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OpenMarket: Energy and Environment

  • The climate is just like Bambi

    November 17, 2006
    The Los Angeles Times today has a story by Robert Lee Hotz that reports on a new scientific article reviewing what's going on with the Arctic climate. The team finds that the Arctic has been warming up, but that there are now some signs that it may be starting to cool down. There is nothing remarkable in this. The Arctic does get warmer when ocean currents and winds push more warm air from the lower latitudes into the Arctic, and it cools down when the ocean current and wind patterns change and start pushing less warm air northwards. What is astonishing is how one of the scientists who did the research describes what they found. According to the LA Times story:
    "This is a region that is fighting back," said lead author Jacqueline...
  • NOAA's Ark: A Report That Includes Two of Every Conclusion

    November 17, 2006
    There's a new study on the Arctic and global warming released by NOAA, and the results are, well, mixed. The Los Angeles Times reports:

    An international team of scientists reported Thursday that rising temperatures are steadily transforming the Arctic -- warming millions of square miles of permafrost, promoting lush greenery on previously arid tundras and steadily shrinking the annual sea ice.

    Yet the researchers also found new patterns of cooling ocean currents and prevailing winds that suggested the Arctic, long considered a bellwether of global warming, may be reverting in some ways to more normal conditions not seen since the 1970s.

    So global warming is both radically altering...

  • John McCain Wants to Be One of the Cool Kids

    November 16, 2006
    Sen. Inhofe continues telling it like it is on the subject of climate change, this time in Nairobi at the (take a deep breath) UNFCCC COP-12/MOP-2. The Reuters story contrasts Inhofe with John McCain, who, according to environment correspondent Deborah Zabarenko, is worried that our current policy "makes the United States unpopular with Europeans." I'd hate to think what else is on his agenda if making us popular with the Europeans is his goal. Why not strangle the economy and start rationing energy? If we don't, Luxembourg's environment minister might be rude to John McCain...
  • Junk Food Blogging

    November 16, 2006
    Sandy Szwarc, a registered nurse, certified culinary professional, CEI friend, and all around good person, recently started a blog on the science of food -- especially so called "junk food." On her blog, you can read all about "the science that mainstream media doesn't report and how to critically think about the junk they do that's not fit to swallow." You can also read some of the pieces she's written for CEI here and here. Happy blogging, Sandy. http://www.junkfoodscience.blogspot.com/
  • Power Lies

    November 16, 2006
    The lede of this Washington Post article ["Loudoun Excluded From Utility Route"] is jarring to me:
    Dominion Virginia Power has excluded most of Loudoun County as a potential route for a power line in northwestern Virginia, putting to rest fears that steel lattice towers and high-voltage cables would slice through parts of the county with deep natural and historic significance.
    We're supposed to feel "fear" because of pretended offended aesthetics? What about the "historical significance" of electric power itself? Iain Murray's oped ["What Will We Do When America's Lights Go Out?"] on the sorry shape of our electricity infrastructure-- unwieldy...
  • Is DailyKos a tool of big oil?

    November 15, 2006
    Some may think that; we couldn't possibly comment.
  • Beyond Petroleum?

    November 15, 2006
    Today's Washington Post carries a full-page ad by BP boasting that the company, which calls itself “beyond petroleum,” is “investing up to $8 billion over the next ten years in solar, wind, natural gas and hydrogen to provide low carbon electricity.” “By 2015,” the ad continues, “we estimate that our business will eliminate CO2 emissions by 24 million metric tons a year. It's a start.” Let's put this in perspective. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), world CO2 emissions in 2004 totaled 27,043 million metric tons. EIA projects that world CO2 emissions will increase to 33,663 million metric tons by 2015. So BP is investing $8 billion to eliminate 7/100ths of 1% of annual CO2 emissions in 2015. Instead of...
  • We know how he feels

    November 15, 2006
    Tony Blair is resisting demands from the environmental pressure groups and, err, the Conservative Party to impose annual targets on greenhouse gas emissions for the quite sensible reasons that this will be disastrous for British industry. The other party speaking sense on the issue is the UK Independence Party, which is now the closest thing the land of Margaret Thatcher has to a libertarian party. Coincidentally, a Conservative MP described global warming in the following terms today:
    "Climate Change is the defining issue of our age. Previous generations had to deal with the rise of Nazism or communism. This is the issue on which my generation of...
  • Samuelson on Stern: “…a masterpiece of misleading public relations”

    November 10, 2006
    Washington Post columnist Robert Samuelson has a bracing take on the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change today:
    [Based on the report's findings] no one could fail to conclude that we should conquer global warming instantly, if not sooner. Who could disagree? Well, me. Stern's headlined conclusions are intellectual fictions. They're essentially fabrications to justify an aggressive anti-global-warming agenda. The danger of that is we'd end up with the worst of both worlds: a program that harms the economy without doing much to cut greenhouse gases. Let me throw some messy realities onto Stern's tidy picture. In the debate over global warming, there's a big gap between public rhetoric (which verges on hysteria) and public behavior (which indicates...
  • Warming Watch in the Senate

    November 10, 2006
    Barbara Boxer is slated to replace James Inhofe as chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works committee, and she's got big plans for global warming legislation. According to the Associated Press, "a top environmental aide at the White House signaled Thursday that the administration would work with Boxer."

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