THE VIEW FROM MY POND

the online presence of Don Keayes

Tag: climate

Pond Life

There’s so much going on about the pond that I’ve decided to combine a few stories into single posts entitled “Pond Life”. Clever, eh?

1.   Those who seek to advance the Green agenda generally want to live their lives as fascists while we’re all supposed to be thrilled with socialism at our end of things. They’re nothing but a bunch of freeloading hypocrites! As though you needed any more evidence than you’ve already seen here and elsewhere, check out this story from the UK’s Daily Mail about New York Mayor Bloomberg:

You couldn’t make it up, but New York Mayor Bloomberg’s latest contribution to a greener environment is to attach a full-sized room air conditioner unit to the side of his SUV.

The low-tech solution to Mr Bloomerg’s famous dislike of the heat in fact causes less pollution than running the vehicle’s own air-condtioning while its engine is idle.

And in full view of confused and amused tourists and passers-by, workers outside City Hall yesterday attached the familiar looking air-conditioning unit to a specially designed out-sized box on the passenger window of the New York Mayor’s car.

Great photos of the reckless waste of taxpayers money are included at the link.

2.   Those who seek to advance their own situation while seeming to be acting in your children’s’ best interest are nothing but low-grade rent seekers. The Centre for Independent Studies has an excellent piece that shows just how far above the law Leftist unionists consider themselves to be:

Last week the NSW Teachers Federation went on strike to protest the state government’s changes to the operation of public schools affecting 750,000 students and their families.

Regardless of the merits of the protest, the issue at stake here is one of legality. The industrial action was deemed illegal by the NSW Industrial Relations Commission, but union officials decided to ignore the ruling and strike anyway.

Good points. There is no “universal right to strike” in this country, so

Unions cannot simply strike over any employment or political issue that affect its members. The matter must be within their enterprise agreement and the strike must be during the bargaining phase. Furthermore, the union must gain majority support from its members via a secret ballot, and obtain consent from the Industrial Relations Commission. If the commission rejects the bid for protected action, this ruling must be accepted.

If businesses, governments and labour institutions start ignoring illegal strike action, Australia will slide back to the bad old days when unions took strike action at will, disrupting businesses and inflicting losses in utter disregard for the law.

Correct!

3.   And finally, in case you missed The Hon Dr Craig Emerson MP Minister for Trade and Competitiveness’ attempt to sell the Carbon [Dioxide] Tax we were promised would not be introduced I’ve included the link. In contrast, you may wish to see how grown ups approach the responsibility of governing our nation. (The good stuff is from 4:10 onwards)

The 26 ethical flaws of AGW propagandists

JoNova has always been the primary source of intelligent discussion on the Anthropogenic Global Warming/Global Warming/Climate Change/Extreme Weather Events nonsense.

There’s really nothing more that can be said about Rupert Wyndham’s excellent prose to Bishop Langrish on the matter than what she wrote this morning. Wonderful stuff!

Putting your money where their mouth is

Here on the pond it’s pretty much every organism for himself. I say himself, because there’s no such thing as political correctness when life really is all ‘frog eat frog’. But I digress … What interests me about those who claim an interest in the quality of my environment is how much of other people’s money they spend on things that make their friends rich, and how little of their own money they spend on actually cleaning up the mud.

US Congressman Tom McClintock (R-CA) made an excellent statement as he debated an amendment on HR 5325 (Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act):

“But that’s still not a reason for taxpayers to foot the bill.  It’s a reason for the actual research and development to be paid for by the companies that will profit from this long-promised breakthrough, and if they’re not willing to finance it with their own money, we have no business forcing our constituents to finance them with theirs.”

I love it! At a time when his country’s economy is sinking into the mire, Congressman McClintock argued that he could save nearly $1.5 billion by ending a failed federal government direct-investment program and reallocating those scarce resources toward productive ventures that maximise America’s energy potential:

If we’re serious about an “all of the above energy policy” we’ve got to stop using taxpayer money to pick winners and losers based on their political connections, and instead require every energy company to compete on its own merits as decided by the customers it attracts by offering better products at lower cost. For too long we have suffered from the conceit that politicians can make better energy investments with taxpayer money than investors can make with their own money.  It is this conceit that has produced the continuing spectacle of collapsing energy scandals epitomised by the Solyndra fiasco.

At least Solyndra was funded from a loan program in which the public has a chance to get some of its money back when these dubious schemes go bankrupt. This amendment eliminates direct spending that funds commercialisation projects for ideologically pleasing technologies and the politically-favoured firms that make them – money taxpayers have no chance of recovering after it is spent. This amendment, and the two that I will take up shortly, protect taxpayers from being forced into being venture capitalists by incompetent politicians, it gets government out of the energy business and requires all energy companies and all energy technologies to compete equally and on their own merits.

Well that seems fair. I hear on the grapevine that, just as it does here in Australia, most of the money goes to wind, solar and car subsidies. Apparently the multinational mega-corporations who bankroll the Left side of politics have convinced lawmakers that the UN’s Agenda 21 trumps common sense; it’s now necessary to nurture these new and promising technologies in which they have an interest and stop spending other people’s money on stuff that actually works. Only Congressman McClintock makes an excellent point,

But they are not new and they are not promising. Photovoltaic cells, for example, were invented by French Physicist Edmund Becquerel in 1839, and in more than 170 years of technological research and innovation and billions of dollars of taxpayer subsidies, we have not yet invented a more expensive way to generate electricity. So we hide its true costs to consumers through subsidies taken from their taxes.

Moreover, as I wrote a couple of posts back, solar power is not only ridiculously expensive but far more polluting than the coal- and gas-fired power we’ve been enjoying at low cost for decades. Sadly, the amendment failed by a factor of about 2 to 1.

Clean energy’s dirty secret

As you probably know already, we frogs are particularly susceptible to environmental changes. The quality of our air and water is important to us so we like to keep abreast of the … ahem … Green literature.

ImageJust imagine my shock, then, to read in Ozzie Zehner’s new book that the use of solar panels does nothing at all to offset greenhouse gases or curb fossil fuel use.

In fact, according to this University of California – Berkeley visiting scholar, in order to reduce the production of the naturally-occurring CO2 needed for my lillypad to grow a few solar panel manufacturers are pumping huge amounts of hexafluoroethane (C2F6), nitrogen trifluoride (NF3), and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) into the atmosphere.

Hexafluoroethane has a global warming potential that is 12,000 times higher than CO2, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). It is 100 percent manufactured by humans, and survives 10,000 years once released into the atmosphere. Nitrogen trifluoride is 17,000 times more virulent than CO2, and SF6, the most treacherous greenhouse gas, is over 23,000 times more threatening.

The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reports that these gases are now accumulating within the earth’s atmosphere at a rapid rate: concentrations of SF6 have been rising exponentially and a paper published in Geophysical Research Letters demonstrates how NF3 levels have been rising at a whopping 11 percent per year.

“If photovoltaic production grows, so will the associated side effects. Even worse, there’s no evidence that solar cells offset fossil fuel use in the American context.”

Instead Zehner advocates other conservation measures, the most expensive of which right now would become cost competitive long before today’s solar cell technologies. “If limiting CO2 is our goal, we might be better off directing our time and resources to those options first; solar cells seem a wasteful and pricey strategy,” he says.

I’d lend you my copy but it’s probably better you get your own at Green Illusions.