Poverty and Energy in America

“Nobody who gets enough food and clothing in a world where most are hungry and cold has any business to talk about ‘misery.’”  C. S. Lewis

“Who are the poor?  To qualify, a family of four in 2010 needed to earn less than $22,314.  Some 46 million Americans, 15 percent of the population qualified.  And in what squalor were America’s poor forced to live?  Well, 99 percent had a refrigerator and stove, two-thirds had a plasma TV, a DVD player and access to cable or satellite, 43 percent were on the Internet, half had a video game system like PlayStation or Xbox.  Three-fourths of the poor had a car or truck, nine in 10 a microwave, 80 percent had air conditioning.  In 1970, only 36 percent of the U.S. population enjoyed air conditioning… Of the real poor, fewer than 10 percent live in trailers, 40 percent live in townhouses or single-family homes.  Forty-one percent of poor families own their own home.  The average poor person’s home in America has 1,400 square feet—more living space than do Europeans in 23 of the 25 wealthiest countries on the continent.  Two-thirds of America’s poor have two rooms per person, while 94 percent have at least one room per person in the family dwelling.  The daily consumption of proteins, vitamins and minerals of poor children is roughly the same as that of the middle class, and the poor consume more meat than the upper middle class.  Some 84 percent of America’s poor say they always have enough food to eat, while 13 percent say sometimes they do not, and less than 4 percent say they often do not have enough to eat.  Only 2.6 percent of poor children report stunted growth.  Poor kids in America are, on average, an inch taller and 10 pounds heavier than the youth of the Greatest Generation than won World War II. Among the major programs from which the poor receive benefits are Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, the Earned Income Tax Credit, Supplemental Security Income, Food stamps, the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) food program, Medicaid, public housing, low-income energy assistance and the Social Service Block Grant.”  Patrick J. Buchanan, The Washington Times, March 5, 2012, p. 33

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“To the nearest whole number, the percentage of the world’s energy that comes from wind turbines today is: ZERO!  Despite the regressive subsidy (pushing pensioners into fuel poverty while improving the wine cellars of grand estates), despite tearing rural communities apart, killing jobs, despoiling views, erecting pylons, felling forests, killing bats and eagles, causing industrial accidents, clogging motorways, polluting lakes in Inner Mongolia with the toxic and radioactive tailings from refining neodymium, a ton of which is in the average turbine—despite all this, the total energy generated each day by wind has yet to reach half a percent worldwide.  If wind power was going to work, it would have done so by now.”  Matt Ridley, The Wall Street Journal, March 7, 2012, p. A17

“I will simply try to clarify what the debate over climate change is really about.  It most certainly is not about whether climate is changing:  it always is.  It is not about whether CO2 is increasing: it clearly is.  It is not about whether the increase in CO2, by itself, will lead to some warming:  it should.  The debate is simply over the matter of how much warming the increase in CO2 can lead to, and the connection of such warming to the innumerable claimed catastrophes.  The evidence is that the increase in CO2 will lead to very little warming, and that the connection of this minimal warming (or even significant warming) to the purported catastrophes is also minimal.  The arguments on which the catastrophic claims are made are extremely weak—and commonly acknowledged as such.  They are sometimes overtly dishonest.”  Dr. Richard Lindzen, Cornwall Alliance Newsletter, March 7, 2012

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