Thursday, September 14, 2006

Does it help the environment if I consume more resources than necessary to avail myself of a product? Of course not - the whole point of conservation is to use the minimum amount of resources possible.

So explain to me why it is considered "earth friendly," or "green" to install hugely cost ineffecient wind or solar systems to produce energy for my home?

The cost of any product reflects the amount of resources that went into producing it. So if an alternative energy system costs more than the energy I can get from the power grid, that means I have HARMED the environment (since I've intentionally used more resources than necessary to produce my electricity) rather than helped it.

Why don't people get this? Do people really not understand economics?

The Oregonian today has a front page article about the trend toward wind and solar systems in homes. They interview homeowners who have installed the systems and even give some thumbnail cost/savings examples.

Of course the entire premise of the more-than-a-full page spread is that installing alternative electricity production systems is environment friendly, and the people who do it are doing their part to save the earth.

Guess what? The exact opposite is true.

Would you invest $23,000 to get $618 per year? If so, please contact me. One of the people profiled in the article installed a wind turbine system for that cost and return. Now, of course, she got $12,000 in subsidies, but even after the subsidies it is a marginal economic return.

But it is the unsubsidized cost of the system that is relevant when we consider the impact on the earth. The cost of the system reflects the resources of the planet involved in producing it. In the final analysis, the bulk of what anything costs is the energy it took to make it.

The wind turbines had to be manufactured, the raw materials mined, grown and fabricated. Transportation, installation - a large part of the cost is energy.

So spending $23,000 in energy to save $618 in energy makes no sense at all, even from an environmental viewpoint.

Nowhere in the Oregonian's big article was the point made that even with the huge subsidies in every one of their profiles the alternative energy system was a bad investment. And they certainly didn't make the point that a bad economic investment means it is also a bad environmental investment.

Take a look at the numbers they gave in their examples:

Wind turbine system:
Cost: $23,208
Subsidy: $12,000
Annual savings: $618
This is a 2.6% return. No rational business would make this investment. Especially since it ignores maintenance and replacement costs.

Even after the $12,000 subsidy the return is a paltry 5.5%.

The other systms profiled in the article were similar - solar systems for electricity, water heating and heat all had 5-6% annual returns after the subsidy, ignoring maintenance and replacement costs.

This is not "green."

But it does allow the owners to significantly increase their "smug coefficients," not to mention their "moral preening" multiplier.

This quote fromthe wind turbine owner:

"I've always worried about things like this more than others," he said. "The point is, even before they run out, supplies will be low, and there will be misery all around -- economic, political, environmental.

"Something has to happen. I haven't seen a lot of movement by government. Why not me?"

I gotta get this guys phone number. I have some investments I want to sell him.


Mick said...

You are assuming that the selling price accurately reflects the cost of producing the products in question. There's no basis for that assumption. What if the majority of the cost involved in production is labor? It doesn't seem to me that human labor necessarily has negative impact on the environment.

John Eyler said...

But it does allow the owners to significantly increase their "smug coefficients," not to mention their "moral preening" multiplier.

I love that line. Honestly I can't fault a guy for spending his money on wind mills or solar panels. It's his dime. The investment might work out if energy prices rise and he stays put for a number of years.

Ross Smith said...

I have observed that over the past half-century we have been moving more toward "political" (emotional) motives for our actions as opposed to purely economic (or rational) motivations. It seems to me that this may be due in a large part to our not being taught how to think rationally (or to reason) in our education systems -- or perhaps I should say being taught how to think irrationally (or politically "correctly"). If what I am seeing is true, it would be indicative of a society that is bonkers, and getting more so every day. Depressing thought isn't it?

Capitol 3 said...

the spend more to save more attitude just does not work at all.does not make sense in todays economy when you have flooding in many diffrent states such as katrina floods and or war whom we all know of someone who is serving in the war.I would think you would want to spend less and save more wouldn't you.
Just a thought.

Capitol 3 said...

We Do Care Freedom Festival 2006

Reflecting upon and recommiting ourselves to freedom, supporting those in uniform who defend freedom and celebrating America were three things that were accomplished at this year's We Do Care Freedom Festival in downtown Barrington. The family oriented festival touched the hearts and minds of those in attendance.
Just two days before the 5th anniversary of the 9-11 terrorist attacks, a solemn wreath laying ceremony and gun salute to honor those whose lives were sacrificed, opened the day's events. The remainder of the day was devoted to letting deployed service men and women know that they are being supported. Entertainment was provided throughout the day by the Spirit of the USO Band, Navy Band Great Lakes, Bataille Academie of the Dance, Jasper and Joe Cantafio & the 101st Rock Division.
Childrens activities included a climbing wall, moonwalk, face painting, creating cards for troops and a Freedom Walk.
In between the entertainment there were some special guests. First hand accounts were heard from 9-11 Pentagon Survivor Ryan Yantis. We learned from Lieutenant General Victor Renuart, who is the Senior Military Assistant to the Secretary of Defense, Washington D.C. Sgt. Allison Kizerow, Iraq veteran (MP) US Army Reserves shared her story of being deployed as a 19 year old.
A documentary of the day's events is being produced.

Capitol 3 said...

Hello and these are all good stories of those who are wanting to serve for our freedom-Just to let u know.

Capitol 3 said...

Hello keep updating the blog though.We need a Republican Governor in oregon-as a long time resident of oregon for 43 years it is time oregon had a republican

Capitol 3 said...

Hello and we need a republican governor to stop special interests in oregon.
By Peter LaBarbera, Americans for Truth

Christians are called “haters,” “bigots,” “homophobes,” and worse simply for proclaiming God’s Word to homosexuals (for the best defense of Christian orthodoxy on homosexuality, see Rob Gagnon’s brilliant website). As believers, our most fervent hope and prayer is that those tempted to embrace homosexual attractions would recognize that they are not inherently “gay” and find spiritual healing and salvation through the resurrected Christ — an intent which, while offensive to those not inclined to hear, cannot fairly be described as “hatred.”

Many men and women who once considered themselves “gay” or “lesbian” have embraced the path of change and overcome the pull of homosexuality in their lives. See Stephen Bennett’s heartwarming story HERE and Linda Jernigan’s wonderful testimony HERE. Some people have changed through secular therapy (see NARTH’s website), but it seems the more typical story in the United States is people overcoming homosexuality with the help of God through Jesus Christ.

Perhaps the citation below of a radical Islamic book’s prescription for treating homosexuals (dropping them from a building and then stoning them) will shed light on the superiority of Biblical ”tough love” (oppose sinful behavior while extending forgiveness through Christ). We at Americans For Truth condemn in no uncertain terms all violence and hatred directed at homosexuals. The same God who rescues people from bondage to any number of sinful inclinations can rescue those who are caught up in homosexuality–and has countless times, despite the vain efforts of fanatical “gay” activists like Wayne Besen who strive to show that “sexual orientation” (an unbiblical construct) is unchangeable.

While contemplating what this Islamic book recommends, consider also the contemptuous and ridiculous statement of Rosie O’Donnell, who said on ABC’s The View on the anniversary of 9/11:

Dare!PDX said...


I for one understand economics.
I also have looked at solar, wind, nuke, and biofuels extensively. They make alot of sense to me personally. Specifically if your concerned with global warming and the CO2 emmissions that result from every other fuel but solar, wind or nuke.

Many rational businesses have opted for wind or solar power. There are many times that using one of these options makes perfect sense.

First of all the money spent is going directly into the US economy instead of exported. The solar and wind manufactured in the US is in one of the most expesive labor market in the world. The majority of the cost of most specialized construction jobs is labor.

Compound this with the reality that to purchase imported oil or increasingly imported natural gas is to directly export our nation's wealth.

It also doesn't hurt that wind and solar remove your personal dependence on arab oil. How many more AK-47's do you want to buy for people who want you dead?

When you talk about subsidy your assuming that hydrocarbons (petro) aren't subsidized. How much federal support will it take to realize ANWR if a green light was offered? How much federal subsidy has gone into the natural gas infrastructure that currently is over taxed with little new supplies likely? How much does the DoE put in expanding nukes? Billions straight from the tax payers coffers as opposed to an income tax break from the individual making the investment.

As for the coverage in the Oregonian. You of all people shouldn't fault someone based on how the Oregonian covers or explains it. How many times have you seen yourself or other conservatives pushed off their real message by a journalists/editor's story angle?

Second thought though - reading the quote it says it all. To summarize what your real problem might be the quote really provides one message: 'I did something I believe in, now government should make everyone do it.'

Capitol 3 said...

Based on a newspaper article in today's Statesman Journal I believe that could be the case with regard to Global Warming.

The Salem City Council has more important issues and policies to worry about than the current progressive secular movement to solve the world's problem by developing more and more regulations and taxes to support the New World Order a.k.a. Sustainable Development. Here are a few articles that might present a broader perspective on the issue of global warming. These articles seem to support the historical knowledge that if the ice age ended 10,000 years ago and the ice caps melted, wouldn't it stand to reason that the global tempurature is rising. And just think, 9,900 years of that 10,000 year period there were no automobiles. During the past 8 years DLCD and ODOT have been pushing the Oregon Transporation Planning Rule predicated in part on the theory of "Global Warming", and you as elected officials have been reluctant to go along. Your reasoning is valid and relfects your potential as individual thinkers. Now if you want to enter the world of collaboration, facilitation, and stakeholder working groups, I too can get you to believe anything about everything. All I need to do is you get you into a structured mediation and secure your consent. So please continue being logical individual thinkers, avoid the Hegelian Dialectic process, and follow Robert's Rules of Order and in the end it will all work out for everyone's benefit without increased taxes and regulations.

In other words, so what if the temperature rises 1 degree or even 2 degrees. Remember Carbon Dioxide is a nutrient that causes our trees to grow and emit oxygen. If Salem is Tree City USA why would we want to reduce Carbon Dioxide and waken the health and vitality of our trees? That seems to be an important process given to us as part of GOD's creation.


There Has Been No Net Global Warming for the Past 70 Years
Volume 3, Number 13: 1 July 2000

In our editorial of 15 June 2000 - The Global Surface Air Temperature Record Must Be Wrong - we reviewed a large body of evidence that suggests that the highly-hyped "unprecedented global warming" of the past two decades never actually occurred. This evidence includes (1) the satellite microwave-sounding-unit temperature record, which in the absence of the assive 1998 El NiƱo heat pulse shows no warming whatsoever from 1979 to the present, (2) the weather-balloon temperature record, which for the same circumstances also shows no warming, (3) the surface- and satellite-derived temperature records of earth's polar regions, which also show no warming, and (4) the high-quality U.S. Historical Climatology Network data base, which, not surprisingly, also shows no statistically significant warming over this period. We now augment this substantial body of empirical evidence for no global warming over the last two decades with observations gleaned from tree-ring reconstructions of surface air temperature.

First, there is the growing-season temperature history of the entire northern boreal forest region, which has been published most recently in the review of Briffa (2000) and is referred to by him as "the best overall indicator to date of long-term temperature changes over the higher northern land areas." Derived from a large number of tree-ring density chronologies obtained from some 400 sites in the western United States, Canada, Europe, Fennoscandia and northern Siberia, this temperature record shows a dramatic departure from the instrumental temperature record over the last 70 years, with the instrumental record depicting unprecedented 20th century warming, but with the tree-ring record showing nothing of the sort. And the reason for the discrepancy? In the words of Briffa, "the reason is not known." We, however, believe that the reason should be obvious: the instrumental temperature record is simply wrong.

Second, there is the somewhat contradictory story told by a number of temperature reconstructions derived from tree-ring width chronologies. As Briffa (2000) recounts it, "tree-growth, as represented in various standardized tree-ring chronologies in various parts of the world, often seems anomalous in the 20th century as compared to earlier centuries." This widespread anomaly is extremely important, for he notes that "the recent high growth rates . . . provide major pieces of evidence being used to assemble a case for anomalous global warming, interpreted by many as evidence of anthropogenic activity," specifically mentioning Mann et al. (1998, 1999) in this regard. But as Briffa further notes, the empirically derived regression equations upon which the temperature reconstructions are based may be compromised if the growth rates of earth's trees have been substantially enhanced over the past century or so by some other global environmental influence that has increasingly manifested itself over the same time period.

What might this influence - if it exists - be? Briffa cites a number of possibilities, including the historical rise in the air's CO2 content over this period and a number of plant physiological processes that become increasingly more efficient in response to this phenomenon; and he explains how this influence could act in opposition to the declining tree-ring density phenomenon described in the preceding paragraph. Indeed, LaMarche et al. (1984) and Graybill and Idso (1993) demonstrated several years ago that the historical rise in the air's CO2 content could readily explain the anomalous 20th century growth spurt in tree-ring width expansion; and Briffa states that "widespread evidence is accumulating of 'enhanced' productivity (ring-width, basal area and wood mass) in the 19th and 20th centuries, similar to positive growth trends observed in earlier studies," that is, in the studies of LaMarche et al. and Graybill and Idso.

It's essentially a no-brainer. Enhanced tree growth induced by the historical rise in the air's CO2 content - possibly augmented by enhanced nitrogen deposition (Idso, 1995) - has been increasing the growth rates of trees all around the world for over a century or more (see, for example, our editorials of 15 April 1999 and 1 April 2000: Atmospheric CO2 Enrichment: Boon or Bane of the Biosphere? and The Future of Forests). Furthermore, this growth enhancement has been accelerating over time (Phillips and Gentry, 1994); and it is this ever-intensifying biological phenomenon that some are using to bolster their claim that the climate is warming at an ever-increasing rate. Nothing, however, could be further from the truth. For the past two decades at least, and possibly for the past seven decades, earth's true surface air temperature has likely experienced no net change.

This latter conclusion may sound incredulous to some; but it follows directly from the likely fact that there has been no net warming from 1979 to 2000, as we indicated in our editorial of 15 June 2000, plus the fact that even the contaminated surface air temperature records depict no warming (they actually show a cooling!) from 1930 to 1979, as can be verified by visiting the World Temperatures section of our website and computing the surface air temperature trend from 1930 to 1979 from both the Global Historical Climatology Network and the Jones et al. data bases.

In view of the extreme likelihood that there has thus been no net warming of the planet over the past 70 years, during which time the vast majority of all anthropogenically-produced CO2 has been emitted to the atmosphere, we conclude that since there should have been a sizeable CO2-induced increase in atmospheric radiative forcing over this period, there must have been a suite of compensatory negative feedbacks that totally overwhelmed the standard "greenhouse" impetus for warming (see our Position Paper on Carbon Dioxide and Global Warming: Where We Stand on the Issue). Hence, there would appear to be absolutely no foundation in factual data of any sort for supposing that any further man-induced increases in the air's CO2 content would warm the planet either.

Dr. Craig D. Idso

Dr. Keith E. Idso
Vice President

Briffa, K.R. 2000. Annual climate variability in the Holocene: Interpreting the message of ancient trees. Quaternary Science Reviews 19: 87-105.

Graybill, D.A. and Idso, S.B. 1993. Detecting the aerial fertilization effect of atmospheric CO2 enrichment in tree-ring chronologies. Global Biogeochemical Cycles 7: 81-95.

Idso, S.B. 1995. CO2 and the Biosphere: The Incredible Legacy of the Industrial Revolution. Third Annual Kuehnast Lecture. Department of Soil, Water and Climate, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN.

LaMarche Jr., V.C., Graybill, D.A., Fritts, H.C. and Rose, M.R. 1984. Increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide: Tree ring evidence for growth enhancement in natural vegetation. Science 225: 1019-1021.

Mann, M.E., Bradley, R.S. and Hughes, M.K. 1998. Global scale temperature patterns and climate forcing over the past six centuries. Nature 392: 779-787.

Mann, M.E., Bradley, R.S. and Hughes, M.K. 1999. Northern Hemisphere temperatures during the past millennium: Inferences, uncertainties and limitations. Geophysical Research Letters 26: 759-762.

Phillips, O.L. and Gentry, A.H. 1994. Increasing turnover through time in tropical forests. Science 263: 954-958.

The Global Surface Air Temperature Record Must Be Wrong
Volume 3, Number 12: 15 June 2000

Although we rarely deal with things not published in the conventional peer-reviewed scientific literature, we take exception this issue to discuss a matter that has recently been addressed in several such publications. This deviation from our standard policy is taken for the important reason that these publications have convinced us that the global surface air temperature record, which is used to support the idea that the earth has warmed dramatically over the past century or so, is incorrect. Although we could easily have lived with the statement of Mann et al. (1999) that "the past decade and past year are likely the warmest for the Northern Hemisphere this millennium" - since that claim says nothing about why that might be so - we now feel that such is definitely not the case; and, hence, we feel obligated to address the veracity of this claim, which is generating all manner of hysteria over the use of CO2-emitting fossil fuels.

Our conversion on this matter began with our reading of John Daly's treatise on the global surface air temperature record (Daly, 2000), which is posted on the website of the Greening Earth Society ( In reference to the divergent trends of the surface air temperature record, which exhibits a dramatic warming over the past 21 years, and the lower tropospheric temperature record produced by satellite microwave sounding units, which exhibits no such warming, he cites the only three explanations that can possibly account for this discrepancy: (1) the surface record is incorrect, (2) the satellite record is incorrect, (3) both records are correct, and their different temperature trends are due to some unknown atmospheric process or processes.

Considering the same issue, Balling (2000) notes that the recent National Research Council (2000) report on the subject acknowledges that the two records should produce similar trends: "if global warming is caused by the buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, it should be evident not only at the earth's surface, but also in the lower to mid-troposphere." Indeed, the report says that the best climate models available "predict that the lower to mid troposphere should warm at least as rapidly as the earth's surface." Hence, since the two temperature trends should be close to identical, Daly's third explanation for their divergence can be ruled out, leaving us either his first or second explanation as the correct one.

Daly opts for explanation number one - the surface air temperature record is incorrect. He supports his contention with illustrations of a number of potential sources of error that are known to plague this record: (1) temporal changes in microclimate surrounding the temperature measurement site, such as urbanization, which go unrecognized or for which insufficient adjustments are made, (2) long-term degradation of the shelter housing the temperature-measuring equipment, such as its white paint becoming less reflective and its louvers partially obstructed, (3) changes in what is actually being measured, such as true daily maximum and minimum temperatures or temperatures at specified times of day, (4) changes in measurement devices and ways of accessing the data, such as changing from having to open the shelter door to read the temperature, as was done in earlier days, to not having to do so due to the automatic recording of the data, as has become typical in more recent times, (5) general station degradation and many station closures over time, (6) changing and uneven geographical representation in the surface temperature network, (7) poor attention to careful acquisition of data in many parts of the world, and (8) a number of problems associated with obtaining a correct and geographically complete record of surface air temperature over the 70% of the globe that is covered by oceans.

Michaels and Balling (2000) additionally point out the great difficulty of appropriately correcting for the onset and development of urbanization effects in stations that once were considered rural but have, in the past decade or two, experienced the encroachment of nearby cities. As they describe the situation, urban effects have largely been removed from specific temperature records when they dominate them for many decades; but when encroaching urbanization has begun to exert its influence over only the past 10 to 15 years, "we have no objective mechanism for isolating the effect." Hence, as they correctly state, "the urban effect is here [in the latter part of the record], and it will grow exponentially."

But how do we absolutely know that all, or even any, of these potential problems are indeed occurring? One way suggested by Balling is to compare the satellite record with the surface air temperature record over the portion of the earth that is known to possess the highest quality surface air temperature data. This data set comes from the U.S. Historical Climatology Network, and contains, among other things, monthly averages of mean near-surface air temperature for 1,221 high-quality largely non-urban stations within the 48 contiguous states of the United States of America.

In making this comparison, Balling found that the surface and satellite records for this portion of the globe were nearly identical, and that each showed no statistically significant trend, nor did the time series of differences between them show any such trend. He acknowledges, however, that the conterminous United States only covers 1.54% of the earth's total surface area; but he makes the point that the best near-surface air temperature records to be found on the planet match up beautifully with the measurements made from satellites. We thus conclude with him that if equally good surface air temperature records were available for the rest of the earth, they too would match up equally beautifully with the corresponding satellite record ? and show no warming.

But are there any other reasons to believe that this should be the case? In a word, yes. And we start with a contribution from Daly on this point.

Daly notes that although various climate models differ substantially in their predictions of greenhouse warming around the globe, they all agree on one thing: the warming, if it occurs at all, should be accentuated in earth's higher latitudes. Hence, the planet's polar regions should be prime candidates for displaying the postulated warming. But when high-quality scientifically-supervised temperature records from these regions of the earth - both north and south - are checked, they too show no warming.

Finally, we have the radiosonde or weather balloon record of temperature in the same part of the atmosphere that is monitored by satellite. Both Balling and Daly point out that its temperature history of the past two decades closely mirrors that of the satellite record, and that it once again shows no warming.

In view of the near-perfect agreement among the satellite and surface records over the conterminous United States, which all show no warming over the past two decades, as well as the similar finding of no warming in high-quality stations from both of the earth's polar regions, where greenhouse warming is predicted to be greatest, plus the fact that the satellite and balloon records shows no warming over the entire earth over this period, we thus conclude that there truly has been no warming due to any cause over this period of time over the entire planet, and that the only reason the surface record for the globe shows warming is that outside of the United States and a few other places of high-quality temperature measurement, the surface record is just plain wrong, for the host of reasons listed, described and illustrated by Daly, Balling, and Michaels. Furthermore, since the significant increase in greenhouse gas radiative forcing experienced to date should surely have produced some warming by now, if it were not thwarted by compensating mechanisms in the real atmosphere, we also believe there is no compelling reason to believe that it will necessarily produce any warming in the foreseeable future.

Dr. Craig D. Idso

Dr. Keith E. Idso
Vice President

Balling Jr., R.C. 2000. Reconsidering reconciliation: Understanding the NRC report. In: Michaels, P.J. (Ed.). State of the Climate Report: Essays on Global Climate Change. New Hope Environmental Services, pp. 8-13.

Daly, J.L. 2000. The surface record: "Global mean temperature" and how it is determined at surface level. Report to the Greening Earth Society. Available at

Mann, M.E., Bradley, R.S. and Hughes, M.K. 1999. Northern Hemisphere temperatures during the past millennium: Inferences, uncertainties, and limitations. Geophysical Research Letters 26: 759-762.

Michaels, P.J. and Balling Jr., R.C. 2000. The Satanic Gases: Clearing the Air About Global Warming. Cato Institute, Washington, DC.

National Research Council, Panel on Reconciling Temperature Observations. 2000. Reconciling Observations of Global Temperature Change. National Academy Press, Washington, DC.

U.S. Historical Climatology Network (USHCN) Data Set

For a description of the USHCN data set, click here.

In this section of our web site, we invite you to analyze temperature and precipitation trends across the conterminous United States, to see for yourself whether or not our claim that " There Has Been No Global Warming for the Past 70 Years" is indeed correct, at least as far as the United States is concerned. We believe that it is, and that for the vast majority of stations, you will see that there has been no net warming since 1930. To further illustrate this point, we have created a " Temperature Record of the Week" page, where we highlight the temperature trend since 1930 at a given USHCN station each and every week.

To proceed with your own calculations, begin by selecting the state in which the station for which you seek information resides from the list below.















Rhode Island



South Carolina



South Dakota











New Hampshire



New Jersey



New Mexico



New York

West Virginia


North Carolina



North Dakota


Columbia Icefield, Canadian Rockies, Canada

Luckman, B.H. and Wilson, R.J.S. 2005. Summer temperatures in the Canadian Rockies during the last millennium: a revised record. Climate Dynamics 24: 131-144.

Using new tree-ring data from the Columbia Icefield area of the Canadian Rockies (~52.13°N, 117.13°W), Luckman and Wilson present a significant update to a millennial temperature reconstruction published for this region in 1997. The new update produced two composite summer (May-August) maximum temperature reconstructions, one based on Regional Curve Standardization of maximum latewood density (MXD RCS) and another based on standardized ring widths (RW STD).

Results of the MXD RCS chronology revealed warm intervals "comparable to twentieth century values" during the MWP (~ AD 950-1200). In contrast, from the authors' Figure 4, we calculate the peak warmth of the MWP in the RW STD chronology to be about 0.20°C above that of the CWP, which warmth is further supported by the inclusion of a "critical" snag sample of Larixlyallii in the RW STD composite that was located approximately 30 km north of the present range limit of this species.

For further information go to

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