Wednesday, December 17, 2014

International Emissions Idiocy

 

By Alan Caruba

Most of the people of the world have concluded that the decades of warnings about “global warming” and its successor, “climate change”, is just idiotic nonsense. Few believe that humans ever had or ever will have any role in what the weather will be tomorrow or a thousand years from now. They are right.

One of the most distinguishing factors about the Anthropogenic Global Warming theory has been the way its advocates have always predicted major changes decades into the future. When the future arrived, as it has since the first doomsday predictions were made in the late 1980s, they simply push off the next arrival date for another couple of decades. A classic example is the prediction that that Arctic and Antarctic sea ice would have all melted by now. Instead the global cold weather have been making new records of late.

Delegates from two hundred nations attended the 20th session of the Conference of the Parties and the 10th session of the Conference of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol which took place from December 1 through 12. COP 20/CMP 10 was hosted by the Government of Peru in Lima. The event is part of the United Nations agenda that began with the creation of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 1988.

The Kyoto Protocol dates back to 1997 and sets limits on how much “greenhouse gas” emissions, primarily carbon dioxide (CO2), nations could permit. The theory, now long since debunked, that CO2 was rising and would cause the Earth to warm too much was right in only one respect. There is more CO2, but the Earth has been in a cooling cycle for some 19 years at this point. The U.S. did not ratify, i.e. sign onto the Protocol. The Senate unanimously rejected it. Canada later withdrew from it. China and India were both exempted from it!

So what we have been witnessing have been a bunch of international officials wrangling over something that did not happen and will not happen.

The hard core “Warmists” wanted the climate change agreement to be legally binding under international law. They were led by those from the European Union. They and others wanted more money to be spent on renewable energy, wind and solar, and money given to poor countries to help them deal with climate change.

The COP20 conference was not about the climate. It was about funding wind and solar energy projects that have proven globally to be huge, expensive failures, and about providing money to poor countries that, as often as not, are poor because they are poorly governed. It’s a scheme based on totally false “science.” 

As to the “science” proclaiming a warming Earth and that “greenhouse gas emissions” are responsible, the easiest and most entertaining way to learn the real science is to read Anthony Bright-Paul’s new book, “Climate for the Layman.” 

Bright applies the known knowledge of the universe in which we live with the kind of logic you are not likely to hear from the likes of Al Gore or Bill Nye the “science guy.”  Add to them the blissfully ignorant legions of “leaders” of various nations who have signed off on “global warming” without a lick of knowledge with which to refute the lies and you get idiotic conferences and demands to end the beneficial use of fossil fuels which improved our lives long before and since the IPCC was created.

“So how does one measure the temperature of something that has a multiplicity of temperatures and is constantly on the move?” asks Bright. “It is clearly impossible.”  How difficult is that to understand?

“In my dictionary,” says Bright, “’Global’ is defined as ‘worldwide’. So let us ask ourselves the question—has there been a worldwide warming of 0.07 degrees Celsius? Has there been a uniform increase in temperatures worldwide? The answer is simple. It is utterly impossible to make such declaration”, adding that “It is completely impossible to measure the temperature of the atmosphere which is 100 kilometers high and which has a huge range of temperatures in a continuous state of flux.”

If it cannot be measured then years from now the climate cannot be predicted. The weather—what is happening where you live—can only be predicted in general terms for the next few days and that is largely thanks to modern satellites. Moreover, the weather is never exactly the same from day to day. Meteorologists focus on what’s happening now, but climatologists measure the climate in units of decades, the smallest of which is thirty years. The largest take in millions of years.

Carbon dioxide is such a minor “trace” gas—0.04% of the Earth’s atmosphere--that most people are astonished to learn that it is Nitrogen and Oxygen that make up 99% of the atmosphere. Both are transparent to incoming and outgoing radiation. It is the Earth that acts as a conductor of heat, affected as always by solar radiation. It is the Sun along with the actions of the oceans and volcanic activity that determines the weather and, long term, the climate.

Virtually everything you have heard or been told about “greenhouse gas emissions” is pure bunkum.

The Earth is not a greenhouse closed in by heat trapping gases. It is the mass of the Earth that absorbs the Sun’s radiation and reflects it into the atmosphere. The process is so dynamic that there is no way to accurately predict what the temperature anywhere on any day.

The IPCC and its idiotic “climate change” conference wants you to believe it can predict the climate of the entire world! And control it.

Not a single dime of U.S. taxpayer’s money should be devoted to either the U.N. or any bogus “global warming” claims. We could begin by defunding the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulations to limit “greenhouse gas emissions”, the reason they give for closing coal-fired plants to produce electricity.

We should laugh Secretary of State John Kerry off the stage every time in claims that climate change is the greatest threat to life on Earth.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The New Congress Must Save the USA from the EPA

EPA headquarters in Washington, DC

 

By Alan Caruba

When the Republican Party takes over majority control of Congress in January, it will face a number of battles that must be fought with the Obama administration ranging from its amnesty intentions to the repeal of ObamaCare, but high among the battles is the need to rein in the metastasizing power of the Environmental Protection Agency.

In many ways, it is the most essential battle because it involves the provision of sufficient electrical energy to the nation to keep its lights on. EPA “interpretations” of the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts have become an outrageous usurpation of power that the Constitution says belongs exclusively to the Congress.

As a policy advisor to The Heartland Institute, a free market think tank, I recall how in 2012 its president, Joe Bast, submitted 16,000 signed petitions to Congress calling on it to “rein in the EPA.” At the time he noted that “Today’s EPA spends billions of dollars (approximately $9 billion in 2012) imposing senseless regulations. Compliance with its unnecessary rules costs hundreds of billions of dollars more.”

Heartland’s Science Director, Dr. Jay Lehr, said “EPA’s budget could safely be cut by 80 percent or more without endangering the environment or human health. Most of what EPA does today could be done better by state government agencies, many of which didn’t exist or had much less expertise back in 1970 when EPA was created.”

The EPA has declared virtually everything a pollutant including the carbon dioxide (CO2) that 320 million Americans exhale with every breath. It has pursued President Obama’s “war on coal” for six years with a disastrous effect on coal miners, those who work for coal-fired plants that produce electricity, and on consumers who are seeing their energy bills soar.

As Edwin D. Hill, the president of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, noted in August, “The EPA’s plan, according to its own estimates, will require closing coal-fired plants over the next five years that generate between 41 and 49 gigawatts (49,000 megawatts) of electricity” and its plan would “result in the loss of some 52,000 permanent direct jobs in utilities, mining and rail, and at least another 100,000 jobs in related industries. High skill, middle-class jobs would be lost, falling heavily in rural communities that have few comparable employment opportunities.”

“The United States cannot lose more than 100 gigawatts of power in five years without severely compromising the reliability and safety of the electrical grid,” warned Hill.

In October the Institute for Energy Research criticized the EPA’s war on coal based on its Mercury and Air Toxics Rule and its Cross State Air Pollution Rule, noting that 72.7 gigawatts of electrical generating capacity have already, or are scheduled to retire. “That’s enough to reliably power 44.7 million homes, or every home in every state west of the Mississippi river, excluding Texas.” How widespread are the closures? There are now 37 states with projected power plant closures, up from 30 in 2011. The five hardest hit states are Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Kentucky, and Georgia.

If a foreign nation had attacked the U.S. in this fashion, we would be at war with it.

The EPA is engaged in a full-scale war on the U.S. economy as it ruthlessly forces coal-fired plants out of operation. This form of electricity production has been around since the industry began to serve the public in 1882 when Edison installed the world’s first generating plants on Pearl Street in New York City’s financial district. Moreover, the U.S. has huge reserves of coal making it an extremely affordable source of energy, available for centuries to come.

The EPA’s actions have been criticized by one of the nation’s leading liberal attorneys, Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe, who has joined with Peabody Energy, the world’s largest private coal company, to criticize the “executive overreach” of the EPA’s proposed rule to regulate carbon emissions from existing power plants. He accused the agency of abusing statutory law, violating the Constitution’s Article I, Article II, the separations of powers, the Tenth and Fifth Amendments, and the agency’s general contempt for the law.

It is this contempt that can be found in virtually all of its efforts to exert power over every aspect of life in America from the air we breathe, the water we use, property rights, all forms of manufacturing, and, in general, everything that contributes to the economic security and strength of the nation.

That contempt is also revealed in the way the EPA spends its taxpayer funding. Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) released a report, “The Science of Splurging”, on December 2 in which he pointed to the $1,100,000 spent to pay the salaries of eight employees who were not working due to being placed on administrative leave, the $3,500,000 spent to fund “Planning for Economic and Fiscal Health” workshops around the nation, $1,500,000 annually to store out-of-date and unwanted publicans at an Ohio warehouse, and $700,000 to attempt to reduce methane emitted from pig flatulence in Thailand!  “After years of handing out blank checks in the form of omnibus appropriations bills and continuing resolutions,” said Sen. Flake, “it’s time for Congress to return to regular order and restore accountability at the EPA.”

Whether it is its alleged protection of the air or water, the only limits that have been placed on the EPA have been by the courts. Time and again the EPA has been admonished for over-stating or deliberately falsifying its justification to control every aspect of life in the nation, often in league with the Army Corps of Engineers.

If the Republican controlled Congress does not launch legislative action to control the EPA the consequences for Americans will continue to mount, putting them at risk of losing electricity, being deprived of implicit property rights, and driving up the cost of transportation by demanding auto manufacturers increase miles-per-gallon requirements at a time when there is now a worldwide glut of oil and the price of gasoline is dropping.

The United States has plenty of enemies in the world that want it to fail. It is insane that we harbor one as a federal agency.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Great Renewable Energy Rip-Off

 


By Alan Caruba

One of the lesser known attempts to prove that renewable energy, wind and solar power, can replace traditional energy sources--coal, oil, and natural gas--went belly up in much the same way current wind and solar companies depend on tapping the taxpayer for government subsidies in order to stay in business. Google’s Renewable Energy Cheaper than Coal initiative begun in 2007 and shut down four years later.
 
Two members of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Ross Koningstein and David Fork, worked on the project. Both men have excellent credentials in aerospace engineering and applied physicals, respectively, but neither had a clue about climatology. Expertise in one field rarely translates to another unless it is closely allied.

At the start of the project "we shared the attitude of many stalward environmentalists. We felt that with steady improvements to today's renewable energy technologies, our society could stave off catastrophic climate change. We now know that to be a false hope, but that doesn't mean the planet is doomed."

Environmentalists start off with several thoroughly incorrect beliefs that are not supported by science. The first is that climate change has anything to do with human activity such as carbon dioxide and other so-called “greenhouse gases.”

The Earth is not a greenhouse. It is always in the process of absorbing and discharging heat via the atmosphere and the oceans. If it retained heat all life on Earth would die. Even on a hot summer’s day, it will cool at night. Deserts, too, are often cooler at night.  As for carbon dioxide, it is a trace gas in the atmosphere at barely 0.04%, but it is also the gas which all vegetation requires. In turn, vegetation gives off oxygen while we humans and other animals exhale carbon dioxide.

Secondly, environmentalists mistakenly believe that carbon dioxide emissions from the use of energy, particularly coal and oil, are so great that it affects the weather defined as what is happening now and the climate whose trends can only be determined decades and centuries from now. The constant claims about carbon dioxide emissions are blatantly false.

There is no basis in science for nations to reduce so-called greenhouse gas emissions. Indeed, more carbon dioxide would be a good thing for the planet’s vegetation, yielding healthier forests and greater crop yields on farms.

Thirdly, environmentalists believe that we shall run out of coal, oil, and natural gas at some point. The current estimates put that point very far in the future and, since new reserves are being found, they show no indication of not being available for a very long time to come.
 
“Trying to combat climate change exclusively with today’s renewable energy technologies simply won’t work,” said the two IEEE engineers. They’re right. Of all the forms of energy available wind and solar are so expensive and so unpredictable that they make no sense based on the false notion that humans can impact the Earth’s climate now or ever.

The public is never told that wind turbines and solar farms all require a traditional electrical energy producer—coal, oil, or natural gas-based—because they don’t function if the sun is not shining or the wind is not blowing. These days, we can add nuclear plants to those deemed traditional. Hydroelectrical plants are also traditional.

It is the American taxpayer who is paying the price for renewable energy that is more costly to produce than traditional coal-fired plants or those now benefitting from the reduced cost of natural gas thanks to fracking technology that Is securing more of it, as well as oil. 

A Fox News headline recently reported that the “World’s largest solar plant applying for federal grant to pay off federal loan.” The wealthy investors in a California solar plant, the Ivanpah solar plant, owned by Google and the renewable energy giant, NRG, not only received a $1.6 billion construction loan from U.S. taxpayers, but they are now requesting a $539 million grant to pay off their loan! 

William La Jeunesse of Fox News reported that “In 2013, the Obama administration handed out $18.5 billion in renewable energy grants, with $4.4 billion going to solar projects.” Now one of those projects wants the government to give them money to help pay off their construction loan.

La Jeunesse reported, “the plant produced only about a quarter of the power it’s supposed to, a disappointing 254,263 magawatt-hours of electricity from January through August, not the million megawatt-hours it promised.”

Renewable energy is a huge taxpayer and consumer rip-off.

Where solar leaves off, wind energy has been tapping taxpayers by means of the wind energy Production Tax Credit, (PTC) a form of welfare for wind energy companies. The Institute for Energy Research released a white paper in November noting that “A two-year extension will cost $13.35 billion, which is enough to pay 124 million Americans’ monthly electricity bills.”

The PTC “allows wind producers to pay the grid to take their power and still profit.” This “negative pricing” forced two nuclear plants to close their doors because they could not compete against the practice. This would be a good time to let your congressman know that you don’t want to have the PTC extended any further.

Still think wind energy is a good thing? Fully 65% of voters think that two decades of tax credits is enough! Wind energy, like solar, tends to produce more electricity when it is needed least. To top off reasons to stop throwing money at it, the Institute for Energy Research has found that “wind energy costs $109 per megawatt hour, which is twice as much as this year’s average wholesale electricity price of $54 per MWh.”

To wrap up this look at renewable energy the Obama administration’s “war on coal” is going to cause utility bills to surge. As reported on Bloomberg News, according to the Brattle Group, a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based consulting company, “the loss of the cheaper coal units will boast power prices by as much as 25% on grids that serve about a third of the nation’s population. The biggest impact may be in the Midwest and Northeast, where demand for gas for heating jumps during the cold-weather months.”

The Environmental Protection Agency has come up with more ways to shut down the provision of electrical power as its proposed Mercury and Air Toxics Standards go into effect, requiring coal-fired plants to install scrubbers or close their doors.

The EPA is not protecting anyone’s health. It is forcing them to pay more for what should be the most traditional and affordable sources of electricity in the world. It is putting people's lives at stake if the power is not available.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The World's Climate Change Mafia Meet in Peru


http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-MCcD96AIZ5I/VH4Gz2i8KBI/AAAAAAAAPdg/3eEdh-oR0rM/s1600/Cartoon+-+Media+and+GW.jpg
 
By Alan Caruba

To understand all the talk of “climate change” you must understand that everything and everyone involved—except for those of us who debunk the lies—are engaged in a criminal enterprise to transfer billions from industrialized nations to those who have failed to provide a thriving economy, often because they are run by dictators or corrupt governments who skim the money for themselves.

The lies being inflicted on Americans include Obama’s “war on coal” that is shutting down coal-fired plants that affordably and efficiently produce the electricity the nation needs, along with the six-year delay of the Keystone XL pipeline. Add in the thousands of Environmental Protection Agency regulations affecting our manufacturing, business and agricultural sectors and the price we are paying is huge.

At its heart, environmentalism hates capitalism.

One of the worst parts of this scam to take from the rich and give to the poor—otherwise known as “redistribution”—is the way the world’s media have played along since 1992 when the first Earth Summit was held in Rio. The perpetrators are headquartered in the United Nations, home to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that sets the agenda.

While the 20th session of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s Conference of Parties meets in Lima, Peru this week, perhaps the most egregious and outrageous example of journalism was the December 2nd Associated Press article, “Hotter, Weirder: How Climate Change and Changed the Earth.” It is not attributed to a specific reporter; perhaps because it is filled with lies from start to finish.

It starts with the biggest lie of all:  WASHINGTON (AP) -- In the more than two decades since world leaders first got together to try to solve global warming, life on Earth has changed, not just the climate. It's gotten hotter, more polluted with heat-trapping gases, more crowded and just downright wilder.”
The Earth is in the 19th year of a natural cooling cycle, the result of a comparable cycle on the Sun which is producing less radiation to warm the planet. What astounds anyone who knows this is the article’s assertion that “It's almost a sure thing that 2014 will go down as the hottest year in 135 years of record keeping, meteorologists at NOAA's National Climatic Data Center say. If so, this will be the sixth time since 1992 that the world set or tied a new annual record for the warmest year.”
Would government agencies that are beholden to the existing administration for their budgets lie to the public? Yes, they would. While all fifty states experienced freezing weather within the past month, we are still being told that 2014 set new records for warmth. To borrow a phrase from Jonathan Gruber, the architect of ObamaCare, the government can tell “stupid” voters and others anything it wants in order to achieve its goals.
For the record, in 2013 and much of 2014, there have been record low numbers of tornadoes and hurricanes. There was a record gain in Arctic and Antarctic ice. There was no change in the rate of sea level rise; something measured in millimeters.  The weather is the weather and that includes dramatic events such as blizzards or droughts, but it is hardly uniform. Depending on where you live on planet Earth, you will experience it differently on any given day.
As representatives of 190 climate mafia meet in Peru, you will be given data about carbon dioxide (CO2). The AP article cites increases of  “60 percent.” If that were true, it would be good news. All vegetation on Earth depends on CO2, just as humans and other living creatures depend on oxygen. More CO2 means healthier forests and greater crop yields, an agricultural bonus in a world that needs to feed seven billion people. But it’s not true. Nor is the claim that the mere 0.04% of CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere traps so much heat we’re all going to die. It doesn’t and most of us will die of old age.
As Amy Ridenour of the National Center for Public Policy Research reported in June, “The U.S. already leads the world in CO2 reductions and is a great role model. U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions fell 12.6 percent between 2005 and 2012, thanks to technology and conservation. Worldwide, CO2 emissions increased by 17.7 percent during the same period.”  That’s a far cry from the AP claim of 60 percent.
The Peru conference is another effort to impose a global tax on “carbon” and to increase the UN’s “Climate Fund” to which some nations have pledged $9.3 billion. To put this in perspective, the United States just set a new record of $18 TRILLION in debt and cannot afford to be pledging money to that fund or any other fund. Most of that debt has been incurred during the one and a half terms of Barack Obama who just happens to be telling everyone that “climate change” is the greatest threat to all life on Earth.
“Climate change” is what the 4.5 billion-year-old Earth has been doing during all that time and will continue to do. Humans experience it as the “weather” which is measured in days and weeks while climate is measured in units not less than thirty years and more often in centuries. Today’s weather prediction is good for, at best, five days and is subject to change at any time.
As for all those claims about “global warming” it’s worth keeping in mind that not one of the computer models cited to prove it has been accurate. There isn’t a model or a computer big enough to take in all the many elements that compose the weather anywhere and everywhere on Earth. The weather is always in a state of flux and change, just as the temperatures during any hour of the day are in a stage of change.
Here’s a bit of advice. Do not believe anything that comes out of the UN conference because, scientifically speaking, it will be a lie. And don’t believe anything the Associated Press reports on “climate change” because that too must automatically be regarded as a lie as well.
Whatever Barack Obama has to say about “climate change” (formerly known as “global warming”) is a lie. It would be nice to have a President and a government we could trust.
© Alan Caruba, 2014