In their wisdom, our Founding Fathers created a system of checks and balances and competing influences among the president and Congress, the states and the federal government, and billionaire liberal donor Tom Steyer.
Tom Steyer isn’t Senate majority leader, or chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, or even Senate president pro tem. He’s merely the man who wants to spend $100 million on Democrats this year and who hates the Keystone pipeline.
President Barack Obama famously boasted that he has a pen and a phone that give him the power to make Washington act. Except, evidently, if Tom Steyer doesn’t want him to.
It is very frustrating that after 25 years of the anti-pessimists being proven entirely right, and the doomsayers being proven entirely wrong, their credibility and influence waxes ever greater. That’s the bad news. The good news is that there is every scientific reason to be joyful about the trends in the condition of the Earth, and hopeful for humanity’s future, even if we are falsely told the outlook is grim. So Happy Earth Day. –-Julian Simon, 1 May 1995
In the past 50 years, world per capita income roughly trebled in real terms, corrected for inflation. If it continues at this rate (and globally the great recession of recent years was a mere blip) then it will be nine times as high in 2100 as it was in 2000, at which point the average person in the world will be earning three times as much as the average Briton earns today. I make this point partly to cheer you up on Easter Monday about the prospects for your great-grandchildren, partly to start thinking about what that world will be like if it were to happen, and partly to challenge those who say with confidence that the future will be calamitous because of climate change or environmental degradation. The curious thing is that they only predict disaster by assuming great enrichment. But perversely, the more enrichment they predict, the greater the chance (they also predict) that we will solve our environmental problems. --Matt Ridley, The Times, 21 April 2014
The first Earth Day, in 1970, was celebrated after a wave of environmentalism swept the nation. Many give credit to Rachel Carson's 1962 book, "Silent Spring," which popularized the notion of large-scale chemical pollution, for igniting the movement.
But she was really feeding off of a concept developed a few years earlier. The "precautionary principle" was conceptualized when the National Academy of Sciences proposed a radical change in the risk assessment of exposure to radiation and carcinogens. It recommended changing the regulatory paradigm from a "threshold dose" model to a linear one.
The threshold paradigm was what one might call common sense. It held that humans could tolerate small doses of things that, in larger doses, could be harmful.
Tom SteyerDoes the president always invent some new excuse for putting off approval of the pipeline? His latest delay means it's been in regulatory purgatory for four years and counting. Hey, no sense in rushing things.
Here is what President Obama said on Good Friday when he announced that he was delaying a decision until after the election:
"Allowing the Keystone pipeline to be built requires a finding that doing so would be in our nation's interest. And our national interest will be served only if this project does not significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution."
Solar energy can solve global warming. That’s what Paul Krugman claims in his April 18 column in the New York Times, “Salvation Gets Cheap.”
Krugman extolled “the incredible recent decline in the cost of renewable energy, solar power in particular.” He used to dismiss the claim that renewable energy would be a major source of global energy “as hippie-dippy wishful thinking.” But now, he says, thanks to the falling price of renewable energy, the process of decarbonization can be accelerated and “drastic cuts in greenhouse gas emissions are now within fairly easy reach.”
Solar is getting cheaper. And solar capacity is growing rapidly. But Krugman is still wrong. Solar won’t result in “drastic cuts” in greenhouse-gas emissions for two simple reasons: scale and cost.
The cult centered on “global warming” alarmism is getting hot under the collar. People seem to have stopped paying attention and polls show “climate change” barely registers on a list of voters’ concerns.
This can only mean, as losing politicians like to say, that their message isn’t getting through. What to do? Why shout louder, of course.
A recent story in The New York Times sought to help alarmists raise the decibel level: “The countries of the world have dragged their feet so long on global warming that the situation is now critical, experts appointed by the United Nations reported Sunday, and only an intensive worldwide push over the next 15 years can stave off potentially disastrous climatic changes later in the century.”
The diminishing private sector portion of the union movement is turning on their Democrat coalition allies, environmentalists, waking up to the fact that well-paying jobs are created by permitting fracking. Already hip to the notion that the Keystone Pipeline would employ a lot of union members, unions in Pennsylvania in particular now realixe there is a jobs bonanza for them in domestic energy production.
Kevin Begos of AP reports:
After early complaints that out-of-state firms got the most jobs, some local construction trade workers and union members in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia say they're now benefiting in a big way from the Marcellus and Utica Shale oil and gas boom.
A nation without adequate energy production is a nation in decline and that has been the President’s agenda since the day he took office in 2009. He even announced his war on coal during the 2008 campaign even though, at the time, it was providing fifty percent of the electricity being utilized.
It’s useful to know that the U.S. has huge coal reserves, enough to provide energy for hundreds of years and reduce our debt through its export to nations such as Japan. It increased coal-fired power generation by ten percent in 2013 while Germany’s coal use reached the highest level since 1990. Both China and India are increasing the use of coal. So why is coal unwelcome in the U.S.? Because Obama says so.
Built on a foundation of sand, the Leaning Tower of Pisa would have toppled over long ago, if not for ingenious engineering projects that keep it from tilting any further. The same thing is true of ethanol, automobile mileage, power plant pollution and many other environmental policies.
Not only are they built on flimsy foundations of peak oil, sustainability and dangerous manmade climate change. They are perpetuated by garbage in-garbage out computer models and a system that rewards activists, politicians, bureaucrats and corporations that support the hypotheses and policies.
At the heart of this system is the increasingly secretive and deceptive U.S. Environmental Protection Administration. Among its perpetrators are two ideologically driven regulators who are responsible for many of today’s excessive environmental regulations. When the corruption is combined with the EPA’s history of regulatory overkill and empire building, it paints a portrait of an agency that’s out of control.
EPA’s culture of misconduct has already raised congressional hackles over the misuse of government credit cards (a recent EPA audit found that 93% of purchases were personal and contrary to agency guidelines); former regional EPA administrator (and now Sierra Club official) Al Amendariz wanting to “crucify” oil companies to make examples of them; and former EPA administrator Lisa Jackson, who masqueraded as “Richard Windsor,” to avoid revelation and oversight of her emails with activists.
The Obama administration has delayed a decision on the construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, citing a Nebraska state court decision that invalidated part of the project’s route.
The latest hold-up in the unusually lengthy review of the $5.3 billion oil pipeline almost certainly will push any decision until after the November midterm election, getting President Barack Obama off a political hook.
The White House has been pressed on one side by environmentalists who have turned opposition to the pipeline into a touchstone issue and on the other by conservative Democrats from energy-producing states who say approving Keystone XL would show the administration’s commitment to job creation.
‘Everyone is in favor of free speech,” Winston Churchill once wrote. “Hardly a day passes without its being extolled.” And yet, he added dryly, “some people’s idea of it is that they are free to say what they like, but if anyone else says anything back, that is an outrage.”
This aphorism, generally applicable as it is, could easily have been issued to describe the attitude of one Michael E. Mann, a climate scientist and opponent of free inquiry who is currently suing National Review for libel.
Mann, a professor of meteorology at Pennsylvania State University, rose to prominence for his “hockey stick,” a graph that purports to depict global temperature trends between the years a.d. 1000 and 2000. The graph takes its name from its shape, which shows a mostly flat line of temperature data from the year 1000 until about 1900 (the handle of the hockey stick), followed by a sharp uptick over the 20th century (the blade). Based on this graph and related research, Mann has built a noisy public career sounding the alarm over global warming — a plague, he argues, that has been visited upon the Earth as a result of mankind’s sinful penchant for fossil fuels.
Try to ignore Earth Day, April 22. It won’t be easy. The print and broadcast media will engage in an orgy of environmental tall tales and the usual end-of-the-world predictions. It will scare the heck out of youngsters and bore the heck out of anyone old enough to know that we have had to endure the lies that hide the agendas that have driven the Greens since 1970 when the event was first proclaimed.
The Earth is 4.5 billion years old. It is the third planet from the Sun and fifth-largest of the eight other planets that orbit it. It is the only planet in our galaxy that has life on it and it has an abundance of mineral resources as well as water and the fecundity to grow crops and maintain livestock to sustain the human race.