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Category Archives: Global Warming
The impact of the 2010 election is starting to be felt on Capitol Hill. The last hearing of the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming was held yesterday. This panel received huge national attention when it was created by the then new Democratic majority in January of 2007, and it was considered a major triumphant for the environmental movement. The GOP Steering Committee has voted to abolish the panel. Continue reading
Prince Charles To Advocate Cap and Trade on Upcoming Trip, Future King’s Rhetoric Concerns Conservative Party by Gregory Hilton
In an upcoming NBC documentary, the Prince of Wales says his duty is to save the world, and he will advocate a cap and trade system during his U.S. visit. The documentary “Harmony” will air in November and is based on the Prince’s new book of the same title. Continue reading
Sen. John Kerry’s (D-MA) cap and trade system is going down to defeat in a major victory for conservative Republicans. The legislation was supposed to be on the Senate floor this afternoon, but now a vote on cap and trade is highly doubtful. Continue reading
Senate Democrats led by John Kerry (MA) are expected to unveil their new national energy legislation on Monday, April 26th. It will be known as the American Power Act but the details are still secret. The legislation is expected to appeal to conservatives by expanding nuclear power and allowing more off shore drilling.
Its fate could well be determined by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce which is now involved in negotiations with the Obama administration. The Chamber was in forefront of the opposition to the climate change legislation in the House, but they could now shift sides if the bill is altered significantly.
President Obama said on Friday his administration would shift its focus to climate change after finishing financial regulatory reform. The President said “This is one of these foundational priorities from my perspective that has to be done soon.”
The cap and trade national energy tax passed the House last year on a 219 to 212 vote. The bill would require emissions of greenhouse gases to be reduced by 17 percent by 2020. Speaker Pelosi secured the victory despite the opposition of 44 Democrats.
If enacted cap and trade would be the largest tax increase in American history, and the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated the cost at close to a trillion dollars. CBO said the average American household could pay an additional $1,600 a year because of cap and trade, while other studies had a higher cost. The House passed the measure despite the fact that only 33 percent of voters believe global warming is mainly caused by human activity.
This was one of the major promises in last year’s presidential campaign. In January of 2008, Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) described his proposal:
Under my plan of a cap-and-trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket. Coal-powered plants…natural gas…whatever the plants were, whatever the industry was…would have to retrofit their operations. That will cost money. They will pass that money on to consumers…So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can; it’s just that it will bankrupt them because they’re going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s being omitted.
The good news is that the prospects for stopping cap and trade are excellent, and as of today the Democrats only have 26 solid votes in favor of the House plan. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has signaled the upcoming Democratic strategy change by saying, “I think the term ‘cap-and-trade’ is not in the lexicon anymore.” Even Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), the Chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, has acknowledged that Congress may take years before it passes a global warming cap and trade bill.
The new energy legislation will be somewhat similar to health care. The House passed a health care public option but it was immediately rejected by the Senate. Now the Senate is expected to abandon cap and trade. The editorial in yesterday’s Christian Science Monitor noted:
A successful US cap-and-trade program in the 1990s reduced emissions known to cause acid rain from coal-burning plants. But the program was limited in its scope, and simple. Relatively few plants slowly switched to low-sulfur coal or added scrubbers.
Scaling up this idea for greenhouse-gas emissions – and allowing the trading of permits for green projects around the world – is asking for trouble. Public confidence in curbing global warming could nose-dive if a cap-and-trade plan results in a slew of dubious schemes.
One climate bill reportedly to be introduced in the Senate may dilute a cap-and-trade system by also offering a gasoline tax – a proven way to cut the burning of fossil fuels but one that may be anathema to voters. Before Congress leaps into cap-and-trade, it should take a lesson from voluntary offsets: Buyer beware.
As usual, radio commentator Rush Limbaugh is speaking for many conservatives in questioning the need for any climate change legislation. He recently said, “Computer models can not predict within hours where the wind will take the ash cloud from Iceland. Nevertheless, we are supposed to significantly alter our lives because of what similar computer models say global climate temperatures are going to be in 50 years. All of liberalism is a giant hoax. It’s just a giant lie with a bunch of subset of lies to support the big one.”
The Washington Post and The New York Times are now in agreement. After months of prodding they have both published major stories criticizing the claims of the global warming movement. Both newspapers conclude that there will be no global climate change treaty and the U.S. Senate will not pass the cap-and-trade system. In a significant policy shift both papers now admit there has not been any statistically significant warming since 1995.
The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) won a joint Nobel Peace Prize with former Vice President Al Gore after their 2007 report declared the “warming of the climate system is unequivocal.” Now according to the Post, “The errors in the U.N. report — a document intended to be the last nail in the coffin of climate doubt — are a serious problem which could end up forcing environmentalists to focus more on the old question of proving that climate change is a threat, instead of the new question of how to stop it.”
In recent months we have also learned:
1. The most important source of data for the UN IPCC report is a fraud. Prominent scientists at the Climate Research Unit at the UK’s East Anglia University falsified their findings and sought to prevent the publication of works by their detractors. The Director, Dr. Phil Jones, was forced to resign.
2. It has now been proven that the data used by Dr. Michael Mann, head of Penn State’s Earth System Science Center, to build Al Gore’s famous hockey stick graph is wrong. The graph outlined temperature increases over the past 1000 years. It was cited as indisputable evidence the planet has been warming for a century because of carbon emissions, but Mann just hid the decline in temperatures which conflicted with his conclusion.
3. The UN IPCC now admits huge glaciers in the Himalayan mountains will not disappear by 2035.
4. They have retracted their statement that “Up to 40 percent of the Amazonian forests could react drastically to even a slight reduction in precipitation.”
5. They have retracted their claim that crop yields in Africa will be reduced by 50 percent by 2020.
6. They now admit the Antarctic sea ice increase was under estimated by 50%. This was one of their major claims. They said sea levels would rise dramatically because the sea ice was disappearing.
7. Environmentalists now admit that 55% of the Netherlands is not below sea level.
8. The UN IPCC says sea levels will not rise by 20 feet over the next century because of temperature changes. They have scaled this claim back to 8 inches.
It is believed in the “medieval warming period” of 800 -1300 A.D. temperatures were higher than they are today, and this was well before the introduction of the automobile. It means natural factors are a significant part of climate change.
The person most responsible for fanning this hysteria is Al Gore. The Senate rejected his Kyoto Protocol in 1998 by a 95 to 0 vote, and he then spent the next decade scaring the world about the catastrophic consequences of global warming. Now his arguments have been demolished, but he has succeeded in enriching himself by over $90 million.
Gore’s carelessness with facts and his overblown self-aggrandizement have been well known for decades. The falsehoods in “An Inconvenient Truth” were obvious from the outset but they were rarely challenged by the news media. Now the avalanche of facts rebutting global warming is so strong that even the Post and the Times have published critical front page stories. I am surprised it took them so long.
Long before the global warming nonsense collapsed, the British school system refused his attempt to make his book required reading in schools because it contained so many falsehoods. Giving him a Nobel Prize, followed by the one given to Obama, tarnished the reputation of this award.
Gore has always been amazingly hypocritical. He built a huge mansion with none of the green technology he said was so essential for the rest of us. The other good news is that the UN climate chief has resigned. I can certainly understand the frustration of someone such as Donald Trump. He says Gore should give back the Nobel because “he doesn’t deserve it for promoting an economy-killing carbon tax in the midst of some of the worst snowstorms the US has seen.”
BOOK REVIEW: “Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis” by former Vice President Al Gore.
This book was published earlier this month and it is the long awaited sequel to his best sellers “An Inconvenient Truth” (2006), and “Earth In The Balance” (1999). Gore is the co-winner of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with the UN IPCC, and his global warming movie received the Academy Award. Newsweek has already published a cover story about Gore and the book entitled “The Thinking Man’s Thinking Man.”
The book is based on 30 of Gore’s ‘Solutions Summits,’ but my conclusion is that he needs to do some more thinking because he rejects so many obvious solutions!
His recommendations on farming strategies and soil degradation have merit, and the book is filled with beautiful photos and impressive charts. There is nothing wrong with solar, wind and geothermal power, but they will never generate the energy we need. As usual, Al Gore panders to the environmental lobby and misses the big picture.
“An Inconvenient Truth” had nine fundamental errors as well as scores of misrepresentations. A graph showed the correlation between global average temperatures and CO2 concentration over the last 400,000 years. What he didn’t point out was that the temperature changes preceded the CO2 changes by hundreds of years, which completely contradicted his thesis.
The new book is not an improvement, and it is poorly referenced. The theme of the book is that global warming is a huge problem, but the author ignores immediate answers which have bipartisan support. Gore says “I am not an opponent of nuclear power, and I hope it can become a larger part of our energy mix.” Then he proceeds to portray nuclear power as an exorbitant and dangerous dead end. He never says nuclear power is an affordable and carbon-free energy source.
Senator John McCain’s (R-AZ)’s call for 45 new reactors by 2030 is dismissed. I am a global warming skeptic who is well aware of Gore’s background, but I was genuinely hoping the former Vice President would be seeking some common ground solutions. Senator John Kerry (D-MA), the Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, said Gore’s book would be a bipartisan framework which could be presented at the Copenhagen climate negotiations next month.
A few of Gore’s suggestions are sensible, and he praises the Christian Coalition and Rep. Bob Inglis (R-SC), but no prominent Republican would agree to his anti-business agenda. Once again, Gore rejects an expansion of nuclear power as well as offshore oil drilling. He does not acknowledge the huge progress which has been made to stop offshore oil spills. He is not enthusiastic about “clean coal” technology for carbon capture and storage at coal burning power plants. He does not mention the urgent need to streamline the nuclear power permit system.
The good news is that people are starting to see through Gore’s smoke and mirrors. The former Vice President always refuses to debate and he will not accept interview requests from skeptical journalists. He has good reasons because he can not answer many basic questions.
Gore can not explain why the Earth has not warmed at all since 1998, or why his data on global ice melting is so misleading. A British court would not allow his movie to be shown in public schools because of the significant number of errors, and over 700 respected climatologists are now rejecting the man made global warming theory. The group includes many current and former UN IPCC scientists, who have now turned against the UN IPCC. The over 700 dissenting scientists are more than 13 times the number of UN scientists (52) who authored the media-hyped IPCC 2007 Summary for Policymakers.
The author also wants to avoid talking about the over 3,000 emails and documents from the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit (CRU) which were posted to the Internet this week. They clearly demonstrate the fraudulent nature of many of the claims about manmade global warming. The CRU has been at the center of global warming debate for the past decade. Many climate scientists were funded with U.S. taxpayer dollars, but Gore also does not address why his allies are trying to thwart a Congressional investigation of their data.
The concerns are so widespread that the APEC nations have announced they will not sign enforceable limits on greenhouse-gas emissions at Copenhagen. China and India have made it clear they are rejecting any new cap and trade system, and the Kyoto climate change protocol is set to expire in 2012. There is now a real possibility it will not be renewed.
Al Gore has avoided debating global warming since the release of his 2006 Oscar-winning documentary, “An Inconvenient Truth.” In a rare move yesterday at the Society of Environmental Journalists he took half a dozen questions from reporters. He was asked to address the nine major errors in his film identified by a British court in 2007. The journalist had his microphone cut off by the moderators.
Gore once again avoided having to defend many of his absurd claims such as sea levels rising by 20 feet. Most scientific studies say a worse case scenario is 8 inches. The UN IPCC says 17 inches over the next 100 years. Gore predicted cap and trade will pass the Senate in November and that Obama will attend the UN global warming conference in Copenhagen in December.
I do not believe Gore’s prediction because far too many Senate Democrats have come out against cap and trade. These sensible Democrats do not want to be stuck defending a $1,720 tax on every American family during an election year.
Bill Clinton’s liberal climate negotiator now says House Democrats have gone too far. Tim Wirth is one the original authors of cap and trade in 1988, led the Kyoto negotiations and was National Co-Chair of the Clinton-Gore campaign in 1992. Senator Wirth says Republicans are right to call the legislation passed by the House the cap and tax bill. According to Wirth, the legislation passed by the House is “out of control” and needs to be scaled back. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is not backing down and the vote is still scheduled for November.
Wirth is still supporting passage of the Waxman-Markey bill but is comments are a blow to the environmental movement. In April the Senate voted 67 to 31 against fast-tracking a climate change bill so that it did not have to face a filibuster. “It’s a bad mistake to try to cut out the Republicans and cut off debate and limit amendments on such an important bill, and I say that as a supporter of cap and trade,” argued Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME).
We would still have to contend with the global warming debate even with the elimination of cap and trade. In addition to Wirth, other prominent liberal supporters of cap and trade are acknowledging problems with this scheme. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) says,”I just want to make sure that the ratepayers in my state don’t get socked hard. And that the manufacturing doesn’t get crippled.”
The National Association of Manufacturers will release a study tomorrow that says the House global warming bill will cost 2 million jobs by 2030. The study also says economic growth would be reduced by 2.4%. What is really interesting is the response from the left. The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) says the study “is overly pessimistic about the development of nuclear power plants.” No organization did more to stop the development of America’s nuclear power plants than EDF. Also, for the past two years we have been experiencing global cooling.
The Environmental Defense Fund created the concept of pollution trading credits in the 1990 Clean Air Act, which has now become cap and trade. They have a real problem with the truth, and they always said former President Bush was the reason America did not join the Kyoto Accords. In 1997, the Senate voted 95 to 0 against the Kyoto concept that Al Gore negotiated.
The Senate resolution said the treaty (1) harms the US economy and (2) did not include all nations. President Clinton signed the Kyoto treaty but did not send it to the Senate for ratification. Kyoto was already signed before Bush got to the White House, but it helped EDF’s fundraising to blame Bush rather than a unanimous vote of the U.S. Senate.
We should reduce our dependence on foreign oil and electric cars that require no gasoline are a wonderful idea. This will require a dramatic increase in electricity output, and it is another reason to increase the role of nuclear power in our energy mix.
No. Environmental security is vital and these concerns should never be ignored. Unfortunately, the Kyoto Protocol was clearly not in the national interests of the United States. This was recognized by the U.S. Senate in 1997 when it passed the Byrd-Hagel Resolution in opposition to Kyoto by a 95 to 0 vote margin.
The Resolution noted that Kyoto posed “a serious threat to the United States’ economy.” Many lawmakers also noted that a number of theories advocated global warming disciples were not supported by sound science. The cost-benefit analysis of Kyoto was skewed heavily against the United States. This is why the treaty was never submitted to the Senate for formal ratification.
The advocates of the Kyoto Protocol have done an excellent job of scaring the American people. They claim global warning will result in catastrophic floods, war, terrorism, economic dislocations, drought, crop failure, mosquito borne diseases, and severe weather conditions. All of this will occur, they claim, because the earth is getting warmer due to man-made gases. This should continue to be a subject of intense scientific inquiry, but far too often partisans are quickly exaggerate their claims. For example, the UN panal on climate change said sea levels could increase three inches, not 20 feet.
The United States and the global community must also continue their commitment to developing cleaner and more efficient methods of industrial production. Kyoto requires that expensive exhaust-refining technologies be applied to plants, refineries and vehicles. It calls for a 7% reduction in three industrial gases: hydrofluorocarbon (HFC), perfluorocarbon (PFC) and sulphur hexafluoride (SF6). A major problem is that reducing these gases does not guarantee any reduction in global temperature. When these gases decompose, one of their byproducts is carbon dioxide (CO2). The concern is that CO2 allows the sun’s rays to penetrate the atmosphere but does not let the heat they generate tp escape back into space. Consequently, the atmosphere gradually gets hotter as more heat is trapped. However, respected studies have also demonstrated that it is unlikely man has produced enough greenhouse gases to affect natural climatic conditions. Countries such as China, India, Brazil, South Korea and Mexico are all signatories to Kyoto, but they do not have to reduce their emissions even though they are responsible for over 30 percent of the world’s greenhouse gases.