About Those Stimulus Bucks for Nuclear


Who knows if this is a worthy project, but what is clear is a) it won’t generate any clean energy and b) provides no long-term jobs:

U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu says the $1.6 billion will help speed up the de-commissioning of nuclear reactors and contaminated areas at the Savannah River Site near Augusta.

The money could provide up to 3,000 new jobs in the area, although it’s unclear how many of those jobs would be permanent. The funding is part of the new economic stimulus package that targets the environmental clean-up of nuclear sites in the U.S.

The Savannah River Site for years refined nuclear materials for weapons. But employment numbers there dropped by thousands after the Cold War ended.

Federal officials say the funding will pay for the clean-up of about 40 percent of the site’s massive industrial area, and ship out about 4500 cubic meters of waste.

About $6 billion is going out to nuclear sites in the U.S., according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Savannah River Site is getting the second-highest funding. The Hanford Site, in Washington state, is getting most at about $2 billion.

Got Consistency?


This really is getting confusing. Mere lawyers like Pres. Obama are qualified to attain informed judgment on global warming. Other lawyers — like the UK High Court judge, me, you name ‘em — if they disagree with the warmist consensus, . . . well, no, they do not possess the relevant background necessary to achieve climate enlightenment. Economists? Heck no — the notion is “laughable” says Cimate Progress. Er, unless you mean that guy who’s the “UN’s chief climate scientist.” Then, ah . . . why, yes, yes indeed! Don’t even get me started on the faith leaders (hey look, Pat Robertson’s no longer crazy — he agrees with Al Sharpton!), be they the Goracle or otherwise.

But now, of all things and of all times, the global warming industry touts the support of . . . Wall Street traders and deriviatives market-types to show their cap-n-trade rationing scheme is a good idea! Headline in today’s Climate Wire: MARKETS: “Carbon traders bullish on Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade plan.”

Whaddayamean I said markets don’t work?! They do when they’re phony!

No foolish consistency for these great minds.


Winning Suggestion: Fewer Stupid Awards


So the following was passed along to me by someone in EPA whom I trust and — despite it having been sent to me on April 1, given that this is EPA we are talking about — I will accept that it is, somehow, real.


SUBJECT :     Call for EPA Hero Nominations

FROM :          Craig E. Hooks

Acting Assistant Administrator, OARM

TO :               All EPA Headquarters Employees

In honor of Earth Day 2009, EPA Headquarters will recognize exceptional employees who “Walk the Talk” by engaging in activities that help the Agency and its employees reduce the overall impact on the environment — including carbon footprint. All employees who regularly engage in at least six of the following eight practices at home or in the office are eligible for nomination as an EPA Earth Day Hero:

     Biking, walking, taking public transportation, or carpooling whenever possible
     Using reusable coffee mugs and water containers
     Using reusable containers and bags
     Turning off lights, powering down computers, and shutting off other energy-using equipment or appliances when not in use
     Duplex printing
     Recycling paper, plastics, and materials
     Composting yard and kitchen products
     Purchasing Energy Star products

Please submit nominations by April 9 by completing the form below and sending it to [email protected]. Self-nominations for this recognition program are welcome.

Earth Day Heroes will receive a certificate and will be recognized during Earth Day activities at Federal Triangle and on EPA’s Environmental Management System (EMS) Web site. Let’s celebrate those among us who are setting a strong example of environmental stewardship for all EPA Headquarters employees.

I predict no recognition of the inevitable suggestion that Al Gore sell a few of his many homes and leave fewer things on in the others.

What I don’t understand is why the same crowd that think I should limit myself to a couple of squares of toilet paper also promiscuously hands out elementary-school-style Certificates of Achievement (at least it’s not “Participation”) at grown men and women.

The U.S. and Electric Cars


New York Times:

China Vies to Be World’s Leader in Electric Cars

TIANJIN, China — Chinese leaders have adopted a plan aimed at turning the country into one of the leading producers of hybrid and all-electric vehicles within three years, and making it the world leader in electric cars and buses after that.

The goal, which radiates from the very top of the Chinese government, suggests that Detroit’s Big Three, already struggling to stay alive, will face even stiffer foreign competition on the next field of automotive technology than they do today.

“China is well positioned to lead in this,” said David Tulauskas, director of China government policy at General Motors.

To some extent, China is making a virtue of a liability. It is behind the United States, Japan and other countries when it comes to making gas-powered vehicles, but by skipping the current technology, China hopes to get a jump on the next.

Business as Usual


In its tough “GM Viability Determination” released Monday, the Obama Administration’s Auto Task Force determined that the company’s plug-in hybrid program was a diversion from profitability and, essentially, a waste of taxpayer money. 

“While the Volt holds promise, it is currently projected to be much more expensive than its gasoline-fueled peers,” read the report, “and will likely need substantial reductions in manufacturing cost in order to become commercially viable.”

In light of this and other excessive costs, the task force gave GM 60 days to return to the drawing board and come up with a more realistic restructuring plan.

So on Wednesday, GM asked the Administration for $2.6 billion more in government loans to develop three plug-in electric cars — the Volt and two spinoffs — raising to “$10.3 billion the aid it is seeking under a U.S. Energy Department program designed to support development of fuel-efficient vehicles,” Reuters reports.

Which part of “not commercially viable” did GM not understand?


The UAW Is in Charge


The central plot of the GM bailout continues to be the government’s game of chicken with the United Autoworkers Union.

In December, the Bush administration blinked and poured taxpayer money into GM even as the UAW refused wage concessions demanded by Sen. Bob Corker and Senate Republicans. The company, the feds said, had until March 31 to get its house in order. On March 31, the Obama administration blinked, pouring more billions into GM even as the UAW had stymied months of talks. The company has 60 days to gets its house in order or face bankruptcy.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice . . .

This isn’t a GM bailout, it’s the UAW bailout. And the fact that UAW chief Ron Gettlefinger did not join GM CEO Rick Wagoner in the unemployment line should make that clear to U.S. taxpayers. Gettelfinger calls the shots in Democratic Washington. It was his threats to Congressional Democrats that made them fold their cards in the December stare-down. New GM CEO Fritz Henderson, a longtime Wagoner lieutenant, “made clear that he will use the full force of government backing to extract more painful changes from its union,” reported a credulous Wall Street Journal Wednesday. But the government has proven itself unable to resist the full force of the UAW.

On the Journal’s editorial page, meanwhile, Holman Jenkins has done some of the best reportage on the UAW bailout. This morning he reports that two years ago, Congress tried to strip out the “two fleets rule” [PDF] — a perverse section of federal CAFE regs that forces Detroit to make small cars in domestic, UAW factories, therefore rendering them unprofitable just as the government is trying to force the same companies to make more small cars.

“To no one’s surprise,” reports Jenkins, “two fleets was quietly restored by Rep. John Dingell and Illinois Sen. Barack Obama (among others) as a political favor to the UAW.”

If Sen. Obama had no backbone to resist that small provision, how will President Obama force the UAW to tear up its union contract and pension agreements in the next 60 days?

Conversion Over Coffee


So I’m traveling to UConn for a talk hosted by (some impressive students with) CFACT, when I stop in a Cinnabon I’d passed by longingly the week before, in a connecting airport I frequently use that shall remain nameless (the greens being all about harassment, which the guy I describe below should be spared).

Once inside, the manager and his team excitedly inform me that they recognize me from TV. Have a free coffee. Hey, alright (even if it was because, well, apparently I do the sports).

The manager wants to chat, and after a little conversation it comes out that its really more politics I speak to, when all is said and done, than sports. Hmm. Well, he likes CNN and MSNBC. And that Fox has the pretty ladies (hadn’t noticed), but he’s sure heard people saying that Fox does all the Republican bidding (turns out he’d recently moved from San Francisco).

After a little more conversation I swear to you that he looks at me, with no prompting or encouragement,
and says, “You know what I can’t stand. Those people who don’t believe in global warming.” Of all the . . . 

So I immediately pull out my laptop, with my Powerpoint presentation all queued up. It turned out this gent’s affliction was of the sort that conflates “any impact” — as in “you can’t say man has no impact on the environment!!” . . . er, I didn’t — with catastrophic man-made global warming which, they now see, is not much of a winning argument.

That is, they change the subject. It was his opening argument. I suppose you could say he is what the greens would describe in their forerunners’ day as “insufficiently politically developed.”

I’ve got slides for all such snivels that one typically encounters when giving a talk on campus — none required at UConn, despite a robust crowd — so he got a few basics and a few facts about An Inconvenient Truth.

In a compressed span of mere minutes — interrupted by his workers on various matters — I observed each phase from denial through to acceptance. This busy man soon shook his head, “It’s crazy.”

Maybe you can take the San Francisco out of the man who takes himself out of San Francisco.

This anecdote is illustrative of why the alarmists say that — while we can spare no expense and worry about no cost in pursuit of their agenda — there is just one thing they say we cannot afford: debate, airing the case against them.

Poor T. Boone Pickens


T. Boone Pickens is holding his “virtual march on Washington” today with the millions of his army emailing their Congressional representatives about the Pickens Plan.

The Plan, as I’m sure you know, goes like this: We’ll put up lots and lots of windmills, beginning with Pickens’ own contributions in West Texas. That will replace the 20 percent of our electricity that is produced with natural gas. Then that “wedge” of gas will be picked up like a piece of pie and moved over to the transport sector, where it will power our cars. That will enable us to reduce a big chunk of our imported oil.

Sounds plausible, right? According to the video on his site, Pickens is drawing huge, enthusiastic crowds around the country and hobnobbing with the likes of Al Gore, Bill Clinton, President Barack Obama, and Steven Chu. “I was sitting between two Nobel Prize Winners the other night,” he says at one point. He’s a sweet, well-meaning guy — the “Texan of the Year” in 2009 — but unfortunately he’s marching in the wrong direction. If the Pickens Plan were put in place tomorrow, we’d be much worse off than we are now.

Here’s the reason. Wind is an intermittent source of energy. It comes and goes unpredictably. You can’t do that with an electrical grid. The voltage balances must be maintained within about a 5 percent margin or you run into all kinds of trouble — either power lapses and brownouts or power “surges” that can damage electrical equipment. (That’s why you have a “surge protector” between your wall outlet and your computer.)

Both solar and wind come and go unpredictably but wind is far worse. The sun at least has a diurnal pattern. You can predict where it will be at any time of day (though predicting the clouds it often hides behind remains a problem).

Wind is always a problem. It comes and goes with the wind, as they say. Moreover, the electrical output of a windmill varies with the cube of wind speed, so that magnifies the problem. All this can be masked as long as wind’s contribution remains small, but most engineers say you can’t go above 20 percent with current technology. Denmark claims 20 percent windmill capacity (a big difference from output) and on average seems to get about 13-15 percent of its electricity from wind — but it has stopped building windmills altogether. They created too many problems on the Danish grid.

Now, here’s the rub. There is one way that windmills can be integrated onto the grid. That is to pair them with natural gas turbines. Gas turbines are different from ordinary electrical boilers in that they do not produce steam to turn the turbines. The exhaust gases drive the turbines directly. That gives them a big advantage in following load. They can be started, stopped, and adjusted almost instantly. With a coal plant or a gas boiler, on the other hand, it may take 45 minutes before they can get up to speed.

Gas turbines have mostly been used to this point to meet the “peak” demands that occur on hot summer afternoons. Utilities find it far too expensive to build major generators that may be used only a few weeks of the year. So they install gas turbines — essentially jet engines bolted to the ground — which are cheap to build but very expensive to operate because fuel is the major cost. That’s why, although natural gas constitutes 39 percent of our electrical generating capacity, it only provides 20 percent of our electricity — because the plants are only used when absolutely necessary.

Now if we start installing lots of windmills, it can only mean that we’re going to start installing and using a lot more gas turbines, as well. They’ll run right alongside the windmills, starting and stopping to compensate for the wind’s fluctuations. The major turbine manufacturers — General Electric, Siemens, and Toshiba — are already redesigning their turbines and advertising them as “the ideal companion for wind.” The Department of Energy’s 2006 study, “20% Wind by 2030,” which originally inspired Pickens, estimates half the nation’s current gas consumption will be needed to supplement wind but it will probably be much more. California, which leads the nation in becoming “clean and green,” now gets 40 percent of its electricity from natural gas — twice the national average.

If our pursuit of a “renewable America” has the same result as it has in California, it will be a national disaster. Our consumption of gas for electricity went from zero to 20 percent between 1990 and 2000. Then it hit the wall, causing a six-fold run-up in price — bigger than the oil run-up during the Arab Oil Embargo. The result was 100,000 lost jobs in the chemical and fertilizer industries, which use gas as a feedstock and moved abroad to be closer to cheap supplies. If employing more gas to compensate for wind causes another price run-up, there isn’t going to be much left of industrial America.

There is only one energy source that can replace gas in the way Pickens wants to do and that’s nuclear power. If Pickens had real nerve, he’d become the biggest advocate of the nation’s nuclear revival. But then he wouldn’t get to sit down with Bill Clinton and Al Gore.

And so the Pickens’ Army will continue its aimless march on Washington, confusing even more the muddle that already prevails there today. Despite his good intentions, he’s wasting a huge opportunity to rescue the American economy.

– William Tucker is author of Terrestrial Energy: How Nuclear Power Will Lead the Green Revolution and End America’s Energy Odyssey.

Our Bounding Bother


Today is Al Gore’s birthday. No word yet on how much the carbon offsets will cost to cover the CO2 emissions from the candles on his cake.

A Solar Fairy Tale


Over at, Paul Chesser exposes the story behind the story of a solar project in Denver.  This is just too good:

Remember last month when the president and vice president photo-opped the signing of the $787 billion stimulus bill in Denver? Part of the trip was devoted to President Obama’s promotion of “green” energy initiatives, many of which will benefit from the mass subsidization in the new legislation. One project he toured was a solar panel project on top of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, which the Denver Post says, “The sun generates enough energy on the museum rooftop to power about 30 homes.” Well, investigative reporter Todd Shepherd of Colorado’s Independence Institute tried to verify that and other claims about the project:

…That claim cannot be verified at this time, and in fact, seems to be belied by the scant information provided by the museum and other sources. Laura Holtman, public relations manager for the museum said in an email, “Because the array generates less than 5 percent of the museum’s power, [the purchased energy] is not a particularly large bill.”

The Independence Institute asked the Denver Museum of Science and Nature to provide certain statistical information regarding the now-famous solar array. Specifically, the Institute asked for:

1 ) Two years worth of electric bills prior to the installation of the solar array,

2 ) All electric bills following the completion of the installation.

The Museum denied those requests.

As Shepherd explains, it turns out the solar panels were so expensive ($720,000) that the museum declined to undertake the project for itself. Instead, a private company was able to make it worthwhile to own the project via taxpayer-subsidized “rebates” through Xcel Energy, and via state and federal tax “incentives.”

More proof that these things are only attractive with a massive influx of the taxpayers’ hard-earned money.

So, in review: high hopes, lofty promises, lack of transparency, prohibitive costs, and government subsidies & tax incentives. Pretty much par for the green course.    

American Ingenuity at Work


From President Obama’s speech yesterday on good ol’ American ingenuity:

But there’s something I want everybody to remember. Remember that it is precisely in times like these — in moments of trial and moments of hardship — that Americans rediscover the ingenuity and resilience that makes us who we are; that made the auto industry what it once was and what it will be again; that sent those first mass-produced cars rolling off the assembly lines; that built an arsenal of democracy that propelled America to victory in the Second World War; and that powered our economic prowess in the first American century.

And then there’s this story thanks to reader JB:

NEWARK, Ohio — Police say a Newark man had one too many for the road when he buzzed down a city street — aboard a motorized barstool.

Kile Wygle, 28, was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and driving while under suspension after police were called March 4 to assist paramedics tending to a wounded man.

Wygle was injured when he attempted to make a U-turn on his motorized barstool and crashed in the street near his home on Kelley Lane, police said.

According to a report by Officer Michael Trotter, Wygle told him that his homemade contraption can hit 38 mph, but that he was only traveling about 20 mph when he wrecked the evening of March 4.

At Licking Memorial Hospital, where Wygle was treated for minor injuries, he chuckled about his barstool and told Trotter that he had “more like 15″ beers prior to the wreck. Wygle refused to take a blood-alcohol test.

U!S!A!  U!S!A!  U!S!A!

Waxing Economic Inefficiency


Iain Murray notes the ponderously large Waxman energy bill over on the Corner, in an item called “648 Pages of Ruin.”

Daniel Kish from the Institute for Energy Research notes that there are 1,180 occurences of the word “shall” in the bill. “That’s a lot of commands . . . to go with the control.”

Adds Chris Horner: “A lot of shalls to say ‘Thou shalt not prosper.’ “

For Detroit, Going Green Means More Red Ink


The headline of the auto task force is that the feds are laying the groundwork for a public GM bankruptcy (in his news conference this morning, new GM CEO Fritz Henderson makes it clear that is what the company is preparing for). But the subhead is that President Obama’s vision of a new industry driven by plug-in electric cars is poppycock.

Obama has been outspoken as a candidate and president that automakers can only become profitable again — and drive America’s independence from oil — by converting the country to electric cars. The president has even made it a goal (soon to be a mandate?) to “put one million plug-in hybrid vehicles on America ’s roads by 2015.” GM has encouraged this vision by pouring millions into the development of its plug-in electric Chevy Volt and parading it as Exhibit A in its case for why taxpayers need to bridge it to a new era of profitability and “clean” transportation.

But the task force, in its “GM Determination of Viability” report, makes it clear that plug-in electrics will not make GM profitable. “While the Volt holds promise, it is currently projected to be much more expensive than its gasoline-fueled peers and will likely need substantial reductions in manufacturing cost in order to become commercially viable.”

In other words, the president’s vision of a green Detroit auto industry is incompatible with his declaration that the industry must become viable in return for taxpayer money. Detroit can be profitable or politically correct. It cannot be both.

Autos: No Federal Sacrifice


In laying the groundwork for bankruptcy on Monday, President Obama said auto-industry viability will require hard choices from all parties. It will, he said, “require hard choices by companies. It will require unions and workers who have already made extraordinarily painful concessions to do more. It’ll require creditors to recognize that they can’t hold out for the prospect of endless government bailouts. It will require efforts from a whole host of other stakeholders, including dealers and suppliers.” Everyone, that is, except the U.S. government itself.

Federal fuel-mileage rules (so-called CAFE standards) — which force automakers to make cars that consumers don’t buy, kill hundreds every year by forcing lighter vehicles, and disproportionately impact U.S. automakers and their fleet mix of larger vehicle — will not only remain intact, but will continue to rise. The cost to automakers? An estimated $85 billion over the next ten years.

Obama’s task force even acknowledges the damage the feds’ hidden, backdoor regulation will do in this graph buried in its report:

Absent the successful introduction of a number of new-generation nameplates (which the task force pans as unworkable elsewhere in its report because they are money-losers). . . GM’s product portfolio is more vulnerable to CAFE standard increases than the portfolios of many of its competitors. Many of its products fail to meet the minimum threshold on fuel economy and rank in the bottom quartile of fuel economy achievement.

Somehow, this is GM’s problem rather than a Congressional problem!

Tossing the federal government’s arbitrary CAFE standards would relieve GM of billions in unnecessary costs.  “If each are willing to do their part,” said Obama, “then this restructuring. . . will mark not an end, but a new beginning for a great American industry.”

If only Americans knew how disingenuous that statement is.

That Was Then, This Is Now


In case you missed it, every single sign from the Obama administration and its apologists in the global warming industry make clear that the U.S. will not agree to a Kyoto II in Copenhagen — or, as some rakes are now calling it, Kopenhagen — this December.


Possibly the most emphatic was the vow reported yesterday by “Climate Envoy” (I still get a kick out of that) Todd Stern, that, per ClimateWire: “the United States would be ‘powerfully, fervently engaged’ in global talks.”


Uh oh. Sort of like being 1000% behind one’s running mate when certain uncomfortable facts emerge. To be sure, many things about Kyoto have been coming to light given time and (relative) sobriety, thanks to the failure of this particular “we must act now!” hysteria to ram through that which doesn’t withstand scrutiny.


But this is the best, from the same Stern remarks:

“I don’t think anybody should be thinking that the U.S. can ride in on a white horse and make it all work.”

Ummmm . . .

Ford in the News


A couple of interesting recent news stories about Ford.

From today’s Sun-Times, it looks like Ford is hiring back 300 workers at an Illinois plant that makes the Explorer. Who knew that American industry could create jobs without stimulus money?

And from CBS, Ford is running its plant that makes the full-size F150 trucks 24/7. This bit on how Ford is moving forward on raising fuel economy stood out:

Ford made money in the ’90s selling pickups and SUVs but, to survive in the future, Mulally is convinced there needs to be more: “We made a commitment that every vehicle, no matter what its size, whether it’s a car, a Fiesta, a Focus, a Fusion, a Mustang, an Escape or an Explorer, all the way up to a 150, no matter what the vehicle size, every year we’re going to improve the fuel efficiency and the quality and the safety, and then the American public can decide exactly what vehicle works for them.” 

Imagine that. Let the market decide.

It’s Good To (Almost) Be The King


Prince Charles is starting an organic food line with actress Elizabeth Hurley. To quote another popular Brit, “yeah, baby!”

The unlikely pair have announced that they’re joining forces to launch a new range of “modern, healthy organic food”. Hurley will supply organic meat from her 400-acre farm for the Prince’s sustainable food brand Duchy Originals. The 43-year-old actress-turned-farmer has already found success selling her humanely-raised beef, pork, and lamb to leading chefs and farmers markets around the UK. Her association with the Royals will do even more to expand her fledgling empire.

“His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales is an inspiration to me because of his passionate belief in organic food and farming and his unwavering commitment to help protect and sustain the countryside,” Hurley said. “I feel honoured to be working with Duchy Originals and am extremely excited about the products we are developing together.”

We’re All Enronistas Now


Judging by its reaction to a recent academic study from Spain, either the Wall Street Journal’s Environmental Capital blog [EC] doesn’t appreciate being scooped by rival Bloomberg, or Newsweek was right, and we’re all socialists – or at least Enronistas – now.

EC’s response to the Spanish study of green-jobs schemes (noted previously on Planet Gore) was essentially two-fold — and both folds involved changing the subject. The substance (or lack thereof) of the EC post is enough to warrant comment here, at minimum to inquire if possibly it is as overly excited as it indicates we were here at PG. What principally commands our attention however is how quickly EC descends to tactics that are generally found in other quarters. Obviously, nerves were struck over at Dow Jones, and that merits scrutiny.


Let’s begin with the way the piece ended, its most childish and disappointing characteristic:

And just where did that study come from? Professor Gabriel Calzada is the founder and president of the Fundacion Juan de Mariana, a libertarian think tank founded in 2005. He’s also a fellow of the Center for New Europe, a Brussels-based libertarian think thank than in recent years apparently accepted funding from Exxon Mobil.

Oh, dear — speaking of overly excited . . . No place for sneer-quotes?

I wonder whether the HTML code here bears any trace of a paste job from our dumpster-diving (and trash-distorting) big-font friends over at “ExxonSecrets.” And while the Wall Street Journal actually bothered to put a SourceWatch link in its reportage here, it doesn’t manage to provide any evidence that ExxonMobil has anything to do with the study’s authors today, had anything to do with this particular study, or how those not-in-evidence facts might be relevant. It’s ad hom the way the alarmist gang likes it, straight up.

Anybody can play that game: The WSJ’s Environmental Das Kapital indicates that the take-away here is that ExxonMobil may have once provided some of the support for a group with which it finds affiliations with the author of a study that exposed as harmful the green jobs regime proposed by President Obama, who used to do drugs. Of course, I’m not saying he does now or even how that might be relevant. Like our friends, I merely note the two and leave any connection to the reader’s judgment.

Sad. But of course, that’s merely designed to distract from the rather compelling – and, in some quarters, apparently unwelcome — substance of the Spanish study in question. And distract the author does. He continues:

But the study doesn’t actually identify those jobs allegedly destroyed by renewable-energy spending. What the study actually says is that government spending on renewable energy is less than half as efficient at job creation as private-sector spending. Specifically, each green job required on average 571,000 euros, compared with 259,000 euros in “average capital per worker’ in the rest of the economy. 

So how does that translate into outright job destruction? It’s simply a question of opportunity cost, the paper says: “The money spent by the government cannot, once committed to ‘green jobs’, be consumed or invested by private parties and therefore the jobs that would depend on such consumption and investment will disappear or not be created.

Of course, sniffing at mere opportunity costs — which remain real costs, of course: please examine California’s economy for a more localized case study – is intellectually lame when invoked in the name of a) hypothetical climate change derived from computer models which have been devastated by observations, and b) the creation of jobs that immediately become wards of the state, demanding ever more (harmful) redirection of resources just to keep them kicking (which, as this study makes clear, is unsustainable: this year alone Spain is expected to lose 80 percent of the green jobs it created, thanks to the economic slowdown).


You won’t find that fact in the Journal’s swipe or in its ad hominem. Iain Murray largely dispensed with this clutter in a comment to the item.

But most absurd about this distraction is not that it ignores the point, but how inanely it does so: “green jobs” are touted by Obama as the way to resurrect the economy. Dr. Calzada and colleagues pointed out that what they will do is actually quite the opposite. On net, they carry a much greater economic cost than if never attempted at all. And this prompts the ritual and it seems entirely irrelevant shrieking of “ExxonMobil!” to change the subject. Got it. Point clearly scored.

I can see why certain people would want to redirect attention from productive inquiry just as eagerly as they seek to redirect resources from productive use. It’s just too bad that these people aren’t limited to the rent-seekers, green groups, and politicians looking to use the agenda to their benefit.

Europe is Never Happy



The United States must step up its efforts to combat climate change, Germany’s environment minister said Monday, accusing the Obama administration of lacking ambition in its environmental goals.

“Even under Barack Obama, the US has insufficient climate protection goals, at least as far as the international community is concerned,” Sigmar Gabriel told Berlin radio station RBB.

Gabriel called on Obama to commit to “significantly more ambitious targets than has so far been the case.”

Washington’s top climate negotiator Todd Stern said Sunday the Obama administration was “powerfully and fervently engaged” in UN talks to forge a global climate treaty.

But the United States cannot “ride in on a white horse and make it all work,” Stern told delegates at the 11-day United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) technical meeting in Bonn.

A Shocking Statement from Team Obama


Ouch. From the Detroit News:

The Chevrolet Volt will not save General Motors Corp., the U.S. government said Monday in its Viability Summary of GM.

“While the Volt holds promise, it will likely be too expensive to be commercially successful in the short-term,” the report said.

The electric car “is currently projected to be much more expensive than its gasoline-fueled peers and will likely need substantial reductions in manufacturing cost in order to become commercially viable.”


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