Category Archives: environmentalism

The Planet Tax

By INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY | Posted Tuesday, June 03, 2008 4:20 PM PT

Global Warming: The Senate takes up a bill to strangle the economy and mortgage your children’s future in the name of saving the planet. Hold on to your wallets and your jobs. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.


Read More: Global Warming | Budget & Tax Policy


 

The U.S. needs a Domestic Energy Development Act, but what it might get this week is a Climate Security Act that makes human sacrifices of the American people on the altar of the environmental earth goddess, Gaia.

As Ben Lieberman of the Heritage Foundation points out, global warming is a concern, not a crisis. We have recently noted scientists who, on the basis of actual observation and not computer models, have said warming stopped in 1998 and will remain dormant at least for the next decade, even as emissions rise.

Global warming has been proved to be a natural, cyclical phenomenon determined by natural forces such as ocean currents and solar activity. This bill even ignores the global part, imposing draconian costs on just the American people and economy for marginal and temporary gains.

Lieberman states that the bill sponsored by Sen. John Warner, R-Va., and Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., no relation, would cost the U.S. manufacturing sector alone more than 1 million jobs by 2022 and 2 million by 2027.

GDP losses could reach $4.8 trillion by 2030. All this pain, he says, would “reduce the Earth’s temperature by one- or two-tenths of a degree Celsius — too small to even verify.”

The bill targets power plants, refineries, factories and transportation, and simply ignores the fact that from 2006 to 2030 the U.S. population will grow by 22% and the number of new housing units by 25%. Americans will need more energy, not less.

A study by Charles River Associates puts the cost (in terms of reduced household spending per year) of Warner-Lieberman at $800 to $1,300 by 2015, rising to $1,500 to $2,500 by 2050. Electricity prices could jump by 36% to 65% by 2015 and 8% to 125% by 2050.

Heritage reckons the bill will raise gasoline prices by $1.10 a gallon by 2030. To which Sen. Lieberman glibly responded: “People would be thrilled to have gas prices rise only 2 cents a year.”

But they’d rise much more than that, Joe, as you and your peers cut off forever the nation’s abundant energy resources.

According to Heritage, because of Warner-Lieberman, from 2012 to 2030 every U.S. household will pay on average $8,870 extra to buy energy, aside from higher gasoline prices resulting from locking out oil and gas in ANWR, the Outer Continental Shelf and in Rocky Mountain shale.

The bill aims to cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 35% to 40% below 2005 levels. It will employ a “cap and trade” system whereby emissions would be limited on a yearly basis, with manufacturers and energy producers trading carbon credits like baseball cards. Since the European Union adopted them three years ago, their emissions have actually gone up several percentage points.

President Bush, estimating the proposed law “would impose roughly $6 trillion of new costs on the American economy,” has rightly said he’ll veto the bill in its present form.

What America needs is a bill with a Manhattan Project for nuclear power plants, a plan to develop the two trillion barrels of North American shale oil, and a map of where the rigs in ANWR and offshore will go.

 

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Obama’s Black Ambition

If Barack Obama is running on the platform of being black, then he should lose unless the electorate cows in fear meanwhile justifying their own capitulation by hypocritical accusations (e.g., against conservatives for resisting miscegenation). An economist article suggested that American whites are less racist than they used to be (like in the fifties) because whites have had a seven-fold increase in the proportion of interracial children. This argument infers that whites are racist if they don’t intermarry and that whites are therefore racist by virtue of their skin color. Notwithstanding the fact that this is a racist argument, it leads unambiguously to the conclusion that whites are criminal (because it is a crime to be racist).  Don’t you like how the devil turns things upside down? Very nice logic indeed.

A leftist on tv says that she thinks it’s mean that people won’t vote for a candidate because of his race. On the contrary, it’s mean to vote for a candidate because of his/her identity.

 

 

Vietnam Killed Liberals’ Will To Oppose Evil

By DENNIS PRAGER | Posted Tuesday, April 22, 2008 4:30 PM PT

The state of the liberal mind is on display on this week’s cover of Time magazine.

The already notorious cover takes the iconic photograph of U.S. Marines planting the American flag on Iwo Jima and substitutes a tree for the flag. Why Time’s editors did this explains much about contemporary liberalism.

The first thing it explains is that liberals, not to mention the left as a whole, stopped fighting evil during the Vietnam War.

As I wrote in my last column, whereas liberals had led the fight against Nazism before and during World War II, and against communism after the war, the liberal will to fight communism, the greatest organized evil of the postwar world, collapsed during the Vietnam War.

The Vietnam War did to American liberals what World War I did to most Europeans — it rendered them anti-war rather than anti-evil.

That is why liberals have gone AWOL in the fight against Islamic totalitarianism. As during the post-Vietnam Cold War, when liberals fought anti-communists much more than they fought communists, they fight anti-Islamists much more than they fight Islamists.

Thus, Democrats routinely dismiss the Bush administration’s talk about the threat of Islamic terror as “scare tactics.”

But — and this is a primary reason for Time’s cover — liberals know that they have largely opted out of the fight against Islamists; their only passion on this matter is abandoning the war against Islamists in Iraq.

But like nearly all people who believe in a cause, they know that they have to fight some evil — after all, the world really seems threatened by something.

So they have channeled their desire to fight threats to the world to fighting an enemy that will not hurt them or their loved ones — man-made carbon dioxide emissions.

It is much easier to fight global warming than to fight human evil.

You will be celebrated at Time, Newsweek, the New York Times, the BBC and throughout the media world, no one will threaten your life, there are huge grants available to scientists and others who fight real or exaggerated environmental problems, and you may even receive an Academy Award and the Nobel Peace Prize. Individuals who fight Islamists get fatwas.

The Time cover is cheap heroism. It is a liberal attempt to depict as equally heroic those who fight carbon emissions and those who fought Japanese fascists and Nazis.

Second, for much of the left, the cover reflects the primacy of environmental concerns over moral concerns.

For example, the left seemed never to care about the millions of Africans who continued to die from malaria largely because of the environmentalists’ worldwide ban on the use of DDT as a pesticide.

The same holds true for another left-wing environmentalist fantasy. Changing corn into biofuels is causing a surge in food prices throughout the world. The European Union continues this policy despite warnings even from some environmentalists that food shortages, starvation and food riots are imminent.

But human suffering is not as significant as environmental degradation.

Third, the left is far more internationalist — global, if you will — in its orientation than national.

As the Time article states, “Going green: What could be redder, whiter and bluer than that?” Whereas, for most Americans, patriotism remains red, white and blue; for much of the left, it is green.

Fourth, the further left you go, the more inclined you are to hysteria. From the threat of DDT to the threat of heterosexual AIDS in America to that mass killer, secondhand smoke, the left believes and spreads threats that, unlike the threat of Islamic terror, really are “scare tactics.”

Years from now, Time’s cover will be regarded as another silly media-induced fear.

But, as with Time’s 1974 article warning its readers about “another ice age” and its many articles on the threat of heterosexual AIDS in America, Time will just let public amnesia deal with credibility problems.

Until then, however, one fact remains: Today, conservatives fight evil and liberals fight carbon emissions. That’s what this week’s cover of Time is about.

Prager is a radio show host, contributing columnist for Townhall.com and author of four books, including “Happiness Is a Serious Problem: A Human Nature Repair Manual.”

Copyright 2008 Creators Syndicate, Inc

The Environmentalists’ Real Agenda

By INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY | Posted Tuesday, April 22, 2008 4:20 PM PT

Ideologies: Once in a while the truth accidentally tumbles out on global warming activists’ real agenda. That’s exactly what happened at the U.N., when Bolivia’s leader called for ending capitalism to save the planet.


Read More: Global Warming


 

Delivering the keynote address at the United Nations forum on Indigenous People on Monday, Bolivia’s President Evo Morales told the adoring crowd that “if we want to save our planet earth, to save life, to save mankind, we have a duty to put an end to the capitalist system.”

Morales elaborated on that by calling for an end to “unbridled industrial development, extraction of natural resources, excessive consumption of goods and accumulation of waste.”

More conveniently, he also demanded that trillions of dollars from the West be diverted to places like Bolivia, “to repair the earth.”

Seldom has the environmentalist agenda to end the capitalist system been laid out so plainly.

But in reality, it’s capitalism — combined with the framework that enables it to flourish, like rule of law and property rights — that has lifted billions of people out of poverty and improved the environment. Contrary to Morales’ assertions, the most capitalist countries are also the cleanest.

According to a 2006 study by the Heartland Institute, free enterprise does more to protect the environment than state intervention.

“The nations that have the best track records on environmental protection and improvement are those with the highest amount of free-market capitalism,” wrote Samuel Aldrich and Jay Lehr, in “Free Enterprise Protects the Environment.”

Morales is a Marxist, so the environmental records of the communist and socialist systems he touts to save the earth are instructive.

After communism fell in Eastern Europe, some of the biggest revelations were about how vast the pollution was in countries where no one was permitted to own or care for land.

Getting rid of capitalism created the black rivers of China, filled Eastern Europe’s skies with unfiltered coal and diesel exhaust, brought deforestation that’s led to sandstorms in China, spilled oil that destroyed Siberian lakes, and poisoned land with mercury and nickel waste in large swaths of Eastern Europe and Cuba.

It also brought the still-dead nuclear devastation of Chernobyl. Diverse as these regions are, the lack of capitalism means there was no accountability or incentives to save the earth.

And, sadly, it’s still that way now. According to the Blacksmith Institute, the 10 most polluted places on earth are in Azerbaijan, China, India, Peru, Russia, Ukraine and Zambia, all of which have long histories of communism, socialism or nationalist isolation, the very alternatives Morales proposes to replace capitalism.

Morales’ attack on capitalism represents the real agenda for the radical environmentalists. They seek global governance and an end to private property, an unsalable concept given the record of communist countries. So they’re marketing it under a new brand name, wrapped in the greener concept of “saving the earth.”

Milking the West’s fascination for the exotic, Morales has the game down flat. “We feel that we have the ethical and moral right to talk about these things as indigenous peoples because we have historically lived in harmony with Mother Earth,” he said. “It is indigenous peoples who have defended this Mother Earth, Planet Earth.”

For that, he’s feted in the radical-chic circles of Manhattan as an indigenous font of truth — a real Aymara Indian from Bolivia and thus, wiser about conserving the planet than us ordinary mortals.

The patronizing attitude is obvious in statements like U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s:

“Indigenous peoples live in many of the world’s most biologically diverse areas. As custodians of these lands, they have accumulated deep, firsthand knowledge about the impacts of environmental degradation, including climate change. They know the economic and social consequences, and they can and should play a role in the global response.”

What’s really going on with the people Ban extols is something else: “Too often their real agenda is power — power to remake the economic and social systems to suit their own command and control goals, not to serve the public good as they so loudly proclaim,” Aldrich and Lehr wrote.

Romanticization of nature to promote state control hasn’t had it this good since the days of Rousseau’s noble savage. The only problem for environmental radicals, of course, is that sometimes the designated “savages” accidentally reveal the truth.

Time Bomb

If the internal combustion engine is the greatest threat in the history of mankind, then who’s anti-progress and anti-technology, the right or the left? Figures in the highest echelons of Dem politics today, such as Fmr VP Gore and Fmr Pres Bill Clinton, have both said that global warming is ultimately a greater threat than terrorism despite scientific evidence to the contrary. Now who is anti-science and anti-rationalism, the right or the left?

By INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY | Posted Friday, April 18, 2008 4:20 PM PT

Media: Time calls green “the new red, white and blue” and likens global warming to the fight against Nazism and fascism. As it insults World War II vets, the magazine seeks to impose a tyranny all its own.


Read More: Media & Culture | Global Warming

 

We never cease to be amazed by the inability of the left to feel shame and its lack of reverence for America and those who defend its freedoms, including the right to be stupid.

The cover of the April 21 issue of Time, taking the famous Joe Rosenthal photo of Marines planting our flag on the blood-soaked island of Iwo Jima and replacing our flag with a tree, qualifies for obscenity of the year.

 

TIME for a history lesson and some perspective.

It echoes the greenie theme first advanced by Al Gore in his book “Earth In The Balance” that the internal combustion engine is the greatest threat in the history of mankind. Gore and Bill Clinton have both said that global warming is ultimately a greater threat than terrorism.

That, admitted Time managing editor Richard Stengel, was the thinking behind the cover story. “One of the things we do in this story,” he said last week on MSNBC, “is we say there needs to be an effort along the lines of preparing for World War II to combat global warming and climate change.”

This trivializing of the sacrifice of American blood and treasure to defend freedom ignores the fact that in World War II we faced a real enemy with a terrible agenda. The bombs that fell on Pearl Harbor were quite real, not the output of some badly fed computer model.

“Global warming may or may not be a significant threat to the United States,” Tim Holbert, a spokesman for the American Veterans Center, told the Business and Media Institute (BMI): “The Japanese Empire on February 1945, however, certainly was, and this photo trivializes the most recognizable moment of one of the bloodiest battles in U.S. history.”

It was not that long ago that the media, including Time, was singing a different tune and waging a different war.

An article in its June 24, 1974, issue entitled “Another Ice Age?” told of how, “when meteorologists take an average of temperatures around the globe, they find that the atmosphere has been gradually cooler for the past three decades.”

Time spoke then of a “global climatic upheaval” and “climatological Cassandras who are becoming increasingly apprehensive, for the weather aberrations they are studying may be the harbinger of another ice age.”

Reputable scientists and satellite and other observations have noted another cooling period under way since 1998. Declining solar activity in the current cycle correlates with other cool periods in Earth’s history. It ties in perfectly with climate history that shows the warming and cooling of Earth is a natural and cyclical process.

A man who knows a little about fighting totalitarianism, Vaclav Klaus, president of the Czech Republic, wrote in the Financial Times last year:

“As someone who lived under communism for most of his life, I feel obliged to say that I see the biggest threat to freedom, democracy, the market economy and prosperity now in ambitious environmentalism, not communism. This ideology wants to replace the free and spontaneous evolution of mankind by a sort of central (now global) planning.”

Lt. John Keith Wells, leader of the platoon that raised the flags on Mt. Suribachi, told BMI: “That global warming is the biggest joke I’ve ever known.” He knows a real enemy and a real threat when he sees one.

 

PBS And The ‘Remarkable’ Ted Turner

By L. BRENT BOZELL | Posted Thursday, April 10, 2008 4:30 PM PT

Ted Turner was not only interviewed, but celebrated on PBS — on April Fool’s Day. The prank was apparently on PBS. It was as if Turner had a subversive mission, to prove that PBS isn’t just for smart people.

True to form, Turner walked off a cliff of rhetorical excess on “The Charlie Rose Show,” charging that global warming was going to grow so severe that in a few decades, most of humanity would be extinct.

“We’ll be eight degrees hotter in 10 — not 10, but 30 or 40 years and basically none of the crops will grow. Most of the people will have died, and the rest of us will be cannibals.”

Charlie Rose should have been embarrassed, but wasn’t. When Turner said during the show, “It’s been a long time since anybody caught me saying something stupid,” he should have administered a Breathalyzer test.

Instead, at show’s end, he delivered an homage to Turner’s humanitarianism. Rose was still seated, but the tone sounded like he was bowing deeply to his guest’s expansive intellect. “You’re a remarkable man,” he declared.

The global warming disaster-movie pushers always try to intimidate their opponents by insisting the finest scientific minds are all on their side. But Ted Turner is not one of the finest scientific minds in America. All you have to do is express the politically correct opinion and PBS will treat you as one of the world’s great sages.

PBS is a natural habitat for this kind of wild-eyed lunacy. The taxpayer-funded network has a well-worn reputation for providing gloomy — and wholly inaccurate — predictions from environmental extremists.

In 1990, the PBS documentary series “Race to Save the Planet” featured another one of those lesser scientific minds, actress Meryl Streep: “By the year 2000 — that’s less than 10 years away — the earth’s climate will be warmer than it’s been in over 100,000 years. If we don’t do something, there’ll be enormous calamities in a very short time.”

Doesn’t everyone remember the massive human die-off of 2000?

Al Gore went to Harvard with Erich Segal, the author of “Love Story,” so he knows that being in love with the planet Earth means never having to say you’re sorry when your doomsday pitches are massively, dreadfully wrong. But shouldn’t PBS and other media outlets be held accountable when doomsday predictions they’ve facilitated from 15 or 20 years ago fail to materialize?

Liberalism is so impressed with its own brilliance that results apparently don’t matter. There is the “enlightened” opinion, and there is the benighted opinion.

When Charlie Rose interviewed Gore in 2006, he wondered about how President Bush could be so deluded about the impending warming disaster: “But do you know anybody who has temporarily tried to have a conversation with the president about this, in a way which you would consider an enlightened conversation?” Gore said Bush is an “incurious person,” which is a patronizing way of saying he’s not stupid, he just doesn’t care as much about the planet as we do.

But can’t it be said that Ted Turner is an incurious person? What has Ted Turner ever done to display his curiosity about free-market environmentalism?

Eleven years ago, when he was still in charge of CNN, he wouldn’t let opponents speak. It was bad enough that CNN (and TBS) had a habit of airing extremely one-sided eco-panic — even with child indoctrination in cartoon form like “Captain Planet.”

Turner even had commercials opposing the Kyoto global warming treaty pulled from his airwaves. They were apparently inaccurate for predicting that U.S. approval of Kyoto would dramatically increase gas and electricity prices for the American people.

This was one gloomy scenario that Turner would not endorse. Despite its status as a prediction about the future — just like Turner’s — it was denounced as a lie in the present tense.

The media, including PBS, are supposed to follow the truth wherever it leads. They can suspect that conservatives have an axe to grind. Fine. They ought to suspect the same from liberals.

The media could make gains against their damaged credibility by simply revisiting environmental crystal-ball claims from 1968, 1978 and 1988, and answering the question: Were the doomsayers and their predictions of disaster right?

Instead, the media appear to all the world as trapped inside a hermetically sealed bubble of its own incuriosity.

The Business and Media Institute studied global warming stories on ABC, CBS and NBC in the second half of 2007, and found only 20% of stories even mentioned the mere concept that some disagree with doomsday global warming scenarios.

Skeptical scientists are routinely locked out, while Ted Turner is honored for his overwhelming gift of “enlightened conversation.”

Copyright 2008 Creators Syndicate, Inc

Telecoms Face Double Risk on FISA

Commentary

Quin Hillyer: Telecoms face double risk on FISA

WASHINGTON -Did the House Democratic leadership really sell out national security just to kowtow to rich plaintiffs’ lawyers who fill their campaign coffers?

Prompted by groundbreaking reporting by Townhall’s Amanda Carpenter and columns by Robert Novak and others, the notion that congressional liberals are letting torts trump anti-terrorism is firmly taking hold.

With good reason. Telecommunications companies clearly have much to fear in a major legal and moral catch-22 now that Congress has allowed a key intelligence surveillance law approved in the wake of 9/11 to expire.

The key sticking point in the proposed Protect America Act, which House Democratic leaders blocked last week, is a provision giving the telecoms immunity from lawsuits for helping the surveillance program without specific court orders.

The companies received written assurances from the Justice Department of the program’s legality, but now they face dozens of lawsuits seeking damages (for alleged invasion of privacy) that could run into hundreds of billions of dollars.

Carpenter’s report showed that, while only 29 of 100 senators voted against the bill, 24 of those 29 received campaign cash from one or more of the plaintiffs attorneys in suits already filed against the telecoms. In all, 66 of these lawyers have given some $1.5 million to Democrats. Republicans received just $4,250.

Without immunity, the companies are unlikely to participate in this program that experts of both parties consider vital to anti-terrorism efforts — and would thus hobble the program drastically.

After all, as The Wall Street Journal noted this week, without immunity, the telecoms face double legal jeopardy. If they lose money through the wiretap suits, they become vulnerable to a second round of suits — this time from shareholders for putting the companies at risk.

The diabolical trick is that the same attorneys could seek jackpots both ways. Consider Eric Isaacson, himself a donor of $32,860 in the past six years to Democrats, who has made a career with controversial firms known for just the sort of class-action shareholder suits that The Journal warned about. He worked for 15 years for Milberg Weiss, three of whose top partners have pleaded guilty to a vast criminal kickback scheme that operated while Isaacson was there. The firm and a fourth partner are also under indictment and face trial later this year.

Isaacson joined now-convicted former Milberg Weiss lawyer William Lerach — with whom he has co-authored an academic paper on securities lawsuits — when Lerach split from the firm to form Lerach Coughlin (now Coughlin Stoia), the lead plaintiffs’ firm in the wiretap case Hepting v. AT&T. Attorneys for the two firms have donated millions of dollars to Democratic committees and/or current House and Senate members, almost all Democrats.

Isaacson was not implicated in the Milberg Weiss kickback scheme. The point is he comes from exactly the sort of cutthroat milieu that makes telecoms balk (absent immunity) when asked for an emergency foreign-intelligence wiretap.

Just imagine how Coughlin Stoia could take information gleaned from “discovery” motions in the wiretap suit and use it to try to nail the phone company in a subsequent investors’ suit that is the firm’s stock in trade.

Remember the modus operandi of Milberg Weiss, tactics that Isaacson specializes in defending on appeal. As former partners described in their guilty pleas, the firm would troll for clients with stock in big corporations and then file suit almost any time the share-price dropped, without specific evidence of wrongdoing but based merely on what Lerach called his internal “X-ray vision.”

These tactics are advocated at conferences at posh resorts for judges and law professors sponsored by the Institute for Law and Economic Policy, for which Isaacson is a vice president and Lerach is the former director. They are bullying tactics, the moral equivalent of a shakedown.

Without immunity from such shakedowns, the companies surely would be forced to decline even the most urgent of future government requests. Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte has sworn under oath that the end result “reasonably could be expected to cause exceptionally grave damage to the national security of the United States.”

The real losers, then, will be the American people whose lives these lawsuits, and the Democratic House leaders, have put at risk.

Examiner