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OpenMarket: Energy and Environment

  • Adapting to the IPCC

    April 6, 2007
    The IPCC's second summary report of the year is out. Working Group II's report on Climate Change Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability predicts a world facing food and water shortages and risk of flooding. The environmental lobby is already up in arms because of "government interference" with the conclusions. We could have told them years ago (hang on, we did) that polticizing the science in the way they did when the IPCC was set up would lead to such pressures. In fact, it's inevitable. Anyway, on to the substance. If the IPCC is correct and the world is facing exacerbated damages in this way (these problems existed before global warming, after all), then we need to work out our best response...
  • Examiner Columnist Antrim on The Great Global Warming Swindle

    April 6, 2007
    Washington Examiner columnist Kathleen Antrim endorses the film The Great Global Warming Swindle:
    As “The Great Global Warming Swindle” points out, “global warming has gone beyond politics, it's become a new kind of morality,” and disagreement with it is not tolerated. Is there global warming? Yes. Is man causing it? We don't know. The evidence suggests that this isn't a foregone conclusion as the media often reports. Should we take care of our planet? Absolutely. But do the research, learn about all aspects of this topic. I challenge you to watch this video, share it with your children, and encourage your local schools to play it...
  • Carney and Schulz on Supremes' CO2 Ruling

    April 6, 2007
    Two CEI veterans weigh on on this week's Supreme Court decision reversing the Environmental Protection Agency's decision to not regulate carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from new vehicles. In today's Washington Examiner, former Warren Brookes Journalism Fellow (now Examiner columnist) Tim Carney shines the spotlight on a little-noticed plaintiff in the case, Entergy Corporation.
    Entergy, based in Louisiana, is a top player in the electricity industry (bringing in $11 billion in revenues last year) and the nation's second-biggest nuclear power generator. The company supported the attorneys general in forcing the EPA to regulate carbon dioxide as a pollutant, and the company will profit if Congress does, in fact, create...
  • "Give me land, lots of land . . . "

    April 5, 2007

    An editorial today in the New York Times focused on one of the negative consequences of the corn ethanol boom — a boom fueled by federal government subsidies and tax breaks. The NYT deplores the corn farmers' demand for more cropland to be plowed under from Department of Agriculture's Conservation Reserve Program.

    But that's not the only problem with the government's distortion of the market through taxpayer-funded ethanol support. Dennis Avery's monograph for CEI last fall points out some far-reaching consequences of government mandating fuel for food.

  • The Kelo Five Go Green

    April 4, 2007
    Our very own Chris Horner is in Human Events today on this week's Massachusetts v. EPA SCOTUS decision on the regulation of carbon dioxide as a pollutant under the Clean Air Act:
    The plaintiffs argued not just unique and demonstrable harm from climate change, but from sea level rise directly attributable to EPA declining to regulate emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) from new automobiles under the Clean Air Act. The EPA accurately claimed that no such authority is found in a plain reading of the act and -- citing the National Academies of Science -- that the science is quite uncertain. A 5-4 majority -- the “Kelo Five” -- concluded, however, that many factors other than statutory language and admissions of uncertainty are at play in such momentous times as these. They concluded -- without an...
  • "Standing" on global warming

    April 3, 2007
    The Supreme Court's ruling on global warming is unfortunate for a number of reasons. It could lead to policies that would sacrifice jobs, economic growth, and even public health to the altar of global warming. And it may force policymakers to overlook genuine solutions to problems such as malaria and catastrophic floods wrongly blamed on global warming. As the four dissenting justices wrote, the states should not even have had standing to sue. Their damages were speculative, and, as even the British government's alarmist report by Sir Nicholas Stern acknowledges, regions with cooler climates such as that of Massachusetts could actually gain net benefits from global warming, such as more crops and less cold-related deaths. The Court played fast and loose with the Constitution's requirement that the courts only hear "cases and controversies" in which damages were actually shown. Small...
  • Bush vs. Gore

    April 2, 2007
    Snopes has the lowdown on a very interesting e-mail forward about the homes of George W. Bush and Al Gore. Worth a read. Of course, Gore buys indulgences carbon credits to atone for his "sins."
  • Supremes: More Power to EPA Bureaucracy

    April 2, 2007
    This morning the Supreme Court issued opinions in two “environmental” (actually, energy) cases with major implications, Massachusetts v. EPA and Environmental Defense v. Duke Energy (disclosure: I filed amicus briefs in both). I hope to have more comment later on the specifics of the opinions but for now note the following.

     

    First, both opinions...

  • More Alarmism about Global Warming and Species Extinction

    April 2, 2007
    A recent column (which came to my attention through Google news alerts) repackages stale alarums as news. The claim that global warming is killing Caribbean basin frogs comes from a study in Nature by Pounds et al. (2004). The researchers did not argue that global warming was baking the frogs to death. They couldn't, because there hasn't been much warming in the tropics. Rather, they argued that global warming was increasing cloud cover, shielding the frogs from sunlight, which disinfects them from a fungus carried by parasites known as chytrids. Virginia State Climatologist Patrick Michaels exposed the fallacy in this argument. First, there is no known relationship...
  • Climate Alarmism for Fun and Profit

    March 29, 2007
    Via Roger Pielke Jr, we have the unedifying spectacle of at least one leading IPCC scientist engaged in selling alarmist predictions of what climate change might do to your property in a new venture called Climate Appraisal Services LLC. If you get a free report, you get temperature measurements for your address, some information about UV radiation and some chilling maps of how much of the USA will be under water if sea level rises 20 feet (and we can't be bothered to build sea defenses, presumably). Now, for $30 you can get a report that gives you all this and more:
    • Will your home be submerged from climate change?
    • How many hurricanes can you expect this season?...

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