Filed under: Capitalism, Democrat Corruption, Economy, Election 2014, Energy, Politics, Progressivism, Taxes | Tags: Barack Obama, Richard Epstein, Uncommon Knowledge
I am a great admirer of Richard Epstein. I like his mind and the way he thinks and I am fascinated with anyone who can speak for 20 or 30 minutes in complete sentences without pause and without a stumble. There is a perfect coordination between brain and mouth.
I am a slow thinker— clear enough, but s-l-o-w, and the connection between thought process and actual speech leaves much to be desired. I have made speeches that were
much somewhat admired, but they were short and it was a struggle. This particular video from Uncommon Knowledge from the Hoover Institution is from March of 2009. It is nevertheless completely fascinating, but over 30 minutes long, if you can make the time.
Richard Epstein discusses his personal and professional associations with Barack Obama in the video starting at 20.36 and lasts around ten minutes if you are short on time. I have found his comments on Obama to be as good a guide as I can find, and have proven accurate as situations arise. It helps to explain the inexplicable.
There is a lot that is inexplicable. The man remains much of a mystery, and as we get deeper into the weeds of ObamaCare, it is more puzzling. He does not change his mind. Once he has accepted ‘received knowledge’ he is not open to changing his mind. Hence, in spite of the collapse of the IPCC, Obama will pursue his pledge to stop global warming in its tracks. The failure of the stimulus merely means that he needs more infusions of wealth into the economy to stimulate it. See what you think.
Filed under: Domestic Policy, History, Education, Economy, Energy, Freedom, Capitalism | Tags: The American Founding, The Experts Keep Getting it Wrong, Transforming a Nation
Particularly when there is vast discontent with the way things are, there are voices that assure us that it will always be this way. The nation is changed forever by these policies that you hate, and we can’t go back to the way it was.
Of course that’s what Barack Obama promised when he dazzled Americans with his mellow baritone voice and lofty promises — it was all about Hope and Change. In the thrill of the moment people forgot to ask just what it was he meant by ‘hope’ and ‘change’. His answer was that he wanted to “fundamentally transform the United States of America.” We really should have asked for a straightforward definition of that as well.
What is it that ‘fundamentally transforms’ a nation? The two big inventions that brought the European medieval world to an end by the beginning of the sixteenth century and made the settlement of the New World possible were the printing press and the full-rigged ship. In the mid-fifteenth century there were only around fifty thousand books in all of Europe, most of them controlled by the church. By the end of the century, there were more than ten million. That is an explosion of knowledge, many books were technical and agricultural and in the hands of the growing merchant class. The full-rigged ship pushed out the boundaries of the world as it was known to Europeans.
The colony at Jamestown was founded, not by the English state, but by a profit-seeking corporation. Two intellectual inventions were vital to the development of the United States — the corporation and double-entry bookkeeping. Because of double-entry bookkeeping, it became possible for people to invest in distant enterprises and still keep track of how the investment was doing. Ferdinand and Isabella sent an accountant along with Columbus on his first voyage to ensure they got their share of the profits.
Partnerships had long been around, but in a partnership each partner is liable for the debts of the entire enterprise, a large risk. The joint-stock company solved that problem by limiting each investor’s liability to the amount that he had invested. This was completely different from the Spanish and French who sought to control all aspects of their subjects’ activities and to convert Indians to the Catholic religion.
The profit-seeking Virginia Company’s investment in America desperately needed something to sell profitably in England to defray the costs of maintaining a settlement. In 1612, a man named John Rolfe obtained some tobacco seeds in the West Indies, and brought them back to try in Virginia soil. In 1618 twenty-thousand pounds of tobacco were grown in Virginia and shipped to England. In 1629 it was one and a half million pounds.
In New England, both Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay were founded by joint stock companies.The members of the corporations who came to New England were called planters. Those who remained in England and invested money were called adventurers — which gave rise to today’s term venture capitalist.
There were already fishermen in villages like Marblehead and Gloucester in Massachusetts, and the banks off New England were a perfect habitat for cod that grew to 200 pounds. Cod exports soon became a mainstay of the economy, but the cod waste — the bones, skin and guts — went to fertilizing New England fields — which made a big difference in the thin rocky soil.
The Puritans believed firmly in reading the Bible, and had the highest literacy rate in the Western world, and as soon as they built a church they were apt to build a school. Harvard College was founded just six years after the Puritans landed.
New England exported lumber, ships masts, soap, butter, cheese and the produce of the farms. By the end of the seventeenth century New England had become one of the great shipbuilding centers of the world, and a truly diverse economy. The innovations came from ordinary people in an extraordinary land, creating what was needed to improve their lives. Far distant from an interfering government, people were free to follow their ideas and dreams. A heritage that is as natural to Americans as breathing.
Which brings me to an article in the Wall Street Journal about “The Outsiders Who Saw Our Economic Future.” “In both America’s energy transformation and the financial crisis, it took a group of amateurs to see what was coming.”
Part of Barack Obama’s transformation of America for the 21st century was reaching back to our most ancient sources of energy to save us from global warming. His election was “the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and the planet began to heal.” Obama was cutting the number of licenses and permits for drilling on federal lands, and in federal waters. These two quotes are not from the same speech, but capture the drift.
We’re offering a better path, a future where we keep investing in wind and solar and clean coal; where farmers and scientists harness new biofuels to power our cars and trucks; where construction workers build homes and factories that waste less energy.
And yes, my plan will continue to reduce the carbon pollution that is heating our planet because climate change is not a hoax. More droughts and floods and wildfires are not a joke. They’re a threat to our children’s future.trucks; where construction workers build homes and factories that waste less energy.
Around the same time a few little-known wildcatters began pumping meaningful amounts of oil and gas from U.S. shale formations. A country that was once running out of energy is now on track to become the world’s leading producer.
The resurgence in U.S. energy came from a group of brash wildcatters who discovered techniques to hydraulically fracture—or frack—and horizontally drill shale and other rock. Many of these men operated on the fringes of the oil industry, some without college degrees or much background in drilling, geology or engineering.
Federal Reserve chairmen Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanke failed to foresee the financial meltdown. Top banking executives were stunned, and leading investors such as Bill Gross, Jim Chanos and George Soros didn’t fully anticipate the downturn.
John Paulson began researching housing and scored a record $20 billion for his hedge fund by betting against subprime mortgages. as did Jeffrey Greene a Los Angeles playboy, and an out-of-work 35 year-old, and a doctor turned stock investor who did not subscribe to the common wisdom that the Fed would not let housing crumble and the real estate boom would continue. A fabulously successful bet against common wisdom.
The “experts” don’t always have the answers. Progress does not only not move in a straight line, it doesn’t move along party lines. It does not come from wise all-knowing experts in government who know just what to do. They don’t. Americans are free people in an extraordinary land, and they do pretty well without excessive regulation and regimentation. There is a point at which the ‘experts’ overreach. We’re almost there.
Filed under: Democrat Corruption, Economy, Energy, Foreign Policy, Health Care, Immigration, Law, National Security, Politics, Terrorism, The Constitution | Tags: Great Expectations, Shattered Dreams, Squandered Opportunity
February 14, 2008: “The choice in this election is not between regions or religions or gender” he says in that beautiful baritone of his. “It’s not about rich versus poor, young versus old. And it’s not about black versus white.” What voters are really choosing he says is between the past and the future. The future to which he refers, of course, is him. He will take Americans to a color-blind, rational, humanist place where a common good will overpower narrow self-interest. This moves Obama’s fans close to rapture. CNS News
“President Obama has done and continues to do major damage to America. The only question is whether this can ever be undone.” Dennis Praeger
February 5, 2008: “We are the hope of the future; the answer to the cynics who tell us our house must stand divided; that we cannot come together; that we cannot remake this world as it should be.
Because we know what we have seen and what we believe— that what began as a whisper has now swelled to a chorus that cannot be ignored; that will not be deterred; that will reign out across this land as a hymn that will heal this nation, repair this world, and make this time different than all the rest— Yes. We. Can.”
What does it take to warn Americans about unchecked pension growth,
socialized medicine, vast increases in entitlements, higher taxes and
steady expansion of of government? In other words, what is it about
Detroit, Italy or Greece that we do not understand?
Victor Davis Hanson
January 28, 2008: “If you know who you are, who you’re fighting for, what your values are, you can afford to reach out to people across the aisle. If you start off with an agreeable manner, you might be able to pick off a few folks, recruit some independents into the fold, recruit even some Republicans into the fold. If you’ve got the votes, you will beat them and do it with a smile on your face.” It was a summons to reasonableness, yet Obama made it sound thrilling. “False hopes? There’s no such thing. This country was built on hope,” he cried. “We don’t need leaders to tell us what we can’t do—we need leaders to inspire us. Some are thinking about our constraints, and others are thinking about limitless possibility.
Obama spoke for only twenty-five minutes and took no questions; he had figured out how to leave an audience at the peak of its emotion, craving more. As he was ending, I walked outside and found five hundred people standing on the sidewalk and the front steps of the opera house, listening to his last words in silence, as if news of victory in the Pacific were coming over the loudspeakers. I couldn’t recall a single thing that he had said, and the speech dissolved into pure feeling , which stayed with me for days.” George Packer, New Yorker
June 8, 2008: “Obama is a LightWorker — an Attuned Being with Powerful Luminosity and High-Vibration Integrity who will actually help usher in a New Way of Being. …The appeal, the pull, the ethereal and magical thing that seems to enthrall millions of people from all over the world, that keeps opening up and firing into new channels of the culture normally completely unaffected by politics?
No, it’s not merely his youthful vigor, or handsomeness, or even inspiring rhetoric. It is not fresh ideas or cool charisma or the fact that a black president will be historic and revolutionary in about a thousand different ways. It is something more. Even Bill Clinton with all his effortless winking charm, didn’t have what Obama has, which is a sort of powerful luminosity, a unique high vibration integrity.” Mark Mortford, San Francisco Chronicle
Unprecedented levels of debt —$6.5 trillion in 5 years.
More citizens receive aid— means-tested— than work full time.
Saddling the next generation with enormous debt.
Stymied medical innovation.
IRS used to stymie political opponents and sway election.
Made U.S, weak. Drop to 17th in economic freedom.
Escalated racial tensions. Divided Americans by class.
Allies do not trust Obama administration.
Ignores Constitution. Takes law into own hands.
Ordering Dream Act that Congress rejected.
Impeding economy with red tape and uncertainty.
Keystone XL Pipeline jobs ignored.
Benghazi. Libya. Syria. Ignores separation of powers. Lack of leadership.
Evicting World War II vets from their monument.
Rules of engagement killing our troops in Afghanistan.
“Discretionary” attacks on other countries on ‘humanitarian’ grounds.
Stimulus. Auto bailout. Solyndra. Green jobs.
Weakest economic recovery in history.
Most partisan administration ever. The ObamaCare rollout.
Filed under: Blogging, Energy, Health Care | Tags: Friendly Neighborhood Pharmacy, Get a Flu Shot, Ignoring Good Advice
Dang! I was in the pharmacy quite recently, and there were several people waiting in line to get a flu shot, so I thought I’d come back later. Big Mistake.
I woke up this morning with the flu. Full fledged. my eyebrows hurt, as does every other centimeter of my body. So there will be little posting. Sorry about that.
Filed under: Capitalism, Economy, Energy, Environment, Junk Science, Politics, Science/Technology | Tags: Climate Alarmism, No Warming in The 21st Century, The UN's IPCC
According the Climate Policy Initiative, the world “invested” $1 billion a day last year to “fight” global warming, which hasn’t been happening for over 16 years.
The World Economic Forum said that wasn’t enough, that we needed $700 billion to tackle climate change, but exactly what we should be doing to wage war on a climate that is no longer warming ? Stop all that carbon dioxide that is getting into the atmosphere? The CO² has been increasing even as the climate cools. It has now reached 400 ppm and is encouraging the greening of the world.
The age of climate alarmism is coming to an end. You many not have noticed that the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a summary of its Fifth Assessment Report late last month — criticized and mocked by many leading climate scientists. The distinguished journal Science even editorialized that this should be the last report issued by the UN body. Ouch. The UN’s IPCC has been the guidebook for governments all over the world, yet few realize that the IPCC doesn’t do science. They even say so on their website.
Given five tries to convince the world that human activity is causing catastrophic warming of the planet, runaway sea-level rise and various weather disasters, the public still doesn’t buy it.
Country people, farmers, who have to be alert to changes in the weather and the climate in their daily lives are far less apt to buy it than city apartment dwellers who may encounter nature on occasional weekends. The IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report concedes for the first time that global temperatures have not risen since 1998, despite a 7 percent rise in carbon dioxide.
Nearly all the UN-approved climate computer models were wrong. The attempt to accurately model all of the variables of natural climate in a computer program simply didn’t work. We don’t know enough about climate. And much of what we thought we knew was wrong. The IPCC admits that the “hockey stick” graph it featured in past reports wasn’t accurate. It looked like a hockey stick only because it ignored the Medieval Warm Period when temperatures were much warmer than today, and a period when Greenland was green and wine grapes grew in England.
Reported temperatures from weather stations across the country turned out to be way off, because of faulty placement of the temperature gauges next to air-conditioner outlets and concrete heat-retaining walls.
Despite Europe’s boom in solar and wind energy, CO² emissions haven’t been reduced by even a single gram, and it’s the EU’s own policies that are to blame. Australia had an election to get rid of the government and the hated carbon tax. Governments are beginning to back off. One billion a day should wake a few people up.
The true believers who have a quasi-religious belief in global warming are not going to give up easily. Their religious faith is more political than anything, and that faith is central to their identity. The European Union will pay £165 billion for its current climate policies each and every year for the next 87 years. Britain’s climate policies — subsidizing windmills, wood-burners, anaerobic digesters, electric vehicles and all the rest —is due to cost them £1.8 trillion over the course of this century. That will, they hope, lower the air temperature by about 0.005ºC — which will be undetectable by normal thermometers. The accepted consensus is that every £100 spent fighting climate change will bring £3 of benefits. Perhaps someone could tell Mr. Obama about this.
This winter is expected to be a cold one. We’ll see what the opinions are in the Spring.
Filed under: Energy, Freedom, Global Warming, History, Science/Technology | Tags: Cosmic Rays and Clouds, Henrik Svensmark, Our Galactic Ecosystem
When the word ecosystem is mentioned, we are apt to think of the land on our side of the hill and the stream, if any, than runs down toward the river — that sort of thing. But in another way of looking at it we can think of the planet earth as our ecosystem. Now Danish scientist Henrik Svensmark has shown that our ecosystem extends to the galaxy, for what happens in our galaxy influences what happens here on earth.
In 1996, Henrik Svensmark hypothesized a radical theory that the sun — rather than trace amounts of CO² — was the primary driver of our climate. Met by cries of “How interesting”, “let us publish your paper.” Not exactly. This fascinating video tells the story of Svensmark’s work, and the struggle to simply get his work published so other scientists can try to reproduce his conclusions. Insults. Outrage. How dare you offer something that is contrary to accepted science, it’s absurd. This is not only a story of a struggle, it explains how science is done, the quest for funding, figuring out how to do the necessary experiments, show proof, convince others. It’s a long video, so plan time to watch for it is very worth your time.
This article from Anthony Watts from April 2012, explains the publication and what it means:
In Svensmark’s new paper an equally concise theory, that cosmic rays from exploded stars cool the world by increasing the cloud cover, leads to amazing explanations, not least for why evolution sometimes was rampant and sometimes faltered. In both senses of the word, this is a stellar revision of the story of life.
Here are the main results:
- The long-term diversity of life in the sea depends on the sea-level set by plate tectonics and the local supernova rate set by the astrophysics, and on virtually nothing else.
- The long-term primary productivity of life in the sea – the net growth of photosynthetic microbes – depends on the supernova rate, and on virtually nothing else.
- Exceptionally close supernovae account for short-lived falls in sea-level during the past 500 million years, long-known to geophysicists but never convincingly explained..
- As the geological and astronomical records converge, the match between climate and supernova rates gets better and better, with high rates bringing icy times.
An amusing point is that Svensmark stands the currently popular carbon dioxide story on its head. Some geoscientists want to blame the drastic alternations of hot and icy conditions during the past 500 million years on increases and decreases in carbon dioxide, which they explain in intricate ways. For Svensmark, the changes driven by the stars govern the amount of carbon dioxide in the air. Climate and life control CO2, not the other way around.
Well so much for CO² and the tailpipes of your SUV. It may take a long time, years, decades, but in the end the story will come out right. This one has. Anthony reminds us of this lovely quotation:
The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff. – Carl Sagan
Filed under: Economy, Environment, Energy, National Security | Tags: Climate Change, A Green Religion, National Geographic
National Geographic has enjoyed a reputation as a scientific and educational organization for 125 years. People save stacks of old Geographics for years, and feel a sense of loss when they finally have to clean them out of the attic. It has been a trusted journal. Has been.
Their judgment on the cover of their September issue, raises some real questions. The editors have obviously bought into climate change propaganda, and they are trying to use scare tactics to gin up support. Alarm about global warming has always been a politically-driven agenda that exists only in computer models, but cannot be confirmed by observation in the real world. Mr. Obama seems to be a believer, and his appointments to the EPA, Interior and the Department of Energy confirm that; and of course we have his promise to halt the rise of the oceans.
For the majority of Americans, climate change is not a priority, and comes in at the bottom of 21 issues according to Pew Research. Australia just dumped its Labour government and the hated carbon tax by electing Tony Abbott as their new Prime Minister. Europe went for policies aimed at curbing “greenhouse gas emissions” in a big way, but the price of carbon on Europe’s Emissions Trading Scheme has collapsed. Governments across Europe are moving away from alternative energy.
Great Britain is struggling to keep the lights on, since EU regulations are forcing closure of their coal-fired power plants, which last year provided 39% of the country’s electricity. Winters are getting colder, and obeying EU environmental laws will mean their reserve electric power capacity will be cut in half, as prices of electricity climb. National Geographic says “the main reason for the possible crunch” is “closing a number of aging coal-fired plants — as well as some oil and nuclear plants — to meet European Union environmental laws.”
National Geographic readers should be outraged at the cover. The Statue of Liberty is 305 feet tall, the base is 154 feet and the statue 151 feet. With the water up to her waist, you can assume a rising sea level of at least 200 feet, which is more than absurd. Over the entire last century, the climate warmed fractionally more than one degree, and it hasn’t warmed at all for 16 years. The rise of the oceans can be measured in centimeters, not feet.
The damage from Superstorm Sandy has nothing to do with “global warming,” and everything to do with the particular conformation of the land and the ocean floor. This was supposed to be a record-breaking storm season (didn’t happen), horrible hurricane season (still waiting), with record breaking heat ( lower than average).
Global Warming early on became a religious issue for many environmentalists. For those who are dreaming of Utopia, saving the world from the horrors of carbon can be emotionally appealing. Trouble is carbon is one of the building blocks of life, and should we do away with carbon, we would do away with life. The amount of CO² in the atmosphere continues to rise and green the planet as it is intended to do, yet the climate is cooling slightly. CO² has been much higher in the past, with only beneficial effect.
A greener planet will benefit the earth and its people. Don’t worry, be happy.
Filed under: Democrat Corruption, Economy, Energy, Environment, Junk Science | Tags: Arctic Ice, Most Ice Since 2000, True Believers Deny Everything
Headline, BBC, Wednesday, 12 December, 2007: Arctic summers ice-free “by 2013′. The true believers were ready for an expedition rowing to the North Pole to call attention to the perils of global warming. Talk about tempting fate!
They gave up around the end of August., and returned to Greenland.
Severe weather conditions hindered our early progress and now ice chokes the passage ahead. …
Residents of Resolute say 20 years have not seen anything like. Its ice, ice and more ice. Larsen, Peel, Bellot, Regent and Barrow Strait are all choked. …
This has been the coldest season with the most ice since we started Arctic Watch in 2000. Almost no whales. The NW Passage is still blocked with ice. Some of the bays still have not melted.
Did this failure cause any second thoughts? Of course not. “Our message remains unaffected though, bringing awareness to the pressing issues of climate change in the arctic.”
(click to enlarge)
We cannot predict the future. Even the elegant climate models of the IPCC cannot predict the future. Nobody can. We can guess, based on the present, but predictions are a matter of luck. You could, however, expect colder weather since there has been no warming of the climate for the last 16 years — no warming in the 21st century whatsoever. From The Telegraph
There has been a 60 per cent increase in the amount of ocean covered with ice compared to this time last year, they equivalent of almost a million square miles.
In a rebound from 2012′s record low an unbroken ice sheet more than half the size of Europe already stretches from the Canadian islands to Russia’s northern shores, days before the annual re-freeze is even set to begin.
The Northwest Passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific has remained blocked by pack-ice all year, forcing some ships to change their routes.
A leaked report to the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) seen by the Mail on Sunday, has led some scientists to claim that the world is heading for a period of cooling that will not end until the middle of this century.
We don’t know how long the cooling will continue, nor whether it is the start of a new ice age, and some climate scientists suggest. Climate models are an attempt to reproduce in an elaborate computer program the climate of the Earth. There are some things that we know, without question, and an enormous amount we don’t know, but only speculate about.
The modelers started with what we know for sure, then what we think we know, and then some intelligent guesses, followed by pure fantasy based on nothing except the emotions of the modeller. That’s where we got the panic about the globe overheating, and the oceans rising, and a world to save. And look at what has flowed from that mistake.
Australia has just thrown out the Labour Party, partly because they instituted a nonsensical tax on carbon. Most of the countries of Europe have gone hog-wild with eliminating coal-fired power plants and the thrifty electricity they produced, in favor of solar panels and wind turbines and alternative energy. It was costly, very costly. The green jobs promised did not appear, and the wind — even in the windiest spots — remains intermittent, the turbines break down, and the electricity is expensive. Even in Spain, where Northern Europeans flock for the sun, solar energy has cost their economy dearly.
More important, the CO² in the atmosphere has continued to increase as the climate ceased its warming trend, and the oceans have not risen, the arctic is not melting, and the planet is greening. Carbon dioxide is a natural fertilizer, and the greening of the planet means more food for the needy, and more trees for the tree lovers.
Michael Barone’s latest column asks the question we’ve been asking for years: “If the globe isn’t warming, does that undercut EPA regulation of carbon dioxide?” Of course it does. The supposed consensus (there is no consensus in science) that global warming is a threat was the basis of the Supreme Court’s 2007 ruling in Massachusetts v. EPA requiring EPA to regulate carbon dioxide emissions. The Court ruled that carbon dioxide which is non-poisonous and a necessary element in life, is a pollutant subject to regulation under the Clean Air Act of 1970.
We await the Court’s reversal, but we may have to wait a long time. The warmists are true believers, and will not give up easily. The new Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell, actually stood up in a meeting of her department and announced that she “hoped there were no Deniers in her Department.” Not an order, but certainly intimidation of anyone with a differing opinion. In America. This has been a growing trend on the Left for some time, erupting in full force in the Obama administration. They are right, you see, and they do not tolerate dissent.
Will their fervor evaporate or even lessen in the face of a cooling climate, a frozen Arctic? Seas that fail to rise? Nah. Obama said he would stop the rise of the oceans, so there you go.
Filed under: Domestic Policy, Economy, Energy, Capitalism | Tags: Fracking, An Anti-Poverty Program, A Windfall for the Poor
I was a little startled when the power company noted that I didn’t owe anything at all last month, and this month’s bill was noticeably smaller. Even the Obama administration has noticed that the boom in natural gas drilling has led to more high-wage jobs, and more secure energy supplies (our “addiction” to “foreign oil” is lessening?) and perhaps they have even noticed lower manufacturing costs. A modern economy runs on energy. When that energy is expensive — everything costs more. What may not be recognized is that the benefits from fracking and new drilling technologies are the much-needed windfall to American consumers — especially the poor.
A study from Mercator Energy, a Colorado-based energy broker, quantifies the multibillion dollar annual savings to American households through lower utility bills from the fall in the price of natural gas.
From 2003-08, before the fracking revolution took hold, the price of natural gas averaged about $7.20 per million BTUs. By 2012, after the new drilling operations had erupted from North Dakota to West Texas to Pennsylvania, the increase in natural gas production had cut the price to $2.80 per million BTUs. This is a 61% price decline, which means lower home-heating and lower electricity bills. The windfall to all U.S. natural gas consumers — industrial and residential — was closer to $110 billion.
The income group helped most by all this wealth are the poor. Data from the annual report of the federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (Liheap) show that poor households spend more of their income on home energy (10.4%) than non-poor households (2.6%). Roughly 40 million households, or 36% of U.S. households are eligible for help. Lower natural gas price have reduced the utility bills of poor families by about $10 billion a year. Or, put another way, fracking has been a more effective anti-poverty program than is the federal government’s Liheap. Lower gas prices help nearly all poor households; Liheap helps fewer than one in four.
A new report from IHS Global Insight estimates that fracking has added the equivalent of $1.200 to real household disposable income on average in 2012. Wages have increased from a surge in industrial activity. And the windfall from increased oil and gas will continue to grow. The manufacturing renaissance from cheaper energy supplies is a classic American story of innovation, human ingenuity, risk-taking and capital investment. Not government subsidies, and not a single one of the 47 federal job-training programs.
You would think that liberal egalitarians would celebrate this bonanza for the poor. Not likely. Fidelity to their green religion trumps real-world facts every time. The Sierra Club continues to oppose fracking (and the Keystone XL) and are using lawsuits, protests and political lobbying to stop it. There is no special qualification to be “an environmentalist,” you must just profess a fondness for nature, or trees, or wolves and polar bears— you don’t need to know anything.