Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Signing Global Warming's Certificate of Death

By Alan Caruba

The sixteen names of the scientists who jointly signed the article in The Wall Street Journal, “No Need to Panic About Global Warming”  on January 27th are mostly unknown to the general public. Perhaps the best known would be Harrison H. Schmidt, a former Apollo 17 astronaut and U.S. Senator. Others might recognize Burt Rutan, an aerospace engineer and designer of Voyager and SpaceShip One.

Moreover, not only were the signers distinguished scientists, but they came from places like Paris, France and Cambridge, England, Jerusalem, Israel, and Geneva, Switzerland. Mostly climatologists and meteorologists, some were physicists and astrophysicists. Antonio Zichichi, one signer, is president of the World Federation of Scientists. Not to put too fine a point on it, but the combined credentials of these men represent some of the best minds on planet Earth in their respective fields.

What brought them together? On the surface it was just another of the countless articles that have been published over the years as scientists of real merit and courage took on the juggernaut of those for whom global warming had become a vast flow of government and foundation funding.

The effort was to “prove” that carbon dioxide (CO2) was building up in the atmosphere and would soon incinerate Earth by trapping the heat from the sun. It had not done that in the 5.4 billion years of the Earth’s existence, but the “warmists” claims came day after day and year after year. They permeated every aspect of society and you can go into any school in America and find textbooks still selling this garbage.

Until, that is, 2009 when thousands of emails between the small clique of scientists working for the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change were leaked on the Internet and it became clear that even they knew the Earth had entered a cooling cycle around 1998. The challenges to their bogus computer “models” were coming like cannon balls against their academic castles in America and England.

Starting in 2008, The Heartland Institute, a Chicago-based 27-year-old, non-profit research organization, sponsored four international conferences on climate change, attracting the top scientists and world leaders courageous enough to speak out against the global warming hoax. The momentum of opposition began to build against those who, from the late 1980s had warned that, in Al Gore’s words, “the world has caught a fever.”

The Wall Street Journal article said, in the plainest language, that candidates for public office “in any contemporary democracy…should understand that the oft-repeated claim that nearly all scientists demand that something dramatic be done to stop global warming is not true.”

In fact, scientists had been signing petitions opposing the global warming hoax for a very long time. The problem was that the mainstream media either paid them no attention or dismissed them as "skeptics" and "deniers".

With a light touch, the Wall Street Journal article noted that “Perhaps the most inconvenient fact is the lack of global warming for well over ten years now.” It wasn’t as if the warmists did not know it. It was more like they regarded it as a problem to be solved by changing references to global warming to “climate change.”

Their current dying gasps have to do with warnings about “extreme climate events” that have been occurring for eons; tornadoes, hurricanes, blizzards, floods and earthquakes; now all routinely attributed to too much carbon dioxide.

The article calmly said, “The fact is that CO2 is not a pollutant.” Indeed, more CO2 in the atmosphere is a good thing, aiding increasing crop growth and healthier forests and jungles worldwide.

Someone needs to tell that to the Environmental Protection Agency that is striving mightily to shut down coal-fired energy plants for emitting CO2. Add their efforts to do the same to a wide swatch of American industry and you get an agency that is in great need of being abolished.

“There is no compelling scientific argument for drastic action to ‘decarbonize’ the world’s economy.

In time, historians may look back and conclude that the January 27th article was, in fact, global warming’s death certificate, signed by an international group of scientists who could not be disputed no matter how many times the warmists jump up and down and cry that the sky is falling.

It has taken a very long time for most of the public to come to the conclusion that they have been the object of an elaborate hoax. In America polls demonstrate that global warming is at the very bottom of their concerns these days. In time, wind and solar power, electric cars, biofuels, and other environmental delusions will join that list.

© Alan Caruba, 2012

Sunday, January 22, 2012

How to Murder a Superpower

By Alan Caruba

It is the crime of the century that America, home to some of the world’s greatest reserves of coal, natural gas and oil, is being deliberately destroyed by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of the Interior as they do everything in their power to restrict access and drive energy producers out of business.

It is common sense that a nation that cannot produce sufficient electricity to turn on its lights and power its manufacturing sector will be destroyed if current Obama administration regulations and actions continue. Our vital transportation sector and all others that utilize petroleum-based products will suffer, too.

While President Obama babbles about millionaires and billionaires, everyone will be impoverished by the loss of jobs and revenue our energy sector produces now and can produce in the future.

This isn’t an “energy policy.” It’s a “no-energy policy” and it is a guarantee of economic disaster.

Obama’s decision to reject a permit for Canada’s XL Keystone pipeline is just one example. It is a job-killer and a revenue-killer. There are thousands of pipelines serving America’s energy needs and the XL Keystone pipeline would ensure that Canada’s own vast energy reserves would flow to America. It is one of our key trade partners and Obama has slapped it in the face.

In early January, Ken Salazar, the Secretary of the Interior, announced a new 20-year, million-acre ban on uranium mining for federal lands in Arizona, despite the fact that these lands hold the highest-grade of known uranium deposits in the United States. It is an outrage that a new GOP-Congress will have to overturn if the nation is to be assured of sufficient uranium to power its nuclear plants and for weapons development. If the ban remains, these uranium resources would be inaccessible until 2023!

Tom Pyle, president of the Institute for Energy Research said that Salazar’s announcement “further compounds a man-made energy crisis that has been planned and executed in Washington, D.C.”

At the same time we are learning of enormous natural gas discoveries that can reduce our energy bills and turn sleeping little towns into boomtowns, environmental organizations have launched a vast propaganda campaign against “fracking”, a technology that has been safely used for more than fifty years. Their claims about dangers to the nation’s supply of fresh water are baseless. Their claims that fracking has caused earthquakes in Ohio are absurd.

Need it be said that the Environmental Protection Agency has turned its eyes on fracking and is working on a report due later this year that will likely call for harsh crackdowns on its use and more regulations to throttle the expansion of natural gas extraction?

The EPA has just released a report of those power plants that top the list of its regulation of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. There is no basis in science to justify the reduction of CO2. Indeed, since it is a gas on which all vegetation depends, much as oxygen is vital to all animal life, reducing it would impair great crop yields and healthier forests.

These regulations are based on the global warming hoax that blamed CO2 for warming the earth. That is utterly false. The Earth is currently in a perfectly natural cooling cycle and the climate of the Earth is almost entirely based on the Sun—solar radiation—along with the actions of oceans, clouds, and even volcanic activity that spews tons of particulates into the atmosphere.

Coal-fired power plants account for fifty percent of all the electricity generated in the United States. Fifty percent! And yet the EPA is determined to shut down dozens of them providing that vital factor in the lives of all Americans and the economy, nor does this take into account the billions that energy producers have spent to upgrade their technology to reduce emissions.

The Obama administration fuel economy agenda, a call for 54.5 miles per gallon ignores simple physics. There is a finite amount of energy a gallon of gas can generate. If you dilute it with ethanol as is currently required, you get even less mileage. The administration is trying to circumvent Congress by issuing standards based on regulating “greenhouse gas emissions”, but there is no need for this. It is a false argument. The Center for Automotive Research says that the proposed new standards would cause the retail price of average motor vehicles to increase by more than $11,000.

Americans and the nation’s future are being victimized by Obama administration policies. The 18th annual Index of Economic Freedom, was released on January 12th by The Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal, measures the many factors that contribute to the economic health of a nation—things like property rights, regulatory efficiency, open markets, free trade and labor policies.

Economic freedom is declining worldwide as governments try to spend their way out of the global recession. The United States fell to 10th place. In 2009 it ranked 6th, in 2010 it was 8th, and in 2011, it was 9th.

We are witnessing the deliberate murder of a superpower.

© Alan Caruba, 2012

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Obama's Keystone Debacle

By Alan Caruba

Future historians may conclude that President Obama’s decision to reject a permit for the building of the XL Keystone pipeline was a key factor in his defeat for a second term in 2012.

One can only hope that, in the course of the campaign, Republicans will focus public attention on the deliberate “no energy” policies of the Obama administration that have thwarted the creation of jobs, the generation of electrical power for homes and businesses, as well as fueling our transportation needs.

The Obama administration policies also meant that billions in tax revenue have been lost. Tapping U.S. energy reserves of coal, natural gas, and oil would also be a major step toward greater national security, freeing the nation from dependence on foreign oil.

In a recent article posted on The Heritage Foundation’s website, Rob Bluey reported that “oil and natural gas production on federal lands is down by more than forty percent (40%) compared to ten years ago.”

“Under the Obama administration, 2010 had the lowest number of onshore leases issued since 1984. The Obama administration held only one offshore lease sale in 2011.”

Following the President’s announcement regarding Keystone, the president of the Institute for Energy Research, Thomas Pyle, said that “Tens of thousands of American jobs died today because of the president’s rejection of the Keystone EL pipeline permit. For more than two years, the administration has delayed, hoping to get past 2012 without having to reveal the president’s true anti-job, anti-energy agenda. Because of today’s announcement, Americans will continue to send $70 billion overseas every day to purchase foreign oil.”

The secret President Obama wants to keep from Americans is that the price of domestic oil is always cheaper than foreign oil. Oil industry expert, Seldon B. Graham, Jr. says that this price deferential is “never reported by the media. The media only reports Wall Street speculators’ guesses of oil prices six months in the future…the U.S. price is always lower than the OPEC price.”

In February 2011, a CNS News article reported that “A new study says drilling on Alaska’s Outer Continental Shelf could make Alaska the eighth largest oil resource province in the world—ahead of Nigeria, Libya, Russia and Norway.”

In announcing the decision on the Keystone pipeline, the President boasted that, under his administration, “domestic oil and natural gas production is up”, but Bluey pointed out that “The vast majority of America’s new oil and gas production is happening on private lands in states like North Dakota, Alaska, and Texas.” Private, not public lands. One result is that North Dakota’s unemployment rate is 3.4 percent, the lowest in the nation.

Who favored the president’s decision?

An environmental organization, Green for All, hailed the decision. Its CEO, Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, said, “This project would have helped Big Oil and their allies get richer at the expense of American workers and permanently damaged our environment.” How does it help to kill 20,000 jobs and an estimated 100,000 related to the pipeline?

The Sierra Club, another environmental organization, claimed that the pipeline would bring “toxic, highly corrosive tar sands crude from Alberta, Canada to refineries and ports in Texas.” If it was corrosive, it could not be transported by a pipeline, but ethanol which is mandated for use in gasoline is so corrosive it cannot be transported by pipeline and requires fleets of trucks instead. Echoing Green for all, the Sierra Club said, “Thank President Obama for standing up to Big Oil and rejecting the Keystone XL oil pipeline.”

Friends of the Earth, another environmental organization, branded Big Oil as “one of the most profitable and most unscrupulous industries on the planet.” Profits equal dividends for investors in oil companies. Profits equal jobs for thousands of Americans. Profits ensure that more oil can be discovered and extracted…except on federal lands and offshore because of present administration policies.

By contrast, James M. Taylor, a Senior Fellow for Environmental Policy of The Heartland Institute, a free market think tank, said, “The Obama administration has confirmed the fears of everyday Americans that it is more interested in paying off environmental extremists and other far-left groups than it is in laying the foundation for a growing economy.”

“The Obama administration’s decision to block construction of the Keystone XL pipeline demonstrates as poignantly as a slap in the face that President Obama is either completely out of touch with the American people or is callously indifferent about our ongoing economic woes,” said Taylor. “I suspect that in the November elections voters will severely punish President Obama for this foolish decision.”

I suspect Taylor is right!

© Alan Caruba, 2012