Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else.
-- Frederic Bastiat, French Economist (1801-1850)
1. “California vs. Other States” comparison to be regular Rider Rant feature [since updated]
2. U.S. keeps high corporate tax rates – our competitors don’t
3. Let the feds “invest” your social security contributions?
4. Bang-bang stimulus policy in D.C.
5. CA unemployment growth rate 73% higher than national average
6. Scripps Ranch firemen often are like Maytag repairmen
7. Unfortunately, you are the star in this cartoon
8. San Diego Tax Fighters’ position on upcoming CA state props
9. Prop 1A – the something for nothing gambit
10. Conservative British MEP gives “what for” to liberal Prime Minister
11. The new medical savings plan – trips to Mexico
12. Have prop speech, will travel
13. Why should teachers be a protected class?
14. To understand the Prop 1A scam, revisit Props 57-58
15. Anyone can afford a home – in Detroit
16. Rising sea levels? Not on this planet
17. CA budget con job dissembled by Ray Haynes
18. Consensus on global warming? Oh really?
1. “California vs. Other States” comparison to be regular Rant feature
RIDER COMMENT: In my previous rant, I “published” a comparison of CA vs. the other states on several economic indicators. I’ve decided to make this a dynamic document that I will continuously expand, update and republish in my rant.
Here’s the latest expanded version. Before you read this, consider first ingesting your preferred drug of choice. And, as we say in these chain letters – send this to everyone you know!
California vs. the Other States (a work in progress)
by Richard Rider, Chairman, San Diego Tax Fighters
I suspect this comparison is an advance screening of an ad we’ll be seeing in our surviving CA papers, courtesy of the business development departments of neighboring states.
These ads will also include California’s high utility costs, our inability to secure a reliable supply of water, and massive new “Green” energy regulatory costs. Only an insane CEO would bring a business to CA, and many already here (except for retail businesses dependent on local customers) must be looking outside the CA border for future expansion, or even to move.
And here’s the kicker: These ratings below are the facts BEFORE the new CA taxes take effect!!! Our car tax is almost DOUBLING, we are adding another full 1% sales tax on 1 April and our income tax surcharge (and loss of the child tax credit) will gouge us as well. Furthermore, there are scores of tax hike and new spending bills now in the state legislature – including local option income taxes, and sales taxes on services.
California has the highest State income tax in the Nation. 9.3% at $45,000. 10.3% at $1,000.000
Highest State sales tax in the Nation. 7.25% (not counting local taxes)
Highest State car tax in the Nation. 0.65% per year on value of vehicle.
Corporate income tax rate is the highest in the West. 8.84%
2009 Business Tax Climate Ranks 48th in the Nation.
Fourth highest capital gains tax 9.3%
Third highest gas and diesel tax in the Nation (at $2.00 a gallon). At $3.00 a gallon, we are numero uno.
Fourth highest unemployment rate in the Nation. (January, 2009)
California Prison Guards highest paid in the Nation.
California Teachers highest paid in the Nation.
www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/facts_for_features_special_editions/001737.html and www.nea.org
By a unanimous bond rating agency vote, California now has the lowest bond ratings of any state, edging out Louisiana.
America’s top CEO’s rank California “the worst place in which to do business” for the fourth straight year (3/2009). But here’s the interesting part – they think California is a great state to live in (primarily for the great climate) – they just won’t bring their businesses here because of the oppressive tax and regulatory climate.
Consider this quote from the survey (a conclusion reflected in the rankings of the characteristics of the state): “California has huge advantages with its size, quality of work force, particularly in high tech, as well as the quality of life and climate advantages of the state. However, it is an absolute regulatory and tax disaster.”
With 12.1% of the nation’s population [36,756,666 divided by 303,824,640], in February, 2009 California was responsible for 20.9% of the newly unemployed. To state it differently, in February California’s growth in the newly unemployed was 72.7% above the national average.
California residential electricity costs an average of 28.7% more than the national average. For industrial use, CA electricity is 48.6% higher than the national average (11/08).
Consider California’s net domestic migration (migration between states). From April, 2000 through June, 2008 (8 years, 2 months) California has lost a NET 1.4 million people. The departures slowed this past year only because people couldn’t sell their homes.
These are not welfare kings and queens departing. They are the young, the productive, the ambitious, the wealthy (such as Tiger Woods), and retirees seeking to make their pensions provide more bang for the buck. The irony is that a disproportionate number of these seniors are retired state and local government employees fleeing the state that provides them with their opulent pensions – in order to avoid the high taxes that these same employees pushed so hard through their unions.
As taxes rise and jobs disappear, we lose our tax base, continuing California’s state and local fiscal death spiral. This must stop this spiral NOW.
RIDER COMMENT: Of course, our nation’s tax problems are not limited to California. Consider our country’s oppressive corporate tax rate.
The U.S. business levy is especially heavy because we tax corporations on both the federal and state level – most other countries have only a single tax.
Aside from driving up the cost of domestic corporate goods, this also makes our businesses less competitive compared to other countries. And the difference is steadily getting worse – not so much because we are raising our corporate taxes, but rather because the rest of the industrial nations are cutting theirs. Currently U.S. corporate tax rates are almost 50% higher than the same tax in other OCED countries (above 50% in high tax California).
"Entrepreneurs are among America's greatest resources. These individuals try to change the status quo because they expect to use resources to create higher value than those resources are currently producing. This takes investments, and investments are risky. The return to these investments is the economic growth that they create, which is profit. Yet the government often taxes these profits twice, once at the business level and then again when the profits are distributed to individuals.
This double taxation not only dampens the incentive to invest, but also obscures who actually bears the burden of these taxes. Corporations are often personified and demonized, but a corporation is a legal entity, not an actual person. Because a corporation is made up of a group of individuals but is not actually an individual, corporate taxes are really taxes on the stakeholders in the corporation. In a U.S. Treasury report, William Gentry points out that empirical studies show that employees and consumers really bear the cost of corporate and investment taxes.
Simulation results show that repealing the corporate income tax alone, which would cost approximately $300 billion in annual tax revenue, would produce by 2012:
- 2 million more jobs than the baseline scenario;
- $280 billion more in real GDP);
- $4,000 more in real disposable income for a family of four;
- $707 billion more in household net wealth—the base of economic strength and stability.
Repealing the corporate income tax would accomplish President Barack Obama's stated goals of increasing investment and ushering in an era of responsibility and economic growth, all at a lower cost than the recently passed stimulus bill.
Repealing the corporate income tax is a relatively low-cost way to implement the President's stated goals. At a time when U.S. employees are seeing jobs leave the country, a tax plan that increases the competitiveness of the U.S. business environment and encourages saving and investment by individuals would allow entrepreneurs to implement their ideas for dealing with the challenges of the 21st century. It would also encourage job-creating businesses to locate in the U.S. It is important that this country's leaders signal that the United States is still the land of opportunity."
~Heritage Foundation, "Time for a Real Change: Repeal the Corporate Income Tax"
HT: NCPA via Carpe Diem
RIDER COMMENT: Opponents of privatizing and earmarking our social security contributions like to bring up “Wall St. greed” – intoning that undeserving financial institutions would love to have such funds directed their way. I guess this is supposedly different from our greedy Congress and Presidents who for generations have used social security funds to pay the OPERATING costs of the federal government, giving back to the fund I.O.U.’s in exchange.
One big difference between the current SS “plan” and privatizing the system is that the greedy gnomes of Wall St. would still have to win our business. As it now stands, the thugs in D.C. take our money using force twice – once to extract the money from us, and then again by extracting the money from the social security system for their political purposes (and reelection).
You BET private capital would like to get hold of our social security funds. But there are no funds to get hold of. Not from past contributions, at least.
All that money has been paid out, or loaned to Congress to pay for operating expenses. At this point, our SS "fund" is a shoebox full of I.O.U.'s from the beleaguered taxpayers of America. No one knows how in the world we will pay off these loans. Estimates of the combined unfunded liability of SS and Medicare now exceed an absolutely unimaginable FORTY TO ONE HUNDRED TRILLION DOLLARS – depending on who you want to believe.
I see three possibilities for these unfunded liabilities:
A. Massive tax increases on a scale heretofore unimaginable except during world wars. I don’t think that option will fly, but the voting public has disappointed me numerous times.
B. The Weimar Republic gambit: Print money until it is damn near worthless, then use that paper to "pay off" the debt and SS recipients. The problem with that is that Congress gives cost of living increases (NOT required) to recipients, so that likely would be a cycle that would solve nothing.
C. When it comes to the SS obligation, simply don't pay it out. Renege on the “social contract.” That means punitive taxes on SS distributions, later retirement ages (both already happening in incremental steps) and ultimately mean-tested SS payments.
If you save and invest, have a pension or IRA, inherit from family, etc. – you lose most or all of your SS benefits.
I'd rather put my SS "contributions" with the private sector – warts and all. At least my account would be earmarked – and that's a GOOD earmark.
4. Bang Bang Stimulus Policy in D.C.
RIDER COMMENT: A good take on the AIG bad bailout policy, followed by more bad policy.
Posted: 19 Mar 2009 10:09 PM PDT
by Roger Koppl
In the mathematics of “optimal control theory” you can sometimes get a system to slam violently between two extremes. You alternate between stepping on the gas as hard as you can and slamming the brakes on full. Mathematicians call such violent swings a “bang bang solution.”
With today’s bill to tax the AIG bonuses at 90%, Congress is making bang bang policy. Bang! Take this money. Bang! Give it back.
When even the government’s fiscal policy is subject to such discretionary change, we’re in trouble. When the government uses its discretion to influence the market, it acts as a “Big Player.”
Bang bang policy is an extreme example of such discretion. Congress has become a Big Player jacked up on methamphetamine.
The trouble with Big Players is that you never know where they’re headed. Instead of paying attention to supply and demand in your corner of the market economy, you have to pay attention to the psychological twists and turns of the Big Player. After all, today’s supply and demand conditions don’t mean much when the Big Player can override them on a whim.
But the twists and turns of Big Player psychology are inherently impossible to predict. Thus entrepreneurs are less able to plan and more eager to curry favor with the Big Player. Economic efficiency, relative scarcity, and product innovation grow increasingly irrelevant to business success.
Bang bang policy is no way to “stimulate” a weak economy. It’s a pretty good way to increase the arbitrary power of the state, however.
RIDER COMMENT: In the competition with other states, California is continuing as top contender in the race to the bottom – seemingly in every category except weather.
With 12.1% of the nation’s population [36,756,666 divided by 303,824,640], this February California was responsible for 20.9% of the newly unemployed. To state it differently, in February California’s growth in new UNemployment was 72.7% above the national average.
Fortunately the massive state tax increases that take effect 1 April will provide the economic stimulus so desperately needed by our state – well, needed by our state government workers so their pay and pensions remain undisturbed by the economic meltdown.
Raising CA taxes sure will help our unemployment problem, right? Right?
RIDER COMMENT: From time to time I review the monthly responses at my local San Diego fire station (published in our Scripps Ranch association periodical). This latest sample is no exception to what I’ve seen in previous months.
In the recent two month period, our firefighters responded to a total of 140 calls – about 2.3 calls per 24 hour period. I suspect they made more runs to Starbucks than to “customers.” Here’s the breakdown.
A. 82 medical responses – this is the primary role of firefighters today.
B. 14 fires – including one vehicle fire. That’s fewer than 2 per week.
C. 12 traffic accidents that were not vehicle fires.
D. 10 “investigate hazard” calls – none of which was much of a hazard.
E. 3 “special services” – all vehicle lock ins.
F. 14 false alarms
Okay, let’s be fair. The average number of responses citywide for San Diego fire stations is over 6 times per 24 hour period – the Scripps Ranch firehouse is a sleepy station.
But here’s the kicker: My previous city council critter (Brian Maienschein) was loved by the locals – he “worked hard” (funny how often politicians use that phrase to describe their efforts) to get us a SECOND Scripps Ranch fire station. Indeed, earlier this decade he thought it was a done deal. Clearly, only funding limitations precluded this idiotic redundancy.
Hmmm. Taken together in sequence, that will be easy to remember. Add your own fantasy to make it work for you.
If you’d like to look over the official info on the six California state props on the May ballot – including the summary, LAO analysis and arguments, you can do so now online:
Prop 1A is being touted as a compromise – tax increases in exchange for a spending cap. Well, at least you DO get the tax increases!
Let’s ignore for the moment the astonishing effort by the Democrat legislature to hide the $16 billion tax increase – leaving any mention of that out of the “Title and Summary” which is supposed to be an objective presentation of the measure. And let’s ignore the fact that the Democrats picked their OWN Democrat groups to write the opposition ballot argument so that the tax increase is NOT MENTIONED ONCE in the arguments and rebuttals.
Wait, I take that back. Such egregious dishonesty is more than enough justification to vote against this measure.
Nevertheless, even some Republicans are favoring Prop 1A because they think there’s some spending cap. And here’s where we got to the something (higher taxes) for nothing (a fake spending cap).
Prop 1A has HUGE loopholes. The biggest one is that if taxes are increased, the cap goes up as well. That’s no spending cap at all.
I disagree. The Prop 1A limits are not limits. It does nothing to rein in tax increases.
You claim that tax increases are not much of a threat. Oh really?
It's true that, looking back, taxes have not risen THAT often. But look to the future.
California is more blue state than ever. Progressives rule. The GOP has lost strength in the legislature, and courage (and common sense) in the governor's office.
Furthermore, when we pass the redistricting and "top two" props, you'll see more Democrats elected, along with more wuss Republicans. Increasing taxes and "fees" will be easier than any time in California's history.
It takes only three seats to change from Republican to Dem in each house to give Democrats their cherished 2/3 majorities – which will give them total control over both taxes and spending. Not that they need that level of control, as the Republican "moderate" pink elephants are going to be easy to cull out of the GOP herd.
One other variation on this pathetic viewpoint revolves around the idea that ANY spending limitation is better than no spending limitation, no matter how big the accompanying tax increases. I would argue it’s better to have NO spending limit than a fake spending limit. With this measure in place, all efforts at controlling spending and establishing a “hard” spending limit will die. The pitch will be “well, let’s wait a few years to see how this works.” Bad, bad, idea.
Bottom line: If Prop 1A passes, we're screwed. And Prop 1A raises our taxes while offering false hope.
***Prop. 1A: LAO Update***
The more I scrutinize the mega Budget deal coming before voters on May 19, the worse it looks. When I first heard about it I hoped the spending cap component would take us back to the original Gann limit and I was assured by some that it would.
The language on the cap is so vague I asked the Legislative Analyst’s Office to calculate what the spending cap in 1A would be for 2009-’10, assuming the cap is in place now. The Analyst’s rough calculation is the cap for the next Budget would be around $108 billion on revenues of only $97 billion.
It is clear the formula generates a cap far above what we are likely to have, so it will not control spending for many years absent a huge and unexpected spike in revenue. Proposition 1A is a massive tax increase that pretends to control spending.
It only does the former.
RIDER COMMENT: This mesmerizing 3.5 minute speech by a Conservative British MEP demonstrates a rhetorical skill we desperately need in this country, yet sadly lack. It’s a masterful speech and spot-on in content. I'm in awe.
We Colonials need to import this guy to Congress. He'd be so far superior to our current lot of losers, he’d would constitute a welcome embarrassment.
Essentially everything he says in his speech applies to Obama, Schwarzenegger and the other dolts running our country into the ground.
England’s Prime Minister Brown being given what for. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=94lW6Y4tBXs
RIDER COMMENT: In the San Diego area, visits to Tijuana, Mexico for dental work are become more common every year. Savings run from 70% to 85% over U.S. dentists. To a lesser extent, people are looking south of the border for other medical treatment.
TJ is an awful place, with kidnappings, crooked cops and occasional drug war shootouts. But the savings are so great that many people weigh risk vs. return (savings), and still chose to go.
The chance of actually getting kidnapped or shot are rather small. But it’s sad that our tort-plagued medical system has become so expensive that people are choosing to take their chances in TJ for the substantial savings.
I think a somewhat more interesting approach would be to combine a vacation into one of the safer resorts in Mexico (or elsewhere), and combine that visit with dental work. Or plastic surgery. Or both!
After we institute national health care, this foreign medical vacation option will probably grow by leaps and bounds. Oh joy!
RIDER COMMENT: I’m the San Diego area designated hitter opposing Prop 1A (and B and C), according to the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association. Recently I did the San Diego Chamber of Commerce. We lost that debate, but more on that later.
13. Why should teachers be a protected class?
RIDER COMMENT: Are education unions about good education, or good job security? Silly question.
Los Angeles Times
March 26, 2009
Why should teachers be a protected class?
Their unions are whipping up hysteria about possible layoffs, but
they don't seem to care about getting rid of bad educators.
By Larry Sand
Earlier this month, United Teachers Los Angeles President A.J. Duffy purposely disrupted a school board meeting to dramatize his plea to save teachers' jobs. Only a few days later, teachers, parents and students participated in more than 100 events across the state aimed at protesting teacher layoffs. Now it's time to step back from all this hysteria over possible layoffs and take a realistic look at where things stand.
First, a little background: By March 15, school districts in California were required to send out reduction-in-force notices (RIFs) to any employee whose job might be in jeopardy come fall. The unions are referring to these notices as "pink slips." Now, everyone knows that a pink slip means "You're fired." But it is very clear that these RIFs are nothing more than an alert to a possible layoff -- sort of the difference between a bullet to the head and a warning shot. Still, the California Teachers Assn. went so far as to have a day dedicated to alerting the general populace about the RIFs, calling Friday, March 13 "Pink Slip Friday" -- once again leading all concerned to believe that all teachers receiving RIFs would be shown the door.
The simple truth is that no one knows what will happen because there are just too many wild cards in the deck. As Los Angeles Unified School District Supt. Ramon C. Cortines pointed out in an e-mail sent to all teachers, the ultimate fate of the state budget will not be known until budget initiatives are voted on during the May 19 election. Also, there is still no hard information on when federal stimulus money will rain down on L.A. Then there is an early-retirement incentive package that could induce many highly paid veteran teachers to retire, thus allowing newer, lower-paid teachers to keep their jobs.
In all honesty, it is certainly possible that some teachers will have to be let go. Although no one would diminish the seriousness of a job loss, we must be realistic. Our state is in dire financial straits -- why should teachers be a protected class? This is especially true in light of the following inconvenient fact: In 2003-04, the LAUSD had 747,009 students in its system, and those students were taught by 36,180 teachers. By 2007-08, the student population had shrunk 7%, to 693,680, but the teaching force had decreased only about 1%, to 35,785. In 2003-04, the student/teacher ratio was 20.64 students per teacher. In 2007-08, it was 19.38 students per teacher. If we went back to the 20.64 ratio of 2003-04, we would need only 33,597 teachers -- 2,000 fewer teachers than we have now. (Unions hate the thought of fewer teachers -- it means
less money in the form of dues for them).
A very troubling aspect of the layoff scenario is that if teachers are let go, it will be done by seniority. This means that an ineffective teacher on the job for three years gets to keep his or her job over a wonderful teacher who has been on the job for two years. This would be damaging to kids and devastating to the laid-off teachers, many of whom would seek out new professions. But the unions don't seem to care about teacher quality as much as longevity.
This archaic system is exacerbated by the tenure or "permanence" scheme insisted on by the unions. Under this set-up, once a teacher has been in a school for two years, he is essentially given a job for life. Getting rid of bad teachers is almost impossible. If we could dismiss poor teachers instead of being forced to keep them, the system would improve greatly. The next time a union official starts talking about "the children," please ask why the union insists on this system, which clearly does not benefit children.
In Los Angeles, we have some of the highest-paid teachers in the U.S. -- most of whom have a world-class health plan in a state whose economy is falling apart, where the unemployment rate tops 10% and whose citizens are already among the most taxed in the country -- whining about the possibility that a few jobs may be lost.
It is unfair to paint all teachers with the union brush. But it would behoove those who dissent from the UTLA and CTA party line to let their union know how they feel, and perhaps seek alternatives.
Larry Sand, a Los Angeles teacher for more than 27 years, is the
president of the California Teachers Empowerment Network.
At the request of then-state legislator Tom McClintock, in 2004 I wrote the ballot argument against Prop 58, the California "Balanced Budget Act." That last word in the title should have tipped off the voters, but didn't.
Prop 58 was indeed an act – a magic act. Complete with disappearing promises and illusionary savings.
BACKGROUND: The governor wanted $15 billion worth of bonds issued to pay California’s state OPERATING expenses -- largely inflated salaries and pensions. This was Prop 57.
The pitch was, “give us the money (and pay interest on it for 30 years), and we’ll solve California’s budget problems through reforms.” The problem for Schwarzenegger was that this use of muni bonds was prohibited by the CA Constitution – such bond proceeds were limited to infrastructure spending.
Hence Prop 58 was needed to overturn this longstanding taxpayer protection. To make this palatable, the governor supposedly arranged a trade-off – the $15 billion in exchange for new, solid budget reforms included in Prop 58.
In our opposition arguments to Prop 58, we made clear that there were loopholes galore in the measure – that this would NOT solve our budget woes. Opponents castigated us for our concerns, and assured all that this was the real deal.
It’s worth going back to read the actual Prop 58 ballot arguments – and to see who signed them. To see all four arguments, go to:
The most interesting of the four arguments is the rebuttal by Prop 58 proponents to our opposition argument. Here it is:
REBUTTAL to Argument against Proposition 58
Don't be fooled by the opponents. The California Taxpayers Association supports the California Balanced Budget Act.
Proposition 58 WILL REQUIRE A BALANCED BUDGET for the first time. State government spending in California is out of control. Over the past three years, state spending has significantly exceeded state revenues.
Under Proposition 58, the Governor and the California State Legislature must ENACT a BALANCED BUDGET. It will CLOSE A LOOPHOLE that was used to create the huge deficit.
Governor Schwarzenegger's California Economic Recovery Plan includes both Propositions 57 and 58. Combined, the two measures will allow California to refinance its debt and prevent such a situation from EVER HAPPENING AGAIN. We should not be allowed to SPEND MORE MONEY THAN WE HAVE.
Proposition 58 requires the Legislature to enact a balanced budget and if circumstances change after they pass the budget, the Governor is required to call them into special session to make mid-year changes to the budget, so that we end the year with A BALANCED BUDGET. And Proposition 58 prohibits the Legislature from acting on any new legislation until the budget is balanced again.
Proposition 58 does not change the Gann Spending Limit. It is still the law, the BALANCED BUDGET ACT provides a new tool in the fight against overspending.
Proposition 58 prohibits borrowing for future deficits. Proposition 58 requires building a reserve of at least $8 billion. Please support the California Recovery Plan and vote YES ON PROPOSITIONS 57 and 58.
RIDER COMMENT: It’s really stunning to read just how ignorant, misinformed and perhaps dishonest these proponents were. At the very least, their credibility is ruined.
Now, note who signed this rebuttal. These are ostensibly all Republicans, I believe. And note particularly the third signer.
ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER, Governor
State of California
BILL HAUCK, Chairman
California Constitution Revision Commission
ALLAN ZAREMBERG, Chairman
California Chamber of Commerce
The California Chamber of Commerce has been wrong far more than it’s been right on taxes and bonds. Contrary to what people would expect, they FAVOR most bonds and tax increases – as long as big business is not heavily hammered by such taxes.
The CA Chamber of Commerce is a Big Government proponent, intent on currying favor with politicians for special interest legislation and government construction contracts. Based on this dishonest/inaccurate/condescending ballot argument, this outfit is not to be trusted in such fiscal matters.
Which brings me to Loren Kaye. This fellow runs the Chamber’s “think tank.” Mr. Kaye is currently working full-time, attacking any opponents of Prop 1A while glossing over the huge tax increases in the prop.
The parallels between Prop 57-58 and Prop 1A are obvious – almost eerie. Both are empty promises at the cost of many billions.
RIDER COMMENT: Even in this depressed economy, a San Diego area home can be swapped for at least 20 average homes in Detroit. You can buy your own subdivision!
And 100 years from now, if Al Gore is right, global warming will make that area a paradise, while our San Diego homes will be under water. Plan ahead!
Average Home Price in Detroit Falls to $13,638
According to the Michigan Association of Realtors (data here), the average sales price of a Detroit home fell to $13,638 in January, a 42.6% decline from the $23,755 average home price in January 2008, and a 25% decline from last year's average price of $18,128. Unit sales increased in Detroit by +37% in January 2009 to 1,007 homes, compared to 736 home sold last January.
At the state level, the average home sales price fell by 37% in January to $84,832, compared to last January's average price of $134,721.
Based on sales, the median price of San Diego homes is about $290,000, down from about $605K at the peak.
Last Updated: 6:31PM GMT 28 Mar 2009
Rise of sea levels is 'the greatest lie ever told'
The uncompromising verdict of Dr Mörner is that all this talk about the sea
rising is nothing but a colossal scare story, writes Christopher Booker.
If one thing more than any other is used to justify proposals that the world
must spend tens of trillions of dollars on combating global warming, it is
the belief that we face a disastrous rise in sea levels. The Antarctic and
Greenland ice caps will melt, we are told, warming oceans will expand, and
the result will be catastrophe.
Although the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) only
predicts a sea level rise of 59cm (17 inches) by 2100, Al Gore in his
Oscar-winning film An Inconvenient Truth went much further, talking of 20
feet, and showing computer graphics of cities such as Shanghai and San
Francisco half under water. We all know the graphic showing central London
in similar plight. As for tiny island nations such as the Maldives and
Tuvalu, as Prince Charles likes to tell us and the Archbishop of Canterbury
was again parroting last week, they are due to vanish.
But if there is one scientist who knows more about sea levels than anyone
else in the world it is the Swedish geologist and physicist Nils-Axel
Mörner, formerly chairman of the INQUA International Commission on Sea Level
Change. And the uncompromising verdict of Dr Mörner, who for 35 years has
been using every known scientific method to study sea levels all over the
globe, is that all this talk about the sea rising is nothing but a colossal
Despite fluctuations down as well as up, "the sea is not rising," he says.
"It hasn't risen in 50 years." If there is any rise this century it will
"not be more than 10cm (four inches), with an uncertainty of plus or minus
10cm". And quite apart from examining the hard evidence, he says, the
elementary laws of physics (latent heat needed to melt ice) tell us that the
apocalypse conjured up by Al Gore and Co could not possibly come about.
The reason why Dr Mörner, formerly a Stockholm professor, is so certain that
these claims about sea level rise are 100 per cent wrong is that they are
all based on computer model predictions, whereas his findings are based on
"going into the field to observe what is actually happening in the real
When running the International Commission on Sea Level Change, he launched a
special project on the Maldives, whose leaders have for 20 years been
calling for vast sums of international aid to stave off disaster. Six times
he and his expert team visited the islands, to confirm that the sea has not
risen for half a century. Before announcing his findings, he offered to show
the inhabitants a film explaining why they had nothing to worry about. The
government refused to let it be shown.
Similarly in Tuvalu, where local leaders have been calling for the
inhabitants to be evacuated for 20 years, the sea has if anything dropped in
recent decades. The only evidence the scaremongers can cite is based on the
fact that extracting groundwater for pineapple growing has allowed seawater
to seep in to replace it. Meanwhile, Venice has been sinking rather than the
Adriatic rising, says Dr Mörner.
One of his most shocking discoveries was why the IPCC has been able to show
sea levels rising by 2.3mm a year. Until 2003, even its own satellite-based
evidence showed no upward trend. But suddenly the graph tilted upwards
because the IPCC's favoured experts had drawn on the finding of a single
tide-gauge in Hong Kong harbour showing a 2.3mm rise. The entire global
sea-level projection was then adjusted upwards by a "corrective factor" of
2.3mm, because, as the IPCC scientists admitted, they "needed to show a
When I spoke to Dr Mörner last week, he expressed his continuing dismay at
how the IPCC has fed the scare on this crucial issue. When asked to act as
an "expert reviewer" on the IPCC's last two reports, he was "astonished to
find that not one of their 22 contributing authors on sea levels was a sea
level specialist: not one". Yet the results of all this "deliberate
ignorance" and reliance on rigged computer models have become the most
powerful single driver of the entire warmist hysteria.
.For more information, see Dr Mörner on YouTube (Google Mörner, Maldives and
YouTube); or read on the net his 2007 EIR interview "Claim that sea level is
rising is a total fraud"; or email him - firstname.lastname@example.org - to buy a copy of
his booklet 'The Greatest Lie Ever Told'
. . .
The Climate Change Secretary, Ed Miliband, timed his jibe impeccably last
week when he said that opposing wind farms is as "socially unacceptable" as
"not wearing a seatbelt". Britain's largest windfarm companies are pulling
out of wind as fast as they can. Despite 100 per cent subsidies, the credit
crunch and technical problems spell an end to Gordon Brown's £100 billion
dream of meeting our EU target to derive 35 per cent of our electricity from
"renewables" by 2020.
Meanwhile the Government gives the go-ahead for three new 1,000 megawatt
gas-fired power stations in Wales. Each of them will generate more than the
combined average output (700 megawatts) of all the 2,400 wind turbines so
far built. The days of the "great wind fantasy" will soon be over.
© Telegraph Media Group Limited 2009
RIDER COMMENT: One termed out, fiscally frugal legislator we sorely miss is Ray Haynes. At least he’s still writing. Here’s his explanation of the CA budget games.
by Ray Haynes - State Capitol (bio) (email)(print)
3-29-2009 12:40 am
RIDER COMMENT: Below is a note from the libertarian Cato Institute about the lack of consensus on global warming. I strongly encourage you to click on the link to the full page advertisement they ran in major national newspapers.
FROM: Cato Institute
Thought you might enjoy seeing this ad we ran as a full page in today’s New York Times, Washington Post, Washington Times, Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times. Looks familiar, doesn’t it? The idea behind the “With all due respect Mr. President, that is not true.” headline is to point out that on major issues – economic “stimulus” and climate change -- President Obama seems to try to avoid debate by pretending there is no debate. The 120 or so top experts on climate change, including MIT’s Richard Lindzen, make it clear there is plenty of debate going on over global warming. Coincidentally, the New York Times Magazine ran a cover story yesterday on Freeman Dyson, one of the most brilliant scientists of our time, focusing on his skepticism about the threat of global warming. Anyway, we wanted to bring this latest ad to your attention.
1000 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20001