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  • Carbon tax hallucinations

    Posted on by admin

    Carbon taxes will do nothing for revenues or climate, but will hurt job and economic growth

     

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    Average planetary temperatures haven’t budged in 16 years. Hurricanes and strong tornadoes are at or near their lowest ebb in decades. Global sea ice is back to normal, Arctic ice is nearly normal, and the Antarctic icepack continues to grow. The rate of sea level rise remains what it was in 1900.

    And yet, President Obama and many politicians, newscasters and alarmist scientists continue to insist that carbon dioxide emissions are changing Earth’s climate, and we need to take immediate action to prevent storms like Hurricane Sandy and avert catastrophes predicted by IPCC computer models and alleged “scientific consensus.” Not surprisingly, polls show public support for controlling CO2 output and taxing hydrocarbon use – to “ensure climate security” and “save vital federal programs” from budgetary axes.

    As the liberal lobby Think Progress put it, people “overwhelmingly” prefer a carbon tax on “big polluters” versus cuts in favorite programs “like education, Social Security, Medicare and environmental protection.”

    Five-alarm climate claims, skewed polling questions and phony taxes-versus-grandma budget alternatives will almost always ensure support for carbon taxes – especially among Bigger Government and Ban Fossil Fuels constituencies. More rational analysis reveals that dreams of hundred-billion-dollar windfalls from slapping regressive new taxes on job creation and economic growth are nothing more than dangerous tax revenue hallucinations. They would bring intense pain for no climate or economic gain.

    Employing Energy Information Administration data, a recent Heritage Foundation study by economists David Kreutzer and Nicolas Loris found that a tax starting at $25-per-ton of CO2 emitted and increasing by 5% per year would cut a family of four’s income by $1,400 annually, raise their utility bills by $500 a year, and increase gasoline fill-ups by up to 50 cents per gallon. That’s $2,000 a year chopped from their budget for food, vacations, home and car payments and repairs, college and retirement savings, dental and medical care, and overall quality of life.

    Even “millionaire” families making $200,000 a year would find such a hit painful. While the poorest families might get some offsetting tax relief, most would get nothing – nor would employers.

    Carbon taxes would thus increase the likelihood that many breadwinners will end up unemployed, since the tax would raise business energy costs dramatically, force companies to trim hours and/or employees, and result in an aggregate loss of at least 1 million jobs by 2016, Heritage notes. That would bring more home foreclosures, greater stress, reduced nutrition, and more strokes and heart attacks, especially for older workers whose odds of finding new employment are increasingly bleak.

    No small businesses or energy-intensive manufacturing companies would get a rebate for their soaring carbon taxes. Nor would any mall, hospital, school, church, synagogue or charity group.

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

    But it gets worse, because this tax on America’s energy and productivity is not being promoted in a vacuum. It would be imposed on top of countless other job and economy strangling actions.

    President Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency has already issued 2,071 new rules and dispensed a regulatory burden of over $353 billion per year – equal to all wealth generated annually by Virginia’s private sector. It is now preparing still more rules, the most crushing of which would regulate the same CO2 emissions that some in Congress want to tax, from both moving and stationary sources. Most, if not all of its punitive rules, are based on exaggerated risks, fear mongering, junk science, and illusory health, welfare, “environmental justice” and “sustainability” benefits.

    Other agencies are inflicting still more rules, and more crushing paperwork burdens. Obamacare alone will add 127,602,371 more hours per year to the federal paperwork burden for American businesses and families. That’s enough time to carve 1,039 Mount Rushmore monuments, says the Washington Examiner. Even at $25 per hour, that’s $32 billion a year. On top of that, there are the Dodd-Frank financial requirements and myriad other costly, time-consuming, economy-sapping, job-killing rules.

    Nothing at all suggests that Congress would reverse or modify even one of these laws, regulations and taxes, as part of a carbon tax deal – or that Mr. Obama would refrain from vetoing any attempted change. Nothing whatsoever suggests that Congress, the President or environmentalists will ease their opposition to issuing leases and drilling and fracking permits for more of our vast onshore and offshore oil and gas deposits, which could generate millions of  jobs and billions in royalties and tax revenues. Or that they won’t ultimately enact a punitive cap-and-trade law on top of all of this.

    Instead of real energy for real jobs and revenues, President Obama wants to redouble spending on “green” energy – extracting billions of dollars from still productive sectors of our economy, and transferring the money to crony corporatists and campaign contributors, whose operations are exempted from endangered species and other laws that are imposed routinely and punitively on oil, mining and other companies.

    Meanwhile, federal “discretionary” spending skyrocketed another $129 billion annually in just four years under Obama. That’s comparable to what carbon tax snake oil salesmen claim a $25-per-ton tax would raise each year, several years into a steadily escalating tax, using static analyses that ignore all these “concrete lifesaver” effects.

    The CBO Congressional Budget Office says the US economy will grow by a miserly 1.4% for the next several years, and official unemployment will remain stuck at 7.5% (plus extensive involuntary underemployment and people who have given up looking). Washington Post economics analyst Neil Irwin worries that the United States doesn’t just have a $1-trillion budget deficit. Largely because of government restrictions, regulations, red tape and taxes, it also has a $1-trillion “output gap,” between what it is capable of producing and what it actually produces.

    To top it off, if Congress and the White House get more money, they will spend more money!

    The net result of a carbon tax will not be new federal revenues. It will be more economic strangulation, a more bloated federal bureaucracy, more layoffs, sharply higher unemployment, food stamp and welfare payouts, reduced corporate and personal income tax receipts  – and thus reduced federal revenues.

    And for what? The Kyoto Protocol is dead. Japan and many other countries are rejecting any new binding emission targets. China, India, other rapidly developing nations, and even Germany and Europe are burning more coal, emitting more carbon dioxide, and sending atmospheric CO2 levels higher.

    And yet, average planetary temperatures show no trend up or down, and global hurricane activity stands at a near-record low. There’s no change in big tornadoes, droughts or rains averaged over the USA for the past century. Polar sea ice is down slightly in the Northern Hemisphere, but up in the Southern. And sea levels show no measurable deviation from trends over the last hundred years.

    The only thing that will happen if carbon taxes are inflicted on the US economy is that American jobs, economic growth, living standards, health, dreams and lives will be sacrificed for nothing.

    We need to stop basing laws and policies on hallucinations – and start basing them on reality.

     



  • Sandy” – The political superstorm that devastated New York

    Incompetence, stupidity, diversion, blame shifting, and false solutions to imaginary problems

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    Bloomberg Hurricane Sandy“Superstorm” Sandy killed more than 100 people, destroyed thousands of homes and businesses, and left millions without food, water, electricity, sanitation or shelter for days or even weeks. Our thoughts and prayers remain focused on its victims, many of whom are still grieving as they struggle with the storm’s wintry aftermath and try to rebuild their lives.

    Unfortunately, too many politicians continue to use the storm to advance agendas, deflect blame for incompetence and mistakes, and obfuscate and magnify future risks from building and development projects that they have designed, promoted, permitted and profited from.

    Sandy was “unprecedented,” the result of “weather on steroids,” various “experts” insist. “It’s global warming, stupid,” intoned Bloomberg BusinessWeek. “Anyone who says there is not a change in weather patterns is denying reality,” New York Governor Andrew Cuomo declared. We must protect the great NY metropolis from rising oceans, said the Washington Post. This storm should “compel all elected leaders to take immediate action” on climate change, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg pronounced.

    Unfortunately for the politicians and spin-meisters, the facts do not support this obscene posturing.

    North America’s northeastern coast has been battered by hurricanes and other major storms throughout history. A 1775 hurricane killed 4,000 people in Newfoundland; an 1873 monster left 600 dead in Nova Scotia; others pummeled Canada’s Maritime Provinces in 1866, 1886, 1893, 1939, 1959, 1963 and 2003.

    Manhattan got pounded in 1667 and by the Great Storm of 1693. They were followed by more behemoths in 1788, 1821, 1893, 1944, 1954 and 1992. Other “confluences of severe weather events” brought killer storms like the four-day Great Blizzard of 1888. The 1893 storm largely eradicated Hog Island, and the 1938 “Long Island Express” hit LI as a category 3 hurricane with wind gusts up to 180 mph.

    Experts say such winds today would rip windows from skyscrapers and cause a deadly blizzard of flying glass, masonry, chairs, desks and other debris from high-rise offices and apartments. People would seek safety in subway tunnels, where they would drown as the tunnels flood.

    Sandy was merely the latest “confluence” (tropical storm, northeaster and full-moon high tide) to blast the New York-New Jersey area. It was never a matter of if, but only of when, such a storm would hit.

    People, planners and politicians should have been better prepared. Instead, we are feted with statements designed to dodge responsibility and culpability, by trying to blame global warming.  The reality is, even as atmospheric carbon dioxide levels rose to 391 ppm (0.0391%) today, average global temperatures have not changed in 16 years, and sea levels are rising no faster than in 1900. Even with Hurricane Sandy, November 2012 marked the quietest long-term hurricane period since the Civil War, with only one major hurricane strike on the US mainland in seven years. This is global warming and unprecedented weather on steroids?

    Hurrican Sandy NYIn Hurricane Sandy’s aftermath – with millions freezing hungry in dark devastation – Mayor Bloomberg sidetracked police and sanitation workers for the NYC Marathon, until public outrage forced him to reconsider. While federal emergency teams struggled to get water, food and gasoline to victims, companies, religious groups, charities, local citizens and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie worked tirelessly to raise money and organize countless relief efforts.

    Most outrageous of all, though, was how ill-prepared the region was for another major storm – and how many political decisions had virtually ensured that any repeat of the 1893, 1938, 1944 and other storms would bring devastation far worse than would likely have occurred in the absence of those decisions.

    In one of the most obvious, architects, city planners, mayors and governors alike thought nothing of placing generators in the basements of hospitals and skyscrapers built in areas that are barely above sea level. Past storms have brought surges12 to 18 feet high onto Long Island, and studies have warned that a category 3 direct hit could put much of New York City and its key infrastructure under 30 feet of water. Sandy’s 9-foot surges (plus five feet of high tide) flooded those basements, rendering generators useless, and leaving buildings cold and dark. Perhaps if Mayor Bloomberg had worried less about 32-oz sodas and seas that are rising a mere foot per century, he could have devoted more time to critical issues.

    The mayor has also obsessed about urban sprawl. However, when new developments mean high rents, high taxes and photo-op ground breakings, he has a different philosophy.

    Mr. Bloomberg’s Arverne by the Sea initiative transformed what he called “a swath of vacant land” into a “vibrant and growing oceanfront community,” with “affordable” homes starting at $559,000. (The land was vacant because a 1950 storm wiped it clean of structures.) The new homes were built on 167 acres of land raised five feet above the surrounding Far Rockaway area. Those Arverne homes mostly survived Sandy. But the high ground caused storm surges to rise higher and move faster elsewhere than they would have on Rockaway lowlands that are always hit head-on by northward moving storms.

    If Sandy had been a category 3 hurricane like its 1938 ancestor, the devastation would have been of biblical proportions – as winds, waves and surges slammed into expensive homes, businesses and high-rises, and roared up waterways rendered progressively narrower by hundreds of construction projects.

    Lower Manhattan has doubled in width over the centuries. World Trade Center construction alone contributed 1.2 million cubic yards to build Battery Park City, narrowing the Hudson River by another 700 feet. The East River has likewise been hemmed in, while other water channels have been completely filled. Buildings, malls and raised roadways constructed on former potato fields, forests, grasslands and marshlands have further constricted passageways for storm surges and runoff.

    As a result, storms like Sandy or the Long Island Express send monstrous volumes of water up ever more confined corridors. With nowhere else to go, the surges rise higher, travel faster and pack more power. It’s elementary physics – which governors, mayors, planners and developers ignore at their peril.

    No wonder, Mayor Bloomberg, Governor Cuomo and other politicos prefer to talk about global warming, rising seas and worsening weather – to deflect attention and blame from decisions that have put more people in the path of greater danger. Indeed, the very notion of packing more and more people into “sustainable, energy-efficient” coastal cities in the NY-NJ area is itself madness on steroids.

    Worst of all, politicians are increasingly and intentionally obscuring and misrepresenting the nature, frequency and severity of storm, flood and surge risks, so that they can promote and permit more construction in high-risk areas, and secure more money and power. They insist that they can prevent or control climate change and sea level rise, by regulating CO2 emission – while they ignore real, known dangers that have arisen before and will arise again, exacerbated by their politicized decisions.

    As a result, unsuspecting business and home owners continue to buy, build and rebuild in areas that are increasingly at risk from hurricanes, northeasters and “perfect storms” of natural and political events. And as the population density increases in this NY-NJ area, the ability to evacuate people plummets, especially when roadways, tunnels and other escape routes are submerged. Let the buyer beware.

    Sandy may have been a rare (but hardly unprecedented) confluence of weather events. But the political decisions and blame avoidance are an all-too-common confluence of human tendencies – worsened by the dogged determination of our ruling classes to acquire greater power and control, coupled with steadily declining transparency, accountability and liability.

    How nice it must be to have convenient scapegoats like “dangerous manmade global warming” and insurance companies – today’s equivalent of the witches whom our predecessors blamed for storms, droughts, crop failures, disease and destruction. It’s time to use the witches’ brooms to clean house.



  • Obama to UN climate negotiation

    Remember when Obama told Russian President Medvedev, “this is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility”? We fear he told climate campaigners the exact same thing.

    This is dangerous.

    After a campaign of near complete climate silence, America’s newly elected President vowed on election night that he wants “our children to live in an America that isn’t threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet.” President Obama’s reelection, leaving him free from ever facing the voters again, has breathed new life into the global warming movement.

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    Climate campaigners, researchers and those seeking to cash in on billions in climate tax dollars and carbon trading schemes have been trying desperately to jump start talks on a successor to the expiring Kyoto protocol since the failure of COP 15 in Copenhagen. Will their worst wishes come true at last?

    Will President Obama listen to Al Gore and position the United States solidly behind a new UN climate treaty?

    The economies of the world are still reeling.

    Locking billions, indeed trillions of dollars into global warming policies which will have no meaningful effect on the climate is economic suicide.

    Yet this is the Obama administration which famously told us “you never let a serious crisis go to waste.” For them a crisis is for exploiting, not solving.

    The Kyoto protocol expires in just over a month leaving all sorts of climate schemes in the lurch.

    There’s HUGE money at stake.

    Carbon traders have lined up to sock away billions in bonuses and commissions for trading in a phony market. The European carbon trading system is on the verge of collapse, leaving would-be carbon traders and bureaucrats scrambling to guarantee funding. They will not give up their dreams of wealth without a fight. Neither will those cashing in on alternative energy scams, research grants and handouts to the dictators of the developing world.

    In addition, the $30 billion pledge of aid to the developing world made in Copenhagen three years ago also expires in 2012. This was a major topic at the just concluded preliminary talks in Bangkok. Renewing and expanding what the UN calls “climate finance” will be front and center in Doha. This poses a three-fold threat, these large sums serve to buy the support of developing nations, the funds make the developing nations and their elites dependent and of course the funds are a wasteful drain on the taxpayers of the developed world.

    The UN is taking no chances. It is simultaneously working towards a new international treaty, while hedging its bets through achieving many of its principle (and most destructive) goals through side agreements, massive funding and national policy making.

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    The one thing we have going for us is the likely inability of a climate treaty to achieve ratification in the Senate — but will this constrain Obama? The answer seems a clear NO.

    President Obama’s EPA already has crippling regulations lined up and ready to go to give the UN’s climate campaigners by administrative fiat what they could not achieve through the open legislative process. The main threat is that Obama will cut side deals and agreements in Qatar and then bypass Congress and its vexing checks, balances and democratic process.

    Is there any limit to this President’s renewed hubris?

    Would he, could he dare to use this Qatar conference to set the stage to bind the United States to full blown UN climate treaty and then use brinksmanship to push it through this Senate or the next?

    A world in the grips of the fiercest economic crisis since the 1930s can not afford it. We must not permit Qatar to be the wellspring of new treaties, agreements, taxes, carbon markets or redistribution. Recovery for the United States and the world depends on stopping these bureaucrats and profiteers cold.



  • BBC abandoned balanced climate reporting

    In 2006, the BBC decided to stop providing balanced coverage of global warming science and policy after “a high-level seminar with some of the best scientific experts.”  UK blogger Tony Newbery  filed a freedom of information request to determine just who the 28 “best scientific experts” were.  The BBC refused to comply and went to great (and expensive) legal lengths to avoid the disclosure.

    The original Wayback Machine

    The internet, however, has a long memory.  A search of an internet “wayback” machine revealed the 28 names the BBC was hiding.  Surprise, surprise, the list revealed few “best scientific experts” no scientific experts skeptical of the global warming science and policy the BBC would choose to champion, numerous global warming campaigners and business people seeking to protect and expand taxpayer subsidies to their carbon and alternative energy schemes.

    Four senior representatives of the BBC, including BBC Director General George Entwistle,  who attended the 2006 meeting have just been disciplined or resigned from their posts at the BBC following a serious scandal which paints them not as neutral journalists reporting for a taxpayer funded news service, but as “ends justify the means” left-wing campaigners.  BBC Newsnight falsely reported that Lord McAlpine, who served as Treasurer of the Conservative Party and adviser to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, was involved in the North Wales child abuse scandal.  The charges, which have proven false, were made by the BBC without ever contacting Lord McAlpine to hear his side of the story — apparently, a sad pattern at the BBC.  This has left many asking whether these BBC officials were so filled with disdain for Baroness Thatcher that they rushed onto the air a story which would damage her legacy.

    Similarly, were these BBC officials so enamored of the goals of radical global warming advocates to implement their agenda by stifling all question and debate, that they rushed the BBC into its policy of only reporting one side of this expensive and controversial set of policies?

    Consider Christopher Booker’s report The BBC and Climate Change: A Triple Betrayal, published by the Global Warming Policy Foundation.

    The “Guido Fawkes” blog released the following 28 names as those who counseled the BBC to abandon impartial journalism on climate.   Judge for yourself:

    Robert May, Oxford University and Imperial College London
    Mike Hulme, Director, Tyndall Centre, UEA
    Blake Lee-Harwood, Head of Campaigns, Greenpeace
    Dorthe Dahl-Jensen, Niels Bohr Institute, Copenhagen
    Michael Bravo, Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge
    Andrew Dlugolecki, Insurance industry consultant
    Trevor Evans, US Embassy
    Colin Challen MP, Chair, All Party Group on Climate Change
    Anuradha Vittachi, Director, Oneworld.net
    Andrew Simms, Policy Director, New Economics Foundation
    Claire Foster, Church of England
    Saleemul Huq, IIED
    Poshendra Satyal Pravat, Open University
    Li Moxuan, Climate campaigner, Greenpeace China
    Tadesse Dadi, Tearfund Ethiopia
    Iain Wright, CO2 Project Manager, BP International
    Ashok Sinha, Stop Climate Chaos
    Andy Atkins, Advocacy Director, Tearfund
    Matthew Farrow, CBI
    Rafael Hidalgo, TV/multimedia producer
    Cheryl Campbell, Executive Director, Television for the Environment
    Kevin McCullough, Director, Npower Renewables
    Richard D North, Institute of Economic Affairs
    Steve Widdicombe, Plymouth Marine Labs
    Joe Smith, The Open University
    Mark Galloway, Director, IBT
    Anita Neville, E3G
    Eleni Andreadis, Harvard University
    Jos Wheatley, Global Environment Assets Team, DFID
    Tessa Tennant, Chair, AsRia