Saturday, February 13, 2010

What The Who Have to Do with the Federal Budget and Cap and Trade

The administration's next-year budget includes the assumption that revenues from the cap-and-trade bill will pad the Federal coffers. Yet as the snowiest winter in Washington's history drags on, the former insurgent theory of antropogenic global warming (AGW) is now burdened by being the orthodoxy. It is now prey to criticisms that in its younger days it could hurl at Big Oil and the like.

Most readers are familiar with the case of the U. of East Anglia (UEA) in Britain, a hotbed of research and centralized data collection for AGW. Internal documents were leaked/copied several months ago that embarrassed various researchers, and Dr. Phil Jones has taken a leave of absence from his role as head AGW-er at the UEA. The university has seen fit to appoint a board of inquiry, headed by an apparently neutral Scot named Muir Russell. The Telegraph has published a column that implicitly questions his neutrality and explicitly points out why one member of the review team has already resigned, in Climategate: the official cover-up continues:

1. The inquiry has not even begun and already it has told its first blatant lie – seen here on its official website.

Do any of the Review team members have a predetermined view on climate change and climate science?
No. Members of the research team come from a variety of scientific backgrounds. They were selected on the basis they have no prejudicial interest in climate change and climate science and for the contribution they can make to the issues the Review is looking at.

DoctoRx here. It turns out that the editor of Nature, Dr. Philip Campbell, is an ardent AGW-er, and was forced to resign less than 24 hours after the composition of the review team was announced.

But there's more. From the column:

But are we to feel any more confident about the alleged neutrality of another of Sir Muir’s appointments, Professor Geoffrey Boulton?

Bishop Hill certainly doesn’t think so. He notes that Professor Boulton….

-spent 18 years at the school of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia
-works in an office almost next door to a member of the Hockey Team
-says the argument over climate change is over
-tours the country lecturing on the dangers of climate change
-believes the Himalayan glaciers will be gone by 2050
-signed up to a statement supporting the consensus in the wake of Climategate, which spoke of scientists adhering to the highest standards of integrity
-could fairly be described as a global warming doommonger
-is quite happy to discuss “denial” in the context of the climate debate.

You wonder, if Sir Muir really is that determined to keep his inquiry totally unbiased, independent, above-board and scrupulously neutral why he just doesn’t go the whole hog and appoint Al Gore, James Hansen and Rajendra Pachauri. I doubt the conclusions they’d reach would be any different.

So much for an inquiry we can believe in!

Given the obvious arrogance of the now-entrenched interests on the side of the AGW hypothesis, the severity of our economic downturn, and the fact that cap-and-trade benefits the financial community and has already been a source of a major scam or two in Europe, the chance that the Feds see any revenue from a bill that stalled in a Senate when there were 60 Democratic caucus members appears small to me. What does Barack Obama know that the rest of us don't?

Regarding cap and trade and the Federal budget, my strong suspicion is that there is a lot of hope there, and that things had better change fast for their assumptions to be valid.

Financial markets are fickle. The government is enjoying record-low borrowing costs. What happens if the speculators leave the small fry such as Greece and focus on big fry such as first the U. K. and then the U. S.?

The U. S. government is borrowing most of its money short term. This worked out poorly for Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers, as well as for Washington Mutual etc.

If the government really wants to run massive deficits, it should do so by locking in the money with long-term financing.

And in any case, using unrealistic assumptions about revenues from a cap/trade bill is irresponsible.

It's past time for the stock- and bond-holders of Big Finance to realize their losses. Having just seen The Who at the Super Bowl, the U. S. taxpayer is tired of being fooled again and again and again.

Copyright (C) Long Lake LLC 2010


  1. The US taxpayer is too ignorant to know or care. Once they do, CONgress will be replaced. The USA is run by very few people.

    It has been perceived as too dangerous to the rest of the world, to itself, and is being run into the ground to reduce the unbalanced nature of its hegemony.