Solar Panel Fraud
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus
Al Gore’s new film, An Inconvenient Sequel, is a bit of a bust drawing fewer paying customers than expected. He’ll have to get friends to force showings of the film in schools. Captive audiences will be force-fed a viewing of out-and-out falsities in living color. They will have no choice but to sit there and take in a collection of misinformation.
One of Gore’s solutions to the non-problems his film describes is capturing energy through the use of solar panels. It sounds good until the costs and a variety of problems are considered. Career electrical engineer Art Crino claims government subsidies for different types of energy collection place solar power in the stratosphere. The handouts provided to obtain one megawatt-hour of electrical energy by burning coal, oil, or natural gas total $0.64. Gaining the same amount of electrical energy using solar panels starts off with subsidies totaling $775.64.
Taxpayer-supplied subsidies aren’t the only hidden cost faced by those seeking to capture energy from sunlight. There’s no sun shining during nighttime or when clouds and storms arrive leading to little or no gathering of energy. Partisans for solar power generation have even admitted that constantly redirecting the angle that solar collectors should be stationed is needed if peak efficiency is to be gained, a costly procedure needing constant maintenance. And the solar power promoters don’t like to be reminded that clearing away the snow after a winter storm might be necessary. Then there are costs associated with storage and transfer of energy acquired during peak hours of sunshine. And don’t forget that manufacturing and installing solar panels plus connecting them electrically and cleaning them regularly isn’t inexpensive.
The nation is being inundated with telephone salesmen seeking commitments to acquire solar power capability for single homes. It’s marvelously inexpensive they tell you while not mentioning the huge subsidies being the reason – which means you and your neighbors are really paying for it via taxation. If you aren’t bothered by unwanted telephone pleas, maybe you’ve been reading advertisements in newspapers or seeing ads on television about the wonder of solar power and its minimal cost to you.
Beyond all of this solar power promotion, you may have been victimized by the propaganda about the harm being done to the planet because “burning fossil fuels pollutes the atmosphere.” The culprit, say the propagandists, is carbon dioxide that causes global warming (or its new label, climate change). But carbon dioxide is food for plants. It isn’t bad; it’s hugely beneficial. As for it affecting the atmosphere, climate scientist Dr. Willie Soon says the amount of carbon dioxide produced nationally by burning fossil fuels is equivalent to adding two more attendees to the 100,000 fans packed into a football stadium. In other words, carbon dioxide produced by burning coal, oil, or natural gas is of little consequence – good or bad.
The United States is sitting on enough oil, natural gas, and coal to take care of our needs for generations – even while exporting to others. A few decades ago, U.S. engineers figured out how to generate electricity by splitting the atom in a nuclear reactor. But bogus scientists and political skullduggery have combined to demonize nuclear power. If France can generate electricity via nuclear plants for 70-plus percent of its electricity needs, why does the U.S. stay mired in less than 20 percent?
And, by the way, a megawatt-hour of electrical energy generated via a nuclear power plant receives a paltry $3.14 in subsidies. Recall the figure given above where the subsidy for the same one megawatt-hour generated by solar power is a whopping $775.64.
America should continue burning fossil fuels and using nuclear power to generate electricity. Those who want solar power should certainly be free to employ it – but without the enormous subsidy it currently relies on.
Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.
Lower Gasoline Prices Provide Motivation for Taxing Carbon Emissions
by JBS President John F. McManus
Lawrence Summers is a past university professor who rose to become President of Harvard University. He served as the Secretary of the Treasury in the George W. Bush administration, then as a top economic advisor to Barack Obama for the first two years of his presidency. A veteran member of the world-government-promoting Council on Foreign Relations, his personal credentials place him at the top among our nation’s liberals, progressives, and internationalists – all of whom love taxes and consider the productive middle class their opponent. His allies in the Washington Post were only too pleased to publish his thoughts in an op-ed on January 5th.
Still speaking out about economic matters even though he no longer has an academic or government perch, he proposed that the decline in the price of each barrel of oil greatly improves chances for imposing a carbon tax on the nation. In other words, don’t let the people who consume increasingly available energy resources enjoy the benefits. He even mentions the real beneficiaries – those who use gasoline for their vehicles and heating oil for their homes – as some sort of culprit. The benefits to be derived from lower energy prices should go to government, not the people, says Summers. And he never even mentioned the other beneficiaries of tumbling oil prices, the factory owners and farmers who produce our goods and harvest our food.
A carbon tax is a must according to this spokesman for bigger government. It must be imposed because energy use is creating global climate change and polluting the air we breathe. He allows no mention of the increasing number who dispute the claims of those insisting that the earth is warming because of human activity, especially those ordinary people who burn fossil fuels. He pontificates that a carbon tax enacted here in the U.S. would be “compatible with World Trade Organization rules.” And enacting one “would be a hugely important symbolic step ahead of the global climate summit in Paris later this year.” That confab is certain to produce recommendations that Lawrence Summers will applaud.
In the lead article of The New American for August 25, 2014, Alex Newman pointed to hard evidence that climate doomsayers are wrong, that the polar ice isn’t melting catastrophically, that sea levels aren’t about to flood coastal areas, and that there is nothing unusual about a warmer summer from time to time. And William Jasper followed Newman’s treatise with statements from several renowned former global warming alarmists who have changed their tune and now reject what they were once stimulated to believe. In other words, the truth is getting out: Global warming or climate change caused by human activity is a myth.
No amount of good sense will deter the likes of Lawrence Summers, Al Gore, Barack Obama, the EPA, or the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The fact is that their unproved theories and assertions are wrong. The two authors named above joined in asserting that “there has been no global warming for the past 17 to 18 years.” This is the conclusion that should be brought before the U.S. Congress to keep its members from acting to correct the nonsense offered by Lawrence Summers and many other believers in a supreme falsehood. In the end, truth will prevail, but only if pains are taken to bring it to light.
Mr. McManus joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966 and has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and now President. He remains the Society’s chief media representative throughout the nation and has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs. Mr. McManus is also Publisher of The New American magazine and author of a number of educational DVDs and books.
Promoters of Questionable Climate Change Losing Clout
By JBS President John F. McManus
Rio de Janeiro played host for the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), more commonly referred to as the Earth Summit. More than 35,000 attendees heard dire predictions about looming environmental disasters. Out of the massive gathering came the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and occasional reports insisting that the earth is warming and it will cause an environmental cataclysm.
The most recent IPCC report arrived only weeks before the May 7th issuance of the U.S. government’s 840-page “National Climate Assessment.” Barack Obama succumbed to the claims of both documents. He insisted that their dire forecasts shouldn’t be looked upon as “some distant problem in the future.” In somber tones, he added: “This is a problem that is affecting Americans right now.” An increasing number of scientists disagree and point to the unreliable computer models on which the conclusions in these reports are based.
For solutions to the problem of “global warming” or “climate change” as it is more recently named, these reports recommend reductions in the burning of fossil fuels because such action produces greenhouse gases which they contend lead to warming, droughts, severe storms, etc. Always do we read about the supposed need for carbon taxes which would, if imposed, result in a diminished supply of electricity and rising costs for fuel consumers. If these recommendations are followed, the impact on our nation’s economy, because we are one of the “worst offenders,” would be catastrophic.
All of the scares from IPCC and the U.S. National Climate Assessment bring to mind the publication in 1968 of Stanford University Professor Paul Ehrlich’s book, “The Population Bomb.” It insisted there would be mass starvation in the 1970s-80s because of overpopulation. To address this supposed problem, Ehrlich recommended severe limitations on population growth. He was certain that “hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now.” Always, the solution to such claims emanating from the environmental fright peddlers is more government and control of the economic life of nations.
Ehrlich’s predictions received huge outpourings of publicity. But he was wrong and we should be thankful that government didn’t grow as fast as he hoped. The book did sell more than two million copies and it contributed greatly to increased concerns – real or imagined – about environmental matters. More recently, in his 2013 book, “What to Expect When No One’s Expecting,” journalist Jonathan Last labeled “The Population Bomb” “one of the most spectacularly foolish books ever published.” Well said!
Environmental doomsayers, however, seem never to cease making predictions based largely on skewed science. They don’t, however, hide their political goals. One result of the Rio conference was the 1997 Kyoto Treaty calling for carbon taxes, diminished use of electricity, and more. Happily, the U.S. never agreed to it. But late next year, there will be another massive gathering of environmentalists in Paris. They will be asked to produce a new climate treaty, one that will surely parallel what came out of Rio, Kyoto, the IPCC, and our own nation’s National Climate Assessment.
It’s doubtful that Paul Ehrlich will be invited to address the Paris conference. Perhaps its program will feature Al Gore who was a star of the 1992 event. As the number of Americans who don’t believe the scaremongers grows – now rising almost to 50 percent – the opportunity to build more government or even world government with highly questionable scientific claims becomes less of a threat. And this is good news.
Take the next step of getting involved: join The John Birch Society today to get started on accomplishing “Less government, more responsibility, and — with God’s help — a better world.”