“Sustainability”: Politics Above Both Science and Economics
By Marita Noon
We first saw the impact in the science world. Global warming was touted as a catastrophic threat to life on earth. Modern life and the burning of hydrocarbons were deemed the cause. Big energy-consuming countries were heaped with guilt.
This opened the door for a host of policies aimed at reducing the use of fossil fuels. A Renewable Portfolio Standard—mandating a percentage of “renewable” electricity—is law in more than half the United States. The EPA has been successfully using regulation to bring about the end goal of the failed cap and trade legislation. Oil and coal have been demonized and natural gas is next. Untold billions have been poured into wind and solar subsidies.
The supposed “science” behind global warming—which morphed into climate change, paved the way for politics above economics.
The Obama Administration’s stimulus allocated $80-90 billion for green energy—even though the economics didn’t add up. Junk-bond rated companies like Solyndra and A123 Systems (the first and the most recent domino to fall) received loans, grants, and, tax incentives to produce “green energy.” The majority of recipients had connections to high-ranking Democrats—politics above economics.
Emails exposed man-made climate change, and green energy programs to be the scams that they are. The “climategate” emails revealed that climate change data had been manipulated and suppressed to produce the desired results. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearings revealed emails that showed how political connections were used to push loan guarantees through and expedite permits.
Recently, new details came to light on both scams.
On October 13, the Daily Mail had an article about the British government’s meteorological service’s recent release of new data on climate change that conflicts with the catastrophic manmade global warming view. Back in March, the Met Office promoted data from 1998-2010 that supported the idea that the world had warmed even more than expected in the past ten years. They sent out a press release and held briefings for journalists. However, when the full dataset—up through August 2012—was released, showing that “the world stopped getting warmer almost 16 years ago,” the Met Office issued the new data “quietly on the internet without any fanfare.” Professor Phil Jones, of the climategate scandal fame, admits that “the climate models are imperfect,” and Professor Judith Curry, head of the climate science department at Georgia Tech agrees that the computer models used to predict future warming were “deeply flawed.”
The new data “poses a fundamental challenge to the assumptions underlying every aspect of energy and climate change policy.”
“Climate spin is rampant” claims Roger Pielke Jr., professor of environmental studies at the University of Colorado-Boulder in an October 12 Denver Post commentary. Pielke addresses the “willing media” “spreading misinformation.” He states: “The logic behind such tactics is apparently that a sufficiently scared public will support the political program of those doing the scaring.”
Pielke cites Andrew Revkin, “who has covered the climate issue for decades for the New York Times.” Revkin explains that “the media tend to pay outsize attention to research developments that support a ‘hot’ conclusion … and glaze over on research of equivalent quality that does not.” Surely this is what happened with the Met’s report.
Pielke concludes his commentary with these words: “There is one group that should be very concerned about the spreading of rampant misinformation: the scientific community. … But leading scientists and scientific organizations that contribute to a campaign of misinformation—even in pursuit of a worthy goal like responding effectively to climate change—may find that the credibility of science itself is put at risk by supporting scientifically unsupportable claims in pursuit of a political agenda.”
Politics above science. But this politically driven “science” is needed to support politics above economics.
On October 15, the Wall Street Journal ran an editorial discussing the special treatment Solyndra, received from the Department of Energy: “Solyndra’s investors could be rewarded for their failures.” The WSJ explains: “Solyndra’s only real assets are what the IRS calls ‘tax attributes.’”
The short version is that Solyndra’s investors could emerge from bankruptcy with the ability to apply the net operating losses (NOL) against the profits of a profitable company owned by the same investors. What is interesting is who the “investors” are. WSJ states that Argonaut Ventures I LLC is “Solyndra’s largest shareholder and the primary investment arm of the George Kaiser Family Foundation. Mr. Kaiser … bundled campaign checks for Mr. Obama in 2008.”
Emails revealed through the Solyndra bankruptcy show that Steve Mitchell, Argonaut’s managing director, wrote these words to Kaiser: “The DOE thinks politically before it thinks economically”—politics above economics. After Obama called Solyndra a “testament to American ingenuity and dynamism,” apparently the DOE wanted to “delay the Solyndra crack-up that was fast becoming inevitable.” Solyndra needed the “loan’s remaining $95 million immediately, instead of in monthly drawdowns, and to restructure its terms.” For Kaiser, the NOLs were the “consolation prize.”
The “true sustainability?” Government funds research that supports the “catastrophic” messaging. Science and media willingly cooperate. Catastrophic reports provide the foundation for “green energy” investments that go to Democrat campaign donors. Investors get special favors, and come out on top. They, then, donate to the campaigns—getting their “friends” re-elected. The perpetual motion machine keeps running at the taxpayers’ expense—all to “evade political accountability.”
We know the story with Solyndra. Last week, A123 Systems filed for bankruptcy. Who knows what special deals they got? There are 14 other stimulus-funded green-energy companies that have gone bankrupt. It will likely take years for the details of each deal to be exposed.
This is what happens when politics take precedence above all else. Obama’s economic model picks winners and losers and misallocates capital, while sticking it to the taxpayers.
Perhaps this is why Obama’s crony rich friends are willing to agree to higher taxes for millionaires and billionaires—they have their “tax attributes” in their NOLs (paid for by the average, middle-class taxpayer).
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