Al Gore comes for your dryer?

The web site for Al Gore’s movie An Inconvenient Truth recommends that you:

Use a clothesline instead of a dryer whenever possible

You can save 700 pounds of carbon dioxide when you air dry your clothes for 6 months out of the year.

But University of Montreal researcher Emanuela Cardia points out in a new study entitled “Household Technology: Was it the Engine of Liberation?” that,

… ownership of washing machines, dryers and freezers increased the presence of married women in the labor market.

Green doesn’t sound very liberating, does it?

Solar pays off — for monk-ish couple

The Washington Post reported today that,

While people around him fret about their escalating utility bills and vent at their politicians, Al Schnoebelen looks out his triple-paned living room window and feels pretty lucky.

Last month’s energy charges from Delmarva Power? A mere $3.35. With taxes and surcharges more than doubling the bill, Schnoebelen wrote a check this week for a whopping $10.65.

And that was relatively high. Before a failing propane freezer was replaced with an electric one last year, Schnoebelen and his wife, Nancy, paid about 35 cents a month before taxes.

The couple’s 2,000-square-foot, two-bedroom Eastern Shore bungalow has been powered by the sun for 19 years.

What did their system cost? According to the Post,

The solar system cost $4,200. It was shipped in a box from a California company: three batteries and transformers to convert the sun’s low-voltage power to AC current. The company went out of business when the solar fad of the 1970s and 1980s faded.

But things have changed over the last 20 years:

Today, there’s new technology for those who follow the Schnoebelens’ path. But the start-up costs are significant, at $8,000 to $40,000, depending on how much power the system produces, officials with the Maryland Energy Administration said.

Moreover, do you really want to live like the Schnoebelens? According to the Post article,

The Schnoebelens live simply — no Internet, no cellphone, no answering machine, no cable on the TV.

Steve Milloy’s new book, Green Hell: How Environmentalists Plan to Control Your Life and What You Can Do to Stop Them, spotlights how the greens want to permanently rollback your standard of living.

$23,000 for personal windmill hypocrisy

The Washington Post reported this morning,

As smoke rose from the power plant just across Cuckold Creek, one of the first residential windmills in Maryland began providing the Elliott-Robinson home with a greener source of electricity yesterday.

The couple spent $23,000 to put up a personal windmill in their back yard, which will decrease their dependence on the traditional power grid and the power plant whose smokestacks loom over their home in Charles County.

Of course, when the hot summer days arrive and the wind doesn’t blow, the Elliott-Robinsons will likely be sitting in the comfort of the air conditioning provided courtesy of those looming smokestacks — adding to the Washington, D.C.-area demand problem.

AT&T falls for green vehicle scam

AT&T announced that it will spend $565 million over 10 years buying 8,000 natural gas-powered vehicles and repairing/replacing 7,100 hybrids.

The company said it would pay, on average, $29,000 more per vehicle, costs which it “hopes” will be offset by lower fuel costs in six-to-10 years, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

No doubt the purchase of natural gas vehicles will make T. Boone Pickens happy as he owns the largest supplier of natural gas for vehicles.

The CEOs of FedEx, ExxonMobil and the American Trucking Association, however, have a different view on natural gas vehicles.

As to the value of a hybrid corporate fleet, FedEx CEO Fred Smith told his shareholders at the 2006 annual meeting that hybrids did not make economic sense. Smith blamed politics and the the “cult” of environmentalism for making people do things they otherwise wouldn’t.

Michigan jobs: Wind no substitute for cars

The Financial Times reported today that Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm wants to,

transform Michigan from one of the Rust Belt’s bleakest corners to a mecca for green industries as the state loses tens of thousands of jobs in the car industry.

But Granholm acknowledges that alternative industries will only create about 109,000 jobs, compared to the 400,000 jobs lost in carmaking.

Wayne State University professor Jack Lessenberry observed,

“Windpower… will never employ people in the numbers needed.”

Maybe Granholm should lobby for expanding the supply of cheap gasoline so that people go back to buying Michigan’s most profitable product: the SUV.

‘Heroic’ hybrid drivers

Honda is introducing the first under-$20,000 hybrid, according to the Financial Times.

Honda is trying to drawer buyers away from the Toyota Prius. It hopes to accomplish this with the Insight — a less expensive, but smaller and less efficient car than the Prius.

The Financial Times noted that,

Even at the peak price of more than $4 a gallon, a Prius buyer would have to have driven a heroic 200,000 miles to earn back the price difference with the Insight through better mileage alone.

Take action:

Buy an SUV.

Green land grab narrowly fails in House

A green-supported bill to put another 2 million acres in nine states off limits to energy production failed in the House yesterday by two votes. House Republicans, noting that the move would cost up to $10 billion and block oil and gas development on millions of acres of federal property, prevented Democrats from getting the necessary two-thirds vote.

The lands are located in Oregon, Virginia, California, Colorado, Idaho, Michigan, New Mexico, Utah and West Virginia.

The Washington Post reported today that House Democrats pan to bring the bill up again, but the timing is unclear.

The Senate passed the bill (S. 22) in January.

From the Majority Tracker blog:

Rep. S. 22 is being considered under a special suspension process that suspends all House rules. This process is reserved for noncontroversial bills, limits debate to only 40 minutes and does not allow any amendments. So essentially, members were forced to vote yay or nay without the bill undergoing the scrutiny of the normal legislative process.

Take action:

Here’s who-voted-how in the House.

Tell your congressman to oppose the S.22 land-grab because we need to “Drill here, Drill now.”

Kerry: Climate delay is a ‘mutual suicide pact’

Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) said today that deferring potentially costly actions to combat climate change because of the global economic slump amounted to “a mutual suicide pact,” according to an Agence France Presse report.

Just last week, Kerry said that the most stringent CO2 regulation proposed so far wouldn’t work.

Who knows what Kerry will say next week?

Although it is unfortunate that billionaire T. Boone Pickens seems to have lost his mind since 2004, at least he had it long enough to help make sure that Kerry didn’t become president.

Corporate greenwashing of the day

In a March 5 presentation to investment analysts, ExxonMobil stated that,

We continue to take steps to reduce hydrocarbon flaring in our Upstream operations, and our 2008 performance represents significant improvement in this area. In 2008, flaring was about 30% lower than in 2007, and we expect to further reduce our Upstream hydrocarbon flaring volume from 2008 levels by over 20% in the next few years as planned projects are implemented.

Actions like these taken since 2005 resulted in reductions in greenhouse gas emissions of more than 7 million tonnes in the year 2008. This is equivalent to taking 1.4 million cars off the roads in the United States. In our current operations and in the development of projects for the future, we are working to Protect Tomorrow. Today. [Emphasis added]

Unless ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson really thinks that CO2 emissions threaten “Tomorrow” — in which case he should cease company operations “Today” — he should knock off the corny, over-the-top greenwash.

Such nonsensical language does not inform shareholders so much as it deceives into believing that the company is being run by capable and competent executives. Such language simply plays into the hands of the greens and possibly trial lawyers — after all, isn’t ExxonMobil essentially admitting that its operations endanger us?

Last week, we cheered ExxonMobil for committing $150 billion over the next five years to oil and gas exploration. So based on the ExxonMobil statement, would that be $150 billion invested to release even more CO2 into the atmosphere?

C’mon Rex. The greens are out to destroy your industry. As long as you and fellow CEOs insist on pretending that global warming is about the environment rather than a direct attack on our free enterprise system and individual liberties, my money is on the greens winning.

You can click here to listen to Steve Milloy trying to defend ExxonMobil at the company’s 2008 annual meeting of shareholders.

Steve Milloy’s new book Green Hell: How Environmentalists Plan to Control Your Life and What You Can Do to Stop Them spotlights how CEO cowardice permits the greens to use capitalism against capitalism.

Green building rip-off?

The Village of Homer Glen, a Chicago suburb, recently held a meeting to sell “green building” to local builders.

The local news article covering the event was titled, “Going green could equal more green for builders” — a title that ought to given you an idea of who the only beneficiaries of green building are. The article reported,

Homes built with “green” and energy-efficient products are more likely to receive LEED certification and thus become more attractive to potential buyers, Homer Glen Chief Building Official Steve Wydeveld told roughly 30 builders at the meeting.

“It might cost a little more money to [use energy-saving products and have your home] become LEED certified, but I really think buyers look at efficiency when choosing a home,” Wydeveld said. “Down the road you will be saving them money and helping the environment.”

But there’s really no evidence that green building saves money on any sort of reasonable time scale. There’s also no evidence that green building helps the environment in any meaningful way.

The only thing that’s not illusory about “green” building is that it is just another marketing scam.

Steve Milloy’s new book Green Hell: How Environmentalists Plan to Control Your Life and What You Can Do to Stop Them discusses how green is all pain and no gain.

‘Greening the ghetto’ activist joins Obama admin

The San Francisco Chronicle reported today that,

Bay Area environmental activist and author Van Jones will join the Obama administration as adviser for green jobs, enterprise and innovation, the White House Council on Environmental Quality announced Tuesday.

Jones is touted as having “rock-star status with the green jobs movement” for advocating “greening the ghetto.”

Check out what Rich Sweeney had to say about “greening the ghetto” at the Common Tragedies blog.

Green-supported LOST torpedoes U.S Navy

The Wall Street Journal editorialized today that the recent Chinese harassment of an unarmed U.S. Navy ship demonstrates how the Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST) threatens U.S. national security.

While President Reagan “sank” the treaty, as the WSJ notes, President Obama wants to sign it. President Obama has apparently decided that the time has come for the sea to “give up her dead.”

Steve Milloy’s new book Green Hell: How Environmentalists Plan to Control Your Life and What You Can Do to Stop Them spotlights the LOST and green support for it.