“Your medical needs offend the Earth. Go away!”


**Posted by Phineas

An elderly grandmother in the UK has been told by her NHS (1) clinic to find another doctor, because the “carbon footprint” of her two-mile round-trip is too big:

Avril Mulcahy, 83, was told to address the “green travelling issues” over her journeys from her home in Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex, to the West Road Surgery. The surgery wrote to Mrs Mulcahy, telling her to register with a new GP within 28 days.

The letter said: “Our greatest concern is for your health and convenience but also taking into consideration green travelling issues. Re: Carbon footprints and winter weather conditions, we feel it would be advisable for patients to register at surgeries nearer to where they live.

“We would be very grateful if you could make the necessary arrangements to re-register at another practice.”

Mrs Mulcahy, a grandmother, believes the decision was made because she complained about a doctor.

So, we either have the apotheosis of Green Statism, marrying government control of personal medical decisions to the dogma of the Cult of Gaea, or they came up with a truly lame way to get rid of a possibly troublesome patient.

Either way, this stinks.

For what it’s worth, my guess is that the latter is true: For whatever reason, legitimate or not, Mulcahy complained about a doctor. Rather than deal with the complaint in a professional manner, the surgery acted like petty tinpot gods and invented an excuse straight out of the Book of Gore to be rid of her.

But, whichever is true, Mulcahy’s case is an illustration of the dystopia created when we let bureaucracy turn us into dependent children. Mulcahy and other NHS patients don’t pay their doctors, the government does. Thus they are not really accountable to their patients, but to those higher in the bureaucracy. We, on the other hand, are faceless proles whose needs (2) are either to be sacrificed to religion ideology or who simply are sent away when we are too much of a bother.

And with the Left’s devotion here to both single-payer health care and “fighting climate change” (3), we surely have much the same to look forward to if ObamaCare isn’t defeated.

(1) “National Health Service,” the UK’s state-run single-payer system, something beloved and admired by key Obama appointees.
(2) Having taken care of elderly parents, I know how important it is for them to see the doctor or doctors they like and trust. This isn’t just a matter of convenience, but a need for good care.
(3) Or whatever they want to call it this week.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Dear Sanctimonious Greens: your beloved electric cars harm Gaea!!


**Posted by Phineas

Your goddess will be angry with you…

According to a recent study by researchers at UT-Knoxville, electric cars have a greater pollution impact than comparable (and evil, EVIL, EVIL!!) gasoline-powered vehicles:

“An implicit assumption has been that air quality and health impacts are lower for electric vehicles than for conventional vehicles,” [Chris] Cherry said. “Our findings challenge that by comparing what is emitted by vehicle use to what people are actually exposed to. Prior studies have only examined environmental impacts by comparing emission factors or greenhouse gas emissions.”

Particulate matter includes acids, organic chemicals, metals, and soil or dust particles. It is also generated through the combustion of fossil fuels.

For electric vehicles, combustion emissions occur where electricity is generated rather than where the vehicle is used. In China, 85 percent of electricity production is from fossil fuels, about 90 percent of that is from coal. The authors discovered that the power generated in China to operate electric vehicles emit fine particles at a much higher rate than gasoline vehicles. However, because the emissions related to the electric vehicles often come from power plants located away from population centers, people breathe in the emissions a lower rate than they do emissions from conventional vehicles.

Still, the rate isn’t low enough to level the playing field between the vehicles. In terms of air pollution impacts, electric cars are more harmful to public health per kilometer traveled in China than conventional vehicles.

(Emphasis added)

The key is that the electricity needed to charge the batteries of those virtuous electric vehicles has to be first generated somewhere; in China, the vast majority comes from plants using fossil fuels. The effect is simply to transfer the generation of pollutants from where the vehicle is used to where its power is created.

Bear in mind, this study was conducted in China, which relies overwhelmingly on coal. While the US generates far less of its electricity from coal, it’s still significant — about 46%. (See Table 1.1) And China’s pollution controls are notoriously weak, so coal-fired plants in the US probably generate far fewer pollutants than their Chinese counterparts. Still, coal is a dirty fuel source, one of the great demons in the Cult of Anthropogenic Global Warming, and air pollution does not respect national boundaries.

Preening Greens charging their Volts and Leafs and Priuses and oh-so Smart ED cars should perhaps remember that their virtue comes at the cost of (environmental) sin.

RELATED: It’s similar to that other fetish object of the Green cult — wind power. The wind is so unreliable a source that, to make sure the power grid stays up, backup coal, gas, and even nuclear plants have to be kept running on standby for those times when the wind stops or blows too fast. Kind of defeats the purpose, no? Unless that purpose is just to make oneself feel good, or profit from government subsidy… or both.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

More Green dreams shattered


**Posted by Phineas

Two posts at Watts Up With That bring news that that ought to turn the Gaea-cultists’ sweet dreams into nightmares. First, a study from Civitas in the UK demolishes any idea that wind-power is a practical, economic alternate energy source:

The focus on wind-power, driven by the renewables targets, is preventing Britain from effectively reducing CO2 emissions, while crippling energy users with additional costs, according to a new Civitas report. The report finds that wind-power is unreliable and requires back-up power stations to be available in order to maintain a consistent electricity supply to households and businesses. This means that energy users pay twice: once for the window-dressing of renewables, and again for the fossil fuels that the energy sector continues to rely on. Contrary to the implied message of the Government’s approach, the analysis shows that wind-power is not a low-cost way of reducing emissions.

(Full report here (PDF))

They have to pay lip-service to the idea of reducing CO2 emissions, even though there’s no credible evidence of a man-caused greenhouse effect from CO2, because of the success the Green Statists in and outside of government have had in demonizing a gas that’s essentially plant food. The key takeaways, though, are these: because of the unreliability of wind, conventional power stations have to be kept running on standby to handle those times when the turbines aren’t running, either because there’s no wind, or the wind is blowing too fast. That means costs to the consumer skyrocket, as UK residents are finding out. (And we will, too, if Obama and the Eco-lobby in the US have their way.)

But wait, there’s more! It turns out that wind-turbines actually increase the use of CO2 -spewing fossil fuels:

In a comprehensive quantitative analysis of CO2 emissions and wind-power, Dutch physicist C. le Pair has recently shown that deploying wind turbines on “normal windy days” in the Netherlands actually increased fuel (gas) consumption, rather than saving it, when compared to electricity generation with modern high-efficiency gas turbines. Ironically and paradoxically the use of wind farms therefore actually increased CO2 emissions, compared with using efficient gas-fired combined cycle gas turbines (CCGTs) at full power. [p. 30]


Second, you know all those fears of “ocean acidification,” the Green Left’s latest environmental bogeyman? Turns out it’s another …say it after me… natural process:

It turns out that far from being a stable pH, spots all over the world are constantly changing. One spot in the ocean varied by an astonishing 1.4 pH units regularly. All our human emissions are projected by models to change the world’s oceans by about 0.3 pH units over the next 90 years, and that’s referred to as “catastrophic”, yet we now know that fish and some calcifying critters adapt naturally to changes far larger than that every year, sometimes in just a month, and in extreme cases, in just a day.

Data was collected by 15 individual SeaFET sensors in seven types of marine habitats. Four sites were fairly stable (1, which includes the open ocean, and also sites 2,3,4) but most of the rest were highly variable (esp site 15 near Italy and 14 near Mexico) . On a monthly scale the pH varies by 0.024 to 1.430 pH units.

The authors draw two conclusions: (1) most non-open ocean sites vary a lot, and (2) and some spots vary so much they reach the “extreme” pH’s forecast for the doomsday future scenarios on a daily (a daily!) basis.

pH varies widely and often, yet life adapts and prospers, in a process that’s gone on for hundreds of millions, if not billions of years. No need to invoke the Demon Man and his evil capitalism to frighten people into obedience and submission to a bunch of liberty and economy-killing transnational bureaucracies.

Though I’m sure they’ll try, anyway.

Keep dreaming, cultists.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Only the space aliens can save Earth from us!


**Posted by Phineas

The Galactic EPA swings into action!

Really, the eco-loons must be getting desperate. With their credibility collapsing like Al Gore’s psyche and fewer and fewer people regarding the Great Demon Global Warming as a genuine threat, it’s apparently not enough to threaten that the Earth herself might punish us. Nope. Unless we mend our ways, something worse is going to happen.

The space aliens are gonna get us!

Aliens may destroy humanity to protect other civilisations, say scientists

It may not rank as the most compelling reason to curb greenhouse gases, but reducing our emissions might just save humanity from a pre-emptive alien attack, scientists claim.

Watching from afar, extraterrestrial beings might view changes in Earth’s atmosphere as symptomatic of a civilisation growing out of control – and take drastic action to keep us from becoming a more serious threat, the researchers explain.

This highly speculative scenario is one of several described by a Nasa-affiliated scientist and colleagues at Pennsylvania State University that, while considered unlikely, they say could play out were humans and alien life to make contact at some point in the future.

Shawn Domagal-Goldman of Nasa’s Planetary Science Division and his colleagues compiled a list of plausible outcomes that could unfold in the aftermath of a close encounter, to help humanity “prepare for actual contact”.

The report is is actually a broader study of the possible outcomes of first contact with alien civilizations, ranging from beneficial to neutral to “we’re hosed.” Honestly, I think something like this is in theory worthwhile; I’ve no doubt we’ll someday encounter extraterrestrial life, perhaps civilized, and thinking about the possibilities beforehand isn’t a bad idea. And, on the scale of government waste, at least it’s not as bad as spending $3 million for a turtle tunnel.

That is, it’s okay until you get to the part where the authors hyperventilate while lost in a “Green vengeance” fantasy:

“A preemptive strike [against mankind] would be particularly likely in the early phases of our expansion because a civilisation may become increasingly difficult to destroy as it continues to expand. Humanity may just now be entering the period in which its rapid civilisational expansion could be detected by an ETI because our expansion is changing the composition of the Earth’s atmosphere, via greenhouse gas emissions,” the report states.

“Green” aliens might object to the environmental damage humans have caused on Earth and wipe us out to save the planet. “These scenarios give us reason to limit our growth and reduce our impact on global ecosystems. It would be particularly important for us to limit our emissions of greenhouse gases, since atmospheric composition can be observed from other planets,” the authors write.

For some reason, I’m picturing a mad scientist laughing maniacally and shouting “YOU FOOLS!!”

What we’re seeing here, of course, is the reaction of the arrogant to not being given what they think is due deference. It’s similar to what we’ve seen from liberal Democrats and the Left (redundant, I know): first their position as the natural governing party in the US was ended by Reagan and now with escalating collapse of the welfare state worldwide, they lash out at those who oppose them as “Nazis,” “racists,” “teabaggers,” and either bribed or mentally ill. (1)

It’s the same with alarmist academics, who can’t handle being questioned and challenged, whether by fellow scientists who refuse to go along passively with the “consensus” or by ordinary citizens who can see with increasing clarity that their predictions don’t come true (2), that there has been no statistically significant warming since 1995, and that the “climate science community” is rife withintellectual corruption at least.

And so, unable to win their arguments with facts, they’re reduced to dreaming of an alien invasion (3).

via Obi’s Sister

(1)  In fact, one of their high priests, former Enron adviser and New York Times’ columnist Paul Krugman, has also fantasized about aliens saving America from conservative economics. Must be something in their lattes.
(2) I’m still waiting for that tropospheric hot spot to show up.
(3)  Didn’t we already see this in that lousy Keanu Reeves remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still?

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

The wind-power farce


**Posted by Phineas

Maybe “scam” would be a better word for something that is pushed as a “green solution” to anthropogenic global warming (1) , yet doesn’t do what it promises to do, but what it does do is done at tremendous public cost, all while making the alleged problem worse. In the UK, wind farms have become the government’s centerpiece for fighting climate change (2). Christopher Booker, writing about this policy in the Telegraph, explains why wind power is a chimera worthy of Don Quixote tilting at windmills:

Centrica and other energy companies last week told [the Department of Energy and Climate Change] that, if Britain is to spend £100 billion on building thousands of wind turbines, it will require the building of 17 new gas-fired power stations simply to provide back-up for all those times when the wind drops and the windmills produce even less power than usual.

We will thus be landed in the ludicrous position of having to spend an additional £10 billion on those 17 dedicated power stations, which will be kept running on “spinning reserve”, 24 hours a day, just to make up for the fundamental problem of wind turbines. This is that their power continually fluctuates anywhere between full capacity to zero (where it often stood last winter, when national electricity demand was at a peak). So unless back-up power is instantly available to match any shortfall, the lights will go out.

Two things make this even more absurd. One, as the energy companies pointed out to DECC, is that it will be amazingly costly and wildly uneconomical, since the dedicated power plants will often have to run at a low rate of efficiency, burning gas but not producing electricity. This will add billions more to our fuel bills for no practical purpose. The other absurdity, as recent detailed studies have confirmed, is that gas-fired power stations running on “spinning reserve” chuck out much more CO2 than when they are running at full efficiency – thus negating any savings in CO2 emissions supposedly achieved by the windmills themselves.

And before we laugh and point at the Brits for their folly, keep in mind that these are the very same “solutions” that the Obama administration, its eco-statist allies, and the corporations that would benefit from the required government subsidies all want to impose on us. We even have a whole government agency devoted to pimping wind power, while the administration has shown repeatedly its hostility toward developing our vast coal and oil supplies.

Rather than laugh, we should look to Britain for a warning.


(1) A problem, remember, that does not exist.

(2) Attempting to control the world’s thermostat. Someone should introduce these idiots to King Canute.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Obama: “Drill there, drill now!”


**Posted by Phineas

This continuing self-inflicted wound on the American economy via the administration’s refusal to tap our own resources has to be deliberate, a matter of ideological choice. How else does one explain Obama’s demand that others pump more oil, but not us?

Amid a surge in the cost of gasoline, President Barack Obama said Tuesday he is calling on major oil producers such as Saudi Arabia to increase their oil supplies and lower prices, warning starkly that lack of relief would harm the global economy.

“We are in a lot of conversations with the major oil producers like Saudi Arabia to let them know that it’s not going to be good for them if our economy is hobbled because of high oil prices,” Obama said in an interview with a Detroit television station.

His remarks signaled a broad new appeal in the face of skyrocketing gasoline prices in the United States and they came on the same day that he reiterated a call for Congress to repeal oil industry tax breaks.

This comes on the heels of Shell’s decision to abandon drilling in Alaska because of the EPA’s refusal to grant needed permits:

Shell Oil Company has announced it must scrap efforts to drill for oil this summer in the Arctic Ocean off the northern coast of Alaska. The decision comes following a ruling by the EPA’s Environmental Appeals Board to withhold critical air permits. The move has angered some in Congress and triggered a flurry of legislation aimed at stripping the EPA of its oil drilling oversight.

Shell has spent five years and nearly $4 billion dollars on plans to explore for oil in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas. The leases alone cost $2.2 billion. Shell Vice President Pete Slaiby says obtaining similar air permits for a drilling operation in the Gulf of Mexico would take about 45 days. He’s especially frustrated over the appeal board’s suggestion that the Arctic drill would somehow be hazardous for the people who live in the area. “We think the issues were really not major,” Slaiby said, “and clearly not impactful for the communities we work in.”

If the EPA and the Obama administration are so concerned about polluting our own shores, what kind of rank hypocrisy is it to demand more oil from places where environmental standards are far lower? And how mean a con to pull on the American people, to say with one breath that we have to do something about higher gasoline prices out of one side of the mouth and then block any attempts to develop America’s own resources?

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a president or administration more hostile toward its own nation’s interests, nor more sanctimonious in the surety of its own superior wisdom.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

The grenade in your lamp


**Posted by Phineas

Hey, you know those twisty compact fluorescent bulbs we’re being “encouraged” to buy because incandescents are so evil? You know, the light bulbs that are going to save the planet, because they’re (begin pious look) sustainable (sigh wistfully, end pious look)?

They can explode and burn your house down:

A compact fluorescent light (CFL) on the ceiling burst and started a fire in a home in Hornell, N.Y. December 23, 2010. “Those are the lights everybody’s been telling us to use,” said Joe Gerych, Steuben County Fire Inspector. “It blew up like a bomb. It spattered all over.” Fire Chief Mike Robbins said the blaze destroyed the room where the fire started and everything in it, and the rest of the house suffered smoke and water damage. The Arkport Village Fire Department as well as the North Hornell Fire Department required about 15 minutes to put out the fire.

Bulb explodes without warning,” reported NBCactionnews.com, May 21, 2010.
“Tom and Nancy Heim were watching TV recently, when Tom decided to turn on the floor lamp next to his recliner chair. ‘I heard this loud pop…I saw what I thought was smoke, coming out of the top of the floor lamp,’ says Tom. Nancy suddenly found glass in her lap. She says, ‘I did not see it. I just heard it, and I noticed I had glass on me.'”

On February 23, 2011, TV NewsChannel 5 in Tennessee covered “a newly-released investigators’ report that blames a February 12 fatal fire in Gallatin on one of those CFL bulbs.” Ben Rose, an attorney for the rehabilitative facility in which Douglas Johnson, 45, perished, said, “This result is consistent with our own private investigation. …We have heard reports of similar fires being initiated by CFLs across the country.”

Read the whole thing, and remember to ask your congressman and state legislator, who are probably so proud of how “green” they are, why they are trying kill you.

via Watt’s Up With That, which has more about why these things can go boom.

RELATED: Snopes on the mercury hazard of CFLs.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Should Mother Earth be given “human rights”?


Bolivia seems to think so:

UNITED NATIONS — Bolivia will this month table a draft United Nations treaty giving “Mother Earth” the same rights as humans — having just passed a domestic law that does the same for bugs, trees and all other natural things in the South American country.

The bid aims to have the UN recognize the Earth as a living entity that humans have sought to “dominate and exploit” — to the point that the “well-being and existence of many beings” is now threatened.

The wording may yet evolve, but the general structure is meant to mirror Bolivia’s Law of the Rights of Mother Earth, which Bolivian President Evo Morales enacted in January.

That document speaks of the country’s natural resources as “blessings,” and grants the Earth a series of specific rights that include rights to life, water and clean air; the right to repair livelihoods affected by human activities; and the right to be free from pollution.

It also establishes a Ministry of Mother Earth, and provides the planet with an ombudsman whose job is to hear nature’s complaints as voiced by activist and other groups, including the state.

“If you want to have balance, and you think that the only (entities) who have rights are humans or companies, then how can you reach balance?” Pablo Salon, Bolivia’s ambassador to the UN, told Postmedia News. “But if you recognize that nature too has rights, and (if you provide) legal forms to protect and preserve those rights, then you can achieve balance.”

*Face palm*

I’m trying to decide which idea is more stupid: This one or the one proposed by Democrat Florida state representative Scott Randolph and endorsed by the FL ACLU that suggests a woman have her uterus “incorporated” to “keep the government out of it” … :-?

On a more serious note, Tony Katz adds:

Back in 2008, Morales handed out a pamphlet to the U.N., talking about his desire to save the planet. He referred to them as the “10 Commandments.” Top of the list to save the planet? End capitalism.

Next up: An environmental “court of justice”? Don’t be surprised.

European Union to ban cars by 2050?


**Posted by Phineas

In order to fight a problem that does not exist, the monster under the bed anthropogenic global warming, the European Union is pushing to ban automobiles by 2050:

The European Commission on Monday unveiled a “single European transport area” aimed at enforcing “a profound shift in transport patterns for passengers” by 2050.

The plan also envisages an end to cheap holiday flights from Britain to southern Europe with a target that over 50 per cent of all journeys above 186 miles should be by rail.

Top of the EU’s list to cut climate change emissions is a target of “zero” for the number of petrol and diesel-driven cars and lorries in the EU’s future cities.

Siim Kallas, the EU transport commission, insisted that Brussels directives and new taxation of fuel would be used to force people out of their cars and onto “alternative” means of transport.

“That means no more conventionally fuelled cars in our city centres,” he said. “Action will follow, legislation, real action to change behaviour.”

Not surprisingly, the Association of British Drivers has had a fit at the idea, calling it “economically disastrous” and “crazy.” While they’re right, that’s never stopped Green Statists in the past. I mean, what could be more desirable to their ethanol-fueled hearts than striking a blow against climate change (ignoring that it’s a natural process they cannot control) and at the same time constraining the individual liberty –in this case, the freedom of movement– of the citizen even more? I’m sure EUrocrats all over the Continent thrilled at the very idea.

And so did the buggy whip industry.

And thus we learn the Green Movement’s motto: Forward, into the past!!

via Pirate’s Cove

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

California: Judge suspends implementation of job-killing “greenhouse gas” law


**Posted by Phineas

A rare victory for commonsense in the Golden State:

Judge places California’s global warming program on hold

A San Francisco superior court judge has put California’s sweeping plan to curb greenhouse gas pollution on hold, saying the state did not adequately evaluate alternatives to its cap-and-trade program.

In a 35-page decision, Judge Ernest H. Goldsmith said the Air Resources Board had failed to consider public comments on the proposed measures before adopting the plan, which affects a broad swath of the state’s economy.

In particular, the judge noted, officials gave short shrift to analyzing a carbon fee, or carbon tax, devoting a “scant two paragraphs to this important alternative” to a market-based trading system in their December 2008 plan.

The air board said it would appeal the judge’s decision, which was filed late Friday and released Monday.

Sure, the judge wasn’t rejecting anthropogenic global warming per se, but instead objecting to the board’s lack of attention to public comment and consideration of alternative means to fight a problem that does not exist*. But, still, this functions as a temporary restraining order on a bill that would only do further damage to this state’s already gut-shot economy. The judge may be doing the right thing for the wrong reason, but it’s still the right thing.

*Okay, I may have editorialized a bit with those last few words.

ADDENDUM: Even if one thinks there’s some validity to the theory of AGW, the idea that California by itself can make a significant impact in the face of gross polluters such as China is laughable. AB32 is patent medicine meant only to make the Green Statists feel good about themselves, even though it’s laced with poison.

via Watt’s Up With That?

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)