Final Make-Up Applied in North Carolina

by Paul Chesser, Heartland Institute Correspondent on October 9, 2008

Paul Chesser, Climate Strategies Watch

The Center for Climate Strategies and their fellow economic holocaust deniers in North Carolina continued their shenanigans this week as they formally released 56 recommendations to create artificial green jobs at the expense of useful ones. The state's Climate Action Plan Advisory Group (CAPAG — sounds like some kind of garment, doesn't it? "That's one ugly CAPAG you're wearing!") posted its final report this week, which is not dissimilar to what they've done with other state climate commissions.

What is different with North Carolina, as opposed to the other states, is that CCS went out of their way to go to an outside entity — Appalachian State University's (should be called "Alternative") Energy Center — to conduct an additional economic analysis of their recommendations. The reason for this is obvious: my colleagues at the John Locke Foundation have pounded away for over a year at CCS's/CAPAG's willful disregard for current climate science and trends; their absurd economic claims; and their suspect changing of numbers, seemingly on a whim. It got so bad that CCS felt the need to shore up their credibility by overhauling the personnel page on their Web site to emphasis more economics credentials.

Anyway, CCS subcontracted the Energy Center to put lipstick on their pig, and the ASU gang used a distinctly rosy shade (PDF) in doing so. Here's what the swine left on the CAPAG collar: a projection that the state would realize 15,000 new jobs, $565 million in "employee and proprietor income," and $302 million in gross state product by 2020. Compare that to what the Beacon Hill Institute, who analyzed CAPAG's recommendations for the Locke Foundation earlier this year, found: "By 2011, the state would shed more than 33,000 jobs, annual investment would drop by about $502.4 million, real disposable income by more than $2.2 billion, and real state Gross Domestic Product by about $4.5 billion." So I guess the question boils down to, whose analysis do you believe: a political science graduate student's or PhD economists'?

But wait, there's one final knee-slapper: In an effort to legitimize the Energy Center's study, they enlisted Adam Rose to track down six peer reviewers for comment. That wouldn't be so unusual except that Rose is listed by CCS as one of their "team members," and has been paid for work he's done for CCS in the past. So not surprisingly these peer review comments (kept anonymous, and do you really wonder why?) lavished praise on the Energy Center's work:

  • "I find no logical errors and am impressed by the sophistication of the analysis; it is superior to most impact analyses written over the last decade."
  • "I must say that the document is superior to many I see."
  • "There is an abundance of careful and thoughtful work on converting the options to reduce greenhouse gases to some accounting measures."
  • "Two thumbs up!" (oops — clicked on the "Ebert and Roeper" tab by accident)

All in all, a "certified fresh" review if you're projecting a fantasy tale, but if reality is your measuring stick, then you've got splat.

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