Lame Stream Press Economic Forecasts and the Real World of FedEx

Russ Steele

The real world is made up of numbers. No models, just real time data collected by commercial activities like FedEx.  I have always been interested in how to track economic activity in our County. A very knowledgable person once suggested that UPS and FedEx knew more about the economic health of Nevada County, than any public agency in the County, including the Economic Resource Council. However, they were not interested in sharing their data with the public agencies.

Now we learn this from a Power Line Post by Steven Hayward:

The economy is supposedly improving, but even if we took the falling unemployment rate at face value, there are too many signs that something is wrong.  There are too many anomalies.  I noted a few weeks ago the anomaly of collapsing gasoline and diesel fuel consumption, which started well before the current run-up in pump prices that is causing Obama to contort himself in unnatural ways.  Falling fuel consumption ahead of a price spike isn’t consistent with a growing economy.

Today the Wall Street Journal takes note of one of my favorite indicators: Federal Express package shipping activity.  Demand for package delivery is about as real-time an indicator as you can get, and doesn’t depend on survey data, statistical modeling, and “seasonal adjustment.”  Today’s headline is “FedEx Scales Back Economic Forecasts.”  The story says FedEx’s U.S. package delivery volume was off by 4 percent last quarter.  They’re scaling back their own in-house economic forecast for the rest of the year.  They’re going to take some planes out of service and park them in the desert, and shrink their workforce through attrition.  Stay tuned. 

Yes, stay tuned. The best indicator of economic activity in Nevada County is the number of UPS and FedEx trucks that come to our neighborhoods, and the above would indicate there will be fewer in the future.  They are the most visible indicators of economic activity in our community, which has thousands of in home businesses. No fewer FedEx trucks means no local business growth.


#Greenfail: CA Lags the Nation In Creating Green Jobs

Russ Steele

Remember the Prop 23 vs AB-32 debates when our local left claimed that green jobs would lead California’s economic recovery?  That was one of Steve Frisch, Sierra Business Council main points in his defense of AB-32 presentations. Now we learn in a Sac Bee Report that: California lags nation in green jobs

The latest monthly employment report, released Friday, was not particularly good news for California, whose jobless rate was unchanged in February at 10.9 percent with more than two million workers unemployed.

That’s a bit better that it was during the depths of the recession, but not much, the data from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistic indicate.

But what about those green jobs that Gov. Jerry Brown and other political figures frequently tout as California’s economic salvation? Another report from the BLS indicates that they’re a tiny part of the state’s economy and would have to grow exponentially for a long time to become a major factor in reducing the state’s high jobless rate.

You can read the rest of the report HERE.

Why do you think that California’s green jobs are lagging?  It is clear that the Governor and State Legislature want California to lead the nation in the creation of green jobs, but for some reason we are falling behind. Why? Could is be the regulations that are driving even green companies out of the state?  That would be my guess.

Check out these two web post and then get back to me with your answer:

Brown Doubles Down on Zero Emission Stupidity

Russ Steele

The Sac Bee has the story: Jerry Brown pushes zero-emission cars, defends oil policy

 Gov. Jerry Brown said today that he will push the state to put 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles on the road by 2025, reducing transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent over 1990s levels.

In an executive order, the Democratic governor directed state agencies to help facilitate that effort.

Let me explain what the Governor just said. The State of California will be buying lots of zero emission vehicles with your tax dollars.  Consumers have show little interest in expensive range limited electric vehicles.

The articles goes on to explain how a $120 million dollar settlement with NRG Energy, Inc. for overcharging for power during the California energy crisis will be use to fund the construction of 200 fast-charging stations for zero-emission vehicles and 10,000 plug-in units around the state.

Deeper in the article we learn those charging stations will be in  Bay Area, San Joaquin Valley, Los Angeles Basin and San Diego County.  None for the Sierra Foothills. We do not have enough stupid people who are willing to buy expensive electric vehicles that only go about 40 miles between charges.

“This executive order strengthens California’s position as a national leader in zero-emission vehicles,” Brown said in a prepared statement, “and the settlement will dramatically expand California’s electric vehicle infrastructure, helping to clean our air and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.”

The quickest way to reduce our dependence foreign oil is to “drill baby drill” on on American soil. According to industry estimates we have enough oil for 250 years and enough natural gas for 500 years in America. Why are we not drilling in America?

By the way, were is the electricity coming from for all this zero-emission vehicles?  From coal, oil and natural gas and maybe some nuclear and hydro,  it will not coming from wind and solar.


Medieval Warm Period Was a Global Event

Russ Steele

In the local online global warming blog debates, and in columns in the Union, one of the issues was the Medieval Warm Period (MWP), which cast serious doubt on Mann’s “Hockey Stick” which has been the poster child for the local warmers and the Air Resources Board staff.   First they denied there was a MWP based on the “hockey stick” which use a statistical trick to make it vanish, but the temperature record in Europe demonstrated that it was real. The warmer’s finally had to admit it did exist in Europe, but only in Europe they claimed.

The warmers needed to make the WMP vanish, because it was warmer during the WMP than it has been during the Modern Warming Period, which we are currently experiencing.  Hard to make the case that SUV were responsible for global warming, if the WMP was a global event.

Now there is more peer reviewed evidence that the WMP was a global event in a paper forthcoming in Earth and Planetary Science Letters.  From the Syracuse press release:

The scientists studied ikaite crystals from sediment cores drilled off the coast of Antarctica. The sediment layers were deposited over 2,000 years. The scientists were particularly interested in crystals found in layers deposited during the “Little Ice Age,” approximately 300 to 500 years ago, and during the “Medieval Warm Period,” approximately 500 to 1,000 years ago. Both climate events have been documented in Northern Europe, but studies have been inconclusive as to whether the conditions in Northern Europe extended to Antarctica. . .

“We showed that the Northern European climate events influenced climate conditions in Antarctica,” Lu says. “More importantly, we are extremely happy to figure out how to get a climate signal out of this peculiar mineral. A new proxy is always welcome when studying past climate changes.”

How inconvenient for the warmers.  They’ll have to think up some new talking point to make the MWP insignificant.

H/T to Power Line for reporting on this paper.