March 6, 2007

This Is Not Progress (Bank of America Goes Opportunistic on Globaloney)

NOTE: This post, and the one that now follows it, were moved to the top for the rest of the evening because of the importance of the topic.

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Narrowly understandable perhaps, but NOT progress (WSJ Energy Blog appears to be free for now; HT e-mailer Kevin; bolds are in original):

Bank of America Going Green

Bank of America, the No. 2 U.S. bank by assets after Citigroup, announced a 10-year, $20 billion initiative to fight global warming with an array of environmentally friendly projects and products.

It promised to spend $18 billion encouraging business customers to develop green technologies. It also promised to “launch the capability to trade carbon-emissions credits in order to enable clients to achieve carbon-emission neutrality.” BAC said it plans to spend more than $1.5 billion to reduce its own carbon footprint.

The bank will also develop several consumer products in the next year, including a credit card that, when used, will trigger spending by the bank on projects that cut greenhouse-gas emissions.

Bank of America joins a growing list of companies — including the private equity firms that bid recently for Texas utility TXU — who recognize that it’s actually much easier being green than fighting a groundswell of public worry about global warming. “The word ‘green,’ while it’s still relevant, is no longer the main driver of many decisions to become more environmentally friendly,” Andrew Hoffman, a business professor at the University of Michigan Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise, told Reuters. “It’s just smart business.”

Translation: The public has been duped and companies like B of A can’t fight it alone — so they’ll join it. I don’t deny that it makes “business sense” in the current hysterical political environment, or that the Bank probably needs to do what they are doing to be “competitive” (after all, the risks of being targeted as a “bad guy” are substantial), or that there aren’t environment-friendly projects that justify themselves on the numbers (utility costs saved, etc.) — but B of A’s announcement taken as a whole is a sad commentary on just how effective the globaloney (and it IS globaloney) and globalarmism (and it IS globlarmism) have been.

This is not progress.

It should also be noted that B of A is quite selective when deciding which “public groundswell” it will pay attention to. There’s been a huge outcry against issuing credit cards to illegal immigrants on grounds relating to fairness to citizens and ethnic opportunism, but B of A has decided that they can ignore that one — and they will. Zheesh.

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UPDATE: Obviously, we need more people like this to break through the globaloney.

UPDATE 2: Maybe B of A should be more concerned, along with a lot of the other financial-services firms, with its mail footprint. The industry’s “mail footprint” for credit-card solicitations went up 30% just last year. One WSJ commenter says, “I’ll believe this when I stop receiving 10 mail requests for credit cards for them each month. I figure they waste one tree per year just for me.” Maybe they’ll invent “credit-card offer offsets” so they’ll feel as guilt-free as Al Gore obviously does about his outsized energy consumption.

Economist Commenter on China/India Industrialization Makes Overlooked Point (UPDATE: China’s Emissions to Surpass US Soon)

Filed under: Economy,Environment,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 7:49 pm

I guess I should have known better than to wait a couple of weeks for someone at the Economist to notice something when the magazine did a post (HT Instapundit) discussing the implications of the continued industrialization of China and India (internal link added by me). Luckily, though, one of its commenters (#6) did:

What an odd coincidence that the much reviled Bush administration signed the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate a year and a half ago designed to do much of what is being advocated here. From the Wikipedia article, the intent is to:

  • develop, deploy and transfer existing and emerging clean technology;
  • meet increased energy needs and explore ways to reduce the greenhouse gas with out hurting the economies;
  • build human and institutional capacity to strengthen cooperative efforts; and
  • seek ways to engage the private sector.

What good sense but how popular was it with Europe when it was launched? In short, the center-right in the US has already seen the truth, has put in place a framework for fixing the problem, and is focused on cleaning things up without condemning untold millions to grinding poverty. Now who in Europe will admit it?

Point made. The evil, rapacious Bush Administration actually does something while the rest of the world fiddles; whines about the lack of mandatory emissions caps; and plots billions, if not trillions, in global carbon taxation.

When China’s and India’s consumption surpasses the US’s (in China, that could occur in as little as 2 years, says the, uh, New York Times; nope, sooner, see UPDATE below), you would think that the heat, so to speak, will really be on those two developing countries to “do something.”

But here’s a prediction about that — If we get to that point, within a few years after that, the enviro and media interest in global warming will, so to speak, evaporate. That’s because globaloney is about punishing the currently industrialized world, and mostly the US, and not at all about solving a real problem (if it even IS a real problem). Once Chinese and Indian prosperity, and energy consumption, make the real objective unattainable because of the obvious offensiveness of not even going after the real #1, there will be one of the biggest “never minds” ever recorded.

In fact, the current ferocity of the globalarmist crowd may be directly traceable to how quickly the carbon-producing worm is turning; and how ironic is it that the hated Bush Administration, as noted above, is involved the only group actually attempting to do something that might put off that date? If they don’t get their way in the next few years, the enviros’ most logical candidates for punishment will change to those they would rather not go after — an enviro quagmire, so to speak.

I’ll even guess that if the sequence of events occurs as described, the so-called “science” will turn on a dime.

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UPDATE: Clear and Present Quagmire alert — Scratch that “2 years” prediction for China to catch up in emissions. According to this SF Chronicle report by Robert Collier, the catch-up will take place next year, or perhaps even this year:

Far more than previously acknowledged, the battle against global warming will be won or lost in China, even more so than in the West, new data show.

A report released last week by Beijing authorities indicated that as its economy continues to expand at a red-hot pace, China is highly likely to overtake the United States this year or in 2008 as the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases.

This information, along with data from the International Energy Agency, the Paris-based alliance of oil importing nations, also revealed that China’s greenhouse gas emissions have recently been growing by a total amount much greater than that of all industrialized nations put together.

“The magnitude of what’s happening in China threatens to wipe out what’s happening internationally,” said David Fridley, leader of the China Energy Group at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

….. New statistics released in Beijing on Wednesday by China’s National Bureau of Statistics show that China’s consumption of fossil fuels rose in 2006 by 9.3 percent, about the same rate as in previous years — and about eight times higher than the U.S. increase of 1.2 percent.

[sarcasm] So now I expect all the enviros’ attention to get refocused to China, where I’m shoooooore they’ll find a “warm” reception from Beijing to an emissions cap regime that would keep hundreds of millions mired in poverty forever, just as it has begun to appear that the large majority of China’s population could be pulled out of it by capitalism in just 2-3 decades. Good luck, guys and gals. :–> [/sarcasm]

UPDATE 2: Anticipating an argument — Sure, China’s per-capita use emissions are much lower than ours, but it the current 8% differential in the rate of increase cited above (9.3% minus 1.2%) continues for only 19 or 20 years, China’s per-capita use will equal ours. China’s where the “problem” is, so leave the US alone already (and, I predict, watch the “problem” lose its luster).

UPDATE 3: Given the furor over emissions and the fact that China’s move to emissions equality with the US has occurred more quickly than originally anticipated, shouldn’t we wonder whether the 9.3% emissions-growth stat from the Chinese is understated — perhaps by quite a bit?

Coulter Was Wrong to Say What She Said ….

Filed under: News from Other Sites — Tom @ 7:02 pm

Warning: The “new F-Word” that BizzyBlog won’t use here will be found at the third and later links. If you object to seeing the word, don’t click on the links.
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And nothing that follows changes that (sentiments that I fully agree with are here and here).

But the line at the Confessional for Politically Incorrect Words should be pretty long.

Wonder of wonders, those in line ahead of her are mostly, if not all ….. (drum roll, please) ….. hard-leftists (HT LGF).

Looks like a lot of people are in Dire Straits (15th and 16th lines of lyrics).

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UPDATE: I should also add that a brief visit to some of the links (but not all — I had to give up the research when even the hazmat suit worn for the occasion became uninhabitable) yielded NO indication that any reader or commenter was troubled by the use of what is now being called the “new F-word.”

UPDATE 2: Look, I know all of this (click on the cached links; originals appear in a couple of cases to be unavailable) relates to criticizing a Democrat(ick?) candidate. But that doesn’t change the fact that there was no hesitation or objection to employing the “new F-word” in criticizing him (which I’m not even sure the candidate himself ever used), or even to use it in the name of a web site. Hmm. Screen shots have been saved in case the items get “lost.”

UPDATE 3: Eric at Plunderbund didn’t seem to mind the “new F-word” web site name in December of 2005, either. There would appear to be an etiquette book opportunity for who can and can’t use the “new F-word,” and what occasions are and aren’t proper for use of the “new F-word.”

The Washington Ratings Game, Part 3: Americans for Tax Reform — Local Congressional Delegation Gets Straight A’s

Filed under: Economy,News from Other Sites,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 1:09 pm

Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) looked at 22 key votes in the House (PDF) and 20 in the Senate (PDF). If you review the votes included, you’ll see that although tax and fiscal policy dominated the votes selected, it was by no means the only area of concern for ATR.

Local Senators scored as follows:

DeWine (R-OH) — 85% (another example of too-little, too-late)
Voinovich (R-OH) — 50%
Bunning (R-KY) — 90%
McConnell (R-KY) — 95%
Bayh (D-IN) — 15%
Lugar (R-IN) — 75%

Here are some other “notable” Senators:

DeMint (R-SC) — 95%
Santorum (R-PA) — 90%
Coburn (R-OK) — 85%
McCain (R-AZ) — 80%
Dole (R-NC) — 80%
Kerry (D-MA) — 15%
Obama (D-IL) — 15%
Clinton (D-NY) — 10%
Biden (D-DE) — 10%

In the House, here’s how the locals did with ATR:

Boehner (R, OH08) — 100%
Chabot (R, OH01) — 100%
Schmidt (R, OH02) — 100%
Turner (R, OH03) — 100%
Davis (R, KY04) — 95%
Pence (R, IN06) — 100%
Sodrel (R, IN09) — 100%

Here are some other “notable” congresspersons:

Hunter (R, CA52) — 100%
Shadegg (R, AZ03) — 100%
Tancredo (R, CO06) — 95%
Flake (R, AZ06) — 91%
Oxley (R, OH04) — 82%
Mollohan (D, WV01) — 23%
Murtha (D, PA12) — 18%
Brown (D, OH13) — 18%
Strickland (D, OH06) — 14%
Kaptur (D, OH-Toledo) — 9% (late addition for LisaRenee at Glass City Jungle)
Hoyer (D, MD05) — 0%
Kucinich (D, OH10) — 0%
Pelosi (D, CA08) — 0%

It appears that the saying that there’s not a dime’s worth of difference between the two parties isn’t true with ATR.

The biggest overall surprise I’ve seen in the three ratings reviewed so far is North Carolina Senator Elizabeth Dole’s consistently strong conservative performance. I suspect most readers would have expected a lukewarm result at best.

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Previous Posts:
- Part 1 — National Journal Has Some Local Surprises
- Part 2 — National Taxpayers Union Notes Little National Improvement
- Part 4 — Club for Growth
- Part 5 — American Conservative Union
- Consolidated Rankings for All Five Sources

Al Gore: Just Another Anointed One Not Held Accountable for Conflicts of Interest and Self-Dealing

You can’t help but reach that conclusion as more evidence like this, this, and this piles up. It’s way too early to tell whether the attempt to hijack the world economy by the anointed outlined in the second link is real, or achievable (I doubt it, but will be watching), but there’s little doubt that Al Gore is benefiting in an “unusual” way as he propagates his globaloney.

You also can’t help but think that someone not holding politically correct views would NEVER get the pass Al Gore has gotten thus far.

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UPDATE, March 7: And this is all apparently structured to be a tax shelter….. and he apparently doesn’t pay for the carbon offsets himself. In fact, it’s the more he burns, the more he’s reimbursed“The confusion, Campbell said, arose because GIM pays to offset the energy use of its operations and the personal emissions of its 23 employees, including Gore.” Instapundit calls it “carbon offsets as an employee benefit.” Iain Murray at National Review’s Planet Gore blog calls it “un-frackin’-believable.” I have two possibly interesting words for it: taxable income.

Ho Hum Hiring Headline (030607)

Filed under: Business Moves,Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 6:17 am

From the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal:

WHAT’S NEXT
3/4/2007 1:58:09 AM
Now that the hard part is over – landing Toyota at the Wellspring Project megasite – what’s next for economic development leaders?

Plenty, they say. And there’s nothing easy about it.

….. “We have to plan for the future … we’re a boomtown now,” Rumbarger said, “not just for Pontotoc, Union and Lee counties, but for the entire region around us. Alcorn, Prentiss, Chickasaw … all the counties around us have the potential of landing these suppliers that Toyota will need. It steps up the level of our game tremendously.”

While Toyota will add 2,000 jobs initially, it could add more if demand calls for it.

And suppliers could add thousands of other jobs to the region, with money to help lure them.

This is the kind of thing that used to happen in Ohio.

NY Times: Peak Oil, Schmeak Oil

Filed under: Business Moves,Economy,Environment — Tom @ 6:12 am

Yep, you read that right (HT Cato-at-Liberty):

Within the last decade, technology advances have made it possible to unlock more oil from old fields, and, at the same time, higher oil prices have made it economical for companies to go after reserves that are harder to reach. With plenty of oil still left in familiar locations, forecasts that the world’s reserves are drying out have given way to predictions that more oil can be found than ever before.

More bad news for Peak Oilers. More great news for everyone else. Pass the high-tech drill bits.

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Selected Previous Posts:

  • Nov. 16, 2006 — Understatement of the Week: Peak Oil, Schmeak Oil
  • Oct. 26 — Peak Oilers’ Worst Nightmare
  • Sept. 6 — Bad News for Peak Oilers; Good News for the Rest of Us
  • Mar. 13 — Another Bad News Post for the Peak Oilers (Good News for Everyone Else)
  • Nov. 15, 2005 — Passage of the Day: The Wall Street Journal on the Car Luddites
  • Nov. 3 — Peak Oil True Believers Are Going Through a Rough Patch
  • Oct. 31 — More Real-World Evidence of “Peak Oil” Nonsense
  • Oct. 10 — OpinionJournal.com’s “Peak Oil” Rebuttal
  • Aug. 26 — I’m Tired of the Oil-Price and Oil-Supply Obsessions

The Senate’s WaPo Majority

Filed under: MSM Biz/Other Bias,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 6:02 am

Re this great column from last week by Cal Thomas, specifically this section referring to bogus stock options-related charges raised during George Allen’s US Senate reelection campaign:

In commenting on the Senate Ethics Committee letter and the incorrect negative ad that contributed to Allen’s defeat, a Richmond Times Dispatch editorial asked a question familiar to many public figures who have been unfairly slimed, “So where does George Allen go to get his reputation back, never mind his job in the Senate?”

Where, indeed? The AP printed a story on Feb. 21 correcting the errors in its earlier story that were used in the Allen attack ad, but it came nearly four months too late.

After reading Thomas’s column, and in light of the full litany of what the Washington Post, the Associated Press, and its 527 Media allies did to George Allen during Virginia’s 2006 US Senate campaign, we should probably call the current makeup of the United States Senate “the WaPo Majority.” I may just do that.

Positivity: RIP, Jonathan Cadavero

Filed under: Positivity,US & Allied Military — Tom @ 5:57 am

“He would do it all over again, and he loved being an American” (HT Michelle Malkin). THAT’S positive.