|The Week That Was
February 3, 2001
Marlo Lewis, now with Reason Foundation, deals in a masterful way with the "precautionary principle" and its misapplication to global warming and the Kyoto Protocol.
The Week That Was February 3, 2001 brought to you by SEPP
The article linked below describes an event scheduled for 9:30 am, February 8, 2001, at the National Press Club, Washington, DC - a debate between the Rt. Hon. John Gummer, MP and Dr. Alan Keyes - on the Future of the Kyoto Protocol.
Please help us contact the appropriate members of Congress and Congressional staff, as well as appropriate agency staff, and others in the DC area who will benefit from hearing the views of these two gentlemen.
Questions about this event may be directed to Henry Lamb, 901-986-0099.
Within 90 minutes of taking office, President Bush issued orders to block President Clinton's flurry of last-minute executive orders and rules. The Government Printing Office was instructed to halt publication of new rules in the Federal Register to afford the new administration time to review "any new or pending regulations." A 60-day stay on published, but unimplemented, regulations was imposed as well. Democrats warned they would be watching carefully for any signs the administration intended to do anything "conservative" that would cast doubts Bush was really trying to mend "political wounds from the election." Senate Minority Leader, Daschle, (D-SD) added, "there would be very serious repercussions were they [Clinton's orders] to be terminated this quickly."
CALIFORNIA POWER CRISIS -PART 3
From the NY Times (Feb 2)
Power Politics by GAIL COLLINS
"California, as everybody now knows, screwed up its electric utility deregulation." http://www.nytimes.com/2001/02/02/opinion/02COLL.html
Perhaps also, should we be referring to the Cal "brown-outs"
Latest news: California will buy power on long-term contracts and permit consumer rates to rise. But much of the California legislature opposed Gov Gray's plan to put the state into the energy business. It is denounced as a bailout of the utility companies facing bankruptcy.
Items of interest here:
Southern California Edison's CEO, John E. Bryson's salary for 1999 was $999,000.00. His bonus for 1999 was $1,260,000.00.
Robert D. Glen, CEO of Pacific Gas & Electric, earned well over $2,000,000.00 in salary and bonuses for 1999.
SEPP comment: We (not being shareholders) are delighted to see their "astuteness" thus rewarded. Just for the record, S. David Freeman, head of the municipal utility LA Department of Water and Power (and former head of TVA), managed to stay out of this mess.
Here are some interesting snippets from our readers:
"Governor Davis is going out for bids on electric power: The 6.9-cent number was a *weighted * average of the bids, with no explanation of the weighting or the terms of the actual bids -- which have been sealed.
I suspect the regulators advising Davis mutilated the bids to make it appear that they might be somewhere near the 5.5-cents the Governor wanted. E.g.:
30 bids for 6 months in off-peak time for 12-cents/KwH
Result? A "weighted average" of 6.9-cents/KwH!"
"Everyone also seems to overlook the fact that state brokerage of
resources is the same as any other. Every KwH purchased is deducted from
the available supply for other brokers. As a result, the price from those
broker's increases -- particularly at peak times when the state's contracts
are inadequate. The result is an increase in peak electric spot prices,
which has been the cause of the huge price differential all along. Result:
Rolling "Gray-outs" for the next decade!
NOW WHAT? We are sure that the governor would like to have yr ideas. His email address is: GRAYDAVIS@GOVERNOR.CA.GOV
[As you may know, the 1.7 cent production tax credit is available only
to projects that come on line by December 31, 2001. Thus, all the wind
PR efforts will be focused on getting that extended. Senator Grassley
(R-IA) now chairs Senate Finance and Iowa loves wind energy. The business
community loves tax shelters so there will be a lot of sympathy.]
But wait. Cal is not yet finished doing themselves in.
In the midst of an electric power shortage, the California Air Resources Board voted to require manufacturers to provide 22,000 electric cars for sale to Californians in 2003 ... never mind that their effective range is about 75 miles (less if they get stuck) in a freeway jam, and they cost by CARB's own admission $22,000 more than a comparable gasoline powered car ... is this madness or what?
"Zero-emission vehicles have such potential to address so many problems: public health concerns, global climate change, energy diversity," said Alan C. Lloyd, chairman of the air board. "Clean vehicle technology is advancing on a number of fronts. The program is designed to take advantage of those advances."
In its vote, the CARB rejected the recommendation of its own staff to ease its requirements. [We suppose that the staff was trying to tell its bosses in a nice way that they are all wet.]
The worst part: This decision triggers similar requirements in the states of New York, Massachusetts and Vermont. It will also increase the cost of cars to ALL consumers as the companies spread the inevitable losses. These are all Al Gore states. Why are we not surprised
Headline in Science (Jan 26, 2001): "It's Official: Humans are behind global warming"
Hard to fathom, but the sophisticated Science writer Richard Kerr seems to have swallowed the IPCC line that "most of the observed warming of the last 50 years is likely to have been due to the increase in greenhouse gas concentrations." This ignores the fact that the overwhelming evidence from various data sources shows NO warming in the past 50 years.
One of the stalwarts is quoted as being most impressed with the proxy record as showing an unusual warming in the 20th century. And how do we know that the rise is "unusual?" The IPCC is said to base its conclusion on such "advances" as computer models that calculate "how much of the past warming might be due to natural climate fluctuation." Unbelievable!
Here is our OPEN LETTER we sent to the author, senior writer Richard
News release for AMS mtng Paper of Jan 16 (PM), 2001
THE CLIMATE IS NOT WARMING, BUT SEA LEVEL IS RISING: A PARADOX?
S. Fred Singer
The balance of evidence suggests that the climate is not warming appreciably, contrary to expectations. A U.S. National Research Council report  has highlighted but not explained the disparity between different data sets: While a variety of surface thermometers report a substantial warming trend, microwave sensing units (MSU) on weather satellites, and also radiosondes carried in weather balloons, show little if any warming of the atmosphere in the last twenty years. As is well understood, however, climate models predict the exact opposite, namely a stronger warming trend for the atmosphere than for the surface.
After further investigating this puzzling discrepancy involving different observing methods as well as theoretical models, we hypothesize that the recent surface warming trend may not be credible. We note that while there is general agreement that the global climate warmed BEFORE 1940, and then cooled slightly until about 1975, the well-controlled surface temperature data for the United States and for Europe do not show any appreciable post-1940 warming, after correction for local urban warming ("heat islands"). This lack of warming throws further doubt on the reported global surface trend .
Further, proxy temperature data from tree rings, ice cores, etc. show no post-1940 warming trends either; many even show a cooling trend after 1940. The observations of Arctic sea-ice shrinking, deep-ocean warming, and glacier-length changes can be readily explained as a delayed consequence of pre-1940 climate warming; they are all in good accord with the hypothesis that the Earth's climate has not warmed appreciably in the past 60 years.
In particular, we can show that the rise in sea level during the 20th
century, about 18 cm (7 inches), is simply part of the ongoing trend that
has raised the level by 120 meters (400 feet) since the peak of the last
ice age some 18,000 years ago. Unless a new ice age intervenes, we expect
this same trend to continue for the next 5000 years or so as a result
of the slow melting of Antarctic ice sheets, irrespective of any human
2. IPCC. "Climate Change 1995." Cambridge University Press,
A letter from Prof. Alan Robock to a fellow faculty member at Rutgers University who questioned the propriety of using state funds to conduct a propagandizing workshop:
[Alan Robock is the editor of the Journal of Geophysical Research (Atmospheres)]
Comment: I know Robock well and have debated him in the past. He has a completely closed mind and I have given up on him. The worst part is that he has become editor of the flagship journal of the AGU, my major professional society. How will he deal with papers that he disagrees with philosophically? And how will he choose referees?
This is becoming a widespread problem. I am glad therefore that he displays
his bias so openly. It may help to sensitize the scientific community
to the issue of editor bias. I hope we don't have move to a "litmus
test" before we appoint editors.
DOESN'T THIS MAKE YOUR TEMPER FLARE?
Monday January 29 5:35 PM ET