They failed to stop the Keystone XL pipeline, which they said posed particular environmental hazards. They failed to stop the Dakota Access pipeline, which they say represents an adulteration of sacred Indian grounds. OK. Whether you agree with their objections to either pipeline (and I don’t), at least they offered some specific rationale for why they were opposed.
It’s not as if they’re just going to mindlessly oppose every pipeline anyone ever proposes, because that would be nothing more than knee-jerk opposition to energy-related infrastructure driven by reflexive opposition to fossil fuels. You do that, no one is going to take you seriously anymore because they’ll know you just hate oil and you’ll concoctt some sort of rationale to oppose everything that facilitates its use. Right. Good thing they’re not going to do that.
After calling dangerous manmade climate change a hoax and vowing to withdraw the USA from the Paris agreement, President Trump has apparently removed language criticizing the Paris deal from a pending executive order initiating a rollback of anti-fossil-fuel regulations, to help jumpstart job creation.
Meanwhile, EPA Administration Scott Pruitt says he expects quick action to rescind the Clean Power Plan, a central component of the Obama Era’s war on coal and hydrocarbons. The US House Committee on Science, Space and Technology is reopening its investigation into NOAA’s mishandling or tampering with global temperature data, for a report designed to promote action in Paris in 2015.
Politics aside, there is a variety of “science news” that makes you wonder. A case in point is the news about a recent publication by scientists at the University of Royal Holloway London (URH) with headlines like:
Corals survived through four hundred million years of climate change. Yet these days, a lot of folks have predicted dire consequences for corals as a result of present climate change issues. Surprisingly, corals are showing they are much more tolerant to change than many have thought possible.
Claims that coral reefs are doomed because CO2 emissions are making the oceans more acidic have been exaggerated, a review of the science has found. An ‘inherent bias’ in scientific journals in favor of more calamitous predictions has excluded research showing that marine creatures are not damaged by ocean acidification, which is caused by the sea absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. 1
Flint, Michigan, continues to grapple with the public health crisis that unfolded as lead levels in its tap water spiked to alarming levels. Now the scientists who helped uncover the crisis have tested galvanized iron pipes extracted from the “ground zero” house. They confirm in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology that the lead that had accumulated on the interior surface of the pipes was the most likely source of the lead contamination.
Flint’s tap water became contaminated with high lead levels after the city turned to the Flint River to supply its water in April 2014. When they switched, officials didn’t use a corrosion-control treatment to maintain the stability of rust layers (containing lead) inside service lines. Within a month of the switch, residents started to report smell and color changes to their water. After her family started getting sick, Flint resident LeeAnne Walters contacted Virginia Tech engineer Marc Edwards and asked him to test her water. All 32 samples from the Walters’ home contained lead concentrations above the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency action level of 15 micrograms per liter. Four samples were above 5,000 micrograms per liter, the threshold for hazardous waste. And one sample contained 13,200 micrograms per liter.—More…
Over the past two weeks, the state of South Australia was confronted by a heat wave of record strength and its wind-reliant grid failed miserably.
Temperatures soared to nearly 110¬∞F in the capital city of Adelaide on Wednesday, February 8, and did not fall below 86¬∞F until after midnight. Extraordinary temperatures, of course, require an extraordinary effort by the electricity sector to power air conditioning units along with all other demands. When put to the test, South Australia’s wind-heavy electricity mix showed us yet again that variable sources of electricity cannot be relied on when needed most. Fear of complete system failure—as was experienced in September of last year—forced grid operators to resort to load shedding, i.e. rolling blackouts, leaving South Australians withering in the mid-summer heat.
A comprehensive report by the non-government organization Carbon Market Watch concluded that large companies are making billions from emissions certificates while CO2 emissions aren’t improving at all. The study looked at the 20 strongest countries from 2008 to 2015. The figures show how easy it is to make money from pollution and just how much the lobby-watered down CO2 trading system has failed. 1
A botched green energy subsidy will cost UK taxpayers more than $1.4 billion, or more than 45 times its initial cost projection. The Renewable Heat Initiative (RHI) was initially projected to cost $30 million by requiring farmers and businesses in Northern Ireland to use green power. But a whistle blower claims they were able to manipulate the program to receive about $200 dollars in subsidies for every $120 they spent on green fuel. 2
We’ve often argued on this site that the real reason liberals talk about global warming – oh, sorry, “climate change” – is that it serves as a convenient excuse to implement the policies they want anyway. The public won’t support massive taxes and crushing regulation on business, so Democrats insist there is a global emergency whose only possible solution is, amazingly, these very policies.
We have to! It’s an emergency!
We are skeptical of man-made global warming, but even if it was real, we would not support the liberal prescriptions because we believe the answer would have to come from technology advancements that originate in the private sector. Want to stop global warming? Invent the clean-burning emission technology that would significantly reduce carbon emissions, and you’ll make yourself fabulously rich while solving the problem.
A CNN article discusses the recent attempt by some establishment Republicans to pitch the Trump Administration on a massive carbon tax that would raise some $300 billion annually—making its gross tax hike (before considering possible rebates) triple the bite of the Affordable Care Act. Their plan calls for policymakers to pick climate targets and send checks to millions of households, and yet is described as “free market” and “conservative.” In this post I’ll explain why the economics don’t add up.
ICYMI: Yesterday, Institute for Energy Research President Thomas Pyle wrote an opinion piece for USA Today explaining why a recent carbon tax proposal from the Climate Leadership Council is a bad deal for American families.
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