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China, India, Kyoto, and Competitiveness



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Regarding Iain’s post/Al Gore’s comment that we’re foolishly resisting competitive enhancement found in shackling our economy with the Kyoto agenda, and since Al saw fit to invoke the experience of those laboratories of bureaucracy, the European Union, let’s remind ourselves of what a stunning success that has(n’t) been.

In truth, Kyoto is indeed already enhancing America’s competitiveness, but through Europe’s implementation. For example we have Kyoto to thank for these 175 identifiable “Kyoto jobs” in Carroll County, KY, sent there expressly, according to parent company Acerinox’s CEO Victoriano Munoz, because of Europe’s Kyoto experiment and our refusal to follow.

The Goreacle



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Rep. Markey just called Al Gore a “Prophet.”

Perhaps that 300 reference isn’t looking so good now?

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Research vs. Reading



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From a reader:

[Iain Murray writes] “This is about as accurate as his other claims.”  I’m not sure if you realize how precise and profound your observation is.  This level of “expertise” is precisely what Al Gore is all about; grabbing a “truth” from here and a “truth” from there, taking on faith whatever fits his fancy, with no recourse to fact-checking or attempt at fundamental understanding.  This is exactly how deep his scientific knowledge goes as well, and it’s a bit scary that he will be publishing a treatise on the “creation of an environment dangerously hostile to reason” without citing himself and his level of “reasoning” as the prime example of the problem. It’s even scarier that we are being asked to bank our nation’s future on this level of “reasoning.”

I have a 7th grade daughter whom I am curing of the habit of saying that she has “researched” this or “researched” that.  “Dear,” I say, “you read up on it.  That’s not research.”  Al Gore probably believes he (himself, personally) has “researched” aspects of global warming.  No, he hasn’t.  He’s read what others (who have actually researched) have said (and probably only in layman’s translations * I can’t imagine him puzzling through the dynamical systems models, or even the statistical correlations, much less balancing a single chemical reaction); but he’s never, himself, “researched” anything.  Of course he also claimed that he and Tipper “experimented” with marijuana; I’m guessing it involved a similar level of scientific rigor as his “researches” into global warming, or into Mandarin Chinese, for that matter. 

Al Gore on Europe



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Al said that Europe is on target to meet its emissions reduction requirements under Kyoto. Perhaps he should tell Friends of the Earth:

While the EU has committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 8 per cent by 2012 compared to 1990, recent data published by the European Environment Agency show that general greenhouse gas emissions are actually increasing ( 0,3 per cent in 2004).

More from FOE:

In 2004, the combined EU-15 [2] emissions were only 0.9% below 1990 levels, meaning that the EU-15 is shamefully off-course to meet its international Kyoto Protocol obligations to cut greenhouse pollution by 8% by 2012.

Jan Kowalzig, climate campaigner at Friends of the Earth, said:
As these new figures embarrassingly show, our European leaders still haven’t woken up to the climate crisis. Europe’s governments make grand statements about their commitment to reduce greenhouse gas pollution, yet economy and industry Ministers continue to block or water down policy measures to switch to renewable energies, reduce energy waste or introduce fuel consumption standards for cars.”

According to the new data, Spain, Luxembourg, Austria, Portugal, Italy, Finland, Denmark and Ireland are the worst performers, drifting furthest from their Kyoto emission targets.[3] Across Europe, overall energy demand is on the rise, while renewable energy share to meet this demand is stagnating at around 6%. Also, the energy efficiency of the European economy shows only minor improvements over the past years.

Road and air transport are among the biggest culprits, with emissions from these sectors contributing most to the recent emissions increase. This is a result of a staggering growth in demand for cars and flights and because, for example, governments are failing to introduce binding fuel consumption standards for cars.

Governments do not have the option to give global warming a backseat in favour of short term interests. The benefits of avoiding catastrophic climate change will clearly outweigh the costs of abatement policies.[4] And switching to renewable energies will generate hundreds of thousands of new jobs throughout Europe and reduce the dependence on foreign energy imports at times of soaring oil & gas prices,[5] ” Mr Kowalzig added.

Indeed, the EU itself disagrees with him on page 1 of its official report for 2005:

“Even with planned additional domestic policies and measures, the target will not be reached.”

Has the Vice President misled the House?

Robert Samuelson on Global Warming Policy



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From RealClearPolitics :

Unless we can replace coal or neutralize its CO2 emissions, curbing greenhouse gases is probably impossible. [emph. added]

[snip] 

[T]here are no instant solutions, and a political dilemma dogs most possibilities. What’s most popular and acceptable (say, more solar) may be the least consequential in its effects; and what’s most consequential in its effects (a hefty energy tax) may be the least popular and acceptable.

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Al on China and India



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Realpolitik, Al argues, means that we can’t ask China and India to impose limits on their emissions through treaties. America must therefore show leadership and wait for China and India to realize what fools they are. And this leadership will make America more competitive.

Glad that’s cleared up.

Amory Lovins in his own words



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“If you ask me, it’d be a little short of disastrous for us to discover a source of clean, cheap, abundant energy because of what we would do with it. We ought to be looking for energy sources that are adequate for our needs, but that won’t give us the excesses of concentrated energy with which we could do mischief to the earth or to each other.”

“Wrenching transformation” no more



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Al Gore is now claiming, per Amory Lovins, that the US can alter its economy as he described at no cost. This is way out of line with mainstream economics. Even the Stern Report, which quite probably understimated costs, says early action will cost 1 percent of global GDP. Most studies suggest limiting CO2 concentrations to 550 or 650 ppm – well above the environmentalist favored target of 450 ppm – will cost 2 to 5 percent of global GDP.

Danger + Opportunity = Crisis?



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The former Veep has also used his regular shtick that the Chinese characters for Danger and Opportunity combine to make the character for Crisis. They don’t. This is about as accurate as his other claims.

Al Gore: Famous for D.C.



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Beltway denizens often talk about being “famous for D.C.,” which is sort of a backhanded compliment–it means you’re known by the Blackberry-toting wonks and bureaucrats and operatives that populate political Washington but not by anyone who might count as a “normal person.” Thanks to An Inconvenient Truth and his Oscar, Gore has enjoyed some time as actually famous. Watching him testify here, it seems like he’s really hoping that his Hollywood fame will bestow some glitz and glamour on his appearance today. He’s just got that righteous, stepping-down-from-his-perch to deliver The Real Official Truth About Global Warming air about him–talking about how global warming isn’t a political problem but a “moral imperative.” He’s even making Hollywood references, comparing the global warming “crisis” to Thermopylae.* 

But I have to say, I don’t think his shtick isn’t working.  Talking about CAFE standards (Sam Kazman wrote about CAFE for NRO here ) and regulatory power and such, he’s back to being just “famous for D.C.”–another D.C. policy guy talking about economic impacts and think tank statistics. 

 *Yes, I know this is technically a historical reference, but do you really think he would’ve mentioned it if not for 300?

Al Gore Live!



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Gore: “We ought to aim for defacto compliance with Kyoto.”  And he’s now suggesting that we push the compliance date from 2012 up to 2010. 
 

Speaking of



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I understand the former vice president skipped the GOP opening statements. Or am I buying Fox spin?

Gore and Lomborg Live



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You can watch House testimony of Gore and Bjorn Lomborg live on C-Span 3. Gore will be speaking before the Senate this afternoon. That will also be covered on C-Span .

Al Gore is in Da House



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Let’s drop-in on Big Al’s Excellent adventure for a snapshot or some of its 3D hour:

Gore denies that he is a reflexive opponent of nuclear power. That’s good, as it is the only way one could ration CO2 emissions from electricity production without what one might call a “wrenching transformation of society” (which one can still achieve through the rest of the Kyoto agenda — at least for those of us without the means to buy Gore-like volumes of climatically meaningless carbon indulgences); and upon scrutiny it is also a subtle way of saying most of the alarmists are wrong even according to the Oracle (Cassandra?).

He doesn’t come out and support it, however. You see, as he tells us, invoking his famed lack of proportion, “I’ve been to Chernobyl. I’ve been to Three Mile Island.”

Oh, dear.

Next, Hollywood’s Henry Waxman and Gore do their Goofy Gophers routine, endlessly taking turns thanking each other for their leadership. Waxman does find time to thank Gore for educating Congress and the American people “about the gravest threat” in the world. Apparently not as grave as an increase in the federal minimum wage, cutting the interest rate on student loans, or peeking at emails about US Attorneys and other pressing matters for humanity that Congress has found time to focus their laser beam on, unlike adopting the solutions that for six years we’ve been told we know about and are necessary. After all, Gore reminds us, “this is not partisan; this is not political; this is a moral issue.” Waxman dismissed criticism of their claimed agenda as “smack[ing] of fear, and fear can be paralyzing.”

Those mean skeptics, trying to scare people.

Europe Fades to Green



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John O’Sullivan covers the European front and cautions:

Europe’s green establishment believes that global warming is caused by carbon usage and thus can be solved only by its massive reduction. But global warming has several possible causes, some of which, such as the activity of the sun, are unrelated to humans.

While we are seeking to understand global warming scientifically, we should adapt to it — shoring up coasts against erosion, changing the use of agricultural land to suit the changing climate, building dams, developing new technologies. Adaptation would include measures to encourage the use of cleaner fuels, notably nuclear energy. It would be a practical solution to the effects of warming, whatever science eventually established definitively as its cause.

To be sure, adaptation would be expensive. Not nearly so expensive, however, as trying to close down the free market in Europe and to reverse the Industrial Revolution in Asia. But Gaia is a jealous goddess and does not consider costs.

“Consensus is reached: Gore’s global-warming alarmism is overblown.”



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Steven Hayward previews what the former VPOTUS faces on the Hill today.

Some questions for Al Gore



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Reps Hastert and Barton have asked some questions of former Vice President Gore in advance of tomorrow’s hearing with him and Bjorn Lomborg. The full letter is here.

Meanwhile, Czech President Vaclav Klaus has written to the House Energy and Commerce committee further expounding his views on global warming. Some highlights of the letter:

“It becomes evident that while discussing climate we are not witnessing a clash of views about the environment but a clash of views about human freedom.”

“As someone who lived under communism for most of my life I feel obliged to say that the biggest threat to freedom, democracy, the market economy and prosperity at the beginning of the 21st century is not communism or its various softer variants. Communism was replaced by the threat of ambitious environmentalism.”

“The – so called – climate change and especially man-made climate change has become one of the most dangerous arguments aimed at distorting human efforts and public policies in the whole world,” Klaus said.

Economist David Friedman has a few relevant posts about the motivations, methods and preferred policies of environmentalism.

Speaking of the Former VPOTUS



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A reader points out: Gore has apparently written “a sensationalistic, hysterical book opposing sensationalism and hysteria”

“The Second Great Debate”



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Must...avoid...obvious...joke



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From today’s Greenwire, in reference to a massive crowd of “a few hundred people” demonstrating about global warming on this balmy first day of Spring:

Splashed against a backdrop of a polar bear and an inflatable 20-foot globe with flames racing up its sides, the crowd heard from speakers ranging from a Fairfax County, Va., third grader who runs a web blog urging action to protect polar bears to Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), chairman of the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming.

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