Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Carbon Footprint Free Ourselves Into Oblivion

I recently saw an advertisement for a company in which they proudly touted that they are “carbon footprint free”. Instantly I felt repulsion for this company. I shouldn’t have - they are just looking for more business from their “green” buyers. It is a marketing strategy born out of the spirit of competition. While I always applaud the spirit of competition, I just wish people could understand the real issues underlying the green movement. In the rush to remove our carbon footprints from this earth, we will carbon footprint free ourselves into oblivion. What this means is that each company that works to remove their carbon footprint is only hurting themselves financially in a manner that will make them lose business to foreign competitors who do not have the stiff environmental regulations of the United States

My first distaste of the environmental movement began before my interest in politics. I understood nothing of the issue, and I was enrolled in a mandatory environmental appreciation college course. In retrospect, the purpose of this course was to indoctrinate young college students like myself into the environmental religion; to scare each of us into “making a difference”. I was asked to curb my water usage, drive my car less, and other such nonsense. As I studied the graph that displayed pollution and water use data, I noticed that individual pollution, i.e. car driving, and individual water use didn’t hardly make a dent in the overall pollution/water use occurring on the planet. Where it was really being used was in business and industry. I began to question why I was being asked to ride my bike instead of drive places when it wouldn’t make much of a difference even if every single person started riding bikes instead of driving. And why was I asked to take shorter showers and water my lawn less when institutional water use was what mattered? Why were they attempting to scare me into submission to the environmental movement when the facts did not support the plea to drive less and curb my water use?

Then I began to feel angry. Angry for the distress the environmental movement had caused me in my youth. I still remember the ozone crisis in the early 1990’s. The ozone was dying because of CFCs in the air. And this was caused by us – by me. Do you remember this one? I was actually taught in school that the ozone would be completely gone by the year 2000, and I would have to don an aluminum space suit in order to go outside so that the sun would not burn my body. And this was all caused because of my refrigerator, air conditioner, and my aerosol hairspray. I was so scared! I had to get that pump hairspray instead, you know the kind where it takes 20 times as long to get the hairspray out? What a travesty that they were allowed to teach that to children. They had no idea what they were talking about. And so it is with global warming today. Did you ever wonder what happened to that ozone layer crisis?

C.J. Carnacchio wrote a column entitled “The Sky Falls on Environmental Myths”. He explains that there is no “permanent hole in the ozone layer and no ozone shortage. Ozone is constantly created and destroyed [from an] interaction of ultraviolet radiation with oxygen molecules…. The ozone hole that appeared over Antarctica and caused all the panic is a natural and annual phenomena. The hole appears at the end of the dark, cold Antarctic winter, lasts about three to five weeks, and then disappears. There is no overall or permanent depletion of the ozone layer.”

Once this science was in, I bet you never even heard that the whole CFC destroying ozone crisis was a big mistake. No apologies for scaring your children half to death; the issue just went away. They were wrong, completely wrong, and yet they continue to teach global warming in the public education system to our children. Our children are afraid of global warming, but these global warming “experts” do not know what they are talking about.

Carnacchio continues in his column. “Between the 1940s and the mid-1970s temperatures were steadily declining. This led environmentalists in the 1970s to predict global cooling and the coming of a new ice age. They blamed the same industrial economy and pollutants then for global cooling that they now blame for global warming. New ice age or melting polar ice caps, the environmentalists can't seem to make up their minds.”

In reality, the earth simply has a cyclical temperature cycle, a series of small upward and downward temperature movements. Perhaps you no longer remember the ice age scare since global warming is the hip cause right now. We used to be scared of global cooling and of a coming ice age. I think it is important to focus on these past mistakes where they got it so wrong to keep in perspective that they do not currently understand global warming. To me it is the same as the Seventh Day Adventist religion. They predicted the end of the world in 1843. Well, this did not happen. So they predicted the end of the world as October 22, 1844; then 1845, 1847, 1850, 1852, 1855, 1863, 1866, 1867, 1868, 1877, and so on. You and I would think that you would be a fool to be part of a religion that was built around false predictions. And yet the religion currently boasts around 14 million members. I don’t understand this, and I don’t understand being a faithful follower of the environmental movement that has been wrong so many times before and currently makes their biggest priority global warming, an issue on which the science to support it is at best sketchy.

This brings me to global warming. My favorite synopsis of global warming comes from Dennis Miller. "There's a lot of differing data [about global warming], but as far as I can gather, over the last hundred years the temperature on this planet has gone up 1.8 degrees. Am I the only one who finds that amazingly stable? I could go back to my hotel room tonight and futz with the thermostat for three to four hours. I could not detect that difference. It appears that the problem is over the last century the temperature of the planet has gone up 1.8 degrees. You know, maybe, maybe not. Excuse me for not trusting temperature figures from the year 1906. They’re still [beep]ing outside in the woods but I’m supposed to believe they had a stranglehold on the Fahrenheit at the Earth’s magma. I’m sure that was an accurate reading, huh? “Ezekiel! Put the candle wick down the possum hole! Let’s lay down a base line for future generations, then we’ll churn some butter and invent flight next year!”

Dennis Miller best illustrates how ridiculous I think the whole issue of global warming is. Carnacchio has more to say on the issue of global warming. “As for the claim that the carbon dioxide emission levels of industry are responsible for global warming, here are some facts. Both historic and prehistoric levels of carbon dioxide have shifted and changed without human intervention. Historic increases in carbon dioxide have occurred about the same time as temperature increases, but a careful study of the data shows the rise in temperature preceded the increase in carbon dioxide, not the reverse. In the prehistoric era, carbon dioxide levels were at times ten times what they are today, and that was during a period when life was evolving and taking shape.

Carbon dioxide is actually a minor greenhouse gas. Carbon dioxide, methane, hydrocarbons, and aerosol only account for two percent of greenhouse warming. The main greenhouse gas which accounts for the other 98 percent is water vapor. So carbon dioxide's effect is ultimately insignificant, no matter how much industry has created.”

Meteorologist Paul Becker continues. “Mankind’s total contribution to all greenhouse gases — this includes cars, trucks, manufacturing plants, boats, planes and any pollution producer you can name — the total is less than 1 percent. Mother Nature provides the other 99 percent.”

I don’t have time to go into all of the research I have done leading me to the conclusion that man-made global warming is junk science. Suffice it to say that a petition has been signed by 31,000 credentialed scientists stating that the facts do not support man-made global warming. In addition to this, many of the scientists listed on the original IPCC global warming report have come out and said that they did not agree with the report and wish to have their names withdrawn. I would say that the science is in, and the debate is clearly not over.

Most of the political figures currently driving the global warming scare have surely seen some of this contrary evidence. My question has been, do they really believe in global warming? Let’s just take Al Gore, for example. Bruce Nussbaum has a lot to say about the size of Gore’s carbon footprint. “Gore’s mansion, [20-room, eight-bathroom] located in the posh Belle Meade area of Nashville, consumes more electricity every month than the average American household uses in an entire year, according to the Nashville Electric Service (NES).” For such a promoter of global warming, he sure does not try to stop it in his personal life. I do not think that Al Gore even believes in global warming. But he does believe in political acclaim and wealth. He won an Oscar for “An Inconvenient Truth”, and he has made lots of money from donations made to the global warming cause. So that is what it is all about for Gore and others. They follow the money and what will bring them prestige.

That leads me to cap and trade. The form of cap and trade that is being debated in the Senate is the Waxman-Markey bill. Jim Manzi at National Review defines cap and trade. “In plain English cap-and-trade is simple: It is carbon rationing. Basically, the federal government would make it illegal, in most cases, to emit carbon dioxide at scale without a ration card. Government officials would decide how much carbon dioxide the U.S. would emit in a given year (that’s the “cap” part), print up only that many ration cards, auction them off, and then allow people to buy and sell them (that’s the “trade” part).” He continues that the Waxman-Markey bill would use “government fiat to demand the elimination of a majority of all energy that would otherwise be used by the economy over roughly the next 40 years. A person possessed of common sense might think that this would keep the economy from doing as well as it otherwise would. And this person would be right.”

The idea is that the elimination of energy use and carbon dioxide use by companies would help fight global warming. So basically, this bill would force industry to eliminate most of their energy use, and the government would ration which company could leave a “carbon footprint”. Companies would have to pay for any carbon dioxide use that would go over their government rationed allotment. That is if the company was allowed to buy more carbon rationing. This would hurt our economy greatly and put many companies out of business. Government would be free to ration the carbon cards to whomever they choose. They could favor companies that donate heavily to democratic causes. They could favor liberal individuals. So again, it is all about power and money, about control. And you and I are the ones that are hurt. The companies that must pay heavily in carbon taxes to stay in business would pass this cost along to the consumer. They would have to in order to stay in business. The annual cost per year to the average household as a result of cap and trade is estimated to be anywhere from $1,200 to $3,100. The result: we pay, companies fail, and as a nation we become carbon footprint free. Into oblivion.