Archive for March, 2009

Citigroup challenged for stigmatizing coal

March 30, 2009

The Free Enterprise Action Fund has challenged Citigroup regarding the bank’s support for the so-called “Carbon Principles” — a green-inspired effort to deny financing to the coal industry and electric utilities that burn coal.

The Fund’s challenge is in the form of a shareholder proposal that appears in Citigroup’s 2009 proxy statement and that will be voted on at the bank’s annual shareholder meeting on April 21. The proposal requests that Citigroup,

… describe the environmental impacts of its implementation of the Carbon Principles so that shareholders can determine for themselves whether such impacts are worth the reputational damage being inflicted on the source of 50 percent of the
U.S. electricity supply.

Take action:

1. Shareholders of Citigroup should vote “FOR” Proposal 9.

2. Attend the Citigroup meeting in New York City so that you can personally tell CEO Vikram Pandit that America needs coal-fired electricity not green oppression.

Greens attack NY Times over skeptic article

March 29, 2009

The ever-intolerant greens attacked the New York Times Magazine for daring to publish a cover story about eminent Princeton physicist and global warming skeptic Freeman Dyson.

Media Matters criticized the Times for sending a “sports and music writer to do a science writer’s job.” The self-proclaimed media watchdog apparently feels that someone like NY Times climate propagandist Andrew Revkin would have been a better choice to write the sort of hatchet job on Dyson that it seems to have wanted.

It’s been quite a weekend for the New York Times. First there was Saturday’s front-page story trashing CFLs and then the Dyson cover piece on Sunday.

Maybe it’s dawning on Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger, Jr. that there is no future in being the mouthpiece-of-record for the Loony Left.

The real lesson from the firing of GM’s CEO

March 29, 2009

The firing of GM CEO Rick Wagoner by President Obama provides an object lesson for all CEOs: a CEO’s failure to combat green can only lead to disaster.

GM and the other car companies have thrived for the last 30 years, despite heavy union burdens, because of SUV sales — popular and high-margin products.

But SUV sales depended on cheap gas. Did any car CEO do anything to ensure cheap gas, say by promoting increased oil drilling and gasoline refining, and challenging greens that blocked those policies? No.

GM CEO Rick Wagoner didn’t call for more drilling until September 12, 2008 — two months after gasoline prices peaked last summer. By then, of course, it was all over for the SUV and car companies.

Ford CEO Bill Ford and Chrysler CEO Bob Nardelli still haven’t figured out the need for cheap gas.

Surprise: NY Times trashes CFLs on front page

March 28, 2009

The New York Times has finally caught up to what Steve Milloy has been saying for the past two years about compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs), including with respect to the greens doing a U-turn on the bulbs.

In a front-page story entitled, “Do New Bulbs Save Energy If They Don’t Work,” the New York Times pretty much trashed current CFLs:

Some experts who study the issue blame the government for the quality problems, saying an intensive federal push to lower the price essentially backfired by encouraging manufacturers to use cheap components.

“In the pursuit of the holy grail, we stepped on the consumer,” said Michael Siminovitch, director of a lighting center at the University of California, Davis.

More…

In California, where bulbs have been heavily encouraged, utilities have concluded that they will not be able to persuade a majority of consumers to switch until compact fluorescents get better.That is prompting them to develop specifications for a better bulb.

The effort aims to address the most consumer complaints: poor dimming, slow warm-up times, shortened bulb life because of high temperatures inside enclosed fixtures, and dissatisfaction with the color of the light.

Finally,

Consumers are supposed to be able to protect themselves by buying bulbs certified under the government’s Energy Star program. But experts and some environmental groups complain that Energy Star standards are weak, permitting low-quality bulbs with too high a level of mercury, a toxic metal contained in all compact fluorescents. [Emphasis added]

Steve Milloy predicted the greens would do an about-face on the mercury in CFLs more than a year ago in this February 21, 2008 FoxNews.com column entitled, “Looming Lightbulb Liability.”

For more Steve Milloy predictions about our green future (and how to prevent it), get a copy of his new book, Green Hell: How Environmentalists Plan to Control Your Life and What You Can Do to Stop Them.

Unlike buying a CFL, you won’t regret it.

Celebrate Human Achievement, Not Earth Hour on March 28

March 27, 2009

The Competitive Enterprise Institute has initiated the celebration of ‘Human Achievement Hour’ (HAH) between 8:30pm and 9:30pm on March 28, 2009 in response to and coinciding with Earth Hour, a period during which governments, individuals, and corporations have agreed to dim or shut off lights in an effort to draw attention to climate change.

Unlike Earth Hour, the purpose Human Achievement Hour is to salute the people who keep the lights on and produce the energy that helps make human achievement possible. Many organizations and average folks around the world will show their support for human achievement by simply going about their daily lives.

The celebration of Human Achievement Hour has already garnered sneers and criticism from some of those supporting Earth Hour—they have even had the HAH Wikipedia entry deleted. In spite of all this, we believe that it is important that people around the world participate with us in acknowledging the achievements accomplished by the human race.

Please check out these links to the great new video and other info below, and help us spread the word about HAH–and let’s utilize the social web to do so!

UN climate plan: Trillions for new world economy

March 27, 2009

FoxNews.com reports today that,

A United Nations document on “climate change” that will be distributed to a major environmental conclave next week envisions a huge reordering of the world economy, likely involving trillions of dollars in wealth transfer, millions of job losses and gains, new taxes, industrial relocations, new tariffs and subsidies, and complicated payments for greenhouse gas abatement schemes and carbon taxes — all under the supervision of the world body.

Click here for the 16-page document.

Gaslighted: Pickens reveals actual scheme

March 27, 2009

Billionaire oilman T. Boone Pickens revealed on Wednesday that his much-vaunted Pickens Plan is nothing more than a sell-more-natural-gas-to-make-Pickens-richer plan.

At an energy forum in Ohio, Pickens stated,

I don’t want to replace natural gas with wind. I want to add wind to natural gas is what I want to do.

But the core of the Pickens Plan has always been to replace the natural gas used to produce electricity with wind power so that the gas could then be used in transportation to reduce our reliance on imported oil.

According to Pickens’ statement at the forum, the Pickens Plan is nothing more than a ruse to increase the overall use of natural gas. Pickens has significant natural gas-related investments, including in the largest seller of natural gas for transportation.

Click here for the audio recording of the relevant part of the Q&A session with Pickens.

Click here for Tom Stacy’s write-up of the event. Stacy asked the question that elicited Pickens’ frank response about his scheme.

Steve Milloy’s new book Green Hell: How Environmentalists Plan to Control Your Life and What You Can Do to Stop Them spotlights how green scamsters like Pickens plan to get richer while making you poorer.

Tesla Motors: Sporty green welfare queen?

March 27, 2009

Tesla Motors is expecting $700 million in loans from taxpayers so that it can sell its pricey electric cars to the public: a $109,000 Roadster sports car and a $49,900 sporty sedan (Model S). The actual price of the Model S is $57.400, but taxpayers will be paying an additional $7,500 per car (over and above the loans) to reduce the price to under $50,000.

Tesla Motors, of course, will have to sell tens of thousands of these cars to pay back taxpayers. So far, only 300 of the Roadsters are on the road.

The Model S will “only” take 45 minutes to recharge enough to provide 300 miles of driving — and, depending on the source of the electric power, with more CO2 emissions than from conventional gasoline.

What’s not to like?

Click here for the New York Times report on these sporty “green” welfare machines.

Nature centers = Ideological child abuse?

March 26, 2009

In her Examiner.com article “Nature centers helping grow next generation of scientists,” Mary Spiro writes,

When I was a kid, I loved visiting my local nature center, which at the time happened to be the Clearwater Nature Center in Clinton, Md. I think the hours I spent examining the bones, pelts, stones, leaves, shells and other “please-touch” exhibits contributed to my love for animals, the environment and science in general.

And who knows, the next E.O. Wilson or Rachel Carson may be developing his or her love for natural science at your local nature center. [Emphasis added]

Rachel Carson, of course, was the the junk scientist who kicked off the anti-DDT campaign that resulted in the needless deaths of tens of millions of Africans from malaria.

Then there’s E.O. Wilson’s sentiment,

“The living world is dying.”

If this is what we hope nature centers do for our kids, we ought to shut them down ASAP.

New Study: Green Jobs Myths

March 26, 2009

President Obama touts “green jobs” and has hired a “green jobs czar.”

But check out the conclusions from this new study published by the University of Illinois College of Law and Economics about “green jobs”:

A rapidly growing literature promises that a massive program of government mandates, subsidies, and forced technological interventions will reward the nation with an economy brimming with green jobs. Not only will these jobs improve the environment, but they will be high paying, interesting, and provide collective rights. This literature is built on mythologies about economics, forecasting, and technology.

Myth: Everyone understands what a green job is.

Reality: No standard definition of a green job exists.

Myth: Creating green jobs will boost productive employment.

Reality: Green jobs estimates include huge numbers of clerical, bureaucratic, and administrative positions that do not produce goods and services for consumption.

Myth: Green jobs forecasts are reliable.

Reality: The green jobs studies made estimates using poor economic models based on dubious assumptions.

Myth: Green jobs promote employment growth.

Reality: By promoting more jobs instead of more productivity, the green jobs described in the literature encourage low-paying jobs in less desirable conditions. Economic growth cannot be ordered by Congress or by the United Nations. Government interference – such as restricting successful technologies in favor of speculative technologies favored by special interests – will generate stagnation.

Myth: The world economy can be remade by reducing trade and relying on local production and reduced consumption without dramatically decreasing our standard of living.

Reality: History shows that nations cannot produce everything their citizens need or desire. People and firms have talents that allow specialization that make goods and services ever more efficient and lower-cost, thereby enriching society.

Myth: Government mandates are a substitute for free markets.

Reality: Companies react more swiftly and efficiently to the demands of their customers and markets, than to cumbersome government mandates.

Myth: Imposing technological progress by regulation is desirable.

Reality: Some technologies preferred by the green jobs studies are not capable of efficiently reaching the scale necessary to meet today’s demands and could be counterproductive to environmental quality.

In this Article, we survey the green jobs literature, analyze its assumptions, and show how the special interest groups promoting the idea of green jobs have embedded dubious assumptions and techniques within their analyses. Before undertaking efforts to restructure and possibly impoverish our society, careful analysis and informed public debate about these assumptions and prescriptions are necessary.