Inactivist business leaders push climate delay

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"Inactivist business leaders push climate delay"

I’m not exactly certain why this qualifies as news, but E&ENews PM just ran the story, “Economic revival should precede carbon caps, business leaders say.” Dog bites man.

I previously noted that lots of people who apparently never believed in serious climate action have been taking the opportunity of the economic slowdown to say we must back off intelligent emissions controls (see here).

Well, you’ll never guess who else is in the inactivist club:

“I think President-elect Obama believes turning the economy around is his first mission,” the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s top lobbyist, R. Bruce Josten, told reporters today. “He realizes that imposing a climate change structure right out of the gate would be one of the biggest taxes you could put on this economy, the weight of which may send it down further.”

The National Association of Manufacturers’ president and CEO, John Engler, came to a similar conclusion in a post-election press conference yesterday, saying the next administration must focus initially on expanding domestic oil drilling, nuclear power production and alternative energy manufacturing and installation.

[Note to Engler: Since apparently you've been on the space station for the past few days, let me just clue you in -- Your guy didn't win.]

“The [climate] debate will proceed cautiously as we look at the global economy,” Engler said.

“The energy issue has to be resolved almost as a precondition to get the climate issue resolved,” Engler added. “In this country, you can’t shut down more than half of the power from coal with nothing to replace it.”

These quotes are triply inane:

  1. The Chamber and NAM have always opposed climate action. The recession is just another in a long series of excuses for delay.
  2. An Obama climate bill is exceedingly unlikely to impose a “climate structure” that kicks in before 2012, long after Obama has dug us out of the Bush depression.
  3. Actually, while shutting down all existing coal plants immediately is not the goal of any climate bill likely to be under consideration, we already have more than enough technologies to replace it (see “Is 450 ppm possible? Part 5: Old coal’s out, can’t wait for new nukes, so what do we do NOW?” and “An introduction to the core climate solutions“).

The chamber’s president and CEO, Tom Donohue has some especially laughable quotes in this article:

With the likelihood of a long and deep U.S. recession, Donohue said Obama should “do no harm” during his first 100 days in office….

“He should figure out what he can do to add to the strength of this ecomony, because none of his hopes and plans for the future are at all possible unless we have a vibrant economy,” Donohue said.

Where the heck was Donohue with his “do no harm” nonsense during the last eight years? Un-friggin-real!

Like Engler, Donohue seems to have been on the space station for quite some time, completely unaware that the American people have already made their decision as to which policies they want enacted to get us out of this “long and deep US recession.” It starts with an aggressive clean energy effort, and it includes strong action on the global warming.

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21 Responses to Inactivist business leaders push climate delay

  1. David B. Benson says:

    Well, they are certainly spacey, but there is no station in sight. :-)

  2. Tilo says:

    In the two days since Obama gave his victory speech the DOW has fallen 930 points, or about 11 percent. Yesterday’s fall of 485 points is an all time record for a post election day DOW dump. That 930 points represents somewhere close to 2 trillion in lost value. Anyone who thinks that that kind of thing can be ignored is definitely living on a space station.

    The poetic justice that I see in all of this is that Obama will have to deal with a problem that he had a large hand in creating. The current economic melt down was triggered by the subprime loan crisis. And Obama has been a huge supporter of subprime loans. In fact, the law firm that he once worked for sued companies that refused to give subprime loans. He was also a big supporter of the corrupt Fannie May and Freddie Mac CEOs that made themselves wealthy while buying up subprime loans and bankrupting those organizations.

    [JR: Honestly, you folks lost the election peddling such nonsense. Time to get over it. Here's a bet. $1000 says the stock market will rise more during Obama's presidency than your beloved Bush's presidency. Interested? Or are you just blowing smoke with this post.]

  3. Greg says:

    Heh, that’s a bet you’ll win easily Joe. Of course you need to define the terms more precisely – choose a particular index, start the presidency on say, the day after inauguration day, compare 4 or 8 years (as it turns out) of Obama to 8 years of Bush, etc. However, it seems likely that Bush will have presided over an 8 year net loss on most indices(!) and it will be hard not to outperform that.

  4. Tilo’s comment is another case of the “post hoc, ergo propter hoc” fallacy. In this case the fallacy is obvious on the merits: the stock market has known for some time now that Obama was the very likely winner and has had plenty of time to factor in that event by now. No…the bear market of the past two days was due to economic news of which there is plenty to worry about.

  5. Tilo says:

    “Here’s a bet. $1000 says the stock market will rise more during Obama’s presidency than your beloved Bush’s presidency. Interested? ”

    Yes. But I don’t want to get caught up in endpoints. Let’s base is on the daily average of the DOW for comperable periods. If Obama only gets four, we will compare it against Bush’s first 4. If Obama gets 8 we will compare it against Bush’s 8.

    So, for example, to get Bush’s first 4 we would add the DOW close for every trading day from inaugeration to exit and divide by the number of days.

  6. David B. Benson says:

    Off-topic, but this appears to be the least expensive CO2 removal method yet noticed!

    “Rocks Could Be Harnessed To Sponge Vast Amounts Of Carbon Dioxide From Air”:

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081105180813.htm

  7. Tilo says:

    “the stock market has known for some time now that Obama was the very likely winner and has had plenty of time to factor in that event by now.”

    This is true, and the market did do some of that. Now I think that they are trying to figure out what he can do about it in the context of his political agenda, and they are coming up empty.

    “No…the bear market of the past two days was due to economic news of which there is plenty to worry about.”

    Likewise we have know for a long time that the earnings and employment reports would be dismal.

    Basically, you are right if you are saying that 2 days of movement isn’t that informative. But it does show that the market has no great expectations that Obama will be able to fix anything in the near future. Unlike the cultists who seem to think that he will walk on water, the market expects little if anything productive from him. They most likely expect a Jimmy Carter type of economic performance.

  8. hapa says:

    and all over the world, too!

    EVERY MARKET PARTICIPANT IN EVERY MARKET IN THE WORLD woke up on wednesday morning saying to him or herself,

    well, they elected the guy who’s said he’ll follow what nonpartisan economists say is the right approach to subdue the US recession and i have no reason to believe he’ll be nearly as ideologically prone to ineptitude as the delusional wall street wankers.

    i guess i’ll just bet on my country’s markets going to the crapper forever for no apparent reason i can imagine. and then i’ll jump out a window.

    tilo: WTF is wrong with you people?

    this is going to be a long recession and these runners are on base because YOUR DEFENSE STANK and you can argue all you want but it doesn’t change THREE FACTS:

    * arguing with the umpire has already got you ejected.
    * arguing further will lead to suspension.
    * I DON’T CARE IF YOU NEVER PLAY THE GAME AGAIN.

    nobody does.

  9. Tilo says:

    “EVERY MARKET PARTICIPANT IN EVERY MARKET IN THE WORLD”

    Do you ever actually watch world markets? They mostly follow the US lead, regardless of the reason.

    “well, they elected the guy who’s said he’ll follow what nonpartisan economists say is the right approach to subdue the US recession ”

    I wonder what nonpartisan economist told him that it was good economics to destroy the coal industry, to support home loans for people that can never pay, and to tax your way out of a recession.

  10. “Basically, you are right if you are saying that 2 days of movement isn’t that informative. But it does show that the market has no great expectations that Obama will be able to fix anything in the near future.”

    I suppose not…but the “near future” is in Bush’s hands, not Obama’s, so this would mean that the markets have little faith in Bush’s doing anything about the economy. Probably, they are justified.

  11. hapa says:

    troll: actually lately i got one eye on the world indexes pretty much all the time. it’s like a nervous tic.

    They mostly follow the US lead, regardless of the reason.

    absolutely true. and this past month, the asian and european markets have been so dutifully following the american markets’ lead, they do it before the american markets open.

    that’s pretty amazing. and you know — that is the sign of a good leader when the staff just KNOWS what the leader wants. gets it done before being asked.

    that’s true discipline. that’s market discipline.

    GET OUTTA HERE.

    I wonder what nonpartisan economist told him that it was good economics to destroy the coal industry,

    which is choosing to destroy itself by making a last stand against plain science and basic market realities,

    to support home loans for people that can never pay,

    which REALLY — TRULY — NOBODY imagined the banks would ever let themselves get into, completely giving up any semblance of credit checks for borrowers,

    and, no, the loans that fell apart were NOT forced into being by the CRA, they had NOTHING TO DO with that law,

    and to tax your way out of a recession.

    under obama’s plan, taxes for everybody except the very fortunate will go DOWN. those who have made fortunes will see their taxes increase VERY SLIGHTLY. and i’m as sure as the day is long that if that plan is very wrong for the situation — not what the independent economic doctor ordered — obama’s staff will not proceed with that plan until after the crisis is over.

    if there’s ANYTHING we learned about this guy during this campaign, he’s CAUTIOUS.

    OK, now. everything you’ve said so far has been a talking point. when you next say something that wasn’t read to you, over the radio or on a web page, from a fax or email from karl rove’s office or wherever, i’ll know, because i listen to those people, and i know their BS du jour, and that will be when you hear from me again. OK bye.

  12. Tilo says:

    “I suppose not…but the “near future” is in Bush’s hands, not Obama’s, so this would mean that the markets have little faith in Bush’s doing anything about the economy.”

    Any legislation for the past two years that would effect the economy would have had to come from the Democrat Congress. The only two actions that I’m aware of that both Bush and the Democrat Congress agreed on was a stimulus bill and a bailout bill. I’m aware of no suggestions from the Democratic Congress, or even from Obama as a member of that Congress for and economic stimulus plan that Bush has refused to sign.

    In my opinion, both the stimulus bill that was already passed and the one that is soon going to be passed will have no effect. It’s like giving a tired man a cup of coffee. It may arouse him for a short while, but after it wears off he will feel even more tired.

    As President elect, I’m certain that Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid would be more than happy to act on any suggestion from Obama, even before he is sworn in. And if the idea isn’t, “let’s tax our way out”, then I’m sure that Bush would sign it as well.

  13. Tilo says:

    “and this past month, the asian and european markets have been so dutifully following the american markets’ lead, they do it before the american markets open.”

    Nonsense. This happens, but rarely.

    “which is choosing to destroy itself by making a last stand against plain science and basic market realities,”

    That’s so devoid of meaning that I’m not even going to try to make sense of it.

    “NOBODY imagined the banks would ever let themselves get into, completely giving up any semblance of credit checks for borrowers,”

    They did do credit checks, but they were often sued by law firms like Obama’s. In fact, Obama’s name is on one such suit.

    Try:

    Case Name
    Buycks-Roberson v. Citibank Fed. Sav. Bank Fair Housing/Lending/Insurance
    Docket / Court 94 C 4094 ( N.D. Ill. ) FH-IL-0011
    State/Territory Illinois

    And Obama also trained members of Acorn (now being investigated in 12 states for voter fraud) in the art of intimidating lending institutions into giving loans to people who couldn’t afford them by threatening racial bias suits.

    Not all banks needed to be pushed into giving subprime loans however. When the government (mainly Democrats) set Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac up to buy subprime mortgages from lending institutions, the standard by which those loans were made was the set by what Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would buy. The Republicans, including Bush and McCain saw that things were going overboard with Fannie and Freddy and tried to increase regulation on them. Democrats fought them off. Of course Obama was friends with Franklin Raines who took Fannie to bankruptcy and was fired, but nevertheless pocketed 90 million for himself. One of Obama’s many, many shady friends.

    And yes, I know that none of this made any difference to the election. But considering that Obama spent 600 million (more than Bush and Kerry spent together in the last election), and considering that the main stream media actively campaigned for Obama, how could he not win?

    “under obama’s plan, taxes for everybody except the very fortunate will go DOWN. ”

    Yes, well the very fortunate have fallen to families with 150 thousand now (75 for individuals). So that will include my wife and I who are simply engineers. And since Obama has previously voted to increase taxes on people clear down to 45 thousand, I strongly suspect that the number is not yet done falling. And let’s not forget the increases in capital gains taxes, business taxes, inheritance taxes, etc.

    “and i’m as sure as the day is long that if that plan is very wrong for the situation — not what the independent economic doctor ordered — obama’s staff will not proceed with that plan until after the crisis is over.”

    Considering that Obama has never met a tax increase that he didn’t vote for, I suspect that your day’s are very short.

    “i’ll know, because i listen to those people, and i know their BS du jour, and that will be when you hear from me again.”

    Yes, you’re very intimidating. I’ll be sure to let Karl know not to mess with you.

  14. jorleh says:

    Ships without water resistance are a good start for clean tecnology. Water resistance is avoided easily with pontoons or barrel-like rotating couples, in both cases these elements of ship don´t glide against water and gather resistance but rotate vertically as ship glides on them forwards smoothly as train. (Think one minute and you understand the point.)

    Speed of 100-200 miles per our possible, and energy demand only a fraction of the oldfashioned monsters.

    We use the same shipping tecnology as was the invention of the stone age: why?

  15. “Any legislation for the past two years that would effect [sic] the economy would have had to come from the Democrat [sic] Congress.”

    So was it Carter or the Congress that gets the blame for stagflation in the late 1970s? (Hint: it was neither.) Was it Clinton or the Republican Congress that gets the credit for the boomer days of the late 1990s? It is always possible to cherry-pick the answer to get the answer you want, the way GW deniers cherry-pick the science (when they even quote real science).

    I would think that by now we would be long past the idea that Democrats are tax-and-spend and that Republicans are fiscal conservatives. In fact, the record clearly shows that Republicans are borrow-and-spend – much less ethically just – and that deficits are consistently lower under Democratic administrations. Without the facts on their side Republicans are left only with endlessly repeating falsehoods in the hopes that no one will notice the facts. (See above)

  16. hapa says:

    ah, sweet martyrdom.

    i imagine all the sweeter, not knowing your guys hadn’t lit the fire ALL BY THEMSELVES.

  17. hapa says:

    oops pushed the button by accident. the machine gods telling me to stop biting at hooks.

    but OK, yeah, your people are blameless. powerless in the face of an ineffectual, compliant legislative minority to change the actions of their lunatic dinner companions. and to think — then they lost elections.

  18. Tilo says:

    “I would think that by now we would be long past the idea that Democrats are tax-and-spend and that Republicans are fiscal conservatives.”

    No, we are not past that at all. Simply because Bush was a big spender, it doesn’t mean that Republicans in general are big spenders. One of the reasons that Bush’s popularity fell to almost as low a point as that of congress is because he lost the support of his base. And he lost that because of his spending. Unfortunately, the Republicans in the House and Senate felt that they needed to give Bush what he wanted because he was their president. In Clinton’s case he was not their president, so they felt free to block his spending measures.

  19. Tilo says:

    hapa:
    “and to think — then they lost elections.”

    So from now on any absurd claim that you want to make is true because they lost the election. Nothing to do with spending 600 million and having the media on your campaign staff.

  20. rpauli says:

    The best rising economic indicator must track with a falling CO2 level indicator.

    Anything else is just temporary shuffling of chairs on the Titanic.

  21. Doug says:

    No, we are not past that at all. Simply because Bush was a big spender, it doesn’t mean that Republicans in general are big spenders. One of the reasons that Bush’s popularity fell to almost as low a point as that of congress is because he lost the support of his base.

    Who controlled Congress for most of Bush’s time in office?
    Of which party was Mr. “Bridge to Nowhere”? And how many years has he been at that?

    On Bush’s popularity — who are those 20% who still give him a thumbs up in the approval ratings? I think they’re called “the base.”