Saturday, 5 January 2013

Carbon taxes and "renewable" energy subsidies hit poor people hardest

Subsidies to inefficient and expensive wind and solar power and all kinds of carbon taxes have led to much higher energy prices in many European countries, including Germany  and the UK. Thousands of people are left freezing in their homes, because they are unable to pay for expensive electricity or gas. Willis Eschenbach has written an excellent post on what the policies recommended by James Hansen and the other warmists mean for poor people: 
And as a result, an increase in energy costs that is fairly small to me is huge to the poor. Any kind of tax on energy, indeed any policy that raises the cost of energy, is one of the most regressive taxes known to man. It crushes those at the lowest end of the scale, and the worst part is, there is no relief at the bottom. You know how with income tax, if you make below a certain limit, you pay no tax at all? If you are below the threshold, you are exempt from income tax.
But energy price increases such as carbon taxes don’t even have that relief. They hit harder the further you go down the economic ladder, all the way down to rock bottom, hitting the very poorest the hardest of all.
So when James Hansen gets all mealy-mouthed about his poor grandkids’ world in fifty years, boo-boo, it just makes me shake my head in amazement. His policies have already led to an increase in something I never heard of when I was a kid, “fuel poverty”. This is where the anti-human pseudo-green energy policies advocated by Hansen and others have driven the price of fuel so high that people who weren’t poor before, now cannot heat their homes in winter … it’s shockingly common in Britain, for example.
In other words, when James Hansen is coming on all weepy-eyed about what might possibly happen to his poor grandchildren fifty years from now, he is so focused on the future that he overlooks the ugly present-day results of his policies, among them the grandparents shivering in houses that they can no longer afford to heat …
Read the entire article here

Friday, 4 January 2013

New study: There will be less - not more - tropical cyclones in the future

In spite of Sandy, the "new normal" is LESS, not more tropical storms:

A new study by Masato SugiJapan Agency for Marine Earth Science and Jun YoshimuraMeteorological Research Institute of Japan, published in the Geophysical Letters (Vol 39, Issue 19), shows that the frequency of tropical storms has decreased since 1872 - and that this decrease will continue also in the future:

We conducted 228-year long, three-member ensemble simulations using a high resolution (60 km grid size) global atmosphere model, MRI-AGCM3.2, with prescribed sea surface temperature and greenhouse gases and aerosols from 1872 to 2099. We found a clear decreasing trend of global tropical cyclone (TC) frequency throughout the 228 years of the simulation.

In another abstract the authors confirm the trend:
In our recent 228 year long simulations from 1872 to 2099, a decreasing trend of global TC frequency is found not only in the future but also in the past during the twentieth century.

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Fiscal cliff deal disgrace: One-year extension of wind turbine tax credits included

The US Republicans should be ashamed for approving this enormous waste of taxpayers' money as part of the fiscal cliff deal:

A one-year extension of a key tax credit for the wind industry was included in the fiscal cliff deal Congress passed Tuesday.

The tax credit, which has been a major driver for wind development across the country in the past two decades, is worth 2.2 cents per kilowatt-hour of energy produced by new wind installations for their first 10 years of operation.
A White House news release confirmed that the tax-credit extension is included in the Senate package that the House also passed.

"Just simply, 30% of the value of a project is derived from the tax credit," said Florian Zerhusen, chief executive of WKN USA. The San Diego-based wind developer flipped the switch on two 3-megawatt turbines in the San Gorgonio Pass about 20 miles northwest of Palm Springs on Dec. 21, just days before the credit expired.

Read the entire article here

There is more than enough of clean and affordable shale gas and oil in the US for the foreseeable future. Wasting money on expensive, unreliable and bird killing wind turbines is a disgrace!

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

The true legacy of governor Schwarzenegger

The National Journal has published a fawning interview with former terminator and governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has no modest thoughts about his legacy for future generations:

Asked if he believes his role on spurring global warming action will ultimately stand as his legacy, Schwarzenegger invoked his career as a bodybuilding trailblazer.
"It's one of those things, when I got into bodybuilding, the last thing I ever thought of is that I would be out there leading the fitness movement, going around the world and talking about fitness and exercising," he said.
"I was just interested in winning as many bodybuilding championships as possible--Mr. World, Mr. Universe. But it just happened to be that there was a vacuum, and people looked at me as the guy who should carry the ball, and all of a sudden, there I was--it became my legacy. When I stepped into the governorship, this is the last thing I thought I would do--that I would be successful in this area. But the opportunity came up. You don't know ahead of time."

In other words, the retired terminator appears to believe that saving the world from human caused global warming will be his "legacy" to the world.

And the National Journal's energy and environment correspondent Coral Davenport believes that Schwarzenegger "brings his global celebrity to the cause, but he also brings credibility, as the only American political leader to date who has succeeded in enacting a climate-change law":

It appears to be working. On Dec. 19, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon presented Schwarzenegger with the U.N. Correspondents Association's global advocate of the year award. The award recognized work he has done with Regions20, his U.N.-affiliated climate-change advocacy group. The group aims to push cities, states, provinces, and other regions to create a network of bottom-up climate policies that will eventually lead to broader action.

Yes, you could not ask for a better proof than the "U.N. Correspondents Association's global advocate of the year award" for Schwarzenegger's huge success!

Meanwhile back home in California, citizens and businesses have to face another legacy of the former (Republican!) governor:

California’s latest gift to the nation comes just in time for Christmas in the form of a newly-enacted carbon cap-and-trade (tax) program. That “climate change law” which will be accomplished through a web of new taxes and regulations mandates a 30 percent cut in carbon emissions from cars, trucks, utilities and other businesses by 2020. This legislation will add even higher burdens to businesses that already endure the fourth worst state regulatory burdens and among the highest corporate taxes…a state that consistently ranks at or near the bottom for business-friendliness…one with the nation’s highest state sales tax, and the third highest income tax for citizens.--

Disastrous energy policies, a stifling regulatory environment, reliance upon central planning, tax-supported subsidies and social entitlement programs are turning dreams of good lives into nightmares. As a result, companies, large and small, are leaving in hordes, taking much of the state’s tax base along with employment opportunities with them. According to census data, California lost one-half million people to other states between 2007 and 2010, while Texas gained 394,000. --

Despite substantial government spending programs, California has the highest poverty rate in the U.S., with a staggering 23.5% of its population counted as poor. The poverty rate in Texas is 16.5%. And according to a study by McKinsey & Co., “Texas outperforms California in terms of achievement despite similar demographics, lower GDP per capita, and lower per-pupil spending”. This includes math and reading, and also educating Latino, Black and poor students. California now ranks near the nation’s bottom in science skills, with eighth graders performing 47th in terms of test scores.

Read the entire article here

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Obama should get tough on dictator Vladimir Putin

It is time for Barack Obama to get tough on Russian dictator - yes his he IS i dictator - Vladimir Putin. That't the message conservative writer Tom Rogan wants to convey to the US president (although he is cautious and does not use the word dictator). Obama should heed Rogan's advice. But does he have the courage to make the necessary "reset" of the reset? That is another question. 

In today's geopolitical landscape, Russia and America simply do not share interests and ideals. And yet, for years President Obama had been showered with praise for his supposed warming of the U.S.-Russia relationship. Unfortunately, in substantive terms, this warming has been fictional. Vladimir Putin's Russia is no friend of America. The hard reality is that during Obama's first term, Russia has been an unrepentant U.S. adversary. And where Russia has gained much from Obama, the U.S. has achieved little in return.
Over the next four years, Obama needs a new Russian strategy; the "reset" obsession needs to go. "Resolve" must become the new theme for American policy towards Russia. --
Consider the record. With both indirect and direct Russian support, Iran continues its nuclear pursuits. (It ought to go without saying that a nuclear Iran would be a disaster for the region and for international security.) In eastern Europe, Russia employs its energy export industry as a weapon of greed and a tool for political blackmail. In western Europe, close allies of the Russian president are suspected of assassination plots. In 2006, a Putin critic was assassinated in London. Across Europe, Russia is using its recent WTO accession to its own advantage, while simultaneously reneging on its membership obligations. In Syria, Russia continues to prop up the Assad regime, providing the dictator with diplomatic cover and a steady supply of weapons to enable his continuing massacres.
Putin's foreign policy views the norms of international relations, humanitarian law, and respect for democracy as nothing but obstacles inhibiting Putin's raw pursuit of power. These obstacles aren't only to be hurdled, but to be crushed.
And tragically, it isn't just abroad where Putin has rejected the spirit of Obama's overtures. Consider his domestic policies. In banning adoptions to the U.S., Putin is now using Russian children as political pawns. Faced with a Russian social care system that is exceptionally poor, adoptions to America answer a deep moral need. Putin doesn't care. This is simply an opportunity to bully Obama deeper into submission. Sadly, as Obama's cancelation of the missile defense shield indicates, Putin has often been successful in this endeavor.
Indeed, what has the U.S. gained from its conciliatory policy? The unpleasant answer: A nuclear arms control treaty that Russia probably would have supported anyway. The United States and the world are badly served by our current Russia policy. We have a highly capable ambassador in Moscow. We need a tough policy to match. In this regard, there are a number of steps that Obama must take.
First, he should stand more firmly in support of our eastern European allies. He can start by embracing outgoing Sen. Richard Lugar's energy export plan. Second, Obama should openly and aggressively condemn Russian support for dictators and authoritarian domestic practices. Third, he should build upon the Magnitsky Act, isolating corrupt Russian officials from the U.S. financial system. In short, Obama must begin to stand up to Putin. Our international interests and ideals demand it. Before the November election, Obama promised Russia greater "flexibility" if he was able to win re-election. That was a mistake. The president needs to situate his second term Russia policy in a much greater clarity of purpose. Obama must end Putin's holiday. The Russian president has eaten enough American carrots. If necessary, Obama should be ready to offer the stick. 
Read the entire article here

Monday, 31 December 2012

Australian journalist's New Year's message: "At an 8C rise, humans go down to a few million and must retreat to Antarctica"

Australian Sunday Herald Sun's gaming writer Alice Clark heralds in the new year:

At the rate that we're going, large portions of land will be under water in about 20 years.
If we do nothing to stop the ice shelf in western Antarctica from falling into the sea, 15 per cent of our city by the bay will be just a bay by 2040. While global warming won't end the world, it will make it largely uninhabitable for humans. We're experiencing species loss at the highest rate in 63 million years.
If temperatures rise 6C, the human population will decline to two billion and we will also lose most species, including trees.
At an 8C rise, humans go down to a few million and must retreat to Antarctica. It is possible for humans to continue living underground if the planet gets too hot, but there isn't very good phone reception down there. -

Once we run out of easy access to food and (especially) water, we will start killing each other over corn and wells and you just know that the nukes will rain from the sky. 
The growing gap between rich and poor is another thing that could end the world.
When there are a few people who are disgustingly rich, a large group of people who are extremely poor, and a larger group of people who earn enough to be kind of OK but have no security, this ends in resentment, crime, famine, war and the French Revolution.
Since we've come a long way from muskets and swords, any large uprising of the 99 per cent is going to trigger an epic war that will reduce the world to a post-apocalyptic wasteland. And that's on top of global warming.
This Alice in Wonderland should take a break from gaming in order to prepare for a return to reality.