Daren Bakst

A video by a group called 10:10, shows the environmental wackos for exactly who they are: environmental wackos.  The group has just apologized (kind of) for the video.

The video is graphic, so don’t watch it if you think you won’t like seeing exploding bodies.

The video shows three scenarios where individuals are asked to cut their carbon emissions.  When some of the individuals refuse, they are blown up (including children).

At first, I thought this was a satire of extreme environmental pressure groups–then I realized this actually is a video by environmental wackos showing their true colors (and spoofing themselves without realizing it).

More troubling though, it is a message consistent with many of the enviros who believe in population control–get rid of the humans who won’t do their part to reduce carbon or who use too many precious resources.  It makes it very difficult to just say it was a “joke” when the message about population control is consistent with the environmental extremist message.

There appear to be many businesses, educational institutions, and individuals associated with this group, such as Sony.  They may want to reconsider this support.

Another Energy Tax: The RES

by Daren Bakst on September 29, 2010

in Blog

Since cap and trade legislation looks like it is dead, many in Congress are still adamant about imposing an energy tax on Americans.

Senator Bingaman (D-NM), along with a bipartisan group of Senators, is pushing a renewable energy standard (RES).  This particular RES mandates that utility companies generate 11 percent of their electricity from high-cost and unreliable renewable sources such as solar and wind power.

Consumers, of course, pay for these higher energy costs on their electricity bills.

Since the massive subsidies for solar and wind power haven’t been enough to generate demand for renewable energy, Congress wants to mandate that Americans buy renewable electricity, not unlike individual health care mandates.

It is a bit troubling that Republicans, who for the most part, have been opposed to cap and trade, don’t seem to get that this also is a massive energy tax.

Some of the legislators may actually think that forcing Americans to buy renewable energy will help with energy independence.  However, this is a major fallacy and demonstrates an unfortunate lack of understanding regarding energy.

In 2008, electricity generation accounted for only about 1 percent of all petroleum consumption in the United States (Calculation: Petroleum used for electricity generation/total petroleum consumption in the U.S.).  In other words, changing our electricity mix will have no impact on energy independence.

The RES in many ways is like a cap and trade bill and the ObamaCare bill rolled into one.  There is an energy tax.  There are mandates to purchase a service.  Finally, the federal government is ignoring state rights and imposing its wishes on the states.

This issue needs to get on everyone’s radar screen who is interested in freedom.

Today, Senators Graham, Kerry, and Lieberman were expected to release their cap and trade bill.  However, immigration reform put a damper on that.  However, this is a bill that definitely should be on the radar screen.

When (if) the bill is introduced, there will be lots of fanfare about how oil companies and utility companies support the bill (or at least aren’t opposing it).

However, there’s a reason for this support.  They are being provided all kinds of goodies as discussed in this recent Mother Jones article.

There will be government-backed loans for nuclear power plants, oil companies won’t be subjected to the same cap and trade requirements as others, there will be $10 billion in subsidies for carbon capture technology research, etc.

It doesn’t take much for businesses to use the lawmaking process to benefit themselves at the expense of the public and the economy.

So, when the bill is unveiled, don’t get fooled by the fanfare regarding how many companies support the bill.  If you buy-off industries, then we’d expect those industries to support the bill.

While the environmental extremists and utility and oil companies benefit, the public will get harmed by a massive energy tax that will cut jobs, reduce personal income, and have a disproportionate impact on the poor.

The health care bill was bad enough.  However, a cap and trade bill is far worse.  Energy is an input into every good or service.  That means the government will have its hands on almost every facet of the economy.

This bill should be (in a responsible Congress) dead on arrival–the very idea that we are going to impose a massive energy tax during this recession for no good reason is absurd.  However, we don’t have a responsible Congress.  As a result, this bill could have some serious legs.

The tragedy in Haiti can teach us something about the extreme policies of global warming alarmists.

The 1989 San Francisco earthquake measured a 7.1 on the Richter scale and the death toll was 62 people killed.

The recent earthquake in Haiti was measured at 7.0 on the Richter scale and the death toll could reach 50,000-100,00 people killed.

Why did Haiti suffer so many more lost lives than San Francisco?  The answer is  the country doesn’t possess the wealth necessary to build better infrastructure.

Yet, the alarmists want to push policies, such as cap and trade, which would drastically reduce our wealth.  They want countries like Haiti and other developing countries to take steps to reduce carbon emissions at the expense of their national well-being, including their health and infrastructure.

If we want to best survive the impact of natural disasters, wealth generation is the best means to do so.  Ask Haitians if they would have preferred to be in Port-Au-Prince or San Francisco when the earthquakes hit.

Assuming (for the sake of it) that global warming will lead to natural disasters, building better infrastructure and adapting to any changes is a far wiser choice than pushing policies that will have no measurable impact on global temperature while undermining any chance countries like Haiti would have to protect themselves from such disasters.

Pushing damaging policies that undermine wealth generation and having the arrogance to impose those policies on nations like Haiti is unethical, to say the least. If developing countries have to give up what we as Americans already enjoy, such as good infrastructure, the death toll for what should be relatively minor earthquakes will remain astronomical.

In a column for USA Today, Julianne Malveaux writes that climate change is a civil right issue.  The comments posted on the USA Today site regarding her column make it clear that readers were amused by her column more than persuaded.

This is actually problematic because some of her column covers a very important point regarding global warming policies: They do have a disproportionate effect on the poor.  As I have written, almost every single policy pushed to address global warming by environmental groups hurts the poor.

Roy Innis and the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) have done excellent work on the key point that climate change policies are a civil rights issue.

Unfortunately, Ms. Malveaux combines very different issues.  The problematic part of the column is at the start where she argues that climate change (not policies) are the civil rights issue.   She writes about how African-Americans produce less greenhouse gas emissions than other Americans and at the same time African-Americans bear the greatest brunt of climate change based on where they live.

It is easy to see where these arguments can be interpreted as a hint towards compensation for African-Americans.  These arguments completely take away from what she does get right: She goes on to make the accurate point that policies to reduce greenhouse emissions disproportionately hurt the poor.

I hope that Ms. Malveaux will continue to bring up the problems with global warming policies.  However, she needs to drop the weak arguments about how climate change is a civil rights issue and instead stay focused on climate change policies.