Wednesday, July 30, 2014
By Alan Caruba
In a recent appearance before a congressional committee, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy told them that the agency’s proposed sweeping carbon-regulation plan was “really an investment opportunity. This is not about pollution control.”
If the plan isn’t about pollution, the primary reason for the EPA’s existence, why bother with yet more regulation of something that is not a pollutant—carbon dioxide—despite the Supreme Court’s idiotic decision that it is. Yes, even the Court gets things wrong.
Carbon dioxide (CO2) is vital to all life on Earth, but most particularly to every piece of vegetation that grows on it. Top climatologists tell me that it plays a very small role, if any, in the Earth’s climate or weather. Why would anyone expect a gas that represents 400 parts per million of all atmospheric gases, barely 0.04% of all atmospheric gases to have the capacity to affect something as huge and dynamic as the weather or climate?
When something as absurd as the notion the U.S. must drastically reduce its CO2 emissions is told often enough by a wide range of people that include teachers, the media, scientists, politicians, and the President, people can be forgiven for believing this makes sense.
What Gina McCarthy was demonstrating is her belief that not only the members of Congress are idiots, but all the rest of us are as well.
Faking Climate Data
“The science is clear. The risks are clear. We must act…” Sorry, Gina, a recent issue of Natural News, citing the Real Science website, reported “(in) what might be the largest scientific fraud ever uncovered, NASA and the NOAA have been caught red-handed altering historical temperature data to produce a ‘climate change narrative’ that defies reality.” As reported in The Telegraph, a London daily, “NOAA’s U.S. Historical Climatology Network has been ‘adjusting’ its record by replacing real temperatures with data ‘fabricated’ by computer models.”
The EPA has been on the front lines of destroying coal-fired plants that produce the bulk of the nation’s electricity, claiming, like the Sierra Club and Friends of the Earth that coal is “dirty” and must be eliminated from any use.
On July 29, CNSnews reported that “For the first time ever, the average price for a kilowatthour of electricity in the United States has broken through the 14-cent mark, climbing to a record 14.3 cents in June, according to data released last week by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.”
A Carbon Tax
What the Greens want most of all is a carbon tax; that is to say, a tax on CO2 emissions. It is one of the most baseless, destructive taxes that could be imposed on Americans and we should take a lesson from the recent experience that Australians had when, after being told by a former prime minister, Julia Gillard, that she would not impose the tax, she did. They get rid of her andthen got rid of the tax!
As Daniel Simmons, the vice president of policy at the American Energy Alliance, wrote in Roll Call “Australia is now the first country to eliminate its carbon tax. In doing so, it struck a blow in favor of sound public policy.” Initiated in 2012, the tax had imposed a $21.50 charge (in U.S. dollars), increasing annually, on each ton of carbon dioxide emitted by the country’s power plants.” At the time President Obama called it “good for the world”, but Australians quickly found it was not good for them or their economy.
Favored by several Democratic Senators that include New Hampshire’s Jeanne Shaheen, Alaska’s Mark Begich, and North Carolina’s Kay Hagan, the Heritage Foundation, based on data provided by the Energy Information Administration, took a look at the impact that a proposed U.S. carbon tax would have and calculated that it “would cut a family of four’s income by nearly $2,000 a year while increasing its electricity bills by more than $500 per year. It would increase gas prices by 50 cents per gallon. It could eliminate more than a million jobs in the first few years.”
Simmons noted that “It only took (Australians) two years of higher prices, fewer jobs, and no environmental benefits before they abandoned their carbon tax.”
We don’t need, as Gina McCarthy told the congressional committee, “investments in renewables and clean energy” because billions were wasted by Obama’s “stimulus” and by the grants and other credits extended to wind and solar energy in America. They are the most expensive, least productive, and most unpredictable forms of energy imaginable, given that neither the wind nor the sun is available full-time in the way fossil fuel generated energy is. Both require backup from coal, natural gas, and nuclear energy plants.
In addition to all the other White House efforts to saddle Americans with higher costs, it has now launched a major effort to push its “climate change” agenda with a carbon tax high on its list. A July 29 article in The Hill reported that “Obama is poised to sidestep Congress with a new set of executive actions on climate change.”
If we don’t jump-start our economy by tapping into the jobs and revenue our vast energy reserves represent, secure our southern border, and elect a Congress that will rein in the President, the U.S. risks becoming a lawless banana republic. Carbon taxes are one more nail in the national coffin.
© Alan Caruba, 2014
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
By Alan Caruba
In the same way Americans are discovering that the Cold War that was waged from the end of World War Two until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 is not over, Americans continue to be subjected to the endless, massive, global campaign to foist the hoax of global warming--now called climate change—on everyone.
The campaign’s purpose to convince everyone that it is humans, not the sun, oceans, and other natural phenomenon, and that requires abandoning fossil fuels in favor of “renewable” wind and solar energy.
“It is not surprising that climate alarmists, who desire above all else blind allegiance to their cause, would demand all school teachers toe the ‘official party line’ and quash any dissent on the subject of man-made global warming in their classroom,” says Craig Rucker, the Executive Director of co-founder of the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT). “What is absurd is that any teacher or free-thinking person for that matter would listen to them.”
These days when I am challenged regarding my views about global warming, climate change or energy I send the individual to www.climatedepot.com and www.energydepot.us, two constantly updated websites filled with links to information on these topics. Both are maintained by CFACT.
It’s not just our classrooms where Green indoctrination goes on. It is also our news media that continue to distort every weather event to advance the hoax. Guiding and feeding them is a massive complex of organizations led by the United Nations—the International Panel on Climate Change—that maintains the hoax to frighten people worldwide in order to achieve “one world order.”
On September 23, heads of state, including President Obama, will gather in New York City for what the Sierra Club calls “a historic summit on climate change. With our future on the line, we will take a weekend and use it to bend the course of history” to save the world from “the ravages of climate change.” This is absurd. Suggesting that humans can alter the climate in any way defies centuries of proof they do not.
One of the leading Leftist organizations, the Center for American Progress, focused on the July 14 Major Economics Forum in Paris, offered four items for its agenda. Claiming that “the Arctic is warming two times faster than any other region on earth”, they wanted policy changes based on this falsehood. They blamed climate change for “global poverty” and wanted further reductions in so-called greenhouse gas emissions from energy use. The enemy, as far as they were concerned was energy use.
Mary Hutzler, a senior research fellow of the Institute for Energy Research, testified before a July 22nd meeting of the Senate Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on International Development and Foreign Assistance, that due to Europe’s green energy (wind and solar) policies, industrial electricity prices are two-to-five times higher than in the U.S. and that, by 2020, 1.4 million European households will be added to those experiencing energy poverty.
There are lessons to be learned, for example, from Spain’s investment in wind energy that caused the loss of four jobs for the electricity it produced and 13 jobs for every megawatt of solar energy. In Germany, the cost of electricity is three times higher than average U.S. residential prices. Little wonder that European nations are now slashing wind and solar programs.
Billions Wasted to Combat Global Warming
In the U.S., the Obama administration used its “stimulus” to fund Solyndra—$500 million dollars—and fifty other Green energy projects that have failed or are on their way to failure. Undeterred with this appalling record, on July 3 the Energy Department announced $4 billion for “projects that fight global warming.”
But there is no global warming. The Earth has been in a cooling cycle for seventeen years and it shows no indication of ending anytime soon. This is the same administration that has waged a war on coal, forcing the closure of many plants that produced electricity efficiently and affordably, and had throughout the last century.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s 2014 weather highlights showed that, from January to June, the temperature in the U.S. has risen by a miniscule 0.1 degrees Fahrenheit compared with the average temperature for the 20th century. NOAA also noted that recorded temperatures for the first half of 2014 are the coldest since 1993 when the cooling cycle began. The exception to this has been California.
Brainwashed for decades about global warming, 20% of likely voters, according to a July Rasmussen poll, still believe that global warming is not over, colder weather or not, 17% were not sure, but fully 63% disagreed!
The results of a Pew Research Center poll in June revealed that 35% of Americans say there is not enough solid evidence to suggest mankind is warming the Earth while another 18% says the world has warmed due to “natural patterns”, not human activity. Pew found that liberals remain convinced that humans are to blame, but the bottom line is that 53% disputed the President’s claims.
That means that a growing number of Americans are now skeptics.
In the months to come we will see marches and meetings intended to further the global warming lies. The good news is that fewer Americans are being influenced by such efforts.
© Alan Caruba, 2014
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
By Alan Caruba
For years now I have been saying that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) must be eliminated and its powers given to the fifty states, all of which,have their own departments of environmental protection. Until now, however, there has been no plan put forth to do so.
Dr. Jay Lehr has done just that and his plan no doubt will be sent to the members of Congress and the state governors. Titled “Replacing the Environmental Protection Agency” it should be read by everyone who, like Dr. Lehr, has concluded that the EPA was a good idea when it was introduced in 1971, but has since evolved into a rogue agency threatening the U.S. economy, attacking the fundamental concept of private property, and the lives of all Americans in countless and costly ways.
Dr. Lehr is the Science Director and Senior Fellow of The Heartland Institute, for whom I am a policy advisor. He is a leading authority on groundwater hydrology and the author of more than 500 magazine and journal articles, and 30 books. He has testified before Congress on more than three dozen occasions on environmental issues and consulted with nearly every agency of the federal government and with many foreign countries. The Institute is a national nonprofit research and education organizations supported by voluntary contributions.
Ironically, he was among the scientists who called for the creation of the EPA and served on many of the then-new agency’s advisory councils. Over the course of its first ten years, he helped write a significant number of legislative bills to create a safety net for the environment.
As he notes in his plan, “Beginning around 1981, liberal activist groups recognized EPA could be used to advance their political agenda by regulating virtually all human activities regardless of their impact on the environment. Politicians recognized they could win votes by posing as protectors of the public health and wildlife. Industries saw a way to use regulations to handicap competitors or help themselves to public subsidies. Since that time, not a single environmental law or regulation has passed that benefited either the environment or society.”
“The takeover of EPA and all of its activities by liberal activists was slow and methodical over the past 30 years. Today, EPA is all but a wholly owned subsidiary of liberal activist groups. Its rules account for about half of the nearly $2 trillion a year cost of complying with all national regulations in the U.S. President Barack Obama is using it to circumvent Congress to impose regulations on the energy sector that will cause prices to ‘skyrocket.’ It is a rogue agency.”
Dr. Lehr says that “Incremental reform of EPA is simply not an option.” He's right.
“I have come to believe that the national EPA must be systematically dismantled and replaced by a Committee of the Whole of the 50 state environmental protection agencies. Those agencies in nearly all cases long ago took over primary responsibility for the implementation of environmental laws passed by Congress (or simply handed down by EPA as fiat rulings without congressional vote or oversight.”
Looking back over the years, Dr. Lehr notes that “The initial laws I helped write have become increasingly draconian, yet they have not benefited our environment or the health of our citizens. Instead they suppress our economy and the right of our citizens to make an honest living. It seems to me, and to others, that this is actually the intention of those in EPA and in Congress who want to see government power expanded without regard to whether it is needed to protect the environment or public health.”
Eliminating the EPA would provide a major savings by eliminating 80% of its budget. The remaining 20% could be used to run its research labs and administer the Committee of the Whole of the 50 state environmental agencies. “The Committee would determine which regulations are actually mandated in law by Congress and which were established by EPA without congressional approval.”
Dr. Lehr estimates the EPA’s federal budget would be reduced from $8.2 billion to $2 billion. Staffing would be reduced from more than 15,000 to 300 and that staff would serve in a new national EPA headquarters he recommends be “located centrally in Topeka, Kansas, to allow the closest contact with the individual states.” The staff would consist of six delegate-employees from each of the 50 states.”
“Most states,” says Dr. Lehr, “will enthusiastically embrace this plan, as their opposition to EPA’s ‘regulatory train wreck’ grows and since it gives them the autonomy and authority they were promised when EPA was first created and the funding to carry it out.”
The EPA was a good idea when it was created, the nation’s air and water needed to be cleaned, but they have been at this point. Since then, the utterly bogus “global warming”, now called “climate change”, has been used to justify a torrent of EPA regulations. The science the EPA cites as justification is equally tainted and often kept secret from the public.
“It’s time for the national EPA to go,” says Dr. Lehr and I most emphatically agree. “All that is missing is the political will.”
© Alan Caruba, 2014
Wednesday, July 9, 2014
By Alan Caruba
A news item in late June caught my eye. It was in the Washington Free Beacon and the headline was “EPA spends $1.6 million on hotel for ‘Environmental Justice’ conference.”
The event will occur in the fall and the location is the Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel.
By its own description, it is located “Just one mile from the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, this Arlington hotel features a chic lobby and indoor swimming pool. Rooms come with 37’’ HDTVs and plug-in connectivity panels.” A room for one night will cost approximately $349. The EPA is booking 195 of them for 24 nights!
The environmental movement began as the conservation movement. Its early leaders were concerned about preserving our great forests and other landmarks. President Teddy Roosevelt was enthusiastic about that and used his powers to initiate national parks and reserves. These days, however, Clinton and Obama used those same powers to close off access to vast energy reserves.
So what is “environmental justice”? According to the EPA, it is “the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.” In other words, it is another justification for the EPA’s existence.
But there’s more. “It will be achieved when everyone enjoys the same degree of protection from environmental and health hazards and equal access to the decision-making process to have a healthy environment in which to live, learn, and work.” Aside from the fact that you can attend the next zoning board meeting in your town or city, this is just sheer rubbish.
By what level of insanity can the EPA achieve the “same degree of protection from environmental and health hazards…”? Can it protect Midwesterners from tornadoes? The Gulf and East Coasts from hurricanes? What is its policy regarding blizzards in the winter or droughts in the summer?
None of this has anything to do with “justice.”
How does the EPA propose to ensure that “everyone enjoys the same degree of protection”? Answer: It cannot. So, instead, it devotes its time to punishing a landowner who gets local permission to build a pond on his farm, but who did not also check in with the Corps of Engineers.
On July 2, the EPA put a notice in the Federal Register asserting the right to “garnish non-federal wages to collect delinquent non-tax debts own the United States without first obtaining a court order.” ( Emphasis added) That is a definition of tyranny and lawlessness that defies the protections afforded by the Constitution.
Along with the global warming hoax, the term “environmental justice” comes out of the early 1980s where the liberal loonies saw it as a new social movement to ensure, according to Wikipedia, “the fair distribution of environmental benefits and burdens.”
As John F. Kennedy famously said, “Life is not fair.” Everyone’s life depends in part on the cold reality of numerous factors over which they had or have no control, and choices they made regarding their lives.
Some might think that EPA’s spending $1.6 million on luxurious hotel rooms where their “Environmental Justice” conference is held is “unfair”, especially if the cost of attending is being picked up by the taxpayers.
Again, Wikipedia: “Environmental justice advocates frequently make the argument that minority populations disproportionally undertake or are subjected to environmentally hazardous activities because they have few economic alternatives and/or are not fully away of the risks involved.”
The Green ideology of environmentalists blinds them to reality and the reality is that we are all born into different levels of wealth, different lifestyles, and different challenges, but we are all born in a nation where studying hard in school, hard work and a positive outlook can help us achieve as much as we aspire to. America is the home of millions of success stories.
The environment has nothing to do with social issues of poverty, race, or sex with which Greens want to associate it.
Joseph Bast, the president of The Heartland Institute, opened its ninth International Conference on Climate Change earlier this week by noting that “In Fiscal Year 2013, the U.S. federal government spent $22.5 billion on ‘global warming.’ It spent $200 billion over the past twenty years. By one estimate the world is spending $1 billion a DAY on projects that wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for global warming alarmism.”
When one contemplates how such an exorbitant expenditure could have funded the building and repair of U.S. highways and bridges, how it could help equip our nation’s military, or how it could help provide housing for the poor, the global warming/climate change agenda of the EPA and other U.S. agencies is an obscenity.
The EPA should be eliminated and its functions returned to the individual states, all of which have their own departments of environmental protection. At the very least, we would save billions.
© Alan Caruba, 2014
Sunday, July 6, 2014
By Alan Caruba
From July 7 to 9, the ninth International Conference on Climate Change will convene in Las Vegas in a dramatic demonstration that “global warming” was a huge hoax and the claims that “climate change” is responsible for everything are a continuation of that fraud.
As a policy advisor to The Heartland Institute, a Chicago-based free market think tank, I attended its first climate change conference held in New York in 2009 to dispute the “science” advancing global warming. I have been writing about the hoax that gained momentum since James Edward Hansen testified before congressional committees in 1988. From 1981 to 2013 Hansen had been the head of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies.
Along with other government agencies like the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NASA has been producing data that routinely tampers with climate statistics to maintain the hoax that gained an international platform with the creation of the United Nations International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 1998.
In June a Pew Research Center poll announced that 35% of Americans say there is not enough solid evidence to suggest mankind is warming the Earth while another 18% says the world has warmed due to “natural patterns” and not human activity. That’s a total of 53% who disagree with the lies about climate change being told by President Obama and a host of politicians and scientists who have received millions to maintain the hoax. The poll also noted that 40% of Americans still believe that mankind is causing the planet to warm. They likely represent the cohort that has graduated from American schools whose curriculum has taught the Al Gore version of science.
Among the participants in Heartland’s 9th conference are Habibulio Abdussamatov, a Russian astrophysicist; Sonya Boehmer-Christiansen, a research analyst from Great Britain; Fred Goldberg, an associated professor at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden; Madhav Khandekar, a research analyst from Environment Canada; William Kinimonth who worked with the Australian Bureau of Meteorology for 38 years; and Lord Christopher Monckton, Viscount of Brenchley, a chief policy advisor to the Science and Public Policy Institute. They will be joined by American scientists, longtime skeptics of the hoax, often called “deniers” by those advocating it.
It is doubtful that the U.S. media will give much, if any, news coverage of the conference, but the eight previous conferences have done much to debunk and dispel the deluge of lies about the Earth’s climate.
Leading Heartland has been its president, Joseph Bast, who asks “How can there be a ‘scientific consensus’ on the causes or consequences of climate change when thousands of scientists, economists, and policy experts attend conferences devoted to expressing the opposite theme, that the science is still unsettled and climate change is not a crisis?” In May Bast was joined by research scientist, Roy Spencer, in a Wall Street Journal commentary that debunked the lie that 97% of scientists support climate change, noting that “surveys of meteorologists repeatedly find a majority oppose the alleged consensus.”
Heartland has been a sponsor of the Non-Governmental Panel on Climate Change, a rival to the UN’s IPCC that continues to issue reports filled with claims of climate-related threats to mankind. The Obama administration recently released its National Climate Assessment echoing the IPCC claims, blaming all climate events on humankind. Common sense tells us that that events like Hurricane Arthur are natural and reflect the 4.5 billion year old Earth’s ongoing and ever-changing climate cycles.
Indeed, the Earth has been in a cooling cycle for seventeen years, something the climate change advocates are calling “a pause” in their global warming claims. Unknown to most Americans is that the Earth is at the end of its 11,500 year old interglacial cycle, suggesting that we are all in for a new ice age.
The global warming/climate change hoax is rooted in the claim that “greenhouse gases”, primarily carbon dioxide (CO2) has caused the warming that is not occurring. Ironically, CO2 continues to accelerate in the atmosphere and, rather than a cause for concern, represent very good news for every piece of vegetation from crops to forests as it is as vital to their existence as oxygen is for humans and all other animals. The Earth has had periods when its presence was much higher.
The conference expects to draw several hundred attendees this year, but those who want to follow its panels, lectures, and discussions can do so via the Heartland website that will live-stream them. It can be followed as well via Twitter @HeartlandInst and on Facebook at Facebook.com/Heartland using the hashtag #ICCC9. Heartland will post the sessions on its YouTube page after the conference ends.
We all owe a debt of gratitude to the skeptics who have courageously disputed the global warming/climate change hoax and to The Heartland Institute that has provided a platform for them to gather to continue their efforts to educate a public that has been deluged by a massive deception.
© Alan Caruba, 2014