Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Fewer, not more, Hurricanes

James Glassman is hopping mad about people who claim that you and I are at fault for global warming and global warming has resulted in more hurricanes. Therefore Katrina is your fault. His article at TechCentralStation

A profound tragedy is unfolding in New Orleans... That is why the response of environmental extremists fills me with what only can be called disgust. They have decided to exploit the death and devastation to win support for the failed Kyoto Protocol, which requires massive cutbacks in energy use to reduce, by a few tenths of a degree, surface warming projected 100 years from now.

Katrina has nothing to do with global warming. Nothing. It has everything to do with the immense forces of nature that have been unleashed many, many times before and the inability of humans, even the most brilliant engineers, to tame these forces.

Giant hurricanes are rare, but they are not new. And they are not increasing. To the contrary. Just go to the website of the National Hurricane Center and check out a table that lists hurricanes by category and decade. The peak for major hurricanes (categories 3,4,5) came in the decades of the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, when such storms averaged 9 per decade. In the 1960s, there were 6 such storms; in the 1970s, 4; in the 1980s, 5; in the 1990s, 5; and for 2001-04, there were 3. Category 4 and 5 storms were also more prevalent in the past than they are now. As for Category 5 storms, there have been only three since the 1850s: in the decades of the 1930s, 1960s and 1990s.
The table he cites that counts hurricanes by intensity by decade that hit the US mainland is at NOAA's National Hurricane Center

And the revered New York Times also has the science that does not connect global warming and hurricanes.
Because hurricanes form over warm ocean water, it is easy to assume that the recent rise in their number and ferocity is because of global warming.

But that is not the case, scientists say. Instead, the severity of hurricane seasons changes with cycles of temperatures of several decades in the Atlantic Ocean. The recent onslaught "is very much natural," said William M. Gray, a professor of atmospheric science at Colorado State University who issues forecasts for the hurricane season.

Let's stick to the science. Hurricanes have decreased, not increased. And their cycle is over long-term ocean temperature cycles.

Let's help the victims of Katrina

Let's do what we can to help the Americans who were victims of hurricane Katrina in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama and Florida, I guess.

There are many charities that are working in the area. I have personal knowledge of current and past leaders of
Mercy Corps.
They are fine people and their organization has a track record of getting 92% of every dollar to recipients.

I am joining a coordinated effort of bloggers to direct readers to charities helping Katrina victims on September 1.

See Truth Laid Bear for the complete list. Last I checked it had 534 blogs participating.

And I am supposed to include Technorati tags: and

And Glenn Reynolds, the Instapundit's Blog burst page.

Monday, August 29, 2005

US continuing to grow and lead

What will the world’s economy look like in 2020? What will the power relationships be amongst the United States, the European countries, China and India? Where will the largest areas of growth be?

Jacques-Henri David President of the Deutsche Bank Group in France writes in Le Figaro
In 2020, the United States will remain the world superpower, with a total GNP of approximately $17 trillion to $18 trillion. Thanks to its dynamic demographics (1% annual population growth), a productivity and a competitiveness amongst the best in the world (currently second in the world and far out in front of Germany (13th) or France (26th) according to statistics from the World Economic Forum), and thanks also to its constant drive to create and innovate, and with flexibility due to the mobility of its labor force, the United States will maintain a clear advantage over China and India and will widen the gap with Europe. With average per capita salaries of approximately $55,000, the income of the average American in 2020 will be 1.5 to 2 times greater than that of a European; five times higher than that of a Chinese and nine times more than that of an Indian (approximately $6,000 per capita).

China will indisputably be the world’s second greatest economic power, with a GNP of some $14 trillion, or three times higher than today....

Paradoxically, one of its handicaps will be an aging population, due to the delayed impact of its "one child policy." By 2020, the median age in China will be approximately 40 years, which will be higher than in the United States.

The world’s third greatest economic power will be India, but far behind the first two, with a GNP of about $7 trillion....

In Europe, Germany, France, along with Italy and the United Kingdom, should lose ground in the world competition with a GNP per country of about $2 to 2.5 trillion.

While European countries will remain rich in terms of per capita income (about $32,500), their relative weight will decline with their demographics and weaker growth (on average, almost half as much as the United States). Countries like Spain or Ireland will experience a higher level of development than the European average, thanks to a wider opening of their economies to the outside, the dynamism of their investments, good population growth forecasts and effective immigration policies.
Some of the French and Germans know that growth comes by opening their economies, dynamic investments and population growth. But this banker expects that they will watch other countries grow while they stagnate.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Milken Institute - good organization

Beach blogging. No sailing since my wife is suffering major back problems. Mostly sunny and 15 mph plus winds.

The Milken Institute is a think tank set up by Michael Milken. Milken enabled major new technology developments in the 1980s by inventing new financing tools - junk bonds enabled leveraged buyouts, most cell phone development. Read George Gilder's positive analysis of Milken. Yes, Milken was convicted of securities fraud and spent time in prison.

Milken had cancer and fought it off. Now he is putting his talent and energy into the Milken Institute.

Milken hosts an annual conference that attracts the brightest and best in economic development, new technology, financing, etc. The past two years he has hosted a panel in which the 3 other members are Nobel winning economists. I am impressed.

Milken has a quarterly journal that is excellent. Accessing the articles requires registration, but you get a downloaded PDF file.

The current issue highlights China. The World Bank's representative in China David Dollar writes that China's sprint to prosperity has left the country more vulnerable to stumbles that we would like to think. Worse, and more importantly, the global economy's success is now hostage to China's. If China fails to manage its financial system, to adjust to natural resource scarcity or to cope with its enormous air and water pollution problems will be felt by its neighbors, trading partners, that's us, and it geopolitical rivals - us again. I can't link to individual articles; here is the table of contents.

Nuclear power is becoming the "energy source du jour." Rising costs for oil, gas and coal combined with fear of global warming lead to increased interest in nuclear. Nuclear produces no CO2 emissions at all. So it should be - should be - the environmentalists energy source of choice.

The recent energy bill passed by Congress contained several incentives for nuclear power. I thought I blogged on it... But more is needed. The gigantic, decades-long effort to build a long-term storage for nuclear waste in the US has been way laid by a federal judge who insists on eternal perfection. Congress will have to overrule the judge and set a reasonable standard. Again, table of contents.

Unfriendly to business - states Milken Institute analyzed how friendly state are to business. If they want jobs they need businesses to locate there and stay! But some states place huge roadblocks before businesses.
  • The worst by far - Hawaii
  • New York
  • Massachusetts
  • California
See the whole story and list

Friday, August 26, 2005

Making good news look bad = Seattle Times

The Base Closure and Realignment Commission while looking at closing military bases has good news for the state of Washington.
"At NAS Whidbey the future is so bright you got to wear shades," Larsen said in a statement. "The BRAC Commission's decision will have no impact on the NAS Whidbey's future." [Rep. Rick Larsen, D, WA]

Whidbey Island is the home of the EA-6B Prowler and the new home of the next generation of electronic attack planes, the EA-18G, Larsen said. And the Oak Harbor community will soon welcome an aircraft squadron from Spain that will add about 500 new jobs, he said.
And the larger bases are essential: Fort Lewis, McChord AFB, Naval Station Everett, Naval Station/Shipyard Bremerton.

So the Times paints these facts as bas news. What bad news? Bremerton was hoping to add more jobs from shipyard closings in Connecticut and Maine. But those will stay open, so Bremerton won't get more jobs.

Vote on Maine base may keep hoped-for jobs from Bremerton
was the large headline on the front page.

The people of Bremerton are disappointed they didn't get more jobs. Headline news.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Bet on price of oil

Prices are arbitrated in the market place. Now we have an interesting "market" for oil.

John Tierney of the New York Times doesn't agree with the pessimistic forecast of Matthew Simmons, an investment banker and expert on the oil market. Tierney put his money where his mouth is. He challenged Simmons to a bet on the price of oil in 2010, that it would not rise as much as Simmons projected. Here is Tierney's version in the International Herald Tribune.
After reading his prediction, quoted Sunday in the cover story of The New York Times Magazine, that oil prices will soar into the triple digits, I called to ask if he'd back his prophecy with cash. Without a second's hesitation, he agreed to bet me $5,000.
His only concern seemed to be that he was fleecing me. Mr. Simmons, the head of a Houston investment bank specializing in the energy industry, patiently explained to me why Saudi Arabia's oil production would falter much sooner than expected. That's the thesis of his new book, Twilight in the Desert: The Coming Saudi Oil Shock and the World Economy.

I didn't try to argue with him about Saudi Arabia, because I know next to nothing about oil production there or anywhere else. I'm just following the advice of a mentor and friend, the economist Julian Simon: if you find anyone willing to bet that natural resource prices are going up, take him for all you can.

Julian took up gambling during the last end-of-oil crisis, in 1980, when experts were predicting a new age of scarcity as the planet's resources were depleted by the growing population. Julian had debunked these fears in The Ultimate Resource, the bible of Cornucopian economics, which showed how human ingenuity had kept driving down the price of energy and other natural resources for centuries.

He offered to bet the pessimists that oil or any other resource they chose would be cheaper, in real terms, at any date they picked in the future. The ecologist Paul Ehrlich, author of "The Population Bomb" and "The End of Affluence," took up his offer and chose copper, tin and three other metals worth $1,000 in 1980.

When the famous bet was settled 10 years later, the value of the metals had declined by more than half. As usual, people had found new ways to get the metals as well as cheaper substitutes, like the fiber optic cables that replaced copper telephone wires.
The blog at Laissez Faire Books does a good summary.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Hawaii - Senators Inouye and Akaka on the defensive

Update on the Akaka Bill in the US Senate

Senator Inouye staring at the headlights. The Honolulu Star-Bulletin on 8/22 shows the locals what he has been doing 5,000 miles away. They give Inouye's side first. But then they give the floor to ex-Senators Gorton and Brown, as I covered before, and they overpower Inouye's weak "I didn't intend to mislead them." Inouye promised in 1993 that he was not leading to a race-based government, but he was.

But the Star-Bulletin tells half of the truth about Senator Akaka saying on NPR that this bill could lead to Hawaii seceding from the United States. They report his denial, but not what he said:
Those who doubt this only have to listen to Sen. Akaka himself, who acknowledges that his bill would open a can of worms. On Monday, National Public Radio reported the Senator as saying that the sovereignty granted Native Hawaiians in the bill "could eventually go further, perhaps even leading to outright independence." Sen. Akaka was quoted as adding: "That could be. That could be. As far as what's going to happen at the other end, I'm leaving it up to my grandchildren and great-grandchildren."
Yes, I am bothered by this bill about how Hawaii is governed. I like Hawaii and want it to stay a state of the US. I think this bill would both be bad for Hawaii and a bad precedent, leading other racial groups to demand their own enclave to govern.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Discovery Institute in the New York Times

Discovery Institute in Seattle is in the news - the front page of the New York Times Sunday and Monday. Discovery is not a one-song band; it has wide interests. Its Cascadia Project is proposing solutions for regional transportation problems. There is a program on technology with star George Gilder. Our friend James Na is a fellow in foreign policy. And more ... But the NYT is very concerned about the Center for Science and Society and its work in intelligent design.
Pushing a "teach the controversy" approach to evolution, the institute has in many ways transformed the debate into an issue of academic freedom rather than a confrontation between biology and religion.

The NYT discovered that Discovery is interested in some issues and has programs based on them and raises money to carry out the programs. Surprise. I spend money on what I am interested in also. They found only one clearly liberal donor that stopped giving and that might have been for one the of other programs. The others have stayed on.

Discovery President Bruce Chapman gives his analysis of the NYT research and story.

Has Discovery carried out research? Yes. Has its fellows published books? Yes - Link Have they published papers in peer-reviewed journals? Yes Link

James Na summarizes it well:
The actual Discovery policy position, however, is very mild: it wants schools to teach evolution as the dominant paradigm, but also wants the pupils to be exposed to some of the scientific gaps and problems associated with the evolutionary theory, which is invariably taught in schools as an almost god-given truth. It does NOT support mandating the teaching of intelligent design.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Market Solutions for Automobile Guilt

Online! After several frustrating weekends the wifi internet access at our weekend cabin is working. Beach blogging today.

Are you feeling guilty about driving your SUV? Or your 4-door sedan? Come on, every vehicle emits CO2. And if you believe that global warming is caused by you, then you should feel guilty about the damage you are creating.

Several companies have arrangements where you can buy someone else's right to emit CO2. If your household emits 50 tons of CO2 per year, then you can buy off other parties for an equivalent 50 tons of CO2, so the net effect is zero emissions.

Slate Online has an article describing the process and the companies. Via new blogging friends at Democracy Market in California.

The nonprofit Carbonfund is one group that buys credits, which represent the right to emit a given quantity of greenhouse gases, on a market called the Chicago Climate Exchange. The companies listed on CCX, all of whom have voluntarily agreed to emissions reductions, buy and sell pollution rights to one another as a cost-effective means of meeting their targets. Carbonfund buys credits from companies with low emissions and then "retires" them. Instead of a company buying credits so they can continue to pollute, Carbonfund tears them up and that much less fuel gets burned.
Another approach is to directly underwrite CO2-saving energy research and use.
TerraPass, a for-profit group cooked up by a Wharton professor and his students, is one of many ventures that sell you the chance to offset your fossil-fueled existence, either by underwriting non-fossil power or by paying for pollution reductions. NewWind Energy, for instance, uses your guilt money to make wind power available to power companies at prices that are competitive with fossil fuel-based energy sources... [NWE] charges about $37 to cancel out a ton of CO2 emissions.
The Slate author calculated that his household emits 50 tons of CO2 per year. The cheapest trade he found was Carbon Source for $5.50 per ton. So he can face his friends for only $274 per year.

One caution, in a market you have to trust your trading partner to carry out his side of the deal. Can the nonprofits/companies cheat? Yes, they can. So there needs to be some auditing and spreading the word about who carries through and who doesn't. Good intentions only get you so far when you have to implement your promises.

And outside of cheating, sometimes it's hard for your partner to implement your lofty ambitions. The Dutch have found great frustrations in paying a Brazilians landfill to burn methane. I covered this in "Gallant Effort for Kyoto"

Oh, and for that guilt. If you go with TerraPass you get a neat bumper sticker to put on your gas guzzler!

Added. I like TerraPass's blog's analysis of MBTE. Congress decreed that MBTE be added to gasoline. Then it was found that MBTE was getting into water tables all over the country. So of course the people who demanded that MBTE be mandated tried to blame the pollution of the water on the oil companies. But the companies had just followed the law. Congress is to blame. Good news: in this year's energy bill Congress took some responsibility by allowing protection to the oil companies against law suits.

But step back. If Congress has said to reduce which-ever exhaust pollutant and left it to the oil companies to find the solution there would have been two big effects. 1- To the greenies delight, they could blame the e-e-evil oil companies.
2- The oil companies could have looked at alternate ways of getting the required reduction. And among the alternates, when one turned out to have side effects, they could have gone with another solution = the Market Way.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Europe Stagnation - Steyn

So you want zero population growth? Then move to the former East Germany. They have negative population growth!

Negative growth costs. And there are fewer people to pay, so the costs can't be spread and hit the dwindling few very hard.

Cost more? Listen to Mark Steyn interviewed by Hugh Hewitt:
You know, East German towns have been emptying, depopulating so fast that the sewer systems don't run properly. They've had to spend know, when people talk about spending money on infrastructure, we normally think it means building bigger and more efficient...bigger, modern sewer systems, that can cope with more. Here they're actually having to dig them up and make the pipes smaller to enable them to flow. I mean, this isn' know, we worry about sustainable growth. Europe has to cope with sustainable lack of growth.

This is just one example of the costs that the people of Europe have to face - they haven't yet.
Well, I think you're in one of these situations where the people aren't quite ready to swallow the bitter medicine. So if you say to them, are you prepared to have fewer paid vacations per year, you know, these paid holidays that seem extraordinary to Americans, where you basically gets weeks and weeks off each year, paid for by your
employer, they're not yet ready to give those up. They're not yet ready to give up the cradle to grave welfare. And the question is, how much of this bitter medicine are they prepared to swallow? Or do they want to push it even further to breaking point, because they've got terrible, terrible difficulties ahead of them.
Yes, he said "push it to the breaking point." I don't take any pleasure in Europe's stagnation getting worse. But for the Europeans' derision of the backward United States, we are dealing with growth; they have no growth and aging populations that expect to work short hours and retire early. It's going to break.

I prefer the problems of growth.

Steyn's web site.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Hawaii regresses to racial government

All the forces of Hawaii converged to get the US Congress to allow race-based government in the currently 50th state.

To allow such a government requires setting aside our US Constitution and our civil-rights laws. The Akaka Bill classifies citizens by race, defying the express provisions of the 14th Amendment.

Slade Gorton of Washington was a senator when a previous bill passed. He says this bill breaks promises that Senator Inouye made in 1993 when a resolution for apology was passed. Wall Street Journal - this one is free!

The Apology Resolution distorted historical truths. It falsely claimed that the U.S. participated in the wrongful overthrow of Queen Liliuokalani in 1893. The U.S. remained strictly neutral. It provided neither arms, nor economic assistance, nor diplomatic support to a band of Hawaiian insurgents, who prevailed without firing a single shot, largely because neither the Native Hawaiian numerical majority nor the queen's own government resisted the end of the Hawaiian Kingdom. The queen authored her own ouster by planning a coup against the Hawaii Constitution to recapture monarchical powers that had been lost in a strong democratic current.

She later confided to Sen. George Hoar that annexation to the U.S. was the best thing that could have happened to Native Hawaiians.

The resolution falsely asserted that the Kingdom of Hawaii featured a Native Hawaiian government exclusively for Native Hawaiians prior to the 1893 events. In fact, the kingdom was a splendid fusion of both native and nonnative elements in both government and society. The definitive historian of the kingdom, R.S. Kuykendall, elaborated: "The policy being followed looked to the creation of an Hawaiian state by the fusion of native and foreign ideas and the union of native and foreign personnel, bringing into being an Hawaiian body politic in which all elements, both Polynesian and haole, should work together for the common good under the mild and enlightened rule of an Hawaiian king."

The apology falsely declared that Native Hawaiians enjoyed inherent sovereignty over Hawaii to the exclusion of non-Native Hawaiians. To the extent sovereignty existed outside the monarch, it reposed equally with all Hawaiians irrespective of ancestry.

The apology falsely maintained that Native Hawaiians never by plebiscite relinquished sovereignty to the U.S. In 1959, Native Hawaiians voted by at least a 2-to-1 margin for statehood in a plebiscite.

Finally, the Apology Resolution and its misbegotten offspring, the Akaka Bill, betray this nation's sacred motto: E pluribus unum. They would begin a process of splintering sovereignties in the U.S. for every racial, ethnic or religious group traumatized by an identity crisis. Movement is already afoot among a few Hispanic Americans to carve out race-based sovereignty from eight western states because the U.S. "wrongfully" defeated Mexico in the Mexican-American war.

Now is not the time to regress to race-based government. And the Senate should surely reject a bill that is based on a list of untruths. I don't see how Gorton and Brown believe that Daniel Inouye is a man of integrity. The bill hasn't passed yet, but the vote will be soon.

My previous post in July
See Hawaii Reporter for the views of Hawaiians.
Also Grassroot Institute of Hawaii.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Stop this trade war

Our president is speaking double again. In one week he turned from strong trade advocate to protectionist. Three weeks ago Bush put great effort into pushing CAFTA - Central American Free Trade Agreement - through Congress. (I call this a trade agreement, not free trade, because it is not free; it is very managed trade. But it is trade.)

Then last week Bush turned around and violated NAFTA by rejecting the ruling against the US in the matter of soft-wood imports from Canada. The ruling by a 3-person arbitration panel requires the US to return the tariffs collected - about $5 billion.

How can Bush push new trade agreements when he violates the ones already in place? He pandered to the steel-producing states in 2001 by placing a tariff on imported steel at great cost to manufacturers of steel products and consumers. Now he is doing it again.

We Lose

Homes will be more affordable when this tariff is finally gone. The American Homeowners Alliance estimates that it will reduce the construction cost of a new home by $1,000 on average. That will make about 300,000 more moderate-income families eligible to own.

President Bush should welcome the ruling for its benefits to consumers and to the economy. And, incidentally, he should appreciate that the NAFTA trade agreement is working as it should.

And to make the bad news worse, the Bush administration is proposing to double the damage to consumers, demanding that Canada impose a tax on lumber exports so prices rise here. I sure don't understand.

The Wall Street Journal has an excellent editorial on this on August 15, but it requires a paid subscription.

Monday, August 15, 2005

9/11 Coverup by The 9/11 Commission

The 9/11 Commission that was set up to discover what was behind the 9/11 coordinated attack hid critical information. Mark Steyn covers the recent disclosure.

"If you want to know everything wrong with the 9/11 Commission in a single sound bite, consider this from Al Felzenberg, its official spokesman, speaking Wednesday:

''There was no way that Atta could have been in the United States at that time, which is why the staff didn't give this tremendous weight when they were writing the report. This information was not meshing with the other information that we had.''
The 9/11 Commission covered up the fact that military intelligence had found Mohammed Atta over a year before the 9/11 attack.

In fairness to Felzenberg, he was having a bad week, and a hard time staying on top of the commission's ever-shifting version of events. It emerged that the U.S. military had fingered Mohammed Atta -- the guy who plowed Flight 11 into the first World Trade Center tower -- well over a year before before 9/11. Or as the Associated Press puts it:

"A classified military intelligence unit called 'Able Danger' identified Atta and three other hijackers in 1999 as potential members of a terrorist cell in New York City."
The shifting story:

At first, the commission denied that it knew anything about "Able Danger": "The Sept. 11 Commission did not learn of any U.S. government knowledge prior to 9/11 of surveillance of Mohammed Atta or of his cell," insisted Lee Hamilton, the Democratic co-chair. "Had we learned of it, obviously, it would've been a major focus of our investigation."

But within 48 hours this version was non-operative. As the AP subsequently reported: "The Sept. 11 Commission knew military intelligence officials had identified lead hijacker Mohamed Atta as a member of al-Qaida who might be part of U.S.-based terror cell more than a year before the terror attacks but decided not to include that in its final report, a spokesman acknowledged Thursday."

So, far from being a "major focus" that they just happened to miss -- coulda happened to anyone -- it turns out they knew about it but "decided not to include" it.
Why did the 9/11 Commission hide this critical information? Because Jamie Gorelick was the person who erected the wall between law enforcement and the military, preventing them from sharing information. And Gorelick was appointed to the 9/11 Commission by the Democrats. So she was in the place to prevent the disclosure of what she did - how Gorelick prevented the use of information that could have saved lives.

Steyn covers it very well. Though some more of the story has come out since his article.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Gallant effort for Kyoto

The Dutch are actually making an effort to meet some of the Kyoto goals. Other countries have made little or no progress, all but abandoning the goals.

NOVA IGUACU, Brazil -- In a big dirt pit here, workers wearing protective masks piled rocks around cement columns jutting up from rotting trash. Some 6,000 miles away, Dutch officials awaited word of their progress.

The Brazilian workers and the Dutch government have been brought together in an unusual partnership by the Kyoto Protocol, the international treaty under which most industrialized countries, other than the U.S., have pledged to reduce their global-warming emissions by 2012. The workers are building a modern landfill, a rarity in the developing world. The columns are part of a system to capture methane from the city's decomposing rubbish before it wafts up into the atmosphere. Methane is a particularly potent global-warming gas; by burning it, and thus converting it into a less-potent gas, carbon dioxide, the landfill will significantly reduce its output of global-warming pollution.

That makes this garbage pile a gold mine in a new international market: the buying and selling of greenhouse-gas emission "credits." Each credit that a buyer in the industrialized world purchases from a seller in a developing country reduces the buyer's obligation to clean up its act back home. In theory, the system will reduce global emissions of greenhouse gases by sending money from industrialized nations to developing ones to tackle projects that otherwise wouldn't have gotten off the ground."Just by flaring methane," explains Pedro Moura Costa, a 41-year-old Brazilian-born scientist who founded EcoSecurities Ltd., the company behind the gas-recovery operation, "you're creating a lot of credits."

The Netherlands agreed under Kyoto to cut its greenhouse-gas emissions 6% below 1990 levels by 2012. Cutting a ton of emissions in the Netherlands is expensive: about $25 to $50, Dutch officials estimate. So for half their planned cuts, the Dutch shopped around mostly in developing countries for cheaper deals. Here in Nova Iguaçu, they've agreed to buy as much methane as this landfill is expected to snag -- for $4.15 per ton.

But now they get off track:

"We never can reach this target by doing things at home" exclusively, says Maurits Blanson Henkemans, the Dutch economic ministry's senior official on climate issues..

Yes, they could do it at home - by reducing their economy. From all evidence that is what the Kyoto architects intended - to save the earth by shutting down the United States' economy, and incidentally one or two other advanced countries.

And notice that they are not getting rid of CO2, but methane.
So far, the results aren't encouraging. Renewable-energy projects recently have been producing only about a third of the credits sold on the international market, according to a report from the World Bank, one of the market's biggest boosters.

The problem is that CO2-reducing projects are proving less desirable to credit buyers than projects that go after more-potent, but less prevalent gases. A project that avoids the emission of a ton of CO2 produces just one credit. But, because scientists say a ton of emitted methane does as much damage to the planet as 21 tons of CO2, a project that cuts a ton of methane generates 21 Kyoto credits.

The results are mixed. They are burning methane and getting credits for it. But not as much as expected and the finger pointing begins. Scientist Moura Costa says the landfill operators are relying on seepage of the methane, but they should get serious about extracting and install pumps, etc. And they expected to be generating electric power by now, but they are not.

The Wall Street Journal has the story. Subscription required, I am afraid.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Lying about Judge Roberts

NARAL Proabortion is running ads that lie about Judge Roberts, the Supreme Court nominee.

At the Wall Street Journal Manuel Miranda has the correction.

And Annenberg's Fact has the facts. "NARAL Falsely Accuses Supreme Court Nominee Roberts"

We have to get the word out about every lie and distortion against this fine man.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Truth about Hillary

Finally a day less than 85F in the coastal mountains of BC.

I quickly read The Truth About Hillary by Edward Klein. He paints the picture through the book of the kind of person she is - controlling, win at any cost, any cost, left-wing.

He points out many lies she has told. But I am bothered by the lies he doesn't correct. I was there the day in July or August, 1994, when Hillary brought her big-brother health-care program to Seattle. The response in Seattle put a substantial dent in the cake walk she expected. The day before in Portland, Oregon, the federal workers came out by the hundreds to cheer her. But, stroke of luck, her event in Seattle was on a Saturday so the civil "servants" weren't there - only the people who made an effort were there. That included 2 or 300 conservative talk-radio listeners. The spirited opposition in Seattle was reported across the country and similar groups met the queen at every stop and had a strong impact.

Hillary says that people tried to keep her from talking. Wrong. There was good-natured opposition with signs and a welcome Bronx cheer, but no effort to shut her up.

Hillary says that there was violence and weapons were being taken off of people. The report of violence wasn't made until about Wednesday by a poor source - Senator Pattie (that's what she calls herself) Murray. There was no eye witness on Saturday or Sunday or Monday or Tuesday.

Weapons - one guy got stopped with a fire arm. He was walking along the street and had no idea that the secret service was there for the First Lady. He had noting to do with the conservative turn out.

I am trying to recall one other non correction. Later.

Ignore the spin against Klein's book. It is a good, quick read.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Excluding God from business

I am still in Canada

Nortel Networks Corp of Canada fired its CEO Gary Daichendt for praying. Daichendt told colleagues that he had prayed with his wife for guidance the night before an important decision.

That statement became a defining moment in Mr. Daichendt's stormy, short-lived tenure at Nortel... [T]his devout Christian from California has been portrayed in the press as a religious zealot who not only talked about prayer but also told the Nortel board he had a message from God to depose the incumbent CEO.

Mr. Daichendt adamantly denies he made that divinely ordered power play, but concedes "I prayed with my wife. That's a true statement because I am a man of faith.

Daichendt is not reported to have proselytized his coworkers.

Higher ethics are now demanded from corporate officers
but not necessarily more religion.

Yet it is hard to disentangle the two. Mr. Daichendt was welcomed into troubled Nortel because he was grounded in strong ideals...

Well it is a complete package. If you welcome a Christian for his strong ideals don't be surprised at his faith. And it makes no sense to fire a leader for using his strength - his faith.

Toronto Globe and Mail, Monday 8/8/2005, page B10. I can't find it online, but here is the Globe and Mail.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Hiroshima Saved Lives

On vacation at Whistler, BC, Canada in an internet cafe with a view of The Mountain itself:
People are wringing their hand over the "terrible" thing president Harry Truman did when he used atomic bombs against 2 Japan cities 60 years ago.

Japan was preparing to defend their homeland. The invasion was expected on the southern island of Kyushu and they were beefing up the defenses. Japan was on the run; they had lost most - all? - of the land they had captured. So strategic defeat had been accomplished. But the war machine was continuing to fight.

The military leaders estimated that it would cost 1,000,000 Allied lives, mostly American, and every more Japanese lives.

A large number of kamikaze planes were prepared which can take a large toll on a ship with just one airplane.

And, regarding the numbers of dead in the two cities, a number several times their sum had already been lost to Allied bombing of Japanese cities.

So why kill more? Because the stunning power of the one bomb delivered by one airplane would shock the Japanese military into realizing they could not outlast the US.

The best suggested alternative was a demonstration blast over an uninhabited area. But we only had two bombs and as we saw one was not enough. So it was right to use both for populated areas.

Victor Davis Hanson explains it very well.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

As France Does - Not

Professor Krugman explained last week that France is superior to the US because it has higher unemployment rate, slower growth and lower income per capita. Oringinal Source. Now you might ask why is it better to be poorer? Because the French are working less they have more time to be with their families.

Krugman slants his data and argument against the United States in every column. So we have our designated Krugman fisker - Don Luskin. Luskin examines in National Review the differences and finds
- the average Frenchman has lower disposable income than an American at the poverty line!!
- Its average real GDP growth since 1991 has been 1.8% per year, compared to 3.1% for the United States.
- Its GDP per capita is lower than all but the poorest four U.S. states — lower even than Alabama, a state Krugman nastily described the week before last as being populated by people too poorly educated to work in automobile factories.
In the meantime, Krugman rationalizes it away as a matter of "family values" — deliberately mocking the slogan of some American conservatives. He says members of the typical "French family are compensated for their lower income with much more time together," and that France is "extremely supportive of the family as an institution."

Let's talk about that "lower income." Krugman Truth Squad member Bruce Bartlett points to a report by the European consulting firm Timbro that found that total private consumption per capita in France is about half that of the U.S. The average French family has a lower standard of living than Americans living below the poverty level. Impoverished Americans have 16% more dwelling space per capita than the average French; the American poor are more likely to have a car, a dishwasher, a microwave oven, a personal computer, and a clothes drier.

So now we know what French families are doing with all that extra time together — they're crouching in cramped living quarters doing household labor.

At Discovery Institute Brett Swanson finds 2004 economics Nobel laureate Ed Prescott is bullish on Europe. Not because Europe is doing well, but because things are so bad that they have to get better! And the reason: the problem is high taxes and it can be fixed, if they have desire to:
Spain offers a good case for European optimism. Like many of its continental neighbors, Spain was afflicted with declining labor force participation through the mid-1990s. Let's pause here to look at some facts. From 1993-96, the average hours worked (per working age person, per week) in Spain was 16.5. This compares with 17.5 hours in France and 19.3 in Germany. Clearly, Spain wasn't working.

Then, in 1998, Spain flattened its tax rate in a manner similar to the U.S. tax reforms of 1986. Coupled with labor market reforms of the previous year, Spain's labor force participation increased about 21% in the period 2000-2003, to 20 hours per week, exceeding that of Germany (18.3) and France (17.8). Correspondingly, this increase in labor participation led to increased tax revenues. (Incidentally, Spain, France and Germany all had slightly higher labor force participation rates than the U.S. in the early 1970s, when European tax rates were more in line with those in the U.S.)
But France will follow Krugman and be proud of their proverty. I hope not.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Election Progress

There is slow action on cleaning the Washington election mess.

No. Sam Reed is not doing anything that makes things better. He is too busy defending his past failures.

Thanks to Stefan Sharkanski at Sound Politics it appears that Norm Maleng overcame his terminal stiction* and moved slightly. King County is prosecuting 4 people who voted twice and 2 have already plead guilty. Seattle Times

But Maleng won't go any farther. He needs Bob Williams to do his work. So Evergreen Freedom Foundation is doing what they can do; they are suing 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Betty B. Fletcher for illegally registering to vote where she does not live. She registered downtown where she works. It is a felony to make a false statement when registering to vote. The law is RCW 29A.84.130
Evergreen Freedom Foundation


Don't take him seriously and Rep. Jim Moeller, (D) Vancouver, won't take the election seriously. He earns the "Dumb E-mail from Elected Official" award. Stefan has his letter to Bob Williams for your entertainment at Sound Politics

* Stiction - resting friction that make it hard to get moving. Webopedia Computer Dictionay