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OpenMarket: Energy and Environment

  • Staying Cool

    November 7, 2006
    The National Climatic Data Center reports that in October, "All regions [were] near to or below normal temperature (first time since February 2003 with no regions above average temperature)." This one month finding, of course, doesn't say anything about overall climatic trends, but then again neither do any of the constant reports of this month or that summer being especially hot or especially dry. For every headline that seems to point to advancing march of catastrophic global warming - "Hottest Summer in a Century!" - there are just as many reports which don't make the headlines because they're much less likely to throw readers and viewers into a panic.
  • New Scientist: Skeptics are Meanies

    November 2, 2006
    The current issue of New Scientist magazine has a truly strange article on the impending release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's latest report (or "assessment"). The logic, such as it is, seems to go like this: scientists and organizations who disagreed with some of the conclusions in the last assessment are preparing to critique this upcoming one in the same way. These criticisms are somehow so threatening that (the author fears) U.S. climate scientists will stop participating in the IPCC review process altogether, leaving the scientific world poorer as a result. Well, you know what they say about global warming policy: "If you can't stand the heat, get out of the debate." Except that in this case, the "heat" being generated is so mild, one...
  • Lomborg on the Stern Review: "...selective...flawed...sloppy...one-sided..."

    November 2, 2006
    Our friend Bjørn Lomborg, author of The Skeptical Environmentalist, has an excellent op-ed in The Wall Street Journal (subscription only) today taking on the Stern review of the economics of global warming:
    Faced with such alarmist suggestions, spending just 1% of GDP or $450 billion each year to cut carbon emissions seems on the surface like a sound investment. In fact, it is one of the least attractive options. Spending just a fraction of this figure -- $75 billion -- the U.N. estimates that we could solve all the world's major basic problems. We could give everyone clean drinking water, sanitation, basic health care and education right now. Is that not better? We know from economic models that dealing just with malaria could...
  • The Future: Filthy Rich or Stinking Rich?

    November 1, 2006
    The New York Sun has an editorial on the Stern review on the economics of global warming which includes a mention of our very own Iain Murray:
    Given Britons's clime it's easy to see why they would take a dour view of the weather, but even by that standard the Stern Report on global warming is something else. The book-length analysis of the economic ramifications of climate change, prepared by a panel led by a former World Bank economist, Sir Nicholas Stern, is as bleak as any overcast winter day in London. It's only a matter of time before some start trying to use the report as another excuse to criticize the Bush administration for its supposedly insufficient zeal for changing the weather. The marquee conclusion reckons we can devote a total of about 1% of the global economy to cutting greenhouse gas emissions now...
  • What Is All the Hyperventilating About?

    October 31, 2006
    If you haven't read it already, treat yourself to a radically reasonable op-ed by Prof. Richard Lindzen of MIT on why global warming is the last thing that you should be scared of this Halloween season:
    Yes, there does appear to be warming, but the amount is hardly certain or indisputable. And the amount found does not appear that alarming. The alarm, I would suppose, comes from the notoriously inadequate climate models. As the primary "consensus" document, the Scientific Assessment of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change notes, modellers at the United Kingdom's Hadley Centre had to cancel two-thirds of the model warming in order to simulate the observed warming. So the warming alarm is based on models that overestimate the observed warming by a factor of three or more, and have to cancel most of the...
  • What balance?

    October 30, 2006
    When a journalist publicly declares he doesn't believe in balance on a particular issue, you know things are really bad. When I was a journalist, I had it beat into me to get both or however many sides of the story there might be. Well, ABC News' Bill Blakemore (a network reporter!) told an audience at the recent Society of Environmental Journalists conference that he doesn't “like the word ‘balance' much at all” in global warming coverage. Blakemore was debating Senate Environment and Public Works communications director, Marc Morano, who reported on the dialogue in today's Majority Fact of the Day. Seems to me that Blakemore has been hoodwinked by the liberal enviros and he doesn't even realize it. Correction: Blakemore made the...
  • The world will not end tomorrow

    October 30, 2006
    Or in a hundred year's time, for that matter. Today's Stern Review from the British government has been marketed as saying global warming means economic catastrophe if we do not decarbonize our economy now and is therefore being used to justify green taxes in the near future. Well, let's take a look at what the Review actually says. I applauded the announcement of the review because it was obvious that the economic assumptions on which global warming models are based needs to be questioned. Yet the review missed the point and just took these assumptions as read. Actually, they did even less than that. As Tim Worstall show, they only picked one economic scenario (IPCC...
  • The U.S. Secretary of Shady Land Deals

    October 30, 2006
    Judith Burns of Dow Jones' MarketWatch reports on the latest shareholder activism from our friends Steve Milloy and Tom Borelli over at the Free Enterprise Action Fund:
    Goldman [Sachs'] donation of 680,000 acres of remote Chilean forest in 2004 continues to chafe the pro-business Free Enterprise Action Fund, which says the gift hasn't benefited Chile or Goldman shareholders. Fund managers, who raised concerns about the deal at Goldman's 2006 meeting, petitioned the Wall Street investment bank on Friday to have its board review the gift next year as part of a broader study of Goldman's "sustainability" projects. […] Goldman's decision to donate the land to a preservation group appears "...
  • World Series the model to follow?

    October 30, 2006
    George Monbiot — the green activist whose perceived wackiness inspired the label “Moonbat” — is at it again. This time he says sport is killing the planet. In this respect, surely Monbiot should give America some credit. After all, we always hear how no-one outside America is interested in Football, Baseball or Hockey. It's soccer, cricket and rugby that involve the most international travel, to say nothing of Track and Field and Formula One. If more countries played only their own sports, perhaps shared with a couple of close neighbors, this problem wouldn't be as significant. Of course, Brits and Australians would have less understanding of India and Africa, but that's a small price to pay, surely. Monbiot has a recommendation for a sport instead: Ultimate Frisbee. That “Moonbat” label becomes a bit clearer now...
  • The UK Takes An Alarmingly Stern Look at Global Warming

    October 30, 2006
    The international media is in a tizz this morning (afternoon in the UK) over the release of the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change. The British government commissioned advisor Sir Nicholas Stern to assess the economic impact of global warming and boy, did they get their money's worth. According to his projections, disruptions from a changing climate could end up consuming as much as 20% of global GDP. That's serious. Except that maybe it's not. We sent out a statement earlier today on the Review, and in it, Myron has this to say:
    The report's estimates for reducing...

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