With ‘global warmer’ John McCain almost certainly the
Republican nominee, all I want to hear from him is: "If the facts change, I'll change my
opinion. What do you do, sir? " J. M. Keynes.
After he is elected, we'll try to show him that the facts have changed.
But if facts cannot change his mind, then
Warm-monger Obama pledges to cut global warming pollution
Excerpt: "We cannot wait to stop global warming," Obama said. "We cannot wait to fix this country." He pledged to put mandatory caps on carbon dioxide emissions from industry. And he talked about it often enough to imply it was one of his top priorities...
The warm-mongers are screwing up energy policy, raising costs, and harming security: 59 coal plants cancelled or placed on hold in 2007 [ITEM #1]. Natural gas to replace cheap and secure coal – a bad idea [ITEM #2]. Gas prices have already quadrupled; we may soon require massive imports of LNG -- a worse idea. The Free Enterprise Education Institute warms of the threat to economic freedom from the growing alliance of industry and Greens [ITEM #3].
Global warming saves lives [ITEM #4]. CBO study exposes Cap-and-Trade flaws [ITEM #5]. Alternative energies are a bad joke [ITEM #6] And this includes ethanol [ITEM # 7]No Carbon tax but more coal needed [ITEM # 8].
Arab oil sheiks to reap
Beyond Group Think on Climate Change: If More CO2 is Bad.. Then What? By ROBERT BRYCE http://www.counterpunch.com/bryce02082008.html
Apocalypse? NO! Why 'global
warming' is not a global crisis
Are Al Gore and the UN right about global warming being a planetary emergency? NO! says the Viscount Monckton of Brenchley in a devastating 2007 presentation delivered at
And finally: A Heartland Institute invitation to the Climate Conference in NY City, March 2-4, with hundreds of GW skeptics [See TWTW of Feb 9]. This momentous event will be difficult to ignore. For details, see http://www.heartland.org/NewYork08/newyork08.cfm
1. THE GREEN WAR AGAINST COAL
Posted February 9, 2008 2:15 PM | Posted By : Mark Goldes
Between 2000 and 2006, over 150 coal plant proposals were
fielded by utilities in the
Climate concerns have begun to play a major role in plant abandonments and cancellations: Concerns about global warming played a major role in 15 cases. These included five proposed Florida plants (Glades, Taylor, Seminole, Polk, and Stanton), seven proposals in Western states that have newly implemented strict carbon regulations on coal (Avista's unnamed unit, Sunflower's Holcomb unit 3; Idaho Power's unnamed unit; Energy Northwest's Pacific Mountain Energy Center; PacifiCorp's Intermountain Power, Bridger IGCC demonstration, and Bridger expansion); and Sunflower's Holcomb units 1 and 2.
Coal plants are being eliminated from long-range plans:
Increasingly, coal plants are disappearing before they can even be named, due
to increasing regulatory scrutiny of long-range integrated resource plans. In
addition to the plants abandoned by PacifiCorp and Idaho Power Company, it is
likely that other utilities around the
Renewables are elbowing out coal: Regulators in several
states have begun favoring utility-scale renewables over coal. In
More plants are being abandoned than rejected: Of the 59 projects, only 15 were rejected outright by regulators, courts, or local authorities. In the remaining 44 cases, the decision was made by utilities themselves. Reasons for abandoning plants include (1) rising construction costs, (2) insufficient financing or failure to receive hoped-for government grants, (3) lowered estimates of demand, and (4) concerns about future carbon regulations.
2. NATURAL GAS BACK IN FAVOUR WITH US POWER COMPANIES
Coal gets cold shoulder as utilities anticipate carbon legislation.
Published online 13 February 2008 | Nature 451, 753 (2008) | doi:10.1038/451753a
Natural gas produces fewer emissions than coal, but supplies
are shrinking and its cost is rising. Electric utilities in the
Recent proposals to build coal-fired power plants have been
sunk after hitting a wall of public and political opposition in
This new calculus hit home in 2007, when plans for more than
50 coal-fired power plants were cancelled, according to consulting firm Global
Energy Decisions, based in
“Over the past year to two years there's been this
180-degree turn from concerns about dependence on natural gas to concerns about
climate change,” says Larry Makovich, an energy analyst and senior power
adviser at Cambridge Energy Research Associates in
“There's been this 180-degree turn from concerns about dependence on natural gas to concerns about climate change.”
Cleaner-burning natural gas became the fuel of choice for
new electricity generation in the 1990s, but increased demand coupled with
peaking production in many
But given the major up-front costs and a lack of certainty
about long-term economics owing to impending climate regulation, neither coal
nor nuclear power look terribly attractive from an economic standpoint at the
moment, says Revis James, a researcher at the Electric Power Research Institute
Dan Riedinger, a spokesman for the Edison Electric Institute, the industry's main trade association, acknowledges the trend towards natural gas but suggests that the expansion of coal-fired power is unlikely to halt. The resurgence of coal several years ago was “greatly exaggerated”, he says, “and I think there is certainly some hyperbole with regard to the pendulum swinging in the other direction”.
3. MESSAGE FROM FREE ENTERPRISE EDUCATION INSTITUTE
Our goal is to inform you about a significant risk to limited government and free enterprise: the partnership between social activists and corporations. The financial resources and political influence of corporations coupled with the grassroots advocacy potential of labor unions and environmental activists is a force too great to ignore.
We hope you will join us in challenging CEOs when their decisions threaten our free-market values.
Today at the UN, corporations, state treasurers, special interest groups and Al Gore are meeting to discuss the investment risks and opportunities posed by climate change.
The event illustrates how social activists are using Wall Street to drive their political agenda and rob us of our liberties: global warming regulations will lead to Soviet style central planning of energy prices and reduced economic growth.
Corporate lobbying will determine the outcome of this public policy issue and we are the only voice pressuring companies to think about the consequences of their actions. The Wall Street Journal mentioned our effort in a story on the UN meeting. Read the story.
Our press release calls attention to the fact that Citi, Bank of America and Lehman Brothers lost billions on mortgage securities and are now trying to profit from climate change. If the banks were unable to understand mortgages, how can they possibly understand climate change?
Unfortunately, companies believe if they proactively lobby for global warming legislation Congress and environmental activists will treat them kindly. What they don't realize is the "just play nice" strategy will backfire because the real agenda of the activists is to use climate alarmism to ban the use of coal.
Duke Energy got caught in this trap. The company is part of the U.S. Climate Action Partnership (USCAP) - the coalition of companies and activists lobbying for global warming legislation. Duke's reward: the first climate change bill to pass a Senate committee will harm its business because the legislation punishes utilities like Duke that depend on coal for the vast amount of its power.
4. WILL GLOBAL WARMING SAVE LIVES?
A report commissioned by
So should we fear human-created climate change or embrace it?
o According to the BBC, 20,000 deaths are
linked to the cold each year in the
o In the United States, a warmer climate could save tens of thousands; Thomas Gale Moore, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution who has studied and written extensively about global warming, believes as many as 40,000 American lives would be spared each year.
Fewer deaths seems like a good thing, says Investor's Business Daily (IBD), but the alarmists have not wavered from their unrelenting rhetoric that global warming is a catastrophe in the making. However, if the global warming claims are correct, what would warmer winters -- and a warmer world in general --bring in addition to fewer cold-related deaths?
o Longer growing seasons and more land available for agriculture, two factors that will yield greater crop production.
o A reduction in respiratory and cardiovascular diseases that tend to be higher during colder months.
o Increased precipitation that will help the world solve its water scarcity issues.
o Lower heating bills by $12 billion a year, the Energy Department reckons.
Source: Editorial, "Will Global Warming Save Lives?" Investor's Business Daily, February 14, 2008.
http://www.ibdeditorials.com/IBDArticles.aspx?id=287885246723479 [Courtesy NCPA]
5. NEW CBO STUDY FURTHER EXPOSES CAP-AND-TRADE FLAWS
Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Environment & Public Works Committee, commented today on the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) 42-page report released on February 13 showing that carbon taxes are the most efficient way to regulate CO2 emissions and could offer significant advantages over the cap-and-trade approach.
This groundbreaking CBO report validates what I have been saying all along: Cap-and-trade approaches are the wrong way to go, Senator Inhofe said. The report is unequivocal in finding that cap-and-trade approaches are inefficient compared to a straightforward tax. The report reveals that no matter how a cap-and-trade approach is modified, on a ton-for-ton basis of emission reductions, it is worse for the American economy.
This CBO report is consistent with previous analysis stating that a cap-and-trade approach would be far more burdensome than a straightforward tax. A November 2007 report from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) revealed carbon mandates will further drive up energy costs for already overburdened consumers. A separate November 2007 report from the CBO warned energy "price increases would disproportionately affect people at the lower end of the income scale" and said a tax on emissions "is generally the more efficient approach" than a cap-and-trade system. (LINK)
Not only is the entire cap-and-trade approach fatally flawed, a cost-benefit analysis of the upcoming Lieberman-Warner cap-and-trade bill reveals it is simply all economic pain for no climate gain. Numerous analyses have placed the costs at trillions of dollars. Even if you accept the dire claims of man-made global warming, this bill would not have a measurable impact on the climate.
Key quotes from new CBO Report: “Policy Options for Reducing CO2 Emissions (Feb 13, 2008)”
According to the CBO report, a carbon tax "would provide firms with an incentive to undertake more emission reductions when the cost of doing so was relatively low and allow them to reduce emissions less when the cost of doing so was particularly high."
The CBO report noted a tax would keep the costs of emission reductions in balance with the anticipated benefits, whereas a cap would not. A tax on emissions would be the most efficient incentive-based option for reducing emissions and could be relatively easy to implement.
A cap that is too tight will disproportionately increase costs over benefits and a cap that is not tight enough will disproportionately lower costs relative to benefits. A tax, by contrast, will tend to hold the costs of emission reductions in line with the constant (although uncertain) expected benefits, encouraging greater emission reductions when costs are low and allowing more emissions when costs are high.
When analysts take into account the degree to which costs are likely to vary around a single best estimate, they conclude that a tax could offer much higher net benefits than a cap. One study suggests that the net benefits of a worldwide tax on CO2 emissions in 2010 would be more than eight times larger than those of an equivalent inflexible cap.
Viewed another way, any long-term emission-reduction target could be met by a tax at a fraction of the cost of an inflexible cap-and-trade program. A tax would provide a steady, predictable price from emissions. An inflexible cap, however, could result in volatile allowance prices, making a cap-and-trade program more disruptive to the economy than a tax would be.
Price volatility could be particularly problematic with CO2
allowances because fossil fuels play such an important role in the
6. ALTERNATIVE ENERGIES ARE A BAD JOKE
The idea that you
I guess Obama didn't read the latest news either: "Ethanol And Other Biofuels Prove To Be A Bad Investment" - "actually creates more greenhouse gases than traditional oil-based fossil fuels and causes millions of hectares of forests to be cleared for plantations thereby destroying the livelihoods of indigenous people. In the United States, solar power meets less than 0.01 percent of electricity needs. Maybe we can get Al Gore to invent an alternative energy for Obama.
Most of the people of the world have bought into the hysterics that the IPCC and the UN have propagated about the earth's climate. The UN has a long track record for corruption, and since the IPCC is a part of the UN, we can see how science can become twisted for political gain. The UN regularly churns out exaggerated and dire reports on everything from AIDS to climate change in order to garner political and financial support for more UN personnel, studies and conferences. Just ask any of the hundreds of climate scientists who are current and former participants in the UN IPCC and have criticized the biased climate claims made by that bureaucracy. The UN does not reward whistleblowers. Our political leaders better take a hard look at the "science" that the IPCC espouses.
Paul Driessen said it best: "We should improve energy efficiency, reduce pollution, and develop new energy technologies. But when we demand immediate action to prevent exaggerated or imaginary crises, we stifle debate, railroad through programs that don’t work, and impose horrendous unintended consequences on countless families. That is shortsighted and immoral.”
7. GREENHOUSE AFFECT
Trendy climate-change policies like ethanol and other biofuels are actually worse for the environment than fossil fuels, according to two studies published in Science, a peer-reviewed journal.
The first study, by ecologists at Princeton University and the Woods Hole Research Center, break new ground by exposing a kind of mega-accounting error:
o Prior studies had never credited the carbon-dioxide emissions that arise when virgin forests, grasslands and the like are cleared to grow biofuel feedstocks.
o About 2.7 times more carbon is stored in terrestrial soils and plant material than in the atmosphere, and this carbon is released when these areas are cleared (often by burning) and the soil is tilled.
o Compounding problems is the loss of "carbon sinks" that absorb atmospheric CO2 in the bargain.
o Previous projections had also ignored the second-order effects of transferring normal farmland to biofuels, which exerts worldwide pressure on land use.
o When the hidden costs of conversion are included, greenhouse-gas emissions from corn ethanol over the next 30 years will be twice as high as from regular gasoline.
o In the long term, it will take 167 years before the reduction in carbon emissions from using ethanol "pays back" the carbon released by land-use change.
The second study comes from the University of Minnesota and the Nature Conservancy, and explores what the authors call the "carbon debt," when native ecosystems are converted to biofuel stock. Until the debt is repaid, biofuels from those fields will be greater net emitters than the fossil fuels they replace:
o The authors find that the debt for corn ethanol in the United States is between 48 and 93 years.
o In Indonesia and Malaysia, which have a 1.5 percent annual rate of deforestation to produce palm oil for Western European biodiesel, the debt is as high as 423 years.
Source: Editorial, "Greenhouse Affect," Wall Street Journal, February 13, 2008. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120286874755264143.html
For Princeton University and Woods Hole Research Center study: http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/1151861v1
For University of Minnesota and the Nature Conservancy study: http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/1152747v1
9. GREEN FARCE: ARAB OIL SHEIKS TO REAP HUGE KYOTO PROFITS
AMEI News, 12 February 2008 http://www.ameinfo.com/146470.html
United Arab Emirates approves oil and gas projects under the Kyoto Protocol's CDM. The approval was given on during the meeting of the DNA's Higher Committee chaired by H.E. Mohammed bin Dha'en Al-Hameli, the UAE Minister of Energy.
The CDM part of the Kyoto Protocol encourages companies in developing countries to reduce their greenhouse gas - mainly Carbon Dioxide - emissions by offering them a tradable Certified Emission Reduction (CER) or 'carbon credit' against every ton of carbon dioxide equivalent reduced.
In order to realize CERs, a company must develop a CDM project consisting of various steps including GHG emission analysis, regulatory documentation, approval by the host country and registration at the United Nations.
The Designated National Authority for CDM in the UAE is mandated to approve CDM projects prior to their registration at the United Nations, by ensuring that the projects help achieve sustainable development and lead to the transfer of environmentally safe and sound technology. The Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD) was nominated in 2005 as the DNA for the UAE.
Masdar, the landmark initiative by the Abu Dhabi Government to promote advanced energy and sustainability, has worked with EAD for the past six months to build the DNA's technical capacity. Criteria for sustainable development and approval of projects have been developed according to best international practices. The UAE's DNA is one of the first in the GCC to become operational under a comprehensive institutional framework.
'We have worked with Masdar to build a comprehensive model for CDM which aims at promoting sustainability in line with our national development goals and socio-economic priorities, and we are willing to share our experience with other countries in the region' said Majid Al Mansouri, Secretary General of EAD and Chairman of the CDM Executive Committee.
The approved CDM projects have been developed by Masdar. These projects, which will be implemented by various companies of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) group, represent the first CDM projects in the oil and gas industry in the UAE. They involve CO2 recovery and utilization in urea production at Ruwais Fertilizer Industries (FERTIL) as well as gas flaring reduction at Abu Dhabi Gas Liquefaction Limited (ADGAS), Abu Dhabi Oil Refining Company (TAKREER) and TOTAL ABK.
Masdar CEO, Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, described these projects as a demonstration of ADNOC's commitment to reduce the environmental impact of the oil and gas industry in Abu Dhabi. 'These projects mark the first milestone in our cooperation with ADNOC to develop the CDM potential across its various operating companies,' added Dr Al Jaber.
Masdar is currently developing a portfolio of CDM projects with major asset owners in the UAE and the Middle East, including Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (ADWEA) and Dubai Aluminum (DUBAL). Projects include energy efficiency, industrial process improvement, flare gas recovery and power plant upgrades.
Copyright 2008, AMEI [Courtesy CCNet]
10. JAPAN'S KYOTO HARAKIRI: TRANSFERING WEALTH TO RUSSIA FOR CARBON CREDITS
By Jeffrey Ball, The Wall Street Journal, 11 February 2008 http://blogs.wsj.com/environmentalcapital/2008/02/11/cheap-carbon-credits-to-japan-from-russia-with-love/?mod=googlenews_wsj
Japan, famous for its hybrid cars and solar panels, may become an environmental pioneer in another sense: buying cheap carbon offsets abroad to minimize the burden on its domestic industry to clean up its act at home.
Under Kyoto, these won't be enough. Japanese and Russian officials agreed over the weekend to launch talks about Japan buying surplus greenhouse-gas emission permits from Russia. Such a sale would mark a major - and controversial - development in the geopolitics of what to do about global warming.
At issue is the Kyoto Protocol, the international global-warming treaty. It requires countries to cut their emissions below 1990 levels. That date is crucial in determining who wins and loses under the treaty.
The economies of Eastern European countries imploded after 1990 - and thus their emissions did too. As a result, Kyoto gives those Eastern European countries massive numbers of paper emission permits that they can sell to the highest bidder. The credits are known in the trade as "hot air." No country has more of them than Russia.
The prospect that industrialized economies such as Japan or those in Western Europe would get relief from their Kyoto cleanup obligations simply by buying paper emission credits from Russia has angered many environmentalists. But the treaty clearly allows such sales. One idea under discussion is that countries that do buy Eastern European hot air would require as a condition of the purchase that Eastern European countries promise to spend some of the revenue on "green" projects - retooling its factories to improve their energy efficiency, for instance. How that would work in practice is anyone's guess.
What's certain is that Japan is chafing under the emission-reduction promise it made under the Kyoto treaty. As we wrote last month, Japan pledged to cut its emissions 6% below 1990 levels by 2012. But as of 2006, Japan's emissions were 6.4% above 1990 levels - despite all those Prius hybrids that Toyota Motor Corp. sells.
Many Western European countries that signed up for Kyoto find themselves in a similar pickle. Japan is in an even tougher spot. Its past record of energy efficiency means it already has made many of the cheapest environmental improvements available to an industrialized economy. What's left to do is more expensive - and likely more disruptive to Japanese industry, which now is complaining loudly about its Kyoto burden.
Japanese and Russian officials are scheduled to get together later this month to talk more about a mutually beneficial sale of hot-air emission credits. Stay tuned.
Copyright 2008, WSJ [Courtesy CCNet]