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OpenMarket: Energy and Environment

  • Memo to Sen. Boxer: Be Careful What You Ask For

    January 11, 2007
    If I were Barbara Boxer, the last thing I want to hear on January 30th when Senators trundle down to offer their deep climate thoughts is the following. As her first act as chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Boxer has asked for Senators to offer their take on the horrors of global warming and what they, were they the king that they see in the mirror when shaving, would do. Rare are such opportunities. In 500 words someone could do more for the debate than 6 years have done. "Madame Chairman, I suggest we vote on the Kyoto Protocol. I have listened for 6 years to rather heated rhetoric about the purported irresponsibility of President Bush for not signing a treaty that was already signed by Bill Clinton, by those who have yet to suggest we vote on Kyoto; I have heard quite stirring claims against chairmen for holding hearings on an issue, from those who now...
  • Meet Modern Britain: Where Blood, Sweat and Tears Is a 70s Rock Band

    January 9, 2007
    Global warming activists have suggested that Prime Minister Tony Blair give up his personal holiday travel around the world, to set an example as a carbon dioxide conscious citizen. Blair has responded by telling them to bugger off. As it turns out, addressing climate change the Blair way won't involve any significant sacrifices for the citizenry, like, say, no longer doing things that cause CO2 emissions. He has cautioned his countrymen not to set "unrealistic targets" in their personal life, adding, "It's like telling people you shouldn't drive anywhere." According to his spokesman, Blair believes that policies that end up "hurting the domestic or the world economy" are the wrong way to go. That's good news for the Brits, of course. How a nation like the UK is going to meet its Kyoto obligations without less...
  • Scharzenegger to order 10% emissions cut; expected to boost ethanol

    January 9, 2007
    Gov. Schwarzenegger is expected today to order California's petroleum refiners and gasoline sellers to reduce the carbon content of the fuels they sell by 10%. Cui bono? Can you spell "ethanol"? Even with this mandate and the 2002 law (AB 1493) imposing CO2 emissions standards on new cars sold in the state, actual CO2 emissions from California's transport sector are likely to grow. Consider the European experience. Due to high motor fuel taxes, Europeans pay roughly twice what Americans pay for gasoline. Yet from 1990 to 2004, EU transport sector CO2 emissions increased almost 26% and are projected under current policies to be 35% above 1990 levels in...
  • Will the Real Bob Seger Please Stand Up?

    January 8, 2007
    NPR's Morning Edition interviewed classic rock radio staple Bob Seger today, highlighting his new album and his first tour in a decade. Seger, a son of Detroit, is known for working references to all-American autos into his songs, such as the backseat of that '60 Chevy in "Night Moves." Even better known, of course, is the song that has long served as the theme song for Chevy pickup trucks, "Like a Rock." Now, however, it seems that Bob has soured on the auto industry, if we are to be guided by the lyrics off of his new album:
    World keeps getting hotter Ice falls in the sea We buy a bigger engine and say it isn't me.
    ...
  • The Weather Channel Gets Emotional

    January 5, 2007
    Tired of tuning into The Weather Channel and getting nothing but temperature forecasts, rain totals and color-coded maps? Worry not cable junkies - TWC is making a bold foray, away from such quotidian programming into the exciting world of climate change panic and pandemonium:
    The Weather Channel is now engaged in a con job on the American people, attempting to scare the public that their actions are destroying the planet by creating a global warming crisis. The move away from scientific forecasting of the weather to sensationalized leftist political advocacy is in part due to the influence of Wonya Lucas, executive vice president and general manager of The Weather Channel Networks. [...] Media Village reported that the move by The Weather Channel "is intended to establish a broader perspective...
  • Ethanol ain't no magic bullet

    January 5, 2007
    The New York Times has caught up with CEI in assessing the impact of increased production of ethanol and its effect on food production. NYT journalist Alexei Barrionuevo reports today on a new study showing that ethanol plants could use half of the U.S. corn crop next year. CEI's own study, “Biofuels, Food, or Wildlife? The Massive Land Costs of U.S. Ethanol,” was published Sept. 21, 2006. Authored by Dennis T. Avery, the report discussed likely effects of a massive shift to ethanol production. Avery noted:
    There are significant trade-offs, however, involved in the massive expansion of the production of corn and other crops for fuel. Chief among these would be a shift of major amounts of the world's food supply...
  • Union of Concerned Scientists

    January 3, 2007
    The Union of Concerned Scientists has just released a 68-page report that claims that Exxon Mobil has funded a disinformation campaign on global warming based on the strategy and tactics used by the tobacco industry. Nearly everything in the report is recycled uncritically from other sources. It's mostly rubbish. Exxon Mobil can defend themselves, but I will comment on the ridiculous charges and misinformation about CEI. Here's an example. A Freedom of Information Act request several years ago revealed an e-mail that I had sent to Phil Cooney, then-chief-of-staff to the Chairman of the President's Council on Environmental Quality, in 2002. Andrew Revkin of the New York Times published a front-page story that the Bush Administration had conceded that global warming was a big...
  • The Grey Lady's Resolution: "In" -- global warming moderation; "Out" -- alarmism

    January 2, 2007
    On January 1st the New York Times revealed an astounding New Year's resolution: it starkly shifted course and implicitly promised to rein in its own promotion of global warming alarmism, tossing a few extreme actors overboard in hopes of saving the rest of the movement and their massive taxpayer-funded budgets. ("Middle Stance Emerges in Debate Over Climate: Scientists Espouse Measured Response" (log-in required). In so doing, the Times thereby also helpfully rationalizes their political allies' looming failure/refusal to do precisely what they have pounded the table intemperantly for for nearly six years, which is now within their grasp, and which therefore appears far less inviting: rapid -- and, we now know, rash -- enactment of ...
  • The Lohachara Incident

    December 30, 2006
    Geoffrey Lean of The Independent on Sunday adds a new element to the catastrophist case:
    "Rising seas, caused by global warming, have for the first time washed an inhabited island off the face of the Earth. The obliteration of Lohachara island, in India's part of the Sundarbans where the Ganges and the Brahmaputra rivers empty into the Bay of Bengal, marks the moment when one of the most apocalyptic predictions of environmentalists and climate scientists has started coming true."
    One slight problem with this; Lohachara vanished 20  years ago:
    "Lohachara and Bedford islands, with an area of more than six square kilometres between them, 'vanished from the map' two decades ago."
    More at...
  • Bear-baiting

    December 30, 2006
    CEI Adjunct Fellow Steve Milloy has more on the polar bear issue in his weekly must-read FoxNews column:
    "Let's keep in mind that polar bears have survived much warmer times than we are now experiencing — like 1,000 years ago when the Vikings farmed Greenland during the Medieval Climate Optimum and 5,000-9,000 years ago during the period known as the Holocene Climate Optimum. "But even giving the proposal the benefit of the doubt, will it accomplish anything? "When I asked Secretary [of the Interior Dirk] Kempthorne that question — pointing out that even if the polar bear habitat was shrinking because of melting ice there isn't a credible climate scientist in the world that believes anything could be done to stop the ice from melting, and that legalized polar bear harvesting seems to contradict any...

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