Dec 11

Tomorrow’s Wall Street Journal editorial:

After the selection of a largely centrist economic team, liberals have been asking when President-elect Obama would give them a seat at the table. Well, now we know, and Americans should strap themselves in. Mr. Obama is stocking his energy shop with the greenest of greens who want to move fast on a very aggressive climate agenda. Here come the carbon busters.

Regarding Obama’s supposed Energy Secretary, The Journal says:

Mr. Chu’s special passion is climate change, and he favors putting a price on greenhouse emissions. The federal energy portfolio, though, is dominated by nuclear issues such as waste disposal and maintaining the U.S. weapons stockpile, with a side of basic research. On the latter, Mr. Chu co-chaired a blue-ribbon panel last year that called for doubling energy research spending.
Congress will see that and raise. But we trust Mr. Chu already knows that the Bush Administration has devoted some $43.3 billion to climate-specific science and R&D since 2001, including the annual $650 million budget of the Berkeley Lab, which is funded through the Energy Department. We trust, too, that an expert of his sophistication understands not only the promise of clean tech but its real practical limits.

And then there is Carol Browner, the Al Gore protégé, who ran the EPA during Der Schlick Meister’s Administration who will act as Obama’s Energy Czar. The Journal:

During her EPA salad days, she put out air-pollution standards that even the agency itself said would have no measurable impact on public health, purely as antibusiness punishment. She forced GE to dredge the Hudson River of PCBs that posed no threat to the public. Ms. Browner also rewrote a law called New Source Review so that power plants, refineries and other industries were always breaking the particulate emissions rules.

But her most pernicious inspiration was the idea that the EPA could by itself classify carbon as a “dangerous pollutant” under current clean-air laws and thus impose new taxes and restrictions on all types of energy. Under Ms. Browner’s orders, EPA general counsel Jonathan Cannon prepared a 1998 memorandum concluding that “CO2 emissions are within the scope of the EPA’s authority to regulate,” even though Congress specifically declined to include carbon when it last amended the Clean Air Act in 1990. Now a law professor, Mr. Cannon serves on the Obama transition team.



The Obama Administration is “sitting on some authority,” Ms. Browner warned at the Center for American Progress recently. She says the White House is prepared to use that power “in the event that perhaps there can’t be some sort of agreement reached with Congress on how to move legislation.” In other words, Ms. Browner will use the threat of brute regulatory force as a political bludgeon if Capitol Hill declines to inflict some carbon tax on voters in the midst of a recession.

Not only will this incur colossal economic costs, but it bypasses normal democratic debate. In that sense it’s suggestive of the radicalism of Mr. Obama’s climate agenda. When Mr. Obama said during the campaign that he favored “nothing less than the complete transformation of our economy” in the name of global warming, we figured he couldn’t mean something so utopian. Maybe he does.

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Oct 16

Tomorrow’s Wall Street Journal Editorial gives us some important reasons to get out and vote:

If the current polls hold, Barack Obama will win the White House on November 4 and Democrats will consolidate their Congressional majorities, probably with a filibuster-proof Senate or very close to it. Without the ability to filibuster, the Senate would become like the House, able to pass whatever the majority wants.

Though we doubt most Americans realize it, this would be one of the most profound political and ideological shifts in U.S. history. Liberals would dominate the entire government in a way they haven’t since 1965, or 1933. In other words, the election would mark the restoration of the activist government that fell out of public favor in the 1970s. If the U.S. really is entering a period of unchecked left-wing ascendancy, Americans at least ought to understand what they will be getting, especially with the media cheering it all on.

The nearby table shows the major bills that passed the House this year or last before being stopped by the Senate minority. Keep in mind that the most important power of the filibuster is to shape legislation, not merely to block it. The threat of 41 committed Senators can cause the House to modify its desires even before legislation comes to a vote. Without that restraining power, all of the following have very good chances of becoming law in 2009 or 2010.

Among a nightmarish list noted by The Journal:

The green revolution. A tax-and-regulation scheme in the name of climate change is a top left-wing priority. Cap and trade would hand Congress trillions of dollars in new spending from the auction of carbon credits, which it would use to pick winners and losers in the energy business and across the economy. Huge chunks of GDP and millions of jobs would be at the mercy of Congress and a vast new global-warming bureaucracy. Without the GOP votes to help stage a filibuster, Senators from carbon-intensive states would have less ability to temper coastal liberals who answer to the green elites.

And there’s no happy ending:

In both 1933 and 1965, liberal majorities imposed vast expansions of government that have never been repealed, and the current financial panic may give today’s left another pretext to return to those heydays of welfare-state liberalism. Americans voting for “change” should know they may get far more than they ever imagined.

The rest of the list can be read at The Journal.

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Sep 28

GORE LIED has addressed Al Gore’s call for “civil disobedience” to stop new coal plants here and here, but The Journal’s decision to address “Gore’s rebellion” is signficant given that The Wall Street Journal definitely has more timely and important issues to address, i.e. the financial meltdown.

The Journal:

For a while, it was a standard-issue Al Gore jeremiad, with calls for everything from installing solar panels in Darfur (seriously) to legal action against “the carbon lobby” for denying global warming (ditto). But then Mr. Gore really got going and told his disciples to head — literally — to the barricades to “stop” coal.

Speaking last Wednesday on a celebrity panel in New York, the Nobel Prize Laureate proclaimed: “If you’re a young person looking at the future of this planet and looking at what is being done right now, and not done, I believe we have reached the stage where it is time for civil disobedience to prevent the construction of new coal plants that do not have carbon capture and sequestration.” He added, “clean coal does not exist.”



Mr. Gore’s blessing is even more bizarre because it defeats the cause that it claims to champion on its own terms. New U.S. coal plants use modern scrubbing technology, which means less traditional air pollution. They’re also far more efficient — that is, they get more energy out of the same amount of coal (i.e., carbon) compared to older models. Often this results in power companies mothballing parts of a more carbon-intensive fleet.

Take a fracas in North Carolina, where Duke Energy is trying to build a new coal-burning plant. The 800-megawatt Cliffside project has proved hugely controversial; Duke CEO Jim Rogers told us that his home had been vandalized. Yet when regulators approved Cliffside, they noted that the state-of-the-art upgrade will actually reduce environmental costs because four aging, less efficient boilers will be shut down. Overall, sulfur dioxide emissions will fall by 80% a year, nitrogen oxide by 50%, and the entire project is carbon neutral while producing more electricity to meet increasing demand.

Mr. Gore seems to think this is a bad trade. Meanwhile, China is set to build 800,000 megawatts of new coal generation over the next eight years. That’s 1,000 Cliffsides — or more than two-and-a-half times the size of America’s total installed coal capacity, with none of our environmental guardrails. Even if every U.S. coal plant were razed to the ground tomorrow, it wouldn’t make any difference for global CO2 while China expands.

We look forward to seeing Mr. Gore take his “civil disobedience” against coal to, say, Shanxi province. He’d better bring a lot to read.

Read the entire editorial here.

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Jun 30

In tomorrow’s edition of the Wall Street Journal, Bret Stephens raises many of the same themes that we “Deniers” in the blogosphere have been driving home repeatedly. So, there’s not a lot of new material here, but it is more evidence that the hoax of AGW is starting to seep into the mainstream media more and more.

Stephens:

Last week marked the 20th anniversary of the mass hysteria phenomenon known as global warming. Much of the science has since been discredited. Now it’s time for political scientists, theologians and psychiatrists to weigh in.

What, discredited? Thousands of scientists insist otherwise, none more noisily than NASA’s Jim Hansen, who first banged the gong with his June 23, 1988, congressional testimony (delivered with all the modesty of “99% confidence”).

But mother nature has opinions of her own.

Stephens goes on to state the case against the science of AGW, including the evidence regarding the recent cooling trend – and asks:

If even slight global cooling remains evidence of global warming, what isn’t evidence of global warming? What we have here is a nonfalsifiable hypothesis, logically indistinguishable from claims for the existence of God. This doesn’t mean God doesn’t exist, or that global warming isn’t happening. It does mean it isn’t science.

Stephens theorizes that the fervent support that AGW receives on the Left is due to three mutually compatible explanations:

1. Ideological Convenience. Stephens:

Socialism may have failed as an economic theory, but global warming alarmism, with its dire warnings about the consequences of industry and consumerism, is equally a rebuke to capitalism. Take just about any other discredited leftist nostrum of yore – population control, higher taxes, a vast new regulatory regime, global economic redistribution, an enhanced role for the United Nations – and global warming provides a justification.

2. Theological. Stephens:

Surely it is no accident that the principal catastrophe predicted by global warming alarmists is diluvian in nature. Surely it is not a coincidence that modern-day environmentalists are awfully biblical in their critique of the depredations of modern society: “And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.” That’s Genesis, but it sounds like Jim Hansen.

And surely it is in keeping with this essentially religious outlook that the “solutions” chiefly offered to global warming involve radical changes to personal behavior, all of them with an ascetic, virtue-centric bent: drive less, buy less, walk lightly upon the earth and so on. A light carbon footprint has become the 21st-century equivalent of sexual abstinence.

4. Psychological. Stephens:

Listen carefully to the global warming alarmists, and the main theme that emerges is that what the developed world needs is a large dose of penance. What’s remarkable is the extent to which penance sells among a mostly secular audience. What is there to be penitent about?

As it turns out, a lot, at least if you’re inclined to believe that our successes are undeserved and that prosperity is morally suspect. In this view, global warming is nature’s great comeuppance, affirming as nothing else our guilty conscience for our worldly success.

In “The Varieties of Religious Experience,” William James distinguishes between healthy, life-affirming religion and the monastically inclined, “morbid-minded” religion of the sick-souled. Global warming is sick-souled religion.

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Jun 24

James Kerian writes in tomorrow’s Wall Street Journal:


In the late 19th
century, William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer developed what would come
to be known as yellow journalism. By disregarding what had been standard
journalistic methods, particularly in regards to the verifying of sources, these
two publishers were able both to push their country toward war with Spain and
dramatically increase the circulation of their respective newspapers.


Kerian continues:


Scientists, like the journalists of yesteryear, have specific methods for
ensuring that the public trust placed in them is not abused. The most
fundamental of these methods is the well-known, if not so creatively named,
scientific method. The essence of the scientific method is the formulation of
hypotheses (ideas) and the using of these hypotheses to make predictions that
can be experimentally tested.


After pointing out that Hearst made only a fraction of his fortune from “yellow journalism”, Kerian points out that:


Global warming, on the other hand, has provided an estimated $50 billion in
research grants to those willing to practice yellow science. Influence in the
public sphere is another strong temptation.



…one should not underestimate the temptation of convenience. Just as it is
far easier to publish stories without verifying the sources; so is it much more
convenient to practice yellow science than the real thing. It takes far more
courage, perseverance, and perspiration to develop formulas, make predictions,
and risk being proved wrong than to look at historical data and muse about
observed similarities. Yellow scientists have fled the risks of science that
Albert Einstein described when he said, “No amount of experimentation can ever
prove me right, a single experiment can prove me wrong.”


Kerian concludes:


If yellow science overcomes real science it will not only be on account of
the greed, ambition, and cowardice of our scientists but also the sloth and
cowardice of a public that is unwilling to stand up and demand
professionalism.


You’ve probably never heard the name James Kerian, but that’s because Mr. Kerian is simply a mechanical engineer and small business owner in Grafton, N.D. In other words he’s just a regular guy just like yours truly here at GORE LIED. He’s a guy who has zero scientific credentials (just like myself and Al Gore), but is concerned enough about the yellow scientists (AGW alarmists) and their eco-fascist agenda to take time away from his other pursuits to write a column that is as well-written, well-researched, and well-reasoned as any other skeptical argument out there.

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