Cooler Heads Digest

by William Yeatman on December 19, 2008

in Cooler Heads Digest

In the News

Obama Nominates Climate Alarmists for Science Posts
Juliet Eilperin & Joel Achenbach, Washington Post, 19 December 2008

EPA Goes Man-Hunting
Steven Milloy,, 18 December 2008

Not Evil, Just Wrong
Hannity’s America, 15 December 2008

Cooling on Global Warming
Benny Peiser, Wall Street Journal, 16 December 2008

No Rush to New Kyoto?
Chris Horner, Human Events, 16 December 2008

Obama Makes Appointments for Energy, Environment Posts
Oil and Gas Journal, 16 December 2008

Power to the People
William Yeatman & Wayne Crews, Fredericksburg Free Lance Star, 14 December 2008

News You Can Use

Chu on China

“China’s addition of 90GW of coal-fired power plants installed in 2006 alone is expected to emit over 500 million tons of CO2 per year for their 40 year lifetimes. This is (sic) compared to the entire European Union’s Kyoto reduction commitment of 300 million tons of CO2.”—From Dr. Steven Chu’s congressional testimony March 2007. President-elect Barack Obama has nominated Dr. Chu to become Secretary of Energy.

Inside the Beltway

Obama’s Energy and Environment Team

Myron Ebell

Earlier this week, CEI sent out a press release headlined, “Obama Interior, Agriculture Appointees Complete Anti-Energy Team.” I don’t know what I was thinking. President-elect Obama clearly is not finished staffing his anti-energy team.

Today, Obama announced that he would nominate John Holdren to be his science adviser and director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and Jane Lubchenco to head the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Dr. Holdren is a physicist who has become a radical apostle of global warming alarmism and energy-rationing policies, which Rob Bradley of the Institute for Energy Research detailed in a paper for CEI. Currently, he is Teresa and John Heinz Professor of Environmental Policy at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and Director of the Woods Hole Research Center. The Woods Hole Research Center should not be confused with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, although the name was chosen so that you would confuse it.  The Woods Hole Research Center is an environmental group that is tricked up to look like a scientific organization. Holdren was also a co-chairman of the self-styled National Commission on Energy Policy.

Dr. Lubchenco is professor of marine biology and zoology at Oregon State University. The Heinz Center, another scientific-appearing environmental group, gave her their Heinz Award in the Environment in 2002. She and Holdren are both past presidents of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Holdren and Lubchenco are on the scientific fringe of global warming alarmism. They make claims that are not supported by the scientific literature.  My colleague Julie Walsh has assembled some quotes from Holdren here. We’ll try to put together some from Lubchenco as well and post them on the blog.

Much more can be said about them individually, but suffice it to say that the Obama Administration’s energy and climate team is a disaster. While he has chosen moderate establishment Democrats for the macro-economic jobs, his micro-economic policy appointees on energy policy will wreck the economy for a generation if President Obama and the Congress adopt their policies.

Around the World

EU’s Climate Plan Is All Smoke and Mirrors

Iain Murray

So if the EU has just put together an agreement to reduce emissions by 20% by 2020, why are the climate alarmist groups calling it “a dark day” and “an embarrassment”?

Well, the answer is because the actual agreement is for a 4% reduction (also explained in the last link, but Roger Pielke Jr does it better). And that may be null and void if a global agreement doesn’t emerge at Copenhagen next year, which it probably won’t.

Note also that the “rich” countries of the EU-15 have actually failed to make any dent in their emissions since the early 1990s and that the former Eastern bloc countries have failed to reduce emissions since 2000. Of course, they have a recession that will reduce emissions over the next couple of years, and if they’re silly enough to adopt the policies that will turn it into a Great Depression, they might just hit their targets. There will be singing and dancing among the ruins, I am sure, when that takes place.

Across the States

California, New Jersey

Los Angeles has a solar power measure on the ballot for the city referendum this March. Measure B, titled “Green Energy and Good Jobs for Los Angeles,” would require the LA Department of Water and Power to build 400 megawatts of distributed generation on publicly owned rooftops. The LA Times reports today that Chief Legislative Analyst Gerry Miller warned that the solar measure could result in “substantial increases” to the electricity bills of DWP customers. In 2000, L.A. announced it would become the “Solar Capital of the World,” with solar panels on 100,000 rooftops by 2010. Three years and $80 million later–to outfit 600 rooftops at a cost of $13,000 each–the city cancelled the project as cost-ineffective, 99,400 buildings short of its goal.

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection released its plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. The proposals were crafted by former DEP head Lisa Jackson, who was tapped this week by President-elect Barack Obama to lead the Environmental Protection Agency. The plan has three components. The first is Governor Corzine’s Energy Master Plan (read here why it’s a boondoggle). The second part of the plan is to regulate tailpipe emissions from cars, but a federal court have yet to decide whether states have the authority to regulate fuel efficiency, and even if they did, the $100 billion regulatory burden would ruin the American auto industry. The final component is New Jersey’s participation in a regional energy rationing program that is designed to increase the price of energy.

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