Why does the Washington establishment need to be uprooted and thrown out?
Why do millions of Americans long for a fresh start, a swift scraping away of all the foul accretions that adhere to government like poisonous barnacles?
Paul Driessen answers these vital questions. He writes at Townhall:
Washington is out of control. Legislators, judges and unelected bureaucrats want to control our lives, livelihoods and living standards, with no accountability even for major errors, calculated deception, or deliberate, often illegal assaults on our liberties and on citizens who resist the advancing Leviathan.
These themes animate Republican and conservative politics because they are happening – regularly.
The Competitive Enterprise Institute is renowned for its annual Ten Thousand Commandments reports on federal rules. A scary but mesmerizing new analysis now maps how the Washington bureaucracy lawlessly imposes agendas that all too frequently contravene or disregard what We the People support, what is best for the nation, and even what Congress has enacted or refused to encode in legislation. …
No one even knows how many Executive Branch agencies there are – estimates range from 60 to 438 – much less how many new rules they implement and impose each year. Officially … they issued a staggering 3,554 new rules in 2014, while President Obama signed “only” 226 new laws enacted by Congress. Worse, of the 53,838 (!) formal final regulations included in the Federal Register from 2001 through 2014, only 160 (0.3%) received a “cost-benefit” analysis; we have no idea how the rest affect us. …
This does not include tens of thousands of decrees issued in the form of:
* notices, bulletins, proclamations, circulars, guidance memos, and new or revised interpretations, policy statements and procedures;
* investigations, inquiries, warning letters, negotiated settlements to legal actions (often involving collusion between agencies and activist groups), explicit or veiled threats of legal action, armed agents raiding homes and businesses, or adverse publicity, coordinated with activists and the media; as well as
* blog posts, news releases, and emails or telephone calls to citizens or company employees.
All these actions have the force and effect of law. But few or none are covered by Administrative Procedures Act “public notice and comment” requirements, so they often escape scrutiny by courts, watchdogs and Congress. Many are supported only by “homogenized”, manipulated data; elaborate, imaginative or imaginary regulatory benefits; cavalier dismissal of costs; and no mention of benefits from the activity, chemical, energy source, industry or jobs being regulated, sometimes into oblivion.
EPA’s Clean Power Plan assumes that shutting down America’s coal-fired power plants – a tiny fraction of such facilities worldwide – can somehow stop climate change that is actually governed by numerous powerful natural forces over which humans have absolutely no control. The plan also assumes any global warming will be dangerous and ignores the many thousands who will be rendered jobless.
A “social cost of carbon” scheme concocted by a multitude of federal agencies makes the same faulty assumptions. It then hypothesizes every imaginable and illusory “cost” of carbon dioxide emissions – to forests, agriculture, water resources, “forced migration” of people and wildlife, human health and disease, coastal cities, ecosystems and wetlands. But it completely ignores every one of the obvious and enormous benefits of using fossil fuels … and of CO2’s immense fertilizing effects on forest and crop growth.
President Obama imposed both of these programs because Congress refused to enact almost 700 different cap-tax-and-trade and other climate bills. Rather than working with Congress to achieve at least some of what he wanted, Mr. Obama simply had his agencies issue decrees …
Where Congress has enacted legislation that the president dislikes – on illegal immigration or the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate, for example – he simply tells his agencies not to enforce the “offensive” provisions. Meanwhile, Endangered Species Act rules are enforced with an iron fist against ranching, oil and mining operations, but ignored in the case of wind turbines and solar installations.
Under collusive sue-and-settle lawsuits, parties impacted by decisions never have an opportunity to speak or present evidence, or even be notified that a suit has been filed or adjudicated, until it is too late.
The entire system allows unelected, unaccountable government officials to decide winners and losers, and reward cronies and allies with taxpayer-funded grants and subsidies, while punishing critics and enemies. “Progressive” judges defer to “agency discretion” and give bureaucrats free rein to do as they please, even when the rules, decisions and decrees do not comply with legal, constitutional or scientific requirements.
No citizen, small business or even large corporation can possibly even know all these edicts exist, much less understand or comply with them. Moreover, at least 4,500 carry criminal penalties, many regardless of any intent to violate a rule or commit a crime – and “ignorance of the law is no excuse”. …
Federalism, states’ rights, state and local laws and customs, and personal liberties increasingly cease to matter.
The federal Goliath now costs US families, businesses, hospitals and organizationsover $1.9 trillion a year! That is twice the entire federal budget in 1981. It’s equal to the entire budget in 1986, nearly half the incomprehensible Obama budget for FY-2017, more than the budgets of all other countries except China.
“The champions of socialism call themselves progressives, but they [resist] every kind of improvement,” economist and political analyst Ludwig von Mises observed 72 years ago. “They call themselves liberals, but they are intent upon abolishing liberty. They call themselves democrats, but they yearn for dictatorship. They call themselves revolutionaries, but they want to make the government omnipotent.” …
The same agencies write, impose, enforce and adjudicate the rules, and impose punishment for infractions. They work tirelessly and imperiously to “fundamentally transform” our nation’s legal, energy, economic and social systems …
They impose edicts that would never be supported by the People or enacted by Congress, and that they rarely if ever apply to themselves. They lavish billions on allies, while denying funding and legitimacy to critics, siccing IRS dogs on opposition groups, and threatening civil and criminal “racketeering” actions against anyone who “denies” the alleged “reality” of dangerous manmade climate change.
They seek to ban fossil fuels, biotech crops and insecticides – even from Third World families suffering from abject poverty, rampant malnutrition and disease, and a near total absence of electricity. They do all they can to silence and punish alternative views, and even the notion that there can be alternative views.
For seven years, our “Try and stop me” president and administration have used and abused their powers to impose their agenda.
What we need now is a “Try and make me” president, who will refuse to enforce their edicts. Who will use his pen, phone and power to review them, root out any fraud and abuse behind them, and defund and bury them. Who will work with Congress to restore the rule of law and our Constitution, economic growth, and the role of personal liberties, opportunities and responsibilities.
Is there a candidate for the presidency who could be that “Try and make me” leader?
Some 40,000 believers in the science of extracting moonbeams from cucumbers (a long endeavor, first made known to the world three hundred years ago by Gulliver) and other such sages met in Paris to change the climates of the world, and have announced a great success.
Paul Driessen and Roger Bezdek question their triumph.
They write at CFACT:
Paris climate talks this week descended into madcap all-night negotiations, as delegates desperately tried to salvage some kind of agreement beyond empty promises to do something sometime about what President Obama insists is the gravest threat to our planet, national security and future generations.
He gets far more energized about slashing energy use than about Islamist terrorism, even after the Paris and San Bernardino butchery. Determined for once to lead from upfront, he took a 500-person greenhouse gas-spewing entourage to the City of Light, to call for preventing increasing droughts, floods, storms, island-swallowing rising acidic ocean levels and other disasters conjured up by alarmist computer models.
Legally binding carbon dioxide emission targets were too contentious to pursue. So was modifying the concept of “differentiated responsibilities”. It holds that countries that historically caused the recent atmospheric carbon dioxide build-up must lead in cutting their emissions, while helping developing countries eventually do likewise, by pouring trillions of dollars in cash and free technology into the Green Climate Fund for supposed climate change adaptation, mitigation and compensation. Developing countries had insisted on that massive wealth redistribution as their price for signing any binding document.
Although China now emits far more CO2 and other greenhouse gases (GHG) than the USA or EU, it refused to fast-track reducing those emissions. China and wealthy petro-states also opposed paying into the Climate Fund. Other major bones of contention were likewise never resolved.
Thus, in the end, what we apparently got out of Paris is voluntary emission caps, voluntary progress reviews, no international oversight of any voluntary progress, and voluntary contributions to the Fund.
Of course, the entire climate cataclysm mantra is based on the claim that carbon dioxide has replaced the solar and other powerful natural forces that have driven climate change throughout Earth and human history. Now, merely tweaking CO2 emissions will supposedly stabilize climate and weather systems.
President Obama fervently believes this delusion.
He will likely use the voluntary Paris gobbledygook to say America somehow has a “moral obligation” to set an example, by de-carbonizing, de-industrializing and de-developing the United States. Thankfully, Congress and the states will have something to say about that, because they know these anti-fossil fuel programs will destroy jobs and living standards, especially for poor, working class and minority families.
The impacts would be far worse than many news stories and White House press releases suggest. Those sources often say the proposed climate treaty and other actions seek GHG reductions of 80% below predicted 2050 emission levels. The real original Paris treaty target is 80% below actual 1990 levels.
That means the world would have to eliminate 96% of the greenhouse gases that all humanity would likely release if we reach world population levels, economic growth and living standards predicted for 2050. The United States would likely have to slash it CO2 and GHG reductions to zero.
Moreover, current 2050 forecasts already assume and incorporate significant energy efficiency, de-carbonization and de-industrialization over the next 35 years. … Further CO2 reductions beyond those already incorporated into the forecasts would thus be increasingly difficult, expensive, and indeed impossible to achieve.
As we explain in a MasterResource.org analysis, there is a strong positive relationship between GDP and carbon-based energy consumption. Slashing fossil energy use that far would thus require decimating economic growth, job creation and preservation, and average per-person incomes. In fact, average world per capita GDP would plummet from a projected $30,600 in 2050 to a miserable $1,200 per year.
Average per capita GDP in 2050 would be less than what Americans had in 1830!
Many futuristic technologies would still exist, but only wealthy families and ruling elites could afford them.
That would be catastrophic for jobs, health and welfare in developed countries – and lethal to millions in poor nations, who would be denied the blessings of electricity and fossil fuels for decades to come. That is indefensible, inhumane and immoral. And for what?
Mr. Obama and the alarmists in Paris insisted that drastic GHG reductions will hold global temperature increases to 2 degrees Celsius (3.5 F) and prevent climate and weather disasters. Now some even claim that the upper safety limit is actually 1.5 degrees C (2.7 F), which would require even more draconian energy and emission cutbacks. Otherwise, Earth could become uninhabitable, they assert. Nonsense.
EPA’s own analyses suggest that its fully implemented Clean Power Plan would bring an undetectable, irrelevant reduction of perhaps 0.02 degrees Celsius (0.05 F) in average global temperatures 85 years from now – assuming carbon dioxide actually does drive climate change.
Which is not just disputed but flatly denied even by a co-founder of Greenpeace.
(We are speaking of Patrick Moore, who has parted company with that increasingly evil organization. For the evil it does, see our posts: The evil Greenpeace does, January 16, 2010; The blind cruelty of Greenpeace, January 20, 2010; How environmentalists are committing mass murder on a vast scale, July 6, 2014.) ).
In the Real World, climate changes regularly, and recent climate and weather trends and events are in line with historic experience. In fact, average global temperatures haven’t risen in nearly two decades; no category 3-5 hurricane has struck the USA in a record ten years; Greenland and Antarctic ice are at record levels; and still firmly alkaline sea levels (8.1 pH) are rising at barely seven inches per century.
Many scientists believe the sun and other powerful natural forces may soon usher in a new era of colder temperatures, regardless of whether atmospheric CO2 rises above 0.40% (400 ppm). That would pose much greater threats to human health, agriculture and prosperity (and wildlife) than global warming.
We must never forget: Fossil fuels facilitated successive industrial revolutions and enabled billions to live better than royalty did a century ago, helped average incomes to increase eleven-fold, and helped average global life expectancy to soar from less than 30 in 1870 to 71 today.
Carbon-based energy still provides 81% of world energy, and supports $70 trillion per year in world GDP. It will supply 75-80% of global energy for decades to come, Energy Information Administration, International Energy Agency and other studies forecast. Carbon-based energy is essential if we are to bring electricity to the 1.3 billion people who still do not have it, and end the rampant poverty and lung, intestinal and other diseases that kill millions of people in poor countries every year.
Furthermore, thousands of coal-fired power plants are built, under construction or in planning around the world. China and India will not consider reducing GHG emissions until 2030, and even then it will be voluntary and dependent on how their economies are doing. That means atmospheric carbon dioxide levels will continue to climb, greening the planet and spurring faster crop, forest and grassland growth. …
President Obama and the 40,000 climate alarmists gathered in Paris ignored these inconvenient realities, and whitewashed the adverse consequences of anti-hydrocarbon policies. …
Even binding targets would have … horrendous adverse effects on human health and environmental quality, while doing nothing to prevent climate change or extreme weather events. What alarmists wanted in Paris would have let unelected, unaccountable activists and bureaucrats decide which industries, companies, workers, families, states and countries win the Climate Hustle game, and which ones lose.
And it’s not just President Obama, who wants to slash America’s carbon dioxide emissions by 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2025 – and 80% below 1990 levels by 2050! Every Democrat presidential candidate demands similar actions: Hillary Clinton wants one-third of all US electricity to come from wind and solar by 2027; Bernie Sanders wants 80% by 2050; Martin O’Malley wants 100% by 2050.
Obligating the United States to slash its fossil fuel use, and send billions of taxpayer dollars annually to dictators, bureaucrats and crony industrialists in poor countries would be disastrous. Thank goodness it did not happen.
Whether the earth is getting a wee bit warmer, or a wee bit cooler, or staying much the same in this wee bit of time in which the present generations live, is of no importance. None. What is important is that a few thousand people are trying to undo our civilization, return the human race to the life of savages (“solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short”, as Thomas Hobbes described it), or even wipe it off the face of the earth*. And all to preserve the planet, they say. For whom? For what? They are obsessed madmen, religious fanatics. (Yes, environmentalism is a religion.) And they are winning. They have the ear of Western governments. They command government agencies. Some of them – such as the despots of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – have immense power. Their word is law.
Of the tactics they use, the one that is working best for them and worst for their victims, is stopping Western technology spreading to the Third World, thus keeping poor countries poor, and allowing disease to kill millions upon millions, year after year.
Big Green activists say anything other than solar panels and bird-butchering wind turbines would not be “sustainable”. Like climate change, “sustainability” is infinitely elastic and malleable, making it a perfect weapon for anti-development activists. Whatever they support is sustainable. Whatever they oppose is unsustainable. To them, apparently, the diseases and death tolls are sustainable, just, ethical and moral. Whatever they advocate also complies with the “precautionary principle”. Whatever they disdain violates it. Worse, their perverse guideline always focuses on the risks of using technologies – but never on the risks of not using them. It spotlights risks that a technology – coal-fired power plants, biotech foods or DDT, for example – might cause, but ignores risks the technology would reduce or prevent.
We quote an article by Paul Driessen at Canada Free Press:
Fossil fuel and insurance company executives “could face personal liability for funding climate denialism and opposing policies to fight climate change”, Greenpeace recently warned several corporations. In a letter co-signed by WWF International and the Center for International Environmental Law, the Rainbow Warriors ($155 million in 2013 global income) suggested that legal action might be possible.
Meanwhile, the WWF ($927 million in 2013 global income) filed a formal complaint against Peabody Energy for “misleading readers” in advertisements that say coal-based electricity can improve lives in developing countries. The ads are not “decent, honest and veracious”, as required by Belgian law, the World Wildlife ethicists sniffed. Other non-governmental organizations (NGOs) make similar demands. …
They are demands which – we ardently hope – will rebound in their green faces.
In fact, the rebounding has begun.
India’s Intelligence Bureau recently identified Greenpeace as “a threat to national economic security”, noting that these and other groups have been “spawning” and funding internal protest movements and campaigns that have delayed or blocked numerous mines, electricity projects and other infrastructure programs vitally needed to create jobs and lift people out of poverty and disease. The anti-development NGOs are costing India’s economy 2-3% in lost GDP every year, the Bureau estimates.
The Indian government has now banned direct foreign funding of local campaign groups by foreign NGOs like Greenpeace, the WWF and US-based Center for Media and Democracy. India and other nations could do much more. Simply holding these über-wealthy nonprofit environmentalist corporations to the same ethical standards they demand of for-profit corporations could be a fascinating start.
Greenpeace, WWF and other Big Green campaigners constantly demand environmental and climate justice for poor families. They insist that for-profit corporations be socially responsible, honest, transparent, accountable, and liable for damages and injustices that the NGOs allege the companies have committed, by supposedly altering Earth’s climate and weather, for example.
Meanwhile, more than 300 million Indians (equal to the US population) still have no access to electricity, or only sporadic access. 700 million Africans likewise have no or only occasional access. Worldwide, almost 2.5 billion people (nearly a third of our Earth’s population) still lack electricity …
These energy-deprived people do not merely suffer abject poverty. They must burn wood and dung for heating and cooking, which results in debilitating lung diseases that kill a million people every year. They lack refrigeration, safe water and decent hospitals, resulting in virulent intestinal diseases that send almost two million people to their graves annually. The vast majority of these victims are women and children.
The energy deprivation is due in large part to unrelenting, aggressive, deceitful eco-activist campaigns against coal-fired power plants, natural gas-fueled turbines, and nuclear and hydroelectric facilities in India, Ghana, South Africa, Uganda and elsewhere. The Obama Administration joined Big Greeen in refusing to support loans for these critically needed projects, citing climate change and other claims.
As American University adjunct professor Caleb Rossiter asked in a recent Wall Street Journal article, “Where is the justice when the US discourages World Bank funding for electricity-generation projects in Africa that involve fossil fuels, and when the European Union places a ‘global warming’ tax on cargo flights importing perishable African goods?”
Where is the justice in Obama advisor John Holdren saying ultra-green elites in rich countries should define and dictate “ecologically feasible development” for poor countries? …
Imagine your life without abundant, reliable, affordable electricity and transportation fuels. Imagine living under conditions endured by impoverished, malnourished, diseased Indians and Africans whose life expectancy is 49 to 59 years. And then dare to object to their pleas and aspirations, especially on the basis of “dangerous manmade global warming” speculation and GIGO [garbage in, garbage out] computer models. …
Genetically engineered Golden Rice incorporates a gene from corn (maize) to make it rich in beta-carotene, which humans can convert to Vitamin A, to prevent blindness and save lives. The rice would be made available at no cost to poor farmers. Just two ounces a day would virtually end the childhood malnutrition, blindness and deaths. But Greenpeace and its “ethical” collaborators have battled Golden Rice for years, while eight million children died from Vitamin A deficiency since the rice was invented.
In Uganda malnourished people depend as heavily on Vitamin A-deficient bananas, as their Asian counterparts do on minimally nutritious rice. A new banana incorporates genes from wild bananas, to boost the fruit’s Vitamin A levels tenfold. But anti-biotechnology activists repeatedly pressure legislators not to approve biotech crops for sale.
Other crops are genetically engineered to resist insects, drought and diseases, reducing the need for pesticides and allowing farmers to grow more food on less land with less water. However, Big Green opposes them too, while millions die from malnutrition and starvation.
Sprayed in tiny amounts on walls of homes, DDT repels mosquitoes for six months or more. It kills any that land on the walls and irritates those it does not kill or repel, so they leave the house without biting anyone. No other chemical – at any price – can do all that. Where DDT and other insecticides are used, malaria cases and deaths plummet – by as much as 80 percent. Used this way, the chemical is safe for humans and animals, and malaria-carrying mosquitoes are far less likely to build immunities to DDT than to other pesticides, which are still used heavily in agriculture and do pose risks to humans.
But in another crime against humanity, Greenpeace, WWF and their ilk constantly battle DDT use – while half a billion people get malaria every year, making them unable to work for weeks on end, leaving millions with permanent brain damage, and killing a million people per year, mostly women and children.
India and other countries can fight back, by terminating the NGOs’ tax-exempt status, as Canada did with Greenpeace. They could hold the pressure groups to the same standards they demand of for-profit corporations: honesty, transparency, social responsibility, accountability and personal liability. They could excoriate the Big Green groups for their crimes against humanity – and penalize them for the malnutrition, disease, economic retractions and deaths they perpetrate or perpetuate.
* See our posts: The evil that Greenpeace does, January 16, 2010; The vast left-wing conspiracy, January 18, 2010; The blind cruelty of Greenpeace, January 20, 2010; Fresh wild raw uninhabited world, January 2, 2012.
Fifteen of EPA’s Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee members have received $180.8 million in EPA grants since 2000. One CASAC panelist (Ed Avol of USC) received $51.7 million!
Repeat: $51.7 million dollars. Whatever did the man do to deserve that much tax-payers’ money? What unique skill has he acquired and uses to the enormous benefit of America or all mankind?
Read on to find out.
This is from Townhall, by Paul Driessen:
The Obama Environmental Protection Agency recently slashed the maximum allowable sulfur content in gasoline from 30 parts per million to 10 ppm. The agency claims its new “Tier 3” rule will bring $7 billion to $19 billion in annual health benefits by 2030. “These standards are a win for public health, a win for our environment and a win for our pocketbooks,” EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy insists.
Note that name. She is one of the most dangerous sub-tyrants in the Obama administration.
It’s all hokum. Like almost everything else emanating from EPA these days, the gasoline regulations are a case study in how America’s economy, jobs, living standards, health and welfare are being pummeled by secretive, deceptive, and indeed fraudulent and corrupt government practices.
Since the Clean Air Act was passed in 1970, America’s cars have eliminated some 99% of pollutants that once came out of tailpipes, notes air quality expert Joel Schwartz. Since 2004, under Tier 2 rules, refiners have reduced sulfur in gasoline from an average of 300 ppm to 30 ppm – a 90% drop, on top of pre-2004 reductions. In addition, because newer cars start out cleaner and stay cleaner throughout their lives, fleet turnover is reducing emissions by 8 to10 percent per year, steadily improving air quality.
The net result, says a 2012 Environ International study, is that ground-level ozone concentrations will fall even more dramatically by 2022. Volatile organic pollutants will plummet by 62%, carbon monoxide by 51% and nitrous oxides by 80% – beyond reductions already achieved between 1970 and 2004.
EPA (which once promised to be ultra-transparent) claims its rules will add less than a penny per gallon to gasoline prices; but it won’t say how it arrived at that estimate. Industry sources say the Tier 3 rules will require $10 billion in upfront capital expenditures, an additional $2.4 billion in annual compliance expenses, significant increases in refinery energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, an extra 5-9 cents per gallon in manufacturing costs, which will certainly hit consumers at the pump.
But regardless of their ultimate cost, the rules will reduce monthly ozone levels by just 1.2 parts per billion during rush hour, says Environ. That’s equivalent to 12 cents out of $100 million or 1.2 seconds out of 32,000 years. These minuscule improvements could not even have been measured by equipment existing a couple decades ago.
Their contribution to improved human health will be essentially zero.
Not so, say the EPA, Sierra Club and American Lung Association (ALA). The rules will reduce asthma in “the children,” they insist. However, asthma incidences have been increasing, while air pollution has declined – demonstrating that the pollution-asthma connection is a red herring. The disease is caused by allergies, a failure to expose young children to sufficient allergens to cause their immune systems to build resistance to airborne allergens, and lack of sufficient exercise to keep lungs robust. Not surprisingly, a Southern California study found no association between asthma hospitalizations and air pollution levels.
Moreover, EPA paid the ALA $20 million between 2001 and 2010. No wonder it echoes agency claims about air quality and lung problems. The payments continue today, while EPA also funnels millions to various environmentalist pressure groups – and even to “independent” EPA scientific review panels – that likewise rubber stamp too many EPA pollution claims, studies and regulatory actions.
As Ron Arnold recently reported in The Washington Examiner, 15 of EPA’s Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee members have received $180.8 million in EPA grants since 2000. One CASAC panelist (Ed Avol of USC) received $51.7 million!
The seven CASAC executive committee members pocketed $80.2 million. Imagine Big Oil paying that kind of cash to an advisory group, and calling it “independent.” The news media, government and environmentalists would have a field day with that one.
The Clean Air Act, Information Quality Act, Executive Order 12866 and other laws require that agencies assess both the costs and benefits of proposed regulations, adopt them only if their benefits justify their costs, and even determine whether a regulation is worth implementing at all. However, EPA and other agencies systematically violate these rules, routinely inflate the alleged benefits of their rules, and habitually minimize or even ignore their energy, economic, health and social costs.
Reporting on a hearing held by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), chairman of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, Arnold noted that CASAC members say they weren’t even aware that they are obligated to advise EPA on both benefits and costs. Former EPA Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation Jeff Holmstead testified, “As far as I know, CASAC never fulfilled this requirement as it relates to the ozone standard or any other” rule.
Former CASAC chairman Dr. Roger McClellan told Rep. Smith he did not think the panel “ever advised EPA to take account of the role of socioeconomic factors, unemployment or other risk factors” adversely affecting people’s health. Another former CASAC member testified that the advisory committee was not even “allowed to discuss any of the adverse consequences” associated with new rulemakings.
EPA regulations impose countless billions of dollars in annual impacts on the US economy, according to studies by the Heritage Foundation, Competitive Enterprise Institute and Government Accountability Office. Estimates of total compliance costs for all federal regulations range to nearly $2 trillion per year. Some may bring benefits, but many or most also inflict significant harm on human health.
They mean millions of layoffs, far fewer jobs created, and steadily declining quality of life for millions of Americans, who cannot heat and cool their homes properly, pay the rent and mortgage, or save for retirement. …
In another example, EPA justifies its onerous carbon dioxide regulations by asserting that Earth’s climate is highly sensitive to C02, hypothesizing every conceivable carbon cost, and imputing huge monetized damages from hydrocarbon use and CO2 emissions ($36/ton of CO2 emitted). It completely ignores even the most obvious and enormous job, health and welfare benefits of using fossil fuels; even the benefits of higher carbon dioxide levels for food crops, forests and grasslands; and even the harmful effects that these regulations are having on energy prices and reliability, and thus people’s jobs, health and welfare.
The EPA, ALA and CASAC likewise insist that new Mercury and Air Toxic Standards for coal-fired power plants will bring huge health benefits. However, the mercury risks were hugely overblown, the proclaimed dangers from fine particulates were contradicted by EPA’s own illegal experiments on human subjects – and the agency never assessed the health and welfare damage that the MATS rules will impose by causing the loss of 200,000 jobs and 23,000 megawatts of reliable, affordable electricity by 2015.
So who is Ed Avol, and what did he do to earn $51.7 million of your money?
He is Professor of Clinical Medicine, Department of Preventive Medicine, Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California, specializing in “respiratory health, air pollution and the public health impacts of traffic”.
Here he is.
And what did he do?
He rubber-stamped the tyrannous rulings of the Environmental Protection Agency.
Citoyons – is this not cause, and is it not time, to rebel?
Environmentalism does not posit the existence of a superhuman being, though some of its acolytes personify the earth as Gaia – the Greek name for an ancient earth goddess – and worship of the earth is implicit in the cult. But it is a religion, as much arising out of superstition, propounding an orthodoxy and demanding strict adherence to it with threats of penalty for disobedience, as any other religion. And it is being imposed on the United States in defiance of the First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.”
These are extracts from an article by Paul Driessen at Townhall:
Climate alarmists are meeting in Doha, Qatar, to hammer out a new international treaty to replace the Kyoto Protocol that expires this year. The US Environmental Protection Agency is poised to unleash its first wave of carbon dioxide regulations. And Congress is teaming up with the White House to legislate taxes on hydrocarbon use and CO2 emissions …
This serious triple threat to our energy, economy, jobs, living standards, health and welfare is justified by assertions that the actions will stabilize Earth’s climate and prevent a litany of global warming horrors.
Our planet’s climate has never been stable, and never will be. There is no empirical evidence that carbon dioxide drives climate change, or that greenhouse gases have supplanted the complex and interrelated natural forces that have produced big and little ice ages, floods and droughts, stormy and quiescent periods throughout the ages.
Even as atmospheric carbon dioxide levels have risen from 280 parts per million before 1880 to 391 ppm (0.0391%) today, average global temperatures have flat-lined for 16 years; hurricane and tornado frequency and intensity have fallen to new lows; Antarctic sea ice continues to expand, while Arctic ice caps were reduced, not by warming, but by huge storms; and the rate of sea level rise remains steady.
While alarmists insist that Hurricane Sandy was “unprecedented” and proof that “climate change is real,” it is just one of many major storms that have battered New York and eastern Canada over the years.
Moreover, every ton of painful, economy-crippling US carbon dioxide reductions would be offset by 100 tons from India, China and elsewhere, and atmospheric CO2 concentrations would continue to climb.
But these inconvenient truths are irrelevant to climate campaigners, who are using “dangerous manmade climate change” as the best pretext ever devised to control energy use and economies. They simply hypothesize, model and assert that every observed weather and climate phenomenon is due to human CO2 emissions. Warmer or colder, wetter or drier, more ice or less, more storms, fewer storms, occasional big storms – if not now, someday, sooner or later. It’s exactly what climate alarmists predicted.
This is not science. It is political science, rooted in a loathing of hydrocarbons, economic growth and humanity.
It is ideological, religious – the only state-sanctioned, state-supported religion permitted today.
And like the super pontiffs of every other religion, its high priests grow rich by exploiting the superstition of the believers. Fortunes are being made out of the myth of manmade global warming.
Well-connected political cronies take hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars for “green energy” and “global warming prevention” programs, funnel it to soon-to-be-bankrupt companies, keep a few million for themselves, and launder a few hundred thousand back to the politicians who brokered the deals. Obama campaign bundlers … received more than $21,000 of corporate welfare for each dollar they donated to the Obama reelection campaign. Big Green environmentalist groups also garner countless millions in taxpayer lucre.
The consequences for average workers [of Doha, EPA, and the carbon tax] and their families are dire. … The effects [of even one] will be disastrous. If all three are imposed … the impacts will be utterly devastating.
Ignoring these facts, extensive other evidence for natural climate change, and the numerous scientists who reject their manmade climate catastrophe claims, advocates of a new Doha climate treaty, EPA “CO2 endangerment” rules, and “carbon taxes” insist these actions are needed to avoid ecological calamities.
They are adamant in contending that carbon taxes will somehow benefit the economy, create jobs and balance out-of-control spending. One is reminded of Will Rogers insightful quip: “Suppose you were an idiot – and suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.”
Every one of these actions is intended to increase the cost of the hydrocarbon energy that powers our economy. But raising the cost of transportation fuels, electricity, lighting, heating, air conditioning, and thus of food, materials and equipment will severely impact the bottom line for factories, utilities, offices, farms, shops, airlines, shippers, hospitals, schools …
And even , as the writer points out, government itself.
The poorest families may get rebates for their increased energy costs … institutions will not. They will be forced to reduce wages and benefits, hire fewer full-time employees, lay people off, outsource operations to countries where energy costs are lower, or even close their doors.
Only government will never close its doors, sad to say.
Taxes paid by companies and employees will dwindle. Instead of paying taxes, newly jobless workers will collect unemployment and welfare – from shrinking government coffers. … [Shrinking because] these anti-hydrocarbon policies also mean the US Treasury will be deprived of hundreds of billions in lease bonuses, royalties, taxes and other revenues that it would realize from the development of our nation’s vast oil, natural gas and coal deposits. Instead, the United States will be forced to pay billions more for imported oil, often from dictatorial, unethical, environmentally reckless countries.
Environmentalism will impoverish all nations.
New hydrocarbon energy restrictions and green energy demands will deprive Third World families and communities of abundant, reliable, affordable energy, obstruct human rights progress, and keep entire nations impoverished. They will kill millions more from lung infections (from burning wood and dung), intestinal diseases (from contaminated water), malaria and other diseases of poverty and eco-imperialism.
“Eco-imperialism” is a word that should become common currency.
There are always people – too many of them – who want to rule the lives of others. They like to find big excuses for imposing their will on the rest of us. Today the most powerful of these types are the environmentalists. They’ve found the biggest excuse ever. A force majeure. If we don’t do as they say, the earth will burn up and … what? All living things will perish? The new eschatology.
Within a hundred years of Christianity being made the state religion by the Emperor Theodosius in 380, Rome fell (476), and the western Roman Empire came to an end. The Christian ethos was against fighting to preserve civilization. A thousand years of darkness descended on Europe.
Will it take a hundred years for – let’s coin a word for this new religion – Gaianity to reduce the declining West to poverty and stagnation, ripe for Islam to conquer?
We must not let it happen.
The Synod of the Church of Gaia has found a new excuse for trying to impose international communism on the world under the dictatorship of the UN.
This is from Townhall, by Paul Driessen and David Rothbard:
The UN Conference on Sustainable Development is underway [20-22 June, 2012] in Rio de Janeiro. This time, 20 years after the original 1992 Rio “Earth Summit,” thousands of politicians, bureaucrats and environmental activists are toning down references to “dangerous man-made climate change,” to avoid repeating the acrimony and failures that characterized its recent climate conferences in Copenhagen, Cancun and Durban.
Instead, “Rio+20” is trying to shift attention to “biodiversity” and alleged threats to plant and animal species, as the new “greatest threat” facing Planet Earth. This rebranding is “by design,” according to conference organizers, who say sustainable development and biodiversity is an “easier sell” these days than climate change: a simpler path to advance the same radical goals.
What are those radical goals? Same old, same old. They don’t change.
Those goals include expanded powers and budgets for the United Nations, UN Environment Programme, US Environmental Protection Agency and other government agencies, and their allied Green pressure groups; new taxes on international financial transactions (to ensure perpetual independent funding for the UN and UNEP); and more mandates and money for “clean, green, renewable” energy.
Their wish list also includes myriad opportunities to delay, prevent and control energy and economic development, hydrocarbon use, logging, farming family size, and the right of individual countries, states, communities and families to make and regulate their own development and economic decisions.
Aside from not giving increased power to unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats and activists, there are two major reasons for stopping this attempted biodiversity-based power grab.
1) There is no scientific basis for claims that hundreds or thousands of species are at risk. …
No bird or mammal species in recorded history is known to have gone extinct due to climate change. …
2) The greatest threats to species are the very policies and programs being advocated in Rio.
Those policies would ban fossil fuels, greatly increase renewable energy use, reduce jobs and living standards in rich nations, and perpetuate poverty, disease, death and desperation in poor countries. …
The Rio+20 biodiversity and sustainability agenda means artificially reduced energy and economic development. It means rationed resources, sustained poverty and disease, and unsustainable inequality, resentment, conflict, and pressure on wildlife and their habitats. …
Soon after that the authors go off the rails, raving about “Our Creator”, a mystical being who, they imagine, “endowed” us with “a world of riches”.
But the greater part of the article is worth reading.
Those noisy windmills that uglify many a rural landscape are not only doing no good, they are doing much harm, not just to birds but to the economy and so to all Americans.
The subsidizing of the wind power experiment is a racket.
Politicians take billions from taxpayers, ratepayers and profitable businesses, to provide subsidies to Big Wind companies … and then they contribute millions to the politicians’ reelection campaigns.
So writes Paul Driessen, who explains all that’s wrong with the experiment in an article at Canada Free Press:
It is impossible to have wind turbines without fossil fuels, especially natural gas. Turbines average only 30% of their “rated capacity”—and less than 5% on the hottest and coldest days, when electricity is needed most. They produce excessive electricity when it is least needed, and electricity cannot be stored for later use. Hydrocarbon-fired backup generators must run constantly, to fill the gap and avoid brownouts, blackouts, and grid destabilization due to constant surges and falloffs in electricity to the grid. Wind turbines frequently draw electricity from the grid, to keep blades turning when the wind is not blowing, reduce strain on turbine gears, and prevent icing during periods of winter calm.
Despite tens of billions in subsidies, wind turbines still generate less than 3% of US electricity. Thankfully, conventional sources keep our country running—and America still has centuries of hydrocarbon resources. It’s time our government allowed us to develop and use those resources.
In fact, rather than having “only 2 percent of global oil reserves” as Obama likes to pretend because he has an irrational hatred of fossil fuels and a love of windmills, “the U.S. actually has 82 percent as much oil as the rest of the world combined, and almost twice as much as the Middle East” (to quote Steven Hayward at PowerLine).
It is likewise impossible to have wind turbines without perpetual subsidies — mostly money borrowed from Chinese banks and future generations. Wind has never been able to compete economically with traditional energy, and there is no credible evidence that it will be able to in the foreseeable future, especially with abundant natural gas costing one-fourth what it did just a few years ago. It thus makes far more sense to rely on the plentiful, reliable, affordable electricity sources that have powered our economy for decades, build more gas-fired generators — and recycle wind turbines into useful products (while preserving a few as museum exhibits).
As Spain, Germany, Britain and other countries have learned, wind energy mandates and subsidies drive up the price of electricity — for families, factories, hospitals, schools, offices and shops. They squeeze budgets and cost jobs. Indeed, studies have found that two to four traditional jobs are lost for every wind or other “green” job created. That means the supposed 37,000 jobs (perpetuated by $5 billion to $10 billion in combined annual subsidies, or $135,000 to $270,000 per wind job) are likely costing the United States 74,000 to 158,000 traditional jobs, while diverting billions from far more productive uses.
Industrial wind turbine projects require enormous quantities of rare earth metals, concrete, steel, copper, fiberglass and other raw materials, for highly inefficient turbines, multiple backup generators and thousands of miles of high-voltage transmission lines. Extracting and processing these materials, turning them into finished components, and shipping and installing the turbines and power lines involve enormous amounts of fossil fuel … Offshore wind turbine projects are even more expensive, resource intensive and indefensible. …
Wind turbines, transmission lines and backup generators also require vast amounts of crop, scenic and wildlife habitat land. Where a typical 600-megawatt coal or gas-fired power plant requires 250-750 acres, to generate power 90-95% of the year, a 600-MW wind installation needs 40,000 to 50,000 acres (or more), to deliver 30% performance. And while gas, coal and nuclear plants can be built close to cities, wind installations must go where the wind blows, typically hundreds of miles away — adding thousands of additional acres to every project for transmission lines.
And about those birds, how they get chopped up by the useless giants:
Sometimes referred to as “Cuisinarts of the air,” US wind turbines also slaughter nearly half a million eagles, hawks, falcons, vultures, ducks, geese, bats and other rare, threatened, endangered and otherwise protected flying creatures every year. (Those aren’t song birds killed by house cats, and this may be a conservative number, as coyotes and turbine operator cleanup crews remove much of the evidence.) But while oil companies are prosecuted for the deaths of even a dozen common ducks, turbine operators have been granted a blanket exemption from endangered and migratory species laws and penalties. Now the US Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing a formal rule to allow repeated “takings” (killings) of bald and golden eagles by wind turbines …
So the Left’s passion for preserving species and protecting the wilderness gives way to its apparently greater passion for conjuring “green energy” out of the air.
“Windmills help curb global-warming,” claim their FANS. (Feminist Americans for National Socialism – an entirely fictitious organization, speaking here for a multitude of real left-wing eco-nuts.)
Scientific support for CO2-driven catastrophic manmade global warming continues to diminish. Even if carbon dioxide does contribute to climate change, there is no evidence that even thousands of US wind turbines will affect future global temperatures by more than a few hundredths of a degree. Not only do CO2 emissions from backup generators (and wind turbine manufacturing) offset any reductions by the turbines, but rapidly increasing emissions from Brazil, China, India, Indonesia and other rapidly developing countries dwarf any possible US wind-related CO2 reductions.
Skyrocketing electricity prices due to “renewable portfolio standards” raise heating and air conditioning costs; drive families into fuel poverty; increase food, medical, school and other costs; and force companies to lay off workers, further impairing their families’ health and welfare. The strobe-light effect, annoying audible noise, and inaudible low-frequency sound from whirling blades result in nervous fatigue, headaches, dizziness, irritability, sleep problems, and vibro-acoustic effects on people’s hearts and lungs. Land owners receive royalties for having turbines on their property, but neighbors receive no income and face adverse health effects, decreased property values and difficulty selling their homes.
Public anger was aroused, vexed citizens took action and blocked plans for more of the same:
Unprecedented! As bills to extend seemingly perpetual wind energy subsidies were again introduced by industry lobbyists late last year, taxpayers finally decided they’d had enough.
Informed and inspired by a loose but growing national coalition of groups opposed to more giveaways with no scientifically proven net benefits, thousands of citizens called their senators and representatives — and rounded up enough Nay votes to run four different bills aground. For once, democracy worked.
Upon which enfuriated Cohorts of the Windmill Cult flung themselves into battle with intensified zeal:
A shocked American Wind Energy Association and its allies began even more aggressive recruiting of well-connected Democrat and Republican political operatives and cosponsors … to maintain mandates, subsidies, feed-in tariffs, renewable energy credits, and other “temporary” ratepayer and taxpayer obligations. This “emerging industry” is “vitally important” to our energy future, supporters insisted. It provides “clean energy” and “over 37,000” jobs that “states can’t afford to lose.” It helps prevent global warming.
None of these salespitches holds up under objective scrutiny, and their growing awareness of this basic reality has finally made many in Congress inclined to eliminate this wasteful spending on wind power.
Entitlement advocates are petrified at that possibility. Crony corporatist lobbyists and politicians have built a small army to take on beleaguered taxpayers, rate payers and business owners who say America can no longer afford to spend more borrowed money, to prop up energy policies that drive up electricity costs, damage the environment, and primarily benefit foreign conglomerates and a privileged few.
It may be too much to hope for, but how good it would be if a new administration blew them away.
May those who sowed the wind reap the whirlwind.
Don Quixote de la Mancha May 15, 2012
Dark dark dark. Are we all going into the dark?
An unnecessary shortage of energy is being imposed on the industrially developed world.
Paul Driessen writes at Townhall:
As Britain suffered through its coldest December in a century, families were forced to choose between keeping homes warm and feeding their children nourishing meals – thanks to climate policies that have forced extensive reliance on wind power and deliberately driven energy prices skyward.
Barely two months later, the UK’s power grid CEO informed the country that its days of reliable electricity are numbered. Families, schools, offices, shops, hospitals and factories will just have to “get used to” consuming electricity “when it’s available,” not necessarily when they want it or need it. A new “smart grid” will be used to allocate decreasing electricity supplies, on a rolling basis or according to bureaucratic determinations as to which consumers most need available power – mostly from wind turbines that provided a pitiful 0.04% of Britain’s electricity during its coldest days last December.
Meanwhile, the EU’s Energy Commissioner warned that German electricity prices are already at “the upper edge” of what society can accept and businesses can tolerate. Taxes, levies and regulations imposed in the name of reducing carbon dioxide emissions and global warming are forcing companies to relocate to other countries and causing “a gradual process of de-industrialization” across Germany. …
Welcome to the Third World, Europeans, where costly electricity is available only from time to time, at unexpected hours, depending on bureaucratic whims and how much power wind turbines and other “environment-friendly” generators can muster.
Is the USA next in line? …
America depends on abundant, reliable, affordable energy – 85% of it hydrocarbons. Coal generates half of all US electricity, and up to 90% in its manufacturing heartland – versus 1% from wind and solar. …
Unlocking America’s still abundant hydrocarbon resources and unleashing our innovative, hard-driving free enterprise system would generate hundreds of billions of dollars in leasing, royalty and tax revenues for federal, state and local governments. It would put millions back to work … help stanch the flow of red ink … keep tens of billions of crude oil spending and investment in America … and create enormous new wealth …
American technology powered by capitalism continues to invent ever better ways of providing energy and making all our lives easier and more productive:
Just consider the incredible revolution that the genius of American capitalists has presented the world: hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” to tap previously inaccessible oil and gas deposits. This technology has turned “depletion” and “sustainability” claims upside down. It has already doubled US natural gas reserves and given North America over a century of recoverable gas, at current consumption rates.
It is also unlocking oil wealth in the vast Bakken shale formation of Montana, North Dakota and Saskatchewan. Oil production there has already soared from 3,000 barrels a day five years ago to over 225,000 today. The US Energy Information Administration says it could reach 350,000 barrels a day by 2035; industry sources say it could top a million barrels by 2020. Related oilfield employment has soared from 5,000 to over 18,000 in the same five-year period, and could eventually reach 100,000 jobs. At $100 a barrel, even 350,000 barrels a day could mean $1.6 billion in annual royalties, from Bakken oil alone. …
It is a technologically possible and economically affordable solution that [could generate] bountiful jobs and revenues – as opposed to pixie dust solutions that require perpetual subsidies and address speculative problems. Offshore and ANWR drilling could do likewise.
But the Obama administration is enforcing its impoverishing energy policy:
Unfortunately, the White House, Environmental Protection Agency, Interior Department, and too many in Congress, courts and state legislatures are determined to restrict and obstruct this hydrocarbon revolution. They want to … force America to convert to expensive, subsidized, unreliable, land-intensive wind, solar and ethanol power – and tell people how much energy they can have, and when.
EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson is using groundless claims about possible groundwater contamination to delay fracking operations. Because Congress rejected cap-tax-and-trade, she has rewritten the Clean Air Act to label plant-fertilizing carbon dioxide a “pollutant” and restrict CO2 emissions from power plants, refineries and other facilities. …
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has shut down leasing and drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, put tens of thousands out of work, ignored court orders to end his moratorium, and issued decrees that make millions of additional onshore and offshore acres off limits to drilling. He has blocked exploration in ANWR because [ie. on the pretext that – JB] its oil riches won’t make us energy independent (as though even massive wind, solar, ethanol and electric car programs would do so).
President Obama wants oil, gas, coal and electricity prices to “skyrocket,” to make “green” energy appear more attractive. Energy Secretary Steven Chu wants to “boost the price of gasoline to levels in Europe” – over $8 per gallon! …
An angry commenter on our post below, The evil that Greenpeace does, raises two points in criticism of our and Paul Driessen’s accusations.
First, he declares that Greenpeace gets no government money. We are trying to find out if this is true. In the article we quote, Paul Driessen states that Greenpeace and other eco-activist organizations receive grants through Obama’s Climate Czar, Carol Browner. We have asked him for his source, and we will post what we learn if we get an answer.
Next the commenter defends Greenpeace’s attempts to embargo genetically modified grains by pointing to a recent study showing that certain modified seeds produced by Monsanto cause organ failure. There is such a study, and there is controversy over its conclusions.
Whatever the truth of these contentions turns out to be cannot modify our opinion that Greenpeace is responsible for much suffering and death in the Third World, for instance by its all too successful opposition to the use of DDT which could protect millions from the killing disease of malaria.
From an article in Discover, January 13, 2010:
Few things bring out the hyperbole like genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and that was true again with a study making the rounds yesterday and today.
In the International Journal of Biological Studies, a team examined three genetically modified corn varieties created by Monsanto. The study’s authors say they see evidence of possible toxicity to the kidney and liver, “possibly due to the new pesticides specific to each GM corn.” However, the findings became over-hyped headlines like the Huffington Post’s “Monsanto GMO Corn Linked to Organ Failure, Study Reveals.”
That’s a pretty big leap from the not entirely convincing finding of a potentially questionable study. What actually happened is that the research team, led by Gilles-Eric Séralini, re-analyzed data from tests that Monsanto scientists themselves conducted on rats eating these three varieties of corn—data that, to be fair, the team had to scratch and claw and sue to get their hands on. In their statistical analysis, Séralini’s team says that Monsanto interpreted its own data incorrectly, and that its new analysis shows potential for toxicity.
But the scientists themselves give significant caveats that make such bold headlines a bit of a reach: “Clearly, the statistically significant effects observed here for all three GM maize varieties investigated are signs of toxicity rather than proofs of toxicity”—that is, the evidence isn’t rock solid, and not enough to warrant a bunch of alarmist headlines. The researchers argue that more research is necessary to settle the question either way: “In conclusion, our data presented here strongly recommend that additional long-term (up to 2 years) animal feeding studies be performed in at least three species, preferably also multi-generational, to provide true scientifically valid data on the acute and chronic toxic effects of GM crops, feed and foods.”
In addition, there are a couple issues that make the study itself seem a little fishy:
1. Funding. “Greenpeace contributed to the start of the investigations by funding first statistical analyses in 2006, the results were then processed further and evaluated independently by the authors,” the scientists write. Certainly one can’t oppose a huge corporation like Monsanto without funding, but drawing those funds from a political lightning rod like Greenpeace can paint conclusions in a bad light …
2. The journal: The International Journal of Biological Sciences is somewhat obscure, with an “unofficial”–that is, self-assigned–impact factor of 3.24. “In other words, it has not been assessed for impact or quality,” Ronald says. Again, that doesn’t mean Séralini’s team is wrong, but it suggests that jumping to conclusions would be unwise.
The actual data analysis of the paper has started an in-depth back-and-forth on the the statistical analysis. We’ll continue following this story to see how the analysis shakes out.