Paul Chesser, Heartland Institute Correspondent

That’s what the Beacon Hill Institute attempts in an economic impact study of the recommendations produced last year by Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle’s Task Force on Global Warming. Unlike similar exercises in other states, where in most cases the Rockefeller Brothers Fund Center for Climate Strategies controlled outcomes but at least delivered some economic assumptions that BHI could chew on, the TFGW chose not to fantasize. Instead the Wisconsin panel decided to punt on the costs of most of their carbon-capping recommendations, with statements like “to be determined” or “costs were not estimated for this policy.”

Kind of surprising considering that the TFGW, instead of hiring CCS, chose the more prestigious and better-financed World Resources Institute as their management team. With an enormous research staff at their disposal you’d think they’d try to crunch some numbers, but then again, if the numbers just ain’t going to be all that pretty…

So as a result their work product is basically dung, but hey, sometimes even that is taken seriously by lawmakers and you’ve got to analyze it anyway. That’s what Beacon Hill did, extracting out 13 of the more than 50 unquantified proposals that they could calculate some estimates on.

BHI selected these (13) policies because the [TFGW] report provided specific information regarding costs and a description of the policy proposal.  Many of the [TFGW] policy recommendations are vague and do not provide enough information to conduct an analysis.

The report was published by the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute and embraced by Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce. It concludes that if all the policy recommendations are enacted, that:

  • Wisconsin will lose 43,000 private sector jobs over 11 years.
  • Wisconsin will add 12,000 government jobs.
  • Motor fuel costs will increase $3.2 billion over 11 years.
  • Electricity bills increase $16.2 billion by 2025.
  • Every state resident will lose $1,012 a year in personal income by 2020.

As Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel columnist Patrick McIlheran writes today, “about 30,000 of you can get off the train to the 21st century economy right now.” From my view, I’ve seen these Blue Ribbon Task Force Peachy Panel proposals in most of the states now, and Wisconsin’s has got to be one of the worst: sloppy, lazy, with catatonic abiding in long-ago debunked assumptions.

The World Wildlife Fund, in a press release on May 15, 2007:

Sustainable energy and technology can curb climate change and meet projected growth in demand for energy but only if key decisions are made within the next five years, according to a new WWF report. Climate Solutions: WWF’s vision for 2050 concludes that sustainable technologies can meet global projected energy demand while avoiding the most dangerous impacts of climate change….

“This report says that we can breathe a sigh of relief: it’s not too late to save ourselves and our children from the worst ravages of climate change while still meeting the demand for energy,” said Richard Mott, Vice President for International Policy at World Wildlife Fund.  “But the report also warns that this opportunity is fleeting.  Any delay and our choices become both more difficult and much more expensive.”

Today in Popular Science:

It’s no secret that the world is warming, but a new report published by the World Wildlife Fund suggests we may not have as much time to mull solutions as we think. If the world doesn’t commit to green technologies by 2014, the report says, runaway global warming and economic meltdown are all but unstoppable.

A two-year reprieve — whew! But I thought we needed to act now?

Yet another poll (Rasmussen) shows U.S. voters believe global warming is due more to planetary alignment than human causes, and they see President Obama out of sync with Americans on the issue.

USA Today reports that at least nine states (and probably more) are not meeting their renewable portfolio standards. What coulda happened?

In their quest to draw more renewable power, states have come up against obstacles such as the recession, red tape and an outdated transmission system that makes it difficult to move solar or wind power from where it’s made to where it’s needed.

Some states, including Delaware and New Hampshire, require power companies that don’t buy enough renewable energy to make payments to a fund for renewable-energy projects. That allows companies to comply with the rules but doesn’t help move a state toward greater reliance on alternative energy.

You know how it goes: government imposes unattainable mandates on business, collects fines as a result, higher costs passed to customers.

Whatta bunch a dolts the utilities are to back this stuff! Good thing we can take our business elsewhere…wait a minute…

Phelim McAleer, co-director/producer of “Not Evil Just Wrong” and asker of difficult questions, reportedly just had his microphone turned off as he queried Al Gore at the Society of Environmental Journalists conference in Madison, Wisc.

A few weeks back (and in subsequent op-eds) I introduced the latest student indoctrination effort to fight global warming, via the Alliance for Climate Education, which seeks invitations from high schools to deliver assembly presentations during class time. The group, which has started out targeting six regions of the country (the San Francisco Bay area, Southern California, Houston, Chicago, New England, and Washington, D.C.), presents climate misinformation and lies (To students: “You’ve lived through the ten hottest years ever recorded in history”) so as to recruit teens for the cause of further spreading alarmism.

Last week a report in the student newspaper for the private Loomis Chaffee School, near Hartford, Conn., illustrated that the presentations ACE educators deliver are heavily scripted. For confirmation, you might watch the group’s promotional video trailer, note the script highlights delivered by San Francisco rapper Ambessa Contave, and then catch the reported remarks from ACE’s New England educator Rouwenna Lamm:

  • “We all need to lower our emissions and raise our voices.”
  • “In 2009, we’ve inherited a world that’s all about living large.”
  • “Did you know that the average American teenager uses 20 football fields just to live?”
  • “You can’t see that, but what it means is ‘living large’ cranks up the world’s thermostat way too hot.”
  • “Climate change is real, it is dangerous and it was be stopped. You didn’t start it, you don’t want it, but you have to fix it.”
  • “Don’t discount the power you have as individuals and collectively.”

Most of the bulleted remarks copycat Contave’s recorded points. The outcome at Loomis? After giving classroom lectures on the science of climate change (certainly excluding the lack of upward change during the last decade), and at the end of Lamm’s evening presentation, many students immediately signed online ACE’s “Declaration of Independence from Fossil Fuels.”

Next up: Grade school global warming warning songs to the tune of “We Are the World.”

A couple of weeks ago I wrote companion op-eds for the Washington Examiner and San Francisco Examiner about the effort by the Alliance for Climate Education to infiltrate high schools and recruit students to also push their alarmism agenda. The Examiner gave ACE’s Alisha Fowler an opportunity to write a counterpoint op-ed, in which she accused me of inaccurate journalism:

Unfortunately, Paul Chesser’s op-ed last week about ACE misreported many of our central tenets. The science behind climate change drives our work.

She followed the typical Leftist tactic of making an accusation without supporting it with evidence, as I address in my Examiner letter to the editor today:

I usually don’t respond to comments about my opinion pieces, realizing it’s always best to let everyone express their views. However, I do make exceptions in cases where I’ve been accused of journalistic malpractice, as was the case last Monday by the Alliance for Climate Education’s Alisha Fowler. The Oakland, Calif.-based educator alleged that I “misreported” ACE’s “central tenets,” yet failed to identify a single instance of inaccurate journalism on my part.

What could she have meant? Is ACE not funded by a wealthy wind energy entrepreneur for BP (a.k.a. “Big Oil”)? Are students not removed from their classes in order to hear ACE’s recruitment pitch for climate alarmism? Is ACE telling the truth when they inform students that they’ve lived through the 10 hottest years on record? Just what is the misreporting, Ms. Fowler?

Perhaps she could improve her own research about the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, where she’d discover the “consensus” that supports global warming alarmism is drawn from a small group of non-scientist government bureaucrats, rather than the “collection of more than 1,000” scientists she claims. When you accuse someone of shoddy work, you’d better show some evidence.

Over at the Big Hollywood blog, “Not Evil Just Wrong” co-producer Phelim McAleer shows (on video) how hypersensitive climate alarmist celebrities are when asked about their flying habits. He walked around at the premiere of “The Age of Stupid” — a documentary that claims the human race will be extinct by 2055 because of climate change — with a microphone and camera, and it wasn’t long before he was whisked from the media area (despite having credentials). Director Franny Armstrong, who apparently has jetted around at a good clip to promote the film, claimed that she’d been absolved by the high priest of climate condemnation thanks to the purchase of carbon offset indulges.

Ah, but we knew that already, at least when it comes to global warming stories. Today brings yet another production from the template of the Society of Environmental Journalists, this time delivered by Southeast Asia correspondent Seth Mydans. The scientific researchers: the communist Vietnamese government (press release titled “Climate change scenarios will guide Government’s planners”). Chief danger: sea level rise. Those threatened: virtually the entire country.

At least…they could be

In a worse-case projection…more than one-third of the (Mekong River) delta…could be submerged if sea levels rise by three feet in the decades to come.

In a more modest projection, it calculates that one-fifth of the delta would be flooded, said Tran Thuc, who leads Vietnam’s National Institute for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Sciences and is the chief author of the report.

Storm surges could periodically raise that level, he said, and experts say an intrusion of salt water and industrial pollution could contaminate much of the remaining delta area.

The risks of climate change for Vietnam go far beyond the Mekong Delta, up into the Central Highlands, where rising temperatures could put the coffee crop at risk, and to the Red River Delta in the north, where large areas could be inundated near the capital, Hanoi….

If the sea level rises by three feet, 11 percent of Vietnam’s population could be displaced, according to a 2007 World Bank working paper.

If it rises by 15 feet, 35 percent of the population and 16 percent of the country’s land area could be affected, the document said….

In addition to rising seas in the Mekong Delta, climatologists predict more frequent, severe and southerly typhoons, heavier floods and stronger storm surges that could ultimately drive hundreds of thousands of people from their homes.

Climate refugees could swell the population of Ho Chi Minh City….

But the city itself is also at risk, says the government study, prepared by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (undoubtedly part of a joint UN-Vietnamese government project). Up to one-fourth of the city’s area would be threatened by rising floodwaters if the sea level rose by three feet.

And so on. Considering possibilities that the New York Times never would, however, it could be that there is no threat from sea level rise, as World Climate Report suggests:

The question for climate change experts is not “Is sea level rising” but rather “Is sea level rise accelerating?” In 2001, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) wrote “No significant acceleration in the rate of sea level rise during the 20th century has been detected”, while in 2007, IPCC wrote “Global average sea level rose at an average rate of 1.8 [1.3 to 2.3] mm per year over 1961 to 2003. The rate was faster over 1993 to 2003: about 3.1 [2.4 to 3.8] mm per year. Whether the faster rate for 1993 to 2003 reflects decadal variability or an increase in the longer-term trend is unclear.” To say the least, the IPCC has been very cautious on the issue of accelerated sea level rise.

But to the Times, that doesn’t make for very good reading:

But the potential disruptions and the tremendous cost of trying to reduce [sea level rise] impact could slow Vietnam’s drive to emerge from its postwar poverty and impede its ambitions to become one of the region’s economic leaders.

Once again, this nation, which has spent much of its history struggling to free itself from foreign domination, finds itself threatened by an overpowering outside force.

Hey Seth, did it ever occur to you that the slowness with which Vietnam is emerging from poverty has to do with its own communism and Third World corruption? Perhaps, an “overpowering” internal force? And that this particular UN/Vietnam “report” might have something to do with justifying a wealth transfer from developed countries to developing countries in a final global climate treaty?

Just askin’ — maybe in a part two of your report?

Two good pieces of work at the Washington Examiner today about those who profit from a carbon-capping economy:

1. David Freddoso provides a sampling of salaries of executives at some top environmental activist nonprofits, including Environmental Defense, World Wildlife Fund, Natural Resources Defense Council, Nature Conservancy, National Wildlife Federation, and others. I’ve done some of this kind of thing in this space in the past, but David offers a handy list.

2. Reporter Tim Carney explains why some of the nation’s largest utilities, responsible for burning large percentages of our overall coal consumption, lobby in favor of the Waxman-Markey cap-and-tax bill despite the certain increased costs it will spur. The main utility under Carney’s scrutiny is American Electric Power:

Waxman-Markey would give away 85 percent of the credits initially, allocating the credits among different industries. AEP, a diverse company, might be able to tap three of the bill’s piles of free credits — the 30 percent going to electricity distributors, the 2 percent going to electric utilities, and the 5 percent going to merchant coal generators.

While AEP would get credits for free, that doesn’t mean they’re worthless. If the company has more credits than emissions, AEP could sell these credits to needy companies. That means Waxman-Markey could spell profits.

Also, because much of AEP’s business is as a regulated utility — meaning it effectively faces no competition, and the state government sets its rates — some of its costs can be passed onto consumers.

Carney goes on to document AEP’s eleven-fold increase in lobbying expenses since the beginning of 2007. Now, as Marlo Lewis so excellently explained yesterday, they are “reaping what they sowed.”