Thursday, December 2, 2010

Terrorists get free pass into the U.S. thanks to Bingaman

How many times have we heard about our porous southern border with Mexico; a problem that continues unabated for the most part? Now it’s more serious than ever as more than just illegal Mexicans try to get into the U.S. As you’ll read in this shocking article, people from the countries notorious for breeding terrorism are also part of that illegal immigrant surge across our southern border. So, who’s behind legislation that not only allows it, but promotes it?
New Mexico Senator Jeff Bingaman. Not likely a patriot who understands the threats we face.

By: Ron Arnold
Washington Examiner OpEd Contributor

Sen. Jeff Bingaman is being called our worst border security threat. Angry Dona Ana County residents have branded the New Mexico Democrat's Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks Wilderness Act as "Bingaman's Bandit Boulevard" for proposing a 50-mile-long safe haven for Mexican drug runners -- and worse.

John Hummer, former chairman of the Greater Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce, reminded his community of the no-motorized-vehicle clause in wilderness laws. The Border Patrol can't patrol.
Wilderness laws allow our own park and forest rangers to keep the cops out. That's supposed to protect nature, but ends up protecting drug cartels, illegal immigrants -- and terrorists.

Steve Wilmeth, fifth-generation New Mexico rancher, told me that Bingaman's north-south strip and two mountain clusters don't worry him for the inevitable Mexican intruders, but for the OTMs -- Other Than Mexicans.

A U.S. Border Patrol document obtained by The Examiner shows the nationality and number of OTMs arrested last year. A few samples: Afghanistan (12); Indonesia (95); Iran (42); Iraq (42); Jordan (52); Saudi Arabia (6); Somalia (70); Yemen (22).

Members of the National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers say they weren't smuggling drugs. Retired Border Patrol Officer Zack Taylor said Bingaman's wilderness boundary is just a stroll from violent Juarez and El Paso.

Terrorists want terror, said Taylor -- unexpected targets with severed body parts and dead babies. A dozen relays of three sunburned hikers carrying big backpacks could trek unmolested up Bingaman's Boulevard, stockpiling materials to obliterate the balloon festival, the state Capitol, the Acoma Pueblo -- anything we treasure.

Frank DuBois, a Reagan-era deputy assistant secretary of the interior, told me that interdicting criminals in wilderness is losing priority. Bingaman's bill makes his wilderness a "component of the National Landscape Conservation System." That's ominous.

In a previous Examiner report, I exposed Wendy Van Asselt's Wilderness Society campaign with Bureau of Land Management officials that led her to the House Natural Resources Committee, where she helped create that hands-off conservation system. (She resigned last month).

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has elevated the Office of the National Landscape Conservation System to the level of a directorate within BLM, with preservation its priority.

Given that newly exalted status, questions arise. First, who led the campaign for Bingaman's bill?
That's easy: the Albuquerque-based New Mexico Wilderness Alliance, a purist group out to "re-wild" and restore the Americas to pre-Columbus conditions.

NMWA has been more effective than its $1 million revenue suggests. Its IRS Form 990 shows why: The "affiliations" disclosure shows NMWA "works together on ongoing basis" with three rich Big Green groups: the Wilderness Society (which led the campaign to create the conservation system), the Pew-supported Campaign for America's Wilderness, and, most importantly, the Sierra Club, which can spend limitless sums lobbying legislators.

But the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance dances on the strings of its foundation funders. The top donors are the Wyss Foundation, which also bankrolled Wendy Van Asselt's conservation system campaign for the Wilderness Society, and the Wilburforce Foundation, which specifically donated to "the Organ Mountains Wilderness Campaign."

Top donor Wilburforce ($750,000), based in Seattle, is the money of Gordon Letwin, one of the 12 original employees of Microsoft -- which was born in Albuquerque and moved to the Pacific Northwest in 1978.

Letwin quit Microsoft in 1993 to "kick back" with his $20 million fortune. His wife Rosanna now runs Wilburforce with the income from 300,000 shares of Microsoft stock as a money spigot for green groups.
The first of this month, Wilburforce hired Van Asselt as a program officer, giving her a credential on all three sides of an Iron Triangle -- activist, government, donor -- and illustrating the revolving doors of Big Green.

Washington Examiner contributor Ron Arnold is executive vice president of the Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise.

Read more at the Washington Examiner:

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Has the EPA Become a Menace?

Regardless of the evidence, The Environmental Protection Agency continues with its scorched-earth policies; all without any vote from Congress, much less the approval of the American people. How will it affect you? In your wallet with higher electricity costs along with hikes in every area of energy. Somewhere, sometime, it must stop as the EPA’s rules and regulations plow through the lives of Americans with wild, and unencumbered, abandon.


One country cannot single-handedly curb global greenhouse gas emissions, but the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) refuses to accept that idea.

The EPA is forging ahead with plans to regulate carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases emitted from America’s largest power plants and industrial facilities. Never mind that no persuasive scientific case exists for the claim that man-made emissions are causing global warming, given that 99% of the atmospheric carbon dioxide is from natural sources – and whether carbon dioxide is even harmful remains open to question. Leave aside the fact that the recent email scandal involving some of the self-same scientists who are calling for curbs on greenhouse gases has cast much of their work in doubt.

The regulations, which will take effect in January, won’t do a thing to reduce global emissions but they will increase the cost of electricity in the United States, undermine the competitiveness of American industries, and wind up sending more jobs overseas.

The regulations are sweeping and shortsighted. They are being promulgated under the Clean Air Act, which the EPA has twisted to suit the administration’s policy of increasing the use of renewable energy sources.

The naiveté of trying to tackle a global issue like curbing greenhouse-gas emissions without international cooperation is staggering. The United States has little to gain and unfortunately much to lose.

President Obama has hammered home the need to put Americans back to work, to grow our industrial sector and create jobs of the sort that our middle class depends on. But despite his rhetoric, the EPA’s agenda will have precisely the opposite result.

Under the EPA’s new regulations, states that will suffer the most economically are those that rely heavily on the use of fossil fuels to provide electricity – the very ones that make up the core of the nation’s manufacturing and industrial sector. As older power plants are either shut down or retrofitted to comply with greenhouse-gas regulations, the price of electricity will inevitably rise and the cost will be passed directly onto businesses, workers and consumers. Simply put, the EPA’s policy amounts to a nationwide energy tax.

Financial analysts estimate that by the end of this decade it could cost as much as $150 billion in capital investment to comply with new regulations. And the key thing to bear in mind is that Congress had no say in establishing this policy. It was foisted on the American public by the EPA, with the support of President Obama.

Unless Congress takes action to block the EPA from issuing the regulations, U.S. energy companies and major industries will have to curtail greenhouse emissions at great cost, while developing nations blithely add new fossil-fuel power plants in record numbers.

China has already surpassed the United States as the world’s largest emitter of carbon dioxide. And India, with its massive population and rapidly growing economy, is not too far behind. We are reminded time and again that we live and work in an increasingly flat world. When energy prices rise for American companies, the cost of doing business goes up and it becomes more difficult for our companies to compete in international markets.

So the irony is that the supposed gain in emission reductions that would be achieved under the EPA’s plan will be quickly negated by ever-increasing emissions from China and other so-called developing nations – the very same economic adversaries that are competing directly with U.S. companies.

What the EPA has come up with is not really a strategy to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions so much as a scheme to replace fossil fuels with greater use of renewable energy sources. As such, it is a poorly-conceived plan that will have little or no impact on reducing global greenhouse-gas emissions, while encumbering our own industries with higher costs, undermining their competitiveness and throwing thousands of additional people out of work at a time when our country is struggling to emerge from the deepest recession since the 1930s.

Michael R. Fox, Ph.D., is a retired nuclear scientist and university chemistry professor. He is the science and energy writer/reporter for the A resident of Kaneohe, Hawaii, he has nearly 40 years experience in the energy field. His interests and activities in the communications of science, energy, and the environment has led to several communications awards, hundreds of speeches, and many appearances on television and talk shows.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Bus Has a Blow-Out

Most of us have been held hostage by the environmentalist’s “green movement.” It has changed our lives in unimaginable ways, costing us hard-earned family dollars, increased the cost of energy immeasurably, and for many of us old enough to remember, there actually WAS a time when life, and the cost of energy, was reasonable. Now, after the environmentalists have permeated every aspect of our lives, we know things in the United States will never be the same. Shockingly, the Greenies are changing their tune. They now realize their ideology was not only ridiculous, but has been very damaging on a global scale. Here’s some quiet information that’s circulating under the radar and it may lift your spirits. It appears the wheels are coming off the intrusive green bus.


If the Big Green Bus hasn’t actually stalled, it’s at least got a couple of newly-flattened tires. And the suddenly-Republican U.S. Congress’s opposition to energy taxes is only part of it.

It started, of course, after the 1998 El Nino when global land temperatures refused to trend back upward. It became far more serious when world thermometers actually turned downward in 2007–08. The disparity between the computer model forecasts and real-world temperatures has now become massive.

Then there was climate-gate, which gave us a peek into the unscientific maneuverings of the “real climate scientists” in the IPCC establishment. The revelations seem to have broken the spell the Greens had cast over First World journalists.

The latest problem is Green defections. Britain’s Channel 4 last week aired a documentary titled, “What the Greens Got Wrong.” In it, such former Green stalwarts as Patrick Moore, the Greenpeace co-founder and Stuart Brand, former editor of the Whole Earth Catalog, issued a mea culpa about nuclear power. They lamented that Green opposition to nuclear had led to “extra gigatons” of greenhouse gas emissions.

The Greens hotly deny they shut down nuclear power single-handedly, but they certainly constituted a powerful blocking force. Their positions dominated the nuclear headlines for decades.

British activist Mark Lynas, who used to uproot genetically-modified test plantings, now says that biotech could help feed the hungry. In fact, one of the segments of the Channel 4 program that has made Greens angriest was footage of starving Zambian kids during a drought—while the Greens were convincing the country’s president to padlock U.S. food aid corn in warehouses as “dangerous.”

For Greens, it was an ugly reminder of the millions of needless malaria deaths over the years since 1972, after Silent Spring and the Environmental Defense Fund got DDT banned in America. In African countries that can do without U.S. aid, DDT is sprayed inside the homes—both to kill mosquitoes and as the most powerful mosquito repellent. In fact, the Greens nearly got the manufacture of DDT banned worldwide under the Persistent Organic Pollutants treaty. Only the resistance of India, which uses the pesticide broadly and thus has a low malaria death rate, kept DDT available at all.

Lynas now says, “Being an environmentalist was part of my identity and most of my friends were environmentalists. We were involved in the whole movement together. It took me years to actually begin to question those core, cherished beliefs.”

“We have got to find a more pragmatic and realistic way of engaging with people,” said Brand. “I would like to see an environmental movement that says it turns out our fears about genetically engineered food crops were exaggerated, and we’re glad about that.”

“Environmentalists did harm by being ignorant and ideological and unwilling to change their mind based on actual evidence,” says Moore. But of course being Green has always meant singing another chorus of “Never Gonna Say I’m Sorry.”

The “turncoats” are all being vilified now by the unrepentant eco-faithful. But . . .

In America, last week the EPA’s Policy Director resigned. Lisa Heinzerling had been famous among activists for her role in persuading the U.S. Supreme Court in 2007 to permit EPA regulation of greenhouse gases. Within EPA, her position had been: “The law is on our side. Let’s go get them.” Now she’s resigned well before her leave-of-absence from Georgetown Law School expired.

Could EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson be worried about the Republican House Appropriations Committee—and her agency’s budget? If so, which lady is the Green defector?

DENNIS T. AVERY is an environmental economist and a senior fellow for the Hudson Institute in Washington, DC. He was formerly a senior analyst for the Department of State. He is co-author, with S. Fred Singer, of Unstoppable Global Warming Every 1500Years, Readers may write him at PO Box 202, Churchville, VA 24421 or email to

Monday, November 1, 2010

No More Double Standard

Suddenly, and most alarmingly, some federal and state government agencies have the kind of power that should, at the very least, belong to Congress and State Legislatures. One would hope that our representatives would do the bidding of the American people. Unfortunately, under the Obama administration, we find agencies like the EPA are making policy; implementing rules and regulations, without having to answer to anyone.

By Paul Driessen

False, misleading or fraudulent claims have long brought the wrath of juries, judges and government agencies down on perpetrators. So have substandard manufacturing practices.

* GlaxoSmith Klein has agreed to plead guilty and pay a $750-million fine for manufacturing deficiencies at a former pharmaceuticals plant. Even though there was no indication of patient harm, said the US attorney, the fine was needed “to pressure companies to follow the rules.”
* Johnson & Johnson was recently slapped with a $258-million jury verdict for allegedly misleading claims about the safety and superiority of an antipsychotic drug. J&J’s actions “defrauded the Louisiana Medicaid system,” prosecutors argued. (The company intends to appeal.)

* The Feds have also prosecuted baseball players for lying to congressional investigators about using performance-enhancing steroids. Said a prosecutor: “Even when you’re just providing information to the Legislative Branch, you need to be truthful.”

Who could oppose following the rules, making quality products and being honest? But shouldn’t these values apply where far more is at stake than a few companies, pills, baseball records or bad role models? Shouldn’t we demand that these rules apply to people and actions that have unprecedented impact on lives, livelihoods, liberties and communities throughout the country?

Can we afford to continue having double standards that let government officials violate basic standards of honesty and accountability that they apply “vigorously” to citizens and companies?
Why should legislators, regulators and investigators be exempt from rules they devise and impose on everyone else? Shouldn’t we teach our kids that government officials mustn’t lie to us, either?

Few examples are as immediate, costly and far-reaching as the new ozone, dust, mercury and carbon dioxide rules that EPA regulators are trying to impose, under the guise of protecting air quality, planetary climate and human health.
Few corporate executives or citizens are as exempt from basic legal standards as the energy and climate czars, czarinas, bureaucrats, and government-funded scientists and activists who seek to inflict their anti-hydrocarbon agenda on us, regardless of the science – or the impacts on jobs, prosperity, families and civil rights progress.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s new mercury, ozone and soot rules alone would eliminate up to 76,000 megawatts of generating capacity by 2015, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation calculates. That’s 7% of total US electric generating capacity – enough to power 38,000,000 homes under normal conditions. It’s 1.2 times the all-time peak electricity demand record for the entire state of Texas.

Credit Suisse estimates that compliance with these new standards will cost the power generation industry (ie, electricity consumers) $150 billion by 2020, to retrofit coal plants or replace them with natural gas-fired units. NERA Economic Consulting calculates that meeting EPA’s proposed new 60 ppb ozone standard alone would impose an annual cost of $1-trillion per year and cumulative losses of 7.3 million jobs; create hundreds of new air quality non-attainment areas; require millions more car inspections and repairs; and block numerous highway, residential and commercial construction projects.

The costs are monstrous – the benefits negligible, illusory or fabricated. The ozone rules would send power plant emissions almost to natural background levels in many areas. That’s just for starters.

EPA claims coal-fired power plants release “40% of all domestic human-caused mercury emissions.” But only a quarter of this is deposited in the contiguous United States. The National Center for Atmospheric Research says total mercury emissions from U.S. power plants are roughly equivalent to what comes from trees burned in forest fires. (Natural mercury in soils is taken up by trees through their roots.)

Some 30% of mercury that lands in the US comes from other countries. And according to data collected by the Science and Public Policy Institute, when emissions from volcanoes, oceanic geothermal vents and other natural sources are also factored in, US power plants may account for as little as 0.5% of total annual US mercury emissions and 0.002% of global emissions.

Worse, these huge energy, employment and economic impacts do not include the far more massive costs and intrusions associated with EPA’s scheme to slash carbon dioxide emissions, supposedly to safeguard “human health and welfare” from “dangerous” plant-fertilizing carbon dioxide and the manmade global warming that CO2 allegedly causes.

The Brookings Institute, Congressional Budget Office, Charles River Associates, Heritage Foundation and other analysts have documented the economic impacts. Delaware Senate candidate Chris Coons may “earn” millions if cap-tax-and-trade passes or the EPA rules are implemented. The rest of America will pay big-time. America’s #1 priority is fixing the economy and jobs. EPA’s seems to be killing them.

As to the “science” behind what the White House now calls “global climate disruption,” the ClimateGate emails underscored how deceptive, manipulated and even fraudulent the supposed evidence actually was. The IPCC’s headline-grabbing climate “disasters” turned out to be based on environmentalist press releases, casual email comments, anecdotal stories, student theses, studies that had absolutely nothing to do with climate change, and almost anything except honest peer-reviewed science.

On October 6, highly respected physicist Harold Lewis resigned from the American Physical Society. He had believed the climate chaos claims – but kept studying the science, pro and con, for years. He still saw a small human element in climate-forcing mechanisms, but no longer believed the alarmist hysteria. Finally, he’d had it, and said so bluntly in his resignation letter to APS
President Curtis Gallan:

“[T]he global warming scam, with the (literally) trillions of dollars driving it, has corrupted so many scientists, and has carried APS before it like a rogue wave. It is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist. Anyone who has the faintest doubt that this is so should force himself to read the ClimateGate documents, which lay it bare. I don’t believe any real physicist, nay scientist, can read that stuff without revulsion.”

As for EPA, instead of conducting its own analysis of competing climate change claims, the agency simply adopted the bogus IPCC conclusions. Even in the face of the unfolding ClimateGate and IPCC scandals, Administrator Lisa Jackson proudly and pointedly refused to alter her position or plans. While the Glaxo whistleblower stands to get $96 million for turning in his company, EPA research analyst Alan Carlin got sent to bureaucratic Siberia for issuing an independent analysis that disagreed with his agency.

Now we face another monumental federal power grab, this time of the hydrocarbon energy that powers 85% of the American economy. The looming seizure of our money, jobs and liberties is based on shoddily manufactured “evidence,” fraudulent data and science, good-old-boy peer reviews, and false or misleading reports and testimony that would earn any citizen or company exec major fines and jail time.

When Republicans take control of the House of Representatives, their first order of business should be investigating the “manmade climate disaster” industry. They should subpoena federal employees and grant recipients, question them under oath regarding their funding and activities, and hold robust, public, expert debates on the science, economics, costs and supposed benefits of cap-tax-and-trade, carbon dioxide “endangerment,” ozone, and other punitive government policies that are strangling our nation’s energy and economic future.

They need to ensure that basic rules of honesty, transparency and accountability are finally applied as forcefully to regulators and taxpayer-funded scientists and activists, as to the rest of us.

Paul Driessen is senior policy advisor for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow and Congress of Racial Equality, and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power - Black death.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Man-made global warming debate heats up

Despite all the evidence to the contrary, and proof that data relating to man-made global warming and climate change is skewed or just plain inaccurate, some scientists and many environmentalists still support its existence. While that may seem ridiculous on its face, supporters are unflagging in their push to protect the planet at all costs. When will the general public realize the anti-energy argument no longer holds water?

By: Tom Harris

“We are very energized and enthusiastic about millions of people coming together and making this the biggest day of climate action ever,” said a young German activist wearing a “” t-shirt at Berlin’s 10/10/10 demonstrations on Sunday. Campaigners around her, and indeed “people at 7,347 events in 188 countries”, according to organizers, danced, sang, planted trees, and picked up garbage as part of the massive worldwide 10/10/10 “Global Work Party”.

What’s that all about? And, what is so special about 350?

350.0rg founder Bill McKibben explained, “It’s the boundary condition for a habitable planet. We’re already past it. We’re at 390 parts per million [of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere]. That’s why the arctic is melting. That’s why Australia is burning up… … if we put very much more carbon into the atmosphere, we’ll pass the kind of tipping points … that mean we’ll never be able to get back there even if we stopped driving every car and powering every factory. … We’re fighting to keep real collapse at bay ....”

McKibben asserts that only misguided “climate change deniers” disagree with the urgent need to reduce humanity’s CO2 emissions to avoid climate catastrophe.

But he is completely wrong.

First, no rational scientist denies that climate changes. As Professor Tim Patterson of the Department of Earth Sciences at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada testified before the House of Commons Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development in 2005, “Based on the paleoclimatic data I and others have collected, it's obvious that climate is, and always has been, variable. In fact, the only constant about climate is change; it changes continually.”

Scientists such as Patterson would obviously deny that they deny climate change – they are denial deniers.

If anyone could rationally be labeled climate change deniers, it is those who hold the absurd view that our climate was tranquil until we started to emit significant amounts of CO2.

The ‘denier’ label is simply an attempt to equate those of us who question political correctness on climate change to Holocaust deniers. It is trying to discredit a message by discrediting the messenger, a logical fallacy referred to as ad hominem – “against the man”. It’s also irrational to put the questioning of forecasts of future events on a par with denying what has already happened.

Climate activists claim that there is a consensus among experts that humanity’s CO2 emissions are causing a climate crisis. In reality, there has never been a reputable worldwide poll of the thousands of experts who study the causes of climate change. Assertions that the multitude of scientists who worked on the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessment reports agree that our CO2 emissions are taking us to a planetary crisis are completely unfounded. Climate data analyst John McLean of Melbourne, Australia has repeatedly demonstrated that only a few dozen scientist participants in the IPCC process even commented on the issue.

Most climate statements by national science academies are quite meaningless, as well. They are simply proclamations from academy executives or select panels, not their scientist members, since no national science body that has spoken in support of schemes to “stop climate change” have demonstrated that a majority of their members agree with the academy statements.

We cannot forecast climate decades from now any better than we can predict the weather two weeks ahead. The system is simply too complex and our understanding of the science too primitive. Dr. Chris Essex, Professor of Applied Mathematics at The University of Western Ontario explains, “Climate is one of the most challenging open problems in modern science. Some knowledgeable scientists believe that the climate problem can never be solved.” Not only are today’s computerized climate models (the primary basis of the alarm) not known to properly represent the climate system, they cannot be programmed to do so since we do not know the underlying science well enough to know what to program the computers to compute.

Many scientists who work with the IPCC know this. They even stated in their Third Assessment Report (Section, page 774): "In climate research and modelling, we should recognize that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible."

International Climate Science Coalition (ICSC) Chief Science Advisor Dr. Bob Carter of James Cook University in Australia writes in his new book Climate: The Counter Consensus, “science provides no unambiguous evidence that dangerous global warming or even measurable human-caused global warming is occurring … despite the expenditure since 1990 of many tens of billions of dollars searching for it.”

It is no secret that many experts in the field agree with Essex, Carter and Patterson. ICSC’s recently launched Climate Scientists’ Register has already attracted the endorsement of 139 leading climate experts from 21 countries. The Register states, “We, the undersigned, having assessed the relevant scientific evidence, do not find convincing support for the hypothesis that human emissions of carbon dioxide are causing, or will in the foreseeable future cause, dangerous global warming."

Sadly for the environmental movement, which has committed vast resources to this activism, 10/10/10, and similar campaigns are dangerously off track. When the public finally come to realize how they have been so seriously misled on what has become a central theme of modern environmentalism, efforts to address real environment problems may very well be set back decades.

In the meantime, billions of dollars are wasted and thousands of jobs threatened, all for an unproven hypothesis that never made any sense in the first place.

Tom Harris is Executive Director of the International Climate Science Coalition (ICSC - He teaches a second year climate course in the Department of Earth Sciences at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Don't Say You Haven't Been Warned...

With more and more evidence surfacing on almost a daily basis as more and more scientists weigh in, many are recognizing the fallacy of global warming. The data prove it over and over again. While many scientists believe that global warming may exist, it’s a cyclical change in climate and not man-made. And, true that some may believe it’s getting marginally warmer, others believe we’re on the brink of
another ice age.


CHURCHVILLE, VA—The ten coldest winter-spring temperatures out of the last 500 in Stockholm, Sweden, were almost all during the Little Ice Age. No surprise there. The coldest was 1569, followed by 1573.

The warmest years: 1863, 1990, 1743, 1525, 1989, 1605, 1822, 1790, 1762, and 2008, in that order. The years since 1976, supposedly with “unprecedented warming,” claim only three slots among the top ten. Apparently, the Modern Warming isn’t all that hot. Nor do we have any temperature readings from the earlier Medieval and Roman Warmings, which the ice cores and seabed sediments tell us were even warmer than today.

In science, observations must be taken much more seriously than theories or computer models. The Swedish data came primarily from long-term records on sea ice conditions in the Stockholm harbor inlet—such as the dates when the ice broke up each year. The data correlation is good when the harbor records overlap with instrumental data.

Apparently, the Swedish ice record must also be taken more seriously than today’s “official” temperature records. The “consensus,” of course, is that the planet has warmed about 0.7 degree C since 1850 and will undergo drastic greenhouse warming in the century ahead. However, we know that the worlds best-ever temperature data come from the satellite readings since 1978. They give whole-earth coverage, including the oceans. Nor do they suffer from the Urban Heat Island effect, which has increasingly polluted recent land-based thermometers.

The satellites say the earth’s temperatures since 1978 have risen at a miniscule rate of 0.005 C per decade. If that satellite trend continues, we can expect the planet to warm another 0.05 C by 2100. That compares well with my forecast that the world will warm only about another half-degree C during the next several centuries—because Nature’s every-1500-year warming cycles have been “front-loaded.” They’ve gotten about half of their total temperature change in the first decades after the shift, with the other half spread out erratically over hundreds of years.

Senior U.S. meteorologist Joe D’Aleo says our recent thermometer records have been manipulated. He says the shut-down of rural thermometers and the “adjustment factors” applied by Goddard Space Institute and the National Climate Data Center have systematically suppressed temperatures from the years before WWII. This has made the temperature increases in recent years look larger.

Eugenia Kalnay at the University of Maryland found that adjusting the satellite and high-altitude balloon records for “no cities and no land use changes” over the past 50 years wiped out 40 percent of U.S. warming.

The New Zealand Science and Education Trust has filed a High Court suit against the country’s “official” temperature record. The country’s Seven Station temperature set “officially” shows warming at the rate of 0.91 C per 100 years since 1909. But New Zealand’s raw temperature data—posted on line—shows only 6 percent of that warming, a statistically insignificant trend of 0.06 C per century since 1850.

The country’s National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research just announced it has “no responsibility” for the “official record” it has been publishing.

The raw thermometer data says New Zealand was actually warmer in during the period from 1863–1919 than it is now! The apparent 20th century warming was dependent on the use of “adjustments taken by NIWA from a 1981 student thesis by former NIWA employee James Salinger.” Salinger had gotten his training in climatology from the University of East Anglia, where leaked e-mails have revealed a broad effort by “climate experts” to make the Modern Warming look scarier than it has actually been.

Those Swedish harbor records are looking better and better.


Leijonhufvud et al., “Five centuries of Stockholm winter-spring temperatures reconstructed from documentary evidence and instrumental observations.” Climatic Change 101, 109-141.

Latest Global Average Tropospheric Temperatures,

Kalnay and Cai, 2008, “Estimated Impact of Urbanization and Land Use on U.S. Surface Temperature Trends: Preliminary Report,” Nature 423, pp.528–531.

Anthony Watts, “New Zealand’s NIWA Temperature Train Wreck,”, Oct. 9, 2010.

DENNIS T. AVERY, a senior fellow for the Hudson Institute in Washington, DC, is an environmental economist. He was formerly a senior analyst for the Department of State. He is co-author, with S. Fred Singer, of Unstoppable Global Warming Every 1500 Hundred Years, Readers may write him at PO Box 202, Churchville, VA 24421 or email to

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Just one more tax...

Whether or not Congress approves the extension of the Bush tax cuts across the board, this is yet another hidden tax that will rear its ugly head on your electric bill. The pressure to produce enough wind and solar energy is not realistic for many reasons. Just think of areas in the Midwest and eastern part of the United States where the sun may not appear for days at a time. Or there isn’t enough wind at a high enough speed to produce any kind of energy. Renewables are nice to think about, but will hardly replace the need for fossil fuels in our lifetime. In the article below, the RES is proof of that.

By S. Fred Singer

The US Senate’s proposed Renewable Electricity Standard (RES) would force electric utilities to generate a large and increasing percentage of their power from wind and solar – rising to 15% by 2021. These goals resemble those of the Waxman-Markey bill that barely passed the House in June 2009. It’s disturbing that some Republicans on the House Energy and Natural Resources Committee voted for ACELA (American Clean Energy Leadership Act). If the Senate were to take up an energy bill, it is likely that Sen. Brownback (R-KS) will introduce an amendment for RES.

Now, it is quite clear that wind and solar are not economic -- and probably never will be competitive, even when fuel prices rise significantly. So the RES mandate would mean that all of us taxpayers would support even more the RE rent-seekers and lobbyists, who are already milking the government for subsidies and tax-breaks for the construction of wind farms and solar energy projects.

In addition, electricity users (rate payers) would pay more for electric power to cover the higher cost. The so-called “feed in tariff” would force utilities to buy expensive wind and solar electricity and average the cost into the rest of the power produced. The consumer, meaning all of us, would pay for this extravaganza. It’s just a huge transfer of money, yet another regressive tax on consumers, with the electric utilities forced to become tax collectors.

The hoax part of the RES is that “clean electricity” is being advertised as a way to save the earth from the ‘dreadful fate’ of anthropogenic global warming (AGW). To accept this outlandish proposition, one would have to believe that the carbon dioxide generated in the burning of fossil fuels has a noticeable influence on climate. The data argue against it. The constantly advertised “scientific consensus” is phony; it does not exist. The evidence that the UN climate panel, the IPCC, puts forward in support of AGW is pitifully inadequate—and wrong. It is easy to show that no credible evidence exists; just look at the summary of the NIPCC report “Nature, not human activity, rules the climate;” it is available for free on the Internet.

The fraud relates to the idea that energy produced without CO2 emission is “clean.” This word ‘clean’ is being misused, and that’s a huge part of the problem. Of course, removing the genuine pollutants like sulfur oxides and nitrogen oxides and mercury from smokestacks is a real clean up. It is already mandated by the Clean Air Act and being pursued adequately. But CO2 is not a pollutant – in spite of the claims of the EPA in its ‘Endangerment Finding – which has yet to be tested in court. CO2 is neither toxic nor irritating nor visible—nor a climate forcer of any significance, so the idea that we have to stop emitting CO2, or capture and sequester it, is a pure fraud.

And finally, the whole scheme is a financial rip-off. We all know that wind and solar energy are intermittent. If their use should rise beyond the present few percent, we would require either on-site storage of electricity or we would have to have standby capacity, probably fueled by expensive natural gas, to kick in when the wind kicks out. Either scheme would impose huge additional costs.

The biggest part of the swindle is that the RES is being sold on the basis of creating “green jobs.” But since when does wasting money create productive jobs? Why not leave it with consumers who can save and invest it to create real jobs. A study conducted in Spain, which has gone overboard on renewable energy, shows that each so-called green job displaces between two and three real jobs. In any case, the manufacture of wind turbines and photovoltaic cells is now in the hands of lower-cost Chinese industry. So the green jobs would consist of sweeping the mirrors clean from dust and dirt and fixing the blades and gearboxes of the turbines when they fail.

In all of this, the proposed legislation ignores nuclear power, which is not only “clean” in the sense of not emitting carbon dioxide, but is also competitive in price with most fossil fuels. Nuclear is most likely to become the major source of electric power once low-cost fossil fuels are depleted. Yet ACELA explicitly says that new nuclear power, updates to existing nuclear facilities and generation from municipal solid waste incineration are not included in the base quantity

The hypocrisy of the RES advocates is appalling. It’s OK for the taxpayer to subsidize low-carbon energy that doesn’t work (wind, solar) but not low-carbon energy that does work (nuclear).

S. Fred Singer, professor emeritus of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia, is the founder of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Big Green Lie

Thousands of scientists have now gone on record calling man-made global warming a joke that not based on accurate science. It's already been proven that the data that backed up Al Gore's biggest hoax was tweaked to suit environmentalists. In this scientific article, we learn more about how serious this "joke" really is and what it will mean to all of us...

By Louis Prudhomme, President, Essential Sciences & Engineering, Inc.

Today’s “green” efforts can be likened to Hans Christian Anderson’s classic children’s tale The Emperor’s New Clothes.

You may recall how the mischievous tailors played on the vanity of the Emperor and his court to create a hoax for profit. Sound familiar? Like the Emperor’s advisers, the politicos pretend to “see” what they are told is real, while the people aren’t buying it.

The players today may be a little different, but the story is essentially the same. In the classic, the weakness is the Emperor’s vanity. In the modern version, global warming creates a sense of guilt over potential harm to nature—“weavers” fabricate the idea that we must choose between energy and the planet. This time, more than the Emperor’s vanity is at stake and the plot revolves around green energy—with wind and solar as the key to a utopian future. The Great Green Lie is that we need to end our dependence on traditional fuels.

Leaving fiction behind, the truth is that throughout the Earth’s 4+ billion years, the climate has been both warmer and cooler; the percentage of carbon dioxide and water in the atmosphere has varied considerably. But, like the classic tale, many pretend to see the “truth” the “weavers” put forward, lest they be thought stupid or unfit for their posts.

In the 70’s, clean air and water laws were implemented based on local smog and pollution. Today, US companies are examples of ingenuity in their management of emissions. More energy efficient methods of using resources such as coal, oil, gas, and uranium have been developed. The exhaust or releases are often cleaner than the intake, and certainly cleaner than those in other large industrial countries such as China and India.

The objective of the 70’s legislation was the control of real poisonous releases such as carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, lead, etc. Now, the great villains are naturally occurring carbon dioxide (CO2) and water vapor (H2O)--known as greenhouse gases (GHG). If all Mankind disappeared tomorrow, GHG would remain virtually the same. While solar and geologic phenomena are a greater influence on GHG than the human use of hydrocarbon fuels, the storyline is now about managing individual and national behavior through taxation and rationing. The proponents of such policy have created an artificial crisis based more on guilt than on proven science.

Today, bureaucrats, like the emperor’s advisers, defer to these supposed intellectuals to impose higher taxes and more stringent regulations on energy producers while government subsidies pour into building underdeveloped dependent technologies—electric cars, solar and “wind farms.” (Note these all depend on petroleum or utility-scale electricity to make them possible.)

To know whether or not we are being duped, like the child in the classic tale—“he hasn't got anything on,” we must make honest observations.

• The “renewable” technologies depend on energy and raw materials that must be extracted from the earth.
• It can cost more to produce and operate a Solar Cell or a Wind Turbine Generator than the energy they produce.
• Raising the price of primary energy sources will then raise the cost of the solar and wind technologies.
• Cap and trade doesn’t really help anyone, it just moves the problem and raises costs.
• The Chicago Climate Exchange is like ENRON, only the artificial trade commodity is carbon dioxide, a compound necessary to the earth’s survival.
• The United States is on track to emulate Spain’s failed “Green Economy.”

When we stop pretending that see the “lie,” we discover that the American public has been swindled. Solar and wind technologies are far from being able to carry the energy load for large industrial countries. Unfortunately, the “storyline” prevents us from seeing true solutions.

Our energy needs continue to grow and only nuclear power—successfully operated by the US Navy without incident for nearly 60 years—has the ability to truly power the US, yet it is shunned here while adopted in France, Germany and Japan. We must start now as it will be decades before we can create the infrastructure to replace coal power plants with nuclear.

Cost-effective, available energy, coupled with ingenuity and industry, has been the power that has made America great.
Now, Americans are expected to produce and use energy using the same material that the weavers used to dress the Emperor—stuffing their pockets while producing nothing. If the current legislative trend continues, the rest of the world will be laughing as America will have no clothes.

Louis Prudhomme is the President of Essential Sciences & Engineering, Inc. ( ), a New Mexico corporation and holds a Master of Science in Engineering Acoustics. A retired US Navy officer, he is currently engaged as an international consultant to industry for system reliability, process improvement and energy management.

Friday, September 10, 2010

The New Ice Age

Do you think all the weather-related deaths around the world mean the end is near? The answer is a flat "NO." Apparently, the number of deaths from the weather has actually dropped dramatically, despite what we hear in the media.

And, global warming? Not quite. Get ready for our next "Little Ice Age" now on its way. Cloudy, cold days will make solar ineffective and it’s anyone’s guess what will happen to the wind for potential wind-power. To keep you and your family warm, consider the U.S.’s huge stock piles of oil, gas, coal and the possibility of nuclear power. If only the White House and Congress would allow us to find them. If you’re a skeptic about an upcoming "ice age" and the world becoming a frigid, difficult place to live and thrive in, take a look
at what’s ahead.

By Dennis T. Avery

The death toll from recent “extreme weather events” has been sharply declining since the 1920s, as my valued colleague Indur Goklany has valorously pointed out. Air conditioning, flood control, earthquake proofing and better weather forecasting have all helped. Despite vast media coverage, extreme weather now causes only a half-percent of global deaths. A large part of the gains came through crop production increases using fossil-fueled industrial fertilizers and irrigation pumps. This meant the world had fossil-fueled food to share with countries suddenly caught by devastating (but short- term) drought or flood.

But Indur neglected one aspect of extreme weather events—the “little ice ages.” They are the flip side of the 1500-year warming cycle. The last one began in 1300 AD and ended in 1850, recent enough that many of our great-grandparents had to cope. We don’t know when the next one will come, perhaps not for another 300 years—but when it does, “Look out!”

As an example, civilizations collapsed around the world, simultaneously, 4200 years ago—in southern Green, Palestine, Egypt, Iraq, Pakistan, and China. The nomads on the Asian steppes gave up their seasonal farming, put their huts on wheels, and simply followed their herds seeking ever-scarcer grass. This massive drought—driven by a “little ice age”— lasted 300 years!

Egypt had more food security through its early history than anyplace else, but it collapsed in famine and political chaos three times between 4200 and 1000 BC—all of them during “little ice ages.” The Nile floods were also far below normal during the cold Dark Ages (450-950 AD) and during our recent Little Ice Age.

How many people would starve if agriculture failed again, suddenly and simultaneously in Greece, Palestine, Egypt, India, and China—for 300 years? What future Huns would come knocking on the city gates? Would plague-infected rats again move in?

The “little ice age” climates are inherently less stable and more violent than the warming intervals. The Netherlands was hit by massive sea floods three times in 50 years as the Little Ice Age began. Each of these floods drowned more than 100,000 people. Will the Dutch levees hold in the next “little ice age”? What about New Orleans in a far less stable climate?

As we today enjoy the stable weather of a sunlit interglacial global warming, we had best not forget the massive disasters during the cold phases of the Dansgaard-Oeschger cycle. In the last 160 years, we have not only become, used to the piddling “disasters” of a global warming phase, but smug that we have been able to rescue small countries with our technology. Fossil fuels have competently carried food aid to famine victims during small, short famines. But, in a future Little Ice Age, the summers will cloudy, cold, interrupted by early frosts and hailstorms—for several hundred years.

We invented high-yield farming at the end of the Little Ice Age, to reduce the death toll from the persistent crop failures. But the world’s population since 1850 has risen from perhaps 1 billion to 6.6 billion, and may rise by 2 billion more before it peaks about 2050. Where would we move the at-risk populations?

Global vegetation has sharply increased with today’s additional sunshine and favorable rain patterns—plus the added plant fertilization due to more CO2 in the atmosphere. What if the climate turns suddenly cold and unstable and the oceans suck more of the CO2 out of the atmosphere?

We should take full advantage of the favorable climate we have been granted to increase research on high-yield agriculture, biotechnology, water conservation and other advances now only dreamt of. We must make true improvements in energy technology (not erratic windmills and solar panels that will be even less effective in a cloudy little ice age than today).The greatest danger to the future population is to be unaware that the good period will not last.

For a million years, humans have been using the warming periods to advance civilization. We are comfortable, well fed, and not competing for caves because those who came before us advanced human society each time the climate provided a few hundred years of safety. Should we do any less for those who will come after us?

DENNIS T. AVERY is an environmental economist, and a senior fellow for the Hudson Institute in Washington, DC. He was formerly a senior analyst for the Department of State. He is co-author, with S. Fred Singer, of Unstoppable Global Warming Every 1500 Hundred Years, Readers may write him at PO Box 202, Churchville, VA 24421 or email to

Monday, August 23, 2010

Climate Change: Attacking Science and Scientists

Never one to look at the science that OPPOSES his big push on man-made global warming, former VP Al Gore continues to whine and blame everybody else (the U.S. Senate, the right-wing media, "professional deniers") for the fact that not ALL science backs up his bizarre beliefs. He says, "The battle is not over."

Oh really?

Gore Concedes on Climate This Year

Speaking about the likelihood of climate bill being passed by Congress in 2010, Al Gore told a conference call of supporters tonight that, “this battle has not been successful and is pretty much over for this year.” Gore bitterly denounced the Senate and federal government stating several times, “The U.S. Senate has failed us” and “The federal government has failed us.” Gore even seemed to blame President Obama by emphasizing that “the government as a whole has failed us… although the House did its job. [emphasis added]”

Gored urged his listeners to take the “realistic view that they had failed badly.” Gore said that “Comprehensive legislation is not likely to be debated” and that a “lame duck debate” is a “very slim possibility indeed.” (N.B. We thought, because Gore told us, that “the debate” was over.)

Gore said “the government was not working “as our founders intended it to” and laid more blame at the feet of fossil fuel interests who conducted a “cynical coordinated campaign” with “unprecedented funding” and “who have spent hundreds of millions of dollars just on lobbying.” He criticized “polluters” for “dumping global warming pollution into the atmosphere like it was an open sewer.”

Gore blamed the skeptics for “attacking science and scientists.” “They [the skeptics] did damage and cast doubt,” Gore said.

Asked why the alarmists were ineffective in addressing Climategate, Gore bitterly blamed a “biased right-wing media… bolstered by professional deniers.” Gore claimed the Wall Street Journal published 30 editorial and news articles about Climategate and “not a single one presented [his] side of the science.”

Speaking about the post-2010 prospects for a climate bill, Gore tried to boost morale by stating that “the battle is not over” and that “we [alarmists] have no choice but to win the battle.” Gore said that “reality is [the alarmists] ally” and then, among other things, blamed recent flooding in Nashville and the Russian heatwave/forest fires on global warming.

He concluded by observing that “it is darkest before dawn” and “we have not yet begun to fight.”

In a warm-up discussion before Gore addressed the call, National Wildlife Federation chief Larry Schweiger referred to the skeptics as “enemies” and that he hoped the alarmists would “outlive the bastards.”

Steve Milloy publishes and is the author of Green Hell: How Environmentalists Plan to Control Your Life and What You Can Do to Stop Them (Regnery 2009).

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Probably Not the "Hottest Year"

The off-shore drilling moratorium, the proposed cap & trade taxes, (or shall we say the energy penalty for being American?), and the continued, unsubstantiated claims of man-made global warming...we Americans need to know the truth about what all this will cost each and every one of us every day.

With more than 14 million Americans unemployed today, can you imagine what $7 per gallon gas will do to the economy?

We're not lucky enough to travel on Air Force One (or Two for a luxury vacation in Spain), or chopper six miles on Marine One to speak about how the economy continues to crash...we just pay for those flights. That's in addition to filling our own gas tanks to get to work if we HAVE a job. You get the drift.

If you had any questions about the existence of global warming, and whether it's YOUR fault, take a look at THIS...

It’s a Desperate Time for the Global Warming Campaigners
James Hansen of NASA, an ardent believer in man-made warming, announced recently that “The 12-month running mean global temperature in the Goddard Space Institute analysis has reached a new record in 2010 . . . NASA, June 3, 2010. The main factor is our estimated temperature change for the Arctic region.” The GISS figures show that recent temperatures in the Arctic have been up to four degrees C warmer than the long-term mean.

Should we be alarmed? Probably not very.

My esteemed colleague Art Horn, at the Energy Tribune blog, has blown the whistle on Hansen and GISS. He points out that GISS has no thermometers in the Arctic! It has hardly any thermometers that are even near the Arctic Circle. GISS estimates its arctic temperatures from land-based thermometers that supposedly each represent the temperatures over 1200 square kilometers. That’s a pretty heroic assumption.

Meanwhile, the Danish Meteorological Institute is publishing sea-surface temperatures from the Arctic showing a cooling trend in the Arctic oceans during melt season since about 1993. Clearly, we have no accurate measure of the real temperatures and trends in the Arctic at this moment. Probably that’s not very important. The Russians say that the Arctic has its own 70-year climate cycle. The files of the New York Times, in fact, are filled with stories from the 1920s and 1930s, clearly showing that the Arctic was as warm then as now.

But this is the moment when proposed energy taxes would start to scuttle 85 percent of the energy which powers the modern world and its lifestyles. Global climate alarmists, Hansen among them, are playing a desperate and short-sighted game of “pass the energy taxes.”

President Obama says energy taxes are a high priority—perhaps high enough to ramp up his “health care reform” strategy. In a lame-duck Congressional session, after the November elections, Congress persons who had already lost their seats, would vote to saddle America with energy taxes that would triple our electric bills and, according to a Harvard study, drive gas prices to $7 per gallon.

The energy taxes are intended to make fossil fuels expensive! The idea is to deliberately drive fossil fuel prices high enough to force us to stop using them. Then we’re supposed to depend on costly and erratic solar and wind power. (Biomass can never produce much energy: biofuel crops would take too much land, and we can’t make ethanol out of cellulose sources.)

The man-made global warming believers have invested 20 years in their campaign to convince us of CO2-driven climate calamity. To their chagrin, the earth’s temperatures started to trend downward in 2007.

The sunspot index, which has a much stronger correlation with our thermometer record than CO2 (79% versus 22%) started predicting the cooling in 2000. The sun is still in a long cold-predicting minimum.

In 2008, NASA itself told us that Pacific had shifted into its cooling mode. The history of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation indicates a 30-year cooling phase, the opposite of the 1976–1998 warming trend.

They’re panicked about losing the whole ball game. They feel they must get an energy tax on the books before the earth has a chance to resume the recent-and-predicted cooling trend. They imagine that if the law gets on the books, a restart of the cooling wouldn’t push the next Congress to repeal the energy tax!

They might even be right, though it seems a stretch given the American people’s already-massive Obama-debt and the demonstrated history that tax cuts grow the economy and tax increases strangle it.

It’s a desperate time, not for the earth, but for the global warming campaigners.

DENNIS T. AVERY is an environmental economist, and a senior fellow for the Hudson Institute in Washington, DC. He was formerly a senior analyst for the Department of State. He is co-author, with S. Fred Singer, of Unstoppable Global Warming Every 1500 Hundred Years, Readers may write him at PO Box 202, Churchville, VA 24421 or email to

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

What Happened to Ethanol?

With all the talk about “renewable” energy, have you wondered what happened to ethanol? Touted as the energy savior during the Bush administration, we don’t even hear a whimper about it under Obama’s leadership. It seemed to just go away.

But it’s baaack.

Read what CARE Energy Council Member Paul Driessen has to say about ethanol. We believe you’ll be shocked and outraged at what has been quietly happening behind the scenes while all the talk centers around wind and solar. Surprise: if these plans go through, energy will cost all of us more!

Dumb energy policies just keep coming
E15 ethanol mandates would bring huge benefits – for the few, at the expense of the many
If 10% ethanol in gasoline is good, 15% (E15) will be even better. At least for some folks.

We’re certainly heading in that direction--thanks to animosity toward oil, natural gas and coal, fear-mongering about global warming, and superlative lobbying for “alternative,” “affordable,” “eco-friendly” biofuels. Whether the trend continues, and what unintended consequences will be unleashed, will depend on Corn Belt versus consumer politics and whether more people recognize the downsides of ethanol.

Federal laws currently require that fuel suppliers blend more and more ethanol into gasoline, until the annual total rises from 9 billion gallons of EtOH in 2008 to 36 billion in 2022. The national Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) also mandates that corn-based ethanol tops out at 15 billion gallons a year, and the rest comes from “advanced biofuels”--fuels produced from switchgrass, forest products and other non-corn feedstocks, and having 50% lower lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions than petroleum.

These “advanced biofuels” thus far exist only on paper or in laboratories and demonstration projects. But Congress apparently believes passing a law will turn wishes into horses and mandates into reality.

Create the demand, say ethanol activists, and the supply will follow. In plain-spoken English: Impose the mandates and provide sufficient subsidies, and ethanol producers will gladly “earn” billions growing crops, building facilities and distilling fuel.

Thus, ADM, Cargill, POET bio-energy and the Growth Energy coalition will benefit from RFS and other mandates, loan guarantees, tax credits and direct subsidies. Automobile and other manufacturers will sell new lines of vehicles and equipment to replace soon-to-be-obsolete models that cannot handle E15 blends. Lawmakers who nourish the arrangement will continue receiving hefty campaign contributions from Big Farma.

However, voter anger over subsidies and deficits bode ill for the status quo. So POET doubled its Capital Hill lobbying budget in 2010, and the ethanol industry has launched a full-court press to have the Senate, Congress and Environmental Protection Agency raise the ethanol-in-gasoline limit to 15% ASAP. As their anxiety levels have risen, some lobbyists are suggesting a compromise at 12% (E12).

Not surprisingly, ethanol activism is resisted by people on the other side of the ledger--those who will pay the tab, and those who worry about the environmental impacts of ethanol production and use.

  • Taxpayer and free market advocates point to the billions being transferred from one class of citizens to another, while legislators and regulators lock up billions of barrels of oil, trillions of cubic feet of natural gas, and vast additional energy resources in onshore and offshore America. They note that ethanol costs 3.5 times as much as gasoline to produce, but contains only 65% as much energy per gallon as gasoline.
  • Motorists, boaters, snowmobilers and outdoor power equipment users worry about safety and cost. The more ethanol there is in gasoline, the more often consumers have to fill up their tanks, the less value they get, and the more they must deal with repairs, replacements, lost earnings and productivity, and malfunctions that are inconvenient or even dangerous.

Ethanol burns hotter than gasoline. It collects water and corrodes plastic,
rubber and soft metal parts. Older engines and systems may not be able to handle
E15 or even E12, which could also increase emissions and adversely affect
engine, fuel pump and sensor durability.

Home owners, landscapers and yard care workers who use 200 million lawn mowers, chainsaws, trimmers, blowers and other outdoor power gear want proof that parts won’t deteriorate and equipment won’t stall out, start inadvertently or catch fire. Drivers want proof that their car or motorcycle won’t conk out on congested highways or in the middle of nowhere, boat engines won’t die miles from land or in the face of a storm, and snowmobiles won’t sputter to a stop in some frigid wilderness.

All these people have a simple request: test E12 and E15 blends first. Wait until the Department of Energy and private sector assess these risks sufficiently, and issue a clean bill of health, before imposing new fuel standards. Safety first. Working stiff livelihoods second. Bigger profits for Big Farma and Mega Ethanol can wait. Some unexpected parties recently offered their support for more testing.

Representatives Henry Waxman (D-CA), Ed Markey (D-MA), Joe Barton (R-TX) and Fred Upton (R-MI) wrote to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, advising her that
“Allowing the sale of renewable fuel … that damages equipment, shortens its life
or requires costly repairs will likely cause a backlash against renewable fuels.
It could also seriously undermine the agency’s credibility in addressing engine
fuel and engine issues in the future.”

Corn growers will benefit from a higher ethanol RFS. However, government
mandates mean higher prices for corn – and other grains, as corn and switchgrass
incentives reduce farmland planted in wheat or rye. Thus, beef, pork, poultry
and egg producers must pay more for corn-based feed; grocery manufacturers face
higher prices for grains, eggs, meat and corn syrup; and folks who simply like
affordable food cringe as their grocery bills go higher.
  • Whether the issue is food, vehicles or equipment, blue collar, minority, elderly and middle class families would be disproportionately affected, Affordable Power Alliance co-chairman Harry Jackson, Jr. points out. They have to pay a larger portion of their smaller incomes for food, and own older cars and power equipment that would be particularly vulnerable to E15 fuels.
  • Ethanol mandates also drive up the cost of food aid – so fewer malnourished, destitute people can be fed via USAID and World Food Organization programs.
    Biotechnology will certainly help, by enabling farmers to produce more biofuel crops per acre, using fewer pesticides and utilizing no-till methods that reduce soil erosion, even under drought conditions. If only Greenpeace and other radical groups would cease battling this technology. However, there are legitimate environmental concerns.
  • Oil, gas, coal and uranium extraction produces large quantities of high-density fuel for vehicles, equipment and power plants (to recharge batteries) from relatively small tracts of land. We could produce 670 billion gallons of oil from Arctic land equal to 1/20 of Washington, DC, if ANWR weren’t off limits.
By contrast, 15 billion gallons of corn-based ethanol requires cropland and
wildlife habitat the size of Georgia, and for 21 billion gallons of advanced
biofuel we’d need South Carolina planted in switchgrass.
  • Ethanol has only two-thirds the energy value of gasoline--and it takes 70% more energy to grow and harvest corn and turn it into EtOH than what it yields as a fuel. There is a “net energy loss,” says Cornell University agriculture professor David Pimental.
  • Pimental and other analysts also calculate that growing and processing corn into ethanol requires over 8,000 gallons of water per gallon of alcohol fuel. Much of the water comes from already stressed aquifers--and growing the crops results in significant pesticide, herbicide and fertilizer runoff.
  • Ethanol blends do little to reduce smog, and in fact result in more pollutants evaporating from gas tanks, says the National Academy of Sciences. As to preventing climate change, thousands of scientists doubt the human role, climate “crisis” claims and efficacy of biofuels in addressing the speculative problem.

Meanwhile, Congress remains intent on mandating low-water toilets and washing machines, and steadily expanding ethanol diktats. And EPA wants to crack down on dust from livestock, combine operations and tractors in farm fields.

“With Congress,” Will Rogers observed, “every time they make a joke it’s a law, and every time they make a law it’s a joke.” If it had been around in 1934, he would have added EPA. Let’s hope for some change.

Paul Driessen is senior policy advisor for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow ( and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power – black death.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Has Mexican Oil Peaked?

We always enjoy featuring the insights of Byron King and have benefitted from his expertise on CARE’s Monthly Conference Call. This piece caught our attention because of the title. Of course the word ‘oil” was a trigger, but “crashing” was more the hook.

The debate about so-called “peak oil” is ongoing and we’ve generally taken the side of “Yes, the low hanging fruit is gone, but there are so many new discoveries and resource expansion that we have enough oil for a hundred years at least.” So, “crashing” definitely got our attention--hopefully yours too!

Fortunately, this piece didn’t change our view, but unfortunately for America, who uses a great deal of the Mexican resource, they have not managed their industry well. Byron writes for an investment newsletter called Whiskey and Gunpowder and while we do not even pretend to give investment advice, we always find his perspective worthy of note.

Mexico’s Crashing Oil Industry
Mexico is a critical oil supplier to the United States. But Mexico’s ‘s oil industry is in crisis. Indeed the grim numbers come from no less a source than the Mexican Energy Ministry. Production statistics make it clear that Mexico’s overall oil output is declining rapidly--with the word “crashing” coming to mind as one views the chart.

One particular oil field is central to the problem. It’s called Cantarell. It’s a super-giant, offshore oil field that was discovered in 1976--based on a natural oil seep under about 150 feet of water, by the way.

After decades of production, Cantarell is getting long in the tooth. Oil output from Cantarell, is declining rapidly. Cantarell is depleting at an astonishing rate. Meanwhile, the yield from new Mexican oil fields is simply not making up the difference.

The Mexican government obtains about 40% of its national receipts from oil-related revenues. Yet due to falling oil output, especially from offshore, Mexico will likely cease being an oil exporting nation by 2015. This looming problem holds dire implications for the national balance sheet of Mexico, as well as--by implication--for U.S. energy and national security.

One obvious question is, Can Mexico rebuild its oil industry? Right now, there’s not nearly enough internal Mexican investment in exploration and new oil development. It’s quite evident that Mexico has under-funded what’s called “maintenance capital,” the funds necessary just to keep the day-to-day operations and equipment working.

Another problem is Mexico’s lack of success in discovering and developing new oil resources, despite its national jurisdiction over a large slice of the oil-rich Gulf of Mexico.

One major element of this lack of exploration success is that Mexico’s constitution severely restricts foreign participation in Mexico’s energy development. That is, foreign oil companies are banned from exploring for and drilling for oil in Mexico. Considering Mexico’s crashing oil output, it’s fair to ask if Mexico should change its approach to development.

Recently, I discussed these important issues with Ali Moshiri, President of Chevron Africa and Latin America Exploration and Production Company.

Here’s what I asked Mr. Moshiri about Mexican oil development, followed by his reply.

BWK: In the U.S. we’re seeing remarkable discoveries in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico (GOM). Could you share your views about what’s happening across the GOM, down in Mexico? Is there hope for deepwater oil helping Mexico reverse it’s decline rate for oil production?

AM: With Mexico, the new government reforms are in a positive direction. The fundamentals have to be decided by the Mexican government, which has to decide how they want to risk exploring their basin.

The Mexican government has to decide if they want to risk future exploration via Pemex (Petroleos Mexicanos, the Mexican national oil company--NOC), or via the private sector. They need to recognize that if the private sector is going to get involved, it has to be via a meaningful way. A meaningful way would be via sharing the risk and the upside.

BWK: Do you think we’ll ever see large, new discoveries in the Mexican GOM areas?

AM: I personally believe that Mexico is under-explored. They’re lagging behind on exploration offshore, and they underestimate the complexity and what is required. It all needs to be reassessed.
If you look at the U.S. deepwater GOM, there was a long era (to get to) where we are today. And you cannot look at today, and say you are going to take the U.S. GOM and image it into the Mexican area.

BWK: So what do you think it will take for Mexico to accomplish the exploration, and find the potential resources that are out there?

AM: Number one is that (Mexico needs to allow) the flexibility that is required for private sector, for IOCs (international oil companies). It’s IOCs that are the ones who really know how to go from phased exploration into development.

Yes, you can find companies that can explore. But when you explore, and then you find hydrocarbons in 8,000 feet of water, the next step is how you can develop it. How much money do you need? You can say, well, you need X-millions of dollars (to) develop it. But how do I finance it?

It gets into capital efficiency. Capital efficiency would be, how do I go ahead and finance this project? By production sharing? Finance it by myself? Some other way? How do you finance the development? Those are things that we think need to be addressed in Mexico.

BWK: What about contractors? Do you think Mexico could accomplish its energy goals by hiring, say, service companies, or using large oil companies as contractors, to do the exploration, the seismic, the drilling and such?

AM: The IOC has to be perceived as a partner. You cannot perceive the IOC as a contractor. This is my personal opinion.

Working with the IOC as purely a contractor will slow down the process. You have to look at the IOC as a partner, and a partner meaning sharing the risks as well as the rewards.

If Mexico gets this concept, and understands it, I think the progress and the basin is good enough to do things in the right way, and (Mexico) can be able to catch up the U.S. GOM and the U.S. sector.

So according to Chevron’s Ali Moshiri, there’s hope the Mexican energy sector. If Mexico opens up to foreign risk-sharing, and makes a good use of the expertise of international oil firms, then the nation can increase its future oil output.

But Mexico needs to permit outside, independent oil companies to participate as partners in exploration and development. That means to share the risk and rewards. In other words, Mexico should leverage foreign capital and technology, while sharing the eventual oil production in an equitable manner.

Even then, if everything goes right, it’s going to be a multi-year project to restore Mexico’s oil output to what we’ve seen in previous years. From where things are now, it won’t be easy.

Byron King earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, graduated cum laude from Harvard University, served on the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations, and is a regulator contributor to the Whiskey and Gunpowder investment newsletter.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The U.S. Constitution, Global Warming, Environmental Protection

In order to discuss the role that the U.S. Constitution plays in determining the appropriate course of action regarding global warming and environmental protection, CARE has turned to former U.S. Senator (Represented New Mexico) and Apollo astronaut Harrison H. Schmitt. Our contributing writer uses his expertise as a former geologist to build the case that carbon dioxide is NOT the cause of an impending global warming disaster. Quite the contrary, his data-driven analysis strongly suggests that the greenhouse gas effect aids humanity by making the planet more habitable rather than less habitable. At one point he states that "All we really know at present is that natural variations in climate have been very complex, often extreme, and all before human industrial activity existed."

After considering the science behind climate variation, Senator Schmitt points out that local/state environmental challenges rather than global environmental degradation should become the focus of concerned citizens within the context of the 2010 election. The best way to achieve this is to apply the interstate commerce clause to environmental challenges and to resist attempts to erode constitutional liberties in the name of environmental ideology. This is an ideal read for those that wish to link sound science with meaningful public policy reforms.

Climate (Temperature) and the Constitution #3

Ten thousand years of natural, post-Ice Age climate variability should give pause to those who maintain that current slow global warming and carbon dioxide increases result largely from human use of fossil fuels. Public confidence in that position also suffers from the exposure of fraudulent academic and bureaucratic behavior aimed at overriding normal processes of skeptical scientific review and debate.

Observational data and interpretations related to global temperature and atmospheric carbon dioxide deserve close examination before taking irrevocable and dangerous regulatory actions. If there were no other factors affecting temperature at the Earth¹s surface, the balance between heat from the sun and heat re-radiated from the Earth to space would give an average surface temperature of about zero degrees Fahrenheit (-18 degrees Centigrade). Not good. Fortunately, natural greenhouse heat trapping effects of atmospheric water and to a much lesser extent carbon dioxide and methane, add about 146 thermal watts per square meter (versus the Sun¹s irradiance of 1366 watts per square meter) so that the average surface temperature of the Earth becomes about 59 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Centigrade), making the planet habitable rather than being a ball of ice covered rock and water with occasional volcanic eruptions.

Geological investigations indicate that over the last 600 million years average global surface temperature appears to have been buffered roughly at a maximum of about 72 degrees Fahrenheit (22 degrees Centigrade). The last 53 million years being significantly colder than the previous average, as indicated by oxygen isotopes of shells in sea floor cores, but comparable to other cold periods in the geologic past. During this 600 million year period, major cold perturbations to about 54 degrees Fahrenheit (12 degrees C) occurred about every 150 million years. Over that period, carbon dioxide decreased from an estimated maximum of about 7000ppm 550 million years ago to minimum of about 300ppm around 300 million years ago (current level at 385ppm) without changing the long-term average temperature at the Earth¹s surface.

Around 43 million years ago, declining carbon dioxide concentration reached about 1400ppm, followed by three oscillations during the next 10 million years with amplitudes of about 1000ppm. Temperature apparently remained relatively constant during these ancient carbon dioxide oscillations except during the most recent when oxygen isotope ratios indicate a sharp drop in temperature 33.5 million years ago, that is, about the time ice sheets began to accumulate on Antarctica. Relative to today¹s values, declining atmospheric carbon dioxide levels remained relatively high (740-1400ppm) as Antarctica cooled.

About 22 million years ago, with its continued slow migration away from Africa, Australia, and South America, the ocean distribution and ocean currents around Antarctica began to resemble modern configurations, with partial deglaciation of that continent beginning about 14-15 million years ago. A particularly warm two million years for the tropical Earth latitudes developed about 4 million years ago even as sea surface temperatures slowly declined toward present levels. This seemingly contradictory situation apparently related to a long-term north-south expansion of the warm tropical ocean waters resulting in a factor of four reduction in the sea surface temperature gradient from the equator to at least 34ºN (~2ºC gradient versus ~8ºC, today) that lasted until about 1.5 million years ago. Along with disruptions of the El Niño Southern Oscillation, convective tropical Hadley circulation apparently slowed during this long period with both effects probably leading to significant global climate impacts.

About 2.75 million years ago, major ice ages began to oscillate with periods of warmth (interglacials). This occurred in spite of the concurrent anomaly in the tropical sea surface temperature gradient. Ten specific high latitude ice ages took place in the last million years, apparently correlated with a change in the dominant solar influence on cooling from the Earth's 41,000-year orbital obliquity cycle to its 100,000-year eccentricity cycle. A significant decrease in the overall concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide occurred at about the same time as this change in orbital influence with even greater, temporary reductions associated with each ice age; however, the reported data do not support a causal association of this decrease in carbon dioxide with the overall cooling during this million-year period.

Terminations of past ice ages appear to be associated with increased solar heating (insolation), as orbital influences changed, and not with triggering increases in carbon dioxide levels; although such increases certainly accompanied the terminations. Recent suggestions that increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide forced temperature changes and ice age terminations over the last 20 million years or so suffer from science¹s inability to adequately time-correlate changes in carbon dioxide levels with changes in global temperature, i.e., correlation does not, by itself, mean causation. As carbon dioxide release from the oceans due to warming lags warming by hundreds to thousands of years, no support exists for a conclusion that a specific natural carbon dioxide change forced a specific temperature change.

The lesson in these variations in values for atmospheric carbon dioxide and global temperature through geologic time, at least at a million-year or so time-resolution, appears to be that increases and decreases in carbon dioxide have not triggered global temperature changes as derived from fossil oxygen isotope ratios. Other long-term geological and solar-related phenomena may have overwhelmed any broad greenhouse effects related to carbon dioxide; or, alternatively, the proxies used for estimating ancient atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations may be invalid. All we really know at present is that natural variations in climate have been very complex, often extreme, and all before human industrial activity existed.

Studies of Antarctic ice cores indicate that Earth-surface temperatures several degrees warmer than present existed during the four preceding interglacials of the last 420,000 years. At a low time-resolution of 1000s of years, carbon dioxide in the atmosphere apparently did not rise above 290ppm (compared to 385ppm today), and its changes would appear to be correlated directly with temperature changes. On the other hand, high time-resolution ice core data indicates that both increases and decreases in atmospheric carbon dioxide lag associated increases and decreases in global temperature by hundreds to a thousand years for major long-term temperature variations. The rise or fall in average ocean temperature would be expected proceed any effect on stored carbon dioxide due to the oceans¹ relatively high mass and slow circulation.

A particularly prolonged warm period in the current interglacial between 9000 and 6000 years ago has been documented, most recently in oxygen isotopic analyses of Greenland ice sheet cores. That warm period resulted in significant thinning of Greenland¹s ice sheet to thicknesses within a 100m of those of today. Several other warm periods have occurred since, the most pronounced of which has been termed the Medieval Warm Period (500-1300).

Warm periods, sometimes referred to as "climate anomalies," of this nature were largely highly beneficial to fledgling human cultures.

After a century-long transition from the Medieval Warm Period, the Little Ice Age of 1400-1900 recorded the most recent interval of significant global cooling. Global cooling characterized the Little Ice Age in most regions, accompanied in some areas by droughts. By 1400, however, Artic ice pack had enclosed Iceland and Greenland and driven Viking settlers away from their farms on those islands. By the end of the 1600s, in response to the continued climate cooling, glaciers had advanced over valley farmlands cultivated as those same glaciers receded during the Medieval Warm Period.

Indeed, essentially all of the consequences of warming prior to 1300 reversed during the next several hundred years of the Little Ice Age.

Since about 1660, gradual global warming of about 0.9 degree Fahrenheit (0.5 degree Centigrade) each 100 years has occurred, although decades-long cooling events have interrupted this trend. Antarctic sea ice, however, now has been expanding northward for about two decades after indications in the Law Dome ice core of an additional gradual decline between about 1960 and 1990.

Although the observational, historical, and geological evidence indicates strongly that global scale changes in the climate, ocean chemistry, and biological activity have roots in natural processes, the concentration of human pollution in local areas of the Earth have documented adverse impacts.

It remains increasingly in the economic and societal interests of the private sector and State governments to stop and reverse the unnatural changes for which they bear constitutional responsibility.

Private sector, State, and Federal control of their contributions to regional local pollution effects, and consumer, shareholder, and voter insistence on prevention and cleanup, form an integral part of the nation¹s future. Appropriate and restrained Federal regulation within the Founders¹ logically constrained intent of Article I, Section 8, Clause 3, of the Constitution, that is, the Commerce Clause, can contribute greatly to the instigation of this new environmental ethic.

On the other hand, unconstitutional coercion will make matters worse while at the same time eroding essential liberties. The long road back to constitutional protection of the environment begins with the elections of 2010.


Harrison H. Schmitt is a former United States Senator from New Mexico as well as a geologist and former Apollo Astronaut. He currently is an aerospace and private enterprise consultant and a member of the new Committee of Correspondence