Friday, August 31, 2018

OD Conflating Acid Rain with Climate Change . . .

In Response to OD's VIEW: New energy plan bad for ADKs, environment

It is wrong when an editorial board plays upon people's ignorance to advance a political agenda.

The culprit in acid rain is SO2 and NOx, NOT Greenhouse Gases, and it is misleading to conflate the two.  The mechanisms producing Acid Rain are well understood, SO2 and NOx emissions have already been limited, and the benefits are capable of being calculated and documented. 

The Obama Clean Power Plan, however, was targeted to preventing Climate Change, not Acid Rain, by curbing Greenhouse Gas emissions (mainly CO2).  While many claim that CO2 is driving climate change, the mechanisms producing climate change are not as clear as those producing Acid Rain, and the benefits of restricting CO2 through the Clean Power Plan are speculative.   Accepting UN calculations, the Paris Accord would only shave an imperceptible fraction of a degree from world temperature -- meaning that US citizens would have been forced to suffer a reduction in their standard of living to achieve virtually nothing.

Unfortunately those of us in Upstate NY have been forced to sacrifice our economy for the "environmentally virtuous" policies of Andrew Cuomo and his predecessors going back to Mario Cuomo. 

"Protecting the Environment" is emotionally appealing, but unintended consequences to Ordinary People need to be determined and understood, too, if public policy is to be sound.

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Net Neutrality: Unneeded and Counter Productive . . .

Per today's OD: Lawmakers: New cable operator should observe net neutrality
"Democrats in the New York state Assembly say any broadband provider picked to replace Charter Communications in the state should be required to observe net neutrality. . . 

"The lawmakers say whichever company replaces Charter should be prohibited from altering web speeds or traffic to favor certain sites or apps."
Good luck finding a provider willing to do this without an outlandish NYS-style taxpayer or ratepayer subsidy to finance defiance of the laws of economics. Net Neutrality may sound good, but it is really the opposite.

Requiring "Net Neutrality"  unnecessarily extends government control,  worsening service, raising rates for most people, and inhibiting expansion and innovation. 

"Unnecessary" because new technologies (eg., 4G LTE) are introducing competition into the marketplace, giving customers options of doing business with another internet provider if they feel their current provider is being unfair to them.

"Worsening service" and "raising rates" because non-affiliated content makers (eg. TV channels, movie industry, news sources, etc. ) will siphon income that the internet provider needs to maintain its network. Remember that Spectrum/Time Warner Cable/ and Harron Communications (locally) began with delivering content (TV), not internet, and their wired networks' well-being depended upon the income received for content.  

"Inhibiting expansion and innovation" because a provider will not make the needed investment if an investment will benefit competitors more than itself.
It's like the old "Fairness Doctrine" of 40-50 years ago which required that broadcasters give "equal time" to opposing viewpoints.  The result was that many broadcasters simply stopped disseminating any viewpoints at all in order to avoid the government's paper work.  Instead of providing the public with alternative viewpoints on an issue, the public would up receiving less information.

With apologies to Mies van der Rohe, "Less (governmental control) is More (public benefit)"