Cooler Heads Digest 25 September 2009

by William Yeatman on September 25, 2009

in Cooler Heads Digest

In the News

Have Increases in Population, Affluence and Technology Worsened Human Well-Being?
Indur Goklany, Journal of Sustainable Development, September 2009

Can Paul Krugman Read?
Chris Horner, Planet Gore, 25 September 2009

The Military-Industrial-Environmental Complex
Iain Murray & Roger Abbott, Washington Examiner, 25 September 2009

Gore-Backed Car Company Gets Big U.S. Loan
Josh Mitchell & Stephen Power, Wall Street Journal, 25 September 2009

Behind the Furor over a Climate Skeptic
John Broder, New York Times, 24 September 2009

The Dog Ate My Global Warming Data
Patrick J. Michaels, National Review Online, 23 September 2009

Obama’s Climate Fantasies
Myron Ebell, National Post, 23 September 2009

Cap-and-Trade Depresses Home Prices
Ryan Young, Politico, 23 September

Peer Review or Old Boy Network?
Marlo Lewis,, 23 September 2009

Obama’s Anti-Energy Policy
Dan Kish, Washington Examiner, 23 September 2009

Rep. Sensenbrenner Scoffs at China’s UN Climate Speech
Stephen Power, Wall Street Journal, 23 September 2009

Redact and Withhold
Washington Times
, 21 September 2009

Green Groups Open War Room
Mike Allen & Jim Vandehei, Politico, 21 September 2009

The United States Is the World’s True Energy Superpower
Donald Hertzmark,, 18 September, 2009

News You Can Use

Antarctic Ice Expanding

The Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research this week noted the South Pole had shown “significant cooling in recent decades,” according to the Australian. The results of ice-core drilling and sea ice monitoring indicate ice is expanding in much of Antarctica.

Inside the Beltway

Myron Ebell

Boxer & Kerry To Introduce Climate Bill Next Week

It was reported this week that Senators Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and John Kerry (D-Mass.) will release a draft of their energy-rationing/cap-and-trade bill on September 30th and that the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will hold a hearing or hearings on the bill during the week of October 5th.  The starting point of their draft is the Waxman-Markey bill, which was passed by the House on June 25th by a vote of 219 to 212.  It will be interesting to see what changes Boxer and Kerry make.

EPW Chairman Boxer has the votes to pass any version of cap-and-trade in her committee, so I expect she will move quickly to mark up the bill and send it to the floor.  After that, my guess is that there will be no more action on the bill this year.  The public have reacted so strongly against passage of Waxman-Markey by the House that Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is nowhere near having the sixty votes necessary to pass it on the Senate floor.  But the Obama Administration will be able to take the House vote and the Senate committee vote to Copenhagen as evidence that energy-rationing is moving forward in the Congress.

Climate Diplomacy Fizzles

It was a big week for global warming showmanship on the international stage.  On Tuesday, United Nations held a climate summit.  About 100 heads of state attended and a half dozen or so gave speeches.  I didn’t think much of President Barack Obama’s speech.  My initial reaction was posted here.  Then on Thursday the President addressed the UN General Assembly and again mentioned the urgent need to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions.

Thursday afternoon, Obama and the other G-20 leaders went to Pittsburgh for the G-20 summit meeting.  Again, energy-rationing and global warming are on the agenda.  It has been reported that a deal has been struck to end subsidies of fossil fuels.  That sounds promising.  Let’s hope that they will next agree to end subsidies of renewable fuels.

Court Rules that Affordable Energy Is a Public Nuisance

Two lawsuits in federal court against electric utilities for the damage done by their greenhouse gas emissions have been re-instated by a ruling of the Second U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals.  The plaintiffs include Connecticut, New York, California, Iowa, New Jersey, Wisconsin, Rhode Island, Vermont, New York City, and three land trust organizations.

Their suit claims that greenhouse gas emissions constitute a public nuisance and can therefore be controlled under common law.  The utilities named as defendants are American Electric Power, Southern Company, Xcel Energy, Cinergy (now merged into Duke Energy), and the Tennessee valley Authority.  The appeals court ruling found that the plaintiffs had alleged credible claims of current and future injuries due to global warming and had tied the cause adequately to the greenhouse gas emissions produced by the utilities.

Across the States

A Platform We Can Support

Former E-bay CEO and Republican candidate for Governor of California Megan Whitman this week slammed the Global Warming Solutions Act, a 2006 California law that calls for 25% reductions in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020.  Whitman called the legislation a “job killing regulation,” and she even promised to “immediately issue an executive order calling for a one-year moratorium on most of AB32’s rules,” if she becomes Governor.

Around the World

Cap-and-Trade Falters in Europe

The European Union’s marquee climate change policy-an international cap-and-trade energy-rationing scheme-suffered a major set back this week after the EU’s second highest court ruled that the European Commission “exceeded its powers” by establishing energy-rationing quotas far below what sovereign nations had requested.

Under the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme, individual nations submit emissions reductions targets for domestic industry to the European Commission for review. The Commission rejected proposals for 2008-2012 by Estonia and Poland, and issued lower targets in their stead. Estonia and Poland sued and the European Court of First Instance ruled that the Commission overstepped its jurisdiction.

The decision likely will affect pending cases brought against the ETS by other Central and Eastern European States, including Slovenia and the Czech Republic. These countries are largely dependent on coal, and they are more worried about the prospect of switching to natural gas from Russia (their former Soviet masters) than they are about rising temperatures.

The ruling threatens to destabilize the EU’s cap-and-trade. If the supply of energy ration coupons is constantly subject to litigation, then they will have little value, and the ETS will fail.

The Cooler Heads Digest is the weekly e-mail publication of the Cooler Heads Coalition. For the latest news and commentary check out the Coalition’s website,

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