Dave's Insights

Dave's Insight is an on-line opinion page giving Dave's opinion on many important issues and some that are not so important. It is part of Financial Insight investment letter but is not meant to be about investments, although some of the topics might effect your investments.

This is a sub page of Dave's Insights. The main page can be found here.

From There to Here
How I Became a Skeptic of Anthropological (Human) Caused Catastrophic Climate Change

November 3, 2016

Not a skeptic of Climate Change, as long as the Earth has had an atmosphere the climate has changed, sometimes greatly and sometimes very quickly. Nor do I doubt that we humans have had some effect, I am sure we have. The question is how much, and if the effect is overall positive or negative?

So this is my story, written in three parts: Part 1 outlines the journey of how I got to my current opinion, Part 2 outlines what I currently believe and Part 3 gives my recommendations about what we should be doing. At the end I give my confession of my own biases followed by numerous links etc.

I should note that the earth's climate is a very complex topic covering many disciplines and sub disciplines that are interrelated. No one is expert in more than a few and our knowledge of each is still very limited. While I cover a lot of ground in the following sections, this does not even cover all of what I believe. I have been preparing this over a fair period of time during which I continually came up with things to add. If I waited until I was satisfied that I was finished, I would never finish. So here it is, ready or not:

Part 1: From There to Here: How I Got Here

I do not suppose that my story differs a lot from that of many others. But it is my story, so here goes:

You know, I was not always like this. Originally I accepted the possibility that we needed to reduce our CO2 emissions and that we would soon need to replace fossil fuels as the supply was limited. In 2003 when I was a member of the Tax and Economic Affairs Committee of the Calgary Chamber of Commerce, our members were invited to meetings of a joint group of the Resource Committee and the Environment Committee to discuss what we should be doing in light of the Kyoto Accord. When I am invited to something I have this tendency to go, and I went. I was the lone representative from our committee, but not to worry, I made a splash. I convinced the group that Calgary, with all its expertise, should be a world leader on new technologies and found myself leading a small group of people who unlike me had a lot of technical expertise on the subject.

We started to put together a proposal. I wrote the prelude and the others prepared technical possibilities. We never got past the first very rough draft. Maybe that was my fault, I was the leader, but with the help of the others here is what I wrote for the prelude:

It is our position that no city in the world is as well positioned to be the global leader in the area of developing and marketing clean air strategies and technology. While we may have reservations about any specific targets, we believe that there is tremendous opportunity for Canada, being led by Calgary to be a world leader in the development, implementation and marketing of clean air technologies and procedures. We also believe that there may be tremendous efficiencies realized that will ultimately make it uncompetitive not to be using cutting edge approaches. Again, Calgary is uniquely positioned to be the world leader in this area.

It may be hard to believe, but yes, this was my starting point. You might say that this is the "There" in From There to Here. So what happened?

While I did not know much about the science, I accepted the premise that regardless if it was harmful; it was probably not a good thing to pump these emissions into the air. It seemed logical. However, there were three things that constantly bothered me about the science.

1) The suggestion that the Glaciers were receding. How does this prove anything? They have been receding for over 10,000 years, since the end of the last Ice Age. Actually I believe it is about 18,000 years since the peak of the last glaciation of the Ice Age that we are currently in, but I did not know that then.

2) Parts of Alberta, my home, were once crawling with dinosaurs. Alberta has cold winters with snow. We have seen snow in every month of the year, even in July, it is rare in July but it happens. So when we see pictures of what dinosaurs probably looked like in their habitat, why is there never any snow? It always looks warm or hot. This would suggest that it was once much hotter than it is today. I later learned that Alberta was tropical back then. That is why we have so much oil.

3) The science seemed to be mainly based on Computer Models. At that time I already had over twenty years' experience around the investment community, a community that uses computer models a lot, you might say looking for the Holy Grail. It has been my experience and I have written about this, that sooner or later computer models fail in making correct investment decisions, despite what some would have you believe and the huge sums at stake. So why would you believe they can work on something that is infinitely more complex and that we understand even less?

But this is what we were constantly told and it seemed reasonable that reducing emissions was probably a good idea or at least not a bad thing, not to mention that peak oil was coming. Wasn't it? Then it happened. I think it was around 2008, you might say I had an Epiphany, or the beginning of one anyway.

I was placing an order from Amazon and I wanted to add one more book, you know, to get the free shipping. As it turned out, I found, ordered and read Dr. Roy Spencer's Climate Confusion. You might say that that changed everything, and I was hooked with an insatiable appetite to learn more about the subject. My wife says that I am obsessed. My wife is usually right. Don't tell her though. So it began, my journey.

Then I read The Deniers by Lawrence Solomon. Lawrence, who has an environmental background proceeded to dismantle the so called science, piece by piece. And he did so while quoting the works of many very qualified and reputable scientists. Then there was Taken By Storm by Christopher Essex and Ross McKitrick. By then I was noticing how similar the scientific community is to the investment community. Not sure why that surprised me, after all human nature is human nature, regardless of the field. Eventually I came to use the term "The Climate Change Gravy Train".

Around about then I read Confessions of A Greenpeace Dropout by Dr. Patrick Moore. Dr. Moore was a founder of Greenpeace who eventually had to leave when as he puts it, they went off the tracks. He was probably one of the first to study Ecology, a subject that he has devoted his life to. The first part of his book gives the history of Greenpeace, a fascinating story, regardless of your opinion of Greenpeace. The rest covers a myriad of environmental issues. I cannot tell you how much I learned from his book and he changed my view on several issues.

This is such a fascinating topic, extremely complex and it encompasses numerous disciplines, many of which are not well understood by anyone. To date on this and related subjects I have read over 20 books, countless articles and am still reading, still obsessed.

Return to top of page.

Part 2: Where is Here? What I Now Believe

I believe Carbon Dioxide is a greenhouse gas and does cause some warming. What is in dispute is how much warming and if this is a net positive or negative. I believe that the computer models were developed assuming it is a straight line function and that while the effect of CO2 is not that large, it causes a positive water vapor feedback which multiplies the effect. As discussed below, I believe the net feedback effect is negative. Based on all that I have read and seen I also believe that the effect is a logarithmic effect not a straight line effect and I suspect that for every doubling of CO2 levels temperature goes up about the same amount. For example, based on what I have read, the last doubling from the dangerously low level of 200 ppm to the current 400 ppm level would cause the temperature to rise about 1/2 degree centigrade. At the current rate of increase of about 2 ppm per year it will take about 200 years for levels to double again to 800ppm. With all other things being equal (and they never are) this will result in another 1/2 degree increase. I also believe that the optimal level of CO2 is about 1600 ppm which is 4 times the current level and based on my other assumptions, again all things being equal would take about 600 years (from now) and result in a 1 degree increase in temperature over that time period.

CO2 is a greenhouse gas but has little effect. Its effects are small and well known and logarithmic. The science claims that there is a positive H2O feedback that multiplies the effect, but there is evidence that there is also a negative H2O feedback as while it is believed that lower clouds trap heat, it is also believed that upper clouds reflect sunrays. But we do not really fully understand the role of clouds and how they affect the climate. Truth is in nature while there are positive and negative feedback's most are negative and there are many. I suspect that the net feedback's are negative and cut the effect of rising CO2 in half. But no one really knows.

There are many climate cycles both large and small. We have smaller cycles within larger cycles, sometimes contradicting the larger cycles and random factors and events that do not fit any pattern. Over the last couple of thousand years there was a very cold period called The Dark Ages when times were very tough. Round about 500AD they were followed by a very warm period, The Medieval Warm Period. During that time the Vikings settled and farmed Greenland, it was much greener then, hence the name, Greenland. They also grew grapes in England during this period. It was a time of plenty. Then in the 1400's it turned cold as we entered a very cold period called The Little Ice Age. Life got tougher, the Greenland settlers were forced to leave and the Thames River in England froze over in the winter. Then in the 1800's we entered the new warming period that we currently enjoy. Within that we have experienced the shorter, about 60 year, Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) cycle that Dr. Roy Spencer discusses in his book The Great Global Warming Blunder. In the last century there was a warm period starting in the early 1900's to the early 1940's, followed by a cooler period to the late 1970's followed by a warm period that ended about eight to 10 years ago and we are now in the beginning of a cooler phase that should last another 20 or so years. Yuck! Of course there are always anomalies like the El Nino that gave us the last couple of warm winters. Unfortunately they are usually followed by cooler La Nina's. But like it or not, that is life on earth.

There is no right climate and what nature does is not necessarily good or the best. Despite what many people believe, there is no reason to believe that nature is perfect or that there is any right balance as that balance has been constantly changing since life began. Nature is very tough and cruel, it is erratic, always changing and evolving towards a new balance. In cold environments there is less life as only life forms that have evolved to cope with the cold survive. In warmer environments life flourishes as more species are able to evolve to survive in a warm environment. It has been said that 99.9% of species have been extinct since before we came along. So there is every reason to believe that overall our influence may improve on nature. Dr. Moore has written an hypothesis that suggests that our CO2 emissions may actually be saving life on earth as CO2 levels were getting dangerously low. See this video starting at the 29 minute point where he explains this. (Note: This link was changed on Oct. 23, 2018 as the original video linked is no longer available.) You can download his paper in pdf form here.

We talk about average global temperature, but in fact there is no such thing. That would require having readings for every square inch (okay maybe foot) of the planet from the bottom of the oceans to the top of the atmosphere and then calculating an average. What we have is readings from a number of locations, not even evenly spread, using multiple approaches and many of the land-based stations no longer follow proper protocols. Some that were originally in rural areas are now located in cities where they will show higher temperatures due to the urban heat island effect and in some cases they are even located in parking lots. For the past 30 or so years we have had satellite data which is probably much more accurate but even that is not perfect. Using this and various proxy data and making correcting adjustments as they see fit, scientists come up with global averages and a history. It is amazing that they come up with anything at all but what they come up with can be very useful, as long as we remember the inherent weaknesses in the calculations. Unfortunately, those weaknesses are often ignored.

There is no consensus and even if there was it would not be science. I believe that it is closer to 50% each way and the number of skeptical scientists is gradually increasing as new information arises and more scientists take a better look at the science. It is not uncommon to hear them say that they accepted what they were told as they had not worked on it and therefore, never really taken a good look at the so called science. Then when they did, they were horrified. Of course for younger scientists trying to build a career it is very difficult to go against the accepted mantra, which may explain why many of the more vocal skeptical scientists are older and at or near the end of their career. They do not have to worry about whose feathers they ruffle. See my post Apparently, 970,000 Scientist are Missing in Action.

We tend to believe what we are taught. In grade school, well, the teachers know everything, right? Even the most clueless ones like most of the ones I remember. In high school you are just rebellious, then in College and University you look up to the professors as you are hoping to make a career in the field they are teaching and you are not really qualified to know who to trust. When I look back, while I had some very good professors, today I am at least as qualified and have more experience than most of them. In some cases, much more experience. It is scary which ones had the most influence.

Peak oil is no longer an issue. When I moved to Alberta I said to my sister something to the effect that "the Oil industry needs to understand that it is in the energy business, not just Oil and Gas, otherwise they will be in trouble when we run out and/or move to alternatives." I actually repeated it in Financial Insight in Dave's Rules in July 1999. In that rule I noted that when I said it 18 years prior I was a little premature but wondered how premature I was then. The statement may still be true but extraction technologies continue to advance and improve such that peak oil keeps moving further and further out. Now, it appears that we probably have enough supply for at least the next hundred or so years. I guess I was more than a little ahead of my time.

That brings me to the so called new, but it is not new, process of Fracking. Actually, more specifically, the technologies of fracking and horizontal drilling have been advancing and improving to the point where someone figured out how to use them to access the world's vast shale gas reserves. This is probably a good time to explain that while we talk about oil and gas as if it were in open pools in the ground, it is not like that. Traditional reserves are usually trapped in porous sandstone formations where it can flow, but the flow is limited. Shale oil and gas are trapped in shale which is not porous so there is no flow. In 1982 I learned about a technology that was over 30 years old called fracking and about a relatively new technology called horizontal drilling. Fracking was then as it is today a standard procedure. In short, by cracking the rocks that are usually between one and five kilometers below the surface, and under numerous other formations, oil and gas can flow a greater distance horizontally, thus significantly reducing the number of wells that need to be drilled making extraction both cheaper and safer. Fracking is a standard procedure. Over my years doing Joint Venture Audits I probably audited over a hundred wells, where I looked carefully at the drilling logs and other records. I am pretty sure that all the wells were fracked. Horizontal drilling is no longer new but is newer than fracking and has come a long way. By gradually curving the angle of the well, by the time it hits the formation the pipe goes horizontally through the formation, again significantly reducing the number of wells that need to be drilled. I should note that Engineers have explained to me that in the case of shale, it is more like a shatter than a frack, but the technology and controls are amazing in either case and it takes place a long way down under several formations. On the safety side, what needs to be understood is that if there is going to be an issue it is going to be either during drilling or it will be a casing failure in the upper vertical part of the well, which has nothing to do with fracking. There is no such thing as perfectly safe in any industry, just ask any Falcon or bat that met up with a wind turbine, however the technology and safety standards, at least in countries like Canada, are extremely good and are constantly improving. See The Heartland Institutes Fracking facts which includes several short videos and Fracknation a great documentary on the subject. (Note: on Feb. 3, 2017 we added The Truth About Fracking an 18 minute video by Dr. Patrick Moore, however that video is no longer available so we removed it.)

Nuclear Power has one of the best if not the best safety record of all forms of energy. This is one of the areas where Dr. Moore's book taught me a lot. Yes there was a major incident in Russia a long time ago where they were using technology that was outdated even then and followed procedures that they knew or should have known not to follow. There was an incident at Three Mile Island too but it was contained and the area around it is now safe. The more recent Fukushima Japan incident was since the book was written, but in the end after everything possible that could go wrong did go wrong it was contained. It was really hard to get a handle on the details and my facts may not be exactly right as the press blew it up using words like meltdown and high radiation but you had to listen carefully and research it to understand that a meltdown is the last, or one of the last containment procedures that by design contains the radioactivity. As for high radiation, they said that there was high radiation in the water, if you listened carefully, apparently so much so that if you drank the water for a year you would get as much radiation as if you had a CT scan. It seemed lost on the press that while 3 died in a hydrogen explosion at the power plant, the tsunami itself killed 16,000 people and injured and displaced many more. The big thing I learned from Dr. Moore's book though is that while I was always concerned about the storage of used nuclear rods, they can be reused. In each use you only use about one percent of the energy, so you can reuse them about one hundred times. After that they are only slightly radioactive and safe after about 30 years. While there is some reuse going on today, it is still much cheaper to use new rods. However, eventually it will be economical and there is probably well in excess of 1,000 years supply in the used rods. And by the way, if you are still concerned about CO2, well there are no CO2 emissions with nuclear power.

On another note, when you see pictures of power plants, coal, natural gas or nuclear, it does not matter, those big smoke stacks with white smoke bellowing out of them, that is the steam used to drive the turbines that create the electricity. It is not CO2, which is colorless and odorless. If it is a gas or coal plant there will be a much smaller almost unnoticeable stack that is exhaust but the big ones are only steam.

While there have been times when CO2 levels correlated with temperature, correlation does not prove causation and in any case, more recent and detailed studies show that when they do correlate, temperature usually precedes CO2 levels by about 800 years. Now, if there is causation, shouldn't the cause come first? Not to mention that there are many periods where there is no correlation. This does not mean that CO2 is not a greenhouse gas. I believe it is but that the effect is minimal and there are much greater influences at work in both directions. I also believe that temperature has a much greater effect on CO2 levels than the other way around, hence temperature moves first. This is because when it is cooler, the oceans, the largest CO2 sink by far can absorb more CO2 and when it is warmer the air can absorb more CO2. To demonstrate the effect of the temperature on the ocean take 2 cans of pop. Warm one to about 80 degrees Fahrenheit and cool the other in the fridge. Open them and watch how fast the CO2 escapes the warm one versus the cool one. For anyone living in the Calgary area, every winter we get a prime example of how temperature affects how much water vapor (the main greenhouse gas) the air can hold. On the coldest days of winter, it is as if they moved the mountains a lot closer to Calgary. The late David White, mentor of the late Barry Mitchell, my mentor, used to say that in winter they moved the mountains closer to town so they would not be lonely. It is the same for CO2; the warmer it is the more CO2 the air can hold, which explains why the highest atmospheric CO2 concentrations are near the equator even though man's greatest emissions are at higher latitudes.

We are in an Ice Age and overdue for another Glaciation. Some fear that we have already entered into the beginning of the next one or at least a little ice age. While many worry about the climate warming a couple of degrees, for about 75% of the last 600 million years the planet was at least 6 degrees centigrade (10.8 f) warmer than it is today and for about 90% of that time it was actually about 8 degrees centigrade (14.4 f) warmer than it is today. The dinosaurs must have been burning in hell. Personally I am more worried about the planet cooling a couple of degrees or so.

While they have fluctuated greatly, 600 million years ago when modern life (plants and animal) began, the CO2 level was around 6000 ppm. Plants and animals are carbon based. CO2 is plant food. Plants take it in, keeping the carbon and releasing the oxygen. This carbon is where they get the majority of their mass. When they die and decay, if they are exposed to oxygen, their carbon atoms will combine with it and replace some of the CO2 they removed. If not, for example if they are covered with silt before they decay, then the carbon is sequestered. For the last 300 million years the level of CO2 has fluctuated between about 2500 ppm and about 180 ppm, with the norm probably being around 1600 ppm which I believe is probably about the optimal level. On the more scary side, when levels drop to about 150 ppm plants stop growing. At the peak of the last glaciation about 18,000 years ago CO2 levels got as low as 180 ppm which is dangerously close to 150 ppm. Conversely, as levels rise plants grow faster and require less water, which is why many commercial greenhouses artificially increase their CO2 levels to above 1000 ppm. CO2 is required for life on Earth. There is probably nothing greener than CO2. As noted above, Dr. Patrick Moore wrote a very good paper on this titled The Positive Impact of Human CO2 Emissions on the Survival of Life on Earth and here see a presentation starting at the 29 minute point where he explains this. (Note: This link was changed on Oct. 23, 2018 as the original video linked is no longer available.) It is probably worth noting here that recent satellite data shows that over the last 30 or so years the earth is greening, that is, plant growth has been increasing.

There always has been and always will be bad weather events whether we are around or not. Despite all the news reports, when actually measured we find that we are currently going through a relatively calm period as to frequency and severity of these events. There is more property damage, but this is because there is more property and higher populations which increases the chance that a given event will hit a populated area. Not to mention that due to today's reporting we hear about every major event on the planet, in the past we would not have heard about most of them. It is unlikely that this calm period will last forever. However, bad weather events are usually caused by differences, that is, when cold air meets warm air. If the planet warms it will probably warm more at higher latitudes towards the poles and less at lower ones towards the equator, or if it cools it will cool more at higher latitudes and less at lower latitudes. It is likely that a warmer planet would mean less bad weather events and a cooler planet would mean more.

About 18 to 20 thousand years ago the glaciers began to melt and sea levels began to rise at a very alarming rate of about 4 feet per century. By about 7 thousand years ago the rate had slowed to about a foot a century and now it seems to be pretty steady at about 7 inches per century. It is worth noting that only melting land ice effects sea level as sea ice essentially displaces the same amount of water whether it is frozen or not. You can prove this for yourself by placing ice cubes in a glass of water and marking the level before and after they melt. It will be the same as long as the ice cubes were floating in the first place. As I understand it, since the peak of the last glaciation sea level has risen about 450 feet and the only significant glaciers left from a sea level point of view are on Greenland and Antarctica. If they were to completely melt sea level would rise about another 50 feet. While this would be a big deal if it happened quickly, at current rates that would take over 80 centuries (8000 years) and based on what I have read, it physically cannot happen a lot faster, despite what some would have you believe.

In short, if the planet warms a few degrees the net effects would be positive, however, cooling would be very negative.

In summary, there are many things that effect the climate some in a larger way and some smaller including but not limited to the suns activity, the earth's orbit, the tilt of the earth's axis, ocean currents to name a few and yes CO2 is one but it is a minor one.

Climate Change has become a very politicalized issue to the point that many cannot back down and many are not prepared to question the narrative as that might prove unpopular and detrimental to their career. It is kind of like coming out of the closet.

Environmentalists get upset when we build dams to create new lakes that replace old eco systems. They say that we are destroying the environment. While we should always do our due diligence, study and evaluate the effects, as pointed out by Dr. Moore in his book, we are actually replacing one eco system with another. Who says which is better? Not to mention that nature has always and will continue to change eco systems without any help from us.

Also climate change is big business: For the media catastrophic climate change makes for sensational stories. For Environmental Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO's) it helps raise donations. They tell you that the world is coming to an end, so donate so they can fight the evil villains. For Politicians, they can claim to be saving the world. One actually had the tenacity to suggest that the oceans would stop rising and the earth would heel because of his election. For Businesses, it is good to look green. For the Environmental businesses there are subsidies, guarantees, carbon credits and bail outs to be had. For Consultants and other Professionals, there is the business of advising business and NGO's on how to navigate the rules, and obtain grants, subsidies and guarantees. For Academics and Universities, there are research grants and other public and private money to pursue. Climate Change is big business; I call it the Climate Change Gravy Train.

Return to top of page.

Part 3: Where to From Here? My Recommendations

Here are some of my recommendations:

Continue to study the weather and climate but do it with an open mind. If the science was settled and complete then there would be no need to do further study. However, it is neither settled nor complete. Far from it so of course we need to keep studying and learning about all these things, from all angles as after all our knowledge is still very limited.

Build infrastructure with the knowledge that there will be bad weather events, sometimes making new records so we need to prepare. Prepare for a warmer climate, but also, maybe especially a much colder climate, especially at higher latitudes away from the equator. Just because it has been a certain way recently or something has not happened for a century or even a millennia, does not mean it will not happen. If it has not happened for over a thousand years, that means it has happened before. Nature is a fierce beast and it is foolish to believe that we can control it instead of preparing to live with it. Bad things always have and always will happen, we need to be prepared.

Sea levels may well continue to rise (current rate is about 7 inches per century), the rate could increase, drop or sea levels could start to drop. We have to plan for all the possibilities.

Per Alan Carlin's book, Environmentalism Gone Mad, if we get runaway warming or worse serious cooling there are geoengineering things that we can do, but we need to do considerably more research to determine what they are, how they can work and what are the unforeseen consequences. Maybe, hopefully, we never need them, but if for example we start to enter a full blown Glaciation (Ice Age), which could happen quickly, last 100,000 years and cause large portions of the Northern Hemisphere to be covered with huge sheets of ice from 1 to 2 miles deep, we need to have a plan.

We should be providing the poorest people of the world with cheap reliable electricity. This would probably be best done using small local coal power plants, with scrubbers where necessary to reduce real pollution. This would be the first step to providing them with the ability to cope with natural catastrophic events, safe water and sewer, good health care and finally to pull them out of poverty and towards becoming part of the middle class at which point their population would also start to naturally stabilize as it has in other developed places.

All industries should be subject to the same environmental and safety rules etc. It seems that for political reasons certain so called green industries have been given a pass. This is wrong and results in bad consequences. If it is okay to build a forty story structure that we know will regularly kill falcons and bats, then why is it such a big deal when we lose a few ducks in a rare oil accident? It seems to me that both are a big deal but the former is worse. For that matter what is the effect of anchoring these huge turbines with about 1000 ton's of concrete, or removing all vegetation to create huge solar farms effectively wiping out eco-systems. We should have good environmental policies that are effective but also reasonable and applied consistently to all industries. For that matter, we should also expect the same standards to be applied to goods and services that we import, otherwise we are just exporting the issues to other jurisdictions. Not to mention, if an issue is global, it makes little sense to pollute less here if the result is to pollute more elsewhere. Yes we need regulations, but they need to be reasonable and efficient and not make progress impossible or near impossible. They also need to be applied equally to all industries and jurisdictions.

It has been my experience that subsidies, special programs like cap and trade, or special taxes distort markets, slow progress and rarely if ever accomplish their stated objective. This is because they distort the market system and businesses start to structure in such a way as to maximize the benefit of the subsidy or program instead producing meaningful developments. When the Kyoto accord came out I had arguments with people about it. Not because I was against the goal, you will recall that back then I was more or less on board, but it was clear to me that the result would be increased emissions at a fairly high cost. Well it was both ineffective and costly. On the subject of subsidies etc., if the government tells me they will guarantee my loans, subsidize my wind farm, tie me into the grid for free, buy all my power at several times market and that I can sell carbon credits, or some combination of the above, why would I spend my money trying to develop a technology that might actually be useful? I would concentrate on how to take advantage of this gravy train. Who cares if the energy I produce is efficient or redundant. We need to put a stop to all these subsidies and programs for all industry as they are always costly and counterproductive.

Return to top of page.

Do I Have a Vested Interested?

There are actually two parts to this question. Do I have a vested interest and am I bias. I will deal with them individually:

Other than as a human being who lives on this planet and wants what is best for all and future generations, at this stage in my life I do not think I have a significant vested interest. From a work point of view, while at one time I worked in the Petroleum Industry and at one time we had a half interest in a company that provided audit services to the industry, we no longer do work directly for the industry. We do have several clients who are affected, however most of them are at a stage where they are fairly well established and let's face it in the near term the industry is not going anywhere. So our business is sound and we are well established and nearing retirement. On the investment side, I am a long term investor as is very evident from Financial Insight's many articles. As such our portfolios have always been very low weighted in the resource sector as it is very volatile and it is hard to make consistent profits in that sector. So while I do have a vested interest, I do not believe it is significant.

As for bias, well let's be fair, everyone has some built in bias and I am no different. Anyone who knows me or follows me will know that I have a strong bias toward the free market system, I always have, probably always will. I am sure that influences my position.

Finally with all this in mind, I encourage you to look objectively at all the evidence, make up your own mind about what you believe and be prepared to change your opinion as new information comes to your attention.

So that is my story, I hope you found it interesting, helpful and enjoyed reading it. I know I enjoyed writing it.

Return to top of page.

Links, Books and References

Related Articles on Dave's Insights:

All links should open in a separate tab.

Are You a Climate Change Hypocrite? Take my CO2 challenge, if you care about that. (May 17, 2016)
Apparently, 970,000 Scientists are Missing in Action (March 2, 2015)
Computer Models: The Great Deception (Original post November 25, 2014)
Seeing Can Be Misleading The problems with charts.(Original post 2012)

Other Links and References:

All links should open in a separate tab.

Excellent and Comprehensive presentation by Dr. Patrick Moore given in November 2019
International Conferences on Climate Change (ICCC)
Dr. Patrick Moore's keynote presentation (30 minutes) at the International Conference on Climate Change #9, July 2014
Dr. Patric Moore's paper on The Positive Impact of Human CO2 Emissions on the Survival of Life on Earth pdf version.
Presentation by Dr. Arthur Robinson about the Global Warming Petition Project (15 minutes)
Global Warming Petition Project.
Why Scientists Disagree About Global Warming A 96 minute Video presentation by Joseph Bast.
Why Scientists Disagree About Global Warming: The NIPCC Report on Consensus.
Friends of Science - 97% Consensus? No Global Warming Math Myths & Social Proofs PDF file.
The Rebel:
The Heartland Institute: An American Think Tank.
The Friends of Science: An independent non-profit organization dedicated to providing insights into Climate Science.
Climate Depot
Climate Hustle
No Consensus.org
Dr. Roy Spencer's Blog
Alan Carlin's site
Watt's Up With That?
Climate Audit by Steve McIntyre
JoNova - Skeptical Science for dissident thinkers
Heartland Institute Fracking Facts (includes several short videos)
co2 Coalition: Carbon Dioxide is Essential For Life
Not Evil Just Wrong
Stop These Things
The Global Warming Policy Foundation
Dr. Tim Ball Presentation on Freedom for All TV
Small Dead Animals
Climate Etc. Dr. Judith Curry's site
Energy for Life
Principal Scientist Resume
Energy Matters
A Chemist in Langley
Presentation by my friend Clive in Lethbridge Rally on Nov. 5 2016. (Added Nov. 7, 2016)(14 minutes).
Tom Harris Interview (Added Nov. 7, 2016.) (23 minutes).
International Climate Science Coalition (Added Nov. 10, 2016).
JunkScience.com (Added Feb. 3, 2017).
The Environment: A True Story A 2 hour and 40 minute documentary by John Robson. (Added October 22, 2017).
UN IPCC Scientist Debunks UN IPCC Lies A 28 minute video. (Added August 27, 2019).
Digital Exclusive: Dr. Patrick Moore TEARS APART The Green New Deal | Huckabee A 15 minute video. (Added August 27, 2019).


An Appeal to reason (A Cool look at Global Warming) (Nigel Lawson)
Climate Confusion (How Global Warming Hysteria Leads to Bad Science, pandering politicians, and misguided policies that hurt the poor)(Dr. Roy Spencer)
The Deniers (The World-renowned scientists who stood up against hysteria, political persecution, and fraud) (Laurence Solomon)
Confessions of a GreenPeace Dropout (The Makings of a Sensible Environmentalist) (Dr. Patric Moore)
The Great Global Warming Blunder (How Mother Nature Fooled The World's Top Climate Scientists) (Dr. Roy Spencer)
Taken By Storm (The Troubled Science, Policy, and Politics of Global Warming) (Dr. Christopher Essex & Dr. Ross McKitrick)
Climate Of Corruption (Larry Bell)
Air Con: The Seriously Inconvenient Truth About Global Warming (Ian Wishard)
Heaven + Earth (Global Warming: The Missing Science) (Professor Ian Plimer)
The Delinquent Teenager: Who Was Mistaken for the World's Top Climate Expert (Donna Laframboise)
Climate: The Counter Consensus (Professor Robert Carter)
Don't Sell Your Coat (Surprising Truths About Climate Change) (Harold Ambler)
Earth's Climate History (Anton Uriate)
Frozen Earth: The Once and Future Story of the Ice Ages (Doug Macdougall)
Earth's Climate History (Anton Uriarte)
The Mad, Mad World of Climatism (Steve Goreham)
Eco-imperialism: Green Power, Black Death (Paul Driessen)
Taxing Air: Facts & Fallacies About Climate Change (John Spooner, Bob Carter)
Ethical Oil: The Case For Canada's Oil Sands (Ezra Levant)
The Deliberate Corruption of Climate Science (Tim Ball)
Groundswell: The Case for Fracking (Ezra Levant)
The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels (Alex Epstein)
Miracle Molecule: Carbon Dioxide, Gas of Life (Paul Driessen, Ron Arnold, Roy Spencer)
Climate Change: The Facts (Dr. John Abbot, Dr. Robert Carter, Rupert Darwall, James Dilingpole, Dr. Christopher Essex, Dr. Stewart Franks, Dr. Kesten Green, Donna Laframboise)
Scared Witless: Profits and Profits of Climate Doom (Larry Bell)
Environmentalism Gone Mad: (Alan Carlin)
The Whole Story of Climate: (E. Kristen Peters)
Nature Unbound: Bureaucracy vs. Environment (Randy Simmons, Ryan Yonk, Kenneth Sim) (Added Feb. 3, 2017)
Historical Evidence Concerning Climate Change (Clayton E. Cramer) (Added Feb. 3, 2017)
Human Caused Global Warming: The Biggest Deception in History (Dr. Tim Ball) (Added Feb 3, 2017)
A New Little Ice Age Has Started (Lawrence Pierce) (Added Feb. 3, 2017)
Scare Pollution: Why and How to Fix the EPA (Steve Milloy) (Added Feb. 3, 2017)
After The Ice Age: The Return of Life to Glaciated North America (E.C. Pielou) (Added Sept. 9, 2017)
An Inconvenient Deception: How Al Gore Distorts Climate Science and Energy Policy (Dr. Roy Spencer) (Added Sept. 9, 2017)
Inevitable Disaster: Why Hurricanes Can't Be Blamed On Global Warming (Dr. Roy Spencer) (Added Oct. 4, 2017)
Climate Change The Facts 2017 (over 20 contributors) (Added Feb. 11, 2018)
Mirrors and Mazes (Dr. Howard Thomas Brady) (Added May 10, 2018)
The Politically Incorrect Guide to Climate Change (Marc Morano) (Added September 15, 2018)
Global Warming Skepticism for Busy People (Dr. Roy Spencer) (Added January 20, 2019)
25 Myths That are Destroying The Environment (Daniel B. Botkin) (Added January 20, 2019)
Outside The Green Box, Rethinking Sustainable Development (Steve Goreham) (Added January 20, 2019)
Inconvenient Facts (Jack Madden) (Added March 19, 2019)
The Mythology of Global Warming: Climate Change Fiction vs. Scientific Facts (Bruce C. Bunker) (Added August 27, 2019)
The Rightful Place of Science: Disasters & Climate Change (Roger Pielke, Jr.) (Added October 13, 2019)
Inconvenient Facts (Gregory Wrightstone) (Added February 10, 2020)
Confessions of a Climate Scientist (Mototaka Nakamura) (Added February 10, 2020)
The Green Reich (Drieu Godefridi) (Added February 10, 2020)
Dumb Energy (Norman Rogers) (Added February 10, 2020)
The Rational Optimist (Matt Ridley) (Added February 10, 2020)
Fake Invisible Catastrophes and Threats of Doom (Patrick Moore) (Added March 4, 2021)
Trees Are The Answer (Patrick Moore) Published in 2000 last updated in 2010 (Added July 10, 2021)
Unsettled, What Climate Science Tells Us, What it Doesn't, and Why It Matters (Steven E. Koonin) (Added July 23, 2021)
The Hydrogen Illusion (Samuel Furfari) (Added July 25, 2021)
False Alarm (Bjorn Lomborg) (Added August 6, 2021)
Apocalypse Never (Michael Shellenberger) (Added September 23, 2021)

Return to top of page.

Return to top of page.

Return to Dave's Insights main page.

Go to Heinze Group Index Page.

Financial Insight provides information to help its readers make informed investment decisions. We are not connected with any financial institution, nor do we guarantee or recommend any investments. Professional advisors should be consulted to insure that your specific investment needs are properly considered.

Committed To Your Financial Independence

This site was created by Dave Heinze

All contents copyright ©
Insight Financial Corporation.
All rights reserved.