Sunday, January 27, 2008

Myron Collar Jobs

Demonstrating the theory that every news report that cites Myron Ebell as a witness is false, those square-eyed folks at Media Matters managed to snag a short segment of CNN disgracing itself with an Ebell quote:
EBELL: "Green-collar jobs" are probably overall a net loss to the economy. If the government is saying that people have to use wind power or have to use ethanol, that means that they'll be using less electricity or less gasoline from conventional sources. So those new jobs in those new industries will be displacing old jobs in old industries

... WILLIS: These jobs will likely come from the white-collar and blue-collar sectors, as you need people to work on high-end technology and those on the ground installing solar panels. The critic we talked to in the piece also said, hey, don't forget, for every "green-collar job" you create, another one in a different sector will be taken away. So, we have to wait and see how and if this will be implemented.
MM's beef was that CNN hadn't reported Myron Ebell's ties with Exxon and mislead the viewers that he was an independent expert rather than a corporate shill.

This is not enough.

The real problem is that Myron Ebell has such a long and well-documented history of lying, misrepresenting the evidence, and poisoning the discourse with thoroughly unsubstantiated and discredited allegations that any news media that even pretended that it wasn't a sewerline of propaganda would have long ago put his name on a black-list of those who should never ever be called up for comment under any circumstance whatsoever.

On this particular issue of green collar jobs, Ebell alleged that if people were forced to use only wind power instead of fossil fuels, there would be less economic activity in the sectors which currently depended on that power. Notwithstanding the fact that a larger part of the industrial activity has already been moved out of the country -- none more so than Exxon's core business of oil extraction (and let's not get distracted with the usual balls about the droplets in ANWR when we know it's all still in Saudi Arabia and Iraq) -- the generation of fossil fuel energy is nowadays a low jobs and skills sector. This is illustrated by none more so than mountaintop removal mining, a process that employs a tiny fraction of those required for conventional deep mining, if that happens to be a factor you think is important.

It's well known that the skills and labour required to design and build the infrastructure for green technologies means lots of jobs, with no unpleasant side-effects, except a possible threat to Exxon's business model which is based on economic domination and technological stagnation by ensuring that its agents, such as Myron Ebell, lie and lie and lie again to an incompetent media and to corrupt politicians until those necessary policy shifts become too late to avoid mass extinction and die-off.

As the force-of-life, Jeff Dorchen said on ThisIsHell this week:
So a $150 billion tax cut—that's this idiot's plan to rescue the economy? Oh, and don't criticize me for calling him an idiot, that's what he is, let's be honest for once, it's time to call things by their names. A tax cut. Can there be anything lazier? "Eh, I guess we'll just do another tax cut, I don't feel like thinking right now, too hard on my brain bone." Jesus! If you've got $150 billion dollars to burn, how about thinking up something clever to do with it, instead of just distributing it among the corporate and financial geniuses whose incompetence let our economy down in the first place? "Here, do some more of your magic."

Lazy, that's what it is. Bush and what's left of his advisory posse of the ideologically deformed just don't feel like bothering to think of anything effective to do. Did they consider, Hey, let's spark some industry development, encourage investment in something American ingenuity and work ethic and entrepreneurship can really sink their teeth into. Like maybe get in on the ground floor of this whole hydrogen economy thing. Whoever positions themselves to profit from that will be riding the crest as the economic powerhouse of the future. Think of all the money that would change hands as researchers came up with better ways of generating and storing hydrogen, think of all the contractors and laborers and tradesmen and engineers busy as beavers converting gas stations to hydrogen stations, and the auto industry and the advertising—good lord, a few billion judiciously channeled and matching-funded and dangled like carrots in front of the right noses, and this economy would be blazing on all cylinders—to use a one-day-to-be-outmoded mechanical metaphor. How about we redirect our resources and young men and women out of destroying the Middle East and channel them toward poising the U.S. economy to be the dominant force behind the hydrogen revolution that will end petroleum's reign of terror forever?

Did any of those bums think of anything remotely like that? No, it was: "Just throw the money out the window. Someone will probably pick it up and buy some stuff with it. That'll jumpstart the economy or whatever."
Thank you CNN for channeling a force-of-death like Myron Ebell into the minds of the public. For Media Matters, I will incorporate your sidebar into this blog on a trial basis if I can.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The collision between a heavy Ebell and an SUV

Another day, another half-assed old lie:
Ebell cited a 2001 study by the National Academy of Sciences that examined the earlier CAFE standards imposed in the 1970s... [which] "noted that downsizing of vehicles in the 1970s and 1980s may have contributed to an additional 1,300 to 2,600 fatalities (alone)" - a number that could add up to thousands more deaths on American highways under the new CAFE standards, Ebell said.
The Climate spotted this point back in 2004 while listening to a Myron Ebell interview from 2001. Those were the days when he didn't have to get by on coverage from fellow astroturfing organizations such as the Conservativecast News Service. Calls on the services of Mr. Rent-A-Lie are getting so thin on the ground that one of his comrades specially thanked the "Senior Staff writer" for calling.

The fact that Myron has been reduced to recycling a seven-year-old talking point for the benefit of a fixed news website that has tried and failed to get taken seriously outside a narrow spectrum of wingnuts proves he is no longer useful to his cause. If his direct employer, the CEI, was followed its economic interests, they'd dump him tomorrow and hire some other well-speaking individual who is unknown to the world, fix him up with some bogus credibility, and send him off on his quest to mislead the public through the good offices of incompetent journalists.

Also in the same article was:
"Our main concern is that CAFE standards limit consumer choice," Ebell said. "And second, the increase in fatalities."

There could be other victims of the CAFE standards, said Ebell. The American men and women who work for automakers could face job cuts, a possibility that would be devastating in states like Michigan, which has the highest unemployment in the nation at 7.4 percent.

"It seems to me that when Congress says over and over again that they care about protecting American jobs and then pass something like this, I think they are being incredibly short-sighted," Ebell said.
As usual, the claims are irrelevant, unsubstantiated, and false. Where there is a basis for the information beyond an outright fabrication by Ebell's sick mind, a hyperlink to the citation is not given so as to make it awkward to uncover the fact that he has fundamentally misrepresented the position of the source.

The Climate has found a copy of the report he is referring to. On page 28, after much beating about the bush, the paragraph reads:
[T]he majority of the committee believes that the evidence is clear tha past downweighting and downsizing of the light-duty fleet, while resulting in significant fuel savings, has also resulted in a safety penalty. In 1993, it would appear that the safety penalty included between 1,300 and 2,600 motor vehicle crash deaths that would not have occurred had vehicles been as large and heavy as in 1976.
On page 24 it adds:
[F]uel economy improved dramatically for cars during the late 1970s and early 1980s, without much change since 1988. That increase in fuel economy was accompanied by a decline in average car weight and in average wheelbase length. Thus, a significant part of the increased fuel economy... is attributable to the downsizing of the vehicle fleet. Since 1988, new cars have increased in weight and the fuel economy has suffered accordingly, although increasing mass is not the only reason for this decline in fuel economy.

The potential problem for motor vehicle safety is that vehicle mass and size vary inversely not only with fuel economy, but also with risk of crash injuries. When a heavy vehicle strikes an object, it is more likely to move or deform the object than is a light vehicle. Therefore the heavier vehicle's occupants decelerate less rapidly and are less likely to be injured.
There is a detailed dissenting opinion on the safety-weight issue, which states:
Part of the difficulty of estimating the true relationships between vehicle weight and highway safety is empirical: reality presents us with poorly designed experiments and incomplete data. For example, driver age is linearly related to vehicle weight, and vehicle weight, size, and engine power are all strongly correlated. This makes it difficult to disentangle driver effects from vehicle effects. As another example, pedestrian fatalities are more concentrated in dense urban areas, where smaller vehicles predominate...

There is no dispute, to the best of our knowledge, that if a collision between two vehicles of different mass occurs, the occupants of the heavier vehicle will generally fare better than the occupants of the lighter vehicle...

When a crash occurs, other factors being equal, (1) The lighter the vehicle, the less risk posed to other road users. (2) The heavier the vehicle, the less risk posed to its occupants. [These] two laws make it clear that there are winners and losers in the mass equation. In free markets, this relationship causes a kind of market failure called an externality, which leads to oversized and overweighted vehicles...

Heavier cars impose a higher fatality risk on the drivers of other cars than lighter cars. A complement to this effect is that the driver fatality risk in the heavier car is lower. However, the reduction in the fatality risk for the driver of the heavier car is less than the increase of the fatality risk for the driver of the lighter cars. Thus the variation of weight among cars results in a net increase of fatalities in collisions.
In other words, the car safety/weight issue is an arms race where the drivers of the heaviest cars win, but everyone on average loses -- except the oil companies who get to sell more oil, and brain-dead automobile executives who profit from technological stagnation.

As the report makes clear on page 22:
Regulations such as the CAFE standards are intended to direct some of industry's efforts towards satisfying social goals that transcend individual car buyers' interests. Inevitably, they divert effort from the companies' own goals...

[T]he total employment in automobile manufacturing in the United States reached its highest level ever (more than 1 million) in 1999.
And on page 18 there's:
The average price of a new vehicle has risen from just under $15,000 in 1975 to over $20,000 today (1998 dollars). Virtually all of the price increase came after 1980, by which time most of the increase in passenger car fuel economy had already been accomplished.
There is a lot of other good information in this report that contradicts every single premise that Myron Ebell has ever said and, were it applied faithfully, would have the potential to move things forwards.

Myron, as part of his job, will have read every single word of this authentic report. And then, like the evil son of a snake that he is, he consciously selected one single paragraph from it, twisted the entire meaning of the report by 180 degrees, and used the words misled his fellow human beings, idiotic reporters fool enough to call him for comment, and the entire political system for the purpose of tricking them into supporting self-destructive policies that could lead to the extinction of the species. That's ultimately where he wants to take us.

In this world it is difficult to imagine a force so malicious as that which drives this man to do what he does, day after day, throwing his mental faeces into the accumulation of human knowledge, knowing full well what the consequences are going to be for future generations.

It's no longer done for the buzz of getting on TV, for the respect, for the power and money. It's all now down to the bloody-minded habit of doing the wrong thing for so many years that he is not fit for any other purpose.

This man's career has got to end for the sake of common decency. His continued employment and corporate-funded activity is proof that the business elite is still actively trying to kill us off.

In eighty years time when our grand-children are old and the environment has been well and truly savaged, the inherited class of the business elite will have rewritten history in order explain how their forefathers had attempted to save the planet, but were powerless in the face of public opinion. They'll say, the badly-educated masses who dominated the market with their purchasing power were unwilling to make the right sacrifices, and that is how we got here.

However all of these future attempts at reinterpretation will be contradicted by the fact that Myron Ebell was still employed in 2008. No further information will be required to demonstrate the burden of responsibility.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Myron's history of misery

It's not only about what he continues to do today, with his softened image and the tactical retreat from the position that there is no such thing as global warming; it's about what he has done in the past that has got us here in a state where we are too late.

Back in June 2002, Myron was spitting blood over the release of the Climate Action Report 2002 by the US government because he didn't want to have to deal with any of these inconvenient truths when he was concocting his lies. In an op-ed for "Exxon Events", he wrote:
The Climate Action Report 2002 is a disastrous concession to global warming alarmism...

The report concedes that mankind is causing global warming, that future warming will be in line with United Nations predictions, and that warming will lead to ecosystem collapse, heat waves, droughts, floods, and higher agricultural production. Actually, this last result is the only one for which there is demonstrable scientific evidence. Hundreds of studies conducted over many decades by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and many land grant universities have found that plants grow more with higher levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which is no surprise since carbon dioxide is necessary for photosynthesis.
The second line of the crop yield story from National Geographic reads:
But the effect may be a double-edged sword; the increase in yield appears to be linked to a decrease in the nutritional value of these crops.
Not only that, but the increase in yield really only happens under controlled conditions. When you combine it with droughts, rising temperatures, and floods, yields go way down. There will be famines. There will be people dying by the million. But that's okay with this guy, if he can win his point for Exxon using fake science simplified down from an elementary school education.

Myron goes on to misrepresent a scientific paper:
One of the computer models used to predict regional climate impacts was provided by the Hadley Centre in England, which admitted in a published paper that, "scenarios based on global models will fail to capture the regional detail needed for vulnerability assessments at a national level."
As usual, in order to slow the exposure of his dishonesty, he doesn't provide a link to the citation, but there's enough to suggest it could be this March 2002 paper explaining how the models were not accurate enough to predict the distribution of floods to within one degree of latitude on the scale of one month. Once again, this fits well with the meteor analogy, where the astronomers can calculate when the meteor will strike the Earth, but perhaps not the exactly which city block. All predictions contain some margin of error, and in this case the entire error range is in the danger zone.

In his penultimate paragraph, Myron Ebell sets out his plan for the next seven years of bent science:
But the President must do more than that if he is to save his agenda. He must also dismiss or re-assign every administration employee—and there are several in key positions—who does not support his energy and global warming policies.
And he concludes with:
And finally, just as Undersecretary of State John Bolton recently removed the signature of the United States from the Rome treaty creating the International Criminal Court, President Bush must direct that the Kyoto Protocol be unsigned. Only then will this administration be out of the political quicksand.
Now we all know what John Bolton's withdrawal from the treaty was in aid of -- US government organized international kidnapping, torture, secret prisons, repeated wholescale bombing of cities, and god knows what other acts of depravity leading to nothing good whatsoever.

But taking all this and more into consideration, what Myron Ebell has been advocating and fighting for is much much worse: nothing short of the permanent elimination of hope for subsequent generations, in exchange for two extra decades of heavy car use and Exxon shareholder enrichment.

Those who look back on this man in a hundred years time are just going to feel cold.