Christine Hall

In a front page story today, the Washington Post – of all places! – revealed that unemployment for so-called “green jobs” is pretty darn high.  (See Retrained for green jobs, but still waiting on work by Michael A. Fletcher).  You mean, all the Obama and enviro promises about green jobs being the next, great economic boom were…wrong?  People aren’t voluntarily choosing to pay more for “clean energy”?

Who could have guessed that the Great Green Dream has been “undercut by the simple economic fact that fossil fuels remain cheaper than renewables”?

So, the Obama administration shoveled out $90 billion out of the $814 billion economic stimulus bill for clean energy stuff, like weatherizing public buildings, constructing “advanced” (?) battery plants in the Midwest, financing solar electric plants in the Mojave desert, and training green energy workers.

But the huge federal investment has run headlong into the stubborn reality that the market for renewable energy products – and workers – remains in its infancy.

Well, that can’t be good, all those 90 billion smackeroos just blown on nothing.  So, surely the next step is to pull the plug on this economy-busting boondoggle force people to buy green energy stuff.

Both Obama administration officials and green energy executives say that the business needs not just government incentives, but also rules and regulations that force people and business to turn to renewable energy.

Without government mandates dictating how much renewable energy utilities must use to generate electricity, or placing a price on the polluting carbon emitted by fossil fuels, they say, green energy cannot begin to reach its job creation potential.

I mean, just look at the potential here.  The poor guy profiled in the WaPo story was trained in: solar installation,sustainable landscape design, recycling and green demolition (which has something to do with dismantling buildings, rather than demolishing them).  What if we could just force everyone to dip into their pockets to buy expensive solar stuff, contemplate how sustainable their landscape design could be, and pull apart buildings brick by brick!

With some 7.5 million jobs lost from the US economy since December 2007, it’s astounding to realize there’s a movement afoot to force people to spend money on the green equivalent of ditch-digging make-work.

What could Rosh Hashanah have to do with environmental activism? My colleague Sam Kazman found out last year, listening to a sermon with a surprise twist. You can read about the incident in the book High Holiday Stories by Nancy Rips.


Did Karl Lagerfeld jump the shark with his fall-winter 2010-11 ready-to-wear collection for Chanel?  The collection – by one of the most famous and historic design houses in the world – was described by the AP as global warming in theme, and subsequently scorned on Newsbusters.  The show featured icebergs reportedly flown in from Sweden (whoa! with the carbon footprint!) and some extreme costume elements – like an antler-and-ear headdress – that would only appeal as street-wear to a Lady Gaga or Bjork.  Ridiculous and unwearable?  Certainly.  Likely to be available for purchase in Saks Fifth Avenue?  Fear not.

The interesting aspect of Mr. Lagerfeld’s theatrical show is that the mastermind himself seems to show little concern, much less panic, over the purported danger of global warming.  Reuters reported Lagerfeld’s comments:

“‘Have you felt any warming this winter?” Lagerfeld, with trademark black sunglasses and white ponytail, told reporters after showing his autumn collection, referring to freezing cold weather outside. “Maybe that’s all nonsense, who knows.”

The online magazine Zimbio questions whether the Chanel show had anything to do with global warming in the first place.  The Cut reports that Lagerfeld was “inspired by the Ice Hotel in Sweden” – not politics or global warming, noting  that last season, he “put his Chanel models in a barn, with hay and everything, possibly even burrs.”

Personally, my great fear arising from the Chanel collection is that the furry mukluks will make it off the runway and into the real world.  Which might make me wish for  real-world global warming.


(A bunch more photos from the Chanel show here.)

Today’s Washington Post editorial on global warming (”Climate Insurance”) is especially ridiculous.  You can certainly read it for yourself, but I’m going to do you the favor of translating it into plain English here for you now.  I’ve put a few bits of the editorial’s language in italics for you.

Climate science is complex, and there is much that we still do not understand. On top of that, there have been some really embarrassing screw-ups and misdeeds (and, frankly, if we were forced to admit it, maybe some outright lies) on the part of key global warming scientists.  First, there was Climategate, and now there’s the snafu surrounding how and when the Himalayan glaciers might melt away.  All that – it’s not helped the cause.

It’s true that we don’t  know for sure how many degrees warmer the Earth will be, on average, by 2050 or what effect this will have on the ferocity of storms or coastal flooding or starvation-inducing drought. It’s also true that we, the opinionated writers here at the elitist Washington Post, are troubled by the cogent argument suggesting that government action aimed at stopping this possible bad stuff from happening is hopeless.  That wrenching the economy away from its dependence on oil and coal would be expensive, and the resulting benefit so minimal, that it’s not worth trying.

However…come on, people!!  We still want to use the strong arm of government to force a bunch of taxes on you. A gradually rising carbon tax made sense even before “global warming” entered most people’s vocabulary. The global warming scare just gave us some added ammo to make the case for a carbon tax.  We’re not going to spend time in this brief editorial explaining to you people why we want to tax you.  But we thought you’d find it convincing if we just say that taxing you *might* (really, who’s to say?!) prevent a bunch of the aforementioned storms, flooding, and starvation.  And, for good measure, we will merely suggest that imposing a carbon tax or a cap-and-rebate tax system that requires industry (i.e. consumers) to pay for greenhouse gas emissions would reduce American dependence on dictators in Saudi Arabia and Venezuela.  How’s that?  We couldn’t be bothered to say right now.  But, if politicians can’t bear to stand behind an increased tax, the revenue from either proposal could all be returned in a fair and progressive way.  In other words, we want to force you to give money you earned to people we like better than you.  We’re the Washington (freakin’) Post, for Pete’s sake, and we know best.

CEI at CPAC this week!

by Christine Hall on February 17, 2010

in Blog

CEI is co-sponsoring the annual Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, DC, which is expecting to draw a crowd of some 9,000 -10,000 people from around the country.  Personally, I expect a crowd of angry-but-hopeful Americans, disgusted with Washington’s Big Government agenda but planning on real change – this time, for freedom.

CEI has 4 speakers at CPAC this year – on crucial economic reforms, the political threat posed by labor unions, and all the breaking scandals concerning global warming.  You can view the panels on, which is live-streaming the conference events in the main (”Marriott”) ballroom.

We also have a table in the exhibit hall.  So if you’re coming to CPAC, please stop by and say hello!


CEI has a gift for Al Gore, arriving just in time for the holidays.  You may recall that CEI last month rushed to the cause of Lord Christopher Monckton, in his public challenge to Al Gore to debate global warming.  Inspired by Saturday Night Live’s famous effort to entice a Beatles reunion for only $3000, CEI settled on this considerably less improbable goal.  In CEI’s original YouTube video-message, we offered Mr. Gore a check for $500, plus proceeds from a pledge-a-dollar-to-debate campaign, plus the “street cred” earned by such a fearless debate.  Surely, it’s a win-win proposition for Gore.
Alas, in the wake of the burgeoning Climategate email scandal that called into question the work of the ”leading scientists” sounding the global warming alarm, Mr. Gore failed to respond to our lucrative debate challenge.  So, today, CEI has again sweetened the pot – we are now offering, not just the $500 check plus the extra donations ($200, so far), but also a $25 pre-paid gas card! (Especially in these difficult economic times, who would want to pass up over $700 in extra pocket change – and just in time for the holidays!)
Now that we’ve upped the ante, how much longer can Al Gore resist?  What do you think?

Despite the fact that the DC area was just clobbered with snow last night and this morning, hundreds of left-wing environmentalists descended on Capitol Hill today for a global warming protest. The proximate object of ire was the nearby coal-generated power plant. Mostly hippie-influenced college students, from the look of the crowd, they grouped around Longworth House Office Building with their professionally printed, matching, corporate-looking signs. Chanting various slogans, such as like “power to the people” and “green jobs now,” they marched down several blocks to the power plant at New Jersey and E Street, SE.

Not to cede the day to the patchouli-and-dreadlock crowd, CEI, with representatives from Americans for Prosperity and FreedomWorks, was on-hand to meet the anti-energy message with one championing affordable energy. AFP energy policy expert/activist Phil Kerpen was hilariously improvising his own chanted slogans ridiculing the no-economy, no-jobs policies championed by the other team. Stay tuned for photos and videos from the event. And read Iain Murray’s write up of the greens’ “magnificent display of self-delusion.” Meanwhile, the Greenpeace truck fitted with massive, snow-covered solar panels was a special visual treat. They painted it green and blue, with a windmill, so you KNOW it has to be all benevolent and green. How does the thing generate power when covered in snow? I’ve no idea! One of the other team’s protesters waxed romantic about the vehicle as he walked by, saying it brought back good memories of a past protest. (Warm and fuzzy feelings associated with a Greenpeace truck? Really?)

Another visual treat: a woman with a motley collection of stuffed animals festooned to her back and luggage. No idea what that was all about. Anyone?

Listening to President Obama’s inaugural address today, I was struck by his rhetoric with respect to “apologizing for our way of life.” It was a bit unclear, but hopefully he was referring, not only to threats to our national security, but to energy consumption — the notion that we (Americans, westerners) should not apologize for the energy we consume, which enables us to live better, more productive, healthy lives.

With old friends and former foes, we will work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat, and roll back the specter of a warming planet. We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.

As my colleagues have noted, many of Obama’s energy and environment appointments have a long track record of supporting anti-energy policies, such as renewable energy mandates, that drive up energy costs for the rest of us. But, for a moment, it would be nice to think that our new president doesn’t want us to apologize for the energy that empowers all of us to live better lives.