California: Where You Need A Lobbyist To Build A House | Via Meadia

This is a repost from Vis Meadia.

Over at Matt Yglesias’ new blog Moneybox, Via Meadia‘s research team came across a smart post from earlier in the week that cuts through the complaining and over-analyzing�of the story about Mitt Romney’s upgraded beach house, and gets at a real problem most people have missed: to put on an addition at your house, you shouldn’t need a lobbyist.

Here’s Yglesias:

Romney’s house sounds tacky and extravagant, but it’s not some kind of public safety hazard in urgent need of regulation. You shouldn’t need dedicated lobbyists to get permission to build buildings on property you legitimately own. At the end of the day, Romney is going to be able to hire the lobbyist and get his mansion built. But these same hurdles afflict people who might be interested in affordable housing for low-income people or simply regular old market rate structures for the middle class.

Exactly right. The country’s most populous state is strangling itself in red tape. And if you need to hire a lobbyist to negotiate the permit process for building a home, ask yourself what starting a business or building a factory will involve.

Here at the other end of the country we have the same kind of trouble; people have to hire “facilitators” to push all the paperwork through all the bureaucracies needed to get simple and very ordinary jobs done. Every year, there are new requirements, new fees, new mandates as New York City works systematically to destroy its economic base and drive the middle class into the burbs.

The biggest victims: the middle class and the poor.� It’s hard to quantify the jobs lost, the revenue foregone, the opportunities killed by the bureaucratic monstrosity the Golden State has spawned, but in California as elsewhere, the blue social model is killing hope.

via California: Where You Need A Lobbyist To Build A House | Via Meadia.

OMG, New Grab for CARB’s Cap & Trade Slush Fund

Russ Steele

The Fresno Bee has the story: State’s ‘cap-and-trade’ program could provide funds for high-speed rail

A new financing strategy is a centerpiece of a revised business plan that state leaders will unveil Monday in Fresno for the proposed high-speed train system.

Rather than rely on uncertain future federal transportation funds, money from the auction of air-pollution credits — the state’s “cap-and-trade” program — can provide a “backstop” source of money for the California High-Speed Rail Authority, authority chairman Dan Richard told reporters Saturday.

How well is this going to work out. The real issue is not building the high-speed rail line it is the cost of ownership, the maintenance and logistics needed through the life of the project. There is no way for the fare structure to pay for these cost, so once the high-speed rail taps the cap & trade slush fund it will before ever.  Over time the HSR will demand more and more from the cap & trade slush fund.

As CARB sucks more and more slush funds from business they will soon migrate to states with out AB-32 taxes and there will be fewer and fewer people who can afford to, or need to, ride the HSR. At some future date a political leader with the political cajones will pull the plug on this gigantic failure.


How Many Chevy Volts Will Be Sold in Nevada County?

Russ Steele

My CABPRO News was in the mail today and when I read this letter to the editor, it left me wondering how many Chevy Volts will be sold in the County?

The letter is on line HERE

Eric Bolling (Fox Business Channel’s Follow the Money) test drove the Chevy
Volt at the invitation of General Motors.

For four days in a row, the fully charged battery lasted only 25 miles before the Volt switched to the reserve gasoline engine. Eric calculated the car got 30 mpg including the 25 miles it ran on the battery. So, the range including the 9 gallon gas tank and the 16 kwh battery is approximately 270 miles. It will take you 4 1/2 hours to drive 270 miles at 60 mph. Then add 10 hours to charge the battery and you have a total trip time of 14.5 hours. In a typical road trip your average speed (including charging time) would be 20 mph.
According to General Motors, the Volt battery holds 16 kwh of electricity. It takes a full 10 hours to charge a drained battery.  The cost for the electricity to charge the Volt is never mentioned so I looked up what I pay for electricity.  I pay approximately (it varies with amount used and the seasons) $1.16 per kwh. 16 kwh x $1.16 per kwh = $18.56 to charge the battery. (Electricity is expensive and the Government wants to make it more so). $18.56 per charge divided by 25 miles = $0.74 per mile to operate the Volt using the battery.

Compare this to a similar size car with a gasoline engine only that gets 32 mpg. $3.19 per gallon divided by 32 mpg = $0.10 per mile.

The gasoline powered car cost about $15,000 (more like $20K) while the Volt costs $46,000.

So GM (Government Motors) & the Government want us to pay 3 times as much for a car that costs more than 7 times as much to run and takes 3 times as long to drive across country.
You do not have to be a rocket scientist to figure the GM Volt is not very cost effective and does not save energy in the long run.

And, you may recall Nevada County does not have any 220 or 440 volt charging station in the County.  I have serious doubt that we will even see any Chevy Volts in Western Nevada County.

Are You Unhappy Enough to Fill Out an 18 Page Survey?

Russ Steele

I was taking the Nevada City Happiness Survey until I discovered it was 18 pages long and punched out on page 5.  If you are bored silly and need something to take your mind of the being unhappy, then check out the Silly Happiness Survey HERE.

Watts Up With That?

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

In the process of writing my piece about Lisa Jackson and the EPA, I got to reading about the EPA passing new mercury regulations. Their regulations are supposed to save the lives of some 11,000 people per year. So I figured I should learn something about mercury. It turned out to be quite surprising … here was my first surprise:

Figure 1. Natural and anthropogenic sources of atmospheric mercury emissions. About 7,500 tonnes of mercury are emitted into the atmosphere each year. Named countries show anthropogenic (human caused) emissions for that country.

My first surprise was that far and away the largest emitter of atmospheric mercury is the ocean. The ocean? I’d never have guessed that. Other huge emitters are various lightly vegetated land areas. In addition, forests, volcanoes, and geothermal vents are significant emitters … which is the reason for my new religious crusade:

View original post 427 more words

California’s Climate Change Models Fail a Simple Test

Russ Steele

In past posts I have been critical of California policy makers who are using unvalidated climate change models to make polices with long term economic impacts.  Some of these models have been around for over 20 years and billions of dollars spent to improve their forecasting skill, yet they fail some simple tests.  Dr Roger Pielke has published a climate model test that even our local lefties can understand.

According to Dr Pielke  there are two necessary requirements for multi-decadal global climate models must meet before multi-decadal projections for the coming decades should be communicated to stakeholders and policymakers.

In terms of testing the models, necessary conditions (but still not a sufficient condition) for the models to have any credibility to predict the future climate on decadal time scales are:

1. They must accurately simulate (hindcast) the statistics of major atmospheric and ocean circulation features over the last few decades (since real world data is available)


2. They must accurately simulate (hindcast) the statistics of the changes in the statistics of these major atmospheric and ocean circulation features over the last few decades.

If they cannot do both #1 and #2, they must be rejected as robust predictive (projection) tools for the coming decades.

A rationalization that the climate forcing in the coming decades could be outside of what has occurred in the past does not in any way remedy this deficiency. If they cannot skillfully predict #1 and #2, model predictions of the coming decades, published in journal articles, news reports, and climate assessments, are misinforming and misleading  stakeholders and policymakers.

That seems very clear to me. If a climate model cannot predict the climate we know about, how can we predict the future climate change 20, 30, 50 years into the future?

I am outraged that CARB and other California Agencies are using climate models that cannot meet tests #1 and #2 to make policies that are costing tax payers billions of dollars and in fact can endanger millions living in the state. These agencies have used multi-decadal projections of global warming, when there is a much higher probability that we are on the cusp of another Grand Minimum, like the Dalton Minimum and Maunder Minimum.

It was during these minimum periods that California experienced some of the longest droughts. During the Dalton Minimum there was a 13 year drought according to the mission records, nothing like the 3-4 year droughts we experience with the coming and going of El Niños and La Niñas, which are cyclical and much in evidence in the current climate record.   While we do not have a CA climate record for the Maunder, we do have one from China: Northern China experienced droughts lasting 15 years (1628-43). The resulting famines led to an extensive breakdown of social order and a large number of peasant rebellions. The Droughts of multi-year durations that dominated northern China during 1628-1644, were associated with the low solar activity and cold conditions of the Maunder Minimum.

During  during the Medieval Warm Period, which lasted from about AD 950–1250 we had droughts in the Sierra lasting 200 years:

During the last 500 years, a wet climate, punctuated by intermittent but substantial droughts, began to dominate the region, and lake levels again rose and cirques glaciers reformed in the Sierra. A series of substantial droughts are documented during this period, however. Dozens of submerged tree stumps are located up to 300 feet below the present day level of Donner Lake a tributary of the Truckee River; carbon –14 samples from one stump date from AD 1433 (Lindstrom and Bloomer 1994). Another warm period, documented by tree-ring studies and Truckee River run-off, dated between AD 1579-1585, and again around AD 1630 (Hardman and Reil 1936). It is possible that Lake Tahoe contributed relatively little water to the Truckee River during the last 200 years. During the century between the mid 1700s to mid 1800s, the level of Lake Tahoe may have been below its rim, with no water flow into the Truckee River. This is documented by a submerged stump in the Upper Truckee River Delta dating from AD 1720 (Lindstrom 1996a), one from Donner Lake dating from AD 1800 (Lindstrom and Bloomer 1994) and one in Emerald Bay dating to AD 1840 (Lindstrom 1992). The 40 years between AD 1875-1915 were the longest period during which the flow of the Truckee River was above the average. During the AD 1930s drought, Lake Tahoe ceased to flow from its outlet for six consecutive years. Drought within the last decade (late 1980s to 1990s) either stopped Tahoe’s flow into the Truckee or reduced it to almost nothing.

The multi-decadal projections do not address these cool dry periods when drought was dominate. California should be building dams, not flood control levees. Dams store water for use by humans and can be used to moderate floods by capturing water. The focus on global warming, rather than our climate history is putting million in the state at risk.  Call your Assemblyman and State Senators and demand that California Agencies only use computer models that can test #1 and #2.