Category Archives: Energy Security

“Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis” by Al Gore, Reviewed by Gregory Hilton

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.

Global Warming: Why is Al Gore Refusing to Debate? by Gregory Hilton

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.

Greenpeace Admits Arctic Ice Exaggerations by Gregory Hilton

Now Greenpeace admits they grossly exaggerated the data regarding disappearing Arctic Ice. The outgoing leader of Greenpeace has admitted his organization’s claim that the ice will disappear by 2030 was “a mistake.” Greenpeace made the claim in a July 15 press release entitled “Urgent Action Needed As Arctic Ice Melts,” which said there will be an ice-free Arctic by 2030 because of global warming. Under questioning by BBC reporter Stephen Sackur on “Hardtalk,” Gerd Leipold, the retiring leader of Greenpeace, said the claim was wrong.
Al Gore and the UN IPCC jointly won the Nobel Prize for their work on global warming. The IPCC said sea levels could rise 3 to 8 inches over the next 100 years. In Al Gore’s movie this became 20 feet. The High Court of the United Kingdom identified 9 major exaggerations and they would not allow school children to see the movie.
The UK Labor government planed to have the Gore film shown in every secondary school, until they were stopped by the High Court. The claim that sea levels could rise by 20 ft “in the near future” was dismissed as “distinctly alarmist”. A claim that atolls in the Pacific had already been evacuated was supported by “no evidence”, while to suggest that two graphs showing carbon dioxide levels and temperatures over the last 650,000 years were an “exact fit” overstated the case.
Gore’s suggestion that the Gulf Stream, that warms up the Atlantic ocean, would shut down was contradicted by the International Panel on Climate Change’s assessment that it was “very unlikely” to happen. The drying of Lake Chad, the loss of Mount Kilimanjaro’s snows and Hurricane Katrina were all blamed by Gore on climate change but the judge said the scientific community had been unable to find evidence to prove there was a direct link.

Clinton’s Kyoto Negotiator: House Democrats Have Gone Too Far by Gregory Hilton

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.”

Global Warming Bill Could Cost Two Million Jobs by Gregory Hilton

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.

New Budget Raises Serious Concerns: Look For an 80% Jump in Electrical Rates by Gregory Hilton

President Obama, accompanied by Budget Director Peter Orszag, right, and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, speaks about his fiscal 2010 federal budget, in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.

President Obama, accompanied by Budget Director Peter Orszag, right, and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, speaks about his fiscal 2010 federal budget, in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.


The new federal Budget submitted by the Obama Administration raises a number of significant concerns. Based on the funding priorities, the administration appears to be backing away from nuclear power (which generates 80% of France’s energy), school vouchers for poor children in Washington, DC, and earmark reform. The most significant concern is obviously the massive increase in federal spending.
The new Administration is not even two months old but we have already appropriated more money than the combined cost of what our military has spent in Iraq, Afghanistan and on Hurricane Katrina. This is the largest increase in discretionary spending since the Carter Administration. Despite all of the promises made during the 2008 campaign, the new omnibus spending bill has over 9000 earmarks.
The President focused on health care today, and is planning to pay for his new program with $646 billion which will be raised over a decade from pollution permits from industries that produce greenhouse gases. Many experts believe this could lead to an 80% jump in electrical rates and an EPA study says the result could be an additional $1.60 for every gallon of gas.
The primary architect of the new budget is Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner. A surprising Geithner critic is former Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating. Yesterday he spoke to the Lowy Institute in Sydney about Geithner’s record in handling the 1998 Asian crisis. Geithner fundamentally misdiagnosed the problem, and this led to the wrong prescription, Keating said.: “Tim Geithner was the Treasury line officer who wrote the IMF [International Monetary Fund] program for Indonesia in 1997-98, which was to apply current account solutions to a capital account crisis.”
Geithner thought Asia’s problem was the same as the ones that had shattered Latin America in the 1980s and Mexico in 1994, a classic current account crisis. In this kind of crisis, the central cause is that the government has run impossibly big debts. The solution? The IMF, the Washington-based emergency lender of last resort, will make loans to keep the country solvent, but on condition the government hacks back its spending. The cure addresses the ailment.
Malcolm Turnbull in the “Australian” said “But the Asian crisis was completely different. The Asian governments that went to the IMF for emergency loans – Thailand, South Korea and Indonesia – all had sound public finances. The problem was not government debt. It was great tsunamis of hot money in the private capital markets. When the wave rushed out, it left a credit drought behind. But Geithner, through his influence on the IMF, imposed the same cure the IMF had imposed on Latin America and Mexico. It was the wrong cure. Indeed, it only aggravated the problem.”
Keating continued: “Soeharto’s government delivered 21 years of 7 per cent compound growth. It takes a gigantic fool to mess that up. But the IMF messed it up. The end result was the biggest fall in GDP in the 20th century. That dubious distinction went to Indonesia. And, of course, Soeharto lost power.”

Do You Support the Kyoto Protocol on Global Warming?

 

This graphic shows NYC after a 20 foot rise in sea levels. The UN IPCC Report says the worst case scenario would be 3 to 9 inches.

This graphic shows NYC after a 20 foot rise in sea levels. The UN IPCC Report says the worst case scenario would be 3 to 9 inches.

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.