Posts Tagged ‘subsidies

10
Sep
08

The Real Way To Stop Anthropogenic Global Warming

Ah, Close, But Not Exactly

Ah, Close, But Not Exactly

We have been listening for years now the the claims that science has ‘proved’ that man’s activities on the planet are causing a malignant accelerating warming of the atmosphere, which portends disaster and possibly the end of life on earth. Having some background in the sciences, we are nonetheless loath to point out that while the evidence for some warming is pretty convincing, and the fact that man contributes some measurable CO2 to the atmosphere is plausible, the mechanism is far from proved.

Moreover, the proposals (cap and trade, 2, carbon tax, technology subsidies) that have been seriously floated to try to slow or halt “Global Climate Change” (renamed that because the warming isn’t happening everywhere, and in some places cooling is being recorded) require an even heavier hand of government, have unknown efficacy, are vulnerable to cheating, and will have detrimental effects here and especially in developing countries. These proposals will disrupt the fundamental social and economic patterns of our civilization, and cost trillions of dollars, potentially for little to negative effect on the buildup of greenhouse gases.

So what do we do then? We have come up with a plan that;

1) Will measurably reduce emissions of greenhouse gases in the US

2) Is guaranteed to work, if conscientiously and carefully implemented

3) While not costless, will require no forced transfer of funds from taxpayers to polluters

4) Will actually free up trillions of dollars for productive investment

5) Will massively incentivize innovators in clean energy-production technologies.

Our plan to reduce greenhouse gases, and clean up the environment?

The SSS Plan.

What does that stand for?

Stop Subsidizing Sh*t.

Stop subsidizing ethanol.

Stop subsidizing coal (by “permitting” pollution and destroying property rights in our lands and bodies).

Stop subsidizing oil (see coal above, also military intervention in the middle east, South America, and coming soon, Russia)

Stop subsidizing nuclear (state PUCs, the NRC, the DOE, and Price-Anderson have fundamentally retarded this very important energy source).

Stop subsidizing hybrid and electric vehicle development (it rewards the biggest culprits (GM, etc) while disadvantaging innovators).

Stop subsidizing highways (causing massive pollution, energy wastage, corruption, and economic malinvestment / dislocation)

Stop subsidizing airports and airlines (airports and skies jammed with planes jammed with people, absolute violations of 2nd, 4th, 7th , 9th, 10th, and 14th amendments).

And while we are at it, stop subsidizing solar, wind, geothermal, tidal, waste-to-energy, all of it.

When you get right down to it, pollution is a property-rights problem, but more importantly, it is an ECONOMIC problem, and a GOVERNMENT problem. Government disadvantages sustainable methods when it subsidizes unsustainable methods. Moreover, government investment in new technologies, meant to correct the previous mistake, serve to misdirect investment down particular avenues favored by particular interests, the very opposite of allowing the market, correctly incentivized, to determine the pace and direction of innovation.

It is said that if government could have seen the automobile coming, it would have outlawed it. It is, by its policies, outlawing sustainable energy policy economically. Before our leaders commit us to a path of dubious efficacy and certain harm, let us insist that they go through the books and strike every law, order, and policy that has the net effect of destroying property rights against polluters.

In just the coal-fired power generation sector alone, the costs of pollution, if fairly assessed, would make the industry as currently constituted extinct almost overnight. The resulting increase in the cost of electricity would both force conservation and incentivize innovation and production. all without a single cent of tax or seziure of property.

SSS.

(Image from Paul Goscicki’s blog)

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05
Aug
08

Are Obama And McCain Economic Illiterates?

What Obama And McCain See When They Look At Us

What Obama And McCain See When They Look At Us

…Or are they just being cynical?

Yesterday, McCain repeated, ad nauseum his moronic new mantra for energy autarky, “Drill Here, Drill Now!” all over the airwaves, from safe inside the factory belonging to a top supporter in Fairless Hills, PA. Obama’s Great Factory Adventure Of The Day was to an auto plant in Lansing, Michigan, where, while no longer mouthing complete opposition to more drilling, annonced a plan to reinstate a windfall profits tax on oil companies, to be re-distributed to “American Families”at $1000 each, and a $4 BILLION subsidy to US automakers for the purpose of developing ‘plug-in hybrid’ cars, whatever that means. Both of these proposals, if ever enacted, will have exactly the opposite effect, as Harry Browne would have been able to tell them.

Let’s take more drilling, whether offshore, on Federal lands, etc. Never mind that any truly free-market actor, individual, partnership, or company should be free to homestead and drill any unused property subject to penalties for trespass on any other property, and cleaning up the mess before abandoning it. If due to congressional subsidies (you didn’t think they would just remove restrictions and let the oil companies do the rest, did you?) a modest increase in domestic production occurs, the principal effect would be to lower demand for oil coming from abroad, depressing the price and causing a net INCREASE in imports!

Well then, how about the windfall profits tax? Well, this would only affect profits earned within the LEGAL (but not ACTUAL) jurisdiction of Congress, which would tend to depress production, where class? That’s right, the good old USA – good for you!

OK, but ‘plug-in’ hybrids are good, right? And union jobs in Michigan are important, right? Well, here I am afraid one of these abominations will have its intended REAL effect – $4 BILLION dollars funneled to US Auto companies for the development of ‘plug-in’ hybrids (why, one might ask, aren’t the manufacturers investing in this technology already, one might ask) will go directly toward retaining a surplus of union employees by said plants. Or, the automakers might just sweep the extra money onto their balance sheets, and screw the union workers, whatever.

Look, these are two smart men (Obama is manifestly smarter than McCain, makes no difference here).So there can only be one reason they are calling for such ridiculous, moronic programs that will have the exact inverse of the stated intended effect. The reason they come out with these insane public announcements is that they both sincerely believe that the American electorate, every single last one of us, are grasping idiots.

Remind me why I should vote for either one of these clowns again?

(Image from smashed frog)

26
Jun
08

Biodiesel: You Still Can’t get Something For Nothing

The next great idea: use the world’s zillions of acres of fallow farmland to grow diesel fuels. Friggin’ brilliant!

biofuel_main

A billion acres of farmland around the world have been abandoned and could now be used to grow biofuel crops, a new study suggests.

One of the criticisms of biofuels such as ethanol from corn or rice is that the crops eat into land that could be used to grow food, which is increasingly in short supply globally, causing frustration and hunger that have led to protests and riots. The alternative of clearing forests to grow biofuel crops is unacceptable to many.

Yet somewhere between 1 billion and 1.2 billion acres of agricultural land is lying fallow, the study finds. That compares to about 3.8 billion acres that are currently in use.

Shortage of land is not the issue. Profitability is. The only reason we grow corn here to make into biofuel is because our government subsidizes it. But it isn’t profitable. Especially when there are untold zillions of barrels of energy-dense fossil fuels to be had at a price that is still cheaper than biodiesel. At the moment, the only way to make biodiesel widely available is for governments to steal the means of production at which point political expediency will trump saving the planet (whatever the definition).




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