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The Price of Going Green

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Like an old joke turned ironically true, it seems that the government is now preparing to actually tax us for breathing. This comes in the form of the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 sponsored by Representatives Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Edward Markey (D-MA) which is likely to come to the floor of the Congress as early as this Friday. It is the legislative culmination of the ongoing eco-madness based on the idea that carbon dioxide is a form of toxic pollution, despite the fact that it is produced in nature, is part of the atmospheric cycle on which all life is based, and is shown to stimulate plant growth and the replenishment of the atmosphere.

Of course, the truth is that carbon dioxide is not an environmental threat, but is merely being raised as a bogeyman to allow for the passage of laws like this new energy bill whose real purpose is social engineering and anti-capitalism. It's the perfect bogeyman because it's everywhere and can never actually be eliminated plus it's produced by almost every human activity — we even breathe it out with every breath. This means that a "carbon tax" can be applied to almost anything and becomes an excuse for raising taxes on everyone through indirect methods where the taxes end up being passed on to consumers in the form of energy price increases. John Dingell (D-MI) who is the senior Democrat in the House admitted recently that “nobody in the country realizes cap and trade is a tax, and it’s a great big one.”

The heart of this energy bill is the idea of a tax on emissions of carbon dioxide and other more serious pollutants, specifically targeting fossil fuels and making it costlier to use them, thereby pushing energy businesses to move into more earth-friendly sources of power. This is combined with the idea of "cap and trade" which allows companies which produce high emissions to buy offsets from companies which produce low emissions, thereby subsidizing the low polluters at the cost of the high polluters.

This all sounds great in abstract, but the problem is that 85% of America's energy currently comes from fossil fuels of one sort or another, so the initial aggregate cost of the program will be huge. The other problem is that cap and trade just doesn't work. As has been demonstrated in those nations where it has been used, energy companies find it more practical to just pass on the additional cost to consumers so the net result of all of this is not a reduction in pollution, just a massive increase in prices for energy consumers — effectively a big additional personal tax on every man woman and child in the nation, something they can ill afford in hard economic times.

Analysis of the consumer cost which this program would create suggests that by 2035 the price of gasoline would increase 58 percent, natural gas would go up 55 percent, home heating oil would increase 56 percent, and the typical electric bill would go up a whopping 90 percent. These would be increases to the baseline price and in addition to added cost from inflation and any natural fluctuation in the price of oil. In addition there would be secondary costs as the higher prices impact transportation and manufacturing and create sudden artificial inflation in almost every area of the economy. The final cost for consumers would be almost $3000 per year starting as soon as the bill is implemented, and within 25 years the cost per family will have increased to almost $5000.

There are also other secondary costs to the economy in taking such a huge amount of money (almost $400 to $600 billion per year) out of the economy. Companies will look to cut costs and that means cutting jobs and wages. Families will not be able to pay the added energy costs and that means an increase in household debt.

The impact on jobs is particularly troubling and has been explored in depth in a stufy (PDF) done in Spain when they implemented a similar program. The administration is promoting this bill as one which creates more "green" jobs. What they don't mention is that every one of those green jobs created comes at a cost of the loss of 2.2 existing jobs and most of the new jobs are temporary jobs in construction and installation or jobs which cease to exist when the new technology proves to be inefficient and is abandoned. It is estimated that 90% of the jobs created are temporary, so the long-term ratio is more like 20 jobs lost for every job created. Added to the massive job loss already caused by the administration's failing economic policies this might be a cost too great for the nation to bear.

Massive job loss and energy cost increases for consumers were the result when Spain implemented a carbon tax with cap and trade, and it is that system which President Obama is using as a model for his program. President Obama regularly cites Spain as an example to look to for energy policy, despite the fact that the economic and human impact there has been devastating, prolonging recession, increasing unemployment and taking money out of the pockets of every consumer. The upside is that it is one of the factors contributing to the crushing defeat of Spain's socialist government in the latest election which brought in more pragmatic reformers.

Fearmongering about "catastrophic global warming" is being used by powerful lobbying groups like the Natural Resource Defense Council to drive support for this bill with no consideration of the damage which will be done to the economy and to consumers. And when you look at the bottom line, the projected outcome of all of this cost and suffering is estimated to be less than two-tenths of one degree in worldwide temperature change by the end of the century. Meanwhile the nation is enjoying what is reported to be one of the the coolest summers on record and a growing group of scientists led by Edward Teller are speaking out against climate change hysteria.

With a floor vote possible Friday, now is the time to contact your representative in congress and urge them to vote against HR2454. Remind them that you can't afford to pay thousands in additional taxes to underwrite speculative technology and gratuitous expansion of the power of government. Tell them that carbon taxes and cap and trade have been a failure in Europe and that we can't afford them here.

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About Dave Nalle

  • Clavos

    A small addendum to your excellent article, Dave.

    One of the people who has already made a fortune from the so-called “Green Revolution,” and who stands to make an enormous amount of money from cap and trade, is one of its loudest, most visible advocates, Al Gore.

    When Gore left office, his net worth was estimated at about $2 million. Now, in 2009, after several years of selling “carbon offsets” (a form of shell game) through his company, Generation Investment Mnanagement, his personal net worth is estimated at $100 million (in just eight years) and climbing rapidly. He is also a partner in the venture capital firm, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, which has just announced a half billion dollar investment in a green technology fund called the Green Growth Fund.

    So, while, as you point out, the rest of us will be impoverished by the cap and trade tax, Mr. Gore, already a wealthy man by anybody’s standards, will become rich as Croesus on the backs of the taxpayers.

  • Clavos

    I forgot to put in the link I had for the above comment #1.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    “…despite the fact that it is produced in nature, is part of the atmospheric cycle on which all life is based, and is shown to stimulate plant growth and the replenishment of the atmosphere.”

    An absence of feces, Mr Holmes.

    You do realize, don’t you (of course you do) that the eco movement is well aware of this? The point is that any substance can become harmful or poisonous if its levels are excessive. Here, drink this 1000-gallon tank of water and let’s see how you get on.

    “…so the net result of all of this is not a reduction in pollution, just a massive increase in prices for energy consumers — effectively a big additional personal tax on every man woman and child in the nation, something they can ill afford in hard economic times.”

    Something you almost never hear from those on your side of this argument is anything beyond the short-term implications of action. Such as, for instance, the long-term implications of inaction.

    “Meanwhile the nation is enjoying what is reported to be one of the the coolest summers on record…”

    And the temperature in the Sahara Desert sometimes drops below freezing at night. So what?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Seasonal variations in temperature have always been a piss-poor argument on behalf of global warming or against it.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    I seem to recall having read somewhere (perhaps in a comic book) that methane emissions are far more harmful to the environment than carbon dioxide emissions. Hence, we should tax methane emitters heavily. This may not be easy, but We Can Do It! There is no need to begin with expensive and uncomfortable cow bags. Prohibitive taxes on meat and milk producers would be a good start; they would also excite PETA and the vegetarian voters while simultaneously reducing health care costs. President Obama evidently needs all the help he can get on this bold initiative.

    I do have one question, however: will the new Green taxes go to help the protesters in Iran?

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Of course, Dan. The protesters in Iran are tax-exempt, since they need all the methane they can get. The personal emissions of thousands of demonstrators all gathered in one place can be a highly-effective countermeasure against tear gas or water cannon.

  • Clavos

    Two things about the whole global warming thing:

    1. The prophecies (they are certainly not scientific forecasts) are based on computer models designed by scientists anxious to prove their pet theory. One such model, the infamous “hockey stick,” has already been proven to be claptrap.

    2. Ever notice how inaccurate the predictions by the hurricane experts as to how many hurricanes and how severe they will be during the coming season are?

    The atmosphere is a huge mass of gases, constantly in motion, and extremely difficult, if not impossible, to predict with any degree of accuracy, and there are scientists with impeccable credentials who say this.

    But now, what was simply The Church of Global Warming has become the juggernaut industry of climatology, and too many rich men like Al Gore stand to make fortunes from it, so it’s full speed ahead for every crackpot idea on which someone thinks they can make a buck.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    #6,

    Do you mean one big massive fart?

  • Deano

    “a growing group of scientests…”

    Oh dear Lord, you aren’t trotting out that tired and long-since defenestrated Petition Project as a proof of a scientific groundswell against global warming again are you Dave?

    Leaving aside the fact that there was a dubious sign-up process, no effort to check or verify credentials of the signatories, that a lousy BS qualifies you as an eligable “scientist” and that the vast majority of the signatories are NOT from anything related to climatology….

    I’m not going to bother to comment on the rest of this article because, bluntly, life is too short, but you should realize that using such dubious, biased and spurious sources doesn’t make the rest of the claims of this article particularly credible.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    The atmosphere is a huge mass of gases, constantly in motion, and extremely difficult, if not impossible, to predict with any degree of accuracy, and there are scientists with impeccable credentials who say this.

    Yes, there are. They are quite correctly pointing out that climate should not be confused with weather.

    So Dave’s comment about it being a cool summer (tell that to Fresno, where it was 102 yesterday) is bullshit. I suspect he knows this perfectly well, and was simply wisecracking.

    Modern short-term weather forecasts are in fact extremely accurate, although they’re mostly based on air movements that are already in play. It’s a bit like looking at a demolition engineer with his hands on the plunger and predicting that there’s going to be a big bang in a moment. Anything further out than about a week is still highly speculative.

    However, it is quite reasonable to look at, say, this month over the next ten years and predict that the weather in general is going to look fairly similar to this year’s. Especially if your data for the last ten years shows the same thing.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    However, it is quite reasonable to look at, say, this month over the next ten years and predict that the weather in general is going to look fairly similar to this year’s. Especially if your data for the last ten years shows the same thing.

    And the root problem is that if you take a sample even that small, the impact of global warming is difficult to identify at all.

    Dave

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    And the root problem is that if you take a sample even that small, the impact of global warming is difficult to identify at all.

    I was simplifying to make a point. Please don’t try to pretend that the larger data isn’t there. As I’ve said repeatedly, I wish you and the GW skeptics were right and that the data didn’t exist, I really do. But they do exist.

  • Jordan Richardson

    The ability of the same group of people to continually politicize every single issue to the point of denying actual scientific proof is just astounding. The price of going green? I’m more concerned about the cost of NOT going green.

    Climate change is not a religion. You don’t just “believe” in it or not.

    Oh, and I’m glad the guy that advocated nuclear weapons and helped Israel get the H-bomb supports the “petition” Dave posted. Why is it not surprising that a guy who died in 2003 would be touted as a key voice against man-made global warming (who cares if it’s man-made or not?) several years after his death? Also, notice in the comments section on the “petition” Dave linked to how the author of the post noted that the entire thing was “dubious.”

    Brilliant. How much further do we have to let our planet go down the shitter before we realize that this isn’t political?

  • Jonathan Scanlan

    Just because you can’t put exact numbers on a thing does not mean you can’t make predictions in the ball park. Besides, a carbon tax is something you can sell to the community – and if there was ever a time for taxes, then now is the time.

    Dave, the unfortunate thing about your analysis is that it’s focused entirely on the present, rather than long term impacts.

    Oh, and BTW, I just found these guys

    Anyone else ever heard of them?

  • Jordan Richardson

    As for the continued paranoid commentary that this is all some idea dreamt up with the notion of earning money as the ultimate goal….

    WHAT?

    This continued insistence that Al Gore is somehow “behind global warming” because he’s rich and has some more money to make with every “crackpot idea” he thinks of is idiotic. Fuck Al Gore, he’s got nothing to do with this.

    It’s not expensive to “go green.” It costs less, it’s more efficient, it’s healthier for your body and the earth, and it doesn’t suddenly create a cottage industry of bean-eating weirdos to simply live in a sustainable fashion. Since when is conservation a bad thing?

  • Clavos

    This continued insistence that Al Gore is somehow “behind global warming” because he’s rich and has some more money to make with every “crackpot idea” he thinks of is idiotic. Fuck Al Gore, he’s got nothing to do with this.

    I don’t think I said he is “behind global warming.”

    What I do say is he’s a sanctimonious, hypocritical phony whose holier-than-thou attitude tarnishes in the light of his wheeling and dealing to make money on GW, all the while generating the enormous carbon footprint he does.

    No wonder he didn’t get elected.

  • Clavos

    Here’s an interesting insight into Spain’s headlong rush into alternative energy and the creation of green jobs, which Obama so rhapsodically endorses.

    An excerpt:

    For fervent believers in governments’ abilities to control the climate and in the urgent need for them to do so, believing is seeing: They see, through their ideological lenses, governments’ green spending as always paying for itself. This is a free-lunch faith comparable to that of those few conservatives who believe that tax cuts always completely pay for themselves by stimulating compensating revenues from economic growth.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Data of various sorts exist, analyzed in a variety of different ways to produce a great many results, some more convincing than others.

    The question here has nothing to do with that. The question is whether it is worth driving people into poverty and unemployment for an infinitessimal improvement in global temperatures when the highest those temperatures might go is still far lower than temperatures we have had in other periods of recorded history?

    IMO it’s not worth the economic and social devastation which this bill will cause to achieve nothing meaningful except enriching Al Gore and further empowering the out of control government.

    Dave

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Like any other Obamanation, “going green” has nothing to do with the environment or doing anybody any good. It has everything to do with the “green” in your pockets going away, and that is really what “going green” is all about.

    Yup!! You guys really got the government you deserve! And I complain about Netanyahu?! I should shut up about the traitor and say to myself, “there, but for the Grace of G-d, go I.”

    Oh, by the way, global warming is real – but is being hidden by something called “glabal dimming”….

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ Jeannie Danna

    Yet another country bashing article in the politics section of this mag.

    maybe that’s what’s causing global warming?

  • Jordan Richardson

    Clavos, you said this:

    too many rich men like Al Gore stand to make fortunes from it, so it’s full speed ahead for every crackpot idea on which someone thinks they can make a buck.

    Surely you can see where I might have pulled that inferred some sort of “foul play” regarding Gore and the facts of global warming. Your statement above goes beyond his obvious personality problems and hypocrisy and into suggesting that this is some sort of “for-profit” ideology.

    My point is that it is not. My point is to encourage people to look beyond the politics. This is a scientific issue, not a political one. It has nothing to do with Al Gore, the United States, Barack Obama, Democrats, or anything else. To suggest that it does is just arrogance.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Jeannie, this isn’t a country bashing article.

    This is another alarmist article by Dave suggesting that somehow “going green” in terms of the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (sponsored by Democrats, of course) is going to make everybody broke. It is yet another example of Dave using a scientific fact and his government’s approach to it to drum up support for his own ideology as opposed to investigated the issues objectively.

    It’s a shame, but at least he’s honest….sometimes.

  • Arch conservative

    “This continued insistence that Al Gore is somehow “behind global warming” because he’s rich and has some more money to make with every “crackpot idea” he thinks of is idiotic.”

    Yet every moonbat and his mother finds it perfectly acceptable to label any scientist with respectable credentials that dares question global warming as “bought by the oil companies.”

    [Personal attack deleted by Comments Editor]

  • http://marksaleski.com MarkSaleski

    What I do say is he’s a sanctimonious, hypocritical phony whose holier-than-thou attitude…

    ooh, delicious irony. it must be friday.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    It is yet another example of Dave using a scientific fact

    Jordan, even most proponents of global warming don’t go this far. They still call it a “theory” because if they are scientists they understand the difference between theory and fact. Plus there is a huge difference between identifying a trend of slight global warming and thinking that it’s man-made, reversible or a serious problem. On a lot of those issues the jury is still out.

    and his government’s approach to it to drum up support for his own ideology as opposed to investigated the issues objectively.

    What you seem not to get is that the global warming hysteria really has nothing to do with science or even global warming. It’s all about redesigning society on a less capitalist model and directing revenue towards government and away from people.

    When cap and trade makes energy so expensive that the average citizen can no longer afford it, then the government will come to us with energy subsidies and pretty soon our electric bill will be added to our list of entitlements, rationed and metered and underwritten by tax dollars taken from the “fortunate” (hard working) and given to the growing body of dolists who are more and more dependent on the state. THIS is what the ultimate objective here is.

    Dave

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    “When cap and trade makes energy so expensive that the average citizen can no longer afford it, then the government will come to us with energy subsidies and pretty soon our electric bill will be added to our list of entitlements, rationed and metered and underwritten by tax dollars taken from the “fortunate” (hard working) and given to the growing body of dolists who are more and more dependent on the state. THIS is what the ultimate objective here is.”

    If that were really the case, Dave, then what you’re describing here is a most sinister kind of plan. Now, you yourself are not a believer in conspiracy theories. Do you really think that the behind-the-scenes movers and shakers and proponents of the “Green Revolution” have that kind of foresight and vision and are moved therefore by their secret designs on the society at large?

  • http://www.infoesource.com/cleaningconsultant ocha

    Very well stated. It’s ironic as you say that “they” want to tax the air we breath which was designed by God Himself. I agree we need to curb the more toxic gasses and if we can recycle there will be less in the land fills. Will we ever know all the answers? No.

  • Annie

    Just another Democrat tax. Note the near-absence of discussion and debate about this massive, far-reaching bill in the mass media. Note the fact that almost no one in the mass media points out that the planet has not gotten any warmer over the last decade. These political elites are depending upon the people to remain sleeping, and most of the people are happy to oblige – instead, they focus on the death of a deranged pedophile. We are fucked.

  • Clavos

    Here’s a Wall Street Journal article outlining the growing skepticism worldwide about manmade GW. An excerpt:

    As the U.S. House of Representatives prepares to pass a climate-change bill, the Australian Parliament is preparing to kill its own country’s carbon-emissions scheme. Why? A growing number of Australian politicians, scientists and citizens once again doubt the science of human-caused global warming.

    ***

    The number of skeptics, far from shrinking, is swelling. Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe now counts more than 700 scientists who disagree with the U.N. — 13 times the number who authored the U.N.’s 2007 climate summary for policymakers.

  • Arch Conservative

    I couldn’t agree with you more Annie. In fact since the moonbats were prone to crazy paranoid fantsies during the Bush years let me now offer one. Perhaps King barry had someone give Jacko a hot shot so no one would be paying attention when they rammed this econut tax right up the pooper of the American public.

    “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”

    So true. But when’s it coming round again? The sooner the better.

    Michael Jackson and King Barry will be sharing a room in hell soon.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Yet every moonbat and his mother finds it perfectly acceptable to label any scientist with respectable credentials that dares question global warming as “bought by the oil companies.”

    Not just that, but they call them “global warming DENIERS” equating their belief with those of racists and neonazis who deny the holocaust, all part of the agenda to smear anyone who tries to apply rational empirical principles to a belief which is more like a religion than anything scientific.

    When the scientists start taking things as dogma and stop engaging in rational inquiry and at least a minimal amount of skepticism and when they let political considerations override scientific objectivity, as has happened with this issue, we’re truly screwed.

    Dave

  • zingzing

    clavos: “No wonder he didn’t get elected.”

    except he did.

    dave: “when they let political considerations override scientific objectivity, as has happened with this issue, we’re truly screwed.”

    no, then we’re just in status quo. if people who, like you, doubt for purely political reasons win out and then are proven wrong, then we’re truly screwed.

    there’s nothing wrong with trying to improve our climate and our environment. that we have an impact on our environment is beyond question. why not try to lessen that impact?

    bah, we’ve all had this argument before. if you really don’t think there’s any scientific or empirical proof for global warming, go stand on a glacier. better be praying.

  • zingzing

    archie: “Michael Jackson and King Barry will be sharing a room in hell soon.”

    you have no respect for anything or anyone, do you? karma might yet have its way with you.

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    Take comfort, zing. He who condemns a soul to Hell becomes the greeter at the Hades’ WalMart.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I think some of us are already in hell, Silas and zing. To live your life with hatred in your heart?

    It is just me or the site, but it’s slow as shit today. Takes almost a minute for a page to load up.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Archie,

    You forgot the refrain from the sixties. Repeat after me now, and in cadence”

    “All you need is love!”

    Come on. Say it again.
    I can’t hear you.

  • Clavos

    if you really don’t think there’s any scientific or empirical proof for global warming, go stand on a glacier. better be praying.

    But if you stand on one of the glaciers that’s growing, you’d better be praying the ice doesn’t build up around you and entomb you.

  • pablo

    Well it is a global warming day in hell when I agree with either Clavos or Nalle about a political issue, this is one of those times.

    From the book by the Club of Rome published in 1972 “The First Global Revolution”

    “In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine, and the like would fit the bill”

    “It would seem that humans need a common motivation, namely a common adversary to organize and act together in the vacuum; such a motivation must be found to bring the divided nations together to face an outside enemy, either a real one or else one imagined for this
    purpose”.

    For those of you politically naive folks out there who do not know who the Club or Rome is try googling it and get educated.

    When you have such evil men such as Lord Rothschild, Maurice Strong, and Al Gore pushing this globalist crap it should raise alarm bells, however since most politicos out there are so dumbed down as to be brain dead it is no surprise that so many (particularly those of the naive liberal class) buy into this bullshit.

    An excellent film on this subject can be seen on video google and is hyperlinked here for those that might have an open (fat chance) mind.
    The Great Global Warming Swindle

    The great Al Gore former tobaccy farmer and owner of Occidental Petroleum is out to save us from the bogeyman, how utterly charming, given the fact that last year he consumed over $30,000 in electricity at his home last year. He is also a personal friend of Maurice (yes I know you so called politcos don’t know who he is) Strong, a henchman for the Rosthchild dynasty and one of the most powerful men in the world today.

    Just a modern day $100,000,000 Chicken Little for all the guilt ridden bleeding hearts out there that think that a natural gas that plants need to breathe is going to destroy us all.

    I challenge (I know you won’t) all you global warming freaks out there to watch the film linked above. As you claim that global warming is a “fact” you already show your sublime ignorance as it is indeed a scientific “theory”, I suggest you followers of global warming theory come up to speed in your ignorant vocabulary.

    There are indeed thousands of scientists that do not agree with the Club of Rome/United Nations/Rothschilds/Globalists who are telling us that the sky is falling. I NEVER cease to be amazed at how utterly naive and gullible as are those on the left side of the political spectrum. One case in point to all you Amy Goodman fans out there. She is almost completely funded by the Rockefellers, a real source of liberalism (cough). Just as the new liberals Rachel Maddow, Keith Olbermann, and the ED show are owned by General Electric another great bastion of liberalism. (cough)

  • zingzing

    clavos, read the article… this, too, is a symptom of global warming. from the article: “the winds appear to be carrying more moisture from the warming Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea eastward. “As temperatures continue increasing, they will overtake additional mass provided by snow,” Fountain said. “The freezing level will keep rising, and glaciers will melt.””

    besides all that, why do you take a tiny example that bucks a trend as proof that the entire trend is bogus? it’s like saying “global warming? pffft. it’s cold in minneapolis…” (not that it is or anything).

    i agree that not ALL of the warming we are seeing is because of mankind. this might mostly (or at least partially) be a product of natural cycles. still, we should, to whatever degree we can, do our part to lessen our own impact on something that could mean a dramatic reduction in food production and the square milage of coastal regions, etc.

    legislation is a dubious method for such change, but if you can think of something more effective, i’m all ears. a sense of personal responsibility only goes so far in individuals, but if you take an inhuman corporation’s sense of responsibility and put it up against its desire for profit, responsibility loses out 99.99% of the time.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Zing, I’m all for improving the environment. I just think it should be done on an individual and voluntary basis as much as possible and not through massive government programs and huge increases in taxes, especially when the economy is already shaky.

    I recycle and have done various things to reduce energy consumption in our house, all at my own expense (we have to drive our recycling into town because we have no pickup service), and I’d really like to install more solar and even wind power if I could afford it.

    But what I don’t want is to be forced to pay for these measures when they are not yet cost effective and clearly non-essential. They’re a luxury right now, and should be treated that way.

    Dave

  • zingzing

    i agree, dave, that in a perfect world, we could achieve a better environment without the need for legislation. that would be great. unfortunately, i don’t think that corporations (who are disproportionately responsible for more than their share of pollution) feel this sense of personal responsibility, and do need this kind of a kick in the ass. i think that’s where the taxes should be aimed (although we all know how corporations pay for their taxes).

    no idea is perfect, of course, and neither is this one. i also don’t like the idea of corporations being able to pay their way out of their responsibility to the environment. alas, the idea of making certain methods of production unprofitable to a company as a way of punishing their environment irresponsibility also sucks. god knows we don’t need more companies being pushed under.

    you do say that “these measures[…] are not yet cost effective” which is true (“clearly non-essential” is… less true…). The only problem I have with that first statement is that unless we make these companies FIND ways for the measures to be cost effective, i.e. research and development, then we’ll never get out of antiquated methods of production that produce so much pollution. by forcing companies to find new, better, more cost effective, less polluting methods, we better those companies, improve the environment, create new jobs, new technologies, new ideas… the list goes on.

    maybe these measures could be considered “non-essential” right now, but if one decides to look towards the future, not only are these kinds of measures necessary, they’re also inevitable. one would hope that we could arrive their on our own, but it’s clearly not happening fast enough. maybe because it’s not “cost effective” right now, but it certainly will be. get there first, make a shit-ton of cash.

  • zingzing

    jeez. several clavos moments in that one. i’ve been sick. some kind of swine flu. damn you, ruvy.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    It’s the “blame Ruvy whenever in doubt” policy.

  • zingzing

    nah, roger, ruvy, at various points, hoped that i would die from swine flu. actually he said, ahem, that “no one will mourn your death when you die from swine flu” or something like that. it’s close to that anyway. all because i doubted that swine flu is anything more than a media concoction, no worse than regular old flu. seriously, in the wake of iran and michael jackson, swine flu ain’t shit according to the media.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Sure, they just follow the money.

  • Clavos

    besides all that, why do you take a tiny example that bucks a trend as proof that the entire trend is bogus? it’s like saying “global warming? pffft. it’s cold in minneapolis…” (not that it is or anything).

    Jeez, zing you’ve proven beyond all doubt that you are totally without humor. Are you German? I posted that article as a joke — of course i read it; the article and my comment were…fuck it.

  • Arch Conservative

    It is beyond stupid to think that even if CO2 is a pollutant the USA alone can make some kind of meaningful difference when China and India aren’t going to be following suit on cap and trade. The only thing this bill will do is further handicap the American economy.

    The American public strongly opposes this bill yet the Dems are determined to force it upon us any way. they have their agenda, they have their messiah and they’ll be damned if they’ll let something as trivial as the will of the American people get in their way.

    If it passes they will reap what they’ve sown in 2010 when the GOP regains control and their messiah is relegated to nothing more than Benson the Butler in the White House……keeping the seat warm in the oval office until Mitt Romney shows up.

  • zingzing

    “of course i read it; the article and my comment were…fuck it.”

    sure, clavos. i’d believe that, except you’ve posted similar things on this subject so many, many times before

    “zing you’ve proven beyond all doubt that you are totally without humor.”

    a floor tom and a hi-hat fall off a cliff. bu-dum, tif.

    a man walks into a bar and sits down next to a cow. he turns to the cow and says, “well, it’s not every day you sit down in bar next to a cow.” you know what the cow says?

    “moo.”

    you know i have a sense of humor. i’m the silliest commenter on these boards. excepting jom, of course.

    but, let’s say you were making a joke. if so, then you do believe that the glaciers are melting and that there are things we can and should do that will, possibly, help to slow such catastrophic environmental change? well, then, that’s good. or are you still sticking with your 700 (!!wow!!whoopeee!!!! out of how many?) “scientists” that back your side of things?

  • zingzing

    archie: “It is beyond stupid to think that even if CO2 is a pollutant the USA alone can make some kind of meaningful difference when China and India aren’t going to be following suit on cap and trade. The only thing this bill will do is further handicap the American economy.”

    that’s the most damning argument i’ve heard yet against your argument. it’s like a parent saying, “my kid won’t stop shitting his pants… oh well, i’ll just shit my too.” if others are too irresponsible to not do what’s right, it doesn’t mean that the responsibility is negated. sure, there will be economic negatives for a while, but once the technology catches up, then we’ll be ahead again, while they are still stuck in the middle ages. this environmental shit is just the thing america needs to open up new technological and economic boundaries. it’s just the kick in the ass we need. our economy and environment will benefit from this, but you’re too short-sighted to even think of the possibilities.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Well, there’s another argument, zing, for “going green,” and you just alluded to it. Many have argued that to get us out of the present economic crisis, it may take nothing less than a tremendous technological breakthrough – something akin to the steam engine invention and the computer revolution in the early sixties.

    Well, this is one area which is ripe for technological innovation on a scale we can’t even imagine. And it could re-establish our leadership for another hundred years or so (if only to slow down the People’s Republic).

  • Bliffle

    Carbon dioxide is not a poison, as so many pollutants are, but a suffocant. It displaces normal air and subsequently animal life forms die.

    Many volcanos, such as Kilimanjaro, have alpine valleys on their slopes where fumaroles displace air with CO2. Animals (including humans) are attracted to those valleys by their verdant flora, but the animals soon die.

    Sulphur is another pollutant released by burning fossil fuels, and, in fact we would all soon succumb to sulphur poisoning except that most of it is sequestered by lichens such as ramalina and returned to the earth by droppings.

    Woodman! Spare that tree!

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Bliffle, we’ve actually done quite a good job over the last few decades in reducing sulphur emissions of all sorts, to the point where it’s well under control. When was the last time you heard about acid rain?

    As for CO2, the real point here is that even the worst-case scenarios for CO2 increase put the level ridiculously far inside the tolerances for human and animal life which we can determine based on history.

    What we’re looking at here is a plan to kill a gnat with a sledgehammer and the bad news is that the sledgehammer is going to cost every family in the US $75K. That just seems ridiculous.

    Dave

  • Bliffle

    We don’t hear about acid rain very much anymore, so out of curiosity I looked up SO4 for Sonora TX, which looks like it’s about the same, varying in a +- range of 35% for the last 25 years.

    Sonora TX SO4

    “Lab pH” seems to be even more steady steady:

    Sonora TX lab pH

    I’m not sure what to conclude about these trends other than they seem to be about the same.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Not sure why you’d pick Sonora where it rains about once a decade as your test case for acid rain. That said, I’m surprised that with its proximity to Mexico and the maquiladoras that it isn’t experiencing an increase.

    But the traditional area for acid rain issues is the great lakes area. If we want to look at serious figures on improvement that would be the place to look.

    Dave

  • http://www.joannehuspek.wordpress.com Joanne Huspek

    Excuse me, but don’t those green trees and other flora NEED carbon dioxide to make oxygen? It’s why I have houseplants. Since my CO2 is killing them, perhaps I should get rid of them before I kill them with my breath.

    And yeah, they promised energy jobs to Michigan. I’ll believe it when I see it.

  • Bliffle

    Yes, all plants need CO2. In fact, plants are made up of carbon compounds based on carbon, which they cleverly form into various vital materials. In return, they emit oxygen into the air.

    It’s an amazing a wonderful symbiosis between plants and animals.

    We should have regard for it.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    This article, which accuses environmentalists of alarmism, is of course itself a large, odoriferous and ridiculous piece of fearmongering: “Write your Congressman! Economic devastation is nigh!”

    It is utter propaganda, based not on facts, but, as is Dave’s wont, on libertarian ideology.

    As I’ve said before, this debate divides so neatly along ideological lines that it can’t really be entirely about science. Clavos and Al Gore both claim to be 100% right on the science, and that the other side is 100% fucked. This makes both arguments suspect.

  • Bliffle

    Neither Clavos nor Al Gore has any claim on scientific competency, as near as I can tell.