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Some Pigs Are Somewhat More Equal Than Others



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Sheryl Crow has painted her recent tour to promote her career awareness of global warming as a light-hearted jaunt on an eco-friendly bus with her pals.

 

This website has gotten a copy of the rider for her performance contract that specifies that at each performance the venue will provide her entourage with parking for three tractor trailers, four buses and six cars. That’s quite a carbon footprint.

 

Apropos of nothing it also specifies that she will be provided with 12 bottles of Grolsch beer, 6 bottles of “local” beer, and a bottle each of “good Australian Cabernet” and “good Merlot.” In addition, depending on the day of the week different hard liquor is also to be provided. For example, on Monday it’s one bottle of Maker’s Mark bourbon. That’s on a Monday. Kind of makes me see the altercation with Karl Rove in a different light.

It’s Official: China Is Evil



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Russia Picks up Where Enron Left Off



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The New York Times today has a nice piece explaining how Russia is milking Europe under the Kyoto scheme (could the Grey Lady be setting herself up for a reversal?). Salient excerpts include Russia’s manifestation of Enron’s business plan (and Kyoto advocacy) before their other schemes came crashing down on them:

“Gazprom, the Russian energy giant, has made handsome profits selling natural gas to Europe. Now the company is positioning itself to make even more money, this time from the effluents from all that gas it sells to Europe. Gazprom announced Tuesday that it is selling carbon dioxide emissions credits that companies in the European Union need in order to burn Gazprom’s fuel. Gazprom’s effort is part of a major push by Russian energy companies, already the world’s largest exporters of oil and natural gas, to become major players in the growing market for carbon credits. As a country, Russia possesses the credits in abundance under the Kyoto Protocol on climate change and hopes to transfer those benefits to its companies.”

This next paragraph reveals why Russia played the decisive role in ensuring Kyoto would go into effect in the first place — after coquettishly toying with Europe and finally settling for the bauble of EU support of Russia’s bid to join the WTO — and why it will do everything in its power to ensure something called “Kyoto” survives past its scheduled expiration date of 12/31/12:

“In 2004, when Russia ratified the Kyoto Protocol, officials here estimated Russian companies could attract $6 billion to $9 billion in investments into emissions-reducing technologies. In total, Russia can reduce emissions under the Kyoto Protocol by two billion to three billion tons of carbon dioxide by 2012, according to government figures. At current prices, the total value for Russian carbon credits could be between 30 billion and 45 billion euros, or about $40 billion to $60 billion. But if negotiations to extend the Kyoto Protocols collapse, carbon credits could be worth nothing.

So Russia will ride to the EU’s political rescue, yet again, to its own very great enrichment at Europe’s expense. Remember that it was only Russia’s ratification of Kyoto that allowed the pact to go into effect in the first place due to the peculiarities of Kyoto’s requirements (ratification by at least 55 countries representing at least 55% of covered countries’ GHG emissions in 1990, unattainable if both the US and Russia refused to ratify). Last year in Brussels, former Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov laughingly assured me that extracting the WTO support was indeed Russia’s approach, if never publicly acknowledged, offering knowing chuckles when I probed about their future intentions followed by a berating for asking so many silly questions about such a meaningless issue that is joke to us!–a moment that allowed me to glory in the revelation that my cynicism does not go un-affirmed.

Global warming: What Americans read



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Here’s a peek at the climate change information Middle Americans are getting. The Detroit Sunday Free Press’s (circulation 670,000) lead story last Sunday was entitled “It’s cool to be Green: Michiganders heat up their efforts to save the planet.”

The story’s lead graph quoted left-wing environmentalist (without identifying her as such) Lana Pollack of the Michigan Environmental Council: “I believe the public has reached a tipping point in terms of concern and understanding about global warming.”

No wonder if this is the kind of nonsense they are daily fed. The story told of extreme weather changes, of Michigan rivers already flowing with less ice, of student concerns that global warming was a greater threat than terrorism and nuclear proliferation, of plans to get 20 percent of municipal energy from wind and solar power.

Two sidebars ran with the story. The first lectured readers on “on living a greener life;” the second finger-wagged about how “to lighten your carbon footprint.”

Any opposing views cited?

“There are still skeptics,” staff writer Tina Lam wrote, “led by conservative talk show hosts like Rush Limbaugh – but their numbers and power are dwindling.”

 

That, friends, is all they get.

Who read Crow’s remarks



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Iain points out below that Crow’s toilet paper comment “has almost certainly harmed the statist green cause, for which I am grateful to her.”

True enough – for those who heard it.

The global warming movement has reached America’s ears through the megaphone of a mainstream media that has relentlessly promoted the likes of Al Gore and the IPCC at the same time it has muzzled the likes of Richard Lindzen and the Senate’s report on hockey stick science.

Crow’s gaffe spread though the blogosphere Monday, but went unpublished in a single major newspaper Tuesday. Not the New York Times. Not the LA Times. Not the Detroit newspapers. Nowhere.

America today is divided not just blue state from red state but from those who get their news from the MSM or alternatives like NRO. Sadly, the former still commands the most viewers and thus the upper hand in the climate debate.

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They’re Not Joking



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Regardless of whether or not Ms. Crow was joking, the WWF in Italy apparently are serious in wanting people to cut down on cleanliness. According to my good friend Carlo Stagnaro, the (Italian-only) article in today’s Corriere della Sera says the following:

(a) Never take a shower, just a bath once a week – also says when, i.e. on Saturday morning – unless you are a sportsman or do some tiring job, in which case you can get more than a bath per week (but never, never one per day);

(b) Don’t wash your teeth as you get up in the morning;

(c) Use your shirts at least 2 or 3 days in a row – and please don’t use white ones, and give up your tie;

(d) YOU SHOULD USE THE SAME UNDERPANTS FOR MORE THAN 3 DAYS IN A ROW, AND CHANGE YOUR T-SHIRT JUST ONCE A WEEK (on Saturday, again!);

(e) Socks may last as much as 3 days, at least by Winter;

(f) Don’t use your washing machine – just a quick passage of your dirty dishes below the water, because “a small piece of old food on the dish is healthier than traces of chemicals”, but – don’t laugh – “when my wife (who regards myself as a man with little sense of hygiene, and possibly is right) washes things change, and we use the washing machine at full load” (God bless wives);

(g) Before going to bed just a quick wash at specific parts of the body (guess what…) since “an healthy man who don’t sweat too much may have a good relation life even with no horrible deodorant” (sic)

This from the head of WWF Italy. I amazed he still has a wife.

Why the Energy Debate is so Frustrating



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Max Schulz of The Mahattan Institute has a great article in today’s Washington DC Examiner that illustrates just why the energy debate is getting nowhere: people are badly misiniformed. For example:

Americans, it seems, are similarly misinformed on a host of other issues, believing that the 1979 accident at Three Mile Island was deadly (it wasn’t); that our cities are getting dirtier (air pollution has actually been slashed since 1970); that the Kyoto Protocol would require all nations to cut greenhouse gas emissions (it exempted China and India); that wind and solar power could substitute easily for coal and nuclear power (they could not); and that we can easily meet our future energy requirements solely with conservation and efficiency measures (very unlikely).

No wonder politicians keep making idiotic statements and taking worse decisions on energy policy. And that affects every one of us every time we switch on a light, CFL or not.

Jokers Wild



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Sheryl Crow is now claiming that her toilet paper idea was a joke.

The reaction to it should tell her something about the environmental movement. People thought it was a serious suggestion because they are used to hearing equally ludicrous things coming from environmentalists. Even The Daily Show took her at face value last night. Until green environmentalists square the circle of modern life with their concerns about it and their proposed statist solutions, they’re going to face exactly the same problem. Her joke has almost certainly harmed the statist green cause, for which I am grateful to her.

It also says something about how America views its celebrities. But that’s a discussion for another place.

What Do China, the U.S., and Canada Have in Common on Global Warming?



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The news out of China and Canada shows that on at least one environmental issue, the Bush administration has been at the forefront of sound policy. China will very soon surpass the US and the leading emitter of greenhouse gases – yet as late as two weeks ago, they reaffirmed that while they would participate in negotiations to shape a post-Kyoto treaty limiting greenhouse gas emissions, they would not commit to binding reduction in CO2.

China, rightly, fears continued poverty and the health and welfare problems that it brings more than the distant, in time and indirect, in effect, potential problems posed by global warming. From the start of the administration, Bush recognized that signing up to Kyoto or a Kyoto style treaty, would do little or nothing to prevent warming or help the environment, while putting us at a competitive disadvantage with China and other newly emerging economic powerhouses.

Canada’s Prime-Minister, has apparently come to the same conclusion. To the extent that future warming poses a real threat, the answer is not harming economic growth by restricting energy use, but rather the development and diffusion of new, more efficient technologies to the countries where, if used, these technologies will allow economic growth to continue while preventing new emissions. New technologies will allow developing countries to develop without using the same, less efficient, dirtier, power, agricultural, and transportation technologies critical to growth in the developed world in the past century.

The Asian-Pacific partnership which Canada wants to join, should result in far more environmental benefits, for a far cheaper price, than proposals to artificially restrict energy use by raising prices. As an ancillary benefit, companies that develop these technologies will be the industrial leader in the next century – leading to job growth in the U.S. and contributing to a lower trade deficit.

An IPCC Reviewer Reviews the IPCC



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Speaking of boondoggles, over at Sp!ked, Rob Lyons interviews Aynesley Kellow, an Australian expert reviewer for the IPCC. He quickly reveals just why all those temperature predictions we hear about – and all the devastating effects associated with them – are fundamentally misguided:

According to the scenarios on which the climate models are based, the developing world will go through an enormous economic leap forward over the next century – and apparently this will have many deadly consequences. Kellow is not convinced by such claims: ‘The IPCC is assuming rates of economic growth that dwarf the nineteenth-century success of the USA, the twentieth century in Japan and so on. The USA experienced, I think, a ninefold increase in GDP per capita; these are making assumptions about 30-fold increases. So you can question their credibility. But if you do that, you’re questioning the emissions scenarios that are driving the climate models.’

There seems to be a contradiction in the IPCC’s thinking. It believes developing countries will experience potentially enormous growth rates over the next 100 years – yet it treats these countries as being just as vulnerable to droughts, floods and so on as if they were trying to tackle the symptoms of climate change in their present poverty-stricken condition. Either the IPCC has overestimated the growth, in which case climate change is likely to be less severe – or it has got the growth rates right (and certainly a 30-fold increase in output in the Third World would be welcome) and these countries will therefore be more likely to have the resources to cope with climatic change.

Kellow also identifies just why Jacques Chirac and even David Cameron find the IPCC and Kyoto so appealing:

For Kellow, the IPCC process is hopelessly politicised. ‘The scientists are in there but it is, after all, called the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The scientists are there at the nomination of governments. Governments fund the exercise and sign-off on it ultimately’, he tells me. Kellow sees more mileage in the Asia-Pacific Partnership or AP6 (Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea and the United States), which takes the approach of developing new technologies rather than adopting the Kyoto approach of emissions reductions.

He says: ‘The emphasis on CO2 suits largely post-1990 decarbonised European economies worried about justifying high levels of taxation, energy security policies and so on. It doesn’t suit those with ample coal supplies at a quarter of the cost production of seaming coal in Europe – which includes India and China. There’s a very European slant to Kyoto.’

And as Europe declines in power and India and China increase, the attractiveness of Kyoto-style mitigation policies will diminish further. Adaptation and technology transfer are the way of the future if we want to ‘do something’ about global warming. We throw in our lot with the Old World Order if we go for Kyoto, or even Kyoto-lite, now. That’s really ignoring the future.

Emissions Trading Leads to More Emissions



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Here’s a lovely little cautionary tale about emissions trading from India. First, it demonstrates how desperately inefficient emissions trading is in paying for emissions reductions:

In a deal that has angered environmentalists*, the Indian company SRF, which produces refrigeration gases at a sprawling chemical plant in Rajasthan, stands to make a profit of more than £300m from the bizarre arrangement that is supposed to combat climate change. …

The Indian company has spent just £1.4m in equipment to reduce its emissions, but it will reap a profit of more than 200 times that amount from British investors and others.

Now why couldn’t the British firms have paid the Indians directly for the technology?

Anyway, inefficiency aside, it looks like the payments will actually increase emissions:

It is now using the money it has made to expand production of another greenhouse gas, which is a thousand times more damaging than CO2 Other manufacturers in India and China producing similar products are expected to earn an estimated £3.3 billion over the next six years by cutting emissions at a cost of just £67m. …

While British companies use the credits instead of cutting their own pollution, SRF plans to reinvest its windfall in building a new plant producing another refrigerator gas called HFC-134a — 1,300 times more damaging than carbon dioxide.

This ridiculous boondoggle brought to you courtesy of the Kyoto Protocol and enthusiastically supported by a lot of suddenly-very-rich carbon traders.

* Of both kinds – Greens and Free-Market Environmentalists.

China Story



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It’s now official that China will overtake the US as the world’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gases later this year, not 2010 as was thought. Moreover, the scale of China’s surge in energy production is staggering:

Unchecked, over the next 25 years, the growth of China’s greenhouse-gas emissions is forecast to double that of all the members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which includes, Europe, the U.S., Canada, South Korea and Japan.

Meanwhile, Chinese apologists say they are, in fact, tackling the issue:

Ned Helme, president of the Washington-based Center for Clean Air Policy, a nonprofit group that has been working with China on its plans to curb greenhouse gases, said it is “a myth” that China is ignoring global warming. A combination of efforts to modernize its industries and power plants and to impose tougher automobile-efficiency standards, he said, will provide reductions roughly equal to U.S. President George W. Bush’s plan to slow the growth of U.S. emissions by 2010.

But I thought the President wasn’t doing anything. If he’s not, then neither is China, surely?

Hat tip: the WSJ Energy Blog

And One Last Comment on Her Sista



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If Laurie David really believes, as she apparently told Karl Rove, that the science is so settled on global warming that we don’t need to fund any research any more, then I hope she’ll back an immediate reduction in the Climate Change Science Program, Climate Change Research Initiative and US Global Change Research Project budgets from their ridiculously bloated $3.5 billion levels.

Of course, without all the models as the basis for alarming headlines, the issue might be left to the economists, and then things might get a little more difficult.

Last Comment on Sheryl’s Brainwave from Me



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Even Rosie O’Donnell is laughing at her.

How long before the conspiracy theorists decide Sheryl must be a stooge for Big Energy?

More Crow: Tractor trailers and biofuels



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Sheryl Crow may be riding a biodiesel bus on her college tour, but what about those tractor trailers full of concert equipment? The Smoking Gun has got a hold of Crow’s tour requirements, and they are a hoot (given the singer’s daily booze needs, it seems Sheryl runs on biofuels herself):


“Additionally, when the global warming warrior hits the road, her touring entourage (and equipment) travels in three tractor trailers, four buses, and six cars. Now that’s a carbon footprint!”

The Rove Reaction



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This HuffPo item about Laurie David and Sheryl Crow getting a rise out of Karl Rove at the WHCD just seems fishy to me. Now, I can understand getting irritated with them. I saw these two on Bill Maher a few weeks ago, and they were completely unable to respond to even the most softball critical questions with anything resembling a convincing answer. Maher, for example, asked them if nuclear power might be useful since technologies like wind and solar are clearly not going to provide anything close to the amount of energy the U.S. requires, and they immediately nixed it. When pressed about what, then, might actually work, all they could do was insist on considering “all the options,” whatever that means.

But the item seems odd to me because Rove isn’t the kind of guy to react so venomously to two folks who he knows aren’t really important players in the policy world and also knows are sure to write about the encounter. If it were Dick Cheney I might believe it, but Rove doesn’t usually lash out like they describe. He’s not a temperamental guy, at least not in public appearances at relatively light-hearted events like the WHCD. Were they pestering him in a way that caused him to react like this? Are they just exaggerating his reaction? Maybe Rove was just having a rough night (stress much, Mr. Rove?), but this just doesn’t smell right to me.

Update: Byron York gets a report from an eyewitness that doesn’t quite jibe with the the version told by Crow and David.

ABC: The French “model”



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As part of the MSM’s Earth Day propaganda campaign, ABC’s Chris Cuomo lectured from Paris how the United States could be greener if it followed France’s example:

 


“Here I am in front of the famous Arc de Triumphe. And you’re looking at a major environmental situation, the greenhouse gases caused by automobiles. But you’re also looking at a solution here in Europe, smaller vehicles, more energy efficient. Many which use diesel fuel which is more efficient. And the price of gas here is $6 a gallon to discourage guzzling. A lot of big ideas and innovations coming out of Europe. . . . They’re going to reduce emissions 30 percent by the year 2020! They also had a Europe-wide lights out day. Here in the city of lights, that meant the Eiffel Tower went dim for five minutes. In that one day, France reduced its energy use by 1 percent, which is amazing! Another important note here in France, now they’re getting 80 percent of their energy for everything from nuclear power. Of course, that means no greenhouse emissions! Europe does have a lot of significant issues it has to deal with, like the United States. But they’re much more innovative here in terms of figuring out what to do.”

 


Golly gee! But, according to the International Energy Agency, France’s CO2 emissions are up 7 percent since 1990 (according to the Energy Information Agency, they’re up 10 percent), not minus-7 as mandated by Kyoto.

 


Back to you, Chris. . . .

More on Sheryl Crow’s Toilet Paper



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R.J. Smith, the doyen of free market environmentalists, emails:

US was/could be supplying world with inexpensive fast-growing pine trees, easily chipped and pulped for paper products. Greens shut down those forests with ESA and world chops down tropical hardwood forests for paper products and even chopsticks. All to save one woodpecker. While each acre of tropical forests has thousands of rare species. Go figure.

Carson-Gore



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On Friday, Katherine Mangu-Ward had a terrific piece on Rachel Carson, of DDT-is-Evil fame, in the Wall Street Journal (now posted at Reason ). It’s a depressing reminder of what can happen when a bad environmental idea becomes fashionable. It starts with a “d” and ends in “th.”

Mangu-Ward passes on an interesting tid-bit: the Christian Science Monitor recently dubbed Al Gore the “Rachel Carson of global warming.” Since I’ve followed the shameful de facto banning of DDT for years, I figured Gore wouldn’t care for the association. But apparently he embraces it wholeheartedly, and even claims to have a Carson portrait hanging in his office. Just in case you still needed evidence that the global warming hysteria has exited the byways of rational discourse, here it is.

Re: Sheryl Crow



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When I read her suggestions for toilet paper conservation and her self-designed “dining sleeve” invention I cannot help but hear them in the voice of Mr E.L.Wisty.

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