Category Archives: Environmentalism

Oil Wars

Everyone knows that the global warming/climate change true believers in the Biden Administration hate fossil fuels and want to eliminate its use. One of Joe’s first acts was to shut down the Keystone XL pipeline while inexplicably opening up the Russian Nord Stream 2. The other blow struck against devil oil was to shut down drilling on federal land, off shore and in Alaska. The final kick in the ass to oil companies has been to pressure banks to refuse to lend money to oil companies for drilling and exploration and cancelling leases for drilling in the Arctic Wildlife Refuge.

The result was to take the US from being a net exporter of oil to an importer, especially from Russia. It also more than doubled the cost of a barrel of oil to $93. Everyone feels this when they pull up to the pump to fill up or when they pay their monthly heating bill. Indirectly it is felt in the increase in cost of everything as fuel costs increase costs for shipments and delivery. Inflation is now running at 7.5% and certainly headed higher.

Sale of Russian oil and gas accounts for 60% of its exports and 30% of its GDP. Much of Europe relies heavily on it as does the East Coast of the US. It’s not as if the US has any shortage of natural gas. The nearby Marcellus shale deposit covers much of West Virginia, Pennsylvania and New York. New York State will not allow fracking so it is not produced there and, global warming true believers and their well-financed lawyers have prevented any pipelines from being built to deliver it. They need it, but can’t get it, so they buy it from the Russians.

There appears little doubt that Putin will invade Ukraine and Biden has threatened to shut down the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany. This will certainly cause oil prices to jump up even higher. If Russia retaliated by stopping shipments of gas to the US, the east coast of the US would be in deep shit. The issue is not that we do not have enough natural gas, it’s that there are not sufficient pipelines to deliver it!

Biden’s team has put the US in this box and his global warming fanatics will not permit him to get out of it. I suspect gasoline prices at the pump will be at least $7.00/gallon by the time mid-term elections roll around and Biden’s approval rating will be near 30%. Let’s just hope we don’t find ourselves in another war over oil, especially when we are sitting on oceans of it.

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Filed under Democrats, Drilling, Environmentalism, Global Warming, Oil

Such A Deal

It is unsettling that Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, the freshman congresswoman from New York, would come up with the “Green New Deal”. Although, considering some of the other idiotic pronouncements coming out of her mouth, it is not surprising. What is surprising is that all the declared Presidential candidates for the Democrat nomination so far (Gillibrand, Harris, Booker and Pete Bittingieg….. who?) plus Dear Bernie, who has not yet announced, have embraced this idiotic and destructive plan. (I had to look up who Mr. Bittingieg is and discovered he is the mayor of South Bend, IN, a position that makes him more than qualified to run the US.

Rex Murphy, a commentator for the National Post in his brilliant 2/12/19 piece has dubbed AOC (I’m not going to write out that name again) “the Thomas Jefferson of the infantile progressive left.” She has taken over this lofty role despite being in Congress only 38 days. Quite an achievement but certifies the Democrats wholesale stampede to the far left.

As I pointed out in my 12/20/16 post “Doubling Down on a Losing Hand”, when the Democrats lose a presidential election their reflex is to lurch hard left. A 12/19/16 WSJ piece by Dan Henninger pointed out that after Humphries lost to Nixon they went hard left and ran McGovern who got a whopping 17 electoral votes in the next election. In Reagan’s second election in ’84 the Dems reverted to form and nominated Mondale who managed 13 electoral votes. So here we go again. Every one of the Democrats who have entered the race so far are borderline socialists. Maybe it’s because of the success of Bernie Sanders in the contest with Hillary. It’s hard to believe all these supposedly educated politicians don’t understand the ramifications of this absurd Green New Deal.

On the other hand perhaps it’s because they anticipate that the kids coming out of high school and college these days have been so indoctrinated in the blather of global warming and have no understanding of how the economy actually works. Yeah, I know, it’s called Climate Change now because it polls better but it is still based on the same idea…the planet is getting warmer. Global warming is a harder sell when we are in the middle of a historic cold wave, especially this late in the season.

The charismatic Ms. AOC has laid out the specifics of her Green Wet Dream, er, New Deal because she in her vast wisdom knows exactly how much time we have before the planet burns up. Twelve years. Her prescription to save the planet is for the US that produces 20% of the world’s C02 to go to zero C02 by 2030. This would require elimination of all internal combustion engines….. cars, trucks, tractors, bulldozers, etc. Airplane travel has to be eliminated as much as possible. (Congressional junkets, and attendance at climate change conferences excepted, of course.) Eliminating all fossil fuel would require the closure of all coal and natural gas electrical generating plants. Heating all buildings and homes and powering all vehicles with electricity would require a lot of wind- and solar power-generated electricity. Good luck with that fantasy.

Of course, this massive transformation of society would put countless millions of Americans out of work. Not to worry, AOC’s Green New Deal guarantees everyone a living wage, plus free medical care and free education, plus a guaranteed retirement. This total destruction of the American economy will be gleefully cheered by China until they realize that their biggest market just disappeared.

The Climate Change/ Global Warming movement has never been about the planet getting warmer because there is nothing we can do about it even if it is happening. The movement is an excuse to slide the country into socialism, to give the bureaucrats more control over the everyday lives of the citizens.

My real concern is not about the ignorant ranting of AOC but the fact that so many of her Democrat colleagues are endorsing this suicidal plan. I have come to the conclusion that a test should be required before a person can run for office comprised of four sections: Economics, science, history and government. My first question on the science section would be, “describe photosynthesis and why it is important”. If they can’t answer that one they would be disqualified immediately because that would mean they have no clue of the carbon cycle and how important C02 is to the survival of all living organisms.

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Filed under Democrats, Economy, Environmentalism, Politics

Gilets Jaunes

I watched the rage of the “gilets jaunes” in France over the raising of gas taxes to fund their climate change agenda.  French taxes are already high and gasoline costs $7.00/ gallon.  I guess they figured enough is enough.  France also gets 75% of its electricity from nuclear that produce zero C02 but the Macron government wants to shut them down.  If you hate C02 why do you also hate nuclear power?

Image result for yellow jackets france

Trudeau’s Liberals in December of 2016 decided to impose the Pan Canadian Framework on Climate Change.  There were a lot of regulatory issues in there but the key provision was a carbon tax.  The Feds wanted to impose a $20/ton tax on carbon emissions that would increase by $10 per year until it reached $50/ton.  I began to consider the carbon tax dispute in Canada.  A number of provinces are planning not to play ball with the Feds and Trudeau has vowed to stick one on them if they don’t do a carbon tax themselves.  Of course, our BC leaders are all-in on a carbon tax.  BC already has one that began in 2008 at $10 per ton and will hit $35/ton next year.

I started to wonder what a ton of carbon dioxide looks like and how much the average Canadian generated.  The best example I found was an analysis of a three-car family (a Civic, a Prius and a pick-up).  Driving 16,000 miles a year, their autos alone would generate 9 tons of C02.  At $50/ton that’s $450 just for the cars!

In the last election, no one had a majority, so the left leaning NDP joined forces with the Green party to form a government.  I get it that neither of the two leaders has any business experience whatsoever, so I should not be surprised that they seem intent on destroying the BC economy.  Early on, they passed the Medical Services Plan that shifted some of the modest health care fees from individuals to employers.   If an employer has a total payroll of $500,000 they pay 2.95% of their payroll.  If the payroll is over $1,500,000 they pay 1.95%.  That seems a perfect job-killing program.

Now the NDP/Greens have introduced a Clean BC and carbon-reduction plan.  It calls for reduction of C02 by 40% from 2007 levels by 2030.  They want every car sold in BC to be a zero emission vehicle by 2040.  It targets homes, offices and industry.  Not only is this going to be impossible, it will be tremendously costly in dollars and jobs.  What business would want to be in BC with this kind of stuff going on?

With this clown dance going on, I began to wonder why the Feds and in particular, the BC government, seemed bent on destroying the Canadian economy over CO2.  Failure to build a pipeline to the coast alone is costing us $80 million per day.  I mused that Canada must be a big contributor of carbon dioxide to warrant such sacrifices on our economy?  It did not take much research to discover that Canada produces only 1.7% of the world’s CO2.  According to the Environment and Climate Change Canada Agency, BC produces only 5% of this total.  In other words, BC produces .00085 % of world C02.  If Canada stopped emitting CO2 tomorrow, if BC shut down every car and factory, drilling operation and killed every flatulent heifer in Canada, and reduced our carbon footprint to a single molecule, our impact of climate change would be…..  essentially zero!

If you are a true believer and are convinced that CO2 is the villain, why don’t you accept that Canada is also a net absorber of CO2.  According to a piece by F. Larry Martin in the Financial Post (March 2, 2016) Canada absorbs about 20 to 30% MORE CO2 than it emits.  Even if you live in the concrete enclaves of Canada’s cities you surely have to acknowledge that Canada has a Hell of a lot of trees out there that need C02 to survive and grow, not to mention vast fields of grain, hay and corn that need it too.  So, why would we impose destructive economic policies on Canadians when we are already carbon neutral?  Good question.  Perhaps this is a good time to “follow the money” and question our leadership on their financial and scientific ignorance.

Got any yellow jackets in your closet?


Filed under Environmentalism

Russia Russia Russia

It is an article of faith among Democrats and the Media that Russia preferred Trump over Hillary. Nobody disputes it. To do so would get you curious stares like you had suddenly lost your mind. But it never made any sense to me. Trump promised to put the missiles back in Europe to dissuade Russian aggression. Hillary was never going to do that. Trump promised to build up the military. Hillary hates the military.

Image result for hillary supports sanders

But here’s the biggie….. Trump promised to unleash the oil and gas producers of the US, to approve the stalled pipelines and open up drilling in ANWR and other areas. Hillary surely would have done none of that. She came out against fracking to secure Bernie Sander’s endorsement and she would never cross the anti-oil environmental groups that form an essential part of her constituency. Russia gets half of its annual budget revenues and 70% of its export revenues from the sale of oil and gas to other countries. Does anyone seriously believe they would purposely try to put Trump in the White House knowing he would harm their business and indeed their very survival?

Now comes proof of just how far they are willing to go to frustrate drilling, fracking and pipeline building. As everyone knows (hopefully) New York, Pennsylvania and West Virginia sit atop a massive natural gas deposit called the Marcellus Shale estimated to have somewhere between 141 to 400 trillion cubic feet of recoverable gas by fracking. Pennsylvania and West Virginia allow fracking but New York does not which accounts for the disparity in prosperity between the counties in the gas producing states and those who do not.

It turns out that environmental groups opposed to fracking and pipelines received hundreds of millions of dollars from environmental foundations that get the money from a shell company in Bermuda, that got the money from (wait for it) the Russians. The exposure of this money-laundering scheme was exposed recently by Kevin Mooney, a Heritage Foundation investigative reporter and published an article in the “Daily Signal”, a Heritage publication on 4/22/18.

Mr. Mooney discovered that a shell company called Klein Ltd. was set up by a law firm called Wakefield Quinn and some Russian officials including Putin. The law firm runs Klein and a dozen other shell companies at the same address. The Russians give the money to Klein who in turn sends it to several environmental foundations like the Sea Change Foundation and the Energy Foundation. These groups then distribute the cash to activists groups like the Serria Club and the National Resources Defense Council and likely others including the anti-pipeline groups in Canada.

They have been effective. Activist groups have been able to derail the Mariner 2 East and Constitution gas pipelines that would have pumped natural gas from the huge Marcellus Shale deposit to the East Coast where it could both help out with gas customers but also be liquefied for shipment over seas. The Russians continue to sell natural gas to several coastal states and, of course, have a strangle hold on some Eastern European countries.

In Canada the environmental activists have been successful in preventing the building of the Energy East pipeline and the Northern Gateway pipeline. The former would carry natural gas from Alberta and Saskatchewan to the east coast where it would be liquefied and shipped.  The Northern Gateway would have carried crude from the oil sands of Alberta to the northern coast for shipment. The Russians definitely don’t want Canadian oil and gas getting dumped into the world market for energy. Prices would come down and they would have competition.

Image result for energy east pipeline activists

There may be some unintended consequences from blocking these pipelines, particularly the gas pipelines. During the unusual cold spells of the last two winters, gas supplies were extremely tight in eastern NA because of limited pipeline capacity. Couple that with the wholesale conversion from coal to gas fired electricity generation and you have a formula for blackouts during extended cold snaps. I read reports that it nearly happened last winter.

Right now we are having a major war over the building of a second pipeline next to an existing one that terminates at the Fraser River near Vancouver. It’s called the Transmountain pipeline. It would bring oil and refined gasoline to people of the Lower Mainland of British Columbia. There is currently a gas shortage here and gasoline costs $1.61 per liter. That’s $6.09 per gallon!

I’ve been curious as to how these protesters can spend weeks and months camped out obstructing the guys trying to build a pipeline. I ask myself, “How do they support themselves? How do they eat and pay the rent?” I guess the answer is….. from the Russians, indirectly. Unwitting stooges for Putin.

Image result for pipeline activists

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Filed under Drilling, Environmentalism, Oil, Soviets



As anyone who reads this blog knows, I am not a big believer in global warming, to say the least. Both the Vancouver newspapers with a decidedly leftward tilt, however, are all in on AGW.

I used to get upset with them about publishing articles that were clearly not done by climate scientists but came from some US-based advocacy group. They were cleverly disguised to look like a scientific study but you could never figure out any scientific group that had actually performed it.

So, I’d write them an email asking what peer-reviewed study this article came from. I said it was lazy reporting for their so-called journalists to simple publish some press release they received from a California anti-carbon group. They would never publish any of my letters to the editor pointing out the disinformation from the AGW crowd.

2015 was a drought year in the Pacific NW. The big sea of unusually warm water sitting out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean called an El Nino condition caused an unusually hot and dry summer. The summer and early fall were marked by frequent and serious forest fires.

The flip side of the El Nino event is the La Nina condition with colder than normal masses of water in the central Pacific. This is part of a normal cycle called the ENSO or the El Nino Southern Oscillation and reverses every seven to twelve years. The NOAA website says “… the ENSO has large scale impacts on global weather and climate.”

The people who study this stuff were predicting last fall that the El Nino was falling apart and the La Nina was taking over. A La Nina year usually means a cooler and wetter year in the PNW. So, it baffled me why a purported “expert” on water resources would confidently predict another exceptionally dry year in which Vancouver would likely have to ration water and allocate more money to fight forest fires. The underlying assumption on his part was that global warming would cause drought and less rainfall. AGW does not cause droughts in the PNW but an El Nino year can and does frequently.


One would hope that a “water expert” would know this fact. Apparently not. He confidently predicted that 2016 would be as dry and possibly worse, requiring rationing of water. “The Province” published his scare prediction on December 19 and ran a full-page headline stating, “Brace for Another Drought Crisis”. The teaser underneath stated, “Recent precipitation has replenished Metro Vancouver reservoirs but a water expert warns the worst is yet to come.”

I cut out the front page and the full-page article on the inside and set it aside. I said to myself, “Let see what actually happens.” I had just finished reading a book called “Future Babble” by Dan Gardner, a senior writer for the “Ottawa Citizen”. He had come to my attention a number of years ago when he wrote a 10 part series on drugs. Carefully researched and even-handedly written, I thought it was excellent. When I learned he had published a book, I had to read it.

Gardner carefully documented his study of “experts” and the success of their pontificated predictions on many subjects. He found that the experts were correct only about half the time and you could do just as well with a coin flip. He cites some highly public failures and how they shrug off their mistakes to make yet another sweeping prediction. Two examples among many in the book were Revi Batra who published a best selling book in 1985 called “The Great Depression of 1990.” Of course, that didn’t happen. Did he run off and hide from the press? Nope. He published numerous other books in subsequent years making pretty much the same predictions for future years and all did not happen.

Similarly, Paul Ehrlich who I have mentioned frequently, published “The Population Bomb” in 1968 predicting some 200 million people would die of starvation in the 1980’s. Obviously, did not happen, but did not deter him from continuing to predict and publish, appearing on talk shows and giving speeches. You gotta hand it to these guys, they have a lot of gall.

If Al Gore had been right, Florida would be underwater by now and the oceans would be 20 feet higher by the end of the century. But, the oceans are only rising less than 1/8th inch per year, the same pace since the end of the last ice age. He should miss it by 19 feet!

One expert in England predicted that children in school now would never have seen snow in their lifetimes. Nope. Wrong.

The La Nina took over in the central Pacific and it’s been a colder and wetter summer in the PNW as one would expect in a La Nina year. I checked with the various weather sites and BC has had a normal amount of moisture this year and September has been unusually wet this year. Subsequently, forest fires were minimal this summer.

Our water expert can join a long list of expert predictions that were totally wrong.

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Filed under Environmentalism, Global Warming, Uncategorized

Regarding Rachel

   Some of my readers have emailed expressing dismay at my Global Warming piece, calling it a “right wing rant”.  Based on my complaints about Ms. Carson and her book Silent Spring  that lead to the ban of DDT and the resulting death of millions in the poorer countries of the world, some readers have decided that I am both uncaring about the environment and “stuck in the 50s in my opinion of women”.  About this latter charge I confess utter mystification.

I assure the few people who may actually read this blog, that I care very much about the environment, like nearly all my fellow hunters and fishers.  This will be evident in an upcoming piece.  I do find fault with anti-capitalist, radical environmentalists who blindly follow dogma and are not swayed by accepted science or common sense.

About the stuck in the 50s charge…. Probably true.  I admired and respected women then and still do.

Ms. Carson remains an icon of the environmental community and is often credited with being the founder of that movement.  Fair enough.  But, why the reluctance to admit she might have been wrong about DDT?  One of my readers helpfully referred me to a website to defend RC.  One of the references in that article (A National Geographic piece entitled “Bedlam in the Blood” (about malaria) contained a quote from Dr. Robert Gwadz of the National Institute of Health.  He said, “Banning DDT may have killed 20 million people.”

This is from a reference supposedly defending Ms. Carson!  Another piece from the same site by John Tierney of the NY Times carries the title “Fateful Voice of a Generation Still Drowns Out Science”.  You can guess what that says about ol’ Rach.

We hear what we want to hear and find whatever confirms our prejudices, either on the Internet or in print.  A friend of mine years ago was a professor of marine biology at U of Miami Marine Laboratory.  He said our personal battle against our own prejudices was a constant process.  Once you get rid of one prejudice you adopt another. I am no different than anyone else in this regard.

But, pointing out Carson’s error of half a century ago is not the same thing as walking into a Wisconsin tavern and loudly proclaiming that Brett Favre was a lousy quarterback and should have retired years ago.  On second thought, maybe it is.

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Filed under DDT, Environmentalism, Global Warming, Uncategorized

Earth Day

As I write this another Earth Day has come and gone. It began in Philadelphia in 1970, supposedly started by Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson and has, over the years, grown into a worldwide movement. I say supposedly because a man by the name of Ira Einhorn, a sixties radical–hippie, guru, anti-war activist and darling of the left–claimed to be the founder himself. He was at least a key organizer and MC of the first event, but was later disowned by the movement for his inconvenient killing of his girl friend, Holly Maddux. This was discovered 18 months after he had stuffed her body in a steamer trunk and stored it in his apartment. The neighbors finally complained about the smell and liquid dripping through the ceiling. Talk about an environmental issue. Ira had plenty of defenders on the left and managed to get out on $40,000 bail whereupon he promptly disappeared. In the 80s he turned up in France and avoided extradition until the late 90s when he was convicted and sent off to jail.

I would be the last to dispute that Earth Day and the raising of concern about the environment has done a lot of good over the decades. Much has been accomplished: the air and water have been cleaned up, sewage issues dealt with, spills of noxious chemicals stopped, mining waste controlled and landfills better managed. Although from the crap you see strewn along the highways and the graffiti on every flat surface in major cities (like this river in Manila), you get the feeling that not everyone has gotten the word.

I have always thought of myself as a “conservationist”. Indeed, my major in college (marine biology) fell under the supervision of the Conservation Department at Cornell. But, who doesn’t support clean air and water as well as the wise stewardship of our natural resources? I would not like to be called an “environmentalist” however. They have gone off the deep end with another agenda. As Stephen Hayward of the Pacific Resources Institute and author of the annual “Leading Environmental Indicators” states, “The environmental movement has been taken over by anti-capitalists and extremists. The agenda is now pulling down market economics, raising up central planning for egalitarian goals, forced lifestyle changes and the vilification- in hopes of eliminating- signs of wealth. Ironically, the creation of wealth allows the resources to invest in clean up.”

Indeed, the constant drumbeat that the environment is in grave danger from the left and the media has been effective. A poll commissioned by Habitat Heroes and conducted by Opinion Research found that 75% of blacks and 65% of Hispanics believe the planet will be irrevocably damaged by the time they reach adulthood. The schools have been drenching the children in eco-propaganda, laments Meghan Cox Gurdon in a piece for the WSJ (Taste Page, 4/17/09). This, she asserts, “causes stress that their smallest decision could have catastrophic effects on the globe.” [Another great article by the same author.]

She points out that children’s books have gotten in on the act. One of my favorite funny authors, Carl Hiaasen, has written several children’s books (Hoot, Flush, Scat) that feature eco-themes where young eco-warriors thwart fat, evil businessmen who damage the environment. Trite, but effective.

Mark Levin in his runaway best seller “Liberty and Tyranny” explains the motivation of the modern environmental movement in clear concise terms. He calls them “enviro-statists”. BTW, everyone should read this book… even my liberal friends (maybe especially my liberal friends). He explains a great deal about where we are and how we got there.

While the “Green” movement has followed the trajectory of many other fads and been championed to the point of nausea, the radical environmentalist have clearly gained the upper hand in promoting their agenda. Obama has loaded his cabinet with true believers starting with “Energy Czar”, Carol Browner. She served as a Gore protégé and once worked for Ralph Nader. She was also one of 14 leaders of Socialist International’s Committee for Sustained World Society that calls for “global governance”. Ken Salazar at Interior is slowly but systematically shutting down any hope of drilling for more oil. Stephen Chu, Energy Secretary and Lisa Jackson at EPA are both global warming firm believers and are actively promoting the proposed Cap and Trade legislation and/or advocating the restrictions on carbon emissions through EPA mandates.

They are not much interested in this just in from the four agencies that track the Earth’s temperatures: Hadley Climate Research Unit in Britain, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in NY, Christy Group at the U of Alabama and Remote Sensing Systems in CA. All four report that the Earth cooled in 2007 by 0.7C, the fastest drop on record. There has been no warming for the last 9 years. Last week Gore testified before Congress still claiming that the oceans will rise 20 feet and we are all doomed. Geeze, Al, get a grip. According to the latest poll, only about 30% of the US populace now believe that human activity has any impact on climate change.

Despite predictions from government and private sources that draconian restrictions on carbon emissions will result in huge increases in electricity and energy costs with concurrent job losses, the Administration persists in promoting their “renewable energy” (Solar and wind. Nuclear does not count even though it emits no CO2) program. Conservative estimates show that electricity prices will increase by 30% by 2020 and 101-120% by 2030. Job losses come in at 1.5 million by 2020.

Obama touts Germany as the poster child on how we should employ a renewable energy program. OK, let’s take a look.

Alex Alexiev in a NR article (“Green Bubbles Bursting”) points out that Germany achieved 15% of their electricity needs from renewables by offering that source seven times the wholesale price from conventional producers. Electricity prices went up 38% in one year. (2006-07) This, of course, does not include the infrastructure cost borne by the government. Part of the problem of renewables is the intermittent nature of the wind and sun. (News flash: the sun does not shine at night). These sources need to be backed up by conventional, usually gas fired, plants to provide energy to the grid.

There are other examples of European countries trying the green route but seeing the costs and irrationality, are now backing off. In Spain, another example cited by Obama, the Universidad Ray Juan Carlos calculates that for every “green job” created by their renewable program there were 2.5 jobs destroyed elsewhere in the economy.

There are also significant signs that Europeans have cast off their anti-nuclear hysteria and are planning on relying on nuclear energy for their future. Sweden has changed course, as has Italy that plans to get 25% of its future power from 8 new nuclear reactors. Great Britain will build 10 new reactors and even the Ukraine, site of the infamous Chernobyl disaster, plans 11 new reactors by 2030. Poland, Finland, Bulgaria and Romania are either planning or building new reactors. India plans to go from 3% to 45% nuclear with 40 new reactors, China plans a seven-fold increase and Japan wants to double from 30% nuclear.

Meanwhile, here in the USA nuclear is off the table while the agenda remains controlled by the hysterical environmental lobbies. Even as the Republicans timidly promote nuclear they know their suggestions fall on deaf ears. The primary tool of the environmentalists is litigation and the “citizen lawsuit provisions” of environmental law allow well-funded groups to bring lawsuits in the public’s name. They can and will hold up any project that does not fit their narrow theology.

A few Democrat Senators have been getting cold feet over the Cap and Trade legislation. As Duncan Currie points out in his NR piece, “Robbing Bismarck to Pay Boston”, many states get most of their electricity from coal fired plants, from a high of 97.8% in W. VA to 85% for many Midwestern states. Some states like CA get none or nearly none. These Senators realize that their states will be disproportionately impacted. Not good for re-election to vote for this turkey. The recent decision by the EPA declaring CO2 a hazard to health is meant to browbeat these reluctant Senators into line. Senator Boxer recently declared that if the Senate does not pass C & T, she would urge the EPA to act to regulate carbon.

Just what we need: economic and energy policy by fiat.


Filed under Cap and Trade, Czars, Earth Day, Environmentalism, Global Warming, Obama, Politics

What If They’re Wrong?

Vancouver recorded the lowest temperature in forty years last night. Tonight we await the arrival of a blizzard that has already struck Portland and Seattle. This past week it snowed in Las Vegas, Houston and Malibu. My cousin who lives outside of San Diego sent me pictures of snow on the hills near his home.

This is, to say the least, highly unusual stuff.

Of course, Minnesota, Wisconsin and the East are getting whacked with vicious winter storms, but that’s normal. What is not normal is that winter has not yet officially arrived. Starts tomorrow.

Since this has started out to be a record breaking cold winter you might well imagine my surprise when the environmental clergy announced that a necessary step in curbing the planet-threatening advance of global warming would be the taxation of cow farts. Yes indeed, bovine flatulence, we are told, represents a large contributor to greenhouse gases. A tax on each offending cow seems to be the only idea on the table.

My entrepreneurial mind immediately clicked with an alternative. Why not, I mused, instead insert a tube into the anus of each cow and attach to it an inflatable balloon? The captured methane could then be collected and burned to generate electricity! Hey, it’s renewable energy and that’s what we’re looking for, right? I can see no flaw in this proposal.

Having quickly dealt with cow farts, a sacrilegious thought occurred to me: What if these guys are wrong about global warming? What if, instead of warming the planet is actually cooling? What if the school of science that links previous cycles of solar activity (sunspots) to warming and cooling periods on Earth are right and the sun determines these things, not whatever Man may or may not do? The evidence suggests we should give it some consideration… not to mention looking out the window and checking out the temp and snow depth from time to time.

The Maunder Minimum, an extended period of low sunspot activity occurred between 1645 and 1715 and coincides with the Little Ice Age. Cooling and warming periods also correlate with the Medieval Minimum (1040 to 1080) and Medieval Maximum (1100 to 1250) although one has to wonder who was measuring this stuff. Scientists also claim that solar cycles correlate perfectly with warming and cooling periods on Mars. Since I have heard no reports on the discovery of SUVs on Mars, I think we can pretty much rule out human activity having much to do with it.

Solar activity comes and goes on roughly an eleven-year cycle and on that pace does not have a significant impact as the warming and cooling effects get dampened somewhat by the oceans. You may remember from 8th grade science that the oceans cover about 75% of the globe…. A big heat sink. When the sun refuses to adhere to the eleven-year cycle, things can get out of hand. The question: will the current minimum in sunspot activity be a short one, or will we be in for the next ice age?

Bjorn Lonborg in The Skeptical Environmentalist points out that global cooling is a far bigger problem than global warming. Shorter growing seasons and less land mass available for cultivation make food an issue. And, he points out, far more people today die as a result of cold than heat. The consensus among scientists holds that by the end of the century, if global warming were to continue at the pace of the last 50 years, that the Earth would increase in temperature by 2 degrees and the oceans would rise by 8 inches. Not a big problem, and may actually be a benefit as more of the northern latitudes become available for food production.

President-elect Obama promised during the campaign to “save the planet and stop the oceans from rising”. (No point in setting modest goals.) With that in mind, he has loaded his incoming administration with global warming and anti-carbon true believers. They will certainly pursue a series of policies to battle global warming and reduce our national carbon footprint. I think it is worth asking if this is exactly the wrong prescription for what ails us? What if Al Gore and his acolytes are exactly wrong and the Earth is getting colder? What if instead of shutting down coal fired electrical plants and restricting oil drilling we should be doing the opposite, just so we can stay warm in the next decade? What if instead of propping up the auto industry we should be helping out the snowshoe industry? It’s something to think about.

By the way, my wife just informed me our water pipes are frozen in the upstairs bathroom.

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Filed under Environmentalism, Global Warming

The Chinese and the Russians

The Chinese spent a mere $43 billion dollars to put a big happy face on their image at the Olympic games. Of course, there is something slightly obscene in spending that kind of money when many of your citizens live in abject poverty and the victims of the recent earthquake still suffer in the streets. (Editor’s note: $15 billion was spent by Greece on the Athens Olympics in 2004, and thousands of Chinese people were moved out of their homes to make way for the new state-of-the art stadiums.) The opening ceremonies were nothing short of spectacular and specifically designed to not only impress, but to give us a warm fuzzy feeling about the Chicoms. No one could disagree… amazing.

Once the euphoria of the ceremony had worn off, some irritating realities began to emerge.
· The draconian smog abatement program had not worked, a fact made clear to the world as the TV pictures of the early road cycling events traversed the globe.
· It turns out the darling little girl sweetly singing the song at the Olympic ceremony (I think it was entitled, “Workers Rise Up and Beat the Shit Out of the Capitalist Pigs”) was not actually singing the song. The girl doing the singing had been deemed not cute enough by the Chinese image-makers, so while her voice carried to the World, the cute one lip-synced the words. A unique Olympic Milli Vanilli moment.
· We also learned that to assure that the fireworks display went off perfectly, the broadcast images had been “digitally enhanced”.
· Journalists discovered that the remote parks specifically set aside to allow protesters to voice their objections remained curiously devoid of protesters… or anyone for that matter. Chinese officials calmly admitted that one required a permit to protest in the parks and that, regrettably, no permits had been issued. Well, that was neatly handled.
· We learned that despite public announcements, all the seats for the events were not sold. The Chinese brought in warm bodies off the streets to fill those empty seats.
· The gymnasts were spectacular, especially the tiny Chinese girls who flipped, twisted and tumbled with extraordinary ease. We later learned that these young girls had shown promise at age three and had been spirited away from their families to spend their childhood in gymnastics training camps. Some questions were also raised about their age since by Olympic rules the girls must be 16 years of age to compete. All of the sprites had the physical development of my 9 year-old grand daughter, but the Chinese assured us that the government issued passports for the girls all confirmed their legal status. Right. Looking at the US team and the Chinese girls side by side…. Well, the US girls had breasts, hips and the look one would expect from a mid to late teen young woman. The Chinese girls looked like 9 or 10 year olds. I thought back to the bad old days of the Cold War when the Romanian and Bulgarian gymnastic teams gave drugs to their teen women to prevent the onset of puberty. Had the Chicoms taken Vince Lombardi’s dictum to heart? (“Winning isn’t the most important thing, it’s the ONLY thing.”)

While the world’s attention focused on the exploits of Mike Phelps and the “Redeem Team” and with President Bush in the stands as First Fan, Russia decided this would be an excellent time to invade Georgia. Bush in the early days of his administration had badly misjudged Putin, declaring that ‘I have looked into his heart and see a man that I can deal with…’ or something like that). He should have looked into his eyes instead. Any businessman worth his salt would have gazed into those rattlesnake eyes and quickly concluded that they would trust this guy no further than they could throw a fully-loaded 737.

During Bush’s two terms Putin has consolidated the KGB control over Russia by boldly eliminating the private ownership of oil assets by jailing or evicting the executives of the companies and putting them under State control. He has also callously jailed offending journalists, executing an enemy in London by adding a dollop of plutonium to his won-ton soup and rigging an election to put his hand picked puppet, Medeved, in the President’s slot. Russian democracy my ass. Russia is now the World’s number two exporter of oil and they covet the oil pipeline that runs through Georgia. With that asset in hand they have a complete strangle hold on the entire region and can bring Europe to heel.

Candidate Obama, from his vacation headquarters in Hawaii, immediately called for the intervention of the UN. That should give anyone paying attention an indication of the depth of his foreign policy knowledge. The UN has been powerless and less than ineffective in stopping genocide or international crisis for decades. Think Rwanda, Darfur, the Sudan or the Iraqi Oil for Food scandal for that matter. He also missed that Russia holds a seat on the Security Council and an unconditional veto. The enemies of the US are licking their chops at the prospect of having this naive reincarnation of Jimmy Carter sitting in the White House.

Meanwhile, the Democrats in Congress continue to plug their heads in the sand ostrich-style and ignore the realities of the strategic importance of the oil crisis. The newly-aggressive Russians and the less than friendly countries of the Middle East have the US in an extremely vulnerable position. With 70% of the US’s oil needs coming from foreign sources, they hold a gun to the head of the North American economy. And despite the optimism of T. Boone and others that alternative energy sources and conservation (inflate those tires folks!) is the ultimate answer, that nirvana is unlikely to arrive for at least a decade. Not drilling for domestic oil and fast-tracking nuclear power plants represents the most dangerous form of economic brinksmanship.

Speaking of T. Boone… I suggested in a recent piece (“This an’ That”, August 6) that someone should look into the possible economic benefit ol’ T-bone might have from his expensive ad campaign touting wind farms and natural gas. Voila! On cue author and journalist Michelle Malkin did just that in a piece entitled “Nan and the Big Wind Boondoggle”, August 13). Turns out, Pickens is the founder and principal stockholder of a company called Clean Energy Fuels Corporation (stock symbol CLNE) that is heavily into natural gas. He also founded a company called Mesa Power that (surprise, surprise) builds wind farms. Mesa has invested some $12 billion in a wind farm development in the Texas Panhandle. T-bone admits that these wind farms cannot be economically viable without government subsidies, so it should stun no one that he enthusiastically supports a bill in California to provide $10 billion in state and federal funds for renewal energy resources. Think wind and natural gas.

A liberal friend of mine frequently suggests that we should “follow the money” to ferret out the motives of our politicians. Yeah, let’s. Nancy Pelosi is a strong supporter of Mr. Pickens’s suggestions, often quoting his “We can’t drill our way out of this problem”. Does Nancy have a personal interest in this issue? Well, yes. She disclosed on her required financial forms that she had made up to $250,000 from her investment in Clean Energy Fuels Corp last year. She had been granted the right to purchase at the IPO $100,000 of CLNE stock.

If you’ve ever wondered how member of Congress can all retire as millionaires when they make a salary of $169,300, the IPO scam is the answer. It’s way better than taking the payoffs in cash and then hiding it in the freezer. In return for future favors Congressmen are invited to purchase blocks of companies about to go public and dump them right after the opening when the prices typically rise. Instant profit. Tom Foley of Washington, former Speaker of the House, over did this perk and it cost him his seat. Obviously, with a myopic press this quasi-legal method of lining the pockets of US politicians continues.

Don’t expect to see this cozy arrangement between T. Boone Pickens and Nancy Pelosi revealed anytime soon on the NBC Nightly News or the pages of the New York Times. Maybe the National Enquirer will get on the case. They were the only guys who picked up that John Edwards was screwing around on his cancer stricken wife and paying the mistress with campaign funds.

I guess I am just old fashioned in believing that responsible journalists would report the conflict of interest obvious in Pickens’s campaign and Pelosi’s clear involvement. Not likely. On the other hand, “USA Today” just layed off 3,000 people. Maybe, the public is catching on to the liberal bias in the mainstream media.

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Filed under China, Environmentalism, Obama, Olympics, Politics, Soviets

This an’ That

Nancy Pelosi decided to send Congress home on a five-week vacation rather than allow a vote on a bill to allow drilling offshore. She feared the House might pass the bill. She was also mindful of the 70%+ of Americans who now want drilling and instructed her Democrat colleagues to tell their constituents they actually favored drilling. Cynical? Or, just politics as usual? Both me thinks.

The Democrats find themselves in a box. After years of opposing looking for oil in likely places and to stay in the good graces of the environmental movement (and keep the cash flowing), they are now facing an electorate pissed off at $4.00 per gallon gasoline. Pelosi and her associates have been spinning a lot of BS to attempt to confuse the issue.
· Drilling won’t give us any oil for ten years.
· The oil companies have plenty of leases to drill on and they are not drilling on them.
· The GOP favors the big bad oil companies and won’t consider alternative fuels or technologies.
· And, the most laughable of all: Nancy wants to “save the planet”.

First of all, I am grateful that God has granted the power to Nancy to save the planet. But, before she tackles the global warming problem, I wish she would use these considerable powers to get rid of Iran’s nukes. They pose a more immediate threat to civilization than global warming, which, if it exists at all, is not likely to trouble us much until the end of the century.

The other Democrat excuses don’t hold much water. If the leases currently held by oil companies had oil, does any sane person believe that at $120-140 per barrel they would not be drilling like crazy? The ten-year excuse is simply smoke. Numerous reports indicate several deposits could come on line quickly. More importantly, some of the speculation in the market would diminish with the prospect of new supplies becoming available. (Note: I believe that the current fallback in oil prices reflects the oil producing countries pulling back from buying oil futures and bidding up prices. I suspect they fear killing the goose that lays the golden egg if prices stay at $140pb.)

Nowhere in the anti-drilling propaganda is there any mention of the $700 billion dollars sent annually to purchase oil from countries unfriendly to the US. “The largest wealth transfer in history” as many have described it. Not a word from Nancy. On second thought, perhaps she should concern herself with saving the US economy before devoting herself to saving the planet. Just a thought.

T. Boone Pickens, famous oilman, has been running expensive ads touting wind power. No one has questioned how big an investment T. Bone has in wind power and if his public relations campaign may be self serving. Studies I have read recently suggest that it would take an investment of several trillion dollars over the next decade to achieve even 20% of the USA’s electricity needs via wind and solar. And, the wind does not always blow, nor does the sun always shine. Backup conventional sources of electricity will need to be in place to cover shortfalls. So, why not just build nuclear plants? No carbon gases and it’s the least expensive solution. It would take solar panels covering roughly the area of New Mexico to generate the power produced from one 4000kw nuclear facility. Nah. Greens don’t like nuclear. Too risky.

Obama has been slipping in the polls since his triumphal visit to Europe and the collective pants-wetting of the MSM. Cooler heads dissected his lofty rhetoric and found a lack of substance in his speeches. Some objected to his presumptive attitude of having already won the Presidency. (Is that the Presidential Seal on the podium there Obie?) Back home he continued to tack to the middle on some issues, a not unusual approach by left-leaning candidates. However, his flip-flopping on critical issues leaves many Americans wondering what he really stands for and what he would actually do as President. This uncertainty, I think, explains his lack of success against what can only be described as a weak and confused McCain campaign. About the only thing of which we can be certain: Taxes under Mr. Obama will go up….. a lot.

I listened to BHO’s Michigan speech on energy. Of course, he proposed massive government spending to help displaced Michigan autoworkers. No surprise there. He’s got to carry Michigan to get elected. His big proposal is to take away ALL of the profits of oil companies and give every family a $1000 gift to offset high energy prices. Demonizing the oil companies has been a traditional approach of the anti-drilling Democrats. Exxon did report record profits for the quarter. However, if you actually look at the numbers you will see that they paid $10.5 billion in taxes and their profits were only 9%. Does Obama suggest we confiscate the entire profit margin of every company that makes a 9% profit? For the record… that would cover just about every major corporation in the US, most of which make substantially more than that. Insanity or socialism? Hmm… same thing.

Obama’s only mention of nuclear was to say we needed to investigate ways to make it safe and to safely store the waste. IOW, forget about it during his administration. More insanity. He did also mention encouraging fuel-efficient cars through subsidies. If inexpensive fuel-efficient cars are available, people will buy them. But first, they will have to run the old gas-guzzler that sits in the driveway into the ground since it is now worthless as a trade in. He also mentioned keeping your tires inflated as an important piece of his plan. Key the laugh track.

“Bush Lied, Thousands Died”: An update. Recently the US quietly shipped 550 tons (I say tons) of yellow cake uranium found in Iraq to Canada. Much has been made of the lack of WMDs in Iraq. If Saddam had no aspirations for nuclear weapons, why the yellow cake? This piece of news was widely ignored, as were previous discoveries of artillery shells filled with chemical weapons. No one seemed particularly concerned that Saddam had previously gassed 5000 Kurds or used chemical weapons on the Iranians during the Iran-Iraq War. Never understood how liberals could claim he didn’t have them when he had previously used them. Nor do I understand the claim the Iraq war was “all about oil”. If we invaded Iraq for the oil, how come it’s now at $130 bucks a barrel? Oh, I get it. We went after Iraq’s oil so there would be a shortage and therefore high prices and Dick Cheney and his pals would all get rich. Gee, sometimes I’m so dumb.

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Filed under Congress, Drilling, Economy, Environmentalism, Global Warming, Obama, Wind Power