Carbon Emissions in the United States fall to levels not seen since 1963

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 14th, 2014

Week in Review

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recently released a new climate report.  And it contained some of the most alarmist language yet used by the IPCC.  So alarmist that an author removed his name from the report.  Not because he disagrees with the underlying science.  But because the “inflammatory and alarmist claims delegitimize the IPCC as a credible and neutral institution.”  And why was the language so alarmist?  Because the fury of global warming was going to rain hellfire down upon us unless we acted immediately to curb our carbon emissions.  For the level of our carbon emissions was growing ever more perilous.  Taking us to the point of no return. Again.  So immediate action was required.  Hence the alarmist nature of the report.

Some of those in the alarmist camp even want to go as far as jailing climate change deniers.  Because it is these people that are allowing the carbon polluters to pollute with abandon.  Because people believe them and their science.  That man isn’t causing global warming.  It’s because of these people that America never signed the Kyoto Protocol.  And because they have not implemented economic strangling carbon reduction policies (such as a carbon tax) the United States is one of the driving forces of manmade global warming.  Because of their carbon emissions.  Of course, the data doesn’t agree with this (see US CO2 Emissions Per Capita Are At Their Lowest Levels In 50 Years by Rob Wile posted 4/14/2014 on Business Insider).

And the following chart from AEI’s Mark Perry shows the U.S. has been making significant gains in carbon dioxide reduction: At about 17 tons per capita, we are at a level not seen in half a century. Perry writes:

CO2 emissions per capita in the US increased slightly last year, but were back to the same level as in 1963 (50 years ago), and 23% below the peak in the early 1970s, thanks to the boom in shale gas, which has displaced coal for electricity generation.

Back to what it was in 1963?  You know what that means?  We are at risk of another ice age.  For on Earth Day in 1970 the climate scientists were warning us to store food to survive the coming ice age.  Which was coming.  For the planet had been cooling for some 20 years.  And if those present trends continued it was death by cold.  Just like they are saying now that if present trends continue it will be death by warm.  Even though there is less carbon in the atmosphere than when they were predicting death by cold.  Which is why there are a lot of climate change deniers.

Then again, perhaps man is causing global warming.  By removing so much carbon from the atmosphere.  For it was cooler when there was more carbon floating around up there.  It would explain why that when a volcano throws up the same stuff a coal-fired power plant does it causes cooling.  While the coal-fired power plant causes warming.  Even though it’s pretty much the same stuff they’re putting into the atmosphere.  Which is another reason why there are so many climate change deniers.  For it appears whether carbon will cause warming or cooling depends on the day that carbon is having.  For it appears carbon has attitude.  And is moody.  Which is the only way it can support such contradicting conclusions.

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Environmental Certification of Oslo Airport won’t prevent any Carbon Emissions from the Planes using it

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 29th, 2014

Week in Review

Some say it’s pointless for the United States to cut back on its carbon emissions.  For whatever we do it won’t change what China and India are doing.  And what are they doing?  They’re building coal-fired power plants like there is no tomorrow.  So it is kind of pointless what we do.  For when it comes to global warming it won’t make a difference what one nation on the globe is doing.  As the massive amounts of carbon emissions produced by China and India will enter the atmosphere surrounding the globe.  Which will affect the United States.  Even if we shrink our carbon footprint to nothing.

In a similar manner it is kind of pointless for an airport to try and minimize its carbon footprint (see Oslo Airport achieves environmental certification by Joacim Vestvik-Lunde posted 3/28/2014 on Sustainable Aviation Newswire).

On Monday, 24 March 2014, Oslo Airport received a certificate showing that it is certified according to the internationally recognised ISO 14001 standard by DNV GL (Det Norske Veritas Germanischer Lloyd)…

Developed by ISO (the International Organization for Standardization), ISO 14001 is an international standard for environmental management based on two concepts: continuous improvement and regulatory compliance…

OSL has been focused on protecting the external environment ever since the airport was on the drawing boards. OSL is working systematically to reduce the environmental impact of its operations and also uses new technology and innovation to improve its performance. These measures include converting stored winter snow into cooling energy in the summer, the recovery of energy from wastewater and a pilot project to study the use of hydrogen as an energy source for vehicles at the airport. OSL has been certified since 2010 at the highest level of Airport Carbon Accreditation, a voluntary scheme to systematically reduce greenhouse gas emissions together with the players at the airport.

If there was any place that should get a pass on their carbon footprint it should be an airport.  Because whatever they do will not offset the carbon emissions of the airplanes landing and taking off from that airport.  And they emit a lot of carbon.  So much that the Europeans wanted to extend their emissions trading scheme (ETS) to include airlines.  Making them pay for the amount of carbon they emit when flying in EU airspace.  Something the Chinese are very opposed to.  As are other non-EU members.  So much so that they delayed the inclusion of air travel into the ETS.

The biggest carbon emitters at any airport are the planes.  Nothing even comes close.  So why spend the money for a costly certification when it won’t make any difference?  For the only way to make a real cut in carbon emissions at an airport is to get rid of the planes.  Of course, if they did that then we wouldn’t need any ISO 14001 compliant airports, would we?  But if we did this it wouldn’t stop China and India from building their coal-fired power plants.  Proving how futile any efforts in combating manmade global warming are.  It’s just money that could have been spent on feeding the hungry.  Housing the homeless.  Treating the sick.  Or a myriad of other social spending that actually helps some people.

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There will be Carbon Emission whether we Power our Cars from Poo or Gasoline

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 2nd, 2014

Week in Review

Hydrogen is very flammable.  It’s why we use helium in our blimps.  Because using hydrogen is just too dangerous.  As the Hindenburg disaster has shown us.

So hydrogen is a pretty dangerous thing to be messing with.  Unlike gasoline.  Which is pretty safe and stable in the liquid form.  You could even put out a cigarette in a puddle of gasoline.  It’s dangerous doing so.  And you shouldn’t try it.  But the most dangerous thing about gasoline is its vapor.  Ignite that and there will be an explosion.  Which is what happens inside our internal combustion engines.  Where our cars first aerosolizes the gasoline, mixes it with air, compresses it and then ignites it.  Of course that explosion is deep within our engines.  Where it can’t harm us.  Still, it isn’t advised to smoke while refueling.  Because there are gas vapors typically where there is gas.  And you don’t want you car exploding like the Hindenburg.

Fuel cells use hydrogen to make electric power.  All you have to do is stop at your hydrogen fueling station and fill up your hydrogen tanks.  Just don’t smoke while doing this.  Because hydrogen in its natural state is an explosive gas.  This danger aside the hydrogen fuel cell is about to give the all-electric car a run for its money.  And last’s night meal may be providing the hydrogen (see POO-power comes to California: Orange County residents to trial SUVs fuelled by human waste by Mark Prigg posted 2/25/2014 on the Daily Mail).

The fuel-cell powered Tucson can drive for 50 miles per kilogram of hydrogen, and its two tanks hold about 5.64 kilograms (12.4 pounds).

Costs of compressed gas in California range from about $5 to $10 per kilogram, depending on the facility, and it takes around three minutes to fill the tank.

Hyundai says it hopes the technology will become popular – and will take on the electric car as the eco-vehicle of choice.

‘Hydrogen-powered fuel cell electric vehicles represent the next generation of zero-emission vehicle technology, so we’re thrilled to be a leader in offering the mass-produced, federally certified Tucson Fuel Cell to retail customers,’ said John Krafcik of Hyundai Motor America.

‘The superior range and fast-fill refueling speed of our Tucson Fuel Cell vehicle contrast with the lower range and slow-charge characteristics of competing battery electric vehicles.

‘We think fuel cell technology will increase the adoption rate of zero-emission vehicles, and we’ll all share the environmental benefits.’

If you crunch the numbers and compare it to a gasoline-powered Ford Taurus the numbers aren’t so good.  A Ford Taurus gets 29 miles per gallon on the highway.  And has an 18 gallon gas tank.  Which means one tank of gas will take you 522 miles on the highway.  At $3 per gallon for gas that one tank of gas will cost you $54.  By comparison the fuel cell gives you only 282 miles on a full tank.  And costs between $28.20 and $56.40 for a full tank.  Dividing cost per mile that comes to somewhere between $0.10 and $0.20 per mile.  While the gasoline-powered Ford Taurus costs about $0.10 per mile.

So at best the fuel cell will have a fuel cost equal to the gasoline-powered engine.  But it only has about 54% the range on a full tank.  Meaning you’ll have to stop about twice as often to fuel up with the fuel cell.  And good luck not blowing yourself up playing with hydrogen at the fuel pump.  That is if you can even find hydrogen fueling stations along your drive.  The only real good thing you can say about a fuel cell when comparing it to a gasoline-powered car is at least it’s not as bad as an all-electric car.  And those zero-emissions?  Sorry, that’s not exactly true.  The hydrogen may be zero-emissions but making the hydrogen isn’t.

First, sewage is separated into water and biosolids.

The waste water is cleaned, filtered and treated for reuse, while solid waste is piped into airless tanks filled with microbes.

A byproduct of their digestion is a gas that’s 60 percent methane and about 40 percent carbon dioxide, which is burned at the plant for power generation.

However, some is filtered and piped into a unique, stationary ‘tri-generation’ fuel-cell device, designed by the Irvine team, that produces electricity, heat and hydrogen.

The hydrogen gas is then piped several hundred feet to the public pump where fuel-cell autos are refueled daily.

Almost half of the source gas is carbon dioxide.  And carbon dioxide has carbon in it.  This is the same gas they want to shut down coal-fired power plants for producing.  Oh, and methane?  That’s a greenhouse gas.  This is the gas coming out of the butts of cows and pigs that some are saying are warming the planet.  And when you burn methane guess what you get?  Water and carbon dioxide.  More manmade carbon emissions.  That’s a lot of global warming they’re creating in the effort to prevent global warming.

This is one thing fuel cells share with all-electric cars.  They may be emission free.  But the chemistry to make them emission-free isn’t.  We’re still putting carbon into the atmosphere.  We’re just doing it in different places.  And if we are wouldn’t it be cheaper and easier just to keep using gasoline?

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Allegiant Air the most Profitable Airline despite being the least Fuel-Efficient

Posted by PITHOCRATES - September 21st, 2013

Week in Review

When people fly on vacation they’re about to spend a lot of money.  And a big cost is airfare.  Which they will try to book in advance to lock in some low prices.  This is what people think about when they are about to fly on vacation.  Not carbon emissions (see America’s greenest airlines by N.B. posted 9/17/2013 on The Economist).

IN THEORY, fuel efficiency should be a win-win proposition for airlines. Burning less fuel is better for the environment and the carriers’ bottom lines—fuel is generally their biggest single cost. That’s why one finding from a recent fuel-efficiency study is so surprising. In a new report (pdf), the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) found that Allegiant Air, the most profitable airline on domestic American routes between 2009 and 2011, was also the least fuel-efficient airline during 2010.

…The upshot is obvious: according to the researchers, the financial benefits of fuel efficiency have not been enough to force convergence—”Fuel prices alone may not be a sufficient driver of in-service efficiency across all airlines…. Fixed equipment costs, maintenance costs, labour agreements, and network structure can all sometimes exert countervailing pressures against the tendency for high fuel prices to drive efficiency improvements.”

So if the bottom line cannot force airlines to be more fuel efficient, what can? The researchers suggest that airlines can start by making more data available to the public…Cars come with fuel-efficiency ratings, and appliances come with energy-efficiency stickers. Maybe flights should include that kind of data, too, so that concerned passengers can make an informed choice.

Allegiant Air is a low-cost no-frills airline that caters to people going on vacation.  And when you’re on vacation you are taking a break from worrying.  About the bills.  The job.  Even the environment.  You may drive a Prius back at home.  But for two 4-hour flights a year (to and from your vacation spot) you’re just not going to worry about carbon emissions.  Because you’re on vacation.

Allegiant Air flies predominantly MD-80s that sit about 166 people.  An MD-80 is basically a stretched out DC-9.  These have two tail-mounted turbojet engines.  The least fuel-efficient engines on planes.  But these turbojet engines are small and can attach to the fuselage at the tail.  Allowing it to use shorter landing gear.  These planes sit lower to the ground and can be serviced with the smaller jet-ways you see at smaller airports.  Where Allegiant Air flies out of nonstop to their vacation destinations.  People like not having to make a connecting flight.  And will gladly dump a few extra tons of carbon into the atmosphere for this convenience.

The Allegiant Air business model includes other things to help keep costs down.  They are nonunion.  They also fly only a few flights a week at each airport.  Allowing a smaller crew to service and maintain their fleet.  These labor savings greatly offset the poorer fuel efficiency of their engines.  The airlines that have unions (pilots, flight attendants, maintenance, etc.) all share something in common.  Recurring bankruptcies.  Which Allegiant Air doesn’t have.  Despite their higher fuel costs.

Fuel costs are an airlines greatest cost.  Especially for the long-haul routes.  Which burn a lot more fuel per flight than the typical Allegiant Air flight.  Which is why the fuel-efficient Boeing 787 is so attractive to them.  As they need to squeeze every dime out of their fuel costs as they can.  To offset their high union labor costs.  Those very costs that return a lot of airlines to bankruptcy.

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Advancing Glacier hides 1952 Plane Crash Wreckage in Alaska

Posted by PITHOCRATES - July 14th, 2013

Week in Review

Those people who revere global warming and believe that manmade carbon emissions are destroying the planet incessantly point to the glaciers.  They say, “See?!?  The glaciers are melting.  Disappearing.  And they have been doing this ever since man began to destroy the planet.”

It’s been a one-way street ever since according to them.  A warming of the planet.  And a melting of the glaciers.  And if we don’t change our ways right now nothing will stop the melting of the glaciers (see Melting Alaskan Glacier Yields New Remains of Decades-Old Crash by Alana Abramson, ABC News Blogs, posted 7/12/2013 on Yahoo! News).

On Nov. 22 1952, an Air Force C-124 cargo plane crashed into Mount Gannett in Alaska. All 52 members were instantly killed. But 61 years later, a melting glacier is giving up the secrets of that crash…

Doug Beckstead, a historian at Anchorage’s Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, told ABC News that investigators immediately went to explore the wreckage but by Dec. 1 of that year, all evidence of the crash had disappeared, submerged into the glacier.

Now two things could have happened.  Either the wreckage was buried in accumulating snow.  Thus increasing the size of the glacier.  Or the wreckage burned so hot it melted into the glacier.  And then accumulating snow covered all traces of the melted glacier.  Thus increasing the size of the glacier.

Manmade carbon emissions took off with the Industrial Revolution (1760-1830ish).  And they have been growing ever since.  Which means they were growing before AND after that plane crashed into the glacier.  Yet the glacier grew after the plane crashed.  Hiding the wreckage.  And only when it melted back to where it was when that plane crashed could we see this wreckage again.

Once upon a time the glaciers extended down from the poles to near the equator.  Then they melted.  Receding back towards the poles.  Leaving behind things like the Great Lakes in North America as they melted.  Of course, back then no one was wringing their hands in fear of the coming global warming apocalypse.  No.  For life got better because that infernal ice no longer covered the life-sustaining earth.  You see, this happened before man made any carbon emissions.  As we were still hunters and gatherers then.  Cavemen, if you will.  Prehistoric.  When there was no gasoline burning in automobiles.  And no coal burning in electric power plants.  Yet the glaciers melted more than they have ever melted since man began making carbon emissions.

Glaciers melt.  Always have.  And always will.  With or without man’s help.  And fretting about global warming today shows a complete ignorance of the planet’s geological history.  Or a devious attempt to expand the government’s power over private industry through environmental regulation.  So there are your choices for the climate doomsayers.  They’re either ignorant.  Or devious.  Either way we’re far better off ignoring their fearful prognostications.  Which they deliver with a religious fervor.  Appropriately enough as believing in global warming requires a leap of faith.  Just like it does with any religion.

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‘Scientists’ predict Climate Crisis after Studying 19 Years of the 4.5 Billion Year Climate Record

Posted by PITHOCRATES - June 30th, 2013

Week in Review

The earth is, what, 4.5 billion years old?  And climate ‘scientists’ can look at a 19-year snapshot of data and know everything that is going on with climate?  That 19-year snapshot represents only 0.00000042% of the earth’s total climate picture.  That’s a small percentage.  Very small.  Much, much smaller than 1%.  Statistically speaking it’s meaningless.  Yet by this 19-year snapshot today’s climate ‘scientists’ know all when it comes to climate (see Greenland, Antarctica ice melt speeding up, study finds by Matt Smith posted 11/29/2012 on CNN).

Two decades of satellite readings back up what dramatic pictures have suggested in recent years: The mile-thick ice sheets that cover Greenland and most of Antarctica are melting at a faster rate in a warming world…

The net loss of billions of tons of ice a year added about 11 millimeters — seven-sixteenths of an inch — to global average sea levels between 1992 and 2011, about 20% of the increase during that time, those researchers reported…

Long-term climate change fueled by a buildup of atmospheric carbon emissions is a controversial notion politically, but it’s one accepted as fact by most scientists. Previous estimates of how much the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets contributed to the current 3 millimeter-per-year rise in sea levels have varied widely, and the 2007 report of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change left the question open.

While the 19-year average worked out to about 20% of the rise of the oceans, “for recent years it goes up to about 30 or 40%,” said Michiel van den Broeke, a professor of polar meteorology at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. The rest comes from thermal expansion — warmer water takes up more space.

So in other words, 80% of the rise in sea levels has nothing to do with melting ice sheets.  Yet they predict doom and gloom that global warming will melt these glaciers and raise sea levels and wash away all of our coastal communities.  So global warming may be melting the ice sheets.  But not much.  Surely not as much as they melted after the ice ages.  When some glaciers retreated from nearly the equator back towards the poles.  And that happened before manmade activities began releasing carbon into the atmosphere.  Meaning that ice sheets melted far more before any manmade global warming.  But when your data sample looks only at 0.00000042% of the climate record you’re likely to miss significant things like this.

They concluded that Greenland and two of the three ice sheets that cover Antarctica have lost an estimated 237 billion metric tons, give or take a few billion, in the past 19 years. The ice sheet that covers eastern Antarctica grew, but only by about 14 billion tons — not nearly enough to offset the losses from the layer that covers the western portion of the continent and the Antarctic Peninsula.

They call it global warming.  Not warming in small pockets of geographic areas.  For if the warming was only in small pockets there would be no global warming.  No coming cataclysmic global climate disaster.  And nothing to worry about.  But if global warming is truly global then the warming would be uniform.  Global.  And surely equal throughout a small geographic region like Antarctica.

Okay, so they put the fear of God in us that the world will end if we don’t act within the next 5 minutes.  Okay.  So tell us, how much time do we have?

Don’t panic: At the current rate, it would take between 3,000 and 7,000 years for those regions to become ice-free, said Ian Joughin, a glaciologist at the University of Washington…

In July, researchers watched as a stretch of unusually warm temperatures melted nearly the entire surface of the Greenland ice sheet…

“Any model that someone would use to predict sea level rise is only really as good as the data that goes into it,” Shepherd said. “And the fact that our data is twice or three times as reliable as the most recent overarching assessment has to give some weight to improving the value of those model predictions in the future…”

“Right now, all of that is very complicated stuff, and we’re not at the point where all of that is integrated into the models we have now,” Schmidt said.

Really?  They look at a 19-year snapshot and can predict 7,000 years out?  Even though it’s complicated stuff?  I suppose that would be easy once you assume in your model that everything in the world will continue as they have during that 19-year snapshot.  Of course that would make it hard to explain how the glaciers retreated from near the equator all the way back to the poles a few times following the ice ages.  Ah, they probably just consider that a statistical anomaly.  Despite there being 5 major ice ages so far.  That lasted in the tens of millions of years.  Some even lasted in the hundreds of millions of years.  And according to the climate ‘scientists’ another one was right around the corner from the Seventies.  Before, of course, they changed their minds and started warning us about global warming.  Which was a lot more fun.  Because you couldn’t enact a lot of environmental regulations on business to stop the cooling.  But you can make an argument for environmental regulations to stop the warming.  Which is why they’re sticking to the warming.  Because it’s a lot more fun.

Interestingly, between these ice ages the earth may have been ice free.  Meaning that the ice sheets they’re wringing their hands over may not have existed during other interglacial periods.  Again, those ice-free times were BEFORE any manmade greenhouse gases entered the atmosphere.

It’s bad science that only looks at a 19-year snapshot of data.  Especially when other scientists have found a cyclical warming and cooling of sea surface temperatures every 20-30 years.  Something called the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO).  Perhaps this is why they looked at 19 years of data.  To keep their models predicting what they want to find.  Not what actually may be happening.  And something like the PDO could really throw a wrench in things.  Which is why much climate science is not science.  It’s politically motivated.  Where ‘scientists’ are funded by governments.  And these scientists conclude what these governments want them to conclude.  So they will keep funding them.  For after all, if they found there was no manmade global warming what would these scientists do for a paycheck?

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The EU will have to find another way to Confiscate Private Sector Wealth because the ETS is Kaput

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 20th, 2013

Week in Review

The Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) was the European Union’s (EU’s) way of combating global warming.  By making carbon emitters pay for their carbon emissions.  But Europe is mired in recession.  And the Eurozone is suffering a sovereign debt crisis.  Which hasn’t helped to pull Europe out of recession.  And it appears that the economic reality in Europe is dooming the ETS (see If Carbon Markets Can’t Work in Europe, Can They Work Anywhere? by Bryan Walsh posted 4/17/2013 on Time).

But the ETS—and carbon trading more generally—is not doing well, and its problems are taking some of the green shine off of Europe. Since its launch the ETS has struggled, with the price of carbon falling as the 2008 recession and overly generous carbon allowances undercut the market. In the ETS business are given free allowances to emit carbon—too many free allowances mean they don’t need to reduce their carbon emissions much, which erodes the demand for additional carbon allowances on the market and causes the price to drop. Prices fell from 25 euros a ton in 2008 to just 5 euros a ton in February. There was a way to fix this—take 900 million tons of carbon allowances off the market now and reintroduce them in five years time, when policymakers hoped the economy would be stronger and demand would be greater. As anyone who’s taken Econ 101 would know, artificially reducing the supply of carbon allowances in such a drastic way—something called “backloading”— should force the price back up.

But on April 16, the European Parliament surprised observers by voting down the backloading plan. In turn, the European carbon market collapsed, with the price of a carbon allowance falling by more than 40% over the day. “We have reached the stage where the EU ETS has ceased to be an effective environmental policy,” Anthony Hobley, the head of climate change practice at the London law firm Norton Rose, told the New York Times. The ETS is a mess.

Backloading failed because even in very green Europe, economic concerns seemed to trump environmental ones. European Parliamentary members worried that any action that would cause the price of carbon to rise would add to European industry’s already high energy costs.

This should make China happy.  For there was no way no how they were going to pay for the carbon emissions from their airplanes entering European airspace.  In fact they warned they would cancel their Airbus orders and give them to Boeing if the Europeans tried to force them to help bail out the Eurozone in their sovereign debt crisis.  For this was what the ETS would ultimately do.  Transfer great amounts of wealth from the private sector to the public sector.  Which would have gone a long way in helping the Eurozone to continue to spend money they don’t have.

The ETS was nothing but a new tax on business.  Cloaked in the guise of making the world a better—and greener—place.  But the EU is suffering economically.  A large part of the sovereign debt crisis is due to having less economic activity to tax.  So the EU needs to improve the economy.  So they can generate more tax revenue from the current tax rates.  But increasing taxes on the carbon emitters will not help businesses.  It will only increase the cost of business.  Increasing their prices.  Making them less competitive in the market place.  Reducing their sales.  And killing jobs.  Which will generate even less tax revenue from the current tax rates.

The problem in the EU is not global warming.  Or insufficient tax revenue.  They have a spending problem.  This is what caused their deficits.  That gave them their soaring debt.  Just like every other nation that ever suffered a debt crisis.  Including the U.S.  Trying to fix a spending problem with more taxes just doesn’t work.  Only a cut in spending can fix a spending problem.  It’s not like the old chicken and egg question.  Excessive and unsustainable spending always comes before a debt crisis.  Always.

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British Columbia’s Carbon Trading System did not make the B.C. Liberal Government Carbon Neutral

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 30th, 2013

Week in Review

Something the American left really wants is a carbon trading system.  For this in conjunction with a national health care system would give the government great control over the private sector.  Because health care is one-sixth of the U.S. economy.  And everything takes energy.  So everything would be subject to the government’s carbon oversight.

A carbon trading system would basically turn carbon emissions (i.e., polluting greenhouse gases) into a commodity.  If you want to pollute you must pay to pollute.  By buying carbon permits to pollute.  Or paying carbon taxes.  Those who pollute heavily must buy more permits/pay more taxes.  Those who pollute less buy fewer permits/pay fewer taxes.  The idea is to take money from the polluters to give to others to reduce their carbon emissions.  Thus giving everyone an incentive not to pollute.  And a net zero carbon emission.  But in reality it’s just another way for government to pull more wealth out of the private economy so they can spend it how they want to spend it.  Rewarding their campaign contributors.  And providing businesses access to unneeded subsidies (see Auditor general delivers damning report on B.C.’s carbon trading system, Crown corporation that managed funds by Gordon Hoekstra posted 3/27/2013 on The Vancouver Sun).

B.C. auditor general John Doyle delivered a damning report Wednesday on the province’s controversial carbon trading system and the Crown corporation Pacific Carbon Trust.

The report concludes the government did not reach its goal of carbon neutrality in 2010, the year under examination, because the carbon offsets it purchased that year were not credible…

…NDP environment critic Rob Fleming said it’s time to look at changes to the PCT, including ending transfers of public money for emission-reduction projects.

He was referring to the fact that the carbon trading system involves transferring public money from institutions like hospitals and universities to the private sector so the government can declare the public sector is carbon-neutral…

Under the carbon system, public institutions such as hospitals and universities have so far paid more than $50 million for their carbon emissions. That money has been used to fund greenhouse gas reductions projects at private sector pulp mills, sawmills, gas drilling rigs, hotels and greenhouses.

The idea is the reduction projects in the private sector offset emissions in the public sector to zero, allowing the B.C. Liberal government to claim it is carbon neutral.

That’s a first.  Transfer money from sick people to give to businesses in the private sector.  So hospitals can pollute.  Kind of a strange thing for a government to do that puts profits before people.

Of course the big question is who measures the change in carbon emissions?  And how?  For you can’t put a carbon meter on your business.  It takes math.  And some assumptions.  You can tie it to one’s electrical consumption.  But if the user is attached to a section of grid powered by both a coal-fired power plant and a nuclear power plant that’s more math.  And more assumptions.  Did your power come from the polluting coal-fired power plant?  Or the emissions-free nuclear power plant?  And what about burning fossil fuels?  Did the fuel someone burn come from a refinery that processes a high-sulfur oil (sour crude)?  Or a low-sulfur oil (sweet crude)?  More math.  More assumptions.

When it comes to carbon emissions you can’t really measure emissions.  You have to measure inputs.  Such as electric power.  Consuming a lot of electric power could put a lot of carbon emissions into the air.  But not where the consumer uses that electric power.  But back at the power station that produced that electric power.  So who pays those carbon permits/taxes.  The user?  Such as a hospital?  Or the power plant?  Or both?

Anything so complicated makes it easier for people to game the system.  Which is what is happening in Canada.  And why despite spending C$50 million of public money the B.C. Liberal government is not carbon-neutral.

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The UK is Holding off on Selling EU Carbon Permits as the EU is Holding off Taxing other Countries for their Spending

Posted by PITHOCRATES - November 17th, 2012

Week in Review

The Eurozone is wallowing in a sovereign debt crisis that just won’t end.  Caused by spending obligations made during good economic times.  On the assumption that those good economic times would last forever.  But they created a lot of that economic activity with expansionary monetary policy.  Keeping interest rates artificially low.  By expanding the money supply.  Encouraging consumers and businesses to borrow and spend.  Which they did.  Leaving them with massive amounts of debt.  And inflation.  Which they fought the only way you can fight inflation.  By raising interest rates.  And contracting the money supply.  Or, in other words, with a recession.  Which reduces tax revenues.  Forcing governments to borrow more to pay for these ever expanding spending obligations.  Which led to rising borrowing costs.  And debt crises.  Leaving these Eurozone countries starving for cash.

Enter the Emissions Trading Scheme.  Making high energy uses buy permits to exhaust carbon.  Ostensibly to reduce global warming.  But really just a massive wealth transfer from the private sector to the public sector.  To help those countries with debt crises to pay for their ever expanding spending obligations without having to govern responsibly.  So they can continue to pander and buy votes and advance their liberal agendas.  But there has been some push back.  In particular from other nations flying into the European Union (EU) airspace who don’t want to subsidize the irresponsible governing of the EU countries.  Because of possible retaliation (like China threatening to cancel their Airbus orders for new airplanes) the European Commission is delaying the implementation of their airline emissions law (see Britain says it may review carbon permit auctions for airlines by Nina Chestney posted 11/12/2012 on Reuters).

The UK government will review its forthcoming auctions of European Union carbon permits for the aviation sector when it gets more details from the European Commission about its plan to delay the bloc’s airline emissions law, a minister said.

The UK plans to hold two auctions of around 3.5 million EU carbon permits for the aviation sector on November 26 and December 10…

The EU Commission said on Monday it will conditionally put on hold its rule that all airlines must pay for their carbon emissions for flights to and from EU airports.

Why is the UK reviewing their auction of carbon permits?  Because these permits are basically new taxes for the airlines.  That the airlines will pass on to their passengers.  Raising the cost of flying.  Which, in turn, will make some people forgo flying.  Hurting the airline industry.  Further exasperating a weak economy.

Of course those in the Eurozone rioting against austerity would love to see the EU go ahead with taxing other nations for flying into their airspace.  Because they don’t like austerity.  And would love to pass on their costs to other nations’ taxpayers.  Something other nations’ taxpayers are none too keen on.  So it’s a mess.  And the Emissions Trading Scheme only compounds the problem.  As it does nothing to address the source of the problem.  Excessive spending obligations that these nations cannot afford.

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China to Punish Airbus and EU Airlines if the European Union Proceeds with their Emission Trading System

Posted by PITHOCRATES - September 16th, 2012

Week in Review

Fighting global warming is one thing.  But hurting aircraft sales is another.  Which will happen if the EU goes ahead with their Emission Trading System.  So Airbus is begging the EU not to ruin the aviation industry (see Airbus ministers seek EU CO2 plan delay: Hintze by Maria Sheahan and Victoria Bryan posted 9/14/2012 on Reuters).

Aerospace officials of the European countries where Airbus (EAD.PA) makes its planes will push for a suspension of the European Union’s Emission Trading System (ETS) for airlines to avert retaliation from China, an official said on Tuesday…

Michael Fallon, new business minister in Britain, said at the ILA Berlin Air Show on Tuesday: “Airbus has left us with no doubt that the threat of retaliatory action is a clear and present danger to its order list.”

There is harsh opposition to the ETS from European air travel companies and countries outside the EU such as the United States, Australia and Brazil that have said they want a global agreement to curb carbon emissions rather than a European law that extends to non-EU companies.

Which is a nice way of saying they should scrap the whole ETS.  But if they said that the environmentalists would say they hate the planet.  That they’re global warming deniers.  And that they, of course, hate children.   So by saying we should have a global system instead of just a European one sounds like they believe in global warming.  While at the same time knowing there will never be a global system because the world can’t agree on anything.  And that China is not going to fall for any of this nonsense.  Because they play hardball.

China has threatened retaliation – including impounding European aircraft – if the European Union punishes Chinese airlines for not complying with its emissions trading scheme (ETS), intended to curb pollution.

The dispute between China and the EU froze deals worth up to $14 billion, though China signed an agreement with Germany for 50 Airbus planes worth over $4 billion during Chancellor Angela Merkel’s visit to Beijing last month.

If the dispute is not resolved, Airbus will have to cut its production target for the A330 “pretty soon”, Airbus Chief Executive Fabrice Bregier said late on Monday.

Cancel billion dollar orders AND impound European aircraft?  That’s right.  The Chinese don’t take crap from anyone.  Especially from a bunch of whiny global warming alarmists.  Airlines everywhere are thanking China (behind closed doors, of course) for playing the heavy here.  So they can act like they really want to do what is right for the planet.  Without losing billions in business.

The airline industry has said the ETS distorts competition, forcing European carriers to pay more simply because of the fact they are based in the EU.

“We feel we are being discriminated against,” Hintze said. “We demand a global solution from an industrial policy point of view because we could otherwise put ourselves at a disadvantage in major markets…”

Airbus sales chief John Leahy suggested at a separate news conference on Tuesday that one possible solution could be that all airlines around the world pay a tax to ICAO for carbon emissions, regardless of where they are based.

The ETS is nothing but a way to generate revenue for a cash-strapped European Union.  For what will they do with the money they raise from their ETS?  Pretty much anything they want.  And one of the things they most desperately want is to close their budget deficits.  And the EU thought they had a real winner in the ETS.  Collect money from EU members.  And collect money from non-EU members.  Effectively transferring some EU costs onto nations outside of the EU.  It was perfect.  Except for one thing.  It required other countries to voluntarily pick up the tab for some EU spending.  And some are choosing not to no matter how worthy the cause.

A global carbon tax payable to the ICAO?  The United Nations’ International Civil Aviation Organization?  And what, pray tell, will the UN do with that money?  Spend it on grants to green manufacturers to see if they can make jet fuel out of sea weed?  The aircraft manufacturers are doing everything they can to reduce jet fuel consumption because a plane that burns less fuel is a plane that sells better.  They don’t need a grant to do that.  Planes are carrying and burning less fuel per passenger mile than they ever have.  And they still have an incentive to reduce that even more.  Without any grants from the UN to improve fuel efficiency.

As countries around the world are suffering through economic problems the last thing they need is a new tax.  If anything they need a tax cut.  So the ETS should be the last thing we should be doing.  The earth will get by just fine without it.  In fact, it might even do better.  For the rise in global temperatures interestingly correspond to the time we began to fight global warming.  Back in the days when industry, trains and home furnaces belched coal smoke, soot and ash into the air we didn’t have a global warming problem.  Our cities were covered with coal smoke, soot and ash but the temperatures were just fine.  Perhaps a little more of the same would reverse this warming trend.  Say, encouraging our airplanes to burn a dirtier fuel so they put more emissions into the atmosphere that can block those warming rays from reaching the earth’s surface.  It works with volcanoes.  Perhaps it’ll work with manmade emissions, too.

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