A Free-Market Energy Blog


Posts from January 2015

Ocean Catastrophe Narratives: Something Fishy Going On

By Greg Rehmke -- January 30, 2015

“[A]n analysis of some of the calamities reported in doom and gloom media accounts shows some—at times, severe—disconnect with actual observations. For instance, there is no evidence that ocean acidification has killed jellyfish predators, nor that jellyfish are taking over the ocean, and predictions that the killer algae, Caulerpa taxifolia, was going to devastate the Mediterranean ecosystem have not been realized, despite claims to the contrary from the media.”

Carlos Duarte et al., “Reconsidering Ocean Calamities,” BioScienceDecember 31, 2014.

Ocean Life Faces Mass Extinction, Broad Study Says” stated a recent headline in the New York Times. Is it true? Has a “groundbreaking” analysis “from hundreds of sources” of the world’s oceans unearthed signs of human-caused global catastrophe, as claimed? Or is this just another alarmist narrative that’s all wet?…

Demand-Side Planning: Utility Rent-Seeking Meets Ecostatism

By Jim Clarkson -- January 29, 2015

Economic conservation of energy consists of voluntary actions and investments that make sense to the decision-maker in a free-market setting. Political conservation is  government-directed energy reduction measures. The later, conservationism, is energy savings for its own sake through monopolistic coercion or special favor (tax beak, crony regulation, or public check).

Demand-Side Management (DSM) programs by electric utilities are a major element of conservationism. Those who support reasonable efficiency and the elimination of waste should let the energy-efficiency politicos have the DSM term and use other words to describe what is favored.

DSM rose to regulatory prominence during the late 1980’s following the disastrous nuclear generation construction programs of the electric utilities. The confidence of the utility industry and its regulators in high-cost building programs shaken, they listened to new other approaches to meet future energy demand.…

In Defense of Price ‘Gouging’ (lines and shortages are uneconomic, discriminatory)

By Michael Giberson -- January 28, 2015

“Higher prices would discourage over-buying and help ensure that useful consumer goods get distributed to more households, not just the households best able to rush to the store. Consumer sentiment against higher prices during emergencies, by discouraging a price response and encouraging shortages, tends to put the burden of the shortages on those consumers least able to run to the stores in emergencies.”

When consumer demand shoots  up and supplies are limited, either prices must increase or shortages will result. Consumer sentiment leans strongly against such price increases, and sometimes that sentiment is enshrined in anti-price gouging laws. It is this sentiment and such laws that unintentionally put a burden on less-able consumers.

As a heavy winter storm was projected to slam into Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern states earlier this week, a familiar scenario emerged:  state officials urged citizens to stay safe and to report suspected price gouging.…

Snow & Global Warming in the Big Apple: Knappenberger in 2011

By Chip Knappenberger -- January 27, 2015

AWED Energy & Environmental Newsletter: January 26, 2015

By <a class="post-author" href="/about#john-droz">John Droz, Jr.</a> -- January 26, 2015

Unintended Consequences of the Climate Crusade

By Andrew Montford -- January 23, 2015

The Costly, False, Futile Climate Crusade

By William Happer -- January 22, 2015

Highway Taxes vs. Road Expenditure (Diversion) by State

By Randal O'Toole -- January 21, 2015

Keystone XL and Climate: 0.0001 C/yr (one ten thousandths of a degree Celsius)

By Chip Knappenberger -- January 20, 2015

Climate Alarmists Turn Back the Clock

By Viv Forbes -- January 19, 2015