An energy-rationing bill has been introduced to address “global warming.” The “Climate Security Act” would impose caps on how much carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions can be allowed and would institute an elaborate program to “trade” allowances among the industries and business affected.
Americans better hope that some members of Congress will ask if there truly is a threat of global warming and why a similar program in Europe has proven to be a resounding failure.
If you really wanted to undermine the nation’s economy, you could not devise a better way. It is the Kyoto Climate Change Protocol on steroids.
Little noted during all the headlines concerning Al Gore’s Nobel Peace Prize was the fact that it was shared with the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Among skeptical scientists I know, the emails were flying. Several had served as part of the vast array of scientists whose opinions on the various IPCC draft reports were requested and then ignored.
A lot of these expert reviewers are among the 2,000 scientists that the IPCC and Al Gore are always citing as being part of the “consensus” on global warming. The problem for both is that many really, really, really disagree that any planet-threatening global warming is occurring.
One of them is Dr. Vincent Gray, a New Zealand-based climate scientist who has been a part of the reviewing process since the IPCC came into being. He is one of those scientists who will not and cannot be shut up despite the din of the IPCC propaganda.
Briefly, Dr. Gray has a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from Cambridge University, England, and his long career has included stints in France, Canada, China, and New Zealand. He has published more than a hundred scientific papers on energy and materials, plus a dozen in climate science.
So, following the announcement of the Nobel, Dr. Gray wrote to Professor David Henderson who has called for a “review” of the IPCC and its procedures. This is a nice way of saying that the Panel is so widely viewed as just one more corrupt United Nations instrumentality, a lot of scientists think it should be tossed in a garbage can behind the UN building.
Permit me to share some of Dr. Gray’s thoughts with you.
Commenting on his initial belief that the IPCC would proceed on the basis of “scientific ethics” and that its conclusions would result from “facts, logic and established scientific and mathematical principles”, Dr. Gray’s experience revealed that, “Penetrating questions often ended without any answer. Comments on the IPCC drafts were rejected without explanation, and attempts to pursue the matter were frustrated indefinitely.”
“I have been forced to the conclusion that, for significant parts of the work of the IPCC, the data collection and scientific methods employed are unsound…normal scientific procedures are not only rejected by the IPCC, but that this practice is endemic, and was part of the organization from the very beginning.”
“I therefore consider that the IPCC is fundamentally corrupt.”
Dr. Gray concluded that the only reform “I could envisage, would be its abolition.” Okay, okay, I hear all the environmentalists saying, “but he’s just one crazy, old New Zealand climate scientist. Boo! Hiss!” Character assassination is just one form of the corruption that is endemic to the entire environmental movement.
Undaunted, Dr. Gray continued, “The two main ‘scientific’ claims of the IPCC are the claim that ‘the globe is warming’ and ‘increases in carbon dioxide emissions are responsible.’ Evidence for both of this claims is fatally flawed.”
Aw, gee, I’m not a scientist you’re saying. What do I know? Well, if you know enough to be reading this, you know enough to wrap your brain around Dr. Gray’s assertion that “No average temperature of any part of the earth’s surface, over any period, has ever been made.” If the earth’s “average temperature” cannot be determined, how can you know that it’s dramatically heating? How can you predict anything about an unknown?
As for the IPCC claims about CO2, Dr. Gray points out that “they have suppressed no less than 90,000 measurements of atmospheric carbon dioxide made in the last 150 years. Some of these were made by Nobel Prize-winners and all were published in the best scientific journals.”
The IPCC has depended on computer climate models for its claims and there is now a volume of papers demonstrating how they have repeatedly been proven to be inaccurate. As Dr. Gray points out, if you cannot validate these models as actually capable of making predictions, “no self-respecting computer engineer would dare to make use of a model for prediction.” Anyway, “No computer climate model has ever been tested in this way, so none should be used to prediction.”
“The most elaborate of all their ‘evaluation’ techniques is far more dubious,” said Dr. Gray. “Since they have failed to show that any models are actually capable of prediction, they have decided to ‘evaluate’ them by asking the opinions of those who originate them, people with a financial interest in their success.” (Emphasis added.)
“Sooner or later all of us will come to realize,” Dr. Gray concluded, “that this organization, and the thinking behind it, is phony. Unfortunately severe economic damage is likely to be done by its influence before that happens.”
But that’s the point of the IPCC!
If you can require that ethanol be substituted or just added to gasoline, you drive up the cost of corn to where the cost of everything else–like food–dependent on it costs more. Moreover, requiring the addition of ethanol increases refinery costs that are, in turn, passed on to consumers.
If you mandate that wind and solar energy be substituted to provide electricity for that provided by coal (over 50% in the USA) and other sources, then you assure that these two totally inadequate energy producers will drive up the cost to consumers.
If every kind of industry contributes to CO2, then you can create an elaborate “cap-and-trade” scam to sell “credits” for the permission to continue in business. The consumers will pick up the costs involved.
On the chance that Dr. Gray is not some crazy, old New Zealander, maybe we should all be in the streets calling for the abolition of the IPCC? And, while we’re out there, let’s get rid of the United Nations too.
Editor’s Note: The full text of the letter is available at here.
It is an act of thievery to take money to provide goods or services and then fail to do so. Our nation’s schools have become a great criminal conspiracy, promising to educate our children, but more often producing “graduates” without even the most basic skills, let alone a useful, wider body of knowledge.
“My daughter is now 20 years old,” one mother wrote to me recently. “After graduating from high school in June 2005, she enrolled at the local community college. It was necessary for her to take a placement test and it was determined she needed to take Basic Skills Math and English before she could take [college level courses.] After failing both classes twice, she will not be returning. It breaks my heart to see that she can’t pass basic math or English class. How did she graduate high school?”
The answer is that her parents were heavily levied with property taxes, the vast portion of which was then given to the local school system to pay teachers and administrators salaries, along with all the other costs of operation. They, in turn, passed her daughter along, unmindful and indifferent to whether she learned anything. “She has been robbed of a basic education and we have been robbed of our tax dollars for 19 years.”
Early in his first term, President Bush embraced the “No Child Left Behind” legislation that has since been found wanting for its one-size-fits-all approach to education, its over-emphasis on testing, and its punishment of “under-performing” schools. The result has been to expose most schools as inadequate and to encourage every form of administrative cheating necessary for a school to meet the standards set by the law.
The idea was to force some improvement on a system everyone already knew was failing students. Laws, however, do not educate students. Teachers are expected to do that and it is no surprise that the National Education Association–a union–hated the idea of improvement. Indeed, from the 1960s to the present day, the NEA has done its best to undermine, if not destroy, the American education system.
In the July/August edition of The American Enterprise, Jay Greene, wrote “Education Myths: Debunking the fictions that obstruct school reform.” The article was based on Greene’s book of the same name. Here are just a few examples of how schools rob parents to pay teachers who are producing students deliberately rendered ignorant.
The standard answer to any question about the quality of our schools is the demand for more funding. The truth, however, is that “spending per student has been growing steadily for 50 years.” It has doubled and then doubled again. What did not occur, however, was any significant improvement in test scores, particularly since the introduction in the 1970s of the National Assessment of Educational Progress.
Okay, we may be spending more on schools, but isn’t it true that teachers still aren’t paid enough? No, if the poorly educated students they produce are the standard, they are vastly over-paid. “The average teacher’s salary does seem modest at first glace”, wrote Greene, “about $44,600 in 2002 for all teachers.” However, teachers only work nine months a year. A nurse making the same salary works twelve months with two week’s vacation and perhaps ten paid holidays. The statistics are damning evidence they are paid well for far less actual work than comparable jobs.
Another favorite myth is “that schools are helpless in the face of social problems is not supported by hard evidence,” wrote Greene. “The truth is that certain schools do a strikingly better job than others at overcoming challenges in the culture.” There is a reason why parents clamor for school choice, vouchers, when they know that some schools do a better job. Competition and incentives for the better schools would raise the standards for all schools.
Class size is yet another myth. Greene notes, “Research suggests there may be some advantages to smaller classes–though, if so, the benefits are modest and come at a very high price tag.” There is ample evidence that reducing class sizes is costly to the point of taking money from the purchase of books, equipment, and other reforms that would benefit students.
In most professions and trade, certification is regarded as a reliable sign that practitioners have demonstrated a reasonable level of expertise. “One of the strongest and most consistent findings in the entire body of research on teacher quality is that teaching certificates and master’s degrees in education are irrelevant to classroom performance.”
When the teacher corps is drawn from those college graduates who enter the profession for a lack of aptitude that would give them access to other, presumably better paying jobs, you end up with classrooms filled with people who may know barely more than their students. Or worse, are teaching classes on subjects for which they have no real skill, nor knowledge.
“According to the U.S. Department of Education, the average private school charged $4,689 per student in tuition for the 1999-2000 school years. That same year, the average public school spent $8,032 per pupil.” Somehow, private schools are able to out-perform public schools when it comes to imparting knowledge and skills despite the fact their students have less than half as much funding as public school students and the success of home-schooled students over their contemporaries is already legendary.
The entire education establishment, frequently advocating the teaching of values at odds with those held by parents, has ruined our nation’s schools and are defrauding taxpayers by failing to truly educate the children placed in their care.
To understand the whole global warming debate you have to understand that it is not about any dramatic warming of the Earth. The Earth has been warming since the end of the last Ice Age with time out for some mini-Ice Age episodes.
As Richard S. Lindzen, the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Science at MIT, has repeatedly written, the average global temperature has increased about one degree Fahrenheit over the past century. It’s a natural cycle and, since we are at the end of the current 12,000-year interglacial cycle of temperate climate, we are due another Ice Age.
Global warming hysteria is about controlling the world’s population by impeding or making more costly the use of energy–oil, natural gas, coal, and nuclear–in developed, industrial nations and thwarting efforts to expand the use of electricity in Third World nations. Keeping people ignorant and ultimately dependent on a vast one-world government based on failed socialist utopian policies is the name of the game.
This explains in part why so much of the global warming propaganda has been coordinated and emanated from the United Nations. Its International Panel on Climate Control and its Kyoto Protocol on Climate Control are just two examples of the mischief that is generated by the UN. The Panel has revised its estimates of global warming so many times that it has become a farce. Worse yet, those estimates are all based on flawed computer models.
So what explains just a few of the headlines we are all reading every day now? “Earth spews troubling amount of methane”, “Winter ice declining rapidly in the Arctic”, and “Nastier hurricanes? Just blame us: Study links human activity, monster storms.”
A friend of mine, John Brignell, a British professor emeritus, runs a website called NumberWatch.com. On it you will find a page that documents how just about every imaginable natural phenomenon has been attributed to global warming. It’s a very long, often totally contradictory, list and a tribute to the idiocy and hypocrisy that fuels the global warming hoax.
While the global warming hoax has an economic component whose focus is energy use, there is a political component because it is through the implementation of laws that the control of human behavior is achieved. This was seen most recently when California’s legislature voted to implement controls on “greenhouse gas emissions” from utilities and other industrial activities said to be the primary cause of global warming. California has notoriously failed to keep pace with the growth of its population and the provision of sufficient electrical power.
The global warming hoax is also intended to force people to use public transportation or to select alternative forms of energy such as solar or wind. These latter two are totally inadequate to our needs and exist, like ethanol, largely because of government subsidies and mandates.
So why are we reading this sudden new spate of articles about things alleged to cause global warming? It is not a coincidence as, indeed, nothing one reads or hears incessantly is accidental. Where it takes on a very dangerous potential is the proposed legislation emanating out of Washington, D.C. these days.
Largely unable to find traction with its anti-war diatribes, the Democrat’s fallback position is to scare everyone with global warming. It began in the summer of 2005 when Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) proposed a bill calling for modest mandatory limits on emissions of greenhouse gases said to cause climate change.
These limits are moving forward despite the unanimous rejection of the Kyoto Protocol by the Senate some years ago.
It is essential to keep in mind that climate change is caused by factors such as solar activity, the heating or cooling of the oceans, cloud formation and activity, and volcanic activity. Human beings have absolutely no “control” over these climate factors.
The vast bulk of the Earth’s surface isn’t inhabited, despite the fact there are six billion humans extant. Humans and other animals’ lives depend on the oxygen we breathe. We exhale carbon dioxide. The Earth’s vegetation benefits from the carbon dioxide as the essential element it requires for growth. And yet there are people in government and elsewhere that will tell you that CO2 is a greenhouse gas or even a “pollutant” that is bad for the Earth.
Some of those people are in Congress and these days it is, in the words of Business Week reporter, John Carey “awash in carbon-capping bills and proposals from Senators John McCain (R-AZ), Jim Jeffords (I-VT), Tom Carper (D-DE), John Kerry (D-MA), and others. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) plans to introduce legislation on the first day of the next session of Congress.”
Perversely, they will find support from the utility industry that would prefer regulatory certainty. This has nothing to do with the dubious, often duplicitous, science of global warming and everything to do with running a business. Similarly, the agricultural lobby will no doubt support this legislation in order to benefit from crops used to make ethanol, a gasoline additive that actually and grotesquely costs more to produce and provides less energy per use.
Finally, these proposed regulations to cap emissions are immediately nullified by the obvious fact that other nations such as India and China, with a billion people each, will not be joining this fraudulent effort. We could shut down all energy use in America without having any affect even if the false assertions about global warming were true.
The proposed legislation must be stopped before Congress in its stupidity imposes it. Previous Congresses thought Prohibition and the War on Poverty were good ideas. If you think life in America is expensive today, you have no idea how that cost will increase if global warming “controls” are imposed.
On July 14 in the chamber of the United Nations Security Council, the permanent representative from Israel, Ambassador Dan Gillerman, paused to address his colleague, the ambassador from Lebanon. “You know that what we are doing is right, and if we succeed, your country will be the real beneficiary.”
That is the sad truth about Lebanon. What it has been unable or unwilling to do for itself, will be done by Israel when it shatters the strongholds of Hezbollah to end the rain of Iranian-made rockets on its cities. This time, Israel will withdraw to its borders, leaving Lebanon yet another opportunity to assert its sovereignty. Am. Gillerman recalled a sunnier time in Lebanon’s recent history, prior to 1975 “when the Lebanese began their long descent into oppression and terror. This is a country that has been held hostage for more than 32 years by tyrants from the north and terrorists from the south.”
Carved out of the defeated Ottoman Empire after WWI by the French and English, Lebanon became a unique place where its large Christian population achieved a successful measure of governance in cooperation with Muslim citizens. The result was a place that was often called the Paris of the Middle East, a place that became a modern financial hub to the region. With the fall of the Ottoman Empire after WWI, Lebanon had became a French protectorate, while Iraq and Jordan fell under the influence of the British who also oversaw affairs in desolate area to the south called Palestine. Following WWII, Jewish refugees from the Nazi Holocaust would establish Israel in 1948.
The “Cedar Revolution” that began on March 14, 2005 when more than a million Lebanese poured into the streets of Beirut to protest the February assassination of former Prime Minister, Rafiq Hariri was brief. Anger, frustration, and desperation had overcome the fear of Syrian repression. On April 26, 2005, the last of the Syrian army departed, but Hezbollah, a militant Islamic organization dedicated to the destruction of Israel, ruled southern Lebanon. The Syrians had moved into Lebanon obstensively to bring an end to a 15-year civil war (1975-1990) that had been triggered by an influx of heavily armed Palestinian refugees, driven from Jordan after their failed effort to overthrow the Hashemite monarchy.
Reduced to its simplest terms, it was a war between Christians and Muslims. It was, however, more complex because in Lebanon, everyone is defined by their religion and this includes whether one is Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Shia, Sunni, Druze or Maronite. The differences are exaggerated in the hothouse atmosphere of Islamic fantasies.
Israel, in effect, accepted Syrian control of Lebanon in exchange for control over Hezbollah. Yes, some rockets might hit northern Israel from time to time, but that was a small price to pay. Too many rockets put an end to that compromise. In time, however, Israel moved troops into the southern part of Lebanon to create a security zone. In 2000 it withdrew, having suffered too many casualties among its forces from a low-intensity warfare against them.
Israelis, weary from the endless attacks on their people, tried to secure peace by ceding land to the Palestinians in Gaza and promising to withdraw further from the West Bank. The Lebanese border to the north remained closely guarded against Hezbollah, a terrorist organization that had invented the suicide bomber and perfected the taking of hostages. Am. Gillerman called the Cedar Revolution Lebanon’s moment of truth. Would it take the opportunity to assert its sovereignty over southern Lebanon? It did not. In fact, in the elections that followed Syria’s withdrawal, Hezbollah candidates became a part of Lebanon’s reconstituted government. Lebanon remained hostage to a stateless organization that answered to both Syria and Iran. Syria’s desire to reclaim Lebanon and Iran’s desire to destroy Israel forced Hezbollah to demonstrate that the millions poured into it had been a good investment. In attacks coordinated with Hamas, both terror groups kidnapped Israeli soldiers. Suddenly the heat was off Iran as concerns about its ambition to acquire nuclear weapons gave way to the attention focused on events in Lebanon and Gaza. There was never any doubt of Israel’s response.
Am. Gillerman told the Security Council that “Hezbollah, together with Hamas, Syria and Iran, comprise the world’s new and ominous Axis of Terror, an infamous club, the entry fee to which is the blood of innocents and the terrorizing of the entire world.”
“The real occupying power in Lebanon is terror–terror instigated by Hezbollah, but initiated, funded and perpetrated by Syria and Iran.”
If you want to see what the other nations of the Middle East will look like, look at Lebanon. If you want to see what Europe will look like if subjected to a similar campaign of terror, look at Lebanon. The implications for the United States of America are huge. This is where we secure a large measure of the oil our economy and way of life requires. This is not just about tiny Israel fighting for its security and survival. This is not just about restoring Lebanon to its former grandeur.
This is about whether Western civilization has the guts to protect itself against a tyrannical enemy.
As the price of gasoline and the myriad products that utilize petroleum in their manufacture rises, Americans are going to ask why the Congress has resisted accessing the billions of barrels’ worth of oil and natural gas in our offshore continental shelf.
As the realization of how dependent we are on the importation of Middle Eastern oil, plus the fact that U.S. dollars fund avowed enemies such as Iran and, in South America, Venezuela, Americans are going to ask why we do not tap our own Alaskan and offshore resources.
As a matter of national security and as a significant boost to the American economy, it makes no sense to not assure and achieve a higher level of energy independence.
So why, in mid-May, did the House of Representatives reject an end to the quarter-century ban on oil and natural gas drilling in 85 percent of America’s coastal waters?
At the time, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, issued a statement that both defied logic and flatout lied, saying the vote against offshore drilling was great victory for consumers who have seen prices rise prodigiously. “In the meantime, working families are turning their wallets inside out to fill their gas tanks. It is outrageous to ask families to dig even deeper to subsidize oil drilling on undersea lands that belong to the American people.”
Americans are paying more because the global price of a barrel of oil has been increased by fears of military conflict in the Middle East, probably initiated by Iran.
Americans are paying more because, in 2005, Hurricane Katrina and other hurricanes destroyed 115 oil platforms and damaged another 50, along with 183 pipelines in the Gulf of Mexico and refineries in Louisiana. Despite this, the U.S. Mineral Management Service (MMS) reported that there were no significant oil spills from offshore platforms and no oil reached the coastline.
And, no, Americans do not “subsidize” oil drilling. Pelosi’s boogeyman of “Big Oil.” Indeed, as a report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration noted in 2005, the MMS “collects and disperses billions of dollars in revenue from the sale of mineral leases. Offshore leases brought in revenues of $5.2 billion in 2000. This represents 73.1 percent of the $7.1 billion in revenues collected from all Federal and American Indian mineral leases that year.”
As for those big profits enjoyed by “Big Oil”, it’s worth noting that a single offshore drilling platform costs about $100 million dollars to build and that comes after the equally enormous costs of exploring for oil and natural gas resources. And “Big Oil” not only pays big taxes on its profits, but also employs thousands of Americans in the process.
According to the Consumer Alliance for Energy Security, the Offshore Continental Shelf (OCS)–85 percent of which is off-limits to exploration–is estimated to have enough natural gas to heat 100 million homes for the next 60 years and enough oil to drive 85 million cars for 35 years. Thanks to the vote in the House, it remains off-limits.
When the House of Representatives voted to open the Arctic Refuge to oil drilling in late May, Rep. Pelosi again issued a statement decrying “the same, tired ideas on energy such as opening the pristine Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling. We should not sacrifice the Arctic coastal plain, one of America’s last truly wild places, for the sake of a small amount of oil.”
Small? Well, if anyone considers an estimated 10.4 billion barrels to the nation’s oil supply “small”, then one wonders what they consider large? The vote was 225 to 201. In truth, only 2,000 of the nearly 20 million acres of ANWR would be needed for oil and gas production, contributing billions in tax revenue, and creating or sustaining thousands of American jobs.
Opening ANWR and the Offshore Continental Shelf would bring many benefits. Put simply, more oil and natural gas means lower prices. With it come greater national security and more independence from the vagaries of Middle Eastern politics.
Speaking for the Democrats and echoing the cries of environmental organizations opposed to energy independence, Rep. Pelosi called for “home-grown renewable energy, innovative technologies, and efficient use of energy in our homes, vehicles, workplaces, and factories.” Blah, blah, blah!
This is the kind of empty environmental rhetoric that has left Americans paying higher prices for oil and natural gas than ever before. It posits the use of wind and solar energy on a scale that is neither viable, nor realistic because neither will ever produce enough energy to replace conventional sources.
Rep. Pelosi said that, “America’s farmers will fuel our energy independence”, apparently by “rapidly expand[ing] the production and distribution of biofuels, encourage[ing] the deployment of new engine technologies for flex fuel, hybrid and biodiesel vehicles; and encourage[ing] cutting-edge research to develop the next revolution in renewable energy.”
The notion that America or any of the other industrialized nations of the world will be able to depend on energy sources from corn and other agricultural products in the near future is absurd. Moreover, it ignores the vast reserves of known and yet to be discovered of oil and natural gas that exist.
The problem, of course, is getting Congress to permit America to actually access its own resources! The effort to open a relatively small portion of ANWR has been stalled for three decades. The Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act was passed in 1953! It authorized the Department of the Interior to lease defined areas for development. According to the Energy Information Administration, “The offshore has accounted for about one-quarter of total U.S. natural gas production over the past two decades and almost 30 percent of total U.S. oil production in recent years.”
“In 2003, MMS estimated that there was 406.1 trillion cubic feet of remaining undiscovered technically recoverable natural gas and 76 billion barrels of oil in U.S. offshore regions.”
So why, in 1990, did former President George Walker Bush enact a blanket moratorium on all unleased areas offshore of North and Central California, Southern California except for 87 tracts, Washington, Oregon, the North Atlantic coast, and the Eastern Gulf of Mexico coast? The moratorium was extended in 1998 by former President Clinton through 2012.
Why has the Congress of the United States refused to permit the exploration and extraction of our nation’s own natural gas and oil resources? Why does a coalition of 27 of the nation’s leading environmental organizations continue to campaign against access? And why do ordinary Americans have to remain at the mercy of Middle Eastern nations and major suppliers like Venezuela?
There are literally trillions of cubic feet of natural gas and billions of oil barrels extant in the offshore continental coast of the United States. Every day on 4,000 offshore platforms natural gas and oil is extracted from Federal waters in an “environmentally sensitive” manner.
There is an extremely dangerous game being played by the White House, Congress, and environmental organizations that is placing the economy and the security of America at great risk. If energy independence is what this nation needs–and it does–it is ours for the taking.