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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays! Happy Hanukkah!

Peace on earth and goodwill to man! (A sentiment that works for persons of all ethnic backgrounds and faiths).

I don't feel like writing about economics today. Instead, let's have a few entertaining Scrooges along the lines of red and green:

GREEN: I laughed so hard over Anthony Watt's post on CSIRO's (Aussie scientists) warning that Christmas lights are gonna kill the world. The comments are funny; two of the best:
“SCIENTISTS have warned that Christmas lights are bad for the planet due to huge electricity waste and urged people to get energy efficient festive bulbs.”

…and they want us to use plug-in electric cars…?
Must be grant application time again.
The Australian CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific Research Organisation) was once a very well respected Government financed institution.

The finance has been gradually reduced for years and years, During the funding reducing periods many employees and researchers were fearful of their livelihood.

And then came AGW and a new lease of life.

There are some very committed researchers and scientists at the CSIRO - and you can take that to mean ambiguity
RED: The coyote is howling lonesomely in the desert over the increased electricity prices he is going to pay next year. The reason? A program that places a hefty tariff on electricity prices to fund green energy, thus causing red numbers on businesses' balance sheets:
Nothing says “jobs creation” like increasing electricity prices. Note that these prices are “per meter.” Since many businesses have many meters (we have nearly 100 in Arizona), the price increase is much higher. For example, we expect to see a $2-$5 thousand dollar increase next year from this program.
He then goes on to look at just how well wind energy is working in Texas, linking to Gilberson:
A power producer typically gets paid for the power it generates. In Texas, some wind energy generators are paying to have someone take power off their hands.

Because of intense competition, the way wind tax credits work, the location of the wind farms and the fact that the wind often blows at night, wind farms in Texas are generating power they can’t sell. To get rid of it, they are paying the state’s main grid operator to accept it. $40 a megawatt hour is roughly the going rate.
So the government pays the wind power producers to produce energy at the wrong time, and they pay enough that the wind power producers pay utilities to take the power in order to make their profit from the difference. You, of course, pay the government to pay the wind producers to pay the utilities to take the power off their hands. Not a way to save the planet or the economy, is it?

Read about the history of Hanukkah. It's all about keeping the lights on, and somehow the story of the Temple being seized and converted to worship of a false God, the rebellion, and the reconsecration of the Temple to its proper use seems incredibly appropriate to our current scientific culture.

Of course, I cannot end this post without a link to Iowahawk's classic post Top Scientists Warn: Sea Gods Angry.

May the small, beleaguered lights of truth not stop burning in man's hearts during my lifetime. I don't think we can achieve Peace on Earth, Goodwill To Man without those lights.

I wish you all a joyous time with friends and family over these holidays, and for those laboring under grief, may the eternal and sacred light lift your darkness.

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