PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA

Opinion

An economy killer

By From page A4 | May 08, 2013

It’s becoming apparent even to major global warming believers that global temperatures, including ocean temperatures, have remained flat since at least 2001.

“There remains considerable uncertainty as to how much the climate has varied regionally and globally on the decades-to-centuries time scale, or what caused those changes. Yet we need to know how natural climate fluctuations are caused in order to determine to what extent human activities have affected the climate system,” according to the George C. Marshall Institute’s Website.

“Furthermore, the temperature pattern of the last century is not consistent with the assertion that man-made emissions of greenhouse gases are the only contribution to periods of global warming. In the early part of the 20th century, temperatures increased. Then from about 1940 until the 1970s, there was a slight cooling. Temperatures again increased since the 1970s, but since about 2001 increases in the global surface temperature have stopped, even though greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions continued to increase and have increased steadily in the latter half of the 20th century,” according to the Marshall Institute.

“Climate scientists have been locked into a simple-minded identification of climate with greenhouse-gas level … That climate should be a function of a single parameter (like CO2) has always seemed implausible. Yet an obsessive focus on such an obvious oversimplification has likely set back progress by decades,” Richard Lindzen told Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, N.M. last summer. Lindzen is the Alfred P. Sloan professor of meteorology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The battle between those who are global warming believers and those who actually study the climate and not just computer models is, as mentioned in the introductory paragraph, abating somewhat — not that they are going to be singing “Kumbaya” yet.

Despite the growing realization that the world is not warming and neither are the oceans, California is charging full speed ahead on a cap-and-trade scheme to reduce “green house gases” that its political class is sure will help halt global warming that is not happening anyway.

Enter the Pacific Legal Foundation. The PLF doesn’t care about the scientific debate. It says California’s cap-and-trade scheme is an illegal tax. The carbon tax auction plan was set up by the Air Resources Board, which is trying to reduce carbon emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. Never mind that the recession has very nearly accomplished that anyway.

The PLF says the carbon credits auction is an unlawful tax program created entirely by “an unelected bureaucracy” when the state Constitution requires two-thirds of the Legislature to vote to raise new taxes.

Of course, the California Air Resources Board contends it is merely implementing Gov. Schwarzenegger’s signature bill, AB 32, which mandated reductions in greenhouse gases.

“But AB 32 doesn’t authorize an auction program for billions of dollars in new revenues for the state,” the PLF said in a statement released May 3. Even if it did authorize cap-and-trade auctions it is still an illegal tax because AB 32 did not pass with a two-thirds vote of the Legislature.

The newness of this revenue source is borne out by Gov. Jerry Brown wanting $500 million a year from the carbon tax fund to pay for the California High-Speed Rail. Last month CARB voted to “support the proposal from the state Finance Department to invest the first three years of revenue from the allowance auctions on carbon-reducing projects, including high-speed rail, zero-emissions vehicles, low-income housing retrofits and urban forestry,” according to Bloomberg News.

The first two auctions raised $138 million. The next auction is May 16. If that isn’t a tax on business, then the governor’s dog ate his copy of the state Constitution.

Mountain Democrat

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