Climate change

Forget the vampires. Let’s tackle the real monsters.

Forget the vampires. Let’s tackle the real monsters.

Public service announcements on Facebook and Wichita City Channel 7 urge Wichitans to take steps to stop "vampire" power waste. But before hectoring people to introduce inconvenience to their lives in order to save small amounts of electricity, the city should tackle the real monsters of its own creation. People are probably vaguely aware that many modern electrical and electronic devices consume electricity even when switched off. One source estimates that a cell phone charger consumes 0.26 watts of electrical power even when a phone is not plugged in. While in sleep mode, a flat panel computer display consumes 1.39…
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Misguided faith

A big "thank you" to Mike Smith for his rebuttal to an op-ed printed in today's Wichita Eagle. In the commentary, which was signed by more than 60 members of the clergy from across the state, the writer states: "As people of faith, we believe it is our moral responsibility to care for all that has been entrusted to us." I think the moral responsibility of people of faith is to refrain from telling lies. And while we're at it, people of faith should stop using the coercive power of government to force others to conform to their prescriptions for…
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Are you worried about global warming?

Are you worried about global warming?

To the extent that global temperatures are rising, and the extent that mankind is the cause, we should be concerned about global warming. Climate change I meant to say, please excuse me. It's no wonder that the term global warming has been replaced by climate change. As the following two charts show, the models that are in common use by climate scientists have predicted rising temperatures, but actual observations of temperatures have not conformed to predictions. Temperatures have been level in recent years. Here's a simplified chart of the temperatures predicted by climate scientists compared to actual temperatures. A more…
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WichitaLiberty.TV: Government planning, taxes, and carbon

WichitaLiberty.TV: Government planning, taxes, and carbon

In this episode of WichitaLiberty.TV: The City of Wichita held a workshop where the Community Investments Plan Steering Committee delivered a progress report to the city council. The document holds some facts that ought to make Wichitans think, and think hard. Then: What is the purpose of high tax rates on high income earners? Finally: Advances in producing oil and natural gas make for a more competitive and carbon-efficient economy. Episode 33, broadcast March 2, 2014. View below, or click here to view on YouTube.
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American economy is more competitive and carbon-efficient, says economist

American economy is more competitive and carbon-efficient, says economist

The oil and gas boom in America boosts our competitiveness in the world economy while at the same time reducing carbon emissions, says economist Stephen Moore. Moore recently left the Wall Street Journal to accept a position at Heritage Foundation as chief economist. He presented to an audience at a conference titled "The Tax & Regulatory Impact on Industry, Jobs & The Economy, and Consumers" produced by the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity. A large portion of his presentation was on energy and its important role in the economy, and how radical environmentalists -- the "green" movement --…
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Southeast High School decision a test of beliefs

One aspect of the decision whether Wichita High School Southeast should be moved or renovated in place is this: What about the environment? We haven't heard much about this, however. But there are many in Wichita that advocate against urban sprawl. The proposal to move Southeast High from its present location to a proposed site on the fringes of Wichita: This defines urban sprawl. There are also many in Wichita who support the sustainable communities initiative. A core tenet is that we're spending too much on carbon-spewing transportation. The language is couched as "energy use and climate change," but the…
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Government planning, itself, is dangerous

The very existence of a government plan is dangerous, as its construction creates powerful constituencies that have shaped it to fit their needs and are highly motivated to see it implemented. In Sunday's Wichita Eagle, Sedgwick County Commissioner Tim Norton defended the regional community planning initiative underway in south-central Kansas. (Tim Norton: Planning effort helps shape region’s future) Much of the Commissioner's article simply described the program and the need for it in vague generalities that are neither correct or incorrect, and which do little to advance understanding of what is really likely to happen. But Norton did write something…
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FrackNation to tell truth about fracking

Documentary filmmakers Phelim McAleer and Ann McElhinney have produced a feature film that will help America understand the truth about fracking. Fracking -- short for hydraulic fracturing -- is a method of oil and gas production by injecting pressurized fluid into rock formations. Along with horizontal drilling, this technology has lead to a rise in the production of natural gas, leading to much lower prices for consumers, and to the possibility of U.S. exports. FrackNation, the film that McAleer and McElhinney made, is set for premier on AXS TV on January 22, 2013 at 9:00 pm eastern. I spoke to…
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Obama II, from New York Times

The New York Times lays out the agenda for the second term of President Barack Obama. It could be "invigorated," the newspaper writes. The Times editorialists write that now the president "can make real progress on issues neglected in the first." I wonder: Why did he neglect these issues? Then: Obama intends to "build on and improve the significant accomplishments of the last four years." The problem is that these accomplishments are harmful to our country. They harm our economy, they extinguish liberty and freedom, they will lead to less prosperity for everyone. Here's what a second Obama term might…
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Kansas and Wichita quick takes: Thursday March 29, 2012

Sustainable development. Sedgwick County Commissioner Richard Ranzau writes that next week the commission will vote on the issue of sustainable development, and whether Sedgwick County should participate in a planning process. Writes Ranzau: "Sedgwick County will be voting on this issue next Wednesday, April 4th, 2012. Those of you that have concerns about this need to speak up now. Please email and call the commissioners and encourage them to vote NO on this. If you are a property owner, business owner, home owner, builder, developer, farmer, or taxpayer you should strongly oppose this agenda. Now is the time to stop…
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Occupy Koch Town protestors ignore facts

Below, Paul Soutar of Kansas Watchdog provides more evidence that the campaign against Wichita-based Koch Industries regarding their alleged involvement in the Keystone XL pipeline is not based on facts. Besides this article, U.S. Representative Mike Pompeo of Wichita has also written on this issue in The Democrats continue unjustified attacks on taxpayers and job creators. Another inconvenient fact is that if the Canadian oil is not sold to the U.S., it will be sold to and consumed in China. If we are concerned about greenhouse gas emissions leading to climate change, it should be noted that it doesn't matter…
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Kansas Governor Sam Brownback on wind energy

Recently Kansas Governor Sam Brownback wrote an editorial praising the benefits of wind power. (Gov. Sam Brownback: Wind offers clean path to growth, September 11, 2011 Wichita Eagle) Brownback has also been supportive of another form of renewable energy, ethanol. But not everyone agrees with the governor's rosy assessment of wind power. Paul Chesser of American Tradition Institute offers a rebuttal of Brownback's article, which first appeared in a Bloomberg publication. Chesser writes: "Apparently Gov. Brownback has overlooked the horrid results of efforts in recent years to spur the economy and employment with government renewable energy 'stimulation' from taxpayer dollars.…
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KDHE, Sunflower Electric, Earthjustice, Center for Climate Strategies: different peas in the same pod

Evidence that a business seeking regulatory approval of its project enjoyed an apparently close relationship with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment should not be surprising. Reporting in the Kansas City Star leads with "Hundreds of emails document that officials of a Kansas power plant enjoyed a cozy relationship with the Kansas regulators who issued them a building permit in December." (Kansas agency, utility worked closely on permit for plant) A press release from Earthjustice, the legal advocacy arm of the Sierra Club, proclaimed "A new report reveals Sunflower Electric (Sunflower) enjoyed a cozy relationship with Kansas regulators during…
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Kansas and Wichita quick takes: Friday June 24, 2011

RightOnline may not follow Netroots. The Netroots Nation conference, tired of having the free market-based RightOnline follow them each year, has maneuvered to block RightOnline from following them to Providence next year. Will it work? More at Netroots Nation Strives To Keep Right Online Away From Next Year’s Convention. Ann McElhinney. Speaking at last week's free market-based RightOnline conference in Minneapolis, filmmaker Ann McElhinney addressed the general session and spoke against CINOs: Conservatives In Name Only, which she defined as anyone who thinks we should subsidize industry, anyone who believes that humans control the weather, anyone who thinks we should…
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Kansas and Wichita quick takes: Monday June 13, 2011

Wichita City Council. This week the Wichita City Council considers these items: The council will deliberate a contract in the amount of $50,000 with the Kansas World Trade Center for economic development services. KWTC's mission is to "promote and facilitate international trade through education, communication and research." ... The council will be asked to approve cultural funding allocations approved by the Cultural Funding Committee. The source of these funds is the city's dedicated property tax for the arts, which is estimated to bring in $3,165,897 next year. The best thing the council could do for citizens is to forgo this…
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Kansas and Wichita quick takes: Monday May 23, 2011

Wichita City council. As it is the fourth Tuesday of the month, the Wichita City Council handles only consent agenda items. The council will also hold a workshop. Consent agendas are usually reserved for items thought to be of non-controversial nature. Today's Wichita Eagle spotlights one item where the city is proposing to hire an outside firm to inspect the roof of the airport for damage from last September's storm. Some, including Council Member Michael O'Donnell (district 4, south and southwest Wichita) wonder why the city can't do the inspection with it's own engineering staff and resources. ... Of further…
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Kansas and Wichita quick takes: Tuesday May 3, 2011

Why not school choice in Kansas? WhyNotKansas.com is a website that holds information about the benefits of giving families the freedom of school choice. The site is new this week, and is a project of Kansas Policy Institute and Foundation for Educational Choice. Innovation in school choice programs is common in many states. Kansas, however, still grants the education bureaucracy a monopoly on the use of public dollars in education. Economics in one lesson this Monday. On Monday (May 9), four videos based on Henry Hazlitt's classic work Economics in One Lesson will be shown in Wichita. The four topics…
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Study looks at spending, strategy in cap and trade debate

While those who advocate cap and trade legislation charge that conservatives, particularly Charles and David Koch, have outspent them, a study finds the opposite. According to American University Professor Matthew Nisbet, in 2009 environmental groups spent $394 million on climate change and energy policy efforts such as promoting cap and trade. Opposition groups spent $259 million. Information like this helps place the reports of conservative spending, including that of Charles and David Koch, in perspective. Without this, we're left with the one-sided reports from Greenpeace and the New Yorker magazine, in which numbers are mentioned without -- or with little…
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Who benefits, loses from regulation?

A Powerline post discusses the Upton-Imhofe bill, which would bar the EPA from regulating carbon dioxide emissions. The article quotes Ranking Democrat Henry Waxman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce as stating this bill benefits "big polluters like Koch Industries." But who really benefits from the regulation of greenhouse gases? First, large companies do. They are better able to absorb the costs of regulation than their smaller competitors. This is why we often see big business promoting increased regulation. It places their smaller competitors at a disadvantage. As Koch Industries is a large company, it is in a…
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More left-liberal environmental hypocrisy

This time it's Robert Redford caught in a few "do as I say, not as I do" moments. He opposes environmentally-friendly development near a vineyard he owns, as reported in the New York Times: "Robert Redford, the actor and environmental superhero, is a vocal supporter of renewable power and sustainable growth -- but it seems that doesn’t include a proposal for an ecofriendly housing development in his corner of the Napa Valley." But if you have $1,975,000 he'll sell you a lot for a luxury vacation home. He campaigns against the use of oil -- while at the same time…
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