Dennis_Themenace Report This Comment
Date: December 14, 2007 01:01PM
It seems to me, and quite a few more people, that some of the posters here do
not like the truth. Why should the "American way of life" be had at
the expense of the living conditions for the rest of the world. (In this case, I
include Western Europeans, Canadians, Aussies as honorary Americans.)
It is ironic that in this matter, the Americans are sleeping in the same bed as
the Chinese, and they are both crapping in it too.
90130_ Report This Comment
Date: December 14, 2007 06:30PM
And you can keep sucking this hypocrite's carbon coated dick.
Think of the carbon "footprint" this asshole creates as he jets around
burning up thousands of gallons of fuel to make his appearances to collect a
dubious award for his fucking junk science and enviro propaganda.
Not to mention the $4000 monthly gas bill to keep his fucking mansion
This idiot even bought a Toyota Prius as a quick cover because it came to light
that he had several SUVs while promoting his "inconvenient lie"
He's just the enviro-clown's poster boy.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 14/12/2007 06:34PM by 90130_.
shaDEz Report This Comment
Date: December 14, 2007 07:23PM
> To those who trash this man. You all have your
> head where the sun don't shine. This man won the
> Nobel Peace prize. He has more class in his finger
> than you do in your entire body. He is a champion
> when it comes to saving this earth.
"he is a champion when it comes to saving this earth"
sounds to me that you have your head shoved up your ass if you believe that this
man actually is interested in what is best for you, and all of the people
all he succeded in offering as a solution(in "an inconvenient
to the problem was to put it all on us... and
yes, that is correct, we can do alot as well, but never really dared to venture
into the even bigger problem, what these big industries do to the planet... and
why not? because that does not serve the best interests of his class
all of this man's and all of the rest of the bourgeois interests concern with is
maximising their profits, and no real concern over the consequences, no concern
over you or me
all his documentary serves to do is to tell you that"hey, it's alright, we
care about the enviroment, you don't need to take up action yourself, you don't
need to have control, just vote for the democrats, we'll fix you up good, and
nevermind our short comings in the past, we won't repeat those errors again...
and don't pay any attention to the man behind the curtain..." just to screw
you all over once again
if we really want a change we need to take action, and this "voting
trap" is not the type of action we need to take
90130_ Report This Comment
Date: December 14, 2007 10:56PM
How Junk Science Is Used to Raise Taxes
Written By: Joseph Bast
Published In: Budget & Tax News
Publication Date: December 1, 2007
Publisher: The Heartland Institute
Junk science--the deliberate representation of false or misleading information
as credible scientific research--is a growing problem in a variety of public
The use of junk science in public policy debates in the United States has a long
history--Rachel Carson's book Silent Spring, published in 1962, is often
credited with launching the modern wave of false alarms.
But while junk science is often debunked, its impact on taxpayers is often
Global Warming Alarmism
Global warming alarmism may become the latest case of junk science costing
consumers and taxpayers billions (or even hundreds of billions) of dollars.
Raising energy taxes was once thought to be the third rail of politics. Everyone
remembers what happened when Bill Clinton tried to do it in 1993 and faced a
major public backlash. But that was then.
Now, with global warming alarmism running interference, politicians are
increasingly supporting higher taxes on energy or carbon emissions or policies
that would raise energy costs indirectly, via renewable fuels portfolios,
ethanol mandates, and a cap-and-trade scheme.
This effort is gaining momentum even though most scientists don't believe
forecasts of future climates are reliable, and even though most economists
believe energy is already taxed at or above the level necessary to account for
any "negative externalities" caused by its use, including the
possibility of global warming.
Economists estimate a carbon tax big enough to reduce U.S. emissions by even a
relatively small amount would force consumers to pay $200 to $300 billion a year
in higher energy costs. Looking at state and local energy conservation programs
already adopted, we might even be a quarter or halfway there already.
But perhaps you don't think politicians have the nerve to do this. Or that the
public is paying close enough attention or will get off their couches to oppose
it. Consider, then, the strangely similar case of tax hikes on cigarettes.
Master Settlement Agreement
A vivid example of junk science leading to massive tax hikes concerns cigarette
taxes. Because it is no longer politically correct to smoke, I should point out
that you don't need to be a smoker, or even doubt that smoking can be deadly, to
understand that junk science has driven much of the debate over tobacco policy
in recent years.
Before the Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) was signed in 1998, nobody thought
politicians would dare to raise taxes on cigarettes by more than a few cents a
pack a year. Every tax hike proposal at the state and federal levels was
Because taxes on cigarettes couldn't be raised through legislation, the
anti-smoking movement took to the courts. Thousands of lawsuits were filed
against tobacco companies, but virtually none was successful. A longstanding
legal precedent was that smokers assumed the risk of their habits by continuing
to smoke after being warned of the hazards.
Stymied again, the anti-smoking movement tried a different legal tactic: Getting
state attorneys general to sue tobacco companies for smoking-related health care
spending allegedly incurred by state Medicaid programs. As Kip Viscusi vividly
demonstrates in his 2002 book, Smoke-Filled Rooms: A Post-Mortem on the Tobacco
Deal, the claim that smokers imposed greater costs on society than they were
already paying in excises taxes was simply junk science.
Viscusi demonstrates smokers paid their own way even without taking into account
the fact they typically die six to seven years before nonsmokers. Viscusi
figured smokers incur higher medical costs of about five cents per pack of
cigarettes, but save taxpayers 11 cents per pack due to lower nursing home costs
and nine cents per pack due to lower pension costs. "On balance," he
writes, "smokers incur about 14 cents less per pack in costs paid by
Massachusetts [a typical state], while contributing an additional 51 cents per
pack in excise taxes."
The MSA raised the indirect tax by between $0.50 and $1.00 a pack, but the tax
never showed up on a smoker's receipt as a "tax." Many politicians and
liberal activists held their breath ... and were dumbfounded by the absence of
Turns out, smokers tend to have modest incomes and lower rates of participation
in politics than the rest of the public. With the tobacco industry unwilling to
fund the creation of pro-smoker organizations, there was no effective opposition
to higher taxes on tobacco products.
More junk science about the social costs of smoking then arrived on the scene,
in the form of a 2006 report by the U.S. Surgeon General widely touted as
proving "secondhand smoke is not a mere annoyance, but a serious health
But the seemingly impressive 727-page report on secondhand smoke released by the
Surgeon General's office came up far short of the usual standards for sound
science. Nearly all the studies cited in the Surgeon General's report wouldn't
pass muster in a court of law because they are observational studies, the sample
sizes are too small, or the effects they show on human health are too small to
Most of the research cited in the Surgeon General's report was rejected by a
federal judge in 1993 when EPA first tried to classify secondhand smoke as a
human carcinogen. The judge said EPA cherry-picked studies to support its
position, misrepresented the findings of the most important studies, and failed
to honor scientific standards. The Surgeon General's report relies on the same
studies and makes the same claims EPA did a decade ago.
Nevertheless, widespread fear of the health effects of secondhand smoke has
acted as a cover for state governors and legislatures to stick their toes in the
once-hot water of raising taxes on cigarettes. To their surprise, it wasn't so
hot after all. After early defeats, they started winning. Now, tax hikes of $1 a
pack and more routinely pass at the state level.
This year another threshold was passed when a federal tax hike of 61 cents a
pack passed the Senate and House. Only a veto of an SCHIP expansion bill by
President George W. Bush, for reasons unrelated to the tobacco tax, stood in the
These tax hikes haven't destroyed the tobacco industry. They "just"
transfer hundreds of billions of dollars a year from smokers to governments each
year. They represent a huge defeat for advocates of limited government.
The Master Settlement Agreement and the recent huge tax hikes on tobacco
products offer three cautionary lessons. First, it's always a mistake to walk
away from the scientific debate. Left unchallenged, junk science is a powerful
weapon in the hands of those who want to expand government and raise taxes.
Second, it is a mistake to assume industry will come to the rescue of its
customers. Tobacco companies endorsed the Master Settlement Agreement and often
haven't shown up when big tax hikes are proposed. Oil and gas companies are now
jumping onboard the global warming express, happy to profit from the latest
Finally, just because a certain policy or tax was considered off-limits a decade
ago doesn't mean elected officials won't vote for it today. Conservatives
shouldn't dare politicians to impose a carbon tax thinking they would lack the
nerve to vote for such a tax.
The tremendous noise generated by junk science campaigns provides cover for
politicians to raise taxes and take other positions that would, in quieter and
more reasonable times, threaten their political careers.
Joseph Bast ([email protected]
) is president of The Heartland Institute and
publisher of Budget & Tax News.