We're Doomed, Send Money Fast!
It's a perennial favorite of scammers to claim we face pending doom that can be averted only if we quickly send them more money or do what they want us to. From The Music Man's "Ya Got Trouble" to the emails purporting to be from family members who've been robbed or imprisoned overseas, the game is a constant money maker for the con men who employ it.
Count President Obama as one of the masters of the art of diverting attention from facts, crying doom and grabbing yet more money from our pockets to enrich his buddies, increase his power and further impoverish us.
Two stories along this line caught my attention this week. First there was this Bloomberg news report:
President Barack Obama is preparing to tell all federal agencies for the first time that they should consider the impact on global warming before approving major projects, from pipelines to highways.
The result could be significant delays for natural gas-export facilities, ports for coal sales to Asia, and even new forest roads, industry lobbyists warn.
"It's got us very freaked out," said Ross Eisenberg, vice president of the National Association of Manufacturers, a Washington-based group that represents 11,000 companies such as Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) and Southern Co. (SO) The standards, which constitute guidance for agencies and not new regulations, are set to be issued in the coming weeks, according to lawyers briefed by administration officials.In taking the step, Obama would be fulfilling a vow to act alone in the face of a Republican-run House of Representatives unwilling to pass measures limiting greenhouse gases. He'd expand the scope of a Nixon-era law that was first intended to force agencies to assess the effect of projects on air, water and soil pollution.
Then the AP noted this specific directive from the administration:
The Obama administration proposed new regulations Friday to clean up gasoline and automobile emissions, claiming the new standards would provide $7 in health benefits from cleaner air for each dollar spent to implement them. The costs likely would be passed on to consumers in higher gasoline and automobile prices.The Environmental Protection Agency said the new rule would reduce sulfur in gasoline and tighten automobile emission standards beginning in 2017, resulting in an increase in gas prices of less than a penny per gallon. The agency estimated it also would add $130 to the cost of a vehicle in 2025, but predicted it would yield billions of dollars in health benefits by slashing smog- and soot-forming pollution. EPA Acting Administrator Bob Perciasepe said the proposal is designed to "protect the environment and public health in an affordable and practical way." The oil industry, Republicans and some Democrats wanted EPA to delay the rule, citing higher costs. An oil industry study says it could increase gasoline prices by 6 to 9 cents a gallon.
Driving energy costs higher has always been on the administration's stated agenda. Ostensibly this is because of the need to cut greenhouse gases. This week some argued that the rationale for these two economically devastating new initiatives had been undercut by the federal government's own scientists within days of being proposed.
NASA's Langley Research Center has collated data proving that "greenhouse gases" actually block up to 95 percent of harmful solar rays from reaching our planet, thus reducing the heating impact of the sun. The data was collected by Sounding of the Atmosphere using Broadband Emission Radiometry, (or SABER). SABER monitors infrared emissions from Earth's upper atmosphere, in particular from carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitric oxide (NO), two substances thought to be playing a key role in the energy balance of air above our planet's surface.
Watts up with That indicates this report was misinterpreted, that while it is true with respect to the upper atmosphere "(thermosphere) when it gets hit by solar flares," it ought not to be taken as an accurate description of what occurs at lower atmospheres: "It is a twisting of the facts in a press release about solar flares and the thermosphere to make it look like the lower atmosphere works the same way. To some extent it does, but the direction of the source of LWIR [ed. heat] energy is reversed, and CO2 and other GHG's [ed: Green House Gases] impede the transfer of LWIR energy to the top of the atmosphere where it is finally re-radiated into space. Without GHG's, the lower atmosphere would be very cold."
While the latest NASA report might have been misunderstood by those skeptical of the claims of climate warm-mongers, there's no doubt that the models that the AGW zealots have been touting can't answer why it is that with carbon emissions rising, world temperatures have remained flat. The Economist offers up several possibilities, but there is as yet no definitive answer. (One person commenting on the article ("daddy") counted 25 "ifs","mights","mays", and "coulds". )
The mismatch between rising greenhouse-gas emissions and not-rising temperatures is among the biggest puzzles in climate science just now. It does not mean global warming is a delusion. Flat though they are, temperatures in the first decade of the 21st century remain almost 1°C above their level in the first decade of the 20th. But the puzzle does need explaining.The mismatch might mean that -- for some unexplained reason -- there has been a temporary lag between more carbon dioxide and higher temperatures in 2000-10. Or it might be that the 1990s, when temperatures were rising fast, was the anomalous period. Or, as an increasing body of research is suggesting, it may be that the climate is responding to higher concentrations of carbon dioxide in ways that had not been properly understood before. This possibility, if true, could have profound significance both for climate science and for environmental and social policy.
Perhaps it is that I grew up in Middle America in the mid-50s that I am skeptical about doomsayers. I have a greater natural optimism about man, nature, and the future than people pitching the AGW doomsday approach and demanding yet more power and money to deal with such an as yet difficult to explain and measure phenomenon as weather.
Perhaps, it is because daily I read that those benefitting from the claims of doom are big contributors to the president and his party and, in turn, great beneficiaries of the government's largesse with our money -- all to no obvious benefit to us. (See, i.e., here) Often, as in this case, the recipients of federal funds then contribute to tax-exempt outfits like Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC ) which, in turn blocks conventional energy development, thereby enriching their benefactors. Does this sound as circular and corrupt to you as it does to me? Donor makes contribution to president and gets millions in Stimulus funds to build lithium batteries for electric cars no one is buying, hires a few people (32) to produce them, makes another contribution to an eco-advocacy group that fights conventional energy production and advocates for electric cars...
Then there are, as Jeff Dunetz (Yid with a Lid) documents, the ridiculous claims made by the climate warmist believers:
Those Global Warming Moonbats figure out ways to blame the dumbest things on global warming. I call it the official crazy list of things Moonbats say global warming causes. The list contains, Incredible shrinking sheep, Invasion of jellyfish in the Mediterranean, Surge in fatal shark attack, Boy Scout tornado deaths, Severe acne, Global conflict, Beer tasting different, Suicide of farmers in Australia, Bigger tuna fish, Longer days, Shorter days, Collapse of gingerbread houses in Sweden, Cow infertility, UFO sightings in the UK, Rise in insurance premiums, and Heroin addiction and a rise in bear attacks in Japan and Frigid Cold Winters in Great Britain, and Cancer, Death from heart disease, diabetes, stroke, respiratory disease and even accidents, homicide, suicide,waterborne disease outbreaks,heavier, wetter snowstorms treacherous for travel and ambulation, Lyme disease, swarms of allergy-inducing, stinging insects, along with mosquitoes and devastating pine bark beetle infestations and the spread of forest and crop pests just to name a few.
And maybe, too, I have been jaded by the repeated claims of ecological disasters from Malthus to the Club of Rome that never proved true:
In the 1970's we were warned that a new ice age was around the corner, in the 1980's the drumbeat included nuclear winter, catastrophic asteroid impacts, and the disastrous climate impacts of the Iraqi burning of the Kuwaiti oilfields. For decades there were claims of peak oil, food shortages, and shortages of vital materials. NONE OF THESE THINGS HAPPENED.
Ecological doomsters -- often rent-seeking scientists and outfits -- and starving media trying to gin up revenue -- never give up despite being proven wrong over and again:
Predictions of ecological doom, including recent ones, have such a terrible track record that people should take them with pinches of salt instead of lapping them up with relish. For reasons of their own, pressure groups, journalists and fame-seekers will no doubt continue to peddle ecological catastrophes at an undiminishing speed. These people, oddly, appear to think that having been invariably wrong in the past makes them more likely to be right in the future. The rest of us might do better to recall, when warned of the next doomsday, what ever became of the last one.
You can be in favour of the environment without being a pessimist. There ought to be room in the environmental movement for those who think that technology and economic freedom will make the world cleaner and will also take the pressure off endangered species. But at the moment such optimists are distinctly unwelcome among environmentalists. Dr. Ehrlich likes to call economic growth the creed of the cancer cell. He is not alone. Sir Crispin Tickell calls economics "not so much dismal as half-witted".
Environmentalists are quick to accuse their opponents in business of having vested interests. But their own incomes, their advancement, their fame and their very existence can depend on supporting the most alarming versions of every environmental scare. "The whole aim of practical politics", said H.L. Mencken, "is to keep the populace alarmed -- and hence clamorous to be led to safety -- by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary." Mencken's forecast, at least, appears to have been correct.
The record of mispredicted food supplies is even worse.[snip] The facts on world food production are truly startling for those who have heard only the doomsayers' views. Since 1961, the population of the world has almost doubled, but food production has more than doubled. As a result, food production per head has risen by 20% since 1961 (see chart 2). Nor is this improvement confined to rich countries. According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation, calories consumed per capita per day are 27% higher in the third world than they were in 1963. Deaths from famine, starvation and malnutrition are fewer than ever before.
The world is getting healthier, richer, cleaner, and will continue to do so unless we foolishly continue to divert ever more resources to these con men and further stifle the free market which has developed the resources that "bring good things to life".