Saturday, July 11, 2009

Sen. Stabenow On Energy and Climate Change


While this is probably a formulaic response to my message urging Sen. Stabenow to consider carefully any vote for a bill that could cause significant economic harm to Michigan, Sen. Stabenow's [staff?] response indicates a chance [snowball in hell] that scientific data and clear thinking could be noticed [before being summarily dismissed].

Politicians 1) are party animals first, 2) have insufficient time to thoroughly understand the complexities of the myriad issues facing votes... even if they wanted to, and 3) are too focused on what passes from the media as correct rather than what may be correct.

Even those who may come to testify before Congress that there is scientific reason to oppose the views of Mr. Gore are (sometimes) listened to politely before they are dismissed. Therefore, the only way to be heard for the rest of us is through the government's email system for senators and representative. Unfortunately, a voting constituent often has little impact when the countering voice is Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid.

Sen. Stabenow's reply:

Mr. Bruce Hall

Thank you . . .

. . . for contacting me about climate change. I understand your concerns.

While I respect your views, I also recognize the growing scientific consensus about climate change. If left unchecked, the effects of climate change include lower water levels in the Great Lakes, threats to fish and wildlife, diminished ability to grow food crops, and an overall threat to our quality of life. That's why we need a balanced, common-sense approach to this problem.

As Congress considers climate change legislation, I am working with my colleagues, especially from the Midwest, to ensure that the finished product works for Michigan. If the final legislation does not work for our state, I will not support it.

That is why I have been leading efforts in the Senate to create a Clean Energy Development Authority to provide financing for cutting-edge new technologies and create jobs. This financing is absolutely critical so that we do not trade a dependence on foreign oil for a dependence on foreign technology.

It's not enough that we simply use green technologies, we have to make them in the United States. A wind turbine is made of over 8,000 individual parts, and all of those parts can be made in Michigan. That's why I'm working to make green manufacturing a central part of our energy strategy. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act included $2 billion for advanced battery research and manufacturing. It also included a new tax credit to promote the manufacture of renewable energy products.

I believe that by making the right policy choices and the right investments, we can reduce greenhouse gas emissions in a way that revitalizes Michigan's economy and creates new jobs.

New energy solutions create new jobs and new industries. We are in the midst of an energy revolution that is creating new opportunities for innovation, investment, and invention. At the same time, we are leaving a cleaner environment for our children, and we are breaking our dangerous addiction to foreign oil.

Because of our strong industrial and agricultural sectors, supported by some of the best research universities in the country, Michigan is in a unique position to lead the nation as we transition to a green energy economy. I will continue to fight for a climate change policy that focuses on creating good-paying jobs and strengthening our economy.

Thank you again for contacting me. Please continue to keep me informed about issues of concern to you and your family.


Debbie Stabenow

United States Senator

For any of you who believe that the political process works... re-read the above response. Remember that the House version was passed without anyone [except Rep. Boehner] actually taking the time to read it.

This is all about saying, "We will save you from yourself... and then come to your rescue when this doesn't work... as long as you vote for us."
Sen. Stabenow, here are three fairly colloquially written sites that explain why this is a wild goose chase. You don't have to be a scientist to understand the information.
These men have about a century of combined work in the field of weather and climate... and more importantly in understanding the quality of the data and models used in those fields. Some(one) on your staff should spend the time to educate themselves so that they can give you a somewhat different perspective on an issue that has become purely political science rather than real science.
But I understand the political game and there is no WIIFM for going against the party line.

I do believe that Sen. Stabenow means well. But there is a vast gulf between intending to do well and doing well in this instance.


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CO2 Cap and Trade

There is always an easy solution to every human problem—neat, plausible, and wrong.
Henry Louis Mencken (1880–1956)
“The Divine Afflatus,” A Mencken Chrestomathy, chapter 25, p. 443 (1949)
... and one could add "not all human problems really are."
It was beautiful and simple, as truly great swindles are.
- O. Henry
... The Government is on course for an embarrassing showdown with the European Union, business groups and environmental charities after refusing to guarantee that billions of pounds of revenue it stands to earn from carbon-permit trading will be spent on combating climate change.
The Independent (UK)

Tracking Interest Rates

Tracking Interest Rates


SEARCH BLOG: FEDERAL RESERVE for full versions... or use the Blog Archive pulldown menu.

February 3, 2006
Go back to 1999-2000 and see what the Fed did. They are following the same pattern for 2005-06. If it ain't broke, the Fed will fix it... and good!
August 29, 2006 The Federal Reserve always acts on old information... and is the only cause of U.S. recessions.
December 5, 2006 Last spring I wrote about what I saw to be a sharp downturn in the economy in the "rustbelt" states, particularly Michigan.
March 28, 2007
The Federal Reserve sees no need to cut interest rates in the light of adverse recent economic data, Ben Bernanke said on Wednesday.
The Fed chairman said ”to date, the incoming data have supported the view that the current stance of policy is likely to foster sustainable economic growth and a gradual ebbing in core inflation”.

July 21, 2007 My guess is that if there is an interest rate change, a cut is more likely than an increase. The key variables to be watching at this point are real estate prices and the inventory of unsold homes.
August 11, 2007 I suspect that within 6 months the Federal Reserve will be forced to lower interest rates before housing becomes a black hole.
September 11, 2007 It only means that the overall process has flaws guaranteeing it will be slow in responding to changes in the economy... and tend to over-react as a result.
September 18, 2007 I think a 4% rate is really what is needed to turn the economy back on the right course. The rate may not get there, but more cuts will be needed with employment rates down and foreclosure rates up.
October 25, 2007 How long will it be before I will be able to write: "The Federal Reserve lowered its lending rate to 4% in response to the collapse of the U.S. housing market and massive numbers of foreclosures that threaten the banking and mortgage sectors."
"Should the elevated turbulence persist, it would increase the possibility of further tightening in financial conditions for households and businesses," he said.

"Uncertainties about the economic outlook are unusually high right now," he said. "These uncertainties require flexible and pragmatic policymaking -- nimble is the adjective I used a few weeks ago."

December 11, 2007 Somehow the Fed misses the obvious.
[Image from:]
December 13, 2007 [from The Christian Science Monitor]
"The odds of a recession are now above 50 percent," says Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's "We are right on the edge of a recession in part because of the Fed's reluctance to reduce interest rates more aggressively." [see my comments of September 11]
January 7, 2008 The real problem now is that consumers can't rescue the economy and manufacturing, which is already weakening, will continue to weaken. We've gutted the forces that could avoid a downturn. The question is not whether there will be a recession, but can it be dampened sufficiently so that it is very short.
January 11, 2008 This is death by a thousand cuts.
January 13, 2008 [N.Y. Times]
“The question is not whether we will have a recession, but how deep and prolonged it will be,” said David Rosenberg, the chief North American economist at Merrill Lynch. “Even if the Fed’s moves are going to work, it will not show up until the later part of 2008 or 2009.
January 17, 2008 A few days ago, Anna Schwartz, nonagenarian economist, implicated the Federal Reserve as the cause of the present lending crisis [from the Telegraph - UK]:
The high priestess of US monetarism - a revered figure at the Fed - says the central bank is itself the chief cause of the credit bubble, and now seems stunned as the consequences of its own actions engulf the financial system. "The new group at the Fed is not equal to the problem that faces it," she says, daring to utter a thought that fellow critics mostly utter sotto voce.
January 22, 2008 The cut has become infected and a limb is in danger. Ben Bernanke is panicking and the Fed has its emergency triage team cutting rates... this time by 3/4%. ...

What should the Federal Reserve do now? Step back... and don't be so anxious to raise rates at the first sign of economic improvement.
Individuals and businesses need stability in their financial cost structures so that they can plan effectively and keep their ships afloat. Wildly fluctuating rates... regardless of what the absolute levels are... create problems. Either too much spending or too much fear. It's just not that difficult to comprehend. Why has it been so difficult for the Fed?

About Me

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Michigan, United States
Air Force (SAC) captain 1968-72. Retired after 35 years of business and logistical planning, including running a small business. Two sons with advanced degrees; one with a business and pre-law degree. Beautiful wife who has put up with me for 4 decades. Education: B.A. (Sociology major; minors in philosopy, English literature, and German) M.S. Operations Management (like a mixture of an MBA with logistical planning)