Friday, January 06, 2012

Environmentalists are bad for the environment

Matt Patterson applies their own "logic" to Greenies themselves

A few weeks ago, I was walking the streets of Washington, D.C. when I happened to look up and catch the eye of a red-faced young man wearing the two things which cause me dread -- the naive optimism of youth and a shirt that read "Go Green!"

He had a clipboard, too. Never a good sign. Nor was he alone -- his green-shirted cohorts swarmed the sidewalk, accosting every passersby whose attention they could capture with: "Do you have a moment for the environment?"

Fortunately, I speak fluent liberalese, so I understood this request to really mean, "Can I try and convince you the Earth is warming even as we stand here and shiver, and that you could do something to stop it by handing over money to a complete stranger on the street?"

Frankly, I was appalled by the obliviousness of these seemingly well-meaning do-gooders. Do they know how many trees died to produce the pamphlets and flyers they were distributing will-nilly?

I'm sure they communicated with each other via email and text as they planned their eco-harassment campaign .... don't they know that computers use electricity, and that electricity comes from burning fossil fuels, which puts dangerous amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere?

And I'm quite sure that these environmentalists came from homes heated by, you guessed it, fossil fuels!

So you see, by their own measure these apparent green warriors are actually the worst sort of climate criminals -- why, the very breath puffing from their mouths, visible and vaporous, was bursting with poisonous CO2, even as it carried honeyed words of environmental concern. Imagine!

It just goes to prove what I have said all along -- environmentalists are terrible for the environment. For another example just look at the green movement's desperate effort to kill TransCanada's proposed Keystone XL pipeline.

The 1,700-mile pipeline, which would run from Hardisty, Alberta, to Port Arthur, Texas, would help liberate untold millions of barrels of dangerous fossil fuels from Canada's tar sands -- yet enviros are bound and determined to keep this poison in the bosom of Mother Earth. Terrible, really.

I will give the environmental movement credit for one thing that did actually help the Earth: In 1972, thanks to the tireless activism of the Environmental Defense Fund, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a ban on all domestic uses of the chemical pesticide DDT.

The result, as noted by the American Council on Science and Health: "The banning of its domestic use led to its diminished production in the United States -- and less availability of DDT for the developing world. The results were disastrous: at least 1-2 million people continue to die from malaria each year, 30-60 million or more lives needlessly lost since the ban took effect. This is especially tragic since there was hope of eradicating the disease altogether when DDT was first introduced and its potential was recognized."

So thanks to the environmentalists who pushed for the DDT ban, there are millions of fewer people on the planet, and we all know how bad for the environment people are. Way to go green!

But as for the pretender who shoved a flyer in my face that cold December morning, I passed him right by. I can't imagine whatever he was hawking could be as effective as the DDT ban.

Besides, if I'm going to give my money to a complete stranger, I'd just as soon give it to the very nice homeless man I see most days in DuPont Circle. At least I knew where his Christmas bounty was going; the same place as mine: Booze.


Global cooling hits sea turtles

Cold-stunned turtles washing ashore in NC

The cold snap plaguing large areas of the Tar Heel state is causing problems for sea turtles, who have begun washing up on shore in large numbers after being stunned by quickly-dropping water temperatures.

As of Thursday morning, 19 marine reptiles – three loggerheads, 16 green turtles – had been found on regional beaches, mostly in the Cape Lookout area.

Twelve of the green turtles died Wednesday night, but Jean Beasley, director of the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center in Topsail Beach, said the rest of the group was showing some signs of life. “I think within 72 hours we should have a pretty good idea,” Beasley said late Wednesday. “It's going to take us a while to warm these turtles up.”

Because reptiles, including turtles, can't regulate their own body heat, they're susceptible to sudden, drastic shifts in water temperature. “If it's a gradual lowering of temperature, they can survive and do pretty well,” Beasley said. “But if they've been at 78 degrees and it drops into the lower 60s, they are probably going to stun.”

Cold-stunned turtles appear extremely lethargic and in some cases will stop moving entirely as more of their blood supply diverts to the core of their bodies, a condition Beasley said is a relatively common occurrence in North Carolina during the winter months.

“Last year, we had up over 150, and we had quite a few that died,” she said. “The longer they're exposed to the severe cold, the bigger impact it's going to have on their basic systems, their core body and their vital organs, so the sooner we can get them the greater chance they have.”

To recover from a cold stun, sea turtles must be warmed gradually. Raising their core temperature too quickly can result in a reverse shock, which can kill them, Beasley said. And though the extreme cold weather has passed, turtles may continue to wash up on shore in the coming days.


China airlines refuse to pay EU carbon charge

And Europe loses a big aircraft order as a warning shot

Chinese airlines will not pay a charge on carbon emissions imposed by the European Union from January 1, a national aviation industry group said Thursday.

The cap-and-trade scheme, which has angered the US and Chinese governments and airlines worldwide, came into force on Sunday after the European Union's highest court rejected a challenge brought by US carriers last month.

"China, of course, will not cooperate with the European Union on the ETS (emissions trading scheme)," said Chai Haibo, deputy secretary-general of the China Air Transport Association, which represents the country's airlines. "The CATA, on behalf of Chinese airlines, is strongly against the EU's improper practice of unilaterally forcing international airlines into its ETS," Chai said from Beijing, where the group is based.

He said the Chinese government was considering "counter-measures" against the European Union, but gave no details.

Airlines that refuse to comply could be fined with the possibility of being denied the right to land in the 27-nation EU in extreme cases, according to the Europeans.

State media has previously warned the EU scheme "infringes on national sovereignty, violates international aviation treaties and will lead to a trade war" in the sector.

The EU launched the ETS in 2005 in a bid to reduce carbon emissions of power stations and industrial plants. It decided to include airlines, responsible for three percent of global emissions, in the system in the absence of a global agreement to cap aviation emissions.

Under the EU scheme, airlines will have to pay for 15 percent of the polluting rights accorded to them in 2012, the figure then rising to 18 percent between 2013 and 2020.

China has said it fears its aviation sector will have to pay an additional 800 million yuan ($125 million) a year on flights originating or landing in Europe, and that the cost could be almost four times higher by 2020. The tax would affect all of China's major airlines -- including Air China, China Eastern and China Southern, the CATA previously told AFP.

China reportedly blocked an order by Hong Kong Airlines for billions of euros' worth of Airbus aircraft earlier this year in retaliation for the EU move, underscoring the potential for a significant trade row.

The Airlines for America association grudgingly indicated that its members would abide by the EU law, but "under protest" while pursuing legal options.

Chai said that Chinese airlines will not pass any additional costs to passengers for now, since they are not participating in the scheme. "We're not cooperating with them (EU countries), how could we charge customers such fees?" he said.


When Graft Won't Save You, It's Called Green Energy

John Ransom

The proof of the failure of solar power isn’t in the Solyndra bankruptcy, but in potential BKs by industry leaders like First Solar (FSLR), the largest solar company in the world.

Since May of 2008, when First Solar reached its all-time high of $311, the company has lost 90 percent of its value, falling to $31-$33. The company has been selling assets tied to government loans, insiders have been cashing out the stock and the number of short-sellers- those investors who are betting the stock will go down- now amounts to about 43 percent of the shares in public hands as of December 15, 2011. In the meantime CEO Robert Gillette exited stage right, with $30 million thank you from the company in October of 2011.

But he didn’t leave before First Solar received federal loan guarantees and other consideration to the tune of $3.5 billion.

Today, FSLR stock is worth about $3 billion in market capitalization even after federal, state and local largesse.

First Solar Stock Chart by YCharts

Thank you Robert Gillette. Between 2008 and 2011 Gillette and First Solar spent a little over $2 million on various lobbying activities along with $300,000 to various “green-friendly” candidates. That’s investment that Democrats at least can believe in. The market however isn’t as gullible.

When Obama was elected in the fall of 2008 several publications reached out to me to write about investments that would be “hot” and those that would be “not” with the new administration. The suggestion was that solar and other green technologies would be places that would be “hot.”

It was tempting at the time to put solar and other green technologies into the “hot” column because everyone knew that the Democrats were going to throw money at the “green” job industry.

In fact, the Western states of Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada- largely controlled by Democrats- were already throwing money at solar companies touting the jobs that would be created in the green energy field.

However, basing an investment philosophy on government intervention makes about as much sense as basing it on non-monetary gains like, oh, I don’t know, lowering carbon emissions.

Sounds great in theory, but return on investment isn’t a theory; it’s a prerequisite to successful investing.

Here’s what I wrote at the time for Hard Asset Investor:
Without these state mandates, solar power might still remain an interesting, but uneconomical alternative to all but the most dedicated environmentalists.

That's because the price per kilowatt hour for solar power electrical generation at the largest scale still hovers around $.21 per kilowatt hour, according to the website Old-fashioned coal-fired electrical generation only cost an average of $.0821 to $.1648 per kilowatt hour in 2007 depending on region, according to figures compiled by the Energy Information Administration. And competing alternative energy sources - like wind energy - are lower cost in most regions than solar, too. Solar's costs have to still come down substantially for a long-term boom to take hold.

But three years later, the economics of green energy make as little sense as they did back then even with generous government subsidies. Gone are many of the Democrat-controlled governments at the state level that championed green energy and the job creation benefits they were supposed to confer. They’ve been replaced by gaping state budget deficits that have little sympathy for green energy theory and a lot of room for common sense.

The big breakthroughs in cost-savings that have been predicted for solar haven’t come- solar still costs over $.20 per kilowatt hour, although devotees are still making brave promises of future cost savings. And while many blame oversupply in solar panels for the troubles plaguing the industry, oversupply generally isn’t a problem with industries that have actual demand.

In a piece by the National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC), it was revealed that First Solar recently laid off half of its workforce at the Antelope Valley solar project. According to the NLPC, the company made a round of additional layoffs in December, trimming research and development staff.

That’s because the sales arrow is pointing in the wrong direction. Sales estimates have plunged from around $3.5 billion for 2012 to $2.8 billion and could deteriorate further. Earnings estimates have plunged as well.

In the past trailing twelve months the company has chewed through close to three-quarters of a billion dollars in levered cash-flow. Just three months ago analysts thought the company would generate earnings per share of around $10.48 according to estimates provided by Yahoo Finance. After revisions, earnings have been slashed to a consensus estimate of $4.19 for 2012.

“’I’m a little shocked’ by the cuts to forecasted per-share earnings, said Mark Bachman, an analyst at Avian Securities LLC in Boston who has a ‘positive’ rating on First Solar,’” according to “’They severely handicapped next year’s numbers.’”

For the solar industry as a whole it’s looking less and less like a handicap and more like a terminal disease.

And if First Solar can’t make it after all the subsidized loans, state incentives, money spent on lobbying and political donations, then someone ought to ask for their money back.
Taxpayers ought to be first in line for a refund.


Stand up and be counted for science

This morning, I noticed someone had visited and commented on an old thread from last year about the Republican vote to defund the IPCC. The comment showed a strong belief in science, and condemnation of the way politics and other non-scientific forces have tried to turn science into a tool of propaganda. What impressed me the most was that this is a person of good standing in the science community, who was prepared to put his full name and list his qualifications and institutional affiliation at the bottom of his comment.
IPCC should not only be defunded, it should be deleted as an agency. The reason is its misuse of the concept of science. It has never been meant to rely on correct science and uses science for one simple reason. People believe in science, since people have seen the result of powerful applications of it during 100 years.

IPCC uses this fact to “sell” its political message to get support from ordinary people. Science is a “brand” for selling propaganda. The only way to keep the IPCC is for it to skip any claim of being scientific at all and clearly declare what it really is: a political organization.

My tutor when writing my exam paper in meteorology was Bert Bolin, the founder of IPCC. He was for sure a screwed influential politician and a dishonest and ordinary scientist.

Hans Jelbring, BSc, meteorologist, Stockholm University, Civil engineer, electronics, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, PhD, institution of Paleogeophysics & geodynamics, Stockholm University.

We have been through a dark time when blacklists of scientists who disagree with the IPCC climate orthodoxy have been drawn up, editors have been threatened with being forced out of their jobs for allowing dissenting papers to be published in journals, correct science which disproves the orthodoxy position has been ignored and witch hunts on skeptical scientists and bloggers have been promoted.

The way the IPCC pursues its objectives is for me summed up by this quote from Sir Robert Watson who instructed the IPCC lead authors and core team to supply him with the material he needed for the Summary for Policy makers :
The key to success for the Synthesis Report and the SPM will be punchy take home messages, and thoughtful tables and figures.

Would you please send me comments by Friday, February 2. I think that the key to success will be a few well-crafted tables and figures. As soon as I receive your comments, I will write a 5-7 page SPM.

If you believe as we do, that science must be defended for its universality, honesty and open-ness, and those who misuse and subvert it as a tool to promote a narrow agenda must be prevented from calling themselves a scientific organisation, don’t be afraid to say who you are and what you believe.


Australia: Greenie fanaticism destroys crops

THE State Government has taken aim at a council's "stupid rule" banning hail nets after tonnes of farmers' fruit were destroyed in the Christmas Day storms.

Minister for agriculture and food security Peter Walsh slammed Yarra Ranges Council's "silly" rule stopping farmers putting hail nets over all of their crops, allowing more damage to be done in the Christmas Day hailstorms.

"It is wrong that Yarra Ranges Council thinks it more important to give people in passing cars an unblemished green vista than to protect farmers crops from destruction," he said. "What makes it more disappointing is that the damage could have been minimized except for stupid Yarra Ranges Council policies restricting use of protective hail nets."

"For many growers, hail netting provides the best form of protection against hail, yet council policy limits orchardists in green wedge zones to covering a maximum of only 60 per cent of their trees in hail nets, meaning almost half their orchard is left exposed to storms."

Yarra Ranges Mayor Graham Warren said the council was the first to develop a green wedge management plan focusing on "sustainable farming, a healthy biodiversity and valued landscapes".

He said a review of the current scheme was planned. "Council supports the use of hail netting by businesses in the Yarra Valley to protect their crops. All applications for hail netting are considered on their merits, including the business needs of applicants," he said.



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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