The Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation released a joint declaration and a report to co-incide with the United Nations Climate Summit. The declaration, titled “Protect the Poor: Ten Reasons to Oppose Harmful Climate Change Policies,” has been signed by a number of climate scientists, other scientists, economists, theologians, and religious leaders. The report, titled, “A Call to Truth, Prudence, and Protection of the Poor 2014: The Case against Harmful Climate Change Policies Gets Stronger,” was written by Professor David R. Legates, a climate scientist at the University of Delaware, and Professor G. Cornelis van Kooten, an economist at the University of Victoria.
In the News
Google Kills Birds While Seeking Corporate Welfare
Editorial, Wall Street Journal, 26 September 2014
Department of Homeland Security Moves To Tackle Climate Change Risks
Lisa Anderson, Reuters, 25 September 2014
Why Is the UN Climate Summit Denying IPCC Climate Science?
Benjamin Zycher, The Hill, 23 September 2014
Obama Racks Up Massive CO2 Emissions on Way to UN Climate Summit
Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller, 23 September 2014
Leftist Professor Calls President Obama “Delusional” on Global Warming
Marc Morano, Climate Depot, 23 September 2014
Study Says Natural Factors, Not Humans, Behind West Coast Warming
Craig Welch, Seattle Times, 22 September 2014
Video from NYC Climate March: Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. Wants To Jail His Political Opponents
Marc Morano, Climate Depot, 21 September 2014
News You Can Use
Map: Top Oil and Gas States
Two maps produced by Metric Maps showing where oil and natural gas is being produced in the United States (Alaska not included) were posted by Reid Wilson in a Washington Post blog this week.
Inside the Beltway
EPA’s McCarthy Again Claims Greenhouse Gas Regulations Will Boost the Economy
Congress has left town for the November elections, but unfortunately EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy was still hard at work this week. On Thursday, 25th September, she gave a major speech at Resources for the Future in Washington, DC, on the economic benefits of her agency’s regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Her speech and following discussion can be watched here, and the EPA posted her written remarks here.
McCarthy made the following point: “As seas rise, so do insurance premiums, medical bills, and food prices. From water scarcity to wilting crops, companies like General Mills and Coca-Cola see climate change as a ‘threat to commerce.’ Paying more for soda and cereal means less cash to buy other things. That chokes economies and stunts job growth. The bottom line is: We don't act despite the economy, we act because of it.”
It certainly is true that if people pay more for food, they have less money to spend on other things. But McCarthy was unable or unwilling to follow the logic of her example. Because it is also true that if people pay more for energy, they have less to spend on other things. And it is also true that increasing energy costs increases the prices of most other things.
Ben Wolfgang in a lead front-page story in the 26th September Washington Times spelled out some of the facts that contradict McCarthy’s claim that forcing electric utilities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will spur economic growth. McCarthy claimed: “My home State of Massachusetts cut emissions by 40% [since 1990], while its economy grew 7%.” Wolfgang notes that McCarthy left out that most States with much higher per capita greenhouse gas emissions have been growing faster than Massachusetts. While U. S. GDP increased by 1.8% last year, Massachusetts lagged with 1.6%. The Texas economy grew by 3.7%.
One of the reasons economic growth is much stronger in States like Texas than in Massachusetts, California, and New York is that electric rates are much lower in Texas. Wolfgang notes that Texans pay an average of 9.36 cents per kilowatt hour, while in Massachusetts the average rate has gone up to 14.96 cents per kwh. That’s largely because Massachusetts belongs to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, which the EPA touts as a model of how to comply with its proposed rule for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.
McCarthy went on to disparage those who oppose the EPA’s energy-rationing policies. “It’s worrisome when we hear those critics say, and I quote, ‘I’m not a scientist, but climate action is going to ruin the economy.’ Well, as the President has said, those critics have one thing right: they’re not scientists. They’re not economists, either. But guess what, we’ve got some pretty good ones at EPA…and across the federal government.” There undoubtedly are some pretty good economists in the federal government. Unfortunately, McCarthy has not learned anything from them.
Around the World
Lots of Speeches at UN Climate Summit Pep Rally
I tried to watch some of the speeches by 120 or so heads of state and prime ministers at the United Nations Climate Summit on 23rd September, but most of what I heard was painfully boring and dim. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a Wall Street Journal op-ed summarized the “progress” made at the summit and claimed that “climate change is now higher on the global political agenda than it has ever been.”
China’s Vice Premier announced that China would soon announce a date for when its greenhouse gas emissions would peak. The European Union committed to reduce emissions to 40% below 1990 levels by 2030. And most importantly, according to Ban, “…73 national governments, 11 regional governments and more than 1,000 businesses and investors signaled support for carbon pricing at the summit. Together, these leaders represent 52% of global gross domestic product, 54% of global greenhouse-gas emissions and almost half of the world's population.
Here is the video and transcript of U. S. President Barack Obama’s address. The President took credit for the fact that, “Over the past eight years, the United States has reduced our total carbon pollution by more than any other nation on Earth,” but didn’t mention that the ongoing recession was the single biggest cause. He continued: “But we have to do more,” and then listed the main elements of his Climate Action Plan.
The only announcement by President Obama of new policy that I could see was this: “Today, I’m directing our federal agencies to begin factoring climate resilience into our international development programs and investments.” But he didn’t say anything about when the U. S. was going to start making major contributions to the Green Climate Fund. On the other hand, French President Francois Hollande announced that, “France will contribute a billion dollars over the next few years.”
At the annual UN global warming meeting, COP-15, in Copenhagen in 2009, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Obama saved the negotiations on a new international agreement to succeed the Kyoto Protocol from total collapse by proposing that a Green Climate Fund be created that would provide $100 billion per year in assistance to poorer countries by 2020. The wealthier nations clearly have a long way to go to come up with $100 billion total, let alone annually.
Organizers Claim 310,000 at the NYC People’s Climate March; Expert Estimates 120,000
The People’s Climate March in New York City on Sunday, 21st September, achieved its goal of being the largest climate march in history, but perhaps it was not nearly as large as the 310,000 (or close to 400,000) marchers claimed by the organizers and accepted by the mainstream media. Fire on the Mountain, a Canadian web site, congratulated the organizers and participants with a blog post that began, “What a splendid march!” But it then continues with an expert estimate of the number of people marching and concludes: “1. There were well over 100,000 people, likely a bit upwards of 120,000 in the march. 2. No way in hell were there 310,000 people on that march.”
Lots of famous people flew in to join the march. Notably, former Vice President Al Gore was there, and yet the weather remained sunny, warm and pleasant throughout the day and indeed through the UN Climate Summit on Tuesday, at which Gore also spoke. I guess the Gore Effect is weakening. UN Messenger of Peace Leonardo DiCaprio spoke at the march and at the summit.
Besides the famous, the marchers spanned the political and social spectrum. Besides the well-meaning do-gooders and the environmental activists, there were a number of hardcore radical leftists. A list of the 1500-plus co-sponsoring organizations gives a good idea of the range of opinion represented. The Sisters of Mercy, Presbyterians for Earth Care, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, Saint Edward the Martyr Episcopal Church, and the Islamic Environmental Group of Wisconsin are on the list. But so too are the Socialist Party USA, Socialist Action, Socialist Alternative, and the Communist Party USA. They were all marching, but it’s not clear how they might harmonize their agendas.
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.