December 2000

Text References

Bernard, H.W. Jr.; “Global Warming Unchecked,” Indiana University Press, Bloomington, Indiana, 1993.

Emmanuel, K.E.; “The Dependency of Hurricane Intensity on Climate,” Nature 326, 1987.

Emmanuel, K.E.; “The Maximum Intensity of Hurricans,” J. Atm. Sci., 45, 1988.

Flavin, C.; “Storm Warning, Climatic Change Hits the Insurance Industry,” World Watch, 7, #6, 1994.

Friedman, D.G.; “Implications of Climatic Change for the Insurance Industry,” National Hazards Research Program, Travelers Insurance Company, Hartford, Connecticut, 1989.

Gardner, B.; (Personal Communication), January 1995.

Imbrie & Imbrie; “Ice Ages,” Enslow, Short Hills, N.J., 1979.

IPCC; (International Panel on Climatic Change) “Climate Change, the Scientific Assessment,” University of Cambridge, 1990.

IPCC; (International Panel on Climate Change) “Radiative Forcing of Climate, the 1994 Report of the Scientific Assessment Working Group of IPCC, Summary for Policymakers, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change,” 1994.

Jones, P.D. & P. YA Groisman, et al.; “Assessment of Urbanization Effects in Time Series of Surface Air Temperature over Land,” Nature, 347, 1990a.

Jones, P.D. & P.M. Kelley et al; ” The Effect of Urban Warming on the Northern Hemispheres Average Temperature,” J. Climate, 2, 1990b.

Karl, T.R. & Baker, C.B.; “Global Warming Update,” Invited Presentation at the 74th Annual Meeting of the American Meteorological Society, 1995.

Karl, T.R., et al.; United States Historical Climatology Network National and Regional Estimates of Monthly and Annual Precipitation. pp 830-905. In T.A. Boden et al. Trends 93: A Compendium of Global Change. ORNL/CDIAC-65. Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tenn., U.S.A., 1994.

Lighthill, J. & G. Holland, et al.; “Global Climate Change and Tropical Cyclones”, Bulletin American Meteorological Society, 75, 1994.

Lindzen, R.S.; “Climatic Dynamics & Global Change,” Ann. Rev. Fluid Mech., 1994a.

Lindzen, R.S.; “On the Scientific Basis for Global Warming,” Env. Pollution, 83, 1994b.

Lindzen, R.S.; “Some Coolness Concerning the Global Warming.” Bulletin American Meteorological Society, 71, 1990.

Michaels, P.J.; “Sound and Fury The Scientific Polities of Global Warming,” CATO Inst., Washington, D.C., 1992.

National Weather Service, NOAA; “Tropical Cyclones of the North Atlantic Ocean, 1878-1986,” National Climatic Data Center, 1992.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory; “Trends 93: A Compendium of Data on Global Climate,” ESD Publ. #4195, Oak Ridge, Indiana, September 1994.

Obasi, G.O.P.; “WMOs Role in the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction,” Bulletin American Meteorological Society, 75, Vol. 9, 1993.

Ostby, F.P.; “The Changing Nature of Tornadoes Climatology,” 17th Conf. Severe Local Storm, October 1993.

Piexoto and Oort; “Physics of Climate,” American Institute of Physics, 1992.

Spencer, R.W. & J.R. Christy; “Precise Monitoring of Global Temperature Trends from Satellite,” Science, 247, March 1990.

White, C.F.; “A Perspective on Reduction Losses from Natural Hazards,” Bulletin American Meteorology Society, 75, #7, 1994.

Theyre called midnight regulations – the flood of federal regulatory activity occurring in the closing months of an administration. Though a bipartisan phenomenon, the pre-inauguration day rush to finalize pending rules is particularly pronounced in Democratic administrations that know that Republicans will replace them.

Professor Jay Cochran of the Mercatus Center at George Mason University has studied midnight regulations extensively, and concludes that the last-minute regulatory binge under Clinton is rivaled in number and scope only by the Carter administration at the end of 1980.

Included in the 100 or more such measures are several designed to combat global warming. For example, the Department of Energy (DOE) is in the process of finalizing new energy efficiency standards for clothes washers and central air conditioners.

By DOEs own estimates, the rules will add at least $200 to the cost of a new clothes washer and $274 for an air conditioner. DOE claims that, by reducing demand for residential electricity, these standards will result in lower carbon dioxide emissions. However, the impact is likely to be minor.

According to energy consultant Glenn Schleede, DOEs estimates of carbon emissions reductions are approximately 11/100 of 1 percent for air conditioners and 18/100 of 1 percent for clothes washers. On a cost per ton basis, these rules are two of the most expensive carbon reduction strategies yet proposed.

It is difficult, but not impossible to undo a finalized rule. However, only time will tell if the new Congress and Administration will make the effort to review, and possibly rescind, these and other midnight regulations.

So far President-Elect George W. Bushs nominees for top positions look wobbly on global warming. Bush has chosen Christine Todd Whitman as his administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.

Whitman, as Governor of New Jersey, rarely stood up against the demands of environmental activists and has been at the forefront of pushing Kyoto-style policies. Indeed, New Jersey was the first state “to commit voluntarily to a specific [greenhouse gas] reduction.”

“New Jersey has set an ambitious goal to not only curb greenhouse gas emissions, but to reduce them,” said Whitman. “Our target for 2005 is a 3.5 percent reduction below the 1990 levels.

“The fact is that climate change associated with greenhouse gases has an effect on every aspect of our daily lives. The environmental and economic benefits that stem from controlling greenhouse gases are enormous.”

Tom Bray in (December 26, 2000) noted a number of environmental issues in which Whitman is out of the conservative mainstream, including strong support for the precautionary principle.

“We must acknowledge,” said Whitman, “that uncertainty is inherent in managing natural resources, recognize it is usually easier to prevent environmental damage than to repair it later, and shift the burden of proof away from those advocating protection toward those proposing an action that may be harmful.”

Bushs nominee for Treasury Secretary, Paul ONeill, CEO of aluminum manufacturer Alcoa, has also taken several dubious positions on energy use.

As noted by the New York Times (December 20, 2000), “Mr. ONeill participated in at least two sessions with President Clinton as part of a corporate advisory body convened to discuss global warming. Participants in one 1997 meeting described Mr. ONeill as more willing to consider steps to tackle global warming than most of his corporate counterparts, but more skeptical about global warming trends than some Clinton administration officials.”

ONeill claims he has criticized the administration for exaggerating the global warming threat. “I said to him [President Clinton], Im just astounded that he and the Vice President keep saying that the Grand Forks flood and El Nio and these severe weather events are somehow related to global warming. Theres not a scintilla of scientific evidence to connect those things. It damages his ability to lead when he exaggerates what no reputable scientist would agree to” (Wall Street Journal, December 27, 2000).

On the other hand, ONeill has long advocated higher energy prices. In 1992 he advised the Bush Administration to raise the gasoline tax by 50 cents a gallon. “It certainly has been clear to me, and has been for a long time, that we need a gasoline tax,” he said.

20th Century Warming Explained, Say Modelers

Global warming scientists keep on turning out computer-generated climate models that purport to “prove” that global warming is real and is caused by the burning of fossil fuels, even though politicians and environmental activists keep telling us the science is settled.

The latest such effort, published in Science (December 15, 2000), comes from the Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research, a major booster of catastrophic global warming. One of the puzzles that climatologists have struggled with is that there were two warming episodes in the 20th century, one early on and one in the last 30 years, that are roughly equal in magnitude and duration.

The current surface temperature trend has been attributed to the emission of greenhouse gases, but the early 20th century warming occurred when human emissions of greenhouse gases were insignificant. The new study claims that the early warming was due to natural causes, but that the current one is manmade.

The authors “made an ensemble of simulationsthat includes both the most important anthropogenic forcings and the most important natural forcings during the 20th century.” The primary natural forcings used in the model were volcanic eruptions, which cool the climate, and solar variability. The models show that the natural forcings account for the early 20th century warming, between 1910 and 1939, which was characterized by increased solar activity and little volcanic activity.

Natural forcing explains the early trend, but fails to explain the current trend. Anthropogenic forcing on the other hand explains the current trend but not the earlier trend. The researchers claim, “When we include both anthropogenic and natural forcings, our model successfully simulates not just the observed global mean response, but also some of the large scale features of the observed temperature response.” Extending the model into the future, the researchers predict that by 2100 the earth will have warmed by 3 degrees C.

David Wojick in Electricity Daily (December 15, 2000) noted, “The amount of solar variance over the last century is a matter of debate, not to mention the forcing effect of that variance. Henceit is impossible to compare that effect statistically with the temperature record. As one skeptic puts it, You cant compare what you dont understand.”

2000 Temperatures Reverse Trend

The following item appeared in the New York Times (December 24, 2000):

“Globally, the 10 warmest years in the past century have all been since 1982. But a list of the warmest 10 years in the United States looks quite different: 1998, 1934, 1999, 1921, 1931, 1990, 1953, 1954, 1939, 1987. But that is the way of weather. Not every region follows the global trend. Not every drought is a sign of global warming and not every cold front a refutation. This year was on pace to become the warmest on record for the United States [as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration was quick to point out] until November, which turned out to be the second coldest on record. So 2000 is now expected to fall somewhere between 7th and 12th.”

But Tom Karl, director of the National Climatic Data Center, wasnt about to let a cold November get in the way of a good global warming story. “I think this goes to illustrate that even in a warming trend,” Dr. Karl said, “one can and should expect an individual month with some very anomalously cold weather.”

A new report by economists David Montgomery and Paul Bernstein of Charles River Associates makes it clear why the 180 countries involved in international negotiations to reduce greenhouse gases are having a tough time coming to an agreement. The problem is that there would be winners and losers under the Kyoto Protocol and the different compliance scenarios would produce different winners and losers.

According to the study, compliance with the Kyoto Protocol would result in a loss of economic welfare to the tune of $900 million to $1.4 trillion from 2010 to 2030. Flexibility mechanisms such as emissions trading and the Clean Development Mechanism could lower costs somewhat. “Only full participation of developing countries in a system of global permit trading can reduce costs significantly below $1 trillion, and the option is not a possibility under the Kyoto Protocol,” says the study.

These costs will not be limited to developed countries, however. Since all countries are linked through international trade, the costs of Kyoto will be partially shifted to developing countries. “Changes in patterns of international trade will shift costs of compliance with Kyoto onto some non-Annex B countries, who will be caught in a terms of trade squeeze, paying more for goods they purchase from Annex B countries and receiving less for the goods they sell.” Other developing countries will gain through increased competitive advantage over energy intensive industries in developed countries, whose costs will increase under Kyoto.

The Clean Development Mechanism, which allows developed countries to invest in low cost energy reductions in developing countries, could reduce costs of compliance. But, says the study, “The greatest issue with CDM is whether it will be so burdened with administrative costs and restrictions on the nature and location of projects, or taxed as a source of revenue for the Secretariat (the levy), that investment in CDM projects will not make good economic sense.”

Moreover, “Not all of the flows of funds into CDM represents a net gain to the host country. Projects that meet CDM guidelines will cost more than conventional projects, and the additional resources used to build CDM projects will not be available to produce goods sustaining the consumption needs of the population.”

The CDM, which was designed to transfer wealth from the developed to developing countries as an incentive for developing countries to participate, could produce division among developing countries. “Countries like China and India, that export energy-intensive goods and benefit from energy price increases in Annex B countries, can be made worse off by the success of CDM, because CDM reduces some of the global trade distortions that benefit those countries.”

COP-6 Off to Shaky Start

The sixth Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change got off to a shaky start this week. This is supposed to be the concluding conference to finalize the Kyoto Protocol, but there appears to be little movement on the major issues that have plagued the negotiations from the beginning.

According to a Reuters story (November 15, 2000), the disagreement between the European Union and the United States over the use of emissions trading is as sharp as ever. “So far, I havent seen anyone move their position by one centimeter,” said Raul Estrada, Argentinas special representative for the environment. The EU believes that the developed countries should reduce emissions through “tough domestic policies.”

Indeed, the EU probably wont budge from its negotiating stance. Its 15 nations agreed to form a “united front in demanding tough rules for compliance,” that would “ensure countries made most of their emissions cuts through domestic action rather than through emissions credits or other flexible mechanisms,” according to a November 8 Reuters story. The EU also agreed to demand firm sanctions against countries which miss their targets and strict limits on the use of so-called carbon sinks uses of forests, which absorb carbon to account for some of a countrys target.

The U.S. and its allies, Canada, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand, want full emissions trading that would allow them to purchase credits from developing countries and Russia as part of their compliance strategy. Adding to the standoff is a deal struck between the U.S. and fourteen Latin American countries “to push for full-scale trading in greenhouse gas emissions as a solution to global warming.” The emission credits would be created through U.S. funding of rainforest preservation in Latin America (Financial Times, November 6, 2000).

The “G-77 plus China” Group are also trying to present a united front in the negotiations. But their coalition is fracturing due to several disagreements. In general, the group wants the industrialized nations to commit to tough emissions reduction targets. But small island states worried about rising sea levels, for instance, have little in common with oil producing countries in the Middle East.

Saudi Arabia claims that it would lose $25 billion per year as a result of Kyoto and wants to be compensated. “There will be no outcome if our concerns are not adequately addressed,” warned Mohammed al-Sabban, head of the Saudi delegation.

IPCC Peer Review Process a Sham

Controversy continues to surround the leaked draft of the Summary for Policymakers of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Changes Third Assessment Report (TAR). New charges resemble the complaints made about the Second Assessment Reports (SAR) summary of 1996. In that report, the statement, “The balance of evidence suggests a discernible human influence on global climate,” was inserted into the summary after the report had gone through scientific peer review.

In the TARs Summary, a major conclusion of the report has once again been inserted after the peer review process was completed. According to Patrick Michaels, a University of Virginia climatologist, the Summary “dramatically increased the upper limit of its forecast [from the SAR] of the 21st centurys temperature increase, from 4.5 degrees C to 6.0 degrees C.”

“But,” said Michaels, “the document the IPCC sent out for scientific peer review contained no such number. Indeed, after the scientists reviewed it, the maximum value was 4.8 degrees C.” This alteration “inserted after the document had circulated among scientific reviewers,” said Michaels, changed the “reports most crucial conclusion at the 11th hour, after the scientific peer review process had concluded.”

The change was inserted during the “Government Review” in which nonscientist reviewers comment on the draft. According to Michaels, “The 6 degree C figure is based upon a socio-climatological model,” which “relies upon a number of illogical scenarios called storylines.” These storylines first appeared in a non-peer reviewed paper by Tom Wigley, a climatologist at the U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research, published by the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, a Kyoto cheerleader group. Indeed, Pews press release announcing the study said that Wigleys scenarios would be incorporated into the IPCC report.

Finally, according to Michaels, the IPCCs peer review process “isnt really peer review in the classic sense, for the IPCC retains veto power.” Under real peer review, the reviewers comments must be incorporated into a study, but under the IPCCs system, “It is up to the original authors to review the scientific comments and decide which to keep and which to ignore.”

Political Slant is Clear in IPCC Summary

Cooler Heads has compared copies of the April and October drafts of the IPCCs Summary for Policymakers. The changes between the two drafts reveal the political motives behind the whole IPCC process. The overall tone of the Summary went from one of inquisitiveness to one of assertion.

Several headings were changed. Headings such as “Is the climate changing?” and “How well do we model climate and understand climate changes?” were changed to “An increasing body of observations gives a collective picture of a warming world and other changes in the climate system” and “Confidence in the ability of models to project future climates has increased.”

Some changes are blatant attempts to present a more alarmist tone. Statements that bolster catastrophic warming claims were accompanied by statements of uncertainty in the April draft, but were eliminated in the October draft. Statements that cast doubt on the manmade global warming hypothesis had statements of uncertainty added in the October draft. For example, the April draft states that there has been a 40 percent decrease in Arctic summer or early autumn sea-ice extent, but that “Limited sampling, however, leaves open the possibility that these changes may not reflect broad areas of the Arctic.” This caveat is dropped from the October draft.

The April draft also states, “The observed changes in the intensity and frequency of tropical and extratropical storms, such as hurricanes, are dominated by interdecadal-to-multidecadal variations, with no clear long-term trends. There is no evidence for systematic changes in severe local storms, such as tornadoes.” The October draft repeats the observation that there is no clear evidence of long-term trends in hurricane frequency, but adds that, “data are often sparse and inadequate.” This occurs repeatedly throughout the draft.

The section on climate modeling underwent significant alterations to bolster claims about accuracy. The statement from the April draft, “The complexity of the processes in the climate system prevents the use of extrapolation of past trends or statistical and other empirical techniques for projection of the future,” was dropped from the October draft. Also, the April draft claims that several models have been able to reproduce 20th century climate driven by natural as well as manmade forcings, but the October draft only mentions manmade forcings.

Two statements in the April draft, “Simulation of some extreme weather events, such as hurricanes, remains problematic,” and “Based on the record of past climate changes, we know that the possibility of rapid and irreversible changes in the climate system exists, such as altered ocean circulation patterns. However, there is a large degree of uncertainty about the likelihood of such transitions,” were dropped in the October draft. Added to the October draft, however, is the extremely controversial claim that, “Some aspects of model simulations of ENSO, monsoons and the North Atlantic Oscillation have improved.”

Forecasts of CO2 concentrations, as well as temperature changes, were different in the two drafts. In April the projected atmospheric CO2 concentrations were given as 550 to 800 parts per million by 2100. In October it became 540 to 970 ppm. The summary noted that the 1996 SAR forecast a temperature change of 1.5 to 4.5 degrees C over the next 100 years. The April draft put the range at 1 to 5 degrees C. In October, it became 1.5 to 6 degrees C.

Since nothing changed within the TAR itself from April to October, it is clear that the numbers have been fudged to bolster the pro-Kyoto, anti-energy agenda.

Clinton Seeks to Regulate CO2

In an effort to keep the Kyoto negotiations alive, President Clinton has called for federal regulations to limit CO2 emissions. The plan calls for a “cap and trade” system similar to U.S. emissions trading programs to control smog and acid rain.

According to the New York Times (November 10, 2000), “Any such expansion of pollution rules would probably require action by Congress, where there is significant opposition to the idea. But the administration contends that without this kind of step, a global treaty to reduce the risks of global warming will probably fail.” Currently there are no federal laws that would allow regulation of CO2 emissions.

Clintons announcement was timed to co-incide with release of the final version of the National Assessment on Climate Change, which otherwise attracted little media notice. The National Assessment has been mired in controversy and is currently the target of a lawsuit filed by the Competitive Enterprise Institute, Consumer Alert, 60 Plus Association, Heartland Institute, Rep. Joe Knollenberg, Rep. Jo Ann Emerson, and Sen. James Inhofe.

The Real Greenhouse Effect

The George C. Marshall Institute has just released a published manuscript of a speech given on May 17 by Dr. Richard Lindzen, the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology at M.I.T. The speech, Climate Forecasting: When Models are Qualitatively Wrong, argues that climate models are wanting compared to real world data.

Dr. Lindzen begins by discussing the “real greenhouse effect.” According to him, the explanation as presented to the public of what constitutes the greenhouse effect is misleading. The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change explains, for instance, that sunlight passes through the atmosphere to illuminate the earths surface. Some sunlight is reflected, but much is absorbed. Greenhouse gases, primarily clouds and water vapor, act like a blanket that prevents heat escaping from the earth, and the earth gets warmer.

In reality, said Lindzen, “Infrared gases, not the surface, are what send the radiation back to space. Indeed, space cannot see the surface, by and large, except at the poles. Instead, space sees some level about five kilometers up, in the troposphere.” This level is known as the “characteristic emission level” (CEL). A doubling of CO2 would cause the CEL to move out about 150 meters, says Lindzen. “But because the temperature of the air decreases with height, this new level is colder. And because it is colder, it emits less radiation to space. That creates an imbalance, and the greenhouse effect requires that balance be reestablished. Essentially, to make up for raising the CEL 150 meters, the temperature has to increase about 1 degree C at the CEL.”

“How this impacts earths surface is not at all clear,” said Lindzen. Events at five kilometers are connected to events at the surface by processes such as motions of the air so it is thought that the surface will follow suit. “That gives you a 1 degree C increase at the surfacemaybe.”

So where do the estimates of warming from 1.5 to 4.5 degrees C come from? Through feedbacks that amplify the initial warming caused by increases in greenhouse gases. A positive feedback is one that amplifies warming and a negative feedback is one that dampens it. The models show that as temperature warms the air holds more water vapor, the principal greenhouse gas. This is a positive feedback that amplifies warming.

The problem with the models is their use of average cloud cover or average humidity. “We know that thinking in terms of averages is not appropriate. Rather, observations show very dry air in some regions, very moist air in others, and very sharp boundaries between them,” said Lindzen.

Looking at how these moist and dry regions react to changes in atmospheric CO2 is the key to understanding global warming, according to Lindzen. He has found “that the area of cloudy regions went down 15 percent for every 1 degree C increase in temperature,” a negative feedback.

Lindzen concludes, “If you calculate the impact of this negative feedback on the globe as a whole, the impact is larger by a factor of four than the total positive feedbacks in the most sensitive current models. What this means is that even if there were a factor-of-five uncertainty in what weve seen which is a large uncertainty the models that predict that doubling carbon dioxide would increase temperature 1.5 degrees to 4 degrees C, would now predict an increase of 0.6 degrees to 1.5 degrees C.”

CO2 and Biodiversity

An editorial by the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change argues that the rising concentration of atmospheric CO2 increases biodiversity. The article cites two studies, one in Nature (406) and the other in the Annual Review of Ecology and Sytemics (30). The Nature study found that, “At continental scales, the diversity of plants and animals usually increases monotonically with productivity.” The ARES article found that, “At larger spatial scales it has been observed that diversity tends to increase linearly with productivity.”

This means that biodiversity increases at the same rate as plant productivity. It has been shown repeatedly in scientific studies that higher levels of atmospheric CO2 enhance plant productivity. According to the article, “Pulling these two observations together, we conclude that one of the best things we could possibly do to preserve the biodiversity or species richness of the planet is let the carbon dioxide content of the air continue to rise, rejecting all overt attempts to curtail anthropogenic CO2 emission via Kyoto-style interventions.” See


  • The George C. Marshall Institute has published a study, Climate Models and the National Assessment, by Dr. David Legates, Associate Professor of Climatology in the Center for Climatic Research, University of Delaware. Legates criticizes the National Assessments misuse of Global Climate Models to predict regional impacts of global warming. To get a copy of the study, contact Jeff Salmon or Mark Herlong at (202) 296-9655. A press release may be found at
  • The Center for the Study of American Business at Washington University in St. Louis has published a monograph, Applying the Precautionary Principle to Global Warming, by Indur M. Goklany. Goklany argues that “the so-called precautionary principle often invoked to justify a greenhouse gas control policy must consider not only risks that such a policy might reduce but also risks that it might generate.” For more information, contact Robert Batterson at (314) 935-5676. The CSAB web sites address is

EIA Predicts Higher Energy Use

The U. S. Department of Energys Energy Information Administration predicts much faster growth in U. S. energy use and carbon dioxide emissions for the next two decades in its annual energy outlook compared to last years predictions. EIA has raised its electricity demand forecast significantly. The agency now forecasts an annual growth rate in electricity demand of 1.8 per cent between now and 2020. Last year, EIA predicted an annual growth rate of 1.3 per cent.

In other forecasts, EIA expects petroleum prices to begin falling in 2001 and natural gas prices to decline within two years. Over the long term, according to a November 29 article in Congressional Green Sheets Newsroom, EIA predicts that oil and gas prices will be held down by technological advances in exploration and development, even though demand will continue to increase.

Taxing Babies to Save the Planet

Brian C. ONeill of Brown Universitys Watson Institute for International Studies and Lee Wexler of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis calculate the negative value of a newborn child in terms of “increased CO2 abatement costs necessitated by an additional birth” in a recent “scholarly” article. It appears in the November issue of the journal Climatic Change.

These costs include, “the economic activity of the additional child and its descendants will produce greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, the amount of climate change, and the climate-related damages to society,” according to the authors. Their calculations put these costs at $4,400 per birth in the developing countries and $28,800 per birth in the developed countries over the period 1995-2100.

The authors worry about these “costs or benefits associated with the birth of a child that fall on society but are not considered in the parents fertility decisions.” To help parents take these costs into consideration, ONeill and Wexler propose government action. They claim that, “Externalities cause inefficiencies in the economy, and their existence is often viewed as grounds for intervention in order to improve total social welfare.” So, “In principle efficiency would be served by imposing a tax on births equal to the net value of the externality.”

They also claim that, “The existence of a greenhouse externality strengthens the case for population policies that lower fertility,” and that, “A hypothetical social planner acting in the interests of all parents could increase social welfare by dictating a fertility rate different from the rate parents would choose on their own.”

Global Warming, Global Bankruptcy

Andrew Dlugolecki, director of CGNU, one of the worlds six biggest insurance groups, and an advisor to the United Nations Environment Programme, has come up with one of the more hilarious recent global warming scare stories.

According to Dlugolecki, global warming will bankrupt the world by 2065, due to the damages caused by global warming induced natural disasters. “Climate change will have an effect, our studies show us, in new areas and new intensities, and we know in insurance that new intensities can produce accelerating damage at an exponential rate,” he said.

Dlugolecki claims that property damage due to natural disasters is rising by 10 percent per year, but admits that, “Most of that is not yet due to climate change.” Indeed many studies have shown that this increase is entirely due to greater economic development in vulnerable areas.

Nonetheless and astonishingly, Dlugolecki calculates that, “At the current rate of growth of damage of 10 percent a year, we will actually exceed the worlds GDP growth of 3 percent a year by the year 2065.”

So if this increase isnt due to global warming why does Dlugolecki invoke it? Because global warming seems to be the most captivating political argument for subsidies at present. “Were beginning to run out of money in the insurance industry,” whines Dlugolecki.

U. S. Surrender is Not Enough to Save COP-6 from Collapsing

The UNFCCCs Sixth Conference of the Parties ended in disarray on November 25 in the Hague with no agreement on the Kyoto Protocols major unresolved issues. Until the last few days of the negotiations, the United States and the European Union were deadlocked over the use of carbon sinks to meet emissions targets.

Then, President Bill Clinton and United Kingdom Prime Minister Tony Blair initiated a process that was expected to lead to a deal. U. S. Under Secretary of State Frank Loy dutifully gave up the American position on sinks.

But to the surprise of delegates who stayed an extra day in order to share in the successful outcome, it all came apart at the last minute. When U. K. Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott took news of Americas near-total capitulation to European demands to his fellow ministers in the European Union, they immediately rejected the terms of surrender. The conference then dissolved into expressions of outrage and blame-gaming.

Trans-channel name-calling continued this week in Britain and France. According to a Reuters story (November 28), Prescott blamed French Environment Minister and head of the French Green Party Dominique Voynet for the debacle and said that she was too tired to understand the complex issues.

Voynet responded by telling French radio that Prescotts behavior was “mediocre and shabby.He does no service either to his image or mine, nor does he do any service to the cause of the European Union.”

Blair and French President Jacques Chirac immediately lined up behind their own ministers. And with gusto and glee the tabloid press in London and Paris turned the brouhaha into a rousing Franco-British food fight.

A New York Times story (November 26) opined that, “Many environmental groups argued that the United States had underestimated the strength of the European Green movement and its determination to reduce the use of fossil fuels drastically.” Jennifer Morgan, climate campaign director for the World Wildlife Fund, was quoted as explaining that, “The United States pushed too hard and too far. They didnt leave the time or trust to get a deal in the end.”

However, Christopher Horner, counsel for the Cooler Heads Coalition and an NGO participant at COP-6, had a different explanation. According to Horner, “The U.S. did everything it could to capitulate to European demands, to the point of embarrassment. The U. S. pre-emptively capitulated on the use of nuclear and hydro-electric power and then agreed to reduce the use of sinks by at least three-quarters from its initial proposal.” One senior congressional official noted that the early concessions by the U.S. and subsequent rejection by the EU left the U.S. “negotiating with ourselves.”

The drawn-out fight over carbon sinks meant that no progress toward agreement was made on the other major contentious issues. These include emissions trading, compliance and enforcement, and all the payoff schemes to developing countries.

Failure to wrap up the Kyoto Protocols loose ends, as was promised last year at COP-5 in Bonn, has forced the UNFCCCs Secretariat to turn the next meeting of the subsidiary bodies, scheduled for next May and June in Bonn, into “COP-6, Part II,” or “COP-6.5.” It was agreed to hold COP-7 in Marrakesh, Morocco in November 2001.

Chirac Reveals Grander Agenda

French President Jacques Chirac used the current French presidency of the European Commission to deliver a major address to the delegates at COP-6 in the Hague on November 20. Besides scolding the United States for its stonewalling planetary salvation, he revealed a far grander ambition for the Kyoto Protocol than merely reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

“For the first time, humanity is instituting a genuine instrument of global governance, one that should find a place within the World Environmental Organization which France and the European Union would like to see established,” said Chirac.

Such rhetoric exposes a darker agenda behind the professed agenda of many of the Kyoto Protocols proponents. “It has been clear to us for some time, emphasized by the outright ignoring of recent scientific developments that betray its underlying theory: Kyoto was not aimed at addressing any real environmental threat,” said David Rothbard of the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow. “At least Chirac was honest about it.”

James Glassman, resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and head of Tech Central Station, wrote in the Wall Street Journal (November 28, 2000), that when he arrived at the Hague conference he “discovered quickly that the real objective of the Europeans was not to reduce greenhouse gas emissions world-wide but to inflict economic pain on Americans, curry favor with greenish constituents and emerge with a halo.”

Is the U.S. Senate Softening?

There appears to be a softening of opposition in the U.S. Senate to policies to control energy emissions. According to the Christian Science Monitor (November 27, 2000), “Senator Larry Craig (R) of Idaho long a global warming skeptic noted here that his views were shifting toward accepting the fact of human-induced climate change due to what he sees as increasingly compelling scientific evidence.” Another Senate skeptic not mentioned in the article is Chuck Hagel (R-Nebraska), who said at the Hague that he believes that the science is coalescing.

Several opponents of the Kyoto Protocol were defeated in the November 7 elections as well, including Senators John Ashcroft, Rod Grams, Spence Abraham, and Slade Gorton. In addition, several new Senators are expected to be fervent hard-left supporters of the Protocol, including Jon Corzine (D-New Jersey), Hillary Clinton (D-New York), and Mark Dayton (D-Minnesota).

Norway Prefers More Electricity

Earlier this year, we reported that the Norwegian government became the first government in the world to fall over its support of the Kyoto Protocol. Now, the new Norwegian government has approved the construction of a natural gas-fired power plant and has cleared the way for development of two additional plants. These plants are needed to meet growing consumer demand since environmentalists have blocked further hydro-electric projects.

Environmental activists naturally were livid. “With this decision Norway, together with the United States, will become the country in the world which is furthest away from reaching it international goals,” said Lars Haltbrekken, a member of an environmental lobby group.

Reiter Responds to Epstein

In the August issue of Scientific American, Paul Epstein claimed that global warming was to blame for several diseases ranging from malaria to West Nile virus to hantavirus. Paul Reiter, Chief of the Entomology Section of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Dengue Branch, has replied in a letter in the December issue. According to Reiter, malaria was rampant in England during the Little Ice Age when temperatures were much cooler. “Climate is not the dominant factor in malarias prevalence or its distribution,” said Reiter.

Reiters opinion of Epstein as a scientist is low. “Nearly all of Paul R. Epsteins inferences in “Is Global Warming Harmful to Health?” about the causes of the recent spread of Aedes aegypti and dengue, the increasing prevalence of malaria at altitude, future dramatic increases in the disease throughout the world, the risk of yellow fever in the Andes, the outbreak of West Nile virus in New York, and so on are based on intuition, not science. Serious public health problems cry out to be addressed seriously. Epsteins reveries amount to a comedy of errors.”

Epstein responded that the mainstream scientists (whoever they are) agree with him and then proceeded to repeat his litany of horrors, without addressing Reiters objections.

British Floods Bring More Hysteria

In a desperate attempt to further intimidate the British populace into tolerating higher energy prices, Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott has claimed that recent heavy rainfall and flooding in Britain is “a wake-up call” on global warming” (Sunday Telegraph, November 26, 2000). Most of the quality and tabloid London papers were full of quotes from assorted environmentalists essentially announcing that apocalypse was nigh unless Britons repented from their carbon dioxide-emitting ways. Leading climate experts in Britain called the claims scientific nonsense. According to the Sunday Telegraph, “Climate experts will reveal this week that the most likely cause is the so-called North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), a pattern of atmospheric pressure which forms over the ocean.” The NAO alternates between positive and negative phases. During its positive phase Britain experiences mild, wet and stormy winters. A positive phase causes cold, dry and calm winters. Dr. David Stephenson, head of the Climate Analysis Group at the University of Reading, who organized the conference being held in Orense, Spain, “The NAO was positive in October, but not by an unprecedented amount. The October storms were not extreme in terms of intensity or rainfall amounts, but caused floods due to their accumulated effects.”Dr. Andy Baker of the University of Newcastle studied stalagmite growth to show that Britains bad weather is not abnormal and shows no sign of worsening. “We have shown that nature is able to repeat current events without the help of global warming.”

Canadian Weather is Dull to Normal

Environment Canada has been beating the global warming drum for some time, blaming several recent natural disasters on global warming. “In fact,” says Environment Canada, “the 1980s and 90s have been the warmest decades since people began keeping records. This warming trend will cause changes in other elements of the Earths climate system, in turn influencing our weather patterns.”The National Post decided to test these claims against the evidence by asking, “How bad is it, really?” In 1998, ice storms in Canada were cited as evidence of global warming. But, noted the Post, “An ice storm in 1942 resulted in ice as thick as a persons wrist on telephone wires, trees and railway tracks.”In 1999 heavy snowfall plagued Toronto, but in 1944 48 cm of snow fell on Toronto in a single day. “On July 14, 2000, said the Post, Canadians were shocked when a deadly tornado ripped through Pine Lake, Alberta.” But far deadlier tornadoes occurred in 1912 in Regina, 1922 in Manitoba, 1946 and 1974 in Windsor, 1985 in Barrie and 1987 in Edmonton.Canadas longest heat wave occurred in 1936, lasting 12 days and killing 1,180 lives in Manitoba and Ontario. The hottest day ever recorded in Canada was in 1937. Canadas driest year occurred in 1961. The second driest occurred in 1936. The 1997 Red River flood, which caused $500-million in damage, was blamed directly on global warming. But in 1950 a flood on the Red River also caused $500-million in damage, in 1950 dollars.


  • The Cooler Heads Coalition will hold a congressional and media briefing Wednesday, December 6, on “The COP-6 Collapse: What Happened, What Does It Mean, and Where Do We Go From Here?” The roundtable briefing will be held from Noon till 1:30 PM in Room 210B, Cannon House Office Building. For further information, please contact Myron Ebell at (202) 331-1010.

  • The Heritage Foundation has published a background paper, “Road to the Hague: a Desperate Effort to Salvage a Flawed Climate Treaty.” The author is Angela Antonelli, Heritages director of economy policy studies. The 12-page paper may be found at

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