In the News
Barton, Walden Ask EPA to Explain Reliance on Dubious Reports
House Energy and Commerce Committee Press Release, 4 February 2020
Alarmists Don’t Have the Courage of Their Convictions
Kimberley Jo Simac, Pajamas Media, 30 January 2010
News You Can Use
The Headline Says It All
Inside the Beltway
Al Gore: MIA?
Global warming alarmism is on its heels: COP-15 in Copenhagen was a flop, cap-and-trade legislation is dead in Congress, the Climategate scientific fraud scandal continues to grow, the chairman of the IPCC is more deranged than ever, an initiative is being launched in California to suspend AB 32, and public support for energy-rationing legislation continues to sink. These would seem to be desperate times for the forces of darkness. The only thing that might save the day is heroic action.
So where has Al Gore gone? Why isn’t he leading the charge to save the day? Gore was in Copenhagen in December for COP-15, but cancelled his sold-out public speech. Since then, he has been silent. Internet news searches turn up an appearance this week at Apple Computer’s unveiling of its iPad, but nothing global warming-related.
My CEI colleague Chris Horner thinks Al Gore has disappeared from the public debate because his business partners in crime have finally realized that he is a liability that threatens their green investments and have therefore told him to shut up. I agree that Gore’s leadership of the forces of darkness is a great gift to our side (and have written about it in my December profile of Gore), so it’s a plausible explanation. What I don’t believe is that Gore would agree to follow that advice.
An alternative explanation is that Gore doesn’t want to have to defend the junk science he has been pedaling for years now that the imprimatur of the IPCC, the Climatic Research Unit, or NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies is no longer seen as a guarantee of quality. Another is that he’s lying low while preparing the counter-attack. I suppose we’ll find out soon enough where Al has gone and what he’s doing, but for now it’s a mystery.
Into the leadership vacuum created by Gore’s absence has stepped Osama bin Laden, even though he has also disappeared from public view. Bin Laden has long supported the Kyoto Protocol and blamed the United States for not signing it in his occasional audio and video tapes, but last week he stepped up his campaign to solve global warming by de-industrializing (and perhaps vaporizing) the United States. As we reported in last week’s Digest, the EPA is already working to implement bin Laden’s vision of a pastoral America. The mastermind of Al Qaeda’s terrorist war may turn out to be a better leader of the forces of darkness than Gore. Unlike Gore, bin Laden practices what he preaches. He has adopted a low carbon lifestyle, has given up air travel, reportedly lives in a cave, and has taken to heart Gore’s admonition in Earth in the Balance (1992) that what is needed to save the world is a “wrenching transformation of society.”
EPA’s Budget to Regulate is Up in the Air
The Obama Administration sent its proposed budget to Congress this week. Amid stupendous proposed increases in federal spending is a relatively modest additional $56 million for the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. If the Senate passes S. J. Res. 36, Senator Lisa Murkowski’s (R-Alaska) resolution to disapprove EPA’s endangerment finding, then I don’t think the Senate is going to go along with this request. It is more likely that a serious effort will be made in the Appropriations Committee or on the floor by Senator John Thune (R-SD) to prohibit EPA from spending any funds to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.
For those who would like to tell their Senators that they support (or oppose) Murkowski’s disapproval resolution, Freedom Action is providing a convenient web page to compose and send e-mails. It takes a minute or two to fill out the form and click send.
House Democrats Getting Cold Feet
On the House side, Democrats worried about being re-elected are jumping ship. Rep. Earl Pomeroy (D-ND) has introduced a bill (H. R. 4396) very similar to Rep. Marsha Blackburn’s bill (H. R. 391) to strip EPA of its authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions using the Clean Air Act. Representatives Ike Skelton (D-Mo.), Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), and Jo Ann Emerson (R-Mo.) have introduced another bill that would do the same thing and provide some more government benefits for ethanol. Skelton and Peterson voted for the Waxman-Markey energy-rationing bill (H. R. 2454) last June and have been taking it in the neck from their constituents ever since. Their bill is attempts to make amends for their mistake. It is significant that Skelton and Peterson are in the House Democratic leadership. Skelton is Chairman of the Armed Services Committee. Peterson is Chairman of the Agriculture Committee and negotiated all sorts of special breaks for agriculture in the Waxman-Markey bill.
Across the States
Supporters of a California ballot initiative that would suspend implementation of AB 32, the State’s 2006 global warming law, wanted to label it the “California Jobs Initiative,” but according to the California constitution, naming initiatives is the responsibility of the Attorney General. Incumbent AG Jerry Brown has long been an environmental alarmist, so it’s unsurprising that he changed the suggested title of the initiative. What is surprising is the length to which Brown went to impose his environmentalist interpretation. According to the Los Angeles Times, Brown named the initiative, “Suspends air pollution control laws requiring major polluters to report and reduce greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming.” In fact, the initiative would bar the implementation of the Act, which is designed to make energy more expensive, until unemployment goes down to 5.5% (it currently stands at 11%). Cheaper energy, of course, is conducive to greater employment, so the original title was more accurate.
Around the World
Rajendra K. Pachauri, the head of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, has had a tough winter. In late December, Richard North and Christopher Booker reported in the Telegraph on questionable investments made by Pachauri that seem to give him a financial stake in global warming alarmism. Then, in January, Pachauri was forced to acknowledge that the IPCC grossly overestimated the extent of Himalayan glacier melt. Other glaring errors and instances of shoddy science by the IPCC have since come to light, putting Pachauri further on the defensive. Even Greenpeace is now calling for him to step down.
It seems that all the bad press has unhinged the IPCC chief. In a bizarre interview with the Financial Times this week, Pachauri refused to resign and blamed his troubles on “well orchestrated” attack by unnamed perpetrators, “people who say that asbestos is as good as talcum powder.” He added, “I hope that they apply it to their faces every day.”
As a result of Penn State University’s decision this week to start a formal investigation into allegations that PSU professor Michael Mann committed scientific misconduct, Representative Darrel Issa (R- California) has called on the Obama administration to freeze more than $500,000 of stimulus money earmarked to Mann for climate research. The PSU investigation of Mann was instigated by his involvement in the growing Climategate scandal. After a preliminary inquiry, PSU cleared Mann of 3 of 4 initial allegations of scientific malpractice, although Canadian climate analyst and blogger Steve McIntyre believes that the PSU preliminary investigation was a whitewash. McIntyre should know-in 2003, he debunked Michael Mann’s fraudulent “hockey stick” temperature record.
MoveOn Is Way-off
Julie Walsh, Freedom Action
MoveOn has launched an ad campaign against the three Democratic senators-Blanche Lincoln (Ark.), Mary Landrieu (La.), and Ben Nelson (Neb.)-who are supporting the Resolution of Disapproval of EPA’s endangerment finding. In fact, MoveOn is running the most blatantly false television ad I’ve ever seen.
Where is Joe Wilson when you need him? Showing pictures of women in labor and babies smoking cigarettes, this ad now running in Nebraska, Louisiana and Arkansas implies that support for this Resolution will negate the Clean Air Act and cause all of us to breathe polluted air. “You lie!” Simply put, this Resolution will only keep EPA from controlling carbon dioxide producing energy in the name of a supposed coming catastrophe from “global warming.”
For those who disagree with this ad and would like to write their senators to support the Resolution of Disapproval of EPA you can click here.
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, www.globalwarming.org.