James Pethokoukis

Politics and policy from inside Washington

Krugman: Dem green job claims are bogus

Jun 29, 2009 18:13 UTC

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the cap-and-trade bill was about “jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs.” But liberal economist Paul Krugman tells National Public Radio a different story (thanks to OpenMarket):

There will be more wind farms built. There will be people retrofitting power plants to reduce their emissions. There will be people weatherproofing housing and commercial buildings.”

What economists would say is that employment would be just about the same as it would have been otherwise, but it will be a different mix of jobs.

COMMENT

James,
There’s also the Keynes idea of job creation
- get a thousand or so workers to dig holes and put money in it, and another thousand to dig it up again :-)

The Bill supposedly was about energy and emissions and is still labelled as such (“ACES”).

Assuming a need to deal with emissions,
Electricity Generation (coal, gas) and Transport (mainly automobiles) alone account for nearly 80% of fuel combustion emissions.

No Trade Problems
Unlike Cap and Trade, which involves cement, steel and other industries having to face imports from unregulated countries, the here suggested electricity and transport changes are not just more limited, but also largely local.

Funding and Impact
Equity and long term loan finance can be used: Long term industrial loans from financial institutions, particularly if federal/state guaranteed, give low yearly interest repayments and lessen the effect on electricity bills or transport cost.

The impact on the businesses is further lessened by the stability and predictability surrounding the funding.
Since only electricity and transport are involved, other business continues as usual and consumers and society in general are spared expense and disruption.
This is even more obvious from having no energy efficiency regulation either – see below.

Compare with
today’s all-encompassing Cap and Trade (emission trading) suggestions, with unpredictability, expense, and needless disruption from normal business practice on one hand, or unnecessary profiteering from free allowance handouts with little actual emission reduction on the other hand – together with extensive regulation on what people can or can’t buy and use.

Understanding Cap and Trade, and why it is bad for America and bad for lowering emissions http://ceolas.net/#cce5x

Market Reduction of CO2: Cap and Trade – or Not?
Basic Idea — Offsets — Tree Planting — Manufacture Shift — Fair Trade — Surreal Market — Real Market — Allowances: Auctions + Hand-Outs — Allowance Trading — Companies: Business Stability + Cost — In Conclusion

Instead, A New Electric America: http://ceolas.net/#cc10x onwards

What is the cap-and-trade bill?

Jun 26, 2009 14:41 UTC

This is a smart summary: “Waxman-Markey is the climate policy equivalent of Sarbanes-Oxley financial regulation, guaranteeing extensive new bureaucracy and substantial economic cost to the productive economy while achieving few of its stated objectives. And the “cap and trade” system at the heart of the bill is riddled with so many loopholes that it should be considered more of a “hairnet and giveaway.”

COMMENT

Amazing that the Gore family is baking cap-and-trade trading software and a non-existant carbon offset investment firm, isn’t it?

Posted by Hank Reardon | Report as abusive

Why is clean/green energy the next big thing …

Jun 26, 2009 14:14 UTC

and not genetic engineering, nanotechnology, artificial intelligence, robotics or something else that Washington isn’t focusing on? Just asking …

COMMENT

Global Warming: It’s the Sun, Stupid

The main cause of global warming appears to be change in solar activity and change in the earth’s orbit and tilt. Recent reductions in sunspots on the solar surface suggest that we may be entering into a cooling period.

 Humans are responsible for only 2% to 5% of total carbon dioxide emissions and less than two-tenths of one percent (0.2%) of total greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere each year.

 Higher temperatures increase non-human emissions of carbon dioxide from plant-life and the sea.

 More than 17,000 scientists signed the Oregon Petition against the Kyoto Protocol because they saw “no compelling evidence that humans are causing discernible climate change.”

 The Kyoto Protocol would cost the U.S. economy $100 to $200 billion per year, as estimated by the Clinton Department of Energy.

 Kyoto would restrain temperature increases by less than one degree and delay global warming by only six years.

 Kyoto was rejected by the U.S. Senate 95-0.

 It is very likely that the so-called scientists on the IPCC assumed beforehand that global warming was due to CO2 and then, instead of treating it as a hypothesis, they estimated a simple, incomplete, relationship between temperature change and CO2. A bad model can always be used to provide a desired result.

It is legitimate to recognize that global warming is taking place and will cause significant problems. And few in the U.S. will deny that we should decrease our dependence on oil from the Middle East. But some persons think it is heresy to disagree with the view that human activity is the main cause of global warming rather than change in solar activity and change in the earth’s orbit and tilt. Some of them appear to be confused. They do not seem to understand that the debate is not about the fact that global warming is taking place but rather about its major cause. Some may even think, erroneously, that the debate is about whether human activity contributes to emission of greenhouse gases. Others cling to a claim based on a review of 928 studies that there is no controversy that human activity is causing global warming. They seem not to realize that only 2 percent of the 928 studies wholly endorsed that claim and that there were 11,000 studies on the subject that were not examined [see investorsinsight link below].

One should also be careful in studying findings of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). A University of Auckland [New Zealand] paper by C.R. de Freitas says “The UN IPCC’s voice to the public, press and policy makers regarding climate science is through summaries; in particular, the brief, politically approved “Summaries for Policymakers” (SPM), which have become notorious for their bias, tendency to overstate problems and penchant for simplifying and dramatizing scientific speculation”. Nor should one be swayed by the fact that a large number of scientists contributed to the preparation of the IPCC report. In 2000, Professor S. Fred Singer testified to the U.S. Senate that more than 17,000 scientists signed the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine Petition against the Kyoto Protocol because they saw “no compelling evidence that humans are causing discernible climate change.” Furthermore, recent reductions in sunspots on the solar surface suggest that we may be entering into a cooling period.

The exact nature of the model that the so-called scientists on IPCC used to investigate the role of CO2 is not clear. It is very likely that they assumed beforehand that global warming was due to CO2 and then, instead of treating it as a hypothesis, estimated a simple, incomplete relationship between temperature change and CO2. As experienced modellers know, one can always use a bad model to provide a desired result.

Proponents of anthropogenic global warming should reveal the specific quantitative relationship [or relationships] that displays temperature as a function of CO2, and also indicate the estimation technique and the nature and source of the data that were used to establish the relationship. Modeling the causes of global warming requires use of a comprehensive data series and a complete and logical set of explanatory variables including measures of solar activity and indicators of the earth’s orbit and tilt. Carbon dioxide concentration by itself is an inadequate explanatory variable, especially in view of the fact that higher temperatures increase non-human emissions of carbon dioxide from plant-life and the sea.

Persons who are eager to place predominant blame on mankind for global warming often specialize in personal attacks on those who have an opposing view. For example, they promulgate smears that dissenting scientists are bribed by energy producers such as “Big Oil”. People who want to know the facts should seriously study websites such as http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/ice_ag es.html, http://www.friendsofscience.org/ [prepared by an international group of sixty professors and scientists], http://meteo.lcd.lu/globalwarming/ [chaired by Sir Ian Byatt, a distinguished British Civil Servant], an EPA site http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/science  /stateofknowledge.html, and the 2008 report: S. Fred Singer, ed., Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate: Summary for Policymakers of the Report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change, Chicago, IL: The Heartland Institute, 2008.

For a broad overview they should read “The politics of global warming” – an interview by Bill Steigerwald of the Canadian climatologist, Dr. Tim Ball, in the February 10, 2007 Pittsburgh, PA Tribune. They should be dismissive of attempts by entities with a political agenda to smear Dr. Ball. Persons with a background in science should read the critique of the climate change modelling process by Warren Meyer (A Skeptical Layman’s Guide to anthropogenic global warming); and examine http://www.globalwarmingheartland.org/ Persons with a background in science and economics should read the scathing analysis of the IPCC and Stern reports by a British panel of fourteen independent expert scientists and economists at http://www.fcpp.org

They should consider whether it is wise to impose huge costs on consumers by adopting the Kyoto protocols for very little gain. [Kyoto would cost the U.S. economy $100 to $200 billion per year, as estimated by the Clinton Department of Energy, and restrain temperature increases by less than one degree. That is equivalent to delaying global warming by only six years]. Kyoto was rejected by the U.S. Senate 95-0.

They should pay particular attention to the Friends of Science website which shows a close relationship between temperature anomaly and the length of sunspot cycles, but a very weak relationship between temperature anomaly and concentration of carbon dioxide. Recent reductions in sunspots on the solar surface suggest that we may be entering into a cooling period. And, in his movie, even Al Gore seems to be aware that tilt of the Northern Hemisphere towards the sun leads to global warming because of its greater land mass. The geocraft website explains the effect of cyclical eccentricities in the earth’s rotation and orbit.

Furthermore, on the basis of U.S. Department of Energy data, J. DuHamel in his paper, Climate Change in Perspective, noted “that humans are responsible for 2% to 5% of total CO2 emissions. Carbon dioxide constitutes about 3% to 4% of total greenhouse gases by volume; therefore anthropogenic CO2 represents less than two-tenths of one percent (0.2%) of total greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere each year”.

Some persons seem eager to place predominant blame on mankind for global warming. When they have studied issues more closely perhaps they will be outraged by the temerity of the sun to change its activity and the earth to alter it’s orbit and tilt.

Professor William McKillop
1824 Countrywood Court
Walnut Creek CA 94598
Phone: 925-938-6720

Posted by William McKillop | Report as abusive

White House: Climate change could turn Minneapolis into Miami

Jun 16, 2009 18:25 UTC

This long awaited U.S. government report sees U.S. temps rising as much as  10 degrees this century. Here is the exec summary. Unless this stuff comes with an economic cost-benefit anlysis of mitigation strategies, you are really only getting half the story

Study: Cap-and-trade will cost U.S. families $1,200 a year

Jun 15, 2009 14:41 UTC

From the non-partisan Tax Foundation:

A new Tax Foundation calculator now shows how much a U.S. cap-and-trade system would cost individual households annually. The Tax Household Cap-and-Trade Burden Calculator is based upon a study released in March, Tax Foundation Working Paper No. 6, “Who Pays for Climate Policy? New Estimates of the Household Burden and Economic Impact of a U.S. Cap-and-Trade System.” The study shows that a cap-and-trade system designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 15 percent would place an annual burden of $144.8 billion on American households. The average annual household burden would be $1,218, which would be approximately 2% of the average household income.

COMMENT

The above link wasn’t working for me, but I found the source article (1) which had the link you were shooting for, I believe:

http://www.taxfoundation.org/publication s/show/24472.html

“Using RIMS II multipliers we estimate the broader economic impact of cap and trade. Depending on how the system is structured, cap and trade could reduce U.S. employment by 965,000 jobs, household earnings by $37.8 billion, and economic output by $136 billion per year or roughly $1,145 per household. Lawmakers weighing the costs and benefits of climate policy should be aware that cap and trade would impose a significant and regressive annual burden on U.S. households, and would not represent a “tax free” way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

1). http://www.taxfoundation.org/news/show/2 4750.html

Rail not as green as you might think

Jun 8, 2009 13:53 UTC

Here is an interesting bit from New Scientist that the White House might want to consider before spending billions on high-speed rail:

Crisscrossing the US with a rail network, however, creates a different problem. More than half of the life-cycle emissions from rail come not from the engines’ exhausts, but infrastructure development, such as station building and track laying, and providing power to stations, lit parking lots and escalators.

Any government considering expanding its rail network should take into account the emissions it will generate in doing so, Chester says. Setting up a public transportation system that only a small proportion of the population uses could generate more emissions than it cuts, he adds – especially if trains and buses are not well connected.

“New rail systems should serve as links to other transit modes, as is often the case in Europe and Japan,” he says. “We should avoid building rail systems that are disconnected from major population areas and require car trips and parking to access.”

COMMENT

“Setting up a public transportation system that only a small proportion of the population uses..” A large portion will have to use it, just as in Europe, because we can’t keep up this gas-guzzling crap forever.

Posted by C. C. Millah | Report as abusive
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