As we have discussed in the past, conserving energy and the CO2reduction that accompanies it is a good thing for your company’s bottom line. Does that mean that creating a tax to “force” conservation is a good thing? A recent column by John Stossel seemed to answer that question best. He wrote, “Industry and technology – not regulations – are humanity’s greatest contribution to the environment. Leave people their freedom, and they come up with new, smarter, more efficient (and thus cleaner) ways of doing things. Stifling that progress with regulation isn’t ‘progressive’.”

     Being involved in an energy-intensive industry should make us especially vigilant when it comes to energy-taxing regulations. Are we being selfish or irresponsible when we oppose legislation and regulations that seek to tax the engine of the economy? I hope to provide you with some of the latest information that you may be able to use to do battle with those who desire to further tax our way of life.

    The logic to this type of taxation is tied to climate models that predict significant temperature increase based on the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. Research by the University of Reading shows that temperatures since 2005 are lower than what would be calculated using the 20 different established climate models. The Economist says that the world added roughly 100 billion metric tons of carbon to the atmosphere between 2000 and 2010 (about 25% of all the CO2 since 1750) with little to no temperature increase. Clearly, the models are faulty.

    Incorporating data from the past decade into the models, a Norwegian research project predicted a 1.9?C increase in temperature by 2050 compared to earlier IPCC predictions of 3?C. If recent experience is any indication, even this prognostication might be a stretch. The March/April temperature data for the U.S. in 2013 was the second-coldest (1975) since records began.

    Scientists at Russia’s famous Pulkovo Observatory are convinced the world is in for a period of global cooling. They say solar activity is waning, and average yearly temperatures will follow. Scientists from Britain and the U.S. are in agreement. The British Met office recently predicted no warming trend for the next five years. As we have mentioned in previous editorials, solar activity follows different cycles – 11-year, 90-year and 200-year. They believe the period of low solar activity could start in 2030-2040, but it won’t be as bad as the mini ice age of the late 17th century.

    Although the White House press secretary, Jay Carney, says that the Obama administration “has no intention of proposing” a carbon tax that would affect coal, oil and power plants, liberal thinkers are still pushing it. Thomas Friedman of The New York Times, without any mention of global warming (GW), feels that a carbon tax is the best place to start when considering new ideas for how to raise revenues (code for raising taxes). Really!? It’s amazing how often calculations such as this take no account of their impact.

    According to an analysis reported by the Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association, a carbon tax on natural gas, electricity and gasoline would reduce manufacturing output among energy-intensive businesses by 15%. A good statistic is the impact of shale gas production on Pennsylvania and the rest of the U.S. In 2010, shale gas production supported 600,000 American jobs, and growth in the field may create 500,000 more by 2020. According to a Washington & Jefferson College Energy Index, Pennsylvania’s energy needs are currently derived 64% from in-state sources. Now that’s a move to energy independence.

    So, we have been told that the need for carbon taxes is based on the predictions of drastic warming by the models, which are currently being discredited. If the impact of man on our climate is less significant than what was predicted, why would regulations and taxation be needed? A Russian writer in Pravda, no less, had some interesting thoughts. He contends that “the myth of man-made GW is a means first and foremost to control the lives and behaviors of their populations.” He contends that no matter what discredits GW, it’s a beast that will not die. He speculates that one of the reasons for this is that the U.S. spends $7 billion each year on warming “studies.” He contends that no real science is conducted, but it is big business with that much money at stake. Here’s a thought. Let’s keep the national parks open and stop funding this needless waste.

    If everything that happens – from the coldest winter in two decades in Russia and Europe to snow in Jerusalem and heat waves in Brazil and Australia – becomes evidence for what you want to believe, how can you call it science? Points to ponder when the carbon tax man comes calling. IH