Here we are again, with more on the Crap and Debt bill, as our commenter, PatriotUSA, put it.
House Bill 2454, traveling under the name “American Clean Energy And Security Act of 2009”, has crawled out of committee and is currently being debated. Grand Poobah Pelosi wants a vote by Friday.
This sucker weighs in at 1,292 pages. Do you think your representative has read it all or did he pass it to one of his many minions to summarize for him in a page or two? You can look it over at the link provided; it takes a minute for all the pages to load. Read ‘em and weep that any elected official in America would propose these regulations. Babs’ proposal in the comments, about moving to another country, begins to appear a reasonable response to what we will be facing if this becomes law.
ACES is also known as the Waxman-Markey bill, since they are the only sponsors of this tragedy (and I don’t know the political implications of having only two co-sponsors. Did no one else sign on, or were their colleagues told not to sign? If anyone understands the subtext, please enlighten us).
Here is our president, promising higher energy bills:
Yeah, he can afford to be sanguine about it. Obama doesn’t have to pay for keeping the Oval Office thermostat set at 70° [Fahrenheit]. He doesn’t pay monetarily or politically for this hypocrisy, but rest assured he will pay politically if this bill passes. Of course, that won’t keep you warm…or maybe it will, if he is shut out of office the second time around.
Several commenters have asked if I’m a Global Warming Denier. I’m not sure of the precise tenets of this faith, but here’s my own particular creed: the climate is changing, as the climate always does. Is it getting warmer or cooler? Who knows? The scientific information is conflicting.
Is this change caused by human behavior? Sure. The Chinese have finally learned to control sunspot activity so it’s their doing.
On a site devoted to statistics and surveys, there is a page that breaks down the beliefs of some meteorologists and others regarding global warming theories. They say:
Overall, only 5% [of those surveyed – D] describe the study of global climate change as a “fully mature” science, but 51% describe it as “fairly mature,” while 40% see it as still an “emerging” science. However, over two out of three (69%) believe there is at least a 50-50 chance that the debate over the role of human activity in global warming will be settled in the next 10 to 20 years.
Only 29% express a “great deal of confidence” that scientists understand the size and extent of anthropogenic [human] sources of greenhouse gases,” and only 32% are confident about our understanding of the archeological climate evidence.
Despite the lack of “maturity” of the science of global climate change, these folks believe what they read, proving that if something is repeated often enough, it becomes the “truth”. Notice the cognitive dissonance these people manage to cobble together when you put their beliefs in the accuracy of this science together with their faith in global warming:
Ninety-seven percent of the climate scientists surveyed believe “global average temperatures have increased” during the past century.
Eighty-four percent say they personally believe human-induced warming is occurring, and 74% agree that “currently available scientific evidence” substantiates its occurrence. Only 5% believe that that human activity does not contribute to greenhouse warming; the rest are unsure.
A slight majority (54%) believe the warming measured over the last 100 years is not “within the range of natural temperature fluctuation.”
A slight majority (56%) see at least a 50-50 chance that global temperatures will rise two degrees Celsius or more during the next 50 to 100 years…
I wonder if any of these “scientists” (sorry, too many of them are merely meteorologists. They study weather, not climate) have noticed that their belief system has serious contradictions? That’s okay; it’s just an indication that this is a belief system, not a scientific conclusion founded on a working hypothesis using scientific methodology to prove their contentions. This is not science, it is “best guess” weather predicitons.
I’m a skeptic. We simply don’t know enough to make accurate predictions. Nor do we take into account changes in our observations. When the USSR fragmented and broke, much of the climate study and the weather stations were simply abandoned. So the sudden loss of data from such a huge land mass was simply ignored. This side-step permitted a skewed measure.
Just as the study of the human brain is primitive, so is the study of the earth’s climate. Which is not to say there’s not plenty of money to be made in both fields, predicting patterns. The accumulation of knowledge in both fields will be long term, so these prognosticators will be dead and gone before they’re proven right or wrong.
After the Club of Rome debacle, I’ve adopted the creed of wait-and-see. As John Sununu says: [with my emphases – D]
[There is]…the current international “rush to judgment” and the calls for implementation of drastic policies to deal with this rashly proclaimed “crisis.” My message today is to make sure we recognize that no matter how effectively we deal with exposing the errors and games behind that agenda, we need to know the battle will never end, because it’s not really about global warming.
The global warming crisis is just the latest surrogate for an over-arching agenda of anti-growth and anti-development. This agenda grew and gathered support in the years following World War II.
One of the first issues to be celebrated as a crisis by these reformers was over-population. That fad peaked in the ‘60s and early ‘70s. The bible of that cult, “The Population Bomb,” argued that “… the battle to feed all of humanity is over” and claimed we had lost the battle, claiming “ … in the 1970s and 1980s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death.”
This clearly phony crisis was followed by warnings about global climate change: Global cooling was going to lead to a new ice age.
But the best parallel to the current crusade, the real precursor to the current “panic du jour,” was the computer model-based alarmism of the “Club of Rome.” The Club of Rome’s claim that global economic collapse was imminent because the world would soon “run out” of some critical resources was a very appropriate precursor to the current dire warnings. It too based its alarms not on any scientific analysis of specific issues, but on a computer model. And like the current call to action, their model was pre-destined to give the result they wanted.
The criticism of the “Club of Rome” models by Resources For the Future clearly applies to the Global Climate Models’ predictions of doom. RFF pointed out that parameters with a negative impact were programmed to grow non-linearly (exponentially in fact) and parameters that mitigated negative effects were programmed to grow, if at all, “only in discrete increments.”
In each of these false alarms, nature and technology spiked their prophecies. The natural cooling period of the ‘50s and ‘60s turned into the warming period of the ‘80s and ‘90s, and with the help of increased C02, a plant nutrient, instead of mass starvation, we had no problem growing enough food for the rapidly increasing world population, and we continue to find and make more efficient use of our other critical resources.
But the anti-growth, anti-development crowd are a hardy bunch. They won’t give up. As nature switched from global cooling to global warming, so did they.
It is quite easy to link virtually all of the principal proponents of this overall agenda through a two- or three-generation mentor-apprentice-mentor professional family tree. I don’t want to go through a specific list of names. That has all been well researched and reported by many of you here. But it is important to understand that without this process of resonating self-acclamation, such bad science and ludicrous predictions would long ago have relegated them all to obscurity.
Make no mistake, their cast of characters may have expanded a bit, but at the core, there is an unbroken lineage back to those unbelievably wrong, unscientific prognosticators.
Their basic method of attack may be the same, but they have certainly refilled their operations. They learned from the “Club of Rome” episode. Since basic hard science is more difficult to bias, they would resort again to modeling. And since critics will take the time to examine their assumptions, they make the models big, obscure, and full of complex feedback structures much too abstract to debate in a public forum.
That all brings us to what has happened in the last 20 years, and where we are today. It is worthwhile reviewing what has gone on over the past two decades to give perspective and context to what is taking place today.
Some Basic Facts
Let’s begin by summarizing what we did know then and what we do know now. In fact, we don’t know as much as the media and the public have been led to think we know.
Here is what we could include in an absolute fact base:
- Over long periods of time climate changes
- Over short periods of time weather changes
- There have been relatively long periods of time when the world has been colder than it is now
- There have been relatively long periods of time when the world has been warmer than it is now
- C02 is a trace gas whose presence in the atmosphere can contribute to an increase in the absorption of thermal radiation
- The increased use of carbon-based fuels has produced significant increases in the amount of C02 released to the atmosphere, though still dwarfed by natural sources.
Also, there have been a number of identifiable periods of temperature variability over the past century:
Cooling in the ‘20s
Heating in the ‘30s and ‘40s
Cooling in the ‘50s and ‘60s and ‘70s
Warming in the ‘80s and ‘90s
and cooling for the past decade
It was the warming period of the late ‘80s and ‘90s that provided the context and the opportunity for the alarmists to argue that once again we faced a serious calamity.
Over the years, the anti-growth lobby has used the global warming issue very effectively. They have received even more significant levels of funding. One estimate puts the U.S. contribution to climate research today at $10 billion per year and climbing.
Unfortunately, the alarmists have effectively captured the funding allocation process.
An important question to ask now is: What have we gotten for that investment? In my opinion, surprisingly little. Of course, the computing capacity has been increased, and the models have become bigger and more complex, and they have been able to include better detail in some of the air-ocean interactions, but they still are a long way from modeling detailed phenomena very well. And of course, many of the most critical phenomena are still represented in the computer models by an assumed interaction or feedback process. And thus, the models are still susceptible to the same predestination of results as was the “Club of Rome” model….
He has much more to say. As the text of his brief CV that follows the end of this speech shows, his background and education speak to his knowledge of this subject – i.e., the politics of global climate change theories.
He was commissioned chief of staff to the president of the United States on January 21, 1989 and served in the White House until March 1, 1992. He became New Hampshire’s 75th chief executive on January 6, 1983 and served three consecutive terms prior to joining the White House staff. In 2004 he co-chaired the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board, Nuclear Energy Task Force. He has taught at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and Tufts University; served Tufts as associate dean of the College of Engineering; served on the Advisory Board of the Technology and Policy Program at MIT; co-hosted CNN’s nightly “Crossfire” program; and helped establish and served as chief engineer for Astro Dynamics Inc. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering
A commenter, “Watchful”has a link in the comments to the BBC’s documentary, The Great Global Warming Swindle. It’s over an hour long; we can’t watch the whole thing without causing problems with our connections. If you don’t have limits with your connectivity, watching the whole thing would be preferable. However, this shorter précis is available:
House Bill 2454 is a philosophy based on fear and scarcity. This philosophy has driven the engine of government in our country for a long while. We could trace it back in concrete terms to 1913, and the deals done then with federal income tax and the creation of the Federal Reserve of the United States. Will either institution be cut back or simplified? One can hope. But it is Henny-Penneys who tend to get elected to government office. They run on the basis of fear and scarcity and they win. The exception was President Reagan, whose philosophy of abundance wrought some small changes, though he, too, grew government.
We need leadership that understands innovation, creativity, and what it means to be an entrepreneur. We need people who understand foreign policy beyond the bromides they tediously provide. We especially need leaders who believe in our country’s potential and who understand at least some of the horrific consequences, often unintended.
However, as President Obama showed in the first video, some of our problems will be deliberately induced. If this man were a doctor, he’d be using leeches to cure disease. That’s all this bill is: giant leeches designed to suck the blood out of the body politic.
Where are those who believe in abundance, who realize that the earth redeems and heals itself without our help or interference? Unfortunately, the Puritan thinking that ran through the founding of the Massachusetts Bay Colony has prevailed once again. The world centers around humanity’s evil rather than the abundance that surrounds us.
Eric at Red State, where I got the Obama video, has also provided a link that permits you to call your congress representative. Put in your zip code to be provided with your rep’s phone number. I prefer emails, but this late in the game, phone calls will be effective.
Whatever you do, stand and fight now. With this Congress and this President, it will be only one of many struggles. We have been burdened with the Stimulus Attack. Let us resist this new onslaught by the House.
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Call it “cut and run” because that’s what our Imperial Congress is about to do.
This week, the House of Representatives is expected to vote on that scurrilous piece of legislation known as “cap and trade”. Named after its two sponsors, Waxman and Markey, this bill spells doom for the American economy, both in the short term and longer down the line.
Here’s a good duel that exposes some of the problems:
The Heritage Foundation has been keeping up with the progression of this robbery in the name of Greenspeak. A unilateral pullback like the demented members of Congress who plan to vote yea for this bill means that we hand over the reins of our economy to whichever countries either (a) sign on to this kind of nonsense and proceed to ignore it, or (b) those, like China, who will simply ignore it because to do so is in their own best interest.
But our political class no longer serves America’s best interests. It is too short-sighted, too caught in the nets of political correctness about the environment, and beholden to too many people to do what they were hired to do: watch out for America’s interests.
Here’s the Heritage Foundation’s latest take, as of 16 June. They title their essay “Son of Waxman-Markey: More Politics Makes for a More Costly Bill”:
Representatives Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Ed Markey (D-MA) modified their global warming proposal from the draft version published on March 31. For the most part, the changes focused on the distribution of the allowance revenue–the equivalent of tax revenue.
There was also a slight easing of targeted emissions reductions for 2020, which resulted in a marginally lower economic impact. However, the new distribution of allowances created a less efficient pattern of government expenditures and more than offset the gain from the lower cap for 2020.
The economic impact of the new draft varies from that of the original draft in several major ways:
- Compared to no cap and trade, real GDP losses increase an additional $2 trillion, from $7.4 trillion under the original draft to $9.4 trillion under the new draft;
- Compared to no cap and trade, average unemployment increases an additional 261,000 jobs, from 844,000 lost jobs under the original draft to 1,145,000 lost jobs under the new draft; and
- Peak-year unemployment losses rise by 500,000 jobs, from 2 million under the original draft to 2.5 million under the new draft.
Though the proposed legislation would have little impact on world temperatures, it is a massive energy tax in disguise that promises job losses, income cuts, and a sharp left turn toward big government.[my emphases – D]
Isn’t that the point? The sharp left turn into Big Government’s waiting arms? We will have no recourse if this bill is passed. Talk about trapped!
Ultimately, this bill would result in government-set caps on energy use that damage the economy and hobble growth–the very growth that supports investment and innovation. Analysis of the economic impact of Waxman-Markey projects that by 2035 the bill would:
- Reduce aggregate gross domestic product (GDP) by $9.4 trillion;
- Destroy 1,145,000 jobs on average, with peak years seeing unemployment rise by over 2,479,000 jobs;
- Raise electricity rates 90 percent after adjusting for inflation;
- Raise inflation-adjusted gasoline prices by 58 percent;
- Raise residential natural gas prices by 55 percent;
- Raise an average family’s annual energy bill by $1,241; and
- Result in an increase of $28,728 in additional federal debt per person, again after adjusting for inflation
And they’re going to do this in a severe economic contraction with rising unemployment. Are these people on drugs? On the take?
Stock up on long underwear and stocking caps for our coming cold spell. You won’t be able to afford much in the way of heat when Waxman and Markey are done with us.
The bill discloses a basic two-pronged approach to cutting greenhouse gas emissions:
1.The first prong is a set of mandates forcing efficiencies independent of any cost-benefit calculations on the part of industry or consumers. These mandates include a requirement for low-carbon motor fuels and a tenfold increase in the production of electricity from renewable sources.
Notice that the second mandate of Prong One is a TENfold increase in the production of electricity from renewable sources. We received a notice from our rural electric co-operative that they have locked in a contract that runs until 2012. After that, all bets are off because “renewable” energy is hugely expensive and the co-op is saying frankly that they don’t know where it’s going to come from.
What no proponent of this bill will admit is that some of these “renewables” are even more polluting than coal. But Obama has decided coal is evil. Thus, it’s not really about emissions or clean air. It’s about destruction of an industry that the political class deems evil.
2.The second prong is cap and trade. With cap and trade, absolute limits on total emissions of greenhouse gases are established. Before those in a covered sector can emit a greenhouse gas, they need to have the ration coupons (also known as pollution permits or allowances) for each ton emitted. Because the ration coupons will have a value, and therefore a cost, cap and trade becomes a tax on fossil fuels and the energy they generate.
This is part of Obama’s promise to “kill the coal companies”. As if West Virginia weren’t poor enough already.
The intent of cap and trade is to impose a cost on CO2 and allow businesses and consumers to adapt as well as they can to this new cost. The mandates of the first parts of Waxman-Markey are counterproductive because they force choices on the economy that might not be the most efficient and inexpensive ways to cut CO2. That said, this paper’s analysis looks at only the cost of a simple cap-and-trade approach. Consequently, the economic impact estimates reported here will likely be lower than the economic cost of cap and trade hobbled further by mandates.
Renewable Energy Goals
The renewable energy targets already established by current laws will be challenging to meet. This paper assumes no additional renewable energy beyond these significant baseline increases of 36 billion gallons of renewable motor fuels and the existing state-level renewable electricity requirements. The current baseline projects 18.3 gigawatts of increased nuclear power capacity. The history of nuclear construction in the 1960s through the 1980s shows that a much more aggressive nuclear build-out is technologically possible, but political and other factors make the likelihood of a “nuclear renaissance” highly uncertain. Therefore, this study assumes no additional nuclear capacity beyond the baseline increase.
Results of The Heritage Foundation’s Analysis
It is no surprise that the economy responds to cap and trade as it would to an energy crisis.
This is a crucial point. Remember Jimmy Carter’s long lines for gasoline? You can expect them to return, along with the malaise this enormous mistake will induce.
The price on carbon emissions forces energy cuts across the economy, since non-carbon energy sources cannot replace fossil fuels quickly enough. Energy prices rise; income and employment drop.
The current recession diminishes near-term projections for aggregate economic activity. As this activity drops, so does energy use. Though a recession is bad news, it has the effect of moving the economy closer to the energy cuts needed to meet the emissions targets. Nevertheless, the income (GDP) losses are nearly $200 billion out of the gate and average over $380 billion per year. As the economy recovers and the caps tighten, the detrimental effect of cap and trade gets more and more severe. In the worst years, GDP losses exceed $700 billion per year.
If you want to see this illustrated, the graphs are at the Heritage website. They are impressive and dismal.
This Congress and this administration are not friends of the United States. They are in thrall to some supra-nationalist religion of environmentalism, nihilism, and the establishment of poverty that makes us all beholden to the government for what little good remains.
Yes, they will continue to drive gas hogs, eat on our dime at their Congressional and Senate dining rooms, and fly their corporate jets from Washington to home at our expense.
Their draconian laws will not affect them and they know it. But go ahead and email or call your representative anyway. Let him or her know you’ll be watching the vote. The one thing we can hold over them – some of ’em – is the threat of loss of incumbency.
Meet you at the ballot box.