Cooler Heads Digest 16 October 2015


16 October 2015


  • The Cornwall Alliance will premiere its new documentary film – Where the Grass Is Greener: Biblical Stewardship vs. Climate Alarmism – on October 21 at the at the Heritage Foundation’s Lehrman Auditorium. RSVP or watch online here.
  • The Global Warming Policy Foundation this week published a report by former IPCC delegate Dr Indur Goklany titled, “Carbon Dioxide: The Good News.”

In the News

Government Watchdog Investigates If EPA Is Being Honest about Ethanol
Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller, 16 October 2015

Are the #RICO20 Guilty of Racketeering?
Marlo Lewis, WattsUpWithThat?, 15 October 2015

“Losing Our Minds” over Green Energy
Fred L. Smith, Jr., Open Market, 15 October 2015

Krugman’s Recycled Arguments on Wind and Solar
Robert Murphy, Institute for Energy Research, 15 October 2015

Four Fallacies That Fracktivists Use To Scare You
Alex Epstein, Forbes, 15 October 2015

EPA’s Assault on Texas Economy
Ed Ireland, Stephen Minick, Mike Nasi, & Steve Everley, Statesman, 15 October 2015

Study: Government More Likely To Break Environmental Law than Private Firms
Michael Patrick Leahy, Breitbart, 14 October 2015

Should We Celebrate CO2?
Patrick Moore, Global Warming Policy Foundation, 14 October 2015

Clouding the Debate over Climate Change
Tom Harris, Washington Times, 13 October 2015

Pseudo-Historians Erase Scientists’ Early Caution on Global Warming
Rupert Darwall, National Review, 12 October 2015

Freeman Dyson on Climate Change, Fusion, and More
Andrew Orlowski, The Register, 11 October 2015

News You Can Use
Marlo Lewis

Renewable Fuel Standard: Bridge to Nowhere, Study Finds

According to a new study by the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture (UTIA) the corn ethanol industry has received almost $50 billion in cumulative taxpayer and market-tilting subsidies since 2005 – evidence the industry “cannot survive in any real commercial sense without mandated fuel volume requirements and RIN [regulatory credit] markets.”

To read UTIA’s press release on the study, click here. To download the full report, click here.

Inside the Beltway
Myron Ebell

President Obama: Foreign Policy Disasters in Middle East Are Small Potatoes Compared to Forthcoming Paris Climate Treaty Triumph

CBS’s Sixty Minutes on 11th October aired Steve Kroft’s interview of President Barack Obama.  The most heated part of the interview concerned the administration’s disastrous foreign policy in the Middle East and Russia’s intervention in Syria.  At its climax, Steve Kroft said: “He's [Putin’s] challenging your leadership, Mr. President. He's challenging your leadership—”  President Obama interrupted: “Well Steve, I got to tell you, if you think that running your economy into the ground and having to send troops in in order to prop up your only ally is leadership, then we've got a different definition of leadership. My definition of leadership would be leading on climate change, an international accord that potentially we'll get in Paris.”

The President’s remarks can be seen as merely a pathetic attempt to change the subject.  A much more worrying alternative explanation is that he actually believes this stuff.  Here is what President Obama said in his long Rolling Stone interview with Jeff Goodell conducted on his Alaska trip: “Every so often, John Holdren, the head of my science advisory group, sends out the latest data, and I make sure that not only me but my entire senior staff read it. And the last few reports have gotten everybody feeling like we've got to get moving on this, and to see what kinds of tools we can use to really have an impact.”  It is as astonishing as it is dismaying that the President has been listening to Dr. John Holdren for over six years and still hasn’t realized that his chief science advisor is deranged. 

Following President Obama’s lead, National Security Adviser Susan Rice said in a speech at Stanford University on 12th October that climate change was an “advancing menace” that threatened national and global security.  She also claimed that climate change was one of the causes of the war in Syria.

Interior Cancels Arctic Oil Lease Sales

The Department of the Interior announced on 16th October that it was cancelling offshore oil lease sales in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas off Alaska’s Arctic coast planned for 2016 and 2017.  It is unclear whether Russia will follow the Obama administration’s lead.

Around the World
Myron Ebell

India Wants More Aid and Easier Commitments in Paris Climate Treaty

India’s Business Standard reported that the Indian government is not happy with the new “first draft” negotiating text of the Paris climate treaty that was released on 6th October.  Nitin Sethi’s 14th October story says that India’s negotiators have concluded that, “It ignores many submissions by developing countries, breaches India's non-negotiable red lines and is inimical to the country's interests at the talks.”

India’s main complaint is the latest re-iteration of the line in the sand drawn by the G-77, the group of 135 developing countries that often negotiate as a bloc.  The G-77 insists that the “architecture” of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change cannot be changed, by which they mean that the treaty’s list of developed countries (Annex I in UNFCCC-talk) and developing countries (non-Annex I) cannot be adjusted to take account of the fact that some developing countries in 1992 have become developed countries in 2015.

The UNFCCC assigns “common but differentiated responsibilities” to Annex I and non-Annex I countries.  Developed countries are expected to undertake mandatory emissions reductions, while developing countries (non-Annex I) are not obligated to reduce emissions, but are instead meant to receive financial aid for reducing emissions and dealing with the impacts of climate change.  U. S. negotiators have insisted that all countries must undertake commitments to reduce emissions according to their abilities, thereby destroying the distinction between Annex I and non-Annex I.

As my CEI colleague Isaac Duarte reported in the 2nd October Cooler Heads Digest, India’s Intended Nationally Determined Contribution to the Paris treaty promises to reduce emissions intensity in relation to economic output only if it is paid $2.5 trillion to do so.  Thus, as always in UNFCCC negotiations, making progress depends on promising more money. 

The promise that saved the UN climate conference in Copenhagen in 2009 from total collapse was first suggested by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and confirmed by President Barack Obama that the developing countries provide $100 billion to the Green Climate Fund annually beginning in 2020.  India and other G-77 countries are becoming anxious to see some of that cash.  In addition, they now want to be compensated for “loss and damages” allegedly caused by climate change—typhoons, droughts, floods, etc.

The energy policies that are actually being pursued by the Indian government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi can be summarized as, Dig and burn a lot more coal to electrify the country.  Gayathri Vaidyanathan wrote a long informative article for Climate Wire on India’s dash to coal, which has been republished on the Scientific American web site.     

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,