American Elephants


Green, green, it’s green they say on the far side of the moon. by The Elephant's Child
November 6, 2008, 7:22 pm
Filed under: Economy, Energy, Environment | Tags: , , ,

O.K. It was the New Christy Minstrels, and hill, not moon, but moon is perhaps more applicable in this case.  In California, three initiatives on green energy were roundly defeated. And both the Media and politicians should take notice.  The American people remain unconvinced that “global warming” is either anthropogenic or other than natural, and they are right.  Carbon dioxide remains a natural fertilizer, not a pollutant.

By wide margins citizens voted against Proposition 7 , which would have required utilities to generate 40 percent of their power from renewable energy sources by 2020 and 50 percent by 2025.  It was defeated by a margin of 64.9% to 35.1% according to NewsBusters

Proposition 10 would have created $5 billion in general obligation bonds to help consumers and others purchase certain high fuel economy or alternative fuel vehicles, and to fund research into alternative fuel technology.  Investors are bailing out of alternative fuel startups.

In San Francisco, voters were confronted with Proposition H, the “San Francisco Clean Energy Act”.  It would amend the county charter to require the city to transition from fossil fuels to clean, non-nuclear, sustainable energy production at affordable rates.  With this vote the city would abandon any use whatsoever of any energy from coal, natural gas, fossil fuels and nuclear power.  Good luck with that! Fortunately that too was defeated by a large margin of 59% to 41%.

What the environmentalists fail to understand is that in the best of all locations, the wind blows at the right speed only about a third of the time. When the turbines stop producing electricity, a backup of nuclear or coal-fired power is required. Solar power requires the sun to shine — clouds and night will not produce power — and solar panels require an enormous acreage.  No matter how much you “mandate”, power from these sources is not going to work in the foreseeable future. Renewable resources at present represent only about 1% of our current energy supply, and most of that is from burning waste.

Californians pay 36 percent more for their electricity than the rest of us. They have watched manufacturing’s share of state output drop by 15 percent since 1980.  They need less electricity for heating and cooling than the rest of the nation.  They mostly live in smaller houses than the national average and pay billions of dollars for generating electricity from inefficient alternatives.

Restricting CO2 makes less energy available.  When the impacts of restricting carbon are traced through the economy, according to Dr. David Kreutzer of the Heritage Foundation, some jobs are created but more are lost. If you just count the new jobs, you are distorting the analysis.

Environmentalists seem to be convinced that if they just ban any use of fossil fuels or nuclear energy, that the necessary investment or consumer demand will miraculously produce energy from these improbable sources.

The earth has been cooling since 1998, and is expected to continue to cool for the next two decades.  Al Gore has trumpeted all sorts of unlikely catastrophic events caused by “global warming”, but real people are much more susceptible to suffering and death from cold weather.  There is a long time-frame for increasing our energy supply.  A few wells could be brought online fairly quickly if obstacles were removed, but in most cases it means building new nuclear plants, doing exploratory drilling, and adopting clean-coal technology. Ethanol is a bust, and ethanol companies are going bankrupt.  There is no alternate fuel on the horizon.

The Democrat Congress is anxious to do the environmental lobby’s bidding.  (That’s where a big chunk of their money comes from). One of the first items on their agenda is reversing the opening of any lands for drilling. The second is some kind of cap-and-trade or energy tax to force consumers to support “renewable energy”.

Britain is facing a similar problem.  Many of the wind farms built with taxpayer subsidies will never produce power, and would have not been built without subsidy. Their situation is far more dire than ours, for they are farther down the road.

The deep worry is an Energy Gap. They will have banned everything that actually produces energy to power our economy and our  homes, yet their faith in clean renewable fuels will be shown to have been complete fantasy.  And we will be left out in the proverbial cold.  Better stock up on firewood and long johns.



Congratulations to our new President-elect! by The Elephant's Child

On January 20th of next year, we will have a new president, and I wish him well.  He was not my choice, but he will be my president, and I wish him luck in dealing with the daunting challenges that face us.

We differed sharply on matters of his policies, his associations and his experience.  He will quickly get experience.  We will see who he chooses for his cabinet. We will continue to fight for the policies we believe in.

Please remember that disagreement and arguing are how we arrive at a way forward. That is what the founding fathers intended.  Attempts to silence those who disagree are attempts to destroy the the world’s most durable constitution.  Read The Federalist Papers, and renew your faith in debate, and read the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence while you’re at it.  Our founding documents have served us well.




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