Sunday, March 01, 2009

Banking Bailout Money in Lobbyists' Pockets: TARP Money Used to Push for a New "Green Bubble"

Wall Street firms bailed out by the American taxpayer are now financing an extensive lobbying campaign to promote the costly federal regulation of greenhouse gases and putting the American public at risk of facing yet another costly economic "bubble," charges the National Center for Public Policy Research.

"Using TARP money to inflate another bubble is beyond outrageous," said Tom Borelli, Ph.D, director of the Free Enterprise Project of the National Center. "Not only are taxpayers being looted to subsidize Wall Street's latest risky scheme, but taxpayers will also bear the brunt of cap-and-trade through higher energy prices. Only in today's upside-down political world do two wrongs make a right."

A new report by the Center for Public Integrity (CPI) finds that the over 2,000 lobbyists, including representatives of the financial industry, pressing for a "cap-and-trade" scheme. Such a scheme would place federal caps on carbon emissions, thereby leading to the creation of an artificial carbon emissions trading market that could reach an estimated $2 trillion in paper value.

Critics of cap-and-trade counter than these regulations would also unnaturally raise energy prices and reduce supply, which would counteract efforts to revive the economy. Chillingly, because the new carbon "market" would be wholly artificial, the legislation could create another economic bubble.

According to the CPI study, lobbyists for Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase are involved, and, in total, "the finance industry has as large a lobbying force on climate as the alternative energy industry, with about 130 reps working the issue last year..."

JPMorgan Chase got $25 billion in TARP money last fall while Goldman Sachs obtained $10 billion. The stated purpose of the cash infusion was to recapitalize the banks so they could resume consumer lending.

"Our economy is already reeling from the banks' involvement in debacles such as mortgage securitization. Now Wall Street wants to gamble on carbon dioxide credit IOUs," added Borelli. "If the financial industry could not manage the risks associated with mortgages - which are based on tangible assets - how can it possibly manage the risks associated with trading ubiquitous and invisible gases like carbon dioxide?"

It can be assumed that this lobbying bonanza will only increase in scope since President Obama, in his recent address to Congress, asked lawmakers "to send [him] legislation that places a market-based cap on carbon pollution and drives the production of more renewable energy in America."

The National Center for Public Policy Research's Borelli says the current lobbying orgy over cap-and-trade epitomizes everything that is wrong with our political system: Corporations try to exploit the latest left-wing cause and partner with sympathetic lawmakers to inflate a market. When markets explode, taxpayers are left to pay for the cleanup. Meanwhile, CEOs and elected officials are not been held accountable. They often then go on to repeat their mistakes.

"Liberal activism and Wall Street greed gave us Fannie Mae and the housing crisis. We are simply repeating the same mistake with global warming and cap-and-trade," warns Borelli. "Under the guise of social responsibility, CEOs are partnering with the liberal majority in Congress and their special interest group allies to pass legislation that will lead to a massive growth in government and a slower growth of our already-weak economy."

The above is a press release from The National Center for Public Policy Research, a non-partisan educational foundation based in Washington, DC established in 1982. For more information, contact David Almasi at (202) 543-4110 x11 or, or visit

"Mandating Markets for Wind Power - a Stealth Tax on Electricity Consumers."

Statement by Viv Forbes, Chairman of the Carbon Sense Coalition

The Carbon Sense Coalition today accused the [Australian] Federal and some state governments of imposing Stealth Taxes on electricity consumers by forcing power retailers to buy expensive power from inefficient and costly renewable energy sources. The Chairman of the Carbon Sense Coalition, Mr Viv Forbes, said that there were no climate benefits whatsoever in forcing consumers to buy an increasing proportion of their electricity from expensive and unreliable suppliers like wind farms. "This whole pork barrel exercise must be designed to buy green votes because it will have negligible effect on carbon dioxide emissions, and no one could measure or feel any effect on world temperature.

"The policy is obviously an insincere fraud. If politicians were sincere in their belief that there is a critical need to cut CO2 emissions, they would be investigating what France has done to generate 75% of their power from low cost reliable nuclear power, or what Norway has done to get 97% of their power from reliable low cost hydro power. Unlike wind power, these options can generate electricity cheaply with zero CO2 emissions and without needing wasteful backup from carbon emitting coal or gas plants.

"But we hear of no proposals to build a nuclear power station in the Latrobe or the Hunter valley or new hydro schemes in the Snowy, Tasmania or North Queensland.

"Obviously there are no green votes in these efficient zero-emission power options so we see politicians wasting a never-ending stream of funds from taxpayers and consumers on expensive unreliable playthings like wind farms and home-hobby solar panels.

"Are these people for real? Australia currently gets about 94% of its electric power from carbon fuels, mainly black and brown coal. Billions of dollars in community savings are tied up in these stations and their associated transmission lines, coal mines and engineering skills.

"The ALP thinks we can cut carbon emissions by 20% and at the same time cater for a growing population, all within the next 12 years. Not to be outdone, the liberals seem to be advocating tougher targets, and Al Gore and his local green disciples think we can do without coal power altogether.

"When they start fiddling with a basic industry like power generation, misleading people on the cost, capacity and reliability of wind and solar power, and threatening the sudden closure of old but reliable coal fired stations, they will suddenly find they cannot get the blackout genie back in the bottle.

"Wind farms have proved useless in providing sufficient reliable power in critical times. During the recent long frigid spell in UK, their wind turbines were becalmed like flotilla of sailing clippers on a glassy ocean - they produced 0.4% (yes, less than one percent) of total UK power requirements - reliable old coal stations were cranked up, and heat and light for shivering Britons came from: coal (50%), gas (31%) and nuclear 16%.

"Again during the heat waves in South Australia and Victoria, the contribution from wind generators was small and generally in periods of low demand. Things were even worse in West Texas, where a sudden drop in the winds on the Texas Plains caused such instability in the power grid that the whole grid was shut down.

"Denmark is finding its wind turbines a liability - they cannot use the unreliable power and have to sell it at a loss into the European power grid.

"The A$88 million half year loss reported yesterday by BB Wind Power in Australia is a sign of the future for all shareholders who subscribe funds to these financial black holes. When subsidies and mandated market shares are removed, as they will be, wind power will be revealed as a sub-prime investment. Investors will find they were relying on whims not wind.

(The Chairman of BBW admitted that BBW relies on political supports for future profits when he said: "The Australian government's renewable energy targets and encouragement of renewable energy investment in the US would drive the company's profits in the short-term". AAP 24/2/09)

"Already wind towers are being scrapped in Europe but still Australia is forcing consumers and taxpayers to subsidise these expensive playthings.

"The Carbon Sense Coalition has made a submission to one of the many enquiries running in Canberra Wonderland. This submission opposes any extensions of the renewable energy target schemes and recommends that current schemes be scrapped before they do irreparable harm. The full submission can be viewed at:

The above is a press release from Viv Forbes, Chairman, The Carbon Sense Coalition, MS 23 Rosewood Qld., Australia 4340. Phone: 0754 640 533. Email:

Wisconsin Legislator Announces Establishment of the Weekly Hot Air Report

Meteorologist and State Representative Jim Ott [] announced today that he will be releasing a weekly report on global warming. "The amount of material on global warming is so overwhelming," said Ott, "that as a service to our readers I will be highlighting some of the more interesting global warming developments. This will be especially important as attempts to introduce global warming legislation in Wisconsin are expected in the near future."

In this inaugural issue we will review some of the outrageous and possibly dangerous ideas of those who feel we must "fight" global warming now.

Last April, Science magazine online reported that a proposed plan to inject sulfur compounds into the atmosphere in an attempt to mimic volcanic activity could actually damage the Earth's ozone layer. The particles would supposedly block sunlight in an effort to cool the Earth's temperature. As far as we know, there are no immediate plans to actually conduct such an experiment.

In January, it was reported that a group of scientists from Germany and India spread six tons of iron sulphate powder over a 100 square mile area of the Antarctic Ocean. This experiment was done in an attempt to cause a massive algae bloom. These scientists believe the algae will remove carbon dioxide from the air and then sink to the bottom of the ocean.

Did anyone conduct a comprehensive environmental impact assessment? How might clogging the oceans with algae affect marine life? How much of the oceans would the researchers want to ultimately treat if they felt their experiment was a success? What other effects might iron sulphate have on the environment? Apparently the answers to these questions don't matter if you are fighting global warming.

As a high school student in the 1960's, I recall writing a term paper that questioned some of the outlandish ideas of how man might control the weather. The concern then was that the Earth was cooling, so schemes such as spreading coal dust over the arctic snow pack to melt it earlier in the spring, and orbiting large mirrors in space to reflect more sunlight to the earth were proposed. Today, some suggest orbital mirrors to actually deflect sunlight away from the Earth.

As far as we know, such warming experiments were never conducted as climate scientists began to accept that changing one part of the Earth's climate could have unforeseen consequences in other areas. Unfortunately, these sorts of plans have now returned. If the algae experiment is any indication, global warming proponents are willing to try anything in their hysterical fear the planet is warming.

As a meteorologist, I oppose any attempts to alter the Earth's climate with experiments that will be ineffectual at best and dangerous at worst. The United Nations should act immediately to stop this nonsense and individual nations should show respect for the Earth's climate system, about which science still has a lot to learn. I will keep you informed as similar ideas are proposed.

In next week's edition: Is there really scientific consensus when it comes to global warming?


Obama's Climate Rip-Off

By Steven Milloy

President Obama wants to pay you to support global warming regulation. What he isn't saying, however, is that his enticement won't come close to covering what the regulations will cost you. In his 10-year budget released this week, the President proposed a so-called cap-and-trade scheme to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Under the proposal, 100 percent of the permits to emit greenhouse gases would be auctioned to coal and natural gas-burning electric utilities, industrial plants and other emitters-to-be-designated. The proceeds from the auctions would then distributed to individual Americans "to help the transition to a clean energy economy," according to his budget proposal. But what does this proposal mean for the average person in terms of actual dollars and cents?

It’s difficult to work out the precise financial impacts, but you can get an idea by doing some back-of-the-envelope calculations with some of the facts and figures that have recently been bandied about. Based on past global warming legislation, like the Lieberman-Warner bill that failed in the Senate last June, a cap-and-trade plan would probably cover about 80 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions - about 5.8 billion tons based on a total of 7.3 billion tons emitted during 2007.

Assuming that permits are auctioned at a price of $12 per ton - a safety valve price included in past climate bills - the Obama plan would raise about $70 billion in its first year. Given that President Obama has proposed to spend about $15 billion per year of the auction proceeds on "clean energy" projects, about $55 billion would be leftover for distribution to individuals- in other words, every American with a Social Security number. Dividing the $55 billion among more than 300 million Americans, then, works out to about $180 per person and $720 per family of four per year. It's not like winning the lottery, but it's better than nothing - or is it?

The liberal think tank Center on Budget Priorities and Policy estimated this week that reducing greenhouse gas emissions would cost the poorest families in America $750 per year as higher energy prices ripple through the economy affecting all goods and services. So if the poorest families, who use far less energy than the rest of America, are in a financial hole under the president's plan, one can easily imagine how the rest of us will end up. Consider the potential consequences on just your electric bill.

The proposed Lieberman-Warner bill would have auctioned only 25 percent of the permits - not 100 percent as President Obama is proposing. The remaining 75 percent of the credits would have been distributed for free to electric utilities and other designated greenhouse gas emitters. But even under that scheme, Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers told The New York Times last summer that electricity rates would rise by 40 percent in the first year to cover his utility's $2 billion outlay for credits. So a 100 percent auction could increase electricity bills for Duke's 4 million customers by 160 percent - meaning a $100 monthly electric bill becomes, perhaps, a $260 monthly bill. Based on these calculations, a family of four that pays more than $40 per month for electricity - that is, every family - is a net loser under President Obama's plan.

And those are the potential increases for just your electric bill. Not included are other likely price hikes for goods and services - gasoline, food, travel, etc. - that will necessarily be passed along to consumers. As you can readily see, your share of President Obama's auction proceeds don't come close to breaking even on greenhouse gas regulation.

Maybe you're thinking that these extra costs are worth it as they will be dwarfed by the environmental benefits of tackling the much-dreaded global warming. Think again. There will be no detectable or tangible benefits from reduced greenhouse gas emissions. First, carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas targeted by regulation is invisible, colorless and odorless. Since it exists in the atmosphere at levels measured in the parts per million, unless you're a plant that needs CO2 to live, you're not going to notice it.

Next, there is no evidence that human emissions of carbon dioxide are causing detectable changes, much less any harm, to the climate. This means, of course, that there is no evidence that reducing carbon dioxide emissions will have any detectable changes on climate.

Even assuming for the sake of argument that man made carbon dioxide emissions were changing climate, Obama's cap-and-trade bill will still have no detectable impact. First, EPA projects that a maximum clamp down on future U.S. emissions would reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide levels by about 5 percent or less - a trivial change no matter what you believe about carbon dioxide. Moreover, China and India have vowed not to harm their economies because of global warming - so their emissions can be expected to soar as they develop and more than make-up for our reductions.

Maybe the economics of Obama's cap-and-trade rip-off don't bother you, but the fact that the rip-off will accomplish nothing should give you pause.


Clear Thinking on Global Warming

Possibly for PR purposes, Prof. Happer makes some statements in line with Warmist beliefs but offers reasons to believe that the effect of CO2 emissions is trivial -- JR

Many people write sensible things about anthropogenic global warming, but I find Professor William Happer's statement to the US Senate on February 25, 2009, especially clear and convincing. Happer is the Cyrus Fogg Bracket Professor of Physics at Princeton University. He was also the Director of Energy Research at DOE from 1990-93, where he supervised all of DOE's work on climate change. He says this:
"The climate is warming and CO2 is increasing. Doesn't this prove that CO2 is causing global warming through the greenhouse effect? No, the current warming period began about 1800 at the end of the little ice age, long before there was an appreciable increase of CO2. There have been similar and even larger warmings several times in the 10,000 years since the end of the last ice age. These earlier warmings clearly had nothing to do with the combustion of fossil fuels. The current warming also seems to be due mostly to natural causes, not to increasing levels of carbon dioxide. Over the past ten years there has been no global warming, and in fact a slight cooling. This is not at all what was predicted by the IPCC models."

He explains the "bit player" role that CO2 plays in greenhouse warming. Even if doubled, CO2 in the atmosphere would increase global temperatures "on the order of one degree," all else equal, and that would be about as much as it could ever increase it.

He explains that not all else is equal. He explains that satellite measurements indicate that water vapor and clouds, which account for 90% of greenhouse warming, have a negative feedback with CO2 levels, thus counteracting most or all of the warming effects of CO2.

He explains that temperatures have been warmer in the past and undergo cycles, counter to the "hockey stick" graph trumpeted in the third report of the IPCC. The hockey stick
"was the result of incorrect handling of proxy temperature records and incorrect statistical analysis. There really was a little ice age and there really was a medieval warm period that was as warm or warmer than today. I bring up the hockey stick as a particularly clear example that the IPCC summaries for policy makers are not dispassionate statements of the facts of climate change."

He explains how ice core observations show that historical temperatures and CO2 levels are indeed correlated, but that temperature increases preceded the CO2 increases - by "about 800 years", thus indicating that warming causes increased CO2 and not vice versa.

He explains how erroneous computer models are.
"It is true that climate models use increasingly capable and increasingly expensive computers. But their predictions have not been very good. For example, none of them predicted the lack of warming that we have experienced during the past ten years. All the models assume the water feedback is positive, while satellite observations suggest that the feedback is zero or negative."

On sea level rise,
"The sea level is indeed rising, just as it has for the past 20,000 years since the end of the last ice age. Fairly accurate measurements of sea level have been available since about 1800. These measurements show no sign of any acceleration."

He explains that CO2, and higher concentrations of it in the atmosphere, are actually good for us. "Crop yields will continue to increase as CO2 levels go up... moderate warming is an overall benefit to mankind because of higher agricultural yields and many other reasons."

And finally, he shoots down the supposed "scientific consensus" on global warming. For one, consensus is not the way science works. And two, there is no consensus.

His statement is truly scientific. Not because he is a credentialed scientist, but because he uses physical observations to support or falsify hypotheses. Unlike so many other statements on climate change (e.g., any statement from Al Gore or NASA's James Hansen), you can follow his reasoning and it makes sense. Keep his testimony in your hip pocket, for the next time you are called a "denier."


'Stimulating' Scientists Into Proving Global Warming

The new bill will spend billions to adjust data to "prove" the fallacy that humans are responsible for global warming

By Frank J. Tipler, Professor of Mathematical Physics at Tulane University.

The trillion-dollar plus porkapalooza Wreak-America Bill just passed by Congress will throw a huge amount of money into scientific research. This will be a good thing for certain scientists, but a very, very bad thing for science.

Young scientists do most of the great science. Einstein was 26 when he published his relativity theory. In 1980, when I got my first government research grant at the age of 33, some 22 percent of National Institute of Health (NIH) grants were given to scientists under the age of 35. In 2005, only three percent of NIH grants went to those under 35, while the percentage given to those over 45 increased from 22 to 77.

Increasingly, government grants are used to defend dogma, not discover new truth: 28 percent of the scientists supported by NIH admitted recently to cooking data to support establishment theory, and 66 percent admitted to cutting corners to achieve the same end. I myself no longer trust the data claims appearing in the leading science journals.

The United States and the European nations have spent billions of dollars to build the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) outside Geneva, Switzerland. The new bill will spend more. The Standard Model of particle physics predicts that the central particle of the Standard Model, the Higgs Boson, must have a mass-energy of around 220 GeV, an energy well within the range of the LHC. But the particle physics establishment does not want the Higgs Boson to exist, because if it does, then particle physics would be complete, and the particle physicists would be out of a job. Gary Taubes, in his book Nobel Dreams, has documented that the same people now in control of the LHC tried years ago to cook the data to refute the Standard Model. Can they be trusted now?

The new Wreak-America Bill will throw billions of dollars more into global warming research, a field in which data cooking has become an open scandal. Once again, the data is being adjusted to confirm the establishment theory: humans are responsible for global warming. In actual fact, satellite observations show that the Earth is now cooling, and has been cooling for about 10 years. This confirms the anti-establishment theory that the Earth warmed prior to the late 1990s due to the then-increasing number of sunspots, and is now cooling due to the now decreasing number of sunspots. The Wreak-America bill contains funds to "adjust" those pesky satellite observations, so that the data will confirm what powerful politicians wish to be true.

Universities have essentially been nationalized, like the banks. For years, government research grants have been pork grants: between 30 and 50 percent of all grant money is for "overhead," which is spent at the discretion of university administrators. Surprise, surprise: administrators always decide that more administrators are needed, and administrator salaries increase. Over the last 50 years - the period of increasing government grant money - the administrator-student ratio at universities has increased more than 100 percent, while the faculty-student ratio has stayed the same or decreased. Today, a science professor cannot get tenure unless he has a government grant. A scientist's teaching skills, her contributions to scientific knowledge, are irrelevant.

The hallmark of a nationalized industry is degraded production, and we can already see this happening in physics. In his book The Trouble with Physics, the physicist Lee Smolin divided up the past two centuries into 25-year intervals, and listed the great breakthroughs in physics that occurred in each. Rather, in all intervals but one: the past 25 years, within which there have been no physics breakthroughs.

Nationalization of medical research has slowed the advance of medicine. The U.S. cancer death rate is actually higher today than it was decades ago, before Nixon launched his War on Cancer. NIH cancer researchers are given grants to "make progress toward curing cancer," not curing cancer. If someone found a cure for cancer, there would be no more grants for making progress toward a cure for cancer. Gary Taubes, in his most recent book Good Calories, Bad Calories, has shown how the American obesity epidemic is a consequence of government control of nutrition research, which has lead to poorer nutrition standards and guidelines than we had in the 1950s.

The great classical liberal economist Milton Friedman pointed out that, "Einstein didn't construct his theory on order from a bureaucrat." If this Wreak-America Bill becomes law, the only theories created will be those created on order from a bureaucrat. And the theories will be wrong. Scientific truth cannot be established by government degree.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.


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