“How Obama and the Democrats will Destroy the U.S. Economy” by Alan Caruba at:
Darwin Got it Wrong and It’s Not What You’re Thinking
By Alan Caruba
Charles Darwin got it wrong. This is not to disparage the man. Science is an ever evolving process and scientific theories are subject to being replaced by newer knowledge. Most certainly, Darwin (1809-1882) got everyone thinking about evolution, but the problem is that evolution is not a slow process. It happens very fast.
Indeed, Darwin’s friend, the famed biologist, Thomas Huxley, supported aspects of Darwin’s theory, but didn’t believe that evolution was gradual. Then, too, Darwin had to contend with those who believe that Noah built an ark and put two of all the creatures of the Earth on it. Religion is a great comfort, but it is no substitute for science.
I first became acquainted with Robert W. Felix through is book, Not by Fire, but by Ice, that pointed out that the Earth is on the cusp of a new ice age. Insofar as the Earth is now fully a decade into a new cycle of cooling, one that could last several decades or evolve into a new, full blown ice age, Felix not only got it right, but, in the course of writing his book, discovered an even more frightening scenario.
Magnetic Reversals and Evolutionary Leaps: The True Origin of the Species is Felix’s new book (available from www.iceagenow.com) and, were it not for fans like myself and others, it is not likely to make it to the cover of leading news magazines or become a segment on “Sixty Minutes.” It will be largely ignored by the mainstream news media for the same reason they ignored his first book. Enthralled by the bogus “global warming” hoax, the mainstream media will find his new book equally appalling for its presentation of facts that run contrary to their ignorance.
Felix is far from alone in this view that new species are not the result of a long accretion of changes. The late paleontologist, Stephen Jay Gould (1941-2002) popularized that field of science with articles and books. Gould noted, “Gradualism is not a fact a fact of nature. Most new species appear with a bang, not a protracted crescendo.” Fossil records demonstrate that a species remains unchanged for millions of years before abruptly disappearing, “only to be replaced just as rapidly with a species that is, though clearly related, substantially different. Nature does take leaps.”
Felix’s great talent comes both in his ability to read and absorb the writings of scientists from different fields of study, and in his ability to explain complex issues to people like myself. I always remind readers that, while I am a science writer, I am not a scientist. Felix is a science writer and one who brings a great deal of passion to his quest to understand the history of the Earth and the life that appears to distinguish it from others in our galaxy.
While researching ice ages for his previous book, he became intrigued by a phenomenon that always coincides with them, magnetic reversals. In addition to mass extinctions of species that always accompanied magnetic reversals, Felix and others noticed that new species replaced them. For example, human beings are, in the long history of the Earth, 4.5 billion years, are “blindingly new”, having existed a mere 200,000 years.
“Mass extinctions,” writes Felix, “have been the rule, rather than the exception, for the 3.5 billion years that life has existed on this planet. Almost identical, each extinction was abrupt, each was extensive, and each was caused by some temporary, unexplainable event.”
Permit me to pause at this point and note the vanity and idiocy of those who demand that humans must conserve every species on Earth, no matter the cost involved. This nation has spent billions via the Endangered Species Act. In a similar fashion, the notion that humans are responsible for a non-existent “global warming” is the justification for measures that will wreck the economies of nations and cause untold losses of human life thanks to famines that should be avoided.
The next time you hear or read the word “environmentalist”, you should also hear and read “fascist” for the core of the environmental movement is the belief that human beings are “a cancer” on the Earth and should be reduced to a minimum.
The real threat to life on Earth are magnetic reversals, as revealed by magnetostratigraphy, the study of the magnetic properties of ancient layers of sediment (strata) now hardened into rock. Major reversals “appear to occur in sync with ice ages” and other measurements of time. “And it happens fast!” says Felix.
The Earth is at the end of a cyclical interglacial period. Such periods are about 11,500 years in length and it has been 11,500 years since the last ice age. That portends that another magnetic reversal is due as well.
Though decried as “deniers”, those of us who have been skeptical of the claims of Al Gore and the legion of global warming charlatans, the real deniers are those refuse to acknowledge the facts put forth and explained in Felix’s new book.
Those who would have you dramatically alter your lifestyle, by ending the use of oil, natural gas, and coal for energy, by installing thousands of wind turbines and miles of solar panels, are willfully ignoring the signs that the Earth is poised to enter a new age in which life as we know it—including our own—will be dramatically changed and to a large extent even exterminated.
There is nothing humans can do about this.
© Alan Caruba, November 2008
Turning Boom into Bust
By Alan Caruba
Energy is called “the master resource” because every other aspect of life operates off of it. Nations that are rich in energy resources such as oil, natural gas, and coal, grow wealthy.
There is also something called “the curse of oil” because, if the price per barrel drops, the fate of some nations goes with it. This is the case, for example, of the former Soviet Russia whose government collapsed when it could no longer secure hard currency when oil and gas prices fell. Venezuela is an economic basket case these days, having nationalized oil and most of its financial and business sectors.
The history of nationalized oil and gas-rich nations is that they tend not to invest in their energy industries. They do not engage in sufficient exploration. They do not expand their capacity to extract their natural resources or to refine it. We have seen otherwise oil-rich nations like Mexico encounter financial tremors as in the 1990s when the Clinton administration had to loan Mexico billions to keep it functioning.
America has adopted anti-energy policies because of incessant environmental propaganda about “dirty” coal, out of the fear of nuclear power, and the refusal to permit exploration of 85% of the continental shelf and, of course, Alaska’s ANWR area, a tiny fraction of that State’s landmass.
If Congress imposes a windfall profits tax on the American oil industry, it will quite simply wreck the economy. As my friend, Seldon B. Graham, Jr., a longtime oil industry attorney as well as a petroleum engineer, points out, “”President Jimmy Carter started the ethanol subsidy on November 9, 1978 and signed the oil windfall profits tax on April 2, 1980.”
In effect, Carter put in motion an anti-oil policy that has existed for over three decades. Why is that a bad thing? The ethanol policy has severely disrupted the price of food worldwide as corn is diverted into fuel. The justification for this is “energy independence” from the purchase of foreign oil, but U.S.-produced oil has always been cheaper than imported oil.
If, however, the government creates conditions under which it is simply too risky, too expensive or prohibited to explore for more oil reserves, obviously oil production declines. There has been a 59% decline in U.S. oil production since 1980, the year the windfall profits tax was imposed. It was later repealed, but U.S. oil companies have a responsibility to their investors to act prudently and that has driven them to explore for oil outside of the U.S. or, to put it another way, to find foreign oil.
When you add in the idiotic ethanol mandates, you compound the problem. Graham points out that, “After thirty years, U.S. ethanol production was only able to produce less than 3% of our oil demand last year.” Moreover, “ethanol cost taxpayers $3.3 billion in subsidies in 2007.” Environmental claims that ethanol is cleaner than oil are false. Not only do you get less energy and poor mileage when ethanol is blended with gasoline, it actually emits more carbon dioxide per mile. “It is absolutely impossible for ethanol to replace foreign oil,” says Graham.
The justification for a windfall profits tax on oil companies ignores, for example, that ExxonMobil, just one of the few remaining oil companies operating in the U.S., pays more than $100 billion in taxes on the average.
Less than 11% of ExxonMobil’s profits come from marketing and refining in the United States and the company recently announced it was spinning off its retail outlets. Yes, it made great profits in recent years, but it also had enormous, risk-filled expenses.
Imposing a windfall profits tax on oil companies will give them cause to consider moving their corporate headquarters to other more congenial nations. The city of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates has been engaged in a vast office building effort, perhaps anticipating the movement of corporate headquarters.
Americans greeted the expiration of the ban on offshore exploration and drilling with the expectation that American oil would begin to flow and thus lower their costs for this vital national asset. That will not happen if the President or a Democrat controlled Congress reinstates the ban and/or imposes a windfall profits tax.
The city of Houston has been enjoying a boom due to the increase in the cost of a barrel of oil. Even at $80 dollars a barrel, it is enough to have created “its strongest resurgence in more than 20 years” according to a 2007 New York Times article about Houston. “Some energy companies are expanding and putting up new buildings.” Others, like Schlumberger among the hundreds of service providers to the energy industry have established their headquarters in Houston.
Houston is home to the headquarters of ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips, and foreign owned companies like Citgo, BP and Royal Dutch Shell also maintain corporate offices there.
About half of Houston’s jobs, an estimated 1.1 million positions, are tied to the energy industry. The impact of a windfall profits tax would prove devastating to Houston.
Destroying the oil industry in America, a process that has been in place since the Carter administration, has left the nation vulnerable to foreign sources. The U.S. already imports some 70% of its oil. There has been a significant decline in the exploration and development of national reserves.
Unleashing the energy industries in America could dramatically improve our present financial troubles. Congress, having turned boom into bust, has a historical opportunity to reverse that trend.
Editor’s Note: “Why Your Gasoline Prices Are High” by Seldon B. Graham ($10.95) is available from Amazon.com.
© Alan Caruba, November 2008
Let’s Go Nuclear
By Alan Caruba
How do you know when a Green—hardcore environmentalist—is lying to you? When his lips are moving. Okay, it’s a cliché used in other cases as well, but it is especially true when the latest absurd claim comes flying at you courtesy of the mainstream media.
“The unprecedented levels of support for nuclear energy found in this survey,” said Ann Bisconti, “can be attributed to growing concerns about energy and focus on energy alternatives.” There are few real alternatives. At present, coal-fired plants generate just over 50% of electricity and nuclear represents about 20%. The rest is made up by hydroelectric, and some natural gas. The much touted “clean” energy sources, solar and wind, only 1%.
The Greens have a long history of being opposed to nuclear energy, claiming it is too dangerous and there’s no place to put the spent rods. However, they have also been shouting about the need for “clean” energy that does not emit “greenhouse gases.” Nuclear does not do that. It emits water vapor in the form of steam and water vapor is a key element of the Earth’s atmosphere.
Moreover, there hasn’t been an accident since the problem encountered by Three Mile Island in 1979. Even then, no one was harmed. The technology since then has ensured that the nuclear energy industry is astonishingly safe.
There’s a billion dollar facility, Yucca Mountain, waiting to receive nuclear waste, but the Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, (D-NV) refuses to allow it to begin operation. The facility recently received clearance from the Environmental Protection Agency for meeting a stringent radiation protection standard. You would get more radiation from a CAT scan than Yucca Mountain.
So, while Greens tout wind and solar, two of the least effective and reliable ways to provide for the nation’s energy needs, they continue to bad mouth nuclear as a viable alternative. Its popularity is such that developing nations all over the world are seeking to build their own nuclear plants. India, for example, is embarked on an ambitious program.
Greens also are actively opposing nuclear energy. Friends of the Earth, a leading environment organization, is engaged in program to denigrate nuclear energy, calling Yucca Mountain “a false solution that would run trains full of toxic nuclear waste through neighborhoods like yours.” This ignores the fact that all manner of toxic materials move around the nation every day for manufacturing and other purposes. And they do it safely.
So what do the Greens want? It’s more like what they don’t want. They don’t want more electricity for Americans no matter what generates it.
They are opposed to all expansion and development even as the population continues to grow. That’s why you will find Greens trying to stop any form of development, whether it’s more land use for housing or more energy for electricity to light and heat it. That’s why they are against any exploration and drilling for oil and natural gas and against coal.
They are against the timber industry, too, and the production and consumption of meat, claiming that raising livestock contributes to global warming.
There is no global warming. The Earth is in a new cooling cycle, but that doesn’t slow the deluge of lies.
© Alan Caruba, October 2008