Claire’s, the cosmetic and accessories company for young women, recently recalled nine cosmetic products because a mother had tested her six-year-old daughter’s makeup kit containing lip gloss and eyeshadow and said she found tremolite asbestos.
“I physically sank,” said [Kristi] Warner. “I ended up sitting on the ground, just trying to wrap my head around how something like that could end up in our home.”
Relating to today’s debate about fossil fuels versus renewable fuels, here is what The Times of London said about a similar debate over coal versus renewables:
Coal is everything to us. Without coal, our factories will become idle, our foundries and workshops be still as the grave; the locomotive will rust in the shed, and the rail be buried in the weeds. Our streets will be dark, our houses uninhabitable. Our rivers will forget the paddlewheel, and we shall again be separated by days from France, by months for the United States. The post will lengthen its periods and protract its dates. A thousand special arts and manufacturers, one by one, then in a crowd, will fly the empty soil, as boon companions are said to disappear when the cask is dry.
People forget that the world was powered entirely by renewable energy until fossil fuels and later nuclear fuel came along. The truth is that today’s attacks on fossil fuels and the push for subsidies for renewable fuels are tantamount to asking for a return to the days described by The Times.
Residential electricity prices have steadily increased for years, up more than 15 percent in the United States (not including Texas) since 2004. A newly released U.S. Department of Energy report on electricity markets and reliability makes it clear that renewable energy subsidies are contributing significantly to the increasing cost—and the decreasing reliability—of the national electric grid.
Yet the report stops short of making the most obvious recommendations to address this challenge—eliminating the subsidies and forcing renewable energy generators to pay for the costs they impose on the grid because of their intermittency and unreliability.
Unless the federal government and the states eliminates these policies, we will find ourselves suffering through energy poverty—a sharply reduced standard of living caused by high energy costs—in the future.
Why in the world would National Review say that, “Republicans ought to promote new energy technologies in order to reduce the risks of global warming?” I can’t think of a good reason.
Yet that is exactly what it does in an article by Ramesh Ponnuru, “Contractual Obligations,” that discusses the need for a new “Contract for America.”
Is it because, as Mr. Ponnuru points out, people worry about global warming? Well, people worry about not being able to pay their mortgages, but that doesn’t mean we should support massive government bailouts. Except that NR supported the Bush bailout plan as well.
According to the Cato Institute, federal subsidy programs topped the 2,000 mark for the first time last week. Almost half of those have been created in the last 20 years: the number of federal subsidy programs soared 21 percent during the 1990s and 40 percent during the 2000s.
As Chris Edwards, Cato’s director of tax policy, rather depressingly puts it, “There is a federal subsidy program for every year that has passed since Emperor Augustus held sway in Rome. We’ve gone from bread and circuses to food stamps, the National Endowment for the Arts, and 1,999 other hand-out programs from the imperial city on the Potomac.”
Of course, Washington isn’t alone in the subsidy game. Texas does pretty well too. In addition to the standard economic development programs, Texas is tops in the nation when it comes to renewable energy subsidies. By 2020, Texas consumers could be paying as much $1.3 billion a year to support wind energy—that is in addition to the $300 million or so the Feds are contributing to Texas wind producers. The solar folks are also lining up—the cost of proposed solar subsidies last session ran as high as $220 million. And they’ll all be back in 2011.
It would be nice in this one instance if we could topple Texas from its number one ranking.
“Some scholars believe that the spread of democracy, which then put land ownership and wealth in the hands of many, and the Industrial Revolution, which made the mass production of goods possible and spread wealth throughout society, are at the root of the environmental crisis,” and “By destroying paganism, white Christianity helped to exploit nature.” – Environmental Science: Creating a Sustainable Future, a high school textbook published in 2001 by Jones and Bartlett