Monday, October 26, 2009

Myron fights for shareholder's rights to die

In a parallel world where the human race does not knowingly choose the path that inevitably leads to a vile and miserable future for itself on its home planet, the US Chamber of Commerce made a statement on October 19:
Climatologists tell us that if we don't enact dramatic reductions in carbon emissions today, within 5 years we could begin facing the propagating feedback loops of runaway climate change. That would mean a disruption of food and water supplies worldwide, with the result of mass migrations, famines, and death on a scale never witnessed before.

Needless to say, that would be bad for business.

We at the Chamber have tried to keep climate science from interfering with business. But without a stable climate, there will be no business. We need business more than we need relentlessly higher returns.
Then, during the question and answer section where carbon capture and storage was correctly confirmed as being as fictional as seven levitating pieces of coal singing at your door, reality intruded:

Also, in the unfortunately real world, a Wall Street Journal editorial on 14 October condemned Apple and Nike for pulling out of the US Chamber of Commerce over its resolutely global-warming-denial stance -- when they should be putting shareholder's interests first.

Shareholders, you see, are theoretical entities in the minds of crackpot economists. They are not human beings who happen to depend on the continuing stability of the planet for bodily sustenance.

Myron Ebell concurred, with a letter to the editor on 22 October:
I would like to add a point to your editorial "Apple, Nike and the U. S. Chamber" (Oct. 14). In supporting energy-rationing legislation, Apple and Nike are as you observe being short-sighted about their own interests because they neglect to consider that the next step after enacting cap and trade will be tariffs on goods produced in countries that are not reducing their greenhouse gas emissions enough to satisfy the global-warming alarmist establishment. This will include those countries in which Apple and Nike manufacture their products.

Additionally, however, Apple, Nike and their ilk have failed to consider the effects of continually increasing energy prices. Higher energy bills will mean less money in people's pockets to spend on things like Nike shoes and Apple iPhones. A cap-and-trade energy-rationing scheme will constrain economic growth for decades. It would be a great step forward if more company CEOs, would follow their own self-interest, realizing that few companies prosper when the economy is in the doldrums.
This is hopeless. At least he didn't mention jobs as he usually does. Myron doesn't care about jobs. An international carbon tax policy could create the economic climate that would allow Apple and Nike to bring back their manufacturing jobs from overseas back to where the products are consumed, so that people would have the income to buy these manufactured products.

But what does Myron know about the logic of flows of money? Does he think it seeps into the ground in China and returns back the US economy via rainfall?

For Myron, none of the today's current economic crises have happened. Shareholders' interests, my arse! At least it's logical. For whenever a shareholder's economic situation deteriorates, they always sell their shares to raise some cash. Then they no longer have any shares, and therefore the corporation is not responsible for their interests -- whatever they may be.

This logic is as corrupt as BlackWater dismissing their employee Mr Moonen shortly after he shot dead someone in Baghdad, and then claiming the act had nothing to do with them. The damage was done while he was under orders. Changing the relationship later doesn't alter the responsibility.

Today, the damage is being done by the corporations to people's future prospects. Some of these people are shareholders. Their future life interests are being violated by actions done today -- whilst they are shareholders.

But then there is a slippage of time. Because shareholders can and will sell back to the rich, for example, to afford to rent back a roof over their head in the fall-out of a mass corporate mismanagement of the economy -- they have no future!

The imaginary entity which embodies shareholder's interests has no concept of life beyond the end of the day. It is prepared to sell its own liver.

That's what you want us all to be like, Myron!

We return you to the message of hope from the alternative world:
The Chamber seeks a solid business solution - one that requires much less intervention, and has a proven track record. What we need is a carbon tax. Only thus will we be able to compete against Physics and create an environment where the best company wins and the best solution dominates. A carbon tax will mean new blood for Free Enterprise, and a fertile new foundation for long-term business prosperity.

The Chamber also calls on President Obama and the U.S. Congress to cease subsidizing old and failed technologies like the so-called "clean coal" hoax, and to incentivize tried and true clean technologies in their stead.

The Chamber expects to welcome back companies that have recently defected over our climate stance. But we also expect to reevaluate our relationship with other members - who continue opposing climate legislation, or who stymie progress through greenwashing and other stalling tactics. Corporate Social Responsibility just won't cut it anymore, folks - Mother Nature means business, and we do too.

We at the Chamber will put the full weight of our organization behind achieving these goals. The very future of business hangs in the balance.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Myron's salted body floating out at sea

Myron Ebell has been producing consistently dull writings of late.

On 13 October there was Senators Lindsey Graham and John Kerry: Yes We Can (Raise Your Energy Prices and Send Jobs Abroad) containing the usual fuzzy argument about how higher prices on fossil fuel consumption is going to drive out jobs, due to now uncompetitive manufacturing costs. But he doesn't like the import tariffs on high carbon products that would balance the situation. And he doesn't want any room to be created in the market for less efficient energy production industries like wind power to displace fossil fuel production. Less efficient = more jobs. Myron doesn't actually care about jobs, which is why he always, always lies about it.

Then on 16 October was the ultra-dull Socialist International Meets, but Carol Browner Can’t Make It. Ooooh! There's that scary word "socialism" which advocates for the public administration of all strategic sectors of the economy -- not just the police, judicial, military and transportation network -- for the public interest and maximum benefit to all, rather than just for a rich elite. There would be no argument, but for the rich elite paying for Myron Ebell and his friends to lie about how their system creates a better world in the long run, even though the claim is an insult to reason.

Slightly more interesting to follow was the Junkman on the next page with his blog-post Regulation Not Worth Its Salt.
It seems likely that regulation restricting sodium in foods would be ineffective because people would unconsciously adjust their diets to compensate. As the study puts it, "[sodium intake] is unlikely to be malleable by public policy initiatives", and attempts to change consumption would "expend valuable national and personal resources against unachievable goals."
Yeah, well if that were actually true, you'd think the Salt Lobby would be a little more relaxed about the upcoming discussion on dietary regulations. If -- as they claim -- reducing the massive salt dosage in processed foods caused people to buy salt in small boxes (with a higher profit margin) and put it in their salt shakers the salt manufactures would be encouraging it.

Logic is evidently not a component in these arguments.

The salt lobby website publishes irrelevant bollocks, like new fears over low salt:
A famous study conducted in volunteer soldiers marching uphill in the heat and sweating profusely showed that the six grams of salt per day recommended by today's government as the maximum intake, is not sufficient to avoid sodium depletion in active individuals. Forty per cent of the group of soldiers on the low salt (six grams) diet either collapsed from heat prostration or had to stop because of heat exhaustion, while in the group whose salt intake was 15 grams only one (the oldest man in the study) had any sort of problem.
For salt policy vaguely relevant to everyday civilians, Dr David McCarron is particularly popular. In 2007 they got a PR article published that described him as:
an internationally recognised and independent authority on the role of diet in heart disease
Here is Dr McCarron on the Salt Institute youtube channel with his theory that high blood pressure is actually because of too little mineral intake (ie not enough salt!).

His latest scientifically pointless excretion from this October was rebutted here.

Every couple of years he comes out with a "new study" presented as "new news" to a media that is too stupid to recognize it as the same as the old one.

So, for the benefit of those who can't do the research, here is the same old horseshit in The Independent in 1998 titled "Scientists clash over health effects of salt", and here is McCarron spitting out the same theory to The New York Times back in 1984.

These old junkmen just never go away. At least McCarron has a job in a real university, and so it's not necessary for him to lie all the time every day of the week to make an income. Those who work at the CEI, like Myron Ebell for example, don't have any honest work available to them. So nothing good whatsoever can ever result from their working lives.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Belt up, Myron

Myron Ebell is writing more of those Inside the Beltway columns for his long running Boneheads Digest publication.

The "Beltway" refers to the 103km ring road encircling Washington DC where insanity and dysfunctional administration reign supreme and the fate of the human race is sealed.

Myron Ebell loves to report on its failures and legislative gridlock that continues while his favourite oil companies and coal mines continue to grub millions of tonnes of fossil carbon from the ground and distribute it to be vapourized into the atmosphere as inefficiently and in as massive quantities as possible.

Myron is always keen to toss his own lies into the pot in order to slow the progress of reason and logic.

In absence of some definitive action, such as closing the mines and oil rigs by force, it's necessary to reduce demand, and this can only be achieved -- in the current economic model -- by raising the prices.

Myron has no problem with raised prices -- as long as the profits go to oil company executives to spend on their private jets. But if the difference went into the public funds, it could be returned to the public in the form of infrastructure investments that would make it easier to get by with less oil.

Myron understands this. Just as he understands it every single day when he drives to work and notices that government taxes, not private corporations, were the ones that paid to lay the tarmac and concrete of that beltway road. The economic theories he espouses are as false as the claim that the sky is green -- just open your eyes.

He also knows why any tax on fossil fuels (to reduce their use and pay for mitigating their damage) has to apply globally, so you don't just avoid the tax by making a set of goods off-shore and importing them. In preparation for branding the policy as protectionism, Myron writes:
The pro-labor union Economic Policy Institute warned in a report that four million jobs could be lost to foreign competition if cap-and-trade legislation does not include carbon tariffs on imported goods produced in countries without carbon reduction regimes. The report also noted that total global greenhouse gas emissions would likely increase as production shifted to countries that have less energy-efficient industries.
If you go to that link, you'd find that the Economic Policy Institute report begins:
Climate change is the most important environmental issue facing the United States and the world. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has concluded that the “scientific evidence for warming of the climate system is unequivocal” (NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory 2009). Rising emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases (GHGs) are responsible for rising global temperatures, shrinking global ice masses, rising sea levels, and increasing the intensity of tropical storms. Continued change, aside from the obvious cost in human lives, would also entail potentially enormous economic costs. It is essential for the United States to develop strong and effective GHG regulations and to negotiate an international treaty to bring about global reductions in GHG emissions.

A well-designed climate policy can support the economic recovery, and green investments can support millions of new jobs, starting with the creation of over 1 million new jobs in the next two years (Bivens, Irons, and Pollack 2009) and ensuring that U.S. manufacturing comes back stronger and cleaner than before.

Poorly designed climate change policies, however, could slow or halt the recovery of significant segments of U.S. manufacturing—as identified in this report— and could even lead to increased global production of GHGs. It is essential for the United States to enact climate change policies that ensure a strong, broad-based recovery of the economy and encourage the growth of domestic manufacturing. One of the keys to achieving these goals is to include a border adjustment mechanism—a fee on the carbon content of goods imported from countries that do not restrict GHG emissions—in U.S. climate change policies.
Myron's purpose in life is to fight for a poorly designed climate change policy. In that way, he can make sure that only the bad stuff happens, and none of the good stuff. That's the choice he wishes to impose. This is what he wants. This is why he is an enemy of the people. And a civilization that permits people like him to thrive and be influential deserves its self-destruction.

Thank you Myron. It's a shame the rest of the species has to die off with you.