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Entries in EPA (478)

Saturday
Sep062014

Cooler Heads Digest 05 September 2014 

5 September 2014

Announcements

The Competitive Enterprise Institute published a report this week by William Yeatman, “How the Obama Administration Is Undermining Cooperative Federalism under the Clean Air Act, and What Congress Can Do about It”

In the News

What Ever Happened to Global Warming?
Matt Ridley, Wall Street Journal, 5 September 2014

Why the U.S. Should Start Selling Oil out of the SPR
Philip Verlanger, Platts, 5 September 2014

Polis-Backed Group Draws Fire for Fracking Lies
Lachlan Markay, Washington Free Beacon, 5 September 2014

McKitrick & Vogelsang: Model Projections Too Hot over 55-year Period
Marlo Lewis, GlobalWarming.org, 4 September 2014

EPA’s Clean Power Plan: Serfdom for the States
Robert Michaels, Master Resource, 4 September 2014

Why Climate Science Is Far Too Important To Be Left to Celebrity Physicists
James Delingpole, Breitbart, 4 September 2014

How Global Warming Policies Have Led to Global Insecurity
Lawrence Solomon, Financial Post, 4 September 2014

EPA’s Staff Recommends Lower Ozone Standard, But It Doesn’t Matter
William Yeatman, GlobalWarming.org, 3 September 2014

Secretary of State Kerry: Scripture Commands USA To Protect Muslim Countries against Global Warming
Breitbart TV, 3 September 2014

Giant Wind Farm Could Deal the Chesapeake Bay a Heavy Blow
Bonner Cohen, Washington Times, 2 September 2014

News You Can Use
Antarctic Ice Sets New Record

Antarctic sea ice extent continued to set new records in August, finishing the month at 19.154 million sq km, beating the record set last year by 87,000 sq km.

Inside the Beltway
Myron Ebell

Hillary Clinton Calls for U.S. Leadership on Global Warming

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made a strong case for United States leadership on global warming at Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) seventh annual National Clean Energy Summit in Las Vegas on 4th September.  Clinton said that becoming the “clean-energy superpower our world needs” would demonstrate that the “U. S. can still do big things.”  

Clinton also blasted global warming skeptics who stand in the way of moving away from fossil fuels: “The data is unforgiving no matter what the deniers try to assert….Sea levels are rising, ice caps are melting, storms and wildfires are wreaking havoc….”  She also claimed that, “[T]ax incentives for alternative energy investments are unpredictable at best, while generous subsidies for fossil fuels are still too easy to come by.”

While expressing optimism that switching to renewables would lead to economic growth and more good-paying jobs, Clinton also warned that our international position is at stake: “China and other competitors are racing ahead with big bets on renewables. We cannot afford to cede leadership in this area.”  But: “If we come together to make the hard choices, the smart investment in infrastructure, technology and environmental protection, America can be the clean energy superpower for the 21st century.”

Clinton did acknowledge that “American innovation [was] changing the game” with the natural gas fracking revolution.  “Gas is cleaner than coal, and expanded production is creating thousands of jobs.”

John Podesta joined in the discussion on stage with Clinton.  Podesta is currently the chief domestic policy adviser on energy and environmental issues to President Barack Obama.  He founded the Center for American Progress (sic) and was White House chief of staff during the last years of the Bill Clinton Administration.  Senator Reid’s clean energy conference was held at the Mandalay Bay hotel and casino, which was also the site of the Heartland Institute’s ninth International Conference on Climate Change in July.  Clinton was making her first appearance at the conference, but former President Bill Clinton spoke at the first summit in 2008.   

House Tries Yet Again To Get Senate’s Attention

The House and Senate return from their August recess on 8th September for a couple of weeks in session before recessing for the election campaign.  House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) sent a memo to Republican House Members on 4th September detailing the Republican leadership’s legislative plans.  The House will consider two big omnibus bills on the economy and energy.  The jobs and economic growth package will include fourteen bills already passed by the House, but which the Democratic-controlled Senate has not acted upon.  The energy package will include thirteen bills, again all passed by the House during the 113th Congress but ignored by the Senate. 

Here is a list of the House-passed energy bills to be included in the omnibus: H. R. 3, H. R. 1963, H. R. 2640, H. R. 2728, H. R. 4801, H. R. 3301, H. R. 6, H. R. 1582, H. R. 1900, H. R. 2641, H. R. 3826, H. R. 2824, and H. R. 4899.  These bills address a wide range of issues, including increasing oil and gas production on federal lands and offshore areas, permitting the Keystone pipeline, preventing federal regulation of hydraulic fracturing, expediting natural gas exports, and blocking EPA greenhouse gas regulations on coal-fired power plants.  Information on these and other bills may be found at Congress.gov.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) announced at his seventh annual National Clean Energy Summit in Las Vegas on 4th September that he planned to hold a floor vote on renewing the wind and solar production tax credits (PTC).  Wind and solar PTCs are included in the $85 billion package of tax cut extenders that the Senate rejected on a procedural vote in May.  Reid said, “Efforts to renew these incentives are being blocked by Republicans in Congress.”  Holding a vote on a piece of legislation would be a surprising change of pace for the Senate this year.   

Across the States
Myron Ebell

Tesla Snookers Nevada

Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk and Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval (R) announced on Monday that Tesla would build the world’s largest batter factory at the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center, east of Sparks in northern Nevada and that the State would offer $1.3 billion in tax breaks over twenty years.

The $1.3 billion tax subsidy package would tie for the largest for an automotive company in the U. S. and be fifteen times larger than any other in Nevada’s history, according to a story by Ryan Frank in the Las Vegas Sun.  The state legislature will vote on approving the package next week.

Tesla’s lithium battery plant is projected to employ 6,000 workers and cover ten million square feet (or 173 football fields).  Its capacity will be larger than all plants currently producing lithium batteries in the world.  It is designed to decrease the cost and increase the production of Tesla’s electric vehicles. 

Edmunds recently reported that sales of electric and hybrid vehicles had increased modestly this year, but have actually declined as a percentage of all vehicles sold in the U. S. 

Around the World
William Yeatman

Rough Week for Climate Diplomacy

Chinese President Xi Jinping this week became the latest world leader to skip the upcoming United Nations climate change summit in New York on September 23rd. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and German Chancellor Angela Merkel already have indicated they won’t attend. The absence of leadership from the world’s major emitters undercuts the event, needless to say. That said, Russia still has yet to confirm or deny its participation, so perhaps Putin will show up.

On a similarly dire note for global warming alarmists, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk this week beat out Danish Prime Minister Hell Thorning-Schmidt to become president of the European Council, a hugely important position for EU policies. Tusk is a noted skeptic of the EU’s green energy policies, so much so that one commentator labeled his ascension to power a “black day for the EU’s climate policy.”

Science Update
Marlo Lewis

Biosphere Productivity in Recent Decades: Increasing or Decreasing?

This week on CO2Science.Org, the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change posts a literature review of 104 peer-reviewed studies on the productivity of forests and terrestrial plant eco-systems around the world.

Study after study finds an ongoing significant increase in the productivity of forests and other plant life, with most of the gains concentrated in the tropics. Causes include increased warmth, increased precipitation, and, chiefly, the CO2-fertilization effect, which boosts plant photosynthesis, water-use efficiency, and resistance to environmental stresses.

The review concludes:

In spite of climate-alarmist claims that the temperatures of the latter part of the 20th century and on through the present were unprecedented over the past one to two millennia (which is highly debatable) and that atmospheric CO2 concentrations were the highest they had been for several hundred millennia (which is true), as well as the fact that mankind yearly harvests and/or destroys much of the planet's natural vegetation, the total yearly production of terrestrial vegetative biomass for the globe as a whole continues to rise, and at a remarkable rate. Why is this so? Perhaps it is because the twin evils of the radical environmentalist movement are not the devilish developments they are made out to be, but are actually blessings in disguise, benefiting earth's biosphere in spite of all of the political attempts to severely curtail the CO2 emissions of humanity.

 

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.

Friday
Sep052014

CEI Today: MetLife "too big to fail," court ruling on gov't transparency, EPA renewable fuel quotas, and Ex-Im Bank funding 

Friday, September 5, 2014
In the News Today

 

METLIFE - TOO BIG TO FAIL? - JOHN BERLAU

You’re a SIFI, Charlie Brown


MetLife insurance company is poised to designated "too big to fail" by federal regulators, which means the company will be subject to new, higher regulatory burdens, just like banks. This move comes over the objections of MetLife itself.

"So why ... are Washington bureaucrats putting life insurance firms in the same risk category as big banks? One simple reason is, to borrow a famous saying attributed to bank robber Willie Sutton, that's where the money is," says CEI's John Berlau. With this designation, the firm and its policy holders can be taxed to pay for bailouts of high fliers like AIG. > Read more


> Interview John Berlau

COURT RULING ON GOV'T TRANSPARENCY CASE - HANS BADER

 

A federal judge on Thursday allowed the Competitive Enterprise Institute to proceed with its lawsuit challenging EPA's destruction of documents.
“The American people deserve transparency and accountability from the federal government, and today’s court ruling was a preliminary win in that much larger battle,” said Hans Bader, CEI Senior Counsel. “This may signal a possible end to EPA officials destroying their text messages with impunity based on their self-serving claim that all text messages are personal rather than work-related.”


> Interview Hans Bader

 

EPA'S RENEWABLE FUEL PRODUCTION QUOTAS - MARLO LEWIS

 

Globalwarming.org: Scaling Back Renewable Fuel Standard

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy has indicated that new federal renewable fuel production quotas, originally due in June, will be released soon. CEI's Marlo Lewis has explained why EPA may be less enamoured by ethanol mandates these days. "EPA estimates that ... corn ethanol’s carbon dioxide-equivalent (CO2e) emissions were 33% higher than gasoline’s in 2012."
> Read more

> Interview Marlo Lewis
 

EXPORT-IMPORT BANK - RYAN YOUNG

Ex-Im Update


Congress comes back from its annual August recess next week. One of the top items on its agenda is deciding the Export-Import Bank’s fate. Ex-Im subsidizes financing for U.S. exporters and their foreign customers. As I outlined here, Ex-Im subsidizes certain businesses at others’ expense. It is a pro-business policy, when what the economy needs are pro-market policies. Ex-Im will also be forced to shut its doors unless Congress reauthorizes its charter by the end of September, making for a golden reform opportunity for corporate welfare opponents.  > Read more

 

> Interview Ryan Young

 

 

Sign Up for the Weekly Cooler Heads Digest!

Every Friday afternoon, we send out an electronic newsletter on the latest energy and environment happenings, known as the Cooler Heads Digest. Sign up today!

 

    


 

CEI President Lawson Bader

@libertynkilts
 

 

The Millennial hope


Saturday, 10am ET
Realclearradio.org

@RealClearFrezza

 

Tune in Saturday, September 6th or Monday, September 8th to RealClear Radio Hour with Bill Frezza and guests, Fariborz Ghadar & Emily Ekins. 





 

Thursday
Sep042014

CEI Today: Ex-Im Bank, EPA ozone standard + renewable fuel quotas, and more 

Thursday, September 4, 2014
In the News Today

 

EXPORT-IMPORT BANK - RYAN YOUNG

Ex-Im Update


Congress comes back from its annual August recess next week. One of the top items on its agenda is deciding the Export-Import Bank’s fate. Ex-Im subsidizes financing for U.S. exporters and their foreign customers. As I outlined here, Ex-Im subsidizes certain businesses at others’ expense. It is a pro-business policy, when what the economy needs are pro-market policies. Ex-Im will also be forced to shut its doors unless Congress reauthorizes its charter by the end of September, making for a golden reform opportunity for corporate welfare opponents.  > Read more

 

> Interview Ryan Young

 

NO SAY OVER OZONE STANDARD? - WILLIAM YEATMAN

Globalwarming.org: EPA’s Staff Recommends Lower Ozone Standard, But it Doesn’t Matter, Because EPA Has No Say


Last Friday, EPA’s staff issued its final recommendation for a revised national ambient air quality standard for ozone. The document is supposed to represent “the latest scientific knowledge useful in indicating the kind and extent of all identifiable effects on public health or welfare which may be expected from [ozone],”* and thereby inform Administrator Gina McCarthy’s determination of where to set the standard.

On Friday, the EPA staff recommended that standard be revised to somewhere between 60 and 70 parts per billion. But here’s the thing: The staff’s advice doesn’t matter. Thanks to a recent ruling in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, the EPA—indeed, the federal government!—has no say in the setting of an ozone NAAQS.

Instead, that prerogative has been bestowed on an obscure group of technocrats known as the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Council.

 > Read more


> Interview William Yeatman
 

EPA'S RENEWABLE FUEL PRODUCTION QUOTAS - MARLO LEWIS

 

Globalwarming.org: Scaling Back RenewableFuel Standard

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy has indicated that new federal renewable fuel production quotas, originally due in June, will be released soon. CEI's Marlo Lewis has explained why EPA may be less enamoured by ethanol mandates these days. "EPA estimates that ... corn ethanol’s carbon dioxide-equivalent (CO2e) emissions were 33% higher than gasoline’s in 2012."
> Read more

> Interview Marlo Lewis
 

Saturday, 10am ET
Realclearradio.org

@RealClearFrezza

 

Tune in Saturday, September 6th or Monday, September 8th to RealClear Radio Hour with Bill Frezza and guests, Fariborz Ghadar & Emily Ekins.  

 

Becoming American—The Immigrant Story

Penn State Professor Fariborz Ghadar, author of Becoming American, dispels several modern myths about immigration and warns that without reform, U.S. immigration policy will drive the next generation of tech industries across the border.

Millennials—The Politically Unclaimed Generation


Emily Ekins, polling director from the Reason Foundation, discusses the recent Reason-Rupe survey of millennials, ages 18-29. The poll’s findings demonstrate a politically unaffiliated—socially liberal, fiscally conservative—generation, in favor of business, distrustful of parties, and confused by outdated political terminology defined by various -isms. 

 

 

Sign Up for the Weekly Cooler Heads Digest!

Every Friday afternoon, we send out an electronic newsletter on the latest energy and environment happenings, known as the Cooler Heads Digest. Sign up today!

 

    


 

CEI President Lawson Bader

@libertynkilts
 

 

The Millennial hope






 

Saturday
Aug302014

Cooler Heads Digest 29 August 2014 

29 August 2014

In the News

Taking the Lead on Carbon Is a Losing Game
Chip Knappenberger, Providence Journal, 29 August 2014

Six Threats Bigger Than Climate Change
Sen. John Barrasso, Wall Street Journal, 29 August 2014

American Oil Bonanza Keeps Gas Prices Affordable
Clifford Krauss, New York Times, 28 August 2014

U.S. Fracking Boom Stabilizes Global Oil Market
Ronald Bailey, Reason Hit & Run, 28 August 2014

Watchdog: Germany Needs Coal To Balance Dependency on Russian Gas
Christopher Steitz, Reuters, 27 August 2014

James Hansen: “I Struggle To Sleep” (with current energy trends, energy policy)
Robert Bradley, Jr., Master Resource, 26 August 2014

Government Science Advisors: Where Are the Honest Brokers?
Roger Pielke, Jr., Guardian, 26 August 2014

Under Assault from Big Green, Coal Is Fighting Back
Ron Arnold, Washington Examiner, 26 August 2014

Obama’s Green Unicorn
Peter Roff, U.S. News & World Report, 25 August 2014

EPA on Mann’s “Fraud” Invective (be sure to read this)
Steve McIntyre, Climate Audit, 22 August 2014

News You Can Use
Arctic Ice Up 60% over Last Two Years

Steve Goddard today noted Danish Meteorological Institute data showing a 63% increase in Arctic sea ice extent since the same date in 2012, and an increase of 76% since the 2012 summer minimum.

Inside the Beltway
Myron Ebell

GAO Whitewashes Social Cost of Carbon

The U. S. Government Accountability Office this week released a “regulatory impact analysis” on the development of the Social Cost of Carbon (SCC) estimates. The GAO report finds nothing to criticize in the federal interagency working group’s process that produced a guidance document in 2013 that raised its estimates of the social cost of carbon by roughly 50-60% over those it had made in 2010.  On the other hand, the GAO did not attempt to evaluate the actual estimates that the process generated. 

This is a whitewash, as my CEI colleague Marlo Lewis shows in detail in a post on www.GlobalWarming.org. In short, the GAO concludes that the process by which the interagency working group came up with the SCC estimates was unexceptionable and therefore that there is no reason to second guess those estimates.  But in fact, the interagency working group did not follow the White House Office of Management and Budget’s directions, contained in Circular A-4, in two major respects.  First, it did not apply the standard discount rates specified by A-4 of 3% and 7%, but instead used 2.5%, 3%, and 5%.  If the standard OMB discount rate of 7% had been applied as well, then the lower-end SCC estimate would drop dramatically, as has been shown in an analysis by David Kreutzer and Kevin Darayatna of the Heritage Foundation.  

Second, the interagency working group used estimates of global costs and benefits, while OMB Circular A-4 requires that domestic costs and benefits be included (whereas global costs and benefits are merely optional according to A-4).  Using domestic costs and benefits would again dramatically lower the SCC.  As Marlo Lewis shows, a $50 a ton of carbon dioxide SCC could be as low as $3.50 if domestic costs and benefits were the measuring stick.

This is important because federal agencies have used the SCC in 68 rulemakings since 2008 and will be using it even more often in the future.  This information the GAO helpfully provides in an appendix on pages 22-29 of its report.            

Obama Seeks international Climate Agreement That Won’t Require Ratification

Coral Davenport, the climate advocate-reporter for the New York Times, had a top-left-of-the-front-page story on 27th August on the fact that the Obama Administration is pursuing an international agreement to succeed the Kyoto Protocol that will not be a treaty and therefore would not require ratification by the Senate. This is not exactly news.  I have written about it several times in the Digest over the past few years; and my CEI colleague Chris Horner wrote an exhaustive scholarly article for the Federalist Society about the legal perils of unratified treaty commitments.In a subsequent FedSoc piece, Horner also explained in 2009 the pressures and evidence already accumulating that Obama would end up pursuing Kyoto II not calling it a treaty

But Davenport’s article is still worth reading.  The Obama Administration believe that they can sign a new international agreement to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions that will include commitments from all the major emitters and most of the minor emitters, but that will somehow not be a treaty.  The negotiations are supposed to be concluded at the twenty-first Conference of the Parties (COP-21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change at Paris in December 2015.  And the new agreement is supposed to go into effect in 2020.

Domestically, this would mean that a future administration could achieve its commitments to reduce emissions through regulatory actions under existing laws (as the Obama Administration is already doing through the Clean Air Act rules on coal and natural gas power plant emissions and higher CAFÉ standards for vehicles) and through enactment of legislation by Congress.  The thinking is that this will be much easier than Senate ratification, which requires a two-thirds majority.  It is not a co-incidence that the Obama Administration’s chief climate negotiators at the State Department were involved in the negotiations that resulted in the Kyoto Protocol in 1997, which was dead on arrival in the Senate.     

Rupert Darwall, writing in National Review Online, agrees that a new climate treaty would never be ratified, but also thinks that the attempt to negotiate a non-treaty agreement is doomed to fail as well. Darwall may be right, but I nonetheless think that President Obama will work overtime to sign such an agreement at COP-21 or during the last year of his presidency in 2016.  It would be a feather in his cap, and it would be up to his successor to implement the agreement.  It also fits in well with his contempt of the constitutional powers of Congress, as Marlo Lewis, my CEI colleague, discusses on GlobalWarming.org

Science Update
Myron Ebell

Australia Fiddles with Climate Records

Australian biologist Jennifer Marohasy has created a major controversy over the manipulation of temperature records by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology. Close inspection of historical data from a number of stations revealed that the BOM had adjusted the data in order to show a significant warming trend in the twentieth century that does not appear in the raw data.  

Marohasy’s revelations expose shenanigans similar to those that have been discovered in temperature data set adjustments by NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies and the U.S. National Climate Data Center.  For some mysterious reason, the adjustments are always in the same direction: temperatures in the early twentieth century are adjusted downward, and more recent temperatures are adjusted upward.  A scholarly article by Marohasy, John Abbot, Ken Stewart, and Dennis Jensen, presents much more evidence of this scientific misconduct in Australia.

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
Aug232014

Cooler Heads Digest 22 August 2014

22 August 2014

In the News

Exposing Big Bad Green
E. Calvin Beisner, Master Resource, 21 August 2014

Oil-Export Ban: Holding America Back
Robert Bradley, Jr., Forbes, 20 August 2014

Fracking Earthquakes Are Less Intense
Bebe Raupe, Bloomberg, 20 August 2014

Are Fossil Fuels the Past, Renewables the Future?
Marlo Lewis, GlobalWarming.org, 19 August 2014

Workers Suffer When Militarized Police and Big Green Get Together
Ron Arnold, Washington Examiner, 19 August 2014

Republicans’ Lukewarm Climate Warrior
Christopher Flavelle, Bloomberg, 18 August 2014

My New Best Friends
Mark Steyn, Steyn Online, 14 August 2014

News You Can Use
Good News: Air Pollution Is Down

The Environmental Protection Agency on 21st August sent its Second Integrated Air Toxics Report to Congress, which concludes that air pollution has been reduced dramatically since the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 were enacted.  Benzene levels have been reduced by 66%, mercury by 60%, and lead by 84%.    (Nonetheless, the incidence of childhood asthma continues to rise.) 

Inside the Beltway
William Yeatman

Senate Minority Leader Indicates a Republican Majority Would Rein in EPA

In an interview this week with Politico, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell indicated that, if Republicans won the Senate in November, they likely would use the appropriations process to rein in the EPA. Speaking of a hypothetical Republican majority, he said, “We’re going to pass spending bills, and they’re going to have a lot of restrictions on the activities of the bureaucracy.” He singled out the EPA as a “good example” of a bureaucracy that would become subject to such restrictions. By attaching policy amendments, or “riders,” to high-priority legislation like spending bills, the likelihood of passing the Senate increases.

Across the States
Myron Ebell

Oregon Regulators Deny Permit for Coal Export Terminal

The Oregon Department of State Lands on 18th August denied a permit for Ambre Energy’s proposed coal export terminal on the Columbia River at Port of Morrow, 160 miles east of Portland.  After two years of review, the agency found that the Australian company had not proposed adequate protections for tribal salmon fisheries on the Columbia.   

Ambre Energy can appeal the decision administratively within 21 days.  If the appeal is denied, then the company can file suit in state court. 

The proposed $242 million facility could handle 8.8 million tons of coal per year.  Coal from Wyoming and Montana would be sent by rail to the Port of Morrow, where it would be loaded onto barges which would then be unloaded onto ocean-going ships at Port of Saint Helens, 30 miles downriver from Portland and 75 miles from the mouth of the Columbia.

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber (D) is a vocal opponent of the project.  Permits for two larger coal export terminals are still being considered in Washington state, where Governor Jay Inslee (D) is also strongly opposed.      

Around the World
Myron Ebell

UN Plans New York Climate Change Summit

The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, is preparing to host over a hundred of the world’s presidents and prime ministers at a Climate Change Summit at UN headquarters in New York City on 23rd September.  U. S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping are expected to attend, but new Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott have already announced that they will not attend.   

The summit is by invitation only, but can be viewed on the UN’s web television site.  The UN on 8th August sent out a press release announcing that it was “casting a wide net to find dozens of people from around the world who feel passionately about the impact of climate change, have translated that passion into action and would like to attend next month’s Climate Summit at the UN.”  According to Susan Alzner, a UN official in charge of UN-NGO relations, “Anyone can nominate a civil society representative into this process.”  Four of the 38 will be invited to speak to the heads of state.  The selection process will strive for gender balance, invite more attendees from developing than from developed countries, and seek out young people and indigenous people to share their stories on “the frontlines of climate change.”  The deadline for applying for the 38 “civil society” invitations was 15th August.   

The UN Climate Change Summit is “intended to mobilize international political will needed to achieve an ambitious climate change agreement” at the twenty-first Conference of the Parties (COP-21) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, which is scheduled to meet in Paris in December 2015.  Secretary-General Ban has asked world leaders to come to the summit ready “to announce bold actions that they will take in their countries.”

In addition, “There will also be announcements from a number of coalition initiatives that have high potential to catalyze ambitious action on the ground. These coalitions, consisting of participants from Governments, the private sector and civil society, will address several high-impact areas, such as climate finance; energy efficiency; renewable energy; adaptation; disaster risk reduction and resilience; forests; agriculture; transportation; short-lived climate pollutants; and cities.”  The program can be seen here

The Climate Group, an NGO with offices in Beijing, London, New York City, and New Delhi, is sponsoring the sixth annual Climate Week in New York City to co-incide with the UN summit.  Approximately eighty events from 22nd to 28th September are on the Climate Week schedule. Sponsors include Swiss Re, Lockheed Martin, and HP. 

But that’s not all.  On Sunday, 21st September, over 750 organizations are sponsoring the People’s Climate March in Manhattan. It is being billed as, “The Largest Climate March in History.”  You can sign up here.

Science Update
Marlo Lewis

Do Climate Models and Long-Term Temperature Records Agree?

The unanticipated pause in global warming since 1998 has produced an accelerating divergence between IPCC climate model predictions and observed global temperatures. “Model failure” is now a recurring theme of skeptic blogs, and it’s not only skeptics who wonder how errant models can accurately assess climate risk or usefully inform climate policy.

Climate activists say the pause is temporary, warming will come roaring back, vindicating both models and their ‘worse than we thought’ narrative.

In more technical terms, the IPCC argues that although “internal decadal climate variability” may cause models to either underestimate or overestimate observed temperatures for periods “as short as 10 to 15 years,” models and observations “agree” over the 62-year period from 1951 to 2012 (AR5, Chapter 9, p. 769). The IPCC thus has “very high confidence” in the realism of the models.

To assess such claims, Cato Institute scientists Patrick Michaels and Paul C. (“Chip”) Knappenberger examine how well IPCC models would match observations over an 80-year period (1951-2030) in three scenarios of how global temperature might behave from now to 2030.

They find that even if warming resumes at the pre-pause (1977-1998) rate of 0.17°C/decade, by 2020 more than 95% of model simulations overshoot the 1951-2030 ‘observed’ trend, and by 2030 more than 97.5% of simulations overshoot it.

At my request, Mr. Knappenberger also compared models and observations in a more aggressive warming scenario in which warming resumes at 0.26°C/decade – the fastest rate during any recent 15-year period.

Result: By 2030, more than 95% of model simulations still overshoot the 1951-2030 ‘observed’ trend. For further discussion, see my blog post Can Natural Variability Save Climate Models?

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.