But wait, forests are good and forest products better but Nature has to go and publish a downer – see the 3rd item in this composite post, flourishing forests and farms are bad:
US Forest Service Finds that Forests Play Huge Role in Reducing Carbon and Higher Global Temps
Forests absorb carbon like a giant sponge into what scientists call a carbon sink. This fact is well known throughout the scientific community. However, what scientists weren’t sure of until now is the amount of carbon forests can store.
There’s some pretty bizarre reporting coming out of Australia with regard to the proposed re-engineering of Antipodean society and wealth redistribution through energy taxation – let’s see if we can sort it out a bit for you.
I’ll link a number of articles below the jump so you can see a range of reportage but the situation is: the Gillard rainbow conglomerate government has the numbers (on paper) to pass enabling legislation.
This does not guarantee that the enabling legislation will be passed – the anti-tax lobby has not even begun a grassroots pressure campaign against nervous Labor politicians yet but you can guarantee there will be a significant telephone, e-mail, fax and letter campaign from constituents urging their members not to support the legislation and the government has a majority of just one and that is including the support of a Green, a former Green independent and two former conservative independents.
If by some small miracle the government survives long enough and manages to pass the legislation it will only be a transient thing as the next election is certain to obliterate the most incompetent government ever experienced in Australia, leaving the incoming Conservatives the option of repealing energy rationing immediately or, more cheaply, simply letting it die over the following year. Negative impact will be cushioned by a rapid decline in the value of the currently wildly overheated $Aussie so our export industries will survive this temporary aberration, should it occur at all.
The bottom line is that there is zero chance of Australia imposing a durable carbon dioxide emissions tax or trading scheme. What we have at the moment is a desperate and clueless minority government dancing to the insane tune of misanthropic Greens rather than having the integrity or even simple self respect to say “No, we’d rather lose office than pander to a bunch of people-hating loons like you”.
The shame of it is that this will lead to such a slaughter of the political Left in Australia that there will be no effective Opposition for a decade, maybe two and consequently nothing to keep the Conservatives conservative and government small.
Science journalism and climate change
In a previous post I posed the question of why our so-called leaders have fallen hook, line and sinker for man-made global warming – which is, at best, a hypothesis which is increasingly being demolished by newer results and empirical facts. It certainly does not look like the science is settled. Nor do the alarmist predictions that were being made a decade ago seem to be coming true. Despite all of this, and in spite of the increasing scepticism of the public, there seems to be no signs that our political leaders harbour any doubts. I would joke about the lights being on but nobody being home, but the lights in politicians heads are powered by wind – there are only occasional flickers of intermittent light at best.
But it’s not just the politicians at fault here. Arguably the mania for global warming would not be half as strong had there not been a near unanimous chorus of approval from the mass media. From repeating the mantra about scientific consensus, to labelling sceptics as oil-industry funded ‘deniers’ to trumpeting the most absurd alarmist claims of impending disaster – the media are complicit in furthering the green agenda and propagandising for global warming alarmism. The question we have to ask then, is what are the forces at work here? Why are there so few sceptic voices heard in public? (Progressive Contrarian)
Nestle gives farmers disease-resistant cocoa trees
Nestle on Wednesday ramped up its distribution of disease-resistant cocoa trees to farmers in Ivory Coast, part of a plan to boost productivity per hectare and improve the notoriously poor quality of the top grower’s cocoa beans.
The world’s biggest food maker, which has distributed some 140,000 saplings since 2009, said it will hand out 600,000 saplings by the end of the month and a further one million next year in a bid to raise productivity on farms.
Diseases and aging trees mean Ivorian cocoa yields are amongst the lowest in the world at less than 500 kg per hectare compared to 2 tonnes in Indonesia and 1.5 tonnes in Ghana.
Oiling The Economy
Recovery: With the job market in the dumps, and the president moving that to the top of his priority list, wouldn’t getting out of the way of 740,000 jobs that could be created in the oil industry be a no-brainer? Well, no.
Much has been made of America’s need to drill its own energy to end dependency on foreign petrotyrants. As if that isn’t urgent enough, so is the need to create jobs instead of America’s steady drip of bad employment numbers.
The latter, now at 9.2%, is rising every month now, as the threat of higher taxes, government growth, closed markets and regulation choke off economic growth.
The U.S. economy must create 100,000-plus jobs just to stay even with those entering the work force, and more still to absorb the 26 million currently unemployed and underemployed. Last month, the sorry story was that the U.S. produced just 18,000 jobs.
President Obama, in his briefing Monday, insisted he had no higher priority than creating jobs. With falling poll numbers, it seems an alarm clock has finally rung after two years of dithering.
But government doesn’t create jobs. Companies do.
Obama will make no headway until he gets serious about clearing paths for jobs to form — not just in his favorite “targeted” industries, such as infrastructure and “green” energy jobs — but in industries where market demand provably exists and companies want to hire. (IBD)
House votes to limit EPA’s say over state water standards
By Pete Kasperowicz
The House on Wednesday evening approved controversial legislation giving states the authority to set their own clean water standards, loosening the grip that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has over states under the Clean Water Act. (E2 Wire)
EPA Vs. Fireworks
Overregulation: The Environmental Protection Agency is at it again — this time eyeing smog standards so stringent it could actually force cities to choose between July 4th fireworks and hugely expensive new rules.
When the EPA was enacting stricter smog standards in the ’90s, critics said some communities would have to sacrifice things like 4th of July fireworks to comply. Then-EPA-head Carol Browner dismissed such talk as “nothing more than scare tactics” from polluters. “They are false,” she said in 1977. “They are wrong. They are manipulative.”
Tell that to Wichita.
Federal Court Ruling Evidences Runaway Regulatory Chain Reaction
by WILLIAM YEATMAN
Regulating air quality under the Clean Air Act is like eating Pringels: Once you pop, you can’t stop. That is, the Clean Air Act is structured such that regulation begets more regulation. This chain reaction is a major reason why the Obama administration’s decision to regulate greenhouse gases pursuant to the Clean Air Act was either foolish or diabolical. In so doing, the Environmental Protection Agency opened Pandora’s Box. It wants to choose when and where it regulates greenhouse gases, but it doesn’t have this discretion. Environmentalist special interests can and will use the courts to force the EPA’s hand. By the same token, however, this means EPA can use such suits as political cover, claiming it does not want to regulate this or that industry, or does not want to regulate under this or that Clean Air Act provision, but has no choice because ‘the court made us do it.’
To wit, last week the Center for Biological Diversity, an extremist environmental organization, won a significant case against the EPA in the D.C. Circuit Court. The litigation stemmed from the Center for Biological Diversity’s desire for the EPA to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from the aviation sector under the Clean Air Act. The first step towards such regulation is for the EPA to determine that greenhouse gases from airplanes “endanger” public health and welfare. In December 2007, the Center for Biological Diversity petitioned the EPA to make this “endangerment” finding. To date, the EPA has refused. So the Center for Biological Diversity sued to compel action. (Cooler Heads)
Henry Payne/ The Michigan View.com
The Religious Right is in your bedroom. And the Green Left is in every other room in your house.
If Bible-thumping busybodies want to govern your sex life, then the Goracle’s disciples want to dictate what light bulbs to use in the living room, what foods you eat in the kitchen, what toilets you flush in the bathroom, what washers you load in the laundry room, and what car you park in the garage.
Incredibly, the House of Representatives went on the record Tuesday night to ban the light bulbs that 85 percent of Americans choose to use in their homes. We’re not making this up.
Under the hurried conditions under which the Better Use of Light Bulbs (BULB) Act (intended to repeal a sneaky provision of the 2007 Energy Bill) was brought to the House floor, it had to garner 290 votes- a two-thirds majority – to pass. But, largely upon party lines, it passed by only 233-193.
It may be a vote that Democrats — in this tea party era — will live to regret. (The Detroit News)
KEENE: Pickpocketing with the Pickens Plan
Former free marketeer discovers the new road to wealth runs up Capitol Hill
By David A. Keene
T. Boone Pickens is truly a piece of work. The Texas billionaire has been at various times a champion of free markets and a major backer of conservative causes and candidates, but he has morphed into an unapologetic advocate of government subsidies and mandates.
His current obsession is natural gas and his belief that its abundance and current price advantage over gasoline and diesel fuel make it the perfect alternative to foreign oil. Being an investor as well as a visionary, Mr. Pickens has invested heavily in natural gas and wants the rest of us to get with the program.
To accomplish this, he has developed what he modestly calls the Pickens Plan and has rounded up a lot of support for it in Congress. He’s called on conservatives he’s supported in the past to sponsor legislation that would implement his “plan,” met with the likes of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi seeking bipartisan support, and is begging President Obama for “bold” action to solve our energy problem by embracing it, too.
The Pickens Plan would cost you and me something like $5 billion at a time when most conservatives and more than a few liberals have finally realized that mandates picking winners and subsidizing particular industries are neither popular nor effective. Mr. Pickens‘ legislative vehicle is H.R. 1380, which would help truckers buy vehicles that would run on natural gas and provide subsidies to retailers willing to sell the stuff and to you and me if we’ll just buy a natural-gas-powered car. (Washington Times)
Oil trade groups: Drilling deregulation could create 190,000 jobs
By Michael Mayday
Almost 190,000 jobs could be created by 2013 if offshore drilling returns to pre-spill levels, according to a study sponsored by two oil trade groups, the National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) and the American Petroleum Institute (API).
The study, conducted by Quest Offshore Inc., found that if permits for exploration and drilling returned to historic levels, and if backlogged requests were granted, 400,000 jobs could be supported across the United States with a GDP increase of $45 billion by 2013.
“The president says he wants ideas for putting Americans back to work right now,” said Jack Gerard, API president, during a conference call today. “So we urge him, again, to take a look at policies that will encourage oil, and domestic gas development.” (Daily Caller)
Release From the Strategic Petroleum Reserve: Much Ado About Nothing
By Michael J. Economides
No good explanation was offered by the Barack Obama Administration in the first place. The June 23 announcement of the 30 million barrel release from the US strategic petroleum reserve (SPR) along with 30 more million barrels to be released by other countries was supposed to do a number of things: provide extra supply, lower prices or cool down the upwards trend of prices, on a torrid pace a month earlier.
In spite of the fact that the release was a huge departure from the expressed rationale for the SPR and quite different from the situation in past releases, the June release was a knee jerk reaction that many people criticized as a thinly disguised effort to lower gasoline prices. Polls showed that Americans viewed high gasoline prices as a worse economic indicator than even unemployment, already closing on two digits.
The SPR release did nothing to remedy any of the sheepishly expressed motivations. Three weeks later, the price of crude has totally shrugged off the SPR withdrawal, well on its way to flirt with $100, a movement that started months ago. (Energy Tribune)
Jimmy Carter’s Energy Speech of April 1977 (Is President Obama going Carter’s way?)
by Robert Bradley Jr.
July 13, 2011
“The oil and natural gas that we rely on for 75 percent of our energy are simply running out.… World oil production can probably keep going up for another 6 or 8 years. But sometime in the 1980′s, it can’t go up any more. Demand will overtake production. We have no choice about that.”
“To some degree, the sacrifices will be painful—but so is any meaningful sacrifice. It will lead to some higher costs and to some greater inconvenience for everyone. But the sacrifices can be gradual, realistic, and they are necessary.”
“We must not be selfish or timid if we hope to have a decent world for our children and our grandchildren.”
- Jimmy Carter, Energy Address to the Nation, April 18, 1977
Will Obama and his ilk learn the lessons of history?
British Families Face £1,000 Bill For Green Energy: Huge Annual Levy To Appease Climate Lobby
Wednesday, 13 July 2011 20:49 Sean Poulter, Daily Mail
Families face punishing increases in energy bills of up to £1,000 a year to fund a switch to green energy and build new nuclear power stations.
Energy Secretary Chris Huhne yesterday outlined a new regime that will encourage firms to build thousands of wind turbines, tidal power stations and nuclear plants.
The scheme is part of a government plan to shift away from fossil fuels, particularly coal, and so dramatically cut carbon emissions to meet UK and EU targets.
There is a fierce dispute between the Government, green campaigners, academics and industry analysts over the true cost of the programme. (GWPF)
Germany Could Restart Nuclear Plant to Plug Energy Gap
Germany’s energy agency is warning that one of the German reactors mothballed in the wake of Fukushima may have to be restarted to make up for possible power shortages this winter and next. Berlin is also using money earmarked for energy efficiency to subsidize coal-fired power plants. (Spiegel)
Amazing Chuzpah: Germany To Fund New Coal Plants With Climate Change Fund Cash