John’s Thoughts and Photos, January #1

JHH5_109021

Seasickness Advances, or Not

As usual, the AAC Brain Trust, as I call those who comment around here, provided great insights into the current state of seasickness treatment in the comments to my recent Seasickness Revisited post.

A special thank you to Charles Starke, who is a MD and provided a professional’s perspective throughout the discussion, just as he did when we discussed medical issues at our High Latitude Sailing Course, which he attended a year ago.

The overwhelming sense I get from the thread is that there have really been no significant advances in seasickness treatment in at least 30 years (Charles confirmed this) and most certainly none in the five years since we last looked at the subject here.

As a sufferer, that makes me sad, although not surprised.

I also note that all of the treatments involve drugs with side effects, that vary from mild to scary, depending on the person taking them and the circumstances.

Given this, I will continue with my proven strategy of rarely taking drugs and just sucking it up until I get my sea legs. But then I’m fortunate in that I rarely get sick after the first 24 hours of a passage.

More in our Online Book Dealing With Seasickness.

The Dumbest Experiment in History*

Regular readers know that Phyllis and I are deeply concerned about climate change and have long believed that the best answer is simply to properly price petroleum products and then let the market sort it out—much more realistic than finger wagging and setting unrealistic goals.

Here’s Elon Musk explaining how this really can work, and work well. Well worth 12 minutes of your time.

By the way, don’t let the fact that Musk is maybe the world’s worst public speaker distract you from his message. Love him or hate him, there is no question that this guy is an original thinker making a real difference.

*Subsidizing petroleum products instead of pricing them properly.

Oil Sampling

FluidAnalysis143_Final-1

Back in December I wrote an article on the benefits of having samples of the fluids from your engine analyzed regularly. I gave just updated it based on an expert opinion.

Heave, Damn It!

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Folding RIB

As many of you know, Phyllis and I have always owned an inflatable dinghy, not a Rigid Bottom Inflatable (RIB), so that we can stow the dinghy below when at sea, all part of our belief  in—some might say obsession with—clear decks.

That’s all well and good, but we have also looked longingly at other cruisers, with far dryer butts than ours, zipping around in RIBs.

Now there might be a way to have the benefits of a RIB and be able to stow it below: a folding RIB. Charlie over at Wave Train, one of my favourite marine writers, has a good review. I’m hoping he will actually get to play with one and write about that too.

A Complete Thing*

Product-Shot-TheSea-and-The-SnowI just finished reading The Sea and The Snow by Philip Temple, an account of a 1964 expedition by schooner to remote Heard Island in the Southern Ocean. The goal was to climb Big Ben, an active volcano that at the time had not been climbed before.

The passage to Heard from Australia and back again, arguably as much of an adventure as the climb itself, was skippered by Major H. W. Tilman, the father of high latitude sailing in yachts and particularly sailing to climb.

The book is a great read, I highly recommended it.

Also, the publishers have reissued Tilman’s eight books on his voyages to the high latitudes, both north and south—which are in my view required reading for those of us interested in adventuring in small boats—as well as his seven mountaineering books and a biography. An admirable project that’s worth our support.

*Tilman’s description of the voyage to Heard. High praise indeed from the laconic skipper.

Why We Cruise?

Especially for those of us living through a northern hemisphere winter, I will leave you with a shot I took at Christmas while visiting Bermuda (my native land)…someone must do it.

JHHOMD1-263843

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Meet the Author

John

John was born and brought up in Bermuda and started sailing as a child, racing locally and offshore before turning to cruising. He has sailed over 100,000 miles, most of it on his McCurdy & Rhodes 56, Morgan's Cloud, including eight ocean races to Bermuda, culminating in winning his class twice in the Newport Bermuda Race. He has skippered a series of voyages in the North Atlantic, the majority of which have been to the high latitudes. John has been helping others go voyaging by sharing his experience for twenty years, first in yachting magazines and, for the last 12 years, as co-editor/publisher of AAC.

39 comments … add one
  • Stein Varjord Jan 16, 2017, 9:19 am

    Hi John.

    I actually find your “thoughts an musings” posts very interesting. Please keep them coming.

    I hope most participants here agree on the climate change issue, and try to contribute to a positive change, but either way, please do as John says, endure 12 minutes of Elon Musk. Very bad speaker, but very clear and important points. If your opinion is opposing Musk, please take the time to make clear for yourself what is your alternative answer to these points. Like this one:
    – Scientists disagree on climate change. 3% believe in the best case scenario and 97% believe in the worst case scenario.
    – The worst case is this: Human activity is the direct cause for a change that will bring more human suffering than all wars combined….
    – So 97% of scientists believe this is the more probable future. Is it acceptable that we let people like Trump say they know better?

  • Dave Jan 16, 2017, 4:13 pm

    Criminalizing free speech is the tool of tyrants and Marxists. We should all have the freedom to judge and be judged. Remember, Elon’s business model does not work with out government subsidies and mandates. Here are some contrary thoughts for those brave enough to investigate. https://www.friendsofscience.org/

  • Bill Attwood Jan 16, 2017, 5:06 pm

    Hi Dave.
    An interesting comment. Where does your “criminalising free speech” come from? Provided comments are politely phrased, speech on this website seems pretty free. Or were you referring to some other website? Clarification would be much appreciated. I was brave enough to follow your link to “Friends of Science”, thank you. It seems to be a website which is strongly opposed to the idea that there is a human factor involved in climate change. Am I correct, or have I misinterpreted, and does “Friends of Science” attempt to provide a balance of the arguments for and against?
    Regards
    Bill

  • Bill Attwood Jan 16, 2017, 5:29 pm

    Hi again Dave.
    Thanks again for your link to “Friends of Science”. You may find “www.desmogblog.com/the-fanciful-world-of-the friends-of-science” of interest. It offers an opinion on the scientific credentials of FoS. Isn´t free speech a wonderful thing!
    Regards,
    Bill

    • Paul Winn Jan 16, 2017, 9:11 pm

      John, thanks for your comments on climate change. It’s refreshing to hear from people who are as concerned as I am for our planet due to our addiction to fossil fuels. You are a brave mad indeed not to be cowered into silence by the threat of being howled down by fake science and the fossil fuel propaganda machine.
      I too think that the only real solution is broad-based carbon pricing. Unfortunately, the machinery that is opposed to such a solution has been quite effective in resisting its implementation. We had a very effective carbon price in Australia, but the government changed and it was scrapped. As such, emissions skyrocketed again.
      Thankfully, technology and entrepreneurs like Musk are coming to the rescue with price competitive alternatives that have made a serious dent in global emission increases. Whether it will be enough to avert the worst temperature increases (<1.5 -2 degrees C) is too soon to tell. While alternatives to fossil fueled transport are slowly emerging, stationary energy production is rapidly changing as solar PV, solar thermal, wind and gas (a lower emission fossil fuel) replaces coal in many areas. A large part of the change is air and water pollution which is choking development countries and they rapidly develop their economies.
      Changing attitudes and practices is hard work and governments are loath to introduce measures that will cause economic pain to electors who demand the cheapest energy sources. That comes with scale and despite the uptake of renewable energy production for cruising yachts, viable fossil fuel alternative propulsion might be some time off.
      I've looked at a few fossil fuel free options and conclude that hybrid electric is currently the only viable alternative. As it's still not fossil fuel free we always come back to leaving our old John Deere 6359D where it is, slowly chugging away,
      I'd love to hear you thought of electric propulsion options.

      Warm regards

      Paul

      • Paul Winn Jan 17, 2017, 12:50 am

        sorry John, just saw your “Electric or Diesel-Electric Drives for Voyaging Boats”. Looks like the JD stays.

        • John Jan 17, 2017, 9:36 am

          HI Paul,

          Yup, while electric is great and I fully expect that my present car is the last internal combustion auto I will own, this only works if there is a source of electricity available for charging that was generated by renewable, or at least fairly clean, means. So I can certainly see electric boats for use close to home, but I think the diesel engine will be with us for a long time for offshore use.

          • Frederic Roy Jan 18, 2017, 6:08 pm

            Hi John,

            Even powered by the dirtiest electricity produced in the world, the electric car still has a positive environmental balance.
            Please take 10 minutes of your time to remove this coarse myth from your mind.
            http://www.ucsusa.org/clean-vehicles/electric-vehicles/life-cycle-ev-emissions
            http://www.ucsusa.org/clean-vehicles/electric-vehicles/ev-emissions-tool

            Regards,

            Frederic

          • John Jan 18, 2017, 6:30 pm

            Hi Frederic,

            I agree there are different interpretations on this subject, but I’m not really happy with “coarse myth”. We don’t label other people’s opinions in such terms here at AAC. Please read, or re-read out comment guidelines: https://www.morganscloud.com/2013/11/10/aac-comment-guide-lines/

          • John Jan 18, 2017, 6:41 pm

            Hi Frederic,

            You also put words in my mouth. Please don’t do that.

            I’m a huge fan of all electric cars, and I said that. All I was pointing out was the for electric to work in most usage profiles there must be a source of electricity that was generated from a combination of sources, which aggregated together are cleaner than burning a hydrocarbon in the car.

            As the article that you linked to points out, that is now true in all of the USA, and I suspect all of Canada too.

            That said, it does not apply to boats that cruise far from shore, and that was my only point.

  • Dave Jan 16, 2017, 8:44 pm

    HI Bill
    The free speech comment was based totally on the comment regarding the acceptability
    of people like Trump expressing their opinion. Take opinions for what they are. The web site attempts to make the scientific case that human activity plays a minor role in the earth’s temperatures and that solar activity is the main driver of temperatures on earth. It’s good to have debate. It may be the only way to separate the truth from the B.S.

    • Stein Varjord Jan 16, 2017, 11:46 pm

      Hi Dave.

      I’m sorry if I gave the impression that I wanted to ban anyone from speaking. I certainly don’t think that’s a good idea. What I meant was rather that any thinking person should react with opposition to such a destructive and ignorant impact Trump is giving to make it less harmful.

      As Bill mentions over here, “Friends of Science” is a nice sounding name for a propaganda organisation. There is no science in spreading lies. Most people on the planet are not enough critical to claims that seem trustworthy. They don’t check the claims, just the name. That’s why such an organization as FoS exists. When you say Solar activity is the main reason for the actual change in climate we have already measured, that’s another claim form the same type of source.

      It might be interesting to note that NASA has looked into that claim and say with absolute certainty that it is not true. In reality solar activity alone, with no other factors changing, should have meant a slight reduction in average temperatures. All other natural factors are on neutral, meaning that they do not at all contribute to a change. The only factor that has changed in a way that gives warming, is human carbon emissions. the curves of temperature change perfectly matches the curves of human carbon emissions.

      I assume that most people will trust NASA more than Friends of “Science” or Trump…?

      Still I believe that Trump and his militia will be able to completely block any ability to recognize that little logic point. I don’t think this is because they are evil or stupid. I think it’s because they just don’t want to think about the consequences of being wrong. That’s an entirely human reaction that we all have. Thus, we need to repeat it enough times and with enough clarity. We need to make it very hard to deny actual facts.

      We need to call the liars all the time, because they are eager for the money it brings. Just like they were when they denied that smoking was unhealthy, because they got paid to say that.

      • John Jan 17, 2017, 10:50 am

        Hi Stein,

        While I’m definitely on your side in this debate and am not a fan of web sites like the one being discussed, I think we need to be careful not to use confrontational words like “liars”, which only tend to polarize the debate, or even turn it into an acrimonious fight, rather than advance the cause.

        I would also suggest that bringing Trump into it is not a good idea since that too will arouse passions. Rather I would suggest that arguing against the policy (as Musk did) rather than the man is a better way forward.

        That said, as you and Musk said, I’m 100% in favour of calling out bad science.

      • John Jan 18, 2017, 9:01 pm

        Hi Stein,

        I just reread this thread and see that you were not the first to mention the President elect of the USA, but were responding to another comment. My mistake, and apologies.

        That said, let’s keep the new US President out of this.

  • Dick Stevenson Jan 16, 2017, 10:03 pm

    Hi John,
    The Musk lecture was superb. Dick

  • Dave Jan 18, 2017, 12:02 pm

    Stein
    I thought I would send you a few more links but you would not appreciate them. These people are thoughtful experts in there field. They use much of the same data. I hate to think that it was all fabricated in order to promote a agenda. This would damage their professional reputation beyond repair. More likely they have a different interpretation of cause and effect. As I sit at my desk writing this, I am looking at a piece of fossilized coral that I picked up on the beach at N 45 23′ W 84 56′. Finding these fossils are quite common there. The worlds climate has changed since this fossil was formed and continues to do so.

    • Stein Varjord Jan 19, 2017, 8:26 am

      Hi Dave.

      I’m annoyingly curious, 🙂 so i tend to dig too far into way too many topics, maybe spoiling quite a bit of my progress, but i do enjoy learning new things, so i might also look at your other links, but it’s probably not the right spot for going too deep on this topic. I feel I have to respond to your point here though about earlier climate variations.

      Of course climate has varied way more extremely in the history of Earth than even the worst scenarios of the change humans have caused. The planet can tolerate that. Humans can’t. Probably we won’t go extinct too easily, but our societies will certainly not remain anywhere c!ose to what we think of as normal.

      When the fossils were made was probably hundreds of milloin years before humans existed. Since then, we have had lots of ice ages, major meteor impacts, major reformations of how life on the planet looks. Our window in that perspective is the last 10 thousand years which has had a climate more even than ever seen before in the history of the planet. That made it possible for humanity to develop a more complicated culture.

      Human activity has already changed the climate almost as much as the maximum variation within this period and it seems impossible to avoid that we’ll exeed that max a bit. There are good reasons to believe that this might set off mechanisms that will turn the climate back to the previous instability.

      One such is that the gulf stream might stop due to reduced ocean salinity, meaning that the Norwegian coast will not be possible for boats anymore, and much more serious problems. The planet won’t worry at all, but we certainly should. If some alien species finds our fossils in some hundred mi!lon years, they might see the connections better than many of us are willing to.

  • John Jan 18, 2017, 9:10 pm

    Hi All,

    I just deleted two comments from this thread. (The first time I have had to take such a step in at least a couple of years.) This makes me sad and upset, as it always does.

    The reason that I took action was that said comments broke our rule about no politics.

    I should have stepped in earlier and more firmly. My mistake, I will try to do better in the future.

    Anyway, a reminder: no politics at AAC. It is fine to talk about climate change policy (I started it after all) but please don’t politicize it.

    There is enough anger and division in the world right now without us at AAC adding to it.

    Let me be clear. Going forward, I will immediate delete any comments that mention or even imply a mention of a particular politician or political party.

    • Marc Dacey Jan 19, 2017, 6:06 pm

      I would only broach politics on here if it had an absolute bearing on cruising, such as extortionate levies or illegal search and seizure on the high seas or changes in the Schengen area (like what a Brexit will lead to, alas). Political events that affect the “affordable and attainable” aspect of distance cruising may occasionally be of interest, but parties and politicians? Unlikely, unless one of ’em doing the ARC.

      • Dick Stevenson Jan 19, 2017, 9:24 pm

        Hi Marc,
        After 10+ years of cruising Europe’s waters, my take is that Brexit will have no effect on cruising Europe. The UK has never been in Schengen and generally gives US passports 6 months which is why it is such a good wintering over area. The EU gives no indication of adjusting the parts of Schengen that cause cruisers (from the US, Australia, New Zealand and others not European) such headaches. Some thought they were moving towards a more liberal policy a few years ago, but the recent and ongoing immigration issues have put that to bed.
        My best, Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy

        • Marc Dacey Jan 20, 2017, 1:01 pm

          Dick, thank you for your current experience. While I was just using Schengen as an example of a vaild-for-discussion intersection of “cruiser” and “politics”, it does affect our own plans as we will potentially overwinter in southern England and then touch at several points on the western Atlantic coast of Europe before heading back to the southern Caribbean prior to Panama. As a Canadian with dual British-Canadian citizenship, I’m glad now I didn’t waste my money on flagging our boat as U.K….it wouldn’t have changed much and would have been expensive in terms of VAT. Hope your own cruise is going well.

          • Dick Stevenson Jan 20, 2017, 5:09 pm

            Hi Marc,
            Yes, over the past years there are times I would have given body parts for dual passports. And agree, boat flag matters less as getting your boat clock restarted for VAT is every 18 months, usually not a problem for boats that move around a bit. Dick

  • Rob Gill Jan 19, 2017, 5:21 am

    John,
    Your care for the neutrality, safety and technical accuracy of everything published here on Attainable Adventure Cruising is pretty unique today in a world of sound bite journalism, and a big part of what makes this site so valuable to us. No apology needed.
    Rob

    • John Jan 19, 2017, 9:17 am

      Hi Rob,

      Thanks very much for the kind words.

  • Rene Jan 24, 2017, 7:54 pm

    Not so long ago we were told about Global cooling, which soon changed to global warming, but that didn’t work out so they, the politicians, settled on Climate change, which is like saying round circle. Since climate is the approx. 11 years average of weather, we know climate will always change. Since the politicians were running out of ways to tax us, they had to device a new method. Greed is a strong motivator, but fear much more so, the reason they made our grandkids part of the formula. It would be immoral to leave this world overrun by climatic apocalypses. However. they could not care less about the trillions of financial debts world wide, 60 trillion in the USA alone including entitlement programs. Musk says because of higher CO2 levels we have seen a rise in temps …………wrong ! Temps rise cause higher CO2 levels, so that tells me, he better sticks to producing cars. Science is based on facts, and not by consensus. Not so long ago we all thought the earth was flat, until one stood up and said it is round. Most scientists dare not speak out for fear of loosing their funding, so the few who stick by the facts, are retired.
    The present CO2 levels are at an historic low, 400p/million, in greenhouses they try to keep levels at 1200. Even the onset of the Industrial Revolution has caused relatively higher levels. The warmest recent decade was the 1930ies and since 1998 temps have dropped slightly. Polar bears would soon be wiped out, according to the pinheads, however the population has recently grown from 5000 to 25000. The Maldives would soon disappear, the fact is water levels have dropped. The Great coral reefs would disappear, but grow faster in warmer water. To be continued…………thank you.

  • Rene Jan 24, 2017, 8:31 pm

    Continued.
    The world oceans create an enormous heat sink of approx. 300 million cubic kilometers.
    Everyday we have hundreds if not thousand of forest fires, plus vulcanic eruptions on a regular basis, creating mega tons of carbon, wiping out any savings humans try to create.
    Electric (motors) cars are very efficient about 90 % vs gasoline and diesels resp 25 and 35%. But what about the enormous carbon footprint the batteries create?
    As Musk tells us, coal plants are the dirtiest, nuclear the cleanest and also the safest method of producing electricity. Not one person has been killed by a nuclear accident, apart from Chernobyl and a Russian submarine explosion, both due to lack of maintenance. The Fukushima accident was due to the cooling pumps being knocked out by the tsunami. Germany closed all its nuclear plants, and now is forced to buy electricity from, eastern Europe produced by……………..you guessed it, nuclear plants. China, presently builds about 35 nuclear plants, India are building a number of plants as well.
    But CO2 is not a pollutant, it is vital to sustain life. However, we have been poor custodians of planet earth and enormously wasteful, especially in North America.
    I invited you to listen to dr. Don Easterbrook, or Patrick Moore, charter member of Green Peace, but due to its dirty politics, left the organization. Then there is dr. Freeman Dyson and many more you can listen to on you tube.
    Finally, planet earth has been created by God, in such a way that it has existed for quite a few years and kept in perfect balance and whatever we do has little or no effect on its sustainability. Just study how He made us and you will be in awe.
    But then nobody is as blind as those who will not see.

    Rene

  • Stein Varjord Jan 24, 2017, 9:21 pm

    Hi Rene.

    I’m generally a sceptic towards authorities, companies or individuals who seem to have an agenda. I look for potential scams and potential motifs. Often I find what my suspicions told me, and sometimes I have to accept that I was wrong. With the climate change issue, it’s a bit upside down.

    I notice a lot of individuals making strong claims about the whole thing being a scam. I notice that the “facts” brought up are mostly twisted to seem relevant or flat out untrue. The examples you give are good illustrations of this. I also notice that every single entity trying to support the climate change deniers are those with obvious money reasons. Wouldn’t it be prudent to be quite suspicious?

    I have no illusions of being able to convince you that climate is changing, but if you do have an interest, i can assure you that it is warming. I don’t need any scientists to verify that the last 120 years, at least, have seen a continuous and significant warming of the climate in Norway, which happens to be on planet earth and thus might indicate something for the rest of it.

    The way i know this, is melting glaciers. First time i walked on glaciers was 1969, Jotunheimen, Vestre Memurubre. I remember it as if it was yesterday. Since then, I’ve been there and on several others regularly. My father, grandfather and great grandfather also roamed the same area since late 1800s. I’ve walked there with them all. They were addicted to the mountains like I am to the sea.

    I know exactly how it looked when i was a child. The glacier edges have now moved back about 3 kilometers, 2 miles. This is about 300 meters, 1000 feet, thick ice. Just gone, and still shrinking every year. The about 75 years of earlier observations by my family, whith very obvious signs in the terrain to prove it, and which they had discussed since before my birth, without understanding the reason, is about the same change, meaning the change has accelerated. Also, shrubs and trees have started growing about 200 meters, 650 foot, higher on the mountain sides.120 years of undeniable climare warming. Don’t even try to say that might be misinterpreting or local or untypical. This is reality.

    So climate is actually warming. It’s not a future threat. It’s been going on since humans got the hang of burning shitloads of coal and such. The question is though, is it actually our burning that makes it happen or is there some other reason? Then i have to look elsewise. I can’t find such knowledge alone. If l look for sources, i notice that those saying yes, we’re causing it, is entities like the UN, NASA, ESA, and every single institution with any knowledge about it. Looking at the other side, as mentioned, is like looking at a gallery og mugshots. The number of credible entities is zero.

    The question then is, how paranoid can we be while still claiming to be reasonable persons? I know a smart guy who like conspiracy theories. He doesn’t call them that, but one of them is that the Americans never landed on the Moon.

    My answer to that is: At the time, the competition with the Russians for getting there first was fierce. If the Americans faked it, wouldn’t the Russians say that very loudly? Well, they didn’t. Also,one can take some good binoculars and have a look! You can actually see ithe traces and remains. They did actually land there.

    Climate change is the same type of topic. Denying it is just weird.

  • Rene Jan 25, 2017, 4:00 am

    Thank you Stein, and the glaciers in Canada have been melting too and the Canadian winters are much milder than what they were 30 years ago. The media keeps showing us the ice receding up north, but fail to mention the Antarctica ice cap is growing and of course the climate is changing and will do so for ever. According to dr. Don Easterbrook Nasa, the UN and NOAA have manipulated the data. These organizations are all supported by there governments ofcourse they will agree.
    The ocean levels rise approx. 7 inches per centuries, mainly due to the fact that water expands as it gets warmer, but according to those scientists human activity has nothing to do with it. Sunspots have an influence, as does distance.
    Warmer and cooler climates have coexisted with higher levels of CO2 throughout history.
    When most politicians, the Pope and Hollywood pot smokers all agree,………. beware!
    Again, listen to the real people in the know and see what facts they come up with.
    Thanks again,
    Rene

  • Dave Jan 25, 2017, 12:12 pm

    I think John has the correct liberty based free market solution. People should asses how committed they are to low carbon life styles and purchase their products and energy based on how much CO2 is produced. If large numbers of people practice what they preach then then green energy technology should flourish. Of course this may mean never flying in a jet and never ever ever considering owning a ocean going power boat.

    I am not sure what the term ” properly pricing petroleum products” means. Do free markets not practice price discovery through the bid and ask process? Or is this code for governments arbitrarily determining price based on controlling their citizens behavior?

    Huge taxes on petroleum would only serve to lower every bodies standard of living, grow the size of the public sector, enrich the crony capitalists and politicians. This would be especially cruel to the people living on the edge. Burning tires to stay warm is not so great.
    OK a little extreme but you get the point.

    Mean while Japan India and China continue to build coal burning power plants whole sale.

    • Stein Varjord Jan 25, 2017, 6:39 pm

      Hi Dave.

      I agree on your statement that Johns assessment is a good one. I can’t know if I’m right, but when he mentions we should start “properly pricing petroleum products”, I assume it’s about the partly direct, but mostly the huge indirect subsidies to the coal/oil/gas industry. If that industry had to pay for the total cost of its activity, prices on their products would increase dramatically.

      Which subsidies and costs am I talking about? I don’t know this topic too well, but the logic is simple: Any product has many costs to bring it to the customers. Raw materials, refining it to a usable product, transport, marketing, administration, etc. Some products, like fossil fuels, have other costs too, that come after the product is sold. Sigarettes made people ill and killed them. That had an enormous cost which the taxpayers had to cover. It would have been way more fair that the industry had to collect that money via the price tag. That way, the heaviest consumers, with the heaviest cost on society, had also already paid the cost.

      The fossil fuel producers know about the costs they load onto the taxpayers. Illnesses from exposure is just a small one. Pollution of cities and the whole planet is another. Climate change is obviously the big one. The costs on the global society will be astronomical. The fossil fuel industry are only profitable because they don’t have to pay any of those costs. The bill goes to the citizens while the oil business magnates sit on piles of actually stolen money.

      An illustration might be helpful. If we buy a house, we think that the amount we paid means that we actually own it and any additional costs is just maintenance, electricity, etc. But then we find out that the previous owner has run a poison factory in the basement, pumping poison into the ground. The house cannot be lived in until you take it all down, clean the ground and build a new house. Would you feel cheated by that house seller? I certainly would. This is what the fossil fuel industry is doing.

    • John Jan 26, 2017, 8:12 am

      Hi Dave,

      Stein’s answer is pretty much exactly my thinking on the matter. For example one of the huge costs of oil use that is not currently incorporated in the price is that of cleaning up old production facilities.

      Also, I’m not at all sure that taxes on carbon need “to lower everybody’s standard of living, grow the size of the public sector, enrich the crony capitalists and politicians” as you fear. One option is to do as the province of British Columbia has, and Musk recommends, and make said taxes revenue neutral by reducing income taxes proportionally.

      That said, the true cost and taxes also need to incorporate enough so that the government can use those revenues to “help those living on the edge” through the transition phase to more sustainable energy sources.

      In fact I’m quite optimistic that proper carbon taxes done right can actually be an economic boon rather than a disaster, by spurring technical developments that will actually reduce costs in the medium, and even fairly short, term.

      As just a very small example, within a couple of years it will be possible for a Tesla owner to drive right across the US without spending a dime on fuel by using Tesla’s solar powered charging stations. And even if one argues that’s not really free since Tesla is subsidizing it (true) it’s still a fraction of the cost of gas.

  • Bill Attwood Jan 25, 2017, 1:50 pm

    Hi Rene.
    I should be interested to know why you believe that there is some sort of conspiracy amongst climate change “believers” to manipulate (falsify?) data. You say that NASA, the UN, and the NOAA, amongst others have manipulated the data, and that they are doing so because of pressure from their governments ( who would that be for the UN by the way?). What could be the motive of the US government to engage in this kind of deceit?
    It is difficult for a non-scientist to assemble the information and arguments from published peer reviewed scientific papers etc to allow her/him to form an opinion on climate change (or any other one of hundreds of important topics) so we are obliged to depend on other resources. I find that Wikipedia is a good resource, although I suppose it may have been infiltrated by “post-truth terrorists”.
    Wikipedia reports that “….approximately 97% of publishing climate scientists support the concensus on anthropomorphic climate change….”.
    I think that the words “publishing climate” are particularly relevant. That is they are scientists in the branch of climate science, and that they are publishing papers. Opinions of scientists in other branches, or who are now emeritus, carry little or no weight. I’m sure you are familiar with the process of peer review of scientific papers. Only papers which have been reviewed by other experts in the field are accepted for publication and published in serious scientific journals.
    What really does baffle me, is what the possible motives could be for the conspiracy that you believe to be taking place. I should be more inclined to see dishonesty on the side of the climate deniers, after all, big oil and coal have much to lose if the climate believers carry the day.
    I was also surprised to read that the Antarctic ice cap is growing. I was aware that the ice shelves around the continent are breaking off, but the growth in the ice cap is news. Do you mean that it is growing in area, or that it is increasing in depth? Would you be kind enough to give me your source?
    Yours aye,
    Bill

  • Rene Jan 25, 2017, 7:31 pm

    Thank you Bill for your comments and your questions don’t surprise me.
    I’m old enough to know we live in a pretty corrupt world, and the UN is no exception. It may already have come to light when in 1961 its then secretary Dag Hammarskjold airplane apparently was shot down, although according to a new 2016 investigation it was concluded it was pilot error, in other words that can mean anything, especially almost 60 years after the fact. The 97% consensus, especially in science sounds suspicious and the quote that the majority is usually wrong comes to mind. Besides, those 97% never really tell you what they agree on! The fossil fuel industry tries to do its best to play it safe with the public relations, that’s why Exxon gave $100million to Stanford University to study global warming.

    We are not arguing about global warming or cooling, which has happened through out history. As stated earlier, many politicians, the alphabet media, the pope and some Hollywood characters all agree that the increase in CO2 levels is man made, as if CO2 is a pollutant. However, CO2 is absolutely vital to sustain life, and the present 400p/million is an historic low, even after the start of the Industrial Revolution 150 years ago. Isn’t it logical to assume that the present CO2 levels should be way higher than historic levels, after everything we have produced during those 150 years?? Greenhouses try to keep levels at 1200 ppm. Musk makes great cars, but he may be a little biased here, while selling electric cars, but when he states Co2 levels has caused a global warming, when infact global warming results in higher CO2 levels then you have to ask yourself, what is he up to?
    Your question why would politicians try to deceive us? I think we both know the answer, MONEY. As mentioned before greed is very good motivator, but fear much more so. Climate change has kept my interest for the last year or so, and it is an enormous complicated subject and hard to nail down, a bit like quicksilver. As such a great tool to confuse the masses and put some fear into us, even more so with the mentioning of our grandkids. However, the enormous debt levels of hundreds of trillions $$ world wide doesn’t seem to worry those politicians. Dave, mentions that India and China are building many coal fired power stations, but our politicians don’t seem to worry about it, probably the middle class there is not rich enough yet to suck some money from there. A friend who was involved in the making of windmill generators told me, that they would never produce the energy it costs to produce them! So why build them? Governments subsidies, MONEY. Dr. Don Easterbrook says the real data on temps have been manipulated by NASA and NOAA, he didn’t say falsify. The motive is to skew the stats, which nodoubt again comes down to MONEY. I think it was Goebbels, who served under Hitler, as the propaganda minister, who said, if you want to tell a lie then make it a big one and repeat it often and soon the truth becomes a lie. A former US president warned us many times, “Beware of government tyranny” Sorry, but John can’t allow me to mention his name.
    Please go on the web and look up the scientist names Dr.Don Easterbrook, Princeton professor Freeman Dyson, Patrick Moore, former Green peace charter member, two MIT professors Richard Lindzen and Alfred Sloan, once you are on you Tube you will find many more. Dr Lindzen stated, we demonizing a chemical, CO2, a molecule essential to life !
    We owe it to ourselves to do our home work.
    Thanks again,
    Rene

  • Rene Jan 25, 2017, 11:46 pm

    Re Stein’s comment.
    Sorry, but I think your comments are a little lob sided.
    Capitalism, many times has shown it’s ugly face, but so has socialism, big unions and government. Norway has profited nicely because of fossil fuels and the oil companies have paid out many billions in wages and taxes, greatly enhancing our lives. Due to competition, oils have been greatly improved, to such an extend that for cars it is not unusual to get 500,000km on the odometer and we can enjoy our boating hobby. As for companies paying their fair share in costs ? Good comment, but companies may initially pay , but we, the end consumer will pay for everything, as companies simply on all the expenses including taxes. If a jurisdiction doesn’t tax companies, guess what happens? Many will set up shop there and there soon will be full employment, forcing other states to do the same.

    As for cigarettes, we should be grateful governments taxed Tabaco products to the hill, only of course to pay for the health care costs showing up later due to smoking for those ignoring all warnings and common-sense. 🙁 Tabaco has been fined for not passing on test results due to smoking, as if this was news to governments, who no doubt must have done their own studies and stay silent?

    Oooops, I guess we are of topic or too much politics as my AIS shows sheriff John approaching with some sharp fishing knives………….pushing a walker ??

    Rene

  • John Jan 26, 2017, 8:27 am

    Hi All,

    I think this climate change discussion has gone far enough, so let’s end it now. Everyone has had their say and neither side is going to budge, so continuing will only end badly in recriminations and sarcasm. (The last comment came dangerously close to the latter.)

    Note that it’s not that I wish to stifle debate on this important issue, but simple that I think everything useful has been said and we are now starting to go around in circles.

  • Rene Jan 26, 2017, 3:47 pm

    John, my apologies and am sorry to see you saw it as sarcasm, that certainly was not my intention, as I have too much respect for you and the work you do. You made it clear earlier on that we are on opposite sides of the spectrum and that we see issues from a different angle. In hind-sight I should not have reacted to a subject that held such deep seated personal beliefs. Intended as light hearted comments, are not always transparent on paper. When in a mine field, proceed carefully.
    Rene
    Rene

    • John Jan 27, 2017, 7:37 am

      Hi Rene,

      Thanks for your understanding. No big thing, I just felt that we had progressed as far as we could with the subject and any further to and fro was only going to result in frustration, and eventually problems.

  • Rene Jan 27, 2017, 2:37 pm

    Thanks John, much appreciated.
    Let’s stay the course.
    Rene

  • Ian Feb 1, 2017, 9:29 am

    I noticed your photo of the Stugeron packet shows 75mg tablets. Beware – the “normal” tabs are 15mg. I weigh 200lbs and at the start of a voyage take 2 x 15mg tabs followed by 1 x 15mg roughly every 8 hours until I forget to take them (after a day or 2) and find I’m not seasick! For me this regime works really well and doesn’t make me drowsy. 75mg tho’ – I think this would knock me out completely!

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