Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Obama administration intends to rule by fiat if Congress doesn’t submit?

According to a Fox News story today, administration officials acknowledge privately that the EPA’s newly-claimed powers allow the executive branch to function as a dictatorship if it so chooses.

The Obama administration is warning Congress that if it doesn't move to regulate greenhouse gases, the Environmental Protection Agency will take a "command-and-control" role over the process in a way that could hurt business.

The warning, from a top White House economic official who spoke Tuesday on condition of anonymity, came on the eve of EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson's address to the international conference on climate change in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Jackson, however, tried to strike a tone of cooperation in her address Wednesday, explaining that the EPA's new powers to regulate greenhouse gases will be used to complement legislation pending in Congress, not replace it.

"This is not an 'either-or' moment. It's a 'both-and' moment," she said.

But while administration officials have long said they prefer Congress take action on climate change, the economic official who spoke with reporters Tuesday night made clear that the EPA will not wait and is prepared to act on its own.

And it won't be pretty.

"If you don't pass this legislation, then ... the EPA is going to have to regulate in this area," the official said. "And it is not going to be able to regulate on a market-based way, so it's going to have to regulate in a command-and-control way, which will probably generate even more uncertainty."

So.  Obama would prefer that Congress take the actions that the administration demands of it.  But if Congress fails to get its act together, the administration will publicly hold Congress responsible for the economic chaos that will follow.

And that economic chaos is a virtual certainty if the administration resorts to fiat rule through the EPA. Who would want to invest in an economy where regulations are changing suddenly and radically (and almost always to the detriment of businesses)?

Attack of the cannibal polar bears!

Did somebody mention polar bear cannibalism in Copenhagen this week?  I ask because so many people have arrived at this blog in recent days via a search on that topic.  Next to the acronym “AGW”, this is by far the most popular search that results in a visit here.  If you’re one of the folks that arrived in this manner… Well, HOWDY!

For the record, I blogged on the topic more than a year ago.  If any new information has arisen that enhances the then-dubious case for the [novelty of the] phenomenon, please let me know.

UPDATE: Inserted three words in final sentence (between the brackets).  I argued in the linked blog entry that there wasn’t necessarily anything new about polar bear cannibalism.

EPA declares plant food to be a public health threat

A bit late in reporting on this, but hey, this is a blog, not a news service.  But just for the record, here’s what happened on Monday, as reported by the Associated Press:

The Obama administration took a major step Monday toward imposing the first federal limits on climate-changing pollution from cars, power plants and factories, declaring there was compelling scientific evidence that global warming from manmade greenhouse gases endangers Americans' health.

Does anyone else see a logical disconnect here?  Not the Environmental Protection Agency, because they’ve consciously named carbon dioxide a dangerous pollutant.  A gas that occurs naturally, the existence of which is essential for plant life – is a dangerous pollutant.

And notice – only “manmade” carbon dioxide seems to be capable of causing global warming.  Oh, and how is it a danger to public health?  They don’t say here, but it’s obvious that they’re playing the Six Degrees game.

So, what kind of powers has the EPA amassed for itself by this “finding”?  The article gives us a taste:

The price could be steep for both industry and consumers. The EPA finding clears the way for rules that eventually could force the sale of more fuel-efficient vehicles and require plants to install costly new equipment — at a cost of billions or even many tens of billions of dollars — or shift to other forms of energy.

It almost certainly goes beyond this.  If human generated carbon dioxide emissions are as dangerous as the EPA says they are, there is no logical or moral reason why the EPA shouldn’t extend its regulatory tentacles into every aspect of our lives.

In other words, this finding will serve as the greatest mechanism ever devised for state control of American people and resources, all in complete, deliberate mockery of the constitutional limits on the powers of the federal government.

It’s almost as if that was the plan.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Do I REALLY think that the environmental left is on a QUEST to destroy the world’s economy?

Someone asked me this question in the comments section of a recent post, and I thought it deserved a high-profile answer.

In the banner of this blog I refer to the “quest by the environmental left to destroy the world’s economy” through various means. I was asked: Why would they want to do that? What’s their motivation?

For me to call this the "quest" of the entire environmental left is a bit of hyperbole -- but IMO the characterization is justified because, whether consciously or unconsciously, the environmental left is aggressively pursuing an agenda that can have no logical end other than the destruction of the world economy.

On one hand, I accept at face value their claim to be motivated by concern for the environment. So much of modern civilization is based on customs, technology, etc. that the environmental left feels are harmful to the environment. AGW, real or not, is to them the golden opportunity to remake civilization into a form more to their liking.

On the other hand, many now marching under the banner of environmentalism would in a previous generation have been classified as good old-fashioned Marxists. Their true motivations are economic, not environmental. But overt Marxism is a bit out of fashion in the west, and environmentalism is quite fashionable, so what better cover can one find for one’s war against capitalism? Just think about how many people out there are saying that the only way to lick the climate crisis is to shift more and more of the economy to state control.

So, agree or not, that is why I used these pointed words in the blog banner.

UPDATE: I almost forgot the following point about how AGW is a good cover for Marxists... Think also about how many out there are preaching that the greatest moral imperative of "rich" countries is to transfer increasing amounts of their wealth to poor countries -- with no strings attached.

Monday, December 7, 2009

There was a time when erosion was just erosion

The media are quite deft at taki ng some phenomenon that has been occurring since time immemorial and suddenly attributing it to some alleged climate change consequence that hasn’t even happened yet.

AFP tells the sad story of  Thai fishing villages that are slowly falling into the sea.  This much is real. But what could be causing this?

She is one of 25 million people under threat in Thailand's vast Chao Phraya river delta, which is sinking because of river damming and the clearing of mangrove forests, as climate change pushes up sea levels.

Which of these things doesn’t go with the others?  River damming, forest clearing, rising sea levels: which of these isn’t actually happening today?

The article doesn’t bother to present evidence that the sea levels are actually rising. Every reference to this afterwards is speculation about future sea level increases. 

In other words, there was no legitimate reason to mention climate change at all – except as part of a drip-drip-drip campaign of public scaremongering, most likely coordinated with the ongoing Copenhagen Chicken Little Confab.

Memo to the AGW boosters in the scientific community: you’d get a lot more respect from the skeptics if you would lift a finger now and then to denounce such fraudulent reporting on this issue that is so dear to you.

Then again, as we dig deeper and deeper into the muck of CRU correspondence, we get the impression that the AGW boosters in the scientific community might be too ideologically (or financially) invested in the world they’ve created.  There’s too much at stake – they can’t let the truth get in the way.