Cooler Heads Digest 26 October 2012

26 October 2012


This week, PBS Frontline aired “Climate of Doubt,” an investigation of the effect climate change skeptics have had on public opinion. In the broadcast, PBS Frontline describes the Cooler Heads Coalition as “a team of skilled policy advocates driving a remarkable turnaround that has already changed the U.S. political landscape.” Click here to watch.

In the News

Overrated: Nicholas Stern
Myron Ebell, Standpoint, 26 October 2012

Carbon Tax: Will Tweedle Dum Snatch Defeat from the Jaws of Victory
Marlo Lewis, Forbes, 25 October 2012

Problems for Next President Piling up at EPA
Mark Tapscott, Washington Examiner, 25 October 2012

GOP: Obama’s ‘War on Wind’ Strategy Is Fizzling
Darren Goode, Politico, 25 October 2012

Politically Connected Company Wins Offshore Wind Lease Despite Setbacks
Lachlan Markay, Scribe, 25 October 2012

20 Reasons To Be Wary of Wind Power
John Droz, Jr., Master Resource, 24 October 2012

Energy Is Everywhere
Kenneth Green, The American, 24 October 2012

Layoffs, Failures Test Colorado’s “New Energy Economy”
Steve Raabe, Denver Post, 22 October 2012

News You Can Use
U.S. Oil Production Booms, Despite President Obama's Policies

The AP this week reported that “U.S. production of crude and other liquid hydrocarbons is on track to rise 7 percent this year to an average of 10.9 million barrels per day. This will be the fourth straight year of crude increases and the biggest single-year gain since 1951.” On the campaign trail, President Obama takes credit for the oil surge, but this is disingenuous. According to the Congressional Research Service, 96 percent of the increase in oil and gas production since 2007 has been on private and state lands. On federal lands, bureaucratic red tape resulted in a 14-percent decrease in oil production in 2011.

Inside the Beltway
Myron Ebell

Michael Mann Sues CEI

Penn State Professor Michael E. Mann, Ph. D., chief creator of the notorious “hockey stick,” filed suit in District of Columbia Superior Court on October 22 against the Competitive Enterprise Institute, National Review magazine, Rand Simberg, and Mark Steyn. The suit claims five counts of libel and one of “intentional inflection of emotional distress.” Professor Mann’s Facebook page (“Michael E. Mann, Public Figure”) contains a lot of posts about his view of the suit and clips of news articles and columns that report on it.

Professor Mann’s suit claims that he was defamed by a blog written by Rand Simberg, a CEI adjunct scholar in space policy, and posted on CEI’s on July 13. The more colorful parts of Simberg’s blog were then quoted in a blog by Mark Steyn that appeared on National Review Online.

Simberg’s blog, “The Other Scandal in Happy Valley,” observes that the cover-up by Penn State University of the Jerry Sandusky scandal is not Penn State’s only cover-up.  He calls the university investigation that exonerated Professor Mann from charges of academic malfeasance a whitewash.

The defendants have not yet filed their formal response with the court. Rich Lowry, editor of National Review, in August had this to say about the letter from Professor Mann’s lawyer that threatened to sue unless National Review apologized and removed Steyn’s blog: “Get Lost.” CEI received a similar letter from Professor Mann’s lawyer at about the same time that National Review responded.  Here is our initial response.       

My CEI colleague Chris Horner discusses whether any of the multiple investigations that Professor Mann claims have exonerated him actually do exonerate him here.  And Mark Steyn discusses this sentence that appears in the ninth line of Professor Mann’s court filing: “As a result of this research, Dr. Mann and his colleagues were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize” here and here.

McKibben Launches Fossil-Fuel Divestment Campaign

Bill McKibben and his pressure group,, announced on October 19 a 21-city tour to promote their new campaign to convince universities to disinvest (or divest) their stock holdings in companies that produce coal, oil, and natural gas. The tour begins in Seattle on November 7, but had a trial run in Burlington, Vermont, on October 13. 

McKibben’s roadshow is mainly playing in West and East coast cities, but is also making stops in Chicago, Madison, Columbus, Minneapolis, Omaha, Boulder, Salt Lake City, Atlanta, and Durham. Tickets are available at the campaign’s website, but some cities have already sold out. 

It’s being co-sponsored by a long list of other groups.  The initial impetus for the divestment campaign appears to come from a Massachusetts-based group called Students for a Just and Stable Future. Their effort has already persuaded Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachussetts, to divest its holdings in fossil-fuel companies.   

This has symbolic importance because McKibben’s campaign is inspired by the anti-apartheid campaign in the late 1970s and early 1980s that convinced many major American universities to divest in corporations that did business with South Africa. Hampshire College was the first institution of higher learning to do so.

The Cooler Heads Digest is the weekly e-mail publication of the Cooler Heads Coalition. For the latest news and commentary, check out the Coalition’s website,