Cooler Heads Digest

by William Yeatman on November 7, 2008

in Cooler Heads Digest

Michael Crichton, RIP

The Cooler Heads Coalition notes with sadness the death of Michael Crichton. May he rest in peace.

Mr. Crichton was a well-informed, energetic, and eloquent critic of global warming alarmism. We recommend reading his speech at Cal Tech, “Aliens Cause Global Warming,” as well as his best-selling thriller, State of Fear.


CEI’s Chris Horner, author of the New York Times bestselling Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming (and Environmentalism), has a new book out, Red Hot Lies, an exposé of the hypocrisy, deceit, and outright lies of the global warming alarmists and the compliant media that support them. Shocking, frank, and illuminating, Chris Horner's Red Hot Lies explodes as many myths as Al Gore promotes. To buy a copy, click here.

The Cooler Heads Coalition invites you to a Congressional Staff and Media Briefing on “The European Union’s Climate Policies: The Effects of the Global Financial Crisis and other Realities,” with Dr. Gabriel Calzada of King Juan Carlos University and Instituto Juan de Mariana, Madrid. The briefing will be on Friday, November 14th from noon to 1:30 PM at 1334 Longworth House Office Building. Lunch is provided. Please RSVP by e-mail to Please call William Yeatman at (202) 331-2270 for further information.

In the News

Financial Meltdown Threatens Obama’s Climate Plans
David Fogarty, Reuters, 6 November 2008

Europe in Full Retreat on Climate Plan
UPI, 6 November 2008

Green Jobs, or Gone Jobs?

David Kreutzer, Heritage Foundation Web Memo, 5 November 2008

Climate Change Law Is No Cash Cow
William Yeatman, Orange County Register, 5 November 2008

Coal in Your Stocking

Max Schulz, NRO, 4 November 2008

Are Evangelicals on the Global Warming Bandwagon?
Dr. Calvin Beisner, CrossWalk, 3 November 2008

Predictions of Sea Level Rise Are Way Off

William Yeatman, News Journal, 2 November 2008

News You Can Use

Carbon Collapse

The price of carbon allowances in the European Union’s European Trading Scheme has fallen more than 40% since July, thereby destroying the argument that a cap-and-trade program provides “a measure of certainty to the energy industry in estimating the future price of carbon for the purpose of planning investments in new power generators.”

Inside the Beltway
Election Post-Mortem
CEI's Myron Ebell

For opponents of further energy-rationing policies, the good news is that Senator John McCain (R-Az.) lost the presidential election. The bad news is that Senator Barack Obama (D-Ill.) won. There are two views of what Senator Obama will do as President.  Some guess that he will cautiously pursue a modest agenda of progressive social and economic change. Others guess that he will rapidly pursue a radical agenda.  In short, will he follow the path of Tony Blair or of Juan Peron or some weird combination?

President-elect Obama’s record is so brief and so thin that a plausible case can be made for either guess. We will start to find out soon enough when he appoints his cabinet. The day after the election someone in the Obama campaign leaked word that Robert F. Kennedy, jnr., was likely to be named Secretary of a new Department of Environmental Protection. Appointing Kennedy would be a sure sign that at least on climate and environmental issues Obama’s agenda will be radical. And inept: suffice it to say that Kennedy is not the brightest compact fluorescent bulb in the chandelier. As my colleague Marlo Lewis detailed in a post on National Review Online in July 2007, Kennedy’s main talent is slandering anyone who disagrees with him. But the next day, another leak came out of the Obama team that it was early days and there were a number of other less lunatic candidates for the top environmental job.

In the House and Senate elections, it appears that the Democrats have picked up six and possibly seven Senate seats and around twenty House seats. That translates into a net gain of two votes in favor of cap-and-trade legislation (although not necessarily of the same bill).  Six more Democrats means only two more votes for cap-and-trade because four Republicans who supported cap-and-trade were defeated. The Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act received 48 votes to invoke cloture in June, which was twelve votes short of the necessary 60.  McCain and Obama didn’t vote, so that adds two more. Thus the sponsors of cap-and-trade in the Senate will start the new Congress with at least 54 votes. 

I haven’t had a chance to look at the election returns in the House yet, and there are still several races to be decided. However, the day after the election brought big news from the House. Representative Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) announced that he would challenge Representative John Dingell (D-Mich.) for the Chairmanship of the Energy and Commerce Committee.  Dingell has been in the House since 1955. In the 1980s and early ’90s, he was the most powerful member and his committee was the most powerful in Congress. 

Whether Waxman will overthrow Dingell is unclear.  Last year I would have bet on Dingell. The new younger members of the Democratic Caucus elected in 2006 were mostly moderates and in line with Dingell’s cautious big government agenda. The Democrats elected to the House this year may not be so moderate. Clearly, Waxman has Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) support. Pelosi and Dingell do not conceal their contempt for each other.

If Waxman becomes Chairman of Energy and Commerce, there is no doubt that he will try to move the most radical energy-rationing legislation as quickly as possible. This might (or might not) wake up some big companies that have taken comfort in the Dingell-Boucher draft cap-and-trade bill. Dingell-Boucher puts the noose around their necks (and around consumers’ necks), but doesn’t tighten it for some years. Waxman wants to yank the rope as soon as the noose is in place. 

I have written up my initial reactions to what the election returns might mean for global warming and energy-rationing issues in two more detailed articles posted here on 

The IPCC’s Different Time Scales
CEI's Julie Walsh

Richard Courtney provides an excellent refutation of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s breathless claim—“Current warming sharpest climate change in 5,000 years.”

“A key – and blatantly misleading – statement in the Summary for Policymakers (SPM) of AR4 says; “The linear warming trend over the last 50 years is nearly twice that for the last 100 years”. But this statement was not in the drafts provided for peer review. It was inserted into the final draft of the report and that final draft was only submitted to government representatives for comment…(Also, the IPCC’s non-peer reviewed) published graph (Page 104 on this link) shows the slope over the last 25 years is significantly greater than that of the last 50 years, which in turn is greater than the slope over 100 years. This is said to show that global warming is accelerating….Thus, policymakers who only look at the numbers (and don’t think about the different timescales) will be misled into thinking that global warming is accelerating. Of course, the IPCC could have started near the left hand end of the graph and thus obtained the opposite conclusion!  In case this is not obvious, I provide the following graph that does it together with an explanation of the presentation of the data.” (Parentheses added)

Ha! So using the IPCC’s misleading shifting of time scales, one could also say that the linear warming trend over the first 50 years of the twentieth century is nearly twice that for the whole century, too!

Across the States

Two energy initiatives failed in California on Tuesday. Proposition 7 would have required California to get 50% of its electricity from renewable energy sources by 2025. In fact, California already has a requirement to produce 20% of its electricity from renewables by 2010, but the California Energy Commission says that the Golden State will fall well short of that goal. Proposition 10 would have required the Golden State to use compressed natural gas for public vehicles. It was funded primarily by Texas natural gas magnate T Boone Pickens, who stood to reap a windfall profit if the measure had passed.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: