e.g. 3-6 degrees rise. The range is necessary in part because of inherent uncertainties and in part because research has not yet reached a point where we have anything like complete knowledge about some climate feedback mechanisms and the extent to which they may amplify or dampen the warming response to increasing carbon emissions.

The 3 degrees of warming commonly cited for IPCC “predictions” is not a prediction at all but the midpoint of the ranges of the most moderate/likely scenarios in IPCC reports.

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10 years ago

So if they “don’t” predict mean temps, anyone hazard how much their variance will put the carbon price up or down?

Now if people claim the temperature will be something as a forecast, can we retort that’s just a scenario?

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10 years ago

Needless to say, it won’t help much with ocean acidification, and we have very little idea what other side-effects might stem from an experiment that results in a measurable drop in global insolation levels.

Do we actually know if mitigation will help ocean acidification? How much mitigation will we need and at what cost? Do we know if there are any unknown impacts if we mitigate? Why does the precautionary principle only apply to emissions and cheap mitigation, never expensive mitigation?

One moment here people are claiming that a specific forecast at a point in time is somewhat facetious, but now the dangers of global warming now include a set of unknown unknowns, particularly if we mitigate.

Why is it facetious to ask for a forecast rather than a range of scenarios but it is *not facetious* to give some shadowy, nondescript “risk factors” when we undertake a form of mitigation not supported by some who want deep cuts to GDP (i.e deep Greens)?

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10 years ago

My final totally serious and non facetious question is if a carbon tax is some form of insurance – then you want to insure against the level of loss which becomes unacceptable.

Where does that lie in a 3-6 degree scenario and how much would it cost, and how much would it cost across a range of mitigation methods, such as the Government’s total set of State and Federal policies, i.e the Clean Energy Future comprising the Carbon Tax/ETS and MRET etc?

Pedro
Pedro
10 years ago

Nicholas, you’ve acquired a taste for doomed threads lately! :-)

Ken Parish
Admin
Ken Parish(@ken-parish)
10 years ago

Why is it facetious to ask for a forecast rather than a range of scenarios …[?]

Let me see if I understand what you’re saying, Dot. As I read you it’s something along these lines: If IPCC had made a specific prediction/forecast then you would agree with O’Leary that this is horseshit because it’s impossible. But because they don’t do this and instead provide scenarios with temperature ranges (for precisely the reasons you and O’Leary were previously suggesting – the extent of current human ability to predict with precision over such a long time period given the complex range of known and unknown factors)), you nevertheless demand that they must give a specific forecast or be dismissed as “facetious”.

As these two positions are logically contradictory, I can only presume your real position is either:

(a) carbon emissions do not warm the atmosphere at all contrary to all scientific evidence (the Graeme Bird position – the greenhouse effect is a myth); or
(b) the ostrich with head in the sand approach – we can’t know whether or to what extent it’s a problem and I don’t want to know anyway, so I’ll just advance whatever argument that pops into my head in an endeavour to confuse and obfuscate the issue.

Good faith discussion anyone?

wizofaus
wizofaus
10 years ago

“but now the dangers of global warming now include a set of unknown unknowns, particularly if we mitigate. ”

If by mitigate we’re talking about reducing CO2 emissions, then the only ‘unknown unknowns’ are the ones that will always be present and we can do nothing to avoid. If you include geoengineering solutions, that obviously increases the potential for unintended consequences, but at least should significantly reduce the likely consequences of simply letting temperatures rise unchecked. Almost certainly the worst ‘unknown unknowns’ are going to come from BAU (it maybe ‘usual’ to us 21st century humans, but extremly far from usual from a planetary perspective).

steve from brisbane
10 years ago

Your exactly right, Ken. Well done.

I’ve just always assumed that the uncertainty as to how climatic change will pan out regionally, and then globally, is too uncertain to be confident of any economic forecasting decades ahead. However, when the uncertainty goes to matters such as the ability to globally raise enough food for the world to feed itself, the potential displacement of large populations due to persistent drought, an uncertain ecological future for the oceans, and the abilities of the great coastal cities of the world to prevent inundation by meters of water, it’s foolish to assume that the uncertainty is going to work out on the optimistic side.

I would have thought that the bunching up of strange weather of the last year or so is an indication that this is a sound judgement.

KB Keynes
KB Keynes
10 years ago

I thought a comment on Geoff’s musings is worth it.

Chris Shiel’s back pages blog was undoubtedly the best blog that has ever been around.

although unquestionably biased of course comments were incisive, humorous and you simply had to read it every day.

It goes hand in hand with the 2004 election.

This was when Galaxy made it debut. It was also before Mumbles, Possum and The pollbludger. Polls simply released their results and the their sample.
It was great fun working out the margin of error and seeing if anything had change in a statistical way.

We made fun of people like Fran Kelly or Tim Blair’s blog who couldn’t tell the difference. ( Chris eventually told Blair’s blog that they could visit back pages to determine to find out the margin of error and thus how important the poll was.

I have to admit Back Pages took a Don’s party turn when it eventually occurred to most howard would win as I said her would a week out.

ah those were the days

I also remember Minchin on channel 2 and Ray on Channel 9 saying the election would be very close. Indeed both parties polling were almost identical to the Morgan poll.

In amazing turn they had an ‘Ergas; memory loss in about three hours time when it wasn’t a close result. suddenly Latho had gone from convincingly winning the campaign ( so what ) to the complete opposite.

John J
John J
10 years ago

O’Leary is hardly a disinterested observer. The prospect of rising fuel costs due to anti-climate change measures is of great concern to any airline, particularly an ultra-cheap, if-you-don’t-like-our-f*****g-service-you-can-go-and get-f****d airline like Ryanair.

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10 years ago

Close but way off Ken. My view is that AGW is real and not worth worrying about but even so if you justify mitigation in terms of “insurance” (actually a long dated, out of the money put) there are far more cost effective policies that can totally mitigate at a negligible cost and should be done simply as a matter of course as a general microeconomic reform/supply side policy. I also genuinely believe the pro mitigation folk have an implicit agenda of wanting to shut down energy production (or they are too stupid to understand the engineering problems). The pro mitigation folk don’t realise how truly wasteful and damaging Gillard’s ETS really is. They won’t even discuss it in terms of average costs. They won’t even cough up the answers. They are engaging in time inconsistency of their decision making.

How about some answers? Why are you guys afraid to answer questions? Why so defensive?

Steve praises Ken then ignores my question:

…if a carbon tax is some form of insurance – then you want to insure against the level of loss which becomes unacceptable.

Where does that lie in a 3-6 degree scenario and how much would it cost, and how much would it cost across a range of mitigation methods, such as the Government’s total set of State and Federal policies, i.e the Clean Energy Future comprising the Carbon Tax/ETS and MRET etc?

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10 years ago

This was when Galaxy made it debut. It was also before Mumbles, Possum and The pollbludger. Polls simply released their results and the their sample.
It was great fun working out the margin of error and seeing if anything had change in a statistical way.

Mark Latham will hit John Howard like a Mack Truck!

KB Keynes
KB Keynes
10 years ago

I should add a postscript.

Whilst Chris’s politics and economics were too leftwing he was fun to engage whether it was as a fan of the beautiful game to say the Wallabies needed grunt in the forwards ( something that he failed to see) or attempting to tell him Clapton was a good guitarist but slow that’s why Alvin Lee blew him off the stage at the Isle of Man.

He lost his sense of humor at LP though.
when Evilpundit made a quite funny remark Chris took umbrage and banned him.

I started a campaign to change that and changed my moniker to bring back EP at LP.

Chris didn’t like that or the moniker and said if I continued with both I wouldn’t be able to comment . This he did as I continued my campaign.
It was very brief given the torrent of dissent to that ruling. I was soon back at LP urging them to allow Evilpundit to comment there again.

However Chris wouldn’t budge. A shame a great shame

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10 years ago

O’Leary is hardly a disinterested observer. The prospect of rising fuel costs due to anti-climate change measures is of great concern to any airline, particularly an ultra-cheap, if-you-don’t-like-our-f*****g-service-you-can-go-and get-f****d airline like Ryanair.

Airlines are the one industry where algae/seaweed based fuels ala aviation biofuel may be cheap and convenient. It may even be a chance to vertically integrate and better manage risk. Market forces, not diktat may push this through.

Some major energy and airline players are already heavily invested in R&D in this field.

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10 years ago

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/feb/13/algae-solve-pentagon-fuel-problem

Darpa’s research projects have already extracted oil from algal ponds at a cost of $2 per gallon. It is now on track to begin large-scale refining of that oil into jet fuel, at a cost of less than $3 a gallon, according to Barbara McQuiston, special assistant for energy at Darpa. That could turn a promising technology into a ­market-ready one. Researchers have cracked the problem of turning pond scum and seaweed into fuel, but finding a cost-effective method of mass production could be a game-changer. “Everyone is well aware that a lot of things were started in the military,” McQuiston said.

The work is part of a broader Pentagon effort to reduce the military’s thirst for oil, which runs at between 60 and 75 million barrels of oil a year. Much of that is used to keep the US Air Force in flight. Commercial airlines – such as Continental and Virgin Atlantic – have also been looking at the viability of an algae-based jet fuel, as has the Chinese government.

“Darpa has achieved the base goal to date,” she said. “Oil from algae is projected at $2 per gallon, headed towards $1 per gallon.”

So they reckon they can get 84 USD/bbl but can get it down to 42 USD/bbl.

wizofaus
wizofaus
10 years ago

But DARPA is diktat, so it must be bad.

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10 years ago

Wiz,

Do you really want to argue that the Government should be doing our R&D?

Note that private firms are doing similar research, like Air New Zealand, JAL, GE, Honeywell, Boeing etc.

TimT
10 years ago

Well that’s just a f****ing awesome quote Nick. O’Leary should get together with Geoff f****ing Lemon, they’d have a f****ing brilliant time together.

Skeet
Skeet
10 years ago

Anyone want to tell me why O’Leary is wrong?

Doesn’t understand the important difference between predicting the precise outcome of a single roll of a die (not possible), and predicting the statistical pattern of outcomes of a large number of rolls of a die (very possible).

(Assuming a fair die, of course.)

In a word, iteration.

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Pedro
Pedro
10 years ago

Nicholas, no doubt that, for his opponents, Monkton has a very useful disease. He’s self-selecting for the obviously a loony jibes.

The fact that the IPCC gives scenarios is also a potential clue about the quality of the predictions. I see regular claims that the evidence for warming is increasing, but that is not the same as the evidence for the predictions. Even Monkton (and perhaps Bird) thinks that warming has happened. The real argument is about the feedbacks and other predictions. Recently we’ve seen a climb down on the more and worse storms, a scientist saying that sea levels are not rising anything like as predicted, a new report about satelite evidence for the release of heat into space and I read in Judith Curry’s blog about the evidence for substantially higher sea levels 2000 years ago. Sheesh, you could get the idea that this stuff isn’t so certain as is made out.

KB Keynes
KB Keynes
10 years ago

no evidence of warming? of course there is.

Pedro you will never know until you leave delusionalist corner

Pedro
Pedro
10 years ago

Homer and Nichols, it’s luck you’re not sailfish. Otherwise you’d be looking down over some fat guy’s bar with pride of place between the bullfight poster and dogs playing pool. :-) I thought deliberate threads of doom were for a laugh!