Google+

Poland Touts Coal as It Hosts the UN Global Warming Conference



Text  



Serves the United Nations right for picking a country that is dependent on coal for its energy needs for its summit. Via the Chicago Tribune:

Poland is struggling to make “coal” less of a dirty word as it hosts U.N. talks on slowing global warming that usually focus mostly on phasing out fossil fuels in favor of renewable energies such as solar and wind power.

Coal-dependent Poland has angered environmentalists and put the United Nations in a quandary by planning a coal industry summit next week on the sidelines of November 11-22 U.N. talks among 200 nations seeking ways to slow global warming.

Warsaw says governments must find ways to cut emissions from coal, a cheap and often highly polluting energy source that generates 40 percent of world electricity, and not pretend that it will simply wither away in favor of greener energies.

“Coal is still the basic source of energy in many countries in the world. So a transition period is needed,” deputy environment minister Beata Jaczewska said of the November 18-19 meeting organized by the World Coal Association (WCA) and Poland’s economy ministry.

But many environmentalists say coal distracts from a U.N. drive to restructure the world economy around cleaner options, from hydro- to geothermal power. Some also object to efforts to capture and bury the carbon emissions from coal.

“Coal is not the solution,” said Martin Kaiser of Greenpeace. He called the coal talks a “slap in the face” to developing nations that are suffering extreme weather and want rich countries to take the lead in phasing out fossil fuels.

Coal-fired power plants are the biggest single source of manmade greenhouse gas emissions blamed by a U.N. panel of climate scientists for pushing up temperatures and causing more heatwaves, droughts and rising sea levels.

“We can burn coal more cleanly. It’s not science fiction,” Milton Catelin, head of the WCA, told Reuters, adding that the coal meeting was a “constructive contribution” towards a U.N. deal, meant to be agreed in 2015, to slow global warming.

He said that raising the overall efficiency of the world’s coal-fired power stations to the standards of a modern plant would cut global carbon dioxide emissions by about 2.4 billion tones, roughly the equivalent of India’s total emissions.

Poland generates 90 percent of its electricity from coal. Among European Union members, it has been one of the most reluctant to toughen the existing goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent below 1990 levels by 2020.

The rest here.

Rahm Emanuel Wanted to ‘Kill’ Secretary Chu for Talking About Global Warming



Text  



Glenn Thrush has a less-than-flattering peek inside the Obama White House in today’s Politico. Check out how they treated Nobel-winner Secretary Chu:

Steven Chu is a Nobel Prize-winning physicist, a brilliant innovator whose research fills several all-but-incomprehensible paragraphs of a Wikipedia entry that spans his achievements in single-molecule physics, the slowing of atoms through the use of lasers and the invention of something called an “optical tweezer.” President Barack Obama even credits Chu with solving the 2010 Gulf oil spill, claiming that Chu strolled into BP’s office and “essentially designed the cap that ultimately worked.” With rare exception, Chu is the smartest guy in the room, and that includes the Cabinet Room, which he occupied uneasily as secretary of energy from 2009 to the spring of 2013.

But the president’s aides didn’t quite see Chu that way. He might have been the only Obama administration official with a Nobel other than the president himself, but inside the West Wing of the White House Chu was considered a smart guy who said lots of stupid things, a genius with an appallingly low political IQ—“clueless,” as deputy chief of staff Jim Messina would tell colleagues at the time.

In April 2009, Chu joined Obama’s entourage for one of the administration’s first overseas trips, to Trinidad and Tobago for a Summit of the Americas focused on economic development. Chu was not scheduled to address the media, but reporters kept bugging Josh Earnest, a young staffer, who sheepishly approached his boss, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs, with the ask. “No way,” Gibbs told him.

“Come on,” Earnest said. “The guy came all the way down here. Why don’t we just have him talk about all the stuff he’s doing?”

Gibbs reluctantly assented. Then Chu took the podium to tell the tiny island nation that it might soon, sorry to say, be underwater—which not only insulted the good people of Trinidad and Tobago but also raised the climate issue at a time when the White House wanted the economy, and the economy only, on the front burner. “I think the Caribbean countries face rising oceans, and they face increase in the severity of hurricanes,” Chu said. “This is something that is very, very scary to all of us. … The island states … some of them will disappear.”

Earnest slunk backstage. “OK, we’ll never do that again,” he said as Gibbs glared. A phone rang. It was White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel calling Messina to snarl, “If you don’t kill [Chu], I’m going to.”

As Air Force One headed back to Washington, Messina found Chu—who has “no recollection” of this exchange, a person close to him says—sitting at the long table in the plane’s conference room. “What did you say?” Messina demanded, according to a witness. “What were you thinking?” he yelled. “And how, exactly, was this [f*****g] on message?”

I guess by “f*****g on message,” Messina meant that Chu should focus on the president’s achievements with Solyndra, Fisker, etc. The rest here.

 

ADVERTISEMENT

How Corn-for-Ethanol Is Destroying the Environment



Text  



AP:

The hills of southern Iowa bear the scars of America’s push for green energy: The brown gashes where rain has washed away the soil. The polluted streams that dump fertilizer into the water supply.

Even the cemetery that disappeared like an apparition into a cornfield.

It wasn’t supposed to be this way.

With the Iowa political caucuses on the horizon in 2007, presidential candidate Barack Obama made homegrown corn a centerpiece of his plan to slow global warming. And when President George W. Bush signed a law that year requiring oil companies to add billions of gallons of ethanol to their gasoline each year, Bush predicted it would make the country “stronger, cleaner and more secure.”

But the ethanol era has proven far more damaging to the environment than politicians promised and much worse than the government admits today.

As farmers rushed to find new places to plant corn, they wiped out millions of acres of conservation land, destroyed habitat and polluted water supplies, an Associated Press investigation found.

Five million acres of land set aside for conservation – more than Yellowstone, Everglades and Yosemite National Parks combined – have vanished on Obama’s watch.

Landowners filled in wetlands. They plowed into pristine prairies, releasing carbon dioxide that had been locked in the soil.

Sprayers pumped out billions of pounds of fertilizer, some of which seeped into drinking water, contaminated rivers and worsened the huge dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico where marine life can’t survive.

The consequences are so severe that environmentalists and many scientists have now rejected corn-based ethanol as bad environmental policy. But the Obama administration stands by it, highlighting its benefits to the farming industry rather than any negative impact.

Farmers planted 15 million more acres of corn last year than before the ethanol boom, and the effects are visible in places like south central Iowa.

The hilly, once-grassy landscape is made up of fragile soil that, unlike the earth in the rest of the state, is poorly suited for corn. Nevertheless, it has yielded to America’s demand for it.

“They’re raping the land,” said Bill Alley, a member of the board of supervisors in Wayne County, which now bears little resemblance to the rolling cow pastures shown in postcards sold at a Corydon pharmacy.

The rest here.

WaPost’s Charles Lane: How Liberals Keep Tesla Alive



Text  



Lane has a great op-ed in today’s Post on Tesla and the role liberals play in the company’s very “survival.” An excerpt:

Tesla epitomizes the mutation of modern American liberalism. Once an ideology whose central concern was the plight of lunch-bucket working stiffs and oppressed minorities, liberalism is increasingly about environmentalism and related “quality of life” issues.

Framing such long-term challenges as climate change in apocalyptic terms, many “blue” Americans focus more on technocratic environmental fixes — solar energy, electric cars — than on practical solutions to the here-and-now issues of the middle class. Instead of coal miners and steelworkers, 21st-century progressives exalt Silicon Valley’s young men (and women) in a hurry, urging taxpayer financing for their “green” business plans.

And so a man like Musk — a billionaire financed by Goldman Sachs pushing a flashy, battery-powered car priced upward of $70,000 — shared top billing with former president Bill Clinton and liberal think-tanker John Podesta at a 2012 Clean Energy Summit in Las Vegas hosted by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

This version of green capitalism might be justified if it delivered the public goods it promises. Tesla’s trickle-down business plan calls for sales of expensive early models to pave the way for an everyman electric vehicle later this decade.

But even if widely adopted, Teslas would have little impact on climate change as long as drivers have to charge their vehicles from a coal- and natural gas-fired U.S. electric grid. In May, JPMorgan Chase analysts calculated that the Model S’s annual fossil fuel “footprint” is bigger than that of a Honda Civic hybrid.

Nor is there a case for electric cars based on their contribution to U.S. energy security. Thanks to increased oil and natural gas production, United States imported only 40 percent of its oil in 2012, down from 60 percent in 2005, according to the Energy Department. That trend is projected to continue.

Indeed, it was already underway on May 5, 2011, when Diarmuid O’Connell, Tesla’s vice president of business development, hyperbolically told the House subcommittee on energy and power that “oil . . . is now the source of our greatest vulnerability in terms of both national and economic security.”

Nevertheless, Tesla remains deeply dependent on taxpayers. Much has been made of the fact that, last May, the company repaid a 2009 Energy Department soft loan, totaling $465 million, that had enabled it to survive the Great Recession.

As The Post’s Steven Mufson reported, Musk capitalized on Tesla’s first-quarter profit, its first ever, to engineer a stock offering whose proceeds paid back the government.

That profit, however, was accounted for by $68 million from a California state government program for zero-emissions vehicles, funded by a de facto tax on Tesla’s competitors. Tesla has logged an additional $62 million in such credits since the first quarter. It’s also gotten$20 million in grants from the California Energy Commission.

The whole thing here.

George Clooney Reviews His Tesla



Text  



Hilarious. Here’s an excerpt from a recent interview of Clooney by Esquire magazine:

“Hey, where’s the Tesla?” I said when I was leaving his house. I was just giving him s**t; I didn’t know if he had a Tesla or not, and was trying to see if even George Clooney was susceptible to Hollywood cliché.

“I had a Tesla. I was one of the first cats with a Tesla. I think I was, like, number five on the list. But I’m telling you, I’ve been on the side of the road a while in that thing. And I said to them, ‘Look, guys, why am I always stuck on the side of the f***ing road? Make it work, one way or another.’ ”

Well, at least his Tesla never caught on fire.

 

ADVERTISEMENT

The EPA-Fraudster Who Traveled Like James Bond



Text  



Via the Free Beacon:

The former Environmental Protection Agency official who pretended to be a CIA spy and bilked the agency out of hundreds of thousands of dollars spent more than $40,000 on two taxpayer-funded trips to London that included first-class airfare and five-star hotels, documents obtained by the Free Beacon reveal.

Travel expense reports reviewed by the Free Beacon show former EPA official John Beale took two taxpayer-funded trips to London in 2008 and 2009, staying in a beachfront hotel in Santa Monica, Calif. and a hotel along the River Thames in London.

Beale, 64, pled guilty in September to charges of felony theft of government property, which carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison.

Investigators say Beale claimed for years to be a CIA spy and that he often justified his long absences from work by saying he was overseas.

Beale is scheduled to be sentenced in December. Because of his clean record and guilty plea, his probable prison sentence will be 30 to 37 months. The court also ordered him to pay restitution of $886,186 to the EPA and civil forfeitures of $507,207.

The EPA Office of the Inspector General told the Free Beacon it is currently conducting an audit of the agency’s internal practices following the case, and it expects to release the report in mid-December.

Well, a “CIA spy” can’t be expected to stay at a Holiday Inn. The rest here.

50,000+ Poles Cheer CFACT Speech Against UN Global-Warming Treaty



Text  



 

As the UN kicked off COP 19 a few kilometers away, more than 50,000 enthusiastic Poles gathered in downtown Warsaw on Monday to celebrate National Independence Day while millions more watched on television. CFACT president David Rothbard delivered an impassioned address which celebrated freedom and warned Poland against the dangers a UN global warming treaty holds for their nation and the world. The speech was carried live on national television and covered by a large number of international media outlets.

David Rothbard and I co-founded CFACT over 25 years ago. When David took the stage, he was speaking before perhaps the largest audience ever to hear a speech directly challenging the UN global warming policy. Rothbard said he was honored to stand with the Poles in a “new battle for freedom against those who would use environmental and climate alarmism to steal away our liberties and give international bureaucrats control over our energy sources, our daily lives, our prosperity, and our national sovereignty.”

Rothbard stood beside a large CFACT banner which read, “No to UN climate hype!” in Polish red and white. “Last year, he told the world, “UN climate chief Christiana Figueres said that what the UN was undertaking is “a complete economic transformation of the world. This is not good news for those who love freedom, and it is not good news for Poland… The Book of Proverbs tells us that ‘the wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion’… the environmentalists and the bureaucrats don’t want to debate these issues because they know they are deceiving the world… There hasn’t been any global warming in more than 15 years and this is simply an excuse for more government oppression”

We stand for freedom. We stand for opportunity. We stand for our families. And we stand for a strong and prosperous future. Together let us be bold as a lion,” he concluded.

The rally took place one day after CFACT keynoted a climate-policy conference in Warsaw co-sponsored by Solidarity, the Institute for Globalization, and other Polish and European NGOs. There, members of the European Parliament, along with representatives from the U.S., Italy, Sweden, Hungary, and Poland formally signed the “Warsaw Declaration” calling on the UN to discontinue work on a new treaty until a genuine “scientific consensus is reached on the phenomenon of so-called global warming.”

The UN made a big mistake choosing Poland to host its global warming treaty summit.  The Poles see right through warming propaganda. Enduring generations of socialism has left them with a deep distaste for propaganda and bureaucratic control. Polish prosperity was blocked first by war and then by ideology. Poland deserves freedom and prosperity and knows it can’t move forward without energy. The brave Poles are not about to cede their sovereignty to UN control.

Polish feelings about the UN climate treaty echo what Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher told the Soviet Union. “Let Poland be Poland!”

 

Tags: COP 19 , Poland , CFACT , Global Warming , climate , UN

A Global-Warming Treaty without a Vote?



Text  



UN climate chief Christiana Figueres opened COP 19, the UN climate conference in Warsaw by proclaiming that, “a new universal climate agreement is within our reach.”

Speeches today made continual references to Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda. Philippine negotiator Yeb Sano said, “We can stop this madness. Right here in Warsaw. Typhoons such as Haiyan and its impacts represent a sobering reminder to the international community that we cannot afford to procrastinate on climate action.” Mr. Sano disagreed with those of us who have characterized the typhoon as “natural” saying that, “it is not natural when people continue to eradicate poverty and pursue development and get battered by the onslaught of a monster storm.”

The devastation that occurred in the Philippines is gut wrenching. When you see scenes of such devastation, your heart goes out to the victims of the storm. Our prayers are with them, and for nations and individuals to lend a helping hand is the right thing to do. However, using this tragic storm to boost the global warming agenda is either naive or shameless. Natural is exactly what the typhoon was. That is the reliable scientific verdict. Nothing in the climate data shows otherwise.

Whether Ms. Figueres can actually make the progress she hopes for toward the new climate treaty is largely dependent on whether Russia and its former satellites are willing to drop the serious allegations they have made regarding procedural fairness in the UN climate process.

Russia blocked a crucial negotiating track at the UN’s subsidiary climate talks held in Bonn in June. The Russian move caused the most important part of the talks to collapse. No real business could be conducted.

In the topsy-turvy world of UN climate politics, Russia — joined by Ukraine, Belarus and other former members of the Soviet Union — have become the champions of democratic process.

On October 28, Russia sent a strongly worded letter [Read a PDF here] to the UNFCCC secretariat decrying the UN’s use of “consensus” rather than permitting nations to vote on matters as important as conference outcomes. “Decision-making in the UNFCCC process has suffered evident setbacks over the past few years with serious procedural and legal flaws being multiplied, transparency eroding, frequency of dubious proceedings acquiring alarming magnitude and conduct of business deviating” from UNFCCC rules, Russia complained.

“Consensus” has become perhaps the most abused word in the global-warming dictionary. Many are familiar with the talking point that claims some huge number of scientists as being on board with extreme global warming views (97 percent in the latest version). That consensus talking point was long ago debunked, yet it keeps cropping up. We even heard it recently from the lips of the President of the United States.

The “consensus” the Russians are talking about is still worse. Top officials at the climate talks, finding due process and democracy to be tiresome wastes of time, have dispensed with formal voting and resorted to gaveling through back-room agreements even on final conference outcomes.

As COP 18 in Doha drew to a close, the presiding officer gaveled down the Russian delegation which was furiously seeking to be recognized. Representatives of other countries The fast with his gavel Qatari chairman of COP 18 including India, Venezuela, Bolivia report being denied recognition, threatened, or coerced at prior conferences.

E.U. Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard was not sympathetic to Russia’s case saying, “It would be irresponsible and reckless if we let the Warsaw COP get drowned in procedural issues. What we need to discuss is real action and real commitments. The rest — it’s not that it’s uninteresting but it should not be at the centre stage.” Commissioner Hedegaard ia apparently ready to cede the sovereignty of nations and vast sums of money to the UN in the name of global warming with little regard for process and without even a vote.

Russia’s objections are motivated by national interest. As CFACT reported from Bonn, Russia is concerned with the “hot air” issue. Russia was not at all pleased when the UN COP pulled the plug in Doha on all the emissions credits Russia had acquired under the first Kyoto treaty and told Russia it couldn’t carry them forward. Russia, which has announced that it will not be part of a second commitment period for the Kyoto protocol and has signaled a reluctance to sign on in Paris, wants to keep its credits anyway. Russia would like to sell its old credits to the countries which do sign.

Russia accrued the carbon credits it is so set on retaining as a reward for its economy having for so long lagged behind the West’s, thanks to Russia’s failed experiment with and painful transition out from under communism. As CFACT observed in Bonn, the notion that Russia deserves compensation for inflicting communism on Eastern Europe is bizarre at best. If anything, Russia should be compensating Poland, the rest of the Warsaw block and a host of developing nations which had their prosperity stymied by communism for generations.

As COP 19 moves into working sessions, we will learn more about whether Russia was able to gain sufficient concessions in closed, pre-conference negotiations to placate it. Will Russia drop or table its objections? Russia was willing to shut down a subsidiary meeting in Bonn. Is Russia willing to do the same to a full-blown UN conference of the parties?

If Russia drops its objections, could the Warsaw outcome and ultimately the UN’s long sought climate treaty of Paris be adopted with world nations never having been given the opportunity to actually voting?

If the UN succeeds in adopting a climate treaty in Paris that treaty will still be subject to ratification by the U.S. Senate, which appears very unikely to occur. However, we should not underestimate the damage such a treaty will inflict. The Senate never ratified the Kyoto protocol and the Clinton administration did not press the issue. Nonetheless, Americans are dealing with the ramifications of Kyoto every day. The Obama administration has no scruples about going it alone, bypassing the Senate and using EPA and other agencies to implement the UN climate agenda through regulation and executive order. Does any doubt remain that if the UN gets its treaty, that the Obama administration and its fellow travelers will do all they can to implement it — with or without a vote?

Tags: CFACT , COP 19 , UN , climate , Global Warming

As UN COP 19 Opens in Warsaw, A Counter Treaty Is Signed



Text  



With COP 19, the most important UN climate conference of the year, kicking off today in Warsaw, a coalition of Polish organizations held their own global warming forum on Sunday. But this one, organized by groups including the renowned Solidarity labor union, Poland’s Institute for Globalization and other Polish and European NGOs, raised strong questions about UN global warming policy and denounced efforts by environmental bureaucrats and activists to stymie Poland’s energy resources and the prosperity of people around the globe.

Despite the presence of Solidarity (which leans left), the conference attracted the attention of the radical warming left, which pelted the building with red dye (making the building the appear to be dripping with blood).

The Polish attendees took this in stride; they’ve seen this kind of thing before. No one seemed particularly alarmed or distracted — just amused. It was another sign of the growing desperation on the warming left as their cause continues to lose credibility with the public each day.

The conference — co-sponsored by CFACT, the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow — included representatives and spokesmen from the U.S., Italy, Sweden, Hungary, and Poland. They, along with a member of the EU Parliament, joined in voicing their opposition to climate change alarmism and the troubling globalist policies of the UN.

The forum concluded with the signing of a declaration entitled “Address of Free Nations to Participants of UN Climate Summit (COP 19) — Let Us Revise Global Climate Policy.” The declaration noted that “media manipulation” and “an international bureaucracy of organizations representing extreme views on environmental protection” have promoted an ideology supporting global warming, and that their agenda has had destructive consequences on “competitive economies” of the world. It then called on delegates attending the UN COP19 conference to discontinue work on a new treaty until a genuine “scientific consensus is reached on the phenomenon of so-called global warming.”

This morning, as the UN bangs the opening gavel at COP 19, tens of thousands of Poles are converging on Warsaw to celebrate their independence day. This year’s celebrations are marked by outrage and anxiety about the harsh impacts a UN climate treaty hold in store for Poland’s future. The Poles are still struggling to modernize their economy after their long years under socialism. After their long struggle to shake off Soviet domination, they have no appetite to cede control to a meddlesome UN bureaucracy.

CFACT will be posting regular updates from UN COP 19 throughout the summit.

Tags: CFACT , Warsaw , COP 19 , UN , Global Warming , climate

The New Progressive Solution to Climate Change Is Nuclear Power



Text  



Well, duh. Rachel Pritzker writes on CNN:

Last week a leaked draft of a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned that climate change will have severe ramifications for the global food supply, making it harder for crops to survive and leading to rising food prices.

This report, scheduled for publication in March, provides the latest evidence of the dramatic impacts that the shifting climate is already beginning to have on the planet and on human societies.

Clearly, climate change is a global challenge unlike any other we face, which is why I, along with a small but growing number of progressives, support a unique and potentially surprising solution to it.

It is time for policymakers to recognize that nuclear power must be a robust part of our nation’s energy plan to reduce carbon emissions.

These may seem like strange words coming from a liberal whose family has been active in progressive politics, and who grew up on a Wisconsin goat farm in a home heated by wood fires. Like many of my fellow progressives, I care deeply about the environment and the future of our planet, which is precisely why I do not think we should be reflexively shutting the door on a technology that may be able to help address global climate change.

Energy production is the largest single contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions. Some people believe that we can solve climate change by reducing global energy demand and switching to solar, wind, and other renewable energy sources. But, as I’ve seen first hand in Latin America, people in the developing world are consuming an increasing amount of energy as they seek to live the modern lives that we in the West enjoy. As a result, studies show that energy demand is actually poised to triple, or even quadruple, over the next century.

The rest here. Now, it’s nice of Pritzker to start this conversation, but details of implementing it are lacking. Which brings me to the “Pollowitz Plan” for nuclear power, which long-time readers of Planet Gore might remember. In summary, we should put the U.S. Navy in charge of the nation’s nuclear energy production. Here’s what I wrote in January 2008:

If we’re allowing the military to generate it’s own electricity with solar power and dump the surplus into the grid, why not go one step further and put nuclear reactors on military bases? With enough reactors, we could make the entire military and federal government energy independent, as well as add much-needed energy into the economy. As for who would run the reactors, that’s the easy part. We have the most successful nuclear reactor operators in the world at our disposal: the U.S. Navy.

Senator McCain has proposed 45 new reactors by 2030, but in reality, how likely is that to happen in the current regulatory environment? Not very. But expanding the current naval nuclear program to include land-based reactors would seem to be an easier path to accomplishing the same overall result with the added benefit of having the nation’s most competent nuclear operators in charge of the entire program. 

See, I was a pro-nuclear environmentalist before it was cool. And if it helps get this idea off the ground, I’m open to changing the name to the “Pollowitz Progressive Power Plan.” 

 

Great News: James Cameron Releasing a Documentary on Climate Change



Text  



Airing on Showtime and starring some of Hollywood’s elite.  Here’s the first trailer:

From the looks of it, Jessica Alba won’t be appearing as one of the blue people from Avatar, however. Bummer.

 

From the Archives: Al Gore Slams Charlie Crist in 2010



Text  



Great stuff that will make its way into GOP ads in Florida:

 

The UK Is Flying 45 Delegates to Warsaw Global Warming Conference



Text  



All for a meeting where nothing — nothing — is expected to be accomplished. Via the Telegraph (UK):

Britain is flying 45 delegates to a United Nations climate change conference later this month despite admitting no “breakthrough” on a deal to cut emissions is expected.

Ed Davey, the Energy and Climate Change Secretary will head up the large group at the 19th annual Conference of the Parties (CoP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in the Polish capital Warsaw.

But despite paying for a delegation of ministers and officials the same size as the team sent to previous CoPs, Whitehall officials described this year’s event as “just another step” and revealed little progress on any important decisions is likely.

The Government shelled out £280,000 to send 46 representatives to last year’s conference in Doha, Qatar, with £49,000 spent on flights, £126,000 on hotels and £103,000 on “other expenses”.

In Doha, delegates agreed to give nations until the end of 2015 to sign a global agreement on climate change.

Exit question: What is the carbon footprint of these 45 delegates?

The rest here.

‘Making the Most of the U.S. Energy Boom’



Text  



President Obama Uses His Pen to Attack Global Warming



Text  



Via an Executive Order issued on November 1:

Preparing the United States for the Impacts of Climate Change

You can read the whole thing here. It’s a long Executive Order that sounds like there will be lots of committee meetings.

But maybe Team Obama is getting ahead of itself? First prove to America you can build a website and then we’ll talk about all of this.
 

‘Extreme Weather’ Does Not Justify Extreme Political Agenda



Text  



Sen. Jeff Sessions writes in an op-ed from last week:

It has been eight years since the last major hurricane struck the United States—a lull that experts call an “extended and intense hurricane drought,” the longest such drought since reliable records began in the 19th century.

This is welcome news for Alabamians. The nation still remembers Hurricane Camille (a Category 5 storm) that hit our region in 1969. Hurricane Frederic (a Category 3 storm) made landfall at Dauphin Island in September 1979, leaving widespread devastation and a tree on the roof of my home in Mobile. Hurricane Opal (a Category 4 storm) struck Alabama in October 1995. And it doesn’t take a major hurricane to cause tremendous damage, as “Superstorm Sandy” demonstrated.

We face other forms of extreme weather too, like droughts, floods, and tornado outbreaks that can leave a wide path of destruction. Extreme weather happens, and we should all take common-sense, cost-effective steps to plan, prepare, and respond. The federal government has a key role to play there.

But the Obama Administration, congressional Democrats, and other climate alarmists are now pointing to extreme weather in a desperate attempt to promote their political agendas at the expense of hardworking Americans.

There is a reason for this dubious strategy: We are in the midst of a 16-year period without a measurable increase in global temperatures. It’s hard to sell voters on a trillion-dollar plan to fight global warming — already rejected by Congress — when the globe isn’t actually warming as much as they predicted. So the alarmists are increasingly citing extreme weather to convince Americans that we need a carbon tax, more job-killing regulations, and more wasteful federal green energy subsidies.

The rest here.
 

Science: 20 More Years of Global Warming ‘Pause’



Text  



Daily Mail:

Global warming ‘pause’ may last for 20 more years and Arctic sea ice has already started to recover

  • Study says warmer temperatures are largely due to natural 300-year cycles
  • Actual increase in last 17 years lower than almost every prediction
  • Scientists likened continuing pause to a Mexican wave in a stadium

The whole thing here.

 

Final Verdict on Cash-for-Clunkers: Fail



Text  



There’s a new Brookings Institute report out that determined the 2009 stimulus/green program “Cash-for-Clunkers” was a failure and should not be repeated in the future. Politico reports:

As a job creator, the Obama administration’s Cash for Clunkers program was a sputtering old jalopy that deserves to stay in the scrap yard, according to a study released Wednesday.

The program, which fueled a car-buying spree in the summer of 2009, cost $1.4 million for every job it created and did little to reduce carbon emissions, a Brookings Institution report said. In comparison, research has found one job is created for every additional $95,000 spent on unemployment benefits.

“In the event of a future economic recession, we would not recommend repeating the CARS program,” Brookings researchers Ted Gayer and Emily Parker wrote, using the acronym for the Car Allowance Rebate System.

“While the program did accomplish both of its goals of stimulating the automobile market and decreasing carbon emissions, there are more cost-effective policy proposals to achieve these objectives.”

But this isn’t any news to NRO readers. Here’s a post I wrote a few months ago in response to a Drudge headline that the program had actually hurt — not helped — the environment:

But this is really old news. Just a few of the links we posted back in 2009 saying this very thing.

And more importantly, we knew at the time that Team Obama was fudging on cash-for-clunkers, but, as usual, the MSM cheered on the program as a success when it was already clear that it was not.

I’m glad Brookings is out with this report, but the findings were a) reported on previously and b) predicted by conservatives at the program’s creation. Kind of like Obamacare. 

 

 

Canada Not Waiting For Obama’s Decision on Keystone XL



Text  



They’re just going to ship their oil from Alberta to the United States on trains instead. Via the New York Times:

Over the past two years, environmentalists have chained themselves to the White House fence and otherwise coalesced around stopping the Keystone XL pipeline as their top priority in the fight against global warming.

But even if President Obama rejects the pipeline, it might not matter much. Oil companies are already building rail terminals to deliver oil from western Canada to the United States, and even to Asia.

Since July, plans have been announced for three large loading terminals in western Canada with the combined capacity of 350,000 barrels a day — equivalent to roughly 40 percent of the capacity of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline that is designed to bring oil from western Alberta to refineries along the Gulf Coast.

Over all, Canada is poised to quadruple its rail-loading capacity over the next few years to as much as 900,000 barrels a day, up from 180,000 today.

The acceleration has come despite a derailment in the lakeside Quebec town of Lac-Megantic in July, in which a runaway oil train bound for a refinery in eastern Canada exploded, killing dozens of people and bankrupting the railway company. That accident and others more recently have renewed concerns about the safety of transporting oil by rail, and given an added argument to some who favor the Keystone XL pipeline.

“They don’t give up,” Jesse Prentice-Dunn, a Sierra Club policy analyst, said of the oil industry.

If all the new terminals are built, Canada will potentially increase its exports to the United States by more than 20 percent — even if Keystone XL is never built.

Shipping by rail can cost an additional $5 or more per barrel, but oil companies have decided that they cannot afford to wait.

“The indecision on Keystone XL really spawned innovation and mobilized alternatives, and rail is a clear part of the options available to our industry,” said Paul Reimer, senior vice president in charge of transport and marketing at Cenovus Energy, a Canadian oil company that is planning to increase rail shipments from 7,000 barrels a day to as many as 30,000 barrels a day by the end of 2014.

Good news: Now building Keystone XL will reduce carbon emissions by cutting down on train traffic.

The rest here.

Tags: Energy

America’s Oil Boom Continues



Text  



Remember when Dems said drilling for more oil domestically wouldn’t put a dent in our energy needs?

Via James Pethokoukis:

Energy fact of the day: Within months, the US will have three oil fields producing more than 1 million barrels per day

The whole thing here.

Pages

Subscribe to National Review