Cooler Heads Digest

by William Yeatman on August 8, 2008

In the News

No Will to Drill
Charles Krauthammer, Washington Post, 8 August 2008

Republican Energy Fumble
Kimberley A. Strassel, Wall Street Journal, 8 August 2008

Global Warming Did It! Well, Maybe Not
Joel Achenbach, Washington Post, 3 August 2008

Al Gore Places Infant Son in Rocket to Escape Dying Planet
The Onion, 30 July 2008

Gore Hits the Waves with a Massive New Houseboat
Steve Gill, Pajamas Media, 6 August 2008

Dialogue with Lord Lawson and the Rt. Hon. Oliver Letwin, M. P., on Global Warming and UK Policies
Daniel Johnson, Standpoint Magazine, July 2008

Poland Seeks Allies to Block New EU Emissions Caps
Thomson Financial News, 6 August 2008

British Emissions Increasing?
Roger Harrabin, BBC News, 2 August 2008

Protesters Try to Stop New Coal Power Plant in England
Golnar Motevalli, Reuters, 6 August 2008

Monbiot: Fate of the World Hinges on Stopping New Coal Plant
George Monbiot, The Guardian, 5 August 2008

Inside the Beltway
CEI's Myron Ebell

EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson has denied the request from Texas Governor Rick Perry (R) to suspend the ethanol mandate. From Texas Governor Rick Perry ® to suspend the ethanol mandate. Johnson decided that the economic harm being done was not severe enough to waive the 2008 mandate of 9 billion gallons or the 2009 mandate of 11.1 billion gallons, as the law allows.

Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) has introduced a bill, H. R. 6666, that would prohibit EPA from regulating carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act.

The U. S. Climate Change Science Program last month released the first draft of the second National Assessment of Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States and invited expert comments by August 14th. The draft and how to file comments may be found here.

A bit of background: the first National Assessment was released in 2000 by the Clinton-Gore Administration. It was a classic piece of junk science. CEI, led by my colleague Chris Horner, filed suit on procedural grounds. That suit was settled by the Bush Administration in 2001 with a statement that explained that the National Assessment did not represent government policy. The Bush Administration settled a second suit filed by Chris when it admitted that the National Assessment had not been subjected to Federal Information Quality Act guidelines (that is, they admitted that it was junk science).

Apparently, the Bush Administration has forgotten what happened to the first National Assessment. Many of the same people who produced the first Assessment have been in charge of producing the second Assessment. What they have produced is an even bigger piece of junk science than the first. It’s full of undocumented or poorly documented claims. For example: tipping points are becoming more likely (page 5); many climate changes are occurring even faster than expected just a few years ago (page 6); extreme weather events are already having increasing impacts (page 6); past climate history is no longer an adequate guide to future climate change (page 7).

Once you get past these general claims to the details, it gets much worse. William Kovacs of the U. S. Chamber of Commerce has already written a letter to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration asking that the draft Assessment be withdrawn because it does not meet the standards required by the Federal Information Quality Act guidelines.

International News

Australia’s Labor Party government, led by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, is finding that it isn’t easy to enact cap-and-trade legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Paul Howes, head of one of the Labor Party’s biggest supporters, the Australian Workers Union, has endorsed a key element in competing proposals of the Liberal Party, which is the main opposition party. The Liberals, with help from the smaller, more conservative opposition National Party and from dissidents in the Labor Party, could probably defeat any Labor emissions reduction legislation, but the Liberals themselves appear to be hopelessly divided and confused on the issue. Liberal leader Brendan Nelson has moved from one position to another and then back again. As the debate continues, the heavy costs of emissions reductions in an economy based on cheap brown coal are becoming more and more apparent.

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