There are days when I have to wonder what O’Guvnah is up to. Not two months after calling a totally unneeded and worthless Special Session that launched a new round of rapacious and devastating taxation on the State of Maryland, O’Guvnah is now in the process of screwing over every single Maryland regardless of class, color, race, creed, or income level.
His three energy bills are by far the worst example of legislative and governmental overreach in the history of this state. All three bills would result in a substantially hostile energy market in Maryland for residential and commercial consumers alike, leading to dramatically higher prices, substantially less generation, and woefully inadequate transmission capacity. While presented as an “heroic” approach to conquer the mythological scourge of global warming, these energy bills will kill businesses, kill jobs, kill our way of life, and even kill quite a few Marylanders.
I say mythological scourge of global warming, because so far in the 21st century, all of the predictions of the vaunted computer models that have led us down this dandelion path. In fact, the evidence is arguing in quite the opposite direction:
From the National Post in Canada:
Snow cover over North America and much of Siberia, Mongolia and China is greater than at any time since 1966.
The U.S. National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) reported that many American cities and towns suffered record cold temperatures in January and early February. According to the NCDC, the average temperature in January "was -0.3 F cooler than the 1901-2000 (20th century) average."
China is surviving its most brutal winter in a century. Temperatures in the normally balmy south were so low for so long that some middle-sized cities went days and even weeks without electricity because once power lines had toppled it was too cold or too icy to repair them.
There have been so many snow and ice storms in Ontario and Quebec in the past two months that the real estate market has felt the pinch as home buyers have stayed home rather than venturing out looking for new houses.
In just the first two weeks of February, Toronto received 70 cm of snow, smashing the record of 66.6 cm for the entire month set back in the pre-SUV, pre-Kyoto, pre-carbon footprint days of 1950.
And remember the Arctic Sea ice? The ice we were told so hysterically last fall had melted to its "lowest levels on record? Never mind that those records only date back as far as 1972 and that there is anthropological and geological evidence of much greater melts in the past.
The ice is back.
Gilles Langis, a senior forecaster with the Canadian Ice Service in Ottawa, says the Arctic winter has been so severe the ice has not only recovered, it is actually 10 to 20 cm thicker in many places than at this time last year.
And from Investor’s Business Daily earlier this month:
Back in 1991, before Al Gore first shouted that the Earth was in the balance, the Danish Meteorological Institute released a study using data that went back centuries that showed that global temperatures closely tracked solar cycles.
To many, those data were convincing. Now, Canadian scientists are seeking additional funding for more and better "eyes" with which to observe our sun, which has a bigger impact on Earth's climate than all the tailpipes and smokestacks on our planet combined.
And they're worried about global cooling, not warming.
Kenneth Tapping, a solar researcher and project director for Canada's National Research Council, is among those looking at the sun for evidence of an increase in sunspot activity.
Solar activity fluctuates in an 11-year cycle. But so far in this cycle, the sun has been disturbingly quiet. The lack of increased activity could signal the beginning of what is known as a Maunder Minimum, an event which occurs every couple of centuries and can last as long as a century.
Such an event occurred in the 17th century. The observation of sunspots showed extraordinarily low levels of magnetism on the sun, with little or no 11-year cycle.
This solar hibernation corresponded with a period of bitter cold that began around 1650 and lasted, with intermittent spikes of warming, until 1715. Frigid winters and cold summers during that period led to massive crop failures, famine and death in Northern Europe.
Tapping reports no change in the sun's magnetic field so far this cycle and warns that if the sun remains quiet for another year or two, it may indicate a repeat of that period of drastic cooling of the Earth, bringing massive snowfall and severe weather to the Northern Hemisphere.
So, I say “mythological”, because we cannot prove that global warming can be cured by drastically overreacting and cutting so-called greenhouse gas emissions by so much in such a short period. That is the major thrust of these three energy bills: they are environmental bills trying to solve a problem that we still have not determined mankind can solve.
In the meantime, O’Guvnah’s new strategy is to force massive restriction (not conservation, outright restriction) down our throats in a fascist and totalitarian move. In this effort, O’Guvnah and his incompetent six-figure dark lords of the Public Service Commission will force us all into costly and dangerous schemes with the full faith and credit of the major utilities in the state, including Delmarva Power, BGE, PEPCO, and Allegheny Power. People will freeze in their homes, or die from CO poisoning (by heating their houses with gas ovens) or die in fires. Or they may die from heat stroke and exhaustion in Maryland’s brutal summers.
But O’Guvnah will be all comfy in Government House. And you can bet his legions of bureacrats will be comfy in their Hagar slacks, Arrow shirts, and poly-knit ties.
Marylanders of all stripes will pay more for energy every month than their car payments, but O’Guvnah will sleep well at night beside whatever TV news reporter he is bunking with (or Mrs. O’Judge) knowing that he is making the planet safe from all those greenhouse gases.
Just in case you are wondering, Maryland represents only 1% of all greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. Which means that any impact on our emissions will be only negligible (not even nominal) upon the larger climate issue. But the cost to Marylanders will be ASTRONOMICAL.
O’Guvnah even admits his initiatives will result in higher costs. But he counter-argues that Marylanders will be conserving SO MUCH that their overall bills will be lower. I believe that argument is facile. In fact, I think he KNOWS that he is lying out of his Irish ass. The fact is that most Marylanders are already conserving as much as they can.
I no longer keep the exterior of my house well-lit at night. I’ve cut back the heat to the point where I keep the house about 58 degrees in the winter. (I have electric heat). I’ve unplugged every electrical appliance I can where I think there is a benefit. Because I rent, getting a gas dryer or gas hot water heater is not an option for me. Because of the house (old log cabin), force hot water fed from an oil or gas burner is not an option. I just cannot get my consumption below 1800 kWh.
Unless, of course, I stopped working from home as a telecommuter. But then, that would be one more car on the road, generating carbon monoxide AND carbon dioxide, spilling oil and other chemicals, and requiring more gasoline AND ethanol than I currently use. That would actually be a lot more. I would go from filling up with 13-14 gallons every 2.5 weeks to 13-14 gallons every 5 days.
Which option do you think is better for the environment?
And that brings me to the second part of my point that O’Guvnah is a lying, thieving idiot. Maryland has some of the worst traffic in the country. Baltimore is ranked in the top ten for congestion. All of that congestion is BAD for the environment. Very bad. That is more cars consuming more gasoline. That is more cars exhausting more carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide. That is more cars – usually idling in traffic jams, where they are their most inefficient – using more fuel and depositing more pollutants.
Why not get those people off the roads? Why not use the “government’s heavy hand” (if you must use it at all) to push people who COULD telecommute into telecommuting jobs. Technology allows this. If you call our office in Florida, and type in my extension, you are forwarded to Maryland, and you don’t even know it. If I call you on my business line, it shows as a Florida number. Between VOIP, FTP, VPN, and the Web, I can get more done in a day out of the office than I do in a week IN the office.
Keeping people AT HOME means less travel, less pollution, less lost productivity. It also means that you can concentrate on fixing the REAL problems of emissions and air quality issues at a large macro level. Like mercury. And fly ash. And carbon monoxide. And sulphur. It is much easier for the Maryland Department of the Environment to deal with a few dozen power plants than it is to deal with several million cars.
But to do that, electricity has be affordable, plentiful, and reliable. And O’Guvnah’s energy bills don’t hit any of those points. Under O’Guvnah, a seventy-two percent rate increase will seem like the good old days. Especially when you are cutting up furniture for firewood so your kids toes won’t fall off and their clothes will be dry.
Crossposted at www.gunpowderchronicle.com