Archive for November, 2009

Teed off: Golf balls the new eco-problem

November 10, 2009

From CNN:

Research teams at the Danish Golf Union have discovered it takes between 100 to 1,000 years for a golf ball to decompose naturally. A startling fact when it is also estimated 300 million balls are lost or discarded in the United States alone, every year. It seems the simple plastic golf ball is increasingly becoming a major litter problem…

Suggestion: Punish mulligans as a hate crime against nature?

World Wildlife Fund: The hypocrisy that keeps on giving

November 9, 2009

We received the following invitation from the World Wildlife Fund to “Celebrate the Bounty of the Bering Sea… Before It’s Too Late” — with the latter part of the invite referring to the much-dreaded climate change.

WWF Alaska

And just how did the WWF “celebrate the bounty of the Bering Sea”? By eating it, of course. As the invitation states, “Taste wild Alaskan salmon, the bounty of the sea.” So for the salmon on the menu, it was already too late. But we digress…

The glaring hypocrisy here is the WWF’s dual focus on eating wild Alaskan salmon while fretting about global warming. How does the WWF think the wild Alaskan salmon got to Manhattan? Did they swim? Walk? Drive a SmartCar? Bicycle? Were they beamed to Manhattan by Scotty?

None of the above — they were, of course, flown by airplane.

According to Alaska Airlines, it flies about 750,000 pounds of Alaskan salmon annually to diners from San Francisco to Manhattan.

How green is this?

As reported by Seattle Weekly,

“For seafood…, ‘fresh’ often means ‘air-flown,’ which is 10 times more emission-intensive than transporting products by ship… Pablo Päster, an authority on carbon emissions with the Toronto-based environmental consulting group ClimateCheck, recently… compared the carbon impact of transporting a Copper River king salmon (headed and gutted on shore to a weight of 25 pounds) the 1,738 miles from Cordova to Anchorage and on to Seattle, versus shipping it the same route. His conclusion: Delivery by air produces 57 times more CO2. In this sense, first is worst.

We sent folks to take pictures at the WWF event. Look at that wild Alaskan salmon/Bounty of the Bering Sea… you can almost feel the planet heating up!

WWF slide

WWF plate

WWF salmon

And to think that it was only about a year ago that we broke the “Five Star Green Hypocrisy” story involving the WWF’s $65,000-per-person, 25-day private luxury jet tour of the world’s most exotic locales.

The WWF and its elitist supporters may think — or may want you to think — that the world is coming to an end because of carbon dioxide, but they plan on savoring every emission they can while denying yours.

Boxer resorts to ‘nuclear option’ to ram climate bill through committee

November 5, 2009

Global cooling hurts Duke Energy

November 5, 2009

It seems as if Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers should be lobbying for increased greenhouse gas emissions.

Rogers is convinced — because his grandchildren told him so — that carbon dioxide emissions are warming the planet. So Rogers helped form the U.S. Climate Action Partnership, a coalition of a few big businesses and environmental groups that lobbies for carbon caps.

Ironically, the very global cooling that Rogers seems to be for is actually hurting his company’s earnings.

According to Duke’s the third quarter earnings report, earnings-before-interest-and-tax (EBIT) for Duke’s electric and gas division decreased:

  • $46 million because of unfavorable weather (i.e, a cooler summer);
  • $22 million because of reduced industrial demand (i.e., weak economy); and
  • $27 million because of the expiration of a temporary rate raise (i.e., government granted windfall).

All very interesting since Rogers wants to:

But for the three factors mentioned above, USFE&G’s Q3 EBIT would have increased by 11%.

Finally, Duke has spent about $10 million since 2008 lobbying for carbon caps. That’s a lot of lost earnings itself spent working against the interests of Duke shareholders and customers.

Hey Jim, there’s a reason children aren’t allowed to run the world.

NY Times excuses Gore’s climate profiteering

November 3, 2009

The New York Times and reporter John Broder get partial credit for spotlighting Al Gore’s climate profiteering on the front-page of today’s paper.

Unfortunately the article offers really lame justifications for Gore’s self-serving alarmism.

Gore only responded to the Times in an e-mail:

Mr. Gore says that he is simply putting his money where his mouth is.

“Do you think there is something wrong with being active in business in this country?” Mr. Gore said. “I am proud of it. I am proud of it.”

In an e-mail message this week, he said his investment activities were consistent with his public advocacy over decades.

Or is it that he’s putting his mouth where his money is?

Don’t forget that Al Gore testified before the House last spring that he has no profit motive. As reported by Broder:

But at the hearing in April, he was challenged by Ms. Blackburn, who echoed some of the criticism of Mr. Gore that has swirled in conservative blogs and radio talk shows. She noted that Mr. Gore is a partner at Kleiner Perkins, which has hundreds of millions of dollars invested in firms that could benefit from any legislation that limits carbon dioxide emissions.

“I believe that the transition to a green economy is good for our economy and good for all of us, and I have invested in it,” Mr. Gore said, adding that he had put “every penny” he has made from his investments into the Alliance for Climate Protection.

“And, Congresswoman,” he added, “if you believe that the reason I have been working on this issue for 30 years is because of greed, you don’t know me.”

It was apparently “a bridge too far” for Broder to notice that Gore’s House testimony is entirely inconsistent with Gore’s e-mail to the Times.

Readers of this blog will recall that it was this Steve Milloy column in Human Events that prompted Rep. Marsha Blackburn to ask Gore about his profiteering. But rather than saying he was “putting his money where his mouth was,” Gore chose to dissemble, if not outright lie, to Congress.

And let’s not forget about Gore’s feigned ignorance before Congress of his relationship with Goldman Sachs.

What would it take to replace coal in the U.S?

November 3, 2009

From today’s Financial Times, here’s what it would take to replace coal as a fuel for generating electricity:

It would take a massive effort to replace coal production. Peabody Energy, which owns North Antelope and is the world’s largest private sector coal company, says replacing coal would be a gargantuan task. It would require 2,400 times more solar generation, 40 times more wind power, 250 new nuclear plants, almost double the US production of natural gas, 500 hydro plants the size of the Hoover Dam or halving electricity consumption. Even then, the US would have to find a way to meet new demand, given growth forecasts.

The greens’ choice, of course, is the “halving electricity consumption” option. But never in the history of mankind has reduced energy use been associated with social and economic advancement.

Exelon CEO bobbleheaded at Senate hearing

November 2, 2009

Meet Exelon CEO John Rowe…

John Rowe is the “Carbon Bandit.”

Wanted Poster Exelon Sketch Final

Here’s his bobblehead…

Rowe Bobblehead 092309

… and here’s the bobblehead being presented to his Rowe at last week’s Senate hearing on Kerry-Boxer:

Rowe gets bobblehead


Will the real John Rowe please stand up… or at least stop rent-seeking?

The Great Light Bulb Robbery

November 2, 2009

The Great Light Bulb Robbery has been called off in Ohio due to consumer outrage.

In early October, Akron, OH-based First Energy planned to force consumers to buy two compact fluorescent lightbulbs for $21.60 — bulbs for which the utility paid only $3.50 each.

The utility then planned to charge consumers $0.60 more per month to make up for lost electricity sales due to the bulbs’ energy efficiency.

But as Akron’s WYTV reported,

After taking a huge public relations hit when it tried to force all its customers to buy energy-efficient light bulbs, First Energy is making a new proposal.

The electric company is now asking the Public Utilities Commission to approve a voluntary program so that those who don’t want or need the mini-florescent lights don’t have to pay for them.

The scam would have netted First Energy $7.6 million — more than the $7 million (in 1963 dollars) netted during the August 1963 Great Train Robbery.

Green is the 21st century term for “stand and deliver.”

WashPost Ombudsman Responds: What bias?

November 1, 2009

Washington Post Ombdsman Andrew Alexander responded in his weekly column to our posting last week (“Juliet Eilperin and the Saudia Arabia of Bias“) about reporter Eilperin’s conflict of interest — her husband works on global warming for the alarmist activist group Center for American Progress.

On one hand, we’re glad to see Alexander discuss the issue in his column and actually quote us, albeit anonymously — our statement, “Wouldn’t it be nice if every activist group owned its own Washington Post reporter?”, was attributed to “one [blogger].”

On the other hand, Alexander failed to explain precisely the nature of Eilperin’s journalistic sin. The problem is not simply that she is married to a global warming activist; the problem is that her articles are demonstrably biased. Post readers missed this distinction because Alexander neither gave examples (as we did) nor identified our blog, which raised the issue in the first place.

Alexander allowed Eilperin to get away with claiming that a “church-state separation” exists where her and her husband’s work overlaps. You mean, he works on climate for a major activist group and she reports on climate for a major newspaper — and they never talk about the subject? Is this realistic?  Does Alexander respect the intelligence of his readers?

In any event, shouldn’t the self-proclaimed flagship paper in the world’s most powerful city hold itself to a higher standard than such self-policing? How about the standard to which Caesar supposedly held his wife, i.e., avoiding even the appearance of impropriety. Is Eilperin the only Post reporter who can use “carbon dioxide” in a sentence?

Alexander also excused Eilperin with the fact that she covered climate before she married her now-activist hubby. According to Alexander’s logic, then, since Eilperin’s reporting has always been biased, her marriage to an activist is not really relevant.  We disagree. Eilperin’s marriage to an activist makes unbiased reporting from her even less likely.

Alexander then resorts to the old Washington trick of citing a “conservative” to let Eilperin off the hook. American Spectator and  Washington Times‘ editorial writer Quin Hillyer “believes [Eilperin] to be ‘a very hard working journalist who tries very hard to be fair,'” wrote Alexander.

But Hillyer’s “belief” about Eilperin’s “trying hard” is as ridiculous as it is biased itself. First, Hillyer’s evidence of Eilperin’s absence of bias is her 2008 article about  ethanol’s greenhouse gas emissions.

But this example only reveals Hillyer’s own unfamiliarity about ethanol and the greens, who only ever supported ethanol to mobilize farmers on the climate issue. When farmers served their purpose, the greens switched and began to oppose biofuels. The purpose of the exercise, as is often the case with green activism, was to play interests off each other and to cause public policy/economic/energy chaos that requires government intervention.

Next, Hillyer has a personal soft spot for Eilperin because, when he worked for Rep. Bob Livingston and she wrote for Roll Call, Eilperin “was always willing to listen.”

Gag us with the Sunday insert.

Comically, Alexander concludes,

It’s a close call, but I think she should stay on the beat. With her work now getting special scrutiny, it will become clear if the conflict is real.

What “close call”? Alexander’s article also excused three other Post reporters who have conflicts of interest. Maybe he meant to say, “It’s no contest” instead.

And what “special scrutiny” is he talking about? Her conflict is glaring and the Ombudsman just publicly excused her.

I’m not even sure that Alexander understands what journalistic bias is or how it can manifest itself.

In excusing Post editorial writer Ruth Marcus, who is married to the Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission, Alexander wrote,

… she recuses herself from discussions involving FTC matters and doesn’t write about them.

Of course, not writing about the FTC — i.e., self-editing — is also a form of bias. And then there’s the larger issue of her husband being appointed to a political position by President Obama. Forget about the FTC, would Ruth Marcus ever dare criticize any part of the Obama administration?

Alexander is no doubt familiar with “buy-us” at the Post — remember the “salons” with Post reporters that were up for sale at $25,000 a pop? But he seems to need a tutorial on “bias.”