Archive for February, 2009

California blows climate cost-benefit analysis

February 25, 2009

To support the enactment of California’s global warming bill, Mary Nichols, the state’s top air regulator, embraced as “good-news-numbers” a cost-benefits analysis that predicted the law would create 100,000 jobs and increase per-capita income by $200 by 2020.

The New York Times reported this morning that, as it turns out, it is the critics who labeled the cost-benefit analysis as “unrealistic” who were correct:

In one withering review, Matthew E. Kahn of the University of California, Los Angeles said the analysis unconvincingly portrayed the law as “a riskless free lunch.” Another economist, Robert N. Stavins of Harvard, said the regulators were “systematically biased” in ways “that lead to potentially severe underestimates of costs.”

Now, with the recession deepening — unemployment in California is 9.3 percent — manufacturers like Mr. Repman say the recession will make carrying out the state’s plan, the first stage of which goes into effect in 2010, even more difficult and could make the economy worse.

The lesson? As the Times reported:

“We’re talking about a transformation of the way of life,” said Greg Freeman, an economist with the Los Angeles Economic Development Commission. “There’s going to be transitional costs. We can’t have the debate about whether the cost is worth paying unless we have a realistic idea of what the cost will be.”

Defend George Will and the right to question climate alarmism!

February 24, 2009

Please help defend nationally syndicated columnist George Will from the greens… you made be defending your own right to question green orthodoxy!

Here’s the story. On Feb. 15, the Washington Post published Will’s column “Dark Green Doomsayers.”

Not surprisingly, green groups (Center for American Progress Action Fund, Media Matters and Friends of the Earth) have gone ballistic). They’re mounting an e-mail campaign to the Post‘s ombudsman alleging that,

  • Will claimed that “according the U.N. World Meteorological Organization, there has been no recorded global warming for more than a decade.” This is false. In fact, the WMO recently stated that “global warming, mostly driven by greenhouse gas emissions, is continuing.”
  • Will misleadingly conflated Arctic and global sea ice levels to leave readers with the false impression that global warming isn’t real. After Will’s column was published, the University of Illinois’ Arctic Climate Research Center took issue with his use of their sea ice data, writing: “It is disturbing that the Washington Post would publish such information without first checking the facts.”
  • Will repeats science deniers’ discredited assertion that a scientific consensus about a global “cooling” crisis existed in the 1970s.

Comically, the greens allege that,

Unfortunately, the Washington Post has a pattern of printing demonstrably false assertions from science deniers. Post editors’ refusal to stand up for the truth strengthens the hand of polluting industries while irreparable harm is caused to our planet and its people.

The greens are demanding that,

the Washington Post correct demonstrably false statements in George Will’s column.

But Will’s statements are not false.

  • Will is correct about there being no warming since 1998 — e.g., check out this graph.
  • Will is correct about sea ice — it is higher today than 30 years ago.
  • As to a “consensus” 30 years ago on a looming ice-age, Will merely cited a number of major media that reported on the disaster-that-never-happened. Nevertheless, the National Academy of Sciences issued a report warning of a coming ice age in 1975, stating “A major climatic change would force economic and social adjustments on a worldwide scale… because the global patterns of food production and population that have evolved are implicitly dependent on the climate of the present century.” [Source: Newsweek – April 28, 1975 “The Cooling World“]. NASA warned of human caused coming ‘ice age’ in 1971. The Washington Post reported on July 9, 1971 that, “The world could be as little as 50 or 60 years away from a disastrous new ice age, a leading atmospheric scientist predicts.” NASA scientist S.I. Rasool, a colleague of James Hansen, made the predictions. The 1971 article continues: “In the next 50 years” — or by 2021 — fossil-fuel dust injected by man into the atmosphere “could screen out so much sunlight that the average temperature could drop by six degrees,” resulting in a buildup of “new glaciers that could eventually cover huge areas.” If sustained over “several years, five to 10,” or so Mr. Rasool est imated, “such a temperature decrease could be sufficient to trigger an ice age.” [Thanks to Marc Morano for the excerpts.]

Moreover, the Washington Post can hardly be considered as giving significant voice to climate skepticism. Other than the odd syndicated columns from Will, Charles Krauthammer, Robert Samuelson and perhaps a few others, the Post is a bastion of strident global warming alarmism.

What you need to do:

E-mail Washington Post ombudsman Andy Alexander at ombudsman@washpost.com and defend George Will’s right to dissent from global warming orthodoxy!

Green IT not so green

February 24, 2009

From a Feb. 24 University of Calgary media release:

Richard Hawkins, Canada Research Chair in Science, Technology and Innovation Policy, says there is no evidence that information technologies necessarily reduce our environmental footprint…

“It was once assumed that there was little or no material dimension to information technology, thus, it should be clean with minimal environmental impact… However, we are finding that reality is much more complicated.”

Firstly, Hawkins notes that digital technologies require a lot of energy to manufacture and eventually they create a huge pile of ‘electronic junk’, much of it highly toxic. They also use a lot of energy to
run. Some estimates are that they use up roughly the same amount of energy as the world’s air transport system.

Far from denying these environmental implications, Hawkins points out that many IT producers are gearing up to produce ‘greener IT’, using the environmental footprint as a marketing tool. “But probably most of the negative environmental impacts occur in the form of completely unintended, second and third order effects,” he says. “These ‘rebound’ effects may not be mitigated by inventing ‘greener’ IT products and, indeed, may be intensified by such changes.”

Rebounds occur when the use of IT contributes to or reinforces an increase in other activities that already have environmental effects.

“For example, technologies such as cell phones actually help us to become hyper-mobile,” he says. “We didn’t adopt the mobile phone so we could drive and talk on the phone, we adopted it because we were already driving so much. Creating a greener cell phone won’t reduce the impact of increased mobility. The real question is what amount of mobility is sustainable?”

Lefties recommend insulating poor from climate costs

February 24, 2009

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a left-leaning think-tank, has issued a new report concluding that global warming policies

…will significantly raise the price of fossil-fuel energy products — from home energy and gasoline to food and other goods and services with significant energy inputs… They will… cut into consumers’ budgets…

For the 60 million Americans in the bottom quintile of income (about $15,000 annually for a family of three), the CBPP says that

even a modest 15 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions would cost them an average of $750 a year in higher energy-related prices that result from the emissions cap.

The CBPP recommends that these families receive tax rebates to compensate them for the effects of higher energy prices.

Read the full CBPP report…

Canadian PM says energy realities trump greens on tar sands!

February 23, 2009

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said the following to Larry Kudlow on CNBC’s Kudlow Report tonight:

First of all, let me be clear about the importation [by the U.S.] of oil sands oil. Regardless of what any legislature does, the United States will be importing this oil because there is absolutely no doubt that if you look at the supply-and-demand pattern into the future, the United States is going to need Canadian oil. It is the one secure, growing market-based source of energy that the United States has. There will be no choice but to import this oil…

… any policy [to stop the importation of oil sands oil] is completely unrealistic if you look at American needs for energy and where Americans can get the supply at a reasonable price… we will do what we can to reduce the carbon footprint. But there should be no illusion that economic reality will hit those environmental policies pretty hard when one goes to implement them…

BTW, Larry Kudlow is an endorser of Steve Milloy’s upcoming book, Green Hell: How Environmentalists Plan to Control Your Life and What You Can Do to Stop Them.

Among many topics, Green Hell discusses how tar sands oil is a key means of providing affordable and secure energy and avoiding an environmentalist-induced oil/gasoline crunch.

Canadian PM Stephen Harper on tar sands oil (CNBC, Kudlow Report, at about 5:51 into clip)

Pickens says no one opposes his ‘Plan’

February 23, 2009

T. Boone Pickens said in an interview this morning on CNBC that,

… but know this… we’ve never had a person that stands up and says your plan is not good. Nobody has said that… I don’t know… there’s not many op-ed pieces or any thing…

But Steve Milloy has written six FoxNews.com columns critical of the Pickens Plan — one of which Pickens’ team responded to on FoxNews.com.

The Cato Institute’s Jerry Taylor has been critical of the Pickens Plan here and here.

Reece Epstein and David Ridenour of the National Center for Public Policy Research have a lengthy critique here.

Here’s a Wall Street Journal article about Pickens’ critics, who include FedEX CEO Fred Smith and former Kansas governor Bill Graves, who now heads the American Trucking Association.

There are plenty more who have stood up against the Pickens Plan. Yet Pickens denies their existence in his effort to “swiftboat” America into his make-Boone-richer-scheme.

And you thought global warming drove you crazy…

February 23, 2009

The Washington Post reported this morning of a Montgomery County, MD man who packed up his wife and twin 6-year-old girls and moved them to New Zealand — because of global warming.

The man told the Post,

I am not going to predict how the climate might change and how it might affect New Zealand… But quite honestly, I feel in 100 years, one of my daughters is still going to be alive and this planet is going to be a mess. If I didn’t have two daughters, I would not be doing this.

The Post further reported,

But he argued that people who do nothing in the face of risk are the ones who are being irrational: If even a fraction of the consequences of global climate change that scientists are forecasting come true, disasters such as Hurricane Katrina might become the norm, not the exception. In a world afflicted by overpopulation and environmental degradation, he asked, is the irrational person the one who acts or the one who says the future will look after itself?

The Post calls this “ecomigration.” Is that because “eco-insanity” is already taken?

Why doesn’t Al Gore get this question?

February 23, 2009

In its Feb. 22 interview of Dambisa Moyo, an African activist (the Anti-Bono) who condemns Western aid to Africa as perpetuating poverty, New York Times Magazine reporter Deborah Solomon asked Moyo whether she had a financial interest in a microfinance company mentioned in the interview.

Why is Al Gore never asked about his financial interests? He is, after all, a partner in UK-based Generation Investment Management and in the U.S.-based venture capital outfit, Kleiner Perkins. When Al Gore testified in the Senate in January, he never mentioned, and no Senator asked about the billions of dollars his firms stand to make off global warming regulations.

Are only politically incorrect activists suspected of profiteering?

Will Planet Earth sign a mercury emissions treaty?

February 23, 2009

The Washington Post reports that the Obama administration has embraced the idea of an international treaty to limit mercury emissions.

According to the EPA, the U.S. is only responsible for 3% of manmade mercury emissions — and U.S. emissions are on the decline. Let’s not forget that Mother Nature’s mercury emissions are thought to be on the same order as anthropogenic emissions.

Should we just let the world’s other emitters knock themselves out and leave us and our sovereignty alone?

Welcome to Green Hell….

February 20, 2009

… the blog, that is, as opposed to where we’ll be living if we let the environmentalists take over our lives.

Steve Milloy’s latest book Green Hell: How Environmentalists Plan to Control Your Life and What You Can Do to Stop Them is being published by Regnery Publishing in March 2009.

This blog will keep you current on Green Hell-related news and doings, and recommend actions you can take to combat Big Green Brother. You’ll also be able to share your own tales of green woe and to comment on posts!

If we are going to avoid living in a green hell, we will need to save ourselves!