Friday, August 17, 2012

Green Committee Despairs? CO2 Emissions in the US Have Dropped to a 20-Year Low

Now here is a rather astonishing conundrum. How exactly do you carry out your mission to save the nation from something it apparently has already saved itself from, and without your help? And while you were holding 20 some-odd meetings trying to figure out what the word "sustainable" might actually mean, the very reasons for your governmental existence could have gone up in, well, not in smoke?

While the City of Sierra Madre struggles with the question of whether or not to make a Commission out of the Green Committee, or simply allow it to term out and go away, the actual reasons for the existence of this entirely unhappy situation might very well have vanished into thin air. Literally.

But before we step forward, we're going to have to step back. All the way back to December 5, 2007. That is when the State of California wrote its now legendary Integrated Energy Policy Report on AB32 (click here), also known as the California Global Warming Solutions Act. Read deeply into this crusty cup of unfiltered governmental effluence:

California's vibrant economy is dependent on reliable and affordable supplies of energy. Yet, fossil-based energy produces greenhouse gases that are the primary contributors to climate change. California's challenge, like that of the rest of the developed world, is how to maintain its growth and vitality while decreasing its contributions to global greenhouse gas emissions.

Responding to this challenge, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and the California Legislature placed reducing greenhouse gas emissions at the center of their agendas. Assembly Bill 32, the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32), mandates that California reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.

This law, later coupled with its evil twin, SB 375, is now in its enactment phase. Which means that Sacramento, with the assistance of the usual useful local idiots that support whatever they want no matter how destructive, is attempting to force cities such as ours to plan for far higher density development than it has now. Which includes, and for the most specious of reasons, large amounts of the kind of stack and pack mixed-use development that was rejected here by the voters of Sierra Madre in 2007 when they passed Measure V.

But here is a rather amazing piece of news. Apparently the goal of reducing "greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020" has already been achieved. And it was done (to put it into SB 375 terms) without our building a high density transit village in downtown Sierra Madre, or anybody being forced out of their cars and either onto a bus or reduced to just walking. This from The Association Press (click here):

AP Impact: CO2 emissions in US drop to 20-year low - In a surprising turnaround, the amount of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere in the U.S. has fallen dramatically to its lowest level in 20 years, and government officials say the biggest reason is that cheap and plentiful natural gas had led many power plant operators to switch from dirtier burning coal.

Many of the world's leading climate scientists didn't see the drop coming, in large part because it happened as a result of market forces rather than direct government action against carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that traps heat in the atmosphere.

In a little-noticed technical report, the U.S. Energy Information Agency, a part of the Energy Department, said this month that energy related U.S. CO2 emissions for the first four months of this year fell to about 1992 levels. Energy emissions make up about 98 percent of the total. The Associated Press contacted environmental experts, scientists and utility companies and learned that virtually everyone believes the shift could have major long-term implications for U.S. energy policy.

While conservation efforts, the lagging economy and greater use of renewable energy are factors in the CO2 decline, the drop-off is due mainly to low-priced natural gas, the agency said.

A frenzy of shale gas drilling in the Northeast's Marcellus Shale and in Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana has caused the wholesale price of natural gas to plummet from $7 or $8 per unit to about $3 over the past four years, making it cheaper to burn than coal for a given amount of energy produced. As a result, utilities are relying more than ever on gas-fired generating plants.

So there you go. The call for greenhouse gas reduction to 1990 levels demanded in Arnold's beloved AB 32, the so-called California Global Warming Solutions Act, turned out to be unnecessary after all. It has been achieved 8 years ahead of schedule. And rather than this all being coerced through draconian laws and mass behavioral modification efforts by the government, it was achieved through natural market forces. It came about because new energy drilling technology has made the use of natural gas cheaper than coal.

Which means we don't need an AB 32, or an SB 375 or, for that matter, the Green Committee and its call for transit village style development in downtown Sierra Madre. You can still drive your car and live in a single family home free from having to worry about whether or not you are a climate criminal.

So Josh? Can you please tell us why we still need the Green Committee? Particularly since it looks like we've already achieved its most prominent goals? Including the big one?

http://sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

64 comments:

  1. Once again free markets triumph over slothful and regulation heavy government.

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  2. It is a bad day for finger waggers.

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    1. neener neener neener.

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  3. You know why the Green Committee monitors Sacramento legislation on things like climate change, don't you? They're looking for orders.

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  4. This is great news for the environment. The forecasts are all so glum - including that the earth's systems will not survive another 100 or so years - so it's good to hear about a positive change.

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    1. Now if we can just get China off coal and onto natural gas. Hey, I have an idea! Can we send the Green Committee there?

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    2. There is a good reason to boycott goods made in China. They're made with climate killing substances.

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    3. People killing too.

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    4. Once again America leads the way in solving a bad problem.

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    5. That it created.

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    6. http://www.deathbychina.com

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  5. It's obvious that the reduced co2 levels are due to Pasadena outlawing plastic bags. Now, if we could only get people to stop shopping altogether.

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    1. Plastic bags are a good idea that ended up with disastrous and unforeseen consequences. Good riddance to them, in about 10,000 years when they will be collected from the landfills and oceans and treated with something people will have to invent to destroy them.

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    2. Please. It's Friday. No plastic bag debate today. Please. I'm begging.

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    3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  6. United States is the "saudi arabia" of natural gas. We have enormous amounts.
    Problem is, it's going to take massive infrastructure changes. It can be done and is already happening in parts of the country. They are getting more and more natural gas pumps at truck stops.

    We need to use our resources, all of them for a time, until we get the econcomy back healthy again.

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  7. It's naive to suggest that the environment's condition was Eden-like in the 1990s and that our collective problem has solved itself.

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  8. Wow. This is actually some very good news. We don't get a lot of good news these days. So the solution all along was getting electricity plants off coal and onto natural gas? And the more that gets done the better things will be? Did Sacramento know that when they cooked up all of those crackpot solutions they came up with? Maybe they were lying all the time? The ramifications of this report are huge.

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    1. I think the appropriate term for Sacramento's actions here is "massive fraud."

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    2. It is almost certain that one day all our cars will be using natural gas. It is costly (at first) to convert all our cars into natural gas fueled, but it can and will be done.

      The worst thing they are doing is using ethenol, this is a disaster in many ways.

      To get our economy back on track is going to be difficult and painful, but in the long run we can be stronger than ever.
      Get off globalism! The United States will be forced sooner or later to either keep trying (and failing) to save the world OR SAVE OURSELVES. The only way we can help the world is to save ourselves. This has to happen, and I have confidence it will.
      There is hope. There will be change, but not the kind we mistakenly put in office in 2008. This is becoming well known now.
      It will not be easy and the next 5 or 6 years is going to be very difficult, but we will survive stronger if we get on the right track now!

      The best thing we can do in Sierra Madre is to act responsible, and SAVE OURSELVES.Polution causing over development and creating more "commissions" is only going to "kick the can down the road" and eventually put us into bankruptcy.

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    3. Use your own money, 11:49. I'm tired of carrying the other 47%.

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  9. Don't worry, our maternalistic money grubbing legislatures will find something else to drive our economy furthur into the ground...

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  10. Sacramento cooks up whatever the lobbyists want. You want a new law, hire a lobbyist, make donations to the proper politician, and bob's your uncle!

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  11. josh moran and his followers are idiots...


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    1. I wonder if it ever occurs to them where they're being led. Oh, that's right. They're idiots.

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  12. Big Time central planners like the "green" committee supporters hate it when the "Invisible Hand" of the free markets solves problems.

    See Adam Smith's "Wealth of Nations" and Milton Friedman's "Free To Choose".

    SAFETY WARNING: Don't be drinking Kool-Aid while reading these, you may choke.

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    1. Yes indeed, 11:51!

      The free market is the ONLY thing that made America strong, and it is the only thing that will save us.

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    2. good suggestions 11:51! I might suggest reading P.J. O'Rourke's book "on the Wealth of Nations" It is a grand and easily understandable study of adam Smith's tomes.
      Milton Friedman says there are 4 ways to spend money
      1. spend your money on yourself (self- explanatory)
      2. spend your money on someone else ( like buying them a present)
      3. spend someone else's money on yourself (your expense account lunch)
      4. spend someone else's money on someone else (Politicians spending your tax dollars on something like, for example, a Buxton survey)

      Guess which group has the least interest in containing costs?

      For extra credit, read Fredreich Hayek's book "the Road to Serfdom"

      or Thomas Sowell's "Basic Economics" which is written in clear prose for the mathematically challenged (like me)

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    3. It wasn't just the so-called 'free market' that 'ONLY' made America 'strong', military hegemony, corporate monopolies and back room deals with foreign governments sure helped along the way.

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    4. Have another drink of Kool-Aid, 2:19. Drink deeply.

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    5. 3:01, you might be the one who's drinking all that sugar water.

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    6. 3:01 is still plugged Happily into the matrix.

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  13. I always knew Arnold was conning us with his save the world from global warming crap. It was all just show biz.

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    1. Ahhnold signed AB 32. Wait until gas goes up another $1 a gallon & electricity rates skyrocket.

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    2. It was all a pay off to the lobbies. Big money must have gotten exchanged. And what was for sale? We the people.

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    3. Arnold should be in jail! He should be locked up. He is a criminal.
      That is now well known.

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    4. Arnold flies around the world in greenhouse gas rich private jets to give speeches to the well-heeled about how heroic he was in creating AB 32.

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    5. The jet would fly just as fast if Arnold just stuck his head by the engine turbine and talked.

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  14. Lots of patriots on this board today. They must have all gotten back from summer vacations.

    Welcome back! Love ya.


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    1. All kinds, all stripes, all political pursuasions. When it comes to saving our town from the idiots, we stand side by side.

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    2. That's what so great about Sierra Madre - people of all political persuasions work together to save our village from high density housing and higher taxes. Gotta love that.

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    3. Tattler Roll call:
      far right? here
      far left? here
      everything in between? here.

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    4. I hate all ideologies. I am a Tattler.

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    5. Then you're a Tattle ideologue. King Josh says "off with their heads."

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    6. Right vs left is a false dichotomy in this context. You are either in favor of an independent city that runs itself or you are a sell out to corporatism.

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    7. I am sorry, but I cannot answer this question. I don't watch cable TV news.

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    8. This is a dissident community within the despotic state known as Moranistan. Send supplies.

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    9. I learn everything I need in The Mountain View News.

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    10. The magic 8 ball says try again tomorrow.

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    11. 2:35 - are you one of Professor Goss's students?

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    12. Here's the bumper sticker:

      "Free Moranistan"

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  15. I need a question answered pleaseAugust 17, 2012 at 1:31 PM

    This is off topic, but I need information, and I know I'll get a straight answer here in the Tattler.

    Is our water here in Sierra Madre floridated?

    Thank you in advance for anyone who can tell us.

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    1. If you type "flouride" into the inquiry box on the City of Sierra Madre site there are a number of water quality reports that pop up. The word "flouride" does pop up in some of them. What exactly it means however is lost on me.

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    2. Fluoride is not added by the city, but our water does have naturally occurring fluoride in it. It is slightly higher than the state target limits, so the City had to apply for a fluoride variance to allow the higher amount.

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    3. Fluoride NEVER occurs naturally. It is a byproduct of aluminum production. If you care about your health you will avoid it. It is the main ingredient in drugs prescribed for depression, and was used by the nazis to control the concentration camp prisoners in WWII. If you have a few minutes to educate yourself further please watch:
      The Fluoride Deception
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ly_QP4rGczo
      Neuroblast Films

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  16. Don't believe it is. I think the water from the wells has enough minerals that we don't need to add fluorides.

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  17. Naturally fluoridated to the point wherein the past we had to buy water to thin it out, ask for a deferral to have it Jagger than normal, and local pediatricians would haul out their chart and tell mothers NOT to use added floride type toothpastes on their tiddlers' teeth for fear of mottling.

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  18. You all noticed the irony of Romney standing with the coal miners to pledge his support for their ever shrinking piece of the energy pie, and why? They are being passed over by the low cost of producing natural gas.

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  19. Higher was reworked by my ipad to Jagger and I hit publish before noticing...aw shucks.

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    1. Yeah, mine does that sometimes as well. I wish I could figure out how to get around the spell check. It comes up with the strangest words.

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  20. Toddlers not tiddlers, too.

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    1. That's what you get from iPad spell check. A tiddle is a small fish or the dot on top of a lower case i.

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  21. There are many snippy remarks today. Either we have had an upgrade in the quality of trolls or the heat is getting to people.

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    1. Really? Some of them had me laughing out loud.

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