Tuesday, May 13, 2008

When Candidates are Dangerously Wrong

By Alan Caruba

Americans have painted themselves into the corner on energy and the two presumptive candidates for President are ready to finish off the nation with the worst possible “solutions.”

Sen. Barack Obama is talking of “windfall profits” taxes on the oil companies, thus threatening to take away the money they need to invest in exploration, extraction, refining and delivery of the gas and oil we need to fuel our cars and trucks, and heat our homes.

It takes up to ten years between finding a new reserve of oil and actually delivering it. It’s been nearly four decades since any oil company has built a new refinery because the United States has made it too expensive to do so thanks to lawsuits and a maze of environmental laws. As for exploring for oil in the U.S. or off-shore, would you spend millions doing that if you knew the government wouldn't let you drill or extract it?

Like Sen. McCain, Sen. Obama believes in global warming even though the planet stopped its long, completely natural warming in 1998. The Earth is cooling, but please don’t let that get in the way of either candidate proposing “solutions” to address a drastic warming that is not happening.

Sen. John McCain says that global warming in undeniable even though literally hundreds of scientists worldwide say it isn’t happening. In March I attended a conference on climate change sponsored by the Heartland Institute. It attracted over 500 meteorologists, climatologists, economists, and other very smart people from around the world who sat through two days of presentations and seminars all jammed with information confirming that there is no global warming, if you interpret this to mean a massive rise in the temperature of the planet.

Sen. McCain, however, is worried about “carbon fuel emissions” at a time when the cost of those carbon fuels, gasoline in particular, is going through the ceiling thanks, not to a lack of supply, but the speculators in the world’s commodity exchanges.

It is moronic to worry about carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) when this gas, vital to the growth of every piece of vegetation and all life on Earth, constitutes a mere 0.038% of the Earth’s atmosphere.

Look up at the sky above you. It’s about 95% water vapor. You know, water as in hydrogen and oxygen molecules. You drink it. You wash in it. You swim in it. There are large bodies of it called oceans. Those oceans which normally retain and release 80-90% of the Earth’s heat are now cooling!

So neither one of the candidates has a grasp of economics or science and we are about to elect one of them the next President of the United States of America!

Meanwhile, The New York Times on May 11 published an editorial, “Rethinking Ethanol” in which the geniuses who write such things have concluded that maybe diverting food products like corn into a fuel product that provides less mileage per gallon, costs more to produce than gasoline, and adds its own pollution to the air, is probably not a good idea. Their solution? End the tax subsidy that goes to ethanol producers.

According to The New York Times, “The other reason is a spate of studies suggesting that some biofuels—corn ethanol in particular—could accelerate global warming.” You have to be a special kind of idiot to (1) advocate a Congressional mandate for billions of gallons of ethanol as a gasoline additive and (2) continue to maintain that global warming is occurring.

The New York Times has been lying about global warming since the 1980s. The good news is that it is laying off large numbers of its reporters and editors. Its circulation has been sinking like a stone and maybe someday it will be sold on street corners as a single broadsheet hawked by boys shivering in the snow while shouting, “Read all about it! No more global warming!”

If you get the feeling that the United States is heading over the cliff for failing to anticipate and encourage its energy industries, for codifying in law requirements to deal with a non-existent problem, and for refusing to reverse course, you’re right.

There is a price for being an idiot. Think about that the next time you fill up your gas tank.


Saildog said...

Alan - I have no idea why you are so dead set against AGW. I have studied it at a Masters level and I have have read reams and reams of science on the subject. This science is original science, peer reviewed research papers and the like. I have also researched the most extensive database in the world: The climatalogical database that exists over tens or even hundreds of servers covering a very diverse range of topics.

I can assure you that the evidence supporting AGW is real and the earth is definitely NOT cooling.

If anybody doubts that Peak Oil is also not real they need their heads examined. The price of oil alone should be a serious wake up call. And it is NOT speculators etc. At most 2 to 3 days oil is accounted for in all futures contracts. Not only that, unless these people actually want to take physical delivery on their contracts and horde the stuff (now that would be speculating!) they have to unwind these contracts. Speculators as a group are selling as much as they are buying.

The oil price is driven mainly by the fundamentals of supply & demand.

Alan Caruba said...

What caused changes in the climate BEFORE the advent of the human species?

And, no, you are WRONG...again. There is ample evidence that the Earth is into a cooling cycle.

Just DENYING facts doesn't make them go away.

Dave said...

I believe that Fred Flintstone drove a Lexus. And can you imagine the gaseous output of Terradactyl Airlines!

Currently in my locale, the cost of being an idiot is $3.74 for regular and $4.24 for diesel.

Just wait till the independent truckers can't afford to fill their tanks. Can you say food shortage?

Ethanol, aka moonshine, produces alot of CO2 during the fermentation stage and the mash itself has to be heated to get the sugars out before you can ferment it to alcohol. The finished product is dirty in its' production.

BTW - Some of the ethanol facilities here in Iowa are reducing their output due to expensive corn.

Stan said...

We must believe because scientists say so. The same scientists who have proven incapable of meeting basic competence guidelines for taking the temperature.

Stan said...

The scientists can't even take the temperature properly. They couldn't figure out the methodological errors in the hockey stick. I'll pass on believing them until they can set up a thermometer properly.

Andy said...

ABC World News had a report on the amount of fuel it takes to get a hamburger to your plate. They reported that if every American didn't eat meat for one night, it would save 5 refineries a year.

I'm not quite sure what their goal of the story was. But I did come to think of a couple things.

1. Is the meat industry going to be happy with that report? doubtful.
2. Are these reporters trying to get meat to be used as fuel in the future? maybe, they are full of the same methane the cows are making.

So in essence, the report was asking us to stop eating so we can drive our cars more, on cheaper gas. Right? So the donkey is eating his own tail now. I thought it was the fuel debaucle being the problem of the world food crisis. Not that the food is the problem with our oil prices.

Anyways, I'm fortunate enough to live biking distance to work. And I eat steak for dinner too.

Lee Hazel said...

Alan: Frustrating isn't it. The Holy Mantra of the ALGORIAN Cultist trumps good science and common sense.
Saildog: We have "spoken" before, welcome back and it is good to know that you are educated. Since you mentioned it I'll mention my background so that you can evaluate what I am about to put forth.
Beginning in the 1950s I studied Chem eng'g at Purdue Univ. I graduated with a BSIE cum laude from the Univ of Missouri, Columbia, and have an MSE from Arizona State Univ.
Most of my working career was for High-Tech companies such as Motorola (SemiConductors), Honeywell(Computers), ITT(Computers) in engineering, management, consultant, and executive positions.
Shortly before I retired I was President and Chairman of the Board of the Greater Scottsdale Traffic Management Assoc. This was a federal mandated association of large employers required to examine and implement ways to reduce single-occupied-vehicle traffic. The obvious aim was to reduce transportation related air pollution(smog).
Working with the above mentioned companies I was involved with air, ground, and water pollution prevention and treatment as well as HAZMAT.
With this background I find it very saddening that good, well educated, well meaning people are taken in by this monumental Scam. If nothing else alarms should sound given the way AGW has been propogated and perpetuated in the face of substantial scientific evidence against the idea that Climate Change is a function of the activities of man.
I find it damning that the Gore movie was mandatory viewing in many of our elementary schools, this without parental notification or consent. Also that the targeted audience were the lower grades without any background to reasonably evaluate what they were being told. At least in England a Senior Jurist made the schools issue a discliamer as to the validity of several key claims in the movie.
The Idea that CO2 is a pollutant and is instrumental in Global Warming boggles the mind. An understanding of basic chemistry leads to substantial doubt that a component of a gaseous mix making up 0.038% of the total would have any kind of dramatic effect on the gas behavior.
Take a good look at the atmospheric CO2 data that has been accumulated at Mauna Loa HI. look also at CO2-atmospheric temp charts and then look at solar activity-atmospheric temp charts. They overlay each other almost perfectly. The nearby planets are experiencing modest tempurature rises due to increased solar activity. I wasn't aware that anybody there drove SUVs or used coal to make electricity.
The Mauna Loa data also indicates that the increase in atmospheric CO@2 has been very consistant at around 1.5ppm per year over the past 30 years. That is it has increased from approximatly 330ppm to 380ppm in that time frame.
It is postulated that a concentration of 5000ppm(0.5%) is unhealthy to humans. What that level might do to plant life I have no clue. But let us assume that because China and India won't join us in our western AGW efforts the levels increase at double the present rate, or 3.0ppm/yr.
Simple math indicates that to reach 5000ppm would take 1540 years (AD 3547) to reach unhealthy levels. Am I worried, most definately not, this is why we have scientists and engineers. Long before serious effects would be manifest technology would raise its head and solve the problem. This assumes the politicians will let them.
Lastly, there is to my knowledge no comprhensive scientfic model that predicts in any way the effects of trace components in our atmospheric envelope. And the available emperical information does not support any definable effect.
Does it make any sense at all to go off changing the world based on nothing but the words of a modern day P.T.Barnum?

Saildog said...

Good response Andy - I respect and appreciate your background. In answer to Alan's question about what caused climate change before humans the answer is the same - GHG's.

Note that GW and GHG's are self reinforcing feedback mechanisms. There are a couple of differences this time round - GW is happening a lot faster than it has previously. The other obvious difference is that humans are pumping the GHG's (mainly CO2, but methane and other gases too) into the atmosphere.

I can acknowledge that there can be no proof that humans are causing GW, though GW is definitely happening (Alan - not sure what facts you are smoking, but you should stop!). This year in March Arctic sea ice was already less extensive than last year; and last year's summer coverage was the least evrr recorded.

More worryingly The Greenland ice sheet is melting at an accelerating rate Google Nasa and Grace if you want to research it yourself. It by itself is worth a 7m sea level rise.