Anthony Ward

In a recent interview with CBC Radio, global warming alarmist and former NASA Climate Science director, James Hansen, compared conservatives to “Neanderthals”.

Hansen’s remarks were prompted in response to comments made by Joe Oliver who is a conservative politician and the Canadian Minister of Natural Resources.  Speaking at the Center for Strategic Studies last week, Oliver heaped opprobrium on the scientist. In his speech he declared, “”It does not advance the debate when people make exaggerated comments that are not rooted in the facts. And [Hansen] should know that.”

Instead of addressing these concerns, Hansen responded with insults.

Such vitriol from Hansen speaks volumes about the character, or absence of character, of some global warming alarmists.  Instead of discussing the issues themselves, this “distinguished” scientist resorts to stereotyping an entire group of people as the equivalents of slow-witted, unsophisticated cave men.

Post image for UK Energy Policies Worsen Impact of Cold Spell

The United States has experienced extremely cold temperatures and unusual spring snowfall, but it has been even worse in the United Kingdom. Sub-freezing temperatures combined with brutal winds and paralyzing snow have turned the British countryside into a frigid landscape resembling a scene characteristic of the bitter depths of winter.  This is a far cry from being “a very rare and exciting event” where “children just aren’t going to know what snow is”, as predicted in 2000 by Dr. David Viner, a senior research scientist at the Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia in the UK.

Now, in addition to impassible roads and widespread power outages, the UK faces a cold reminder of its misguided energy policies and a reliance on failed predictions as it suffers from a chronic energy shortage. Compared to hot weather, cold weather causes greater economic damage, such as power outages, roof collapses, and contributes to a higher number of weather-related fatalities.

According to Reuters, the UK has depleted around 90 percent of its natural gas reserves. In order to meet the dearth in supply, several tankers carrying LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) have been diverted from Qatar and Trinidad to the UK.  But even this might not be enough to replenish the country’s natural gas reserves.

While the UK was once a model of industrialization, the country has fallen on proverbial hard times in the postwar era. For several decades, the UK has failed to invest in fossil fuel power generation and improved storage capacity.

Over the past few decades, the UK has engaged in a drastic reduction of its coal facilities. In 1913, there were over three thousand deep coal mines in the UK. As of 2011, there are only twelve.

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Here’s a preview of the kind of transparency we can expect from Gina McCarthy, who has been nominated to replace Lisa Jackson as head of the EPA. When combined with her history of misleading Congress , it is clear Gina McCarthy would fit right in with “the most open administration ever” :
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Post image for Is Presumed EPA Nominee Trustworthy?

The Washington Post reports that the President is poised to nominate Gina McCarthy to succeed Lisa Jackson (a.k.a. “Richard Windsor”) as EPA administrator. If/when the Senate takes up her confirmation, lawmakers should know that McCarthy, the current chief of Air Regulation at the EPA, has a history of misleading Congress and the public on two of EPA’s most expensive regulations.

As CEI Senior Fellow Marlo Lewis points out in a 2011 editorial:

[McCarthy and other EPA officials] denied under oath that motor vehicle greenhouse gas emission standards are “related to” fuel economy standards. In so doing, they denied plain facts they must know to be true. They lied to Congress.

He elaborates:

That greenhouse gas emission standards implicitly regulate fuel economy is evident from the agencies’ own documents. As EPA and NHTSA acknowledge in their joint May 2010 Greenhouse Gas/Fuel Economy Tailpipe Rule (pp. 25424, 25327), no commercially available technologies exist to capture or filter out carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from motor vehicles. Consequently, the only way to decrease grams of CO2 per mile is to reduce fuel consumption per mile — that is, increase fuel economy. Carbon dioxide constitutes 94.9% of vehicular greenhouse gas emissions, and “there is a single pool of technologies… that reduce fuel consumption and thereby CO2 emissions as well.”

That’s not the only time she’s willfully confused the public on a major regulation.

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According to an article in the Washington Post, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley’s long-sought offshore wind project is positioned to win approval from the state legislature within the upcoming weeks.  Environmentalists have fought hard to encourage States and developers to build off-shore wind projects on the East Coast. At least six wind farms have been proposed in the region. However, owing to the inefficient and costly nature of offshore wind farms, combined with the need for heavy subsidization, none of these projects have managed to gain any traction.

The new bill, known as the Maryland Offshore Wind Energy Act of 2013, will designate a “Wind Energy Area”, a zone in coastal waters situated about 10 miles east of Ocean City. It will also establish a $10 million Offshore Wind Business Development Fund designed to provide incentives and support for small businesses entering into the newly created industry.

Past attempts to approve the Maryland project have been met with strong opposition from both the state legislature and developers.

The Maryland legislature in 2010 refused to bring the issue up for a vote, warning that the project would cost Maryland taxpayers twice the initial estimates of $1.5 billion. Further opposition to the project arose after it was revealed that the governor’s former chief of staff was one of eight bidders to develop the project.

Developers of the project have been equally pessimistic.  Many developers have noted the high price and low energy makes the project an unappealing investment.

While developers continue to withhold support for the proposed project, several modifications that have been made to the new bill have managed to garner support from lawmakers.

What are these changes?  The Washington Post article details the following:

To win support from some lawmakers, O’Malley has embraced a financing model involving renewable energy credits that is unproven in the risky realm of offshore wind. To win over others, he has limited the cost of the subsidy to about $1.50 a month per household. The subsidy will amount to $2.5 billion over 20 years.

Also to reduce costs, the project was downgraded from a rated capacity of 500mw to 200MW. Because wind is intermittent, windmills typically generate less than a third of their rated capacity.

Global warming alarmists have seized upon an announcement by NOAA this week that 2012 was the warmest year in the U. S. historical record going back to 1895.  For example, Joe Romm writes on his ClimateProgress blog that, “2012 showed that the record-smashing weather extremes of 2011 weren’t a fluke, they were a pattern.”

According to the NOAA report released on January 8, the average annual temperature for the contiguous U.S. was 55.3F.  This is an increase of 3.3F above the 20th century average, and makes 2012 the warmest year on record. The report also states that the continental U.S. experienced its 15th driest year on record.

In a Politico article, Deke Arndt, chief of the climate monitoring branch at NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center writes, “The heat that we saw in the U.S. (in 2012) is consistent with what we would expect in a warming world.

However, a previous blog by Joe Romm should be kept in mind when considering the significance of the 2012 record.  In 2010, Romm provided an answer to skeptics who point out that 1934 was the warmest year in the U. S. historical record: “1934 is the hottest year on record in the USA which only comprises 2% of the globe.”

Yes, that’s right, the United States comprises an insignificant 2% of the world’s surface area when we’re talking about the American heat wave in 1934, but it’s a highly significant 2% when we’re talking about last year’s high temperatures.

According to the global satellite temperature record maintained by John Christy and Roy Spencer at the University of Alabama at Huntsville, 2012 was the ninth warmest year globally since 1979.