Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Newest New Deal

Never waste a crisis. Isn't that the first rule? I don't know who the first person was to put that rule into words -- most recently, however, it was Rahm Emanuel from the Obama administration who voiced the creed.

Historically speaking, leaders have always put this idea to use - some more than others. With every crisis comes opportunity. Some people have the vision to see what can be gained from a seemingly negative situation... this is what makes them leaders. Of course, a person's worldview will dictate what kind of "gain" they find in the crisis. Adolf Hitler had that quality of leadership - he simply put it to use for evil rather than for good.

Franklin D. Roosevelt also saw opportunity in the crisis of the Great Depression. He ushered in the New Deal which brought sweeping changes to the way our nation operates. Many of these changes are still in existence today... and some of them arguably could have contributed to the "crisis" we find ourselves in today. (Federal Housing Administration, Social Security, the Securities and Exchange Commission, Fannie Mae...) To this day, the federal government pays farmers NOT to grow food - another bright idea brought forward as part of the New Deal.

There's another New Deal arising from the crisis of "global warming," now being referred to as "climate change" since the globe is no longer "warming." You would have to be living under a rock to not know about what's going on in Copenhagen these days... a bunch of weasels representing politicians negotiating "programs."

One of the programs under negotiation involves financial compensation for countries preserving forests... and sometimes compensating for the preservation of peat soils, swamps and fields. The program is being touted as a boon for poor countries because it's a total cash cow for them. They can sit back and collect money -- for doing nothing. It's kind of like your local government coming to you and telling you they'll give you $100 a month to NOT mow your grass.

Of course, the news is reporting this program as a good thing - after all, not ONLY the poor countries will benefit. More wealthy nations will not be benefited by an influx of cash, but they will obtain carbon credits which can be used to reduce their carbon footprint under a global "carbon trading system." According to Peg Putt from the Wilderness Society, "Forests have become a pot of money or a get out of jail free card. Either way, there's the prospect of financial benefit now, as opposed to just being told, 'Do the right thing,' like it was two years ago."

Sweet! Everybody gets to financially benefit from this Newest of the New Deals. That is SO COOL. Apparently, in this case, money does grow on trees. Who knew? ...what? It doesn't? So then, from where will this money appear?? Oh!!!! From companies. Yes, the big, bad companies which exceed their greenhouse gas pollution limit will be required to "buy" extra permits by "investing" in --- ah, never mind. They're going to have to pay off the people sitting around doing nothing.

Fred Krupp, who is the head of the Environmental Defense Fund, says that the forest program "offers the opportunities for U.S. companies to reduce emissions at lower cost." All this talk of investing and offering opportunities certainly sounds nice, but it's really closer to the neighborhood hoodlums offering you the opportunity to pay them a weekly fee to not burn your place down. Not to put too fine a point on it -- or to keep beating the same tired drum -- but it's extortion.

So now environmentalists the world over are looking for ways to collect. Dan Lafolley is - get this - the "marine vice chairman for the World Commission on Protected Areas of the Swiss-based International Union for the Conservation of Nature." I certainly hope that man won't need to look for a new job anytime soon -- you'd need to cut down a forest just to write his title out on a résumé... Anyway, good ole' Dan wants to know why everybody is just focused on forest and peat land... what about the oceans?? Who is gonna pay for the oceans? Actually, his words were, "It would be a travesty if Copenhagen addressed forests but not other carbon stocks." Translation: It would be a travesty if the marine vice chairman were not able to make a profit for the marine department of the WCPA of the SIU for the CN.

Professional tree huggers have even begun fighting amongst themselves in a "my forest is more important than your forest" way.

Goofballs from all over the world are flocking to Copenhagen to ensure that their issues are deemed legitimate money-makers. For example, did you know that there is such a thing as the Global Crop Diversity Trust? They're there! (Wangari Maathai of the Global Crop Diversity Trust was inducted as a Messenger of Peace at a ceremony in Copenhagen on December 15th. No, I'm not kidding. A Messenger of Peace. With capital letters.) According to their website, you can't fight hunger without them... and silly me, I would think a good start to "fighting hunger" would be to stop paying people not to grow food. But apparently my simplistic thinking just won't work... we need the people at Crop Diversity to regulate things. They are, after all, a bunch of Nobel Peace Prize and World Food Prize people. (Did you even know there was a Word Food Prize?)

And, of course, former Vice President Al Gore has a dog in this fight. I'm still trying to decide if he's a complete goober who was propelled to the top (or close to the top, anyway) by a powerful Daddy or if he's a smart man who is trying to make a lot of money off this deal. Either way, he has been working up a sweat trying to push negotiators as well as pushing our nation's leaders to pass a climate and energy bill.

For me, this is almost like watching one of those movies where you want to yell at the screen in spite of the fact that you know darned well your action won't change the plot. I don't foresee a happy ending. Part drama, part conspiracy, part tragedy, part comedy... but not a happy ending.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Global Extortion

From the New York Times today:

If negotiators reach an accord at the climate talks in Copenhagen it will entail profound shifts in energy production, dislocations in how and where people live, sweeping changes in agriculture and forestry and the creation of complex new markets in global warming pollution credits.

So what's all this going to cost?

The short answer is trillions of dollars over the next few decades.

Oh, sure... no problem. We've got that. We'll just print some more.

Seriously, does is scare anybody else that there are "negotiators" engaging in "talks" with the consequences including changing how and where people are able to live?? We're going to pay a price not only in dollars, but in freedom as well. Where is the public outrage? Have people so swallowed the bunk that says the polar ice caps are melting that they're willing to give up everything?

The International Energy Agency (it kills me that there IS such a thing) estimates that it's going to cost more than $10 trillion from 2010 to 2030 to pay for the energy infrastructure alone. That's an estimate. And we all know how well governmental agencies estimate... they're habitually on the low side. But they follow that up by saying that we shouldn't worry... the costs are going to ramp up slowly and be "largely offset by economic benefits in new jobs, improved lives, more secure energy supplies..." not to mention the peace of mind that will come from knowing the polar ice caps are now secure. OH - and not to worry. Most of the investment is going to come from private funds, not public funds. Whew!! I'm so glad to hear... wait. What? What does that even mean? Which private funds? How do they know that they're going to get this money invested privately? OR -- are they considering the new market in "pollution credits" to be private funding? YES!! At least half of the "fund" that's supposed to be set up to help developing countries is supposed to come from the carbon emissions credits in cap-and-trade. So... "private funding" is actually extortion.

But it's good to know that we have reasonable people working on this. I mean, Kevin Parker is the global head of Deutsche Bank Asset Management and is responsible for tracking climate policy for the bank, and he says, "People often ask about the costs. But the figures people tend to cite don't take into account conservation and efficiency measures that are easily available. And they don't look at the cost of inaction, which is the extinction of the human race. Period." So... the sky is falling, you say?

We can rest assured that Obama intends to sell us out. After all, Obama assured folks that the United States will pay "its fair share." I believe that "fair share" can accurately be translated to "lion's share." But that's okay, because - see - it's an investment. Don't you love the magic in that word? As long as you use the word investment, nobody can get upset at what you're doing. According to the White House, "Providing this assistance is not only a humanitarian imperative - it's an investment in our common security, as no climate change accord can succeed if it does not help all countries reduce their emissions."

I'm beginning to see how the Obama worldview infects ever facet of his thinking. Truly, the United States as a nation cannot succeed until everybody's wealth has been spread out evenly, like soft butter... and it only makes sense then that the world as a whole cannot succeed unless the wealth of the world is spread out in the same way.

Don't worry, though. Our money -- your money -- will be going for a good cause. It will be used to "help developing nations reduce emissions by switching to renewable energy sources like wind and solar and by compensating landowners for not cutting down or burning forests." Say wha-?? Seriously - we're going to pay some dude in Timbuktu to not burn his place down?? Yes, apparently so. But other funds might be used to relocate people who live in dangerous places. You know, moving folks to higher ground. (And one has to wonder if New Orleans will be first.)

So the big question that is supposed to be answered in Copenhagen is how much money do nations such as the United States have to pay to get the developing countries on board with this lunacy?

Robert Stavins is the director of the environmental economics program at Harvard University. Apparently, this particular line of work gives him some high-level status because the New York Times quoted him extensively, and, according to him, the US is setting aside around eight billion dollars per year to assist developing countries by 2030 and that's about our limit. And thus begins the negotiations because the leader of Costa Rica's climate delegation has said that it's important to them to have "early resources and a predictable flow of long-term financing." Apparently, they're looking for for a quick rise to about $150 billion annually by 2020.

Huh. Global extortion via the hoax called "climate change."

Friday, December 4, 2009


The Democrats out there have grown concerned that Obama isn't focusing on the issue of joblessness enough. We can all feel a measure of relief now, because Obama has finally addressed the issue and has put forth a plan to take care of the problem. His plan is two-fold:

1. He will entertain every good idea for creating jobs while keeping in mind that our resources are limited.

2. He's going to encourage a program of weatherization incentives for homeowners and small businesses modeled on the "cash for clunkers" program. Yes, we're thinking (and I'm not kidding here) of calling this program "cash for caulkers." I'm sorry... did you just eat? You're looking a little green... maybe this should wait for later. No, really... the "plan" would enlist contractors and home-improvement companies to advertise the benefits -- just like the car dealerships had to deal with the cash for clunkers fiasco.

Whew! And we were worried that he didn't have anything up his sleeve to solve the woes of America. But wait... historically speaking, hasn't solving our problems been OUR job? Isn't government's best plan of action to move the heck out of the way so that we can get busy and get something started? When did the American people become a bunch of crib-layers and whiners, just waiting for somebody to bring us a bottle and start up the entertainment?

And another thing... is anybody questioning how weatherizing our homes is going to actually create jobs? Granted, if we make sure the warm air stays in and the cold air stays out, we will have an easier time staying warm this winter... but how that's going to put food on anybody's table sort of escapes my understanding. But maybe this is all just above my pay grade.

The Democrats are beginning to sweat because their jobs are on the line -- and that sort of joblessness really does scare them. However, their solution to the issue of joblessness is to, yet again, extend the expiring federal unemployment benefits to ensure that people will be (at the very least) comfortable enough to go to the polls in 2010 and put them back in office. Then, that crisis averted, they will go on their merry way of standing in the way of job creation some more.

Case in point: Obama acknowledged at the jobs forum that the government doesn't have the ability to create true economic recovery. This is going to need to come from the private sector. He then asked the chief executives in attendance, "What's holding back business investment and how can we increase confidence and spur hiring? And if there are things that we're doing here in Washington that are inhibiting you, then we want to know about it."

When he got an answer from a Mr. Lampropoulos that said, in effect, "your aggressive agenda is killing initiative," Obama acknowledged the "legitimate concern" and said that he and his advisers had actually discussed this concern before he even took office... and disregarded it because "if we keep putting off tough decisions about health care, about energy, about education, we'll never get to the point where there's a lot of appetite for that."

Let's pause here for a lively rendition of "Jimmy Cracked Corn And I Don't Care."

One last thing before I'm finished ranting for today. I've never been accused of being diplomatic. Nobody has ever said to me, "Wow. You're so good at communicating in a non-threatening way... you should go into foreign relations." And I obviously need a lesson or two -- but I'm wondering one thing. How is it "diplomatic" to "listen" to somebody's concern, "acknowledge" that it's "legitimate" and then to say you don't give a hoot?

Basically, what I hear the "great diplomat" saying is that he wants to know if the government is doing anything to stand in the way of economic recovery... that yes, he knows they are, but that his agenda is more important and he wants the private sector to get over it and recover anyway.