Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A call for action

Thanks to the MANY US citizens who called congressional legislators to object to the 1603 tax credit and the Production Tax Credit (PTC) wind subsidies being included in the Unemployment Tax bill. Thanks to YOU, the citizens WON that skirmish!

This has not ended yet as these rent-seeking parasites are still continuing to try to latch onto our tax dollars — now with the Transportation bill. Senator Bennett proposed a "non-germaine" amendment (#1709) to the Transportation Bill, that would extend the wind energy PTC.

As far as we know, negotiations are on-going to determine which amendments will be included, and this will be decided between Senators Reed and McConnell.

Minority Leader Mitch McConnell will be the most receptive, so please focus your calls on him: 202-224-2541 (or through the general congressional switchboard number: 202-224-3121).

US citizens need to call Senator McConnell and urge him to oppose the Bennett Amendment #1709 to the Transportation Bill (and ANY extension of the wind energy PTC). Encourage Senator McConnell to make decisions based on sound science (which includes fiscal responsibility).


FYI, Senator Lamar Alexander made a very good speech on the topic. See here

Here is a good example of how AWEA is spinning this situation in a dishonest way

In President Obama’ proposed budget, is a new permanent tax credit for renewables. Although it isn’t likely to see the light of day, we need to make sure of that, so mentioning your opposition to that in your call would be good. See here.

Received via email

If the icecaps are melting, how come the sea-level is FALLING?

Sea level has been plummeting for four years, and is lower than it was in 2003 when EU’s Envisat satellite was launched. This is solid proof that Greenland and Antarctica are melting down at unprecedented rates and flooding the oceans with negative water [/sarcasm]

SOURCE (See the original for links)

Gleick's deceptive use of documents is not the first by Warmists

By Russell Cook

Most of the news about the Heartland Institute "Fakegate" controversy centers around stolen documents and the warmist scientist who confessed to his role in the matter. But the scandal also opens a door to the curious history of the charge that skeptics are merely in the pay of fossil fuel interests, a recurring theme once again picked up in the Fakegate affair.

It is worthwhile remembering that the usage of "-gate" in such scandals is derived from the initial 1972 story of a break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate office complex in Washington, D.C. The story started out small, but it widened when questions about the burglary and its apparent motives were more thoroughly investigated.

Fakegate may offer a similar doorway into an elaborate scheme, more complex and nefarious than mere identity theft and fabrication of false documents.

In this case, the Wall Street Journal's 2/21/12 "Not-So-Vast Conspiracy" editorial opened the door ever so slightly about an otherwise unexplored older and bigger problem surrounding the entire global warming issue. Facts not mentioned in the editorial open it further.

The name of Ross Gelbspan indirectly figures in the WSJ editorial. A 1995 Harper's article cited in the editorial was written by Ross Gelbspan. The stolen Heartland Institute documents first appeared on the internet at the enviro-activist blog site Desmogblog. Its star blogger is Ross Gelbspan.

The door opens wider with the revelation that Pacific Institute scientist Peter Gleick confessed to inappropriately acquiring the documents. A little digging reveals a still-current Pacific Institute web page dating to April 2004 titled "Science, Climate Change, and Censorship" (backup link here), where Gleick says this about skeptic climate scientist Pat Michaels: "He is one of a very small minority of nay-sayers who continue to dispute the facts and science about climate change in the face of compelling, overwhelming, and growing evidence." Farther down that page is a prominent reference to Ross Gelbspan.

Compare Gleick's quote to a 10/29/99 Yes magazine article by Gelbspan, titled "The Global Warming Crisis," where Gelbspan describes fossil fuel industry education efforts:

That propaganda campaign -- especially as it was articulated by a tiny handful of scientists called "greenhouse skeptics" (many of whom received large amounts of undisclosed funding from fossil fuel interests) -- centered on the claim that climate change was not scientifically proven. More recently, as the science has become too robust to deny[.]

Al Gore's 2006 movie prominently attempted to illustrate a parallel with old tobacco industry efforts to confuse the public about smoking hazards. In the movie's companion book, Gore cited Ross Gelbspan for proof about a "leaked coal industry memo," saying Gelbspan discovered it.

Such citations only compound the problem here. Despite numerous books and magazine and newspaper articles repeating this allegation of "coal industry memo smoking gun evidence," all trace back to a 1997 book The Heat is On, by Ross Gelbspan. Curiously, author Gelbspan never says how he obtained the memo, and neither he nor any other accuser ever shows this memo in its full context. As I explained in a prior article, a particular phrase quoted in the memos has every appearance of being taken out-of-context in order to portray it as the primary goal of a sinister industry directive. However, these specific memos were actually a rejected proposal for a small pilot project PR campaign, and Gelbspan offers no proof of them being seen by fossil fuel industry executives outside the campaign.

More questions arise when astute readers see the same "memo words" on page 34 of Gelbspan's 1997 book that are seen on page 360 of Gore's 1992 Earth in the Balance, a problem I described at length in my article at ClimateDepot last year. Even more questions arise from the revelation that a now-defunct website promoting mostly anti-skeptic material was transferred from the University of Maryland's Center for Global Change to Gleick's Pacific Institute in 1996. Alan Miller was the director of the Center for Global Change, the same individual I described in my AT article last summer. Miller wrote about the leaked coal industry memo before Gelbspan did, in a 1994 book where he also directly thanked Al Gore's then-current White House "assistant" Rosina Bierbaum. I use the word "assistant" there, as Gore is seen relying on her in this White House 1997 Q&A press session.

If the current situation involving Peter Gleick looks eerily similar to the Watergate burglar story, is it not a good idea to start peeling back more layers of this mess, since there are indications that there has never been any validity to the portrayal of skeptic climate scientists as untrustworthy shills of the fossil fuel industry? Do this current controversy and all the problems surrounding it not reveal that we have potentially just the opposite problem -- the appearance of a White House-driven enviro-activist collaborative effort to confuse the public into believing there is no legitimate criticism of the idea of man-caused global warming?


EPA has lost it's way on warming

EPA’s carbon dioxide rules endanger human health and welfare

Legal challenges by states and industry groups over the Environmental Protection Agency’s efforts to regulate carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases could and should be decided in the challengers’ favor. Whether that will happen in this highly politicized, semi-scientific matter of “dangerous manmade global warming and climate change” remains to be seen. Regardless of what the DC Court of Appeals decides, the case will almost assuredly return to the Supreme Court, where the outcome is equally uncertain.

In Massachusetts v. EPA, the Supreme Court said EPA had the authority (but not the obligation) to regulate CO2 under the Clean Air Act’s “capacious definition of air pollutant.” EPA could do so, the court ruled, if its administrator concluded that GHG emissions “may reasonably be anticipated to endanger public health or welfare.” In other words, the administrator’s opinion was not sufficient. The agency must conduct a scientific study and make a convincing scientific case for taking action.

Not surprisingly, Administrator Lisa Jackson decided that CO2 does endanger public health and welfare, and signaled her intention to regulate these emissions. However, there are serious problems with this.

First, EPA conducted no original research of its own. Relying on work by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and other agencies, it merely selected existing studies and reports that supported its predetermined outcome – and ignored numerous studies that contradicted its decision.

Second, scientific opinion is sharply divided on the extent to which these gases might contribute to climate change. EPA chose to disregard this inconvenient truth – and continue the shoddy practice begun by the IPCC and alarmist climate scientists of refusing to discuss or debate the validity of computer models, assertions of imminent disaster, and evidence for and against the catastrophic AGW hypothesis.

Third, carbon dioxide simply is not a “pollutant” within the meaning of the Clean Air act. It is not an agent that fouls or contaminates the air, making it harmful to human health. In fact, CO2 is a natural component of Earth’s atmosphere and a key ingredient in photosynthesis. Without carbon dioxide all life on Earth would cease to exist.

Fourth, both the 2007 Supreme Court decision and the IPCC studies relied on by EPA predate the Climategate emails and other scandals that have revealed how contrived, questionable and perhaps even fraudulent global warming disaster “science” actually is. Had those documents surfaced prior to its 2007 deliberations, the Court’s decision might well have been very different.

Fifth, allowing EPA to impose its CO2/GHG regulatory regime would effectively put the agency in charge of every aspect of Americans’ energy use, economic activities and lives. EPA’s unprecedented and exorbitantly expensive rules will severely and adversely affect hydrocarbon use, energy prices, food production, manufacturing, transportation, jobs, home and office heating and cooling, hospital and school operations – and thus human health and welfare.

Finally, and most absurd of all, even eliminating every source of carbon dioxide in the USA – electricity generation, vehicles, industries, humans and animals – would do nothing to reduce other emission sources worldwide. While US carbon dioxide emissions are declining, those sources continue to raise atmospheric CO2 concentrations. Thus, despite their devastating impacts on America’s economy and living standards, EPA’s rules would do virtually nothing to forestall the harms that its pseudo-science predicts.

Into this legal, scientific and regulatory cesspool now comes yet another element, which may yet go down as a key turning point in the debate – more important even than Climategate: Peter Gleick’s February 14 transmission of several stolen documents and a forged memorandum to 15 environmental activists in the United States and possibly abroad.

The stolen documents were taken from The Heartland Institute, a Chicago-based think tank that has received increasing attention for challenging IPCC and EPA global warming doom and gloom dogma, misinformation and propaganda. (Among the documents stolen were lists of HI donors and its entire 2012 budget.) The left and its mainstream media lapdogs had a field day with the information, but focused almost exclusively on the forged memo, which purported to reveal Heartland’s secret “climate strategy” – to make school children, citizens and legislators better informed about actual climate science.

Six days later Gleick, president and co-founder of the Pacific Institute, confessed to the crime. Virtually everyone now agrees the memo is a poor forgery, probably written by Gleick, although he still denies having done so.

Gleick is a prominent member of the global warming clique. His take-down is big news, and one reason this scandal could overshadow Climategate in its impact on global warming debates. Despite all the Sturm und Drang caused by Climategate, no one really paid a price for the gross misbehavior revealed by the leaked emails – even though the actions were funded with taxpayer money and used to promote bogus science, harmful public policies, and massive changes in energy use and living standards.

Gleick has been forced to step down from several positions, including as president of the Pacific Institute, and will likely face civil and criminal charges. His is likely to be only the first scalp that global warming “realists” collect from this incident. Heartland has indicated it will also go after Gleick’s accomplices in major environmental organizations and even in the drive-by media.

The criminal and civil cases will drag out for years, and discovery could uncover even more misbehavior in the alarmist camp than did Climategate. Heartland may also face discovery, but the stolen documents suggest that it has little or nothing to hide.

Why did Gleick target Heartland? As HI president Joseph Bast wrote to climate scientist Judith Curry in a message posted on her blog, Climate Etc: “I suspect he targeted us because we have done so much to document and rebut the assumptions and exaggerations of the global warming alarmists.” He then mentioned Heartland’s monthly publication, Environment & Climate News, its persuasive multi-volume response to the IPCC, Climate Change Reconsidered, and its six international climate conferences. (See here)

Climategate caught the global warming establishment off-guard, but it soon regained its footing, aided immensely by the billions of dollars that governments are pouring into the “climate crisis” industry. Fakegate is rocking their world again, revealing the alarmists’ increasing desperation that the debate they don’t want to have will cost them their credibility, prestige, power and funding. This time, Fakegate may sweep some of them off their feet.

Who knew what Gleick was up to, and when did they know it? Who was Gleick trying to impress by this theft and forgery, and what did he and his accomplices seek to gain?

In the digital era, every email and every PDF document leaves a digital trail. There will be no cover up this time, no white-wash investigations by friendly IPCC and university colleagues. The perpetrator can’t take the Fifth Amendment in a civil suit, and the prospect of time in jail has been known to loosen lips. The whole global warming cabal is wondering when the next shoe will drop, and drop it shall.

The truth will finally come out, and the world will be better for it.


Wind Spin: Misdirection and Fluff by a Taxpayer-enabled Industry

by John Droz, Jr. (A physicist & environmental advocate)

“When a major turbine manufacturer calls a catastrophic failure like a blade falling off ‘structural liberation,’ we know we are in for an adventurous ride in a theme park divorced from reality.”

Trying to pin down the arguments of wind promoters is a bit like trying to grab a greased balloon. Just when you think you’ve got a handle on it, it morphs into a different shape and escapes your grasp. Let’s take a quick highlight review of how things have evolved with wind merchandising.

1 – Wind energy was abandoned well over a hundred years ago, as even in the late 1800s it was totally inconsistent with our burgeoning, more modern needs for power. When we throw the switch, we expect that the lights will go on – 100% of the time. It’s not possible for wind energy, by itself, to ever do this, which is one of the main reasons it was relegated to the dust bin of antiquated technologies (along with such other inadequate sources as horse and oxen power).

2 – Fast forward to several years ago. With politicians being convinced that Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) was an imminent catastrophic threat, lobbyists launched campaigns to favor all things that would purportedly reduce carbon dioxide. Wind energy was thus resurrected, as its marketers pushed the fact that wind turbines did not produce CO2 while generating electricity.

3 – Of course, just that by itself is not significant, so the original wind development lobbyists then made the case for a quantum leap: that by adding wind turbines to the grid we could significantly reduce CO2 from fossil fuel electrical sources (especially coal). This argument became the basis for many states implementing a Renewable Energy Standard (RES) or Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS)– which mandated that their utilities use (or purchase) a prescribed amount of wind energy.

4 – Why was a mandate necessary? Simply because the real world reality of integrating wind energy made it a very expensive option. As such, no utility companies would likely do this on their own. They had to be forced to.

5 – Interestingly, although the stated main goal of these RES/RPS programs was to reduce CO2, not a single state’s RES/RPS requires verification of CO2 reduction from any wind project, either beforehand or after the fact. The politicians simply took the lobbyists’ word that consequential CO2 savings would be realized!

6 - It wasn’t too long before utility companies and independent energy experts calculated that the actual CO2 savings were miniscule (if any). This was due to the inherent nature of wind energy, and the realities of continuously balancing the grid, on a second-by-second basis, with fossil-fuel-generated electricity. The frequently cited Bentek study (How Less Became More) is a sample independent assessment of this aspect. More importantly, there has been zero scientific proof provided by the wind industry to support their claims of CO2 reduction.

7 – The wind lobbyists soon added another rationale to prop up their case: energy diversity. However, since our electricity system already had considerable diversity, and many asked “more diversity at what cost?” this hype never gained much traction. Back to the drawing board….

8 - The next justification put forward by the wind marketers was energy independence. This cleverly played on the concern most people have about oil and Middle East instability. Many ads were run promoting wind energy as a good way to reduce our “dependence on Middle Eastern oil.”

None of these ads mentioned that only about 1% of our electricity is generated from oil. Or that the US exports more oil than we use for electricity. Or that our main import source for oil is Canada (not the Middle East). Despite the significant omissions and misrepresentations, this claim still resonates with many people, so it continues to be pushed. Whatever works.

9 – Knowing full well that the assertions used to date were specious, wind proponents manufactured still another claim: green jobs. This was carefully selected to coincide with widespread employment concerns. Unfortunately, when independent qualified parties examined the situation more closely, they found that the claims were wildly exaggerated. Big surprise!

Further, as attorney and energy expert Chris Horner has so eloquently stated:

"There is nothing – no program, no hobby, no vice, no crime – that does not ‘create jobs.’ Tsunamis, computer viruses and shooting convenience store clerks all ‘create jobs.’ So that claim misses the plot. It applies to all, and so is an argument in favor of none. Instead of making a case on the merits, it is an admission that one has no such arguments."

Also see the recent post at MasterResource, The Collapsing Case for ‘Green’ Energy, where California Berkeley professor Severin Borenstein warns his beloved green community that fossil fuels beat wind and solar at the jobs game.......

17 – A related pitch is that our adoption of wind energy will help us break “our fossil fuel dependence.” Guess what? The reality is that wind actually guarantees our perpetual dependence on fossil fuels! In addition to wind turbines’ dependence on fossil fuels for manufacture, delivery and maintenance, the only way wind energy can quasi-function on the grid is to have it continuously augmented by a fast responding power source – which for a variety of technical and economic reasons is usually gas. It’s rather amusing that the same environmental organizations that support wind energy are also against shale gas. That’s like saying that you love Italian food but hate tomato sauce. The two are paired together like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.

18 – The claim that wind energy is “green” or “environmentally friendly” is laugh-out-loud hilarious – except for the fact that the reality is not funny at all. Consider just one part of a turbine, the generator, which uses considerable rare earth elements (2000± pounds per MW).

The mining and processing of these metals has horrific environmental consequences that are unacknowledged and ignored by the wind industry and its environmental surrogates. For instance, a typical 100 MW wind project would generate approximately: a) 20,000 square meters of destroyed vegetation, b) 6 million cubic meters of toxic air pollution, c) 33 million gallons of poisoned water, d) 600 million pounds of highly contaminated tailing sands, and e) 250,000 pounds of radioactive waste. (See this, and this, and this.)

Much more HERE. (See the original for links)

Green Energy Transition Endangers German Industry

Last spring, Chancellor Angela Merkel set Germany on course to eliminate nuclear power in favor of renewable energy sources. Now, though, several industries are suffering as electricity prices rapidly rise. Many companies are having to close factories or move abroad.

The red signs are still hanging in front of the gate to the steel mill on Oberschlesienstrasse. "Hands off!" they read, or "The Krefeld steel mill must stay!"

But now it's all over. Despite the signs, protests and pickets, ThyssenKrupp, Germany's largest steelmaker, sold its Krefeld stainless steel mill to Finnish competitor Outukumpu two weeks ago. The new owner plans to shut down production by the end of next year, leaving more than 400 workers without a job. The economic loss to this stricken city on the lower Rhine will be significant.

The closing of the Krefeld mill cannot be blamed on low-wage competition from the Far East or mismanagement at ThyssenKrupp's Essen headquarters, but rather on the misguided policies of the German government. That, at least, is the view held by those affected by the closing. Since Chancellor Angela Merkel's government abruptly decided to phase out nuclear energy last spring in the wake of the nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Japan, the situation for industries that consume a lot of electricity has become much more tenuous.

Energy prices are rising and the risk of power outages is growing. But the urgently needed expansion of the grid, as well as the development of replacement power plants and renewable energy sources is progressing very slowly. A growing number of economic experts, business executives and union leaders are putting the blame squarely on the shoulders of Merkel's coalition, which pairs her conservatives with the business-friendly Free Democrats (FDP). The government, they say, has expedited de-industrialization.

The energy supply is now "the top risk for Germany as a location for business," says Hans Heinrich Driftmann, president of the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK). "One has to be concerned in Germany about the cost of electricity," warns European Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger. And Bernd Kalwa, a member of the general works council at ThyssenKrupp, says heatedly: "Some 5,000 jobs are in jeopardy within our company alone, because an irresponsible energy policy is being pursued in Düsseldorf and Berlin."

In macroeconomic terms, the impending demise of heavy industry is all the more worrying, because the job losses will not be offset elsewhere. There is no sign yet of the green economic miracle that the federal government promised would accompany Germany's new energy strategy. On the contrary, many manufacturers of wind turbines and solar panels complain that business is bad and are cutting jobs. Some solar companies have already gone out of business. The environmental sector faces a number of problems, especially -- and ironically -- those stemming from high energy prices.

And now, the immediate shutdown of seven nuclear power plants last March is affecting supply, as the Krefeld example shows. The steel mill requires massive amounts of electricity to produce stainless steel, used in such products as sinks and auto bodies. The metal is heated to more than 1,600 degrees Celsius (2,912 degrees Fahrenheit) in giant furnaces. A single smelter consumes about as much energy in an hour as 10 single-family homes in an entire year. Electricity makes up a fifth of the mill's total costs, says Harald Behmenburg, the plant manager.

The price of electricity is moving in only one direction: steeply up. For the Krefeld plant, the cost of a kilowatt hour of electricity has tripled since 2000....

Other companies could suffer a similar fate. Berlin's energy policy affects all classic industrial sectors, from the steel and aluminum industry to paper and cement manufacturers, as well as the chemical industry. The metal industry, long an important sector in Germany, is already migrating to countries with cheaper electricity.



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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