Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Prince Charles, Village Idiot

Prince Charles hasn’t visited the United States for 20 years. We should be thankful for such small favors, and hope it is another 20 years before he visits again. According to The Daily Telegraph, Prince Charles thinks the U.S. has been too intolerant of Islam since 9/11, and plans to make this case to President Bush in his upcoming visit.

Discussions - 17 Comments

Well, to quote Bugs Bunny "What a dope, what a maroon!" I guess the House of Windsor can no longer be considered a "Defender of the Faith." Maybe it is time to abolish the English monarchy...they are obviously inbred.

Ridiculous...President Bush is too tolerant of Islam...


Looks like President Bush has done the right thing this time. NOw hopefullY you people wont start lamb-basting him over his new choice like you did with Judge Miers because I think surely we can all agree that Judge Alito is the right man for the job....

Among the other indices of political underdevelopment that it displays, the Arab world is also a bastion of princes who really have at their beck a lot of pelf and power, not like Europe’s "bicycle monarchs" or the "reign but cannot rule" Windsors.

I’ve heard that Prince Chaz has a lot of buddies among the Saudi royals, etc., some of whom have been logged time at the tonier British "public" (i.e., elite private) schools. Supposedly the armed liberation of Iraq distressed him because his Saudi mates were so bent out of shape about it (Saddam was an SOB, but he was a Sunni SOB, and the Saudi princelings didn’t want to see him fall to make way for what they knew would be a Shi’ite-majority future up across the border in Iraq, esp not with the way the Saudis mistreat their own sizeable Shi’ite minority).

The excellent statesman he is, I’m sure Bush will have a condescending chuckle and a clever nickname to brush off whatever criticisms Charles has.

Steven, is your extended answer regarding the healthy output of SUVs (particularly the greenhouse gases) still forthcoming?

Sure. The short answer is that the EPA tables are wrong. (I thought I had said that already.) EPA highway gas mileage and emission factor estimates are done on cars tested at 48 mph, with the air conditioning turned off. Do you drive your car that way? The data in the charts I referred to in those long ago posts are from actual on-road monitoring of real cars in Chicago, Denver, Phoenix, and California, where the VOC and NOx emissions differential between late model SUVs and regular sedans is very very tiny. The only significant difference is in CO2 emissions, which are not regulated by the Clean Air Act, and which do not contribute to ozone or particulates.

The main reason for this is that the basic technologies for reducing VOC and NOx (computerized fuel injection for proper air/fuel mixture balance to prevent unburned hydrocarbons from evaporating or reaching the tailpipe, and catalytic converters, much upgraded since the 1970s--they are now much closer to the engine, for example) has about the same effect on all cars regardless of gas mileage. The EPA, in the immortal words of Mel Brooks, is just trying to justify their phoney-baloney jobs.

God Save the Queen - at least until the Prince of Ears signs the throne over to Edward.

That was somewhat disappointing, as your "Longer answer to come in due course (esp. on the greenhouse gas side of the argument) along with the historical data: stay tuned" certainly got my hopes up for some sort of mini-treatise!

"The only significant difference is in CO2 emissions..." - Well, that IS significant, isn’t it? The EPA’s Green Vehicle Guide states that "The Greenhouse Gas Score reflects the exhaust emissions of carbon dioxide. The score is from 0 to 10, where 10 is best. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas that is released into the atmosphere when solid waste, fossil fuels (oil, natural gas, and coal), and wood and wood products are burned. It’s well accepted by scientists that greenhouse gases trap heat in the Earth’s atmosphere and tend to warm the planet." Unless, that is, we’re talking to a K Street scientist from another organization that contains an A and an E (but no P) in their acronym. They NEVER say anything to "justify their phony baloney jobs."

My MUCH longer answer will be coming out in a long book, Air Quality in America, from AEI press some time next year (co-authored with Joel Schwartz). Since you are obviously unpersuadable I’m not going to post the whole book here in the comments section of NLT.

No, CO2 is not significant from an air pollution perspective. What do you exhale with every breath M. Montgomery, hmmm? And do you propose to stop breathing? And, finally, what is the primary nutrient of all trees and plants? Oh yeah--CO2. I don’t believe I ever said anything about tailpipe emissions and global warming in any previous post (except, like the last post, to remind that it is a different problem from hazardous air pollution like ozone and particulates, which is why CO2 was left out of every iteration of the Clean Air Act); you’re merely trying to squeeze people into your handy stereotypes.

If you actually bother to read through the IPCC reports on this, you’ll find that one of the possible positive feedback loops in their models is a world with more plant and tree growth from higher CO2 levels. Which is not to say that this outweighs the problems caused by a 4.5 degree C temperature increase; but it is to say that greenhouse gas emissions should not be regarded as the same kind of pollution as VOCs and NOx.

Don’t recall calling CO2 "significant from an air pollution perspective." But global warming is significant. And so are the differences in air pollution scores that can clearly be seen in the EPA Green Vehicle Guide. I do not regard greenhouse gas emissions "as the same kind of pollution as VOCs and NOx," and clearly, neither does the EPA, as their GVG ranks cars with separate scores, dividing the two issues.

I’m sure that I’m no more "unpersuadable" on all of this than you are. I’ll see if I can get your book through the library when it comes out.

As for your accusation that I’m "trying to squeeze people into handy stereotypes," I think we’ve got a pot calling the kettle black situation here, at best. I distinctly recall you posting at the end of last year about the biggest arson case in Maryland’s history. Because the arsons occurred at a new home construction site that had seen some environmentalist protestors, you were quick to assume that the arsons were "the first wave" of "Weather Underground-style violence" committed by "outraged" "Looney Left" eco-terrorists. As it turned out, it wasn’t eco-terrorists, it was that standard left-wing group - a street car racing club. As somebody else pointed out, you never did the follow-up on that story, and never admitted you were quite wrong in your assumption of who the culprits were. Maybe you were just "trying to squeeze people into your handy stereotypes?"

Some have questioned Queen Elizabeth’s wisdom in not stepping down to allow this "boob-in-waiting" to ascend the throne...Oh, what a burden the House of Windsor has to endure!

My, J. Montgomery, don’t we keep track of things! Yes, I did speculate that the Maryland arson was the work of eco-terrorists, as did the Washington Post that first morning, so I have company. The Post never said, "oops, we goofed," or made any reference to their earlier speculation in their subsequent reporting. But then I guess they don’t have the benefit of J. Montgomery looking after them. Oh, and I guess that since this episode turned out not to be done by the ELF that eco-terrroism is a phoney problem?

How did we get from Prince Charles to this? Oh never mind. I note that J. Montgomery does not attempt to refute my contention that the data reported in the EPA Green Vehicle Guide is wrong. He just repeats it apparently on the theory that if you just repeat something often enough it will become true. So I’ll repeat myself: the Green Vehicle Guide data does not track data of real cars on the road. (It is perhaps worth mentioning that EPA, and CARB in California, has consistently opposed using on-road remote sensing for pollution monitoring by states and local air quality regulators. Meanwhile, China is starting to adopt remote sensing as their preferred technology for pollution monitoring and abatement. Go figure. . .)

I grow weary of climate change debates, since to do it seriosuly requires thousands of words to do halfway decently. But to the contrary, we do not know yet whether global warming will be a significant problem. The UN’s IPCC prediction is that the range of warming is likely to be between 1.4 degrees C and 4.6 degrees C. The lower end of the range (1.4 degrees) is not a big deal and might even have net positive benefits, according to one chapter of the last IPCC report. 4.6 degrees would be a very big deal, with major, maybe catastrophic, problems. Here’s the rub: the IPCC is currently unable to assign any probability estimate to any forecast, owing to the limitations (actually the inherent similarity) of the climate models. Which means we don’t know; we’re only making guesses based on 40 different emissions forecasts that have their own serious methodological problems, as some IPCC scientists have been candid enough to admit.

My guess is that it will probably be a big deal. But no one has come up with a sensible idea yet for how to deal with the problem. See Tony Blair’s recent remarks at Clinton’s gabfest in NY, where he essentially gave up on near-term carbon suppression and all but admitted that Kyoto had been a big mistake.

Speaking of Tony Blair, he extended his critical comments about Kyoto and the current approach to climate change in yesterday’s Observer. Too bad Prince Charles doesn’t know how to read.

J Montgomery ought to chill out, although that is harder to do with all this global warming and CO2 from the Republican SUVs!

Well, seeing as I’m not an environmental scientist who specializes in the issue, I won’t pretend to be an expert on it. But, if I have to choose who to trust on such matters, I will certainly trust the staff of the EPA -as imperfect as that agency is- over policy wonks at a (rather far) right-wing neocon think tank (in other words, a special interest group with an axe to grind) which typically prioritizes corporate interests above all else.

As far as how I drive my car, I think 48mph and A/C off is reasonable, on the average. Far too often I’ve been in thick traffic on highways doing 45mph, and in many places that I’ve lived in the U.S., A/C isn’t really needed more than 2 or 3 mos. out of the whole year.

And regarding that whole Maryland arson issue, you could have just ’fessed up that you wrongly speculated and left it at that, but no, you had to try to impugn some WashPost writers, and you falsely claimed that the authors of the article that you linked to themselves speculated that the arsons were the work of eco-terrorists. Not true. The writers responsibly mentioned that some arsons in similar situations had been committed by ELF and groups of that sort, but they also were careful to mention that while those groups have openly claimed responsibility for some other arsons, no eco-terrorist group had done so in this case, AND they reported this:

"FBI spokesman Barry Maddox said that investigators have not ruled out any possibilities and that ’anything and everything would be considered right now.’

’We’re not limiting it to domestic terrorism or anything else,’ Maddox said. ’We’re not coming to any kind of conclusion at this time.’"

Thus, the Post writers reported on the speculations of SOME others, but did not themselves speculate. So, no, you don’t really "have company" on that (would it make it better somehow if you did?). Noticeably and substantially different than your casual, incendiary (pun intended) finger-pointing, which steered just shy of equating picketing protestors to ecoterrorist arsonists. So they - the Post - did not have a "goof" to make amends for. You did.

I read plenty of Post articles on this story, and they followed it well. The investigation shifted focus several times, and the Post, noted when it did, but in the end it was a strange kind of illegal car-racing "family." Actually, there was a recent conviction in the case. Perhaps your AEI colleague Charles Murray might enjoy putting his unique analysis and spin on the fact that the planner and driver in the arsons "admitted when he pleaded guilty in April that he targeted the development because a large number of black people were buying homes there." Sounds like a far cry from eco-terrorism.

Do you know, by any chance, what happened to the "supposedly threatened" wetland that the picketers supposedly cared about?

[Thanks for the sage advice, "Chris L" - or whoever that was]

J Montgomery - while Hayward’s FoxNews-inspired "reporting" was shameless in its lack of follow-up and correction, he was hardly alone in his inaccurate speculating. Michelle Malkin (surprise, surprise, I know) and Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit pulled the same crap. Reading that article about the conviction, it sounds more like the guilty parties were much less a car-racing club than a racial intimidation "club," bent on keeping out blacks.

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