Cooler Heads Digest 29 December 2009

by William Yeatman on December 29, 2009

in Cooler Heads Digest

In the News

To save the Earth, Encourage Economic Freedom
Terry Miller & Anthony Kim,, 29 December 2009

Cap-and-Trade Would Strain Food Supply
Edward Felker, Washington Times, 29 December 2009

GW Alarmists Target Family Pets
Christopher Orlet, American Spectator, 29 December 2009

The New Climate Litigation
Wall Street Journal
editorial, 28 December 2009

Biased Reporting on Climategate
Washington Times
editorial, 28 December 2009

Copenhagen: A Historic Failure that Will Live in Infamy
Joss Garman, Independent, 27 December 2009

NYT: Copenhagen Outcome “Worth Savoring”
New York Times
editorial, 21 December 2009

Senate Dems to Obama: Please Drop Cap-and-Trade
Lisa Lerer, Politico, 27 December 2009

Three Cheers for the Holiday Lights!
Robert Bradley,, 25 December 2009

The Twelve Days of Global Warming
Edward John Craig, Planet Gore, 24 December 2009

Questions over Business Deals of UN Climate Guru
Christopher Booker & Richard North, Telegraph, 20 December 2009

EPA Delivers a Lump of Coal to Appalachia
William Yeatman, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 20 December 2009

News You Can Use

Let It Snow

According to, 877 snowfall records were broken in the United States last week.

Around the World

Myron Ebell

COP-15 in Hopenchangen: Summary and Outcome

I wish I had more to report firsthand from the fifteenth Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP-15) in Copenhagen.  Unfortunately, I didn’t arrive until the Tuesday of the second week, 15th December, attended one full day, Wednesday the 16th, and then was banned for the final two days of the conference.  This, however, was a small price to pay for the banning of twenty-some thousand other registered NGO delegates, of whom all but a handful were in the alarmist camp.  It turns out that the hundred-and-ten or so heads of state and prime ministers who arrived on Thursday didn’t want to have to put up with the riff-raff who drive the alarmist agenda.

The outcome was as good as could be imagined.  It has been clear for many months that the Bali Action Plan would not be completed on schedule in Hopenchangen.  But everyone expected that some agreement would be cobbled together that promised a final deal in the near future on a new treaty to follow the Kyoto Protocol.  But at the end, everything went sour.  President Barack Obama and the heads of China, India, Brazil, and South Africa signed a “Copenhagen Accord” which the whole conference noted, but did not endorse.  The accord does not commit the countries signing it to much of anything.  COP-15 ended with no promises about when a successor to Kyoto would be completed or what targets and timetables it would contain.

Instead of being the conclusion of two years of negotiations, President Obama described the accord as a good first step.  My view is that COP-15 is not a step forward, but a large step back from COP-13 in Bali in 2007.  It’s going to take months to repair the damage, let alone begin to make any progress in the negotiations.  By then, the global warming bandwagon could be sliding back downhill.

Inside the Beltway

Myron Ebell

Cap-and-Trade Dead in 2010

The failure of COP-15 and the continuing Climategate fraud scandal have killed the already very small chance of enacting cap-and-trade legislation in 2010.  A number of Senators said as much before leaving Washington for the Christmas recess.

Lisa Lerer reported in Politico that, “At a meeting about health care last month, moderates pushed to table climate legislation in favor of a jobs bill that would be an easier sell during the 2010 elections, according to Senate Democratic aides.” Lerer also quotes Democratic Senators Ben Nelson (Neb.), Kent Conrad (N. D.), Mary Landrieu (La.), and Evan Bayh (Ind.) advising the White House that they don’t want to vote on cap-and-trade next year.  That’s more than enough political weight to keep the Kerry-Boxer or any similar cap-and-trade bill off the floor.

Climategate Continues to Heat Up

The Climategate fraud scandal continues to grow as more of the files are analyzed and publicized.  It now appears that at least some of the modest global warming trend in the twentieth century is a result of data manipulation.  The effect on the public debate is only going to get much bigger.  This is not just my view.  Several candid reactions from the alarmists have been reported.  For example, here is the end of a long story, “Climategate: Anatomy of a Public Relations Disaster” by the well-known science writer Fred Pearce, which appeared on Yale Environment 360.

“I have been speaking to a PR operator for one of the world’s leading environmental organizations. Most unusually, he didn’t want to be quoted. But his message is clear. The facts of the e-mails barely matter any more. It has always been hard to persuade the public that invisible gases could somehow warm the planet, and that they had to make sacrifices to prevent that from happening. It seemed, on the verge of Copenhagen, as if that might be about to be achieved.

“But he says all that ended on Nov. 20. ‘The e-mails represented a seminal moment in the climate debate of the last five years, and it was a moment that broke decisively against us. I think the CRU leak is nothing less than catastrophic.'”

For good summaries or lists of the juicier bits that have been unearthed in the scandal so far, check here and here.

EPA Endangerment Finding Update

My CEI colleague Marlo Lewis has submitted a comment on the EPA’s proposed “tailoring rule” for regulating stationary sources of greenhouse gases.

Across the States


The New Orleans Times-Picayune reported this week that Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has launched a coordinated attack against the Environmental Protection Agency’s recent finding that greenhouse gases endanger public health and welfare. On Monday, Jindal and the secretaries of the Departments of Natural Resources and of Economic Development filed objections with EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson on economic grounds. According to CEI’s Marlo Lewis, the EPA’s endangerment finding triggers an economically ruinous “regulatory cascade” under the Clean Air Act.

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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