William M. Briggs

Statistician to the Stars!

Stream: Obama Warns: Global Warming Deniers Now Face the Disapproval of … Business Leaders!

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Today’s post is at Stream: Obama Warns: Global Warming Deniers Now Face the Disapproval of … Business Leaders!

In his final State of the Union speech, President Obama said, “If anybody still wants to dispute the science around [global warming], have at it. You’ll be debating…business leaders.” Now that’s a threat. Who wants to debate business leaders on subjects on which they are largely ignorant? It can only lead to heartburn.

Imagine, for instance, debating business leader Tom Steyer, a billionaire (he made a lot of his money on coal) and environmental activist who supports Mr Obama’s “battle” to stop “climate change”. This is, of course, impossible. No power on earth can stop the climate from changing. But since Mr Obama and business leader Steyer think they can do the impossible, by making “decisive and irrevocable” moves, you can see that a debate with them on the topic would go nowhere.

Steyer keenly believes, or at least publicly claims, that the world is doomed by global warming, and that the only hope for salvation is for the government to subsidize—the proper euphemism is “invest in”—what he and Mr Obama call “clean” energy, businesses in which Steyer has an interest. For instance, he’s one of the “managers” of Kilowatt Financial, “a green energy company that finances solar and energy efficiency projects.”

“Clean” energy makes for dirty politics. Maybe this is why Steyer is throwing a lot of money at the “non-profit” group NextGen Climate, a group which released the report “Threat Multiplier: Climate Change & the State of Our Union” in time for Mr Obama’s speech.

The report is a marvel of the pseudo-science common in political discussions of climatology. It says, “As temperatures rise due to climate change, productivity in the workforce will decline.” Which is why nobody works in the summer, right? And why, say, Northern Alaska is teeming with industrial action.

Go there to read the rest.

One point I’d like to emphasize. Steyer is demanding the entire country move to 50% (or more?) “clean” energy by 2030, or 2050, or whatever. Since wind and solar are so unreliable, expensive, and small, and frequently must be paired with ordinary fossil fuel plants, have you any idea what the cost would be to covert the entire country?

Hundreds of billions, at rough guess. Maybe a trillion. And who would be one of the recipients of this wealth? Of course, these folks don’t think they’d get all that they asked for. The negotiating technique is to ask for more than you know you can get: anchor and adjust. But even a paltry one percent of a trillion is enough to keep you in dry-roasted peanuts for the rest of your life.

Is it just possible that the love of money is involved? Show of hands: how many think Mr Obama will, after his retirement, join the board of at least one “clean” energy company? One…two…?

20 Comments

  1. Obama will be the new Al Gore. Not as pasty white. Not with the baggage of a carbon spewing mansion in TN. But he will claim he invented climate change mitigation just as Al Gore claimed to have invented the internet. And Obama will parlay his “environmental record” into a number of “clean energy” business ventures after he leaves the white house and we will see him funnel more of our money to his companies using the Democrat party and its Chicken-Little climate policies to pave his way. The only question is whether or not Obama will have to take a 4 year hiatus should a conservative gain the oval office in November or whether he can begin bilking the nation (again), starting February 2017.

  2. Stuff like this worked out so well for Macy’s. When Cher damanded a boycott of Macy’s for their association with Trump (2012), nothing happened. In 2015, after Trump called for a boycott of Macy’s for dropping him, their sales dropped 4% and they are closing stores. Could be coincidence, of course.

    My rule is anyone who made money off fossil fuels and is still in possession of that dirty money is lying about believing in global warming or completely without a conscience. They care only about themselves are trying to keep their money while taking yours. I try to avoid doing business with individuals and corporations. They’re just evil.

  3. They can play baseball from October to April

  4. Kevin,
    You mean Obama is the carbon copy of Al Gore?

  5. You mean Obama is the carbon copy of Al Gore?

    My first laugh of the day. Thanks.

  6. Steyer, in supporting “clean energy”…that just happens to be from industries he’s recently invested in AND hailing climate doom to help “sell” the case [to Obama, etc.] to buy products from his recent investments (all while profiting from dirty energy in other geographic regions)…is playing from an oft-used playbook: Invest in a New Thing, then, get the govt to create mandates or incentives to own/use that New Thing; sell the action by presenting a “good” reason that distracts from the real reason.

    Thomas Edison & Nik. Tesla did much the same when the distribution of electricity was new–Edison wanted DC & Tesla advocated AC. Edison used underhanded tactics & lost [as DC was doomed to anyway].

    A variation of this was early auto safety features — ostensibly to protect the consumer, but if one looks deep into the data one observes that those safety mandates were very effective as tariffs against foreign imports and thus reduced competitive cost pressures on domestic (US) industy. Overt tariffs would have been politically/internationally untenable…but important life-saving safety features a whole different matter. Foreign imports were reduced, for a long time, to a trickle — less competition & good for the auto-makes, not so good for the consumer “helped” by the stated intent as they had to pay more.

    For a political “leader” to assert that a ‘global warming denier’ would face the wrath of business leaders shows how utterly ignorant that leader is and how easily manipulated that politician to get duped* into facilitating a time-honored, and too often dishonest, business tactic.

    * All indications are that Obama, in this case, actually believes the story & remains blissfully ignorant of the real tactic being played.

  7. I just don’t see the downside of using cleaner, cheaper, more efficient, more consumer-friendly energy where and when you can. I hope in the future most all buildings are built with cheap and tough solar panels, perhaps the roofs themselves becoming the energy collectors. And who knows, maybe we could make these roofs out of oil, and then you guys can be happy too… oh, wait, we do that now and it’s stupid, dirty and wasteful. Why do you guys so vociferously promote the stupid, dirty and wasteful?

    JMJ

  8. JMJ: No one sees a downside to using, cheaper, cleaner more efficient consumer friendly energy. Unfortunately, there’s no such thing at present. Solar panels are tough to maintain and produce very little energy. Rooftop solar contributes very little to any energy needs. There are no viable ways of storing the rooftop solar.
    As for clean and cheap, you really don’t know where wind turbines and solar panels come from, do you? You appear to believe, as many do, that wind and solar farms sprout from seeds and they grow without any intervention. So I guess we could ask you why you promote expensive, non-working pipe dreams?
    The only people who benefit from wind and solar are those greedy corporations that you claim to hate. Yet you consistently want us to use tax support for Duke Energy, Chevron, Warren Buffet, etc. So you are okay with giving money to rich, rich companies and people as long it promotes something you want? How interesting.

  9. I just don’t see the downside of using cleaner, cheaper, more efficient, more consumer-friendly energy where and when you can.

    JMJ, I didn’t know you were such a fan of nuclear energy and hydro-electric power.

  10. Steve, sadly Nuclear is far from cheap given the state of our NIMBY and 100%-Safe politics in the USA.

  11. Obama, typically spouting nonsense, only understands the politics of “community activism.”
    I agree with the champion of cheap efficient energy production, JMJ.
    Lets go all out for nuclear energy. Currently nuclear reactors are the cheapest, cleanest most environmentally friendly source of energy on earth.
    We could also use a few more breeder reactors to generate plutonium to generate power for all those space colonies and satellites in our future.
    We’ll put them in JMJ’s backyard.

  12. I just don’t see the downside of using cleaner, cheaper, more efficient, more consumer-friendly energy where and when you can.

    Nor do I. Nor do most folks. When such an option is offered, we buy it. We don’t need to be forced. The only time the government needs to force us to buy something is when it’s not cleaner, cheaper, more efficient, and more consumer-friendly. (Like Obamacare.)

  13. I gave an invited talk some 9 years ago about switching to clean energy, and entitled it “Freezing in the Dark”, because the forced conversion to 50% renewable energy, over a decade or so, would require all of national savings–all, leaving none for infrastructure, new transmission lines, replacing worn out capital goods, and so forth. Now, national savings may not mean much after the past seven years, maybe Hilary Clinton or Bernie Sanders could create a whole new renewable energy industry by executive decree and have the Fed finance it though the purchase of the fraudulent bonds of such companies–and send the interest to the Treasury. But I think it would be the equal of the Scottish Colony at Darien. It would break us.

    As far as renewable fuels for vehicles goes, there is yet the idea that we could run on ethanol. But to make enough ethanol from grains, or a combination of grains and stover, to supply 50% of transportation fuels, would take two states the size of Wyoming in new cropland. It would require inputs of liquid fuels nearly equal to the transportation fuels produced and inputs of fertilizer which presently comes from natural gas. It would be the greatest environmental disaster since the USSR.

    I am glad you qualified your suggestion, JMJ, with “where and when you can” because otherwise people might think you are talking through that tiny hat.

  14. “Why do you guys so vociferously promote the stupid, dirty and wasteful?” – JMJ

    I don’t know to whom you refer when you say “you guys”, but speaking for myself I (reluctantly) see the necessity for the continuance of our use of fossil fuels until the day arrives when the alternatives like solar are effective, cheap and efficient. Nuclear and hydro are both very safe, reliable and cost-effective once they are up and running, but for some bizarre reason the Watermelons (people who are green on the outside, but positively red – Marxist – within) continue to oppose what could be our only way out of having to rely so heavily upon non-renewable resources. Why are they so stubborn? Don’t they also wish we could just stick it to the Saudi’s and tell them all to go to hell?

  15. By the way, President Obama is the best President you guys have had since Jimmy Carter (Peace Be Upon Him, inshallah!). Do you REALLY want Trump? Honestly?

  16. Peter A: You mean Obama is the first president to make Jimmy Carter look good, a feat that was heretofore believed to be impossible.

  17. Peter A: Your pronouncement is ex cathedra–an opinion made from no more than belief in yourself. However, since you use the phrase “you guys” I assume you are a European, and, like the other Europeans who comment here, have no understanding of U.S. Politics or political parties. For example, when Europeans comment about the American “right”, their point of reference is the European right. But American Republicans are not Marine Le Pen. I could make a similar generalization about Hollande being the best French President since Chirac and maybe I could find specific examples to back this statement up, but I would be a faker just same as I know nothing about French politics.
    Back in the year 2000 election I became frustrated by the opinions offered in the Economist about the Bush/Gore recounts in Florida. They were obviously making judgments from analogy to elections in the U.K., and could not recognize or would not accept that local regulations govern U.S. national elections. I figured any magazine with such a parochial outlook had little value, and cancelled my subscription.

  18. I would really like to hear a definition of “clean energy”. And some examples, maybe. Since it seems that we have thought to be green energy is not so green anymore. I’m talking about solar panels, wind farms and offshore wind farms and I’m pretty sure that the list can continue. Let’s talk about offshore wind farms: I just wonder how many “green fans” heard about the effect of stirring, presented here: http://climate-ocean.com/2015/K.html? Warm water will come to the surface and the heat will supply the atmosphere with warmth. The air will become warmer and the winters will be milder. So…. offshore wind farms (and not only) may have an influence over climate…. QED!

  19. “Your pronouncement is ex cathedra–an opinion made from no more than belief in yourself. However, since you use the phrase “you guys” I assume you are a European, and, like the other Europeans who comment here, have no understanding of U.S. Politics or political parties.” – K. Kilty

    No, don’t ‘assume’ anything here. I’m not in Europe. The world isn’t just the U.S., Canada and Europe. There is so much more to it than that. My understanding of U.S. politics is good enough for me to be truly thankful I do not live in the U.S.

  20. Peter A: Your bragging about arguing from ignorance is quite enlightening.

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