Daily Archives: November 10, 2012

Matt Ridley: a global warmer turns skeptical


Baby it’s warm outside…

New (to him) data shows that the world was warmer in medieval times than it is today. If it was, then the hypothesis that current temperatures are caused by human’s carbon dioxide emissions is exposed as the faulty reasoning it is. But where’s the surprise in that? Of course it was warmer 1,000 years ago: the Vikings didn’t bring glacier-melting blowtorches when they settled Greenland, crops weren’t under greenhouses when they grew at elevations far higher than is possible today and Raquel Welch wasn’t wearing a fur parka when she strolled up Mt. Everest. School children used to know these things before the nuts took over public education. Today, even adults like Matt Ridley don’t trust their common sense and insist on scientific data to reassure them. And now they have it.

But Ridley misses the point: while he may be surprised to learn that he’s been lied to, that Al Gore’s famous hockey stick temperature graph was a hoax (and exposed as such long, long ago), this whole shuck has nothing to do with saving the planet and everything to do with controlling the populace and getting rich while doing so. Ice Age, Warm Age, the folks behind this hysteria don’t give a shit and have used both as it was convenient. In fact now that hybrids are so popular they’ve gone to that themselves, and coined “climate change” to cover their asses no matter what happens with the weather.

Would someone who truly believed that CO2 emissions were ruining the planet fly his private jet to Bali to attend a conference on global warming? How about if hundreds of celebrities and politicians did so, each in their own jet? Would Al Gore and Bobby Kennedy build themselves 15,000 square foot mansions? Or Babba Streisand?  Would all of Hollywood insist on individual limousines and house trailers on movie sets, would Mayor Mike keep his own SUV running and a window air conditioner sucking up power while he attends five-hour meetings? “They can’t be serious”, you’d say, and you’d be right – they aren’t serious and so they don’t act as if they were. These people aren’t (just) hypocrites, they’re all in on the game. It’s the sheeple who are still in the dark.


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Reminds me of stubborn Greenwich home owners

Union construction workers protest use of non-union workers. Whatever – it’s not my issue, but this caught my eye:

Marino Depina, of Bridgeport, who said he has been working in Stamford since 1978, said it is not right that non-union workers are coming into the city and undercutting his wages.

Depina said he has been out of work since 2008 and needs a job.

So here’s the deal: if you’ve been trying to sell something – your labor, a used car or even your house, and haven’t found a buyer in four years, your price is too high(!). Not that I necessarily blame Mr. Depina for failing to recognize this because after all, some fairly sophisticated investment bankers in Greenwich can’t grasp the concept either, and Depina has something the Greenwich homeowner doesn’t: the hope that his friends in Hartford will force someone to buy what he’s selling. But still, you’d think he’d at least explore the idea of getting off welfare and back to work. Or you’d have thought that before last Tuesday. Hope and change indeed.


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Pretty much what I’ve been thinking

Peter Schiff: Drive the bus off the fiscal cliff and cheer while it falls.

Stripped of its rhetorically charged language the fiscal cliff is simply a legal trigger that will trim the deficit in 2013 by automatically implementing spending cuts and tax increases. In other words, the government will spend less, and more of what it does spend will be paid for with taxes rather than debt. Isn’t this exactly what both parties, and the public, more or less want? The fiscal cliff means that the federal budget deficit will be immediately cut in half, shrinking to approximately $641 billion in 2013 from the approximately $1.1 trillion in 2012. What is so terrible about that? I would argue that there is a greater danger in avoiding the cliff than driving over it.

Of course, Congress will do no such thing. Instead it will renege on its word, paper over the whole mess and shove it all over to 2022 or later. This will be praised as bi-partisanship by regressives and Republicans alike and the nation and the media will return its attention to more important matters, such as the Kardashians.


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Mencken called the election, 96 years ago

We’re screwed

“Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard.”

H.L. Mencken, 1916

I also like this one:

The government consists of a gang of men exactly like you and me. They have, taking one with another, no special talent for the business of government; they have only a talent for getting and holding office. Their principal device to that end is to search out groups who pant and pine for something they can’t get and to promise to give it to them. Nine times out of ten that promise is worth nothing. The tenth time is made good by looting A to satisfy B. In other words, government is a broker in pillage, and every election is sort of an advance auction sale of stolen goods.

  • Prejudices, First Series (1919)


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Bury our wires?

Path to perdition

Here at FWIW a spirited discussion of the issue was conducted among readers (those who still had Internet access, anyway) while Sandy raged outside but now Greenwich Time weighs in. It would cost billions to accomplish state wide – we have 17,000 miles of wires overhead, 6,000 more underground and even then, burial wouldn’t solve the problem, as NYC and even Old Greenwich just discovered.

“The issue of resiliency is the real issue,” said Joe McGee, vice president of policy at the Business Council of Fairfield County and chairman of the panel charged to explore this very issue after the 2011 storms.

“There’s no question, undergrounding does prevent wind damage,” McGee said. “But a storm, when there is a flood, exploits the problem with underground utilities… You realize, `Oh my God, salt water damages underground equipment.'”

And the issue is broader than merely ensuring that back country residents can keep their microwaves humming:

It’s more than just wires; the state needs to look at moving other infrastructure, [McGee] said. Power and sewage treatment plants are on the water. Electric and heating systems are in basements that could be flooded, and major highways and the railroad run next to the water.

Greenwich residents might want to be cautious before pushing for what could turn out to be their own burial: the designated CL&P spokesman points out that “it’s a major undertaking at a very high cost… [and] distribution projects are paid for by the communities that benefit them instead of being shared by all ratepayers, like transmission projects”.

I’m not only suggesting that we would be committing to a project whose cost would dwarf that of any of our other dreams we can’t afford – Byram pool, anyone? Eastern Civic Center? Fire houses? Maintainance of existing parks and infrastructure? – but we’d be opening the door to the introduction of a state-wide project because”why should Greenwich have something the rest of us don’t?” And where do you think Hartford would look for the funds to do that? Fudrucker, call your pal Dannel – there’s another opportunity to soak the rich here.


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So who’d they sell this junk to, and why did anyone buy it?

Where are the bankers in this mug shot?

In the spring of 2011 Groupon’s founders turned down a $6 billion buy-out offer from Google in favor of going public and getting rich(er). Seemed like a pretty stupid decision to anyone who had ever tried a Groupon deal and never gone back, * but hey, Wall Street knows what it’s doing, right? I suppose it does, because a year ago November the ipo came out and enough shares were sold at $20 per that the market capitalization soared to $12.7 billion. The banks who arranged that offering must have made out like bandits, you should pardon the term, and I assume those founders cashed out, but the fundamentals of the company and its business hadn’t changed and the Groupon adventure was bound for an unhappy ending.

If all this was apparent to a lowly dumb real estate agent sitting around in his pajamas drafting indignant screeds about life and politics, who couldn’t figure it out? Or, in view of the upcoming holiday, perhaps the appropriate question is who’d Wall Street find to dump this turkey on?

The stock closed at $2.87  yesterday and is headed to zero. Market value has dropped from that $12.7 billion to $1.81 billion, employees are being shoved overboard en masse and still someone’s out there buying shares and asking for more. Boy will they get it.

* an observation repeated three more times that year.


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