_______________________________________________________________________________________________________ A fascinating story on Al Gore's mentor, Roger Revelle, originally setting Gore on his course, then later reversing that course based on further research. Meteorologist John Coleman lays it out nicely in the 4 minute clip from KUSI, San Diego:
More than 60 prominent German scientists have publicly declared their dissent from man-made global warming fears in an Open Letter to German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The more than 60 signers of the letter include several United Nations IPCC scientists.
The scientists declared that global warming has become a "pseudo religion" and they noted that rising CO2 has "had no measurable effect" on temperatures. The German scientists, also wrote that the "UN IPCC has lost its scientific credibility."
The July 26, 2009 German scientist letter urged Chancellor Merkel to "strongly reconsider" her position on global warming and requested a "convening of an impartial panel" that is "free of ideology" to counter the UN IPCC and review the latest climate science developments.
The scientists, from many disciplines, including physicists, meteorology, chemistry, and geology, explain that "humans have had no measurable effect on global warming through CO2 emissions. Instead the temperature fluctuations have been within normal ranges and are due to natural cycles."
"More importantly, there's a growing body of evidence showing anthropogenic CO2 plays no measurable role," the scientists wrote. "Indeed CO2's capability to absorb radiation is already exhausted by today's atmospheric concentrations. If CO2 did indeed have an effect and all fossil fuels were burned, then additional warming over the long term would in fact remain limited to only a few tenths of a degree," they added.
"The IPCC had to have been aware of this fact, but completely ignored it during its studies of 160 years of temperature measurements and 150 years of determined CO2 levels. As a result the IPCC has lost its scientific credibility," the scientists wrote.
"Indeed the atmosphere has not warmed since 1998 - more than 10 years, and the global temperature has even dropped significantly since 2003. Not one of the many extremely expensive climate models predicted this. According to the IPCC, it was supposed to have gotten steadily warmer, but just the opposite has occurred," the scientists wrote.
"The belief of climate change, and that it is manmade, has become a pseudo-religion," the scientists wrote. "The German media has sadly taken a leading position in refusing to publicize views that are critical of anthropogenic global warming," they added.
"Do you not believe, Madam Chancellor, that science entails more than just confirming a hypothesis, but also involves testing to see if the opposite better explains reality? We strongly urge you to reconsider your position on this subject and to convene an impartial panel for the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, one that is free of ideology, and where controversial arguments can be openly debated. We the undersigned would very much like to offer support in this regard.
Full Text of Translated Letter By 61 German Scientists: (emphasis added)
Open Letter - Climate Change Bundeskanzleramt Frau Bundeskanzerlin Dr. Angela Merkel Willy-Brandt-Strabe 1
Vizerprasident Dipl. Ing. Michael Limburg 14476 Grob Glienicke Richard-Wagner-Str. 5a
To the attention of the Honorable Madam Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany,
When one studies history, one learns that the development of societies is often determined by a zeitgeist, which at times had detrimental or even horrific results for humanity. History tells us time and again that political leaders often have made poor decisions because they followed the advice of advisors who were incompetent or ideologues and failed to recognize it in time. Moreover evolution also shows that natural development took a wide variety of paths with most of them leading to dead ends. No era is immune from repeating the mistakes of the past.
Politicians often launch their careers using a topic that allows them to stand out. Earlier as Minister of the Environment you legitimately did this as well by assigning a high priority to climate change. But in doing so you committed an error that has since led to much damage, something that should have never happened, especially given the fact you are a physicist. You confirmed that climate change is caused by human activity and have made it a primary objective to implement expensive strategies to reduce the so-called greenhouse gas CO2. You have done so without first having a real discussion to check whether early temperature measurements and a host of other climate related facts even justify it.
A real comprehensive study, whose value would have been absolutely essential, would have shown, even before the IPCC was founded, that humans have had no measurable effect on global warming through CO2 emissions. Instead the temperature fluctuations have been within normal ranges and are due to natural cycles. Indeed the atmosphere has not warmed since 1998 - more than 10 years, and the global temperature has even dropped significantly since 2003.
Not one of the many extremely expensive climate models predicted this. According to the IPCC, it was supposed to have gotten steadily warmer, but just the opposite has occurred.
More importantly, there's a growing body of evidence showing anthropogenic CO2 plays no measurable role. Indeed CO2's capability to absorb radiation is already exhausted by today's atmospheric concentrations. If CO2 did indeed have an effect and all fossil fuels were burned, then additional warming over the long term would in fact remain limited to only a few tenths of a degree.
The IPCC had to have been aware of this fact, but completely ignored it during its studies of 160 years of temperature measurements and 150 years of determined CO2 levels. As a result the IPCC has lost its scientific credibility.The main points on this subject are included in the accompanying addendum.
In the meantime, the belief of climate change, and that it is manmade, has become a pseudo-religion. Its proponents, without thought, pillory independent and fact-based analysts and experts, many of whom are the best and brightest of the international scientific community. Fortunately in the internet it is possible to find numerous scientific works that show in detail there is no anthropogenic CO2 caused climate change. If it was not for the internet, climate realists would hardly be able to make their voices heard. Rarely do their critical views get published.
The German media has sadly taken a leading position in refusing to publicize views that are critical of anthropogenic global warming. For example, at the second International Climate Realist Conference on Climate in New York last March, approximately 800 leading scientists attended, some of whom are among the world's best climatologists or specialists in related fields. While the US media and only the Wiener Zeitung (Vienna daily) covered the event, here in Germany the press, public television and radio shut it out. It is indeed unfortunate how our media have developed - under earlier dictatorships the media were told what was not worth reporting. But today they know it without getting instructions.
Do you not believe, Madam Chancellor, that science entails more than just confirming a hypothesis, but also involves testing to see if the opposite better explains reality? We strongly urge you to reconsider your position on this subject and to convene an impartial panel for the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, one that is free of ideology, and where controversial arguments can be openly debated. We the undersigned would very much like to offer support in this regard.
Desperation time has arrived for the promoters of man-made global warming fears. As the science of man-made climate fears continues to collapse, new tactics are being contrived to try to drum up waning public support.
The core of the claims made in the August 8, 2009 New York Times article by John M. Broder are stated as follows: "Recent war games and intelligence studies conclude that over the next 20 to 30 years, vulnerable regions, particularly sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and South and Southeast Asia, will face the prospect of food shortages, water crises and catastrophic flooding driven by climate change that could demand an American humanitarian relief or military response."
Climate Depot's Inconvenient Rebuttal to "National Security" Climate Argument:
1) The "national security" angle is based on unproven computer models which even the United Nations IPCC admits are not "predictions." UN IPCC lead author, Dr. Kevin Trenberth refers to climate models as "story lines." "In fact there are no predictions by IPCC at all. And there never have been. The IPCC instead proffers 'what if' projections of future climate that correspond to certain emissions scenarios," Trenberth wrote in journal Nature's blog on June 4, 2007. So the mighty New York Times is reporting that some members of the military, led by Sen. Kerry, are essentially playing no more than "what if" "war games!"
Memo to New York Times and Senator Kerry: Climate Models "predictions" are not evidence.
2) Aside from the fact that the "national security" angle rests on speculative doomsday scenarios, perhaps the biggest whopper of the new movement is the implication that we must pass the Congressional climate bill to "address" or "remedy" the problem and thus "avoid" future wars and loss of life. Left unanswered in this argument is how a climate bill that will have no detectable impact on global temperatures will help "solve" the alleged looming national security threat. Most shockingly, the Congressional climate bill would not even impact atmospheric CO2 levels according to the EPA!
3) The New York Time also makes the following remarkable assertion: "But a growing number of policy makers say that the world's rising temperatures, surging seas and melting glaciers are a direct threat to the national interest."
NYT Claim: "Word's Rising temperatures?": Huh? Is NYT must not be privy to latest temperature data showing a lack of warming for a decade and global cooling in recent years and peer-reviewed analysis showing the 20th century was not unusuallywarm?
5) The New York Times notes Sen. Kerry and others are "now beginning to make the national security argument for approving the [Congressional] legislation."
The ridiculous assumption that mankind could realistically reduce emissions to alter future weather patterns has been exposed as "climate astrology." It is truly an insult to our men and woman in uniform to have Sen. Kerry and a small contingent of military brass attempting to sell these spurious climate claims. If we suspended basic science and reality and assumed Sen. Kerry was correct and the "undecided" Senators may be swayed to support a climate bill based on these alleged "national security" fears, how would a bill that did not impact CO2 levels or temperature be the "solution"? Sadly, the New York Times (and the ususally dependable Broder) did a completely one-sided article on this issue based.
6) NYT's shameless quote of the day: "We will pay for this one way or another," Gen. Anthony C. Zinni, a retired Marine and the former head of the Central Command. "We will pay to reduce greenhouse gas emissions today, and we'll have to take an economic hit of some kind. Or we will pay the price later in military terms. And that will involve human lives."
Sadly, Sen. Kerry and Gen. Zinni's unfounded "national security" climate claims will be the object of public humiliation for them in the not too distant future.
It is a testament to the growing strength of the skeptical scientific case against man-made climate fears that Sen. Kerry and retired VA Sen. John Warner (who sadly embarrassed himself in his final year in the Senate promulgating such "national security" climate drivel) have to resort to such transparent and yes...laughable claims.
Science and history will issue a harsh judgment against Sen. Kerry and others for this silly "national security" argument. The reality is, global warming does pose a serious national security threat to the United States -- global warming "solutions"-- that is. The Senate is deliberating on a global warming cap-and-trade bill that will increase our dependence on foreign sources of energy, close refineries and cost American jobs. (See Bloomberg News: report from June 26, 2009: U.S. oil companies may cope with the climate legislation by "closing fuel plants, cutting capital spending and increasing imports." Bloomberg also reported that "one in six U.S. refineries probably would close by 2020" and this could "add 77 cents a gallon to the price of gasoline." )
Former Vice President Al Gore has touted the Congressional climate bill as a first step toward "global governance." "National security" will be a threat to the U.S. if it contemplates an international treaty which will inevitably lead to a loss of sovereignty for the U.S. as well as the imposition of some form carbon taxes. Americans should welcome a full debate about the merits of "national security" threat from man-made global warming. The more light that is shown on this line of reasoning, the more skeptical the public will grow. Dare we say: Bring it on!
The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee began their hearings on the 1,500 page Waxman-Markey cap and trade legislation Tuesday, and ranking member Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) won a startling admission from Environmental Protection Agency administrator Lisa Jackson. Inhofe produced an EPA chart generated last year during the Senate's debate of the Lieberman-Warner cap and trade legislation. The chart showed that the carbon reductions under that bill would not materially effect global carbon concentrations in the atmosphere. Inhofe then asked Jackson if she agreed with the chart's conclusions. Jackson replied, "I believe that essential parts of the chart are that the U.S. action alone will not impact CO2 levels." < http://newsbusters.org/blogs/p-j-gladnick/2009/07/08/huge-co2-emissions-disagreement-between-epa-energy-dept-ignored-msm >
Also at the hearing, Energy Secretary Steven Chu said he did not agree with chart which is interesting since all the best science confirms Inhofe's and Jackson's conclusions. For example, a recent study < http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/economics/pdfs/WM-Analysis.pdf> of cap and trade by MIT concluded: "The different U.S. policies have relatively small effects on the CO2 concentration if other regions do not follow the U.S. lead. . The Developed Only scenario cuts only about 0.5 °C of the warming from the reference, again illustrating the importance of developing country participation."
So how is it that "developing country participation" going, The New York Times reports < http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/09/world/europe/09prexy.html > reports from the Group of 8 Summit in L'Aquila, Italy, "The world's biggest developing nations, led by China and India, refused Wednesday to commit to specific goals for slashing heat-trapping gases by 2050, undercutting the drive to build a global consensus by the end of this year to reverse the threat of climate chage." For anyone that has been following the issue, this developement should come as no surprise. On Jun 30th this year India's Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh to d Blumberg, <http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601091&sid=aWs0Pts2Kxes> they view the carbon tariffs in the Waxman-Markey bill as a violation of the World Trade Organization rules. <http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/feedarticle/8590213>
So if other countries will not sacrifice their own economic growth to meet carbon cutting goals, then what is the economic hit Americans are taking? The left http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1907528,00.html is touting a recent Congressional Budget Office study http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/09/world/europe/09prexy.html which they say shows Waxman-Markey would only cost Americans $175 a year. However, the left is seriously misrepresenting what the CBO study is. Footnote three on page four of the CBO study explicitly admits: "The resource cost does not indicate the potential decrease in gross domestic product (GDP) that could result from the cap.
The reduction in GDP would also include indirect general equilibrium effects, such as changes in the labor supply resulting from reductions in real wages and potential reductions in the productivity of capital and labor." In other words, the CBO study is not an economic analysis at all. Instead it is a simple accounting <http://blog.heritage.org/2009/07/01/time-vs-truth-when-it-comes-to-cap-and-trade/> of how energy tax revenue that Waxman-Markey collects is distributed. When the economic costs of Waxman-Markey are included, the harm to American families skyrockets. According to Heritage's Center for Data Analysis, Waxman-Markey will decrease GDP in 2020 by $161 billion (2009 dollars). http://blog.heritage.org/2009/07/01/time-vs-truth-when-it-comes-to-cap-and-trade/ > For a family of four, that is $1,870 that the CBO simply ignores.
A Garden of Piggish Delights Waxman-Markey is part power-grab, part enviro-fantasy. Here are 50 reasons to stop it.
By Stephen Spruiell & Kevin Williamson Reprinted from NRO
The stimulus bill was the legislative equivalent of the famous cantina scene from Star Wars, an eye-popping collection of the freakish and exotic, gathered for dubious purposes. The Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill, known as ACES (the American Clean Energy and Security Act), is more like the third panel in Hieronymus Bosch's Garden of Earthly Delights ? a hellscape that disturbs the sleep of anybody who contemplates it carefully.
Two main things to understand about Waxman-Markey: First, it will not reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, at least not at any point in the near future. The inclusion of carbon offsets, which can be manufactured out of thin air and political imagination, will eliminate most of the demands that the legislation puts on industry, though in doing so it will manage to drive up the prices consumers pay for every product that requires energy for its manufacture ? which is to say, for everything. Second, it represents a worse abuse of the public trust and purse than the stimulus and the bailouts put together. Waxman-Markey creates a permanent new regime in which environmental romanticism and corporate welfare are mixed together to form political poison. From comic bureaucratic power grabs (check out the section of the bill on candelabras) to the creation of new welfare programs for Democratic constituencies to, above all, massive giveaways for every financial, industrial, and political lobby imaginable, this bill would permanently deform American politics and economic life.
The House of Representatives, famously, did not read this bill before passing it, which is testament to either Nancy Pelosi's managerial incompetency or her political wile, or possibly both. If you take the time to read the legislation, you'll discover four major themes: special-interest giveaways, regulatorymandates unrelated to climate change, fanciful technological programs worthy of The Jetsons, and assorted left-wing wish fulfillment. We cannot cover every swirl and brushstroke of this masterpiece of misgovernance, but here's a breakdown of its 50 most outrageous features.
SPECIAL-INTEREST SOPS 1. The big doozy: Eighty-five percent of the carbon permits will not be sold at auction. They will be given away to utility companies, petroleum interests, refineries, and a coterie of politically connected businesses. If you're wondering why Big Business supports cap-and-trade, that's why. Free money for business, but higher energy prices for you.
2. The sale of carbon permits will enrich the Wall Street investment bankers whose money put Obama in the White House. Top of the list: Goldman Sachs, which is invested in carbon-offset development and carbon permissions. CNN reports:
Less than two weeks after the investment bank announced it would be laying off 10 percent of its staff, ***Goldman Sachs confirmed that it has taken a minority stake in Utah-based carbon offset project developer Blue Source LLC. . . . "Interest in the pre-compliance carbon market in the U.S. is growing rapidly," said Leslie Biddle, Head of Commodity Sales at Goldman, "and we are excited to be able to offer our clients immediate access to a diverse selection of emission reductions to manage their carbon risk."
3. With its rich menu of corporate subsidies and special set-asides for politically connected industries, Waxman-Markey has inspired a new corporate interest group, USCAP, the United States Climate Action Partnership ? the group largely responsible for the fact that carbon permits are being given away like candy at Christmas rather than auctioned. And who is lined up to receive a piece of the massive wealth transfer that Waxman-Markey will mandate? Canada Free Press lists:
Alcoa, American International Group (AIG) which withdrew after accepting government bailout money, Boston Scientific Corporation, BP America Inc., Caterpillar Inc., Chrysler LLC (which continues to lobby with taxpayer dollars), ConocoPhillips, Deere & Company, The Dow Chemical Company, Duke Energy, DuPont, Environmental Defense, Exelon Corporation, Ford Motor Company, FPL Group, Inc., General Electric, General Motors Corp. (now owned by the Obama administration), Johnson & Johnson, Marsh, Inc., National Wildlife Federation, Natural Resources Defense Council, The Nature Conservancy, NRG Energy, Inc., Pepsico, Pew Center on Global Climate Change, PG&E Corporation, PNM Resources, Rio Tinto, Shell, Siemens Corporation, World Resources Institute, Xerox Corporation.
One major group of recipients of the free money being given to industry in the form of carbon permits are the electric utilities, represented in Washington by the Edison Electric Institute. Along with the coal and steel businesses, the utilities are positioned to receive a huge portion of the carbon permits, some of which will be disguised as measures for consumers, and have become one of the nation'shighest-spending lobbies, working to ensure that their interests are served by cap-and-trade.
4. To the extent that the allowances actually generate government revenue, that money is going to be used for fraud-inviting projects of dubious environmental or economic value. Example: Some allowance money will be used to "build capacity to reduce deforestation in developing countries experiencing deforestation, including preparing developing countries to participate in international markets for international offset credits for reduced emissions from deforestation." What are the chances of that being abused?
5. In addition to the permits, the bill also allows for the creation of "offsets" ? the medieval-style indulgences of the carbon-footprint world. In fact, nearly all of Waxman-Markey's carbon-reduction targets can be met with offsets alone through 2050, meaning decades before any actual reduction of greenhouse gases is required. That means huge new expenses for small businesses and consumers in return for basically zero environmental improvement. And how does one earn an offset to sell? Get a farm and cash in through such methods as, and we quote, "improved manure management," "reduced tillage/no-tillage," or "afforestation of marginal farmlands." Translation: Plant some trees around the house and claim some extra credits on the land the government may already be paying you not to farm. And do a better job of handling your B.S., but you'll never do as good a job on that one as the authors of Waxman-Markey.
6. Because the cap-and-trade regime will disadvantage domestic refineries vis-ŕ-vis foreign competitors, such as India's powerhouse Reliance Industries, Waxman-Markey is attempting to buy them off with free permits. 2 percent of the national total will go to domestic refineries, at no cost.
7. Agribusiness is exempted from cap-and-trade controls, but the farm lobby will be given permits to sell and to profit from anyway. All carrot, no stick ? precisely what this powerful industry lobby is accustomed to receiving from Washington.
8. Waxman-Markey strips the EPA of its oversight role when it comes to managing the offsets associated with American farms. At the behest of Cargill and other big players in the farm lobby, oversight will be entrusted to the USDA, basically a wholly owned subsidiary of the agriculture cartel, one of America's most rapacious special-interest groups, which already is stuffed with subsidies and sops.
9. Waxman-Markey directs the EPA to ignore the real environmental impact of ethanol and other biofuels. The gigantic subsidies lavished on the farm lobby through the ethanol program encourage farmers to clear forest land to plant corn ? a net environmental loss that the use of ethanol does nothing to offset. An earlier version of the legislation that would have counted for land-use changes was altered at the farm lobby's demand. Now, the EPA will be forbidden to rain the same pain on the ethanol gang that it's going to rain on the rest of the economy, a minimum of five years' (ahem) "study" is required before a ruling on whether ethanol should be treated the same as any other fuel, and the EPA, USDA, and Congress all must agree to act before Big Corn reaps what Waxman-Markey sows.
10. Rural electrical cooperatives are demanding that the offsets be awarded in proportion to historic emissions, and they probably will prevail. This means that high-polluting generators, such as the coal-fired plants typical of electric co-ops' members, will be rewarded because they pollute more, while cleaner producers, such as those using nuclear and hydroelectric power, will be penalized.
11. The farm lobby will be rewarded for practices that do little or nothing to reduce greenhouse gases. One such practice is "no till" planting, in which farmers forgo plowing and plant seeds directly into the soil. Two peer-reviewed scientific papers suggest that no-till either does nothing to decrease carbon dioxide or actually increases the level of greenhouse-gas emissions by upping emissions of nitrous oxide, a much more powerful greenhouse gas. Now it's not clear that no-till will reduce greenhouse gases, but the practice does make weed-control more difficult, meaning that it supports the market for herbicides such as Monsanto's RoundUp. Guess who's spending millions lobbying for no-till?
12. Waxman-Markey provides an excuse for trade protectionism. The bill will give the Obama administration broad new powers to enact tariffs on imports from jurisdictions that have not had the poor sense to enact similar legislation, meaning that it invites both politically driven trade protectionism and retaliatory measures from abroad in the service of an empty green dream. As the New York Times puts it:
A House committee working on sweeping energy legislation seems determined to make sure that the United States will tax China and other carbon polluters, potentially disrupting an already-sensitive climate change debate in Congress. The Ways and Means Committee's proposed bill language would virtually require that the president impose an import tariff on any country that fails to clamp down on greenhouse gas emissions. Directed primarily at China, the United States' biggest manufacturing competitor, the provisions aim to protect cement, steel and other energy-intensive industries that expect to face higher costs under a federal emissions cap.
13. Waxman-Markey channels billions of dollars into subsidies for "international clean technology deployment for emerging markets." David H. McCormick of the Treasury Department recently gave a speech on the establishment of an $8 billion fund for that purpose; those who showed up to gets the specs on this new gravy train included Sequoia Capital, the United Steelworkers Union, the Clinton Climate Initiative, Ernst & Young, Duke Energy, SunPower, Honeywell, Shell, ConocoPhillips, Credit Suisse, Chrysalix Energy Venture Capital, and Goldman Sachs. If you're wondering who's going to make real money off of Waxman-Markey, this list would be a pretty good place to start.
14. Naturally, Big Labor gets its piece of the pie, too. Projects receiving grants and financing under Waxman-Markey provisions will be required to implement Davis-Bacon union-wage rules, making it hard for non-union firms to compete ? and ensuring that these "investments" pay out inflated union wages. And it's not just the big research-and-development contracts, since Waxman-Markey forcesunion-wage rules all the way down to the plumbing-repair and light-bulb-changing level.
NON-CAP MANDATES 15. The renewable electricity standard is the big one here. This would require utilities to supply 20 percent of their power from renewable energy sources (or "increased efficiency") by 2020. The Senate was unable to pass a smaller mandate in 2007, because favored sources of renewable energy (wind power, for instance) just don't work in certain regions of the country, and regional blocs can wield a great deal of power in the Senate. These blocs may be less powerful this time around, because the Democrats within them will be under a great deal of pressure to pass this bill. The renewable standard would force utilities to rely increasingly on expensive sources of energy like wind and solar, expensive because they are capital-intensive and must be located far away from urban areas, necessitating long transmission lines. You can thank Congress for adding yet another charge to your monthly utility bill.
16. The bill would create a system of renewable electricity credits similar to the carbon offsets mentioned above ? utilities that cannot meet the standard could purchase credits from other utilities. One way or another, however, the cost is getting passed along to you.
17. The renewable standard excludes sources of power like nuclear and coal gasification, and perhaps that's to be understood. Even though these sources are cleaner than traditional coal-burning plants, they violate a number of green taboos. What's less understandable is the way "qualified hydropower" is narrowly defined to exclude hydropower from Canada. Again, the thing to rememberis that Congress is less concerned with greening the environment and more concerned with greening the pockets of parochial interests.
18. The legislation calls for the establishment of a Carbon Storage Research Corporation (CSRC) to steer $1 billion annually into the development of carbon-capture technologies. The CSRC would be funded via assessments on utility companies. Hear that? It's the sound of another charge being added to your bill. Evidence suggests that subsidizing research into carbon-capture technology is either futile (in the case of traditional coal-powered plants) or unnecessary (the technology for sequestering emissions from gasification plants already exists).
19. The promotion of carbon capture will require a host of new regulations ? the bill calls on the EPA to create a permitting process for geologic sequestration (burying captured carbon emissions in the ground), regulations to keep the buried carbon from escaping into the air, and regulations to keep it from escaping into the water supply. All we need now are carbon guards to throw the carbon in solitary confinement if it gets too rowdy in the prison yard.
20. The bill imposes performance standards on new coal-fired power plants to encourage the adoption of carbon-capture technology. Ratepayers would pay more for electricity because of the efficiency losses associated with carbon capture.
21. The bill regulates every light fixture under the sun. Actually, the sun might be the only light source that isn't regulated specifically in this legislation. There are rules governing fluorescent lamps, incandescent lamps, intermediate base lamps, candelabra base lamps, outdoor luminaires, portable light fixtures? You get the idea. The government actually started down this road by regulating light bulbs in the 2005 energy bill. This bill merely tightens the regulations, which means the unintended consequences produced by the 2005 bill, more expensive light bulbs that burn out quicker, will probably get worse.
22. The bill extends its reach to cover appliances as well. Clothes washers and dishwashers, portable electric spas, showerheads, faucets, televisions ? all these and more are covered specifically in the bill. You thought we were kidding when we said this bill represents the federal government's attempt to expand its regulatory reach to cover everything. We weren't.
23. Appliances will be required to come with "carbon output" labels, and retailers will get bonus payments for marketing those that are certified "best-in-class." The bill sets up a payment schedule to reward the manufacturers of these "best-in-class" products: $75 for each dishwasher, $250 for each clothes washer, and so on. So go out and splurge on that new super-energy-efficient refrigerator? Under this bill, you already made a $200 down payment.
24. The bill requires the EPA to establish environmental standards for residences, meaning a federally dictated one-size-fits-all policy for greening every home in America. When you're retrofitting your home according to EPA guidelines, it will come as little comfort to know that the government is reimbursing you for your troubles, especially if you're doing the work around April 15.
25. The bill would affect commercial properties, too. In fact, all buildings would be governed by a "national energy efficiency building code" that would require 50 percent reductions in energy use in all buildings by 2018, followed by 5 percent reductions in energy use every three years after that through 2030. No one disputes that these changes will be costly, but Waxman-Markey supporters argue that they will pay for themselves through lower energy bills. This argument holds up only if we assume that energy prices will stay flat or fall over time. But the aforementioned carbon caps instituted elsewhere in this legislation make that prospect highly unlikely. Businesses and homeowners will pay twice ? once to retrofit their roosts and again when the energy bill arrives.
26. The bill instructs the EPA to regulate greenhouse-gas emissions from mobile sources such as cars, trucks, buses, dirt bikes, snowmobiles, boats, planes, and trains.
27. It instructs the EPA to cap and reduce greenhouse-gas emissions from non-mobile sources as well. These two items would be bigger news if the Supreme Court hadn't already cleared the way for the EPA to regulate greenhouse-gas emissions. President Obama will probably move forward on this front even if Congress fails to pass the cap-and-trade bill. He has already announced a strict national fuel-efficiency standard for cars, and the implications for other sources of greenhouse- gas emissions are not good.
28. The bill calls on the EPA to establish a federal greenhouse-gas registry. Businesses would be required to collect and submit data on their emissions to the EPA, creating yet another compliance cost for them to pass on to their customers.
29. The bill undermines federalism by prohibiting states from creating their own cap-and-trade programs. Nearly half of all U.S. states have already taken some sort of action to cap greenhouse- gas emissions by forming regional compacts and implementing their own emission standards. Understandably, these states support a federal cap so that they are not at an economic disadvantage to states that do not cap emissions. If these states want to hamstring their own economies in the pursuit of green goals, that should be their business. States that don't see any reason to do so should not be forced to share in their folly.
GREEN DREAMS 30. Utility companies are directed to start laying the groundwork for a glorious future in which everyone drives a plug-in car. The legislation directs them to start planning for the deployment of electrical charging stations along roadways, in parking garages, and at gas stations, as well as "such other elements as the State determines necessary to support plug-in electric drive vehicles." (States are directed to consider whether the costs of planning or the implementation of these plans merit reimbursement. Either way, you wind up with the bill.)
31. The secretary of energy is required to establish a large-scale vehicle electrification program and to provide "such sums as may be necessary" for the manufacture of plug-in electric-drive vehicles, including another $25 billion for "advanced technology vehicle" loans. As if Detroit hadn't gotten its hands on enough taxpayer money.
32. The bill directs the secretary of energy to promulgate regulations requiring that each automaker's fleet be comprised of a minimum percentage of vehicles that run on ethanol or biodiesel.
33. It includes loan guarantees for the construction of ethanol pipelines. Nearly every energy bill in the last five years has included loan guarantees for the construction of ethanol pipelines. Apparently, would-be builders of this vital infrastructure are still having problems getting financing.
34. Congress passed (and Obama signed) a "cash for clunkers" program as part of the war appropriations bill this month. Under the program, you get a rebate for trading in a used car for one that gets slightly higher mileage. The Waxman-Markey bill takes this concept and applies it to appliances, electric motors ? basically anything that can be traded in for a more energy- efficient version. These types of programs generally fail cost-benefit analyses spectacularly because more energy goes into the production of the new appliances than would have been used if the old ones had just run their course.
35. The bill includes $15 billion in grants and loans to encourage the manufacture of wind turbines, solar energy, biofuel production, and other sources of renewable energy that have benefited from decades of such largesse already. Another $15 billion is not going to make these energy sources cost-competitive. Only carbon rationing can achieve that. One suspects the Democrats know this; that's why they are pushing a carbon-rationing bill. The $15 billion is just another sop to the green- energy lobby to help grease the skids.
36. The bill establishes within the EPA a SmartWay Transport Program, which would provide grants and loans to freight carriers that meet environmental goals.
37. The bill requires the secretary of energy to establish a program to make monetary awards to utilities that find innovative ways of using thermal energy, as if utilities needed an extra incentive to discover a new, cheap energy source.
38. It includes another $1.5 billion for the Hollings Manufacturing Partnership Program. This program pops up repeatedly in discussions of programs that both liberals and conservatives think should be eliminated. It is corporate welfare, pure and simple.
39. It includes $65 million for research into high-efficiency gas turbines, another gift to the corporate world with little environmental benefit.
40. It includes $7.5 million to establish a National Bioenergy Partnership to promote biofuels. Economic barriers to the commercial viability of biofuel as an energy source have proven to be so insurmountable that even with all of the federal mandates and subsidies already thrown their way, the ethanol companies lined up with everyone else for a federal bailout when the financial crisis hit. The last thing consumers need is another full-time, federally subsidized lobbying arm for that industry.
VARIOUS LEFT-WING WISH FULFILLMENT 41. One of Obama's most reliable constituencies, college administrators, will be given billions of dollars to play with through the creation of eight "Clean Energy Innovation Centers," university-based consortia charged with a mission to "leverage the expertise and resources of the university and private research communities, industry, venture capital, national laboratories, and other participants in energy innovation to support cross-disciplinary research and development in areas not being served by the private sector in order to develop and transfer innovative clean energy technologies into the marketplace." Meaning that the famous business acumen of the federal government will be applied to the energy industry.
42. Another Obama constituency, the community-organizing gang, i.e., ACORN, will be eligible to receive billions in funding as the bill "authorizes the Secretary [of Energy] to make grants to community development organizations to provide financing to businesses and projects that improve energy efficiency. " Think federally subsidized consultants paid $55 an hour to tell businesses to turn down their AC in the summer.
43. Waxman-Markey also enables Obama to indulge his persistent desire to use the tax code to transfer wealth from people who pay taxes to people who don't ? i.e., from likely Republican voters to likely Obama voters. The bill "amends the Internal Revenue Code to allow certain low income taxpayers a refundable energy tax credit to compensate such taxpayers for reductions in their purchasing power, as identified and calculated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), resulting from regulation of GHGs (greenhouse gases)."
44. Not only will Waxman-Markey slip more redistribution into the tax code, it will establish a new monthly welfare check. It will create an "Energy Refund Program" that will "give low-income households a monthly cash energy refund equal to the estimated loss in purchasing power resulting from this Act."
45. Another new class of government dependents will be created by Waxman-Markey: Americans put out of work by Waxman-Markey. The bill establishes a program to distribute "climate change adjustment assistance to adversely affected workers."
46. Waxman-Markey will create yet another raft of government dependents, but of a different sort? Bureaucrats. The bill creates: a new United States Global Change Research Program, a National Climate Change Adaptation Program, a National Climate Service, Natural Resources Climate Change Adaptation Strategy office at the White House, and an International Climate Change Adaptation Program at the State Department.
47. And since everybody else is getting a check, Bambi gets one, too, in the form of money for "domestic wildlife and natural resource adaptation."
48. States also get in on the action. The legislation allows each state to set up a State Energy and Environment Development (SEED) account into which the federal government can deposit emission allowances. States can then sell these allowances and use the proceeds to support clean-energy programs. They must set aside a certain amount of the money to fund federal mandates, but they are given broad discretion to use the rest by making loans, grants, and other forms of support available to favored constituencies. It's federalism, of a sort, the wrong sort.
49. And, of course, everything includes a health-care component, even cap-and-trade. Waxman- Markey requires the Department of Health and Human Services to develop a "strategic action plan to assist health professionals in preparing for and responding to the impacts of climate change."
50. Waxman-Markey dumps money into questionable "partnerships" and grants to study "emerging careers" in "renewable energy, energy efficiency, and climate change mitigation." The first career to emerge, of course, will be managing grants to study emerging careers.
That's our Top 50. We could go on. And on.
When Nancy Pelosi was advising congressmen to back this beast, she said they should not worry about the words of the bill they had not read, but think about four others: "jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs." The legislation offers Pelosi perverse vindication: Waxman-Markey will create a lot of jobs for Wall Street sharps, Big Business rent-seekers, ACORN hucksters, utility-company lobbyists, grant-writers at left-wing organizations, college administrators, light-bulb-policing bureaucrats, and an army of parasitic hangers-on. It's up to the Senate to stop it.
Stephen Spruiell is a staff reporter for National Review Online. Kevin Williamson is a deputy managing editor of National Review.
This is an important video to distribute and encourage people to send it to their members of Congress. I hope Inhofe is right about the cap and tax bill being dead on arrival in the Senate.
The administration is now having difficulty keeping their own 'experts' on script with the overwhelming evidence against man-made global warming.
Sen. Inhofe has been steadfast in his defense of the truth. If you are inclined to donate to any politician's campaign fund Inhofe is one of the most deserving.
The number of skeptics is swelling everywhere By Kimberley A. Strassel, Wall Street Journal Online
29 Jun 09 - (Excerpts) -" Among the many reasons President Barack Obama and the Democratic majority are so intent on quickly jamming a cap-and-trade system through Congress is because the global warming tide is again shifting.
"In April, the Polish Academy of Sciences published a document challenging man-made global warming. "In the Czech Republic, where President Vaclav Klaus remains a leading skeptic, today only 11% of the population believes humans play a role.
"In France, President Nicolas Sarkozy wants to tap Claude Allegre to lead the country's new ministry of industry and innovation. Twenty years ago Mr. Allegre was among the first to trill about man-made global warming, but the geochemist has since recanted.
"New Zealand last year elected a new government, which immediately suspended the country's weeks-old cap-and-trade program.
"The number of skeptics, far from shrinking, is swelling. Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe now counts more than 700 scientists who disagree with the U.N. -- 13 times the number who authored the U.N.'s 2007 climate summary for policymakers.
"Joanne Simpson, the world's first woman to receive a Ph.D. in meteorology, expressed relief upon her retirement last year that she was finally free to speak "frankly" of her nonbelief.
"Dr. Kiminori Itoh, a Japanese environmental physical chemist who contributed to a U.N. climate report, dubs man-made warming "the worst scientific scandal in history." Norway's Ivar Giaever, Nobel Prize winner for physics, decries it as the "new religion."
"A group of 54 noted physicists, led by Princeton's Will Happer, is demanding the American Physical Society revise its position that the science is settled. (Both Nature and Science magazines have refused to run the physicists' open letter.)
"The collapse of the "consensus" has been driven by reality. The inconvenient truth is that the earth's temperatures have flat-lined since 2001, despite growing concentrations of C02.
"Australian polls have shown a sharp uptick in public skepticism; the press is back to questioning scientific dogma; blogs are having a field day.See entire article, originally entitled"The Climate Change Climate Change": http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124597505076157449.html
Below is a reprint of a July 1, 2009 letter to Congress by a team of atmospheric scientists.
OPEN LETTER TO THE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES: YOU ARE BEING DECEIVED ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING
You have recently received an Open Letter from the Woods Hole Research Center, exhorting you to act quickly to avoid global disaster. The letter purports to be from independent scientists, but that Center is the former den of the President's science advisor, John Holdren, and is far from independent. This is the same science advisor who has given us predictions of "almost certain" thermonuclear war or eco-catastrophe by the year 2000, and many other forecasts of doom that somehow never seem to arrive on time.
The facts are:
The sky is not falling; the Earth has been cooling for ten years, without help. The present cooling was NOT predicted by the alarmists' computer models, and has come as an embarrassment to them.
The finest meteorologists in the world cannot predict the weather two weeks in advance, let alone the climate for the rest of the century. Can Al Gore? Can John Holdren? We are flooded with claims that the evidence is clear, that the debate is closed, that we must act immediately, etc, but in fact
THERE IS NO SUCH EVIDENCE; IT DOESN'T EXIST.
The proposed legislation would cripple the US economy, putting us at a disadvantage compared to our competitors. For such drastic action, it is only prudent to demand genuine proof that it is needed, not guesswork, and not false claims about the state of the science.
DEMAND PROOF, NOT CONSENSUS
Finally, climate alarmism pays well. Many alarmists are profiting from their activism. There are billions of dollars floating around for the taking, and being taken.
Robert H. Austin Professor of Physics Princeton University Fellow APS, AAAS American Association of Arts and Science Member National Academy of Sciences
William Happer Cyrus Fogg Brackett Professor of Physics Princeton University Fellow APS, AAAS Member National Academy of Sciences
S. Fred Singer Professor of Environmental Sciences Emeritus, University of Virginia First Director of the National Weather Satellite Service Fellow APS, AAAS, AGU
Roger W. Cohen Manager, Strategic Planning and Programs, ExxonMobil Corporation (retired) Fellow APS
Harold W. Lewis Professor of Physics Emeritus University of California at Santa Barbara Fellow APS, AAAS; Chairman, APS Reactor Safety Study
Laurence I. Gould Professor of Physics University of Hartford Chairman (2004), New England Section of APS
Richard Lindzen Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology Massachusetts Institute of Technology Fellow American Academy of Arts and Sciences, AGU, AAAS, and AMS Member Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters Member National Academy of Sciences
Environment minister Sammy Wilson: I still think man-made climate change is a con
Wednesday, 31 December 2008
Spending billions on trying to reduce carbon emissions is one giant con that is depriving third world countries of vital funds to tackle famine, HIV and other diseases, Sammy Wilson said.
The DUP minister has been heavily criticised by environmentalists for claiming that ongoing climatic shifts are down to nature and not mankind.
But while acknowledging his views on global warming may not be popular, the East Antrim MP said he was not prepared to be bullied by eco fundamentalists.
â€?Iâ€?ll not be stopped saying what I believe needs to be said about climate change,â€? he said.
"Most of the people who shout about climate change have not read one article about it
â€?I think in 20 yearsâ€? time we will look back at this whole climate change debate and ask ourselves how on earth were we ever conned into spending the billions of pounds which are going into this without any kind of rigorous examination of the background, the science, the implications of it all. Because there is now a degree of hysteria about it, fairly unformed hysteria Iâ€?ve got to say as well.
â€?I mean I get it in the Assembly all the time and most of the people who shout about climate change have not read one article about climate change, not read one book about climate change, if you asked them to explain how they believe thereâ€?s a connection between CO2 emission and the effects which they claim thereâ€?s going to be, if you ask them to explain the thought process or the modelling that is required and the assumptions behind that and how tenuous all the connections are, they wouldnâ€?t have a clue.
â€?They simply get letters about it from all these lobby groups, itâ€?s popular and therefore they go along with the flow â€" and that would be ok if there were no implications for it, but the implications are immense.â€?
He said while people in the western world were facing spiralling fuel bills as a result of efforts to cut CO2, the implications in poorer countries were graver.
â€?What are the problems that face us either locally and internationally. Are those not the things we should be concentrating on?â€? he asked.
â€?HIV, lack of clean water, which kills millions of people in third world countries, lack of education.
â€?A fraction of the money we are currently spending on climate change could actually eradicate those three problems alone, a fraction of it.
â€?I think as a society we sometimes need to get some of these things in perspective and when I listen to some of the rubbish that is spoken by some of my colleagues in the Assembly it amuses me at times and other times it angers me.â€?
Despite his views on CO2, Mr Wilson said he does not intend to backtrack on commitments made by his predecessor at the Department of the Environment, Arlene Foster, to make the Stormont estate carbon neutral.
He said while he wasnâ€?t worried about reducing CO2 output, he said the policy would help to cut fuels bills.
â€?I donâ€?t couch those actions in terms of reducing Co2 emissions,â€? he said. â€?I donâ€?t care about Co2 emissions to be quite truthful because I donâ€?t think itâ€?s all that important but what I do believe is, and perhaps this is where there can be some convergence, as far as using fuel more efficiently that is good for our economy; that makes us more competitive. If we can save in schools hundreds of thousands on fuel thatâ€?s more money being put for books or classroom assistants.
â€?So yes there are things we can do. If you want to express it terms of carbon neutral, I just express it terms of making the place more efficient, less wasteful and hopefully that will release money to do the proper things that we should be doing.â€?
Easily one of the most important stories of 2008 has been all the evidence suggesting that this may be looked back on as the year when there was a turning point in the great worldwide panic over man-made global warming. Just when politicians in Europe and America have been adopting the most costly and damaging measures politicians have ever proposed, to combat this supposed menace, the tide has turned in three significant respects.
First, all over the world, temperatures have been dropping in a way wholly unpredicted by all those computer models which have been used as the main drivers of the scare. Last winter, as temperatures plummeted, many parts of the world had snowfalls on a scale not seen for decades. This winter, with the whole of Canada and half the US under snow, looks likely to be even worse. After several years flatlining, global temperatures have dropped sharply enough to cancel out much of their net rise in the 20th century.
Ever shriller and more frantic has become the insistence of the warmists, cheered on by their army of media groupies such as the BBC, that the last 10 years have been the "hottest in history" and that the North Pole would soon be ice-free â€" as the poles remain defiantly icebound and those polar bears fail to drown. All those hysterical predictions that we are seeing more droughts and hurricanes than ever before have infuriatingly failed to materialise.
Even the more cautious scientific acolytes of the official orthodoxy now admit that, thanks to "natural factors" such as ocean currents, temperatures have failed to rise as predicted (although they plaintively assure us that this cooling effect is merely "masking the underlying warming trend", and that the temperature rise will resume worse than ever by the middle of the next decade).
Secondly, 2008 was the year when any pretence that there was a "scientific consensus" in favour of man-made global warming collapsed. At long last, as in the Manhattan Declaration last March, hundreds of proper scientists, including many of the world's most eminent climate experts, have been rallying to pour scorn on that "consensus" which was only a politically engineered artefact, based on ever more blatantly manipulated data and computer models programmed to produce no more than convenient fictions.
Thirdly, as banks collapsed and the global economy plunged into its worst recession for decades, harsh reality at last began to break in on those self-deluding dreams which have for so long possessed almost every politician in the western world. As we saw in this month's Poznan conference, when 10,000 politicians, officials and "environmentalists" gathered to plan next year's "son of Kyoto" treaty in Copenhagen, panicking politicians are waking up to the fact that the world can no longer afford all those quixotic schemes for "combating climate change" with which they were so happy to indulge themselves in more comfortable times.
Suddenly it has become rather less appealing that we should divert trillions of dollars, pounds and euros into the fantasy that we could reduce emissions of carbon dioxide by 80 per cent. All those grandiose projects for "emissions trading", "carbon capture", building tens of thousands more useless wind turbines, switching vast areas of farmland from producing food to "biofuels", are being exposed as no more than enormously damaging and futile gestures, costing astronomic sums we no longer possess.
As 2009 dawns, it is time we in Britain faced up to the genuine crisis now fast approaching from the fact that â€" unless we get on very soon with building enough proper power stations to fill our looming "energy gap" - within a few years our lights will go out and what remains of our economy will judder to a halt. After years of infantile displacement activity, it is high time our politicians â€" along with those of the EU and President Obama's US â€" were brought back with a mighty jolt into contact with the real world.
I must end this year by again paying tribute to my readers for the wonderful generosity with which they came to the aid of two causes. First their donations made it possible for the latest "metric martyr", the east London market trader Janet Devers, to fight Hackney council's vindictive decision to prosecute her on 13 criminal charges, ranging from selling in pounds and ounces to selling produce "by the bowl" (to avoid using weights her customers dislike and don't understand). The embarrassment caused by this historic battle has thrown the forced metrication policy of both our governments, in London and Brussels, into total disarray.
Since Hackney backed out of allowing four criminal charges against Janet to go before a jury next month, all that remains is for her to win her appeal in February against eight convictions which now look quite absurd (including those for selling veg by the bowl, as thousands of other London market traders do every day). The final goal, as Neil Herron of the Metric Martyrs Defence Fund insists, must then be a pardon for the late Steve Thoburn and the four other original "martyrs" who were found guilty in 2002 â€" after a legal battle also made possible by this column's readers â€" of breaking laws so ridiculous that the EU Commission has even denied they existed (but which are still on the statute book).
Readers were equally generous this year in rushing to the aid of Sue Smith, whose son was killed in a Snatch Land Rover in Iraq in 2005. Their contributions made it possible for her to carry on with the High Court action she has brought against the Ministry of Defence, with the sole aim of calling it to account for needlessly risking soldiers' lives by sending them into battle in hopelessly inappropriate vehicles. Thanks not least to Mrs Smith's determined fight, the Snatch Land Rover scandal, first reported here in 2006, has at last become a national cause celebre.
May I finally thank all those readers who have written to me in 2008 â€" so many that, as usual, it has not been possible to answer all their messages. But their support and information has been hugely appreciated. May I wish them and all of you a happy (if globally not too warm) New Year.