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.

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.

The Junkman on the latest IPCC report

Steven Milloy of Fox News and JunkScience.com gives his thoughts on the latest and final IPCC report. It’s a very good article and well worth reading. My favortite part:

That key issue, of course, is whether or not manmade CO2 emissions drive global temperature. In its shockingly brief and superficial treatment of this crucial issue, the U.N. states, in relevant part, that, “Most of the observed increase in globally-averaged temperatures, since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations. It is likely that there has been significant anthropogenic warming over the past 50 years averaged over every continent (except Antarctica).”

This glib statement overlooks that fact that from 1940 to 1975 globally-averaged temperature declined (giving rise to a much-hyped scare about a looming ice age) while manmade CO2 emissions increased. Global temperature has fallen since 1998 despite ever-increasing CO2 emissions. So for 27 of the last 50 years, globally-averaged temperatures have declined while CO2 emissions have increased.

Rev Al vs Rev Jones

Here is a great commentary likening Al Gore’s global warming religeon to Jim Jones. The world is drinking the kool-aid:

Al Gore, the Jim Jones of this new religious cult, preaches doom and gloom from his pettifogger pulpit, all the while living the lifestyle of an energy hog. He actually uses twice the amount of electricity in one month at his Nashville home than the average household uses in an entire year. He has two homes in Tennessee, one in Virginia, at least. He flies all over the world on his Magical Hysteria Tour, sucking down resources and belching out tons of carbon, all to tell us we need to conserve. We’re trying to make ends meet just to afford gas in our cars while Al Gore has a carbon footprint the size of Sasquatch. And no one seems to care.

Begging the Question

Here is a headline that says a lot more about newspaper editors than it says about Califormians:

Californians better informed on global warming threat, poll finds

And how do we know they are better informed? Because a Field Poll found:

Californians are more likely than the rest of the nation to see global warming as a threat, but also are more optimistic that greenhouse gases can be cut while creating jobs and expanding the economy, according to a Field Poll released Friday.

State residents are more likely than other Americans to back efforts to address climate change, with large majorities favoring government regulations, tax incentives and other efforts by industry and individuals to curb their emissions, the poll showed.

Californians are more likely to share the same view of Global Warming as the San Francisco Chronicle, ergo they must be better informed.

Further proof Deductive Logic is not a required course in the J-School curriculum.

Of course the same poll found a good number of Californians are also somewhat naïve in how business works:

A similar majority supports government regulations requiring businesses to cut their emissions, although that support dropped from 81 percent to 61 percent if the new rules increased the cost of goods and services.

That means 20 percent of Californians believe that increasing the costs for a business won’t increase the costs to the end consumer. But hey, they are better informed so who am I to judge?