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U.S. global warming rules won’t change to help polar bears

The LA Times is running with an article that says that the Obama administration will not reverse the Bush administration in using the scarcity of polar bears to curb emissions.  About a year ago, the US listed the polar bear as a threatened species.  The concern of many was that this ruling would be used to control, tax, and sue individual companies to reduce their CO2 output.  The Bush administration said that wouldn’t be happening and now the Obama administration appears to agree.

I originally found this article by reading Watts Up With That so go over there and check out his handling of this story.

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The politicians are all screwed up!

Stupid title, I know.  Everyone knows that the sun comes up in the East, water freezes to ice at 32F and politicians are all screwed up.  It has become a fact of life just like death and taxes.

Right now, the Democrat party is in control of the US government.  They have a majority in both houses and they control the executive branch.  You would think that they could pull of their agenda of taxing energy use dramatically to change the production of carbon dioxide.  But a little thing happened on the way to legislation – VOTERS! 

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The Anti-Industrial Coup

Mr. Tracinski at TIADaily.com had a very interesting commentary on the recent decision to treat carbon dioxide as a pollutant but not water vapor.  While I think that his end conclusion that this could be the beginning of the end of a representative government are likely overblown, his logic and discussion is worth reading and considering.

I originally found this article at RealClearPolitics so please click over there if you want to read every sentence.  Here are the highlights that I found interesting.

We all expect that there will be a contest in Congress this year over global warming and a “cap-and-trade” bill limiting carbon dioxide emissions. After all, the government cannot impose sweeping new controls on our lives without extensive public debate and a vote in Congress that must gain the support of a clear majority of the representatives of the people.

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Cap and Trade is here

Let me start by explaining that I am not a lover of cap and trade.  The systems that have been proposed to date are simply taxes on certain types of energy so that other forms seem to be more competitive.  They also tend to reward industries that can have a flexibility in energy sources while punishing industries that have to purchase high BTU energy sources.  Finally, they can reward industries and organizations that did nothing to improve their energy use – they were just lucky enough to use less carbon.  To make cap and trade look better, you may also see it referred to carbon trading or carbon offsets but a rose is a rose, regardless of its name (or in this case – a tax is a tax, regardless of its name).

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Not cool anymore

I really can’t comment on the news that it will take 1,000 years to recover from today’s carbon dioxide pollution better than Mr. Taranto of the Wall Street Journal.

I do want to make three additional comments before you read below.  If it takes 1,000 years to recover from an overload of carbon dioxide that has already poisoned our atmosphere then:

  1. why would we risk ruining our current economy for a solution that is likely to not ever happen?
  2. if it takes 1,000 years to get healthy doesn’t it stand to reason that it takes 1,000 years (or at least a couple of hundred) to get sick?
  3. is this just another example of inference based on mathematical computer models that have little to do with reality?

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Obama’s Order Is Likely to Tighten Auto Standards

Should the governance of pollution be left to the states or should it be governed by the federal government in a single standard? Many times in the past, the EPA has allowed the states (primarily California) to regulate at least portions of their pollution output, primarily in deference to regional challenges in the quality of air for breathing.  In the past several years the Bush administration has pushed back on this but now it appear that the Obama administration is going to reverse this trend. He appears to be ready to allow 14 states including California to set their own emissions standards.

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Good luck and some housekeeping

Today, Barack Obama will take the oath of office to be the next President of the United States of America.  I wish the man well in his endeavors. He will likely see many difficult challenges in the next 4 years and I don’t envy the man his job. Of course, we should all wish the man success and safety as he is undoubtedly on the list of a great number of hate groups and enemies of this country. If you are religious, I encourage you to say a prayer for the man today.

One of the biggest challenges that he will face will be to deal with global warming.  He will have to decide for himself if it is getting warmer and if global warming is fact or fiction.  I wish he would read this blog but, somehow, I doubt that he will.

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Administration Releases EPA Report, Then Repudiates It

July 12, 2008 – Wall Street Journal

The Bush administration continues to struggle with what to do with global warming and carbon dioxide as a pollutant.  The Supreme Court ruled that carbon dioxide is a pollutant resulting from the burning of several fossil fuels. This has caused the EPA to try to figure out what to do with this new authority without destroying the economy.

As with most issues that revolve around Washington DC, this one is embroiled in politics with both major Presidential candidates chiming in.

The Bush administration published a government blueprint to reduce the U.S. output of global-warming gases, but at the same time rejected the document out of hand — saying it relied on “untested legal theories” and would impose “crippling costs” on the U.S. economy.

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Carbon-Market Concept Moves to Mainstream

Wall Street Journal – May 14, 2008

I really do not like the concept of trading in carbon. I think that carbon offsets trading only reward bad processes that are extremely cheap and are a band-aid to the real problem. If it is assumed that we need to vastly reduce the carbon footprint then the buying public should be encouraged to buy energy and products that result from lower carbon emissions and discouraged from buying the carbon rich ones.

Allowing a utility that has a coal burning plant in one part of the world to offset that footprint with a geo-thermal plant in another part of the world really doesn’t solve anything. If the two plants served the same marketplace, then their energy would compete but if the two plants are separated by oceans then we really haven’t solved any problems, we have just allowed a company to financially afford a carbon-rich coal plant.

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Edwards wins online poll on climate change

Boston.com – July 11, 2007

I think that, after Iraq, climate change may be the biggest global political issue. It is also an issue where the leadership of the US President is very influential across the world. For my readers outside of the US, the citizens of the United States will elect a new President on November 4, 2008.  Our current President, George W. Bush, will step down and is not able to run again due to constitutional term limits.

This survey is not scientific and so I am not sure how valid it is.  It is interesting that John Edwards nearly doubled his rivals, however this could be that the respondents just preferred Mr. Edwards.

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