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In a discussion about global warming, one John Galt gave this piece of enlightenment…. this is dug up here for historical reasons and it is well worth remembering the arguments of the past as we now investigate such problems as raising taxes, protecting social security, and increasing labor participation against the same faulty reason….
It is a walk down memory lane, accompanied by knowing we were right on the issue of global warming, and Republicans were very, very, very, very, very, very…. wrong….
by John Galt July 17, 2009.
All of your claims are wrong and you know it or your an idiot.
Global temperatures peaked in 1998, a fact that contradicts the assertion that man’s continued pumping of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere is making the planet hotter. This was not predicted by the climate models that say we’re headed for a warm period.
Nor can anthropogenic global warming be explained when introduced into the argument is the fact that 1934, when far fewer carbon-spewing machines existed than we have today, is the hottest year on record.
Global warming alarmists invested heavily in convincing everyone that 1998 was the hottest year and 2006 the third warmest. After correcting for faulty data, NASA had to backtrack.
At the same time NASA made the correction, it also reported that six of the top 10 hottest years are from a period before 90% of the 20th century growth in carbon emissions occurred
Researchers at the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center admitted that “sensor drift” in the satellite monitors used to measure sea ice caused them to underestimate the extent of Arctic sea ice by 193,000 square miles. That’s a significant area roughly the size of California.
In a column titled “In 2008, a 100 Percent Chance of Alarm,” New York Times columnist John Tierney exposes the Chicken Littles for what they are — opportunists and alarmists who in this new year “will bring you image after frightening image of natural havoc linked to global warming.” Inconvenient truths and scientific fact will be ignored.
A case in point cited by Tierney was when Arctic sea ice last year hit the lowest level ever recorded by satellites. It was hardly a blip in Earth’s geological history, but Tierney noted how “it was big news and heralded as a sign that the whole planet was warming.”
Less dramatic and newsworthy was the announcement that the same satellites also recorded that the Antarctic sea ice had reached the highest level ever. But then, polar bears allegedly drowning and icebergs breaking away are good theater.
We’re told the Larsen B ice shelf on the western side of Antarctica is collapsing. It is warming and has been for decades. But it comprises just 2% of a continent that otherwise is cooling.
In the same week Gore received his Nobel Peace Prize, the respected scientific journal Nature published a paper you probably didn’t hear much about. It concluded that global warming had a minimal effect on hurricanes.
In fact, after Katrina, hurricane watchers have had trouble getting as far as the letter “K”.
“The last couple of years have humbled the seasonal hurricane forecasters,” says Max Mayfield, a former director of the National Hurricane Center in Miami. The 2007 season was the third calmest since 1966. In 2006 not a single hurricane made landfall in the U.S.
As for temperature, Tierney reports how British meteorologists made headlines predicting that the buildup of greenhouse gases would make 2007 the hottest year on record. After 2007 was actually lower than any year since 2001, the BBC still proclaimed: “2007 Data Confirms Warming Trend.”
That must be why in January 2007 some $1.42 billion worth of California produce was lost to a disastrous five-day freeze. A few months earlier Gov. Schwarzenegger signed the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 designed to, uh, help cool the climate.
In 2007, Australia experienced its coolest June ever. The city of Townsville underwent its longest period of continuously cold weather since 1941. Johannesburg, South Africa, had the first significant snowfall in a quarter-century.
But for greenies, it doesn’t matter what the weather actually is or what the data actually show. It’s all caused by global warming. As Canadian Greenpeace rep Steven Guilbeault explained in 2005: “Global warming can mean colder; it can mean drier; it can mean wetter; that’s what we’re dealing with.”
Let me make this as simple as possible. Greenhouse gases makes up 2% of our total atmosphere. Of that 2%, 3.62% is CO2 and of that 3.4% is caused by man, yes only 3.4% of all CO2 is man made, the rest is made by nature. Man made CO2 makes up .000024% of the atmosphere.
If they were this wrong on global warming, can they possibly be right on anything? Can someone tell me why we even listen to them anymore when they whine?
For the most awesome replies…. it is here…..
We knew this but it is now being published… and so it is in the news.
The world is getting warmer… and we can now predict our climate by looking at map at 300 miles south and guessing what our weather will be from that…
Just as plate tectonics and Darwin’s origin of the species were able to lay the groundwork of reason for explaining puzzling observations, this simplifies what to expect from global warming rather startlingly.
Texas is now what we alway thought of when we considered the weather of Mexico; Oklahoma is now West Texas; Kansas is now Oklahoma; Nebraska is now Kansas; South Dakota is now Nebraska, North Dakota is now South Dakota: Southern Manitoba is now North Dakota…..
If West Texas had 3 days of rain, now Oklahoma is getting 3 days of rain; If it snowed 12 times in South Dakota, it is now doing the same in North Dakota… and so on.
So, to predict our heat, rain, winters, etc, our guide would be North Carolina. Longer growing seasons, some winters with no snow, hot summers…
However due to Global warming, the East Coast has a caveat. An anomaly so to speak and actually some relief from the North Carolina summer heat we would normally expect….
With the unprecedented melting of the Arctic and Greenland icecaps dumping its excess into the Labrador Current, that cold water drops South hugging the East Coast shoreline all the way down to North Carolina’s Outer Banks where it finally becomes neutralized… Therefore even though we have hotter air masses, the colder ocean temperatures creates a buffer against Global warming off the entire northeastern US.
Europe, Japan, and Alaska all experience the same mitigating effect, although with both Greenland and the Arctic Icecaps melting into the Labrador, the US East Coast gets a stronger volume of cold water. Call it our icy shower effect….
Once melting stops and the currents dry up, we return to the North Carolina scenario of the twentieth century….
Chart Courtesy of NOAA
So, we in Delaware really get the best climate on the East Coast. Warm winters, little or no snow, and cool breezy summers….. as well as a longer growing period, and… less dependence on fossil fuels for winter heating.
Gee, global warming isn’t so bad for Delaware after all…. Oh, the rising seas? There you go again… Why did you have to spoil the rosy picture I was painting?
In recent years I have intervened in several cases involving Delmarva Power‘s rate increase requests filed before the Public Service Commission. The process is cumbersome and complex; it requires resources and time that is not always available to me. Unfortunately without me, the public, the ratepayers, and my constituents interests have been inadequately represented in these proceedings. My obligation and responsibility as an elected representative is to ensure some fairness in both the discussions and decisions rendered.
The most recent filing in which I have intervened is identified as PSC Docket # 11-528 and involves a request for rate increases which includes recovery of depreciation values by Delmarva for obsolete meters that have been replaced with “smart-meters” for Delmarva residential customers. I, as the people’s representative, objected to any ratepayer funding for any new technology costs such as advanced metering purchase and installation… simply because… the economic benefit from these devices rests solely with the utility. I have adamantly opposed any recovery of “lost” depreciation for any obsolete equipment that is removed from service especially since there has been no substantiated breakdown of any economic loss to the utility! And, absolutely no justification for any single ratepayer to subsidize this company’s loss. Please read the most excellent News Journal article in the business section of Sunday’s (Oct. 21st) paper for its startling exposure.
The odd request by this utility has caused me to defend all ratepayers against a system that has major flaws which can obstruct honest and fair due process. One identifiable flaw has been the palpable lack of enthusiasm from those entities required by law to represent the consumer! This leaves the average ratepayer at a huge disadvantage.
During the “evidentiary hearing” I was given the privilege to represent ratepayers and to cross examine the witnesses from DP&L, PSC staff and the Public Advocates office. I expended great effort to determine how the $25 million in lost depreciation value was calculated. I asked how this numerical value was determined.., particularly when noted that the average age of a discarded meter was 22 years yet the total life-expectancy was only 30 years. Over 73% of the life-expectancy had already been consumed and that legally should be prorated into any calculation. I also requested the original equipment costs of 22 years ago.
Objections to my cross-examination were raised by both the attorneys’ for Delmarva Power and the Public Advocates office. They wrongly asserted that it was already in evidence admitted. Although my queries were made in a legitimate attempt to ascertain vital information, the objections were sustained by the Hearing Officer. I also asked for the amount of recovered equipment costs garnered from ratepayers over that 22 year span and the amount recovered during that time-span from “depreciation” tax credit recovery and I was rebuffed with the same objections.
To date there is no valid, statistical accumulation of numbers which justify any $25 million recovery of lost depreciation revenue owed to Delmarva Power… Its ratepayers have already paid many times over the cost of those meters in the prior 22 years. Many times. The approval process has too many flaws and all of them must be addressed by me, and my colleagues, in Dover beginning this upcoming January. Trust me. I will be working to assure corrective action is moving forward.
The harm in allowing Delmarva to recover unproven and unsubstantiated expenses from the ratepayers is a matter of immediate concern and should be denied by the PSC Commissioners. Any action short of total relief from this asking amounts to an abdication of the government’s obligation to ensure fairness for its citizens.
A fourth Texas high-tech startup that received taxpayer money through Gov. Rick Perry’s signature economic development fund has filed for bankruptcy, pushing the total losses in the $194 million portfolio beyond what the state says the fund has earned.
The collapse of bioenergy producer Terrabon Inc., which was awarded $2.75 million in 2010 and was backed by large Perry political donors, raises the question of whether the state’s Emerging Technology Fund that began in 2006 is now worth less than what taxpayers have put into it.
Just like Solyndra, the culprit is Obama’s aggressive and extensive natural gas drilling occurring domestically, that has drop natural gas prices so green energy can’t compete.
Rick Perry, who accused Obama of cronyism over Solyndra, is now guilty of the exact same himself. I wonder if next we find Rick Jensen started up a green energy company using money from his beer distributor friends?
Tomorrow House Bill 86 goes before John Kowalko’s committee:… The House Energy Committee….
House Bill 86 wants to roll back Delaware’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative… According to Delmarva Power itself, the above Greenhouse Gas Initiative WILL save you and I, the power-bill payers, at a minimum, and this is their grudgingly acceded scaled back total, … a minimum of $1.8 to $4.3 billion dollars over the next ten years!
What? Who in their “effin” right mind would fight against saving Delawareans (and others) $1.8 to $4.3 billion dollars?
The Ceasar Rodney Institute, … that’s who…
They say the Regional Gas Initiative costs every Delaware resident $500.
Hmmm. Let’s go shopping… Oops Tommy got there first.
“In fact, during the last three auctions of carbon-dioxide emission allowances under RGGI, the market price has been less than $2 per ton of CO2. That corresponds to about 0.2 cents per kilowatt-hour for electricity produced from coal and about 0.1 cents per kilowatt-hour for electricity from natural gas. These are about 1 percent of the retail cost of electricity — about 15 cents per kilowatt-hour from Delmarva Power for residential customers – adding less than $1 a month to a typical home electricity bill”...
Ok, (thanks Tommy for the heavy lifting)…. let me see if we hear this correctly? According to the Ceasar Rodney Institute, The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative will cost me $500 more a year; the actual data shows it costs $1 more a month or $12 dollars a year in my price of electricity, but according to Delmarva Power, it will save us all between $1.8 to $4.3 billion dollars?.. Hmmm .. hard choice: Cost of $12 dollars on one hand; savings of $1.8 billion on the other hand… Cost of $12 dollars on one hand; savings of $1.8 billion on the other hand.. Hmm, that is a tough choice; Cost of $12 dollars on one hand; savings of $1.8 billion on the other hand….
It’s too easy; there’s got to be a trick… How much per Delaware resident will that $1.8 to $4.3 billion yield? Ah, I think I’m on to those liberal tricks now….
WHAT? The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative will save every Delaware Resident between $2000 and $4750 dollars? You mean this Peterman Bill, House Bill 86 will cost me, a Delaware resident at the minimum, $2000 minus $12 dollars, and at the maximum $4750 minus $12 dollars? It will cost me? I will lose all of that money if this bill goes forward?
Who on earth would propose such a ridiculous piece of legislation, one that could potentially cost me $4738 dollars? ARE THEY NUTS?
Yes, they are the Ceasar Rodney Institute, and yes, I’m afraid they are nuts… Well, not really, .. They are doing their best to persuade this legislation to inch forward in order to transfer real money from out of your pockets, into the pockets of THEIR benefactors…… So no; they’re not nuts. They’re sneaky…
The Ceasar Rodney Institute is a shell organization that is really part of the State Policy Network which is really part of the Ruth and Lovett Peters Foundation whose deep pockets fund the Heritage and Cato Institutes as well. The State Policy Network was started by businessman and Reagan administration insider, Thomas Roe, who himself served on the Heritage Foundation Board of Trustee for two decades.
The Ceasar Rodney Insititue is basically the local office of the Adolf Coors, Jacqueline Hume, Ruth and Lovett Peters [ phonetically pronounced RUTH ANN LOVE EAT PETERS], Castle Rock Foundation, Bradley Foundation,.. SPN uses THEIR contributions to dole out annual grants to member groups, ranging from a few thousand dollars to $260,000, according to 2009 records… The 2010′s records will be out shortly, and with the $4 billion spent to get the Tea Party into Congress, it should be quite interesting. You know, that sort of explains the craziness of the Tea Party candidates. They got hired by big business; if they can’t produce for their boss, they’ll probably lose their job… Of course they don’t care about public opinion! They have to focus on making their bosses happy, or since these creeps are never happy, they are focused on trying to keep from getting fired!
So lets see what’s really going on here….
People with tremendous amounts of wealth, understandably who want to keep it, spend lavish amounts of money, hire people to write papers, to cozy up in legislative offices, to argue the case that there should be not rules applied to the wealthy…. Rules are for unruly masses. Wealth makes it’s own law… People should be “free” to do what ever they want, “free” from government, “free” from public opinion, “free” from any taxes whatsoever….
History has actually had times like that.. They were called the Dark Ages… The only limit to your power was if someone more powerful killed you first. Anyone who has read accounts (there are few) from that time, would certainly never wish to return… Civilization simply stopped for 900 years… Today one can find similar conditions to what these Libertarian minded people wish upon us, in countries like Angola, Chad, Paraguay, Bhutan, Burma,… basically a ruling class that is insulated from the poverty shared by the entire population…
Since it is very hard to convince people to voluntarily return to times like these, these organizations like the Caesar Rodney Institute, argue instead, … topics like: the dissolution of labor unions will improve the education of our school children; or that since the economy is in peril, we need to fire government employees to make it better; or that money saved from firing people, then given right back to the wealthy as a tax cut, will create millions of jobs; or that solar and wind power will raise energy prices through the roof, whereas coal and gas will keep them low; or that invading Libya which produces a pinprick of 1.3 million barrels of oil a day, is cause for gasoline at the pump to approach $5.00 a gallon; or that the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative will cost $500 dollars a year to every Delaware resident…..
How do they get away with it? By being the only voice in the room. You and I have to work to pay our bills, we have to take care of our families, we hardly have time to lift up a phone to leave a voice message to our legislator, who according to John Kowalko, would probably rather hear from us 100 times more than listen to the sycophants sent to lick their ass… But we, just don’t have the time….
But with billions at their disposal, these groups can spin off papers and call them research (who’s going to double-check? The News Journal??? ), they can walk over to legislative hall, and take members out to shoot some pool over some ice cold Adolf Coors Lite in a frosted mug, they can sit upstairs in the local Senate and House Chambers and probably make more than you and I put together….
MR POTTER: You see, if you shoot pool with some employee here, you can come and borrow money. What does that get us? A discontented, lazy rabble instead of a thrifty working class. And all because a few starry-eyed dreamers like Peter Bailey stir them up and fill their heads with a lot of impossible ideas. Now, I say . . .
So…. You see, it’s not “truth” their dispensing. Their motive is to cover up the truth…. In reality, they are nothing but hired hands, sent to confuse, puzzle, obfuscate, muddle, disrupt, and delay the inevitable… you know, like those 1970′s spokespeople for the cigarette companies? How many years did they save before the inevitable finally caught up? Twenty? Thirty? How many lives were lost because of that delaying action? 10 million? 20 million?
That’s what’s going on here…
The 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment say they cut diesel consumption in their generators from 20 gallons a day to 2.5 gallons a day, according to a Marine report.
Thanks to flexible solar panels, the sun can help run military equipment — and it may even cut down on casualties.
“Our generators typically use more than 20 gallons of fuel a day. We are down to 2.5 gallons a day,” said Doty, 3rd Squad Leader, with1st Platoon, ‘I’ Company, and Fulton, Mo., native. “The system works amazing. By saving fuel for generators, it has cut back on the number of convoys, meaning less opportunity for one of our vehicles to hit an IED.”
Marines who used the technology say it helps in three main ways:
- Fewer Supply Convoys — With less need for fuel and batteries, fewer trucks are exposed to possible attacks on the road.
- Quieter Is Safer — Units that rely on diesel generators to keep equipment running at night could go quiet while running on batteries, making them harder for the enemy to find.
- Efficiency — The foldable solar blankets are light and don’t take up much space. That should help patrols’ mobility, and save space for other supplies — like ammunition, as one sergeant says.
The recent tests showed that using alternative energy on military missions has both tactical and environmental benefits. And in both the Virginia and the Afghanistan tests, Marines praised the panels for being durable, light and simple — kind of the trifecta for field gear.
Contrary to those Republicans still wanting to throw away huge subsidies to Big Oil, employing this technology on top of every house in America, would go a long way to bettering every single American’s life and put more money in his/her pocket.
Video and Transcript
Coons: Yes I think climate change is real, I think human activity has contributed significantly to it, and I think that the short and long term consequences of failing to act both by United States and many of the other industrial nations of the world could be tragic. I would act to make sure we make appropriate progress in reducing our emissions and in moving our economy to one that has less of a long term negative environmental impact. But I also believe we have to balance that, that obligation to act in the long term interest of our community, our country and our children, with not, in the short term shackling American businesses and American industry, because if our major competitors around the world do not make comparable steps, we could simply deepen the recession and put American companies at a greater disadvantage, So I would move to end what I think is the impasse on cap and trade or on climate change and vote for us to move forward. but I’d be sensitive and move to try to amend the legislation that’s up in the Senate in a way that doesn’t disadvantage American businesses..
Carney: Climate change is real I think the science on that is pretty clear and well accepted, so the challenge for us is what are we going to do about it. Obviously the first step is to come up with global agreements, it’s one of those very difficult problems that is many years out in the future but we have to start doing things today:. with global agreements , national policy, and individual action. I agree with our senate candidate with respect to the framework for that. particularly keeping our eye on the ball with respect to businesses here and their impact on employment and that’s why I strongly support investments in tax credits and incentives for green energy technology, particularly for establishing manufacturing facilities here in the United states and in the state of Delaware. We have tremendous opportunity, but we are falling behind. We are falling behind the Chinese, we’re falling behind the Europeans, because we are not making that commitment that we need.
Urquhart: Climate has been changing; it has been changing for eons, getting colder, getting warmer. Right now, we’re in a period where science says we are getting colder. I don’t think there is any settled science according to David Legates, the Delaware State climatologist, there is no relationship that is documented between human activity and climate change, as is say right now it is getting colder. But the essential issue is what, what can we do something about. I mean, I support the reduction of pollutants like mercury and things like that, but carbon dioxide it not a pollutant…We have a Cap ant Trade bill that will cost Delawareans each about $2000 a year if it passes. It has massive penalties in it and it doesn’t affect the rest of the world. It simply is another bailout of billionaires; its a bailout for Goldman Sachs, for Al Gore, and for lots of people who are exploiting it. But those businesses will move to China; the jet stream brings carbon dioxide this direction just as well, and until we address this globally, there isn’t a solution, and we shouldn’t penalize American jobs…
Compare and Contrast:
Is their a current Global warming crises that is the result of human activity?
Coons: Yes…. Carney: Yes…. Urquhart: No….
Will you act to reduce Carbon Dioxide?
Coons: Yes…. Carney: Yes…. Urquhart: No….
Will you support incentives to move America to cleaner, greener energy?
Coons: Yes…. Carney: Yes…. Urquhart: No….
Will you support Cap and Trade as it is in the Senate?
Coons: No…. Carney: No…. Urquhart: No….
Do you support Global Agreements to control global pollution?
Coons: Yes…. Carney: Yes…. Urquhart: Yes….
Is carbon dioxide a pollutant?
Coons: Yes…. Carney: Yes…. Urquhart: No….
Your choice on this issue will depend on whether believe what you see: that Global warming is real, or believe what someone wants you to believe so they can still keep receiving their paycheck… Here is reality…
Courtesy of NASA
If you believe in thermometers, global warming is real. If you don’t, only you can subscribe to the notion that Al Gore made it up and it has nothing, nothing to do with the constant removal of carbon from inside the earth and belching it back out into the atmosphere…
Urquhart emphatically says the world is getting colder…. And this was just day’s after the news that we have just experience the 2nd hottest summer ever!
Here is real data with accomplishing grafts.
Courtesy of NOAA
Imagine pulling up to your private home and seeing thick black smoke pouring out of the roof of your house… Chris Coons is standing outside, and tells you “your house is on fire and you should call 911.” John Carney rushes over and tells you “your house is on fire, and hands you his phone.” Urquhart strolls up and tells you to “wait, there is no conclusive proof yet that your house is on fire. In fact, what you are seeing is condensation… because your house is actually getting cooler… He tells you David Legates said so.” You then get a call from your old Realtor that says someone with a hard to pronounce name, just put a super low bid roughly 10% of its worth, on your property…
Would you trust a broker who didn’t pay attention to the stock market? No?
Would you trust your child’s education to a teacher who couldn’t read? No?
Would you trust your life to a doctor who practiced witchcraft? No?
Would you trust a scientist who made up results out of nothing? No?
Then how can we trust someone to do what is right, when they won’t look at facts?
How can we trust to be represented by our leadership when they lie to our face?
How can we put someone into office who refuses to accept the truth?
Bottom line: you can’t.
A bridge to the future, if collapsed, takes you no where… –kavips
This chapter looks at rebuilding our infrastructure. We have highway problems, energy problems, educational problems, as well as health problems, environmental problems, and social problems. Can rebuilding our infrastructure be a tool to begin the mending process?
Up to now very little has been spent on maintaining our highways. Most highway money was earmarked for new growth.. It was as if no one gave consideration of the fact that maintenance of what we already had up and running was a cost that needed budgeted in.. After all, what political points are ever given for repairing a road before it goes bad? (Damn it, why are they tearing up good highway, costing me twenty five minutes in each direction?) But with the August 1, 2007 collapse of the Interstate 35 Bridge in Minneapolis, we see what happens when highway infrastructure is ignored.
For example in the United States alone, 25% of our bridges are deficient. In Delaware, 15.4 % of our bridges are either functionally or structurally deficient, which is actually good when compared to our fellow small state Rhode Island with 52.9% of its bridges deficient. As one travels back and forth, one crosses an unknown number of tiny bridges; of these, one out of four is deficient. How would you like to be on the I 95 bridge across the Susquehanna… when its time came to fall?….. or perhaps driving across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge between Kent Island and Annapolis? Thinking “one out of four” may raise your apprehension rate the next time you find yourself traveling unknowingly across a potential deathtrap…
The need to improve our infrastructure is obviously there. So if we have the labor available, how will we pay for the construction and repairs with our treasury bottomed out?
That depends on whether bonds still had any worth, meaning whether or not anyone still had any interest in buying them… Normally bonds are sold at a low interest rate, and the money taken in is used for construction. The notes are paid back in regular payments. But if there is no demand for, or more money out there with which to buy the notes, who will fund the infrastructure investment?
Today the bottom line is that the money will have to come from the Treasury. Being broke, that also means the Treasury will no choice but to print more money in order to accommodate the economy’s need. As more money starts chasing fewer goods, inflation looks at us dead center down it’s barrel. Unfortunately we are in such dire straits, that we have no choice but risk the chance of inflation just to keep the next Great Depression at bay….
The same scenario applies to our efforts to revamp our educational system. Now estimated to require between 45 to 50 billion (how much was AIG’s bailout?) the infrastructure of our schools systems faces the same challenge of acquiring minimum funding, as does that of rebuilding our highway system.. Up until August of this year it could still have been done. Now due to insufficient funds, this accomplishment is unlikely. But if we choose to go forward, we will have to do so again funded by printed money with inflation drawing another bead upon the target on our own purchasing power..
Even today, there is enough work to employ every man, woman and child in America if we can find the resources to pay for them doing so… Work such as environmentally cleaning up Superfund Sites, energetically laying new transmission lines, socially integrating our square pegs into round holes, educationally teaching problem readers to become literate, or simply maintaining hospice care over those citizens who cannot survive long enough to see America turn its corner; yes, work can be found…
But the underlying question still remains as to how we will be able to fund the privilege of keeping America employed… and at whose expense? If we were unable to solve these problems during the past 8 years of plenty, how will we deal with them during a time of shortage?
Fortunately, we are not the first group of people in our lifetimes to rebuild our world around us… Three examples of what can be accomplished, are found in three post war states who after war’s end, found themselves under American influence. That would be Germany, Japan, and South Korea. These are the models we need to turn to. Someway and somehow they bounced back from complete devastation to becoming the the second, third, and fourteenth largest economies behind that of the United States…
At war’s end, there were very poor resources to spread around. Everything possible needed fixed at once. But with a small amount of seed money provided by the Marshall plan, a major currency adjustment, and a release from price controls, the German population pulled themselves up and today have roaring economies better than do any of our allies of that past conflict. (It doesn’t seem fair.)
History shows us that for two years after the war, while post war punitive policies were kept in place, all of the occupied countries’ economies decreased. The Soviet sector opted to maintain those policies and their economy continued to suffer accordingly until German Reunification in 1990. However in the western Allied sector, starting in 1948 with the abolition of price controls and most post war rationing, along with the devaluation of their currency designed to shrink the amount (by 93% contraction) of the money in circulation, their economy took off; lost days decreased by half, and industrial production climbed within six months by 50%. Both nations were blessed with the post war abundance of skilled cheap labor; therefore both nations were able to increase the flow of money into and around their country.
Rising to the challenge imposed upon them by history, all three countries had able leadership which was effective in communicating this to each countries’ populations: … that their time and effort were to be properly considered as an investment. Their rewards would not be reaped immediately, …but would someday be magnificent. Their leadership was also effective in communicating that timing was critical. If they did not begin immediately… their nation’s dreams would never materialize. It was their competent leadership that marshaled the populations of both WWII nations back to work “on the cheap” and that…. the bottom line, is how both counties bounced back. Not dictatorially, but economically. One should note that both of the two occupied economies fared much better than our Allies, who received far more Marshall Plan aid than did the conquered nations, and who did not have to pay for war repatriations as did both of the war-torn countries.
From here I pulled this little piece of history, showing the progressiveness that forced the German economy forward…..
Colonel:“How dare you relax our rationing system, when there is a widespread food shortage?”
Erhard:“But, Herr Oberst. I have not relaxed rationing; I have abolished it! Henceforth, the only rationing ticket the people will need will be the deutschemark. And they will work hard to get these deutschemarks, just wait and see.”
That they did.
Obviously sitting in our armchairs looking forward, we too understand that we will face the specter of inflation. It MUST come with the copious amounts of money we are currently and anticipated soon to be printing. However as does any nation in a war, our country does what is needed. Currently and just like it was after WWII, the US right now is the only global entity strong enough to expand its money supply fast enough to put most of its citizens back to work. As we begin earning extra spendable income, our demand increases; when that demand pushes up prices, more and more entrepreneurs race to fill in the vacuum of goods… bringing them back down. Greed is good.
As for actual rebuilding of infrastructure, postwar Japan offers a slightly different model. In Japan we meshed the government, banking system, and large industrial players to fund, construct, and grow their infrastructure during the sixties. The local banks, backed by the government of Japan, used a system of overloaning. This policy is one which the Bank of Japan guarantees all loans issued by city banks to their industrial conglomerates. Because there was a shortage of capital in Japan at the time, industrial conglomerates borrowed beyond their capacity to repay, often beyond their own net worth, thereby causing city banks in turn to over borrow from the Bank of Japan. This gave the national Bank of Japan complete control over all dependent local banks until the loans were repaid.
The primary difference between the Japan of then and America today, is that today, the money is still not being lent out by those banks receiving Federal assistance. Instead, today’s over loaning is being wasted on the buying up of other banks; today that mass infusion of capital is being used to consolidate the financial industry, instead of financing large projects that actually put citizens to work, and in turn funnel money back through the economy.
The question remains. Does rebuilding our infrastructure get us back on our feet?
Yes and no. The economic impact on the local level at the location where the federally funded project is being built, is huge. But it is a localized effect. For an economic turnaround to be effective, infrastructure building must occur simultaneously in almost every town or village across the United States. If funded solely by the federal government, that significant cost would appear prohibitive. But if instead of being funded solely by the Federal Government, it is done as did the Japanese during their infrastructural rebuild, (where all local banks simultaneously financed local projects close to their locations), much more capital becomes available. If we place our bets on the option that local banks WILL lend out the money, if we guarantee that they lose none of the amount lent out,…. then that outcome could start some infrastructure development in the very near future somewhere near every community’s small bank, no matter where it may be located.
So if as a nation, we choose this plan, and we attempt the Japanese-tried approach, the question next arises over which infrastructural improvements will return the largest investment? The consensus seems to be that Energy, Education, and Technological advancement lead the pack.
As we now all know, even during prosperous times our nation gives up a large percentage of its income to other overseas nations just for oil. By simply keeping that dollar amount in the United States we could provide our economy a substantial boost. Furthermore, manufacturing and exporting new technology which help frees the rest of the world from their dependence on oil, would certainly assist us in turning the trade balance back in our favor. Both of these lines of thought converge to point out this: the increase of our energy independency could become the primary viaduct which could bring America back into prominence.
As for increasing our energy independency, there are several options for doing so. One, is to create new sources. Here is one startling fact: there is enough potential wind power in North Dakota alone to cover 25% of America’s energy needs. The problem is getting it to where it needs to be used. Building transmission lines from America’s heartland out to its extremities, where its largest users are, should be a first priority. For one, it actually uses the free market plan and opens markets to a cheaper supplier of that required product. Two, transmission costs are a significant portion of the energy costs we pay for electrical energy today. Three, poorly outdated transmission grids eat up a lot of energy that could instead be used to power America.
Likewise building transmission lines from our local shores to major metropolitan areas, provides those city areas with cheaper electricity from off shore wind, thereby increasing the likelihood that more wind power generating companies will set up off-shore. The larger the wind farms are off shore, the better our economy will weather that upcoming Depression that appears to be looming off our horizon… And if hydrogen is one day destined to become our replacement fuel, then locating their manufacturing plants in close proximity to offshore wind farms, in order to capitalize on a wind farm’s free excess energy during non peak hours….. could certainly help build an industrial base to back up the tourist economies of rural shoreline counties.,.
Directly related to the new technology of wind power, would be the need to construct electrical storage facilities in areas that have no jobs. Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia would be ideal localities to build closed circuit water generators that use free excess wind power during non-peak times to pump water up a hill to reservoirs on top, from which water can then be released during peak times, flowing downhill turning a series of giant generators as it falls to the valley floor. These massive projects would put large numbers of Americans to work in those areas desperately needing new development.
But these three investment strategies are all dependent on the knowledge that wind driven energy will be a big player in the years to come. No one will make such an major investment in a climate of doubt. The Federal government over the next few years … has to make that clear.
For other hard hit areas, an investment in solar power out in America’s Southwest can do the same. A conglomerate of local banks issuing out loans, guaranteed by the Federal Banking System, should have sufficient resources necessary to begin the immediate construction of a series of large solar farms in that area. With such an investment to attract large numbers of employees to that area hardest hit by the housing crises, local banks could with the Federal bank’s support., begin paying workers who in turn would help out the local banks by buying back some of those foreclosed mortgages at market prices…
But unquestionably, the largest saving can be made by simply conserving more energy in our homes and businesses. Just re-insulating every home in America, can save the cost of its installation within a year. According to the Department of Energy, re-insulating a home can save between 5% and 22% of its energy costs per year. At their estimated energy cost of $1500 a year (seems low, doesn’t it), the range would be from $75 dollars to $300 dollars a year. So paying someone a bounty of $75 dollars for each house, just to infra-red, then re-caulk it’s leaky windows and insulate it’s doors, would see its return within one year on every dwelling visited. Paying someone to go through a city’s public housing could save that city government tremendous amounts of money which could be better spent putting its citizens back to work.
Educational infrastructure is likewise needed. Our nation’s schools for the most part, have not been updated on a grand scale since they were originally built for the influx of baby boomers … What is more important than structural additions to existing buildings, is a revamping of the educational process itself.
America needs to regain their technological prowess… Our educational system ranks behind most of Europe and civilized Asia. One Duke study concluded that 137,437 engineering graduated in the United States, compared to 112,000 for India and 351,537 for China. Of course the quality of those foreign engineers are open to debate. But still, with lopsided numbers like that, it is obvious that over time…. we lose the technological war. Today… whoever is driving the global need for technology… drives the global economy.
Putting additional parents or motivators inside of class rooms, increasing allocations for science supplies (simply dropping sodium into water turns most students on to science as well as instantly explains the clarity of the periodic table), and increasing the social status of the “geeks” in teenage classrooms, are just some of the ways we can rebuild our educational infrastructural needs, without large investments of cash… Where we most often complain that the educational system is broken and in dire need of fixing, at the core of the problem is broken down people. Whether it is administrators, teachers, school board members, parents, or the students themselves, what we have throughout our education system is a group of talented, but leaderless individuals. All are spinning their wheels independently in their effort of trying to find some type of traction in improving education. Often within the same schools, different partners are spinning in opposite ways.
What American education needs is a grand goal, one that is set nationally and bought into by all of its people. Once again, America needs to be challenged. At its forefront it needs a leader capable and willing to stake his reputation on meeting and achieving that goal.. And most importantly, that challenge needs to me made without any financial strings attached. You know: the usual “we need to invest $$$ in …….”. Instead, what is needed by our incoming leadership is to voice a measurable goal such as this one for example: that says by 2015 we will as a nation, turn out as many engineers as does China….. (Goal reaching against a competitor worked for reaching the moon). Perhaps to achieve it, some additional funding may be necessary. But what is more important, is that is sends a real signal to students that fun and games as they have been portrayed on children’s TV, can no longer be tolerated within our high schools. Every young person now has the survivalist duty to apply themselves to the best of their ability, for the honor of their country in whatever the direction their talents lead them… (With proper leadership, this can be done fairly cheaply: it takes just one big speech.)
The long term return on this cheap investment is that by 2020, our engineers should be in the field working at top notch organizations, benefit them and us from their training and expertise…. The longer we wait… the further behind China and India we find ourselves… We are already talking twelve years from now before we can get any return on both ours, and our student’s investment….
Likewise, tying in with improvement of our educational output, is our need to advance ourselves further along the road of technological innovation, ie. creating new patients. For which ever nation builds the most savvy technical gadgets, that is the country from whom all others will want to buy…
But in today’s economical climate one must realize that a risky investment on some new technological device, untested in the market place, will have difficulty finding financiers. Once again, the Federal government, if it is spending its resources elsewhere, has the option of only printing more money to pay for this investment, assuming that private lenders are too scared to lend. Therefore as mentioned above, as in the post-WWII-Japanese model where the small city banks overloan to businesses and corporations allowing them to invest in research and development, if these loans are themselves guaranteed by the national bank, private lending can fulfill the need.
A very strong incentive to promote new research and development by corporations, would be to allow all such expenses devoted to the creation of new products, to become tax deductible under the newer higher rates that will be forthcoming shortly. Every bit of money spent on research and development, is our nation’s best investment. Innovative new products lead to the quickest economic turnaround as those new developed ideas soon become commercially viable…
Other areas where infrastructure can also be propped up by an infusion of small loans made by city banks which are then guaranteed by the Federal Reserve, are in the areas of environmental protection, health care, social services. Western forest fire fighting companies, environmental detoxification companies, and tree reforestation companies, could begin putting people to work.
It could work like this. A company such as Guardian, on call for disaster, receives a payroll loan from a small bank guaranteed by the Federal Government to keep itself afloat until money comes in from charging an oil tanking firm for the mess they made… Most of that loan money is used to buy necessary additional equipment, which puts someone to work in the manufacturing plant where that piece of equipment came ….. As work eventually comes in, the Federally guaranteed loan is paid back to banks… In this and most cases, no direct Federal investment is required. They just stand behind the guarantee.
In the health care industry, private companies providing hospice care, watching over psychiatric patients, creating new MRI’s, handling billing requests and follow up from insurance claims, can now receive a private loan from a small bank guaranteed by the Federal Government to carry them over until their money returns. Needing new equipment keeps a job at the plant where that piece was manufactured…
Companies specializing in assisting the poor, handicapped, impoverished, hungry, homeless, can also stay afloat by these private loans over lent by their banks, but guaranteed by the Federal Government. When the money returns from their clients, the loans are paid off.
In each of these areas, existing goods and services are maintained. The businesses don’t fold. Here is a different way of looking at it. This Keynesian jolt of economic activity is metaphorically like starting a heart of a human being temporarily stopped in cardiac arrest. At that time, all the systems are in place to work…. the heart just needs pressed to get started….. Our economy is like that. Inattention to the core of our economic problem, which is money not flowing out of banks, will lead to the same result to us as it would to a patient who does not get his heart restarted….
So this chapter can be summed up this way. The Federal Reserve is given responsibility for making sure that all projects having a viable chance of success, receive funding from, and eventually pay back… the small local banks making those loans. The Fed just guarantees the loans won’t fail….
Those out going loans should be focused on projects giving us our biggest bang for our money. Those areas providing the best return on their investment, are in the areas of energy, education, and technological advancement……
Instead of direct investment, the use of Federal guarantees in these three areas, coupled with the Federal Reserve’s monitoring the effects of inflation, are one way our nation can capitalize on its current hardship, and pull itself out through our effort, grit, and tenacity….
From the San Francisco Chronicle:
The Senate will decide this week whether to follow in California’s footsteps and pass legislation requiring cuts in U.S. greenhouse gas emissions to combat climate change.
Lawmakers are set to vote Monday to begin debate on a bill that could reshape the U.S. economy by requiring industry to pay to emit carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases.
Opponents call it a new tax on industry that could raise gas prices and energy bills for consumers.
Now before I knew anything about wind power coming to Delaware, I would be apprehensive about taxing carbon and “increasing the costs to power plants, distributors, and consumers…….
But knowing what I now know, that all carbon prices are about to go ballistic as did our automobile and truck fuel, the faster we leave a carbon based economy, the faster we will pull out of this recession.
Congess just cannot slap the tax on carbon immediately. My recommendation is to start the tax in 2014, giving America 5 years to wean itself off carbon based electricity. Five years could do it…
Wind, particularly offshore wind, if built large enough is the cheapest form of energy available to us today. If solar improves to where it crosses the 10 cents/kwh barrier, it too can become a player….
There is enough wind power capacity in North Dakota to fuel the entire grid of North America…..
The financials show it could be done today for 2.3 cents per kwh… Imagine, all of the US energy needs met at 2.3 cents per kwh. Your $200 monthly electric bill would instead be $40 dollars. Which is right about where it needs to be…….
But not all the wind needs to come from North Dakota, even though it has tremendous potential……Up and down the Eastern seaboard, giant wind farms could drop our prices and save on long distance transmission costs…. From Texas to North Dakota, the wind belt could drive America’s mid section energy prices down to a tolerable level…..
By dropping worldwide demand, we could stop our dependence on energy coming from the Mid East. Being the sole planetary source of 2.3 cents per kwh of electricity, our manufacturing base could again begin to grow in places where it once walked away from union labor……Ohio and Michigan. What automobile company could pass up savings of 20 cents per kwh over what the paid in their home country?
Back to Carbon caps and taxes…..Taxing something that is bad for you at a rather high rate, is ironically a very good thing. It forces you to wean yourself off its toxic properties and seek another solution. It does so expediently. Forcing you to move quickly before your money disappears..unlike a government directive facing appeal after appeal after appeal…….
So raising the price of carbon is in the cards…..the higher the tax, the faster we move to a really cheap source of energy and power…..cheaper than all but the oldest of you can remember……
And if timed right, it won’t cost us a penny. For paying a million dollars for a kwh of coal fired electricity is moot, it there is no kwh of coal fired electricity left to be taxed…. …..