the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

Crazy Stuff on Michigan Ballot

Posted by Jeff Id on October 9, 2012

PROPOSAL 12-3
A PROPOSAL TO AMEND THE STATE CONSTITUTION
TO ESTABLISH A STANDARD FOR RENEWABLE ENERGY
This proposal would:

Require electric utilities to provide at least 25% of their annual retail sales of electricity from renewable energy sources, which are wind, solar, biomass, and hydropower, by 2025.

Limit to not more than 1% per year electric utility rate increases charged to consumers only to achieve compliance with the renewable energy standard.

Allow annual extensions of the deadline to meet the 25% standard in order to prevent rate increases over the 1% limit.

Require the legislature to enact additional laws to encourage the use of Michigan made equipment and employment of Michigan residents.
Should this proposal be approved?
YES __
NO ____

Envirowhackos want us to produce 25% of our power from things that don’t work.   What’s more is that they want to incorporate the idiocy right into the State constitution.   My guess is that the media propaganda about “renewable” energy has brainwashed the public into thinking that this is probably ok.  What linguistic magic empowers the thinking that it will only add a little cost because the price increase is legislated in the bill?

Surprisingly they forgot to list potato batteries as one of the renewable sources.  What is the problem? We know potato batteries can’t effectively replace combustibles either, so why aren’t they on the list?

Maybe they are potato racists.

58 Responses to “Crazy Stuff on Michigan Ballot”

  1. At the risk of appearing repetitive and singularly unoriginal:

    Thank God for California (and Michigan) for doing dumb stuff so the rest of us won’t have to.

  2. Frank K. said

    What caught my eye was this:

    “Limit to not more than 1% per year electric utility rate increases charged to consumers only to achieve compliance with the renewable energy standard.”

    Basically they’re asking the voters to bankrupt the energy producers. That will NOT end well…

    This is the kind of insane extremism we’re fighting this election cycle. PLEASE, vote appropriately this November. Even your local races matter. Thanks.

    • kakatoa said

      Frank,

      We, as in CA, found out that the utility companies will go bankrupt if they can’t recoup their costs to provide service- we ended up with brown outs and rolling back outs for a couple of years. And like the bank bail out programs the public, rate payers, in CA are the ones that ended up getting stuck with the bill to bail out the utility companies.

      The closure of the NUMI auto assembly plant- the joint venture between Toyota and GM- and all the subcontractors in the state that supported the facility come to mind as one of the unintended consequences of our RE mandate. An economic analysis of the RE standard came to this conclusion:

      http://www.mackinac.org/archives/2012/25X25STUDY.pdf

      “Business firms, particularly those with high electricity

      usage, may begin to move their production (and

      emissions) out of Michigan to locations with lower

      electricity prices. Start-up firms or relocating firms

      may refuse to locate in Michigan at all. In both cases,

      the emissions — as well as the jobs and other economic

      benefits — will simply occur elsewhere. Therefore, the

      Michigan policy is unlikely to reduce global emissions,

      but will likely send jobs and capital investment outside

      the state.”

  3. M Simon said

    I have been blogging this issue some:

    http://www.ecnmag.com/blogs/2012/10/flywheel-ointment

    http://www.ecnmag.com/blogs/2012/09/your-dollars-are-blowing-wind-and-burning-sun

    http://www.ecnmag.com/blogs/2012/09/blow-wind-energy

    In part all this is the fault of utilities. They don’t teach how the grid works unless you are really, really, interested.

    • M Simon said

      Oh. And BTW the reason for the government to take control of your electric power (other wise known as a dumb idea called the “smart grid”) is to solve all the problems caused by renewables.

  4. Biomass = trees. In the UK they are converting coal power plants to burn firewood.

  5. omanuel said

    Thanks for the message, Jeff. Regretfully, the entire worldwide society today is like passengers on the Titanic in 1912.

    I appreciate your efforts and those of others who recognize the serious problem we face, but it appears that the USSR outmaneuvered Allied scientists and leaders of Allied nations at the negotiating table in 1945, convincing them to abandon three of this country’s greatest assets:

    1. The 1776 Declaration of Independence
    _ http://www.ushistory.org/declaration/document/

    2. The 1787 US Constitution, ratified in 1788
    _ http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_transcript.html

    3. The 1789 US Bill of Rights, ratified in 1791
    _ http://www.ushistory.org/documents/amendments.htm

    • omanuel said

      The loss of integrity in government science and constitutional limits on government may have been initiated by efforts to hide Japan’s nuclear detonation off the east coast of Konan, Korea on 12 Aug 1945 and the B-29 Flight of the Hog Wild that the USSR downed near Konan, Korea on 29 Aug 1945:

      http://www.my-jia.com/The_Flight_of_the_Hog_Wild/

      US crew members were held captive for sixteen days, until 14 Sept 1945.

      Agreements made in negotiations for the crew’s release may explain why the United Nations was established the next month on 24 Oct 1945, without informing the world of Japan’s atomic bomb facility near Konan, Korea.

      Sixty-four years later in late Nov 2009, Climategate documents and emails revealed the fraudulent global temperature data base of the UN’s IPCC Reports:

      http://joannenova.com.au/global-warming/climategate-30-year-timeline/

  6. Ged said

    @Sunshinehours1

    It’s like the 1800′s all over again!

  7. kakatoa said

    CA has had a 20% RES for a few years. Let’s hope the legislature and regulators in Michigan talked to CA Public Utilities Commissioner Florio about what keeps him up at night………

    “Commissioner Mike Florio, however, voted against the agreement. He said the possibility of steep electricity rate hikes triggered by renewable contracts keeps him awake at night.

    “It just worries me that if we sign too many of these contracts, it’s going to make the program look bad just when it’s being successful,” Florio said.”

    Our utility companies are trying to figure out who should pay for the RE contracts we have signed-

    “As a result, the utilities have committed to pay about $6 billion more for power than they would have over the life of the contracts, according to the report. Most of those added costs have not yet been included in Californians’ utility bills, because the renewable power projects are still under development.”

    http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Calif-renewable-energy-goals-come-at-a-price-2291030.php#ixzz28pd34tyL

  8. lurker passing through, laughing said

    This will send the rest of the state of Michigan into the same pit as Detroit.
    What an amazing example of magical ingnorance dressed up as thinking.
    If it passes, those able will continue the migration of of people voting with their feet to leave that formerly prosperous state.

  9. Matthew W said

    Good for Michigan !!!!

    That will leave more real electricity for us in Illinos to use !!!

  10. Tom in St. Johns said

    As a Michigan resident I pray that this doesn’t pass. If it does a lp gas generator will be the only Christmas gift in our household this year.

  11. I love Tennessee although I don’t get to visit often enough. Whenever I do go there prosperity seems to have risen since the previous visit. Could it be that low energy costs have something to do with it?

    My guess is that Michigan’s loss (of jobs) will be Tennessee’s or Alabama’s gain. Remember that Al Gore could not win his home state when he ran for president.

  12. kakatoa said

    Out here in mostly sunny CA we are in the process of moving to Time of Use Metering for small and medium size business. PG&E informed a few associates of mine, who happen to have small businesses, that they have to move to time of use billing-

    http://www.pge.com/mybusiness/energysavingsrebates/timevaryingpricing/learnwhatitmeans/smb/

    The net effect won’t be too bad for this year as noted in the A-1 rate schedules. There will be about a 10% premium for peak time electrical energy usage as noted in this table.

    http://www.pge.com/tariffs/CommercialCurrent.xls

    A-1 TOU rates- (summer and winter rates)

    On peak $0.22006
    Part Peak $0.21324
    Off Peak $0.19250
    Part Peak $0.15102
    Off Peak $0.13642

    As we bring more RE on line to meet the 33%RES it will be interesting to see how the costs between the different billing time frames (peak, off peak, part peak) change. If the ISO’s (and regulators) follow an approach to billing that has prices follow the actual costs to secure RE one would assume the ratio’s between off peak and on peak will increase as they pay the owners of the RE utility scale facilities a rather large premium (2 to 3 times the merchant price) for peak time energy supplied to the grid as noted here- http://www.cpuc.ca.gov/PUC/energy/Renewables/Feed-in+Tariff+Price.htm

    The resolution noted above shows these TOD factors for super peak times in the summer:
    PG&E- 2.38
    SCE- 3.13
    SD- 2.50

  13. SammyJ said

    In Federalist 23, reputed to be penned by Madison, he is arguing for a federal government with a standing military and opining that the citizens will not rise up against it if the government is “continually at a distance and out of sight”. 250 years of hindsight shows his great underestimation of the determination of the political class to intrude into every aspect of our lives (disregarding the military, which is the least threatening to us), whether in state (as in Michigan) or federal laws. The legislators in the past, and now much more rapidly, are anything but “at a distance and out of sight”. The sad part is that generations of American citizens have allowed this to happen.

    From Federalist 23:

    “I will, in this place, hazard an observation, which will not be the less just because to some it may appear new; which is, that the more the operations of the national authority are intermingled in the ordinary exercise of government, the more the citizens are accustomed to meet with it in the common occurrences of their political life, the more it is familiarized to their sight and to their feelings, the further it enters into those objects which touch the most sensible chords and put in motion the most active springs of the human heart, the greater will be the probability that it will conciliate the respect and attachment of the community. Man is very much a creature of habit. A thing that rarely strikes his senses will generally have but little influence upon his mind. A government continually at a distance and out of sight can hardly be expected to interest the sensations of the people. The inference is, that the authority of the Union, and the affections of the citizens towards it, will be strengthened, rather than weakened, by its extension to what are called matters of internal concern; and will have less occasion to recur to force, in proportion to the familiarity and comprehensiveness of its agency. The more it circulates through those channels and currents in which the passions of mankind naturally flow, the less will it require the aid of the violent and perilous expedients of compulsion.”

  14. SammyJ said

    Sorry, the above was from Federalist 27, not 23.

  15. Lee said

    The renewable energy amendment is pretty laughable. However, if you really want to see how frightening things could get in Michigan have a quick read at this attempted power grab by the unions.

    http://reason.com/archives/2012/10/09/big-labor-is-going-for-broke-in-michigan

  16. omanuel said

    Some who have lived under communism [1] conclude that postmodern environmentalism threatens constitutional government, economic freedom, civil and property rights, and the integrity of government science:

    Our problem today is the USSR out-maneuvered Allied scientists and leaders of Allied nations at the negotiating table in 1945, convincing them to abandon three documents that acknowledged the Divine rights of American citizens, in order to save the world from nuclear annihilation by establishing the United Nations on 24 Oct 1945:

    a.) The 1776 Declaration of Independence
    _ http://www.ushistory.org/declaration/document/

    b.) The 1787 US Constitution, ratified in 1788
    _ http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_transcript.html

    c.) The 1789 US Bill of Rights, ratified in 1791
    _ http://www.ushistory.org/documents/amendments.htm

    Here’s the rest of the story of the sixty-seven year (2012 – 1945 = 67 yr) collapse of capitalism, constitutional government, civil and religious freedom and integrity of government science:

    http://omanuel.wordpress.com/about/#comment-1369

    [1] Vaclav Klaus, Blue Planet in Green Shackles (Competitive Enterprise Institute, first edition, 2007) 100 pages, http://tinyurl.com/5z4j6g

  17. GHowe said

    Hey , no worry’s we will just adapt, like the UK. Their grid chief said 24/7 electricity won’t be available by 2020, buts people can adapt.

    This is what happens when the tossed-out-bums from the 2010 election have nothing else to do. 6 ballot measures, 4 of them constitutional, all but one are going to lose, perhaps. (We’re not that stupid are we?

    The ex-congress critter pushing the RE proposal says it will only cost 50 cents a month! Our fine ex-guv chirped from Berkley, CA, her new home, about Proposal 2, constitutional union rights for public employees, “Liars, Liars” at people fighting this scourge of a bill. And our current senate critter can tell GW exists from increased turbulence in her plane rides. No worrys.

  18. Brian H said

    GHowe;
    Even 1% mandated renewables would cost more than it returned. No worries (note sp.) only if you have no brains! ;-)

  19. omanuel said

    With deep regrets, I recommend that everyone study the discussion on economics:

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2012/10/09/economics-is-easy/

    Worldwide, the wrong side now has the upper hand in the age-old battle of The EGO versus The FORCE

    See: http://omanuel.wordpress.com/about/#comment-1292
    And: http://omanuel.wordpress.com/about/#comment-1369

    With deep regrets,
    -Oliver K. Manuel
    Former NASA Principal
    Investigator for Apollo

  20. Mark T said

    Damned potato(e)-haters. Only thing worse is a mater-hater.

    Mark

  21. Alan D McIntire said

    I checked online to see that Michigan currently gets about 3.6% of its energy from renewables. They could easily reach the 25% target by cutting energy use by 85.6%

  22. slimething said

    I live in Michigan. In the thumb region to be precise, right in the middle of wind farm alley; newly erected towers from one corner of the county to the other. I counted about 5 windmills going up a few weekends ago a few miles from my home.

    Politicians were pushing this in our county a few years back, even a few Republicans. Why? Revenue, plain and simple, oh and of course “jobs”. They bloviate at these meetings giving glowing accolades of how good it will be to be energy independent, and did I mention more revenue? Throwing in a few sentences on saving the planet doesn’t hurt either. They say the schools will benefit tremendously from all this “revenue” from all the wonderful free energy. The teacher unions love the sound of that; more money for them too! The tax “revenue” and income for the “jobs” won’t come from profits from power generation, but government subsidies. People are so blind, they think money just appears out of thin air to pay for these ambitious projects,and since our country has grown accustomed to getting anything we want like spoiled children, people also think the party will never end. Utopia!

    Michigan is slowly but surely going the way of California, Wisconsin and every other state sucked in by the lure of Big Government promises only to result in economic disaster in the end, a very sad thing to watch. The number of ballot proposals seems to be increasing over the years, but this year in particular there are a lot and I doubt if many even know what they’re about. If this ballot proposal succeeds, our state will be forced (by our own doing) to install many thousands of these damned things. In ten years half will be broken down with no money to fix them. This and other ballot measures are heavily supported by unions, therefore I already knew which way to vote without even reading the proposals.

    Why even bother with elections? Hell, just give all the voters (union members get two to replicate voting twice in elections) smart phones and let “democracy” take it’s course. Hire a good advertising firm, come up with a nice sounding title, hire union thugs to gather sufficient signatures to qualify for a statewide vote, find some good actors for commercials informing the voters how great it will be, and viola!, government run by the voters. Brilliant! Don’t underestimate the stupidity of voters in Michigan, albeit concentrated in a few large blue counties.

    The website for our area is here http://ciddt.org/

  23. I took the entire family to see “Atlas Shrugged” part 2.
    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2012/10/09/economics-is-easy/#comment-41242

  24. omanuel said

    @Gallopingcamel Does “Atlas Shrugged” part 2 shed any additional light on current demise of society?

    It now appears that purposefully deceptive science began to be published in 1946, two years before George Orwell wrote the futuristic novel to warn the world of a tyrannical, deceptive government in the future, “1984″, http://www.online-literature.com/orwell/1984/

    Publishers of Science, American Association for the Advancement of Science, deserve an award for outstanding, “1984″-style deception

    In 1972 Nature published the first clear evidence of two isotopically distinct components of xenon trapped in meteorites that could not be explained by the occurrence of nuclear or fractionation processes within the meteorites ["Xenon in carbonaceous chondrites," Nature 240, 99-101 (1972)].

    http://www.omatumr.com/archive/XenonInCarbonaceousChondrites.pdf

    Science magazine published two misleading papers [1,2] in 1975 to discredit the fact that

    Our sun blew up, like the bombs of Hiroshima and Nakasaki, and is now a neutron star covered with waste products of H and He !

    The publishers, AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science) make no mention of the two misleading articles [1,2] in the Table of Contents.

    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/190/4221.toc

    1. “Host Phase of a Strange Xenon Component in Allende”
    R. S. LEWIS, B. SRINIVASAN, and EDWARD ANDERS
    Science 190 (26 December 1975) 1251-1262

    2. “Extinct Super-heavy Element in the Allende Meteorite”
    E. ANDERS, H. HIGUCHI, J. GROS, H. TAKAHASHI, and J. W. MORGAN
    Science 190 (26 December 1975) 1262-1271.

    Here is a private link to both sides of the debate that was finally published on 14 Jan 1977:

    http://www.omatumr.com/archive/StrangeXenon.pdf

    With deep regrets,
    - Oliver K. Manuel
    Former NASA Principal
    Investigator for Apollo

  25. Omanuel @24,
    Given that Atlas Shrugged was first published in 1957 it is a bit scary to note how it connects with what is going on today. It is fantasy/science fiction with a political message comparable to “Gulliver’s Travels” in the 18th century.

    Ayn Rand experienced soviet Russia at first hand which might explain why she opposed “Etatism”. She shows the state growing in power by taking from “wealthy” individuals. After all, wealthy people did not do it themselves; the rest of us educated their children built the roads to their factories, grew the food that they ate and so on, so we are entitled! Maybe that sounds slightly familiar.

    There are some nice touches such as the “Rent-a-Mob” that looks like the “Occupy Wall Street” crowd. For me it is fascinating to see Ayn Rand’s fantasy playing out in the modern world. North Korea provides the perfect example of the kind of society you get when the state takes everything. That is where we are headed if we drive out the “Wealthy”.

    On the other hand how do you explain the People’s Republic of China with an average growth rate of 9% over the last 30 years? If the Chinese had not rediscovered capitalism their economy would be no better than North Korea’s. Take a look at what saved the PRC:
    http://www.gallopingcamel.info/Freedom.htm

    One of the people who wrote the “secret document” says that the “Party” is still taking from people who lack the right political connections so the PRC’s economic miracle may rest on rotten foundations. I wish I could stick around for another 50 years to see how things come out! It will probably come down to socialism vs. capitalism.

  26. Lee said

    Well, having read some of the comments, it’s safe to say that almost everyone agrees that this is a “whacko bill”. I beg to differ. First incorrect thing you say is that renewables don’t work, WRONG. Not only do they work, they create more jobs than the mainstream energy sources. Now I will furnish you with some FACTS:
    The earths oil reserves are running out (no matter which side of the fence you fall, this is simply general knowledge), at some point or another we will HAVE to consider alternative energy sources in order to power your computer, and sustain your unsustainable lifestyle. Forget climate change for a while and look at the social implications oil extraction and fracking have had:

    2010 BP oil spill: 5 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, collapsing fisheries, eyeless crab and shrimp
    and because I do not want to be blamed for syphoning off one disaster ill move on

    2005 shell oil spill in Nigeria: destroyed 47 fish ponds and peoples livelihoods in the Nigger delta

    Fracking- Destroys and Fragments Wildlife Habitats, Increases Ozone and Smog Levels, Contaminates Water Quality and Supply

    Looking at the social implications alone I fail to see how any person with a conscience is not pro renewable energy.

    You think this is a conspiracy, think again. Multilateral cooperations have been trying to drown the development of the electric car for centuries, because they know what this could mean to their revenues.
    I plead with you to look at the bigger picture, forget your disdain for climate science and see the benefits that renewables could have for people.
    For reasons mentioned above, I am FOR the bill.

    • Lee,

      You provided no facts which show “renewable” energy does any of what you claim. You then provide nonsense about fracking for which you have no evidence whatsoever. Were it not for the conspiracy nonsense, I might have made it a headpost for people to shred.

      The FACT is that “renewable energy” (whatever that is) cannot dent our global usage and the costs are astronomical. You actually have to be pretty darned ignorant about their costs and output to believe they are effective at creating either jobs or energy, but that is the world in which we live.

      • kakatoa said

        Jeff,

        You may have noticed that lots of PV is being installed these days via lease agreements. The lease holders are getting a nice return on their investments for RE. The ratepayer and national tax payers not so much as noted in a recent post http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2012/10/treasury-dept-fingers-solarcity-in-exploration-of-the-dark-underbelly-of-solar-leasing

        • Here in Florida, FP&L and Progress Energy provide a $10,000 grant for people who install a 5 kVA peak rated rooftop PV system. The federal government provides another $4,000 grant. Even with conservative assumptions the “Return on Investment” is >20% per year. You make money and your house will sell for more.

          While this investment is a “No Brainer” there is a catch. I am a FP&L customer but after three attempts I have failed to get the rebate as they only give out ~100 per year and they are all gone within a couple of hours. I plan to keep trying!

          For me rooftop solar makes sense but it can never be more than a niche technology. Industrial scale CSP or PV makes no sense at all. It has failed in Spain, Germany and here in the USA. It will continue as long as the government subsidies last. Check out the “Wreck of the Carrizo”:
          http://bravenewclimate.com/2011/05/15/solar-power-in-florida/

          • kakatoa said

            Galloping,

            No worries out here in the west about finding land to put various green projects on. We have lots of public owned lands that the FED’s are making available to various RE developers so that we can meet our 33%RES in CA-

            http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/energy/renewable_energy/Renewable_Energy_Projects_Approved_to_Date.html

            http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2012/10/12/993881/new-solar-energy-program-signals-a-paradigm-shift-in-our-approach-to-energy-development-on-public-lands/

            I have enough trouble keeping my 36 PV panels clean of bird droppings, dust, pollen, etc.. If I don’t keep up with some preventative maintenance weekly in the spring to fall time frame my output will drop 10% or more. I can’t wait to see what the efficiency of the projects noted above are after a few years out in the real world. I hope the developers have an easier way to keep track of string and/or individual panel output then I do. I don’t have string data (n=3 for my system) just summary system output data. I have to open up the inverter to access the three DC lines to get to string data- which is a mild pain in the butt.

            An EE that worked for the Air Force, keeping electronic equipment up and running, in various Middle Eastern countries let me know that the MTBF for equipment was two to 10 times faster in super harsh environments then in an environment like my location- foothills of the Sierra.

            Thanks for the link to your bravenewclimate post. Out here in CA, not enough households or businesses were putting in RE on their own to meet our stated goal to have 20%RE (now 33%RE) by a certain date so the only way we could make it happen was to go with the large scale utility projects. And the only way to provide enough cash flow to the developers of said RE projects was to come up with our Time of Delivery (TOD) factors that provide 2 to 3 X revenue per kwh to the developers at peak time in the summer. Those TOD factors are why the wind industry is not doing to well out here in CA currently- the within day wind profile is almost always high winds at night and a huge drop off during the daytime. I hope we figure out how to allocate the costs of this approach to funding RE in some reasonable manner…………….

    • steveta_uk said

      This post from “Lee” was a fairly well disguised spoof.

      It only becomes really obvious near the end, with the wonderful “Multilateral cooperations” slipped in instead of “multinational corporations”, and the whacky idea that electric cars have been around for centuries. Quite funny really.

    • Tamara said

      No, Lee’s right. Per MWh, RE requires orders of magnitudes more jobs than fossil fuels.

      But, um, which delta was that again?

      • Jeff Condon said

        Of course you are right. It takes orders of magnitude more government subsidized jobs, each of which takes more than one job from the private sector.

  27. omanuel said

    Gallopingcamel @25,

    Thanks for the information. As a left-wing liberal, I discounted Ann Rand before witnessing the incredible response of world leaders and leaders of the scientific community to fraudulent global temperature data revealed by Climategate.

    I plan to see her latest movie.

    Here’s my summary of where we are and what we’ve learned since Nov 2009

    1. AGW is a scam, despite Nobel Prizes for Al Gore and the UN’s IPCC.

    2. The FORCE that made our elements, birthed the world, and sustains our lives will ultimately defeat manipulation of data and deceit.

    3. The UK’s Royal Society and the US National Academy of Science were national institutions, as were British and American Intelligence Agencies and Armed Forces, that compromised their founding purposes after the United Nations was established on 24 Oct 1945

    Conclusions: Truth will be victorious; Deceit cannot achieve noble goals

    See: http://omanuel.wordpress.com/about/#comment-1292
    And: http://omanuel.wordpress.com/about/#comment-1369

    • When I arrived in the USA in 1982, I did not have a clue about “Republicans” or “Democrats”. As a British person I pull for the “Underdog” so in the USA I am for the “Little People”. As both of the major parties here are for the “Fat Cats” I can’t get excited about either of them.

      John McCain/Barack Obama? They weere both in favor of “Big Government” and the relentless usurpation of power by elites based in Washington, D.C. So I registered a protest in the 2008 presidential election by voting for Boris Johnson who replaced “Red Ken” Livingston as the Lord Mayor of London. Boris is a man of great wit and humor (cf. Winston Churchill). He was born in New York and he has been described as the “Thinking Man’s Idiot”.

      CAGW is a “Noble Cause” that appeals to people who think the world should be run by elites. See: http://www.gallopingcamel.info/Docs/DeletedCamel.doc

      CAGW is a minor issue for me; my passion is improving K-12 public education. There are reasons to believe that the deterioration in public education in the USA (and maybe in other countries too) is a direct result of the relentless centralization of power that has occurred over more than 100 years.

      There are compelling reasons to believe that K-12 public schools will not improve until control is returned to the community:
      http://www.gallopingcamel.info/Education.htm

      • page488 said

        K thru 12 education will not – can not – improve until educators become educated.

        To illustrate just how bad things have gotten, let me tell you a little story.

        About 25 years ago I was having a discussion with a woman who had a PhD in Education and held a higher-up job at a high school. I made some comment that I didn’t think that the math and science teachers at her school were competent.

        She blithely told me that high school teachers did not need to take academic subjects in their training; they could easily pick up the needed academic information as they went along in their teaching careers. All they needed at the academic level, she informed me, was a multitude of courses teaching them how to communicate.

        No exaggeration here. True story.

        I didn’t even respond – talking would have been difficult given that my jaw was scraping the floor.

        That was a long time ago; I suspect that things are much worse now.

        Here, we refer to a “teaching certificate” as a “certificate of ignorance.” No lie.

        And it’s true.

        • You are so right. Everything is backwards here. There is a strange belief that if you have a teaching diploma you are qualified to teach anything!

          Where does this idiotic idea get you? In 2002 in North Carolina there were 350 goverment high schools yet there were only sixteen teachers with a bachelor’s or doctorate degree in physics.

          What really hurts is the fact that the physics text books used by 85% of students in the USA are of very poor quality. When bright students ask questions about inconsistencies in the text books, few of thier teachers understand the subject matter well enough to explain what is right or wrong. This is a major factor that turns high school students away from the hard sciences.

          Unfortunately there is much more money to be made by continuing with the “Status Quo” than by fixing the problem. John Hubisz of North Carolina State University has been working valiantly on this issue but nobody cares:
          http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/story?id=99129&page=1

          In the UK we expect teachers to get a degree in physics before taking their teching diploma. While this makes a lot more sense than what goes on in the USA, British K-12 education is not much better:
          http://www.gallopingcamel.info/Education.htm

          • page488 said

            Two words – Teacher’s Unions.

            The original purpose of getting a “teaching certificate” was to guarantee that teachers were qualified.

            No more.

            Their union fights every attempt to give teachers tests to see if they even have a nodding acquaintance with the subjects they purport to know. Why? Because most of them can’t pass them!

        • While you are right about the teacher’s unions, the solution is stunningly simple. Take a look at what made New Zealand the highest performing school system of all English speaking countries. New Zealand is up there with Korea, Singapore and Japan.
          http://mercatus.org/sites/default/files/publication/WP0901_GAP_New_Zealand_Reforms.pdf

          For those who are too busy to read the whole study, here is a key paragraph:

          “New Zealand’s reforms were premised on a shift from directing activities to monitoring outcomes. Schools were given the FREEDOM TO TEACH (my emphasis) and were made accountable to parents through a board of trustees. New Zealand discovered that parents have local knowledge that allows them to be better judges of the quality of teachers than MoE bureaucrats. The reforms allowed schools to respond directly to the demands of parents based on this local knowledge. The results of reform indicate substantial improvements in overall performance with fewer students being failed.”

      • Gallopingcamel, I do not think leaders of this country knew what they were giving away when they agreed to establish the United Nations on 24 Oct 1945:

        A. The Declaration of Independence
        B. The US Constitution and
        C. The Bill of Rights

        It appears that information about Japan’s A-bomb in Konan, Korea was hidden to increase the sense of guilt and remorse over killing hundreds of thousands of Japanese citizens in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

        Each nation had its own national constitution that limited the power of government, but citizens have no guaranteed limits on the power of the United Nations.

        That is probably why there has been no retraction of the fraudulent global temperature data that the UN’s IPCC used in reports before being exposed by Climategate emails in the Nov 2009 emails.

  28. Dean_1230 said

    But if you take the potato… mash it up, let it sit for a bit, then distill it…

    Whether it’s a cost-effective “renewable” remains to be seen, but being stranded with a flat tire while your “gas” tank is full of drinking alcohol could easily turn a “lose” into a “win”!!!

    we would, however, run afoul of the “open container” laws…

  29. Tamara said

    More Michigan craziness, in my part of the state. It just shows how even the conservative areas of the state end up being corrupted by government handouts. State and local tax breaks, plus 150 million bucks in stimulus for batteries they don’t make because no one is buying the stupid electric cars. But, but, if we just make more electric cars, people will buy them, right? Isn’t that how business works? Car companies were just making too many trucks and SUVs and forcing people to buy them.
    http://www.woodtv.com/dpp/news/target_8/Volt-no-jolt-LG-Chem-employees-idle

  30. j ferguson said

    Jeff,
    This might be too vast a topic for another post, but if not, your thoughts on the subject would be interesting – geoengineering.

    I find the threat of any such action more alarming than any other possibility contemplated in this whole subject area. One could suppose that we’ve already been doing it ever since some of us quit dragging our knuckles on the ground but those effects seem generally disparate and likely not of the magnitude the catastrophists would have us believe.

    I also strongly doubt that geoengineering would involve engineers. Does the nightly news in your area carries the drug advertisement showing a doctor driving an air hammer or pitching baseball with the question “why would you want your doctor to do your job, while you do his?”

    Why not have politicians geoengineer – might be easier after they repeal the second law.

  31. slimething said

    An excellent article here:
    http://www.masterresource.org/2012/10/20-bad-things-wind-3-reasons-why/

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