American Elephants

Putting the Cart Before the Horse. by The Elephant's Child
November 30, 2010, 9:21 pm
Filed under: Capitalism, Conservatism, Economy, Freedom | Tags: , ,

Consumer demand is a consequence, not a cause, of economic growth.

How Do You Fix the Crisis of Anthropogenic Global Warming? You Halt Economic Growth in the Rich World. by The Elephant's Child
November 30, 2010, 9:15 pm
Filed under: Capitalism, Energy, Environment, Junk Science, Politics | Tags: , ,

The Warmists have arrived in Cancun for another round of talks.  Copenhagen was a flop, and expectations are not high for Cancun, but there is no lack of trying.  According to The Telegraph, physicists and chemists from Oxford and the Met Office have agreed that current plans to tackle global warming are not enough.  The influential academics called for much tougher measures to cut carbon emissions. Professor Kevin Anderson, Director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research said:

The only way to reduce global emissions enough, while allowing the poor nations to continue to grow is to halt economic growth in the rich world over the next twenty years. (emphasis added)

This would mean a drastic change in lifestyles for many people in countries like Britain as everyone will have to buy less ‘carbon intensive’ goods and services such as long haul flights and fuel hungry cars.

Politicians should consider a rationing system similar to the one introduced during the last “time of crisis” in the 1930s and 40s. This could mean a limit on electricity so people are forced to turn the heating down, turn off the lights and replace old electrical goods like huge fridges with more efficient models.  Food that has traveled from abroad may be limited and goods that require a lot of energy to manufacture.

Ah yes, if you are not scared enough of global warming, we might have trouble getting more grants.  We can’t figure out how to make the poor nations not poor, so we want to halt economic growth in the rich world.  Um, just where did you think that HIV medicines come from, and water purification systems, and the green revolution?

Halting economic growth in the rich world is not going to do one thing to replace the corrupt governments in the developing world, and it will not make the poor nations less poor.  And comparing the green movement’s invented ‘crisis’ to a previous “time of crisis” like World War II and the worldwide great Depression is unbelievably crass.  As James Delingpole said:

AGW is on its last legs.  The watermelons who still talk about it and obsess about it…are the equivalent of a tiny suicide rearguard that gets left behind by a losing army to cover its retreat.  Meanwhile the main Green war effort rumbles on regardless.  Ecofascism can lose the AGW battle because — as befits the Leninist method underpinning its philosophy — AGW was never more than a convenient means to an end.  Controlling the world, is what this war is ultimately about — not saving it for Mother Gaia.

Should you need a reminder of what ClimateGate was all about, James Delingpole has a special column here.

Green Energy Needs Government Mandates to Reach Its Job Creation Potential. Oh. by The Elephant's Child
November 30, 2010, 5:08 pm
Filed under: Capitalism, Energy, Environment, Junk Science | Tags: , ,

A recent article in the Washington Post featured a former surveyor who has been unemployed since 2008.  His job vanished with the collapse of Florida’s once hot housing market.  Unable to find a new job, he signed up for green jobs training earlier this year at his local community college.  Yet his new skills have not resulted in a single job offer, and officials at the jobs training program say the same is true for three-quarters of their first 100 graduates.

With the unemployment rate continuing to hover just under 10%, policymakers are desperate to stoke job creation, and have bet heavily on green energy.  The Obama administration has directed more than $90 billion from stimulus funds into clean energy technology, confident that the investment would be the economy’s next big thing.  But the huge federal investment has encountered the very stubborn reality that there is not yet much market for renewable energy or workers in renewable energy.

Administration officials and green energy executives say that the business needs not just government incentives, “but also rules and regulations that force people and business to turn to expensive renewable energy:”

Without government mandates dictating how much renewable energy utilities must use to generate electricity, or placing a price on the polluting carbon emitted by fossil fuels, they say , green energy cannot begin to reach its job creation potential. (emphasis added)

Everybody seems to love “green jobs” but it’s a vague, poorly thought out love.  Everyone wants to genuflect to the supposed need to decarbonize America’s economy, though they’re not sure what decarbonizing is, nor why it is necessary.  It isn’t.  Carbon dioxide (CO2) is only a trace gas in the atmosphere, and is not a pollutant.  How can what you breathe out with every breath possibly be a pollutant? The panic over 1° of warming over a century, which is probably still just natural warming from the Little Ice Age is delusional.  There may be no warming whatsoever.  Temperature records are contaminated or poorly calculated, and the idea of an “average global temperature” may be a faulty concept.  And if it takes more jobs to produce “green energy,” that is a net cost to the economy, not a benefit.

One report by the RAND Corporation and the University of Tennessee found that if 25% of all American energy were produced from renewable sources by 2025. we would generate at least 5 million new green jobs. (too many ifs)

So “green jobs” are being redefined to include practically anything, from driving a bus to accounting.  Much of the components for wind and solar energy are creating lots of jobs, but in China.  And as with renewable fuels, things supposed to be ever-so-green turn out to pollute even more than ordinary gasoline.  The jobs, in renewable energy as elsewhere, can depend only so long on government handouts.  At some point they have to engage with the free market, have something to sell that someone wants to buy, and turn a profit.  That is not happening.  And the reasons for that have nothing to do with the environment at all.

Stairs. by The Elephant's Child
November 30, 2010, 8:45 am
Filed under: Architecture, Art, Entertainment, Freedom | Tags: , ,

This took place in Sweden, with a creative idea to get more people to take the stairs. I wonder if pedestrians tried to play known tunes? A delightful solution.

Now this I’d like to have in my own house:

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