Cooler Heads Digest

by William Yeatman on January 10, 2008

in Cooler Heads Digest

News Highlights


John Tierney, New York Times, 10 January 2008
Steve Hargreaves, CNNmoney, 9 January 2008
Louise Story, New York Times, 9 January 2008
Ronald Bailey, Reason Online, 8 January 2008
Assembly News Release, 7 January 2008
Mark Beunderman,, 7 January 2008
Jeff Jacoby, Boston Globe, 7 January 2008
Harriet Johnson, Heartland Institute, 3 January 2008
Steve Milloy,, 3 January 2008
News You Can Use
Alarmism Sells Papers
According to the blog Reference Frame, 17 major mainstream media outlets, including the New York Times, USA Today, BBC, and MSNBC, reported, in early 2007, that 2007 would be the warmest on record. In fact, 2007 was the coldest year of our young century.
Inside the Beltway
CEI’s Myron Ebell
The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced on Monday that it would not meet a January 9th court-ordered deadline to decide whether to list the polar bear as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. But a decision could be made in the next month or two.
The biggest booster within the Bush Administration to list the polar bear is Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne, with strong support from Interior's number two, Lynn Scarlett. The obstacle is that bear populations are not threatened and in fact have increased dramatically since 1950, partly or even largely as a result of less hunting.
The basis for listing the bear comes from computer models that predict that global warming will cause widespread melting of the Arctic sea ice in the summer. Polar bears are strong swimmers, but need some sea ice in order to get to their major food source, seals. The general circulation models used were not designed to have predictive capacity and in fact do not have predictive capacity. However, under the peculiar rules of the Endangered Species Act, these models may have to be deferred to as the best scientific evidence available.
If Secretary Kempthorne gets his way, the polar bear listing will become a powerful tool to stop hydrocabon energy use. Every proposal to build something that would increase greenhouse gas emissions that comes before a local zoning or planning commission could be challenged on the grounds that greenhouse gas emissions increase global warming, which in turn threatens the survival of polar bears. If the planning or zoning body went ahead and approved the permit, then it would likely be challenged in federal court.
Past experience suggests that the Endangered Species Act has such unlimited regulatory reach that most federal judges would decide that it requires them to rule against almost any alleged threat to a protected species.
This is clearly a train wreck in the making, and it can only be hoped that responsible adults in the administration decide to rely on the real science and therefore to squash Kempthorne's effort.
Across the States
According to the Washington Times, Maryland state lawmakers have indicated that a proposal to cap carbon emissions stands to become the most ambitious bill of the General Assembly session.
The carbon bill would call for greenhouse gas emissions reductions of 25 percent by 2020 and 90 percent by 2050, and was written by a task force appointed by Gov. Martin O'Malley. Maryland’s proposed emissions reduction target, if enacted, would be the nation's strongest carbon-reduction plan (currently, California has the most stringent plan, which calls for 80% reductions by 2050.)
Paul Chesser’s investigative journalism has shown that Maryland’s record-breaking target was created by a task force of laypeople (not scientists) funded by environmental extremists. To read more, click here.
Around the World
CEI’s Marlo Lewis
The European Commission, the Executive Branch of the European Union responsible for proposing legislation, is “considering proposing a carbon dioxide tariff on imports from states failing to tackle greenhouse gas emissions,” reports Mark Beunderman of Euobserver.
Under the draft proposal, the tariff would force EU firms to buy additional emission permits if they import products made in countries lacking mandatory carbon-reduction policies.
That politicians in Kyoto-constrained countries want to tax goods made in non-Kyoto-constrained countries, comes as no surprise. Most of the emissions growth during the 21st century is projected to come from developing countries. The Kyoto Protocol’s ultimate objective—the stabilization of atmospheric CO2 levels—is not even remotely attainable unless China, India, and other developing nations also adopt carbon controls (see p. 7 of this report).
Up to now, developing countries have refused to restrict their use of fossil energy, because they fear poverty more than global warming. So sooner or later, the EU must impose trade penalties on developing nations that refuse to cap their emissions, or Kyoto will collapse. Without such trade penalties, energy-intensive production will migrate from the EU to less regulated economies like China and the United States. Europe will lose production, exports, and jobs, yet emissions will be redistributed globally rather than reduced.
Only one thing seems certain—if the EU slaps carbon tariffs on Chinese goods, China will challenge the legality of the tariffs before the World Trade Organization.
Consumer Corner
CEI’s Julie Walsh
From the January 1st issue of Vegetarian Times:
“Benevolent Balms”
You'll do more than pay lip service to saving the planet with your purchase of Lip Action. One dollar of each $3.49 sale of Kiss My Face's Lip Action line of lip balms supports the Alliance for Climate Protection , founded by Nobel Peace Prize-winner Al Gore. With eco-aware names like Berry Warm and Glacial Mint, the SPF 15 balms shield against the blast of UV rays while aloe and cocoa butter help smooth and soothe.
It looks like the $210 million-dollar-funded agenda is hard up for cash!

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: