Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A Carbon Tax Would Destroy America

By Alan Caruba

If you want to know what a carbon tax on emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) would do to America you need only look at the destruction of industry and business in Australia, along with the soaring costs for energy use it imposes on anyone there.

“The carbon tax is contributing to a record number of firms going to the wall with thousands of employees being laid off and companies forced to close factories that have stood for generations”, Steve Lewis and Phil Jacob reported in a March 18 issue of The Daily Telegraph, a leading Australian newspaper.

“Soaring energy bills caused by the government’s climate change scheme have been called ‘the straw that broke the camel’s back’ by company executives and corporate rescue doctors who are trying to save ailing firms.”

The passage of a carbon tax in America would have the exact same results and it remains a top priority for the White House and Democrats in Congress who see it as a bonanza in new funding for the government.

As Paul Driessen says in a Townhall.com commentary, “More rational analysis reveals that dreams of growth are nothing more than dangerous tax revenue hallucinations. They would bring intense pain for no climate or economic gain.”

Too many Americans still believe that CO2 is causing global warming, but CO2 plays no role in climate change and is barely 0.038 percent of the Earth’s atmosphere. More to the point, there is no warming and hasn’t been for the last seventeen years as the Earth is in a natural cooling cycle that has prolonged the advent of spring with severe snow storms throughout the nation.

There is no scientific justification for such a tax, but those advocating it don’t care about the science. They care about raising revenue for an ever-growing government to spend and waste.

Driessen points out that “Hydrocarbons (coal, oil, and natural gas) provide over 83% of all the energy that powers America. A carbon tax would put a hefty surcharge on everything we make, grow, ship, eat, and do. It would put the federal government in control of, not just one-sixth of the economy, as under Obamacare, but 100% of our economy and lives. It would make the United States increasingly less productive, less competitive globally, less able to provide opportunities for our children.”

The case for a carbon tax simply doesn’t exist, but there are powerful forces in Congress and the support of the White House to impose such a tax. The power of the environmental movement and its long history of lies about the climate, primarily the global warming hoax, cannot be dismissed or ignored.

In Australia, “The Australian Securities & Investments Commission reports there were 10,632 company collapses for the 12 months to March 1—averaging 886 a month—with the number of firms being placed in administration more than 12 percent higher than during the global financial crisis.” It represents “a record high…led by widespread failures in manufacturing and construction, which accounted for almost one-fifth of collapses.”

Greg Evans, the chief economic economist for the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said that “It defies logic to adopt a policy which even the Treasury acknowledges will lower our standards of living and be harmful to national productivity.” Adding to Australia’s struggling companies, the carbon tax and one on mining were showing up as “sovereign issues” in discussions with foreign investors.” Who would want to invest in Australia if these two taxes were destroying the economic strength of the nation?

Politics in Australia is no less a battleground than here in America. Australia’s Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, who introduced the carbon tax, just beat back a bid by her Labor Party’s dissidents to reinstall former leader Kevin Rudd who lost to her in 2010 and 2012. Much of the opposition to her comes from the harm being inflicted by the carbon and mining taxes.

Marlo Lewis is a senior fellow in energy and environmental policy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. During the 2012 campaign, he described a carbon tax as “political poison for the Republican Party.” Mitt Romney opposed it, but ‘the big attraction of carbon taxes these days is not as a global warming policy but as a revenue enhancer. In both parties, deficit hawks and big spenders (often the same individuals) are flailing for ways to boost federal revenue.”

That is precisely the problem afflicting a nation whose Congress and President could not find a reason to cut anything from the federal budget. The result was the “sequestration” that imposed cuts neither party could agree upon.

In a Fox News article, “Here comes Team Obama’s carbon tax”. Phil Kerpen, president of American Commitment and author of “Democracy Denied” reported that “The Treasury Department’s Office of Environment and Energy has finally begun to turn over documents about its preparations for a carbon tax in response to transparency warrior Chris Horner’s Freedom of Information Act request. The documents provide solid evidence that the Obama administration and its allies in Congress have every intention of implementing a carbon tax if we fail to stop them.”

President Obama’s nominee to be the next Secretary of Energy, Ernest Moniz, is on record wanting to double or triple the cost of energy, much as his predecessor wanted. A carbon tax, if enacted, would totally undermine a nation that has a debt climbing toward $17 trillion and millions unemployed in an economy that is struggling to inch its way out of the depths of the financial crisis.

If you wanted to destroy America, you could do it with a carbon tax. Australia is reeling from the cost to its economy and the higher energy costs its people are paying. We don’t want that here.

© Alan Caruba, 2013

Thursday, March 21, 2013

An Hour of Darkness. Or Light!


By Alan Caruba

On Saturday, Greens around the world will turn off their lights in a symbolic “Earth Hour” gesture against climate change, the term they adapted in the face of the fact that the Earth has been cooling for seventeen years and is on the cusp of a mini-ice age that will ensure cold weather for many years to come.

Earth Hour is a protest against the use of electricity—energy—to light our lives in countless ways. Anyone who has gone through an outage as I did in the wake of Hurricane Sandy will tell you that life without electricity is an immediate return to primitive times. Mine lasted a week and included the loss of access to the Internet and the ability to use my computer and every other piece of equipment in the apartment. It was not fun.

We derive electricity from burning coal, from natural gas, from nuclear fission, and from hydroelectricity generated by huge dams. The least amount of electricity we use comes from oil and, in particular from wind and solar, a bare two percent or so. These latter two sources exist only because of government subsidies and mandates. Without these they could not compete against far more affordable and effective sources. Oil, of course, fuels all our vehicles.

What Americans generally have not absorbed is the fact that the large, multi-million dollar funded environmental organizations oppose every form of energy we use. Here is a week’s schedule of events planned to lead up to and follow Earth Hour in New Jersey by the Sierra Club chapter.

# On Thursday, March 21, they sponsored a “Fracking Waste Ban Lobby Day” in the state capital of Trenton.

# On Saturday they will sponsor an “adventure aquarium trip” devoted to sea turtles and a lecture on “how our plastic addiction impacts them.” We are no more “addicted” to plastic than to oil from which it is produced and found in virtually everything we use. Energy is not the enemy. It is the lifeblood of a successful economy and society.

# On Sunday there will be a town hall meeting about “clean energy solutions” in concert with Climate Mama, 350.org and the Sierra Club with a panel that will discuss how clean energy, solar and wind, “can dramatically reduce our use of fossil fuels and move our state forward without the pollution.” It will also discuss how “climate change has impacted you.” Americans are not going to reduce the use of fossil fuels, oil, coal, and natural gas. We already enjoy the cleanest air and, more importantly, the Earth in general and America in particular has enormous reserves of these energy reserves.

# On Wednesday, March 27, another panel will engage in “pipeline education”, ignoring the fact that America has 170,000 miles of pipelines that transport oil and natural gas throughout the nation. They are safe and secure, but none carry ethanol, a chemical that erodes not only pipelines, but damages the engines of millions of cars and trucks. The pipeline panel will likely take note of the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada that has been delayed for five years now and cleared of any charges of environmental harm.

The Competitive Enterprise Institute suggests that Earth Hour is a good time to celebrate “Human Achievement Hour”, a way to debunk the global warming hoax and the nonsense surrounding “climate change”, a process that has gone on for billions of years on the planet. The notion that people can do anything about the climate is so absurd it defies the imagination.

Earth Hour is just one more way for the Greens to continue spreading their lies about fossil fuels, plastic, and chemicals they want to demonize despite the advances in health and longevity, the manufacture of products we use, and the extraordinary lifestyle we enjoy with abundant food and protection against the multitude of insect and rodent pests that afflict us, along with the many species of weeds that affect crops.

Not that long ago, Greens were spreading nonsense about “peak oil”, saying that the Earth was running out of this energy source, but new reserves of oil are being found all the time. Between 1945 and 2010, the United States alone produced 167 billion barrels of oil, more than eight times more oil than the amount of proven oil reserves it had in 1944. Oil doesn’t merely fuel our cars and trucks, but as fracking techniques have been developed, more and more of it is available. Between 1980 and 2010, the U.S. produced 77.8 billion barrels of oil and still had 20.7 billion barrels of oil reserves left.

What Americans should keep in mind during Earth Hour is that we have a White House that has done everything in its power to deprive us of the coal, oil and natural gas that we have at our disposal. It has restricted the exploration and extraction of billions of barrels of oil from offshore of our east and west coasts, and in Alaska. It has generated regulations that have already shut down coal-fired plants and is seeking to impose greater restrictions despite the fact that we have enough coal to keep them operating for hundreds of years.

With more than 1.7 trillion barrels of recoverable oil under our soil, we have enough oil to fuel our present needs for the next 250 years. Delaying the Keystone XL pipeline has deprived the nation of thousands of jobs and will result in $5 billion being spent annually to import oil. Meanwhile, the Obama administration has wasted billions on “clean energy investments.”

Americans know their energy bills are increasing as the result of anti-energy policies, know that the energy sector, if allowed to flourish, would provide thousands of jobs, and should know that every drop of oil and cubic foot of natural gas we secure from our own reserves would reduce the cost to everyone in every way.

Turn on your lights at 8:30 PM on Saturday. Turn them all on. Send a message to the White House and to the world that energy is the heartbeat of life and economic growth for America and the world.

Hating energy is another form of hating humanity.

© Alan Caruba, 2013

Monday, March 18, 2013

The Mini-Ice Age has Arrived


Snowfall Map for March 19 to 20, 2013
By Alan Caruba

Climatologists and meteorologists are familiar with the last Mini Ice Age (MIA) that occurred between 1350 and 1850 AD. It is also referred to as the Little Ice Age. Suffice to say it was cold and, as such weather cycles tend to do, it altered history in a variety of ways.

The failure of crops was one aspect of the cold spell and in France the revolution that overthrew the monarchy is attributed to the unhappiness of its citizens, but famine in the northern hemisphere was widespread. In the United States, it is best recalled for the horrid winter our revolutionary war soldiers spent at Valley Forge. At one point during the cycle Americans spent what they called “a year without summer” when the weather remained too cold to plant crops.

Since climate is cyclical, it is not surprising that the MIA followed the Medieval Warm Period, also known as a climate optimum. Crops flourished, empires rose and declined, and neither cycle had a thing to do with so-called greenhouse gas emissions such as carbon dioxide (CO2) and everything to do with what was happening on the sun.

As spring arrives in the U.S., there was also a broad band of snow storms that comes with it.

One of the world’s most respected long-term climate forecasters is Piers Corbyn, an astrophysicist whose expertise is relied upon by corporations and others who need to know what the weather will really be as opposed to the criminally false claims about global warming. His website, WeatherAction, is well worth visiting.

In his own words, “WeatherAction is involved in the Global Warming/Climate Change debate where we point out that the world is now cooling not warming and there is no observational evidence in the thousands and millions of years of data that changes in CO2 have any effect on weather or climate. There are no scientists in the world who can produce such observational data. There is only effect the other way, namely that ocean temperatures control average CO2 levels.”

Recently Corbyn announced that “The CO2 story is over. It has been pointing the world in the wrong direction for too long. The serious implications of the developing mini ice age to agriculture and the world economy through the next 25 to 35 years must be addressed.” World cooling is now locked in says Corbyn, citing the decrease in average solar activity and a jet stream that is often further south than normal, resulting in extreme weather events.

Following in the heels of Corbyn’s forecast was the release of a new report by Dr. David Whitehouse, published by the Global Warming Policy Foundation, and what makes it fairly extraordinary after decades of global warming propaganda is that he concludes that there has been no statistically significant increase in annual global temperatures since 1997. That’s seventeen years of atrocious lies about a warming earth.

The irony that Dr. Whitehouse includes in his report is that the atmospheric composition of carbon dioxide has increased during that time from 370 ppm to 390 ppm. So, everything you have been told about carbon dioxide emissions and those of other so-called greenhouse gases “causing” a warming earth is just lies, lies, and lies.

“If the standstill (lower temperatures) continues for a few more years,” wrote Dr. Whitehouse, “it will mean that no one who has just reached adulthood, or younger, will have witnessed the earth get warmer during their lifetime.”

Now here’s the kicker. The President of the United States, according to a recent Business Week article, “is preparing to tell all federal agencies for the first time that they should consider the impact on global warming before approving projects, from pipelines to highways.” The result “could be significant delays for natural gas export facilities, ports for coal sales to Asia, and even new forest roads, industry lobbyists say.”

“In taking the step,” said Business Week reporter Mark Drajem, “Obama would be fulfilling a vow to act alone in the face of a Republican-run House of Representatives unwilling to pass measures limiting greenhouse gases.”

The President, as usual, is lying through his teeth. There is no global warming or, as it is more frequently called these days, climate change unless you include a colder earth in that change.

The result will be four years of a second term in office during which Obama and his minions will do everything they can to slow what little is left of the U.S. economy, currently growing at a rate that requires a microscope to detect.

For the rest of us, the Mini Ice Age has arrived.

© Alan Caruba, 2013

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Stupid Food and Drink Bans


By Alan Caruba

Anyone, any city, and any governing body that passes laws to ban what you eat and drink has not read the U.S. Constitution. There is nothing in there granting them the power to decide what you eat and how much.

Indeed, if you think about it, the Constitution was written to “preserve, protect and defend” liberty!

New York City’s billionaire Mayor Michael Bloomberg continues to demonstrate an alarmingly fascist approach to everything that has to do with what the citizens of that city and its tourists may eat or drink, all in the name of “fighting obesity.” This is the same mayor who thought putting windmills on top of all of the city’s skyscrapers was a great way to generate electricity. Wealth, apparently, is no defense against extreme stupidity.

On March 11, New York State Supreme Court Justice Milton Tingling struck down a pending regulation limiting the size of sugary drinks in the city, calling it “arbitrary and capricious.” I would add “stupid” and “arrogant.” In his response to the decision, Bloomberg said “People will die”, notably neglecting the fact that people die in New York every day from natural causes, accidents, and homicide. Banning large cups of soda is not a cure for diabetes or any other disease.

Buried deep in the Affordable Healthcare Act (Obamacare) there’s a regulation that requires all major restaurant chains to provide calorie information on their menus and drive-through signs. People do not go to McDonald’s, Starbucks or Burger King to count calories.

This regulatory obsession with food has far less to do with obesity than with the insane passion to control people in general and, in this case, everything people eat and drink from the school cafeteria to restaurants, to the supermarket where the shelves are already loaded with items promising they are low in calories. Judging from TV commercials, books, and other enterprises, dieting is a major industry.

The current torrent of laws is very much about conditioning people to accept authority without questioning it. What better way than to ban just about anything and everything that large numbers of people enjoy?

The universal justification for food-related bans is that such laws are passed to ensure that people maintain their health, but people’s personal health not the government’s business. The corollary is that they are intended to reduce the cost of health care, but that has nothing to do with it either because the costs are largely determined by the insurance industry that controls healthcare.

With Obamacare, everyone is required by law to purchase health insurance or pay a fine for not purchasing it. That is manifestly unconstitutional, but the Supreme Court ignored the Commerce Clause and declared Obamacare a tax.

Look around you and conduct an unscientific study of how many fat people there are. Yes, you will find some, but most people—at least to my eye—are about the right weight for their age, height, and gender. As I aged, some of the fat in my body migrated to my midsection. For women of a certain age, it goes to their posterior. That is perfectly natural. And, yes, there are fat kids. There were fat kids when I was growing up some seven decades ago. They often were the offspring of fat parents and I’m guessing that it was and is related to genetic factors like the color of one’s eyes.

With the exception of morbid obesity, as much a mental condition as physical, obesity comes down to your personal lifestyle and the choices you make. Government, however, is increasingly getting between you and the plate of food in front of you.

There are even government standards for one’s “body mass index.” This too is bogus. As Dr. George Bray, an obesity researcher at Louisiana State University, points out, “You need to take into consideration factors such as age, gender, physical activity, race, and where on your body the fat accumulates.”

In November 2007, the Journal of the American Medical Association offered data showing that overweight people have a lower death rate than people of “normal” weight. In 2004, the most recent year in which data were available, there were more than 100,000 fewer deaths among the overweight than would have been expected for people of “normal weight.”

As Connie Leas, the author of “Fat—It’s Not What You Think”, points out, “Our genetic makeup is virtually that of our hunter-gatherer forebears. By the time they started planting crops ten thousand years ago, 100 percent of our genes were formed. In those days the problem was finding enough to eat. When they found such a place, our early ancestors probably stuffed themselves. It was a matter of survival. Now food is always plentiful and survival is not the issue, yet we’re still programmed to take advantage of high-calorie food sources. We’re stuck with those pesky caveman genes.”

The founders of this nation fought a Revolution to rid themselves of a monarch and a parliament that thought they could and should tax everything it could to pay for their wars. Today, the vast bulk of Americans simply roll over and accept every idiotic law passed by Congress and others who feel they are empowered to determine every aspect of your life. They aren’t.

© Alan Caruba, 2013

Monday, March 4, 2013

Signs of the Times: New York Times Kills Green Blog


By Alan Caruba

Fewer and fewer people care about the apocalyptic claims and outright lies of the environmental movement these days. The end of the world is nowhere in sight unless a stray asteroid is headed our way and, after some seventeen years of a natural cooling cycle, it’s hard to convince people that global warming is a problem.

In January The New York Times that has printed every global warming lie it could since the late 1980s shut down its “environmental desk” and reassigned its editors and reporters to other tasks. On March 1 it announced it was discontinuing the “Green Blog”, leaving only Andrew C. Revkin to rave on at “Dot Earth.”

Tim Graham, the Director of Media Analysis at the Media Research Center, noted that Revkin’s paycheck is being underwritten by financing from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation and, if that dries up, Revkin will have to take his fear-mongering somewhere else. Graham opined that “The reality must be that people don’t read it (Green Blog) and people simply don’t find global warming a scintillating subject. So much for the notion it’s the ‘story of the century.’”

The Times promised “we will forge ahead with our aggressive reporting on environmental and energy topics, including climate change, land use, threatened ecosystems, government policy, the fossil fuel industries, the growing renewable sector and consumer choices.” Readers have already made their choice; they are no longer interested in the torrent of lies that pours forth from the pages of the Times on the topics they will continue to report about. They have figured out that it is a steaming pile of horse manure.

It won’t be long before other print news media conclude that writing about “climate change”, aka global warming, no longer gets their reader’s hearts pumping faster.

A case in point from the alternative world of Internet blogs is the fact that 13 of the 17 blogs nominated for Best Science & Technology Weblog Awards were those of climate and environmental skeptics!

At The Guardian, a British daily that, like the Times, never failed to report that the Earth is warming, Leo Hickman who writes an environmental blog for it was fuming. He accused the climate skeptics of “gaming” the awards competition because they have succeeded in generating so much enthusiasm.

P. Gosselin, the writer of the No Tricks Zone blog admitted that “It was tough not to gloat” after reading Hickman’s screed. “It’s indeed a good look at a sour grapes display by the increasingly defeated looking alarmist side, now that they see they have got no chance of winning. Of the five finalists, four are skeptic blogs. The sole remaining alarmist blog, Skeptical Science, has dropped out.”

“The problem for them”, the alarmist blogs, “is that nobody is listening to their message any more. And, except for themselves, nobody else even has an inkling of enthusiasm left o nominate them, let alone vote. They’re rapidly sinking into irrelevance.”

It took time, but a consensus has been growing about the alarmists, whether it’s their absurd claims or the media that has been reporting them. It will take more time—and Mother Nature—before more people conclude that they have been victimized by the Greens who have foisted “renewable energy” (solar and wind) that not only provides less electricity than traditional sources, but drives up their bills in the process.

Environmentalism has never really been about science or even the Earth. Judi Bari of Earth First made that clear when she said, “If we don’t overthrow capitalism, we don’t have a chance of saving the world ecologically” or Michael Oppenheimer of the Environmental Defense Fund who said, “”The only hope for the world is to make sure there is not another United States. We can’t let other countries have the same number of cars, the amount of industrialization we have in the U.S. We have to stop these Third World countries right where they are.”

Writing recently in Investors Daily Business, Dennis Prager, a syndicated columnist, noted that the Philippines recently decided after twelve years to permit the planting of genetically modified (GM) rice. The reason for the reversal was that 4.4 million Filipino children suffer from vitamin A deficiency, causing 250,000 to 500,000 children to go blind; half die within a year.” GM rice provides that vital vitamin. The Greens where and everywhere fight against the use of GM crops.

“So who would oppose something that could save millions of children’s lives and millions of other children from blindness?” asked Prager. “The answer is people who are move devoted to nature than to human life. They are called environmentalists. These are the same people who coerced nations worldwide into banning DDT.”

Who is really saving the world and our fellow humans? The skeptics. The scientists and others who have debunked the lies and exposed the agenda of the environmentalists. The Green Blog is dead. It is a victory for all of us.

© Alan Caruba, 2013