Category Archives: Environment

iHypocrisy

The Washington Examiner calls out Apple on it’s hypocritical Cap and Trade stance. They point out that Apple is calling for Carbon Taxes that it will largely avoid paying due to it’s offshore manufacturing.

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54 million small dead animals later

In 2006 a lack of adult supervision allowed the EU parliament to pass an ill conceived initiative called REACH. The REACH program will require retesting for toxicity every chemical in use in the EU that predates the newer testing regimes.

Now there is a report that estimates it will cost industry 9.5 billion Euros and require 54 million test animals. All to test chemicals that are already in wide-spread use.

Scientific illiteracy is quite expensive.

Green jackboots

Do green jackboots hurt less when descending repeatedly onto your face? The reason I wonder is this:

The boys in green are coming as the Environment Agency sets up a squad to police companies generating excessive CO2 emissions.

The agency is creating a unit of about 50 auditors and inspectors, complete with warrant cards and the power to search company premises to enforce the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC), which comes into effect next year.

Decked out in green jackets, the enforcers will be able to demand access to company property, view power meters, call up electricity and gas bills and examine carbon-trading records for an estimated 6,000 British businesses. Ed Mitchell, head of business performance and regulation at the Environment Agency, said the squad would help to bring emissions under control. “Climate change and CO2 are the world’s biggest issues right now. The Carbon Reduction Commitment is one of the ways in which Britain is responding.”

And there is this special feature:

It will also be able to demand energy bills from utilities without the companies under investigation knowing they are being watched.

How delightful.

The UK is about to discover that the easiest way for companies to reduce energy usage is to off-shore much of their labor. This will not end well for them.

Carbox – sadly inevitable

Here comes the sadly inevitable convergence of junk science and junk governance: Carbox:

Here’s something new to worry about: If you can’t figure out how much carbon your company is pumping into the atmosphere, you could face fines or even criminal charges someday.

They’re calling it Carbox, and it’s inspired a green streak in corporate culture–and spawned a cottage industry to deal with the problem. As most people now painfully know, Sarbanes-Oxley, or Sarbox, requires companies to disclose any business risks facing the company to investors in public filings.

And here is the quote that gives the whole game away:

“Companies like Google are adding hundreds if not thousands of servers a month to keep up with demand from all these Web 2.0 sites where you store your photos or music. Those are all powered by servers in data centers. The growth of those things is just incredible.” Expect the fees for consultants and lawyers to follow the same path.

What utter non-sense. So of course it’s going to happen. Sometimes I think it’s a miracle public companies stay in business, much less remain profitable.

Just a bit outside…

In honor of Earth Day, Walter Williams has some interesting past predictions that didn’t quite hit the strike zone:

At the first Earth Day celebration, in 1969, environmentalist Nigel Calder warned, “The threat of a new ice age must now stand alongside nuclear war as a likely source of wholesale death and misery for mankind.”

C.C. Wallen of the World Meteorological Organization said, “The cooling since 1940 has been large enough and consistent enough that it will not soon be reversed.”

In 1968, professor Paul Ehrlich, former Vice President Al Gore’s hero and mentor, predicted that there would be a major food shortage in the U.S. and “in the 1970s . . . hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death.”

Ehrlich forecast that 65 million Americans would die of starvation between 1980 and 1989, and that by 1999 the U.S. population would have declined to 22.6 million.

Ehrlich’s predictions about England were gloomier: “If I were a gambler, I would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000.”

In 1972, a report was written for the Club of Rome warning that the world would run out of gold by 1981, mercury and silver by 1985, tin by 1987 and petroleum, copper, lead and natural gas by 1992.

Gordon Taylor, in his 1970 book “The Doomsday Book,” said Americans were using 50% of the world’s resources and “by 2000 they (Americans) will, if permitted, be using all of them.”

In 1975, the Environmental Fund took out full-page ads warning, “The World as we know it will likely be ruined by the year 2000.”

Harvard biologist George Wald in 1970 warned, “Civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.” That was the same year that Sen. Gaylord Nelson warned, in Look magazine, that by 1995 “somewhere between 75% and 85% of all the species of living animals will be extinct.”

Oh, so close…

The Gore TV IPO

BusinessWeek rips into Al Gore for his Current TV IPO in this devastating critique (hat tip to Bruce Webster). From the article:

Something about this deal just doesn’t sit right with me. Gore isn’t just taking piles of cash. According to the filing Gore, who is listed as executive chairman, and his CEO partner, lawyer-turned-entrepreneur Joel Hyatt, each loaned the company $1 million to get it started. They’ll get that back in the IPO. But the two guys also collect hefty salaries for a company that hasn’t shown a profit in three years—taking down $491,677 apiece last year in cash, plus bonuses of $550,000 each for, in Gore’s case, helping get the company new affiliate agreements, broadening exiting agreements, and putting together a management team. The two currently receive $600,000 a year in salary and are eligible for additional bonuses, according to the IPO filing.

By comparison, at the time of the Google IPO in 2004, its two founders were each taking home a total of $356,556 in salary and bonuses, while sitting on top of a company that had earned nearly $106 million the year before.

And the bit about the Class B share structure is pretty damming too.

I don’t have any problem with someone who has a successful IPO. I also think Current TV has an intriguing business model, as far as I undestand it. This is the kind of merging of the old and new media that I think we will see a lot more of.

But I can do without the moralizing sermons from someone who can pull off this kind of sweet deal.

Who couldn’t see this coming?

Here is a report in the NYT about how bio-fuels are not the environmental panacea that they are made out to be.  From the article:

Almost all biofuels used today cause more greenhouse gas emissions than conventional fuels if the full emissions costs of producing these “green” fuels are taken into account, two studies being published Thursday have concluded.

This is almost always what happens when politics trumps engineering.