A SHRINE PROGRAMMING NOTE — A few items on the agenda for this week. It seems they all tie back to defending our First Amendment freedoms.
1) Freedom of Speech and Peaceful Assembly. Look for me on David Asman’s America’s Nightly Scoreboard (on Fox Business), 7 pm EST/4 pm PST. I am going to discuss the Tucson events, the focus being extending sympathy to the victims and their families and defending Tea Party groups’ rights regarding the freedom of speech and peaceful assembly. I will be mindful of John Green’s example of grace and patriotism.
2) Freedom of Religion. There is a rally in support of the Mt. Soledad Cross this Saturday (Jan. 15) that kicks off at 10 am. Beer with Demos has the details HERE.
3)Freedom to Petition the Government for the Address of Grievances.The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has tried to silence a vocal, and ever-growing, scientific opposition to their draconian rules regarding Diesel Emission Rules and the Global Warming Solutions Act (AB-32, California’s Version of Cap and Trade).
Sounding like something from George Orwell, CARB is poised to adopt a regulation that literally “forbids” and “penalizes” opposing views. The resolution, which CARB dubs, “prohibition on false statements,” is frightening in that it would actually sanction communications to the agency during hearings or in the presentation of studies that CARB disagrees with. Apparently, CARB’s legal staff missed that whole bit on the First Amendment. In America, we don’t jail people for making “counter-revolutionary statements.”
This week, I am meeting one of the “rock stars” of Man-Made Global Warming skepticism: Dr. Fred Singer. Singer will deliver a presentation on climate change to a group of San Diego area scientists, “Nature – Not Human Activity – Rules the Climate.” Singer is Professor Emeritus of Environmental Sciences at the University of Virginia and founding director of the U.S. Weather Satellite Service. He is the author of NY Times best seller “Unstoppable Global Warming – Every 1500 Years” Shrine friend and SLOB, Lorraine Yapps Cohen, has more details here: San Diego Lynceans continue the climate change debate
I will report on the meeting, and hopefully be able to interview Singer to get information that would be helpful to citizen activists striving to reign in the tyrannical bureaucracy that is killing our state (ooops…I guess I just used some “incendiary language!). Below is a piece that Singer prepared that specifically addresses CARB.
5) A quote from W.C. Varones that sets the tone of the day: You can take my political rhetoric when you pry it from my cold, dead hands.
In a nearly unanimous vote, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) just approved a statewide cap-and-trade scheme to limit emissions of CO2 from six hundred major industrial plants, starting in 2012. Proposition 23 on the California ballot, defeated in November, was an attempt to at least delay the state’s Cap-and-Trade law, AB-32, until California’s record unemployment eased. However, the slanted description appearing on both the official Voter Guide and the ballot, written by then-State Attorney General Jerry Brown and his office, the well-funded “No-on-23” campaign, and some very heavy media bias, had Californians believing that Prop. 23 would thwart efforts to curb air pollution—i.e., smog. So Prop 23 went down in flames, threatening hundreds of thousands of jobs, and perhaps a million.
The “Cooler Heads” blog relates that the adopted regulation is more than three thousand pages long, but most of the details have yet to be worked out. CARB rushed to meet a December 31 deadline set by the 2006 legislation that authorizes CARB to reduce the state’s greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. In order to protect California businesses from out-of-state competition, CARB will (initially) allocate emissions credits (aka energy-rationing coupons) for free. The European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) is the only precedent for free allocation of carbon credits; it resulted in windfall profits for politically connected industries and higher electricity prices for consumers.
Not surprisingly, the New York Times approves of the scheme: “[AB32] will put the state far ahead of the rest of the country in energy reform.”
The regulations, if they go into effect, will create the largest market for carbon trading in the country. (Ten states including New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and the New England states are participating in a less extensive system known as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, which covers only electric utilities.)
By the time the CARB program takes effect in 2012, California regulators plan to have created a framework for carbon trading with New Mexico, British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec—some of its partners in the Western Climate Initiative. But as long as Congress and the Obama administration shun cap and trade, California, instead of being the forerunner of a national movement, will remain part of a far-flung archipelago of states and provinces participating in a small carbon market.
Mary D. Nichols, CARB’s chairwoman, said, “We are well aware that we in California are on a different path from many other states in our willingness to be at the front” of the cap-and-trade movement. An idea of her mindset comes from a speech at the University of Rhode Island in November 2008, where she mentioned California’s efforts on climate change:
We know that the economic crisis we will face from unmitigated climate change could dwarf [sic] anything we have ever seen. That alone is a compelling enough reason to take swift action. But there’s another reason also, which is that developing a new clean energy economy that drives and rewards investment and innovation, creates jobs and serves as the engine for sustainable economic growth is exactly what we need at a time like this.
Transportation and utility industry representatives see Nichols’ push on climate-change regulation in California as evidence of an ingrained pro-regulatory bias.
I recollect Nichols as a former assistant EPA administrator in the Clinton years, under Carol Browner. In testimony to Congress in 2000, on phasing out the chemical fumigant methyl bromide (of great economic importance to agriculture but suspected of causing damage to the ozone layer), she claimed benefits of 32 trillion dollars! And no one questioned how she arrived at this wild number. A more reasonable value, I argued in my opposing testimony, would be zero benefits: There was no evidence of MeBr, with an atmospheric lifetime of only a few months, reaching the stratosphere; no evidence of a bromine-caused ozone depletion; and no evidence from ground-level monitoring stations of any increase in cancer-causing solar UV. (Read the rest, including the potentially devastating impact to California HERE)