Cooler Heads Digest 14 June 2013

14 June 2013

Announcement

The Chinese Academy of Sciences has translated and published a Chinese edition of two massive climate change volumes originally published by the Heartland Institute in 2009 and 2011, Climate Change Reconsidered and Climate Change Reconsidered: 2011 Interim Report. Click here to read more.

In the News

Meet the Nobody from Texas with Big Power at EPA
Ron Arnold, Washington Examiner, 14 June 2013

How Green Groups Make EPA Issue New Rules
Coral Davenport, National Journal, 14 June 2013

The Green Jobs Myth
Matthew Sinclair, Spectator, 14 June 2014

America Should Learn from Europe on Wind Power
Iain Murray, USA Today, 13 June 2013

Climate Models Predict Heat That Hasn’t Occurred
Investor’s Business Daily editorial, 11 June 2013

Climate Models: Epic Failure
Marlo Lewis, GlobalWarming.org, 10 June 2013

Psst: There Are 4 Scandals at EPA Right Now
Mary Katherine Ham, Hot Air, 10 June 2013

EPA’s Conservative Problem, Part II
Jillian Kay Melchior, National Review, 10 June 2013

Methane Emissions from Drilling: EPA’s Continuing, Conscious Overestimate
Katie Brown, Master Resource, 10 June 2013

News You Can Use
Even New York Times Acknowledges Lack of Global Warming

On Tuesday, the New York Times got around to acknowledging that there hasn’t been any global warming for over a decade.  In an article headlined, “What to Make of a Warming Plateau” in the Times’s Science section, Justin Gillis writes: “The rise in the surface temperature of earth has been markedly slower over the last 15 years than in the 20 years before that. And that lull in warming has occurred even as greenhouse gases have accumulated in the atmosphere at a record pace.” See Inside the Beltway below for more on the New York Times story.

Inside the Beltway
Myron Ebell

Gore Surfaces in D.C.

Former Vice President Al Gore made a rare appearance in Washington, DC, on Tuesday, when he gave the keynote speech at Senator Sheldon Whitehouse’s (D-RI) annual Rhode Island Energy and Environmental Leaders conference.  According to Darren Goode in Politico, “Gore lamented today that scientists ‘will not let us link record-breaking’ tornadoes in Oklahoma and elsewhere to climate change because of inadequate record keeping on the twisters.” 

Gore went on to explain, “But when you put more energy into a system, it gets more energetic.”  I wasn’t there, but according to Goode, Gore really did say that.

Later in the day, during a video chat on Google+, Gore criticized President Barack Obama’s failure to lead on climate change policy.  “I hope that he’ll get moving on to follow up on the wonderful pledges he made in his inaugural speech earlier this year and then soon after in his State of the Union.  Great words. We need great actions now.”

President Obama has reportedly been telling major donors at fundraising events that he plans to announce his climate agenda in July. The President may be aiming for July, but I doubt that the administration will release anything before the Senate votes to confirm Gina McCarthy as EPA Administrator.  That’s because what the White House is likely to propose is a bunch of further rules regulating greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act.

White House climate czar Heather Zichal said as much when she spoke at the same conference Gore spoke at on Tuesday. “Our focus moving forward will be on executive actions.”  That is going to make many Senate Republicans angrier than they are now about unilateral administration actions and therefore more likely to try to block a vote on McCarthy’s nomination.

Speaking at his conference, Senator Whitehouse said that the tide was turning in Congress in favor of taking action on climate policy.  According to Greenwire, he went on to say that  “Frankly, to be a carbon denier at this point in the development of the facts is to be one short step away from insane.”

Senator Whitehouse’s comment came the same day that the New York Times got around to acknowledging that there hasn’t been any global warming for over a decade.  In an article headlined, “What to Make of a Warming Plateau” in the Times’s Science section, Justin Gillis writes: “The rise in the surface temperature of earth has been markedly slower over the last 15 years than in the 20 years before that. And that lull in warming has occurred even as greenhouse gases have accumulated in the atmosphere at a record pace.”

Gillis notes that there are half a dozen theories about why global warming has stalled, but focuses on the idea that, “…a prime suspect is the deep ocean. Our measurements there are not good enough to confirm it absolutely, but a growing body of research suggests this may be an important part of the answer.  Exactly why the ocean would have started to draw down extra heat in recent years is a mystery, and one we badly need to understand. But the main ideas have to do with possible shifts in winds and currents that are causing surface heat to be pulled down faster than before.”

The exact causes don’t really matter, however, because according to Gillis, “And in any event, computer forecasts of climate change suggest that pauses in warming lasting a couple of decades should not surprise us.”  This statement is actually true.  Nothing surprises the climate computer modelers.  And nothing that happens falsifies their predictions.  It’s magic. 

Or as my CEI colleague Brian McNicoll commented when he read Gillis’s article: “It closes an important loop in their argument. Hotter means global warming; colder means global warming; drier means global warming; wetter means global warming. More snow, less snow, blah blah blah. Breaks from warming … that hadn’t been accounted for yet. Now, it has … that too means global warming. They expected 20-year breaks ALL ALONG.”  

Across the States
William Yeatman

North Dakota’s Energy Sector Propels Economic Growth

For the third consecutive year, North Dakota had the fastest growing economy in the United States. The State posted a 13.4% growth rate in 2012, which is six times the national average of 2.5%. North Dakota’s economy has taken off thanks to thriving oil and gas production in the Bakken Shale, where hydrocarbon resources only became economically recoverable over the last decade, due to technological advances in drilling. Almost as important, the Bakken Shale is largely located on private and state land, rather than federal land, and it is, therefore, exempt from many of the Obama Administration’s policies meant to inhibit domestic fossil fuel production.

EPA Proposes Another Regulatory Takeover in Wyoming

EPA on Monday published a proposed regulatory takeover, known as a “Federal Implementation Plan,” of Wyoming’s Regional Haze program. Regional Haze is a Clean Air Act regulation, the purpose of which is to improve visibility at National Parks. EPA’s takeover would cost Wyoming ratepayers up to $96 million more annually than the Regional Haze strategy crafted by state officials, in order to achieve a visibility “improvement” that is imperceptible to the naked eye.

If EPA finalizes this Federal Implementation Plan for Wyoming, it would be the agency’s 20th regulatory takeover of a state Clean Air Act program since President Obama took office. There were two such takeovers during the previous 12 years. (This data comes from a report to be published next month by the American Legislative Exchange Council, titled “EPA’s Assault on State Sovereignty”).

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, www.GlobalWarming.org.