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OpenMarket: Myron Ebell

  • The Biggest News of the Year

    December 28, 2007
    According to Bill McKibben in an op-ed in The Washington Post, the biggest news of the year is that Jim Hansen has spoken. According to Hansen, who has risen in recent years from astronomer to wizard and now to high priest of a doomsday cult, the safe level for carbon dioxide in the atmosphere can be no more than 350 parts per million.  So since it's now 380 or 390 ppm, we're already doomed and can stop worrying about it.

    Oh, no, sorry, we can't stop worrying about it. True, we're just about cooked (like Hansel and Gretel in the oven), but there's still barely time to save life on Earth if we turn off the lights and throw away the car keys this instant. The alternative, I guess, is to party now for tomorrow we die. Hmm, I can't decide. What if there's just a tiny chance that...
  • Is this quote from Al Gore?

    September 17, 2007
    Who recently made the following statement?
    [T]he life of all mankind is in danger because of global warming resulting to a large degree from the emissions of the factories of the major corporations; yet despite that, the representative of these corporations in the White House insists on not observing the Kyoto accord, with the knowledge that the statistics speak of the death and displacement of millions of human beings because of global warming, especially in Africa.

    No, this quote is not from Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth. It's from Osama bin Laden's latest rant from the cave, where reportedly his carbon footprint is very small. Certainly, Osama is producing a lot less carbon dioxide than Al Gore. Sean Hannity on Fox News recently showed...
  • Will the TXU buyout put Texas on a California energy diet?

    September 10, 2007
    In the weekend Wall Street Journal, Rebecca Smith reports that,
    As shareholders of TXU Corp. approved a $32 billion buyout, the private-equity buyers' pledge in February to stop developing a slew of coal-burning power plants looks likely to deliver windfall profits to TXU in a few years.

    Why? Because without the new plants, Texas faces severe electricity shortages and therefore skyrocketing rates. Smith also reports that faced with rapidly increasing electricity demand, utilities are likely to bring older plants out of mothballs to try to meet demand. These mostly gas-fired plants are on average much less efficient and somewhat more polluting than the new coal-fired plants TXU had ordered. They will also be burning higher-priced natural gas.

    There are three ways out of this...
  • USA Today puts global warming in its place

    September 10, 2007
    USA Today has listed its editors' choices for the 25 biggest news stories of the past 25 years. Surprisingly, global warming doesn't make the list. O. J. SImpson (No. 5), the Branch Davidians (No. 16), and gay marriage (No. 24) are there, but somehow the allegedly greatest threat ever to face mankind doesn't rate a mention.

    Of course, as my colleague Iain Murray points out, many of the top 25 stories are related to global warming in some way. Even the Number One story, the fall of Communism, has a (and probably more than one) global warming angle. The collapse of the Soviet Union and its Eastern European subject states proves that greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced dramatically and quickly. All it takes is total economic collapse.
  • If it's happening, it must be global warming

    August 24, 2007
    Compliments of Benny Peiser's invaluable CCNet e-mails (sign up here), here are two quotes that together sum up one of the major obstacles to having a reasonable debate about global warming:
    Since the late 1960s, much of the North Atlantic Ocean has become less salty, in part due to increases in fresh water runoff induced by global warming, scientists say.

    -- Michael Schirber, LiveScience, 29 June 2005
    The surface waters of the North Atlantic are getting saltier, suggests a new study of records spanning over 50 years. They found that during this time, the layer of water that makes up...
  • More on Newsweek

    August 6, 2007
    Newsweek's cover story this week is a long opinion piece on "Global Warming Deniers: A Well-Funded Machine," written by Sharon Begley with the assistance of Eve Conant, Sam Stein, Eleanor Clift, and Matthew Philips. The thesis is that political action to address global warming has been stymied by a mighty global warming denial machine.

    CEI, of course, is a prominent part of this alleged effort, and so we were contacted by one of the contributors. It's perhaps illustrative of the sloppiness of the whole piece that the story gets details wrong which I discussed with the contributor. The story says that in 2001, I rang Robert Novak as soon as we heard that President Bush in his address to Congress might call for regulating carbon dioxide emissions from electric power plants. As I told the Newsweek...
  • Thieves Fall Out

    June 29, 2007
    My colleague Marlo Lewis testified at a painfully comic hearing of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee yesterday on "examining global warming issues in the power plant sector". Marlo's testimony is well worth reading, as is the testimony of two other witnesses: Bob Murray, chairman and CEO of Murray Energy Corporation, one of the biggest independent coal companies in the country: and Tom Borelli of the Free Enterprise Action Fund.

    But I write to discuss the testimony of three heads of major electric utilities and of two leading 'viros....
  • Waxman's Inquisition Should Look at the UN IPCC

    February 2, 2007

    Representative Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, this week launched an investigation of the several charges that the Bush Administration has politically manipulated and interfered with scientific research so as to make the science fit its policies. The charges are specious, as I and my CEI colleagues and many others have shown, but for a real example of the political manipulation of science, Chairman Waxman should take a look at the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Science Change. The IPCC today released its 21-page Summary for Policymakers (SPM) of the first volume of its Fourth Assessment Report (AR4). The SPM is...

  • The "scientific consensus" is no longer alarming enough for global warming alarmists

    January 29, 2007
    Some global warming alarmists, including a few scientists, are complaining about the forthcoming Fourth Assessment Report by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Apparently, the twenty-odd page Summary for Policymakers isn't alarming enough for them. Thus, after years of establishing the IPCC reports as representing the scientific consensus -- from which there is no appeal and upon which thousands of the world's top scientists work and about which all agree that it's perfect -- now the alarmists are trying out a new song and dance. To wit: The Assessment Reports are the work of the establishment and therefore can only come to very "conservative" conclusions so as not to offend anyone.

    Tell that to Dr. R. K. Pachauri, the chairman of the IPCC, who announced early in his tenure that the problem with the first...
  • 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...

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