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Carbon Dioxide is the ‘Elixir of Life’

Kevin Mooney in his column “Group Defends Carbon Dioxide as ‘Elixir of Life’ in Climate Change Debate” reports:

Forget everything government officials, many media outlets, and “activist scientists” have warned about the damaging effects of carbon dioxide, because in reality there’s no cause for alarm, a group called the CO2 Coalition urges.

Scientists, engineers, and policy analysts who are part of the nonprofit organization turned out in force Friday at the Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC, outside Washington.

“Atmospheric CO2 is not a pollutant, it is in fact the very elixir of life,” Craig Idso, a science adviser to the CO2 Coalition, said during a panel discussion at CPAC exploring the benefits attached to higher levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

The CO2 Coalition, founded in 2015, describes its mission as “educating thought leaders, policymakers, and the public about the important contribution made by carbon dioxide to our lives and the economy.”

[ … ]

“Adding CO2 to the atmosphere enhances plant water use efficiency,” he said.

Increased levels of carbon dioxide could boost plant growth and make plants more resistant to droughts, he said. This could lead to increased food production, which in turn could offset projected food shortages.

Greenpeace co-founder Dr. Patrick Moore testified before the U.S. Senate Environment & Public Works Committee on February 25, 2014. During his statement for the record Dr. Moore said:

‘There is no scientific proof that human emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) are the dominant cause of the minor warming of the Earth’s atmosphere over the past 100 years.

‘Today, we live in an unusually cold period in the history of life on earth and there is no reason to believe that a warmer climate would be anything but beneficial for humans and the majority of other species…It is “extremely likely” that a warmer temperature than today’s would be far better than a cooler one.’

Earth’s Geologic History Fails CO2 Fears: ‘The fact that we had both higher temperatures and an ice age at a time when CO2 emissions were 10 times higher than they are today fundamentally contradicts the certainty that human-caused CO2 emissions are the main cause of global warming…When modern life evolved over 500 million years ago, CO2 was more than 10 times higher than today, yet life flourished at this time. Then an Ice Age occurred 450 million years ago when CO2 was 10 times higher than today.’

Greenpeace co-founder Dr. Patrick Moore also stated that oil is the ‘most important source of energy to support our civilization.’ Dr. Moore said, “If it is the aim of ‘environmentalists’ to stop fossil fuel production and use, end fracking, end coal mining, end use of oil, then they are promoting a policy that would have disastrous consequences for human civilization & the environment. If we stopped using fossil fuel today, or by 2020 as Gore proposes, at least half the human population would perish & there wouldn’t be a tree left on planet within a year, as people struggled to find enough energy to stay alive…”

The New American (TNA) interviewed Princeton University Professor William Happer on the notion that CO2 is a pollutant and is the cause of climate change, formally known as global warming. TNA reports:

Physics Professor William Happer discredits the negative effects of CO2 on the planet and whether or not climate change is man-made. He also goes into detail of why the United Nation’s models are incorrect despite their overwhelming confidence that significant warming is taking place due to human activity.

John Casey, author and former NASA rocket scientist, has taught me three facts about the climate:

  1. The climate changes.
  2. The changes are cyclical.
  3. There is nothing mankind can do to change these natural cycles.

As John notes the only thing that mankind can do is prepare for these changes using good science and the best climate prediction tools to warn us of the coming changes.

End of story. Let the real science begin!

RELATED VIDEO: Tucker Carlson versus Bill Nye (Feb. 27, 2017).

Let’s Stop with the Carbon Con Already

The side that defines the vocabulary of a debate, wins the debate. So we could ask: as we fight the global-warming scam, why are we using the language of the scammers? It’s harder to combat “carbon” taxes, “carbon” credits and callow “carbon” appeals if we accept that at issue is “carbon.”

Calling CO2 “carbon” is like calling H2O “hydrogen.” Carbon is about as useful to a plant aspiring to photosynthesize as a tank of hydrogen is to a dehydrated man in a desert. Carbon dioxide and carbon are not the same thing any more than a fox and foxglove are the same thing.

If chemical formulas are meaningless and one element or atom between friends can be ignored, try inhaling copious amounts of CO. It’s also “carbon,” being in fact more “carboney” ratio-wise than CO2. But carbon monoxide is poisonous to fauna and flora while carbon dioxide is plant food, which is why botanists pump it into greenhouses.

Likewise, would you like some chlorine with your food, sir? Sodium is poisonous; chlorine is poisonous. Combine the two — NaCl — and you have table salt. Chemistry is our friend.

It would be nice to think that the carbon crew is just being friendly and familiar. But not only would calling CO2 Mr. Dioxide be just as inaccurate, there’s clearly an agenda here. Carbon, the primary element in coal, conjures up images of spewing sky-blackening soot into the air. It’s a dark brand of marketing.

In fact, I challenge those crafting “carbon tax” bills to call CO2 “carbon” in their legislation’s text. They won’t because I suspect it wouldn’t stand up in court, as factories don’t actually emit carbon. The alarmists will either specify carbon dioxide or define, tendentiously, what “carbon” means for the “purposes of the bill.”

Of course, carbon isn’t really a villain, either. It’s the fourth-most abundant element in the universe, and man is known as a “carbon-based life form.” Given the latter, if extra atoms and elements and how they react with each other can be ignored when formulating labels and definitions, we could say that Al Gore’s birth was a carbon emission.

Honest people should reclaim the language and reboot the debate by rejecting “carbon” talk. As for those knowingly using the term for propaganda purposes, they should have a huge carbon footprint placed firmly on their carbon-based posteriors.

Contact Selwyn Duke, follow him on Twitter or log on to SelwynDuke.com

A ‘Carbon Tax’ Is a Utopian Fix that Can’t Survive Contact with Political Reality by Diana Furchtgott-Roth

Paul Krugman, writing in the New York Times, suggests that Americans should pick a president who favors a carbon tax. But not even Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have proposed a carbon tax as part of their tax plans. All candidates have put forward detailed tax plans, and a carbon tax is not included in any of these plans.

What is a carbon tax? Why do so many academics and columnists love it? And why will Congress be unable to enact such a tax effectively?

No matter that only 16 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions are caused by America, and that by many measures global temperatures have not increased over the past decade. No matter than unless China and India reduce their carbon emissions, U.S. unilateral efforts will have no practical effect on global temperature. China has stated that it will reduce emissions in 2030, but has not made any definite commitment.

The carbon tax is a favorite of many academic economists for restructuring the tax system. Proponents include a bipartisan group of professors such as Tuft University’s Gilbert Metcalf, now Deputy Assistant Secretary for Environment and Energy at the Department of the Treasury; Harvard University’s Martin Feldstein, Edward Glaeser, and Gregory Mankiw; and Columbia University’s Joseph Stiglitz.

However, as tax practitioners know, a carbon tax is complex to set up. It requires adjustments to make sure that the tax is not unduly regressive and does not encourage consumption of imports relative to domestic production.

But, as we saw from the passage of many tax and budget bills over the years, Congress does not think deeply before it passes major tax bills.

Rather, political expediency always triumphs over academic elegance. Congress is incapable of thoughtful tax solutions, no matter how many are offered by well-intentioned professors. Despite years of notice that the Bush tax rates were due to expire, Congress passed permanent tax laws at the last moment, without reading the bill.

Many academics see a carbon tax as an alternative to an individual income tax, a corporate income tax, or a European-style cap-and-trade system. But a quickly-passed carbon tax in the hands of Congress would be just another add-on levy, with exemptions for friends and punishments for enemies.

A carbon tax raises the price of energy and so discourages consumption without regulation. Carbon tax rates could be calibrated to be revenue neutral or to yield a net rise in federal tax receipts, with the increment possibly dedicated to reducing deficits.

What are the problems with a carbon tax?

Everyone would want to spend the revenue. Some people would want to use it to reduce the deficit. Others would want to use carbon tax revenues to lower other taxes, such as income taxes. And since high income tax rates reduce incentives to work, this could conceivably add to economic efficiency.

Carbon taxes are regressive. Since low-income people use more energy as a percent of their income than high-income people, a switch to a carbon tax would have to be accompanied by transfers to low-income groups.

Some academics suggest that offsets be returned to taxpayers through lower income taxes, perhaps with the proceeds going chiefly to low-income households (individuals and families), which are disproportionately hurt by what is in essence an energy consumption tax.

This could theoretically be done by adjustments to the income tax. However, low-income earners are not required to file returns, and they would have to do so in order to be identified and compensated. That means extra work for them, and for the Internal Revenue Service — which will already be overworked calculating and collecting penalties from Obamacare violators.

Energy-intensive sectors lose under a carbon tax. The prices of energy-intensive goods in America would increase relative to imports from countries without carbon taxes. So Americans will prefer to buy imports, and American firms will lose business. Proponents of the tax suggest putting tariffs on imports in proportion to their carbon content so that American companies will not be at a disadvantage. But the precise quantities are complex to calculate, and tariffs might be illegal under World Trade Organization regulations.

The shale oil and gas that are attracting energy-intensive manufacturing back to America would be taxed, to the detriment of these new industries — and their employees. Some industries, such as coal, would be big losers. Politicians from coal-producing regions are influential in Congress, and they would demand a share of revenues.

So for a carbon tax to make our tax system more efficient, its revenues would have to be used to offset other taxes in the economy. Its negative effects on low-income Americans and on energy-intensive regions would have to be ameliorated. Some border adjustments would have to be made so that domestic goods were not disfavored.

But our disfunctional Congress is incapable of crafting a carbon tax with these attributes. Any tax on carbon would be an additional tax, without the offsets that make it so attractive to university professors. It would hurt the poor and raise domestic prices relative to prices of imports.

None of the front-running presidential candidates have proposed a carbon tax as part of their tax plans, because they know it is unpopular and will not pass Congress. To lower global emissions, the large emitters of carbon such as China and India need to move to nuclear power or natural gas. That would indeed make a difference.

This post first appeared at Economics21.org.

Diana Furchtgott-RothDiana Furchtgott-Roth

Diana Furchtgott-Roth, former chief economist of the U.S. Department of Labor, is director of Economics 21 and senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute.

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Climate Confusion

Many Americans are again confused over how the President and the United Nations can say we are at grave risk from man-made global warming (a.k.a climate change) when we continue to get pummeled by brutal, record shattering, winter storms. If this situation has you confused, take heart. You are not alone.

Once again the natural world has slapped the ‘warmist’ community down hard with yet another record breaking blizzard in the northeastern US between January 22 and January 24, 2016. Winter storm ‘Janus’ (a Weather Channel designation) dumped record snow totals in the major cities of the USA with a major snowstorm that stretched from Arkansas to Massachusetts. Here are but a few examples of the storm’s wrath:

New York City saw 26.8 inches of snow fall in Central Park, the second highest ever recorded. It missed tying the all time record by one tenth of an inch. JFK Airport had 30.5 inches of snow. Washington’s Dulles airport measured 28.3 inches, the second highest ever. Baltimore had 29.2 inches, its largest snow total ever recorded. The list of snow events and the breadth of this winter calamity that dumped record snow from the central US to the mid-Atlantic states to the Northeast was truly one for the record books.

What is also shocking about this ‘snowmageddon’ is that according to the manmade global warming crowd, none of this was possible. We were told by United Nations scientists there was not supposed to be any snow anywhere on the planet after 2003!  And who can forget the previous terrible winter of 2014-2015 here in the US, where new temperature and snow records were routinely broken. Again, that mercilessly long and cold winter was not possible either according to the climate models from the UN and the U.S. government. How can the impossible happen so often?

We should not forget other monstrously bad predictions, the ‘warmist’ community has proffered. NOAA scientists were telling us along with Al Gore, that the Arctic sea ice would be completely gone by 2008, then revised that to 2013. Of course neither happened. Global sea ice, especially in Antarctica, is in fact, growing rapidly.

Greenhouse gas emissions recently reached 400 ppm, yet the predicted overheating of the Earth is not happening – on the contrary. The 800 lb gorilla in the climate laboratory that the manmade warming community ignores is, that there has been no meaningful growth in global temperatures for eighteen years! That includes the so-called warmest year ever – 2015. Unfortunately, my colleagues and I have observed that the US government can no longer be relied upon to tell the truth about the Earth’s climate or its temperature.

The United Nations certainly cannot be trusted either. The corruption of climate science via its climate reports issued since 1990, has been so deep seated within that organization for so long, that we must now conclude they simply are unable and unwilling to be truthful. The UN climate models of which they, the US media, and our government are so enamored, are well over 100% in error in many of the models in predicting global temperature variation. Yet, the predictions from these failed models are still offered up as evidence of the need to shut down coal and CO2 production worldwide. Further, recent data suggests that the Earth’s climate appears to be relatively insensitive to CO2!  Even the UN is now confused.

It is my fondest hope that we can put the sad era of manmade global warming behind us soon and begin the preparations needed for the rapidly approaching cold epoch, a message I have been spreading since 2007. Starting this year, a long term decline in global temperature begins. It will be at the bottom during the 2020’s through the 2030’s. This time will be grim for our species as the cold era starts its destruction of crops around the world.

We humans are easily confused about the climate. Many of us actually believe what we want to believe, and not what the facts tell us we should. Worse; we are often intentionally deceived by our leaders.

The natural world does not suffer from these afflictions. It is never confused.

RELATED ARTICLE: 300 Scientists Want NOAA To Stop Hiding Its Global Warming Data

Catholic bishops call for ‘complete decarbonization’ by 2050, silent on Muslim slaughter of Christians

Complete decarbonization? You first, fellas. No more jetting to Rome to cause trouble for everyone by canonizing hard-Left Democratic Party policies. And let’s see you portly prelates start bicycling from parish to parish — no more driving for you, McManus. That wouldn’t be a bad thing at all.

While the bishops call for this destruction of the global economy, they continue to ignore a genuine and growing threat from the global jihad.  Syriac Catholic Patriarch Ignatius Ephrem Joseph III Younan recently appealed to the West “not to forget the Christians in the Middle East.” And he is not the only one. “Why, we ask the western world, why not raise one’s voice over so much ferocity and injustice?” asked Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, the head of the Italian Bishops Conference (CEI). The Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarch Gregory III has also said: “I do not understand why the world does not raise its voice against such acts of brutality.”

I do. It’s because the bishops in the West believe that the spurious and self-defeating “dialogue” they’re conducting requires them to be silent about Muslim persecution of Christians: “Talk about extreme, militant Islamists and the atrocities that they have perpetrated globally might undercut the positive achievements that we Catholics have attained in our inter-religious dialogue with devout Muslims.” — Robert McManus, Roman Catholic Bishop of Worcester, Massachusetts, February 8, 2013

That’s why bishops such as McManus, Kevin Farrell of Dallas, Jaime Soto of Sacramento and others move actively to silence and demonize voices that tell the truth about this persecution. Meanwhile, their “dialogue” hasn’t persuaded a single jihadi to lay down his arms. Nor has it prevented a single Christian from being murdered by Muslims in pursuit of that jihad. Nor has it kept a single church from destruction at the hands of those jihadis.

The Church could have and should have been a voice for a genuinely charitable response to the jihad threat, and a robust defense of the value of Judeo-Christian civilization. Instead, it parrots Leftist talking points about climate change.

“Global bishops call for ‘complete decarbonisation’ by 2050,” AFP, October 26, 2015:

Bishops launched a global appeal Monday for a break-through at upcoming Paris climate talks, including a “complete decarbonisation” of the world’s economy and more help for poor countries battling the effects of climate change.

The bishops said any agreement “should limit global temperature increases to avoid catastrophic climatic impacts, especially on the most vulnerable communities”.

From across five continents they called “not only for ‘drastic reduction in the emission of carbon dioxide and other toxic gasses’, but also for ending the fossil fuel era”.

The goal should be “complete decarbonisation by mid-century, in order to protect frontline communities suffering from the impacts of climate change, such as those in the Pacific Islands and in coastal regions”.

The November 30-December 11 conference in Paris will be the culmination of six years of work since the ill-fated 2009 Copenhagen climate summit, which failed to lock down significant agreements.

The bishops urged those taking part to “keep in mind not only the technical but particularly the ethical and moral dimensions of climate change” as laid out in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

“Those responsible for climate change have responsibilities to assist the most vulnerable in adapting and managing loss and damage and to share the necessary technology and knowhow,” they said in a statement….

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EPA tramples a cattle rancher, hammers a steel manufacturer and zaps a power plant

Above the Fold, the U.S. Chamber’s new digital platform, published a three-part series looking at EPA’s regulations and how it affects the day-to-day operations of American businesses.

Whether it’s EPA’s water rule, tougher ozone standards, or carbon regulations, real businesses explain in their own words how they will be hurt by EPA’s overbearing regulations.

Please read these pieces and share them on social media.


A Cattle Rancher, Trampled by EPA’s Regulatory Stampede by J.D. Harrison

jack field

Jack Field, cattle rancher.

Jack Field’s world has long revolved around cattle. His parents were cattle ranchers, and Field and his wife bought some of their herd several years ago and have kept the family business going. Today, they run a herd of about 120 cows in Yakima County, Washington.

“We have too many to be a hobby and not quite enough to make a living,” Field joked in an interview. “We’re a small operation, but we’re trying to grow it into a something bigger.”

That will soon be much more challenging due to overregulation from (the other) Washington.

The Fields’ livelihood and those dreams depend on their cattle, so they depend on having land on which those cattle can graze. In the past, they have always leased nearby pastures from local landowners. However, due to a new rule that expands the definition of federally protected water and gives federal regulators unprecedented authority over local land use, Field isn’t sure he’ll be able to return to those fields in the years ahead.

Under the rule, which was finalized earlier this year by the Environmental Protection Agency, the agency can claim jurisdiction over any “waters” that are deemed to be adjacent to streams, wetlands and creeks, essentially stripping away broad regulatory power from states  and local jurisdictions. In the process, the EPA has opened landowners and ranchers up to a host of new permitting requirements, as well as potentially devastating fines and lawsuits.

“For the price of a postage stamp, someone who disagrees with eating red meat could now throw me into court, where I will have to spend time and money proving that I am not violating the Clean Water Act,” Field told the House Small Business Committee at a hearing last year. “I don’t think this is what anyone had in mind when Congress passed the Clean Water Act.”

With the added liability, it’s not surprising that landowners who have leased Field their property in the past have expressed concerns about his operations moving forward.

“It may very well end up that landlords decide that my cattle grazing activity now has too high a risk profile under this new rule, and they may no longer want to rent the land to me,” Field said in an interview. “If that’s the case, and I can’t find somewhere to run my cattle, I’ll have to get rid of them – that’s just the way it works. I’m not sure what we would do then.”

He later added: “It turns off landowners, farmers and livestock producers, because it just feels like a massive power grab. Frankly, it should scare everybody to death.”

It’s not merely scary, he said. It’s also counterproductive.

“Having this top-down directive coming from 3,000 miles away saying we in Washington, D.C., know what’s better for you in Washington state, or in Arizona or North Dakota or Idaho, that doesn’t sit well with folks, and as a result, it’s extremely ineffective, because the stakeholders didn’t have a say,” Fields added. “Does the EPA secretary really know what’s going on in my watershed here in Yakima, Washington? I doubt the secretary has ever even been here.”

His industry isn’t alone, either.

“The WOTUS rule will choke and stymie a wide range of small businesses, not just livestock and agriculture,” he said, noting that construction companies, timber producers and a host of other sectors have come out against the rule. “It’s basically any small business that relies on the land that could be impacted by this, and that’s why you’re seeing so many people in so many industries stand up with a unified voice and oppose the rule.”

Not surprisingly, the Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy, which stands up for the interests of small businesses in the nation’s capital, has urged regulators to redo the rule, which federal estimates show will cost firms millions of dollars in permitting and mitigation costs.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has called on the EPA to throw it out, too. William Kovacs, the Chamber’s senior vice president for Environment, Technology and Regulatory Affairs, testified before the House Science Committee, saying that “the rule will have a chilling effect on project development and force property owners to hire consultants, specialists, and lawyers.”

Ultimately, he said, it will have “significantly adverse impacts on the country’s economy, the ability to create jobs in the U.S., and the ability of states to implement these new standards.”

So far, the EPA has ignored those warnings.

But then, that’s not all that surprising, either.

The WOTUS expansion is part of a broader regulatory overreach by the EPA in recent years, as environmental rulemakers in the nation’s capital continue to strip away powers once reserved for states and reach deeper into the day-to-day operations of private businesses around the country. In addition to WOTUS, EPA has recently proposed and finalized new rules that, for example, impose onerous new ozone standards and choke power suppliers with red tape.

The EPA’s increasingly long-armed approach to regulation not only threatens business owners like Field, it undermines otherwise effective environmental protection solutions that many states have crafted and adopted with the help of the private sector.

In Washington state, for instance, the Department of Ecology has over the past couple years moved away from what Field described as a once “litigious, heavy handed regulatory approach, not unlike what we’re seeing from the EPA.” Under the department’s new director, Maia Bellon, who took office in 2013, the state’s environmental regulators formed what became known as the agriculture and water quality advisory committee – comprised of business owners, trade groups, farmers, government officials, environmental groups and academics – to examine critical threats to water quality and other environmental issues and try to craft solutions.

“Trust me, at the beginning of the process, nobody was excited about sitting down to talk through water quality issues,” Field said of his peers in the livestock industry who showed up to the first meetings. “On the other hand, it was something that needed to be done, and at the end of the day, we knew we were getting a say and would have ownership in the outcome.”

And that’s exactly what happened. Over the course of about a year, as Field described it, the public and private sector “came together, identified the existing and potential problems, put our heads together, and came up with workable solutions.” Last month, with the help of researchers at Washington State University, the committee issued a guidance document for landowners and agricultural business owners to help them understand the risks to water quality, the protective measures that were needed, and how the industry arrived at those recommendations.

“Now, I can go out and talk with other livestock owners, explain the problems and how we came up with this plan, and they can easily understand what’s at stake and what’s needed,” Field said. “In my opinion, that’s the kind of collaborative solution we need to work toward, rather than the EPA’s heavy-handed ‘here’s our solution to all your problems’ directives.”

Instead, it appears the directives from the other Washington are going to keep on coming, drowning Field’s and many other small businesses in unnecessary and unproductive red tape.

“They need to take the rule, wad it up and throw it in the garbage, then let’s go back and do this correctly,” Field said of WOTUS. “Let’s have local discussions and listening sessions, identify the problems, have an educated discussion and come up with solutions in each state.”

Because those are the solutions that work.

“I’m not opposed to clean water; I want to drink the same water you do,” Field said. “I just think the best way to ensure that we have clean water is from a locally led effort, where we all have a say and we all have buy in from the beginning.”


A Steel Manufacturer, Hammered by New Ozone Rules by J.D. Harrison

Drew Greenblatt

Drew Greenblatt

Drew Greenblatt’s small manufacturing company, Marlin Steel, has already experienced exponential growth under his watch. Greenblatt, who purchased the company nearly 20 years ago with 18 employees and $800,000 in annual revenue, has nearly doubled the workforce and led the firm to $5.5 million in sales last year. He’s not ready to slow down, either.

Over the past couple years, Greenblatt has been planning to significantly expand his facility in Baltimore, Maryland. The plans, which are nearly finalized, would expand Marlin Steel’s current manufacturing space by 53 percent and allow Greenblatt to hire at least 15 more workers.

“These are middle-class, good-paying jobs,” said Greenblatt, whose firm sells wire containers and other industrial products to automotive, aerospace and pharmaceutical factories. “They’re the type of jobs that pull people out of poverty, that can lift people into the middle class, that can pay for their kids to college. These are the type of jobs that our community needs.”

However, his expansion and hiring plans may soon grind to a halt because of onerous new regulations coming down the pipe from Washington.

Holding Greenblatt back is the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal to further tighten ozone standards across the country, lowering the acceptable threshold of surface-level ozone in the atmosphere from 75 parts per billion (an already strict limit set in 2008) to between 65 and 70 parts per billion. While that may sound like a minor tweak, it would result in more than 300 U.S. counties falling into the “nonattainment” category, with another 200 counties at risk of not meeting (as in, hovering dangerously close to) the new ozone standard.

In those areas, many of the manufacturing and industrial firms that Marlin Steel counts as customers will see their regulatory compliance costs skyrocket as communities are forced to lower pollution levels even further than they already have (ozone levels have already dropped by a third since 1980). Every dollar spent complying with the new rules is one less dollar those manufacturers have to invest back into their firms and purchase new machinery.

Only when those manufacturers are expanding and investing in new machines do they need more steel containers (like the ones Greenblatt sells) to move goods from machine to machine within their factories. Thus, only when they’re expanding does Marlin Steel have customers.

Several longtime clients have already told Greenblatt that the EPA’s new ozone rules will put a freeze on any expansion or investment plans they had in the works.

“My clients are going to clamp down, and my phone is going to stop ringing” Greenblatt said. “When they hit pause, we have to hit pause, too, and as a result, we’re simply not going to be able to expand and hire as much as we had planned.”

That would be hard pill to swallow anywhere, but it’s “an especially devastating blow” for an employer in a city like Baltimore, Greenblatt explained. He noted that the nation watched this summer as riots erupted across the city due in part to a dearth of economic opportunity and a sense that the poor don’t have access to jobs that can lift them into the middle class.

“We’re here trying to create jobs and strengthen our communities, and Washington keeps making it harder and harder,” Greenblatt said. “It’s just another round of smackdown, and it’s a shame, because cities like ours really need these jobs.”

Marlin Steel isn’t alone. In Maryland, which has struggled to rebound from the economic downturn as it is, the new ozone rules are expected to exact a $37 billion toll on the economy and threaten 43,000 jobs, according to a study by the National Association of Manufacturers. Nationwide, the rule is expected to reduce U.S. GDP by an estimated $140 billion per year and could result in more than a million fewer jobs every year through 2040.

Many of those jobs will likely be stripped from small businesses.

“In the end, all sectors of the economy would be negatively affected by the EPA’s new, stringent NAAQS ozone regulations,” Karen Kerrigan, president of the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council, wrote in an analysis of the proposed ozone rules. “That means, of course, that small businesses will be hit hardest, as is the case with nearly all regulations.”

While no sector will be spared, two industries will be hit particularly hard, she explained.

“It’s worth highlighting that energy, which has been a rare bright spot in an otherwise dismal economy over the past eight years, and manufacturing, which is in the midst of a revitalization, would both suffer significantly under the new EPA regulations,” Kerrigan wrote. She later noted that “those sectors are very much about small business.” In fact, small businesses account for about 75 percent of manufacturers and 90 percent of trucking firms, Kerrigan added, as well as 90 percent of oil and gas extraction firms and 80 percent of oil and gas drilling companies.

SBE Council Center for Regulatory Solutions Senior Fellow Kevin Nyland, the former deputy administrator at the White House’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, has gone on record calling the new ozone rules possibly “the most expensive in U.S. history.”

Of course, EPA officials say the rules are necessary to help clean up our atmosphere. However, experts believe the rule will have minimal – if any – positive impact on air quality or health. In a letter to the agency this summer, nearly two dozen doctors-turned-lawmakers wrote that the department’s analysis of the ozone rule’s potential health benefits was flawed and that they believe “the proposal’s harm outweighs its claimed benefits.”

Back in Maryland, Greenblatt worries the rule may actually cause environmental damage.

“These rules are going to squeeze more American manufacturers out, pushing even more production overseas to places like China and India, where factories are allowed to and do in fact pump much more pollution into the atmosphere,” he said, noting that U.S. factories are already held to incredibly strict environmental standards compared to most nations.

“If we want a clean atmosphere, we should be doing everything we can to force those countries to clean up their act while at the same time tearing down barriers for American manufacturers,” he said. “Instead, all we’re doing is putting up more barriers.”

That’s frustrating from both an economic and environmental perspective, Greenblatt said.

“I breathe the air, I swim in the Chesapeake,” he said. “I want clean water and clear air, too.”

Marlin Steel’s environmental record shows he’s not just blowing smoke. In addition to implementing a myriad of energy-saving technologies at his factory, Greenblatt and his firm use 100 percent recycled steel from a plant in Indiana that churns out its raw materials by melting down, for example, old dishwashers and cars. Marlin Steel also recycles all of its scrap metal.

Most U.S. manufacturers that Greenblatt works with are taking similar steps.

“Our planet faces real environmental challenges, but the problem doesn’t lie with American factories,” Greenblatt said. “We should start focusing on where the problems actually exist, in places like India and China, rather than continuing to hammer American manufacturers who have been doing the right thing, who are already trying to help clean up our environment.”

If we don’t, he said, “rules like these will keep hurting our economy and our environment.”


A Power Plant, Zapped by the Agency’s Overreach by J.D. Harrison

Ameren-logoJohn Cooper, a former mechanic in the Marine Corps, has spent the past fifteen years working for Ameren, an energy utility company in the Midwest. He started out as a laborer at the firm’s Meramec power plant in 2000, and in the years since has worked his way up to shift supervisor at that same facility in St. Louis. He now supervises the operation of all plant systems.

Soon, there won’t be any systems — or employees — left to supervise.

Last year, Ameren announced plans to close the Meramec site, the smallest of the company’s remaining coal-powered plants, by 2022. While the company has cited a number of factors that played into the decision, executives acknowledged that the Environmental Protection Agency’s new, much more strict carbon emission limits for power plants — which had been proposed one month before Ameren’s announcement — made it “clearer” the facility would have to close. In fact, the site may be shuttered even sooner depending on how the rules are implemented.

Cooper took notice.

“I have a real concern about the speed at which the changes being implemented by the Clean Power Plan will affect my work location and my life,” Cooper wrote in a comment submitted to the EPA after the agency first proposed the standards last year. “I understand environmental change is coming and I wholeheartedly accept that it is our generation’s responsibility to turn the corner on our lasting effects on the environment. However, you also need to understand that not only is our environment at stake but also the livelihoods of thousands of utility workers and the tax revenues these facilities provide.”

His lone request to the EPA? “For myself and my family, I only ask that you be patient and understanding of our plight and please try to work with my company and the many others like us to help make this transition as painless possible,” Cooper wrote.

Instead, the agency has done precisely the opposite. Officials moved with reckless abandon to implement the new emissions standards, recently issuing a final rule without even taking into account sufficient input from the small business community, as is required by federal law.

“EPA has not provided … information on the potential impacts of this rule and has not provided Small Entity Representatives with the necessary information upon which to discuss alternatives and provide recommendations to EPA, as required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act,” Claudia R. Rogers, acting chief counsel for the Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy, wrote in a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy in May. Without that necessary information, Rogers pointed out, small business representatives are “unlikely to succeed at identifying reasonable regulatory alternatives for small businesses.”

Nineteen members of Congress later followed up with the agency to demand a response to Rogers’ concerns. One month later, still without an answer, several senators wrote yet another letter to McCarthy, saying: “We strongly urge the agency to work cooperatively with the Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy and the small entity representatives. The integrity of this process – and the confidence that small entities have in it – requires no less.”

Like Cooper, they were ignored. The EPA, without ever answering for the steps it skipped in the rulemaking process, issued its final Clean Power Plan carbon emission rules in early August.

It’s not the first time in recent months the agency has been caught skirting its rulemaking responsibilities. In June, the Supreme Court halted the implementation of a similar rule limiting mercury emissions after discovering that the EPA failed to conduct a thorough economic cost-benefit analysis (also required by law) before starting to implement the rule.

Nor is this the only occurrence of the federal agency extending its reach into rulemaking that has historically been left up to states. Criticism has been pouring in over the agency’s recent expansion of the definition of federal waters and its newly proposed ozone standards.

In short, the agency has started asserting unprecedented power over the private sector while turning a blind eye to both the federal rulemaking process and its directives from Congress.

The result is rules like the Clean Power Plan’s carbon emission standards, which did not take into account input from the business community and which will consequently put a drain on the American economy. In the case of Ameren, the firm recently released a study suggesting that compliance with the new rules — in particular, the rule’s incremental emission reduction checkpoints over the next 15 years — would cost consumers around $4 billion.

Others have issued similar warnings. One recent study found that the Clean Power Plan would cost U.S. consumers and businesses a staggering $41 billion per year. So far, more than a dozen states’ attorney generals have already taken legal action pushing back against the regulations.

Back at Ameren, Cooper isn’t the only one with a job in jeopardy. The Meramec plant currently employs about 200 people, and the company is still considering its available transfer options.

“That is a scary thing to hear when you have dedicated 15 years of your sweat, blood and tears faithfully providing safe and reliable power to our energy grid here in Missouri,” Cooper said of closing announcement last year. “I cannot tell you how many times I have given up time with friends, holidays with my family and hours of sleep to help ensure my facilities success.”

He added, “I write to you with a real concern for myself and my colleague’s futures.”

If only the EPA would listen.

J.D. Harrison

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J.D. Harrison is the senior editor for digital content at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, where he writes extensively about health care, immigration, infrastructure, regulations and a host of other issues that influence the decisions of executives, employers and entrepreneurs. Follow J.D. @jd_harrison and jharrison@uschamber.com.

Will President Obama’s Regulations Move U.S. Industries Offshore?

The following analysis is by the Institute for Energy Research:

When energy prices in the United States were high, the nation saw an exodus of companies moving offshore to obtain lower operating costs. Those industries have been slowly moving back, as hydraulic fracturing has dramatically lowered the cost of natural gas in the United States and allowed natural gas generation to compete with coal in the electricity sector. Unfortunately, President Obama’s regulations are going to make energy much more expensive in the United States, as his so-called “Clean Power Plan” and his methane rule get implemented.

The so-called Clean Power Plan is expected to decrease carbon dioxide emissions in the generating sector by 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030. To do this, massive amounts of coal-fired generating capacity will be shuttered and wind and solar power will be built in their stead—technologies that cost 2 to 4 times more than the coal capacity that is being shuttered. According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), residential electricity prices are expected to be 16 percent higher in real prices than today due to the proposed regulation and others imposed on the generating sector by EIA.

The methane rule will force oil and natural gas producers to reduce their methane emissions by 40 to 45 percent from 2012 levels by 2025.[i] This is a daunting task, considering the oil and gas industry has already reduced methane emissions from natural gas production by 38 percent between 2005 and 2013—despite increasing gas production by 35 percent over that time period.

These regulations and others promulgated by President Obama’s EPA will increase the cost of energy to Americans. President Obama is finalizing these regulations so that he can tell the world how he intends to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions at the United National Climate Conference in Paris in December. However, the reductions that the United States makes will be insignificant to any realized temperature change and an equivalent amount of emissions will be released by China in a matter of days—for essentially no net gain globally.

Manufacturing Industry Exodus

In 2005, when natural gas prices were almost 50 percent higher than they are today, there was a general exodus of companies leaving the United States and moving their manufacturing operations to Asia to reduce costs. However, since then, hydraulic fracturing has enabled the extraction of natural gas from shale formations, lowering the price of natural gas and increasing its production substantially. An accounting firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers, believes that these lower U.S. energy prices could result in one million more manufacturing jobs as firms build new factories here. Companies such as Dow Chemical and Vallourec, a French steel-tubes firm, have announced new investments in America to take advantage of low gas prices and to supply extraction equipment.[ii]

Examples of firms bringing back manufacturing operations to the United States range from tiny firms to large firms, such as General Electric, which moved manufacturing of washing machines, refrigerators and heaters from China to a factory in Kentucky, which at one time had been expected to close. Another firm, Caterpillar, is opening a new factory in Texas to make excavators, but it still plans to expand its research and development activities in China.

A survey of American manufacturing companies by the Boston Consulting Group in April 2012 indicated that 37 percent of companies with annual sales above $1 billion said they were planning or actively considering shifting production facilities from China to America. Forty-eight percent of the very biggest firms with sales above $10 billion indicated that they would bring production facilities to America. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology looked at 108 American manufacturing firms with multinational operations and found that 14 percent of them had firm plans to bring some manufacturing back to America and one-third were actively considering such a move. Another study by the Hackett Group, a Florida-based firm that advises companies on offshoring and outsourcing, received similar results.

It may be ironic, but Chinese companies are now looking to manufacture in the United States. Keer, a textile company headquartered outside of Shanghai, China, is building yarn manufacturing lines in the Carolinas, bringing more than 500 jobs, due to low costs for energy, land, and cotton. The Carolinas at one time had been huge textile centers. Springs Mills in Lancaster once employed close to 20,000 people before the last textile factory closed in South Carolina in 2007. Lancaster County lost 11,000 textile jobs from 1995 to 2007. The greater Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill region lost about 26,000 jobs at textile mills in the past 20 years.[iii]

But low energy prices and American ingenuity have brought manufacturing back to this country. However, all this is likely to change as President Obama’s regulations go into effect, making electricity and natural gas prices escalate, forcing companies to accept higher domestic operating costs or move offshore.

In the longer term, advanced manufacturing techniques will likely alter the economics of production, making it far less labor-intensive. Robots, for example, are already making a difference lowering the share of labor in total costs. Cheaper, more user-friendly and more dexterous robots are currently spreading into factories around the world, but these machines need energy to fuel them. And if President Obama implements regulations to raise energy costs, manufacturers will need to seek lower energy prices elsewhere, which will decrease the number of jobs in this country.

EPA’s Clean Power Plan

Early in August, EPA announced its final rule for the so-called Clean Power Plan, which reduces 32 percent of carbon dioxide emissions from the generating sector by 2030 from 2005 levels. This and other rules affecting the generating sector that have been finalized will shutter 90 gigawatts of coal-fired capacity and other fossil fuel technologies, and direct the construction of wind and solar units instead, despite the fact that it is cheaper to keep existing generating plants operating rather than building new plants. As a result, EIA expects residential electricity prices to be 16 percent higher in 2030 than they are today.

The use of low cost natural gas in the generation sector, displacing coal generation, has already reduced carbon dioxide emissions in the sector by 15 percent from 2005 levels. But, that is not a sufficient reduction for EPA. EPA wants the United States to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions from the electric generating sector by 773 million metric tons, and according to the International Energy Agency, while at the same time, China is expected to increase its carbon dioxide emissions by over 12,000 million metric tons.[iv] The U.S. reduction is expected to only reduce temperatures by 0.019 degrees Centigrade in 2100—a miniscule amount.[v]

Methane Rule

Also in August, the EPA finalized its methane rule, requiring oil and gas companies to reduce methane emissions by 40 to 45 percent from 2012 levels by 2025, despite the fact that the industry has already significantly reduced methane emissions while substantially increasing production.

According to EPA data, methane emissions from natural gas development have fallen steadily since 2005. (See red line in chart below.). The blue bars in the chart indicate natural gas production, which is rising steadily – even as less and less methane is being emitted from that production. The chart shows that net methane emissions from natural gas production fell 38 percent from 2005 to 2013 – even as natural gas production increased dramatically. Further, methane from hydraulically fractured natural gas wells fell 79 percent from 2005 to 2013.

Methane

Source: BreakingEnergy.com.

EPA’s Ozone Rule

EPA has finalized the so-called “Clean Power Plan” and the methane rule, but other regulations are still in the works. The proposed ozone rule, for example, is expected to be the most costly regulation costing the economy $1.7 trillion in lost GDP through 2040.   [vi]

The National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for ground-level ozone is an outdoor air regulation established by EPA under the Clean Air Act. Ozone is a naturally occurring gas composed of oxygen molecules. Ground-level ozone occurs both naturally and results from chemical reactions between nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds, which are emitted from industrial facilities, power plants, vehicle exhaust, and chemical solvents.

In March 2008, the EPA lowered the 8-hour primary NAAQS for ozone to its current level of 75 parts per billion. In November 2014, the EPA proposed lowering the ozone standard to a range between 65 to 70 parts per billion. By court order, EPA must finalize the standard by October 1, 2015.

These new ozone regulations proposed by EPA will cause hundreds of counties across the country to be in violation of air laws. Out of compliance on ozone means less development, fewer jobs and the potential for significant and long-term damage to the economy. What’s worse, the new proposed ozone rules are being considered while the previous ozone regulations from 2008 have not been entirely implemented. States, counties and communities across the country are working to meet the current requirements, and a new stricter standard would result in more communities out of compliance.

According to a February 2015 economic study by the National Association of Manufacturers, a 65 parts per billion standard could reduce GDP by $140 billion, result in 1.4 million fewer jobs, and cost the average U.S. household $830 in lost consumption – each year from 2017 to 2040.[vii]

Conclusion

President Obama is making energy prices escalate due to stringent environmental regulations being promulgated by the EPA. Due to the timing of these regulations, most of the price increases will not be seen by the public until his second term is up. Nonetheless, the headway the United States made to bring manufacturing back to America is being threatened. The result will be a loss of jobs that we cannot afford.


[i] Atlantic, The EPA’s New Methane Rules for the Oil and Gas Industry, August 18, 2015, http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2015/08/epa-methane-emissions-oil-gas-industry/401651/

[ii] The Economist, Coming home, January 19, 2013,http://www.economist.com/news/special-report/21569570-growing-number-american-companies-are-moving-their-manufacturing-back-united

[iii] Charlotte Observer, Textile manufacturing returns to Carolinas—by way of China, August 8, 2014,http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/business/article9148256.html

[iv] Institute for Energy Research, http://instituteforenergyresearch.org/analysis/u-s-climate-deal-with-china-is-no-deal-at-all/

[v] Cato, http://www.cato.org/blog/spin-cycle-epas-clean-power-plan?utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=twitterfeed

[vi] Chamber of Commerce, Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards, June 29, 2015, https://www.uschamber.com/issue-brief/ozone-national-ambient-air-quality-standards

[vii] National Association of Manufacturers, Costliest Regulation in History Coming Soon, http://www.nam.org/Issues/Ozone-Regulations/

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is courtesy of Shutterstock.

Do you hear that giant sucking sound? Oh, no! Its another Green Project!

Popular Mechanics has an article about a company named Carbon Engineering that is sucking CO2 out of the air. By doing so Carbon Engineering is contributing to the death of plant life globally. Strong statement? Well read on.

Tim Radford, from the Climate News Network, in 2013 reported:

Australian scientists have solved one piece of the climate puzzle. They have confirmed the long-debated fertilization effect.

Plants build their tissues by using photosynthesis to take carbon from the air around them. So more carbon dioxide should mean more vigorous plant growth – though until now this has been very difficult to prove.

Randall Donohue of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Organization in Canberra, Australia, and his colleagues developed a mathematical model to predict the extent of this carbon dioxide fertilization effect. Between 1982 and 2010, carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere increased by 14 percent. So, their model suggested, foliage worldwide should have increased by between 5 and 10 percent.

[ … ]

The team averaged the greenness of each location over three year periods, and then grouped the greenness data from different locations according to known records of rainfall. They also looked at variations in foliage over a 20 year period. In the end, they teased out the carbon dioxide fertilization effect from all other influences and calculated that this could account for an 11 percent increase in global foliage since 1982.

So if you take CO2 out of the atmosphere you will reduce foliage and plant growth. Well that doesn’t seem to bother John Wenz from Popular Mechanics.

Popular Mechanics’ John Wenz writes:

Carbon Engineering has an ambitious plan to take carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and turn it into fuel. The company is aiming the facility at areas where reforestation isn’t an option, such as deserts.

Air flows in through the series of fans you see in the picture, which feed into a carbon dioxide rich solution, helping pluck carbon compounds from the air. That solution is then purified, at which point Carbon Engineering extracts  the carbon dioxide for reuse or disposal in underground facilities. The solution is re-purified in the process, enabling it to be reused.

The technology is based on the same way that trees capture CO2 and release oxygen. It’s another take on the idea of an artificial tree, one of the potential geoengineering solutions that has been around for years, proposing to fight climate change by hacking the planet.

Words that Wenz uses are problematic at best. Wenz’s “ambitious plan” is really a waste of money that will harm foliage. The company Carbon Engineering is funded in part by the Climate Change and Emissions Management Corporation (CCEMC). Geoengineering is a Bill Gates initiative to cool the planet, the problem is the planet is already cooling.

So to save the planet it is necessary to defoliate it. Too bad for the environmentalists, who won’t have any more trees to hug as the CO2 gets sucked out of the atmosphere by Carbon Engineering.

Killing plants to produce fuel is as immoral as using food (corn Ethanol) to produce fuel. Both harm mankind.

The Climate Not Following Obama’s Global Warming Propaganda [+Videos]

“The Earth could be headed for a ‘mini ice age’ researchers have warned. A new study claims to have cracked predicting solar cycles – and says that between 2020 and 2030 solar cycles will cancel each other out. This, they say, will lead to a phenomenon known as the ‘Maunder minimum’ – which has previously been known as a mini ice age when it hit between 1646 and 1715, even causing London’s River Thames to freeze over”, writes the Daily Mail.

THE MAUNDER MINIMUM

The Maunder Minimum (also known as the prolonged sunspot minimum) is the name used for the period starting in about 1645 and continuing to about 1715 when sunspots became exceedingly rare, as noted by solar observers of the time. It caused London’s River Thames to freeze over, and ‘frost fairs’ became popular.

This period of solar inactivity also corresponds to a climatic period called the ‘Little Ice Age’ when rivers that are normally ice-free froze and snow fields remained year-round at lower altitudes.

There is evidence that the Sun has had similar periods of inactivity in the more distant past, Nasa says. The connection between solar activity and terrestrial climate is an area of on-going research. Some scientists hypothesize that the dense wood used in Stradivarius instruments was caused by slow tree growth during the cooler period.

Instrument maker Antonio Stradivari was born a year before the start of the Maunder Minimum.

Maunder Minimum (also known as the prolonged sunspot minimum) is the name used for the period starting in about 1645 and continuing to about 1715 when sunspots became exceedingly rare, as noted by solar observers of the time

Maunder Minimum (also known as the prolonged sunspot minimum) is the name used for the period starting in about 1645 and continuing to about 1715 when sunspots became exceedingly rare, as noted by solar observers of the time. It is 172 years since a scientist first spotted that the Sun’s activity varies over a cycle lasting around 10 to 12 years. But every cycle is a little different and none of the models of causes to date have fully explained fluctuations.

Read more.

RELATED VIDEO: Global Warming Revisited

EDITORS NOTE: The video above is copy-written property of Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings. Lindau does not endorse this publication or the use of this video. According to their terms (See end of video) they allow non-commercial sharing and embedding of this video.

Pope improves Armageddon with Climate Change prophecy

Today the Vatican released a highly anticipated Papal encyclical containing a carefully worded prediction of the imminent destruction of Earth’s environment at the hands of wealthy countries and individuals. Titled “Laudato Si,” (“Be Praised”), the new encyclical leaves little doubt that its author, Pope Francis, is attempting to bridge the widening gap between the boring and preachy Epistle of Jude and the still popular and hardcore Book of Revelation, while also courting a younger, progressive generation of Mother Earth worshippers by adding a cool new “Horseman of Global Warming” to the existing Doomsday scenario, bringing the total number of Horsemen of the Apocalypse to five.

Prior to the release, a senior Vatican official explained the purpose of the encyclical as a good faith effort by the Pope to demonize unbridled capitalism as the sole threat to our common planet, thus endearing himself and the Church he shepherds to the largely untapped progressive community. “If this encyclical receives the popular support it deserves, it may well find its way into the Canon of Scripture, and possibly into movie theaters worldwide,” the source told the press on condition of anonymity, explaining that “stealing the Holy Father’s thunder” is an excommunicable offense.

“It may seem odd to suggest that St. John, author of the Book of Revelation, shared a common failing with the early prophets of Climate Change, but it’s true. In his eagerness to steer readers to God, John wrote as though it was essential that people immediately embrace holy living so as to avoid the fast-approaching horrors of Armageddon. Likewise, until recently, the harbingers of carbon-based annihilation demanded drastic lifestyle changes among the world’s consumers to prevent climate cataclysm,” said the insider of an increasingly enlightened and once again relevant Catholic institution.

“Their mutual mistake was the specificity of predictions and deadlines for action, which have all passed without any noticeable impact. New York remains above water and natural disasters have not increased, while the seven seals remain unbroken and the stars are still attached to the firmament,” the Vatican source said.

And yet we shouldn’t lose hope: “The infallible Vicar of Christ won’t repeat those mistakes. His encyclical skillfully combines compelling, Revelationesque doomsday scenarios with a generous use of tempering vagaries such as ‘may’ and ‘potential.'”

Even though none of the earlier predictions have materialized, there is still reason for optimism, as Revelation and Climate Change Science both continue to be wildly popular among the respective groups of believers.

“The encyclical capitalizes on that popularity while serving as a long overdue segue between the present time, where nothing of note is happening, and the apocalyptic events which may still be decades away,” said the Vatican official, ending the anonymous statement with a prediction that the eventual Hollywood screenplay may potentially feature a snappier, dire-sounding title.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on The Peoples Cube.

Obama Keeps Telling Renewable Energy Lies

Imagine you wanted to get in your electric car and drive a considerable distance. It wouldn’t take long for your car to run out of power, so you would have to have another car, one using gasoline, to drive behind you to make sure you reached your destination.

That’s a description of “renewable energy”, wind and solar, in America today because they both require backup from traditional energy sources such as coal, oil, natural gas, and nuclear. And “renewable energy” based on “free” sun and wind power costs more to produce and purchase. Need it be said that the sun does not always shine consistently everywhere or at night and that the wind does not always blow?

Within twenty-four hours of one another I received a news release from the Governor’s Wind Energy Coalition celebrating the election of a new chairman and vice chairman, and read a CNN news article saying that “The White House wants to put more returning servicemen and women to work manufacturing and installing solar panels” as part of “his growing list of climate actions meant to combat global warming.”

That list was a twelve-page long, single-spaced White House fact sheet. The White House seems to think that the states can do something about “climate change”, but the climate is measured in decades and centuries, not whether it is going to rain next Monday which is something we call “the weather.” And just as you can do nothing about the rain, neither can you do anything to affect the climate decades from now.

The White House has a problem. There is no “global warming.” Even if you change the name to “climate change”, the Earth has been in a natural cooling cycle for the last eighteen years.

For the past 5,000 years humans have, as often as not, “done something” about the climate by moving somewhere else it was less of a bother and threat or found ways to adapt. Other than prayer, there was and is nothing humans can do about Mother Nature.

Most surely, getting veterans to manufacture solar panels is about as lame and stupid an idea as the President has proposed in the last 24 hours. Does the name “Solyndra” ring a bell? It was one of several solar farms that, along with wind farms went belly-up, leaving investors and consumers with nothing but the sunlight and passing breezes.

Indeed, the best news of late has been that the U.S. Senate has rejected a proposal to extend the federal wind Production Tax Credit (PCT) for another five years. The wind producers have benefitted from it for three decades. The federal subsidy to wind-energy producers expired along with other tax breaks at the end of 2013, but was retroactively extended through 2014 as part of the Cromnibus budget bill passed last December.

The PCT was intended to provide what was a then-new energy industry a helping hand, but it kept being extended and the industry benefitted as well from renewable energy mandates (REM) in 29 states and the District of Columbia. They require that a specific amount of electricity be purchased from renewable energy, wind or solar, producers. All that managed to do was drive up the cost of electricity to consumers. This is what happens when politicians get involved.

That’s a good reason to wonder why there is a Governors Wind Power Coalition in the first place. It consists of 23 Democratic and Republican governors from every region of the nation “working together to develop the nation’s wind energy resources”, but the nation doesn’t need wind energy which produces an unpredictable amount as opposed to traditional resources such as coal.

At the same time the President is talking about solar and wind power, his administration is pursuing a relentless “war” on coal that is forcing the primary source of electricity in America, coal-fired plants, to shut down. If that doesn’t sound like treason, then consider too that the U.S. is the greatest producer of oil and natural gas in the world and we have at least two century’s worth of known coal reserves. We have absolutely no need for wind or solar energy.

When Obama gave his State of the Union speech in 2014, solar power represented a pathetic 0.2 percent of the U.S. electricity supply according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. According to the Energy Research Institute, in 2013 wind power provided 1.6% of all the energy consumed in the U.S.

There isn’t a single good reason for either wind or solar power in an energy powerhouse like the United States. They are both costly, unpredictable, and a threat to a number of animal species. Neither the science, the cost, nor the recent history of “renewable energy” provides a single good reason to force Americans to pay for this “green” failure.

© Alan Caruba, 2015

Is John Kerry a Moron?

genghis_john-thumb

John Kerry testifying before Congress on Vietnam War.

I can recall John Kerry, Obama’s Secretary of State, from the days he testified to a congressional committee and slandered his fellow soldiers as the spokesman for Veterans Against the Vietnam War in 1971. I was appalled then and my opinion of the man has not changed since those days. I opposed the war, too, but I did not blame it on the men who were conscripted to fight it, nor did I believe the charges he leveled against some of them.

These days Kerry is engaged in securing an agreement with the Iranians, if not to stop their program to make their own nuclear weapons than to slow it to a later date. Never mind that the Iranian government is listed by our own government as a leading sponsor of terrorism worldwide or that they have signed such agreements in the past and then tossed out the inspectors.

Kerry is convinced that the Obama administration can get an agreement that is, in his own words, “not legally binding”, nor is it a treaty that the U.S. Senate would have to vote for or against. In point of fact, President Obama can make the deal—sign the agreement—just as Presidents have done for over two hundred years. It can then be abrogated by whoever the next President will be.

Why Obama and Kerry are doing this defies my understanding. It gives the Iranians more time to reach nuclear capability. It is opposed by every nation in the Middle East. It puts every nation within reach of Iran’s missiles at risk and it virtually guarantees the destruction of Israel, a goal of Iran’s Islamic Revolution from the day it was born. Kerry is negotiating with people who took our diplomats hostage in 1979 and have played a role in the deaths of many Americans since then.

Is John Kerry a moron? I think so.

I asked myself this question in regard to another area of U.S. policy which the Secretary of State is also championing even if millions around the world have concluded otherwise.

On March 2nd, Kerry addressed the Atlantic Council in Washington, D.C, telling them what he has been saying in many forums. Let us understand that “climate change” is the name being used to replace “global warming”, because the Earth has been in a cooling cycle for the past 18 years or so. And let us understand that “climate change” has been happening for 4.5 billion years.

Kerry said, “So when science tells us that our climate is changing and human beings are largely causing that change, by what right do people stand up and just say, ‘Well, I dispute that’ or ‘I deny that elementary truth’?”

The problem with this is that human beings are not causing the planet’s climate change. Forces far greater than humans are involved, not the least of which is the Sun.

As for science, its most fundamental methodology is to constantly challenge the various ‘truths’ put forward as theories until they can be proved to be true by being independently reproduced. Nothing about the “global warming” theories has been true. All of the computer models on which it was based have been proven inaccurate. In some cases, they were deliberately rigged.

On television meteorologists remind us that every day, indeed, from morning to night, the temperatures of the area about which they are reporting are in a constant state of change. They show us satellite photography and mapping that demonstrates how dynamic the weather is on any spot on Earth. The climate, however, is measured in decades and centuries. Every one of the doomsday predictions of the global warming “scientists” and propagandists have been wrong.

The enemies of the use of energy to enhance and improve the lives of the residents of Earth began to claim in the 1970s and 80s that carbon dioxide (CO2) was threatening the climate.

At best, CO2 is a very minor element of the Earth’s atmosphere, about 0.04%, which gets it rated as “a trace gas.” As such, it plays no role with regard to the climate.

Kerry asserted that climate change is “one of the biggest threats facing our planet today” and should be ranked with terrorism, epidemics, poverty and nuclear proliferation…” Oh, wait! Isn’t this the same Secretary of State negotiating with Iran to allow it to become a nuclear power?

And what “solution” does he offer to reduce the “threat” of climate change? Kerry urged that the U.S. transition away from “dirty sources of energy” such as coal, oil and natural gas.

Writing in a recent issue of The Wall Street Journal, Matt Ridley noted that “In 2015, about 87% of the energy that the world consumed came from fossil fuels, a figure that—remarkably—was unchanged from 10 years before. This roughly divides into three categories of fuel and three categories of use: oil used mainly for transport, gas used mainly for heating, and coal used mainly for electricity.”

Fossil fuels have made the difference between modern life and burning cow dung to cook dinner. A billion people on Earth still do not have electricity.

Less obvious, but significantly more threatening is the White House effort to get the U.S. signed up for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and its International Climate Justice tribunal. This is a follow-up to the 1977 Kyoto Protocol that was unanimously rejected by the U.S. Senate. Why? Because such treaties threaten the sovereignty of the U.S. and, just as importantly, because the entire United Nation’s climate program is a huge fraud.

This is what John Kerry wants the U.S. to agree to, just like the Iran deal, and just to be sure the U.S. Senate, as mandated by the U.S. Constitution, doesn’t have a say in it, he and the President are calling these deals anything other than a treaty.

Is John Kerry a moron? Maybe not as dumb as he seems to be, but surely cynical and devious.

Unfortunately, he is the Secretary of State.

© Alan Caruba, 2015

RELATED ARTICLE: California Dem Warns of Global Warming-Induced Prostitution

Climate Change Insanity

I went out for a walk today and enjoyed seeing how the autumn leaves are changing color because autumn, simply stated, is one of the four seasons that affects the Earth. It is part of the change that occurs as it has for billions of years.

The notion that humans have anything to do with autumn or the other seasons or that we should be spending billions of dollars to have any effect on the climate of the Earth is utterly insane.

On October 10, The Hill reported that “The U.S. might make a substantial contribution in November to an international fund that helps poor nations fight climate change, according to Peruvian Foreign Minister Gonzalo Gutierrez.” Does anyone actually believe that any amount of money will change the climate? And yet, there is a United Nations Green Climate Fund. The UN is the locus of the climate change, formerly global warming hoax.

“So far, countries have put $2.3 billion into the fund” described as “a crucial negotiating piece for developed nations trying to woo poorer ones to the table for a global climate accord.” Can you imagine how that money could be put to better use to fight the real problems of poorer nations?

“The fund was officially launched in 2013, after industrialized nations first pitched it in 2009 during the Copenhagen meeting, setting a target of $100 billion by 2020 for developing nations.” The U.S. has yet to have contributed, but the U.S. is $18 trillion in debt and can ill afford to throw millions at this absurd scam.

Climate Change LiesUnfortunately, the U.S. is being led by a President who has said that climate change is the greatest challenge facing the Earth. Our Secretary of State repeats this absurdity. There is surely an agenda behind this that I have yet to have determined except to think that this President has done everything in his power to destroy the nation’s economy and the claim is part of that agenda.

The climate change lies Obama keeps repeating are more than just obscene, they pose a threat to national security as he directs our military to address climate change. In a sane world, he would be removed from office.

As a recent October 1st Wall Street Journal noted, “President Obama prophesied at the United Nations last week that climate change is the ‘one issue that will define the contours of this century more dramatically than any other,’ and perhaps this vision of Apocalypse explains why he thinks he can disregard the law to regulate carbon.”

Obama has been using the Environmental Protection Agency as his primary means of foisting the global warming/climate change hoax on the nation via a deluge of regulations to control “greenhouse gas emissions.” Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the bogyman the EPA and environmentalists have been telling us is driving up the Earth temperature. Only the Earth has been in a cooling cycle for eighteen years and, at the same time, the CO2 level in the atmosphere has increased! Without any effect on the temperature!

As the Wall Street Journal opinion noted “The EPA wants to reorganize U.S. electric power generation and drive coal and eventually natural gas out of the energy mix under a rarely used backwater of the Clean Air Act called section 111(d), whose mandates apply state by state.”

Now, however, thanks to an Ohio-based coal company, Murray Energy, along with a dozen states, the EPA is being sued as they seek a writ of mandamus, “a type of injunction the courts only grant when the government has taken an extraordinary action beyond its statutory authority.”

The courts are beginning to reject the EPA’s expansive claims of authority under the Clean Air Act. “The courts seem increasingly alarmed by abuses of executive power.” That is the only line of defense between this outlaw federal agency and the rest of us. The EPA has succeeded thus far in driving coal-fired energy plants out of business, reducing the amount of electricity they have produced affordably and efficiently for the last century and ours.

If the EPA is permitted to continue the U.S. might as well just turn off the lights because we are being systematically deprived of sufficient energy. That is the Obama agenda for America.

© Alan Caruba, October 2014

RELATED ARTICLE: Hey, Defense Department: Focus on ISIS, Not Climate Change

Broken Windows: The Flawed Economic Logic of EPA’s Carbon Regulations

EPA’s Gina McCarthy gave a speech to Resources for the Future defending EPA’s proposed carbon regulations on economic grounds. However, the crux of her argument is based on a logical fallacy that will be costly to jobs and the economy.Here are two passages from her speech:

Climate action is not just a defensive play, it advances the ball. We can turn our challenge into an opportunity to modernize our power sector, and build a low-carbon economy that’ll fuel growth for decades to come.

Not only is global climate action affordable, but it could actually speed up economic growth.

In her mind, new mandates and regulations that end coal (and eventually natural gas) use in electricity generation will result in jobs and economic growth. McCarthy mentions that smart economists helped develop EPA’s carbon plan. However like her, they succumb to the “broken window” fallacy. This is the logical misconception that generating jobs and economic activity by breaking things is good for society.

In his essay, “That Which is Seen, and That Which is Not Seen,” the French economist Frédéric Bastiat tells the parable of the broken window:

Have you ever witnessed the anger of the good shopkeeper, James B., when his careless son happened to break a square of glass? If you have been present at such a scene, you will most assuredly bear witness to the fact, that every one of the spectators, were there even thirty of them, by common consent apparently, offered the unfortunate owner this invariable consolation – “It is an ill wind that blows nobody good. Everybody must live, and what would become of the glaziers if panes of glass were never broken?”

Now, this form of condolence contains an entire theory, which it will be well to show up in this simple case, seeing that it is precisely the same as that which, unhappily, regulates the greater part of our economical institutions.

Suppose it cost six francs to repair the damage, and you say that the accident brings six francs to the glazier’s trade – that it encourages that trade to the amount of six francs – I grant it; I have not a word to say against it; you reason justly. The glazier comes, performs his task, receives his six francs, rubs his hands, and, in his heart, blesses the careless child. All this is that which is seen.

But if, on the other hand, you come to the conclusion, as is too often the case, that it is a good thing to break windows, that it causes money to circulate, and that the encouragement of industry in general will be the result of it, you will oblige me to call out, “Stop there! Your theory is confined to that which is seen; it takes no account of that which is not seen.”

One unseen cost of EPA’s attempt to restructure the power grid, will be the shutdown of reliable coal-fired power plants. For instance, Duane Highley, CEO of Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corp. and Arkansas Electric Cooperatives Inc., told Arkansas Business he “would prefer to invest in scrubbers” for the 1,480-megawatt plant near Redfield, “and let it run for another 20 or 30 years” rather than shut it down.

What’s more, enormous investments that have already been made to many of these plants to make them meet other EPA standards. Take the Ferry Power Station in Hatfield, PA. The plant’s owner installed $650 million of scrubber technology in 2009, but closed it four years later because of more EPA regulations.

During a July 23 hearing of the Environment and Public Works Committee, Senator Deb Fischer (R-NE) summed it up when she said that EPA’s regulations will

force the premature retirement of efficient, low-cost coal-fueled generation; lead to the potential loss of billions of dollars in investments made over the last decade to make coal plants cleaner; require construction of higher-cost replacement generation; and increase natural gas prices.

Let’s not forget some of the significant costs that we will see. EPA estimates that its regulations will mean electricity price increases of six to seven percent nationally in 2020, and as much as 12% in certain places. There are also the job losses. The United Mine Workers expects over 152,000 jobs lost in the coal sector by 2035.

(We could have a clearer understanding of the proposed carbon rule’s job effects but EPA has failed to do the analysis.)

All these seen and unseen costs, and for what? Minimal global impact, as the Institute for 21st Century Energy’s Matt Letourneau notes:

The reduction in emissions from EPA’s rule would actually only decrease global emissions by 1.3%.  Based on projections from the U.S. Department of Energy, the amount of carbon dioxide emissions that will be reduced from EPA’s power plant rule is equivalent to just 13.5 days of Chinese emissions in 2030!

McCarthy can puff up the economic benefits of EPA’s carbon regulations all she wants. By using a little bit of logic and looking at the facts, we can see her agency’s plan will be a millstone on the economy. Just as a concerted effort to break windows doesn’t benefit the economy, forcing the restructuring of the power grid is not a path to sustained economic growth.

Follow Sean Hackbarth on Twitter at @seanhackbarth and the U.S. Chamber at @uschamber.

EDITORS NOTE: Image credit: Elvert Barnes. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

Some Useful FACTS About Global Warming and Climate Change

Thanks to Sunday’s Climate March in New York and Tuesday’s Climate Summit at the United Nations, Americans and others will have been deluged with the lies that have been told to sustain this greatest of all hoaxes.

Here are the known facts. Use them to protect yourself against the Green assault the truth:

  • Both the Earth and the Sun pass through natural cycles. The Sun is currently in a cycle of lower radiation as signaled by fewer sunspots representing magnetic storms.
  • There is currently no global warming. The Earth has been in a cooling cycle for 19 years. No child who has passed through K-12 classes in school has experienced a single day of “global warming.”
  • Not one computer model that predicted increased warming has been accurate.
  • Carbon dioxide, (CO2) blamed for global warming, is not a “pollutant” despite a Supreme Court decision stating this. Our exhaled breath contains about 4% of CO2.
  • How can carbon dioxide be called a “pollutant” when it is directly responsible for the growth of all vegetation on the planet? Without CO2 there would not be a single blade of grass or a redwood tree. Or the animal life that depends on vegetation; wheat and rice, for example, as food.
  • There is zero evidence that carbon dioxide generated by human activities is causing catastrophic climate change. Climate is measured in centuries or shorter periods of many decades in order to determine its cycles. The weather is what is occurring where you reside and it changes every day.
  • At 78% nitrogen is the most abundant gas in the Earth’s atmosphere. It is an essential building block of amino acids present in all proteins. It is a very stable, unreactive gas. Oxygen is the second most abundant gas-of-life in the atmosphere at 21%. Water vapor is the third most abundant gas-of-life in the atmosphere; it varies up to 5%, It reduces incoming solar radiation by day and reduces surface cooling at night. Carbon dioxide is the least abundant gas in the atmosphere at 0.04%.
  • The assertion that 97% of scientists believe that climate change is man-made and an urgent problem is a fiction. In May Joseph Bast, president of The Heartland Institute, cited the Zimmerman/Doran survey in which, out of 3,146 respondents, only 79 listed climate science as an area of expertise. Hardly 97%. “Surveys of meteorologists repeatedly find a majority oppose the alleged consensus,” noted Bast.
  • In February, Patrick Moore, a Canadian ecologist, a co-founder of Greenpeace, a militant environmental group which he left in 1986, told members of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee “There is no scientific proof that human emissions of carbon dioxide are the dominant cause of the minor warming of the Earth’s atmosphere over the past 100 years.”
  • Not only is the Earth not warming, but Heartland Institute analyst, Peter Ferrara, notes that “If you look at the record of global temperature data, you will find that the late 20th Century period of global warming actually lasted about 20 years, from the late 1970s to the late 1990s. Before that, the globe was dominated by about 30 years of global cooling, giving rise in the 1970s to media discussions of the return of the Little Ice Age (circa 1450 to 1850), or worse.”
  • The cooling of the Earth has led to a dramatic increase in both Arctic and Antarctic ice, up 50% since 2012.
  • One result of the false claims about carbon dioxide has been the Obama administration’s policies such as the refusal to permit the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline to import oil from Canada to U.S. refineries. The Environmental Protection Agency’s absurd restrictions on CO2 emissions have forced the closure of many coal-fired plants that are needed to provide low cost electrical energy. The administration has long wanted to impose a “carbon tax” on all energy use in America, a punishing and needless expense.
  • The Obama administration’s climate policies are entirely political in nature. It has announced that the EPA’s process of setting new rules affecting power plants will be delayed until after the November 4 midterm elections. It is extending the public comment period until December 1. The growing discontent over similar climate and environmental policies was evident when leaders of the European Union announced it was moving away from green policies that had driven up the cost of electricity across the continent.

In a world threatened by the rise of radical Islamism, by the outbreak of diseases like Ebola, and other actual problems to be addressed, the notion that thousands would march in the belief that they and the entire rest of the Earth’s population have any effect on the climate is appalling.

What is perhaps most sad and most reprehensible are the host of world leaders who continue to maintain the lie of global warming or the misrepresentation of climate change to impose a tax on an essential element of the Earth’s atmosphere.

© Alan Caruba, 2014