eBook Business: iPad, Kindle, Nook, etc.

Traditional publishing is screwy. Book makers set a cover price, say $25. They sell that book at half that to bookstores; which nets publishers $12.50.

Publishers give authors about 15 percent royalty on the cover price, which is $3.75. This leaves the publisher $8.75. From that, all bills must be paid: salaries, lights, printing, shipping, warehousing, marketing.

There is a twist: booksellers are allowed to return unsold merchandise for a refund! Depends on the book, but returns average about 50% or more. Paperbacks are not even physically returned; the cost of shipping not making it worth reselling them.

This means the publisher has to eek a profit out of about $4.38 per book. Most reports say profit is about a buck a book.

That’s “on average” which, regular readers will know, is always a dangerous way of presenting statistics. Much can be hidden in a single-number.

For example, bestsellers won’t be, by definition, returned (the discounting booksellers apply to blockbusters affects publishers only indirectly). Plus, backlists—classics that remain in copyright—are also unreturned.

This means publishers make their money on backlists and bestsellers—however, big-name authors are freer to negotiate bigger royalties. Publishers lose money on many other books.

Electronic books save money three ways: no printing, no shipping, and no returns. Eliminating the first two saves only about two bucks a book. Eliminating returns saves about four bucks—but only for those titles that would be returned.

No money is saved on returns for blockbusters or the backlist. That means we should not expect e-books price points to be much less than the regular price. Say, about $3 to $5 less, which would put hardbacks at $20 to $22.

That’s my calculation: but publishers calculate a $13 e-book cover price. Even if the only e-books are bestsellers and backlist—so that publishers realize the full benefit of no returns—the cover price would only come down to about $18.50.

That must mean that publishers are willing to take a hit on e-books so that they will sell. But: they also do not spend much additional money on marketing, salaries, and so forth, because nearly all e-books are also real books.

That savings—temporarily in place as long as there are real books for each e-book; and because e-books represent only 4% of sales—does make the $13 price point reasonable.

Amazon sells—I should say licenses—them for about $10 for the Kindle reader. Obviously, they do so at a loss. According to the New Yorker, this angers publishers, who are afraid “consumers” (people) will grow used to the $10 price point.

Jeff Bezos doesn’t care. What he would like is to work directly with authors who self-publish. Those authors would (probably) receive a larger royalty, Amazon would see larger margins, publishers would see nothing. (This can work, but then authors lose out on such services as copy-editing: right, readers?)

Now, in almost every review of e-readers, writers whined about “lack of color” on the readers’ screens. There was moderate glee when Barnes and Noble brought out their Nook because it showed thumbnail covers in glorious full color! The text was still black and white.

Everybody also complained about the “lack of a browser.” Sure, the Kindle could display a book—in the sun, in the dark—just as it would appear on paper, but readers couldn’t check Facebook with it!

Enter Steve Jobs and his iPad, who gave reviewers what they wanted: color and a browser. Appearance drove its design: page turns are like a video games. But readability suffers: it has a standard glare-prone, eye-straining screen.

Jobs entered the business of selling books to people who don’t read. The New Yorker quotes: “It doesn’t matter how good or bad the [e-reader] is, the fact is that people don’t read anymore,” Jobs said. “Forty per cent of the people in the U.S. read one book or less last year.”

Apple will, through its already well-established channels, sell—license—e-books for $15. Which is, as my calculator shows, $5 more than Amazon charges. Jobs is counting on impulse buys.

Publishers are delighted. They also (nowadays) don’t care whether anybody reads their books. They want the money.

Given the religious fervor which Apple is able to generate, their e-book model may beat Amazon’s. But that might create a negative feedback where publishers fashion titles that are designed not to be read.

Books with “interactivity” will soon be found. These will be marketed as “educational.” Look for more books-of-the-moment “written” by celebrities, politicians, and other transients.

Also look for a decline in the number of mid-list books: those which usually fail. But they don’t always. The ones that succeed create new bestselling authors, or became entries in the backlist.

In other words, by focusing on the quick profit, publishers could be shooting themselves in the foot.

Update I wrote before I read this quote (one prediction is already coming true):

To thrive, [Grandinetti] believes, publishers have to reimagine the book as multimedia entertainment. David Rosenthal, the publisher of Simon & Schuster, says that his company is racing “to embed audio and video and other value-added features in e-books. It could be an author discussing his book, or a clip from a movie that touches on the book’s topic.” The other major publishers are working on similar projects, experimenting with music, video from news clips, and animation.

Update Thursday morning. Boy, if you want to increase your spam by over 100%, just write a post with the word “iPad” in it. Dozens of link spam overnight.


  1. So literature is morphing into entertainment? How bizarre. Instead of “Pulitzer’s”, authors will be striving for a derivative of the “Emmy’s”. Shazam!

  2. I have a few quibbles with you on your math (I know, an engineer arguing math with a statistician).

    1) Book sellers get a large portion of sales (say 50%) because they have to house the actual book, sell it, pay employees, building leasing, etc. If a book seller becomes instead Apple’s or Amazon’s store, they still have some of those costs but become a virtual storefront for the publisher. No shelf space, warehouse space, etc. required. Yes, there are still costs but they are much lower and spread among many more products (including non-books). Given that change, e-book sellers should be able to take a much lower cut (say 10-20%?). This alone would save more than the $3-5 you suggest.

    2) You didn’t seem to remove warehouse space. If that’s even 5-10% of the cost, there’s more overhead that can be cut.

    3) Publishers only lose so much money on “other books” because they have to pay for printing, shipping etc. Without those costs, the cost of producing a book becomes very low and they’d end up making money (even if only a little) after a relative few copies sold. So this deficit needn’t be so large in an e-book model.

    4) Book sellers only have so much shelf space. So a large number of books that do fail to sell well are replaced by other books, destroying forever the chances of that book selling. E-books aren’t limited in this fashion either. Books that don’t sell well in their first year of release may still sell well the next year or the next, while their paper companions may be filling a landfill somewhere, covers torn off to indicate an unsold book. If new authors are only published in e-book format, that will greatly reduce the risk to publishers of a book failure.

    5) The Backlist. Right now, due to shelf space constraints, there are a number of books that were very successful in their times that are still in copyright, that publishers could publish if they really wanted to, that booksellers won’t put on shelves because that would displace other books. If publishers brought those backlist books to the e-book market, that would open a reservoir of potential revenue at little cost to them.

    I’m sure there are other points I could make, like how their offices don’t have to be in New York in the first place, but rather they could move to cheaper real estate, to cut their overhead costs. There’s also something about the ratio of agents and editors (that want get paid too!) compared to actual authors. The main point is there are a number of things that reduce the cost of a book further than you indicated and other things publishers could do to decrease their operating costs and increase their revenues.

    One blog I follow suggests that books for $9.99 is actually a very high price for e-books and publishers could still be making nice money on a $5-7 price point. I don’t know for sure, but there are a number of considerations that could improve the price point without bankrupting publishers.

  3. bob

    ” These will be marketed as “educational.” Look for more books-of-the-moment “written” by celebrities, politicians, and other transients. ”

    Good one! Now, if we can just speed up the transient property of politicians.

    I don’t have any direct experience with the Kindle, but I buy some of my books in the Kindle format. The reason is that I can read those books using my iPhone or PC using the free Kindle app. The reason for this is portability.

    The iPad looks like a pain to drag around. If I want to do PC stuff, I take my laptop. Anything else is handled nicely by the iPhone.

    Good post.

  4. Speed

    Ever wonder why books don’t have ads? Do ads make sense for e-books?

  5. Ads absolutely make sense for e-books. Particularly for e-readers that are perpetually internet enabled like iphones. That’s another place where revenue could come for publishers and e-reader makers alike (hopefully the authors would get some of that too).

    However, I would hope some books would opt-out of an ad support plan. It can become too distracting to have ads put in your face while trying to read a textbook or involving novel. Still, it’s a good option.

  6. Hilfy

    (heavy sigh)
    I read for enjoyment every day. If they make it so I now must “watch” my books instead of reading them, I guess I’ll stop buying books. If I want to “watch” a book, I’ll go to a movie.

    Already I have a marked preference for paper books because they can’t rescind my purchase or suddenly change the text. I worry about the fact that electronic copies of anything can be tampered with so easily and without trace. How are we supposed to know that the electronic copy we have is a true copy?

  7. Hilfy,

    I prefer paper myself and agree that books are to be read, not watched. I would be absolutely in favor though of a book that I download to whatever device and that file is mine, to do with as I please (within the law).

    I would never support DRM (digital rights management) locked down e-books or a paradigm where a third party (store, publisher, government, anyone) could do change my book or take it away for any reason, even if I’m compensated for it. That’s just not the deal we want with books. We want to buy a copy, have it be ours, then when we’re done with it give it to a friend, lend it out or sell it.

    Copyright questions make some of that seem unlikely, but that’s just another reason why the price of an e-book needs to be lower. If we can only read it on one device, it has to cost little enough that we can afford to buy 3-4 copies over the life or our interest in the book.

  8. About the embedding audio-video: We saw all of this in the early 90’s with what it was called then – ‘multimedia’. How many here bought ‘multimedia’ titles? How long did you use them?

  9. john

    The cost of the paper, cover, sleeve and binding are not trivial.

    Shipping – even at business ‘media mail’ bulk rates, the USPS charges upward up $15 per 35lb box.

    Retailer – without having to hold inventory or staff thousands of cashiers to sell e-books it is wrong to assume a 100% price mark-up (50% commission of the purchase price) from the retailer. Amazon only takes a 20-30% commission for ebook sales.

    Also, publishers clearly make money off the 7.99 mass market paperbacks, or they wouldn’t sell them.

  10. JH

    Watch a book? Like an animated cartoon book? I see a potential in attracting young children to reading, if we call that reading. Anyway, public library is still the best bang for my earned buck.

  11. JH

    Dear Santa,

    I hope you are reading this post. I’d love to receive an e-reader as a gift for Christmas. I have been really good so far this year with only a few exceptions.

    Please let me know via email what your favorite cookie is.


  12. michel

    Publisher sells for 12.50, but seems to give refunds on 50% of sales, so this should be net revenue after chargebacks of 6.25?

    Then he pays on this 15 percent author? on net sales at retail? 1.875? = 4.38, on which net profit is 1.00.

    Look at this as publisher, you see that you can double your sales right away (and way more than double your net proft) by selling electronically – no chargebacks. Then you can double again by selling at retail yourself. The marketing and editorial costs stay the same. the manufacturing costs fall and so do the distribution costs.

    So its a no brainer. You set up an ebook division, when a title comes in, you ask whether it should be sold ebook only. If so, then you can sell it at around 5.00 and still make the same amount of money.

    But you cannot. The reason being that neither your authors nor your existing distributors will let you. For now. So what you do is keep that in mind as the future model, while selling both editions for now. To placate the channel, you keep prices comparable.

    But, as the model changes, surely the real effect will be in the end to drop book prices to close to one fifth, maybe less, of where they are now?

  13. Rich

    I like books. You can still read the Codex Sinaiticus in the British Museum. Try reading a book on your e-book reader in 1600 years time. I bet the battery will have run down.

  14. VXBush

    We use pop-up books with small children to entice them to read. Why not have interactive ebooks?

    An example here:


    And this isn’t truly interactive; it’s just choosing some elements to respond to the position of the iPad, like gravity. I’m sure other books will be far more interactive to entice the child. The concept is the same–engage the child.

    My interest in the iPad is in the area of augmentative communication using products like Proloquo2Go, which provides communication tools for those who cannot speak. They have an iPhone app that they are now also providing on the iPad, and it looks very good–and much cheaper than the augmentative communication tools that have been available for the last ten years.

  15. Hilfy

    Bobman, remember when they removed legally purchased electronic copies of 1984 (of all texts to choose! So ironic.) from e-readers? That was the event that set my attitude towards having one. For me to finally want one, I would have to be able to store the book file somewhere where they could not get at it.

    I also remember when they used to put an advertisement page in the center of mass market paperbacks. It was usually made of paper nearer to cardboard and made it really hard to read the book. Removing that damned thing usually broke the spine!

    I prefer small paperbacks because hardbacks hurt when I drop them on my face when I fall asleep reading at night in bed. Falling asleep with a book in my hands amuses my husband to no end.

  16. Great post. A few comments:

    1. Rich media books – They have potential, but they will also backfire for many publishers, because they add cost to book production. For example, rich media add-ons to college textbooks have backfired (publishers added all this garbage to textbooks to justifify the high costs, yet ironically, the added costs of the garbage only make textbooks more unaffordable and therefore less desireable to students).

    1a. Rich media books – Most trade books read and purchased are fiction. Fiction happens inside the reader’s mind, where colors, smells and sounds are more vibrant in well-written fiction that in multimedia video.

    2. Wholesale pricing vs. Agency pricing – Darwin (and customers and ebook retailers) will win this battle, not publishers. Publishers excited to set their own selling prices in the agency model will soon face the Darwinian forces of consumer behavior: If the price is set too high, the consumer will purchase a lower priced (often wholesale-modeled) book. That’s right, consumers set prices in the long term.

    3. “From that, all bills must be paid” – there are other expenses missing from your calculation, such as the cost of Manhattan sky rises, or mounting debt service costs, and book acquisition costs like advances (for a large percentage of books, authors never earn out their entire advance, which often means the publisher over paid). These costs must come down.

    4. Rise of the indie author – Traditional publishers publish books for reasons that often diverge from the reasons writers write. Publishers, while employing well-meaning and talented individuals who truly love books, in the end publish not for the love of books but to perpetuate their publishing businesses. Nothing wrong with that, though it means their publishing value judgments are made through the lens of commercial potential. They must view publishing through this lens to stay in business. Writers write for different reasons. Witness the rise of indie publishing (aka self publishing), where authors publish on their own terms at their own price. At Smashwords (my company), we publish over 10,000 original indie ebooks, direct from author and small indie publishers. The author sets the price of their book, and their prices, on average (and on median) are in the $5.00-$6.00 range. About 12% of our books are free because the author wants it that way. Totally foreign to traditional publishers. Indie authors are selling their ebooks for lower prices at Smashwords or Amazon and earning more per unit than they would through a traditional publisher. Let’s look at the example of a mass market paperback. At $8.00, and with a 5% royalty on list to the author, the author earns about 40 cents. That same book as an ebook at Smashwords earns the author $6.35. Or, that same book sold in the Apple iBookstore (Smashwords books are distributed to the iPad’s iBookstore) earns the author $4.80. At bn.com (we distribute there too), the ebook author earns $3.40. Indie authors have the power to price for less yet still earn more than they would from a trad. publisher.

    4a. The democratization of distribution – In the paper world, if an author wants to reach the most readers, they need to sell through brick and mortar, and the only way to get on the front shelf at B&N is to find a good publisher with the clout to put you there. Score one for big publishers. Yet in the ebook world, the indie author has the same access to distribution as the big publisher. As ebooks rise as a percentage of overall book sales, the value of print distribution diminishes. The latest data from AAP/IDPF from Jan/Feb 2010 indicates ebooks now represent 7% of the overall book market here in the US, up from 1/2 of 1% just a couple years ago. Those numbers actually understate what’s really happening.

  17. Briggs


    I understand your point of view; indeed, it has some merits.

    But “interacting” is not reading. Watching moving images, hearing sounds is not reading. Sitting and staring at words on a page or screen, parsing those words, and, most importantly, thinking about those words is reading. “Pop-ups” are toys, not books.

    Books are long, ponderous objects that cannot be consumed in a set period of time. They are this way, obviously, because the material they contain is difficult and complex.

    A good metaphor is movies about books. Think of any book you know that was turned into a movie, and you will know instantly that the movie—no matter the production budget—can’t capture a fraction of the complexity of the book.

    Well, much more needs to be said. Stand by.

  18. VXBush


    I do not disagree with you in general. I think many books cannot be improved by putting them on an iPad or other e-reader, because they were never intended to “ingested” (for lack of a better term) except by reading on a static page. To be pondered, as you state.

    However for me, and considering my needs, there are some benefits:

    1. It’s much harder for me to lose a book on an ereader. I can still lose the ereader, true, but I’m less likely to just let it set beside me on the bus, considering the expense.

    2. I can carry as many books as can fit on to my e-reader without additional strain on my shoulder. I often read several books simultaneously.

    3. Not all editions of a book are equal. Google Books has a wonderful edition of The Three Musketeers which includes a letter from Dumas’ son and beautiful etchings. I would never have gotten to enjoy such wonderful additions to the book if I had just grabbed the copy at my local library.

    Not everyone will agree with me, and that’s fine. I’m not saying the readers are replacements for books. But they make a nice companion at times.

  19. john

    Just to be contrary for the sake of being contrary:

    The movie “Where the wild things are”, although not a wonderful movie, is much more complex and involved than the book.

    I guess you could argue the book ‘does more with less’, but I think I’d argue most people’s perception of the book is that of a fond childhood memory and it really fails to live up to the expectation upon a more recent reading.

  20. j ferguson

    A while back, Briggs asked commenters to recommend books for a desert island. Dearieme recommended, among others, a book by James Hogg which I was able to obtain free from Gutenberg.org as an Ebook. With Calibre, (Ebook managment software) I was able to convert its format to the format that my Kindle uses.

    Next was Thomas Maccaulay’s “History of England from the Accession of James II” again, free from gutenberg – and a very great book it is – or set of books if you bought it in paper.

    I read above that the “backlist” is where the publishers make money. If a lot of people do what I do, the value of the backlist will diminish.

    I doubt that I will live long enough to exhaust my backlog of books recommended by people I respect. And most of this backlog is free.

    BTW, thank you Dearieme, you were right about Hogg.

    If I were a publisher, I would be very worried about how to sell something that is available free.

  21. j ferguson

    One other thing. Although Kindle has full-time wireless connection, it can be turned off. Ebooks can be loaded perfectly well from a computer via the USB cable that the kindle is supplied with.

    I believe, but am not positive, that books purchased from Amazon can be downloaded to your computer and then moved (not copied) to your kindle.

    I this actually is the case, then there is no way for Amazon to repossess one of your books so long as you never turn on the wireless function.

    Additionally, leaving the wireless off lets the battery charge last much longer.

    As an aside, for anyone thinking of getting one of these things, It’s made it possible for me to read books I’ve always wanted to without huge expense.

    It is not hard on my eyes. The computer is, but not the Kindle. I suspect that the I*P*A*D will be useless for serious readers due to eyestrain.

  22. Hilfy

    john, although your attempt at contrariness is a worthy cause, the book Where the Wild Things Are had only about 37 sentences in it. That’s kinda scant even for making a movie. Of course movies have been made on much less than that. Considering what I’ve seen so far with printed word set to visual media, the novelette is just about the right size for movies. True novels contain way too much, but can be done fair justice with a mini-series.

    j ferguson, they can and did repossess 1984. The application that moves files to your kindle, wireless connection or not is capable of such if given the order during the download process. Since you only are allowed 1 copy of the file in a place where they can reach it, you are at their mercy if they decide you should not have that file anymore.

  23. j ferguson

    if you get your books via gutenberg and your pc and thence to the kindle via usb and never turn on the kindle wireless nor use their pc kindle connection, there is no way for them to repossess anything.
    Yes, I know about the 1984 fiasco. I never use the wireless interface. Never.

    Otherwise, it’s a good reader. I really like iit

  24. j ferguson

    Another interesting feature of Ereaders is changeable type size. At first, bigger seems better, but then the amount of test per page decreases. I’ve found some variation form authot to author – maybe tied to length of their sentence or how they develop their thoughts, but there can be too little text on an individual page to read some of these guys comfortably, or even too much.

    It must be a function of a rhythm in their writing.

  25. Hilfy

    j ferguson,

    You forgot one little detail about Project Gutenberg – the works they supply are in the public domain. http://www.gutenberg.org/wiki/Main_Page

    Public domain items are not likely to be recalled, but I’ll bet that if one of your items suddenly regained its copyright that they would repossess it. Of course for some popular things, they just keep renewing the copyright. Disney comes to mind, it was scheduled to go into public domain due to the age of the ideas, but that did not happen.

    They would be able to do this because whatever is stopping you from copying to your Kindle would also be able to remove any files that they wanted to remove, wireless or no wireless.

  26. j ferguson

    You have very little comprehension of what I’ve tried to say. The kindle can be loaded with books entirely without any use of A,mazon’s website, Kindle anything, or even connection of the kindle to the net. I use Calibre for all of this. Not an Amazon product.

    You are imagining an electronic link between my kindle and amazon that doesn’t exist unless I connect it.

    Do you actually think there will ever be another ebook repossession after the fuss about 1984?

  27. Briggs

    j ferguson,

    Now, now. Hilfy is just offering some relevant thoughts. No need to snap.

    I do think that there will almost certainly be other incidents like 1984. Probably first with magazines and newspapers, but also with books. Most especially in parts foreign. Think of the UK: I can easily envision remote bowdlerization after somebody sues for libel.

  28. j ferguson

    To paraphrase Gru, the Wanderer, “I am not afraid to live in fear.”

    Sorry I snapped.

  29. j ferguson

    Hilfi anjd Briggs,

    Of course you guys are right that books downloaded can be removed via an attachment to the next book you download or the invocation of a “virus” attached to an earlier download. And this could be done on a Mac, a PC, or a wireless Ebook reader – the last would be the easiest since there would be no sniffers to evade.

    on the remote bowdlerization, wouldn’t you suppose that the “publication” would earn the tort and subsequent removals might only mitigate the offense.

    I worry about the accessibility of our interests as expressed in the blogs we frequent, our comments, our downloads of this and that etc.

    The recent invention of the term “person of interest” worries the hell out of me. We know who is interested and some of us, particularly those of us who have been “persons of interest” at some point in the past are well aware of how suddenly what we thought to be assumptions of innocence and so forth evaporate.

    If you have time and haven’t already read him, I cannot recommend Maccaulay too highly. The 17th century in England was a time of great concern about the establishment of standing armies and the consequent increase in difficulty for popular uprisings to dissuade outbreaks of tyranny. I think, in the US, this horse was dogfood long ago, but now, our ability to share our thoughts widely has never been better.

    Do you guys really believe that the stuff we toss around here, or download would ever be messed with from “on high?”

    I don’t.

  30. Hilfy

    j ferguson, apology accepted.

    Mostly I’m terrified and disgusted because cautionary science fiction that I read as a child is coming true today. Apply the concepts of Jack Williamson’s “With Folded Hands” to political correctness and the formation of a nanny state and you will get the idea of what scares the bejesus out of me. In that story, he blames technology, but in our world, technology’s only the tool, the impetus is activists who are heeded by our (US) government. These people used to be dismissed as nut cases, now they get legislation passed without strong scientific evidence. How many times have our liberties been abused “for the children” or “for our own good”? Remove these liberties and this country will be a horrible place to be a human being. Great place probably to be a sheep, though. I never was good at following the herd, ergo my feelings about it.

    As far as what we express in email and on the internet, I hope you don’t have the illusion that we own that material or have any ounce of privacy with it. There is no real privacy on the internet. Currently the internet is a great place to find many viewpoints, facts, quasi-facts and outright lies. This is of course causing problems for the people who would like to control the information to which the general public has access. It will be a dark day when they start shutting down blogs that provide alternate news services.

    Yes, I believe manipulation from “on high” is a real danger in our current society. We already have examples not only with revisionist history, but also in popular media such as movies (Star Wars comes to mind). Comments made by drops in the bucket like us are probably fairly safe. But if you somehow had 15 minutes of fame these things would not only come back to haunt you but would also be twisted to someone’s needs.

    With respect to Calibre, if you were on the team that wrote the software, I will accept your assessment that it would not be possible for any of your book files to be changed or taken from you. But then this would only be temporary because people who are much smarter than I am make inroads with programming daily and you never know when someone will find a way. Do I think the 1984 problem will happen again, you betcha.

  31. j ferguson

    It’s interesting that you mention sheep. I’ve been wrestling with the “tyranny of the sheep.”

    A lot of the folks I know who are on the the CAGW bandwagon or at least following closely behind seem sheep-like – accept the whole thing, no questions asked. But sheep need wolves to make it happen – and not sheep in wolves’ clothing, either.

    My career, construction, has included endless suffering at the hands of the sheep – build something in California to see what I mean.

    But there’s the 80/20 idea. 80% of what happens is the handywork of 20% of the group. And the sheep are almost always in the 80%.

    So my belief is that if the agents of the sheep do something sufficiently obnoxious to arouse the 20 – us for example – the reaction will overturn the outrage.

    And I think the things you are apprehensive about would be a sufficiently obnoxious to launch at the least, a political insurrection.

    Don’t you agree?

  32. Hilfy

    Isn’t that why the American populace is supposed to be armed?

    Straying far off topic, but maybe Briggs won’t mind since it’s civil now :)(pun possibly intended).

    Given that I’m in environmental compliance (no, I’m not an environmentalist), I feel your pain in the construction industry. Right now my group has to perform follow on sampling for even de minimus spill cleanup and produce 50 page reports on the subject. I was here when RCRA and Superfund were made and I have to say that it’s a good idea not to dump hazardous wastes to grade. However, these days the environment is in such better shape that it was that the only “issues” environmental activists can bring up cannot really be supported with true science since they are basically clutching at straws.

    Yes, I have noticed that about the CAGW crowd too. Many of them are very young and I believe they must have stopped teaching critical thinking in schools. It really makes me sad. I was skeptical from the beginning because of a book on dinosaurs and geological history that I read when I was about 7 that detailed the various ice ages/warm periods. That kinda put the lie to their claims of “warmest ever” climate. And then they were using the same data they were using in the ’70s when they were postulating that we were all going to die from an ice age. Yeah, I’m convinced, go on please (sarcasm mode).

    Mostly because I believe in the scientific method, I’m appalled at how it is eschewed by AGW proponents. Phil Jones was allowed to make the excuse that he didn’t want to share his data because skeptical scientists would purposely try to tear it down. This was accepted as a reasonable excuse by Parliament. Where did that man learn science? Repeatability is the hallmark of scientific proof. If your methods and data stand against such rigorous attacks, THERE is your proof! If they do not stand, you shouldn’t have been touting them as true to begin with.

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