Archive for April 16th, 2009

Ideological child abuse: EPA climate campaign

April 16, 2009

The EPA announced today that,

With Earth Day only a few days away, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is kicking off the 2009 “Change the World, Start with Energy Star” campaign to educate kids and their families about how to save money and fight climate change through energy efficiency.

“People of every age have a part to play in confronting climate change,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “Using Energy Star to cut electricity usage and costs, and educating young people and their families to make a difference — big or small — is how we make real progress.”

But even Consumer Reports says Energy Star is a dubious program. In September 2008, the consumer watchdog spotlighted flaws in the program including that product qualifying standards are lax ─ for example, until recently, 92 percent of dishwashers qualified. If all virtually all dishwashers are “efficient,” is anyone really saving any money on energy use?

Consumer Reports also reported that the product testing programs are out-of-date and companies are responsible for testing their own products ─ without any independent verification. When testing an LG-brand French-door refrigerator that was labeled as using an Energy Star compliant 547 kilowatt-hours of electricity per year, Consumer Reports found that the actual energy use was twice what was advertised. Apparently the government testing procedures call for refrigerators to be tested with their icemakers turn off. That, of course, is probably not how most people use their refrigerator.

Energy efficiency advocates routinely overpromise and under-deliver, according a report from the Congressional Research Service. While numerous private and government sources have claimed that 25- to 30-percent gains in efficiency are possible over a 5- to 15-year time horizon, according to the CRS, “the diffuse nature of efficiency opportunity and the economic complexity of decision making” has historically made moving beyond the 5 percent to 7 percent electricity savings range “a persistent challenge to conservation proponents.” Although more aggressive policies could be attempted, the CRS says, there is “little track record upon which to base projections of future effectiveness.”

Government brainwashing kids with dubious politically-based ideas isn’t education; it’s a form of child abuse.

Planet Dog: Stay home, don’t travel

April 16, 2009

Dog supply purveyor Planet Dog issued a media release today touting its virtual trade show as a way for retailers to reduce their “carbon pawprint.”

Company president Stephanie Volo said,

“We’ve been working on ways to reduce our carbon pawprint and less travel is one solution. We’re making some of the industry’s most eco-friendly products and running our company with that same mentality.”

A few thoughts:

  • Since when is traveling a crime/sin? Many people enjoy travel.
  • What about all the people whose jobs depend on travel?
  • I guess Dog Planet doesn’t want to sell to many of its pet travel products.

Dream on: Obama’s high-speed rail lines

April 16, 2009

CNN reports,

President Obama unveiled his administration’s blueprint for a new national network of high-speed passenger rail lines Thursday, saying such an investment is necessary to reduce traffic congestion, cut dependence on foreign oil and improve the environment.

The greens oppose transmission lines for renewable energy projects. So let’s just say that I’m a tad skeptical of them allowing new rail lines to be constructed. Remember, the greens don’t want you traveling; they want you locked in your planned community box. And remember the green whose idea of travel was staying home and exploring yourself?

Video: Polar bear v. Milloy smackdown!

April 16, 2009

Check out this YouTube video of a polar bear activist challenging Steve Milloy at his April 13 Heritage Foundation presentation of Green Hell: How Environmentalists Plan to Control Your Life and What You Can Do to Stop Them.

Video courtesy of the Komrade Sarah Karlin of Campus Oppression and the Center for Anti-American Progress.

New climate victims: Road and bridges?

April 16, 2009

Carbon Control News reports that:

The Department of Transportation is developing a risk assessment tool for local planners to estimate the vulnerability of roads and bridges to climate change effects as well as steps policymakers can take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

While bad weather can certainly impact roads and bridges, “climate change” is most certainly a stretch.

The money line is:

The risk analysis will be included in an upcoming study that will likely be used by local highway officials to argue the need for federal [greenhouse gas] standards… and to establish a new $100 million Transportation and Land use program to plan for future growth and reduce energy consumption.

Bottom line: The Obama administration will be paying budget-hungry local highway bureaucrats for their support in enslaving us with greenhouse gas regulation.

Wind CEO’s Worry: ‘Birds breathing CO2’

April 16, 2009

In response to concerns that wind farms will chop up migratory birds, Ditlev Engel, the CEO of Danish wind-energy company Vestas, told the Washington Post that

… anecdotal evidence about birds being caught in turbine blades and other environmental horror stories do not usually hold up under scrutiny.

Engel then added:

“Do people think it’s better all those birds are breathing CO2? I’m not a scientist, but I doubt it.”

No, Engel is not a scientist — I’m not even sure he’s a person with basic knowledge about breathing.

Green-speak: ‘Paradox’ is the new ‘hypocrisy’

April 16, 2009

Today’s Washington Post article, “Renewable Energy’s Environmental Paradox” tries to buff green hypocrisy into a “paradox.”

A few notable points from the article:

  • The Department of Interior’s Bureau of Land Management is now run by Ned Farquhar, a former Natural Resources Defense Council staffer — so look for more land to be put out of reach of development.
  • The Nature Conservancy is preparing a study that will enable the greens to attack renewables based on their land-use footprint:

    A team of scientists, several of whom work for the Nature Conservancy, has written a paper that will appear in the journal PLoS One showing that it can take 300 times as much land to produce a given amount of energy from soy biodiesel as from a nuclear power plant. Regardless of the climate policy the nation adopts, the paper predicts that by 2030, energy production will occupy an additional 79,537 square miles of land.

    The impact will be “substantial,” said Jimmie Powell, the Nature Conservancy’s national energy leader and one of the paper’s co-authors. “It’s important to know where the footprint is going to be.”

  • Ditlev Engel, the CEO of the Danish wind-energy company Vestas, said that anecdotal evidence about birds being caught in turbine blades and other environmental horror stories do not usually hold up under scrutiny. Unfortunately, he then followed up this comment with,

    Do people think it’s better all those birds are breathing CO2? I’m not a scientist, but I doubt it.

    Engel then tried to rebound from this depth of ignorance with,

    “Let’s get the facts on the table and not the feelings. The fact is, these are not issues.”

Here are the take-home messages:

  • Like green is the new red, “paradox” is the new “hypocrisy.”
  • Key slots in the federal government are manned by greens.
  • Ditlev Engel shows that ignorance, not knowledge, is wind power.