The pyramid of aluminum shown in the photograph figures greatly in our nation’s history. This once rare metal was so prized that it was placed into a national monument by a grateful nation. Can you guess where? Now, aluminum is so common, thanks to an electrical refining process and plentiful, cheap electricity, that we throw it away in soda cans.
Two seemingly unrelated events on opposite sides of the globe occurred this past week.
One was the closure of an aluminum plant in Montana, and the other is the president of a European metals association threatened to move production overseas citing environmental rules and energy costs escalating due to emissions trading schemes.
Both stories are presented below. At the end, is the story of our “Aluminum Pyramid”, now in a national monument.
Google Map of above is here
How They Are Turning Off the Lights in America
On October 31, 2009, the once largest aluminum plant in the world will shut down. With it goes another American industry and more American jobs. The Columbia Falls Aluminum Company in Montana will shut down its aluminum production because it cannot purchase the necessary electrical power to continue its operations.
How did this happen in America? America was once the envy of the world in its industrial capability. America’s industrial capacity built America into the most productive nation the world had ever known. Its standard of living rose to levels never before accomplished. Its currency became valuable and powerful, allowing Americans to purchase imported goods at relatively cheap prices.
America grew because of innovation and hard work by the pioneers of the industrial revolution, and because America has vast natural resources. A great economy, as America once was, is founded on the ability to produce electrical energy at low cost. This ability has been extinguished. Why?
Columbia Falls Aluminum negotiated a contract with Bonneville Power Administration in 2006 for Bonneville to supply electrical power until September 30, 2011. But, responding to lawsuits, the 9th US Circuit Court ruled the contract was invalid because it was incompatible with the Northwest Power Act. Therefore, the combination of the Northwest Power Act and a US Circuit Court were the final villains that caused the shutdown of Columbia Falls Aluminum.
But the real reasons are much more complicated. Why was it not possible for Columbia Falls Aluminum to find sources of electricity other than Bonneville?
We need to look no further than the many environmental groups like the Sierra Club and to America’s elected officials who turned their backs on American citizens and in essence themselves, for they too are citizens of this country. These officials bought into the green agenda promoted by the heavily funded environmental groups. Caving to pressure, they passed laws and the environmental groups filed lawsuits that began turning off the lights in America. The dominos stated to fall.
They began stopping nuclear power plants in the 1970’s. They locked up much of our coal and oil resources with land laws. They passed tax credits, which forces taxpayers foot the bill for billionaire investors to save taxes by investing in less productive wind and solar energy projects.
In 1988, the Environmental Protection Agency called a meeting of atmospheric scientists and others with environmental interests. I remember well the meeting I attended in the San Francisco Bay Area. The meeting was in a theater-like lecture room with the seating curved to face the center stage and rising rapidly toward the back of the room. Attending were many atmospheric scientists whom I knew from Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, Stanford Research Institute and some local colleges.
The room became silent when a man walked up to the lectern. He told us that the next big national problem was global warming. He explained how human carbon dioxide emissions were trapping the earth’s radiation like a greenhouse and causing the atmosphere to heat beyond its normal temperature. He said this will lead to environmental disasters. He finished by saying the EPA will now concentrate its research funding toward quantifying the disasters that would be caused by our carbon dioxide.
The room was silent. I was the first to raise my hand to ask a question, “How can you defend your global warming hypothesis when you have omitted the effects of clouds which affect heat balance far more than carbon dioxide, and when your hypothesis contradicts the paper by Lee in the Journal of Applied Meteorology in 1972 that shows the atmosphere does not behave like a greenhouse?”
He answered me by saying, “You do not know what you are talking about. I know more about how the atmosphere works than you do.”
Not being one to drop out of a fight, I responded, “I know many of the atmospheric scientists in this room, and many others who are not present but I do not know you. What is your background and what makes you know so much more than me?”
He answered, “I know more than you because I am a lawyer and I work for the EPA.”
After the meeting, many of my atmospheric science friends who worked for public agencies thanked me for what I said, saying they would have liked to say the same thing but they feared for their jobs.
And that, my dear readers, is my recollection of that great day when a lawyer, acting as a scientist, working for the federal government, announced global warming.
Fast forward to today. The federal government is spending 1000 times more money to promote the global-warming charade than is available to those scientists who are arguing against it. Never before in history has it taken a massive publicity campaign to convince the public of a scientific truth. The only reason half the public thinks global warming may be true is the massive amount of money put into global-warming propaganda. The green eco-groups have their umbilical cords in the government’s tax funds. Aside from a few honest but duped scientists living on government money, the majority of the alarms about global warming – now called “climate change” because it’s no longer warming – come from those who have no professional training in atmospheric science. They are the environmentalists, the ecologists, the lawyers and the politicians. They are not the reliable atmospheric scientists whom I know.
Nevertheless, our politicians have passed laws stating that carbon dioxide is bad. See California’s AB32 which is based upon science fiction. (For readers who take issue with me, I will be happy to destroy your arguments in another place. In this paper, we focus on the damage to America that is being caused by those promoting the global-warming fraud.)
In the year 2000, America planned 150 new coal-electric power plants. These power plants would have been “clean” by real standards but the Greens managed to have carbon dioxide defined legally as “dirty” and this new definition makes all emitters of carbon dioxide, including you, a threat to the planet. Therefore, using legal illogic, the Sierra Club stopped 82 of these planned power plants under Bush II and they expect it will be a slam-dunk to stop the rest under Obama.
And now you know the real reason the Columbia Falls Aluminum Company had to shut down. America stopped building new power plants a long time ago. There is now no other source where the company can buy energy. Our energy-producing capability is in a decline and it is taking America with it.
I used to belong to the Sierra Club in the 1960’s. It used to be a nice hiking club. In the late 1960’s the Sierra Club began turning its attention toward stopping nuclear power. Then I quit the Sierra Club. It continues to prosper from the many subscribers who think they are supporting a good cause. What they are really supporting is the destruction of America brick by brick. The Sierra Club and similar organizations are like watermelons – green on the outside, red on the inside. They are telling us we have no right to our own natural resources, and in doing so they are sinking America.
Inherent in ecology are three assumptions: “natural” conditions are optimal, climate is fragile, and human influences are bad. Physics makes no such assumptions. By assuming climate is fragile, the global warming supporters have assumed their conclusion. In fact, the climate is not fragile. It is stable. The non-adherence to physical logic in the global-warming camp is what makes many physical scientists say that global warming is a religion.
So we have a new age religion promoted by environmentalists, incorporated into our laws and brainwashed into our people that is now destroying America from the inside.
Like a vast ship, America is taking a long time to sink but each day it sinks a little further. The fearsome day awaits, when America, if not quickly recovered by its real citizens, will tilt its nose into the water to begin a rapid and final descent into oblivion … her many resources saved for whom?
“European non-ferrous metals producers may move to countries where environmental legislation is less strict unless the impact of forthcoming measures is reduced, an industry spokesman said on Thursday.
Javier Targhetta, president of Eurometaux, said the industry was concerned over high and unpredictable power costs [and] the added cost of a new emissions trading scheme (ETS) in 2013 …
Targhetta was particularly concerned over what he said was the reluctance of utilities to sell power for terms of three years or more following deregulation for heavy users in Spain last year.
“This increases long-term insecurity and leads to a halt in investment. If we carry on like this, the industry is destined to disappear,” he said.
Eurometaux estimates a new phase of the ETS could hike its power costs by an unsustainable 150-200 million euros ($221.1-294.8 million), and may prompt “carbon leakage,” or relocation to countries where emission costs are low or nil.
“Carbon will still be produced, it will still be producing the greenhouse effect, but a European plant will have been lost,” Targhetta said.”
Electricity accounts for an average of 35 percent of production costs for non-ferrous metals — 60 percent for aluminum — and producers say big differences in policy between European countries and lack of interconnection make power more expensive.
Source: Reuters, “Europe metals producers warn of relocation”
Read the Eurometaux press release here (PDF)
About the “Aluminum Pyramid”, here it is being set:
The building of the monument proceeded quickly after Congress had provided sufficient funding. In four years, it was finally completed, with the 100 ounce (2.85 kg) aluminum tip/lightning-rod being put in place on December 6, 1884. It was the largest single piece of aluminum cast at the time. In 1884 aluminum was as expensive as silver, both $1 per ounce.
Over time, however, the price of the metal dropped; the invention of the Hall-Héroult electric refining process in 1886 caused the high price of aluminum to permanently collapse. The monument opened to the public on October 9, 1888.
Still confused? It is the Washington monument.
Read the history of the aluminum cap here: