Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Colder brains digested

This 24 April 2009 Cooler Heads Digest issue has a long and boring ramble from Myron Ebell about the recent Congressional hearings that's long and boring.

He says there were more than sixty witnesses, and he chose to highlight particular individuals from it for praise. These are:

  • The Exxon funded moron David Kreutzer of the Heritage Foundation.

  • A Dick Cheney off-the-record energy task force member and Dow Chemicals lobbyist with no other known qualifications, Paul Cicio of the "Industrial Energy Consumers of America"

  • Known nothing word-monger Steve Hayward of the American Enterprise Institute.

  • Cato institute Scholar Robert Michaels who had a lot to say about the California energy economy which -- going by his long resume that includes a large number of papers explaining how great the 2002 California electricity crisis was for consumers -- is probably all wrong (but who's watching?)

The qualities of the witnesses so far listed on-line might not be great, but Myron Ebell didn't link to it in order to make it harder for his willfully ignorant dear readers to verify that his selection was appalling.

But his long article was pretty boring.

What was much more interesting is scale of the lying that was included in the next piece, penned by a one Julie Walsh wife of some pointless stuffed shirt at the Heritage Foundation:
Arctic Ice Recovers

Last century's and this century's sun make look the same, but they are very different. 'Between 1645 and 1715, sunspots were very rare and temperatures were low. Then sunspot frequency grew until, between 1930 and 2000, the Sun was more active than at almost any time in the last 10,000 years. The oceans can cause up to several decades of delay before air temperatures respond fully to this solar "Grand Maximum." Now that the Sun is becoming less active again, global temperatures have fallen for seven years,' according [www.ilovemycarbondioxide.com/pdf/Willie_Soon-Its_the_Sun_Stupid.pdf!] to Willie Soon, a solar and climate scientist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

Is it any wonder that, despite many news stories to the contrary, Arctic ice is now increasing and almost back up to average levels? However, Juliet Eilperin and Mary Beth Sheridan write in their Washington Post April 7 article, "New Data Show Rapid Arctic Ice Decline; Proportion of Thicker, More Persistent Winter Cover Is the Lowest on Record":

The Arctic sea ice cover continues to shrink and become thinner, according to satellite measurements and other data released yesterday, providing further evidence that the region is warming more rapidly than scientists had expected.
That's right. Some scary results by the scientists with the data can easily be debunked by some smiling woman associated with the right wing noise machine, merely by the citations of an idiot who publishes on a website called www.ilovemycarbondioxide.com and a couple of out-of-context graphs selected out of this directory.

We don't know which articles those graphs belong to, but let's go over her selection. Julie Walsh chose to point to this one:

which shows a slight two-day trending upwards from below average for the last few days of April, and skipped this one:

which shows a serious, consistent and gigantic decline for the month of September.

This is as bad as financial analysts who are trying to off-load their stock by pumping up a small up-turn in the Dow Jones average in order to sell it to some gullible punters.

Only much worse, because a lot more people are going to die.

Julie Walsh was a home educator for thirteen years, according to her bio. If this is her attitude to evidence, lord knows what wise characters she has educated now that will ensure the complete suicide of the next generation once they inherit their positions of authority in the US political system from their parental connections.

We are so screwed.

Monday, April 27, 2009

The 1995 decision to die

The New York Times has obtained documentary proof that the fossil fuel corporations knew their denials of climate change science were lies back in 21 December 1995.

Go to that document to see the "Contrarian theory" and "Counterarguments" listed side-by-side, concluding with:
The contrarian theories raise interesting questions about our total understanding of climate processes, but they do not offer convincing arguments against the conventional model of greenhouse gas emission-induced climate change. Jastrow's hypothesis about the role of solar variability and Michaels' questions about the temperature record are not convincing arguments against any conclusion that we are currently experiencing warming as a result of greenhouse gas emissions. However, neither solar variability nor anomalies in the temperature record offer a mechanism for off-setting the much larger rise in temperature which might occur if the atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases were to double or quaduple.

Lindzen's hypothesis that any warming would create more rain which would cool and dry the upper troposphere did offer a mechanism for balancing the effect of increased greenhouse gases. However, the data supporting this hypothesis is weak, and even Lindzen has stopped presenting it as an alternative to the conventional model of climate change.
That's over a decade ago. 1995 is so long ago that it's even before Myron moved from the Frontiers of Freedom (just one of many wingnut's festivals of hate) to the CEI in 1999, but of course he knew.

In receipt of this information, the fossil fuel industry made the fateful, conscious decision to suppress it and try their luck with denial.

Their strategy relied on the political process being defunct and controlled by money, the availability of people as evil as Myron Ebell to peddle the lies, and the corporate press being irresponsible enough to broadcast them.

This document preceeds by 2 years the 1998 action plan (which Myron worked on) laying out exactly how they would go about their disinformation campaign and attempt to murder the human race.

The 1995 document proves that it is murder in the first degree.

And for what? The result appears to be for nothing more than ten years of obscene corporate profits for people who were already drowning in money.

It's not like these oil guys fought a brutal civil war and left an Ozymandian wasteland in order to win the crown and become undisputed emperor of the world -- you know, achieve something in their pitiful pathetic lives.
"Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"

The active, continual, knowing drive towards extinction is so tragic it can't even be captured by a future race in an ancient myth. The bad-guys don't have a motivation commensurate been knowingly doing.

What do you mean? They screwed the world to get enough money to buy a second yacht to fart about in? Come on. There's got to be more.

It's not possible for a story-teller to get this plot straight. Our psychological and sociological failings are so amazing we can't begin to believe them.

The anger about this document was brought up by Al Gore.

Now you know why they spend so much time demonizing him. He calls them what they are -- liars:
"These corporations ought to apologize to the American people for conducting a massive fraud for the last 14 years."

"Man-made global warming pollution causes global warming. That's not a cutesy issue. It's not an open issue. It's the opinion of the global scientific community. And, more importantly, that opinion is the opinion of the scientific studies by the largest corporate carbon polluters 14 years ago who have lied to you, and who have lied to the American people.

Full testimony; (with 330k views already!)

"The new evidence that's come just in the last few months shows that this may well be even worse than has been described."

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Myron in the House (again)

Like an invasive cancer, as soon as you feel temporarily free of him, Myron Ebell pops up with his disease-infested witless testimony to the US government in the form of the Committee on Energy and Commerce (The American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, Day 2) 22 April 2009 hearings.

A broken link to his prepared statement on the CEI website was provided by shit Brit Iain Murray, so it was left to the Myron Ebell Climate to give enough of a damn to track down the proper webpage (listed above) to get his real testimony.

The PDF of his prepared statement is here, and the video of him giving it is buried in about a Gigabyte of failed statery in Panel 3:
Chairman Markey: [Myron Ebell] also chairs the Cooler Heads Coalition. We welcome you to a place that needs that. Dr Ebell, thank you for your leadership in that area.

Myron Ebell: Mister.

Chairman Markey: Whenever you're ready, please begin.

Myron Ebell: Thank you Chairman Markey for inviting me to testify here today. Before I begin, let me say I refer to several studies and articles in my very short testimony, and I'd like to ask that they be submitted for the record. [gestures with his stack of waste paper]
And then this oil and coal funded disinformation campaigner lectured the room about the evils of special interests and how models (ie quantitative predictions of the future) don't matter.
This morning, with the administration witnesses, we heard some astonishing claims and very matter-of-fact conversational answers that this Bill will create jobs, that it will reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and that it will help the economy.

I believe Dr Chu and Administrator Jackson said that several times, and I think Secretary LaHood said it at least once.

I think that each one of these is wrong, and certainly each one of these claims is arguable.

I'm not much for modelling. I think it depends, as Dr Cohan said, it depends on what the assumptions are, and you can get almost any answer you want out of a climate model or an economic model.

I would rather look at historical experience. We have many of the policies in your draft Bill, Chairman Markey, been tried today, and have been tried for several years on the European Union, and in California.

California is falling off an economic cliff.

Now, it's not the only reason. They have run up the price of energy so that they have the highest gasoline taxes in the nation, they have a continuing shortage of refined gasoline, they have among the highest rates of electricity, comparable to yours in Massechusettes. But it is one of the reasons that their economy is falling off a cliff.

They used to have a very substantial energy-intensive manufacturing sector, producing many emissions. They still consume all those things, but they get them from out of state. Somebody still has to produce stuff. So I am very skeptical of these claims.

Now, the second panel from the US Climate Action Partnership -- and I have some very harsh things to say about the members of the Climate Action partnership. It seems to me that these are guys on the make. They want to get rich off the backs of American consumers. And they want you to enable them to do it. And I would urge you to take a step back from the astonishing statement in your executive summary which the committee put out on this Bill, that says that this Title III programme was designed to conform to the recommendations of the Climate Action Partnership.

And I would also ask to submit to the record -- and I'm sorry he's not here -- a letter from Chairman Waxman in 2004 to the Administrator of the EPA complaining about this very thing. It was revealed that an EPA rule had been written with the cooperation of outside businesses and their lobbyists from a well-known DC law firm. And I think that Chairman Waxman was exactly right then, and I'd hope that you would think this over again.

Now, Mr Rogers said that this will all work if we have a well-designed programme. I would like to ask you in your experience how many government programmes that have been enacted in your time in Congress have been well-designed. I would just like you to keep that in mind as you consider this enormous, huge hit on the American people and economy and how easy it will be to design it so that it is well-designed. I just can't see it.

Now Mr Barton asked -- and since he isn't here I'll ask his question -- If you favour 100% auctioning would you still vote for this Bill? I will still oppose this Bill, but I do favour 100% auctioning. I think that 100% auctioning of the rationing coupons removes a tremendous amount of the opportunity for gaming this system, con-games, and corruption. So I would encourage you all to vote for an amendment that would have 100% auctioning.

Thank you very much.
This had run pretty much consistent with his written testimony, which includes the usual the-alternative-to-our-bust-American-economic-model-is-Stalinism argument:
It takes the most important economic decisions out of the hands of private individuals acting in the market and puts them in the hands of government. The record of central planning in the twentieth century has not been judged a success, and most centrally-planned economies collapsed towards the end of the last century. Perhaps the advocates of cap-and-trade can find some glimmer of hope in the persistence of Cuba and North Korea, which are both models of economies that have commendably low, indeed negligible, greenhouse gas emissions.
He wrote this using his reading ability, provided to him as a child by a centrally-planned education system, drove to the House on a network of centrally-planned highways, using gasoline refined by a handful of centrally-planned oil corporations who have no concern for the public interest (and it shows), and looks forward to healthcare in his old age under the centrally-planned government run Medicare.

There is always central planning. The question is its level of transparency, legitimacy, and its ends.

Myron didn't have time to stick around for the hearings on the Secrecy in the Response to Bayer’s Fatal Chemical Plant Explosion where he'd be able to see just how much contempt his beloved corporate money-making interests generally have for human life -- when they can get away with it. And they do, because they pay the salaries of totally evil toads like Myron Ebell who's job it is to insert destructive lies into public debates without regard to the effects this will have on the survival of the human species.

It never was a joke. It's not a joke now. You are a worm-tongued killer.


I got the Q&A section of the hearing, where Myron is found out for his BS:
Mr Inslee: Where did all those jobs go that left California?

Ebell: Um, I think most of them went abroad, or to the heartland states that have lower energy prices, lower taxes, uh, less stringent regulatory atmosphere, and... you know, I remember when Dr Chrimsky from the University of Alabama Huntsville testified before this committee. He said, You know California used to have a vibrant auto industry. In 2008 more automobiles will be assembled in Alabama than any other state. They have workers that work, and lower energy...

Mr Inslee: Mr Ebell, look, this is the obvious, and we go round and round with these things. I really don't get something that's fundamental this way jobs leave certain... Sometimes it's just there are certain concerns that are addressed in certain areas that may not be in others, and not least is the cost of labour, fair wages, a living wage, safe working conditions, small things like that.

I'm sure this country could still be incredibly productive at incredibly low cost if we maintained something like slavery, or we just forgot about child labour, or safe working conditions, or minimum wage. There's all sorts of ways to reduce costs.

I would like to think that we have matured and developed as a country where sometimes we just do that which is fair and right, even though it may increase the cost.

I think there's a fundamental philosophical difference that's going on here. But let's just speak to the matter at hand.

Dr Kreutzer [The Heritage Foundation], you just don't seem to see the need to act on greenhouse emissions. Would that be a statement. I want to start off with that. I really want your honest answer because I thought we had debated that, we were past that. If that is your premise, then it goes to the very heart of maybe some of your opinions.

Do you believe we should be taking any action reducing greenhouse gass emissions?

Kreutzer: I can only talk about what you propose in this Bill and elsewhere.

Mr Inslee: No no, let's forget about this Bill. Should we be addressing it in any form or fashion?

Kreutzer: If it's free, yeah. Why not? But it's not free. That's the problem.

Mr. Inslee: So it's the approach you object to. But you believe that truly greenhouse gas emissions pose a problem.

Kreutzer: I don't think there's enough evidence to say there is a catastrphic problem... I would like to have an economy that's strong enough that when we have the climate variability we're going to have with or without climate action, that we have an economy that's strong enough to get through it, as we have done for the past couple hundred years. We're going to get stronger and stronger and able to handle a foot and a half of sea level rise.
Later in a rambling statement by Representative Upton:
Mr Ebell, your comments I think were right on line as we look at the costs associated and what has happened to businesses. But how do you counter that with Dr Keohane's?

Myron Ebell: Thank you representative Upton. I appreciate your leadership on this issue. We know it can't be that inexpensive. If it were that inexpensive, we wouldn't be having these rancorous debates. The fact is that energy prices have to go up significantly if emission cuts are going to be made. President Obama recognized this when he was running for president, he said: "The market plan of a cap-and-trade system electricity rates would necessarily sky-rocket."

Peter Orsac, now the head of OMB, then head of CBO, he testified here, said, this won't work unless prices go up.

In the European Union there has been tremendous consternation at the price of the rationins coupons because they yo-yo up and down. The people who are actual serious about making emissions cuts keep pointing out that the price has to stay up in order to force emissions down. When it keeps yo-yoing up and down, nobody has the incentive to reduce their emissions. They're going to hope that they're going to get some cheap rationing coupons if not this month, next month.

So I just think it is beyond believability that this is going to be inexpensive. It's going to be incredibly expensive.
Later, the doddery Texan, Mr Hall asked (after some rambling about how unfair it is for product consumers to assume the carbon liabilities embedded in the product's manufacturing processes):
What evidence does US Cap have that China and other developing nations will not take strategic advantage of what will be a weakened competitive position of the United States under Cap and Trade?

Myron Ebell: Representative Hall, I don't believe that they have any evidence, and I think they do plan to take competitive advantage, and they also want to be paid for their emissions reductions. And I think you can see how expensive it is to reduce emissions when everyone believes it will be cheaper to reduce emissions in developing countries than it will be in the United States. And yet they're talking in the European Union and in China and India about sending hundreds of billions of dollars a year to developing countries to reduce emissions. The idea that the EPA model is believable. No, it doesn't pass the laugh test.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Serious change with numbers

For an example of everything which Myron is not (lies, woolly-mindedness, bullshit, and abject future misery), below is a video of David Mackay of Cambridge University.

Myron Ebell went to Cambridge for several weeks long ago. He even wears the tie.

He's been a bit lazy recently.

Unless he's now working under a pseudonym, I can't find any of his writings in his favourite wingnut publications like Human Events (last post 25 July 2007), or The Heritage Foundation (last sighting 22 June 2006). He's not even showing up in Cybercrap News (last quote 17 January 2008). His last appearance on the CEI blog was on 13 March this year.

Nothing is getting done. It's left to bone-heads like Sam Kazman to warm up his old story about road crash deaths being the fault of the guy who bought the littler car. The "study" he didn't link to is here. You can draw any conclusion you like if you ignore all the other damage cars cause, because you believe that only the driver-purchaser counts and you are too porridge-brained to comprehend what an economic externality really is.

You make me sick, you CEI monkeys, you and your pathetic feel-bad Earth Day video lies of your run-of-the-mill nothing-new Ayn Rand myths:
  • Overpopulation is good

  • Malarial mosquitos don't have DDT resistance

  • GM tomatoes that don't rot will be nutritious

  • Food companies save people from starvation

  • Global warming is the natural gap between ice ages

  • Bottled water saves disaster victims

  • Africans and Indians can afford Microsoft operating systems and get on-line

  • Supercapitalism is just a large version of a kid's lemonade stand

  • International banks help poor people with microloans

  • Private for-profit universities train effective scientists

  • And yes we can use that Rural Electric Cooperative footage from Haiti if we want to, even though we are against everything they stand for.

Stuff it. That's enough heartless intro. Roll the tape!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Pointless Ebell appearance of the day

Species extinction entrepreneur Myron was selected briefly to make his damaging statement:
This Bill is a disaster. Higher energy prices are going to hit people in the pocket-book, and they are also going to cost a lot of people their jobs.
That's it!

Wingnut outlets covering this feeble ray of hope, such as the Cybercrap News Service and Heritage Foundation Cream left Myron out of their usual quote lists, knowing that he doesn't add value to their biased mis-reporting.

Myron Ebell doesn't have people's misguided trust anymore. Most sane people know that it is always in their interest to believe the opposite to what he tells them. If Myron knew renewable energy was better, he'd redouble his campaign against it because it would represent a greater threat to his beloved world-killing coal interests.

Cheer up, the world is getting nastier. Things are going to hit your children's ability to survive, not just your pocket-book, you pathetic appealer to trivial narrow-minded money-grabbing interests.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Defending dead end technology as usual

Myron Ebell called in by NBC TV to defend out-of-date light-bulb technology with the usual set of lies about mercury pollution (he does not care when it's discharged from coal power stations) and lies about the effectiveness of government regulation with some bogus nonsense about having to pay money for up-to-standard washing machines.

There are better examples of government not getting enough involved between consumers and product, which NBC well knows about, such as when millions of childrens toys were manufactured with lead in them. Why don't they remind people of that, instead of making their audience listen to this harmful Myron Ebell bollocks?

Transcript follows:
First of all I have nothing against compact flourescent light bulbs. In fact I have a bunch of them in my house after our local power company raised their rates 39%. But there are plusses and minusses to these energy saving bulbs as there are to incandescent bulbs.

For example, I am very surprised that an environmental group that has waged war on Mercury in our environment would be so enthusiastic about compact flourescent lightbulbs.

I have here [waves some stupid paper] the EPA has long instructions about what to do if one of your compact flourescent light bulbs breaks. And they're very complicated, and it's not easy to actually do what they want you to do. You have to go to a lot of steps. You have to wear gloves. Air out the room. Don't use a vacuum cleaner. Put it in double bag it because...

Now look. Incandescent bulbs are very cheap and they use more energy. But for example when I replace bulbs in my house I put flourescent bulbs in the places where they are appropriate, and I didn't for example put them in places where I hardly ever turn on the light. It does just as well if I only turn it on for an hour or two a year than a $4 bulb.

Another example is that some places these bulbs don't work. For example, I've had very short life expectancy on some of these bulbs because they don't like rapid changes in temperature.


Q: Myron, is it that you are resistant to a government mandate of them?

Myron: Yes, I don't think there's a good track record for government mandates. If these bulbs are so superior, and they save so much money, then consumers will choose them, and you can see that more and more of them are being sold. Why should we restrict consumer choice?

The government has a very poor record on these mandates. For example, new washing machine standards went into effect at the beginning of this year. Consumer Reports reported on these new models that unless you can spend close to $1000 on a new washing machine, you cannot buy one. There is no model available that will actually get your clothes clean and not have to wash your clothes 2 or 3 times.

So I think you can see that when government gets involved between consumers and product, it often leads to very unfortunate and unintended outcomes.

It's much better to let consumers choose. And if this is a better technology, it will succeed.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Defeating hope at every turn

Wherever there's hope, there's Myron Ebell trying to kill it:
Statement by Myron Ebell, CEI Director of Energy and Global Warming Policy

The Waxman-Markey draft "Clean Energy and Security Act" released today should be dead on arrival. We will work to see that it dies as quickly as possible. Waxman and Markey blithely set targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions without any serious analysis or even awareness of the colossal costs of energy rationing to American consumers, workers, and industry.

If enacted, the bill's cap-and-trade scheme would be a governor on the economy that would permanently limit economic growth at best and produce perpetual stagnation and decline at worst. Other major provisions of the bill would compound the economic damage.

Representatives Waxman and Markey's draft bill would raise energy prices through the roof and hurt poorer Americans the most. It would destroy tens of millions of good-paying jobs. Beyond these enormous economic costs, Waxman-Markey would put big government in charge of how much energy people can use. It would be the biggest government intervention in people’s lives since the Second World War, which was the last time people had to have rationing coupons in order to buy a gallon of gas.
This is a complete joke on the level of ignorance we have come to expect from this toe-nail eater who should never ever be quoted in any sort of journalism because his job is to make you stupid.

The so-called free market is a system of rationing according to price: you can only use as much as you can pay for, and prices can rise into the realm of unaffordability in order to compensate for shortages and limit your consumption.

What Myron Ebell doesn't like is non-price rationing, because it infringes on the rights of the rich to get whatever they want in whatever quantity they desire, while the price excludes everyone else out of the deal.

Rationing does not raise prices (except on the black market) because its purpose is specifically to make the essentials available to the poorer members of society at a price they can afford.

Ration coupons are nothing more than a secondary currency whose distribution is determined much more directly in order to obtain policy goals such as not causing the population to starve and riot and generally invade and burn down the houses of the rich, which is something they will do when they find out that you have completely screwed things up for them.

Money, on the other hand, is distributed according to birthright, luck, corruption, pen-pushing and the ability to blithely inject flagrant lies into the body politic to benefit self-serving coal executives who don't care if the next generation dies like flies in an oven.

Look to the future, Myron. You know what it's going to be like. You've read the predictions. It's not going to be as easy as it is today. This sort of misinformation, and attempts to destroy any social construct that might possibly make life less painful, is just unbearable to think about. How much more of this blood-sucking misery do we have to put up with? It's like listening to broadcasts from Lord Haw-Haw. But at least with him, he had a home in Nazi Germany. Who's side are you on Myron? The horsemen of the apocolypse?