March 11, 2009

Obama's war on carbon emissions

Shouldn't Obama call off his war on carbon emissions "for the duration" of the economic downturn? If the economy is roaring back in 18 months, swell, let's all start fighting carbon again then. But if we're in for a decade-long depression, then carbon emissions will be way down by themselves, and the last thing we should be trying to do is make energy, the main driver of economic growth, even more unaffordable.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

23 comments:

Mark said...

Obama has tied so many anchors around our economic necks that it will never recover on his watch. The energy taxes. Increased unionization. The huge amount of federal borrowing that will squeeze out the needs of industry. Increased taxes. The disincentives to work. Non-enforcement of immigration laws, which will keep illegals in jobs that Americans could do.

Speaking of the latter, the Senate tabled the extension of E-Verify last night. Treasonous bastards.

Anonymous said...

And totally off the topic, Steve, but if there's one issue you might ever consider delving into it's the question of why all the cooks come out in March/April to do their dirty work: the shooting in Alabama, the shooting in Germany, Dunblane, Columbine, Virginia Tech, etc., etc. They all seem to happen in the early spring.

splc punk said...

Even the most dim-witted Greens are starting to hear the music. Most of them have to pay a utility bill every month, and my observation is that Greens hate paying for anything. That's why they usually hustle the taxpayer via hoaxes such as Global Warming. Until it begins to bite them in the pocket. In Germany many of the Green programs are starting to get the axe. The ones which can be obfuscated as a fig leaf for a stimulus (i.e. subsidy), such as insulating houses or exchanging boilers, are being kept. The more outrageous ones such as Bio-fermenters are being killed off. Even the Socialists are beginning to discuss the return of Nuclear Energy. Eventually economic reality will dictate to the Greens who have been stealing public funds for almost 30 years now.

I suspect Obama's alternate energy plan is just a smokescreen to cover his real agenda which is to change the demographic in the US to ultimately reflect the situation in South Africa, i.e. lots of blacks who parasite off and suppress a minority of whites.

A_C said...

My guess? When the economy is down, people will want to Do Stuff Now! When things are going swimmingly, there will be little pressure.

Science in Society has an interesting trifecta of posts on the cognitive biases of climate scientists, which becomes newly relevant as Obama's administration recruits them in greater numbers.

http://ssmag.wordpress.com/2009/02/28/scientists-need-to-keep-their-hats-on-in-this-political-climate/

http://ssmag.wordpress.com/2009/03/02/the-politics-of-science/

http://ssmag.wordpress.com/2009/03/02/climate-change-and-scientific-objectivity/

SF said...

Obama wants to reduce our carbon emissions 80% by 2050, but what has he actually proposed for the short run? There isn't a gas tax proposal or a gas guzzler tax on the agenda. There is a cap and trade proposal, but the worst thing about that is that it will be subject to scams and won't actually reduce emissions. Oil and coal are two separate problems. Coal is a domestic resource that we are adequately supplied with for at least a generation. But about 70% of our oil is imported, largely from unstable or unfriendly governments. And the Alaskan wildlife refuge would only supply us for a year and a half, or about 6-8% of our needs for a 20 year life of the field. Conservatives ought to welcome measures to conserve oil to lessen the supply shock that is inevitably coming.

Anonymous said...

The reduction in emissions because of lower economic activity is small compared to the reductions needed to prevent global warming.

Given this, it is worth thinking about how to use renewable energy to stimulate the economy. To the extent that this can be done, it may be worthwhile.

albertosaurus said...

The great irony of green politics is that more carbon dioxide indisputably makes the world greener - in the sense of covered in greeenery.

We have about 380 parts per million presently in the world atmosphere. Greenhouse owners routinely use concentrations of around 1000 parts per million to encourage plant growth.

The period in the earth's history that was the greenest was the Carboniferous epoch. At that time there was perhaps 3000 parts per million of CO2 in our atmosphere. This was a period of the greatest plant and animal productivity on land and in the seas.

Much of the carbon that had been in the air formerly became sequestered in coal and oil deposits. CO2 dropped as the carbon that had been in the air came to be lost to the biosphere.

Fortunately just as it seemed that CO2 would drop so low as to extinguish plant all life on earth, man emerged and dug up the sequestered carbon and released it to once again to nourish life.

All praise Gaia!

spacehabitats said...

That would make a lot of sense wouldn't it, Steve? That is if you accept Obama for what he purports to be (an intelligent, compassionate leader dedicated to the prosperity and happiness of all Americans) or even what many skeptics would believe him to be (another politician ruthlessly dedicated to his own political ambitions).

Personally, I find the model most predictive of his behavior to be that of an internationalist, bent on further eroding the American middle-class and destroying the sovereignty of the United States of America, even at the expense of his own career or the popularity of his own political party.

To that end, his initiation of a carbon tax (especially one requiring international cooperation and supervision) in the midst of an American depression is an absolute no-brainer.

Anonymous said...

The last thing the American Economy needs right now is to make -any- fixed cost more expensive for any of our businesses. Unfortunately, Barack Obama has no business experience and wouldn't really understand that.

SKT said...

I thought all you people in California cared about was ruining the actually productive industries in flyover country.

Evil Sandmich said...

I personally hope that he keeps it up. I'd love to see him blow all his political capital on such a bad idea.

anon-2 said...

That's what Andy Grove editorialized in the Washington Post today. Put that crap on the back burner and get down to fixing the financial chaos. Grove cited Machiavelli

Mr. President, Time to Rein In The Chaos
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/03/10/AR2009031003211.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

headache said...

"Obama wants to reduce our carbon emissions 80% by 2050"

I read that farting cows make up most of the CO2. If that's so, Obama needs to pass a law to the effect that either cows need to fart less or they should all be killed (cowacide). I dunno what he's going to do about all the wild animals that aren't yet under the jurisdiction of the international environmental court. And what about all the farting humans? Do they now pay extra taxes?

Maybe anti-farting is a new market for drug makers. Come to think of it, I could use some medication too, now and then of course.

Anonymous said...

"Conservatives ought to welcome measures to conserve oil to lessen the supply shock that is inevitably coming."

Nuclear power and lots of it. But Obama has seen fit to just about kill that program as well.

Anonymous said...

Small businesses are being killed off, please pay attention.

The CPSIA has already started driving people out of business. Amazon announced today that it will purge noncompliant sellers.

The FSMA is poised to do the same thing to food.

Glaivester said...

I read that farting cows make up most of the CO2.

No, it's methane and belching cows.

AJ said...

Has no one here heard of Amory Lovins' plan to eliminate oil use from the American economy *profitably*?:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kMTCNOlozTA

This will solve three major objectives:

1) stop draining the American economy of $700 billion per year;
2) radically cut carbon emissions PROFITABLY;
3) stop funding terrorists who have a lot of oil so that they can't fly planes into buildings.

The talk is about 5 years old now, and there are updated talks out there on the web that detail the progress that has been made. But this one is a short one and lays everything out succinctly.

sj071 said...

Nice sleigh of a hand, let's see...carbon emissions are 'harmfull' and Homo Americanus can control anything.

Why didn't you rally straight away against the fallacy of AGW, old chestnut and PR myth from the loathed dominant rulling class, instead of offering your blogspace for a politically correct debate?

Anonymous said...

Globally, we make 70 million cars a year. There's 560 million cars in existence. As the Chinese mimic our lifestyle, that number will double in 20 years.
When you start thinking about cars the same way you do people, as an overpopulation of individual resource eaters, you know we have gone beyond the vanishing point into lala land.
And it's time to start putting humanity first again.
70 million X 20lbs worth of battery = 1.4 BILLION pounds of lead acid technology replaced every year.
6-8 of those in a standard car (no hybrid crap required) without the mass of a conventional engine/ drivetrain and you've got a good 40 mile trip endurance which is all even most commuters use, per day.
90% of cars spend 90% of their day either at home in a garage or parked at the shopping mall or workplace.
90% of cars that are in actual service are ALL in use, between 7 and 9 am and 4 and 6 pm. Causing massive congestion which reduces speeds to 15-20mph in an engine driven vehicle designed to cruise optimallly at 2,700rpm and 30-45mph.
GPS will never work so long as it is subject to deliberate and anaprop induced time-synch errors of more than a few inches.
RFID technology can give you that kind of accuracy today.
And could furthermore be easily put into street markings and stop lights and mile markers, even buildings, using cellphone grid technology.
The latter in turn gives your location _relative to endroute destination_ for the car navigator (no more screwy Onstar directions).
And allows traffic routing systems to control FLOW of vehicles vastly more efficiently (back to front) in avoiding the bottleneck conditions we face today.
All of which, to me, suggests that, State by State, one possible solution is to buy up all our cars and promise America that for $1.50 per use-day, they will never have to pay for gasoline and registration or insurance again (all to be 'group policy' discounted via the automotive equivalent of an HMO).
Then tell our people that if they will 'prebook' their trips in 1-2hr an 10nm shared route increments, we will take 50 cents off per added passenger they drive with.
And give workplaces a 20,000 dollar per person tax credit for staggering workplace arrival and departure times so as to THIRD the number of drivers on the highway at any one moment.
All as the precursor to making automated electric vehicles the wave of the future, today.
In a post Wilsonian depression as thid nation struggles to transition back to 'pure' civilian economics, the one thing you _do not want to do_ is have people spending more money on basic survival mode logistics than they do on consumables and shelter. Car = Job. Home = Useless Vampire Mortgage. They can't stop spending on that car without help. If they stop spending on their mortgages, we're screwed.
And there are a 1,000 homes every week going into REO as we speak.
Obviously the electrical generation still has to come from somewhere.
But whether you put a windturbine on every house and wire them into a local grid for surburban taxiparks.
Or build 1,000 new hyper-efficient power plants to replace the 1960s crap designs we use today. Concentrating your power generation into a single optimized system generation point rather than a mass of mechanical engines converting chemical energy to useless heat on a random peaks and valleys basis is a *good thing*. Thermodynamically, as work done per tons of fuel burned.
Also more efficient is the notion that if you have only 10-20% of todays cars in service and those are being _constantly used_ rather than intermittently so, you gain back battery technology and travel speeds as cars autodrive from place to place in total range runs rather than out-and-back radii of use (personal ownership) mode.
This would let said transports range far and wide, only returning to local-owned parking lots/charging stations for recharge at night.
Such is the kind of stuff the Koreans are doing in Songdo. This is the kind of stuff NREL is looking at in Boulder.
Obama is not FDR so we shouldn't wait for the Feds to get off their worthless butts and start another WPA.
We should start setting up the infrastructure and initiate testbed and training on a local Municipality and State basis. Like the Swedes did, back in the 50's when they wanted to change sides of the road. And then, with a years prep, they did it.
Overnight.
Believe in GloWarm or not, I care not. Ditto Globalist Consipiracies.
But the idea that the less we pay for our lifestyles today, the more we will give to our children tomorrow _i$ golden_.
Because, by 2025, when all our predictions show the existing oil reserves will be well past peak production, the Chinese will be the principle automotive consumer because they -are already- the principle industrial producer.
Fuel goes where it's most powerfully purchased and that is no longer the United States. The sooner we acknowledge that, the cheaper we get on towards living with a lot less of it.
Cheaper than we do today

Bill said...

Nuclear power is our best bet today, and Obama is talking about windmills and solar panels...

Nuclear power can even be used to pull CO2 right out of the atmosphere and make methanol (which can be converted to gasoline).

We are really in for a disaster on his watch.

Anonymous said...

"Personally, I find the model most predictive of his behavior to be that of an internationalist, bent on further eroding the American middle-class and destroying the sovereignty of the United States of America, even at the expense of his own career or the popularity of his own political party."

This is what I believe also.

Twister said...

Assuming that Obama really is calling the shots (???), do you really believe he is intelligent enough to depart from the pre-determined script to respond intelligently to matters at hand?

And don't worry about all the cars in China. They will be clean electric cars, powered by abundant coal-burning Chinese power plants.

The cars will produce 0 CO2.

Anonymous said...

The purpose of carbon tax, cap/trade or whatever is not to fix the atmosphere or save the planet or anything like that. It's simply a tax grab motivated by a government balance sheet that is drowning in red ink and going down for the third time. Obama would rather institute stealthy tax increases than cut spending because the latter would require cutting off from public funds the people who got him elected.

Killing off businesses, especially small ones, would be a bonus. First, shutting small companies would make things easier for the huge corporations and banks who backed Obama (and who back every major party candidate for prez). Second, by creating more unemployment and other social problems, it will steer more customers towards the government-run welfare industry and the justice industry.