In the News
20 Climate Scientists Ask Justice Department To Conduct RICO Investigation into Deniers
Judith Curry, Climate Etc., 17 September 2015
Why Democrats Are Wrong To Use the Crude Oil Export Ban as a Bargaining Tactic
Nicolas Loris, The Daily Signal, 17 September 2015
Obama’s Not-So-Grand Energy Strategy: Aimless Authoritarianism
William Yeatman, GlobalWarming.org, 16 September 2015
German Energiewende vs. American Fracking: A Tale of Two Energy Revolutions
Isaac Orr, Townhall, 15 September 2015
Is It Time To Stop the Insanity of Wasting Time and Money on More Climate Models
Tim Ball, Watts Up With That? 14 September 2015
News You Can Use
Malaria Deaths Down 60% from 2000, Despite Accelerating AGW
Inside the Beltway
Historical Perspective on 11 House Republicans Who Support “Doing Something” on Climate Change
On Thursday, 10 republicans in the House of Representatives announced their support for a Sense of Congress Resolution on “conservative environmental stewardship" authored by Rep. Chris Gibson (R-N.Y.). The nonbinding resolution calls for action on climate change that doesn’t hurt the economy, which is a policy contradiction (see Around the World: Decoupling Belied, below). Rep. Gibson’s resolution sidesteps this incongruity and, in fact, provides no specifics at all. Over at Globalwarming.org, my colleague Marlo Lewis expertly dismantles the ultra-weak logic underlying this latest Constructive Republican Alternative Proposal for “doing something” on climate change.
To Marlo's post, I’d add only an historical perspective. The number of republicans who support Rep. Gibson’s shallow resolution is one-fourth the number of House democrats (43) who voted against a cap-and-trade (the American Clean Energy and Security Act) during Obama’s first term. Eight republicans voted for that bill.
Wind & Solar Industries: They're Mature, and They Can't Cut It as Adults
Last week, the American Wind Energy Association, which serves as wind power’s top lobbying shop, released a report warning that the industry would face a “sharp decline” in 2016, if the Congress does not extend a single subsidy by the end of 2015.
This week, Bloomberg New Energy Finance released a report stating that the solar industry in the U.S. will “nosedive” in 2017, if the Congress fails to extend the industry’s primary subsidy by the end of 2016. The sector’s chief lobbying outfit, the Solar Energy Industries Association, issued a press release supporting the report’s conclusions, and urging the Congress to act.
These reports are impossible to square with the claims, often made by green energy proponents and lobbyists, that solar or wind energy has achieved parity with fossil fuels. (Consider this New York Times headline: “Solar and Wind Energy Start to Win on Price vs. Conventional Fuels.”). If an industry’s existence would come to an end with the expiration of a single tax break, then it cannot be competitive.
Will wind or solar power be competitive, ever? When their tax breaks are secure, the wind and solar lobbies claim they’re vibrant industries; but every time their tax breaks are set to expire, they claim that market maturity is just around the corner, and that they need just one more extension of handouts.
But government support for wind and solar power is not new. Its roots reach back to the Carter administration. Way back then, wind and solar power’s primary problem was their intermittent production of energy. That remains true today. In this fashion, the success of the wind and solar industries is less a function of the wind and solar industries, and more so of the energy storage industry.
In this light, wind and solar energy has matured. It has progressed as far as it can go, and its best effort was to fall well short of market viability. So they’re doomed to perpetual market unreadiness, for as long as the government props them up. This should come as no surprise to anyone who doubts the government’s ability to pick winners in any market.
By extending taxpayer handouts (again) to wind and solar power industries, the Congress would compound (again) its initial mistake by throwing good money after bad (again). For more, see Robert Bradley, Jr.’s excellent post today on Master Resource, “Dear House: Say NO to Wind PTC (10th extension crucial for Obama’s energy/climate agenda).”
Around the World
In 2014, the International Energy Agency reported that global greenhouse gas emissions had stalled, despite positive economic growth. Proponents of “doing something” about climate change seized on this announcement to claim that economic growth had become “decoupled” from increasing greenhouse gas emissions. If true, it suggested that climate change mitigation could be achieved without harming economic growth.
It turns out it wasn’t true. According to an exclusive Reuters report this week, China’s emissions were almost certainly underestimated, and, when more accurate data is used, global emissions actually increased in 2014, in lockstep with economic growth.
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.