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.

www.PITHOCRATES.com

Share

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Air Pollution is so bad in India that it Burns your Lungs when you Breathe It

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 16th, 2013

Week in Review

The environmentalist in the United States are trying to kill the internal combustion engine.  And coal-fired power plants.  Because of global warming.  And air pollution.  But the air quality in the U.S. has never been better.  No one knows we have any air pollution unless measuring devices tell us.  For we can go to pretty much any U.S. city and breath the air without the word pollution ever coming to mind.  Which is more than some people can say (see Air pollution on the rise in Kolkata by Smita Prakash posted 3/15/2013 on Channels News Asia).

Rapid modernisation and an unchecked number of vehicles are making Kolkata one of the most polluted cities in India…

Ms Karmakar said: “My whole respiratory system feels a burning sensation. When I breathe, the smoke in the air goes inside through my nose, chokes me and enters my lungs and I feel a strong burning sensation in my lungs. Vehicles emit black smoke and run past.”

Based on her statements you can only come to one conclusion.  The U.S. has won the war against air pollution.  And any further environmental regulations would be pointless.  And an unnecessary job-killing cost to business.  For no one suffers a burning sensation in their lungs when they breathe in an American city.

And if the environmentalists say we must further regulate businesses to reduce the levels of air pollution that are so minute that you need a sensitive measuring device to detect them we should ask them what’s the point?  For whatever small reduction we can gain at great cost to our businesses (resulting in less job creation) cannot offset the kind of air pollution that causes a burning sensation in people’s lungs when they breathe.  Air pollution is bad in India.  And it’s even worse in China.  So how will further regulations in America clean the air in China and India?

The U.S. does not have an air pollution problem.  And if there is a global warming problem that battle has to be fought in India and China.  Not in the U.S.  Our air is cleaner by far than these two polluting superpowers.  It is they who need to catch up to us.  And they will.  In time.  But increasing the cost of business yet more in the United States when it won’t make the air noticeably cleaner or have an impact on reducing global warming makes no sense.  Unless you just hate capitalism so much that you’ll take any excuse to regulate and punish it.  Which is about the only reason to increase environmental regulations in one of the cleanest countries in the world.

www.PITHOCRATES.com

Share

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Australia turns away from Nuclear Power because of Fukushima and Irrational Fear and Scaremongering

Posted by PITHOCRATES - November 11th, 2012

Week in Review

In the war to save the world from global warming one of the first campaigns was the battle against coal.  The backbone of baseload power.  One of the most reliable means to generate electric power.  Fed by a large domestic supply of coal.  You could always count on power being there in your homes with our coal-fired power plants feeding the electric grid.  But coal had to go.  Because they were melting the Arctic ice cap.  And raising ocean levels.  Not quite like they did during the Ice Ages when glaciers covered most of the Northern Hemisphere.  Until global warming pushed them back a couple of thousand miles or so.  At a time when only Mother Nature released the carbon boogeyman into the atmosphere.  But we ignore this historical climate record.  And only pay attention to temperature changes that suit the global warming agenda.  Because the real goal of the war to save the world from global warming is to expand government control into the private sector economy.

Australia wants to show the world that they take global warming serious.  They enacted a carbon tax.  To help fund their investment into renewable energy sources.  Which has increased the cost of electric power.  And if the carbon tax and higher utility prices weren’t enough they also are talking about raising their GST.  Of course the GST has nothing to do with climate change.  But it just goes to show that Australia is trying hard to raise tax revenue.  Which is perhaps the driving force behind their carbon tax.  Revenue.  On top of this there is a growing opposition to the only source of power generation that can duplicate what coal-fired power plants can do but without the pollution (see Meltdown fears crush case for nuclear power – Brisbane Times posted 11/11/2012 on Canberra Hub).

THE Fukushima nuclear accident has quashed consideration of nuclear power in Australia, with the government’s energy white paper arguing there is no compelling economic case for it and insufficient community acceptance…

Resources Minister Martin Ferguson has said it should remain ”a live debate”. Foreign Minister Bob Carr said before he re-entered politics: ”I support nuclear power because I take global warming so very seriously … [it] should certainly play a role in Australia’s future mix of energy sources.”

Deputy Liberal leader Julie Bishop has said it should be considered ”in the mix” and Senator Barnaby Joyce has said: ”If we are fair dinkum [i.e., truthful] about reducing carbon emissions … then uranium is where it’s going to be…”

Labor argues nuclear power is not economically necessary in Australia, since the carbon tax and the renewable energy target are already shifting power generation to renewables.

There are some fundamental truths about power generation.  Coal, natural gas, and petroleum provide reliable and abundant electric power while being safe but they pollute.  Nuclear power provides reliable electric power without any pollution but can be dangerous.  Though for the half century or so we’ve been using nuclear power the number of accidents that have claimed human lives is statistically insignificant.

There have been about 68 people killed in nuclear power accidents   If you count the future cancer deaths from the  Chernobyl accident you can raise that to about 4,000.  Fukushima in Japan claimed no lives other than one apparent heart attack someone had carrying heavy things in the aftermath of the accident.  It was nowhere near as bad as Chernobyl.  But if it, too, claimed 4,000 lives in future cancer deaths that brings the total death toll from nuclear power to approximately 8,000 deaths for the half century or so we’ve been using it.  Sounds like a lot.  But you know what nuclear power is safer than?  Driving your car.  In 2010 the number of motor vehicle deaths was just over 32,000.  Again, that’s for one year.  Making nuclear power far safer than getting into your car.

The opposition to nuclear power is based on fear.  And politics.  Not the facts.  Yes, nuclear power accidents are scary.  But there are very few nuclear power accidents.  For a statistically insignificant risk of a nuclear catastrophe we’re giving up the only baseload power source than can do what coal can do.  Give us abundant and reliable electric power.  But without the pollution.  However, they oppose nuclear power.  Not because of facts but because of irrational fear and scaremongering.  And if we know they’re doing this for nuclear power can we not conclude that they’re doing the same thing in the war to save the world from global warming?  Especially considering how many thousands of miles glaciers moved long before man released any carbon into the atmosphere?  Yes.  We can believe they base their war to save the world from global warming on nothing but irrational fear and scaremongering.

www.PITHOCRATES.com

Share

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Californians hate their Environmental Policies so much they buy Chevy Volts to Cheat the System

Posted by PITHOCRATES - June 9th, 2012

Week in Review

Buses are cheaper than trains.  Because all a bus needs is fuel in its tanks and firm ground to drive on.  A train on the other hand is very expensive.  Because wherever a train goes you need a dedicated road (i.e., railroad tracks).  A massive infrastructure wherever that road goes.  And an army of people to maintain and operate it.  Subways are even more expensive.  Because they are underground.  Which makes everything more costly.

California has spent a fortune on their trains in the greater Los Angeles area.  So let us compare a few statistics on both buses and trains.  Buses are more numerous.  They have 183 bus routes covering 1,433 square miles.  While they have 5 rail lines for a total of 79.1 rail miles in service.   Their buses have average weekday boardings of approximately 1,125,840.  While their trains have average weekday boardings of approximately 319,883.  (These numbers are approximate because one train line’s boardings are included in the Metro Bus ridership numbers for some reason). 

It is clear their trains are not moving anywhere near the number of people their buses are moving.  And for all that investment it hasn’t even helped to remove cars from the road or cut pollution.  Because the roads are still so congested that they have High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) or car pool lanes on their expressways.  To encourage people to save the planet.  By jamming as many people into a car as possible for their commutes to work.  For if they do they can take the less congested HOV lanes and cut an hour or so off of their drive time.  Well, it turns out that not only do Californians hate taking the bus and train they also hate car pooling.  Enter the Chevy Volt.  The answer to all of their dreams (see Volt sales surge in California thanks to car-pool access by Peter Valdes-Dapena posted 6/7/2012 on CNN Money).

Sales of General Motors’ Chevrolet Volt plug-in car, which had been dwindling in recent months, are enjoying a big resurgence in California, a state with some of the highest gas prices in the nation.

But the uptick in Volt sales isn’t about saving gas; it’s more about saving time.

Despite being incredibly fuel efficient, the Volt’s emissions when operating on gasoline weren’t clean enough to qualify it to drive in California’s car-pools lanes, relegating Volt owners to the whims of grueling California traffic.

But now, thanks to some new engineering tweaks to fix that issue, 2012 model year Volts sold in California can drive in those free-flowing HOV (high occupancy vehicle) lanes — even with only one person in the car…

California car buyers will jump at any opportunity to drive in HOV lanes.

Those lanes flow much more smoothly than other traffic-choked lanes on California highways, especially at rush hour, O’Dell said.

O’Dell owns a car with an HOV-lane sticker and says that when he’s driving that car, he gets to work in about an hour. When he’s driving a car without the sticker it takes him from two to two-and-a-half hours, he said.

In addition to HOV-lane access, the Volt is also eligible for a $1,500 state tax rebate in California on top of a $7,500 federal tax credit. Some local governments in California offer additional benefits for plug-in car buyers, as well.

The Chevy Volt allows these people do what they want to do.  Stay off the buses.  Stay off the trains.  And drive their cars.  Alone.  And it has nothing to do with saving the planet.  They just want to drive in the HOV lanes and save a couple of hours driving each day.  And they’re willing pay more to be able to do that.  For time is money.  And life.  Time lost sitting in traffic and waiting for a bus or a train is time that we can never get back.

California has the strictest environmental laws in the country.  But when it comes to living with the consequences of these laws the people will look to cheat.  As they are with the Chevy Volt.  Which will reverse all the progress the environmentalists have made in restricting people’s freedoms in California.  By placing such a high opportunity cost on driving a car alone.  Painfully long commutes.  But thanks to the Chevy Volt Californians can do what they’re always wanted to do.  Drive their gasoline-powered cars.  In the fast lane.  Hell, they may never plug in their hybrids.  And pretend they’re driving real cars in the fast lane.  Just to relish the knowledge that they’re putting one over on the environmentalists.

www.PITHOCRATES.com

Share

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Climate Data shows Anti-Pollution Emission Standards cause Global Warming

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 29th, 2012

Week in Review

Global warming is real.  So says all the global warming climate scientists’ science.  With some interesting qualifiers.  Where they explain drops in global temperatures.  Which are caused by the very things that are causing global warming.  Man putting smoke, soot and ash into the atmosphere from our fossil fuels (see Climate Canard No. 2: ‘Warming Has Stopped’ — A Very Temporary Duck by Bill Blackmore posted 4/29/2012 on ABC News).

The slight dip in the 1950s is believed by climate scientists to have been caused at least partly by the post-World War II economic boom, which produced great amounts of industrial smog whose tiny particles reflect warming sunlight back into outer space — as does the thick smoke from volcanoes.

Now see, this is the reason why there are climate skeptics.  There is no science that explains this dip in temperature.  Just anti-science.  Hunches.  And guesses.  If smog and smoke lowered temperatures why didn’t they lower temperatures during World War II?  For American industry was humming during the war, too.  Not to mention all those trucks, tanks, jeeps, ships and airplanes pumping all of that pollution into the atmosphere.  None of which had any emission controls.  Then add in all those fires from the destruction of oil refineries.  Ships.  Planes.  Tanks.  And the burning down of cities.  Like Dresden.  And Tokyo.  Throw in a couple of mushroom clouds.  You add all of this up and it should at least equal the pollution we were throwing up into the atmosphere during the Fifties.  Yet this same chart shows higher temperatures during the war.  Which would make sense if pollution caused global warming.  Instead of preventing it.  As they claim happened during the Fifties.

If you back up one decade to the Thirties, it appears there was no change in global temperatures.  Again, this would make sense if man was causing all of the warming.  Because man wasn’t doing much during the Great Depression.  But then even this logic fails if you back up one more decade to the Twenties.  To the Roaring Twenties.  When the world was modernizing.  The new electric power supported a manufacturing boom.  Included in that boom was the new automobile.  That jammed our city streets.  Filling them with raw emissions.  While steam locomotives puffed soot, smoke and ash into our cities and across the country.  And what did all of this manmade pollution do?  It lowered temperatures.  Which supports their original claim that air pollution prevents global warming.  But then this doesn’t agree with the data from the Forties.  When air pollution caused global warming.  And to confuse us a little more they have another chart that shows temperatures fell during the Forties.

The dip in the global temperature from about 1942 to 1970 is believed by climate scientists to be due partly to the intense industrial activity of World War Two and the economic boom that followed.

The gray and black particles in the smoky emissions from factories actually help cool the earth by reflecting some of the warming sunlight back into outer space, thus preventing it from hitting the earth where it changes into the invisible infrared light that is trapped by greenhouse gasses, warming the air.

So what are they telling us?  Are we causing global warming by cutting emissions from fossil fuels?  Should we create more electricity from coal?  And should we let those plants belch pollution into the atmosphere?  To save us from the perils of global warming?  For if there is any correlation between the rise in global temperatures and manmade activity it is this.  Global temperatures took off when we started reducing manmade polluting emissions.  The data absolutely supports this.  And no one can deny it.  Not even the most respective global warming climate scientists.

Again, this is the reason why there are climate skeptics.  Because global warming climate scientists make it so easy to be skeptical.

www.PITHOCRATES.com

Share

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Property Rights and Contracts

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 26th, 2012

Economics 101

We put a lot of Money and Time into Maintaining Property we Own so we can Enjoy it Exclusively

Have you ever bought the Brooklyn Bridge?  I hope not.  For if you have someone probably conned you.  Unless you bought it from the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT).  Because they currently own the Brooklyn Bridge.  And are the only ones who can sell it.  But the last I checked they weren’t selling.  So I doubt they sold it to you.  If you are about to enter into negotiations to buy the Brooklyn Bridge I suggest you do a title search first.  To verify that the seller in fact owns the property.  Has the right to sell the property.  And that the seller is selling the property ‘free and clear’.  To make sure you don’t have to pay any outstanding construction bills for work completed on the bridge that the DOT didn’t pay.  Then and only then should you buy your bridge.  So you can enjoy the pride of bridge ownership.  While charging tolls.  And getting rich.

This illustrates a central point about buying and selling things.  Property rights.  Which lets us buy things.  And sell them.  For to sell something we must first own it.  And to buy something we must know that we can own it.  Because if we’re not sure we can own it we’re not going to exchange our hard-earned money for it.  And once we own something we’re going to use it however we wish to use it.  At least that’s what we expect to do.  If we buy a house with a pool in the yard we’re going to want to use that pool exclusively.  Because we paid for it.  And keep it clean.  By maintaining the pool filters and pumps.  Adding chlorine.  Vacuuming the bottom.  We’re going to put a lot of money and time into maintaining that pool so we can enjoy it.  Our little tropical paradise in our own backyard.  But we’re not going to do all of that if just anyone can walk into our yard and use our pool whenever they damn well please.  For if that were the case we wouldn’t spend the time and money in the first place.  We’d look for a pool we could use for free.  Like everyone else who thought they could walk into our yard and use our pool whenever they damn well please.

Or would we?  Let’s say someone in your neighborhood just moved in.  They put in a nice in-the-ground pool.  Spent a fortune on it.  Kept it pristine.  And used it exclusively.  They were happy.  Until the subprime mortgage crisis hit.  And all of a sudden they owed far more on their mortgage than the house was worth.  So one night they just disappeared.  And let the bank have the house.  Once you notice their house is empty you think about that pool.  And decide what could it hurt if you went over for a swim?  You go there.  Notice they left the pumps and filters on.  And the pool is still pretty clean.  So you enjoy a swim or two.  Others find out.  And go over for a swim.  A lot of them.  The pool is crowded.  And not so clean anymore.  No one is skimming the garbage out of it.  Or maintaining the chlorine level.  Some of the kids are even peeing in the pool instead of getting out of it.  Soon the pool begins to smell bad.  Algae is growing.  The filters plug up.  With the water flow blocked the pumps strain and trip the circuit breaker.  Stopping the pumps.  And the filtering.  The crud they filtered out backs up into the pool.  Soon the water turns a greenish gray.  And looks more like a stagnant pond where dead fish float on the surface than the pristine tropical paradise it once was.

We can trace most Pollution and Environmental Damage back to the Tragedy of the Commons

Economists call this the Tragedy of the Commons.  Which is what happens when we poorly define our property rights.  In our example the pool was clean and enjoyable when someone owned the pool.  When no one owned the pool (after the previous owners abandoned it) the pool became dirty and no longer enjoyable.  Why?  Because when we own something we have an incentive to take care of it.  For our long-term enjoyment.  When no one owns it no one has an incentive to take care of it.  Some may try but others will continue to pollute.  Because they don’t own it.  And have no incentive to spend the time and money to keep it clean.  Especially when others are still polluting.  So no one tries to keep the pool clean.  They’ll enjoy it while they can.  And when the pollution gets so bad they will move on and find something else to enjoy. 

We can trace most pollution and environmental damage back to the Tragedy of the Commons.  If you love the beach so much that you buy a house on it you will keep your beach clean.  You’re not going to litter it with cigarette butts, empty bottles, food wrappers, used condoms, etc.  A public beach, on the other hand, is a different story.  Just as people will take their trash to a public field to dump it.  Because they don’t own that land and have no incentive NOT to pollute it.  And it’s cheaper than taking their trash to the private landfill that charges a fee.  Who helps to keep America beautiful by burying our trash.  And when the landfill is full someone else will buy it and make a beautiful golf course out of it.  Or something else.  As long as someone owns it something nice will happen with that land.  To maintain the value of that land to the landowner.

When you own something it has value to you.  Such as a logging company cutting down trees on land they own.  Because this land has value they will not over-log it.  And when they cut down trees they will plant new seedlings.  So the land continues to have value.  Because they will be able to cut down these seedlings after they grow into trees.  Or the future owner of that land will be able to.  Who will buy that land because it has value.  Whereas there is no incentive for a private logger working on public land NOT to over-log it.  Or to plant seedlings.  Because they don’t own that land.  Anything they don’t cut down some other logging company will.  And without any property rights to that land they won’t plant any seedlings.  Because nothing will prevent anyone else from cutting these down once they grow into trees.

Well Defined Property Rights allow Buyers and Sellers to Enter into Contracts with one Another

To do all of this buying and selling we need well defined property rights.  Clearly spelling out what the seller owns.  And what exactly the buyer is buying.  For example, a logging company buying a tree farm may want to drill an exploratory well to see if there is oil or natural gas under that land.  So he or she will want to make sure that the terms of the sale include all mineral rights.  Paying additional for these rights if necessary.  Or getting the tree farm at a lower price than other comparable tree farms because the seller wants to retain the mineral rights.

Well defined property rights allow buyers and sellers to enter into contracts with one another.  Contracts clearly state the terms of sale and any other special provisions.  Such as the seller retaining his or her right to have his or her pick of one tree anywhere on that land once a year in the month of December.  As long as buyer and seller freely enter into these agreements they expect each other to honor the terms of the contract.  And only when both parties honor the terms of the contract does the ownership of property transfer from one party to another.

Property has value.  Even the Brooklyn Bridge.  And well defined property rights protect that value.  Because the DOT owns that bridge they spend money to maintain that bridge.  A well-maintained bridge provides value for those who want to cross the East River.  Currently the various taxes they pay to the city and state make their way to the DOT.  To pay for that maintenance.  But if the city of New York found itself in serious financial trouble they could sell the Brooklyn Bridge.  To a private person.  Who wants to put up toll booths on the bridge.  The city gets a large sum of money to help with their financial trouble.  And the new private owner gets a revenue stream in the form of tolls.  And the city of New York will, of course, screw those crossing the East River.  Because they’ll now have to pay a toll to cross the Brooklyn Bridge.  But they won’t get any of their taxes back.  Because governments rarely if ever cut their taxes.  The city and the private person do well because they both have well defined property rights.  And a contract.  The people using the bridge don’t.  They had no contract with the city that clearly stated the terms for their use of that bridge.  And will continue to pay the taxes that paid their crossing fees.  As well as the new tolls.  Which is business as usual.  Because government always screws the taxpayers.  Who are always at a disadvantage when it comes to property rights and contracts when dealing with the government.  For government has the power to break contracts and take property.  Unlike private persons entering into contracts.  Who only transfer the ownership of property by mutual consent.

www.PITHOCRATES.com

Share

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Steam Locomotive, Diesel Electric Locomotive, Interstate Highway System, Airplane, Air Travel, Refined Petroleum Products and Pipelines

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 21st, 2012

Technology 101

The Diesel Electric Locomotive could pull a Train Cross Country and into the Heart of a City with Minimal Pollution

The 1920s were transformative years.  The Roaring Twenties.  It’s when we moved from animal power to mechanical power.  From the horse and plow to the tractor.  From steam power to electric power.  From the telegraph to the telephone.  From the gas lamp to the electric light.  From crowded mass transit to the freedom of the automobile.  From manual labor to the assembly line. 

You can see a glimpse of that world in 1920’s Steam Train Journey Across the United States – Westward Ho!  The beginning of the modern city.  With modern street lighting.  Electric power and telephone overhead wiring.  Streets crowded with automobiles.  Tractors and mechanical harvesters on the farm.  And, of course, the steam locomotive.  Connecting distant cities.  Transferring the freight to feed the modern industrial economy.  And shipping the finished goods.  As well as all that food from the farm to our grocer’s shelves.  Proving the 1920s were vibrant economic times.  With real economic growth.  And not a speculative bubble.  For there was nothing speculative about all of this technology becoming a part of our way of life.

Of course the technology wasn’t perfect.  The coal-burning locomotives belched black smoke and ash wherever they went.  Which wasn’t all that bad in the open country where a train or two passed.  But it was pretty dangerous in tunnels.  Which had to be short lest they suffocated their passengers.  (One of the reasons why all subways use electric trains).  Making for some long and winding railroads in mountainous terrain.  To go around mountains instead of under them.  Slowing trains and increasing travel time.  And they were pretty unpleasant in the cities.  Where the several rail lines converged.  Bringing a lot of coal-burning locomotives together.  Creating a smoky haze in these cities.  And leaving a layer of ash everywhere.  The cleaner diesel-burning locomotives changed that.  The diesel electric locomotive could pull a train cross country and into the heart of a city with a minimal amount of pollution.  As long as they kept their engines from burning rich.  Which they would if they operated them with dirty air filters.  Reducing fuel efficiency by having the air-fuel mixture contain too much fuel.  And causing these engines to belch black smoke.  Similar to diesel trucks running with dirty air filters.

Airplanes can travel between Two Points in a Direct Line at Faster Speeds than a Train or Bus with Minimal Infrastructure

Trains shrunk our country.  Brought distant cities together.  Allowing people to visit anywhere in the continental United States.  And the railroads profited well from all of this travel.  Until two later developments.  One was the interstate highway system.  That transferred a lot of freight from the trains to trucks.  As well as people from trains to buses and cars.  And then air travel.  That transferred even more people from trains to airplanes.  This competition really weakening railroads’ profits.  And pretty much put an end to passenger rail.  For people used the interstate highway system for short trips.  And flew on the long ones.  Which was quicker.  And less expensive.  Primarily because airplanes flew over terrain that was costly to avoid.

Highways and railroads have to negotiate terrain.  They have to wind around obstacles.  Go up and down mountainous regions.  Cross rivers and valleys on bridges.  Travel under hilly terrain through tunnels.  And everywhere they go they have to travel on something built by man.  All the way from point A to point B.  Now trucks, buses and cars have an advantage here.  We subsidize highway travel with fuel taxes.  Trucking companies, bus lines and car owners didn’t have to build the road and infrastructure connecting point A to point B.  Like the railroads do.  The railroads had to supply that very extensive and very expensive infrastructure themselves.  Paid for by their freight rates and their passenger ticket sales.  And when there were less expensive alternatives it was difficult to sell your rates and fares at prices high enough to support that infrastructure.  Especially when that lower-priced alternative got you where you were going faster.  Like the airplane did.

Man had always wanted to fly.  Like a bird.  But no amount of flapping of man-made wings got anyone off the ground.  We’re too heavy and lacked the necessary breast muscles to flap anything fast enough.  Not to mention that if we could we didn’t have any means to stabilize ourselves in flight.  We don’t have a streamline body or tail feathers.  But then we learned we could create lift.  Not by flapping but my pushing a curved wing through the air.  As the air passes over this curved surface it creates lift.  Generate enough speed and you could lift quite a load with those wings.  Including people.  Cargo.  Engines.  And fuel.  Add in some control elements and we could stabilize this in flight.  A tail fin to prevent yawing (twisting left and right) from the direction of flight.  Like a weathercock turns to point in the direction of the wind.  And an elevator (small ‘wing’ at the tail of the plane) to control pitch (nose up and nose down).  Ailerons correct for rolling.  Or turn the plane by rolling.  By tipping the wings up or down to bank the airplane (to turn left the left aileron goes up and the right aileron goes down).  And using the elevator on the take-off roll to pitch the nose up to allow the plane to gain altitude.  And in flight it allows the plane to ascend or descend to different altitudes.  Put all of this together and it allows an airplane to travel between points A and B while avoiding all terrain.  In a direct line between these two points.  At a much faster speed than a train, bus or car can travel.  And the only infrastructure required for this are the airports at points A and B.  And the few en route air traffic controllers between points A and B. Which consisted of radar installations and dark rooms with people staring at monitors.  Communicating to the aircraft.  Helping them to negotiate the air highways without colliding into other aircraft.  And air travel took off, of course, in the 1920s.  The Roaring Twenties.  Those glorious transformative years.

Refined Petroleum Products have Large Concentrations of Energy and are the Only Fuel that allows Air Travel

The most expensive cost of flying is the fuel cost.  The costlier it is the costlier it is to fly.  Not so for the railroads.  Because their fuel costs aren’t the most expensive cost they have.  Maintaining their infrastructure is.  They can carry incredible loads cross country for a small price per unit weight.  Without swings in fuel prices eating into their profits.  Making them ideal to transfer very large and/or heavy loads over great distances.  Despite dealing with all the headaches of terrain.  For neither a plane nor a truck can carry the same volume a train can.  And heavier loads on a plane take far greater amounts of fuel.  This additional fuel itself adding a great amount of weight to the aircraft.  Thus limiting its flight distance.  Requiring refueling stops along the way.  Making it a very expensive way to transport heavy loads.  Which is why we ship coal on trains.  Not on planes.

Trains are profitable again.  But they’re not making their money moving people around.  Their money is in heavy freight.  Iron ore.  Coke.  And, of course, coal.  To feed the modern industrial economy.  Stuff too heavy for our paved roads.  And needed in such bulk that it would take caravans of trucks to carry what one train can carry.  But even trains can’t transport something in enough bulk to make it cost efficient.  Refined petroleum.  Gasoline.  Diesel.  And jet fuel.  For these we use pipelines.  From pipelines we load gas and diesel onto trucks and deliver it to your local gas station.  We run pipelines directly to the fuel racks in rail yards.   And run pipelines to our airports.  Where we pump jet fuel into onsite storage tanks in large fuel farms.  Which we then pump out in another set of pipelines to fueling hydrants located right at aircraft gates.

These refined petroleum products carry large concentrations of energy.  Are easy to transport in pipelines.  Are portable.  And are very convenient.  Planes and trains (as well as ships, busses and cars) can carry them.  Allowing them to travel great distances.  Something currently no renewable energy can do.  And doing without them would put an end to air travel.  Greatly increase the cost of rail transport (by electrifying ALL our tracks).  Or simply abandoning track we don’t electrify.  Making those far distant cities ever more distant.  And our traveling options far more limited than they were in the 1920s.  Turning the hands of time back about a hundred years.  Only we’ll have less.  And life will be less enjoyable.

www.PITHOCRATES.com

Share

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The UK funds Research to develop Carbon Capture and Storage Technology to Save the Planet and Kill the Economy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 17th, 2012

Week in Review

I guess we should put the plants and trees on notice.  For their carbon sucking days are over.  The UK is financing research to pull the ‘C’ out of CO2.  Leaving the plants and trees less CO2 to breathe.  In an effort to cool the planet.  Something else the green plants and trees won’t like all that much.  Based on how they look during the winter (see UK to give 20 million pounds to cheaper carbon capture posted 3/13/2012 on Reuters UK).

The British government on Monday launched a competition to provide 20 million pounds this year to companies developing cheaper and more efficient components for carbon capture and storage (CCS) plants…

The government has set aside 125 million pounds for research and development of CCS components over a four-year period, to be distributed in collaboration with three technology research groups…

The government is under pressure to deliver a new CCS construction programme in Britain, after its latest attempt to finance a project in Scotland collapsed due to spiralling costs.

CCS is an expensive and commercially unproven technology, but the government sees its development as vital to help reduce carbon emissions from power plants.

If my math is correct that 125 million pounds is about $200 million.  Not a lot of money in the broad scheme of things when it comes to government budgets.  But for a government struggling to reduce its deficit there are probably a lot of $200 million programs that we could eliminate to help with that deficit reduction.  Besides spending money on expensive unproven technology just transfers good money to bad investments.  Like all those windmills off the coast of Britain that fell still during winter.  A time when electricity really comes in handy.

We’re spending more and more on bad technology to end phantom problems.  Lucky for us the environmentalists weren’t around during the Industrial Revolution when smoke, soot and ash covered our cities.  Thanks to the steam locomotive.  And coal-fired industry.  Before there was electricity.  For back then there was real pollution.  It wasn’t a pretty pristine world back in the 1800s.  It was pretty filthy.  But we did survive.  And the last time I looked out of a window I saw the planet survived, too.  The planet is cleaner today.  Yet we’re more panicked and spend more to clean it.  Because of the environmentalists.  Who hate the modern world.  Capitalism.  And technology.  Unless it’s green and sucks the life out of the economy.

www.PITHOCRATES.com

Share

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Scotland’s Pollution exceeds European Air Pollution Targets

Posted by PITHOCRATES - December 31st, 2011

Week in Review

Fine single malt isn’t the only thing Scotland is making these days (see City pollution ‘at danger levels’ in Scotland posted 12/26/2011 on the BBC News Scotland).

Dr Dan Barlow, head of policy at WWF Scotland, said: “It is totally unacceptable that Scotland has breached European air pollution targets for the second year in a row…

“This situation is a direct result of the failure of successive governments to produce a sensible strategy that adequately addresses air pollution and climate emissions from road traffic.”

The Scottish government said it had set out a vision to make the country’s roads as efficient as possible in its Infrastructure Investment Plan, while work was also under way to develop low carbon vehicle technology, promote “active travel choices” and encourage a shift towards public transport.

Perhaps the Scots know that all that global warming nonsense coming out of the University East Anglia was just that.  Nonsense.  And that it was just a way for big governments everywhere to strangle industrial economies.  By increasing the cost of business with low-carbon regulations.  And taxing them with carbon fees.  Which, incidentally, just also happens to help plug those nasty budget deficits that are all the rage in Europe these days.

Air pollution?  You know, about a hundred years ago their cities were thick with smoke and soot from steam engines burning coal.  And here we are.  Still alive.  And the glaciers are still there.  If the pollution from the Industrial Revolution didn’t kill us it’s likely no pollution can.  Besides, if the pollution was so bad would their single malt scotch still be so good?

www.PITHOCRATES.com

Share

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

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.

www.PITHOCRATES.com

Share

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

« Previous Entries