Archive for July 15th, 2009

Clothesline law nixed in North Carolina

July 15, 2009

North Carolina state representative Pricey Harrison has apparently visited Al Gore’s web site one too many times.

Rep. Harrison pushed a bill through the North Carolina House that would have prohibited local governments from banning clotheslines. Harrison claims,

“It’s been a real problem for folks who feel pretty adamantly they want to use clotheslines. It’s their small step that they can take toward global warming issue.”

Drying your clothes outdoors as way to slow the much-dreaded global warming is, of course, the brainchild of Al Gore and is recommended on the web site for An Inconvenient Truth.

Sadly for Pricey, the State Senate clotheslined her bill, the News-Record (Greensboro, NC) reported.

Pricey Harrison (with John Edwards) in happier times

Pricey Harrison (with John Edwards) in happier times

GE’s ‘net-zero energy home’ scam

July 15, 2009

GE brings good schemes to life. Consider its recently announced “net-zero energy home” initiative.

The program calls for the installation in homes of networked appliances powered by home-based solar panels and wind turbines. So what’s not to like about homes that are energy self-sufficient?

Even accepting the GE fantasy that homes can be net-zero users of energy, that sadly does not mean that the cost of that energy is zero.

The system will add about 10 percent to the cost of a home, according to GE — a price that likely would take more than a decade to pay for itself.

GE’s net-zero-energy plan amounts to little more than a shift in check-writing.

Instead of writing monthly checks to your local utility for the energy you actually use, you’ll just write one big check to GE (or your contractor) upfront — a payment that might or might not cover a decade or more of home energy use and that probably does not include any maintenance costs for your system. Additionally, since most people borrow to purchase their homes, you’d essentially wind up financing you electric bill over the life of your mortgage, further adding to the cost of the system.

If your home turns out not to be net-zero-energy, you’ll still wind up writing those monthly checks to your local utility while GE and your contractor bask in the unearned glow of the original upfront payment.

Beware: green or clean energy — whatever you want to call it — is the new snake oil. It’s sad that the only sort of energy innovation occurring today is based more on financial shenanigans (cost-shifting, subsidies and worse) than technologies to produce more energy at less cost.

Wal-Mart cons customers with green labeling

July 15, 2009

If you need a new or, perhaps, a first reason to detest Wal-Mart, consider this.

Wal-Mart will require its suppliers to calculate the environmental impact of their products, according to a report in Greenwire (July 15).

According to the report,

“I envision the day that you look at a piece of apparel, you flip a tag over, and learn about how sustainable it really is,” said John Fleming, Wal-Mart’s chief merchandising officer. The tags would work similarly to nutritional labeling today, though some standardization needs to take place, he said.

Interesting… since the greens don’t think that modern agriculture (cotton and wool) or the chemical and petroleum industries (synthetic fibers) are sustainable, what exactly will Wal-Mart apparel be made of?

Last year, former Wal-Mart CEO Lee Scott told a Wall Street Journal conference audience that the company didn’t have any scientists and didn’t know anything about science — yet Wal-Mart will now start harassing suppliers over, and deceiving customers with the dubious concept of “sustainability.”

Attention Wal-Mart shoppers — go to Target.

Vets join vet-haters for Waxman-Markey?

July 15, 2009

Some deluded military veterans are lobbying for Waxman-Markey, apparently trying to convince politicians and voters that climate change represents some sort of national security issue.

Iraq/Afghanistan vet Rep. John Boccieri (R-OH), former Virgina Republican Sen. John Warner, and the Truman National Security Project reportedly are trying to put national security at the “center of the climate change debate,” according to ClimateWire.

This effort is absurd for at least three main reasons.

First, Waxman-Markey will have no impact on global climate — even alarmist-in-chief James Hansen admits that. So whatever national security issues may be presented at some far-off time by droughts, rising sea-levels, etc., they will not be avoided by this bill.

Next, it’s hard to see how making energy more expensive and weakening our economy will make us more economically or militarily secure. Military spending is a tremendous drain on the economy — remember the Soviet Union? — and only a wealthy nation can have both guns and butter.

Finally, for those worried about our dependence on foreign oil, it’s not clear how enacting an anti-coal bill will solve that problem. It would seem that if you want us to move away from gasoline-powered cars and toward electric cars, for example, we’re going to need to burn coal to get there. Coal can also be converted into liquid fuel.

Beyond these reasons, why would vets decide to team up with the greens who, for the most part, tend to be military-hating left-wingers? How many U.S. soldiers were killed and wounded thanks to the Left’s Vietnam and Iraq war protests that only encouraged our enemies?

Hero of the day: Sen. John Barrasso

July 15, 2009

Energy and Environment Daily reports in “Barrasso makes a name for himself fighting EPA, climate bill” that

Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), a [Senate Environment and Public Works Committee] member, predicted that [Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY)] will play a “very active role” in the climate change debate.

“I think Senator Barrasso clearly not only understands the issue, has taken the time to try to read up on it,” Cardin said. “He’s personally visited a lot of places. He’s made this a priority. … We may not agree with him on a particular topic, but he is well prepared and he certainly represents his view very effectively.”

Sen. Cardin was much more gracious than Committee Chairman Barbara Boxer (D-CA) who “was not as kind,” according to E&E:

By teaming up with [Sen. James Inhofe] and other GOP critics of the administration’s climate policies, “He has positioned himself with the very radical deniers,” Boxer said.

Welcome to the club, Sen. Barrasso.

Jobs war: West, Midwest vs. East

July 15, 2009

Waxman-Markey was a win for the East in the brewing battle over renewable energy jobs, the New York Times reported yesterday.

Eastern states oppose a super-high voltage transcontinental grid that would reduce the need for wind farms in their region. Waxman-Markey blocks the federal government from overturning eastern state objections to new transmission lines.