Obama’s Climate Action Plan is Clueless and Dangerous

The Obama administration has been marked by many scandals and questionable policies demonstrating its incompetence in leadership, its sleaziness, and its disregard for the Constitution.  If  Benghazi, the IRS, AP/Fox and NSA scandals were not enough, Obama’s Climate Action Plan, may be his stupidest policy (even considering Obamacare).  Remember Bill Clinton’s admonition: “It’s the economy, stupid?”

Obama’s war on coal and carbon dioxide will have the effect of making everything more expensive and endanger our electricity supply.  The Heritage Foundation estimates that Obama’s anti-coal policies will cause a family of four to lose more than $1,000 in annual income. The Science and Public Policy Institute estimates that Obama’s proposed reduction in carbon dioxide emissions might, theoretically, reduce the global temperature by 0.17 degrees Celsius by the year 2100.  Much more pain than gain.  Obama’s plan will harm America.  Is he doing it through sheer naive zealotry or by calculated intention?

Obama’s plan aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 3 billion metric tons by 2030.   Mark Jacobson, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford University says,  “It’s amazing how little this all actually does.” “In many ways, this makes things worse.”  How? One scheme to reduce emissions is by carbon capture (and storage) at electrical generating plants.  The trouble is that such systems use about 40% of the energy produced so that they may actual result in more emissions.  So called “clean coal” systems would almost double the cost of electricity produced from natural gas and coal, making it almost as expensive as wind-generated electricity.  The feasibility of this scheme is questionable since the technology is largely unproven.

The usually liberal Washington Post opines:

“If you accept the science of global warming, then you accept the fact that the president’s unilateral action on climate change will have absolutely no effect in terms of adjusting the global thermostat to a temperature Obama finds desirable. The rest of the developing world, anchored by India and China, are building carbon-burning factories, power plants and even whole new cities that will overwhelm any new rules the president may impose on Americans and our struggling economy.”

Meteorologist Anthony Watts, proprietor of the “Watts Up With That?” blog has an analysis of the plan in which he makes these points:

→More hand-outs for an already bloated climate science culture, $2.7 billion in FY 2014.

→More regulations on existing power plants, as if they don’t have enough already. This will translate into higher electricity prices everywhere.

→The trucking industry is going to get hit again. This will translate into higher cost for goods.

→Fast-tracking green energy – more pie in the sky since just about every green initiative and handout in Obama’s first term has ended in failure.

→No comprehensive nuclear power plan, no mention of a Thorium reactor initiative, much like China is doing.

→Giveaways: approximately $7.5 billion for climate assistance to developing countries.

As British blogger Bishop Hill (Andrew Montford) opines, “The general theme seems to be some more fixing of markets to favor his supporters in the renewables industry and some more regulations to tie up the fossil fuel bogeyman.”

In some respects, Obama’s plan seems largely to appease environmental activists whose support he has been losing. For instance, The Huffington Post reports: “President Barack Obama will ask the State Department not to approve the construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline unless it can first determine that it will not lead to a net increase in greenhouse gas emissions.”

Anthony Watts responds: “Well, the State Department has already found that Keystone XL will have no impact on the climate because Canada will still develop its oil sands. In fact, if Keystone XL isn’t built, global greenhouse gas emissions are likely to increase because more oil sands crude would be refined in countries like China where current emissions standards allow three times more sulfur dioxide than in the United States. Canada accounts for only 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions and emissions from oil sands are a small fraction of that.”

The Competitive Enterprise Institute opines that Obama’s plan is “undemocratic, bordering on authoritarian, disingenuous on Keystone” and that it “is being done without public or congressional support and is being pursued in this way because he knows the peoples’ elected representatives would never approve these plans.”  Furthermore, “Obama’s all-pain, no-gain agenda will cost jobs, drive up prices and have little effect on global emissions.”

Dr. Tim Ball, retired climatology professor from the University of Winnipeg, says that Obama’s climate speech was “riddled with lies.”  “President Barack Obama’s naïve and error-riddled speech at Georgetown University…clearly demonstrated that he is serious about trying to stop global climate change.” “Obama also seems oblivious to real-world economic evidence that the policy path on which he is setting the U.S. has already been tried and has failed in other countries.”

The Washington Times claims: “Mr. Obama is about to hammer the American energy industry, and he’s doing it for money.”

The Keystone XL pipeline would carry oil not only from Canada, but also from the booming oil fields of North Dakota.  Currently, the North Dakota production is carried by rail, specifically Warren Buffet’s Burlington Northern railroad.  Mr. Buffet also owns Union Tank Car, one of the biggest makers of oil tank railcars.

“Running Mr. Buffett’s name through the Federal Election Commission data bank reveals page after page of contributions to Mr. Obama and every conceivable Democratic Party-affiliated organization, amounting to uncounted millions.”

The common theme in the Obama administration scandals is abuse of power or incompetence. Mr. Obama, in his climate address, claims he is doing it “for the children.”  Yeah right!

Obama calls carbon dioxide a pollutant, even though it is necessary for all life on the planet. For some real science on the beneficial effects of carbon dioxide see an editorial from the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change here.

(This article was originally published in the Arizona Daily Independent)

See also:

Big Wind gets “get out of jail free card” from Obama Administration

Regulating behind closed doors, the cozy relationship between the Feds and environmental groups

Another Obama scandal may be brewing at the EPA

 

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24 comments

  1. Every day we have more evidence of oblamo’s incompetence & dangerous policies!!! One look at the Middle East speaks volumes!!!

  2. “Obama calls carbon dioxide a pollutant, even though it is necessary for all life on the planet. For some real science on the beneficial effects of carbon dioxide . . .”
    ——————————————————————————

    Do you suppose the author is really so ignorant as to think his words above were making some sort of point? Or is he just trying to distract the gullible from the issue? If you want some real science, listen to the real scientists, not the discredited bloggers and industry “think tanks” the author seems to favor.

    1. I agree! When he writes about the geology of the Tucson Basin or the Grand Canyon it’s great. When he writes about this stuff I move on. He has his scope and it’s his blog so who am I.?

  3. What an odd premise for rejecting Obama’s climate plan. Maybe I’m just a looney, libertarian, environmentalist, ex-attorney, but his logic here is more holey than God’s swiss cheese.

    “The Science and Public Policy Institute estimates that Obama’s proposed reduction in carbon dioxide emissions might, theoretically, reduce the global temperature by 0.17 degrees Celsius by the year 2100. Much more pain than gain.”

    What I, personally, don’t like about Mr. DuHamel’s article, is that he focuses on bashing the Obama administration, without offering any significant propositions or solutions for the climate emergency that we could be facing. He recognizes that the temperature is rising, and that cutting CO2 according to Obama’s plan will “reduce the global temperature by 0.17 degrees,” which is very insignificant, but doesn’t address the main issue with Obama’s plan—the issue that his plan does not do nearly enough to transform our economy to one not reliant on coal and fossil fuel. This is the end goal, of course, to save ourselves from our own demise, and Obama’s plan is only meant to begin the discussion. It is not an end result. It is not very effective, and his speech was mostly rhetorical (as most political speeches are nowadays), but it is the beginning of the discussion of climate change as a major issue.

    What is so wrong with attempting to transition to a smarter, cleaner, more efficient economy? Ask the people living near the Enbridge dilbit spill what they think about our energy sources in terms of human and environmental health. We have been using refined oil and coal for energy for over a century now, why wouldn’t it be time to begin our transition into the future?

    If you still aren’t convinced that we need to make changes, check out Google’s new quantum computer. “If we want to create effective environmental policies, we need better models of what’s happening to our climate.”

    Please keep an open mind on the subject and realize that we don’t know everything yet. Let’s be part of the solution and leave out these types of useless, ill-founded attacks.

    1. Dear Jonathan, If we indeed have a “climate emergency” as you put it, then nothing in Obama’s plan addresses that emergency. Can you come up with any physical evidence showing that our carbon dioxide emissions play a major part in causing that climate change “emergency”? And if you want efficient energy production, then don’t look to solar and wind. Because of their intermittent, unpredictable production, they require backup, and that backup will necessarily be run inefficiently rather than steadily. The net result is actually more emissions. Solar and wind also use vast stretches of land and are both very expensive and unreliable.

      1. Dear Mr. Duhamel,

        I agree—nothing in Obama’s plan addresses the climate emergency. It is merely the sort of empty political, buzz-word-filled rhetoric that got him elected twice by the sheep in this country.

        I am not a scientist, I have not done any actual research on the matter, but I am an academic, and when looking through the published studies, I try to stay away from research that was published and written by persons with vested fossil fuel interests.

        One such vested interest is contained in your link to the “Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change.” I’m not sure if you are aware of this, but this facade of an organization is actually a remnant of the now-defunct “Greening Earth Society,” which was a child of the Western Fuels Association—a $400 million coal producer cooperative.

        On the Center’s website, C.D. Idso and K.E. Idso published a paper called, “Carbon Dioxide and Global Warming: Where We Stand on the Issue.” Craig Idso is the founder of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change and he also happens to be the former Director of Environmental Science at Peabody Energy Company.

        Peabody, of course, is the world’s largest private coal company, which fuels nearly 10 percent of all U.S. electricity generation.

        I don’t have all of the answers to your questions about environmental efficiency and alternative energy, but I will spend a bit more dinero in my lifetime to help support an industry that desperately needs to get off the ground and become commercially viable, if we are to curb our ever-increasing carbon emissions.

        Posts linking to an unprofessional, un-peer-reviewed website containing papers all published by interested fossil fuel “academics” is the wrong way to go about convincing people of your dislike for Obama’s energy policy.

        CO2, among other gases, traps heat. This is a pretty undisputed, well-known fact. If you can find a union of concerned scientists that isn’t funded by fossil-fuel interests to deny this claim, I would love to see it. The reason CO2 gets all the flack is because it remains in the atmosphere the longest (thousands of years) unless we find a way to remove it. Water vapor, methane, and nitrous oxide all have much shorter cycles, although they do contribute to atmospheric heat retention.

        Again, I don’t have the answers, but I want to make sure the air is clear from bad information to make room for when the answers have been truly discovered.

        http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/science_and_impacts/science/CO2-and-global-warming-faq.html

      2. Never checked the veracity of the accusation SourceWatch regurgitates, did you? Nor exactly what this guilt-by-association accusation is an outgrowth from, did you?

      3. First, the residence time of CO2 in the atmosphere is less than ten years, not hundreds or thousands, see

        Segalstad, T.V., 2008, Carbon cycle modeling and the residence time of natural and anthropogenic atmospheric CO2, Mineralogical-Geological Museum, University of Oslo, Sars’ Gate 1, N-0562 Oslo, Norway http://folk.uio.no/tomvs/esef/ESEF3VO2.htm

        Secondly, you are playing “guilt by association” even if the associations are wrong. I could play too, saying that all those IPCC authors have a vested interest in keeping the CO2 hoax going – more grant money that way.

      4. You’re being a bit ridiculous with these sources, no offense. Again, you’re providing information without disclosing which organizations commissioned the paper. This one was written by a Heartland Institute “expert.” The Heartland Institute has received tens of millions of dollars from ExxonMobil and Koch Industries. I invite you to provide one shred of AGW skepticism that is not at least partially-funded by oil interests. I don’t know how much experience you have dealing with multinational corporations, but do you honestly think ExxonMobil would commission a paper if the paper proved that Exxon’s campaign against climate science was ill-founded? I think not. If it was my back against the wall I surely wouldn’t. It’s the same reason we don’t like a mother testifying on behalf of her child on trial.

        Although this is not a scientific study, it summarizes every other study on the four principal categories of greenhouse gas that I have read. Maybe it will be easier to wrap one’s head around. Your Segalstad article clashes with everything that has been found by the majority of scientists. I’m not saying he is wrong, but come on… he is wrong. http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/jan/16/greenhouse-gases-remain-air

        (If you want multiple studies along this same line, Google “How long does CO2 stay in the atmosphere?” and be sure to check sourcewatch.org to see where the funding for the organization/study came from.)

        The reason your “guilt by association” trick with the IPCC doesn’t work, is because the IPCC receives its funding, in-part, from the WMO, the world’s oldest weather/meteorological organization, as well as the UNEP of the UN—not from renewable energy companies or interests.

        In order to make your dichotomy fully valid, the majority of the world’s scientists and the IPCC would have to be funded by the renewable energy industry in order to prove AGW is real, thus destroying the fossil fuel industry.

        Because that is not the case, the only side of the coin that truly exists is that an extremely small minority of the world’s scientists, who are funded by the fossil fuel interests, are bent on disproving AGW in order to protect industry profits, thus stalemating the progress of the renewable energy industry.

        Take a look at the tobacco industry. Remember the “Lucky Strikes sooth your sore throat, cure your cough and make you healthier” load of bull? Quite a fall from grace that was…

      5. I find it incredible that you dismiss a scientific paper, printed in a conference symposium report, i.e., Bate, R. (Ed.): “Global Warming: The Continuing Debate”, European Science and Environment Forum (ESEF), Cambridge, England (ISBN 0-9527734-2-2), pages 184-219, 1998, and then try to rebut with a newspaper article.

        Well, here is another paper printed by the American Chemical Society:

        Potential Dependence of Global Warming on the Residence Time (RT) in the Atmosphere of Anthropogenically Sourced Carbon Dioxide

        H. Essenhigh*

        Department of Mechanical Engineering, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio 43210

        Energy Fuels, Article ASAP

        DOI: 10.1021/ef800581r

        Publication Date (Web): April 1, 2009

        Residence time of CO2 in the atmosphere can be estimated from the extra C14 injected into the atmosphere from the 1950-60 atomic bomb tests.

        The cited paper says in part: “from the analysis, provide (quasi-equilibrium) RTs for CO2 of 5 years carrying C12 and 16 years carrying C14, with both values essentially in agreement with the IPCC short-term (4 year) value and, separately, in agreement with most other data sources, notably, a 1998 listing by Segalstad of 36 other published values, also in the range of 5−15 years. ….With the short (5−15 year) RT results shown to be in quasi-equilibrium, this then supports the (independently based) conclusion that the long-term (100 year) rising atmospheric CO2 concentration is not from anthropogenic sources but, in accordance with conclusions from other studies, is most likely the outcome of the rising atmospheric temperature, which is due to other natural factors. This further supports the conclusion that global warming is not anthropogenically driven as an outcome of combustion.”

        You seem very reluctant to embrace facts and instead favor conspiracy theories.

      6. Ahh yes, good ol’ Robert Essenhigh. Again, another Heartland Institute ‘expert.’ This guy also believes that global warming is going to reverse in the next 10 years and send Earth into a new ice age.

        “Essenhigh knows that his scientific opinion is a minority one. As far as he knows, he’s the only person who’s linked global warming and carbon dioxide in this particular way.”

        AKA not peer-reviewed…

        http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/nowarm.htm

      7. Yet all those climate “experts” have produced models that give results far from reality. As Richard Feynmann said: “It doesn’t matter how beautiful your theory is; it doesn’t matter how smart you are. If it doesn’t agree with experiment, it’s wrong.”

      8. In case you haven’t bothered to check, the NIPCC Reports published by Heartland ( http://www.nipccreport.org/reports/2011/2011report.html ) cite thousands of peer-reviewed science journal-published papers for its assessment on how the IPCC has not conclusively made its case about global warming being primarily driven by human activity. And you expect us to believe Exxon influenced the material in all those papers?

        Meanwhile, you expect us to accept material from SkS without objection, when the proprietor of that site was caught red-handed deleting material that didn’t suit his ‘scientific’ assessments: http://nigguraths.wordpress.com/2011/10/10/skepticalscience-rewriting-history/

        If Heartland does things you don’t approve of and this taints any material they put out, then by default questionable actions by SkS taints anything they put out. You can’t have it both ways.

      9. When you say you are an “ex-attorney”, I’m surprised you don’t see how you plunge off the cliff of credibility with your statement, “The Heartland Institute has received tens of millions of dollars from ExxonMobil and Koch Industries.”

        Two words: PROVE IT. Better yet – so as you do not paint yourself into the corner of reliance on a paper-thin guilt-by-association wipeout – please indulge us with the full context document scans, undercover video/audio transcripts, leaked emails, money-transfer receipts, or any other physical proof corresponding to instructions for skeptics to lie under direction from fossil fuel industry executives. Take your time, we’ll wait.

        Fail to do so, and the rest of us wonder if you can’t actually disprove that what little money that skeptic scientists and organizations they associate with was received simply because the donors agreed with what the skeptics say.

        Surely as someone who is familiar with courtroom hearings, you’d understand the peril of enslavement to assertions about corruption that look like nothing more than unsubstantiated conspiracy theory…..

      10. I wish I could offer you the latest documents, but as the Heartland institute states on its website:

        “Regrettably, listing our donors in this way allowed people who disagree with our views to accuse us of being “paid” by specific donors to take positions in public policy debates, something we never do. After much deliberation and with some regret, we now keep confidential the identities of all our donors. This is standard practice by nonprofit advocacy organizations regardless of their philosophies.”

        That “something we never do” line gets me.

        http://heartland.org/funding

        If you want an older document, here you go, I had to find it in a 2002 web archive. While Koch didn’t donate between 1999 and 2011 (obvious allegations which I can post if you really want me to do all of the research for you), you will see most major oil and chemical companies on this list.

        http://web.archive.org/web/20021108025956/http://www.heartland.org/pdf/donors.pdf

      11. ” … I want to make sure the air is clear from bad information …”

        Really? Exactly where is there any physical evidence that Co2Science.org was paid to fabricate false papers or assessments?

        Next thing you’ll tell us is that a Pulitzer-winning journalist uncovered the guilt of the Idsos back in the 1990s. But of course you never did your due diligence to make sure all those points of accusation and the details of the so-called ‘journalist’ ever lined up right, did you?

      12. I’m bored with this already. If you guys didn’t have your heads stuck up your arses and actually did the research yourselves, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

        Of course there’s not a receipt of payment for “one fabricated scientific paper” but the money trail is very clear and pretty obvious. Go find it yourself. I’m done being a research hamster for articles, sources, and documents that have been published several times in credible, peer-reviewed scientific journals.

    2. ” … What is so wrong with attempting to transition to a smarter, cleaner, more efficient economy? …”

      Nothing at all. But why bring it up in the manner of a shell-game tactic talking point as so many others do? Skeptics question whether the global warming we see is primarily driven by human-induced greenhouse gases. Are you unaware of how the defense of ‘skeptics are anti-clean air’ undermines your position? Why would you set yourself up for that kind of wipeout?

      Ironic you mention a dislike of “useless, ill-founded attacks”, and elsewhere here you insinuate a conspiracy of scientists collaborating with fossil fuel industry interests, but you provide not a shred of evidence to prove that particular accusation.

  4. Who cares about Obama…that guy can’t even get through a speech without a teleprompter. Who cares what he thinks.

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