"Sustainability" runs amok in my town of Chico

About two years ago I was asked by my local city councilman Larry Wahl to serve on the city of Chico “sustainability task force”. I was initially enthusiastic, but the talk soon turned away from alternative energy solutions that I embrace, to getting a city wide inventory of carbon emissions. The task force, chaired by Vice Mayor Ann Schwab didn’t seem the least bit interested in solutions, but focused on tallying carbon emissions in town. That effort didn’t make a lot of sense to me then, since it gained the city nothing.

Now I know why, it was a prelude to taxation followed by wanton spending. They had to inventory to know how to tax. The “greenhouse gas” report they issued on September 2nd of this year had a number of oddball fees, taxes, giveaways, and edicts, such as a city wide gasoline tax, and even free electricity handouts to city employees for sustainable commuting. All of this while we are in an economic downturn and city financial crisis. This is why I can no longer support Ann Schwab, even though I worked with her.

There is a backstory to my involvement with this, but first things first, here is a copy of the sustainability task force “work plan” from September 2nd.

Link: cic-sustainability-090208

The local newspaper also did a story on the preliminary report, but not on the work plan from the link above.

Most important to note is that while my name is on this report, I had no hand in it whatsoever, as I was unceremoniously booted off the task force on December 20th, 2007 by vice mayor Schwab who sent me a letter advising of my termination. The reason? Attendance. But this goes to show how messed up things are with this task force, as they could not even get my termination straight and had me listed as a member 9 months afterwards.

For the record, there is little in this report I agree with and my name should not be on it. Two weeks ago I sent an email to Vice Mayor Schwab and the City Clerk Debbie Presson asking that my name be removed. No response.

When I was on the task force I had the distinction of being one of the few people that actually walked the talk, as I had put solar on my home and a local school, plus I drive an electric car (though I’ve since upgraded to a newer model electric).

No matter, I wasn’t well liked because I really didn’t want to play the carbon emissions tally game, preferring solutions instead. So I’m not surprised that Schwab booted me off when she had the chance.

The task force was made up of a few people like myself, that ran businesses in town, but the vast majority were city employees, university employees, and other publicly paid people. The meetings were on Mondays in the middle of the afternoon. People like me that run businesses found it hard to attend, because with us lost time at work means lost revenue, City and university employees don’t have those problems. Prior to my dismissal, another local businessman, Lon Glazner, voluntarily left because he had the same issues.

OK, enough about why my name is on the report, and why it tends to be public employee centric rather than more representative of our community makeup.

First there is the cost: $30,000 which went to a university employee (already on the public payroll) to produce this report. Another consultant fee in the same cozy city-university sustainability circle of friends. They did no outside bid advertisements that I’m aware of, they just picked the university “sustainability guru” to do the job.

Let’s look at some of the suggested “community reduction” actions in this report presented by Schwab and her task force:

  • A suggestion to pay city employees to give up their parking spot.
  • Require energy audits on residential units at the time of sale.
  • Increased fees on waste disposal.
  • A local gasoline tax to generate local revenue.
  • Forcing a lights out policy on local businesses after hours
  • Free electricity and free parking for city employees that drive electric vehicles
  • Free or reduced cost electricity and parking for citizens that drive electric vehicles

You can find these items in Appendix C of the report, near the end under “Community Reduction Measures” which are designed to meet a carbon emissions target.

Here’s an interesting graph from the consultant’s report:

I don’t know about you, but spending 30 grand for information telling us that cars are the biggest source of CO2 in or city of Chico?.  Shocker.  No worries, we’ll attack that problem.  On page 39 of the September 2 Greenhouse Gas Report there is this gem: “By implementing a local gas tax, the City could generate revenue to put toward sustainability projects”.

Yep, tax and spend. Darn those evil cars driven by irresponsible citizens.

The task force also favors doling out taxpayer money for “sustainability”, page 42: “For employees who own electric vehicles, the City could provide prime parking locations that offer free electric filling stations.” and for the public, page 39: “Electric fueling station-provide free or low-cost electric fueling stations for EVs.”

I drive an electric car. I’d gladly pay $1-3 per hour for park n’ charge. Vice mayor Schwab not only misses this dirt simple revenue opportunity, she wants to give away free electricity during a city budget crisis.

Just yesterday the state of California announced it was already 10 billion in the hole this year, and our county government announced it was 10 million in the red. Chico’s own sales tax revenue has been falling, and the city budget has been in the red for at least two years now, and there has been little substantial movement by city leaders to really solve the problem.

From my friend Lon Glazner’s Commission Impossible blog, here is a recent memo to all city councilors about the current tax revenue situation:

This isn’t news, as city sales tax revenue has been sliding for quite awhile now and the City of Chico’s budget has been in the hole and will likely continue to be:

roadfunds.jpg

Image: The city General Fund and Parks deficit in red without transfers away from road and transportation improvements. Money from a gas tax we all pay has been transferred away from roads to cover the costs of other spending. If you wonder why bike routes are planned but not built, or why roads and traffic issues take so long to address, here is the culprit.

Source: Commision Impossible 10/22/08

For those reading that don’t live here, the business climate of our town is getting grim. Departments stores, restaurants, and other local businesses are closing almost daily due to the economic climate. The trickle down effect from state budget cuts will also affect the city’s largest state funded employers soon, such as Chico State University, and the Chico Unified School District.

So with the city budget headed for a certain train wreck, and the state economy in a shambles, I am absolutely gobsmacked that Schwab and her sustainability task force are suggesting gasoline taxes and free electricity giveaways at the same time. Then there’s the idea that businesses should be forced to turn out their lights at night. Saving energy is a fine idea, but at the expense of inviting crime into an unlit business?

This shows a level of disconnect that only a bureaucrat could muster. And, it’s why I strongly recommend that people reading this don’t vote for Schwab, but choose a city council candidate that has some business sense.

I’m all for efficiency and alternate energy ideas that are cost neutral or revenue generators, but the reality is those things aren’t being considered.

Public giveaways, new taxes, and visions of a sustainable future won’t solve the budget problems, sensible management combined with spending cuts and plans that will enhance the local business environment will.

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Rick Sharp

I live in Southern Kalifornia. I don’t see much hope for the state in general until we get rid of the current crop of wild eyed idealists. I don’t know how bloody it has to get until people realize what the problem is. With “change” on the horizon in Washington the next couple of years is going to be beyond interesting.

The inmates are truly running the asylumn…there is a reason we don’t let bureaucrats or academia types in charge of anything important…they lack basic vision and are beholden to their pet projects that get them grant $$$….
This is truly paralysis by analysis….
I about choked when they suggested businesses must turn off their lights after hours…hey, why don’t they just leave the doors unlocked and the safe WIDE open??
IDIOTS!
http://www.cookevilleweatherguy.com

old construction worker

Isn’t nice when government wants to kill the goose that lays the golden egg.
No wonder business are leaving your state.

WA

You have been cited:
http://solarcycle24com.proboards106.com/index.cgi?action=display&board=globalwarming&thread=192&page=4
Re: The Politics of “AGW” « Reply #54 Today at 12:34am » [Quote]
Anecdotal, but I think it illustrates the true nature of AGW politics:
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/11/01/su….hico/#more-3961
In spades.

Mike Bryant

Meanwhile,
Texas is building lots of power plants and lots of people are moving in. When we need new easements for power lines, the state makes it happen, no lawsuits. This is and has always been a pro-growth state. Please, God, don’t let the contagion spread to Texas.
Mike

Leon Brozyna

Welcome to change.
Change you can count on — the change left in your pocket {not much}.
Sustainability=revenue source.
Here in New York the drive hasn’t been quite so pronounced. They’ve already put so many tax schemes in place that now the politicians are talking about why businesses are leaving the area. Of course they blame businesses for leaving the area without ever examining the prohibitive tax structure that’s been built over the years. It’s NAFTA, CAFTA, jobs to China, etc. But never anything the politicians have been doing. And any proposal to cut spending immediately targets areas that shouldn’t be cut — police or fire — anything but the politicians’ padded salary or other bureaucratic overhead.
Where are Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Ben Franklin, James Madison et al when we need them?

Patrick Henry

“If you want to gather honey, don’t kick over the beehive.”
— Dale Carnegie

Mike McMIllan

Leon Brozyna (22:12:56) :
Where are Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Ben Franklin, James Madison et al when we need them?
Dead, I’m afraid. But the Constitution they fathered has become a “living document” no longer fraught with outdated principles and restrictions. It can be brought into the modern world by the merest majority of Supreme Court justices, who are adept at finding meaning and rights the Founders never got around to actually placing in the document.

TerryBixler

Your city government needs to cut some staff and balance the budget.

papertiger

The only answer is for good people to stand for election. Anthony Watts for Mayor of Chico. Lets get this campaign started.
And then you can give vice mayor fuss-n-budget the bums rush out the door, along with her woodheaded policys.
Let’s not forget the city clerk. We’ll be needing to apply the boot to her backside also.

tarpon

It’s all about taxes, it’s always been all about taxes. And how to get you to feel good about paying the socialists taxes.
Our a$$holes in city government are trying to take over the local electric company in the city, for the same reason — Levy a carbon tax. We tried running good candidates last election, and lost out to the condo crowd because they promised the beach condo owners they would pass ordinances allowing the condo owners to rent by the day, just like hotel rooms. We lost, and just l;ast week they let a $100k contract to study how best for the city to take over the electric company.

Every day I wake thinking, how are we going to get this corruption of Science out, visible, so everyone can see it. I was an active greenie too. But this corruption in Science takes precedence. I see others here almost resigned, and others who want to fight.
But I can only fight corruption with integrity, and that begins with me and looks pretty invisible for a long time.
I read yesterday here of the scientist who’s discovered the Earth is being bombarded with “house-size” ice comets (tiny by other comets standards) who was ostracised – the full works – people here understand – and is only being recognized years later. He didn’t have the full political works to contend with, either. Big businesses dare not now be seen to support “skeptics” after their ’90’s records. But AGW get far more slush funding – if people did but know.
I try with my “Primer” to hit the key issues squarely on the head – but find that many are still far from agreed – or at least, this “blog-reading nobody” is slow to grasp the clinchers – help welcome. People still refer to the “debunks of skeptics” as gospel. The science publications are surely heavily to blame for stifling material.
Richard Lindzen’s written a paper on all the corruption of Climate Science. I’ve read the **** emails of Bob Ward of Royal Society (how did he get in?), trying to suppress the Swindle DVD. Lord Monckton’s open letter to McCain says it all. And Prof. Akasofu has some simple, clear, penetrating observations on the current state of corruption.
Perhaps China or India will prove to be our blessing. Pachauri seems to have taken a beautifully double-faced stance for (1) UN and (2) India.
Perhaps the Sun will help us this winter. Ole Humlum’s page shows SO clearly with beautiful world maps, how we’ve been cooling for several years now.
Perhaps businesses will see the cost, discover the bad science, and fight.
Perhaps.

pkatt

I work for a state agency. We have had a 1% raise for the past 5 years that expires at the end of every year. So they give us the same 1% back every year. This year I bet we wont even get that. Meanwhile our lovely politicians voted themselves something on the order of a 7% pay raise, perminant of course.
Ya know what I would like to see? I would like to see top officials in my state and in the House and Senate have to take a pay cut. I would also like to see how they would feel if someone started messing around with their retirement plan.

Bobp

suicide for nothing

Ted Annonson

CO2 isn’t the bad guy anymore, It’s daylight saving time.
http://www.climate-skeptic.com/2008/10/sign-this-guy-up-for-the-ipcc.html

Peter

Anthony,
What is the main source of power generation in California, more specifically in your geographic area, and more important, what is/will be the marginal source for any demand increases?

I think Europe will lead the way this time. Check it out at http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5gAZR7yJ8hMxAwgRYoYk9p9vO1Udg Both the actual Czech President and the former Spain Prime Minister question the new religion. The message is getting out there!
Ecotretas

Pierre Gosselin

These are a zealots who think they can produce a “paradise” by regulating everything the either exists or moves.
Just please wear all these chains, shackles and puppet strings, and you have paradise!
“The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”

Pierre Gosselin

I couldn’t help to notice the appearance of the words “tax” and “fee” alongside the word “free this” and “free that”.
If that doesn’t sound like Communist Central Planning…
Here comes the Big Green Dictatorship.

I read the [long, newspeak] PDF on sustainablility. Funny, I couldn’t find a definition of “sustainability” anywhere. ‘Sustainability’ sure is a feelgood word though, isn’t it? Makes you think something is being done.
But since the U.S. standard of living – presumably including Chico – is steadily rising, then everyone is already being ‘sustained’. QED.
“Sustainability” is a code word just like “progressive,” which translated means that we must give up our rights to the government in return for… nothing.
Of course, the government’s anonymous, taxsucking, completely unaccountable bureaucrats require substantially increased taxes to pay for whatever they unilaterally determine to be progressive sustainability.
George Orwell would understand what’s going on here. Doubleplusungood.

Pierre Gosselin

Carbon audits!
What’s next?
I wonder if the general population really knows what they are getting themselves into. Soon they are gonna wake up and find shackles around their ankles and their streets swarming with roaming unmarked windowless vans with dishes mounted on them.
The next green bas**** that shows up at my doorstep can expect staring down a pair of metal tubes (just speaking figuratively to say he won’t be welcome).
But then again, will we be able to tell him: “Get off “MY “property!”
Seems like we won’t have any say on how to run our own property.

Ecotretas (02:38:16) : “I think Europe will lead the way this time. Check it out at http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5gAZR7yJ8hMxAwgRYoYk9p9vO1Udg Both the actual Czech President and the former Spain Prime Minister question the new religion. The message is getting out there!”
On that note, one to watch will be the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Poznan, Poland, from 1st to 12th December 2008. It will be interesting to see if the EU are as united about expensive and crippling emissions cuts as they said they were, before the economic downturn.
I’m hoping that the Czechs, Poles and Italians will help to get the others to see some sense. With any luck, the whole idiotic climate package will prove to be… unsustainable.

GP

Seems to me it would be logical for all the local population to obtain at least one electric vehicle and then demand their free or subsidised electricity and parkaing.
It would be interesting to present a view of the budget djusted to reflect those desired changes complete with a proposal about how the infrastructure changes would be funded and how long that would take. Plus what compensation could be offered to the consumers who are entitled to a non-existent service and businesses that would be put out of business in their current form.
And then of course there is the cost of the electricity supply infrastructure upgrade (assuming there is supply capacity available). I understand that the US electrical market still offers low cost overnight tariffs and that those costs are part of the cost effectiveness calculations for re-chargeable electric vehicles. Presumably by encouraging everyone to go electric the overnight demand would quickly lead to the removal of such low cost tariffs at night. At least the increased day time consumption (for free) would ensure that the overnight tariffs could be maintained even if the distribution system was pushed to and beyond its capacity during the day.
It seems to me that it is good that reports like these are placed in the public domain since in the end people will be able to refer to them with a historic perspective and judge them for what they are. We have pretty much got to the point where green theories are having to be placed in some terms of public reality rather than academic theory. Only now are the majority of the public likely to be exposed to what they mean at the individuals level.
The political focus is now entirely dominant – science is not even in the back seat on the present journey. That will give people, hopefully on both sides of the debate, some impetus to show their true positions.
Personally I hope that sense and reality prevail but I do wonder whether populations are educationally equipped to obtain that sort of result these days. Indoctrination may have been effective at a mass level in the younger generations.
Ultimately the government we will have, from city through to national and even global, will be the one we collectively deserve, good, bad or indifferent. Unfortunately this is one experiment that can be tested in a practical sense. Perhaps the sooner the better so that others in the world can learn from the results and improve their own plans accordingly.

redneck

This is just another example of how AGW is like a religion. In medieval times flagellation was recommended as a form of penance. Now the politicians who support AGW theory are using taxation of CO2 as a form of penance. And just like flagellation its going to hurt.
Politicians are like Junkies and they are addicted to your money in the form of taxes.

Tom in Florida

My favorite “community reduction action”:
A local gasoline tax to generate local revenue.
Apparently I can no understand English because I didn’t know that
“generating local revenue” is a “community reduction action”. Oh, I am sorry, after actually typing this the meaning is quite clear. The “community reduction action” is a reduction in the amount of money the general population (community) has to spend.
If they had only disguised this as such:
“A local gasoline tax to encourage use of mass transportation” it
would have made more sense.

MikeEE

So how is an electric vehicle “sustainable”? The electricity is still generated be generation plants run by evil fossil fuels. I’ve been on this thread before about this topic, an electric car doesn’t change the CO2 picture it just moves the point of CO2 creation to the power plant.
MikeEE
REPLY: When it gets its charge from solar it is. – Anthony

just Cait

Just thank the Lord you all aint living in Australia!! In the little shire I live in, just outside Melbourne Victoria, population around 150,000, they laid on the carbon tax 3 years ago attaching it to rate increases. But they forgot to tell us they did this the first year it went into effect. They’ve spent about A$3 million over the last 3 years getting new cars and appliances for the shire offices and planting trees all over the place and now ‘claim’ the council is carbon neutral. WHOOOPPEEE!! Of course, they had to spend $300,000 buying renewable energy credits from some wind farm in South Australia in order to be ‘carbon neutral’, but they didn’t tell the electorate that in their official announcement. When they told us they were doing this 2 years ago, one of the councillors said we’d “set an example for the rest of the world to follow.” SHEESH!! I’m thinking of starting a community group called RAGE – Ratepayers Against Green Extremism. Council elections are at the end of the month and three Greens Party members are vying for a spot. If they get in, I may not have any choice BUT to start the group.
What a farce.

Robert Wood

This reveals the true intent of green government – cold, hard green cash; the change you can do without.
Why don’t they just concetrate on running basic city services efficently? [/rhetoric]

Steven Hill

We can only pray for the rapture….plan on being on board!

Thankfully, sustainability for many of the folks in the Town of Andes means only cutting down a sustainable number of trees each year for logging and heating.
On my property, I only remove one tree (mostly hard maple) out of about twenty and only the 20 or so year old trees. The older and taller trees reseed and a new crop matures each season.
The some of the local tree-huggers don’t quite understand that I am practicing good forestry management and sustainability.

piezopaul

My hope is that as all these politicians come down firmly on the side of agw, they will be setting the stage for their removal from office when things get cold.

hunter

This is a disturbing example of the AGW-industrial complex. It exists to shake down tax payers to pay for dubious (at best) solutions to problems that are ill-defined and likely do not exist.

Mike from Canmore

We had a BC provincial wide carbon tax impuned on us this year.. Municipalities were up in arms about it so the premier offered to rebate them all but only if they said they would be carbon neutral by 2012. This of course, can only be done through carbon offset purchases. What we will get from it:
1. More taxes
2. Expanded Bureaurcracy
3. More money leaving the cities in order to buy offset credits
4. Zero effect on the environment
A key voting geographical area in the interior was up in arms about it so what did the idiot premier do? Removed a road toll that has bugged them since it’s implmentation in the 80’s. Seems a bit odd to me. Want less cars on the road, remove an impediment. Things that make you go hmmmm.
The more gov’t dependent jobs they create in specific voting segments, the better chance they have of re-election. Afterall, not many people are going to vote to eliminate their job.
Cheers.

Fred Middleton

The first verse of Chapter I of the new religion is exemplified in last weeks Doomesbury. When fixing problems, pretend to know something about nothing.
Thomas Jefferson was well read on the early “democracy’s of ancient Greece – Sparta (and our Moon Beam spartan Govn’or of past).
“The Lacedaemonian constitution is defective in another point; I mean the Ephoralty. This magistracy has authority in the highest matters, but the Ephors are chosen from the whole people, and so the office is apt to fall into the hands of very poor men, who, being badly off, are open to bribes.”
– From Aristotle On the Lacedaemonian Constitution
“poor” is of mind not material in todays Chico.
Brand new problem for Chico. 2008 Young college mobsters-drunk’in thrash downtown and a City offical blames the economy. Wait, I recall the oldtime 60’s “Pioneer Day” that became a “week of drunk’in & trash’in” .

JoeH

When you see the word “free” associated with any solution as in;
“Free electricity and free parking for city employees that drive electric vehicles
Free or reduced cost electricity and parking for citizens that drive electric vehicles”
Be afraid, very afraid!

Patrick Henry

The thing I always wondered about when I lived in the Bay Area, is how a place with such high incomes and high tax rates managed to have such poor roads and schools?
Where does the money go?

Perry Debell

Anthony,
May I suggest you add Bishop Hill to your blogroll. He is always bright and droll. I think he’s waiting to unleash a broadside at Roger Harrabin, if the BBC hack ever sticks his head above the parapet?
http://bishophill.squarespace.com/
Harrabin damage control efforts.
http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2007/10/12/roger-harrabin.html
Regards,
Perry

Patrick Henry

piezopaul,
If it becomes obvious that temperatures are coming down, Democrats and Obama will take credit for it. Look for some quick legislation in January to provide them a specific bill number to refer to in 2010 campaign ads. “We were only 5% of the vote away from losing our planet in 2008, but big oil funded politicians could still reverse our gains.”
Many scientists will play along and share credit. Cold weather will not make the debate any more rational.

Jon Jewett

Piezopaul,
One would hope so, but there is little cause for hope.
The financial crisis was caused solely by liberal Democrats. Bush, McCain and others all warned of it to no avail. Now there is a chance that the individuals that caused the problem will be given total control over all three branches of government.
(I have been casually watching the financial crisis take place over the years. I was not surprized although I was not “ready” for it.)
Pause for a thought: Senator Obama is a product of the Daily/Chicago political machine. The Daily family took control of Chicago in 1955 and there hasn’t been a free or fair election there since.
Regards,
Steamboat Jack

Bill Illis

Just noting that passenger cars are less than 10% of CO2 emissions on average. Maybe it is higher for your community but someone should check where you are getting your electricity, food and consumer products from.
We can tax cars, encourage shared commuting plans, use more public transit but it won’t make even a small dent in CO2 emissions. Passenger cars are not the problem.

M White

Dee Norris
The Forestry Commission is ending the system of licences which allow firewood to be picked from woodland.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/7696209.stm
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2008/oct/28/9

Jim Clarke

Sustainable: the continous running of any process or system without significant change for an indefinite period of time. In a chaotic, non-linear world, sustainable systems and processes are impossible and unnatural. The real world is, and must be, in constant flux. Any talk of ‘sustainablilty’ in the context of legislation and public policy is, by definition, propaganda, unless qualified with a specific and reasonable time constraint.
For the most part, use of the word ‘sustainable’ in public policy and advocacy is telling the population to ‘go to hell’ in such a way that they will look forward to the trip!

Ellie In Belfast

In Britain we already have home energy audits (Home Information Packs or HIPs) that are mandatory for anyone wishing to sell a house.
I share Anthony’s attitude (“I’m all for efficiency and alternate energy ideas that are cost neutral or revenue generators, ….”) and frustration. It is much worse in the UK and I fear for businesses that are being coerced into spending needlessly on emission reductions when, in this current economic climate, their money and resources should be focussed elsewehere to ensure survival.
It can be done right:
Güssing, in Austria, which is the first community in the EU to produce its whole energy demand – electricity, heating/cooling, fuels – out of renewable resources, all resources from within the region. In doing so it has turned itself in 15 years from one of the poorest to one of the most prosperous in the region by keeping the money it previously paid externally for power. So this was done for economic reasons, but is now a shining example of the power of renewables.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G%C3%BCssing#Renewable_energy
Lucy Skywalker – I have pointed numerous people in the direction of your excellent ‘Primer’ – great stuff. We just have to reach as many of the ‘ignorant of science’ or ‘undecided’ or ‘willing to listen’ as possible.
Someone posted a link to an excellent book review/essay by Freeman Dyson a few days ago, in which he said:
“The United Kingdom has made up its mind and takes the view that any individuals who disagree with government policy should be ignored.”
When will we escape from this madness?

Headless Blogger

That pie chart left out Government/University’s share of greenhouse emissions. Surely just an oversight. Is that covered elsewhere in the PDF?
California generates almost 60% of its electricity from coal and natural gas. Those electric cars are not carbon neutral and will present a huge challenge to the state’s electrical generators. New carbon-free generation, and the associated transmission upgrades, in your state are being stymied wherever proposed, and realistically will not offset a substantial percentage of the current generating capacity. New large scale carbon-free electrical sources at Diablo or SONGS are dead on arrival.
Because of your friendly climate (warm and getting warmer!), California can impose these “sustainability” edicts and affect only jobs and your economy. Do this in more temperate areas of the country and the consequences be significantly more serious.

kim

Hey, Anthony and al of ya’; the October Surprise is available for your viewing pleasure. Obama intends to bankrupt coal plant operators. This is the hammer swinging on the anvil of the states of Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, New Mexico, Arizona, and Colorado. It’ll sickle the Obamabots.
=========================================

Mark

Anthony,
Thanks for posting our greenhouse gas inventory for a world audience. Disclaimer: I am the director of the project and the professor Anthony references.
A couple of points in response.
First, I was not paid for the project, nor was any other state employee. All the wages went to temporary staff hired to track down the information and enter it into the ICLIE software the city purchased.
Second, the possible measures came from a list of compiled by ICLIE that have been implimented in other jurisdictions. The recommendations were exhaustive. We believe, like the readers of this blog, that there should be no a priori exclusions.
Third, as for being removed from a committee because you did not attend the meetings, I leave it for the readers to assess. The five other business people on the Task Force found a way. And as you know, all government sub-committee meetings in Chico are held during the day to keep staff costs down.
Lastly, I know we often disagree, and that is fine and as it should be. Please be careful, however. You have an international voice. You frustrations make us look like a community of bumpkins, and I know that is not your intent.
Take care,
Mark
REPLY: Mark thank you for your response and for the clarifications.
I’ll point out that Mark has was several awards for an energy efficient building he helped to design and build on campus, which I think is a great idea.
For that, our city has been painted as a leader internationally, so I don’t think we are viewed as “bumpkins” 😉
I’ll point out that ICLEI (you got your abbreviation backwards) is a spin off of the Sierra Club, and so is it’s director:
http://www.icleiusa.org/about-iclei/staff/annie-e-strickler
When that software was first introduced to the task force, (see this powerpoint)
http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&ct=res&cd=1&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.sierraclub.org%2Frcc%2Fnortheast%2FICLEI-software.ppt&ei=asoNSZa4G4qEsQP29omIDw&usg=AFQjCNGiDvMe3kp3K4s9lY69qLOh8O1CaA&sig2=agh06dwcvDoaiuEXFBMGjg
I objected to the Sierra Club involvement, since I believe that when approaching such issues, it is wise not you use software designed by an organization that has a political axe to grind. So yes, perhaps the majority of those recommendations came from ICLEI, but with the exception of myself and two other businessmen, the folks in the city-university group thought it was fine.
My point always has been that if you want people to change habits, make it attractive, make it a choice driven by the market. Legislation almost always fails when human comfort or happiness is involved. Witness prohibition.
Taxation and mandates is not the way. If you and the task force could focus on solutions that are without taxes, fees, or other hardships for our local citizens, and don’t give government employees benefits not available to the general public, I’ll be the biggest cheerleader.
– Anthony

pattio

If you recall I made this assertion a few months ago when the quote came out in Anthony’s email exchange with Dr. Pieter Tans(?) from the Mauna Loa Observatory:
“We are very much aware that in a time
when carbon dioxide emissions will cost a lot of money, there has to be
an objective and fully credible way to quantify emissions. Without
that, carbon markets cannot function efficiently, and policies cannot be
measured relative to their objectives. We think that the atmosphere
itself can provide objective quantification.”
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/08/06/post-mortem-on-the-mauna-loa-co2-data-eruption/#more-2097
All strata of government is perpetuating this “carbon crisis” in an effort to extort more money from the citizenry in order to secure and grow more and more power over us. I am not in any scientific field whatsoever, and I do my best to keep up with what you guys are saying technically, however it doesn’t take a rocket surgeon to figure this one out!

JimB

Kim,
Linky?
Jim

Headless Blogger

“That pie chart left out Government/University’s share of greenhouse emissions. Surely just an oversight. Is that covered elsewhere in the PDF?”
I stand corrected. I just noticed the 4% for “Waste.” Seems low to me, but I’ll go with that.

Pierre Gosselin

”I’m all for efficiency and alternate energy ideas that are cost neutral or revenue generators, ….”
Give me a break.
Can anyone name one and actually support it with numbers?
I think Anthony’s interest in renewables has more to do with technological fascination, and less with economics.
I don’t see many working joes with enough extra cash to dabble in systems that are still very economically unprofitable.
Indeed the only way to make alternative energy economical is to make conventional fossil fuels outrageously expensive by excessively taxing them.
Case in point: Here in Europe gasoline is at $9 a gallon (75% is tax). Guess what? People are still buying it because there’s no real alternative.
The USA survived 4 years of Jimmy Carter, and so I suppose it’ll survive 4 years of Obama/Gore.