Helium, an environmental Blog, writes of a pending methane gas explosion in the gulf that could wipe out mankind. This item is posted for fun, not because I believe our extinction is eminent. No matter what happens, however, Helium should cease publication soon – either because we are all dead, or because they are puplishing nonsense that has no credibility. Continue Reading
Political corruption has always existed in the U.S., but our country has enjoyed relative protection from the kind of institutionalized corruption that is common in many parts of the world – mostly the developing world. Rule of law has been a significant competitive advantage for us.
But that legacy is rapidly changing. The Black Liquor scandal and other similar government initiatives, have demonstrated that the current Congress and President have stooped to levels of corruption and political favoritism that would have been intolerable during previous administrations – during times when the mainstream media actually served a purpose.
But, in regard to corruption, we haven’t seen anything yet. The government takeover of our health care system, in combination with energy subsidies and other proposed climate change legislation, will lead to an explosion of fraud and political corruption. The opportunities for cheating, and the lack of oversight, will be extraordinary.
Corruption associated with climate change legislation will, however, be an international activity. It is interesting that the United Nations, known for its own out-of-control corruption, has blown the whistle on its key climate change program Continue Reading
The Black Liquor travesty continues to mock us, rather than slink away and die from embarrassment – as it should. The Dead Tree Blog has posted an important update, IRS Brings Son of Black Liquor Back From the Dead; Ruling May Be Worth Billions to U.S. Pulp Makers . Continue Reading
Carl Sagan and Charles Darwin were wrong about just about everything and yet both men continue to be worshipped by the scientific community. Sagan was a great showman; charismatic and committed. He was perhaps most famous for how he spoke passionately about the “billions and billions” of stars and the inevitability of millions of earth-like planets – many that must contain intelligent life. For Sagan, we live in an ordinary galaxy, a non-descript solar system, and a hum-drum planet. It was called The Principle of Mediocrity. Evolution of life on earth was just an accident, but an accident that must have been repeated in some form on many other hum-drum planets. Continue Reading
The black liquor fiasco provided an example to those of us in the pulp and paper industries of just how blatantly corrupt the current Congress is, with the support of the President. (If you are new to the Blog, see Less Than Free Enterprise for a fascinating story that was missed by the mainstream media.)
Jim McTague wrote an insightful story in Barron’s over the week-end that demonstrated the failure of solar energy to earn its own way. Even with hundreds of millions of dollars in grants and loan guarantees, some companies will still not be viable.
McTague also pointed out that the recipients of these huge solar energy grants were “connected” to (not the Mafia but to its more dangerous counterpart) Congress and the President. Passages from Our Tough Luck President follow. Continue Reading
President Obama’s policies are designed to discourage the development of “climate changing” fossil fuels. The President would rather send our tax dollars to producers of solar, wind, and ethanol (to keep them economically competitive with fossil fuels) rather than earn tax income from the development of oil, coal, and natural gas. Well, the good news is that those government subsidies may not be necessary in the years ahead. When oil prices rise to $150-$200 barrel, and never see double digits again – maybe wind and solar will be able to compete without government handouts. Of course, it will be many decades (if ever) before these alternative energies satisfy a substantial percentage of U.S. energy needs. Continue Reading
The Jon Stewart clip we posted two days ago reminded us that the last eight U.S. presidents promised energy independence. (If you have not watched it yet, don’t miss Jon Stewart on “Energy Independence” ). The promises went unfulfilled, however, as we have become more and more dependent on foreign oil over the last 40 years.
Why have we failed to accomplish this objective? Unfortunately, oil supplies are finite and our energy wants seem infinite. U.S. oil production peaked in 1970, but U.S. demand for oil continues to grow rapidly. Our economic growth and prosperity over the last century have allowed us to build an energy intensive society that runs on fossil fuels – primarily oil. Meanwhile, we have not allowed the development of energy sources that would reduce this dependence.
The point Jon Stewart makes is that it is time to face the truth. We are dependent on foreign oil, and we are going to be dependent on foreign oil long into the future.
However, what Stewart does not address is that political decisions made in the past determined our present – and political decisions that will be made during Obama’s term as president will determine our future – at least for a time. We can either choose to reduce energy dependence or to increase it. It is up to us.
How can this imbalance be resolved? There are only two ways. Increase the supply of energy, or reduce the demand.
President Obama makes “energy independence” speeches like the previous seven presidents, but his approach is dramatically different. Each of the other seven presidents did what they felt was prudent in setting aside funds for developing alternative sources of energy, and encouraging conservation.
The last seven presidents, however, understood the supply side of the equation. They knew that we needed to encourage the development of as much U.S. based fossil fuel energy as possible. Their philosophies differed on coal, nuclear, offshore, etc. but they all recognized that fossil fuel supply was as crucial as demand.
Obama, however, has a simplistic and dangerously naïve view. He sees fossil fuels as evil. He speaks out against the oil sands in Canada. The offshore drilling ban will significantly reduce U.S. supplies. The president hopes to place a carbon tax on coal. A cap and trade system would also greatly increase energy costs, create a gigantic government bureaucracy, and make energy development in the U.S. less competitive.
Around the time Obama was voted into office the enormous potential of natural gas shale deposits was becoming evident – and yet nothing is being done (politically) to encourage the use of this new energy source in automobiles. This is a clean-energy windfall of gigantic proportion and yet the President ignores it, simply because it is a fossil fuel.
The fact that his policies will dramatically reduce supply and increase energy costs doesn’t faze the President. The President’s supply answer is wind, solar, ethanol, and wood. But that is not the whole story. The President also has a plan for the demand side of the equation. Obama is intent on changing the way we live. In order to wean us from our dependence on fossil fuels, he is very willing to use economic weakness to get us there. In fact, a forced redistribution of economic resources, along with “de-development”, is the objective.Obama’s new science tsar John Holdren has similar beliefs; that is why he was chosen for this post. Holdren describes it this way.
“A massive campaign must be launched to restore a high-quality environment in North America and to de-develop the United States. De-devolopment means bringing our economic system (especially patterns of consumption) into line with the realities of ecology and the global resource situation. Resources and energy must be diverted from frivolous and wasteful uses in overdeveloped countries to filling the genuine needs of underdeveloped countries.”
“The need for de-development presents our economists with a major challenge. They must design a stable, low-consumption economy in which there is a much more equitable distribution of wealth than the present one. Redistribution of wealth both within and among nations is absolutely essential, if a decent life is to be provided for every human being.”
(I looked up photos to see what I could find under “de-development” and I found this photo of Ted Kaczynski, the Harvard trained Unibomber. He was ahead of his time – a man committed to de-development.)
To claim that the President intends to de-develop the economy seems extreme, I suppose, but how else can we explain the President’s actions. Costly and subsidized alternative energy is not going to grow rapidly enough to fill the energy void – that is a fact. If Obama’s energy policies are enacted – energy costs are going to soar! That is a certainty.
The economy is resilient, but it can be killed. All travel businesses, auto sales, etc will be directly damaged. Businesses will raise prices to recover higher energy costs. Individuals will then have less income to spend on more expensive products. High energy and health care costs will send the economy into another severe depression.
De-development may sound innocuous, but it is frightening. Obama and Holdren have no idea of the problems they are about to unleash.
For those of us who prefer growth, rather than decline, we can hope that sanity returns – that neither the cap and trade nor the carbon tax is passed. New natural gas supplies will continue to grow and that could ultimately save us. Nuclear energy must be revived, but this is not a short term solution. We live in perilous economic times.
Absolutely nothing new was uncovered in Climategate. Read Meltdown (2004), by Patrick Michaels, and Climate of Extremes (2009), by Balling and Michaels. It’s all in there: the distortion, “secrecy”, and control of raw data; the manipulation of scientific studies to make sure the results were supportive of the global warming paradigm; the on-going campaign to keep “anti” studies out of the literature; the complicity of the media in preventing a balanced discussion; the enormous financial incentives that flow to educational institutions and other think tanks; the planned personal attacks on “enemies” of climate change with the intent of destroying careers; the benefits that flow to politicians who support the climate change movement, including even the Nobel prize; etc. This was all common knowledge; to even casual observers.
I suppose the fact that the scientific community was caught admitting all this made Climategate the big story. It is sad that the mainstream media had committed all its resources protecting these “scientists” and fighting for climate change legislation rather than fighting for the truth. No guts, no glory – and no reason to exist. Continue Reading
Do not skim over this post! If you have not watched this clip from The Daily Show, then take 8 minutes and see Jon Stewart Vivisects “Energy Independence”.
I have not heard anyone use the word “vivisect” since Vanessa Redgrave in Camelot in 1967. That was fun too.
We are playing Russian roulette with every breath we take, every meal we eat, every glass of water we drink – or at least that is what the President’s Cancer panel determined. Americans are at grievous risk, and the only thing we can do about it, is increase government regulation massively. Passages below are taken from U.S. facing ‘grievous harm’ from chemicals in air, food, water.
A cover letter urges President Obama “most strongly to use the power of your office to remove the carcinogens and other toxins from our food, water and air that needlessly increase health care costs, cripple our nation’s productivity, and devastate American lives.”