Earth Day Past and Present, the Lies may Change but the Agenda remains the Same

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 27th, 2013

Week in Review

If you’re old you probably get exasperated by the environmentalists.  And their hand-wrenching cries that the planet will die if we don’t start acting right now.  Before it’s too late.  Things we’ve been hearing for the last 40 some years.  Which is why us old farts get exasperated.  We’ve been hearing these dire warnings for 40 some years.  Which means we haven’t acted yet to save the planet.  Because they are still wringing their hands about the coming environmental apocalypse.  Yet if these people knew what they were talking about 40 some years ago we wouldn’t be here now.  We’d be dead.  As well as the planet.  Based on their dire warnings some 40 years ago.  So when it comes to credibility the environmentalists have none.

The environmentalists are like the boy who cried wolf.  I say ‘like’ because in the Aesop Fable no one believes the boy when he is telling the truth because he has lied so often in the past.  In real life environmentalists never tell the truth.  So you never have to worry about not believing them when they are, in fact, telling the truth.  Here’s a joke to help you remember this.  How can you tell when environmentalists are lying?  Their lips are moving.

After being so wrong for so long you just can’t take them seriously anymore.  Which is why they teach environmentalism to our kids in school.  Because they’re young.  We may be a lost cause but they have a chance to still scare the bejesus out of our kids.  Who are hearing these dire warnings for the first time.  And believe what their teachers tell them.  They believe them so much that they come home from school and argue with their parents about how we are destroying the planet.  Little do they realize that their teachers are just trying to get these kids to become Democrat voters when they turn of age.  So they and their unions continue to have friends in high places.  That will help them keep their generous pay and benefit packages.  For people lie for a reason.  And usually that reason is money.  If these teachers aren’t frightening our kids about the global warming boogeyman for money then just why are they lying to them?

So what were they saying 40 some years ago?  Well, on the anniversary of Earth Day a lot of people have been pointing out some of their worst predictions.  Here are 13 that should have every environmentalist hanging their head in shame (see 13 Worst Predictions Made on Earth Day, 1970 by Jon Gabriel posted 4/22/2013 on FreedomWorks).

1.”Civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.”  — Harvard biologist George Wald

2.”We are in an environmental crisis which threatens the survival of this nation, and of the world as a suitable place of human habitation.” — Washington University biologist Barry Commoner

3.”Man must stop pollution and conserve his resources, not merely to enhance existence but to save the race from intolerable deterioration and possible extinction.” — New York Times editorial

These are from two prestigious universities and the esteemed New York Times.  That are supposed to be the wisest and brightest among us.  People we can trust.  Now either they’re not very wise or bright.  Or they are not trustworthy.  For the world has never been a better place for human habitation.  Life got better.  Not worse.  In fact, the only threat for human habitation is birth control and abortion.  And advances in medicine.  We’re having fewer kids to grow up and enter the workforce to pay taxes.  While advances in medicine our letting those who leave the workforce live a long time into retirement.  This is the danger to mankind.  The collapse of the welfare state that may degenerate in rioting.  And it was the same people incidentally that gave us the welfare state that are now trying to scare the bejesus out of us that we’re killing the planet.  If anyone is killing anything it’s the political left and their unsustainable welfare state.

4.”Population will inevitably and completely outstrip whatever small increases in food supplies we make. The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years.” — Stanford University biologist Paul Ehrlich

5.”Most of the people who are going to die in the greatest cataclysm in the history of man have already been born… [By 1975] some experts feel that food shortages will have escalated the present level of world hunger and starvation into famines of unbelievable proportions. Other experts, more optimistic, think the ultimate food-population collision will not occur until the decade of the 1980s.” — Paul Ehrlich

6.”It is already too late to avoid mass starvation,” — Denis Hayes, Chief organizer for Earth Day

7.”Demographers agree almost unanimously on the following grim timetable: by 1975 widespread famines will begin in India; these will spread by 1990 to include all of India, Pakistan, China and the Near East, Africa. By the year 2000, or conceivably sooner, South and Central America will exist under famine conditions…. By the year 2000, thirty years from now, the entire world, with the exception of Western Europe, North America, and Australia, will be in famine.” — North Texas State University professor Peter Gunter

The only thing causing famine in these poorer countries are environmentalists.  Who are forcing us to make gasoline out of corn.  That’s right, we have such large food surpluses we use it for fuel.  Raising the price of food for the poorest of people.  And leaving less to give to the hungry because we’re making ethanol out of it to save us from global warming.  The environmentalists were the only ones wringing their hands about these coming famines.  While there are some famines they are usually in countries with the kind of government these environmentalists like.  Those who put people before profits.  Like the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.  The People’s Republic of China (under Mao).  And North Korea.  Who all suffered/are suffering recurring famines because they put people before profits.  North Korea still cannot feed her people.  But the environmentalist will love how clean and unspoiled their country is.  For their society is so undeveloped that most houses don’t even have electricity or a furnace.  And while advanced economies have an obesity problem even in their poorer populations most North Koreans are malnourished.  Advanced economies that use energy can feed their people.  And support a growing population.  Even Hong Kong can prosper.  An island on a rock.  With little resources.  That imports just about everything they eat.  And yet they have one of the highest standards of living.  With no famine.  Because Hong Kong is a bastion of laissez-faire capitalism.

8.”In a decade, urban dwellers will have to wear gas masks to survive air pollution… by 1985 air pollution will have reduced the amount of sunlight reaching earth by one half.” — Life magazine

9.”At the present rate of nitrogen buildup, it’s only a matter of time before light will be filtered out of the atmosphere and none of our land will be usable.” — Ecologist Kenneth Watt

10.”Air pollution…is certainly going to take hundreds of thousands of lives in the next few years alone.” — Paul Ehrlich

11.”By the year 2000, if present trends continue, we will be using up crude oil at such a rate… that there won’t be any more crude oil. You’ll drive up to the pump and say, ‘Fill ‘er up, buddy,’ and he’ll say, ‘I am very sorry, there isn’t any.'” — Ecologist Kenneth Watt

12.”[One] theory assumes that the earth’s cloud cover will continue to thicken as more dust, fumes, and water vapor are belched into the atmosphere by industrial smokestacks and jet planes. Screened from the sun’s heat, the planet will cool, the water vapor will fall and freeze, and a new Ice Age will be born.” — Newsweek magazine

13.”The world has been chilling sharply for about twenty years. If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but eleven degrees colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age.” — Kenneth Watt

With all the talk of global warming and rising sea levels it is hard not to laugh at this nonsense.  The greatest threat to civilizations is dealing with aging populations.  Who are living far longer than any actuary predicted.  Not only is air pollution NOT claiming hundreds of thousands of lives we’re actually living longer.  Showing how ignorant and/or politically motivated these ecologists and environmentalist were.  And still are.  For it wasn’t that long after they got us all scared about the coming Ice Age that they started scaring us about global warming.  Either they were using flawed climate models or they were just lying to us.  For you can’t go from we’re killing the planet with global cooling to we’re killing the planet with global warming in a matter of a decade or two.

What is obvious is that these people have been and still are politically motivated.  They look at small snapshots of data and tell us the sky is falling.  For what reason?  Well, most of these environmentalists are anti-capitalists.  Whose environmentalist hysteria has led to what?  A lot of environmental regulations targeted at business.  Making it harder for them to stay in business.  Old people understand this.  Our kids don’t.  So they brain wash our kids in the public school so they come home and tell us what horrible people we are.  But they will learn the truth one day.  In about 40 years or so from now they will be reading about the silly predictions of people like Al Gore.  Shake their heads.  And listen to their kids coming home from school.  Telling them how they’re destroying the planet with all of their global cooling.  Which may be the fear in vogue then.  Or perhaps they will find something new to scare our grandchildren about in school.  Whatever it is the teachers of the future will be scaring our kids with it so they will grow up and vote Democrat.  So they and their unions continue to have friends in high places.  That will help them keep their generous pay and benefit packages.  For some things never change.  Unlike the warming and cooling of the planet.


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Gas Prices Stay High along the Environmentalist West Coast due to a Lack of Refinery Capacity

Posted by PITHOCRATES - May 20th, 2012

Week in Review

Take a look at an electoral map.  Say from the 2008 national election.  What do you see?  Blue (i.e., Democrat) on the coasts.  Red (i.e., Republican) in the middle.  And blue in the union Midwest.  Okay, now what else do you associate with the blue on the coasts?  That’s where there are high concentrations of liberals.  (The blue in the Midwest is more organized labor than liberal).  And what is one of the biggest issues with liberals?  That’s right.  The environment.  (I’ll just assume you said the environment).  Especially in California.  Where they have tougher emission standards than the federal government has. 

They take their environmentalism serious on the coasts. So much so that they punish the use of fossil fuels through high taxes and excessive regulations.  It is for these reasons you don’t see them building many new refineries in these regions.  For there are few things they hate more than petroleum oil.  From drilling it out of the ground.  To transporting it.  To refining it.  Their basic attitude towards the oil industry is, “Sure, you’re welcomed to do business here.  But you will pay.  And pay.  And pay.”  So with that in mind here’s a little story about high gas prices on the West Coast (see Unlike the East, gas prices stay stubbornly high out West by William M. Welch posted 5/18/2012 on USA Today).

“We are seeing a tale of two coasts,” says Michael Green, spokesman for AAA, which monitors pump prices. “On the West Coast, gas prices are rising steadily, while on the East Coast they are steadily decreasing.”

Oil analysts blame a refinery slowdown in western states for sending retail prices in the opposite direction of wholesale costs.

In California and Oregon, the average price of regular gas has increased 20 cents a gallon so far in May, AAA reports. Average pump prices were down 19 cents in Florida and 18 cents in Virginia…

Tupper Hull, spokesman for Western States Petroleum Association, blamed unexpected maintenance and other problems at refineries…

“Our concern is a lack of competition at the refinery level in California,” says Charles Langley, gasoline analyst at Utility Consumers’ Action Network in San Diego. “We’re not saying there’s a conspiracy. It’s just that with this few competitors, it’s very easy to game prices by turning off capacity.”

Bob van der Valk, petroleum analyst in Terry, Mont., said gasoline inventories are at a 20-year low in California for May. Supplies will return to normal, he said, but perhaps not in time for upcoming holiday travel.

The high prices on the West Coast are of their own making.  Prices have fallen on the southern half of the East Coast.  Because they aren’t as blue as they used to be.  They love their environment there.  Which is why they live there.  But they know they need petroleum oil and gasoline to live.  And they know that there is a direct correlation between anti-oil policies and the price at the pump.  Something they apparently don’t know on the West Coast.  For they hate oil.  Don’t want anything to do with oil in their state.  And yet almost everyone drives a car in California. 

If they want lower gas prices they have to make it easier to do petroleum business there.  That means they need to make it easier to refine gasoline in California.  Which means backing off on the taxes.  And the excessive environmental regulations.  They can do that.  Bring the price at the pump down.  And still have a beautiful environment.  Like they do on the southern half of the East Coast.


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At Harvard Energy and Environmentalism are One and the Same

Posted by PITHOCRATES - November 26th, 2011

Week in Review

Harvard is working on our energy solution.  And it coincidentally happens to mesh with their environmental agenda (see Harvard Study Calls for Radical Increase in U.S. Energy Innovation Spending by William Pentland posted 11/23/2011 on Forbes).

The U.S. government could save the economy hundreds of billions of dollars annually by 2050 by expanding support for energy innovation, according to the results of a three-year research project at the Harvard Kennedy School.

Okay, two problems can be noted from the get-go.  The report is from Harvard.  And it’s by the Kennedy School at Harvard.  Two names that don’t jump to anyone’s mind when you think of profits and energy.  No.  What you typically think of when you hear these names are liberal causes.  At our expense.  Increasing the cost of daily life with their regulatory policies.  To drag Americans kicking and screaming into a world we don’t want.  But one that they believe is in our best interests.

The U.S. federal government should implement policies that create market incentives to develop and deploy new energy technologies, including policies that have the effect of creating a substantial price on carbon emissions, and sector-specific policies to overcome other market failures.

There are no such things as market failures.  They like to use that term when their market tinkering doesn’t produce the results they want.  That is, when their policies have failed.  But they can never blame their policies.  So they blame the market.  Call their failures market failures.  So they can create more policy to correct their past failures.

The price on carbon emissions would the biggest tax ever levied on the American people.  And that’s why they want to levy it.  For the money the government can spend on other liberal folly.  And the control they could use to strangle the American economy when it fails to do as they wish.

The U.S. government should take a strategic approach to working with the private sector on energy innovation, expanding incentives for private sector energy innovation, and focusing on the particular strategies likely to work best in each case.

In other words, they think the government should pick the winners and losers in energy.  Just like they did with Solyndra.  Where the government can reward political campaign donors with lucrative government loans.  Just like they did with Solyndra.

The U.S. government should undertake a strategic approach to energy RD&D cooperation with other countries, to leverage the knowledge, resources, and opportunities available around the world, incorporating both top-down strategic priorities and investment in new ideas arising from the bottom-up.

Sort of a Kyoto writ large.  Only with more bite.  As the global warming agenda passed at Kyoto had very little bite.

Anytime you see an energy report coming out of Harvard consider the source.  And their ulterior motive.  One world, liberal government.  With them at the top.  And the rest of us doing what they tell us to do.


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Environmentalists don’t give a whit about Human Happiness

Posted by PITHOCRATES - September 3rd, 2011

Environmentalists just don’t like an Advanced Human Race

Environmentalism is a zero-sum game.  Save the planet.  Kill man.  Either quickly by making cars lighter to be more fuel efficient.  Making them less survivable in an accident.  Or over time by turning the hands of time back.  To a time where there weren’t factories pumping pollution in the air.  Before we used coal to fire our power plants.  Or before we used oil to unleash economic activity.  And exploded our standard of living.

No.  The environmentalist would rather we sit in our own filth.  Subsist only on home-grown vegetables.  And be born, live, work and die within a mile of each other.  They don’t want anything man-made wafting into the atmosphere.  And they don’t want anything pumped from underground.  Or pumped over ground for that matter (see Stung by Obama, Environmentalists Weigh Options by Leslie Kaufman posted 9/3/2011 on The New York Times).

In late August, the State Department gave a crucial go-ahead on a controversial pipeline to bring tar sands oil from Canada to the Gulf Coast. Then on Friday, leading into the holiday weekend, the Obama administration announced without warning that it was walking away from stricter ozone pollution standards that it had been promising for three years and instead sticking with Bush-era standards.

John D. Walke, clean air director of the Natural Resources Defense Council, an advocacy group based in New York, likened the ozone decision to a “bomb being dropped.”

Mr. Walke and representatives of other environmental groups saw the president’s actions as brazen political sellouts to business interests and the Republican Party, which regards environmental regulations as job killers and a brick wall to economic recovery.

And the environmentalists are not pleased.  In fact, they are furious.  They don’t care about double-dip recessions.  Or even depressions.  They don’t care if people live in caves where they eat their vegetables in one corner.  And poop in another.  They just don’t like an advanced human race.

Most People want the Comforts of an Advanced Human Race

Of course, this presents a bit of a problem for President Obama.  These hardcore environmentalists are but a sliver of the population.  But it’s one of many slivers the Democrats need.  It’s the aggregate of these fringe groups that have electoral weight.  Lose a couple and you may simply lose the next election.

The majority of people, though, want the comforts of an advanced human race.  And they vote, too.  Especially those with jobs.  Real jobs.  In the private sector.  The vast majority of which are non-union.  So these people don’t have money to burn.  Like government workers.  The economy is important to them.  Because they want affordable gas for their cars.  They enjoy red meat.  Taking daily showers.  And the pleasures of a luxurious toilet paper.  In other words, they are not environmentalists.  They’re human.  Proud of it.  And they want to keep their jobs.

So far the Obama policies have hurt the economy.  Not helped it.  Stopping the pipeline deal would have only pushed gas prices higher.  Once the depression was over, of course.  The ozone pollution standards, on the other hand, would have made it difficult to get a job.  And left the nation in a permanent economic decline. 

EPA Regulations Equal no New Jobs and higher Consumer Costs

So how bad were these ozone standards?  Pretty bad (see Obama Postpones New Ozone Standards, Has More Work to Do by Nicolas Loris posted 9/2/2011 on Heritage).

This is an important victory for businesses as well as the additional 565 U.S. counties that would have been pushed into non-attainment status and suffered economically as a result.

The EPA’s regulatory overreach on this one rule would have destroyed 7.3 million jobs and nearly $700 billion in economic activity by 2020, and the EPA significantly overestimated the purported health benefits from a lower standard.

That’s an interesting number.  That $700 billion.  This was the cost of extending the Bush tax cuts just for high-income earners.  The Left was angry when Obama extended those tax cuts.  But he said he had to.  Because the economy was too fragile to pull $700 billion out of it.  And here is one EPA standard that will cost the economy that same amount.  Can you imagine the cost of all the other EPA standards?  Perhaps this is the reason why there is no economic recovery.  Too many costly regulations for business to comply with.  For they surely aren’t incentives to expand business.

The costs for states to comply with a tightened ozone standard would have been substantial. These federal mandates for more strict ozone pollution can discourage companies from expanding, and counties that do not meet attainment measures could have lost federal transit funding. As Heritage Visiting Fellow Andrew Grossman writes:

“The economic consequences of non-attainment are severe. New and modified sources—factories, power plants, and the like—in non-attainment areas must employ costly emissions control technologies and offset emissions by taking other industrial capacity offline, directly costing jobs. At best, this drives up the cost of development and discourages businesses from expanding. At worst, it is a near prohibition on new industry. And where businesses are unable to relocate—such as is often the case with utilities—the result is higher costs for consumers.”

EPA regulations equal no new jobs.  And higher consumer costs.  For what?

From 1980 to 2005, when levels of ozone and other pollutants fell in the United States, the number of asthmatics increased by 75 percent. In fact, some of the lowest asthma rates in the world are found in highly polluted developing countries in the former Soviet Union, while countries in Western Europe have considerably higher asthma rates and relatively lower levels of air pollution.

What is clear and well established, however, is that improved economic well-being means that people are healthier and live longer. A tighter ozone rule would slow economic growth, reducing economic well-being.

Nothing, apparently.  They want to hammer businesses with these new costly regulations just to feel good.  For history has shown that there are other contributing factors to asthma.  Perhaps it’s Dr. Spock‘s fault.  For there is ample evidence now that bottle-fed babies develop more allergies.  Perhaps this is the cause.  And not the clean ‘dirty’ air of 1980-2005.

We die Young and the Earth stays Pretty

For a polluted planet the earth is pretty damn clean.  And healthy.  We’re living longer.  And the more improved economically we get the longer we live.  This was the core argument for giving us Obamacare.  The richest nation in the world should be able to provide health care to all.  So even the Left must see the benefits of a booming economy.  It buys them all the things they want.  While other people pay for it.

But the environmentalists don’t care.  Not the hardcore ones.  They’d prefer to see the human race regress back to a simpler time.  When we were just beginning to walk upright.  Before we spoiled Mother Nature.  With all of our thinking.  

And if that means living to a ripe old age of only 30, so be it.  The less we live the less damage we can do.  We die young.  And the earth stays pretty.  Nothing would make them happier.  Ending human happiness.


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Save the Economy or Save the Planet, it’s One or the Other

Posted by PITHOCRATES - June 5th, 2011

Pushing back against the EPA’s Assault against Business

With the economy in the toilet where it will probably remain for a long time to come, a lot of people have given up on environmentalism.  They take a look around them and see that things look pretty good.  Environmental-wise.  In fact, it’s a regular paradise compared to all the environmentalists’ alarmist predictions from a decade or two ago.  Which look rather silly today.  Children in the UK will no longer know what snow is.  The overwhelming stench of dead fish decaying on America’s beaches (killed by warming ocean temperatures).  Flooded coastal areas due to melting of Arctic ice.  None of it happened as predicted.  We got all worked up over nothing.  That’s why environmentalism is more of a young person’s game.  Because after you lived through 20-30 years of failed predictions, you tend to grow a little skeptical.  Especially during times of high unemployment.

That’s why a lot of people don’t give a rat’s rear end about global warming now.  They want a job.  And the way they see it, all this environmentalist nonsense is killing the job market.  And the Republican-controlled House they’re starting to push back on the job killer itself.  The EPA (see Soaring emissions posted 6/2/2011 on The Economist).

The Republicans’ chief concern is the EPA’s authority, as affirmed by the Supreme Court in 2007, to regulate emissions of greenhouse gases. But more broadly they worry that the EPA is constantly tightening restrictions on pollution, at ever higher cost to business but with diminishing returns in terms of public health. They point to a slew of new rules about industrial boilers, cooling water at power plants, the disposal of coal ash, and emissions of mercury, ozone and other chemicals from smokestacks, which cumulatively, they say, will have a crippling effect on power generation and other industries. “Even God,” says Joe Barton, a Republican congressman, “couldn’t meet some of the ozone standards.”

…The Republican leadership in the House has accused the administration of plotting to raise the price of energy through onerous regulation, in an effort to promote otherwise uncompetitive green technologies. It wants the EPA to give more weight to the impact on the economy and jobs when drawing up future rules.

The Obama administration has.  And is.  Trying to raise the price of ‘cheap’ energy to promote their green energy initiatives.  It’s on record they want gasoline to cost as much in the U.S. as it does in Europe (as in $8/gallon).  To make more costly and shorter-range electric cars easier to sell.  And they want to do the same with cheap fossil fuel-produced electricity.  To make more costly and less reliable wind and solar generated electricity easier to sell.

EPA officials appear baffled by this barrage of hostility… The agency, they say, already conducts cost-benefit analyses of all important regulations, in addition to submitting them for expert review and public comment. Every dollar spent on pollution controls mandated by the Clean Air Act, including the ozone restrictions that Mr Barton is complaining about, will bring $30 in benefits to public health, the EPA reckons.

Expert review and comment?  By who?  It certainly isn’t the businesses affected by their regulations.  Who know exactly the costs their regulations will add.  No, they can’t be the experts.  Not when they are protesting the onerous costs these regulations are adding.

And the $30 in benefits for every dollar spent on pollution controls is a specious argument.  No one can know this.  It’s made up math based on fallacious assumptions and unrealistic projections.  Much like the math they used some 2-3 decades ago when they made all those alarmist global warming predictions that never came true.

Saving the Trees but Killing the Planet

We were saving the trees going to a paperless world thanks to the Internet.  Little did we know that we were killing the planet by saving those trees (see Could the Net be killing the planet one web search at a time? by Alex Roslin, for Post Media News, posted 6/3/2011 on The Vancouver Sun).

Ironically, despite the web’s green promise, this explosion of data has turned the Internet into one of the planet’s fastest-growing sources of carbon emissions. The Internet now consumes two to three per cent of the world’s electricity…

The bulk of all this energy is gobbled up by a fast-growing network of huge “server farms” or data centres that form the backbone of the Internet. They are hush-hush facilities, some the size of five Wal-Marts, packed from floor to ceiling with tens of thousands of computers…

All those computers have a voracious appetite for energy, especially for cooling equipment to prevent overheating.

This means that every time you do an Internet search you’re releasing polluting carbon into the atmosphere.  Because the majority of our cheap and reliable electricity is produced with cheap and reliable fossil fuels.  And some of these server farms are fossil fuel beasts with voracious appetites.

Apple’s mega-facility is part of a cluster of gigantic new data centres coming on line in North Carolina that are powered largely by cheap and highly polluting coal power. Google has a 44,000-square-metre data centre in the state that eventually will consume an estimated 60 to 100 MW. Facebook has a 28,000-square-metre facility under construction there that will eat up 40 MW.

Greenpeace calls the three facilities “North Carolina’s dirty data triangle.” Coal, it says, is the most polluting of all fossil fuels and the world’s single largest source of greenhouse gas emissions.

“The technologies of the 21st century are still largely powered by the dirty coal power of the past,” the environmental group said in a report card on the IT sector in April, titled How Dirty is Your Power?

There is a reason why we use so much coal.  And it’s not because we hate the planet.

North Carolina offers industrial customers one of the lowest electricity rates in the U.S. — 5.8 cents per kilowatt hour, versus the U.S. average of 6.7 cents.

It just so happens that the state’s electricity is also some of the dirtiest in the country. Nearly two-thirds of the state’s electricity comes from coal.

And here is the tradeoff between global warming and jobs.  Coal is dirty but cheap.  Which keeps electricity costs down.  Which attracts business.  Like in North Carolina.  Other locations lost these new jobs because their environmental policies made energy more expensive in those locations.

The real solution, [Bill St. Arnaud, an engineer and green IT consultant in Ottawa] said, is for governments to impose measures like carbon taxes and emissions caps that make dirty energy less attractive financially.

“The planet is warming up, and it’s going to get very bad. We need a price on carbon. It’s the only way to get people to move off coal because coal is currently so cheap,” he said.

The environmentalist want to raise the cost of electricity.  So cheap coal-generated electricity isn’t so cheap.  So business have no less costly solution.  Thus guaranteeing their costs will rise.  Making them look elsewhere to cut costs.  As in not hiring people.  Or laying them off.  All the while passing these higher costs onto the consumer.  Increasing their utility costs.  As well as the goods they purchase.  Leaving them with less disposable income.  Thus reducing economic activity.  With them buying less business will sell less.  Which means they won’t expand.  Instead, they’ll probably cut their production.  And lay off people.

However you look at it, increasing the cost of energy ends badly for the consumer.  And that’s exactly what the EPA wants to do.  And the Obama administration.  So they can implement their green initiatives.  And, of course, adding a tax on carbon, the most abundant byproduct of energy production, provides a lot of revenue for an overextended federal government.  Which is, I’m sure, just a coincidence.  And by coincidence I mean it’s the driving force behind all green initiatives.  Increasing tax revenue.

The EU wants to Emission Tax the World’s Airlines

But this is not an American phenomenon.  It’s even bigger in the European Union.  And they’re looking to export their regulations to other nations (see Airlines, EU in escalating trade row over emissions by David Fogarty and Pete Harrison posted 6/5/2011 on Reuters).

Global airlines attacked the European Union on Sunday over its plan to force them into the bloc’s emissions trading scheme, as the EU vowed to stand firm against threats of retaliation…

The EU will require all airlines flying to Europe to be included in the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) from January 1 next year. The system forces polluters to buy permits for each tone of carbon dioxide they emit above a certain cap.

You want to fly to the EU?  Well, that’s fine, but there’ll be an additional tax.  You see, we’re trying to save the planet.  And our treasury.  As these EU bailouts are getting expensive.  And don’t appear to be ending any time soon.

Airlines say the scheme will increase costs and comes at a time when fears are growing about a faltering global economy, which could slash industry profit expectations…

“The last thing that we want to see is a trade war,” said Giovanni Bisignani, director-general of the International Air Transport Association. The EU had to heed a “growing chorus of countries strongly opposing an illegal extraterritorial scheme.”

“We have to absolutely avoid this because the risk of retaliation for Europe that is in survival mode would be the kiss of death,” he told Reuters on the sidelines of IATA’s annual meeting in Singapore.

The younger people today may not know what a trade war is.  It’s when one country raises the price of doing business in your country to every other country trying to do business in your country.  This is to protect the higher-priced domestic industries.  By removing lower-priced consumer alternatives.  When countries retaliate by doing the same you get a trade war.  And it is the consumer who suffers.  Because everything they buy becomes more expensive.  Oh, and it was a trade war that caused the Great Depression.

Under the scheme, the aviation sector will receive 213 million carbon permits, called EU Allowances (EUAs) in 2012 and then 209 million from 2013 to 2020, representing the cap. As many as 82 percent of them will be given free to airlines, meaning most of the rest will have to be bought from the market.

With six months before the sector joins the ETS, opposition is growing.

A China Southern executive has said the China Air Transport Association is preparing to sue the EU over the issue, a Chinese media report said.

“The opposition is broad,” said Andrew Herdman, Director-General of the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines, which represents 15 airlines such as Cathay, Japan Airlines and Singapore Airlines…

China says Europe should adjust the ETS to reflect the differences between rich and poor countries, while Vijay Mallya, chairman of India’s Kingfisher Airlines, said he could not accept it.

The EU may know what’s best for the planet.  And their bank.  But the world doesn’t appear that it will sit back and transfer sovereignty and money to them without a protest.  Or a fight.  Perhaps even a trade war.  Which would be a bad thing as much of the world tries to pull itself out of the worst recession since the Great Depression.  And it would be a terrible shame for history to repeat itself on that score.  For one Great Depression was quite enough.

Carbon Taxes and Carbon Trading kills Jobs and crashes Economies

Green energy initiatives are just a cover for massive tax increases.  For desperate nations who can’t control their spending.  That’s why nations everywhere are fighting against carbon taxes and trading.  They see the cost to business.  And the jobs they will kill.  It’s not that they want to kill the planet.  They just don’t want to subsidize another nation’s financial problems.  Or see their own economies crash.  Which it will under a carbon taxing/trading scheme.

Environmental policies and economic activity are a trade off. You advance one by reducing the other.   Which makes advancing environmental policies during recessionary times difficult.  Because it’s one thing to save the planet when you have a job.  But another when you don’t.  At such a time, yes, you care about the planet.  But you care more about your family.  You think to yourself that the planet can take care of itself.  It survived ice ages.  Cataclysmic meteorite collisions.  Huge volcanic explosions.  Droughts.  Fires.  Hurricanes.  Tornadoes.  Earthquakes.  Plagues.  And if it can survive all that, you think it’ll be able to survive your having a job so you can support your family.


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LESSONS LEARNED #57: “Environmental policy is a zero-sum policy; save the planet, kill man.” -Old Pithy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 17th, 2011

DDT gets rid of Mosquitoes and Malaria

No one thinks much about malaria in big American cities.  Because they’re modern, paved cities.  So there aren’t a lot of mosquitoes.  At least, not like there used to be.  In colonial times, summers were bad.  Anywhere there was standing water.  Thomas Jefferson hated to be anywhere near tidewater areas during the summer months.  Because people got malaria.  He thought it was the air.  It wasn’t.  It was the mosquitoes.  Unpaved areas in tidewater streams just bred mosquitoes wholesale. 

As our concrete cities grew these wetlands went away.  As did malaria.  In the United States.  Other nations, though, were not so fortunate.  Especially sub-Saharan Africa.  Where malaria kills hundreds of thousands of children each year.  Why?  Because much of sub-Saharan Africa is impoverished.  With no modern, paved cities.  And it’s a mosquito paradise.  For awhile, that is.  Because man stepped in and used chemistry.  Created a miracle synthetic pesticide.  DDT.  And went to war against mosquitoes.  Campaigned especially fiercely in the tropical countries that really favored mosquito breeding.  Armed with DDT, it was a lopsided war.  Areas that saw millions of people infected by malaria each year had less than a hundred people infected after the DDT campaign.  It was a huge success.  Chemistry saved the children.  It was so successful they also used it in agriculture.  Food yields improved with the resulting pest elimination.  The mosquito and other pests were on the run.  But then an unlikely ally saved them.  Rachel Carson.

Carson wrote Silent Spring.  Published in 1962, she saved malaria.  And started the environmental movement with her attack against chemistry.  It was hurting the environment.  DDT was thinning egg shells.  And some other nasty stuff.  And perhaps it was.  But there were two uses of DDT.  Heavy agricultural uses.  And the lighter anti-malaria uses.  Some of the things she cited may have been more on the agricultural side.  In any event, environmentalism was born.  DDT fell out of favor and nations banned it or discouraged its use.  And malaria returned in force, killing hundreds of thousands of kids each year.

Firebreaks stop the Spread of Wildfires

Smokey the Bear says only we can prevent forest fires.  Well, that’s not exactly true.  We can’t change the weather.  Oh, sure, we can change the climate by warming the earth with manmade greenhouse gases, but we can’t make it rain.  Or stop the lightning.  Put the two together (a long time without rain then a lightning storm) and it will start a forest fire/wildfire.  And there’s nothing we can do about it.  Well, there’s nothing we can do to prevent it from starting.  But we can limit the severity of the wildfire.  By cutting firebreaks in the forest.

Dried trees burn very well.  And dried brush makes excellent tinder.  As a forest burns, the trees burn and flick off embers.  The wind blows the embers downwind.  Where they land on dried brush (i.e., tinder).  A fire smolders.  Then takes hold.  Flames grow.  And jump to the trees.  Which flick off embers.  That blow downwind.  And so on.  This is how fires travel.  And sometimes you can’t stop them.  They get too big to try and douse with water.  So they burn.  And the only thing that will stop them is the lack of fuel.  And this is where a firebreak comes in handy.  If you cut firebreaks into the forest at strategic locations the fire will spread until it comes to one of these fire breaks.  The embers flicking off of trees will then fall harmlessly on the firebreak.  Where there is no fuel.  And the embers will burn out.  Without starting a new fire.  Depending on the strength of the winds and the width of the firebreak, you can stop a lot of fires.  As long as there isn’t a rat living in the area.

Fire struck Riverside County outside Los Angeles in 1993.  It was huge.  And hungry.  That fire advanced and ate everything in its path.  Trees.  Brush.  And houses.  Homeowners in Riverside Country wanted to plow in some fire breaks to protect their homes.  Unfortunately for them, they shared their habitat with the kangaroo rat.  Which was on the Endangered Species List.  And plowing in those firebreaks may have harmed those rats burrowed shallowly in the sandy soil where all that tinder was growing.  So they were forbidden to cut in those firebreaks.  To save the rat.  And the fire burned through their houses.  And kept on burning.

The Food Chain Turned Upside Down

The San Joaquin Valley in central California is one of the most fertile farmlands in the world.  The Westlands.  Some call it the food basket of the world because they grow so much stuff there.  The San Joaquin River is fed from the snow in the Sierra Nevada Mountains and drains into the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.  And it’s from this delta the government has helped the farmers pump water to irrigate their farmlands.  That is, until drought hit the area.  And a little fish.  A tiny smelt.

In the Delta there lived a fish.  This fish was on the Endangered Species List.  And this fish liked to hang around with man.  And the things man built.  Like water pumps.  With the prolonged drought, those irrigation pumps were pumping a lot of water.  And apparently killing a lot of smelt.  That were hanging around the pump inlets.  So a federal judge ruled in 2008 to shut off the irrigation pumps.  To save the fish.  And they did.

Without water farmers can’t farm.  So land went unused.  Farmers planted fewer tomatoes.  And fewer of their other crops.  Worse, some farmers had to destroy some of their healthy crops.  Such as almond trees that took 30 years to grow.  Without water they’d died.  And dead trees attract pests.  That can spread to healthy trees.  So it was either cut down some of their trees.  Or face pest infestation and lose all of their trees.  So food production in the fertile San Joaquin Valley dropped.  There was less food.  Which, of course, raised food prices.  All to save a small fish.

Diverting Corn from Dinner Tables to Gas Tanks 

Some say that we have to find an alternative to oil.  Because oil will run out one day.  Soon.  They’ve been saying this for decades.  And we haven’t run out yet.  But that’s beside the point.  The point is that they say it will run out because of our increasing demand for gasoline to drive our cars.  And that rising demand one day will exceed the oil supply.  One of their solutions?  BiofuelsEthanolFlex FuelE85.  Made from corn.  Our food.  And others.  For we feed a large part of the impoverished world with our surplus corn.

Back in the summer of 2008, gas hit $4/gallon.  That hurt.  The pain was so bad that it made people change behavior.  They bought smaller cars.  Hybrids.  And cars that ran on the ‘cheaper’ E85 (ethanol).  Which sold for something like fifty cents less than unleaded gas.  It seemed like quite the bargain.  Until you used it.  As those who had a significant commute to work soon learned.  One tank of gas let you commute to work for a whole week.  A tank of ethanol?  It didn’t take you quite as far.  People often learned this the hard way.  After having to stop in an unseemly part of town to refuel late night on the way home from work after hearing that ‘low fuel’ chime unexpectedly.  Those of us who did soon switched back to gasoline.  Why?  To prevent late night surprises like that again.  And because we just don’t like pumping gas.  Or, should I say, ‘fuel’.

You see, ethanol has less energy than gasoline.  So it takes more of it to go as far as gasoline takes you.  When you crunched the number you were actually paying more using the ethanol.  Because you were buying more of it.  Which brings us back to the interesting argument of why we have to replace oil.  Because our growing demand will eventually use it all up.  Now, let’s apply that logic to ethanol.  And the fact that it takes more ethanol to drive as far as with gasoline.  What does that tell you?  They will divert an enormous amount of our corn crop from dinner tables to gas tanks.  Making less food available for us.  And for export.  Which will do what?  That’s right.  Make some people go hungry.  And increase food prices.

Trading Humans for non-Humans

Advancements in environmental policy come at the expense of man.  Every time they protect an endangered species man has to yield ground.  When we fight global warming it is man who makes the ultimate sacrifice.  We have to lose some liberty.  Pay more for food.  Or eat less.  When they ban life-saving chemicals people die.  Hundreds of thousands of them.  Especially children in sub-Saharan Africa.  All in the name of saving the planet.

Environmentalists are okay with this.  For they must know about it.  And yet they pursue their agenda.  So they don’t mind the zero-sum game they play.  Trading humans for non-humans.  Because they favor the non-humans over the humans.  So when it comes to saving the planet or saving man, their choice is an easy one.  They save the planet.  And kill man.  For the human dead are acceptable collateral damage in their war to save the planet.


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