Cooler Heads Digest

Cooler Heads Digest

August 24, 2007

News Highlights

East Europe Rebels against EU Emissions Policy

Euactive, 22 Aug 2007

UN: Reducing GHG Emissions Would Cost $200 Billion/YR

Fiona Harvey, Mark Turner, Financial Times, 22 August 2007

Climate Consensus?

Debra Sanders, San Francisco Chronicle, 12 August 2007

Global Warming Jihadists

Cal Thomas, Salt Lake City Tribune, 15 August 2007

Carbon Markets Cause Deforestation

Deborah Zaborenko, Reuters, 13 August 2007

Biofuels Worse for Climate than Fossil Fuels!

Tristan Farrow, The Guardian, 17 August 2007

Flood of Peer Reviewed Studies Dispute Climate “Consensus”

Marc Morano, Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Blog, 14 August 2007

Inside the Beltway

CEI’s Myron Ebell

While Members of Congress are away for their August recess, it appears that nothing is happening in Washington.  If only that were true.  Unfortunately, committee staffers are working away on the legislation and deals and spending bills that Congress will take up this fall. 

These include a conference committee to compromise the worst parts of the Senate and House anti-energy bills (and there are plenty to choose from), cap-and-trade legislation from Senators Lieberman and Warner to be marked up in the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, and possible Senate ratification of the Law of the Sea Treaty (or LOST).  I mention Law of the Sea because it has global warming ramifications.  The treaty provides several possible hooks to get alleged threats or damages from climate change into international litigation.  That's one of several reasons to oppose ratification of LOST. 

The Bush Administration is also preparing for the big climate pow-wow that the President has invited major developed and developing nations to in Washington on September 27-28.  This meeting sets up a new track of climate negotiations in addition to the negotiations for a second Kyoto round that will continue at the annual UN climate meeting in December in Bali.  In addition, the United Nations has scheduled a high-level session in New York City in mid-September to bemoan and bewail the global warming threat.   

Across the States

ALEC’s Daniel Simmons

Solano County became the newest California jurisdiction to feel the pinch of Attorney General Jerry Brown’s climate crusade. The County is planning future development, but the process has been hindered by fears that Brown will sue. Last March, in his capacity as AG, Brown sued San Bernadino County for failing to adequately account for climate change mitigation in its general plan. Brown has since made it clear that local leaders up and down California can expect legal action if they fail to reckon with global warming in their general plans, transportation infrastructure strategies or zoning policies. Problem is, Brown has yet to specify emissions reduction guidelines, which leaves county officials uncertain what is and isn’t permissible. In Sacramento, outraged republicans in the state Senate continue to hold up progress on the state’s budget over Brown’s antics. Over the course of the summer, Attorney General Brown’s misguided global warming strategy has managed to jeopardize both the short term solvency and long term growth of the world’s sixth largest economy.

Around the world

CEI’s Iain Murray

The head of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, Yvo de Boer, has admitted that the principle behind the Kyoto Protocol is “illogical.”  He noted that the idea that developed countries must tackle their own emissions expensively while developing nations continue to emit without restriction did not make sense and that it would be cheaper for the world if developed nations paid developing nations not to emit on their behalf.  On the surface, Mr de Boer’s rethink is welcome, but it is actually an example of green imperialism.  Developing nations must be allowed to develop, and this laudable goal of the original Kyoto agreement must not be forgotten.  Taken literally, Mr de Boer’s suggestion forces the developing world into environmental welfare dependency, remaining poor to keep the world’s emissions low.  It seems that Mr de Boer has realized that Europeans have failed to reduce emissions and wants someone else to do it for them.  Instead, he should realize that Europe’s experience shows that the game of emissions reduction might not be worth the candle and that other approaches are needed.

In the Home

CEI’s Julie Walsh

The danger this fall is that media-induced-guilt-ridden citizens will be railroaded into assuaging their consciences with global warming legislation. Many dutiful people “want to do their part.” And, after all, such legislation won’t cost too much—at first. But the frog will be in the central-planning pot.

Issue of the week: Newsweek Symposium

Yale Economist Analyzes Al Gore Climate “Solutions”

In a landmark study that should shift the terms of the debate over what to do about global warming forever, Yale economist William Nordhaus has found that the favored programs of Al Gore and Sir Nicholas Stern would cost the world more than unmitigated global warming.  He found that global warming under a business as usual case would inflict damage on the world amounting to $22 trillion.  Sir Nicholas Stern’s proposed course of action would reduce that damage to $9 trillion, but at a cost of $27 trillion, for a total cost to the world of $36 trillion, $14 trillion more than unmitigated global warming.  Al Gore’s package of measures would reduce global warming costs to $10 trillion at a cost of $34 trillion, for a total cost of $44 trillion, twice the total cost of global warming.  A variety of measures aimed at keeping global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius would have similar benefits and costs to the Stern proposal.  Nordhaus proposes a modest carbon tax as the best way to tackle global warming, providing the most benefit at the least cost, but does not fully analyze a resiliency/adaptation approach such as that advanced by Prof Julian Morris and others, including CEI.  Nordhaus’ study should demonstrate that the policies proposed by alarmists are so harmful to the world that they should no longer be seriously considered by policy makers.  Instead, the debate should switch to which of the policies suggested by Nordhaus or Morris would be the best way forward.

Action Item

Global Warming Science: Cutting Corners?

The errors found by independent researcher Steve McIntyre in the NASA/GISS surface temperature record are significant in themselves, but raise much larger questions. So much of the data and analysis that is claimed to lend scientific support to global warming alarmism is not open to independent review. McIntyre's hardest work has been to get the hockey stick promoters and now GISS to provide even partial access to their data and methods. Phil Jones, who compiles the Hadley/CRU surface temperature data set in England, has also refused access to his raw data and methodology. A number of other prominent alarmists also work in secret and expect the scientific community and the public to accept their results and conclusions on faith. I think we should ask all researchers, if your conclusions are robust, why you won’t reveal how you reached those conclusions so that scientists can verify them as is done in other areas of science. “Peer reviewed” – That’s what we’re told, right?

We would be well advised to follow President Reagan's maxim for dealing with the Soviet Union: trust but verify.

Call for Content

Have stories we may want to include in our weekly news roundup? Is your organization working on something other members of the Coalition might be interested in? Let us know by contacting Julie Walsh at jwalsh@cei.org

Contact CEI

If you or your organization is working on energy or global warming policy, please use CEI as a resource. Contact Julie Walsh at jwalsh@cei.org