Archive for the ‘economy – freedom – democracy’ Category

Scandal in Oz — alarmism rejected

03/29/2012
“Like many working couples, Anne and Russell Secombe decided to find a place by the sea where they would eventually retire to live out the rest of their lives pursuing simple pleasures. In the 1970s, the couple, now in their 80s, found it, a modest single-level brick house at 23 Illaroo Rd, Lake Cathie, a town on the NSW mid-north coast.  …

It’s simple bliss: Anne, a retired clerk, spends time keeping up her neat garden; Russell, a retired mechanic, angles on the beach for blackfish, flathead and bream. But yesterday the Secombes’ sense of hard-earned stability collapsed when they discovered they could be among the first victims in Australia to be dispossessed of their home. Not because of any existing environmental threat, but because the local council believes climate change could pose one by the end of the century.

In a move that struck incredulity, alarm and fear among locals, Port Macquarie Hastings Council put a study on the council website recommending that council enforce a “planned retreat” for the owners of the 17 houses on Illaroo Road. The area is one of 15 “hot spots” identified by the NSW government as being vulnerable to the effects of sea level rises due to climate change, as outlined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.  …

Illaroo Road is about 7m above mean sea level, so there’s no danger of flooding.  …

Council’s action has reduced property values on Illaroo Road by between a third and a half, according to local observers.”

Fighting on the beaches as council orders retreat from climate change ‘threat’

“Home owners in the NSW town of Lake Cathie appear likely to escape an eviction order recommended by a consultant’s report that calls for a “planned retreat” from a predicted rise in sea levels, as the O’Farrell government is expected to discard the alarmist climate change predictions of its Labor predecessor.  …

The developments follow revelations in The Weekend Australianon Saturday that the consultants employed by the council, SMEC, had recommended the council buy out 17 homes on Illaroo Road based on predictions by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – and adopted by the previous Labor government – of a sea-level rise of 40cm by 2050 and 90cm by the turn of the century.  …

Mr Porter’s decision that he will work to save the Lake Cathie houses comes as the NSW Coalition government appears likely to determine that the coastal management strategy of the previous Labor government is unrealistic.  …

SMEC’s report made clear that even given the direst climate change and sea-level rise predictions, with Illaroo Road being 7m above mean sea level, “overtopping and coastal inundation are not an issue”.”

Seafront residents in nothern NSW saved from eviction

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Delusional

01/07/2012

“This failure [by alarmists] to connect with the public is already having a dire effect on political will to deal with the [non-] problem. How should they do things differently?  …

Scientists and environmentalists need to place a greater emphasis on the economic dangers of not dealing with the [non-] problem: household bills will rise exorbitantly if we don’t invest in alternative energy; dealing with disruptive climate change will cost us billions and drive up food prices across the world.  …

Half the population doesn’t need more convincing – it’s the other half that isn’t susceptible to traditional [doomsday] messages.

This means talking about the potential for future innovation, that countries like China and India are investing billions into alternative energy as a key future technology, and how it offers us security from war and disease and a better standard of living.”  “The climate change message is not being heard. Here’s how to change tack

EPA madness rolls on

07/15/2011

“What happens if the government mandates the consumption of a product that doesn’t exist? Naturally, the Environmental Protection Agency has decided to punish the gasoline refiners because they can’t buy a type of alternative fuel that no one is making. Consumers will be punished too.

The 2007 energy bill vastly increased the volume of corn ethanol that must be blended into gasoline, though it also included mandates for cellulosic ethanol.  …

The EPA set the 2011 standard at six million gallons. Reality hasn’t cooperated. Zero gallons have been produced in the last six months and the corner isn’t visible over the next six months either. The EPA has only approved a single plant to sell the stuff, … but it shut down its cellulosic operations earlier this year to work through technical snafus.

In its wisdom, Congress decided that some companies should be penalized if the targets aren’t met.  …  U.S. oil refiners that make gasoline … will end up buying six million cellulosic waivers by year’s end at $1.13 a pop. That’s $6.78 million in higher costs at the pump, in return for nothing.

That might not be much in the scheme of things, though late last month the EPA proposed a 2012 mandate that will fall somewhere between 3.55 million and 15.7 million gallons. Barring a miracle, cellulosic producers won’t hit even the lower end, refiners and the driving public will continue to pay for the mistake, and the mandate will continue to ratchet up annually. Perhaps the EPA can also find someone to tax for the lack of unicorns.”  “Cellulosic Ethanol and Unicorns

Trade war begins

06/24/2011

“China’s anger with the European Union’s emissions-trading scheme for airlines has delayed the revealing of a major Airbus deal and could undermine upcoming deals, according to people familiar with the situation.

Airbus, a unit of European Aeronautic Defence & Space Co., had expected to announce at the Paris Air Show this week that Hong Kong Airlines Ltd. ordered 10 of its A380 superjumbo jetliners, with a catalog value of almost $4 billion. The deal’s unveiling was put on ice by officials in Beijing, who must give final approval, these people said.

The Chinese government held off because it disapproves of the EU’s intention to regulate greenhouse emissions of foreign airlines operating to and from the 27-country bloc, according to the people close to the talks.  …

“The Chinese have told us directly that their airlines are not allowed to get into deals with Europe,” said a person close to the European side of the discussions.  …

China’s move appears to be the first retaliation against the EU program. China, the U.S., Russia and other countries have strongly objected to the plan.  …

EU officials have repeatedly said they won’t retreat on their program.”  “China Delays Unveiling Airbus Deal

The absurdity of it all

04/29/2011

“Cuts in carbon [dioxide emissions] by developed countries since 1990 have been cancelled out many times over by increases in imported goods from developing countries such as China, according to the most comprehensive global figures ever compiled.  …

[T]he latest research, published on Monday, provides the first global view of how international trade altered national carbon footprints during the period of the Kyoto protocol.  …

According to standard data, developed countries can claim to have reduced their collective emissions by almost 2% between 1990 and 2008. But once the carbon cost of imports have been added to each country, and exports subtracted – the true change has been an increase of 7%. If Russia and Ukraine – which cut their CO2 emissions rapidly in the 1990s due to economic collapse – are excluded, the rise is 12%.”  “Carbon cuts by developed countries cancelled out by imported goods

Hypocrite in Chief

04/27/2011

“President Barack Obama on Tuesday urged world oil producers to lift crude output, as he sought to deflect public anger over high gasoline prices that has hurt his popularity among voters.  …

“They need to increase supplies,” Obama told CBS affiliate WTKR in Hampton Roads, Virginia.”  “Obama Urges Oil Producers To Increase Output

 

“Shell Oil Company has announced it must scrap efforts to drill for oil this summer in the Arctic Ocean off the northern coast of Alaska. The decision comes following a ruling by the EPA’s Environmental Appeals Board to withhold critical air permits.  …

Shell has spent five years and nearly $4 billion dollars on plans to explore for oil in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas. The leases alone cost $2.2 billion. Shell Vice President Pete Slaiby says … [h]e’s especially frustrated over the appeal board’s suggestion that the Arctic drill would somehow be hazardous for the people who live in the area.  …

The closest village to where Shell proposed to drill is Kaktovik, Alaska. It is one of the most remote places in the United States. According to the latest census, the population is 245 and nearly all of the residents are Alaska natives. The village, which is 1 square mile, sits right along the shores of the Beaufort Sea, 70 miles away from the proposed off-shore drill site.  …

At stake is an estimated 27 billion barrels of oil[,] … two and a half times more oil than has flowed down the Trans Alaska pipeline throughout its 30-year history.”  “EPA Rules Force Shell to Abandon Oil Drilling Plans

Tortoise shuts down $2B solar project

04/20/2011

“Federal officials have told a solar developer to stop work on two-thirds of a construction site in northeast San Bernardino County because no more tortoises can be disturbed.

Until wildlife authorities reassess the tortoise population, work on the $2.1 billion project — hailed by the Obama administration — is limited to a 2-square-mile area cleared of the protected reptiles last fall. BrightSource Solar’s entire work site, on public land near Primm, Nev., is 5.6 square miles.

The suspension order, made official Friday, was triggered when biologists hired to remove tortoises from the property handled their 39th animal earlier this month, said Amy Fesnock of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

A federal permit allowed for the displacement of no more than 38 desert tortoises found within the project’s borders, said Fesnock, a wildlife biologist in the BLM’s California office. The species is listed as threatened with extinction.

The suspension forced crews from Bechtel, BrightSource’s contractor, to stop building fences and to fill in postholes and trenches so tortoises won’t fall in and get injured or trapped.”  “MOJAVE DESERT: Tortoise finds curtail solar-site construction

California corporate income tax receipts down 57%

04/19/2011

Table below from “State Tax Collections Tick Up“.

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Alabama
$979
13.9%
12.4%
10.3%
4.9%
X
X
X
Alaska
$0
0.0%
23.5%
-103.6%
4.0%
Arizona
$974
11.5%
N/A
85.4%
N/A
X
X
X
X
Arkansas
$0
0.0%
17.9%
2.9%
24.2%
X
California*
$25,400
29.3%
17.2%
-56.7%
-0.6%
X
X
X
X
Colorado
$988
13.8%
15.8%
-42.9%
-4.8%
X
X
X
X
Connecticut
$3,200
18.0%
9.8%
-181.4%
6.7%
X
X
X
X
Delaware
$208
6.3%
10.1%
85.0%
24.1%
X
X
District of Columbia
$322
5.2%
12.9%
166.7%
N/A
X
X
Florida
$3,600
14.9%
N/A
-26.9%
4.9%
X
X
X
X
Georgia
$1,300
7.9%
18.0%
30.5%
4.3%
X
X
X
X
Hawaii
$410
8.2%
N/A
N/A
N/A
X
X
X
Idaho
$92
3.9%
36.4%
93.3%
-0.4%
X
X
X
X
Illinois
$4,900
14.6%
20.5%
-20.7%
10.8%
X
X
X
X
Indiana
$270
2.0%
15.5%
668.5%
6.6%
X
X
X
X
Iowa
$186
3.5%
12.4%
20.2%
5.8%
X
X
X
Kansas
$492
8.8%
3.1%
124.4%
21.1%
X
X
X
Kentucky**
$780
9.1%
10.7%
125.5%
1.9%
X
X
X
Louisiana
$1,600
20.7%
41.5%
127.3%
15.3%
X
X
X
Maine
$436
16.1%
19.3%
-8.5%
4.8%
X
X
X
X
Maryland
$1,400
10.7%
4.6%
-14.5%
4.0%
X
X
X
X
Massachusetts
$1,800
5.7%
8.0%
-2.5%
3.3%
X
X
X
X
Michigan
$1,300
5.9%
43.8%
13.9%
9.0%
X
X
X
X
Minnesota
$3,800
23.6%
N/A
N/A
N/A
X
X
X
Mississippi
$634
14.1%
-1.5%
31.0%
2.6%
X
X
X
Missouri
$704
9.1%
2.0%
152.6%
5.7%
X
X
X
X
Montana
$0
0.0%
11.7%
178.0%
N/A
Nebraska
$314
9.2%
10.1%
-37.8%
5.2%
X
X
X
Nevada
$1,500
45.2%
N/A
N/A
N/A
X
X
X
X
New Hampshire***
N/A
N/A
N/A
-50.0%
N/A
X
X
New Jersey
$10,500
37.4%
10.5%
39.3%
1.5%
X
X
X
X
New Mexico
$450
8.3%
N/A
N/A
N/A
X
X
New York
$10,000
18.7%
4.0%
82.3%
10.4%
X
X
X
X
North Carolina
$2,400
12.7%
11.8%
N/A
-2.7%
X
X
X
X
North Dakota
$0
0.0%
N/A
N/A
N/A
Ohio**
$3,000
11.0%
14.4%
16.8%
4.6%
X
X
X
X
Oklahoma
$500
9.4%
9.9%
73.3%
10.4%
X
X
X
Oregon**
$1,800
25.0%
11.6%
3.2%
N/A
X
X
X
Pennsylvania
$4,200
16.4%
7.5%
-5.4%
2.1%
X
X
X
Rhode Island
$331
11.3%
2.3%
88.5%
3.8%
X
X
X
X
South Carolina
$877
17.4%
44.9%
67.8%
0.9%
X
X
X
X
South Dakota
$127
10.9%
N/A
N/A
15.7%
X
X
Tennessee***
N/A
N/A
N/A
-21.7%
4.4%
X
X
X
Texas
$13,400
31.5%
N/A
N/A
9.3%
X
Utah
$390
8.2%
12.5%
183.1%
13.4%
X
X
X
X
Vermont
$176
16.3%
15.0%
48.7%
1.4%
X
X
Virginia**
$2,000
13.1%
11.3%
67.4%
7.0%
X
X
X
X
Washington
$2,500
16.2%
N/A
N/A
0.2%
X
X
X
X
West Virginia
$0
0.0%
12.1%
144.9%
3.8%
Wisconsin
$1,800
12.8%
33.7%
1.0%
5.7%
X
X
X
Wyoming
$0
0.0%
N/A
N/A
22.3%
X
X

California exodus

04/15/2011

“So far this year, 69 companies have moved all or part of their California work and jobs to other states or countries, reports Irvine relocation consultant Joe Vranich.

It’s the fastest rate of departures since Vranich started tracking the exodus in 2009, he says. There have been an average of 4.7 moves per week from Jan. 1 through April 12, compared to 3.9 moves in all of 2010.

The numbers are low, Vranich says, estimating that only one in five out-of-state moves is made public.

In what he calls “disinvestment events,” Vranich counts companies that move jobs, facilities or headquarters out of California.  He doesn’t count companies that invest outside the state for growth or marketing reasons.

Among the 69 are some big names:  CKE Restaurants, which started in Orange County and now is based in Carpinteria; Dunn-Edwards paints in Vernon; and eBay Inc. in San Jose which will add 1,000 high-paying jobs in Austin, Tex. after receiving government incentives to locate there.”  “69 more firms move jobs, facilities out of California

Businesses folding, leaving California

03/09/2011

“More than one in five (21%) of California small-business owners do not expect to be in business in California in three years, according to a recent survey by Small Business California, an advocacy group in San Francisco.

It’s a number Small Business California President Scott Hague calls “scary.”

 

Source: Small Business California 

Yes, if California lost a fifth of its small businesses it would be scary. About 83% of California’s businesses (78% of Orange County’s) have fewer than 10 employees.”  “Are Calif. businesses closing or leaving?