Greener Than Thou By Alan Caruba

The most obnoxious and hypocritical people are those who are always preaching a “greener” way of life, insisting that anything that constitutes our modern lifestyles are destroying the Earth and depleting its natural resources. Never mind that we depend upon oil, natural gas, coal, and a host of minerals and chemicals for that lifestyle, the absence of which caused people in earlier eras to live shorter, far more unpleasant lives.

Oil, other than ust an energy source is also a component in countless products, starting with plastic, and is so vital to modern life that its value goes far beyond just being able to drive our cars to visit grandma.

Greener than thou has replaced holier than thou ever since Rachel Carson penned her pernicious and seriously flawed attack on DDT and other chemicals, fertilizers and pesticides in 1962. The result has been the needless deaths of millions from malaria in Africa and subtropical nations after the U.S. banned DDT and other nations followed suit. If there was a comparable pesticide available today, the U.S. would not be suffering a biblical plague of bed bugs.

A bone fide environmentalist, David Owen, has written a book that quite literally filets environmentalism, “The Conundrum: How Scientific Innovation, Increased Efficiency, and Good Intentions can Make Our Energy and Climate Problems Worse.” ($14.00, Riverhead Press, softcover).

Owen, who has authored 14 previous books, examines the way environmentalism frequently makes no sense at all. This is not to be confused with conservation, the earlier movement that led to the preservation of some of the nation’s natural wonders.

To live an environmentally acceptable way of life is the same as striving to be a saint, avoiding “sin” in order to secure a place in heaven. It is not only virtually impossible, but to be human is to consume what Nature provides. If you think about, all of Earth’s creatures are consumers, depending on where they are on the food chain.

For example, when environmentalists convinced Congress to reduce the amount of water in toilet tanks, the only thing they accomplished was to require that the newer, smaller tanks had be flushed twice to rid he toilet of feces and urine, i.e., more use of water, not less. The EPA has just issued a ruling they claim is necessary to reduce mercury emissions despite the fact that your average volcanic eruption puts more into the atmosphere than any human imposed restrictions could ever achieve. Congress, however, passed a law banning 100-watt incandescent light bulbs, thus requiring people to purchase mercury-filled ones that, if broken, require a hazmat team to clean up after.

Environmentalism is essentially irrational.

It believes that humans actually have anything to do with “saving the Earth” when the natural forces of the Earth are so far beyond any “control” that it routinely reminds us of this fact. We have zero impact on the climate and, as for carbon dioxide, the villain of all “global warming” claims, humans exhale about six pounds of it every day. And there are seven billion of us. Even so, it constitutes barely 0.033 percent of the atmosphere.

Owen begins by posing the question, “How do we truly begin to think about less—less fossil fuel, less carbon, less water, less waste, less habitat destruction, less population stress—when our sense of economic, cultural, and personal well-being is based on more?”

The real question at the heart of all environmentalism is what do we do when there are seven billion humans using the resources of the Earth and the real answer for environmentalists is how do we reduce the Earth’s population and how do they grow rich in the process? That is what lies at the heart of all the “solutions” put forth by the United Nations environmental program; an enemy of the human race if there ever was one.

What environmentalists want is “a vast, unprecedented transformation of human behavior in our relationship with energy and consumption.” The next time you hear anyone call for a “transformation” know also that they are a charlatan seeking control over your life.

The environmental assumption is that the Earth is running out of the sources of energy and that consumption is bad. Both are equally wrong because the Earth is not running out of the sources of energy and consumption is what humans and all other species on Earth do every day.

Owen believes that humans are “the world’s main emitter of manmade greenhouse gases” and this is utterly false. The so-called greenhouse gases are the ones in the atmosphere that not only keep the Sun from turning the Earth into a desiccated version of Mars or the Moon, but in the case of carbon dioxide, it is responsible for every single element of vegetation upon which all life depends.

Owen and many environmentalists would prefer that all of humanity live packed side-by-side in crowded cities, using mass transit or bicycling to work to save the Earth, but anyone who gives two thoughts to the amount of energy consumed to maintain a city knows this too is yet another idiotic environmental conceit.

Indeed, Owen notes that “There are many downsides to density, including the fact that squeezing people and their destinations close together makes diseases, wars, and natural disasters more efficient, too.”

That, says Owen, is a conundrum. Indeed, his book is filled with environmental conundrums that he tries to resolve while overtly and inadvertently exposing the idiocy of environmentalism.

Simply put, farmers are the world’s natural environmentalists, relying on the weather—which they cannot control—and the stewardship of their land to feed themselves and others. They must, however, have a means to move their crops to places where other humans can acquire them and that requires a massive system of transportation which, in turn, requires the affordable use of energy.

Environmentalism’s goals, clean air and water, are laudable, but a massive governmental bureaucracy to require that people use less energy and consume less is not.

Time and time again we see examples of environmentalism that only manage to kill people, whether it is the banning of beneficial chemicals or the use of the least efficient forms of electrical power, wind and solar energy.

The least reported story out of Europe these days is the extreme cold that is literally killing people because it puts the lie to all the environmental “solutions” advanced since the 1960s. Environmentalism has been decried as a religion and, for those who want to deny a greater power, Nature or God, it remains their holy grail.

© Alan Caruba, 2012.


I gave one of these electric cars to my grandkids, it works fine with pedals.

Oil Execs Say Obama Lead Us To “Energy Abyss”

Energy: Industry leaders gathered in Houston say rising fuel output comes in spite of, not because of, the president’s policies and the pain at the pump will soon be excruciating.

Energy executives and other industry players gathered for the North American Prospect Expo (NAPE) in Houston shredded administration assertions that it is opening up areas for oil and gas exploration and that its policies are responsible for increased oil and gas production on President Obama’s watch.

“These have been the most difficult three years from a policy standpoint that I’ve ever seen in my career,” Bruce Vincent, president of Houston oil and natural gas producer Swift Energy, told the Houston Chronicle.

“They’ve done nothing but restrict access and delay permitting,” he added. “The Obama administration, unfortunately, has threatened this industry at every turn.”

Vincent led the voices exposing White House press secretary Jay Carney’s phony assertion Wednesday when asked about gas prices soaring above $4 per gallon.

Carney said President Obama had “put in place policies that will dramatically expand the amount of exploration in the Gulf of Mexico, will expand the amount of exploration in Alaska, will expand the amount of natural gas production here in the U.S.”

Really? “The administration has done everything BUT support drilling,” said NAPE attendee and former Shell executive John Hofmeister. “We are on the verge of slipping into an energy abyss.”

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Does the Fed Print Money? Of Course! Jim Bianco Calls It “Fraud, Counterfeiting”

In the accompanying video, Jim Bianco, president of Bianco Research, offers bit more sophisticated critique of our coverage on this controversial issue. While the U.S. Treasury does indeed control the printing of hard currency in America, Bianco says we goofed by omitting the realities of the Fed’s electronic printing press.”The ability of the Fed to increase the amount of money in banks’ reserve accounts; that’s what most people mean when they talk about money printing and that’s under the direction of the Fed,” Bianco says. All U.S. banks must keep a certain percentage of their assets on reserve with the Fed, in order to insure a margin of safety and so they can access the Fed’s lending facility in times of crisis. Back in 2008, Goldman Sachs (GS) and Morgan Stanley (MS) converted to bank holding companies for this very reason. The Fed can try to stimulate or restrict bank lending by either raising or lowering the amount of money banks are required to keep on reserve, respectively. This seems pretty straightforward. But “the Fed has the ability to go in and just change the number on [banks’] reserve accounts” — literally creating money electronically by changing the amount of money in reserve accounts, Bianco notes.

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Republicans: still searching for a fight they can win By Michael R. Shannon

Rep. Frank Wolf (R–VA) and I disagree on term limits. I’m a firm believer in 12 years and you’re out — while Wolf is an advocate of the 30 years and counting philosophy. (Unless Frank doesn’t have any other options, because his family refuses to spend more time with him.)

But based on his courageous vote last week against the payroll tax extension, it’s safe to say we do see eye–to–eye with regard to what the media terms “bipartisanship.”

This is important because in a presidential election year independent voters are going to be bombarded with stories touting the benefits of “bipartisan cooperation” between Democrats and Republicans.

The political calculation in the media is bipartisan = good. Conversely, refusal to compromise principles = bad. So independents should either support “bipartisan” candidates who just happen to vote for liberal legislation or stick with the genuine article and vote Democrat.

Independent voters that are concerned about the country’s continued deficit spending should not meekly accept the media’s definition of political progress, because that definition undermines everything in which they believe.

This is because bills that pass Congress with bipartisan support and media approval in the days of Obama, are bills that increase spending and hasten our descent into drachma–based budgeting. And voting to extend the payroll tax cut is a perfect example.

Usually Democrats believe Americans are under–taxed and only their stubborn greed stands in the way of Nirvana in America. This time Democrats support the payroll tax cut extension because passage improves Obama’s prospects for re–election. What Democrats oppose is making the extension deficit–neutral by cutting spending somewhere else to offset lost revenue.

Republicans don’t like the extension because it undermines funding for Social Security, does not provide any real economic stimulus and will add approximately $100 billion to the deficit.

A genuine compromise would address elements of both positions. A bill that continued the tax cut for the rest of 2012, so Obama can slide past election day, and was offset by spending cuts would give Democrats and Republicans their top priority, while forcing compromise elsewhere.

Yet the “bipartisan” bill the country got extended the tax cuts with zero budget cuts.

To put this in perspective, total federal spending for this fiscal year is estimated to be $3.8 trillion. A cut of $100 billion from that gusher of Chinese–backed indebtedness is less than three cents on the dollar, yet Democrats would not cut a penny.

In fact this bill wipes out the measly $95 billion in deficit reduction “victory” the House GOP leadership sweated bullets to achieve last year.

Wolf describes the bill as, “…shameful. The American people are right to be disappointed that the president and the Congress have walked away from every serious deficit reduction effort. They should be appalled that both sides have joined together to spend more money and weaken Social Security.”

And Rep. Jeff Flake (R–AZ) hit the nail on the head, “Why is it that the only time we can come together and reach an agreement…increases the deficit or explodes spending? That’s enough to make the country cry for more partisanship.” Or if not more partisanship, at least some leadership, but that does not appear to be on the horizon either.

Republican leaders were faced with a choice: defeat the extension because it increases the deficit, moves Social Security another step down the road to a welfare program and is simply irresponsible vote–buying. Knowing full well that Obama will characterize their opposition as refusing a tax cut for the middle class, while protecting the rich.

Or they can choose to crater on the spending cuts offset and vote for a fiscally irresponsible bill knowing that Obama will use the bill’s passage as proof he’s fighting for the middle class, while the GOP is only interested in protecting the rich.

Someone please help me find the victory here. The reality is Republicans face a hostile media that favors spending and an administration that wants to increase spending. Making the case for cuts is not going to get any easier. If GOP leadership is unable to make the case for small spending cuts now, there is no chance they will successfully make the case for major spending cuts we must make in the near future.

Meanwhile, according to the Washington Post, smug Republican House veterans who supported the “compromise” said conservative freshmen “had touched the stove and finally realized it was burning hot.”

The veteran’s advice was the usual: voting for pork is the best insulation.

Michael R. Shannon is a public relations and advertising consultant with corporate, government and political experience around the globe. He can be reached at

Moody’s May Downgrade 17 Banks, Securities Firms

Moody’s warned on Thursday it may cut the credit ratings of 17 global and 114 European financial institutions in another sign that the impact of the euro zone government debt crisis is spreading throughout the global financial system.

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