Be skeptical about global warming and you’re branded with a scarlet “D” for “Denier.” Say global warming is a crock, and you are shunned at parties.
I’m an environmentalist, like most in Maine, but I’m not an environmental zealot.
Because I’m also an economist and a professional business analyst. From these perches, I can see policies that purport to fix global warming – like cap and trade taxes, and legislation that enacts them, like the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative or the federal Climate Security Act – as pernicious and corrupting ideas in the arena of business and politics.
They’re elegant con jobs, which turn junk science into major dollars for developers.
People like former Gov. Angus King and energy expert Matt Simmons are smart. They see the global warming rainbow coming and are placing their pots at the end of it.
Simmons’ Ocean Energy Institute recently announced plans for an offshore wind farm in the Gulf of Maine estimated to produce an average of 1,650 megawatts of electricity for about 26 cents/kwh. King is a principle in Independence Wind, which wants to build turbines in Roxbury, and sits on the state’s Ocean Energy Task Force, which first met this week.
Nonprofits like the Natural Resources Council of Maine see the rainbow, too, but want to decide which pots get the gold. This has begun already.
Recently, Dylan Voorhees of the NRCM was quoted as saying, “It’s a significant pot of money (and) a variety of interests have opinions how to spend that money,” about Maine’s $750,000 share of RGGI money. A hearing on it was held in Augusta on Dec. 3.
Money raised from cap and trade should be spent wisely.
But not just for wind power, an unreliable and hugely expensive source of electricity.
For the $25 billion proposed for turbines in the gulf, a gas-fired electricity plant could produce 35,000 megawatts for 10 cents/kwh; a nuclear plant could produce 5,280 megawatts for about 10 cents/kwh, according to Carroll Lee, the former chief executive of Bangor Hydro.
In a column in the Dec. 4 edition of the Ellsworth American, Lee said electric generation in Maine has been “… limited by public policy to effectively allow only gas-fired generators and high cost wind generation to compete … our politicians have required consumers and taxpayers to provide huge subsidies to wind developers, which soon will amount to nearly $100 million annual cost to Maine ratepayers alone. … The Maine PUC and Governor Baldacci recently admitted the adverse impact of these policies.”
And King put these costly policies into motion while governor.
Profit to wind energy proponents from money raised by cap and trade will cost the public through higher utility bills and costs for consumer goods, not to mention higher taxes, fees and bureaucratic expenses to pay for supervising this corruption.
The whole campaign for “cap and trade” of carbon dioxide emissions – like RGGI or the Climate Security Bill – is based on the faulty scientific theory that carbon dioxide is the most potent greenhouse gas. It isn’t. The real villain is water vapor – clouds.
The environmental lobby misdirects attention to carbon dioxide, and by failing to explain the real factors involved in global warming, the media and political leaders are also negligent.
It’s that simple. All the talk about the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is irrelevant against the context of macro-environmental effects over which humans have no control. These include solar activity and ocean currents, as stated in a report from the Heartland Institute titled: “Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate.”
The earth has gone through warming and cooling cycles for the last 5 million years.
So we are witnessing the biggest con job in the history of mankind: guilt and fear politics are transforming dubious science into big dollars to further the interests of environmental zealots and entrepreneurs, while lower-cost, higher-yield energy alternatives are ignored for methods that stand to raise utility rates, increase consumer costs and reap significant profit.
It all boils down to one question: Why should we pay so much, trying to stop a natural event?
J. Dwight is a SEC-registered investment advisor and an advisory board member of the Maine Heritage Policy Center. He lives in Wilton. He can be reached at email@example.com.