Debunking Big Green 6

It has been reliably estimated by many researchers into the subject of “Global Warming” (or any of the other sobriquets by which it is known) that in fulfilling the draconian prescriptions of the Kyoto Accord or its successors, such as the United Nations IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report, millions of jobs will be lost in the developed world, the quality of life in the industrialized nations will sink to substandard levels, and the inhabitants of the Third World will be deprived of the minimal immunities, comforts, and amenities to which they aspire.

Are the warmists aware  of that? Do they want to spread poverty?

Seems so. But they are not succeeding.

This is from PJ Media, by David Solway:

Fiona Kobusingye, coordinator of the Congress of Racial Equality Uganda, has vehemently denounced the attempt to impose energy restrictions on African nations in the name of fighting global warming. “These policies kill,” she writes. As for the combustible Al Gore, he “uses more electricity in a week than 28 million Ugandans together use in a year.” Her conclusion: “Telling Africans they can’t have electricity — except what can be produced with some wind turbines or little solar panels — is immoral. It is a crime against humanity” . …

H. Sterling Burnett, a senior fellow at the nonprofit National Center for Policy Analysis, would clearly agree. He correctly argues that recommendations based on “flawed statistical analyses and procedures that violate general forecasting principles” should be taken “into account before enacting laws to counter global warming — which economists point out would have severe economic consequences.” Such consequences are already in evidence. Benny Peiser, editor of CCNet science network, speaking at the Heartland Institute’s 2009 climate conference in New York, sounded the death knell of the green movement in Europe owing to huge costs and minimal results …  Environmentalist Lawrence Solomon quotes Spanish economist Gabriel Calzada, whose studies show that “every green job created ploughs under 2.2 jobs elsewhere in the economy” and that green jobs are proving to be unsustainable since the creation of even one such job costs $1 million in government subsidies …

These are costs that may be suffered in other, frankly ludicrous, ways as well. The United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) in its 2008 Annual Report, published in 2009, jubilates over the replacement of motorized vehicles by “bicycle rickshaws”—which, it must be admitted, will certainly help to decongest metropolitan traffic. That it would reduce America and the West to Third World Status does not trouble UNEP overmuch. Perhaps that is the plan.

The much-ballyhooed T. Boone Pickens strategy of introducing large-scale windmill technology is now proving to be a similarly quixotic project, unsightly, land-consuming, bird-killing, neurosis-inducing, expensive and totally inadequate to its declared purpose of meeting even a fraction of our electricity needs. Alex Alexiev of the Hudson Institute has laid the cards on the table for all to read: green electricity bills are rising exponentially; Europe is gradually abandoning many of its green energy programs as cost-ineffective and injurious to both wildlife and human health; and, as of the end of 2008, American solar and wind-power stocks had lost 80% of their value …  Rhode Island’s Public Utilities Commission has rejected a deal to build an offshore wind farm that would have entailed “hundreds of millions of dollars in additional costs…”  New Zealand has repealed its carbon tax scheme and Australia’s opposition party is vowing to follow suit.

The writing is on the wall in majuscule. The Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) has closed shop, putting an end to its estimated $10 trillion carbon trading scheme. In August 2011, President Obama’s pet green project, the California-based Solyndra solar plant, filed for bankruptcy, costing the U.S. $535 million in wasted stimulus funds and 1,100 jobs …  Other such futilities are impending. The Beacon Power Corp, recipient of a $43 million loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy, has filed for bankruptcy after being delisted by the NASDAQ …  The solar cell company Spectrawatt, recipient of a federal stimulus boost, and Nevada Geothermal, which profited from Federal DOE and Treasury Department subsidies, are on the brink of failure …  Ener 1, which received a $118 million stimulus grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to develop lithium storage batteries for electric cars, has filed for bankruptcy protection … This is bad news for the plug-in Chevy Volt, the president’s car of choice, which is beset with problems anyway; GM had to suspend production to cut inventory owing to anemic sales …  Abound Solar, which makes cadmium telluride solar modules to the tune of a $400 million federal loan guarantee, has laid off 300 workers, amounting to 70% of its workforce … And now the electric vehicle battery company A123 Systems, beneficiary of $300 million in Obama’s Recovery Act funds and $135 million in state tax credits and subsidies, courtesy of Michigan’s former Democratic governor Jennifer Granholm, is about to go belly up

The reason for many of these failures in green energy-production companies is simple. … As author Rich Trzupek explains, the energy density of convertible wind and solar is risibly low and dispersed, which renders electricity-generating power plants, whether large or small, “the most inefficient, least reliable, and expensive form of power we have” …  As happened in Spain, Europe’s bellwether country for climatophrenic ruination, Obama’s “solar alchemy,” which demonizes traditional forms of energy extraction and application, has become a recipe for an American economic debacle.

Finnish professor Jarl Ahlbeck, a former Greenpeace member and author of over 200 scientific publications, points out that “real measurements give no ground for concern about a catastrophic future warming.” Contrary to common belief, he continues, “there has been no or little global warming since 1995” …  His findings have been supported by many other studies. To adduce just a few instances: geophysicist Phil Chapman, basing his results on careful analyses from major weather-tracking agencies, reports that global temperature is “falling precipitously” ;  …  geologist Don Easterbrook, associate editor of the Geological Society of America Bulletin, Professor Emeritus at Western Washington University and former U.S. representative to UNESCO, is also convinced that recent solar changes suggest the advent of a new cooling cycle which could be “fairly severe” ; … and a new study conducted by three Norwegian scientists, Jan-Erik Solheim, Kjell Stordahl and Ole Humlum, indicates that the next solar cycle, which is imminent, will see a “significant temperature decrease” over and above the current decline …

Moreover, as Robert Zubrin has decisively shown in his recent Merchants of Despair, there exists robust scientific proof derived from ice core data and isotopic ratios in marine organism remains that Earth’s climate is a stable system, that CO2 emissions create surplus plant growth that in turn absorbs atmospheric carbon dioxide, thus restoring climate equilibrium over the long haul, and that under cyclical conditions of global warming agricultural productivity naturally increases and human life immensely improves.

In a brilliant article for the Financial Post …  analyzing the eleven logical fallacies on which the argument for man-made climate change rests, Lord Christopher Monckton, known for tracking and exposing scientific hoaxes, has effectively proven that the anthropogenic thesis has absolutely no basis, neither in fact nor in theory. So-called climate skeptics need nerves of steel to oppose the reigning ideology. It takes no less courage and perhaps even more for a climate “Warmist” to buck the trend, as culture-hero James Lovelock has recently done. Lovelock, who in his 2006 The Revenge of Gaia prophesied the charring of the planet, now admits he had been “extrapolating too far.” Despite predictably hedging his bets and deferring catastrophe into the indefinite future, he avers that “we don’t know what the climate is doing” and disparages his previous work, including Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth and Tim Flannery’s The Weather Makers, as “alarmist” (MSNBC.com, April 30, 2012).

Nevertheless, the Global Warming meme continues to circulate in defiance of the accumulating evidence, which leads one to wonder who the real “deniers” are. In my own country of Canada, “Warmist” foundations are determined to continue issuing environmental fatwas, in particular to tie up state-of-the-art, economically productive oil pipelines in endless litigation. That such a move would impact national revenues and cost thousands of potential jobs is a matter of no concern.

But the cost of environmentalism is becoming of ever greater concern. Must do.

If the deceit and self-righteousness of Big Green don’t rouse voters and tax-payers to vocal opposition, the cost will surely do it.

The Keystone dilemma 0

How happy could I be with either

Were t’other dear charmer away.

                                                                       – John Gay: The Beggar’s Opera

*

Keystone XL is a TransCanada pipeline project to bring Canadian oil to the US.

TransCanada says of it:

The U.S. consumes 15 million barrels of oil each day and imports 10 to 11 million barrels per day.  Industry forecasts predict oil consumption will continue at these levels for the next two to three decades, so a secure supply of crude oil is critical to U.S. energy security. …

TransCanada is poised to put 13,000 Americans to work to construct the pipeline – pipefitters, welders, mechanics, electricians, heavy equipment operators, among other jobs – in addition to 7,000 manufacturing jobs that would be created across the U.S.  Additionally, local businesses along the pipeline route will benefit from the 118,000 spin-off jobs Keystone XL will create through increased business for local goods and service providers.

Rich Trzupek comments at Front Page:

Not only would Keystone XL generate tens of thousands of new jobs, both in terms of construction jobs and in terms of a myriad of employment opportunities down the supply chain, it would also take a huge bite out of overseas oil imports. At full capacity, Keystone XL would provide about ten percent of America’s crude oil demand, without the slightest risk of a foreign tyrant cutting off production or closing a supply route. 

But there is opposition to the project by environmentalists, who have been allowed to become all too powerful. Trzupek praises Prime Minister Stephen Harper for standing up to them:

Last week Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper demonstrated that he’s more than willing to do that which his counterpart in the White House is unable or unwilling to do: display a little backbone when dealing with radical environmentalists and their pet causes. Harper’s administration both commenced hearings on an alternative pipeline that would be used to ship Canadian crude to China, as well as putting the “green movement” on notice that extremism masquerading as environmentalism will no longer be tolerated in the Great White North.

President Obama, however, is a fully committed member of the green movement. So he’s against the project. But the trade unions, which he likes to please, are of course for it, so he wants to be for it too. He’d be happy with either, if only the other weren’t there.

Unfortunately, the combination of green fear-mongering and President Obama’s predictable dithering has put approval of Keystone XL in doubt. Per his deal with Congress the President has until February 21 to approve the pipeline project or to explain his refusal to do so. Yet, even if the President does approve the project and risk annoying those among his supporters who worship planet earth even more than they do him, there is no guarantee that construction of Keystone XL would start anytime soon.

As Harper is aware, the United States is as litigious a society as there is on earth and – thanks to themany misguided decisions made in the pursuit of environmental purity by both partiesthe massive statutory and regulatory infrastructures that have been constructed in the name of protecting mother earth practically guarantee that environmental groups could tie up an approval of Keystone XL in the courts for years. It would be silly to put all one’s eggs in one basket in any case, but given the dysfunctional manner with which America addresses environmental issues and energy issues, Harper would be worse than foolish to assume that Canada’s best energy customer will continue to be so.

So, the Harper government opened hearings on the Northern Gateway pipeline, an alternative route that would send crude from Alberta to Kimat, British Columbia, where it would be loaded onto tankers and shipped to energy-starved China. To be sure that pipeline faces opposition and its own bureaucratic obstacles as well, but with hundreds of billions of revenue at risk it is clearly well worth the effort to move forward on both tracks. Keystone XL is surely the preferred – and sensible – way to get Alberta’s crude to market, but Northern Gateway will do just fine if the United States is too stupid to approve a project that is so clearly in our national interest. …

That the Harper government is savvy enough to pursue a second pipeline option is testament to its wisdom, but the fact that it also called out (finally!) the environmental movement for its unrestrained, unscientific extremism speaks volumes about its courage. In an open letter published at the Financial Times, Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver put environmental groups on notice last week, letting them know that their tawdry little games would no longer be tolerated in Canada. He called them out in no uncertain terms:

“These groups threaten to hijack our regulatory system to achieve their radical ideological agenda. They seek to exploit any loophole they can find, stacking public hearings with bodies to ensure that delays kill good projects. They use funding from foreign special-interest groups to undermine Canada’s national economic interest. They attract jet-setting celebrities …  to lecture Canadians not to develop our natural resources. Finally, if all other avenues have failed, they will take a quintessential American approach: Sue everyone and anyone to delay the project even further. They do this because they know it can work. It works because it helps them to achieve their ultimate objective: delay a project to the point it becomes economically unviable.”

How refreshing it is to hear a leader of a representative form of government speak in such a clear, uncompromising manner. Oliver’s words are a reminder why plain-spoken leaders like Reagan and Christie are so well-received: they are remarkable because they are so rare. And surely Oliver is correct on all counts. For what are massive, well-heeled environmental groups like the Sierra Club and NRDC if not special interests? What are rich, finger-wagging Hollywood celebrities like Streisand, Cameron and DiCaprio if not hypocrites? What is the reason behind the numerous, pointless lawsuits that greenies file if not to obstruct and demoralize those who seek to create wealth?

A little more than a month from now, President Obama will be forced to do something he hates to do: make an actual decision, all the more so because if he approves Keystone XL he will upset his green base, while if he kills it he will annoy his union base. History suggests he’ll look for a new way to waffle – perhaps by killing the project for now, while promising to revisit it in 2013 – but no matter what happens it’s clear that Canada is determined to find a way to sell its riches to someone. It ought to be us, yet perhaps this too is just another sign of the way power is shifting in the world today. For not only are China and India showing more leadership than Obama’s America, it seems that even Canada is too.

Friends of the Earth are, expectedly, among the complaining environmentalist groups. Their case against the pipeline and against the means used to extract the oil may be found here  –  a howl of distress against what they consider a dirty and dangerous project. This is one of their complaints:

Northern Alberta, the region where tar sands oil is extracted, is home to many indigenous populations. Important parts of their cultural traditions and livelihood are coming under attack because of tar sands operations. Communities living downstream from tailing ponds have seen spikes in rates of rare cancers, renal failure, lupus, and hyperthyroidism. In the lakeside village of Fort Chipewyan, for example, 100 of the town’s 1,200 residents have died from cancer.

So about 8% of this village’s deaths have been due to cancer. Over what period is not given.

According to this official source, 24% of Canadian women and 29% of Canadian men will die of cancer. So the number of cancer deaths downstream from the extraction operations in Northern Alberta would seem to be exceptionally low. 

The rest of the Friends of the Earth’s arguments may be assessed as valid or invalid according to your investigation or your bias.

Our investigation of just the one argument, but mostly our bias, puts us firmly in favor of the project.

 

P.S. Obama has made a decision about Keystone XL. He’s decided against it.