Thursday, August 04, 2011

Britain's Green taxes 'hit tipping point that will damage jobs and investment'

The growing burden of green taxes and climate change policies has reached a 'tipping point' and is starting to hit jobs and investment, business leaders warn. The manufacturers' association EEF said the Government had significantly underestimated the extra costs of its environmental measures.

Firms are being hit by a wave of green taxes designed to help the UK meet its tough climate change targets and fill the Treasury's coffers.

There is increasing controversy over the Coalition’s reliance on environmental taxation, which topped £40billion for the first time last year. Most fell on motorists, who paid a record amount of £27billion in fuel duties. Air passengers paid a further £2billion, while the levy on rubbish, landfill tax, for the first time raised more than £1billion.

Business is being hit, too, with a new ‘carbon reduction commitment’ due to compel all companies over a certain size to measure their greenhouse gas emissions and then buy ‘permits to pollute’ from the Government.

The greener the companies are, the less they will pay under the scheme, which will be up and running next year.

Fuel bills are expected to increase following a Treasury move to increase the tax on North Sea oil and gas production.

And a new ‘carbon floor price’, announced by Chancellor George Osborne, will increase the cost of generating electricity from coal, gas and oil in an attempt to encourage more renewable forms of energy such as wind, solar and wave from 2013.

EEF policy director Steve Radley said: ‘UK industry was already facing energy bills which made them uncompetitive before the substantial additional burden of the unilateral carbon price floor. ‘We have now reached a tipping point where the cumulative burden of UK climate change policy will make it uncompetitive for some sectors to invest and create jobs in the UK.’

Energy watchdog Ofgem estimates the average householder already pays around £100 a year in hidden green taxes on their electricity and gas bills.

A spokesman for the Department of Energy and Climate Change said: ‘Our policies are focused on making sure we avoid costly blackouts and keep the lights on in the cheapest, cleanest way.’


Nickelodeon Joins Dept Of Education To Scare Kids On Climate Change

Wm. Teach

Why, yes, they are still pushing their failed cult, in this case, on little snowflakes who are sure to grow up with all sorts of mental issues from being constantly scared by adults. In a sane world, these people would be prosecuted for child abuse:
U.S. Education Dep’t Pushes Man-Made Global Warming, Saving the Earth at Children’s Reading Event

During a July event at the U.S. Department of Education, children from D.C. schools and day care centers were treated to free books, including two featuring Nickelodeon characters as part of the media organization’s “The Big Green Help” Series. One of the books promotes the idea that global warming is man made and the second book talks about what kids can do to save the Earth.

SpongeBob Goes Green! An Earth-Friendly Adventure! tells the story of SpongeBob’s friend, Krusty Krab, who builds a swimming pool. Mr. Krab is frustrated that it is not hot enough to attract paying customers to his new swimming pool and decides that the exhaust from boats and cars could solve his dilemma.

Well, it's nice that they were treated to free books. Perhaps the DoEd could push actual reading, instead of scary stories.
Dora Celebrates Earth Day! was also offered to the children by the Department of Education at the July 20 event, with character Dora the Explorer telling her friends and family “what they can do to save the Earth.”

On the back of both books the following is printed: “Now kids can get excited about going green with their favorite Nickelodeon characters! The Big Green Help, Nickelodeon’s environmental initiative, and Little Green Books, Simon & Schuster’s eco-friendly line, have joined together to create this new set of books. Each book, printed on recycled paper, encourages kids to take the lead in making the world a greener place.”

Obviously, I'm not particularly shocked by this bit of indoctrination by leftists in the government: it's what they do best.

They should all do like Dick Durbin does: talk to himself.


Pesky! Study says Biodegradable plastics worsen global warming

New plastics designed to break down naturally have been hailed as environmentally friendly alternatives to traditional plastics. Instead of taking decades or even centuries to decompose, they vanish in a few years.

But new research at North Carolina State University suggests they may not be so green after all.

The study, led by NCSU doctoral student James Levis, found that biodegradable plastics can release large amounts of methane gas when they break down in landfills. Methane is one of the most problematic greenhouse gases, able to trap much more heat than carbon dioxide, making it a major contributor to global warming.

“Everybody assumes that biodegradable is desirable. This study calls that into question,” says NCSU’s Dr. Morton Barlaz, an author on the study.

Biodegradable plastics are commonly used to make yard-waste bags and disposable drink cups. Unlike plastic bottles that are designed to be recycled, these materials were created with composting in mind. They’re also able to break down quickly if they end up as litter.

Though they might have been intended to go into the compost, many are destined to end up in a landfill. “You can say a cup is compostable,” Levis says. “But here in Raleigh and most places, there’s no separate bin, and it’s going to end up going in the garbage.”

In a well-managed compost system, Levis says, biodegradable plastics don’t release much methane at all. As long as oxygen is present, they will give off mostly carbon dioxide and water. But that’s not the case in landfills, where garbage is starved of oxygen.


69% Say It’s Likely Scientists Have Falsified Global Warming Research

FROM Rasmussen Report:

The debate over global warming has intensified in recent weeks after a new NASA study was interpreted by skeptics to reveal that global warming is not man-made. While a majority of Americans nationwide continue to acknowledge significant disagreement about global warming in the scientific community, most go even further to say some scientists falsify data to support their own beliefs.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of American Adults shows that 69% say it’s at least somewhat likely that some scientists have falsified research data in order to support their own theories and beliefs, including 40% who say this is Very Likely. Twenty-two percent (22%) don’t think it’s likely some scientists have falsified global warming data, including just six percent (6%) say it’s Not At All Likely. Another 10% are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here .)

The number of adults who say it’s likely scientists have falsified data is up 10 points from December 2009
Fifty-seven percent (57%) believe there is significant disagreement within the scientific community on global warming, up five points from late 2009. One in four (25%) believes scientists agree on global warming. Another 18% aren’t sure.

Republicans and adults not affiliated with either major political party feel stronger than Democrats that some scientists have falsified data to support their global warming theories, but 51% of Democrats also agree.

Men are more likely than women to believe some scientists have put out false information on the issue.

Democrats are more likely to support immediate action on global warming compared to those from other party affiliations.


The EPA Nation-Killing Machine

By Alan Caruba

The problem with the Environmental Protection Agency is that it has “protected” the nation into a place where corporations flee to other nations, exporting jobs no longer available here. When not doing that, it is destroying the ability of whole industries—particularly energy—and of our agricultural dynamo to function.

In late July, the Sacramento Bee reported that “There are fewer undocumented immigrants in California—and the Sacramento region—because many are now finding the American dream south of the border.” While America struggles to survive its regulatory juggernaut, “Mexico’s unemployment rate is now 4.9 percent, compared with 9.4 percent joblessness in the United States.”

What’s wrong with that equation? Everything!

Putting aside the debate over debt and wasteful spending, at the heart of the economic stagnation that has been occurring is the Environmental Protection Agency. It is an agency of pure malice and a place that arrogantly cites bogus health statistics while issuing rules and regulations that are strangling the economy.

James Hammerton of Freedom Works recently noted that “The EPA is in the process of completing and finalizing 30 major regulations and 170 major policy rules that would impose hundreds of billions of dollars of compliance costs on the economy.” Only Congress can stop this.

Long after the global warming hoax was exposed, the EPA continues to insist that carbon dioxide, a gas vital to all life on Earth, has to be regulated. Even after the administration’s failed effort to get Cap-and-Trade legislation passed, the EPA relentlessly pursues this policy.

In brief, the claim is that carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere is causing global warming. Therefore it must be reduced. Who produces CO2? Everyone! Humans exhale about six pounds of it a day. Every kind of energy use for manufacturing, for transportation, for the production of electricity, all this and more generates CO2 emissions. All this and more represent the core elements of our economy.

Why would you want to “trade” CO2? Well, by selling and trading “carbon credits”, millions of dollars can be made by the exchanges set up for that purpose. Utilities and manufacturing facilities would all have to buy the credits in order to stay in business. The whole global warming hoax was devoted to this scheme and, of course, those advocating it were all going to get obscenely wealthy while the cost of everything increased for the rest of us.

The problem for the EPA is that the Chicago exchange set up to trade carbon credits has long since closed its doors after revelations in November 2009 that a handful of climate modeling scientists had rigged the models to show a warming trend when, in fact, the planet had entered a cooling cycle in 1998!

Sensing that its ability to destroy the economy is slipping away, the EPA has been readying regulations allegedly based on the nation’s air quality. The problem they face is that the air over the U.S. is as clean as it has ever been. With the exception of places like Los Angeles, air quality has never been better. The EPA is literally trying to regulate dust that drifts in from Africa or airborne soot that arrives from Pacific volcanoes.

Regarding its proposed Ozone rules, John Engler, the president of the Business Roundtable, noted that “There’s nothing reasonable or balanced about the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal to tighten national air-quality standards for ozone emissions at this time. For one thing, it’s premature, coming a full two years before the EPA is scheduled to complete its own scientific study of ozone emissions in 2013.” Not surprisingly, 2013 is likely to be the year that the U.S. has a new president and a Congress made up primarily of politicians devoted to debt reduction and the elimination of waste.

There is not enough time, nor space to describe how crazed the EPA is, but let me share just one example. The EPA recently told New York City that it will have to build a $1.6 billion-plus cover of a reservoir to prevent contamination of cryptosporidium, a water-born pathogen that causes diarrhea, from getting into its water system.

As the Wall Street Journal noted, “There’s one problem. The pathogen hasn’t been found in the reservoir despite years of tests and is barely present in the city.” Never mind, the EPA is claiming that the cover would “prevent between 112,000 and 365,000 cases annually”!

It gets worse, “New York City has already spent nearly $15 billion since 2002 for federally-mandated water projects, with the feds chipping in less than 1% of the costs. Next year it will finish building a $1.6 billion ultraviolet facility—the largest in the world—to disinfect water even more than it already does.”

That is just a snapshot of the billions in costs the EPA is right now trying to impose on a nation that is already $14 trillion in debt.

Here’s a suggestion. Close down the EPA entirely. Let the States determine what should be done regarding their air, water, and other environmental standards. The nation could save itself trillions by just ridding itself of the crazies running the EPA.


Carbon tax is still a big loser for the Australian Left

SUPPORT for federal Labor has collapsed in metropolitan Sydney and is so low in Queensland that former prime minister Kevin Rudd would be the only government MP to hold his seat in the state if elections had been held last weekend.

Polling commissioned by the Australian Coal Association also shows the government has achieved only marginal gains in support for the carbon tax since the package was released early last month and that a clear majority of voters remain opposed.

It found opposition to the carbon tax was highest in Queensland electorates (62 per cent) and key Sydney metropolitan electorates (61 per cent) and that 67 per cent of voters believed the Prime Minister should wait to introduce the tax until after an election.

The Galaxy poll shows the majority of people believe they will be left worse off by the tax despite the government's bid to sell its compensation package.

Galaxy said while more voters were claiming they better understood the tax and options were becoming more deeply entrenched "this is not translating into increased support".

A clear majority believe it is bad for the economy, nearly three quarters of voters (74 per cent) believe the coal industry should receive the same levels of support as other key export industries and 65 per cent believe the government should offer financial support for carbon capture and storage.

The poll of 2000 voters from across Australia was taken between last Wednesday and Monday and shows Labor's primary vote is 31 per cent compared with the Coalition's 48 per cent. The Greens' vote was 13 per cent. The result gave the Coalition a 56 per cent to 44 per cent two-party preferred lead.

Labor's primary vote has collapsed to just 29 per cent in the Sydney metropolitan area compared with 54 per cent for the Coalition and 9 per cent for the Greens. This gave Tony Abbott's Coalition a commanding 60-40 per cent two party preferred lead in the nation's biggest city and put it on track to pick up a swing of 13 per cent.

In Queensland Labor's primary vote was 32 per cent compared with 54 per cent for the Coalition and 8 per cent for the Greens. This gave the Opposition a 41 per cent to 59 per cent lead over the government on a two-party preferred basis and put it on track for a 6 per cent swing.

The national results are broadly similar to the latest Newspoll taken on July 22-24 that put Labor's primary vote at 29 per cent, the Coalition at 47 per cent and the Greens at 13 per cent. And where as the July 22-24 Newspoll had support for the carbon tax at 36 per cent, the Galaxy poll put support for the tax at 37 per cent.

The poll found that while Julia Gillard's bid to sell the tax had resulted in slight gains -- 39 per cent of people now said they understood the tax compared with 38 per cent in April and those supporting it rose to 37 per cent from 35 per cent in April -- an unchanged 55 per cent of voters opposed the tax.

And while the number of people who thought they would be worse off had fallen, the figure still remained at 69 per cent from 77 per cent in April. The number of people who thought they would be better off rose to 9 per cent from 6 per cent in April.

The number of people who thought the carbon tax would be good for the economy remained steady at 27 per cent and the number who thought it would be worse for the economy rose to 57 per cent from 55 per cent.

While Galaxy said the impact of higher power prices was having less impact in swaying voters now compared with when they were last polled on the issue in April, lower income earners held the greatest concerns about the tax, suggesting they were either not aware of the government's compensation package or did not believe it would offset expected price rises.

A majority of voters, 52 per cent, believed Mr Abbott should scrap the tax if he won the next election and 55 per cent of voters believed the Greens had too much input into the policy.

While the number of people who thought man's emissions were to blame for global warming stayed the same between the April poll and the latest survey at 36 per cent, the number of people who thought global warming was part of the natural cycle of nature rose in the latest survey to 32 per cent from 26 per cent.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, 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 are mirrors of this site here and here


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