Archive for the ‘Global warming’ Category

A betting opportunity on human adaptability

The fierce tornadoes that killed hundreds of Americans during the past month have prompted some environmentalists, including Bill McKibben in a recent Washington Post op-ed, to declare that these disasters are related to man-made climate change — and that things are only going to get worse.

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, economist Don Boudreaux instead points to data showing that, single-year variances notwithstanding, in fact the “number of weather-related fatalities, especially since 1980, has dropped dramatically”:

For the 30-year span of 1980-2009, the average annual number of Americans killed by tornadoes, floods and hurricanes was 194 — fully one-third fewer deaths each year than during the 1940-1979 period. The average annual number of deaths for the years 1980-2009 falls even further, to 160 from 194, if we exclude the deaths attributed to Hurricane Katrina, most of which were caused by a levee that breached on the day after the storm struck land.

This decline in …

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Global warming science changes, to some scientists’ chagrin

A couple of months ago, when there was snowfall on 49 of our 50 states, global warmists rushed to explain. More snow, it turns out, is a sign of a hotter planet.

But that’s not what they’ve always said.

Writing at Forbes, the Heartland Institute’s James M. Taylor notes that as recently as 2001, the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) informed us that “Milder winter temperatures will decrease heavy snowstorms.”

At a press conference held Tuesday by members of the Union of Concerned Scientists, Taylor reports, the director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center, Mark Serreze, offered this explanation for the turnabout:

Have we learned a great deal since the IPCC 2001 report? I would say yes, we have. Climate science, like any other field, is a constantly evolving field and we are always learning.

Now, surely no one can argue with Serreze about that. Well, except maybe global warming alarmists.

The importance of Serreze’s statement about a …

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Elections have consequences, EPA edition

From the New York Times:

The Obama administration is retreating on long-delayed environmental regulations — new rules governing smog and toxic emissions from industrial boilers — as it adjusts to a changed political dynamic in Washington with a more muscular Republican opposition.

The move to delay the rules, announced this week by the Environmental Protection Agency, will leave in place policies set by President George W. Bush. President Obama ran for office promising tougher standards, and the new rules were set to take effect over the next several weeks.

Now, the agency says, it needs until July 2011 to further analyze scientific and health studies of the smog rules and until April 2012 on the boiler regulation. Mr. Obama, having just cut a painful deal with Republicans intended to stimulate the economy, can ill afford to be seen as simultaneously throttling the fragile recovery by imposing a sheaf of expensive new environmental regulations that critics say will cost …

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On Ted’s Montana-size carbon footprint . . . and mouth

Ed Driscoll has a nice, succinct take-down of Ted Turner’s recent rants about everyone adopting a one-child policy in light of our “life and death” fight against climate change:

If it’s life and death, then act that way, Ted. Time to retire the private jet. Since self-described climate experts have claimed that “meat [is] making global warming worse,” time to close the giant bison ranch and restaurants. There’s a stadium in Atlanta with your name on it. Demand that they disable their lights. Although you no longer own the TV networks you built, your word still likely carries some sway there as their founder. Demand that they go off the air and close down their Websites to eliminate their carbon footprint.

And it’s some footprint.

Here are seven more things I’d like to see, to prove that you’re serious about this “life and death” issue.

Because, to paraphrase the Professor, I’ll believe that global warming is a matter of life and death when the people who tell me that it’s a …

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And you thought Al Gore was living un-greenly large (video)

A helicopter? A Humvee firetruck? I didn’t even know they made those. But I won’t spoil the ending (from the folks at Not Evil Just Wrong) …

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Guess what? Yours truly has a ‘green job’

Let’s see: I was hired by the AJC a few months after the stimulus was signed into law, and I’m a journalist. According to the Obama administration, that means I have a “green job”!

Back in June, I linked to a story on a senator’s skepticism about stimulus money and “green job” creation. Here’s an update, courtesy of the Washington Examiner’s Byron York:

Are you a financial adviser? You may not know it, but you’ve got a green job. Are you a wholesale buyer? You’ve got a green job, too. Or maybe you’re a newspaper reporter. You, too, have a green job — at least according to the Obama administration.

For months, Republican Sen. Charles Grassley has been pushing the administration to substantiate its claims of having created nearly 200,000 green jobs. More fundamentally, Grassley has asked Labor Secretary Hilda Solis to state clearly what a green job is. So far, he hasn’t gotten an answer.

Now, Grassley has learned that, in lieu of a settling on a straightforward definition of a …

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Energy policy on the ObamaCare model

President Obama has decided that the Gulf oil spill means we need to change the way we power our entire country, not just the way we regualte offshore drilling. Politico reports today that the next three weeks will be crucial to that effort, with the ball in the court of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid:

The options will break down into three core elements, and the question will be how the leaders choose to combine them.

The first and easiest piece is a Gulf-spill response measure to reform offshore drilling and raise disaster liabilities on oil companies. “That one’s must-pass,” said Scott Segal, an energy lobbyist at Bracewell & Giuliani, echoing the sentiments of congressional staff members on both sides of the aisle.

The second element is a clean-energy bill that would require a boost in renewable electricity produced by sources such as wind and solar. A version of this bill, sponsored by Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.), was …

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About China’s alleged green leap forward

Comparisons of China’s commitment to the environment and “clean tech” to our own are popular these days, including in the comments threads on this blog. Shikha Dalmia, fresh off a trip there, offers some very interesting observations about the problems with the Chinese brand of greening.

While much of China does appear cleaner than expected, Dalmia writes:

None of this should come as a huge surprise, although it is contrary to the thinking of Western environmentalists for whom economic growth equals environmental havoc. The reality is that, as economies advance, their environment naturally improves. Rising productivity reflects an ability to extract more from less, something that automatically leads to resource optimization.

Indeed, thanks to technological advances and rising energy efficiency, China at the turn of this decade had three times better resource utilization than in 1978. This is not to deny that modernization and growth can generate new forms of pollution. But …

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Obama tries to (cap and) trade on the oil spill

After eight weeks, President Obama has decided he needs to stop letting our crisis in the Gulf of Mexico go unexploited. In an Oval Office address tonight, he’ll explain why, as he recently told Politico’s Roger Simon, the spill should “shape how we think about the environment and energy for many years to come” — just as our perspective on foreign affairs was “profoundly … indelibly” changed by 9/11.

Oh, so within eight years our government will be studiously avoiding the word “oil” and referring to “pipeline-caused disasters”? Maybe a future president will make speeches about how oil barons helped pave the way for the European Renaissance.

Nah, probably not.

Obama reportedly hopes the spill will reinvigorate efforts in Congress to pass a cap-and-tax bill. The Gulf oil spill is a tragedy, but it doesn’t change the basic calculus about cap-and-tax — namely that, among other things, it:

1. reduces, not increases, employment by giving companies an incentive to move production to …

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Green jobs: Billions for something we’ll define later

The Obama administration isn’t quite sure what a “green job” is, but it sure wants more of them! From the Washington Examiner’s Byron York:

Buried deep inside a federal newsletter on March 16 was something called a “notice of solicitation of comments” from the Bureau of Labor Statistics at the Department of Labor.

“BLS is responsible for developing and implementing the collection of new data on green jobs,” said the note in the Federal Register, which is widely read by government bureaucrats and almost never seen by the general public. But the notice said there is “no widely accepted standard definition of ‘green jobs.’” To help find that definition, the Labor Department asked that readers send in suggestions.

The notice came only after the department scoured studies from government, academia, and business in search of a definition. “The common thread through the studies and discussions is that green jobs are jobs related to preserving or restoring the environment,” the notice …

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