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New Jersey's nutty CO2 notions

By Alan Caruba
web posted February 21, 2005

While the entire northeast of the United States was digging out from a huge blizzard -- usually a sign of cold weather -- a meeting on "the climate challenge" was occurring in London, England and "an independent report" by the Institute for Public Policy Research (Great Britain), The Australia Institute, and the Center for American Progress announced that "an ecological time-bomb is ticking away" that will plunge the world into chaos due to the heat said to be generated by greenhouse gas emissions.

This kind of lunacy is intended to impose caps on the use of energy everywhere. It is the goal of the United Nations Kyoto Climate treaty that became international law as of Wednesday, February 16. There is no ecological time-bomb. There is no need for urgent action.

To understand what "caps" really are, let me quote from my friend, John Brignell, a British professor emeritus, statistician, and editor of Numberwatch.com. Recalling Martin Luther's rebellion against the Roman Catholic Church over the issue of indulgences, he reminds us, "Chaucer's Pardoner earned one hundred marks a year by selling indulgences, worthless pieces of paper, relics and other valueless items to credulous believers in the religion of the day. Now we have carbon trading, in which new worthless pieces of paper are sold for millions of pounds." That is the essence of the Kyoto protocol, a system by which meaningless trading of forbidden emissions are sold for the right to continue contributing to the dreaded and totally bogus global warming.

While an army of snowplows was at work on the roads of the Garden State, the little Green gnomes in the Department of Environmental Protection were working to reclassify carbon dioxide (CO2) as a "contaminant." If this becomes law, the DEP might as well arrest everyone living in the Garden State because humans generate CO2 every time they exhale. Or perhaps we will just pay for the right to exhale?

To bring about the implementation of the United Nations' Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change, something the US Senate unanimously rejected and the President has correctly said is based on "flawed science", New Jersey in concert with other northeastern States has entered into the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative that would, if enacted, impose a "regional CO2 cap-and-trade program."

To achieve this, CO2 has to be reclassified as a "contaminant", i.e., a form of pollution!

This is yet another example of the way environmentalists -- Greens -- are seeking to do an end-run around the rejection and opposition to their bogus "global warming" claims. Aside from the fact that they use junk science to advance their lies, this is yet one more example of their unrelenting efforts to harm the health and welfare of everyone worldwide who would suffer the consequences of this hoax. And, yes, enough nations have ratified the Kyoto Protocol to theoretically impose its demands to cut back on CO2 emissions, but among those exempt from its mandates are China and India, plus a host of Third World nations, thus rendering it meaningless.

In late January, Dr, Marlo Lewis, Jr., Ph.D., a Senior Fellow in Environmental Policy for the Competitive Enterprise Institute, wrote to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, exposing the abject lies and idiotic justifications it is offering for its proposed reclassification of CO2 as "an air contaminant." The hearings and written comments on this proposal are cover. What happens next is up to the DEP.

Dr. Lewis stated his objections more politely than I ever could and I will excerpt them here so you can make up your own mind. "The proposed rule is a conceptual muddle. Logically, DEP cannot classify CO2 as an ‘air contaminant' unless it is prepared to apply the same designation to water vapor -- the atmosphere's main greenhouse gas." In other words, if DEP pulls off this deception, it would presumably also have to designate steam from the State's nuclear power plants or just plain old water evaporation from public green spaces.

DEP is lying through its teeth, citing some of the most dubious junk science available. "The proposed rule lacks a credible scientific rationale," is the nice way Dr. Lewis put it. "There is no solid evidence that CO2 emissions are causing, or are likely to cause, ‘dangerous interference' with the global climate system. On the contrary, the balance of evidence suggests that CO2 emissions are greening the planet, enhancing biodiversity and global food available."

In the event no one taught you this fundamental fact about life on planet Earth, all the forests and every form of vegetation, including food crops, is utterly and completely dependent on the presence of CO2 in the atmosphere. More CO2 is good. Less CO2 is bad. More enhances plant growth. Less decreases it.

In brief, the agency's arguments are based on the extremely dubious reports of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. This is the same UN that is responsible for the now infamous "Oil for Food" program imposed on Saddam Hussein that became a cesspool of corruption.

Suffice it to say, the IPCC has routinely revised its various projections of global warming, each time it was correctly attacked for (1) being based on flawed computer models and (2) its failure to demonstrate any verifiable justification for its claims. "Flawed" is a nice way of saying that, were the IPCC a casino, every slot machine would be rigged to never provide a payoff.

Right now, the NJDEP is claiming that, not only will New Jersey resemble Florida if they can't reclassify CO2, but that the State's beautiful shoreline will sink below a rapidly rising ocean. The only problem is that no observational data, including satellite altimetry, shows any evidence this is occurring. One leading scientist in this field called the IPCC data "untenable" and "impossible." As for air pollution, all the data points to major improvements since 1975 and, of course, there are plenty of laws already in place to insure the continuing reduction of pollution.

Finally, the DEP's regional cap-and-trade program will prove hugely expensive. The US Energy Information Administration estimates that the Kyoto Protocol, if implemented here, would cost the US between $77 billion and $283 billion annually, depending on the extent of international emissions trading. Says Dr. Lewis, "Kyoto is all economic pain for no environmental gain. The same holds for any lesser CO2 regulation program."

A study by the Heartland Institute estimates that the DEP proposal would cost consumer and business losses that could reach $12.9 billion if implemented in New Jersey. Indeed, State revenue losses could reach $20.9 billion. Not only is New Jersey already deeply in debt, the NJDEP wants to plunge it even deeper in debt.

Greens, however, don't care about things like that. In fact, anything they can do to harm the economy is part of their statewide and worldwide agenda. Anything they can do to cause the needless deaths of people, denying them DDT or genetically improved seeds for crops, is just fine with them because they think there are too many people living on planet Earth.

Mr. Governor, if you are reading this. Junk the DEP proposal and then fire the Director. If possible, clean house in the DEP and hire some people who aren't certifiably nuts.

Alan Caruba writes a weekly column, "Warning Signs", posted on the website of The National Anxiety Center. © Alan Caruba, February 2005


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