In the News
Big Chill on Global Warming
Washington Examiner, 16 October 2009
Obama Administration: Seals Can Adapt to Climate Change
Patrick Reis, Green Wire, 16 October 2009
Soros Invests $1 Billion in Green Tech
Stanford Daily News, 12 October 2009
News You Can Use
Antarctic Ice Melt at Lowest Level in Satellite History
This week World Climate Report drew attention to a new study by Marco Tedesco and Andrew Monaghan in the journal Geophysical Research Letters showing that the ice melt across the Antarctic last summer (October-January) of 2008-2009 was the lowest recorded in the satellite history.
BBC Reporter Can Read a Thermometer
The most popular story on the BBC website this week is about the absence of global warming since 1998. According to the Daily Telegraph, “What Happened to Global Warming,” by BBC climate correspondent Paul Hudson, has an altogether different tone than the BBC’s previous climate reporting, which had been characterized by alarmism and advocacy.
Inside the Beltway
Senate Hearings Scheduled for Energy-Rationing Bill
The Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), announced this week that the committee will hold hearings on the Kerry-Boxer energy-rationing bill beginning on Tuesday, 27th October. That day will be devoted to official witnesses from the Obama Administration. Then on Wednesday and Thursday, the 28th and 29th, the committee will hear from a variety of supporters as well as a few witnesses opposed to the bill requested by Republicans. Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) has officially introduced the bill as S. 1733. However, there is already a “chairman’s mark” that is not available for public inspection. The chairman’s mark is no doubt being re-drafted as deals are made to win votes. It is that version rather than S. 1733 that will be marked up in committee in November.
Graham Joins Kerry in Bi-partisan Hooey
The other big news on the Kerry-Boxer bill this week was an incoherent op-ed published in Sunday’s New York Times by Senators John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) titled, “Yes We Can (Pass Climate Legislation).” They announce that they have come together in the spirit of bi-partisanship to support an energy-rationing bill-a bill that has yet to be written and that bears only a family resemblance to the Kerry-Boxer bill. Critical commentary on their op-ed can be found here, here, and here. The op-ed was enthusiastically received by the mainstream media as evidence that the Senate logjam has broken and a bi-partisan coalition can now be created to reach the sixty votes necessary to pass energy-rationing legislation.
You Can Ask Gore, But He Doesn’t Have To Answer
Phelim McAleer, the producer of Not Evil Just Wrong, the documentary film premiering on Sunday, 18th October, mixed it up with former Vice President Al Gore at the Society of Environmental Journalists’ annual meeting in Madison (where it snowed) last Friday. After Gore’s speech, McAleer had a chance to ask him about the British High Court’s verdict that there were nine substantial scientific errors in “An Inconvenient Truth.” Why, he asked, hadn’t Gore done anything to correct those errors but instead continued to repeat them? Gore changed the subject, and when McAleer persisted, the SEJ cut off his microphone. McAleer’s op-ed in Investor’s Business Daily explains what happened and draws some conclusions about environmental reporting. I hope lots of people have a chance to watch Not Evil Just Wrong. The DVD can be purchased here.
Socialist International Unveils Climate Strategy Eerily Similar to Obama’s…
…Not coincidentally, Carol Browner, Obama’s “climate czar,” is a card-carrying member of the Socialist International. To read more about SI’s climate plan, as well as Carol Browner’s history with the group, click here.
Kerry-Boxer puts EPA in charge of building codes
The House-passed Waxman-Markey energy-rationing bill, H.R. 2454, sets specific federal housing standards that would increase the cost of a home from $4,000 to $10,000 and price more than 1,000,000 people out of the market, according to Bill Killmer, a vice president of the National Association of Home Builders. In 2014 for new residential buildings and 2015 for new commercial buildings, a 50 percent increase in energy efficiency is required (relative to the baseline code), increasing each year thereafter. Waxman-Markey also adopts California’s portable lighting fixture standard as the national standard. And it mandates efficiency improvements for many new appliances, including spas, water dispensers, and dishwashers.
But the Senate’s Kerry-Boxer energy-rationing bill, S. 1733, goes much further; it gives an unelected federal official a regulatory blank check:
“The (EPA) Administrator, or such other agency head or heads as may be designated by the President, in consultation with the Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, shall promulgate regulations establishing building code energy efficiency targets for the national average percentage improvement of buildings energy performance.” And, “The Administrator, or such other agency head or heads as may be designated by the President, shall promulgate regulations establishing national energy efficiency building codes for residential and commercial buildings.” Pp. 173-174
Federal building codes would be in the hands of the EPA.
Across the States
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger this week signed into law S.B. 32, which establishes a feed-in tariff that forces utilities to pay for surplus electricity generated by solar roof-top panels. Previously, California ratepayers subsidized the purchase of solar panels; now, they must pay above-market prices for power generated by those panels. The upshot is that the preponderance of ratepayers will pay more for electricity in order to subsidize the green-lifestyle of Californians wealthy enough to afford solar panels.