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Dearth Day 2009



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Planet Gore is not alone in “celebrating” Lenin’s birthday and the Malthusian effort to promote poverty around the planet that coincides with it.

Over on the homepage, don’t miss Jonah Goldberg on the EPA and CO2 regulation; Mark Hemingway on Discovery’s “Planet Green”; Duncan Currie on cap-and-trade; and Wesley J. Smith on Hollywood’s burgeoning anti-humanism.

And over on the Media Blog, Kevin Williamson recalls the charming history of Earth Day’s founder:

Given that Earth Day is basically a media festival, it’s always mysterious to me that so little press attention is given to the guy who started it, Ira Einhorn:

Environmentalist Loved Planet, Murdered Girlfriend

Great headline!

And I always forget this part:

Arlen Specter, currently Pennsylvania’s senior United States Senator, was Mr. Einhorn’s attorney. He managed to get the bail set at the unheard of amount of $40,000 for the suspected murderer. Only 10 percent was needed to free him. Barbara Bronfman, heiress to the Seagram liquor fortune, paid it.

Cap-and-Trade, Dog-and-Pony



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This morning I spoke on a panel on the legislative prospects for cap-and-trade kicked off by EPW chair Barbara Boxer. The California senator cited the death of a young girl in Ohio last year who developed a bacterial infection after swimming in a local body of water. Boxer blamed global warming for the presence of the pathogen — because, well, it’s never been this warm before.

I have small children, and therefore zero reservations about categorizing such abuse of individual tragedy as heartless. (Perhaps the senator believes this nonsense — which raises other, significant questions.)

As Boxer left, one lobbyist from an oil company pushing for this cap-and-trade scheme that, uh, is a shell of its former self, fawned to the senator, asking if she were frowning during the lobbyist in question’s remarks. The response? “No, I was smiling the whole time. I loved everything you said!”

Welcome to Capitol Hill. This set the tone for other lobbyists from rent-seeking industries who, when asked if a bill might pass, gushed, “We sure hope so!” Another cited the sale of CFLs as proof that customers will go green if given a choice — and as an argument for even more mandates (like the ones that help explain CFL sales), with no hesitation advancing that contradiction. Yet another offered windy remarks citing Hurricane Katrina as proof that “climate change” is here. Paging the Dimmock judge: You’re needed in Washington.

The least troubling remarks on this panel of experts (other than my own) came from the National Resources Defense Council. [Sigh.] So this is what the taxpayers face: A policymaking community thriving on cynical fairy tales, illogic, outright fabrications, and a slobbering love affair with the idea of picking your pockets in order to fund state-mandated wealth transfers to buy off the constituencies necessary to drag this scheme over the finish line.

Most of which points I made — while the august audience emitted the odor of recognition that the public will block this scheme, and were none too pleased about it. I look forward to the day the global-warming industry and their pals in Congress finally bite the bullet and try to force this on you. I have a feeling their delay arises from a shared suspicion that it will end in a way similar to the legislative anecdote with which I began my remarks: the 1993 BTU debacle.

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Earth Day, 2009: The More You Know, the Less You Care



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What on Earth is going on in Washington? The public believes less and less that human beings are responsible for global warming, surface temperature shows no net change in over a decade, and there’s still a bill about to be debated in the House that will require the average American in 2050 to have a “carbon footprint” no larger than it was for the average American in 1867.

The politics of global warming are becoming increasingly disconnected from the public. Day after day, hour after hour, telescreens shout, “Go Green! Go Green!” Fewer and fewer people care.

On April 19, Rasmussen Reports released a new global warming poll: 48 percent of respondents believe that observed climate changes are being “caused by planetary trends,” while 34 percent believe they are a result of human influence on the atmosphere. When Obama was sworn in, the relative numbers were 44 percent and 41 percent. Just three months ago, opinion was pretty much evenly split, and now there’s a whopping 14 percent plurality in favor of “natural causes.”

This is a change from bad to worse in the eyes of environmentalists. In January, Gallup found that, out of 20 prominent issues, Americans ranked global warming dead last in terms of importance. If the newer Rasmussen results are any guide, support has waned even further since then.

If the political class had done its homework, it would have seen this coming. The incessant hype has generated a massive political backlash. It was first documented over a year ago in the refereed journal Risk Analysis, by Paul Kellstedt and two colleagues, political scientists at Texas A&M University.

The standard thinking is called the “knowledge deficit” model. That’s academese for the notion that the poor blokes aren’t concerned about global warming because they’re just stupid and haven’t heard enough about it. Obviously no one watches television any more (CNBC’s peacock is green this week), walks outside in major urban downtowns (plastered with billboards and posters — from energy companies — urging their customers to use less of their products), or goes to the movies (The Day After Tomorrow, An Inconvenient Truth, Ice Age: The Meltdown, etc).

Actually, people still do go to the movies, and watch TV, and are assaulted every urban minute with global-warming propaganda. And, according to Kellstedt, the more people know about global warming, the less they care:

Contrary to the assumptions underlying the knowledge-deficit model, as well as the marketing of movies like Ice Age or An Inconvenient Truth, the effects of information on both concern for global warming and responsibility for it are exactly the opposite of what were expected.

Jon Gertner touched on this in last Sunday’s New York Times Magazine. He noted that debate as to why climate change isn’t higher up on the priority totem-pole usually is blamed on “the doubt-sowing remarks of climate-change skeptics,” or “the poor communication skills of good scientists.”

This prism has bent the light on global warming exactly wrong. In fact, it is the communication skills of scientists that are responsible for people’s opinions. Kellstedt found that people “with high confidence in scientists . . . show less concern for global warming,” as did the “more informed respondents.” Americans’ lack of alarm has less to do with “skeptics” than it does with people’s perception of mainstream science.

Interestingly, this is parallel to other issues at the science-political nexus. Despite years of campaigning against genetically modified (GM) food on the part of many environmentalists, the more people learn, the less concerned they are about that, too.

Maybe this has to do with the fact that Americans have been consuming, in one form or another, GM food for decades, and we obviously aren’t dead yet. Sober scientists note that GM foods are nutritionally indistinguishable from their progenitors — so when someone else loudly and angrily foretells disaster upon disaster that will befall us from the use of GM products, people say “so what?” And when they see some movie about the horrors of global warming — if they know that scientists observe that the planet’s surface has been warming episodically and modestly for a century — they likewise say, “So what? It’s a movie.”

Washington would be well-advised to pay attention to what folks are telling pollsters out beyond the Beltway.

But it’s Earth Day, so I expect the response of the political class here will likewise be, “So what?”

– Patrick J. Michaels is senior fellow in environmental studies at the Cato Institute and author of the forthcoming Climate of Extremes: Global Warming Science They Don’t Want You to Know.

Obama Heads to Iowa for Earth Day . . .



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. . . using a not-very-emissions-friendly mode of transportation. Maybe a teleconference would have been better — today of all days?

John Tierney’s Earth Day Predictions



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From yesterday’s New York Times:

1. There will be no green revolution in energy or anything else. No leader or law or treaty will radically change the energy sources for people and industries in the United States or other countries. No recession or depression will make a lasting change in consumers’ passions to use energy, make money and buy new technology — and that, believe it or not, is good news, because . . .

2. The richer everyone gets, the greener the planet will be in the long run.

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Happy Earth Day From Best Buy



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For those of you on Facebook, here is Best Buy’s status update:

Best Buy

Happy Earth Day. Check out our new application and take the Greener Together pledge. And let us know what ways you have to help improve our environment.15 minutes ago

If global warming really is the crisis the alarmists say it is, then nearly all manufacturing must stop and I doubt Best Buy really wants people to start thinking about the economic impact of their purchase.

If you really want to save the environment, Best Buy customers, put off buying new stuff until your old stuff is unusable. Let’s see if Best Buy is ready to offer that pledge. 

Earth Day Blues, Continued



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The Wall Street Journal’s Keith Johnson writes: “Today, just in time for the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, the House will start a marathon parade of 54 witnesses over four days to talk about climate and energy, culminating with an inevitable Friday appearance by former vice president Al Gore. Will anyone be listening?”

I hope so. I’m one of the 54 witnesses. Diary to follow (if it is interesting).

I Feel for the French



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A company with rather sensitive security concerns spies on a group because that group is dedicated to disrupting their operations. Besides the ritual criminality of these disruptions, that group also happens to use similar tactics to spy on others who they don’t like or who don’t agree with them.

So I’m shocked (shocked!) that nuclear plant operators EDF would spy on Greenpeace. If Greenpeace (with its own record of spying, as I and a former White House aide, among others, have learned firsthand — and of dishonestly combining and otherwise lying about the things they pulled from our trash) fiegns outrage, why, I’d suggest we stop taking them seriously.

Ok. It’s well past that time, on a substantive level.

Though it seems EDF went a little far, if it didn’t at least try to anticipate attacks from its antagonists we really should be concerned.

Stick to the Facts



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My Earth Day contribution to the Washington Examiner:

This year’s official Earth Day poster depicts a polar bear climbing a wind turbine that sits atop a sheet of ice floating at sea.  A catchy picture, to be sure, but hyperbole will not advance energy-policy discussions — especially when environmental goals must be balanced with the need to cope with a recession and rising unemployment. 

To ensure continued access to the reliable, affordable energy that is the lifeblood of our nation’s economy, policies must be rooted in facts and realities, not myths and pipedreams.

Unfortunately, results from a new survey conducted for the Manhattan Institute by Zogby Associates illustrate that a majority of Americans’ ideas on energy and the environment are not based in fact.  For example, 49% of respondents believe Saudi Arabia exports the most oil to the U.S., while just 13% correctly identified Canada as our top foreign supplier. 

Over two-thirds believe that we can meet future energy demand through conservation and efficiency — but energy usage has historically increased alongside efficiency gains, and conservation provides only marginal consumption reductions. 

Environmentalists tout wind and solar power, but collectively these sources generate less than 1% of our electricity. They are significantly more costly than their conventional counterparts – coal and oil – and provide power too intermittently to be added to our electric grid in large volumes. 

Still, over 49% believe renewable energies will soon replace conventional power sources, even while the Energy Information Administration projects that 85% of our electricity in 2030 will be generated by fossil fuels and uranium. 

No new nuclear reactor has been built in the U.S. in three decades, though 104 nuclear-power plants safely produce one-fifth of our nation’s electricity — with virtually zero carbon-dioxide emissions. No one has ever died from the actual production of U.S. nuclear power, a fact known by just 37% of respondents.

We’re warned that catastrophes might result from global warming unless we reduce our carbon footprint, though very little of the carbon dioxide entering the atmosphere is caused by human activities. Yet 63% of respondents believe human activities are the greatest source of greenhouse gases. 

Moreover, we don’t know how, if at all, actions to reduce emissions will benefit the global climate, particularly since projections show our future emissions will be dwarfed by developing nations, namely China. All we do know is that any such carbon-reduction plans will come with a hefty price tag. 

Finally, we’re told we need to become energy independent, but vast areas of our natural-resource rich public lands and offshore waters are off-limits to extraction. We’re blessed with tremendous reserves of coal and uranium, yet coal and nuclear power are taboo. Ninety-one percent of our electricity is generated by fossil fuels and uranium, but instead of continuing to extract such resources safely, we put our hopes in alternative energies and fuels that are economically and technologically incapable of meeting large-scale energy needs. 

From the largest corporations to lone consumers, higher energy costs affect everyone, ultimately raising the prices of other goods and services. Nonetheless, the Obama administration has made it clear that achieving its environmental goals will, by necessity, make energy more expensive.  

It plans to spend of billions of taxpayer dollars to try to alter the global climate, prop up fledgling renewable energies and alternative fuels, and artificially create subsidized “green” jobs — while shunning the very resources that have successfully powered our economy and our standard of living.  The more prudent path is to pursue new resources and technologies that might one day make meaningful contributions to our energy supply — while not turning our backs on what sustains us. 

 A fact-based, energy reality check is a good place to start meeting our needs today and planning for tomorrow.

– Drew Thornley is the author of the new report, Energy & the Environment: Myths & Facts, published by the Manhattan Institute.

Engineer Schwarzenegger, Day Two



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Detroit, Mich. — The weather here and Arnold Schwarzenegger were the main pre-occuations during the second day of the Society of Auto Engineers annual convention, themed “The Race to Green Mobility.”

In January, the organizers of Detroit’s International Auto Show wrapped their event in green to impress Washington that they were serious about tackling global warming. Outside, temperatures hit a bone-chilling 12 degrees below zero. This week, the SAE has also preened green, inviting enviro-governors Jennifer Granholm and Schwarzenegger to the podium, while trumpeting its commitment to save the planet. Outside, spring temperatures dropped into the 30s and the sky hailed buckets.

If no one wanted to talk about the inconvenient weather, everyone was still buzzing about Schwarzenegger, who had jetted into Motown yesterday (on a plane guzzling 500 gallons of fuel an hour) to complain about Detroit gas-guzzlers.

In an interview with the Detroit News published today, the Governator — a collector of big SUVs and fast sports cars — said that “we should not villainize SUVs or villainize the Hummers or villainize the big cars, but we should villainize the old technology (gas-powered engines).” This from a governor who has refused to send a price signal to consumers by heavily taxing gasoline, but has instead villainized automakers by trying to impose a 42-mpg fuel-efficiency mandate.

Schwarzenegger’s staff was reluctant to say how the governor got around Detroit during his stay (though you can bet if he was driving a hybrid we would have known about it) but did disclose that his ride was a “flex-fuel Ford.” The only flex-fuel (ethanol-capable) vehicles Ford makes are its giant Expedition, Navigator, or F150 trucks, and its big Lincoln Town Car sedan — all solid sellers before $4-a-gallon gas and the current economic downturn.

Yet, in his News interview, Schwarzenegger insisted that “Detroit was asleep at the wheel” for producing these “status quo” vehicles. In fact, Schwarzenegger’s summation of the auto in America is representative of how spoiled Californians have become about the affordable, individual-transportation revolution Henry Ford introduced 100 years ago.

“For a century, Detroit has produced the most powerful cars,” he said. “But we now know this technology has made our world a more polluted world. The next 100 years should be about cleaning.”

Move over automakers. Sacramento pols have this auto thing all figured out.

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Hypocrites



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Remember when Harrison Ford pulled that stunt of getting his chest hair waxed for the sake of the environment?

Well, the erstwhile smooth-chested spokesman for the rainforest has a new gig. He’s pimping for the CO2-spewing, environment-killing, private jet and airplane industry. New York Post:

In a role that could be tougher than proving his innocence in the film “The Fugitive,” actor and avid pilot Harrison Ford is trying to convince a fed-up public that small planes aren’t “jets for rich people.”

Ford is starring in a new campaign touting the economic benefits of general aviation, a category that includes private jets, corporate planes, aerobatic aircraft, historic airplanes and helicopters.

The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, with about 415,000 members, is kicking off a campaign to combat negative perceptions of the industry, the threat of higher fees and stricter security measures.

The group said general aviation pumps $150 billion into the economy every year and employs 1.2 million people.

Maybe Obama will give Harrison Ford a billion dollars to develop a plug-in hybrid aerobatic aircraft?

Imagine if Rush Had Said This



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Robert F. Kennedy Jr. calls Obama “An ‘Indentured Servant’ of the Coal Industry.”

I have long wondered whether little Bobby actually kicked his youthful drug addiction. I’ll look forward to other environmentalists disavowing him.


EDITOR’S NOTE: The ABC News headline that prompted this post was a misleading conflation of Robert F. Kennedy quotes.

Kennedy called politicians who support coal “indentured servants of the coal industry” on September 10, 2005; July 7, 2007; December 12, 2008; and January 30, 2009.

Kennedy called Obama “a very sensible [politician]” and a “great [man],” who nonetheless “[feels] the need to parrot the talking points of this industry that is so destructive to our country.”

We regret the repetition of ABC’s error.

Solar-Space-Power Possibilities



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Reader Paul offers a corrective to the solar-power-from-space discussion:

While I share the widespread skepticism regarding PG&E’s plans to purchase electricity generated by a Solar Power Satellite System (SPSS), the issues raised by your correspondent James were resolved over 30 years ago, back when I last worked on a NASA SPS design study at Grumman (Peter Glaser of A.D. Little, who originated the concept, was a consultant).

While it is true that most SPSS designs rely on a vehicle in GEO, it is neither necessary nor desirable to assemble the satellite there. The concepts that I’ve seen assume that the PowerSat is assembled in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and then transferred to GEO using on-board electric propulsion, which provides relatively low thrust with incredibly high efficiency, and can be powered by a portion of the PowerSat’s output.

James’ concern regarding the effect of the beam on other satellites (or aircraft) is also misplaced.  Power would be transmitted to Earth using a low density microwave beam using a frequency that does not interact with atmospheric water vapor (the opposite of the microwave-oven effect). The flux imposed on LEO spacecraft transiting the beam is trivial compared to other space environment concerns. At the receiving end, the beam is converted to electrical power using a rectifying antenna (rectenna) a mile or more in diameter. The power beam can only be transmitted when the SPS is locked on to a phase signal transmitted form the ground site — if the SPS loses lock, the beam can not be formed (so there is no chance of a wandering beam frying random cities).

The study I worked on envisioned using the surface below the rectenna for farming or light industry, since energy levels below the rectenna would be quite low — NASA and DoE have actually performed a number of experiments verifying the feasibility of this type of power transmission.

All that being said, launch costs remain the achilles heel of any SPS concept. The mass involved in a 5 GWe satellite is not outrageous when considered on an industrial scale (comparable to a supertanker) but none of the designs I’ve seen could produce power at competitive rates without a massive reduction in cost to LEO.

Solaren claims that they’ve come up with a radically new approach that obviates the launch cost issue. If they have, I think we’d all cheer them on, but it’s not clear that engineering and economic realties have left them a loophole.

Discover This



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Hmm. This might sound familiar. A Heritage economist writes in an e-mail:

In an article on the environmental impact of alternative energy, the CEO of [windmill company] Vestas displays amazing ignorance about CO2. He apparently thinks the harm from CO2 emissions is toxicity. You would think the top person at one of the world’s largest manufacturers of wind turbines would have the story straight on why humanity desperately needs his product. Ironically, he is adamant about getting “the facts on the table”:

Ditlev Engel, president and chief executive of the Danish wind-energy company Vestas, said anecdotal evidence about birds being caught in turbine blades and other environmental horror stories do not usually hold up under scrutiny.

 

“Do people think it’s better all those birds are breathing CO2? I’m not a scientist, but I doubt it,” said Engel, whose company is expanding its U.S. manufacturing and distribution operations. “Let’s get the facts on the table and not the feelings. The fact is, these are not issues.”

Yes. In addition to being pretty humorous, that does seem to represent passion supplanting edification, which is something we see quite a bit from the global-warming industry, including today.

One wag has noted in an e-mailed reply that possibly Engel meant “Do people think it’s better all those birds are exhaling CO2? This would explain his machinery’s cavalier approach to shredding them into Chicken McNuggets.”

 

At minimum we should expect more sneering from Discover’s blog any moment. Right?

Watts Up with the Sun?



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Not much. It’s been more than three weeks since Helios last had a blemish.

Watts Up With That? has some interesting analysis from reader Paul Stanko of the NOAA:

Paul writes:

My running mean of the International Sunspot Number for 2009 just dipped below 1.00.  For anything comparable you now need to go back before 1913 (which scored a 1.43) which could mean we’re now competing directly with the Dalton Minimum.

Just in case you’d like another tidbit, here is something that puts our 20 to 30 day spotless runs in perspective… the mother of all spotless runs (in the heart of the Maunder Minimum, of course!) was from October 15, 1661 to August 2, 1671.  It totaled 3579 consecutive spotless days, all of which had obs.

Errant counting of sunspecks from Catainia aside, it appears that we haven’t seen anything like this in modern history.

We live in interesting times.

I’d recommend calling it the Gore Minimum.

Put a Sock in It



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So everyone’s favorite mass-emailer, Dr. Michael Schlesinger, sends along this whine with apparent approval from a resident genius at Discover magazine who (while accurately taking John Boehner to task for mistaking that global-warming alarmists allege carbon dioxide is a carcinogen), steps in it in his rush to sneer at the ignorance of others:

“Cows producing carbon dioxide when they “do what they do”? You can’t make this stuff up — it can only emerge from a state of deep, deep confusion.”

Of course, Boehner doesn’t need to make that one up, though confusion does apparently reign here. As is so often the case with global-warming alarmists, they know what they know regardless of what observations or data say.

Not to leave self-imposed humiliation at a minimum, our braintrust goes on:

“Boehner’s flubs — confusing carbon dioxide with carcinogens and with methane — make you wonder whether the guy even knows what global warming is. Can somebody get him a science adviser? Any graduate student will do — in any field, honestly.”

Yes. Honestly. Or, just get this fellow Wikipedia if Discover doesn’t possess sufficient resources.

Admittedly, it is bad form to ascribe false views to one’s political opponents. So it is surprising that our heroes have not expressed similar outrage over President Obama’s persistent use of straw men — “some say we should do nothing,” etc., etc. But notice how Boehner’s dismissal of the (nonexistent) charge that CO2 is also a carcinogen is morphed into him being the one making the claim? By the same reasoning, it appears safe to conclude that Obama was the one saying we should do nothing. Got it.

Here we see how confused one can get when placing one’s own dizzying intellect on such a lofty pedestal.

Re: Solar Energy From Space



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Planet Gore reader James writes in to comment on this post:

Getting solar energy generated in space back to Earth requires:

1. The panels will need to be in geosynchronous orbit, which is way out of reach of any heavy lift vehicle currently on the drawing board. There is no way to get what would have to be a very large solar station up there. So, add the cost of developing the heavy lift and geosynchronous capable rocket to the bill.

2. Say they get their station in orbit. Now it has to send what will have to be a very powerful beam back to an earth station. That beam of energy will be passing through a swarm of low earth orbit satellites, likely damaging any that pass through the beam, including the ISS. They could shut down the beam every time a satellite will intersect the beam but that might lead to power interruptions and we all know how much the customers like that.

I’m going to say that PG&E will be investing in a very expensive and noncompetative form of electrical generation, if they do this. It would be cheaper to just build big earth based solar farms. They need to drop this idea like a hot potato.

It looks as if PG&E has minimized their risk here — I don’t think the effort will cost them, or their customers, anything extra, per the original article:

Pacific Gas and Electric Company, which serves San Francisco and northern California, has agreed to buy electricity from a startup company claiming to have found a way to unlock the potential power supply in space.

For PG&E, it doesn’t matter if the electricity they sell is from the new space array or from the monkey riding the generator-bike on Gilligan’s Island, the only thing that matters is the cost to PG&E. If they pay extra for space electricity, then that’s a different story and the customers will surely go nuts.

My guess is that this is a P.R. move and nothing more.

Not Completely Misinformed



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Drew Thornley in IBD, on his Energy & the Evironment: Myths & Facts report.

The results from Zogby indicate that Americans are misinformed on matters that press on energy and environmental policy — for example, too many think that U.S. forests are shrinking; that renewables are ready to replace fossil fuels in our energy supply; and that a move toward renewables away from fossil fuels will increase employment levels (now wherever would they get that idea?).

Equally interesting are the handful of issues where those polled get it right:

On a few topics, respondents were better informed.

Almost 49% of respondents think reducing carbon emissions will not be simple or cheap — a belief supported by numerous analyses that project that strict carbon-cutting regimes will lead to falling GDP, reduced employment and higher energy prices across the board. 

Additionally, half of those surveyed feel nuclear waste can be stored safely. That’s in the wake of the Obama administration’s recent decision to halt plans for a permanent nuclear-waste repository at Yucca Mountain in Nevada — after years of planning and billions of dollars invested and with no specific alternative put forth.

Finally, perhaps aware of the infrequency of offshore oil spills, 64% of respondents favor expanded offshore drilling.

Rising to the Occasion



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Chris Horner in the Washington Times:

The Washington Times’ front-page story “Rising sea levels in Pacific create wave of migrants” (Page 1, Sunday) outrageously peddles a talking point circulated by activists such as former Vice President Al Gore. The article’s claim that human-induced climate change and sea-level rise spawned a migration of refugees from South Pacific island nations was found unsupportable by the only court to examine its merits (Dimmock v. Secretary of State (UK) for Education and Skills, UK High Court, Oct. 10, 2007).

This claim is a rehash of assertions made in Mr. Gore’s movie, “An Inconvenient Truth.” In its Dimmock ruling, the High Court stated: “In scene 20, Mr. Gore states ‘that’s why the citizens of these Pacific nations have all had to evacuate to New Zealand.’ There is no evidence of any such evacuation having yet happened.” Even the defendant UK government admitted, “It is not clear that there is any evidence of evacuations in the Pacific due to human-induced climate change.” Refugees seeking generous New Zealand and Canadian welfare regimes do exist, but they are not driven by sea-level rise.

This ruling came in late 2007. The rate of sea-level rise — which began after a period known as the Little Ice Age – proceeded steadily from about 1850 until then, without accelerating. Since then, satellite data have affirmed that the rate peaked in 2005 and that levels even have dipped slightly. Sea levels around the Maldives have dropped appreciably in recent decades. Nowhere did The Times acknowledge doubt, let alone these facts.

In short, this reportage perpetuated unsupportable claims made, as the UK High Court put it, “in the context of alarmism and exaggeration in support of [Mr. Gore's] political thesis.” A retraction is warranted.

CHRISTOPHER C. HORNER
Counsel and senior fellow
Competitive Enterprise Institute

Earth Day: OUT



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Planetary Community Day: IN

CNN:

(CNN) — Earth Day may fall later this week, but as far as former NASA astronaut Edgar Mitchell and other UFO enthusiasts are concerned, the real story is happening elsewhere.

Mitchell, who was part of the 1971 Apollo 14 moon mission, asserted Monday that extraterrestrial life exists, and that the truth is being concealed by the U.S. and other governments.

He delivered his remarks during an appearance at the National Press Club following the conclusion of the fifth annual X-Conference, a meeting of UFO activists and researchers studying the possibility of alien life forms.

Mankind has long wondered if we’re “alone in the universe. [But] only in our period do we really have evidence. No, we’re not alone,” Mitchell said.

“Our destiny, in my opinion, and we might as well get started with it, is [to] become a part of the planetary community. … We should be ready to reach out beyond our planet and beyond our solar system to find out what is really going on out there.”

You think we waterboarded the Roswell aliens when we captured them?

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