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Will Fraudulent Climate Change Revelations Effect Housing?

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Former Vice President Al Gore has a McMansion, a lear jet and a Nobel Prize. Hate to pee in your organic veggie garden big Al but that’s not so carbon footprint friendly. Oh, and by the way, the information you used to promote global climate changing warming is at least in part a sham. Will that distract from the goal of a more earth friendly real estate industry?

Will it effect NAR’s green housing initiatives? It shouldn’t…but it may. For those of you who missed the news, we’ve learned that one of the leading orgs who promoted climate change ‘stretched’ their info. Me thinks the upcoming climate meetings in Copenhagen will not be nearly so merry with these revelations:

Fraud revealed. More fraud.

Here are my thoughts:

Realtor, Speaker, former Indianapolis radio personality. Least prettiest person ever on HGTV. Crashed in a helicopter and a Cessna 182. Seven lives left. Blessed by an amazing family!

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17 Comments

17 Comments

  1. Chris Cliff

    November 29, 2009 at 11:55 am

    The big killer will come from the bill requiring homes to be ‘green certified’ before they are allowed to sell. If this comes to pass, it will drive a big nail in the US housing market. Sellers that had any equity in older homes will lose it to having to do energy upgrades, and new home owners already are under water.

    If I didn’t know better, I would think that the current administration is actually trying to take advantage of the wounded real estate market and fully kill it!

  2. erichempler

    November 29, 2009 at 12:01 pm

    My feeling is and always has been…how much of an impact are we really making. Let consider this…How much of the land is water and how much of that land do we occupy and how much of that area we occupy actually has polutants? I think we’re way to insignificant to cause anything. I’m not saying the climate isn’t changing because it always has and always will. I’m just not convinced we make enough of an impact for the climate to change.

  3. Hal Benz

    November 29, 2009 at 12:15 pm

    I’m disappointed to learn about the “fudged numbers”, but not surprised really. This issue has been so politicized, with the numbers and science being twisted and distorted ON BOTH SIDES for years. When fraud like this is uncovered, it DOES hurt the cause. And that’s a shame. In the absence of trust, real change is difficult to achieve.

    Here’s the simple truth from my viewpoint: We DO have a responsibility to take care of the place where we live. I don’t need commissioned studies to convince me of this. All I need to do is watch the exponential growth of devastating storms in my community to know that something is terribly amiss. Regardless of who is “cooking the numbers” for whatever political purpose, I don’t think there is any serious scientific debate any longer that humans are the cause of this dilemma.

    I hope that our world leaders come up with some reasonable solutions in Copenhagen. Regardless of what we chose to call it, I believe that there IS a problem here. And I worry that the window to correct it is short. I’m no “tree hugger”, but I’m concerned about the inheritance I’m leaving for my daughter.

    But do me a favor…If you DO get to Denmark for the climate talks, please don’t let your car idle for hours in front of the main meeting house. You’ll just come off as another “ugly American”. And that won’t help the cause either…

  4. Missy Caulk

    November 29, 2009 at 1:23 pm

    I’ve been following it and even read some of the emails. So disappointing to see our scientist who we have held in high regard…. try to stop those who had different results from being published. What the heck?

    The fact they have changed from global cooling to global warming to climate control tells a huge story. It is not about the climate IMO but about the biggest take over of the government ever and not just ours.

    Greg, you cracked me up. Great video….spitting water. You are good!!

  5. Greg Cooper

    November 29, 2009 at 3:10 pm

    Chris…..if they pass cap and trade with the retro fit option…you are correct sir.

    Eric….I too wonder BUT I still think on a personal level we can do things that are good but not overwhelming to us as individuals.

    Hal….I was kidding on the car idling…promise.

    Missy….TY….humbled by your kind words.

  6. Ken Montville

    November 29, 2009 at 6:24 pm

    Reminds me of the Woody Allen flick “Sleeper” where Woody wakes up and everything thing bad is really good.

    Remember when eggs were bad for us, for instance. Now they’re OK. Or a good belt of Scotch.

    Yesterday it was good to eat nothing but meat and fat. Now even sugar substitutes have a gram of fiber.Tomorrow it’ll be the ice cream and cake diet.

    I don’t know enough about global warming to argue the point but I do know that clean air and clean water should be basic goals for a healthy and long life. Over industrialization has changed all that and 3rd world countries, like our biggest creditor, China, are only making things worse.

    Hey, you know what Greg? I’m getting cynical. And it’s a damn shame because I won’t be the one to suffer that much. I’ll be long dead before the effects of any of this stuff really hits.

  7. Greg Cooper

    November 29, 2009 at 8:46 pm

    Ken,

    You know there’s no easy answer here. I don’t agree that we should simply do nothing and let ma nature work. Looking at a smoke stack belching out garbage into the air is a no brainer on how bad it is. At the same time clearly the logic on the politcal side of this is flawed. One day it’s global warming until everyone wakes and discovers the planet is cooling and then it’s suddenly climate change. How stupid does this political movement think everyone is? We all have a responsibility to just do right. We don’t have to throw a million people out of work for a flawed concept. We simply have to do what is right to conserve our resources and use some common sense in taking care of the world. Regretably neither side seems to have common sense right now.

  8. BawldGuy

    November 30, 2009 at 11:05 am

    Mankind has pretty much zip control over the survival of the planet. I suppose folks a thousand years ago had hairspray too since these warming/cooling cycles generated by ozone thickening/thinning have been happening since, well, forever.

    This is about control — nothing more, nothing less. Let’s all use the three digit IQs with which most of us were born.

    ‘Green’ will be used widely to the extent it produces either financial gain or savings, mostly the latter. To invoke a bad pun, this ain’t rocket science, people. Skyscraper developers/rehabbers in Manhattan are going green ONLY when it produces proven and significant reductions in operating expenses.

    It’s the best executed, longest lasting scam in my lifetime — and now it’s coming to an end. That’s excellent, as the real scientific gains to be made will now emerge without the taint of PC ‘science’, which if viewed properly, is nothing but the science of propaganda.

    What the public will accept as fact will never cease to amaze thinking people

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Politics

The House Judiciary antitrust investigation holds big techs’ feet to the fire

(POLITICS) CEOs of Alphabet, Facebook, Apple, and Amazon set to testify in House Judiciary Committee antitrust investigation hearing today.

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The House Judiciary Committee is closing in on the end of a year-long investigation into tech giants Google, Facebook, Apple, and Amazon, to evaluate possible antitrust abuses. CEOs from all four companies were set to testify on Monday, July 27, 2020. The hearing has been pushed back to Wednesday, July 29, to allow members of Congress to pay respects to civil rights leader Representative John Lewis (D-GA) who died of pancreatic cancer on July 17.

Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Tim Cook of Apple, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, and Sundar Pichai of Alphabet (Google’s parent company) have all agreed to testify. This will be Bezos’ first time in front of Congress, whereas all the others have testified before on different matters. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey was invited to testify by Representative Jim Jordan (R-OH), but is expected to not attend.

The Antitrust Subcommittee began the investigation in June 2019. Each business has been the subject of scrutiny for their roles in dominating their respective industries and playing an outsized role in market competition for smaller businesses. The Committee is interested in evaluating current antitrust laws and whether they apply to, or should be updated for, these mega corporations. They have already heard testimonies from smaller companies like Sonos and Tile about these companies’ alleged monopolistic practices.

The focus of the investigation for Apple is on the App Store, and whether it has implemented policies that are harmful for app developers. Google has a tight hold on the online advertising market. Amazon – which during a five-week period early in the pandemic saw an increase in value equivalent to the total value of Walmart, the world’s largest firm – has been criticized for its treatment of brands that sell on its e-commerce platform. Facebook is being investigated for its acquisition practices, cornering the social media market with purchases like Instagram.

Amazon is expected to face additional scrutiny for its treatment of warehouse workers during the pandemic. Facebook and YouTube (a subsidiary of Google) have been the subject of regular criticism about monitoring hate speech on their platforms, and their treatment of the workers responsible for doing so (Facebook in particular).

The hearing is set to occur virtually in order to adhere to social distancing guidelines. Watch the hearing live at 12:00 p.m. EST Wednesday, July 29 on the House Judiciary Committee’s YouTube channel. Please do note the hilarious irony of streaming a Congressional antitrust hearing on YouTube, which is owned by Google, which is owned by Alphabet, which is testifying at said hearing. God Bless America.

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Politics

Additional unemployment benefits outside of the CARES Act

(POLITICS) Unemployment is at an all time high in the United States and individuals need to be aware of reapplying for additional benefits.

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June saw some additional jobs in the US and unemployment fell as of early July, but CNBC advised pausing on any celebration just yet, saying that “The employment crisis is still worse than any time since the Great Depression, the country’s worst economic downturn in its industrial history.”

The unemployment statistics in our country right now are really scary – especially for individuals and families that see a looming deadline of July 31 for the supplemental $600/week provided by the Federal Government through the CARES Act put in place in March. There are discussions on extending these benefits as many families have not been able to replace their incomes or find new employment opportunities, but it doesn’t seem like anything has been finalized there yet. Congress is in the middle of a variety of options:

  • Discontinue the additional $600/week but allow those on unemployment to continue to file and receive their state benefits (usually up to 26 weeks or possibly extended up to 39 weeks by The CARES act)
  • Send out additional stimulus checks (Congress is currently exploring a $X Trillion stimulus package)
  • Extend the additional funding (on top of the weekly amount allotted by state) but cut it from $600 to $200
  • It’s also been put on the table in the House of Representatives “The Heroes Act” to extend the additional $600/week until January 2021 ($3 trillion).

There are some additional benefits that are available (different than the funds by the CARES Act), but you may have to reapply for them. So, make sure to check your state’s unemployment pages and your filing status. Some states do not require you to reapply and you can continue on with extended benefits.

According to CNBC, “The additional aid expires after the end of the year. (This is a different program than the one paying an extra $600 a week through July 31.) For some reason, the [Department of Labor] has taken the position that people have to file for the additional PEUC benefits,” said Michele Evermore, a senior policy analyst at the National Employment Law Project.”

No doubt that this can cause additional stress and uncertainty especially when you have questions about your filing and are unable to get through to someone on the phone. With the way that the unemployment cycle is setup, technically July 25 is considered the last date for that cycle (and July 26 for New York), so be sure to check and see what the next steps are for you if you are currently filing.

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How will pausing the reopening of states impact the recovery of the economy?

(POLITICS) The resurgence of COVID-19 has left Americans with a lot of questions about our nation’s economic future. That ambiguity is seemingly a feature, not a bug.

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COVID-19 reopening economy

The rest of the world watched as the United States dramatically reopened “the economy” last month. Now, it seems we’ve changed our minds about that.

The White House has repeatedly said that it will be up to individual states to form their own pandemic response plans moving forward. But letting local governments devise their own solutions has produced large gaps in their preparedness, as well as profound confusion around the best practices for balancing the country’s public and economic health.

California, which represents the largest economy in the US and the fifth largest in the world, was one of the first states to put serious quarantine restrictions in place. The decision to relax those orders only came after anti-lockdown protestors demanded that Governor Gavin Newsom reopen the state’s beaches, businesses and churches. Newsom may now regret this capitulation as California just called for a second round of statewide lockdowns.

Other state legislators are slowly following their lead, as the threat is becoming very dire in some places. Florida, for instance, is now a global hotspot for COVID-19 and Miami is being called “the new Wuhan”. The state is also currently struggling against another wave of unemployment, partly because their economy is heavily dependent on summer tourism (which has persisted despite the spike in cases, but not nearly at pre-pandemic levels).

Florida, California and Texas are altogether responsible for 20 percent of all new COVID-19 cases globally.

Every state is fighting two battles here. Coronavirus relief efforts in the US are still seriously underfunded, and most health organizations here lack the resources to effectively test and treat their communities. But the problems that have emerged for workers and small business owners, like evictions and layoffs, have also been devastating in their own right.

In essence, the United States reopened in an effort to curb the nation’s financial freefall and ballooning unemployment. Economists predicted at the beginning of July that reopening would allow the US to avoid a recession, and all would go smoothly. These projections likely did not account for a spike in cases that would halt this economic rebound.

That’s not to say the circumstances here haven’t improved at all over the past months; currently there is no acute shortage of ventilators, and doctors have had some time to refine their strategies for treating the virus. Overall, the national unemployment rate is slightly declining, while working from home is going so well for companies like Twitter and Facebook that they will be permanently switching much of their staff to remote work.

By comparison, though, New Zealand took the pandemic much more seriously than the US did, and they are objectively in a better position now in all respects. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern cracked down hard and early, closing the country’s borders completely, and instituting rent freezes nationwide. As a result they have virtually eradicated COVID-19 within their borders. A report from S&P Global also expects New Zealand’s economy to recover quickly compared to the rest of the world.

While this tradeoff seems like a zero sum game – as if we have to pick either our health, or our wealth – it is not. In fact, we could very well end up with neither if our lawmakers don’t proceed with caution.

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