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Entries in Climate Change (332)

Saturday
May232015

Cooler Heads Digest 22 May 2015 

22 May 2015

Announcement

The Heartland Institute’s Tenth International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC-10) will take place on Thursday, June 11 and Friday, June 12, 2015, at the Washington Court Hotel in Washington, D.C. Learn more here.

In the News

Memorial Day Weekend: Motor to a Better Environment!
Robert Bradley, Jr., Master Resource, 22 May 2015

On Climate, Science and Politics Are Diverging
Rupert Darwall, National Review Online, 22 May 2015

A Few More Hot Days Does Not Equal a Lot More Heat Waves
David Kreutzer, The Daily Signal, 21 May 2015

Tom Steyer’s Windfall Profits Tax: Recycling Junk Policy
Marlo Lewis, GlobalWarming.org, 20 May 2015

Sources: EPA Ditches Mandate That Coal Plants Install Non-Existent Coal Technology
Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller, 20 May 2015

EPA Plan to Ban Coal Hits Major Roadblock
Phil Kerpen, American Commitment, 20 May 2015

Critics Hear EPA’s Voice in “Public” Comments
Eric Lipton & Coral Davenport, New York Times, 18 May 2015

EPA’s Hidden Regulatory Agenda Should Be Pried Open
H. Sterling Burnett, Investor’s Business Daily, 15 May 2015

News You Can Use
Moderate Cold Weather Kills Twenty Times More People Than Heatwaves

A major study abstract published in the Lancet analyzed 74 million deaths from 384 locations in 13 countries from 1985 to 2012 and found that moderately cold weather kills twenty times more people than hot weather. 

From a story in London’s Guardian:

“It’s often assumed that extreme weather causes the majority of deaths, with most previous research focusing on the effects of extreme heatwaves,” says lead author Dr. Antonio Gasparrini from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.  “Our findings, from an analysis of the largest dataset of temperature-related deaths ever collected, show that the majority of these deaths actually happen on moderately hot and cold days, with most deaths caused by moderately cold temperatures.”

Inside the Beltway
Myron Ebell

President Obama Gives Bizarre Speech on Climate Threats at Coast Guard Graduation

President Barack Obama used his commencement address at the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut on 20th May to make the case once again that climate change is one of the greatest threats to our national security.  Judging from the transcript, the Coast Guard cadets in the audience found it as bizarre as I did reading it.  The White House transcript notes frequent applause during the first part and the short conclusion of the President’s speech, but during the long central section on the climate threat not a murmur from the audience is noted.

One short passage explains a lot about the Obama Administration’s multiple foreign policy failures:

“[C]onfronting climate change is now a key pillar of American global leadership.  When I meet with leaders around the world, it’s often at the top of our agenda -- a core element of our diplomacy.”

The President makes a number of astonishing claims that make me think he actually believes a lot of the nonsense that his White House science adviser John Holdren is telling him.  Here is one example:

“Understand, climate change did not cause the conflicts we see around the world.  Yet what we also know is that severe drought helped to create the instability in Nigeria that was exploited by the terrorist group Boko Haram.  It’s now believed that drought and crop failures and high food prices helped fuel the early unrest in Syria, which descended into civil war in the heart of the Middle East.”

House Narrowly Passes Bill To Reduce Funding for Climate and Green Energy Research

The House of Representatives on 20th May narrowly passed the America COMPETES Act, which re-authorizes non-defense research at the Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation, and several other agencies. The final vote on H. R. 1806 was 217 to 205.

Twenty-three Republicans joined all the Democrats in voting No.  Some of the Republicans voted No because they thought the bill did not go far enough in cutting funding or making reforms. 

The unanimous opposition of Democrats was rather due to the fact that the bill would reduce funding for climate research, social science research, green energy research, and cronyism at the Department of Energy.  On the other hand, funding for basic research in the physical sciences would increase.

The White House has already threatened a veto if the Senate goes along with the House Science Committee’s changes in funding priorities.     

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.

Saturday
May162015

Cooler Heads Digest 15 May 2015 

15 May 2015

Announcements

  • The Heartland Institute’s Tenth International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC-10) will take place on Thursday, June 11 and Friday, June 12, 2015, at the Washington Court Hotel in Washington, D.C. Learn more here.
  • “Environmentalism Gone Mad: How a Sierra Club Activist and Senior EPA Analyst Discovered a Radical Green Energy Fantasy” by Dr. Alan Carlin has been published by Stairway Press and is available for purchase here. Carlin is the former Sierra Clubber and career EPA economist who went public with his skepticism of global warming alarmism when the EPA tried to bury his scathing analysis.     

In the News

Congress Demands EPA Hand Over More E-mails, Texts
Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller, 15 May 2015

Foes of New Pipeline in ND Funded by Putin’s Pals
Paul Driessen, Investor’s Business Daily, 15 May 2015

Nature Fights Back Against Climate Change
Jenna Iacurci, Nature World News, 15 May 2015

In the Climate Debate, Hear Both Sides
Christopher Monckton, Watts Up With That, 14 May 2015

Ethanol Industry Ad Campaign: Fuels or Fools America?
Marlo Lewis, GlobalWarming.org, 14 May 2015

Climate Expert John Christy: US Emissions Cuts Won’t Make Difference
Paul Gattis, AL.com, 14 May 2015

Shameful Environmental Correctness Strikes Again
Steven Hayward, Power Line, 13 May 2015

What Would It Take to Convince You About Global Warming?
Judith Curry, Climate Etc., 13 May 2015

What Does “Sustainability” Really Mean? A Reply to the Vatican
William M. Briggs, Crisis, 12 May 2015

EPA’s Dangerous Desire to Become America’s Energy Regulator
Scherman, Haake, and Fleischer, Forbes, 11 May 2015

Green Energy Movement is Dead
Stephen Moore, Washington Times, 11 May 2015

News You Can Use

Ross McKitrick in a National Post op-ed explains “The Con in Consensus” and why the claimed 97% “climate change consensus among the misinformed is not worth much.”  

Inside the Beltway
Myron Ebell

Senator Capito and 26 Co-Sponsors Introduce Bill to Block EPA’s Power Plant Rules

Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) this week introduced a bill to block the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed rules to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from new and existing power plants. S. 1324, the Affordable Reliable Energy Now Act, has 26 original co-sponsors, including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee Chairman James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.), and Democrat Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.).

Both Majority Leader McConnell and Chairman Inhofe have said that they are determined to stop EPA’s greenhouse gas rules, so I expect quick action to move Capito’s bill.  In the House, a bill to block the rules, H. R. 2042, the Ratepayer Protection Act, was voted out of the House Energy and Commerce Committee on 29th April and is awaiting floor action.



House Panel Examines NEPA Guidance Document on Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Marlo Lewis

On May 13, the House Natural Resources Committee examined the White House’s Guidance on how agencies should integrate “greenhouse gas emissions and climate change effects” into reviews of proposed projects under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

The Committee’s briefing memo cautions the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) that under the agency’s own regulations and various court rulings, NEPA review is appropriate only if there is a “causal relationship” between an agency’s approval of a particular project and “reasonably foreseeable” environmental impacts. The Guidance would thus appear to be unlawful, because no individual project emits enough greenhouse gases to have detectable or even estimable climate impacts.

In his testimony, attorney Roger Martella warns that NEPA review of greenhouse gases could further empower anti-growth activists, who already wield NEPA as a “sword to obstruct projects” critical to economic development.

To make the Guidance compatible with development, Martella argues that agencies should not consider the indirect (“upstream” and “downstream”) emissions from economic activities facilitated by projects, and should not use social cost of carbon analysis to estimate climate-related impacts. For further discussion, see the comment letter 15 free-market groups submitted to CEQ on its Guidance document.

Across the States
No item.

Around the World
Myron Ebell

Vatican Cardinal Attacks Capitalist Stooges for Opposing Global Warming Alarmism  

The cardinal in the Vatican thought to be Pope Francis’s closest adviser this week criticized American critics of the Pope’s forthcoming encyclical on climate change as environment-destroying capitalist stooges.     

According to a story by Ines San Martin in the Boston Globe, Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga said at a press conference on 12 May: “The ideology surrounding environmental issues is too tied to a capitalism that doesn’t want to stop ruining the environment because they don’t want to give up their profits.”

However, Thomas D. Williams reported in a 15th May story published on Breitbart that: “A Vatican insider asserts that Pope Francis has scrapped the draft of his encyclical letter on the environment and sent it back for major revision. The letter was slated for publication in early summer, but now may not be ready until much later, he suggests.  Citing sources within the Santa Marta residence where the Pope lives, veteran Vatican journalist Sandro Magister has written that ‘Francis has scrubbed the draft’ of the text presented to him by Argentinian Archbishop Víctor Manuel Fernández, perhaps foreseeing that Cardinal Gerhard Müller of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith ‘would have demolished it’ once it was presented to him for approval.” This is speculation, of course, but perhaps some of the remaining clear-thinking officials in the Vatican who have not been persuaded by Liberation Theology have realized that the energy-rationing policies demanded by global warming alarmists will consign poor people in poor countries to perpetual energy poverty.

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.

Saturday
May092015

Cooler Heads Digest 08 May 2015 

8 May 2015

Announcements

  • The Cooler Heads Coalition will host a Capitol Hill lunch briefing by Professor Ross McKitrick on “Ontario's Green Energy Act: Environmentally Useless and Economically Disastrous.” The briefing will be held from 12 noon to 1:15 PM on Monday, May 11, in 2325 Rayburn House Office Building. McKitrick is Professor of Environmental Economics and Fellow in Sustainable Commerce at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada. RSVP to attend the briefing to william.yeatman@cei.org.
  • The Heartland Institute’s Tenth International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC-10) will take place on Thursday, June 11 and Friday, June 12, 2015, at the Washington Court Hotel in Washington, D.C. Learn more here.

In the News

Jerry Taylor’s “Conservative” Case for Carbon Tax Collapses after 36 Days
Robert Murphy, Institute for Energy Research, 7 May 2015

EPA Employee Watched Adult Films in Office on Take Your Kids to Work Day
Ben Mathis-Lilley, Slate, 7 May 2015

Industrial Scale Wind: A Net Loser, Economically, Environmentally, Technically, Civilly
Mary Kay Barton, Master Resource, 7 May 2015

Let’s Have a National Conservation on Fracking
Stephen Heins, Fortnightly, 7 May 2015

Is Ethanol a Green Fuel?
Marlo Lewis, GlobalWarming.org, 6 May 2015

“Climate Anger”: Last Refuge of the Alarmists
Robert Bradley, Jr., Forbes, 6 May 2015

Fracking Fuels Top-Earning Graduates
Marnie Eisenstadt, Syracuse Post-Standard, 6 May 2015

Courts Must Stop EPA’s Brazen Overreach
Mike Duncan, FoxNews.com, 5 May 2015

American Oil Production Is Up 53% Since 2010, But It’s Declining on Federal Lands (here’s why)
Patrick Tyrrell, Daily Signal, 5 May 2015

Why Does EPA Hate Texas?
Doug Domenech, The Federalist, 5 May 2015

Fracking Fearmongering: Another “Regulatory Science” Confirmation
Ronald Bailey, Hit & Run, 5 May 2015

News You Can Use
Happy 400 PPM!

For the first time since record keeping began, ambient air concentrations of carbon dioxide have surpassed 400 parts per million (ppm) globally. We’d like only to note how much human progress was made possible by the energy use that has led to this milestone.

Inside the Beltway
William Yeatman

Executive Branch: EPA Sends Two Rules to OIRA for Secret White House Review

  • BNA’s Andrew Childers today reports that EPA’s “Carbon Pollution Standard” regulation has been sent to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) for secret review by the White House. As proposed, the rule would effectively ban the construction of new coal-fired power plants by requiring the use of a technology (carbon capture and sequestration) that is exorbitantly expensive. However, rumor has it that EPA has significantly softened the rule, in recognition of the fact that the proposal was patently illegal. EPA is expected to promulgate the final regulation this summer.
  • In a similar vein, Politico Pro ($) on Wednesday broke the news that EPA has sent its final biofuel regulation to OIRA for secret White House review. By statute, EPA must set an annual Soviet-style production quota for ethanol. However, because the current administration is focusing all of EPA’s resources on climate change policy, the agency has been woefully behind on its non-discretionary duties such as its statutory responsibility to centrally plan the biofuel market. As a result, EPA is only now getting around to fixing demand for ethanol production—for 2014! EPA is expected to finalize the 2014 levels by November 30. Needless to say, EPA’s untimeliness roils the ethanol “market.” 

Legislative Branch: Sen. Murkowski Is Working on “Comprehensive” Energy Bill, Alas

Yesterday Senate Environmental & Public Works Chair Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) announced her intention to try to pass the first comprehensive energy bill since the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act. At this early stage, her hoped-for energy legislation has taken the unwieldy form of 17 draft bills, none of which is particularly consequential.

While I am a fan of Sen. Murkowski, and I appreciate her low-key approach, I am nonetheless wary of all comprehensive energy bills. If history is any guide, support will build for the measure only to the extent that individual lawmakers are afforded opportunities to engage in parochial politics. Remember that the 2007 energy bill gave us the awful ethanol mandate, the Energy Department’s green bank, and fuel efficiency mandates.

Rather than a legislating a grab bag of handouts, political favors, and progressive regulations, it would be far better if Congress were to focus its attentions on overseeing and reining in Obama’s leviathan administrative state and its suffocating energy policies.  

Judicial Branch: D.C. Circuit Ruling Demonstrates EPA Can’t Be Trusted to Keep Lights on

On Monday, a unanimous three judge panel on the federal D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed EPA’s attempt to modify an air quality rule for small electric generators. The court's ruling in Delaware Department of Natural Resources v. EPA took EPA to task for the agency’s failure to consult with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on the reliability impact of the rule.

The opinion has implications for Obama's marquee climate policy--a regulation known as the Clean Power Plan that would overhaul the electric industry in the name of achieving an imperceptible "improvement" in climate change. Critics of the Clean Power Plan long have argued that the agency has avoided reckoning with the profound reliability threats posed by the regulation. Monday’s ruling will serve to buttress the criticisms.

Across the States
William Yeatman

EPA’s Untimeliness Processing Clean Air Act SIPs Leads to Major Headaches for States

The Clean Air Act establishes a “cooperative federalism” regulatory regime, whereby EPA sets nationwide standards, and states are given the freedom to craft strategies, known as “state implementation plans” (SIPs) to meet these standards. Indeed, states spend years and thousands of work hours developing these SIPs for Clean Air Act compliance.

However, because the current administration is focusing all of EPA’s resources on climate change policy, the agency has been woefully behind on its non-discretionary duties such as its statutory responsibility to review state plans. According to reporting by InsideEPA ($), EPA currently estimates that there are 655 “backlogged” SIPs that exist in regulatory limbo.

EPA’s untimeliness is a major headache for state regulatory agencies, for two reasons:

  • It creates the conditions for “sue and settle” lawsuits between green special interests and EPA. (For more, see here or listen here.)
  • It also gives EPA the opportunity to change the rules of the game. Here’s how it works. First, a state submits a plan that is eminently approvable because it comports with the agency’s regulations and guidelines. Then, EPA will sit on the plan for years, during which time the agency will update its regulations and guidelines, and thereby change the rules of the game. Finally, EPA will hold the state’s SIP accountable to the agency’s updated interpretation (i.e., standards about which the state was necessarily unaware when they crafted their SIPs). (See here for more.)

Around the World
William Yeatman

Chinese Drivers Are Just Like American Drivers (We All Love Gas Guzzlers!)

Platts reports this week that the Chinese bought nearly 49 percent more gasoline-guzzling sports utility vehicles in the first quarter of 2015 compared with Q1 2014. It would appear that Chinese motorists, like their American counterparts, have reacted to the fall in oil prices by spurning fuel-efficient cars, climate be damned.

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.

Thursday
May072015

NHDP - UNH Releases Reports on Climate Change, but GOP Continues to Deny Reality 

CONCORD, NH – This week, the University of New Hampshire released two reports focusing on how climate change leads to higher seas, which harm our seacoast and negatively impact the health of Granite Staters. The reports also note that “the single most effective” strategy to combat climate change is “the reduction of emissions of heat-trapping gases.” But GOP Presidential hopefuls, who are often in New Hampshire, continue to deny the science of climate change and its detrimental effects on our state. Just take a look at the GOP’s views on the subject:
 

  • Marco Rubio: “I do not believe that human activity is causing these dramatic changes to our climate the way these scientists are portraying it.”

 

 

 

  • Jeb Bush: It’s “not unanimous among scientists” that climate change is manmade.

 

  • Chris Christie said he needed “more science” before being convinced climate change is manmade: “I’m a little skeptical.”

 

 
 
“As the science piles up around them that climate change is real and is already causing problems for New Hampshire, the Republican candidates for President continue to deny facts and downplay the damaging effects,” said Ray Buckley, Chairman of the New Hampshire Democratic Party. “Their denial of the facts make it obvious that the GOP is out-of-touch with reality, let alone New Hampshire residents that care about the future of our state’s natural beauty.”  
 

Background:

UNH Reports: Climate Change Bringing Higher Seas, Health Impacts to NH

“The specific impacts cited in the human health report include heat-related morbidity and mortality, respiratory illness, allergies, insect-borne, food- and water-borne, diseases, health behaviors and chronic disease and mental health or stress-related disorders, which can greatly increase medical costs. 

Among other consequences, higher sea levels will mean higher storm surges, which occur primarily during nor’easters and hurricanes, resulting in flooding over greater coastal land area. The flooding caused by storm surge will also take longer to abate than in the past… 

Finally, the reports note that the single most effective adaptation strategy is mitigation of climate change through the reduction of emissions of heat-trapping gases.” 


[UNH, 5/4/2015] CONCORD, NH – This week, the University of New Hampshire released two reports focusing on how climate change leads to higher seas, which harm our seacoast and negatively impact the health of Granite Staters. The reports also note that “the single most effective” strategy to combat climate change is “the reduction of emissions of heat-trapping gases.” But GOP Presidential hopefuls, who are often in New Hampshire, continue to deny the science of climate change and its detrimental effects on our state. Just take a look at the GOP’s views on the subject:
 

  • Marco Rubio: “I do not believe that human activity is causing these dramatic changes to our climate the way these scientists are portraying it.”

 

 

 

  • Jeb Bush: It’s “not unanimous among scientists” that climate change is manmade.

 

  • Chris Christie said he needed “more science” before being convinced climate change is manmade: “I’m a little skeptical.”

 

 
 
“As the science piles up around them that climate change is real and is already causing problems for New Hampshire, the Republican candidates for President continue to deny facts and downplay the damaging effects,” said Ray Buckley, Chairman of the New Hampshire Democratic Party. “Their denial of the facts make it obvious that the GOP is out-of-touch with reality, let alone New Hampshire residents that care about the future of our state’s natural beauty.”  
 

Background:

UNH Reports: Climate Change Bringing Higher Seas, Health Impacts to NH

“The specific impacts cited in the human health report include heat-related morbidity and mortality, respiratory illness, allergies, insect-borne, food- and water-borne, diseases, health behaviors and chronic disease and mental health or stress-related disorders, which can greatly increase medical costs. 

Among other consequences, higher sea levels will mean higher storm surges, which occur primarily during nor’easters and hurricanes, resulting in flooding over greater coastal land area. The flooding caused by storm surge will also take longer to abate than in the past… 

Finally, the reports note that the single most effective adaptation strategy is mitigation of climate change through the reduction of emissions of heat-trapping gases.” 


[UNH, 5/4/2015]

Wednesday
May062015

CEI Today: Climate change, labor union ambush elections, Ex-Im Bank sunset

Tuesday, May 5, 2015
In the News Today

 


FIGHTING CLIMATE CHANGE - WILLIAM YEATMAN
 

Clean Power Plan “Co-Benefits” Are as Insipid as the Rule’s Direct Benefits 
 
A big problem for EPA in trying to defend its egregious Clean Power Plan is that the rule is being promulgated in the name of fighting climate change, but it won’t actually impact the climate.
 
As a result, the agency has had to resort to two bits of trickery in order to justify the rule’s exorbitant costs. > Read more


> Interview William Yeatman
 

LABOR UNION AMBUSH ELECTIONS 

Key Vote Alert: “YES” on Overriding the Veto of S. J. Res. 8

 

CEI will score the Senate’s veto override vote on S. J. Res. 8, a Congressional Review Act Resolution of Disapproval to void the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) “ambush elections” rule, which threatens American workers’ freedom of association and privacy. > Read more

EX-IM BANK SUNSET - RYAN YOUNG

 

Export-Import Bank Update
 
As June 30 approaches, the Ex-Im battle is heating up once again. At this point, it appears Congress will hold a vote in May on Ex-Im’s fate. Ex-Im’s critics argue that the bank is a corporate welfare program, and is vulnerable to favoritism and corruption. > Read more
 



Convening at the National Press Club, a select group of thought leaders, industry leaders, and policy makers - including CEI's John Berlau - will gather to consider the future of alternative finance. 
 






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The Man Who Brought Obamacare Back to the Supreme Court

 
 


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