Archive for March 18th, 2009

UN: ‘Global Green New Deal’

March 18, 2009

Reuters reports that the UN Environment Programme wants to levy an oil tax on developed nations of $5 per barrel to fund a “Global Green New Deal.”

According to Reuters,

“[The tax] would be almost, if not totally, unnoticed by the consumer,” [UNEP head Achim Steiner] said, especially since oil prices have fallen from more than $140 a barrel at mid-2008 peaks to about $40.

A barrel of oil contains 158 liters and OECD consumption is about 20 billion barrels a year, he said. “This is just one example, there may be many others,” of funding, he said.

“I am concerned about the prospect of a meaningful deal in Copenhagen if there is not a significant financial package on the table,” he said. Cash would encourage poor nations to step up actions to curb rising greenhouse gas emissions.”

Remember how the UN’s oil-for-food program worked out — for Saddam Hussein?

Imagine the UN klepto-crats with $750 billion (of our money) to spend.

Wells Fargo: Saving the planet or killing jobs?

March 18, 2009

Taking advantage of federal securities regulations that permit publicly-owned companies to transmit annual proxy statements to shareholders by e-mail rather than by mail, banking giant Wells Fargo stated in its preliminary 2008 proxy statement that,

Wells Fargo is also committed to promoting a clean environment and working towards a greener future. The SEC rule also allows us to reduce the environmental impact of printing and mailing hard copies of proxy materials to each stockholder. We printed 100,546,728 fewer pages of proxy materials for our 2008 annual meeting than we did for our 2007 annual meeting because we used the SEC’s notice and access rule. As a result, last year we saved the equivalent of at least:

  • 7,500 trees;
  • Greenhouse gas emissions of more than 250 cars driven for one year; and
  • Nearly 40 garbage trucks full of solid waste.

While the e-proxy may save Wells Fargo some money, its exaltation of its e-proxy’s green “benefits” is a bit unthinking, if not shortsighted:

  • Given that discarded proxy statements are only a small part of the waste stream, e-proxies won’t reduce garbage truck traffic or significantly increase landfill capacity. That’s good news for employees of garbage hauling companies and landfill operators./li>
  • Trees are a renewable resource. They are continually planted and harvested to make paper. Wells Fargo may have “saved” 7,500 trees, but how many jobs in the timber/paper industry will that cost? How many of those employees would have opened accounts at Wells Fargo?
  • Wells Fargo says it has saved the planet from the greenhouse gas emissions of 250 cars? Do you know how many cars Americans own? More than 250 million. Even if you buy into CO2 hysteria, trivial doesn’t begin describe the banks “achievement.”
  • And if we start applauding the removal of cars from the road, where will auto workers, gas station attendants, road workers, etc. work? Even Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm is starting to figure this one out.

Wells Fargo is going to need a healthy, growing and jobs-producing economy for the sake of its own prosperity.

People can’t live on green.

Obama climate plan costs $2 trillion

March 18, 2009

The Washington Times reported today that,

President Obama’s climate plan could cost industry close to $2 trillion, nearly three times the White House’s initial estimate of the so-called “cap-and-trade” legislation, according to Senate staffers who were briefed by the White House…

“We all looked at each other like, ‘Wow, that’s a big number,'” said a top Republican staffer who attended the meeting…

It’s a big number that will accomplish nothing since, according to IPCC formulas, it would cost about $100 trillion to avert 1 degree Celsius of global warming through reducing CO2 emissions.

Take action:

Urge your Senators to oppose the Obama climate plan as a threat to our economy.

Obama Energy Chief: Climate a trade ‘weapon’

March 18, 2009

The Wall Street Journal reported today,

Energy Secretary Steven Chu on Tuesday advocated adjusting trade duties as a “weapon” to protect U.S. manufacturing, just a day after one of China’s top climate envoys warned of a trade war if developed countries impose tariffs on carbon-intensive imports.

Mr. Chu, speaking before a House science panel, said establishing a carbon tariff would help “level the playing field” if other countries haven’t imposed greenhouse-gas-reduction mandates similar to the one President Barack Obama plans to implement over the next couple of years. It is the first time the Obama administration has made public its view on the issue.

“If other countries don’t impose a cost on carbon, then we will be at a disadvantage…[and] we would look at considering perhaps duties that would offset that cost,” Mr. Chu said.

While trade is a proven tool of international economic growth and peace, green is shaping up to be a tool of protectionism and international hostility.

Climate dislosure imposed on insurers

March 18, 2009

The Wall Street Journal reported this morning that,

Insurance companies must start disclosing how climate change is likely to affect their businesses, state insurance regulators decided Tuesday.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners voted to require insurers to submit annual “climate-risk” reports, an unusually aggressive stance on the environmental issue from industry regulators.

The officials acted after concluding that climate change threatens insurers in two ways. It increases the risk of extreme weather events such as floods and wildfires, which would boost claims. And it is prompting governments to cap industrial carbon emissions that contribute to global warming — a move threatens the profits of companies such as coal-fired utilities in which insurers commonly invest.

But as to climate change boosting claims, a Science and Public Policy Institute report concludes,

Despite the lack of any trends in hurricane landfalls along the U.S. and Florida coasts, or damage to U.S. coastlines when population demographics are taken into account, the impact from a single storm can be enormous. The massive population and infrastructure build-up of the US coastline has vastly raised the potential damage that a storm can inflict. It is stunningly dishonest and irresponsibly dangerous to insinuate, let alone assert, that CO2 mitigation policies could cage the destructiveness of nature, particularly in hurricane-prone Florida.

As to insurance industry investments in the coal industry being threatened by climate regulation, why would the insurance industry want to fan the flames of such financially harmful regulation in the first place by falling for climate alarmism?

Sicilian Mafia goes green

March 18, 2009

The Financial Times reported this morning that,

Sicily, with its entrenched Mafia and a deep sense of fatalism among its people, might seem a strange choice for a grand project to save the world from environmental ruin…

While Sicily ponders alternative energy projects,

… ask almost any Sicilian about the project and they answer: “Never, never . . . words, words”. With a shrug of the shoulders, they add: “The Mafia.”

Indeed, keen to diversify, the Mafia is going green. Police recently arrested eight entrepreneurs and local officials suspected of conspiring to fix public funding for a wind farm.

Mr Lombardo conceded that a “green” Mafia was a “danger we are confronting”.

Green energy — the Mafia knows a good racket when it sees one. Look for Sicily’s conventional energy producers to sleep with the fishes.