Saturday, December 12, 2009

John Stossel's new show on FoxBusiness

Thanks to the miracle of Tivo, I was able to watch John Stossel's first show on FoxBusiness last night. (Stossel recently left ABC because he wasn't allowed any airtime to cut through the Statist fog surrounding that network.)

I've read Stossel's stuff online and in print for a couple of years now, but this was my first chance to see him on the tube. Overall, I was impressed.

The program, simply entitled "Stossel", had an unfortunate infomercial quality that I hope they can eventually tone down a bit.
The topic was climatechange.
His featured guest was Jerry Taylor, an energy researcher for The Cato Institute - probably the best of the Libertarian think-tanks, and therefore one of humanity's greatest treasures. Taylor took nothing but hostile questions from the studio audience, and handled them with ease, conceding some points, but asking the questioners to look beyond the basic goals of any energy regulation.
Assume that the Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change's numbers are 100% correct. One hundred and seventy thousand people died last year because of man-made changes to our weather. Even if you assume that that number is accurate (it isn't), here's some numbers that are accurate:
3 million people died last year because of poor indoor air quality. That's what happens when your only fuel and heating source is human and animal manure.
Here's another accurate number, one that I've never seen anyone contradict....Mrs. Sepulchre is always reminding us that 25,000 people will die today because of malnutrition, most of them children.
Around two billion people are barely hanging on to existence. What's going to happen to them if the idjits in Copenhagen succeed in taking over the energy industry? We can't merely legislate lower carbon emissions and expect energy costs to remain the same, or expect the 2 billion mentioned above to ever claw their way out of poverty. The #1 mistake the Climate Alarmists are making is to assume that they can intervene without making the cure far worse than the disease.
The next guest was the dude in Arizona who gave Stossel a $6,000.00 golf cart. Perhaps I'm over-simplifying. YOU gave John Stossel a $6,000.00 golf cart.
Since the golf cart has zero carbon emissions, they qualify as an electric vehicle under one of the green energy scams. Stossel had to pay for the golf cart up front, but gets it all back on his taxes.
The golf cart dealer tried to defend the program based on the fact that most of us do our running around for trips that are less than 8-10 miles.
He didn't mention the carbon emissions of energy plants - coal burning, heat emitting, etc. energy plants. Once again, the alarmists can't look past the first stage of their energy programs. The golf cart is "green", therefore it is good. Pay no attention to the carbon emissions produced by charging the batteries.
The last guest was Stephen Dubner, co-author of the new Freakonomics book. Dubner sent the alarmists into a frothing rage a few months ago, when he and Steven Levitt publicized a proposal to spew some sulfur dioxide into the upper atmosphere through a massive garden hose. Climate engineers came up with the proposal a few years ago, after noticing that the earth cools significantly after volcanoes erupt.
This would only cost a few hundred million dollars per year. It would be simple. And there would be little or no opportunities for any Graft For Greenies programs.
Therefore, Dubner and Levitt were branded as heretics. Dubner took a few questions, mostly about acid rain from sulfur dioxide. He handled them with ease. (When's the last time you heard anything about acid rain, the former Panic Of The Decade?)
Overall, I really liked the show, and I hope Stossel can get some ratings. Every question from the audience was from someone disagreeing with the guest. Who knows, it could've all been scripted. At least it was a fair script.


ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ said...

If you haven't read Freedomnomics yet I recommend it highly.

segue: Where is Cedric?

The Whited Sepulchre said...

I think Cedric is taking a leave of absence based on changing weather conditions.
Or the lack thereof.

May I also recommend "Economics In One Lesson", by Henry Hazlitt? Written shortly after WWII, and coulda been written yesterday. Or tomorrow.

ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ said...

Already read it:o)

Fester said...

I saw the show as well and wrote my thoughts on it on my blog. I think some of the bumps will be ironed out over time, and I enjoyed the talk show format.

I think what the audience really missed in Dubners point was the part about "if the warming becomes an issue that needs to be addressed immediately this is one idea to stop it". Nobody is proposing we put anything in the air right now.

I am going to NY in June and think I might try and see if I can go to a taping of Stossel and if I do I will let you know if I think the questions were staged.