Was reading this article in the Wall Street Journal when I remembered this song from Dire Straits, where they said that to make real money you should be a rocker instead of someone with a real job, say, selling appliances:
We got to install microwave ovens
Custom kitchen deliveries
We got to move these refrigerators
We got to move these color TV’s
Now that ain’t workin’ that’s the way you do it
You play the guitar on that MTV
That ain’t workin’ that’s the way you do it
Money for nothin’ and your chicks for free
More on the song in a moment; first let’s talk about the article:
Climategate: Follow the Money
Climate change researchers must believe in the reality of global warming just as a priest must believe in the existence of God.
Climategate, as readers of these pages know, concerns some of the world’s leading climate scientists working in tandem to block freedom of information requests, blackball dissenting scientists, manipulate the peer-review process, and obscure, destroy or massage inconvenient temperature data—facts that were laid bare by last week’s disclosure of thousands of emails from the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit, or CRU.
But the deeper question is why the scientists behaved this way to begin with, especially since the science behind man-made global warming is said to be firmly settled. To answer the question, it helps to turn the alarmists’ follow-the-money methods right back at them.
Consider the case of Phil Jones, the director of the CRU and the man at the heart of climategate. According to one of the documents hacked from his center, between 2000 and 2006 Mr. Jones was the recipient (or co-recipient) of some $19 million worth of research grants, a sixfold increase over what he’d been awarded in the 1990s.
Why did the money pour in so quickly? Because the climate alarm kept ringing so loudly: The louder the alarm, the greater the sums. And who better to ring it than people like Mr. Jones, one of its likeliest beneficiaries?
Thus, the European Commission’s most recent appropriation for climate research comes to nearly $3 billion, and that’s not counting funds from the EU’s member governments. In the U.S., the House intends to spend $1.3 billion on NASA’s climate efforts, $400 million on NOAA’s, and another $300 million for the National Science Foundation. The states also have a piece of the action, with California—apparently not feeling bankrupt enough—devoting $600 million to their own climate initiative. In Australia, alarmists have their own Department of Climate Change at their funding disposal.
And all this is only a fraction of the $94 billion that HSBC Bank estimates has been spent globally this year on what it calls “green stimulus”—largely ethanol and other alternative energy schemes—of the kind from which Al Gore and his partners at Kleiner Perkins hope to profit handsomely.
That doesn’t include the $1.5 million Al got from his Nobel Prize, by the way.
It also doesn’t include wasteful government programs like the upcoming $300 million dollars’ worth “cash for appliances”: ‘Cash for Clunkers,’ household edition
Program expected to boost appliance sales as economy drags
Supported by $300 million from the economic stimulus, the program will offer rebates to consumers who buy energy-efficient refrigerators, dishwashers, air conditioners and other appliances to replace their older models.
The timing will make a difference:
Although the $787 billion stimulus program was signed by Obama in February of 2009, much of the cash-for-appliances money won’t hit the streets until next February, March or April. The rebate program is being run by state governments, which must define and enact their rebate plans with federal government funding and approval. A survey of some of the largest states shows that California is planning to begin its program in March, New York in February, Pennsylvania in the spring, Illinois in January and April.
Under the program, Virginia is expected to receive $7.5 million, Maryland $5.4 million and the District $568,000, but the requirements and rebates have not yet been disclosed.
As Ed pointed out the other day,
This is called price signaling, and consumers would be crazy to ignore it.
Yes, indeed. Still, do you expect you’ll be able to replace your small fridge for a full-size Sub-Zero with what you’ll get from the “cash for appliances”? Nope:
While the programs will vary by state, some of the proposed rebates that have been announced so far range from $50 to $100 per appliance.
That $100 won’t go far if you have to pay for having the old fridge removed and the new one delivered.
The bottom line on all this “green”, global-warming related spending is budgetary policy made to spend huge sums of money are on what has been shown to be a fraud – the premise of anthropogenic global warming.
Think about it: $300 million to be spent on subsidizing appliance purchases to the tune of $100 per appliance? Do you expect that 3 million appliances are going to be replaced? Heck no, instead it’ll go down the sinkhole of government bureaucracy, bankrupt businesses that the government has found it expedient to bail out, and vested interests that exist in what the WSJ calls “an ecosystem of their own”
Today these groups form a kind of ecosystem of their own. They include not just old standbys like the Sierra Club or Greenpeace, but also Ozone Action, Clean Air Cool Planet, Americans for Equitable Climate Change Solutions, the Alternative Energy Resources Association, the California Climate Action Registry and so on and on. All of them have been on the receiving end of climate change-related funding, so all of them must believe in the reality (and catastrophic imminence) of global warming just as a priest must believe in the existence of God.
None of these outfits is per se corrupt, in the sense that the monies they get are spent on something other than their intended purposes. But they depend on an inherently corrupting premise, namely that the hypothesis on which their livelihood depends has in fact been proved. Absent that proof, everything they represent—including the thousands of jobs they provide—vanishes. This is what’s known as a vested interest, and vested interests are an enemy of sound science.
But back to the “cash for appliances”: Supposedly, it is based on the assumption that for every $92,000 expended, one job would be created.
Well, maybe Dire Straits was wrong in saying there’s no big bucks to be made in appliances, after all.