April 26, 2007

"Carbon credits" can be quite fake.

A Financial Times investigation found. It was always pretty obvious -- wasn't it? -- that these things seem fraudulent, but we accepted it -- didn't we? -- because Al Gore presented it as true and put his credibility on the line. This has to undercut his vouching for the science in "An Inconvenient Truth." But that's okay, not because I don't want to take the science seriously, but because it's dangerous to have a politician who purports to embody truth and gets people to buy it.

Jonathan Adler says:
The bottom line is that if Al Gore and Leo DiCaprio truly want to be sure they are reducing their carbon footprint, they are going to have to reduce their own energy consumption, rather than paying others to do it for them.
I've never seen why it was enough for these characters to buy their way out of an environmentally damaging lifestyle. If they have money to spend on making the world greener, why don't they contribute it as an act of philanthropy and then also reduce their carbon footprint? Why would having the money to spend make the damage you do acceptable, especially if you're preaching to people who don't have the money that they, unlike you, will have to change the way they live? That never made sense.

78 comments:

Sloanasaurus said...

Maybe it is because "saving the planet" is not really their goal. Their real goal is world government run by people like them.

Sloanasaurus. Read more at John Adams Blog.

Sloanasaurus said...

The communist leaders used to rationalize their extravagent lifestyles by arguing that because they were the leaders of the great revolution they required the extra resources to carry out their duties, and that the extra resources were only temporary until the goal had been achieved. I recall seeing Castro make this argument in a recent documentary.

Of course everyone, the people under the regime, accepted this, especially when they were told about the rationalization at the end of a gun barrel, which is always the case.

Maybe this is also true with Gore. By the time the rest of us are all living in caves and accepting of Gore's lifestyle (at the end of the Greenies guns), we can have faith that Gore will be there to turn out the last light....right???

Sloanasaurus. Read more at John Adams Blog.

AlphaLiberal said...

The point of carbon trading is to use market forces to find the most economically efficient ways to reduce global warming pollution.

It realy doesn't have anything to do with celebrities. Nice cheap shot at Gore, though. Your wingnut fanbase should dig it.

Many enviros are suspicious of these emission trading schemes and question how real the benefits are. I will review the article with great interest.

Lee said...

Gore's support for something that in the U.S. always sold itself with Enron-style accounting is indicative of his typical political blunders.

Kyoto Protocol carbon offsets are a bureacratic nightmare, but the enforcement mechanisms in Europe appear to be pretty good.

In any case, the science has nothing to do with Gore, who didn't invent it any more than the Internet. About 80% of scientists agree that the earth is warming and human activity is exacerbating the trend. Scientists didn't propose carbon offsets, either.

mcg said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mcg said...

As long as celebrities like Al "Human Carbon Sink" Gore, Sheryl "Stinkpalm" Crow, and Laurie "Gulfstream" David are at the forefront of the global warming movement, stories like this are going to have real weight, and the movement is going to have a hard time convincing ordinary citizens to change their lifestyle (or buy credits if they can afford to, sigh).

The movement would do well, frankly, to find a way to have them shut their pieholes and put more compelling and less hypocritical figures in their place. Alas I doubt the nature of mass media will allow it.

If the movement weren't so tied up with anticonsumption sentiment it would have far less difficulty achieving change. There is a true abundance of clean energy available to us, we just need the willingness, and a modest amount of technological innovation, to tap it.

AJ Lynch said...

Ann said:
"....but we accepted it -- didn't we? -- because Al Gore presented it as true ..."

Maybe you did Ann but I sure didn't. To me, it was a bit like Enron which was described as too complicated for one to understand in depth but just trust us.

And this is not any fault of Gore's - some of us like being taken in by the lemming law.

Glad to see the media doing its job in any event.

Hoosier Daddy said...

It realy doesn't have anything to do with celebrities.

Other than the fact that they keep harping on us to buy hybrids, buy off sets and use one square of toilet paper to save the planet.

Nice cheap shot at Gore, though.

Well he shouldn't make it so easy.

Do you believe that somehow you're absolved from driving a Hummer or flying in a private plane if you send $10,000 to PlantATree R Us? Pollute away because you donated to Green causes? That's rich. It's the equivalent of Imus defenders who think his philanthropy somehow absolves him from calling black girls 'nappy headed ho's'

AJ Lynch said...

Alpha Liberal said:

"Many enviros are suspicious of these emission trading schemes and question how real the benefits are."

Really -first time I have heard this. Can you provide any examples prior to this news story?

Foose said...

Carbon credits are the 21st-century equivalent of papal indulgences...

mcg said...

AJ, I can't point to any links at the moment but AL is right. I've seen quite a few instances where enviros are either skeptical or downright hostile to the notion of credits. They don't tend to get a lot of airplay, though, when people are having to defend the hypocrisy of your average Gulfstream liberal.

The Emperor said...

Al Gore was VP for 8 years, yet did virtually nothing during that time to reduce carbon emissions. Why does anyone take him seriously on this issue?

Peter Palladas said...

"Footprint" - lazy, incorrect word anyway, as any architect would tell you.

It merely refers to the ground size a building occupies and not its entire mass.

Total Carbon Impact would be a better phrase.

Not that I care. I'm not changing my shoe size for anyone, however tall I may be.

Paul Snively said...

All I get from this is the observation that the market in carbon offsets is still too new to have settled into established valuation mechanisms and, therefore, to have any easily-identifiable equilibria. The same observation can be made (and has been made, most famously by Warren Buffet) regarding a range of complex derivative financial instruments. The lack of widely-accepted valuations of derivatives was indeed the smokescreen that Enron hid behind, which doesn't mean that many such derivatives lack value, but does mean that one should exercise extreme caution in relying upon them. The same can be said of carbon emissions trading today. Unfortunately, this will indeed also serve to motivate those for whom the solution to the introduction of any nascent market with its inherent volatilities is to regulate all of the volatility, and hence efficiency, out of it, thereby (particularly in the case of carbon emissions trading) defeating the purpose.

Revenant said...

The point of carbon trading is to use market forces to find the most economically efficient ways to reduce global warming pollution.

Wrong. The point of carbon trading is to use market forces to live extravagantly while not causing a net increase in global warming pollution.

The most economically efficient way to reduce global warming pollution is to consume less -- not to consume more while paying someone ELSE to consume less.

mcg said...

Revenant, my cynicism about carbon trading is noted, but it was my understanding that the system involved a mechanism for credits to actually be removed from the market over time---so that in theory it could force reductions in consumption. Is that incorrect?

TMink said...

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain, he knows what's best for you. - Adrian Belew

Some environmentalists are more equal than others.

Trey

Richard Dolan said...

It's hard to use an economic argument to create a crusade. Perhaps for that reason, Gore & Co. have tried to sell their cure-alls for global warming as a moral imperative. Thus, it's hardly surprising that they are now getting jabbed by their own rhetoric.

As others note, there's nothing unusual about using market forces to solve an economic problem -- if you think of global warming as a problem in economics, then it's just a matter of structuring the market so that all relevant costs and benefits are taken into account, after which the market can arrive at an efficient allocation. But that frame of reference carries with it the downside of cost/benefit analysis; breezy "doom is coming" stuff won't do. Among other things, the manifest uncertainties in all of the projections of possible results many decades into the future make it difficult to frame a case for the kind of vast and hugely expensive present-day remedies Gore has proposed. By the same token, anything less than vast and radical remedies to slash the emission of heat-trapping gases have no impact, and thus no benefit to make them worth the (reduced) cost.

Recasting the discussion as a moral issue is an effort to avoid all of that. It has the enormous political benefit of allowing one side to dismiss the other as evil ("deniers") who are probably in the pay of the devil. That's so much easier as a marketing technique. Unfortunately, a moral frame doesn't work even on its own terms -- no matter how you frame the discussion, there's no avoiding, or hiding, the huge costs and radical changes in lifestyles that the remedies Gore proposes would entail. The moral frame has the added consequence that it makes the proponents of those remedies (none of whom intends to give up the high-flying lifestyle) look and sound like hypocrites.

In all, this sounds like just deserts.

Pogo said...

I am starting a new Sheryl Crow Toilet Paper Offset Program.

Just pay me $25 per month and wipe away; use as many sheets as desired. Just send me the number of sheets actually used, and I will find poor people to use that number fewer.

Roger said...

Great post, Richard Dolan--and riffing off your last line about desserts: Calorie offsets work the same way--Perhaps Pogo and I can start a futures market in calorie offsets--Somewhere a whole village is starving in Bangladesh on Al Gore's behalf.

An Edjamikated Redneck said...

I was just thinking I can use some carbon credit cash.

How much would it be worth to Al et al, for me NOT to fly a round in a Gulfstream and NOT to build a 3000 SqFt home?

I already DON'T do those things; I might as well make a few bucks and let some lefty wacko feel good about doing them.

Anybody got an idea how much a carbon credit is worth on the open market? I'm figuring me not using a Gulfstream is worth $10K an year- Call now; operators are standing by!

Sloanasaurus said...

Excellent Post Dolan. I had to repeat it on my own blog.

Sloanasaurus. Read more at John Adams Blog.

Doug said...

I read this article earlier in the day and it made me wonder how much it would cost to buy my way out of my evil right wing lifestyle, and could live carbon neutral like the enlightened people such as Al Gore. I went to a carbon offset webpage and it was about $135 per year.

Unlike Al Gore, I don't own a pool, hot tub, a couple large homes, and I rarely fly. So I admit, my carbon footprint is miniscule compared to a huge polluter like Gore.

I was interested in what it would cost to offset all the carbon in the US. This may not be totally accurate, since I used emissions from Wikipedia and used an average for carbon reduction costs, but the whole country could be carbon neutral for a year for $90 Billion.

So if carbon offsets were real and worked, we could reduce the carbon footprint of the US by 40% with a $36 billion payment

F15C said...

"About 80% of scientists agree that the earth is warming and human activity is exacerbating the trend."

Geez it is maddening to read something like the above. Consensus is not science and correlation is not cause. At one one time the overwhelming (>80%)consensus among scientists (people a lot smarter than you and me) was that the world was flat. And not too long ago, the scientific consensus was that the earth was entering an ice age.

But Galileo clearly understood:

"I say that the testimony of many has little more value than that of few, since the number of people who reason well in complicated matters is much smaller than that of those who reason badly. If reasoning were like hauling I should agree that several reasoners would be worth more than one, just as several horses can haul more sacks of grain than one can. But reasoning is like racing and not like hauling, and a single Barbary steed can outrun a hundred dray horses."

trogdor said...

Oh, come on. That article was about widespread fraud in the carbon credits market, not about the illegitimacy of the concept in general. It calls for greater regulation and oversight of carbon credit schemes, rather than abandonment of the concept altogether. Of course we need to reduce our carbon emissions, but in the short run--while technology is being developed and implemented on a larger scale--carbon credits are a good interim step. We can't go to zero emissions immediately.

It's easy to sit and complain about Al Gore because yes, he uses a lot of electricity and flies around in a lot of airplanes. But the fact that we can (perhaps) call him a hypocrite doesn't invalidate his basic point, and it's not like the rest of us are doing much to cut down on electricity use and flying, either. Besides, he's done more to raise awareness about global warming than anyone in the past decade, if not all time. Al Gore should do his best to cut down on his carbon footprint (which he has been doing) and he should encourage others to do the same. But don't imply that he's a lying, greedy elitist just because you expect him to be one.

Ernie Fazio said...

I guess this is it l'Althouse. Adios.

Didn't you say you voted for the same imperfect Al Gore? Now he is discredited because he is still imperfect? He is the villain of the piece, "not because I don't want to take the science seriously, but because it's dangerous to have a politician who purports to embody truth..." You even got in the word "truth", like a real dittohead.

Truth, ah so elusive, but we should always resort to the "ad hominem" when challenging the "dangerous" because the "truth" they purport to present must also be discredited.

You truly have come a long way, baby. You have attacked the messenger and joined the ranks of those who dismiss the message. Madison must be a cold and lonely place for a dittohead looking for intelligent discourse. The idiocracy does flourish on-line, but on a cold night...

mcg said...

That article was about widespread fraud in the carbon credits market, not about the illegitimacy of the concept in general.

Hmm, I'm not so sure that this is right. There are lots of concepts thare are legitimate when considered on paper under conditions that are idealistic True legitimacy requires that it reasonably withstand real-life conditions that are hardly idealistic, including the selfishness of individuals, groups, and governments and the resulting temptation to cheat and defraud.

Thus the widespread corruption does indeed call into question the legitimacy of the concept.

Hoosier Daddy said...

But the fact that we can (perhaps) call him a hypocrite doesn't invalidate his basic point,

Well it certainly doesn’t strengthen his point either. Look at it this way. If I preach to my kid that smoking and drinking is bad for you (and it is) yet then light up a pack of Marlboros every night and slam down a six pack, it doesn’t invalidate the point I was making to my kid but it certainly makes it harder to convince her that the point is in fact valid.

If Bush has a hard time articulating the reason for the Iraq war, Gore is doing an abysmal job on Global warming, at least an honest attempt. Having Global Warming marches canceled due to sub-zero temps, being exposed to have a carbon footprint 20X higher than the average American and then having nitwits like Crow hawk using one square to wipe you’re a$$ to save the planet isn’t the best PR program to get the masses onboard.

ShadyCharacter said...

ernie: "I guess this is it l'Althouse. Adios."

You lefties... You promise, promise and promise to leave, but you never do. In the rare event one of your screen names disappears you simply Glenn Grenwald your way back here with a new sock puppet.

Of course, you're not going to respond to this, because you've already left, right?

Liar! ;)

Revenant said...

Revenant, my cynicism about carbon trading is noted, but it was my understanding that the system involved a mechanism for credits to actually be removed from the market over time---so that in theory it could force reductions in consumption. Is that incorrect?

That sounds like a cap-and-trade scheme like Kyoto offers. Carbon offsets are an entirely different (and strictly voluntary) thing.

Peter Palladas said...

It's Actually Very Easy Being Green [with acknowledgement to Tom Waits]:

"Hey Buddy! Yeah you over there. Come here a minute. Yeah, here. Siddown, siddown. I got this Great Little Offer just for You.

Wanna to reduce your Total Carbon Impact? Course you do son! Why, won't that just keep the Little Lady from nag, nag, nagging you All The Time!

Hey Sir - call me Jo yeah. I'll call you? Simon, right Simon.

Hey, now me I dunno what this whole TCI malarky is all about eh. Who does? Sheesh!

But I tell you this for nothing Simon, if we All Stop Consuming then the World Collapses right?

Yeah sure it does. We gotta keep spendin', we gotta keep consumin. That's God's own way to preserve Capitalism.

So watta we do Simon? Can't spend 'cos it ain't green to spend. Can't not spend 'cos the world Stops Turning.

So here Simon - just for you - is my Great Idea For You.

YOU GIVE ME YOUR MONEY AND I SPEND IT FOR YOU!

Brilliant ain't it? You feel a Whole Lot Better on the inside and the Little Lady gives it a rest for a while. Some relief or what eh Simon!

And me? I get lumbered with the money, the spending and the Guilt.

It's called Jo's Dollar Offset Scheme. And what's more it's completely Free. Don't cost a dime. Fixes the world and don't cost not one dime!

Just sign here - and here and here - and now send me all your Disposable Income every month.

Seeya Simon. Don't thank me. Don't thank me. Hey, no tears on my new suit! Seeya guy!

Hey you! Yeah you there Buddy. You gotta minute to hear about a Great Deal for you and the Little Lady...."

Kevin Lomax said...

Carbon offsets do nothing when there is no cap to contain the total amount of carbon usage. An actual carbon cap would be damned near impossible to implement globally.

Furthermore, many of the invested carbon offsets may actually increase global warming, not decrease. For instance, I've seen studies showing that trees north of a certain point actually increase greenhouse gas levels.

trogdor said...

"Thus the widespread corruption does indeed call into question the legitimacy of the concept."

You could make that argument if, up to this point, anyone had made any real effort to regulate the carbon credit marketplace. As in all capitalist and market systems, there's going to be widespread corruption if there aren't any rules to the game, and if nobody is enforcing rules once they're established.

The Financial Times cites the following example: "Francis Sullivan, environment adviser at HSBC, the UK’s biggest bank that went carbon-neutral in 2005, said he found 'serious credibility concerns' in the offsetting market after evaluating it for several months." And what's the bank's solution? No, not to drop the carbon credit scheme entirely. "These concerns led the bank to ignore the market and fund its own carbon reduction projects directly."

There's one solution. But to make things easier, Sullivan suggests that "[t]he police, the fraud squad and trading standards need to [look] into this." In other words: regulate the market.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Since Jonathan Adler was quoted in an effort to slam Gore (again), and by implication, to reinforce the idea that carbon credits are "fraudulent," let's see what Adler says specifically about carbon credits:

The idea of markets for carbon emissions is a good one. If carbon dioxide emissions need to be reduced, it makes sense to achieve those reductions in the most cost-effective manner possible. Carbon credits can also enable those with stronger environmental preferences to take additional voluntary action, such as celebrity carbon offset purchasers have purported to do. The problem is that offset plans can often be more difficult and costly to verify than more traditional means of controlling emissions. When these costs are factored in, it is not always the case that such market-based approaches are more cost-effective than more clumsy alternatives.

Just to set the record straight...

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

f15c wrote:

And not too long ago, the scientific consensus was that the earth was entering an ice age.


f15c, this is simply untrue, and I'm a little surprised to see you repeating this myth after I corrected you in some detail before.

The simple fact is that there was not a scientific consensus that the earth was entering an ice age. You really ought to stop repeating this false claim.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

alphaliberal wrote:

It really doesn't have anything to do with celebrities. Nice cheap shot at Gore, though. Your wingnut fanbase should dig it.


Ain't that the truth!

Lee said...

"Consensus is not science"

Indeed. But the doubters don't inherently have any more credibility.

"and correlation is not cause."

True, but experiments will never prove the worldwide effects of anything on the ecosystem. We don't launch rockets and bombs based on certainty, either.

We know that the burning of fossil fuels increases carbon in the atmosphere. We know that the concentration of CO2 affects temperature. However, we used to think the oceans absorbed the released carbon. We found out in 1958 (Mauna Loa) that the amount of carbon in the atmosphere was steadily increasing. Still, temperatures until the 1970's actually feel in comparison to 1900 to 1940, leveled off and then didn't rise precipitously until the 1970's. And they've been rising since.

The argument has three parts only a) whether human activity is a major cause of global climate change; and b) whether the current warming trend will abate (since melting is already seen); and c) whether we can now do anything to prevent (more) negative consequences than what we're experiencing with regard to weather events, polar cap melting etc.

JSinger said...

I've seen quite a few instances where enviros are either skeptical or downright hostile to the notion of credits. They don't tend to get a lot of airplay, though, when people are having to defend the hypocrisy of your average Gulfstream liberal.

One morning during the Gore utility bill controversy, I was at the dentist office reading a six-month-old US News. An article about carbon credits had several rather negative views from environmentalists, including a Sierra Club spokesman. The funny thing is how almost all of them then chose circling the wagons around Gore over continuing to attack this dangerous idea.

Anyway, as Ann notes, it never made any sense that spending a huge pile of money generating CO2 and another huge pile to suck it back up is the height of social consciousness.

AJ Lynch said...

Mcg:

I will take YOUR word for it and I stand corrected.

Richard:
I accept that it is hard to use an economic argument to start a crusade. But perhaps, I have one with regard to smoking.

If one smokes a pack a day, in 40 years, the cost of that smoking is around $73,000 [$5 per pack x 365 days x 40 years] before adding lost investment income.

Or viewed another way; if you don't smoke and invest that $73,000, you could probably afford to retire 3-5 years sooner than if you spent the money on smokes.

Saul said...

The fallacy of carbon trading is that it is a zero sum game. People should do their best to reduce energy consumption. If there are clean energy sources that is great. But offsetting over consumption with use of clean energy sources just diminishes the availability of clean energy for other uses. And planting a tree, while good, should be done anyway to offset all the other trees we cut down, not to offset over consumption.

There are very very few people that are legitimate with respect to being truly environmentally friendly.

Only those who practice what they preach should be spokespersons for global warming.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

aj lynch,

- From Wikipedia: "Many environmentalists disagree with the principle of carbon offsets."

- George Monbiot: "The trade in carbon offsets is an excuse for business as usual."

- Derek Wall: "Carbon offset sounds promising but the Green Party is critical of how it works in practice. We would echo many of the criticisms of the Durban group, which suggest that the framework within which present policy works is both ineffective and biased toward the interests of elite groups."

- FERN Executive Summary: "Carbon 'offset' schemes are a dangerous distraction from generating public support for policies that will help avoid climate crisis and lead the way into a swift and just switch to low-carbon economies."

etc...

al said...

The Emperor said...

Al Gore was VP for 8 years, yet did virtually nothing during that time to reduce carbon emissions. Why does anyone take him seriously on this issue?


This is better stated:

"Al Gore was VP for 8 years, yet did virtually nothing. Why does anyone take him seriously?

Richard Dolan said...

AJ: That's not an economic argument against smoking. It's just a calculation of the expense of smoking, measured in terms of the present value of the price paid to buy the cigs.

Since smoking is a voluntary activity (put aside the addiction aspect for a moment), there really is no economic argument to make against smoking. A market is premised on the idea that each consumer is entitled to decide for himself whether the costs of smoking (in an economic rather than financial sense) are justified by the benefits. "Costs" here include the impact on health and potential medical expenses (both heavily discounted by smokers), as well as the potential for addiction; "benefits" include the pleasure obtained and (for teens and those who never grew up) perhaps the the imagined prestige or macho attraction of the habit.

Until recently, the cigarette market was a classic case of market failure because the price of the cigs never internalized most of the relevant costs. That was the result of the fact that the cigarette companies never had to include in their price any of the health costs associated with smoking (the cost of litigation was small in comparison). That has changed somewhat, at least for the US market, because of the settlements that the tobacco companies entered into.

But even now, where the market for cigarettes is (more or less) functioning efficiently and the price includes the more readily monetizable costs of smoking, there is no economic argument against smoking. Markets aren't intended to, and don't, render value judgments. Instead, they make efficient exchanges possible, so that each participant to a voluntary transaction regards the transaction as beneficial, while from the perspective of the market as a whole, the resources are allocated to maximize benefits based on individual consumer choices.

As I said, it's hard to make a crusade out of that kind of thing, be it against smoking or for global warming cure-alls. That's a long-winded way of saying that economics has earned its moniker as the "dismal science."

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

hoosier daddy wrote:
Having Global Warming marches canceled due to sub-zero temps


A common mistake--you are confusing climate with weather.

being exposed to have a carbon footprint 20X higher than the average American

To be honest, you don't know what Gore's carbon footprint is. Pretending you do weakens your argument considerably.

and then having nitwits like Crow hawk using one square to wipe you’re a$$ to save the planet isn’t the best PR program to get the masses onboard.

Sheryl Crow doesn't work for Al Gore. Why do you assume Gore is responsible for what Crow says and does?

Methadras said...

;;; AlphaLiberal said...

The point of carbon trading is to use market forces to find the most economically efficient ways to reduce global warming pollution. ;;;

It's a scam. All of it. The green movement is nothing more than a co-opted method to shame corporations into feeling bad that they are killing mommy earth. Then the corporations spit back into your eye and says, "Hey, look at our commercials. We are green now. We are saving your mommy earth." Your green issue gets totally taken off the table because now you one less whipping pony to beat on. So what are you left with now? Oh, well, now your enviro-nut, lefty goon squads will go after mom and pop operations and then trickl-down their nonsense to the individual residential levels. Bearing your green guilt on to the hapless masses because they are nothing more than effluent producers and breeders in your eyes.

All the while you snicker and chigger that your precious little green movement actually has merit, but all it really is, is about control. You want to, in Marxist like fashion to control the means of production. Not of goods and services, but of ideology. And dangerous ideology at that.

You are right, however that this doesn't have anything to do with celebrities and their moronic postulations about their contributions to how to save mommy earth, or about using less toilet paper, or even about Al Gore. Many enviros are suspicious because not because these schemes will actually work, but because they may actually remove the veil of lies, half-truths, desires, and wishes, that you and your useful idiot enviro-ilk have tried to foist on the general public.

The mere fact that you can't operate your propagandist nonsense in say, china, india, or even in russia to tell those folks how to save mommy earth from the virulent virus that is humanity on how they should live is testament the sheer folly that you have ascribed your political/social ideology to. When will you people, and yes, I said you people, learn that forcing people to do your bidding only results in a contrarian response? Your nonsense is going to push people to far and they are going to push back and if you think you can get government to be your backup posse boys to swoop in if one of your chosen few nutters points a finger at one of us and shrieks, "polluter!!! polluter!!!" then you are out of your mind.

So, you are fighting for what, cleaner air, cleaner water? You already have. Want your phoney ideology to actually do some real good. Go to Africa and set up shop and help those poor, written off people make something of their subsistence, miserable existences. I have been doing it for years and if I followed your method of lifestyle and ideology, these people would be dead already.

Stop this foolishness while you still can. I realize I've driven off the map a little bit on this conversation with regards to carbon credits, but the premise is still the same. You and your nutter fools set up this scheme, it's as phoney as your shame ideology is, and it's high time you got it thrown back in your face for the fraud it is.

AlphaLiberal said...

AJ Lynch said...

Alpha Liberal said:

"Many enviros are suspicious of these emission trading schemes and question how real the benefits are."

Really -first time I have heard this. Can you provide any examples prior to this news story?


Well, carbon credits were barely covered before the orchestrated right wing hit on Al Gore one day after he received his Academy award. So, you won't see a lot press accounts on it.

But I'm an environmentalist and know loads others. I've been skeptical about market-based solutions for many reasons. It's the kind of thing that works fine in theory but gets bulloxed up in reality where simplifying assumptions and "all things held equal" no longer apply.

Like many market schemes it doesn't account for human nature, greed, larceny, market power and limits to on enforcement and verification.

That's the short version and my grindstone calls.

AlphaLiberal said...

Methadras said:
It's a scam. All of it. The green movement is nothing more than a co-opted method to shame corporations into feeling bad that they are killing mommy earth.

Some day maybe someone can give a lucid explanation for why the right wing hates environmentalism so much.

I mean I know you don't like mercury in your fish, for example. But it's the enviros cleaning that up.

I know you don't like smog, but it's environmentalists who forced action to get whatever progress you've had.

You probably don't like children and adults exposed to lead (rash assumption perhaps). Well, environmentalists got the lead out.

What environmental progress we've enjoyed (good to see you agin, Bald Eagles!) has come as a result of good work from environmentalists.

Why you hate enviros so much I cannot understand. You presume to know what's in our minds but only a madman claims to read minds.

Oh, wait...

p.s. The environmental movement is active all over the planet, including China, etc.

Revenant said...

it's the enviros cleaning that up [...] environmentalists who forced action [...] good work from environmentalists [...] Why you hate enviros so much I cannot understand.

Because the question isn't simply one of whether or not environmentalists got the trains to run on time -- it is whether you're a net benefit to humanity. You aren't.

For example, environmentalists are responsible for our continued use of coal-burning power plants instead of clean nuclear ones. Environmentalists are responsible for tens of billions of dollars of wasted money and lost property aimed at protecting species that are of no use to humanity (e.g. the famous spotted owl). Environmentalists are enemies of genetic modification of plant and animal life (despite, amusingly enough, scientific consensus that it is safe) -- the technology that holds the greatest promise for ending world hunger forever. Etc, etc.

The environmental movement is active all over the planet, including China, etc.

Just a hint -- when arguing against the claim that environmentalists are motivated by hostility to capitalism, pointing out that environmentalism is popular in the world's largest Communist country is perhaps not as helpful to your case as you might think.

joe said...

HAHAHAHA! Of course they are fake! Did anyone ever believe they are real? Then pro wrestling is real too!
And "Al Gore's credibility" on top of that!! Too much!!

Molly said...

http://catandgirl.com/archive/cg0458bus.gif

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

revenant wrote:

Environmentalists are responsible for tens of billions of dollars of wasted money and lost property aimed at protecting species that are of no use to humanity (e.g. the famous spotted owl).


Oh please, revenant, will you make a complete list for us of "species that are of no use to humanity" so that we will know where to save money, time and effort?

One more question for you revenant...If we were to take a vote on whether you are "of use to humanity," how do you think you'd fare?

AJ Lynch said...

Cyrus:

I think George Monbiot is actualled spelled George Moonbat.
And since when is Wikipedia an authoritative source? I asked for articles, links, etc etc. Get cracking and answer my request!

Richard Dolan:

I don't agree with your argument that my argument is not an economic argument. But thanks for the thooughtful and thorough reply. And no offense intended but you sound too reasonbable and too intelligent to be hanging around this blog.

joe said...

http://www.phillymag.com/articles/science_al_gore_is_a_greenhouse_gasbag

Hoosier Daddy said...

hoosier daddy wrote:
Having Global Warming marches canceled due to sub-zero temps

cyrus rebutts:
A common mistake--you are confusing climate with weather.


I'll remind you of that when the country hits some stretches of 90+ degree days and the global warming advocates tout this as evidence of the righteousness of the cause. Stay tuned.

To be honest, you don't know what Gore's carbon footprint is. Pretending you do weakens your argument considerably.

I stand corrected. Let me rephrase; energy usage. The fact that Al jet sets around the world in a private jet and has 3 houses, I'm pretty confident that my case is solid.

Sheryl Crow doesn't work for Al Gore. Why do you assume Gore is responsible for what Crow says and does?

You're missing the point. Gore is out there preaching the end is nigh and making movies of Manhatten being hit with a tsunami cause the ice caps melted. So in a sense when you're screaming that the sky is falling and it encourages the loonier ones to say 'yeah so is the moon!' I think he should take some credit for that, particularly when he does nothing to rebutt thier outlandish statements. You know, maybe start a sidekick organization like Not In Our Name.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

hoosier daddy,

Hey, I correct everyone who confuses climate and weather. I'm not picking on you, trust me. My goal is to annoy everyone equally.

As far as Al Gore's carbon impact is concerned, it might be 10, 20, 30, 40 or 50 times as big as an average American. The point is that neither you nor I know, so it's a mistake to quantify it. Anyway, the factor of 20 you cite (relating to his home electricity use) has been challenged (Snopes.com):
snopes.com/politics/business/gorehome.asp

Last point...I don't think Gore is saying the sky is falling. He's been talking about this for awhile. He doesn't appear shrill or panicked in his delivery. You may not agree with what he says, but he delivers his message calmly and proposes solutions. It's not "the sky is falling" scenario that you describe.

Methadras said...

;;; AlphaLiberal said...

Some day maybe someone can give a lucid explanation for why the right wing hates environmentalism so much. ;;;

All I can say for myself is that I do not hate environmentalism. For the record, I am an environmentalist. I've been practicing it for 30 years. The distinction between for what you consider environmentalism and what I consider it to be will greatly differ. However, simply taking my initial sentence as a basis for you to proclaim against me and other right wingers, a hatred for environmentalism is symptomatic of your type of thinking. You mistake see hatred because you don't believe in the general goodness of people as stated by a sentence you made prior that included human nature, greed, and larceny as a condition of your distrust of people (specifically the right-wing and dare I say conservatism in general) and the free-market to deal with such situations. This is the basic fallacy of your ideology, because it is predicated on the notion that good intentions produce actual good results.

Let's further dissect your shallow-level tracts about the good intentions and really aberrant lies that you are telling us right now, shall we:

;;; I mean I know you don't like mercury in your fish, for example. But it's the enviros cleaning that up. ;;;

I see that you are using that good old appeal to fear to gesticulate your postulation that because mercury exists in fish (to what the levels are, you have no factual basis to state it to) that the greenies have come to my and others rescue and are cleaning up the mercury from the all the hapless fish creatures in the ocean.

What simplistic and base nonsense. You present an emotional basis, make a general claim that mercury exists in fish, and then setup the greenies as our savior. Why? Because you actually think you and your ilk are the ones responsible for what? Doing away with mercury?

What you neatly neglect to tell the folks is the level of mercury for any particular species of fish. It's general knowledge that mercury exists in fish, but the amounts are so small that in order to actually to have an adverse effect on people, they would have consume massive quantities on an individual basis for adverse affects to even show up. Even the EPA lists what they are:

http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~frf/sea-mehg.html

You made a simpletons platitude, an appeal to fear that environmentalists are the worlds saviors. You aren't. But let's move on shall we.


;;; I know you don't like smog, but it's environmentalists who forced action to get whatever progress you've had. ;;;

I never had a problem with smog personally. However, the plea to fear is once again rampant in this blithering statement. What did environmentalists do to get whatever progress we've had? I'll tell you.

You forced the oil/gas refinery companies to create multiple formulations of different grades of fuel to curb smog emissions by adding even more poisonous products like MTBE into our fuel supply that have now contaminited ground water, some underwater, and many well water supplies because the precipitates of the MTBE in that multi-formulated fuel, while lowering emissions in car exhaust, increase mine price of fuel, but poisoned my water. Thanks environut. I don't see you out there cleaning it up either, you useful idiot of the left. Good intentions with bad consequence paved on the back of a movement you belong to. You didn't save the environment, you sold it out for a temporary feel good measure. Now, you've offset any ill effects I might have had from mercury in my fish, by having the unknown ill effects of MTBE in my water instead. All the while you and your other insipid fellow greeners have the cost of your failures passed onto everyone else for your junk science adventures.

You also have neglected things, like the atmosphere that carries these pollutants from other countries onto our shores. I don't see you going to those other countries and controlling their fuel supplies, but we still have to live with their air when it migrates to here. There is definitely more that can be said about this, but I think I've made my point.

;;; You probably don't like children and adults exposed to lead (rash assumption perhaps). Well, environmentalists got the lead out. ;;;

Fact: The paint industry voluntarily removed lead from paint in 1955 because of health concerns. Some firms, like Sherwin-Williams, stopped making lead-based paint back in the 1930s, almost half a century before the federal government outlawed the use of lead in paint. You want to tell me again that the enviro-kooks like you were or are responsible for getting rid of lead in paints? More wasted platitudes to try and attribute some sort of victory for an ideology where one doesn't exist?

;;; What environmental progress we've enjoyed (good to see you agin, Bald Eagles!) has come as a result of good work from environmentalists. ;;;

Please, don't let your ego hit you on the way out of the back door. Fact: in 1963, there was an estimated 400 or so breeding pairs of bald eagles in the US according to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service . Not because of the environment or the dreaded use of DDT (another malicious fallacy against something that could be saving peoples lives in Africa and wherever malaria exists, but thanks to people like you, you are killing them) but because they were being hunted to extinction.

Now, there are over 7,000 breeding pairs, not because of your brand of environmentalists had anything to do with it, but because of a large outpouring of real conservationism and real environmentalism. The type of environmentalism that states that we are the caretakers of the land and of the animals and that the two go hand in hand. That and millions of tax payer dollars are what saved the bald eagle.

;;; Why you hate enviros so much I cannot understand. You presume to know what's in our minds but only a madman claims to read minds. ;;;

First of all, I never said I hated environmentalists or environmentalism. What I do hate is fake, phony, and trendy movements like the green and leftist movements that seek to make changes by force, to make changes by government edict, to make changes through the use of wealth redistribution. Your movement seeks to exert it's wishes and desires not by the will of the people, but to force the people into capitulating to those desires through ill-intentioned propagandist tactics.

You don't think the free-market can take care of these problems, so you resort to a strategy that circumvents the natural order of things. You want to force people into your way of thinking and as I stated earlier, that is a losing proposition. You fear the free-market because you can't control it, but instead, your insipid ideology seeks the path of least resistance by using portrayals of pandas, eagles, and fuzzy bunnies as a measure of all that your doing for mommy earth and who callous an evil man is for treating her this way.

Are you even old enough to know what the Gaia movement was and what an irrational and idiotic notion that became? Well, this trendy green/enviro-nut movement is it's bastard child at the moment and it's tools like you that are embedded in it, much to our chagrin , our livelihoods and our pocketbooks.

;;; p.s. The environmental movement is active all over the planet, including China, etc. ;;;

Not out in the open it isn't.

AlphaLiberal said...

HoosierDaddy goes out on a limb with...

The fact that Al jet sets around the world in a private jet

You see, that's not a fact. That's a rumor. Do you really think someone is following him around whereever he goes? (and wouldn't that be kinda creepy?)

Revenant said...

You see, that's not a fact. That's a rumor.

It is a fact that Al Gore travels in private jets. It is a rumor (and an untrue one) that he never uses anything else. For example, he was flying American Airlines last month when an airline employee got busted for helping him bypass security.

Do you really think someone is following him around whereever he goes?

Hm... do I think that one of the most famous men in the world is noticed when he travels for his worldwide propaganda-film promotion tour? Yes, strangely, I do think that.

XWL said...

Hmmmmm.

I'm sure they all bought plenty of credits, so no problem here.

Synova said...

(Corruption reflects on the validity of carbon credits...)

"You could make that argument if, up to this point, anyone had made any real effort to regulate the carbon credit marketplace."

This isn't entirely true. Consumers who cared about their carbon credits would make a real effort to ensure that they were dealing with businesses that actually and really delivered their product.

The old saying, "You can't cheat an honest man" has its limitations, but it's also got its truth.

Someone who really cares is going to do some research to be certain that their good deed actually gets done. Someone who doesn't bother probably has other motivations.

And that *does* reflect on the whole notion of carbon credits. If their purchasers are primarily buying a product *other than* the carbon trade, it would reasonably bring the whole notion into question.

Is the carbon credit industry selling carbon reduction, or is it selling something else?

Hoosier Daddy said...

You see, that's not a fact. That's a rumor.

Actually he has admitted it and since being called on it, has stated that he was planning on using commercial travel more frequently.

Do you really think someone is following him around whereever he goes? (and wouldn't that be kinda creepy?)

You do know what papparazi are right? You know, former US VP, now famous 'documentary' director, won a couple of Oscars...yep I bet he has more than a few folks following him around. What do you think?

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

methadras wrote:

Fact: in 1963, there was an estimated 400 or so breeding pairs of bald eagles in the US according to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service . Not because of the environment or the dreaded use of DDT (another malicious fallacy against something that could be saving peoples lives in Africa and wherever malaria exists, but thanks to people like you, you are killing them) but because they were being hunted to extinction.


I wasn't alive back in 1963, but I don't think your memory of this is right. For example, from Wikipedia:

Once a common sight in much of the continent, the Bald Eagle have been severely affected by the use of the pesticide DDT in the mid-twentieth century. The pesticide itself was not lethal to the bird, but it may have made an eagle either sterile or unable to lay healthy eggs: the eagle would ingest the chemical through its food and then lay eggs that were too brittle to withstand the weight of a brooding adult. By the 1950s there were fewer than 500 nesting pairs in the 48 contiguous states of the USA.

And this from the National Parks Conservation Association:

The use of the pesticide DDT in this century poisoned eagles' foods and weakened eggshells, making them too thin to support the weight of brooding parents. A 1972 ban on DDT led to gradual improvements in population.

And this from the US Fish and Wildlife Service:

Prior to 1940, the eagle population began to decrease. This decrease was directly related to the decline in numbers of prey species, as well as direct killing and loss of habitat. In 1940, the Bald Eagle Protection Act was passed. This law made it illegal to kill, harm, harass, or possess bald eagles, alive or dead, including eggs, feathers and nests. As a result of the passing of this law, the bald eagle began to partially recover. However, this was just the beginning of what this remarkable creature would have to endure that brought it to the brink of extinction. Subsequent to World War II, the use of dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane (DDT) to control mosquitos became very widespread along coastal and wetland areas. This had a drastic effect on the bald eagle, and as a result of foraging on contaminated food, the species' population plummeted. It was determined in the later 1960's and early 1970's, that DDE, the principal breakdown product of DDT, built up in the fatty tissues of adult females. This prevented the calcium release necessary to produce strong egg shells, and consequently, caused reproductive failure. In response to the decline, the Secretary of the Interior, on March 11, 1967, listed those populations of the bald eagle south of the 40th parallel as endangered under the Endangered Species Preservation Act of 1966. However, the decline continued until DDT was banned from use in the United States on December 31, 1972.

etc...

However, I did find a pseudo-scientific report on the Fox News website that sounds a little like your version. Is Fox News the source of your science? I hope not, because the "science" in that article is atrociously poor. If you don't mind, please tell me the source of your knowledge about bald eagles. Thank you.

stepskipper said...

http://www.snopes.com/politics/bush/house.asp

Interesting snopes entry contrasting the eco-friendliness of Gore's belle meade home and W's crawford ranch.

Revenant said...

Heh! Interesting snopes entry, stepskipper -- thanks for the link.

Fen said...

if Al Gore and Leo DiCaprio truly want to be sure they are reducing their carbon footprint, they are going to have to reduce their own energy consumption, rather than paying others to do it for them

Not even that. Gore didn't pay others or purchase his carbon offsets. They were given to him as a perk by the carbon trading company he helped found.

Fen said...

Methadras" You want to, in Marxist like fashion to control the means of production

Exactly. Global socialism has co-opted the enviromental movement. Its all about redistribution of wealth through limits on energy consumption [and productivity].

Nice set of posts btw. Thanks for the comments.

Sloanasaurus: The communist leaders used to rationalize their extravagent lifestyles by arguing that because they were the leaders of the great revolution they required the extra resources to carry out their duties

Muscovites burning their furniture to survive the Russian winter because most timber had been redirected to build dachas on the black sea for the politburo elite.

Methadras said...

Cyrus Pinkerton mused...

I wasn't alive back in 1963, but I don't think your memory of this is right. For example, from Wikipedia:

Once a common sight in much of the continent, the Bald Eagle have been severely affected by the use of the pesticide DDT in the mid-twentieth century. The pesticide itself was not lethal to the bird, but it may have made an eagle either sterile or unable to lay healthy eggs: the eagle would ingest the chemical through its food and then lay eggs that were too brittle to withstand the weight of a brooding adult. By the 1950s there were fewer than 500 nesting pairs in the 48 contiguous states of the USA.


Using wiki as your source is really not much of a source. This fact is very well known amongst the entymological/horticultural/agricultural academic community. You can look up any source on this, but my source is:

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
Fish and Wildlife Service
50 CFR Part 17
RIN 1018-AC48

[[Page 36000]]

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Final Rule to
Reclassify the Bald Eagle From Endangered to Threatened in All of the
Lower 48 States

Not to mention, many other sources. My recollection of this fact is quite good and I would submit that yours is misconstrued and faulty. This generally a testament to your brand of out-of-context argumentation style that dismisses facts and instead seeks to instill and install an emotional basis for why you think something is, rather than how it actually is based on factual data. I understand you might be having a hard time accepting the fact that you've essentially been lied to about bald eagle populations and the source of their near extinction and not to their recovery, but that isn't a reason to nitpick this one fact from a series of facts I've presented on the fallacy of the environmental movement, the green movement, and the utter sham they are perpetrating on the American public and on the global stage.

What you've demonstrated is a typical leftist tactic (even if you aren't a leftist), but it's about as transparent as cellophane nonetheless.

Here are some actual facts, that I've done the research on with regard to bald eagles and ddt and the perpetual lies that are told about this substance is mystifying in their breadth and scope. Leftists, liberals, socialists, greenies, and environmentalists alike have systematically used the DDT as a hammer over the heads of governments and politicians in 3rd world countries to prevent them from using this life saving pesticide against the abhorrent affliction of malaria. It's people like that have the blood on their hands. I've seen it the effects of malaria and at one time I was afraid I got it too, but I was lucky. DDT use in these countries would help stem this scourge, but it's people like you that decry it's use and for what reason? Because anything you and your ilk as a synthetic chemical is a poison and therefore a hazard for public use.

But then again, why wouldn't it be inconsistent to think that your political and sociological ilk are instituting and condoning the deaths of millions through indirect intervention in this way. Yeah, I said you are condoning it. You condone it because you offer no solutions to stop it, but you rally and rail against the use of a chemical that could prevent a mosquito born disease like malaria and that's the benefit of DDT.

But let's get back to shattering your myths and lies about what really is the problem with bald eagles. All you've done is offer emotional rhetoric. I present you with facts that are sourced. Now learn something.

Fact: Bald eagles were reportedly threatened with extinction in 1921. 25 years before widespread use of DDT.

Source: Van Name, WG. 1921. Ecology 2:76

Fact: Alaska paid over $100,000 in bounties for 115,000 bald eagles between 1917 and 1942.

Source: Anon. Science News Letter, July 3, 1943

Fact: The bald eagle had vanished from New England by 1937.

Source: Bent, AC. 1937. Raptorial Birds of America. US National Museum Bulletin 167:321-349

Fact: After 15 years of heavy and widespread usage of DDT, Audubon Society ornithologists counted 25 percent more eagles per observer in 1960 than during the pre-DDT 1941 bird census.

Sources: Marvin, PH. 1964 Birds on the rise. Bull Entomol Soc Amer 10(3):184-186; Wurster, CF. 1969 Congressional Record S4599, May 5, 1969; Anon. 1942. The 42nd Annual Christmas Bird Census. Audubon Magazine 44:1-75 (Jan/Feb 1942; Cruickshank, AD (Editor). 1961. The 61st Annual Christmas Bird Census. Audubon Field Notes 15(2):84-300; White-Stevens, R.. 1972. Statistical analysis of Audubon Christmas Bird censuses. Letter to New York Times, August 15, 1972

Fact: There is NO significant correlation between DDE residues and shell thickness as reported in a large series of bald eagle eggs.

Source: Postupalsky, S. 1971. (DDE residues and shell thickness). Canadian Wildlife Service manuscript, April 8, 1971

Fact: Thickness of eggshells from Florida, Maine and Wisconsin was found to not be correlated with DDT residues.

Source: Krantz, WC. 1970. Pesticides Monitoring Journal 4(3):136-140
I even have the table that goes with it if you would like to see it

Fact: U.S. Forest Service studies reported an increase in nesting bald eagle productivity (51 in 1964 to 107 in 1970).

Source: U.S. Forest Service (Milwaukee, WI). 1970. Annual Report on Bald Eagle Status

BIG BIG BIG Fact: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologists fed large doses of DDT to captive bald eagles for 112 days and concluded that "DDT residues encountered by eagles in the environment would not adversely affect eagles or their eggs."

Source: Stickel, L. 1966. Bald eagle-pesticide relationships. Trans 31st North American Wildlife Conference, pp.190-200

Fact: Wildlife authorities attributed bald eagle population reductions to a "widespread loss of suitable habitat", but noted that "illegal shooting continues to be the leading cause of direct mortality in both adult and immature bald eagles."

Source: Anon.. 1978. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Endangered Species Tech Bull 3:8-9


Another BIG BIG BIG Fact: Every bald eagle found dead in the U.S., between 1961-1977 (266 birds) was analyzed by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologists who reported no adverse effects caused by DDT or its residues.

Source: Reichel, WL. 1969. (Pesticide residues in 45 bald eagles found dad in the U.S. 1964-1965). Pesticides Monitoring J 3(3)142-144; Belisle, AA. 1972. (Pesticide residues and PCBs and mercury, in bald eagles found dead in the U.S. 1969-1970). Pesticides Monitoring J 6(3): 133-138; Cromartie, E. 1974. (Organochlorine pesticides and PCBs in 37 bald eagles found dead in the U.S. 1971-1972). Pesticides Monitoring J 9:11-14; Coon, NC. 1970. (Causes of bald eagle mortality in the US 1960-1065). Journal of Wildlife Diseases 6:72-76

Fact: Shooting, power line electrocution, collisions in flight and poisoning from eating ducks containing lead shot were ranked by the National Wildlife Federation as late as 1984 as the leading causes of eagle deaths.

Source: Anon. 1984. National Wildlife Federation publication. (Eagle deaths)

Really, I have plenty more from where that came from. Do I really need to overwhelm you with even more facts about this. Your a dupe and a stooge, just like most of the left. You have been inculcated into a web of lies and you should be ashamed for not even recognizing this fact. How much longer are you going to wander within the darkness of an ideology is that is allied with wishes, desires, fantasy, ill-intentions, and the general subjugation of entire streams of thought that wish to repel it for the miasmic malignancy it presents the world.

Stop being a fool and a tool and start to think for yourself for a change and believing lies where none exist.

AlphaLiberal said...

The Bush Administration record on restricting, censoring and distorting scientific conclusions is well established and well-known.

Dumping a bunch of text from one of their reports is non-persuasive. Of course the Bush Administration is pushing a distorted version of events that led to the Bald Eagle resurgence.

They lie and are not reliable.

AlphaLiberal said...

fen bloviates:
Exactly. Global socialism has co-opted the enviromental movement. Its all about redistribution of wealth through limits on energy consumption [and productivity].
psst.... KEep an eye out for them black helicopters and blue helmets. They're coming to take you away!

Methadras said...

AlphaLiberal said...

The Bush Administration record on restricting, censoring and distorting scientific conclusions is well established and well-known.

Dumping a bunch of text from one of their reports is non-persuasive. Of course the Bush Administration is pushing a distorted version of events that led to the Bald Eagle resurgence.

They lie and are not reliable.


First of all, I am not at all surprised with this response. In fact, I am surprised it's taken you this long to have formulated it and then to type it up. What is even more surprising is the level of assumption you've gone to to try and discredit these facts and have done it so poorly. I'm amazed you even bothered.

But instead you've proven once again that the left and your political/sociological ilk are ill suited to even carry on the most basic of conversations that are rooted in fact based opinion and instead throw up a link about the Bush Administrations alleged suppression of science as a basis for your attack.

Secondly, and getting back to your mind-boggling assumption that text I've posted is a Bush ordered screed by the sheer fact that the text is dated: Tuesday
July 6, 1999. If you give me your email address I can promptly send it to you with the caveat that your promptly post an apology to me on this blog and in this comment section. Let me know when you are ready to receive it.

Thirdly, in typical leftist/marxist fashion, you've totally exerted your shallow and willful ignorance of the other presented facts that I've shown you. Instead, you've opted to favor the one you thought you could aim and shoot at, but like a typical leftist/marxist you don't know how to shoot or in which direction.

I have to ask you why you are, now in the face of real facts, not opinions, are going to hold on to your preconceived notions of what is, as opposed to what you wish things to be? Do you even know why you are a tool of the left? Do you even understand the nature of the ideology you are ascribing your mental processes to? You should hang your head in shame for the types of calculated blunders you've committed in trying to defend an ideology that is indefensible.

Revenant said...

The Bush Administration record on restricting, censoring and distorting scientific conclusions is well established and well-known.

Um, that link goes to an activist group's website. That left-leaning NGOs dislike Bush is not exactly news.

Methadras said...

Revenant said...

Um, that link goes to an activist group's website. That left-leaning NGOs dislike Bush is not exactly news.


It doesn't even matter at this point. The argument is clear and concise. The fact that Alphaliberal used a leftist, irrational anti-bush website to illustrate that bush has used his political capital to suppress or censor science. He has no other basis by which to report. He simply doesn't know any better and will always run back to the well to drink kool-aid everytime. His posts are rife with this type of behavior.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

revenant,

Do you have any real evidence that the Union of Concerned Scientists is "left-leaning?"

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Methadras,

As I indicated in my first post to you, I was not familiar with the science regarding bald eagles and DDT. I've done a fair bit of research as you suggested and I'm preparing a relatively brief summary of what I've learned. I'll post it later today. Stay tuned, please.

Methadras said...

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Methadras,

As I indicated in my first post to you, I was not familiar with the science regarding bald eagles and DDT. I've done a fair bit of research as you suggested and I'm preparing a relatively brief summary of what I've learned. I'll post it later today. Stay tuned, please.


I've read and re-read your first post to me and nowhere do you indicate that you were not familiar with the science regarding bald eagles and DDT. Infact, you made the assertion that my memory on the subject was incorrect and you followed it up with not one, not two, but three separate copy/pastes from wikipedia, the National Parks Conservation Association, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service. You know, I can send you a gold medal in Olympic backpeddling if you like, because as of your post to me, as I've accurately quoted it above, you've earned it.

You don't even realize the flagrant type of propaganda you exercise on here. It's almost as if believing your own untruths, half-truths, and outright lies that your are fed from your debased ideology has left you dimwitted and incapable of even making any accurate statements. However, I will be open to see what your research (if you want to even bother calling it that) has uncovered.

Even still, you are engaging in a type of argumentative nonsense I call the nitpicky factor. This factor that is exhibited by your kind stems from the fact that you willfully ignore known facts and hone in on a fact you think you can deconstruct and replace with your own. If you think for one instant that your now chosen research into bald eagles and DDT somehow absolves the totality of your idiotic notions of the environment and whatever it is your are trying to defend about it, then you still are a net loser. You've gained nothing in this pursuit because in the end the facts still remain and that is something your ideological type are woefully ill prepared to deal with. So, please, let's see what you have to offer. ;rolleyes;

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Methadras,

I’m sorry if you misunderstood either of my posts, or if I was unclear in either of them. Let me clarify. Until the last few days, although I was generally aware of the claims regarding DDT and bald eagles, I did not have a detailed knowledge of the scientific research. If you look back at what I wrote, you'll see I invited you to cite the sources for your claims, and I was happy to investigate further, in spite of the extremely nasty and aggressive tone of your first post to me.

After a lot of research (in a fairly short time), I posted to you a second time, as a courtesy, to let you know that a detailed reply summarizing my research was coming. Again, you responded harshly; your reply is characterized by personal attacks, even though you were responding to nothing more than a brief, polite note. In my opinion, the tone of your response was completely unwarranted.

Looking back at other posts of yours, I realize there is a consistency of style in your comments. They reveal staggering arrogance, close-mindedness, and hypocrisy. Your arguments lack a coherent, logical structure; instead, they rely on bluster and bullying. You impress me a a very angry, irrational person.

To be fair, your first reply to me did include a list of “facts,” bracketed by several paragraphs of unfocused ad hominem babbling. As it turns out, "your list" of “facts,” that you present as your own research, is simply plagarized (see below for details). Apparently your claimed “expertise” in this case is a sham. This is consistent with my observation that you try to win debates by intimidation rather than by reasoned argument.

In any case, Methadras, I’m calling your bluff. I’ve researched “your” sources and many others. My findings are below. I briefly address each of “your” assertions, point by point. I am willing to discuss any aspect of my summary with you if you can do so in a civil manner.

- Bald eagles were reportedly threatened with extinction in 1921. 25 years before widespread use of DDT.

Illogical and irrelevant. No one has asserted that DDT is required for the decline of bald eagle populations. Following passage of the Bald Eagle Act in 1940, bald eagle populations first began to recover and then rapidly declined; this population decline correlates with the widespread use of DDT.

- Alaska paid over $100,000 in bounties for 115,000 bald eagles between 1917 and 1942.

Completely irrelevant. This has absolutely nothing to do with the relationship between DDT and the declining bald eagle population; it also does not coincide with the period of widespread presence of DDT in the environment. Furthermore, bald eagle populations in Alaska were not covered by either the Endangered Species Act of 1966 or the Endangered Species Act of 1973. Simply put, bald eagle populations in Alaska have never been part of the debate concerning the effects of DDT in the environment.

- The bald eagle had vanished from New England by 1937.

Irrelevant for the reasons listed previously. No one challenges the notion that other environmental factors and other activities of man can affect bald eagle populations. We are not examining regional or local fluctuations in bald eagle populations either.

By the way, before continuing I should note that your comments and citations have been pulled word for word from the “100 Things You Should Know About DDT” webpage of junkscience.com. In my opinion, considering the volume of information that you’ve “borrowed,” this amounts to clear plagarism. As a rule, you should cite your sources when you copy the work of others rather than leaving the reader with the false idea that you’ve done your own research. In light of this, the following lecture you directed at me is particularly laughable:

Here are some actual facts, that I've done the research on with regard to bald eagles and ddt and the perpetual lies that are told about this substance is mystifying in their breadth and scope... I present you with facts that are sourced. Now learn something... Your [sic] a dupe and a stooge, just like most of the left. Stop being a fool and a tool and start to think for yourself for a change. (emphasis added)

This is blatantly dishonest and hypocritical. Although being caught engaging in unethical behavior should be a great embarrassment to you, I somehow doubt that it will slow you down even a little.

For the record, JunkScience.com is the creation of Steven Milloy, a commentator for Fox News, and a registered federal lobbyist. Former clients include the American Petroleum Institute, and Dow Chemical (see the DDT connection?). Although Milloy portrays himself as a journalist, and writes about science and health subjects (e.g. smoking), he is paid by RJ Reynolds and Phillip Morris, and RJ Reynolds retains editorial control of junkscience.com. Milloy also maintains financial connections to ExxonMobil.

Methadras, now I understand why you picked Milloy as the single source of "your research." And I doubt you hesitated for even a second before shrieking this memorable advice for my benefit:

Stop being a fool and a tool and start to think for yourself for a change.

Ah yes, words to live by (you excepted, of course!). Now, back to demolishing your case...

- After 15 years of heavy and widespread usage of DDT, Audubon Society ornithologists counted 25 percent more eagles per observer in 1960 than during the pre-DDT 1941 bird census.

Steven Milloy's (er, “your”) statement implies that bald eagle numbers were not declining during this time period. Unfortunately, National Audubon Society surveys found otherwise, in contradiction to your claim (Sprunt and Ligas, 1966, Proceedings from the 62nd Annual Convention of the National Audubon Society).

The decline of bald eagle populations is noted throughout the scientific literature as well. For example, from the study “Causes of Bald Eagle Mortality, 1960-1965” (Journal of Wildlife Diseases, 1970):

“Even though bald eagles have been protected by Federal law since 1940, the continental population is apparently still declining, as indicated by recent nationwide surveys by the National Audubon Society.”

And from a study by Daniel Anderson and Joseph Hickey entitled "Chlorinated Hydrocarbons and Eggshell Changes in Raptorial and Fish-Eating Birds," (Science, October 1968) which concluded:

"Catastrophic declines of three raptorial species in the United States have been accompanied by decreases in eggshell thickness that began in 1947, and have amounted to 19 percent or more ...”

The Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife also acknowledged that bald eagle populations were in decline and, in response, began investigations into the effects of environmental pollution on the declining eagle populations. See for example the study of Johnson, et al., Journal of Pesticides Monitoring, 1967. In fact, several of the source you cite specifically mention declining bald eagle populations.

Broley’s long term survey of bald eagles in Florida (Broley, C.E. 1958. The plight of the American bald eagle. Audubon Magazine) from 1939 - 1958 shows that bald eagle numbers increased following the Bald Eagle Act, and then begin to sharply decline in 1947 and continued to drop in the following years. (This survey is particularly interesting because of a parallel study of eggshell thickness in the same population by Hickey and Anderson.)

The simple truth is that bald eagle populations were declining at this time. I don’t understand why you can’t be honest about this fact.

- There is NO significant correlation between DDE residues and shell thickness as reported in a large series of bald eagle eggs.

This issue is now fairly well settled. Experiments show that the DDT metabolite DDE can indeed cause thinning of eggshells. From the International Programme on Chemical Safety summary: “DDT, or more specifically its metabolite DDE, causes the shells of birds' eggs to be thinner than normal.”

The most relevant experimental work in this regard is that of Jeffrey Lincer (“DDE-induced Eggshell Thinning in the American Kestrel: A Comparison of the Field Situation and Laboratory Results.” Journal of Applied Ecology, 1975.) Here is an excerpt from Lincer’s conclusion:

“...There can be little doubt now as to the causal relationship between the global contaminant DDE and the observed eggshell thinning and the consequent population declines in several birds of prey.”

- Thickness of eggshells from Florida, Maine and Wisconsin was found to not be correlated with DDT residues.

This contradicts the findings of Hickey and Anderson. They observed that eggshell thickness of bald eagles decreased by 15-19% “coinciding with the sudden depression of productivity observed by Broley.” (Hickey, J. J., and D. W. Anderson, 1968, “Chlorinated hydrocarbons and eggshell changes in raptorial and fish-eating birds.” Science; Anderson, D. W., and J. J. Hickey, 1972, “Eggshell changes in certain North American birds,” Proc. 15th Intern. Ornithol. Congress).

In any case, Lincer’s study convincingly establishes a causal relationship between DDE and eggshell thinning.

- U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologists fed large doses of DDT to captive bald eagles for 112 days and concluded that "DDT residues encountered by eagles in the environment would not adversely affect eagles or their eggs."

Many studies have demonstrated the link between DDE and reduced bald eagle productivity (Wiemeyer, S.N., et al., 1984, “Organochlorine pesticide, polychlorobiphenyl, and mercury residues in bald eagle eggs - 1969-79 - and their relationships to shell thinning and reproduction,” Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology; Wiemeyer, S. N., et al., 1993, “Environmental contaminants in Bald Eagle eggs - 1980-84 - and further interpretations of relationships to productivity and shell thickness,” Archives Environmental Contamination and Toxicology). These studies conclude that

“The bald eagle is very sensitive to DDE... Reproduction invariably fails whenever concentrations in the eggs exceed a few parts per million...”

A study by Nisbet (Nisbet, I.C.T, 1989, “Organochlorines, reproductive impairment, and declines in Bald Eagle Haliaeetus leucocephalus populations: Mechanisms and dose-response”) also concludes that bald eagle reproductive failure is strongly related to DDE concentrations.

- Wildlife authorities attributed bald eagle population reductions to a "widespread loss of suitable habitat", but noted that "illegal shooting continues to be the leading cause of direct mortality in both adult and immature bald eagles."

Again, entirely irrelevant. We aren’t discussing “direct mortality;” we are discussing a specific mechanism of population decline whereby bald eagle reproduction is inhibited.

“Determination of cause of death cannot be assumed to explain why eagle are declining, for many other factors, including reproductive success, determine the status of a population.” (Journal of Wildlife Diseases, Vol. 6, January 1970).

- Every bald eagle found dead in the U.S., between 1961-1977 (266 birds) was analyzed by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologists who reported no adverse effects caused by DDT or its residues.

Irrelevant. The claim we are looking at is that bald eagle populations declined due to the the adverse effect the DDT metabolite DDE had on bald eagle reproduction. In that sense, your claim is again irrelevant. However, the truth is that analysis of dead bald eagles during this time frame did indeed find large quantities of DDT and residues in the eagles’ fatty tissues.

- Shooting, power line electrocution, collisions in flight and poisoning from eating ducks containing lead shot were ranked by the National Wildlife Federation as late as 1984 as the leading causes of eagle deaths.

The general use of DDT in the United States was banned in 1972. The leading causes of “direct mortality” in golden and bald eagles populations in 1984 aren’t at all relevant to the specific discussion of the impact of DDT on bald eagle populations. And again, you conflate cause of death with the reasons for population decline. Even a basic understanding of population biology is enough to realize that population dynamics depend on many factors, and critically so on reproductive success.

Really, I have plenty more from where that came from.

Yeah, I’ve read the website from which you plagarized. Trust me, you don't have anything else worth copying and pretending to be a result of your own research.

Methadras, I’ve now shown your case is unfocused and is crippled by logical and factual errors. At best, I’d describe it as pathetically weak; at worst, I’d characterize it as fraudulent. Surely you can do better than this. May I suggest you do your own research next time?

bonapartexx said...

"The point of carbon trading is to use market forces to find the most economically efficient ways to reduce global warming pollution."

No, it's the most inefficient way.

Seeing something good, the bubble boys saw something to take advantage of. The "market forces" are fake - require government ccration and coercion. The traders take their cut, and it doesn't matter how unverifiable the carbon credits are, they always take their cut.

The market system in Europe was a flop. The EU in 2007 had to impose restrictions beyond those called for in Kyoto to attempt to save the value of the credits and their exchanges.

The system is so corruptible, so cheatable, it seems designed to be so.

Ed Darrell said...

BIG BIG BIG Fact: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologists fed large doses of DDT to captive bald eagles for 112 days and concluded that "DDT residues encountered by eagles in the environment would not adversely affect eagles or their eggs."

Source: Stickel, L. 1966. Bald eagle-pesticide relationships. Trans 31st North American Wildlife Conference, pp.190-200


I think that's a bogus citation. I can't find anything that looks like it, anywhere.

Can anyone tell me where to find it?

Is this another academic fraud perpetrated by anti-envioronmentalists?