Archive for the 'Unintended Consequences' Category

‘Clean energy’ central planning misfires in India

March 1, 2011

New Dehli’s experiment with “clean” natural gas turned out to be not so clean after all. Read the rest of this entry »

Levis. Original jeans. Original hypocrisy.

October 22, 2009

Levi Strauss & Co. is so worried about CO2 emissions that it quit the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in protest over the Chamber’s opposition to climate legislation.

But if Levi Strauss were really concerned about CO2 levels, it would also go out of business.

According to the company’s own analysis, a typical pair of the company’s jeans is responsible for about:

  • 70 pounds of CO2 emissions;
  • 750 gallons of water use; and
  • 111 kilowatt-hours of electricity use.

About 450 million pairs of jeans are sold in the U.S. annually. Of this amount, about one-third are sold by Levi Strauss.

Simple math indicates, therefore, that Levi Strauss annual sales of jeans are responsible for about:

  • 7.5 million tons CO2 emissions — equal to the annual emissions of 625,000 SUVs;
  • 112 billion gallons of water use — about the annual water use of 879,000 homes; and
  • 1.67 gigawatt-hours of electricity use — about the annual use of 150,000 average homes.

To help Levi Strauss save the planet, then, the answer is clear: we should go naked and it should go broke.

Taxpayer subsidies kill birds

September 8, 2009

Robert Bryce writes in today’s Wall Street Journal that while ExxonMobil was recently fined $600,000 for killing 85 birds over a period of five years, the wind industry kills an estimated 75,000 to 275,000 birds per year.

While wind is a very small part of the U.S energy portfolio, the wind lobby wants to increase wind’s share of that portfolio to 20% — through taxpayer subsidies and higher electricity rates.

Let’s summarize: the wind industry kills birds, rips-off consumers and taxpayers and does nothing to improve the environment. Now that’s “progressive.”

Click here for Bryce’s column, “Windmills are killing our birds.”

Non-surprise of the day: GE’s PCB clean-up makes Hudson River worse

August 11, 2009

The green-forced “clean-up” by General Electric of PCBs in Hudson River sediments has — to no one’s surprise — backfired.

As predicted by everyone with an ounce of common sense, GE’s dredging stirred up the formerly entombed PCBs. EPA water-test results revealed that PCB levels in the river exceed safety limits.

Chalk up another green disaster, courtesy of:

  • RFK Jr, Planetary Zero. Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and his activist group Riverkeeper pressured GE to undertake the clean-up. Ironically, Time magazine had declared Kennedy one of its “Heroes of the Planet” for his Hudson River activism.
  • Corporate Neville Chamberlain-ism. GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt who, in hopes of appeasing the greens, reversed former CEO Jack Welch’s policy against dredging.
  • Your gooberment at work. The EPA, which in forcing GE to dredge sediments that should have been left alone, failed its eponymous mission — environmental protection.

And now, we’re on the verge of turning over energy policy — via the Waxman-Markey climate bill — to these very same people?

Click here for New York Times coverage.

How green is a Prius?

June 22, 2009

Check out this Washington Post letter-to-the-editor (June 21):

The June 9 Business article “Toyota Wants New Prius to Be America’s Next Top Model” called the Prius an “eco-icon” and said that it has allowed Americans to “advertise their eco-correctness.” A Toyota spokesman was quoted as saying that many Prius buyers want to “make an environmental statement.”

The Prius’s reputation as a “green” car is completely undeserved. The culprit is its nickel metal hydride battery.

The nickel is mined in Sudbury, Ontario, and smelted nearby, doing damage to the local environment. The smelted nickel is shipped to Wales, where it is refined. Then it is sent to China to be made into nickel foam. Then it goes to Japan, where it is made into a battery. Then it goes into cars, some of which are shipped to the United States and some of which go to Europe. All of that seaborne transport consumes a lot of fossil fuel.

CNW Marketing rates cars on the combined energy needed “to plan, build, sell, drive and dispose of a vehicle from initial concept to scrappage.” A Prius costs $2.87 per lifetime mile. By comparison, an H3 Hummer costs $2.07 per lifetime mile. Then there will be the problem of disposing of the used batteries.

This is not a “green” car; it is a “brown” one.




Spotted Owl of Solar Power?

June 16, 2009

This one-inch fish is shaping up to be the excuse for blocking water-cooled solar projects on public lands in Western deserts:


Remember the allegedly endangered spotted owl that nearly brought timber harvesting in California to a halt in the 1980s? Not only was the spotted owl never “endangered,” but now with logging greatly reduced, it (and all else) faces an even more devastating threat — uncontrollable forest fires. Go green, yeah!

So now we have a situation where there’s a “planetary emergency” (just ask Al Gore) and where solar power could be part of the solution to the alleged problem. But because of the one-inch pupfish that lives in desert pools (a vital part of the global ecosystem?), the solution to the emergency can’t be implemented. Go green, yeah!

Click here for today’s Wall Street Journal story on the all-important pupfish.

Bamboo-zled: The veneer of a ‘green’ laptop

April 12, 2009

This ABC News video, “Combatting ‘Vampire Energy’” spotlights the alleged eco-friendliness of Asus’ new laptops made with bamboo. While soaking in the the video’s empty-headedness is worth the 5 minute-watch, the relevant portion begins at 3:55 — just in case you’ve already reached the saturation point on green vacuity and want to fast forward to the laptop part.

About the laptops, ABC’s Andrea Smith reports:

… What’s great about it is that it’s not plastic, so that, No. 1, it looks really cool. You’ll look like you’re totally eco-friendly and very chic… The No. 2 thing is that when you’re done with this and you need to recycle it, there is no plastic here to clog the landfill… It’s bamboo and it’s a self-regenerating plant and there’s lots of it.

So let’s consider the Asus bamboo laptop, Ms. Smith’s report, and, importantly, reality:

  • There is still plenty of plastic used in the laptop. Only the case is bamboo. And what about the bamboo’s shiny urethane finish?  Despite the name, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) have generally been viewed by the greens as  environmentally-incorrect.
  • Bamboo doesn’t recycle so much as it decomposes — giving off greenhouse gases. The plastic in laptops can be and is often recycled for other uses. The plastic is actually a better “carbon sink” than the bamboo.
  • Recycling doesn’t matter anyway — almost all laptops are thrown in the trash. Fortunately, there is no shortage of landfill space. In fact, the U.S. has more landfill capacity than ever before.
  • Most bamboo comes from Vietnam and China. Not only are greenhouse gases emitted while farming bamboo, but transporting the bamboo or bamboo finished products to the U.S. involves even more greenhouse gas emissions.
  • The Asus bamboo laptop costs $732.81 more than the comparable Asus plastic laptop on
  • Bamboo is not necessarily eco-friendly. Growing bamboo on a mass-scale requires lots of water, energy and fertilizer inputs. Without fertilizer, continual harvesting of bamboo will deplete the soil in a short-time.

The bottom line on Asus bamboo laptop?

You may look cool, chic and eco-friendly, as ABC’s Andrea Smith says, but the reality is you’re being fooled and ripped-off, while doing nothing for the environment.

Obama climate plan: Blot out the sun

April 8, 2009

President Obama’s science advisor John Holdren has suggested that we consider blotting out sunlight to reduce global warming, according to an Associated Press report.

Holdren would shoot particles into the atmosphere to reflect the sun’s rays back into space– I sure hope plants and people don’t need those rays for say, photosynthesis or vitamin D production, respectively. And what would be the other unintended consequences?

Holdren, of course, is a people-hating population control fanatic, anyway, so perhaps he’s hoping to killing two birds (or half the population) with one stone.

Oh… and what about all those solar power projects Obama keeps talking about? Don’t they need as much sunlight as they can get?

So many questions, so few brain cells for Holdren to work with.

Embarassing: NBA goes green but steps on self with size 23EEE carbon footprint

April 2, 2009

The National Basketball Association announced that it is partnering with the Natural Resources Defense Council in launching the inaugural NBA Green Week. What’s involved in green pro-ball? Here’s what the NBA says:

As part of NBA Green Week 2009, adidas will outfit all players with 100 percent organic cotton adidas shooting shirts featuring the NBA Green logo. The Denver Nuggets, Charlotte Bobcats, and the Chicago Bulls will wear green-colored uniforms and socks made from 45 percent organic cotton during select home games throughout the week to raise additional environmental awareness. will also host an online auction of Spalding basketballs, made from 40 percent recycled materials and autographed by NBA players.

Organic cotton, of course, costs more to produce since it requires more weeding and fertilizer — and, hence, involves more greenhouse gas emissions. Organic crops, generally, tend to require more land, water and other inputs to produce as much as conventional techniques, tending to make organic crops relatively worse for the environment than conventional crops.

But if the NBA really wants to be green, it should put itself out of business.

According to the Carbon Neutral Company, an NBA game produces about 449 tons of carbon dioxide due to fan and team travel, and energy use at arenas. Given that there are 1230 games in an NBA season, that means that the NBA emits about 552,270 tons of CO2 in regular season games alone. Pre-season and post-season play add to this size 23EEE carbon footprint.

The NBA’s carbon footprint amounts to putting about 46,022 SUVs on the road each year. A 500-megawatt coal-fired power plant produces about 3 million tons of CO2 emissions per year. So the NBA is like operating a coal-fired power plant for about 2.5 months per year — most un-green of it.

The NBA could have avoided such embarrassment had it read Steve Milloy’s new book, Green Hell: How Environmentalists Plan to Control Your Life and What You Can Do to Stop Them.

Take action:

Contact the NBA and tell them that green is an airball not a slam dunk.

Plastic bag ban ‘will kill more trees’

March 25, 2009

Stefanie Wang of St. Mary’s College of California opined March 24 on the Palo Alto, CA ban on plastic bags:

Palo Alto recently banned single use plastic shopping bags in supermarkets. What seems like a green, environment-conscious move may prove more troublesome than officials originally thought. In fact, it is much worse than their current situation. City officials hoped that townspeople would bring their own recyclable bags instead of opting for paper bags post-ban. They did not count on being sued for this decision.

According to recent reports on the ban, the attorney for the Save the Plastic Bag group, Stephen Joseph said the group is considering suing the city of Palo Alto for the ban. In addition to the possibility of a financial and legal mess, city officials overlooked the fact that paper bags are harmful to the environment as well. So not only are officials overlooking the impact paper bags have on the environment, they are also overlooking what repercussions will ensue among the plastic bag industries and people who actually understand the scientific studies done on disposable bags.

Plastic bags require less energy and materials to manufacture as they are made from oil and natural gas. Their production impacts the environment less than paper bags production…

… the ban could be as disastrous as the one San Francisco implemented in 2007. San Francisco is the only city in the U.S. to ban plastic bags. No other cities follow suit because it is a bad idea. Plastic bag litter did not decrease. It actually increased after the ban went into effect according to the San Francisco’s “Street Litter Audit.”