Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The sofritas solution

I have a blogging theory in need of a good name, that all blogs eventually deteriorate into discussions of the authors' pets or meals. Eli and John have done a terrible job of validating my theory, which leaves the degeneration to me. I don't have pets, assuming you discount the salamanders that moved into our worm composting bin six years ago and are still there. I think I've verified them to be arboreal salamanders, a pretty cool type that doesn't bother with lungs or a tadpole stage and can climb buildings. Still, not a pet.

So that leaves the sofritas vegetarian meals I've been ordering at our local Chipotle Mexican restaurant. I've not talked too much about personal steps to limit climate change impacts, partly because it's not my main interest and partly because I'm hardly a world-leading example. Still, I'm not impressed with the contempt dripping from statements like "changing a light bulb won't fix global warming." It sure is part of the fix, and personal action should be one of the steps that climate activists take.

I'm not a vegetarian, love the taste of meat, and feel better on low-carb diets that are easier when they're non-vegetarian. Despite that, vegetarianism is generally (maybe not always) a better thing for the climate and should be encouraged, especially as the whole world gets richer. When it's easy to make a switch, just do it.

So if you have a Chipotle restaurant in your area and they've added sofritas to the menu, you should try it. Sofritas is an annoying made-up word for shredded tofu mixed with other ingredients, and it has a chewy texture that makes it competitive with meat (speaking as a meat-eater). If more non-meat options were this easy, I'd do a lot better on the personal level.

The American South should learn to embrace its heroic underdog history

Nice quote of one Perry DeAngelis highlighted in a recent Skeptic's Guide to the Universe podcast:

If you strip the horrors of history from history, the flip side of that is you strip the nobility of rising above such horrors

There's been some discussion lately about the libertarian split over embracing the Lost Cause of the Southern Confederacy and the general Southern attitude to their history. While I'm sure this has been said elsewhere, I think the whitewashing of the horrors of the antebellum South* denies the heroism of the people that resisted those horrors. Rather than downplaying those horrors, the libertarians and more importantly the popular histories of the South could discuss the true underdog Southerners - Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, the white Virginians who tried to abolish slavery in their state in 1851, many others who fought a Lost Cause as underdogs against horrible tyrants. Jefferson Davis, Alexander Stephens, and the others may have become underdogs during the Civil War, but the history of the South before the war didn't put them in that category. If modern Southern schools want to teach a heroic heritage, there's a nobility there that they should emphasize instead.

*And the North also had its own horrors, and its own heroes who fought them.

Late to the lawsuit party (even Eli got there first). Anyway, mind the footnote

Started writing out a little happy dance over Michael Mann's defamation suit winning a preliminary battle and then saw Eli's already covered it several hours ago, so go read. I'll just add four points:

1. It's especially good because one motion by the naughty parties was an anti-SLAPP motion, intended to shut down, quickly, those frivolous SLAPP cases that are brought to oppress free speech. Among other things, a successful anti-SLAPP motion usually changes the normal American rule and allows the defendant to recover attorney fees from the suing plaintiff.* Barring a successful appeal, Mann is now free of that monetary threat.

2. It's good news for Mann, but mind the footnote following the statement (p. 15) "The Court must, at this stage, find the evidence indicates that the CEI Defendants' statements are not pure opinion but statements based on provably false facts." The footnote reads in full, "The Court does view this as a very close case." IOW, it could go the other way at trial.

3. A difficult issue even if Mann wins may be proving damages to Mann's reputation, in that it's difficult for statements by disreputable liars to have much effect on the reputation of honest people. OTOH, Mann's claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress also gets to proceed, and that can get him damage awards, especially if the judge is angry with the defendant over the defamation and looking for a way to make the defendant provide compensation.

4. I think this case and the Supreme's actions on California Prop. 8 are good examples of why the law is like The Force, to be used for good or for evil. Anti-SLAPP motions were meant to be used for good, to help the little people who are sued by giant corporations for defamation when they tell city councils to vote down bad developments. Obviously, they can be twisted. Conversely, the modern version of legal standing that shut down Prop. 8 and brought gay marriage back to California was expanded by rightwingers to violate environmental laws by making it difficult for citizens to enforce the laws on their own. Standing then came around to catch the rightwingers on their own petards. This time.

*I don't actually know the law in Washington DC where this case was brought, but I'd be pretty surprised if it's different from anti-SLAPP done elsewhere, and it uses California law as a model which does allow fee recovery.

Climate divestment for the water district

Below's my memo that I sent to the Water District Board yesterday - we'll decide Monday or Wednesday whether to move it forward. Many many thanks to Jay Carmona at for their work and her research help.

(BTW, I'll be offline until Monday, can respond to questions then. "Unburnable carbon" deserves its own blog post....)
SUBJECT: Recommendation on developing a Climate Divestment Policy for the Water District

DATE: July 18, 2013

Our residents and the Water District itself are paying millions of dollars and incurring significant risks from climate change. We are losing water supplies in the Sierras, forced to use more water in reaction to rising temperatures, face increased risks from stream and tidal flooding, and manage environmental degradation from climate change. Why then should we finance the industry promoting the same problem that we work so hard to fix?

I urge the Board to direct staff to return at an appropriate time with a proposed Climate Divestment Policy using the model under consideration in a number of cities (see attachments) developed by the non-profit The effect would be to exclude from investment the top 200 fossil fuel companies. Our reserve investments in corporate financial instruments are relatively small and limited to bonds, so I assume it will not be difficult to put a policy into place with few if any financial implications. Pension funds and OPEB funds are controlled by CalPERS, so I recommend in addition that we direct staff to return to the Board with a draft letter that the Board can send to CalPERS asking it to begin climate divestment.

In addition to climate divestment being in the best interest of our residents, not to mention the general public interest, it may also be in our direct financial interest. Recent studies have shown fossil fuel companies underperforming the broader market. More generally, the stock and collateral value of the industry is based in large part on the value of their fossil fuel reserves, but those reserves contain far more carbon that can be burnt safely. This “unburnable carbon” constitutes overvalued equity and underestimated risk.

We have made a commitment to achieve carbon neutrality by 2020. I believe we can make use of the list and exempt any company that makes a similar commitment. While eliminating fossil fuels is impossible right now, I believe this proposal is a practical and feasible way to help get us to a global carbon neutrality as soon as is practicable, something we should do for our own sake and that of everyone else.


Memo from Councilmember Worthington, City of Berkeley, including draft letter to CalPERS

Staff Report, City of Santa Monica article on financial performance of fossil fuel industries, available at

Simon's climatic battle over higher powers

Because I just now stumbled across this, I thought I'd write about a good article from 2011 by Simon Donner on how thousands of years of cultural beliefs that weather and climate are controlled by supernatural forces, not people, constitute a major barrier to action on climate. Key sentence:

It is unreasonable to expect a lay audience, not armed with the same analytical tools as scientists, to develop lasting acceptance during a 1-h public seminar of a scientific conclusion that runs counter to thousands of years of human belief.

Simon concedes the obvious that people have thought they could ask supernatural forces for help, but argues that still reserves the power to make changes to those forces themselves.

One thing I'd add to his points is the last two centuries of adding science to our understanding of weather have argued that we can't control the weather, even indirectly via prayer to the supernatural. So thousands of years of religious cultural beliefs saying the supernatural controls the weather is reinforced by two centuries of scientific cultural beliefs saying we humans have not even indirect influence via supplication. People have to overcome both biases to accept climate change. And there are plenty of people who can hold both biases - the randomness of weather lets them accept basic meteorological predictions and still find their prayers "rewarded" on an occasional basis.

So it's good, but I'm not quite ready yet to say I'm convinced. People don't seem to be that resistant to dropping supernatural explanations of weather (e.g. lightning) for scientific ones. Why does that willingness to end supernatural control stop when it involves human control? OTOH, the religious resistance is undeniable. The Creation Care movement seems to have been stymied so far, when it could have been a groundbreaker. My conspiracy theory I've floated before is that climate denialists sought out the marriage with evolution denialists more than the other way around, despite the fact that creationism has even more scientific disrepute, because that was the way to bleed the Creation Care momentum. I think influential people should consider what they can do to get Creation Care moving again, especially among Hispanics.

I'm sure Simon's right that we have to handle religious sensibilities with respect, although I'm not sure it's any more of a problem for climate than in any other area involving religious issues.

More generally, we had a huge blowup over "framing" several years ago. Ironically, the pro-framing bloggers did a bad job of communicating, and their antipathy to New Atheism was a mistake, but the framing concept of using language that appeals to the relevant audience is a no-brainer. They've won on that issue.

Climate snapshots

European Parliament approves a partial fix of its cap-and-trade program, whose allowance price collapsed because industry found it too easy to meet the overall cap goal. The fix, needing approval by member states, "backloads" some of the unneeded allowances to a future time (and hopefully they'll just be eliminated at some point). I criticized the EP for its failure to do this earlier, so they deserve acknowledgment when they fix it.

I'll just note that it's not the worst thing in the world for the Europeans to find they set too-easy goals on carbon. It reminds me a little of a post by Roger Pielke Jr where he claimed the German feed-in tariff on solar was a failure because so many people had installed solar panels that the funding for the program was being overwhelmed. Consider the contrary possibilities:  allocation prices through the roof because reductions were too hard, or no financing problems for solar because it was still too expensive to install.

I provoke a partial disagreement among Same Facts bloggers when two of them say that cap-and-trade has assessment problems that carbon tax doesn't, because a cap requires consideration of the social cost of carbon and mitigation, while a tax only considers the social cost of carbon. My response at the same post:
I’m not sure I’m buying this argument, although I can’t claim to be an expert. It does seem pretty clear that we need to be in the vicinity of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2060 or so. Whether you get there in 2050, 2060, or 2070 might be a function of economic analyses, but that’s a marginal difference. So it might be easier to start with a cap allocation over time than it is to know you have to head in that direction and figure out a tax that takes you there.

The other and better argument IMHO is that allocating rights is how you grease the wheel. It’s not pure, but it gets things done.
A third blogger agreed it's not a technical issue, but argues a tax is still simpler.

More generally, I think scientists and some public policy academics may not accept political problems as being legitimately hard in the same way that scientific and engineering problems are legitimately hard. More about this at a later point, but for now I'll just say that if the politics are so easy to solve, then go make it happen.

Provocative paper arguing for what I'd call a boomerang carbon policy:  we overshoot the 2C target in this century and then use carbon-negative biomass-plus-carbon-sequestration to get back to the target by  2150. (BTW, I realize the economic argument they make somewhat contradicts my point #2 above about cost/benefit analysis.)

I think something like this is the reasonable-best case outcome: we overshoot, and then the wealth and technology of future generations allows carbon-negative solutions that pull us back from disaster. Not exactly a low-risk approach.

Noted with one comment:
The impact of adding such uncertainties would weigh for or against the conclusion that uncertainty should imply moderation.... And this is where I depart most sharply from Williams' conclusions. Uncertainty implies moderation only if the sources of uncertainty, on balance, add more to the risks of action than they do to the risks of inaction.
My comment is this wasn't written about climate change, but could have been pretty easily.

UPDATE:  I can't resist adding this from William:
This is just silly, you need to slap yourself about the face with a wet fish and reconsider.
I might have to try that the next time I get stuck on a problem.

Horse-beating, MSM edition

You all heard it earlier here, but I got in a few licks at the 150-word limit in the San Jose Mercury News:
Obama's climate policy is good for region

Charles Krauthammer's diatribe (Opinion, July 5) against President Obama for confronting climate change is a disingenuous insult to our region, where we face tremendous problems from warming.

Krauthammer misleads on the Pew survey, where 28 percent of respondents made climate change a top priority -- not bad for a problem whose worst effects are yet to come. His cherry-picked information leads to wrong or misleading conclusions.

China and India have both committed to never have the same per-capita emission levels as the United States -- Obama should be applauded for trying to accelerate their commitments on climate.

As a director of the Santa Clara Valley Water District, I'm keenly aware of the millions that we are spending and will spend to adjust to new flooding, new water demand, and reduced water supplies in the Sierra snowpack. What Obama is doing is good for us locally, but I believe that what Krauthammer wrote is anything but good.

Brian A. Schmidt
Director, District 7 Santa Clara Valley Water District

UPDATE:  found this interesting - after the 2004 election, Bush pushed Social Security "reform" like nobody's business, despite the public disinterest and his failure to make it a priority. Krauthammer had no problem with that presidential decision, talking about it incessantly as example of leadership.

Other shoe dropping after the Egyptian coup

Bringing a group with a marginal commitment to democracy into democratic politics has its risks but also a benefit - the group starts accepting democratic norms at some level, and eventually learns the art of compromise.

So now we see what happens when the same groups feel taken for fools:

But at the same time, Sheik Abu Sidra said, Mr. Morsi’s overthrow had made it far more difficult for him to persuade Benghazi’s Islamist militias to put down their weapons and trust in democracy.

“Do you think I can sell that to the people anymore?” he asked. “I have been saying all along, ‘If you want to build Shariah law, come to elections.’ Now they will just say, ‘Look at Egypt,’ and you don’t need to say anything else.”

From Benghazi to Abu Dhabi, Islamists are drawing lessons from Mr. Morsi’s ouster that could shape political Islam for a generation. For some, it demonstrated the futility of democracy in a world dominated by Western powers and their client states. But others, acknowledging that the takeover accompanied a broad popular backlash, also faulted the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood for reaching too fast for so many levers of power.... 
“The message will resonate throughout the Muslim world loud and clear: democracy is not for Muslims,” Essam el-Haddad, Mr. Morsi’s foreign policy adviser, warned on his official Web site shortly before the military detained him and cut off all his communication. The overthrow of an elected Islamist government in Egypt, the symbolic heart of the Arab world, Mr. Haddad wrote, would fuel more violent terrorism than the Western wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. 
And he took aim at Western critics of the Islamists. “The silence of all of those voices with an impending military coup is hypocritical,” Mr. Haddad wrote, “and that hypocrisy will not be lost on a large swath of Egyptians, Arabs and Muslims...." 
In the United Arab Emirates...Islamists said the crackdowns were driving a deeper wedge into their movement. 
“The practices that we see today will split the Islamists in half,” said Saeed Nasar Alteneji, a former head of the Emirates group, the Islah association. “There are those who always call for centrism and moderation and peaceful political participation,” he said. “The other group condemns democracy and sees today that the West and others will never accept the ballot box if it brings Islamists to power.”

“And they have lots of evidence of this,” he said, now citing Egypt as well as Algeria.

(Emphasis added.)

Of course there's always another hand, and just as Allende rashly governed as if he had won a broad victory instead of 36% of the vote in a not-very-democratic democracy, Morsi went and alienated potential partners in a divided country. In all the discussion I've seen, people acknowledge that democracy isn't just about elections but haven't expressly referred to the right to revolution, something that's been part of the traditional democratic theory for centuries. You could argue that's what happened, although a military coup in support of popular protests doesn't quite fit the archetype.

Regardless though of whether the protesters had the right to do what they and the military did, is whether Egypt and the Arab world is better off for it. I don't think Morsi was completely beyond compromising. A Muslim Brotherhood government maintained a peace treaty with Israel - I'd like to see the analyst, especially in the pro-Likud faction in the US, who predicted that. If the popular protests were truly popular, then barring real movement from Morsi, we would've seen the results in the next elections, but his opponents weren't willing to wait.

Morsi wasn't smart enough to offer snap elections. Had he been smart enough, maybe he also wouldn't have made the other mistakes that brought him to this point. One advantage a long-standing democracy has over a new one is that people like him have usually gone through a lower office election or two and make their career-ending mistakes earlier on. The trick is to get to a stable democracy though, and overthrowing a government every time its leader is stupid will not get you there. Hopefully they'll do better the next time.

As for what the US should do, I'm not sure. If Egypt gets elections soon, then we might as well just find a way to contort around the prohibition of military aid after a coup. Otherwise, start cutting the military off.

Picking up after Krauthammer's Fourth of July litter

Not sure if he merits it, but a point-bypoint reaction to his Fourth of July leftovers:
WASHINGTON -- The economy stagnates. Syria burns. Scandals lap at his feet. China and Russia mock him, even as a "29-year-old hacker" revealed his nation's spy secrets to the world. How does President Obama respond? With a grandiloquent speech on climate change.
Krauthammer is unaware that the Administration is in the process of dealing with those other issues. Perhaps he should read a newspaper to find out what's happening with them. Also, a "WASHINGTON" dateline? Is he pretending to be a journalist writing news?
Climate change? It lies at the very bottom of a list of Americans' concerns (last of 21 -- Pew poll). Which means that Obama's declaration of unilateral American war on global warming, whatever the cost -- and it will be heavy -- is either highly visionary or hopelessly solipsistic. You decide:
So Pew didn't give a long list and ask the public to rank in priority - instead people were asked which is their top priority, and 28% said climate change, which was smaller than the other priorities. Nothing in the polling suggests the public generally considers it unimportant. Is Krauthammer a liar or a poor reader? You decide.
Global temperatures have been flat for 16 years -- a curious time to unveil a grand, hugely costly, socially disruptive anti-warming program.
Sadly, no. Temperatures have gone up, not necessarily as fast as anticipated, but they've gone up.
Now, this inconvenient finding is not dispositive. It doesn't mean there is no global warming. But it is something that the very complex global warming models that Obama naively claims represent settled science have trouble explaining. It therefore highlights the president's presumption in dismissing skeptics as flat-earth know-nothings. 
On the contrary. It's flat-earthers like Obama who refuse to acknowledge the problematic nature of contradictory data. It's flat-earthers like Obama who cite a recent Alaskan heat wave -- a freak event in one place at one time -- as presumptive evidence of planetary climate change. It's flat-earthers like Obama who cite perennial phenomenon such as droughts as cosmic retribution for environmental sinfulness.
I'd agree that specific events aren't nearly as dispositive as long-term records, but the long-term record leaves no doubt. And record extremes as part of long term records are revealing in that we have far more record warm events than record cold events. The climate dice are rolling more 11s and 12s and an occasional 13. Obama's right to talk about climate weirding.
For the sake of argument, let's concede that global warming is precisely what Obama thinks it is. Then answer this: What in God's name is his massive new regulatory and spending program -- which begins with a war on coal and ends with billions in more subsidies for new Solyndras -- going to do about it?
First, we don't know what the program will cost and can adjust if we collectively decide it costs too much. Krauthammer would rather not even figure out costs versus benefits. Regardless, given how many thousands of people are killed on annual basis from coal pollution, I'm not sure the cost will be net negative, even if you ignore climate change.
The U.S. has already radically cut CO2 emissions -- more than any country since 2006, according to the International Energy Agency. Emissions today are back down to 1992 levels.
There's a scene in the original book version of True Grit where Rooster Cogburn says that if he ever meets a Texan who doesn't claim to have drunk water from a horse track in the drying mud, he'll shake the man's hand and give him a cigar. I think I'll do the same thing for a climate denialist who doesn't cherrypick the time periods he looks at. Yes, we've recently improved upon our terrible emission record, but it still remains one of the worst in the world on a per-capita basis.
And yet, global emissions have gone up. That's because -- surprise! -- we don't control the energy use of the other 96 percent of humankind.
He says more than he intended. We're four percent of humankind producing about 16% of global emissions. The criticism that we can make of China and India is that they cannot allow themselves to develop in the same manner we developed, and that's a criticism we should only make with some humility. They need to do more, and they're doing more, but we have do more still.
At the heart of Obama's program are EPA regulations that will make it impossible to open any new coal plant and will systematically shut down existing plants
No, new coal plants can open if they can really be the clean coal they talk about, sequestering their carbon they produce to the extent it's more than comes from natural gas. If coal can't compete on that basis, then that's the free market for you. As for a systematic shut down, I don't know what he means because he doesn't either - we don't have a proposal yet. I think a realistic positive hope is that the initiative will accelerate somewhat an already-existing trend of coal plants shutting down, and that's a good thing.
"Politically, the White House is hesitant to say they're having a war on coal," explained one of Obama's climate advisers. "On the other hand, a war on coal is exactly what's needed."
First, assuming the quote is accurate, Schrag was speaking for himself and not Obama. More generally, part of the confusion here might spring from the more recent concept of war. Prior to neoconservatives like Krauthammer getting in charge during the Bush Administration, people thought the idea of wars was to make them as short as possible, not the open-ended thing the neocons like to have other people fight. Even I, even Al Gore, don't want to shut down all coal use in the US in less than a decade, and realistically it's going to take longer than that. A "negotiated medium-term end to non-sequestered coal in the US and other developed countries, with the rest of the world soon to follow" is a much fairer description of the actual goal.

Also worth noting that coal plants can be repurposed to use biomass, so some of the jobs could still be there and many likely will be in the negotiated solution.
Net effect: tens of thousands of jobs killed, entire states impoverished. This at a time of chronically and crushingly high unemployment, slow growth, jittery markets and economic uncertainty.
More made up facts with nothing to back it.
But that's not the worst of it. This massive self-sacrifice might be worthwhile if it did actually stop global warming and save the planet. What makes the whole idea nuts is that it won't.

The have-nots are rapidly industrializing. As we speak, China and India together are opening one new coal plant every week. We can kill U.S. coal and devastate coal country all we want, but the industrializing Third World will more than make up for it. The net effect of the Obama plan will simply be dismantling the U.S. coal industry for shipping abroad.
To think we will get these countries to cooperate is sheer fantasy. We've been negotiating climate treaties for 20 years and gotten exactly nowhere. China, India and the other rising and modernizing countries point out that the West had a 150-year industrial head start that made it rich. They are still poor. And now, just as they are beginning to get rich, we're telling them to stop dead in their tracks? 
Fat chance.
Covered this, we need to do a lot more and use that as leverage with developing countries. A carbon import tariff is a standard feature in the carbon control legislation that conservatives like Krauthammer keep trying to destroy. Similarly the complaint that international treaties haven't worked well is rich, coming from people who did their best to weaken and destroy the Kyoto Accord. China, by the way, is working on a cap-and-trade system, so they're way ahead of him.
I'm not against a global pact to reduce CO2 emissions. Indeed, I favor it. But in the absence of one -- and there is no chance of getting one in the foreseeable future -- there is no point in America committing economic suicide to no effect on climate change, the reversing of which, after all, is the alleged point of the exercise.
Again, they're working on it, and worth noting that most of the other developed countries are also working on their own emissions while do-nothing types within their countries each whine about their own country not emitting enough to make a difference.

And America will not commit economic suicide on this issue, because Americans won't allow it to happen. Climate action will have to have a reasonable economic cost or it won't move forward.
For a president to propose this with such aggressive certainty is incomprehensible. It is the starkest of examples of belief that is impervious to evidence. And the word for that is faith, not science.
The certainty about climate change is the essence of science. As for what exactly will be done, it's Krauthammer who has faith that we shouldn't even work on a solution.

More environmental "just as" can win the climate fight

(I wonder if bad puns will be enough to get Eli to kick me off the blog.)

My well-ordered response to Obama's speech and plan keeps getting delayed, so some random thoughts instead:

The reference to regulating existing power plants is comprehensive, not just about coal plants. This might seem unimportant but I think it fits well with NRDC's proposal for state level emission regulations for existing coal and gas plants. I've referenced it before, and the more I read it, the better I think it does in providing a price for carbon without expressly crossing the line of providing a price for carbon. To summarize, it sets a different emission limit for power plants for each state, with the limit always stricter than what coal can do. The limit is less strict if a state has lots of coal and fewer gas plants, but in such a state there will be many more coal plants that have to take action. Coal plants can't physically meet the limit, but they can make trades like subsidizing energy conservation and renewables, and those trades will set up de facto prices for carbon. As always, RTFP.

The devilish detail is how strict your emission limits will be. Likely it will ratchet over time, so more reason to keep electing non-Republicans to the White House, at least until a Republican accepts science.

For those who think the lack of the detail makes the plan completely meaningless, investors in coal disagreed in the two week run-up to his speech (which I think is a good time frame, the rumors of what Obama was doing were out for several weeks).

EDF had a good podcast discussing Obama's plan, worth your time as always. They gave a nod to their friendly competition at NRDC, more evidence that NRDC's proposal has oomph. They also pass on a rumor that the Keystone decision will be further delayed, which is good. Delays are good when you're fighting defense, because your goal is to not lose.

Eli's already pointed to Ray's excellent Slate article. My one disagreement with Ray is about controlling non-CO2 gases. Ray says they're short-lived and so can be controlled at a future point, and action on them now distracts from the need to cut long-lived CO2. I think that cutting them now means we don't need to use political capital to cut them in the future. More importantly, I think that success builds on success. When we can say "just as we controlled ozone-depleting chemicals, just as we limited HFCs, just as we slashed methane, so we will do the same on CO2", then we're in much better position. This is especially true on international action, where denialists are depending on futility arguments. Ray says he's got a more definitive argument coming up though, so we'll see.