Fun Facts for the WeekEnergy fact of the week: Who gets the most subsidies?
(Steve Hayward, American Enterprise Institute, March 14, 2012)
“[T]he U.S. Senate voted down reviving the production tax credit for wind power, but also voted down Senator Jim DeMint’s sweeping proposal to do away with all energy subsidies for everybody—fossil fuels, wind power, solar power, biomass–the whole smash.” Subsidies for oil and gas are minimal compared to wind and solar, especially when compared to the size of the respective industries. “Wind’s subsidy
is 40% of the wholesale cost. This would work out to $50 per barrel in the oil industry. Instead oil gets 5 cents.” More here
, and here
Recent Significant Developments
Religion & EthicsHow Engineering the Human Body Could Combat Climate Change
(Ross Andersen, The Atlantic
, March 12, 2012)
Reminiscent of “A Brave New World,” or, perhaps, the Eloi from “The Time Machine,” professor S. Matthew Liao, professor of philosophy and bioethics at New York University, has released a paper suggesting means of genetically engineering mankind to be more “environmentally friendly.” Asked why engineering physically smaller, preferentially vegetarian humans would be beneficial to the environment, Liao replied, “Well one of the things that we noticed is that human ecological footprints are partly correlated with size. Each kilogram of body mass requires a certain amount of food and nutrients and so, other things being equal, the larger person is the more food and energy they are going to soak up over the course of a lifetime.” More here
The Authoritarian Impulse and Climate Change
(Donna Lamframboise, NoFrakkingConsensus.com
, March 13, 2012)
The March 7
Cornwall Newsletter featured a story
about the double standard of ethics from climate alarmists, namely that Machievellian ethics are acceptable in their view. Well-known climate alarmists David Suzuki wrote an article for the Huffington Post called “Deny [Climate] Deniers Their Right to Deny
.” This would be known as Argumentum ad Baculum
, argument to the stick; if I can’t win by logic I’ll win by killing/beating/suppressing you.
Law, Regulation, & LitigationPoland opposes EU environment ambition
(Gariela Baczynska and Barbara Lewis, Reuters, March 7, 2012)
Poland may break rank with the EU by vetoing a proposed carbon reduction by 2050. This comes as no surprise, since Poland has just started to produce its own energy by hydraulic fracturing, and its economy is growing. More here
, and here
Alexander: “It’s Time to End Big Wind’s Big Loophole”
(Sen. Lamar Alexander [R-TN], March 15, 2012)
The wind industry has received $27 billion in federal subsidies over 10 years in the form of production tax credits. The return on investment has been paltry. Wind turbines have also been given grace on issues that other larger, more important industries have not, such as harm to endangered birds. If we are looking for cleaner energy, we ought to look first to nuclear, which emits almost no carbon dioxide. If wind were to generate the same power as nuclear energy in America, an area the size of West Virginia—25,000 square miles—would be covered in turbines. More on the battle for nuclear energy in America here
Politics & Debate
Reviews of Michael Mann’s The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars
In devastating reviews here
, Brandon Shollenberger documents self-contradicting, misuse and misrepresentation of sources, fabrications, and additional serious errors in Michael “Hockey Stick” Mann’s new book. Anne Jolis also finds Mann’s work wanting in her review in the Wall Street Journal
Natural Gas Bill Driven Forward By Harry Reid–T. Boone Pickens Ties
(Mike McAuliff and Ryan Grim, Huffington Post
, March 13, 2012)
The NATGas Act (or as the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Myron Ebell calls it, the “Pickens Payoff Plan”) failed to get the 60 votes needed to pass in the Senate last week. This article, published before the vote, reveals some of the corrupting political and money ties involved in it and all other rent-seeking arrangements (subsidies, tariffs, many licensing schemes). It illustrates well why The Cornwall Alliance opposes all subsidies and other forms of government favors to any businesses. Let consumer choice, not politicians bought and paid for by donors, determine what businesses thrive, and what businesses fail. More here
Understanding the Global Warming Debate
(Warren Meyer, Forbes
, March 9, 2012)
“Likely you have heard the sound bite that ‘97% of climate scientists’ accept the global warming “consensus”. … So why do … ‘deniers’ stand athwart of the 97%? … [W]e need to ask ourselves what actual proposition do the 97% of climate scientists agree with. And, we need to understand what it is, exactly, that the deniers are denying. It turns out that the propositions that are ‘settled’ and the propositions to which some like me are skeptical are NOT the same propositions. Understanding that mismatch will help explain a lot of the climate debate. …”
Food & AgricultureEffects of pH on Early Embryonic Development in Pacific Oysters
(Gazeau et al., PLoS ONE
, January, 2011)
“Gazeau et al.
conclude… ‘the effects of ocean acidification on larvae of [Pacific Oyster sp.] from the Oosterschelde estuary during the first three days of development are not significant as long as CO32- concentrations remain above [Calcium Carbonate] saturated conditions.’ And they add that ‘due to relatively high levels of total alkalinity in this area, it is not expected that seawater will become corrosive for [Calcium Carbonate crystals] following a decrease of 0.3 to 0.4 pH unit,’ which is to be compared with the 0.1 decrease in pH that is believed to have occurred since before the beginning of the Industrial Revolution and the present point in time.”
Science & EcologyHas CO2 Driven Recent Global Warming? See for Yourself
The graph on the left depicts the steady rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration as measured at Mauna Loa in Hawaii, 1959–2011. It’s adapted (by the addition of the perpendicular line identifying 1979 to help viewers compare it with the graph on the right) from NOAA. The graph on the right depicts global average temperatures as measured by NASA satellites, 1979–February 2012. If CO2 concentration is driving global temperature, there should be a close correlation between the 1979–2011 parts of the curves. Is there?
Climate Change Impacts In The USA are Already (NOT) Happening
(Craig Loehle, WattsUpwithThat.com
, March 8, 2012)
Climate alarmists often claim increasingly frequent and severe weather events as proof of catastrophic, anthropogenic global warming. By doing so, they generate fear as a motive for supporting poverty-causing energy policies and political arrangements that undermine national sovereignty. But the actual records of ocean acidification, sea level rise, temperature increase, algal blooms, storm frequency and intensity, etc., fail to justify the fears. More here
, and here
Economics & EnergyThe High Cost of Renewable-Electricity Mandates
(Robert Bryce/Manhattan Institute, February 2012)
“…[W]e have compared the costs of electricity in RPS [Renewable Portfolio Standards] and non-RPS states, using price information from the EIA. Our analysis has revealed a pattern of mostly higher costs in states with RPS mandates:
Why Are Gasoline Prices High (And What Can Be Done About It)?
- In 2010, the average price of residential electricity in RPS states was 31.9 percent higher than it was in non-RPS states. Commercial electricity rates were 27.4 percent higher, and industrial rates were 30.7 percent higher.
- In the ten-year period between 2001 and 2010—the period during which most of the states enacted their RPS mandates—residential and commercial electricity prices in RPS states increased at faster rates than those in non-RPS states.
- Of the ten states with the highest electricity prices, eight have RPS mandates.
- Of the ten states with the lowest electricity prices, only two have RPS mandates.
- Sixteen of the 18 states with residential rates that are higher than the 2010 U.S. average residential rate are RPS states.
- Nineteen of the 21 non-RPS states have residential rates that are below the U.S. average.”
(Kenneth Green, American Enterprise Institute, March 11, 2012)
A majority of Americans are feeling “the energy pinch” as gasoline costs cut further into their budgets. But many fail to see the problem, believing a release of some of the oil in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve
, and here
) will solve the problem. The problem with oil prices is that the collective global governments are increasingly unfriendly
to procurement of new energy reserves
, taxation is high, regulations don’t allow markets to meet demands as freely as desired, there are fewer refineries to deal with overall increases in oil supply, the dollar is continuously devalued, and speculators are wary of a gloomy future. All of these problems are interconnected to government control
and fear of environmental catastrophe.
Resisting the Green Dragon
More and more churches and other groups are using Cornwall Alliance’s groundbreaking 13-part video series around the country. With its printable discussion guide, it provides full curriculum for a Sunday school quarter. The accompanying book helps teachers and others dig deeper.
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Landmark Documents from the Cornwall Alliance
E. Calvin Beisner, Ph.D., Founder and National Spokesman
Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation
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