The Week That Was
January 13 , 2007

NO TWTW ON JAN 6, 2007 because of IASTED lecture COUNTERING FEARS ABOUT ENERGY The real threat from GW fears is that they badly distort our energy policy. 

Quote for the week:
From the Bacons, through the likes of Locke, Hume and Russell, to the magnificent climax of Popper’s statement of the principle of falsifiability, the scientific method was painfully established, only to be abandoned in a few short decades. The method was essentially sceptical, as Thomas Huxley put it: "The improver of natural knowledge absolutely refuses to acknowledge authority, as such. For him, scepticism is the highest of duties; blind faith the one unpardonable sin." Scientists of the old school are not just sceptical about global warming, they are sceptical about everything. That is the way we were trained.
--John Brignell, Number Watch, 2 December 2006
Scam of the week:

Under Kyoto, China has been an enthusiastic seller of carbon credits since 2005, accounting for about two-thirds of a fledgling US$2.5 billion market, but it has drawn the ire of the rest of the world by imposing a tax on the deals, effectively making what is meant to be an environmentally supportive system into a subsidy for the Chinese government.

[Courtesy CCNet]

More GW scams: (ITEM #1 ). They really exist –for example, by PG&E in California (where else?)
The European Union is having conniptions about how to satisfy Kyoto restrictions on CO2 emissions. Now they are going after air and road transport (ITEM #2). Even Norway is going crazy. GW is like a war with millions dying, says EU environment minister. 
Benny Peiser explains why Emission Trading schemes under Kyoto will sink Europe’s economy (ITEM #3).
But Myron Ebell (Director, Energy and Global Warming Policy, Competitive Enterprise Institute) has a “modest proposal”: We may be overlooking “the heroic Russian effort to rescue the EU's Kyoto targets by cutting off oil imports. My suggestion would be for them to stop supplying fossil fuels entirely. That would allow the EU to concentrate on implementing those inexpensive new energy technologies identified by the Stern Review.”
While PM Tony Blair advises caution against drastic policies (contradicting his own environment minister) (ITEM #4), Calif Governor Schwarzenegger goes overboard on automobile and fuel controls (ITEM #5), with New Mexico governor Bill Richardson trying to outdo him. Well, 2008 is just around the corner; time to burnish your Green credentials, Bill.
Take cover and watch your wallet. Shades of Jimmy Carter: Synfuel is trying to come back – with heavy burdens on taxpayers and consumers. (ITEM #6). Will Bush veto it?
A voice of reason in the wilderness --a cooler head when we need it -- puts the onus on sensationalistic media (ITEM #7). They did it also when the climate was cooling – 30 years ago. See
Environmentalism as a religion (ITEM #8).
Is 2006 the warmest year since 1850? Depends on whose data you use.
The NCDC result, based on weather stations plus ocean data, shows 2006 about even with 1998. (For problems with the basic data see ITEM #9 by Vince Gray). On the other hand, the satellite data, using truly global information, show 2006 as colder than 1998. See for yourself at
Nevertheless, we already have projections (forecasts?) that 2007 will be even warmer (Phil Jones and the Hadley Centre). So here is my own intrepid prediction for 2007:
“CO2 levels will set a new record in 2007, reaching their highest level since the end of the Little Ice Age (around 1850).” To show I am serious, I will put my money where my mouth is: I am willing to take bets on this from all comers.
Hooray! The Washington Pest has returned, cared for by David Wojick




Jonathan David Carson, PhD
December 26, 2006

According to "Carbon Neutrality: A Shopper's Guide," in The Boston Globe, "Many [Web]sites...offer the option of offsetting an individual's entire ‘carbon footprint.'" ("Carbon footprint" is an expression environmentalists made up, meaning the amount of carbon dioxide each person releases into the atmosphere by breathing, driving to work, heating the house, and other such noxious activities.) "Customers can" also "buy offsets for the carbon dioxide emissions released by air travel." Shoppers will soon even be able to get "a credit card that rewards carriers with offsets based on much they spend."

Note the language: "A Shopper's Guide," "offer," "customers," "buy," "rewards," and so on.

So what do you "buy" with the money you give these merchants? What do they "offer" you in return? What "option" do you receive? What is your "reward"? Nothing! You send them your money, and they promise to "offset" your carbon emissions with projects they claim will improve the environment by reducing the amount of carbon dioxide in it. You get nothing but a chimerical absolution for the sin of being alive. And you thought that the sale of indulgences went out with the Middle Ages?

For example,
"Travelers buying airline tickets on the Web sites Expedia and Travelocity...can now pay extra to offset their share of the flight's emissions ($16.99 on Expedia for a cross-country flight), their money going into going into subsidies for wind and biomass energy, the planting or protection of forests (trees take carbon dioxide out of the air), or the installation of more energy-efficient light bulbs." 
You send them your money, and they'll buy light bulbs for themselves!



Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary has hit back at criticism from the climate change minister, saying his airline was "the greenest in Europe".
In a broad attack on airlines' efforts to tackle carbon emissions, Ian Pearson said Ryanair was the "irresponsible face of capitalism". But Mr O'Leary said Mr Pearson was "silly" and "hadn't a clue what he is talking about".
Mr Pearson also said the attitude of US airlines to emissions was "a disgrace".
In an interview with the Guardian, Mr Pearson said: "When it comes to climate change, Ryanair are not just the unacceptable face of capitalism, they are the irresponsible face of capitalism." He also attacked British Airways, saying it was "only just playing ball" on environmental regulations, and Lufthansa, the German airline. 
Mr O'Leary defended his company and the industry as a whole.
''We are the greenest airline in Europe but you know being savaged by a dead sheep - as we were by this minister this morning - is like water off a duck's back.'' "What he should be attacking is the power generation stations and the road transport who between them account for over 50% of emissions."
He said the "silly" minister and "eco-lunatics" were targeting the aviation industry when it accounted for 2% of the problem.
Even though his company was growing, the new planes it had invested £10bn in the last five years had cut its emissions and fuel consumption by 50%, Mr O'Leary said. He added: "He hasn't a clue what he's talking about and is attacking the wrong target in the airlines."
Chancellor Gordon Brown attempted to boost the government's green credentials in his pre-Budget report by doubling air passenger duty from £5 to £10 on short haul flights. Passengers on long haul flights could pay up to £80 extra. 
But green campaigners said the increased levy would make little difference to emissions.
Friends of the Earth said if the government was serious about fighting climate change it should scrap airport expansion plans and tax breaks for the air industry.
Ryanair has opposed efforts by the EU to control aviation carbon emissions by including them in a trading scheme, saying it would discriminate against low-cost airlines. The EU's scheme will see airlines pay for exceeding their current level of emissions.
Flights within Europe will come under the jurisdiction of the Emissions Trading Scheme by 2011. The scheme would be expanded from 2012 to include all international flights that arrive at or depart from an EU airport.
Airlines would be issued with pollution permits - those that cut emissions would be able to sell their surplus while an airline that increased its emissions would have to buy more permits. The US has already questioned whether it would be legal within global trading rules to force airlines flying into the EU to take part in the scheme. And there are reports that US airlines are considering legal action to overturn the EU's efforts.
Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2007/01/05 16:05:22 GMT

From CCNet
The heart of the problem is that there is no technical fix. The only way to get
emissions down properly is to have fewer flights ­ and neither the airline industry
nor the Government has yet been able to face this. The industry cannot accept that
its business should stop growing. The Government cannot face the major vote-loser
that would be pricing people off cheap flights­ especially this Labour Government,
which believes low-cost flying has brought many benefits to the lower paid.
--Michael McCarthy, The Independent, 6 January 2007

From a policy perspective it is a situation where you can only lose because any
government, whether it is Labour or the Conservatives, will be faced with the
reality that their policies don't match the rhetoric. Tony Blair has made climate
change top of the agenda but actually hasn't done anything to bring down emissions.
Where does that leave policy-makers? It leaves them looking very exposed. So that
is the problem for any policy-maker: you exaggerate the threat and then you don't
follow it up because you can't. You will be found out as a hypocrite. And that's
what this Government looks like."
--Benny Peiser, Local Transport Today, 30 November 2006

To retain leadership in the battle to curb climate change, the European Union
believes it must show the rest of the world how to stop a predicted ecological
catastrophe, while maintaining a healthy environment for business. But that
lofty goal — the promise of green growth — looks somewhat different from the
factory floor. Arcelor Mittal, the world's largest steel company with 135,000
workers in Europe, is among several companies that are sending out distress
signals two years after the EU began capping carbon dioxide emissions from
10,000 factories and power plants.
--James Kanter, International Herald Tribune, 7 January 2007

In a debate on energy security and climate change, Tom Crotty, chairman of
the chlorine producer Ineos ChlorVinyls, said that spiralling energy costs had
led to the loss of 100,000 job losses [in the UK] over the past 18 months.
Included in those losses were the closure of 13 glassmakers and 11 papermills.
Ineos ChlorVinyls, which had to halt production temporarily last year because
of higher energy costs, has 80 per cent of its costs tied up in energy. Mr
Crotty said that energy policy had failed industry: “The true cost comes in
lost business, lost jobs and lost income.”
--Christine Buckley, The Times, 28 November 2006

EU plans attack on car emissions
By Roger Harrabin BBC environment analyst

The cost of "gas-guzzling" cars could soar in five years' time under plans from the European Commission. The commission wants to impose mandatory efficiency standards on all new vehicles sold in Europe as part of a master plan to combat climate change. Some of the UK's best-known carmakers could be hardest-hit.

Currently the EU has a voluntary agreement with motor manufacturers - but they have infuriated the commission by missing their target by almost 50%.

Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas now wants mandatory standards that will allow the average car to emit just 120 grams of carbon dioxide (CO2) per kilometre. That would mean a 1.6 litre petrol Ford Focus would need to cut emissions by a third to qualify as an average vehicle under the new regime.

Car manufacturers will be able to average out their overall CO2 targets over their entire range of vehicles. But it is clear that heavyweight luxury cars like Rolls-Royces, Bentleys and Range Rovers will have to invest far more in costly low-pollution technology to reduce their emissions than smaller lighter cars.

Britain's Society of Motor Manufacturers said the plans threatened jobs in the car industry, particularly for specialist manufacturers. They forecast that the plan would add as much as 2,500 euros (£1,650) to some cars, and they warned that European makers would lose out to imported models.

Mr Dimas said the new rules would apply equally to imports, adding that the EU would offer tax breaks to carmakers to help the transition to lower-emission vehicles. He admitted that costs would rise for buyers of top-of-the-range vehicles, but said higher costs for the average consumer would be outweighed by fuel savings over the life of the vehicle.

The proposals underpin the commission's recently unveiled climate masterplan, and will be discussed by politicians shortly. The plan may face political opposition, but climate is changing the industrial landscape in a way that may persuade Europe's politicians that it is kind to be tough on their own carmakers.

California has set a benchmark for fuel-efficient vehicles that will make it increasingly hard for the manufacturers of gas-guzzlers. Detroit's carmakers - traditional opponents of fuel efficiency standards - are now finding themselves trailing in the race to make cleaner vehicles.

Mr Dimas told BBC News that people should start talking about climate change as a war. It could lead to the death of millions of people, and it could transform the world economy into a war economy, where every sector was involved in the fight against climate change. As a result, he said rising emissions from transport were a problem that had to be tackled.
Published: 2007/01/12 18:34:16 GMT

Norway to offset flight emissions
Norway has announced plans to offset the greenhouse gases produced by public employees when they fly abroad by buying emissions credits. The move, which is intended to fight global warming, was announced by Norway's prime minister. He said the scheme was thought to be the most ambitious of its kind in the world and hoped others would follow.

Under the scheme the government will buy credits to be invested in projects which reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Leading by example "The government has decided that when state employees travel by plane abroad, we will buy quotas for the emissions caused by the trip," Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg said in his annual New Year's address. He described the plan as "an example" for Norway's companies and other countries.

The estimated cost of the scheme would be around 2.5 million kroner ($400,000, £200,000) per year, according to the Norwegian news agency NTB. That money would be invested in forestry to absorb carbon dioxide and in technologies which reduce the output of greenhouse gases.

Although the announcement was received favourably by some businesses and environmental groups, at least one organisation reacted with scepticism. Norway's Nature and Youth environmental group said: "The government should first reduce its ambitions for the oil and gas sector in Norway, which accounts for a third of emissions of greenhouse gases." Norway is the world's third largest oil exporter and a major exporter of natural gas.


Kyoto sinks Europe: Billions in costs make it more and more unlikely that the EU can continue to go it alone slashing carbon emissions 
By Benny Peiser
Financial Post, 9 January 2007

A political drama is unfolding in Europe over the future of its Kyoto strategy. Its outcome will shape the future of climate policy and international negotiations for years to come.

At the heart of the escalating confrontation lies Europe's Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) and mounting concerns about its prospective failure. The crisis centers on a fundamental conflict between economic realism and environmental idealism, between national interest and green ideology. It has exposed the increasing tension between Europe's green enthusiasm and the realization that its unilateral framework comes at a hefty cost that is beginning to erode the economic stability of a waning continent.

Carbon trading is the EU's principal strategy for meeting its Kyoto target of reducing CO2 emissions by 8% by 2012. The scheme was launched two years ago in the hope that it would achieve what more than 10 years of political commandeering had failed: significant reductions in CO2 emissions. Instead, year after year, most EU countries continue to increase their greenhouse-gas emissions. Rather than proving its effectiveness, the trading system has pushed electricity prices even higher while energy-intensive companies are forced to close down, cut jobs, or pass on the costs to consumers.

As the reality of economic pain is felt all over Europe, deep cracks in its green foundations are beginning to become apparent. Guenter Verheugen, the EU's industry commissioner, has warned that by "going it alone" Europe is burdening its industries and consumers with soaring costs that are undermining Europe's international competitiveness. Instead of improving environmental conditions, Europe's policy threatens to redirect energy-intensive production to parts of the world that reject mandatory carbon cuts.

Verheugen's warning reaffirms what U.S. administrations have been saying for many years. It is aimed at the rapidly evolving challenges posed by Asian competitors such as China and India that are set to overtake Europe's sluggish economy within the next couple of decades. Indeed, Europe's imprudent unilateralism is not only constraining its trade and industry; worse still, it has led to a significant slowdown in European R&D budgets, a sliding trend that is hampering the development of low-carbon technologies.

The ETS's malfunctioning is partly due to an inherent flaw that allowed member states to allocate more emission permits than European industrial plants actually needed. Although Europe's energy utilities receive carbon permits free of charge, they have passed on the market price to industry and private consumers. In consequence, Germany's energy costs rose by almost EU6-billion ($9.2-billion) in 2005, a price tag that is expected to double in the next couple of years. The cunning strategy ensured that power companies reaped billions in windfall profits. And yet without the massive sweetener, Brussels could not have gained the support of industry for this risky scheme.

The dodgy bargain ended in political fiasco: Last year, the trading scheme nearly collapsed as carbon prices crashed. In a desperate attempt to salvage an increasingly volatile system, Brussels has now slashed 7% from the National Allocation Plans recently submitted by EU member states from the second phase (2008-12).

The decision has been greeted with irritation and sheer anger in many European capitals as the damaging consequences become apparent. Germany's Economy Minister has called the cuts "totally unacceptable" and Berlin is threatening to challenge the decision in court.

As far as the imminent future is concerned, one thing is patently clear: After years of inflated promises that the Kyoto process would not upset their economy, European governments are beginning to realize that the era of cost-free climate hype is coming to an end. In its place, concern is growing that key industries and entire countries will pay a devastating price for Europe's reckless Kyoto craze.

The stakes are particularly high for Germany. Despite its customary role as environmental cheerleader, it has been hit hardest. Brussels bureaucrats have slashed more than 30 million tonnes from its annual carbon permit. It faces up to ?3.5-billion in fines if it cannot bring down emissions by 2008.

Germany is extremely vulnerable to imposed energy caps. It is strongly opposed to plans for replacing its coal-fired power plants with gas-fired facilities, as such a move would only increase its already precarious dependency on Russian gas imports. Furthermore, successive governments have agreed to shut down all nuclear power plants, which account for a third of Germany's electricity generation. The Greens' anti-nuclear achievement has thus turned ideological triumph into an energy nightmare.

To make matters worse, Germany's industry bosses have warned that they will not proceed with billions in intended energy investments should the government lose the bitter dispute with the European Commission over slashed emission credits. The EU has made clear that it will not yield to German demands, as this would destabilize its fragile trading scheme. However, should German companies be forced to buy carbon credits at higher prices, it will simply remove funds and economic incentives that the government had hoped would be invested in alternative technologies.

As the price for electricity, goods and services continue to rise and Asian competitors catch up with Europe's lethargic economy, the public is beginning to question Brussel's unilateral climate policy. According to a recent EU poll, more than 60% of Europeans are unwilling to sacrifice their standard of living in the name of green causes. As long as advocates of Kyoto got away with claims that their policies would not inflict any significant costs, many people were tempted to believe in improbable promises. Now that the true cost of Kyoto is starting to hurt European pockets, the erstwhile green consensus is unravelling.

Oblivious to its deepening isolation, Europe is trying frantically to salvage the political capital it has invested in the Kyoto process. China and India have consistently ruled out participating in a global emissions trading scheme. It is unlikely that their booming economies and growing consumer demands would cope with energy restrictions on their development. Just the thought of allocating carbon credits for up to two billion potential middle-class consumers makes the mind boggle.

In recent weeks, even U.S. Democrats have cautiously started to lower expectations. They now concede that even under a Democratic administration, the United States is unlikely to join any international climate regime that would exclude Asia's looming superpowers and burden its economy with unilateral obligations.

Political realists have absorbed these sobering developments. There are signs that they are preparing the public for the EU's ultimate exit from Kyoto-type treaties. Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Chancellor Angela Merkel's climate advisor during Germany's EU and G8 presidencies, has suggested that G8 countries as well as China and India should adopt their own, national climate goals and policies, a loose road map that could replace the fading Kyoto treaty after it runs out in 2012.

What then are the chances that Europe's flagging climate policy will survive? The prospects are rather bleak. It remains unclear, however, whether the disarray over Kyoto and its rickety emissions-trading scheme will discourage others from getting their own fingers burnt.
Benny Peiser is a researcher at LiverpoolJohnMooresUniversity in the U.K. and is the editor of CCNet.


Carry on flying, says Blair - science will save the planet · Personal sacrifices to cut emissions 'impractical' · Green groups accuse PM of failing to set example
Nicholas Watt, January 9, 2007 Guardian

Tony Blair today wades into the growing controversy over how individuals can help to tackle global warming by declaring that he has no intention of abandoning long-haul holiday flights to reduce his carbon footprint.

Days after his environment minister branded Ryanair the "irresponsible face of capitalism" for opposing an EU carbon emissions scheme, the prime minister says it is impractical to expect people to make personal sacrifices by taking holidays closer to home. "I personally think these things are a bit impractical actually to expect people to do that," Mr Blair says in an interview.

The prime minister, who recently had a family holiday in Miami, adds that it would be wrong to impose "unrealistic targets" on travellers. "You know, I'm still waiting for the first politician who's actually running for office who's going to come out and say it - and they're not," Mr Blair says. "It's like telling people you shouldn't drive anywhere."

His remarks contrast with the tone set by Ian Pearson, the environment minister, who last week used strong language to criticise Ryanair for opposing the European Commission's plan to include all flights within Europe in the EU carbon trading scheme from 2011. Mr Blair's remarks are also at odds with the declaration last month by the Prince of Wales that he would cut back on domestic and international flights.

David Cameron, the Tory leader, believes he has stolen a march on the government by emphasising green issues and his own credentials - installing a wind turbine on his new house. Emily Armistead, of Greenpeace, said: "Tony Blair is crossing his fingers and hoping someone will invent aeroplanes that don't cause climate change. But that's like holding out for cigarettes that don't cause cancer. Hoping for the best isn't a policy, it's a delusion." Mike Childs, of Friends of the Earth, said: "It's disappointing that Tony Blair is refusing to set an example on tackling climate change, but it is even more disappointing that his government is failing to take decisive action to cut UK emissions."


(A press release from his office -- obviously)
World's first Greenhouse Gas Standard for transportation fuels will spark research in alternatives to oil, boost clean technology industry in California and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Continuing his historic leadership to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and lower California's reliance on foreign oil, Governor Schwarzenegger today announced he will issue an Executive Order establishing a groundbreaking Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) for transportation fuels sold in California. By 2020 the standard will reduce the carbon intensity of California's passenger vehicle fuels by at least 10 percent. This first-of-its kind standard will support AB 32 emissions targets as part of California's overall strategy to fight global warming.

"Transportation accounts for forty percent of California's annual greenhouse gas emissions, and we rely on petroleum-based fuels for an overwhelming 96 percent of our transportation needs," said Governor Schwarzenegger. "This petroleum dependency contributes to climate change and leaves workers, businesses and consumers vulnerable to price shocks from an unstable global energy market. As a world leader in energy efficiency, alternative energy and reducing greenhouse gases, California's new low carbon standard is an innovative action that will diversify our fuel supplies and establish a vibrant market for cleaner-burning fuels."

The LCFS requires fuel providers to ensure that the mix of fuel they sell into the California market meets, on average, a declining standard for GHG emissions measured in CO2 -equivalent gram per unit of fuel energy sold. By 2020, the LCFS will produce a 10 percent reduction in the carbon content of all passenger vehicle fuels sold in California.

This is expected to replace 20 percent of our on-road gasoline consumption with lower-carbon fuels, more than triple the size of the state's renewable fuels market, and place more than 7 million alternative fuel or hybrid vehicles on California's roads (20 times more than on our roads today).

The LCFS will use market-based mechanisms that allow providers to choose how they reduce emissions while responding to consumer demand. For example, providers may purchase and blend more low-carbon ethanol into gasoline products, purchase credits from electric utilities supplying low carbon electrons to electric passenger vehicles, diversify into low carbon hydrogen as a product and more, including new strategies yet to be developed.

The University of California estimates that the Governor's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions goals can increase Gross State Product by about $60 billion and create over 20,000 new jobs. As a result of AB 32 and other initiatives, including the Million Solar Roofs and Hydrogen Highway projects, the Bioenergy Action Plan and the Strategic Innovation and Research Initiative, California drives clean technology research, investment and development nationally.

California leads the nation in clean tech investment, attracting $484 million in venture capital to California in 2005 alone-40 percent to startups in energy generation and efficiency sectors. The Low Carbon Fuel Standard further expands the state's clean tech market by creating more sustainable demand for cleaner fuels.

The Governor's Executive Order directs the Secretary for Environmental Protection to coordinate the actions of the California Energy Commission (CEC), the California Air Resources Board (ARB), the University of California and other agencies to develop the protocols for measuring the "life-cycle carbon intensity" of transportation fuels. This analysis will become part of the State Implementation Plan for alternative fuels as required by AB 1007 (Pavley, Chapter 371, 2005) and will be submitted to the California Air Resources Board for consideration as an "early action" item under AB 32. The ARB will complete its review of the LCFS protocols for adoption as an early action no later than June, 2007. Upon adoption as an "early action" by the ARB, the regulatory process at ARB will begin to put the new standard into effect. It is expected that the regulatory process at ARB to implement the new standard will be completed no later than December, 2008.

Last September, Gov. Schwarzenegger signed AB 32 by Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez (D-Los Angeles), California's landmark bill that established a first-in-the-world comprehensive program of regulatory and market mechanisms to achieve real, quantifiable, cost-effective reductions of greenhouse gases.
SEPP Comment: What a sad effort. But meanwhile in New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson announces his personal war on Global Warming--words fail me: A modern Cervantes is needed to describe the 21st century adventures of this modern Don Quixote tilting at windmills. Greener than California -- wow! What an elegant way for New Mexico to commit economic suicide -- just to show governor Arnold that governor Bill is no girlie-man and to show Al Gore and the nation his true-blue Green credentials in a pre-election year.



5 January 2007

US Senators Jim Bunning (R-KY) and Barack Obama (D-IL) have re-introduced a piece of legislation that would help create the infrastructure needed for large-scale production of Coal-to-Liquids (CTL) fuel in the US.

The proposed “Coal-To-Liquid Fuel Promotion Act of 2007” is based on the bill first introduced by Senators Bunning and Obama last spring and expands tax incentives, creates planning assistance, and develops Department of Defense support for a domestic CTL industry.

The Coal-to-Liquid Fuel Promotion Act of 2007 enables the Department of Energy to provide loan guarantees for construction and direct loans for the planning and permitting of CTL plants. Loan guarantees will encourage private investment and planning loans will help companies prepare a plant for construction.

This legislation also will expand investment tax credits and expensing provisions to include coal-to-liquids plants, extend the Fuel Excise Tax credit, and expand the credit for equipment used to capture and sequester carbon emissions.

Finally, the bill provides the Department of Defense the funding and authorization to purchase, test, and integrate these fuels into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and military fuel supplies.


By George F. Will
Wash Post, April 2, 2006

So, "the debate is over." Time magazine says so. Last week's cover story exhorted readers to "Be Worried. Be Very Worried," and ABC News concurred in several stories. So did Montana's governor, speaking on ABC. And there was polling about global warming, gathered by Time and ABC in collaboration.

Eighty-five percent of Americans say warming is probably happening, and 62 percent say it threatens them personally. The National Academy of Sciences says the rise in the Earth's surface temperature has been about one degree Fahrenheit in the past century. Did 85 percent of Americans notice? Of course not. They got their anxiety from journalism calculated to produce it. Never mind that one degree might be the margin of error when measuring the planet's temperature. To take a person's temperature, you put a thermometer in an orifice or under an arm. Taking the temperature of our churning planet, with its tectonic plates sliding around over a molten core, involves limited precision.

Why have Americans been dilatory about becoming as worried -- as very worried -- as Time and ABC think proper? An article on ABC's Web site wonders ominously, "Was Confusion Over Global Warming a Con Job?"

It suggests there has been a misinformation campaign implying that scientists might not be unanimous, a campaign by -- how did you guess? -- Big Oil. And the coal industry. But speaking of coal . . .

Recently, Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer flew with ABC's George Stephanopoulos over Glacier National Park's receding glaciers. But Schweitzer offered hope: Everyone, buy Montana coal. New technologies can, he said, burn it while removing carbon causes of global warming.

Stephanopoulos noted that such technologies are at least four years away and "all the scientists" say something must be done "right now." Schweitzer, quickly recovering from hopefulness and returning to the "be worried, be very worried" message, said "it's even more critical than that" because China and India are going to "put more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere with conventional coal-fired generators than all of the rest of the planet has during the last 150 years."

That is one reason why the Clinton administration never submitted the Kyoto accord on global warming for Senate ratification. In 1997 the Senate voted 95 to 0 that the accord would disproportionately burden America while being too permissive toward major polluters that are America's trade competitors.

While worrying about Montana's receding glaciers, Schweitzer, who is 50, should also worry about the fact that when he was 20 he was told to be worried, very worried, about global cooling. Science magazine (Dec. 10, 1976) warned of "extensive Northern Hemisphere glaciation." Science Digest (February 1973) reported that "the world's climatologists are agreed" that we must "prepare for the next ice age." The Christian Science Monitor ("Warning: Earth's Climate is Changing Faster Than Even Experts Expect," Aug. 27, 1974) reported that glaciers "have begun to advance," "growing seasons in England and Scandinavia are getting shorter" and "the North Atlantic is cooling down about as fast as an ocean can cool." Newsweek agreed ("The Cooling World," April 28, 1975) that meteorologists "are almost unanimous" that catastrophic famines might result from the global cooling that the New York Times (Sept. 14, 1975) said "may mark the return to another ice age." The Times (May 21, 1975) also said "a major cooling of the climate is widely considered inevitable" now that it is "well established" that the Northern Hemisphere's climate "has been getting cooler since about 1950."

In fact, the Earth is always experiencing either warming or cooling. But suppose the scientists and their journalistic conduits, who today say they were so spectacularly wrong so recently, are now correct. Suppose the Earth is warming and suppose the warming is caused by human activity. Are we sure there will be proportionate benefits from whatever climate change can be purchased at the cost of slowing economic growth and spending trillions? Are we sure the consequences of climate change -- remember, a thick sheet of ice once covered the Midwest -- must be bad? Or has the science-journalism complex decided that debate about these questions, too, is "over"?

About the mystery that vexes ABC -- Why have Americans been slow to get in lock step concerning global warming? -- perhaps the "problem" is not big oil or big coal, both of which have discovered there is big money to be made from tax breaks and other subsidies justified in the name of combating carbon.

Perhaps the problem is big crusading journalism.


By John Kay
The Financial Times, January 9 2007

Anthropologists have established how different cultures independently evolve similar myths - familiar stories, such as the myth of the Fall and the myth of the Apocalypse, which meet deep-seated human needs. The Christian tradition describes the temptation of Adam and Eve and warns of the Last Judgment.

In Europe, these stories no longer have the impact they did. Environmentalism now fulfils for many people the widespread longing for simple, all-encompassing narratives. Environmentalism offers an alternative account of the natural world to the religious and an alternative anti-capitalist account of the political world to the Marxist.

The rise of environmentalism parallels in time and place the decline of religion and of socialism. Environmentalism embraces a myth of the Fall: the loss of harmony between man and nature caused by our materialistic society. Al Gore recounted the words of Chief Seattle, as his tribe relinquished their ancient lands: "Will you teach your children what we have taught our children? That the earth is our mother?"

This lost Eden never existed. Humans have burned and eaten the environment since time immemorial. The first Americans crossed the Bering Strait and killed every tame animal they saw. Chief Seattle sold his heritage for a life of luxury, and his eloquent speech may have been penned by a television scriptwriter. But myths are literature, not history or science: classical epics and the great religious books are cultural treasures and their educational value does not depend on their literal truth.

The Apocalypse myth is equally familiar. Our wickedness has damaged our inheritance and, although it is almost too late, immediate reform can transform our future. Christians look to the Second Coming, Marxists to the collapse of capitalism, with the same mixture of fear and longing.

Environmentalism at first lacked a persuasive Apocalypse myth. The litany of environmental degradation had to confront the manifest fact that many aspects of the environment were steadily improving, with cleaner air, rivers and seashores. The discovery of global warming filled a gap in the canon. That is why environmentalists attach so much importance to the assertion not just that the world is warming up, which is plainly true, but that this warming is our fault, which is less plainly true.

The connection between rising carbon concentrations and the growth of modern industrial society provides justification for the link between the sins of our past and the catastrophe of our future. Environmental evangelists are therefore not interested in pragmatic solutions to climate change or technological fixes for it. They are even less interested in evidence that if we were really serious about reducing carbon emissions we could do so by large amounts without significantly affecting our economies or our lives.

Windmills on roofs and cycling to work are insignificant in practical consequence, but that is to miss their point. Every ideology needs rituals of observance which demonstrate the commitment of adherents. Business should treat the environmental movement as it treats other forms of religious belief. Business leaders do not themselves have to believe its doctrines. Indeed we should be wary if they do: business linked to faiths and ideologies is a sinister and unaccountable power. But companies must respect the belief systems of the countries in which they operate, and acknowledge both the constraints these structures impose and the commercial opportunities that arise.

Most environmental initiatives that have been implemented - phasing out fluorocarbons, renewable energy and emissions trading - have significant commercial lobbies behind them. Still, myths play a valuable social role and the intentions of their proponents are generally benign. The social impact of religions and ideologies, for good and ill, does not depend much on the factual accuracy of their stories. The injunction to be careful of the impact of our actions on the air, the earth and the water is well taken. The danger of environmental evangelism is that ritual, gesture and rhetoric take the place of substance.


ByVince Gray, Author of New Zealand Newsletter

The claim depends, exclusively, on the reliability of the :Mean Global Surface Temperature Record", since no other record supports it. But how reliable is it?

I published the following papers on the subject
"The Cause of Global Warming", Energy and Environment 11 pages 613-629, 2000, available at
which explained that the record is based on a biased sample, subject to a whole host of possible errors which are hardly ever checked.

And a paper on "Regional Climate Change" at
which shows that there are serious discrepancies in the amalgamated figures..

There are enormous changes in the numbers of weather stations used for compilation of the "surface record" at different periods. In 1900 there were 1500, in 1980 there were 6000 and in 1998 there were 2700. The averages are taken from "grid boxes" made up of 5 x5 latitude/longitude squares on a Mercator map. Out of a possible total of 2,592 grid boxes, there were 300 available in 1900. 850 in 1980, and 500 in 1998. However, these were not distributed uniformly. There was a high density in the USA and in Western Europe and vast gaps in Africa, S America, India and Siberia. Antarctica had none until fairly recently

The attachment shows the actual number and distribution of stations used for compiling the surface record in the world in the years 1979 and 1994 by the GHCN Group. The other two groups (Hadley and GISS) would use a similar list. It is surely obvious that any "trend" obtained by averages, which compared these two samples is completely unreliable. The 0.4 C rise must surely be biased, as it was not detected by the much more reliable temperature record being operated by NASA satellites for the lower atmosphere over the same period. The supposed "global warming" caused by increases in carbon dioxide is too small to detect, when you use a reliable method.

NIWA New Zealand has recently issued a temperature record for New Zealand which shows negligible temperature change since 1950, once you take into account the early cooling by the volcanoes Agung (1960), and El Chichon (1982) and the warming effects of El Nino (1998, 2002). They also show a sudden rise in temperature from 1950 which cannot be seen elsewhere in the world. It seems not to have been present in Auckland, Wellington,. Christchurch or Invercargill. I attach the record for Christchurch, where there was no temperature change since 1910 and the maximum temperature was in 1918.

Then there is the reliability for individual weather stations to record temperature trends. Meteorological people don't let you know where their sites are. or how long they operate, in case you find out.

.I gave you some evidence of this, plus examples in my Newsletter no 113

The following website gives photographs of a large number of official weather stations, all of which are obviously unsuitable for recording long-term trends. One is even on top of a building.