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  • Washington Post fires Last Shot (for a while) at Inhofe

    December 13, 2006
    The desire of global warming alarmists to close off debate was evidenced in a recent Washington Post editorial (of Sunday, December 10, 2006) which set the stage for the “rationalist” era of incoming chair Barbara Boxer (D-CA). Senators Boxer, Bingaman and Lieberman have already announced their intentions to seek immediate mandatory curtailment of carbon based fuels. We'll see. I suspect that when the reality of the impact of carbon rationing becomes clearer, the posturing will give way to reality. Expect rhetoric but little painful reality from the incoming team. Recall, PM Tony Blair's response to a Liberal Democrat critic calling for Blair to support that party's bill to restrict air travel. He...
  • CEI makes Weather Channel’s “Top Ten” – greatest impact on climate change discussion

    December 13, 2006
    The Weather Channel today announced its “Top Ten” list — those people or organizations that have had the greatest impact on climate change discussions. Not surprisingly, former Vice President Al Gore topped the list (he's also trying for an Academy Award). Not surprisingly too is that CEI is the only organization or person on the list that is not part of the “consensus” about global warming policies — that there's no question about global warming science and it's better to beggar the world with energy restrictions rather than focus on adaptation and resiliency strategies. Here's the list: The 2006 ONE° Hot List The Year's Most...
  • Followup on WSJ letters today

    December 13, 2006
    My favorite quote from the Wall Street Journal Letters today (see Ivan's earlier post) was from Christopher Monckton, former science and technical adviser to former UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Lord Monckton wrote re the Rockefeller-Snowe letter to ExxonMobil:
    After a decade of socialism, freedom of speech does not figure in the U.K. constitution. But let me cite the First Amendment to yours: "Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech . . . or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." I call upon the two senators to live by those noble words.
  • Yet Another Round of Rockefeller-Snowe objection

    December 13, 2006
    Today's Wall Street Journal features several letters to the editor (subscription required) on the paper's editorial on the Rockefeller-Snowe letter to ExxonMobil. Naturally, it is to be expected that at least somebody would write taking exception to the editorial, but the letter by Rick Piltz of Climate Science Watch has got to be read to be believed -- because it misses the central point so widely off the mark. Piltz simply dismisses the Journal's charge of Sens. Rockefeller and Snowe acting as "bullies" in admonishing ExxonMobil to stop funding groups that disagree with their...
  • More on the Rockefeller-Snowe letter – Rockefeller attacked in home state; he responds

    December 12, 2006
    The Daily Mail (Charleston, WV) on December 5 carried a strong editorial castigating its junior senator, Jay Rockefeller, for his joint letter to ExxonMobil. The editorial defended open debate about “tough questions” and used some tough language about the senators' letter:
    This is arrogant and intolerant speech. It is out of line, especially from a member of the U.S. Senate.
    Global warming and health care are complex policy issues. Before the nation commits Americans to spending trillions to fix either, they want to be sure policymakers have correctly diagnosed the problems and are suggesting the right solutions.The best answers to tough questions emerge from open debate, and all Americans are entitled to take part in it.
    Now, for the first...
  • Eco-censorship continued

    December 12, 2006
    Two interesting posts on Roger Pielke Jr's excellent and open-minded Prometheus blog today speak to the subject of my recent New Atlantis essay, "Eco-censorship."  In the first, a Chancellor of a Canadian university is chided for giving "poorly-considered credence to widely discredited extremist opinions such as these."  What discredited extremist opinions?  These:
    And in science there's almost never black and white. We don't know what next week's weather going to be. To say in 50 or 100 years, the temperature is going to do this, is a bit of a stretch for me.
    ...
  • Rocky-Snowe Road Winds On

    December 12, 2006
    As the controversy over the letter by Senators Rockefeller and Snowe chiding ExxonMobil for its funding of global warming skeptics, The Wall Street Journal, which criticized the letter as an effort to silence critics, weighs in again. This past weekend, on "The Wall Street Journal Editorial Report," editorial board members Paul Gigot, Bret Stephens, and Kimberley Strassel pursued the issue further. Strassel noted the inherent imbalance that government officials enjoy over private actors, while Stephens pointed out how unusual it was for the Senators to single out a specific group -- in this case CEI.
    Gigot: Two United States senators have been caught trying to bully...
  • So what's stopping them?

    December 11, 2006
    The incoming leadership of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee are keen to use global warming as a stick to beat the Administration with - here's an example. So what's stopping them from bringing forward the Kyoto Protocol for ratification? The treaty was indeed signed by President Clinton - as even the New York Times has to admit. There is no constitutional requirement for the President formally to transmit a signed treaty to the Senate. Two thirds of the Senate simply has to "concur" and the Treaty is ratified. if the Senators are so concerned about White House obstructionism, why don't they just perform this end-around...
  • Scientists disprove Impressionism

    December 11, 2006
    The term "impressionism" was originally meant as an insult, alleging that painters such as Claude Monet merely slapped a few strokes of paint onto a canvas until they had an "impression" of their subject. Many of the painters agreed, and adopted the soubriquet. How, for instance, did the impressionists tackle colors and sunlight?
    Instead of creating smoothly blended colors, the impressionists placed separate touches of vibrantly contrasting colors directly onto the canvas, sometimes without prior mixing on the palette, and allowed their brushstrokes to retain the liveliness and seeming spontaneity of a sketch. As a result their work appeared unfinished to many viewers, including the critic Leroy. Manet had encouraged this tendency in his paintings of the 1860s, in...
  • Black marketeers rejoice at UK government plan

    December 11, 2006
    The UK government is seriously thinking of introducing individual carbon rationing:
    Every citizen would be issued with a carbon "credit card" - to be swiped every time they bought petrol, paid an energy utility bill or booked an airline ticket - under a nationwide carbon rationing scheme that could come into operation within five years, according to a feasibility study commissioned by the environment secretary, David Miliband, and published today. In an interview with the Guardian Mr Miliband said the idea of individual carbon allowances had "a simplicity and beauty that would reward carbon thrift".
    It's hard to think of a crazier plan. The UK has a very small black market in comparison to most countries, but this would almost certainly make it a...

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