Archive for July 6th, 2009

Obama to cap global warming!

July 6, 2009

President Obama has decided to stand athwart global warming and to yell “Stop!” [Exclusive image below!]

According to Carbon Control News (July 2), President Obama will agree at upcoming international climate control meetings this week to set the planet’s thermostat by capping global warming at 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

There’s no word on what Obama has selected as the baseline pre-industrial global temperature, but the exercise is superficially reminiscent of King Cnut’s effort to control the tides. Here’s the Wikipedia summary of Cnut’s folly:

Henry of Huntingdon, the 12th-century chronicler, tells how Cnut set his throne by the sea shore and commanded the tide to halt and not wet his feet and robes; but the tide failed to stop. According to Henry, Cnut leapt backwards and said “Let all men know how empty and worthless is the power of kings, for there is none worthy of the name, but He whom heaven, earth, and sea obey by eternal laws.” He then hung his gold crown on a crucifix, and never wore it again. [We should be so lucky!]

But since Barack (the only under-50 community organizer in history with two autobiographies) seems to be no Cnut (a warrior king who learned the limits of his power), there must be an alternative explanation for Obama’s action.

The 2-degree limit seems to be an ironic effort to disconnect greenhouse gas emissions from global warming legislation in order to make it easier to pass the legislation and, then, to give the greens the freedom to ratchet down emissions levels beyond levels currently being discussed.

One green told Carbon Control News that,

“… it’s a lot easier to talk about 2 degrees than to quantify how much carbon can be in the air.”

Carbon Control News also reported that,

Another environmentalist says a commitment based on limiting temperature rise leaves open discussion of actual emission reductions that would be needed to meet that goal. [The environmentalist suggested that] the U.S. and other developed countries may eventually have to seek emissions reductions beyond the 80 percent cut by 2050 that is so often presented as the long-term goal.

The report continued,

Meanwhile, some suggest the focus on temperature-based targets are an effort to avoid thornier talk of specific greenhouse gas emission reduction commitments that have proved a sticking point between the U.S. and other countries participating in the global talks. One global warming skeptic says framing the debate in temperature terms avoids the “bean counters” quantifying emission reductions and could provide an easier sell politically. “The more vague you can make it, the more easily you can declare a PR victory without actually doing anything,” the source says. [GreenHellBlog Note: The use of this latter information source is very exciting since we didn’t know that Carbon Control News even knew what a skeptic was!]

Perhaps, King Barack has aready accomplished his mission as there’s been no global warming over the last 10 years?

King Barack stands athwart global warming, yelling "Stop!"

King Barack stands athwart global warming, yelling "Stop!"

794 years down the drain…

July 6, 2009

… as the the UK moves from Magna Carta (circa. 1215) to Magna Carba. Here’s the sad report in today’s Times:

The boys in green are coming as the Environment Agency sets up a squad to police companies generating excessive CO2 emissions.

The agency is creating a unit of about 50 auditors and inspectors, complete with warrant cards and the power to search company premises to enforce the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC), which comes into effect next year.

Decked out in green jackets, the enforcers will be able to demand access to company property, view power meters, call up electricity and gas bills and examine carbon-trading records for an estimated 6,000 British businesses. Ed Mitchell, head of business performance and regulation at the Environment Agency, said the squad would help to bring emissions under control. “Climate change and CO2 are the world’s biggest issues right now. The Carbon Reduction Commitment is one of the ways in which Britain is responding.”

60 votes for climate in the Senate?

July 6, 2009

This analysis appeared this morning on FiveThirtyEight: Politics Done Right, which is a web site that analyzes polling and voting data written by Nate Silver and Sean Quinn.

This time… a libertarian gets it right!

July 6, 2009

Phew… not all libertarians have lost their minds when it comes to Wall Street Journal op-eds on green topics.

In an op-ed today, Gabriel Roth of the Independence Institute recommends that states opt out of the federal Highway Trust Fund in order to destroy a mechanism that is being used by the federal government to coerce you out of your car:

To fight climate change, Washington wants you to take a bus.

Roth’s op-ed stands in stark contrast to last week’s embarrasing WSJ op-ed by Alan Reynolds of the Cato Institute in which Reynolds suggested that the feds hike gas taxes to coerce you out of the car of your choice.

Roth gets points not only for understanding that libertarianism is about individual liberty and limited government, but also for suggesting a means of dismantling the federal leviathan.

Obama wrecking GM…

July 6, 2009

GM CEO Barack Obama seems determined to wreck what’s left of the auto maker. Consider “Economics Wasn’t GM’s Only Criteria for New Plant” from today’s Wall Street Journal:

When it was deciding where to build its new compact car, General Motors Corp. made a point of saying it would push politics aside and use strictly commercial criteria.

So Tennessee’s three top officials were astonished last month, in a meeting with GM, when they were told the first two criteria were “community impact” and “carbon footprint” — or how the choice would affect unemployment rates and carbon-dioxide emissions.

“Those didn’t strike us as business criteria at all,” said Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander, who was joined in the meeting by fellow Republican Sen. Bob Corker and the state’s Democratic governor, Phil Bredesen. Those factors, Mr. Alexander said, “seemed odd for a company struggling to get back on its feet.”…

… The federal government’s outsize role in the new GM has already raised concerns about the mixing of politics and commerce. Lawmakers, such as Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), chairman of the powerful House Financial Services Committee, have squeezed GM to reject plant closures in their districts. Obama administration officials have prodded the car giant to develop smaller, more fuel-efficient cars.

The Obama administration is hoping for a public offering of stock in the new GM next year. LOL!

States seek to rig climate benefit analysis

July 6, 2009

California, New York, Illinois, Ohio and New Jersey are seeking to increase the benefit of controlling greenhouse gas emissions by a factor of 4, according to a July 2 report in Carbon Control News.

The Department of Energy currently values the “damage” caused by CO2 emissions at $0 to $20 per ton. The states claim that this range is too low, especially since “damage” has already begun and suggest setting the damage level at $80 per ton.

As an example of how this would work, the DOE claims that its new lighting efficiency standards will reduce 800 million metric tons of carbon to yield about $9 billion in benefits. Under the states’ gimmick, the benefits of reducing emissions would balloon to about $40 billion.

Click here for the 42-page analysis by the states.

The reality, however, is that there is simply no evidence that manmade CO2 emissions cause any damage whatsoever — except, perhaps, for the dry cleaning bills of those unfortunates who open recently shaken soda cans and bottles.

Not surprisingly, the Obama administration said it is open to re-jiggering climate cost-benefit analysis, according to Carbon Control News.