masthead-highres

Sunday, December 30, 2007

100 Prominent Scientists Disagree with UN Secretary General on Global Warming

From Peyton Knight:
On the theory of human-caused global warming, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon claims "the time for doubt has passed." Yet 100 prominent scientists, some of whom are current or former UN IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) scientists, disagree.

The scientists sent an open letter to Ban, warming:
It is not possible to stop climate change, a natural phenomenon that has affected humanity through the ages. Geological, archaeological, oral and written histories all attest to the dramatic challenges posed to past societies from unanticipated changes in temperature, precipitation, winds and other climatic variables. We therefore need to equip nations to become resilient to the full range of these natural phenomena by promoting economic growth and wealth generation...

In particular, it is not established that it is possible to significantly alter global climate through cuts in human greenhouse gas emissions. On top of which, because attempts to cut emissions will slow development, the current UN approach of CO2 reduction is likely to increase human suffering from future climate change rather than to decrease it...

In stark contrast to the often repeated assertion that the science of climate change is "settled," significant new peer-reviewed research has cast even more doubt on the hypothesis of dangerous human-caused global warming. But because IPCC working groups were generally instructed (see http://ipccwg1.ucar.edu/wg1/docs/wg1_timetable_2006-08-14.pdf) to consider work published only through May, 2005, these important findings are not included in their reports; i.e., the IPCC assessment reports are already materially outdated.

The UN climate conference in Bali has been planned to take the world along a path of severe CO2 restrictions, ignoring the lessons apparent from the failure of the Kyoto Protocol, the chaotic nature of the European CO2 trading market, and the ineffectiveness of other costly initiatives to curb greenhouse gas emissions. Balanced cost/benefit analyses provide no support for the introduction of global measures to cap and reduce energy consumption for the purpose of restricting CO2 emissions. Furthermore, it is irrational to apply the "precautionary principle" because many scientists recognize that both climatic coolings and warmings are realistic possibilities over the medium-term future...

Attempts to prevent global climate change from occurring are ultimately futile, and constitute a tragic misallocation of resources that would be better spent on humanity's real and pressing problems.
Go here to read the letter in its entirety.

Go here to see who signed the letter.
To contact author Peyton Knight directly,
write him at [email protected]

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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 2:03 AM

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Moral of the Story...

...don't get your picture on page one of the newspaper on the same day you commit theft in front of a convenience store security camera.

(Thou shalt not steal is a good moral, too.)
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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 1:29 AM

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Unto You is Born This Day

Luke 2: 1-14

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.

(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem (because he was of the house and lineage of David) to be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 1:56 AM

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Garry Kasparov

...has courage.

May God bless him and his work.
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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:04 AM

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Ethanol. Raises food prices. Hurts the environment. Harms the Poor.

The House of Representatives is set to vote today on an energy bill that would require a seven-fold increase in the use of ethanol over the next 15 years.

However, as National Center Senior Fellow Dana Joel Gattuso reports in a study released today, corn prices already have doubled since last year, in large part because Congress is mandating that food be converted to fuel.

Says Dana, in part:
For the past four decades, food prices have remained fairly stable, lagging far behind inflation. But as the USDA reports, food prices this year are soaring, rising twice the rate of inflation - the highest annual increase in over a decade. Corn prices, which doubled since last year, are close to $4 a bushel. Eggs are up 44 percent from last year, while milk, up 21 percent, has jumped to $3.83 a gallon - the highest retail price since World War Two.

What's driving record food prices? Federal policies mandating more food for fuel are a big factor. Requirements that we use more ethanol over oil for energy use are causing us to divert larger amounts of farmland from food to corn-based fuel, contributing to record food costs. In 2000, we were using a modest 6 percent of our cropland for ethanol production. Last year, that share increased to 20 percent; this year, one quarter of our corn harvest is diverted from food to fuel.
Dana also points out that "producing biofuels leaves a huge ecological footprint, exceeding that of fossil fuels."

Ethanol isn't so great for low-income Americans, either, who already spend about 40 percent of their budget on food.

Dana adds:
None of this will matter, of course, when Congress acts on the energy bill. As is the way of the world in the nation's capital, the powerful agribusiness and ethanol interests will trump science, and Congress will turn a blind eye to the poor's struggle against soaring food prices.
Ethanol. Raises food prices. Hurts the environment. Harms the poor.

Read Dana's paper here.
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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:14 AM

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act Meets Clinton Health Care Plan

Senator Kit Bond (R-MO) has mapped out the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act of 2007.

He calls it "Rube Goldberg meets carbon caps."

I say Kit Bond's Liberman-Warner climate bill chart looks a lot like the complex chart Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA)'s office put together in 1994 to show America what Bill and Hillary Clinton's doomed health care plan looked like.

Hat tip: Marc Morano.
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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:13 PM

Monday, December 03, 2007

On Cap and Trade, Senators Advised to Learn from 'Europe's Dirty Secret'

A contribution from Peyton Knight:
As the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee prepares to vote this week on the Lieberman/Warner global warming bill (S. 2191), which would strap the U.S. with mandatory carbon dioxide restrictions and establish a cap-and-trade system whereby industries could buy and sell so-called emissions credits, Senators are advised to examine Europe's failure with a similar system, lest they follow in kind.

Today on Capitol Hill, the Competitive Enterprise Institute hosted a briefing with Neil O'Brien, director of Open Europe, an independent think tank based in London.

According to O'Brien, some U.S. policymakers have not learned the lessons from Europe's failed Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) - despite their claims to the contrary.

O'Brien noted that Europe's market for emissions credits has effectively collapsed. "It's a Soviet-style system," he said, "that is open to all kinds of abuses." He explained that big energy companies, industries and special interests have made windfall profits selling excess emissions credits. Meanwhile, in the first year of the ETS (2005-2006) emissions rose 3.6 percent in the United Kingdom and rose 0.8 percent across the European Union as a whole.

O'Brien also warned that the way the Lieberman/Warner bill distributes emissions credits - namely, giving a good portion of them away - makes it more likely that the bill will resemble a pork-barrel boondoggle along the lines of current U.S. agriculture spending bills, or worse, Europe's ETS. Because of this, O'Brien said he does not get a sense that U.S. lawmakers understand "the disaster they're signing on for."

Although the EU is trying to mend its ETS, claiming to have learned its lessons, O'Brien and Open Europe still see future failure. In order for the ETS to work, he says, there must be a good degree of certainty in the long-term cost of carbon. Without that certainty, companies will not invest in the system. In the initial phase of the ETS, the EU put way too many emissions credits into the system - hence the collapse of the market and the rise of emissions. However, "fixing" this by allowing fewer credits in the future, or adjusting the amount of carbon dioxide that companies are allowed to emit, would only contribute to the underlying problem of uncertainty, O'Brien said.

Click here to download Open Europe's recent report: "Europe's Dirty Secret: Why the EU Emissions Trading Scheme Isn't Working."
To contact author Peyton Knight directly,
write him at [email protected]

Cap and trade appears to be the granddaddy of all corporate welfare schemes. No wonder some in Big Business (and Big Green) are all for it.
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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 11:19 PM

Sunday, December 02, 2007

For Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Cap and Trade, Anyone?

Total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions dropped by 1.5 percent in 2006. The total reduction in U.S. carbon dioxide emissions was 1.8 percent.

By comparison, carbon dioxide emissions by participants in the European Union's Emissions Trading Scheme (Europe's version of "cap and trade," an emissions-regulation system now under consideration by the U.S. Congress) increased by 0.3 percent in 2006.

The EU's cap and trade program didn't perform as well as its environmentalist proponents hoped it would. The European Union screwed up its cap and trade system's first trading period by handing out too many emissions permits. As a result, emitters had scant financial incentive to make reductions. This was not predictable, as no one familiar with the history of the Twentieth Century could have expected a large intergovernmental bureaucracy to make an economic planning error.

For a succinct report on the 2006 decline in U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, read the U.S. Department of Energy's press release here. For a more detailed look at the U.S. greenhouse gas emissions picture, including prior years, go here. For a fuller picture on how well the European Union and its member states are meeting their Kyoto targets, I recommend the European Environment Agency publication "Greenhouse Gas Emission Trends and Projections in Europe 2007," available in English here.
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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 1:19 AM

Where is the Feminist Outrage?

Deneen Borelli wants to know: Where is the feminist outrage over jailing of British woman in Sudan?

Says Deneen:
"I'm amazed by the silence of the so-called women's rights groups like NOW. This is an example of their selective feminist outrage. When it fits their liberal agenda and bias, they are extremely vocal. When it doesn't, their silence is deafening."
My personal theory is the feminist leaders don't identify much with elementary school teachers. Teaching young children is a female-dominated profession, and feminist leaders tend not to think highly of those professions.

They are a little bit sexist that way.
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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 1:15 AM

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Palm Beach Post Attacks Rush Limbaugh & National Center

Bob King of the Palm Beach Post has a rather bizarre piece out attacking first Rush Limbaugh, and then us, for what Rush and husband David said about hurricanes this week.

Well, better to be attacked with Rush Limbaugh than praised with almost anybody else, I say.

As to the particulars, in our case, Bob King says:
Limbaugh’s not alone in questioning the hurricane center’s storm numbers. The conservative National Center for Public Policy Research is also alleging a conspiracy, claiming that the meteorologists are “inflating the count of tropical storms and aiding a political campaign to regulate energy use in the process.”

In other words, they say, the NHC is just trying to hype global warming.
Um, a little detail. We didn't "allege a conspiracy."

When organization X (in this case, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) takes an action that has effect Y (in this case, providing rhetorical fodder for global warming alarmist advocates of energy restrictions), that's not a conspiracy. It's a straight cause-and-effect situation.

I suspect Bob King claimed we "alleg[ed] a conspiracy" because people who believe in conspiracies often perceived as nuts. This allowed King to belittle our statements without reviewing them on the merits.

As it happens, we don't believe that NOAA as an agency has changed the criteria by which it names storms in order to promote energy-restriction legislation advocated by global warming alarmists. We rather suspect NOAA is increasing the number of named storms to justify its budget, and lay the groundwork for budget increases. The more named storms there are, the more Congress may see fit to toss taxpayer dollars at NOAA.

The bureaucratic imperative, in other words.

The promotion of the global warming theory and aid to special interests lobbying for energy restrictions is simply a byproduct of the bureaucratic imperative at work.

Nonetheless, it is an important byproduct, and one worth pointing out, which is what we did.

(I should note that we acknowledge the possibility that an occasional NOAA employee, perhaps in the press office, hypes global warming on purpose. It is a little odd that NOAA issues very few disclaimers warning people that comparing the number of named storms from one year to the next -- since the criteria by which storms are named has not been constant -- is a bit like comparing apples to oranges.)

As for Bob King's comments about Chris Landsea, Max Mayfield and William Gray, we accuse them of nothing except being great guys. America could use more people like them. And Rush. And us too. :-)

P.S. Bob King does a service by referring readers to an informative Houston Chronicle story by Eric Berger that explains (among other things) how NOAA's propensity to name more storms now than it did in the past can raise homeowners' insurance rates.
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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 1:20 AM

Copyright The National Center for Public Policy Research