EPA’s Jackson lays out five ‘fictions’ about the agency’s agenda
By Andrew Restuccia - 03/10/11 03:35 PM ET
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson sought Thursday to debunk a series of “fictions” about agency regulations that she said were pushed by “special interests with an investment in the outcome.”
“I would like to take a moment today to address some of the mischaracterizations that have been, at times, unaddressed, or that need to be addressed again,” Jackson said during a House Agriculture Committee hearing on EPA regulations.
Jackson has come under fire in recent months from lawmakers in farm states, who fear that upcoming EPA regulations will impose major costs on farmers’ operations. (E2 Wire)
Weren’t these all EPA proposals, withdrawn in the face of public backlash?
EU climate tax czar’s faux pas in Australia
James Delingpole has pointed out the following interview,
Aussie sceptics destroy EU carbon commissioner
Radio host Steve Price and climate blogger Andrew Bolt interviewed an important EU official, Ms Jill Hoggan of the U.K., which I found stunning:
Jill Duggan appears around 48% of the audio here.
She may be our continent’s most important person who is deciding about the creation of a climate tax that may suck trillions of euros from the Europeans’ pockets.
But she doesn’t have the slightest clue about carbon dioxide, the climate, the effect of CO2 on the climate, or the number of jobs that may be lost as a result of the new tax.
Still, she has the chutzpah to show up on the radio of another continent as a climate representative of ours. In fact, she wants to teach the Australians how to introduce their carbon tax, too. (The Reference Frame)
Bishop Hill has the excerpt in mp3 format linked from this post:
Rolls Royce minds
A must-hear interview with Jill Duggan, the bureaucrat in charge of Britain’s emissions trading scheme. The Australians who are conducting the interview are worried that perhaps an ETS is not such a good idea.
Having heard the interview you will understand why they feel this way – Duggan’s performance is truly catastrophic, with our the woman from Whitehall apparently unable to quantify either the costs or the benefits of the scheme she runs. It’s hilarious, toe-curling and utterly compelling.
These, ladies and gentlemen, are the Rolls Royce minds that run the UK these days.
War On The Poor
Energy: Those on the left who say they care most for the least fortunate see the soaring price of gasoline as positive — despite the fact that those with the lowest incomes are hurt the worst.
Since January 2009, when President Obama was sworn in, the average price of a gallon of regular-grade gas has rocketed from less than $2 to $3.53.
During this period, Obama’s administration has placed an illegal ban on oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, refused to permit deeper exploration into our rich fossil fuel reserves and pushed $2.3 billion in a useless green energy initiative.
But then, this is the president who is comfortable with rising prices that discourage energy use and higher taxes on the oil and gas industry that will kill jobs and eventually be paid by consumers.
It was Obama who, as a candidate, warned that anyone who opened a coal-fired power plant on his watch would face bankruptcy. It was he who lectured us about driving SUVs and advised us not to keep our homes at 72 degrees at all times.
And it was Obama who appointed secretaries of Energy and Interior who a few years ago said they were OK with pump prices in the $8 to $10 range. (Investors.com)
This omits one of the biggest causes – global warming hysteria and the absurd actions to “address” a non-extant problem.
New commission confronts threats to food security from climate change
Experts from 6 continents are set to produce policy recommendations for boosting food production in face of harsher climates, increasing populations, scarce resources
COPENHAGEN (11 March 2011) — Recent droughts and floods have contributed to increases in food prices. These are pushing millions more people into poverty and hunger, and are contributing to political instability and civil unrest. Climate change is predicted to increase these threats to food security and stability. Responding to this, the world’s largest agriculture research consortium today announced the creation of a new Commission on Sustainable Agriculture and Climate Change.
Chaired by the United Kingdom’s Chief Scientific Adviser, Professor Sir John Beddington, the Commission will in the next ten months seek to build international consensus on a clear set of policy actions to help global agriculture adapt to climate change, achieve food security and reduce poverty and greenhouse gas emissions.
The Ethanol Catastrophe
Biofuels aggravate global warming and cause hunger. Why won’t the U.S. stop subsidizing them?
SYDNEY—Spectators at February’s Daytona 500 in Florida were handed green flags to wave in celebration of the news that the race’s stock cars now use gasoline with 15 percent corn-based ethanol. It was the start of a seasonlong television marketing campaign to sell the merits of biofuel to Americans.
On the surface, the self-proclaimed “greening of NASCAR” is merely a transparent (and, one suspects, ill-fated) exercise in “greenwashing” for the sport. But the partnership between a beloved American pastime and the biofuel lobby also marks the latest attempt to sway public opinion in favor of a truly irresponsible policy.
The United States spends about $6 billion a year on federal support for ethanol production through tax credits, tariffs, and other programs. Thanks to this financial assistance, one-sixth of the world’s corn supply is burned in American cars. That is enough corn to feed 350 million people for an entire year.
Government support of rapid growth in biofuel production has contributed to disarray in food production. Indeed, as a result of official policy in the United States and Europe, including aggressive production targets, biofuel consumed more than 6.5 percent of global grain output and 8 percent of the world’s vegetable oil in 2010, up from 2 percent of grain supplies and virtually no vegetable oil in 2004.
This year, after a particularly bad growing season, we see the results. Global food prices are the highest they have been since the United Nations started tracking them in 1990, pushed up largely by increases in the cost of corn. Despite the strides made recently against malnutrition, millions more people will be undernourished than would have been the case in the absence of official support for biofuels.
We have been here before. In 2007 and 2008, the swift increase in biofuel production caused a food crisis that incited political instability and fueled malnutrition. Developed countries did not learn. Since 2008, ethanol production has increased by 33 percent. (Bjørn Lomborg, Project Syndicate)
Australia’s Carbon Warning for Obama
It turns out emissions restrictions do not grow more popular the more you try to pitch them.
President Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency is fighting a rear-guard action to accomplish via regulation what voters rejected via Congress: ruinously expensive restrictions on carbon emissions in the name of fighting “global warming.” This is perhaps partly out of the administration’s own convictions, but also because Mr. Obama knows that a large slice of his left-wing base is clamoring for such measures. But before he goes much further down that road, he should take a look at how a similar political calculation is playing out in Australia. In short, not well. (Tom Switzer, Wall Street Journal)
Reality setting in down-under:
Carbon tax goes up in smoke
LET’S hope for Labor’s sake Julia Gillard has a plan B for handling the introduction of a fixed carbon price because plan A has gone to hell in a hand basket.
Labor’s plans to introduce a carbon price from next July are in free fall, and the government is losing the political debate dreadfully. Its messages are confused, the tone is totally negative and the only certainty for business is an early start date it doesn’t want.
Apart from the date there’s no other detail. The Greens continue to appear to control the agenda; Labor is losing support to both the Coalition and the Greens and most importantly six years of public goodwill over fighting global warming has been lost.
Publicly Labor is clinging to delusional claims of success and hoping a relentless campaign against Tony Abbott for being a negative wrecker will turn the politics back to the government. (Dennis Shanahan, The Australian)
But check out these poor programmed little gorebots (looks like this picture includes about all the young believers left):
Economist Ross Garnaut has been reading the Left press and been deluded into thinking he knows something about both the climate and the future.
Seas set to drown Sydney every year, warns climate change chief Ross Garnaut - SYDNEY will suffer major sea level inundation events once a year instead of every 100 years, according to an alarming new report on climate change impacts from the Government’s chief adviser. (Simon Benson, Daily Telegraph)
Climate science ‘may have underestimated’ damage from rising levels of carbon dioxide – GLOBAL warming may push sea levels rises to the upper limit of current projections and temperatures above previously anticipated levels, Julia Gillard’s top climate change adviser has warned. (Sid Maher, The Australian)
I was right about climate change - TO understand climate change, an interested non-scientist must draw on the publications of experts in the field. The Climate Change Review’s acceptance in 2008 “on the balance of probabilities” of the overwhelming majority of opinion of the Australian and international science communities has not been challenged by developments in the genuine science during the past three years. The most important of the quantitatively testable propositions have been confirmed or shown to be understated by the passing of time: the upward trend in average temperatures; the rate of increase in sea level. (Ross Garnaut, The Australian)
Ugandan scientists grow GM banana as disease threatens country’s staple food
Ban on GM crops waived after bacterial disease causes annual banana crop losses of $500m
Most countries would resent being called a banana republic. Uganda prides itself on it. A typical adult here eats at least three times his or her body weight in bananas each year, more than anywhere else on Earth. Different varieties are steamed, boiled, roasted, turned into gin and beer, or simply peeled and eaten raw, such as the tiny sukali ndizi, considered by some experts to be finest banana in the world.
“Breakfast, lunch and dinner, 365 days a year,” said Arthur Kamenya, whose taste for the fruit is so strong he quit his job as a graphic designer to grow it commercially. “And people still crave more.”
But it is a craving under threat. Continue reading
Canada’s federal government has announced it is to ban many products that contain mercury, including thermometers.
This is the same federal government that banned the incandescent light bulb in favor of compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL’s).
One of the few products to escape the new mercury ban is CFL light bulbs. To ban mercury in most products while legislating every home in Canada must use mercury-laden CFL’s is the kind of logic only a government could love. (Daily Bayonet)
Global Warmists Allergic To The Truth During Pollen Season
James Taylor, Mar. 9 2011
As spring approaches, the news media are flush with articles claiming global warming is worsening people’s allergies. But is the alleged rise in allergy impacts a justifiable reason to “do something” about global warming? Only if you hate getting free money from long-lost relatives.
Before we get to the free money, let’s quantify what the media are saying about global warming and allergies. A March 8 Google News search yielded literally dozens of news articles this past month claiming global warming is making people’s allergies worse. And this is just a sneak peak of what the news media will unleash in the weeks ahead, as spring has not even arrived yet.
The storyline in each of the media accounts is roughly the same. Warmer temperatures, we are told, mean longer growing seasons and longer pollen seasons for nuisance plants such as ragweed. Moreover, we are told, global warming is expanding ragweed range and the range of other nuisance plants. (Forbes)
Check out this absurd rant:
The Russian Heat Wave Wasn’t Exactly Due to Climate Change—But That’s Not the Point
Posted by BRYAN WALSH Wednesday, March 9, 2011 at 7:02 pm
Climate modeling is the inverse of weather prediction. The further away from the present a weather event is going to occur, the harder it usually is for meterologists to predict—as anyone who has ever tried to rely on a 10-day extended forecast should know. But in climate change, modelers can have meaningful confidence in how increased concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere will warm the planet and change the climate. What they can’t do—not yet—is look at a recent event and figure out precisely what role artificial climate change might have played. So we know that heat waves will become more common in a warmer planet—but it’s hard to say whether a recent heat wave was actually due to climate change, or rather to the sort of natural weather variations that led to oppressively hot days well before human beings began digging up and burning all the dead dinosaurs in the Earth. (Time’s Ecomental – or something)
Doesn’t matter that climate change didn’t cause a nasty weather event – it’s the kind of thing carbon cranks claim it could do – and that’s enough! Sheesh! And then there’s the nonsense we can’t predict the weather 10-days in advance but hey, climate in a 100-years? Certain! Walsh might profit from visiting say, Roger Pielke Sr.’s site and searching on climate models and prediction, although it would certainly disturb his fuzzy little believing head. The simple fact is climate models are pretty poor at reproducing current conditions, have been tuned to emulate past conditions despite not knowing what parameters are genuinely important (they’re kludged into obedience by arbitrary adjustments of multiple parameters) and have zero demonstrated prognostic ability. Heck, we can’t even predict such common and intensely studied events as phase changes in the El Nino Southern Oscillation a few months in advance and such important events as Indian Summer Monsoon Rainfall largely remains a mystery until after planting time.
Billions of barrels of untapped U.S. oil
HOUSTON — In the grasslands of western North Dakota, one of the country’s richest oil men is using a controversial gas drilling technology to develop what could be the biggest domestic oil discovery in the last 40 years.
The oil lies underground in a shale rock formation stretching across western North Dakota, northeast Montana, and into Canada’s Saskatchewan Province known as the Bakken.
Thanks to hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” and high oil prices, oil production in the Bakken has exploded.
It went from a mere 3,000 barrels a day in 2005 to 225,000 in 2010, according to the government’s Energy Information Administration.
EIA thinks it will produce 350,000 barrels a day by 2035, but most analysts think that estimate is far too low.
According to Harold Hamm, president of the energy company Continental Resources, it could produce a million barrels a day by 2020.
That’s only a fraction of the 9.8 million barrels a day the country produces and an even smaller fraction of the 19.2 million it consumes, but it’s significant. (CNNMoney)
“We’re happy,” added Ribaux, Equiterre’s executive director: “It’s a wise decision.”
The BAPE report was released at 4 p.m.
Algeria Eyes Huge Domestic Shale Gas Reserves
Oil and gas producer Algeria is sitting on huge undeveloped reserves of shale gas that the country now intends to develop with the help of international partners, the OPEC member’s energy minister said on Wednesday.
The African nation of Algeria, already a major exporter of oil and natural gas, could become an even bigger exporter in the coming years as it develops up to 1,000 trillion cubic feet of natural gas trapped in shale rock more than 1,000 meters (3,280 feet) below the surface.
“We are interested in growing unconventional gas reserves. Based on estimates, the reserves might be as high as 1,000 trillion cubic feet,” Youcef Yousfi, Algeria’s minister of energy and mines, told the CERAWeek conference in Houston. Pilot tests will begin next year, he said.
Shale gas development in the United States has already revolutionized the U.S. gas market, turning a potential big importer into a nation with about 100 years of domestic supply, thanks to new drilling technologies. (Reuters)