August 2008

If only drivers could avoid high gasoline prices as easily as Congress has avoided doing anything about them.

Barack Obama has made his economic thinking excruciatingly clear, so it also is clear that his running mate should have been not Joe Biden, but Rumpelstiltskin. He spun straw into gold, a skill an Obama administration will need in order to fulfill its fairy-tale promises.

Paul Chesser, Climate Strategies Watch

Through my scavenging of the Web I came across a homemade video (in somebody's kitchen?) of an interview with Tom Peterson (pictured), executive (self-employed) director of the Center for Climate Strategies. In the discussion he confirms much of what has already been reported about CCS and has a few new revelations:

How CCS was started (:29): "…by working with governors primarily and other state leaders who wanted to step up to the plate and find ways to begin reducing the greenhouse gas emissions, to tackle the problem from the bottom-up…"

As we've reported, CCS's strategy is to approach governors (and the process is usually that CCS lobbies them, not that governors go seeking them out, as documents have shown) with the premise that the "Bush Administration/Federal Government/EPA is not doing enough to address global warming so it's up to the states (the "laboratories for democracy," or in this case, the laboratories for economic destruction experimentation) to address this vital work,"…blah, blah, blah…. Because CCS pockets are loaded with Rockefeller Brothers Fund money, states don't have to pay much for these climate study commission scams that Peterson wants governors to set up in their states. So the governor thinks, "hey, no brainer — I pay nothing and I look like I'm doing something about global warming! Let's do it!" Further testimony to this truth is shown by the fact that even respected and supposedly conservative GOP Governors (and potential McCain running mates) Sanford (S.C.), Crist (Fla.), Pawlenty (Minn.), and Palin (Alaska) have bought into the idea.

CCS's goals (:42): …"so we've been supporting them in the formulation of comprehensive climate action plans and all the policies that are involved in reducing emissions from all the different economic sectors in the economy (from the chairman of the Department of Redundancy Department:"Did I mention that we want to take over the economy?"), and ultimately lead to national policy and we hope even international agreements…."

See? I told you so.

Do you think we'll have a national framework for climate change? (2:50): "…the Supreme Court made it fairly clear in saying emphatically that the answer is 'yes, in fact we already have that framework.' It's called the Clean Air Act. Greenhouse gases are in fact pollutants that need to be covered by the Clean Air Act, so it will be the responsibility of the next president and the next administration, if this president decides not to take up the task, to actually add greenhouse gas controls to the Clean Air Act…Certainly the Clean Air Act is a template that is here. By law, it is a template that must be used…."

Of course this is enviro-crapola. Peterson has proven himself to be a non-credible source who is all too happy to quash discussion of climate science, hide CCS's funding sources and agenda, exaggerate his credentials, and ignore economic impacts of CCS's proposals.


Paul Chesser, Climate Strategies Watch

Earlier this week Climate Strategies Watch showed, mostly with documents it posted from tax returns, how the Center for Climate Strategies has its origins in global warming alarmism advocacy (despite their claims to the contrary). Today we will look at the contractors they have running the many state climate commissions where CCS has set up shop.

Instead of hiring their own people, CCS uses staff from the Pennsylvania Environmental Council to handle administrative work and contracts out for their technical and facilitation service work for states. You can view their top five highest paid contractors in both FY2006 (PDF) and FY2007 (PDF) (these tax returns are for Enterprising Environmental Solutions, Inc., where CCS is housed).

So, who are these people? Well, it's best to start with the person identified as CCS's executive director, Thomas D. (Tom) Peterson, who received nearly $180,000 in each of the last two years from EESI/CCS. Peterson is at the forefront of this state-level effort despite not being a formal employee for CCS, as he owns all the domain names for current and potentially future climate commission Web sites. More on him in a future post.

E.H. Pechan & Associates

Consultants E.H. Pechan received $195,819 in FY2006 and $287,682 in FY2007. Pechan provides "climate change services" including emissions inventories for governments and businesses."For our clients," the company's Web site explains, "Pechan develops emission inventories (e.g., developing baselines), verifies inventory and reduction projects, develops data management systems, and assists with GHG mitigation plans." Pechan's client list reads like a "Who's-Who" of environmental alarmist groups: Environmental Defense, Natural Resources Defense Council, The Climate Trust, the Energy Foundation, and the Pacific Forest Trust.

You could say climate change is big business for E.H. Pechan, and several of the CCS-controlled state climate commissions can be included on that list of clients. Names of Pechan-employed consultants as state climate commission consultants include Steve Roe, Randy Strait, and Holly Lindquist.

Symbiotic Strategies

Symbiotic Strategies is Kenneth Colburn, an alarmist (see video) who received $104,230 from EESI/CCS in FY2006. He continues to work as a leader on behalf of CCS with state climate commissions, but apparently in FY2007 his level of compensation did not rise to the level of their top-five paid outside contractors.

Karl Hausker & Others

Karl Hausker, once a deputy director for CCS who was paid $91,900 in FY2006, is also an adjunct fellow with the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies, where some of his work focused on problems with global climate change. According to his bio, he led the EPA's programs on climate change and on trade and the environment between 1993 and 1995.

Dr. David Von Hippel, who assisted the North Carolina climate commission's Residential, Commercial and Industrial sub-study group, is also a senior associate with the Nautilus Institute, a public policy organization in San Francisco. The organization takes a clear posture on the dangerous repercussions from greenhouse gases: "Our planet now faces a looming climate catastrophe caused by human action," according to a 2003 Nautilus briefing paper titled, "Our Burning Path: Action or Denial on Global Warming?"

Von Hippel himself adopted a similar stance in a report for Nautilus. "Scientific consensus is that increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, prominently including carbon dioxide and methane emitted by fossil fuels combustion, will cause global climate to change in the next several decades, if such changes have not already occurred," he wrote. "The impacts of climate change will vary widely across the globe, but those countries with the largest, least affluent populations per unit land area will likely be among the most vulnerable."

Von Hippel is associated with other similarly focused organizations, including the Stockholm Environment Institute, where he is also identified as a senior associate. At least two other CCS subcontractors who have worked on state climate commissions are affiliated with the Stockholm Institute as well: advisors Bill Dougherty, Michael Lazarus, and Sivan Kartha.

Stockholm Environment Institute received $331,032 from CCS as an outside consultant in FY2007 (PDF).

William Schroeer is a CCS consultant employed by ICF International in Fairfax, Va. The company works with government and commercial enterprises in six fields: energy, environment, transportation, social programs, defense, and homeland security. Schoeer leads ICF's "smart growth" consulting work.

Terry Tamminen (pictured with a friend) was paid $225,000 by CCS in FY2007 as an outside consultant. He has served in California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenneggar's administration as an environmental adviser. He is the author of "Lives Per Gallon: The True Cost of Our Oil Addiction," explained in his bio as "a timely examination of our dependence on oil and a strategy to evolve to more sustainable energy sources."

Even as gasoline prices fall, John McCain and Barack Obama are hammering on energy issues. Here's how the two candidates compare:

Voters are crying out for more solar and wind energy — but that doesn't mean they are opposed to drilling for more oil at the same time, according to a Wall Street Journal-NBC News poll.

Green with Hypocrisy

by William Yeatman on August 21, 2008

Less than a week before the Democratic National Convention, the convention committee has overspent and underplanned, though they deny both. As of mid-August, with less than two weeks before Democrats convene in Denver to nominate Senator Barack Obama, the construction of the stage at Invesco field had not been completed and many predict labor will continue down to the wire.

The first half of 2008 was the coolest for at least five years, the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) said on Wednesday.

Mayor Takes Expanded Windmill Proposal to the People