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People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it. Welcome to From On High.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Talking Nonsense

The Roanoke Times has an answer to the soon-to-be staggering cost of electricity - if Rick Boucher's legislation is allowed to pass Congress. The answer?

Make it far more expensive.

From the editorial, "Electrifying Rhetoric":
To ease tomorrow's bills, lawmakers need to do more to encourage emergent green energy producers. Generating power with fossil fuels is only going to become more expensive as irreplaceable fuels become scarcer and more expensive, and as additional environmental measures are required.

The lawmakers' job is to encourage innovative changes to produce cleaner energy at affordable prices rather than to rail against a system they created.

Three points:

1) The admission that change is needed to bring about affordable clean energy prices speaks volumes.

2) "Clean" energy is much more expensive than coal (that evil fossil fuel that generates most of our electricity). The two most often mentioned alternatives are wind and solar. According to the New York Times, wind (which is a very unreliable source of energy) is 50% more expensive than coal. And solar power - also an extremely unreliable source of energy when the Sun isn't shining - "will be 173% more expensive per unit of energy delivered than traditional coal power," according to a report issued by the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee's Kit Bond.

3) So how is the pursuit of expensive alternatives to the truly inexpensive and reliable and abundant source of energy - coal - supposed to "ease tomorrow's electric bills"?

It won't. It can't. It's bullshit.

Someone needs to pound that message into the blockheads' blockheads.

Environmentalists Are Idiots

This goes in the You Can't Make This Stuff Up category.

According to a team (a team!) of researchers led by Tim Coulson of Imperial College, London, the abundance of food on Scotland's Soay Island has caused the sheep there to be smaller.

Hmm. An abundance of food makes animals ... smaller?

Now, to sane human beings, nutrition is a good thing. And a bountiful copiousness of food, to normal-thinking people, makes humans and animals healthier. And larger. Plump even.

But if you're an environmentalist, and you have global warming in the brain, black is white, sun is moon, and abundance brings us ... little sheep?

Good God:
The Incredible Shrinking Sheep of Scotland
By Bryan Walsh, Time

News alert: the sheep of Scotland are shrinking! On Soay Island, off the western coast of Scotland, wild sheep are apparently defying the theory of evolution and progressively getting smaller.

Why? In short, because of climate change. Generally, the sheep's life cycle goes like this: they fatten up on grass during the fertile, sunny summer; then the harsh winter comes, the grass disappears and the smallest, scrawniest sheep die off, while their bigger cousins survive. That's how you end up with big sheep, which — according to Darwin's laws of natural selection — will pass on their big genes to the next generation.

But over the past 25 years, the average Soay Island wild sheep has decreased in size, according to a report in the July 2 issue of Science by a team of researchers led by Tim Coulson of Imperial College London. Thanks largely to global warming, the winters on Soay Island are becoming shorter and milder. That makes food more abundant and allows some of the smaller, more vulnerable and younger sheep to survive. Then they go on to have offspring that tend to be small themselves — and have a better chance of survival because of the increasingly mild winters. [link]
Laughably. Absurd.

Forget the fact that the planet has warmed less than a fifth of one degree over the last thirty years. (Winters have shortened as a result? Less than one degree?)

Forget the fact that it hasn't warmed at all this entire century.

Forget the fact that shorter winters mean longer springs and summers - that which high school-educated people call the growing season. The growing season being a good thing.

And forget common sense if you're inclined to believe this bit of idiocy:

"Thanks largely to global warming, the winters on Soay Island are becoming shorter and milder. That makes food more abundant and allows some of the smaller, more vulnerable and younger sheep to survive."

Earth to moron(s):

Food in abundance makes smaller sheep larger sheep.

Food in abundance gives vulnerable sheep the chance to become healthy sheep.

Food in abundance allows for younger sheep to become older sheep.

Food in abundance, to those of us who aren't afflicted with global warming disease, is a darn good thing.

Your argument that global warming is a bad thing because it creates conditions such that food is plentiful is perhaps the most preposterous thing I've ever read.

To the rest of the world, rejoice. With fools like these for enemies, we are sure to win this debate.

Babe Alert!

Why, who is this beautiful young woman?

It's none other than my daughter, Jodi, celebrating her birthday with ... Kool Aid ... in hand.

That's what she told me it was anyway ...

Counterpoint

The Bluefield Daily Telegraph the other day, to its discredit, allowed Congressman Rick Boucher to print in its paper his explanation for the cap-and-trade bill that he helped create being good for jobs and good for Southwest Virginia. His story - maddeningly - went unchallenged by the journalists stenographers there. So I thought I'd take the time this morning to present the other side of the debate.

Boucher says the plan will be good for us.

The truth:
You won't want to warm up to this
By Robert E. Murray, writing in the Washington Times

Perhaps the most destructive legislation in our country's history passed Friday in the House of Representatives -- the Waxman-Markey tax bill offered in the guise of addressing climate change.

This bill, named for Democrats Henry A. Waxman of California and Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts, would have adverse and lingering consequences for every American. It would raise the cost of electricity for our homes, fuel for our cars and the energy that produces our manufacturing jobs, with little or no environmental benefit. Further, independent experts estimate it would cost Americans more than $2 trillion in a little more than eight years.

All Americans in the Midwest, South and Rocky Mountain regions would be most drastically affected because the climate-change legislation would destroy the nation's coal industry and the low-cost electricity it has provided to those regions for generations. Wealth would be transferred away from almost every state to the West Coast and New England.

The most abundant and by far least expensive energy source in our country for generating electricity is coal. America's coal reserves rival the energy potential of Saudi Arabian oil. Unfortunately, the Waxman-Markey bill would force America to throw away this tremendous resource, and our low-cost electricity with it.

The legislation sets an unattainable cap on carbon dioxide emissions by 2020, with the first reductions due by 2012. Under the program, businesses that emit carbon dioxide would be required to purchase or obtain from the government special carbon dioxide credits. This carbon dioxide cap would force utilities to switch from lower-cost coal to natural gas or other, more expensive energy sources. Reliable estimates show this bill would cost each American family at least $3,000 more for energy each year.

The chief executive of one of the nation's major utilities recently said it best in the Wall Street Journal: "The 25 states that depend on coal for more than 50 percent of their electricity ... will have to shut down and replace the majority of their fossil fuel plants as a result of the climate change legislation." [link] [my emphasis]
The column ends with this:

"It is not too late to tell Congress to kill this flawed bill. Everyone should call your senators and ask them to vote 'no' on the Waxman-Markey bill (otherwise known as cap-and-trade) and support affordable energy, American jobs and our quality of life."

Don't bother calling Boucher. He won't answer. He doesn't want to be bothered. Katie Couric is on the other line.

- - -

So you know, Robert E. Murray is chairman, president and chief executive officer of Murray Energy Corporation, "the largest independent coal producer in the United States." When Boucher tells you he has the support of coal company executives, you might add that to the long list of tales he's telling with regard to cap-and-tax.

- - -

The coup de grĂ¢ce is delivered by this morning's Washington Post. In "Q and A on the Climate Bill":

Would this bill stop climate change?

No.
End of discussion.

Lesson To Be Learned From Palin's Rise & Fall

Although I don't agree with everything he's written, Ross Douthat of the New York Times gets the moral of the Sarah Palin story right:
Palin And Her Enemies

Male commentators will attack you for parading your children. Female commentators will attack you for not staying home with them. You’ll be sneered at for how you talk and how many colleges you attended. You’ll endure gibes about your “slutty” looks and your “white trash concupiscence,” while a prominent female academic declares that your “greatest hypocrisy” is the “pretense” that you’re a woman. And eight months after the election, the professionals who pressed you into the service of a gimmicky, dreary, idea-free campaign will still be blaming you for their defeat.

All of this had something to do with ordinary partisan politics. But it had everything to do with Palin’s gender and her social class.

Sarah Palin is beloved by millions because her rise suggested, however temporarily, that the old American aphorism about how anyone can grow up to be president might actually be true.

But her unhappy sojourn on the national stage has had a different moral: Don’t even think about it. [link]
He's right. And we are the poorer for it.